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Welcome to our Club!


Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
McHenry Country Club
820 N John Street
McHenry, IL  60050
United States
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Home Page News
On December 6, 2018 and having been positively influenced by the leadership talk given by Rick Metzger, Savannah Gunderson (a Johnsburg High School student and 2018 Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipient) shared with members of the Rotary Club of McHenry that she is trying to raise $2,500 to bring Rick Metzger to Johnsburg High School so as to share with all of JHS’ students Metzger’s message – how to develop and hold positive attitudes. 
If you or your business would like to assist Savannah in raising funds to achieve this for her fellow students, click here.
Home Page Stories
On Friday, December 14, 2018, the Rotary Clubs of McHenry (Noon Lunch and Sunrise) co-funded the Annual Christmas Banquet for clients and staff of the Pioneer Center for Human Services.  Pictured below is a check for $3,300 from the Rotary Club of McHenry Charitable Foundation, Inc, representing the Rotary Club of McHenry’s donations to Pioneer Center for the Annual Autumn Stade’s Farm outing (Thursday, October 25, 2018), co-funding of the Christmas Banquet (Friday, December 14, 2018) and Pioneer Center’s McHenry County PADS program.   
Our primary fundraising event is the annual Blues, Brews and BBQ’s held in late August of each year, with the 2019 BB&B scheduled for August 16, 17 and 18, 2019.  Come to BB&B – have fun and give back to our shared community.
On December 6, 2018 and having been positively influenced by the leadership talk given by Rick Metzger, Savannah Gunderson (a Johnsburg High School student and 2018 Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipient) shared with members of the Rotary Club of McHenry that she is trying to raise $2,500 to bring Rick Metzger to Johnsburg High School so as to share with all of JHS’ students Metzger’s message – how to develop and hold positive attitudes. 
If you or your business would like to assist Savannah in raising funds to achieve this for her fellow students, click here.
World Polio Day 2018 is Wednesday, October 24, 2018.  Events are taking place throughout the World.  Be part of this extraordinary achievement – End Polio Now.  Your donation helps Rotary and its partners reach every child with the polio vaccine. Thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, your contribution will be tripled, getting us even closer to a polio-free world.
Mail your contribution to the Rotary Club of McHenry Charitable Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 28, McHenry, IL 60051, noting “End Polio Now”.  If you prefer to donate online, click here.
The Rotary Club of McHenry is pleased to announce the induction of Cynthia Wolf as an Honorary Member.  Our Constitution and Bylaws provide: “Persons who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals and those persons considered friends of Rotary for their support of Rotary’s cause may be elected to Honorary Membership in this Club.”  Cynthia has manifested this in many ways far exceeding those required.  Welcome Cyndi.
Brian C. DiBona, Executive Director, Friends of McHenry County College Foundation, updated Members of the Rotary Club of McHenry regarding Liebman Science Center at McHenry County College.  The Rotary Club of McHenry Charitable Foundation, Inc. made a $3,000 donation to the associated capital campaign.  Proceeds from Blues, Brews & BBQ’s are invested in our shared community in manners similar to this.  Come enjoy Blues, Brews & BBQ’s this August 17, 2018, August 18, 2018, and August 19, 2018have fun while benefiting our community
The 2018 induction dinner of the Rotary Club of McHenry was held at the McHenry Country Club.  Club President Denis Buch presided over the meeting and related festivities.  William “Bill” McLemore (past District Governor of Rotary District 6880 (1998-1999) and current Member of the Rotary Club of McHenry) served as the officiant to swear in Club officers for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The evening was solemn, yet full of fellowship, humor and good food.  During this event our Club recognized the outstanding service of various Members, recognized new Paul Harris Fellows, installed new officers and Chairs of various Avenues of Service, and provided a moment to express appreciation and thanks. 
On Thursday, June 7, 2018 at our regular Noon Club meeting at the McHenry VFW, ImaBridge Africa updated members of the Rotary Club of McHenry regarding its recent service trips to Nigeria.  Rotarian and Founder of ImaBridge Africa Rev. Fr. Godwin Asuquo is reaching out to Clubs of fellow Rotarians.  ImaBridge is encouraging collaboration and partnership with ImaBridge Africa in connection with its ongoing international projects in Nigeria.
