The Rotary Club of

January 14, 2023 Newsletter

Hope to see you at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast on January 16 at the Wyndham Springfield City Center! Gerald McWorter will be the keynote speaker (see stories below for more information). Remember that we will not be holding our regular club meeting at Maldaners on January 16.  

President Randy's Comments
Gibson Featured in January 9 Club Presentation
On Monday, January 9, we held our first regular meeting of 2023 and our very special guest was Gibson, a Labrador retriever who works as a Courthouse Facility Dog for the Sangamon County State’s Attorney's Office. Gibson was joined by his three professional handlers (image below), Tami Richmond (far right), Diane Bell (far left) and Holli Gleason (center).  They spoke about Gibson’s activities helping victims and witnesses of crimes, helping with forensic interviews and during trials. They also noted that during the height of the COVID pandemic, Gibson was loaned to our area hospitals and other medical facilities to comfort overburdened health professionals during that time of crisis.
Gibson was trained in St.Louis, Missouri, for his vocation by assistance dog organizations that are members of Assistance Dog International. 
Martin Luther King Breakfast on January 16
On Monday, January 16, there will be no regular Rotary meeting at Maldaners on Monday evening.  Instead, many of our members will be attending the annual Martin Luther King breakfast, hosted at the Windham Hotel downtown by the Frontiers Club of Springfield (see story below for more information).
Photos form Web Space Telescope Discussed at January 23 Club Meeting
Our next meeting on January 23 will feature as speaker John Martin, University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) Astrophyicist, who will discuss photos from the James Webb Space Telescope.  It promises to be an informative and fascinating presentation. 
2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast
January 16 at Wyndham Springfield
Frontiers International is again hosting the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast in Springfield. The event will be held on January 16, 2023 in the Wyndham Springfield City Center at 8:30 a.m. I sold $30 tickets to club members for the event. The deadline for purchasing tickets was January 3. You may email me ( if you have any questions about ticket availability. Please remember that we are not having our regular evening meeting at Maldaners on January 16.
We have two tables reserved for our Rotary Club members who purchased tickets, and I have some seats at my table as well. Our Rotary club is helping sponsor the event with an advertisement in the program. 
The keynote speaker is Dr. Gerald A. McWorter (Professor Alkalimat) (image on leftt) of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He will present "An Oasis of Freedom and Justice is the Dream." Dr. McWorter is the great great grandson of Free Frank McWorter, founder of New Philadelphia, the first town legally set up by an African American. After earning a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago, he has taught and lectured at many institutions including Fisk University, University of California, University of Peking, and University of Ghana. His activism in the Civil Rights Movement included being the Chairperson of SNCC in Chicago and working with Dr. King during his activities in Chicago. He is currently Professor Emeritus of African American Studies and Information Science at the University of Illinois. Recent books include New Philadelphia (2018), The History of Black Studies (2021), and The Future of Black Studies (2022). His next book will the The History and Future of Malcolm X
I hope to see you there!
No Club meeting on January 16
Good day, Rotarians.  There is one remaining change to meeting dates for the month of January.  The change is listed below.  If you have any questions, please contact me or Randy Erford for clarification.  We look forward to seeing you during future meetings.
There is no club meeting at Maldaner's Upstairs on January 16. See stories on attending the Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner on this date.
January 23, 2023 Meeting Link is inviting you to a scheduled Webex meeting on January 23, 2023.
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January 23, 2023 Meal Reservation
Our January 23, 2023 club meeting will be hybrid with the opportunity to dine in person at Maldaners Upstairs or dine at home by ordering a meal to pick up behind Maldaners. In either case, make a reservation!
All meals include the main course, sides, salad, and dessert. Take out meals are well packaged, and are hand delivered by Maldaner's staff, sometimes by Chef Michael Higgins!
Please make reservations for dining in or take out so we can estimate our food needs and so Maldaners knows you are coming. The deadline for reserving dinner for the January 23 meeting is Monday, January 23 at noon. Meals are $15 each. Please use the following link to make your reservations for the meal for dining in or pickup by clicking: 
For curbside takeout, please place your meal tickets or cash in an envelope with your name and “for Sheila Mack” on the outside of the envelope and give it to the Maldaners staff member that gives you your food. They will get the envelopes to Sheila Mack. Curbside pickup is between 4:45 and 5:15 p.m. To pick up food, turn into the alley behind the building and pick up the food at the back door. It's easy to pick up your food an the food is delicious!
