Welcome to the Rotary Club of Northeast Chicagoland Passport

Rotary is an organization of business and accomplished professionals 
sharing common interests and activities while serving the local and the world communities.
"Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things"
Our club currently meets via Zoom Conference
Only 2nd Wednesday evening each month at 7:00 PM CDT
If you'd like to join our meetings as a guest and/or speaker contact us at    Rotary@nechicagolandpassport.org
Follow us in Facebook   
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2022 Rotary International Convention

George R Brown (GRB) Convention Center
Houston, Texas
June 4 - 8
Virtual Convention:  June 12-16

District 6440 Conference

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
May 20 - 22
To register go to:

The Rotary Foundation

When you give to The Rotary Foundation, you fuel our service projects - projects that eradicate polio, promote peace, and improve developing communities.
The Paul Harris Foundation Luncheon:
Saturday May 21
Greetings from RI General Secretary John Hewko & Polished Rappers & Emcees with "Teh'ray "Phenom" Hale (See Rotary Magazine February 2022)

Donate: [TRF]

Rotary Disaster Response Fund

Click below if you would like to become a member of the District 6440 Polio Plus Society

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Community Service Projects Supported
  • Food for Life
  • Harvest PickUp for Food Pantries
  • Join A CleanUp:  Earth Day [earthday.org]
  • School Supplies for Needy Students
Current International Project
  • Rotary Global Grant #2119211:  Rotary Medical Mobile Van for Hemophilia Diagnosis.  Partnering with India District #3160.
Club Leaders
President:                     Ellen Young
Secretary:                     Rebecca Tanaka
Treasurer:                     Katherine Buggenhagen
Membership Chair:        Dr. Robert Steinberg
Community Service:      Steve Kutschat
International Service:   Raman Grover
Rotary Foundation:       Jenny Wojcik
Website Coordinator:      Marianna Zeidler
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Club News
Emily Parker, a second-year Masters student in the refugee and forced migration studies program, is a refugee resettlement caseworker with Catholic Charities of Chicago. Parker works to provide refugees housing and address other immediate needs within the first months of arriving in the U.S.  Catholic Charities agencies across the country have been helping resettle refugees from Afghanistan. Chicago’s influx of Afghan refugees has overwhelmed aspects of the city’s resettlement infrastructure, leaving gaps in support services.  “No one anticipated the Afghanistan situation, it all happened incredibly abruptly,” Parker said. “So, we have kind of just had to roll with the punches and completely transform our resettlement team.” 
Catholic Charities USA’s approach to migration is rooted in that all persons have the right to find in their own countries the opportunities to live in dignity and the right to seek work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders while affording protection to refugees and asylum seekers and respecting the human dignity and rights of undocumented migrants.
In addition to providing essential services to immigrants and refugees to the U.S., they advocate for policies that protect family unity and allow newcomers to contribute to and more fully participate in their new communities.  Click on the image to share in our club meeting, and view her whole presentation.
Working with an established very local NGO with a record of service is a big bonus for our GC 2119212 global grant, that made possible the Rotary Mobile Medical Van that will provide needed attention to local Hemophilia patients.
The project inauguration was honored by RI President Shekhar Mehta and First Lady Raashi Mehta on October 20th when visiting our international partner District 3160 (Hosapete) in India. See previous news below.  
Today, the recipient of the Rotary Medical Van, the Karnataka Haemophilia Society will be recognized with the Karnataka Rajyotsava State Service Award.  The ceremony takes place today in Bangalore, India.
Join us for World Polio Day as global health experts and partners share our progress on the road to polio eradication.  World Polio Day was initiated by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who developed a vaccine against poliomyelitis.  The annual number of wild poliovirus cases has declined by more than 99.9% worldwide from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched. Of the three serotypes of wild poliovirus, type 2 was certified as eradicated in 2015 and type 3 was certified as eradicated in 2018.  Your contributions count by saving a life at only $3 per child.  Our Rotary District 6440 has just launched its PolioPlus Society.  Your annual pledge of $100 per year until the world is declared polio free earns our membership.  Learn more and click HERE To join District 6440's PolioPlus Society; "Charter Membership" opportunity until June 30, 2022.

