Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, November 4, 2021
Please wear your mask when you enter the Methodist Church
and whenever you are not eating. 


November 4  Michael Leming
Building an Orphanage in Northeast Thailand for 69 Tribal Orphans
The Thailand Children's Home has served the poorest Thai orphans for 30 years. Recently Westerners acquired their land and the Children's Home has had to start over again. Michael and his wife Ann Leming have worked in rural Thailand for 32 years and have sponsored three International Global Rotary Grants for Thai Tribal Children. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.


Sarah Nathan
  Sarah Nathan
Sarah Nathan's Classification Talk: 
Everyone can be a philanthropist
It was “hello” and “goodbye” from Sarah Nathan, last week’s speaker.
Sarah, executive director of Northfield Shares, announced during her classification talk that she will be leaving for a similar position in Ohio by the end of the year. 

Sarah helped us explore the nature of philanthropy. The word comes from the Greek word for “love of humanity.” She said it really is an expression of how we live in community with others.

She was introduced to the cycle of giving in her early years as she watched the adults in her Fargo, N.D. world raise funds and build a school playground with all-volunteer help. She continued being drawn to service work during her years at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. and then earned a doctorate in philanthropy from Indiana University. 

For the last 50 years, American giving has remained a steady 2 percent of GNP; 2020 giving was the second highest dollar amount on record. But the donor base is shrinking, Sarah said. Curiously, studies show that people on the lower end of the income scale give a higher percentage of their income to charity. 

She said Northfield Shares has $6 million in endowed assets across 15 different funds.



Thanks to last week's Cogwheel reporter, Scott Richardson.


Abdullah Salha (Rogers), Dawnmarie Vihrachoff (Collman), Erik and Matt Christensen (Sivanich)


Charlie Kyte


President Todd expressed his gratitude to Jim Loe who, in just
his third year with the club, has stepped up and taken the lead on this year’s Turkey Trot.

Lee Dilley said the electric vehicle event (EVent) at Greenvale Park Elementary School on October 23 was a great success. More than 220 people attended and test drove a number of electric vehicles. One of the highlights was the presence of an electric semi which Taylor Trucking provided. Plans call for this to become an annual event.

Additionally, Fred Rogers reported that 50 members have completed RCAT’s sustainability survey. Preliminary results (see RCAT Corner on the right) suggest we are making significant progress on reducing our collective carbon footprint. He invited more members to take the survey to round out the research.

Mary Ellen North (sponsored by Jean Wakely) and Kirk Muhlenbruck (sponsored by Andrew Altoff) were formally inducted into the club. Mary Ellen has lived in Northfield for the past nine years. Jean Wakely characterized her as a “go-getter.”

Kirk has lived in Northfield for 19 years and was a member of the club from 2002-05. He has renewed his membership after being named Market President of Merchants Bank here in Northfield.

  • Bruce Morlan is seeking members who identify as political conservatives to help qualify Rotary as a member of Braver Angels community collaboration network. Contact Bruce if you fit that description.
  • Janice Lehmkuhl announced that there will be a 2022 youth exchange year. Six local  high school students have applied for the program. Interviews are scheduled for
    Monday, Dec. 6 at 6 PM over Zoom. If you can help, contact Janice.
  • Charlie Kyte said to look for a pop-up Latino market –  Mercado Local – this December in the restored Northfield Depot. Ten vendors will be open Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays through December 19. This is a collaboration of the Depot, NDCC and Northfield EDA.
  • Jim Loe declared this “anti-procrastination year” for the Turkey Trot sign up. The deadline for early registration, which guarantees a long-sleeve T-shirt, is tomorrow, Nov. 5. Your help is needed to pull off this event. Volunteer to help in The Signup Genius and please commit sooner than later.
  • Janice Lehmkuhl is happy that her son is recovering from COVID.
  • Pat O’Neill said the EVent has a real impact and sows seeds of change. Pat related running into a fellow in Menard’s parking lot who had attended the EVent and had consequently decided his next vehicle will be electric.
  • Rick Estenson is celebrating his retirement, his daughter’s wedding, completion of their kitchen project, purchase of a cabin and recent trip to London.
November 11 — Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
Re-Engineering Agriculture
Learn about the importance of regenerative agriculture and how Reginaldo ("Regi"), the owner of Salvatierra Farms, uses his land to educate and train people how to run their own agricultural businesses. The unique training platform Regi developed serves as a pathway for large-scale impact across Minnesota, the Midwest, nationally and even internationally. Regi's land-management innovations improve water quality, restore soil health, and restore native flora and fauna, all while generating a significantly higher value than traditional cropping systems. Regi will update us on the impact that this way of farming is already having and the tremendous momentum building around his system. Hosted by RCAT.
November 18 — Scott Haugen
Future Development of the Mills Town Trail System in Northfield
The network of multi-use trail systems in southern Minnesota has undoubtedly exploded over the last several decades. Scott Haugen from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will discuss a key cog in this vast interconnected network: the Mill Towns State Trail. Scott will touch on what the Mill Towns is and aspires to become, the process of how a state trail is planned and developed, existing segments open for use, preliminary engineering for the trail to pass through Northfield and highlight critical investments in projects and infrastructure over the years achieved largely via funding from Northfield Rotary.

