The Rotary Club of

June 20, 2024 Newsletter

Please join us at Southwind Park on June 24 for our Installation Picnic. We will celebrate the outstanding work of our outgoing President, Travis Magoulias, and he will pass the Rotary gavel to our dynamic incoming President Megan Reynolds. Please attend this event! On June 17, we filled a whole room at Obed and Issac's for another great off-site social night. On June 10, we had a special presentation from Juneteenth, Inc. on the history and importance of this federal holiday in Springfield (see John Webb's story below). 

Comments from President Travis
June 10 Presentation on Juneteenth, Inc.
June 10 Presentation on Juneteeth
Cherena Douglass and Shymeka Kerr-Gregory (image on left), Co-Founders of Juneteenth, Inc. in Springfield gave a stirring presentation on the history and importance of Juneteeth to all Americans. They summarized the history of Juneteenth and the celebrations, which they argued had their origins in Springfield. They outlined the events taking place in Springfield this year and challenged our club members to get involved by volunteering and attending events. John Webb summarized their presentation in the article below.
June 17 Social Night at Obed and Issac's
I was sorry to miss the June 17 Social Night at Obed and Issac's Microbrewery and Eatery (image on right) in Springfield. I heard that they gave us our own room and that we had a good crowd. These social nights are proving to be a lot of fun and give us a chance to visit other restaurants in the Springfield area. 
June 24 Installation Picnic at Southwind Park
I hope you will join us at Southwind Park to celebrate our accomplishments during the 2023-2024 year. I appreciated the opportunity to serve as your President during this year, but I will be happy to pass the Rotary gavel to our President for the 2024-2025 Rotary Year, Megan Reynolds (image below). I hope you will be there to help welcome her and the new leadership team to the helm. We have reserved a covered pavilion outside at Southwind park for our catered picnic and installation ceremony. Please remember that no alcohol is allowed in Springfield parks. If the weather does not cooperate, we will move the event to Stone Creek Club House (2113 Brookstone, Springfield, IL 62711). I will send out a ClubRunner email to all members if we decide that we have to move indoors.  
No Club Meeting on July 1
We will not have a Rotary Club meeting on July 1. We will meet at Maldaner' upstairs on July 8, and Jim Applegate will speak about the Social Justice Sewing Academy. See Upcoming Programs and Events below.
A Parting Fun Fact 
You may miss my presentations of educational Fun Facts and not-so-educational Dad Jokes at the closing of each meeting. For those of you who were unable to attend my last official club meeting on June 10, I am including my last Fun Fact on Ketchup:
Tomato ketchup was used as medicine for 16 years. Whether you love it or hate it, this condiment once had a place in the world beyond hotdogs. However, you'd be surprised to know that ketchup only had tomatoes in it starting in 1834. Before that, ketchup was made with a mix of fish and mushrooms. When Dr. John Cooke Bennet added tomatoes to the mix, he claimed that the antioxidants gave it a medicinal property. He had a pill salesman turn his tomato ketchup into pills and claimed it could treat diarrhea, indigestion, jaundice, and rheumatism.
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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 ( 
Juneteenth, Inc. Presentation 
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is celebrated on June the 19th and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States after enslaved people in Galveston Bay, Texas were finally freed on June 19, 1865 (over two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863). Instituted into law as a holiday in 2021 by the federal government and the State of Illinois, it is our newest federal holiday.
On Monday, June 10th, our Club heard from the founders and co-directors of Juneteenth Inc.- Springfield, IL, Cherena Douglass and Shymeka Kerr-Gregory (image on left), about Juneteenth and its celebration in Springfield.
Juneteenth, Inc. aims to continue the Juneteenth Celebration in Springfield by expanding its efforts to eliminate racism through the education and celebration of Juneteenth.
Over a course of 8 days, beginning on June the 12th and running through the actual holiday on June the 19th, Springfield’s 30th Juneteenth Celebration utilized educational activities and entertainment to further cultivate our knowledge and awareness of Juneteenth, its history and its meaning and impact within our community. With the exception of the Juneteenth Youth Breakfast, all activities were FREE to the public. The schedule of events that took place in Springfield is summarized in the flyer below.
During the presentation, Co-Director Douglass noted that:
1. Springfield is the home of Abraham Lincoln, who as President issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which changed the legal status of slaves from enslaved to free. Springfield, therefore, rightfully can claim to be the home of Juneteenth due to Lincoln’s Springfield residency and presidential actions that freed all slaves.
2. Juneteenth continues to suffer from misconceptions about who can celebrate the holiday. It is not just a black holiday. Black history is our history, thus it can be celebrated by anyone and everyone, irrespective of their color.
3. While a celebration, Juneteenth is not just a party, but an opportunity to recognize the past, realize our future, and reimagine the present.
