Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 7:15 AM Richfield Bloomington Honda

Enter through the service entrance
Meet in the second floor conference room
501 W 77th St.
Richfield, MN  55423
United States

Sergeant at Arms:  David Melcher

Thought for the Week:  Barb Devlin

Program:  Amity Aide Program - Stephanie Spencer

Stephanie Spencer (daughter-in-law of frequent visitor Michael Spencer) will tell us about the use of Amity Aides - young adults from Spanish-speaking countries - to support Spanish language instruction at the Richfield Dual Language School and Richfield Middle School.  


Newsletter Editor Barb Devlin is out of town, so this article contains highlights from our October 6 meeting as well as notes regarding upcoming events.  
Guest Natalie Landwehr (Best Buy) visited our club today. Natalie’s father is a Duluth rotarian, and Natalie has been involved with a high school Rotaract club.
Tony Baldwin, from the Apple Valley Rotary, joined us today. AV rotary is selling raffle tickets for their annual foundation fund raiser. Welcome Tony.
There were many happy dollars given today. Thank you for your generousity.
Program:  Essential Oils 101 - Laurie Allman Hanken
In this world of increasing healthcare costs, aches, pains and sickness have become somewhat of a norm. All you have to do is watch TV to see all the advertisements for pharmaceuticals.  
Guest speaker Laurie Allman Hanken explained that there is a natural wellness community that is "alive and well with options to help keep us physically and mentally well", and that  essential oils "are a big part of that movement."  
Hanken noted that essential oils occur naturally in the environment, adding, "The next time you drive by a field of fresh peppermint or hike through a pine forest, breathe deeply—you’re experiencing the soul-soothing power of essential oils."
Upcoming events:
  • The Future of Rotary-Luncheon-Perspective of an R.I. Leader, Jennifer Jones, Tuesday, November 1st, Noon-1:30 pm, Double Tree Park Place Hotel- $25.00. Please register by Tuesday, October 25th
  • Veteran’s Day Luncheon, Friday, November 11th 11:00- 1:00 pm Bear Path Country Club-$25.00
  • Richfield Rotary Club Service Project Warm Hands, Heads, and Hearts-Wednesday, November 14th- 5:30-9:00 pm.


November 14 - Richfield Rotary Night at Pizza Luce


On November 14, Richfield Rotary will receive 10% of the proceeds from meals purchased at Pizza Luce from folks presenting Richfield Rotary flyers.  Proceeds will be used to purchase hats, gloves and mittens for our “Warm Hands, Heads and Hearts” project, which benefits elementary and secondary students in the Richfield Public Schools. 

Pizza Luce will supply us with 500 flyers.  Richfield Rotarians are asked to distribute the flyers throughout the metro area, especially those suburbs close in proximity to Richfield.  We'll also need Richfield Rotarians to be present in force that evening, with family members and friends!  Let's fill Pizza Luce on November 14!!




A key purpose of District 5950’s September 23 Summit was to promote idea-sharing among representatives of participating clubs about what works in areas of service, membership, and branding.   Participants were divided into small groups based on club size.  Richfield Rotary attendees were President Chip Groth, Barb Devlin and Jean Fox.  

Following are some of the great ideas generated.  More will be published in future issues of the e-Spokester:







Thanks to Chip Groth for organizing a wonderful Past President’s gathering!  The tour of the James J. Hill House was terrific, followed by a delicious lunch at Moscow on the Hill.  Of course, all of this was to thank Anthony for his leadership last year.  Jean Fox took some great photos - enjoy!



Sergeant At Arms:  Barb Devlin

Thought for the Week:  Jean Fox

Program:  Club Assembly




Jean Fox and Barb Devlin represented Richfield Rotary at this year’s District Conference.  

The keynote speakers and breakout sessions were excellent, thanks to the fact that Districts 5950 and 5960 were both sharing in the cost.  


