Meeting Minutes May 18

Posted by Keith Reed
The meeting was chaired by Bob Baker with the assistance of Patti and Barb. The installation dinner for the new officers is scheduled for June 20 @ 5 to 8 pm at the WCH—with one important change in the evening plans.  In the past, the Club paid for the dinner and drinks—this year the Club is asking the members to bring their own alcoholic drinks and keep them at their tables. 
   There were 13 members present at the meeting and 2 hooked in by Zoom.  Guests were Don Crost from the Bonita Naples Rotary Club; John Bair from the North Chicago Club; and Tim Keefe (hosted by Bill Leske). 
   BIRTHDAYS: May birthdays already recognized were Bob Baker, Joe Fell, Barb Tubekis, Patti Van Cleave, Sylwia Pacyk and David Grant.  But the birthday that was on May 18 was Fred Schwimmer.  Thus, Fred insisted that he have the birthday song sung for him and in exchange therefore he generously donated one piece of U.S. paper currency! 
   ANNOUNCEMENTS: Barb and Patti announced that on June 21 we are going to have a different sort of Rotary meeting in the evening around dinner time (TBA) to be held at a local restaurant (probably The Honeycomb).  This idea came out of the recent Club meeting where we discussed new ideas for meetings, meeting times, and new community service projects.  The June 21 meeting will be open not only to Club members but also to others who may have suggestions for future “community service projects”. 
   Rich announced that Don Crost’s truck trip from Naples to Evanston raised over $1200 from our Club for the Rotary Foundation.  Rich also reminded regular Club members that they are expected to donate at least $100 a year to the Rotary Foundation for it to provide its many programs. 
   Patti, Barb, and Rich reported on their attendance at Rotary’s recent District Conference and especially the reports describing the many good things that women Rotarians are doing under the Rotary banner—they were unanimous in saying that “the future of Rotary is in good hands.” 
    HAPPY BUCKS: Wes gave some HB in honor of Barb’s recently announced retirement from the Volunteer Center after many years of valuable and dedicated service.  Don Crost donated due to all the support he received for his “truck from Naples to Evanston” trip.  And Robert donated in honor of all the great service Rich has given our Club for all these many years. 
   DIG AND GRIN: Tony handled this part of the meeting by passing out a memo which he had prepared many “Mother’s Days ago” in honor of his mother. It listed 25 things that his mother “taught him over the years and why he loved her”. 
    SPEAKER:  ERIC KLEIN, CERTIFIED SENIOR ADVISOR AND OWNER OF NORTHSHORE CAREPATROL, officed in Park Ridge, discussing “The Complexities of Aging and Understanding Your Care Options”. 
    As one of the highly recognized Senior Care Solutions Organizations in the country, CarePatrol helps families and individuals find the right care options for their loved ones based on their needs, budget, and location.  These solutions may include: Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care, Respite Care, In-Home Care, Nursing Homes, and Retirement Homes.  Advisors from CarePatrol review the history of each care provider, generate a recommended list of care options based on individual needs and financial resources of the patient and help with the transition process.  Advisors are available to accompany those people seeking medical assistance on their personalized tours with potential care providers to make sure they ask all the right questions.  CarePatrol advisors can also refer other services to the family seeking senior care such as referrals to elder law attorneys, financial planners, and house call physicians. 
    CarePatrol mentions in its materials that their services are at very reasonable costs and sometimes these services are provided “at no cost to the senior or their family”.  There wasn’t enough time in the Rotary meeting to engage in a conversation about who pays for these services, but the internet seems to mention that CarePatrol gets most of its revenues from referral payments made to them from the care providers that provide the services to the patients - such as a nursing/retirement home, a memory care facility or nurse staffing agency. 
    The presentation was very informative and timely for most of our members. The take-away is that your family will most likely experience someone having an aging problem; that hospitals basically get you well enough to be discharged, but don’t provide much post-discharge care; that there is a shortage of skilled employees providing these necessary services; that the cost of these aging services are going to continue to increase; and that most people wait too long to become knowledgeable about the “complexities of aging and their care options”.  The speaker left his following contact information: phone 847-653-1212 
    After reciting the 4-way Rotary pledge, the meeting was adjourned around 1:30. 
Meeting Minutes May 18 Keith Reed 2023-05-23 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Minutes April 27

Posted by David Grant
Barb led today’s meeting.  She reminded us of the Volunteer Center Recognition event on 5/10 – tickets are available on their website.
Two visiting Rotarians attended: 
  • Ken Drummond is a Mews neighbor and guest of David Birkenstein. He is a past Rotary President of the Lichfield, Il Club.
  • Deborah from the Wilmette Rotary Club shared the plans for the ‘Rotary Hope Walk for the Homeless.’
Significant Upcoming Rotary Dates:
  • Thursday, 5/4 Rotary lunch is the Pollinator Garden Service Project during our regularly scheduled meeting.Heidi Siebert and Martin Landscaping will be hosting this hands-on project where we help plant a garden at the WCH.Our Club received a District Grant which pays for ½ of this project.Heidi says: “Bring your planting gloves and wear your grubbies to the meeting and be prepared to hear about the birds and the bees!”
  • Saturday, 5/6 our Club is participating in the ‘Walk for the Homeless’ organized by the Rotary Club of Wilmette. It will be held in Gillson Park, beginning at 10AM. 
  • Thursday, 5/11 is a social meeting at Avli restaurant in the Laundry Mall in lieu of our regular meeting location of the WCH that Thursday for lunch.No speaker – so come to enjoy the company of fellow Rotarians.
  • Saturday, 5/13 is the District Conference in Schaumberg.
Speaker:  Elisha Gray brought the beauty of the Green Bay Trail into the WCH with a presentation about the ‘Friends of the Green Bay Trail.’  The FGBT is a non-profit organization founded 13 years ago to improve and advocate for the trail.  Two Board members from the FGBT also joined Elisha – Ann Reilly & Craig Witty.  We learned about cutting Buckthorn, collecting 15 million seeds from 53 different species of plants on the trail, and about educational programs given by the FGBT.  Learn more about the trail and the organization at:
Meeting Minutes April 27 David Grant 2023-04-29 05:00:00Z 0

Support for ShelterBox

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At a recent club meeting, Donna Gulley gave us a great update on ShelterBox's disaster relief work in Turkey and Syria after the recent devastating earthquake. 
Our club's Past President Don Crost (currently a member of the Rotary Club of Bonita Springs) also told us of his upcoming fundraising drive in support of ShelterBox. Don will be driving his 1953 Chevy truck from Naples Florida to Rotary Headquarters in Naples, stopping to speak at Rotary Clubs along the way and generating news coverage and new supporters for ShelterBox. 
At our recent meeting, we pledged to renew our support of ShelterBox. You may contribute to this critical disaster relief work by donating here:
Thank you for all you do through Rotary to make the world a better place. 
Support for ShelterBox Rich Lalley 2023-03-27 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Minutes March 9

Posted by David Grant
Barb led today’s meeting.
Donation Opportunities:
Through our Winnetka-Northfield Charitable Foundation you can donate to these Rotary Humanitarian Disaster Relief projects:
  1. Don Crost’s Little Blue Truck trip from Florida to Evanston, which will support Shelterbox relief going to Turkey
  2. Operation Warm is sending clothing to Turkey/Syria.
Announcements:  Once again, and thanks to the generous donations of visitors to the WCH, the donation collection box in the lobby of the WCH is full, so several Rotarians took the donated food items to the New Trier Food Pantry. The box will continue to collect items thru the end of March.
Speaker:  Today Jim Balcer joined us via zoom to talk about his experiences as a Chicago City Alderman in the 11th Ward for 4 terms from 1997 – 2015.  He is a member of the Democratic Party, a proud resident of Bridgeport, and was appointed by Mayor Richard Daley in 1997.  During the Vietnam War Jim was awarded a bronze star as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.  After the war he worked in Veteran’s Affairs, and advocated for Veterans’ rights in Chicago.
Meeting Minutes March 9 David Grant 2023-03-15 05:00:00Z 0

Community Service

Posted by Patti Van Cleave
The Community House is collecting non-perishable foods and household goods for the New Trier Township Food Pantry. Club members and visitors to the Community House are encouraged to bring items on Thursday or whenever you are visiting the Community House. A large bin for drop offs is located at the front desk. Club members are asked to monitor the bin and take items to the Food Pantry when full. 
This new service project collaboration will be ongoing, with a new recipient identified quarterly.  
Community Service Patti Van Cleave 2023-03-07 06:00:00Z 0

Meeting Minutes February 23

Posted by Keith Reed

Co-chairs Patti and Barb presided. There were 15 members present and 3 on Zoom. One year old Selah and 3 year old Lissette also attended with their parents, Natalie and James Crockett, the speakers for the program.


BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES: Pat O’Day birthday on Feb. 12; Jeanne Beckman birthday on Feb. 23; and Felicia O’Malley birthday on Feb. 24. Tom Nash 9 years in Club as of Feb. 13; Rick Boerjesson 5 years in Club as of Feb. 22.


ANNOUNCEMENTS: Everyone was reminded of our Kids Against Hunger project set for this coming Saturday in Matz Hall and that we still need volunteers for set up on Friday and clean up on Saturday. This year our donation will go to Syria as opposed to Nicaragua, as in past years.


DIG N GRIN: Heidi Sibert did a great job in conducting a Q & A session with prizes given for correct responses. Liz , Moha and John Zeddies were some of the lucky winners! Some of the information reported was that the front page of the Club’s newsletter states that we are a “people of passion”: and Rich noted that 118 years ago today, the Rotary Club held its first membership meeting in the office of Chicago attorney Paul Harris.


SPEAKERS NATALIE AND JAMES CROCKETT FROM C24/7 Father’s Arms Ministries (located at 1543 Howard Street, Unit 1, Chicago, Illinois 60626.) Website is

James started by explaining that he grew up on Chicago’s southside in a fairly typical Black family. He had several siblings (at least 3 of them died young), the Father was not at home much, his Mother was a strong person of faith who provided for her family on a very modest income and was very supportive of her children in an effort to keep them from using drugs and at the same time encouraging them to be active in the Church. Notwithstanding the good efforts of his Mother, James did fall off the rail during his teenage years, got involved in gang activity and ended up spending 7 ½ years in prison. It was at that time he realized that he wanted to turn his life around to correct some of the problems he was observing in families in his community. Such problems as men searching for hope; children running the streets without direction; women needing support to raise their children; families going without food; and neighbors living in fear of violence and gang activity.

James then dedicated his life to being the “arms of a father to his community”. His organization C24/7 (Fathers Arms Ministries) was formed to learn about the needs of the community, to bring hope, care, safety, and purpose to those neighbors in need. This was done through “three pillars”—after school programs for high risk students to learn and grow spiritually, educationally and emotionally; a job development program providing job readiness skills and support to those seeking employment; and providing weekly men’s and women’s Bible studies, communal open gym time, counseling sessions and street ministry to help their neighbors cope with gang violence, teen drug use and to realize that these kids and young adults are loved and embraced by the ”arms of a loving father.”

Currently, C24/7 operates in a 500 square foot building at 1543 Howard Street; it has over 30 after school students using its programs and facility; it also provides a mental health program for the students as well as a well attended art program. It recently has teamed up with about 50 New Trier High School students who every Saturday morning collect food and other donations at Grand Foods (Winnetka) to be sent to the C24/7 operation. Currently, it gets about 60% of its funding from individual donors, 20% from area churches and the rest from foundations.

Meeting Minutes February 23 Keith Reed 2023-02-28 06:00:00Z 0

Meeting Minutes February 16

Posted by David Grant
Barb led today’s meeting. We had 14 members present in person, and 6 on zoom.  Our Assistant Governor, Sonja Martinez, was the only guest.
Donation Opportunities:
There are 3 ways you can donate to Rotary Humanitarian Disaster Relief projects:
  1. Our Kids Against Hunger event this Saturday 2/25 will be packing meals going to Syria this year, instead of Nicaragua as in years past.
  2. Don Crost’s Little Blue Truck trip from Florida to Evanston, which will support Shelterbox relief going to Turkey
  3. Operation Warm is sending clothing to Turkey/Syria.
  • Heidi is happy that almost all of the Kids Against Hunger spots are filled for Saturday. She still needs volunteers to help set up on Friday, and to tear-down on Saturday around 4:00pm.
  • Bob is back from Florida.He put on his Foundation Chair hat to tell us that this year the Foundation will match gifts to the same charities the Foundation is funding:any individual will be matched up to $250, and the matching will be capped at $1,000.
Happy Bucks:
  • Amy is happy that the donation collection box in the lobby of the WCH is full, so several Rotarians volunteered to help get the goods to the New Trier Food Pantry.The box will continue to collect items thru the end of March.
  • Fred has a donation in honor of Joyce Bishop, the mother of last week’s Rotary speaker.Fred knew her as the “Queen of Winnetka” when she was the facility manager of the WCH.
  • Heidi called our attention to a Lester Holt news report featuring Heidi’s home town of Chilicothe, which just donated a fire engine to the Ukraine.
  • Tony is happy he was one of the founding members of NSSRA.
Dig N Grin:   Sylwia entertained us with a few questions like: What does a house wear? (a dress)
Speaker:  NSSRA is the Norther Suburban Special Recreation Association.  They are an extension of ten park districts, two cities, and one village in the northern suburbs of Chicago. They enrich the lives of people with disabilities and have been creating an environment of belonging through play since 1970, and have the distinction as the first Special Recreation Association in the country.  We heard from Jessica Olaga, who works in HR. They employ 22 full-time staff and more than 400 seasonal employees in the summer.
Meeting Minutes February 16 David Grant 2023-02-21 06:00:00Z 0

Share Your Bounty 2022

Posted by Barb Tubekis on Nov 03, 2022
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Continuing our club's long standing Thanksgiving tradition, we will once again partner with the Volunteer Center to provide post-holiday groceries for families in transitional housing who are served by Good News Partners in Chicago's North of Howard neighborhood. We will purchase groceries in bulk at Costco and club members will bag the groceries at our November 17th meeting. 
Please consider a donation to help us provide post-holiday groceries to these families in need. You can bring a check or cash to our November 14 meeting, make a pledge by emailing your pledge to, or donate online by clicking here: DONATE NOW. We hope to provide over 100 bags of groceries, and have a fundraising goal of $2,000. This will be easy if everyone contributes. 
We will also need volunteers to pick up the groceries on Thanksgiving morning and deliver them to Good News Partners. We will meet at 9:15 at Skokie school, load up our cars, and drive to Good News Partners. You'll be back home before 11.
Share Your Bounty 2022 Barb Tubekis 2022-11-03 05:00:00Z 0

Local Citizens Joining Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield with Benefit Party to Support Operation Warm- Coats for Kids in Need in Chicagoland

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A team of local citizens is throwing a benefit party to support the Operation Warm program of the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield. This will be the fourth time in five years for this fun event that brings warmth, confidence and hope to Chicago area children living in need with the gift of a brand new winter coat.
The party will be held at Valley Lo Club in Glenview on Friday October 14 and features the soulful music of Gerald McClendon- “The Soulkeeper.” A buffet dinner will be served with a cash bar. A silent and live auction will enable attendees to acquire great items while supporting this important cause.
“Our club has partnered with Operation Warm since 2009 to bring new coats to thousands of Chicago area children,” said Barb Tubekis, Co-President of the club. “We are so grateful for the support of the community, especially the team of volunteers who plan this annual party that allows us to serve more children.”
Local Citizens Joining Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield with Benefit Party to Support Operation Warm- Coats for Kids in Need in Chicagoland  Rich Lalley 2022-08-30 05:00:00Z 0

Every Rotarian, Every Year- Contribute to The Rotary Foundation

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As the 2021-22 Rotary Year concludes, please join the millions of beneficiaries of projects funded by The Rotary Foundation in thanking our members who have honored their commitment of Every Rotarian, Every Year, contribute to The Rotary Foundation's Annual SHARE Fund.

These gifts support the local and international work of Rotary Clubs and Districts through District and Global Grants. A significant portion of these gifts support projects of our club like our recent contribution to Shelter Box, our annual Operation Warm coats and shoes for children projects, local COVID-19 relief efforts, Kids Against Hunger, and our Ecuador "Farm to Table" Global Grant. 

Year to date, we are 57% of the way to Presidents Bill and Greg's goal of $12,000 for the 2021-22 Rotary year.  

Please thank these 20 Rotarians (plus our good friend Donna Goodman) for already making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Sam Badger*+Wes Baumann, Connie Berman, David Birkenstein*+, Eric Birkenstein, Moha Bouacha, Donna Goodman, David Grant*, Tony Kambich*, Marie Kuipers, Rich Lalley*+^, Bill Leske, Robert Mardirossian, Lee Padgitt, Bob Sanfilippo, Heidi Sibert, Peter Skalski, Todd Stephens, Liz Taylor, Barb Tubekis, and Patti Van Cleave.
* signifies a Major Donor signifies Paul Harris Society ($1,000 per year) ^Bequest Society

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 seven areas of focus- Disease prevention and treatment, maternal & child health, education & literacy, water and sanitation, economic & community development, protecting our environment, and peace & conflict resolution.  Learn more by reviewing the Foundation’s annual report.
  • Contributions come back to support projects of our club's projects, like  Operation Warm Soles, support for ShelterBox, last year's COVID-19 Response efforts, Kids Against Hunger and International grants projects like our Farm to Table eco-agribusiness project in Ecuador, the water and sanitation projects we helped fund for schools in Guatemala and Kenya, and the digital x-ray/community health clinic project organized by District 6440. This year, we received $3,671, and next year we will can receive $4,876. But we must give to receive.
  • Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation its highest “Four Star” rating, giving it a score 100 out of 100.
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation the World's Outstanding Foundation of 2016!
  • 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.  Bring a check to made payable to “WNRCF” (mark TRF in the memo line) to our club, (or mail it to our club at 620 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, 60093); 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 or from your checking account, which you can set up on Rotary’s website.

If you have not already supported The Rotary Foundation this year, please do so now.

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

Every Rotarian, Every Year- Contribute to The Rotary Foundation Rich Lalley 2022-06-30 05:00:00Z 0

Ukraine Relief Update

Our club has contributed to several significant Ukrainian relief efforts:
  • We provided nearly one quarter of the $40,000 sent to the Rotary Club of Kyiv International to support their extensive relief activity. The Rotary Club of River Cities has a sister club relationship with Kyiv International, and has been raising funds and transferring them to Ukraine. This support has allowed for the purchasing and distribution of tons of food, medicines and medical supplies and setting up of temporary refugee shelters. Here's a 45 minute video update from Ukraine of their remarkable efforts.
  • We have contributed $3,000 and our Rotary Foundation District Designated Funds of over $2,200 to a Global Grant project in Lithuania that will provide mental health training to teachers and school psychologists in Lithuania to improve the ability to work with Ukrainian refugee children. We will have a detailed update on this project at our May 5 meeting. 
  •  The Rotary Foundation Disaster Relief Fund is providing grants to clubs and districts that are deploying humanitarian relief in and around Ukraine, and some of our members have contributed to that fund as well.  
  • We participated on Saturday April 30 in a 50,000 meal food packing with Outreach Feed6 in Rolling Meadows.
Ukraine Relief Update Rich Lalley 2022-04-07 05:00:00Z 0

Help for Chicago's Homeless

Our club has an opportunity again this holiday season to help Chicago's homeless. The Rotary Club of Wilmette is again working with the Sisters from Fraternite Notre Dame to provide needed items to 80 homeless people. Last year we provided sleeping bags. This year a long list of clothing and cold weather gear has been requested. Our club, along with the Rotary Club of Wilmette Harbor are joining together again for this meaningful year end project. 
Most of the requested items have already been secured! At this writing, only a few dozen flashlights, portable propane heaters, and cooler bags are needed. You can help buy purchasing an item for less than $20. 
There are 3 simple ways to contribute: 

1- follow the link below to purchase one or several of the remaining items needed on this Amazon list

Items will ship directly to the sisters. Very easy indeed!

2- Make a donation to the Rotary Club of Wilmette's fundraising page, and they will handle purchasing what's needed.
3- Send you pledge to Rich Lalley and then bring a check made payable to WNRCF to an upcoming club meeting. Rich will pass your donation on to the Wilmette club.
Thank you for continuing to show your Rotary compassion and willingness to help those in need. 
Help for Chicago's Homeless Rich Lalley 2021-11-23 06:00:00Z 0

Every Rotarian, Every Year- Contribute to The Rotary Foundation

As the 2020-21 Rotary Year concludes, please join the millions of beneficiaries of projects funded by The Rotary Foundation in thanking our members who have honored their commitment of Every Rotarian, Every Year, contribute to The Rotary Foundation's Annual SHARE Fund.

These gifts support the local and international work of Rotary Clubs and Districts through District and Global Grants. A significant portion of these gifts support projects of our club like our local COVID-19 relief efforts, Kids Against Hunger, and our Ecuador "Farm to Table" Global Grant. 

Please thank these 21 Rotarians for already making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Sam Badger*+, Bob Baker, Wes Baumann, David Birkenstein*+, Laura Cunningham, Joe Fell, David Grant*, Heather Higgins, Tony Kambich, Rich Lalley*+, Bill Leske, Robert Mardirossian, Chuck Norton, Lee Padgitt, Brooke Peppey, Fred Schwimmer*+, Peter Skalski, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, Patti Van Cleave, and Carl Yudell.
* signifies a Major Donor signifies Paul Harris Society ($1,000 per year)

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's projects, like our COVID-19 Response efforts, coats for kids, Kids Against Hunger and International grants projects like our Farm to Table eco-agribusiness project in Ecuador, the water and sanitation projects we helped fund for schools in Guatemala and Kenya, and the digital x-ray/community health clinic project organized by District 6440. This year, we received $3,600, and next year we will can receive $3,672. But we must give to receive.
  • Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation its highest “Four Star” rating, giving it a score 100 out of 100.
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation the World's Outstanding Foundation of 2016!
  • 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 send a check to “WNRCF” (mark TRF in the memo line) to our club, c/o Bob Baker at Killian Plumbing at 933 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka 60093; 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 or from your checking account, which you can set up on Rotary’s website.

If you have not already supported The Rotary Foundation this year, please do so now.

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

Every Rotarian, Every Year- Contribute to The Rotary Foundation Rich Lalley 2021-06-24 05:00:00Z 0

Warm Soles Program Featured in Tribune

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Our Warm Soles cooperative District Grant program was recently featured in the Chicago Tribune. 

Suburban Rotary clubs team up to collect new shoes for children in need

Rotarians from Cook and Lake counties partnered with Operation Warm this month to provide 1,530 pairs of new shoes to area children.

The shoes were delivered to local nonprofit organizations and schools for distribution to families. The 11 participating Rotary clubs gathered Saturday morning at a Northbrook warehouse to pick and pack shoes for Operation Warm’s new Warm Soles program.

“It’s all about the kids, it’s all about taking care of the kids in the area,” said Bill Kolb of Zion, who delivered shoes to northeastern Lake County recipients.

Rotarian Gary Moriello of Northbrook helped deliver shoes to Waukegan.

“We have so much ourselves,” Moriello added, “and then to have a chance to give to somebody else who doesn’t have (new shoes) is a great idea.”

The program was funded from contributions from each participating club and a matching grant by Rotary District 6440 and The Rotary Foundation.


Read the rest of the article by clicking here

Warm Soles Program Featured in Tribune Rich Lalley 2021-05-04 05:00:00Z 0

Send an Encouraging Note to Children Receiving New Shoes!

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You can participate in our Warm Soles project that is giving new shoes to over 1,500 children in Rotary District 6440. Stop by the Community House (wearing a mask) and visit the front desk to pick up  some of our Warm Thoughts greetings, find a seat and table, and write an encouraging note. Each child receiving a pair of new shoes will also receive one of our Warm Thoughts greetings, and would be great if they all had a personalized message.
Deadline for completing this is Thursday April 8.
Also, we will be “picking and packing” shoes at a warehouse in Northbrook on Saturday morning April 10. Let Rich know if you would like to participate.
Send an Encouraging Note to Children Receiving New Shoes!  Rich Lalley 2021-03-26 05:00:00Z 0

Warm Soles- New Shoes for Kids Living in Need

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Our club will be providing brand new shoes to children living in need as part of the Rotary District 6440 Warm Soles project. Each pair of shoes requires $6.50 when match by a Rotary District Grant.  Our goal is to raise $1,000 to provide new shoes to 150 children. Shoes will go to NICASA North Chicago, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and Cool Learning Experience in Waukegan. 

Nearly one in five children live in need. For their families, paying for food, housing, heat and healthcare takes priority. Many children may have to go without the cold weather essentials they need to stay healthy and active. Replacing quickly out-grown shoes can be extremely difficult for low-income and below poverty families.

Make you donation today. 

Warm Soles- New Shoes for Kids Living in Need Rich Lalley 2021-02-18 06:00:00Z 0

Grants Committee Makes Annual Community Grants Awards

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The board of the Winnetka Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation has awarded grants to the following organizations:
The committee has set aside $700 to match additional donations by our members. If you would like to make a donation and have it matched, email Rich Lalley with the amount of your donation and which organization you are supporting. The foundation match will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, and is capped at $200 per member and $700 total. Contact Rich if you have any questions.  
Grants Committee Makes Annual Community Grants Awards  David Grant 2021-02-16 06:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recordings

Meeting Recordings Rich Lalley 2021-02-12 06:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes January 28

Posted by Keith Reed
Chair Norton called the meeting to order at 12:15 pm with 19 members present.  Fred Schwimmer gave the “thought of the day” which was an airplane pilot’s announcement to the passengers on “flight 2021” that they should remain in their seats during the flight, should be positive, grateful with no feelings of pity or anger, and at times a little prayer will help “flight 2021” be a better “flight” than was 2020.
   We had one guest who has become a member of the Club.  Liz Taylor introduced Sylwia Pacyk who is the Branch Manager of the new Wintrust Bank on Willow in Northfield.  She has been with the Bank for four years, lives in Mundelein, and reported that the new Northfield branch is twice the size of the old location next to Stormy’s with 5 employees, a vaulted ceiling (no second floor) and a coin counting machine.
    Bob Sanfilippo is celebrating a birthday and Chuck Norton has been a member of the Club for 23 years.
Announcements:  Rich described a new “shoes for kids” program that the Club will be participating in—each Club will be expected to raise enough money to buy 1500 pairs of shoes for needy kids in the area.  A question was raised about availability of Covid vaccine on the North Shore with the response being that things seem to be disorganized and vaccine appointments hard to obtain.  Someone mentioned that the Winnetka Chamber of Commerce and Fire Department may be sources of information. 
Happy Bucks: Robert Mardirossian contributed for having married a female Marine who was well trained in snow shoveling techniques! 
Dig N Grin: Tom Evans gave a number of unintended results of the Covid restrictions including—it’s now the young kids who are yelling at their parents to stay home-- and Covid has done a couple of things that housewives have not been able to do, i.e. keep their husbands from continually watching football games and giving them more time to do chores around the house!!
Election of Officers and Directors:  Those members present  unanimously voted in favor of the following slates: Bill Leske/Greg Nelson for Co-Presidents as of 7/1/21; Rich Lalley for Treasurer/Secretary as of 7/1/21; Rick Boerjesson, Laura Cunningham, Heidi Sibert and Barb Tubekis for two-year terms on the Board of Directors effective 7/1/21—6/30/23.  Under our Bylaws, Chuck Norton will continue to be a member of the Board as immediate Past President; and David Birkenstein, Eric Birkenstein, David Grant, Robert Mardirossian and John Thomas will continue as Board members for year 2021-2022.
    Group discussions among members:  Since we did not schedule a speaker for the meeting, those in attendance divided into two groups for the purpose of discussing possible speakers and topics for future meetings.  The reports included the following suggestions for new speakers:
  • Speaker from U. of Chicago  on financial status of Illinois, Cook County and Chicago (possibly Mike Belshie).
  • Speaker from Hoffman organization on North Shore real estate conditions  (Terry Dason contacts and possibly Linda Martin and Steve Hudson).
  • Speaker from Chicago Architectural Foundation, Botanic Gardens, Holocaust Museum on tours and programs available to the public.
  • School administrator, teacher representative and possibly student to discuss what’s currently happening in our schools (Kate Donagan at Sears was suggested speaker)
  • Speaker from a performing arts programs to discuss how Covid restrictions have affected them.
  • Possible speaker from John Marshall Law School on what tax law changes to expect  in 2021.
  • Author giving a review of his/her recently published book—e.g. Daughters of Yalta.
  • Having another dinner meeting with a speaker like book review actress Barbara Rinella.
  • Operation Greylord prosecutor  and speaker Terry Hake.
  • Lawyer reporting on how Covid has affected operations of our court systems.
  • Tom Gump presentation on establishing satellite clubs as he has done in Minnesota.
  • Tik Tok presentation.
Other suggestions were to update the Club’s brochure and other marketing materials (may be International Rotary funds available); try to get list of new families moving to North Shore and contacting them re Rotary; consider going to a hybrid meeting (in person/Zoom) to get more members involved in meetings, as well as using Zoom to attract speakers; and maybe share the cost of hybrid meetings with the WCH based Women’s Exchange which is also considering more hybrid meetings.
After the reports from the discussion groups, Chair Norton ended the meeting with his recitation of the Rotary’s 4 way test.
Meeting Notes January 28 Keith Reed 2021-02-01 06:00:00Z 0

Share Your Bounty- A Success!

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We did it again! Thanks to all our members and friends of Rotary who contributed over $2,700 to our annual Share Your Bounty campaign! 100 bags full of groceries are going to Good News Partners, along with a financial donation to support their food pantry. 
Continuing our club's long standing Thanksgiving tradition, we will once again partner with the Volunteer Center to provide post-holiday groceries for families in transitional housing who are served by Good News Partners in Chicago's North of Howard neighborhood. We will purchase groceries in bulk at Costco on November 23, so please donate by November 22.
We hope to provide over 100 bags of groceries, and have a fundraising goal of $2,000. This will be easy if everyone contributes. 
This campaign has closed. If you missed out on supporting it, please consider a donation to our sleeping bags for the homeless campaign. You can donate here
Share Your Bounty- A Success! Barb Tubekis 2020-11-24 06:00:00Z 0

Bringing Warmth to the Homeless in Chicago

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We are partnering with the Rotary Club of Wilmette to provide new sleeping bags to homeless people in Chicago. Your donations will support new sleeping bags which will be sent to the nuns of Fraternite Notre Dame, who will provide them to homeless men and women at Christmas time.
Your donation of $30 will provide a sleeping bag to another person in need. Donate today at or send a check to WNRCF with notation "sleeping bag" to the club at 620 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka. 
Bringing Warmth to the Homeless in Chicago Rich Lalley 2020-11-05 06:00:00Z 0

Community Grant Application Now Available

Posted by David Grant
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The Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation annually provides monetary grants to organizations that further Rotary’s mission to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace.
Applications are accepted each year from October through December. Grant awards are announced in March by our board. Grants range in size from $500 to $5,000, averaging between $1,000 and $2,000. Recipients are eligible for only two awards within a three year period. 
Areas of Focus: Our Board is open to reviewing grant applications from any 501(c)(3) organization that has a club member sponsor. Preference will be given to organizations that meet one or more of the following criteria:
·       Support people living in need in Chicagoland
·       Have operating budgets under $1 million
·       Request funding for programs, not general operating expenses
While these areas of focus will guide the board’s decision making, the board may award grants to organizations that meet none of this criteria but have a strong club sponsor and compelling case for support.
Agencies interested in applying should fill out an application on-line. Pleas access the application from our website, or through this link:
Community Grant Application Now Available David Grant 2020-10-07 05:00:00Z 0

Time to Support Our Operation Warm Project

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Over the last two years, our community's generosity made it possible for over 2,300 children living in need to receive a new winter coat from our club. Member contributions and our Operation Warm Benefit Concert gave Chicago area children brand new coats. Here is a list of the organizations that received these coats, because of you.
  • Several Chicago Library Branches
  • Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook Holiday Gift Program 
  • Open Arms Mission food pantry in Antioch
  • Holy Family Ministries school in Homan Square
  • Asian Youth Services in Albany Park
  • Hope Community Church Head Start in Austin
  • Stand Down Day Chicago supporting homeless veterans and their families
  • Grandparents and Kins Raising Children- Lake County
  • Learner Charter School in North Chicago
The public health crisis prevents us from holding a live benefit concert this year. It also has resulted in the COVID recession and more families in need.  Our program matters now more than ever.
We're asking members and friends of the club to make tax-deductible donations to support our club’s Operation Warm program. We’ve already committed to sponsoring one Chicago library program this year, and hope to support two. And the nonprofits listed above rely on our support for the children they serve.
Make your contribution now at Checks should be made payable to WNRCF and mailed to Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093.
Thank you for your past support and for caring about children and families living in need. Your contribution means more kids receive the warmth, confidence and hope that comes with a new winter coat!
Time to Support Our Operation Warm Project Rich Lalley 2020-10-04 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes for July 30

Posted by Keith Reed
Chuck Norton called the meeting to order at 12:15. There were 13 members present including Wes, Tony, Marie, Rich, Bill Leske, Rob, Greg, Chuck, Keith, Fred, John Thomas and Patti.  Bill  gave the thoughts of the day: Paul Harris said “it’s a changing world and we need to change with it” and Walt Disney said “if you can dream it, you can do it”.
There were no visiting guests other than our speakers from Northern Trust and no birthdays, announcements or Happy Bucks.  Patti Van Cleave is celebrating her 13th year of Rotary membership.
Dig and grin was handled by Robert who told us how, after 16 years of marriage and several months of being confined with his wife in their home,  he discovered that he and his wife have different body parts! Due to privacy concerns, you’ll have to check with Robert for the details!
Personal bio given by Fred Schwimmer: and Greg Nelson. Fred has spent 95% of his 85 years living in Winnetka. He was in the first 1st grade class at Crow Island School in 1940 and not only graduated from that grade but also from the University of Michigan! But his greatest achievement was meeting and marrying his wife Ellie July 30, 1961 (yes, today was his 59th anniversary).  After finishing Michigan he worked for a short time for Westclox and then with his Dad at Bear Stearns where Fred was a stockbroker for 47 years.  Fred’s brother Mike has long been in the antique piano  business, primarily handling piano rolls.  When Fred retired as a stockbroker he joined Mike’s business in collecting and trading various antiques. He closed by thanking David Birkenstein  for introducing  him to Rotary.
Personal bio given by Greg Nelson:  Greg grew up in the Hobart, Indiana area, has two adult sons, and spent several years as a commercial banker with the Continental, LaSalle and BMO banks before starting his own payroll business, which he sold last year. He then joined another company which provides employers with services in areas such as payroll, worker’s comp, risk management, regulation compliance, and health insurance. He has been in Rotary for about 3 years and has enjoyed the experience a great deal.
SPEAKERS FROM NORTHERN TRUST—Julie Mokdessi (Public Relations), Susan Currie (Winnetka office manager) and Ryan Boyle (Senior Economist and main presenter).
Ryan started by saying that it was important to have Dodd Frank in place before the Covid pandemic occurred. Other points he made were that Covid has taken our minds off of other very important national issues such as tariff and trade problems, failing alliances among countries (e.g. Brexit), and climate change issues; we were initially too optimistic that the virus problem would be solved within a couple of months; it has blown up the current U.S. budget; states have been hurt by a drastic decrease in sales tax revenue;  our Gross National Product  dropped 9.2 % in the second quarter of this year which puts our economy in a hole more than twice as deep as it was following the financial crisis; and 30 million people are receiving unemployment benefits.  A few positive things have occurred such as the Federal Reserve was able to dust off its 2008 playbook used during the housing crisis to provide assistance; we know more about the Covid problem than we did in March; the 3 pay protection programs enacted the first of the year helped minimize the loss of jobs and provided substantial unemployment benefits; the unemployment rate of 14.7% is lower than the 20% during the depression; and even though our Country is printing lots of money, future inflation may be minimized by people reducing their spending habits—consumer spending in the second quarter fell 10.1% led by a near collapse in spending on restaurants, recreational activities and some health care activities like elective procedures.
Ryan said that our recovery may be more in the shape of a W, rather than an U or V—i.e., we may now be on the 2nd downturn with an anticipated upward surge to the finish line.  We have to find a way of opening businesses to provide available jobs. When asked about what would be a good investment strategy at this time, Ryan said that is today’s unanswerable question because things are so uncertain.
Meeting Notes for July 30 Keith Reed 2020-08-04 05:00:00Z 0

Crowing About Queen Marie

A big thanks to Bill Leske's son Matt for producing this tribute video to the rein of Queen Marie as club President.
Crowing About Queen Marie 2020-06-30 05:00:00Z 0

Every Rotarian Every Year- Support The Rotary Foundation- Club Update 2020

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Jun 27, 2020
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As the 2019-20 Rotary Year concludes, please join the millions of beneficiaries of projects funded by The Rotary Foundation in thanking our members who have honored their commitment of Every Rotarian, Every Year, contribute to The Rotary Foundation's Annual SHARE Fund.

These gifts support the local and international work of Rotary Clubs and Districts through District and Global Grants. A significant portion of these gifts support projects of our club like Kids Against Hunger, our COVID-19 response, and our Ecuador "Farm to Table" Global Grant. 

To date, our club members have donated a total of $9,951 in the 2019-20 Rotary Year, 99% of our goal of $10,000. 

Please thank these 27 Rotarians and friends for already making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Sam Badger*+, Bob Baker, Wes Baumann, David Birkenstein*+, Laura Cunningham, Donna Goodman, David Grant*, Heather Higgins, Tony Kambich, Marie Kuipers+, Rich Lalley+, Bill Leske, Robert Mardirossian, Greg Nelson, Chuck Norton+, Felicia O'Malley, Lee Padgitt, Brooke Peppey, Keith Reed, Bob Sanfilippo, Fred Schwimmer+, Peter Skalski, Liz Taylor, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, Julie Tye, Patty Van Cleave, and Carl Yudell.
* signifies a Major Donor signifies Paul Harris Society ($1,000 per year)

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's projects, like our COVID-19 Response efforts, coats for kids, Kids Against Hunger and International grants projects like our Farm to Table eco-agribusiness project in Ecuador, the water and sanitation projects we helped fund for schools in Guatemala and Kenya, and the digital x-ray/community health clinic project organized by District 6440. This year, we received $3,400, and next year we will can receive $3,660. But we must give to receive.
  • Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation its highest “Four Star” rating, giving it a score 100 out of 100.
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation the World's Outstanding Foundation of 2016!
  • 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 send a check to “WNRCF” (mark TRF in the memo line) to our club, c/o Bob Baker at Killian Plumbing at 933 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka 60093; 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 or from your checking account, which you can set up on Rotary’s website.

If you have not already supported The Rotary Foundation this year, please do so now.

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

Every Rotarian Every Year- Support The Rotary Foundation- Club Update 2020 Richard (Rich) Lalley 2020-06-27 05:00:00Z 0

People of Action- The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield and The Rotary Foundation Provide Relief to Those Impacted by COVID-19

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The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield has met weekly at the Winnetka Community House since 1924. That streak ended in mid-March, when the club suspended its weekly lunch meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this did not stop the club from continuing to meet and live up to its well-earned reputation as People of Action. Almost immediately, the club began to meet on Zoom every Thursday at its regular 12:15 time, and the club’s board and committees did so as well.
Over the club’s 96 years, it has undertaken many notable service projects. So, it is no surprise the club quickly responded to the needs of those affected by COVID-19. Supported by donations from members and friends of the club, and a grant from The Rotary Foundation, the club took the following actions:
  • Supported the local food pantry and provided financial assistance to families experiencing severe financial need through a $5,000 donation to the New Trier Township Angel Fund.
People of Action- The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield and The Rotary Foundation Provide Relief to Those Impacted by COVID-19  Rich Lalley 2020-06-14 05:00:00Z 0

Board Meeting Minutes- June 4 2020

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Attendees: President Marie, President Elect Chuck Norton, Secretary/Treasurer Rich Lalley, David Birkenstein, Eric Birkenstein, Rik Boerjesson, Laura Cunningham, David Grant, Bill Leske, Brooke Peppey, Peter Skalski, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, Patti Van Cleave
Prepared by: Rich Lalley
The meeting was called to order. As no minutes were prepared for the previous meeting, none were reviewed.
Board Meeting Minutes- June 4 2020 Rich Lalley 2020-06-10 05:00:00Z 0

Operation Warm Soles for Homeless Children

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During the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, so many families are experiencing unprecedented turmoil. Food insecurity is a well known concern, and thankfully many citizens and organizations- including our club- are responding with generosity and compassion.
Families that cannot afford food can definitely not afford clothing. But children continue to grow- and outgrow their shoes. 
Between the ages of 4 to 14, children typically outgrow their shoe size ​every 4-8 months 
Our Rotary Club is partnering with Operation Warm on its Warm Soles pilot program to provide 300 pairs of new children's shoes to La Casa Norte, a Chicago agency that serves families confronting homelessness. 
We have $4,500 of the $6,000 needed to fund this program. 
Please empower children in need by sparking confidence, self-pride and hope for homeless children with your donation. 
Our goal is raise $1,500 by Friday June 12.
Donate here or email with your pledge. 
Operation Warm Soles for Homeless Children Rich Lalley 2020-06-08 05:00:00Z 0

Club Addresses Food Insecurity & Honors Healthcare Heroes

Posted by Rich Lalley
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Donation to New Trier Township Food Pantry; Meal Donations to Local Nonprofits and Hospital Workers

With COVID-19 upon us, the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield has once again answered the call of "Service Above Self."

Club members quickly determined that the most urgent need in the community during this pandemic is food insecurity. With this in mind---and thanks to a matching grant from The Rotary Foundation--- the club made a sizeable donation to the New Trier Township Food Pantry.

Donating money directly to the pantry allows them to acquire food at deep discounts through The Greater Chicago Food Depository, where every dollar buys about eight times more food than it would in traditional retail stores. "The New Trier Pantry typically serves 250 families each week. Township staff and volunteers have made big adjustments in how the Pantry operates to meet Covid19 safety requirements. Many families are experiencing higher levels of need due COVID's economic impact. The widespread layoffs and work closures are beginning to lead to more pantry users." said Rotarian and Township Trustee John Thomas.

Club Addresses Food Insecurity & Honors Healthcare Heroes Rich Lalley 2020-04-26 05:00:00Z 0

Zoom Security

Zoom has added new security features. Going forward, passwords will be required for all meetings. We will use the same password for all Thursday lunch and Monday cocktail hour meetings. The meeting link and passwords will be included in emails that go to all members 30 minutes before our meetings. Contact Rich if you need assistance joining meetings.  
Zoom Security Rich Lalley 2020-04-04 05:00:00Z 0

Queen Marie is Selling Her Eggs for Good!

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Our esteemed Rotary Club President, "Queen Marie", is selling her eggs for good!

Not those eggs. Fresh eggs from her chickens. 

Proceeds will support the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield's COVID-19 Community Support programs. We will be purchasing meals from local businesses and sending them to health care providers, first responders and/or local nonprofits serving people in need. 

Marie will arrange for delivery of 6 fresh, organic eggs for a $20 or more tax deductible donation.  

Note, you can make a donation without taking delivery of eggs. Just let Marie know you do not need her eggs. 
Queen Marie is Selling Her Eggs for Good! Rich Lalley 2020-03-30 05:00:00Z 0

March 27 Board Meeting Minutes

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The club's board met via Zoom on Friday March 27 to discuss club operations and activities during the COVID-19 emergency.  Click Read more to review the agreements and next steps. 
March 27 Board Meeting Minutes Rich Lalley 2020-03-30 05:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting April 2

Posted by Marie Kuipers
The Zoom meetings and cocktail hour have been immensely fun and a great comfort to those who've attended. Please join us at 12:15 CST this Thursday.
Details on how to join our meeting:     
Here is a link to join the Zoom Meeting:
Or, If you are calling in, use this phone number:  (312) 626-6799 US (Chicago)
Or, If you have already downloaded the Zoom App, enter Meeting ID # 539-868-880   (Press pound when asked for your user ID).
Note, it is best if attendees join via a computer or smartphone with the Zoom app and use computer audio, not phone. Call Rich if you need help getting the app on your computer or phone.
I hope you are continuing to stay safe and healthy. As always, if you should need anything at all, please feel free to call on me or your fellow Rotarians to help. That's what we're here for. Our weekly meetings are a significant part of our lives, and maintaining that connection is essential for our sanity during this crisis.   As we continue to work through some technical glitches and our own human learning curve, I hope you will stick with us.
In the meantime, please enjoy this amazing collaboration by musicians all across the world. Many thanks to Ser Robert the Delusional for sharing it! 
See you tomorrow!
Zoom Meeting April 2 Marie Kuipers 2020-03-25 05:00:00Z 0

Make Young Leaders Through RYLA- Make a Donation Today!

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RYLA, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program, provides life changing experiences to high school students. RYLA recognizes young people who have demonstrated leadership skills or show the potential to be leaders, and provides them with an opportunity to explore and further develop these skills with other with similar capabilities.
RYLA recipients and attendees are nominated and sponsored by Rotary Clubs. The cost to Rotary Clubs is $350 per student. This fee includes: coach bus transportation, to and from the conference,  (there are eight different bus pick up and drop off locations per weekend) room and meals, speaker fees, staffing, night security, snacks, supplies, RYLA tee shirt. All photos and videos from the weekends will uplinked to a private Facebook page. Students who attend RYLA are expected to speak at the sponsoring Rotary Club sometime within the following few months after their attendance.
Please help our club sponsor future leaders by making a donation today
Make Young Leaders Through RYLA- Make a Donation Today! Patti Van Cleave 2020-01-20 06:00:00Z 0

Give School Supplies to Peruvian Children

Winnetka-Northfield Rotarian Rik Borjesson and his family will soon be traveling to Peru. While there, he will be visiting Pinchollo, the most remote village in the Peruvian Andes. 

Rik plans to bring school supplies to the local school. In such a poor region, the schools have very limited essential supplies for their students. 

Please make a difference in a child´s education by donating for their most essential school supplies. Pinchollo is the most remote village in the Peruvian Andes at 11,000 ft above sea level. The main source of income is farming, the median income in Pinchollo per family is estimated to be 2 dollars a day.

With only 10 dollars you can send one student to school with their most essential supplies. You can contribute to this effort here

• 6 large notebooks

• 1 set of 12 colored pencils

• 1 set of 12 colored markers

• 1 pair of scissors

• 1 bottle of glue and 1 roll of scotch tape

• 2 red and blue pens, 1 ruler

• 4 pencils with eraser and pencil sharpener.

• 1 set of playdoh

• 1 set of watercolors

• 100 sheets of colored paper

• 5 sheets of cardboard

• Pencil case

100% of your donation will be used for school supplies. Please give what you can to support our fellow Rotarian and friend and to support children's education.
Give School Supplies to Peruvian Children 2020-01-16 06:00:00Z 0

Share Your Bounty

Posted by Barb Tubekis on Nov 07, 2019
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Continuing our club's long standing Thanksgiving tradition, we will once again partner with the Volunteer Center to provide post-holiday groceries for families in transitional housing who are served by Good News Partners in Chicago's North of Howard neighborhood. We will purchase groceries in bulk at Costco and club members will bag the groceries at our November 21st meeting. 
Please consider a donation to help us provide post-holiday groceries to these families in need. You can bring a check or cash to our November 14 meeting, make a pledge by emailing your pledge to, or donate online by clicking here: DONATE NOW. We hope to provide over 100 bags of groceries, and have a fundraising goal of $2,000. This will be easy if everyone contributes. 
We will also need volunteers to pick up the groceries on Thanksgiving morning and deliver them to Good News Partners. We will meet at 9:15 at Skokie school, load up our cars, and drive to Good News Partners. You'll be back home before 11. Sign up to volunteer here: Volunteer to deliver food Thanksgiving morning
Share Your Bounty Barb Tubekis 2019-11-07 06:00:00Z 0

Sponsor a Vet!

