We held our annual Springfield Rotary Foundation Grants Night (image above) on June 12, 2023. This is always a joyful and rewarding occasion where we see the fruits of our labor. Attendance of the grant recipients at our meeting offered our members an opportunity to meet and encourage these charitable organization who are making a difference in our community and to invite them to join our Rotary Club and participate in our community service projects (image below).
Vicki Megginson, who became our Springfield Rotary Foundation President in July, 2023, served as the Master of Ceremonies for  the June event. Foundation President for 2022-2023, David Fowler, was unable to attend the meeting, but was with us in spirit. Vicki acknowledged all the work that Bill Smith does as Foundation Treasurer and for the management of the community grants program (image on left). She also acknowledged the work by all the members of the 2022-2023 Foundation Board, including David Fowler, Vicki Megginson, Bill Kempiners, Barry Tobias, and Randy Erford.
The club’s fundraisers for the current Rotary year provided $40,400 to be used for national and international club projects or donations, including an annual donation to the Land of Lincoln Honor Flights, scholarships, and grants to charitable organizations. The club’s foundation board of directors met during May to allocate $28,600 of these funds for our community grants program. There were 17 requests for grant funds; of these, 12 organizations were fully or partially funded. They also allocated some of the monies raised through the Flag Service Program for the annual donation to the Land of Lincoln Honor Flights.

At our June 12 meeting, Vicki and Bill presented checks to representatives of 11 of the 12 organizations, and a check for the annual donation to the Land of Lincoln Honor Flights (image on right). Representatives from the organizations receiving checks are shown in the image below. Each representative briefly described how they will use the grant or donated funds. The representative, organization, and the use of the funds are listed below following the order of individuals in the image.
Organization Representatives, Organizations, and Use of Awarded Funds for Front Row from left to right:
Brandy Stabler, Director of Development for Compass for Kids (for providing healthy snacks and well-balanced meals for low income students in District 186); Dan Way, Board Member for Land of Lincoln Honor Flights (to cover expenses for 5 veterans to visit memorials in Washington D.C.); Deana Corbin, Executive Director for Animal Protective League (for purchase of pet food for the pet food bank for struggling pet owners); Amy Voils, Executive Director from MERCY Communities (to buy learning materials for families with children experiencing homelessness); Peggy Dyson, Executive Director, Educational Center for the Visually Impaired (to support an orientation and mobility program for the visually impaired including accessibility devices and Personal Vision Coaches); Linda Laun, Executive Director, Beerlahai Roi Women’s Ministries (for providing nutritious meals for pregnant women and babies in their residence for individuals experiencing homelessness).
Back Row, from left to right:
Jane Locascio, Board Member for Wooden it Be Lovely (for purchase of food and other supplies for women struggling with addiction, poverty, and/or abuse who are living in the residence and/or working in the workshop); Michael Carson, Principal for St. Patrick Catholic School (for support for subscriptions for an online digital reading programs for improving grammar, phonics, and writing); Cindy Drum, Executive Director for Contact Ministries (for purchase of food for women with children in their emergency and transitional shelters and for new outdoor safety lighting); Laura Davis, Executive Director for Helping Hands (to provide breakfast in their shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness); Jennifer Butcher, Principal for Ridgely School (for purchase of food for Bulldog Care Food Backpacks to send home with targeted students on weekends and sometimes during the week as well); Stacy Kelly, Manager for Education and Community Volunteers, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (for support of a free-of-charge conference to increase dementia literacy within the Black community in the Springfield area). The representative from the Youth Service Bureau was unable to attend, but they were awarded a check to provide food for low income families.