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
Information Meeting:  February 27, 2020

The Rotary Club of Richfield MN has been serving the Richfield community for nearly 70 years.   We are neighbors, friends and community leaders who come together for networking, fun, and to create positive, lasting change in the Richfield area and around the world.  We are part of an international network of 35,000 Rotary Clubs with 1.2 million members worldwide, reaching across boundaries to expand our impact.  


A “Richfield Rotary Relaunch” began in July 2019, with a focus on expanding membership and strengthening connections with the Richfield community.  Our goal is to create what is essentially a new club with a majority of members that live, work and/ or do business in Richfield.  

Some wonderful new members have come on board over the past few months, including Richfield Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez and City Manager Katie Rodriguez.  Our new members range in age from 21 to the mid-50’s, and represent various professional backgrounds.  All of the new members live, work, and / or do business in Richfield, and are eager to have others join them to further expand the club’s impact! 

If you live, work, and / or do business in the Richfield area and would like to support the Richfield Community, please attend one of the Richfield Rotary Relaunch Informational meetings scheduled for:

February 27, 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM at Local Roots, 817 E. 66th Street, Richfield MN 55423  (Come a few minutes early if you want to order lunch.)

Feel free to check out a regular meeting as well!  Club meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month, 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM, also at Local Roots Restaurant.   (The first 15 minutes is for ordering lunch, signing in, and networking; the meeting starts at 11:45 AM.)

For more information, answers to questions, or to get on the Richfield Rotary mailing list, contact Barbara Devlin (richfiedrotary@gmail.com).   For more information about Rotary, go to https://www.richfieldrotary.org/ or check out the Rotary Club of Richfield Facebook Page.

Long-time Richfield Rotarian Thomas A. “Tommy” Thompson was recognized in a Star Tribune “Remembering” article as a “master builder” whose legacy is still evident in Minneapolis.  Thompson, who died January 2, served as Minneapolis’ first city coordinator.   The article noted that, although he retired in 1983 due to heart problems, “Thompson remained involved in many groups including Rotary International.” 
Click here to read the full article, which paints a picture of a man who truly believed in Service Above Self. 
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.
The Richfield Bandshell opened on June 9 with great fanfare!  Richfield Rotary and individual Rotarians were recognized for their financial contributions, and former member David Butler was dubbed “Richfield’s Own Music Man” for his tireless fund-raising efforts.   The family of the late Gertrude Ulrich, a civic leader and member of Rotary, was recognized for their contributions to a garden by the bandshell in Gertrude’s memory.  Area cub scouts, led by Rotarian Hae Kyung Thompson, presented the colors.  And on top of the celebrating, there was terrific music by members of the Peterson family, the Richfield Symphonic Band, and the Northern Winds Band.

The Rotary Club of Richfield MN has been serving the Richfield community for over 60 years.   We are neighbors, friends and community leaders who come together for networking, fun, and to create positive, lasting change in the Richfield area and around the world.  We are part of an international network of 35,000 Rotary Clubs with 1.2 million members worldwide, reaching across boundaries to expand our impact.  

As club members have retired and / or moved away, fewer Richfield Rotarians have maintained direct connections to Richfield, making it more difficult to effectively serve the community. 

A “Richfield Rotary Relaunch” is now underway, with a focus on creating what will essentially be a new club with members that live, work and/ or do business in Richfield.  Under the Rotary International umbrella, the new club will set its own schedule and determine its own goals and activities, based on members’ interests and personal commitments. 

Informational and planning meetings will take place this summer, in preparation for a formal Relaunch in September, 2019.   Updates and scheduled meetings will be posted on the web at richfieldrotary.org and on the Rotary Club of Richfield Facebook page. 

For more information or to get on the relaunch e-mail list, contact Barbara Devlin or Chip Groth.   

Following is the first quarter meeting and activity schedule agreed upon at the June 13 Club Assembly, including four club meetings, service projects, Relaunch information meetings, and the official Relaunch and Installation of New Members:

Club Meeting Schedule

  • Four meetings, 7:30 – 8:30 AM on the following Thursdays:  June 27, July 11, August 15, September 12
  • Location – Local Roots, 817 E 66th St, Richfield, MN 55423
  • The July 11, August 15 and September 12 meetings will provide an opportunity for debriefing and planning regarding the relaunch.  Programs will be Rotary and club-related.

Club Service Activities

  • Continue Bread of Hope  -  See “Richfield Rotary in Service” article for a list of volunteers to date and open sign-up slots.
  • The Club will conduct at least one service project during the first quarter.  See July 11 meeting highlights for details regarding the selected project.

Relaunch Information Meetings

  • Attendance:  Richfield Rotarians plus anyone interested in the Richfield Rotary Relaunch
  • Four information meetings planned to date: 
    • Thursday, June 20, 5:30 – 6:30 PM, Local Roots
    • July 24, 7-8 PM, City Hall, Bartholomew Room 
    • Thursday, August 22, 7:30 – 8:30 AM, Local Roots
    • Wednesday, September 11, 3:45 - 4:45 PM, Central Education Center, 7145 Harriet Ave So., Multi-purpose Room

Richfield Rotarians are encouraged to attend the Relaunch Information meetings.  Please RSVP your attendance to Barb Devlin.  

