The Rotary Club of

October 19, 2023 Newsletter

On October 23, we will return to Maldaners for our Club meeting. Our guest speaker will be our inbound Rotary Exchange Student Nicholas Putra Sedijotoma (shown above holding the flag of his home country of Indonesia). On October 16, we enjoyed another off-site Social Night Club Meeting. We gathered at the Route 66 Motorheads Bar and Grill on the south side of Springfield. On October 9, Kevin Seals of Hanson Professional Services joined us at Maldaners and gave us an update on the Rail Improvements Project. For more information on all of these events see President's Comments below. 

Comments from President Travis
October 9 Club Meeting At Maldaners Upstairs
Kevin Seals of Hanson Professional Services presented a current update on the Springfield Rail Improvements Project. See the story below by John Webb on this informative presentation.
October 16 Social Night at Motorheads
We had a well-received social night at the Route 66 Motorheads Bar & Grill on October 16. The restaurant and museum are packed with historical memorabilia from Springfield. We enjoyed the food, good conversations, and a visit to the museum. 
October 23 Club Meeting at Maldaners
Be sure to join us on October 23 at Maldaners to learn more about our current Rotary Inbound Exchange Student. Nicholas Putra Sedijotoma (lead image) of East Java, Indonesia will tell us about his family and home life and current experiences as a high school student in Chatham. See upcoming events and programs for more information.
Plans to Revive Mentoring and Tutoring at Ridgely School
At our October 23 meeting, Club member Ken Gilmore will discuss plans to revive our long-term tutoring program at Ridgely Elementary School. Ken currently volunteers at Ridgely School and is a member of the District 186 School Board and the former Principal of Ridgely School. Please come to this meeting to learn more about this exciting opportunity to re-institute our tutoring program at our adopted school.
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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 ( 
Presentation on the Springfield Rail Improvements Project
I enjoyed an illuminating past to present walk-through of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project by Hanson Professional Services’ Chief Environmental Scientist Kevin Seals at the October 9 meeting of  our Rotary Club (image above). The presentation included overhead drone footage of the transportation corridor.
After more than a decade of work, this $500 million rail consolidation project is projected to come to an end in 2025.
The presentation included commentary and pictures about seven former home foundations from the 1908 race riots that were unearthed during construction. The riot was a catalyst for the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Race Riot site is now close to becoming part of the National Park System.
The overall Springfield Rail Improvements Project seeks to increase safety by reducing the number of at-grade crossings, reducing congestion and vehicle emissions, decreasing noise by creating a “quiet zone” for the rail corridor, and enhancing livability and commercial activity by diminishing the barriers created by rail lines through commercial and residential areas.
To see overhead drone footage and learn whatever you want to know about this project, checkout the Springfield Rail Improvements Project website at
World Polio Day!
Note: The following letter to the editor was sent to local newspapers to increase public awareness of World Polio Day and Rotary International’s and our Club’s role in the eradication of Polio. The letter was sent under the signature of Club President Travis Magoulias to the State Journal-Register, Illinois Times, Chatham Clarion, and South County Publications (based in Auburn and publishes seven weekly newspapers in central Illinois).
World Polio Day is Approaching – Lets Finish the Job of Eradicating Polio
To the Editor:
October 24 is World Polio Day. This day highlights global efforts toward a polio-free world and acknowledges the efforts of those attempting to eradicate polio within our world.
Rotary International is a partner within the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) that has made polio eradication possible. Rotary International and its GPEI partners have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide over the past 35 years. Only Pakistan and Afghanistan remain endemic with wild polio in 2023, and 80 percent of variant polio cases are in only four subnational regions.
However, wild polio continues to circulate in Pakistan and Afghanistan. All countries, therefore, remain at risk of having wild polio being imported within their borders. In other countries, polio variants present challenges that expose them to polio outbreaks. Finally, polio was identified recently in a New York State resident and in various New York State water supplies. This development demonstrates that efforts to identify and eliminate polio must remain vigilant. 
Polio eradication is challenging, but with sustained commitment it can happen. To this end, the Rotary Club of Springfield, Illinois continues to raise and donate monies to support Rotary International’s GPEI effort and to publicly advocate for polio’s eradication because polio still affects children worldwide.
As World Polio Day approaches, our Club encourages everyone to become involved and help make history by eliminating this paralyzing disease.  You can learn more about polio, efforts to eradicate it, and how you can get involved by visiting:
Travis Magoulias
Rotary Club of Springfield, IL
2023 Citrus Campaign is Underway
The annual Rotary Citrus Campaign is underway. Packets with information about this year’s campaign were passed out at our October 2 meeting. Citrus packets were mailed to members who were not at the meeting. The quality of last year’s citrus was outstanding and it provides hope that we can build on this success.
The price of the citrus will remain unchanged this year. The 40LB cartons are priced at $50.00 and the 20LB cartons are priced at $30.00. The cost of citrus has gone up significantly in recent years, and last year the price of the 40LB carton was increased by $5.00. The Citrus Committee is monitoring these increases but they are reluctant to raise the price so quickly after raising the price last year.

