Thank You!
A HUGE THANK YOU to Kelly Giovanine who at the very last minute jumped in, learned, and created the New Year newsletter!
The editor greatly appreciates her Service Above Self!
Santa Partners with Illinois QC Rotary Club
The Illinois Quad Cities Rotary Club has provided a “Breakfast with Santa” event for local children for the past three years.  Of course, 2020 presented unique challenges to all of us, so our Rotary Club changed it to a “Visit From Santa” event this year.
The Club chose three organizations - Children's Advocacy Center, Children's Therapy Center and Washington Elementary - that serve local children who face challenges in their lives, and we made up Christmas Gift Bags for Santa to deliver to the organizations for distribution to children in need.  100 gift back packs with water bottles for older kids and cinch bags with Christmas sippy cups/tumblers for younger children were filled with reading books, coloring books, crayons, gloves and mittens, and other Christmas goodies donated by local businesses and our Rotary Club members.
Foundation News, January 2021
Happy New Year to each of you! I hope you had a good holiday season in whatever way that felt best to you in this different kind of year. As we make our resolutions and plans for the upcoming year, it is a great time to consider how The Rotary Foundation figures into those plans.

The Rotary Foundation raised more than $408 million in Rotary year 2019/20. Over $300 million was awarded in grants which was a historic figure for  the Foundation. $8 million was awarded for Disaster Response Grants for COVID-19-related projects. Our district received $25,000 for one of those grants to make protective face shields for front-line workers. We were able to participate in actually making those shields.

It was recently announced that the Foundation achieved the highest rating from Charity Navigator for the 13th consecutive year. When we contribute
to the Foundation, we are assured that our money is being used for doing good throughout the world.
At the time I am writing this (just a few days before the end of the year), our district Annual Fund goal is set at $121,350. This is based on the goals
each of the clubs set. We are at a bit less than 50% toward that goal. Let’s not wait until the end of the Rotary year to really push toward surpassing
that goal. I encourage each of you to really think about what The Rotary Foundation accomplishes and how you might be a part of that. Think about
your why. For me it means that I am a part of those worldwide projects when I contribute. And remember that we get 50% back in 3 years of
whatever is contributed to the Annual Fund from our district.

I want to give a shout-out to our top 3 clubs for per capita giving to the Annual Fund so far this year:

1st - Rockford East at $155.43 per capita
2nd - Rochelle at $97.02 per capita
3rd - Ottawa at $95 per capita

Let’s give these clubs some competition. Look for our updates and fun ways of competing in future newsletter articles.

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy and safe New Year!
Kathy Kwiat-Hess, District Foundation Chair
Sunrise Club Finds Way to Bring Joy
For over 25 years the Ottawa Sunrise Rotarians have collect hundreds of toys and books for the Salvation Army with their float in the Ottawa holiday parade.  But 2020 brought challenges to their collection when the parade was canceled!  Rotarians quickly made plans to collect over two weekends by hosting the Toy-Book Float in different locations so that donors could just drive by and hand out their books and toys.  Santa's tractor really got a lot of attention with the giant hat!  The collection proved to be a huge success!  A total of 1228 toys, 320 books and $2145 was donated to purchase even more.
Milestone Met in Rock Falls
Mike Albert has reached a milestone of 30 years of Rock Falls Rotary membership and was recently recognized for his dedication to the service of Rotary.  Mike has served most recently as president for the second term and serves as Foundation Chair, thereby responsible for organizing the End Polio Now Walk annually. 
Gail Wright, President of Rock Falls Rotary (left) presented to Mike Albert (right) a certificate signed by District 6420 Governor in recognition of his years of service.
Sycamore Wins Contest, Provides Coats
The Park District of Sycamore has awarded Rotary Club of Sycamore the winner of the Best Community Tree contest. This honor rounded out a busy few months which also included providing much needed warm weather gear through their Rotary Coats for Kids program. The club raised over $2000 to fund the coats and the tree was decorated by Interact with homemade bear ornaments honoring those that donated $30 for more for the Coats project.
Mark Your Calendars for January!

 What are District Grants?  

District Grants are intended for small-scale, short-term activities that address humanitarian needs in your community.  All Clubs in District 6420 are encouraged to apply for a District Grant.  For the 2020-2021 Rotary year 33 of the 46 Clubs in District 6420 applied for a District Grant.  That was a record number of Clubs but we would like to see even more Clubs become involved for 2021-2022.

 How much money is available?

A maximum of $1000 will be available to each Club in District 6420 for the 2021-2022 Rotary year.  Matching club funds are expected.

How does a Club get a District Grant?

The process is easy!  Make sure that your President Elect (the person who will be President during 2021-2022) attends a District Grant Management Seminar during the 2020-2021 Rotary year and that your Club’s Grant Chair has attended the District Grant Management Seminar during the last three years. Then complete a short application that is due on May 15, 2021.  The District Grant Management Seminar will cover all of the requirements and procedures for obtaining a District Grant. 

When are the District Grant Management Seminars going to be held?

Saturday, January 23, 2021 from 9:00am-10:30am via Zoom.

Saturday, February 13, 2021 from 9:00am-10:30am via Zoom.

Thursday, March 25, 2021 from 6:00pm-7:30pm via Zoom.

You can sign up at  There is no charge.

How can I get more information about District Grants?

