Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, December 16, 2021
Please wear your mask when you enter the Methodist Church
and whenever you are not eating. 


December 16 — David Anderson
News From St. Olaf
St. Olaf College President David Anderson will present an update on activities and plans at St. Olaf. Hosted by Barry Carlson.
December 9 — Becky Ford
A Year of Service: How AmeriCorps Members Contribute to Rice County's Flourishing
We are not summarizing this meeting because it contains personal stories of four Americorps volunteers. Instead we encourage you to view a PDF of the presentation or the recorded meeting
Follow up communication from Becky Ford:
Thank you again for hosting the AmeriCorps team at last week's Rotary meeting. It was a pleasure to be in your company. Here are just a few follow up items based on questions we received during and after our presentation. Hoping they can be included in an upcoming newsletter!
  • AmeriCorps is funded by the US government, specifically the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  • We are still looking for Promise Fellows to serve at the Northfield YMCA, Middle School, Greenvale Park Elementary and Northfield Community College Collaborative. For more information, contact Becky Ford at
  • To financially support local AmeriCorps efforts, donations can be directed to the Healthy Community Initiative. Donations may also be made to Serve MN to support AmeriCorps programs around the state.
With sincere gratitude,
Stephanie Bramwell (Kallestad) and Amy Tudor (Rychner).
Melissa Hanson
President Todd thanked Scott Richardson for his ongoing
vocal support during our meetings. Some sensitive souls might interpret it as “heckling.”

Todd also thanked members who attended Duane Benson’s funeral, another expression of the fellowship that thrives in this club.
Taylor Swanson (sponsored by Norvald) and Sebastian Burset (sponsored by DeBeau in abstentia) were formally inducted into the club. Taylor works for HomeTown Credit Union. Sebastian is a cultural liaison and soccer coach at Northfield High School.
  • President Todd announced that we have received letters of thanks from the Northfield Retirement Community and other groups that we supported financially last year during the pandemic.
  • Richard Collman invited members to attend “An Advent Service of Peace and Healing” Sunday, Dec. 19, 4 p.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, for more information go to  Richard also announced that Barry Carlson will be our emcee for December 23rd’s “Crazy Hat and Socks” contest. Richard is still searching for the applause meter.
  • Jean Wakely told members that their spouses and partners will be invited to join Rotary’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) book club. If you receive an email about this, please share it with those next to you in your household. The next read will be Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman.
  • Beth Kallestad said she is looking for volunteers to help with the city’s Growing Local Emerging Leaders program. They have 12 participants who would benefit from coaches who have civic leadership experience. The program runs February through May. Email Beth at
  • Janice Lehmkuhl thanked those members who helped interview prospective outbound exchange students earlier in the week. She especially thanked John Sinning for his tech support.
  • Vicki Dilley is celebrating Jesse Steed and Janice Lehmkuhl for assuming leadership of our youth exchange program.
  • Jan Stevens is grateful for small world moments which helped her daughter decide to enter the nursing profession.
  • Anika Rychner is celebrating Operation Joy, which provided holiday gifts for some 950 children from 350 local families.
December 23 —
Holiday Meeting and Festivities
This year will unveil a head-to-toe modification of our club’s traditional “Ugly Sweater” contest. On the 23rd, please come adorned with your most beautiful socks and the ugliest headgear you can locate or construct. Also, be prepared to cast your ballot for the beauty-garish contrast!
December 30 — NO Rotary Meeting
Stay warm, stay safe, we'll see you next year! 
January 6 — Kimberly Smith and Anna Hori
Affordable and Sustainable Housing:
A 20-Year Vision for Northfield
Achieving a stock of housing that is both affordable and sustainable requires a longterm plan, drawing on the best scholarship and practices on sustainable local development. We hope to begin a rich and lively discussion aimed at developing such a plan. Kimberly Smith has taught environmental law and policy at Carleton College for 22 years and has served on the Northfield Environmental Quality Commission. Anna Hori is a senior Carleton College student majoring in Political Science and minoring in Education Studies.  Hosted by Beth Kallestad.
January 13 — Ann Richards
Classification Talk 
Hosted by John Stull.


Find Zoom link here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
For times, see information below.
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.
  • 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.


Todd Thompson, Club President
Last week I had an awesome week of fellowship. I am so grateful to live here in Northfield. 
  • I helped move all the stuff from Rick’s barn to the new storage unit with my Rotary buddies (thanks Rick).
  • I strolled through Winter Walk and had a great time listening to music and seeing everyone (thanks Lisa and the rest of the chamber).
  • I attended both of the Northfield High School Traditions concerts (thanks Matt).
  • I ate breakfast at the Ole Store with my regular crew on Saturday morning.
  • I went to the Carleton Community Holiday Party at the Weitz Center (thanks Eric). There were a bunch of Rotarians there.
  • I received my COVID booster shot at the Northfield Hospital (thanks Steve).
  • I attended a social meeting at the Oddfellows fellowship hall.
  • I played a Christmas service out at Vang Lutheran.
  • I led a Rotary Board meeting on ZOOM (thanks Northfield Rotary Club board).
  • I worked shipping packages at the Graphic Mailbox (thanks Amber).
Whew! What a week. Almost at every turn there is a Rotarian participating, helping, contributing.
Keep up the good work!
Happy Holidays!!!
  • Dale Ness — Dec 15
  • John Ophaug — Dec 15
  • Bob Thacker — Dec 17
We celebrate all Rotarians
around the world!
Please be sure to watch for and welcome these new members.
Carrie Carroll
Tayler Swanson
  • Northfield Racial and Ethnic Equity Collaborative is asking us all to participate in their short survey. Learn more about the NREEC member organization here. 
  • Meals-On-Wheels needs three more volunteers for the week of December 26. Can you help? Sign up HERE.
  • January 11, 2022, Rotary Board Meeting, see Todd for the link to join.
  • January 13, 2022, 7 pm, DEI meeting, see Beth Kallestad for more details.
  • January 17, 2022 PR and Communication committee meeting, 7 pm, see Vicki Dilley for location.
As part of our Club's Strategic Plan, the DEI Committee is looking to have conversations with at least 20 people to learn more about their perceptions of Rotary, barriers to participating and their areas of interest. We need your help. Do you know 1 or 2 people who you could spend 30 minutes or less talking to?  We'll provide a script of questions. We are especially looking to interview people who are not typically represented in our club right now. We are asking that interviews be done by January 15, 2022. 
If you'd like to help with these interviews, contact Beth Kallestad ( by today, December 16th. 
Do you have something club related to say to fellow members? Try posting it in The Cogwheel. Send your short blurb to
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
make it happen again!
These folks helped make the move from the Estenson barn to our new storage location!  
We are so thankful for their
time and effort!
  • Amber Chavie
  • Brent Nystrom
  • Jean Wakely
  • Jesse Steed
  • Jim Loe
  • Jim McLees 
  • John Sinning
  • Mark Abbott
  • Pat O'Neill
  • Rick Estenson
  • Todd Thompson


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.