New leadership and unveiling of plaque for long time Rotarian, Mel Sparlin, at Martin Park.

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.

New leadership and unveiling of plaque for long time Rotarian, Mel Sparlin, at Martin Park. 2020-06-23 05:00:00Z 0

Pun talks about Thailand

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.

Pun talks about Thailand 2020-03-03 06:00:00Z 0

Instructions on ClubRunner

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.

Instructions on ClubRunner 2020-02-25 06:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Hannah Herrera

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.

Student of the Month, Hannah Herrera 2020-02-18 06:00:00Z 0

Family Justice Center

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.

Family Justice Center 2020-02-11 06:00:00Z 0


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 or call 800-383-CAMP. Thank you Mark and everyone at VetsRoll for helping us honor our Vets.

VetsRoll 2020-02-04 06:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Peyton Hume

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.

Student of the Month, Peyton Hume 2020-01-29 06:00:00Z 0

North Suburban Library

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.

North Suburban Library 2020-01-28 06:00:00Z 0

Susan Marsh

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.

Susan Marsh 2020-01-21 06:00:00Z 0


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.
Announcements 2020-01-14 06:00:00Z 0

Great Neighborhoods

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 or

Great Neighborhoods 2020-01-14 06:00:00Z 0


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.
Announcements 2020-01-07 06:00:00Z 0


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!

Announcements 2019-12-17 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Christmas Party

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.

Rotary Christmas Party 2019-12-11 06:00:00Z 0

Student of the month, Abby Rich

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.

Student of the month, Abby Rich 2019-12-10 06:00:00Z 0

Joe Corrigan & the St. Vincent de Paul Society

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.  

Joe Corrigan & the St. Vincent de Paul Society 2019-12-03 06:00:00Z 0

KFACT (Keeping Families and Communities Together

Posted on Nov 27, 2019

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.

KFACT (Keeping Families and Communities Together 2019-11-27 06:00:00Z 0

Chris Dach Jr., Student of the Month

Posted on Nov 26, 2019

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.

Chris Dach Jr., Student of the Month 2019-11-26 06:00:00Z 0

Foundation Giving

Posted on Nov 20, 2019
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.
Foundation Giving 2019-11-20 06:00:00Z 0

Mark Peterson from Cherry Vale Mall

Posted on Nov 19, 2019

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.

Mark Peterson from Cherry Vale Mall 2019-11-19 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Nov 05, 2019
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.
Announcements 2019-11-05 06:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Fire Department Chief, Jerry Wiltfang

Posted on Oct 29, 2019

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 Fire Department Chief, Jerry Wiltfang 2019-10-29 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Amanda Bohn

Posted on Oct 23, 2019

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.

Student of the Month, Amanda Bohn 2019-10-23 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Oct 22, 2019

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.

Announcements 2019-10-22 05:00:00Z 0

Proclamation of World Polio Day 

Posted on Oct 21, 2019
The City of Loves Park will be proclaiming October 24th as World Polio Day! The signing of the proclamation will take place on October 21st at 6 pm at Loves Park City Hall during their City Council Meeting. If you would like to attend, please let Ciara know. You should plan on arriving early, say 5:45 pm as sometimes the meetings run very quickly.
Proclamation of World Polio Day 2019-10-21 05:00:00Z 0

You Are Invited!

Posted on Oct 17, 2019
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.
You Are Invited! 2019-10-17 05:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Chief of Police, Chuck Lynde

Posted on Oct 16, 2019
Our guest speaker was Loves Park Chief of Police, Chuck Lynde.  Per our request, he addressed a couple hot topics:  legalization of Cannabis in Illinois and the subject of "Real ID's".  Chief said 33 states have medical marijuana but 11 states, including Illinois, now also allow recreational use of cannabis.  This has created additional issues for law enforcement as states allowing recreational use have seen an increase in crime as well as traffic accidents, although proving a causal effect can be difficult.
Illinois will also start requiring a "real ID" as of October 1, 2020.  These can be issued by the local DMV as long as the resident provides the proper documentation, although the real ID is not automatic when renewing your driver's license.  Essentially, you will need to make an appointment with the local DMV before the deadline if you wish to fly and don't have a passport.  They will require proof of identity, proof of your social security number and proof of residency.  There is a fee for the license. Thanks Chief, for this good information.
Loves Park Chief of Police, Chuck Lynde 2019-10-16 05:00:00Z 0

Pun visits Rotary

Posted on Oct 15, 2019
Our exchange student from Thailand, Pun, visited us for lunch at the last meeting.
Pun visits Rotary 2019-10-15 05:00:00Z 0

Craig McDonald, Loves Park Water Dept.

Posted on Oct 08, 2019
Craig McDonald, director of the Loves Park Water Dept. visited.  He talked about projects in the area where they have been digging to lay new pipe such as River Lane Rd. He also talked about the new "smart" meters they have been installing.  These allow for more accurate readings of water usage which will improve billing and should also result in residents receiving more accurate waste water billing. An additional benefit of the new meters will be detection of leaks; hopefully, the dept. can then notify the customer before the resident has a major problem. Thanks for the good information, Craig.
Craig McDonald, Loves Park Water Dept. 2019-10-08 05:00:00Z 0

Youth Exchange Student, Gabby

Posted on Oct 01, 2019
Gabby is now a senior at Harlem but she presented pictures from her time in Taiwan.  She loved it there although visiting the Rotary clubs was intimidating since she was expected to address them and give a speech in Chinese. She also had to do that her first dShe was in Tainan in the southwest corner of Taiwan near the water. One of her favorite foods was the pork dumplings and a special seafood soup.  She liked all her host families (four) but the third family made her feel most like she was one of the family. Gabby, thanks for visiting and sharing your experiences with youth exchange.
Youth Exchange Student, Gabby 2019-10-01 05:00:00Z 0

Paul Nolle - Habitat for Humanity

Posted on Sep 24, 2019
We were visited by Paul Nolle from Habitat for Humanity.  They were founded in Rockford in 1988 and built their first home here in 1991.  So far they've built 125 homes and have six in the works for this year.  Their vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.  A popular misconception is that the homes are given away.  Actually, there is a mortgage but with 0% interest.  The family must be willing to partner and must put in 300 hours of work on the home and show ability to pay (also, there is a $1,500 down payment). They can choose from 12 floor plans.  Paul was happy to inform us that they are partnering with Guilford High School.  Thanks for sharing, Paul.
Paul Nolle - Habitat for Humanity 2019-09-24 05:00:00Z 0

Bruce Erickson & Bella

Posted on Sep 17, 2019
Bruce Erickson and his dog Bella started the Volunteer Therapy Dog Program when he saw how traumatized some of the children in the courts system are.  It is the only therapy dog program in use in the court rooms in the state and it's currently in use in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court.  The program has expanded from seven to 14 dogs and the scheduling was getting to be too big a job together with all the other aspects of the program like training, vaccinations, registration & insurance; so the judge's secretary took over that part.  They clearly saw the value of the therapy dogs in calming the children, especially in cases of abuse, custody disputes or when the children are required to testify about a violent crime.  
Bruce Erickson & Bella 2019-09-17 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Sep 11, 2019
We sang "Happy Birthday" to Ginger Thompson. The club received a very nice "Thank You" from the Cecil Miller family for the Host Family Appreciation Night.
Announcements 2019-09-11 05:00:00Z 0

Mary Foreman from RVC

Posted on Sep 10, 2019
The club was visited by Mary Foreman from Rock Valley College. Mary works with the almost 30 students from 20 different foreign countries enrolled at RVC.  She assists them with necessary paperwork such as the I-20's the students need for travel.  The Form I-20 (also known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students) is a United States Department of Homeland Security, specifically ICE and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), document issued by SEVP-certified schools (collegesuniversities, and vocational schools) that provides supporting information on a student's F or M status. F-1 and M-1 refers to the nonimmigrant classification a student receives on their Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”  Fstudents enroll in more traditional academic programs, while M-1 students enroll in vocational programs.  Without Mary's assistance, some of these students would not be able to visit.  She also helps them assimilate into our culture. She is also the faculty advisor for the Multi-cultural Club, which plans an event a month for the students.  An example would be the International Showcase where students may dress in full traditional clothing or costumes and present videos of their home country. She admitted, not unexpectedly, that numbers in the program have dropped since 911. Thank you, Mary, for visiting.
Mary Foreman from RVC 2019-09-10 05:00:00Z 0

Steve Johnson, Machesney Park Mayor

Posted on Sep 03, 2019

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!

Steve Johnson, Machesney Park Mayor 2019-09-03 05:00:00Z 0

Sam Morgan from Rock Valley College

Posted on Aug 27, 2019
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.
Sam Morgan from Rock Valley College 2019-08-27 05:00:00Z 0

Host Family Appreciation Night

Posted on Aug 20, 2019

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.

Host Family Appreciation Night 2019-08-20 05:00:00Z 0

Important Meeting Time Change 8-20-19

Posted on Aug 20, 2019
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!
Important Meeting Time Change 8-20-19 2019-08-20 05:00:00Z 0

Rebound Exchange Student

Posted on Aug 13, 2019

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.

Rebound Exchange Student 2019-08-13 05:00:00Z 0

Assistant Governor John Hurley

Posted on Aug 07, 2019

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.

Assistant Governor John Hurley 2019-08-07 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Aug 06, 2019

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!  


Announcements 2019-08-06 05:00:00Z 0

Jane Adeny Memorial School (JAMS)

Posted on Jul 30, 2019

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.

Jane Adeny Memorial School (JAMS) 2019-07-30 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jul 17, 2019

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.

Announcements 2019-07-17 05:00:00Z 0

District Governor Bobbi Burke

Posted on Jul 16, 2019

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!

District Governor Bobbi Burke 2019-07-16 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jul 09, 2019

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.

Announcements 2019-07-09 05:00:00Z 0

Another Great Year in Rotary!

Posted on Jul 03, 2019

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.

Another Great Year in Rotary! 2019-07-03 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jul 02, 2019

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.

Announcements 2019-07-02 05:00:00Z 0

David Stovall

Posted on Jun 25, 2019

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.

David Stovall 2019-06-25 05:00:00Z 0

Special Electronic Visitor today, 6/25

Posted on Jun 24, 2019
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!
Special Electronic Visitor today, 6/25 2019-06-24 05:00:00Z 0

Please Sell Flag Kits

Posted on Jun 18, 2019
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!
Please Sell Flag Kits 2019-06-18 05:00:00Z 0

Buntita and Charlie

Posted on Jun 11, 2019
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.
Buntita and Charlie 2019-06-11 05:00:00Z 0

David Miller from Youth Build

Posted on May 29, 2019
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.
David Miller from Youth Build 2019-05-29 05:00:00Z 0

Miranda Schultz

Posted on May 28, 2019
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.
Miranda Schultz 2019-05-28 05:00:00Z 0

The Paper Angel Closet

Posted on May 21, 2019

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.

The Paper Angel Closet 2019-05-21 05:00:00Z 0

Flag Kit Fundraiser

Posted on May 21, 2019

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.

Flag Kit Fundraiser 2019-05-21 05:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Rotary Receives Literacy Awards

Posted on May 17, 2019

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.

Loves Park Rotary Receives Literacy Awards 2019-05-17 05:00:00Z 0

Rockford Area Economic Development Council

Posted on May 14, 2019

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.

Rockford Area Economic Development Council 2019-05-14 05:00:00Z 0

The Ministry of Restoration

Posted on May 07, 2019

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

The Ministry of Restoration 2019-05-07 05:00:00Z 0

Janet K. from Refugee Services

Posted on May 01, 2019

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.

