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

Sock-It-To-Me Presentation

President Kirsten Nielsen presented a check to former Richfield Rotarians Sally Parks and Mike Andrews, and Lance Roper with Project for Pride in Living (PPL) who thanked Richfield Rotary for our $300 donation to purchase warm winter socks for homeless clients served by Cabrini House, a subsidiary of PPL.  The socks will be distributed to clients at next week’s holiday celebration and Sally shared, “Tears run down people’s faces when they get a new pair of socks.”  Roper shared an overview of PPL’s many services and its “Housing First” approach:  “Get people into housing and then help them address issues such as mental health, substance abuse, etc. so they can build themselves to self-sufficiency.”  

Program:  Dani Alfonso, “Rotary Youth Exchange Program”

Dani Alfonso was a 2017 Cameron Scholarship Recipient who took a “gap year” to participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) Program before commencing her college career in 2018.  Dani spent ten months in Taiwan where she “got out of her comfort zone” and learned more about herself and the world.  She had widely contrasting cultural experiences with three different host families; developed proficiency in Chinese; learned life skills such as budgeting, time management, and how to get around; and became more globally aware during interactions with RYE participants from around the world.  She even spent five days at a very regimented Bhuddist camp. 

Dani’s mother, Patricia, shared that initially she was skeptical about Dani taking a gap year to participate in RYE.  However, having seen Dani's growth over the past year, she is now a strong supporter both of RYE and the idea of a gap year before college.  Both are very grateful to area Rotary clubs for their support.
On Saturday, December 8, Richfield Rotarians
joined many other volunteers and dance enthusiasts at the seventh annual Heart of Dance team match, which brought together children from classrooms around the state.   Richfield Rotarians registered schools, handed out programs, pinned team sashes and color names on dancers, and helped manage dancers in the "on deck" area.  President Kirsten Nielsen was one of the event sponsors.  Thanks to Kirsten, Jay Clark, Pat Dale, Barb and John Devlin, and Jay Clark for supporting these young dancers!
As our November service project, we inserted Rotary donation labels
in the front of dictionaries to be presented over the next several weeks to all third grade students in Richfield public, non-public and home schools.   Thanks to Jean Fox for processing the dictionary order, Lynne Alexander for obtaining the donation labels, and to HaeKyung Thompson, Dictionary Project Chair.  See the “Richfield Rotary in Service” section below for more information about the Dictionary Project and when volunteers are needed for delivery to schools.

Reminder:  December 13, 2018 Morning Meeting

7:15 - 8:30 AM, 2nd floor conference room, Richfield / Bloomington Honda

Attendance / Happy Dollars – John Devlin

Thought for the Week – Barb Devlin

Program:  Club Assembly, led by President Kirsten Nielsen

Please e-mail Kirsten with suggested agenda items.   (Note:  Barb Devlin has suggested two items:  membership recruitment planning and a suggested service activity for January involving Latino kids and families in Richfield.)
A reminder that the Veterans Day Luncheon on Monday, November 12, 11:15 AM at the Bloomington Hilton will take the place of our regular Thursday AM meeting.  Our special guest will be Jay Nielsen (far left), a Vietnam Veteran and the father of member HaeKyung Thompson.   
See Upcoming Events for more event details.
Richfield Rotary collected some feedback from Richfield residents at Penn Fest, and would like to continue collecting feedback via an online survey.  Thanks to Alyssa Swanson for posting the survey in an online format, with a link that will appear on our Richfield Rotary Facebook page, web page, and the Richfield Community Page.  Please feel free to forward the following link to any Richfield resident you think might be interested in responding:
Tommy Thompson’s daughter, Patty Gourley, informed us that her Dad has been hospitalized three times since August and is now back in rehab.  He will not be going back to his apartment, and the family is "in the process of trying to find a place with more care for him.”  Patti thanked Chip Groth for staying in touch on behalf of Richfield Rotary, and "will let Tommy know we are interested in how he is doing."   Please keep Tommy in your thoughts and prayers.  Click here if you wish to send a message to Tommy via his daughter, Patty. 
With glitter tattoos and a bean bag toss as attractions, representatives of the Richfield Rotary and Optimists clubs had an opportunity to speak with many Richfield area residents about the two service clubs and their activities.  About 30 people  completed a Richfield Rotary survey regarding possible future club priorities and activities.   President Kirsten Nelson is hopeful that additional feedback can be obtained via the Richfield Community Page and our Club Facebook and web pages.  Copies of the survey and updated Richfield Rotary flyer will be made available to members at our next club meeting.

