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Rotary Interact QHW article

Pittsfield High School Rotary Interact club stresses community service close to home and around the world
Abbie Price, foreground, a member of the Rotary Interact group at Pittsfield High School, operates a stand mixer as, from left, Paige Brokaw, Joe Miller and Faith Hoffman, work on other parts of the cookie-making process. Club members baked cookies at the high school on Dec. 21, then delivered the goodies to nursing home residents. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Published: 12/28/2010 | Updated: 12/28/2010

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- Pittsfield High School junior Joe Miller is gaining a better understanding of how to help people around the world without ever leaving home.

He played a part in providing drinking water, chickens and a water buffalo for families in Africa, battling polio, and providing a holiday treat for senior citizens closer to home thanks to involvement in the Rotary Interact club at PHS.

"I know that here we're really spoiled, but we don't really know it. To go out and look at real life things makes you open your eyes a lot more than what you see in Pike County," said Miller, vice-president of the PHS club.

Interact is Rotary International's service club for youth ages 12 to 18. Traditional Rotary clubs sponsor the Interact clubs, which do at least two community service projects each year. One of those programs is designed to further international understanding and goodwill.

"The most important aspect of Interact is the concept that service is a good thing, that community service is an integral part of successful communities and so getting involved in an organization whose focus is predominantly service to others is a good growth experience," said Bill Durall, Interact club liaison and board member of the Pittsfield Rotary Club. "The other thing the kids get out of this is the opportunity for leadership -- to lead meetings, organize activities."

On the second day of Christmas break from school, club members baked cookies and delivered them to nursing home residents in Pittsfield.

"It was a lot of fun," said club member Abbie Price, a PHS junior. "Rotary is a way for me to help out my community."

The students baked cake mix cookies with various toppings, packaged them and then "they go and give them to each of the residents," said PHS Principal Angie Greger, who sponsors the club.

"It was nice seeing all the people out there. They enjoyed us coming," Price said. "You can tell the people appreciated it."

It's the second year for the cookie-baking project and going into the fourth year for the group, which grew from just a handful of students to around 35 members this year.

Club members make Interact activities a priority in schedules already crowded with homework, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs. "It's a great group of young people who are active in a lot of different things. It's a credit to them in wanting to serve their community," Durall said.

"It helps instill that community service mindset, and it forms the potential for new Rotary members," Pittsfield Rotary member Kaye Iftner said.

But key is "the fact they do things that are part of a bigger purpose, not just a local club doing local community service stuff. They're part of an international organization," she said.

The PHS club raised money to build a well in Africa, donated money to Heifer Project International to provide animals to families in need and worked with Rotary Club members during the Pike County Fall Color Drive to raise money for efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

"It's important the students have an opportunity to serve people in the community and those internationally who are a lot less fortunate than we are. Through some speakers and opportunities, their eyes are opened on some situations that we don't necessarily always think about like malaria and polio that have been eradicated from us for a while, just the needs that people from some other countries have, the things we take for granted," Greger said. "It's providing an opportunity to serve in ways we normally would not have the opportunity to do."

Closer to home, they helped build the county's first Habitat for Humanity house in Griggsville, plan to sponsor a mother-son, daddy-daughter event this winter and worked with the Pittsfield Rotary on its major fundraiser.

"Every year our local club sells radio advertisements to local merchants and organizations, then we take over WBBA radio station for two days that the Color Drive is going on. We broadcast those ads and provide public service announcements to help people know what is going on with all the Color Drive activities. We got Interact students to help us read some of the ads," Durall said.

"Interact is a real positive organization. The kids get a good positive experience out of it."


• Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18.
• The first Interact group met in 1962 with 23 students at Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Fla.
• It has since become one of the most significant and fastest-growing Rotary programs, with more than 10,700 clubs in over 120 countries and geographical areas.
• More than 250,000 young people are involved in Interact.
• Brazil, India, the Philippines and the United States have the highest number of Interact clubs.

web posted 12-28-10

Sue Grigsby presents Peru Mission Trip results to Rotary.

