Rotary
About Rotary
The Rotary Club of Wheaton was founded in 1959 and is one of 70 clubs in District 6440, which makes up the Northeastern corner of Illinois and his home to Rotary International. Wheaton Rotary is a group of business and professional women and men who meet weekly, where the knowledge and experience of a guest speaker is shared and matters of interest are discussed.
 
The purpose of club fellowship is to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to help build goodwill and peace in the world. 
 
Rotary International connects over 1.4 million people of action from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.  For more information, visit WheatonRotary.org or Rotary.org.

December 3rd, 2023 End Polio Now and Paul Harris Society

At this week's meeting, we were honored to welcome Glenn Garlick, District 6440 End Polio Now Chair (and Libertyville Sunrise Rotary Club). Never tire of doing good! Also, Club member Ed Lowrie was recognized by Bill McGurr for achieving Paul Harris Society plus five. Ed, you inspire us! #ServiceAboveSelf

November 17th, 2023 Meals for Ukrainian Refugees

On Wednesday night, together with The Rotary Club of Glen Ellyn and 9 other District 6440 Rotary Clubs, our club members helped pack 30,000 meals for Ukrainian refugees. #ServiceAboveSelf
 

November 8th, 2023 My Heart's Appeal

Last week we welcomed Nancy and Herbert Hopkins from My Heart's Appeal, a nonprofit organization with the objective to facilitate the establishment of quality training and employment for teenage and adult persons with disabilities in West Africa. Right now, there are no laws in Liberia to help these disadvantage individuals. Thanks to Nancy and Herbert for sharing their stories!
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November 1st, 2023 Michelle Watkins Abundant Children & Family Services Agency

Last week we welcomed Michelle Watkins, president and CEO of Abundant Children & Family Services Agency of Wheaton. Michelle and her team of volunteers work with individuals and families in need; her compassion and energy are inspiring. #abundantcfsa

October 24th, 2023 World Polio Day

Today is World Polio Day. In 1985, Rotary launched PolioPlus and spearheaded the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Polio cases have dropped by over 99.9% since 1988. The Wheaton A.M. and Noon Clubs were honored to attend Wheaton's City Council meeting last week, when Mayor Phil Suess recognized and proclaimed Oct. 24th as World Polio Day 2023.

October 17th, 2023 Jeff Schuler speaks about Educational Opportunities

Last week the Wheaton noon club welcomed Community Unit School District 200 Superintendent of Schools Jeff Schuler. It was inspiring to hear about the educational opportunities for the children and youth in our district, and the commitment of teachers and educational leaders. Thank you! #YourCommunitySchools
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October 4th, 2023 Naomi's House Speaker

Thank you to Lolita Moser, who joined us today to share information about the important work of Naomi's House. Learn how the organization supports women who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation at www.naomishouse.org.
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October 3rd, 2023 Dinosaurs in Downtown

Today Club members came together with the Rotary Club of Wheaton A.M. to visit the dinosaur we sponsored in Downtown Wheaton (outside Wheaton Public Library). Be sure to check out the dinos around town before they stomp out on October 8!

September 29, 2023 Renee Pollino My Half Of The Sky

This week, we were honored to welcome Renee Pollino, founder and CEO of #myhalfofthesky coffee shop and bakery in Wheaton that equips, empowers, and employs women in order to give them hope and dignified work.

September 21, 2023 Downtown Wheaton Dinosaur Invasion

Have you heard about the Downtown Wheaton dinosaur invasion? Wheaton Rotary is a proud sponsor... be sure to stop by the Wheaton Public Library to see our 'saur at #1 on the map when they stomp into town on Monday!

September 6, 2023 Chantelle Porter

Thank you to the Honorable Chantelle Porter for educating us today about changes in the County’s Court System. You have an incredibly demanding job and we are grateful for your service! #ServiceAboveSelf

August 17, 2023 Dinos Downtown Wheaton

Wheaton Rotary is proud to support Downtown Wheaton Association's "Dinos Downtown Wheaton"!

