Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, September 30, 2021
Please wear your mask when you enter the Methodist Church
and whenever you are not eating. 


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 at this time 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 — Club members and guests are invited to visit with each other.
Before 12:20 — Pick up your lunch, please wear your mask until you sit down to eat. When you are not eating, please put your mask back on.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.


Benjamin Hauser
September 30  Ben Hauser
PerspectivesA classification talk
Follow Ben Hauser's journey to Northfield starting at a small dairy farm in a little village in South Korea. He will share what he has learned, the different perspectives he's been able to experience as he learned a new language and culture at the age of 7, and his return to his birth country at the age of 27 where he had to relearn a language and culture he had completely forgotten.
Hosted by Jesse Steed.


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel reporter, Beth Kallestad.

Ed Marek - St. Paul Sunrise club, former DG, wall of beer winner
Janine Atchison
Todd expressed gratitude for Janine Atchison and her work to resume the weekly meals at The Key.
  • Jesse Steed was happy to report that we received a $3000 check from the DJJD craft show! Also, Jesse will be giving a Youth Exchange presentation at the high school on Sept 24 for propective outbound students for the 2022-23 academic year.
  • Sarah Nathan invited everyone to the ReCharge Northfield Electric Vehicle (EV) Expo event on Oct 23, 10 AM - 1 PM, at the new Greenvale Park School. This event is a partnership between RCAT, the City of Northfield, Northfield Shares and others. Join the fun and learn about EVs. See invitation on right.
  • Matt Hillmann invited everyone to the School District Open Houses on Sept 23 to tour our new and newly-renovated buildings. 
  • John Sinning informed us that the Bike Tour on Sept 25 is mostly set. Additional volunteers are still needed: 4 more SAG drivers and 4 more at aid stations. 200 riders have registered so far and we are hoping for 200 more.  The good news is that we have already covered our expenses with pre-registrations and sponsors!  Any additional registrations will be money raised for projects we support.
  • Jean Wakely thanked the volunteers at the Rotary booth at the Hispanic Heritage Celebration: Vicki Dilley, Richard De Beau, Barbara Wornson, Amber Chavie, Jean Wakely, Jack Hochsauer, and Beth Kallestad. It was a fun event with great music, connections with community.
  • Janine Atchison encouraged everyone to volunteer at the Hospitality Table. A new sign-up will be sent out soon. We need people to staff this so we can keep meeting in-person. It's easy and fun, requiring just a half an hour before the meeting and a few minutes after the meeting ends to pack up.
  • Rick Heidick invited everyone to the Stillwater Sunrise Rotary Club's Brewers and Bourbon Bazaar on the Avalon Riverboat, Saturday October 2 from 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM. Click on event name to learn more.
Andrew Althoff saved a person's life at the Cannon Falls Golf Course. A man collapsed and Andy performed CPR to keep him alive until the paramedics arrived.


Rick Heidick
September 23Rick Heidick
Fast for Hope and the Water Project
Introduced by Michelle Lasswell, Rick Heidick is originally from Fort Dodge, IA. He spent three years in the Army in Germany. During his civilian career he worked for Donaldson Co and 3M. Rick retired recently and has been a Rotarian for 11 years. He is a past president of the Hutchinson club and the President Elect of the Stillwater Sunrise Club. Rick also serves as the chair of District 5960 Fast for Hope Initiative.
Rick provided toothbrushes as a reminder of how we don’t think about clean water and take for granted being able to turn on the tap to brush our teeth. In many places there is no water to turn on.
Rick shared some background on the 20-year-old Fast For Hope (FFH) initiative using as an example one of their current projects in Nicaragua. FFH's vision is to apply the power of Rotary to end extreme poverty and sustainably improve lives. FFH uses a model of social innovation to carry out community and economic development. This approach asks “What’s the underlying cause for the need?” In the case of the example project the question was “Why do they need a well?” This approach focuses not only on providing a much needed item (such as a well), but also on building community capacity to do their own leadership and maintain whatever projects are created. It is much more than a one-off project. 
FFH has been working in Nicaragua for 8 years. In recent years they have formed a partnership with Opportunity International which uses a similar model and helps expand the work FFH can do. The Kairos project is in El Corozo. This project has worked on community health projects such as pharmacies, reading programs, women’s health, and a lot of social stuff. They recently began a larger project around clean water, a well, and a distribution system.
El Corozo is a very small community of approximately 400 people near the west coast. The residents are mostly day laborers, subsistence farmers and a limited number of professionals (teachers). The average income is around $200/mo. The main means of transportation is walking as the roads are very bad and frequently wash out. There is an overall lack of capacity to address their own needs for water. The current water source for this community is a larger town two miles away. When the dry season happens the pipe transporting water is shut off. Residents must walk 2 miles to another town to carry water themselves or by ox cart often starting their day at 2 AM to get water before working.
The FFH water project began in 2021 and is building a 750-foot-deep well and distribution system. However, this is not a free community well. It includes piping and infrastructure to each home. If it was a free community well there would be no funding for maintenance and repairs. Instead, the residents become part of a water governance group called a Community Water Governance Committee which owns and maintains the system. Part of the development work of FFH is to develop leadership skills for residents to serve on this committee.
FFH is also working with the Planting Change Foundation (management) and Engineers Without Borders (technical skills/expertise). The total project cost is expected to be $125,000. Funding is from local clubs, a District grant and hopefully a Global Grant ($93,425) which is in process. The Northfield Club is invited to consider a contribution to this effort by sending a contribution to the Stillwater Sunrise Club. More information will also be shared on ways individuals can donate.