Pittsfield Rotarian Joe Dierker invited Sue Grigsby to be the special guest speaker at the regular Wednesday noon Pittsfield Rotary Club meeting on October 13th. Sue showed numerous photos and discussed her recent mission trip to Peru where she had many varied experiences.

web posted 10-21-10

Access Illinois Outdoors continues success with the Access Food program - Rotary continues support.

Brenda Middendorf gave an update on the Access Illinois Program for the members of the Pittsfield Rotary Club at the regular noon meeting on Wednesday, October 6th. Access Illinois provides deer meat to families in the area through local food banks. By bringing together deer hunters, financial donations, meat processors and local food banks, local families are provided with a  source of protein.  According to Brenda Middendorf, “Approximately 70 % of the deer donations used in the Access Illinois Program come from out of area hunters.” Pittsfield President, Dan Borrowman presented Brenda with a $500 donation from Pittsfield Rotary Club to assist with the cost of processing the deer. For more information on the Access Illinois Program call 217-285-4114.

web posted 10-21-10

Rotary hears update on REX pipeline status.

Pittsfield Rotary Club President, Dan Borrowman welcomed Allen Fore, Director of Community Relations for Kinder Morgan, to the Pittsfield Rotary Club regular Wednesday noon meeting on September 8th. Allen presented a PowerPoint show explaining the REX pipeline project which passes through Pike County. The project will bring natural gas from Wyoming to the east coast. Allen presented Dan with an official pipeline hat and Dan presented Allen with an official Rotary 4 way test pen.

web posted 09-29-10

New Rotarian Julie Plattner inducted and Mayor Goewey explains Griggsville's beautification project success and status.

Photo: Pittsfield Rotary Club President, Dan Borrowman, new Rotarian Julie Plattner, and  Griggsville Mayor Kent Goewey.

The Pittsfield Rotary Club welcomed a new member at the regular Wednesday noon meeting on September 1st. Club President Dan Borrowman inducted  Julie Plattner as the newest Rotarian.

Special guest speaker, Griggsville Mayor Kent Goewey, explained to the group how the Griggsville Beautification Project started , the progress made thus far and plans for the future.

web posted 09-29-10

Congressman Schock and Candidate McCann visit Rotary Club.

Photo: Sam McCann, Rotary President Dan Borrowman, Dave Awbrey, U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock.

U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock, several of the Congressman’s staff members  and State legislative candidate Sam McCann were all in attendance at the Pittsfield Rotary Club meeting held on August 25th. Rotarian, Dave Awbrey, invited the special guests to speak with Rotarians about current political issues pertinent to constituents.

web posted 08-27-10

Candidate for Judge and Exchange Student visit Rotary Club.

Please see attached photos: 1) Rotarian Debbie Dugan and guest Chris Scholz and 2) Rotarian Bill Durall, Bob Oitker, Braden Oitker, exchange student Diego Martinez, Robin Oitker, Rotarian Violet Shulman.

The Pittsfield Rotary Club hosted several special guests at the  Wednesday meeting on August 18th. Rotarian Debbie Dugan invited guest, Chris Scholz to speak. Mr. Scholz is an attorney in Quincy and is currently a candidate for 8th judicial circuit judge. Also attending the meeting was Rotary foreign exchange student, Diego Martinez from Mexico, along with his local host family, Bob, Robin and Braden Oitker. Local Rotarians Bill Durall and Violet Shulman will coordinate Diego’s exchange experience in Pittsfield. Diego and Braden will be both be seniors at Pittsfield High School beginning next week.

web posted 08-27-10

JWCC Programs.

To the left Pittsfield Rotary Club President, Dan Borrowman; Coordinator of Literacy Program for JWCC, Kathy Tomlinson; and Pittsfield Rotary Club member, Jason Bollenbaugh.

