Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

Monday is Human Rights Day


From Northfield peace activist Judith Stoutland comes this reminder:  

Monday, December 10 is   Human Rights Day throughout the world. Commemorating the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Dec. 1950, the day draws attention to the this significant document and to the importance of   supporting the rights of all people. (

Thank You from The Key

Thank You from the Key

This piece was written and submitted by members of the youth board at The Key.

The Key has been through a lot this past year. With new staff, a new youth board, daily programming, keeping ourselves financially stable, and trying to serve as many youth as possible (just to name a few things), we have been so busy and so constantly moving forward with new ideas that we rarely take a chance to step back and appreciate how much has been given to us. Seeing that Thanksgiving has just come and gone, we would like to take a moment and thank everyone (well all the people we can think of at the moment) that has helped us this past year. Note that all the people/groups on here are not on in order of importance. We love you all equally.

We really want to thank all our granters that have helped us throughout the years and have given us the chance to provide great programming for so many youth every day. We would also like to thank the donors that have given money to the organization. All of your contributions, be it $1 or $1000, mean the world to us and its great to know how many people care for The Key and want to see it continue to grow.

HCI Board funds four “Investing in Youth” grants to benefit area youth

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At their October and November 2012 board meetings, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved grants to support four projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth.  The projects are funded through HCI’s Investing in Youth grant program.  Funded projects included:

100% Local - Yes, United Way

When you donate to charity, you like to know where your money goes.

You’ll like this: When you give to Northfield Area United Way, your money stays here. It helps fund 28+ programs in the Northfield area – all of them local services, helping people here at home.

Together, we feed our neighbors, help with housing, guide at-risk kids. We fund healthcare for the uninsured. We come through for victims of fire, flood, and domestic violence when they need help the most.    

Mary Carlson is Making a Difference


A Northfield woman who has served as a longtime youth mentor has received the Healthy Community Initiative “Making a Difference” Award for October. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Mary Carlson was matched with a middle school student seven years ago through the Connected Kids mentoring program. Carlson and the student, Melody Altamirano, began meeting regularly after school to do homework, with the long-term goal of supporting Altamirano’s ambition to finish high school.

Altamirano graduated last spring and is now planning to pursue further education.

Northfield History Series Book Signings Scheduled

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The Northfield Historical Society announces the fourth book in the award-winning Northfield History Series. Dear Santa, Mama Wants Hat Pins, Papa, One Mule, is a compilation by St Olaf College Associate Archivist and long time NHS member, Jeff Sauve, of letters from the Northfield News,  dating from 1902 to 1945.


“In her column, Maggie Lee would often reprint letters to Santa. I always enjoyed reading them, so I thought we should compile some of them in a book.” Sauve says they provide a seldom-considered historical perspective and a “joyous reflection of Christmases past, as well as a richer understanding of a child’s spirit that resides in each one of us.”


Help HCI meet its match -- all donations DOUBLED Thursday for "Give to the Max Day"


The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) has been making a difference in the lives of youth and families in our community for more than 20 years, working behind the scenes in support of successful programs like TORCH, Take It to The Box, Accelerate Northfield, the Mayor's Youth Council and many, many more.

Over the past eight years, HCI has helped to bring in over $4 million in state and federal grants to make a difference for our kids, and HCI has been recognized statewide and nationally for our collaborative approach to local issues. 

HCI's work has been funded in part by a generous federal grant, which has now expired. We ask your support with a tax-deductible donation to close our funding gap and ensure that our work can continue. Together we can make a difference and leave a legacy that will make the health and well-being of our children our first priority both today and tomorrow.

Through generous matching contributions, any donation made to HCI on Thursday, November 15, 2012, as part of the "Give to the Max Day" celebration, will be DOUBLED, up to a total match of $3,600.  Click HERE to help us meet this match!

"Civic Stories" Photo Essay of the Day - Rhonda Pownell

Rhonda Pownell

Rhonda Pownell, City Councilor, mother, and St. Olaf grad, has devoted her life to service. She graduated from St. Olaf with a degree in Social Work, making a firm commitment to changing lives. Today, she works extensively within her church and the Northfield community as a whole. For Mrs. Pownell, our goal as community members should be to serve others, even in the smallest of acts. From her work as City Councilor to inspiring her children through homeschooling, Rhonda Pownell is a leader.