Contact the District 6420 Grants Sub-Committee Chair – Laura Kann – from the Princeton Rotary Club at 678-315-2406 or



Rockford Area Clubs Present PPE
Rockford Fire Department recently accepted 200 PPE shields made by the Rockford area Rotary Clubs. Pictured below are: Past Rockford Rotary Club President David Byrnes, PDG Elise Cadigan & District Governor Tom Brooks.

East Moline/Silvis Has Busy December

Rotarians are a resilient and creative group of people that value service above self. The East Moline/Silvis Rotarians are no exception and have been busy during the month of December, giving back to the community and spreading holiday cheer. 

The annual Coats for Kids project donated 270 coats to students in seven different elementary school and childcare centers in East Moline and Silvis. One Silvis grandmother expressed how grateful she was to have these coats because she is currently helping to care for her grandchildren. Due to the pandemic, the parents of her grandchildren were unemployed, which required them to move in with her. She shared that the three coats the club gave to her grandkids helped to ease the financial pressure she was experiencing this year.

Many senior citizens living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, or that are homebound, are feeling very secluded because of the pandemic. The club decided to select ten Hope Creek Nursing Home residents from their Angel Tree.  Four different Rotarians purchased gifts for the ten residents and delivered them to the nursing home on Tuesday, December 15. We wanted to be sure that the employees working at Hope Creek Nursing Home knew they were appreciated, so poinsettias and treats were purchased and delivered the same day the gifts were delivered. 

Home Instead has an annual, Santa for a Senior program, so our club asked to serve as Santa to five of their seniors.  Gift cards and small gifts were purchased for these seniors to help brighten their holiday. Additionally, Whitey’s ice cream and poinsettias were donated to the residents and employees at Illini Restorative Care and Crosstown Square in Silvis and pizzas from Frank’s Pizza in Silvis were donated to healthcare workers at Illini Hospital in Silvis. 

In all, the club donated $8522.00 in coats for East Moline children, gifts for senior citizens in our area, and pizza and treats for healthcare workers.




January is End Human Trafficking Awareness Month: Two Learning Sessions

It takes awareness and action to make positive change. Human trafficking continues to devastate our communities and the world. With your commitment and willingness, we can change the future for many and fight for the freedom of millions. It's time to act.

Every four seconds, another person has been trapped and forced into human trafficking somewhere in the world or your community. Human trafficking claims many and often goes unnoticed. It's estimated that there are over 40 million people in modern-day slavery today. Yes, human trafficking is slavery; people are being forced to do acts against their will. Of that 40 million, 75 percent are being exploited for sex, and of that, about half are children. Human trafficking is a $150 billion per year business globally. Without acknowledging and addressing this dire issue, it will continue to wreak havoc in our communities and remain a global crisis.

With the network and influence of Rotary International, our goal is to accumulate increase awareness around this issue. To do this, we need your help. 

You can begin by attending meetings and learning more about human trafficking, how it happens, and its prevalence in our cities and communities. 

Two upcoming guest speakers

  • January 14, 2021, at 7 a.m. CST – Jessica Hamlet tells her story of overcoming years of exploitation – a journey many of us cannot imagine. Her strength, determination and belief in the transformative power of education, self-exploration and discipline will inspire you. Register to hear Jessica's story via ZOOM.

Our Rotary to End Human Trafficking mission began in 2017, and every day since, we've committedly taken action against modern slavery. With the persistence and dedication of 160 Clubs and approximately 5,000 Rotarians from across the world, we've sparked significant momentum forward. Together, we've elevated awareness surrounding this pressing issue. To continue to make strides and positive change, we need strength in numbers and advocacy. We're looking to partner with other Rotary clubs around the world, and we invite you to join us moving into our next phase. If you're a champion already invested and passionate about this work, please connect with us.  

We're here to end human trafficking. Join the fight for change and the freedom of many today. Together we can end modern slavery. 

December 2020 Global Polio Update
December 2020 Global Polio Update
Well, another month is over, and 2020 is winding down with some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Two vaccines are approved and on the way to recipients across the country.
We can all appreciate the despair and fear present during the polio epidemic days decades ago, and how helpless parents felt. We are still making progress in the global polio eradication programs.
Here are some stats:

WPV1 cases: 53
Children immunized: 9.900,000
Suspect COVID cases: 52,086
# Polio/COVID contact tracers: 101,677
In October cross-border teams and Transit Point Teams vaccinated 598,494.
WPV1 cases: 82 (2020) vs 147 (2019)

During September NIDs (national immunization days) 38.8 million children were

All the polio work is ongoing with constant training of community health workers that are the backbone of community engagement. In 35 years, the global polio eradication effort has built
up incredible assets: lab testing, surveillance, and a frontline workforce of hundreds of thousands who deliver vaccines in polio campaigns. These same polio assets have also been
dedicated to COVID-19 response. Most of the front line COVID contact tracers are polio workers. Health worker training, infection prevention control measures, and risk
communications are robust.

We should all take great satisfaction in the legacy of the Polio Plus program, knowing that our priorities are focused in the right places. As we cross over into 2021, it will be a new tax year,
so don’t forget the Foundation and Polio Plus as you plan for next year.

Happy Holidays and thanks --- stay safe and take the vaccine when offered.

Paul Stromborg
District 6420 Polio Plus Chair
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