The Rotary Club of

May 12, 2023 Newsletter

Join us on May 15 for a Social Night! You will have a chance to brag and draw the losing card for the 50-50 drawing (image above), while helping with fundraising for good causes. Be prepared to laugh because our social nights are always fun! 

President Randy's Comments
May 8 Presentation on Architecture
This past Monday, May 8, our speaker was Terry Trautman (image on left), a life-long resident of Columbus, Indiana, who provided an entertaining and informative discussion of the unique history and significant architecture of that small city, home of Cummins Engineering.  Mr. Trautman is a friend of our former Club President Dave Kromphardt, who introduced him to the Club. Mr. Trautman, who had worked for Cummins, noted that more than 40 buildings in Columbus, Indiana, were designed by nationally-recognized architects and that while one-half of those structures were commissioned by a Foundation established by the Cummins Corporation, the other half were commissioned by the community itself. 
    May 15 Social Night
This coming Monday, on May 15, we will hold a Social Night, including a 50-50 drawing as well as an opportunity for members to participate in Brag a Bucks for the benefit of our club’s Rotary scholarships. We will also have a friendly trivia competition.
    May 22 Speaker Discusses State Retirement System
In two weeks, on May 22, Dave Urbanek will address the status of the Illinois State Retirement Systems.
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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Rotary District Literacy Grant Project at Black Hawk School
Springfield Club members visited Black Hawk Elementary School on Wednesday, May 3 to assist in the third distribution of books purchased by our Club's Rotary Literacy Grant. The grant provided funding for books for students in grades Kindergarten through Second participating in the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) Program (image above). The visit on Wednesday allowed Rotarians to assist in the distribution of the books  (image on left) as well as an opportunity for them to interact with both students and staff. Students were able to explore various books and to select one suitable for  their reading level and interest. The excitement of the students assured that the Program was a tremendous success. Participating Rotarians included Kathryn Harris, Ken Gilmore, and Loretta Meeks. The Coordinator for the Program was Sarah Trimpe, Literacy Coach for Black Hawk Elementary School. The image below shows Loretta, Kathryn, Sarah, and Ken. Thanks to Black Hawk, Loretta, and Ken for providing images for this story.
John Webb Receives Red Badge!
At our May 1 meeting, President Randy Erford presented John Webb, with his red new member badge. John has been regularly attending club meetings and volunteering for our service projects. As a new member of our Public Relations Committee, he has also been actively promoting our club on Facebook and plans to assist with the weekly newsletter. If you have not officially welcomed him to our Club, please do so! We are delighted to have him as a member.
Bonnie teased him that he received his red badge of courage for choosing to work on the Public Relations Committee.
Club Volunteers Plant Flowers at Lincoln Memorial Gardens
On April 28, 8 club members and Barry's son Alec (image above) volunteered as part of the United Way's Day of Service. Thanks to Community Services Chair Megan Reynolds for setting up this volunteer opportunity. Our club was lucky to be assigned to work at Lincoln Memorial Gardens, one of the most beautiful spots in Springfield (image on left).
We were charged with transplanting flowers (primarily Virginia Bluebells) from an area of the garden that will be developed for a new children's area to another area that will support a new flower garden. Another group of volunteers dug out the flowers and were careful to keep the root balls intact. Our group excavated trenches and transplanted clumps of flowers in the trenches (first image below and image in Record your Volunteer Hours section). The hope is that the roots will survive, and next spring, the plants will bloom in the new garden. We worked hard and had a great time (second image below). Thanks to Lincoln Memorial Gardens, Megan Reynolds, John Webb, Ken Gilmore, and Bonnie Styles for providing images.
Upcoming Programs and Events
May 15 ─ Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Social Night
Please join us for a Social Night. We will have Brag-a-Bucks and the 50-50 drawing. Proceeds from these activities support our club's annual scholarships for students at UIS and Lincoln Land Community College. Please remember that the goal is to actually win the 50-50 drawing instead of joining the growing ranks of losers (lead image for newsletter). Rumor has it that we will also have a friendly trivia competition led by President Randy Erford.

May 22 ─ Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Status of Illinois Pensions ─ Dave Urbanek,  Director of Communications, Teachers Retirement System of Illinois
Dave (image on left) joined the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois in 2010. His previous service in state government included press secretary and director of communications for Illinois Governor George H. Ryan and communications specialist at the state’s Capital Development Board. Dave also has served as director of communications for Hospital Sisters Health System in Illinois and Wisconsin and MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois.

He served 11 years as state government editor for the Daily Herald newspaper in suburban Chicago. Dave holds a master’s degree from Sangamon State University in Springfield and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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 sacrificed their time and their backs to transplant flowers at Lincoln Memorial Gardens last week! Its amazing to see the impact we can have when we come together. See the story above for details on this project.
Please join me at these two upcoming service opportunities!
Tuesday, May 16th, 1-3pm- Volunteering at the Central IL Foodbank
  • Need 10 participants for this project, our specific job will be determined a little closer to this date
Saturday, May 20th, morning hours (time varies based on role)- Girls on the Run 5k
  • There are many different opportunities for service hours at this event, with roles ranging from set up, to photography, check in, or even applying temporary tattoos on the runners! 
  • Please visit for specific roles and times and to register to volunteer at the event
  • Let me know if you register so I can keep track of our hours and let the coordinator know! 
  • This does require you to pass a background check, so please register sooner rather than later.
Let me know if you have any questions about these opportunities
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 gearing up for its first deployment of flags before Memorial Day (May 29, 2023). We will start installing flags on May 22 and need to be completed 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 this effort. We have established teams of two 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.
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.
District Club Grant Financial Literacy Project
Please contact Bill Kempiners ( if you are interested in volunteering for this project.
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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