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First Gateway Credit Union
200 N. Base Street
MORRISON, IL 61270-3042
United States of America
Home Page Stories
Our Rotary Club heard from Lauren Story who along with his son Mitchell and his wife Anna who will be opening the Rockwood Restaurant and Marina on Tuesday, June 11. The marina will feature a restaurant, boat rentals, and bait sales. Many improvements have been made including: restaurant/kitchen/baitshop upgrades, boat docks were rebuilt, and the purchase of paddle boats, kayaks and a jon boat. Weekly food specials will be offered along with plenty of ice cream and baked goods by Mitchell. They are open Tuesday-Saturday 7:00 AM-7:00 PM and Sunday 7:00 AM-3:00 PM. Follow them on Facebook.
Pictured here is President Scott Vandermyde congratulating Lauren Story on opening a much needed business at Rockwood!
President Scott Vandermyde presented Stephanie Taylor a plaque honoring her 28 years of service to the Morrison Rotary Club and her Paul Harris Major Donor Award (over $10,000). Stephanie and her husband have purchased a home in Wyoming so unfortunately we will be losing a wonderful member. Stephanie is a licensed pilot and so she was given the opportunity to fly in every Wednesday and land in a new landing strip that President and Mayor Scott will have built just for her! Thank you so much for your years of service and dedication to the Rotary Club and the Morrison Community Stephanie. You will be missed!
The Morrison Rotary Club is proud to award $5,000 in scholarships to these fine Morrison High School students. 
Pictured (Left-right)
Cooper Bush- All Around Male- $1,250
Madison Krum- All Around Female- $1,250
Blake Adams- Citizenship- $1,000
Emma Oldham- Vo-Tech- $500
Allen Rumfelt- $500- MIT
Not pictured is Hailey Wiersema the winner of the $500 Sauk Valley College Scholarship
There was not an applicant for the Ag scholarship this year. 
Our first road clean up of 2024 netted a nice haul of garbage that in turn, made a 1 mile stretch of highway 30 look much nicer! Thanks to Stan Steines and John Prange for arranging the vests and bags to use for the crew. Our work detail consisted of (l-r)
Dr. Brad Yaklich, Mick Welding, Dan Vandermyde, Rich Groleau, Kevin Schisler, Don Jevne and Dave Abele (kneeling). 
Thanks gents for your dedication to making Morrison a cleaner community!
Morrison Rotary gave 300 reusable Grocery Bags to Sullivan's Customers in honor of Earth Day on April 20, 2024.
Rotarians in action were Stan Steines, Ellen Smith, Kevin Kuehl, Kathy Schmidt and Everett Pannier
The bags were well received by customers and some even remembered them from the year prior and were very 
happy to receive another.  Another perk for customers is they receive a .05 credit for each bag used.  Sullivans
was happy to have Rotarians bagging groceries on Saturday morning.
Morrison Rotary Club announces our April Students of the Month
Sarah Weston is the daughter of Annette and Dennis Weston. She is involved in band (drum major for 3 years), theater, key club (president), scholastic bowl, prom committee, orchestra, madrigals and she also found time to play basketball. She has played in the Dixon Municipal Band and also assisted with the Kiwanis Club activities and she works at Sullivans. Her hobbies include MUSIC, reading, painting, baking and hiking. Her future plans are to attend Augustana College and major in Music Education with a goal to be a music teacher.
Karalynn Kirkpatrick is the daughter of Kayleen Mecum. She participates in choir, madrigals, drama club, prom committee, key club(co-president 1 yr.) and B.L.I.N.D. Through Key Club she is able to volunteer at various organizations. She loves musical theater, reading and watching movies. She also loves to hang out with her family in her free time. She loves, loves, loves multimedia and making/editing videos with her friends. Her future plans are to attend Illinois State University and major in theater/film so she can make a lifelong career in the industry.
Congratulations to both of these fine young women!

Morrison Rotary welcomes a new member

The Morrison Rotary Club is excited to welcome our newest member, Mr. Dave Mills. Mr. Mills is the new principal of Morrison High School. He is celebrating his 17th year in education.  Prior to coming to Morrison he was Principal at George O. Barr Elementary in the Silvis School District for 5 years.  Before that, I was the Principal at AlWood Middle/High School.  He has  taught middle school and high school social studies at Alwood. Dave has been married to his wife Angie for 16 years and they have 4 kids entering 9th, 7th, 5th, and 3rd grades. 