Janet K. from Refugee Services 2019-05-01 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Apr 30, 2019
Janet Novak was awarded a certificate and pin by Dr. T, naming her the newest Paul Harris Fellow in the club.  Janet had just given her classification talk a couple weeks previously.  She retired after 22 years in the Harlem School District but is still helping with Seniors Actively Volunteering in Education (SAVE).  Congratulations, Janet.
There was a nice turnout for cleanup day in spite of the rainy weather, with several youth exchange students helping.
Announcements 2019-04-30 05:00:00Z 0

Mrs. Geske receives Paul Harris Awards

Posted on Apr 23, 2019

President Dave Smith and John Hurley presented Leslie Geske, wife of Past President Will Geske, with three certificates as Paul Harris Fellows for herself and her daughters, Nora and Lila. Will and Leslie had been very generous with donations to the Rotary Foundation and President Dave wanted to make sure their generosity was recognized. Leslie was joined by Will’s mother, Sharon.

Mrs. Geske receives Paul Harris Awards 2019-04-23 05:00:00Z 0

New 815 club member Alayna Almen

Posted on Apr 17, 2019
Rotary 815 President, Mike Acaley, is inducting Alayna Almen as Loves Park Rotary’s newest member.  Rotary 815 is a satellite club of Loves Park Rotary.
New 815 club member Alayna Almen 2019-04-17 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Blerta Useini

Posted on Apr 16, 2019

Blerta Useini was honored as student of the month at Loves Park Rotary and, while her parents were unable to be present, was joined by her counselor, Mrs. Emily Chovanec. She has placed a lot of focus on the National Honor Society for two years, helping on several different committees, and in the Students for Action club for three years. She’s also been a part of her school’s Math Team, participated in the Chemistry Olympiad as a sophomore and junior and was a part of Harlem’s WYSE team this year. Blerta has volunteered multiple times at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Grace Lutheran Church’s food pantries and rung the bell for the Salvation Army. Her future plans include a major in Bioengineering or Biomedical engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Congratulations, Blerta, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month.

Student of the Month, Blerta Useini 2019-04-16 05:00:00Z 0

Emily Barrie of The Red Cross

Posted on Apr 09, 2019

The speaker was Emily Barrie, Acting Director of the Northern Illinois Red Cross.  She spoke about the agency’s current campaign to put smoke detectors in local homes in conjunction with local fire departments.  Home fires are the most frequent “disaster” the Red Cross deals with, even though floods and tornadoes get more media attention.

Emily Barrie of The Red Cross 2019-04-09 05:00:00Z 0

Literacy Awards

Posted on Apr 03, 2019
John Hurley, literacy chair, talked to the club about our literacy awards, one for sustaining excellence and one for club achievement.  We really appreciate all the work John has done for literacy over the many years.  We have programs we support at North Suburban Library with the help of director, Mary Petro, as well as providing dictionaries for elementary school students every year.  John also showed a video of a literacy project spearheaded by Rotary International in Brazil, which has helped provide literacy skills to over 70,000 children there, especially benefitting low income families.  Thank you, John, for all you do to make us look good.
Literacy Awards 2019-04-03 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Apr 02, 2019

Happy Birthday to A. Marie Holmes and Janet Novak.

Announcements 2019-04-02 05:00:00Z 0

Buntita talks about her homeland

Posted on Mar 27, 2019

We heard from Buntita, our inbound exchange student from Thailand. She talked about her homeland, culture and family. She lives in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, with her parents, brother and grandmother. It is not unusual for entire families of many generations living together under one roof. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy ruled by a king with a population of 69 million people. Some of the more favorite foods are Pad Thai, a stir fry noodle dish and Tom Yum Goong soup with shrimp. The biggest festival of the year is their new year, Rod Nam Dum Hua, celebrated on April 13 and it is not unusual for water “wars” to play a prominent part in the celebration. She also explained how there are three different greetings or “Wai”, one for royalty, one for elders and one for people that are in the same age group. She also shared photos of her recent trip to Springfield, including the Lincoln exhibits. Thank you, Buntita, you did a nice job with your presentation and we enjoyed it. 

Buntita talks about her homeland 2019-03-27 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Mar 26, 2019

Happy first club anniversary to Ciara and 51 years for founding member, Don Lyon.

Announcements 2019-03-26 05:00:00Z 0

March 19th meeting at Rockford Rescue Mission

Posted on Mar 20, 2019
We met offsite for our regular meeting March 19th at the Rockford Rescue Mission on West State St.  We had a very nice lunch at the Restoration Cafe followed by a tour of the mission hosted by Ted Tomita, who had previously visited our club after our recent membership event.  Ted had given a nice talk at the club previously when he visited but there's nothing like seeing everything in person.  It was a nice change and we thank Ted and the Rescue Mission for a great tour.
March 19th meeting at Rockford Rescue Mission 2019-03-20 05:00:00Z 0

March 19th meeting at Rockford Rescue Mission

Posted on Mar 18, 2019
This is a reminder that our meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19, will be at the Rockford Rescue Mission at Noon.  The Mission is located at 715 W. State St., across from the new jail building.  We will meet at the café, which is just East of the Mission on the opposite corner on State St. and across from the three flagpoles at the jail.  Parking is in the jail parking lot across the street from the Mission buildings.  We will have lunch first and then, those who are able to stay will receive a tour.  Please pay for your lunch the normal way, either by bringing your meal card for punching or paying Craig $12 cash.  If you have not given a pre-order to Dave, you should still be able to order once you get there.
March 19th meeting at Rockford Rescue Mission 2019-03-18 05:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Foundation Donations

Posted on Mar 12, 2019
President Dave Smith talked to us about the importance of donating to the Paul Harris Foundation.  He would like to see our club have 100% participation in donation giving.  Once your donation level reaches a $1,000, you will be considered a Paul Harris Fellow and Rotary will provide you a Paul Harris Fellow pin.  After every additional $1,000, you will receive a sapphire for your pin and after five sapphires, you go to a Ruby and then a diamond.  It is possible to be considered a benefactor if your estate makes a donation to the Foundation endowment fund.  If anyone provides a donation of $250,000, you would have your picture on the wall at Rotary International headquarters.  Dave thanked Dr. T for all his fine work over the years as Foundation chair.  He encouraged anyone who has a question on giving to talk to either him or Dr. T.
Paul Harris Foundation Donations 2019-03-12 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Mar 05, 2019
President Dave Smith celebrates 40 years as a Rotarian.  He has been involved in youth exchange almost from the beginning.  Dave announced that he will be assuming the role of President yet again in the coming year, starting in July.  We believe this is the first time in the history of the club that the same President will serve back to back terms.  Thank you, Dave, for stepping up.
New member Janet Novak was inducted by President Dave Smith and pinned by sponsor, John Hurley.  Her classification is education, retired.  Graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Janet started as a paraprofessional in elementary education in the Harlem School District, spent 22 years as a secretary in the district and, after retirement, volunteered at Parker.  Welcome Janet!
Announcements 2019-03-05 06:00:00Z 0

Hanah Warren & Jhoole

Posted on Feb 27, 2019
Hanah Warren came back for a visit.  She was an exchange student in 2002 and then an ambassadorial scholar to India in 2005.  She was so moved by the plight of the Indian women living in poverty that she organized a co-op of the local women knitting & weaving scarves and saris.  The company they formed using all local leaders and management now empowers at least 100 women and their goal for the future is to employ 500.  It is called Jhoole which means "swings".  An article about Hanah and the company she helped found was featured in the Rotarian magazine.  Thanks, Hanah, for updating us on your progress.
Hanah Warren & Jhoole 2019-02-27 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Feb 26, 2019
Happy Birthday to John & Marta Hurley!
Announcements 2019-02-26 06:00:00Z 0

High School Student of the Month, Airiana Mohr

Posted on Feb 20, 2019

Airiana Mohr was honored as student of the month at Loves Park Rotary and was in attendance with her parents, Michael and Jodi Mohr and counselor, Mr. Nolting. She has participated in Link Crew and the National Honor Society (NHS) in her junior and senior year and is now secretary of NHS as well as an active member of student council. She’s been on the volleyball team all four years and her participation since a young age has helped her grow as a leader, teammate and friend. Her involvement with NHS and Link Crew has presented her with many volunteer opportunities such as helping at Walter Lawson, her Church and the YMCA’s Special Olympics Swim Team, of which she’s especially proud. Her future plans include a major in Biochemistry at the University of Iowa as a pre-pharmacy student. Congratulations, Airiana, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month.

High School Student of the Month, Airiana Mohr 2019-02-20 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Feb 19, 2019

Happy Birthday to our President, Dave Smith. Kate was visiting today and wanted to thank Rotary for many happy memories and all the help she was given, especially Dave Smith.

Announcements 2019-02-19 06:00:00Z 0

Lonna Converso from Midway Village

Posted on Feb 12, 2019

We were visited by Lonna Converso, Director of Marketing & Social Media from Midway Village. She brought copies of maps of the Village with almost 30 buildings and eight gardens. Their calendar of events shows just how busy they are with several different events per month, all throughout the year. They have approximately 500 volunteers and are always looking for more help, regardless of the age. Their World War I & World War II reenactments attract countless visitors and she said they’re proud of the fact that many of the replicas for the World War I event are actually made by the reenacters (because the original items are so rare and hard to come by). Their website is extensive with over 1,500 images. Midway Village is truly a Rockford gem and we’re grateful to Lonna for taking the time to give us a quick “tour”.

Lonna Converso from Midway Village 2019-02-12 06:00:00Z 0
ROTARY IS ON FOR TODAY, 2/12/19! 2019-02-12 06:00:00Z 0

Jason Blume from Harlem School District

Posted on Feb 05, 2019

Our guest was Jason Blume, Director of Stakeholder Engagement for Harlem School District 122. He was a teacher for five years, principal for five years and in his current position for the last four years. There are over 6,500 students and over 1,100 staff in the district and Jason oversees all communication, the website and the strategic planning process. There are six goals in the long-range plan and he especially likes that one of the goals is fostering “Harlem Pride”, giving it that “home town” feel. He talked about many of the programs, the business options and challenges facing the district. Overall, a very informative and interesting talk. Thank you, Jason, and we’d also like to thank you for your help with our various literacy projects like the dictionary distribution.

Jason Blume from Harlem School District 2019-02-05 06:00:00Z 0

New Member, Jenny Reddington

Posted on Jan 29, 2019

Previously inducted new member, Jenny Reddington, gave her classification talk. She is a financial adviser at Edward Jones who likes people and enjoys helping people navigate the many concerns in the financial world. She and her husband have been married for eight years, have two daughters that are 20 & 23 and are “empty nesters”, although they have a new puppy. They like to travel, music & concerts and NASCAR. She volunteers for Make-a-Wish Foundation and is on the advisory board for Camp Winnebago YMCA. Thank you, Jenny, for helping us get to know you a little better.

New Member, Jenny Reddington 2019-01-29 06:00:00Z 0

New Member Scott Williamson

Posted on Jan 22, 2019

One of our newer members, Scott Williamson, was on hand to give his classification talk. Scott served in the U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf. He has been married for 20 years, has four children and came to this area from Peoria. Scott started in home improvement and 14 years ago he purchased a franchise with Window World and moved to Rockford. He liked their professionalism, pricing, warranties and good ratings and felt they took any possible “shadiness” out of the home improvement industry. Most of his workers are subcontractors and have been with him for over 10 years. They opened a store in Bloomington in 2006 which was sold in 2013 and opened another in Joliet in 2010. They had a record year in 2018 and have appeared on “Extreme Home Makeover” twice. Every window is custom-made from Cedar Rapids or Ohio. In addition to Rotary, he is also in the Cosmopolitan Club, a member of Heartland Church and is involved with Belvidere Youth Baseball. Thanks for sharing and helping us to get to know you a little better Scott.

