Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Loves Park

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Loves Park City Hall
100 Heart Blvd
Loves Park, IL  61111
United States of America
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815 After Hours Satellite Club
Where:      Owly Oop (inside the Sports Factory)
                   305 S Madison, Rockford IL
 
When:      Social 6:00-6:30
                  Business 6:30-7:00
                  The first and third Wednesday of each month
 
We look forward to seeing you there!
 
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Home Page Stories

Our guest speaker was the Mayor of Machesney Park, Steve Johnson, who gave us an update on progress in his village. He and his staff have worked very hard to attract new business to the village. To name a few:  Spider does work for Woodward Governor and has purchased the old Menard’s building. TLC assisted living in the Old Town Center across from the old JC Penneys is coming along very well. Old Navy and Five Below will soon occupy the space previously held in Machesney Crossings by Bed, Bath & Beyond. He was proud to report that the village has a surplus this year of $1.5 million and they have won awards for their budget handling. Some of the things Mayor Steve really enjoys are recognizing long standing businesses in the area such as Gill’s Diner and the North Park Pharmacy. He also likes the Yards of Distinction and family Movie Nights at Village Hall. Recently, they had a very well attended event for the showing of Mary Poppins. They have been able to use gaming funds for abatement (tearing down old buildings in the area) and they have been able to double road work. Congratulations, Mayor Steve, on the good work done so far and keep it up!

Sam Morgan from Rock Valley College is dean of enrollment and retention.  His goal is to increase retention, currently at about 50%, by about 2% per year. In other words, they want to slow the rate of "stopping out" (the term they prefer over dropping out). The college seeks to be more of a presence in the community and hopes to combat the stopping out percentage with creative new education concepts such as weekend or online courses or courses offered over four weeks, such as in the winter time.  We were pleased to hear that Kamilia will be working in Sam's department and he said they are excited to have her.  She brings great enthusiasm and personality.

Our first host family appreciation night was held with 15 guests in attendance, including Dave’s son & daughter, brother Michael Francis & Dr. Michelle Mueller. They shared some of their experiences growing up as a host family. Dave and his wife, Betty, hosted an exchange student every year since 1974. The one year they thought they would take a break, according to Dr. Michelle, they ended up taking in a Spanish student who had problems with his host family. As a result of his experiences hosting students, brother Michael Francis developed a love of the Japanese culture which exists to this day. Dr. Michelle visited Finland as an exchange student 30 years ago and what she liked most was they way the host families treated her like family. Ciara and Ginger presented all our host families, including our current host family Scott & Jennifer Williamson, with a rose in appreciation of all they do for our students. Dave expressed the desire that this could possibly become an annual event.

PLEASE NOTE!! - Our normal noon meeting on Tuesday, 8/20/19 (TODAY) is changed to 6 PM.  We will still meet at City Hall - the change is so we can honor our many host families for their contributions.  We will still have a catered meal by ABC catering and the price will be $12 as usual.  Just bring cash or your punch card.  Let's have a nice turnout to thank these great families!

We were visited by an rebound exchange student, Pauline, who has returned from Zimbabwe. She brought pictures of her time there with her three different host families. She also enjoyed spending time with other exchange students from Germany, Brazil and France. The students from Germany had been moved recently because of political unrest including protests and riots. Pauline especially enjoyed celebrating her 18th birthday while there visiting Victoria Falls, which she said were absolutely spectacular. She saw baboons everywhere and once they had to wait about 15 minutes while a herd of elephants crossed the road. She even got to pet a young lion. In spite of missing some school while with her second host family due to the riots, she generally had a great time and loved it. Thanks for sharing Pauline.

Our Assistant Governor, John Hurley (pictured with Dave Smith inducting Jan Fromm), told us a little of just what an Assistant Governor does. In our district there are 10 Assistant Governors and they serve a three-year term. As John sees it, one of their primary jobs is to travel to the clubs in the district with the Governor and help in any way they can, which includes making sure the goals for the year are entered into the computer. He said they provide needed continuity as well since the Governor and President are new each year, our club experience notwithstanding. Thank you John for shedding some light on your many responsibilities as Assistant Governor, we need you.

Our newest member, Jeannette “Jan” Fromm was officially inducted and Janet Novak received her official paperwork and certificate of membership. Welcome new Rotarians! Dave Smith purchased a raffle ticket from the downtown club when he visited them to try and sell flag kits for our fund raiser; and Nancy Bieck was on hand to inform him he was a lucky sixth prize winner!  Congratulations Dave!  

