Downtown Rotary has a Reputation for "Service Above Self"
 
 
The Rotary Club of Springfield continues to receive recognition for our mission of community service. In the past year one of our members received the highly prized Rotary International "Service Above Self" Award.  Our club received the 2015-6 Rotary International Presidential Citation Award.  Only two clubs in our Rotary district received this recognition.  Our Past President was given the Rotary International Club Builder Award for her service.  We also regained our status as a 100% Paul Harris Fellow member club.
 
We are proud of our contributions and hope that our service is considered a welcome beacon to the members of our community.
 
 
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Community projects focusing on literacy and hunger
 
 
Volunteer Opportunities and Food Support for the Central Illinois Food Bank 
 
 
We have established a partnership with the Food Bank and Rotary's Florida Citrus Sales program.  We have invited new and current citrus customers to purchase fruit to be donated to the Food Bank.  We expect this program to grow well above the recent donations of 2.5 tons per year. For over 25 years our club has donated all citrus left over from our sales to the Food Bank.  Downtown Rotary Club members frequently work at the Food Bank warehouse assisting with distribution.
 
 
 
The Rod Buffington Literacy Award Given by Rotary District 6460
Yes - A single Rotarian can make a meaningful and lasting gift to our communities!
 
The Rod Buffington Literacy Award is given annually to a Rotarian who has significant contributions to literacy education programs. The first award was given to our member, Rod, in 2011 and named for him, in honor of literacy programs that he created and managed.
 
Rod has always been a baseball fan and established a partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003 to establish "Rotary Day at the Ballpark" featuring the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Chicago Cubs. The promotion became an immediate favorite for Springfield Rotarians and has expanded dramatically to include attendance from five different Rotary districts.  Rod's gift to our communities has resulted in close to $300,000 for literacy projects being funded by Rotary district foundations.   
 
 
 
25 Years of Volunteer and Financial Support for Ridgely School
 
We have supported Ridgely School since 1991, beginning as our club's Adopt-A-School. Rotary members provide tutoring and mentoring every week for students at Ridgely Elementary.  We also collect and purchase school supplies as requested by Ridgely teachers. We also provide dictionary for third grade student each year. Our yearly financial support includes grant funding by the Springfield Rotary Foundation and through Rotary District 6460. These grants are used to provide improvements in needed educational programming.
 
Our relationship with Ridgely is a major keystone in our Service Above Self.
 
 
 
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Projects Supporting Scholarships and Local Organizations
 
 
Downtown Rotary's Partnership with Frontiers International - Springfield
 
We have established a partnership with Frontier's International - Springfield to provide Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) scholarships for Junior Frontier members to attend a conference that provides skills and character development while exposing them to Rotary’s values of service and high ethical standards. We are very proud of the many accomplishments of these Junior Frontier members.
 
 
 
 
 
Downtown Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Recognition of Community Leadership
 
 
Each year, the Downtown Rotary Club selects a local citizen to receive a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition for professional leadership, volunteer involvement and other contributions to our community.  The Paul Harris Fellowship is Rotary International's recognition of a $1,000 donation to the Rotary Foundation. Our Rotary club makes this donation to honor the fellowship recipient.  The presentation of this is a highlight of our Holiday Dinner.
 
 
 
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Club Support for Youth Services
 
 
Sponsorship of the University of Illinois, Springfield Rotaract Club
 
Chartered by Rotary International in 2016, this is the first Rotaract club in the Springfield area. Formation of our Rotaract club was guided by our club liaison Dr. Clarice Ford, the UIS campus advisor Jeannie Capranica and our Youth Services Director Monique Williams.
 
SIU Rotaract began their service above selb by launching a major project at UIS to establish and collect canned foods for an on-campus Food Pantry for homeless and low income students.  It was an immediate success with the pantry being close to empty by Thanskgiving.  They will be very busy restocking their pantry and making it sustainable.
 
We salute the Rotaract Club of UIS for living the Rotary motto of “Service above self”.   
 
