Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Grayslake!


Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 11:30 AM
The Vine
101 Center Street
Grayslake, IL  60030
United States
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September 2017

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Steve Sarich - Grayslake Farmer's Market
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On March 6, 2015, the Grayslake Rotary Club, in partnership with the Liberty Prairie Foundation, held the fourth annual UnCorked wine-tasting.  This fund-raising event at the Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake featured 8 wine vendors, was supported by 33 individual or corporate sponsors and 34 silent and live auction item donors, and attracted 143 attendees through advance and door ticket sales.  The event grossed just over $14000 and after expenses, netted just under $12000 to fund the Grayslake Rotary Foundation's charitable goals for the 2015 Rotary year.
Grayslake Rotarians John Millar & John Wheeler working the door at Uncorked 2015
Thanks to all of the Grayslake Rotarians who worked so hard this year to make it the best UnCorked yet - this year's proceeds set a record for our club and the event.  With 100% of the proceeds benefiting our target charities, the success of the event is crucial to our club making a positive impact in varied areas of need in our community and the world.
Grayslake Rotarian Greg Koeppen and friend enjoying Uncorked 2015
The funds earned from UnCorked this year will benefit the following programs:
  • Grayslake High Schoool Academic Scholarships
  • Collage of Lake County Needs-Based Scholarships
  • Grayslake OASIS Youth Center
  • Local Area Food Pantries
  • Shelterbox International Disaster Relief
  • PolioPlus Global Polio Eradication Effort
Thanks to everyone who supported UnCorked this year, especially our generous sponsors and donors - without their help, we could not have made UnCorked the success it has been nor have the positive effect on helping these deserving causes!

The Grayslake Rotary Club regularly hosts speakers at our weekly lunch meetings; one can normally expect two speakers every month that cover a wide variety of topics including charity endeavors, community and local government activities, high school and community college developments, and the like.  
The club recently hosted Sean Nelson, the Rotary District 6440 director for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program.  Sean visited Grayslake on January 19th to discuss the RYLA application process and the plans for this year's 3-day retreats in March and April at Camp Edwards YMCA and Conference Center in East Troy, Wisconsin. 
Sean Nelson, Rotray District 6440 RYLA Director at Jan 19th meeting
RYLA was established by Rotary International as a special award for young people, of high school age, who have displayed leadership skills or potential, as shown by their active participation in groups or services.  Each student is from Rotary District 6440.  The three day program includes motivational and educational speakers from around the United States.  The program will greatly enhance leadership skills through lectures, hands on activities, team leadership activities, and interaction with other student leaders from around the District.  Every single participant (more than 2,000 over the last twelve years) has rated the camp very high in terms of the experience. The average attendee rating over the last five years is an amazing 9.6 (out of 10), based on educational content and fun. Yes, fun is an element of this experience! This is both an educational experience as well as a reward for leadership skills already demonstrated.   The Grayslake Rotary Club sponsors two RYLA attendees every year, representing Grayslake Central and North High Schools.
On March 16th, Bill Heinz from the Grayslake Department of Public Works joined our club for lunch and to address ongoing development projects in the Grayslake area.  The public works department is resposnible for constructing and maintaining the village water supply and sewage systems, the street lighting systems, and the maintenance and snow plowing for the road system.  
Bill Heinz, Grayslake Department of Public Works, at March 16th meeting
Bill also updated our club on ongoing and future road improvement projects, including the Lake County projects at Peterson Road and Rt 83, the Washington Street railroad underpass, and the federally backed project to resurface Center and Lake Streets;  the total expenditures on resurfacing these roads will top $5 million.