In selling citrus; the question remains: How do you convince a potential customer to buy a large quantity of citrus? First of all, the citrus will keep for an extended period of time, so it doesn’t have to be used in a short period. The oranges can last for five to six weeks; the grapefruit can last for ten to twelve weeks. If there is still resistance to buying the citrus, you can always present the idea of buying citrus for the foodbank. This choice provides citrus for food pantries, and the profit from the sale will be used to help other local charities. If you are still not sure how to sell citrus, you can always confer with Harry Mitchell who has for many years been a top sales person for the citrus campaigns.
The Citrus Campaign lasts for six weeks and concludes on Monday, November 13. Don’t wait to the last minute to get started.
After the sales are completed, 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 grove processes our order, picks the citrus, and immediately ships it to us.
For a copy of the 2023 Citrus Poster that you can show to or modify for your customers just click on the highlighted link, You can also download this poster from the "Download Files" section of the Website Home Page (
 Good luck in your efforts to sell citrus! 
We Need a YEO for Our New Exchange Student 
At our August 14 meeting, Director of Youth Services Bill Kempiners announced that our new inbound exchange student for the 2023-2024 school year had arrived in Springfield. His name is Nicholas Putra Sedijotomo, and he is from Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. Bill noted Nicholas goes by the nickname PS.  Bill already had the opportunity to show PS some of the highlights of Springfield including the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library (image above). PS is living in Chatham with his host family (Ryan and Amy Byers) and is going to Chatham High School. We enjoyed meeting him at our August 28 social night and at our September meetings at Maldaners. We look forward to getting to know this young man better.
At our September club meetings, Bill Kempiners noted that he is looking for a volunteer from our club to serve as the Youth Exchange Officer (YEO), who could help provide advice and supervision to PS. Please let Bill know if you are interested in this role and in helping PS have a great experience in his new surroundings.
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. 
October 23, 2023 Rotary Club Meeting, Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m. 
Nicholas Putra Sedijotomo, Inbound Rotary Exchange Student: My Background and Introduction to Springfield
Our Inbound Exchange Student from Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia will speak about his family and life in Indonesia and his first experiences in Springfield. He goes by the nickname PS, is going to Chatham High School, and Ryan and Amy Byers are serving as his host family. The image below shows PS with our Youth Services Director Bill Kempiners at our September 11 club meeting.
October 30, 2022  No Rotary Club Meeting
November 6, 2023 Rotary Club Meeting, Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
Robert Stuart: The Nepali Water Project 
Club member and past RI Director Bob Stuart will provide an update on our Nepali Water Project. This project is being funded through a Rotary International Grant. The image to the left shows Bob Stuart in Nepal working on a previous international project to provide earthquake relief in Nepal.
November 13, 2023 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs, 5:30 p.m.
Carmen Correa: My Experiences as Rotary Exchange Student in Germany
Outbound Rotary Exchange Student Carmen Correa will speak about her experiences in Germany during the 2022-2023 academic year. The image on the left shows Carmen at our Club Meeting with Bill Kempiners in 2022 before her trip to Germany.
November 20, 2023 Rotary Club Meeting at Maldeners, 5:30 p.m.
Speaker to be announced.
November 27, 2023 Rotary Off-Site Social Night, 5:30 p.m.
Location to be announced.
December 4, 2023, Rotary Club Meeting,  5:30 p.m.
Eric DolBeare: The Zambian Corn Project Update
Location and details to be announced.
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 Rotary Holiday Party, 5:30 p.m.
Christ the King Church Hall. Our musical entertainment will be provided by the Williamsville Jazz Band.
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 on October 24 at 9:00 a.m. before becoming volunteers. You should have let Madeline know by October 8 if you are interested in participating in the tour.
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.
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. 
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.
Stocking of the Ridgely School Micropantry
We previously installed a Micropantry at Ridgely Elementary School (our adopted school) with support from a District Grant. We are in dire need of volunteers to coordinate the stocking of this micropantry with food, cleaning, and toiletry items. We previously had a schedule where volunteers signed up to stock the pantry for a two week period. If you would like to volunteer to coordinate the stocking of this important and regularly used pantry, please let Madeline Boner or Travis Magoulias 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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