March 21, 2013 (Winnetka, IL)  The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield continues its 89 year tradition of supporting the good works of organizations locally and throughout the world with its annual presentation of community grants.  Patti Van Cleave, President of the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation, and Liz Taylor, Club President, presided 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.”

“These annual grants, made possible through the various fund raising activities by our club, are but one way in which the Rotarians in our club serve.”, said Ms. Taylor.  This past year, the club:

·         Partnered with Operation Warm to provide over 670 new winter coats to children from low-income families in Cicero, Highwood and the North Shore;

·         Hosted its second annual Holiday Artisan Fair, with proceeds supporting local and international service projects;

·         Contributed to a project providing computer equipment for two community learning centers and courses in intellectual and emotional development in two public schools in Nuevo León, Mexico;

·         Contributed to Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign working to complete the job of eradicating polio from the world; 

·         The club is currently preparing to partner with Kids Against Hunger and the Volunteer Center to pack 100,000 highly nutritious meals for hungry children in Nicaragua and local food pantries.  Interested volunteers may join us on April 13th at the Winnetka Community House.” Registration information is available on the club’s website (

Grants totaling more than $37,000 were made today to the following 17 organizations, all of which were sponsored by one or members of our club:

Adaptive Adventures (, a Wilmette and Boulder CO organization that provides progressive outdoor sports opportunities to improve quality of life for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities and their families.

Allowance for Good (, an Evanston based organization that educates and engages youth in philanthropy to cultivate global citizenship and improve education internationally.

Between Friends (, founded in 1986, is a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and building a community free of abuse.

The Blues Kids Foundation ( provides $1,000 to $1,500 scholarships for over 120 Blues Kids (ages 12 to 18) attending Fernando Jones’ Blues Camp, affording them a “priceless” fun-filled experience, while giving them an opportunity to learn and perform America’s root music in a fully funded weeklong program with like-minded kids.

Family Promise Chicago North Shore ( provides services for homeless families in transition.  Their main focus is to help families with children in need get back into permanent and sustainable housing and employment.

Free Wheelchair Mission ( is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations.

Holy Family Ministries ( works in partnership with Chicago's low-income communities to provide safe havens where children and adults learn, grow spiritually, find hope, and broaden life skills.

One World Medical, a Northfield based charity, supporting research aimed at better understanding treatment protocols for PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries.  This research is being led by Winnetka resident and Rotarian Dr. Jon Bair of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago.

Jewish Council for Youth Services ( is an independent, not-for-profit agency dedicated to serving both Chicagoland's Jewish and greater communities and developing leaders who continue its tradition of volunteer service. Embracing Jewish values and culture, JCYS provides educational and recreational programs that nurture individual growth and promote responsibility to others.

Josephinum Academy ( is a Catholic, single sex, college preparatory high school empowering young women of Chicago to become confident, faith-filled leaders.

The Josselyn Center ( is a community mental health organization providing individual, family and group counseling for the full range of mental health and substance abuse problems.  They offer these services on a sliding fee scale to the people residing, working or attending school in fifteen north suburban Chicago communities. 

LINKS-North Shore Youth Health Service ( empowers young people to make informed, responsible decisions about their health, well-being and sexuality.  They provide health education in the schools and community, support services for sexual minority youth, reproductive health care, and counseling. Confidential services are offered in a safe and caring environment.

Literature for All of Us ( is a nationally recognized, award-winning literacy organization that brings the rewards of reading and writing to young people in the Chicago area.  Since 1996, they have been connecting young people to their strengths through literature, engaging them in book groups where they read and discuss literature and write poetry.

Meals at Home ( is a Wilmette based organization that fosters health and contributes to individual well-being and independence by delivering nutritious meals, medically prescribed diets, and providing other supportive services to the homebound, elderly, disabled and others temporarily unable to care for their nutritional needs.

Special Gifts Theater ( provides children and teens with special needs a unique, creative drama experience, enabling personal growth while breaking down stereotypes related to disabilities within the community at large.

Winnetka Community House ( enriches the lives of North Shore residents, their families and friends by providing educational, cultural, social and recreational opportunities for people of all ages.  It has been the home of the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield since its founding in 1924.

Winnetka Youth Organization ( is a safe place for young people to hang out, play pool, air hockey, ping pong and chill with their friends and their awesome staff.  They also host monthly concerts, open mics, other fun events, and organize service activities for local teens.

The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield meets Thursdays from 12:15 to 1:30 at the Winnetka Community House for lunch and  a speaker.  Membership is open to service oriented residents and workers of the area.  Guests are welcome to attend.  To learn more about the club, its schedule of lunch programs and its charitable and service programs, visit  Tax deductible donations to the club’s charitable foundation may also be made through the website.