Public Service Practicum members at Grayslake North hosted a panel discussion in partnership with the Rotary International Club of Grayslake.  The panel was moderated by Mr. Marassa (the D127 Director of Technology and current President of the Grayslake Rotary Club) and featured panelists Mr. Keith Brin (Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court), Mr. Rich Lalley (Executive Director of Operation Warm), and Ms. Tina Vaughn (Development Specialist at CYN) (All 3 panel members are Rotarians.)  Panelists talked about their own experiences as public servants and offered advice and insights for students looking to keep a commitment to public service an important part of their future professional and/or personal lives. The focus of the panel was to address the following questions:
(1) How does distribution of power influence community needs and public service? 
(2) What are the various types of service, and when should each be used? 
(3) What are the causes and effects of some pressing problems in our community, and what could be done about the problems?    
As part of their seminar the PSP students learned about Round Lake Beach's People Lending Assistance Network (PLAN) Food pantry, how it was formed and structured, its daily operations and obligations, and how they could assist in its efforts.  As part of the Grayslake Rotary Club's support of local area food pantries, Grayslake Rotary Club president Michael Marassa presented a donation check for $1250 on behalf of the club to PLAN.
PLAN founder Michael Pimpo accepting donation from Grayslake Rotary Club president Michael Marassa

On Dec 29th, Grayslake Central High School graduate, and Grayslake Rotary Club 2014 Scholarship winner Marissa Brown, along with her father, visited with our club at our weekly meeting.  Marissa expressed her thanks for our scholarship support, and shared with us the details about her new life as a college freshman at Austin University, north of Dallas, TX.  
Scholarship winner Marissa Brown with her father at Grayslake Rotary Club lunch meeting.
Marissa is working on a 5-year program that will earn her a master's degree in education, after which she hopes to teach.  As always, is is very gratifying for our club to see the continued success of the scholarship winners we have sponsored, and we wish all of them, and now Marissa, the best of luck in their future endeavors.

On Nov 3rd, the Grayslake Rotary Club hosted Grayslake Central High School prinicpal Dan Landry as our luncheon guest and featured speaker.  Dan has been a Grayslake educator since 1995 and assumed the helm of G.L. Central H.S. in 2014.  
Grayslake Rotary Club President Michael Marassa with Grayslake Central High School Principal Dan Landry
Dan discussed the challenges the school faces, and outlined the plans his administration has to address the students' needs at the school.  The Grayslake Rotary Club enjoys a close relationship with both of our local high schools, and it was both informative and rewarding to hear directly from Mr Landry about the accomplishments of and plans for Grayslake Central.

The Grayslake Rotary Club hosted Mr. Dustin Chierico and 3 students from Grayslake Central High School at the Oct 27th meeting to update our membership on the activities and accomplishments of the school's Public Service Practicum (PSP) course. This course, for high school seniors and juniors, focuses on student involvement in community service projects, from initial conception through planning and execution. Both of our local high school PSP programs have had a very accomplished record of service to our community.  
PSP Instructor Dustin Chierico with students Kayleigh Brown, Michael Benko, and Taha Tayyabi at Grayslake Rotary Club meeting
The many projects run just by Grayslake Central include a backpack and school supplies drive, a holiday food drive (over 60000 pounds of food collected this year), a Veteran's Day Breakfast, Breast Cancer Month, Senior Citizens' Dinner Dance, and support for the Oasis Youth Center Santa Claus visit and Tree-Lighting.  Accompanying Mr Chierico to our meeting were students Michael Benko, Kayleigh Brown, and Taha Tayyabi, who each described the day-to-day conduct of the course and their perspectives on its benefits.  It was great to see the enthusiasm of our town's young adults for community service, and humbling to witness the extraordinarily positive impacts their efforts have brought.  Congratulations to all of the PSP participants for their outstanding work, and thanks to Mr. Chierico and the Grayslake high school faculties for their guidance and support for these young men and women.


The guest and featured speaker at the Oct 13th meeting of the Grayslake Rotary Club was Mr. Bob Dold, who is running for the 10th District Congressional seat in next month's elections.  Mr. Dold was elected to this position in 2010, but lost to Congressman Brad Schneider in the 2012 bid. 


10th Congressional District candidate Bob Dold discusses issues over lunch with Grayslake Rotarians

Mr. Dold gave a short presentation about his background in the community, his business experiences outside of politics, and his views on issues facing voters in this election cycle, including jobs, health care, education, and partisanship in government.  One item he emphasized greatly was the large role Illinois and the greater Chicagoland area plays in our nations's economy, as both a demographically diverse large population center and as an education, manufacturing, transportation, and business hub.  A short Q&A session followed his presentation as members discussed with him their specific concerns.  

