Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, September 3, 2020


For a mere $20.20 plus $4.80 shipping, a total of $25.00, you will receive an authentic “I Was Robbed” t-shirt and a “Certificate of Non-Participation” which gives you the freedom to not ride your bike if you so choose. If you want to ride, go ahead and ride. We don’t really care. Just stay six feet apart and be safe.

Order your “I Was Robbed” t-shirt by Monday, September 14th. (use code: TOUR20)


Terry Friedrichs and Bill Keilty, Creative and Critical Thinking Skills of Our Students. Hosted by Larry Fowler.
Terry Friedrichs
Bill Keilty
Drs. Bill Keilty and Terry Friedrichs and longtime Northfield area educator Larry Fowler will describe the importance of creative, critical and collaborative thinking skills for all students, from national, state and local perspectives. The presenters will explain challenges to — and an opportunity for — prioritizing these skills in the upcoming state legislative year.
This media release further explains the initiative:

Legislation Impacting All Students, Including The Gifted

A number of agencies are working together to pass legislation that will address issues of Equity, Equality and Economics. This effort, supported by teachers, program coordinators, parents, school board members, mayors, city managers, business leaders, state and national organizations, would directly impact learning in classrooms around the state. 

The legislation was introduced during the last session this past spring at the Capitol. Since that time over 46 legislators have signed on in support. We are hosting Forums around the state to build additional support. The legislation would required all students, K-12, to be taught the skills of creative thinking, critical thinking, inquiry and problem solving, along with how to work collaboratively. Armed with these skills our students will be better prepared for the pathway they choose in college, trade school or in the changing workplace.

More information is available by contacting, Bill Keilty, Ed. D.

Rotarians around the globe.

ZOOM in Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 11:45 a.m.
Zoom in here at 11:45 for casual conversation in a break out room before joining the regular meeting at 12:10.


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.

For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or



Robert and Jesse Steed (Steed); Henry and Franklin Pursell (Pursell); Jacquelin and Kent, Kopano’s cousin and her fiancé from Washington, D.C.; Henry and Tendai Tsambalagwa, Kopano’s parents; Goof De Jong, a Harari Rotarian and Kopano’s home club counselor; and host families: Sheryl Kasper, Martha Kasper, and Susie and Paul Beaumaster (Kopano).


Melissa Hanson, the new Northfield City Housing Coordinator, is our newest club member. Her membership brings our total to 140. 

President Dilley reported that WHO has now declared Africa polio-free. Yea! That’s a clear win for Rotary International.

Kristi Pursell invited members to participate in the Cannon River Watershed Partnership’s annual river cleanup. It will be Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9 to noon. Contact Kevin Straus at  HYPERLINK "" if you want to join in the fun.

The “I was robbed” commemorative T-shirt promoting this year’s phantom bike tour will soon be available, according to Brett Reese, bike tour co-chair. Look for an email soon on how to order. T-shirts will be $25 a piece. Brett said $14,000 has already been raised in sponsorships for the non-event. 

Our condolences go out to District Governor Ed Marek and his family. His daughter, Mandy Marek, a teacher like Ed, died recently from breast cancer. She was just 37 years old. 


Kopano Tsambalagwa, Inbound Youth Exchange Student from Zimbabwe. Hosted by Penny Hillemann.


Zimbabwe is home to Kopano Tsambalagwa, our one remaining inbound exchange student. It is a fascinating, land-locked country in Southern Africa, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, and Kopano proved to be one of its premier promoters. 

The Zimbabwe tourism video he shared promises “adventure at every turn” and breath-taking beauty from the eastern highlands to Matobo National Park and, of course, the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls. It also offers exciting cultural diversity and a unique menagerie of exotic wildlife, including the Big Five: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and cape buffaloes.  

Formerly a colony of Great Britain known as Rhodesia, Zimbabwe gained independence in 1965. It is known for its agricultural production of tobacco, coffee, fruit, wheat and maize; mining of precious metals and gems; and its spectacular tourism. Residents live in a range of settings from remote “off the grid” rural villages to sophisticated urban centers.