A World Polio Day video created by Barbara Blane is on Vimeo at this link: 


The Rotary Northeast Chicagoland Passport Club is excited to announce the recently approved District 6440 grant which supports a project which addresses the key area of child and maternal health as well as supporting local economies.   The project targets the ever growing issue of food insecurity and access to fresh produce within our local communities that exist within local food deserts.
The Northeast Chicagoland Passport Club extends throughout District 6440. Several key geographic areas of need in Lake County include North Chicago, Zion, and Waukegan. Ninety percent (90%) of the food provided are shelf stable products only.  There is a deep need for fresh fruits and vegetables to support the nutritional health of those individuals in the community who rely on food pantries for their basic nutritional needs. Poor nutrition is the root cause of many significant health needs such as diabetes and cardiac issues.  Obesity caused by dietary limitations is a key factor in many of these adult onset diseases which often have their roots in childhood. Adding the availability of more fresh fruits and vegetables can assist in making the dietary changes needed a reality.
The district grant provides multiple ways for our Rotary Club members to be involved at various levels. It can also offer those in the club who would like to have some hands on involvement to assist with shopping at the markets, communicating with farmers or making deliveries. The grant activities will take place through November as Farmer’s Markets continue through final harvest times. The $1000 grant ($500 from the district and $500 from donations from members) are being used to purchase fresh produce in large quantities for distribution to three organizations: North Chicago Community Partners Food Pantry, Midwest Veteran’s Closet and the Lake County Haven. 
In addition, the club has assisted with actual gardening and harvesting through a partnership with Rondout School District 72’s community garden.  Superintendent Jenny Wojcik, a Passport Club member, will coordinate the hands-on-gardening for those who are interested.  Several local businesses  Including Impact Networking have also volunteered to work in the school garden as well as some Rondout families to assist during the summer months while students are on break. Produce from the school garden is also donated to the three targeted organizations.
This project serves to support local economy and small farmers as well as those living with food insecurity who are dependent on the food pantries.  It also has health benefits from the standpoint of Maternal and Child Welfare while having fresh fruits and vegetables enhances wellness through enhanced nutritional opportunities.
We are thrilled with the impact of the District grant on the lives of those in need in our communities.  We are exploring how to keep the project going and “growing” in the days ahead. There are so many ways that this project can grow yet at the same time, the current simple plan has already made an enormous impact toward achieving our goal.   Food for Life is truly making a difference in the lives of many families. For more information, please feel free to contact the Club President Ellen Young, gov.ellen6440@gmail.com or Foundation Chair, Dr. Jenny Wojcik @ jennywojcik@aol.com. 
Our club's first Global Grant #2119211 budgeted at $41,419 for a Mobile Medical Van for Hemophilia Patients becomes a reality.  RI President Shekhar Mehta and First Lady Raashi Mehta are visiting our international partner District 3160 (Hosapete) in India, on the 20th of October, and personally inaugurate the Mobile Medical Van that day.  
India with nearly two hundred thousand cases is estimated to have the second highest number of patients with hemophilia, a lifelong bleeding disorder that prevents blood from clotting.  Despite improvement in the medical technologies for the treatment of hemophilia, health experts believe that nearly 80 per cent of Indians with the serious blood disorder are not diagnosed due to the absence of proper diagnostic facilities in the remote areas.  [India Healthworld, April 2019]  Project spearhead Happie Datt and International Service Chair Raman Grover have been coordinating the details of this project with our fellow Rotarian partners in the India District 3160.
The Rotary Mobile Medical Van is surely welcome in that community, in ways that only those that were once hopeless can now appreciate.
