Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Rotary Foundation
Service Projects
Fund Raising

Bulletin Subscribe

Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.

Welcome to our Club

Welcome to our Club!


Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Steve Ryan Community Center
501 N Fourth St.
Kentland, IN  47951
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
Bicentennial Torch Discussed at Kentland Rotary
On Monday, September 26, Larry Lyons of Brook discussed his role as the coordinator for the Newton County section of the running of the Indiana Bicentennial Torch.  The torch has 10 runners representing the South Newton School District including John Frischie and his wife Sue.  The torch is scheduled to be handed off from Jasper County near Fair Oaks at 1:00 on Tuesday October 11, and then after passing through various towns in Newton County, it is anticipated to take a lap around the Newton County courthouse in Kentland between 2:30 and 3:15 before being passed on to Benton County around 3:30.  Mr. Lyons discussed his memories of events that took place here in Kentland for the United States Bicentennial and why his role in that local event helped inspire him to take on this role.  In the presentation he named all of the 10 runners and how they have all been very active in their communities in making an impact and contributing in various projects over the years.
Larry Lyons, Newton County Coordinator, John Frischie Kentland Rotarian and Runner of the Torch.



Rotary District 6540 Governor Ranjan Kini Visit
Rotary District 6540 District Governor visited the Kentland Rotary Club on September 12.  He was joined by his wife Nivi and Gina VanBaren District Assistant Governor.  Governor Kini met with Kentland Board member at 11:00 am and reviewed club goals and projects.  He outlined the District Goals for membership, projects and the Rotary Foundation.  President Leahy shared Club projects and presented a check for $126.50 for the District Foundation Dinner.  The $26.50 was significant because Arch Klump started the Rotary International Foundation with $26.50 that remained after a Convention.
Governor Kini presented a multi-media program during the regular meeting.  He shared a touching story about visiting a near-by park when he was in middle school in India.  Each piece of playground equipment had a Rotary wheel attached.  Many years later and several universities he joined the staff at IU in Gary and walked by a room full of people having fun.  He noticed the Rotary wheel and when the meeting adjourned he asked one of the members about the wheel.  That was when he began his Rotary career.
Governor Ranjan also shared details about the Foundation Dinner on September 30, 2016 and the District Conference at Blue Chip Casino in April.

The winner of the "Early Bird" Rotary truck raffle drawing is John and Judy Taylor of Brook, Indiana. Congratulations. Less than 44 tickets remain today August 17, 2017. The $2,000.00 winner was drawn at the August 6 Rotary Pancake Breakfast. Thanks to all of those that joined the Rotarians for breakfast. Your generous donations will provide for $800.00 in Community Service projects.

August 15, 2016
South Newton's new football coach, Brad Bevis, with senior players Craig Wheelock and Josh Messersmith, visited the Kentland Rotary Club's Monday noon luncheon meeting.  Bevis, who served as retiring coach Bell's defensive coordinator for the last three seasons, spoke of the desire to continue the South Newton football tradition with its emphasis on producing productive citizens.  
Since last year's team graduated 16 seniors and there are only four returning lettermen, this year's squad will have its work cut out for it.  They will be playing their first game this coming Friday at North Newton High School.  North Newton will also be a team playing with some inexperienced players.  Plan on supporting the Rebels.  
Kentland Rotary completed a busy week.  Members prepared and served 140 community members breakfast on Saturday August 6.  Thanks to Murphy’s, Hanford Packing, and the Town of Kentland for supporting our efforts.   The “Early Bird” drawing winner was John and Judy Taylor of Brook.  Only 43 tickets remain to be sold.
On August 12 and 13 eight Kentland Rotarians joined the S.A.W. S team to build a wheel chair ramp in Remington.  Thanks to Tim Lohr for organizing the team and Doug Morgan, Jim Schoen, Steve Portteus, Jay Brinkman, Henry Senefelder, and John Frischie
Photo (from left to right): pulling guard Josh Messersmith, coach Brad Bevis, wingback Craig Wheelock, and Rotarian Brandt Stum.   


Representatives from IMH shared important information regarding immunizations.  Mel Ward hosted the program.