We appreciate that Mr. Dold took the time to share his views with us at our club meeting, and the Grayslake Rotary Club encourages all voters to get informed about the issues and the candidates facing the upcoming election, and to make a difference and vote!



At the Sept 15th meeting of the Grayslake Rotray Club, Lyne Reynolds hosted Luann K. Satzger, the Marketing and Community Coordinator for the College of Lake County's James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts.


Luann Satzger discussing CLC arts programs with Grayslake Rotary Club

Luann joined us for lunch, and gave a presentation of the many arts programs supported by CLC, and the specific schedule of events for this coming year, which include: musical performances and concerts, theatrical shows and plays, dance recitals, literary/spoken word performances, international film series, the Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art, and other special programs.  For specific information about upcoming events, schedules, and ticket purchase, visit the Center's website at




At the Sept 22nd meeting of the Grayslake Rotary Club, Barb Oilschlager hosted Karen Schmidt and Erin Fowles, from the College of Lake County Foundation, as our club's guests and featured speakers.  Karen is the Executive Director of the CLC Foundation, and Erin is the Director of Financial Aid.  Their presentation to our club was a follow-up to earlier interest we had expressed towards sponsoring a needs-based scholarship for students attending CLC.  


Grayslake Rotarians Michael Marassa & Barb Oilschlaager present first scholarship check to CLC Foundation's Karen Schmidt and Erin Fowles

They discussed the CLC student demographic makeup, the costs of attending CLC, the need for financial support for CLC students, and the structure and administration of the CLC Foundation in awarding scholarships to CLC students.  They answered members' questions about selection processes, funding schedules, and offered recommendations to our club to determine how we would structure our scholarship.  As a result, our club decided to proceed with funding a $1000 annual needs-based scholarship to a local area CLC student, beginning with this fall semester.  On behalf of our club, President Michael Marassa and Barb Oilschlager presented Karen and Erin with a check for $1000 for our first CLC Foundation scholarship.  Our club is excited and proud to support our local CLC students, and we look forward to many years of assisting the CLC Foundation in matching needed tuition funds for deserving CLC students.




This year's Grayslake Summer days again featured the Kiss the Pig contest, discussed below in a reprint of the Aug 17th Lake County News-Sun article by Jim Newton.  The great success of this project was completely due to the outstanding efforts of Larry Herzog, who planned and managed this project from start to finish.  Kudos to Larry for a job well done!


With the help of Jodi Miller of Lambs Farm, Father John Chrzan of St. Gilbert Catholic Church in Grayslake kisses Maybelline the pig during Grayslake Summer Days celebration on Saturday. Chrzan won the honor by drawing the most donations in Grayslake's Kiss the Pig Contest to raise money for local charities.  (Jim Newton/Sun-Times Media)

It’s a safe bet that if you wanted to see a priest kiss a pig in Lake County Saturday, there was only one place that was going to happen — Grayslake Summer Days.

And it was for a great cause, of course.

Father John Chrzan of St. Gilbert’s Catholic Church in Grayslake was the top fundraiser in a donation contest that included local clergy members as part of the Rotary Club of Grayslake’s Kiss the Pig Contest.

For this feat, he had the honor of kissing Maybelline, a 1-year-old pig from Lambs Farm near Libertyville, in front of the Summer Days crowd on Saturday afternoon.

He handled it with good humor and grace, and a little help from Lambs Farm assistant farm manager Jodi Miller, who held Maybelline. Miller said Maybelline is a pretty good sport too, as far as being kissed by humans goes.

“She pretty good with it,” Miller said.

The Kiss the Pig Contest raised more than $1,200 this year, according to Michael Marassa, Grayslake Rotary president, who said it is one of several yearly events the club holds to benefit local groups and causes such as the Oasis Youth Grayslake Youth Center, the Avon Township food pantry, and scholarships at local schools.

After the contest winner was announced, Rotary officials presented Joyce Campbell, president of the Oasis Youth Center, with a check for $2,500.

