Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, April 29, 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.
     Scott Wopata
Scott Wopata, Executive Director, Community Action Center, An Update On All Things CAC. A discussion with Northfield Community Action Center leadership on expanding the breadth and depth of the CAC's work, including breaking ground for Hillcrest Village, a zero-energy housing development. Hosted by Alan Anderson.


Stacey Longwich, 4.27; Greg Siems, 4.28; Mary Hahn 4.30.

Richard Esse-28 (4.29.1993)


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, Kristi Pursell.


Paul from Cannon Falls; Nicole from Germany (Yogi’s friend).


New Zoom link for next week’s meeting (see above).

Strategic Planning team sign-up!

Sunday May 2, 4pm: 2444 Cotton Lane- opening of Habitat for Humanity’s Faith Build quad house.

Earth Day outside, downtown in Northfield on Saturday!

Northfield City Tree sale:  you can purchase a tree for yourself or donate it to the city. May 22nd is a volunteer event.


Jack shared news about a tumor he’s been receiving treatment from the VA and last week’s MRI at Mayo shows the main tumor on his liver has shrunk 1/3. He shared the news with characteristic charm and grace.

Carl Caskey’s daughter had a heart ablation last week, then her second COVID shot yesterday and is struggling, but he and all of us remain hopeful for her full recovery and health.


     Alan Anderson
     Lee Dilley
Alan Anderson and Lee Dilley, Rotary's New Area of Focus: Protecting the Environment and the Challenge of Climate Change
Our very own Alan Anderson (who started a climate conference at St. Olaf and drafted Bruce into Citizens Climate Lobby and is now also in SRAG) and Lee Dilley (local conservationist and advocate), Northfield Rotary’s RCAT members. Hosted by Bruce Morlan.

Rotary International is

  • Promoting Peace
  • Fighting Disease
  • Providing Clean Water
  • Maternal & Child Health
  • Literacy & Basic Education
  • Economic & Community Development
  • Protecting the Environment … because all the rest are at risk from climate change!

* U.S.’s 4th National Climate Assessment released Nov. 2018, authored by the more than 300 scientists in 13 Fed. Gov’t. agencies, including Defense, Commerce, Energy & 10 others found that climate change is happening now, it is primarily caused by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels, it is basically irreversible, it is serious, and we must act now to protect current and future generations. 

* Atmospheric CO2 levels were 417 Parts Per Million in 2020 (the highest it’s been since more than 3 million years ago)

* 2020 tied 2016 for hottest year on record

*The challenges are great and impact humans everywhere: fire, hurricanes, drought, flooding, 

Rotary and Climate: 

It is real - that’s the sad truth. It’s unfair to all. If we help fix it, we will build goodwill and it will be beneficial to all current and future generations.

Rotary’s New Focus Area: Protecting our Environment Statement of Purpose & Goals

Enables Rotary clubs to protect, preserve and conserve the environment by:

1. Protecting and restoring land, coastal, marine, and freshwater resources

2. Enhancing the capacity of communities and local governments to support natural resource management and conservation

3. Supporting agro-ecology and sustainable agriculture, fishing, and aquaculture practices to improve ecological health

4. Addressing the causes of climate change and climate disruption and supporting solutions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases

5. Strengthening the resilience of ecosystems and communities affected by climate change and climate disruption

6. Supporting education to promote behaviors that protect the environment

7. Advocating for the sustainable consumption of products and the environmentally sound management of byproducts to build a more resource-efficient economy

8. Addressing environmental justice issues and environmental public health concerns    

Things You Can Do:

1. Walking more for errands and outdoor exercise in town.

2. Bicycling, adding Electric bikes to your household for safety, more utility.  

3. Gardening for health, landscape improvement and connection outdoors.

4. Lawn renovation to include pollinator-friendly legumes and more diversity of broadleaves to break force of raindrops. Bee Lawn from U of MN. Less mowing.

5. Fossil fuel reduction by electric lawn & garden tools.

6. Fossil fuel reduction by adopting Heat Pump appliances.  

7. Heat Pump water heater. Some rebates available.

8. Heat Pump HVAC. Some rebates available. High-performance North region Air Source Mini-Spits./ GeoThermal also.

9. Electric stoves and Inductive electric cooktops.

10. Electric cars. Lease or soon to be “Transportation as a Service” (TaaS)

11. Advocate for federal action to reduce GHG emissions

The technology is available to go Fossil Fuel Free in Northfield households.

Our RCATeam has been educating our own club, speaking to others and now you can visit: and Alan welcomes feedback on the site itself to steadily grow the concerns of all Rotary clubs to be as important as the Polio effort – which can be undone with mass climate migration.

Biden committed to 50% carbon reduction in the next 10 years- big goal, but necessary if we need to get down to 0 emissions by 2050

John and Ann Stull drove their hybrid (electric + gas-powered) car to Ohio: they found places to charge and made great mileage! 