Formal Relaunch and Installation of New Members – Tuesday, September 24, 5:30 – 7:00 PM (Location TBD)

Richfield Rotarians - Please plan to attend this important meeting!
Saturday, May 11, was "Build Day" for Richfield Rotary's Little Free Library Project.  Rotary members and LFL recipients worked side by side at the Richfield Arts Commission building at Veterans Park, painting, adding doors and roofs to partially completed LFLs.  Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez stopped by, as did two members of the Richfield Arts Commission.  The smiles reflected happiness all around!  
Installation of the LFLs is scheduled the morning of June 1.
Our heartiest congratulations to Richfield Rotarian and New Dad Chris Walsh and his wife Denise on the birth of their new baby boy, Hayes! 
(Editor's comment:  Hayes looks like a serious mini-Chris, but without the hat!!)
Barb Devlin was among about 300 Rotarians in attendance at the January 26 Mid-Term Assembly.  As District Governor Irene Kelly welcomed everyone, Rotarians made donations to Polio Plus.   District 5950 Polio Plus Chair, Tim Mulcrone (right), happily placed Barb's contribution into his "Year of the Pig Polio Plus Bank."
Keynote speaker, Dr. Ramon Pastrano (left), helped participants explore how the limitations of our knowledge and experience contribute to “unconscious bias.”  He encouraged us to seek out the perspectives of others, adding, “We cannot lead in a multicultural world with mono-cultural mindsets.”
The Mid-term Assembly also included an Information and Sharing Fair highlighting District 5950 and club projects and activities, including a new Leadership Fellows program that will launch in September 2019.  Barb hopes that Richfield Rotarians will be part of a future District Assembly to share information our Little Free Library project!


A posting about our Little Free Library project in the Richfield Community Page has generated 50 responses to date, including 
expressions of interest in receiving a LFL and offers to help with construction and /or contribute financially.
A proposal is being finalized for submission to District 5950 for funding to assist with the project.  The posting reads as follows:
The Richfield Rotary club is developing a Little Free Library (LFL) project that will offer a limited number of LFL's available for installation late spring early summer of 2019. The club is looking for feedback from the community as to interest in the project. The LFL's will be available for a small nominal fee (as yet to be determined) so that individuals/owners will be invested in the project. A "LFL assembly day" will be scheduled and interested community members can assist with the final assembly of the LFL's (basically screwing them together and painting, all the parts will be pre-cut to size). Richfield Rotary believes the project will promote literacy and add to the overall welcoming appearance of the city/neighborhood. Comments and or expressed interest can be made below or by messaging the club through our Facebook page at Rotary Club of Richfield Minnesota.


At left is the "deluxe" model of the Little Free Library, which will be raffled off to help provide additional funds for the project. Thanks to Jay Clark for contributing his time and talent!

Richfield Rotary designates one meeting per month for an evening service project / social.  Our service project for January 2019 was helping the Latino Resource organization, MIRA, with its Reyes Magos (Three Kings) celebration on January 4.  Richfield Rotarians and spouses who helped out included Jay Clark and Chris Walsh (two of the maji!), Bridget Clark, Barb and John Devlin, Chip and Deanna Groth, and Dave and Joan Melcher. 
MIRA’s treasurer Rosa Rubio reported attendance of about 400 children and adults and added, “Great work everyone!!!  Our most sincere appreciation to all the Rotarians that helped and donated for this event!!! It would not have been possible without all of you!”  The photos provide clear evidence that everyone present - including the volunteers - had a lot of fun!
Seven Richfield Rotarians were joined by Richfield High School Assistant Principal Teresa Rosen and six RHS juniors at the 9th annual Rotary Area 3 Vocational Ethics Day, at Edina Country Club.  Over lunch, Rotarians and guests discussed questions relating to ethical behavior.  Keynote speaker Jerome Mayne explained how his own fraudulent behavior in the real estate loan business resulted in his imprisonment for two years.   Once driven by greed, Mayne learned the hard way that crime doesn’t pay! 
Thanks to Chip Groth for representing Richfield Rotary on the VE Day planning committee. 
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.


Thursday, February 20, 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM, Local Roots, 817 E 66th St, Richfield, MN 55423

(Order lunch if desired, sign in and network from 11:30 - 11:45 AM; Meeting starts at 11:45 AM)

Thought for the Week, Introduction of Guests and Happy Dollars 

Club Business and Announcements - President Barb Devlin

Program:  Jared Shepherd - "Meet the Rotarian" Presentation

At his very first Rotary meeting, Jared Shepherd contributed a "happy dollar" in honor of a pro bono client that he had helped gain legal status in the U.S.  In his new member presentation, Jared will tell us more about his pro bono legal work with immigrants and refugees, along with his other work as an attorney with Hoff Barry P.A.  We'll also learn more about Jared and his family. 



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. 

Sunday, september 15, 1-5 pm

Open Streets at Penn Fest is a day to explore the Penn Central neighborhood in Richfield.   Traffic will be off the street and replaced by fun activities like music, dance, food, sports, games, pet exhibits and more.   Penn Avenue will be closed to traffic from 62nd to 76th Streets, with activites and exhibitors from 62nd to 71st Streets.
Richfield Rotary and Optimists will be sharing a table.  We'll need two Rotarians for each of two shifts,  12:45 - 3 PM (including help with set-up), and 3PM - 5:15 PM (including help with clean-up).  One volunteer will apply temporary tattoos to children, while the 2nd volunteer will share information with their about the Richfield Rotary Relaunch and our new meeting schedule.  Click here to volunteer for one or both shifts.  Thank you!

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.
Club Executives & Directors
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