RCS Empowers Inc. Grant Presentation

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At our weekly meeting, the Sheboygan Early Bird Rotary Foundation presented a check for $5,000 to RCS Empowers, Inc. for the purchase of an AVA recliner, which is both comfortable and medical-grade, for their health room. The space previously contained fabric-covered, non-medical grade furniture.AVA Recliner
The money was given in response to a grant request from the organization. The check was presented to Lynn Justinger, RCS Human Services Manager.
If you or your organization are interested in submitting a grant request to our Foundation, please download the application from our website here.
RCS Empowers Inc. Grant Presentation 2023-03-16 05:00:00Z 0

2023 Early Bird Rotary Technical School Scholarships

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Early Bird Rotary provides one year technical college scholarships of variable amounts up to $2000 to both Sheboygan County graduating seniors and adults continuing their education. These are tuition scholarships only and applicable to any Wisconsin Technical College. Completed applications are due by 03/12/23 (Sunday). Notification of results to applicants will occur within 6 weeks of deadline date, no later than 4/15/23.
Good Luck and thank you for taking the time to complete an application.

Graduating Seniors Eligibility Requirements:
  1. Member of the current graduating class of a Sheboygan County High School.
  2. Have a minimum cumulative 2.5 grade point average.
  3. Have demonstrated a capacity for leadership in activities such as community, school or church.
  4. Have had some work experiences.
Our objective with this scholarship is to provide financial assistance that encourage recipients to pursue local employment, both during and after the educational process, and to introduce the applicants to Rotary whose motto is Service Above Self.
Adult Eligibility Requirements:
  1. Must be a Sheboygan County resident.
  2. Must be planning to attend (or currently attending) a technical college.
  3. Has financial need or hardship.
  4. Have shown leadership qualities at work or through volunteer activities.
  5. Is of good character
Our objective with this scholarship is to provide financial assistance that supports self-improvement, enhances job opportunities, and sustains and improves a quality workforce. Further we wish to introduce applicants to Rotary whose motto is Service Above Self.
Notification of results to applicants will occur within 6 weeks of deadline date, no later than 4/15/23.
2023 Early Bird Rotary Technical School Scholarships 2023-01-20 06:00:00Z 0

30th Annual Early Bird Rotary Lobster Boil Fundraiser

Sheboygan Early Bird Rotary Club
30th Annual
July 15, 2022 - Fountain Park, Sheboygan
4:30-8:30 p.m. rain or shine
Music by Nitro Five
Lobster Dinner Tickets have SOLD OUT
Everyone is welcome to attend and no ticket is required to enjoy the live music by Nitro Five and purchase Brats, Burgers, Beverages & More!

Join us for a PARTY IN THE PARK or TAKE-OUT!

$60 Lobster Dinner Ticket ($64.95 for Last Minute Tickets) includes: 1¼ lb. fresh Maine Lobster, butter, potatoes, coleslaw, corn on the cob & bread.

Live Lobsters will be cooked upon your arrival. (Please allow 20 minutes for preparation).


The event is open to the public and no ticket is required to purchase. . .

  • Refreshments – Wine, Beer, Water, Soda
  • Soup and Desserts
  • Sandwiches – burgers, brats, chicken breasts, veggie burger, and MORE
Proceeds support the future of Sheboygan County through Education!

The Table Decorating Contest & More!

  • Any group of 10 may choose a theme. To win - be creative, original, and integrate it into the table, environment, guest outfits, food/drink, etc. Our panel of 3 Rotary Club judges will select the winner.
  • The winning Table Leader will have the honor of contributing a $500 donation to the non-profit of their choice, and will receive 5 free tickets for the 2023 Lobster Boil, valued at $300.
  • Participants are invited to arrive early to select a table and register at the Information Table as a contest participant.
50/50 Raffle and Lobster Tail Crackers
30th Annual Early Bird Rotary Lobster Boil Fundraiser 2022-04-13 05:00:00Z 0

Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Borgen

Dr. Elizabeth Borgen (left), Geraldine Plehn (right)
Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Borgen, President of Lakeland University - WI, for receiving our 2021 Paul Harris Leadership in Education Award.
The Paul Harris Leadership in Education Award was initiated in 2016 with the intention of recognizing outstanding leadership, commitment, and impact through extraordinary service in the field of education in Sheboygan County. 
This year’s recipient is no stranger to our club – She is a former Early Bird Rotarian and was nominated by Early Bird Rotary member, Tom Detienne. She was presented with the award at the Sheboygan Early Bird Rotary Club meeting on Thursday, June 10 by International Service Committee Director Geraldine Plehn (pictured right).
Dr. Borgen became the 18th President of Lakeland University effective January 1, 2021. She was developed internally by Lakeland and has been an employee of the University for over 15 years. Starting as an Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, she most recently was the Vice President of Advancement for the University.
Dr. Borgen earned her Undergraduate degree in Communications and Media Studies from St. Norbert College (’01), her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Lakeland (’11), and her Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater (’20).
Lakeland University promoted Executive Vice President Elizabeth Borgen to be the institution’s 18th president and she is the first female to lead the institution in its 158 year history.
In her 15 years at Lakeland, she has led dramatic growth in fund raising efforts and the implementation of the university’s award-winning Cooperative Education Program.
Dr. Borgen was named executive vice president in July of 2018, a role that has seen her lead teams that manage Lakeland’s enrollment, Cooperative Education program, financial aid, fundraising, and external relations/marketing efforts. She has played a significant role in building relationships with key community stakeholders and employers, and her team has successfully launched several boards of advocates that provide valuable input for LU’s academic programs.
She led Lakeland through the creation of its current strategic plan, which prepares to position the institution for declines in student populations by the middle of this decade that will challenge all institutions of higher learning.
She recently led a task force of key stakeholders to fully implement Lakeland’s co-op program, which for the last three falls has generated three of the largest incoming freshman classes in Lakeland’s history. Fundraising has grown dramatically under her leadership. Dr. Borgen moved into a fundraising role in 2007, and in 2015 was named Vice President of Advancement.
She led Lakeland’s recent $12 million campaign – one of the largest in the institution’s history – that funded a dramatic overhaul of the Younger Family Campus Center, the region’s first outdoor turf athletic field and funding to launch the co-op program. The $12 million campaign goal was accomplished ahead of schedule and netted an additional $3-plus million over its goal.
Under her leadership, Lakeland’s Movers and Shakers Gala, which was among the most popular and well-attended Sheboygan County fundraisers, grew and found new ways to benefit community organizations.
She is married to Jim, who is a captain with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s department, and they have three children, Stella, Sydney and Oliver.  They currently reside in the President’s house at Lakeland’s main campus.
Her accomplishments are no surprise to those who have known her for the past 10 years, her dedication to making a difference was evident even then, as she drove from Fond du Lac for our 7:00 am meetings.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Elizabeth Borgen as our newest Paul Harris recipient.
Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Borgen 2021-06-10 05:00:00Z 0

Making Spirits Bright 2021 A Huge Success!

A message from Rotary Making Spirits Bright regarding the 2020 show:
Food Bank Donations: Final Total 157,140 Pounds"We all know 2020 was a challenging year with so many changes but we were grateful to still be a part of your holidays. Naturally there was a dramatic increase in need for our neighbors in 2020 and Sheboygan County Food Bank stepped in to help.
We saw this need and increased our 2019 goal to 150,000 pounds, a 50% increase. We are immensely pleased to announce that with the support of all of you in our community, we exceeded that goal by gathering 157,140 pounds!
We would like to thank our sponsors, our hundreds of volunteers who worked all year, braved the elements, and did so with a smile on their faces and all of you who donated to help our neighbors in need.
Anyone interested in becoming involved, please contact us through our website www.makingspiritsbright.com."
Making Spirits Bright is a service project of all three of the Sheboygan County Rotary Clubs: Early Bird, Sheboygan, and Plymouth.
Making Spirits Bright 2021 A Huge Success! 2021-01-10 06:00:00Z 0 Making Spirits Bright,Rotary Making Spirits Bright
Meetings Cancelled or Postponed through March 31 2020-03-17 05:00:00Z 0

Another Season Making Spirits Bright

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In 32 nights of the Rotary Making Spirits Bright Holiday Light Show, 98,799 pounds were donated and will go to feed over 3,000 families in our community!
This is incredible! Thank you so much for all of your support and showing everyone how much you all care!
Nightly Average: 3,087.5 pounds
Smallest Night: 844 pounds
Largest Night: 5,245 pounds
Pounds Shy of Goal: 1,201 pounds
In 2018 we had 38 nights and brought in 100,451 pounds which breaks down to ~2,643 pounds per night.
Your generosity continues to grow and blow us away! Thank you everyone for your support! We ❤ you all!
Another Season Making Spirits Bright 2020-01-08 06:00:00Z 0 Making Spirits Bright,Rotary Making Spirits Bright,Sheboygan County Food Bank

A great group of Early Birds helped beautify the Rotary intersection on Saturday morning!

