Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, May 20, 2021


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Find it here.
Meeting ID: 836 2096 1395
Passcode: 164383
Here is the timeline for our regular Zoom calls. On some days there will be slight variations, but not for coming on to the call.  
11:30 -11:45 — Zoom Managers log in and get set up.
11:45 - Noon — Club Members and Guests are invited to join and go into a break out room for casual conversations.
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.
12:40 — (approximate) Birthdays, Announcements, Happy News and more.
1:00 — Meeting is dismissed until next week.
     Sandy Malecha
Sandy Malecha, HCI Gathering for Good. HCI is eager to share information with the community about its work with children, youth and families during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, HCI is excited to share that StriveTogether has committed a $70,000 gift that must be matched dollar-for-dollar by local donors in 2021 — we hope to inspire local support to meet StriveTogether's match challenge. Hosted by Erin Bailey.


Penny Hillemann (5.16); Andrei Sivanich (5.17); Keith Covey and Jon Snodgrass (5.19); Bob Flaten (5.21).

Alan Anderson and Beth Kallestad-9 (5.17.2012); Richard Maus-15 (5.18.2006); Bob Thacker-3 (5.18.2018).


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, Penny Hillemann.


Henry Hillemann, Outbound to Zimbabwe 2019-2019.


Vicki offered the club’s condolences to Jan Stevens on the death of her mother.

Russ Halverson is moving out of town and will be resigning from the club.

Paul Harris Plus pins have been awarded to Alan Anderson, Linda Willgohs, Vicki Dilley and Richard DeBeau. Thanks for supporting the Rotary Foundation! Making additional contributions when paying your Rotary dues is an easy way to do this.

Nourish Bangladesh, a nonprofit that Jesse Steed helped to start, has now provided food relief to 25,000 through donations from people around the world. Learn more at

More sign-ups are still needed for our Meals on Wheels week, May 30-June 5. Volunteers will not enter homes. Jim Pokorney will resend the email. 

More volunteers are also needed for the Literacy Committee’s Book Bike support throughout the summer. A Signup Genius email will be going out for that too. They need two per night; one to ride the bike and one to help give free books away. 

Matching funds for donations to the Community Action Center’s Hillcrest Village project are available through the last day of May. Note Rotary on your donation form if you’d like your contribution tracked with the club’s. The Rotary board is giving $10,000 and hopes that members’ individual gifts will approach that amount too.

The $1,000 Northfield Rotary Scholarship has been awarded to Northfield High School student Nicole Theberath, who moved here from Brazil and has been a friend to many of our exchange students. 


     Emmett Lefkowitz
Emmett Lefkowitz, Taipei: Home to the Second Tallest Building in the World (from 2010 to 2012, that is), and My Second Home. Emmett is a sophomore Political Science and possible Chinese language major at Carleton College. He was Outbound to Taiwan in 2018-2019. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.

Emmett provided a brief history of Taiwan, Republic of China, where Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese nationalists retreated to in 1949. The beautiful, mountainous island has a population of 24 million, with most major cities on the west coast. Taipei, located at the northern tip, is relatively small for an Asian metropolis, with a population of 2.6 million in the city proper and 9 million in the metropolitan area, which includes the surrounding ring called New Taipei. 

His exchange experience was highly focused on the large community of exchange students, of whom there were about 150 in Taipei and 500 throughout Taiwan. Taipei Rotary enrolled all exchange students in a university Chinese course. Emmett had taken Mandarin Chinese at Northfield High School, but had to relearn the written language entirely. Taiwanese, a separate language, is mainly spoken in the south and by the older generation. His language skills were greatly improved by daily discussions with his first host father. 

Coming from Northfield, he was amazed at the freedoms afforded by the excellent, affordable public transportation of a large metro area. It was safe and people were kind. To get to school he had a long bus ride from the outer ring to the Metro subway system. One day he fell asleep on the bus and missed his stop by about 30 minutes. When the driver discovered him at the end of the route, he drove Emmett all the way back to his stop.

