Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, January 13, 2021


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 8396 5788
Passcode: 601997

    Holly Schoenbauer

Holly Schoenbauer, Project Friendship: From Yesterday to Today. A brief look at Project Friendship and where we are today. How we have weathered the COVID storm and are emerging stronger and more defined than ever before. Hosted by Rick Estenson.

Lynne Pederson (1.11); Erica Zweifel (1.44); Rick Esse and Michael Lemming (1.16).
Wopata, Scott-4 (1.10.2-17)Abdella, Blake-14 (1.11.2007); Lee Dilley-14 (1.11.2007); Amber Chavie-4 (1.12.2017); George Davis-4 (1.12.2007); Art Monaghan-15 (1.11.2006); Betsy Spethmann-10 (1.13.2011); Erica Zweifel-8 (1.15.2013).


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. 
Actions we can all take to help: Learn enough about climate change to have real concern for your grandkids and future generations.  Then take action.  Ask any RCAT member for ideas.
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, Jean Wakely.

We ran out of time to hear one last story from our Holiday Party program last week. Alan Anderson shared his 1969 mountain climbing adventure in the Grand Tetons. A two day climbing trip, scaling an 11,000 ft. peak, in two days, with one full and one day pack, two teams roped together in groups of 5. Half way up the assent the temperature dropped drastically, then turned into rain, then freezing sleet and finally snow in a one-hour time period. Barely 1,000 feet from the summit, they called a retreat to the climb. On the repel back down Alan assisted a climber, 200# Rabi Rohl.  Perched on a very windy ledge during the decent, a gust of wind blew Allan and the Rabi off their feet, when the Rabi fell and broke his leg. Alan was able to shelter the Rabi in place, continue the decent for help, and return the next day with man power and helicopter help to carry the Rabi back to safety. Fast Forward … in 1974, Alan and his wife Debbie returned to the same location in the Tetons, went through the same climb location and had the same guide who remembered the fateful climb of 1969! This time, however, Alan and Debbie reached the summit in excellent condition.  It was a climb to remember!  


Dave Brown announced the following members who have recently achieved Paul Harris status:

Pat O’Neil (PH+2); Dave Wolf (PH+2); Jim Holden; Laurie Williams; Rob Martin; Dave Stanford; Vicki Dilley.

Dave Brown also reminded the Club of the 7 Areas of Service from Rotary International:

Peace, Disease Control, Water & Sanitation, Maternal and Child Care, Basic Education & Literacy, Economic Recovery, and Environment Education.


Carrie Caroll announced a community invitation to the Northfield Shares “an Evening of Entertainment”, Saturday, January 23, 7 PM via Zoom.  A star-studded evening of musical performance, visual artist’s silent auction, Tictok Youth Challenge, and Restaurant Events.  Register to attend the event on line and gather friends around to enjoy a wonderful evening.

Kapano, our student from Zimbabwe, is back home and in quarantine, preparing to greet his family and community very soon.  We miss him already. 

Jim Pokorney wanted to thank Rotary members who signed up on Sign-Up Genius to deliver Meals on Wheels this last week.  Our club delivers two times per year.  We had an excellent turnout of drivers.

Mark Abbott reminded the Club that the Board set aside $50,000 this year to give to those in need in the community.  Two thirds of that draw has gone to our local community in areas of great need.  The last 1/3rd will go to an international organization in need.  However, he solicited Club members to submit names of organizations we have not necessarily reached in the past.  Please contact Mark personally with your recommendations.  

Jim Holden asked for an explanation of members who have dropped out over the last year.  Vicki Dilley and Rick Estenson both assured the Club that members leave us for a variety of reasons, from moving out of town, death or sickness, to not finding Rotary a good fit for their needs.  This is very typical from year to year.  What is needed is for members to introduce Rotary to new membership each year. 


 Trisha Duncan

Kristi Pursell introduced our member Trisha Duncan for her Classification Talk, entitled: “A Life Long Learner with Family Happiness”.    

Trisha began with an excellent power point to show case her beautiful family. Trisha was born in Arlington, MN, February 17, 1977. She is 50% German and 50% Swedish.  She attended Sibley East High School until 1995. Her high school fun fact is that she competed in the State High School Shot Put Championship her senior year, and now holds the school record for the longest shot, to this very day! 

Trisha Duncan has three college degrees she acquired over a period of time. After high school she attended Minnesota State in Mankato where she achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.  

Not long after her daughter was born in 2001 and Trisha stayed home for 5 years as Executive Cook and Bottle Washer.  

Trisha then decided to head back to school and received a Master’s Degree in Urban Studies. That allowed her to work two part-time jobs:one for the Mankato Chamber of Commerce and another for the City of Mankato. This experience helped her find her now career with Xcel Energy as their Community Relations Manager (2013 to present).  

While working with Xcel she decided to go back to college again and enrolled in the Executive MBA program from the University of St. Thomas from 2017-2020. That program afforded her to do a two week residency program in Argentina. She was back in Minnesota just in time for the Covid Pandemic lock down.