August 9, 2023 Special Lunch Meeting at Egg'lectic Cafe'

We had a fantastic lunch meeting today, hosted at Wheaton's Egg'lectic Cafe', led by newly installed President Kelly Miller Coffey. World Relief Chicagoland's Executive Director Susan Sperry shared the inspiring work being done in DuPage County and specifically Wheaton to welcome, stabilize, and integrate refugees and immigrants in our community.

June 23, 2023 Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals

Earlier this month, club member Erica Loiacono ran the Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals and we raised $1,500 for their foundation! In turn, our club matched that and made a donation to our own Rotary International Foundation! She literally ran into another member, Tom Newman, on the race route! We LOVE what we do! #ServiceAboveSelf #WheatonRotary

July 26, 2023 New Member Dr. Brian Caputo

Welcome to our newest Rotarian, Dr. Brian Caputo! Brian is the President of the College of DuPage and has a heart for service. Welcome to Wheaton Rotary! #ServiceAboveSelf #WheatonRotary

June 19, 2023 "Rotary In Bloom" Hydrant

Go visit out “Rotary in Bloom” fire hydrant in front of Adams Park! This hydrant, and the other dozens of hydrants in downtown Wheaton, are our way of welcoming visitors who are enjoying the Andy Warhol exhibit at College of DuPage this summer!

March 31, 2023 COD celebrates long-standing area Rotary Club support

We love making an impact in our community! This project is also an example of Rotary Clubs coming together to make ab even bigger impact. Thank you to College of DuPage for the shoutout in your recent community report! Read more here: https://www.cod.edu/news/2022/october/area-rotary-gift.aspx #ServiceAboveSelf

Marlene Frisbie named 2025-26 District Governor

Congratulations to Marlene Frisbie for being named District Governor 2025-26! Marlene has been a member of the Woodstock club since June, 2015. She serves her club as chair of the Public Image Committee, and actively participates on the Christmas Clearinghouse committee, the club’s largest project serving over 1,100 families in the Woodstock school district. She has served as an Assistant Governor for District 6440 since 2020.

First 2023 Rotary Meeting Arrowhead

Happy New Year Rotarians and Friends! After a 2 week break for the holidays, we were back in person last week at Arrowhead Golf Club.
Thank you to our very own Bob McDonough for stepping in for a program on exercise, focus and awareness through yoga. I think some will appreciate no posting of pictures.
We will be meeting offsite this week at the College of DuPage’s Homeland Security Center. We will be back at Arrowhead Golf Club next week.

December 19, 2022 College of Dupage Fuel Pantry

This project is several years in the making but we did it - $10,000 to College of DuPage’s Fuel Pantry! Thank you to our member Betsy Adamowski for spearheading this important work. #ServiceAboveSelf

October 12, 2022 WPD Brew Trot Food Collection

We love feeding our community! Last weekend we collected food for People's Resource Center at the Warrenville Park District’s Brew Trot. Thank you to everyone for your generosity! #ServiceAboveSelf

October 3, 2022 Rotary Park Sign Update

Stop by the Rotary Park sign at the northeast corner of Roosevelt and Main St. in downtown Wheaton and see our incredible landscaping work! Thank you to member Sam Salahi for the design and to the Wheaton Park District for allowing these hardworking Rotarians to beautify the park and our signage! #ServiceAboveSelf

September 7th, 2022 Vickie Austin with Wheaton Chamber of Commerce

Today we welcomed a familiar face to the club, Vickie Austin, President and CEO of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce. Vickie filled us in on all the wonderful events happening, ways to engage and partnership opportunities with the Chamber and in our community.
We also had the pleasure of welcoming two new faces to our meeting today. Brothers William & Sebastian Colmenares are current Rotaractors in Venezuela and former Rotary Youth Exchange students. Sebastian was an exchange student in nearby Sycamore, IL and William spent his exchange year in France. Sebastian had the opportunity to regale us with stories of his time in the US.

