Club Information

The Rotary Club of Chicago O'Hare Welcomes You


Our Rotary Club Chartered January 8, 1973

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
The Great Escape 847-671-7171
9540 Irving Park Road
Schiller Park, IL  60176
United States of America
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Our speaker, Valerie Mrak is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, storyteller and life coach. She has interviewed a wide range of people from the His Holiness the Dalai Lama to a Blackfoot Medicine Woman, Fortune 100 CEOs and “everyday” people with fascinating stories.  Our members had an interaction session which was very insightful.
For the next two weeks (Dec 20th and 27th) will be held at 
Westdale Park, 3045 Sandra Avenue, Melrose Park, IL 60164  (near Grand and Wolf)
Time:  Noon
Board Meeting on December 20th at 11:00 AM
A great Holiday Party last night at White Pines Golf Club. Here is a picture of Mike Sullivan (left) presenting The Rotarian of the year award to David Woodcock. David is a great supporter of all our initiatives and our Rotary Foundation Chairman. A much deserved award for his dedication to the club.

 Our speaker Amy Kaczmark  spoke about SOS Children’s Villages Illinois   They offer an innovative approach to traditional foster care. Their model of care gives children the opportunity to live in a nurturing, stable, single-family home with their brothers and sisters in the care of a full-time, professionally trained Foster Parent in one of their Villages. Children benefit from the stability of remaining with their siblings as well as the support of neighboring SOS Illinois Foster Parents and the entire community. Each Village offers comprehensive services including: individual and group counseling, mentoring, and educational and cultural enrichment opportunities. This highly supportive setting provides children a sense of safety, security, and community, encouraging them on their journey toward healing and reaching their fullest potential.


This event intended to promote local businesses and job possibilities. Our members Ed Jacob, Jim Testa and Larry Fritz gave out popcorn while telling students about Rotary & service, Interact, and Scholarship possibilities.
Over 1000 Amenity kits were packed by Leyden High School Students in a record 45 minutes for the homeless veterans at the Hines VA Hospital's Veteran StandDown  Nov. 15th and 6th.    Special Thanks to Interact Club Sponsor Jen Black-Foltin and Dana Thomas for helping put it together, as well as Rotarians Frank Holthouse, Jack Ranttila, and Larry Fritz. The favorite part of the day was watching the students problem-solve and making the assembly line work better.  We just had to leave them alone.
Our president Mike Sullivan was honored to present Rotary's Paul Harris Award of Recognition to past Rotarian members John Sisco and Joe Dote who have helped our club with their tireless efforts to promote our yearly golf outing fund raiser which allows our club to hand out many scholarships to well-qualified seniors in need of financial assistance.
Joseph Baar Topinka, author of
Just Judy showed a video and talked about his mother Judy Barr Topinka in his book.

Although originally a journalist, Topinka served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1981 to 1985 and in the Illinois Senate from 1985 to 1995. She was elected to three terms as Illinois State Treasurer, serving from 1995 to 2007. She was the first woman to become state treasurer, the first to be elected to three consecutive terms, and the first Republican to hold the post in more than 32 years. During her last term as treasurer, she was the only Republican to hold statewide elected office in Illinois. In 2002, she was elected chair of the Illinois Republican Party, holding that office until 2005.

Cindy Gonzalez is the Anti-Trafficking Outreach Specialist with The Salvation Army.  Her presentation covered human trafficking .  Their STOP-IT program is dedicated to combating human trafficking through trauma-informed strategies around prevention, identification and response.
Club Members Larry Fritz, Sylvia Jewgieniew, Frank Holthouse, Melissa Bukovatz, and Mike Sullivan were part of the dedication of the Rotary bike racks for the students at the East and West Leyden High Schools.  Presented to Dr.  Nick Polyak, High School Staff, and our Rotary Interact Club with School Interact sponsors Dana Thomas and Jen Black-Foltin.   After the dedication, Dr.  Nick Polyak gave everyone a tour of the Leyden West addition project.  A new wing that is purpose-built to enhance the instructional experiences for students.  See   Bonus: There was cake.    Special thanks to Frank Holthouse for a great job of organizing the event.
Club members David Woodcock, Sylvia Jewgieniew, Jack Moran, Mike Sullivan, and Melissa Bukovatz working with Leyden Township Staff on the spring planting at the Fleck Park in Melrose Park.  The flower bed has a sign “Provided by the Rotary Club fo Chicago O’Hare.”

 Chief Operating Officer Bob Miller of Sweet Beginnings, LLC, explained how they have beekeepers to manage the hives placed at various locations around Chicago.  They make the beelove® family of products — an all natural line of raw honey and honey-infused body care products.  They manage the hives and extract honey from urban apiaries in the heart of the North Lawndale community in Chicago. Sweet Beginnings also manages an apiary at O’Hare.    The natural, high quality products are produced by men and women returning from incarceration. At Sweet Beginnings, these talented men and women develop a stable work history, learn marketable skills and gain the confidence they need to re-enter the workforce.


Our Rotary Club members worked their annual booth at the Schiller Park Auto Show selling popcorn to raise money to eradicate polio.  Every dollar collected is matched double by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
We had the pleasure of hosting the Rotary District 6450 Governor Pedro Cevallos-Candau (on the left with Club President Mike Sullivan). Pedro was both insightful and congenial as always. The club membership turnout was excellent and The Great Escape lunch was great too.
Diane Carroll, Executive Director of My Joyful Heart headquartered in Mokena gave us an update on the growth of their organization which now sponsors 900 disadvantaged children on the south side of Chicagoland.  Our club sponsors 2 children.  Each sponsored child receives 6 gifts during the course of the year and much needed back to school donations.  My Joyful Heart is our club's sanctioned charity.  They do wonderful things for children and best of all, give hope to these children for their future.
Congratulations to our new team for 2018-2019 Rotary Year.  New President Mike Sullivan is installed by Past President Pat Ranttila.  Mike and all board members took the Rotary oath for the coming year.  We know it will be another fantastic year of Rotary work and fellowship.
Our speaker today was Larry Bartoszek and his topic was
The Space Elevator From Science Fiction to Engineering.

Larry Bartoszek has a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from the University of Illinois and is an Illinois Licensed Professional Engineer. Larry is the author of several papers on the climber design for space elevators and has spoken at many space conferences.  His presentation was mind-boggling!


 Dave Neary gave our members a terrific overview of what Habitat for Humanity does.   They work in partnership with individuals, corporate partners and faith based organizations to build up our communities. Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion.



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Board Meeting 11 AM at Westdale Park
Dec 20, 2018
First Aid Kit Assembly - No Speaker
Prof Aissetu Barry Ibrahima (Westdale Park venue)
Dec 27, 2018
"Understanding Maternal Health in Ethiopia: the Role of Indigenous Knowledge and Practice"
Dave Woodcock
Jan 03, 2019
Update Rotary Foundation
Eldon Tracy
Jan 10, 2019
Bi-Annual Food Packing
Rona Raffey
Jan 24, 2019
Update YMCA Camp Duncan
Dr Nick Polyak -Supt of Leyden High Schools
Jan 31, 2019
Update on new Co. Lab Program
Andrew Wolter
Feb 07, 2019
Xenex Light Strike Disinfection
Paula Sexton, Funeral Director
Feb 14, 2019
Neptune Society
Robert Beezat
Mar 14, 2019
Character Based Management
Terry Abrahamsom
Apr 11, 2019
Belly of the Blues
Member Felix Matlock
May 02, 2019
Mercy Housing Update
Golf Outing Today at Makray
Jun 06, 2019
No Meeting
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