Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Webster Groves
www.webstergrovesrotary.org

Webster Groves

The city of beautiful trees where roots of community service run very deep.

We meet Fridays at 12:10 PM
Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
45 West Lockwood Ave
Webster Groves, MO  63119
United States
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Club Executives & Directors
President
Club Treasurer
Club Secretary
President Elect
Director
Vice President
Sergeant at Arms
I-Past President
Public Image Chair
Programs Chair
 
 
 
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Five years since its debut, Rotary Club Central is getting a big upgrade
When we introduced Rotary Club Central in 2012, it revolutionized goal tracking and planning for clubs and districts — no more filling out paper club-planning forms or passing along boxes of historical club information every time a new leader took office. Rotary Club Central offered clubs and districts a quantifiable way to begin measuring local and global impact, specifically membership initiatives, service activities, and Rotary Foundation giving. But as with any technological advancement, in a few short years, Rotary Club Central began to show its age, and Rotarians took notice. They...
Rotary International Board adopts new zone structure
At its January 2017 meeting, the Rotary International Board of Directors adopted a new zone structure for Rotary clubs. Rotary bylaws require the Board to complete a comprehensive review of the 34 Rotary zones no less often than every eight years to ensure that each zone has an approximately equal number of Rotarians. The Board’s previous review of the zones occurred in 2008. The Board earlier approved the creation of three regional workgroups to develop rezoning proposals for Asia, Europe/Africa, and the Americas. These workgroups comprised one representative (either a current director,...
Centennial celebration honors 20 noteworthy global grant projects
Through The Rotary Foundation, Rotary members have supported thousands of projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies. We’ve also led the fight to eradicate polio worldwide. As part of our celebration of the Foundation’s centennial, we’re honoring 20 global grant projects with special recognition. Learn more about the projects using our interactive map.
Convention: Southern hospitality
The Atlanta Host Organization Committee is offering some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality at the Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June. It has planned a wide range of activities featuring everything from good food and music to inspiring tours of local landmarks. If it’s your first convention, these events are chances to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world, and if you’re an experienced convention goer, you can catch up with old friends. Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron will host Rotarians for a “Strike Out Polio” night at the new SunTrust Park, where you’ll...
Member spotlight: The power of the press
When Teguest Yilma helped found the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Entoto in 2002, she thought polio had already been eradicated from most of the world. But while Ethiopia had been free of the disease, Yilma was shocked to learn that new cases had started cropping up in surrounding countries such as Somalia. “I was thinking, it’s not possible, we can’t be free if the countries around us are not free,” she says. Yilma, the managing editor of Capital, Ethiopia’s largest English weekly newspaper, has brought a journalist’s skills to the fight against polio. She became vice chair of the Ethiopia...
Member interview: Writer sheds light on FDR’s right-hand woman
Battling breast cancer in 2000, Kathryn Smith found comfort pursuing her lifelong interest in Franklin D. Roosevelt. The more she read, the more intrigued she became with the 32nd U.S. president’s private secretary, Marguerite Alice “Missy” LeHand. “I thought, what a fascinating life she had because she was by his side through the polio crisis, establishing the polio rehabilitation center in Warm Springs and then after his return to politics,” she says. Smith, a past president of the Rotary Club of Greater Anderson, S.C., and a longtime newspaper journalist, turned that curiosity into a book...
A taste of independence
Modena, Italy, is known for fine things. The region is home to manufacturers of Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini automobiles. It’s where the artisan cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano is made, as well as Lambrusco wine. And it’s the only place in the world that produces traditional balsamic vinegar. The vinegar is a delicacy – sweeter and thicker than the kind usually found on restaurant tables, refined and aged in casks up to 25 years. The process has been handed down from generation to generation; the casks are often bequeathed to children or used to celebrate milestones such as weddings and...
The Rotarian Conversation with Ban Ki-moon
One of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s earliest memories is of fleeing with his family into the mountains during the Korean War, his village burning behind him. His father and grandfather had to forage for food in the woods; his mother gave birth to his siblings away from anything remotely resembling a health facility. “I have known hunger,” he says. “I have known war, and I have known what it means to be forced to flee conflict.” The soldiers who came to their rescue were flying the blue flag of the United Nations. The UN provided them with food and their schools with books....
 