Posted by Rich Lalley on Aug 04, 2019
Rotary District 6440 is sponsoring a Rotary Road Trip to see the Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 7. Our club is again sponsoring tickets for veterans, and needs members to fund those sponsorships. 
Tailgate and Game tickets cost $80, which includes food catered by Saz's, beer and soft drinks, and live music under a large tent. Game tickets are Loge Bleacher seat which provide an excellent view of the field. 
Sponsor a Vet! Rich Lalley 2019-08-04 05:00:00Z 0

Every Rotarian Every Year- Support The Rotary Foundation- Club Update

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Jun 29, 2019
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As the 2018-19 Rotary Year concludes, please join the millions of beneficiaries of projects funded by The Rotary Foundation in thanking our members who have honored their commitment of Every Rotarian, Every Year, contribute to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Programs Fund.

Our club members donated a total of $7,343 in the 2018-19 Rotary Year, 73% of our goal of $10,000. 

Please thank these 31 Rotarians for already making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Wes Baumann, Sam Badger*+Connie Berman, David Birkenstein*+, Rik Boerjesson, Laura Cunningham, Terry Dason, David Grant*, Heather Higgins, Tony Kambich, Marie Kuipers, Rich Lalley+,  Bill Leske, Denny Lauer, Robert Mardirossian, Rodger Morris*, Chuck Norton, Felicia O'Malley, Lee Padgitt, Brooke Peppey, Keith Reid, Bob Sanfilippo, Fred SchwimmerHeidi Sibert, Peter Skalski, Liz Taylor, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, Julie Tye, Patty Van Cleave, Carl Yudell
* signifies a Major Donor signifies Paul Harris Society ($1,000 per year)

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's projects, like our coats for kids, Kids Against Hunger and International grants projects like our Farm to Table eco-agribusiness project in Ecuador, the water and sanitation projects we helped fund for schools in Guatemala and Kenya, and the digital x-ray/community health clinic project organized by District 6440. This year, we received over $3,500 for our Kids Against Hunger project! But we must give to receive.
  • Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation its highest “Four Star” rating, giving it a score 100 out of 100.
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation the World's Outstanding Foundation of 2016!
  • 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 or from your checking account, which you can set up on Rotary’s website.

If you have not already supported The Rotary Foundation this year, please do so now.

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

Every Rotarian Every Year- Support The Rotary Foundation- Club Update Richard (Rich) Lalley 2019-06-29 05:00:00Z 0

Spring Benefit Details 

Posted by Marie Kuipers on Apr 14, 2019
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Come Join Us For 
Bluegrass Music by Bourbon Aristocracy ,
Great Barbeque, Beer and Wine



JUNE 1ST, 6 P.M.





Spring Benefit Details Marie Kuipers 2019-04-14 05:00:00Z 0
Kids Against Hunger 2019 2019-01-10 06:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap for November 15

Posted by Patti Van Cleave
President Bill called the meeting to order at 12:15. There were 32 in attendance.
Bob Sanfilippo shared a short quote with a “punch”! 
After lunch, Bob Baker, filling in as Greeter, announced the following visiting members: Mark Schusteff and Brian Schiller, representing the Winnetka Community House, and Kate Hughes from Winnetka School District 36
No guests or visiting Rotarians.
No anniversaries, but three birthdays coming up:
            David Abell, November 24
            Greg Nelson, November 26
            Alan Ramsay, November 27
An early raffle ticket pull was won by Patti, who drew the 5 of clubs and returned her $5 to the pot.
--There will be no meeting next week. Happy Thanksgiving to all! 
-- Speaker on 11/29 will be Louise Kiernan from ProPublica Illinois, speaking on "Fake News, Transparency and the Futre of Investigative Journalism."
--Remember the incentive plan for club members who bring in a new member that stays for a year: 500 Paul Harris points – bringing that member status in the Paul Harris Society.
--We need more scribes! If you’d be willing to take notes once a month or so talk to Keith, John Thomas or Patti.
--Tony reported that the International Committee met, and that the Ecuador project spearheaded by Ned is going well. The Ecuadorian team is very well-organized, the project is moving forward, some funding has been received. Next steps are to take this project out to other clubs, District 6440 and RI to increase participation. Ned reminded us of the purpose of this project: To educate farmers on the values of organic farming, to produce healthier products. Assist these farmers by creating a marketing strategy for their produce as well as providing microcredit opportunities for them.
--Rich reported that 6 of the 12 library coat distribution projects have been held. There was one in Rogers Park last night, another tonight at a library that is at 95th and Halsted. We have also distributed coats to several organizations suggested by club members, including one in Connecticut that was a connection through one of the event sponsors, a friend of Joe Nash. There is still some opportunity to distribute coats; the foundation will determine other donees.
Happy Bucks:
--Marie was very excited to share with us two happy bucks: She shared that the Operation Warm coat distribution was fun and heartwarming and encouraged all of us to go to one. More importantly, she got her FIRST EGG from one of her chickens!!!
--Patti gave three HB in honor of Rich and Barb for being exemplary Rotarians and bringing wonderful programs to us, and to Dr. Rick for bringing his knowledge to The Winnetka Club tonight.
--Robert gave $10 happy bucks in honor of the two times he had left items behind after lunch, and returned both times to find them turned into the Lost and Found. He shared that while people have asked why he is still involved with Rotary after his retirement, he thinks that “It is nice that Rotary is here for me to be involved with”.
--Ned gave a buck and shared that Ecuador is coming to the area in December. His colleagues will be here in early December, and others at the end of the month. He asked us all to pray for snow, as they want to see snow!  
--Tony gave a buck and assured Marie that he is NOT planning to have chicken for dinner (or eggs for breakfast?)
Dig N Grin:
Fred echoed the sentiment that coat distribution events are wonderful and we should do one, then shared a funny story about two Jewish women who encountered each other on the streets of New York in the 1950s and caught up…
Speaker: There was no speaker; we packed 100 food bags for Good News Partners.
Meeting Recap for November 15 Patti Van Cleave 2018-11-16 06:00:00Z 0

Charitable Foundation Grants Guidelines

Posted by Brooke Peppey
The Club Foundation Board has approved new guidelines to apply for grants, and a new 'Grant Request Form' which can be found on our Club Website at    Hint: Look in the lower left hand column under the heading 'Download Files' or find the 'Grant Request Form' by link here:
The deadline to apply for the 2018-2019 grants is November 30, 2018. Recipients are eligible for only two awards within a three-year period. Starting this year, our recipients will also be restricted to organizations that are (1) located in the Metro Chicago area; (2) have an annual expense budget of $1 million or less; and (3) have a specific project or program that is the subject of the request that must fall within the area of funding determined for the year. This year our area of funding will focus on providing services to or for children’s education and/or health; Awards will be made in March, 2019.
Charitable Foundation Grants Guidelines Brooke Peppey 2018-10-09 05:00:00Z 0

Record Giving to The Rotary Foundation!

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Jul 02, 2018
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Thank you to the 33 members of our club who donated a total of $11,430 to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Program Fund in the 2017-18 Rotary Year, exceeding our goal of $10,000 and setting a record level of giving!

Please thank these Rotarians for making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Sam Badger*+, Wes Baumann, Jean Beckman, Mary Lou Bilder Gold, David Birkenstein*+, Laura Cunningham, Joe Fell, David Grant*, Heather Higgins, Tony Kambich*, Gerry Keenan, Mark Kotz, Marie Kuipers, Rich Lalley+, Denny Lauer, Bill LeskeRobert Mardirossian, Rodger Morris*, Tom Nash, Chuck Norton, Felicia O'Malley, Lee Padgitt, Brooke Peppey, Keith Reed, Randy Reeves, Bob Sanfilippo, Fred Schwimmer+, Heidi Sibert, Peter Skalski, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, and Patti Van Cleave, Carl Yudell.
* signifies a Major Donor signifies Paul Harris Society ($1,000 per year)

Record Giving to The Rotary Foundation! Richard (Rich) Lalley 2018-07-02 05:00:00Z 0

Every Rotarian Every Year- Support The Rotary Foundation

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Jun 09, 2018
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As the 2017-18 Rotary Year nears its conclusion, please join the millions of beneficiaries of projects funded by The Rotary Foundation in thanking our members who have honored their commitment of Every Rotarian, Every Year, contribute to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Programs Fund.

With three weeks to go, our club members have donated a total of $11,030 in the 2017-18 Rotary Year, reaching our goal of $10,000!

Please thank these 31 Rotarians for making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Sam Badger*+, Wes Baumann, Jean Beckman, Mary Lou Bilder Gold, David Birkenstein*+, Laura Cunningham, Joe Fell, David Grant*, Tony Kambich*, Gerry Keenan, Mark Kotz, Marie Kuipers, Rich Lalley+, Bill LeskeRobert Mardirossian, Rodger Morris*, Tom Nash, Chuck Norton, Felicia O'Malley, Lee Padgitt, Brooke Peepey, Keith Reed, Randy Reeves, Bob Sanfilippo, Fred Schwimmer+, Heidi Sibert, Peter Skalski, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, and Patti Van Cleave, Carl Yudell.
* signifies a Major Donor signifies Paul Harris Society ($1,000 per year)

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's projects, like our coats for kids, Kids Against Hunger and International grants projects like our breadfruit tree project in Haiti, the water and sanitation project we helped fund for school in Guatemala, and the digital x-ray/community health clinic project organized by District 6440. This year, we received nearly $4,000 for our Kids Against Hunger project! But we must give to receive.
  • Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation its highest “Four Star” rating, giving it a score 100 out of 100.
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation the World's Outstanding Foundation of 2016!
  • 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 not already supported The Rotary Foundation this year, please do so now.

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

Every Rotarian Every Year- Support The Rotary Foundation Richard (Rich) Lalley 2018-06-09 05:00:00Z 0

Community Grants completed for 2018

Posted by Patti Van Cleave on Apr 22, 2018
Our Club's foundation board has recently approved all allocations for our annual Community Grants for 2018. Sixteen organizations received grants this year, representing a total of $14,000. Recipients are invited to attend our Annual Benefit Dinner, "Cinco Plus Six" on May 11th to receive their check and meet the foundation board. 
Here are our grantees for 2018: 
A Just Harvest
Blues Kids Foundation
De La Gente, Inc.
Erika's Lighthouse
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Jewish Council for Youth Services
Josselyn Center
Literature for All of Us
North Shore University Foundation
Operation North Pole
Right to Be Free
Samaritan Counseling Center
Special Gifts Theater
Volunteer Center 
Winnetka Youth Organization
YouthBuild Lake County
Foundation board members:
Bob Baker, Connie Berman, David Birkenstein, Eric Birkenstein, Tony Kambich, Rich Lalley, Rodger Morris, Brooke Peppey, Patti Van Cleave
Community Grants completed for 2018 Patti Van Cleave 2018-04-22 05:00:00Z 0
Happy Birthday Rodger! Ned Meisner 2018-03-17 05:00:00Z 0

Trees that Feed and Sustain Families in Haiti

Posted by Rich Lalley on Feb 18, 2018
A proposed Rotary Foundation Global Grant Project
We are pleased to announce our formal agreement with the Rotary Club of Les Cayes, District 7020, Haiti, to partner on a Global Grant project that will bring sustainable jobs and locally grown protein rich food to the Jeremie region of Haiti. 
We are looking to raise approximately $20,000 for this project, which when matched $2.50 to $1 by The Rotary Foundation, will provide $70,000 in funding for this project. Rotary Clubs interested in participating should email 
Areas of Focus
¨ Economic & Community Development
¨ Maternal & Child Health
¨ Bonus: Positive Environmental Impact
Project Objectives
¨ Restore and expand breadfruit production in Jeremie region of Haiti that was devastated by Hurricane Matthew
¨ Create a local, solar-powered breadfruit processing facility
¨ Provide vocational training to farmers, facility workers
¨ Develop the domestic and export market for breadfruit products
Planned Activities
¨ Propagate and grow 5,000 breadfruit saplings
¨ Provide ready-to-produce tress to small holder farmers and coop orchards
¨ Fund processing equipment for new facility (building funded by cooperating NGO)
¨ Provide packaged breadfruit breakfast meals to local schools
¨ Provide vocational training to farmers and workers
Expected Outcomes
¨ Produce 2.5 - 5 million lbs. of breadfruit annually
¨ Economic impact on region- $470,000 - $900,000 annually
¨ Good jobs and businesses for local population in poorest region of Haiti
¨ Provide nutritious meals to school children
¨ Develop an export industry for Haiti
Contribute to this project with the button below. Donations will be matched 2.5 to 1 by The Rotary Foundation. 
Trees that Feed and Sustain Families in Haiti  Rich Lalley 2018-02-18 06:00:00Z 0

2017 Operation Warm Project Underway!

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Sep 08, 2017
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Fundraising is underway for our 2017 Operation Warm project. 
Nearly one in five American children live in poverty. More than 400,000 in the Chicago metro area. 
For these families, deciding between food, rent, heat and medicine takes priority. Many children have to go without a coat during the cold Chicago winter.
You can help to bring hope, happiness and warmth to children living in need in Chicagoland with the gift of a brand-new winter coat.  Your gift will help to improve a child's self-esteem, school attendance and overall wellness.

Our Goal is to Give 500 Children Brand-New Winter Coats
Give today at

Or send a check payable to WNRCF to
Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield
620 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka IL 60093
We partner with schools and non-profits serving disadvantaged children, including Inner City Impact in Cicero, Holy Family Ministries school in Chicago, Hope Community Church in Chicago, Open Arms Mission in Antioch, Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook (holiday gift program), Jewish Council for Youth Services in Highwood and Family Promise Chicago North Shore.
This year, we are also partnering with the Chicago Public Library on an innovative program that gives a new coat at the libratry, bringing children into a library of the first time.
Your donation will go to Operation Warm, our partner since 2009. They provide us with brand-new, high-quality, warm winter coats for our children. Operation Warm is a GuideStar Platinum-rated nonprofit and has helped over 2 million children since 1998.
The video below was sent to us last winter as a gesture of THANKS from Holy Family Ministries. 
How many children can you help keep warm this winter?
2017 Operation Warm Project Underway! Richard (Rich) Lalley 2017-09-08 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap August 24

Posted by John Thomas
The meeting was opened at 12:15 by President Tom Nash and followed by a “Thought for the Day” from Fred Schwimmmer. Then the pledge of allegiance was led by Tony Kambich. Lunch was served and the meeting itself started about 12:40. The lunch meeting was in the Winnetka Community House  with 25 of our 53 members (54%) in attendance. There were 6 guests present.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Tom told us we have been approved for a $3600 grant for Kids Against Hunger. This is an excellent start to raising the money needed to have yet another very big program.
He also noted there were fliers on the tables about the Fall Fest staged by the WPD in which Rotary will participate.  There was also on the tables a sign-up sheet for those who can help man our Rotary booth.
DIG & GRIN:  Mark Kotz was again substituting and delivered a low-key list of “Life Observations”.  The attendees deemed his offering quite humorous and gave a solid round of applause.
SPEAKER NOTES:    John Thomas, who is a Winnetka Park Commissioner and has been on the Board since 2004,  introduced the speaker, Matt Johnson. Thomas noted the Winnetka Golf operation is the Park District’s largest revenue generator. They have two excellent courses, an 18 hole and a 9 hole.  Unfortunately, it had long been a financial drain as operations management was inadequate..
Matt Johnson was promoted to Facility Manager & Head Golf Professional in 2014 under new senior management. At the same time, the Board invested in a new Driving range and significant upgrades to the facilities. Matt has led restructuring of teaching systems, flexible single-round play fees, an agreement with Golf Now, and  aggressive area-wide marketing efforts. The operation has been in the black now for several years. He gave a slide presentation, assisted by the WPD Executive Director, John Muno. The presentation noted that this is the 100th year anniversary of the Golf course and carried the audience briefly through highlights of its history. Currently it hosts over 30,000 rounds annually on the 18 hole course and 13,000 on the 9 hole course. It is also the home course for the New Trier H.S. golf teams. Matt has led our award-winning Junior Elite programs and he has coached many junior golfers to successful competitive careers. In the Q&A session Matt noted the cost to play is the same for all comers no matter where they reside. There is no longer preferential rates for Winnetka residents vs. others. Pricing is flexible for single rounds depending on several factors with the lowest often being $32 for 18 holes. He also offered that kids are much easier to teach than adults.  The Q&A ended at 1:30 and the meeting closed with recital of Rotary’s four-way test.
Meeting Recap August 24 John Thomas 2017-08-27 05:00:00Z 0

Tom Nash- Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield President

Posted on Jul 01, 2017
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July 1 marks the beginning of a new Rotary Year, and with it new leadership. At a well attended induction dinner on June 29, Rotary District 6440 Assistant Governor Mary Bak installed Tom Nash as the 93rd President of the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield.  Our entire club is joined by thousands of Rotarians in District 6440 and around the world in thanking outgoing President Patti Van Cleave for her tremendous leadership over the past year and pledge our support to Tom, District Governor Don Brewer and Rotary International President Ian Riseley. 
Also at the dinner, special recognitions were given to our club's 4 Paul Harris Society members- Sam Badger, David Birkenstein, Rich Lalley and Fred Schwimmer. Paul Harris Society members contribute at least $1,000 per year to The Rotary Foundation, one of world's most respected and admired charitable foundations. The Foundation fosters world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. The Rotary Foundation transforms contributions into service projects that change lives close to home and around the world.
Tom Nash- Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield President 2017-07-01 05:00:00Z 0

Club Meets Goal for Rotary Foundation Giving

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Jul 01, 2017
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The 2016-17 Rotary Year has come to a close. Please join the millions of beneficiaries of projects funded by The Rotary Foundation in thanking our members who have honored the commitment of Every Rotarian, Every Year, contribute to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Programs Fund.

Our club members donated a total of $8,230 in the 2017-18 Rotary Year, surpassing our goal of $8,000!

Please thank these 33 Rotarians for making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Sam Badger*+, Wes Baumann, Bob Baker, Mary Lou Bilder, David Birkenstein+, John Ford, David Grant*, Heather Higgins, Anna Helfman, Tony Kambich*, Mark Kotz, Rich Lalley+, Denny Lauer, Bill Leske, Robert Mardirossian, Ned Meisner, Rodger Morris*, Tom Nash, Lee Padgitt, Brooke Peppey, Randy Reeves, Kieth Reid, Fred Schwimmer+, Greg Skirving, Mike Shelton, Peter Skalski, John Stone, Liz Taylor, John ThomasBarb Tubekis, Dirk Tussing, Julie Tye, Patti Van Cleave.
* signifies a Major Donor signifies Paul Harris Society ($1,000 per year)

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's projects, 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. This year, we received nearly $4,000 for our Kids Against Hunger project! But we must give to receive.
  • Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation its highest “Four Star” rating, giving it a score 100 out of 100.
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation the World's Outstanding Foundation of 2016!
  • 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.

You can get a great start on the new Rotary year by making a contribution now. 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.

2017-18 Club President Tom Nash has set an ambitious goal for this year's Every Rotarian Every Year Goal- $10,000. Consider becoming a monthly donor, and for those who can, stepping up to the Paul Harris Society by pledging to give $1,000 each year. 

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

Club Meets Goal for Rotary Foundation Giving Richard (Rich) Lalley 2017-07-01 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 6/1

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 30 members present. Mary Cherveny was the Winnetka Park District representative and Marc Hornstein was there for the Police Department.  Greg Nelson handled the “thought for the day”. Announcements were: We need about 13 volunteers to work 2 hours on June 24th for the Winnetka Music Fest and a sign-up sheet was passed; June 29 at 6:00 pm is our Installation Dinner for our new President Tom Nash; Patti found about 100 artful depictions of Winnetka “points of interests” in the Club’s closest and they are available for sale at $20 each, proceeds to go to local charities; Rich has worked out a program with a Southside Kiwanis Club where we will jointly provide 150 children’s  coats and 300 children’s books to three Chicago libraries where local children will visit to get their free coats; Robert Mardirossian offered 3 of his Chicago Cubs tickets for sale for $80 each with proceeds going to the WNRotary  Fund.
GUEST SPEAKER: David Birkenstein introduced Annie Aggens of  PolarExplorers who spoke of  her expeditions to the North Pole (hereafter “NP”) and the impact of global warming on the earth’s icecaps. Annie lives in Wilmette, attended North Shore Country Day School and graduated from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, majoring in environmental studies.  Over the years, she and her family have hosted several international exchange students, including  Rotary-sponsored students. PolarExplorers is  located in Wilmette and is considered the Nation’s premier polar expedition guiding company. It has been taking groups to the NP since 1993 and Annie has been involved in these trips since 2000.  Its website is for further information.
Annie said that the North Pole is still not owned by any country, but instead is considered  part of  the International Waters. Several countries, including the U.S., Russia and Norway, are making certain ownership claims since it has significant natural resources.  Admiral Robert Perry (or perhaps Mr. Cook) first visited the NP in 1909.  The exact spot of the NP (90 degrees) is difficult to locate because of the shifting ice and water. There is no permanent marker or any objects on the NP and visiting explorers take all their property and material with them when they leave. The overall ice cap consists of many different sizes of ice floating in water that is close to 14,000 feet deep. The ice pieces continue to move, break up and build up on the ice cap. Her expeditions always go in April which is about the only time a plane can land  at the NP base camp.  The base camp is owned and operated by the Russian Geographical Society, though the Russian military has used it for training in recent years. Annie said  the Russians are still friendly and cooperative. The expedition travels over the ice with skis  and  often times will have dogs to help with the trip. The group will usually travel 8-10 hours a day and cover 6 to 12 miles. On the NP there is only one sunset (in September) and one sunrise (in March). There sun shines continually during April.
She said that ice on the NP ages with the young ice being smooth and not as thick and the older ice  building up ridges of 1-15 feet, although they used to buildup as high as 30 feet. There are  water streams and ice cracks (“leads”) amid the frozen ice which continue to change and often times are tough to navigate. The travelers do have some floatable equipment to help cross narrow streams, but because the dogs do not like the cold water, they often have to go out of their way to avoid these streams or leads.  When dogs are used, there are usually 1 or 2 dog teams with 6-8 dogs in each team. The dogs are Greenland huskies, are very smart and powerful, but only answer to demands made in the  Norwegian language. Sometimes the skiers will pull special sleds which can hold up to 60-80 pounds of equipment and can float in the streams, if necessary. The only  animals seen on the NP besides the working dogs and an occasional fox are the polar bears and the ringed seals.
The impact of global warming on the NP over the last 40 years is that the ice cap is diminishing in size; much of the ice melts every summer and is replaced in winter by new ice; the ice is not as thick and there appears to be bigger masses of new ice; there is less snow on the ice so that when pitching tents the explorers now use ice screws rather than snow stakes to anchor their equipment;  there have been more severe storms on the NP; these changes could eventually have an  adverse impact on many of  the earth’s ocean currents; and this could all result in a slowdown or potential halt of the Thermohaline circulation. (More information on this subject can be obtained from,html.)
Meeting Recap 6/1 Keith Reed 2017-06-05 05:00:00Z 0

Speaker on June 1: Annie Aggens

Annie Aggens will speak about Global Heating and Climate Change as well as Polar Issues, including PolarExplorers, which is the premier polar expedition guiding company.  — Celebrating 23 Years!

"One of the top 100 Outfitters on Earth" - National Geographic

"50 Tours of a Lifetime" - National Geographic

"Rough Guide recommended"

"Best Skiing Blog" -Tripbase travel blog awards


Speaker on June 1: Annie Aggens 2017-05-31 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 5/25

Posted by John Thomas
The meeting was opened at 12:15 by Club President Patti Van Cleave and followed by the pledge of allegiance. The lunch meeting was held in the Winnetka Community House and there were 23 of our 55 members (44%) in attendance.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  President Patti noted that June 30 is the deadline for contributions to the Rotary Foundation to be applied to our Club. She urged all of us to make at least a minimum contribution so we may have a 100% participation as has usually been the case in the past. Patti also made note of a variety of member’s birthdays.  John Stone said that he saw Luvie Owens earlier in the day and she seems to be feeling well at this time.
HAPPY BUCKS:  Ned Meisner had three Happy Bucks items centering around several Bahai events with special notice of a musical program there at 9:30 and again at 12:30 next Saturday.
Patti Van Cleave expresses happiness at having received 22 response so far to the all-member survey and hope more were coming. She also offered hard copies for anyone who couldn’t access it online.
SPEAKER: The speaker for the day was introduced by Barb Tubekis who noted the subject, recycling, should be of great interest to all. The speaker was Liz Kunkle and her talk title was “Effective Recycling”.
Her ongoing theme in the talk was that we all need to be aware of the many opportunities we have for recycling. The Villages hereabout have established extensive recycling protocols and procedures. The ubiquitous plastic bags from the supermarkets and the plastic newspaper wrappers need be taken to the collection boxes at the supermarkets.  
For Winnetka, there is a one-page guide detailing what can go where that has been sent to all homes. Copies of that are available online at the Village web site  or at Village Hall. Should one have a question about disposing of some unique item of material, calling the Village will get an answer toute de suite.
After reciting the four Rotary pledges, the meeting was closed at 1:25.
Meeting Recap 5/25 John Thomas 2017-05-31 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap on 5/4

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 30 members at this week’s meeting.  Our three guests included Dr. Rick Stern (John Ford) who has opened up a new (reorganized) practice on Oak Street in Winnetka called Dedication Health, Teri Stein (Ned Meisner) a disability consultant and advocate who helps young disabled adults make the transition to a more independent life and Lenna Scott (Robert Mardirossian) who was recently appointed as the successor to Robert at the Counseling Center of the North Shore.  Steve Saunders, Winnetka’s Director of Public Works was present representing the village.
The meeting on May 11th will be held at the Northfield Park District offices at 401 Wagner Road, just north of Willow Road.
Tom Nash reminded the club that our annual benefit will be held on Friday, May 12th at the Kenilworth Club beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Among the great raffle prizes are six (6) tickets on the 50-yard line to the Notre Dame-Navy game next November 18th.  Tom said the weather forecast for that day is 60° and sunny!
John Thomas extended an invitation from the Winnetka Youth Organization to attend their annual benefit to be held on Thursday, May 18th at Pinstripes on Willow Road at 7:00 p.m.
In the Happy Buck’s portion of the meeting John Stone, who said he was unable to attend the Benefit said he is donating $100 to the Foundation and suggested that all members who were unable to attend do the same thing.  Rodger Morris rose to the challenge and matched John’s contribution.  We do hope that those who are unable to attend the benefit will make a contribution to the Foundation, as this is our biggest fundraising effort for our Club’s support of local agencies that need our assistance.
Our speaker for the day was Jane Carroll, an immigration attorney.  Jane is the co-founder of Intermezzo Business Migration Solutions, a consultancy firm that designs comprehensive global immigration strategies and programs for business.  Our club was fortunate to have the opportunity to hear from this national and international speaker.
Jane indicated that the legal area of immigration is extremely complex and few would disagree with her at the end of her presentation.  She held up a book that was 3 – 4” thick that was just an outline of immigration law.  She spoke about the two types of Visas – for nonimmigrants, (those seeking temporary entry to the U.S.) and the Immigrant Visas for those seeking permanent residency.  There are 16 different categories of Nonimmigrant Visas, all with different requirements and lengths of stay permitted.  The Immigrant Visas, often called Green Cards, grant the holder all the rights of U.S. citizenship, except voting.  A green card holder can be removed or deported from the U.S. for committing a crime of moral turpitude. 
As a percent of the total population of a country the United States exceeds only four countries, while 17 countries are more generous in terms of accepting immigrants.
The largest allocation of immigration visas is in the family categories with 226,000 being given per year.  In some of the categories there is a long wait while the exception is for immediate relatives:  spouses, children under 21 and parents.  More distant relatives have longer waits, typically ranging from 6 years to as high as 24 years.
The second largest category of visas is for employment-based immigration.  At the top of the preference list is ‘extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts education, business or athletics.  Examples are outstanding professors/researchers, multinational executives, then professionals with advanced degrees.  While there are no numerical quotas on countries for people seeking visas there are specific numbers of total visas that are granted in various categories.  Also, no more than 7% of the visas can be issued for a given country.  This creates long waits for persons seeking visas from countries like India, that have many highly educated persons seeking entry into the United States.
Another category is the asylum/refugee group.  This process takes two years for the vetting for the refugees.  The president sets the number that can be accepted by the United States.  In his last year in office Obama had set the number at 110,000, Trump has changed that to 0 (zero)!
Meeting Recap on 5/4 Wes Baumann 2017-05-08 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap on 4/20

Posted by John Thomas
The meeting was opened at 12:15 by Club President Patti Van Cleave and followed by the pledge of allegiance led by Liz Taylor. There were 30 people at this Thursday lunch in the Community House and the only visitor (sort of) was Winnetka’s Fire Chief, Alan Berkowsky. The speaker was Dr. Ben Duke, LCP. 
ANNOUNCEMENTS: At 12:45 Terry Dason, head of the Winnetka/Northfield Chamber of Commerce told the group of an upcoming trip to South Africa and that there were still limited reservations available. Then, Barb Tubekis told of the 2017 Volunteer Center Recognition Event on May 4 at the WCH in the evening. President–elect Tom Nash reminded us of the May 12 Rotary Benefit dinner and added there were special Sox tix in the already excellent Silent Auction line-up. 
There will be a membership Committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3 at Liz Taylor’s North Shore Community Bank.  Membership Committee Chair David Berkenstein invited any and all interested parties to attend. Plus President Van Cleave noted anyone available can join her after the meeting in an historic cleaning of the WCH Rotary Closet. She opined this to the first such gargantuan effort since the founding of the club. Brooke Peppey then gave a brief recap of our Rotary Foundation.
Patti kicked off the Dig and Grin session with a tribute to Bill Leske and the First Bank and Trust facility. She was followed by Robert Mardirossian and Tony Kambich. It must be noted all was led by John Stone whose comic Dig and Grin anecdote had the crowd falling off their chairs.
SPEAKER: The speaker was Dr. Ben Duke a Chiropractic Physician whose topic for this day was the effect of “screen dependency” on the psyches of our youth today. He began with a brief history of human communications from grunts to smoke signals to telegraph wire to telephones to fax to cell phones to internet.
He noted kids 2-5 years old spend averagely 50% of their time in front of screens of one sort or another. Almost 2/3rds of kids under 10 get only one hour daily of physical activity. This compares to children pre-1995 who were active 4+ hours daily. The net result is a significant lack of development in the cerebral cortex of many kids. It is also extremely distracting when doing more important tasks.
He suggested parents generally need to exert much greater control over their children’s daily activities starting limiting access to TV, iPhones and computers.
He then entertained a lively Q&A led off by Jeanne Beckman followed by David Birkenstein, Heidi Sibert and Robert Mardirossian.
The meeting closed at 1:27 with no lottery winner – as usual.
Meeting Recap on 4/20 John Thomas 2017-04-26 05:00:00Z 0

Speaker on 4/27: Jeff Tideman

Posted by David Birkenstein
Jeff Tideman is the owner of a commercial real estate company founded in 1985.  His friendship with David Gotaas inspired him to join Rotary in 2009.  Jeff was appointed International Service Director for the Rotary Club of Northbrook and accompanied Gov. Rick Rivkin and a Rotary team on a polio immunization trip to India in 2011.  Further inspired by the great work he saw Rotary doing in India, Jeff went on to become president of the Northbrook Club in 2015-16.  During that year the Northbrook Club celebrated its 50th year.  He and his wife Madonna enjoyed a week of serving at the Ak Tennamit school in Guatemala.  Later they attended the Rotary Convention in Sydney Australia.  Jeff now serves again as International Service Director and is a member of the Paul Harris Society.
Speaker on 4/27: Jeff Tideman David Birkenstein 2017-04-26 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap March 30

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 25 members present, but many guests attended to see the progress on the New Trier school construction. Guests were: Martine Mead, Deb Guy, and Jacquie Linney (all guests of Terry Dason); Ann Smith; Chuck Sprowl (Joe Fell guest); Jim Corboy (Liz Taylor guest); Dave Shannahan (John Thomas guest); Joanne Baker (Bob’s bride); Julia Birkenstein (Eric’s daughter and David’s granddaughter);  Katie and Andrew Shook (Patti’s daughter and son-in-law); Nick Mostardo (Winnetka’s assistant Finance Director).
Announcements were: Our next meeting is on Wednesday, April 5 at the WCH at 6:00 pm with the other New Trier Rotary Clubs-- Ed Futa, Retired Rotary Int’l General Secretary will be the speaker and you should RSVP to Rich by this coming Sunday. Also tell Patti if you are willing to volunteer to help to sign people in or assist at the bar. There will be no regular Rotary meeting on April 6.   Rich Lalley announced that the Cubs tickets for the game in Milwaukee in July need to be ordered through him by Friday to be eligible for the discount.  The Chamber Recognition Luncheon is on April 12 at 11:00 and Patti would like to have one or two tables of local Rotarians sit at the Rotary table—tell Patti or contact the Chamber if you can attend.  Everyone should try to attend the Club’s annual benefit on May 12th at the Kenilworth Club—the theme being “Celebrate, Good Times Come On” featuring  entertainer Marshall Nelson, former pianist for Kool and the Gang.
New Trier Superintendent Linda Yonke and math teacher Paul Sally (Linda’s successor) gave a very informative and impressive tour of some of the new construction at New Trier high school. It is finishing Phase I and is about 40% completed. The rest is supposed to be done by sometime this Fall—a deadline that is somewhat dubious!  We saw the “Student Commons” (formerly called the cafeteria) where there is a wide variety of food (including coffee) for purchase and seating areas conducive to student conversations. The area will accommodate about 1100 students (total student population is about 3000); there is a “gathering” stairs which is part stairs and part tiers of platforms where students can sit and have their lunch. We went up to the new “Library Commons” which is larger than the old library and has a variety of seating areas for students to study and converse. Located there is a duplicate of the  1912 fireplace that was in the old building. From there we saw the skylight area with its 5 story atrium. The classrooms are bigger and more varied with respect to types of  tables and chairs used. There are both regular tables and “tall” tables used in the classrooms with some having both styles of tables. There is carpeting in most classrooms rather than wood or tile floors—even though carpeting is tougher to keep clean, its durability is much greater than before,  it keeps the room more quiet, and the furniture does not move around as much as on solid floors. The technology in the classrooms is very advanced with the large “white boards” being able to show material from the instructor’s computer as well as the students’ own I- Pads.  All students have their own I-Pads with the school subsidizing the cost of same. The classrooms have more windows,  more light, better acoustics and most classrooms have a small meeting room attached. The students and teachers were all given the chance to give input on the makeup of these classrooms over the last year or so. Although the Gaffney auditorium was not replaced it will now be air conditioned. The gym will be about the only area not air conditioned in the new building. The part of the north wall of the old building with the art deco has been preserved within a glass wall and has a patio on its top, which is now the teachers’ lounge. There is a “green roof” on the West side of the new building’s top  floor with many plantings already in place. The consensus of those touring was that the comparison between the old building and the new space is unbelievable; that many people (including the professionals, workers,  teachers and students) did a great job in creating a fantastic learning center for our high school students; and that the tour made most of us want to “go back to school”. 
Meeting Recap March 30 Keith Reed 2017-04-02 05:00:00Z 0

Benefit Dinner: Celebrate Good Times, Come On

Posted by Thomas Nash on Mar 29, 2017
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Our Benefit Dinner is coming up! It will be held on Friday, May 12th at the Kenilworth Club. The event will feature a buffet dinner, cash bar and a piano performance for your listening and dancing pleasure from Marshall Nelson formerly of Kool and the Gang. We hope that you can attend this event, which will be lots of fun and benefits our foundation's Community Grants program.

Please RSVP soon! If you cannot attend, please make a tax deductible donation to our Community Grants program by clicking here.


You may pay for your ticket with a credit card below. Or by Check made payable to WNRCF.

Thanks for all your support of our foundation's programs!

Benefit Dinner: Celebrate Good Times, Come On Thomas Nash 2017-03-29 05:00:00Z 0

March 30 Change of Meeting Location: NTHS!!!!!

This week’s meeting will be held at New Trier High School located at 385 Winnetka Avenue.  We will meet at our regular time.  Since the school is on spring break there are no parking restrictions on the north side of Winnetka Avenue.  Parking is also available on Essex Road and the adjacent parking lot.  Enter through the main entrance and follow the signs to the new student cafeteria.  The program will consist of a few words from retiring superintendent Linda Yonke followed by a tour of the new facilities.
March 30 Change of Meeting Location: NTHS!!!!! 2017-03-26 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 1/12

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 37 persons in attendance at this week’s meeting.  Representing the village was Alan Berkowsky, Winnetka’s Fire Chief, Terry Dason representing the Chamber of Commerce and Jess Rutstein was filling in for Allie Sarwark of the Winnetka Youth Organization.
David Birkenstein introduced the day’s speaker, Mahja Sulemanjee Bortocek who is the Director of Community Outreach at the Greenhouse Group.  He spoke about the recently legalized use of marijuana for medical purposes.  Greenhouse operates three medical cannabis dispensaries in the greater metropolitan area of Chicago. 
Medical research has confirmed the benefits of cannabis in the treatment of pain.  Also research is being conducted on the curative effects of cannabis.  Greenhouse’s mission is to help its customers get more out of life.  Most parts of the cannabis plant can be used; the dried leaves, the flowers, the stems and the seeds.  Legal cannabis is tested for potency, contaminants and pesticides.  We were told it is easy to track the cannabis if an issue arises or a particular problem occurs in a given batch as records are kept on the specific type of cannabis each patient receives.
There are 85 active ingredients (cannabinoids) in cannabis that have an affect on the human body.  Cannabis can be administered in a number of different ways:  smoke or vapor, tincture or sublingual, oils (usual method for cancer patients), edibles, topical (generally used for arthritis), transdermal and via a suppository.  Dosage can be controlled in dispensing cannabis.  When smoking cannabis one can feel the effects within 30 to 50 seconds and it can last for 2 hours.  Cancer patients using cannabis oils experience the effects in 1 – 2 hours and they last for 6 – 8 hours.
Mahja said that a person could not overdose on legal cannabis.  Patients are requested to keep a log of the use of cannabis and its effects.  This information is used for additional research.  Persons interested in cannabis for medical use must be residents of Illinois with a qualifying medical condition.  One also needs a signed physicians certificate and they will be fingerprinted.
State requirements include all purchases must be paid in cash and there is only one bank (in Springfield) where the money must be deposited by the cannabis dispensary.
Meeting Recap 1/12 Wes Baumann 2017-01-18 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 1/5

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 28 members present and two guests—Marc Hornstein representing the Winnetka Police Department; and Jessica Rutstein from the WYO.
Patti announced again the ABC’s of Rotary meeting on January 3, 2017—members are encouraged to attend and there is still room available for reservations. She also reminded the group that Kids Against Hunger is having its event on March 11 and is still looking for sponsors. Those interested should go on its website for further information.
SPEAKER EILEEN CONSIDINE BOGGINS: David Birkenstein introduced Ms. Boggins who is the Partner Relations Manager at Journey Care. She explained that this provider started many years ago as Hospice of North Shore. Eight years ago it reorganized into Midwest Palliative in Glenview and 18 months ago was  merged into Journey Care along with the Horizons organization. The new organization serves about 1000 patients in 11 counties in the Chicagoland area. Information regarding its palliative, supportive and end-of-life care is available on its website  Hospice is just one part of palliative care which also includes grief support and pediatric services for people of all ages. Eileen gave examples of what to say to friends and family members who are experiencing illness and trauma. Rather than saying to a grieving person “let me know if there is something I can do”, be more proactive in dropping off food or performing functions for the person in need. Handwritten notes of concern are far better than emails.  Eileen provided pamphlets as to appropriate things to say to persons grieving. Copies are available on the website or you can request a copy from  Journey Care has a summer camp program for children from K to 12 grades who are in need of grievance counseling.
Eileen said that hospice care is covered by Medicare if two physicians prescribe it and the person has a life expectancy of less than 6 months.  The average length of stay for a hospice patient is 13 days. Life limiting illnesses where the person is still seeking curative treatment and is expected to live longer than 6 months are covered by most health insurance policies if ordered by a physician.
Meeting Recap 1/5 Keith Reed 2017-01-10 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap: December 29

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 18 members present. Our one guest was Beth Padgitt, wife of member Lee.  Patti urged all members to attend the ABC’s of Rotary Conference, which will involve 3 Rotary districts and has a limited amount of seating.  She will email all members the details of this meeting.
Our speaker was Emily Compton-Dzak from the Winnetka-Northfield Library.  She presented interesting information on the Best Books of 2016 and a preview of her recommended books for 2017 (her list is below).  She also had a display of popular books available for check-out from the Library and “goodie bags” for members with information about the Library’s upcoming events.  Our community is lucky to have such a resource available and that it is staffed and managed by such capable people as Emily and our own member Rebecca Wolf.
Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
The Girls, by Emma Cline
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
Moonglow, by Michael Chabon
Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
American Heiress, by Jeffrey Toobin
City of Dreams, by Tyler Anbinder
Born to Run, by Bruce Springsteen
Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
Underground Airlines, by Ben Winters
Jane Steele: a confession, by Lindsay Faye
Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
Darktown, by Thomas Mullen
The Trespasser, by Tana French
Blue Laws, by Kevin Young
Lily and the Octopus, by Steven Rowley
All Things Cease to Appear, by Elizabeth Brundage
Coming Soon in 2017:
The Girl Before, by J.P. Delaney
The Second Mrs. Hockaday, by Susan Rivers
The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden
Meeting Recap: December 29 Keith Reed 2017-01-03 00:00:00Z 0

Kids Against Hunger 2017

Posted by Heidi Sibert on Jan 01, 2017
Plans are underway for our 8th Annual Kids Against Hunger Food Packing Event.  Participant registration is open and solicitation of sponsors is underway.  Please help us make this signature event for our club a success by recruiting participants, making a tax deductible donation or being a table sponsor.  Huge thanks to those members and businesses that have already stepped up to commit to sponsoring this wonderful community event that supports the hungry.
 Eventbrite - Kids Against Hunger Food Packing 2015- 100,000 Meals for the Hungry
Kids Against Hunger 2017 Heidi Sibert 2017-01-02 00:00:00Z 0

December 15 Meeting Recap

Posted by patti Van Cleave
Thirty-six Club members attended the special holiday luncheon featuring the New Trier Swing Choir. Among the several guests in attendance were spouses of John Thomas, Robert Mardirossian, Lee Padgitt, Tony Kambich and Peter Skalski; Bridget Murphy from WCH; Ann Smith and Jackie Linney from the local Chamber of  Commerce; Pat Kreis of the Winnetka Police Department; and Julia Espanosa from Private Bank.
President Van Cleave made a special presentation to Rich Lalley honoring his “five times” qualification for the Paul Harris Fellow award, which represents cumulative donations of over $6,000. Rich responded by mentioning that the Rotary Club has been selected by Charity Navigator as the most effective and impactful charitable organization in the country and that it’s a privilege to give to such an outstanding charity.
Wes Baumann introduced the 18 member New Trier Swing Choir and its director Nathan Landes. The Choir has been a holiday treat for the Club for several years and much appreciated by all concerned. This year’s group is made up of juniors and seniors at New Trier. They have been very active this holiday season in singing at several Village events and a couple of articles (with pictures) have appeared in the local papers. They are all talented singers who sing in other musical groups at New Trier and take extra time at the holiday season to prepare their music. They sang 9 songs for the Club including such holiday favorites as Winter Wonderland, Felix Navidad, Got My Love To Keep Me Warm and Let It Snow. Their songs were mostly acappella jazz arrangements with very complicated harmonies, all performed meticulously by the singers. Much thanks to New Trier, Mr. Landis,  the singers and Wes Baumann for again arranging for the appearance of  this Choir. You may recognize some of the singers’ names: Josh Bretthauer, Jack Callahan, Claire David, Carter George, Madi Hart, Duncan Holzhall, Alex Hopkins, Donna Kang, Adrianna Lauber, Billy Loveman, Katherine Melulis, Liam Oh, Jonathan Organ, Ana Pellar, Lily Piekos, Sarah Shapiro, Michelle Vasiliadis and Timothy Zajdela.  Two regular members who were absent were Kristen Doyle and Griffin Weller.
(These minutes are a shorter version of the Club’s regular meetings which the Membership Committee and Club Board have requested for our future meetings, much to the delight of the current scribes!)
December 15 Meeting Recap patti Van Cleave 2016-12-27 00:00:00Z 0

December 22nd Meeting Recap

Posted by Keith Reed on Dec 26, 2016
There were 23 members present. Guests were Tom Welch, a visiting Rotarian from Colorado, and Scott Birkenstein (son of Eric and grandson of David).  It was announced that Holy Family Ministries, one of our grantees, thanked our Club for the donation of 150 coats that their organization recently distributed to needy kids.
Our speaker was Mark Stec, VP Community Bank Sales Manager at Wintrust Mortgage at North Shore Community Bank & Trust in Winnetka. He described the “mortgage madness” taking place since late 1990’s. Early on, the regulators encouraged banks to loan money for home purchases to the point that almost anyone could get a mortgage. Then in 2013 Dodd Frank changed the rules by demanding that applicants meet certain stringent requirements pertaining to income (attached is list of 8 factors provided by Mark). Assets no longer are important. Self- employed individuals need to prepare for a mortgage application by showing more income on their tax returns for the  2 years before application and less expense write-offs. The documentation required for mortgages is now far more complicated and consumers can now sue lenders for incomplete or incorrect documents. The Credit Bureaus collect more information now and some applicants have discovered that even unpaid parking tickets can adversely affect one’s credit rating and mortgage rate. He said that the bubble burst in the last decade can be blamed 1/3 each on the government, banks and the consumers. The one thing that needs to be changed is more weight given to an applicant’s net worth as opposed to their annual income.
December 22nd Meeting Recap Keith Reed 2016-12-27 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker on February 23: Doug Stuart

Posted by David Birkenstein
Dr. Doug Stuart is a consultant, coach, and speaker on the rising human spirit amidst the challenges of the 21st century. With a PhD from IIT in linguistics and post-graduate studies in transpersonal psychology, Doug has 20+ years teaching at the post-secondary level in 6 countries on 6 continents, 20 years developing corporate intercultural competence, and 30 years’ personal study of human vertical development – the evolution of consciousness from secular and spiritual perspectives. A practitioner of meditation and hatha yoga, Doug is also a writer and performer of songs of the rising human spirit.
Speaker on February 23: Doug Stuart David Birkenstein 2016-12-12 06:00:00Z 0
Operation Warm Project Underway! Richard (Rich) Lalley 2016-11-28 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap November 17