Matt Hillmann
October 7  Matt Hillmann, Ed. D.
What's Next for Northfield Schools? 
Superintendent Hillmann will provide an update about what is on the horizon for Northfield Public Schools. Matt will host himself.
Susan Hvistendal
October 14  Susan Hvistendal
Northfield's Oldest Building, the Lyceum
Local historian and author Susan Hvistendahl will speak about Northfield's oldest building, the 1857 Lyceum at 109 E. 4th Street. The building still stands today as a testament to the social and intellectual pursuits of Northfield's pioneers. Hosted by Jean Wakely.
Joan Janusz
October 21  Joan Janusz
Health Care for All
Over the last 30 years, health care costs have skyrocketed. Many Americans can't afford health insurance, a third of GoFundMe campaigns raise money for health care costs, and two-thirds of personal bankruptcies are a result of high health care debt. Learn more about these issues and a possible solution that bases health care costs on a patient's ability to pay. Joan is a retired public health nurse and a former Director of Public Health Nursing for Rice County. Hosted by Barbara Wornson.
Sarah Nathan
Sarah Nathan
October 28 — Sara Nathan
Classification Talk: Everyone can be a philanthropist
A self-described "pracademic", Sarah will share components of her philanthropic autobiography as it influenced her career in the nonprofit sector, through the world's first school of philanthropy, and ultimately to the public face of philanthropy at Northfield Shares. Hosted by Jim Loe.

Todd's two cents

Todd Thompson, Club President
Congratulations to the leaders of our Bike Tour, John, Don and Jean! I enjoyed volunteering and riding — I did the “family” 10-mile ride with my son, Andy.
After meeting with the Jedi council (committee of our club presidents), representatives of our distict and others as I have been able to, I propose the following statement:
In the spirit of making our Northfield Rotary regular Thursday meetings as safe and successful as possible our club's board would like to make the following modifications to our COVID protocol:
  • Limit 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.

Please email or call me if you have questions,

Todd, 612-300-9796


Laurie Williams — Sept 28
Michelle Lasswell  Sept 29
Robert Bierman — Sept 29
David Shumway — Sept 30
Rachel Morey — Sept 30


Meredith Galdeen  4 years
David Brown  28 years
We need 2 volunteers each week.  To sign up click HERE.
A successful 4-Way Taste (3rd Annual, but 2nd in-person) was held on Thursday the 16th of September at the beautiful Red Barn Farm outside of Northfield. Approximately 175 people attended on a spectacular late summer evening and got tastes of beer, wine, cider and spirits from thirteen different local vendors, Maria's Taco Hut provided Mexican food and Jeff Middleton and the Zillionaires provided the musical accompaniment. Net revenue from the event to fund great Rotary causes, including income from sponsorships, looks like it will be over $16,000! Thank you to the Club, all event volunteers, the Muni and Brian Whitt, and of course our wonderful sponsors (many of which are Rotary-member related). 

DEI Book Club

Our DEI book club (Diversity, Equality, Inclusion) is currently reading Disability Visability: First Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong. 
The book is an anthology of essays that celebrate and honor the stories of diverse groups of individuals with disabilities. We will be meeting on Zoom on October 5, 2021, at 7 pm to discuss this topic. We will invite members of our Rotary Club to share their stories of living with a disability. Everyone is welcome to attend the discussion, no matter if you read the book or not.
Please join us and invite your family members interested in this topic. For more information contact Dorothee Ischler at .
ReCharge Northfield Invitation
Click to enlarge


Lunch this week will be vegetarian. Thirty percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are tied to our food supply, so we are trying out the idea of an occasional meat-free meal to do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For information on the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group's (ESRAG) plant-rich diet challenge visit .
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 507-371-4673 or


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.