Welcome to the Loves Park Rotary Website!
 
* Due to the health crisis all in-person meetings are canceled until further notice. If you are interested in attending one of our Zoom meetings, please email us at lovesparkrotary@gmail.com
 
Please be our guest at one of our meetings!
 
Rotary Club of Loves Park 
Where:     Loves Park City Hall
                  100 Heart Blvd.
                  Loves Park, IL 61111
Please enter through main entrance
 
When:       Every Tuesday
                  12 pm - 1 pm
 
 
815 After-Hours Satellite Club
Where:     Owly Oop Sports Pub at the UW Sports Factory 
                  305 S Madison St, Rockford, IL 
 
When:      Social 6:00-6:30
                  Business 6:30-7:00
                 The first and third Wednesday of each month
 
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Home Page Stories

We had comments from outgoing President, Dave Smith, and highlights of just some of the things he was proud of accomplishing during his two-year tenure. He recalled our many new members of the last two years as well as our inbound exchange students Buntita and Pun, both from Thailand. He thanked our host families, without whom it would not have been possible. He unveiled the large rock with the plaque mounted by the Rockford Park District for the late Mel Sparlin, long time Rotarian and Past District Governor. Mel’s daughter, Julie, was on hand to represent his family. There were Rotarians on hand in person at Martin Park as well as viewing from home via Zoom. Dave also thanked Ciara Stahly and Tom Brooks for hosting Zoom meetings since mid-March so Loves Park Rotary could continue during the stay-at-home phase of COVID-19. Then it was time to welcome Ciara as incoming President, sworn in by Dave and presented with RI and District banners from incoming District Governor, our own Tom Brooks. Ciara was also gifted with a Rotary scarf and bag. She thanked Jenny Redington for stepping up as new club Secretary and Dave for his selfless leadership in the last two years. We appreciate the sacrifice all these Rotarians have made and are making for the good of Loves Park Rotary and Rotary International.

Ciara gave us a quick tutorial on how to sign on to the various Rotary websites such as our ClubRunner, MyRotary and the district website. On MyRotary you can make a donation to Rotary International or check your donation history. On ClubRunner you can see member lists with contact info, send an email to members, check your dues statement balance or make a payment with a credit card. Past District Governor, Jim Nelson, was a visitor to our club and he echoed many of Ciara’s positive comments about ClubRunner. Thanks, Ciara, for help with learning more about these useful sites.

We were privileged to hear from our exchange student, Prach “Pun” Losathitmonton, about his homeland. He is from Bangkok, Thailand, in the southeast part of Asia and roughly the size of Texas with a population of about 70 million people; their average temperature is 88°. Tourism is big in Thailand and they export car engines, computers, fruit (mangoes) and gems (rubies). He had pictures of his family, with mom, dad, brother, sister and grandmother. His school is the largest in Bangkok with three years of middle school and three years of high school and about 5,000 students; they attend from 7:30-3:20 Monday – Friday, with the same schedule every day and physical education once or twice a week. He loves soccer, starting when he was about seven years old. Pun also likes cooking and showed pictures of his favorite Thai dishes: Khanom jean, green curry and boat noodles. His family likes to go every year to the two biggest festivals: the Songkran Water Festival which is three days in April and, because it’s very hot, they throw water on each other; and the Loy Krathong or Lantern Festival in November. Thanks, Pun, we enjoyed hearing more about your homeland.

On February 18 Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month, Hannah Herrera, visited us with her father, Gerardo Herrera and her counselor, Mrs. Clark. She has enjoyed her involvement in Link Crew and the National Honor Society and has been secretary of the Student Council since 10th grade. She is also a member of the Math Team & Academic Team and has been a part of Model United Nations. Hannah is especially passionate about her participation in Harlem Vets Club which works to preserve veterans’ stories on film for future generations. Not only does she enjoy learning about the film making and editing processes, but she really appreciates helping to keep the stories alive of veterans who put their lives on the line for our freedom. In addition to participating in volleyball, soccer and tennis at Harlem, she actively volunteers in the community. Besides timing runners and cheering them on at the Special Olympics, Hannah has helped at “Night to Remember”, which is a prom put on for special needs students. Through “Reading Buddies”, she has also helped elementary school children improve their reading skills. She hopes to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA where she will major in Biology and Film Production. We are confident that she will excel wherever she goes. Congratulations, Hannah Herrera, on being selected Loves Park Rotary student of the month.

