WELCOME TO RICHFIELD ROTARY CLUB!

 

Service Above Self

Meetings: 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month, 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM at

Local Roots
817 E. 66th Street
Richfield, MN  55423
 
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President John DeBettignies welcomed members back for another outdoor, in-person meeting at the Veteran’s Park Amphitheater. There were a lot of Happy Dollars mostly due to the chance to be outside enjoying each other’s company on a beautiful day!
John relayed information about the continued Richfield Park Tour plan for fall Rotary meetings. There were quite a few ideas for our fall service projects including more options for the Roosevelt Dog Park, Morris Nilsen’s Trunk or Treat, and CU Forward Day. (Read more)

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM – Augsburg Park Pavilion (See Map)

 
This meeting will be a club assembly led by President John DeBettignies.  Key topics for discussion and decision-making will include:
  • Richfield Rotary participation in October 12 Community Volunteer Event
  • Fall Service Projects
  • Feedback and Suggestions – Fall Schedule
Please attend so you can be part of the discussion and decision making!
 

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM - – Richfield Bandshell

This meeting will be a club assembly led by President John DeBettignies.  Key topics for discussion and decision-making will include:
  • Richfield Rotary participation in October 12 Volunteer Community Event
  • NetGiver App fundraising alternative
  • Feedback and Suggestions – Fall Schedule
Please attend so you can be part of the discussion and decision-making!
 
 
 
President John DeBettignies welcomed members back for the first in-person meeting since March!   
 
We welcomed frequent guest Mike Spencer, who thanked Barb Devlin for helping the St. Louis Park Sunrise Club with their club relaunch.   There were lots of Happy Dollars, mostly reflecting how nice it was to see one another in person again!  President John showed off the 2020-2021 Rotary Theme Banner, and distributed theme banner pins to those present.
 
Our speaker was Amy Markle, Richfield Recreation Director, who shared how recreation services are being delivered during the pandemic and led us on a tour of the planned off leash dog area within Roosevelt Park.  
Put away your computers this Thursday, pack a bag lunch, and bring a lawn chair to our first in-person Richfield Rotary meeting since March! 
To maximize safety during the pandemic, we’ll meet outside at Roosevelt Park, 7644 4th Ave S, Richfield, MN 55423. 
 
Our speaker will be Amy Markle, Recreation Services Director for the City of Richfield, who will update us on the Augsburg Park Universal Playground and the dog park section of Roosevelt Park, two projects that have received financial support from Richfield Rotary.  Since Rotary is a service organization, Amy may also suggest ways that we can provide volunteer support for city parks and recreation in ways that consider members’ health and safety during the pandemic. 
 
Both Richfield Rotary members and others interested in Rotary are encouraged to attend!
I am pleased to announce the membership application of Charles (Chuck) Standfuss, a “semi-retired” attorney and HR executive who provides consulting services from his home office.  Chuck and his wife, Liz, have an adult daughter (Tiffany Goehner) who lives in Richfield with her husband and their grandchildren.  Chuck’s hobbies and special interests include service on nonprofit boards, spectator and youth sports, golf, reading, and political discourse. 
Chuck has been a member of St. Paul Rotary Club #10 since 2003, serving as a Board member and Board Secretary.  He is a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation. 
Chuck is seeking to transfer his membership to Richfield Rotary, to be closer to home and serve the Richfield Community. 
 
A second announcement will be made in next week’s e-Spokester.  Absent any objections, Chuck will be inducted into membership at our July 2 Zoom meeting.  Chuck promises “religious” participation in Richfield Rotary meetings and activities, beginning with the July 2 meeting!
For those of you who attended this meeting, John and I apologize for our intermittent participation from a travel plaza in upstate New York!   Thanks to incoming President John DeBettignies for beginning the meeting in my absence, and filling in whenever we became disconnected! 
 
The meeting included some reflections on my year as Richfield Rotary President, a presentation by Sandhya Gupta on the small international project our club supported in 2019-2020, and the proposal approved by the club for 2020-21, subject to approval by the District 5950 grants committee.   
 
The results are in!  At our June 4 meeting, we learned that food donations from the Richfield City-wide food drive in May totaled 13,166 lbs – more than 6.5 TONS of food!  An additional $1050 was donated to the Richfield Rotary Foundation in support of the drive, providing the purchasing power for an additional 5000 lbs of food, or about 3000 meals.
 
 
At our June 4 meeting, Richfield Rotary awarded $1000 Cameron scholarships to three Richfield High School seniors (L to R):  Vashti Sanichara, Katherine Vasquez, and Anna Jensen
 
The Cameron Scholarship Fund was established by family of the late Don Cameron, a local dentist and charter member of Richfield Rotary to support the post-secondary education of selected students who aspire to careers in a medical field.   Cameron scholarships are awarded to selected seniors from Richfield High School and the Academy of Holy Angels.  No applications were received from AHA students in 2020, so this year’s scholarships were all awarded to students from RHS.
The results are in! 
Joe McDonald, CEO of VEAP, reported food donations from the Richfield City-wide food drive totaling 13,166 lbs – more than 6.5 TONS of food!
In addition, the Richfield Rotary Foundation received donations totaling $1000.00, and a check will be presented to Joe McDonald at our meeting on Thursday.   
According to VEAP’s website, each dollar donated is comparable to 5 lbs. of food, or the equivalent of another 5000 lbs! 
 
