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) 491-8270
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
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.
Our speaker today was Mary Sullivan,Director of Operations & Development at the Jackson Chance Foundation.  Jackson Chance Foundation partners with hospitals to provide complimentary parking passes to every family with a baby in the NICU. They ensure that the financial burden of parking does not stand in the way of any parent being with their child.
Our speaker today was Jake Seid, President of the American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter who explained to our members what is zoning, the history of owning, how zoning reform works today and how to be a zoning reform advocate and influence policy.
Nick Caiafa was elected mayor of Schiller Park in 2017.  His current term expires May 2025.  His presentation to our Rotary Club gave us a very insightful view of what is happening in Schiller Park covering infrastructure and attracting businesses to the village.  Our Past President, Sylvia Jewgieniew thanked him for an excellent presentation.
What a beautiful day for our annual golf outing fundraiser.  We raffled off some great gifts and had fabulous items for our silent auction.  Former member Chuck Henschel drove in from his home state in Washington and traded his new club Rotary banner with ours.  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this day a huge success.
Our presenter today was Mark Ailes, a retired High School Science Teacher. He was a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the year as well as Science Olympiad, Tennis and Track Coach. His teaching career has been entirely in Illinois at both a small rural high school and a large suburban high school. 
In his presentation, Mark tells the personal story of how he became a committed climate advocate working toward a fast, effective, and fair solution to climate change. Our President-Elect, Fred Otto, presented Mark with a little gift.
Congratulations to our club for all of our members contributing to the Paul Harris Foundation for the years 2019-2020.
Rotary Disrtict Governor-Elect Livio Zozzoli and his wife Silvia Zerda from Bolivia gave a power point presentation on their role in donating medical equipment to several hospitals in Bolivia.  Our member Sylvia Jewgienew, originally from Bolivia, was the translator.  President Jim Testa exchanged our Rotary Club Flag with theirs.
Our club has been sponsoring kids in the Joyful Heart Program for many years.  Executive Director Diane Carroll and Erin Burns, Director of Operations, gave us an update on the 1,000 kids they served and the creative way they serviced these kids through the pandemic.
Incoming President Jim Testa thanks outgoing President Sylvia Jewgieniew.  Board member and past president Fred Otto officiated the ceremony welcoming the new board.
West Leyden Principal Patricia Makishima and Brian Mahoney, ED.d, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services and Special Education advised our members on their Department of Special Education Services.  Our President Sylvia Jewgienew thanked them for their very informative presentation.

Levi Browde serves as the Executive Director with the New
York-based Falun Dafa Information Center – an
organization dedicated to ending the human rights
abuses against people who practice Falun Gong in China.

Susy Schultz, Executive Director of the Museum of Boardcast Communications gave our members a terrific presentation on Broadcast, Politics and News Literacy.



G. Grant Dixon III is a Rotarian and personal injury attorney.   He discussed 5 Things You Need to Know Before a Car Crash and why you need to be prepared and what to do now so you can be ready. 


Your opportunity to donate to Happy Bucks (just how happy are YOU!) which supports a worldwide effort to eliminate polio, or any of the many programs supported by the Rotary Club of Chicago - O'Hare, such as My Joyful Heart, Mercy Housing Lakefront, and scholarships for students in the Leyden high schools
Website Sponsors
Mr. Kenneth Wong
May 19, 2022
Life Insurance Strategies
Michelle Balog & Dave King
May 26, 2022
SHP organization
Paul M Byck
Jun 02, 2022
Injuries on the Job: Navigating a Complicated Illinois Workers' Compensation System
Eldon Tracy
Jun 09, 2022
Feeding Children Worldwide
Mark Smolenski
Jun 16, 2022
Mortgages & Reverse Mortgages
James Swarthout
Jun 23, 2022
Addiction Behavioral Health Medicine
Installation of New Officers and Board 2022-2023
Jun 30, 2022
Special Meal Today
Catherine Inserra
Jul 07, 2022
Kids Above All
Erin Burns
Jul 28, 2022
Update on My Joyful Heart
District Governor Ade Onayemi
Aug 04, 2022
Rotary District 6450
Felix Matlock
Aug 25, 2022
Update on Mercy Housing.
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