Stories
Tim Cashel, Webster Groves High School Men's Varsity Soccer Coach sent a photo to illustrate their thanks for our club's donation to the building of the press box at the high school soccer field. The banner pictured below now hangs at the soccer field.
 
Our speaker on September 15th was Dr. Eric Miller, retired Sr. VP of Operations for the St. Louis Zoo. He spoke on the zoo's worldwide conservation efforts and partnerships, specifically in Madagascar. It was amazing to see all the good our renowned zoo is doing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                          
 
 
On September 8th our speaker, Bill Feiner, spoke on the origins of home entertainment. Bill brought more than a dozen phonographs from his private collection, several of which were more than 125 years old.
 
Our speaker on Friday, August 25th was Sheena Duncan, Executive Director of Pianos for People. 
In December of 2012, Pianos for People began delivering free, quality pianos to people who could not afford one on their own. In the short time they have been operating, they have obtained, serviced, and delivered over 150 pianos to people and community organizations all over the St. Louis metropolitan area. In the fall of 2014, they opened a free music school on Cherokee Street in South St. Louis, where they provide free piano lessons to more than eighty students, of all ages. Since opening the school, their work has further expanded beyond free pianos and free piano lessons to piano camps and special community- building events, which bring people from various backgrounds together around the piano.
 
 
 
ROTARY FAMILY BBQ AT THE HOME OF JACK & MARY LaBARGE!
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 24
FROM 3:30 TO 7:30
                                 
 
 
Once again, Jack and Mary LaBarge have graciously opened their home and yard for a potluck family BBQ, our traditional late-summer social event. The LaBarges will provide meat entrées and beverages! All you need to bring is a salad, vegetable, or dessert to share. Dinner will be served about 5:30, following libations and snacks. Please call Mary (961-1942) and let her know what you will be bringing, as well as the names of your guests.
 
You may also want to bring along a bathing suit! As usual, the LaBarges' next door neighbors, K and Paul Wentzien, will also open their pool for all who would like to swim.  K said they will be ready for visitors anytime after 2:00, if you'd like to come early. (The Wentziens have plenty of room so you can change into dry clothes before dinner.) 
 
As always, this BBQ is a family event welcoming all Rotarians and their friends and families, including children and grandchildren. This is also a great opportunity to invite prospective members to get to know your fellow Rotary Club members in a relaxed, social setting, unencumbered by rigid time constraints.
Earlier this year, our club inducted two new members: Wendy Giltner and John Simpson (pictured below with Gail Fernandez, Club President 2016-2017).
Welcome Wendy and John!
 
  
 
 
 
We will greatly miss our friend and long-time member, Warren.
 
Warren Russell Druschky, 98, longtime resident of Webster Groves, died Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Loving husband of the late Mary E. "Candy" Druschky; devoted father of Kathy, Karen, Jan and Beth, and beloved grandfather and great-grandfather. A Memorial Service at Emmanuel Episcopal Church has yet to be scheduled.
 
Warren joined the Rotary Club of Webster Groves in January 1967 and served as Club President in 1970. 
 
 
 
 
This is an invitation to the WGHS opening home soccer games this Saturday, August 19, where they will unveil the new press box and celebrate those who sponsored its production....like the Rotary Club of Webster Groves! Tim Graham and Ann McReynolds will be there for the dedication ceremony, but all are welcome. Please let Pat Voss know if you plan to be there! 
 
Thank you to Tim for taking charge of managing all of the details of this project, which will result in great visibility for our club....a Rotary Blue and Gold, 3-foot X 8-foot sign that will be visible to a lot of people in our community.    
 
