A Park For All Seasons

Friends of Way Park - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 9:44pm
Way Park is the heart of a vibrant neighborhood on the west side of Northfield. It features:  the ROMP musical playground  playground equipment and swings pre-school equipment  a half basketball court  picnic and grilling areas  a walking path  a warming hut and ice rink (seasonal)  a small baseball/kickball diamond (seasonal)  a large open field perfect for pick up soccer games, kite flying, Michelle
Categories: Organizations

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | September 12, 2019

Northfield Rotary Club - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 10:22am

TODAY’S PROGRAM | Thursday, September 12, 2019

Today: Sam Ouk, Working with Refugees (Wakely)

Next Week: Climate Action Plan Advisory Board  (Kallestad)

Birthdays: Rotarians Around the World

Last Week: 

Jesse James Bike Tour Chalk Talk

Two Weeks Ago

Looking back on a 40-plus year career in marketing, Bob Thacker probably wouldn’t consider  “Elf Yourself” his crowning achievement, but it’s hard to argue with more than a billion social media downloads. He helped create a cultural event.

“Elf Yourself” is one of those social media gimmicks that invites people to park portraits of friends and family on the bodies of dancing elves. We’ve all been there. This was part of an Internet marketing strategy developed while Bob was at Office Max, and it went viral. 

Bob came to Minnesota in 1970 to begin his long and distinguished career in the creative arts. He worked for some of the leading Twin Cities advertising agencies; helped shape Target’s brand and expansion in the mid-80s; served as chief marketer for Office Max, before it was subsumed by Office Depot; helped launch Austin’s SPAM museum while working at BBDO; and most recently completed a five-year run as head of the non-profit Adopt a Classroom. 

A self-described “fatal optimist,” Bob said things happen for a reason. But you often have to be patient to learn what that reason is.

He grew up in Lincoln, Nebr, the great-great-grandson of original prairie homesteaders who lived in a sod house. That chapter in his family history led Bob to one of his many Thackerisms: When you live in dirt, you learn to dream big.

 Bob’s mother was a teacher, his father a postal worker.They modeled a life of service and community investment, which he took to heart. He went to the University of Nebraska, graduating with a degree in advertising. He married and moved to Minnesota.

Working for Target, Bob thought big and took risks. He aligned the company with the restoration of the Washington Monument in D.C. and teamed with architect/designer MIchael Graves to turn the construction scaffolding into its own temporary work of art. Bob also changed perceptions of people with disabilities by including them in Target ad campaigns. Target was the first advertiser to do so.

Bob has four children. All work in the marketing arena. He married Northfield professor Karen Cherewatuk and moved to Northfield a few years ago. He considers his new hometown value added.  He has jumped in with both feet. Besides his active Rotary work, he is chair of Northfield Shares .and is involved in other local activities.

He and Karen have built a house that will allow them to “age in place.” It is built to accommodate a range of adaptations as they age. They are writing a book about this concept and their idea will be featured soon in Mpls.-St. Paul magazine.


David Koenig grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana, received his undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and a graduate degree from Northwestern. His wife, Jennifer’s appointment at St. Olaf brought him to Northfield 22 years ago. David passed on a career as a CIA operative and has made is living in the field of “risk management.” He has two children. His son is in college, and his daughter is a junior at Northfield High School.


Guests: Annie Mickelson (Rychner), Robert and Henry Steed and Bryce Seidl (J. Steed), Marcos (Haslett-Marroquin), Henry Hillemann (Hillemann), and Bea Rebello, former exchange student, now a St. Olaf student (V. Dilley).

Scholarship Enhancement: Greg Siems

Hello Exchange Students:  

Our Fab Five Exchange Students were formally introduced to the club with flags flying. We have the privilege this year of getting to know Sophie from Germany, MarK from Hungary, Diago from Brazil, Ollie from Slovakia, and Ara from Paraguay. Please make them feel at home in Northfield.  

