January 2020 CONNECTING Newsletter
Reflections on 2019

By Ed Krishok, Steve Chevalier & Mary McCormick


As members of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, we are very proud of our strong history of Connecting People and Resources for Common Good and supporting projects that benefit the entire community.  Projects such as the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum at the Urban Ecology Center – visited by more than 100,000 kids and grownups each year, and the Rotary Amphitheater at Discovery World – where every summer nearly 10,000 people enjoy the Live @ The Lakefront music series. And we’ve made strategic investments to restore Johnsons Park and the playground at Brown Street Academy.


In 2019 we gathered for lunch with top notch speakers each week, enjoyed monthly Tyrotarian adventures and connected socially at the end of the day. Sadly, we mourned the loss of many dedicated Rotarians: By Foster, George Mosher, Past President Dan Switzer, Bob Haig, Jim Barry, Jr., Robert Spitzer, Art Wasserman and Henry Monaco.

Throughout the year, the club leveraged the resources of the RCM Community Trust and:


  • Joined other community leaders to develop programming for MKE Urban Stables and prepare for an early 2020 opening.
  • Awarded 25 scholarships. Raised over $80,000 through the Scholarship Golf Classic.
  • Learned that Mike and Christy Kellman included our scholarship program in their estate plan. Celebrated a $50,000 increase in the Gordy and Elizabeth Smith Scholarship.
  • Hosted five Serbian public officials to learn about best practices in waste water management.
  • Completed our pledges of $50,000 for the restoration of Milwaukee Soldiers Home and $50,000 for the renovation of the Grand Theater—the new home for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Committed $50,000 to a major campus renovation at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Planted 100 trees in the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum. Sponsored HKE MKE—a community walk through the Arboretum.
  • Sponsored a film, Give Me Liberty, at the Milwaukee Film Festival.
  • Continued a strong partnership with Engineers without Borders. Saw the completion of a rural water system and grade school. A dozen Rotarians traveled to the highlands of Guatemala.
  • Donated $11,000 for hurricane relief in the Bahamas and over $12,500 to eradicate polio.
  • Distributed 10,000 books to students in 5 schools. Tutors worked with students at Brown Street Academy.
  • Hosted an energized On the Table discussion in October at Johnsons Park.
  • Cleaned up the Milwaukee River, rang bells for the Salvation Army and packed food at Feeding America.
  • Provided financial support and volunteers for the McKey Christmas Club.
  • Hosted 750 guests at our lunch meetings and welcomed 40 new members.
  • Found new ways to tell the Rotary story including partnering with the BizTimes and GoGedders to grow distribution of our weekly program podcasts.


How have we done all of this this? We mobilized our personal capital — our passions, our time, our influence — and our financial resources. We built important partnerships and collaborations across the community. We Connected People and Resources for Common Good.  Thank you for all you have done.