On Monday July 18, the Kentland Rotary Club held their weekly meeting at the Newton County Stone Quarry.  Susan Daniel who works for the Roger's Group and is a Rotary member had the program and gave the club the nickel tour of the facility. Rich Miller, quality control manager for the quarry, gave explanations about the various types of stone products that the company produces and the plant trip ended with a visit to the observation deck overlooking the massive excavation.  In other news the club reported that they have sold 253 of their truck raffle tickets for this year's drawing.  A new twist to the raffle this year is that they are having an early bird drawing at a community pancake breakfast on August 6th to be held at the community center from 7:00 to 10:30 AM.  At 10:30 one lucky winner will be pulled from all the tickets that have been sold up until that time for a $2,000 prize.  In addition, the early bird winning ticket is then thrown back into the drawing where 10 lucky winners will be awarded prize money during the Earl Park Fall Festival.  The Kentland Rotary club uses the fund raiser to support education scholarships for South Newton High School graduates and their adult scholarship program, along with sponsorship to the districts Rotary Youth Leadership camp held annually at Camp Tecumseh for South Newton Sophomores.   Since the raffle was begun, the club has awarded over $199,000 in scholarships and has sent well over 50 students to the 3 day camp.


Wabash Valley Alliance COO visits Kentland Rotary

On Monday June 6, 2016 Tom Gillion – COO of Wabash Valley Alliance was the guest of Rotarian Darrell Fredrickson.
Gillion, member of the Lafayette Daybreak Rotary club shared that since 1938, Wabash Valley Alliance, Inc. has provided treatment for thousands of adults, adolescents, and children suffering from mental illness, severe emotional turmoil, chemical dependence, and the inability to cope with the demands of everyday life. Today, Wabash Valley Alliance utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach that includes a broad continuum of services:
  • Outpatient
  • Residential
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Consultation and Education
  • EAP (Employee Assistance Program)
Wabash Valley Alliance has a strong connection with Newton County by the funding that is provided through ‘tipping fees’ and a unique program that targets those who commit domestic violence. PHOTO BY ED VAN WIJK


Scholarship Recipients visit Kentland Rotary


From L to R: Deseray Hicks, Karlie Mattox, Morgan Stewart (Photo by Roberta Dewing)


 Kentland Rotarians were visited on Monday, June 20 by three of the six Rotary High School Scholarship Recipients, Deseray Hicks, Morgan Stewart & Karlie Mattox.  The young women introduced themselves  along with what schools they will be attending & the course of study they plan to pursue.  This year, Kentland Rotary Club awarded $9,000 in scholarships to South Newton graduating seniors.  The community support of the Rotary Club's  annual Truck Raffle goes toward funding for scholarships of graduating South Newton Seniors & scholarships for adults to continue their education.





Kentland Rotary learns about agBOT Challenge
Seniors Lucas Clifford, Kurt Vissering and Alex Vitous along with South Newton teacher Drake Babcock showed off their agBOT Challenge project to the Kentland Rotary Club May 23. The South Newton/Purdue team took second in the competition and was awarded $30,000. The agBOT Challenge is a competition of teams to develop the most efficient unmanned crop seeder capable of planting two varieties of seed over half-mile-long rows, while providing real-time data utilizing a mobile tracking antenna. Participating teams, representing advanced robotics and agricultural research and development organizations, will develop the hardware, software, sensors, and human-machine control interfaces that enable their robots. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS


South Newton sophomores share about RYLA



Five sophomores from South Newton recently attended a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp. Shown from left speaking at a Kentland Rotary Club meeting May 9 about their camp experience are Austin Berenda, Jay Hammel, Maggie Mulligan, Tess Patterson and Cheyenne Deno. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



We Pledge Allegiance...

Portteus gives presentation on the United States Flag

Rotarian Steve Portteus gave a program on the United States Flag at the Kentland Rotary Club meeting April 25. Portteus gave the history behind the flag and proper etiquette of presenting the country’s symbol. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Youth in Government and Business Day

The Kentland Rotary Club sponsored Youth in Government & Business Day April 18 to expose students to the world of local government and business. During the morning, high school students from South Newton job shadowed local county officials and participating business leaders. 
At noon the students, the county officials, and business leaders joined the Rotary and Kentland Area Chamber of Commerce members for lunch.  After the meal the students spoke briefly about themselves and the offices they visited.  Kentland Rotary Club has been sponsoring Youth in Government & Business Day for over seventeen years.  Roberta Dewing, chairperson of the Scholarship Committee, appreciates the support of Kellie Harvey, teacher at South Newton, the school corporation, local county officials, and business leaders who participated in this activity.  Any county official or business wishing to participate next year may contact Roberta Dewing for more information.
Students participating were Britney Zussman, Jarrett Hammel, McKennah Strasburger, Kelley Roberts, Grace Wernert, Charlie Adams, Sierra Cunningham, Ross Kindig, Sylar Sanders, Veronica Rugis, Brianna Dafcik, John Masterson, Jace Ingram, Chase Stanifer, Rocky Wambaja, Karen Barillas, Ann Clifton, Morgan Stewart, Logan Glassburn, and Kathryn Weiss.
Officials and businesses participating were Newton County Surveyor, Chris Knochel, Circuit Court Judge Leach, Newton County Treasurer Diane Veld, Newton County Auditor Sharon Dewing, Newton County Sheriff Tom VanVleet, Newton County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeff Drinski, Rogers Group, CPX, Kentland Family Dentistry, Kentland Bank, and AgVenture D& M.