Bike Tour Huzzahs:  

Brett Reese, co-chair the Jesse James Bike Tour, recognized three committee members for their outstanding work this year. They are: Dale Ness for hitting an all-time record in tour sponsorships; David Wolf for his tireless work developing new routes; and Shelley Holden for her work recruiting volunteers. 


• St. Olaf College’s International Friendship Program is looking for volunteers to welcome foreign students to the community. If you are interested, contact Alyssa Herzog-Melby.

• Northfield Climate Action Day will be Thursday, Sept. 19. We will formally dedicate the new EV Charging Station at Fifth and Water at 2 p.m. There will be an electric vehicle tailgating party at First UCC parking lot from 5 to 6 p.m. and a symposium at the Carleton College Weitz Center from 6 to 8 p.m. See Beth Kallestad for details.

• Mike Krance, executive director of Northfield Shares thanked all who participated or contributed to the Northfield Shares Dinner Sunday, Aug. 25. It was a hugely successful exercise in community building. He also invited people to participate or volunteer to help with the Defeat of Jesse James Days Run/’Walk Sunday, Sept. 8. Northfield Shares sponsors it.

• Mark Abbott announced that Northfield Y will be celebrating five years of operation Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Y. 

• Kristi Purcell reported the “Learn to Fish” event Aug. 24 was a big success. She also encouraged members to participate in the Cannon River Watershed Project’s 11th annual watershed cleanup Saturday, Sept. 21. 


Categories: Organizations

Chanhassen tops Dukes twice to claim title

Dundas Dukes Amateur Baseball Club - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 2:47pm

MAPLE LAKE, Minn. - Chanhassen defeated Dundas twice on Monday, 8-1 and 9-2, to claim a second straight Minnesota Baseball Association Class B State Championship. Dundas, which reached the championship for the 13th time in club history and fourth since 2008, finished the season 27-12. The Dukes had three All-Tournament Team selections -- Jon Bishop, Todd Mathison and Carson Jones. 

Chanhassen took advantage of seven Dundas errors on the afternoon to erupt for a four-run seventh inning in game one and a six-run fourth inning in game two. Dundas had made just eight defensive miscues over its previous 11 games. 

Game One Box | Game Two Box

Categories: Organizations

Valori Mertesdorf is Making a Difference

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 9:52am

The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) recognized Valori Mertesdorf with the August 2019 “Making a Difference Award.”

The Making a Difference recognition is given monthly to a community member or organization who helps make Northfield an even better place for young people.

As the Director of Finance for Northfield Public Schools, Val has gone “above and beyond” in working with students funded under the YouthBank program. YouthBank is an innovative youth philanthropy program in which a team of trained youth grant-makers award funds to youth-led projects that will improve the quality of life in Northfield. Val has been instrumental in helping student grantees by her willingness to have the District serve as the fiscal agent for their projects and then working with the students throughout the grant process. According to the nomination received by Northfield HCI, “She is patient and kind and willing to find a way to make things work for the students.”

Northfield YouthBank Adult Advisor, Meleah Follen noted, “Val works with the students to understand budgeting, appropriate use of grant funds, the responsibility that comes with having access to money, and how to be accountable. There are several projects that would not have been able to move forward without her working with and supporting the students.”

“She was fantastic to work with.” That’s what Grace Muth, a student at Northfield High School, said about Mertesdorf. Muth applied for and received a grant to provide free menstrual supplies in all the bathrooms. The grant also included work toward creating gender-neutral bathrooms at the school. Grace shared that her group met with Mertesdorf in order to be able have Northfield Public Schools serve as the fiscal agent for their project.  Muth shared, “She gave us advice about the best way of applying for the grant, as well as about getting and using the grant funds. Sometimes people don’t take youth efforts seriously, but she was so willing to help us.”

Taking youth interests seriously, helping to develop skills, and being a support are what the Making a Difference Award is all about. In every way, Valori Mertesdorf embodies the spirit of the award.

