The Rotary Club of

November 16, 2023 Newsletter

On November 13, Carmen Correa (lead image) described her Rotary exchange student experience in Germany (see President's Comments). Please join us for our club meetings at Maldaners Upstairs on November 20 and 27. On November 20, Laura Davis and John James will present on programs at Helping Hands and The Outlet and their interactions with our Rotary Club. On November 27, Sheila Walk of the Springfield Area Arts Council will present on their programs and services. See Upcoming Programs and Events for more information on both of these programs.

Comments from President Travis
Exchange Student Presentation at November 13 Club Meeting
On November 13, Carmen Correa (lead image and image below), a 2022-2023 academic year Rotary Outbound Exchange that we sponsored spoke about her mixed experiences as an exchange student in Germany. She presented the numerous wonderful experiences she had such as baking cookies with her host family and traveling with her host mother to Majorca (image below), and the wonderful trips that she had in Germany with the other exchange students in the same District. However, in the final analysis and after consultation with youth exchange personnel in Springfield, she left in the final quarter of her stay because of a lack of interaction with Rotarians in Germany, problems with the younger students in the lower grade she was assigned to in school, and loneliness during the long hours alone in her host home in the small community she was assigned to and its isolation from her school, larger cities, and her host parents work places. We complimented her for relaying the problems she encountered so that we can watch for them in the inbound students that come to Springfield and other outbound exchange students. 
November 20 and 27 Club Meetings 
Our next two club meetings will be held at Maldaners Upstairs and will feature great speakers. On November 20, we will hear from Laura Davis and John James about programs at Helping Hands and The Outlet and their interactions with our Rotary Club. On November 27, Sheila Walk will speak about the programs and services of the Springfield Area Arts Council. See Upcoming Programs and Events below for more details.
December 4 Club Meeting at Lincoln Land Community College
We will have a special program on December 4. Rotarian Eric Dolbeare will provide an update on the Zambian Corn Project. This meeting will be in the Kreher Agricultural Center at Lincoln Land Community College. Details are provided in Upcoming Programs and Events. Here is a link to an Airtable to make your reservation for the dinner:
Please click on the link above, enter the date 12/4/23, enter your name, number of attendees and enter the number of vegetarian meals, if any, you would like. It's that easy. We have to have a firm head count by 11/27, so the cut off for registration will be 11/26 at midnight. Please reserve your space early because we are inviting the other Springfield clubs to join us. 
Holiday Party will be on Tuesday, December 12
We will have a wonderful holiday gathering and meal at Christ the King Church Hall on December 12. Chef Randy will provide another great meal. We are tracking down alternative musical entertainment for the evening.
I created a registration page in Airtable for the Holiday Party as well. The timing on this isn't as pressing as there is not a hard cap on the number of attendees that can attend. However, please click on the link and register as soon as possible so we can start communicating with Randy, regarding the number of attendees. This event will run $40. Click on the link, enter the date (11/12/23), enter your name, enter the number of attendees and the number of vegetation meals desired and you are all set.  Here is the link:
If you have any questions, please let me know know.  
See Upcoming Programs and Events for Details.
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Reserve Your Maldaners Meals
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. 
Here is the link:
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 ( 
Annual Club Scholarships Announced
We received notifications from Lincoln Land Community College and University of Illinois Springfield that our club's annual scholarships have been awarded. The awards were formally announced at recent scholarship events. Bonnie Styles attended the two events and had the opportunity to meet one of the recipients.
Lincoln Land Community College selected Alyssa LeSeure (image to left) as the recipient of our club's $2000 2023-2024 John Giavaras Scholarship. Alyssa is a 2023 graduate of Glenwood High School. She began attending Lincoln Land Community College this fall as a business major. She is interested in exploring areas such as international affairs and accounting. She prides herself in her community service including serving her local food bank and the United Way. Throughout high school she volunteered, played recreational and competitive volleyball, participated in National Honor Society, and she worked part-time at locally owned businesses.
Alyssa expressed sincere gratitude for this scholarship, and said “it will undeniably change my educational future and many other aspects of my life. This will not only lower the cost of my education for me, but allow me to achieve my goals, help my family, and leave my mark on the world."
Alyssa relayed that her father lost his job right before the pandemic, and it caused her family financial hardship. “I had to get two jobs at 15 to have money for myself and to help out my parents.” She chose to attend community college because it was the best option financially. She further noted that the Rotary scholarship will allow her to pursue her education without as much financial stress, something she has had to deal with her whole life. After she finishes at Lincoln Land she hope to transfer to a four year college and be a first generation college graduate for her family.