Citrus Campaign 2022
This year’s Citrus Campaign is completed. The profits that will be available for community grants is about $11,000.00, which is the same as last year. The number of citrus cartons sold this year is up 3% from last year. We had hoped for improvement in profits, but we had higher than usual increases in the cost of the citrus due to inflation and a reduced crop resulting from the hurricane that hit Florida.
There was a broad participation in the campaign as 34 club members sold citrus this year. One former member, David Kromphardt, sold $300.00 of citrus to members of his club with a promise of greater participation next year. Five club members sold more than $1,000.00 of citrus; they are: Rod Buffington, Travis Magoulias, Bruce Strom, Harry Mitchell and me. For many years Harry Mitchell has been the top citrus sales person. This year with $5,720.00 of sales to 82 different customers, I am the top sales person.
This year’s campaign included all five Springfield Rotary clubs. This results in increased harmony between the clubs and a bigger citrus order which increases our buying power. We buy our citrus through Humphrey’s Market who also buys significant quantities of citrus. This arrangement gives us the best possible pricing for our purchase of citrus.
One last thought, we don’t just sell oranges and grapefruit, we sell Florida oranges and grapefruit. Through the years the Florida citrus has had a tradition for premium quality citrus. This year’s citrus provided the best oranges we have had in years to go along with the incredible grapefruit we get every year. This year’s citrus has added to the tradition of premium quality citrus from Florida.
Submitted by,
Bill Smith
Citrus Warehouse Manager
The image above shows Bill reporting to the club on the results of the Citrus Campaign at our January 9 club meeting. We all appreciate the amount of work our warehouse czar puts into the annual citrus sale. The stories below capture some of the immediate community benefits of this work! Thank you, Bill and all the participants in this fundraiser.
Oranges Donated to Central Illinois Foodbank
On December 7, the Rotary Clubs of Springfield donated oranges to the Central Illinois Foodbank as a part of the annual Citrus Sale Fundraiser. All five Rotary Clubs in Springfield participated in this year’s Citrus Sale. Three of the clubs—our club, Springfield Sunrise, and Springfield South—allowed Rotarians and their clients to purchase oranges specifically for donation to the Foodbank. This year, we donated 190 40-lb. cartons of oranges (image on left)—about 23,750 oranges. This is Rotary’s largest donation of oranges to the Foodbank since our club added the option to buy oranges for them in 2013.
Bonnie Styles and Bill Smith arranged for the Foodbank to pick up the donated oranges at Humphreys Market on December 7. Humphreys Market helps with the Rotary Citrus order from Florida, and Hope Humphrey joined the group (above image far right). Bill Smith (above image, second from right and image below), Warehouse Manager and overall logistics director for the citrus fundraiser, was interviewed for the Central Illinois Foodbank Newsletter by Tim Kirsininkas, Public Relations Manager for the Foodbank (above image second from left and image below). Ed Reynolds (above image, far left), truck driver for the Central Illinois Foodbank) also joined the group and helped load the oranges on the truck.
Bill Smith described the benefits of the program for Rotary, the Foodbank, and those in need of food. “It’s a win-win situation all around.” Customers buy nutritious citrus to eat and gift during the holiday season and also purchase oranges for donation to the Central Illinois Foodbank. The Foodbank delivers the oranges to other foodbanks who distribute them to those in need. The gift keeps giving because the proceeds from the sale of the oranges and grapefruit by Rotarians, including the oranges purchased for direct donation to the Foodbank, support Rotary community grants that help combat hunger, promote literacy, and meet other community needs.
Thank You from Ridgely School Principal
On December 11, Jennifer Butcher, the new Principal of Ridgely Elementary School sent the following note for our club:
Thank you Springfield Rotary! Last week, our third graders received their dictionaries and the entire school received the oranges you dropped off. We appreciate you so much!
Jennifer also sent images showing students with their new dictionaries (mage on left) and students enjoying the oranges (images below).
Both the dictionaries and oranges (from our annual citrus fundraiser) were purchased and donated by club members. We all thank all of those who donated for their generosity. 
Upcoming Programs and Events
January 16 — No Club Meeting at Maldaners; Members with ticktets are attending the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at the Wyndham Springfield City Center
Frontiers International is hosting the breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the Wyndham Springfield City Center. We are not having our regular club meeting on that day, and encouraged members to buy tickets to attend the breakfast. See the story above for more information. 
January 23 — Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
John Martin, Astrophysicist and Director of UIS Henry Barber Astronomy Laboratory will show the latest Pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope.