The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield News present the Making a Difference Award cooperatively. If you know an individual or group that you would like to nominate for this award, visit this webpage for nomination guidelines and the easy-to-complete application – or find HCI on Facebook. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and are selected by a review team of HCI board members and local youth.

Categories: Organizations

Dukes advance to Championship game

Dundas Dukes Amateur Baseball Club - Mon, 09/02/2019 - 7:24am

The Dukes defeated the Blaine Fusion 5-4 on Sunday. They advance to face the defending state champions, the Chanhassen Redbirds, on Monday, Sept 2nd at 1:30 PM in Maple Lake in the championship game of the 2019 State Tournament. We will bring you that game streaming online thru Facebook Live. Check back to the Duke's page for that coverage

Here are several links for all of your State Tournament info:
Class B bracket:
MN Baseball site for scores:
State Tournament host site:

Categories: Organizations

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | August 29, 2019

Northfield Rotary Club - Thu, 08/29/2019 - 5:06pm

TODAY’S PROGRAM | Thursday, August 29, 2019

Today: Thacker, Classification (Koenig)

Next Week: Bike Tour Prep

Birthdays: Rotarians Around the World

Last Week: 

Mark Lancaster, Northfield Insurance Agency

Mark moved here last October after purchasing Northfield Insurance Agency. Kevin Rodgers and his wife are both still working there and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Mark’s wife of nearly 10 years, Tricia, is a corporate attorney for Taylor Corp in North Mankato. Both are former college basketball players, and at 6’9” and 6’3” they are one of the tallest married couples in the world. They met when his sister signed him up for a membership in; all it took for both Mark and Tricia was a one-month membership.

Their daughter Mackenzie, a sophomore at UW River Falls, wants to be a veterinarian. Their six-year-old twins, Eleanor and Coraline, are the tallest twins in their age group in the country right now. And their youngest, Josephine, is four. 

Mark is from Amboy, Minn., and played basketball in Maple River, where they won a state championship in ‘93. He played on an all-star team with Northfield’s Sam Richardson and was a McDonald’s All American player. Tricia played basketball at Gustavus.

They are very happy in Northfield — a nice bonus, since they came here only because of the business opportunity. They feel confident they have found their forever home.

The name Mark means “strong defender” and he has chosen to live his life that way. His father told him you can be intimidating and bully people, or you can choose to be caring and use your size to defend others. Mark sees his business role that way as well, helping people protect their most important assets.


Rick Estenson moved to Northfield 29 years ago. His wife, Kris, works at the Piper Center at St. Olaf. Their son Sam, a former Outbound to Japan, works at Google. Their daughter Maria works for Ashoka, which is DC-based, but is now working remotely from Salt Lake City, where she has recently moved for her husband’s job. Rick works at First National Bank of Northfield, whose ownership will change a week from tomorrow though nothing else will change for quite a while. Perhaps next May or June they will lose the FNB name and become part of the Merchants network. Merchants is a Winona-based bank. They’ve been told they’ll still pretty much run independently.

Exchange Students Arriving:

Vice President Vicki Dilley introduced four of the five 2019-2020 Inbound students who have recently arrived: Mark from Hungary, Diogo from Brazil, Oliver (Ollie) from Slovakia and Araceli (Ara) from Paraguay.

2017-2018 Inbound Bea from Brazil is back in Northfield to start college at St. Olaf. She introduced her sister and her mother, who is a Youth Exchange Officer at her Rotary club in Brazil.

Statement of Purpose: The Rotary Club of Northfield is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Pascal Cogan (Charlie Cogan); Tanya Charlick-Paley, Rotary member and YEO from Owatonna, now working at St. Olaf’s Institute for Freedom and Community (Jean Wakely).

Scholarship Enhancement: Ollie


• The Bike Tour still needs a few volunteers, especially sag drivers on Saturday but also helping putting up the route signs on Friday and base cleanup from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

• The Rotary Foundation was named the #1 charity on Charity Navigator’s recent “10 best” list!

