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Jacksonville Rotary Club Uses District Grant for Healthy Foods Distribution

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 By: Melissa Pantier

With support from a $2,000 Rotary District 6460 grant, and in collaboration with Passavant Area Hospital and Healthy Jacksonville, on April 9 the Jacksonville Rotary Club distributed 12,747 pounds of food (two truckloads) to 192 families from 19 area communities. The food distributed included milk, eggs, turkey, carrots, peppers, oranges, rice, bananas, and cabbage.

Lincoln Elementary School hosted the event. Attendees were provided with snacks as they waited: granola bars, Uncrustable sandwiches, string cheese, Gogurts, pretzels, juice boxes, bottled water, etc. Personal care items were also distributed during the event: 120 bars of soap, 80 toothpastes, 132 tooth brushes, and 60 deodorants. Laundry baskets were given to participants to carry food and then take home.

Volunteers working at the mobile food cart prepared and distributed samples of an entree (using foods available at the event) to participants as they waited. Copies of the recipe were given out to attendees.

A total of 81 people volunteered, from: the Jacksonville Rotary Club, the Jacksonville Interact Club, Passavant Area Hospital, Healthy Jacksonville, Nestle USA, several United Way Agencies, and the Jacksonville Police Department. Volunteers packaged and distributed food, directed parking, carried food to vehicles, directed attendees, and cooked food at the mobile food cart.

The Jacksonville Rotary Club thanks everyone who assisted with this project!  Thanks to District 6460 for the grant that made this project possible!  A special thanks goes out to Lincoln Elementary School principal Sue Lovdah and Lincoln Elementary teachers. Thanks to Pathway Services for the donated use of the forklift and the skilled driver who positioned the palates.


Jacksonville Rotary Club Uses District Grant to Donate Books to South School

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 By: Melissa Pantier

Thanks to a Literacy Grant from Rotary District 6460, the Jacksonville Rotary Club donated four books to every second grade student at South School in Jacksonville, earlier this year. At the school's Teacher Appreciation event, 2018-19 Rotary President Daphne Spradlin, and other Rotarians who regularly volunteer at South School, also presented baskets of school supplies to every South School teacher for use in their classrooms.

Rotarian Cathy Jo Littleton-Wahl said, “We want to thank District 6460 for the grant which made this book donation project possible. Our club has been able to conduct literacy projects at South School for several years with the help of grants from our Rotary District.”

According to Rotarian Linda Grojean, this grant-supported book presentation program is just one facet of a strong and vibrant Business Education Partnership between the club and the school. “We have a dedicated group of Rotarians who each volunteer up to four hours per week at South School.  Rotarians serve as tutors, classroom assistants, reading buddies, and mentors, supporting students as they improve their reading and math skills, and helping the teachers as needed in their classrooms. The Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce facilitates this valuable partnership between Rotary and South School.”

Littleton-Wahl said, “Rotary guest readers read the books aloud as they were presented to the students. The books are theirs to take home so they can practice reading skills with family members. Our goal is to help the children develop a personal library and a lifelong love of reading.”

This year’s guest readers were Rotarians Sharon Zuiderveld, Cathy Jo Littleton-Wahl, Karen Walker, Tony Williams, Jenna Tucker and Kaylob Tang, and Tudor, a Romanian exchange student who was sponsored by the Jacksonville Rotary Club this year.  Tudor also answered questions from the students about his home country and his experiences during his year-long exchange program in the United States.

Spradlin said, “We also presented the school with books that were signed by, and donated in honor of, every guest speaker who made a presentation at a noon Rotary meeting since July 1, 2018.”

Over the past decade, the club has provided books to students in all grades, an iPad mobile lab stocked with iPads for students to use in class, Staples gift cards for teachers to buy classroom supplies, an air purifier and medical supplies for the school nurse’s office, a copy machine, and support for other needs identified by the school. Rotarians help to conduct school carnival nights and family events at the school. South School educators reciprocate by volunteering at Oktoberfest, and supporting other club fundraisers.

Spradlin said, “The Jacksonville Rotary Club is grateful to the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce for facilitating this valuable partnership with South School.”  Littleton-Wahl also thanked South School principal Tim Chipman for leading the school’s participation in the partnership.


Jacksonville Rotary Club Uses District Grant for Healthy Foods Distribution

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 By: Melissa Pantier

With support from a $2,000 Rotary District 6460 grant, and in collaboration with Passavant Area Hospital and Healthy Jacksonville, on April 9 the Jacksonville Rotary Club distributed 12,747 pounds of food (two truckloads) to 192 families from 19 area communities. The food distributed included milk, eggs, turkey, carrots, peppers, oranges, rice, bananas, and cabbage.

Lincoln Elementary School hosted the event. Attendees were provided with snacks as they waited: granola bars, Uncrustable sandwiches, string cheese, Gogurts, pretzels, juice boxes, bottled water, etc. Personal care items were also distributed during the event: 120 bars of soap, 80 toothpastes, 132 tooth brushes, and 60 deodorants. Laundry baskets were given to participants to carry food and then take home.

Volunteers working at the mobile food cart prepared and distributed samples of an entree (using foods available at the event) to participants as they waited. Copies of the recipe were given out to attendees.

A total of 81 people volunteered, from: the Jacksonville Rotary Club, the Jacksonville Interact Club, Passavant Area Hospital, Healthy Jacksonville, Nestle USA, several United Way Agencies, and the Jacksonville Police Department. Volunteers packaged and distributed food, directed parking, carried food to vehicles, directed attendees, and cooked food at the mobile food cart.

