Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, October 8, 2020

Rotary Halloween Drive Thru is coming to Northfield!

Help promote our club’s safe, family-friendly Halloween event. Hand out postcards to neighbors, friends, places where you volunteer. Cards are in English and Spanish.
Flyers and a social media post will be ready soon too ... more ways you can help spread the word!


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Beth Kallestad

Beth Kallestad, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. Hosted by Bruce Morlan. 

Our Rotary Club has recently added a Board position to focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within our club and with how we interact with our community. We sent out a survey on this topic - thank you to all who responded. For this session we'll be sharing the responses from the survey and having some small group conversations around next steps. 

Sherri Meyers (10.1); Zack Zastrow (10.6); Kyle Nordine (10.7); Lisa Peterson (10.9).
Brad Frago (10.4.2001).


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.

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.


Eric Runestad, new Vice President and Treasurer for Carleton College (Rogers) and Dr. Nicole Christina Stuhrmann


Rotary is planning a drive-thru Halloween parade Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Estenson Event Center. Now is the time to begin thinking about a kid-friendly costume designed to entertain, not frighten. Rick Estenson anticipates about 500 cars during the event. Families will be asked to sign up through HCI and bring a food shelf item to the event. We will need candy, so if you so choose, buy some and drop it with Rick Estenson at Merchant’s Bank for safe keeping.

Jim Loe is helping us re-imagine our Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. We will promote a virtual “free range” event and encourage people to run on their own. The committee is meeting regularly now to work out the details. If you are interested, contact Jim. 

Andrei Sivanich is looking for a volunteer with a clean driving record to drive an LBSA client to an Apple Valley day program each week day. Your time commitment would be from 7:15 a.m. to about 9:15 a.m. Contact Andrei if you can help.

Peggy Prowe announced that Rotary money will be used to build an informational kiosk at the Cannon Falls end of the Mill Towns Trail.

Kristi Purcell invited members to a CRWP celebration Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon. Go to the CRWP website for details. 


Scott Wopata

Northfield Community Action Center (CAC) is in danger of running off a financial cliff unless new money surfaces to fight the economic fallout from COVID-19.

Scott Wopata, executive director of the CAC, said a significant percentage of the community has been devastated by the pandemic and is scrambling to meet their basic needs. He and his staff find the challenge overwhelming. Compassion and gratitude are critical to seeing us through this crisis, he said.

CAC’s mission is to hold the middle ground between the challenges faced by low income families and the solutions, said Scott, now in his second year as executive director. But in this pandemic they are struggling to meet today’s needs and they worry about funding for next year. 

More than 700 families are visiting the CAC’s food shelf each month, double the normal participation. Scott projects a $160,000 gap in funding for the food shelf in 2021. He also projects a 10-fold increase, to $250,000, to meet next year’s financial assistance needs.

This year CAC’s revenue has been supplemented by city and county CARES Act funds, money from the State Department of Human Resources and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. But unless a new stimulus package is approved, the funding stops on December 31.

He said he hopes local donations will help shrink the funding gap, but CAC also needs volunteers. COVID has reduced the pool of people who feel comfortable working on site. Scott also said it is important to building relationships with those in need. It is difficult to ask for help, he said, and it is important people connect to the resources that are available. 

Last week's meeting can be viewed here:


October 15 — Matt Hillman, School Update.

October 22Rachel Reid, Bat Research in Costa Rica. Hosted by David Brown.

cogwheel writers needed 

Looking for an easy way to serve the Club? We're looking for volunteers to take notes for the College City Cogwheel this fall. If you've never taken notes for the Cogwheel before, we can provide an outline of what to record and send to Rick Esse after the meeting. Sign-up here! Have questions? Email Meredith Galdeen or Rick Esse.

Vicki's Vision

Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Fellow Rotarians,
I am finding this position as your Rotary President this year, is one of privilege.  From my point of view, I get to see so much of what you all are doing for our club, for our community and for each other. I am fortunate.
I see you working to raise funds through the 4 Way Taste, the DJJD "I got robbed" days, the Drive Through Halloween event and the Free Range Turkey Trot. Then there is the water project in Guatemala and Books for Africa, Little Libraries and Janice Lehmkuhl and Jesse Steed are preparing to work with the 2021-22 Outbound applicants.  Nothing has stopped, everything is still in motion, we continue to do our good work through service to others.
Rick Estenson dreamed up this idea of handing out goodies to children in a safe, fun way ... knowing that Rotarians want to serve the community and the Food Shelf through this event. Betsy Spethmann, John Sinning and others came alongside him and invited other community members to help with this ...  Thank you for all you are putting into this.  We can take our bags of candy down to Rick at Merchant's Bank and it will be distributed in little bags with the Rotary name and logo on it. Please get the word out about this event ... Facebook, email, put up a flyer at your work, remind folks they do need to preregister for the event.  
Jim Lowe picked up the Turkey Trot, knowing it needed a leader to see us through this time to reinvent another one of our successful fundraisers, he quickly drew a team that are now thinking of all sorts of creative ways to safely call in our free range turkey trotters. Thank you, Jim and team!
Brett Reese led the DJJD "we've been robbed" efforts to a great finish ... your shirts will be to you before long. Thank you, Brett and team!
Scott Wopata, from the CAC, moved us into action. I know that Mike and Ann Leming, combined their resources with friends and neighbors and are now providing meat for the food shelf. Scott, Ann, Mike and any others who have helped the vulnerable in our community.  I know that Kopano, our sweet inbound student from Zimbabwe.inquired as to how he could help. 
Your Rotary board will be meeting next week, on Tuesday, the 13th at 4 PM. Feel free to come and listen to the items we discuss, you are most welcome. That zoom link is:
If you are looking for ways to get involved, just ask, we can let you know where the needs are and try to match it with the skills you bring. 
From my point of view, we are working hard to stay aware and ready and can't tell you how great that feels! Thank you, ALL! 

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.