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 29 club members present at the meeting. The guests were Bridget Murphy from the WCH and Jessie Butler, wife of our speaker. Chuck Norton gave the “thought of the day” about the meaning of the word “Thanksgiving”.
Patti took a survey of those members planning on attending our December 22 and/or 29 meetings because of the holidays. Based on the tally, it was decided to have a regular meeting on both days.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Rich Lalley announced that our Operation Warm project raised over $11,500 which bought over 800 coats for needy youngsters. Among the recipients of these coats were kids associated with the Asian Youth Services, the Glenview-Northbrook Youth Services, and the InterCity Impact program in Cicero.  It was announced that the local League of Women Voters is having a State of the Villages Forum from 2:30-5:00 on December 1 at the Kenilworth Union Church, at which the Village Managers and Village Presidents from Winnetka, Northfield and Kenilworth will discuss the “state” of their respective villages. At this event will be a “holiday collection” to benefit the New Trier and Northfield Food Pantries. Connie Berman announced that the Private Bank facility in Winnetka will have a complimentary paper shredding event on Saturday, November 19.
HAPPY BUCKS; Barb Tubekis contributed in gratitude of all the “ love, friendship and giving”  she has experienced from the volunteers working on the Good News Partners post-Thanksgiving food project where over $1240 was collected to buy about 60 bags of food which will be delivered on Thanksgiving. She explained the GNP has rehabbed 11 buildings in Evanston/Rogers Park where it provides families housing and food until they can “get on their feet”. Currently about 165 families are being served.  Barb said that part of her gratitude was also for her friends who consoled her during the recent loss of her family dog.
Tom Nash handled “dig n grin” with some pilgrim/turkey riddles.
SPEAKER:  PETER BUTLER (former President of Rush University Medical Center and now its Chairman of the Department of Health Systems Management) and Winnetka resident.
David Birkenstein introduced our speaker and his wife, Jessie.  Peter said that Obamacare had more parts that worked than failed. He said that there has been greater access to medical services and at a lower cost. Before the program, this country had 16% of our population uninsured and now that is down to 8%.  22 million people were able to obtain insurance coverage with half gaining access to Medicaid and the other half getting insurance on the insurance exchanges. In Illinois, ¼ of our population is on Medicaid. If a household’s income is below $97,000 a year, it will receive subsidies and 80% of those buying insurance from the exchanges are getting subsidized. Recently, the average annual increase in insurance purchased through the exchanges was about 25% and it was considerably higher in individual states—Illinois exchanges experienced a 40% increase. The current annual penalty for someone who does not obtain insurance is $695. Peter said that the exchanges’ financial troubles were because not enough healthy people bought insurance, but paid the penalty instead. Regarding some of the recent changes being suggested for Obamacare—he said the pre-existing condition and the no life time maximums will most likely stay. But he said if the individual mandate is removed that the cost of the overall program will increase substantially. He said that the insurance companies thought Obamacare was going to benefit them greatly, but that hasn’t been the case. To add to the problem, the Department of HHS drafted very restrictive regulations regarding the law that was going to reimburse these companies for losses and much of the anticipated reimbursement did not occur. He thinks that the guaranteed benefit package under the Obamacare plans will be reduced as a cost saving measure. He said that people under employer plans haven’t suffered as much as the self-employed/independent contractors who have experienced huge increases in premiums and deductibles and that most of the major hospitals are no longer participating in these programs which, in Illinois, are only available through Blue Cross. One advantage of going to a single payer system is that the administrative cost of a government-run insurance program  would probably be less than the insurance companies charge—he gave as an example Medicare having only a 3-4% administrative charge, versus 5 times that for private carriers. He said the exchanges are in such bad shape that we have to find a way to get people to use them or get rid of them. (There were a few comments from the audience about their experiences with changes in their health insurance coverage and cost.)  
Meeting Recap November 17 Keith Reed 2016-11-22 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 10/13

Posted by Wes Baumann
This week we had 33 members in attendance; however, we had no visitors or visiting Rotarians to enjoy a wonderful lunch and a great program.  Don’t forget to invite friends and prospective members to our lunches, it will help spread the word of all the good that our club is doing.
We celebrated the membership anniversaries of two Rotarians: Bob Baker joined the club in the last millennium in 1987 and Joe Nash joined in 2012.    “End Polio Day” is October 24th this year.  President Patti asked for volunteers who would be willing to spend an hour at our local train station to talk to commuters about Rotary’s effort to wipe out polio throughout the world.   The Barrington Rotary Club is sponsoring a service trip to Guatemala next February 19th to the 27th.  If you have any interest go the their club’s website for more information.
Happy Buck$ this week came from Tony Kambich in honor of Sam Badger surviving his military unit’s reunion; Bob Baker for the good job Tom Nash did running the meeting the previous week in the absence of President Patti Van Cleave; John Stone for the Cub’s winning the NL Divisional Series against San Francisco; and Rich Lalley in gratitude for the fine start for Operation Warm.  Our club has already raised $5500 for new coats for kids.  The hope is to raise about $10,000 by Thanksgiving.
Mark Kotz did an excellent job in getting smiles and laughs for his Dig ‘n Grin.
Patti introduced two young gentlemen from the Lyric Opera to tell us more about this civic organization.  Our speakers were Joel Friend, the Group Sales Manager, and Sam Fain a Group Sales Associate.  They began with a detailed history of the Lyric that was first started in 1850.  The first opera house was destroyed in Chicago Fire.  This was at a time when New York was the center of opera in the United States.  The current Civic Opera house was opened in May of 1929.  Due to the financial crash that occurred later that year it laid dormant for quite a number of years.  Again from 1947 until 1953 it was completely dark. 
In 1953 the Lyric Opera was formally organized under the leadership of Carol Fox.  In 1954 Maria Callas made her first operatic performance in the U.S.  Every one of her performances was sold out.  Several additional performances were added and after the final performance, when security was reduced for Ms. Callas, she was served a summons in her dressing room for a breach of contract.  She never again performed in Chicago.  In 1981 Ardis Krainik took over the leadership of the Lyric Opera.  She was responsible for major renovations to the facility.  She is also known for firing Luciano Pavarotti due to his frequent no-shows.  Wes Baumann pointed out that the lead tenor in next January’s performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is Matthew Polenzani, a 1986 New Trier graduate.
Mr. Friend said that there are eight operas performed each season as well a classical American musical (My Fair Lady in 2017).   There are also special events such as performances by Plácido Domingo and Itzhak Perlman.  He said Rotarians are eligible for a 20% discount for all tickets to operas.  The special code is: ROTARY.  Both Friend and Fain indicated that one of their goals is to bring opera to a more diverse audience, including Chicago Public School students.
Meeting Recap 10/13 Wes Baumann 2016-10-19 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker on October 13: Sam Fain & Lyric Opera Chicago

Sam Fain, representing the Lyric Opera: "We have a spectacular and magical season ahead with many classics of the operatic canon as well as rarely performed gems, including The Magic Flute, Carmen, Lucia di Lammermoor, and the Lyric Opera premiere of the French Grand Opera Les Troyens. I will speak to your members about opera, the history of the Lyric, the Civic Opera Building, and answer any questions you may have about one of the oldest and most revered non-profit arts organizations in the city of Chicago."
Speaker on October 13: Sam Fain & Lyric Opera Chicago 2016-10-11 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 10/6

Posted by Wes Baumann
This week we had strong attendance numbers.  There were 36 members along with in attendance, plus four guests and several late walk-ins who came to hear our speaker.  This week’s formal guests included Greg Nelson, a prospective member and guest of John Thomas.  Also our speaker, Dave Abell, had three guests – Elaine McCaffrey, an attorney from Glenview, Toby Nicholson, retired New Trier dance and theater teacher and active producer of shows of community theater from Winnetka, and John Rea, an economist from Evanston.  All three are involved with the North Shore Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America.  Mike D’Onofrio represented the Village of Winnetka staff.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  It was announced, and well received, that Bernie Michna would be our President Nominee and will be set to serve in 2018-19.  --  Last week’s food harvesting event for the Glencoe Garden Club was very successful.  The products of the harvest were taken to some area food pantries and soup kitchens.  --  Please note that next week’s meeting will be held in Room 204 (second floor) of the Community House.  --  Rich Lalley announced that Operation Warm would begin its drive to raise funds to supply new winter coats to kids in need.  This is one of our club’s annual projects.  --   Pat O’Day invited members to attend a fundraiser for the One World Medical Foundation which supports research on PTSD out of the The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago.  The event will be held in Chicago on Oct. 16 and involves a display of 300 classic cars (the Klairmont Kollection).  --  John Thomas sought support from the members to sign his petition to run for one of the Trustee positions for New Trier Township government.
We celebrated the birthdays of Brooke Peppy and John Stone this week.
Happy Buck$ were contributed by Sam Badger in honor of the upcoming reunion for his 1952 “Suicide Charlie” squad from the Korean War.  Tony Kambich contributed in honor of Sam’s military service.  Ned Meisner and Pat O’Day also indicated they were happy with financial donations. 
Our speaker for the day was David Abell, a 38-year member of our club, who is now a Rotarian in Rhode Island where he is currently living in retirement.  Dave, who has a significant hearing loss, developed a deep interest for hearing assistive technology (HAT).  He has been wearing hearing aids for the past 27 years.  Dave reported that 48 million Americans currently have some type of hearing loss and the number is growing.  Approximately one-third of Americans have a hearing loss at 65.  The percentage rises to 95% among 80 year olds.
There is a wide range of prices for hearing aids.  Dave reported that for good hearing aids one could expect to pay $2500 - $3000 per ear.  Most of that price is for the follow-up service that is required to finely adjust the devices.  Dave went back 15 times for adjustments for his current pair.  Hearing problems are a result of hearing consonants.  As an example it is difficult for the hard of hearing to distinguish between 15 and 50 as it is 16 and 60.
All hearing aids amplify all sounds.  The acoustics of a room definitely affect the ability to hear.  With many hard surfaces you get several sound hitting your ear at slightly different times making it difficult to distinguish words.  He suggests moving closer to the sound source whether it is a person or a speaker in a sound system
One of the assistive technologies that Dave is promoting are hearing loops.  A hearing loop is a wire that encircles a room and is connected to the sound system.  The sound is transmitted electromagnetically over the loop.  This electromagnetic signal is picked up by a telecoil in the hearing aid.  With a hearing loop, unwanted background noise is cut out and there is no need to use a receiver or headset.  Any person with a compatible hearing aid can use these systems when available.  There are not limits on the number of people who can use such an installed system.
Dave has encouraged the village to install this technology in the council chamber as well as suggesting that the Community House to put in a loop system in Matz Hall.  We are grateful to Dave for his excellent presentation on this assistive technology to take off the limitations of the hard-of-hearing.
Meeting Recap 10/6 Wes Baumann 2016-10-09 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker on October 6: David Abell

Advocating for Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) - How I found my passion in retirement

Dave Abell, a member of the Club for 38 years from 1972-2010 and a Past President, retired to Rhode Island in 2009.  Dave has developed a passion for hearing assistive technology (HAT) and will be telling us about his experience. He expects to have some guests who can tell us about their experiences with hearing loops on the North Shore.  He planted the seeds for hearing loops in Village Hall and the Community House last time he visited, and now he wants to water and fertilize the seeds.

Speaker on October 6: David Abell 2016-10-05 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recaps:  9/22 & 9/29

Posted by Heather Higgins
Last Thursday the Club gathered for a hands-on service project at the Glencoe Community Garden.  We harvested veggies for delivery to local food pantries. Later, we met for a cocktail social hour hosted by Patti at the Winnetka Historical Society.
On September 22 Bob Baker was acting President. There were 27 members and 2 guests present. Bridget Murphy was Tim McCabe’s guest. She is the new Facilities Director at WCH. John Thomas’ guest was Greg Nelson.  Peter Skalski had the thought of the day. Dig ‘n Grin was Todd Stevens who told Lawyer jokes. The speaker was Yves Lassese, who spoke about a group bringing clean water to Haitians. A well costs $15,000 to dig and it must be maintained.
Meeting Recaps:  9/22 & 9/29 Heather Higgins 2016-10-05 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap September 15

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 30 out of 57 members present. Allie Sarwark of WYO gave the “thought of the day” which was to look forward to positive things and forget the negative things of the past. Fred Schwimmer was back and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Guests were Penny Fields from the Highland Park Rotary, and John Robertson from the Evanston Rotary.  Rotating Members in attendance this week were Anna Helfman from Winnetka High School; and Marty Selleis fom the Winnetka Fire Department.
Several Club membership anniversaries were celebrated and those members present were: Tony Kambich (37); Tim McCabe (7); and Fred Schwimmer and Heidi Sibert (4).  Robert Mardirossian was celebrating 22 years of membership but he also had a birthday-- and since added together they added up to 85, he wanted us to sing to him as he quoted our recent guest, Van Gilmer (choir director of the Bahai Temple), that to unify a gathering of people “you can sing”. After the singing, Robert “unified” us with his contribution of a $85 check.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Barb Tubekis reminded us that she needed volunteers for the September 29th Glencoe Garden Club Harvest which is being sponsored by our Club. It includes lunch and people can participate in the deliveries after the harvest. The produce goes to several area food pantries and soup kitchens.  John Robertson reminded us of the Evanston’s Rotary Club 3-part program September 23-25 which includes a Northwestern football game and a visit to the Rotary Friendship Garden in Evanston.  Guest Penny Fields told us of the Writing Group at WCH who has scheduled a “standup story telling performance” at the City Winery in Highland Park September 18th starting with music at 11:00 am. Rich Lalley reminded people of the Operation Warm project with donations hopefully coming in by the end of October (more information is available on our website and bulletins). Patti pointed out the Winnetka Historical Society’s  private tour of Crab Tree Farm on a century old estate on Lake Michigan scheduled for September 29.
HAPPY BUCKS:   Tony contributed in celebration of Fred Schwimmer’s return to the Club meetings and a positive forecast for his health condition. Heidi contributed to celebrate her company’s successful BBQ for their customers/vendors which raised $5000 in a raffle with the winner giving the money to their favorite charity, an Elgin- based arts organization  providing programs for underprivileged children. Barb contributed HB in celebration of  her tour of a newly constructed part of New Trier High School and the great job everyone is doing  in retaining parts of  the old  structure and combining it with the new.
DIG N GRIN;  Heidi gave us several little known facts about the Fall season, including why leaves lose their green color in cold weather; what happens during the equinox; how evergreen needles fall  every 3 years; that 90% of the pumpkins sold during the season are raised within a 100 mile radius of Peoria; and why men really crave eating pumpkin pie!!
SPEAKER:  David introduced Joe Flint, Senior Development Officer at The Cradle in Evanston.  He presented a very informative power point which is available on the Club’s website. Other interesting facts mentioned were: The Cradle provides more than adoption service with its Child and Family Service programs; it started at Evanston Hospital almost 100 years ago but moved to 2049 Ridge Avenue in Evanston where it is today; it is the only agency in country with its own nursery; up until the 1990’s adoptions were “closed” with the children having no right to find out their origin—now it is an entirely open process for both children and birth parents; The Cradle has about 40% white, 30% Black; and 20% Hispanic babies adopted with about half of the kids of color being adopted by white parents; same sex couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples as long as they are married; there is no minimum age requirement for parents, but the average age of the birth moms is 27;  birth moms are usually from Illinois or Indiana and the adoptive parents are usually from Illinois; the birth parents select the parents and location (there is a tendency for the birth parents to prefer suburban to inner city parents); adopting parents usually are foster parents for 6 months before applying to the State for adoption privileges; International adoptions are usually handled by international adoption agencies; some countries like Russia and Guatemala no longer permit adoption by U.S. parents, whereas Ethiopia, Korea, Tanzania and China (2nd child usually) are still open to such adoptions; The Cradle did not charge a fee for adoption until 15 years ago and today the fee is about $39,000 to adopt a child (there are a few exceptions); it costs the Cradle $55,000 to have one child adopted; 40% of The Cradle’s budget now has to be covered by charitable contributions; and it was a revelation to hear that The Cradle does not receive any government funds. 
Meeting Recap September 15 Keith Reed 2016-09-16 00:00:00Z 0

Help Us Warm the Hearts of Children

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Sep 06, 2016
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Please help us reach our goal of providing brand new Operation Warm winter coats to 1,000 children living in need in the Chicago area.  We believe a new coat is more than a coat and can tell a child "You're worth it."  We believe it can inspire happiness and warmth in a child, while also increasing self-confidence, peer acceptance, school attendance, and outdoor play.
Over the past seven years, the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield has provided a gift of warmth to nearly 4,000 area children. For these children and their families, your gift of a new coat will be a true blessing.
We partner with several area non-profit organizations identified by our club members, including:
Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook
Holy Family Ministries in North Lawndale
Inner City Impact in Cicero | JCYS in Highwood
Open Arms Mission in Antioch | Maryville Crisis Nursery in Oak Park
Hope Community Church in Chicago's Austin Neighborhood
Asian Youth Services
Won't you join us with a tax deductible donation in support of our goal?  You can create your own fundraising page- and even dedicate it to one of our beneficiary organizations- and share with friends or family, or donate directly above.  $20 provides a new winter coat for a child.  How many children will you keep warm next winter?
SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: Another local Rotary Club will match up to $400 in donations! Make a donation today and double your impact!
Make your tax deductible donation at
Help Us Warm the Hearts of Children Richard (Rich) Lalley 2016-09-07 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap September 1

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 33 out of 57 members present. Joe Nash did the “thought for the day” , which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Guests were Jacqueline Boland (guest of Connie Berman); Brian Keys represented the Village and Julie Tye represented Hadley.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Patti invited everyone to attend a special “end polio now” event on September 6th from 5:30-8:00 pm at One  Rotary Center in Evanston which will highlight our progress in the fight to eradicate polio throughout the world. Patti also announced Rotary day at the football game between Nebraska and Northwestern on September 24th, at which there is a big book collection initiative for kids under 5 years of age. More information on tickets and book collection will be forthcoming. Heather Higgins celebrated her birthday and she requested that we sing the song (we must be getting better because no one offered any money for us not to sing!)
HAPPY BUCKS:  Allie Sarwark , Director of the WYO, contributed.  Barb Tubekis contributed because of 5 of our Club members who volunteered to help the Glencoe Garden Club with their “food harvest” on 9/29.
Bernie Michna handled the “dig and grin” telling us about kangaroos complaining about the high cost of drinks in Manhattan and certain Cubs not being able to identify the Lord’s Prayer!
After a short video presenting certain options to increase Rotary  membership, David Birkenstein introduced our speaker, Dr. Michael Kennedy,  Director of the Science in Society at Northwestern University, which is dedicated to science outreach and public engagement. He said that education researchers have long pointed out the need for inquiry-based teaching approaches to connect students to real scientists and science environments. Northwestern and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago have partnered to form a Science Club where  Northwestern scientists mentor middle schoolers at the B & G Clubs in small groups to tackle real-world science problems and help youth emerge as more critical thinkers. The emphasis is on STEM (science, technical, engineering and math) experiences and the target group of students is low-income students in the Chicago schools. Middle grade students spend 80% of their time out of school and the project tries to enrich the participants’ time out of school versus during school. The instructors in the program are NW grad students and expert lay persons in the area. 100 youths participate per quarter; there are 50 mentors; a student stays in the program for 1 ½ years; each student is mentored 1 ½ hours per week after school at one of the B & G Clubs; and the students are evaluated on their oral presentation of their projects. This program has greatly increased the interest of  students pursuing a STEM career.  The program receives some support from the National Institutes of Health.  Further information is available by contacting Dr. Michael Kennedy at If you would like to review his power point presented at our meeting, please contact David Grant or Keith Reed.
Meeting Recap September 1 Keith Reed 2016-09-06 00:00:00Z 0

September 29th: Double-Header Rotary Day!!!!

Posted by Barb Tubekis
Glencoe Garden at lunch, and then drinks at 5!!
Those interested in a hands-on service project will gather at 12:15 at the Glencoe Community Garden to learn about the garden while eating a yummy boxed lunch, then harvest veggies for delivery to local food pantries. Come dressed to get dirty! RSVP to Barb Tubekis to be sure you get a boxed lunch!
Later, join your fellow Rotarians for a cocktail social hour(s) at 5! Hosted by Patti at the Winnetka Historical Society, 411 Linden Street.   Park on Ash or Ridge, enter through front or back door. Appetizers will be plentiful and catered by our own Donna. BYOB if you'd like, beer and wine will be served. Spouses/significant others welcome!
September 29th: Double-Header Rotary Day!!!! Barb Tubekis 2016-08-29 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap August 25

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 34 of 57 members present. Guests  were Deb Guy from the Women’s Exchange in Glencoe (Patti Van Cleave guest); Shari Burton represented corporate member Hadley Institute and Ann Smith represented the W-N Chamber of Commerce.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Randy Reeves celebrated a birthday. Patti listed the assignments for the next meeting. Mark Kotz reminded everyone that he still has available  copies of the directory of all the Rotary Clubs in our District. Barb Tubekis reminded us that although we have no luncheon meeting on September 29, that the Glencoe Community Garden group is having its harvest of fruits and vegetables from 12:15 to 1:30 at its location in Glencoe (next to the railroad tracks). This includes a short lunch and volunteers are needed. They should wear closed- toe shoes and bring gloves.  Barb also reminded us that our Club is having a social gathering that evening at 5:00 to approximately 6:30 at the Winnetka Historical Society—drinks and hors doeuvres will be provided. This is one of our newly-initiated social events that we are trying on the 5th Thursday of a month in lieu of a formal meeting. Rich Lalley asked for names of  other organizations that might be able to benefit children by being part of the Club’s Operation Warm program. Donations of coats are given to such organizations who find the children to receive same. A good example is the Open Arms Kitchen in Antioch. These coats are passed out to kids from  October through November. Our Club is responsible for getting these coats to more kids than any other Rotary Club in our District.
HAPPY BUCKS:  Wes Bauman contributed in memory of 14 years ago when he had a serious health problem at the opening meeting of his last year as Principal of New Trier High School—he  is thankful he made it through that last year until his retirement and for the 13 years thereafter—and is looking forward to many more; Barb Tubekis contributed for the great job Robert Mardirossian did in presenting a program on handling aging parents given recently at the Winnetka library; Tony Kambich contributed in honor of Sam Owri of Uganda who is a long distant admirer of our Club and who will become the International Rotary’s President in 2 or 3 years.
Tim McCabe gave the Dig N Grin by reminding us that if a dentist marries a manicurist they may fight “tooth and nail”—or a will (estate plan) is actually a “dead give away”.
SPEAKER CYNTHIA ANDERSON FROM THE CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN (CBG):  David Birkenstein introduced our speaker who is a Master Gardener and educator at the CBG and is now working on her Doctorate in landscape architecture. She said the goal of the CBG is to further education and scientific programs involving plants and flowers. Cook County Forest Preserve owns the CBG property but it is managed by the Chicago Historical Society. Other facts relating to CBG are: it had one million visitors in 2015; it covers 385 acres; has 26 garden areas and 4 natural areas; has one million bulbs, 65,000 shrubs and 100 acres of woods. The five major gardens are the Krasberg Rose Garden (5000 plants); Bonsai Collection Garden; English Walled Garden; Japanese Garden covering 17 acres and 3 islands; and the Evaluation Garden . The Plant Conservation Center is part of the Evaluation Garden where it teaches  and researchs plant conservation. Northwestern University and ITT have educational classes at CBG. The Regenstein Learning Center is new, has 10 classrooms and 433 adult education programs. During the summer several hundred  children from the area attend educational classes at the facility. The Hadley Institute has at least 3 programs to help sight-impaired people learn about and enjoy plants/flowers.  A little known program of the CBG is its Plant Information helpline where people can call in problems with their plants/flowers and get immediate and expert advice from the 5-10 Master Gardeners who are usually on duty to take such calls.
 In answer to questions from the audience, Cynthia said, yes, there are fish in the water; that the CBG has plenty of geese on the premises, but no swans at this time; there are 250 bird species that frequent the area; and that the deer population is “controlled and escorted peacefully from the premises”. As Cynthia put it, “we are indeed lucky to have the CBG our backyard.”
(Cynthia’s power point presentation will be passed on to members when it is received.)
Meeting Recap August 25 Keith Reed 2016-08-29 00:00:00Z 0

Applications being accepted for Community Grants program

Posted by Patti Van Cleave on Jul 25, 2016

Our Club's Charitable Foundation is now accepting Community Grant applications for funding for the 2016-17 funding year. Applications are due by November 30, with grants to be awarded in March, 2017. 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 Brooke Peppey, Foundation Chair at

The application can be found by clicking here

2016 grants awarded
Allowance for Good
Blues Kids Foundation
Holy Family Ministries
Jewish Council for Youth Services
Literature for All of Us
Meals at Home
Northeastern Illinois University Scholarship
Right to Be Free
Winnetka Youth Organization
Applications being accepted for Community Grants program Patti Van Cleave 2016-07-26 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker on July 28: Grace Deetjen

Grace is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, majoring in bioengineering. This summer, she volunteered as a workshop assistant at the Bolivian Prosthetics Foundation, a project our club sponsored as part of a Rotary Global Grant. She will visit our club to provide a first hand account of the life changing work at this clinic.
Speaker on July 28: Grace Deetjen 2016-07-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap July 21

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 31 members present and one guest (Alex Lalley). Barb Tubekis gave the “thought for the day”.
Happy Bucks: Tom Evans (through his designee Liz) gave $10 in celebration of his son (Matt) getting a job with the University of Chicago; Barb contributed in celebration of completion of her advanced learning class; and Patti Van Cleave contributed because Bill Leske has returned to the Club and her contribution was matched by Bill Leske. Patti welcomed back Mark Kotz who was missed greatly by everyone during his absence-- both Patti and Mark contributed HB.
Announcements: John Thomas reminded everyone that the International Rotary has published a very informative pamphlet that can be given by our members to invite  guests to our meetings in order to increase membership; Rich stated that the Rotary- supported Cubs-Brewers game this coming Saturday in Milwaukee is sold out and that getting there early is important—he also distributed tickets and directions to Miller Park; Patti announced that our Club received $3750 from our District as a matching grant to be applied to our  Kids Against Hunger program and thanked Rich for preparing the grant proposal.
John Thomas handled the Dig and Grin and  received a round of applause for his efforts.
Speaker—Michelle Silverthorn:  David Birkenstein introduced  Michelle who is employed as Diversity & Education Director at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. She grew up in Jamaica, went to Princeton on scholarship and graduated there before going on to law school. She worked for two well-regarded law firms in New York and Chicago before being employed by the Commission. The Commission was formed by the State Supreme Court about 10 years ago to encourage, support and deliver programs that enhance the efforts of the legal profession to be more diverse, open and accessible. This includes helping law firms and law schools develop diversity programs.
   Due to a computer malfunction, Michelle was somewhat limited in presenting information on her announced topic which was how our modern workforce is transforming with regard to diversity and what we can do to tackle the “ implicit biases” in our professional and personal circles. She made the following points during her presentation:
--People in the U.S. seem to be very hesitant to talk about the race issue and seem to go out of their way in denying that they make decisions based on race;
--Experiments by Oprah Winfrey and a white Iowa schoolteacher (Jane Elliot) demonstrated that if a class of people is continually told they are inferior and at the same time are not treated equally to other classes of  people, that they will eventually believe that they are inferior; Watch a 3-minute summary video:   Here is another video, 8-min reflection:
--Studies have shown that Black (the term used in Jamaica versus  African-American) students do better in tests that are described as “problem solving exercises” versus “intelligent tests”;
 --Many white people have an “implicit bias” against Blacks because of the “circle of influence” they are exposed to during their  childhood and adult lives;
--Many college educators and law firms tend to evaluate women and Blacks on a tougher scale than other groups of students and lawyers;
--The best way to correct this “implicit bias” is for everyone to engage in more dialogue and understanding of the race problem and to increase their reading and study of literature and media sources that present all different points of view regarding the issue.
   Michelle ended her presentation by quoting George Washington who said that “civility” of  a population is determined by the “respect” people have for each other and that such respect has to start from within each one of us.
Another source of information on bias that Michele suggested we look at is the book titled "Americanah," which you can look at on Amazon:
or if you want to watch a TED presentation by the author:
Meeting Recap July 21 Keith Reed 2016-07-23 00:00:00Z 0

Message from Mary Lou Bilder Gold

Our member Mary Lou sends her regards to the club, and wants us to know that her cousin, Berna Heubner, has produced a film about Alzheimer's that will show on WTTW on Sunday,  July 24 at 4:00pm.   Titled  "I Remember Better When I paint," the film is narrated by Olivia de Havilland.  It is about the positive impact of art and other creative therapies on people with Alzheimer's and how these approaches can change the way we look at the disease.  For more info: http:
Message from Mary Lou Bilder Gold 2016-07-19 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker on July 21: Michelle Silverthorn

Michelle's remarks will focus on how our modern workplace is transforming, particularly with regard to diversity, what inclusion strategies we can use in our workplace, and how we can tackle implicit biases in our professional and personal circles. Michelle Silverthorn is the Diversity & Education Director at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.
My remarks will focus on how our workplace is transforming, particularly with regard to diversity, what inclusion strategies we can use in our workplace, and how we can tackle implicit biases in our professional and personal circles. Michelle Silverthorn, Diversity & Education Director Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism - See more at:
Speaker on July 21: Michelle Silverthorn 2016-07-18 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap July 14

Posted by Keith Reed
    There were 22 members present and one guest (the speaker, Liz Kunkle from GoGreenWinnetka).  Newly-installed President, Patti Van Cleave, gave the thought of the day which confirmed that “friendship” is a very important part of the Rotary Club.
    ANNOUNCEMENTS: Patti mentioned that the new Rotary pins for the coming year were placed on the tables for members to take. She also mentioned the 5 page Q&A memo that Rich Lalley prepared containing basic information that all Rotarians should know (this memo is on the Club’s website). She also thanked everyone for their contributions to the Rotary Foundation and that we exceeded by $1600 our goal for last year. She mentioned that Mark Kotz was home from the hospital.  Fred Schwimmer noted that the Club’s membership committee has been considering ways to increase membership and participation, and he concluded by referring to a recent letter published by John F. Germ , new Rotary International President, in which he stated that new members don’t “magically appear in our clubs”, but that every member must ask guests to attend meetings and events to make them aware of Rotary’s activities—an invitation to lunch or an activity is actually a “gift” and it is telling that person that we think he/she has the “skills, the talent, and the character to make our community better, and I want you to join me in doing that.”  (This coming year will see an emphasis on the importance of all members bringing guests to our meetings.)
    One of our recent new members is Allie Sarark, who is now the director of the Winnetka Youth Organization. She reported that she is heading up a Habitat for Humanities building project in Wisconsin and needs 5-6 more youths to participate in the project. Rich mentioned that the Cubs’ tickets for the July 23rd game in Milwaukee will be passed out at our next meeting, and those not picked up at that meeting will be left at the WCH desk for pickup. David Birkenstein referred to the Rotary International pamphlet “Impact Begins With You” which were placed on the tables and can be used to distribute to prospective members.
    HAPPY BUCKS:  Robert Mardirossian contributed $16, one dollar for each year of his perfect attendance at Rotary meetings.  Rich Lalley contributed $100 in honor of his father-in-law, Don Jacobs, who recently passed away at 91 years of age.  Rich mentioned that it was amazing that Don lived that long considering that he was a Marine in WWII who landed in Japan shortly after the bombing;  was thereafter a lumberjack in Michigan and Washington for many years; became a professional “log roller” who appeared regularly at the 1964 World’s Fair; was the U.S. Senior champion  log roller for 11 years; and continued log rolling until he was 75.
    SPEAKER—LIZ KUNKLE: Liz is a trademark attorney with the local firm of Neal and McDevitt— she has been a very active member of the PTO at Hubbard Woods School where her 3 children attend.  In 2011, she helped start GoGreenWinnetka-Northfield with one of the objectives being raising the awareness of environmental issues, especially those involving recycling and waste disposal in the local area. She was joined by such organzations as the local library, schools, Chamber of Commerce and Park District. The Winnetka Congregational Church and  Grand Foods have helped Liz with her efforts to publicize the importance of effective recycling and waste management. Recently, Liz’ organization was able to achieve 501(c) (3) status, and is now known as GoGreen Winnetka (Northfield now uses a different waste disposal company which has a somewhat different approach to recycling). Other local villages such as Wilmette and Glencoe have similar GoGreen organizations and they coordinate their activities through a consortium which has regular meetings at the Botanic Gardens.  Liz said that Winnetka is fortunate to have Lake Shore Haulers as its waste disposal provider. It is well organized and expects residents to strictly follow the Village’s guidelines which are on the Village’s website and available at the Village Hall. Residents should be especially aware of the bins at the Village’s Public Works building on Willow Road that can receive plastics, styrofoam, toxic liquids and even construction materials. Liz and her organization are primarily responsible for the 25 pairs of recycling/waste bins recently placed in downtown Winnetka.
Meeting Recap July 14 Keith Reed 2016-07-18 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap July 7

Posted by Keith Reed
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Guests included the spouses of Marie Kuipers, Robert Mardirossian, Sam Badger, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, Patti Van Cleave and Peter Skalski. Other guests were Jessica Tucker and Creed Tucker (guests of Bob Baker), Kelly Lange (Joe Nash guest), John Zeddies (Peter Skalski guest), Kate Hughes (representing School District 36), Alan Ramson and Mary Bak (Rotary Asst. District Governor).
    Bob Baker dedicated the thought of the day to our new President, Patti Van Cleave, which extolled the virtues of “keeping  things simple”.
    It was announced that Mark Kotz has had some health problems and is hospitalized at Glenbrook Hospital. A card was passed for all to offer their good wishes for a quick recovery.
    Outgoing President John Thomas expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to be the Club’s President for the last year. He expressly mentioned the help he received from Mark Kotz, Rodger Morris, Rich Lalley and the 15 Board members serving during his term. He mentioned that he would now be able to “finish his lunch” at our regular meetings rather than starting the meetings promptly at 12:15. Patti Van Cleave presented John with a Rotary plaque and a Past President pin and badge in recognition of all John’s good efforts in leading the group over the last year.
    Tony Kambich and Rodger Morris then presented John with a special Paul Harris award in recognition of John becoming a Paul Harris Fellow and for his substantial contribution in furthering Rotary’s goals and programs during his time as President.
    Mary Bak, our Assistant District Governor, then complimented our Club on a couple of accomplishments that stood out to her—our Kids Against Hunger program and the fact that our Club’s annual giving to the Rotary Foundation exceeded substantially our annual goal. Mary then proceeded to swear in our new Club President, Patti Van Cleave, as well as the 15-member Board for next year.
    Patti gave a short acceptance speech pointing out the long and accomplished history of our Rotary Club which started back in 1911; that the Club’s main function was for fellowship and an opportunity to serve others; that our Club needs more publicity for the good things it does, including such things as its efforts to eradicate polio, Operation Warm, Kids Against Hunger, and the community grants program. Among her goals for next year are to engage current members in “service before self”; tell stories of those people/organizations we serve; and to collaborate with others to make things better for those in need.  With both our past President and new President receiving applause for jobs well done, the meeting was adjourned.
Meeting Recap July 7 Keith Reed 2016-07-11 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 30

Posted by Lee Padgitt
Randy Reeves greeted everyone before Mike Shelton gave us the thought for the day. 28 out of 57 members were in attendence. David Birkenstein’ s guest was Todd Bender. Kristen is stepping down as Executive Director of the WYO and her guest was Allie Sarwark, who will take her place.  Happy Bucks came from Marie, Keith, Tom, Tony, Allie and Rich. Lee did Dig and Grin.
Our speaker was Jon Ferris of the Writer’s Theatre who described the features of their new home on Tudor Court in Glencoe and upcoming performances. The exterior elements of glass, plaster and wood were inspired by North Shore architecture and incorporated into a modern tudor design concept. Port Orford cedar was used to make the unique wooden structure reminiscent of tudor style. White oak trees felled to make room for the building were used in the donor wall. The concession stand and bookstore corridor use three different types of elm woods.  The roof top terrace is a public space with a fire pit and green roof garden. The Women’s Library Club leases the land to the Writer’s Theatre and uses it as their meeting space. Bricks from their old building were used in the in the main stage walls.
Meeting Recap June 30 Lee Padgitt 2016-07-05 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 23

Posted by Wes Baumann
This week there were 31 members in attendance, plus three guests and our speaker.  Keith Reed, the substitute greeter, introduced visiting Rotarian and past member of our club, Bill Leske.  Keith also introduced two guests:  David Birkenstein brought his wife Mary, and Kristen Leahy brought her colleague from the WYO, Allie Sarwark.
Rodger Morris made an important announcement that beginning in July, the new fiscal, year he will not have his usual supply of singles ($1).  So if you give him $20 you will get 24 raffle tickets.  Try to remember to bring exact change especially if you want less than five dollars worth of raffle tickets.
Bob Baker reminded the club that our Installation Dinner would be held on Thursday, July 7th at 5:30 p.m. at the Community House.  There will not be a regular luncheon meeting on that day.  It is important that all members who plan to attend sign up and indicate if they plan to bring a ‘significant other.’
Mark Kotz also reminded members that if they are assigned to Sgt-at-Arms duty they should stay a few minutes after to meeting to take the badges and flags back to the closet which is located near the front desk at the Community House.
Rich Lalley proudly presented Barb Tubekis with a Paul Harris Fellowship.  He also thanked the club for the number of members who have recently made their contribution to the Rotary International’s “Every Member Every Year” program.  Next week’s meeting is the deadline to make a contribution for this fiscal year.  The goal is to have 100% participation in this worthy effort for RI’s Foundation.
Happy Buck$ this week were happily supplied by Wes Baumann who gave $3 for the three-win sweep of the Cubs by the Cardinals.  Robert “Mr. Cub” Mardirossian came back with $8 for the eight game lead the Cubs had over the Cardinals.  Other Happy Buck$ came from Bernie Michna, Tony Kambich, and our guest speaker Father Jim.  Rich Lalley threw in $37 for his 37th wedding anniversary, congratulations to his wife Dyan!
David Birkenstein, introduced our speaker for the day, Father Jim Swarthout.  Father Jim was originally ordained as a Catholic priest, but he became an Episcopalian priest after marrying a Catholic nun years ago.  He is a member of the Fox Valley Sunset Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow.  Father Jim has spent most of his professional life in the area of addiction and mental health. Father Jim works as a clergy community coordinator at Rosecrance Health Network, a large mental health facility with numerous sites.  He and his wife often house bishops and priests struggling with addiction problems.
Rosecrance deals with addiction and mental health problems in all age groups.  They have the largest adolescence program in the state. Rosecrance also provides services to policemen and firemen who are suffering from the trauma they have witnessed on their jobs; it is considered a secondary trauma. 
Father Jim feels strongly that we need to talk about these serious issues, as ‘apathy is the death of hope.’  For many addicts it is a long, almost never-ending journey consisting of falling and getting up, which is repeated many times over.  He said this falling and getting up is common among the human race and is not limited to those dealing with addiction.  He said that humans are great at the art of self-criticism, which only make the road back more difficult. 
Father Jim said that today pot is 10 to 20 times more powerful than it was 30 years ago.  He is against the legalization of marijuana and said that the low cost of heroin is exacerbating the problem of addiction.  He stated that he does not always understand the cause of the problem, but he is committed to helping people deal with their issues. The Club really enjoyed his thought-provoking and stimulating presentation.
Meeting Recap June 23 Wes Baumann 2016-06-26 00:00:00Z 0

Every Rotarian Every Year! Give to the Rotary Foundation Before the Rotary Year Ends

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Jun 23, 2016


Through June 30, 30 of 57 members of our club have contributed


to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Programs Fund. We thank these 30 Rotarians for making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Sam Badger*+, Bob Baker, Wes Bauman, Jeanne Beckman, David Birkenstein+, Terry Dason, Mary Lou Bilder-Gold, David Grant*, Heather HigginsTony Kambich*, Mark Kotz, Rich Lalley+Denny LauerRobert Mardirossian, Tim McCabe, Bernie MichnaRodger Morris*Lee Padgitt, Brooke Peppey, Kieth Reed, Fred Schwimmer+, Heidi Sibert, Peter SkalskiJohn Stone, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, Dirk TussingPatti Van Cleave, Rebecca Wolf and Carl Yudell.  Donna Goodman also contributed!
* signifies a Major Donor signifies Paul Harris Society ($1,000 per year)

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's projects, 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. This year, we received nearly $4,000 for our Kids Against Hunger project! But we must give to receive.
  • Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation its highest “Four Star” rating, giving it a score 92.45 out of 100.
  • 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.
  • Check out this video on the good your contributions to the Rotary Foundation do 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.

Every Rotarian Every Year! Give to the Rotary Foundation Before the Rotary Year Ends Richard (Rich) Lalley 2016-06-24 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 16

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 34 members present and one guest, who was Rick Brill, President Elect of the “noon” Rotary Club in Wilmette.
Mark Kotz did the Thought of the Day; Joe Nash led the Pledge of Allegiance; and Bernie Michna did the Dig and Grin.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  President Thomas clarified the Club’s policy that each member is expected to put $2 on the table (whether or not the Dig and Grin is amusing!), with the money going to the Rotary Foundation. Bob Baker stated that the installation dinner for our new President, Patti Van Cleave, is set for the evening of  July 7th at the WCH. There will not be a noon meeting that day and people should sign up for the dinner for the caterer to get a count. Patti told the group that there were only 18 members who gave to the Foundation during the year ending June 30th. She encouraged everyone to participate, no matter the amount. Contributions can be done on-line and everyone should know that each Club gets a certain amount of  “trickle back” from  all contributions to the Foundation—last year our Club received $3700. Our WCH caterer, Donna, announced that she was giving $100, which was appreciated by all.
HAPPY BUCKS:  Sam Badger started with a donation in honor of his 65th class reunion at Miami University. Robert Mardirossian showed the old Cub “wait until next year” spirit  by giving a Buck for a rare Cub loss that he hopes doesn’t become the norm again this year. Tony contributed in recognition of the Winnetka Park District leadership (including John Thomas) for the successful planning, developing and  opening of the new park facility in Hubbard Woods. Patti contributed in honor of Tom Evans who recently received the Volunteer of the Year award at the Winnetka Congregational Church for various efforts there and for his work in support of a clinic on Chicago’s Southside. Rebecca contributed for the completion of the rehab project at the Winnetka and Northfield libraries in time for their summer programs to begin.
SPEAKERS NED MEISNER AND ROB ENGSTROM FROM CHARLES WM. FOSTER AND ASSOCIATES, LTD: In summarizing the “state of the U.S. economy” Rob said that we have become a debt based economy that is no longer based on savings and investment but one  based on ever increasing debt and credit.  In a debt based economy debt has to be growing faster than the underlying economy to continue its growth.  For there to be increasing debt, there needs to be increasing credit which supports the debt.  In order to provide increasing credit, there needs to be collateral that supports the credit.  Collateral is property, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.  The Fed has an incentive to maintain or increase asset prices so that debt can continue to grow.  This is a result of zero interest rate policy, ZIRP, by which lower interest rates result in an increase financial asset prices.  The result of ZIRP is investors seeking higher yields from riskier assets, more than what they would have otherwise taken.  Investors are seeking the higher returns in the same assets types, namely: stock, bonds and real estate.  Since investors are all in the same assets, the price action becomes more correlated to each other. The result of this culminated in the credit bubble burst in 2008. The solution to this problem was to re-inflate the bubble again through the various Quantitative Easing Programs which benefited the banks and their management.  The US is able to maintain its debt based growth in the economy because it is able to finance its national debt, which now stands at $19.2 trillion.  The US is able to run up its debt, as well as its trade deficit, because the USDollar is the World/s Reserve Currency.  China and Russia have a huge financial incentive to break the monopoly the US has on world trade. They are doing this by conducting trade using their own currencies and circumventing the USD. Over the past 8 years significant trading agreements have been signed circumventing the USD, with the sale of Russian energy to China in 2015 being one of the largest.  Another significant event has occurred this year that will compete directly with the USD and that is China’s trading of gold in Yuan.  This is significant because up until recently gold has always been quoted in USD.  Over the past 8 years, China has become a major gold trading center for physical gold delivery, as opposed to a paper based system in the US.  China’s gold strategy will eventually lead to its currency being backed by gold, giving it a significant advantage over the USD, which is currently not based on anything but “confidence”. The speakers said that this scenario was depicted in the movie “The Big Short”, and they recommended the movie.  More information about these views can be obtained from our Club member Ned Meisner, as well as from Rob Engstrom at
Meeting Recap June 16 Keith Reed 2016-06-21 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 9

Bernie gave us the thought for the day on the 72nd anniversary of D-Day about how war robs the poor. Donna had a special lunch menu in honor of Gina who is leaving our Club and in recognition of her extraordinary service. Our guest was John Ripka of the Winnetka Fire Department. Robert Smith invites everyone to attend the Rededication of Hubbard Woods Park at 5:30 June 15.
Terry Dason of the Winnetka Chamber of Commerce was welcomed as our newest member. David Birkenstein was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow plus three. Rich Lalley was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow plus four. Happy Bucks came from John Stone, Uncle Ned, Patti, Keith and Rich. Robert Mardirossian gave us his favorite quotes for dig and grin.
Recycling Flowers – Delivering Smiles. Our speaker Joanie Bayhack is the Executive Director of the Chicago chapter of Random Acts of Flowers, which recycles and repurposes flowers by engaging volunteers to deliver beautiful bouquets and moments of kindness to individuals in healthcare facilities across the country. These unexpected gifts of fresh cut flowers delivered to inpatients create enormous goodwill for both the recipient and the giver. Over 50 flower partners have provided flowers which are delivered to over 140 locations. Their 36,000th bouquet was delivered recently.
Meeting Recap June 9 Lee Padgitt 2016-06-13 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker on June 16: Ned Meisner & Rob Engstrom

Ned Meisner, member of the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club, will speak about the future of the U.S. economy.  Here is a preview from him:

My colleague, Rob Engstrom, CPA, CFA, and I have over 70 years of financial planning experience between us.  We have created a public service message in an attempt to educate people about how to digest the financial information which we hear, from so many sources.

There are caveats which will effect local, national and international financial markets.  Our talk is pregnant with information which was born from the forensic work which Rob and I both do. We are not selling any product nor service at the talk. Our talk takes a contrarian view, on our financial future, which is important for all to hear.

Rotary is a  perfect match for this critical subject matter.

My credentials include:

Masters of Science in Finance

Chartered Financial Consultant

Registered Employee Benefit Consultant

Certified Retirement Planning Counselor

Matriculated -  Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy

Rob is a CPA and  Chartered Financial Analyst.

