The Rotary Club of

May 25, 2023 Newsletter

Our Flag Service Project is underway. Teams of Rotarians and friends of our club are installing flags to make Springfield red, white, and blue for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Please remember that we will not hold our regular club meeting in Maldaners Upstairs on May 29. We hope that you have a wonderful Memorial Day with family and friends. 

President Randy's Comments
No Club Meeting on Memorial Day
We will not have our regular club meeting at Maldaners Upstairs on Monday, May 29.  We hope that you have a wonderful holiday weekend with family and friends.
Fletcher Farrar Speaks at June 5 Club Meeting
Please join us for a presentation by Fletcher Farrar, Editor of Illinois Times, on Monday, June 5. For more information, see Upcoming Programs and Events below.
Meeting Link through June 26, 2023 is inviting you to scheduled Webex Rotary Club meetings in March, 2023 and running through June 26, 2023.
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District Scholarship Applicant Attends Meeting
Tom and Dee O'Brien brought a special guest, Grace Kaydyke, to our May 22 club meeting (image on left). Grace is the recipient of a special nursing scholarship sponsored by the O'Briens. Tom noted that Grace has also applied for a Rotary District 6460 Scholarship. It was wonderful to meet this dedicated young woman. 
Club Installs Another Little Library
In May, our club installed another Little Library at the site of Springfield's Fire House No. 5, which was built in 1902-1903. It was the first Firehouse in Springfield staffed by African Americans. The Little Library is across the street from home of Club Member Kathryn Harris and makes a great place for children and their parents to pick up free books. Please help us keep this Little Library well stocked. Thanks to Harry Mitchell for providing these images.
Prospective Club Member Wins 50-50 Drawing
As most members know, Madeline Boner, sister of our Club's Community Services Director Megan Reynolds, has applied for membership in our Club and has expressed an interest in being our Community Services Director next year. At our May 15 Social Night Club Meeting, she did what our member's generally fail to do. She won the 50-50 drawing! Her number was randomly generated, and she selected the lucky card (the jack of spades) on her first draw. Bill Smith reported that there was $745 in the pot. Because she borrowed money from her sister to participate in the drawing, she split the proceeds with her sister! It really does pay to be Rotarian or even a prospective Rotarian!
Buy Your Tickets for the Rotary Day at the Ball Park
Please sell and buy tickets for our 20th Annual Rotary Family Day at the Ballpark. The game is on July 29 at 6:15 p.m. at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Cubs are playing the Cards. Tickets are $60 each. All seats are in the Left Field Loge and Pavilion. Checks should be made out to Rotary 6460 Foundation and mailed to 2001 Barberry Drive, Springfield, IL 62704. A form for ordering tickets is available on the Rotary District 6460 website and will be added to our website soon. Rod Buffington has arranged for roundtrip bus transportation from Springfield (from White Oaks Mall, parking lot near the north entrance to Macys). The bus will depart at 2:00 p.m. and will cost $35 per person. Reserve and pay for your seat on the bus soon!
Upcoming Programs and Events
May 29 ─ Memorial Day (No Club Meeting)

June 5 ─   Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Reflections on Journalism ─ Fletcher Farrar, Editor and owner of Illinois Times
Fletcher Farrar (image on right) is the President and Editor of the Illinois Times.  He is originally from Mt Vernon, Illinois, and has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University. 
Founded in 1975, Illinois Times was acquired in 1977 by Fletcher Farrar Sr., a Mount Vernon businessman who employed his son, Fletcher, Jr. (Bud), as editor. The senior Farrar passed away in 1995. 
The weekly publication has a circulation of over 30,000 and is distributed to nearly 400 locations free each Thursday in Springfield and in 14 nearby communities. Michelle Ownbey is the current Publisher and CEO of Illinois Times.
Farrar and his wife Mary Jessup reside in Springfield. 
June 12 ─ Club Meeting in Maldaners Upstairs
Community Grant Awards Night
Join us for our annual presentation of community grants and learn what local nonprofits are doing with the funds.

June 19  ─ Juneteenth (No Club Meeting)

