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
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.
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.
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
Lorena Nunez
Aug 18, 2022
Greater Family Health Clinic - Franklin Park
Chris McCarthy
Aug 25, 2022
Earth Paints
District Governor Ade Onayemi
Sep 01, 2022
Board Meeting 11:00 AM
Brett Weiss
Sep 08, 2022
Update on the Weiss Scholarship Foundation
Eldon Tracy
Sep 15, 2022
Feeding Children Worldwide Food Packing
Tracy Rogers
Sep 22, 2022
Local Girl Scout Troops
Sebastian Colmenares
Sep 29, 2022
Exchange Student Experience
Felix Matlock
Nov 03, 2022
Update on Mercy Housing.
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