A Park For All Seasons

Friends of Way Park - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 8:44pm
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

NDDC Awarded $30,000 Artists on Main Street Grant

NDDC's Downtown Northfield - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:01am

We are pleased to announce that the NDDC was awarded a $30,000 grant through the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s Artists on Main Street initiative. This program will help the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation to sustain a vibrant downtown by:

  • Providing art and creative placemaking experiences that draw people to shop, dine and connect in Downtown Northfield
  • Enhancing the downtown’s aesthetics through the creativity of our local artists
  • Utilizing the arts as a springboard for improving diversity and inclusiveness in Downtown Northfield across all cultures

Check out the official release from PAM below and watch here for updates on the program as we launch it in early 2019!

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in partnership with Springboard for the Arts, and with support from the Bush Foundation, launched a new program earlier this year, Artists on Main Street, to explore how the arts help address the challenges affecting Main Street communities today. The pilot year’s success in Faribault, Mankato, and Winona has resulted in continued investment in the program by the Bush Foundation to include eleven communities over a three-year period. Four communities were selected to join the program in 2019, and they are Northfield, Olivia, Wabasha, and Willmar.

“The Bush Foundation is very excited to be able to support Artist on Main Street through the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s Main Street Program. We see this as a great opportunity to support artists as leaders in their communities and to show how art and culture can be an important part of efforts led by local Main Street programs, Cities, Economic Development Authorities, and Chambers of Commerce throughout the region.” – Erik Takeshita, Portfolio Director for Community Creativity at the Bush Foundation.

During the program’s pilot year, over ninety artists and creatives attended Creative Placemaking Workshops resulting in a total of thirty-four artist-led projects involving fifty-five artists and creatives. “Over the last year we’ve seen new relationships built between Main Street organizations and artists in their communities, which has resulted in more community pride and new, creative ideas about addressing downtown concerns,” said Michele Anderson, Rural Program Director at Springboard for the Arts. “We’re excited to welcome another cohort of communities to this program and build on this momentum.”

Each community receives support on planning and implementing creative placemaking projects through training, one-on-one technical assistance, and cohort support to integrate arts-based problem solving. Artists on Main Street communities receive $20,000 for project funding and program implementation the first year and $10,000 the second year for artist-led solutions to a local challenge identified by the community. Training and resources will be provided in partnership with Springboard for the Arts to artists who live, work and have a personal investment in the community to make positive physical, economic and social impacts.

“Artists on Main Street is creating bright spots of arts-based community development and downtown revitalization in Greater Minnesota,” said Sarina Otaibi, Rural Program Manager for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

Categories: Organizations

Rotary Cogwheel | December 13.2018

Northfield Rotary Club - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 7:18am

Today’s Program | Thursday, December 13, 2018

Today: Barb Wornson Classification (Hillmann)

Next Week: Holiday Cheer meeting

Birthdays: Dale Ness (12/15), John Ophaug (12/15), Bob Thacker (12/17)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club 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.

Guests: Elise’s host families, Mitzi Baker (new City Community Development Director), Al Spens (Pokorney), Amy Gurwitz, Itty’s host mom (Galdeen), and Rick Olson from Prior Lake Rotary told us about Eastern Europe Rotary Tours in May of 2019


• More than 1300 people participated in the 2018 Turkey Trot. Net profits will be over $42,000! • Kristi Purcell invited us to donate to CRWP before December 31st and win a canoe full of brew • Jim Pokorney thanks everyone who signed up to do Meals on Wheels. • Jack Hoschouer is celebrating good medical news • Greg Carlson was happy to hand off his title of Turkey Trot winner • Jean Wakely’s daughter won her Roller Derby tourney – if you ever want to tag along to watch, just ask Jean!

