The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield has met weekly at the Winnetka Community House since 1924. That streak ended in mid-March, when the club suspended its weekly lunch meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this did not stop the club from continuing to meet and live up to its well-earned reputation as People of Action. Almost immediately, the club began to meet on Zoom every Thursday at its regular 12:15 time, and the club’s board and committees did so as well.
Over the club’s 96 years, it has undertaken many notable service projects. So, it is no surprise the club quickly responded to the needs of those affected by COVID-19. Supported by donations from members and friends of the club, and a grant from The Rotary Foundation, the club took the following actions:
  • Supported the local food pantry and provided financial assistance to families experiencing severe financial need through a $5,000 donation to the New Trier Township Angel Fund.
  • Helped provide infant formula to 50 Chicago area food pantries, shelters and social services through a $3,000 donation to Infant, Inc., a Winnetka based nonprofit.
  • Supported homeless families and children in foster care by providing weekly meals from Donna Goodman Events (the club’s regular caterer) to Good News Partners in Rogers Park and Lydia Home in Irving Park.
  • Provided 300 pairs of new children’s shoes from Operation Warm to homeless families served by La Casa Norte of Chicago.
  • Provided 160 face masks for local nonprofits with The Volunteer Center.
  • Honored local healthcare heroes and supported a local business by providing meals from Stormy’s Tavern and Grille to Northshore Health System hospital staff during April and May.
“Rotarians are People of Action who live the long-time Rotary motto of Service Above Self, and our club fits that to a tee,” said Club President Marie Kuipers.
Chuck Norton, President Elect of the club, adds “We have a long history of humanitarian service- locally, in our region, and internationally. We are long term supporters of Rotary International’s work to eradicate polio, we have supported many international humanitarian projects in Africa, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia. Every year, we provide hundreds of Chicago area children with the gift of a new winter coat through our Operation Warm project, and for over ten years we have sponsored the large, all-day Kids Against Hunger food packing event at the Winnetka Community House. Our longstanding Community Grants program annually provides financial grants to nonprofits that are nominated by our members and are doing work that aligns with our values.”
Local citizens interested in learning more about the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield may join the club’s weekly lunch meetings on Thursday’s from 12:15 – 1:30. Each meeting features an interesting and topical speaker and opportunity to deepen friendships. Learn more at
Until meetings resume at the Winnetka Community House, email to get the Zoom access link. Membership is open to anyone of good character who is interested in making new friends and taking action to create lasting change in the world.