Loves Park Rotary welcomed Sierra Kellen, Family Justice Center Project Manager, as our guest speaker. The Family Peace Center is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary co-located service center that will provide services to survivors of interpersonal violence including intimate partner violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder or dependent adult abuse, and human trafficking. The Center was established in part through a federal grant applied for by the city of Rockford because they heard survivors say, in so many words, that they could survive difficult situations but not the administrative bureaucracy. Currently, Sierra is the only paid staffer but there are plans for additional hirings in the future and they are doing a great deal of training with volunteers. The plans also call for a large facility which will be partially funded through the federal grant. It has been documented that Family Justice Centers reduce homicides, increase survivor safety, help survivors in many ways and greatly increase community support for survivors and their children. Thank you, Sierra, for visiting us and helping us to understand more about this new and important service that will be available in our communities.

Our guest speaker was Mark Finnegan from VetsRoll. He was on hand to explain what VetsRoll does and to accept a donation from Loves Park Rotary, the result of a recent fundraiser by the club. In the photo Mark receives from President Dave Smith one of the flag kits used in the fundraiser. The organization is a non-profit 501(c)(3) started in 2010 to provide closure, gratitude & respect for WWII, Korea & Veterans through 12/31/66 and Rosie-the-Riveters. Mark’s family has a long history of serving their country and they felt this was an important way to honor our country’s heroes. The trip in May of 2020 will mark the 11th annual trip provided at no cost to the Vets to visit memorials in Washington, D.C. This trip will mark the 2200th vet being honored, including Major William White from California, believed at 104 to be the oldest surviving officer (he served at Iwo Jima). They will utilized 10 Badger coaches from Madison with over 170 assistants and medical staff and the four-day trip will cost in excess of $400,000. Videos of their procession complete with escorts and grateful spectators lining the route are truly inspiring and uplifting. For more information or to make a donation, visit VetsRoll.org or call 800-383-CAMP. Thank you Mark and everyone at VetsRoll for helping us honor our Vets.

On January 28 Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month, Peyton Hume visited us with her parents, Wayne & Angie Hume; also in attendance was her counselor, Rotarian Ginger Thompson. She has enjoyed her involvement throughout high school in Link Crew, Student Council and the National Honor Society. She is passionate about volunteering in her Church cafe a few Sundays a month. She led other volunteers in repainting and reorganizing the cafe in a much needed updating. She also contributes new recipes, cleans the coffee area and trains new volunteers. Peyton appreciates that the cafe provides a space for community and conversation in the Church and allows her to utilize her creative and organizational skills. She plans on attending Johnson University and majoring in Elementary Education. We know she will do excell. Congratulations, Peyton Hume, on being selected Loves Park Rotary student of the month.

Our very own Mary Petro spoke to us about the North Suburban Library. They are celebrating over 75 years serving the area with a client base of over 70,000. Mary reminded us that Rotary has partnered with the library for many years as part of our literacy programs. One of their projects is called “1,000 Books before Kindergarten” and is a simple concept designed to encourage families to read to their children. Participants keep a log sheet and, after reaching 1,000 books, the child is rewarded with a free book. Another program for slightly older children is called “Reading Buddies” and each child is paired with a high school student once a week to read and play games. Thanks, Mary, for visiting again and agreeing to speak to us.

New member, Susan Marsh, gave us her classification talk. She is married to Jeff and they live in Loves Park near her dad. She works for Aetna which was bought by CVS and she helps employers purchase health insurance. Susan said Rockford, with their three hospitals, was one of the first communities that accepts bundled payments (one check is issued for all providers); it was a real innovation in the industry. In her free time, She likes volunteering at the humane society and therapy programs, knitting for shelters, mentoring students and spending time with her horse, Jake. Thanks, Susan, for helping us to get to know you better.

RYLA camp will be May 1-3 and the deadline for applications is April 1.
President-Elect Training (PETS) will be March 6-8 in Itasca with Pre-PETS Feb. 1 at Kishwaukee College.