The keynote luncheon speaker was author, leadership speaker, and wilderness guide Chris Heeter, who used some of her favorite sled dogs to highlight some important lessons about leadership and teamwork:

  • Need to try different approaches with different people
  • Everybody has gifts.  We just need to look for them.
  • It’s not enough to show what you know; first, you need to show that you care. 



Mary Beth Growney Selene, a Rotary International Director from 2013-2015, served as the official RI Representative at the Conference.  Mary Beth also facilitated excellent breakout sessions on attracting and engaging membership, and designing local and international projects that last.



In addition to formal meetings, conference attendees also visited the “Hall of Friendship” to learn about other Rotary Clubs’ projects and activities, and helped with the “Service in a Day” project, to assemble feminine hygiene kits to benefit girls around the world.  The goal was to assemble 450 hygiene kits, but over double that number were completed by the end of the day!


The District Conference is a great way to learn more about Rotary, get new ideas,  and meet some great Rotarians from other clubs.  Make a commitment to attend next year!!



Richfield High School Principal Latanya Daniels brought 12 High School Juniors and Seniors to the annual District 3 Ethics Luncheon held at Edina Country club. Students enjoyed a delicious lunch and important conversation with Rotarians and listened to a powerful presentation by Dave Irvin who talked about what happens when good people make bad decisions. 

Dave Irvin had a privileged upbringing and as an adult was a father of 4, coached a youth hockey team and held an executive position. On a dare, one day he tried cocaine, and gradually became dependent. Because he could afford it, he started buying cocaine for himself and friends in larger quantities. He thought he was just being efficient and helpful to his buddies and never realized he had moved into the classification of dealing. He was finally caught when he was set up by a friend who had been recently arrested for cocaine use. 

When he was arrested he immediately thought "what will I tell my family, what will I tell my work colleagues, and well now I can finally quit." Rather than fight the arrest conviction he decided to take full responsibility for his actions and ended up serving a year and a day in a federal prison in Duluth. He remembers the officer telling him after the arrest that "you may not believe it now but this will be good for you" 

The loss of dignity and respect was devastating but he is now rebuilding his life, renewing friendships whenever possible, gainfully employed (although not at his former executive position) and is seeking to make amends. 



Richfield Rotary is now meeting in the 2nd floor Conference Room of 

RICHFIELD / BLOOMINGTON HONDA, 501 W. 77th Street in Richfield

To get there:  From Lyndale Avenue, drive east on 77th Street Park.  Park on the east side of the building, enter the building through the service entrance, go through the glass doors on the right, and take the elevators or stairway to the second floor.  Once you’re on the second floor, walk past the restrooms, take a right, and the conference room is the last door on the left, just before the opening into the auto showroom.  (If you wander around long enough, you’ll find it!!)


Breakfast Buffet:  For just $10, you'll enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet prepared by Beautiful Day Catering.

Come and Join Us!!



Barb and John Devlin attended the April 9 District Assembly, led by incoming District Governor Mark Hegstrom of the Edina Morningside Rotary Club.

Mark’s used a stool to encapsulate his key messages.  Mark reminded us, “Each of the support legs to make our clubs successful, vibrant, and to better serve humanity.”

Some highlights of Mark’s remarks:

“A club in motion has emotion.  Vibrant clubs are active; they do things.”

“Vibrant clubs have fun while engaging in service.”

“Clubs can convey vibrancy through publications, websites and Facebook pages that include pictures of members doing things and having fun.”

The break-out sessions included a grant-writing session led by (L to R) Don Stiles, Todd Bollig and Irene Kelly, attended by Barb Devlin.   John attended sessions on visioning and engaging members.

The May 12-13 District Conference will provide another opportunity for members to learn more about and contribute to Rotary.  


