About Our Club
Related Pages
Photo Albums
In 1905, Paul Harris started a club that was dedicated to service through acquaintance.  Service through acquaintance is what it's all about!  In 1979, there were 17,500 Rotary clubs and one more was being formed...

John Jackson, a Rotarian with the Rensselaer club, came to DeMotte in 1979 with one purpose in mind - to see if there was interest in forming a new Rotary Club in the DeMotte, Roselawn, Wheatfield area.  Jackson found that interest in the 26 charter members.  Several unofficial meetings were held at the Kankakee Valley School Corporation building with Jackson and other Rotary officials to help get the fledgling Kankakee River Valley Rotary Club off the ground.

The Kankakee River Valley Rotary Club officially came into being on Monday, February 19, 1979 with 26 charter members attending a luncheon meeting at the DeMotte United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall at 11:45 AM.

Charter members were:  Eric L. Borman, Floyd Clark, Edward G. Cooke, Hosea W. Drake, John (Jack) G. Fagen, Robert Fase, Thomas E. Fox, Harold Fritz, Ronald J. Hanners, Larry P. Hardy, Robert L. Leturgez, Don R. Morrison, Patrick O'Rourke, Oscar Reyes, Wayne Ryska, Walter J. Roorda, Arnold D. Sadler, Paul E. Scamihorn, Gilbert (Tim) Schultz, Roger Sculley, Jack G. Shearer, Bruce J. Todd, Fern Traster, John Turbyfil, John VanKeppel, and Charles Wiers.  As of 2012, there are still two charter members in the club - John (Jack) Fagen and Gilbert (Tim) Schultz.

In 1979, the first slate of club officers were:  Robert Leturgez, President; Jack Shearer, Vice President; Eric Borman, President-Elect 1980-81; Don Morrison, Secretary; Thomas Fox, Treasurer; Jack Fagen, Sergeant at Arms; and Directors, Paul Scamihorn, Tim Schultz, Patrick O'Rourke, and Hosea Drake.

The new club was admitted into Rotary International on March 15, 1979 and received its charter from Rotary District Governor, James Buchanan, on April 30, 1979.

Delegations from Rotary Clubs throughout the northern third of Indiana attended the charter presentation ceremonies held at the DeMotte American Legion.

Immediately after the charter ceremonies were completed in 1979, six new members were welcomed into the club.  They were Chuck Schoon, Dave Fieldhouse, Bud Hubers, Shirl Snyder, Bob Guerrero, and Don Fieldhouse.

It started all over again - Service through acquaintance.

1979 - 1980: 
President Robert Leturgez - First Club President and Charter Member.  Instrumental in founding the Club.  First Interact Club is formed.  It's no accident that our Club has always done a lot for the school.

1980 - 1981:
President Jack Shearer.  First Rotary Ramble Race.  Start of Youth Exchange Program.  Community Service Chairman brought up the idea of adding the Rotary Ramble Race to the Arts & Crafts Festival.  This would not have been accomplished without Charlene Groet.

1981 - 1982:
President Don Morrison.  This was one of the most exciting years that any club could have.  Everything was coming together.  The fruits of our labor were starting to show results because Don Morrison was organized and ready to go.  The Rotary Ramble was a big success.  The Rotary accepted the first exchange student, Katy Bicknell.  The first club project - a haunted house - raised enough proceeds that the club donated a generator to the town of DeMotte.  This was to aid in communication in case of a power outage since we had a tornado this year.

I believe the name of the Club was changed this year.  It was originally the Kankakee River Valley Rotary Club and was changed to the DeMotte KV Rotary Club.  The name was changed because Rotary has a directory of every club in the world and nobody could find our club because when they looked under DeMotte, there was no club listed.

1982 - 1983:
President Reverand Thomas Fox.  Rotary sponsored the first Career Day at Kankakee Valley High School.  Sponsored the KV High School mural which has a Rotary Wheel in it, which was painted by Doris Meyers.  Sponsored the first outgoing exchange student to Norway.  Again had the Haunted House as a fundraiser.  No further fundraisers took place this year.

