Welcome to Chicago Financial District Rotary

There are some people who touch our lives that make us better for having known them. We knew Neil through Rotary. Not his beloved Skokie Club, rather our Chicago Financial District. Because it was much more convenient, Neil would often attend meetings with us. We always enjoyed his company. Occasionally, he would fill in as our speaker.  As we grew to know him better, we came to admire his love of life. 

Neil was born on September 23, 1929 in Chicago and was raised in Skokie, IL. After graduating from Evanston Township High School, Neil headed to Yale University, where he was a champion Ivy League pole vaulter. Following his graduation from Yale, Neil served as a naval of cer during the Korean War.
Following his naval service, Neil returned to Skokie to join his father in Armond King Real Estate as a broker, appraiser and counselor.

He served as President of the North Shore Board of Realtors and of The Counselors of Real Estate. Very active in business and civic affairs, Neil served on many boards, including that of Skokie Valley Hospital (now North Shore Skokie Hospital) for 50 years. He loved the Skokie Public Library and the Skokie Rotary Club, where he and his father both served as president and whose meetings he attended weekly even after moving to Chicago.

Always up for an adventure, in 1975 Neil sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with his teenage son in a 36' sailboat. He was also an enthusiastic member of the Chicago's Adventurers' Club, where he enthralled his grandchildren with shrunken heads, the giant stuffed bear and the ags suspended from the ceiling commemorating several of his own escapades.

A natural athlete, he also competed as a decathlete, a marathoner and a runner well into his seventies.
Above all, Neil treasured his family and friends. Neil is survived by his wife, Diana; his sisters Susan Gaede and Louise Webb and cousin Susan Leonard; his children Marcia King, Steven King (Melinda), Carolyn King and Alison Bastien (Helio); Diana's children, Charles Theobald (Sara) and Margit Nahra (Kirk); nine grandchildren and two great
grand children

Club Membership - A Call to Service Opportunities

On August 2, 2023, the topic of membership was discussed, with the discussion being led and presented by two membership experts from Rotary International: Sarah Diller, and Charles Poole. It was a very informative meeting. In the photograph, Charles on the left, Sarah on the right, and club member - Past President Jerry McIlvain - is in the middle.



Our Rotary club, the Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District (Rotary CFD), was established in 1985. we meet for a luncheon meeting at 12:10, on the first and third Thursdays of each month, at the Berghoff Restaurant - in downtown Chicago. We routinely order our lunch off of the menu, which is routinely followed by a presentation from a speaker, after which we eat our meal.

The club meetings are an opportunity to break bread and share fellowship. Diversity is sought after, with members welcome irregardless of gender, race, nationality or religion.

We are starting to do more service projects, now that the pandemic is winding down; Examples include:
We have re-packed commodities at the Food Depository of Greater Chicago.
We have assisted in efforts to get winter coats to veterans in need.
We periodically get together at a member’s home to pack art supplies into backpacks, to distribute to students participating in our “Smart Art program” - discussed below.

Our signature service project is our “Smart Art” program - which is a joint project in conjunction with the Smart Art Meuseum - affiliated the University of Chicago. We take classes of students, typically in third grade, on a field trip, both before and after eight weeks of art instruction in the classroom.The lessons incorporate a strong emphasis in promoting peace in the world.

Even upon casual observation of the students at the visit before, and then after the eight weeks of instruction, reveals a decidedly increase in engagement of the students with the different pieces of art in the museum.

Our club is just one of 46,000 rotary clubs, worldwide; there are some 1.4 million members in the organization. The signature philanthropic project of the international organization, Rotary International, has been an effort to eliminate polio from the world. At this stage, a constant effort is required to terminate periodic breakthroughs (three countries remaining) of the polio virus. It should be noted, that Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, has provided several hundred million dollars to join in the effort to eliminate polio.

Reputed to be the first service club, the first meeting of the first Rotary Club was in 1905, organized by Paul Harris in Chicago.

Of interest to anyone asking about the nature of Rotary, the following one sentence definition was formulated by Rotary International in 1976:
         “Rotary is an organization of business and professional people united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”

For further information on our Rotary Club, our contact email is: 

And OUR FACEBOOK PAGE is: Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District


On July 20, 2023, our very own club member, Vickie Dorgan, presented a program regarding a recent trip that she made to Spain to complete her third pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago; there are several trails for pilgrimage to one of the most important sites in Christianity, because of the presence of Saint James tomb at the Cathedral there. In 2024, Vickie plans to take the fourth pilgrimage.

The traditional routes of pilgrimage, transverse France, Spain, as well as Portugal. Tradition mandates that the last 100 km of the pilgrimage are required to be walked by foot. Otherwise, various forms of transportation are permitted, such as a boat, or a train, but not cars and motorcycles, and possibly buses.

This pilgrimage came into existence when it became too dangerous to go to Jerusalem, or Rome, during times of the crusades and the reformation. There are many small stores and shops and restaurants to be available for supplies along the different routes.

Pictured is Vickie, standing in front of the map, showing for several rows off standing in front of the map, showing the various routes to the Santiago cathedral.



Tuesday, July 18, 2023
By: Marc B. Willage
On July 6 of 2023, the officers and committee chairs were installed by Past District Governor, Jane Hopkins.


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By: Cliff Harstad
The "Smart Art Project" was conceived by the Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District and has now grown to include multiple Clubs throughout Rotary's District 6450. 

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Dan Summins gave a presentation on Blessings in a Backpack

Dan Summins gave a presentation on Blessings in a Backpack at our club meeting on January 5, 2023. The organization started in Louisville Kentucky in 2004, now serving 95,000 children - with food insecurity across the country; 5000 of whom reside in the Chicago area. Each program participant receives a backpack containing meals on each Friday that school is in session. Dan is the Managing Director for the program in the Chicago area. 

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Club Events

Public Image Training Series - The Planning Session
September 28th 2023 at 6:30 pm
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Public Image Training Series - Building a Social Media Plan I
October 3rd 2023 at 6:30 pm
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Public Image Training Series - Photography Part I
October 4th 2023 at 6:30 pm
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Chicago Financial District Bi-Weekly Club Meeting
October 5th 2023 at 12:15 pm
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October 6th - October 8th 2023 at 8:00 am
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Public Image Training Series - Rotary Branding Part I
October 10th 2023 at 6:30 pm
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Public Image Training Series - Building a Social Media Plan II
October 16th 2023 at 6:30 pm
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Public Image Training Series - Photography Part II
October 17th 2023 at 6:30 pm
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Chicago Financial District Bi-Weekly Club Meeting
October 19th 2023 at 12:15 pm
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World Polio Day Celebration
October 24th 2023 at 5:00 pm
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Public Image Training Series - Rotary Branding Part II
October 24th 2023 at 6:30 pm
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Public Image Training Series - Conclusion
October 26th 2023 at 8:00 am
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