One in three women around the world will be victim of assault during her lifetime. Angela Champagne-From was attacked by a stranger in a Minneapolis parking garage in the middle of the day and stabbed with a 10 inch knife, but fought back and lived to tell about it. In her presentation, Angela will discuss the attack and play the tape of her 911 call. She will tell about her recovery, the criminal process and important information about self protection and awareness.
This presentation is for women of all ages and the men who care about them. It is a free event to be held on Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30pm at the Richfield Middle School 7461 Oliver Ave S
Click here to view or print the invitation.


It's a wrap!  Dave Melcher prevailed in our March Madness Fun-Raiser for Polio Plus, and will receive an assortment of gift cards as a prize.  

Rotarians (and friends) each donated $20 to "play the brackets," raising a total of $380 to support Polio Plus!

Thanks to Laura Briggs for organizing this!





Thanks to Chip Groth from Richfield Rotary and Mark Mellon from Bloomington Daymakers for organizing an enjoyable joint Happy Hour on January 12.   The manager even gave us a private room!  (A good indication that we were having a good time is that our server closed the door to prevent our conversation and laughter from disturbing the other restaurant patrons!)
Hopefully, we'll schedule other joint events in the future!


New Member Application Received

Natalie Landwehr has submitted her application for membership in the Rotary Club of Richfield.  Natalie is a 2013 graduate of The College of Saint Benedict with a major in Economics and a minor in Accounting.   She lives in Bloomington and works in the area of Demand Planning for Best Buy.  Natalie is familiar with Rotary, having participated in a junior Rotary club in high school.  She is also a Paul Harris Fellow.  Natalie’s interests reveal a commitment to service, and include work with Habitat for Humanity and the “Blackwoods Blizzard Tour” to benefit ALS.   

President Chip hopes to install Natalie into membership on November 3.  Please contact Chip with any questions or concerns.



Sergeant At Arms:  Steve Jedlund

Thought for the Week:  Jay Clark

Program:  David Feinwachs and Diane Peterson - “HMO Fraud in Minnesota” 

The primary presenter will be David Feinwachs, a health care attorney, advocate and expert on our state’s public policy regarding health care.  He will be joined by Diane Peterson, a high school classmate of Steve Larson’s who also is a health care advocate.  They will discuss the Five Billion dollars annually of taxpayer dollars that are unaccounted for in Minnesota’s HMO system.  This will be a great meeting to invite visitors to as this is a topic that affects all of us! 


The I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis and France Avenue in Edina will be lit in shades of red and yellow on October 24 to honor Rotary International’s fight to end polio called End Polio Now.
See the complete announcement under Home Page Download Files.




In lieu of our regular meeting, Richfield Rotarians joined with other Area Three

Rotarians for the annual Veterans Day Luncheon at Edina Country Club.  


Tommy Thompson (right), a veteran of the U.S. Navy, was one of several World War II veterans recognized for their service.  Thank you, Tommy!


U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (left) was one of several public officials who attended the luncheon.  Senator Klobuchar had just attended a Veterans Day Ceremony at Richfield STEM School that was "unlike any other ceremony” she had ever attended.  STEM students escorted their parents, grandparents, or other relatives who were veterans into the gymnasium, as other students looked on with respect.  Regardless the venue or attendees’ political leanings, Senator Klobuchar reminded us all “to stand together for those who have served us.”


The keynote speaker was Ret. Major General Paul Rehkamp who gave 35 years of Army service.  He commanded the 88th Army Reserve Command at Ft. Snelling and later served on the Department of the Army Staff in the Pentagon.   Rehkamp reminded us that, to the 45 million Americans who have worn the uniform during our nation’s history, “military service is not just a job. . . Americans must continue to serve, to maintain our watch and must be willing and strong enough to defend our country.”  He concluded, “Freedom is not free.  It requires the commitment and resolve of the American people.”

Thanks to President-Elect Chip Groth for serving on the planning committee for this inspiring event.




