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News From Rotary International

Photo essay: Rotary past and present
This Membership Month, in celebration of over 100 years of service, we dug into the archives and found any number of parallels between today's Rotary and yesterday's. Though our world is constantly changing, this gallery reminds us how Rotary's core values have remained intact through the decades.
Rotary Peace Centers shape hundreds of careers in peace and conflict resolution
With bloody conflicts raging in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and parts of Central Africa, the message of nonviolence and reconciliation that nations worldwide will observe on 21 September demands more urgent and collective attention. In 2001 the United Nations designated the September date as an annual International Day of World Peace "to be observed as a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence" according to a General Assembly resolution. The day's devotion to peace connects closely with what Rotary members have been fostering since The Rotary Foundation's mission to advance world...
Illness leads former Navy code breaker to form world’s first Facebook-based Rotary club
When a serious illness stripped away many of her professional ambitions, Amanda Wirtz, a former U.S. Navy code breaker and professional violinist, turned to humanitarian service and Facebook to give her life new purpose. Wirtz was in her twenties and pursuing a career as a fitness trainer when a sharp pain in her abdomen sent her to the emergency room. Expecting something manageable like appendicitis, she instead found herself facing a rare tumor disorder that required her to undergo 30 surgeries over the next several years. Forced to rethink her life plans, Wirtz began focusing on how to...
Tips to help your club find and nurture a Youth Exchange host family
With 12 children -- six girls and six boys -- the Labordes hardly needed to add another member to their family. But they did: Over 40 years ago, Julia Mullikin, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from the United States, became like another daughter to this large family in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. "She's been a blessing for us," says Maria Victoria Hallal de Laborde who was 18 when Mullikin arrived in 1973. Like many exchange students, Mullikin remains close to her host family. So close that when one of Laborde's sisters was diagnosed with a rare, fatal disease, Mullikin arranged to send the...
Free vegetable gardens sprouting up around France
Imagine a community where the residents are all free to plant, grow, harvest, and eat healthy food whenever they want without having to pay for it. Sound too good to be true? That's exactly what residents of more than 20 cities and towns in France are doing through a project called Potalib. Launched by the Rotaract Club of Versailles, Potalib was inspired by the Incredible Edible project, an international food-sharing movement founded by Nick Green in England. The Rotaract members obtained Green's permission to apply the concept in France, changing the name to "Potalib," a contraction of "...

Welcome to our Club! Celebrating 90 Years of Service.

Come join us for lunch, fellowship and service.


Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 12:15 PM
Winnetka Community House
620 Lincoln Avenue
Tyrrell Room (winter) 111A (summer)
Winnetka, IL  60093
United States
District Site
Venue Map

Club News

Thanks to Keith Reed, Mark Kotz, Tom Evans, Mike Malloy, David Birkenstein, Dave Gotaas and Rich Lalley for helping to promote Rotary and our Operation Warm project to provide hundreds of local kids with the happiness and warmth of a new winter coat!  We raised awareness of our club, gave out a few "4-Way Test" coloring books and raise over $100 for new coats.


There were 34 out of 61 members present and no guests.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Baker presented Luvie Owens  with a new member “recruitment pin” which is now available for those  bringing in new members.
   On October 2, Ellen Young, Rotary District Governor, will be present and speak at our regular meeting.
   We received a thank you from the Winnetka Club for helping them co-sponsor the program on September 12 which was a book review and presentation by Michael Hingson, who, with the help of his dog, led many people out of the World Trade Centers on 9/11.
    On October 17 from 6-8 pm there is a special reception  at the Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery (835 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago) featuring Bill Dreyer, Curator of the collection, presenting pieces from Dr. Seuss’ never-before-seen Hat Collection and other  works. Rotary will receive 10% of art sales to benefit our End Polio Now Program.
    On October 1st, Rotary International President, Gary Huang, will be special dinner guest at the Shee Highland Musee in Highland Park, with Sam and Isabel Shee hosting.
    The Artisan Chocolate and Wine Tasting event has been cancelled.
   Long term Rotarian Wes Baumann started his presentation by reviewing his background growing up on the NW side of Chicago. He went to  private church schools through high school, then to Valparaiso University and on to get his Masters at Northern Illinois. He also received his Administration Certificate from Northwestern. He spent his early years teaching Biology and junior high science in Des Plaines, but Wes soon realized that he didn’t want to spend his career at the junior high level.
   In 1970 he became aware of an opening at New Trier, interviewed, and was hired as a Biology teacher and sophomore boys’ adviser. During his tenure at New Trier, in addition to teaching, he served as an adviser chair, a baseball coach, director of testing and head of operations services which scheduled all students for their classes. In the mid- 80’s he was the Principal of New Trier’s Freshman campus. In 1995 he was promoted to Principal of New Trier and served in that position for the last 7 years of his career. 
    Wes obviously enjoyed his career at New Trier and still lives in the community. He was impressed with the great kids at New Trier, the great faculty there and the commitment of the North Shore communities to support excellence in education. He described how teachers’ salaries “fell behind” in the 70’s, but gained ground in the 80’s and thereafter primarily because the top suburban school districts ended up in their union negotiations “leap frogging” each other to compete for the best teachers. .  New Trier is one of the few systems that has a merit pay program for teachers.. After the teacher reaches the Master’s level of pay, the only way they get more than the contractual negotiated amount is through an evaluation system that is basically done by their “peers”.
    The New Trier school district has an annual budget of about 110 million dollars with 72% of that going for salaries and benefits. This used to be 60%.  Whereas the average school district in Illinois  gets a majority of its funding from Federal and State sources, 97% of New Trier’s revenues come from the local taxpayers. New Trier has always produced a “quality product” with about 95% of its graduates going to college. The top 50% of New Trier students test in the upper 10% of all high school students in the Country.
   Wes explained how his letter to about 70 of his “close friends” back in 2009 went viral and was used as a platform for 62% of the voters to turn down the last New Trier referendum to spend 400 million dollars to build a new school in East Winnetka.  He opined that the current proposed referendum to spend 89 to 100 million on improving and updating New Trier’s facilities is a far better solution.
   The Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club is indeed fortunate to have had Wes as an active member of the Club for all these years  and for him to share his wealth of educational experiences and information with us. We also thank him for his weekly “recap” of our Club’s meetings.

