Rotary restore donation

Donation to Habitat for Humanity

One of our community donations this year was to Habitat for Humanity.  We paid for part of a new dock plate extension for its ReStore!  The extension levels out the transitions between the trucks and the docks, which makes unloading donations much efficient quicker, and safer.

Rotary clubs Christmas Parade float

Our club combined efforts with all the city's Rotary clubs and the Rotaract Club for our float in the 2023 Springfield Christmas Parade.  Several members also walked the parade route alongside the float.

Holiday Party

   We kicked off the holiday season with our annual party on Nov. 30.  It was at the Miracle on South Street pop-up venue in a former furniture store.

    Audrey Garard and the team at Grooms Office Environments created a magical environment for all to enjoy.  It was a festive atmosphere with delicious food, drink and fellowship.

Roseann  Bentley Musical Playground dedication

We were proud to combine efforts with the other Rotary Clubs in Springfield to bring this exciting new playground to our community.  It's named in honor of fellow Rotarian Roseann Bentley and was dedicated on Nov. 21.

The Musical Playground is in Phelps Grove Park, 950 E. Bennett St.  This interactive and fully accessible musical playground is designed for kids of all ages and abilities to make a merry noise.   It has eight playground-grade instruments, including xylophones, drums and other percussive tones, built in colorful shapes of flowers and trees, in the center of the playground area.

Bentley's many years of public service and advocacy for children exemplifies our 4-Way Test and motto of Service Above Self.  We thank all of the Rotarians who have supported and continue to support The Rotary Foundation, which supports many local projects just like this.

Other donors besides the Rotary Clubs and The Rotary Foundation are Ferrell Duncan Foundation at CoxHealth, Dr. George Heinz, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Community Partnership of the Ozarks Board, Charlie and Mary Beth O'Reilly, Shelley Evans, Jane and Herb Dankert, John and Roseann Bentley's grandchildren, The Family and Community Trust, Dr. Janice Duncan, and Nancy Hopkins.  You can read more about the playground at the Springfield-Greene County Parks Department website and in this KY3 News report.

Give Greater Appreciation Reception & Dinner

The Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast Endowment Board held an appreciation event on Oct. 16, 2023, for the 52 members who donated to the Give Greater Campaign.  The board was working toward its goal of $500,000 in donations, of which the capital would remain intact and profits would benefit those in need.

The event was called Thanks A Half Million and was at The Vineyard Market. Complementary wine and beer were served with Napa Charcuterie courtesy of The Vineyard Market.

Dinner consisted of filet mignon, mushroom cream linguine, served with garlic cream hasselback potatoes, and balsamic roasted Brussel sprouts. Kentucky bourbon bread pudding with buffalo trace caramel drizzle was served for dessert.

The chairman of the the Endowment Board, Past President Steve Rice, served as the master of ceremonies.  Brandon Welch was the main chef providing us with an incredible dinner!  Prizes were also drawn for a bourbon and cigar basket, bottle of wine and a Cayman wine tasting.

Rick Van Pelt handed out special Rotary pins to the assembled that have "SE ENDOWMENT" inscribed on them. Rick was the originator of the endowment during his year as club president. Bill McNeill's efforts as chairman of the annual Golf'toberfest event were also recognized. Bill reported the tournament netted us about $22,000 for the endowment in 2023.

Special recognition was given to all of the Endowment Board for their hard work and continuing efforts to reach the $500,000 goal.  They are: Steve Rice, Chair; Barbara Lucks, Treasurer; Lisa Blumenstock, Jason Brown, David Compere, Brent Dunn, Greg Horton, Bill McNeill, Rick Van Pelt (Emeritus), Mark Walker, Brandon Welch and Luke Westerman.

(Photos and text by Dan Emrie)
Shrimp feed group

Shrimp Feed Howdy

A well-fed group of Springfield Southeast Rotarians gathered for a group photo at the annual John Simpson Memorial Shrimp Feed on July 13, 2023.   Afterwards, they got down to the business of formally expressing their opinions about club activities and operations.

Here are some of the notes taken by group leaders during the discussions following the meal.

Shrimp Feed notes


Shrimp Feed preparations

The Southeast Rotary Club Shrimp Feed Crew was busy on July 12, 2023, preparing extra large shrimp for the annual John Simpson Memorial Shrimp Feed the next day.  The event, which serves as the annual Assembly for gathering programming and operational ideas, has been held every year since 1974 except for 2020 during the pandemic.  The club members are treated with shrimp, salad and toast, after which a 'Fireside Chat" is held.  The event was held at Past President Patrick Harrington's home once again.