Rotarian goes to Guatemala


Knochel talks about mission trip to Guatemala.

Rotarian Chris Knochel gave a presentation on the recent mission trip he took to Guatemala with the Zionsville United Methodist Church. Knochel gave his presentation April 11 at the Kentland Rotary Club meeting. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Kentland Park Board Announces Car Show

Kentland Rotary hears about park board

Gregg Hamilton of the Kentland Park Board was the guest speaker at the Kentland Rotary Club Feb. 22. He told the club that a car show is being planned again for Sunday, May 29 at Cast Park. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Kentland Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce hear about Head Start



Maureen Inman, Family Engagement Specialist at KIRPC Head Start was the guest speaker at the combined meeting of the Kentland Rotary Club and the Kentland Area Chamber of Commerce Feb. 15. KIRPC Head Start has eight classrooms within five sites for its three county area (Newton, Jasper and Pulaski). The two sites in Newton County are in Goodland and Roselawn. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Iroquois Memorial Hospital turns 100


Jim McRoberts, Director of Marketing at Iroquois Memorial Hospital, spoke to the Kentland Rotary Club Feb. 8 about the history of the hospital. He added that IMH turns 100 years old Feb. 28 and an open house and some tours are being planned for March. McRoberts also noted that on the ground level of the hospital posters will be featured showcasing the hospital through the decades. McRoberts is pictured with Rotarian Jessica St. John. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Bison to return to Kankakee Sands


Plans for bison at Kankakee Sands presented
The Nature Conservancy is preparing to reintroduce Bison to the area this fall. Tony Capizzo, land steward with The Nature Conservancy, spoke about the plans at the Kentland Rotary Club meeting Feb. 1.
Capizzo stated that plans are to add 15 bison to land owned by The Nature Conservancy. The herd will be fenced in to 1,000 acres near The Nature Conservancy office at Kankakee Sands.
“Over time we believe the herd will grow to about 40 to 50 animals and will have a trail on Bogus Island so visitors can see the bison,” said Capizzo.
Capizzo added that the bison are being brought to the area as an ecological tool for The Nature Conservancy.
“Bison are very grass specific and we are using them to meet certain ecological targets,” said Capizzo.
A 5-foot tall woven wire fence will contain the bison with a single hot wire inside and a barbed top.
Capizzo did not know the voltage that is being planned, but many fence experts suggest voltage of 3,000 – 4,000 volts is needed for bison.



Rev. Jennifer Huff, Director of Kentland Trinity Children's Center speaks at Kentland Rotary


Rev. Jennifer Huff was the guest speaker at the Kentland Rotary Club meeting Jan. 25. She thanked the club for their grant that helped purchase a security system for Kentland Trinity United Methodist Church and Preschool. Huff also updated the club on the after school program at the church and how the preschool has been growing. Huff is shown with Kentland Rotary President Ed van Wijk. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Economic Development Director speaks at combined meeting of Kentland Area Chamber of Commerce and Kentland Rotary

Newton County Economic Development Director Tim Myers spoke at the Jan. 18 joint meeting of the Kentland Rotary Club and the Kentland Area Chamber of Commerce. He informed the3 members present that he is currently working on updating a countywide directory of businesses. Myers also stated that it is important that the residents and business owners market the county. “We are rich in agriculture and have all the benefits of small town life,” said Myers. We need to promote our quality of life here and that this is a great place to raise a family. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Watt Trucking Gives Tour

Luanne Watt, president of Watt Trucking Inc. (W.T.I. Fenders) talked about her business and the journey back from the costly 2013 fire, which destroyed everything, Jan. 11 at the Kentland Rotary Club meeting. She said that currently W.T.I. has 16 employees with 15 of those full-time. Watt added that recovering from the devastating fire was quite the undertaking but now they have a brand new facility with new equipment. The new facility was completed this past June and the company is now in full production. Watt is shown giving a tour of the new facility to Kentland Rotary members. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS




Kristine Hunt, owner and operator of Fowler Flipsters in Fowler was the special; guest speaker at the Kentland Rotary Club meeting Dec. 21. Hunt, a former gymnast and competitive cheerleader spoke about the tumbling courses available for children and the adult fitness classes she offers. Hunt is shown her with Rotarian Melinda Bodine. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Beth Bassett speaks about the John Yost collection


Beth Bassett, a member of the Newton County Historical Society, was the guest speaker of the Kentland Rotary Club Dec. 14. She spoke on the history and legacy of John Yost, as well as the recently published The Yost Collection, a two-volume set by the Family History Division, the compilation covers over six decades of the writings of John J. Yost of Kentland, Indiana. Included are his weekly columns that appeared when he was an editor and guest columnist of the Newton County Enterprise, and in his own newspaper, The Newton Gazette. Bassett is pictured with Rotarian Jay Brinkman. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



John Frischie honored

John Frischie was honored with the prestigious Rotary Vocational Service Leadership Award Dec. 14 at the regular meeting of the Kentland Rotary Club.
The Vocational Service Leadership Award recognizes Rotarians who have made a significant impact in advancing vocational service.
“Vocational service is a way of life that is modeled for us daily by John Frischie,” said Rotary District 6540 Governor Roger Sims. “John uses his professional skills to serve the community.  He helps young people achieve their career aspirations and he guides and encourages others in their professional development. John is a model Rotarian who lives out his vocation as a teacher and instructor.  Whether it is here in the Kentland Rotary Club, serving the 4H Sportfishing Club, volunteering at Purdue, serving as our District Trainer, serving as our District Assistant Governor Coordinator or serving on our District Administrative Council, John is always leading, teaching and modeling Rotary for all of us.”
Frischie was surprised, honored and thankful for the lifetime recognition award.             
Shown from left are Kentland Rotary President Ed van Wijk, past District Governor Steve Sorenson, John Frischie and District Governor Roger Sims. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS



Kentland Rotary annual meeting and anniversary
The Kentland Rotary Club held its annual meeting and also celebrated the club’s 76th anniversary Nov. 30 at Trinity United Methodist Church. Above: A quartet from the Iroquois Valley Harmonizers sang Christmas carols for the entertainment of the evening. Right: Kentland Rotary President Ed van Wijk (left) presented Jim Schoen, immediate past president with recognition and a gift. PHOTOS BY GREGORY MYERS


Drone demonstration for Kentland Rotary

South Newton, and North Newton are just a few of the high schools in the entire country that have implemented drone technology into the classroom. Principal Charles Huckstep along with seniors Logan Glassburn, Ross Kindig, Kathryn Weiss and Daniel Shedrow gave a demonstration of the new technology to the Kentland Rotary Club Nov. 9. The schools were able to purchase the drones along with two tractors with a $450,000 Innovative CTE Curriculum grant they secured with the help of initial “seed money” from the county. Below: A high resolution photo taken by one of the school’s drones over the South Newton football field. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS





For the past few years, the simple task of leaving your home, which many people take for granted, has been anything but simple for Ed Jamieson of Goodland, a disabled United States Navy veteran.
“My legs got so bad that it was hard to walk and there was no good way of leaving my home in a wheelchair,” said Jamieson. “We looked around everywhere for more than two years trying to find someone who could build me a ramp, but we just couldn’t afford what they were asking.”
After seeing an article in the Newton County Enterprise about a presentation the Servants At Work, Inc. (SAWs) did for the Kentland Rotary Club, local veterans’ advocate Randy Pruden made some calls and got the process rolling for getting a ramp installed for his friend.
“If it wasn’t for Randy, this wouldn’t have got done,” said Jamieson. “When I got the call from SAWs telling me that they were going to build the ramp at no cost to me I cried like a 6 month old baby.”
Before a ramp could be built, however, a new entrance from the main floor to the back yard had to be put in. Financial assistance for that project came from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Mary T. Klinker Chapter 27, an organization that benefitted from the Goodstock music festival held last year in Goodland.
“There are lots of cases where there are gaps in benefits for our veterans and that’s a shame,” said Lee Theesfeld, DAV treasurer. “We wanted to help out anyway we could and make sure Ed could get out of his house easily. Because a lot of Ed’s time during combat was while he was a sonar technician on a nuclear-powered submarine and is still considered classified, he doesn’t get all of the benefits that he needs.”
The money for the lumber to build the ramp came from the Kentland Rotary Club and the Goodland Lion’s Club, which was built by several members of the Kentland Rotary, SAWs project manager John Hunter and volunteers, Darren Lambert of Cruz Construction and Millwright LLC and Pruden.
Denny Ritchie donated his time to do a lot of the work converting a window into the new door at the back of the house. People’s Ready Mix also donated a lot of items for the project.
“I can’t even say how thankful I am to everyone who was involved with this,” added Jamieson. “This is truly a blessing and another example of how small communities can come together and help people out.”
The ramp construction started around 8 a.m. Saturday and was finished before 4 p.m.
SAWs is a non-profit, all volunteer ministry that builds wheelchair ramps to provide persons with disabilities and people with conditions of aging access to their world and the freedom to remain in their communities.