Thanks to all who helped support the Richfield Community!
Richfield Rotary was looking for a way to help the community in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and a food drive seemed like a great way to provide immediate help to community members.  The Richfield Community responded in a big way, with nearly $1000 in cash contributions and enough food to completely fill the Schneeberger Group office on Penn Avenue, plus
John Devlin’s SUV! 
 
1st photo:  Current and Incoming Presidents Barb Devlin and John DeBettignies at RBCU drop-off location
2nd photo:  Jay Clark unloading contributions
3rd photo:  Front row - Food Drive sponsors Dave and Lisa Hintermeister, TCF Home Loans and Steve Schneeberger, Keller Williams Realty; Back - Joe McDonald, VEAP CEO, Barb Devlin, President, Richfield Rotary Club
 
Delivery of the Spanish-English dictionaries and culturally relevant books to schools is nearly complete!  Thanks to all the Richfield Rotarians who helped out, including our newest member, Kelsey Nagel and work colleague Steve Pierson (pictured at right), who inserted donation labels and delivered dictionaries and books to Sheridan Hills Elementary School.  (Reminder to volunteers:  Please forward any digital photos you took to Barb Devlin so she can include them in our final report to District 5950.  Thank you!)
 
Click here to read the Richfield Sun-Current article about the Dictionary and Book project, which was supported by a District 5950 Local Community Service Grant. 
 
 
 
 
 
 In response to new Federal guidelines during the coronavirus outbreak, face-to-face meetings for Richfield Rotary will be suspended until further notice.  We will still meet virtually, via Zoom!  Prior to the meeting, you will receive an e-mail from the meeting host, with a link to log in. 
(Note:  We won’t be at Local Roots, but you can still munch on your lunch while we meet!) 
 

Area 3 Rotary Ethics Luncheon CANCELLED

Due to the pandemic, this event has been cancelled and will resume in the Spring of 2021. 
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District 5950 Spring Conference

Saturday, May 16, 2020 - Landscape ArboretumFamilies Welcome!

 
In addition to inspiring speakers and awards for the best work done throughout 2020 by District 5950 clubs, this family-friendly event will feature a barbecue picnic lunch, a scavenger hunt for kids, and great raffle prizes! You’ll have the opportunity to join in an eco-focused Done-in-a-Day project, and we’ll top it all off with happy hour at ENKI Brewery.
 
Click here for more details and to register.  It would be great to have a good turnout from Richfield Rotary members and their families!
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2020 Rotary International Convention CANCELLED because of growing coronavirus concerns

The Rotary International Convention, scheduled for 6-10 June 2020, in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, has been canceled in response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.  A message from RI stated, "We are sorry that we will not see you in Honolulu this year, but this decision is necessary to protect the health of everyone involved."
 
 
On March 2, District 5950 will conduct an online meeting focused on membership, including a short video recording describing Richfield Rotary’s Relaunch initiative.  The video outlines some of the ways we have grown and changed in the first six months of this Rotary year:
  • 11 members as of July 1, 2019 
  • 18 members (including 2 shared) as of January 1, 2020; includes 9 "veteran" members and 9 new / shared members
  • Membership includes 10 men and 8 women, with some growth in racial / ethnic diversity
  • Average member age decreased from 56.6 in July 2019 to just under 50 in January 2020.
Note:  If Cassandra Nickell and Linay McCrady are brought into membership, we’ll be at 20 members, evenly split between men and women, and with an average member age just under 48!   Let’s continue our efforts to increase awareness of Richfield Rotary and engage even more people who have a service orientation and are connected to the City of Richfield. 
Following our February 27 Richfield Rotary Relaunch Meeting, we were delighted to receive two membership applications!  The applicants are:
 
Cassandra Nickell (left in photo) – Cassandra is the Associate Director of Outreach Marketing at Village Shores.  Other memberships include the Richfield Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis Area Senior Workers Association, and SWIM.  Cassandra graduated from college with a degree in music therapy, and has eclectic interests including music, animal rescue, dementia care, and fitness.  She shares our club’s commitment to helping the community, including its outdoor recreation spaces, and hopes her background in music therapy, marketing, social media and graphics could be of benefit to the club.
 
Linay McCrady (right in photo) – Linay is the Marketing Coordinator for Havenwood of Richfield.  She enjoys working with senior citizens, and special interests include dementia care and mental health.  Other memberships include the Richfield Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis Area Senior Workers Association, and Dementia Friends of Richfield.   Her hopes for Rotary in Richfield are “to grow with the organization” and see how her background in marketing, social media, and health care can combine with Rotary. 
 