4. Morris Day and the Time are performing live during the Juneteenth Celebration. Being born in Springfield, Illinois and excited to play here, they expect him to totally show out for his performance.
Our Club commends Co-Directors Douglass and Kerr-Gregory and Juneteenth, Inc. for this event that provides everyone with the opportunity to participate in and celebrate Juneteenth/Freedom Day to the benefit of the community as a whole.
President Travis Magoulias was happy to present them with Rotary mugs (image below) and asked them both to consider joining the Rotary Club of Springfield. We would love to have them as members!
Club Board Supports Submission of RI Global Grant Proposal
At our Club Board meeting on June 10, Board members approved submission of a RI Global Grant proposal by David Fowler for a Computer Banc project. If funded the grant would expand the Computer Banc Learning Lab in Springfield including addition of 6 new workstation benches, enhanced climate control for the lab and storage area for computers and other electronics, and professional and architectural services for the design and build-out for a total budget of $100,000.
The expanded facility will offer more education and training opportunities for marginalized populations, displaced workers, and students from youth and adult programs to provide technical literacy and develop technical job skills. Trainees will build and refurbish computers for other nonprofits and schools in the U.S. and abroad. The Rotary Club of Bajamar has already agreed to serve as the international partner and provide 15% of the funds for the project. Two club members Harry Mitchell and Barry Tobias were approved to participate in the project as the required arbiters for the funds and ensure that all requirements of the grant are met.
David Fowler also described the project during the June 3 and 10 club meetings. 
Inbound Exchange Student PS travels to Western States
In June, Rotary District 6460 sponsored a trip to Phoenix, Las Vegas, and San Francisco for Inbound Exchange Students to learn more about western states and the west coast of the United States. Amy McPhee, the current host for our Club-sponsored exchange student provided this image of PS (far left in image below) with three other District 6460 Exchange students at the St Louis Airport for the launch of their adventure. Amy drove the students to the airport.
Host Families Desperately Needed for Rotary Foreign Exchange Students
At our June 10 board and club meetings, Bill Kempiners made another plea to help find host families for Rotary inbound (foreign) exchange students.  We still have not been able to find host families for 2024-2025 foreign exchange students that would be sponsored by our club (Springfield High School) and the Springfield South Club (Glenwood-Chatham High School). Bill announced that we have already lost one of the potential inbound students because of the failure to find a host family. If we find host families we may still be able to bring in one exchange student who would be able to start in the second semester of high school, spend the summer, and continue with the fall semester next year. This arrangement would require three hosts families.
Click on this Link for a Flyer that has been prepared, and I m asking that you send it to family, friends, and acquaintances to solicit their help in searching for potential  host families.  If your office allows you to post such notices, I ask that you also post it.  Share it on your Facebook page or other social media. Host families do not have to be Rotarians.
I appreciate any assistance you can provide.
Bill Kempiners
Building Peace/Fighting Racism
Editors Note: Jim Applegate will speak about the Social Justice Sewing Academy at our July 8 Club Meeting. Be sure to attend this meeting to learn more about this project.
The Rotary Peace Builders Committee secured grants from the Healing Racism in Illinois Program ( and the Rotary Literacy Grant program to create a partnership with the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) ( and The Outlet ( supporting an SJSA academy for the African American young men and boys (as well as some of their parents, grandparents, and young girls) served by The Outlet. The Outlet largely serves youth in families without present fathers.
For three nights about 25 participants (a) talked about what it means to be an African American male in Springfield and America (b) worked with SJSA staff and experienced quilters to translate the ideas and emotions sparked by those discussions into visual images imprinted onto quilt squares and (c) created artist statements expressing what their squares meant to them (images above and on left provided by The Outlet). Each of the young men were given a copy of the book “Stitching Stolen Lives” authored by one of our SJSA partners (image below provided by The Outlet) and a picture of themselves with their square.
These squares will be transformed into a beautiful full-sized quilt by SJSA. The Peace Builders Committee will organize community events where the quilt will be displayed, and the young men will be engaged to talk about their work with leaders and citizens across Springfield. The goal of these events is to spark community conversations about what Springfield needs to do to address the issues raised by these young men and their quilt and build greater peace in our community.
The Springfield Outlet/Rotary quilt also be on display at national quilting expositions and museums along with the estimated 45 other community quilts created to date by SJSA to give voice to those who are often not heard by their communities and country.
The insights and high level of engagement of participants was amazing to hear and see. One retired veteran teacher/quilter called it “one of the most meaningful things I have ever done.” Everyone involved from SJSA organizers to Outlet staff, to Rotary and quilter volunteers came away in awe of the young men’s work as well as energized and motivated to make sure their message was heard far and wide to spark change.