Ag Issues at Kentland Rotary
Members of South Newton High School FFA practiced their Ag Issues Forum in front of the Kentland Rotary Club June 1. The team is preparing for the state contest. Their topic for the forum is To Fly or Not To Fly Drone Technology. Shown from left during their round table discussion are Austin Berenda, Morgan Winder, Daniel Shedrow, Darrin Shedrow, Ross Kindig, Lucas Clifford and Logan Glassburn. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS

Walkup speaks to Kentland Rotary
Stan Walkup a Vietnam War veteran and owner of Stan’s Tap in Earl Park, spoke to the Kentland Rotary Club June 8 about his experiences during and after the conflict. He stated he was drafted in 1965 and was shot in the chest during combat in 1966, resulting in him being awarded a Purple Heart. Walkup also spoke about visiting The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC on its 25th anniversary. He discussed searching for and finding a friend who was shot on the same day as him and their reunion in Minnesota. Walkup and several other Vietnam War veterans from the Kentland area will be on the next Honor Flight in September. PHOTO BY GREGORY MYERS

Virtual reality films bring new dimension to polio fight
At this year’s World Polio Day celebration in Atlanta, Rotary is harnessing the power of virtual reality technology to build empathy and inspire action in our fight to eradicate polio. Rotary, with support from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, produced a virtual reality film that tells the story of Alokita, a young adult who suffered paralysis from polio as a child growing up in India, which has been polio-free since 2011. “When you open your eyes and see a different environment around you, you relate to the subject on a visceral, personal level,” says Vincent Vernet, direct of digital and...
Rotary Day at UN highlights role of business in building a better world
From the United Nations’ earliest days in the aftermath of World War II, the organization’s humanitarian mission has always dovetailed with Rotary’s efforts to administer aid and build peace. This year’s Rotary Day at the United Nations, 12 November, will highlight the role businesses can play in that collaboration as we work toward a more just and equitable world. The theme of this year’s gathering at UN headquarters in New York City, “Responsible Business, Resilient Societies,” recognizes Rotary’s role at the intersection of commerce and cause. As leaders in their professions and...
ShelterBox prepares for Mosul refugees
Today marked the start of the battle to take control of Mosul back from the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. The city is the group's last major stronghold in Iraq. But humanitarian aid agencies have known about the military offensive, giving them an unusual opportunity to prepare for the crisis. "It is rare for the world to get early warning of a vast human catastrophe," says Chris Warham, chief executive of ShelterBox. "The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued a paper in July saying this would likely be the biggest humanitarian crisis of the year — and we better get...
Skydivers raise thousands for polio eradication
The first time Noel Jackson jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet, it had nothing to do with raising money for polio eradication. The Michigan dentist had received a gift certificate to go skydiving from his staff because they knew he was into adventure. “It is definitely a defining moment,” says Jackson, a member of the Rotary Club of Trenton, Michigan, USA, of that first jump, done in tandem strapped to a professional skydiver. “The rush of the free fall is beyond anything I have ever experienced before. Just the speed and acceleration is unbelievable. You don’t even have time to figure out...
Rotary and ShelterBox on the ground in Haiti
Even as parts of Haiti were still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished island country 4 October, leaving hundreds dead and many more homeless. The Category 4 storm affected an estimated 330,000 people in Haiti, including 6,400 who were moved to temporary shelters. Extensive damage to main bridges and other transportation networks have left some areas cut off and vulnerable. Torrential rains have resulted in flooding and landslides. And contaminated water supplies threaten to lead to a surge in cholera cases and other waterborne...