The Jacksonville Rotary Club thanks everyone who assisted with this project!  Thanks to District 6460 for the grant that made this project possible!  A special thanks goes out to Lincoln Elementary School principal Sue Lovdah and Lincoln Elementary teachers. Thanks to Pathway Services for the donated use of the forklift and the skilled driver who positioned the palates.


Jacksonville Rotary Club Is Putting the “Elm” back in the Elm City

Monday, July 15, 2019 By: Melissa Pantier

The Jacksonville Rotary Club is undertaking a tree-planting campaign that aims to put the Elm back into the city’s historical nickname of Elm City. 

According to Rotarian Mike Flynn, “For years, Jacksonville was widely known as the Elm City because of our beautiful tree-lined streets and wooded parks. Over time, Jacksonville has lost many of its trees due to Dutch elm disease and a lack of an organized replanting program.  As a result, large gaps now appear in our tree canopy on many of our streets and parks. The Jacksonville Rotary Club is seeking donations from the community to help restore our city’s leafy past and make Jacksonville a green, eco-friendly city once again.”

Jacksonville Rotary President for 2018-19, Daphne Spradlin said, “Rotarians around the globe work diligently to improve the lives of others and to protect the environment. The Jacksonville Rotary Club is improving the environment in our community through this city-wide tree planting campaign.”

The Jacksonville Club recently planted an oak tree near the community's iconic Ferris Wheel, in honor of Rotary Exchange Student Tudor Christian Balint. The Club intends to make this an annual tradition, to honor our Exchange Students in this way.  We hope that others will plant trees in honor or in memory of friends and loved ones. 

Flynn said, “Elm trees are not the only variety of tree available. The Jacksonville Rotary Tree Project is planting high-quality, hardwood trees including new varieties of elms, oaks and hard maples. Rotarian volunteers plan to plant the trees in September, October, and November of each year."

Flynn said, “The cost of each tree is $250.  All donations are tax-deductible through the Jacksonville Rotary Foundation, and 100% of the money donated will stay in Jacksonville.”  Persons interested in donating in support of The Jacksonville Rotary Tree Project can do so through the Rotary website at jacksonvillerotary.org/rotary-trees, or by mailing a check to:

Jacksonville Rotary Foundation
c/o Chet Wynn

31 Book Lane
Jacksonville 62650

Anyone with questions about the program can contact Flynn at (217) 602-0327.

Flynn, quoting a famous Chinese proverb, said, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.”


Jacksonville Rotary Club Awards $5,000 in Scholarships

Monday, July 8, 2019 By: Melissa Pantier

The Jacksonville Rotary Club recently recognized the accomplishments of three area students by providing them with college scholarships totaling $5,000. Lauren Stidham and Lucas May were awarded the $2,000 Rotary Scholarship. Camri Anderson was awarded the $1,000 Staff Sergeant Matthew Weikert Memorial Scholarship. This is the seventh year of the Jacksonville Rotary Club Scholarship program. The Rotary Scholarships, made possible by Rotary Club fundraising efforts, are designed to not only recognize scholastic achievement, but also leadership, volunteerism and contributions to the community. The Weikert Scholarship, founded to honor the memory of Staff Sgt. Matthew Weikert, is funded by an anonymous donor and administered by the Jacksonville Rotary Club.

Jacksonville Rotary Club President Daphne Spradlin said the scholarships presented to Lauren Stidham and Lucas May were funded through the Rotary Club’s fundraisers, including its Oktoberfest, Valentine’s Dinner-Dance, and Bass Tournament.  Spradlin said, “We appreciate the community’s support for our fundraising programs, and we are proud to reinvest these donations as scholarships for future community leaders.”

Camri Anderson was awarded the $1,000 Staff Sergeant Matthew Weikert Memorial Scholarship.  Scholarship Committee Chair Allen Stare said, “Camri Anderson is an outstanding young woman who represents the qualities of leadership and service that will appropriately honor Staff Sergeant Weikert’s memory."  Present for the award were Rotarian Dick Weikert and Susan Weikert, Matthew's parents. 

In presenting the award to Anderson, Stare said, “This scholarship was established within the Jacksonville Rotary Club Foundation to honor the memory of Staff Sergeant Matthew W. Weikert, who was mortally wounded in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. Weikert, who was a member of the Jacksonville High School Class of 2000, joined the U.S. Marine Corps in August of 2001 serving three tours in Iraq over four years. He later joined the U.S. Army serving with the 101st Airborne completing a tour in Iraq and was deployed in Afghanistan at the time of his death.”  Stare continued, “Matthew Weikert personified the characteristics that Rotary values.  He was known for his leadership and his attitude of service above self.”

Stare said, “This scholarship is open to JHS seniors or alumni - including those who may be returning to school after years in the work force - who are interested in pursuing education or training through a community college or vocational program.”  An anonymous donor has provided the initial funding to establish the Staff Sergeant Matthew Weikert scholarship. The Jacksonville Rotary Club Foundation has and will accept tax-deductible donations from anyone interested in extending the scholarship’s availability.

More information about this topic can be obtained by visiting the Jacksonville Rotary Club web page at jacksonvillerotary.org/scholarships. 


District Newsletter – “4-Way Today”

District Events

Rotary Leadership Institute
September 21st 2019
More info

Rotary Family Day at the Ballpark
September 28th 2019
More info

Rotary Summit - Fort Wayne, IN
Oct 8th - Oct 13th 2019
More info

DCO (District Communications Officer) quarterly meeting
October 17th 2019
More info

Rotary District 6460 Conference 2019
Nov 1st - Nov 2nd 2019
More info

Midwest PETS
Mar 6th - Mar 8th 2020
More info

Zones 30-31 Honolulu Fellowship Event & Luau
June 7th 2020
More info