Scott is an Acquisition and Development Specialist in the Parks and Trails Division of the Minnesota DNR. Hosted by John Sinning and David Detert.

November 25 — Thanksgiving
No Meeting
See you at the Turkey Trot!

December 2 —
Andrea Berube, Adam Olson & Jackie Johnson
Northfield Splash Pad
A committee of Northfield and Dundas community members have received approval from the City of Northfield to begin planning and creating a zero entry water feature, also known as a "splash pad". We will update the Rotary on our progress since meeting in 2019 as well as talk about what a splash pad is, the process to build, and type of splash pad that is planned to be built. Andrea, Adam, and Jackie have served on the Northfield Splash Pad Board since 2017, 2019, and 2021 respectively. They have been working closely with community partners and other outside organizations to make this inclusive space possible. Hosted by Mark Lancaster.
December 2 — Becky Ford
A Year of Service: How Americorps Members Contribute to Rice County's Flourishing
In 2020-21, 45 Americorps members served at 24 host sites across Rice County. Unfamiliar to many people, Americorps is quietly making a positive impact in the lives of children and families in our local community. Through strategic collaboration and leveraging of federal resources, Americorps provides an opportunity for individuals to get started, give back and make connections! A youth development professional for 20 years, Becky Ford works for Healthy Community Initiative coordinating outreach and support of Americorps members serving in Rice County schools and human service organizations. Becky also serves as Faribault Youth Investment's Director and is passionate about facilitating community collaboration. Hosted by Anika Rychner.


Find Zoom link here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
11:45-12:10 — Opportunity to visit with fellow zoomers or check in with the people at the tech table. You don’t have to join this early if it is not convenient.
12:10 — Settle in for the meeting to begin.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.
11:45-Noon Arrive at the United Methodist Church at 1401 Maple Street. Visit with club members and guests.
Before 12:20 — Pick up your lunch.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.


Todd Thompson, Club President
Our member emeritus Bob Will (photo below) comes to my mind this “all saints” week. I took macro-economics from Professor Will at Carleton in 1975. I looked forward to his class every session as he was so informative and very entertaining, a wonderful combination for a teacher. And a model for me. In 1995 Bob received the Rotary Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award, the highest award the Foundation bestows. He has been one of our club’s biggest innovators and one of our hardest workers. He is known around the country for his over 50 years of service to Rotary and 37 years on the faculty of Carleton College.
Thank you Bob!
Rotarian Bob Will
Sue Boxrud  Nov 5
David Brown Nov 6
Alyssa Herzog Melby 6 years
Rachel Estrella 7 years
Steve Underdahl 7 years
Please be sure to watch for and welcome these new members.
Bryce Beckstrand
Sebastian Burset
Erika Campbell
Elizabeth Child
Eric Johnsrud
Kari Johnsrud
  • November 8, 7 PM via zoom, DEI Committee meets.  Please email Beth for that zoom link,
  • November 9, 4:30 PM,  via zoom,  Northfield Rotary Board meets, all are welcome to come and observe.  Email President Todd for that zoom link. 
  • November 15, 7 PM, PR and Communications Committee Meeting at Vicki Dilley's home.  All interested are welcome.
Do you have something club related to say to fellow members? Try posting it in The Cogwheel. Send your short blurb to
Happening on Thanksgiving morning, everyone is invited. For all the details on this year's event, visit the Northfield Rotary website
Registration is just $25 for in-person and $29 for free-range participants. To register yourself or your team CLICK HERE.
Please note, if you wish to receive an official 2021 Turkey Trot shirt be sure to register by Friday, November 5th
to select your pre-turkey dinner volunteering slot
ALSO, do you have a street-legal side-by-side UTV that could be used as the trailing vehicle for the Turkey Trot?  Let Jim Loe know if you do. Thanks!  
  • Limit of 4 people per table.
  • Wear masks when not eating.
  • No group singing.
  • We require attendees to be vaccinated. Rotary International is a big supporter of vaccines. 
  • If you bring a guest, make sure they are vaccinated.
  • If you are not vaccinated, we still value you and your membership, and we have hybrid meetings so you can join our Thursday meetings on ZOOM during the pandemic.



(Agreement:  >80%)
  • Recycle at home
  • Have home walls >= 6” thick
  • Have good roof insulation
  • Heat with gas
  • Purchase food locally
MANY CLUB MEMBERS (about half):
  • Belong to an environmental group
  • Frequently bike or walk
  • Compost food and/or yard waste
  • Main car has an internal combustion engine averaging 30-40 mpg
  • Intend their next vehicle to be EV
  • Own a new refrigerator <5 yrs old
  • Own a new water heater <5 yrs old
  • Completed an energy audit and implemented results
  • Subcribe to Community Solar
  • Reduce their meat consumption
  • Have contacted their legislator within the last 6 months
  • Own a hybrid or electric car
  • Own solar panels
  • Eat vegetarian
If you haven't yet responded to our RCAT survey, please do so now by CLICKING HERE.
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. Read our climate action statement HERE.
For more information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team contact our chair, Alan Anderson, at


The 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.