Thanks to President Anthony Bradford, Barb Devlin, Jean Fox, Chip Groth and John Devlin for their participation in the Fall District 5950 Training.  
Click here for some conference highlights, with links to information pertaining to some of the presentations.


Barb Devlin received an e-mail message from Dave Melcher “requesting to be removed from the [program] calendar at this time.  I am recovering from a shattered collar bone and multiple broken ribs.   I am unable to drive, which I would need to do for Rotary meetings then getting down town for work.  I am either working from home or taking the bus currently,”  but hopes he “will be getting back in the swing of things soon.”

David - Please know that your friends at Rotary are thinking of you and hoping for a smooth recovery.  We miss you!  

Note:  David is hoping that someone else in the club can step up and take his program on October 8.  Please let Barb Devlin know if you can help out.

Also, David has a wonderful philosophy about injury and recovery, which is included as this week’s Thought for the Week.  Be sure to check it out!





On Thursday, August 20, District Visioning Team leaders Gayle Noakes (left) and Russ Michaletz facilitated a joint visioning session that included 5 representatives each from Bloomington Daymakers and Richfield Rotary Clubs and the President of the Bloomington Noon Rotary Club.  President Anthony Bradford, John and Barb Devlin, Jean Fox, and President-Elect Chip Groth represented the Richfield Rotary Club.  District Governor Tim Murphy also attended.




Club Similarities and Differences

Representatives of each club shared highlights regarding club membership; priorities; community, international, and vocational service activities; and fund-raising.  


Similarities noted among clubs included a focus on youth (especially teens); active member engagement in projects (“sweat equity”); international project focused on India; all have membership and fund-raising as priorities.


Differences include Richfield’s efforts to reflect the community’s diverse demographics in membership recruitment, service priorities, and club activities.  Differences in club size also create differences in communication and fund-raising strategies and results.


Areas of Consensus 


Following small group discussion and sharing, the whole group identified the following areas of consensus:

  • No merger of clubs at this time
  • Pursue opportunities for collaboration among clubs such as periodic joint service projects and meetings.  JSchedule periodic multi-club social / networking events  A representative of Bloomington Daymakers will convene
  • Expand cross-club communications to increase awareness of make-up, networking and service opportunities across clubs.


Small group reporters included Barb Devlin (far left), Mark (center) and Jason (right) from the Bloomington Daymakers Club.






Next Steps

  • Club presidents will ask their respective club service chairs (David Butler and/or Marlene Evenson for Richfield Rotary) to discuss possible collaborative service projects.
  • Jean Fox volunteered to meet other club representatives to plan some joint meetings.
  • Mark from the Daymakers Club will convene the club social chairs to plan one or more joint club social / networking events.

Special thanks to Daymakers President Stephanie Smith for making the meeting arrangements, to Gayle Noakes and Russ Michaletz for facilitating, and to District Governor Tim Murphy for his attendance and support. 



Bloomington Daymakers President Stephanie Smith and Richfield Rotary President Anthony Bradford are planning opportunities for members from both cubs to interact and get to know one another.   


To get things started, Anthony is seeking 3-5 members to attend the Daymakers meeting on Friday, August 14, 7:29 AM at the Bloomington Hilton, 3900 American Blvd. West.  Volunteers to date include Jean Fox, Steve Larson and Pam Serdar.   Let Anthony Bradford know if you would like to attend as well.


Those attending should be willing to give a mini-classification talk of up to 6 minutes that includes 1-2 minutes about each of the following topics:


  • yourself / background
  • Your profession and / or major volunteer work
  • What attracted you to Rotary and why you stay active


Visual aids are encouraged.  As an example, Stephanie’s role as a Mom is represented by car keys for driving around her son Caleb; her work in sports medicine is represented by a stethoscope, and her commitment to Rotary is signified by an End polio pin.



Thanks to incoming President Anthony Bradford for organizing a wonderful club social on Saturday, June 20 to celebrate John Devlin’s year as president.   