• Nigeria has now gone three full years with no new cases of polio, so polio has been declared eradicated in Nigeria. If there are no new cases in the next year, all of Africa will be declared polio-free.

• Rick Olson from Prior Lake Rotary will be talking about renewable options for your home August 22 here at the Methodist church.

• The new Rotary-sponsored EV charging station downtown is already in frequent use and serves as an education tool as well as being useful. 

• The CRWP’s fishing event at Ames Park is August 24, 1-3 p.m. 44 kids have signed up. If you love fishing and want to come and help kids learn, they would love the help. 

Happy News:  

• Bruce Morlan surprised and converted a northern Minnesota audience member when they learned he is a conservative who supports doing something about climate change. • Ann and Mike Leming went to the recent EV test drive in Faribault and bought a Tesla.

• Kristi Pursell and her husband are celebrating  their 10 year anniversary. • Penny Hillemann is delighted to have purchased a powerful electric lawn mower that can manage the overgrown grass in her yard. • Larry Vorweck and his wife are celebrating their 23rd anniversary. • Virginia Lorang is proud new grandmother of a baby girl. • Fred Rogers and his wife celebrated their 43rd anniversary yesterday.


Categories: Organizations

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Now Available

NDDC's Downtown Northfield - Tue, 08/27/2019 - 10:05am

Recently installed in Downtown Northfield MN . . . an EV charging station! There are two ports on the charging station and two dedicated parking stalls for use while charging your vehicle. The station is on the northwest corner of the 5th St. and South Water St. intersection. Pricing information can be found at Be sure to move your vehicle when it’s fully charged as there is an hourly rate to park in these stalls when not actively charging a vehicle. This installation is a joint project of the City of Northfield and the Northfield Rotary Club.

This is the third electric vehicle charging station to be installed in Northfield. The other two are at Carleton College and St. Olaf College.

Categories: Organizations

2019 State Tournament

Dundas Dukes Amateur Baseball Club - Tue, 08/27/2019 - 8:57am

The Dukes defeated the Victoria Vics 3-2 in 13 innings on Saturday. They advance to face the Miesville Mudhens on Fri, Aug 30th at 5:00 PM in Dassel MN in the third round of the 2019 State Tourney.

Here are several links for all of your State Tournament info:
Class B bracket:
MN Baseball site for scores:
State Tournament host site:

Categories: Organizations

New Downtown Banner design selected

NDDC's Downtown Northfield - Sun, 08/25/2019 - 3:07pm

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation and the City of Northfield Arts and Culture Commission unveiled the winning design from their street banner competition last week. The new banners will be hung on lamp posts along Division Street and Water Street in downtown Northfield beginning this fall.

The winning artist is Steve Maus, a local artist and a staff member at the Northfield Public Library. “I’ve always wondered who the people were winning these contests. It was exciting to win,” said Maus.

The Public Art Review Committee (PARC) reviewed and selected the winning design. “Steve’s design is bright, bold, and eye-catching. It captures elements that speak to our history as well as our future as a community. We appreciate Steve’s willingness to work with PARC through drafts of the banner to arrive at the final design. We are so pleased and excited to have these banners up!” said Alyssa Melby, chair of the Arts and Culture Commission and a PARC member.

“It’s fun thinking about the many thousands of people visiting Northfield every year who will see these banners,” said Maus. Besides having his design displayed for thousands of visitors and residents annually, he also received $400.

The new banner features the words “Welcome” and “Downtown Northfield since 1855,” a silhouette of a windmill and buildings, and incorporates part of the city logo with the swooping blue and green indicating the river and farmland on a brightly colored backdrop of orange and yellow flowers. The winning design replaces the red, white and blue “Historic Northfield Since 1855” banners, which have been used since 2005.

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation was awarded a mini-grant of $4,200 by Minnesota Main Street to assist with funding the competition, production and installation of the street banners.

Categories: Organizations

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 7:00pm
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