Club Information
The Rotary Club of Chicago O'Hare Welcomes You

Our Rotary Club Chartered January 8, 1973

We meet In Person & Online
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
The Great Escape
In person and Zoom
9540 Irving Park Road
Schiller Park, IL 60176
United States of America
(773) 307-9687
Chicago - O’Hare Rotary Club will provide funding to My Joyful Heart to purchase winter coats for children in their winter coat program. You can help at any donation level through our Paypal Account.
Home Page Stories
Our guest speakers today were Bev Schwartz and Approve Katikaneni from HOPE FOR THE DAY which is a non-profit movement empowering the conversation on proactive suicide prevention and mental health education.  Visit HFTD.ORG for more information.  Also in the photo is Dave Woodcock, our incoming president.
Every Thursday, we meet for lunch at The Great Escape Restaurant in Schiller Park.  Today, we officially thanked the staff, Anthony, Andre' and Sheila, for taking good care of us and our needs.   The members who attended today were hoping the expected bad weather to start later, but lo and behold, while we were eating lunch, the snow started.
Brett Weiss runs the Weiss Foundation.  The Weiss Scholarship Foundation provides scholarships to very poor Kenyan Children.  Since 2012 they have awarded 54 full four year high school scholarships in a village where few had ever gone to high school.  Five of their students are now in University and they just made their first placement of a student in a vocational school with many more to come. He has been to Kenya six times.   They are providing real HOPE in a community that really had no hope before their foundation.
With club president Rob Hann in the middle,Christine Hutchinson(left) from Teen Innovators briefed club members about the mentoring program of “Teens for Teens” (by Teens). And Tracy Rogers, from the Franklin Park St. Gertrude’s church Girl Scout troop, informed members about the structure and activities of her local Troop.
Every year our Rotary members gather for a food packing organized by member Eldon Tracy who runs feeding children worldwide. Today we packed 2160 meals in 10 cartons to feed impoverished people in the Philippines. There are 4 ingredients that goes in each package. Chicken flavor, vegetables, soy and rice. Our Rotary Club donates $600 which covers the cost of 2160 meals.
What a beautiful day for our Rotary Golf Outing in Makray Country Club. This is our annual fund-raiser which will provide scholarships for 7 kids plus our many other charitable projects. Thanks to member Mike Plichta for always doing a great job in spearheading this. Mike is in the photo with our President Rob Hann. Our Rotary member volunteers are shown here but many other members were still golfing. Thanks to the many restaurants, hotels and other venues who donated gift certificates for our raffle and silent auction.
We are a Rotary Club in District 6450.  Our District Governor Ade Onayemi visited our club today and gave us an update on Rotary accomplishments.  Our president Rob Hann thanked him.

President Rob Hann thanked our speaker Chris McCarthy who found Earth Paint in 2013. EarthPaint is a 501c(3) nonprofit based in Wood Dale, Ill. EarthPaint relies on contributions and fees for recycling old paint to fund its operations and employment of adults with disabilities. A longtime paint professional, Chris saw lots of unwanted – but perfectly good – paint accumulate and go to waste. He wanted to find a way to keep the endless gallons of paint he encountered from entering the landfill, where it can harm the environment. At EarthPaint, they recycle your old latex paint into a high-quality, sustainable product that works for any job, inside or outside.  


Today our speaker Catherine Inserra told us all abut the good work KIDS ABOVE ALL does. In 1894, Kids Above All was founded on the principles of alleviating suffering, eradicating the causes of injustice and facilitating the development of full human potential.
For more info, go to
President Rob Hann and our Rotary Club Members welcomed Erin Burns and Diane Carroll from My Joyful Heart, a non-profit charity we have donated to since 2005.  Every child enrolled in the My Joyful Heart program is disadvantaged in one way or another: they are from single-parent or grandparent-led households, some are in special education, and many are homeless.  The children are school-aged, generally 4 & up; however, they also provide for many young adults. My Joyful Heart believes all children have the potential to succeed in life and if basic needs are met, children will perform better both academically and socially. 

