Welcome to Rock Falls Rotary !

Welcome to our Club!

Rock Falls

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Mondays at 6:00 PM
Harvest Time Church
1802 Dixon Ave.
Rock Falls, IL 61071
United States of America
Home Page Stories
Rock Falls Rotary and members of the Art Johnson family gathered at Rock Falls Rotary Park on Minkel Street  to dedicate a memorial tree in honor of member Art Johnson who had been a member in Rock Falls Rotary for over 40 years. Art had been a past president and active member. especially in supporting the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Daughter Kathy Peugh and husband Keith Peugh (either side of tree in back row) with Art's grandchildren and great gandchildren were in attendance as Rock Falls Rotarians shared their respect for Art as a Rotarian.  
Rotary District 6420  Leadership Team attended the Fifth Annual End Polio Now Walk held October 10 at Centennial Park in Rock Falls, sponsored by the five Rotary Clubs of Dixon, Rock Falls, Sterling Noon, Twin Cities Sunrise, and Walnut and SVCC Rotaract.  District Governor Tom Brooks presented  a check for $1000 to assist in the Rotary effort to eradicate polio.  Thanks to the Gates Foundation, that amount will be doubled and added to make that district contribution a total of $3000.  Front row: Betty Clementz, Chair of End Polio Now Walk, receives the check from District Governor Tom Brooks while district leadership and planning committee members watch (back row left to right) PDG Kathy Kwiat-Hess, District 6420 Foundation Chair;  Mike Albert, Rock Falls Rotary Foundation Chair; Gail Wright, Rock Falls Rotary President; PDG Leo Patterson, Dixon Rotarian; Laura Kann, District 6420 Governor Elect,; David Bills, District 6420 Governor Nominee, and PDG Steve Kuhns, District 6420 Treasurer.
Due to covid-19 restrictions imposed on the number in a gathering, the following registration times have been planned to limit number of participants at Larson Shelter in Centennial Park on Saturday, October 10 for participants of the End Polio Now Walk:
  1.  Rotary Club members and guests of the three local clubs of Rock Falls, Sterling Noon, and Twin Cities Sunrise are asked to register from 8:15 - 8;35;  after a photo will be taken, these participants will begin the walk
  1. Rotary Club members and guests of the three outlying clubs of SVCC Rotaract, Dixon, and Walnut will begin at 8:40 – 9:00 a.m. and a photo will be taken of this group of participants before they begin the walk.
  1. Rolls and coffee will be available in Larson Shelter prior to the walk.
  1. Social distancing and masks are required to ensure safety for all.
The walk along Hennepin Canal, over the Rock River, and back to Larson Shelter is open to the public. Registration is required, but there is no fee to participate. Donations to eradicate polio will be welcome.
At the recent drawing of three prizes for persons who donated at least $30 to support a student to receive a book/month for one year through the LIFE (Literacy Is Fun(damental) for Everyone) program in Whiteside County in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a donation check for $870 was presented to Pam Martinez ( far left) of United Way and to Jodi Perez (far right) of Power of Purse Committee for LIFE by Rock Falls Rotarians, Cheryl Faber (center left) and Gail Wright, President of Rock Falls Rotary ((center right).  Donations were sought from former attendees of the fundraiser Power of the Purse which was not planned due to covid-19.  Over $8000 has been received thus far to LIFE to support this program which has been supported in part in the past 10 years by the fundraiser Power of the Purse.  Winners of the raffle from donors on Thursday evening, September 24,  live on Facebook were grand prize winner: Dawn Hartman, and two purse winners for 2nd and 3rd place prizes were Sherry DeWalt and Barb Helgason.  This donation was generated by the members of the Rock Falls Rotary Club  through an appeal during month of September. Anyone wanting to support the LIFE program can send a check to United Way at PO Box 806, Sterling, IL 61081-3605.  Cost to provide a book/month for one year to a child from birth through age 5 is $30/year.  LIFE is a 501C3, so your donation is tax deductible.

The Rotary Clubs of Dixon, Rock Falls, Sterling Noon, Twin Cities Sunrise, Walnut, and SVCC Rotaract will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world while urging the Sauk Valley community to help end the paralyzing disease of polio. This event is among thousands to be held by Rotary Clubs around the world as World Polio Day on October 24th nears.   

These Rotary Club members are taking action to raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.  