Bonnie met Alyssa at the Lincoln Land Scholarship Donor Appreciation Reception on October 30 (image on left) and enjoyed speaking with her. Bonnie invited Alyssa to have dinner with members of the Rotary Club of Springfield at one of our meetings in the New Year and speak briefly about what the scholarship means to her. She said she would gladly speak to our club.
Bonnie attended the University of Illinois Springfield Scholarship Luncheon on November 8.  UIS selected Connor Emmons as the recipient of our Club’s 2023-2024 Francis W. Wenzel Memorial Scholarship ($2000). Connor is a Biology major at UIS. He chose this field of study because of a long-term interest in the subject. In high school, his favorite classes were Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology, genetics, and forensics. Given his interest in the human body, he recently decided that he would like to be a dentist. After he completes his undergraduate work at UIS, he hope to pursue dental school. Connor expressed sincere appreciation to the Rotary Club of Springfield for the scholarship. In his written materials, he indicated that he will use the monies for books, supplies, and incidental expenses. Although he was scheduled to attend the scholarship luncheon, he was unable to attend.  We look forward to meeting him later in the year.
Participate in Healing Illinois Regional Launch Event
At our November 13 club meeting, Megan Reynold told members about the upcoming United Way Healing Illinois Regional Event. Healing Illinois is a racial healing initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services in partnership with the Field Foundation of Illinois. They will be distributing $4.5 million in grants across the state of Illinois. Grants will be up to $15,000, with a maximum of $40,000 for collaborative projects. The United Way's Regional Event will be held on December 5 at the Lincoln Land Community College Trutter Center (2400 Millennium Drive) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you want to participate in this event you must register by Friday, December 1. Use the QR code to register. There is no cost and lunch will be provided. The purpose of the event is to provide information and training on this new grant opportunity that will help fund racial healing work in our community. The flyer included below provides more information. Megan handed out original flyers at our meeting. If you have any questions about registering, contact Megan Reynolds. Please let Megan know if you plan to attend this event.
Participate in the Rotary Blood Drive
At our November 13 club meeting, Megan Reynolds invited Rotarians to participate in the annual Rotary Blood Drive at the ImpactLife Donor Center in the Wabash Building (1999 Wabash Ave.). The Blood Drive runs from Monday, December 18 through Sunday, December 24. Information on donating is provided in the flyer included below. Megan works in this building, so stop by and say hello.  
Community Foundation "What's Next for the Next 10" Events
The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, in partnership with the University of Illinois Springfield and sponsorship by the Springfield Clinic, held  special events on November 6 and 7 for a 2-day Celebration of Progress on the collective commitment to our community’s future. At our encouragement, numerous club members participated in these events.
The first event was held on the evening of November 6 at the University of Illinois Springfield:
A Commitment to Local News | Press Forward Springfield
John Stremsterfer (image above); President and CEO, Community Foundation; and John Palfrey; President, John D. Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; announced that the Community Foundation was committing $1 million and the MacArthur Foundation is committing another $1 million for Press Forward Springfield, as part of a national initiative to strengthen communities and democracy by supporting local news and information.
Following this exciting announcement, Bernard Schoenburg, retired political writer & columnist led a panel discussion with journalism experts, including Evan Smith, Senior Advisor, Emerson Collective; Jennifer Kho, Executive Editor, Chicago Sun-Times; and Hannah Meisel, State Government & Politics Reporter, Capitol News Illinois.
There were two programs on Tuesday, November 7. The first was held in the morning at Memorial Learning Center.
Participating in the Next Technology Revolution: A Conversation with Cully Davis
In the morning, Cully Davis, Vice Chairman for Equity Private Markets at Jeffries, led a conversation on how we can work together to ensure that our region is positioned to take advantage of coming technology transformations. Cully is a Springfield native who has helped transform the modern tech sector. He has worked with businesses including Google, Groupon, Lyft, NetSuite, and SunPower.
The final event was held in the evening at the Ace Sign Company Museum.
The Next 10 PechaKucha
It was a fast-paced fun-filled event as PechaKucha returned to Springfield with a special focus on The Next 10!
Inspired by the idea of “talking less and showing more,” PechaKucha is a storytelling format in which a presenter shows 20 slides with 20 seconds of commentary for each slide.
Our club members enjoyed brief updates on a whole series of ongoing projects in Springfield. All of the participants did excellent jobs presenting on their topics and staying within the time frame.
Presenters included: 
J. Chris Richmond and Polly Poskin (image below), President/Vice President, Moving Pillsbury Forward, Taking Control...An Inspiring Whole Community Effort