Speaker on June 16: Ned Meisner & Rob Engstrom 2016-06-09 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 2

Posted by Wes Baumann
Before the actual business portion of the meeting began President Thomas auctioned off 4 $108 field box seats for tomorrow’s Cubs’ game.  On this short notice the tickets went to Robert Mardirossian for $200.  This money went to the WYO, which is holding their annual benefit this evening.
Thirty-two members were in attendance this week.  Our week’s greeter, Marie Kuipers, introduced two visiting Rotarians:  John Dyrud from the Wilmette Noon Club and former member Bill Leske, from the Skokie Valley Rotary Club.  Bill plans to rejoin our club as his new position of manager of the Winnetka branch of First Bank and Trust has brought him back to our area.
Barb Tubekis, dressed in orange announced that it was to highlight National Gun Violence Awareness Day.  Our speaker Rep. Bob Dold was duked out in an orange tie and orange-tinted American flag lapel pin.   Patti Van Cleave reminded the club members that the Winnetka Historical Society’s would be held on June 25th.  Tickets are $175 per person for the Cuban themed event.
David Birkenstein introduced our speaker U.S. Congressional Representative from the 10th District, Bob Dold.  Bob grew up in Kenilworth and graduated from New Trier High School.  He was first elected to Congress in 2010 when the 10th District included all of Winnetka and Northfield.   He lost his seat in 2012 following redistricting to Democrat Brad Schneider by 3000 votes.  Then in 2014 he retook the seat against Schneider in 2014.  They will be competing for it for the third time this November.
Bob is one of the most moderate Republicans in Congress.  He has frequently championed bipartisan efforts to move the country forward. Unlike most of his fellow Republicans he felt the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court was the wrong verdict.  He was one of three Republicans who voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act as he felt there as some good things about the law such as not allowing pre-existing to prevent insuring people as well as keeping children on their parents family plan until they are 26.  However, he feels the Affordable Care Act needs some major improvements.  Bob, differs from most of his Republican colleagues, in that he supports abortion rights, gay rights, stem cell research and funding for Planned Parenthood.  He also supports gradually raising the minimum wage; the only question is how high and at what rate.   Bob stated that the Senate should hold hearings on President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court as Judge Scalia was a strict constitutionalist and the constitution calls for the President to make a replacement recommendation and it is up to the Senate to advise and consent (or not consent).
Bob is now on the Ways and Means Committee and has expressed concern about the meager fiscal growth rate of the U.S., currently at 1.5% for the past decade, when 3.5% was typical of previous decades.  He was proud to report his role in the passage, with overwhelming bipartisan support, of a transportation bill that funnels money from the federal government to the states, especially of the fact that Illinois received the 4th largest amount of money. 
Rep. Dold expressed concern for overregulation, which he says is causing the loss of one bank per week.  While he agrees we need some regulation we absolutely need smart regulation.  Bob also expressed concern for the major drug problem on the North Shore, especially prevalent in Lake County.  He has introduced a bill to create a grant to expand the availability of naloxone, a heroin overdose antidote.  The meeting feature lively give and take between Representative Dold and the Rotary Club.
Meeting Recap June 2 Wes Baumann 2016-06-08 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker on June 2: Bob Dold

Robert James "Bob" Dold, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 10th congressional district, having served since 2015. He previously served from 2011 to 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party. Prior to his election, Dold ran his family-owned business, Rose Pest Solutions. In 2010, Dold defeated Democratic Party nominee Dan Seals to replace Republican incumbent Mark Kirk in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dold was narrowly defeated by Democrat Brad Schneider in 2012, but regained the seat in 2014, defeating Schneider in a rematch.
Speaker on June 2: Bob Dold 2016-05-31 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap May 26

Posted by Lee Padgitt
John Ford greeted the 38 out of 58 members in attendance. Tony gave us a heartfelt and poignant thought of the day about Memorial Day. Kristin announced the WYO benefit Thursday June 2, 7:00 p.m. at the Happ Inn. Barb announced the Volunteer Center’s Board Recruitment training seminar to be held June 10 from1:00 to 3:00. David mentioned that Congressman Bob Dold will be our speaker next week - invite guests!  
Our speaker was Scott Freres from the Lakota group who spoke about the Winnetka Lakefront Master Plan 2030, which can be found at:
This plan took two years to complete at a cost of $240,000, of which $119,000 was from a matching grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Program. This is a “living document,” not a blue print for development or construction. It envisions a long term preservation and enhancement process viewing the lake front as an asset.
Meeting Recap May 26 Lee Padgitt 2016-05-31 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker on May 26: Scott Freres

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:
Speaker on May 26: Scott Freres 2016-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap May 19

Posted by Keith Reed
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
Meeting Recap May 19 Keith Reed 2016-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap May 12

Posted by Wes Baumann
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.
Meeting Recap May 12 Wes Baumann 2016-05-17 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap May 5

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 37 members and 2 guests present, all enjoying the Cinco de Mayo decorations and menu. This holiday is celebrated by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in commemoration of the 1862 defeat of French troops at the Puebla Battle in east-central Mexico. The guests were: Cathy Carmody from Between Friends (David Birkenstein guest) and Bob Porter, tax accountant from Wilmette (Mark Kotz guest).  John Thomas led the Pledge of Allegiance;  Patti gave a list of things we all should do everyday for our mental and physical well-being; and Dirk Tussing gave the Dig N Grin.  Cathy Carmody presented her “time to shine” by explaining that her Between Friends organization is a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and abuse. It has been in existence for about 30 years and provides a crisis line, counseling/ support services, court advocacy, prevention and education. It is located in Rogers Park and has been a past recipient of the Rotary charitable grant program. There is presently a strong effort to curb harassment and abuse of young women starting in junior high, with 1 in 4 of such persons reporting being victimized by these actions. More information about this organization can be obtained at 773-274-5232.
    John announced that the next meeting will be at the Happ Inn in Northfield with Stacy Sigman, Northfield Village Manager, being the guest speaker. Tony mentioned that there will be a special tribute to David Gotaas at this meeting.  Patti reminded everyone of the Rotary Benefit on May 13 at Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette. On command, Liz Taylor and Connie Berman joined Patti in a very cute little skit emphasizing the importance of the Benefit and all the fun things planned for that evening, including silent auction and live entertainment.
   Birthdays announced were Dirk Tussing, Bob Baker and Barb Tubekis.
   Rich Lalley contributed Happy Bucks because he was recently able to raise $600 from Rotarians in a very short period of time (5 minutes) to buy books to give to Rotary;s District Conference for distribution to people in Pakistan.
   Our speaker was Dr. Chadwick Prodromos who has offices in Glenview and Chicago. He is an Assistant Professor at Rush University, specializing in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. In addition to being a 1971 graduate of New Trier, his other education credentials include such universities as Harvard, Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins and Princeton.. His presentation dealt with new treatments for arthritis and sports injuries using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell injections. His basic point was that 80% of eligible arthritis/sports injury patients are successfully treated with PRP injections instead of  joint replacement or other surgery. Traditional orthopaedic doctors are not involved in this trend because many are now employed by healthcare networks whose revenues are enhanced greatly by joint replacement operations. Such operations have increased 50% in the last 7 years. The problem with joint replacement is that the new joint will last only about 15 years, at best, and the second operation, especially for older people, is usually not as easy or successful as the first one.
   The usual treatment for arthritis is to mask the symptoms with medications and other treatments until the symptoms become so severe that the only alternative is joint replacement. The new treatment is in 3 parts: Stop pain medications and  reduce activities that cause pain so that the body can heal itself.  Then improve joint flexibility through physical therapy. Then treat with PRP and/or stem cells to decrease inflammation and stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities.
   PRP are solid particles in our blood that contain natural growth factors which enhance healing and decreases inflammation. PRP is the patient’s own plasma in which the platelets have been concentrated.  40cc of blood are drawn in the Doctor’s office (slightly more than a normal blood test) and  the blood is centrifuged and processed there  until he gets 4 cc of plasma with the platelet count being quintupled. This PRP is painlessly injected in his office with the entire process taking about 1 hour.
    Mesenchymal stem cells are found in bone marrow and fat and are the building blocks of cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons and muscle. These cells are collected via a painless bone marrow aspiration in the Doctor’s office. No sedation is needed and the process takes about 10 minutes. A small amount of fat is taken via a mini liposuction. Then PRP is also prepared and is injected along with the bone marrow aspirate and fat into the affected area. This procedure takes about 90 minutes without sedation. Again, about 80% of patients are able to avoid joint replacement with PRP injections lasting 1 to 2 years and those injections involving Stem cells lasting even longer.
   Doctor Prodromos has performed over 1600 injections. He has had especially good success with Patellar, Achilles, rotator cuff,  biceps tendinitis and elbow tendinitis. Such patients are usually pain free after 1 to 3 initial injections and generally do not need subsequent treatment.  Sports professionals undergo these procedures on a regular basis. The FDA has not been negative about these procedures, but it has not officially approved them yet because they usually require placebo studies and the Doctor questions the ethics of this requirement. These procedures are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, but the Doctor said that a normal PRP treatment in his office is half of what the medical centers would charge. He mentioned that rheumatoid arthritis has not responded as well to these treatments as regular arthritis, but that his organization is working on this and seeing better results. He mentioned that his wife, Dr. Marilyn Prodromos, is a dental surgeon and is using these injections for the treatment of TMJ (jaw occlusion problems).  Plastic surgeons are starting to use these injections for face lifts rather than plastic surgery. Anyone with questions about this information can go on the Doctor’s website at
   After his presentation, several Rotarians were able to limp up to the podium to get free medical advice! Dr. Prodromos’ website is at
Meeting Recap May 5 Keith Reed 2016-05-07 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap April 28

Posted by Wes Baumann
This week 32 members were in attendance, along with four guests.  Chad Fitzloff, a financial adviser from Evanston was the guest of Bernie Michna.  Two corporate membership guests were Richard Greenswag representing the WN Chamber of Commerce and Tim Sloth, Village of Winnetka Finance Director, representing the Village.  David Birkenstein’s guest was Bob Leopold, a retiree who plays in Keith Reed’s band and has become an accomplished artist in retirement.  He explained the nature of his art – he does impressionistic paintings of nature, using acrylic paint.  Bob has a studio/gallery on Waukegan Road in Glenview. 
Kristen Leahy announced that the Winnetka Youth Organization’s annual benefit would be held on June 2nd at the Happ Inn at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $90 or $160 per couple.  She invited all Rotarians to come to support the WYO.  Patti Van Cleave also announced our Club’s benefit, “A Night at the Cabaret,” would be held on May 13th at the Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette.  Since the benefit is just around the corner it is important to RSVP and get your tickets.  Tickets are $175 per couple and $90 for singles.  If members are unable to attend a generous contribution to the Club’s Charitable Foundation would be in order.  The Benefit is the main funding source for the grants annually given out to various agencies in our area.  Patti also announced that the annual installation dinner would take place on July 7.  There will be no lunch meeting that day.  John Thomas will be thanked for his year of service and he will hand the gavel over to the new president, Patti Van Cleave.
Happy Buck$ yielded over $170 as Fred Schwimmer was grateful for his 79 years of living in Winnetka; Bob Baker donated a dollar for each mile his son completed in the Boston Marathon-all 26.2 miles (the proud father mentioned that his son had the best time of 50 North Shore participants); Patti Van Cleave for the fact that she sold her tickets to a Cubs game and missed a rainout; Randy Reeves in celebration for his one-month sabbatical he earned for his twenty years at Charles Schwab; and Ned Meisner was happy to be invited to the Bahá'í International Convention.
Randy Reeves introduced the day’s speaker, Spencer Logan, from Windhaven Investment Management.  Mr. Logan has been involved in financial research for many years.  His job is to provide up-to-date research and analytical support for Charles Schwab’s representatives and their clients.  Three areas that he considers are diversity, dynamic asset allocation and downside risk management.  He presented a chart that showed how various asset classes ranked in performance for a period of 15 years.  As each class was color-coded it was easy to see that some classes that were top performers in some years where at the bottom in other years.  He told how he analyzes that information to make predictions about the future and manage risk for an investor.  He also talked about how the U.S. Fed strategy is diverging from the central banks of Europe, Japan and China as the U.S. will likely continue to tighten monetary policy as the other major economies will continue to implement reflationary policies.  Mr. Logan believes that the near-term U.S. economic outlook is solid.  The Europeans and Asians are moving toward negative interest rates and he believes that is stifling their economies.  Usually all major economies have in the past tended toward more synchronization in the approach to their tight or loose handling of their currencies.  He is convinced that banks need to be encouraged to get more of their money out in the form of loans, which stimulates spending, which in turn stimulates the economy.  We will see more economic growth when we see more or at least some wage inflation.
Mr. Logan expressed some cautious optimism for the future and stated that our economy is not as bad as some people would like us to believe. 
Meeting Recap April 28 Wes Baumann 2016-05-03 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap April 21

Posted by Lee Padgitt
Mike Shelton greeted the 31 out of our 59 members that attended with a smile. Robert gave us an eloquent thought of the day. Rich announced that Rotarians from Pakistan will be visiting May 5 on a fellowship exchange, and volunteers are needed for the day to meet them and show them around town after our meeting. He also let us know that our Board met and committed $300 from our Club to support at the District conference (April 28 to May 1.) First Book provides new books to children in need aged 4 to 10. Rich sought $50 donations. $300 buys 550 books, and so many Rotarians stepped up we exceeded that amount.
President John cited a recent Rotarian Magazine article on membership as a good source of ideas to boost our membership. Our goal this year is 62 members and all members need to help recruit. Happy Bucks came from Uncle Ned for his new car. Barb invited everyone to Celebrate the Volunteer Center 2016 Honorees recognition event on Cinco de Mayo at the WCH. David invites everyone to the membership committee meeting 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 28 at the WCH.
Patti asked everyone to please RSVP to our Club’s annual benefit - May 13, 2016 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Michigan Shores Club. This is the primary fundraiser for our Community Grants program. Dinner, cash bar, silent and live auctions and a performance by "Acts of Kindness Cabaret" Buy tickets, and if you cannot attend please donate, at Heidi had to leave early and left a happy buck because Wes did Dig and Grin for her, for which he received a rousing round of applause.
Our District Governor Rodney Adams spoke about his recent Rotary fellowship exchange trip to Pakistan. Donning authentic local garb, he started off by pointing out how the media portrays Pakistan in a poor light. While it appears on a top ten list of worst places to live in the world, the reality is far different. Pakistanis were very friendly and hospitable despite the occasional bombings here and there that get all of the attention. It is a mountainous country of 190,000,000 with poor infrastructure. Polio retains a toehold in the very difficult to access rural areas away from the main cities of Lahore and Islamabad.
Rodney and his cohorts first arrived at Lahore via the world-class international airport. They first stayed at Bahria Town Lahore, a friendly and low crime area. English is commonly spoken as one of two official languages (Urdu being the other.) Islam is a welcoming religion as it is practiced by most adherents. He enjoyed one of the daily shows that take place at the border with India. Peace and Literacy are now promoted, a far cry from the 1997 war between the two countries.
Rodney attended the District 3272 conference at the five-star Pearl Continental in Lahore. Unlike our district conference, the emphasis there was to highlight local acts done with assistance. Rotaract is very popular, and money is raised through corporate sponsorships. “Peace through Literacy” is a major theme, as 40% of the population is illiterate.
Meeting Recap April 21 Lee Padgitt 2016-04-25 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap April 14

Posted by John Thomas
Thirty-two members attended this week’s meeting and the total crowd was over 55 as many recipient of grants (see below) were present.  President John Thomas opened the meeting at 12:15 and kicked off with the pledge of allegiance to our flag. That was followed by Rich Lalley’s “Thought for the Day”. Lunch was then served.
While lunch was being enjoyed, at 12:30 Thomas read a note form Mike Wurzburg expressing his appreciation for having been a Rotary Club member for years. However, he said going forward he will be in Winnetka very little and, as a result, is resigning from the Club.
Thomas then asked for announcements. Barb Tubekis told the group that Governor’s Awards were presented earlier this week in Springfield at the Old State Capitol. Grants to 15 were acknowledged and recipients made brief comments.  Although out of normal sequence, Dig and Grin was ably handled by Keith Reed.
Following that, Anna Helfman was introduced. She is a NTHS teacher and sponsor of the NTHS Interact Club. At each lunch table was an impressive list of 2016 Interact activities. With Ms Helfman were three Interact students who had all attended a recent RYLA weekend. They briefly shared their experiences with us.
Thomas then turned the meeting over to President-Elect Patti Van Cleave who is also the outgoing President of the W/N Rotary Foundation. She presented to leaders of 11 non-profits with grant checks as follows:
- Allowance for Good – educates and engages youth ages 13-18 in topics such as philanthropy, community involvement, leadership development and social entrepreneurship. 
- Angles – formerly LINKS, providing health and sexual identity education and support to teens and young adults in the metro area.
- Blues Kids Foundation – preserve, perform and promote the Blues among America's youth. We support an annual Blues camp for student musicians ages 12 to 18.
- Holy Family Ministries – K-8 school in East Lawndale providing after school  and summer programs, providing a safe environment.
- Jewish Council for Youth Services - we support Champ Camp, providing a traditional summer camp experience to low-income, Latino children entering first through sixth grade.
- Literature for All of Us – works primarily with urban adolescents living in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago and nearby Evanston.
 - Meals at Home – provides home delivery of medically prescribed and regular meals to frail, elderly and mentally ill clients in the area.
 - Northeastern Illinois Scholarship – Scholarship for a new program offering MSW.  Supported also by Dirk Tussing who is a new Board member at NEIU.
 - Right to be Free – Rescues and rehabilitates children who are victims of human trafficking in Ghana.
- Winnetka Youth Organization – provides a safe, supportive, and fun environment for teens outside of the home and school. Sponsored by John Thomas
The meeting was closed at 1:30 with reciting the Four Way Test
Meeting Recap April 14 John Thomas 2016-04-19 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap April 7

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 30 Rotary members present. The one guest was Rhonda Miller’s Aunt Helen Assimos, who has lived in Wilmette for 55 years. The W-N Chamber of Commerce representative was Ann Smith.
Lee Padgitt lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Chuck Norton gave the Thought of the Day. Tom Nash gave the Dig N’ Grin, which consisted of several famous pranks that have been “pulled” on April Fool’s Day, including an announcement that Taco Bell had purchased the naming rights to the Liberty Bell!
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Tom and Joe Nash celebrated their birthdays. Ann Smith mentioned the honor President Thomas had recently received as the Chamber’s Man of the Year and she expressed appreciation for all the Rotarians who attended  John’s Recognition Lunch at the WCH and actually behaved themselves! Liz Taylor and Gina Sich were again congratulated for being named 2016 Connecting Communities Award Recipients by the Women’s Exchange, to be honored at the Women’s Exchange Spring Luncheon Benefit April 16th. Patti Van Cleve mentioned the Club’s Spring Benefit on May 13th at the Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette, featuring silent/live auctions, dinner/cash bar, performance by the AOK Cabaret group and tickets are $90 single, $175 couple. Patti also mentioned that next week’s Rotary  program will have the representatives from the Club’s 10 Community Grants Recipients for 2016 and that our Rotary Foundation (for a few more days) will still make a 50% (up to $250) match of members’ gifts to any of these organizations. Tim McCabe reminded everyone of the WCH annual benefit to be held on April 9 featuring the Second City Improv All-Stars with admission being $75 per person.
SPEAKER MARIA KURT:  Maria owns and runs the French Institute of the North Shore (for adults up to age 80) and in 2003 started the French School of Winnetka for pre-school children ages 3-6. Both of these are located at 562 Green Bay Road in downtown Winnetka. The purpose of both schools is to help those who want to learn French and learn about the French culture, as well as other cultures around the world. She pointed out that foreign languages are “acquired” by children up to age six, but those individuals older than age six “learn” the language—thus, there is a distinct advantage in learning foreign languages at an early age when all languages are equally easy to learn.
     Her school for children has three levels: Petite Section - age 3, Moyenne Section – age 4 and Grande Section – age 5, with up to 16 children in each class. The children attend the school five days a week, half a day for the younger children and half or full day for the older ones. The native French teachers only speak in French and as the children progress, they too eventually speak in French all day. Maria used a power point to show how the teachers introduce the children to the cultures of other countries by taking them on  4-6 week imaginary trips around the world.  This year the children are visiting France, Morocco, Sweden, Italy, China and Brazil.  The children engage in such activities as obtaining Passports, making transportation plans, pretending to ride on airplanes and ships, making various country flags, cooking, playing games/musical instruments, selling products, making art projects, and celebrating the holidays of  the countries  they “visit”.
      Maria mentioned that about 50% of her children are from Winnetka and the rest from other North Shore communities; that 20% of the children have one French parent, 20% have one parent who has studied French, 20% have International parents (non-French), and 40% have American parents with little or no French background. A child usually starts at age three and progresses through all three levels. She said that her “graduates” integrate into regular kindergarten and 1st grade without a problem, although some children are surprised to find out that all their classes are conducted in English.  Maria and her institutions do a great job in making the North Shore a little more international, especially when you see the students  in their red, white and blue school uniforms walking through downtown Winnetka singing French songs.
To illustrate Maria’s efficiency in teaching French, Robert Mardirossian had his ticket drawn in the Rotary Raffle and he was able to say the number “941” in French, with a little coaching!
Meeting Recap April 7 Keith Reed 2016-04-12 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap March 31

Posted by Wes Baumann
Twenty-seven Rotarians were in attendance at this week’s meeting along with two guests.  Rhonda Miller brought her friend, Creed Tucker, a Winnetka attorney, and our speaker Robyn Gabel brought her chief-of-staff, Karen McCormick from Northfield.
Patti Van Cleave, the chair of our Charitable Foundation, reminded the club that our annual grants would be presented to ten agencies on April 14th.  Any member who would like to add to the amount given to any of these agencies can give a check to Rich Lalley by April 7th.  The club will match an individual’s gift at a rate of 50₵ on the dollar up to $250.  Patti put a list of the ten agencies on the tables. 
Robert Mardirossian made a paid announcement inviting members to attend the annual benefit of the Counseling Center of the North Shore (formerly Family Service) on April 15th.  Tickets to the event at the Michigan Shores Club cost $150 per person. 
David Grant also put in a plug for the Winnetka Community House’s annual benefit to be held on April 9th.  Tickets for this affair cost $75, which will feature The Second City Improv All-Stars.
Rich Lalley announced the date, July 23rd, for our Rotary District’s annual Cubs-Brewers baseball game and tailgate party.  The tailgate party will begin at 3:10 p.m. and the game has a 6:10 p.m start.  Tickets for this event will be $55 during the month of April; then go up to $65 in May.  There may be a charter bus available for an additional amount, more on that later.    Rich also announced that a special award was being presented posthumously to David Gotaas for his work in Kosovo.  Dave started the first Rotary Club in Kosovo and was instrumental in the Kosovo American Education Fund, which provides graduate fellowships to promising young Kowovars for top-level training at select U.S. universities.
Happy Buck$ were provided this week by Patti Van Cleave, Robert Mardirossian, Rodger Morris and Barb Tubekis.  Bernie Michna provided laughter with his Dig ‘n Grin. 
The speaker for the day was Robyn Gabel, the State Representative from the 18th District, which includes Winnetka and Northfield.  She is in her 6th year in office.  Previously she was the Executive Director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition from 1998 to 2010.  She said that about 1/3 of the state’s revenue comes from Individual Income tax and another 1/3 comes from the state sales tax.  Approximately 8-10 % comes from corporate taxes and the rest from an assortment of fees and fines.  On the expenditure side of the ledger about 50% is fixed – going to state pensions, debt service and health insurance.  The other half is spent on health care and human services, education and public safety.  In 2011 Illinois temporarily (for three years) raised the individual income tax rate from 3% to 5% and the corporate tax rate from 4.8% to 7%.  The legislature did not renew the increase in 2014.  Thus, in the past two years the state’s fiscal problems have increase exponentially.  Governor Rauner has not wanted to reinstitute the increase until his turnaround agenda was passed, which included what unions could negotiate, changes in health care, changes in the legislative maps and the institution of term limits.
Ms. Gabel said that both liberal and conservative think tanks have similar solutions to the state’s financial problems.  She said the state needs to return to a 5% tax rate on incomes, expand the tax base by taxing services, as is the case in most states and tax retirement income above $50,000.  She said that Illinois is one of a few states that uses a flat tax rate for revenue, most have a graduated state income tax.  Gabel thinks that a bipartisan group working on the state’s finances is making progress toward a solution.
Much of the budget expenditures are required by law.  It is getting very difficult for many of the state colleges, many of which are facing major reductions and possible shutdowns.  Climate change is facing all of us and Ms. Gabel has indicated that wind and solar have become far less expensive in recent years.  Wind and solar have worked best in Germany where they are selling excess electricity supply to other nearby countries.  She has hope for our state, but she admits it will be a tough slog.
Meeting Recap March 31 Wes Baumann 2016-04-05 00:00:00Z 0

Community Grant Recipients Eligible for Club Match until 4/10

Posted by Patti Van Cleave
Our Community Grant awards will be distributed on April 14th. As in the past, our club's foundation is providing a match for additional donations made by club members. This year we will match 50 cents on your dollar, up to a $250 donation.
If you would like to make an additional donation, write your check to WNRCF or donate online to OUR FOUNDATION, noting the name of the organization that you would like to support.
The deadline for these donations is April 10.
Please respond to me if you intend to make a matching donation so that we can track them, and bring your check to lunch this week or next. Here are the organizations we are supporting:
Community Grants Recipients 2016
Allowance for Good – educates and engages youth ages 13-18 in topics such as philanthropy, community involvement, leadership development and social entrepreneurship. 
Angles – formerly LINKS, providing health and sexual identity education and support to teens and young adults in the metro area.
Blues Kids Foundation – preserve, perform and promote the Blues among America's youth. We support an annual Bluescamp for student musicians ages 12 to 18.
Holy Family Ministries – K-8 school in East Lawndale providing after school  and summer programs, providing a safe environment.
Jewish Council for Youth Services –  we support Champ Camp, providing a traditional summer camp experience to primarily low-income, Latino children entering first through sixth grade.
Literature for All of Us – works primarily with urban adolescents living in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago and nearby Evanston.
Meals at Home – provides home delivery of medically prescribed and regular meals to frail, elderly and mentally ill clients in the area.
Northeastern Illinois Scholarship – Scholarship for a new program offering MSW.  Supported also by Dirk Tussing.
Right to be Free – Rescue and rehabilitate children who are victims of human trafficking in Ghana.
Winnetka Youth Organization – provides a safe, supportive, and fun environment for teens outside of the home and school. 
Community Grant Recipients Eligible for Club Match until 4/10 Patti Van Cleave 2016-03-30 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap March 17

Posted by Mike Malloy
Members in the News:  John Thomas congratulated Bob & Joanne Baker for being 3rd generation business owners and the recipients of a Winnetka Historical Society honor. Gina Sich and Liz Taylor are also applauded for a Connecting Communities Award.  John Stone was recognized for being named one of the top dentists in America.  In 3 weeks John Thomas will be crowned Winnetka Man of the Year at the Chamber of Commerce Recognition Lunch on April 6 – sign up to sit at a Rotary tabld to honor John! 
Guests: Keith Claunch is the guest of Denny Lauer
Announcements:  Rich Lally invited us to purchase tickets for a Cubs game in Milwaukee in July - $50 total price includes a ticket, tailgate party and round-trip bus ticket. 
Speaker:   Lon B Hodge spoke to us about service dogs.  Thanks to dog training programs,  many dogs are rescued from animal shelters.  They are trained to be companions, and can do more than 200 specific tasks for their masters like monitoring heart conditions.  Service dogs are accepted everywhere by law.  Don’t try to foist your pet off as a service dog.
Meeting Recap March 17 Mike Malloy 2016-03-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap March 10

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 34 Rotarians in attendance this week.  Rocky Flinterman was present, representing our newest corporate member, the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, we had seven guests:  Louise Holland’s were Jan Bawden, Penny Lanphier and Anne Wilder. Tim McCabe’s guest was Connie Yonan; Lee Padgitt brought Bob Kyle, while Patti Van Cleave‘s guests were Gloria Gaschler and Dania Leemputte. 
Patti Van Cleave encouraged members to attend the Chamber of Commerce Recognition Lunch on April 6th where our president, John Thomas, will be honored as “Man of the Year.”  The Winnetka Youth Organization nominated John for his many volunteer activities, both community non-profits and civic.
Heidi Sibert who heads up our Kids Against Hunger program reminded everyone that on Saturday, March 12th we will be packing 100,000 meals.  It will cost $30,000 for the supplies and shipping to get these meals to the children in Nicaragua.  We are very close to having raised the needed finances, but it is not too late to contribute.  Heidi also thanked her committee for their invaluable contributions – Rich Lalley, Kristen Leahy, Mark Kotz, Barb Tubekis, Patti Van Cleave and Gina Sich.
Eric Birkenstein provided some laughs with his contribution in Dig ‘n Grin.
The day’s program was a presentation by a five-person team from One Winnetka, the group that is proposing the development of the former Fell properties on Lincoln and Elm in downtown Winnetka.  Kate Wolf gave the general overall picture of the development.  She indicated that the company wants to work with the village and its residents to achieve the most desirable project possible.  They will be going before the Village Council, which must give the final approval before they can start.  They are hoping to begin work this fall.  The development, which began as a larger building, seven stories high has been significantly reduced in both height and density.
Kate turned the presentation over to Geoff Bird, the young lead designer who grew up in Kenilworth.  He explained the details and history of the project indicating that the building proposed for Lincoln Avenue (west side) started out as 7 stories, 83 feet high, and now is down to 5 stories, 63 feet high, with a penthouse in the middle that extends the height another 7 feet.
The building on the east side of the property, originally scheduled to be six stories, has been reduced to 4 stories.  Thus the height has been reduced by 25%.  The density has been reduced by 41% by going from a proposed 120 residential units to 71 units.  The floor area is over 23,000 square feet below that allowable by current zoning.  The building includes a central motor court and a second floor roof top terrace.
It was pointed out that the developers were not requesting the establishment of a TIF district or any tax deferrals.  In fact, they will contribute over $7 million dollars toward public improvements, such as parking and streetscape planning and development.
One of the goals of the Village was to provide better parking for commuters as well as shoppers.  There will be over 300 underground parking spaces provided divided in three areas – residents, public and commuter.  The commuter area will allow direct access to the inbound Metra train platform.  The project would also include the development of a plaza on Lincoln Avenue; however, there would still be two-way traffic on the street.
Water distribution system upgrades and storm water management have been addressed in the project.  Currently Conney’s Pharmacy is not included in the project, like a missing front tooth, but the developers are very optimistic that they will reach an agreement by helping Conney’s relocate.
The last part of the presentation was under the direction of the lead architect, Lucien Lagrange.  He has been responsible for designing some of the significant building in downtown Chicago.  Lucien presented renderings of the project from several different perspectives.  For more information and details members were invited to drop by the project office at 515 Lincoln Avenue. 
Meeting Recap March 10 Wes Baumann 2016-03-17 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap February 25

Posted by Lee Padgitt
34 out of 58 attended; 56.62%
Thought for the Day – Eric volunteered “snow thanks”, for the lack of the predicted snowmageddon
Guest:   Debbie Gillard, guest of membership recruiting machine David Birkenstein
Patti – Please bring donations to support veterans to the meeting next week.
Barb – Rotarians raised $619 for Kids Against Hunger last week at the meeting and at Little Ricky’s
Gina – Selling raffle tickets for KAH - $20 each, or 6 for $100
Mark – Seeks 400 items from all KAH sponsors for the WYO to place in goody bags to be given away
Dirk – Seeks donations to the Northern Illinois Rotary/NEIU Social Work Scholarship Challenge – the first $10,000 will be matched dollar for dollar Click here for a one-page flyer with more details
Happy Bucks:
Rich – The 111th anniversary of Rotary International
Bernie – (remarks unintentionally omitted)
Wes – (lack of) snow thanks
Robert – 3rd anniversary  
Dig and Grin:
Rodger volunteered a joke
Speaker: C. Murray Ardies, PhD, Professor Emeritus; Exercise & Health Sciences
                Murray was invited by Dirk, as both are associated with Northeastern Illinois University. Murray gave a good presentation despite being heavily medicated due to complications from a hip transplant last week. Murray has spent years studying the relationships between diet, exercise and chronic disease. His newly published book investigates the biological basis of prevention of chronic disease, mainly heart disease and diabetes. Chronic disease in the USA comprised 70% of the deaths, and 75% of the health care costs in the USA from 2010 to 2012.
                The reason boils down to the fact that Americans eat too many calories and exercise too little. Since the 1960’s, our sedentary lifestyles and eating habits have caused us as a group to become more overweight and obese than past generations. Minimum exercise recommendations by major health organizations are woefully inadequate. Gaining weight, and not sugar or calorie intake alone, causes diabetes. Lack of exercise cause inflammation and heart disease. Exercise is a learned habit. We should all increase activity levels throughout the day to prevent chronic disease.
                Current adult exercise recommendations from the CDC are here:
Meeting Recap February 25 Lee Padgitt 2016-03-01 00:00:00Z 0

This Thursday Speaker Bio: Dr. Murray Ardies

Dr. Ardies earned a Bachelor of Physical Education from The University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada in 1975 following which he worked for the Government of Manitoba as an exercise-specialist and then as Co-Director of Operation ReNu, a public health education program that emphasized proper diet and physical activity as preventive medicine. In 1978 he earned a Master’s degree with a Major in Health Education and a Major in Physical Education along with a minor in Nutrition from Northern Michigan University, Marquette MI and then a multi-disciplinary PhD at UT-Austin in 1985 with majors in Pharmacology, Nutrition, and Exercise Physiology where we demonstrated that exercise can prevent alcohol-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in liver. He then worked at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in NYC on developing new methodologies for CYP and CYP reductase purification with Dr. Jerome M. Lasker (CYP450-GP). Next, at Stanford University Medical School he worked on projects to purify and characterize steroid-binding proteins from yeast with Dr. Peter Molloy and then at the Department of Anesthesia with Dr. James Trudell where he helped characterize molecular mechanisms of alcohol and halothane toxicity involving direct immune attack on liver cells. In 1989 he joined NEIU where he was first to demonstrate that exercise could prevent alcoholic fatty liver; the first to show that exercise alters CYP enzyme activity in liver; and the first to show that exercise enhances antioxidant, Phase II, and redox-control enzyme functions in liver and lung. Along with Dr. C.S. Yang (Rutgers) he demonstrated that exercise enhances the metabolism of carcinogens by CYPs. he also was among the first to show that exercise-benefits were tied to a generalized stress-response mediated in part by the activation of the AP-1 response element and its transfer into nuclear DNA. With Dr. Craig Dees (Provectus Pharmaceuticals) he demonstrated that Red Dye #3 was both estrogenic and a DNA damaging agent in breast cells, resulting in the removal of Red #3 from most foods. In addition to research, he was editor and author of the first reference book on the molecular etiology of chronic diseases and their prevention by dietary components and exercise (CRC Press, 2014) and Coordinator of the graduate degree program in Exercise Science at NEIU during this time. He retired from NEIU in 2015 and was subsequently awarded Emertus status in recognition of my research and administrative contributions to NEIU.
This Thursday Speaker Bio: Dr. Murray Ardies 2016-02-24 00:00:00Z 0

District Service Project

Posted by Patti Van Cleave
Thank you to the members who brought items last week.  We will continue to collect this week, so please bring items this Thursday.  This district-wide service project launches the coming year's Rotary International theme: "ROTARY SERVING HUMANITY," by participating in a project that serves those who have served U.S. Veterans and their families in need of assistance.  There are two partner organizations who request the following items:

ILLINOIS AMVETS  Requests gently used adult & children’s clothing, backpacks, & purses, old cell phones &

VETERANS OUTREACH OF WISCONSIN  Requests food basics like canned tuna, ketchup, mustard, jello, pasta & pasta sauce, cereal,
canned ravioli & spaghetti, macaroni & cheese, and pancake mix; Toiletries…..Razors. shaving cream, men’s and women’s deodorant, shampoo,
feminine products & soap.

Thanks again!
District Service Project Patti Van Cleave 2016-02-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap February 11

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 33 members in attendance at this week’s meeting, the second Village of Winnetka Trustees candidates’ forum held by our club.  We had one visiting Rotarian, former member Bill Leske, currently from the Skokie Valley club.  There were 17 luncheon guests:  John Thomas brought his wife Ellen, Wally Greenough (Wally is currently the chair of the Caucus) Mary and Dan Garrison, Anne Wilder and Dan Streiff; Louise Holland was responsible for Vicki Apatoff, Penny Lanphier, Jan Bawden; John Ford brought his wife Mary; Glenn Weaver and Terry Dason were the guests of Liz Taylor; additional guests were Elise Covey (Rhonda Miller), Lee Gaines (Kristen Leahy), Nan Greenough (Tim McCabe), Bob Kyle (Lee Padgitt) and Leslie Farmer (Barb Tubekis).  There were more unaccounted visitors entered after lunch was completed.
Happy Buck$ came from Tony Kambich for his recent successful eye surgery.  Heidi Sibert announced that our Kids Against Hunger project would be held on March 12th.  She reminded that everyone should at least sign up for a shift on that day.  This project cost almost $30,000, which is not covered by the participation fee.  One of the fun and fund-raising events will be held on Thursday, February 18th at Little Ricky’s where Gina Sich and Rich Lalley will serve as guest bartenders.  All of their tips will go toward Kids Against Hunger.  Please come to Little Ricky’s between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. – Drink moderately but Tip heavily!!! 
With the large number of guests membership chair David Birkenstein encouraged our guests to consider joining our Rotary club.
The purpose of this week’s meeting was to hear from the three non-caucus candidates after hearing from the three caucus candidates last week.  Each of the candidates was given time to introduce themselves.  Marilyn Prodromos is currently completing her first term as a village trustee and is running for re-election.  Marilyn is a 21-year resident of Winnetka whose two daughters went through all of our public schools.  She is a dentist by training and has served on a variety of area boards and committees.  On the Council she serves as liaison to the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Community Development Commission and the Economic Development Committee.  Carol Fessler is the second independent candidate who is completing her first term on the Council and is running for re-election.  She remembers the warm welcome she and her family received when they moved to Winnetka 16 years ago.  She has worked in strategic planning and finance in the telecom and oil industries.  Carol has been a regular contributor to the Winnetka Current, most recently writing a series of articles on the history of Winnetka.  She has served on numerous area and local boards.  Carol has served on the Winnetka Caucus.  As a Council member she serves on the Plan Commission and the office of Outreach and Engagement, which she help create.  Kristin Ziv is also a 21-year resident of Winnetka whose children have attended all public schools in Winnetka.  She is a former public relations professional who also served as PR supervisor with the Winnetka Park District.  Like Carol she has served on the Winnetka Caucus.
The same four questions were posed to these candidates as were posed last week to the caucus- backed candidates:
Caucus - Why did you not seek Caucus slating?
         Some expressed concern about the politics that have enveloped the caucus in recent years, though two of the candidates had the previous experience of participating in the village caucus.  It was mentioned that Winnetka is one of a very few towns in our state that still uses the caucus system.  The candidates felt that our citizens have gradually become less engaged in the affairs of the village.  They feel contested elections are one way to draw more people in the debate.
StormwaterWhat are your thoughts regarding financing stormwater solutions?
         The group feels that the current system of the special storm water fees is the fairest.  They felt it was very important for the village to keep is high bond rating.  It was also proclaimed that much work has been accomplished so far, but with more to be done.  They are waiting to hear from the new consultants on how best to move the storm water westward.
Post Office SiteWhat would be a good use for this parcel of land?
         The difference in this site and the One Winnetka property is that the village owns the post office site and Winnetka must make the most of the financial possibilities this land provides for our village.  They supported a mixed-use approach to the post office site.
One Winnetka” – What are your thoughts on “One Winnetka?”
         The common response was that we need to progress and progress does not happen without change, which means we must remain flexible.  The example was if you live in a 1920s home and the house next door is sold to a developer you could not expect the new home to look like a 1920s vintage home.  They are looking forward to receiving an independent analysis to determine if this project is going to be a financial gain for the community.  The group expressed concern that if this project is rejected that other developers will be wary of coming to Winnetka.
Some of the questions that came from the audience included. “Why is Winnetka having trouble keeping businesses?”  It was mentioned that some of the larger stores that have left, i.e., the Gap, Panera and Talbots due to corporate decisions.  It was pointed out the some major stores have also left Highland Park’s often touted downtown area.  Some business owners also questioned how One Winnetka would not exacerbate the parking situation on the East Elm shopping district?  The meeting generated a spirited discussion about the issues facing the village.
Meeting Recap February 11 Wes Baumann 2016-02-17 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap February 4

Posted by Keith Reed
We had 35 members and approximately 25 guests attend the meeting. Some of the guests were: Ellen Thomas, Mary and Dan Garrison, Chris and Markie Gekas, Keil Wilson, Tom Eilers, Anne Wilder, Bill Krucks, Carol Fessler, Brian Cox (Trib), Lee Jones (Trib), Terry Dayson and Elaine Fandell.
Gina did the Thought of the Day.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Barb reminded everyone of the Kids Against Hunger event on March 12, 2006; she also announced that the Pizza for a Great Cause was scheduled for Feb. 4th from 2-8:00 where 15% of the purchases is given back to the Volunteer Center; Patti referred to the list of 10 Community Grants Recipients for 2016 which was distributed to the attendees.
HAPPY BUCKS: Robert Mardirossian contributed in recognition of a successful open house for his newly named Counseling Center of the North Shore; Rich Lalley contributed in honor of all the guests attending today’s Rotary meeting; Rhonda Miller contributed in honor of Louise Holland, a candidate for the Village Board who  presented as part of the program; Dr. John Stone contributed in honor of Bob Baker’s good efforts to make an emergency repair on a broken furnace in his office; Karen Fell gave in honor of the League of Women Voters’ scheduled debate among the Village Trustee candidates scheduled 2/21 at the Winnetka Congregational Church; and Ned Meisner gave in honoring  Presidential candidate Sanders for actually admitting he “liked” another candidate!
When asked about the Winnetka Caucus system and why they agreed to be the Caucus’ candidate Chris said that he has lived in the Village for 24 years and raised his children here. His list of Village activities includes--  Village Council (2 terms), Building Review Committee, Plan Commission, Ad Hoc Post Office Commission, and 10 years as a Soccer Coach for youngsters. He interviewed in 2013 for the Village President position, was not chosen as the Caucus candidate and narrowly lost the election running as an independent. He was invited this time by the Caucus to interview for a Village Trustee position and was slated. He felt he still could make a contribution to help run the Village.  He is supportive of the Caucus system as a fact finding process and believes it is better than any alternative. He has been through the Caucus process three times and  has not found that it had any agenda other than finding qualified candidates for very important offices.
Louise has lived in Winnetka for 45 years and mentioned that she has served two terms as a Village Trustee, two terms as Village President, chaired the Landmark Preservation Commission and  been on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Plan Commission. She stated that during her experience with the Caucus system she has never felt that it had its own agenda and that it was a very effective vetting process. She reminded the audience that on the ballot, all 6 candidates will be listed as independent candidates.
Penny started by saying that she was a Rotarian in the past before a hectic family and community schedule took up most of her time. She has served two terms as a Village Trustee; Chaired the Ad Hoc Zoning Ordinance Review Committee; was on the Plan Commission; worked on the Winnetka 2020 Comprehensive Plan; and served 8 years on the District 36 school board, serving the last 2 years as President. She has a background in public policy and served two terms on the Village Caucus Council. She believes the Caucus serves an important advisory role to the 4 boards under its jurisdiction. It does a good job in prioritizing the issues and in communicating issues to the Village residents.
STORMWATER QUESTION: Chris said that there should not have been a 16 million dollar bond issue without an approved project to execute. . The “storm water fee” is not fair, as it subjects the residents to pay a debt on a project that was not yet approved by the permitting agencies. Rather than a big comprehensive water project, the flooding problems should be approached on a local basis and undertaken on an incremental basis. There could be more consideration given to regional projects, which could be knitted together to form a comprehensive strategy. The Village needs to be very careful how it would use the remaining funds from the bond issue, as well as any reserves.  There are many projects that need to move forward, including revitalization and power grid enhancements, so the Council needs to be judicious in its use of available reserves.
Louise said that there should have been more than two meetings to discuss the bond referendum and that the Village ignored the non-advisory vote of the community. Based on her past experience in negotiating with the Union Pacific she knew this company would not want a 9’ tunnel under its tracks. The localized approach to flooding is the best way to proceed at this time.
Penny pointed out that the Village’s not-for-profit organizations need to pay the storm water fee, whereas they would not have to pay if it were part of the tax bill. She said that big restructuring projects need to be carefully planned, have the support of the community and that  they are very costly.
POST OFFICE SITE: Chris was on the Ad Hoc Post Office  Task Force in 2007 and was very satisfied with its work and recommendations that the site be a mixed-use development and keep a retail post office service. Things have changed since then, especially with the downward spiral of real estate in 2008. Fortunately a very good rental deal was negotiated with the Post Office and that property now is income producing for the Village. The Village should finalize the One Winnetka project before spending much time on the post office to better understand the market conditions and the probable success of any improvement on the site.  For now it seems prudent to clean up and re-landscape the existing property to enhance west Elm until there is a clear understanding of the community desires for the site.
Louise was also involved with the Ad Hoc Post Office Task Force in 2007 and she agreed with Chris to proceed slowly on that property. She said retail is now very “fragile” and it would be tough to rent 13,000 square feet of retail space today in the Village. She would like the Village to somehow put a walkway from the post office parking lot on to the north side of Dwyer Park.
Penny agreed with Chris and Louise on this issue, and commented that the 2007 Post Office Task Force did a “remarkable” job in studying the post office situation and coming up with its suggestions.
ONE WINNETKA: President John Thomas introduced this subject by commenting that although the Plan Commission approved the proposed project by a 8-2 vote, it was subject to 9 conditions and 3 modifications, which haven’t been met yet. The Plan Commission will be meeting on the project one more time before the issue goes to the Village Board.
Chris said that he was in the business of developing projects like this in established business districts and that the developers always ask for variations to the local zoning rules in order to build higher buildings with more units. He is very supportive of getting a deal done and hopes the developer will negotiate in good faith to bring forth needed improvements in the East Elm District. He pointed out that the proposal from New Trier Partners in 2010 made several variance requests but they had offered to provide improvements to the area which would provide about 2.1 million dollars worth of benefit to the Village.  In contrast to this, the current developers (some of whom were also involved in the New Trier Partners project) are asking for deviations and the purchase of 8000 square feet of Village property. The developer is asking the Village and its residents to contribute upwards of 6 million dollars to enhance the parking component, but it is unclear what the actual financial benefit might be at this point.  There are many questions to be answered before the Council should commit financial resources to a private development.
Louise also had several questions about the project and explained that she disagreed with the Plan Commission’s contingent vote because  she didn’t want to vote for something that needed significant changes  made to it. She is concerned that the developer is treating this like a “urban project” as opposed to modifying an area that is part of an established village. She also commented that she wasn’t impressed with the developers’ suggestion of a green roof garden since the height of the building wouldn’t permit anyone to see it except airline pilots!!
Penny said that there needs to be more work on this project and make sure it is consistent with the Winnetka 2020 Comprehensive Plan which is to guide residential and business land use decisions by the Village.
QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE:  In response to a question about the advisability of retaining another consultant (Teska) to come up with another Village revitalization program, Chris and Louise mentioned their concerns that the consultant recently retained by Council to advise on the financial aspects of One Winnetka may be slanted towards shopping center development versus “in filling” an established business area. Some of the questions and information presented thus far by Teska seem to be a rehash of past studies, and not much new was presented in the recent visioning statements.. But all candidates agreed that the Village needs to continually study, but move forward with revitalization implementation in order to keep the Village attractive and a good place to do business. There was a short discussion about improving parking around the 3 train stations in the Village. This, too, is a far more complicated issue than most people imagine and the Village will be taking a closer look at this possibility after reviewing a report that is due this coming summer.
Meeting Recap February 4 Keith Reed 2016-02-09 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap January 28

Posted by Lee Padgitt
30 out of 58 Rotarians attended; 51.72%
Guests and their respective web presences:
John Zeddies – guest of Tim
Lynn Sanders –  guest of Liz
Karen Kikos – guest of David B.
Happy Bucks:
Robert – His new business name: Counseling Center of the North Shore
Ned – His new State i.d. card and its useful functionality
Sam – His 4th anniversary of wedded bliss (after 54 years in marriage #1!)
Patti – Annual Club Benefit to support community grants to be at Michigan Shores Club May 13, 2016
Heidi – Kids Against Hunger takes place March 12, 2016 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM – Rotarians please sign up!
NEXT TWO WEEKS – OUR MEETINGS START AT 12:00 with Village Trustee candidates
Speaker: Brad Schneider
                Former U.S. Congressman for the 10th District of Illinois (2013 to 2015), and current Democratic candidate for the same office. In 2014, he lost his bid for re-election in a rematch against former Republican congressman Bob Dold. His parents fled a pogrom in Poland and followed the American Dream to Denver, where he was raised. He received a B.A. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern in 1983, an M.B.A. from Northwestern in 1988, and went into consulting for small and medium size businesses. He moved to Deerfield in 1991 and raised two sons with his wife who works for Mesirow. Brad values family and community. He wants to address education and climate change in office. He acknowledged that money in politics and re-districting were both threats to democracy. He deplores the congressional work schedule of Monday through Thursday, which contributes to congressional gridlock. He is concerned that 1/3 of people over his age (54) have zero saved for retirement. He wants to have a broad debate on deficit spending, acknowledging the need to tighten belts and make hard decisions. Gun control is a very personal matter to Brad, and he is proud of his “F” rating from the NRA.
Meeting Recap January 28 Lee Padgitt 2016-02-03 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap January 21

Posted by Mike Malloy
John Thomas got the meeting started at 12:15, with 34 of 58 members in attendance. The first subject was Kids Against Hunger. We must raise $10000.00 as our share of a $30000.00 donation to this very deserving cause. After successfully leading this event for many years, Heidi is looking for a replacement to chair this in the future.
Barb Tubekis  thanks us for our support with the Volunteer Center's MLK day last Monday. What a great thing she is doing helping people to link up or volunteer for one of many services and organizations that could use their help!
Karen Lawrence told us a little about her rug business, Village Carpets, in Hubbard Woods, at 924 Green Bay Road.
Our speaker was Nancy Rotering, who has been endorsed by Dick Durbin, the fire fighters Union, The National Woman's Caucus and many more.
She has a fascinating bio.  She is Mayor of Highland Park and she is a go-getter of the best order.  And is running for Congress. My write up is not doing her justice.
Keep your sunny side up!  --Mike
Meeting Recap January 21 Mike Malloy 2016-01-21 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap January 14

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 32 members in attendance at this week’s meeting.  Our only guest was Mary Bak, the Assistant Governor for our Rotary District and member of the Glenview Sunrise Club.  At the beginning of the meeting Rich Lalley announced that our speaker last week, Walter Reed, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor had passed away due to a heart attack on Tuesday, January 12.  He was fortunate to have finished his book on his life as a survivor and we had the good fortune of being the last group to hear him deliver his personal message.
In a new feature for our meetings, David Birkenstein invited a relatively new business owner to our meeting to tell us about her business in a few minutes.  Jeanne Montana is the owner of “Your Loss Your Gain” located at 554 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka.  She briefly explained how her program works on a protein-based diet.  She provided the members with a treat – a gluten free protein bar. 
Kristen Leahy announced that she was looking for business owners who were willing to hang posters for our “Kids Against Hunger” project that will be held on March 12 at the Community House.  Barb Tubekis put in a plug for the Volunteer Center’s “Day of Service” program that is being held on MLK Day at the Community House.  There will be 11 projects that volunteers can participate in that will benefit 20 organizations.  Liz Taylor reported that Arlynn Presser, former President of our club, is having a play she has written, “Remembrance,” performed at the Piven Theater in the Noyes Cultural Center in Evanston on January 29, 30 and 31.  All are encouraged to take in this dramatic piece offered in our backyard.
Patti Van Cleave announced that the club’s Foundation committee would be holding a meeting at the Private Bank at the corner of Green Bay and Scott Avenue on January 27 at 9:00 a.m.   She said that she had received many wonderful thank you notes from the recipients of last year’s grants.  She passed around some of the thank you notes from children.  Robert Mardirossian announced to the club that Family Service of Winnetka-Northfield has changed its name to Counseling Center of the North Shore as of January 1.  The name change was made to better portray the services offered by the agency. 
Happy Buck$ were provided by Jeanne Beckmann and Mark Kotz this week.
Rich Lalley introduced the meeting’s speaker, Sean Nelson, who heads the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) program for our district.  The program is an opportunity for high school students, nominated by the clubs of the district, to attend one of two conferences held each spring. The 3-day weekend conference offers leadership training.  A sponsoring Rotary Club picks up the student’s expenses.  Sean is a former YMCA director who has been the driving force for RYLA in our district for almost 15 years.  Our district has the largest RYLA program in the country.  Many of the high school students describe the weekend as a ‘life-changing experience.’ During the weekend the students learn about the skills it takes to be a good leader.  They also learn about conflict resolution as well as public speaking.  In recent years the conference has been held at Edwards YMCA Camp and Conference Center in East Troy, Wisconsin.  Each year Sean brings in a number of inspirational speakers.  The students evaluate all of the speakers to help him decide if they relate well enough to be invited the following year.  Other activities include a low ropes course, outdoor problem solving, campfires, a dance, team building activities and appearances by Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.  In the past our club has sponsored a number of RYLA attendees.  We are hoping that Anna Helfand, the sponsor of New Trier’s Interact club and corporate representative of NT to our club, will be able to get several students interested in applying to attend one of the sessions to represent our club.  It is a great opportunity for students to meet and interact with other future leaders.
Rotarians are welcome to come up to the camp to observe and hear the speakers.  This year the two RYLA conferences will be held on March 10 - 13 and April 7 -10.
Meeting Recap January 14 Wes Baumann 2016-01-20 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap January 7

Posted by Keith Reed

There were three guests at the January 7 meeting: Mary Cherveny (Winnetka Park District); Rick Rivkin (Rotary District Governor Elect); and Patti Long (model and nutritionist).

