Chief Dean Smith
Nov 19, 2018
Oshkosh Police Department.....Greeter: David Sennholz
Patti Andresen-Shew
Nov 26, 2018
Middle School Mfg. Essay Contest Winners Greeter: James Stahl
Amanda Lauer
Dec 03, 2018
Civil War Heaven Intended... Greeter: Glenn Steinbrecker
James Thornton
Dec 10, 2018
Salvation Army
Holiday Program
Dec 17, 2018
No Meeting
Dec 24, 2018

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Club Information


101 Years of Service from March 1, 1917

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Oshkosh Premier Waterfront Hotel
1 N. Main Street
P. O. Box 785 (Club Mailing Address)
Oshkosh, WI  54903-0785
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Oshkosh Rotary Club News
President Christy introduced John Gillespie, who along with his wife, Jan, founded the Rawhide Boys Ranch.
John Gillespie
John was offering his and Jan's new book, Our 351 Sons, for sale. The book recounts the first 35 years of Rawhide Boy's Ranch's existence. The book is for sale for on Amazon or www.Our351Sons.com ($30).  The book is subtitled "Helping Your Grow by Learning to Serve Others."  John noted that the book also contains lots of tips for raising kids. He added that there's lots of white space in the book, making it easier for older eyes to read. It's 330 pages long and contains 130 pictures.  351 is the number of boys who personally lived with John and Jan over the years. 
He recognized Chet Krause of Krause Publishers of Iola, WI and also Oshkosh Truck and the Mosling family for their support of Rawhide. He shared that a special fund has helped them provide copies of the book to all U.S. Senators and Congressmen, as well as all Wisconsin Senators and Assemblymen.
John recounted the story of how he and Jan got started hosting boys. One Sunday a boy named Jerry, age 13, showed up at John and Jan's church where they taught Sunday School. Jerry was very shy, but came back again the next Sunday and asked John and Jan if he could come to their house that afternoon. They replied that they'd have to check with his mom. Jerry told them his mom was working but that she had already said it was okay. John and Jay insisted upon calling his mom, and she said that she was fine with Jerry going to their house.  Then she said, "I'll bring some clothes by for him later."  John and Jan didn't understand what she meant.
At the time they were living in a 2.5 bedroom farmhouse, had one son, with a second on the way.  When the mom came by later that afternoon with a daughter in tow, she had a pile of clothes for Jerry and said, "I've recently remarried and my new husband has given me 30 days to get rid of 2 of my 3 kids. One son has moved in with another family; I need a place for Jerry to live."  And thus began John and Jan's foster care program.  However, they were afoul of the law because they didn't have a foster care license and were having difficulty getting one from the county.  John then shared an interesting story of how a local attorney with Madison connections introduced them to then Lt. Gov. Warren Knowles, who facilitated them getting a foster care license quickly.
John and Jan began to take in other boys, with an average of 10 at a time, and realized there was a great need for this kind of care in the Fox Valley region...and that they needed a bigger home to accommodate the boys. Through various sources they learned that Bart and Cherry Starr had expressed interest in "doing something for local youth" when Bart retired. (This was in 1967.)  Jan kept bugging John to call Bart and John was hesitant. Finally, one day she bugged him enough that he picked up the phone and dialed Information and was astounded that he was able to get Bart and Cherry's phone number.  He called it, Bart answered, John explained why he was calling and Bart said, "Can you come to Green Bay this afternoon."  Shocked, they quickly drove to Green Bay and the Starr home, where they were welcomed late in the afternoon. Cherry was making dinner and John said he'd make his story quick so as not to disturb their dinner whereupon Cherry said, "Well, if all goes well,  you'll be staying for dinner."
John explained their dream of a place like Rawhide but that they needed help in raising money to make their dream come true. John shared that their dream was: 1) that boys at this home would feel like part of the staff; 2) John and Jan planned to live there full time; and 3) it would be a faith-based program, but boys would not be pressured to adopt a religion.
After listening to their plans, Bart and Cherry said they'd like to be involved and asked them to stay for dinner.  The Starrs continued to be involved now, 34 years later, with Bart Starr, Jr. leading the effort today.
John recounted that he and Jan continue to be in contact with about 100 of the young men whom they cared for, with many of them now grandparents.
A Club member encouraged John to highlight the fish fry's that Rawhide holds on the third Friday from May through October.  Info is available at www.rawhide.org/events.
Rotary Stories
Soy Cow Operation Going Strong

This project is the result of a unique partnership led by Southwest Oshkosh Rotary and supported by the Oshkosh
Rotary Club and the LaMolina Vieja Rotary Club in Lima Peru.  This joint project has become a model of international cooperation and effective project management in Peru and is one of the few soy cow projects that have persisted beyond the initial phase.

This operation also produces a by-product of undiscovered fiber called "okara" which is utilized as an ingredient in the production of bread by a government supported bakery.  The protein rich bread is distributed th the needy along with the soymilk.  As a result there is no waste product and the full nutritional value of the soybeans reaches those in need.

Management of the project is very "hands-on" under the leadership of Rotarian Bill Thimke who along with other Rotarians visits Peru several times a year to check on the "cows".   Bill was trained by the cows' manufacturer to assemble and repair the machines and thus often brings new parts and services the cows on these visits.

In 2010 La Molina completed construction of a new building to house both the current machine and a new and much larger ASC50 machine which doubled the production capability and increased production capacity to over 4,000 servings a day.   The $21,000 machine was funded by the two Oshkosh Rotary Clubs.  La Molina has also purchased a new delivery vehicle and has taken over the funding of the beans and other supplies.

A cow installed in 2007 in Ate, Peru continues operation under the Oshkosh Rotary Club sponsorship.  Also in 2010 a new soy cow was installed in the northern Peruvian city of Piata and Rimac in cooperation with the local Rotary Clubs. 
Members work to make our Oshkosh community a better place

to live. In the past years our club has supported the following local projects and programs:

  • EAA housing program to provide housing for visiting Rotarians and their guests during EAA's AirVenture;
  • Staff the Shared Harvest booth, a local Rotary program to obtain farmers' donations of Farm Market excess produce for the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry;
  • Joined with students from our PALS school, South Park Middle School, in a Spring Cleanup of South Park;    
  • Worked concessions, parking lots and entrances at Waterfest;
  • Worked at the "Red Kettle" campaign at holiday time to raise funds for the Salvation Army
  • Conducted an essay contest for students at South Park Middle School, our PALS (Partners at Learning) school, on the applicability of the Rotary Four-Way Test of ethical behavior, with a top prize of $100;  
  • Souper Bowl- collection of canned soups and cash for the Oshkosh Area Community Food Pantry during Super Bowl time 
  • Supported the Oshkosh Area United Way annual campaign and campaign kickoff event.
  • Contributed funds to the Day by Day warming shelter
  • Tubes for Teeth: a toothpaste drive for the Oshkosh area schools Hygiene Fair.  Collected over 500 tubes of toothpaste
  • Donated funds to pay for new Oshkosh Farmers Market signage
  • One program every month is designated to showcase an Oshkosh business
  • Hosted a Murder Mystery dinner on Valentine's Day as a fund raiser for local community projects
Oshkosh Rotary Officers & Directors
President Elect
Sergeant at Arms
Past President
Director 2019
Director 2019
Director 2019
Director 2020
Director 2020
Director 2020
Director 2021
Director 2021
Director 2021