 

If you still have any unsold flag kits, please see Dave Smith after the meeting so he can have an accurate tally of where we stand with our fund raiser. Or, if you know of any additional sales opportunities, again see Dave as he has some kits still available.

We were visited by Diana Swanson and Thalia from Jane Adeny Memorial School (JAMS). This school in Kenya, was founded by Drs. Teresa Wasonga and Andrew Otieno, professors from NIU. Their motto is “Good enough for the richest, open to the poorest”. It is a school for impoverished or orphan girls founded to provide education for them they might not otherwise receive. High schools in Kenya are not free and often if a family is able to send a child to school, the boys are favored. JAMS’ goal is to provide scholarships so these girls can receive the education they desperately want, food, bedding and sanitary supplies while living on campus. 12 students graduated in 2011, but 145 graduated in 2018. JAMS students scores on their graduation exams placed third in the district and seventh out of 144 in Kenya. They grow food on campus and take advantage of solar power to help with economic sustainability. Thank you Diana and Thalia for visiting and volunteering in this important endeavor.

Our new District Governor, Bobbi Burke visited the club. Her first order of business was to present Paul Harris pins and offer congratulations to Governor-Elect, Tom Brooks (Paul Harris plus three) and Assistant Governor, John Hurley (Paul Harris plus five). As governor, she wants to challenge Rotarians in two main areas: #1, Are our meetings attractive? And #2, Get connected. To demonstrate her commitment, Bobbi brought pins to hand out with Rotary’s new theme “Rotary Connects the World”. She suggested ways to connect are to get involved in your local club but also attend district events. Thanks for visiting, Governor Bobbi!

Happy Birthday to Don Lyon, Polly Smith & Craig Anderson. Congratulations to Janet Novak who is now officially a new board member, as she was sworn in by President Dave Smith. Welcome to Buntita and our new exchange student from Russia, Aneiliia; former member, Nate McClure, who was originally invited by former member Jack Benson; prospective new member, Jeannette; guests from Rockford East/Cherry Valley, Chuck Lindstrom & Don Johnson. Our program was a presentation of Rotary slides by Dave Smith.

Big thank you’s to Dave Smith for agreeing to be President for a second year. He did tell the club he’s hoping someone steps up for next year as Rotary International doesn’t allow a third consecutive term. Dave went over highlights from the past year such as Dave Larson being named Rotarian of the Year. He thanked all those who served including board members and thanked new members Jenny Reddington and Janet Novak for agreeing to serve as new board members in the coming year. He appreciated that the club was very well represented at the District Conference and thanked Assistant Governor John Hurley and Mary Petro for helping our club to win two literacy awards. He also talked about our international grant thanks to Anita Papich to provide breadfruit trees to Haiti. He appreciated the many programs of the past year, including tours of Woodward Governor’s new plant and also the Rockford Rescue Mission. We had a great year again for Youth Exchange thanks to Tom Brooks, Ginger Thompson and Dave, to mention a few.

Happy Birthday to Dan Madden (not present) and Dr. T who also told us he and his wife were celebrating their wedding anniversary. Dave Larson led us in song. Congratulations to Tom Brooks who is now officially District Governor-Elect.

We were treated to a “Skype”-type connection and were able to converse during our meeting with Zone Director David Stovall. He told us many interesting things such as a new computer system is coming for Rotary International by this time next year, hardware and software. Members of Rotaract will now be included as Rotarians and there may be new attendance requirements determined. He announced that the hope is that Nigeria will be polio free in two months, which will leave only Afghanistan and Pakistan to eradicate polio worldwide. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us David. And thanks to President David Smith for providing the technology to make it happen.