ANNOUCEMENTS: After Mark Kotz gave the thought of the day, President Thomas mentioned that we will be having a joint meeting with the Wilmette Rotary in early March; and that our February 4th and 11th meetings will be a forum for the candidates for the Winnetka Village Board to speak and present their views (three will appear at each meeting); Dirk Tussing and Jean Wright have been Rotary members for 10 and 28 years, respectively.  Heidi Sibert reminded the group of the March 12th  “ Pack Food for Hungry Children” project at the Community House and that the New Trier student Interact Club is teaming up with Bake 425 (544 Lincoln Ave.) on January 12th from 2-8 P.M. to permit pizza lovers to order pizza from Bake 425 with 15% of the purchase price go to the Interact Club, which is a good charitable cause.

Barb Tubekis requested a minute of silence in honor of the four former New Trier students involved in the recent tragic canoe accident (Christopher McQuillen, Lanny Patrick Sack, Mori Weinstein and Patrick Wetzel).

SPEAKER WALTER W. REED:  The speaker was introduced by David Birkenstein. Walter (originally Werner Rindsberg) grew up in a Bavarian village near Wurzburg and experienced Nazi persecution including his arrest as a 14 year old on Kristallnacht and the loss of his parents and two brothers. He came to the U.S. in 1941, served in the U.S. army from 1943-46, and was an interrogator of German prisoners in Patton’s Third Army. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and pursued a 40 year in public relations. He has been a long time member of  the Wilmette Rotary Club, was the Rotary District Foundation Chair and has spoken extensively before Rotary Clubs, and many other organizations, about his WWII experiences. He has spent 10 years reviewing records and files from many sources, including his own recollections, in writing his recent book entitled “The Children of La Hille (Eluding Nazi Capture during World War II)”. He said that it is now available on Amazon. He passed out a very good one page summary of the book and it appears to be a very  important  and informative book for all ages to read.

Mr. Reed pointed out in his presentation that out of the six million people exterminated during the Holocaust, one million were children. His book tells about the escapes of some 100 Jewish children from Germany and Austria—first to Belguim in 1938, then to southern France when the German Wehrmacht invaded the western countries in May 1940. He mentioned the many heros involved in saving all but 11 of these 100-plus La Hille children—Max Gothschalk and his daughter Pat; the Swiss Children’s Corps; Marguerite Goldschmidt who convinced the Swiss  Children’s Corps to take on the responsibility of saving the Children of La Hille; Lilly Feldegen, who was responsible for getting Mr. Reed to the U.S.; Marshall Field of Chicago who got about 100 children out of the European war zone and transported to the U.S., including 17 of the La Hille children; and most important of all the parents who turned their children over to others knowing that they would probably not see them again.

Mr. Reed put his childhood experiences behind him for about 50 years until he realized the historical importance of telling this story about the effect of war on children.  He not only researched and told this story, but he has visited Europe many times to talk to the survivors of the Children of La Hille and their families. There were 30-40 survivors still living when they met for a reunion in 2000.  The French government attended this reunion and erected a special monument in honor of the Children of La Hille.  

Mr. Reed will be making a presentation on this and other parts of his life’s story at the Holocaust Museum in Skokie on January 17th at 1:30 P.M.  Everyone should have the experience of listening to Mr. Reed speak and reading his book. We were honored to have him speak at our Rotary meeting.



Meeting Recap January 7 Keith Reed 2016-01-13 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap December 17

Posted by Keith Reed

We had 68% of members present: 39 out of 59.  We also had many guests present, most of whom were anticipating the performance of the New Trier Swing Choir (which did not disappoint anyone). Guests present were: Scott Meyers (John Thomas guest), Terry Dason, Ann Smith,  James Bernahl, Judy Meikle (Dirk Tussing guest), Bill Krucks (Thomas guest), Nan Greenough (Louise Holland guest), Carol Fessler, Marilyn Prodromos, Kristin Ziv; and the spouses of Joe Fell, David Birkenstein; Eric Birkenstein; John Thomas, Tony Kambich, Robert Mardirossian and Sam Badger.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Barb Tubekis reminded everyone of their opportunity to make year-end gifts to the Kids Against Hunger charity. John Thomas announced that Happy Bucks would be received even though we did not have time for the explanations therefor. The food serving staff was recognized for all their good work during the year. An arrangement of poinsettias contributed by the Community House was auctioned off to the highest bidder, who was David Birkenstein.


Wes Baumann introduced the Swing Choir (all decked out in long black dresses and black tuxedos) and its director Nate Landes, who has been at New Trier for 11 years. Nate said that the 17 singers (9 girls and 8 boys) were all juniors or seniors and most of them also participate in other music groups at New Trier. They have had a busy holiday season with rehearsals and  other performances, including an appearance at the Goodman Theater. (They also had to spend some time on their  “ finals week”, which was expedited this year due to the  school’s construction project). The singers were: Elisse Albian, Emma Alter, Sacha Appel, Josh Bretthauer, Owen Cahill, Carter George, Madi Hart, Duncan Holzhall, Alex Hopkins, Phebe Kinzelman, Tori McCausland, Bea McManus, Michael Olszowka, Jonathan Organ, Jennesse Pono, Alyson Weber and Timothy Zajdela. Songs performed were: Jingle Bell Rock, Christmas Time is Here, Carol of the Bells, Smile, Feliz Navidad, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Silver Bells, Winter Wonderland, Holly Jolly Christmas, and I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.  Needless to say, the performance was very well received and a great way to start the Holiday Season.

Meeting Recap December 17 Keith Reed 2015-12-18 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap December 10

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 36 members in attendance at this week’s meeting.  Andrew Hambleton, a mortgage banker, was the guest of Tom Nash.  Rob Bahan brought two guests, Mike D’Onofrio, the village’s Director of Community Development and Megan Pierce, Assistant to the Village Manager.  Winnetkan Meg Benson, the Executive Director at Chicago Volunteer Legal Service and active community member, was a guest of Wes Baumann.  Several other guests came in after the introductions were made. 
The club was reminded that next week our club would be holding its annual holiday luncheon with New Trier’s Swing Choir performing.  If you plan to bring a guest you should send an email to John Thomas as we will be served a special lunch.
President Thomas presented David Birkenstein with a “Paul Harris +2 Pin.”  Congratulations David, you are setting a great example!
Heidi Sibert announced that she is beginning her campaign to get every club member involved in this year’s Kids Against Hunger project.  This annual project involves the largest number of participants of any n our club sponsors and the results of the project impact more people that anything else we do.  The date for our food packing is March 12th, SAVE THE DATE!
Patti Van Cleave announced that a Foundation appeal letter has gone out to several hundred ‘Friends of Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club.’ 
Happy Buck$ this week came from Tony Kambich, Robert Mardirossian, Ned Meisner and Barb Tubekis.
Rob Bahan introduced the day’s program – the status of the Village’s Downtown Master Planning process.  Rob turned most of the time over to Mike Blue, a village planner from Teska Associates, who is the project manager for the work in Winnetka.  Mike has had a 30-year career in urban planning including eleven years at City Planner for Highland Park; he has been a consultant for Teska for the past three years.  The village has a website so residents can follow the progress of the process –  The first task that Teska has taken on is to assess the current conditions in Winnetka’s three business districts – Hubbard Woods, Downtown Elms street (both East and West sides) and Indian Hill.  Mike pointed out that the village’s first plan was created in the 1020s and that this type of planning is always an ongoing process.
There are a variety of land uses in the downtown area including Commercial, Retail and Residential.  Village planning is a case of managing change.  Change is a given for any area and the question is do we manage and plan for it or do we let it happen more haphazardly.  The median age of the village residents is 44 years old, which is about 10 years older than we find in the city of Chicago.  Generally as we age change becomes more difficult, this may pose a challenge for our village.  The process involves land use and zoning which can be can be controversial, as we have witnessed with the Winnetka One project that may occupy the former Fell property on Lincoln and Elm.  It was mentioned that the Winnetka One proposal is not part of Teska’s considerations.  One of the challenges that has existed for a number of years is how the downtown Post Office land should be developed.  
Another consideration in the planning process is the impact of transportation and parking.  A lot of variety in parking regulations leads to confusion and deters people from coming to the area.  Currently there are nine different parking regulations in the main downtown area.
A third area of consideration is safety due to moving vehicles and available parking.  How far people will walk after parking their cars is a question that developers need to factor into their decisions.  It seems that shoppers will walk a lot further at a place like Old Orchard than in local towns shopping areas.
While there are a few committees that are assigned to the task of working with the village and Teska, there are a number of ways for residents and businesses to follow and contribute ideas to the process.  Simply go to the website mentioned above for more details and stay tuned-in.
Meeting Recap December 10 Wes Baumann 2015-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Speakers on 12/10

Speaking about the Winnetka Downtown Master Plan will be:
  • Michael D’Onofrio, Director of Community Development
  • Megan Pierce, Assistant to the Village Manager
  • Michael Blue, Project Manager for Winnetka Downtown Master Plan (Principal @ Teska Associates)
Speakers on 12/10 2015-12-08 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap December 3

Posted by Wes Baumann
This week we had 38 members in attendance.  The only guest was a visiting Rotarian, Cindy Kasperson, a past-president of the Northbrook Club.  This week John Muno was representing the Park District and Anna Helfman was representing New Trier High School.  John is the Superintendent of Facilities at the Park District.  Ana is the Interact sponsor at New Trier.  
This week we celebrated Rodger Morris’ 43rd anniversary as an active member of our club.  Rodger has had near perfect attendance over the years and he serves his club weekly by keeping track of attendance, collecting lunch fees and selling raffle ticket and frequently sets up the room for our meetings.  He is also keeper of the cash!
Kristen Leahy announced that the WYO and New Trier’s Interact Club raised $400 for Operation Warm.  That amount will supply 16 winter coats to children in need.
This is a reminder that at our special Christmas luncheon on December 17, New Trier’s Swing Choir will be performing and there will be a special meal.  It is important that everyone let the club know if they will be bringing guests for this special occasion.  At list will be available at our meeting on December 10.  If you are unable to attend that meeting, but will be present on the 17th please drop a note to John Thomas at  John also told the club that we would be holding our meetings in the Garden Room for the remainder of December.
Barb Tubekis proudly and gratefully announced that through the efforts of our club, the Volunteer Center, WYO and Skokie School 250 bags of food were delivered to Good News Partners on Chicago’s north side.  It was the most successful food drive coordinated by the Volunteer Center.  Barb read two letters of gratitude, one by a GNP recipient and one from the Jan Harper, an administrator at Good News Partners.
David Birkenstein announced that we have a speaker opening for January 28th and all the dates from February 18th and on.  The club is looking for a person with expertise in climatology
Happy Buck$ this week came from generous members Kristen Leahy, Patti Van Cleave, Fred Schwimmer, Robert Mardirossian, Randy Reeves and Tony Kambich.
The day’s speaker was Harvey Mysel, the president and founder of Living Kidney Donors Network.  His organization promotes education and support for living kidney donations.  The need for kidneys is very great.  When we sign up for organ donation through the DMV when renewing our driver’s license we believe we are making a difference, but the sad fact is that only 1% of the volunteers will be able to successfully donate organs.  Basically you must be in a hospital, usually on life support, so that the kidney or most other organs can be harvested and used for transplantation in a timely fashion.  If a person dies at home or in some accident the vital organs will not remain viable for more than a few minutes within the deceased.
There are over 100,000 people on the waiting list desperately in need of a kidney.  The wait for a deceased kidney donor is generally 5 – 10 years and over 4,500 persons will die each year while waiting.  Virtually everyone can live with a single kidney with no ill effects.  There is a growing movement to use kidneys from a living person, generally a relative of the person in need.  There is a trend of people who elect to donate a kidney without directly knowing the person in need.  This is what John is promoting.  These donors are referred to as non-directed donors.  There is a multiplying effect via this donation.  If a person in need of a kidney has a willing relative but their kidney is not compatible to the recipient, a kidney from a non-directed donor can be used and the willing relatives kidney can save someone else’s life.  Setting up chains like this means that a willing, non-directed donor can, on average impact five other lives.  Another big advantage of living donor kidneys is that they last on average 17 years whereas kidneys from deceased donors last 5 – 8 years.  There is no significant difference in life expectancy whether a person has one or two kidneys.
Kidney transplants, over time, are much less expensive than remaining on dialysis for several years so economics is another reason to encourage more living donors.  Also the recovery time from the surgery has decreased since the surgery is now less invasive.  So if you are wondering how you can make a real difference in several people’s lives consider donating a kidney.
Meeting Recap December 3 Wes Baumann 2015-12-08 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap November 19

Posted by Keith Reed

There were 27 Club members in attendance. Guests included Steve Agouridis (Skokie School math and science teacher);  Penny Fields; Helen Assimos (Rhonda Miller’s aunt); and Jan Hubbard (Good News Partners). The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Rebecca Wolf and Patti Van Cleave gave the Thought of the Day concerning the recent  events in Paris.


ANNOUNCEMENTS: Barb Tubekis announced that Steve Agouridis challenged his Skokie school students to furnish food items for our Thanksgiving project and that he would match the number of bags that they were able to collect and donate. To his surprise, they came up with 40 bags of groceries which Steve generously matched as “advertised”. Special thanks to Steve. Patti’s solicitation letter for the Foundation will be going out next week, so members were encouraged to get her names of people who should receive these invitations to donate to the Rotary. John Thomas announced that the three Caucus selected nominees for Winnetka Village trustees were Louise Holland (a Rotarian), Penny Lanphier and Christopher Rintz. They will be appearing at our Rotary meeting on February 4. On February 11 we will be visited by the three independent candidates Carol Fessler, Marilyn Prodromos and Kristin Ziv. President Thomas  announced that effective the start of the new year, Wes Bauman would be retiring “with honors” from being our official reporter of meeting minutes. Four other Rotarians quickly volunteered to help with the minutes for next year. There were no birthdays or anniversaries announced. Tim McCabe announced several events taking place this holiday season at the Community House, including the Children’s Theatre production of Mary Poppins; the adult version of A Christmas Carol; Breakfast with Santa on December 5; and the opportunity to see the Chagall for Children exhibit loaned the Community House by the Kohl Children’s Museum  for practically free admission. Ned Meisner reminded everyone of some glitches with enrollment for new health insurances plans, which has to be done by December 15, and that he and Eric Birkenstein could help anyone with this enrollment problem. Rich Lalley reported that he attended a Groupon Corp. party which was given to support 50 of Chicago’s poorest families. For every dollar donated as a result of this party, Groupon will give a 20% discount on goods and services purchased from Groupon. It also gave each child and family 3 gifts for the holidays. Rich also announced that New Trier has named a new faculty member to be its representative at our Rotary meetings—her name is Anna Helpin.


HAPPY BUCKS: Heidi Sibert reported that she bought $100 worth of raffle tickets at a recent event sponsored by her employer, Martin Associates, and that she was the lucky winner of $900, which she donated to the Rotary’s Operation Warm charity. Rodg Morris donated in recognition of Rich Lalley’s favorite NFL team losing 3 straight games!  Kristen Leahy was happy that her WHO organization was able to get a $400 donation to our Operation Warm project. Patti gave a donation in honor of Gina Di Sandro for her efforts in helping the Winnetka Congregational Church organize and donate 20,000 meals for use by the needy during the Thanksgiving week. Wes Bauman was happy about Rich Lalley’s successful operation and that his friends in France were safe after the Paris attacks. Sam Badger recognized the 240th anniversary of the Marine Corps, which was established November 10,1775. Rhonda Miller contributed just to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.


Dig and Grin was done (again, at the last moment due to cancellation) by Rodg Morris who warned against “ admitting to false accusations and committing perjury.”


SPEAKER JAN HUBBARD: Jan is the Director of Development at Good News Partners, which is located on the Evanston-Chicago border. It receives grants from Rotary and has been a grateful recipient of  our Operation Warm project. 147 families are given food baskets supported in part by our Rotary. The organization was started in 1976 by several faith organizations to help the homeless in that area. Jan mentioned that food and clothing is fairly available to the poor in Chicago, but affordable housing is a big problem. GNP is an Asset Based Community Development model organization (ABCD). Its housing options include: New Life Interim Housing, a 36 bed shelter for homeless women and children; a large single room occupancy building called the Jonquil Hotel that accommodates 58 families; 44 units of GNP affordable rental housing; and 43 units of cooperative housing for low income families. Since its beginning, GNP has partnered with 165 families as they moved through the housing spectrum to home ownership. GNP provides employment and supportive services such as property management and rehab training; children’s activities and support groups; adult enrichment programs; chaplaincy; personal and family support; educational support; violence prevention; and workforce development. Its Good News Partners Christmas Market is held in December at the Gale Academy Public School where gifts can be purchased at discounted prices; Christmas treats are shared; and there is complementary gift wrapping. The purpose is to give families a chance to be part of the gift-giving process, not just the receiving. Drugs are prevalent in the community served by GNP. Thus, it is offering bible study groups and work force development programs to motivate the young adults to find gainful employment. GNP works with a construction company that trains and finds job for these people in rehab projects.


After the presentation, Wes Bauman was the lucky winner of our “almost unwinnable” raffle. He donated half of his winnings to the GNP and half to our Operation Warm project.( Rumor is that due to his apparent change in luck, he is now reconsidering his earlier resignation as Rotary’s official scribe.)

Meeting Recap November 19 Keith Reed 2015-11-20 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap November 12

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 29 members in attendance at this week’s meeting.  Our guests were the wives of two members, Betty Skalski and Ellie Schwimmer. 
Patti Van Cleave is composing a Foundation appeal letter that will go out to the 200 names who receive our weekly Club Runner letter.  She will be asking the club members to submit additional names to add to this mailing.  A letter like this has garnered some additional financial support for our Foundation in previous holiday seasons.  Start thinking of friends and associates who might be potential donors to our Foundation.
Barb Tubekis said that at our next meeting, November 19, the Club would be putting together the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinners as we did last year.  These dinners will be delivered to Good News Partners for families they serve. We will also hear from Jan Hubbard, the Director Development for GNP.
Gina Sich informed the membership that during the month of December we would be holding our meetings in the Garden Room (our summer meeting room).  The Community House will be hosting a special Chagall exhibit for children.  It is on loan from the Kohl’s Children’s Museum that incorporates high quality reproductions of Chagall’s works with multi-sensory activities designed for school children. 
Fred Schwimmer introduced the speaker, his niece Rusty Schwimmer.  Rusty, a Hollywood character actor, spent her childhood in Winnetka and Glencoe since she was 2 years old.  She told us that acting was inborn.  Her parents frequently gave her books about character actors. Rusty mentioned numerous memories from her home town – movies at the Community House, the Sweet Shop and her participation in the summer camp program called TWIGS which brought up minority children and had integrated activities, which opened her eyes to the value of diversity.  Her family took many driving vacations and Rusty frequently imitated the people they came in contact with. 
She participated in a variety of activities during her years at New Trier, but it was the theater department where she thrived.  She had roles in Bye-Bye Birdie, South Pacific, the King and I and the annual student production called Lagniappe.  After leaving New Trier she said she realized the outstanding preparation she received and the fantastic opportunities she was offered at the school. 
Rusty only spent one year in college before she realized she had to follow her passion – acting.  She had lots of waitressing jobs including in Los Angeles while seeking acting opportunities. While in Chicago she became a “Refrigerette,” a cheerleader for the Bears William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry.  She went to L.A. when Rich Melman opened an Ed Debevics in the Hollywood area.  Henry Winkler (the ‘Fonz’) liked her and gave her a role and paid for her SAG card. 
Perseverance was named as a most important trait in aspiring actors.  Rusty said she has been able to make a living with her career in acting since 1990.  She said acting is a very insecure business, but then there are very few secure businesses today.  Rusty also said that Hollywood is like one big high school and going to a premiere is like going to the prom.  Her feeling is that if she could survive New Trier she could survive Hollywood.  Her favorite role was in the 1995 film, The Little Princess, which stared Liesel Pritzker who would later attend and graduate from New Trier.  Four and a half years ago Rusty moved back to the Chicago area where she is coaching and mentoring young aspiring actors.
Meeting Recap November 12 Wes Baumann 2015-11-18 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap November 5

The week’s meeting was held at Avli Restaurant.  John Thomas brought our lone guest, fellow Winnetkan Dave Shanahan.  Also in attendance was Brian Keys, Director of Water and Electric, representing the Village of Winnetka.
President Thomas presented Rich Lally with a sponsor’s pin, the new magnetic style.    Kristen Leahy thanked the club for supporting the Veteran’s project.  She also mentioned that the New Trier principal asked her if she could find a veteran to represent our club at a Veteran’s Day program at the school.  Kristen announced that Sam Badger agreed to the assignment.    Fred Schwimmer warned the club to be prepared to be entertained next week, as his niece, Rusty Schwimmer, will talk about her experiences in Hollywood as an actress.    Tony Kambich gave the president a check in honor of his and Carolyn’s 54th wedding anniversary.    Additional Happy Buck$ were given by Eric Birkenstein.
Barb Tubekis announced that the Volunteer Center is once again going to provide the ingredients for Thanksgiving meals for the less fortunate at Good News Partners located on the far North side of Chicago.  She is collecting money and a few people will go shopping at Costco to get the products to make a complete dinner for these families.  You can either give money or checks to Barb directly or make out a check to the Winnetka- Northfield Rotary Foundation with a notation in the memo section “Thanksgiving Dinner Project.”  She is looking for a few volunteers to drive the food to GNP on Thanksgiving morning.
The day’s speaker was our own Rebecca Wolf, the Director of the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library.  She handed out preview copies of the Library’s publication “The Source.”  She told us that many popular magazines can be read online at no cost by using the Winnetka library card and website as the way into the website.  The list of 99 magazines include The Economist, Forbes, Macworld, PC World, Golf Digest, Newsweek, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Wine Spectator and The New Yorker.  Rebecca said that many of the library’s books can be read online also.
Next Rebecca featured the new and exciting Studio.  A whole new set of services was described that ten years ago would not have been associated with a public library.  Barb Tubekis gave strong testimony for the Studio by mentioning a number of projects she did in the Studio for both the Volunteer Center and personally using the 3-D printer in the new facility.  Barb engraved Volunteer Center monograms on crystal glasses that were presented to her board members.  Rebecca had put key rings that were in the shape of the Rotary wheel and engraved with Rotary International on one side and our club’s name on the other side.  She said that the project to make them took an hour and a half and $10 worth of plastic.
In addition to talking about the Studio, she told us about many of the classes and groups that have been established at the Library.  There are many classes in technology such as: Computer, Smartphone and Tablet Security, Using Skype, Texting, An Overview of Social Media as well as courses specific to the Mac and PC platforms.  There are also classes on food and drink including a Holiday Wine Tasting on December 13th and a Wine Tasting class in January.  There are also classes on music, health, money, crafts (sewing, knitting and embroidering) and parenting.  Not surprisingly, there are also a number of book clubs.  There are numerous programs designed for youths of all ages.  It should also be noted that while the Studio is located at the Winnetka there are many programs at both Winnetka and Northfield branches.  If you were not able to attend the meeting it is suggested that you keep your eyes open for the Winter edition of The Source to discover the many offerings of our community’s library.  Rebecca warned her audience that many of the classes fill up quickly.
At the end of her presentation Mark Kotz complimented Rebecca on her leadership in bringing the Library into the 21st century.  She works with a staff of 51, 17 who are full time with the rest working part-time.
Meeting Recap November 5 2015-11-11 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker Rusty Schwimmer on 11/12

Rusty Schwimmer was raised in Chicago, where she grew up a fan of the theater, music and the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls. In her formative years, she endeavored to be a singer but quickly found her way to acting and was soon drawn from the world of theater in Chicago to the land of opportunity in Los Angeles.

Rusty quickly found work in film and television. Some of her favorite films are A Little Princess (1995), Twister (1996), Edtv (1999), The Perfect Storm (2000), Runaway Jury(2003) and North Country (2005). She also enjoyed roles in the television film, The Man Who Captured Eichmann (1996), for HBO and the series, The Guardian (2001), Gilmore Girls (2000), Picket Fences (1992), Ned Blessing: The Story of My Life and Times(1993), as well as a guest starring role on Six Feet Under (2001).

Schwimmer will next be seen in the feature, The Hawk Is Dying (2006), opposite Paul Giamatti, and recently appeared in the television mini-series, Broken Trail (2006), opposite Robert Duvall.
Speaker Rusty Schwimmer on 11/12 2015-11-11 00:00:00Z 0

November Service Project

Posted by Barb Tubekis
This November Rotary will participate again in supporting Good News Partners on Thanksgiving morning by providing canvas shopping bags with basic non-perishable food for the low income and subsidized housing residents of Good News Partners in Rogers Park, one of our Rotary's Foundation Grant recipients.  During this month, Rotarians can either contribute canned goods or $ to support the program, and with the funds received, we will purchase the items for the corresponding # of bags.  Our Rotary club will do a Service Project to collate them on November 19th. Here is a list of the items that are needed for each bag, if Rotarians would like to bring in some or actually take a bag on his or her own:
Family sized cans/boxes:
canned chicken
a fruit and a vegetable
a soup
peanut butter
microwaveable rice and/or pasta
pasta sauce
cereal (one large box or an assortment pack)
Optional: A special treat like coffee, cookies or chocolates
November Service Project Barb Tubekis 2015-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap October 29

Thirty-two members were in attendance at this week’s meeting.  We had one guest, visiting Rotarian, Bryan Anderson from the Waconda Rotary Club.  We also had Costa Kutulas,  representing the Park District.  Gina Sich mentioned that Costa was the one who organized the Park District employees who helped with the set-up and take-down of our Kids Against Hunger project the past several years.
Eric Birkenstein was given his ‘Moment to Shine.’  Eric is in the life insurance business and he chose to speak about “1035 Exchanges”  This is the ability to exchange an old life insurance policy for a new policy without any tax implications.  He works with clients to take advantage of new policies that offer free long term care policy as an added advantage, lower premiums, higher death benefits and more guarantees.
We were reminded that next week, November 5, we will be meeting at Avli Restaruant in the Laundry (at the corner of Spruce and Chestnut).  The cost of the lunch for guests and those who pay by the week will be $20 instead of $15.
Eric Birkenstein reported on the membership committee.  He mentioned that great programs and speakers are lined up through the end of the year.  He said it behooves the members to be on the lookout for guests and potential members to bring to our meetings.  He also mentioned that the committee was looking for a contact to Kerry Wood as they would love to get him to be a speaker in 2016.  This fall he purchased a home in Winnetka.
The club celebrated Sam Badger’s birthday.  Happy Buck$ were contributed this week by Bob Baker, Keith Reed, David Birkenstein Tom Nash, Rhonda Miller and Mark Kotz.
Barb Tubekis thanked Rotarians for their participation in last Saturday’s “Make a Difference Day.’  She said that it is likely that over 23,000 items were donated to the 14 organizations participating this year.
Patti Van Cleave for their contributions of items and cash to support local veterans in recovery from traumatic brain injuries who are being served at the Lovell Health Car Center.  We were supporting a project initiated by a local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Our speaker for the week was Irwin Weil a professor of Russia and Russian Literature at Northwestern University.  He spoke about his recently publish book “From the Cincinnati Reds to the Moscow Reds.”  When he was a young boy growing up in Cincinnati his father was the owner of the Cincinnati Reds of the National League.  At an early age he became more interested in Russia and the Soviet Union than in baseball and passed up the chance to see the Reds in the World Series to go to a Russian film. 
Weil went to the University of Chicago and after reading Crime and Punishment by Dostroevsky in English he became determined to read the book in Russian.  The following year he began his studies of the Russian language.  In 1958 after President Eisenhower signed a cultural agreement with the Soviet Union he went to Russia to further his studies.  He has visited Moscow more than 100 times and was invited to set up a Russian–American studies program in Moscow in the 1990s.
Professor Weil shared his insights on the Russian people whom he found to be wonderful and very hospitable.  He knows that both Russia and the U.S. put out lots of propaganda which demonizes the other country.  In the past many of the everyday Russians did not believe all of the propaganda that their government was putting out because they lied to their people about so many other things that they had difficulty believing the politburo of the Communist Soviet Union.
Meeting Recap October 29 2015-11-03 00:00:00Z 0


The Greek restaurant Avli will host our meeting on November 5.  Avli is located at the back of the Laundry Mall at the corner of Spruce and Chestnut in Winnetka (behind Starbucks).  Due to the special location, lunch will cost $20 for any guests and for those who pay weekly.
!!! LOCATION CHANGE !!! NEW MEETING SITE NOVEMBER 5 2015-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap October 22

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were thirty-seven members is attendance this week, definitely above our weekly average.  Ned Meisner brought our lone guest, Khalil Dana, an electrical engineer.  Representing the Park District this week was Mary Cherveny, who is the Marketing Manager and in charge of communications.
President Thomas announced that a very good club visioning meeting was conducted the previous Monday.  Over 20 members were in attendance and they produced many excellent ideas.  We will be hearing more in the near future.    Barb Tubekis encouraged the membership to participate in this Saturday’s (Oct. 24) “Make a Difference Day.”  Last year over 19,000 items were contributed to 14 organizations.    David Grant announced that an adult production of “A Christmas Carol,” under the direction of Toby Nicholson would take place at the Community House on December 5th and 6th.  Purchase your tickets before November 1 and get a $5 discount per ticket.   John Thomas announced that Kristen Leahy would assume the Public Relations chair.
President John also announced that due to the Antiques and Modernism Show our club would be holding our meeting on November 5th at the Greek restaurant Avli in the Laundry at the corner of Spruce and Chestnut in Winnetka.  Due to the special menu, lunch will cost $20 for those who pay weekly and any guests.
Happy Buck$ were contributed by Ned Meisner, Liz Taylor, Tony Kambich, Patti Van Cleave, Barb Tubekis, John Stone, Wes Baumann, Kristen Leahy and John Thomas.  Brooke Peppey capably handled this week’s Dig ‘n Grin.
Fred Schwimmer was given “Time to Shine.”  Fred is a proud 72-year resident of Winnetka.  After retiring from the daily commute to downtown Chicago Fred now enjoys collecting and reselling antiques and memorabilia.  He said that people don’t often realize that among their ‘junk’ there may be some hidden valuable items.
The day’s speaker was Ed Gogol whose topic was “Aid in Dying, the Ultimate Right.”  Ed is the president of Final Options Illinois.  The organization is part of the Death with Dignity movement that is gaining momentum in the U.S.  The majority of doctors today support a change that would permit the medical profession to assist patients in dying.  Final Options Illinois was founded in 1984 as an independent voice working to establish the right to aid-in-dying for all mentally competent adults who are suffering intolerably and irremediably.  They believe that even with the best palliative care, suffering can be very intense at the end of one’s life.   Aggressive medical treatment can also be very painful. They also believe that the person in that situation should have the choice to end their own life and should be able to employ the assistance of a doctor. Thus the goal of the movement is to legalize Death with Dignity, in each state.  It is currently legal in five states – Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and California.   A number of other states are getting close to passing the needed legislation.  Currently in Illinois doctors are not legally allowed to assist a person who wishes to end their suffering without fear of the law.  Though it is widely believed that some physicians will assist by increasing the dosage of painkillers, such as morphine.  Where it is legal two doctors must agree that the patient is mentally competent and the condition is terminal, generally with six months to live and the patient must self-administer the lethal drugs.  In many cases drug that the doctors has prescribed is not used but the patient feels more control having possession of such drugs.  In those states where the law permits doctors to assist a patient there has not been a significant rise in the number of assisted suicides.
Mr. Gogol suggested that if we have concerns about how we want to be treated in our last days, we should check with our attorneys about various documents such as Advanced Medical Directives, Durable Power of Attorney and Palliative Care Options.  Final Options believes that it must become a fundamental right to die in peace with dignity.
Meeting Recap October 22 Wes Baumann 2015-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap October 15

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 27 members in attendance at this week’s meeting.  Our lone guest was regular visitor Penny Fields from the Highland Park club.  John Thomas began the meeting by inducting a new member, Rhonda Miller, a third generation Winnetkan.  John also announced that Patti Van Cleave’s Visioning Committee would be meeting on Monday, October 19th from 5 – 9 p.m. at the Community House.  All Club members have been encouraged to attend this meeting and contribute to the forward thinking for our Club.  A representative from Rotary International will moderate the session.
Operation Warm has three weeks remaining in its current drive to raise funds for coats for those in need of warm winter coats.  Please consider a generous gift to this Rotary project under the leadership of Rich Lalley.  Currently we are trying to provide coats for 6 – 12 month olds being served by the Crisis Nursery at Maryville Academy.
President Thomas announced that he plans to have the two groups of candidates for three openings on the Village of Winnetka Council come to Club meeting in January to present their case.  There are three persons proposed by the Caucus and three persons running as independents.  They will be invited to separate meetings, but given the same set of questions to respond to.  John is looking for volunteers to prepare the questions.  At this week’s meeting Tony Kambich, Keith Reed and Rhonda Miller agreed to be added to the committee.
This week’s speaker was Robert Beezat, a former city manager and city management consultant who recently wrote a book “Knowing and Loving: The Keys to Real Happiness.”  While not a Rotarian, he has spoken to over 75 Rotary Clubs.  He effectively used Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self’ and “The Four Way Test” in illustrating his ideas expressed in his book.  He emphasized that he always tries to learn from people and that one of the very influential persons in his life was his Polish grandmother.  She had a tough life but always had a good outlook on life.  He remembers her telling him that the only difference between a Polish wedding and a Polish funeral is that there is one less person dancing at the Polish funeral. 
Robert began by using the first question of the Four Way Test – Is it the Truth?  He said this is one of the most important questions in life.  How we answer this question will say a lot about how we approach problems and problem solving in life.  In order to solve the many problems we face in business or our personal lives we have to gain an understanding of the real underlying causes of the issue.  Our speaker said that the closer we can come to the truth the better our chances of making good decisions and choices for our families, our communities and ourselves.
Meeting Recap October 15 Wes Baumann 2015-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap October 1

Posted by Keith Reed

There were 32 members present and 6 guests:  Marilyn Prodromos and Carol Fessler (Grant guests and Winnetka Village trustees); Robert Adam (Kotz guest); Anita Maiworm (VanCleeve guest); Todd Roth (T. Nash guest); Carolyn Kambich (guest of “several”); and Mary Birkenstein (stopped in for the speaker).


ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Thomas announced that our Rotary Club will join the local Chamber of Commerce; Mark Kotz and Ned Meisner have done a great job on getting speakers, but with their assignment ending, the job has been shifted to the Membership Committee, David Birkenstein- current Chair;that the October 19th four hour “Visioning Session” with Patti Van Cleve is very important to develop our Club’s forward plan and everyone should participate;  that the “Time to Shine” segment of our regular weekly program will be continued with the speaker spending 4-5 minutes talking about their business/interest; and that the Community House will be asking for volunteers to help with the children’s Halloween party.

Anita Maiworm, Kaskaskia DAR, gave a short presentation on what a local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is doing for our military personnel. Cleaning services and supplies are not covered by Food Stamps so her organization is taking donations of money and items to pass on to those military personnel and veterans in need. Rotarians were urged to bring to our October meetings such things as laundry detergent, garbage bags, shampoo, paper cleaning products, brooms, cooking utensils-- as well as games, puzzles, movie theater tickets and restaurant gift cards. Anita also explained the DAR  “domicile” program which provides apartments for homeless vets. Most of these apartments house up to 16 men/women and are located close to the Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chigago.  The DAR collects used furniture for these domicile apartments. If you can support this very important DAR program, Anita should be contacted at

HAPPY BUCKS: Rob Mardirossian gave $100 for the use of Bob Baker’s Cubs’ tickets and John Stone’s generosity in picking up a drink tab at the Park—also the general support given by many Rotarians to his Family Services organization; Ned Meisner recognized his Mother’s birthday; John Thomas was happy with a visit from his sister and her husband; and Tony Kambich recognized the fact that his wife (in attendance as guest) had received a special DAR award when she was in grade school.

DIG N GRIN: Rich Lalley started by listing the 5 organizations that depend on Rotarians’ donations to provide coats for children and that donations can be made via PayPal or by check to  Winnetka Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation. He then told a couple stories about problems with Catholic politicians’ confessions and  senior citizens  reading road signs.

SPEAKER DAVID STROSBERG RE NORTHSHORE 770 DEVELOPMENT:  (Refer to last week’s announcement of this meeting for details regarding David’s background.) David, and his Marketing Manager Alison Solway, presented information regarding this recent Mariano’s-anchored shopping center and 347-unit apartment building located at the corner of Dundee and Skokie Boulevard in Northbrook. Mariano’s new store is 72,000 square foot versus its  50,000 square foot store in Northfield—which they intend to keep in business.   David founded Morningside Group in 1993 as a real estate firm focused on mixed-use and multi-family development. Its offices are in Chicago and Ann Arbor. The Northbrook project has 100% occupancy in the shopping center and the apartment building started leasing last August with first occupancy set for next January. The rental apartments vary from 700 to 1500 square feet; will be under leases for up to 2 year; have a doorman, rooftop pool, golf simulator, putting green, 10’ ceilings in penthouses (9’ elsewhere), granite counter tops, inside heated parking and a cinema room with a 135” TV set for use by residents. The location has been for sale since the 1990’s and changed hands a couple of times, but developers were having trouble finalizing their  plans, especially the financing of such a large project. A Texas bank ended up with the property in 2010 and Morningside was able to buy it from them. David said that his company went to the Village representatives and door-to-door with the residents to get their support. For the most part, local businesses supported the project, with the exception of a couple of local super markets. It is a great location for retail since daily there are 40,000 cars passing the site on Skokie Blvd.; 20,000 cars passing on Dundee; and 120,000 cars passing the adjacent Edens interchange. His company had to buy the Zengler property and relocate them on the new facility; it had to spend considerable money improving the adjacent roads and traffic signals; and it had to pay the local park district and schools “impact” fees. Ninety-five million was the final cost of the project and several banks handled the financing. David’s power point showed the exterior of the buildings and the interior of the apartments. It is obvious that Morningside put a lot of “extras” into the project to make it look very attractive to consumers, residents, and the local community.

Meeting Recap October 1 Keith Reed 2015-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

October Community Service Project for Veterans

Posted by Kristen Leahy
This October, the Winnetka Northfield Rotary Club is working with the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to help veterans at the Lovell Federal Health Care Center. Each of these veterans has been honorably discharged, but due to a variety of circumstances they are in need of our help. These men and women recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries or are in the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program and are dealing with lives that are hard for us to fathom. They receive support with housing and food, but cleaning supplies and other household items are not able to be purchased with their food cards.
The following items are of great need to these veterans:
Laundry detergent
Garbage bags
Garbage cans
Laundry basket
Toilet paper
Paper towels
Cleaning products
Brooms/dust pans
Cooking pans and utensils
Movie theater tickets
Restaurant gift cards
Items can be brought to our Thursday meetings or dropped off at the Winnetka Youth Organization (lower level of the Community House) during their open hours. Cash donations are also accepted.

Please contact Kristen Leahy at for more information.
October Community Service Project for Veterans Kristen Leahy 2015-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

Help Us Bring Happiness & Warmth to Children in Need

Posted by Rich Lalley on Sep 04, 2015
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 2014, our club provided new coats to over 600 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.
Help Us Bring Happiness & Warmth to Children in Need Rich Lalley 2015-09-05 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 9/3

Posted by Keith Reed

There were 26 attendees and four guests. Guests were Donna Lee Gulley, meeting speaker and member of Northbrook Rotary; Karen and Darrel Malcom, from Kids Against Hunger and Carol Stream Rotary; and Ken Novak from Northbrook, guest of David Birkenstein. Sam Badger cited John Steinbeck in his Thought for the Day. Carl Yudall handled the Dig N Grin presentation listing several new and different “activities” by heavy stock investors during a down market!

Greg Skirving did the “Time to Shine” presentation. After retiring in 2012 from real estate related positions, he joined his wife in the realty business at Coldwell Banker, where his wife had been for about 15 years. Greg said he wasn’t “very good at retirement”. About 80-90% of their business is in the New Trier area. There have been lots of changes in the use of technology in the business. Properties appear on-line for buyer viewing even before the realtor gets involved; people are far more informed about the market; there is a greater demand for new and rehabbed properties; there are more new properties on the market; and sellers have to be willing to invest in updating their houses before placing them on the market.

Happy Bucks were contributed by Patty Van Cleave for Darrel Malcom being willing to partner with the Winnetka Congregational Church on his packing project. Darrell has been responsible for overseeing the packing of half a million meals for needy people throughout the world, especially in Nicaragua.

Guest speaker was Donna Lee Gulley from the Northbrook Rotary Club who has been a very busy volunteer for Rotary over the last 13 years. She has made two trips to Guatemala, done polio immunizations in India and Nigeria and attended the International Rotary Convention in Brazil this year. She currently serves as the District Global Grant Committee Secretary and has spent 8 years volunteering for the ShelterBox project. Before her volunteer activities, she had a 35 year career in teaching school and counseling, concluding in the Evanston schools.

She described the shelter boxes and the Shelterbox organization which has established itself at the forefront of international disaster relief, providing aid to more than a million survivors around the world. It is the premiere international aid organization that provides shelter and life-saving equipment for survival in an easily transportable box (roughly 2 ½’x3’x2 1/2’). It provides a 10 person tent designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds and heavy rainfall. Each tent has privacy partitions that allow recipients to divide the space as they see fit. The kit also has warmth and protection equipment such as blankets, water purification kits, children’s books, crayons, pens, etc.; a basic tool kit; mosquito screens and groundsheets; and a wood burning or multi-fuel stove.

