Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, August 19, 2021


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Find it here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
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.
   Steve Underdahl
COVID: What happened, What's next? — Steve UnderdahlA brief review of the impact of COVID-19 on our local Medical Center and some thoughts about what might lie ahead. Steve is the President and CEO of Northfield Hospitals and Clinics. Hosted by Richard DeBeau.
Richard Shulte, 8.20.
Matt Hillman - 12 years; Robert Craig - 10; Caleb Breyer - 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, Vicki Dilley.


Mary Haas (Wakely) from Palm Springs, California; Bill Kuhlmann (Wakely) from the Minneapolis Rotary Club.


Vicki Dilley


President Todd expressed his gratitude for new member Sarah Nathan and for the way she has jumped in and started volunteering right away.   


Don Stager shared with us the headline news that our climate is at a code red warning for humanity. Don also encouraged us all to ride our bikes (there were at least 4 Rotarians that rode their bike to the meeting, including president Todd). 


Time to sign up to attend the 4 Way Taste at the Red Barn on September 16th.   Two years ago, we sold out, hoping to do it again, get your tickets early!  

Amy Goerwitz announced that the schedule for next week’s speaker has changed to Steve Underdahl from the Northfield Hospital giving us an update on the status of the Delta variation of covid in our community.

Todd shared with us the importance of friendships, ‘What are friends for?’  He asked to reach out to our friends and make the world a better place.  

   Lee Runzheimer
Monarch Butterflies--Can They Be Saved From Extinction? — Lee Runzheimer and Castle Rock Refuge – Jerry Wicklund. Hosted by Charlie Kyte.

Jerry has a 160-acre wildlife refuge dedicated to providing habitat for many species, including the Monarch butterfly.

Lee shared a map with us showing the migration of the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch travel from Winnipeg to Toronto to Mexico and stay in an area half the size of Rice County. They settle in the fir tree forests which are situated in the eastern perimeter of the Mexican state of Michoacán, also bordering the state of Mexico, in the forested mountains west of Mexico City. 100 million will winter there after a 3,000-mile migration. There are 4 generations of butterflies and one is called the ‘super generation’, they reproduce and then die. Generation 4 lives for only 1-3 months. No butterfly ever goes to Mexico twice because of their short lifespan.

The Monarchs that used to go to Monterrey, California to winter are 99% gone, only about 10,000 are left. The major risks to these pollinators are fires and draught.  

Loss of habitat is another stressor with only one-tenth of 1% left to survive on.The milkweed is the only thing they will lay eggs on or the caterpillar will eat. Cash crops have replaced pastures and prairies. There is loss of nectar producing flowers, they need flowers everyday of their lives to live. They eat the nectar and the sap of the evergreen trees. Weather and storms is another big risk factor. Birds are predators to the butterfly as are wasps, hornets which attack the caterpillars.  

The caterpillar is fully grown after one week, it excretes a glue-like substance which they attach to their back end and hang upside down to form a chrysalis/ cocoon. In two weeks, this transforms into a fully developed, adult butterfly. All the parts of the caterpillar become a butterfly.   Lee suggested watching the movie ‘Flight of the Butterlies’.  

Jerry Wicklund stressed that mankind is in peril.   Personally, he is doing something about it and he encouraged us to do our part too. Jerry has planted 800 oak trees on his property. 200 acres has been preserved and will never be planted on again. It is a refuge for wild turkeys, pheasants, deer and more. 

Jerry encouraged us to plant milkweed seeds where we can and flowers and flowering bushes and trees. He invited us to his farm for a tour. Rotarian Larry Vorwek, shared that he is a neighbor to Jerry and admires the work he has done. Larry has set some of his land aside for wildlife and he has many birds and even otters on his farm as well as 20 different species of bees. From April to October the Monarch needs flowers such as sedums, asters and goldenrod. Supporting lobbying groups is a good thing to do too.

The speakers were asked if it is good to plant along railroad tracks and Lee said that usually the soil is not good enough to support what is needed. Jim Pokorney asked about turning over traditional lawns to more wildflower and pollinator garden. Lee strongly encouraged this as the traditional lawn does not support any pollinators.  

Lee had a helpful handout at the table, we share it with you here

The entire August 12th meeting can be viewed here.



   Emily Lloyd
August 26 — LGBTQIAP 101: Past and Present — Emily LloydClub members will leave this session with a clearer understanding of “what the letters mean”, etiquette when interacting with LGBTQIAP people, new trends in coming out (such as age), and a quick grounding in the past to where we are now. Emily is the Youth Services Librarian & Selector at the Northfield Public Library. Hosted by Beth Kallestad.
Beth Berry and Sarah Lee
September 2 — TORCH and The NCCC: Past, Present, and Future — Beth Berry and Sarah Lee. Learn about the history of the Tackling Obstacle and Raising College Hopes (TORCH) program, how it led to the creation of the Northfield Community College Collaborative (NCCC), what both programs are doing today to help Rice County youth, and the ways in which we hope to grow and continue to build and nourish community partnerships and impact.

Sarah is the director of the NCCC and Beth is the founder of TORCH and a current member of it's advisory board, as well as a steadfast supporter of HCI's programming and a mentor to and champion of youth in Northfield and everywhere else. Hosted by Scott Wopata.
September 9 — Update On the Upcoming 4-Way Taste and Northfield Rotary Bike Tour — Brent Nystrom & John Sinning. Listen and learn about two of this year’s important Rotary Club fundraising events (and maybe volunteer!) Leaders from each event will provide details on how the 2021 versions of each event will work, who is attending, and how you still might be able to help.
Eric Runestad
September 16 — Classification Talk: A Winding Path of Purpose and Microadventure — Eric Runestad. Eric will share his personal and professional story that has led him around the Midwest and then back to Minnesota in 2020—six houses, five states, two children, two dogs, and one excellent wife. 

Todd's two cents


Todd Thompson,President

Todd’s Two Cents:

On my mind right now. Rocky Mountain National Park, family, Rotary work and fall.

Rocky Mountain National Park: I am in Colorado right now visiting my son. We took an unbelievably beautiful walk in the park. Wow, we waded in the creek, smelled the pines and climbed the rocks. It was great!

Family: I got to meet my son’s girlfriend’s parents for the first time, always an adventure. Amber coached me on “best behavior” – it worked.

Rotary Work: I am preparing a lesson for the class I teach this week and the topic is interdisciplinary learning.  I used my work with rotary as an example. Wow, we work with many different people, places, sciences, arts, etc. It made a perfect example.

Fall: I think we were ready for some cool weather.

Yours in Rotary,



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.