WHAT:     Fifth Annual End Polio Now Walk

WHO:      All Rotarians and the public   

WHEN:    Saturday, October 10 at 9:00 a.m. with registration to begin at 8:15 a.m.  at Larson Shelter

WHERE:  Centennial Park, 510 East 11th Street in Rock Falls

DETAILS: No registration fee, but T-shirt will be given for a $20 donation as long as supply lasts.  All donations will be doubled by the Gates Foundation. Rotarians wanting to donate a check to Rotary Foundation to End Polio Now should include their Rotary I.D. number on the check. Their check will be sent into Rotary International as a part of this event.


Rock Falls Rotary presented a check of $2000 to Superintendent Chris Lensing of East Coloma-Nelson School to assist in purchase of a Chlorox Total 360 System for use during this pandemic. Members of the the East Coloma Board and Rock Falls Rotarians present from left to right: Dave Chavira, Rock Falls Rotary Past President, Gail Wright, President of Rock Falls Rotary, Chris Lensing, Superintendent of East Coloma-Nelson, Bob Sondgeroth, Rock Falls Rotarian, Chris Buikema, East Coloma-Nelson Board President, and Kim Velazquez, Board Member of East Coloma-Nelson.
The Rock Falls Rotary Club along with other Rotary clubs in the area, went together and each received a Rotary Grant to help supply the Center 4 Change with new computers. Presenting and receiving the funds are (left to right) Chris Tennyson, Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools #47;. Mark Morris, Principal at Center 4 Change; Gail Wright, President of Rock Falls Rotary; and Bob Sondgeroth, Regional Superintendent of Schools #47.
Due to Covid-19 delaying fundraising of organizations, the two Rotary Clubs will join in providing a Power Lunch of pork chop sandwich with 3 ears of corn, chips, cookie and water on Monday, June 27 from 11 - 2 or until sold out at Sterling Marketplace.  Presales are encouraged, and there will be deliveries and pick-ups only with no seating on site.  Cindy Poci, co-owner of Poci's Market  of Rock Falls, shares with Keith Zoeller, Corn Boil Chair of Rock Falls Rotary, the sweet corn to be provided.
The Rock Falls & Sterling Noon Rotarians did the prep work and were ready to serve 2000 Power Lunches at the Sterling Marketplace (Farmer's Market Pavillion) on Monday, July 27. The two clubs joined forces to bring the Broil & Boil Power Lunch to the Sterling/Rock Falls community. Proceeds help our clubs with Rotary projects in our communities.
The Rock Falls Rotary and the Sterling Noon Rotary have joined forces this year to bring you Broil & Boil Power Lunch, a combined effort of each clubs annual cookout fundraisers.
Broil & Boil will feature the Pork Chop Cookout of the Sterling Club and the Corn Boil of the Rock Falls Club into one power lunch brought to you on Monday, July 27 at the new Sterling Marketplace Pavilion behind The Factory Pub and Grub (West Second Street between Avenues A and B) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lunch is $10 and features a grilled pork chop sandwich, 3 ears of sweet corn, chips, cookie and a bottle of water.
Advance tickets and pre-ordering is highly encouraged. Free delivery for orders of 10 or more is available within Sterling and Rock Falls. Drive-thru/curbside pick up will be at the Marketplace.
See the form for ordering options or contact any Rock Falls or Sterling Noon Rotarian.
Proceeds benefit local Rotary Projects including youth scholarships, literacy projects with local schools, Student Excellence Program, Rotary youth exchange and several community projects and events.
President Dave Chavira of Rock Falls Rotary Club (right) presents to Brian Vickers, Lead Pastor of Rock River Christian Center (left), a donation from Rock Falls Rotary members of $2,100 for their food pantry. The RRCC food pantry is now serving 150 families with weekly food during the corona virus pandemic. Contact RRCC for donations of any amount as all will be welcomed.
This morning Tom Myers, Rock Falls Rotarian, and Brandi & Kimzey Spreeman were on WSDR radio speaking about the value of Rotary Youth Exchange and the benefits of hosting a student. Thank you to all of them for their time and willingness to share about this worthwhile program. You can find the program at https://illinoisnewsnow.com/saukvalleynow/. The podcasts are listed on the right hand side about half way down the page - look for the one titled "Rotary Student Exchange Program" and click the play (arrow) to listen.
When Governor Pritzer closed all Illinois schools, it left many students who depend upon their school setting for breakfast and lunch without meals for two weeks. Rock Falls Rotary Club President Dave Chavira was very concerned about the students at East Coloma-Nelson who are dependent upon the school program to have food during these two weeks. So he rallied the Rock Falls Rotary Club to assist. Rock Falls Middle School became the site of distribution for all students in Rock Falls. East Coloma-Nelson teachers were assembling the meals as parents drove up with their orders.  Rock Falls Rotarians delivered the meals to the cars. Rotarians included Dave Chavira, Bob Sondgeroth, Jeff Gray, Deb Gonzalez, Karen Voss, and Tom Myers.
Rock Falls Rotary President Dave Chavira (left) District Governor Bobbi Burke have just presented to Rock Falls Rotary member Keith Zoeller a certificate of appreciation celebrating his 30 years of membership in Rock Falls Rotary, as President-Elect Gail Wright looks on (right). Keith joined Rock Falls Rotary in March 1990 and over the years has continually chaired the Annual Corn Boil, the annual Farmers' Night, and the Scholarship Committee. He has served two terms as Rock Falls Rotary President and is always ready for hands-on service in our community. Rock Falls Rotarians shared their recollections of all the projects that he either chaired or participated in over these years as they congratulated him for his 30 years of membership.

