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Welcome to our Club!

South Bend

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Century Center
120 S. St. Joseph St.
Suites 1 - 3
South Bend, IN  46601
United States of America
District Site
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Home Page Stories
Our very own Amy Hill, new Transpo CEO, was introduced by Rotarian Jill Scicchitano and provided the program today. Telling us more about our local public transportation institution: Transpo. 124 employees (most of them union!), 29 fixed bus routes, and 17 paratransit vans, our local municipally owned transportation company has been serving our community for over 50 years.
Recently, they have been modernizing their aging fleet and offering new programs such as the game day express route and free bus rides for K-12 students during the summer. The latter program exceeded their target numbers by over 100 percent!
With data indicating that 80% of their riders are transport-dependent, depending on bus routes to reach jobs and medical care. Their paratransit vans are vital for many people with different abilities.
Transpo is a vital public utility, and Amy told us about how the ongoing government shutdown is endangering a large chunk of their funding. They have been able to strike creative deals to keep things running so far, but their situation is a potent reminder of the local harm that can come from political brinkmanship in Washington. One wonders if a wall would do as much to help people as providing transportation to jobs and medical care does.
Fellow Rotarian Heather Goralski introduced Henriette Nyirarukundo Ngenga who  Is a survivor of horrific atrocities against the Tutsi in Rwanda which began in April 1994, but also a walking miracle and author of Carrying Divine.  In May of 2011 she met Kristin Ponce Baker at Granger Community Church who has partnered to write and publish the book.  2014 marked the 20th anniversary of terror of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.  One million lives were lost in 100 days.  Henriette’s friends, family, neighbors- were slaughtered.  Henriette’s story opens eyes to those of us who are blessed to live in this free land. Her deeply rooted joy, faith, and gratitude exude to anyone who takes the time to get to know her, and is a contagious gift to anyone who hears her story.
Henriette is now living in South Bend and with her husband and two of her eight children.  She is employed at Notre Dame; and is committed to keeping her promise that if she and her family survived she would tell the world of God’s saving power.  Henriette is hoping that this book will inspire fellow Rwandan’s to return to God and believe.  The title Carrying Divine was inspired by Henrietta’s giving birth to a healthy daughter after surviving the ordeal and named Divine in honor of God’s protection
Gary Hall introduced an angel in our community, Kim Becker, the founder of Hello Gorgeous.  Hello Gorgeous is Kim’s mission in life and her dream that evolved from her passion and talents in the salon business.  Hello Gorgeous provides a complementary make-over for women struggling with cancer.  Kim provides this service to help women who have compromised immune systems to be transformed back into the beautiful women that they are.  Hello Gorgeous is a complete spa experience contained in a 1998 Holiday Rambler and 2013 Monaco Coach.  The vehicle goes to the person’s home, rolls out the red carpet, provides complimentary flowers, and a makeover ensemble. The Hello Gorgeous Monaco Coach was the last vehicle produced before the company closed and the employees pulled out all stops to make Kim’s dream come true.  Hello Gorgeous is a 501C3 and can be contacted at www.hellogorgeous.org if you would like to donate, volunteer, or nominate a loved one, or attend a fund raiser.  This year there is a .5K Run with a polish buffet scheduled for August.
President Jackie introduced Professor of Chemistry at St. Mary’s College, Dr. Toni Barsitis, as our program speaker.  Dr Barsitis is part of an inter-disciplinary team that developed P.A.D. and was granted the first patent for St. Mary’s College.  P.A.D. stands for Paper Analytical Devices.  These paper devices were designed and developed to provide screening to qualify the purity of pharmaceutical products. Pharmaceutical purity is a serious global issue; in developed countries compromised pharmaceuticals represent about 15% while in underdeveloped countries compromised pharmaceuticals can represent an astounding 50% to 80%.  So there was a need to develop a low cost, quick and accurate screening method to detect counterfeit pills and medications.  The P.A.D. protocol was developed by St. Mary’s, Notre Dame Undergraduates and some Trinity students.  St. Mary’s owns the patent of P.A.D. and was just awarded a second patent in January for developing an enhancement to P.A.D. utilizing a “vessel” that Dr. Barsitis termed “a glow stick” concept.  Notre Dame is working on the licensing and the P.A.D. product is going to be produced by a local start-up company.  Dr. Barsitis also related her team’s experience in Nepal and how they used P.A.D. to expose massive irregularities in medications.  The P.A.D. team is currently working on applications to test water and air quality, while other features used could include food quality. 