“I just want to say thank you to the Rotary Club for its ongoing support,” Campbell said. “We run purely on donations and it allows us to provide a free, stimulating, safe environment for kids.”

Other clergy members participating in the Kiss the Pig Contest included Rev. Dr. Jane Clark of St. Andrew Episcopal Church in Grayslake, Pastor Rich Valinet of Living Waters Assembly of God in Grayslake, Pastor Gary Waters of United Protestant Church of Grayslake, and Pastor Kris Firkin of Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Grayslake.



At the August 11th meeting of the Grayslake Rotary Club, we were visited by the Rotary District 6440 Governor, Ellen Young, who was our club's guest and featured speaker.  Gov Ellen had a PowerPoint presentation on the current state of Rotary International, our local District activities, and the status of ongoing Rotary projects such as End Polio Now and the new Foundation grant system.  As always, it was good to  "meet the boss" and get updated on the goings-on of Rotary above our local level.  We enjoyed Gov Ellen's visit, and look forward to working with her in the coming months to make it a productive and rewarding Rotary year.


Dist 6440 Governor Ellen Young addresses the Grayslake Rotary Club

As serendipity would have it, Tina Vaughn was due to be inducted as a new club member at this meeting, so we prevailed upon Gov Ellen for the honor of presenting Tina her Rotary membership pin, after being sworn in by Club President Michael Marassa.  Welcome to Tina as our newest Rotarian - we look forward to doing great things together!


Asst Gov Rick Kuehn, Dist Gov Ellen Young, new Rotarian Tina Vaughn, and Club President Michael Marassa



At the June 2nd meeting of the Grayslake Rotary Club, President-Elect Michael Marassa hosted the two Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) winners that the club sponsored in 2014.  


Liam Hunt and Michael Benko visit the Grayslake Rotary Club

Liam Hunt and Michael Benko joined us for lunch, along with their parents, and each gave a short presentation describing their school activities and goals, as well as their impressions of the Youth Leadership Conference they attended this past March and April at Camp Edwards YMCA Camp & Conference Center in East Troy, Wisconsin.  RYLA has been established by Rotary International as a special award for young people of high school age who have displayed leadership skills, or the potential, as shown by their active participation in groups or services.  




The Grayslake Rotary Club's Kiss the Pig fundraiser will take place on Saturday, August 16th, 4 PM on stage at the Grayslake Summer Days festival at Center and Seymour Streets in beautiful downtown Grayslake.  

In the past, our contestant groups have included school principals, Village dignitaries, and local business leaders.  This year, the candidates are the following local clergy members, in alphabetic order:

Father John Chrzan of Saint Gilberts Cathloic Church

Reverend Doctor Jane Clark of Saint Andrews Episcopal Church

Pastor Kris Ferkin of Shephard of the Lakes Lutheran Church

Pastor Rich Valkinet of Living Waters Assembly of God

Senior Pastor Gary Waters of United Protestant Church of Grayslake

One of these clerical leaders will be kissing an adolescent pot belly pig named Maybelline, provided by Lambs Farm.  The local press has always been present for photos and interviews.

The Grayslake Rotary Club places collection cans in our community with photos of each candidate during July and August, and the candidate with the most dollars raised wins the right to kiss the pig on stage. The event generally raises $800 to $1,000 for our Rotary charitable Foundation account, and we funnel that money back into our community in the form of college scholarships for Grayslake High students, and donations to local food pantries and social service agencies. Rotary also funds national and international programs related to health and safety, such as shelter box disaster relief, polio eradication, clean water programs, irrigation, and more.

Please support our efforts in any way you can:  tell your friends, co-workers, and church leaders; ask them to encourage donations in the collection cans;  talk about and publicize our event;  find collection cans at local restaurants, Village Hall and participating churches. Again, the candidate with the most dollars raised will 'win' the right to kiss Maybelline on stage! .



The Grayslake Rotary Club hosted Jim Rockwell, the Grayslake Lions Club secretary, as our guest and featured speaker at the April 28th meeting.  Jim described the history of the Lions Club, which was founded in 1917 in Chicago, just 12 years after Rotary's founding, also in Chicago.  Today, the Lions include 1.35 million members in 46000 clubs worldwide (Rotary has 1.2 million members in 34000 clubs worldwide).


