The Rotary Club of

March 16, 2023 Newsletter

Rotary Night at the Symphony on March 10 was a great success. Our group loved the Illinois Symphony Orchestra performance of John Williams music. The image above shows part of our group.

Please join us for our club meeting on March 20 at Maldaners Upstairs. Our speaker Corey Kohlrus will talk about the Troxell Insurance Company, where he has worked for 15 years.   

President Randy's Comments
Rotary Night at the Symphony
As the lead image to this Newsletter shows, we had a successful and enjoyable Rotary Night at the Symphony on March 10. Special thanks to Harry Mitchell and Ross Hodel for suggesting and organizing this event. Thanks also to Loretta Meeks for sending this image of part of our group for the Newsletter.
March Madness Fundraiser
I hope you will participate in this annual Fundraiser for Polio Plus. We are grateful to Bill Smith and Bill Sturm for managing this fundraiser for our club and launching this year's drawing of teams. See Bill Smith's story below for more information on where we are in the process.
March 20 Speaker for Club Meeting 
Please join us at our club meeting on March 20 and hear Corey Kohlrus speak about the Troxell Insurance Company.  I hope to see you there.
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March Madness Fundraiser Underway
Thanks to everyone who participated in the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. On March 14, Bill Sturm and I drew teams for each person who participated in this event. On March 15, I sent everyone an attachment of the summary of teams in the tournament and who is assigned to each team via ClubRunner email. The teams highlighted in yellow in the attachment represent the four play-in games where the winner will qualify to play in the tournament. When we drew for each participant, we did not count drawing a play-in game against the selection of your teams. 

A quick overview to show who got the top teams based on the drawing is as follows:

Alabama ─   Bruce Storm
Houston ─ Sheila Mack
Kansas ─  Jim Theis
Purdue  ─  Tony Williams
Each entry on your behalf cost $15.00 and entitled you to two teams. You can make your payment for your teams now, or you can wait to see if you will have further participation in this event.

