Club Information
Fort Wayne

"Service Above Self"

We meet In Person
Mondays at 11:45 AM
Parkview Field, Second Floor, Suite Level
1301 Ewing at Brackenridge
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
United States of America
(260) 341-1600
Questions or Comments?
Do you have any questions or comments about our Rotary Club? Programs?  Meetings? Projects? Web Site? Spin Newsletter? Please Contact David Bennett (Click Here) Thanks for your feedback!
Mayor Tom Henry
Jan 25, 2021
Summary of Fort Wayne Initiatives
Allison Geradot & Brad Little
Feb 01, 2021
Community Foundation's Women's Fund
Randy Harter, Historian
Feb 08, 2021
Fort Wayne Then & Now
Barbara Baackgaard
Feb 15, 2021
The Bradley Hotel
Iric Headley
Feb 22, 2021
United Front Initiative
January 2021
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Rotary Foundation
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Breaking News

MONDAY MEETINGS at Parkview Field via Zoom

12:00 - 1:00 PM MEETING
January 18 2021
John Frischie
District Governor, Rotary District 6540


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and for the safety of our members, visitors and the Parkview Field staff,
weekly Club meetings will be on Zoom until further notice.
ROTARY IS... John Hoffman
SPIN AUTHOR:  Stasha Carrasquillo
AV: Lynne Gilmore
PROGRAM: District Governor John Frischie
Programs coming up…. Remember to invite guests to hear our great programs!
January 25: Mayor Tom Henry
February 1: Brad Little and Alison Geradot: Community Foundation’s Women’s Fund
February 8: Randy Harter: Fort Wayne Then & Now
February 15: Barbara Baakgaard: The Bradley Hotel
February 22: Iric Headley: United Front Initiative
  • Club Meetings on Zoom: 
  • Dues Statements are due. If you did not receive one or have questions, contact Mark Westerhausen. Please pay promptly…It’s easy to click on the link in the invoice and pay with your credit card.
  • As we attend club meetings on Zoom, don’t forget the support for service fee! Send a check to Rotary, PO Box 11141, Fort Wayne IN 46856 ($3 per week) or pay using paypal:
  • The Zoom Room is available for committee meetings.  Schedule with Jane.
  • To get to the Fort Wayne Rotary Club home page, use
Spin Author - Stasha Carrasquillo
     Attendance summary for January 11th:  48 plus 3 guests on Zoom
Moment of Inspiration - Dr. Faye Williams-Robbins 
Dr. Williams-Robbins shared a statement from Martin Luther King Jr:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
She emphasized this sentiment is applicable to all areas of our life including democracy and offered the suggestion
that we should be asking ourselves “What have I done, what am I doing, what can I do?”
As Rotarians, in light of recent events and in the words of MLK, we can always be assessing our actions and roles as a group and individually, particularly when we recite our 4-way test.
“Rotary Is...Retention" - Jonathan Busarow
We want to look at why people leave Rotary, and more importantly why do people stay.
But we should look at the big picture of Rotary, in four different categories:
  • Expectations – Most who leave Rotary in their first year, globally, state that they were not clear on the expectations of joining. Being clear of engagement expectations is our responsibility and ensures that new members are invested and ready to engage.
  • Fellowship – Let us continue to strive to welcome our fellow Rotarians and encourage involvement
  • Frustration – We all can find ourselves feeling frustrated, so we have a choice: We can ignore the issue, change the issue or disengage.
  • Interest in Meetings and Activities – Some lose interest, sometimes priorities conflict with rotary commitment, etc.
Jonathan’s challenge to the Club: We all need to share why we stay. What does it mean to us? Why does staying matter to others and to the community and to the world?
Let us all strive to hold each other up in difficult times; helping to retain our fellow members, building good will and bettering friendships.
Clifford Clarke
Board President, Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce
“Any community is only as a good as the least of us”
The Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce was established in 2021 and is a non-profit business organization providing members a strong voice, vision, and focused leadership to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in our community. The Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce has a reciprocal partnership with Greater Fort Wayne and actively collaborates with other area chambers of commerce to promote business and community interests. Other partners currently include: Club720, Fort Wayne Urban League, SEED, SCORE, and Start FW.
Programs and resources offered by the Chamber typically include: networking opportunities, financial health topics, mental health information, access to capital, understanding local government, skilled labor training, Black contractors advocacy efforts, etc.
Currently, the organization is developing an updated Black Business Directory and Black Business Survey—both in the works thanks to local funding support from the Community Foundation of Greater FW.
Another current focus is the promotion of diversity and inclusion within our community. This has gained momentum after local chambers of commerce convened following the murder of George Floyd to discuss how important it was to be seen as a community that is progressive. Quality of life and diversity are critical reasons why many people will choose to come to and invest in a community. Clifford indicated that while we are a diverse community, we have work to do in the inclusion side of the coin. These constructive conversations helped to produce the United Front initiative through partnering with FW United and other community leaders, creating an initiative that may easily become a national model.
In closing, Clifford encouraged club members to embrace how the 4-way test and our actions should and could align with the following sentiment shared in an excerpt from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963) written by Martin Luther King Jr:
“My dear fellow clergyman, while confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my current activities unwise and untimely…..We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.”
The full letter can be read here:
This Date in History
On this date in 1908 - Theodore Roosevelt makes Grand Canyon a national monument. Though Native Americans had lived in the area as early as the 13th century, the first European sighting of the canyon wasn’t until 1540, by members of the Coronado expedition.
Due to its remote and inaccessible location, several centuries passed before North American settlers really explored the canyon. By the end of the 19th century, the Grand Canyon was attracting thousands of tourists each year. Roosevelt made environmental conservation a major part of his presidency and thus established the national monument designation, with the Grand Canyon being among the first to earn the designation. Today, more than 5 million people visit the canyon each year.
On this date in 1935, Hawaiian commercial interests offered a $10,000 award to whoever accomplished this flight first. American aviatrix Amelia Earhart departed Honolulu, Hawaii, on a solo flight, traveling 2,400 miles in 18 hours, and landing safely in Oakland, California the following day.
January 9 1915: The Greatest Rotary Club on the Face of the Earth was founded in Fort Wayne, making us 106 years young.
This Date in Rock History
On this date in 1956, Elvis Presley recorded his first tracks for his new record company, RCA. Among them was the first song written especially for The King, “Heartbreak Hotel.”

