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Stories of Service and Impact from Our Rotary Club

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Sleep Safe Kits from Riverbend Rotary

January 15, 20242 min read

More infants in Madison County, IL will sleep safe thanks to a Riverbend Rotary donation.

(ALTON, IL) – The Rotary Club of the Riverbend Alton/Godfrey recently donated over $2,000 to Riverbend Head Start & Family Services as part of grant funding from Rotary International to support sleep safety for newborns.

Through the Early Head Start Home-Based Program, expecting moms receive education about the importance of the proper sleep position for newborns, which is: alone on their backs in a crib.

Cribettes, developed by Cribs for Kids®, are distributed to eligible expecting moms in Madison County. “We are pleased to partner with the Rotary Club of the Riverbend Alton/Godfrey club to provide Cribs for Kids® safe sleep kits which provide cribettes and education about the dangers of unsafe sleep environments to expecting moms,” said Gene Howell, President & CEO of Riverbend Head Start & Family Services.

“The donation from Riverbend Rotary helps to support 10 sleep kits with English education and 10 sleep kits with education in Spanish. We are certainly appreciative of the Rotary Club of the Riverbend Alton/Godfrey for their continued support of our mission and services.”

Rotary Club of the Riverbend Alton/Godfrey club members met with Casey Cope, Health Specialist from Riverbend Head Start & Family Services, who shared information about the impact of the donation. ”Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is a leading cause of death in newborns. The deaths often occur during sleep or in the baby’s sleep environment, sometimes caused by accidental suffocation,” she said. Casey noted that their Health Advocates visit expecting moms each month before their due dates and then support them through the first three years of a baby’s life.

For more information about the safe sleep program for newborns offered by the Early Head Start program, contact Melanie Steen at (618) 463-5901. 

Rotary, the world’s first service club organization, is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. The local Rotary Club of the Riverbend Alton/Godfrey meets at Noon every Thursday at Senior Services Plus in Alton. For more membership information, please visit

Local Infants get Safe Sleep Kits

(from left) Casey Cope with Riverbend Head Start & Family Services, Riverbend Head Start & Family Services CEO and Rotarian(s) Gene Howell, Michelle Wittman, Leslie Schobernd, Jeanne Truckey, Matt Kotzamanis, Jeremy Watters, Diane Schuette, and Eric McRoy.

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Eric McRoy

Eric McRoy is a dedicated community leader and active member of the Riverbend Rotary Club. With a passion for service and a keen interest in making a positive impact on the lives of others, Eric lends his experience and expertise to various local initiatives. As a skilled communicator and enthusiastic volunteer, he enjoys sharing stories of the club's accomplishments, inspiring others to join the mission of creating lasting change in the Riverbend area and beyond.

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What is Rotary?

You've certainly heard about it, but do you really know what is ROTARY? There are several chapters around your neighborhood.

Riverbend Rotary

Our commitment to making a difference extends beyond our local community to create lasting change on a global scale.

We are proud to be part of international efforts, such as END POLIO NOW, which showcases the power of collaboration and dedication in achieving shared goals.

However, our most significant impact

is felt right here in the Riverbend area, where our passion for service and community development is truly transformative.

Our club members work tirelessly to champion local causes, support community projects, and drive sustainable initiatives that enrich the lives of our neighbors.

From mentoring youth and promoting education to fostering environmental stewardship and addressing social challenges, Riverbend Rotary is a catalyst for positive change.

We invite you to join us in our mission to create a brighter future for our community and the world, one project at a time.


About Rotary District 6460

The Rotary motto: Service Above Self. Rotary, the world’s first service club organization, is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders.

Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

Rotary District 6460 contains Rotary clubs that serve west central Illinois in the United States of America.


Riverbend Rotary Packs Nutritious Meals for Hungry Children in Nicaragua

Shred Day

Safeguarding Identities and Supporting Our Community through Secure Document Disposal

Caring for
Our Community

Riverbend Rotary Members Beautify Local Homes by Tidying Yards and Landscapes

Ringing in the
Spirit of Giving

Riverbend Rotary Members Support the Salvation Army's Mission to Transform Lives

Started from the vision of one person.


Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000.


1.4 million friends, neighbors, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

Just A Little Help Can Make Big Difference

1.2 million

There are over 36,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas worldwide, with approximately 1.2 million members.

$4 Billion

The Rotary Foundation, which supports Rotary's humanitarian and educational programs worldwide, has invested over $4 billion in life-changing, sustainable projects since it was founded in 1917.

$2.1 Billion

Rotary in the USA has played a key role in the global effort to eradicate polio, with Rotary members contributing over $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to the cause.

Rotary International's Unwavering Mission: Eradicating Polio and Empowering a Polio-Free World.

Rotary International has been at the forefront of the global fight against polio for over three decades, working tirelessly to eradicate this devastating disease.

Through strategic partnerships with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary has made remarkable strides in immunization efforts, reaching millions of children in even the most remote corners of the world.

Since launching the PolioPlus program in 1985, Rotary International and its partners have helped to reduce polio cases by 99.9%, saving countless lives and preventing lifelong disabilities.

The continued dedication and support of Rotary members worldwide are crucial in achieving a polio-free world, ensuring that future generations can live without the fear of this debilitating disease.

Join us in our unwavering commitment to end polio once and for all, and be part of a global movement that is truly transforming lives and making history.