Rotary Club of Webster Groves

Missouri USA

Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Webster Groves

Webster Groves

The city of beautiful trees where roots of community service run very deep.

We meet Fridays at 12:10 PM
Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
45 West Lockwood Ave
Webster Groves, MO  63119
United States
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Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Membership Chair
Immediate Past President
Sergeant at Arms
New Rotary flag and banner materials available in Brand Center
Give your Rotary flag or banner a new and professional look with our updated materials, available in the Brand Center. With eight options of colors and backgrounds to choose from, you can find the design that will best strengthen your club or district brand. The Brand Center also offers everything you need to create communications with the Rotary look and tone. You can download Rotary’s logo -- or create your own club or district logo. And you’ll find editable templates for brochures, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, fliers, and more. (Sign-in required.)
Rotary honors six women for leadership and humanitarian service
Rotary President K.R. Ravindran has named six Rotary Global Women of Action for 2015. The honorees were chosen for their dedication and service, which has improved the lives of thousands around the world. “Every day at Rotary I see firsthand how our members work to change lives and make a significant impact,” said Ravindran. “Rotary’s Global Women of Action embody Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self.” The women will be honored at Rotary Day at the United Nations in New York City on 7 November. They will address attendees and lead discussions on various topics related to their work. The six...
Showcase your project at the Seoul convention
Apply to host a booth in the House of Friendship at the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul, 28 May-1 June. This is an opportunity to showcase your club or district project, recruit members for your Rotary Fellowship, share information about your Rotarian Action Group, or market Rotary merchandise if you are a licensed RI vendor. The application deadline is 30 September. Booth allocations will be awarded by 1 November. Apply
Bringing education to rural Mexican area, one school at a time
When Mariana Day moved in 1989 to the small beach town of Chacala, in Nayarit, Mexico, she noticed that the surrounding rural areas struggled to maintain schools. And most children weren’t able to go beyond an eighth-grade education. Day, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Bahía de Jaltemba-La Peñita, in Nayarit, had started a local scholarship program before she joined Rotary. Called Changing Lives, the program provided students with high school tuition, uniforms, school supplies, and transportation. In addition, Rotary clubs from the United States and Mexico have been investing in the...
Meet our polio partners
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian Eradicating polio is a complex job. Since 1988, we’ve collaborated with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF to tackle the disease through our Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Here’s how our roles break down. The Strategist: WHO The World Health Organization (WHO) coordinates the management and administration of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and provides technical and operational support to ministries of health in countries around the world. WHO is responsible for monitoring...
Nigeria sees no wild polio cases for one year
Today marks one year since Nigeria last reported a polio case caused by wild poliovirus, putting the country on the brink of eradicating the paralyzing disease. The last case was reported on 24 July 2014 in the northern state of Kano. If no cases are reported in the coming weeks, the World Health Organization is expected to remove Nigeria from the list of countries where polio is endemic, leaving just two: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nigeria is the last polio-endemic country in Africa. The continent is poised to reach its own first full year without any illness from the virus on 11 August. “...
Australian students take opportunity by the horns
The rules of the Shaftesbury Rodeo Academy are simple: no school, no rodeo. It’s a message that teenagers who attend school at Bisley Farm, most of whom have never attended any school regularly, take seriously. Because come Friday night, these aspiring rodeo heroes want to join their friends to ride bulls for a heart-stopping eight seconds, if they last that long. The school in rural Queensland, Australia, also teaches the boys, who are of the Wakka Wakka Aboriginal people, basic academics and farming skills, including how to care for crops and livestock. It’s a fairly common form of...
Illiteracy traps adults, and their families, in poverty
Around the world, millions of adults are unable to read or write, and therefore struggle to earn a living for themselves and their families. Even in the United States, with its considerable resources, there are 36 million adults who can’t read better than the average third-grader, according to the international nonprofit ProLiteracy. In Detroit, Michigan, a widely cited 2003 survey conducted by the National Institute for Literacy found that almost half of residents over age 16 were functionally illiterate -- unable to use reading, speaking, writing, and computer skills in everyday life....
Here is the list of nominees for this year's election on December 4th; James Carlton, Adam Hughes, Yvonne Johnson, Steve Kenny, Gerry Kettenbach, Harold Lumley, Ann McReynolds, and Lee Moss. Congratulations and thank you for offering to serve your club as a board member. We will elect 4 new board members from the eight nominees and a new president-elect from the four board members-elect to serve as our club president in 2017-18. Our president-elect, Gail Fernandez, may appoint 4 additional members to the board in the positions of; vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and sergeant at arms.