Scholarship Enhancement: Lori Williams

Last Week:

Brad Frago came to Northfield to attend Carleton College, then went to the University of Minnesota Law School. He met his wife Michelle when they were working as law clerks in Olivia, Minnesota. They later moved back to Northfield where they now have a family law practice and two teenagers. Brad’s favoritehobby is participating in the Civil Air Patrol at the Stanton airport. He introduced Elise as one of the easiest, most delightful students they’ve had.

Elise Marillet says that people think of France as Paris but many do not know that France has 13 overseas territories. The state of Texas is bigger than the country of France, so it was an adjustment for her to drive five hours and still be only in Wisconsin. Elise is from Gannat, a small city of 7,000 people. Her other hometown is Clermont Ferrand, a much larger city. The local rugby team there is one of the best in France.

She is enjoying lots of friends and fun experiences in Minnesota. Her favorite things about France are crepes, croissants, cheese and bread. She also loves the museums, cathedrals, castles and other landmarks. Elise loves it that you can go to the beach, ski, go to the countryside, or join the party in the city after France wins the World Cup.

Her great-grandfather was in the French Resistance in WWII. In the future, she wants to study law, possibly in the U.S. The biggest surprise to Elise so far in Northfield has been how warm the people are, even though the weather is cold. She ran cross-country and next she is trying out for Rock & Roll Revival as a dancer. Welcome, Elise!

Coming Up:

Dec 27 – No lunch meeting

Jan 3 — Yuyu Ose, Exchange Student from Japan

Jan 10 — Larry Vorwerk, Classification (Krause)


Categories: Organizations

Rotary Cogwheel | December 6.2018

Northfield Rotary Club - Wed, 12/05/2018 - 2:28pm

Today’s Program | Thursday, December 6, 2018

Today:  Elise Marillet, Inbound from France (Frago)

Next Week: Barb Wornson Classification (Hillmann)

Birthdays: Carl Behr (12/12), Jim Holden (12/6), Jim Pokorney (12/7),

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club 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.


Nikki and Che Regnior, Amy Goerwitz (host mother of Indonesian inbound Itty), Lucas Schmidt (Janine Atchison’s adult son–happy news – he survived an accident that totaled his car yesterday, he’s fine but they are car-shopping today), Jon and Deve Drenth, Michelle Drenth, Pepe’s host families and grandparents


  • Rachel Estrella – thanks to all the volunteers who interviewed outbound applicants last week — it’s a good, varied pool of applications this year
  • Wendy Sivanich – asking on behalf of Andre — still need 3 more vol’s to valet park for LBSA gala
  • Rachel McG Morey – noting program is being projected on wall, not screen. This is transitional. They will not be using the old screen anymore. Please don’t get it out of its storage spot.
  • Alyssa Melby – St. Olaf 2018 Midterm Elections Conference next week, Dec. 6, 1:30 to 7:30, 280 Tomson Hall – all invited
  • Mike Leming – went to Greenvale School where volunteers are planning a community meal for Viking Terrace and nearby apt bldgs on Dec. 19 – hoping each child’s family will get a turkey, a gift, and a meal that night. (I asked for clarification after the meeting whether he was looking for volunteers or donations. He said he thinks they have what they need, not asking for help)
  • Richard Collman – mentioned the nice pics of Rotary volunteers serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Key in the Northfield News. Also, he has a t-shirt for Karen Olawalla.
  • Scot Richardson says the Big Idea survey is out – it was emailed Monday morning. Please complete it by Friday of next week (Dec 7).

Scholarship Enhancement:  Tuomas

Rotary Almanac with John Ophaug:

John asked the audience how the Ford Foundation has changed the world; how the Rockefeller Foundation has changed the world — no obvious answers … BUT:

Rotary started 30 years ago to do something that did change the world. In 1982 they decided to do something big for their 100th anniversary in 1985. They selected PolioPlus as this initiative, with the goal of seeing that all the children in the world were vaccinated by 2005. They set a $120 million fundraising goal. In two years they raised more than twice that amount. They used top-down fundraising where each region told each district how much to raise, each district told each club how much they needed to raise — about $250 from each member, locally.

