Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, July 15, 2021


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Find it here.
Meeting ID: 836 2096 1395
Passcode: 164383
Here is the UPDATED TIMELINE for our IN PERSON MEETINGS and ZOOM CALLS. On some days there will be slight variations, but not for coming on to the call.  
11:45 - Noon — Club Members and Guests are invited to join and go into a break out room for casual conversations.
IN PERSON: Noon - 12:15 — Pick up your lunch at the kitchen window.
12:10 — ALL Zoom callers are invited back together to begin the meeting. Generally, the meeting will begin with an Invocation, the 4-Way Test, introduction of guests and then introduction of our speaker. Speaker and Questions/ Discussion.
12:20 — Meeting Begins.
1:15 — Meeting is dismissed until next week.
    Nancy Antoine
Leading Through Trauma — Nancy Antoine, Principal of Bridgewater School and recipient of the 2021 National Distinguished Principal Award. Nancy will talk about the challenges of being a Black principal leading a white school staff in Northfield during a global health crisis, all while fighting a her own personal trauma battle. She will also discuss how our Northfield students need to see staff who look like them in a school setting, and what can be done to improve this situation. Nancy Antoine is the principal of Bridgewater Elementary School and the recipient of the 2021 National Distinguished Principal Award. Hosted by Matt Hillmann.


Kari Nelson 7.12; Lisa Thompson 7.13Jan Stevens 7.15.

John Ehresmann (36 years); Ellen Iverson (2).


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. 
RCAT – Call to Action - Power Your Home With Wind
Almost 600 Northfield residents are taking advantage of Minnesota’s wind power by subscribing to Xcel Energy’s low-cost Windsource program. With no equipment needed, Xcel electric customers can invest in renewable energy and lower their carbon footprint. Join your neighbors and sign up today. Visit
Our Climate Action Statement - Read our climate action statement here.
For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or


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


Mary Ellen North (Wakely), Doug Scott (L. Dilley) and Saffron Stevens (Stevens).


Rahmah Abdulai.


President Todd wanted to be clear that he is not the president of Rotary International, only the Rotary Club of Northfield. Shekhar Mehta is president of Rotary International. We appreciate Todd clearing that up.


Transportation is the primary source of greenhouse gasses. Alan Anderson, an RCAT member, said studies show that electric vehicles are an economical alternative to the gas combustion engine. EVs cost more up front, but are less expensive to run and maintain over the life of the vehicle.


President Todd gave a shout-out to Brad Frago for pulling together our hybrid meeting technology and for his leadership on our strategic planning. 

Jan Stevens put out an all-call for volunteers to help with the Vintage Band Festival Saturday, July 31. Contact Jan if you can help.

Amy Goerwitz invited anyone with a program idea for 2022 to contact her. Yes, 2022. It looms.

Jim Loe reminded us that there are 140 days until our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Fresh legs are needed to make this event happen. If you are interested in working on this team, contact Jim.

Emily Fulton-Foley reminded us to save our Family Fare grocery receipts and turn them over to The Key. They earned $1,000 last year by collecting $150,000 in receipts. She also said the kids are eager for us to resume our monthly community meals, and she is looking for anyone able to offer free legal services to help some of her clients with housing issues. 


John Sinning is very happy. He retired, learned he will be a grandfather, is preparing for his son’s wedding, and was able to spend Father’s Day biking on the Continental Divide. 

Antiracist Organizing in Northfield — Moriah O'Malley, Amber Barksdale, Liz Coffield, Mar Valdecantos. Hosted by Emily Fulton-Foley.

Two new Northfield coalitions want to talk about racism in Northfield. 

Both North Strives Toward Anti-Racism (NorthSTAR) and Northfield Anti-Racist Action Coalition (NAAC) were formed last year in response to the George Floyd murder. NorthSTAR, a group of Northfield High School alumni, is centered on the student experience at the high school. NAAC is focused on the larger community.