On this date in 2016, English rocker David Bowie passed away of cancer at the age of 69
Top 100 Movie Quote (American Film Institute)
From the 1975 film, Jaws 
“You’re going to need a bigger boat.” 

      MONDAY MEETINGS at Parkview Field via Zoom

      11:30 AM – NETWORKING
      12:00 - 1:00 PM MEETING
      January 4 2021
      Andy Downs
      Director, Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics
      Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and for the safety of our members, visitors and the Parkview Field staff,
      weekly Club meetings will be on Zoom until further notice.
      INSPIRATION: Dave Van Gilder
      ROTARY IS...  Ian McCormick
      SPIN AUTHOR:  Stasha Carrasquillo
      AV: Kurt Beuchel
      PROGRAM: Andy Downs, Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics
      Programs coming up…. Remember to invite guests to hear our great programs!
      January 11: Clifford Clarke, Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce
      January 18: District Governor John Frischie
      January 25: Mayor Tom Henry
      • Club Meetings on Zoom: 
      • Peace Committee’s Book Discussion of Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr will continue after the first of the year. Watch for dates and times.  If you missed last month's Book Club discussion, you can access it here: zoom_0.mp4 - Google Drive
      • A New Rotary Club is coming to Huntertown.  Contact Tim Gibson at for more information.  Please help spread the word by reposting this announcement on your social networks.
      • The Zoom Room is available for committee meetings.  Schedule with Jane.
      • To get to the Fort Wayne Rotary Club home page, use
      Holiday Spin Edition:
      Spin Author - Barb Wachtman
      Conklin Rings in the Holidays!
      How better to kick of the Holiday Spin Edition than with Great News!  Honorary Rotarian Dick Conklin's Christmas and New Year's celebrations were even more special than usual this year.  The week before Christmas, he received the news that after months of chemotherapy treatments and blood infusions (and a bout with COVID-19), his leukemia was in remission!  Shortly before Christmas, Dick made a return visit to the inpatient oncology unit at Parkview Regional Medical Center where he had spent many weeks to honor the tradition of ringing the bell in celebration.  
      In Dick's own words of gratitude:  
      "What a wonderful way to start the new year. Again, I share from my heart to family and friends, thank you for your cards, notes and calls during these last 6 months. They provided so much of the encouragement that I needed. Did I say my goal was to beat the cancer? Did it!!!
      Happy New Year!!
      Good bye to 2020 and, hopefully, everyone will have a much more healthy and happy 2021."
      Fasten your seatbelts for great Rotary programs in 2021
      Mayor Tom Henry, Barb Baekgaard and Iric Headley are just a few of the headliners for 2021 programs at the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne. You won’t want to miss these upcoming meetings! 
      • January 4: Andy Downs -- Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics
      • January 11: Clifford Clarke -- Black Chamber of Commerce
      • January 18: John Frischie, Rotary 6540 District Governor
      • January 26: Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry -- Initiatives Update
      • February 1: Alison Gerardot and Brad Little: Community Fund--Women's Fund 
      • February 8: Randy Harter -- Fort Wayne Then & Now
      • February 15: Barb Baekgaard-- The Bradley Hotel
      • February 22: Iric Headley-- United Front Initiative
      Below is additional information about our January 4 program speaker, Andrew Downs.  
       “There is a good chance I won’t pick the exact topic until shortly before the talk. … 
      Answer the question you want to answer, not the question that was asked,” he said.  
      Downs is Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Fort Wayne and Associate Professor of Political Science, PFW.  Other thoughts from Downs follow.
      How to connect with your career and life's passion: Balance.
      How can people make a difference? Political and public processes can be confusing and they can move slowly.  This frustrates people. I used to suggest people start getting involved through an issue or two that are important to them … which would help carry them through the frustration. I still think this is true, but I also think it is important for people to start their involvement by seeking to understand other points of view. Doing this will help people find shared values and goals. 
      Rotary meetings will be held over ZOOM until further notice. The link for all meetings is: See you at Rotary in 2021!
      In case you missed it...
      If you missed the December 21st meeting featuring the Rotary Singers, a recording of the meeting is available using the following link and passcode:
      From our newest members-- 
      Why Rotary: A mother, a grandmother and servant leadership
      Cathy Yen works remotely these days as Director of Operations for Beat the Streets Chicago. She recently moved to Fort Wayne after husband Scott, a physician, accepted a position at Parkview Health.
      Cathy has been an active Rotarian for many years, serving as president of the Oak Park-River Forest Rotary Club a couple of years ago. Below are more details about our new member. Welcome to the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne, Cathy!