They assist children by providing basic necessities throughout the year. They receive a wide range of items, both fun and practical. Each child is individually shopped for from their inventory. This helps the child feel special because they receive items in their favorite color or receive something that was on their wish list.

Thank you Fred Otto for your year of presidency of our Rotary Club.  Fred (on left) is congratulating incoming president Rob Hann for our 2022-2023 Rotary year.
Our honorary member, Eldon Tracy, who is Executive Director of Feeding Children Worldwide gave a presentation on where his feeding packs are distributed.  He also told us about his former life as a missionary and the various experiences he has had over the years.

Michelle Balog and Dave King spoke today on Sleep in heavenly peace or SHP as it is often abbreviated. This is a 501 C3 nonprofit organization made up 100% of volunteers. Every penny raised goes directly towards the expenses needed to build more beds for children in need ages 3-17. They service victims of fire, flooding, domestic abuse relocation, financial struggles and many more.  There is no experience needed to step in and help their core volunteers during a community Bed Build event. For more information,  contact Michelle Balog at 815-744-7737 or  


Andrew Witherspoon, co-founder of the Chicago Furniture Bank ( presented at our club meeting on 07Jan22 - and it was a most interesting presentation!   The CFB has experienced explosive growth over the past few years, having been founded in 2018.  It is a 501(c)3 organization providing furniture for people in need - they helped 8,000 people in 2021!  They will recycle excess or discarded furniture from residential homes as well as businesses - including hotels, university dormitories, etc.   Their sister company, the Honest Junk Company ( is the only 501(c)(3) junk removal company in Chicagoland.  If you or your company has any surplus furnishings, I am sure they would love to hear from you!   What better way to discard furnishings you don't need or want!  Our president, Fred Otto, is thanking Andrew in this photo.

Cengiz Karatas. Executive Director of the Future Institute gave our members an overview of how the Future Institute promotes the high school-to-college transition for Concept high School graduates and their college persistence, and career readiness and success by means of innovative research-informed programs, mentorships and support.


On Friday 17 December, our Rotary club managed to put together some gifts for the grand-dhildren (aren't they all grand!?) living with their grand-mothers and an occasional grand-father in Mercy Housing Lakefront in Chicago.
The gifts were assembled and packaged by My Joyful Heart, in Mokena, Illinois.
Top photo shows Kay Whitlock attempting to sort out who get's what!
The photos below show Erin Burns, Director of Operations at My Joyful Heart ( waving goodby to Santa about to depart with the gifts, and 'Will' Gill, the Resident Services Coordinator at Mercy Housing Lakefront ( receiving the gifts!   More photos of the children will follow.
Thanks to all who supported this project!
On Thursday, 11 November - remembering Armistice Day - our club heard a very interesting presentation by Dr George Palamattam, Executive Director of the Council of International Programs USA (CIPUSA) which is a nonprofit organization that promotes international understanding through professional development and cross-cultural exchange.   Picture shows our president Fred Otto thanking Dr Palamattam for his presentation. 
On October 28, 2021 , Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH, a Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine presented on preventing injuries to children
She is the Medical Director of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Injury Prevention and Research Center and the violence prevention collaborative, Strengthening Chicago’s Youth (SCY).
Her presentation has been distributed to all club members.
The photo shows our president Fred Otto thanking Dr Sheehan for her presentation.
Matt Larsen, Executive Director of the Illinois Spina Bifida Association spoke to our members about children born with Spina Bifida and how they help their families.  There are 900 cases in Illinois.
Our club is in Rotary District 6450.  Our current District Governor Jane Hopkins visited our club today along with Kathy Rak, Assistant Governor Coordinator and Ade' Onayemi who will become district governor next year.  Jane gave us an update on what the district is promoting charity-wise and other relative concerns to Rotary.  Our club president, Fred Otto, along with our Rotary members gave them a warm welcome.
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Humanitarian Aid For Vietnam
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Update on My Joyful Heart
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