Randy Duncan, Abraham Lincoln Presenter, Being Lincoln: Things I've Learned

Josh Sabo (image below), Executive Director, Heartland HOUSED, Homelessness is Solvable

Julie Staley (image below), CEO of Spencer Films; Emmy Award-Winning Journalist; Director/Producer/Writer “Fields of Gold: Documenting 150 Years of History”

Dominic Watson (image below), President, The Springfield Project and Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce, Community Access Project 1908: Moving Southtown Forward

Amy Beadle, Marketing Manager, Visit Springfield, Springfield Unique Facts and Folks

Andrea Aggertt, Director, Office of the Architect of the Capitol, Restoring the Future, Respecting the Past

Jamie Toole, Chief Storyteller, Springfield Lucky Horseshoes, Baseball is Our Platform, Not Our Purpose

Rob Kerr, Executive Director of Innovation and Opportunity, UIS, Igniting Ideas: The Blueprint for the UIS Innovation Center
Chris Camp (image below), Entertainer, The Whip Guy, Whipped it! Whipped it Good!
Club members who participated agreed that sessions were informative and exciting.
Computer Lab for Helping Hands
Springfield Rotary Club Wins Grant to Address Homelessness 
The Rotary Club of Springfield has won a grant from Rotary District 6460 to help eradicate homelessness in Springfield. We are proud to partner with Central Baptist Church to equip a computer lab for the clients of Helping Hands of Springfield and be a part of the Heartland Housed collaborative effort to eradicate homelessness in Springfield in 5 years. The Club’s Peace Committee led this effort and is part of an international Rotary commitment to reducing the causes of inequity and conflict in our communities. The Peace Committee met with numerous community groups before focusing a major part of its current solutions-oriented work on this partnership. 
The lab will enable clients to learn basic computer skills, do job searches, write resumes, submit job applications, stay in contact with families and, for young clients, succeed in completing their schoolwork. We will continue to work with Helping Hands to support its clients through personal engagement and involvement in Rotary service projects. Rotary is committed to working with those healing the wound of homelessness in our community rather than applying band aids to it.
We submitted a media alert to local newspapers and television and radio stations to generate some press coverage for the project. If you have any contacts that would help us get coverage, please let me know.
For more information please contact:
Dr. Jim Applegate, Co-Chair, Peace Committee of the Rotary Club of Springfield
2023 Citrus Campaign 
The sales part of the annual Rotary Citrus Campaign has been completed. As you already know from my email, we are securing our oranges from another state this year because the orange crop from the Florida Grove we usually procure from was severely damaged by draught conditions. Humphrey's market worked with us to find an alternate source.