New Member Scott Williamson 2019-01-22 06:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Olivia Lewis

Posted on Jan 16, 2019

Olivia Lewis was honored as student of the month at Loves Park Rotary and was in attendance with Jame Kidd and counselor, Jeannine Ferger. Olivia has participated in Link Crew and the National Honor Society in her junior and senior year. She’s been a part of her school’s varsity cheerleading and track teams since freshman year where she has been team captain and team MVP for consecutive years. Her involvement with NHS and Link Crew has presented her with countless volunteer opportunities such as Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center and the Rockford Rescue Mission. Her future plans include a major in Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Congratulations, Olivia, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month.

Student of the Month, Olivia Lewis 2019-01-16 06:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Streets Department

Posted on Jan 15, 2019

We were visited by Shannon from the Loves Park Streets Department. As John Hurley pointed out, long time Rotarians may remember him as the person responsible for allowing our use of the City barn for sorting and storing our grapefruit and oranges during the fruit drive in heated comfort out of the elements. As head of the streets department, Shannon was in charge of over 330 miles of road and a budget of over $300,000. Their largest expense is for road salt which accounted for almost $200,000 and is purchased each year in March. They are required to pay for at least 80% of the salt when ordered. During the season, he monitors up to seven forecasts to stay on top of scheduling to keep the roads clean. He was instrumental in implementing a new system of mixing water with the salt to conserve the precious supply of salt and make a more efficient mixture for cleaning the roads. However, he was quick to point out that it would not have been effective if his crews had not “bought in” to the new process. Thanks, Shannon, for an interesting and informative talk.

Loves Park Streets Department 2019-01-15 06:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Developments

Posted on Jan 09, 2019

We were visited by Nate Bruck & Steve Thompson who brought pictures and drawings and discussed the history of Loves Park and innovations and improvements made over the years. Examples were development of the Sports Center, Sports Core 2 and the Riverhawks stadium. Traffic was improved in the area and $13 million was spent to improve the turf fields in the Northwest fields. A new hospital was built which will help capitalize on sales and revenue in the area. They work to protect their investment with special zoning, setting up guidelines and design & use standards. Thank you Nate & Steve for an interesting presentation.

Loves Park Developments 2019-01-09 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jan 08, 2019

Past President, Andrew Reynolds, receives a plaque from President Dave Smith in recognition of his service to the club this past year. Thank you, Andrew, for your service.

Jenny Redington is inducted as a new member into Loves Park Rotary by President Dave Smith and is pinned by sponsor, John Hurley.

Announcements 2019-01-08 06:00:00Z 0

Rest in Peace, Helen Larson

Posted on Jan 07, 2019

It is with sadness that we inform you that Dave Larson’s mother, Helen, passed away January 3. A service was held. Please keep Dave’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

Rest in Peace, Helen Larson 2019-01-07 06:00:00Z 0

Dave Larson is Rotarian of the Year

Posted on Dec 21, 2018

Congratulations to Dave Larson, awarded the Rotarian of the Year at this year’s Christmas party. Dave is a past president and long-standing member who has always been ready to volunteer to help with Rotary projects and fund raisers. Among other things, he has chaired or co-chaired our clean-up effort with Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful for many years. Dave is very deserving of this award.

Dave Larson is Rotarian of the Year 2018-12-21 06:00:00Z 0

Bob Burden Receives Service Above Self Award

Posted on Dec 20, 2018

At this year’s Christmas party, Mayor Greg Jury presented City Clerk Bob Burden with the Service Above Self Award. Each year the mayor presents this award to an individual who embodies the selfless qualities that serve this community so well. Congratulations, Bob Burden, on winning this year’s Service Above Self award.

Bob Burden Receives Service Above Self Award 2018-12-20 06:00:00Z 0
Dr T receives Foundation award 2018-12-18 06:00:00Z 0

Tom Brooks

Posted on Dec 06, 2018
Tom Brooks promoting Rotary student exchange at a Rockford Rotary meeting.
Tom Brooks 2018-12-06 06:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Rachel Gander

Posted on Dec 04, 2018

Rachel Gander was honored as student of the month at Loves Park Rotary and was in attendance with her mother, Paula Gander, and counselor, Sandi Thies. Rachel is President of the National Honor Society, secretary of the student council, a member of the math team, Students for Action, WYSE and she also participated in the Chemistry Olympiad last year. She’s been swimming competitively for 12 years and has been on the girls varsity swim team for three years. Her passion for swimming has led her to volunteer in many different areas of life such as helping organize younger athletes at swim meets, blood drives at Harlem as well as helping at food banks such as at Harlem High School and Grace Lutheran Church. These experiences have made a profound impact on her life and left her some precious memories that help motivate her to volunteer in many other areas. Future plans for Rachel include a major in Materials Science and Engineering and she is considering Iowa State and Purdue. Congratulations, Rachel, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month.

Student of the Month, Rachel Gander 2018-12-04 06:00:00Z 0

Taryn Marko from CASA

Posted on Dec 04, 2018

We were visited by Taryn Marko, director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for children. Started in Winnebago County in 1987, CASA trains volunteers who act as advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system. CASA volunteers participate with the children to learn of their situation first hand and then deliver to the court their opinion on what steps need to be taken to assist the children in the best manner. The children don’t go to court, the CASA volunteers do. The advocates are considered a Guardian ad Litem (at Law).  Judges accept nearly all the CASA volunteers' recommendations.  CASA members visit with the children, their families, teachers, physicians and so on, typically once per month and commit to about 10 hours of volunteer work per month.. Often they are the only consistent voice or contact in these children’s lives.  Volunteers are asked to complete training several times per year with judges, attorneys and other CASA staff and will be screened closely for commitment and objectivity, among other things. Last year CASA volunteers helped over 300 children but there are approximately 800 still waiting for an advocate.  Thank you to Taryn and all the CASA volunteers for what they do to advocate for the children.

Taryn Marko from CASA 2018-12-04 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Nov 26, 2018
A reminder that our next meeting on Tuesday, November 27 will be offsite at the new Woodward Governor location and will feature of tour of their new facility. Lunch will be catered by ABC as usual.
Announcements 2018-11-26 06:00:00Z 0

Tanya Burns from DCFS

Posted on Nov 20, 2018
We were visited by Tanya Burns, Public Service Administrator, from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).  Tanya has worked with them for many years in pretty nearly any aspect of helping the agency with the children.  They help in so many areas such as adoption, foster care, cases of abuse or neglect, and more.  It’s clear that Tanya is very knowledgeable and extremely compassionate, and committed to helping.  Thank you, Tanya, for visiting. 
Tanya Burns from DCFS 2018-11-20 06:00:00Z 0

Farewell Will Geske

Posted on Nov 17, 2018
Past President of Loves Park Rotary and 815 Satellite Club member Will Geske passed away November 17. His visitation and funeral were in Belvidere on November 20 & November 21. We will miss him. Rest in peace, Will Geske.
Farewell Will Geske 2018-11-17 06:00:00Z 0

Joint Meeting with Parks Chamber

Posted on Nov 13, 2018
Rotary hosted a joint meeting with the Parks Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Director, Deb Nau, invited a special panel to discuss “Tariffs and Your Wallet”. The panel was moderated by attorney Thomas Green, senior attorney for Machesney Park; it included Richard Paullin, Executive Director of the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago and Robert Evans, Economics Professor from Rockford University. They explained that a tariff is essentially a tax on a purchase and may be imposed for many reasons such as to help protect domestic startup companies or industries or often to force a country or government to behave in a different manner more acceptable to the people enforcing the tariff. As part of their discussion, they observed that President Trump is planning on raising the tariff on imports from China from 10% to 25% beginning January 1st in spite of concerns raised by many economists. The panel said that the US actually led the global economy in moving away from tariffs toward free trade and this would mark a 180 degree change in direction. They felt the move is being made, not as a matter of foreign policy, but as an attempt to solve our economic woes. Further, it is their opinion that the increase will pretty much impact all consumers with increased prices due to the current heavy reliance on imports from China. Overall, a very interesting topic and one bound to generate a great deal of discussion. Thank you, Deb and the Parks Chamber, for promoting this panel discussion.
Joint Meeting with Parks Chamber 2018-11-13 06:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Rotary 815 Club

Fun night at Rotary 815, the Loves Park Rotary Club’s satellite club, with current exchange from Germany, Luisa Tewes(in red sweatshirt) standing with her host mom, PDG Shannon Scheffel, along with visiting former exchange student Monica Sciannimanico and her mom from Italy and former exchange student and current Loves Park Rotarian Ciara Stahly.
Loves Park Rotary 815 Club 2018-11-06 06:00:00Z 0

Circle of Change Veterans Dog Program

Posted on Nov 06, 2018

We were visited by Mr. Haight from Circle of Change Veterans Dog Program. The program takes veterans referred by mental health professionals working with various veterans organizations. The veterans meet once a week over 13 weeks with their peer mentors & experienced dog trainers to interact with each other and train dogs. The participants are exposed to all aspects of dog handling. The dogs chosen for the program by the trainers often display many of the same symptoms as the vets themselves such as anxiety issues or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The program builds confidence, respect & trust among the vets, trainers & dogs. Working with the dogs to overcome their issues can help the veterans work through many of their own problems and gives them valuable skills to help them ultimately with dog ownership, although the dogs being trained are not specifically being trained for adoption by the vets. When they come to the program, neither the dog nor the veteran are usually well integrated in society and often cannot even make eye contact. It’s easy to see how this can be a win win situation for the veterans and the dogs. The program is offered free to referred veterans and relies solely on grants from the community and donations. Thanks, Mr. Haight, for telling us about this valuable program that helps those men and women who have served so faithfully.

Circle of Change Veterans Dog Program 2018-11-06 06:00:00Z 0

Dictionary Helpers

Posted on Nov 06, 2018

Many hands make light work. Rotarians help put Loves Park Rotary labels on several hundred dictionaries to be handed out to some lucky children. This is another of our club literacy projects.

Dictionary Helpers 2018-11-06 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Oct 30, 2018

Zach Satterlee, Marketing Director & in charge of Fund Development, says he always loves talking about Lifescape. The mission of Lifescape Community Services is to promote independent living and enhance the quality of life for individuals by providing affordable nutrition and other services, with an emphasis on the aging population. They offer several programs serving eight counties. Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals directly to eligible individuals, including evenings & weekends. Adult Protective Services helps victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation. The Senior Choice program assists with caregiving issues in Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. The Adult Day Program serves clients with cognitive issues such as various dementias or Alzheimer’s and supports their caregivers. Zach, it’s easy to see you’re passionate about your role with Lifescape and we appreciate your sharing information about it with us.

Lifescape 2018-10-30 05:00:00Z 0

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB)

Posted on Oct 23, 2018

We were visited by Beverly Broyles, Director of Communication & Development at Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful. Their mission is to improve our environment through education, public awareness and community involvement. If you go to their website you can see what, how & when they recycle. For example, they have Christmas tree recycling with mulch available, they have a shred-it day and they also partner with Goodwill for a Spring & Fall clothing drive. Beverly says no clothing ends up in a landfill. It can be used for rags, carpet insulation and so on. They can repair or sell cell phones and the money raised is provided to veterans for calling cards. Environmental education is very important to them and they have a program for K-12 (she says Milwaukee has an excellent program). Thank you, Beverly, for helping us know more about KNIB.


Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) 2018-10-23 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Cameron Bottum

Posted on Oct 17, 2018

Cameron Bottum was honored as student of the month at Loves Park Rotary and was in attendance with his parents and counselor, Rotarian Ginger Thompson. Cameron was involved in student council all four years of high school and Harlem superintendent’s student advisory council for three years. He’s been in Christian Youth Theater (CYT) for five years and Voices of Harlem for four years. He has also participated in the National Honor Society, golf and track for two years. Although he has volunteered in many organizations in the area, some with special meaning for him include the Make a Wish Foundation and Rockford Acts of Kindness. He says receiving this honor from Rotary is special because his grandmother is a current Rotarian in Morrison, IL and his great grandfather was a Rotarian as well. Future plans for Cameron include the University of Iowa with a major in Dentistry. Congratulations, Cameron, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month.

Student of the Month, Cameron Bottum 2018-10-17 05:00:00Z 0

Jason Haller from Goodwill

Posted on Oct 16, 2018

Jason Haller visited from Goodwill. He pointed out that they have 11 retail stores, a donation express and one outlet store. They also assist with preparation of taxes for low income families in cooperation with the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). Generally, this is for families with income below $54,000 annually. The program was started by the IRS in 1969 and last year Goodwill assisted VITA with over 3,200 tax returns in four traditional sites. Thank you, Jason, for visiting Loves Park Rotary and showing us another dimension of Goodwill.

Jason Haller from Goodwill 2018-10-16 05:00:00Z 0

2018 International Conference

Posted on Oct 02, 2018

Dave showed a video of Princess Ann’s address to Rotarians at the 2018 Rotary International Conference in Toronto.

2018 International Conference 2018-10-02 05:00:00Z 0

Towncenter Living Community (TLC)

Posted on Sep 25, 2018

We were visited by former Rotarian, Diana Johnson.  She retired from the Parks Chamber June 1st and then a month later started working a couple days a week for Towncenter Living Community (TLC).  The facility will be located south of the old JC Penney store and the Machesney Park Mall.  They are accepting reservations now and hope to have their facility operational by early summer next year.  It will have three stories with 93 units consisting of studio apartments and one or two-bedroom apartments.  They will be private pay on a month to month basis and will be comparable to other high end facilities, according to Diana.  They will be independent, maintenance-free living but with assisted living available, according to their brochure.  Thanks for coming back to see us, Diana, and giving us a sneak preview of this new facility coming to our area.

Towncenter Living Community (TLC) 2018-09-25 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Sep 24, 2018

Visitors: our exchange student from Thailand, who goes by Jane to make it easier on those of us struggling to spell or pronounce her name; also, invited by Shannon, Rebecca, who is looking for a service club to join.

Our meeting on 10/23 will be at the new Woodward Governor facility at Harlem & Perryville.

Announcements 2018-09-24 05:00:00Z 0

Just Breathe 815

Posted on Sep 18, 2018

We were visited by Kevin Ware from “Just Breathe 815”, a 501c(3) organization. The inspiration came when he was having a conversation with his daughter and she asked him where homeless kids go to get food, clothing or shelter. Approximately 7 % of teens are homeless and Rockford has the 2nd highest population of homeless teens in the state. Sometimes the teens get meals during the week from area schools but not on weekends or holidays. Just Breathe puts together packs for the kids and they get volunteer help from area high school students. They also accept gently used clothing as donations. Thanks for visiting us, Kevin, and telling us about Just Breathe 815.

Just Breathe 815 2018-09-18 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting at North Suburban Library

Posted on Sep 11, 2018

Our meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 11 was not at City Hall because they were working on the windows. Mary Petro graciously offered to host us at North Suburban Library District on North Second Street. We saw a video presentation of the conference in Toronto. Dave Smith commented that he was impressed to observe an adult in the middle of all the exchange students (which usually isn’t allowed) but it was President Barry Rassin. He was mixing with the kids and really getting to know them. Much of the presentation was Barry’s speech, where he reinforced his theme for the year, “Be the Inspiration”. He spoke about Haiti which is in his district and how humbling it was to visit and requested to take a shower. His host excused himself, then raced into town to ask the administrator to turn on the water (which normally was only turned on for two hours/day). Barry challenged each attendee to “be the agent of change” and said he hoped to see Rotaract double in size and see these young people join Rotary. Thanks, Dave, for letting us see this inspirational presentation and thanks, Mary, for hosting us.

Meeting at North Suburban Library 2018-09-11 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Sep 10, 2018

Our meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 11 will not be at City Hall as they will be working on the windows. Mary Petro has graciously offered to host us at North Suburban Library District on North Second Street. Lunch will be catered by ABC as usual. Thanks, Mary, for stepping up and helping us out.

Tom Brooks thanked Ginger, Ciara, and everyone who helped with the inbound & outbound students; all inbounds are in and all outbounds are out per Tom.

Dave Smith gave a special thank you to Jon & Tracy Eppes and Rocco for their efforts cooking for the Rotary picnic which was a big success.

Announcements 2018-09-10 05:00:00Z 0

Rocco Zonta gives his classification talk encore

Posted on Sep 04, 2018

If anyone missed it the first time, Rocco was able to tell us again a little about himself. Rocco is a military vet and we thank him for his service to our country. After serving in the military, he moved to Rockford. In the service, he did maintenance work on military aircraft, especially the aircraft used in special military operations. As a civilian he joined AAR at the Rockford airport and has been able to put his military experience to good use in his new occupation. Rocco has proven himself to be a good and valuable Rotarian, willing to pitch in and help where needed.

Rocco Zonta gives his classification talk encore 2018-09-04 05:00:00Z 0

Ginger Thompson talks about RYLA

Posted on Aug 28, 2018

Ginger gave us some information about RYLA which stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and she talked about their annual gathering in Oregon, IL at the Laredo Taft Campus which is in Lowden Park behind the famous statue of Blackhawk. There is no upper or lower age limit although she said most of the teens are freshman to seniors in high school. The kids learn leadership and team building skills. They start planning the event from October to May (it was held this year the first weekend in May) and they usually plan on from 90 to 125/year. They like to have four or five student counselors and the requirement is that they at least have to have attended a camp previously. Some districts pay for the kids and sometimes the attendees are asked to help pay for themselves. Thanks, Ginger, for helping us to know more about RYLA.


Ginger Thompson talks about RYLA 2018-08-28 05:00:00Z 0

Miranda Shoultz and her time in Spain

Posted on Aug 21, 2018

Miranda Shoultz told us about her time in Denia, Spain. Her host family had a great view of the mountains from their back yard which was not real grass. They don’t have air conditioning or heat so, with temperatures generally in the 50’s, she spent a fair amount of time by the fire. There were some interesting cultural differences such as two air kisses when greeting someone and no handshakes and a great deal of familial closeness. They eat lunches later in the day such as from 2 to 4 and there’s a lot of party life, even for young people. They have clubs for 16 and older and everything was close so they could walk where they needed to go, even though public transportation is much more common than here. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Miranda.

Miranda Shoultz and her time in Spain 2018-08-21 05:00:00Z 0

Sad News

Posted on Aug 18, 2018
It is with sadness we inform you that Bob & Fran Rehfeldt's son, Kevin, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this week.  There will be a visitation tomorrow, Sunday, 8/19 at Fred C. Olson Funeral Chapel, 1001 2nd Ave. from 1 to 3 pm.  The funeral is Monday, 8/20 at 11 am at Trinity Lutheran Church with another visitation an hour before the service.  I know you will keep the entire Rehfeldt family in your prayers.  I have attached the complete obituary below or see or the Rockford paper today and tomorrow:
Kevin R. Rehfeldt, 54, of Loves Park, passed away on August 14, 2018. He was born on March 29, 1964 in Rockford, the son of Robert and Frances (Crone) Rehfeldt. Kevin received his bachelor's degree, was a youth director at Trinity Lutheran Church for over 20 years and most recently, employed at General Mills.
He is survived by his children, Cortney and Makenzie Rehfeldt; parents, Robert and Frances Rehfeldt; sister, Kimberly Rehfeldt; and the mother of his children, Rebecca Rehfeldt.
Visitation will be Sunday, August 19, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 2nd Ave., Rockford . Funeral Services will be at 11:00 am on Monday, August 20, 2018 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 200 N. First St., Rockford, with a visitation prior to the service from 10:00 to 10:45 am. Burial in Scandinavian Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family for a memorial to be established in Kevin's name
Sad News 2018-08-18 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Aug 07, 2018
Congratulations to Jon & Tracy Eppes on their 24th wedding anniversary!
The Rotary picnic will be Sunday, August 26 at 12:30 in the pavilion behind City Hall.  Please bring a dish to pass; Shannon will bring plates & utensils.
As Rotarians, we are all invited to an indoor picnic hosted by the Parks Chamber on Wednesday, August 14 from 5:30 - 7:30.  It will be held in the same room where we have our meetings in City Hall and will be catered by Buffalo Wild Wings.
Our guest was Kielyn Jackson Ramos who is our outbound student going to Bolivia.  We wish her well and hope she has a great year!
Announcements 2018-08-07 05:00:00Z 0

"Trees That Feed"

Posted on Aug 07, 2018
Anita reported that our district grant for $870 was approved.  Using funds donated to the foundation by Loves Park that they have held for three years, the district matches $870 raised by our club which Anita has been working hard to complete.  The funds will be used to purchase educational coloring books which will be given to area fourth graders in the Harlem district, St. Bridget and Concordia.  Additionally, breadfruit trees will be purchased for areas like Haiti & Guatemala.  The trees take about three years to mature and will last about 100 years, providing a great supply of food for families. Well done, Anita!
"Trees That Feed" 2018-08-07 05:00:00Z 0

Alyssa Scheffel Outbound to Chile

Posted on Jul 31, 2018
Shannon Scheffel's daughter, Alyssa, is soon to be outbound to Chile.  She is headed to San Felipe which is on the west side of the Andes Mountains by the ocean.  Her host sister is leaving for Denmark before she gets there so she'll be staying with her host mother.  Alyssa is really looking forward to her time in Chile as that was the country she did her Spanish project on in her freshman year.  She also met with a Rotarian, Carter Newton from Galena, who has an ongoing project in Chile.  We know Alyssa will enjoy her stay in Chile.
Alyssa Scheffel Outbound to Chile 2018-07-31 05:00:00Z 0

Ted Tomita from Rockford Rescue Mission

Posted on Jul 24, 2018

We were visited by Ted Tomita from Rockford Rescue Mission; he was a guest at the recent open house held by area Rotary clubs of which Loves Park was a co-host. Ted has been with the Rescue Mission for about 1 ½ years after being laid off from Honeywell in Freeport after 28 years. The Rescue Mission has over 500 volunteers and 85 paid staff, working to help area homeless, victims of alcohol & substance abuse and other social issues. They have an education center helping with computer classes, resume writing and

obtaining GED’s, so necessary in today’s working environment. They served over 140,000 meals last year & have a “REMADE” store where items are sold such as repaired furniture and artwork done by residents & clients. Relatively new in the last two years is Pitney Place, a 25,000 square foot facility named after the founders, Nadine & Gerald Pitney. The 24/7 emergency shelter on the ground floor will house 60 beds, and the long-term life recovery program on the second floor will house another 60 beds. It has a day care as well as an outdoors playground area. We appreciate Ted visiting the “friendliest club in town”. We told him he is welcome back any time.

