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
President Chip Groth and Barb Devlin joined over 260 Rotarians from across District 5950 at the Mid-Term Assembly, the largest attendance ever for this event.  They heard from District Governor Bob Hallagan, who highlighted contributions of District leaders and clubs.  They visited booths in the Rotary Showcase, attended in-depth breakout sessions on topics of interest, and were inspired by KSTP sportscaster Joe Schmit, who shared stories from his book, Silent Impact: Stories of Influence Through Purpose, Persistence, & Passion
Barb Devlin attended two break-out sessions, each opening the door to possibilities for Richfield Rotary:

"People of Action: Join the Campaign"

While “Service Above Self” is the long-standing motto of Rotary International, the “People of Action” campaign highlights Rotarians being active in service.  Rotary International has resources for clubs to use to show club members actively engaged:  connecting, inspiring, transforming, or helping to end polio.  Local clubs are encouraged to use these resources to “tell our story,” e.g. in our newsletter, website, Facebook page, or the local community page.  The Branding Center tool kit is available at myRotary.org. 

“The Opioid Epidemic:  Time to Act” 

Josh Sprague, Rotary Club of Edina, introduced the session, noting that marketing of opioids by big pharma over the past 20 years has resulted in a nation-wide epidemic.  “Death due to opioids is now the leading cause of death for people under age 50, and a third of the population is susceptible to becoming addicted.”  Three impressive panelists joined Josh in the presentation.
Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek observed, “People start on prescription opioids, get addicted, and then move to street drugs.   In Minnesota, there were 400 opioid-related deaths in 2015 and the opioid-related death rate in Hennepin County has doubled from 2015 to 2017.”
Lexi Reed Holtum, Executive Director of the Steve Rummler Hope Network,  described the “disease of addiction” that lead to the death of husband and father Steve Rummler and so many others.  She thanked Edina and other area Rotary clubs for providing funding for a 2017 TPT documentary video.  (Click here to watch excerpts.)  https://vimeo.com/rummlerhope
Rob Reynolds, Director of Advocacy, Verde Technologies (shown at left), noted that unused opioids sitting in our medicine cabinets are a tempting target.  He handed out a “Deterra” packet  to each attendee, a “safe, convenient, and effective way to deactivate drugs,”  and suggested that local Rotary clubs could fund the purchase and distribution of these packets within the community, e.g. as part of the National Night Out event.  He noted that the packet could be printed to include the name of the sponsoring Rotary Club.


Sprague concluded by saying that the Edina Club remains committed to combatting the opioid crisis.  Their 2018 Action Plan is set up an online curriculum ($9200) and an interactive website and video intended for HS students.   Participating clubs would have access to and be able to promote the resource in their own communities.  Edina has a grant proposal for a District match, but would like other clubs to participate for as little as $100. 

Happy Dollars

The Happiest dollars belonged to Lynne Alexander!  Her birthday is next week so to celebrate,  she contributed a check for $76 to the Richfield Rotary Foundation, $1 for every year of her life.  She then contributed another $20 to make up for meetings missed.  Thank you, Lynne!



Program – David Melcher, "Go Pro View of Cross Country Skiing"

David began his program by apologizing for not being able to use his Drift camera (like a Go-Pro) to film two recent races, Book Across the Bay in Ashland WI and the American Birkebeiner (Berkie), which ends in Hayward WI.   David showed video clips of both races, however, and provided color commentary based on his own experiences. 
The night-time Book Across the Bay Race started in 1995 as a small race to benefit the Washburn WI Public Library, and is now the 2nd biggest race in the country, with more than 3,000 skiers and even some snow shoers.  The race is 6 miles long on flat, icy terrain.  The fastest skiers completed the race in about 25 minutes.  Dave came in about 6 minutes later, in 78th place.  He commented, “When you’re going that fast, you’re keenly watching the silhouette in front of you, hoping he or she doesn’t go down!”  He added, “This is a fun race, with lots of people and a party atmosphere.  It takes some people hours to get across, in part because of the flasks in their pockets!”

The Berkie: Ski. Run. Race.Live.