 
 
Our hearts are saddened by a loss of a friend and long-time member of our Rotary Club, Kirby Smith.
 
Kirby J. Smith, Jr., a longtime resident of Webster Groves, passed away peacefully on June 30, 2017, at age 95.

He was born June 7, 1922, in Burt, Iowa, to the late Kirby and Mary Smith. After graduating from Coe College, Kirby earned his law degree from the University of Iowa. He proudly served his country, becoming a decorated Army lieutenant in World War II. Kirby was an elder emeritus at Webster Groves Presbyterian Church and a member of the Webster Groves Rotary Club. He was honored as “Pancake King” in the 2016 Fourth of July Parade.

He was the devoted husband of 63 years to the late Eleanor Smith (nee Hall); loving father to Susan Hannah of Atlanta, Ga. (WGHS class of 1967), Kirby Smith III of St. Paul, Minn. (WGHS class of 1970), and David Smith of Cumming, Ga. (WGHS class of 1981); dear grandfather of four and great-grandfather of three.

Services: A celebration of life will be held Friday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m., at Laclede Groves Chapel, 723 S. Laclede Station Road. 
 
 
 
 
 
Katie McKearn from Eye Care Charity of Mid America, President Gail and Linda Neumann display the new piece of equipment - the Spot Vision Screener. Our Rotary Club supported the purchase of this fabulous new tool which will assist with eye screenings for area school children.

 

Our newest member was inducted on October 21st; Heidi Butts Weigand is pictured above with Vice President James Carlton, and her sponsor, Steve LaBarge. Although a former member of our club, Heidi had been inactive for a number of years; we are glad to welcome her back as an Active Member! 
 
Dr. Heidi is an orthodontist with a practice in Webster Groves. Born and raised in St. Louis, she has been serving the community’s orthodontic needs since 1999. After graduating from Cor Jesu Academy (1982) and Saint Louis University (1986), Heidi served as an Army helicopter pilot until 1992, and she graduated from the SIU School of Dental Medicine in 1996 and continued her education at Saint Louis University's Center for Advanced Dental Education, Orthodontics (1998). Upon completion of her extensive education, Heidi joined her father’s orthodontic practice.  She also serves as the State Dental Officer for the Illinois Army National Guard.

 

Heidi and her husband David G. Wiegand have three children: Cooper, Aaron, and Ruthie.

 

President Tim Graham installed Andrew Chao as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves on Friday, February 12, 2016. Pictured here with Andrew are his sponsor, Ann McReynolds, and Tim. Welcome, Andrew! We're delighted you've joined us. 

On Friday, February 12, President Tim Graham and Rotarian Harold Lumley presented a "big check" to Gerry Pagano on behalf of our club. A friend of Harold Lumley, Gerry is a St. Louis Symphony Orchestra trombonist and the founding member of the St. Louis Low Brass Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes education and performance for low-brass musicians throughout our region. Each year, the LBC brings top national artists to St. Louis for master classes, commissions both compositions and arrangements, and hosts an annual Gala concert. They also present a new trombone to a deserving music student; the Rotary Club of Webster Groves was pleased to contribute $500 to the LBC to help off-set the cost of this year's trombone.

 

Our speaker on Friday, August 28 was Maggie Ryan, founder and Artistic Director of Insight Theatre Group, one of the St. Louis region's newest equity companies, and it's located right here in Webster Groves. Insight offers summer productions at Nerinx Hall's delightfully cool Heagney Theatre, helping to provide year-round employment to local actors and other theatre professionals. “Spinning into Butter” is closing out the 2015 season….just two more weeks to go.

Founder of KWRH and General Manager Ellie Wharton visited our meeting today, to tell us all about our new community radio station, the only one like it in this part of the world. We were particularly delighted to hear that the Webster Groves High School football games are to be broadcast live, beginning tonight, August 21 at 7:00.
 
