The Rotary Club of

March 14, 2024 Newsletter

At our March 11 meeting we recognized Hope Humphrey Walker as our Community Paul Harris Fellow. See the stories below by Bill Smith and Harry Mitchell for more information on this prestigious recognition. Join us on March 18 at the Creek Pub and Grill in Chatham for another engaging Social Night. See President's Comments and Upcoming Programs and Events for more information.

Comments from President Travis
Derek Harms March 11 Presentation on the Springfield Park District
We thank Derek Harms (image on right), Executive Director of the Springfield Park District, for his enthusiastic presentation on recreational opportunities in the parks and for letting us know about the recreational upgrades, structural improvements, and volunteer opportunities at Rotary Park.
PET and Spring Training at UIS on March 16 and 17
President Elects Training (PET) and Spring Training for all Rotarians will take place at the UIS Student Union building again this year. PETS will be on March 17, and Megan Reynolds, our President-Elect, will participate! Presidents Elect and all Rotarians are encouraged to attend Spring Training on March 17. Registration for Spring Training opens at 9:00 a.m. and Sessions end at 3:00. There is no cost to participate in Spring Training if you pre-registered! The keynote speaker is MJ Rogers, a professional archery coach. MJ has coached archers on every continent, including Paralympics in London, Rio, and Japan. We hope you signed up to participate in the training on Saturday. Lunch will be provided free-of-charge for those who pre-registered. However, if you register on site on Saturday, you will be billed for the lunch.
Off-site Social Night at Creek Pub and Grill on March 18
We will have an off-site Social Night club meeting on March 18 so don't show up at Maldaners Upstairs! Please join us at 5:30 p.m. at the Creek Pub and Grill (image below), 1081 Jason Place, Chatham, IL 62629. This pub is in the shopping center with the County Market and is the place where our Chatham Satellite Club used to meet. More information is available in Upcoming Programs and Events. 
2024 Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA)
RYLA will be held on April 12-14 at Lake Williamson in Carlinville. This program is for high school sophomores and emphasizes leadership and citizenship. Students are sponsored by Rotary Clubs and participate free of charge. Our club regularly sponsors students to participate in this program. The sponsorship cost this year is $250 per student. Students must be registered by April 1 to receive a t-shirt.
Mark Your Calendar for the All Club Fundraiser Event
The All-Club Chicken Dinner fundraiser for Polio Plus will be included in a Trivia Night on Saturday,  April 13 (6:00-10:00 p.m.) at Ace Sign Company. The event will include a 50-50 Raffle and a cash bar.  It is hoped that each club will sponsor three tables. A gold level table sponsor purchases 10 tickets at $75 each. We hope that we can at least sponsor a table at this level.  Let me know if you are interested in participating in this event and purchasing a ticket for $75.  Special thanks are offered to Nicole Pacheco and Jay West (image on left) of Springfield Westside Rotary for coming to our March 11 meeting to promote participation in this all-Springfield Clubs Fundraiser.
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When we meet at Maldaner's, please submit your reservations for dinner! Click on the link embedded below and enter the date, your name, dine in/carry out and number of meals being consumed in the restaurant and/or carried out prior to each meeting. Preferably, everyone will fill out the form by noon on the Friday before the upcoming meeting. I have given Jesse at Maldaner's access to the view, so it will help him with planning. As always, we will direct him to have a few additional servings available for members who forget or last minute guests. 
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The same link will work for the entire Rotary year and will be shared within each Newsletter, so do not delete the Newsletter until you have submitted your dinner information. Please remember that the three most recent Newsletters can also be accessed from the Website Home Page ( so you can also access the link for reservations from the Website Home Page ( 
March 11 Recognition of Paul Harris Fellows
The Rotary Foundation provides support for many programs around the world and right here in Central Illinois. Last year the Foundation provided over $350 million dollars of support in the form of grants, support to eradicate polio and funding of the Peace Centers. Here are some highlights:
  • Our club, along with many others, has received a number of District Grants from the Foundation to support local projects.
  • The polio eradication effort has led to endemic polio being present in only two remaining countries:  Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Funded 130 Peace Fellows in graduate programs at the 6 Peace Center Universities located around the world.