Then they went to the World Health Organization and said “we want to eradicate polio” – which was not well received at first. They said, “You’re just a service club” — then Rotary told them “we have a million volunteers on the ground and $240 million raised.” “Come on in!” WHO said. To date $1.8 billion ($450 million from the Gates Foundation) has been raised by Rotary for this effort. There were 350,000 polio cases worldwide when they started; last year, just 22.

WHO later said of all the organizations in the world there was no one but Rotary they could turn to for such an effort. Rotary did something that dramatically changed the world. Turkey Trot helps provide our annual $10K contribution to the Rotary Foundation.

Last Week:

Jim Pokorney, Pepe’s counselor, introduced Pepe and said he likes the counselor role because he gets to play the “crazy uncle.”

Pedro “Pepe” Gomes do Nascimento shared with us about his life in Brazil. He says that Carnival is a major attraction in there, and the carnival in Rio is the best in the world. He showed us a video about Rio. There is the street carnival where people dress in costumes, and also there is the big parade with huge floats.

Belo Horizonte is Pepe’s hometown — the capital of the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. He was born there, then moved to a small city and spent his childhood there. Pepe’s father teaches sociology and politics at a university and is also a writer. His mother works in state government helping the counties. He also has a little brother Miguel, age 13.

Pepe told us about Junina Party, a celebration that happens every June where they dress in costumes, have dancing at schools, food. Families come to see their children dance.

On vacations his family likes to go to beach cities and to visit relatives.

Brazil is the biggest country in South America and the only one that speaks Portuguese. They have a population of over 208 million population, making it the 5th largest country and 6th most populous. The capital is Brasilia. Brazil has 26 states and 5570 cities. It is also one of most culturally diverse nations, due to their history. The capital Brasilia was built in the shape of an airplane. The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio is one of the modern 7 wonders of the world.

Pepe showed a video about the Amazon rainforest, which reminded us that the earth depends on a healthy Amazon – clean water, stores carbon, etc. Our choices can make a more sustainable world and protect the Amazon for future generations. The Amazon Jungle is the biggest rainforest in the world, with the largest river in the world. 10% of the species there are yet to be discovered, scientists say.

Pepe is enjoying his classes at Northfield High School and he is taking German He played football this fall, where he made a lot of friends. He learned how to play American football and also learned lots of life lessons.

He had an amazing time with his first host family and thanks all his host families for taking him in (he was originally supposed to go to Faribault but is glad he is here!)

From the Q&A:

  • People told Pepe that MN would be very cold. They were right! He had the option of choosing MN or FL for exchange — wanted to go somewhere different from Brazil so he chose MN.
  • He does not yet know what he wants to do with his career. He hopes to discover a lot about himself through his exchange year.
  • People have been very friendly to him — he thought they might be more cold.
  • He had the idea that people in US are very sedentary, but has found people to be active and involved in sports.
  • He had taken some years of English before coming.
  • Q about politics in Brazil. This last year was very controversial, country very divided. His family was not very happy with the results. You can vote at age 16 in Brazil.
  • Q about travels since he has been here: Has been as far as southern Iowa so far.
  • Would like to see the Northern Lights while he’s here.
  • In Brazil he did swimming as a sport and a sport that’s like boxing.
  • Was asked who plays “real football,” Americans or Brazilians — Brazilians!

Coming Up:

Dec 20 – Holiday Cheer meeting

Dec 27 – No lunch meeting

Categories: Organizations

First Friday Art Night December 7th Lineup

NDDC's Downtown Northfield - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 1:47pm

First Friday Art Night is Friday, Dec. 7th…start planning your evening now!

5:00-7:00 pm Book Signing at the Northfield Arts Guild lobby, 304 Division Street. Authors Denny & Karen Vinar will be signing copies of their book How Did You Find Me…After All These Years?

