Chuck Groebe is a longtime Rotarian, with over 30 years as an active member. He is a Past President of Oak Lawn Rotary. Currently, Chuck is a Director of the Board and serves as the Interact Advisor of ROTARY/One.
Professionally, he is a commercial real estate specialist with Gold Coast Coldwell Banker Real Estate. He joined the Oak Lawn Rotary once he began to run his family’s 3rd-generation real estate company, founded by his grandfather in 1926 in Beverly, located just minutes from Paul Harris’ home on Longwood Ave. Chuck was first introduced to Rotary events while in high school through his older brothers who were active in the club.
As President of the Oak Lawn Rotary Club during the Rotary Centennial Celebration in Chicago, Chuck had the opportunity to attend the International Rotary parade on Columbus Avenue. He participated in the festivities and bus tours for visiting Rotarians to the Paul Harris home and gravesite in South Chicago.
“I have enjoyed the amazing friendships with leaders in the community including top business governmental and nonprofit executives,” Chuck says. “Working alongside such talented and fun people makes the volunteer effort so much more rewarding.”
Chuck remembers the “Patriot Station,” a 9/11 memorial at the train station in Oak Lawn. It was built and funded by the Oak Lawn Rotary. This memorial still holds a great deal of significance for Chuck. He believes that the “Fun Raisers” organized by Rotary, which lead to such meaningful positive change, are admirable.
Most of the positions Chuck held with Rotary have been at the “club level” because he enjoys community interaction. Now active in the Rotary Club of Chicago, Chuck brings all his life and Rotary experience to the table to keep “service above self” alive and well in Chicago.
“I feel there is a need to get Rotary to focus on nurturing future Rotarians before they become members by introducing them early on with mentoring events and larger social media stories of service projects from grammar schools through colleges,” Chuck says. This involves spreading awareness about Rotary clubs and their role in society by reaching out to schools, churches, community groups, etc. The goal is to create direct and lasting contact long before they become Rotarians, even before they imagine the idea themselves. Chuck believes that starts with elementary school on up.
Chuck, apart from his Rotary work, loves spending time with his large and extended family comprising of 10 siblings. He enjoys running along the Lake Michigan trails and has participated in 14 marathons so far. He also enjoys playing golf and recently hosted the 27th Annual Groebe Family Golf Outing.
In his free time, he likes to take relaxing walks with his black Labrador retriever, Chase. Chuck and his wife, Lucy, along with Chase, reside in the South Loop. “Living and working in Chicago near the lake is rewarding mostly for the people I meet and share experiences with along the way,” Chuck says. “Thanks for allowing me to continue to be a Rotarian.”
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