Ted Tomita from Rockford Rescue Mission 2018-07-24 05:00:00Z 0

International Conference in Toronto

Posted on Jul 17, 2018
Our club was well represented at the international conference in Toronto.  The conference was held in the huge sports arena with an estimated attendance of about 25,000 Rotarians.  The breakout groups were in a separate building about 1/4 mile away which is similar to Chicago's McCormick Place.  While John & Marta Hurley didn't get to hear Princess Anne, they said they were very impressed with former First Lady, Laura Bush.  Tom Brooks & Dave Smith enjoyed a dinner with other Rotarians over 30 stories up and overlooking Lake Ontario.  There were pictures of that great view as well as the spectacular nighttime skyline of Toronto.  One of the highlights for John & Marta was the Hockey Hall of Fame, where they were surprised to learn that the Stanley Cup stays on display while a copy travels to the winning team.  Anita mentioned that if you make a foundation contribution while you are at the international conference, you will receive a Rotary scarf or tie for every $150 contributed.  She was happy to present our newest young members, Ciara & Rocco with a scarf & tie, respectively and President Dave Smith received a tie from Anita as well.
International Conference in Toronto 2018-07-17 05:00:00Z 0

District Governor, Kathy Kwiat-Hess

Posted on Jul 11, 2018
Our new District Governor, Kathy Kwiat-Hess, paid us a visit.  Kathy became President of the Rockford club in 2009/2010 and has been "engaged in Rotary" ever since.  She just loves Rotary International's new motto "Be the Inspiration"  and one of her goals is to attract new members and engage & retain existing members.  She noted that our club is very actively involved in many projects and feels that a Presidential Citation is "very doable".  Previously, 10 clubs received the citation and she believes that number could triple.  She mentioned the District Conference will be May 17th & 18th and right next door in Galena next year.  Kathy said we, in the district, are a team and she is grateful for all the many contributors from our club at the district level.  Thank you, District Governor, for visiting our humble little club.  
District Governor, Kathy Kwiat-Hess 2018-07-11 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jul 10, 2018
Happy Birthday to Polly Smith!  A cake was baked in her honor.
Welcome to new Rotarian, Rocco Zonta!  He was sworn in by District Governor, Kathy Kwiat-Hess and received his Rotary pin from Tom Brooks.  We know he will make a great Rotarian.
Please keep Will Geske and his family in your prayers.  He is very ill and needs our support.  The family asks any cards be sent in care of Edward Jones & Co., 7144 Kleckner Rd., Rockford, IL  61107.
President Dave Smith announced that he is bringing back the Rotary picnic.  Spouses, kids & guests are invited and the date is set for August 26 at the pavilion behind City Hall where it's been in the past.
Announcements 2018-07-10 05:00:00Z 0

Passing of the gavel

Posted on Jul 04, 2018
Past President, John Hurley, acted as Master of Ceremonies and swore in our incoming President, Dave Smith.  He presented Andrew Reynolds with the much-coveted Past President pin and expressed our club’s gratitude for his leadership over the past year.  Dave comes in as a second-time president, serving previously in 2000.  Dave has been in Rotary since 1979 and, among other things, has distinguished himself as a youth exchange officer and district chair of youth exchange for many years.  We look forward to an exciting year as Dave plans to focus on three key areas as President:  membership, fund raising, and fun & fellowship.  John also welcomed three other incoming members of the leadership team that were present at the meeting:  Ciara will be Secretary, Craig Anderson will be Treasurer and A. Marie Holmes will serve on the board along with others who were not present at the meeting.
Passing of the gavel  2018-07-04 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jul 03, 2018
Outgoing President, Andrew Reynolds, noted that prospective member, Rocco Zonta has nearly completed the process of being approved by membership and he expects that it will be completed in time for the new governor’s visit July 10.  All members are asked to try to attend to welcome our newest Rotarian and out of respect for the new governor’s visit.
Our exchange student, Jessica, is close to leaving to return home.  She thoroughly enjoyed her time with her host family, the Geskes.  Jessica actually graduated from Harlem while she was here which is somewhat unusual; and she had a GPA of about 3.4 which is outstanding!  We wish you well, Jessica, thanks for visiting us.
Announcements  2018-07-03 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary History with Shannon

Posted on Jun 26, 2018
Past President & Past District Governor, Shannon Scheffel, provided us with some history on Rotary International.  With over 1.2 million members & 34,000 clubs world wide, the average club size is 20 members, which makes Loves Park pretty normal.  With the exception of the eradication of polio, she observed that most projects start at the local level and our club has many areas of focus, such as youth exchange, literacy and economic development.  Our club has a history of generous foundation giving and Shannon pointed out that what some may not know is that the principal is invested by international for three years and then parceled back to the club that gave.  RI only uses the interest.  Thanks, Shannon, for some interesting history on Rotary. 
Rotary History with Shannon 2018-06-26 05:00:00Z 0

Tom Brooks, District Governor Nominee

Posted on Jun 16, 2018
At the installation of Kathy Kwiat-Hess as District Governor on Saturday at the Rockford University Club, Loves Park Rotarian, Tom Brooks, was sworn in as District Governor Nominee for Rotary Year 2020-2021.  Congratulations Tom!  You're on your way to becoming the fifth Loves Park Rotarian to be District Governor.  
Tom Brooks, District Governor Nominee 2018-06-16 05:00:00Z 0

Judith Schandelmeier died May 3rd

Posted on Jun 01, 2018
Regretfully, we have learned that Doug Schandelmeier has lost his mother, Judith Schandelmeier.  She died May 3rd and her service was May 11th.  Please extend your condolences to Doug.
Judith Schandelmeier died May 3rd 2018-06-01 05:00:00Z 0

Grace Skadow passed May 21st

Posted on Jun 01, 2018
It is with sadness that we report Don Skadow's mother, Grace Skadow,  died May 21, just two weeks after her husband.  A Memorial Service will be held at 11:30 am on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Trinity Lutheran Church – Durand, 15585 Durand Rd. Durand.  Visitation will be from 10:30 am to  11:15 am on Saturday prior to the service in the church.  Please offer your condolences to Don
Grace Skadow passed May 21st 2018-06-01 05:00:00Z 0
Steve Johnson, President of Machesney Park 2018-05-30 05:00:00Z 0
Justin Chen from Taiwan 2018-05-29 05:00:00Z 0

Clean Safe Water is Possible

Posted on May 22, 2018
Mike Lokander & Bob Swanson, both past Presidents of Rock Island Rotary, visited to talk to our club about safe drinking water for third world countries or areas devastated by natural disaster.  They told us about a product called LifeStraw manufactured by a Swiss company called Vestergarde and distributed by a non-profit organization in Texas called Replenish.  Originally made in a smaller size for fisherman & outdoorsman, they came up with a design as seen in the photo that holds 25 liters of water.  It has four taps and can serve up to 70 kids, providing clean, safe water in remote third world areas. It costs about $350 which includes a replacement filter that typically lasts about three years.  The founders are Hilde and Sam Wray.  Sam was an engineer and has been a Rotarian for 42 years.  They were originally interested in wells but saw more advantages to this system since no particular expertise or resources are required for installation or repairs.  Thank you Bob & Mike for coming all the way to Rockford to share this with us. 
Clean Safe Water is Possible 2018-05-22 05:00:00Z 0

Illinois State Flag has Rockford Chapter NSDAR connection 

Posted on May 15, 2018
We were visited by Alice Fry Uphouse, Honorary Rockford Chapter Regent for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  She has held many leadership positions in the DAR over the years and she talked about some of their history, especially how they were involved with the design of the flag for the state of Illinois.  When the State Regent, Ella Park Lawrence, noticed Illinois had no state flag at the Continental Memorial Hall in Washington D.C., she launched a campaign to create a state flag to represent Illinois. The Illinois state flag, chosen from 35 submitted designs, was designed in 1915 by Lucy Keeler, daughter of the Rockford chapter regent and state vice regent and won a $25 prize for the chapter.  Alice said that “Illinois” was added to the bottom of the flag in 1969 and she further noted that 2018 is the bicentennial year for Illinois.  Thank you, Alice, for sharing some local history with us.  
Illinois State Flag has Rockford Chapter NSDAR connection 2018-05-15 05:00:00Z 0

Don Skadow's father

Posted on May 07, 2018
It is with sadness I inform you that Don Skadow's father, Don Skadow Sr., passed away Saturday 5/5.  They will be having a memorial service in Durand on Saturday, 5/12 at 11 am with a visitation an hour before the service.  More details and a full obituary are at
Don Skadow's father 2018-05-07 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Health Check

Posted on Apr 24, 2018
Rotarians were provide a Rotary Club Health Check form to fill out a couple weeks ago.  Next week we'll be having another meeting focusing on membership, the second in a series of meetings to discuss membership and the future direction of the club.  Please remember to fill out your health check and bring it to the meeting.  
Rotary Health Check 2018-04-24 05:00:00Z 0

The Discovery Center

Posted on Apr 18, 2018
We were visited by Sarah Wolf & Ann Marie Walker from the Discovery Center.  The Discovery Center was started in 1981 in the old Post Office Building on South Main and moved to their current location in 1991 when Sears donated the property.  Among other things, they have a river front museum park, planetarium, discovery park and Ag-zibit, which was added in 2010.  They feature many travelling exhibits and events every year that encourage children to explore the concepts of math & science.  Their outreach program served over 38,000 in Rockford, Loves Park & Machesney Park area schools, day cares & libraries.  They also offer after school programs, classes & camps.  They receive help from many volunteers and funding comes from a variety of sources, such as admissions, memberships, grants & contributions.  They host special events every year such as the one in August featuring performer Jim Gill, originally from Rockford.  Thank you Sarah & Ann Marie for helping us to get to know a little more about a local treasure.
The Discovery Center  2018-04-18 05:00:00Z 0

Harlem High School Student of the Month, Elle Adams

Posted on Apr 17, 2018
Ginger Thompson introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Elle Adams.  Her parents are Tim and Corrina Adams and her mother was able to accompany her to our meeting.  She ranks 2nd of 456 in her class with a 4.78 GPA, she is treasurer of the National Honor Society and has been a member for two years; she is also on the math team.  She’s played softball at Harlem for four years and is captain of the varsity team.  Elle has been very active in the community, volunteering for Swedish American Hospital and the Rockford Rescue Mission.  She has also spent many years in area softball and especially likes teaching young girls how to play the game.  Elle plans on attending the Grinnell College in Iowa, pursuing a double major in biochemistry and Spanish with a goal toward studying tropical diseases and, hopefully, one day helping to create vaccines for poorer countries.  Congratulations, Elle, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month. 
Harlem High School Student of the Month, Elle Adams 2018-04-17 05:00:00Z 0

Grant McCarty from the U of I Extension Office

Posted on Mar 27, 2018
Grant McCarty is the Local Food Systems & Small Farms Unit Educator with the U of I Extension Office.  They can help with many agricultural problems such as someone who’s about to lose their entire crop due to disease or insect infestation.  Most consulting is free although they do occasionally host various programs for nominal fees.  They’ve been serving all of Illinois’ 102 counties for over 100 years and offer programs such as Master Gardening or Master Naturalist Training.  Thanks for visiting, Grant.
Grant McCarty from the U of I Extension Office  2018-03-27 05:00:00Z 0

Center for Learning in Retirement

Posted on Mar 20, 2018
We were visited by Barb Majernik & Art Swanson who are volunteers for Rock Valley College’s Center for Learning in Retirement.  Started in 1993, the Center is now in it’s 25th year and offers over 300 classes a year.  Annual membership dues are $30 and provide those 50 and older opportunities to attend a wide variety of classes such as Notorious Crimes of Winnebago & Boone County, Passion for Film, Frank Lloyd Wright or Computer Training.  They often organize bus trips such as a recent outing to the Pabst Mansion & Brewery with lunch at Mader’s.  You can even join the Golden Eagles Fitness Program.  Class prices range from $5 to $45.  Great information!  Thank you Barb & Art for visiting and filling us in on these great opportunities. 
Center for Learning in Retirement 2018-03-20 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Miranda Johnson