August 8th, 2022 New Rotary President Stephanie Urchick

Congratulations to Stephanie Urchick on being named Rotary International President for the year 2024-25. She will be the 2nd female to hold that position in our organizations history.

August 5th, 2022 East Branch Dupage River Update

Thank you to Libby A'Hearne from Friends of the East Branch DuPage River Trail, (and assisted by our very own Steve Johnson) for the update on the status of the proposed walking/bike path connecting the Great Western Trail through the Illinois Prairie Path and finally connecting to the Morton Arboretum. This has been 6-7 years in the making and a few more to go before it becomes a reality.
For more information, you can check out Friends of the East Branch DuPage River Trail on their website at www.EastBranchTrail.org, their Facebook page (search for The Trail Between), or join their mailing list.

August 3rd 2022 New Books For Johnson Elementary

Today we donated hundreds of brand new books to Johnson Elementary to distribute to students at their Back to School Block Party this weekend. We are committed to supporting education and literacy! #ServiceAboveSelf #wheatonrotary #literacy

August 2nd, 2022 Packaged school supplies for District 200

Today we packaged up $12,000 of school supplies and backpacks for students in District 200 schools. We were so grateful to partner with the Student Excellence Foundation for Wheaton-Warrenville District 200 again this year to provide this support. Together we also gave 200 backpacks to the Warrenville churches to fill with supplies for this weekend’s block party at Johnson Elementary in Warrenville. This is hard work paying off! #ServiceAboveSelf #wheatonrotary

April 14, 2021 Rotary Meeting

Club Member, Thor Davidson updated our members on The Rotary Foundation and grant programs.

April 7, 2020 Meeting - We're back in-person!

We are back to meeting in-person! Thank you to Dr. Limaris Pueyo, Director of Equity and English Learners, for speaking to us about the important equity work taking place in Community Unit School District 200. Also thank you to Rotary District 6440 Governor Lyle Staab for visiting! #ServiceAboveSelf

Welcome Jorie Esser from the DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team

On February 24, our club met via Zoom and heard an excellent presentation from Jorie Esser with the DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team. Founded in 2011, the leadership team has a goal of reducing substance use and increasing mental health among DuPage County youth, 18 years and younger. Their work engages children and parents in the community in a variety of programming opportunities. 

Wheaton Rotary welcomes Jim Elliott with Diveheart

On February 3, Diveheart Founder Jim Elliott and Executive Director Tinamarie Hernandez joined our virtual Club meeting to share information about the organization, its mission and inspiring stories of impact. Diveheart is a nonprofit that offers supports and programming for children, adults and veterans with disabilities through adaptive scuba opportunities and scuba therapy. To learn more, visit diveheart.org.

Inspiring Others

Thank you to everyone who attended Christmas Inn 2018! This video, shown at the event, provides a look at some of the ways our club impacts the community--and the inspiration behind our efforts.
 
 

Rotary Club of Wheaton grants $15,000 to local charities

On June 7, the Rotary Club of Wheaton granted $15,000 to 11 local charities at the 3rd Annual Grant Recipient Lunch.
 
The Club also recognized the Wheaton Park District’s Sensory Garden & Play for All Playground after recently completing a $25,000 commitment to the district’s Sensory Garden & Play for All Park. Additionally, the Club granted Mercy Ships the $33,000 raised at the 2016 Annual Christmas Inn Fundraiser’s Fund A Need. Mercy Ships is an international organization dedicated to helping individuals living in poverty who need medical attention.
 
The Rotary Club of Wheaton has a long history of giving back to the community both locally and internationally. In addition to the above mentioned grants, the Club has supported students in their junior and senior years of college who are residents in District 200 with over $200,000 in scholarships in the last 20 years. The Club’s annual Fund A Need has raised and distributed nearly $125,000 for five projects that touched our hearts.
Club members work very hard to raise these fund but do not just stop at writing checks. Many of the club members have been on international trips, providing supplies, mixing cement and helping to build buildings - in other words, getting down and dirty.
 