5:00-9:00 pm Meet the Artists Reception in the Northfield Arts Guild Main Gallery featuring 24 artisans of the Fine Craft Collective

5:00-9:00 pm Grow with the Guild Exhibition in the Northfield Arts Guild Up Gallery featuring artwork created by adult and youth students who have recently taken a Guild class

7:00-8:00 pm North Star Winds Concert  in the Northfield Arts Guild upstairs studio. One of the Twin Cities’ newest chamber ensembles, North Star is a classical wind octet, consisting of two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons. The group performs repertoire spanning from Mozart to Bernstein while enthusiastically embracing contemporary composers.

6:30-8:00 pm Christmas Ballroom Dance class – Rumba, Swing and Viennese Waltz with Brian Sostek at Northfield Dance Academy 640 Water Street S. Pre-registered before Nov 30th $40 per couple/$20 for singles. At the door $45 per couple/$25 for singles. Email to register

7:00-8:30 pm New Moon Yoga and Intention Setting Class at Prema Yoga Studio 220 Division St. S. $25 Dress in comfy clothes and bring a journal, pen and mat.

7:00-10:00 pm: Live Music with The JC Sanford Trio at Imminent Brewing – 519 Division St S. Trombonist/composer and Northfield High School graduate JC Sanford returned to his hometown in 2016 after spending over twenty years in Boston and New York City. JC will be joined by Kameron Markworth on bass & Phil Hey on drums.

7:00-8:00 pm ArtMakers Presents: Just So Stories at HotSpot Music/ArtMakers Studio 801 Division St. S. A Rudyard Kipling family Christmas featuring classic tales with original music, puppetry and magic!

8:30-11:30 pm Trailer Trash Presents THE TRASHY LITTLE XMAS SHOW at The Grand Event Center – 316 Washington St. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Music 8:30~11:30 pm. $15 Advance Tickets / $20 at the Door.

8:00-11:00 pm Live Music with Daniel Kase at Tanzenwald Brewing – 103 Water St. N.

8:00-11:00 pm Live Music with Ben Aaron at the Tavern Lounge – 212 Division St. Original folk, blues and Americana songs

8:30-11:30 pm Live Music with Carey Langer at the Froggy Bottoms PADio – 307 Water St

7:30pm Theater Performance – A Christmas Story opening night at the Northfield Arts Guild Theater, 411 Third Street West. Tickets available online $17.00 adults, $12.00 seniors/students


Categories: Organizations

Rotary Cogwheel | November 29.2018

Northfield Rotary Club - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 12:49pm

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 29, 2018

Today:  Pedro (“Pepe”) Gomes do Nascimento, Inbound from Brazil (Pokorney)

Next Week: Elise Marillet, Inbound from France (Frago)

Birthdays: Alan Anderson (12/5), John Ehresmann (12/4), Matt Hillmann (11/29), Chris Kennelly (12/1)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club 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.


  • Jodi Thompson (Wakely), Marilyn Neuville (Stevens), Alan Cox (Blaha), Suzi Weinbeck


  • Thanks to everyone who helped with another successful Turkey Trot!
  • There will be a “celebration of life” for Hannah Puzcko this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Northfield Golf Course. All Rotarians are invited. Memorials can be sent to Scholarship Fund Northfield School District Community Services Division. 
  • Kyle Haugen presented a certificate from the District celebrating our club’s achievement of #1 in Membership Growth.
  • David Stanford is our new club Treasurer, taking over for Virginia Kaczmarek
  • Vicki Dilley has one open spot for the trip to Tanzania next March – see her if you’re interested
  • The Thanksgiving meal at the Key was a huge success – 50 pounds of turkey and many pies were enjoyed by our local youth. Thanks to Janine and everyone who volunteered!