Thought for the Week, Happy Dollars and Announcements

  • Recently, one of Jay Clark's patients told him about the eastern Indian holiday, Diwali.  See the Thought for the Week section for inspiration from Diwali, "the festival of lights."
  • John Devlin shared greetings from our most senior member, Tommy Thompson.  Tommy  is currently residing at Tower Light Senior Living,  3601 Wooddale Ave S, St Louis Park, MN 55416, and welcomes visitors!
  • HaeKyung Thompson is in the process of scheduling dictionary deliveries to 3rd graders in all Richfield schools.  Stay tuned for more details and a chance to volunteer.
  • Chip Groth shared that the student Richfield Rotary sponsored for Camp Enterprise was selected as the CEO of her team’s company!  The student and her DECA advisor will be invited to a future club meeting.
  • Chip is arranging for distribution of hats and mittens to the Richfield Schools.
  • President Kirsten Nelson proposed that Richfield Rotary provide volunteer assistance at an upcoming Heart of Dance “Colors of the Rainbow Team Match,” on Saturday, December 8, as our December volunteer project.   There was general agreement, with 11 AM – 1PM as the preferred volunteer time slot.  Kirsten will confirm and get back to us with more details.

Program:  Barb Devlin - “Unraveling the Mysteries of ClubRunner”

Barb Devlin introduced members to ClubRunner, the online platform used by Rotary International, District 5950, and Richfield Rotary to facilitate information-sharing, communications, and record-keeping.  Her goal was to get all members signed on, check and edit their personal profile, access the club member directory, and learn now to send e-mails to club members through ClubRunner.  Denny Fox, our club web master and all-around tech guru, was on hand to assist.
Unfortunately, the ClubRunner tech department chose precisely the time of the presentation to perform some ClubRunner servicing, which made the application inaccessible!  As a further complication, the "Links" feature of ClubRunner is not active at the moment, so Barb was unable to create a link to the presentation outline, which provides step-by-step instructions for doing the activities on your own.  As soon as this feature is active, Barb will e-mail it or include it in a future e-Spokester.

Reminder:  November 8, 2018 Morning Meeting, 7:15 - 8:30 AM, Richfield / Bloomington Honda 2nd floor Boardroom

Thought for the Week:  Jay Clark

Greeter and Happy Dollars:  Jean Fox

Program:  Barb Devlin, "Unraveling the Mysteries of ClubRunner!" 

At a recent Club Assembly, several members acknowledged that they had never logged in to the Club or District 5950 websites using Club Runner.  Barb Devlin will show members how to log in, check, and edit your personal profile information, and will highlight information you can access in the "Members Only" section of the Club and District websites.  PLEASE BRING YOUR LAPTOP SO YOU CAN GET HELP LOGGING IN.   (Note:  Members who are experienced with ClubRunner will be put to work helping other members, so everyone should attend!)

Saint Paul Saints Game a Hit!

The Saint Paul Saints may have lost the game, but Richfield Rotarians had fun despite the score! 
Thanks to Jay Clark for organizing a great celebration of Chip Groth’s two years as President of Richfield Rotary.   The Groths and Devlins arrived by light rail, where they joined several other Rotarians and spouses for a pre-game libation and food at the Ox Cart Ale House.
The entire group convened at the Saint Paul Saints ball park. We were joined by Lloyd Campbell, District 5950 Membership Chair, who is a member of the Glenwood Rotary Club but was in town visiting his son. 
Thanks for two years of dedicated leadership, Chip!


Thanks to Jay Clark for organizing what sounds like a wonderful Past President's celebration for Thursday, August 30.  Details from Jay are as follows:

Thanks for showing your support for Chip’s past two years of service. I’m looking forward to the venue and hopeful for a beautiful evening of baseball.

I have either given you the tickets personally or emailed them ( forwarded via the Saints web site)  to you so you all should have your tickets in hand. Please contact me if you have not received your tickets.


Pre-game social 5:15-6:45 p.m.:

                Ox Cart Ale House

                255 6th Street E

Ox Cart Ale House has a nice roof-top seating area and Chip likes the food. Close to CHS Field (3 blocks). Check out their web site- oxcartalehouse.com

Enjoy a pre-game beverage, dinner or just hang out. We’ll meet on the roof-top… if the weather looks iffy I’ll reserve a table inside. I could not reserve a large table for the roof top. 

If you can’t make to the pre-game social we will see you at CHS Field.


Saints vs. Dogs: 7:05 game time

                CHS Field

                360 N Broadway Street

We are sitting next to each other or at least nearby(row 16-17-18). A few are nine rows down in row 9. Consider rotating around after a few innings…somebody new to talk to and you may enjoy a better seat.



Options are-

Light rail via the Green Line. From the U of MN East Bank Station it is about a 40 min train ride. From the MOA it is about one hour and 15 mins (Blue Line downtown Mpls then transfer to Green Line). Will only cost you $2.50 each way.  (Note:  Chip recommends the 4 PM train from MOA.)

Car pool- I’ll leave that up to individuals to work out on their own.

Drive your car- multiple parking options near the stadium and Ox Cart Ale. There is a ramp right next to Ox Cart Ale on the corner of 6th and Wall. Surface lots on Broadway and both 5th or 6th streets.



If you have not already paid me you can send me a check, Venmo me, or settle up with cash at next Thursdays meeting. Venmo is easy and convenient. Cost per ticket is $16.



