We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 12:10 PM
Whiteside County Fairgrounds
201 W Winfield
Morrison, IL 61270-2036
United States of America
Due to Covid 19 we are meeting at the Whiteside County Fairgrounds Open Building. Bring your lawn chair and lunch. Come join the fun!
Home Page Stories
The Morrison Community Hospital Foundation Board President Betty Steinert was on hand to receive a $500 Rotary donation check from Rotary President Mick Welding. Betty wanted to express her thanks from the Foundation and the many patients from our community the hospital serves for this generous donation. Funds will be used for the Hospital Capital Campaign.
Morrison Rotarian Suellen Girard presented an amazing program on October 7. She is a volunteer quilt maker for the Quilts of Valor, which was founded in 2003 to supply service members and veterans touched by war with the comfort and healing of a quilt. As of March 2020 this organization has provided over 250,000 quilts to veterans. Many of these soldiers have suffered some type of physical or psychological wound and a quilt can do so much to help them heal.  Even if you can’t sew a quilt you can donate funds to Quilts of Valor, or you can donate fabric to a locate QOV group.
Suellen pours her heart and soul into each quilt she makes because she knows she can honor the military service her dad gave to his country. She displayed 4 quilts she made that would easily bring several hundred dollars if she were to sell them. We want to thank Suellen for her dedication and the investment she makes to comfort our veterans and their families. This certainly fulfills the Rotary motto of “Service about Self”.
If you would like to nominate someone for a quilt you can go to:
The Morrison Rotary Club welcomed two new members today. Scott Vandermyde was sponsored by his father Dick and Kevin Kuehl was sponsored by Mark Schuler. Pictured here is Rotary President Mick Welding, Scott and Kevin. Welcome to the club gentlemen!
Morrison Rotary Literacy Committee Chair Ellen Smith recommended a great program to allow our Club to support the Odell Library Summer Reading program. Using our $500 donation the Library staff, chaired by Katie Rider (pictured here), was able to purchase 200 books through the Scholastic Book Company. Over 100 kids in Morrison have taken advantage of free books offered thru this program. On behalf of the Morrison Rotary Club and numerous families in our
community, we want to thank Katie and Meridith Layne for organizing such a beneficial program for our kids!
Dr. Dick Vandermyde 90th Birthday
Twenty members of the Morrison Rotary club, spouses and Stan Steines daughters serenaded Dr. Dick Vandermyde on his 90th birthday on Father’s Day. He commented that Father’s Day was especially exciting for him since he had his four sons in to see him. But the Happy Birthday song by the Rotarians was icing on the cake. Doc has also been a member of the Morrison Rotary Club for the past 23 years. If you see Doc please wish him a very Happy Birthday. After all, he probably had a part in delivering about one-half of the Morrison population.    
Hello Rotarians. It has been a long long time since we have met. That is about to end! As we move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, your board of directors is proud to announce our new start! We will officially meet at the open air pavilion at the Whiteside County Fairgrounds at 12:10 on Wednesday July 1. This will be a bring your own lunch and lawn chair. No formal program to start. But bring a bunch of stories! I look forward to seeing everyone!
On May 7, Morrison Rotarians joined forces to complete a cleanup of Highway 30 from Dairy Queen all the way to the Morrison Vet Clinic. Assisting in the clean up efforts were: 
(l-r) Jack Ottosen, Michael Blean, Kristi Wambeke (kneeling), Mike Gunderson, Chairman Mark Schuler, Dr. Brad Yaklich, and guest Ken Swanson. Merle Reisenbigler served as transportation director and master photographer. Thank you Rotarians for showing Service Above Self!
A big thank you to the Rotarians who showed up to assist with the food truck on April 1. Rotarians showed up with masks and gloves and pitched in to help offload the truck. The food pantry is becoming a valuable resource for people in our community who are experiencing hardships. Thank you again Morrison Rotary club!
March 2020 Students of the Month
Although we were not able to have a Rotary Meeting this month to honor our MHS Students of the Month, we wanted to recognize Collin Roberts and Sophie Prombo and tell you a bit about them and their accomplishments. 

Collin’s parents are Elisha O’Neal and Adrian Roberts.  He has been involved in football (4 years), track and field and will be joining the trapshooting team. He is a member of the River Church in Clinton and enjoys working on his car, weightlifting, and trapshooting. Collin plans to go to Western Illinois University and study electrical engineering.
Sophie is the daughter of Jim and Toni Prombo. She is involved in cross country, track, and band (pep and concert). She also is a member of her church youth group and the key club. Sophie enjoys running, reading, and music. Sophie plans to attend Illinois State University and major in either exercise science or nutrition. 
Great work students and Good Luck!  We hope to have you at one of our luncheons very soon!
Morrison Rotary Club February Students of the Month
We are proud to announce the February 2020 Students of the Month are Grace Steines and Ryan Kennedy.
Grace is the daughter of Stanley Steines and Deb Milder. She has participated in volleyball, basketball, softball, key club, band, student council and BLIND. She also stays active with Youth Fellowship in her community. As noted by her school activities she loves sports and music but also loves to hang out with friends. Her future plans are to attend Illinois State University and major in Exercise Science. Grace’s dad Stan has also been a Rotarian for over 29 years! Pictured here is Grace and her very proud dad!
Ryan is the son of Jesse and Trish Kennedy. Ryan is an amazing athlete participating in football for 3 years (1 time captain) and wrestling all 4 years where he was captain for 3 years. He is an active member of St. Mary’s church and is a youth wrestling coach. He loves to hunt and fish. Ryan’s plans after graduation are to attend the University of WI- Platteville majoring in Mechanical Engineering and wrestling for the Pioneers. Best wishes Ryan. Well done!
Levi Lewis (pictured here) and John Kophamer enlightened our Rotarians with a program featuring their first year adventure raising hemp. Levi said he and John had done a lot of research to understand the process of preparing ground, planting, cultivating and harvesting the plant. They started by purchasing seeds to plant on 5 acres. Each of the female only seeds cost $1.25. Additional costs were incurred to plant the seeds with a specially prepared planter that covered the seeds with a material to keep the seeds warm. Once the plants sprouted a lot of manual labor was required to weed the fields by hand. No pesticides could be used. The plants took about 8 weeks to grow to full maturity. Harvesting the plants had to be done by hand to carefully remove each stalk to prevent damage to the flower which held the CBD oil. Since they only planted female seeds the CBD oil contained NO THC, which is found in marijuana plants. The plants were then dried and the seeds were removed. They are still waiting for a processing plant to take the final product to extract the oil for CBD. When asked if the guys would plant another crop they answered “not before we reduce a lot of manual labor”. It was a great program. Very informative. Thank you John and Levi.
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.
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Father James Brzezinski
    October 12
  • Stephanie Deckro
    October 12
  • John Tomasino
    October 16
  • Phil Renkes
    October 16
  • John Prange
    October 19
  • Scott Vandermyde
    October 21
  • Lori Matlack
    October 24
  • Ted Volckmann
    October 27
Join Date:
  • Kevin Schisler
    October 3, 1984
    36 years
  • Ted Volckmann
    October 13, 1999
    21 years
  • Stephanie Neas
    October 14, 2015
    5 years
  • Dick Vandermyde
    October 15, 1997
    23 years
  • David Yeager
    October 16, 2017
    3 years
  • John Prange
    October 21, 1987
    33 years
  • Stan Steines
    October 31, 1991
    29 years