The Rotary Foundation has a number of donor recognition programs.  Named after our founder, Paul Harris Fellows are recognized in increments of $1000 donations.  A new PHF receives a certificate, a medallion, and a Paul Harris Pin. Reaching subsequent levels of $1000 gifts result in recognition with a pin that adds blue sapphires up to 5 (for a total of $6000) and then pins with up to 3 rubies. When a donor reaches $10,000, they become a major donor with a new recognition process. 
At our March 11 meeting, we recognized two members for their ongoing support. Jim Theis received a Paul Harris +2 pin (first image below), and Ross Hodel received a Paul Harris +3 pin (second image below).
Several years ago, Rod Buffington implemented the concept of giving Circles. In our club, each Circle has five members who donate $200 a year to the Rotary Foundation. The total donation of $1000 allows the Circle to name a new PHF each year. The members rotate for making that nomination. We now have six circles in our club. We recognized five of the Circles at our Foundation dinner on February 26. Joe O’Beirne and his nominee were unable to attend that evening. I invited Joe and Cindy Denby to come forward. Joe introduced Cindy and summarized her many areas of support for the community including as a softball coach and long-time active member of King’s Daughters as well as other organizations. We presented Cindy with a Paul Harris Certificate, medallion, and pin (images below).
I then introduced Bill Smith who introduced our 2024 Community Paul Harris Fellow, Hope Humphrey Walker (lead image for Newsletter). Bill explained the many ways the Humphrey family has supported Springfield over the years. Specifically, they have been instrumental in helping us continue one of our key fundraisers, the annual orange and grapefruit sale. Bill related how Hope worked diligently last fall to find an alternative source of oranges when Florida oranges were not available. See Bill Smith's story below for the full citation for Hope's recognition as our Community Paul Harris Fellow.
Club Recognizes Hope Humphrey Walker as Community Paul Harris Fellow
I had the great honor of  presenting our club’s 2024 Community Paul Harris Fellow award to Hope Humphrey Walker at our March 11 meeting (image above). She was accompanied by her husband, Greg Walker.
Our club has had a long history with Hope and her family. For nearly 50 years we have been selling Florida oranges and grapefruit as a fundraiser to support local charities. When we started this fundraiser, we dealt directly with the Florida citrus groves. In the late 1990s we entered into a partnership with Humphrey’s Market to improve the quality of the citrus product. We selected Humphrey’s Market because they had a long history of purchasing quality fruits and vegetables. This history started with Hope’s grandparents, who for many years purchased and sold fruits and vegetables. In 1967, Hope’s parents, Henry and Iona Humphrey, took over the business. Humphrey’s Market continued to grow and became a corner grocery store.
In 2008, I began my involvement with Humphrey’s Market when I began managing our annual citrus campaign. This is when I met Henry Humphrey and got to know his understanding of citrus. My involvement with Hope began ten years ago when Henry died. I quickly realized that this was a seamless transition.
Hope is a life-long resident of Springfield. She attended schools in Springfield and she has a business administration degree from the University of Illinois in Springfield. Her only employment has been with the family business.
With her grandparent’s knowledge of fruits and vegetables, followed by her parents’ knowledge of fruits and vegetables, followed by Hope’s knowledge of fruits and vegetables, this looks like a pattern in the family tree. I am not a scientist, but it makes me wonder if this knowledge is part of their DNA.
Our club has loved selling Florida oranges, except when we didn’t love selling Florida oranges. Let me explain, six years ago when the quality of Florida oranges had become an issue, we asked Hope to find an alternate grove to improve the quality of the oranges. Back then, Rotary South was conducting their own citrus campaign and reported to us that they were getting quality oranges from their grove. Hope followed up on this lead and the new grove agreed to provide us with citrus. The next step was to determine the price of the citrus. Since Rotary South dealt directly with the grove, the presumption was that their cost would be less than what we would have to pay. It didn’t work out that way, our cost was $1.00 less for each large carton of oranges and grapefruit than the cost for Rotary South.
