The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield continues its 88 year tradition of supporting the good works of organizations locally and throughout the world with its annual presentation of community grants.  Patti Van Cleave, President of the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation, and Kristen Jasinski, Club President, presided over the presentations at the club’s weekly lunch meeting at the Winnetka Community House.

“Rotary is all about “Service Above Self”, said Ms. Van Cleave.  “With these grants we are helping to provide physical and spiritual wellness, shelter and educational assistance to those in need, on the North Shore, in Chicago and in faraway places.”
“These annual grants, made possible through the various fund raising activities by our club, are but one way in which the Rotarians in our club serve.”, said Ms. Jasinski.  “This past year, our club:
  • Partnered with Operation Warm to provide nearly 400 new winter coats to children from low-income families in Chicago and the North Shore; 
  • Continued our work with a Montessori school in Uganda;
  • Provided financial support to a Rotary run prosthetics clinic in Bolivia and weavers coop in India;
  • Hosted the Holes for Heroes benefit golf tournament and dinner to provide support to veterans and their families who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  
  • Made donations to Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign working to complete the job of eradicating polio from the world.  
  • Ms. Jasinski traveled to India last month as part of a local delegation of Rotarians to participate in a country-wide National Immunization Day and attended a ceremony marking India’s removal from the World Health Organization's list of polio endemic countries.  
  • The club is currently preparing to partner with Kids Against Hunger and the Volunteer Center to pack 100,000 highly nutritious meals for hungry children in Nicaragua and local food pantries.  Interested volunteers may join us on April 14th at the Winnetka Community House.” Registration information is available on the club’s website (

Grants were made today to the following organizations:

Between Friends (, founded in 1986, is a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and building a community free of abuse.

The Blues Kids Foundation ( provides $1,000 to $1,500 scholarships for over 120 Blues Kids (ages 12 to 18) attending Fernando Jones’ Blues Camp, affording them a “priceless” fun-filled experience, while giving them an opportunity to learn and perform America’s root music in a fully funded weeklong program with like-minded kids.

Erika's Lighthouse ( is a grassroots, educational organization dedicated to raising awareness of adolescent depression and mental health for young people. They strive to break stigma and educate our community about mental health issues through various programs directed toward schools, teachers, parents, physicians and other healthcare professionals, and teens themselves.

Family Promise Chicago North Shore, Inc. ( provides services for homeless families in transition. Their main focus is to help families with children in need get back into permanent and sustainable housing and employment.

Hadley School for the Blind (, founded in 1920, is the largest educator of people who are blind or visually impaired around the world, serving more than 10,000 students annually in all 50 states and 100 countries. Hadley is also the largest educator of braille.

Jewish Council for Youth Services ( is an independent, not-for-profit agency dedicated to serving both Chicagoland's Jewish and greater communities and developing leaders who continue its tradition of volunteer service. Embracing Jewish values and culture, JCYS provides educational and recreational programs that nurture individual growth and promote responsibility to others.

The Josselyn Center ( is a community mental health organization providing individual, family and group counseling for the full range of mental health and substance abuse problems.  They offer these services on a sliding fee scale to the people residing, working or attending school in fifteen north suburban Chicago communities. 

Lawrence Hall Youth Services (, established in 1865, is a not-for-profit child welfare agency established to assist at-risk youth and their families through a seamless delivery of services designed to develop the self-worth, knowledge, and skills needed to lead independent and productive lives.

The Leelanau Outdoor Center ( was established in 1994 in collaboration with local school teachers who saw a need for quality outdoor and character education.  Today over 2,000 students from across Michigan attend LOC programs each year.  Utilizing the resources of their spectacular property on Lake Michigan, the innovative programs at LOC are expanding education beyond the walls of a classroom.  LOC activities are age appropriate and strongly support Michigan state standards for science, character education and physical activity.

LINKS-North Shore Youth Health Service ( empowers young people to make informed, responsible decisions about their health, well-being and sexuality.  They provide health education in the schools and community, support services for sexual minority youth, reproductive health care, and counseling. Confidential services are offered in a safe and caring environment.

Literature for All of Us ( is a nationally recognized, award-winning literacy organization that brings the rewards of reading and writing to young people in the Chicago area.  Since 1996, they have been connecting young people to their strengths through literature, engaging them in book groups where they read and discuss literature and write poetry.

New Foundation Center ( partners with people who have a mental illness to support their recovery and their pursuit of lives with meaning and purpose. They provide members recovery programs, permanent supportive housing, supported employment, and health and wellness programs, all within a community that encourages sharing, independent living, friendship, personal responsibility, and family participation.

Samaritan Counseling Center ( offers hope, healing & growth to the Chicago and North Shore communities through education and counseling. They offer a safe place for discovery, healing and growth.

Special Gifts Theater ( provides children and teens with special needs a unique, creative drama experience, enabling personal growth while breaking down stereotypes related to disabilities within the community at large.

Winnetka Youth Organization ( is a safe place for young people to hang out, play pool, air hockey, ping pong and chill with their friends and their awesome staff.  They also host monthly concerts, open mics, other fun events, and organize service activities for local teens.