Rock Falls Rotary is working with local school districts in Rock Falls to help distribute lunches to students in Rock Falls.


- Entrance will only be from the back lot (1701 12th Ave., Rock Falls, IL)

- From 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. lunches will be taken curbside to deliver.

- A lunch will be provided for any child from Rock Falls, 18 years of age or younger. Child need not be in attendance and no questions asked.

- This will end Friday, March 27, thus continuing through Spring Break.

Until further notice, all Rock Falls Rotary Monday night meetings have been cancelled.
The Annual Farmer's Night Celebration scheduled for Monday, March 16 is also cancelled.

Andrew Bartles (right) , an exchange student of 2004 who spent a year in the Netherlands, and later in 2010 a year as an Ambassadorial Scholar in Lebanon, returned to Rock Falls to exchange his Rotary Club banner of Manama, Bahrain of District 2452 with Present-Elect Tom Myers of Rock Falls Rotary. Andrew has been working in the oil industry in the area of Saudi Arabia, but living in Bahrain.


Andrew Stutzke of Sterling who is presently the weekend meteorologist at WQAD presented a program on his career pathway and of course on the weather patterns we are experiencing in the Midwest with an explanation of why. The calculations into predicting the weather are much more complicated than listeners to weather forecasts think. Thank you Andrew Stutzke WQAD for providing such an interesting and informational program to our members and guests.


Rock Falls Rotary Students of the Month selected by Rock Falls High School staff for January, Bailee Fortney (right), daughter of Patrick and Dee Fortney and for February Brittney Shipman (left), daughter of Stacy and Laurie Shipman are shown with the Rock Falls Rotary Youth Committee Chair, Bob Sondgeroth. Rotary Students of the Month are selected based on the Four Way Test of what Rotarians think, say, and do:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build good will and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Rock Falls Rotarians of the Community Service Committee, Gail Wright (left) and Darla Ewing (right) present to Karen Voss (center) of Rock River Hospice and Home a check for $150 to the recent Festival of Trees fundraiser.