Grayslake Lion Jim Rockwell addresses the Grayslake Rotary Club

The Lions' mission is also similar to that of Rotary, to be global leaders in community and humanitarian service. Following a presentation by Helen Keller in the 1930's, the Lions adopted a focus on addressing the needs of the seeing impaired, evidenced by the used glasses collection boxes you may find in many communities.  The Grayslake Lion Club supports these missions, and also sponsors scholarships at the Grayslake high schools, PADS, and annual Christmas food baskets.  They support these programs via funds raised by pancake breakfasts and their annual Steer Roast fundraiser every September.

The Grayslake Lions Club meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm at Whitney's in downtown Grayslake.



At the Aug 4th meeting, Grayslake Rotary Club President Michael Marassa hosted one of the two winners of the academic scholarships sponsored by our club this year.  Visiting the club, along with her mother and brother, was Grayslake North High School graduate Ashley Kiddle, who joined the club for lunch and gave a short presentation on her high school career and college aspirations.  


Grayslake Rotary President Michael Marassa welcomes scholarship winner Ashley Kiddle and her family

Ashley is entering the Engineering program at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in just a couple of weeks; Ashley's motivation to pursue engineering stems from the loss of her father to ALS several years ago, and her desire to address the needs of ALS patients as they battle the disease.  Ashley has put together an outstanding high school record of academic and extracurricular accomplishments, and her effervescent demeanor, enthusiasm, and energy should continue to serve her well as she pursues her goals in college. The Grayslake Rotary Club is proud to recognize and support outstanding achievers like Ashley, and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.



Another Uncorked wine-tasting fundraiser is now behind us, and this year's event continues a record of success in service.  2014 marked the third year the Grayslake Rotary Club has hosted its signature fundraiser, and this year brought the club another successful venture.  The total revenue from this year's event was actually up from previous years, but that was offset by increased costs to host the event.  As a result, while our total profit of $7046 this year was down a bit from earlier years, we still enjoyed an enthusiastic response from the community, generous donations from sponsors and silent auction donors, and excellent wine, food, and live entertainment for our guests to enjoy.  


100% of the proceeds of this event will go to our targeted charities for 2014:  the Avon Township Food Pantry, the Oasis Grayslake Youth Center, academic merit scholarships to the two local high schools, and support for Rotary's PolioPlus effort.  Kudos to all of the hardworking Grayslake Rotarians who helped make Uncorked 2014 a success, and special thanks to all of our event sponsors and auction item donors, whose generosity made hosting this event possible.  Plans are already underway for Uncorked 2015 - see you there next year!

Special Thanks to all of the sponsors and donors for Uncorked 2014!

Grand Cru & Naming Sponsor ($2000+):  Liberty Prairie Foundation

Bordeaux Sponsor ($1000+):  Strang Funeral Chapel

Cabernet Sauvignon Sponsors ($500+):  State Banks of the Lakes, The Vine Martine & Wine Bar

Merlot Sponsors ($250+):  Aspire Wealth Management, ID Label Inc., Jesse Oaks, Joyce Campbell Insurance (State Farm), Marvin Design Gallery, Market Financial Group, Community Trust Credit Union

Pinot Noir Sponsors ($100+):  American Family Insurance, Edwards Jone Investments, Andresen Automotive, Emil's, Gynecological & Obstetric Associates SC, Designs on You, Warren Edwards Builders Inc., QCI Restoration, Ace Hardware Grayslake, Sawyer Falduto Asset Manangement LLC, Fox Valley Graphics, Alwin Anthony Salon  

Silent Auction Donors:  Grayslake Rotary Club, Grayslake Hobby World, Canine Clippers, This Old Book, Melissa Rigoni, Alwin Anthony Salon, Central Bark Doggie Daycare, Ben Bates, CLC Ceramics, David Bolton, Director, CLC Ceramics, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC, Waukegan Tire, Comfort Suites Grayslake, Mike & Corinne Kukulski, University Center of Lake County, Grayslake Fire Department, Tang’s Restaurant, Music Source, Kim Schneider @ Debby & Company, Schweitzer Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, Salutos, Cacao Sweets & Treats, Millers Area Heating, Culvers Grayslake, Lynne Reynolds, Eagle Flag & Flagpoles, John Wheeler, That Pasta Place, Clow Family, SEDOL




