Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, May 13, 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.
     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.


Russ Halverson (5.15).

Barb Wornson-3 (5.10.2018); Dale Ness-16 (5.16.2005); Janet Hanson-7 (5.15.2014).


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, Scott Richardson.


The Honorable Ed Marek, District Governor; Bill and Caron Feldt; Monica Welke; Doris Welke; Jeff Pritchard; and Adriana Lanting.


Our Guatemalan ambassador, Todd Thompson, recently returned from a check-in on our water projects. COVID has taken its toll on the country. Travel is not advised to that area. Schools are largely closed, only 40 percent of businesses are open and people are hungry. He visited seven villages and four cities during his tour. Spirits remain high and life goes on, but it is a precarious time.


President Dilley shared that Wanzita, an exchange student a few years back from Tanzania, and her baby are both suffering from malaria. 

Jean Wakely is giving an all-call for Rotarians to visit our booth at the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden Show Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dundas Dome. Wear your Rotary gear and be ad hoc ambassadors for climate change and youth exchange initiatives and the Rotary world more broadly.

Look for an email from Jim Pokorney regarding our Meals-On-Wheels responsibilities May 29-June 4.

Our Literacy Team is looking for volunteers to ride the library’s Book Bike to Viking Terrace on eight evenings during the summer. We need two volunteers each evening. You will be asked to handout books to young readers, courtesy of Northfield Promise. Look for a signup opportunity soon.


     Philip Welkhoff
Philip Welkhoff, How Community Engagement, Innovation, and Partnership Help Create a Pathway to Malaria Eradication. Dr. Philip Welkhoff is Director for Malaria at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, joining in 2018 to lead the Foundation’s strategy. Previously, he served as director of research at the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM), where he helped develop computer simulations of malaria, polio, and other disease transmission dynamics to assist public health professionals and other scientists in planning the eradication of different diseases. Hosted by Richard DeBeau.

Dr. Philip Welkhoff hopes Rotary’s polio campaign can be a template for eradicating malaria across the globe. 

Phil is Director of Malaria for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Malaria is a “terrible, unforgiving disease,” he said, especially for children under 12 from equatorial Africa. It is driven by a complex heterogeneous parasite whose survival depends on a number of ecological factors, specific to certain geographic regions. One third of today’s cases are found in Nigeria or the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Malaria begins with a mosquito bite. After being infected, children often succumb to either diarrhea or pneumonia. If they survive, their immune systems are often compromised to the point that they are vulnerable to a range of other diseases and conditions. 

The good news is the disease is both preventable and treatable. Phil said there are tools available to interrupt the cycle and more are on the horizon. 

The Gates Foundation has committed almost $60 billion to the campaign over the last 20 years, and progress has been made. The number of annual deaths has been cut in half, from a million a year to 400,000. Case numbers were falling at a steady rate until 2015. As they tried to determine why progress stalled, COVID hit and knocked the campaign sideways. 

The Gates Foundation is working with a number of international partners, including the World Health Organization. The hope is Rotary will embrace this next challenge once polio is eradicated. 


     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.
     Ellen Kennedy
May 27 — Ellen Kennedy, Ph.D. and students. We are in the midst of an epidemic – an epidemic of violence and discrimination against women, and it has gotten worse during the pandemic. Every nine seconds, a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten. There are 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence each year.
This program raises awareness about the situation facing women and girls globally, nationally, and in Northfield, and presents opportunities to take action.
Sponsored by World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Speakers include Executive Director Dr. Ellen Kennedy and students Abby Banks (Carleton College), Priscilla Hagerman (University of Minnesota), and Tika Khachatryan (St. Olaf College).

     Rahmah Abdulai
June 3 Rahmah Abdulai, High School Senior and 2021 Recipient of the Northfield Human Rights Award. Rahmah will be talking about navigating her high school career as an outspoken Black student--raising attention to topics such as race, socio-economic, and misogynoir issues, as well as speaking on the personal aspect of these topics. Hosted by Matt Hillmann.
     Matt Hillmann
June 10 Northfield Public Schools Superintendent of Schools Matt Hillmann will share reflections on the 2020-21 school year and forecast how public education will change as a result.

Vicki's Vision

   Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Rotary Friends,

Editor's note:

Vicki is a bit under the weather this week, but she wanted to remind club member's of the opportunity to donate to the Community Action Center's Hillcrest Village Project. Donations will be matched by a generous donor through May 31st, so please consider participating in this important project. 

All donations and pledges could be done through CAC.  For donations, people would designate to Hillcrest and then write "Rotary" in the description on CAC's website.  For Pledges, people can use this link (Hillcrest Pledge Form) and there is a place to write in if the pledge is associated with a group (ie: Rotary).

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.