Deerfield Rotary celebrates 90th anniversary just a little late

  • Club President Jerry Nagaj, left, and District Governor-elect Bill Kmecik chat during the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield Wednesday.

      Club President Jerry Nagaj, left, and District Governor-elect Bill Kmecik chat during the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield Wednesday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Bob Franz, left, past president, and Kent Street, president-elect, have a conversation during the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield.

      Bob Franz, left, past president, and Kent Street, president-elect, have a conversation during the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/12/2022 2:45 AM

A celebration two years in the making was recently held at Marriott Suites Deerfield.

Pete Wirtz, left, who served as club president during 2018-2019, and Andy Voss, 2021-2022 assistant governor, attend the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield Wednesday.
  Pete Wirtz, left, who served as club president during 2018-2019, and Andy Voss, 2021-2022 assistant governor, attend the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield Wednesday. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

The Deerfield Rotary Club was founded in 1930 and had been scheduled to have celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn't allow that to happen.

Instead, members gathered at the Deerfield hotel May 4 to celebrate. Regardless of the delay, the theme remains the same.

"'Service Above Self.' That's kind of the (Rotary) motto, but it's what it boils down for me, because we're always doing things that help other organizations around the world, and it's really allowed people to get involved with a variety of projects that help the community and the world overall," said Jerry Nagaj, current Deerfield Rotary Club president, who has been with the club for 13 years.

Kent Street, Deerfield village manager, will take on the presidency after Nagaj's term ends in June.

Lorraine and Barry Clark attend the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield Wednesday. Barry received special recognition  for 34 years with the Deerfield Rotary.
  Lorraine and Barry Clark attend the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield Wednesday. Barry received special recognition for 34 years with the Deerfield Rotary. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Some of the many things Deerfield Rotary has done include helping the village obtain its first paramedic ambulance, get defibrillators into Deerfield schools, and donate more than $300,000 to the Rotary Foundation for World Polio Eradication, as well as other international initiatives such as water filtration and wells in Guatemala and Nigeria.

It also established the Family Days 5K Race, an annual event to be held over the Fourth of July weekend that helps support the Deerfield Family Days, Nagaj said. He noted another fun annual event, the "golf ball drop" fundraiser in September.

Elke Friedman of the Northbrook Rotary attends the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration.
  Elke Friedman of the Northbrook Rotary attends the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

The May 4 anniversary celebration featured an appreciation by Deerfield Mayor Dan Shapiro. Attending the party were 2020-21 Rotary District Gov. Lyle Staab and 2022-23 District Gov. William Kmiecik.

Barry Clark, accompanied by his wife Lorraine, was honored for his 34 years of service to the Deerfield Rotary Club.

"The celebration had a great turnout," Nagaj said. "Everybody had a good time. It's just another example of the fellowship that the club brings together."

Banners from Rotary clubs throughout the world are displayed during the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield Wednesday.
  Banners from Rotary clubs throughout the world are displayed during the Deerfield Rotary 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Chicago Marriott Suites in Deerfield Wednesday. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Deerfield Rotary Club, which has 24 active members, meets at noon Thursdays at Italian Kitchen, 648 Deerfield Road.

For information on Deerfield Rotary Club, call Nagaj at (312) 848-2904 or visit rotary.org.

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