The delicious taste and aroma of pancakes may linger still, but it is already time again for our most popular annual social event, the Holiday Progressive Dinner, traditionally held on the first Saturday of December. This year’s event on December 5th opens with a cocktail party at Jack and Janet Pirozzi's and winds up with dessert and coffee at the home of K & Paul Wentzien. Formal invitations will be mailed in a couple of weeks. Please discuss it with your significant others and respond as soon as possible, so we can begin to make plans to accommodate everyone. Dinner assignments and other details will be sent out a few days before the event.

The cost of this elegant evening includes cocktails, sit-down dinner, and dessert. Members who do not serve as dinner hosts will be asked to bring either an appetizer or dessert for all to share. Besides being the best buy in town for just $20 per person, it’s a wonderful occasion for our members, spouses, and guests to get to know one another. New members particularly enjoy this festive fellowship occasion, due to the evening's easy and friendly format.


The club will hold its annual election for officers and directors for the 2016-2017 year at our meeting on Friday, Dec 4th. The nominating committee is gathering nominations now.


Our speaker on Friday, August 28 was Maggie Ryan, founder and Artistic Director of Insight Theatre Group, one of the St. Louis region's newest equity companies, and it's located right here in Webster Groves. Insight offers summer productions at Nerinx Hall's delightfully cool Heagney Theatre, helping to provide year-round employment to local actors and other theatre professionals. “Spinning into Butter” is closing out the 2015 season….just two more weeks to go.


Founder of KWRH and General Manager Ellie Wharton visited our meeting today, to tell us all about our new community radio station, the only one like it in this part of the world. We were particularly delighted to hear that the Webster Groves High School football games are to be broadcast live, beginning tonight, August 21 at 7:00.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 FROM 3:00 TO 7:00

Our members were greatly saddened to learn of the death of our fellow Rotarian, Ed Heigl, who died much too young on Friday, July 10, of colon cancer. Ed spent most of his life as a competitive runner, and he continued training and running throughout three years of treatment. He had been a member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves since spring 2009, and we were privileged to be included in regular updates regarding his condition. We will miss his energetic and cheerful presence. Please be sure to keep Ed's wife, Beth, and their three children in your thoughts and prayers.

Thomas Boley was diagnosed with OMS last year and has had to see specialists all over the U.S. Thomas Boley is a teacher's son at Affton High School. The students at the high school raised almost $15,000 to help pay for Thomas's medical expenses.
Friday night, May 29, we celebrated the installation of our new Board of Directors with dinner at Westborough Country Club. Representing District 6060, Kate Schwadron installed incoming officers: President, Tim Graham; Vice President, James Carlton; Secretary, Ann McReynolds; Treasurer, Scott Krejci; Sergeant-at-Arms, Gerry Kettenbach; Director, Chuck Weed; President-Elect, Gail Fernandez; and Past-President, Kim White. 
With great sadness, we report the death of Webster Groves Rotarian Avrom Handleman on May 6, 2015. Av first joined our club in 2005 and then spent a few years as an Indianapolis Rotarian, before returning to Webster Groves in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Claiborne, as well as to their children Edna and Clayton, and their families. A memorial service will be held at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road, Ladue, on Saturday afternoon, May 23 at 2:30; it will be followed directly by a reception celebrating Av's life.

"The Truth is very important not only telling the truth but hearing it as well." With those words Jordan Shumate's essay was selected as the top finisher in our club's 4 way test essay competition. Thank you Jordan for sharing yourself in such a powerful and inspiring way. Looking for truth, fairness, goodwill & better friendships, and beneficial to all concerned as guiding principles compels us to look at our own life's relationships and their impact on ourselves and those around us. Generating that insight and sharing it is Rotary. Read Jordan's entire essay here.

Congratulations to our own Kirby Smith, the 2015 winner of the Webster Groves Rotary Madness basketball pool. Kirby won with a resounding total of 94 points....although Tim Graham's wife, Margie, came in 2nd with 93!  (For the record, the low score was just 21, and the median was 66.) The annual March Madness men's college basketball tournament started Sunday, March 15th, concluding Monday night, April 6 with Duke scoring a 68-63 victory over Wisconsin. There were a lot of disappointed Kentucky fans!  Our Rotary Club's fifth annual fundraiser attracted 49 entries, each of whom paid $10 each; proceeds will benefit The Rotary Foundation. 