   
COME ONE, COME ALL TO THE ROTARY FAMILY BBQ AT THE HOME OF JACK & MARY LaBARGE!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 FROM 3:00 TO 7:00
                                 
 

Our members were greatly saddened to learn of the death of our fellow Rotarian, Ed Heigl, who died much too young on Friday, July 10, of colon cancer. Ed spent most of his life as a competitive runner, and he continued training and running throughout three years of treatment. He had been a member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves since spring 2009, and we were privileged to be included in regular updates regarding his condition. We will miss his energetic and cheerful presence. Please be sure to keep Ed's wife, Beth, and their three children in your thoughts and prayers.

Thomas Boley was diagnosed with OMS last year and has had to see specialists all over the U.S. Thomas is the son of an Affton High School teacher; the students at the high school raised almost $15,000 to help pay for Thomas's medical expenses.
Friday night, May 29, we celebrated the installation of our new Board of Directors with dinner at Westborough Country Club. Representing District 6060, Kate Schwadron installed incoming officers: President, Tim Graham; Vice President, James Carlton; Secretary, Ann McReynolds; Treasurer, Scott Krejci; Sergeant-at-Arms, Gerry Kettenbach; Director, Chuck Weed; President-Elect, Gail Fernandez; and Past-President, Kim White. 
With great sadness, we report the death of Webster Groves Rotarian Avrom Handleman on May 6, 2015. Av first joined our club in 2005 and then spent a few years as an Indianapolis Rotarian, before returning to Webster Groves in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Claiborne, as well as to their children Edna and Clayton, and their families. A memorial service will be held at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road, Ladue, on Saturday afternoon, May 23 at 2:30; it will be followed directly by a reception celebrating Av's life.
"The Truth is very important not only telling the truth but hearing it as well." With those words Jordan Shumate's essay was selected as the top finisher in our club's 4 way test essay competition. Thank you Jordan for sharing yourself in such a powerful and inspiring way. Looking for truth, fairness, goodwill & better friendships, and beneficial to all concerned as guiding principles compels us to look at our own life's relationships and their impact on ourselves and those around us. Generating that insight and sharing it is Rotary. Read Jordan's entire essay here.
 
Congratulations to our own Kirby Smith, the 2015 winner of the Webster Groves Rotary Madness basketball pool. Kirby won with a resounding total of 94 points....although Tim Graham's wife, Margie, came in 2nd with 93!  (For the record, the low score was just 21, and the median was 66.) The annual March Madness men's college basketball tournament started Sunday, March 15th, concluding Monday night, April 6 with Duke scoring a 68-63 victory over Wisconsin. There were a lot of disappointed Kentucky fans!  Our Rotary Club's fifth annual fundraiser attracted 49 entries, each of whom paid $10 each; proceeds will benefit The Rotary Foundation. 

We had no idea what a treat was in store for us when Jim Flint-Smith came to visit our club on March 20. Jim and his fellow Company C Cavalrymen reenactors have appeared in dozens of staged historical battles throughout the country, as well as in numerous movies and documentaries. Jim brought just a few of the authentic items used to outfit both himself and his horse. He also urged us to attend a reenactment of the Civil War Battle of Pilot Knob on April 10-12 in Pilot Knob State Park. That historic reenactment opens the 2015 event season, allowing Jim and his comrades to practice their skills after a long winter.

(Check out this link! http://mostateparks.com/…/battle-pilot-knob-state-historic-… )

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Rotarian Dick Harvey on March 15, 2015. Although born and raised in New York, Dick spent more than fifty years in Webster Groves and had been an active and devoted member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves since 2002. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 on May 15 at Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. The family has graciously suggested contributions in Dick's memory be made to the Rotary Foundation. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughters, Kendra, Allison, and Jennifer, and with their families.
Sixteen members and several spouses turned out for Happy Hour on St. Pat's Day at Llywelyn's Pub, marking the end of our 90th Anniversary Year celebrations. The perfect weather probably had a lot to do with this record-setting attendance for Rotary Happy Hour held at Llywelyn's on the third Tuesday of every month.... regardless of the weather!