Posted on Mar 13, 2018
Andrew Reynolds introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Miranda Johnson.  Her parents are Gerald & Tammy Johnson and her mother was able to attend with her.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, Creative Writing Club, Math Team, Track and Cross Country.  Miranda was also involved in the Jazz Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and the Pep/Marching Band.  She’s active in the music community, playing French Horn with the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Brass Quintet and Brass Choir. Miranda enjoyed teaching beginning horn players in the summer.  She plans to attend a four-year university and earn an undergraduate degree in instrumental music education with an emphasis in horn performance and eventually become a university orchestra director.  Congratulations, Miranda, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month again! (Miranda was also named student of the month as an eighth grader.)
Student of the Month, Miranda Johnson 2018-03-13 05:00:00Z 0

PET Training

Posted on Mar 06, 2018
Dave Smith, Tom Brooks, John Hurley & Shannon Scheffel were among attendees at the recent PET training (President-Elect training) sessions for our area.  Many topics were covered, and of special interest to our people were the talks on fund raising.  Questions were asked about who funds were raised for, who was the audience and what type of activities did various clubs engage in.  The responses were many and varied and provided attendees with a lot of food for thought.
PET Training 2018-03-06 06:00:00Z 0

Mayor Greg Jury

Posted on Feb 27, 2018
Mayor Greg Jury was in attendance and gave us a little of his personal background, talking a little about when his family purchased Top Hat Restaurant in Loves Park, his work in the private sector for William Charles as well as his time with Loves Park Public Works.  He also talked about some of the things the city is currently working on, partnering with North Park Fire Department to improve response times, especially at some of the Eastern edges of the city.  He's proud of the fact that Loves Park experiences a much lower crime rate than some of the other communities, they have no budget deficits and they are experiencing growth in many areas.  Thank you, Mayor Jury, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us.
Mayor Greg Jury 2018-02-27 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Feb 20, 2018
The program at Loves Park Rotary on February 20 was from MOSAIC, a non profit based in Rockford serving adults with developmental disabilities. Speakers were Tricia Sweeney, Community Relations Officer, Carla Saelens, Executive Director, and Heidee Hanaman, Independent Program Manager.
Mosaic 2018-02-20 06:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Paige Schneider

Posted on Feb 13, 2018
Tom Brooks introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Paige Schneider.  Her parents are Paul & Lori Schneider; her mom was with her as was her counselor, Mr. Hatch.  She ranks 33rd of 461 in her class with a 4.14 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.  She was a student athletic trainer, sports editor of the yearbook and played varsity basketball (she practiced over 10,000 free throws in the summer).  She likes to volunteer at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, where she runs the sound board for Saturday service once a month.  Paige’s future plans include physical therapy and athletic training at Carroll University .  Congratulations, Paige, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month.  
Student of the Month, Paige Schneider 2018-02-13 06:00:00Z 0

Paula from GiGi's Playhouse

Posted on Feb 06, 2018
Paula talked to us about GiGi’s Playhouse, Down Syndrome Achievement Centers, started in Hoffman Estates by Nancy Gianni.  They now have over 35 playhouses across the USA and one in Mexico.  In the Rockford area, they have a location on North Second Street in Machesney Park.  They exist to educate, inspire and believe – that is, to help build confidence and self-esteem.  Paula explained that their students are often taught to sign at an early age because verbal communication is a challenge due to underdeveloped muscles (like the tongue) which is characteristic of Down Syndrome.  She also said they help with continuing education (government funding ends at age 22 and when they end high school, they can go to GiGi U).  They have annual fundraisers, such as a gala event at Giovanni’s in April and a golf playday.  Thank you, Paula, for coming to visit us with this great information.
Paula from GiGi's Playhouse 2018-02-06 06:00:00Z 0

Dr. Nicole Sadi of NonProfit THRIVE

Posted on Jan 30, 2018
Dr. Nicole Sadi, Freeport, talking about the business she and her husband started to connect volunteers with nonprofits. The business is called NonProfit THRIVE.
Dr. Nicole Sadi of NonProfit THRIVE 2018-01-30 06:00:00Z 0
Exchange Student, Yatta Kiiski 2018-01-24 06:00:00Z 0

Newer member, Chuck Pagels

Posted on Jan 23, 2018
Chuck Pagels gave the club a little more background about him.  He is originally from a suburb of Chicago called Evergreen Park.  He was a teacher and counselor and eventually moved into administration, becoming an assistant superintendent.  After he retired, he returned to his role as a counselor for middle school students in North Carolina.  He really loved doing that when he was working with 3rd & 4th graders.  Now that he’s retired again, he loves spending his time as a “stringer”.  He’s not actually on the staff at a newspaper but he loves to contribute photos.  He shared some amazing samples of his work with the club.  Thanks for sharing, Chuck.
Newer member, Chuck Pagels 2018-01-23 06:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Monica Patel

Posted on Jan 03, 2018
Ginger Thompson introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Monica Patel.  Her parents are Rakesh & Rupal Patel and her father was able to be with her.  She ranks 78th of 441 in her class with a 3.57 GPA, she is a member of the National Honor Society and was in Key Club, track and on the dance team; she is also Link Crew co-president.  She’s active in the community, volunteering for Special Olympics, Midway Village, and OSF.  Monica plans on attending the University of Illinois at Chicago with a major in pre-nursing and a goal toward becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner.  Congratulations, Monica, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month.   
Student of the Month, Monica Patel  2018-01-03 06:00:00Z 0

Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Flaming are Major Donors

Posted on Jan 02, 2018
Dr. T presented Jerry Flaming a pin in recognition of he and his wife being major donors to the Paul Harris Foundation.  When asked why he felt so strongly about it, Jerry responded that he travels all over the world and he's able to see first hand the difference the Rotary Foundation has made.  Well said, Jerry, and congratulations to you and your wife on being recognized as major donors.  
Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Flaming are Major Donors 2018-01-02 06:00:00Z 0

Bob Ewald of Fresh Horizons Coffee

Posted on Jan 02, 2018
We were visited by Bob Ewald, who was previously in lawn care and landscaping but now owns Fresh Horizon Coffee.  They work with non-profits and others involved in fund raising.  According to Bob, the fresh roasted coffee can help generate a recurring revenue stream to help fund a special cause.  
Bob Ewald of Fresh Horizons Coffee 2018-01-02 06:00:00Z 0

2017 Rotarian of the Year Award

Posted on Dec 21, 2017
Outgoing Rotarian of the Year, Tom Brooks, presented the award to John Hurley for 2017 Rotarian of the Year.  Tom pointed out that, while John had won the award previously, it was well deserved again as John is always there to help on any project or take charge when needed.  
2017 Rotarian of the Year Award 2017-12-21 06:00:00Z 0

2017 Service Above Self Award

Posted on Dec 20, 2017
Mayor Greg Jury was on hand to present the annual Loves Park Rotary Service Above Self award to Rev. Bobby Sheets from Riverside Community Church.  Mayor Jury has known and worked with Rev. Sheets for many years and was happy to be able to bestow this honor on a fine member of our community.
2017 Service Above Self Award 2017-12-20 06:00:00Z 0

2017 Christmas Party

Posted on Dec 19, 2017
Highlights from this year’s Christmas party including Dr. T leading us in song, along with Dave Larson and Don Skadow.  Also, Dr. T and Tom Brooks presented Black Hawks and Ice Hogs jerseys to our inbound exchange student, Jatta Kiiski.  She was wowed!
2017 Christmas Party 2017-12-19 06:00:00Z 0

Samantha Gallatin, Student of the Month

Posted on Dec 12, 2017
Andrew Reynolds introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Samantha Gallatin.  Her parents are Raymond & Melanie Gallatin.  Besides ranking 17th of 473 in her class with a 4.429 GPA, she is a member of the National Honor Society and was President of the Key Club.  Samantha was also involved in the Book Club, Spanish Club and the Environmental Club, which fits in nicely with her future aspirations to be a biology and chemistry teacher who will inspire people to become someone who can change our world for the better.  She’s active in the community, volunteering for Y.E.S., Midway Village, the Discovery Center, and Kiwanis Brat Days. Congratulations, Samantha, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month.   
Samantha Gallatin, Student of the Month 2017-12-12 06:00:00Z 0

Dictionaries Distributed to Harlem Students

Posted on Dec 07, 2017
Loves Park Rotary has distributed dictionaries to Harlem third graders for the past 13 years, approximately 525 books each year.  The Loves Park Rotarians who distributed this year are Club Literacy Chair, John Hurley; Executive Director of North Suburban Library District, Mary Petro; Parks Chamber Executive Director, Diana Johnson, and District Photographer Dave Smith.  Photos are attached, including one showing volunteers attaching labels to the dictionaries to prepare them for distribution.
Dictionaries Distributed to Harlem Students 2017-12-07 06:00:00Z 0

Rest in Peace, Mel Sparlin 

Posted on Dec 06, 2017
It was with sadness that we learned that long time Loves Park Rotarian and Past District Governor, Mel Sparlin passed away November 30, 2017.  Visitation and services for Mel were Sunday and Monday this past week and were well attended by Rotarians at local and district levels.  Mel's daughter, Julie, was often a guest of our club and we certainly offer our condolences to her and the whole family.  Mel was affectionately referred to as "Mr. Rotary" and a picture is attached showing him receiving an award during one of our many fruit drive fundraisers, where he was often one of the top sellers.  We will miss him.
Rest in Peace, Mel Sparlin 2017-12-06 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Dec 05, 2017
It has been announced that Dave Smith is our President-Elect 
Tom Brooks is hoping to be confirmed as the District Governor Nominee Designate, which would mean that he would be District Governor in 2021.
Our Christmas party will be Tuesday, December 19 at Sam's Ristorante; emails were sent to all Rotarians with the details.  Please RSVP soon.
Announcements 2017-12-05 06:00:00Z 0

Katherine Leeson, Harlem High School Student of the Month

Posted on Nov 21, 2017
President Andrew Reynolds introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Katherine “Kate” Leeson.  Her parents, Diane & Chris Leeson, were here with her as were two of her counselors.  Kate ranks 3rd in her class of 476 students, with a 4.71 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Spanish Club and Model United Nations and, because she loves helping people, she's also a Peer Tutor.  She played club soccer for three years and has been active in soccer at school for four years, the last three on the varsity team.  In the community, Kate has volunteered the last four years in Special Olympics and the Greenwich Village Art Fair.  She also likes to volunteer with Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful.  She hasn't decided where to attend college but plans on studying Biochemistry.  Congratulations, Kate, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month.
Katherine Leeson, Harlem High School Student of the Month 2017-11-21 06:00:00Z 0

Ciara Elliott inducted into 815 club

Posted on Nov 14, 2017
Ciara Elliott was inducted into our satellite club, the 815 club, which meets the first and third Wednesday at the Sports Factory.  They meet after hours because attending a lunch meeting is more difficult for most of them.  Ciara was one of our former exchange students and is now working at Goodwill as an Employment Management Case Specialist.  Welcome back to the Rotary family, Ciara!
Ciara Elliott inducted into 815 club 2017-11-14 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Nov 07, 2017
John Hurley said our club was well represented at the foundation dinner and Loves Park was identified as 3rd in the district in per capita giving.  
Ginger Thompson is the new district Youth Protection Officer.  Congratulations, Ginger!
Happy birthday to Gail Daughtry and happy club anniversary to Jon Eppes.
Announcements 2017-11-07 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Oct 31, 2017
Congratulations to John Hurley for achieving the Paul Harris plus three level of foundation giving.  
Ciara will be joining the 815 club.
Our flower sale drive officially kicked off with trivia challenges from Team 1.  It was announced that Team 3 had 100% attendance at the meeting.
Tom Brooks announced that he is a nominee for future district governor (2021); if approved, Tom will be the next governor-elect when the new slate of officers is announced in December. 
Announcements 2017-10-31 05:00:00Z 0