David Matthews introduced the Executive Director of the South Bend Symphony, SBSO, Agnieszka Rakhmatullaev as the Club’s program speaker.  Agnieszka brought the Club up to date on the structure, programs music, and the new Director search for our regional renowned Symphony.  She is happy that SBSO is supported by our major area universities and contributes over one million dollars to our local economy.  There is also an Endowment Fund to help offset many of the expenses along with a generous community support.  It is very unusual for a regional symphony to have two performing venues; South Bend’s Morris Performing Arts Center for the Symphony and Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for the Chamber Series.  The SBSO has a core of 71 professional musicians that is augmented by other professionals to perform in over 40 concerts a year ranging from or related to Educational Concerts for elementary students. IUSB and other local community and school choirs are often a strong addition to the symphony programs.  In addition members of the SBSO put on free concerts for PreK-12 students and a Donald Dake Academy Annual week long Chamber Music camp for high school students.  The members of the SBSO draw from local, regional, and national musicians.  The search for the new Music Director has attracted not only national but an international group of candidates.  Five candidates have been chosen from the 170 applicants by the Search Committee to compete for the Concert Director’s position. Agnieszka encourages everyone to be a part of the SBSO by being involved at the Board level, becoming a donor, subscriber, or sponsor and/or by attending a performance.  She also reminded us that the concerts are rebroadcast again this year on WAUS and WNDU.
Elizabeth Dunn introduced Daryl Heller, Director of IUSB’s Civil Rights Heritage Center Building.  Dr. Heller gave a brief history of South Bend's Natatorium and the role it played in racial segregation and the reason why it is an appropriate facility for the Civil Rights Heritage Center [CHRH].  IIUSB took an interest in the “Nat” as a site for its study of Civil Rights movement in Michiana.  It is a multi faceted which serves as an extension of the IUSB campus for classes in history, literature, art, music and social justice.  It also serves as a museum emphasizing the African Americans, Latin Community, and the LGBTQ Community in Michiana.  It is venue for meeting spaces and for free public events.  Included in the public events are opportunities for education in order to understand the world, culture to provide new ways of seeing the world and encourages activism to engage the world. Current topics and issues concern the Hate Crime Legislation, the Educational need of South Bend and the relationship of the Community and law enforcement. Through both its campus component and its extension component, the CRHC is committed to Scholarship in Action and unique to an academic center.
Jeff Breiler introduced the principals of the Upper Room Recovery Community as our program speakers.  The Upper Room has been housed at the First United Methodist Church since 1984 and is one of the areas most successful recovery programs for men suffering from addiction to drugs and alcohol.  Steve Toepp, Public Service Chair, began the program with a video presentation that explained the mission of the Upper Room along with testimonials about their experience  with the 12 Step Program and the time to process their sobriety and their relationships.  Rev. Mary Hubbard is the Senior Pastor at the Church and is very involved with the Upper Room, both as a spiritual advisor and the board members.  She stated she has witnessed lives transformed and families restored because  the men have adhered to the standard of he program.  Richard Fox, Director of the Upper Room since 2014, reported that the 29 men in recovery have a safe and secure environment to live in.  A social and support network  are available 24 hours a day plus individuals support services for its residents.  To learn more about how Upper Room helps people who truly want to change and move toward more productive and independent lives go to their website; www.upperroomrecovery.org
Hugh Johnson introduced Pat Maggley, Founder of Heros Camp as our program speaker.  Pat gave an inspiring account of his mission in life rescuing boys and teens and nurturing them into young men.  Pat used his outstanding basketball talent and his commitment to Biblical Ethics and God to attract and engage these fatherless young people by also providing them with life’s necessities; food, clothing, shoes and whatever they need.  He and his wife started this ministry 28 years ago with a handful of boys and parlayed their rich family lives and commitment to this program to save these boys from a life of poverty and/or crime.  Last year his wife cooked and served 25,000 meals.  Hero’s Camp is now in the process of building a new gym that will also include a cafeteria and dormitory.  Pat introduced Heros Camp Executive Director, Patrick, [PJ] Perri, Aaron’s brother, to share his vision and how the Camp is the most effective outreach program is South Bend.   Hero’s Camp is a “never give up forever program” that stays with these boys like a father throughout their lives. This was an uplifting program that introduced the Club to the mission of Heros Camp. Pictured L to R are Pat Maggley, PJ Perri, and Bryson Sareen.
John Pinter introduced our District Rotary Youth Exchange Representative, Willow Crisovan, as our program speaker.  Willow, a Junior at Adams High School, kicked off her presentation with the selection process of Rotary International for the Exchange Program.  This included setting up a blog and keeping a journal of her experiences.   Willow was selected to go to Temuco, Chile where she lived with her host family just as her host brother left fot his Rotary Exchange in Pennsylvania.  She attended a semi-private high school where the students wore uniforms and the teachers rotated between the classrooms. Willow made many friends both at school and among the other International Rotary Exchange students from Europe and the US.  Willow took advantage of the in-country trips and especially enjoyed Easter Island. She also enjoyed visiting Temuco’s malls and markets with her new family and friends.  Willow described her experience as a journey in self discovery and maturity with a new appreciation of Rotary both locally and globally. In addition to her fluency in Spanish her year in Chile gave her greater insight and empathy for international visitors.  Willow, thank you for being such an outstanding representative for our Club.
SMC President
May 22, 2019
Update on St. Mary's College
TJ Jorgenson
May 29, 2019
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Lex Dennis
Jun 05, 2019
Drucker Institute
Paul Szrom
Jun 12, 2019 12:00 PM
Kroc Program
David Mattingly
Jun 19, 2019
Code School
President's Heather & Debie
Jun 26, 2019 12:00 PM
Changing of the Guard