President Kim White installed Dan Schulze as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves on Friday, February 27. Shown below are Kim, Dan, and Dan's sponsor, Nancy Battersby. Welcome, Dan!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Friday, February 20 was a treat in so many ways. Thanks to Pat Voss and the WGHS Alumni Association for providing a terrific lunch for several dozen Rotarians, along with students from both the WG High School Interact Club AND the Robotics Team. The team's faculty sponsors, Jeanette Henken and Nicholas Kirschman, introduced a half-dozen of the team members, who were there to talk about how the Robotics Team is important to their aspirations for STEM careers. And, of course, there were demonstrations that made most of us realize how mundane our own high school activities had been! Afterwards, Club President Kim White presented the team with a check representing our continued support for the Robotics Team's activities.
This morning, our own Rod Cooper posted on FaceBook a great American Red Cross article that addresses the success of Haiti's Global Therapy Group, which has been loyally supported by the Rotary Club of Webster Groves for the past three years.  Rod first brought this project to the attention of our club and then set out to locate two structural engineers who volunteered their time to design this much-needed physical therapy clinic that receives major support from the American Red Cross. Here is a link to the article, which shows just a glimpse of the many successes achieved by the Global Therapy Group therapists....with the help of Rotary Club of Webster Groves.
It is with great sadness we learned of Bill Lange's death on Saturday, November 29th. Bill was a 17-year member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves, having joined in June 1997; he served as President in 2008, following in the footsteps of his father, also named Bill, who was President in 1961. A memorial service was held on Wednesday, December 3rd, at Manchester United Methodist Church; interment was private. Please keep Bill's family in your prayers.

Webster Groves Rotarian and high school physics teacher Philip Wojak has just been honored with Peabody Energy's Leaders in Education Award, which presents teachers with a $1,000 prize and recognition at an annual reception. Honorees are chosen by a committee of educators and business leaders. Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch said in a nomination letter to Peabody Energy that Phil's “passion and love for teaching and for physics is coupled with a creative ability to take difficult concepts and bring them to life in a unique, thoughtful, and often humorous teaching style.”  In this photo, Peabody's Maureen Moore leads applause for Phil during the presentation at Webster Groves High School on October 8.Image.

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President Kim White installed Andrew Nothum and Pat Voss to the Rotary Club of Webster Groves during our August 15 meeting. Kim and Pat's sponsor, Charles Schneider are shown here on the left, next to Pat, and Nancy Battersby, who stood in for Andrew's sponsor, Jim Schleiffarth, stands on the right, next to Andrew. 

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Our club's Rotary Foundation Co-Chair,  Gail Fernandez,  traveled to Colorado Springs last week to attend a meeting with her former club, where she presented two Paul Harris Fellows awards to Barry and Cass Mullane. Pictured here with Gail and the Mullanes are Warren Hill, the Colorado Springs Rotary Foundation Chair, (left) and Clyde Church, Governor of Colorado District 5470 (right). 

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Yueh (nickname York) Lee, our new youth exchange student, presents President Kim White with a banner from the Rotary Club of Fengshaw, Taiwan. Welcome to Webster Groves, York!

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President Kim White installed Kevin Hough to the Rotary Club of Webster Groves during our August 8 meeting. Kevin his shown here with Kim and his sponsor, Dick Peterson.

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We are leaving the staging area to join the parade led by our District Governor Jill Walker and our own club's Assistant District Governor Dick Sant. The parade theme is "Stars & Stripes" and we are carrying our district's international flag set. Click here for a slide show of our prepping.

 

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Our new president Kimberly White (2nd from right) on the evening of her installation. Click here for a slide show. 

