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Rotary shop on new platform
As of 1 May, the Rotary shop will be available on a new platform. We may experience some downtime during the transition and apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, please contact us at or at 847-866-4600.
Rotary districts mobilize to support survivors of Ecuador, Japan quakes
After a series of three earthquakes -- two in Japan and one in Ecuador -- killed hundreds of people, injured thousands, and caused billions of dollars in damage late last week, Rotary members in those regions have created disaster relief funds to help survivors. In Ecuador, the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake that struck Saturday night has killed more than 400 people, with 2,500 injured. Those figures are expected to rise. Rotary District 4400 established a service fund to raise money for relief efforts. Contact District Governor Manuel A. Nieto Jijon for information on how to donate. In Japan,...
Get live updates from the Council on Legislation
Get live updates and vote totals from the Council on Legislation on beginning on 11 April. Representatives from Rotary clubs worldwide will gather in Chicago 10-15 April to consider changes to the policies that guide Rotary International and its member clubs.  Many of this year’s proposed changes are designed to increase membership by giving clubs greater flexibility in the timing and the nature of their meetings. Other proposals would amend membership requirements.
UNESCO-IHE scholarship applications now available
The Rotary Foundation and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education are offering up to 10 scholarships for graduate study at UNESCO-IHE's Delft campus in the Netherlands. The aim is to increase the number of trained professionals who can devise, plan, and implement water and sanitation solutions in developing areas. The scholarships also are designed to promote long-term relationships between Rotary members and skilled water and sanitation professionals. Scholars will receive a Master of Science degree in urban water and sanitation, water management, or water science and engineering. The...
Ensure recognition for your Interact clubs
Interact clubs are making a positive difference in schools and communities around the world. Leaders of sponsor Rotary clubs and districts should make sure their Interact clubs get the recognition they deserve by verifying that they qualify for a Presidential Citation. First, ensure that the Interact club status is active in Rotary's database by checking the Listing of Club-Sponsored Organizations report in Rotary Club Central. If a sponsored club is not listed, submit the Interact Club Certification Form by 1 March. Then, verify by 15 April that your Interact clubs have qualified for the...
Welcome to our Club! Celebrating 89 Years of Service. Come Join Us Doing Good in the World.

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
Another Successful Kids Against Hunger Project Complete
Club News
Scott Freres will discuss plans being prepared with the Winnetka Park District for the Winnetka Lake Front.  Scott is with The Lakota Group. The Lakota Group is a team of professionals providing services in Planning, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation and Community Relations. The firm’s approach is reflected in its name, which is a Native American word meaning allies. Lakota’s professionals share a strong respect for the land and built environment, a sense of community and a desire to bring people together to work as allies for positive change.
Winnetka Lakefront Master Plan Scott Freres is with The Lakota Group. The Lakota Group is a team of professionals providing services in Planning, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation and Community Relations. The firm’s approach is reflected in its name, which is a Native American word meaning allies. Lakota’s professionals share a strong respect for the land and built environment, a sense of community and a desire to bring people together to work as allies for positive change. Scott will discuss plans being prepared with the Winnetka Park District for the Winnetka Lake Front. - See more at:
Winnetka Lakefront Master Plan Scott Freres is with The Lakota Group. The Lakota Group is a team of professionals providing services in Planning, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation and Community Relations. The firm’s approach is reflected in its name, which is a Native American word meaning allies. Lakota’s professionals share a strong respect for the land and built environment, a sense of community and a desire to bring people together to work as allies for positive change. Scott will discuss plans being prepared with the Winnetka Park District for the Winnetka Lake Front. - See more at:

There were 28 members present.  Bob Baker presided over the meeting in John Thomas’ absence. The thought of the day was given by Eric Birkenstein who pointed out that Pakistan has been polio-free for almost a year and Afghanistan should be polio-free within the next year. Rotary has played a large part in achieving these milestones.
   Guests were Ishrath Khatoon from Private Bank (Connie Berman guest); Khalil Dana (Ned Meisner guest); and Rachel Schindler and Patti Balsis (David Birkenstein guests and speakers).
   ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Tim McCabe made the sad announcement that Gina Sich is leaving the WCH for another job opportunity in the sales area. People expressed their shock and dismay at hearing this news, as evidenced by the HB donated later on in Gina’s honor. Bob Baker said that the recent Rotary Benefit netted around $5000 and thanked all those who worked so hard on the event--especially Patti Van Cleave and Barb Tubekis. Rich Lalley mentioned that  the Rotary International Convention will be in Atlanta on June 10-14, 2017 and that there is a special registration fee of only $265 if paid between May 8 and June 6 of this year. Rotary will be celebrating its 100th anniversary then. There will be about 30,000 Rotarians there from all over the world. Patti mentioned that she intended to attend. Roger Morris made a statement about Dave Gotass to supplement those made by Tony  at our last meeting: Roger mentioned that David and Tony Kambich, after hearing of  young Uganda kids in  northern Uganda refugee camps being taken by Sudan rebels for child labor, headed up a small group of our Rotarians who contributed about $500 a piece to “buy” the freedom of 5 kids who were sent to Rotarians in Uganda who provided for their medical, housing and educational needs. Roger also mentioned how David had volunteered many years ago to help our Club develop its computer system that has served us very well over the years.
   BIRTHDAYS AND HAPPY BUCKS (HB): Birthdays were celebrated by David Grant, Fred Schwimmer, Patti Van Cleave and Heidi Sibert. Fred gave $100 in HB  mostly for his birthday, although he is only about 80% of that age, with the rest for the birthdays of his twin grandchildren. Patti donated $58 in celebration of her 58 years and Heidi applied the same formula for her HB celebrating her 59th birthday. Barb Tubekis gave HB for all the great work Gina has done for the Club and also for her son being safe on his flight yesterday to Egypt, even though he was not flying Egyptian Airlines. Connie Berman (who just completed her 14th year as a Rotarian) donated a HB in honor of Gina and also for her son recently getting a very good teaching job at Stevenson High School. Ned gave a HB because he will be visiting his grandchildren in Fresno, California. He also offered to forward an You Tube video to other Rotarians who would be interested in being updated on the religious persecution going on in Iran. Wes Baumann and our speaker, Patti Balsis, gave HB in honor of Gina.
   David Birkenstein handled the Dig N Grin assignment and then introduced Rachel Schindler from the American Cancer Society. Rachel said that this organization is one of the largest fund raising organizations in this country –and all of its services are provided free of charge. Examples of some of these services are: It has a National Information Center that is available to any cancer patient; it has a website that provides drivers for cancer patients needing rides to receive medical services; it has a program to provide free housing for patients having to stay out of town for treatments; it  provides free make-up services, primarily for women, who develop skin problems after cancer treatment; it has a program where it will assign a “cancer buddy” to help individuals cope with the disease; and it is sponsoring the Relay For Life Event which is a fund raising event in 24 different countries and most of our—such event is being held in the near future at New Trier High School.
    SPEAKER: Patti Balsis is a Chicago-based actor and model who grew up in the Chicago area and has been in this business for about 20 years, primarily doing commercials, industrial films, print work, voice overs, and being a working spokesperson for large companies. She admitted that she rarely watches TV or movies, but that she learns a lot from her students and watching people in everyday life and how they genuinely act. She explained how people get into this business and how they have to rely on modeling and talent agencies to get most of their work. Each person has to get a composite of their pictures, head shots, and in some cases voice tapes. But that  is the easy part of getting these jobs—auditions  usually are very numerous, time consuming, tedious and often unsuccessful. She said it is important to do research before the audition on the company involved, the product and the person they are to portray. She said that modeling is different from acting—modeling is captured on print, whereas acting is live and in motion. . She mentioned some of the stars in the industry with whom she has worked (including Morgan Freeman and Keena Reeves) and some of the local stars from Chicago, such as the Belushi brothers, Chris Farley and John Cusack.  Patti was recently on Chicago Med (a Chicago based TV series) where she played Skylar’s mother. She also showed  us a recent Sears commercial where she was told by her boss to give the “boot” to a co-worker in an advertisement for outdoor boots. Her 10 year old son David is also in the acting business with recent appearances in the TV series Chicago Fire and a TV commercial for Marie Callender’s Pot Pie. In addition to acting, Patti has her own business consulting and instructing others on such things as how to audition; how to build skills in the use of Ear Prompters; how to study, interpret and present scripts in auditions, etc. She said that the most important advice she could give most people in the business (and perhaps generally) is to get rid of a “frowney face”. As we get older a relaxed face tends naturally to form a frown. But with practice and a little discipline we could all carry a more pleasant look on our faces as we interact with other people.
   Patti said that most productions need “extras” who appear in street scenes, large meetings, etc. There usually is not much pay involved but there is a need for people of all ages, sizes, races, etc. If anyone is interested in appearing in a movie or TV as an extra, they can learn more by visiting Patti’s website ( or