1983 - 1984:
President Chuck Schoon.  Rotary had the first Farmer Day, where every Rotarian brought a farmer to lunch and our program was geared to farming information.  Sponsored and hosted the first "Group Study Rotarians" from India.  Kevan Bates was our foreign exchange student from Australia.  Sponsored the World Affairs Conference, a program for high school students to discuss world affairs.  We continued to sponsor this until 2011, when the last world affairs conference was held in our district.

1984 - 1985:
President Patrick O'Rourke.  Sponsored the first Circus fundraiser and started Christmas Food Basket program with the Interact Club of KVHS. 

1985 - 1986:
President Gilbert (Tim) Schultz.  This was another great year for the Club.  Rotary received the most awards from the District.  Completed the Michael Griffin Room addition project and registered the Interact Club officially as part of the DeMotte Rotary Club. Roy Madson was our foreign exchange student from Norway.

1986 - 1987:
President Art Dreyer.  High School Scholarship Award program inaugurated - $500 annually awarded.  Sponsored All Star Wrestling fundraiser - committee headed by Gilbert (Tim) Schultz and John (Jack) Fagen.

1987 - 1988:
President John (Jack) Fagen.  Polio Plus Program instituted.  DeMotte pledges $4800 to eliminate Polio worldwide.  First Club in Northwest Indiana to admit a woman to membership - Joan Whitaker.  We also started using Rotary Plus Network which is a short video about Rotary that came to the club monthly.  We help sponsor Scream in the Park, a reading of scary stories, with the DeMotte Library.  We supplied readers, hot chocolate and snacks for the guests.  Neto Perizi was our foreign exchange student from Brazil.

1988 - 1989:
President Rick Kallenbach.  Permanent Food Contribution program instituted to aid local food pantry.  Rotary sponsored a Drug Awareness Program.  In conjunction with the DeMotte Library, we sponsored the Scream In the Park for the second time.  The Rotary Ramble and Arts & Crafts parade started being broadcast on Channel 56.

1989 - 1990:
President John Price.  The Club received a Presidential Citation.  Interact Club sponsored a SADD lock-in at KVHS.  The Interact Club was going strong but its strength was also its downfall - spin-off groups were formed such as SADD and Environmental Group.  Tracy Raey was our foreign exchange student.

1990 - 1991:
President Earl Walton.  We sponsored the speech contest for KV or North Newton to go to the DIstrict Speech contest.  Scream in The Park was replaced by the Community Halloween Party, held in the Gym-Fit building.  We helped sponsor the party and made pinatas in the Financial Arts building.  Continued to televise the Arts & Crafts Parade and Rotary Ramble Race.

1991 - 1992:
President Gilbert (Tim) Schultz - the first two-time President of the Club.  Held Jasper County ground water testing.  Toured the NIPSCO Generating Plant.  Had a fundraising auction.  The "famous" Andrews sisters, made up of Norm Lindskog, Jack Fagen and Chad Beukema, sange for the group.  Bob Fase stated that Jack Fagen was the "ugliest woman in the world" after that.

1992 - 1993:
President John (Jack) Fagen (two-time President).  Between Gilbert's and Jack's term we had the first Statewide District conference in Indianapolis.  Our club also set records for Induction of Paul Harris Fellows.  Most of the work was done in Gilberts term.  Laura Blignant was our foreign exchange student from Zimbawai.  We also had an outgoing exchange student.

1993 - 1994:
President John Bennett.  First Kelly Brothers Circus held.  The Club received a Presidential Citation.  Hui Wait was our exchange student from Thailand.  We toured the historical room that we helped to get started at the DeMotte Public Library.

1994 - 1995:
President Dan Ryan.  Had record number of new members.  The Club received a Presidential Citation.  Student of the Month program started at KVHS.  Sponsored an AIDS program at KVHS.  Dan Ryan and Jack Fagen presented programs at the DeMotte and Wheatfield Elementary Schools on the four-way test with colorbooks.  Starting buying hams for the Food Pantry for the holidays.  The club also sponsored the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).