Dave is being sworn in by President Scott Vandermyde along with his Rotary sponsor Carrie Melton. Welcome aboard Dave!

Our Rotary club will celebrate 100 years with a gala at Morrison Tech on Saturday, April 20. Doors open at 5:00. Guests will be treated to a presentation by keynote speaker Gary Metivier plus a recap of club milestones over the past 100 years. There is no cost for Rotarians or guests. We can still accept a few more reservations if you contact Mick Welding at or call 815-590-6497. 
Morrison Rotary Club recognizes March Students of the Month
The Morrison Rotary club is proud to recognize seniors Geneva Connelly and Madison Banks as the March Students of the Month.
Geneva is the daughter of Scott and Wendy Connelly. She was very active in school participating in Student Council (4 yrs.), Volleyball (4 yrs), Key Club, B.L.I.N.D leader and National Honor Society (2 yrs each), Pons and Golf (1 yr.) and she attended the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) Camp 1 year. She was in club volleyball and swimming for 3 years, assisted with Volleyball Kids Camp and Pons Kids Camp and helped raise money for the Boosters at the annual Whiteside County Fair 4 years. She enjoys sewing, reading, gardening and paddle boarding. Her future plans are to pursue an accounting degree at a 4 year university.
Madison is the daughter of Jason and Melissa Banks. She participated in Student Council, National Honor Society, a B.L.I.N.D leader, Prom Committee, Volleyball and she attended the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) Camp. She was also a blood donor, volunteer at the Custom Pak picnic, worked at the beef barn at the Whiteside County Fair, and she assisted with a Volleyball kids camp. She works as a Care Provider at Resthave and she is active in her youth group at church. Her hobbies include crafting, crocheting, and spending time with family and friends while enjoying the great outdoors. Her future plans are to attend Blackhawk and major in Nursing. She would love to work in labor and delivery after finishing her degree at Trinity College.
Pictured here are Madison, President Elect Stan Steines, Geneva and Morrison High School Principal Dave Mills. (l-r)
The Morrison Rotary Club was treated to a presentation by Pam Pfister, CEO at Morrison Community Hospital. Pam shared some challenges in staffing and state reimbursement along with some photos of the most recent expansion and a glimpse of future expansion. She concluded her presentation with a slide to wish everyone a Happy Valentines Day.
The Morrison Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate to Brad Yaklich on winning Citizen of the Year! Your contributions to the community through volunteerism does not go unnoticed!
The Morrison Chamber of Commerce recognized Morrison Rotary Past President and Four-time Harvest Hammer Director Brad Yaklich as the 2024 Citizen of the Year! Well deserved Brad. We appreciate your devotion and service to our club!
January 2024 Students of the Month
The Morrison Rotary Club is proud to recognize Morrison High School seniors Carly Boonstra and Chase Newman as our January Students of the Month.
Carly is the daughter of Thomas and Donna Boonstra. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and she is a statistician for the wrestling team. She assists with blood drives, and planning student activities such as dances and holiday events. Her hobbies are reading, working out, playing games and spending time with family and friends. She loves to spend time fishing and camping at her family’s cabin in Ptown. Her future plans include attending Sauk Valley College or Illinois State University to major in accounting or business.
Chase is the son of Brooke and Mathew Newman. Chase has been playing basketball and football since he was about 5. He also runs track. He is a member of the National Honor Society. Recently he helped move furniture and products from the Food Pantry in the Methodist Church over to their new location by Kunes. Chase mentioned that Dr. Nicky Eustace from Morrison Community Hospital, who is the team doctor for the football team, really had an impact on his future plans. After talking to her he would like to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy at a college that specializes in that program.
Morrison Rotarian Suellen Girard presented several beautiful quilts she has created through the years. She consistently makes quilts for veterans to donate to the Quilts of Valor program where these vets get a free quilt to thank them for their service. She demonstrated quilts that take a few hours to design and make to the more intricate patterns that can take months. She is especially proud of this quilt (pictured below) since it was chosen for her alma mater's calendar. Thank you Suellen for your amazing talent and for your dedication to the war veterans
October 2023 Rotary Students of the Month Cambell Buikema and Carson Strating
Cambell is the daughter of Jason and Domini Buikema. She has participated in golf in her freshman year and volleyball all 4 years. She is a member of Student Council and the National Honors Society. She has also assisted with the prom committee. Cambell has assisted with community blood drives and she has volunteered at the Morrison Sportsman’s Club. She enjoys working with children, spending time with family and traveling. Her future plans include attending college for nursing with plans to become a nurse anesthetist. She really wants to work with pediatric patients.