At its February 10th meeting, the Grayslake Rotary Club offically welcomed John Wheeler as a new member of the club.  John recently moved to the Grayslake area, and is a previous Rotarian and Paul Harris fellow. John was introduced to the Grayslake club by John Miller, who presented him with his club pin during the induction ceremony.  Please welcome John to the club - we look forward to working and serving together!




Grayslake Rotarian Michael Marassa hosted several Grayslake Central High School teachers and students as our luncheon guests and the featured speakers for the Dec 16th meeting of the Grayslake Rotary Club.  Visiting our club were Barb Georges, Department Chair for Science & Career Tech Education, Tom Kim, Associate Principal for Curriculum & Instruction, and four students, Will Mock, Kasey Wanek, Katelynn Weidman, and Brian Zador.  Barb and Tom introduced two programs recently introduced at Grayslake Central High School, the first being Project Lead the Way, and the second an initiative to introduce iPads into the classroom.


(l to r) Assoc Principal Tom Kim, Dept Chair Barb Georges, students Katelynn Weidman, Kasey Wanek, Will Mock, Brian Zador, and Grayslake Rotarian Michael Marrassa

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education is at the heart of today’s high-tech, high-skill global economy. For America to remain economically competitive, our next generation of leaders -- the students of today -- must develop the critical-reasoning and problem-solving skills that will help make them the most productive in the world.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a provider of rigorous and innovative STEM education curricular programs used in schools. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, PLTW exists to prepare students for the global economy through its world-class curriculum, high-quality professional development, and an engaged network of educators, students, universities, and professionals. PLTW’s comprehensive curriculum has been designed by PLTW teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators to promote critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and real-world problem solving skills in students. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success. 

STEM education programs like the one offered by PLTW engage students in activities-, projects-, and problem-based (APPB) learning, which provides hands-on classroom experiences. Students create, design, build, discover, collaborate and solve problems while applying what they learn in math and science. They're also exposed to STEM fields through professionals from local industries who supplement the real-world aspect of the curriculum through mentorships and workplace experiences. 

Both Will and Brian detailed their participation in PLTW; the integration of their mainstream academic classes, particularly math and science, with what have been traditional vocational trade classes such as wood or metal shop.  They discussed the use of concept engineering software such as Inventor in their projects, as well as the use of 3-D printing technology to fabricate mockups or one-off parts for their projects.  The merging of these disparate disciplines has allowed them to complete projects from concept stages through to production, as in the case of a charcoal chimney project they have worked on.

Kasey and Katelynn gave an account of their experience with a new iPad initiative being implemented in the school biology program.  The school provides students with iPads in class as textbook proxies; this capability is supplemented by the iPad's further use as a research tool, as well its use to collate and analyze data from experiments and projects. Both young ladies were enthusiastic in their assessments of the devices, describing the synergistic effect they have on course curriculum.  Barb did also address the concerns these devices can raise about over-fascination with technology; considerable thought has gone into ensuring these technological aids augment real learning versus just shining the apple.

What can these kinds of programs do to improve actual learning?  Here are the outcomes the national PLTW has observed:

• PLTW alumni are studying engineering and technology at five to 10 times the average rate of all students.
• PLTW students have a higher retention rate in college engineering, science, and related programs than other students in those areas.
• 97% of PLTW seniors intend to pursue a four-year degree or higher, whereas the national average is 67%.
• 80% of PLTW seniors say they will study engineering, technology, or computer science in college, whereas the national average is 32%.
• PLTW students achieve significantly higher scores in reading, mathematics, and science than Career and Technical Education (CTE) students in the same schools in similar CTE fields. 