Shrimp Cook Crew consists of: Gary Leonard, Rex Johnson, Harry Price, Bill White, Rick Gilmore and Dan Emrie. (photos by Dan Emrie)
2023 2024 board

2023 ‐ '24 Officers

  • President ‐ Michael Wehrenberg (far right)
  • Past President ‐ Lori Johnson Murawski (third from left)
  • President‐Elect ‐ David Compere, President-elect Avenue leader (second from right)
  • Treasurer (first year of two-year term) ‐ Kim Garrison (fifth from left)
  • Secretary (second year of two-year term) ‐ Steve Brooks (fourth from right)
  • Board Director ‐ Nick Altrup, International Service Avenue leader (not shown)
  • Board Director ‐ Jeff Cumley, Club Service Avenue leader (second from left)
  • Board Director ‐ Angela Delahoussaye, Vocational Service Avenue leader (third from right)
  • Board Director ‐ Adam Reichert, Community Service Avenue leader (far left)
  • Board Director ‐ Natalie Murdock, New Generations Avenue leader (fourth from left)
  • Sergeant-at-arms (appointed by president) - Joe Daues, 417-848-8710 (not shown)

Thank you KY3 and AdSmith Marketing & Advertising

Changing of the Guard

Our meeting of June 29, 2023 -- our final meeting of the Rotary year -- included a heartfelt thanks from outgoing President Lori Johnson Murawski, followed by a standing ovation for her service, and swearing-in of new President Michael Wehrenberg.

President Lori reflected on the many accomplishments that our club achieved over the past year.  Lori is the first President to have a father who also was a President of Springfield Southeast Rotary (Rex Johnson, 1984-'85).  It certainly was a fantastic year for her and our club!

Board members of the past year were recognized for their hard work during the year.  The traditional "Passing of the Gavel," starting with our first President, Sam Hamra, and continuing with subsequent presidents, was done, ending with Michael Wehrenberg.  District Governor John Horton then installed Michael as the new President, as well as the new board members.

President Michael spoke to the club about his vision and his expectations to "Create Hope in the World" and in our community. He concluded the meeting with his first ringing of the bell.

(Photos and text by Dan Emrie)

Peace Pole dedication

June 20, 2023 at the Peace Pole installation near the Peace Through People Pavilion at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park on South Scenic Avenue:

May peace prevail on Earth.  Across the five Peace Poles in Springfield, 30 languages will be represented.   Poles currently are at K Park, Miracle Field, and near the Springfield Botanical Gardens.  Dickerson Park Zoo and Sequiota Park are the future locations in process.  These are projects of all the Rotary clubs and Springfield Rotaract Club.

-- Posted by Lori Johnson Murawski

Summer blood drive

A couple of times each year, our club participates in blood drives at critical times for Community Blood Center of the Ozarks.  Here are photos from the drive in June 2023.  Donors got tasty treats, Springfield Cardinals shirts, and free tickets to a game!  Oh -- they each also helped 3 medical patients.  Not bad for an hour.

Fellowship Lunches

Twice each year, the club holds Fellowship Lunches away from our regular meeting spot at work places of several of our members.  Members choose which location they want to attend and learn more about that business or nonprofit group.  On June 8, 2023, the lunches were at Gold Mechanical, Missouri Association of Manufacturing, Whitaker Publishing (417 Magazine), and Chicken Salad Chick.   Here are some of the photos from those lunches.

Vocational Awareness Awards

Our club gives recognition annually to our Police, Fire and Sheriff officers who have made extraordinary contributions to the citizens of Springfield and Greene County. This year's recipients, honored at our meeting on June 1, 2023, are:
●From The Springfield Police Department - Detective Kirk Broberg for his work reducing area auto thefts
●From Greene County Sheriff's Dept. - Detective Joey Fletcher for his critical role in finding and arresting predators of children and of child abuse

Paul Harris Fellows Reception

Our club celebrated becoming a 100% PHF Club with a reception at Highland Springs Country Club on June 1, 2023.

Coffee fellowship

The Fellowship Committee organized an informal get-together at Architect Coffee Company on May 23, 2023.

Fellowship at Springfield Billiards

The Fellowship Committee hosted a joint laughs and lager event with the Springfield Rotaract Club at Billiards of Springfield on May 10, 2023.

District Conference Shrimp Feed

Our club prepared and hosted a shrimp feed for the District 6080 Conference on May 3, 2023.

Serving Community Dinner at The Fairbanks

Continuing a long tradition, the Hands-On Service Committee recruited members to serve and cleanup a free community dinner at The Fairbanks on the third Thursday of every month.  These photos are from April 20, 2023.