This change to a different grove seemed to solve the Florida orange problem until last fall. I was notified in early November that we would not get Florida oranges for our citrus fundraiser. The citrus grove reported a complete failure of the orange crop due to an extended dry spell in Florida. Naturally, we had to have oranges to complete the sales from the citrus campaign, otherwise, we will be forced to cancel all sales. This unsatisfactory result would involve returning money to customers who have already paid, and could also tarnish the reputation of the Rotary clubs who were part of the campaign.
The timing of the notification from Florida, left us with less than four weeks to find replacement oranges. Humprey’s Market, that is Hope Humphrey Walker, came up with a solution to our problem. Texas oranges were considered, but they were having similar drought issues as Florida. She was able to secure a premium California orange for us, which saved the day. I have received rave reviews from many of our customers about these oranges.
By the way, while Hope was solving our orange problem, she was already very busy with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays that were coming up.
We have had a wonderful partnership with Hope and the Humphrey family. It was said that Hope’s father, Henry Humphrey, had a passion for customer service and instilled that in his family and those who worked with him. Hope, you have followed in that tradition and you provide a wonderful service to our club and to the Springfield community.
We Congratulate Hope for this award (images below).
March 11 Peace Committee Update
I summarized some of the major activities and accomplishments of our club's Peace Committee at our March 11 club meeting. Creating successful partnerships has been key to our progress.
  • We met with multiple community groups to identify opportunities to create "peace through service."
  • We secured over $30,000 in grants and matching funds to support peace building efforts.
  • We developed a project to increase financial literacy for low-income youth in partnership with Goodwill and the financial literacy group "Portfolio with a Purpose."
  • We created a multi-pronged partnership with Helping Hands to support the Heartland Housed goal of eradicating homelessness in Springfield.
  • We partnered with the Outlet to support their young African American men and boys without fathers.
March Madness is coming!
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins next week. For many years we have used this event to raise money for the elimination of Polio. I will send an email next Sunday evening with more information as we find out which teams will be participating. Please watch for this email and plan on participating.
Buy tickets for July 13 Rotary Family Day at the Ball Park
Mark your calendar now. Rod Buffington has proclaimed that July 13, 2024 is Rotary Family Day at the Ball Park. The Cardinals will be playing the Cubs at 1:15 p.m. District Rotary Clubs need to sell 2000 tickets. The tickets are greatly discounted at $60 each. Rod is arranging for two buses to go from Springfield to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. He is looking for volunteers to handle logistics for the buses and serve as bus captains. He reminded members that you can sell tickets to non-Rotarians including family, friends, and colleagues. Proceeds from the game support District Literacy Grants. The form to buy tickets for this game is available on our vlub's web site (click on form here to download it) and also on the Rotary District 6460 Website.
Potential International Project with Rotary Club of Bajamar
At our February 12 Board and Club meetings, Dave Fowler described a potential International Project with the Rotary Club of Bajamar in Baja, Mexico. Katherine Turner of Baja Bridges fame and a common collaborator with our club belongs to the Bajamar Rotary Club and is encouraging us to serve as the U.S. sponsor for this project. The Bajamar Club has planned a project to develop the ZARCO Sports Center to fulfill a community recreational need in a very poor area in the Valle de Guadalupe, just east of Ensenada, Mexico and provide much-needed facilities for families to enjoy. The facility currently serves 50 plus soccer teams ranging in age from 6 to young adults, volleyball enthusiasts, and families using the aging playground facilities. There are no restroom facilities so the Bajamar Rotary Club is in the process of securing a number to apply for a Rotary International Grant ($40,000) to develop the restroom facilities. The Bajamar Club is looking for U.S. Clubs to serve as the U.S. sponsor for the project. Our Club's Board expressed interest in the project and gave Dave the go ahead to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rotary Club of Bajamar to bring back to our Club and the Board for review. Bob Stuart, our Club's International Services Director, is querying Board members about interests in partnering and contributing some of the funds set aside for international projects in the foundation budget. 