Colene Vivian from Oak Street Health

Posted on Oct 25, 2017
We were visited by Colene Vivian, President of the N. Winnebago club.  She is also charged with the district newsletter.  Colene is Communications Director for Oak Street Health which was founded in 2012 by area physicians.  Their organization came about when they noticed that their is a large group of seniors making multiple visits to emergency rooms for the same issues.  The reason is that they are without primary care physicians.  So, Oak Street Health was founded to meet that need.  You must be on Medicare to be a patient with them and Colene said transportation to their facility can be covered by either Medicare or the patient's supplement.  She said doctors are capped at a max of 800 patients versus a traditional primary care physician who sees anywhere from 2,000 - 3,000.  Currently, they do have laboratories available but not some diagnostic screening such as X-rays.  Thanks, Colene, for visiting and telling us about this new group of health care providers.
Colene Vivian from Oak Street Health 2017-10-25 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Joshua Cox

Posted on Oct 18, 2017
Ginger Thompson introduced the Harlem High School student of the month, Joshua Cox, who visited with his parents, Kathy & Bob Cox.  Josh ranked 7 out of 476 in the top 1% of his graduating class and scored 1,490 out of a possible 1,600 on the SAT.  He has been in the National Honors Society for two years, is on the math team and also participated in the Science Olympiad, where the team won 1st in Regionals last year.  He has been in Harlem's jazz band every year and is on the varsity soccer team; he has played soccer for five years.  Josh has been in scouting since the second grade and is currently working on his Eagle Scout project, creating science learning kits for Harlem 8th graders.  He hopes to go to attend MIT in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Space Research.  We know he will do well.  Congratulations, Josh, on being named Loves Park Rotary student of the month.  
Student of the Month, Joshua Cox 2017-10-18 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Oct 17, 2017
Happy Club anniversary to Shannon Scheffel and Mary Petro!
Happy wedding anniversary to Joe and Deb Corrigan!
Visitors were Lori Gummow, Don Johnson, Sierra and Anya Parsons, a prospective member invited by Will Geske.
New member, Chuck Pagel, was inducted into the club by President Andrew Reynolds and welcomed by the membership.
Announcements 2017-10-17 05:00:00Z 0

A Million Cups of Coffee

Posted on Oct 03, 2017
Scott Dobbs visited with us to talk about a project he's involved with here in Rockford called "A Million Cups of Coffee".  It was originally started by the Kaufman Foundation in Kansas City about five years ago.  Prospective entrepreneurs meet every Wednesday from 7 - 9 am for coffee.  They hear from and work with area professionals, such as attorneys and CPA's, desiring to give something back to the community.  These folks pitch their ideas to the group and it may be something as basic as "I have this idea... what do I do next?" or they seek suggestions and solutions for specific problems they may be experiencing.  Thank you, Scott, we appreciate all you and your group do to help young businesses.
A Million Cups of Coffee 2017-10-03 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Sep 26, 2017
Tom Brooks announced that we would be interviewing potential outbound students at noon on Sunday at City Hall.  Rotarians are welcome to join him to help with the interview process.  They are expecting about half a dozen families. 
Happy Birthday to Diana Johnson!
Announcements 2017-09-26 05:00:00Z 0

Lucia Reynolds talks about Hurricane Katrina

Posted on Sep 19, 2017
Our guest was Andrew Reynolds’ wife, Lucia.  She recounted some of her experiences when she went to Louisiana in 2005 to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  She and her Church group arrived about a month after the hurricane and still saw widespread damage and destruction.  In addition to large amounts of water and other necessities, they brought messages of comfort and hope to desperate people.  One of the many things she was struck by was the system used by emergency personnel and first responders to code the houses they searched.  Numbers were spray painted right on the front of houses which indicated the house had been checked, if there were deceased or survivors, and other helpful information.  Thank you, Lucia, for sharing with us.  
Lucia Reynolds talks about Hurricane Katrina 2017-09-19 05:00:00Z 0

A visit from the "G-man", Greg Dellinger

Posted on Sep 05, 2017
Andrew invited Greg "the G-Man" Dellinger to the club.  Greg works for AAR corp., Allen Aircraft & Radio, a company begun in 1955 and headquartered in Wood Dale, IL by O'Hare airport.  They have purchased buildings at Rockford airport and currently employ about 125 workers there.  The good news for our area is that they are looking to double their local staff in the next several months in the area of Aviation Maintenance.  They are working closely with area officials and Rock Valley College to achieve that goal.  Their company pumped a lot of money into the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at the school with a new facility that cost over five million dollars.  It sounds like an exciting program and a great opportunity for the Rockford area.  Thanks, "G-man" for coming to see us.
A visit from the "G-man", Greg Dellinger 2017-09-05 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Aug 29, 2017
Happy birthday to Jon Eppes and Ginger Thompson.  
We're hoping Miranda Schultz, our outbound student, is finally on her way to Spain after some delays in getting paperwork processed at her destination.
Announcements 2017-08-29 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Aug 22, 2017
Happy Anniversary to Gail Daughtry and her husband.
Josh Manning, a former exchange student to Brazil, visited us.  He is now a senior at U of I.  He has kept very busy and is planning a trip to Kenya for a semester.  We certainly wish him well.
Announcements 2017-08-22 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Aug 15, 2017

Congratulations to Pastor & Mrs. Don Lyon on 66 years of matrimony.

We were delighted to see Mel Sparlin in attendance for his birthday thanks to a ride from Assistant Governor, Stacy Shewey.  We sang Happy Birthday and wished him many more.

We also greeted our new exchange student from Finland, Jatta Kiiski “Jessica” and an outbound student, Hanah Gruner, from the Belvidere club who is headed for South Korea this week.  Tom Brooks said Jessica has a long “to do” list and all Rotarians are encouraged to help her accomplish some of these items on her wish list. 
Announcements 2017-08-15 05:00:00Z 0

Welcome District Governor, Steve Kuhn!

Posted on Aug 08, 2017
Our District Governor, Steve Kuhn, brought greetings from RI President, Ian Riseley, whose goal is for every Rotarian to plant a tree and somehow quantify Rotarian service hours. Steve visited with us about his ideas for the coming year, including each Rotarian spending $20 to help eradicate polio.  That was the theme of the Atlanta convention and, while there, Steve pledged to the District Governor of Islamabad, Pakistan that we would do our part.  Steve is from the Sycamore club and has served as Assistant Governor and many other areas at the district level such as on the Youth Protection Committee and the Nominating Committee.  He acknowledged that, while our membership may appear to be low right now, actually we’re up thanks to the efforts of the satellite 815 club.  Thanks for visiting, governor. 
Welcome District Governor, Steve Kuhn! 2017-08-08 05:00:00Z 0

The Incubator Program at Hononegah

Posted on Aug 01, 2017
Jason Brunke was here from the Incubator Program at Hononegah High School.  They have a curriculum designed to train students interested in becoming entrepeneurs.  They are one of the original nine high schools in the nation who adopted this program from Barrington Educational Foundation.  It’s designed to minimize a waste of time and money for young people interested in starting up businesses and matches them up with employers who can provide mentors and coaches.  One of their goals is to keep students in this area instead of going elsewhere such as Chicago.  Thank you, Jason, for helping us understand this important program. 
The Incubator Program at Hononegah 2017-08-01 05:00:00Z 0

Welcome Mr. President!

Posted on Jul 11, 2017
Incoming Loves Park Rotary President, Andrew Reynolds, expresses the club's gratitude for all the contributions and hard work over the last year from outgoing President, Diana Johnson.  Andrew presented Diana with a gavel as a token of our appreciation.  Congratulations, Andrew and thank you, Diana!
Welcome Mr. President! 2017-07-11 05:00:00Z 0

 Our Sympathies to Rotarians in Their Loss

Posted on Jun 30, 2017
It is with sadness that we inform you that Andrea Gale’s mother, Berniece Gale, passed away May 25.  Services were private. 
We also regret to inform you that Joe Corrigan’s father, Lyle, passed away Tuesday, June 27.  Arrangements are:
Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 1, in St. Bridget Catholic Church, 600 Clifford Ave., Loves Park, with visitation from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in the church.  Burial in Calvary Catholic Cemetery.  Visitation also from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 30, in Delehanty Funeral Home, Ltd., 401 River Lane, Loves Park.  More info is available on Delehanty’s website.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Andrea's and Joe's families. 
 Our Sympathies to Rotarians in Their Loss  2017-06-30 05:00:00Z 0

Tinker Swiss Cottage

Posted on Jun 28, 2017
We were visited by Alix Fox, Director of Education and Collections for Tinker Swiss Cottage.  The cottage opened to the public as a museum in 1943 and is supported, in part, by the Rockford Park District.  It was built by Robert Tinker who was mayor in 1870, a landscape engineer for Sinnissippi Gardens, and one of the original 13 members of the Park District.  His family lived in the cottage for 75 years before leaving it to the Park District and their household belongings to trustees.  The home is over 6,000 square feet and was the first in the area with electricity.  It also had indoor plumbing.  All tours are guided and they offer two per day from Tuesday through Sunday at 1 and 3 pm.  For more info go to
Tinker Swiss Cottage 2017-06-28 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jun 27, 2017
Our meeting for Tuesday, July 4 is cancelled due to the holiday.  Happy 4th of July!
Announcements 2017-06-27 05:00:00Z 0

The Northwest Quarterly

Posted on Jun 07, 2017
We welcomed Chris Linden from the Northwest Quarterly.  The publication was started in 2004 by Bill Hughes and covers 16 counties including McHenry towards Chicago.  Chris started there 10 years ago as an intern and became a regular staff member two years later.  There are four publications:  The Northwest Quarterly is the flagship with a similar publication for the Chicago area over in McHenry County.  They also have an annual publication and a weekly mailer, known as "Smart Living".  Chris says he's always been a writer, starting with the school paper at Guilford and proceeding to get his undergraduate degree from Millikin in Journalism and Politics.  Their office is in the Midtown District and they like to celebrate the theme "buy local", with their magazine featuring local individuals and local businesses.  Thanks for visiting Loves Park Rotary, Chris.
The Northwest Quarterly 2017-06-07 05:00:00Z 0
Dave Larson's club anniversary 2017-06-06 05:00:00Z 0

Kia Buchanan Talks

Posted on May 30, 2017
Kia Buchanan, Harlem student, talked about her recent Rotary Youth Leadership Exchange (RYLA) experience.   Also, Kia is our outbound exchange student next year.  She will be living with a host family in Chile. 
Kia Buchanan Talks 2017-05-30 05:00:00Z 0

Budget Talk

Posted on May 23, 2017
Shannon Scheffel and Craig Anderson talked to the club about our club expenses and budget.  We are foregoing payment of any grants this year other than the one the district matched for Carpenter’s Place.  With membership down and fundraising not providing as much as previous years, it was felt we need to slow things down a little.  Per Shannon, we have trimmed expenses in some areas such as the lunches and other areas as well.  Craig said we had enough reserve to cover youth exchange expenses this year and next but would need more replenishment from fundraising sources to resume grants.  While figures might be a little rough and could be tweaked some, it was agreed we need to continue to monitor the situation.  Craig offered to make budget info available to interested members or committees.    
Budget Talk 2017-05-23 05:00:00Z 0