1995 - 1996:
President John Bennett (two-time President).  Incoming President left the Club, so John agreed to serve.  Received Presidential Citation.  Sponsored Kelly-Miller Circus.  Sponsored and set up a program for the local oral history - this was a program where older local residents were interviewed on tape and these interviews were later made into the DeMotte history book sponsored by the DeMotte Chamber of Commerce and two history books sponsored by the DeMotte Historical Society. Helped sponsor the Junior Miss Pagent at KV High School.  Tina Pendent was our exchange student from Finland.

1996 - 1997:
President Norm Lindskog.  Norm started the Pavilion project in the Field of Dreams park.  Had a Rotary softball tournament.  Joao Pinto was our foreign exchange student from Brazil.  Laura Szeman became an outbound exchange student and went to Brazil.  The club helped paint rooms at Christian Haven with Epoxy paint!

1997 - 1998:
President Dale Miller.  Several members attended the International Covention held in Indianapolis - Pat Seegers, Jack Fagen, John Bennett and Ron Klauer.  We had an exchange student from Japan - Natsumi Nigawara.  Helped purchase picnic tables for the Field of Dreams park pavilion.

1998 - 1999:
President Mike Hinde.  Planted trees by the Field of Dreams park.  Went to see the Blue Man Group in Chicago at the Briar Street Theater - organized by Bob Slager and Jack Fagen.   Also had the Club's 20th anniversary party with a New Orleans style band.  Many past members came to the DeMotte American Legion to help us celebrate.  Jack Fagen started the Reality Store at KV Middle School with Dan Fagen running it.  The Reality Store is a program that helps 8th grade students understand the real world.

1999 - 2000:
President Ron Klauer.  Had After-work Party - raised $1200 for the KVHS Scholarship program.  Took a winter wonderland bus trip to Chicago.  Placed 2nd in the District for fundraising.  Mayri was our foreign exchange student from Mexico.  Donated to KV to help purchase the sign in front of the high school.

2000 - 2001:
President Dan Ryan (two-time President).  Continued all the programs from previous years.

2001 - 2002:
President Bob Kaper, Jr.  Rotary organized a team to participate in the Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society.  The club was instrumental in getting the Vietnam traveling wall to come to DeMotte with Jack Fagen as the chairman.  Sponsored the Senior Citizens Picnic at Spencer park with the Town of DeMotte. Peter was our exchange student from Poland.

2002 - 2003:
President Tim Schultz. 

2003 - 2004:
President Joan Majerik.  Rotary wanted a large project to celebrate their Centennial in the 2004-2005 year but the project was started in 2003-2004.  Committee was chaired by Bob Jonkman.  It included Gina VanBaren, Sally Snow & Dan Fagen.  The Club agreed to develop Airport Park for the town, which the town already had the ground but did not have the funds to develop it.  Volunteers disked the ground, planted grass seed and rolled the ground.  Had a 50s-60s dance for a fundraiser at the DeMotte American Legion.  Stephanie was our exchange student from France.

2004 - 2005:
President Craig Fox.  Continued work on Airport Park - parking lot formed and cleaned the ditch nearby.  Rotary purchased the playground equipment.  Rodney Urbano and Dave VanKeppel were extremely instrumental and generous in getting the ditch cleaned and getting the parking lot formed and paved.

2005 - 2006:
President Phil Moolenaar.  Continued work on Airport Park - installed playground equipment, basketball court paved and installed.  Student of the month at KV High school honored the 1000th student of the month.

2006 - 2007:
President Ron Klauer (two time President).  Airport Park work continued - basketball poles installed, drainage tile installed in the park to drain the playground area, Bob Kaper, Mike Kooistra, Mike Hinde and Dave VanKeppel were instrumental in getting the pavilion built.  Helped sponsor the reading program at the DeMotte Head Start, with going there and reading to the kids.  Also bought books for the Roselawn Head Start.

2007 - 2008:
President Dan Fagen.  Sponsored the Kelly Miller Circus again.  Dave VanKeppel put together "Hands on Trucks" where kids could see and climb on big trucks such as tractors, payloaders, etc.  Had a wine and beer tasting fundraiser with the Rensselaer Rotary Club at Rico's in Rensselaer - the money was used for the matching grant of Bill and Melinda Gates to help eradicate Polio.  The club took a trip to the Purdue PMO Christmas show.