Upcoming Programs and Events
Please remember that we are trying our new schedule with some social night meetings at locations other than Maldaners. Please pay attention to the meeting schedule listed the Newsletter, on our website home page (, and on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram pages for the dates and locations of the meetings. I am in the process of scheduling speakers now and will provide more details as soon as they are available. 
March 18, 2024 Rotary Off-site Social Night, Creek Pub and Grill in Chatham, 5:30 p.m.
The Creek Pub and Grill is located at 1081 Jason Place in Chatham, IL 62629. It is in the Shopping Center with the County Market. Some of you may have been there before because it is the restaurant where the Chatham Satellite Club used to meet. You will order and pay for your own meals and drinks. Please join us for an enjoyable evening with friends.
March 25, 2024 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
Lynette Strode, Program Manager: Illinois Assistive Technology Program (ITAP)
April 1, 2024 No Rotary Club Meeting
April 8, 2024 Rotary Board Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 4:30 p.m.
April 8, 2024 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
Rod Buffington, Rotary Club of Springfield: Art and My 50 Years in Rotary
April 15, 2024 No Rotary Club Meeting
April 22, Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
Dave Fuchs, Public Works Director: Springfield Department of Public Works Services and Programs
April 29, Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
May 6, 2024 Rotary Off-site Social Night, 5:30 p.m.
Location to be announced.
May 13, 2024 Rotary Board Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 4:30 p.m.
May 13, 2024 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
May 20, 2024 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
May 27, 2024 No Rotary Club Meeting
June 3, 2024 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
Distribution of Community Grants from the Springfield Rotary Foundation
June 10, 2024 Rotary Board Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 4:30 p.m.
June 10, 2024 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
June 17, 2024 Rotary Off-site Social Night, 5:30 p.m.
Location to be announced. 
June 24, 2024 Rotary Club Installation of Officers Picnic
Recognition of Club Members and 2023-2024 Officers and Installation of 2024-2025 Officers and Board
Location and time to be announced.
Be a Food Pantry Superhero
Here's your chance to be a pantry superhero!  Join us in stocking the Ridgely Elementary School micro pantry for two weeks. Your commitment will ensure that families and children have access to essential items when they need them most.  Whether it's a can of soup, a box of cereal, or toiletries, your contribution will brighten someone's day.  Reach out to Allie Montney at or call 217-494-6901 to become a beacon of hope for those in need.  Every item you place on those shelves is a small gesture that collectively makes a huge impact!
Information and Shifts for Ridgely Micropantry Volunteers
Thank you for signing up for a  micro pantry volunteer shift. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated by the community we serve. Below are the details including your two week shift, location of the pantry, and suggestions on items to collect and distribute.  If you are unable to complete your shift, please reach out and we'll work on a better period of time to meet your needs. If you have suggestions for future volunteers, please let me know and we'll adapt the program along the way.
 Ridgely Elementary School 
 2040 North 8th Street
 Springfield, IL  62702
 Main entrance to the school (look for the yellow and purple pantry by the front  doors).
The image below shows the location of the pantry at the entrance to the school.
 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.
Time Commitment:   Two consecutive weeks (1-2 restocking visits per week)
 Volunteer Schedule for Winter 2023 - Spring 2024
Thanks to Bonnie Styles for stocking the pantry for the December 17-31 shift during the holiday season. Bonnie provided the image on the left that shows the special items she stocked in the pantry for Christmas Eve and Christmas. She restocked the pantry on December 27 and December 30 (image below) to be certain that it was ready for New Years Eve. Each time she checked the pantry, there were only a few canned goods left, including some green beans and chickpeas. This pantry continues to be heavily used during the winter months.
Thanks to Bill Sturm for stocking the pantry from January 1-14, which has included some extremely cold weather! Special thanks to Rod and Rosemary who took the next shift (January 25-28) and also encountered severely cold weather. Thanks to Jim Applegate for stocking the pantry from Jan. 29- Feb. 11, to Harry Mitchell for stocking from Feb. 12-25, and to Sheila Mack for stocking from Feb. 26-March 10. 