Happy News

  • Bruce Morlan says Rotary was well-represented at the Citizens Climate meeting in D.C.
  • Rachel Estrella’s son Finn just turned 2 years old
  • Carl Caskey celebrated his 85th birthday
  • Peggy Prowe was happy to break ground on the new bike trail bridge and thanks Rotary for helping to make it possible
  • Jim Holden says Kengo is doing well and Bia just applied early decision to St. Olaf

Scholarship Enhancement:  Charlie Kyte

Last Week:

Alan Anderson introduced the newest member of the Rotary Climate Action Team, Sherri Meyers. Sherri grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, which is located between Cleveland and Pittsburgh two miles from the Pennsylvania border. People there are either Browns fans or Steelers fans and Sherri likes black and gold. Youngstown is the midway point between New York City and Chicago, which gave it a prime location for mafia turf wars. Many immigrants came to Youngstown for the steel mill and auto plant jobs, and Sherri’s were no different. Her extended family includes folks of Irish, German and Italian descent, which classifies them as ‘dramatic drinkers.’

Since 1959, Youngstown has lost more than 60% of their population and boasts the highest murder rate per capita in the U.S. Sherri educated us on the ‘Youngstown Tune-up,’ which means that your car might blow up when you start it. People in Youngstown are tough cookies. But they also value cookies, featuring a prominent cookie table at all social events.

Youngstownians are not Midwesterners – they embrace an east coast identity. They have a good work ethic, display mental toughness, and believe that results matter. They are resilient, root for the underdog and believe that family is the most important thing. And don’t try tattling – they’re taught growing up that ‘snitches get stitches.’

Sherri is an only child. Her dad was a computer class teacher and her mom was a legal secretary. She married her husband Joe in 1991 at age 19 and they have two daughters, Kate and Harper. Joe works at Shattuck-St. Marys so they get to live on campus.

After enjoying a successful career primarily in retail, including running $25 Million stores for Target, Sherri is now the General Manager of the Just Food Co-op in Downtown Northfield. Sherri is proud to call herself a feminist, and loves to cook, read nonfiction and travel.

Coming Up:

Dec 13 – Barb Wornson Classification (Hillmann)

Dec 27 – No lunch meeting

Categories: Organizations

Naomi Miessler, Rachel Miessler and Steph Helkenn are Making a Difference

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 9:43am

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) recently recognized Naomi Miessler, Rachel Miessler and Steph Helkenn for the November 2018 “Making a Difference” Award. Together they spearheaded much of the volunteer organizing of the September 20th storm clean-up.

The Making a Difference award is given out monthly to community members or organizations that help make Northfield an even better place for young people.

During the storm, Rachel and Naomi Miessler had a tree fall on their car while they were in it. Both escaped the damaged vehicle only to arrive home and find their home damaged, too.

The Miesslers called Northfield Shares to report damage and request cleanup help for themselves and their neighbors. Then they took the next step and became the help so many people needed.

According to Mike Krance, Director of Northfield Shares, “Naomi and Rachel started to organize work and donations in their area, and then began helping Northfield Shares connect volunteers with cleanup efforts.”

Krance reported the Miesslers soon partnered with Steph Helkenn of Rejoice Lutheran Church. Steph was already organizing volunteers through Rejoice, which became a location for providing additional valuable organizing help.

Steph Helkenn receives the Making a Difference Award

Helkenn’s participation made it possible to continue coordinated efforts when the Miesslers left for a previously planned trip. Steph took over connecting volunteers with cleanup needs, including extensive cleanup at Northfield Cemetery.

“These women are volunteers extraordinaire,” noted Connie Nelson, HCI Board member. “In addition to these efforts, they have lots of experience volunteering in Northfield, and have worked extensively with youth projects.”

In presenting this award, HCI applauds Steph Helkenn, Naomi Miessler, Rachel Miessler, Northfield Shares and all the amazing community volunteers who worked to clean up the storm damage. They truly made a difference for Northfield!

By Kathy Sandberg
Kathy Sandberg is the communications contractor for the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative.

Categories: Organizations

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 6:00pm
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