 
 
Downtown Rotary sponsors attendance at Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference
 
The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program in district 6460 is a leadership development and award for high school students who make an impact on their school and community. The program develops leaders and encourages them to build connections and teamwork skills with peers from both in their district and in other countries.
 
RYLA in District 6460 is run by the Bradley University Rotaract club, and facilitators for the weekend include multiple group leaders, chairs, and coordinators. District leaders from Rotary clubs are also directly involved in creating the program and facilitating the weekend. 
 
 
 
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Rotary Downtown Support for International Projects
 
 
William J. Menghini District 6460 Endowed Scholarship Program
Once again - A single Rotarian can make a meaningful and lasting gift to our communities!
 
This program was announced in April 2013 to honor the memory of our much admired Past President who served in 1941-42.  In later years Bill was treasured for his weekly demonstrations of magic and infectious sense of humor.  These gifts were always on display for our members to enjoyment.

The program was made possible by a $200,000 contribution by the Menghini family. Funding this endowment provides for Ambssadorial Scholarships for college graduates from Rotary Disterict 6460. This program allow graduate students to pursue advanced  studies abroad. Bill Menghini's gifts to our club and community live on through this extraordinary gift.
 
 
 
Leadership for the Central States Youth Exchange Program
 
Our members provided years of service in managing our District and club youth exchange programs. Bob Bellatti and Dan Milligan expanded their leadership responsibilities when they served as board members for the Central States Youth Exchange program serving 16 Rotary Districts in the Midwest and Canada.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert M. Bellatti Fund for the Rotary Central States Youth Exchange Program
A Single Rotarian's Gift Inspiring Lasting Support to Change Lives 
 
In 2007, the Springfield Rotary Foundation formed this scholarship fund at the Samgamon County Community Foundation. This fund honors the memory of Downtown Rotary member Bob Bellatti.
 
Bob was the first Springfield recipient of the Rotary District 6460 Leader Bell Award for his lifetime of accomplishments in each of Rotary International's five avenues of service, Club, Vocational, Community, International and Youth.   Yes, one Rotarian can make a difference!
   
 
 
Participation in a Meal Packing Event for Stop Hunger Now
 
 
Our club was invited to particpate with the Salvation Army of Springfield in an event that they were hosting.  In one day 10,000 healthy meals were packed and prepared for shipment to fight hunger in undeveloped countries.
 
 
 
 
 
Rotary Group Study Exchange
 
The Rotary Club of Springfield began hosting incoming Group Study Exchange (GSE) teams in the 1950's. The teams include a group of four non-Rotrian young professionals from around the world. The program is jointly sponsored by our Rotary District 6460 and the home Rotary district of the team.  The team is lead by a Rotarian from their District.  We have received teams from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Pacific Ocean island countries.
 
Our member, Rod Buffington lead a team to Italy in 1998.  Our club sponsored local photographer Doug Carr to join that team.
 
 
 
End Polio Now – Rotary International polio-eradication program
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clean water projects in India and Mexico
 
 
Disaster relief projects in Haiti and Nepal
 
 
Micro loans for women in Liberia
 
 
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Local projects supporting non-profit organizations
 
 
Springfield Rotary Foundation Grants
 
 
Paint and fix-up days at non-profits
 
 
Adopt-a-Street clean-up along Jefferson Street
 
 
Bell ringing for the Salvation Army
 
 
Collecting donations for Alzheimer’s Association
 
 
Annual citrus sale to fund grants for nonprofits and other charitable programs has raised over $2 million
 

Annual John Montgomery Memorial Catfish Tournament at Lake Springfield to support literacy projects
 

Flag service project to provide flags for patriotic holidays and support service projects
 

Student scholarships for local Universities and Colleges
 

Angel tree gifts for underprivileged youth
 
 

You Too Can You Benefit From Participation in Rotary?
 
You will experience fellowship with professionals from many different organizations in the greater Springfield area.
 
Your participation will provide personal development to build teamwork and project skills through community engagement.
 
As you grow in Rotary, you will have opportunities to hone your public speaking and presentation skills.
 
 
 
Our Values Focus on Community Service Above Self
 
Through your efforts, our community will be a better place to live.