      Why Rotary? Originally, I joined for professional reasons in my former community but soon came to love Rotary for the fellowship and for what it does to spread good in the world.
      What motivates you to serve others? My mother and my grandmother. We were raised to incorporate service and community into our lives, so much so that it is really second nature.
      Family and hobbies: My husband Scott is a physician at Parkview, where he is starting an internal medicine residency program. My daughter Erin is a professional contemporary dancer in San Francisco, and my son Christopher is a chef in Chicago.  As a result, my hobbies are watching dance performances and going out to eat!  In my spare time, I enjoy reading and learning about leadership and organizational management theory.
      What would people be surprised to know about you? Despite me having few connections to my new adopted home of Fort Wayne, my best friend's son is one of the announcers for the TinCaps! (Or he would be, if we can get past this pandemic!)
      Quick takes:
      • Dark or milk chocolate: Dark chocolate
      • Dogs or cats: Cats
      • Favorite last movie or book: “A Suitable Boy”
      • Night owl or morning person: Night owl
      • Beach or mountains: BEACH!
      Nichole Hacha-Thomas, Director of Communications, Public Relations and Community Outreach, Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Indiana, is a well-adjusted, new empty nester. Below are more details about this new member of the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne. Welcome Nicole!
      Why Rotary: I’ve always been interested in servant leadership and have served several non-profits while raising my children. Now that my youngest is 20 and at IU, I have time to get involved in wider civic organizations like Rotary.
      What motivates you to serve others: As a child, we grew up with very little means and were often the recipients of service from others; I always told myself that if and when I was able, I’d be one of those “helpers” who helped us. I feel that community is one of the most important aspects of life, so why not work to make my community stronger!
      Family and hobbies: I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We met when I was a freshman at Northrop, and we’re still together 26 years later. We have two kids, 24 and 20, and I enjoy getting them all under the same roof when I can. Hobbies include reading, gardening and running the Michiana Wine Festival in April at Headwaters Park as a co-director.
      What would people be surprised to know about you? I just entered the “40” club in 2020 – one week after the pandemic started and I’m still waiting to celebrate appropriately … LOL. I’m also an empty-nester and it’s marvelous, though I do miss the kids sometimes, but we’re loving cooking and eating all the things they were too picky to eat over the years (LOL).
      Quick takes:
      Dark or milk chocolate: Neither, I don’t eat much chocolate
      Dogs or cats: Cats (though we have one of each)
      Favorite last movie or book: “Elf.” 
      Night owl or morning person: Night  
      Beach or mountains: BEACH!
      Global Grants Update - Holli Seabury
      You’re Invited to India (by Zoom, of course)
      You may remember we had a banner week for global grants last September, when we had two grants approved inside of a week. On January 5, at 730 am EST, you are all invited to a Zoom gathering in India celebrating the completion of those two global grants. Our partner club on these two grants, Gurgaon Harmony Iberis Rotary Club, will be hosting the event with the Palwal location of the Sai Sanjeevani children’s hospital. These hospitals provide free cardiac treatment and surgeries to low-income children in India. In total, our global grants have raised over $3 million for these children’s hospitals in Raipur, Palwal and Mumbai.
      The Zoom gathering will be a dedication of the new heart/lung machine funded by GG2015938 ($88,000) and a celebration of the successful completion of 65 pediatric cardiac surgeries, funded by GG2010991 ($134,000). These Zoom gatherings for global grants are not only fun, but they give an inside look into these wonderful hospitals. As soon as Covid travel restrictions end, a trip will be planned to India to visit all of our completed and in-process projects at these hospitals. All interested Rotarians will be invited; it will be an incredible way to see the results of the work done by our Club and our District in person.
      If you are interested in attending the Zoom gathering on the 5th, email Holli Seabury at and she will send you the Zoom details. You can find more information on the Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals at
      Pic caption: The first child who received a surgery funded through our
      global grant 2010991.
      Money well invested...
      Rotary receives highest rating from Charity Navigator for the 13th consecutive year
                           For the 13th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating —four stars—from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S.
      The Foundation earned the recognition for adhering to sector best practices and executing its mission in a financially efficient way, demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only one percent of the organizations Charity Navigator evaluates have received 13 consecutive 4-star evaluations. (