Also, if you would like an electronic copy of the 2020  U.S. National Academy of Sciences report on  “Climate Change: Evidence & Causes” send Alan an email and ask for it, at

The entire April 15 meeting can be viewed here.


     Philip Welkhoff
May 6 — Philip Welkhoff, How Community Engagement, Innovation, and Partnership Help Create a Pathway to Malaria Eradication. Malaria is preventable and completely treatable, yet about 400,000 still die from malaria each year, most of them young children in Africa. We review the present malaria situation, the challenges of fighting malaria during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and the work going on around the world—including new partnerships with Rotary—both to drive down burden and to make it possible to eradicate malaria. Philip is the Director of the Malaria Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Hosted by Richard DeBeau.
     Emmett Lefkowitz
May 13 — Emmett Lefkowitz, Taipei: Home to the Second Tallest Building in the World (from 2010 to 2012, that is), and My Second Home. Emmett, a sophomore Political Science and Chinese double major at Carleton College, will talk about his experiences abroad in Taiwan in the 2018 - 2019 exchange year. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.
     Sandy Malecha
May 20 — 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.

Vicki's Vision

   Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Rotary Friends,
I am so thankful for the number of amazing speakers we have had at our Rotary meetings. Every week we get to learn so much, sometimes in areas we would not have exposure to without the club presenters. Thank you to all of you who have brought these folks to our attention and thank you to Amy for tracking down all the details to make it happen.
A couple weeks ago we heard from Maria Mills Jacobsen and learned about her work with Minnesota 9/11 and Global War on Terrorism Task Force and then to learn of her deeply personal connection to this topic as she discovered that her father was 911 hero, Tom Burnett. I was deeply touched by her presentation because of this personal discovery and you might remember that I told her I could relate to her personal quest to find her birth parent. 
Some of you have told me that you like it when I write about my personal experiences, I hope this is true as I have been thinking about sharing my story with you since Mariah shared hers. I do hope you don’t think I am taking advantage of this position I have to write to each week in the Cogwheel. 
My mother and father divorced when I was about four years old and due to my mother’s mental illness (likely a border-line personality disorder), I never saw my father again after that. She, in fact, told my brother and I that he had died. I can imagine we continued to ask about him and this was a way to end all of that.  Paternal rights back in the 1950s and 60s were not favorable to fathers, despite his attempts to have contact with us. Growing up, I always wondered what parts of this story were true and what were not.  
Someone asked me yesterday about my family’s heritage, was my family from Scandinavia? They had done the genealogy of their family back to the 1300s! Oh my gosh, 35 years ago I didn’t even know who my birth father was. I love it that many of you celebrate the idea that you are Norwegian or Swedish or something else, this is so exciting and I know that it helps you define who you are.
I grew up wondering who I was a lot of the time. It was like a dark room, wanting to go into it, but so often afraid of what I would find. At age 30 I came to what felt like a dead end, I had no choice, I had to open this pandora’s box no matter what I might find. At the time, my brother was quite upset with me for doing this.
With the help of professionals like Pat and Barb and others, I moved my way to opening that door. It was a challenge because baby books and any hint of who my father was had been destroyed. My step-father adopted my brother and I and our birth certificate now had his name on it, even though I did not meet him until I was four. Some very fortunate events happened at that time (too much detail to explain here) and I was able to follow a trail that led me to speaking on the phone with my Dad’s second wife.  Janice told me then that my Dad had died a few years earlier, from lung cancer, but all that time that she knew him he kept pictures of my brother and I on his bedside, he loved us and grieved that we could not be together. Shortly after this I got to meet my cousins, Uncles and an Aunt, Janice’s children (who deeply loved my Dad), see where he lived and learn about his parents.  Anne Victoria was my grandmother’s name and mine is Vicki Anne, our birthdays are only two days apart.  
That dark room that I used to fear began to have fresh new light, although I grieved all the years of so much loss.  Part of my identity started to come into focus ... even to find I looked like the cousins I was meeting for the first time.   I learned that my dad was an extrovert, loved being with people, loved telling stories, loved his work as a rancher and a rodeo cowboy, loved his family and was loved by many.
So many aspects of our lives help us define who we are, to ourselves and to the outside world.
I can understand how life changing Mariah’s experience was to learn her dad was Tom Burnett and to be able to meet sisters and other family, I know how that feels. I celebrate with her! 
Have a great week, I look forward to seeing you on Thursday … now you know a little more about me, I hope that we can continue to grow in friendships with our amazing members and learn things about each other that we never knew before! Fellowship is a big part of who Rotary is! 
Don’t forget to put June 17 on your calendar, this will be our Rotary in-person social. Dinner will be catered by Maria at Kahlo’s. We have new members to welcome and stories to tell!
Blessings on 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.