Hopefully, Cassandra and Linay will be able to attend our March 5 meeting so club members can meet them in person!  This is the first announcement for each, and a second announcement will be made at our March 5 Rotary meeting.  Absent any objections, they will be inducted into membership on March 19 or April 2.   Please welcome them!
 
Promoting peace is one of Rotary’s main causes. The fully funded Rotary Peace Fellowship, which covers tuition and living expenses, increases the capacity of existing leaders to prevent and resolve conflict by offering academic training, field experience, and professional networking. 
Clubs and districts have the power to shape the next generation of peace leaders by recruiting and nominating peace fellows, and keeping them engaged after the fellowship ends.
Districts interview and endorse qualified candidates, which is required before The Rotary Foundation can consider a candidate. Clubs help by recommending and coaching qualified candidates. 
The application process is now open, with a due date of May 31 for applications to be submitted to Rotary Districts. 
 
Click here for additional details regarding the application process and qualifications. 
If you know someone you think would make a good candidate, please refer them to Rotary International using this online form.  If the person is interested in applying, let me know so we can meet with the individual and decide whether to endorse the application as a club. 
 
Thanks to Chip Groth for organizing the December 9 Pizza Luce Fund-raiser, with proceeds going to the Richfield Rotary Foundation to support club projects and activities that benefit the City of Richfield.  Thanks also to the Richfield Rotarians who participated and encouraged others to support the event, including Chris Walsh (with son Hayes, with family members in the background),  Jean and Denny Fox and Friends, Bridget and Jay Clark, and Chip Groth, John DeBettignies, and Barb and John Devlin. 
 
Several other Rotarians, family members and friends ate earlier, including John DeBettignies who had both lunch and dinner at Pizza Luce!  Way to go, John!  At a future Rotary meeting, Chip will report on the proceeds to the Richfield Rotary Foundation.
Several Richfield Rotarians were among the attendees at the annual Area 3 Veterans Day Luncheon.  Representatives of Cub Scout Troop 384 presented the colors.  Pictured with the scout members were (L-R) Richfield Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez, Chip Groth, Barb Devlin, John DeBettignies, John Devlin, and Lynne Alexander.  Missing from the photo was Katie Rodriguez. 
 
A brass quintet played a salute to veterans from each branch of the armed services.  An empty table memorialized those who gave their lives for our country.
 
In his keynote address, Congressman Dean Phillips shared that 75 members of Congress are Veterans, and that bills related to Veterans health, suicide prevention, and homelessness have received “near unanimous support.”  Congressman Phillips has formed a Veterans Advisory Council because “Representation begins with listening.”  Congressman Phillips conveyed a debt of gratitude to all veterans, stating, “America will remain the Land of the Free as long as we remain The Home of the Brave.”
 
 
 
Three applicants are scheduled for induction at our November 7 meeting, following two or more prior announcements to the club. 
 
Karen Crane is the Manager of the Richfield Branch of RBCU.  Karen grew up in Richfield, graduating from Richfield High School.  Karen was a stand-out fast pitch softball player at RHS, and now coaches girls fast pitch softball.  Karen is interested in Richfield Rotary membership as a way of building on her connections to the Richfield community. 
 
Ella Lingat (left) is a financial advisor with AXA Advisors, LLC.   She is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota in the area of applied economics and will easily be the youngest member of our club!   As a financial advisor, Ella helps her clients understand their current financial situation and determine their goals and priorities.  Hopefully, she will share her expertise in planning and priority setting with Richfield Rotary as well!
 
 
 
 
Marta Shahsavand serves as the Principal of Richfield Dual Language School.  Marta would like to share a membership with Latanya Daniels, Principal of Richfield High School.  Latanya is already a member and will remain the “official” member.  However, with a shared membership, Latanya and Marta will share participation in club meetings and activities. 
 
 
 
 

Richfield Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez and City Council Member Simon Trautmann have previously been announced and will be inducted as shared members at a future meeting.

 
Richfield Rotarian Barb Devlin and former members Sally Parks and Gay Greiter attended a July 16 benefit for Nari Gunjan, ("woman's voice”) a not-for-profit organization that provides education, literacy, vocational training, healthcare, advocacy and life skills for Dalit (“untouchables” caste) girls and women. 
The funds raised will enable girls served by Nari Gunjan to participate in educational programs provided by Aavishkaar, the educational organization founded by Bloomington Rotarian Sandhya Gupta and her husband (pictured at left) to nurture “curious, critical and creative thinking” and to spark a “joyful relationship with math and science.”  
 
Richfield Rotary and other Area Three Rotary Clubs are among many organizations that have contributed to several grant projects developed and overseen by Sandhya Gupta over the past several years, including educational programs for Dalit girls.
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