Your contribution will help us provide new winter coats to needy children in Chicago and on the North Shore.

Again this year, we ill be bringing the happiness and warmth of new Operation Warm winter coats to children living in need in the Chicago metro area. In 2013, our club provided new coats to 780 children.  This year, our plans are to provide coats to children served by several local organizations:
When children have a new coat, their self-esteem gets a boost and they are empowered to attend school and partake in outdoor play on cold winter days.  This simple and inexpensive gift does so much for a child.
Only through the generosity of our members and their network can we accomplish our goal for providing new coats to 700 or more area children.  Please donate generously; each $20 gift allows another child to receive the gift of warmth.
You may donate online via PayPal or by check made payable to Winnetka Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation (WNRCF) sent to 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka IL 60093.


Our Club's Charitable Foundation is now accepting Community Grants applications for funding for the 2014-15 funding year. Applications are due by November 30, with grants to be awarded in March, 2015. Our Foundation typically funds about 15 organizations, both local and international. Applicants are required to have a club member as a sponsor of their organization. This person can be a board member, volunteer or donor to the organization. Grants are typically $500-2,000. A list of last year's recipients is below.

Any questions? Email Patti Van Cleave, Foundation Chair at

The application can be found by clicking here

2014 grants awarded
Allowance for Good
Erika’s Lighthouse
Good News Partners
Hadley School for the Blind
Holy Family Ministries
Lawrence Hall Youth Services
Meals at Home
Midwest CareCenter
Northeastern Illinois University Scholarship with Right Start 4 Kids  
Rebuilding Together
Samaritan Counseling Center
Volunteer Center
Winnetka Community House 


Are you thinking about joining our club, but have some questions?  Or have you recently joined and want to know more about how things work?  Check our our new FAQs:

Still have questions?  Send them to and we'll send you an answer and update our FAQs.



Last year, our club helped fund a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant program supporting a Rotary Club sponsored prosthesis clinic in Bolivia.  Our club's funds were matched with funds from The Rotary Foundation; $2.50 for each $1 we contributed.  Take a look at the impact this program has had on one gentleman!

Our club was able to participate in the matching grant program because our members contribute each year the the Annual Programs Fund of The Rotary Foundation.  You can make a contribution via PayPal by clicking here.



A panel of distinguished guests attended our July 7 meeting to discuss their first hand accounts of how The Rotary Foundation changes lives for the better.  The panel included a former Ambassadorial Scholar, a former Rotary Peace Scholar and the leader of an international humanitarian matching grant project in Guatemala.

The meeting also introduced a new giving program for club members to use to support The Rotary Foundation- TRF Direct.

Watch videos of the program by clicking "More."

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Upcoming Events



Oct 02, 2014
Oct 09, 2014
Stacy Sigman and Fred Gougler
Northfield after Willow Road
Oct 16, 2014
Writer's Theatre
The History and Future of the Writer's Theatre
Oct 23, 2014
Oct 30, 2014
Diana Newton, Executive Director
Porchlight Counseling Services
Nov 06, 2014
Nov 13, 2014
Rusty Schwimmer
From New Trier to Hollywood
Nov 20, 2014
Tim McCabe
The Winnetka Community House
Dec 04, 2014
Dec 11, 2014
Bob Smith
Winnetka Park District
Dec 18, 2014
New Trier Swing Choir
Annual Christmas Recital
Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield & Winnetka Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation
Serving the North Shore, Chicago and the World Since 1924
620 Lincoln Avenue Winnetka IL 60093
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