Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, September 30, 2021
Please wear your mask when you enter the Methodist Church
and whenever you are not eating. 


Find Zoom link here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
11:45-12:10 — Opportunity to visit with fellow zoomers or check in with the people at the tech table. 
(You don’t have to join at this time if it is not convenient.)
12:10 — Settle in for the meeting to begin.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.
11:45-Noon — Club members and guests are invited to visit with each other.
Before 12:20 — Pick up your lunch.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.


Matt Hillmann
October 7  Matt Hillmann, Ed. D.
What's Next for Northfield Schools? 
Superintendent Hillmann will provide an update about what is on the horizon for Northfield Public Schools. Matt will host himself.


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel reporter, Scott Richardson.

Elizabeth Child (Wakely), Irene Montenegro (Lutsky), Ann Lehmkuhl (Janice Lehmkuhl) and Andre Simonet (Ischler)
John Stull
Bryce Beckstrand, Funeral Director at Benson-Langhough Funeral Home, was welcomed into our club by Brad Frago. Duane Benson is Bryce's sponsor. 
  • Don Stager reported that we netted $16,000 from the Northfield Rotary Bike Tour. Brett Reese added that we had over 250 riders. He thanked Don, John Sinning and Jean Wakely for their leadership on this fundraiser. There are extra bike tour T-shirts available for $10.
  • Amy Goerwitz encouraged team leaders to routinely put their meetings on the website’s calendar. She is happy to help if you need guidance.
  • Vicki Dilley announced that she will soon be sending members an email asking us to update our directory information.
  • Bob Thacker announced that SHED is looking for individual and group partners to host a city-wide symposium on housing sometime next year.
  • Beth Kallestad reminded us that October is Energy Awareness Month and October 6 is Energy Efficiency Day. It’s a good time to sign up for an energy audit. She offered a box of LED light bulbs as an incentive.
  • Chris Weber, speaking for Turkey Trot team leader Jim Loe, said Jim will soon send out an email inviting you to sign up to help with the Thanksgiving event.
  • Jack Hoschauer told members to be on the lookout for stray bike tour signs and bring them to upcoming meetings. He also put in a plug for the CAC. Volunteers are needed on a regular basis to pickup food from local grocery stores and take it to our food shelf.
  • Jean Wakely gave a shout-out to the “J-Team,” Janine, John, and Jack, for their meritorious service during the bike tour.
  • David Stanford, club treasurer, shared a thank you note from Beth Berry, our recent Good Neighbor Award winner. She said she donated the stipend we gave her to TORCH.
  • Amy Goerwitz shared her pawpaw harvest with members.
  • Charlie Kyte and his wife, Diane, rode the 29-mile bike tour course backwards. I mean they rode it in reverse order and enjoyed it.


Benjamin Hauser
September 30  Ben Hauser
PerspectivesA classification talk
Northfield’s Ben Hauser has been around the world and back again.
Ben was born in South Korea to a poor family “with too many mouths to feed.” He was given to an orphanage, and at age 7, adopted by a couple from Rochester, N.Y. They subsequently adopted two more Korean children to round out their family of five.
Growing up and in his early college years, Ben was aware he was different. Not many of his peers looked like him. But he had an epiphany when he accompanied his father on a trip to Japan. There, among people who had dark hair and Asian faces, he felt at home.
This awakening led him to travel to South Korea and connect with other South Korean adoptees at Inje University. Ben worked for 13 years in South Korea with an organization that helps Korean adoptees learn about Korean culture. There he met his wife.
Ben's life came full circle when he returned to the orphanage where, as a young boy, he looked to the mountains on the horizon and wondered what lay beyond. He said he is grateful for landing in a good adoptive home and for all of the opportunity it allowed. Not all adoptees were so lucky, he said.
When you straddle two cultures, comparisons are inevitable. Ben noted the Korean culture emphasizes respect for its elders, focuses more on we than I, values education and, in his mind, seems more open-minded
Married with two children, Ben now lives in Northfield. He works for Helix Intel, a software system to track equipment management for businesses.
Because of their personal nature, we don't publish links to classification talk videos. If you would like to view the video of Ben's talk, please contact Amy Goerwitz at


