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News From Rotary International

Rotary member sacrifices record deal for disaster relief
On September 11, 2001, Todd Shea found himself running toward ground zero. He had no business being there. A singer-songwriter with a record deal, Shea should have been prepping for a gig at CBGB, one of New York City's most iconic venues. Instead he was using his band's van to bring food, water, and supplies to first responders. After five grueling days amid the rubble of the Twin Towers, Shea decided to sacrifice his musical career, and dedicate his life to disaster relief. "Seeing the suffering in New York opened my eyes to what other people around the world are going through every day,"...
Alumni award winners turn heads with unique accomplishments
Maya Ajmera founded the Global Fund for Children in 1993 to provide seed money to community-based organizations that help at-risk children across the world. Since then, GFC has awarded more than $32 million in grants to over 600 organizations in 80 countries, improving the lives of millions of children – from educating AIDS orphans in Uganda to conducting so-called curbside classrooms for waste pickers in Cambodia. "Education is the key to getting human beings out of poverty," says Ajmera, whose studies at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai were sponsored by the Rotary Club of China Lake in...
Paralympian Dennis Ogbe defying paralysis
Dennis Ogbe grips the discus in his right hand. He swings his arm and twists at the waist as far to the right as he can. With one move he snaps back, letting the saucer fly. Upper-body strength is important for any discus thrower, but for Ogbe, a Paralympian, it’s everything. At age three, Ogbe contracted malaria, and while receiving treatment at a clinic near his home in rural Nigeria, he became infected with the poliovirus. Paralyzed from the waist down, he was sent home in the arms of his mother. He credits his physical rehabilitation to a harsh form of therapy – the taunts of the other...
Moving doctor’s office rescues women from breast cancer
In Tamil Nadu, India, two doctors, both members of the Rotary Club of Srirangam, discovered an alarming trend in the remote city outskirts of Trichy, women dying of breast cancer. Drs. K. Govindaraj and K.N. Srinivasan knew that much of the death and suffering could be avoided, and both were motivated by their personal experiences with the disease. Govindaraj watched his mother die of breast cancer a decade earlier, and helped found the Dr. K. Shantha Breast Cancer Foundation in her memory.  Srinivasan, an oncologist, witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of younger patients coming to...
Writer and war widow Artis Henderson finds peace through Rotary
In the first month of my stay in Dakar, Senegal, as a Rotary Scholar, a friend gave me a piece of helpful advice. “Buy a wedding ring,” she said. I had already learned that as a young American woman in a Muslim country, I attracted a certain kind of attention. But a ring? My friend nodded. “That way everyone will leave you alone.” With my thumb I felt for the empty space on my left ring finger -- a place that, even now, I sometimes touch and worry where my ring has gone. I removed my wedding band on the one-year anniversary of my marriage, eight months after my husband, Miles, was killed in...

Welcome to our Club! Celebrating 89 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

We had 32 members and three guests attend the April 17 meeting.  Our guests included Bill Kirk from Palo Alto CA who is relocating to our area, Mike Malloy, a guest for the second time of Luvie Owens, and Kathleen Easton, the wife of our speaker.
The Club was again reminded that the Chamber of Commerce’s “After Hours” event for April is being co-sponsored by our club.  It will be held on Thursday, April 24th at the Happ Inn in Northfield from 5 to 7 p.m.  Please make a concerted effort to attend.  There will be a regular noon meeting on that day.
Eric and David Birkenstein gave a brief report on the District Conference.  It was reported that our club is one of very few clubs where the membership has increased, while almost all clubs are seeing a decline.  A round of applause was deservedly given to David who is the membership chairman.
Rich Lalley was wearing a $2 bill attached to his shirt with a Rotary pin reminding members that it only takes two dollars a week to participate in Rotary International’s “Every Member, Every Year.”  It might be easier to write a check for $100 to Rotary
Bob Baker passed out ballots so that members could vote for next year’s officers.  He also reminded the Club that the Annual Benefit would be held on Friday, May 16th at Michigan Shores.  He is still looking additional items for the silent auction.
Mark your calendars for May 15th as there will be no lunch meeting that afternoon as we will be having a joint dinner meeting with the two Rotary clubs from Wilmette
Bob Baker, our incoming president, also announced that our club would be holding an anniversary benefit on Friday, May 16th at the Michigan Shores Club.  We will be celebrating our 90th anniversary at the event.  Tickets will be $90 per person and the dinner event will run from 6 to 10 p.m. with professional musical entertainment.  Bob is in need of auction items.
New member Marie Kuipers was given the “Moment to Shine.”  In a unique way she presented a list of 25 things to know about her.  The Club really appreciated her novel way of introducing herself as she stated she moved from the Northbrook to our club and has felt very comfortable and welcomed.
The speaker for the day was Richard Easton, the author of “GPS Declassified.”  Mr. Easton gave a history of how GPS was developed, beginning in science fiction in 1869 to the 1950’s were real work began with tracking rockets that were attempting to put satellites in orbit.  His father, Roger, was a leading scientist in this work and conceived, patented, and led the development of essential enabling technologies for the United States Global Positioning System (GPS).



The 2013-14 Rotary Year is nearly over, and our club has accomplished much.  Our membership is growing; our Operation Warm, Kids Against Hunger and Community Grants programs were all great successes.  We have much to be proud about our club, and about being a part of the greater fellowship of Rotary.

One goal we have yet to reach is our contributions to the Annual Program Fund of The Rotary Foundation.  Through April 14th, 14 members of our club have contributed $4,484 to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Programs Fund, or 50% of the goal set by President Eric and our board.   We thank these 15 Rotarians for already making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Wes Baumann, Eric Birkenstein, David Grant*, Lousie Holland, Mark Kotz, Marie KulpersRich Lalley, Bernie Michna, Rodger Morris*,  Lee Padgitt, Randy Reeves, Fred Schwimmer, John Thomas, Patti Van Cleave, and Rebecca Wolf.  
* signifies a Major Donor.

There are many reasons to give to the The Rotary Foundation:

  • Contributions support humanitarian and educational projects initiated and run by Rotary Clubs and Districts in six areas of focus- Disease prevention and treatment, maternal & child health, education & literacy, water and sanitation, economic & community development and peace & conflict resolution.  Learn more by reviewing the Foundation’s annual report.
  • Contributions come back to support projects of our club, like our coats for kids, Kids Against Hunger and International grants projects like the water well project we helped fund for an orphanage in Kenya and the digital x-ray/community health clinic project organized by District 6440.
  • Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation its highest “Four Star” rating, giving it a score 68.57 out of 70.
  • Giving to The Rotary Foundation is an easy way for you to participate in Rotary’s service work beyond our club, providing you a personal connection to this great organization and the good it does throughout the world.

It’s easy to give.  You can donate with a check or credit card at lunch; you can send a check to “WNRCF” (mark TRF in the memo line) to our club at 620 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka; you can donate via PayPal by clicking here, or you can donate directly to The Rotary Foundation at or by calling 866-976-8279. One very convenient way to give is by making a recurring monthly gift on your credit card, which you can set up on Rotary’s website.  

If you have any questions about The Rotary Foundation or how to give, contact Rich Lalley


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 vide by the Sun Times:
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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Apr 24, 2014
Bob Jackson
Operation CeaseFire
May 01, 2014
May 15, 2014
May 22, 2014
Jun 19, 2014
Jun 26, 2014
Eric Birkenstein, et al.
Inauguration Ceremony

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