One of the most recent trips was with several members who went to Mexico and Belize to distribute 280 wheelchairs, often lifting the broken and twisted bodies from the dusty plastic chairs that have no support into a wheelchair that gives them instant mobility. Long-time club member and past district governor Gordon Schrubbe has been a part of a Peru project for young at risk girls for many years that the club also supports annually.
 
The distribution of grant funds on June 7 represents a portion of what all of the club members have contributed to over the years. The $25,000 distributed to 11 local organizations was raised at the Club’s Annual Christmas Inn fundraiser and was given to the following organizations: CASA of DuPage County, Operation Safe Celebration, Friends of Therapeutic Equine Activities, Three Fires Council Boy Scouts, Synapse House, B.R. Ryall YMCA, DuPage Senior Citizens Council, DuPage Habitat for Humanity, NAMI DuPage, Friends of the DuPage County Fair, and Claire Woods Academy. 

Rotary Clubs of Wheaton Donate $20,000 to Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation

Through the swirl of color in the air, runners and spectators at the Wheaton Park District’s Fun Run in Color 2017 on April 22 saw two oversized checks.
 

They represented a $20,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Wheaton to the Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit developing the fully accessible Sensory Garden Playground at 2751 Navistar Dr. in Lisle. The funds will support efforts to build the playground’s next phase: a treehouse where children of all abilities can reach for the sky.

“It is all about service above self, the Rotary motto,” said Rotary Club of Wheaton AM member Jim Hebert. “The Fun Run [in Color] and other fundraising events enable us to effectively support many of our community not-for-profit organizations. We are especially pleased to support the Play For All [Playground & Garden] Foundation.”

Jim Hebert and Steve Charvat of the Wheaton Rotary Club presented their checks at the run’s after-party on Karlskoga Ave., which included DJ entertainment, vendors, post-race refreshments, and a series of final color throws. The race had kicked off at 9A with more than 1,000 runners and nearly 1,000 spectators, many dressed in colors drawing from all stripes of the rainbow.

Kristina Nemetz, Superintendent of Marketing & Special Events at the Wheaton Park District, said the district’s special events benefit the local economy and community.

“Each year, we give back more than $90,000 in event proceeds to nonprofits that make a difference in our community,” Nemetz said, “from CASA DuPage to The Cosley Foundation, Inc., DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation, Inc., and the Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation, in support of the Sensory Garden Playground.”

Charvat saw a chance to donate and have an impact.

“The Sensory Garden [Playground] project was a unique opportunity for our clubs to get behind from the very beginning,” he said. “Rotary prides itself on being part of a solution and making a difference in the lives of others. This project seemed ideal and we are pleased to be involved.”

Learn more about the Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation at playforalldupage.org.

Wheaton Rotary funds 2 years of mobile food pantries for District 200

READ THE FULL DAILY HERALD ARTICLE HERE. 
 
The Wheaton Rotary Club caught wind of the need and started fundraising to sponsor mobile food trucks for District 200 that would include eggs and milk, which come at a higher price. Each visit costs about $1,700 and feeds up to 250 families for a week.
 
"I said that we needed to do 12," Rotary President Sheri Billing said. "The reality is summer is the most important time because now these kids aren't going to school, they're not getting the breakfast, they're not getting the lunch, and they're probably not going to summer camp because there's probably not money to do that, either."
But the club went above and beyond, gathering enough money to fund two years' worth of mobile pantries that will serve the District 200 community.

Donation to Library

Our club was proud to donate a farmstand to the Wheaton Public Library's Children's Department. The children's department at the library is a dynamic, welcoming environment. Children have a vast selection of books to read and check-out; but the space is also a place for young children to learn through play. There are puzzles, maps and other pieces of furniture, like the fruit stand. The farmstand was created by Wheaton Rotarian, Tom Newman. As you can see, children are already enjoying the farmstand. Next up - a work bench!
 
 
 
 
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Jenifer Bystry
May 22, 2024
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