His families took him on many trips. Outings with his first family were focused on enjoying the scenery, while his second family took him on grueling hikes. 

Taiwanese high school was competitive and memorization-based, meeting 8 to 5 daily. They had clubs, but no sports. The Taiwanese students attended cram school after school most days, and the exchange students often left school for their Chinese course and activities with other exchange students, so there was not much chance to build friendships with local students. 

At least four times a week they were expected to spend time with large groups of exchange students. Some students never got very close with their host families as a result, and many left the country still not able to communicate very well in Chinese.

Emmett summed up his experience with three main takeaways: A year of cultural immersion with people from all around the world; big-city life that led him to grow in unforeseen ways; and friendships that he expects to last a lifetime. He praised North Star’s preparation and re-entry processes and said it is helpful to prepare Outbounds to know there is not just one way to have a good exchange experience.

The entire May 13th meeting can be viewed here.



     Ellen Kennedy
May 27 — Ellen Kennedy, Ph.D. and students. We are in the midst of an epidemic – an epidemic of violence and discrimination against women, and it has gotten worse during the pandemic. Every nine seconds, a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten. There are 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence each year.
This program raises awareness about the situation facing women and girls globally, nationally, and in Northfield, and presents opportunities to take action.
Sponsored by World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Speakers include Executive Director Dr. Ellen Kennedy and students Abby Banks (Carleton College), Priscilla Hagerman (University of Minnesota), and Tika Khachatryan (St. Olaf College).

     Rahmah Abdulai
June 3 Rahmah Abdulai, High School Senior and 2021 Recipient of the Northfield Human Rights Award. Rahmah will be talking about navigating her high school career as an outspoken Black student--raising attention to topics such as race, socio-economic, and misogynoir issues, as well as speaking on the personal aspect of these topics. Hosted by Matt Hillmann.
     Matt Hillmann
June 10 Northfield Public Schools Superintendent of Schools Matt Hillmann will share reflections on the 2020-21 school year and forecast how public education will change as a result.
June 17 Northfield Rotary Club Picnic, 4:30-7:00 p.m. (no lunch meeting).
WHERE: Rick Estenson’s at 10541 Ibson Avenue, Northfield.
WHO: Club members and spouse or significant other.
CATERER: Kahlo’s (see Survey Monkey for meal selections)
PLUS: Beverages that you choose to bring.


Vicki's Vision

   Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Rotarians,
It is truly gorgeous outside, I hope you have been able to be out and enjoying it!
There is a lot going on and I hope you have been able to be a part of it all.
Last Saturday at the Home and Garden Show, I am fairly certain, we had the best looking, best staffed, best energy of all the booths there! Jean Wakely, Jesse Steed, Richard Schulte, Richard DeBeau and many others played a big part to make it happen! Thank you to this outstanding team! 
Here is a link to a few photos from the event.  
In addition to all the fun of a spinning wheel with current information about Climate Change and brochures on Youth Exchange, and a drawing throughout the day to give a large country flag away and our up-and-coming-Rotarians, Robert and Henry Steed, selling their special dandelion jelly along with a donation to Rotary the District Governor, Ed Marek, and his wife, Sue, joined us ... complete with a radio interview and a recording they made interviewing me on what we are doing, 
I got to meet our newest Northfield Rotary member, Greg Storlie, at the event as he represented his work table.  Welcome, Greg!
There are still committees meeting to work on the different pieces of the Strategic Plan ... when Todd takes over as president in July, there will be plenty on the Board's plate to take on, with clear understanding of where to go next.
Which brings me to my question for you ... are you plugged into the area of Rotary you feel the most drawn to? Do you need some guidance on where to get plugged in? Please let Todd or me or anyone that you need some guidance or link to a committee chair. We are people of action, we get involved, we help out ... where would you like to be doing that now? 
Thanks, Vicki

PS: Be ready for an announcement soon as to when we will be able to get back together. We will have hybrid meetings, so those that aren't ready or can't get to a meeting in person can still join us!

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.