Carson is the son of Jason and Erica Strating. He has participated in football where he was team captain 2 years, basketball, baseball (captain 1 year) and track. He has donated many hours working at the Whiteside County Fair in the beef barn and then cleaning the property afterwards. He has also volunteered to help kids play flag football. Finally he has helped sell sandwiches for the Key Club fundraisers and he helped unloading vehicles at the annual recycle day. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, golfing and lifting weights. Carson has worked for the City of Morrison for the past 3 years. His future plans include a college where he can play football. He is undecided on a major.
Thirteen hearty Rotarians braved cold weather to help keep highway 30 east of Morrison spotless. Pictured here (l-r) Front row kneeling- Kevin Schisler and Dr. John Tomasino (already sporting the winter beard). 2nd Row (l-r) Kevin Kuehl, Lynette Damhoff, honorary member Denise Kuehl, Karl Kovarik, Ted Volckmann and Dr. Brad Yaklich and back row (l-r) President Scott Vandermyde, Stan Steines, Tanner Girard and Dan Vandermyde. Not pictured was Mike Gunderson who reported for duty at sunrise. Rotarians pledge to do projects "that will be beneficial to all concerned". We strive to serve our community in all we do. Thanks again Rotarians!
November 2023 Rotary Students of the Month Peyton Emerson and Cooper Bush
Peyton is the daughter of Kristy and Mike Wagenecht. During school Peyton is involved in student council, key club and the BLIND. She is also involved with community activities such as selling sandwiches, the Harvest Hammer, Veterans Day events, visiting nursing homes and assisting with the Custom Pak picnic. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, shopping and crafts. Peyton has worked in the Dietary department at Morrison Community Hospital for the past two years. Her future plans include attending Scott Community College to obtain a Rad-Tech and Ultrasound Tech degree. The staff at Morrison Community Hospital wish Peyton all the best!
Cooper is the son of Trent and Heather Bush and the grandson of Lyle and Gretchen Bush and Dale and Deb Eizenga. His love for sports is reflected in his high school career where he participated in basketball, football and golf. He also participated in B.L.I.N.D and Student Council. His B.L.I.N.D group just visited a Nursing Home which he said “was really cool”. He loves sports, hanging out with friends and his girlfriend and playing video games. His future plans are to attend St. Ambrose after completing 2 years at Sauk to obtain a DPT degree in Physical Therapy. His hometown hospital would be happy to discuss employment opportunities after completing his degree.
The Morrison Rotary club welcomed MHS seniors Madison Krum and Caden Bielema, our September 2023 Students of the Month.
Madison Krum
Madison is the daughter of Mark and Chris Krum. She has been involved in Student Council, B.L.I.N.D., band, choir, FFA, musical theater and she was selected to the National Honor Society. Her community activities include President of the Cottonwood 4-H, plus serving on the Whiteside County Federation and Whiteside County Shooting Sports. She is also active in her church. Her hobbies include archery, scrapbooking, drawing, watching movies and playing and listening to music. Her future plans are to attend Sauk for 2 years and then transfer to UI- Champaign or UIC to major in Mathematics or Statistics and minor in Business Economics or Ag Business with a goal to be a Quantitative Analyst.
Caden Bielema
Caden is the son of Cory and Jennifer Bielema. He has participated in the scholastic bowl this year and he played a role in the 2023 school play. He had been active in FFA and the student council. He also played golf in his freshman year. He was selected to the National Honors Society and he is proud to have worked at Sullivan’s’ for the past 2 years. His hobbies include playing and designing board games, video games, and listening to music while walking. His plan is to attend a college where he can continue to work in game design.
Citing some encouraging words from his father, Senator Win Stoller challenged the Morrison Rotarians to always seek a new personal goal, even if it scares you. He recently completed an Iron Man competition in Madison WI where he was challenged to the limits of his body. It was very inspirational. Thank you Senator Stoller. Pictured below is President Scott Vandermyde (on the left) and Senator Stoller.