The American Birkebeiner (Berkie) was started in 1973 by the owner of Telemark Lodge.  This is “a more serious race” with a 50 Kilometer track for the skate ski race, 55 K for the classic ski race.  The 10,000 race participants are divided into 11 waves of about 700 each, in order of skill.  The elite racers start first; Dave is in Wave 2.  Dave called the start of the race as so "fast and frantic that it is a challenge to keep your poles intact.”   As the race goes on the skiers spread out and begin to follow the narrow trail. 
David noted, “Along the trail, there are wackos who cheer you on and, at the 39th K, they even hand out shots!  Despite his love for beer, David said he “usually sticks to bananas and water.”

The toughest part of this year’s race was a horse shoe curve at the base of a hill piled with ice and snow.  Dave’s strategy was to ski on the outside.  However, another skier lost control and flew into David who commented, “Basically, he tackled me, unbuckling my boot and punching me in the thigh.”  David was pretty shaky after that hit, and “put it in cruise control” the rest of the way.  “This time, I raced for the Moccasin Bar, not to achieve a great race time.” 
Despite his slower time, Dave still received an award for being an Uber Legger, someone who has raced the Berkie 30 or more years.  David concluded, “We race for trinkets – and shots!”
Thanks for a great presentation, Dave!
January 4, 2017 Program: "I'm Alive. Courage, Hope and a Miracle.
My name is Duke Pieper and I went to Shattuck St. Mary's in 2005. I am the author of my book "I'm Alive Courage, Hope, and a Miracle." My book was recently published by a company by the name of Triumph Books out of Chicago. I was a hockey player myself I played at Shattuck St. Mary's and in 2008 I had a cavernous hemangioma. I came close to death multiple times. During the first surgery I actually had a 5% chance to live and on another occasion I was only hours away from dying . I also had multiple brain infections and the last one landed on my spinal cord paralyzing me from head to toe. From this point on I had to re-learn everything from walking to talking, eating to breathing. I believe the true reason I made it though those nine months in the hospital was to help other people! I truly believe that with the things that I had to experience and had overcome in my recovery it all was to share my story and help other people. So in my book along with telling my story on how I got through everything I put 15 bullet points in the back pertaining to how I overcame those challenges and adversaries in my recovery. I made it real general though so anyone can relate to it no matter what the situation is or no matter what your trying to overcome. I have also started a Foundation "The Pieper Hope and Courage Foundation"

Richfield Rotarians Lynne Alexander, Chip Groth, John and Barb Devlin, HaeKyung Thompson, and Tommy Thompson joined other Area 3 Rotarians to honor our nation’s veterans.  Tommy Thompson (right), one of two World War II veterans recognized, enjoyed visiting with a member of the Shakopee American Legion Color Guard.

In his keynote speech, Major General Robert Shadley (Ret.) recognized veterans as “ordinary, yet extraordinary human beings willing to sacrifice their lives in defense of our nation.”  He encouraged businesses and organizations to employ veterans, citing leadership characteristics learned in the military:  competence, character, chemistry (team players), and curiosity.  He added, “If you hire a vet and use their assets, they won’t let you down.”

Thank you to Tommy and all other veterans for your service to our country.

Richfield Rotary has expanded to include an evening satellite group, made up of folks who are unable to attend morning meetings.  Laura Briggs, who rejoined the club in June, is facilitating the group which holds one planning / social meeting and one service activity each month.  All Richfield Rotarians are invited to participate in the evening group's monthly meetings and service projects.  The next meeting will be on March 22, 7:00 PM at the American Legion in Richfield.   Discussion will include the Q2 calendar of service projects and meeting locations. 
The evening group has a Facebook Discussion Page, open to Richfield Rotarians and friends of Rotary who request to be included.  Contact Laura Briggs if you would like to be added to the Facebook discussion page.


President Chip Groth and members Barb Devlin and Jean Fox represented Richfield Rotary at the April 28 District Conference.  (President Chip was MIA when the photo at left was taken!) 

Conference attendees viewed exhibits featuring various local and international service opportunities, and heard presentations by inspiring speakers such as Karen Valentini, founder of the Smile Network (provides cleft palate surgeries to poor children), and Erik Therwanger (right), author of Think Great (helps organizations “soar at higher levels.”)  Barb Devlin plans to share some of Erik’s ideas as part of her upcoming program presentation in June.

One of the breakout presentations focused on volunteering to help out with the 2018 Superbowl.  Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities available.  Rotarians can volunteer together by registering as part of RotaryCrew52.



2018 District Conference

Click here for more information and to register.  



Thanks to all who helped to make the 65th Richfield Rotary Celebration on January 6 a great success!  Proceeds from the silent auction and wine raffle drawing totaled about $1000.  