Our guest speakers were Patrick O’Keefe and Sarah Brinkmann from Great Neighborhoods through Transform Rockford. Also in attendance to hear them were Mayor Greg Jury from Loves Park and several city officials. Their idea is that strong neighborhoods will equal great places to live. In order to make a “great neighborhood” we need to attract & retain residents, encourage civic engagement and social networking within a natural or built environment. Currently, there are associations in about 28 Rockford neighborhoods and leaders get together quarterly. One of the first steps is to map the assets of the neighborhood; they identify strengths, plot them on a map and determine how to elevate assets. The focus is only on the positive; they want to take old buildings and refresh or revamp them, not tear them down. They want people to move here & live here and the regional focus should be on what’s great and why. Thanks, Patrick & Sarah for bringing us some important, even vital, information for our “great neighborhoods”. For more info, visit greatneighborhoods.info or greatneighborhoods@transformrockford.org.

Members have until May to get proposals to Anita for the next District Grant.
 
Bob Rehfeldt receives Paul Harris +3 award and is pinned by President-Elect, Ciara Stahly.

Susan Marsh was inducted as our newest Rotarian and her father was on hand to witness the happy event.

The club sang happy birthday via speakerphone to Dr. T’s wife and she was pleased to be remembered.

Congratulations to Don Skadow who announced his engagement to bride-to-be Kathy.

No meeting will be held on Christmas Eve (12/24) or New Year’s Eve (12/31). Merry Christmas & Happy New Year and we’ll see you on January 7!

Our annual Christmas party was held at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club. Entertainment was provided by Emerald Wind, a quartet of Irish musicians including harp, flute, drum and, just recently added, cello. They played some lovely tunes and ended with an Irish traditional tune, “Christmas in Kilarney”. Congratulations to our President-Elect, Ciara Stahly, for winning the Rotarian of the Year award. A good time was had by all.

Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month, Abby Rich visited us with her parents, Lyle & Erin Rich and her counselor, Mr. Nolting. She is a member of the Spanish Club which has given her a deeper understanding of a different culture. Her participation in Key Club and the National Honor Society has allowed her to connect with the community. Abby’s passion for Key Club has taught her the importance of leadership and service and she has volunteered at several places in the area including Midway Village. She plans on attending University of Wisconsin at Madison and majoring in Psychology. We know she will do well. Congratulations, Abby Rich, on being selected Loves Park Rotary student of the month.

Joe Corrigan spoke to us about the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He is in charge of the volunteers at St. Bridget(referred to as a conference) and, while it is an international organization, there are over 4,400 parish conferences in the U.S. alone. Each conference is connected with a “hot line” and the needs are many and various. Joe explained that often times the greatest need is for a good listener. Many of their clients are single mothers who may need help with some of the most basic needs like food, rent, utilities and car repairs. They like to say they give a “hand up not a hand out”. They work with many local organizations and officials and their biggest limitations are, of course, financial resources and volunteers. Sometimes they have to shut the phones down in midweek for lack of volunteers to make visits. Joe stressed that, even though it is a Catholic organization, volunteers do not have to be Catholic. Thanks, Joe, for some valuable information.  

We were visited by the founder, Shamika Williams, and her staff from KFACT.  KFACT (Keeping Families and Communities Together) is an all-girl holistic mentoring program to alleviate opportunity gaps among at-risk girls in the Rockford community. Services provided are education and career mentoring and intervention services. They help students transition from middle school to high school or high school to college or on to a career. They can assist with college selection, applications or financial aid, among other things. Their mission statement is “Building Healthy Futures for Girls through Holistic Mentoring”. Thank you ladies for sharing your vision with us.

Dr. T, our foundation giving chair, announced that we received an award for first in the District for Per Capita giving.  We have many generous donors and we thank Dr. T for heading up this important function and doing so well over the years.

Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month, Chris Dach Jr. visited us with his parents, Chris & Helen Dach and his counselor, Sandi Thies. He is very active at Harlem, a member of the Key Club since Sophomore year, the National Honor Society since Junior year, and Link Crew in Senior year. He is proud of being in the National Honor Society since they not only require a good GPA but good character; he is passionate about Key Club and Link Crew because they center on helping others in need. Volunteering is one of his favorite hobbies and he’s accumulated over 100 hours with various organizations as his eyes have been opened to how important and fulfilling it can be. He’s helped at countless events at Midway Village such as World War II days, Village Clean Up and Sock Monkey Madness. At Parker Center, he watched little children while their guardians were in a PTO meeting. Chris plans on attending University of Illinois at Chicago or Northern Illinois University and majoring in Biomedical Engineering. We know he will do well. Congratulations, Chris Dach Jr., on being selected Loves Park Rotary student of the month.