At our June 21 meeting, Nominating Committee member Dave Melcher announced that Dr. Kirsten Nelson has agreed to serve as Richfield Rotary Club President in 2018-2019! 
After the cheering and congratulations died down, Kirsten was elected unanimously, and outgoing President Chip Groth presented her with the 2018-2019 Rotary International banner to make it official! 
Kirsten shared that she made the decision after speaking with one of her chiropractor colleagues who will be serving as President of the Excelsior Rotary Club this year.  When Kristen asked him how he would fit it in, he told her, “Oh, I’ll just squeeze it in amidst everything else I do!”  After some soul-searching, Kirsten made her decision, saying "I love Rotary and thought it was important to step up."
Chip Groth will be honored for his two years of service as President at a future soiree.  Kirsten said, “Maybe we can have the party at our house, so we can also inaugurate our new deck!”  Stay tuned for details in a future e-Spokester.
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. 

In lieu of a morning meeting, Richfield Rotarians were encouraged to attend a presentation by Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon at Richfield City Hall, sponsored by the Richfield League of Women Voters.   Simon's assistant, Jamie, introduced the presentation by outlining the three main functions of the Secretary of State's Office: business filings, voting, and confidential residential listings.   Simon addressed voting, the highest profile function of his office, adding, "we're in the Democracy business."   When Simon was a legislator, he sponsored legislation to allow "no excuses early voting" in Minnesota; the result has been an increase in early voting from 8% under the old statute to 23% in 2016, with further growth expected in the future.  Simon described election cybersecurity as a persistent and ongoing threat to Democracy, which will require ongoing funding.
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"
Nine Richfield Rotarians joined with other Area 3 Rotarians to honor our nation’s veterans, including HaeKyung Thompson’s father, Jay Nielson, and our own David Melcher, both of whom served in the U.S. Army. 
Angelica Cantanti Choir provided patriotic music while the Como Park High School ROTC group presented the colors.  The keynote speaker was Colonel Ken Rizer (Ret.) who served 25 years as an Air Force fighter pilot and commander, completing 15 assignments including tours in Iraq.  His last assignment was serving as commander of Andrews Air Force Base, the home of Air Force One.  With 1.2 American lives lost in past conflicts, Rizer reminded us that “freedom isn’t free" and added, "We owe a debt of gratitude to all veterans and current military.”
Richfield Rotary has several members who are unable to attend most morning meetings.  For the past year, the group has held 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 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.


This year’s District Conference was a unique 3-Act production at the Guthrie Theater.  Act I featured Past District Governors Jim Nelson and Tim Murphy as George and his guardian angel, Clarence (photographed at right, descending from Heaven!), who presented "angel wings" to District and local club projects and initiatives that have created “A Wonderful Life”  through the power of Rotary.   Richfield Rotary has made financial contributions to two of the recognized projects, the District 5950 tree planting initiative and Edina Rotary's project to combat opioid abuse.  
The Keynote speaker for Act I was Marilyn Carlson Nelson, retired chair and chief executive of Carlson, a global travel company.  Carlson described the efforts of Carlson Company and the Carlson Family Foundation to address the issue of human trafficking, including support for the “Minnesota Girls are Not for Sale” campaign, and a “replicable strategy” developed for the Super Bowl that can adapted to prevent trafficking at future large-scale events.  For Rotary Clubs confronting challenging issues, Carlson encouraged us to follow her father’s advice, “If you don’t like it, fix it!” 
Act II focused on Rotary Members in Action, including a “Done in a Day” project putting together self-care “Dignity” bags for rescued human trafficking victims, and a presentation by Maria Pacheco about Rotary projects to help Guatamalan women entrepreneurs bring their products to market and improve the well-being of their families and communities.  Maria shared her formula for success:  “Dreams + Opportunity = Change,” and thanked Rotary for helping Guatamalans make their dreams come true.  The emcee added, “District 5950 has two service teams going to Guatemala in January and February.  Sign up, and it will touch your heart!”
Rotary Youth Exchange students were introduced by country (right), and District Governor Bob Halagan also recognized several clubs for increasing female membership, including the Rotary Club of Richfield with over 50% female membership. 
Act III, “Back to the Future,” occurred after the Richfield Rotarians went home.  However, Barb Devlin, Chip Groth, and Jean Fox (pictured at left in costume) agree, “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a part of Rotary!

Area 3 Rotary Clubs

Veteran Days Luncheon

Monday, November 12, 2018


11:00 – Registration & Music     11:15 – 1:15 Lunch & Program

Bloomington Hilton, 3900 American Boulevard W., Bloomington


Featured Speaker:  Colonel Ken Rizer

U.S. Air Force (Retired), former Wing Commander at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland
Cost:  $25 for Rotarians and Guests; checks payable to Rotary Club of Richfield.
Note:  The Veterans Day Luncheon will take the place of our regular meeting on November 15.

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!

Club Executives & Directors
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