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Windsor Manor
403 Scenic Street
Morrison, IL  61270-2036
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Morrison Rotary Donates Harvest Hammer shirts
The Morrison Rotary club donated new Harvest Hammer shirts from prior races to the Morrison Food Bank, April House and Morrison Hospital. The shirts are provided to adults and children who need something nice to wear but may not have the resources to purchase them. The emergency department at Morrison Hospital gives shirts to those patients who enter the emergency room whose shirts that have been damaged or destroyed through trauma. Pictured here is Harvest Hammer race director Stephanie Neas (l) presenting a shirt to Carrie Melton, Executive Director of April House.
Kim Smeja, Historic Preservationist, (pictured here) and Jan Stilson, Chairman of the Blackhawk Restoration Team, presented a program on efforts to restore the Black Hawk statue in Oregon. Kim was able to go up to view the restoration process first hand. She showed photos of the restoration efforts. Through the efforts of Illinois State Representative Tom Demmer the group was able to secure a $350,000 grant to fund the restoration efforts. Another $250,000 was raised for future maintenance and upgrades to the plaza around the statue. The statue, also called the Eternal Indian, was designed by Lorado Taft and dedicated in 1911. It is 48' tall and is perched on a 77' bluff overlooking the Rock River. Interesting enough, it is the 2nd largest concrete statue in the world! Restoration efforts will be completed by the end of this year!
Donations to continue to preserve the statue can be made at or sent to Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.
The Morrison Rotary Club announces our October 2019 Students of the Month
Congratulations to our Morrison High School Students of the Month- Gracen Harmon and Lindsey Houldsen.
Gracen is the daughter of Paul and Jaime Harmon. She has been a member of Key Club and Student Council. She loves to swim. She has been swimming for over 10 years including the last 4 years on the Varsity girls swim team. Gracen plans to attend Sauk Valley College and then transfer to NIU to major in Art just like her mom.
Lindsey is the daughter of Greg and Debbie Houldsen. She has been a member of Key Club for 4 years and she is a member of student council.  Lindsey loves to run on the Cross Country team. She is not sure what school she will be attending but she wants to have a major in the medical field.
The honor of our first Rotary students of the month for the 2019-20 school year goes to Ms. Taylor Stratton and Mr. Nick Allen.
Taylor is the daughter of Kris Stratton and Amy O’Connor. She is active in volleyball, basketball, band, student council, key club and BLIND. She is also the drum major of the band. She loves sports and hanging out with friends. She is planning to study radiology at a school to be named later.
Nick is the son of Mike and Andrea Allen. He has played football, track and basketball for the past 4 years. He is also a BLIND leader and is on the student council. Nick belongs to the youth group at Emmanuel Reformed Church and has participated in 4 mission trips. Nick loves to work on his grandpa John Kophamer’s farm and he wants to major in Ag Business in college so he can come back and work on his grandpa’s farm.
The Morrison Rotary Club was honored to have our 2019-2020 District Governor Roberta (Bobbi) Burke attend our August 21 meeting. Bobbi is a member of the Rochelle Rotary Club, having joined in 1988. She was the club's third female member and their first to have a baby! After the birth of her third child in 1991, she took a hiatus from Rotary until her youngest started school. During that time she kept her hand in community service as co-chair of a committee to build a new "KidsGround" playground in Rochelle. 
Bobbi is past president of Rochelle Rotary (2008-2009) and has served at the district level as Assistant Governor Coordinator and currently as Assistant Governor and as Co-Chair of the District's Friendship Exchange Committee. She has worn several professional and avocational hats, as a Chiropractor, adjunct college faculty member, current member of the Kishwaukee College Board, Master Gardener, and is employed by First State Bank as coordinator of the bank's activity and travel club.  
Bobbi and husband Bob have two married sons and a daughter. Says Bobbi of her love of all things Rotary: FUN should be part of the Four Way Test!

A note from John Prange, our Picnic committee chair!

A big thank you to all of you for your contribution toward another successful picnic.  57 adults and 11 children consumed all but 3.5 sandwich ribeyes at a total cost of $423.17 or $6.22/person.  And the side dishes were once again phenomenal!  And, of course, the group time with the committee is always special.

I have been thinking some more about when this all started.  My first picnic was in 1989 at George Piersol’s cabin on the Mississippi, the year after I joined Rotary (Oct 1988).  It began probably two years prior to that because I remember it being fairly new that year.  George grilled chicken over the big block grill.  George and Ron did the grilling that year.  Ron and I grilled the next year while George supervised and made sure everyone’s drinks were full.  I would imagine that it started 2-3 years prior to 1989, say 1986 – Ron might be able to piece that together.  That means this was #34.  That is a LONG time – great tradition! 

So thanks again for helping to keep this tradition alive.  What say we do it again next year!!!!

PS:  EP had my tongs.  That 30+ year tradition continues as well as those two tongs have never been separated!