There were 42 persons in attendance at our meeting at the Happ Inn.  We had 29 members, 2 visiting Rotarians, 11 guests, and our speaker.  The visiting Rotarians were Jeff Tideman, president of the Northbrook club and John Howard also from the Northbrook club.  The special guests of honor were Sally Gotaas and her daughter Katie Hanson.  Other guests included Tony and Jan Eager from Winnetka, guests of Sally Gotaas; Madonna Tideman, guest of David Birkenstein, Jerry Kahn from Northfield and Carolyn Kambich, guests of Tony Kambich, Russ Hoefer of Northbrook guest of Ned Meisner, Jonathan Don of Northfield guest of Keith Reed, and Sydney and Joe Genco, from Columbus, Ohio, guests of Patti Van Cleave.
Wes Baumann gave a plug to the WYO benefit that will be held on June 2 at the Happ Inn.  You can contact Kristen Leahy for tickets.  Patti Van Cleave gave a last minute reminder of our Club’s benefit to be held on Friday night, May 13, at the Michigan Shores Club.
Happy Buck$ this week were contributed by Pat O’Day, Barb Tubekis, Rich Lalley and Ned Meisner.  Carl Yudell got some hardy laughs with his Dig n Grin.
Tony Kambich gave a brief, but stirring and inspirational talk about the life of the late Dave Gotaas.  Tony had known Dave for 37 years when Dave joined Rotary, sponsored by his father Rev. David Gotaas, at the time, pastor at the Winnetka Bible Church.  While Dave was a youthful 64 years old when he unexpectedly passed away, he had lived a very active and meaningful life.  In talking about Dave’s life Tony mentioned that Rotary International played a major role in the formation of the United Nations.  He told us that all Rotary clubs were in countries that were members of the United Nations.  Dave was interested in forming a club in Kosovo, but since Kosovo was not a member of the U.N. it took a great effort that was facilitated by Dave to get the first club admitted in 2005.  There are now nine Rotary Clubs in Kosovo.  Dave also helped Tony set up a microloan program in Uganda, Africa.  Dave had traveled the world and frequently sent postcards to friends and colleagues.  His life exemplified the Rotary motto of  “Service Above Self.”  To honor Dave’s life of service Tony, President Thomas and Rich Lalley presented Dave’s wife Sally with a Paul Harris Fellowship and an Honorary Membership to the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield.  Sally was encouraged to attend Rotary meetings as her schedule permitted.
Keith Reed introduced the day’s speaker, Stacy Sigman, the Village Manager of Northfield.   Stacy has worked for the Village of Northfield for 18 years in various positions, the last eight years as its Village Manager.  Instead of touting the success of the Willow Road widening project she chose to talk about ‘community.’  She said that most of her comments could apply to the many villages of the North Shore.  She said that Illinois has the most taxing bodies of all states in the nation, almost 7000, and 2000 more that second place Pennsylvania.  Taxing body boundaries are very confusing and often do not match municipal boundaries.  For example, little Northfield (3.3 sq. miles) is served by three different elementary districts and two different high school districts.  There are two townships and two different park districts that serve the village.  50% of their streets and roads are under the jurisdiction of the state or county and 25% are private.  Northfield shares a zip code and a library district. 
Problems arise when the state and county impose regulations that are not supported by funding from those bodies.  Financial problems for communities are exacerbated by the state’s horrific financial condition and the lack of a state budget for almost a year.  The state makes all of the decisions on municipal pensions but does not pay any of the costs.  The village has made all of their payments to the local pension funds unlike the state that has taken state pension payment ‘holidays.’
Recently the state has mandated consolidation of 911 centers.  There have been extra costs due to consolidation and no staff efficiencies.  While state cuts have left many social service agencies without sufficient funds there are detrimental impacts to local communities.  Stacy mentioned that one of the ideas being floated in Springfield is a freeze on property taxes.  The specific proposal would prevent local government units from raising taxes even if the residents approved the increase.
Stacy did mention the Willow Road project as an example of cooperation between the state (IDOT) and four villages.  She felt that Willow Road is a much safer road today.  Stacy also spent time explaining different ways that local communities have worked together to save money and provide better services.  Over thirty municipalities now save significant dollars with joint bidding.  Joint operations with consortiums of police and fire departments provide greater safety for all the communities.  She expressed her confidence that the residents of the North Shore were well served by their village management teams.


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.


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Upcoming Events
May 26, 2016
Scott Freres
Winnetka Lakefront Master Plan
Jun 02, 2016
Bob Dold
U.S. Congress Representative 10th District
Jun 09, 2016
Joannie Bayhack
Random Acts of Flowers
Jun 16, 2016
Rev. James E. Swarthout
First Responders - Addiction/Mental Health Symposium
Jun 30, 2016
Jon Faris
Writers Theater
Jul 07, 2016
Installation Dinner
EVENING MEETING - no lunch meeting
Jul 14, 2016
Liz Kunkle
Go Green
Jul 28, 2016
Grace Deetjen
Bolivian Prosthetics Clinic Update
Oct 06, 2016
District Governor Rick Rivkin
Official Rotary Governor's visit
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