Rotary Club of Rockford celebrated the many excellent years of service by Rotarian Jim Tol.
Rockford Rotary Club: This week we welcomed District Governor Paul Heroman and his wife Barb, and Assistant District Governor Paula Grivins-Jastifer, as part of our celebration of the years of service Rotarian Jim Tol has provided to our club. During our meeting, DG Heroman presented Jim with his sapphire level Paul Harris Award for his financial contributions to the Club and Club President Jerry Coon presented him with the Club Rotarian of the Year honor for his Exemplary Service and Outstanding Dedication to the Ideals of Rotary. He was also roasted by IPP Erik Luxhoj who has the group laughing with his Top 10  Things he has learned from Jim. Floyd Havemeier and Neil Blakeslee also contributed the stories.
Jim has been a part of the club since 2006 after being invited by Pete Kreuer and Bill Knape to join. He has been instrumental in building up the club and their fundraising efforts with the Big Daddy Duck Race and Chicken BBQ. Jim was club President and guided us through those rough times with weekly ZOOM meetings to keep everyone connected and the Club on a positive path of growth. He has actively worked hard to expose our community to the wonderful works of the club in addition to working closely with the City of Rockford staff for numerous projects including the renovation of the Rotary Pavilion and construction of the Stage at Garden Park. He and his partner, Judy White, also served as Club caterers for several years until their recent retirement from cooking.  The outpouring of love and support for Jim is truly an example of the strong family bond of Rotary.
In addition to honoring Jim, the Rotary Rocks for ShelterBox team was able to present a check for $12,000 in follow up to their first annual Battle of the Bands type fundraiser last summer for the people of Ukraine.  In addition to the funds the event raised, funds were contributed to the amount from the Rotary Club of Wawa, Ontario, Canada, our club and a grant.  To date, per DG Heroman, approximately $15 million dollars has been used to help the Ukrainian people through the Rotary Foundation. And our work is not done there yet.