We had no idea what a treat was in store for us when Jim Flint-Smith came to visit our club on March 20. Jim and his fellow Company C Cavalrymen reenactors have appeared in dozens of staged historical battles throughout the country, as well as in numerous movies and documentaries. Jim brought just a few of the authentic items used to outfit both himself and his horse. He also urged us to attend a reenactment of the Civil War Battle of Pilot Knob on April 10-12 in Pilot Knob State Park. That historic reenactment opens the 2015 event season, allowing Jim and his comrades to practice their skills after a long winter.

(Check out this link!…/battle-pilot-knob-state-historic-… )


It is with great sadness that we report the death of Rotarian Dick Harvey on March 15, 2015. Although born and raised in New York, Dick spent more than fifty years in Webster Groves and had been an active and devoted member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves since 2002. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 on May 15 at Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. The family has graciously suggested contributions in Dick's memory be made to the Rotary Foundation. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughters, Kendra, Allison, and Jennifer, and with their families.

Sixteen members and several spouses turned out for Happy Hour on St. Pat's Day at Llywelyn's Pub, marking the end of our 90th Anniversary Year celebrations. The perfect weather probably had a lot to do with this record-setting attendance for Rotary Happy Hour held at Llywelyn's on the third Tuesday of every month.... regardless of the weather!


President Kim White installed Dan Schulze as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves on Friday, February 27. Shown below are Kim, Dan, and Dan's sponsor, Nancy Battersby. Welcome, Dan!

Friday, February 20 was a treat in so many ways. Thanks to Pat Voss and the WGHS Alumni Association for providing a terrific lunch for several dozen Rotarians, along with students from both the WG High School Interact Club AND the Robotics Team. The team's faculty sponsors, Jeanette Henken and Nicholas Kirschman, introduced a half-dozen of the team members, who were there to talk about how the Robotics Team is important to their aspirations for STEM careers. And, of course, there were demonstrations that made most of us realize how mundane our own high school activities had been! Afterwards, Club President Kim White presented the team with a check representing our continued support for the Robotics Team's activities.

This morning, our own Rod Cooper posted on FaceBook a great American Red Cross article that addresses the success of Haiti's Global Therapy Group, which has been loyally supported by the Rotary Club of Webster Groves for the past three years.  Rod first brought this project to the attention of our club and then set out to locate two structural engineers who volunteered their time to design this much-needed physical therapy clinic that receives major support from the American Red Cross. Here is a link to the article, which shows just a glimpse of the many successes achieved by the Global Therapy Group therapists....with the help of Rotary Club of Webster Groves.

At the December Board of Directors Meeting this week, Kim thanked Scott Krejci and the Nominating Committee for their role in the December 5th election that resulted in three Directors-Elect for 2015-16: James Carlton, Gerry Kettenbach, and Chuck Weed, plus President-Designate, Gail Fernandez, who will serve as President-Elect on the 2015-16 Board. James is completing his second term on the Board as Co-Treasurer, while Chuck is the Director of Public Relations, which also includes overseeing the Club committees for Advertising/Marketing, Website/Social Media, Photography, and Special Events. Congratulations to all!

It is with great sadness we learned of Bill Lange's death on Saturday, November 29th. Bill was a 17-year member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves, having joined in June 1997; he served as President in 2008, following in the footsteps of his father, also named Bill, who was President in 1961. A memorial service was held on Wednesday, December 3rd, at Manchester United Methodist Church; interment was private. Please keep Bill's family in your prayers.

Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch attended our meeting last Friday to present her annual State of the City talk. She then fielded questions for about 15 minutes, deftly providing details for every topic, and passed around several timely handouts about the many holiday events to be celebrated in Webster this year. Afterwards, President Kim White thanked Mayor Welch with a Rotary wheel pin.


Webster Groves Rotarian and high school physics teacher Philip Wojak has just been honored with Peabody Energy's Leaders in Education Award, which presents teachers with a $1,000 prize and recognition at an annual reception. Honorees are chosen by a committee of educators and business leaders. Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch said in a nomination letter to Peabody Energy that Phil's “passion and love for teaching and for physics is coupled with a creative ability to take difficult concepts and bring them to life in a unique, thoughtful, and often humorous teaching style.”  In this photo, Peabody's Maureen Moore leads applause for Phil during the presentation at Webster Groves High School on October 8.Image.