Kathy Tomlinson, Coordinator of the Literacy Program for John Wood Community College, recently spoke with the Pittsfield Rotary Club members at the invitation of Rotary member, Jason Bollenbaugh. Kathy has worked for JWCC for 30 years and has worked with the Literacy Program for 23 years. She explained the tutoring and GED programs available in the JWCC district. Rotarian Bill Durall, who volunteers as a JWCC tutor, told about the satisfying experience he has had in seeing the personal and academic progress  for the student which he tutors. For more information about JWCC Literacy programs, call 217-641-4951 or log onto .

web posted 08-27-10

Club hears about Transportation in Pike County.

See attached photo of Pittsfield Rotary Club President-Elect, Josh Filbert, and Jean Jumper, Managing Director for West Central Mass Transit District.

“At their regular Wednesday noon meeting on August 4th, Pittsfield Rotary club members learned about the local initiative which will provide public transportation for Pike County residents. Jean Jumper, Managing Director of the West Central Mass Transit District (WCMTD), based in Jacksonville was the guest speaker. Jean explained how the WCMTD will be working with the Pike County Transportation Committee to “Put Wheels on Pike County”. More details will be forth coming, but it is anticipated that public transportation will be available in Pike County sometime this fall or winter. A schedule of public meetings is to be announced soon. Josh Filbert, Pittsfield Rotary Club President- Elect, welcomed Jean and her husband Gordon Jumper to our club in the absence of Club President, Dan Borrowman. Jean and Gordon are members of the Rotary Clubs of Jacksonville.”

web posted 08-27-10

Rotary Club is visited by new District Governor and inducts two new members!

pictured left to right, Pittsfield Rotary Club President, Dan Borrowman, new members Noelle Smithers and Beth Smith, and Rotary  6460 District Governor, David Parsons.

At the Rotary meeting held on Wednesday, July 28th, District Governor David Parsons made his official visit to the club and with the assistance of Club President, Dan Borrowman, inducted two new members. Noelle Smithers and Beth Smith were accepted into the club and welcomed by all members. District Governor Parsons also provided members with an enthusiastic overview of Rotary and the importance of local and international community service.

web posted 07-29-10

Rotarian magazine

current Pittsfield Rotary Club President, Dan Borrowman and Club Secretary, Chuck Barber.

On July 14, 2010 Pittsfield Rotary Club Secretary, Chuck Barber presented information to the members on the Rotarian magazine and the many interesting articles included. Of particular interest in a recent Rotarian issue is an article regarding new Rotary International President, Ray Klinginsmith. Mr. Klinginsmith has visited Pittsfield many times and is a good friend of local Rotarian, Dawson Dean. Ray currently lives in Kirksville, MO, but will be traveling the world as President of Rotary International. For more information about Rotary International log onto

web posted 07-29-10

Rotary Club presents scholarships at annual meeting

pictured left to right Dan Borrowman, Noah Gregurich, Chris Foster, Jan Bleich

The Pittsfield Rotary Club awarded $500 scholarships to two graduating Pike County High School students at the recent annual meeting held at the Red Apple Room at the Old Orchard Country Club in Pittsfield. Outgoing club president, Jan Bleich and incoming club president Dan Borrowman presented the awards to Noah Gregurich of Pleasant Hill and Chris Foster of Pittsfield. The son of Bart and Kim Gregurich, Noah plans to attend Lincoln Christian University majoring in elementary education and math. Chris Foster is the son of Ricky and Christina Collins and plans to attend SIU, Edwardsville majoring in pharmacy.

web posted 07-29-10

Illini Community Health Care Foundation presents new project to Pittsfield Rotary Club

L to R- Jan Bleich, local Rotary Club President, Patricia McIntosh, Executive Director Illini Community Health Care Foundation, Walker Filbert, Board Member, Illini Community Health Care Foundation.