Backstage Tour of the Guthrie Theater 


(L to R) Jean and Denny Fox, Barb and John Devlin, Chris Gaukel, Pat Dale, Anthony Bradford, Marlene Evenson, Chip Groth, and David and Mary Martha Butler enjoyed a guided, behind the scenes look through the thrust and proscenium stages, scene and costume shops, and rehearsal rooms.  We even got to meet two actors who were getting ready for a noon rehearsal of the Music Man!








Lunch at Sawatdee Restaurant 


After the tour, we enjoyed Thai food at Sawatdee, where we were joined by Tommy and Lavonne Thompson (left front).


A fun time was had by all!!




The May 16 District Conference, held at the Mall of America and Radisson Blu Hotel, had an Olympic theme with Rotary Clubs and Rotarians as heroes. 
The conference began with a parade of club banners.   (See if you can spot Anthony Bradford, who carried the Richfield Rotary Banner!)
District Governor Jim Nelson ignited the Rotary Olympic Cauldron.  The lighting ceremony was underscored by the words of Confucius:  "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."
Senate Minority Leader David Hahn read Governor Dayton’s proclamation that May 16 was Minnesota Rotary Day.  (Who says there is no bipartisan cooperation!)
The entire conference delegation participated in setting a Guinness World Record by simultaneously waving over 240 countries’ flags for 60 seconds.  Conducted on the MOA rooftop, flag wavers included the entire Richfield Rotary delegation  (President John Devlin, President-Elect  Anthony Bradford, Barb Devlin, Jean Fox, and Chip Groth) along with Rotarians from other District 5950 Rotary Clubs.
Flag wavers were inspired by a powerful Japanese drumming group, Mu Daiko, who were part of the opening ceremonies.
At the Conference luncheon, Rotary International Representative Joan Firkins of the Rotary Club of Oak Bay, Victoria, British Columbia (Canada) told us that she made a “life-long commitment” to Rotary when she attended her first Rotary International Convention in 1992 and learned about Polio Plus.  Joan now serves as Zone 25 Regional Rotary Foundation Chair and is the Director of TRF Canada.  She has made four trips to Ethiopia to assist with Vaccinations and counts those trips "among her most memorable Rotary experiences."
WCCO sports director Mark Rosen was the main luncheon speaker.  Mark complimented Rotary for its service, and shared stories about some of his heroes in sports, including the late coach Herb Brooks and the Miracle on Ice Hockey Team.
The luncheon crowd was entertained by the District 5950 Rotary Rooters choir – including Barb Devlin from Richfield Rotary.   (Note:  The evening dinner crowd was entertained by Dudley Riggs!  Hmmm....who won out?!)
A convention display honored Rotary Heroes around District 5950, including our own Marlene Evenson.  John Devlin nominated Marlene as a Richfield Rotary hero for organizing the Bread of Hope project, coordinating the Dictionary Project, serving two terms as President, and being a willing helper in other club projects and activities. Congratulations, Marlene!

Thanks to all club members who have contributed or pledged to the Rotary International Foundation (TRF) and Richfield Rotary Foundation (RRF) as part of the combined pledge campaign.  To date during the 2014-2015 program year, $5600 has been pledged or contributed to TRF and $3500 to RRF, not including contributions toward the Richfield band shell and the Darlene Day Meyer Memorial Fund.   
Steve Jedlund hopes to wrap up the pledge drive this week.  If you have not completed your pledge, please turn it in this week so we can include your pledge in the total.  A copy of Steve's letter and pledge form are attached. 

Even as we mourn the loss of Gertrude Ulrich, we join in celebration of a life well lived.  With her devotion family, interest in and support for literature and learning, and life-long engagement in civic affairs and politics, Gertrude lived out Rotary's motto, "Service Above Self."

Club Executives & Directors
Public Relations
Immediate Past President
Richfield Rotary Foundation Chair
Executive Secretary