ShelterBox instantly responds to man-made and natural disasters by providing this essential equipment quickly to the disaster area where a ShelterBox Response Team determines the need and distributes the aid. There is a large stock of equipment warehoused in the United Kingdom and other strategic locations across the globe. Often, ShelterBox is the first outside aid agency to appear on disaster scenes. The program was started in the U.K. in 2000—in fact, the U.K. supplied 800 shelter boxes for our Katrina disaster, plus only 300 from the U.S., where the program was newer. It is an International Project with a partnership with Rotary International.. The $1000 cost for each box has remained the same for the last 10 years.

Visit the organization’s website at and click on “deployments” to see where these boxes have been used over the years. Over $300,000 was raised by Rotary for the boxes during the year of the Haiti disaster. Donna said that Rotary would like to see each Rotary Club give $1000 each year to the project. There is a matching amount from the District available for these donations through District Grants. There is a training program for Rotarians to become members of the ShelterBox teams who help distribute the supplies. 96% of the money given to ShelterBox is used to pay for the boxes.

Meeting Recap 9/3 Keith Reed 2015-09-05 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker Bio for Karen Kaplan on 9/10

Karen Kaplan, was born and raised in West Rogers Park, a Jewish neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. She is an engaging international speaker and continues to share her compelling life story and the message of forgiveness. Karen received her B.A. from the University of Illinois in Nutrition and Medical Dietetics and trained at The Claret Center of Hyde Park, IL. as a spiritual director. She maintained a private practice and lectured for many years throughout the Chicago metropolitan area on health and wellness. 
     After her father died, she began journaling memories (both bitter and sweet) that turned into a memoir of conquering the deep-seated fear and all consuming hatred she felt towards him. Articles, excerpts and news stories of her memoir were featured on WGN-TV Chicago morning news, the Chicago Jewish News, the Chicago JUF News, The Patch, an online Chicago and suburban newspaper, the Deerfield Review and  the Highland Park Highlander. 
    Raising her three chidren has been the most rewarding and joyous part of her life. Karen is married to Bobby Weiss and they live in Highland Park, Illinois. 
Below is a link to a WGN -TV feature story which aired over Thanksgiving last year.  
Here is the link to Karen's book:

Karen Kaplan, was born and raised in West Rogers Park, a Jewish neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. She is an engaging international speaker and continues to share her compelling life story and the message of forgiveness. Karen received her B.A. from the University of Illinois in Nutrition and Medical Dietetics and trained at The Claret Center of Hyde Park, IL. as a spiritual director. She maintained a private practice and lectured for many years throughout the Chicago metropolitan area on health and wellness. 

     After her father died, she began journaling memories (both bitter and sweet) that turned into a memoir of conquering the deep-seated fear and all consuming hatred she felt towards him. Articles, excerpts and news stories of her memoir were featured on WGN-TV Chicago morning news, the Chicago Jewish News, the Chicago JUF News, The Patch, an online Chicago and suburban newspaper, the Deerfield Review and  the Highland Park Highlander. 

    Raising her three chidren has been the most rewarding and joyous part of her life. Karen is married to Bobby Weiss and they live in Highland Park, Illinois. 

Below is a link to a WGN -TV feature story which aired over Thanksgiving last year.  

Holocaust Survivor’s Daughter, Karen Kaplan, Learns How To Forgive. Letting Go Anger Fear Paranoia 

Here is the link to Karen's book:


- See more at:
Speaker Bio for Karen Kaplan on 9/10 2015-09-05 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap August 20

Posted by Wes Baumann

Twenty-eight members were in attendance.  There were two guests, visiting Rotarian Tom Trapp from Northbrook and, Akkara Srauy an Administrative Fellow at Rush Hospital who accompanied our speaker Peter Butler.


David Birkenstein announced that there would be a meeting of the membership committee on Thursday, August 30 at 11:00 a.m. in the conference room on the second floor of the Community House.  All members are invited to attend and contribute their ideas on how to increase our membership.


Heidi Sibert told the club members to mark March 12th on their calendars as the day our club will be packing food for the Kids Against Hunger program.  More announcements will be forthcoming, as she and her committee will be soliciting sponsors and workers for this annual event.


Our club celebrated the birthdays of David Birkenstein and Randy Reeves as well as the Rotary anniversaries of Sam Badger and Kristen Leahy who celebrated their 2nd year as members of our club.


John Stone brought back an old tradition of a quiz for Dig ‘n Grin.  He gave clubs to the team name for all of the NFL teams.  There were only a couple of teams that gave the members some pause.


The speaker for the day was Peter Butler who spent his youth in Winnetka.  He is the current President and CEO for the Rush University Medical Center.  He has been at Rush for over 10 years and he has spent over 30 years in hospital administration and is a nationally recognized health care administrator.  He has served on a presidential advisory committee dealing with the impact of the Affordable Care Act.


Peter showed several charts that traced health care costs.  He pointed out that these costs were 7% of the nation’s GDP in 1972 and they rose to 17% in 2012.  We were told that health care costs have plateaued and may have slightly declined in recent years.  Peter pointed out that in 1970 it took 4.5 workers to support each recipient of Medicare and that number will likely drop to 2.5 workers per Medicare recipient by 2050.  


The Affordable Care Act has reduced the pool of uninsured Americans by one-third as 17 million more persons have insurance today.  Approximately half of the newly insured are due to the newly establish health exchanges and half are due to Medicaid expansion.  Employer-based insurance programs cover about one-third of the insured.  In Illinois Medicaid covers one-fourth of the population.


Peter said that the system is working reasonably well as hospitals cannot charge as much as they did previously but that loss is made up by the fact that more hospital patients are covered by insurance so the hospital have fewer non-paying patients.  He also said that there is a system of penalties and bonuses based on the hospitals performance.  More readmissions result in penalties, reduction in payments.   Overall Peter feels that most hospitals are agreeable to the new system.  He also said that it is highly unlikely that any future congress will be able to repeal the ACA.

Meeting Recap August 20 Wes Baumann 2015-08-29 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap August 13

Posted by Keith Reed

We had 28 members in attendance along with 3 guests. The guests were former member Clyde Willian, who now resides in Florida; John Howard from the Northbrook Club; and 6 year old Scott Birkenstein, aspiring future Rotarian and Club President from Glencoe! Greg Skirving’s Thought of the Day dealt with “hustle being more important than talent”, (thus, the Bears  have a chance this season!)

Announcements: The North Shore Chamber of Commerce is having a benefit September 21 at Evanston Golf Club for the Northfield Township Food Pantry. There is a 7 mile run/3 mile walk in Glencoe on September 19 sponsored by the Korean Rotary Club to support the Rotary’s polio project. Rich Lalley announced that his “Operation Warm” project is gearing up for the winter season. In the meantime he needs volunteers to work the Rotary tent at the Conway Farms golf tournament on September 18 and 19, which will benefit Rotary fund raising efforts.

Happy Bucks: Marie Kuipers contributed in celebration of her upcoming marriage to Dr. Alan Zablocki, which is scheduled in two weeks. Eric Birkenstein contributed because his son Scott can now tie his own shoes (can you imagine how happy Eric will be when Scott gets his first job!!). Patty Van Cleave showed a picture of a Rotary dinner in the 1940’s when Matz Hall was filled with Rotarians, which should inspire all of us to concentrate on building our current membership.

Dig ‘N Grin: Peter Skalski  demonstrated his acting abilities by telling stories about “dumb blond guys”, baloney sandwiches and prostitutes.

Speaker of the day: John Butler-Ludwig, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations from Northeastern Illinois University, introduced our speaker, Ms. Jade Stanley, Chair and Professor of NEIU’s Social Work Program. NEIU is a state school located at 5500 North Saint Louis Avenue in Chicago. It is primarily a commuting school with about 10,000 students, most of whom perform jobs while attending school.  Our Rotary Club recently donated $2500 to help Dirk Tussing and Tony Kambich raise a total of $20,000 for student scholarships at NEIU. This year’s recipient was Jasmine Ramirez.

NEIU has had a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work since 1985, one of only 3 public BASW programs in Illinois. This program has, and will continue to have, accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The program has a very diverse student body (bilingual, ethnicity, age, etc.) and actually has more males than most BASW programs  in the State. In the past,  75% of NEIU’s BASW grads have gone into other MSW programs such as Loyola (Clinical), UIC (School social work and community), Dominican (International) and University of Chicago (Administration and policy). NEIU will now have its own MSW program starting with 15 full time and 10 part time students and growing to as many as 60 students by 2018.  Its MSW program will have special emphasis on Child Welfare and Urban leadership type activities.  Most MSW programs are charging around $40,000 a year in tuition, whereas NEIU will be roughly half of this cost. Undergraduate programs at NEIU cost around $11,500 a year since it is part of the State educational system.  

The group discussed the different type of jobs available to those with Bachelor and Master degrees in social work.  The bottom line is that most jobs are requiring a Master’s degree. NEIU is confident that graduates of its Master’s program will have success in securing meaningful work in the profession.

Meeting Recap August 13 Keith Reed 2015-08-19 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap August 6

Posted by John Thomas
There were 31 members present at the August 6 meeting. Rotarian guests included District Governor Rodney Adams and Assistant Governor Mary Bak. Also, as a guest Dirk Tussing brought next weeks' speaker Dr. Jade Stanley from Northeastern Illinois University. The Thought for the Day was provided by Fred Schwimmer.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: John Thomas noted both Peter Skalski and Luvie Owens joined Rotary August 1. Peter did so 23 years ago and Luvie joined 22 years ago.
Alex Michel from The Hadley School for the Blind told us of a forthcoming special fundraising event, It is "The Jewel of the North Shore" and will be a light luncheon and auction. It takes place on Friday, Sept. 18 from 12:30-4:30. There will be reserved times and anyone interested should contact Alex at or at 847-784-2767.
The Dig & Grin anecdote was presented by Gina Sich and was received with great gusto and applause by members.
GUEST SPEAKER GOVERNOR RODNEY ADAMS: Before the lunch meeting, the Board met from 10:30-12:00 with Governor Rodney and AG Mary covering a wide range of topics from international Rotary initiatives to local efforts. A discussion of our strengths and weaknesses was part of that program.
At the lunch meting Governor Rodney shared a good deal of his background both prior to becoming a Rotarian and since. He noted he was initially refused membership as he did not own a business!
Governor Rodney told us of the many experiences he has had here and abroad with other Rotarians.  He also stressed serving youth is a key target of Rotary both here and abroad.
He left us with the clear message that he, the District, RI and the AG are all most ready to help our club in any way they can. 
Meeting Recap August 6 John Thomas 2015-08-11 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap July 30

Posted by Keith Reed

There were 31 members present at the meeting on July 30. There were no guests. Winnetka Chief of Police, Pat Kreis, was present representing the Village of Winnetka, which is now a corporate member of Rotary. Brooke Peppey gave the Thought for the Day.

ANNOUCEMENTS: Heidi Sibert said that two tickets to the Chicago White Sox-- Rotary night baseball game on August 4th became available  and she was auctioning them off with the proceeds to go to Rotary. Although the face value of the tickets was only $22, a spirited auction resulted in our guest speaker, Georgia Koch, “winning” them for only $70. She said her son was a big Sox fan and that she has always appreciated all of Rotary’s charitable work, especially its program to eradicate polio.

John Thomas announced that the One Winnetka project to build a large apartment building East of the tracks in Winnetka is in the process of completing the public comment portion of the project and those who wanted to share their views and information should do so soon. He said that a decision on the project has not been made.

It was announced that Morine ___ recently left the employment of the North Shore Senior Center to take a position at Rotary’s  International headquarters in Evanston. We will attempt to get her active in the W-N Club.

HAPPY BUCKS: Fred Schwimmer started off with a donation of $54, one dollar for every year of marriage to his “trophy wife” of 54 years. (He didn’t mention her name, but we assume he was referring to Ellie, although she doesn’t seem to be old enough to be married that long!) Ned Meisner contributed  because his son was featured in the Wall Street Journal recently as being an understudy in a current Broadway show.  Rich Lalley contributed in celebration of Nigeria being polio-free for one year and if this continues for 3 years, the country will be considered “polio free”. That means that the only two major countries now  having a problem with polio are Pakistan and Afghanistan. Patti Van Cleave contributed in honor of her parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. David Birkenstein contributed in celebrating the New York Times’ announcement that the obesity problem in this Country is diminishing.  Luvie Owens honored her cousins from New Zealand who have been house guests in her home. They have been marveling at   the number of squirrels we have in this Country, since they have none in New Zealand. (Someone asked if New Zealand dogs have an obesity problem without having any squirrels to chase!)

Lee Padgitt handled Dig and Grin starting off with his best line about the guy who invented the door knocker for which he won the “Nobel” Peace Prize!

GUEST SPEAKER GEORGIA KOCH: Georgia is the Community Outreach Coordinator for Career Vision, a not for profit in Glen Ellyn, and the service and consulting arm of the Ball Foundation, a not-for-profit career and aptitude research organization founded in 1975. Basically she discussed the difference aptitude testing makes in choosing colleges or careers and the information available from Career Vision.  Aptitude testing has been around since World War I, but has been used mostly by employers to screen and test new hires. In recent years this testing has been expanded significantly, especially in the area of advising people on their career paths. The two major goals of CV are to assist parents and students, as well as adult career changers, in making the best college major and career choices and to promote wise and effective career planning, maximizing return on educational investment and career fulfillment. Students, especially, need to “plan now and save later”: 65% of today’s college students are undeclared majors; 30% leave college after their freshman year; only 32% graduate by the end of 6 years;  the  annual cost of college today ranges anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000; and the average college grad today owes over $30,000 in unpaid student loans.  Career planning is important because a degree is no longer a magic ticket to a job and the hiring process has changed at great deal. Few companies take or read resumes anymore—resumes are sent to the company websites and  computers screen them.  Colleges now offer so many majors (sometimes as many as 150) that a student has to ask “what am I going to use my education for”  and “is it really worth the investment?” Many times CV will recommend against attending college.

Career Vision has professional consultants who work with each individual student; each student completes a minimum of 12 aptitude tests, and interests and values surveys; each student meets individually with a CV consultant who integrates resulting information to create a list of career recommendations and explains results during a feedback session. Students do information interviews and job shadowing of people in jobs that the student is considering and they are encouraged to ask those incumbents such question as how did they got into this career; what do they like and dislike about the job; what kind of education or training did they need; etc. 

Career Vision does not test students on what they learned in school like most of the standard achievement tests.  In addition to students (starting at age 16), CV tests adults who are thinking about changing careers. The cost of the CV test runs from $550 to $850 per individual. 

In answer to questions, Georgia said that high school guidance counselors do a pretty fair job in helping students get into the colleges of their choice, but they have to work with too many students to do any aptitude assessment. The CV tests can be taken anywhere and are followed up by individual meetings with CV consultants either in person or via computer. Scholarships and installment payment plans are available based on need. Further information about CV is available at 630-469-6270 or on its website at

Meeting Recap July 30 Keith Reed 2015-08-05 00:00:00Z 0


Wes Baumann and Keith Reed are looking for one or two more members to share with the writing of the weekly Meeting Recaps.  With three or four persons handling this responsibility the task becomes far less onerous. If you are willing to become a scribe for our Rotary Club please contact Wes Baumann at or Keith Reed at

HELP NEEDED! Wes Baumann 2015-07-29 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap July 23

Posted by Wes Baumann

We had only 20 members present for the July 23 meeting!  The lowest total in a long time and the third time in the past five weeks we have had fewer than 25 members in attendance.  Please remember that an important part of Rotary is showing up at our regular luncheons.  Visitors at our meeting included the District Assistant Governor, Mary Bak, from the Glenview Sunrise Club and Mike Noonan, from Costco Marketing.  

Happy Buck$ came from Kristen Leahy who reported her gratitude for the members of the club who supported the WYO’s service trip to work for Habitat for Humanity in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  Tom Nash aptly handled dig n Grin.

The speaker for the day was Paula Jablonski, a holistic health care coach and former nurse who has spent her entire adult life in the health care field.  Now she wants to spend her time helping people prevent disease.  Her presentation was entitled “Sugar Blues.”  Paula spent time explaining how the sugar sucrose, a very common ingredient in our food supply, is composed of two molecules, glucose and fructose.  Glucose supplies much of the energy for the body, as 80% of sugar is normally converted to energy and 20% is turned into fat.   It is the fructose in our food that is the real culprit.  Fructose is metabolized by the liver and is converted into fat.  She said that when food processors began removing the fat from their products the bland taste led to adding sweeteners, most often in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is extremely cheap. The consumption of too much fructose leads us to feel hungry when we our appetite should be suppressed.  It can frequently lead to hypertension, elevated triglycerides, decreased HDL (the good cholesterol), an increased waist circumference and high blood sugar.

Paula said that the sugar requirements for men are 9 teaspoons of sugar, and 6 teaspoons for women.  Since more food packages express that sugar contents in grams she said that 4 grams of equals one teaspoon of sugar.  She encouraged her audience to make sure they are getting protein and fiber in their diets at every meal as these will assist in weight loss.  Fiber helps slow down the rate absorption of sugar.

All of these problems are reversible, so be sweet but don’t eat sweets!

Meeting Recap July 23 Wes Baumann 2015-07-29 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 7/16

There were 30 members of our club in attendance this week.  There were no visiting Rotarians or guests.  Past-President Baker presided over the meeting in the absence of John Thomas.  He presented Joe Nash with a ‘recruiter pin’ and Rich Lalley with a ‘Paul Harris +3 pin.’
August 4 is Rotary Night with the Chicago White Sox. Rotarians from across the state will be at the Cell to enjoy a night of fellowship and baseball.  Tickets are $22 each with a portion of the proceeds going to Rotary’s End Polio Fund.  Notify Rich if you want to be part of this fun evening.
Eric Birkenstein made an appeal to the club to bring more guests to our Rotary Luncheons, as there have been very few in recent weeks.  We need to introduce more members of the community to Rotary.
Tony Kambich said that the club was considering reinstating the Holiday Craft Fair that was quite successful under the leadership of former member Kristen Jasinski.  Our funds for next spring’s community grants are very low at this time and we need some additional revenue.  If anyone is interested in chairing the Fair please contact Tony.
There were a lot of happy Rotarians this week as Happy Buck$ came from Bob Baker, Rodger Morris, Rich Lalley, Ned Meisner, Wes Baumann, John Stone, Robert Mardirossian and Tony Kambich.
The speaker for the week was our own Tom Nash who is the Senior Mortgage Originator for PPH Home Loans.  He has 30 years experience in the business.  Tom’s topic was the new regulations that apply to the closing procedures for home loans.  The new regulations, which will take effect on October 1st this year, are called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID).  (Explanation: TILA is the Truth in Lending Act and RESPA is Real Estate Settlement Protection Act.) The regulation mostly affects real estate agents and loan officers but it was also designed to provide better protection for homebuyers.  Some of the goals are to provide earlier receipt of loan information and easier to use mortgage disclosure forms for the consumer.  The form should help homebuyers shop around for the best mortgage and prevent surprises at the closing.
Tom provided a sample copy of the new form and walked his audience through the form.  The form provides a summary of the key loan terms being offered by a lending institution, including estimates of the loan and closing costs in a new format.  This initial loan estimate must be delivered within 3 business days of receipt of the application and at least 7 business days before the loan is consummated.  It cannot be delivered on the same day or after the Closing Disclosure has been sent.  This form will replace the previous Good Faith Estimate form and will be is provided in a more timely manner.  Real estate agents must make sure the client is ready 7 days prior to closing and avoid last minute changes, as changes to the agreement resets the clock and will cause a delay in the closing.  Tom did a nice job in explaining some technical issues around mortgages so that the laymen in the audience could understand the new set of rules.
Meeting Recap 7/16 2015-07-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap July 9

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 29 members in attendance and one guest. Bob Baker handled the Thought of the Day. Rich Lalley did the Dig N Grin. John Thomas presented Bob Baker with his Paul Harris (plus 4) award and Robert Mardirossian with his Paul Harris (plus 5) award. Happy Bucks were given by Rob Mardirossian in celebration of his 15 years of perfect attendance at Rotary meetings; by Tony Kambich in celebration of Rob’s 15 years of attendance; and by Dr. Stone for having tickets for tomorrow’s Cub’s game with the Sox (which they lost).
The guest speaker was Patrick Sinclair Gazley, a 2004 graduate of New Trier. Patrick told about his career in the engineering field and then his eventual decision to spend considerable time working for and raising funds for the RIPPLEAfrica organization. RA is a London based charity (and also a 501C3 charity in the U.S.). It has about 20 volunteers in the U.S. who fund raise money and actually spend time in the African country of Malawi to support its mission. Malawi is the smallest country in Africa with about 40 million population. Since 2003, RA has built medical facilities (dispensaries), 8 pre-schools, 5 primary schools and employs 15 trainee teachers to work at these facilities. RA also provides scholarships to the better students to attend local and government-run secondary schools, as well as to attend universities and colleges in Malawi. In addition to helping with education and healthcare services, it has established environmental programs to help with tree planting, forest and fish conservation projects and developing fuel efficient cooking devices.
Patrick provided several pictures of the RA facilities and the scenery in this very beautiful country which sets on a huge lake, much like Lake Michigan. It is a clear water lake which is excellent for swimming, especially since it  is free of crocodiles, unlike other lakes in the area.. There is little industry close to the lake but the country is trying to restore its fishing industry. Malawi was once part of the British Empire, but the Brits were pushed out in the  middle of the last century  before they could invest much money in the country. The country is basically Christian with some Muslims. Villages are set up so that a local tribesman is the “chief”. Patrick has spent considerable time in an area that is about an 8 hour drive from a major city. It is a relatively safe country. Women seem to do most of the farming, cooking, raising the families, etc. and the children seem to be very happy even though they live a very basic type of life. When asked about the men, Patrick indicated that there is quite an alcoholism problem among the men. Patrick said that more information was available on Malawi and RA’s activities on the RA website, which is
Meeting Recap July 9 Keith Reed 2015-07-13 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker bio for Tom Nash on 7/16

Tom Nash has been a Mortgage Loan Officer for the past 31 years, and he is currently with PHH Home Loans for the past 2 years. He enjoys working with first time home buyers with the purchase of their first home, and also working with clients on refinances of their current mortgages and introducing strategies of lowering their interest rate and improving their cash flow.  He grew up in Wilmette and currently resides in Kenilworth. Tom attended Loyola Academy followed by Miami University (class of 1983) with a degree in finance. He is a licensed loan officer in the state of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

"I am Active parishioner at Saints Faith Hope and Charity in Winnetka Illinois. I enjoy walking (can’t run anymore) and watching the White Sox. My wife Sherry is from Merrillville Indiana and is a teacher’s aide at Sears School in Kenilworth. My three children are Michael, senior business major at Miami University and a member of the swimming and diving team; Ryan, freshman business major at Miami University and member of the swimming and diving team; and Katie, a junior at Loyola Academy."

The Thursday Rotary Luncheon discussion will be on: the creation of the “integrated disclosure" combining requirements of the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, commonly known as TRID, which takes in effect on October 1st 2015.

Speaker bio for Tom Nash on 7/16 2015-07-13 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 25

There were 24 members of our club in attendance on June 25.  We had one visiting Rotarian, Dan Barnett, a community college retired administrator from Bonita Springs.  Additionally we had one potential new member as a guest of David Birkenstein, Thys Wallace, who is with the North Shore Youth Rugby Club.  Bridgette Ferraro, from West Lafayette, Indiana and Michelle Michelson from Elgin, who both work for C2 Education, which is a test prep organization.
Rich Lalley announced that there were only a few more days left to the Rotary Year.  He said that we exceeded our goal of $6000 for the “Every Rotarian-Every Year campaign by $2000, but sadly only 40% of the membership had contributed.  John Thomas announced that the day’s Dig ’n Grin money would be donated to the WYO’s service trip to Sheboygan, Wisconsin where the youth will work for Habitat for Humanity.
Happy Buck$ this week came from Chuck Young and Heather Higgins.  Wes Baumann celebrated his 30th year in Rotary.
Mark Kotz introduced the speaker David Whitlock who spoke about his firm The Happiness Catalyst.  David works with young adults, aged 15 to 25, to help them understand themselves better to make better choices in their lives.  David has discovered that there are many motivated young people but who have little direction in their lives. His goal is for the client to discover their calling.  He wants them to discover who they are and to find out what makes them happy and satisfied.  Then he wants them to imagine what the world will need in the future.  By matching their skills with what makes them happy and satisfied he hopes they can discover their calling in life.  Too many young people go through school without any thought of what they want to do in their adult lives.  By focusing on realistic goals their educational path and even good part-time jobs will give them more direction.  Hopefully their passion can be tied into how they spend most of the time in their adult lives.
Meeting Recap June 25 2015-06-28 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 18

There were 29 members of our club in attendance on June 18.  There were no guests other than the three persons who presented the day’s program.
President John Thomas presided over his first meeting.  The announcements this week included a plug from Kristen Leahy for the WYO’s annual service trip.  They will be volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  Kristen is seeking contributions to defray some of the expenses for the trip.     President John said one of the primary goals for the upcoming Rotary Year would be to expand the membership.  He indicated that he is expecting Village Manager Rob Bahan to join our club soon.    To that end David Birkenstein announced that there would be a membership meeting at 11:00 a.m. on June 25th.   All are welcome to attend this meeting in the conference room on the 2nd floor with their ideas.  Everyone is encouraged to bring guests (potential members) to our meetings.    Our treasurer, Mark Kotz, thanked all the members who made an annual contribution to Rotary International’s “Every Rotarian-Every Year” campaign.  There are a few more days to make a donation to our parent organization.
Happy Buck$ this week were courtesy of Patti Van Cleave, Heidi Sibert, Chuck Young and John Thomas.
Program Co-Chair Mark Kotz introduced the day’s speakers:  Jill Young and Emily Raming, job coaches and David Wolf, the Executive Director of “TotalLink2 Community” (TL2C).  David said TL2C is a 501c3 that is dedicated to creating customized jobs for people with developmental disabilities.  The concept of this not for profit organization was developed by a group of Northbrook mothers who had children with developmental disabilities who were trying to figure a way to provide more meaning for the lives of their children when they entered adulthood.   TL2C employees a number of ‘job coaches’ who seek companies who are willing to employ these adults.  Then they look for ways to create part-time jobs in these companies that provide valid service to the company and an employment opportunity for their clients – adults with development disabilities.  These job coaches work with young adults, age 18 and above to determine the skills they have to offer and the type of work they would like to do.  Then the coaches work with their clients to prepare them for an interview and the job skills they will need.
The work is very personalized for both the clients and the employers.  The jobs that are created from existing company needs are customized to the client’s personal skills and abilities so that the client is making a real contribution to the company.  Most jobs start out as two to four hours per week.  TL2C is always looking for new companies that are willing to consider hiring their clients.  Their clients normally display the traits employers are looking for – reliability, loyalty, likability, focus, enthusiasm, and trustworthiness.  TL2C has a 97% placement success rate and once their clients are employed the job coaches continue to follow up and provide support and coaching were needed.   Their clients, once employed, become more self-confident, develop more friendships, expand their skills and abilities and have a sense of belonging that enriches their lives.
More information about this organization can be found on its website:
Meeting Recap June 18 2015-06-22 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 11

The highlight of the June 11 meeting was the installation speech from our incoming President, John Thomas.  Here are his comments:
I have some arthritis problems and my rheumatologist suggested a new physical therapy routine.  For those of us getting along in years, here is a little secret for building your arm and shoulder muscles. Three times a week works well.
          You begin by standing straight, with a 5-LB. potato sack in each hand. Extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can - try to reach a full minute.
            After a few weeks, move up to 10-LB. potato sacks, and then 20-LB. potato sacks, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 40-LB. potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight out for a full minute.
            After you feel confident at that level, start putting a couple of potatoes in each of the sacks, but be careful not to overdo it...
More seriously, thank you, Bob and to all of you for giving me the honor of being the President of this excellent club. Having joined in spring 2013, I’ve been a Rotarian for only 2 years. I joined Rotary as it seemed another way to be of community service.
When Bob and Eric asked me last Fall if I would consider serving as the 2015-16 President, my experience in another volunteer group told me to say, “Oh Sure”. I had observed Eric and then Bob leading the meetings and felt that was a responsibility I could deal with. Plus, I knew there were a goodly number of experienced Rotarians happy to help when needed.
And, I had also been told of a PETS meeting needful of attendance in Itasca but  other little duties that went unmentioned.  For example, in January I heard “What are your the Annual Benefit plans?” “Who, me?” said I.  Well that was one where my past experiences were germane. Getting lots of ideas and then help for the nice affair we had last month was the key..
For the year we are starting July 1, I see three useful and doable targets:
First, it’s in all our best interest to push hard to gain new members.Davidid Birkenstein has agreed to stay on the Board and continue to head our Membership Committee. My personal target is to have two new members by Labor Day! If only each Rotarians here tonight can snare a friend, relative or work associate, we’ll be the wonder of the Midwest!
Close behind is to set a realistic target for every member, not just a cadre of 15-20, to give to the Rotary Foundation. We have a Club goal of just over $6,000. That means $100 from each Member gets us there. This years’ Rotary International slogan is “Be a Gift to the World”. To honor that motto, a gift to our local foundation is a good start.
Third, my own non-Rotary interests include the Park District and Village affairs through the Plan Commission. Bob Smith and I are always ready to chat about those and hear any ideas you all have.
And, I’m also very involved with the Winnetka Youth Organization.  This Rotary Club has long been a supporter and money is always needed.   But the current huge need is for new Board members to join Wes Baumann and I in        directing their affairs. Kristen Leahy is our Executive Director. She, I and Wes may tag team some of you to say your service itch could be well scratched by joining that group.
In closing I want to thank especially those of you who will be helping me and others to keep this chapter of Rotary alive and thriving. The Birkensteins, all the the old and new Board members, past Presidents like Bob, Eric and Liz, our next President-Elect  Patti Van Cleave, door-keepers Roger and Mark, and President-Nominee Tom Nash - are all key players in getting things done. And, oh yes, Rich Lalley. While not here this evening, I am tempted to say no Rich, no Rotary Winnetka/Northfield!

Thank you
Meeting Recap June 11 2015-06-16 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap June 4

Posted by Wes Baumann

Twenty-nine members were present at this week’s meeting, our first outdoor meeting this year in the Garden at the Community House. Guests this week included landscape designer, DaShan Williams, as assistant to Heidi Sibert, Enza Fragassi a guest of Ned Meisner and former member Pat O’Day.

The first announcement was from Pat O’Day who plugged the 2015 Rotary Humanitarian Patriot Award benefit that is being sponsor by the Rotary Club of North Chicago to benefit on June 12th. The event will be held at Rosalind Franklin University. The awards are given to those who have set an example of extraordinary commitment to support for the US Armed Forces Veterans and Returning Warriors.

President Baker reminded the Club that the June 11th meeting would be the Annual Installation Dinner where he will turn over the gavel to President-Elect John Thomas. If you want to bring a spouse or ‘significant other’ please be sure to sign up on the Club’s website or call Bob Baker so we have an accurate count. The cost of for guests is only $15. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social half hour where beer and wine will be served. Catered by Design will provide the buffet dinner.

Wes Baumann announced that he is looking for a replacement for writing the weekly Meeting Recap. He said he is willing to share the duties with a volunteer

Member Kristen Leahy, the Executive Director of the Winnetka Youth Organization, asked for financial help for the “YOs” annual service trip to build a house for Habitat for Humanity.

Mark Kotz reminded the Club that there are only a few more weeks left in the Rotary fiscal year and the Club would like to have every member contribute to RI’s EREY (Every Rotarian-Every Year) to support the numerous projects of Rotary. Much of the money goes back to local clubs to help with their projects. Make out your check to Rotary International and put EREY on the memo line.

During Happy Buck$ Heidi Sibert announced that she had a check for $500 from her employer, the landscaping company James Martin Associates, that was being given to our Rotary club to be split between Operation Warm and RightStart4Kids.  Ned Meisner auctioned off a ride on his motorcycle – Mike Malloy was the winner and our Foundation is $25 richer.

This week’s speaker was Carlton Marcyan, a divorce attorney and member of the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club. The main thrust of Carl’s presentation was when a couple decides to spit up they should try to use other methods than resorting to legal litigation, as he has been a leader in collaborative law. He spoke of ways to resolve disputes without involving the courts. Litigation is very stressful, costly and the end result is unpredictable. The jury system and the courts are imperfect; too often technicalities over-rule the facts or the truth. Litigation often does not result in justice.

Arbitration is often a viable alternative. In binding arbitration the arbitrator often acts like a judge and renders a decision. Mediation is another method of conflict resolution. It is not binding, as the mediator does not make decisions but attempts to lead the parties to a reasonable resolution. They tend to assist the party with less power. Carl said in Illinois you are not required to have a license to be a mediator, and he also said you do not have to use a retired judge as they are usually more expensive.

Meeting Recap June 4 Wes Baumann 2015-06-11 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap May 21

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 30 members in attendance this week and for the second week we had no guests.  President Bob Baker announced that we were honoring Mike Malloy for a Paul Harris Fellowship.  He was given a certificate and a Paul Harris pin.  Bob also announced that the installation dinner of the new officers for the 2015-16 Rotary year would be held on June 11th at 5:30 p.m. at the Community House.  John Thomas thanked the club for the great showing at this year’s benefit, which netted approximately $7000 for our charitable foundation.  John said the original number of guest they were planning for was 60, that number was upped a couple of times and 85 actually showed up.  It was a tremendous job performed by the benefit committee who planned and produced the event!
The District 6440 Humanitarian Patriot Awards are to be presented on June 12th at 7:00 p.m.  A social hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres will precede the awards ceremony at 6:00 p.m.  The event will honor support for the United States Armed Forces Veterans and their families.  The event will be held at Rosiland Franklin University in North Chicago and is sponsored by the Rotary Club of North Chicago
We celebrated the Rotary anniversaries of Connie Berman( 13th), Tom Evans, (6th) and Greg Skirving (1st) as well as celebrating the 80th birthday of Fred Schwimmer.  Bob Smith contributed the only Happy Buck.
The speaker for the day was astrophysicist, Dr. Alan Zablocki, who graciously filled in for the scheduled speaker, courtesy of Marie Kuipers.  Alan’s return was “Everything about the Universe- Part Deux.”  As a good teacher Alan reviewed some of the points he made in his April presentation.  He reminded us that there are about 300 million galaxies.  The Hubble telescope is now 25 years old and it has an estimated 3–5 years of useful life left.  The next telescope for studying the galaxies is the James Webb Space Telescope.  This telescope will be almost three times larger and because of its size the mirror has to be folded to fit inside of a rocket, which has never been done before.  Also a new larger rocket must be developed.  This new telescope will take pictures in infra-red whereas the Hubble can only use visible light.  Alan also reported that there is significant espionage involved with these high-powered telescopes.
Alan remarked that it is so much easier to build telescopes high on mountaintops above much of the earth’s atmosphere, frequently two or three are built as a team of telescopes.  There still is the problem of the distortion caused by what atmosphere exists.
Dr. Zablocki also spoke about the cameras that are used and showed some photos that are used to document what the telescopes see.   In addition to the more traditional light cameras they now have a 570-mega-pixel dark energy camera.  It is like having a camera composed of 64 iPhones.  Ordinary matter (atoms) makes up only 5% of the universe while dark energy makes up 68% of the universe.  We know that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, it is expanding and the rate of expansion is accelerating.  Another interesting fact is the third component of the universe is dark matter.  Dark matter does not shine or reflect light but it does have gravitational force.  There is five times more dark matter than ordinary matter, but we still know very little about it.
One of the coolest pictures in Alan’s presentation was that of the Smiley Face galaxy, which is really two large galaxies with immense gravity that bends light of nearby galaxies.  This bent light forms the outline of the face and the mouth.
Meeting Recap May 21 Wes Baumann 2015-05-28 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap May 14

Posted by Wes Baumann
Due to the annual rummage sale at the Community House the May 14 meeting was held at the Takiff Center in Glencoe with 33 members and no guests in attendance.  We welcomed snowbird Mike Wurzburg back to the north.
The club was reminded of the Annual Benefit on this coming Saturday, May 16 where we would all be well feed and well entertained.  There would also be numerous great items to bid on in both the silent and live auctions.  John Thomas announced that over 70 people had registered.  John also thanked Marie Kuipers, Rich Lalley, Keith Reed, Mike Malloy and Tim McCabe for their contributions to the event.
Mark Kotz announced that Sean Nelson would be speaking about RYLA next week and the following week Debi Genthe would inform the Club about the Meals at Home program.
This week we celebrated the birthdays of John Ford, Chuck Norton, Patti Van Cleave and Mike Wurzburg as well as the Rotary anniversaries of Bernie Michna (2nd ) and Mike Malloy (1st).
Happy Buck$ were from Rich Lalley who participate in Libertyville Club’s 5K run and 3K walk; Ned Meisner for the fact that Dr. Mardirossian was speaking and he might identify some of his own issues; and Mike Shelton for the Cub’s Monday night extra-inning victory.
This week’s speaker was our own Dr. Robert Mardirossian, the Executive Director of Family Service of Winnetka-Northfield.  Robert has been the head of Family Services for over 20 years.  Family Service provides counseling and therapy for both large and small issues that prevent a person from living full lives.  It can help to rewire some faulty connections.
Robert spoke about the unconscious feelings and how they may come to the fore.  Dealing with the unconscious has gained great credibility in psychotherapy.  One example that Robert presented was that of an eight year-old anticipating a fireworks display on the 4th of July and just as it was about to start he was bitten by a dog.  Years later, when fireworks are about to go off he gets anxious but doesn’t associate the anxiety with the earlier incident of the dog bite.  The two events are linked neurologically but remain in the subconscious.  Many times when you wonder why you are doing something but cannot understand why, it is your sub consciousness that is directing your actions or feelings. 
Robert even asked the eternal question ‘why do Cubs fans continue to support the team when there has been so little evidence of success in one’s entire lifetime?’  We all interpret our experiences differently.  What we get out of a book and how our parents’ expectations influence us are just two examples.
Most of us believe that ‘seeing is believing; but really believing is seeing as we generally see what we believe, what fits our perceptions.  Much eyewitness testimony in court is incorrect, yet juries tend to believe so called eyewitnesses.
In a response to a question from Keith Reed, what is the determining factor - nature or nurture? Robert answered it is the interaction between nature and nurture.  You can’t teach an old dog new tricks unless the dog wants to learn.  This reminded him of a story that he ended his presentation with.  How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? -  Only one, but the light bulb has to want to be changed.
Meeting Recap May 14 Wes Baumann 2015-05-20 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap May 7

Posted by Wes Baumann
In addition to 37 members and our speaker, we had one guest in attendance at the May 7 meeting.  Mimi Majerus of Glenview was the guest of Joe Nash.
President Baker gave Sam Badger a recruitment pin for bringing in Carl Yudell to our club.  Bob is anxious to give out more such pins so keep looking for potential new members.  The president then encouraged attendance at our Annual Benefit on May 16th.  Realizing some members will be unable to attend the benefit, he suggested a contribution equivalent to the cost of one ticket.  This benefit is the main source of funding for our local agency gifts.  John Thomas is cautiously optimistic about attendance but said the idea of having a lower price ticket for guests has not yet shown the desired results.  Please think of one or two persons you would like to bring to help more people understand the good works of the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary.  Keith Reed and his Royal Rotarians will be providing the entertainment.  He is assembling a vocal ensemble of members to perform one number in their show.  Catered by Design will provide the buffet dinner.
We celebrated with song the birthdays of Bob Baker, Joe Fell and Barb Tubekis.  Barb also celebrated her third Rotary anniversary.
Happy Buck$ were given by Marie Kuipers who announced her engagement to the astrophysicist, Dr. Alan Zablocki, who was our speaker last month; Ned Meisner for the good professional advice from Tom Nash; Tony Kambich in honor of Jeanne Beckman and her service dog who performed in Arlynn Presser’s recent play Remembrance; and finally from Barb Tubekis for soliciting volunteers for focus groups for to discuss the Volunteer Center. 
Everyone was happy to see Rodger Morris back from his fall.
Bob Baker announced that next week’s meeting on May 14th would be held at the Takiff Center at 999 Green Bay Road in Glencoe.  Parking and entry are in the back on the east side of the building.
Our speaker was Kerri Elliot, a former Special Education teacher at Antioch Community High School who went to Tanzania in 2008 to ‘see elephants.’  What she did see, in addition to the elephants, was an opportunity to young people in the African country.  Almost all students attend elementary school, which is taught in Swahili, but many fewer attend high school, which is taught in English.  All secondary schools are boarding schools and require tuition.  Kerri returned to the U.S. and told her students about the experiences of the Tanzanian students she observed.  Many were eager to get involved.  Kerri learned about the international service orientation of Rotary and she was able to form an Interact club at her school.  Kerri was concerned about the large number of young people who did not attend high school due to many obstacles that were difficult to overcome.  The students at Antioch High School raised money to send school supplies to Tanzania.  One of the goals was to raise funds for scholarships so that eligible students would be able to attend high school. 
Kerri moved to Tanzania last June where she became a member of the local Rotary.  With help from Rotary a non-profit organization called EdPowerment, Inc. was formed.  It is dedicated to enabling education for neglected teenagers and youth with special needs through grassroots support.  Through its Kilimahewa Educational Centre it serves local teens, most often from broken homes, and struggling adults who live in abject poverty, excluded from public & private education.  Those teens lack food, family support and clothing.  The homes they come from lack electricity and running water.  There is no government assistance, church support or community relief programs.  But most important they lack opportunity.  EdPowerment works locals and helps improve sanitation by constructing latrines and teaches them to raise chickens for food as well as a business.
For the past three years EdPowerment has conducted a two-week exchange program in summer.  The Kilimahewa Education Centre provides care for about 120 children.
Meeting Recap May 7 Wes Baumann 2015-05-13 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap April 30

Posted by Keith Reed
There were no guests at our April 30 meeting. Tom Nash gave the “thought” for the day. Announcements were: the Club is very thankful for the Winnetka Community House re-doing our meeting sign; John Thomas reminded everyone of the upcoming Club benefit on May 16th and reported that the number of attendees and auction items is continuing at a good pace, but that everyone is encouraged to put up posters of the event to attract non-Club members; Roger Morris fell in his home and is now recuperating there (a get-well card was circulated for members to sign); and that due to the WCH Rummage Sale, our May 14th meeting will be at the Takiff Center in Glencoe.
Happy Bucks (HB) were given as follows: Dave Gotaas thanked Chuck Young for getting us last week’s speaker—Steve Beres; Ned Meisner thanked Dave Gotaas for giving a HB in honor of Ned’s pre-meeting piano playing; Liz Taylor expressed her gratitude for our Rotary Club adhering to its scheduled meeting times, as contrasted to an organization meeting that she recently attended where the speaker showed up 5 minutes before the the speech was scheduled to conclude; Fred Schwimmer gave many HB’s for returning safely from his winter stay in Florida and for being able to be a resident of Winnetka for 78 years; David Birkenstein came forth with a HB in appreciation of Fred (and his humor) being back in town; Eric Birkenstein gave a tribute to his children’s grandfather (and we know who that is) who recently gave a “haunted house” presentation to his grandchild’s schoolmates;  and  Robert Mardirossian was absolutely ecstatic over being able to see live a Cubs victory after only 5 tries.
Joe Nash did the Dig-n-Grin.
Our guest speaker was Basil Lewis who is a Rotarian from the RC of Humberside, D1270. He lives in Hull, England, a town of about 250,000 in the North part of the country. He gave a very entertaining presentation on the history of the Rotary Club and especially how the RIBI developed in the United Kingdom. (His presentation was peppered with typical English accent and humor.) He explained that RIBI stood for Rotary International Britain and Ireland and is a separate legal organization from Rotary International (RI) for tax and charitable giving purposes. However, it provides support for many of the same causes as the RI such as the Shelter Boxes, the polio project and the Paul Harris Fellowships. All Rotary organizations have had the same rules and regulations since 1910.
Basil mentioned that when WWI broke out, that there was very little communication between the UK and the American Rotary Clubs. The one interesting exception was the vaudeville performers who were still crossing the Ocean to perform on both sides—the most noted entertainer being Sir Harry Lauder who was a Rotarian and attended its meetings in both places.
The U.S. Rotary and the British Association of Rotary Clubs (BRAC)  finally came together (for the most part) in 1921, although they still have separate sets of officers and separate publications.
When asked about the British view of women membership, Basil said that every BARC has women members except his, only because no woman has ever wanted to be a member of a Club with approximately 40  widowers over age 60! Besides, over there the Rotary has established something similar to a “women’s auxiliary”,  the “Interwheel Club”, which is run primarily by women who engage in the same fund raising activities as the Rotary.
Meeting Recap April 30 Keith Reed 2015-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap April 23

Posted by Wes Baumann
We had great attendance at the April 23 meeting with 37 members in attendance.  In addition to our speaker, we had two guests and a visiting Rotarian, Penny Fields from Highland Park.  Debra Bloom, the Vice-President of Hadley School for the Blind was Chuck Young’s guest and Peter Tragos of Northfield and the Assistant Principal of New Trier’s Freshman Campus was the guest of Wes Baumann.  It was also great to see Kristin Jazinski and Pat O’Day in attendance.
John Thomas said it was not too late to sign-up for our Annual Benefit on May 16th.  “Let’s all have a good time while raising money for our Club’s charitable activities and generate more awareness of Rotary.  The committee is still looking for items for the silent auction; a good suggestion was to get gift certificates from some of our local businesses.
Several members made paid announcements: 
Pat O’Day mentioned the Patriots Event Dinner being held by Great Lakes Naval Hospital.  Dr. John Bair will be the featured speaker talking about PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Kristen Leahy reminded members of the Winnetka Youth Organization’s annual benefit on May 1st where the honoree will be our own John Thomas.  
Rebecca Wolf encouraged Rotarians to take the Library Survey for which she placed large postcards announcing the project.
Barb Tubekis put in a plug and had handouts for the Volunteer Center’s fund raiser in conjunction with Bake 425°.  Barb also presented Heidi Sibert with a long sleeve “Rotarian at Work shirt in gratitude for Heidi’s leadership in the recent Kids Against Hunger project.
President Baker acknowledged the anniversary of Liz Taylor’s 13 years in Rotary.
Connie Berman contributed a Happy Buck this week.
Debra Bloom provided the introduction to the speaker, Steve Beres from Orlando, Florida.  Steve is a past regional president of the Blinded Veterans Association. Steve has been a great ambassador for Hadley and has taken advantage of many of their courses.  Steve entered military service at the age of 17 and progressed quickly through the ranks.  He has a BA degree and two Masters Degrees.  He was part of the US Army’s Special Operation (Green Beret). He said he had numerous tours of duty in the Middle East.  He was in Afghanistan just 17 days after “911.”  While on patrol with his unit a rocket grenade exploded off the face of the rock wall they were walking by and literally blew off his face.  He was not expected to live, but he survived and has undergone over 23 surgeries to reconstruct his face.  It was predicted that he would spend his life in a nursing home, as he was the victim of traumatic brain injury.  He has many titanium plates making up his skull, cadaver bone was used to reconstruct his nose and he has artificial eyes.  It has been a miraculous road to recovery for Steve.
Steve said that his family found the Hadley School for the Blind and the services it could offer.  He credits Hadley for his social and psychological return to his ‘new normal’ life.  He also gives a lot of credit to his children and they made him feel needed, even by something as simple as making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 
His story was truly inspirational as he view each day as a gift.
Meeting Recap April 23 Wes Baumann 2015-04-28 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap April 16