Mar Valdecantos, speaking for NAAC, said racism is baked into many public policies that prevent people of color from accessing the same opportunities as our majority white population. Her group is looking at housing, local government, city services and other areas and generally raising awareness of the racism that exists here in Northfield.

A member of Northfield Human Rights Commission and Rice County Neighbors United, Mar said the majority population of Northfield does not appreciate the struggle local people of color have. 

“Northfield is a great community with great potential,” she said. “We’re not there yet.”

NorthSTAR has been meeting with school administration and the school board to create a more supportive, inclusive school environment for all students. Liz Cofflin said their work resulted in name changes to school district buildings and the change to the high school mascot. Going forward, they want to influence school district curriculum, policies and training.

To advance their campaign, Rotary members were encouraged to connect with one other person and talk about anti-racism issues. Then, ask that person to connect with someone else in the same way.

This link will bring you to NorthSTAR's (Northfield Strives Towards Anti-Racism) recorded story collection.  



July 22 — Lisa Maren Thompson — Classification Talk and presentation of Accra South (Ghana) Rotary Banner. Lisa will share her international education leadership journey from Minnesota to Asia, Europe, Africa, and back again, including the influence of Rotary club members in Norway and Ghana. She will also present the Rotary banner of her former club, Rotary Club of Accra-South, to the Northfield Rotary Club. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.
July 29 — Building the Plane While We Were Flying It  — Sherri Meyers, General Manager of Just Food Coop.
How your community-owned grocery store learned to pivot during a global pandemic while simultaneously remodeling the entire store -- and the toll it took. Sherri Meyers is the General Manager of Just Food Coop. Hosted by Penny Hillemann.
August 5 — USDA Renewable Energy Development Assistance for Rural Businesses and Producers  — Johnathan Van Roekel. This presentation will focus on the USDA Renewable Energy Development Assistance (REDA) program and the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments AmeriCorps program. Rotary Youth Exchange alumnus, Johnathan Van Roekel, the current Renewable Energy Coordinator with Lake County Resources Initiative in Lakeview, OR, is serving two terms with the RARE AmeriCorps program and will present on specific USDA Rural Development programs and the work he has been involved in during his time in South Eastern Oregon. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.
August 12 — Monarch Butterflies--Can They Be Saved From Extinction? — Lee RunzheimerHear and see what the local Monarch Butterfly Restoration Program is doing, and learn what more we can do. If possible before the meeting, please watch the 44-minute-long movie Flight Of The Butterflies. It's available for a small fee on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play and more. Hosted by Charlie Kyte.

Todd's two cents


Todd Thompson,President


Overwhelmed with gratitude today for life, life in Northfield, my friends and family, and our Rotary club! 

Thanks to Alan Anderson for the environmental moment about electric cars at last week’s meeting. Transportation in many ways is the biggest thing we can do to improve the climate change situation. 

Thank you to Liz and Mar for their inspiring talk at last week’s meeting. This link will bring you to NorthSTAR's (Northfield Strives Towards Anti-Racism) recorded story collection. 

Reminder that if you have interest in learning more or joining their efforts, they can be contacted at: 

The 2021-2022 Budget is being put together this month. Talk with me if you have requests and ideas.

The Turkey Trot committee is beginning to reorganize for the 2021 event (a run/walk on Thanksgiving Day).  If you would like to become part of the committee, please contact Jim Loe at We want this year to be the best ever and could use your help!

The Edina Rotary Club is spearheading a project:

This year’s Camp Enterprise is held at the YMCA Camp lhduhapi in Loretto, MN from Thursday, November 4th to Saturday, November 6th, 2021. Transportation is provided to and from camp with pick-up and drop off at Southdale Shopping Center in Edina, MN.  Students (high school juniors and seniors) learn and experience team building, teamwork and business/entrepreneur-ship. To learn more about Camp Enterprise see: The cost to sponsor students is $375.00 per student.  If you are interested contact me/Todd.

Finally, we are still looking for a few good people to fill some positions in our committees. Give me a call if you’re interested in an ongoing volunteer position.



Statement of Purpose: 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.