Dave Chavira (right), president of Rock Falls Rotary officially inducted Eric Epps (center), IT Director at Sauk Valley Community College into the Rock Falls Rotary Club. His sponsor, Bob Sondgeroth (left), is pinning the lapel pin of the Rotary wheel to welcome him into the Rock Falls Rotary Club.  Rotary is an international service organization in over 200 countries around the world.
Two students from East Coloma-Nelson  were in costume for a photo op at US Bank in Rock Falls during the Hometown Holiday celebration:  Elizabeth Lombardo as Thing I and Elyse Stevens  as Thing 2.  Back row are the  Rotarians who were on site to hand out stickers and literacy  tips: to more than 160 participants: (left to right) Pam Erby, President Dave Chavira,Cheryl Faber, Gail Wright, Darla Ewing, and Betty Clementz.
Rock Falls Youth Committee Chair Bob Sondgeroth welcomed October Student of the Month from Rock Falls High School Maddie Sands, daughter of Jason and Nicole Sands. Maddie was selected by Rock Falls High School staff for living according to the Four Way Test of what Rotarians think, say, and do:
1.  Is it the truth?
2.  Is it fair to all concerned?
3.  Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4.  Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
 Rock Falls Rotarian Cheryl Faber is sharing with  third grade students of Mrs. Anderson of Merrill School  how to use a dictionary and sharing the wealth of information  beyond vocabulary found in this version of an age-appropriate dictionary. Dictionaries were distributed to students of East Coloma-Nelson, Merrill, Montmorency, Thome, and St. Andrew schools
as a part of the American Education Week literacy effort by Rock Falls Rotary.  
Rock Falls Rotary Greenery sales of Sherwood Forest wreaths, garlands, pine cones, and swags delivered from YOU directly to the recipient’s home in continental United States, all for one price which includes cost of item, taxes, and shipping charges is happening now. Freshly shipped from state of Washington, your gift will arrive at the doorstep of your recipient the week after Thanksgiving for a full holiday season to enjoy. Contact Rotarian Pat Novak at novakfam@essex1.com or call and leave a message at 815-441-0528 to place an order and to prepay cost to Rock Falls Rotary prior to November 11.
All monies from this fundraiser will support Rotary Youth activities.
Dave Chavira (left), President of Rock Falls Rotary, welcomed Rotary District 6420 Governor Bobbi Burke (right) of Rochelle Rotary Club to her annual visit of Rock Falls Rotary Club Monday evening at Harvest Time Bible Church. She had presented the Rotary year theme banner to President Chavira of Rotary Connects the World.
Dave Chavira (right), President of Rock Falls Rotary, presents the Paul Harris Fellow Award to Pat Novak for her contribution to the Rotary Foundation of $1,000. Each Award includes a certificate and a pin. Monies received are used in the six areas of projects worldwide or in  support of  local district and club  projects through grants.
Three Rotary Clubs  - Morrison Rotary, Rock Falls Rotary, and Sterling Noon Rotary - joined with partner Whiteside County Economic Development to provide an opportunity for students aged 12 – 16 to experience manufacturing in the area.  All three Rotary Clubs applied for a matching grant from Rotary District 6420 to fund this summer program.  Each club contributed $1,000 and received a matching grant from Rotary District 6420 for another $1000 for a total donation/club of $2,000.  Its purpose was to expose area students to the world of manufacturing, to learn of careers and training in the area by visiting off-site facilities, and actually experience manufacturing as a possible career in the area.  Hands-on projects of manufacturing products would teach the students skills and allow them to experience manufacturing from design to production.  Whiteside Area Career Center would provide the program to meet these goals.  Their professional manufacturing instructors, Steve Bierdeman and Bill Hare, would deliver the program which had been discussed and approved by the three Rotary Clubs before the grant was even applied for.  The value of keeping students in manufacturing jobs in the area was one of the main purposes for this summer camp experience.
The Cool Manufacturing & Technology Summer Camp is a great example of the community identifying the skills gap as a national problem, and acting locally to meet the challenge.  The Cool Manufacturing Summer Camp, The Whiteside Area Career Center, the CEO program, the Multicraft Extended Internship Program, the Innovation Center at Morrison Tech, and other programs are examples of the community doing something about a problem and not waiting for someone else to do it. These are positive long-term steps we are taking locally and it does contribute to the overall vitality of the region.
Publicity was distributed as a flier to the 17 member school districts which are partner members in the WACC.  Local news media was also used to create awareness.  Woodlawn Arts Academy also distributed fliers to students aged 12 – 16.  The class would meet Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – noon June 17 through June 27.   The maximum number of participants for the summer camp was set at 20 and 14 students were enrolled.
Four projects were to be the experience of hands-on production:  a birdhouse, a wooden valet tray for jewelry, and a baseball bat shaped stand for name cards as projects using wood as the medium, and an I-phone holder using pipe which would teach skills in working with metal.  All would allow students to design their project and then make it truly their own creation.  Each project would allow students to use a variety of manufacturing machines.  The best part of the experience would be that each had handmade projects to keep as their own or to give as a gift.
Bill Hare shared that students found the experiences to be eye-opening.  One of them made the statement, “I can’t wait to come back again next year.”  Josh Johnson, Director of WACC, said that there is definitely interest in continuing this summer program with the possibility of perhaps adding the building trades and auto mechanics areas in a third week of a summer camp.
Three Rotary Clubs Presidents (left to right)– Sterling Noon’s President John Gvozdjak, Rock Falls’ President Dave Chavira, Morrison’s President Mick Welding - and Gary Camarano of Whiteside County Economic Development organization present a check for $8000 to Josh Johnson, Director of WACC and Jerry Binder, Administrator at WACC.  Each organization supported the Manufacturing and Technology Summer Camp program in June for students aged 12 – 16 which was delivered through WACC.
Bill Hare, Instructor at WACC, displays several of the projects which students completed in the Manufacturing and Technology Summer Camp at WACC in June:  two wooden projects – a baseball shaped name card holder and a jewelry valet tray - and  a metal project using pipe to create an I-phone holder.
October 2020
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