Susan Hvistendal
October 14  Susan Hvistendal
Northfield's Oldest Building, the Lyceum
Local historian and author Susan Hvistendahl will speak about Northfield's oldest building, the 1857 Lyceum at 109 E. 4th Street. The building still stands today as a testament to the social and intellectual pursuits of Northfield's pioneers. Hosted by Jean Wakely.
Joan Janusz
October 21  Joan Janusz
Health Care for All
Over the last 30 years, health care costs have skyrocketed. Many Americans can't afford health insurance, a third of GoFundMe campaigns raise money for health care costs, and two-thirds of personal bankruptcies are a result of high health care debt. Learn more about these issues and a possible solution that bases health care costs on a patient's ability to pay. Joan is a retired public health nurse and a former Director of Public Health Nursing for Rice County. Hosted by Barbara Wornson.
Sarah Nathan
Sarah Nathan
October 28 — Sara Nathan
Classification Talk: Everyone can be a philanthropist
A self-described "pracademic", Sarah will share components of her philanthropic autobiography as it influenced her career in the nonprofit sector, through the world's first school of philanthropy, and ultimately to the public face of philanthropy at Northfield Shares. Hosted by Jim Loe.
Michael Leming
November 4 Michael Leming
Building an Orphanage in Northeast Thailand for 69 Tribal Orphans
The Thailand Children's Home has served the poorest Thai orphans for 30 years. Recently Westerners acquired their land and the Children's Home has had to start over again. Michael and his wife Ann Leming have worked in rural Thailand for 32 years and have sponsored three International Global Rotary Grants for Thai Tribal Children. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.

Todd's two cents

Todd Thompson, Club President
Fellow Rotarian Jesse Steed stopped by my house this week and we sat outside on a beautiful day and chatted about everything from family to Youth Exchange. Although I have known Jesse for years and he is a guitar player, I had never just sat and talked with him. It was a very pleasant experience. With my busy life and so many things on my list every day, I have to remember to take the time to just sit and catch up with friends.
Hope you all are enjoying these beautiful days of fall. . .
Thanks for the talk, Jesse,
  • Limit of 4 people per table.
  • Wear masks when not eating.
  • No group singing.
  • We require attendees to be vaccinated. Rotary International is a big supporter of vaccines. 
  • If you bring a guest, make sure they are vaccinated.
  • If you are not vaccinated, we still value you and your membership, and we have hybrid meetings so you can join our Thursday meetings on ZOOM, during the pandemic.
Charlie Kyte  Oct 5
Zack Zastrow — Oct 6
Kyle Nordine — Oct 7
Lisa Peterson — Oct 9
Brad Frago — 20 years
We need 2 volunteers each week for our HOSPITALITY TABLE. It's easy and fun, with a minimal time commitment. To sign up click HERE.
Nearly 300 riders registered for the Northfield Rotary Bike Tour, held on September 25th. 75 volunteers (almost all of them current or former Rotarians) turned out to help ensure a successful event for all the riders. After last year's virtual non-ride ride, the Bike Tour Team reimagined the Bike Tour: featuring new routes, fewer aid stations, pandemic-driven food choices, a Don Stager water station creation that replaced Culligan, new marketing, art for the t-shirts and a new logo that we'll use going forward. And we pulled it off with only a little more than 2 months of planning.  If that wasn't enough, including sponsorships, we raised about $22,000 for our local and international Rotary projects. A huge thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors, and riders.
ReCharge Northfield Invitation
Click to enlarge


At last week's meeting Don Stager reminded members that drastic climate changes require us to be good stewards. As natural gas prices rise, this is a good time to have an energy audit before the advent of cold weather.
Our Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) is dedicated to making climate change a strategic priority and to raising awareness, providing education and encouraging individuals and businesses to act in the interest of our planet. 
Read our climate action statement here.
For more information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team contact our chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or


The Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others  to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.