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 37 members in attendance on April 16! Tim McCabe brought John Zeddies of 22nd Century Media, which is responsible for publishing the Winnetka Current.  Also our speaker brought a guest, Harmony Hughes, the daughter of a former Winnetka Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Lyric Hughes.
President Bob Baker announced that Austin Welch who is currently finishing up at West Point will be a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar representing our district, 6440.  This scholarship program is for non-Rotarians to pursue a Masters Degree or a Doctorate in one of several approved areas of study in a foreign country.  The scholars are obligated to speak to Rotary Clubs in their host country as well as the country they are representing.  This serves as a reminder that we must all support Rotary International with our gifts to Every Rotarian-Every Year.”
John Thomas, our incoming president plugged our May 16th benefit.  He said that tickets were priced to make it easier to bring guests to the event.  This year the musical entertainment will be provided by “Keith Reed and his Royal Rotarians” and feature Chicago’s renowned jazz vocalist Frieda Lee.  Mark the date on your calendar and start inviting guests.  Tim McCabe said the Benefit Committee is still looking for attractive auction items.
Jeanne Beckman informed the Club that former member ArLynn Presser has written and is directing a play called “Remembrance” that will be performed at the Community House on April 24, 25 and 26.  Details are in the next story in this bulletin.
The Club celebrated the birthdays of Denny Lauer and Tom Nash as well as Denny’s 40th Rotary anniversary.
This week’s Happy Buck$ came from Ned Meisner, Kristen Leahy and Marie Kuipers.
This week’s speaker was Jian Ping who was born in China and immigrated to the U.S. for graduate work while leaving her 15-month-old daughter in China while she was working on advanced degrees.  Eventually her husband, and then her daughter joined her in the States.  She wrote a memoir of her life that she titled Mulberry Child.  The book was developed into an award-winning documentary by the same title. 
Jian basically told her life story of growing up in China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, how her father, a high ranking government official was imprisoned on trumped up charges of treason by the Red Guard and how the entire family was publicly humiliated.  Jian’s mother, a school administrator was also imprisoned.  The family was then forced to live in a mud house without heat, running water or a toilet.  
A major part of her story was how Jian’s daughter Lisa grew distant to her.  When her daughter came to the U.S. as a five-year old she had great difficulty adjusting to America as she spoke no English and at school she was thought to be of low intelligence due to not understanding what the teacher and other children were saying.  Lisa was constantly teased.  Lisa set out to become an American and shed her Chinese past.  Difficulties arose as Jian tried to instill her with some of the basic Chinese values and they became more distant, not surprisingly the teenage years were especially rough on mother and daughter.  Jian felt a need to reveal her past under Mao and share Chinese roots with her daughter and began writing her memoir.  Unfortunately Lisa showed no interest in her mother’s writings and did not even read it for quite some time.
When Jian and Lisa returned to China in 2008 for a visit with her mother and four sisters, Lisa finally agreed to read the manuscript.  Tracing her family’s history Lisa began to see her mother in a different light and to accept her own heritage.
Jian is a contributing writer for a major wire service in China and a monthly magazine Asian Wiscnozine.  She also works for the US importer of Tsingtao Beer, which enables her to make several trips to China each year.  She lives in Naperville with her family.
Meeting Recap April 16 Wes Baumann 2015-04-21 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 4/2

Posted by Wes Baumann
The April 2 meeting was attended by 32 members with no guests in attendance, surprisingly good for the week of Spring Break for the North Shore schools.
President Baker reminded the Club of the joint social gathering with the two Wilmette clubs to be held on April 15th at the Sheridan Shores Yacht Club in Gilson Park from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  There was a sign-up sheet on each table.  We have until next Thursday to sign-up for this event.  Light appetizers wine, beer and soft drinks will be served.  This will be a great time to socialize with fellow Rotarians from our sister clubs.
John Thomas announced that our annual benefit would be held on Friday, May 16th at the Winnetka Community House.  There is still a major need for good items for the silent auction.  John also talk about the Winnetka Plan Commission’s upcoming meeting on April 8th at the Village Hall where the primary topic is the controversial ‘One Winnetka’ Planned Development project for the former Fell properties will be discussed.  He encouraged interested Winnetkans to attend. 
The Club celebrated Rich Lalley’s birthday along with our server Fernande Trausch.    Today was the last meal that Fernande was serving for Rotary as she is now retiring; President Baker extended the Club’s gratitude for her years of service and warmest wishes for her retirement years.  The day’s desert was a large cake in Fernande’s honor.
Happy Buck$ were dispensed with in order to give more time to our speaker.
Marie Kuipers introduced the day’s speaker, her special friend, Dr. Alan Zablocki.  Dr. Zablocki was born in Poland and moved to London in 1996 when he was 12 years old.  Alan received his M.S. and  PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago.  He volunteers at the Adler Planetarium with an evening presentation.  His next presentation is on the April 16 (see below for more information on the Adler After Dark program).  Alan also works with students from the Chicago Public Schools. Alan’s presentation for our Club was literally and figuratively ‘out of this world.’  He had many slides of the universe that were taken from a telescope in deep space that illustrated the points that were being made.  He said there is at least one planet for every star, and likely far more.  There was a period in history when science thought that the Milky Way was the entire universe.  Now around 300 million galaxies have been cataloged. 
In his ‘stellar’ presentation he explained the there is matter that you cannot see but we know is there because it exerts gravitational pull.  Galaxies are constantly moving away from us in all directions, which seems counterintuitive since gravity should be pulling the universe together.  It is estimated today that the universe is 13.8 billion years old!  The universe is made up of less than 5% ordinary matter while the rest is composed of ‘dark matter’ (26.8%) and dark energy (68.3%).
If you are a junior space cadet (student or trainee) you can learn more about Dr. Alan Zablocki at: or view his entire presentation on your computer at:
Adler After Dark
Exclusively for adults, this 21+ evening offers you open access, unlimited shows, and unique entertainment every third Thursday of the month from 6-10 pm. With themes that change every month, Adler After Dark is never the same event twice. Reinvent your Adler experience every month with friends, family, or that special someone on a date they’ll never forget!
Live music, multiple bars, and the best views of Chicago’s skyline round out the night.
Meeting Recap 4/2 Wes Baumann 2015-04-07 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 3/26

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 38 persons in attendance at the March 26 meeting.  Along with 34 members, we had three guests and a visiting Rotarian, Penny Fields from the Highland Park Club.  Our guests included our speaker’s wife Nancy Baumberger, Annie Hayashi from the North Shore Senior Center, a guest of Liz Taylor and Alan Zablocki, next week’s speaker and guest of Marie Kuipers.
President Baker passed around sign-up sheets for the tri-club meeting with the two Wilmette clubs to be held on April 15th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Sheridan Shores Yacht Club in Gilson Park.  This will be a time to visit with fellow Rotarians from our sister clubs; light appetizers, wine and soft drinks will be served.  We will have two more opportunities to sign up – April 2nd and 9th.
Heidi Sibert announced that our club with the help of 400 volunteers packed over 100,000 meals on Saturday, March 21st for children in Nicaragua.  This brings the total to over 500,000 meals our club has supplied for the Kids Against Hunger program in the past five years.  Heidi individually thanked the members of her committee for a job well done.  The club extends our gratitude for Heidi’s leadership in our biggest annual project.
John Stone had a paid advertisement for a non-profit organization called “Total Link 2 Community.”  They are looking for employment opportunities for persons with disabilities that could be paid minimum wage for types of work they could perform.  To find out more about this organization check it out on the Internet.
Rich Lalley announced the upcoming Rotary District conference would be held April 10, 11 and 12 at the Westin Hotel in Itasca.  It is a great opportunity to learn more about Rotary!
David Birkenstein urged members to pass along their copy of the monthly Rotarian Magazine to neighbors or friends or to put it in your office waiting area.  It is another way to spread the word of Rotary.
Happy Buck$ this week came from Keith Reed, David Gotaas and Connie Berman.
This week’s speaker was introduced by David Birkenstein.  Bruce Baumberger spent 33 years working on information technology at Allstate and he now owns his own computer-consulting firm designed for small businesses and individuals.  Bruce is a Rotarian with the Evanston Lighthouse Club and is a past District Governor.  He handed out an outline with 14 topics listed that he covered briefly.  Topics included:
1. Cloud Storage Services for Computer Backup
2. How to Back Up Your Computer
3. A Quick Fix for Poor Passwords
4. Two-factor Authentication
5. Two-level Authentication
6. How to Make Sure Your Email Gets Read
7. Ten Tips for Mastering Microsoft Outlook
8. Increase the Security of Your Laptop While on the Road
9. Ways to Protect Your Computer
10. Windows 10
11. Printer Considerations
12. How to Sync Your Music, Movies and eBooks
13. Streaming Video Options
14. Cable TV vs. the Internet
At the bottom of the outline there is a link (, which will take you to the outline and by simply clicking on any of the topics an article that Bruce selected will come up that addresses the specific topic.  For those interested, please know that this link will only be available for two weeks, until April 8th
Meeting Recap 3/26 Wes Baumann 2015-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 3/19

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 29 members in attendance along with two guests and our speaker at the March 19 meeting.  This week’s guests included Lyric Hughes Hale and Jennifer  Kwang.  Lyric was a Winnetka Rotary Scholar in Japan and is currently a financial writer contributing to the LA Times, Financial Times, USA Today and others.  She brought her friend Jennifer, also a writer and publisher.
President Bob announced that the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce has chosen our own Patti Van Cleave, Executive Director of the Winnetka Historical Society, as Woman of the Year.  Chuck Young, Executive Director of the Hadley School for the Blind and also a member of our club, has been chosen Man of the Year.  These two great Winnetkans will be honored at the Chamber’s annual luncheon on April 8.
Heidi Sibert informed us that we now have over 440 volunteers for our annual Kids Against Hunger program on March 21.  They will also be selling raffle tickets at the event to assist with the expenses of this project.
The Club was reminded that our annual benefit is schedule for May 16th.  The event will be held at the Winnetka Community House, “Catered by Design” will provide the food and Keith Reed will provide the musical entertainment.  John Thomas, President-Elect, is the chair of this year’s benefit.  The proceeds will go toward funding our 2016 community grants program.
We celebrated the birthday of Rodger Morris, our most senior member, and Marie Kuipers’ 1st anniversary as a member of our club.
Our speaker for the day was former member, George Harmon, a professor of Journalism at Northwestern University.  George has been in the publishing business his entire life serving as a reporter, editor, and publisher in Chicago area daily newspapers.  His topic was the “Future of Print.” His contention was that the problem was neither quality nor readership; it was how the revenue has migrated.  The publishing industry is an $82 billion business and it is shrinking 1 to 2% a year. 
George said that we are in a sea change in the industry as to how print media is distributed and how it is used.  24-hour TV news and the Internet have caused major changes in how people get their news today.  So the newspaper and magazine industry have suffered the greatest losses, as they are dependent on advertising whereas the book industry has not been as greatly affected, as they were never reliant on advertising dollars.  Newspapers had received 80% of their revenue from advertising and with fewer people dependent on a traditional newspaper, businesses started to look elsewhere to spend their advertising dollars and to go elsewhere to get their message out.  Books on the other hand, never being dependent on advertising are experiencing decreased revenue, but it is more than offset by decreased publishing costs, think of how easy it is to sell e-books – no printing costs no distribution costs.  Also there has been tremendous growth in self-publishing.    Publishing houses do not have to maintain a large inventory of given titles with today’s technological advances in publishing.
George pointed out that numerous categories of books are decreasing rapidly for topics like cooking, travel, reference and other areas that the Internet can serve faster and more efficiently. Barnes and Noble is hanging on since they sell to many universities and they sell many more things besides books.  A few independent bookstores survive because they are known to have a knowledgeable sales staff and loyal customer following – think Chestnut Court in Winnetka.
The news cycle has shrunk due to the 24-hour cable “news” stations.  George expressed concern that much of our TV news is being delivered by opinionists, especially on the cable stations, so that a new story is delivered from a particular point of view.  He also said that the mainstream media is not as liberal as is characterized by the hard-left.  We will all be the poorer if we let excellent ethics (such as separating news from opinion) lose out to questionable ethics.  We cannot afford to let Americans get lazy and have the opinionators tell us how to interpret the news.
An unsettling trend is that due to the need to reduce costs by publishers there is declining pay for writers and photographers and many people want their news for free.  George said “free” is a lousy business model.  It leads to underemployment for professional people.  “Billionaires are being created today by shrinking costs in labor and distribution.  Median income is below where it was decades ago.  Guess why economic growth is slow.”  Good food for thought from George.
Meeting Recap 3/19 Wes Baumann 2015-03-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 3/12

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 49 persons in attendance at the March 12 meeting, which included 33 members, one visiting Rotarian, Scott Rose from Northbrook, one guest, Carol Fessler, Village Trustee, and 14 recipients of our Club’s grants.
Rich Lalley spoke of the good work of the Rotary International Foundation and told the audience about Paul Harris Fellowships.  He then gave two Paul Harris Fellowships to honor two fellow Rotarians, Heidi Sibert and Gina Sich, for their tremendous work coordinating the Kids Against Hunger program for the past five years.  It was Gina’s second Paul Harris.  Heidi then spoke of the KAH program and told everyone that in a little over a week we would be packing over 100,000 nutritious meals for children of Nicaragua with the aid of 400 volunteers.  Gina then thanked the members who supported the guest bartender program at Little Ricky’s last week.  Gina and Liz Taylor were able to raise $382 for KAH.
We celebrated Mark Kotz’s birthday with our version of Happy Birthday.  President Baker also recognized the 9th club anniversary of Chuck Young and the 1st anniversary of Jake Ieuter.
Happy Buck$ this week came from Tom Nash, Robert Mardirossian and Bob Baker.
The President then turned over the meeting to Patti Van Cleave, the chair of our Community Grants committee.  She introduced the rest of her committee.  Patti said that today we were presenting a total of $31,000 in grants to 15 community organizations.  She told the audience that in addition to the community grants the club has sponsored the Kids Against Hunger program for the previous four years and have also supported the Operation Warm project whereby our special contributions have purchased hundreds of new warm coats for children whose parents can’t afford them.  Our club also participates in a number of service projects, many in conjunction with the Volunteer Center.
Following is a list of the organizations that received grants, the name of the person representing the organization and the name of the club sponsor:
Organization Recipient Club Sponsor
Angles (formerly LINKS)    Amy Skalinder           (Van Cleave)
Blues Kids Foundation    Fernando Jones           (Lalley)
Erika's Lighthouse    Heather Freed            (Leahy)
Good News Partners    Jan Hubbard           (Tubekis)
Hadley School for the Blind    Colleen Wunderlich (Willian)
Jewish Council for Youth Services    Micky Baer         (E. Birkenstein)
Lawrence Hall Youth Services    Kim Luckey          (Van Cleave)
Literature for All of Us    Karen Thompson  (Van Cleave)
Midwest CareCenter     Peggie Roberts (Holland)
North Shore Center/Performing Arts     Michael Pauken      (E. Birkenstein)
Operation North Pole   (Lalley)
Right to be Free                                Lori Dillon        (Lalley)
Samaritan Counseling Center  Jane Huels           (Tubekis)
Volunteer Center                           Barb Tubekis         (Sich)
Winnetka Youth Organization          Mary Walden/Kristen Leahy    (Thomas)
Meeting Recap 3/12 Wes Baumann 2015-03-14 00:00:00Z 0
Welcome to Carl Yudell, our newest member 2015-03-09 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 3/5

Posted by Wes Baumann
Thirty members, five guests and two visiting Rotarians were in attendance on March 5.  Our guests included Tony Kambich’s wife, Carolyn, and John Thomas’ wife, Ellen.  Other guests included Bruno Esposito, last week’s speaker, a guest of Mark Kotz, Pawel Baginski, manager of our local Mariano’s (bearing gifts of fresh squeezed orange juice) a guest of Eric Birkenstein for the second time and Siera Erazo from the Winnetka Historical Society a guest of Patti Van Cleave.  Visiting Rotarians were Puran Stevens for the Wilmette Harbor Club and Penny Fields from the Highland Park Club. 
President Bob Baker inducted Carl Yudell, an attorney from Northfield, as our newest member.  Bob presented Carl with his own badge and Rotary pin.  Sam Badger was his sponsor.  The Club gave Carl a warm welcome!
Heidi Sibert, the chair of our Kids Against Hunger program, introduced her committee.  This is the fifth annual food-packing gala and it is scheduled to take place on March 21st  at the Community House.  Rich Lalley reported we have 360 volunteer workers but we could use 90 more.  We also need another $4000 in sponsorships.  This evening, March 5, Liz Taylor and Gina Sich will be the ‘celebrity bartenders’ at Little Ricky’s; all of their tips will go towards KAH.
We celebrated the birthdays of Keith Reed and David Gotaas with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday, which was pretty brave in light of the fact that our speaker was a renowned soloist and choral director.
Ned Meisner introduced our speaker Van Gilmer, the music director for the Baha’i Temple in Wilmette.  Mr. Gilmer was born and raised in segregated Greensboro, North Carolina.  He said it was a loving, but separated community and he felt there should be something better.  Van made frequent references to the line from the Pledge of Allegiance – “liberty and justice for all” that has served as one of his guiding principles.  When he was a senior in high school in 1961 two of his friends took part in a sit-in at the Woolworths in Greensboro.  He then realized that if changes were going to occur people had to take action.  While Van was raised as a Southern Baptist he found the Baha’i faith in his 20s. It was the peace, unity and justice that he found attractive.  He reminded his audience that while in total number of followers of the Baha’i faith do not rank Baha’i among the largest religions, members of the Baha’i faith are found throughout the world.
Van entertained and informed us with his splendid voice while he played the piano and his guitar.  He said that music gives a new dimension to words and increases sensitivity to our emotions.  Additionally, he emphasized the healing power of songs.  Van also pointed out that the Negro spirituals songs were never about revenge over the slave owners or killing white people.  They were always about love and seeking the ‘promised land.’  He has added Negro spirituals to the repertoire of the Baha’i choir since his arrival in 2005.  
At the end of his presentation Van invited the members to a major choral concert at the Baha’i House of Worship on May 24th.  There will be over 200 voices participating in this annual Memorial Day event.  The Club certainly enjoyed Van’s wonderful gifts of music and words of inspiration.
Meeting Recap 3/5 Wes Baumann 2015-03-09 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 2/26

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 28 members, one visiting Rotarian and two guests in attendance on February 26.  Penny Field, visiting Rotarian from Highland Park brought along a guest, Barbara Rubin, and former member Jim Corboy was present. 
There were more reminders about our biggest project of the year, Kids Against Hunger, scheduled for Saturday, March 21st.  All members were encouraged to sign up for one of the three two-hour shifts that day.  If you cannot attend then consider being a sponsor at some level.  The goal is to get 100% of our club involved.
Penny Field invited our members to come to the HP club meeting at noon on March 2, to hear a presentation on Neuro-Bio Feedback.
Happy Buck$ this week came from Rebecca Wolf, John Thomas and Dave Gotaas.
Mark Kotz introduced our speaker, Bruno Esposito, a 35-year aviation enthusiast.  His love for flying and aviation began in 1969, when as a 10-year old, he witnessed the first test flight of the Concorde from his home in Toulouse, France.  As a 20 year old he was living his dream as a fighter pilot for the French Air Force. In 1986 Bruno had set his sights higher and joined the French National Space Center.  He has flown solo over the Atlantic Ocean four times in a single engine plane in commemoration of the early days of airmail.
Mr. Esposito chose to talk about six topics to pique our interest in aviation.  His first topic was ‘airport slots.’  A slot is the right for one landing and takeoff per day at an airport.  The cost of slots at high-traffic airports like Heathrow in London can range from $32.7 to $52 million at an auction.  That can be the cost for one landing and takeoff slot in peak times.
Fuel costs for airlines rose from 13.6% of operating costs in 2003 to 26.1% this year.  With fuel costs going down recently some airlines are extending the service lives of their planes and they are delaying delivery of more fuel-efficient aircraft.  This is due to the narrowing gap between the very expensive new fuel-efficient aircraft and the higher operating costs of older jets.
Airplanes are frequently thought of as big polluters, however Bruno pointed out that while all the flights worldwide produce 705 million tons of CO2, however humans are responsible for 36 billion tons of CO2 per year.  The latest versions of both Boeing and Airbus models use less than a gallon of fuel per 100 passenger kilometers.   By 2050 the net aviation carbon emissions will likely be half of what they were in 2005.
The aviation industry is a major contributor to the global economy.  Airbus is predicting a growth rate that will create the need for over 30,000 new aircraft, while Boeing is projecting a need for over 33,000 new planes.  The cost for these two company’s new aircraft is estimated at over nine billion dollars.  Most (just under 40%) will go to countries in the Asia Pacific region, where it is predicted that China will have the largest traffic flow in less than 20 years.
One of the challenges for air traffic will be presence drones.  There is an ever-growing demand for commercial drones.  The drone industry will add many new jobs to our economy.  Bruno said that drones are a natural extension of what has happened in the cockpit over the past 60 years.  We have gradually moved from a cockpit crew of five to a crew of two, and in some cases only one pilot.  The aviation industry has estimated that the vast majority of accidents (70 – 90%)
involving planes are due to human errors.  With all of the advances in technology Bruno posed two questions – “Do we still need a pilot in the plane and do we need human air traffic controllers?”
The final topic Bruno covered was air traffic management.  He said we are moving toward a satellite-based system from our current ground-based radar system.  GPS technology will be used to shorten routes and reduce traffic delays, which will lead to savings in time and fuel.  Also, planes will be able to fly closer together and avoid airport “stacking” as planes wait for runways to become available.  In the U.S. this new system is called the NextGen system; Europe has a similar initiative in development.
Bruno predicted that the airline industry would continue to grow, provide safer, quieter and more fuel-efficient transportation.  To move along this path we need a highly educated populace that can be trained for high skill jobs if the U.S. and Europe are to remain the prime drivers of this vital industry.
Meeting Recap 2/26 Wes Baumann 2015-03-03 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 2/19

Posted by Wes Baumann
Twenty-seven members, one guest and one visiting Rotarian attended the February 19 meeting.  Heidi Sibert brought Pawel Baginski, the new manager of Mariano’s in Northfield.  Mark Kotz’s guest was former member and Lake Forest Rotarian, Bill Leske.  Mark said that Bill had just resigned from BMO Harris and was going to be the manager of the First Bank & Trust in Skokie.
Marie Kuipers was presented with her second Paul Harris Fellow pin.  Thanks Marie, for the support of the Rotary International Foundation.
The Kids Against Hunger program got a plug from Heidi Sibert.  She reported that 306 persons were registered to work on the March 21st food-packing event at the Winnetka Community House.  We need at least 400 hundred workers to fill out the three shifts and could use as many as 500.  We could also use a few more sponsors.
President Bob asked that members who have potential speakers for our weekly meetings get the information to Ned Meisner or Mark Kotz, Program Co-chairs, and they will contact the person and do the scheduling.  This will avoid confusion and double booking.
On March 5th there will be a special menu featuring salmon at our regular meeting, which will feature renowned soloist, composer and director, Van Gilmer.  It is important to sign up next week, if you did not this week, if you plan to attend and especially if you will be bringing any guests.
Patti Van Cleave made a paid announcement advertising the Winnetka Historical Society’s Annual Luncheon to be held on March 4th.  Patti extended an invitation to the entire club.
Tim McCabe spoke of the devastating fire at the 90 year old Woman’s Club of Wilmette that virtually destroyed the entire building.  While the Community House will assist in providing space for programming, Tim’s concern was primarily for the caretaker of the building and his family as he lived in an apartment in the building.  He now has nowhere to live and no job.  If any member knows of work for this man contact Tim.
Ned Meisner contributed the week’s lone Happy Buck.
This week’s speaker was Meredith Kober, the Community Relations Manager of Lydia Home.  The Home is located on the northwest side of Chicago.  Their mission is “to strengthen families to care for children and care for children when families cannot.”  They also have a residential facility that houses around 40 children who have been abused or neglected.  Meredith mentioned that 80% of Illinois prisoners have spent time in foster care and that 20% of children in runaway shelters come directly from foster care.  In society today the average age for total independence from parents is 26; yet foster children reaching 18 years of age are regarded as independent.  There is a very high turnover in the area of professional caregivers who handle abused and neglected children.  The typical stay at Lydia Home is two years.
One of the programs they operate is the twelve-year-old “Safe Families for Children,” which is designed to provide a safe environment for children when the parents cannot perform their normal parental responsibilities.  These are not abused or neglected children, the parent may be in a rehab program, or they are being incarcerated.  They are placed in host families who volunteer to take care of the children with no remuneration from the state.
They also run Lydia Urban Academy offering teens a chance to earn an accredited non-traditional high school diploma that would allow the student to attend a two-year college.  This program is for kids having trouble in their own high school, where they are encountering academic or safety problems.  Many of these students will be involved in a work-study program.
The Lydia Home also offers counseling services on site and a “Learn and Care Preschool.”  For more information about the Lydia Home go to:
Meeting Recap 2/19 Wes Baumann 2015-02-23 00:00:00Z 0

Speaker Bio for Bruno Esposito 2/19


Bruno is a  bilingual executive (French-English) with over 35 years of professional experience acquired from the Public and Private sector.   He is also an entrepreneur.    For several  years, he has served in an aerospace advisory capacity for senior government officials and ministers in the UK and Russia developing new policies with regard to investments, manufacturing and air traffic management.  Former space policy adviser to Lord Drayson, UK Minister of State for Science and Innovation until 2010, he was instrumental in the creation of the UK Space Agency.

Bruno is working in an Advisory Board member capacity with company executives during the development and commercial rollout phases of complex high-tech products and services, proactively delivering winning solutions with revenues in excess of US $500m.       

He has served as a visiting lecturer in higher education, chairing committees aimed at initiating business opportunities with aviation companies in China and developing collaborative academic programs between the UK and French institutions.  He is a guest panelist/lecturer on innovation and creation of new ventures at the Kellogg School of Management and an active member of the Kellogg Innovation Network.

- See more at:
Speaker Bio for Bruno Esposito 2/19 2015-02-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 2/12

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 31 members and one guest at the Feb 12 meeting. The guest was ”M” Lavin, the wife of Robert Mardirossian who is a military veteran and came to hear our speaker, also a veteran. 
John Ford told us of “Operation Walk-Chicago,” a medical mission to supply knee and hip replacement equipment that will be taken to Hanoi, Viet Nam to provide replacement joints for the impoverished in that country.  John’s wife, Mary, is part of the mission trip and is helping to gather contributions for this effort.  If you are so interested in support this effort you can make a contribution online at or drop off a check at Dr. Ford’s office.
Heidi Sibert announced that her committee is organizing 400 ‘goody bags’ to hand out to the participants of our food-packing program for Kids Against Hunger.  She is encouraging sponsors to provide handouts and small promotional items to advertise their organization.  The youth of the WYO will be putting the bags together just before our event on March 21st.
Patti Van Cleave reminded the club that if members want to add their personal gifts to any of the agencies that are receiving grants this year the club will match the personal gifts up to the $2000 the club has designated for this purpose.  If you are so inclined to add to the grant write a check to the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club Foundation and place the name of the organization you are supporting in the memo section. The recipients of this year’s Community Grants are listed at the end of the recap.  This check should be submitted to the club at least a week before the Grant Presentation program on March 12.
Gina Sich and John Stone celebrated their Rotary anniversaries this week, 7th and 34th respectively.
Happy Buck$ were contributed by Gina Sich and Ned Meisner.
Connie Berman introduced the day’s speaker, Paul Baffico, a Vietnam combat veteran and a former president at Sears Roebuck and Co.  Paul told his story of dealing with PTSD, primarily after his retirement from Sears.  He told of his return from Viet Nam to San Francisco, where many angry protesters met the disembarking vets.  He had served in the 101st Airborne Division and lost five close buddies while in Vietnam.  He managed to suppress his feelings and did not talk about his experiences, not even with family members, while he successfully climbed the corporate ladder.
Paul said that when he retired he had time to rethink his war experiences, as he was not busy with all of the trappings and pressures of the corporate world.  It was then that his battlefield experiences came back to life.  His wife convinced him to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in D.C. and when he touched the names of his lost buddies on the Wall the vivid sights, sounds and odors of the war came flooding back to him.  He met a docent who planted the seed of serving as a docent at the Wall and with the encouragement of his wife he has become a docent.  Once a month he goes to Washington and serves in that capacity.
Paul’s wife also encouraged him to go to the VA after his retirement where the therapy has enabled him to deal with the problems that had surfaced from PTSD.  He feels the VA has done a good job and he began writing about his experiences.  All of his writings, with the assistance from his wife, have resulted in a book “Last Mission for a Reluctant Patriot” which is available on Amazon.  He has dedicated his retirement years to veterans and started a foundation, “The Lake County Veterans & Family Services Foundation.  
Paul mentioned that in WW II approximately 12% of the population served overseas but virtually all American lives were affected by the war as rationing for everyone.  In the Vietnam War only 5.6% of the country served in the military, while in the recent wars it is only 0.45% are serving.  As fewer Americans have a connection to the wars there is less attention given to the veterans of those conflicts.  The U.S. military is now serving in 153 countries around the world.  Paul has dedicated his life to assisting veterans through his foundation.  Our club was privileged to hear his very interesting and inspiring story.
Meeting Recap 2/12 Wes Baumann 2015-02-18 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 2/5

Three guests and two visiting Rotarians joined 31 members at the February 5th meeting.  The visiting Rotarians were John Howard from the Northbrook club and Tom Zengler from the Libertyville Sunrise club.  Liz Taylor brought her colleague Andy Knott who works for Wintrust Wealth Management, Patti Van Cleave’s guest was Trisha Kocanda, the Superintendent of the Winnetka Public Schools, and finally John Muno, representing the Winnetka Park District, was the guest of Bob Smith.
As March 21st approaches Heidi Sibert reminded the club to sign up to work a shift at our food packing program “Kids Against Hunger” as we plan to pack over 100,000 meals for the children in Nicaragua.  Last year we set a club record of packing 110,000 meals.  In addition to needing volunteers to pack the meals our club also needs sponsors as the food and shipping for the 100,000 meals costs over $25,000.
Patti Van Cleave reported that her committee has reached their decisions on who will receive Community Grants this year.  This year there will be 15 recipients who will be presented their grants at our March 12th meeting.  Each organization has a club member as a ‘sponsor.’
New Meisner reported that the on-line Club Runner would have pictures of our speakers.  If you click on the picture you will get a brief biography.  Ned also mentioned that he is posting some videos of his piano playing on YouTube.  (You can also see a video of our club singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the paid request of Robert Mardirossian.)
Happy Buck$ this week came from Heidi Sibert, Barb Tubekis, Ned Meisner, Tony Kambich, Keith Reed and guest John Howard.
Connie Berman introduced William Norris, the Chief Investment Officer for the Private Bank.  Mr. Norris said the Federal Reserve has been on one path – to stimulate the economy.  He feels that they have been successful in that regard, and they will not continue on that course.  The European Central Bank was doing the opposite and that was not working for them.  Mr. Norris stated that the U.S. economy is clearly on a solid path and that the Fed will likely be looking to gradually increase interest rates, probably later this year or in early 2016. Europe is in a deflationary environment, which is not good.  The U.S. is going to be buying European debt.  Large cap growth is slowing from being very good for the past few years and return to single digit returns in the near future.  The rising dollar will not have a negative effect on mid small cap stocks.  Despite the outlook for rising U.S. interest rates, stock are still attractive relative to investment in bonds.
Norris said this is a good time to take out a loan since interest rates are not likely to go any lower and they will likely be rising in the next three years.  The U.S. is now producing about the same amount of oil as Saudi Arabia.  The lower oil prices will stimulate the economy.  These low oil prices will hurt the small oil companies, especially those with heavy debt.  Oil companies like Exxon, Shell and Chevron can withstand the lower prices much better than the small companies.  We may see a number of the small companies go under.
Meeting Recap 2/5 2015-02-09 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 1/22

Posted by Wes Baumann
Seven guests joined 35 members at this week’s meeting.  The guests included visiting Rotarian Penny Fields from the Highland Park club; Penny brought a guest Bobbie Ruby a writer from Evanston.  Carl Yudell, a Northbrook attorney was Sam Badger’s guest for the third time.  Tim McCabe hosted Alana Flatley, the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Community House as well former Winnetka Rotarian, Joan Evanich who is the Chair of the WCH Board of Governors.  Robert Farmer from the Winnetka Park District was the guest of Bob Smith.  Finally, this week's representative from the Hadley School for the Blind was Chuck Young, their Executive Director, who made a donation of $50 to our club as Happy Buck$. 
President Bob reminded the membership of the Club Assembly scheduled for January 29th.  We will be conducting the annual election of officers and the Board for the 2015-16 Rotary year.   He also reminded the Club of the “Kids Against Hunger” scheduled for March 21st.  We still need $11,000 in sponsorship and we need all members to sign-up to work one of the three shifts to be held on that Saturday.
The Club celebrated Jean Wright’s birthday in silence, at her request.  Singing apparently is not a strong suit for the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club.
Barb Tubekis reported on the fantastic success of the “MLK – Day of Service.”  She reported that there were over 700 persons did volunteer work for 12 non-profit organizations.
Happy Buck$ this week were contributed by Chuck Young Barb Tubekis, Marie Kuipers , Jean Beckman, Tom Nash and Wes Baumann.
Our own Tim McCabe, the Executive Director of the Winnetka Community House, presented the day’s program.  The Winnetka Community House has a long and important history in Winnetka and the North Shore.  The Winnetka Congregational Church founded the Community House in 1911.  It served as the first home of The Hadley School for the Blind, the North Shore Senior Center and the Winnetka Historical Society, three recognized organizations that now have their own permanent sites.  It is the continuing home for the Winnetka Rotary Club and the North Shore Art League both founded in 1924 as well as the 47-year old Winnetka Youth Organization.  Matz Theater also provides a performing venue for the Children’s Theatre in Winnetka, the Village Follies and the 74 year old Winnetka Children’s Hour.  In 1965 the Congregational Church deeded both the building and the property to the WCH. In 1998 a major addition to the building was the result of a successful fundraising program.   Again, in 2004 they upgraded the Garden Under the Arches.  Now they are turning their attention to the oldest part of their facility.
Tim told us about the Second Century Campaign being initiated by the Community House.  The purpose of the fundraising program is to address the infrastructure and program issues of the Legacy Building, that is the eastern half of the building.  The Community House is a non-profit organization that receives no revenue from taxes.  Their revenue comes primarily from contributions, program fees and rentals, both long term and single events.
The old section of the building currently serves a large portion of the programs, including rentals to three religious organizations, the North Shore Art League, the Winnetka Youth Organization, the Children’s Theatre of Winnetka to name a few.  Unfortunately, the legacy building does not have air-conditioning so the preliminary plans calls for a complete redo of the HVAC system (including air-conditioning), electrical upgrades, new roofing and windows.  Additionally, there will be considerable remodeling of the rooms in the legacy building and a redesigned Pine Street entrance.  The result will be to bring this part of the facility into the 21st century, enhance rental opportunities and better serve the community.
The goal of the “Second Century Campaign” is to raise $7.5 million.  Tim said they are in the ‘silent phase’ of the campaign – getting some initial large gifts before kicking off the more public campaign.  Joan Evanich, the Chair of the Board of Governors, showed some preliminary sketches, that included the room we meet in during the cooler months when AC is not needed.  We hope that the WCH reaches its goal so we can enjoy the remodeled facilities along with the entire community.
Meeting Recap 1/22 Wes Baumann 2015-01-27 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 1/15

Posted by Wes Baumann
This week’s meeting included 35 members and four guests.  Sam Badger brought his attorney, Carl Yudell from Northbrook, Heather Higgins was accompanied by her daughter-in-law, Martha Higgins, from Brussels and David Birkenstein’s guest was Bill Anderson, an investment advisor from Wilmette.  Former member Jim Corboy also joined us and announced he is planning on becoming active in the near future.
Bob Baker reminded the Club that the Wounded Warrior program is coming up on January 24th.
Heidi Sibert appealed to the Club to solicit sponsors for our “Kids Against Hunger” program scheduled for March 21st.  It is critical to get business and personal sponsors for the purchase of the food supplies that will be packed on the 21st and then shipped to Nicaragua.
Barb Tubekis welcomed members to participate in the “MLK – Day of Service” being held on Martin Luther King Day at the Community House.  The afternoon will start with a video presented by the Winnetka Historical Society that traces Dr. King’s coming to Winnetka in 1965.  The WHS will post a link to this video within the next week.
A membership meeting is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on January 29th at the Community House.  All members are invited to attend.
Happy Buck$ this week were provided by John Stone, Joe Fell, Tony Kambich, Wes Baumann and Robert Mardirossian.
Keith Reed introduced the speaker, Bill Lustig, the Chief of Police of Northfield.  Bill has been a member of the Northfield department for 34 years, and served the last 19 years as the chief.  He addressed the high profile killings in Ferguson, New York and Cleveland.  He feels all of those individual cases are hard to judge without being an eyewitness to the incidents.  He stated that the victims would be alive today if they had obeyed the officers’ original request.  The Chief feels that the media and outside agitators have done a lot to cloud the specifics of the cases.  His stated goal is to stay out of the media and suggested that the Ferguson police needed to get advice from professionals as to how to deal with the media as they can make matters worse, while admitting that at times the press can be of help. 
Bill emphasized the importance of having officers know and understand the people and the culture of the communities they serve.  The Northfield Police Department places a high emphasis on community culture in their training program.  He mentioned that it usually took a new officer four years to ‘get’ the culture of Northfield and the North Shore.  Police departments need to represent the diversity of the community.  Chief Lustig stated that 32% of his officers represented minority races or cultures.   A new law requires officers to record the race of everyone they stop, which is then reported to the state.  Bill said that last year the department made about 27,000 traffic stops, 77.3% where white and 22.6% minorities.  They can also break down the percentages by officers to determine if racial profiling is occurring.
He said many police officers never fire their weapons while on duty in their entire career.  The Northfield police are also armed with non-lethal weapon such as Tasers and canisters of pepper spray.  They have had to use these latter weapons when suspects are violently resisting arrest. Chief Lustig stated he had mixed feelings about body cameras but said that the have often exonerated officers of charges of misbehavior.  He said that his department will arrest a person making a false charge against one of its officers when they have definite proof that the officer was acting properly.
His final advice to the audience was to obey any police officer’s request and if there is obvious false charges consider suing the officer afterwards.
Meeting Recap 1/15 Wes Baumann 2015-01-19 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 1/8

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 38 persons in attendance at this week’s meeting, which included 31 members, seven guests and our speaker.  Sam Badger brought Northfield attorney Carl Yudell, a prospective member.  Tony Kambich brought his wife, Carolyn, and Joseph Olanya and four of his children Linda, Gabriel, Isabella and Sonie. Joseph’s family was visiting the Kambichs.  With the help of the Kambichs, Joseph and his wife, Christine, started a Montessori school in Entebbe, Uganda.  His wife had already returned to Uganda as school had started after the holidays.
President Bob Baker announced two multiple Paul Harris Fellows – Patti Van Cleave with her 5th and Bernie Michna with his 6th.  Congratulations two these two generous members!
Rich Lalley announced that India has now been “polio free” for two years and that Nigeria is the only country in Africa with polio, but Nigeria is expected to be “polio free” by the end of 2015.  Rotary International is closing on its goal, established in 1985, of eliminating polio in our lifetime.
Heidi Sibert announced that our annual “Kids Against Hunger” program would be held on March 21.  We need at least 400 workers and lots of sponsors.  You can now sign up online for any of the three work shifts.  See Heidi if you want to be a sponsor or know of a potential sponsor.
Gina Sich announced that the Community House is offering a number of volunteer opportunities on Martin Luther King Day on January 19th.  There is no need to sign up – just drop in and donate what time you may have available.
Happy Buck$ this week came from Tony Kambich, Denny Lauer and Wes Baumann.
The speaker for the day was Sandy Sullivan the author of the self-published book Green Bay Love Stories.  She told of her life as a young Wisconsin woman who was given the opportunity to work as a model and hostess selling tickets for the Green Bay Packers football team in 1961 two years after Vince Lombardi took over as coach.  Sandy, as a 19-year-old Wisconsin girl who knew nothing of the Packers or Green Bay, soon became enamored with many of the players.  She told of dating a number of Packers including Paul Hornung and Dan Currie.  She wound up marrying Dan Currie’s dentist, Matt Sullivan, in Washington D.C.  After his death in 1984 she moved back to Wisconsin to be with her parents. 
In 2006, without any political experience Sandy ran for the office of Secretary of State in Wisconsin as a Republican.  Her opponent was an incumbent who had held the office since 1982; needless to say the results were not pretty as she lost by 200,000 votes.  She said she really enjoyed the experience and had no regrets. 
Sandy has made 170 appearances at Rotary Clubs talking about her life as a Packer groupie.  In addition to public speaking she also is selling her book and arranging appearances for former Packers.
Meeting Recap 1/8 Wes Baumann 2015-01-14 00:00:00Z 0

Kids Against Hunger 2015

Posted by Heidi Sibert on Jan 06, 2015
Plans are underway for our 5th Annual Kids Against Hunger Food Packing Event.  Participant registration is open and solicitation of sponsors is underway.  Please help us make this signature event for our club a success by recruiting participants, making a tax deductible donation or being a table sponsor.  Huge thanks to those members and businesses that have already stepped up to commit to sponsoring this wonderful community event that supports the hungry.
 Eventbrite - Kids Against Hunger Food Packing 2015- 100,000 Meals for the Hungry
Kids Against Hunger 2015 Heidi Sibert 2015-01-07 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 12/18

Posted by Keith Reed
Thank you again to the New Trier Swing Choir, which made their 27th consecutive Holiday presentation to the Club on December 18.  Dressed in dark suits and dresses, 16 kids were led by Choir Director Nathan Landis as they sang 10 holiday songs and jazz numbers. Those participating were:
Swing Choir 2014-2015
Elisse Albian   
Sawyer Denton
Julia Golden
Karl Lungmus
Tori McCausland
Liam Millett
James Nash
Jack Oldfield
Kevin Parra
Stephany Prodromos
Nathan Reiff
Maddy Sacks
Rebecca Schriesheim
Aria Szalai-Raymond
Alina Taber
Molly Weaver
Lindsay Whisler
Kevin Wyant
Meeting Recap 12/18 Keith Reed 2015-01-07 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 12/11

Posted by John Thomas
President Bob Baker rang our bell promptly at 12:15 and thirty-six (of 61)members were present.  Our one guest was Larry Dickman, Liz Taylor's work colleague. Also Chuck Young from the Hadley School joined us.
Baker read us a nice thank-you note from the Open Arms group. Then, Patti Van Cleave noted a) we should all look at the W/NRF web site and, b) she is putting together the Rotary Foundation grant request.
Bob Baker asked us to remember we will have again a joint meeting with our Wilmette brethren in April. Mark Kotz reminded us there was a C.of C. open house in Thursday evening.
Marie Kuiper had some Happy Bucks to announce her roller derby team starts its season this Friday. David Grant added to the kitty in celebration of his 17th anniversary.
Dig and Grin humor was supplied by Fred Schwimmer. He said he has stopped eating "natural" foods as he reads in the obits that too many people die of "natural" causes.
The weeks' program was provided by member Bob Smith, the Winnetka Park Districts' Executive Director. With both charts of the plans and a Power Point presentation, he showed us an extensive proposal for rehabilitation of the Hubbard Woods Park.
It will be an major renovation costing  over $2,000,000, but a substantial grant has been applied for from the IDNR. Like other recent Park District capital projects, this rehab will be financed by a combination of non-tax bonds and reserves. The plan goes to the Plan Commission next Wednesday and then to the Village Council in January.
Bob was asked what will happen to outdoor winter ice skating if the new building is not heated and the existing dilapidated warming hut is removed. He said various options for that are still under consideration.
For those who have yet to see the details of this gateway project, the full details are available on the Park District web-site,
Meeting Recap 12/11 John Thomas 2014-12-14 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 12/4

Posted by Wes Baumann
In what was likely the best attended meeting of the year, we had 37 in members attendance plus eight guests, one visiting Rotarian and our speaker for a total of 47.  An extra table had to be added!  The visiting Rotarian was Penny Fields from the Highland Park club.  Sam Badger invited his wife Nancy, Denis and Sondra Healy from Turtle Wax, Inc., as well as Phil Hoza and his daughter Carrie Hoza, both retired military and from Bratschi Plumbing.  Jake Ieuter brought his dad and boss, Bill Ieuter, an ex-marine, while Keith Reed brought prospective member Jeff Fosselman who works in Northfield in accounting and financial planning, and finally, John Thomas brought along John Shea, Jr., the Recreation Supervisor from the Winnetka Park District.
President Bob Baker asked the club if they would like to continue the tradition of having tri-club meetings this year with the two clubs in Wilmette.  He received an overwhelming positive response to continue the tradition.
In an effort to keep our club growing, Peter Skalski of the Membership Committee asked for members who would be willing to make a commitment to bring at least one guest to our meetings in the first three months of 2015.  Remember that you can bring a guest and potential member to three lunches, on the Club.  Even when guests do not become members they know a little more about Rotary and our club, and that is a positive result.
John Thomas, President-Elect, announced that the nominating committee is looking for candidates for the officers and board for the 2015-16 Rotary year.  He also said that our next speaker (on Dec. 11) would be our own member Bob Smith, Director of the Winnetka Park District who will reveal the major renovation plans for the Hubbard Woods Park.  It will be a great meeting to bring guests as will the meeting on the 18th where the New Trier Swing Choir will regale us with songs of the holidays.
We celebrated Chuck Norton’s birthday and Rodger Morris’ 42nd membership anniversary this week.
This week’s Happy Buck$ came from Barb Tubekis for the successful food drive our club conducted.  We provided 40 bags of food for the Just Harvest food bank.  Dave Birkenstein was happy for the new members who have joined the club, Keith Reed and Sam Badger.  Mark Kotz was happy to announce that his Bank First Bank & Trust at the corner of Green Bay and Winnetka Avenue will be hosting the Chamber of Commerce’s ‘After Hours’ event from 5 – 7 p.m. on December 11th.
Sam Badger introduced the speaker, Jim Homan.  Jim is 31-year veteran who served in the Marines after graduating from Creighton University.  He was a navigator on the A6 Intruder Bomber in the Viet Nam war.  He flew over 250 missions and dropped over three million pounds of bombs flying mostly night missions.  He was fortunate to not have suffered any physical injuries but he knows he has PTSD.  After the Viet Nam war he returned to visit some of the places that his plane bombed in 1969.  He has held numerous jobs, often in the security arena.  Jim always had the advantage of being able to return to the Marine Corps as a reservist.  He took advantage of that opportunity several times over the years, and spent time in both the private sector, usually in some aspect of security, as well as in the Marine reserves.  He was involved in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in the first Gulf War in the early 90s, which is when he was promoted to Colonel.  He told of his many military experiences such as when he was the personal courier for $5 million between Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Twice Jim has worked for Motorola, once as Director of Global Crisis Management Operations and also as Director of Loss Prevention Security in the Asia Pacific region.  He also spoke of the complex interplay between religion and politics and how the strong tribal culture of the region plays a role in governing in that area of the world.
Meeting Recap 12/4 Wes Baumann 2014-12-09 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 11/20

