The Rotary Club of Joliet recently donated items and gift cards to help replenish stock of three local community pantries after the holidays. As part of Joliet Rotary’s month‐long holiday‐giving program, 24 cartons of pantry items such as boxed and canned food, and baby, personal and paper products were distributed to Forest Park Community, Peter Claver and Spanish Community Centers in Joliet. Each Center was also awarded $250 gift card for additional pantry items.
The community centers expressed deep gratitude for the pantry items and spoke of the difficulty in keeping their pantries stocked during a difficult economic environment,” said Joliet Rotary president, Michael Murray. “Thanks to the generosity of Joliet Rotary and friends, more pantry items can be available for families after the holidays when pantries are often depleted.”

The club’s holiday‐giving program culminated during their annual holiday luncheon meeting at the Jacob Henry Mansion Ballroom in Joliet. At the luncheon, Murray recognized guests and representatives from the three Joliet centers for their good work in the community. Guests included: Tony Ray, Forest Park executive director; Ozzie and Peggy Mitchell (president) of the Peter Claver Center; and Elizabeth Castillo, Monica Vasquez (both assistant executive directors) and Lorraine Guerrero, social service and education director of the Spanish Community Center.

“The three centers do good work for their neighborhoods and community – and we were happy to have them as recipients of our holiday‐giving program,” said Roxane M. Geraci‐Militello, committee chair. “Our Club members were very generous with donations and volunteer time…and it’s good to know our efforts will help make a difference.”

Also at the holiday luncheon were the District 86 Washington Junior High and Academy String Orchestra. Members of the orchestra entertained Rotary members and guests with a number of songs reflecting the season. “Everyone enjoyed listening to the student string orchestra – they were very good received a standing ovation,” added Murray. “ 

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. The organization’s main objective is Service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. For more information on the Rotary Club of Joliet or for scholarship information/application, go