On Thursday, May 31, 2018 the Rotary Club of McHenry held its regular Club meeting at McHenry Villa.  Club Member Bob Blake is a resident at McHenry Villa; we held our meeting there to facilitate Bob’s participation.  We also presented Bob with an award expressing our appreciation for Bob’s more than 63 years of dedication and service to the Rotary Club of McHenry and the communities we serve. 

On May 24, 2018, John Meyer from "Friends in Service Here" (FISH of McHenry – Food Pantry) our local food pantry presented FISH to Members of Rotary Club of McHenry.  FISH makes food available to those who need it.  Members learned that FISH has no paid employees; rather, everyone at FISH is a volunteer, even its three directors.  Members also learned that for every $1 donated to FISH, FISH is able to procure $8 of food for distribution through its food pantry. 


On May 17, 2018, each of  the Rotary Club of McHenry Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Twisted Limits Escape Rooms presented checks to FISH.  

On May 3, 2018, the Rotary Club of McHenry Charitable Foundation, Inc. donated $2,500 to the Family Health Partnership Clinic.  This donation to will supply 106 diabetic patients with the testing supplies they need to check their blood sugar levels. Knowing blood sugar levels allows patients to monitor their health and keep it in normal range. Without these testing supplies, patients would be taking a risk that could adversely affect their lives.
One of the focuses of the Rotary Club of McHenry and the Rotary Club of McHenry Charitable Foundation, Inc. is on the Youth of our community who are intelligent, motivated, and ambitious – yet lack adequate resources to pursue their full potential.  Historically we funded scholarships.  We have shifted away from scholarship after learning that the current cost of post-secondary education is so high and the funding application process such that our historical approach often did not help students as much as it had.  Moreover, it often served to reduce funding from other sources as a result of the current student aid application process.  While we still fund scholarships for students these are now often in connection with Vocational post-secondary programs. 
On April 5, 2018 during the regular Thursday, Noon meeting of the Rotary Club of McHenry at the McHenry VFW, the Rotary Club of McHenry Charitable Foundation, Inc. presented the McHenry High School District 156 with a check for $4,081 to help finance the cost of Advanced Placement Tests for 58 students in School District 156 (who are taking 93 AP tests); these students also qualify for free/reduced lunch.  This may save students approximately $209,000 is college cost.
On Thursday March 22, 2018, Jack Franks spoke to the Rotary Club of McHenry at our regular Noon meeting at the VFW in McHenry.  The first elected McHenry County Board Chair shared the County Board’s general objectives as well as an impressive progress report regarding the bipartisan achievements of the County Board.  Among the many objectives of the County Board was the overall goal of reducing real estate taxes.  The County Board has achieved results exceeding their original goal of a 10 percent reduction, but the overall taxes on real estate include other taxes including those which support education. 
More than a dozen Members of the Rotary Club of McHenry served a St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage lunch with all the Irish fixings to McHenry Township Seniors at their SHAMROCKIN celebration on Thursday March 15, 2018 at the McHenry VFW.  Following lunch, Mike Knauf and the Nippersink Rouge Trio preformed a diverse blend of traditional Irish vocal and instrumental music.
Jenny Farley, the Youth and Vocational Services Supervisor for the Lake County Center for Independent Living (a not-for-profit, grassroots, advocacy, service and resource organization for people with disabilities) spoke to members of the Rotary Club of McHenry.   Their philosophy is that people with disabilities have both the right and the responsibility to direct their own lives and pursue their own personal goals.  Their mission is "to empower people with disabilities to lead self-directed lives as valued members of the community."  Jenny Farley described the many and diverse programs offered by her organization.  
Leslie Edstrom (Director of Marketing and Fund Development, Senior Services Associates for Kane, Kendall, and McHenry Counties) spoke at our regular Rotary Club of McHenry meeting on March 1, 2018.  She noted that this agency has been serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and their families since 1973.  