As a reminder, today's meeting offers a rare opportunity to "rub shoulders" with someone from Rotary International.  We will have an electronic hookup, similar to Skype, where we will be able to converse with District Director from Zone 33, David Stovall.  He is making himself available to us during our regular meeting today, June 25.  So don't miss your big chance to ask any question about Rotary International or Rotary operations in general!
President Dave Smith gave us a "pep" talk on selling more flag kits.  He had posters available for our use and told us, according to word of mouth, sales have probably reached break even.  Anything we sell, going further, will be profit and money we can use to donate to a worthy veteran organization.  Remind prospective customers that they are also making a donation!
Buntita, our inbound student from Thailand, and Charlie Michaels, our outbound student to Brazil talked to us about their experiences with RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards).  Both thoroughly enjoyed their time and Charlie said he'd like to go back when he returns from Brazil (he leaves in a couple months).  Buntita said her group was in an impromptu skit where they were only given the beginning and end and had to fill in the middle of the story.  She said it was fun and interesting.  Thanks, both of you, for sharing.
We were visited by David Miller who represents Youth Build, working with high school to college age youth who, generally, have not completed high school.  Their goal is to help these folks become more employable by teaching them soft skills, such as how to fill out an application, how to interview and other basic skills.  They are partially funded by the Department of Labor, the Rockford Community Foundation and the United Way.  They currently have about 25 in their program and work out of the old area formerly known as Mott Brothers Company on S. Main St., occupying about three buildings. They like to give back to the community by volunteering at various places like St. Elizabeth.  Thank you, David, for sharing with us about Youth Build.
Miranda Schultz, our former outbound student to Spain, talked about some of her youth exchange experiences and her upcoming move to Arizona to attend college.

We were visited by Charlie and Brenda representing the Paper Angel Closet from New Life and Evans United Methodist Churches. Their goal is helping those in our community in need. They collect paper products, cleaning & other household supplies and toiletries. They particularly concentrate on items that their families are unable to purchase through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

President Dave Smith announced a new fund raiser, selling flag kits complete with a 3’x5’ flag with pole for $20. He has kits available for members to sell (we’re hoping each member may be able to sell at least four kits by July 4th). Tom Brooks and Ciara Stahly have worked to make a social media graphic available to assist you in your efforts. In addition to being a fund raiser for the club, part of the proceeds will be donated to a local veterans organization. Thanks to Dave for spearheading this effort and negotiating with Lowe’s to obtain favorable pricing for the kits.

John Hurley attended the District Conference and, once again, accepted literacy awards on behalf of Loves Park Rotary. We received an award for Club Achievement and Sustained Excellence, which John explained is not awarded just for being involved every year. Clubs are expected to “tweak” their participation. For example, we have added donations to more schools to the dictionary project and we have also donated Spanish language dictionaries. Thank you, John, for all you do and congratulations to all who helped our club win these awards.

Our guest speaker was Nathan Bryant, nephew of Bob Rehfeldt, which was fitting as he was on hand to help us wish Bob a happy wedding anniversary (his 60th). Nathan is with the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. They work hard to get the word out that Rockford is a great place for businesses to locate. There are over 90 companies in Rockford tied to the Aerospace industry. Illinois has the third largest interstate highway system in the U.S. and is the only state that is home to all seven top class railroads. Rockford is number one in workplace development, competing with cities four to five times larger. They have built to suit almost two million square feet, which is three times the Chicago suburbs. Thank you for visiting Nathan.

Janet K from Catholic Charities spoke to us about their refugee program. Janet’s husband was an Army officer and when civil war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, they knew he would be forced to pick sides with family and friends on all sides. She and her husband and two children came to the US in 1994 and experienced firsthand the problems a language barrier can create. She started working for refugee services at Catholic Charities in 1998. Janet pointed out that a refugee differs from an immigrant in that they are forced to leave their country due to fear of persecution which could be either religious or political. Their goal is to help these refugee families become self sufficient and she said that is now the case for any families that arrived here in October. She introduced us to Par, who came here from Burma in 2014 with her daughter after spending seven years in a refugee camp. June 20 is world refugee day. Thank you, Janet, for sharing this important information with Loves Park Rotary.

Pastor Ruby Martin talked about the Ministry of Restoration, a program started 10 years ago, with backpack giveaways filled with school supplies for over 100 students from preschool through 12 grade and college. In present day, thanks to generous company sponsors such as Wal-Mart, they have been able to supply over 1,000. They’ve also been able to distribute over 3,000 books at half price. They will be celebrating a family day from 10 am to 2 pm, August 10 at Blackhawk Park. You can access more information about the important work Pastor Ruby and her volunteers do at Hismercysaves.com

 

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President
Treasurer
Secretary
Assistant Secretary
Rotary Foundation
Director
Director
Director
Literacy Chair
Youth Exchange Officer
Youth Exchange Counselor
 
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Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Loves Park

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Loves Park City Hall
100 Heart Blvd
Loves Park, IL  61111
United States of America
DistrictSiteIcon
District Site
VenueMap
Venue Map