          MONDAY MEETINGS at Parkview Field via Zoom

          11:30 AM – NETWORKING
          12:00 - 1:00 PM MEETING
          DON'T MISS THIS!
          November 23 2020
          Human Agriculture Coop
          Ty Simmons
          NOTE:  This meeting will be via Zoom only
          Due to the uptick in Covid-19 cases, President Jeff has announced the last two meetings in November will be on Zoom only.
          INSPIRATION: Barb Wachtman
          ROTARY IS… John Alexander
          SPIN AUTHOR:  Mark Westerhausen
          AV: Holli Seabury
          PROGRAM:  Ty Simmons - Human Agriculture Coop
          Programs coming up…. Remember to invite guests to hear our great programs!
          November 30: Evan Wood, Fort Wayne Metals
          December 7: Rotary Foundation
          December 14: Angie Zaegel: Neighborhood Health Clinic
          December 21: Holiday Program; Election of 2021-2022 Officers & Board
          • Club Meetings on Zoom: 
          • December 1: Peace Book Discussion Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr, 6-7 pm on Zoom
          • If you attend club meetings on zoom, don’t forget the support for service fee! Send a check to Rotary, PO Box 11141, Fort Wayne IN 46856 ($3 per week or prepay through December— $72) or pay using paypal:
          • The Zoom Room is available for committee meetings.  Schedule with Jane.
          • To get to the Fort Wayne Rotary Club home page, use
          Spin Author - Mark Westerhausen
               Attendance summary for November 16th:  17 at Parkview Field; 28 on Zoom
          Moment of Inspiration - Ron Verlee
          Our Moment of Inspiration was delivered by Ron Verlee.  He celebrated Rotary as the best service club
          in the world and brought us some thoughts from Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline
          Foster talks about two types of service – self-righteous service and true service.
          Self-righteous service is impressed with the big deal, is results-based and is temporary.  True service doesn’t distinguish between large and small projects, is free of the need to calculate results and is a lifestyle.  Ron is glad to be part of a group that practices true service.
          “Rotary Is...” - Steve Smith
          Rotary magazine – do you skim through it and never get back to it?  If that’s all you do, you miss great stories from around the world and wonderful photos that capture the essence of what Rotary is.  A column from the current Rotary International President is also featured in each issue.  In November, RI President Holger Knaack mentioned that RI has formed a task force to promote diversity, equity and inclusion to help clubs attract new members regardless of gender, race, religion, age or other factors.  The selection of Jennifer Jones as Rotary President for 2022-23 – the first woman to lead our organization – is another step in this direction
          In case you missed it...
          A food drive is being sponsored by the Local Service Club/Peace Committee.  Please bring dry goods food items to our December meetings.
          Our District Foundation Gala was held online Thursday, November 12th.  118 joined us online.  Donations can still be made to our Foundation and we will pass on and you will get a match and credit for giving to the Gala.  Fort Wayne Club was recognized during the gala for our efforts in India (spoiler alert – see below!).
          There was a vote to approve the amended Constitution and By-laws.  Both the Constitution and By-Laws passed.  Thank you.
          Starting with January dues, Dues will no longer be separated between Club dues and Foundation dues.  We will now combine into one amount.  Dues will be $240, instead of $190 for club dues and $50 for foundation dues.  We hope this will be less confusing and easier for employers to reimiburse.
          Due to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, our next two meetings will be VIRTUAL ONLY.  December 7 will be the next live meeting, The virtual meetings will be at the regular Monday time in the Zoom room.  Unfortuately, you will need to provide your own lunch, but on the plus side, you can have a beer if you want.
          International Service Committee
          Holli Seabury gave a fantastic presentation on the work of our International Service Committee, which she co-chairs with Nick Shah.  The highlight of recent years has been our Global Grant focus on Disease Prevention and Treatment, which is one of the seven areas of Focus for Rotary.
          Our club currently has ten open global grants. Our first was approved in 2017 and raised $440,000 for a heart cath lab in Raipur, India.  Including that first project, we have used the Global Grant process to provide over $3 million for projects in India.  For most of our grants we partner with Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospitals.  They provide completely free cardiac services to children, and room and board for the parents while the children are there.  Holli characterizes them as a “phenomenal partner” – the hospitals are very well run and have an amazing success rate.  Congenital heart defects impact 200,000 babies each year.  One in four will die before their first birthday.  This is why we focus on cardiac services.
          Partnering with Rotary clubs in India is successful because Rotary is growing there, and they are able to donate a lot of funds.  The clubs are also very organized, which is very helpful when you are working on a project halfway around the world. 