Kopano grew up with his parents and sister in a middle class home in the capital city, Harare, a commercial and financial center of three million people. His Gateway High School is a secondary Christian school for students, grades 8 through 13. When Kopano returns home, he has the option to fulfill two more years of secondary education. Students all wear uniforms, sports are mandatory and there are lots of club opportunities. Kopano said he especially enjoys photography and movies, and loves new experiences, which is what brought him to Northfield. 

Kopano strongly identifies with his country and appreciates the journeys his great-grandparents and grandparents took to bring his family to Zimbabwe. He thanked his parents, North Star Youth Exchange, Northfield Rotary and his local host families past, present and future for giving him this opportunity.

You can see Kopano's presentation and the entire August 27th meeting here.


Penny Hillemann shares a continental birth place with Kopano. She was born in Kenya to two British citizens. Her family moved to San Francisco when she was five. She wound up in Northfield in 1990 where she raised her three children. She has two adult daughters and a son, Henry, who is a St. Olaf sophomore. Henry was an exchange student to Zimbabwe in 2018. Penny reminded us that Kopano arrived in January looking forward to exploring Northfield and the United States with other exchange students. COVID hit, many students left early and our usual roster of inbounds is not coming this year. Throughout it all, she said Kopano has proven to be amazingly flexible as he has adjusted to a program interrupted.  


September 10 — No regular meeting. Sack Picnic with Social Distancing at the Estenson Event Center.

September 17 — Steve Werner and Mark Zober, Partners for Peace in Rotary. Hosted by Charlie Cogan.

September 24 — Tim McKone, Classification. Hosted by Richard Schulte.

October 1 — Scott Wopata, The State of Our Community and the Impact of COVID_a9 from the Eye's of the CAC. Hosted by Jayne Hager Dee.

October 8 — Beth Kallestad, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. Hosted by Bruce Morlan.

October 15 — Matt Hillman, School Update.

cogwheel writers needed 

Looking for an easy way to serve the Club? We're looking for volunteers to take notes for the College City Cogwheel this fall. If you've never taken notes for the Cogwheel before, we can provide an outline of what to record and send to Rick Esse after the meeting. Sign-up here! Have questions? Email Meredith Galdeen or Rick Esse.

Vicki's Vision

Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Northfield Rotarians,

I am enjoying being your club president this year, partly because I spend a good amount of my time thinking about you. After every meeting I take a bit of an attendance and record it in our new Club Runner database system, reading each member's name and wondering how you are, especially when I am not seeing you on zoom. I do look forward to the time we are back together again, but in the meantime ... know that I am thinking about each of you!
BUT, if it works for you ... please consider the September 10 club social (distanced and masked) at 5:30 at the Estenson event center (10541 Ibson Avenue). A sack meal will be provided for you. Please RSVP via the survey that will go out today. This way we will know how many meals to have ready. 
Despite our not meeting in person, you would think we things are rather quiet ... but, that is not true. Lots of very productive committee meetings are happening, people are planning zoom meetings and making sure the content of those meetings is well presented and valuable. The Jesse James Bike Tour committee is working on a virtual experience, your Board is planning for the future and much more.
This past weekend I met with Beth Kallestad who is doing amazing work for the city of Northfield, but also for our Club as the new committee chair and Northfield Rotary Board representative for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As you know, Rotary International has a statement on racism:  "At Rotary, we have no tolerance for racism. Promoting respect, celebrating diversity, demanding ethical leadership, and working tirelessly to advance peace are central tenets of our work.

We have more work to do to create more just, open and welcoming communities for all people.

We know there are no easy fixes and that challenging conversations and work lie before all of us. Rotary’s strength has long been our ability and commitment to bringing people together. We will tap into that strength now as we stand with those who are working for peace and justice. 

Rotary will do our part to listen, learn and take action to ensure that we continue to contribute to making positive change."

Beth has similar responsibilities for the City and she will be developing ways of reminding us of our Rotary commitment to contribute to making positive change in our club and in our community. If you have interest in helping to develop this concept, please let me or Beth know ... this work will only serve to make our club more vibrant, alive and fulfilling for all. 
Also, don't miss the article in the recent Northfield News about the good work of our fellow Rotarians, Amy Goerwitz and Matt Hillman, on social justice in the schools ... as I said before, we are not quiet ... we are people of action.  Thanks to all of your good work in the community!  
Have a great rest of the week, 

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.