Thanks again for all who participated since we use the profits from this event to help eliminate polio.
Bill Smith
Barb Malany Service Above Self Award Luncheon
Reserve your spot now! On, March 2, 2023 Barb Malany of the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise will receive a prestigious Rotary International Service Above Self Award at a luncheon in Springfield. She will be only the third Rotarian in our District to receive this recognition. Previous Award Recipients were William Rutherford of the Rotary Club of Peoria (2005) and our own Rod Buffington of the Rotary Club of Springfield (2015). Your invitation (shown below) and a reservation form were emailed to you from our Club through ClubRunner on March 13. The Luncheon will be held at Christ the King Parish Hall, 1930 Barberry Drive in Springfield  on March 2 at 1:00 p.m. and will cost $25 per person.
Bonnie Styles will be collecting checks and reservation forms for our Club at our March 20 and March 27 meetings. She will bring copies of the invitation and reservation form to the March 20 meetings in case you did not receive the email copies. The reservation deadline is March 27 so get your check and reservation form to Bonnie soon. The reservation form also includes instructions on how to make a donation in Barb's honor to the Richard Morse Youth Exchange Scholarship Fund. Bonnie will also be collecting these checks, which should be made out to the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.  
Rod Buffington surprised Barb Malany with the news of the award after he gave a program for the Springfield Sunrise Club on March 8 (image below). Other dignitaries present at the club meeting, including District Governor Bill Durrall and PDG Dick Robinson (pictured below) presumably came to the meeting to hear Rod's presentation about his artwork!
The award recognizes Barb's extraordinary contributions to the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and numerous other programs involving youth. Don't miss this important event.
Rotary Foundation Night Presentations
We held our Rotary Foundation Night at Maldaners Upstairs on February 27, 2023. As the RI Foundation Chair for our Club, I had the pleasure of serving as master of ceremonies. Special thanks to Bonnie Styles for turning my script into this story and for Kathryn Harris for providing Bonnie with these images for the Newsletter.
                          Background on The Rotary Foundation
For the benefit of our guests, I provided a little background regarding the Rotary Foundation at our gathering:
  • Rotary was founded 1905 by Paul Harris.
  • The Rotary Foundation dates to 1917 and a gentleman named Arch Klump.
The Rotary Foundation Today
  • The Rotary Foundation distributes $100 million dollars in grants in a variety of forms.
  • Note that 478 of the grants were District Grants. These are the grants that return Foundation donations to local Districts around the world.  Our club has benefited from receiving a portion of our District funds almost every year for the past ten years to help with educational programs for Ridgley Elementary School and other entities and hunger prevention programs.
  • Polio eradication is one of the most visible Rotary programs.  The Foundation provided over $150 million dollars to the effort last Rotary year alone.
  • The Foundation funded 130 Peace Fellows in graduate programs at the 7 Peace Center Universities located around the world.
Polo Certificate Presentation
As pointed out, the eradication of Polio remains a top priority with our Foundation.  I asked Past District Governor and District Foundation Chair Brian Barstead to take a minute for a special presentation. Our largest fundraiser for Polio Plus is our March Madness lottery, chaired by Bill Smith and Bill Sturm. We asked both of them and Immediate Past President Barry Tobias to join Brian at the podium, and we recognized the contributions of Bill Smith and Bill Sturm to managing this fundraising  project for the eradication of Polio (image below).
            Multiple Levels of Donor Recognition
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 Paul Harris Fellow (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 1, 2, and finally 3 rubies. When a donor reaches $10,000, they become a major donor with a new recognition process. 
On Foundation Night, we recognized some of our members who have reached a new level as Paul Harris Fellows. President Randy Erford presented each member with their new pin:
  • Dave Fowler – Level 3, a pin with two sapphires (first image above). 
  • Joe O’Beirne – Level 3, a pin with two sapphires, but was not able to attend the event. 
  • John Loftus and Sheila Mack – Level 4, pin with three sapphires (second image above).
  • Vicki Megginson – Level 5, a pin with four sapphires (first image below). 
  • Joe Ludtke – Level 5, a pin with four sapphires, but unable to attend.
  • Harry Mitchell – Level 6, a pin with five sapphires.
  • Bruce Strom – Level 7, a pin with one ruby, but was unable to attend.
  • And we are very happy to recognize Tony Williams (2nd image below). Tony received a pin with three rubies. This marks Level 9, meaning Tony is just $1000 away from becoming a Major Donor. 
We thanked all these individuals for their ongoing support of the Rotary Foundation. 
Rotarian and Rotary Circle Presentations of Paul Harris Fellows
Rotarians may also name other members or nonmembers as a Paul Harris Fellow.  These are people who have had a meaningful impact and who represent our motto “service above self.”  On Foundation Night, we recognized seven individuals as new Paul Harris Fellows.  District Governor Bill Durall, District Governor Elect Neal Miller, and club president Randy Erford made the presentations.
  • Barry Tobias recognized his guest, Patsy Klekamp, as a Paul Harris Fellow (image below). He recognized his sister Patsy for her innovative strategies to engage residents of Concordia Village during the pandemic. She is the Independent Living and Lifestyles Enrichment Activities Coordinator at Concordia. She used a chair at the door of each person’s room as a lifeline for engagement and got the residents to write stories, which were shared in their Newsletter, read to others from the chairs, and ultimately published as a book. The chairs also were used to provide supplies and for other functions.
Several years ago, Rod Buffington implemented the concept of Paul Harris Fellow 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.  The members rotate for making that nomination. We now have six circles in our club.  On Foundation Night, we recognized the Paul Harris Fellow nominated from each Circle. 
  • Circle One (President’s Circle: Roger Randolph, Harry Mitchell, Jim Theis, Marty Michelson, Travis Magoulias). Circle Member Roger Randolph named Major Jeff Eddy of the Salvation Army in Springfield as a Paul Harris Fellow (image below).