Upcoming Schedule:
March 11 - March 24: Ross Hodel
March 25 - April 7: Randy Erford
April 8 - April 21: Jason Huddleston
April 22 - May 5: Bill Kempiners
Micro Pantry Coordinator:  Allie Montney
Phone 217-494-6901 (for the quickest response, please text)
Things I've noticed that may be helpful:  Stocking the pantry on a weekend or after 4:00PM during the weekdays means less people and easier to get a parking spot.  Ask friends and family to donate unused household items for the pantry that you can collect.  If purchasing bags of fresh fruit or veggies, stock them individually so that more in need can take what they need.  It's going to be freezing outside soon, so consider if the items will no longer be good if frozen.  ALDI grocery stores have prices that cannot be beat. 
Volunteer Update
At our January 8 Board and Club meetings, President Travis reported that our 2023-2024 Club's Community Service Director, Madeline Boner had resigned as Community Service Director and from our Club because her job is requiring more work than she had anticipated. We wish her the best in her career and hope that she will be able to come back to us in the future when the duties of life and work are perhaps a little less demanding. We thank all the volunteers who gave and are giving generously of their time on service projects this fall and over the holiday season. Work on our ongoing service projects continues, and we thank all who have stepped up to help coordinate these activities.
Stocking our Little Libraries
Jason Huddleston ( and Allison Montney ( have taken on the important task of coordinating the stocking of our Little Libraries. We previously built a  series of Little Libraries with a support from a District Club Grant and secured a large number of books that were donated by a group in St. Louis. The books are stored in the Computer Banc warehouse. We thank new members Jason and Allison (far right in image to right) for taking on this important task. 
The image of the Little Library at Ridgely School (to the left) clearly shows that this little library needed to be regularly stocked. Thanks to Jason and Allison for coordinating this project and ensuring that it is well stocked. Let them know if you would like to help.
We also need to help keep our newest Little Library at the old Firehouse well stocked with books (image below)! We thank Kathryn Harris for her work and promotion for this Little Library, which is right across the street from her home! If you would like to help stock this little library and any of the others we have installed in Springfield, please contact Jason and Allison.
Stocking of the Ridgely School Micropantry
We previously installed a Micropantry at Ridgely Elementary School (our adopted school) with support from a District Grant. At our October 23 meeting, Allison Montney volunteered to coordinate the stocking of this micropantry with food, cleaning, and toiletry items. She has implemented a system for volunteers to sign up to stock the pantry for a two week period. If you would like to volunteer to stock this important and regularly used pantry, please let Allison know ( as soon as possible. More information is provided in Allie's article in this Newsletter. 
Flag Service
On September 12-15, Flag Service teams completed the last pick up of flags for 2023 following the commemoration of Patriot's Day (September 11). Teams picked up the flags and returned them to the warehouse. The teams consist primarily of Rotarians, but numerous family members assist Rotarians in this effort. Alec Tobias, son of Barry Tobias, often assists Barry. The image above shows Alec picking up flags in this final round for 2023. The image on the left shows Ross Hodel picking up flags, and the image below shows John Webb and Jim Theis returning flags to the warehouse.
At our September 18 meeting, President Travis extended a special thanks to all the individuals who participated in flag installation and pick in 2023. Please consider volunteering for the Flag Service project. There is much work to be done throughout the year. Bill Sturm relayed that there is a current need for volunteers to help replace faded flags with new ones and help transfer good flags from bent poles to new poles. If you are interested in assisting with this task please contract Bill Sturm ( Please contact John Loftus ( if you would like to help with any aspect of our Flag Service project. It's rewarding and raises lots of money for our community grants program!  
Citrus Campaign
As noted by our Warehouse Czar Bill Smith, this year's successful campaign had ended and has raised monies for our community grants program. We thank all the Rotarians who ordered and sold citrus, and all those who worked on the planning of the campaign and in the warehouse.
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 2023-2024 Rotary Membership Chair
Harry Mitchell
Record Your Service Hours and Contributions
Please remember to report your service hours and related contributions. Travis Magoulias has added the 2023-2024 Rotary Year to the form. You will be able to enter your hours now and correctly assign them to the correct Rotary Calendar year. 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.
Be sure to record the service you conducted over the holidays. The images below show Rotarians from our Club volunteering on holiday projects.
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