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
Vice President
Sergeant at Arms
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Rotary Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Rotary’s World Polio Day event looks ahead to ending the disease for good
While the fight to eradicate polio suffered a blow this year when the virus re-emerged in Nigeria, Rotary leaders and top health experts focused Monday on the big picture: the global presence  of the paralyzing disease has never been smaller. The headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, served as the site of Rotary’s fourth annual World Polio Day event. Some of the biggest names in the polio eradication campaign were there to reflect on the year’s progress and discuss what’s needed to end the disease for good. More than 200 people...
Virtual reality films bring new dimension to polio fight
At this year’s World Polio Day celebration in Atlanta, Rotary is harnessing the power of virtual reality technology to build empathy and inspire action in our fight to eradicate polio. Rotary, with support from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, produced a virtual reality film that tells the story of Alokita, a young adult who suffered paralysis from polio as a child growing up in India, which has been polio-free since 2011. “When you open your eyes and see a different environment around you, you relate to the subject on a visceral, personal level,” says Vincent Vernet, direct of digital and...
Rotary Day at UN highlights role of business in building a better world
From the United Nations’ earliest days in the aftermath of World War II, the organization’s humanitarian mission has always dovetailed with Rotary’s efforts to administer aid and build peace. This year’s Rotary Day at the United Nations, 12 November, will highlight the role businesses can play in that collaboration as we work toward a more just and equitable world. The theme of this year’s gathering at UN headquarters in New York City, “Responsible Business, Resilient Societies,” recognizes Rotary’s role at the intersection of commerce and cause. As leaders in their professions and...
ShelterBox prepares for Mosul refugees
Today marked the start of the battle to take control of Mosul back from the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. The city is the group's last major stronghold in Iraq. But humanitarian aid agencies have known about the military offensive, giving them an unusual opportunity to prepare for the crisis. "It is rare for the world to get early warning of a vast human catastrophe," says Chris Warham, chief executive of ShelterBox. "The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued a paper in July saying this would likely be the biggest humanitarian crisis of the year — and we better get...
Skydivers raise thousands for polio eradication
The first time Noel Jackson jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet, it had nothing to do with raising money for polio eradication. The Michigan dentist had received a gift certificate to go skydiving from his staff because they knew he was into adventure. “It is definitely a defining moment,” says Jackson, a member of the Rotary Club of Trenton, Michigan, USA, of that first jump, done in tandem strapped to a professional skydiver. “The rush of the free fall is beyond anything I have ever experienced before. Just the speed and acceleration is unbelievable. You don’t even have time to figure out...
Rotary and ShelterBox on the ground in Haiti
Even as parts of Haiti were still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished island country 4 October, leaving hundreds dead and many more homeless. The Category 4 storm affected an estimated 330,000 people in Haiti, including 6,400 who were moved to temporary shelters. Extensive damage to main bridges and other transportation networks have left some areas cut off and vulnerable. Torrential rains have resulted in flooding and landslides. And contaminated water supplies threaten to lead to a surge in cholera cases and other waterborne...
Watch our polio partnership come alive at World Polio Day
On 24 October, World Polio Day, Rotary will bring together partners from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for an update on our fight to end polio. As host and moderator of the event, our organization plays a key role in amplifying one of the most important public health concerns in modern history. When we first took it up as an organizational cause over three decades ago, polio affected 350,000 children every year, mostly in lower-income countries where poor sanitation and limited access to clean water facilitate the spread of the virus. Our collaboration with the World Health...
eBay Live Auctions that benefit Rotary
Each month, eBay, the world’s largest auction website, selects a set of upcoming Live Auction events and donates a portion of all sales proceeds to Rotary. Only U.S. auction sales are eligible. See the schedule of October auctions.


Our newest member was inducted on October 21st - Heidi Butts Weigand. Heidi is an orthodontist with a practice in the Webster Groves area. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Heidi has been serving her community’s orthodontic needs since 1999. After graduating from local schools like Cor Jesu Academy (1982) and Saint Louis University (1986), Heidi served as an Army Pilot until 1992. She graduated from the SIU School of Dental Medicine in 1996, and continued her education at Saint Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education, Orthodontics (1998). Upon completion of her extensive education, Heidi joined her father’s practice.

She is married to David G. Wiegand with three children: Cooper, Aaron, and Ruthie. She serves as the State Dental Officer for the Illinois Army National Guard.

We are glad to have Heidi back as a member of our club



President Tim Graham installed Andrew Chao as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Webster Groves on Friday, February 12, 2016. Pictured here with Andrew are his sponsor, Ann McReynolds, and Tim. Welcome, Andrew! We're delighted you've joined us. 



On Friday, February 12, President Tim Graham and Rotarian Harold Lumley presented a "big check" to Gerry Pagano on behalf of our club. A friend of Harold Lumley, Gerry is a St. Louis Symphony Orchestra trombonist and the founding member of the St. Louis Low Brass Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes education and performance for low-brass musicians throughout our region. Each year, the LBC brings top national artists to St. Louis for master classes, commissions both compositions and arrangements, and hosts an annual Gala concert. They also present a new trombone to a deserving music student; the Rotary Club of Webster Groves was pleased to contribute $500 to the LBC to help off-set the cost of this year's trombone.



At a well-attended lunch meeting on December 4th, members elected four directors to serve on the 2016-17 Board of Directors to be headed by President Gail Fernandez: James Carlton, Adam Hughes, Gerry Kettenbach, and Ann McReynolds will hold Board positions for that year. James is currently serving as Vice President, and Gerry is Sergeant-at-Arms; Ann is in her third term as Club Secretary, and she now also holds the title of "President Designate," having been elected as President for 2017-18. The new officers and directors will be formally installed in late June, 2016 at the Installation Dinner.


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.


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 is the son of an Affton High School teacher; 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


Oct 28, 2016
Rick Nease
Badge of Hope Ministries
Nov 04, 2016
Nov 18, 2016
Dr. Rik Hafer
Director of the Center for Economics and the Environment at Lindenwood University
Member Birthdays:
  • Mike Oppermann
    October 5
  • Rod Cooper
    October 10
  • Guillo Rodriguez
    October 14
  • Jack LaBarge
    October 17
  • Gail Fernandez
    October 19
  • Susan Fletcher
    October 22
  • Gerry Kettenbach
    October 26
  • Larry Keightley
    October 30