Posted on Jun 22, 2019
The Rotary Intersection, which sits at the confluence of South Eight Street, South Pier Drive, and Indiana Avenue is maintained by the Sheboygan Early Bird Rotary Club. An increasingly important hub in the city, it leads to Blue Harbor and the South Pier District, the Downtown area and Riverfront, and the upcoming FreshTech Innovation District and JMKAC Art Preserve.
On June 22, 2019 Early Bird Rotarians planted and mulched the lower level of the terraced garden, bringing new life and beauty to the busy traffic junction.
A great group of Early Birds helped beautify the Rotary intersection on Saturday morning! 2019-06-22 05:00:00Z 0
We are honored to introduce our newest Rotarian Kyle Whelton! 2019-06-20 05:00:00Z 0

2018 District Governor Visit

Andrew Bubb, Kola Alayande, and Kristin StearnsRotary District 6270 Governor Kola Alayande and Assistant Governor Kristin Stearns visited the Early Bird Rotary Club on July 12, 2018.

We showcased our club's service projects, and had a great discussion and feedback on how we can make our club even stronger in 2018-19.

After the club and board meetings concluded, we took a tour of the Red Raider Manufacturing lab at North High School. The Early Bird Rotary Club has made a $50,000 commitment over five years to the program.


Red Raider Manufacturing represents a partnership between Sheboygan Area School District, local manufacturing companies, and Lakeshore Technical College, who are working together to educate a stronger community.

This career pathway represents a collaborative effort to better prepare high school students for college and careers and to provide more skilled workers to local manufacturers.

Photos from the event and tour


2018 District Governor Visit 2018-07-16 05:00:00Z 0
Alliant Energy Gives $1,000 in Support of Local Education 2018-06-21 05:00:00Z 0
Early Bird Rotary Foundation Presents Grant to SCIO Andrew Bubb 2017-07-13 05:00:00Z 0

Red Raider Initiative

Posted on May 11, 2016
Sheboygan Early Bird Rotary Club Foundation, Inc. partner with Sheboygan Area School District to support the Red Raider Manufacturing Program.
Pictured from left are Dr. Joseph Sheehan, Eric Rutlege, Linda Cates, Rick Cawthon and Sebastian Schmidt.
For more, read the Sheboygan Press article.
Red Raider Initiative 2016-05-11 05:00:00Z 0

Helping people with disabilities make their own music

Music has been an important part of leading an ordinary life for students at the Music School for Children With Disabilities in Honor of Paul Harris in Lublin, Poland. Founded by Rotary members, the school serves 20 students with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and visual impairments. The Rotary Club of Lublin-Centrum-Maria Curie-Sklodowska has provided funding with help from Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society, which houses the school.
After their son Mateusz was born with underdeveloped eyes, Mariusz and Joanna Kania looked for ways to help him be active. When he showed an aptitude for music, they looked for a teacher and were thrilled to find the Paul Harris music school.
Helping people with disabilities make their own music 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Finding Safe Haven

For years, Angalia Bianca had slept in abandoned buildings throughout Chicago. She stole. She did drugs. She spent time in and out of jail for forgery, theft, trespassing, and possession of narcotics. But after she landed in prison for the seventh time, something changed -- Bianca knew she wanted a better life. She just didn’t know how to make it happen.
After serving her time, Bianca sought help from a local homeless organization, A Safe Haven, and moved to its shelter in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Bianca followed the program closely -- she attended all the required meetings, passed drug tests, and volunteered at every opportunity.
Finding Safe Haven 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Saving lives in Ghana

What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. A large trip is a real blessing because each person sees Ghana and our work in a different way.

A highlight for the team was greeting the chief of Sagadugu. The team got excited about buying goats and food for children in the villages where I support eight churches. It was good to see the pastors of most of the eight churches, and I had to explain that we were just passing through on our way to Bolgatanga.
Saving lives in Ghana 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

India celebrates three years without polio

Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. To mark this historic triumph, Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."
The three-year achievement sets the stage for polio-free certification of the entire Southeast Asia region by the World Health Organization. The Indian government also plans to convene a polio summit in February to commemorate this victory in the global effort to eradicate polio.
India celebrates three years without polio 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0