The Morrison Rotary club welcomed Ms. Sandra Crouse, mother of Rotarian Ellen Smith. Sandra is the volunteer coordinator of the Loft 112 Art Studio in Morrison. She took time to display some of the art pieces she has purchased from artists at the studio and give the meaning why she bought them. Including a funny story about a pesky raccoon that hung around the building. Sandra mentioned the Loft is open Thursdays from 10:00-2:00 and Friday and Saturday from 10:00-4:00. She also invited everyone to sit around and discuss art on the 3rd Thursday of each month when the studio opens at 8:00 AM to serve coffee and homemade desserts. Sandra also invited everyone to consider a membership to the loft which includes discounts and special invitations to events. The cost ranges from $20 for a single to $65 per family. She also noted the Loft one a 2017 Governors’ award from the State of Illinois. Thank you Sandra for a wonderful presentation.
Bill Stoermer from Exelon Energy presented facts from the Nuclear Industry in Illinois
Illinois has 11 reactors, the most of any state that generate 52.2 percent of the state’s electricity while emitting no greenhouse gases. Illinois’ nuclear energy facilities employ more than 5,900 workers.  Illinois’ 11 nuclear power reactors produce 88 percent of the state’s emission-free electricity. These nuclear energy facilities protect air quality and public health. Nuclear energy generates nearly 20 percent of our nation’s electricity and provides more than 55 percent of our emission-free power, making it an essential partner to renewable energy. Nuclear is America’s most reliable source of electricity. Illinois nuclear plants produced power more than 96 percent of the time over the past three years, ensuring power is available whenever it is needed. Nuclear energy is a vital part of U.S. infrastructure that keeps electricity prices and grids stable.
About 25 Rotarians and their spouses/children/guests attended the Lumberkings game on June 13. Dr. David Yeager was selected to throw out the first pitch, which was an unhittable slider down and in on the right hand batter (see video on his Facebook page). This is a wonderful event to enjoy plenty of food, adult beverages and share Rotary war stories. Thank you John Prange for putting this all together. Great time!
Thank you to Matthew Miller and Tom McEleney from the Clinton Area Showboat for the program today. Matthew noted the Showboat is celebrating its 30th Season! As a theme they decided on the British Invasion. All of the plays are written by Brits or based in Britain. The first play starts this weekend. Tickets can be purchased by going to the Showboat website:
Louise Clark and Kathy Schmidt from our club attended the District 6420 Conference in Galena this weekend. A great venue, location and the speakers were inspiring
Thanks to this group of Morrison Rotarians highway 30 is much cleaner this morning. Thank you Mike Gunderson, Kristi Wambeke, Mark Schuler (our fearless leader), Stan Steines, Dan Vandermyde, Ted Volckmann, and Kevin Schisler. Don Jevne assisted in the cleanup earlier in the day. And we can't forget our transportation coordinator- Merle Reisenbigler!
On May 15th the Morrison Rotary Club hosted all of the students that the club sponsored and sent to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp May 3-5th. The students gave the club a brief description of the activities they were involved with and what their favorite things were. The students were from Prophetstown and Morrison high schools. This is the largest group of students the club has ever sent.
Morrison Rotary presents 2019 scholarships
Morrison Rotarian Kevin Schisler presented scholarships to the following seniors at Morrison High School at their Award Ceremony on May 14, 2019:
(Left to right)
Rotary All Around Male- Steven Kramoski- $1,250
Rotary All Around Female- Molly Neumann- $1,250
Agricultural- Hannah Linder- $500
Vocational Tech- Tiffani Merema- $500
Sauk Valley Community College- Jacob Brown- $500
Good Citizen- Jacob Brown- $1,000
MIT Scholarship- Cooper Finley- $500  (Not present)
Congratulations to all of these students

Morrison Rotary Club Sends Seventeen Students to Rotary Leadership Camp

This year the Morrison Rotary Club, in partnership with the Erie Rotary Club, is sending 13 Morrison High School and 4 Prophetstown High School students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp (RYLA). The camp will take place this past weekend May 3-5 at the Lorado Taft campus of NIU at Lowden State Park.

The purpose of RYLA is for students to improve their leadership skills as they work together in teams. They meet students from all over northwestern Illinois as well as exchange students from all parts of the world. Lasting friendships are built during this time. The camp is staffed by Rotarians from around the District who volunteer their time to provide a safe, positive atmosphere for the students. Approximately 120 students attend the camp each year.

The camp has an amazing impact on students’ lives. Several past Morrison High School campers have gone on to become student Counselors/helpers at the RYLA camp; one student went on to find the nearest RYLA camp in the Rotary district where they were going to college and helped them run their camp for two years.

This is the second year in a row the Morrison Rotary Club has sponsored students from both Morrison and Prophetstown. Because of the large number of applicants, and because the club did not want to turn anyone down, the Erie Rotary Club stepped up and assisted with the funds to send them. Another club, Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary, also helped to contribute to the cause.

The Morrison Rotary Club organizes the Harvest Hammer 5K Race and Duathlon each Fall. It is their only fundraiser. Proceeds from the Harvest Hammer are used each year to provide scholarships to Morrison High School Seniors, send students to RYLA and fund community and international projects.