Sunday, September 14 was a perfect afternoon for a Rotary Family BBQ. Members enjoyed a delicious meal on the LaBarges' patio, complete with a dizzying array of appetizers, hot dishes, salads, and killer desserts. After eating, there was a spirited game of horseshoes for the adults, and a whole bunch of little kids played a pick-up soccer game on the north side of that huge back yard. Thank you Jack and Mary!! It was great. (Check out all the pictures in the Photo Albums Tab on the left of this page.) Image





Click on the link to the album. Courtesy of Pat Voss. If you're on facebook follow the link and tag yourself. Hey - and like us!




President Kim White installed Andrew Nothum and Pat Voss to the Rotary Club of Webster Groves during our August 15 meeting. Kim and Pat's sponsor, Charles Schneider are shown here on the left, next to Pat, and Nancy Battersby, who stood in for Andrew's sponsor, Jim Schleiffarth, stands on the right, next to Andrew. 




Our club's Rotary Foundation Co-Chair,  Gail Fernandez,  traveled to Colorado Springs last week to attend a meeting with her former club, where she presented two Paul Harris Fellows awards to Barry and Cass Mullane. Pictured here with Gail and the Mullanes are Warren Hill, the Colorado Springs Rotary Foundation Chair, (left) and Clyde Church, Governor of Colorado District 5470 (right). 




Yueh (nickname York) Lee, our new youth exchange student, presents President Kim White with a banner from the Rotary Club of Fengshaw, Taiwan. Welcome to Webster Groves, York!




President Kim White installed Kevin Hough to the Rotary Club of Webster Groves during our August 8 meeting. Kevin his shown here with Kim and his sponsor, Dick Peterson.




We are leaving the staging area to join the parade led by our District Governor Jill Walker and our own club's Assistant District Governor Dick Sant. The parade theme is "Stars & Stripes" and we are carrying our district's international flag set. Click here for a slide show of our prepping.




Our new president Kimberly White (2nd from right) on the evening of her installation. Click here for a slide show. 



Our Webster Groves Rotary Exchange Student, Eugenia Arrieta, visited Webster's Historic Hawken House with Ann McReynolds on Sunday, May 25, for the opening of LIFE ON THE EVE OF WORLD WAR I.  This special exhibit featuring clothes, collectibles, and artifacts from the WWI era will be on display through Thanksgiving. Eugenia was delighted and surprised by the Webster Groves Historical Society's remarkable collection of authentic 19th-Century household most people she was amazed to see how long the famous Hawken Rifle is!




"Sometimes the line between right and wrong is blurred, and we have trouble making decisions that are both fair and perceptive of the people around us. The “Four Way Test” is a perfect solution to this classic problem. Following these four steps can help ensure my decisions are well thought-out and considerate of others."

Ruby Vargehese is this year's essay winner! In the photo left to right is Kit Whittington, essay committee chair presenting a $500 check to Ruby, and club president Scott Krejci. Click on More to read the essay. 


WG Rotarian John Dougherty made a fascinating presentation to our Club on April 18, explaining the plight of the towering American Chestnut, and how the Herculean efforts of dedicated molecular biologists have come up with a plan to save the species from extinction.After fielding a blizzard of questions, John handed out hybridized nuts along with planting instructions to those of us who wanted to try our hand in raising our own Chestnut tree.  John suggested we check out the American Chestnut Foundation website to read more about this remarkable scientific endeavor. Here is the link:






Once upon a time on a walk in Webster Groves, some children saw a home that looked like a giant gingerbread house. With the help of their teacher, they wrote a letter to the people in the house and told them how interested they were in its fanciful decorations. They also invited them to come to their school, the Walter Ambrose Family Center Preschool. The homeowner turned out to be Philip Wojak, who teaches physics at Webster Groves High School, and he accepted the invitation to visit the preschool to bake gingerbread cookies one day this spring. (On 4/18/14, this article was posted on faceBook by the Webster Groves School District.) Perhaps Phil will bake a big batch of cookies for us and bring them to our next Rotary meeting!



The St. Louis group of volunteers from God's Child Project just returned from Antigua, Guatemala where they trained the medical staff on fitting the Ln-4 hand prosthetic device. The medical staff will be selecting candidates for the prosthetic in the next few months. the hands will be fitted when a group of volunteer physical therapists will arrive later this year. The group from Washington Missouri Mission Overseas along with some Washington Rotarians just returned from Honduras where they successfully fitted some hands on some lucky Hondurans. (pic insert)




The awesome team of presidents, secretaries, assistant governors and Show Me Rotary council members ready to Light Up Rotary in 2014-15!




