Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, July 9, 2020


Here is the link to the 4-Way Taste Virtual Summer Fest flyer: Or, you may buy tickets at:
This Week's Meeting
This week's speakers are:
Rick Olson, who will share with us about schools in Nakivale refugee resettlement camp in Uganda. 
Dick Huston
Dick Huston, from the Faribault club took a recent trip with fellow Rotarians to Pakistan on a polio eradication mission.  We will hear a personal story about his experience with the people and fellow Rotarians while bringing the life saving polio vaccine to the most vulnerable.
Dana Norvold (7.5).
John Ehresmann (7.11.1985).

ZOOM in Thursday, July 9, 2020
Members: Watch for a separate email message with login information for this week's Zoom meeting.



Carrie Carroll of NorthfieldShares (V. Dilley), Don Stager, new member, (LeBeau).


Brett Reese, co-chair of the bike tour, said his team is still considering options for a late summer or fall bike tour. They are trying to find an event that would comply with county and state recommendations for pandemic protocol. Everything is on the table, from a virtual ride to no ride. Stay tuned.

Penny Hillemann announced an upcoming golf fundraiser for Minnesota’s United Way and Second Harvest Heartland. During the week of July 13, you are invited to golf on your own at a course of your choice and make a donation to the cause. For more information, go to:

Jesse Steed alerted members to a new Northfield-based initiative to send food to Bangladesh. They are in the process of vetting NGOs to find a partner to handle the logistics. If you are interested, go to:

George Davis said he is impressed with the electronic Cogwheel that has evolved to accommodate our remote meetings. He hopes we can do away with the printed version post-pandemic.

Bruce Morlan reported that Rotary International has adopted climate change as its seventh path to service. It now becomes one of RI’s priorities along with: ending polio; promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, supporting education, saving mothers and children, growing local economies, and responding to disasters. Bruce said “this is a “big deal.” But he cautioned that it will be a challenge to avoid this becoming politicized within Rotary. Not all of the rank and file are in favor of this move.


Our newly-minted president, Vicki Dilley, is just what the doctor ordered. Through small group discussion, she took the club’s temperature to learn how people are feeling about the club, what keeps them engaged and how we could make our Zoom time together more meaningful.

The complete list of responses can be found here.

This reporter’s reading of the responses suggests that people join and stay in Rotary for two reasons: the mission and the fellowship. There is great passion for our youth exchange program. It excites people on many levels. It promotes peace, mutual understanding and tolerance. Climate change received many mentions, and bike paths and polio eradication were clearly on people’s minds. Looking to the future, members are interested in promoting racial justice, focusing on club diversity, and working locally to address a strained economy and the need for low-income housing.

Members suggested taking advantage of our remote meetings to bring in speakers from around the globe and to do more intentional learning online. There were many suggestions for nurturing club cohesion through small group opportunities, more frequent club updates and more local service projects.

In answer to the question “Why do you remain a member of Rotary?” one member said: “Rotary is a place of hope.” And another said: “Rotary is a place of action.”  In my mind, these are powerful testaments to the value Rotary provides, not just its members but the wider world, too.

Vicki will share more about this exercise in the coming weeks.


July 16 — Tom Thorfinson. Tom is a Chief Strategist for Rotary International. He lives in Edina, he used to lead the North Star Rotary Youth Exchange program, he graduated from St. Olaf and he joined Rotary when he was a young man, early in his career as a lawyer. 

July 23 — Todd Jenkins, Rotary Diversity and 2020He calls himself Mr. Bowtie and you will know why shortly into his presentation. Todd will speak about Moving from Diversity to Inclusion.  Dr. Jenkins is a certified Leadership Management International facilitator, coach, and speaker with more than 10 years of training and development, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion work experience. Todd was an outbound Rotary Exchange student and is a regular speaker at the Rotary International Youth Exchange events.  He will make you life and most likely make you think. (V. Dilley)

July 30 — Sean Carroll, President of Arera. (Rogers)

Vicki's Vision

Vicki Dilley, President

Hello Friends,

I hope you had a relaxing weekend and you were able to celebrate our nation’s freedoms.  

Last week we broke into small groups on zoom and were presented with questions to consider, formulated by your Rotary Board members. You can see the full list of items mentioned. If you were not able to participate and you would like to send me your responses, I would really welcome that. By hearing the voice of the members, we will know better if we are on track and it is good to be presented with new ideas. I hope you will chime in!  See the full list here

Social/ racial justice is a topic that came up in nearly every breakout group, Rotary needs to be relevant at the current moment and it is only right to explore this together and put action into our plan. On July 23rd Todd Jenkins will be speaking to our club about diversity and what do Rotarians need to know about this topic. I am hoping this will be the first of many that speak to us on this topic.  

If you have speakers you would like to present to the club, please let us know.  Bruce Morlan and Alan Anderson book the speakers, but you can always include me on your email to them, so that I can help follow up with these suggestions.  

We were also told that you would like to hear more about what the Board is discussing and deciding, what are the responsibilities of the Board members, you want to be asked to participate, you see yourself as people of action. This is all music to my ears.  We will try to get this information to you via different platforms…. at the meeting announcements or presentation, the Cogwheel, Facebook, the website and periodic other emails.  Tap into anyone of these platforms to be as informed as possible. And when this is not enough, feel free to reach out to me or other Board members (you can find their emails on the website).  

The 4 Way Taste is just around the corner and we are looking for more hosts for a party.  If you can’t host a party, but wanted to be invited to one, please let me know. If you have friends who want to be included on a party invitation, let me know, we will make sure they receive an invitation. If you can’t attend a party, but want to contribute to the fundraiser, click here and make a donation. We have budgeted for our three fundraisers to bring in less than we have in the past, due to Covid-19, so we need to come in as strong as possible on each event, so that we can continue to do all the important things on our action plan.  We need you each and every time.

I hope to see you on zoom tomorrow, but when you can’t make it…know that we are missing you!  


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.