The sales part of the Citrus Campaign lasted for six weeks and concluded on Monday, November 13. If you didn't make that deadline, give me a call because we need to work it out before I have to place the order.
After the completion of sales, the order is placed with Humphrey’s Market. This is a joint effort with the other four Springfield clubs. The increased volume results in a lower cost for the citrus. The citrus groves process our orders, pick the citrus, and immediately ship it to us.
Once the orders arrive, then work in the warehouse begins. We will need volunteers to make the mixed boxes of fruit and to help load citrus into the cars of customers on our delivery days.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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. 
November 20, 2023 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldeners, 5:30 p.m.
Laura Davis, Helping Hands, and John James, The Outlet: Helping Hands and Outlet Programs and Interactions with Rotary 
Laura and John will discuss programs at their facilities and new interactions with our Rotary Club through the Peace Committee.
November 27, 2023 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners, 5:30 p.m.
Sheila Walk: Springfield Area Arts Council Programs and Services
Sheila, Executive Director of the Springfield Area Arts Council, will provide us with an overview of the programs and services that they provide to our community.
December 4, 2023, Off-Site Rotary Club Meeting at Lincoln Land's Kreher Agricultural Center,  4:00-7:00 p.m.
Eric Dolbeare: The Zambian Corn Project Update
We are inviting other Springfield Club's to join us for the presentation on this international project. There will be a catered dinner. Here is a link to an Airtable to make your reservation for the dinner:
Please click on the link above, enter the date 12/4/23, enter your name, number of attendees and enter the number of vegetarian meals, if any, you would like. It's that easy. We have to have a firm head count by 11/27, so the cut off for registration will be 11/26 at midnight. Be certain to sign up right a way because the audience will be limited to 50 individuals. The menu and price for the dinner will be determined later, but will be reasonable.
There are parking lots on both sides of the Agricultural Center.
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 Rotary Holiday Party, 5:30 p.m. (Please note that we are not meeting at Maldaners on December 11!)
We will gather at the Christ the King Church Hall. The Williamsville Jazz Band had to cancel their engagement with us because of conflicts with Madrigal rehearsal. We will are looking for a musical group to perform. Please let Travis Magoulias and Rod Buffington know if you have any suggestions.
Travis created a registration page in Airtable for the Holiday Party as well. The timing on this isn't as pressing as there is not a hard cap on the number of attendees that can attend. However, please click on the link and register as soon as possible so we can start communicating with Randy, regarding the number of attendees. This event will run $40. Click on the link, enter the date (11/12/23), enter your name, enter the number of attendees and the number of vegetation meals desired and you are all set.  Here is the link:
If you have any questions, please let Travis know.  
December 18, 2023 No Rotary Club Meeting
December 25, 2023 No Rotary Club Meeting
Volunteer Update
As our Club's Community Service Director, Madeline Boner (shown standing in image above) is working with her predecessor in this role, her sister Megan Reynolds (shown seated in the image above), who has become our President-Elect. We are in the process of exploring some new volunteer opportunities, and some are discussed below along with some of our ongoing volunteer projects. We thank all the volunteers who gave and are giving generously of their time on service projects this fall. If you have ideas for service projects, please contact Madeline at
HSHS Mission Outreach
As Madeline reported at our October 2 meeting, we are working with HSHS Mission Outreach on some volunteer opportunities. They have requested that potential volunteers participate in a tour of their warehouse facility before becoming volunteers. Stay tuned for more information.
Kumler Outreach Ministries, Helping Hands, Compass for Kids
We are exploring volunteer opportunities with all of these groups. Some of the volunteer opportunities for Helping Hands are described in Jim Applegate's second article on Peace Committee Recommendations in this Newsletter. Madeline will provide more information soon.
Angel Tree Gifts for Rutledge Youth
Marty Michelson will be providing us information on this annual project soon. You will have the opportunity to select angel cut-outs that will provide you with the child's name, age, sizes, and wish list. It's always fun buying holiday gifts for these children. More details will be provided soon.
One Stop Holiday Shop
Megan Reynolds will provide us with information on this volunteer opportunity.
Important Update on Stocking our Little Libraries
At our October 2 meeting, Bill Kempiners reported that 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 needs to be regularly stocked. Please let Jason and Allison know if you would like to help stock this important Little Library. 
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.
Important Update on 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 will develop a schedule 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. 
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.
Following a new tradition established this year, Ross Hodel and John Webb celebrated the last installation and pick up for 2023 by having ice cream, and this time they invited Jim Theis to join them (image below). Volunteering is fun!
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!  
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 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.
The image on the left shows Barry and Alec Tobias building a Lock Box to hold the Club's audiovisual equipment when it is stored at Maldaners. Special thanks are due to Barry and Alec for volunteering to build the box (image below). 
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