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News From Rotary International

Miles to end polio: $6 million crosses the finish line for polio eradication
Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and six RI staff members bicycled 104 miles in Tucson Arizona, USA, on Saturday, for the Miles to End Polio event, raising more than $6 million for polio eradication. The money raised by Rotary will receive a two-to-one match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to the team from Evanston, 100 Rotary member riders took part in the ride. The fundraising ride is part of the annual El Tour de Tucson bike event in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The race attracts more than 9,000 cyclists a year, making it one of the top cycling events in the U.S. The...
Rotary Day at the United Nations highlights the strength of partnerships
To strengthen their 69-year-old partnership, leaders from Rotary and the United Nations met this month in New York City for Rotary Day at the United Nations. The two organizations began working together with the aim of maintaining peace after World War II. Today, the relationship has evolved to include humanitarian work in areas like gender equality, child and maternal health, and disease treatment and prevention. While the UN's Millennium Development Goals are set to expire in 2015, its leaders are preparing for an even more ambitious humanitarian agenda of eradicating extreme poverty by...
A major breakthrough against polio
Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are approaching a significant milestone: the eradication of type 3 wild poliovirus. The last case of polio caused by the type 3 virus was reported in Yobe, Nigeria, on 10 November 2012. "We may have eradicated a second of three; that's a major milestone," said Dr. Stephen Cochi, a senior adviser at the Center for Global Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking to the BBC. Rotary has played an important role in bringing type 3 polio close to extinction. PolioPlus grants have provided key...
Rotary’s World Polio Day live-streamed event is a huge success
More than 23,000 viewers in 24 countries tuned in to Rotary's World Polio Day event, streamed live on 24 October. Health officials including James Alexander, senior medical epidemiologist for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave an update on the polio eradication campaign and praised Rotary's achievements to date. Rotary has contributed more than $1.2 billion to polio eradication since 1979. For World Polio Day, Rotary released $44.7 million in grants to fight the disease in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition to the update, the event included entertainment by...
Malala Yousafzai wins the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head for speaking out against the Taliban in support of girls' education, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. Yousafzai, whose father is a Rotarian, shares the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, a native of India who has worked to combat the exploitation of children for financial gain, according to an announcement in October from the Norwegian Nobel Committee. In announcing the award, the committee praised Yousafzai for demonstrating that "children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations." It noted...

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

There were 33 members in attendance at our meeting held at the Takiff Center in Glencoe.  We had two guests this week – David Birkenstein brought his wife, Mary Birkenstein, and the speaker’s wife, Jane Dowding.
President Bob Baker reminded the Club of two of our charitable projects – collecting nonperishable food to distribute to the families in need that are part of the Good News Partners community.  Financial contributions are also welcomed, which will enable the committee can purchase additional food.  We are also supporting Operation Warm, which purchases new coats for needy children.  You can give your monetary donations for the food drive to Barb Tubekis or Kristen Leahy and Rich Lalley for the coat drive.
Happy Buck$ -  Peter Skalski on the successful sale of Phototronics to two current employees who will continue to operate the store under the same name.  Wes Baumann for the successful New Trier referendum.
Members celebrating the Rotary anniversaries included:  John Ford – 32 years, Jeanne Beckmann – 27 years and Lee Padgitt – 21 years.
David Birkenstein introduced our speaker for the day, his friend and Northwestern University professor of civil and environmental engineering, Chuck Dowding.  Chuck’s topic was our natural gas reserves and the impact of fracturing to release the gas and oil found in the shale rock two miles below the surface of the earth.  Up until 2008 it was thought that natural gas production was in decline but with the discovery of vast reserves of gas in the shale rock it is now believed that we have at least a 100 year supply of this valuable commodity.  While hydraulic fracking has been around since the 1800s it is the advancement of drilling technology the permits drilling to 10,000 feet down and then have the drill make a 90º turn and continue drilling horizontally for two miles.  Large amounts of water, sand and chemicals can then be introduced under pressure into the shale to create fractures that will then enable both gas and oil to be released.  The amount of water required is about 2 – 6 million gallons for each wellhead.  Two million gallons of water spread over a square mile is the equivalent of 1/10” of rainfall.
It takes about one month to do the drilling and fracking.  It also requires several acres of land to stage each wellhead a fair amount of land, several acres for each wellhead. Once the drilling and fracking have been completed and the wellhead has been set up most of the land can be returned to its former use.  Environmentalists have a number of concerns, such as the amount of water required for the fracking process and the possibility of leaks. Also there is the problem of handling the flowback, the liquid that returns to the surface, which may contain much prehistoric salt, chemicals and radon.  There are also groups fighting the installation of the pipelines required to get the gas to processing plants.  The 200 18-wheelers that truck in the water also can do a lot of damage to the local roads.  The gas and oil companies have usually arranged that the taxes they pay on the gas and oil they recover are very low or non-existent for the first year or two, but that is the period when the wells yield the most product.
Gas is by far a more efficient form of energy then oil or coal.  We are currently heating many of our homes and cook with gas as well as use gas to produce much of our electricity.  The U.S. is moving toward using natural gas in transportation, especially in the commercial realm.   Natural gas is comparatively clean form of energy but it does produce CO2; it also produces methane, but methane will eventually degrade over time.  We will need new infrastructure if we are to use gas on a larger scale, e.g., in our cars.  Another drawback is that cheap gas will undercut the move to renewable energy sources.
While fracking has great potential to make the U.S. energy independent it is fraught with many economic and political land mines.  We are grateful for the informative and thought-provoking presentation from Dr. Dowding.

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.


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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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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