Webster Groves High School Basketball Coach, Jay Blossom, visited the club on February 28th. He spoke to us about the Statesmen Basketball, the season to date and hopes for post season play.



On Friday night February 7, The Rotary Club of Webster Groves was presented with the Heart of Gold Award at the Heart of the Community banquet by the Webster Groves, Shrewsbury, Rock Hill Area Chamber of Commerce. This annual event provides the communities the opportunity to recognize outstanding community service. Rotarian Nancy Battersby received the Rotarian of the Year Award; it was presented by President Scott Krejci, who accepted the Heart of Gold Award on behalf of the Club for its 90 years of service. More than a dozen Rotarians were present for the festivities.



New directors-elect; Frank Bloemke, Tim Graham, Jim Schleiffarth, and Chuck Weed were elected Friday to the 2014-15 board. 


Tim Graham was recommended as president-designate for 2015-16. 

The officers and directors, so elected, together with Kim White as president-elect and Scott Krejci as immediate past president shall constitute the board-elect. Within one week after their election, the board-elect shall meet and elect from its members a president-designate and a vice president.  Within two weeks after the election meeting Kim White as president-elect shall appoint, subject to the approval of the directors-elect, a secretary, a treasurer, and a sergeant-at-arms who shall become members of the board with such responsibilities and privileges of membership as the board may determine. 




Adam Hughes, expert pancake flipper, at the successful Pancake Festival on October 4th. 

Click here for more photos taken that day by Rotarian Gerry Evans.





Thank you Webster Groves Rotary Club from Webster Groves High School! The Rotary club has purchased more than 100 calculators and thumb drives with lanyards for students in need at Steger Sixth Grade Center, Hixson Middle School and Webster Groves High School. In this picture, Rotarians (from left, at table) Charles Schneider, Scott Krejci and Ron Hamberg with some of the calculators. At rear Webster Groves School District social workers Todd Weston, Mary Ellen Trachsel and Pat Ferrugia as well as counselor Anne Gibbs, social worker Jim Griffard and Superintendent Sarah Riss.




One of our club's members, Gail Fernandez, has responded to the invitation to volunteer in October for a trip to Lomé, Togo, West Africa to deliver polio immunizations. 

The West Africa Project Fair is endorsed by Rotary's Reach Out to Africa Committee (ROTA), to generate greater connectivity between the African and North American Rotarians. This will be a hands-on project that will profound impact on the people served, and on the Rotarians who volunteer. 

Please congratulate Gail on this wonderful opportunity, and follow her on her blog: & Photo Album




Laura visits with Nancy Battersby and Dick Sant after the meeting.


Goals & Objectives:

There were three goals of the MOU between Primero Agua and Rotary International:

1.    Install five drinking water wells and outfit the wells with hand pumps

2.    Conduct public meetings associated with the well to promote health and hygiene and proper operation and maintenance of the wells

3.    Use the well drilling activities to provide equipment and train local persons to install additional wells and pumps

Toward these goals, four wells were drilled in 2012 during two field sessions (a session in February that installed two wells in La Urca, and a session in August that installed one well in La Urca and a second in Eguerito Central) with El Agua Tu Prioridad members receiving training in all aspects of drilling. Link to Water Project Final Report 4-27-13



Ailce Duarte-Fletcher, Pres, Barb, and sponsor Nancy Battersby, Sec.




Our March 22nd speaker was most unusual....well, he brought along the most unusual companion. Shown here are Jeff Meshach, Director of the World Bird Sanctuary, and a Golden Eagle. The WBS was founded more than 35 years ago and is one of the nation’s largest facilities dedicated to the conservation of birds; its 305-acre site adjoins Lone Elk Park in southwest St. Louis County, near Valley Park. 


October 24th
Dec 04, 2015
Club Meeting
Election of 2015 & 2016 Officers
Dec 04, 2015
Webster High School Choir
Holiday Choir Program
Dec 11, 2015
Douglas Miller, MD, Regenstrief Investigator
Physical Frailty in Urban African Americans
Upcoming Events
Member Birthdays:
  • Scott Schaefer
    November 5
  • Neil George
    November 15
  • Andrew Nothum
    November 19
  • Seth Langton
    November 21