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
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.
The club assembly focused on planning for the Rotary / Optimists table at Richfield Penn Fest, including a survey of priorities for future Richfield Rotary service projects.  The hope was that parents would take time to complete the survey while their children obtained glitter tattoos.  Additional feedback may also solicited by posting the survey on the Richfield Community Page and the Richfield Rotary Facebook and web pages.  Survey feedback will inform club decisions regarding priorities and activities in the coming year, which will set the stage for a planned club membership drive. 
Other discussion items included:
  • Kirsten encouraged members to attend the Edina Morningside Rotary meeting on Tuesday, September 18, which will take the place of our September 20 meeting.
  • Jean Fox and Chip Groth may represent Richfield Rotary at the One Rotary Summit on Saturday, September 22.  Chip encouraged our newer members to attend as well.
  • Chip is working with the new DECA advisor at Richfield High School to identify a student who will attend Rotary Camp Enterprise.
  • Jay Clark has agreed to audit the Richfield Rotary Foundation and club operating accounts.
  • David Butler will investigate Local Roots as a possible future meeting location, including availability of the meeting room on Thursday mornings, menu options and costs.  David will report back at our next club assembly.
  • The next club assembly will include consideration of the Dictionary project. 


A reminder that the September 18 meeting of the Edina Morningside Rotary Club will take the place of our September 20 meeting.   

See Upcoming Events for more information and to register.

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"

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 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!


Multi-Club Rotary Meeting

organized by Edina Morningside Rotary

September 18th, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00 AM

Edina Country Club, 5100 Wooddale Avenue, Edina 55424

$20 per person

Speaker: Manny Villafaña, Ph.D. Sc.

Manny Villafaña was born in 1940 in New York City to Puerto Rican immigrants and attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx.  He began his career in 1964 at medical-device exporter Picker International. In 1967, he was hired away from Picker by Medtronic to become their first international sales administrator.  During his presentation, Villafana will draw from his experiences starting and leading businesses in the medical field, including Cardiac Pacemakers Inc (1971), St. Jude Medical (1976), GV Medical (1982), ATS Medical (1987), CABG Medical (2000), and most recently, Kips Bay Medical (2007), a medical device company that focuses on vein support technology for use in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery.  He has earned many awards over his career, including induction into the Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame in 2010. 
All Happy Dollar donations collected at the meeting will be contributed to the Kips Bay Girls and Boys Club in New York City, which guided Villafana’s development as a youth
Note:  This presentation will take the place of our regularly scheduled meeting on September 20, so all members are encouraged to attend.   
Click here for more information and a link to register.

District 5950 One Rotary Summit

Date:  Saturday, September 22, 2018;

Venue:  Earle Brown Heritage Center; 6155 Earle Brown Dr. Minneapolis

Designed For:  New Rotarians, Club Presidents, Officers, Board Members, Assistant Governors, District Leadership Team & All Club Members  

Cost:  Already paid for by your Club’s District Training Fee;

Register online here

District 5950 Training Chair Tom Gump notes that there will be presentations from three District Committees:  (i) Strengthening and Supporting Clubs; (ii) The Rotary Foundation; and (iii) Public Image.  Gump adds, “This is a time to listen and learn, to exchange ideas with Rotarian colleagues in other clubs so you can take action.”  
(Note:  President Kirsten Nelson is unable to attend, and would really appreciate it if one or more other Richfield Rotarians could attend and report back.)


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!

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