Our club's sponsored high school graduate Adriana Ulloa Alonzo was awarded the $1,500 District 6440 Vocational Scholarship towards a Baking and Pastry Arts AAS Degree at the College of Lake County.  Adriana's goal is to change the "unhealthy" stigma that baked pastries have ... her dream is to develop recipes for healthy cakes!   Additionally, Educate The Children, a charity founded by Marco Island Rotarian, Prem Advani, donated a new laptop for Adriana to start classes this month.  Adriana had been an ETC Recognized student in 2019.  Educate The Children is a 501.c.3 charity that has been helping further the education of over 1000 underprivileged children in over 10 countries since 1999.  educatechildren.org.    This month the laptop was presented by 2003 RYLA International participant, and long time ETC volunteer, Christine Arason who currently teaches Math at the high school Adriana graduated from. While a Junior in high school, Christine Arason had been a youth exchange student candidate slated to travel in 2001.  Fate had it, that September 11 happened that year and the youth exchange dream was scrapped.  However, Christine joined the Interact Club and after graduation, she became the first RYLA International participant from our Rotary District 6440 and travelled to Brisbane, Australia in 2003.  She has been volunteering for Educate The Children ever since, and now ... 20 years later, on the anniversary of that fateful year, hope is transferred forward to younger students that start new dreams and build their lives!
Early March, Rotarians from the NE Chicagoland Passport and Lincolnshire clubs teamed up with the Daniel Wright Toastmasters Club to test the feasibility of a speakers’ program for teens.  The Roar to Soar was created as a pilot program, tailored to introduce teenagers to an interactive learning experience aimed at developing speaking and communication skills while helping others in the youth group to develop theirs.  Hosting the program through Zoom sessions was a first.  Students from five different high schools in Lake County, Illinois volunteered to participate after a couple of orientation meetings.  Eight sessions followed, covering topics such as Ice Breakers, Impromptu Speaking, Listening & Evaluating, Organizing Your Speech, Gestures in Speaking, Voice & Vocabulary, Interviews ... ending with a Show Your Skills session run entirely by the students which took place May 17, 2021.  Our initiative is aimed at encouraging Rotary clubs to engage their Interact clubs with a similar program.  The results are extremely rewarding.  Full credit for the success of this program is given to students Alexandra Berns & MeiLi Tompson from Libertyville High School, Nathan Knoll from Antioch Community High School, Gina Li from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Aditi Thota from Aptakisic Junior High School in Buffalo Grove, and Adriana Ulloa-Alonzo from Zion Benton Township High School.
Rotary International President Elect Shekhar Mehta provided an update on the current Covid crisis in India, and encouraged us to continue to serve under the programs supported by The Rotary Foundation.   [Click here to Watch Video]
Our club is currently involved in a Global Matching Grant project for the treatment of hemophilia in India which India is estimated to have the second highest number of patients with hemophilia, a lifelong bleeding disorder that prevents blood from clotting. 
In addition to our local distinguished guests, current District Governor Lyle Staab, and Rotary International Director-Elect Pat Merriweather-Arges, today's morning meeting was attended by our club's international project partners in India, Davangere Rotarian Vishwazith Jadhav, and Past Rotary District 3160 Governor K. Madhu Prasad.  This Hemophilia Project is led by club members Happie Datt and Raman Grover.
At closing of the meeting, PDG Madhu expressed the urgent need for Oxygen Concentrators that those affected by Covid could use at home.  Hospitals in India are already overcrowded, understaffed and their equipment can hardly meet the demand of the number of needy patients.  The availability of home units could ease the burden of the healthcare system while patients could be cared for in a familiar environment.

Binish Desai, former Rotary Youth Exchange Student hosted by the Waukegan Rotary Club in 2009, heads today his own EcoEclectic Technologies - EETech company designing and implementing processes for recycling solutions.  Now, Dr. Binish Desai having earned a degree in Environmental Engineering, has a spot on Forbes' 2018 list of Asia's top social entrepreneurs under the age 30 [Recorded Program].  His story is featured in the August 2020 issue of the Rotarian Magazine, "Full Circle" starting on page 34. He credits his success to the boost received from his Rotary experience.  

Every hero has an origin story. “I was 10 years old when the entire journey started,” explains Binish Desai. It began with a cartoon called Captain Planet, an animated TV series from the 1990s about an environmentalist with superpowers. Desai can still recite the show’s refrain: Captain Planet, he’s our hero / Gonna take pollution down to zero! “That tagline stuck in my mind,” he says. “I wanted to do something to help Captain Planet.”  Full Circle Video


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May 2022