  • Circle Two (Friendship Circle: Bonnie Styles, Bill Smith, Joe Ludtke, Sheila Mack, and Vicki Megginson). Circle Member Bonnie Styles recognized Club Member and Community Services Director Megan Reynolds as a Paul Harris Fellow, but Megan was unable to attend the event. Her  recognition will be presented later. 
  • Circle three (Fellowship Circle: Chuck Hunt, Bill Sturm, Bill Kempiners, Katherine Harris, Kirk Kellus). Chuck Hunt recognized our club’s Sergeant at Arms Kirk Kellus as a Paul Harris Fellow (image below).
  • Circle Four (Director’s Circle: Rod Buffington, Barry Tobias, Ross Hodel, Bruce Strom, Bob Stuart). Rod Buffington named Kimberly L. Jones as a Paul Harris Fellow (image below). Kimberly is the photographer who captures the true colors in Rod’s paintings and makes his prints, including the Rotary Theme prints.
  • Circle Five (Chancellor’s Circle: Dan Milligan, Joe O’Beirne, Loretta Meeks, Wendell Meeks, Naomi Lynn, John Loftus). Dan Milligan selected Dr. Richard Milligan as a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. Milligan is Dan's deceased twin brother. He was a dentist in Michigan. Unfortunately Dan was not able to attend the event. 
  • Circle Six (the 1913 Circle: Christine Banks, Nate Clemmer, Chris Atchison, Jim Applegate, Dave Fowler). Christine Banks named Pam Molitoris, Executive Director of the Central Illinois Foodbank as a Paul Harris Fellow (image below).
Community Paul Harris Fellows
For the past 28 years, the Rotary Club of Springfield has recognized members of our community who are not Rotarians.  These individuals have demonstrated in their vocation and their community involvement that they understand our motto “Service about self” and have made outstanding contributions to the community. On Foundation Night, we recognized two such individuals. 
This year’s nominating committee was chaired by Barry Tobias and included Bill Sturm, Loretta Meeks, and Ross Hodel.
  • Our first honoree was introduced by Bill Sturm. Bill escorted Joan Bortolon, President of Land of Lincoln Honor Flight Program, to the podium. The bio for this community fellow is provided in the following story in this newsletter.
  • Our second honoree was introduced by President Randy Erford.  Randy escorted Chris Richmond, Chairman of Moving Pillsbury Forward, to the podium. His bio is also provided in the story following this article.
We congratulated Joan and Chris, and thanked them for all that they are doing for the Springfield area and our fellow citizens.
That wrapped up our 2023 celebration! A good time was had by all!
2023 Community Paul Harris Fellows
As noted in the previous article our club selected two community Paul Harris Fellows. The biographies for these two outstanding community leaders are provided below. 
Joan Bortolon, President of Lincoln Land Honor Flight
Joan is the president of Lincoln Land Honor Flight. Her father, WWII veteran John Bortolon, was with the 101st airborne, rode gliders in Normandy on D-day, and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Joan's father passed in 2004, the year the WWII Memorial opened in Washington D.C.  Several years later Joan was contacted by Ray Wiede, who brought the program to Springfield, and she has been the face of the program ever since. For her efforts she has been nominated for the First Citizen Award. Joan has undergraduate and master’s degree in political science from Illinois State university. She worked for the state for 40 years, retiring in 2017.
There have been approximately 64 honor flights, which are free to veterans. Over 500 veterans and over 500 guardians have participated in the flights. Joan works from 35 to 40 hours each week on the Honor Flight Program and goes on each flight.  Each veteran is given a colored shirt designating the era of their service. WWII veterans (prior to 1946) wear blue shirts.  Korean War veterans (1947-1957) wear yellow shirts, and Vietnam (958-1975) veterans wear red shirts.  All of the veteran guardians wear green shirts.  There is currently a waiting list of about 500 veterans.  Any veteran with a terminal illness is given priority. Bill Sturm presented her with the Paul Harris Fellow recognition, and we thanked her for all her efforts with this exemplary program.
Chris Richmond, Chairman of Moving Pillsbury Forward
Chris Richmond is Springfield’s former Fire Marshall who retired in 2019 and has since spent nearly full-time volunteering as the lead person on a project of major complexity called Moving Pillsbury Forward (MPF). The goal of the project is to redevelop the blighted eyesore Pillsbury Mills 18-acre site in the NE part of Springfield.   
Chris is a Springfield native and graduate of Illinois State University. He is an independent consultant who works part-time to provide project design and management services to his clients. He served for 25 years with the Springfield Fire Department in the areas of emergency planning, smoke detector education, risk reduction, and community service outreach for the fire department. Since retirement in 2019, he has devoted almost full-time to Moving Pillsbury Forward, a not-for-profit group whose goal is to demolish and redevelop the Pillsbury Mill site. Chris is the Chairman and Treasurer of the group.  
He’s involved members of the neighborhood within one mile of the Pillsbury site to inform them of the MPF’s activities. He has considered historical and preservation information and has reached out to former Pillsbury workers in Springfield. This activity has required working with city, county, state, and federal agencies, and officials.  The complexities of the MPF environmental protection aspect and the legal complications encountered in this project are the tip-of-the-iceberg of activities they have completed.  Working with a small cast of volunteers he has gotten clear title on ownership of the site, and EPA approvals for the ground and building, so that a clear path of demolish lies ahead.   
Chris is active in the American Red Cross, South Central Illinois Chapter.  He is also on an advisory board at IL State University where he serves as a resident assistant.
Randy Erford presented Chris with the Paul Harris Fellow recognition and everyone thanked him for his exemplary work on this project.
Black Hawk School Literacy Project
Our 2022-2023 Literacy Project, funded through the District 6460 Baseball Program, is underway at Black Hawk Elementary School in Springfield. This week, Project Director Loretta Meeks delivered a check to the school representatives (image on left) to pay for books for an expansion of their Reading is Fundamental Program to include K-2 students.
As part of the project Rotarians in our Club will read the books to and with students in these grade levels. The image below shows the school's and the student's commitment to literacy. We are happy to help the Black Hawk Bees by purchasing new books and helping them with their reading.  
Help Us With Disaster Relief in Turkey