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The Morrison Rotary club welcomed new members Kristi Wambeke and Chelsey Ferguson. These ladies work for Rock Valley Physical Therapy. Their company was accepted as a Corporate Member meaning that either Kristi or Chelsey can attend the meetings. Pictured here (l-r) are their sponsor, Kathy Schmidt, Chelsey, Kristi and President Ron Coplan. Welcome aboard ladies!

Today Morrison Rotary welcomed Kate Vos (left) and Cassie Osborn as our April Students of the Month from Morrison High School.

Cassie is a Senior, has been involved in musicals, Band, Choir, Jazz Band and Drama Club. She has also been a dancer at Leanne's Dance Connection for 15 years. Her plans are to attend Illinois Wesleyan University and major in Music Education. Cassie's parents are Roger and Sheila Osborn

Kate is a Senior. She has been involved in Softball, Volleyball and basketball. She has been a Student Council member for 4 years. Her plans are to attend Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL. Her parents are Dale & Polly Vos.

Morrison High School March Students of the Month
Bailey Smith
Bailey is the daughter of Mike and Dara Smith. She is a senior who has been an active volunteer with Paint the Town, Harvest Hammer, and Key Club where she serves as president. She also helps with the annual Christ Walk. In addition Bailey loves to act in school plays. Her plans are to attend college next year and study Pre-law. Best wishes Bailey!
Hannah Linder
Hannah is the daughter of Kurt and Lori Linder. She has been active in sports particularly basketball and softball. He has participated in Key Club for the past 4 years. She loves agriculture and she services as secretary of the FFA and she is a 4H member. Her plans are to attend Highland Community College and study Ag Business and then come home and eventually take over the family farm. Congratulations Hannah!
Morrison Rotarian Dr. David Yeager presented a program entitled " Common Foot and Ankle problems and how to correct them" to the Clinton Rotary Club on Monday, March 4. Many of the Rotarians were very impressed with his details and his photos and his ability to explain some of the abnormalities in a way they can understand. We want to thank Clinton Rotarians Mary Swanson and Cheryl Frey for the invitation. 
Morrison High School January Students of the Month
Our January students of the month are MacKenzie Ryder and Ethan Medenblik.
MacKenzie is active in Student Council where she serves as President. She coordinates Spirit events for the sports teams.  She loves to dance. MacKenzie is very active in her church and she just finished a 5 week mission trip to China this summer where she taught English and other classes. Her future plans are to attend either Moody Bible Institute or a school that will allow her to blend her love for people and cultural studies.
Ethan is the son of Kevin and Jennifer Medenblik. He loves sports and he has played baseball and basketball at MHS. He also helps umpire Little League games at the sports complex. Ethan plans to attend MIT this fall majoring in Network Administration. 

Morrison Rotary Club Literacy Committee Chair Ellen Smith submitted these photos of one class which is receiving free books throughout the 2018-2019 school year.  Parent donations supported the program, Smith noted.

Northside School children received their October installment of free, monthly books, provided by Morrison Rotary Club.  Increasing literacy is an important goal of the organization.  Below are children in Karen Mayberry's class.


Kolten Conklen was our speaker today. Kolten traveled to South Korea through the Rotary Long Term Youth Exchange program. He spent the 2016-2017 school year there and was sponsored by the 

Sterling Noon Rotary club. While in South Korea he stayed with three host families and learned a lot about their culture.In the photo Kolten’s jacket is covered in all sorts of pins and memorabilia that he collected throughout his visit. This is a tradition with all of the exchange students (inbound and outbound).

Kolten is currently attending the University of Illinois studying International Studies and Business. He will return to South Korea next Spring on a study abroad.

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Today Donald Jevne received his Paul Harris Fellow (pin and certificate) from President Ron Coplan. Kevin 
Schisler received his Paul Harris +1 recognition pin. A Rotarian receives the Paul Harris Fellow after donating at certain levels to the Rotary Foundation. 
Congratulations Don and Kevin!
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The Morrison Rotary club members lost a wonderful member. Don Miller passed away on January 4th at the young age of 90. Don joined the Morrison Rotary club on September 13, 1967 making him a 52 year veteran! Don served his country in the armed forces and he was a long time school teacher in the Morrison Schools. I am proud to say that I was a teammate of Don's trivia team for several years which benefited the Friends of the Park. He was our song leader whenever we had a Rotarian birthday. He loved a good joke and he would laugh whenever he was fined for some trivial offense at our noon luncheons. He will be missed!
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Michael Blean
    January 10
  • Kristi Wambeke
    January 12
  • Dan Vandermyde
    January 14
  • Keith Frederick
    January 14
  • Joshua West
    January 19
Join Date:
  • Merle Reisenbigler
    January 9, 1985
    35 years
  • Louise Clark
    January 13, 2010
    10 years
  • Michael Gunderson
    January 21, 2004
    16 years