Overall, this was a interesting insight into innovative new programs offered to our community's students - it is encouraging to see experiments like these that try to break out of the objective/test-oriented education philosophy to address real-world application of school-based learning.  For more information about PLTW, see their national website at




Rotarian Jim Franson hosted our guest and featured speaker, Nina Lustig, at the Dec 2nd meeting of the Grayslake Rotary Club.  Nina is the Executive Director of Lake County Cares (LCC).  LCC was founded in 1967 as the Volunteer Bureau of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff, to connect resident volunteers with opportunities to serve and help solve community needs. Its name changed to the Volunteer Center of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff to better align with the national network of Volunteer Centers, and in 2009 again changed to Lake County Cares to better represent the communities it serves.


Lake County Cares Executive Director Nina Lustig speaking to the Grayslake Rotary Club

The mission of Lake County Cares is to be the premier volunteer service hub of Lake County. LCC is an active center that strengthens communities by operating essential outreach programs and facilitating daily connections between its volunteer corps and local agencies, municipalities, schools, civic groups, and religious organizations. LCC's vision is to be the primary resource Lake County residents rely on to connect with outreach programs and service opportunities that make a difference in their community and the county at large.

LCC's outreach programs address Hunger, Literacy, Domestic Violence, Senior Well Being Environment, Homelessness Youth Leadership, and Civic Engagement via such programs as: The Giving Tree; Heart 2 Heart; HUGS Food Drive; Big Hands, Little Hearts; Open Doors; Sarah's Dream: Read With Me; Summer of Service; and Veterans Give Back.  Through its agency support programs it provides more than 115 social service agencies with the publicity and resources they need to accomplish their important missions. LCC helps member agencies, non-profits, parks, libraries, schools and religious organizations through ongoing referral of volunteers, volunteer management training and many other services. Lastly, LCC provides a Care Corps, a collective group of volunteer individuals to whom it provides experienced consultation and matches with opportunities appropriate to their interest and/or skills.

Anyone that would like to support the mission of LCC can do so via monetary donations, donations of items to associated agencies, or via donations of time and/or talent.  For more information about Lake County Cares, or to assist in their efforts, see their website at



The newest member of the Grayslake Rotary Club, Michael Marassa, was the featured speaker at the July 8th meeting of the club.  Michael used this opportunity to introduce himself to the entire club and to let us know a little bit more about him.


Michael Marassa, new Rotarian, addressing the Grayslake Rotary Club

Michael is the Grayslake Community High School District 127 Technology Director.  In this capacity he is responsible for the department planning for, implementing, and maintaining the currency of technology hardware and software for both district students and staff. Additionally, his department provides students' parents and the community access to information about the school and students via web access to student grades and through the district's informational website.  

Michael graduated from Brother Rice High School, earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in Education from University of Illinois Champaign, and his masters degree in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois University. Michael and his wife, Lynn, have two daughters.  In addition to his work in teaching and technology, Michael has coached volleyball in the past, and is currently active in volleyball officiating for club and college level games.




New Grayslake Rotary Club member Ken Idstein was the featured speaker at the July 1st meeting.   His presentation served as a forum for Ken to introduce himself to our club, tell us a bit about himself, and to detail his work history and current activities.  Ken is the owner and president of Idstein Mortgage Services, Inc., which has been in operation in Grayslake since 1990.  Prior to that, from 1965 to 1990, Ken served as a Loan Officer for Sears Mortgage and GMAC Mortgage.


New member Ken Idstein addresses the Grayslake Rotary Club

With the slump in the housing market over the past few years, the mortgage industry has been challenged, but Ken sees some recent revival.  There have been some significant changes, though, especially in the mortgage process. Lenders are much more regulated and as a result, the days of "easy money" to buy a home may be over.  Ken described the extreme detail that borrowers must provide into every source of income to satisfy lenders' inquiries; even something as innocuous as depositing a $50 dollar Christmas gift check from Grandma will require documentation to verify the source of that income.  Ken addressed other changes in the industry as well, and fielded several questions from the membership about the current mortgage process and climate.  For more information about Idstein Mortgage Services, Inc, please visit their website.



