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January 2022 Morrison Students of the Month
Our January 2022 Students of the Month from Morrison High School are Tanna Frederick and Samuel Richards. Tanna is the daughter of Bryan and Vicky Frederick. She is completing her senior year and is active in volleyball, cheerleading, softball, key club and intro to education. She loves to babysit and she has also helped with blood drives. She loves reading, writing, traveling and spending time with people. Her plans are to pursue early childhood education at Illinois State or Condordia University in Chicago.
Sam is the son of Gidget Ross. He has also participated in school activities such as student council (grades 10-12), Key club (9-12), BLIND (11-12) and he founded a Student Advisory Committee. He helped coordinate 2 animal shelter drives and he has been on the Morrison Seahorse Swim Club for 9 years. He loves swimming and has been participating on the Sterling co-op team. His plans next year are to attend a 4 year college TBD.
Thank you to Kevin Schisler and his assistant Kelly Smith for providing entertainment for our annual Fun and Frolic. Members had a chance to select a mystery gift bag and in the spirit of "Service above Self" then steal that gift bag from a fellow Rotarian. They also had a chance to "pay down" their annual fines by donning the infamous hat of knowledge and answering a trivia question about a fellow Rotarian. Most members failed and therefore paid their annual ransom plus a few dollars. Great job Kevin!
Rotary District 6420 Foundation Chair Kathy Kwiat-Hess and District Governor David Bills were on hand for a special presentation. Morrison Rotary Club member Stephanie Deckro attained the level of Paul Harris major donor level. That means that Stephanie has donated $10,000 to the Paul Harris Foundation who’s main goal is to eradicate Polio throughout the world along with other initiatives. Stephanie is the 4th Morrison Rotarian to achieve this level in our 98 year history. Stephanie received a crystal award with her name engraved plus a pendant to wear to remind her of her generous donation. Stephanie noted she has traveled to other clubs in other parts of the world so she knows firsthand how Rotary International has benefited citizens in other nations.
Pictured here l-r Governor David Bills, Morrison Foundation Chair Dave Abele, Stephanie Deckro and Foundation chair Kathy Kwiat- Hess.
Also receiving Paul Harris awards were Merle Reisenbigler ($4,000 level) and Mike Gunderson ($2,000 level)
Congratulations to all Morrison Rotarians for your generous support of the Rotary International Foundation
Merle Reisenbigler and Dave Abele
Mike Gunderson and Dave Abele
The Morrison Rotary Club welcomed two new members. Pictured L-R is Mark Schuler, sponsor for New Member Cassi Schultz, Office Manager at Kunes Country Motors in Morrison, President Carrie Melton, New Member Kat Pence, Administrator at Pleasantview Nursing Home and her sponsor Mick Welding. Welcome to Rotary ladies!
MHS Students of the Month for November are Kate Henson and Isaac Melton. Kate was able to join us for lunch yesterday (pictured with Rotary President Carrie Melton). She is the daughter of Tracy and Andy Henson. Kate is involved in Student Council, BLIND, Key Club, National Honor Society, Swimming, Track, and the WACC CEO class. She has been on mission trips with her youth group, enjoys sewing, thrifting and swimming. She plans to attend a 4-year university to major in marketing or business with the goal to have her own business some day. Isaac Melton could not be with us for lunch but we hope he can join us another day. He is the son of Carrie and Brian Melton. Isaac is a 4-year basketball player, 4-year varsity golfer, on Student Council, is a BLIND Leader, in the National Honor Society and was an attendant at the RYLA conference a few years ago. He plans to attend a 4-year university (Bradley or UWM) to study nursing and then go onto graduate school. He enjoys golf, traveling, watching NFL, NASCAR and NBA, and his 2 dogs.
A somewhat smaller contingency of road warriors braved the elements and cleaned up the road from Dairy Queen to the Vet Clinic on highway 30. Pictured here is Michael Blean, Kevin Schisler, Commish Mark Schuler and Mike Gundy Gunderson. By the time the photo was taken Jim Camp had already made a run for home when the thunder roared. Also a big thank you to our traffic control guy/photographer Merle.
Rotary Students of the Month joined us for lunch today at our meeting. Faith VanderVinne (L) and Clara Bush (R) pose with President Carrie Melton after telling the club about their activities and future plans. Both are seniors at Morrison High School. Faith is involved in Key Club, Student Council, Cheer, band, National Honor Society; is interested in hunting, dirt biking, and spending time with family; and she plans to attend Carthage College in Kenosha to student education. Clara is involved in Student Council, Key Club, Yearbook, and BLIND; she is active in community activities, enjoys photography and traveling; and she plans to attend a 4-year university after graduation. Good Luck Seniors!
The Morrison Rotary Club was treated to a visit from Kim Cavazos, Lieutenant with the Whiteside County Sheriff's office. She brought Copper, a Golden Doodle comfort dog. Copper was acquired him from a breeder in Prophetstown. Kim loves to take Copper to April House, health departments and clinics to cheer up guests. She would love to talk to schedule a visit from Copper. You can reach her by calling the sheriffs office. Thank you again Kim!
