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News From Rotary International

Polio vaccinators make significant headway in Nigeria
Nigeria is closer than ever to eradicating polio, riding a successful effort to reach children in seven northern states at highest risk for the disease. "Rotarians have [gone] into remote areas of the country by car, canoe, motorbike, and even on foot to ensure every child gets the vaccine," says Rotary's Nigeria PolioPlus Committee Chair Tunji Funsho. In Katsina state, members of the Nigeria PolioPlus Committee (NPPC) recently met with leaders of two communities notoriously opposed to immunization, mainly on religious grounds and in protest of the lack of basic health care. They persuaded...
Rotary Scholar’s unique ability in bringing clubs together
In a municipal hospital in Cubatão, Brazil, a new mammography machine funded by a Rotary global grant provides breast cancer screening to women who previously had to wait for weeks before they could get in for a checkup with a doctor. A Rotary global grant also funded training for medical staff and cancer awareness education for people in the community. Isis Mejias Carpio of Houston, studying at the University of São Paulo on a Rotary scholarship, played an instrumental role in bringing together Rotary clubs in two countries to make the grant possible. Members of the Rotary Club of Cubatão,...
Rick Burns’ thoughtful approach to Iraq and Afghanistan
Humanitarian Rick Burns, a retired civil affairs officer in the U.S. Army, has been helping people in the war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003. He's seen a lot of good, but he's also seen what happens when good intentions go awry. Take the fertile grounds of Arghandab River Valley in Afghanistan, for example. Burns recalls an initiative to help fruit exporters become profitable again after the war. Cold storage facilities were built, but because no one considered the country's spotty electricity, the facilities ended up being too expensive to maintain. "We really want to make...
Pedaling coast-to-coast for a purpose
Keith Harris is pedaling for a purpose. At the tender age of 50, he's set out on an eight-week, 4,400-mile bike ride across the U.S. to raise $25,000 for The Rotary Foundation. He's also hoping to raise an additional $2,500 for Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where a few years ago he was treated for a life-threatening heart condition. "The trip is sort of my midlife crisis," he admits but it's not the first time he's pedaled across the country. He made the trek about 20 years ago, before he married his wife, Christina. Harris has been a Rotary member for 18 years. He's...
Blown away by the realities of human trafficking
At the age of 17, Jennifer was sleeping on the streets of Atlanta. She'd felt abandoned most of her life, unprotected from her brothers and her mother's boyfriends, who physically and sexually abused her since she was five. And now, kicked out of her house, Jennifer - whose last name is withheld for privacy - was alone and vulnerable. She was soon lured into sex trafficking and was unable to escape for two years. Then she found Covenant House. "Studies have shown that if a young person ends up on the street, within 48 hours someone is going to approach them with the intention of exploiting...

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
Our Kids Against Hunger Food Packing Event

Club News

Thirty-two members attended this week’s meeting. John Thomas brought a guest, David Shanahan, a long-time resident who may be interested in membership.
President Bob Baker opened the meeting. He was followed by Ned Meisner who gave the Thought for the Day, a homily from the Bahá’i book of readings. Baker then noted the WNRC Board has decided to shift the focus from polio to the community grant fund for meeting raffle collections.
He also called our attention to fliers on the tables for the Last Blast of Summer and noted volunteers will be need to serve beer on behalf of our club. Lastly he called our attention to a 5K race on August 16.
Rich Lallay told us of Operation Warm just having gone into partnership with UNICEF to provide 25,000 coats to needful people in Syria. Donations to support this should go to our WNRC Foundation.
David Birkenstein noted there will be a Membership Committee meeting at 11:00 AM July 31.
Several members had Happy Bucks moments. Both Tony Kambich and Heidi Sibert had comments.  And Dr. John Ford was particularly pleased to tell us his twins graduated from NTHS, another off spring graduated from college and a fourth had graduated earlier this year from college.
The speaker for the meeting was Dr. Linda L. Yonke, the Superintendent of New Trier High School. She gave a very thorough Power Point presentation on the proposed New Trier Campus Facilities Project. This is a $100 Million capital building project with $11M coming from reserves and $89M subject to a November 2014 Township-wide referendum. Preliminary research by NTHS after many public meetings and information mailings suggests 65% of the residents favor the plan.
After explaining quite fully what they hope to do, Dr. Yonke engaged the audience in a Q&A. One question was what role NT West would play. She said they were comfortable with that facility and having the Freshman class there. No major expenditures are planned for NT West at this time. A question was asked about NTHS  cash reserves and Dr. Yonke said their reserves after the $11M was spent would still be at 65% of their annual budget. This compares with 40-50% for the village and 25% for the Park District
After the meeting closed, Dr. Yonke graciously stayed on to answer a few more questions from members

Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield
Makes Annual Grants to Local Agencies
The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield continues its 90 year tradition of supporting the good works of organizations locally and throughout the world with its annual presentation of community grants at its March 13th meeting.  Patti Van Cleave, President of the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation, and Eric Birlkenstein, Club President, will preside over the presentations at the club’s weekly lunch meeting at the Winnetka Community House.
“Rotary is all about “Service Above Self”, said Ms. Van Cleave.  “With these grants we are helping to provide physical and spiritual wellness, shelter and educational assistance to those in need, on the North Shore, in Chicago and in faraway places.”
Thank you to everyone who made our 4th Annual Kids Against Hunger project a great success!  Check out this great article and video by the Winnetka Talk:
We are so grateful to our Event Sponsors who help cover the cost of bulk food, packaging materials and transportation.  Let us know if you or your company will become a sponsor.
Chuck Norton

Our club has completed its annual "Operation Warm" coats for kids project.  Over 780 children served by eight agencies received coats from our club this year, bring our total to over 3,300 children served since we inititated this project in 2009.  This year, we provided coats to children served in Chicago by By the Hand, Asian Youth Services, Holy Family Ministries and St. Malachy School & Church, in Cicero by Inner City Impact, in Lake County by Open Arms Mission and JCYS and locally by Youth Services of Glenview Northbrook.  This was our biggest year yet in terms of children impacted and agencies supported.  Thank you to all of the Rotarians who supported this project financially and helped with fundraising and coat distributions.


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.



We had a great turn out of members to help sell brats and beer at the Winnetka Community House's "Last Blast of Summer."  Thanks to all who helped:

Bill Leske, Patti Van Cleve, Rich Lalley, John Johnson, Fred Schwimmer, Tom Evans, Liz Taylor, Sam Badger, David Birkenstein, Mary Birkenstein, Eric Birkenstein, Keith Reed, Wes Baumann, Heather Higgins, Mark Kotz, Bernie Michna, Dave Gotaas, Jeanne Beckman and Bob Baker for providing plastic gloves and a fire extinguisher, and Gina for her help organizing the event and our liquor license. 



Last week, former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Julie Ahern shared her experience with our club, including great stories about how she met Princess Diana and attended an historic Pavarotti benefit concert.  She also shared her experience as a longtime teacher at Waukegan's Cooke Charter School, and her success at raising tens of thousands of dollars for her classrooms through Donors Choose and other contests.  Rotarians interested in supporting her classroom projects can learn more at  Take a look at her presentation below.



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.



Tony Kambich is making a request for the club to help children in Kampala, Uganda. Tony is working with a group in Kampala interested in having an elementary Montessori school environment, but lack the resources to equip a classroom. A former Deerfield/Riverwoods/Glenview Montessori intern, Lanam Kijange, began the Montessori primary school in his home in Kampala, Uganda last year. It has slowly grown to a point of expansion into the elementary grades, but he has no elementary Montessori materials to accommodate them, because at this point is impossible to purchase them in East Africa.Image

Tony's Montessori schools in the United States, in partnership with the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club, have been generous in the past in helping to establish and equip a Montessori primary and elementary campus in Entebbe, Uganda, (Directed by former intern Christine Kijange, sister of Lanam.) Her school has grown in ten years from 20 students to 450. It is now self sufficient. Mr. Kijange has appealed to our generosity and asked if we can help him raise $2,500 to purchase the Montessori materials and ship them by November 21 to Uganda in time to start the elementary class by the end of January 2013.

If you wish to assist us in making this dream possible on a timely basis, please make your contribution check payable to:

Deerfield Montessori Schools*


You can bring the check to Rotary, or mail it to: 3140 Riverwoods Rd, Riverwoods, IL 60015

Thank you for your consideration. Any amount will make a significant difference in the lives of these Ugandan children.



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."

Check out this excellent video presentation about Rotary...



Rotary International, the world’s first service organization, is made up of over 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Its members form a global network of business, professional and community leaders who volunteer their time and talents to serve their communities and the world. 

Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of the organization's more than 1.2 million members. Strong fellowship among Rotarians and meaningful community and international service projects characterize Rotary worldwide.

Rotary enjoys a rich and sometimes complex tradition and organizational structure, with many programs that can be confusing to new and even not-so-new members. This website offers a basic Rotary education — the fundamental knowledge that will make every member better informed about Rotary and proud to be a Rotarian.

To learn about the basics of Rotary, visit this website.

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Upcoming Events



Jul 31, 2014
Patrick Kreis - Chief of Police - Winnetka
Illinois Concealed Carry law and Winnetka Administrative Adjudication System
Aug 14, 2014
Tim Crossin
Operation North Pole
Aug 21, 2014
Alex Lalley
Forensic Psychology- How psychologists participate in the criminal justice system
Oct 02, 2014
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