Order and Sell Tickets for the July 13 Family Day at the Ball Park
It is time for baseball fans to purchase tickets to the annual "Rotary Family Day at the Ball Park".  Thank you for purchasing tickets in the past.  Now is the time to place your order for the 2024 game on July 13 - 1:15 P.M. at Busch Stadium.
You can use traditional order form which you will print and mail to me with a check for payment by clicking ORDER FORM or for your convenience, place your order online and then pay via debit or credit card, Paypal or check by clicking ONLINE ORDER.
Nearly $600,000 has been raised over the 20 years of the program for Literacy Project within our schools and communities.
The Rotary club of Rotary District 6460 thank you for all the past games you attended, and we look forward to seeing you at Busch Stadium on July 13. Be sure to share this information with your friends and family so we can fill the stadium and raise more money to fund literacy projects in West Central Illinois. 
Thank you,
Rod Buffington
Coordinator - "Rotary Family Day at the Ball Park"
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. 
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
Join us for our Installation Picnic at Southwind Park, 4965 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, IL 62703. We have reserved an outdoor, covered pavilion for our catered picnic.  If it rains we will move to an indoor location in the Stone Creek Club House (2113 Brookstone, Springfield, IL 62711). If we decide we need to move inside, Travis Magoulias will send a ClubRunner email to all members to let them know. At this picnic, we will honor outgoing officers and other club members and install the officers for the 2024-2025 Rotary Year. 
July 1, 2024 No Rotary Club Meeting
Enjoy the Fourth of July holidays with family and friends.
July 8, 2024, Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Jim Applegate: the Social Justice Sewing Academy.
This will be a special meeting with special guests, including project partners and Rotary dignitaries. Please attend to learn more about this project and our club's Peace Building accomplishments.
July 15, 2024 No Rotary Club Meeting
July 22, 2024 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Speaker being finalized. Stay Tuned.  
Help Stock the Little Libraries
Little Libraries are free book exchanges that aim to expand book access within our communities. The prevailing concept of “take a book, share a book” reigns.
Our Club supports this literacy initiative and has helped build up the Little Library system in our community. We continue to help Little Libraries at six locations remain stocked with books. The locations are as follows:
1. St. John’s Breadline, 430 North 5th Street;
2. Springfield Firehouse No. 5/“The First Black Firehouse,” 1310 East Adams Street (shown in the image above);
3. Ridgely Elementary School, 2040 North 8th Street;
4. Enos Elementary School, 524 West Elliott Avenue;
5. iMagicNation site, 16th and Spruce, NorthEast corner; and,
6. The Outlet, 3306 South 6th Street.
On Tuesday June 4, Allie Montney and I visited these Little Libraries and added additional books to their existing stock (image on left and below). If you are interested in helping stock books, please contact Allie Montney at
Be a Food Pantry Superhero
Here's your chance to be a pantry superhero!  Join John Webb and I 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 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 the 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), The image below shows a fully stocked pantry.
The image below shows me stocking an empty micropantry on June 4. We will hopefully be developing a new schedule to cover summer. Let me know if you are interested in taking a shift.
Micro Pantry Coordinator:  Allie Montney with assistance from John Webb
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. Megan Reynolds has been coordinating some volunteer activities in the interim. 
April 26 United Way Spring Day of Action
Special thanks to the club members who volunteered at the Mini O'Beirne Crisis Nursery as a part of the United Way Day of Action. See article by John Webb for images of volunteers at this event.. 
Stocking our Little Libraries
Allison Montney ( and John Webb ( have joined forces to take 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. They have requested that club members bring in books to supplement the donated books stored in the Computer Banc warehouse. More information will be provided in a future Newsletter
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 Allison and John 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 Allison and John.
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 be re-establishing the system for volunteers to sign up to stock the pantry for a two week period, and John Webb has also volunteered to help with this project. 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
Please consider volunteering for the Flag Service project in 2024. We thank the volunteers who helped with charging the solar lights for the Memorial day installation and those who have already volunteered to take on responsibilities for this project.  
Flag Installation for the 2024 Memorial Day Holiday
Flags were installed for the Memorial Day Holiday (May 27, 2024) starting on May 20 and were completed by May 24. 
Flag Removal, Storage, and Final Deployment
Flags will be removed following the July 4 Holiday and will be stored in the warehouse until our final deployment in late August before Labor Day (September 2) and will remain in place until after Patriots Day (September 11). Then the flags will be removed and stored in the warehouse for the winter. 
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, the 2023 campaign was successful and 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.
The image shows Barry Tobias installing the conduit for a flag in May for a new customer for the 2024 Rotary Flag Service Project.
The images on the left and below show John Webb volunteering at the Animal Protective League's Donuts and Dogs Fundraiser. Service has its rewards, sometimes including a donut.
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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
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