Our guest speaker was Mark Peterson, general manager of Cherry Vale Mall, owned by CBL Properties who has over 90 properties throughout the nation. Mark has managed Cherry Vale for 28 years, having spent the previous seven years at three other malls prior to coming to Rockford. He says they are continually welcoming new stores and concepts, many of which are exclusively and uniquely available in Rockford. They are constantly reinventing themselves to stay competitive and he could see them becoming a sort of “suburban town center”, including shopping, entertainment and health care. Recently adding many new cameras, he admits security is big with them and he’s proud that you will see a “presence” there. Safety is increasingly important in the world we live in. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit Rotary, Mark.

New club officers for the year 2020-2021 were elected:  President-elect, Ciara Stahly; Secretary, Jenny Redington; Treasurer, Craig Anderson.  All the above members will also serve on the board along with Past President, Dave Smith, Ginger Thompson and Jan Novak. 
Next Tuesday, Nov. 19, will be the last day to turn in candy orders as Anita will be placing the order on Nov. 20.  We expect candy to be delivered Dec. 3.  
John Hurley is asking for volunteers once again to help put labels on dictionaries Nov. 19 at the Harlem Administration building after the regular meeting next week. "Many hands make light work".  Tentative date to distribute them to the five schools selected will be Nov. 22 and take approximately two hours out of your day.  If you haven't had a chance to do this, you will find it rewarding to see the joy on the kids' faces as they get their very own personal copy of a dictionary.
The Christmas party is planned this year for Wednesday, December 11 - please note it will not be on a Tuesday this year.

Our guest speaker was long time fire fighter and new department chief for the last 15 months in Loves Park, Jerry Wiltfang. He spent a few years in New Milford and Colorado and 31 years in Rockford. He has taught about hazardous materials including weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Poland, and all over the United States. Funding can be a challenge since they are a city department and not a separate taxing body. The fire department shares funds with the Mayor’s department and city staff and other departments like police and water. In the last 15 months, they have moved from an all-volunteer department to a combination of volunteers and day time staffing. There are many reasons for the change but one Jerry is especially happy with is improved response time, from an average of 18-20 minutes or as long as 30 minutes, to an average of just over six minutes. Some of his priorities going forward are to continue improving and modernizing equipment and plant facilities. Thanks for visiting, Jerry, and keep up the good work!

Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month, Amanda Bohn visited us with her mother, Kim Bohn. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is co-secretary of Link Crew at Harlem, where she is passionate about every activity but especially helping underclassmen during anti-bullying week. Amanda is a member of the Varsity Bowling Program including the 2018 state and national championship teams. Their team was national champion in 2019 and state runner-up. She was named outstanding NIC-10 student athlete the last two years and also likes to race stock cars; she is one of two females and the youngest in her division. She likes to volunteer at Northern Illinois Food Bank and her Church, where she particularly enjoys working with the elementary age children because of the opportunity to build unique but strong bonds. She has participated in two mission trips at her Church, one domestic and one in Tijuana where they helped build a permanent house for a family. She’s undecided on a school yet but future plans include pediatric nursing. She was inspired by their compassionate care that she witnessed first hand when younger. We know she will do well. Congratulations, Amanda, on being selected Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month.

Happy club anniversary to Mary Petro and Ciara Stahly and wedding anniversary to Joe & Deb Corrigan. The club sang via speaker phone, “Wait ‘til the sun shines, Polly” to cheer up Polly during her recovery. The 2019 candy fund raiser is officially under way with Anita announcing initial sales over $500. See her for order forms or information.

North Winnebago Rotary is having an informal meeting and get-together at 5:00 PM on Oct. 30th at Pig Minds and would be happy to have you join them.  They will be enjoying beverages & dinner.  If you have any questions, check with John Hurley or Tom Brooks.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Jon Eppes
    September 3
  • Ginger Thompson
    September 10
  • Joseph Corrigan
    September 16
  • Eugene Bartelt
    September 25
  • Derek Papich
    September 26
Anniversaries:
  • Rod Meyer
    Debra Meyer
    September 17
Join Date:
  • John Pruitt
    September 9, 2014
    6 years
President
Immediate Past President
Treasurer
Secretary
Secretary- 815 Satellite
Rotary Foundation
Membership Chair
Board Member
Club Coordinator- 815 Satellite Club
Board Member
Literacy Chair
Youth Exchange Officer
Youth Exchange Counselor
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Loves Park Rotary Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2118 
Loves Park, IL 61130
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