          Our first grant in 2017 came about through the efforts of (now) club member Dr. Praveen Kollipara.  Praveen learned of the Rotary grant process from a Rotarian he met while vacationing in Cuba. As luck would have it, our own Nick Shah is Dr. Kollipara’s neighbor.  When Praveen returned home, he brought the idea to Nick, the connection was made, and, as they say, the rest was history!
          A global grant is a partnership between a host club and an international club.  The project must be in one of Rotary’s areas of focus and have a minimum budget of $30,000.  Funds come from the Rotary Foundation’s World Fund.  When you give to the RI annual fund, some of the money goes to World Fund and one-third comes back to us as District Designated Funds.  Rotary matches District Designated Funds with World Fund monies to help fund the project.
          There is an incredible amount of planning and documentation involved.  Holli has mastered this process and has become a “go-to” person within Rotary to help other clubs with their grants.  The endless time she spends on making these grants happen is matched only by her passion for serving others.
          Our club just completed another international project.  It was more modest, but meaningful nonetheless.  We recently collected 139 boxes of crayons and $700 for the Madina School in Seirra Leone.  No matter what the size, our projects make a difference, and we can thank Holli, Nick, Praveen and the rest of the International Service Committee for a job well done!
          If you were not able to attend the meeting, you can view Holli's presentation via the following link and passcode:
           Access Passcode: k3W2.XM7
          PLEASE JOIN US IN...
          Our first book selection is: " Strength to Love” By:  Martin Luther King Jr.
          The classic collection of Dr. Kings sermons that fused his work as a religious leader with his radical ideas of love and nonviolence as a means to combat hate and oppression.
          Group discussion: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 from 6pm -7pm
          In the Rotary Zoom Room  
          **The book can be purchased on Amazon or Target site for around $18
          We are thrilled to announce Reverend Bill McGill will be joining our discussion.  Reverend McGill is Pastor of the Imani Baptist Temple and he is a powerful voice for reconciliation in Fort Wayne.
          If you are interested in participating, please email Dee Hoffman - 
          or Julie Bobay -
          This Week in History
           This week in history, specifically November 19, 1863, saw the dedication of Gettysburg Cemetery.  The featured speaker there was Edward Everett, who spoke for two hours (more than 13,000 words!).  But the most memorable words were spoken by President Lincoln in less than three minutes, a speech we know as “The Gettysburg Address.”

          Make It a Great Week!  Stay Safe!