Rochester Rotary

Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466,

Rochester, Mich. — Jan. 28, 2016 – Rochester Rotary, a member club of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service and encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, is pleased to announce its continuing support of local charities through a $5,000 donation to Rochester-based The Rainbow Connection. The mission of The Rainbow Connection is to help make dreams come true for Michigan children with life threatening illnesses.

Rochester Rotary Charities President Cary Riggs made the donation at the weekly Tuesday Rotary lunch meeting on Jan. 26 to Mary Grace McCarter, executive director at The Rainbow Connection and also a member of Rochester Rotary. McCarter accepted the check with Wish Child Jillian and Jillian’s mom Phyllis in attendance. Jillian is nine years old and lives in Rochester. Diagnosed with cancer in April of 2014, she bravely endured many months of painful medical treatments while battling her illness. Jillian “rang the bell” at Children’s Hospital in September 2015, signifying she is in remission.

“Now that Jillian’s doctor has given the thumbs up on her health, all of us at The Rainbow Connection are on high alert to make Jillian’s dream to meet her all-time favorite pop musical artist Katy Perry come true,” McCarter said. “The continuing support of Rochester Rotary Charities helps us to make wishes for children like Jillian and thousands of others throughout Michigan become reality and we are grateful for their generosity.”

Riggs added that The Rainbow Connection is highly deserving of Rotary support.

“Charity Navigator, the largest independent charity evaluator, has awarded The Rainbow Connection its highest four star rating award for four consecutive years,” Riggs said. “Rochester Rotary Charities is privileged to be able to support an organization that not only meets the needs of ill children and their families, but is also an excellent steward of the charitable monies they receive.”

About The Rainbow Connection
From a magical trip to Disney World to meeting the President of the United States at The White House, Rochester-based The Rainbow Connection has fulfilled the dreams of thousands of Michigan children diagnosed with life threatening illnesses. The Rainbow Connection has never turned a child away and depends on the generosity of the Michigan community to make dreams come true for these brave children. The Rainbow Connection also addresses the special needs of its wish families. The Special Response Program assists families with financial difficulties such as rent, utilities and even funeral expenses brought on by having a child with a catastrophic illness. The Wish Enhancement Program provides fun times for children and their families through summer picnics, a holiday party and tickets to attend area theater, concert and sporting events. The Rainbow Connection Scholarship Program offers $1,000 scholarships each year for Wish Children going on to college. Learn more here.

About Rochester Rotary
Celebrating 61 years as a club in 2015, Rochester Rotary is one of 34,000 member clubs of Rotary International, which has more than 1.2 million members and raises and disburses funds for charitable, educational and scientific purposes. Monies are raised through social events and service projects organized by the club, ‘fines’ collected at Rochester Rotary meetings and gifts offered to the club through members and supporters.

The club welcomes new members who live or work in Rochester, Rochester Hills or Oakland Township. For membership information, contact Jeff Whitbey at Rochester Rotary meets each Tuesday at noon at the River Crest Banquet Hall on Avon Road and Livernois in Rochester Hills. Like us on Facebook at and learn more at

About Rotary International
Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who hail from Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations. Learn more at

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