Our Webster Groves Rotary Exchange Student, Eugenia Arrieta, visited Webster's Historic Hawken House with Ann McReynolds on Sunday, May 25, for the opening of LIFE ON THE EVE OF WORLD WAR I.  This special exhibit featuring clothes, collectibles, and artifacts from the WWI era will be on display through Thanksgiving. Eugenia was delighted and surprised by the Webster Groves Historical Society's remarkable collection of authentic 19th-Century household items...like most people she was amazed to see how long the famous Hawken Rifle is!

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"Sometimes the line between right and wrong is blurred, and we have trouble making decisions that are both fair and perceptive of the people around us. The “Four Way Test” is a perfect solution to this classic problem. Following these four steps can help ensure my decisions are well thought-out and considerate of others."

Ruby Vargehese is this year's essay winner! In the photo left to right is Kit Whittington, essay committee chair presenting a $500 check to Ruby, and club president Scott Krejci. Click on More to read the essay. 

WG Rotarian John Dougherty made a fascinating presentation to our Club on April 18, explaining the plight of the towering American Chestnut, and how the Herculean efforts of dedicated molecular biologists have come up with a plan to save the species from extinction.After fielding a blizzard of questions, John handed out hybridized nuts along with planting instructions to those of us who wanted to try our hand in raising our own Chestnut tree.  John suggested we check out the American Chestnut Foundation website to read more about this remarkable scientific endeavor. Here is the link:  http://www.acf.org/

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Once upon a time on a walk in Webster Groves, some children saw a home that looked like a giant gingerbread house. With the help of their teacher, they wrote a letter to the people in the house and told them how interested they were in its fanciful decorations. They also invited them to come to their school, the Walter Ambrose Family Center Preschool. The homeowner turned out to be Philip Wojak, who teaches physics at Webster Groves High School, and he accepted the invitation to visit the preschool to bake gingerbread cookies one day this spring. (On 4/18/14, this article was posted on faceBook by the Webster Groves School District.) Perhaps Phil will bake a big batch of cookies for us and bring them to our next Rotary meeting!

The St. Louis group of volunteers from God's Child Project just returned from Antigua, Guatemala where they trained the medical staff on fitting the Ln-4 hand prosthetic device. The medical staff will be selecting candidates for the prosthetic in the next few months. the hands will be fitted when a group of volunteer physical therapists will arrive later this year. The group from Washington Missouri Mission Overseas along with some Washington Rotarians just returned from Honduras where they successfully fitted some hands on some lucky Hondurans. (pic insert)

 
 
PROGRAM CHAIRS
   Susan Fletcher, Chair           
 
     MONTHLY CHAIRS
July                                  
     Susan Fletcher
August                       
     Ann McReynolds
September                         
     Jean Magre
October                          
     Andrew Chao
November                        
     Jack LaBarge
December                     
     Gail Fernandez
January 2018           
     Gerry Kettenbach
February                        
     Wendy Giltner
March                                
     Seth Langton
April                                 
     Harold Lumley
May                              
     Guillo Rodriguez
June                                      
     Ted Domino
July                                  
     Susan Fletcher
 
Speakers
Gina Baldwin, Speech Pathologist
Oct 27, 2017
APP2Speak
Club Meeting
Nov 03, 2017
Budget Presentation
Club Meeting
Dec 01, 2017
Elections
Webster Groves High School Choir
Dec 01, 2017
Holiday Concert
Gerry Pagano and Kevin Green
Dec 08, 2017
Trombone Duets & Student Instrument Program
 
Upcoming Events
 
 
Birthdays
Member Birthdays:
  • Rod Cooper
    October 10
  • Guillo Rodríguez
    October 14
  • Jack LaBarge
    October 17
  • Gail Fernandez
    October 19
  • Susan Fletcher
    October 22
  • Gerry Kettenbach
    October 26
  • Larry Keightley
    October 30