At the June 17th meeting, Denise Kindle hosted the recipients of the 2013 Grayslake Rotary Club Academic Merit Scholarships, along with their parents, as our club's guests and featured speakers.  The $1000 scholarship awards went to Kajal Chokshi, from Grayslake Central High School, and to Grayslake North High School's Krysten Gross.  Both of these outstanding young women are recently graduated seniors who rose to the top of a list of highly qualified and deserving candidates for the scholarship awards, and were selected by a panel of Grayslake Rotarians who interviewed all of the candidates to determine the scholarship winners.


(from left) Scholarship winner Kajal Chokshi, with Rotarian Denise Kindle, and scholarship winner Krysten Gross

Kajal will be starting school this fall at Loyola University, where she plans to study Mathematics/Math Education.  Krysten will be attending Elmhurst College, in pursuit of a Business/Communications degree.  Both of these young ladies stand out for their outstanding academic performance in high school, for their comprehensive involvement in extracurricular activities, their commitment to community and service, their desire and intent to give back of themselves in their future work, and most evidently, for their vivacious and engaging personalities.

Everyone from the Grayslake Rotary Club extends their warm congratulations to Kajal and Krysten for their distinctive accomplishments, and wishes them the very best of luck in the pursuit of their future studies and life goals!



Jim Fransen hosted Beverly Hubbard as our guest and speaker for the Jun 10th meeting of the Grayslake Rotary Club.  Beverly is the Development Officer for the College of Lake County Foundation, which was established in 1974 as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity. The Foundation raises funds for scholarships and to meet other institutional needs.  The CLC Foundation is dedicated to helping students through its scholarship awards program. Last year alone, the Foundation made 857 individual scholarship awards, totaling about $500,000.


Beverly Hubbard discusses CLC Foundation with the Grayslake Rotary Club

The CLC Foundation has launched the Changing Lives scholarship campaign to raise funds to provide tuition assistance to CLC students.  Why is the Foundation seeking donations to support CLC scholarships?

Because, today, access to college is essential. It used to be that a high school diploma was all that was needed to support a middle class lifestyle. Not so today. Without completing at least some college, today’s young people won’t have the higher-level skills they will need to move much beyond minimum wage jobs. And even in tough economic times, the benefits of college remain true. The more education you have, the more you will likely earn and the less likely you will be to become unemployed.

Because many students can’t even afford CLC’s lower-cost tuition. Though about one in four of CLC students receives some form of financial aid, often it is not enough. On average, financial aid and family support runs short of meeting students’ basic living expenses by about $2,300 per year. For the poorest of financial aid students, staying in school is a constant financial battle. In a district with a median household income of nearly $80,000, these students have an annual family income of under $23,000.

Because educated minds are our greatest resource. Access to college isn’t just important to individual lives. It’s also essential to the vitality of our local community and economy. CLC graduates, for example, generate millions of dollars in local, state and federal tax revenues, and they support schools, businesses and other vital community services. And CLC graduates comprise a skilled local workforce—an essential asset for employers in a global economy in which human capital is the competitive edge.

Because at CLC your donation can go so far.  Because tuition at the College of Lake County is so much lower than at a university, your donation can have a wider reach, helping more students. Think about it this way: one or several donations totaling $10,000 can pay for the annual tuition of three students at CLC. At a public university, that amount would support just one student!

For more information about the CLC Foundation or the Changing Lives scholarship campaign, see the Changing Lives website.



The Grayslake Rotary Club welcomed its newest member, Michael Marassa, into our club with his induction as the main event of the May 20th meeting.


Sponsor Denise Kindle after presenting new member Michael Marassa with his Rotary pin.

Michael, who has been sponsored by Denise Kindle, is the Director of Technology at Grayslake High School District 127.  Michael received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois - Champaign, and his master's degree in education from Eastern Illinois University.

Join us in welcoming Michael to the Grayslake Rotary family!




Wine Tasting
Friday, March 10, 2017
6 -8:30 PM
Tickets $30
($35 at the door)


Click for Uncorked! Flyer


To Sponsor Uncorked 2017, Click the DONATE button here


sponsored by

Cabernet Sauvignon Sponsors - Liberty Prairie Foundation


Merlot Sponsors - Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group


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