See the photo essay covering Rhonda on the League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls Website

15th Annual Veterans' Day Assembly at Bridgewater School

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Elizabeth Larson, third grade teacher at Bridgewater School, invites veterans and other citizens to the Veterans' Day event at 9:00 a.m. Monday to honor all military veterans. "We will be singing songs, showing pictures, reciting poems, showcasing artwork, and much more."  
The celebration will be held in the school gymnasium. Following the social hour, there will be cards, coffee and cookies.

Mind-Altering Drugs: Prevention is the Key

This article was written by Joan Janusz, a member of the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use.

Mind Altering Drugs-Old or New-Prevention the Key

Marijuana and the newer synthetic drugs promoted as “Incense” and “Bath Salts” have caused a lot of concern and received a lot of attention. There is a lot of misinformation about these drugs. Is marijuana a dangerous drug or a medical miracle? Is “Incense” a safer, legal form of marijuana? Are “Bath Salts” safer, legal forms of cocaine, LSD, or ecstasy?

Youth voice in the 2012 elections

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Charged by the City Council with ensuring a youth voice in civic affairs, the high school students in the Northfield Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) have been working to help guarantee that issues impacting Northfield’s young people are front and center in the 2012 elections.  This fall, the MYC has:

  • Held local candidate forums on issues important to youth
  • Filmed candidate videos to introduce youth to local candidates
  • Organized a Youth Vote at the Northfield High School

Learn more about these efforts, check out the videos they produced on the local races, and see the results of the Youth Vote HERE.

A special thank you to the Youthprise Foundation, the Sheltering Arms Foundation, the America’s Promise Alliance, and the Northfield Area United Way for supporting these efforts to empower and give voice to Northfield youth.

Fundraising Event for Haiti


Paul Miller, Director of Northfield Haiti Justice Alliance, invites all to the 4th annual TIE DYE event Sunday, November 4th from 2-6 p.m. at the Pause in Buntrock Commons on the St Olaf College campus.  Members of the Northfield High School, Carleton and St Olaf College bands will perform.  Cost is $10 per shirt.

The Haiti Justice Alliance is a non-profit whose mission is to work for the sustainable structural changes needed in Haiti to provide social, political and economic rights to all Haitians.  Comprised of several local and regional organizations, the Alliance works through organizations on the ground in Haiti. For more information:  contact Paul Miller, or visit the Alliance website:

Pebbles in Her Shoe: Introducing Filmmaker Cecilia Cornejo


On Thursday, November 1, members of the Northfield community will have an opportunity to view two non-fiction films by local filmmaker Cecilia Cornejo at the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. The films will be preceeded by an introduction by noted filmmaker and scholar Daniel Eisenberg (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), and each will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmaker. The program runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

Cecilia Cornejo was born in Chile. In her early youth, she saw her homeland descend into the brutal dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, who overthrew the democratically-elected President Salvador Allende in the coup d’étât of September 1973. That coup, and the tragic events of another September twenty-eight years later, form the historical background of her film I wonder what you will remember of September (2004).

The film is about...

Dale Finger is Making a Difference


A Northfield businessman who’s provided job experience for hundreds of local teenagers has received the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative’s (HCI) “Making a Difference” Award for September. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Dale Finger has hired and trained an estimated 300 youth in the 23 years he’s owned the Quarterback Club family restaurant. Many employees have continued working for him part-time through high school and college, and some former employees have even been known to come in to work at times like Homecoming and Prom, when the high school employees are unavailable.

Northfield TORCH program highlighted in Star Tribune editorial


In case you missed it, the Northfield TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) program was highlighted in the lead editorial of the October 10, 2012, edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.   Click HERE to check out the editorial, titled, "Northfield closes achievement gap."

TORCH works to increase the graduation and postsecondary attendance rates of Northfield's low-income youth, students of color, and potential first-generation college attendees.

TORCH is funded by local donations, as well as grants from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Northfield Area United Way, Women In Northfield Giving Support, Blandin Foundation, and Xcel Energy Foundation.

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