Thirty-two members attended our November 20 meeting.  No guests were in attendance.
There is a change in speakers for our next meeting on December 4th.   Courtesy of Sam Badger we will hear from Jim Homan, a 31-year Marine vet who was a bombardier navigator in the Viet Nam war and a contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We received a nice thank you from A Just Harvest for the coats they received from our club through Operation Warm.  You might remember that our club received an appeal for warm clothing and our club raised sufficient funds to supply 34 winter coats.  They will be given to new refugees from the Congo.   Keith Reed announced that he is looking for a new home for used clothing that is clean and in good condition.  Several members suggested some worthwhile organizations.
Happy Buck$ this week came from the following:  Sam Badger, for the accolades and special recognition on Veterans Day.  Dave Gotaas, in honor of his parents 67th wedding anniversary as well as his own 30th anniversary.  Barb Tubekis, for the success in the Cards for Kids project where donated sports collectors cards were packaged and given to children and veterans in hospitals.  David Birkenstein, for Northwestern’s stunning football upset of Notre Dame.  And finally, by Heidi Sibert, for her company’s successful fundraiser that supported Wounded Warriors.
The main part of the meeting was spent with members putting together bags of food for A Just Harvest located in the East Rogers Park area on Chicago’s far north side.  The project was organized by Barb Tubekis and Kristen Leahy of our Community Service Committee.  Some of the non-perishable food was donated and the rest was purchased with special monetary donations to this project by the membership.  Barb first gave the club a brief history of the organization that was started at the Jonquil Hotel.  Good News Partners primary mission is to reduce homelessness, especially in the Rogers Park area of Chicago by providing temporary housing and helping people obtain and maintain their own residences.  A Just Harvest’s mission is to reduce hunger via daily feeding programs and a food pantry.  It was formerly a soup kitchen run by GNP.
Meeting Recap 11/20 2014-12-02 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 11/6

Posted by Wes Baumann
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.
Meeting Recap 11/6 Wes Baumann 2014-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 10/30

Thirty-two members attended our meeting last week.  We had one guest, Ann Barr who is on the board for Porchlight Counseling Services. 
REMINDER:  Bob Baker reminded us that next week we will be holding our meeting at the Takiff Center at 999 Green Bay Road in Glencoe.  We have held several meetings at this facility when the Winnetka Community House was unavailable.  The meeting will be held on the 2nd floor.
Barb Tubekis and Kristen Leahy of our Community Service committee announced our next service project.  We will be collecting nonperishable food, such as canned veggies, peanut butter, pasta, cereal, coffee, etc. to create food baskets for the Good News Partners community in Rogers Park.  The goal is to fill 150 laundry baskets with these types of food and deliver them to GNP on Thanksgiving morning.  Cash contributions are also welcome.  A $50 gift can fill one basket.  Let us help those less fortunate than ourselves; we have three weeks to help make a difference.
Rich Lalley reminded the Club that we are also trying to provide new winter jackets to needy children in the Chicagoland area through Operation Warm.  Just think of the happiness and warmth your $20 contribution can provide to a child whose parents cannot afford to purchase a new coat for their child.
Gina Sich announced that the Community House would host this year’s Veterans Day ceremonies.
Happy Buck$  -Our president, Bob Baker for finishing 3rd in the recent Pumpkin Run.  -Wes Baumann threw in a dollar for each member who was voting Yes on the New Trier referendum.  -Barb Tubekis on the occasion of her son’s engagement.  -Dave Gotaas for his trip to and safe return from Dubai.  -Marie Kuipers who is looking for storage for an old car.
Randy Reeves celebrated his 2nd anniversary of Rotary membership
This week’s speaker was Diana Newton, the Executive Director of Porchlight Counseling Services.  The organization was started in 2004 by a group of community members who were very concerned about the high incidence of sexual assault among college students.  They offer free counseling services for up to six months to victims of sexual assault on college campuses.  Because so many victims do not tell their parents they are unable to access their parent’s insurance benefits that cover them.  They serve students attending Chicago area colleges and residents of the area who may have attended college elsewhere.  They are based in Evanston but the actual counseling services occur throughout the region.  All of their counselors are private therapist who are certified and offer their services on a contractual basis to PCS.  Under provisions of Title IX colleges are under pressure to provide sexual assault information or risk the loss of federal funding.  In her Power Point presentation, Diana showed are large list of universities who are under investigation, including several high profile institutions. 
Diana pointed out that 99% of their clients are women with an average age of 21, while their ages range from 18 to 31.  They include graduate students, recent graduates, students who have dropped out as well as current students.  It is not uncommon that some students come to them a year after the assault.
There are many lasting effects of rape; the most common are depression, PSTD and anxiety.  Most victims tell no one.  If they tell someone it is usually a female friend, their mother, sister or male friend.  Some do not want their parents to find out for fear of being pulled out of their college.
Some of the amazing statistics are that 1 in 5 females will be assaulted while in college.  Yes, one in five!  90% of the women assaulted know the perpetrator.  It is very difficult to prosecute sexual assault cases since it is so hard on the victim.  There is a need for special training for this type of prosecutor.  According to the FBI only 2 – 8% of rape accusations are false.  63% of those committing rape are repeat offenders who assault as many as seven women.  It is not uncommon for rape victims to remain silent for fear of losing friends or family or being made to return home.
Meeting Recap 10/30 2014-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 10/23

Posted by Wes Baumann
The meeting was one of the best-attended meetings of the year with 36 members in attendance.  We had two guests join us; former member Chuck Young, President of Hadley School for the Blind and Colleen Wunderlich, his Director of The Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship.  Chuck said that he was interested in a corporate membership for Hadley.  We look forward to once again having Hadley represented at our weekly meetings.
President Bob Baker introduced Marie & Jim Newman who own Prosperáre Enterprises, which has started a wholesale gelato company.  They brought two employees, including the gelato barista, and offered samples of about six of their 120 flavors, which the members seemed to enjoy. 
Joe Fell spoke of his one-month trip to England and the warm welcome he and his wife received from a local Rotary club. 
Patti Van Cleave made a paid announcement about an upcoming event at the Wilmette Historical Museum co-sponsored by the Winnetka Historical Society.  The two organizations are presenting author Dr. Mary Barr who will discuss her new book Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston
Barb Tubekis reminded members of the Volunteer Center’s Make a Difference Day on Oct. 25.
Rebecca Wolf, Director of Winnetka’s Public Library, proudly announced the opening of the library’s new facility called “The Studio.”  This space, in the lower level, is devoted to the arts.  The equipment in The Studio includes two 3d Printers, a custom embroidery machine, a laser cutter and engraver, a vinyl cutter, a large format poster printer, 4 sewing machines, slide view, film scanner and film-to-digital converter plus a variety of software programs.  The Studio will be open during regular library hours.
The day’s speaker was Alan Berkowsky, Winnetka’s Fire Chief.  His presentation was about research into how to deal with fires, some of it conducted at the UL lab in Northbrook.  In 1972 the Nixon administration commissioned a study that resulted in the publication, “American Burning,” This document resulted in improved building codes as well as maintenance codes.  The Chief went through some of the most disastrous fires in the Chicago area for the past century starting with Iroquois Theater fire where over 600 people were killed.  The theater had been proclaimed fireproof but many doors opened inward and many of the victims were piled at the exits.  In 1958 the Our Lady of Angels fire resulted in 93 deaths and 77 injured.  This fire resulted in eliminating glass transoms.  Today in older buildings these have been closed and boarded-up so they do not become a source of oxygen to feed a fire.  And, as recently as 2003 the E2 Night Club fire in Rhode Island resulted in 21 young people being crushed to death as some exits were blocked.
As a result of these fires and what current research had revealed we now have stricter building codes. Large public and commercial buildings must have evacuation plans and must conduct evacuation drills.  The Chief asked if we felt that we are safer today than in the past.  Evidence that we are safer would be that there are fewer fires today, that all commercial and public buildings have elaborate alarm systems, more buildings have sprinkling systems and more homes have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.  Yet, we still have homes that do not have proper detectors or they don't have working batteries, systems are not always well maintained.  In the ‘old days’ more of our furniture was made of natural materials such as wood and wool that have a longer flashover time, an average of 29 minutes.  Today with so many synthetics being used for furnishings the flashover time has been reduced to less than five minutes. In a typical home as some synthetics are like solidified gasoline. 
For commercial buildings Chief Berkowsky urged that they be outfitted with a sprinkler system, that the fire alarm system be well maintained, that trash not be allowed to accumulate and that owners make sure all entry and exit points are clear.  He said some business owners are afraid that a fire in one part of the building would set off all of the sprinklers and ruin their entire inventory, but he assured the audience that each sprinkler head is individually activated and that smoke causes far more damage than water.  In homes the kitchen is a primary source of fires, he also urged us to make sure all appliances are in working order and that we have working smoke detectors on all floors and in each bedroom.  Candles and space heaters should be used with caution.  He indicated that his department is very willing to do an inspection at no cost for any business or homeowner.  We should also be wary when home repairs are being done as painters, plumbers and roofers are all known to use torches which can start fires, often only smoldering for sometime and then bursting into flames when the worker is long gone.
We are grateful for Chief Berkowsky and his leadership of the Winnetka Fire Department in keeping our community safe.
Meeting Recap 10/23 Wes Baumann 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 10/16

Posted by Wes Baumann
We had 27 members in attendance along with three guests, one visiting Rotarian and our two speakers.  John Thomas brought his wife, Ellen, and a friend Ginny Grinstead, a local realtor; also Liz Taylor brought visiting Glencoe Rotarian, Melissa O’Malley, a banking colleague.
President Baker repeated his announcement that our November 6th meeting would be held at the Takiff Center in Glencoe due to the Modernism and Antique Show at the Community House.    The Celebrity Bartending event at Little Ricky’s was a big success and in a few hours it raised $560 in tips, with Liz Taylor and Gina Sich as the primary bartenders.  A big thanks to those two and to the members who supported the event.    Barb Tubekis announced that the Volunteer Center was conducting its 12th annual “Make a Difference Day” on Saturday, October 25th.  From 9 a.m. until Noon they will be collecting new or gently used items at the Indian Hill Train Station Parking Lot.  A list of items follows this recap.
Bob Baker reported that our District Governor, Ellen Young, left a bag full of  “Light Up Rotary” pins last week that he passed around for members to take.  He suggested that takers donate at least a dollar toward the End Polio Now fund.
Rich Lalley gave a Happy Buck because Operation Warm received an order of 8000 coats from a District Governor in Iowa.  John Stone used some of his winnings from last week’s raffle to buy 5 tickets for each table; however, none were winners this week.
This week’s speakers represented the Writers Theater in Glencoe.  They were here to tell us of their very ambitious plans of building a new theater.  Chad Peterson, Director of Marketing and Communication and John Faris, General Manager, were the presenters of this exciting project.  Writers Theater, founded by writer Michael Halberstam, began as a theater company in the back room of Books on Vernon about two decades ago.  When they outgrew their 50-seat performance area they moved to the Women’s Library Club building and doubled their capacity.  They are now embarking on a project to build a $31 million performing arts venue on the site of the Women’s Library Club.  They already have secured $25 million most of which came from six supporting families.  They will be breaking ground next week with a completion date of late 2015.  The new building has been designed by the famous Chicago architect, Jeannie Gang.  It will have two primary performance areas – a main theater seating 250 and a smaller performance with flexible seating for 90.  Ms. Gang did a lot of research into the style of architecture prevalent in Glencoe to make sure the new theater would complement the village.  It will be like a theater in the park.  It will have a Tudor influence with much of the façade being of plaster and wood.  The Women’s Library Club will maintain ownership of the land and rent space in the building that will be owned by the Writers Theater.  The goal of Writers Theater is to offer an intimate, face-to-face, theater experience.
List of items (new and gently used) being collected by the Volunteer Center on Saturday, October 25th at the Indian Hill Train Station:
Clothing – Adult & Children
Coats, Jackets, Hats, Gloves
Shoes & Boots
School Supplies, Backpacks
Games, Toys, Arts & Craft Supplies
Sports Equipment
Bicycles, Strollers & Wheelchairs
Eyeglasses & Cases
Non-Perishable Food
Newborn Formula & Diapers
Cleaning Supplies, Paper Goods
Kitchen Supplies
Blankets, Sheets (Full/Twin)
Duffel Bags & Sleeping Bags
Unused Toiletries
Toys, Towels, Dog & Cat Food
Meeting Recap 10/16 Wes Baumann 2014-10-20 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 10/9

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 34 members in attendance.  This week’s guests included two visiting Rotarians: Robert Steinberg from the Palatine club and Basil Lewis from the Humberside, UK Club in northern England.  Basil and President Bob Baker exchanged club flags.  Jake Ieuter brought colleague Amy Giovannetti as his guest
President Baker announced that our November 6th meeting would be held at the Takiff Center in Glencoe due to the Modernism and Antique Show at the Community House. 
Patti Van Cleave announced that we have received $6000 toward Operation Warm.  $20 will buy a needy child a new warm coat for the winter.  Patti encouraged the members to contribute as well as seek contributions from friends and co-workers.  She also mentions that there will be a meeting of our Rotary Foundation Board on October 16th immediately following our regular lunch meeting.  She also asked for help in composing the Foundations year-end appeal letter.  Robert Mardirossian, Mike Malloy and Wes Baumann volunteered to assist.
Liz Taylor announced that on October 15th there would be a ‘celebrity bartending’ event at Little Ricky’s.  Liz will be the mixologist; all of the tips will go to Operation Warm.
This week we celebrated the birthdays of Brooke Peppey and John Stone and the 2nd Rotary anniversary of Joe Nash.
Robert Mardirossian contributed a Happy Buck because he learned about the history of the Green Bay Trail marker trees in the exchange of flags.
The day’s program was a presentation by Northfield Manager Stacy Sigman and Village President Fred Gougler.  They spoke of Northfield’s vision for the development of the downtown commercial area as well as providing an update on the Willow Road project.  We learned that Northfield has only a single commercial vacancy, which is by far the best occupancy rate on the North Shore.  They mentioned that there was a plan for the redevelopment downtown center completed in 2008 that has formed the starting point for most discussions.  Hundreds of residents and business owners contributed to the final document.  The goal is to have all new business be a complement to the existing businesses.  They have a storm water study that projects the needs for the next 20 – 25 years.  A traffic study is also part of the development plan.
While communities can be planned they also experience change.  Northfield’s vision is constantly changing as the needs and desires of residents, businesses and commuters all have an impact.  Each project that comes before the village fathers is looked at independently to see how it might fit in their community.  Money is always a factor that must be accounted for and each project must contribute to the changing vision.  Home Rule has given the town greater flexibility in achieving its goals.  As an example BP was going to close its station on Willow Road and leave the property as it was, but the village was able to force them to clean up the site.  Now a Dunkin Donuts is the anchor for a small commercial development on the site.  Stacy asked for the support of the current business as they are struggling due to the impact the reconstruction of Willow Road that has been going on for the past two years.
The lack of decent diagrams and maps showing exactly were all the utilities were placed 75 years ago has slowed down some of the work on the Willow Road project.  The Village is hoping that all the major roadwork is completed by the end of the calendar year.  IDOT has revised the work schedule to a 10-hour day and a 6-day workweek.  The hope is to have all major roadwork completed by the end of 2014.  Next spring the project will be finished with landscaping the medians (most of Willow will be separated by medians), new bike paths, new decorative lighting and new traffic signals.  The speed limit will be changes to a constant 35 MPH.  The goal is that people driving along Willow will know that they are entering a unique place and that the downtown will be more visible.
At the end of the meeting John Stone drew the winning ace of hearts from the relatively full deck in our “End Polio” raffle. Perhaps we will find out next week what John plans to do with his winnings.
Meeting Recap 10/9 Wes Baumann 2014-10-13 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 10/2

Posted by Wes Baumann
This week’s meeting was attended by 34 members. Sam Badger brought a guest, Phil Phair, an IT consultant from Winnetka.  In addition to our speaker, District Governor Ellen Young, the Assistant District Governor, Chris Webb, was also in attendance.
President Baker announced that our November 6th meeting would be held at the Takiff Center in Glencoe due to the Modernism and Antique Show at the Community House. 
Liz Taylor announced that she and Gina Sich would be serving as ‘guest bartenders’ at Little Ricky’s on Wednesday October 15th.  All of the tips they receive will go to support Operation Warm.  Rich Lalley said that we are about halfway toward reaching our goal for this year in this project.
Bob Baker celebrated his 27th anniversary in Rotary! 
Happy Buck$ this week came from Peter Skalski whose daughter was married in California, Fred Schwimmer who had a wonderful visit to Minnesota to see his daughter and grandchildren and Rich Lalley who rubbed it in with Bears’ fans for his beloved Packers’ victory over the hometown team.  Rich also was thankful for those club members, Keith Reed, Mark Kotz, Tom Evans, Mike Malloy, David Birkenstein and Dave Gotaas who joined him in working at the Rotary booth which promoted Operation Warm at the Northfield Farmers’ Market the previous Saturday.
We had the pleasure of hearing a very inspirational speech from our District Governor, Ellen Young. 
She reported that the number of refugees has exceeded50 million for the first time since WWII.  Rotary International is trying to assist in the gigantic problem.  Rotary is trying to live up to the theme of RI’s president to “Light up the World.”  The various ways Rotary is trying to accomplish this is through the Youth Exchange Program, helping to alleviate world poverty through teaching people how to make a sustainable living, promoting literacy as a way out of poverty, improving lines of communication within Rotary clubs and between clubs and collaborating with other non-profits to enhance the human existence.  Ellen urged us to look for other sources of funding for our projects.  She also encouraged us to work on PR and get stories and pictures of our work and that of the District to the public media.
Governor Ellen also encouraged us to look for ways to inculcate in our younger generation the idea of  ‘kids helping kids.’  Rotary has provided polio vaccines for 429 million children.  We need to be sure that the next generation will be one that is concerned with helping their neighbors, near and far.  It was obvious to those in attendance that we have a District Governor who is committed to the highest principles of Rotary.
Meeting Recap 10/2 Wes Baumann 2014-10-06 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 9/25

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 34 out of 61 members present and no guests.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Baker presented Luvie Owens  with a new member “recruitment pin” which is now available for those  bringing in new members.
   On October 2, Ellen Young, Rotary District Governor, will be present and speak at our regular meeting.
   We received a thank you from the Winnetka Club for helping them co-sponsor the program on September 12 which was a book review and presentation by Michael Hingson, who, with the help of his dog, led many people out of the World Trade Centers on 9/11.
    On October 17 from 6-8 pm there is a special reception  at the Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery (835 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago) featuring Bill Dreyer, Curator of the collection, presenting pieces from Dr. Seuss’ never-before-seen Hat Collection and other  works. Rotary will receive 10% of art sales to benefit our End Polio Now Program.
    On October 1st, Rotary International President, Gary Huang, will be special dinner guest at the Shee Highland Musee in Highland Park, with Sam and Isabel Shee hosting.
    The Artisan Chocolate and Wine Tasting event has been cancelled.
   Long term Rotarian Wes Baumann started his presentation by reviewing his background growing up on the NW side of Chicago. He went to  private church schools through high school, then to Valparaiso University and on to get his Masters at Northern Illinois. He also received his Administration Certificate from Northwestern. He spent his early years teaching Biology and junior high science in Des Plaines, but Wes soon realized that he didn’t want to spend his career at the junior high level.
   In 1970 he became aware of an opening at New Trier, interviewed, and was hired as a Biology teacher and sophomore boys’ adviser. During his tenure at New Trier, in addition to teaching, he served as an adviser chair, a baseball coach, director of testing and head of operations services which scheduled all students for their classes. In the mid- 80’s he was the Principal of New Trier’s Freshman campus. In 1995 he was promoted to Principal of New Trier and served in that position for the last 7 years of his career. 
    Wes obviously enjoyed his career at New Trier and still lives in the community. He was impressed with the great kids at New Trier, the great faculty there and the commitment of the North Shore communities to support excellence in education. He described how teachers’ salaries “fell behind” in the 70’s, but gained ground in the 80’s and thereafter primarily because the top suburban school districts ended up in their union negotiations “leap frogging” each other to compete for the best teachers. .  New Trier is one of the few systems that has a merit pay program for teachers.. After the teacher reaches the Master’s level of pay, the only way they get more than the contractual negotiated amount is through an evaluation system that is basically done by their “peers”.
    The New Trier school district has an annual budget of about 110 million dollars with 72% of that going for salaries and benefits. This used to be 60%.  Whereas the average school district in Illinois  gets a majority of its funding from Federal and State sources, 97% of New Trier’s revenues come from the local taxpayers. New Trier has always produced a “quality product” with about 95% of its graduates going to college. The top 50% of New Trier students test in the upper 10% of all high school students in the Country.
   Wes explained how his letter to about 70 of his “close friends” back in 2009 went viral and was used as a platform for 62% of the voters to turn down the last New Trier referendum to spend 400 million dollars to build a new school in East Winnetka.  He opined that the current proposed referendum to spend 89 to 100 million on improving and updating New Trier’s facilities is a far better solution.
   The Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club is indeed fortunate to have had Wes as an active member of the Club for all these years  and for him to share his wealth of educational experiences and information with us. We also thank him for his weekly “recap” of our Club’s meetings.
Meeting Recap 9/25 Keith Reed 2014-09-27 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 9/18

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 34 members in attendance as well as two visiting Rotarians and two guests.  The visiting Rotarians were Penny Fields from Highland Park and Arnie Klein from the Wilmette Noon club.  The guests were former member Roberta Rubin, who owned the Book Stall at Chestnut Court for many years; she was the guest of David Birkenstein. Our other guest was Brian Schmisek a Winnetka resident and an administrator and professor at Loyola University; he was brought by Wes Baumann.
President’s Comments:  Ellen Young, our District Governor, will be joining us on October 2 for her official visit to our club.  Preceding our regular meeting she will meet with the officers and board of directors at 10:30 a.m.    Our president participated in the Glenview Sunrise’s 5K run.  We were proud to learn that he finished in second place for his age group, until he confessed that there were only two in his age group.    Bob also reminded the Club that it is important that we all keep alert for potential new members.    Our program, in cooperation with the Volunteer Center to honor our local fire and police departments was a big success.  Bob mentioned that we received a nice thank you note from Northfield Police Chief, Bill Lustig.  The Club’s thanks go out to our community service leaders Barb Tubekis and Kristen Leahy.
Rich Lalley said that our club has raised $4000 for Operation Warm, enough to buy over 200 coats, and we still have over two more months to collect contributions for this project to provide new warm coats for children whose families are struggling financially.  Last year our club supplied over 700 coats so we do have a way to go.    Marie Kuipers is still looking for members to volunteer to serve on one of the Club’s numerous committees.    Jeanne Beckman returned after an extended absence and said she plans to return to chair the Literacy Committee.    Patti Van Cleave extended an invitation from Lori Dillon, our September 4th speaker, to attend a reception on October 5th in Lake Forest for Eric Peasah from Ghana, the head of Right to be Free, a NGO that is fighting human trafficking in Ghana. 
Tim McCabe and Fred Schwimmer celebrated their 5th and 2nd club anniversaries.  Happy Buck$ this week came from Mark Kotz, Fred Schwimmer and Tom Nash.
Our speaker for the day was Richard Davidson, an author and publisher.  He spoke on how life is full of the unexpected and how your life is a result of the decisions you made both expected and unexpected.  Dick gave a brief autobiography to use himself as an example of what he was talking about.  He was an engineering graduate from MIT with not much self-confidence due to not graduating in the top half of his class.  It was not until he was working as an engineer for Bell & Howell with their filmstrip projectors that he realized how well prepared he really was.  He eventually went into business for himself.  After retirement he became interested in writing.  Dick is a Past President of the Off-Campus Writers' Workshop, the oldest ongoing writers' group in the U.S.  He loved Agatha Christie mysteries and so he decided to write a mystery.  He has written a five volume mystery series based on the petitions in the Lord’s Prayer.  Dick said his goal was to write 20 books before his last breath.  He has written at least one novel each year since 2009.  His ‘loving’ son told him to slow down.
Meeting Recap 9/18 Wes Baumann 2014-09-21 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 9/11

Posted by Wes Baumann
Thirty-three of our members were in attendance at this week’s meeting.  We had no guests.  As Rotarians we need to remember that we must constantly be on the alert for possible new members.  You can bring a potential new member as a guest without having to pay for the lunch for three meetings.  Keep your Rotary antenna up!
President Bob handed out a sign-up sheet for four fundraising Rotary runs.  He also reminded the members of the 911 Remembrance at the Community House on Friday.  Bob mentioned that on September 27 we would have a booth at the Northfield Farmer’s Market to advertise our presence in the community where we will feature some of our projects.  There will be sign-up sheets on the 18th and 25th to volunteer to work at the Farmer’s Market, which is located on Happ Road across from New Trier’s Northfield Campus.
Kristen Leahy reported that over $350 had been collected for our fall community service project where the club will be buying treats and fresh vegetables for our local fire and police departments as a way of saying “thanks” for their service to Winnetka and Northfield.  This project was held in conjunction with the Volunteer Center.
John Thomas urged the members living in Winnetka to complete the Caucus Survey.
We celebrated Todd Stephens 16th and Tony Kambich’s 35th anniversary in Rotary as well as Heather Higgins birthday.
Tim McCabe, Executive Director of the Winnetka Community House and a club member, presented the day’s program.  He gave us a sneak preview to the WCH’s “Second Century Campaign.” 
In the southwest corner of the property, just west of the Arches Garden they will be installing a Children’s Garden.  The purpose is to follow the national movement to get children outside.  The Cornflakes program and other children’s programs will be able to access the garden, plant seeds, watch them grow and hopefully harvest the results. 
Tim had placed sketches prepared by the Chalet Nursery on the tables so members could follow along.  The garden will include a small greenhouse, raised planting beds, gathering areas for ‘garden talks’ and stories.  Among those who the Community House is consulting with are the Kohl’s Children Museum, Jeanne Pinsof Nolan, an organic gardener who spoke to our club last April and Connie Yonan, a Winnetkan who is noted for her butterfly garden.  Additionally, shrubs and perennials will be part of the plan.  It will also include an area that will be ideal to take wedding pictures. 
The garden project is expected to cost in the area of $250,000.  Tim promised to come back soon and give the rest of the details on the Second Century Campaign, though he did say that Room 101, our regular meeting place other than the summer, will be refurbished and be air-conditioned.
Meeting Recap 9/11 Wes Baumann 2014-09-15 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recaps 9/4 & 8/28

Meeting Recap – September 4
We had 30 members in attendance at this week’s meeting and one guest.  Eric Birkenstein brought his good friend and fellow Glencoe resident, Michael Karger.  It was Michael’s second visit.
Barb Tubekis announced that she is still collecting financial contributions for our efforts to honor our local (Winnetka and Northfield) police and fire departments on the 9/11 Remembrance.  The money will be used to buy edible treats for these public servants.  Next week is the deadline to make a contribution or bring some baked goods.  Barb said that after next week the committee will buy the goods and if any member wants to be involved in the delivery they should meet at the Community House at 3:00 next Thursday.  This project is being conducted in conjunction with the Volunteer Center.
Another event that our club is supporting relating to the remembrance of 9/11 is Hadley School’s program at the Winnetka Community House on September 12 with author Michael Hingson the featured speaker.  Mr. Hingson, who is blind, will explain how he, with the aid of his dog Roselle, helped to rescue occupants from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Our Rotary club will be one of the beneficiaries of this event along with The Winnetka Club and Hadley School for the Blind.  There will be two of Mr. Hingson’s books that will be on sale at the event.
President Bob announced that member extraordinaire, Rich Lalley, is now the Executive Director of Operation Warm.  For years Rich has been a big promoter of this organization, which our club has enthusiastically endorsed and financially supported.  Congratulations Rich!  Rich did say that from now till mid-December Operation Warm would be seeking contributions in order to buy warm coats for young children in need in the Chicago area.
Bob also announced that Tony Kambich and Robert Mardirrossian were celebrating the Rotary anniversaries this week – Tony’s 35th and Robert’s 20th.
The day’s program was presented by Lorrain Dillon, of an organization known as Right to Be Free.  This NGO was founded by an African social activist, Eric Peasah, in Ghana, West Africa.  His goal is to fight human trafficking in Ghana.  In Ghana the slavery generally involves children and women.  Women are used in the sex trade and the boys, as young as five years of age, are involved in working for fisherman.  Most of the child slaves have been sold by their own families.  These are families who are living in poverty and need the money, or who are convinced by the ‘buyers’ story that the children will go to school and learn a trade.  However, for these children, almost all boys, they are forced to work 14 hours a day, usually receive only one meager meal a day and are often physically abused.  Eric goes to the fisherman and tries to convince them to release the children.  He does not offer any money, but makes arrangements for the men to get better fishing equipment and, in some cases, become part of a cooperative to engage in fish farming.  Lori, who lives in Lake Forest, became deeply involved after she and her high school daughter accompanied Eric on one of his rescue missions in 2008.  She is now the president of Right to be Free.  After the children are rescued they are taken to a rehabilitation center in Ghana’s capital of Accra where they receive counseling, medical help, education and nutrition in preparation for being returned to their families.  They usually spend at least six months in the center.
Human trafficking is second only to the arms trade in terms of illicit money.  There are more slaves today than at any time in human history.  The $150 billion in profits exceeds drug traffic profits, even ISIS is involved in this “industry.”  Lori and Eric both feel that the problem will not be solved governments but by grassroots organizations like Right to be Free.  For more information as well as the video Lori showed you can check out the website:
Meeting Recap – August 28
There were no guests but 29 members attended this week’s meeting.
Kristen Leahy reminded the members about our community service project for the fall to support the special appreciation for our local fire and police departments on 9/11.  She encouraged members to make a monetary contribution so she and co-chair Barb Tubekis could purchase baked goods.  We were also given the option of providing personally baked goodies.
Another event that our club is supporting in remembrance of 9/11 is Hadley School’s program at the Winnetka Community House on September 12 with author Michael Hingson the featured speaker.  Mr. Hingson, who is blind, will recount his escape from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center on 911 with the aid of his dog Roselle.  Our Rotary club will be one of the beneficiaries of this event along with The Winnetka Club and Hadley School for the Blind.  There will be two of his books that will be on sale and that he will autograph.
President Bob announced that Kristen was celebrating her 1st anniversary of Rotary membership.
The club sang to John Thomas and Randy Reeves who were celebrating birthdays.  Bob Baker threw in $5 for his 5K run, while Robert Mardirossian contributed in recognition of the fine job that Tim McCabe and his WCH staff did at the “Last Blast of Summer.”  Tim, in turn, contributed in appreciation of the participation of Rotary and the other non-profits in this event.  Finally, John Thomas contributed a ‘happy buck’ for the fact that his pen of sentimental value was returned though his dollar gift probably exceeded the value of the pen.
Again this week, the President had to fill in for two of the four weekly jobs as he took care of Dig-n-Grin and Sgt-at-Arms.  Let us all remember that we only get these weekly assignments a few times a year.  If you are unable to attend the meeting make sure you find a substitute.  Perhaps trade with someone who is coming up on the list!
This week’s program consisted of two of our active members giving their autobiographies.  First up was Kristen Leahy, our youngest member.  She grew up as an only child in suburban St. Louis, but was more of a hockey fan than a baseball fan.  She attended an all-girls Catholic high school and loved it.  It is where she developed her strong social service motivation, which has led her to the work she is currently engaged in as the Director of the Winnetka Youth Organization.  She worked at the St. Louis zoo giving guided tours on the zoo’s train.  This experience helped her hone her ‘people skills.’  She majored in sociology and juvenile justice at DePaul University.  Before coming to the “YO” she did some vocational counseling in the Englewood area of Chicago.
Patti Van Cleave told us that she was a life-long resident of Winnetka as was her mother.  Early in her marriage she decided that she had to move back to Winnetka to so that her children could attend the schools in Winnetka and have the same great experience Patti had enjoyed as a youth.  She loves her job as the Executive Director of the Winnetka Historical Society, which she been at for the past 7 ½ years.  Patti is very proud of what the Historical Society has accomplished, its own permanent museum in the 1857 house at 411 Linden and the purchase of the 1850s Schmidt-Burnham log cabin, which it then had moved to the Crow Island woods.  The museum houses both permanent and rotating exhibits.  The have over 6000 artifacts and have the 3rd largest costume collection in the state.  The log cabin is used by school and scout groups who are lead through by appropriately costumed docents.
Our club is extremely proud of these two members who are serving their community in such fine fashion.
Meeting Recaps 9/4 & 8/28 2014-09-07 00:00:00Z 0

Help Us Warm the Hearts of Needy Children

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Aug 29, 2014
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.
Help Us Warm the Hearts of Needy Children Richard (Rich) Lalley 2014-08-30 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap - August 21

Posted by Wes Baumann
There were 27 members present along with two guests.  Dave Gotaas brought Tammy Wener, an investment adviser who is from Vernon Hills and works in Northfield.  Ned Meisner’s guest was Rob Engstrom, an accountant from Lake Forest.
President Baker encouraged the membership to sign-up to work at the Community House’s “Last Blast of Summer” block party on Saturday, August 23rd.  Rich Lalley announced the fall campaign for “Operation Warm” noting that this year the coats are even better and come in more color combinations.   It is an opportunity to assist low-income families provide warm outerwear for their children.
Fred Schwimmer gave a plug for a program sponsored by The Winnetka Club and the Book Stall that will bring author Michael Hingson to the Winnetka Community House on September 12 at 7:00 p.m.  Mr. Hingson, who is blind, will recount his escape from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center on 911 with the aid of his dog Roselle.  Our Rotary club with be one of the beneficiaries of this event along with The Winnetka Club and Hadley School for the Blind.
Barb Tubekis and Kristen Leahy announced the Club’s fall service project.  We will be showing our appreciation for our local police and fire departments by providing baked goods and other food.  You can assist with the project by making a monetary contribution or bringing baked goods.  See Barb or Kristen for more details.
The Club sang to David Birkenstein who celebrated his birthday (somewhere between his 50th and 100th according to Bob Baker).
Happy Buck$ - Barb Tubekis celebrated 30 years of wedded bliss, while Wes Baumann celebrated is 50th this summer.  Wes also contributed in recognition and thanks for the great ‘meeting recaps’ written in his absence by Lee Padgitt, Keith Reed and John Thomas.  John then provided the members with two great stories for Dig n Grin.
The day’s program was introduced by Rich Lalley, the proud father of our speaker Alex Lalley.  Alex has completed three years of a five-year doctoral program in Forensic Psychology.  Alex, also a graduate of Loyola University, is working toward his Ph.D. at the Adler School of Psychology in Chicago.  Adler is the oldest independent school offering a doctoral degree in psychology in the country.  Social justice is one of the primary goals of the school.  Its program is very community oriented.
Alex explained the type of work done by forensic psychologists, including evaluations in child custody cases, pre-screening of police candidates, evaluation of prisoners prior to release in an attempt to determine how dangerous the person may be to society as well as themselves.  Alex has performed both cognitive and personality assessments on prisoners about to be released.  The persons evaluated are really not the clients of the psychologists as the courts, judges and/or the attorneys usually request these reports.  A sex offender judged to be too dangerous to society could be institutionalized as a civil commitment after serving a criminal sentence.  He mentioned that it is very difficult to determine the role of mental illness in criminal cases and very few persons are judged insane.  The criminal penalties are often more severe if a person has been determined to be faking mental illness to avoid punishment.
Alex feels there are way too many people place in prison for using drugs and he feels strongly that ALL drugs should be legalized and REGULATED!  Homelessness is another significant cause of incarceration as the homeless frequently resort to crime to support themselves.  Many of those incarcerated today would be better served in the mental health system. 
Meeting Recap - August 21 Wes Baumann 2014-08-26 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap - July 24

Posted by Keith Reed
There were 30 members present and 2 guests on July 24. The guests were Charles Shabica (Winnetka), who works at Coastal Scientist, and Bob Anderson (Winnetka), retired.
Tom Nash presented the Thought for the Day, a quote about doing the “impossible” by Mohammed Ali.
President Bob Baker again announced his special President’s “Club Warming” on July 29 at his home at 1348 Edgewood Lane (Winnetka) from 5:30-7:30. Refreshments will be served and a good time “guaranteed”.
President Bob also reminded everyone that The Last Blast of Summer is scheduled at the Winnetka Community House on August 23 and our volunteers will be serving sandwiches and liquid refreshment, as usual.
Bob mentioned that Gina Di Sandro has a Club fund raising project in August involving the North Shore Chocolate Fair, where we sell tickets for participating vendors and get a commission from the tickets sold.
Past President Eric Birkenstein recognized and presented gifts to Gina and Heidi Sibert for their service as a Club Director during his term.
Mark Kotz announced that the Winnetka Chamber of Commerce is having a golf outing with the Skokie Chamber at Evanston Golf Club on Monday, 9/15.  Sponsorships are available and this is a good chance to make social and business contacts with the Skokie members.
Barb Tubekis  announced that we are a little behind on our donations of toiletries, paper goods and cleaning supplies to the Township Food Pantry. She solicited funds which she is taking to buy such items for the pantry. Liz Taylor mentioned that her bank is also collecting similar items for the pantry.
Birthdays celebrated were Peter Skalski  and Tom Evans. Patti Van Cleave was congratulated for  her 7th anniversary of Rotary membership.
Rodg Morris handled the “dig and grin” duties, which led into the main speaker.
Hall Heally from gave a presentation on “Conservation Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula”, or more specific, “Can Birds Bring Peace to Korea”. Korea is a critical “flyway” for hundreds of bird species,  including cranes. These cranes fly from Russia and China and land in North Korea during the winter to get food. Gradually these cranes have been bypassing North Korea and going to the 38th parallel (DMZ) where the land is lush and food plentiful. There are many “eco” and political reasons why it is important to re-establish the feeding grounds in North Korea. This has been done by the efforts of the International Crane Foundation and others like Mr. Healy.  The project is based in the Anbyon Plain in North Korea where they have placed food, water, electrified crane sounds and imitation cranes to attract migrating cranes. By getting the cranes to land and spend the winter in this area, they have been able to accomplish other “eco” activities such as installation of a rice mill (which doubled the area’s rice production, with the cranes eating the “leftovers”); developed a fertilizer plant;   started producing other food products;  planted orchards;  developed a willow plant that serves as firewood so as to save the local trees; started building more houses and roads; and recently built a major irrigation ditch. The area sponsors major seminars on organic farming for  thousands of visitors. Cranes have played a vital role in creating many of these activities. They have been called “Ambassadors of Peace”. Such crane diplomacy has been done in Africa, Ecuador, Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The “eco” activity generated from the cranes has created jobs and revenues from food production to tourism. It has also been responsible for major clean water conservation in the area.
The meeting ended promptly at 1:30.
Meeting Recap - July 24 Keith Reed 2014-07-29 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap - July 17

Posted by John Thomas
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
Meeting Recap - July 17 John Thomas 2014-07-23 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap - July 10

Posted by Wes Baumann
We had 30 members present and three guests.  Fred Schwimmer brought his wife Ellie and his niece, Rusty, an actress.  Gwen Trindle was a guest of Heather Higgins.
Bob Baker, our newly installed president, began the meeting by banging the bell and announcing he planned to start the meetings at 12:15 p.m. sharp.  Better be prompt!
This year the Club will again participate in the Community House’s “Last Blast of Summer Block Party” on August 23.  We will once again be running the liquid refreshment stand.  More about opportunities to volunteer in this fun and worthy cause will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
Patti Van Cleave told the club of the Township Pantry’s dire need for personal hygiene items, such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrushes, dental floss and similar items.  There will be a box at our next meeting to put your donations in or you can take them directly to the Township office on Elm Street.
President Bob announced that he would be holding a ‘cocktail party’ for the Club at his house, likely in late August or September - more information will come later.
During ‘Happy Bucks’ Robert Mardirossian contributed $14 in thankfulness for his 14 years of perfect attendance.  Robert received a resounding round of applause for his shinning example.
The speaker for the meeting was Krista Grimm from the League of Women Voters who spoke about the increasing concern for the problems causes by storm water runoff.  She is a water issue specialist for the LWV of Illinois and the Lake Michigan Region Education Fund.  Krista said that for the first time there is a specific plan for the Illinois Coastal Zone.  She said that we are experiencing more frequent and intense rainstorms, which are attributed to climate change.  This is causing problems for all zip codes in the general area, not just those containing flood plains.  Many of the problems are a result of the significant loss (90%) of wetlands, which slow down the runoff to lakes and rivers.  The wetlands also do a great job of filtering the water.  In urban areas at least 55% of the rainfall is runoff, compared to 10% in wetlands.
The problem in urban areas is twofold.  First, the grey infrastructure that man has installed such as sewers, filters, etc. is aging and was built to handle 2” of rain in 24 hours.  The other problem is that many areas have a combined storm water and wastewater sewer system.  When the system is overloaded the storm water and raw sewage gets dumped into freshwater bodies and this is occurring with greater frequency.
Krista made several suggestions to how individuals can help.  She suggested that we not wash dishes or clothes or take showers during rainstorms as that increases the burden on the system.  Add more native plants to your garden - they have longer roots, will slow down runoff and hold more water.  Create a bioswale on your property – they are designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water.  Plant more trees as they catch 10–15% of the water.  If you are installing a new driveway consider the new permeable asphalt.  You can also try a green roof, but I don’t think algae on the shady side counts!
Meeting Recap - July 10 Wes Baumann 2014-07-15 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap - July 3

Posted by Keith Reed
Newly installed President, Bob Baker, started off his term with a long-ringing stroke on the bell, which got everyone’s immediate attention. Twenty members were present with no official guest except that Ellie Schwimmer stopped in for a quick visit to say hello and to monitor Fred’s Dig and Grin presentation!
   Lee Padgitt was complimented on his last 2 reports of the meeting minutes in a showing of appreciation for him subbing for our professional minute taker, Wes Bauman.
    Bob mentioned the Rotary summer picnic benefit at the Community House on August 23rd from 11:00 to 4:00 and solicited volunteers for this very important fund raiser.  He also announced that he will be hosting a little July gathering at his home (date TBA) at which he will be providing food and refreshments and, if people are so inclined,  receiving  donations to the Rotary’s polio project.
    Bob and Rich Lalley reported on the need to set fundraising goals for the next year and  emphasized the importance of giving to the Rotary Foundation. They reported that last year the W-N Rotary Club gave about $90,000, which included $30,000 raised for “Kids Against Hunger”; $12,000 for  “Operation Warm” (coats for kids); and $24,000 to 12 local charities. It was suggested we review Chamber of Commerce and community contacts for a way to acknowledge our donors.
    Tony Kambach gave a report on our 15 year relationship with Uganda and our “micro credit” program which helped get loans for their citizens.
    Bob concluded the meeting by presenting his special “Rotarian of the Week” award to Eric Birkenstein for his successful year as Club President, and to Liz Taylor for her work on the recent installation dinner.
    There was no guest speaker but with all the announcements, award and good fellowship, the meeting did not end early!
Meeting Recap - July 3 Keith Reed 2014-07-07 00:00:00Z 0

Every Rotarian Every Year! Give to the Rotary Foundation.

Posted by Richard (Rich) Lalley on Jun 27, 2014


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 June 28, 43 members of our club have contributed $8,199 to The Rotary Foundation's Annual Programs Fund, or 94% of the ambitious goal set by President Eric and our board.   We thank these 43 Rotarians for already making their annual contribution, especially those in bold who are Paul Harris Fellows:

Sam Badger*, Bob Baker, Wes Baumann, Mary Lou Bilder-GoldDavid BirkensteinEric Birkenstein, Tom Evans, John Gilchrist, Dave Gotaas, David Grant*, Lousie Holland, Tony Kambich*Mark Kotz, Marie KuipersRich Lalley, Denny Lauer, Robert Mardirossian, Tim McCabeBernie Michna, Rodger Morris*,  Tom Nash, Chuck  NortonLee Padgitt, Brooke PeppeyAlan Ramsay, Keith Reed, Randy Reeves, Fred Schwimmer, Mike Shelton, Gina Sich, Heidi Sibert, Peter SkalskiTodd Stephens, ​John Stone, Liz Taylor, John Thomas, Barb Tubekis, Dirk TussingPatti Van Cleave, Alison Wertheimer, Clyde Willan, Rebecca Wolf and Mike Wurzburg.  
* 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 60.34 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.

Every Rotarian Every Year! Give to the Rotary Foundation. Richard (Rich) Lalley 2014-06-28 00:00:00Z 0

June 19 Meeting Recap

Posted by Lee Padgitt on Jun 18, 2014
Our joint meeting with the Rotary Clubs of Wilmette Harbor and Wilmette Noon was well attended Thursday night with around 100 Rotarians and guests from both clubs including an all-star cast of guest Rotarians. The convivial meeting began informally with beer and wine served by our Club’s President-elect Bob Baker to a thirsty crowd buzzing with conversation. Seating at ten tables in was randomly assigned. In attendance were our District Governor Sarah Oliver, past DG Pam Kerr, our assistant DG and current DG designate Rick Rivkin, among many other guests eager to hear the keynote speaker.
Patti Van Cleave shared with us an inspiring thought of the day regarding the outstanding attributes of Rotary International. Rick Rivkin announced the Rotary International Family Fun Day at the White Sox game on August 5 to support End Polio Now. Rick also announced that internationally acclaimed violinist and polio survivor Itzhak Perlman, a celebrity spokesman for PolioPlus, will appear at Ravinia on August 18. John Kessler of the Wilmette Harbor Club announced that their club is selling golf balls for $6 per dozen as a fundraiser for their club’s foundation.
In Rick’s last meeting as our Assistant DG, he presented President Eric with four Club awards: a Certificate of Merit for net membership growth, a Certificate of Merit for applying for a Presidential Citation, a District Member Development and Extension award for bringing in the most new members in our District, and a Presidential Citation. David Birkenstein presented President Eric with a Paul Harris Fellow pin issued by Rotary International for his exemplary efforts in “knocking himself out” for our Club.
Our speaker, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart, joined us courtesy of the efforts of President Eric’s guest John Kupperman, a former advisor to Barack Obama, and current political advisor to Rahm Emanuel and Sheriff Dart. He was a history major, a state legislator for 11 years and assistant State’s attorney before being elected Sheriff in 2006. A family man with 5 small children, he was named in Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in 2009.

June 19 Meeting Recap Lee Padgitt 2014-06-19 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap - June 12

Posted by Wes Baumann
Thirty members were present and our one guest was Mary Hastings, PR & Marketing Specialist for the Winnetka-Northfield Library.
We were reminded that there are only two more weeks to donate to our Club’s Charitable Foundation for the Rotary year.  This is the money that we use to fund the grants that we give in March each year.  The more money in the Foundation the more good work our Club can accomplish.  You can donate by check or credit card at the next two meetings or to the Club’s online site to donate.
Throughout the summer our Club’s Community Service committee will be collecting items for the New Trier Township Food Pantry.  They are especially interested in laundry detergent, canned fruit, white and brown rice, pasta sauce, cooking oil, salad dressings, ketchup, mustard, mayo, peanut butter and jelly, Kleenex and paper towels.  The items may be brought to our meetings or dropped of at the donation boxes at Grand Foods.
Rich Lalley reported that he learned of an $80,000 challenge grant and he has managed to get most of the needed matching money from a generous