June 26 ─ Installation of New Rotary Club Officers
We will install our new officers for the Rotary 2023-2024 year and recognize some accomplishments from the year we have just completed. Details on the location of this event will be provided later.
Volunteer Update
Volunteer Opportunities in May
Thanks so much to the volunteers from our club who gave their time to work at the Central Illinois Foodbank and Volunteer for Girls on the Run! It's amazing to see the impact we can have when we come together. 
Tuesday, May 16 - Volunteering at the Central IL Foodbank
Special thanks are due to John Webb, Randy Erford, and Barry and Alec Tobias for sorting food for the Central IL Foodbank. We also thank John Web for sending these images.
Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 - Girls on the Run 5K
Thanks to John Webb for volunteering for the Girls on the Run 5K to process race bids and pass out racing bags on the night before the event. Girls on the Run is an after school program that inspires girls to be healthy and confident using a fun, experienced based curriculum that creatively integrates running. The 5K race is their closing event and this year's run took place at Lincoln Land Community College on May 20. Thanks to John Webb for providing these images.
Ridgely School Micropantry and Little Library!
Work stocking our Our Ridgely micropantry and little library continues and is important at all times. As you can see from the image on left,  the Little Library needs more books. Please feel free to drop off books for the little library and any food/toiletries/cleaning supplies for the micropantry as you see fit. The families that frequent these resources are very thankful for your generous donations!
Vicki Megginson sent the images of the empty pantry she encountered at Ridgely School and the exciting image of the full pantry after she stocked it on March 12, 2023 (images below). We thank the Rotarians who have signed up for shifts stocking the micropantry during the New Year. If you want to sign up, let me know via email ( We need your help!
Flag Service
The Flag Service Committee is installing flags for Memorial Day (May 29, 2023). Teams started installing flags on May 22 and will be finished with installations by the evening of Friday May 26 so the flags will be in place for the holiday weekend. We are looking for more volunteers to help with deployment of flags and other aspects of this project. We have established teams of two to three people and most teams will install flags along one route. However, three teams had to take two routes each and some individuals are on more than one team. The lead image of this newsletter shows Ross Hodel, Randy Erford, and John Webb installing flags on May 24. The image below shows the reward they gave themselves for a hard day's works. Volunteering for Rotary is always fun!
Please consider volunteering for this project. There is much work to be done, and it raises lots of money for our community grants program!  Please contact Marty Michelson ( and John Loftus ( if you would like to help.
Suggestions for Pantries from People Who Use Pantries
We are repeating a list of suggestions of foods and other items to stock in the Ridgely Food Pantry. These suggestions came from people who use food pantries to help feed their families. 
1. Everyone donates Kraft Mac and Cheese in the box. They can rarely use it because it needs milk and butter, which is difficult to get from regular food banks.
2. Boxed milk is a treasure, as kids need it for cereal, which they also get a lot of.
3. Everyone donates pasta sauce and spaghetti noodles.
4. They cannot eat all the awesome canned veggies and soup unless you put a can opener in too or buy pop tops.*
5. Oil is a luxury and needed for Rice a-Roni, which they also get a lot of.
6. Spices or salt and pepper would be a real Holiday gift.
7. Tea bags and coffee make them feel like you care.
8. Sugar and flour are treats.
9. They fawn over fresh produce donated by farmers and grocery stores.
10. Seeds are cool in Spring and Summer because growing can be easy for some.
11. They rarely get fresh meat.
12. Tuna and crackers make a good lunch.
13. Hamburger Helper goes nowhere without ground beef.
14. They get lots of peanut butter and jelly but usually not sandwich bread.
15. Butter or margarine is nice too.
16. Eggs are a real commodity.
17. Cake mix and frosting makes it possible to make a child’s birthday cake.
18. Dishwashing detergent is very expensive and is always appreciated.
19. Feminine hygiene products are a luxury and women will cry over that.
20. Everyone loves Stove Top Stuffing.
* At our November 29 club meeting, Ross Hodel reported that he followed this advice and stocked numerous can openers in the Ridgely Pantry. He noted that they were quickly snapped up.
Encourage Membership in Rotary
Do you know or are you someone who has a passion to give back to your community? The Rotarians in this image are helping pack essential items for the Illinois Police Department to give to homeless individuals in our community. As a Rotarian, you adhere to the principles of the 4-way Test., which are:
  • Is it the Truth? 
  • Is it Fair to all concerned? 
  • Will it build Good Will and Better Friendships?  
  • Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?  
If you find value in these ideals and want to be part of a great organization, right click on the attached link to open our online Membership Application in a new window. You can also click on this link to download an electronic copy of the Membership Application from our Club's website Home Page ( in the Download Files section. You can send the completed application to the Membership Committee at We look forward to hearing from you! 

Downtown 2022-2023 Rotary Membership Chair
Tony Williams
Record Your Service Hours and Contributions
Please remember to report your service hours and related contributions. Just follow this link:
Please email images of service activities to Bonnie Styles at It's easy to take pictures if you have a smartphone, but even an old style camera works just fine. Send me an email ( to let me know when you will be volunteering for a service project, and I will come out and take some images.
Be sure to turn in your hours for any volunteering that you do on behalf of Rotary.
Did you know that volunteer work was already underway for our  2023 Flag Service Project in January? In the image below Barry Tobias is training his son Alec how to use the drill press to drill a hole in a flag pole in his home workshop. After drilling, the holes have to be filed down. Much thanks to Barry for providing this image.
The image below shows John Webb transplanting Virginia Blue Bells at Lincoln Memorial Gardens for our Club's participation in the United Way Day of Service on April 28, 2023.
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