As she began, Leslie noted "We consider ourselves a 'One Stop Shop'”.  She went on to say that their office has information for the public regarding just about every aspect and resource that is available in the area and can make referrals as well.
At the February 8, 2018 regular Thursday Noon meeting of the Rotary Club of McHenry, Holly Zissman (Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County (HFHMC)) and Alyssa Wilbourn (Volunteer Coordinator) reviewed HFHMC’s vision, what it does and how its programs work (e.g., Home Ownership, Critical Home Repair, and Veteran Repairs), the roles of ReStore, Volunteers, Sponsors and Donators, a brief history (with a few pictures of its projects) and overview of the excellent impact HFHMC has had in McHenry County, and how one can get involved.  To see their presentation, click here.   
Foundation Annual Meeting
Each Fiscal Year the Rotary Club of McHenry Charitable Foundation, Inc has an annual meeting of its Members.  Last year it was on December 22, 2016.  The Rotary Club of McHenry holiday activities dominated December 2017; the Annual Meeting of members was scheduled for January 18, 2018. 
Ron Bykowski, Chairman of the Board, began the meeting and, following a reading of the Minutes from the last Annual Meeting, provided a report.  Chair Bykowski reported as follows:
  • 2018 marks the 11th year of operation of the Foundation
  • Over the last five plus years, the Foundation has raised more than $200,000 primarily through Blues, Brews and Barbeques, of which more than $160,000 has gone to local community, vocational and youth service projects.
  • In addition to such fundraising, the Foundation has grown through wise investment (Foundation funds are managed by the investment banking firm of Morgan Stanley):
  • As of January 17, 2018, invested assets totaled:              $ 241,997
  • As of June 30, 2017, invested assets totaled:                   $ 167,161
  • As of June 30, 2016, invested assets totaled:                   $ 131,598
Foundation funds in its Benefits Account are not reflected in these numbers.  The Foundation’s investments have achieved excellent returns, averaging 17.56% over the last year. 
On January 11, 2018,  Johnsburg High School Business Teacher and DECA Sponsor Terri Szramek introduced three seniors from this year’s JHS DECA team.  They presented DECA’s "Ringwood Rocket 5K", which represents a community wide effort led by DECA students to raise funds for two Johnsburg teachers, Andy and Kim Reinhard (and their family).  The Reinhards, parents of three young children, suffered extensive and unexpected medical bills.  Proceeds from DECA’s efforts have helped to mitigate the Reinhards’ medical costs. 
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from calendar year 2015.  Although the overall rate increased, distraction-related deaths (3,450 fatalities) decreased by 2.2 percent.  Ben Pohl survived a distraction related accident in March 1997.
On Thursday, January 4, 2018, Ben Pohl presented his personal experience with "Distracted Driving" and its profound and lasting impact on his life (and those close to him). 
“As a driver, I was not distracted by a cell phone but rather from joking and laughing with four occupants in my car.  This took my focus off driving and I crashed my car.”
In March 1997, Ben was in a terrible crash in his 1973 VW while driving on Iowa’s I-80.  In his VW Bug/Beetle were four of his best friends.  Ben spent a month in a coma and then spent six months in painful rehabilitation; today he still has many physical challenges which were caused by his accident.  He emphasized that other people in the car are at the top of the list of distractions, followed by cell phones, texting, reading books, seeking radio stations, and many other distractions from the major focus at hand for the driver – the safe operation of the vehicle.  One of his video clips noted that: "The use of a cell phone while driving increases your chance of getting into a crash by 400%”  Ben closed by saying that he is passionate about the issue and would like members to refer him to other groups to speak on the dangers of distracted driving.  You can contact Ben at: ben@benpohlspeaks.com
Pictured below from left to right are Ben Pohl and Tony Huemann (Club Member and Fire Chief – McHenry Township Fire Protection District)
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
President Nominee
Immediate Past President
Sergeant at Arms
Membership Chair
Club Service Chair
Community Service Chair
International Service Chair
Youth Service Chair
Scholarship - Vocational
Program Chair
Rotary Reel
Rotary Foundation Chair
Club Foundation Chair
Blues, Brews & Barbecue
Blues, Brews & Barbecue
Web Site Coordinator