The near-capacity crowd enjoyed mingling and bidding, followed by a delicious dinner catered by Beautiful Day Catering.  

Left:  District Governor Mark Hegstrom and his wife Connie enjoyed dinner with President Chip Groth and his wife, Deanna.











Above:  Elected officials and representatives of MIRA and Richfield Schools responded to a "mannequin challenge," while Mike and Jorina Andrews looked dignified, as usual!




Kirsten Nelson emceed an enjoyable program, which included highlights from Richield Rotary history, punctuated by music from Shar Salisbury and back-up singers Barb Devlin and Steve Larson.  







District Governor Mark Hegstrom awarded an honorary Paul Harris Fellowship to Hennepin County Commissioner and former Richfield Mayor Debbie Goettel.   Debbie stated, “I am honored to receive this award, and want to express my appreciation to the Richfield Rotary for its community involvement, support and service.” Debbie added, “While I will be undertaking a new role, I am not going away.  I will still be a part of the Richfield community.” 

The party was a great way to celebrate our club's contributions to the community, kick off the next 65 years of Richfield Rotary service!  

Click here to read “Richfield Rotary Through the Years,” prepared by Barb Devlin.

Special thanks to the planning committee (Barb Devlin, Jean Fox, Chip Groth, and Kirsten Nelson) and to Dave Kostik for making arrangements for us to use the City Bella Community Room.  


After surveying members and discovering that over half of us will be on vacation, President Chip decided to cancel the July 13 meeting.  He hopes to see us all again on July 20!  In the meantime, have fun with whatever you're doing on your summer vacation!  



If you haven't already done so, District Governor Elect Bob Hallagan asks you to please respond to the District 5950 Rotary Survey no later than Wednesday, January 11.  It will take you only 10-15 minutes, and the results will help inform decisions at both the Club and District levels.  Click here to link to the survey.

Thank you!

Sergeant at Arms -  HaeKyung Nielsen

Thought for the Week - HaeKyung Nielsen

Program:  Becca Erickson - “Equipping Single Mothers to Emerge as Confident Women and Caring Moms”

Rebecca(Becca) Erickson, Co-founder and Executive Director of Emerge Mothers Academy, is a former Target Executive, parenting-mentor, wife and mother of three.  Becca is passionate about effective parenting, co-parenting and single parenting.  Through her own journey she has seen the value of completing an education and committing to personal growth, even as a single mother. 

Emerge Mothers Academy offers parent support services to mothers in partnership with other local service sites [Hope Academy, Banyan Community, Open Door, NLFS First Care] .  Becca will tell us how Emerge Mothers Academy works with moms to help change patterns of generational poverty, encourage positive parenting, personal growth, emotional maturity and financial independence. 


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

Yesterday, Richfield Rotary received 25% of the pre-tax proceeds from meals purchased at Pizza Luce from folks presenting Richfield Rotary flyers.  One of the managers commented last evening, "We have seen lots of flyers, beginning with folks coming in earlier in the day."  

Proceeds will support our “Warm Hands, Heads and Hearts” project, which provides winter hats, gloves and mittens for needy elementary and secondary students in the Richfield Public Schools. 

Thanks to Richfield Rotarians, family members and friends who helped spread the word and who supported the fund-raiser by dining at Pizza Luce.  We enjoyed great food and fellowship while doing good in our community!

President Chip will have a report soon regarding fund-raiser proceeds.



Several Rotarians have requested information about how to orders Rotary-themed clothing and merchandise.   Several blue Rotary tee shirts are available for borrowing in men's sizes (large and extra large).  However, Russell Hampton and National Awards are two websites with clothing available to match your body size and personal taste, along with other Rotary merchandise.  Just click on each name to get to each company's website.




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!

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.

RICHFIELD ROTARY is busting the BRACKETS for polio plus!!


Jay Clark's bracket pool, Richfield Rotary Bracket Busters, is back for another year on CBSSports.com. Join now before the tournament starts so we can compete all of March Madness!  Click here to participate in the bracket challenge.

Participating Rotarians and friends are asked to make a contribution of $20 or more to the Rotary International Foundation for Polio Plus.  You can donate online or make a donation at one of our weekly meetings.

Thanks for organizing this, Jay!






Club Executives & Directors
Rotary Foundation
Public Relations
Community Service
Immediate Past President
Richfield Rotary Foundation Chair