She is in her second marriage, has three degrees, 5 children in a blended house, with two dogs. 

Happy and Ozzie, the dogs, are happy pups. They are tended to by Rylie (19), Gannon (17), Peyton (20), Ava (17) and Claire (15). They all live together in their home in Mankato, but enjoy quick trips to the family cabin on Lake Washington in St. Peter, just 20 minutes from home.  

Husband Joe is a Civil Engineer and has worked at Bolton & Menk  for 24 years. Joe’s father owns the Flandreau Bakery in Flandreau, S.D. It is a second generation hand’s on business in the family. Though Joe’s father would love to retire soon, he has no plans on selling the business.

Trisha is the Area Manager and Community Relations Liaison for 80 communities in southern Minnesota. Her territory runs from Northfield and west to Montevideo, south to Albert Lea and sweeping back up to Northfield. Although Xcel Energy has holdings in over 8 states, her territory is very fulfilling. She loves learning about ‘energy’ and what it can do to help communities. She meets a great diversity of people and every day on the job is a different day with a wide-variety of duties. As a liaison with Xcel she works with the public when new lines are laid, windfarms are formed, helping with customer concerns, and anything to do with Xcel and Xcel projects.  

Her inside scoop for us today is that Xcel has approval from the Public Utility Commission for a “stay-out”, meaning that our rates will not increase this year.  She also assists for the planning for the generation of assets such as coal plants, wind and solar farms. Though Xcel does not own any solar farms at this time, there are plans in the future to do so.  

Trisha has expressed an interest in our Rotary RCAT Committee and hoping to somehow fit it into her future schedule. Zoom is an excellent way for her to connect more easily to Northfield from Mankato. She also enjoys other club organizations and is on the Board of Directors for the Faribault Chamber of Commerce and Visit Mankato. She also enjoys a seat on the Board of the Mankato YWCA. She has also switched her loyalty from her college days with the Green Bay Packers to her now Minnesota Vikings Team.  

Welcome Trisha Duncan to our Northfield Rotary Club!  

The entire January 7th meeting can be viewed here.


  Maggie Milano

January 21 — Maggie Miland, RotexGraphic Recording: Building Equity and Community in a Virtual Age. As a community builder, has this past year left you feeling disconnected and Zoomed out? What if there was something that could help us reconnect in a meaningful way? Graphic recording, or visual note-taking, is a powerful tool that puts people and their voices at the center of every conversation. 

  Cecilia Cornejo

January 28 — Cecilia Cornejo, At Home as a Perennial Outsider. Artist, filmmaker, and educator, Cecilia Cornejo, will share her experience as an immigrant living in Northfield, her residence since 2010. Drawing on her ongoing project, The Wandering House, Cecilia will discuss how she finds both a sense of purpose and belonging in a community-engaged artmaking practice. Hosted by Jean Wakely.

Vicki's Vision

   Vicki Dilley, President

The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.

“The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.”

Last week, Dave Brown our overseer of the work of the Rotary Foundation for our club, awarded several people with their second and third Paul Harris pins.  

I feel like the Rotary Foundation is something we don’t talk about enough or we don’t clearly ask for individual participation in the work or the giving to the Foundation. Today, I am asking you to consider your giving to the Foundation.

Paul Harris was one of the founders of Rotary, with their first meeting happening on February 23, 1905. We will soon celebrate the 116th year of Rotary. The founders “envisioned a place where professionals of diverse background could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships”.

I would imagine you are as grateful as I am for Rotary where we can come together for shared ideas, putting those ideas into action and for the rich fellowship we experience together.  

But, one of the ways that we can share those resources for greater impact is through the Rotary Foundation, with the personal goal of becoming a Paul Harris Fellow. The Foundation allows our Club and others to do BIG things that would be nearly impossible without the shared efforts of other clubs ... like the school facilities in Thailand, or the challenging water project for communities in Guatemala or beds for dormitories in Tanzania.  

Lee and I are set up for automatic withdraw from our checking account to pay our Club dues, but we have instructed our Club Treasurer, David Stanford, take out an additional amount to be given to the Foundation with each payment. I was surprised to find that in December I had enough put aside for this to go towards a Paul Harris award.  Each time $1,000 is given, the giver is awarded a Paul Harris pin, when you give that much twice or been awarded with a Paul Harris, you receive another recognition pin. For those with a PH+2, they have given $3000 over time.  Another way to give is, register at and donate online. 

If possible, I would encourage you to consider giving to the Foundation on a monthly or quarterly basis and before you know it, you have reached your goal.   If now is not the right time for you to do that, consider for some time in the future.  

To learn more about the Foundation and becoming a Paul Harris fellow, please reference the Rotary International website.  

Jesse Steed is helping to start a non-profit, Nourish Bangladesh, which raises money to give to NGOs in Bangladesh that are giving food relief to people affected by Covid and flooding. They are having an online trivia event to raise funds this Saturday — Website here; Facebook Event here; Team Signup here.

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.