Meetings in June will be via Zoom

Following recommendations and orders of government officials, in-person club meetings will not resume until June 25.   We will have meetings via Zoom on the first three Thursdays of June.  Details about how to join the meetings will be sent to members in their weekly email newsletters from the club each Monday.
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District Governor-designee

The Rotary District 6080 Nominating Committee picked Springfield Southeast Past President John Horton as its designee for district governor in 2022 - 2023.  John was club president in 2010 - '11 and has been a club member since Jan. 24, 2002.

John founded the Don't Meth with Us program in Springfield after learning about a similar program of another club while he was at a Rotary International convention.   He is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow as well as a Rotary Benefactor.  He has also served as an assistant district governor.

John has played on our Rotary Club basketball teams for many years, is an avid golfer, and a passionate Kansas City Chiefs fan.  He founded and grew a successful information technology company, Layer 3 Technology.

Five other past presidents of Springfield Southeast Rotary Club have been district governors: Don Handley (governor in 1978 - '79); Mac McCartney ('84 - '85), Jerry Stiefvater ('90 - '91), Jim McLeod ('97 - '98), and Steve Montgomery ('09 - '10).

Congratulations, John, and best wishes as you spend the next two years preparing for your term as district governor!
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Welcome new member Nick Altrup

Michael Wehrenberg sponsored Nick and his co-sponsor is Luke Westerman.  He joined the club in April during our Corona virus break from meetings.

Nick is the president of 417 Marketing, a digital marketing agency in Springfield that he founded in 2010.   He earned a BA at University of Missouri in 2003 and an MBA at Drury University in 2010.

Nick has been married to his wife, Jamie, since 2004 and is the father of two daughters, ages 8 and 6.

His volunteer service includes Jobs for Life, a program dedicated to helping recently released prisoners rejoin the workforce.


Gifts Go Further With Rotary

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Given his background as a retired financial adviser, it’s not surprising that Bill Gray approaches a gift to Rotary as he would any other business transaction: as a smart investment.

The Rotary Foundation belongs to all of its contributors,” he says, noting Rotary’s reputation for transparency and thoughtful stewardship. “My Rotary membership is incredibly valuable to me. And as an investor, I have a sense of ownership, of contribution, of effectively saying, ‘Count me in!’”

Over the years, Gray (shown with his wife, Nancy) has traveled to Barbados, Kenya, Korea, and Uganda to work on service projects. The Ugandan project brought together Rotary members from different countries and provided mosquito nets to protect 56,000 children from malaria.

Rotary’s ability to promote international understanding through collaboration inspired the Grays to establish an endowed fund to support the Rotary Peace Centers.

“The Rotary Foundation is the glue that keeps Rotary together and enables meaningful endeavor across borders with confidence,” he says. “By pooling our resources with Rotarians everywhere, we can accomplish much more than we could otherwise dream of doing.”

Rotarians' Gifts Help Young People Lead Healthy Lives

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Nearly 20 years ago, Ignacio Holtz (right, in photo) was suffering from chronic kidney disease and in need of a transplant. His wife, Beatriz, made the lifesaving donation of a healthy kidney. When he joined a Rotary club a few years later, he talked with fellow members about how to help less fortunate patients in the same situation. 

Working with the Heart 2 Heart program, a decadelong collaboration among clubs in Mexico and the United States, Holtz led efforts to provide 10 disadvantaged young people with kidney transplants. The program has since saved more than 500 lives, with help from six global grants from The Rotary Foundation and matching funds from Sólo por Ayudar, a local nonprofit.
Holtz and members of his club work with local hospitals to screen potential donors and recipients, negotiate rates, and offer logistical support to participating families.

The inspiring stories of recovered patients motivate Holtz to keep giving. Holtz is still in touch with the first patient they helped, then a 15-year-old girl whose uncle donated a kidney to keep her alive. The project covered the fees for the operations, and today she is the healthy mother of a young daughter.

“It took me some time to discover the miracles that Rotary can achieve. By multiplying what we give, The Rotary Foundation gives us the opportunity to make a better world,” says Holtz.
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Rotarians' Gifts Build Goodwill and Understanding Among Countries

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The way Toni Polsterer sees it, The Rotary Foundation’s greatest strength is its ability to forge international connections to improve lives.

Polsterer (right) serves on the executive council of Intercountry Committees worldwide, a network of 250 groups, each made up of clubs and districts from two or more countries. Group members work together to build goodwill and plan projects, particularly those that support peace and conflict resolution.
In early 2016, Polsterer worked with the intercountry committees to organize a contest for global grant projects focused on peace and conflict resolution, offering a $5,000 prize to each of the two winners: a vocational training team of women peacebuilders, and a music therapy program for young people affected by conflict.

A member of Rotary clubs in Vienna and Moscow in the 1980s, and later governor of a diverse multinational district during the heated ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Polsterer has seen firsthand how Rotary can bring people together.

“Sometimes the best peace projects don’t focus on the conflict itself but rather initiate communication and cooperation between two parties,” he said. “Experience in our district has shown that intercountry meetings and projects not only lead to better understanding between Rotarians but can also act as a catalyst for clubs within a country with a longstanding history of internal conflict.”

Rotarians' Gifts Will Help End Polio

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When he announced a $1 million gift to PolioPlus — his second — at the 2014 Rotary Convention in Sydney, Sir Emeka Offor became Africa’s largest donor to Rotary.

“My dad had to make many sacrifices,” says Offor, born to a police officer in a small Nigerian town. “I decided I must support the underprivileged in society— the people who are not able to afford three square meals, or the people who can’t go to school.”
Now executive vice chair of the Chrome Group, a multibillion-dollar oil and gas conglomerate, Offor (left)  focuses on improving lives in his country by creating economic opportunities through the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, and by supporting the campaign to end polio.

“When I give to The Rotary Foundation, I know it’s supporting wonderful efforts like PolioPlus, which has helped to protect 2.5 billion children from the ravages of polio,” he says. “At times the progress is slow, but it is my deepest hope that we can inspire all Nigerians to work together to bring about the final, permanent, and irreversible eradication of polio.”
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What "Rotary" Really Means

Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast 2017-'18 President Lori Barnes and 2018-'19 President Bill Squires discuss what people should know about Rotary and why it matters.