The Morrison Rotary Club welcomed former District Governor Tom Brooks who was on hand to make a special presentation. Mr. Brooks presented Kathy Schmidt with the District Rotarian of the 2020-21 year for her service as the District Newsletter Editor for over 3 years which included her service during the pandemic. Kathy ALWAYS had the newsletter out by the first of the month. She consistently reminded our District Governor and other elected officials that newsletter articles were needed. Pictured here is DG Brooks presenting Kathy Schmidt with her award. Well done Kathy!
The Morrison Rotary Club celebrated the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year with a party at the Whiteside County Fairgrounds. We honored Ron Coplan with a mug with his name on it so he can remember which cup is his after the adult beverages take full effect. Actually the mug was to honor Ron for over 56 years of service to the Rotary Club of Morrison. Thank you so much Ron!
Outgoing president Mick Welding also presented incoming 2021-22 president Carrie Melton with her presidents pin. Carrie will do an outstanding job. We are fortunate to have her in our group.
Thank you everyone who contributed to a wonderful, fun-filled evening!
May be an image of 2 people
May be an image of 2 people
The Morrison Rotary Club is committed to supporting Literacy in our community. The first project was presented by Meridith Layne, the Odell Librarian. "This year, we formally request financial assistance for the purchase of another $500 of physical books for children participating in this year’s Summer Reading Club, which extends learning opportunities to area children over the summer months to help prevent the decline of literacy skills, often referred to as “Summer Slide”. With your help, all Summer Reading Club participants would receive at least one book to keep building on the literacy skills that children have developed during the school year" Pictured here with all of the books purchased with the $500 Rotary grant is Ellen Smith, Literacy Chair, Katie Rider, Odell Library Summer Reading Club chair, and Mick Welding, Rotary President. 
The second project was for junior high students. The Morrison Jr. High Principal Joe Robbins and instructor Ms. Jan Scott were working to update our reading texts to better align vertically across grade levels and also to change to the most recent edition of EL Education, the curriculum we use. A check for $500 was presented to Mr. Robbins and Ms. Scott by Ellen Smith, Morrison Rotary Literacy chair. These funds will purchase 55 books to help update their curriculum. 
Morrison Rotary awards Scholarships to Morrison High School students 
The Morrison Rotary Club is proud to announce the recipients of scholarships to the following MHS seniors:
Sauk Valley Community College- Emily Henson
MIT- Bradley Toppert
Ag Scholarship- Brandon Peppers
Good Citizen- Anthony Fulton
All Around Female- Chole Bielema
All Around Male- Ashton Smith
Pictured Left to Right- Chloe Bielema, Bradley Toppert, Anthony Fulton, Ashton Smith, Emily Henson, and Brandon Peppers

Stephanie Deckro accepts a Paul Harris Award
Pictured here is Foundation Director Dave Abele presenting a Paul Harris PLUS 9 award to Stephanie Deckro. Stephanie is very passionate as evidenced by her $10,000 donation to the Paul Harris foundation!
Morrison Rotary recognizes May Students of the Month
Alexandria Bullard is the daughter of Angela Dykstra and Terry Bullard. She was involved in Key Club, Drama/Theater, choir and just got elected into the National Honor Society. She is active in 4-H, Choir and a blood drive coordinator at her church. Her hobbies include singing, acting, writing and reading. Next year she will attend Clinton Community College and then transfer to a 4 year college to major in Business and/or Marketing. Congratulations Alexandria.
Tyson Smith is the son of Kelly and Jeff Smith. He played football all 4 years, 2 years of baseball, 1 year of golf and he was a BLIND leader for 2 years plus 2 years of the National Honor Society. As a BLIND leader he assisted freshman to help acclimate to High School and he worked at community events. He also works at Windsor Manor as a resident assistant. He loves football, fishing and hanging out with friends. After graduation he will attend Loras College in Dubuque and major in PE and Health. He will also play on their football team. Nice job Tyson!
The Morrison Rotarians will gather on Wednesday, May 19 at 5:00 at Dairy Queen to collect trash along the highway. If you are not able to be there at 5:00 you can collect trash earlier in the day/week. There will be some type of rehydration after the work is completed. Thanks!
Twin Cities Sunrise Rotary, Sterling Noon Rotary, Rock Falls Rotary and Morrison Rotary clubs provided 64 new Chrome Books for students at the Center For Change Alternative School in Rock Falls. With the help of a matching district grant, each club presented $3,000, and CGH Medical Center and Gaffey Home Nursing & Hospice partnered with the clubs for a $14,620 total donation. Pictured are (from left) Rotary members Lori Cortez, Mark Morris, Barb Majeski, and Bob Sondgeroth.
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!
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Carrie Melton
    January 8
  • 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
    37 years
  • Michael Gunderson
    January 21, 2004
    18 years