Dear Rotarians and Other Humanitarians:

You can help send hope around the world, specifically to Turkey.
In early February 2023 a devastating earthquake followed by powerful aftershocks struck Turkey. Rotarians in the Midwestern United States responded by partnering with Midwest Mission and the North Star Foundation to ship a container of food with the approval of the Turkey Consulate.
Following the Earthquake, a humanitarian team quickly put into place the resources for desperately needed supplies as they were requested from groups already working in Turkey on the rescue efforts. Within in 24 hours, through the support of the Springfield Rotary Foundation and their partnership with Baja Bridges in Mexico, Midwest Mission, and the North Star Foundation, we were able to ship the container of ready-to-eat meals to Turkey. Quick response is what's needed for disaster relief!
Monetary donations allow us to quickly buy supplies in bulk and buy what is specifically requested by our partners in Turkey. We will be sourcing medical supplies from local hospitals and in the tri-state area and purchasing other supplies needed for humanitarian aid such as blankets, solar lighting, and other items as requested. Our goal is to raise $125,000 to be used for supplies and shipping needed right away and in the future. Rotary International grants are allowing Rotary Clubs in Turkey to work directly with U.S. Clubs for projects that they deem necessary.
Please consider supporting Rotary Clubs around the world as we work together to provide needed relief to fellow Rotarians and families in Turkey.
Contribution checks may be addressed and mailed to:
Springfield Rotary Foundation
P.O. Box 615
Springfield, IL 62705
(memo line: Disaster Relief Fund)
David Fowler, Springfield Rotary Foundation, 217-553-3499
Katherine Turner, Baja Bridges, 916-832-8965
Bill Durrell, Rotary District 6460 Governor, 210-865-2064
Yours in Service,
Katherine Turner and David Fowler
Upcoming Programs and Events
March 20, 2023  — Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Corey Kohlrus: Troxell
Corey (image below) will speak about Troxell Insurance company, where he is in his 15th year. He specializes in Property and Casualty Insurance, both personal and commercial. He is also licensed in life and health insurance. He was born and raised in Springfield. He graduated from Sacred Heart Griffin High School and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.  He has three young children at home: Charlie (6), Henry (4) and Ella, who will be 2 in April.  He is raising them with his wife Courtney, and they have been married for almost 9 years. He earned his CIC (Certified Insurance Consultant) designation in 2020.
Mar 27, 2023 — Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Andrea Aggertt: Renovations to the IL State Capitol Building
Andrea Aggertt (image below) is the Architect of the Illinois State Capitol. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is licensed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Andrea grew up on a family farm near Effingham Illinois. She received her Bachelors of Science in Architecture from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Upon graduation she went to work for a Midwest-based Architecture-Engineering firm in Bloomington Illinois, where she led multi-million dollar projects in various sectors throughout the Midwest. In 2019, Andrea accepted the position of Architect of the Illinois State Capitol. She is tasked with developing and executing a long range plan for the complex to oversee repair, rehabilitation, construction, and renovation projects on the complex. 
Andrea enjoys playing golf, putting together puzzles, watching her kids play sports and being engaged in the community in her spare time.  During her time in Bloomington, she was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce Next Professional group and President of the Professional Women of McLean County. She was a part of the Salvation Army golf outing committee, treasurer for a local Cub Scout pack, and volunteered at her son’s school and their church. In the fall of 2019, Andrea was named one of the top 20 under 40 of Bloomington Normal. 
Andrea recently moved to Springfield Illinois with her husband, 11 year old son, and 5 year old daughter. Since relocating to Springfield, Andrea has been active in the local chapter of American Institute of Architects, volunteered with the Dana Thomas House Foundation Committee, and served as treasurer of her subdivision's Home Owners Association and a member of Illinois Women in Leadership.


Volunteer Update
Ridgely School Micropantry and Little Library!
Work stocking our Our Ridgely micropantry and little library continues and is especially important during these cold months. 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. With this cold weather, families need these things now more than ever!
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!
Central Illinois Foodbank
We hope to schedule more sessions for volunteering at the Central Illinois Foodbank soon. Stay tuned.
Flag Service
The Flag Service Committee is already meeting and volunteers are already at work. Please consider volunteering for this project. There is much work to be done!
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 Flag Service Project in January? The image below shows Barry Tobias 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.
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