Thanks to some keen work with a timer on Brad's phone we were able to capture the whole Morrison Rotary clean up crew (less Don Jevne who arrived early). Our crew found a TV remote control, cell phone, credit card and a lot of other less valuable items. Participating in the highway 30 clean up on July 19 was (l-r) Jim Camp (who by the way DOES NOT look like his 84 years young), Michael Blean, Kevin Schisler, Dr. John Tomasino Jr., Road Commissioner in charge Stan Steines, one-night honorary Rotarian Grace Steines, Kathy Schmidt, Mick Welding, Dave Abele, Tanner Girard, Karl Kovarik and Dr. Brad Yaklich. We do want to recognize 3 members who were not able to join us- Dan Vandermyde (home recovering), and long time Road Clean Up Chairmen Mark Schuler and Merle Reisenbigler. A toast in their honor was made at the Double G refreshment center afterwards. Thank you to all Rotarians who turned out to make our community a cleaner place to live!
The Morrison Rotary Club tackled weeds and some overgrowth in the Pollinator plot. We were assisted by Master Gardener Kelly West and our fearless leader Don Jevne. Assisting with weeding were (l-r) Kelly West, Rotarians Josh West, Stan Steines, Kevin Kuehl, Karl Kovarik, Don Jevne and Dan Vandermyde pictured in the back. We were so pleased by the growth of the pollinator plants and the appearance of so many bees buzzing around .
The Morrison Rotary club awarded $5000 in scholarships to the following students:
Pictured left-right
MIT $500- Paul Wagenecht
All Around Female- $1,250 Taylor Swanstrom
All Around Male- $1,250- Zayden Boonstra
Citizenship- $1,000- Mark Cypers
Not pictured: Sauk Valley College Sponsorship- $500- Landri Harmon
                      AG Scholarship- $500-Marissa Folkers
Morrison Rotary April Students of the Month     
The Morrison Rotary club would like to recognize two Students of the Month for April 2023.
Gina Lee
Gina is the daughter of Matt and LuEllen Lee. She participated in volleyball (3 years),
Track (1 year), Student Council (3 years), Key Club (1 year), Prom Committee (1 year) and she was selected for the National Honor Society this year. Gina was previously involved with the Cottonwood 4H club which her mom directed for many, many years. She stays active by baking, fishing and hanging with friends. Next year’s plans are to attend Cornell College in Mt. Vernon and major in Elementary Education and a minor in Pre-law.  
Carter Behrens
Carter is the son of David and Amie Behrens. He has participated in basketball and golf and he was a B.L.I.N.D leader and also a member of the National Honor Society. He has volunteered at the Whiteside County Fair and he is a math tutor. His hobbies are basketball, volleyball and of course, video games. His future plans are to attend Illinois State University with a major in the medical field.
To celebrate Earth Day 2023 Rotarians handed out recyclable shopping bags at Sullivans Grocery Store in Morrison and on the City-wide Recycling Day at the Whiteside County Fairgrounds. Pictured here at Sullivans are Rotarians Kevin Kuehl, Rich Groleau, and Lynette Damhoff and at the Fairgrounds Kathy Schmidt (l) and Carrie Melton (handing a bag to a driver). Carrie and Kathy were brave enough to stand in snow and sleet to hand out bags while Kevin, Rich, and Lynette had more favorable conditions. Rotarians handed out 300 recycling bags. Thank you to Kathy for putting this all together and to the Rotary club who purchased all the bags. 

Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary's people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. We are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end. Rotary members believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. That is why the Morrison Rotary Club is handing out fabric grocery bags on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, at Sullivan’s and at the Whiteside County Fairgrounds at the Lions Club Recycling Event. They have purchased 300 bags to be given until gone in an effort to remove plastic from our garbage and help the environment.

Pictured with a sample of the bags are Rotarians Mark Schuler and Kathy Schmidt.  Do your part and come to Sullivan’s or the recycling event to pickup a grocery bag.
Rotarian Carrie Melton introduced her husband Brian who was hired 6 months ago as the new Morrison City Administrator. Brian summarized some projects that have been completed since his hire including water infrastructure projects and improvements to the sports complex playing fields. In addition he mentioned some projects yet to come including more water projects, street improvements on Jackson and Heaton Streets and the DOT's repair of highway 78 south. Brian complimented his support team at City Hall and the quality of employees we have on board. Brian also commented on the on-going installation of fiber internet in our residents.
Thanks for a great program Brian.
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June 2024
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Dave Abele
    June 8
  • James Camp
    June 14
  • R. Pannier
    Nancy Pannier
    June 9
Join Date:
  • James Camp
    June 2, 1993
    31 years
  • Michel Wiersema
    June 12, 1996
    28 years