John Martin (image on left) is a stellar astrophysicist whose research interests include the life cycles of the most massive stars. He is Director of the Henry R. Barber Research Observatory, the host of University of Illinois Springfield Star Parties, and has taught astronomy and introductory physics a the University of Illinois Springfield since Fall 2006. John has degrees from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
January 30 — Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
President Randy Erford will host us for a Social Night . Please join us and get to know your Rotary friends even better.
February 6 - Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Mark Sirichote, our inbound Rotary exchange student, will speak about his experiences as a Rotary Exchange student. The image below shows Mark when he first arrived in Springfield.
February 13 – Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Laila Kim and Rebecca Graves will speak about the Mission and Impact of the YMCA on the Community and Goal for the Future.
Rebecca Graves is the Senior Director of Membership for the YMCA of Springfield. Rebecca currently oversees the Membership department operations for the YMCA of Springfield as well the driving energy behind event visibility as well as spreading community awareness on the benefits of membership with the YMCA.  
Rebecca began her Y career in Youth Development as a program director. She was responsible multiple summer camps, afterschool programs and youth and family events. This ignited her passion for creating a safe and inclusive environment for children and families that have experienced poverty and homelessness. During her time as a Youth Development Director, Rebecca was awarded Outstanding Program of the Year by the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs for the Matthew Project Camp.
Rebecca continues her involvement with the Matthew Project by volunteering as a mentor during the school year. 
When not at work, Rebecca enjoys live music, being outside and tending to her houseplants.
Laila Kim is the Senior Director of Health and Wellness for the YMCA of Springfield. Laila is responsible for managing all aspects of Health and Wellness from Weight and Cardio Room operation to Personal Training, Sports Performance, Group Fitness, and all Health & Wellness Programs at the Downtown, Kerasotes, and Lincoln branches. Laila comes to the YMCA of Springfield from LA Fitness where she served as the Illinois Regional Activities Director. She was responsible for the daily operation of the Group Exercise Department for South Illinois Territory which included Springfield, Bloomington, Bolingbrook, Joliet, Naperville, New Lenox, Tinley Park, and Oswego. Prior to that she held similar positions in Denmark, Europe, the country where she grew up. She immigrated to the US in 2014 and became a US citizen in 2019.
She holds degrees in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering and was in her teenage years a competitive gymnast and as a young adult a professional dancer. Laila is a certified personal trainer (NCCPT) specializing in corrective & restorative exercises (FMS), Sports Strength and Conditioning and has experience in teaching a wide variety of group fitness classes and holds certifications in Silver Sneakers, Aqua Fit, Yoga, Pilates, Les Mills, Kick Boxing, TRX suspension training, and more.
Laila believes that the human body should be viewed holistically and that there often are non-surgical ways to live a pain free and active life and that it is never too late to start a journey towards physical and mental health.
Laila says: "My job is my hobby. I love helping people reach their health & wellness goal whether it is losing weight, get stronger or be able to play with their grand kids. My job never feels like work because it is so rewarding to me. I know I am very fortunate to feel like this about my job."
February 20 – Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Gordon Davis, Founder, Whimsy Tea Company, will speak to our group. Details will be provided later.
February 27 – Rotary Foundation Night Dinner
Mark your calendar for our annual Foundation Night Dinner! Our club will be naming two Community Paul Harris Fellows, and each of our Rotary Circles will be naming a Paul Harris Fellow. Details will be provided later.
Thank You from Rutledge Youth Foundation
Happy New Year! The image below shows a Thank You note to all the Rotarians who participated in our Angel Tree this year.
We were able to provide gifts to a record 207 youth this year, and Rotary was a big part of that. These youth had a special Holiday dur to our Club's thoughtfulness and generosity.
Volunteering Continues 2023
Ridgely Little Pantry and Library!
Work stocking our Our Ridgely micro pantry (image above) and little library (image on left) continues and is especially important during these cold winter months. Please feel free to drop off any food/toiletries/cleaning supplies as you see fit. With this cold weather, families need these things now more than ever! We thank the Rotarians who have signed up for shifts stocking the micro pantry during the New Year. I encourage everyone to look at this list of Community Gardens and fill the pantry with local fresh fruits and vegetables whenever you're able ( You can see from the image on left, also provided by Vicki Megginson, the Little Library needs more books. If you want to sign up, let me know (Megan Reynolds <>).
Central Illinois Foodbank
We hope to schedule more sessions for volunteering at the Central Illinois Foodbank soon. Stay tuned.
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 is 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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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
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