“Local Rotary club members learned of a  new and exciting  Illini Community Health Care Foundation (ICHCF) project at the Rotary meeting held on June 23rd.  Josh Filbert  invited  Walker Filbert, ICHCF board member, and Patricia McIntosh, Executive Director of ICHCF to speak at the local Rotary meeting. Plans for a new, consolidated  building to house Pike County health and human service agencies  were announced. Initial discussions are underway and the potential exists for construction to begin before the end of the year. More information will be forthcoming. For more information on ICHCF log onto:

web posted 07-29-10

Rotarians attend District Assembly

Right to Left: Chuck Barber, Josh Filbert, Jan Bleich, Bill Durall, Wally Lamb. Absent from photo Dan Borrowman

“Several Pittsfield Rotarians attended the Rotary District 6460 Assembly recently in Springfield at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The day long training included sessions on leadership and the following Rotary Programs:  Youth Exchange program, Interact, Group Study Exchange and more. Bill Durall presented information on the Assembly for the entire Pittsfield Rotary Club membership at the regular Wednesday noon meeting on June 16, 2010.”

web posted 07-29-10

Rotary Peace Program Explained

“Special guests, Dr. Howard and Mrs. Kate Schwadron, presented a program for the Pittsfield Rotary Club on June 9th. Rotarian Walter Lamb scheduled this program and Chuck Barber hosted the presenters. Dr. Howard and Kate explained the Rotary Peace Program, which includes the opportunity for a  graduate level degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution for selected students from around the world. Universities offering this Rotary sponsored degree, include one in North Carolina and one in California.

web posted 07-29-10

Mastering Transformation in Business and in Life

Dennis Slone was the guest speaker at the noon meeting of the Pittsfield Rotary Club on February 24th. Dennis was formally trained as an Aerospace Engineer and in Computer Science. He is now owner and founder of Black Belt Alchemy- mastering transformation in business and in life. He is a published author, speaker, business and life coach. His passion is helping others succeed by changing limiting beliefs. Several Rotarians purchased Dennis’s book, “Nature’s Lessons”. To learn more about Black Belt Alchemy, log on to: Dennis and his wife, Tammy, are pictured with current Rotary Club President, Jan Bleich.

web posted 03-1-10

Pike County Cemeteries topic for Rotary Club meeting

Linda and Al Berry attended the Pittsfield Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at the invitation of Rotarian, Tom Moore. Linda presented very interesting information on her research and writings about Pike County cemeteries. She has written numerous books on the cemeteries. The books are available at Casteel’s in Pittsfield. For more information about Pike County cemeteries, check the books at Casteel’s.

web posted 02-15-10


Pittsfield Club hears about status of Pittsfield's new Water Supply Project

The City of Pittsfield water project was the topic of discussion at the Pittsfield Rotary Club regular noon meeting on Wednesday, February 3rd. At the invitation of Rotarian, Max Middendorf, John Hummel of MECO Engineering gave a riviting presentation and updates on the water project. Projected completion for this project is December 2010.

web posted 02-15-10


Pittsfield Club hears from first program speaker for 2010

Wayne Hays was the speaker during a recent Pittsfield Rotary Club meeting at the invitation of Rotarian, Murray Martin. Wayne works locally in marketing at Farmers State Bank and shared his wealth of knowledge regarding marketing and advertising. He has 22 years experience in banking and 21 years experience in marketing. Some recently developed Farmers State Bank marketing materials were shared with those in attendance.

web posted 01-13-10


Pittsfield Club learns about Relay for Life

Natalie Gaunt, Income Development Representative, with the American Cancer Society, Western Regional Office in Springfield, was the guest speaker at the Pittsfield Rotary Club meeting on December 30th. Rotarian Chris Little invited Natalie to speak about the upcoming Relay for Life of Pike County to be held from 5 pm on June 11th to 6 am on June 12th on the Courthouse lawn in Pittsfield.  

Funds raised through the American Cancer Society Relay for Life make possible a number of patient programs and services. In addition, these funds provide for critical cancer research. Purely by coincidence, Rotarian Josh Filbert invited Casey Krusemark and his fiancée to attend this same Rotary meeting as guests. Casey happens to be a postdoctoral fellow working on imaging reagents for the early detection of cancer at Stanford University in California. Casey’s research is funded by the American Cancer Society.

For more information about Relay for Life of Pike County, log onto: .

(Pictured left to right, Rotarian, Chris Little; Natalie Gaunt, American Cancer Society; and Casey Krusemark, postdoctoral fellow Stanford University.)


web posted 01-13-10



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