Cathy Barsema of Carpenter's Place

Posted on May 17, 2017
We welcomed Cathy Barsema from Carpenter’s Place.  Her visit was timely as Anita Papich announced that we had made the last delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables from our $2,000 grant.  Loves Park Rotary contributed $750 and the district matched another $1,250.  The fresh produce supplements the breakfasts and lunches served to the clients.  In addition to the fruit and vegetables, the grant money also went toward the purchase of bus tokens.  Cathy said these were very much appreciated also as their clients could use them for a doctor appointment, to obtain an ID or to go to a job interview.  Many organizations volunteer at Carpenter’s Place and may help serve meals as an example.  Cathy said they could use clothing, especially gently used tennis shoes (sizes 9-12 are very helpful).  They’re also grateful to receive paper products, especially for the kitchen area and toiletries. Thank you for visiting and sharing, Cathy.
Cathy Barsema of Carpenter's Place 2017-05-17 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on May 16, 2017
Happy 58th wedding anniversary to Bob Rehfeldt and his wife.  Happy Birthday to Andrew Reynolds.
A final travelogue will be presented Saturday at 7 PM in our normal meeting room by Dave Smith.  The presentation will be the Metro Subway System of Moscow and also a photo tour of the inside of St. Basil in Red Square.  Price is $6 and includes coffee and dessert.
Announcements 2017-05-16 05:00:00Z 0

Bill Childs from the Rockford Rivets

Posted on May 02, 2017
It seems like it's been a long winter and we're happy to hear those words once again, "Play Ball!"  Bill explained that, while they're in a familiar stadium, there's been a lot of changes.  The Rivets are amateur ball players, part of the North Woods League not the Frontier League like the old Aviators.  Bill told us some entertaining stories of players he was associated with such as Josh Hamilton.  He said actually there are a lot of players that move from this league to the Pros.  He cited their strong work ethic and drive and said they have a rigorous schedule, playing 72 games in 76 days.  He told us about great entertainment packages available for groups and most of us are excited about the new season starting up.  More info is available at
Bill Childs from the Rockford Rivets 2017-05-02 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on May 01, 2017
Happy Birthday to Will Geske and Don Banke; Happy Wedding Anniversary to Steve and Diana Johnson and Lori Perkins. 
John Hurley said our club was well represented at the District Conference, where we were recognized for our 50th anniversary.  He also accepted two Literacy awards on our behalf for Club Achievement and Sustained Excellence.  Thanks, John, and all who were able to attend for our club.
Announcements 2017-05-01 05:00:00Z 0

Steve Johnson, Mayor of Machesney Park

Posted on Apr 26, 2017
Congratulations to Rotarian Steve Johnson, newly elected mayor of Machesney Park!  Steve is married to our President, Diana Johnson, and they worked hard on a campaign to defeat incumbent, Jerry Brolin.  We're sure they're happy the campaign is through, and now Steve can get down to the business of being mayor.  We're proud of you, Steve and Diana.
Steve Johnson, Mayor of Machesney Park 2017-04-26 05:00:00Z 0

Vikki from MELD and Youth Services Network

Posted on Apr 25, 2017
Vikki, former executive director of MELD, is now with Youth Services Network.  They are licensed by the Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services.  Their programs are merged and they provide many services to youth and families in this area.  They help assure child safety, preserve families and avoid separation or help with placement of children.  They have a truancy intervention program to deal with attendance and behavioral issues.  They have a Bridge youth shelter for homeless youth under 21 and Project Safe Place which provides a safe place for runaways or victims of domestic violence.  There are other services they provide but Vikki did not have time to cover them all.  Thank you for your valuable information. 
Vikki from MELD and Youth Services Network 2017-04-25 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month, Tanner Elliott

Posted on Apr 20, 2017
John Hurley introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Tanner Elliott.  His parents are Rick and Rita Elliott and his father was here with him.  Besides ranking in the top of his class with a 3.143 GPA, Tanner has been Vice President of his class for three years and a member of the student council for three years, serving as Vice President for a year.  He’s also been on the Harlem Boy’s Golf Team for three years.  He’s been active in the Boy Scouts of America for 12 years, earning many awards and achieving various leadership positions.  He is also involved with his Church’s Youth Group and received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the White House for his many volunteer hours in the community.  His future plans are to attend Rockford University and major in Conservation or AnthroSociology and minor in Law Enforcement.  We know he will do well.  Congratulations, Tanner, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month. 
Student of the Month, Tanner Elliott 2017-04-20 05:00:00Z 0

Thank You Mayor Darryl Lindberg!

Posted on Apr 19, 2017
It is with pride and gratitude that Loves Park Rotary recognizes Mayor Lindberg's decades of service to the community as well as our club.  As an honorary Rotarian, he has always been available with a helping hand for our many activities and events.  As a public official he has given countless hours of himself, first as Police Chief of Loves Park and then as Mayor.  We have been lucky to have him as a member and look forward to his continued contributions in Loves Park Rotary.  He truly embodies our motto of "Service Above Self".         Thank you, Mayor Lindberg! 
Thank You Mayor Darryl Lindberg! 2017-04-19 05:00:00Z 0

Northern Illinois Food Bank

Posted on Apr 18, 2017
Emily was here from the Northern Illinois Food Bank.  Working across 13 counties in Northern Illinois, the food bank partners with food manufacturers, local groceries, corporations, foundations, and individuals who donate food and funds.  The food bank then evaluates and repacks food for distribution to multiple network partners – the food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, schools and youth and senior feeding programs that serve more than 71,000 different people each week.   9% of the people served are over 60 with over 60% of them frequently making a choice between food and medicine; Over 36% served are children.  The food bank relies heavily on its volunteers to meet the huge need.  They utilize two mobile pantries and 135 of the pantries served are considered direct connect; this means they go directly to the over 320 stores that partner with the Food Bank.  To learn more visit  Thanks, Emily, for sharing this most important information with us! 
Northern Illinois Food Bank 2017-04-18 05:00:00Z 0

Ask a Pharmacist

Posted on Apr 05, 2017
Rotarian Steve Johnson filled in for us since our scheduled speaker wasn’t able to make it.  Steve fielded all manner of questions as our “Ask a Pharmacist”.  He talked about everything from shots for the flu and shingles to different tiers of drug prescriptions for Medicare coverage.  It was very informative, Steve, thank you.  On a joyful note, we congratulate Steve on a successful mayoral campaign in the Village of Machesney Park.  Steve was able to successfully defeat incumbent Jerry Bolin. 
Ask a Pharmacist 2017-04-05 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Apr 04, 2017
Our last travelogue is this weekend and Anita asked for volunteers to help set up and tear down at the end.  This presentation will be on Africa. 
Dave Smith appealed for help with finding a host family for a 21-year old woman here from China (not a Rotary exchange student); she had been staying with an aunt who has to leave to visit ailing relatives back in China.  Her name is Aurora; please contact Dave if you know someone who can help.
Announcements 2017-04-04 05:00:00Z 0

Outbounds and Bingo!

Posted on Mar 28, 2017
We were visited by a couple of our outbound students:  Miranda Schultz (Spain) and Zakia "Kia" Buchanan (Chile).  Thanks for visiting, ladies.  We also hosted Kia's mother and grandmother. 
Outbounds and Bingo! 2017-03-28 05:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Rotary welcomes Lifescape

Posted on Mar 23, 2017
We were visited by Jeff Haymaker, Director of Lifescape Community Services and Maritza Real, Supervisor of Case Management.  Lifescape is the largest provider of older adult services in Northwestern Illinois and they serve five counties, including Winnebago.  They promote independent living and offer senior dining sites, one of which is located right in the City Hall building.  Rotarians are also familiar with their program, Meals on Wheels, since we have several volunteers delivering meals to seniors and disabled people.  They also offer an Adult Day Program, which is similar to adult daycare, providing a safe environment with recreation and/or entertainment with some supervision.  Additionally, they are involved with Adult Protective Services, which can deal with intervention or abuse issues, to name a couple things.   In addition to donations and some governmental funding, they have a couple major events every year, the Lifescape Senior Expo and the Best Dish Competition.  Thank you, Jeff & Maritza, for explaining about some of the many important services provided by Lifescape. 
Loves Park Rotary welcomes Lifescape 2017-03-23 05:00:00Z 0

Highlights from Loves Park Rotary's 50th Anniversary Party

Posted on Mar 22, 2017

Mayor Darryl Lindberg was Master of Ceremonies.


Charter Member, Pastor Don Lyon, reflected on 50 years of Loves Park Rotary.


Tom Brooks and Dr. T singing a version of the song 'Be a Friend' for Scott Shore, District 6420 Governor and our Keynote Speaker.


Diana presented globes to Anita Papich for her efforts over the years with the Travelogue as well as the efforts of the core members of the team. 



Highlights from Loves Park Rotary's 50th Anniversary Party 2017-03-22 05:00:00Z 0

High School Student of the Month, Geddy Colarossi

Posted on Mar 21, 2017
Ginger Thompson introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Geddy Colarossi.  His parents are Jerry & Kimberly Colarossi; his mother was here with him as was his grandmother.  Besides ranking in the top 14% of his class with a 3.65 GPA, Geddy has been in the National Honor Society for two years and on the Student Council all four years. He is very involved in school and the community, especially theater & the arts.  He has been in the International Thespian Society for four years, on the Varsity Dance team, Vice President of the Choraleers, the Debate Team and in many plays and musicals.  In addition to participating in local theater and musicals, he also volunteers at the Rockford Rescue Mission.  His future plans are to attend Iowa State University and major in Biology Pre-Med.  Congratulations, Geddy, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month. 
High School Student of the Month, Geddy Colarossi 2017-03-21 05:00:00Z 0

Committees Hard at Work!

Posted on Mar 15, 2017
March 14 was our first official meeting for our various committees.  It has been decided by the board that every second Tuesday we will have our three main committees meet within the regular club meeting after our lunch.  It was felt that might be easier than meeting offsite after hours.  In attendance today:  Tom Brooks and Ginger Thompson for the Membership Committee; Mary Petro, John Hurley, Dave Smith & Craig Anderson for the Program Committee; Anita Papich, A. Marie Holmes, Bob Rehfeldt, Doug Schandelmeier and Gail Daughtry for the Fundraising Committee.  There are others assigned to these committees but they were either not in attendance or had to leave the meeting early.  Check with Diana if you're not sure which committee you're on.  Otherwise, expect the committee chairs to get ahold of you. 
Committees Hard at Work! 2017-03-15 05:00:00Z 0


Posted on Mar 14, 2017
Happy Club Anniversary to Jerry Flaming, Don Skadow and founding member, Don Lyon!
Announcements 2017-03-14 05:00:00Z 0

Kathi Kresol of Haunted Rockford

Posted on Mar 08, 2017
We welcomed Kathi Kresol, author and founder of Haunted Rockford, which sponsors haunted tours, paranormal investigations, live gallery readings and other events locally in the Rockford area.  She has contributed stories or articles to two Rockford books, “Rockford Writes” and “Secret Rockford” and written her own non-fiction book, “Murder & Mayhem in Rockford, Illinois”.  Kathi got started when she began researching information on her own home, a farm house built on the West side of Rockford in 1913.  She learned it was the site of a murder/suicide back in 1958.  She also talked about her experiences doing speaking engagements on local ghostly encounters.  She mentioned a few famous local places where people have reported paranormal experiences or things they can’t explain such as the Hope and Anchor English Pub, formerly the Mayflower restaurant, Tinker Swiss Cottage and Veterans Memorial Hall.  She’s visited many interesting places in her travels, including the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO which was the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, “The Shining”.  She said one of her scariest moments was in the lower level of the Rockford Public Library when, moving through a darkened room to find a light switch, a piano mysteriously started playing at the very moment she found the light.  An interesting presentation by Kathi that had most of us on the edge of our seats, and you can learn more by visiting
Kathi Kresol of Haunted Rockford 2017-03-08 06:00:00Z 0

50th Anniversary Party for Loves Park Rotary March 17th

Posted on Mar 07, 2017
A reminder that folks need to turn in their RSVP's for the 50th Anniversary celebration being held Friday, March 17 at Forest Hills Country Club.  Social time is 5:30 and dinner is at 6:00 pm - cost is $40 per person with four menu choices:  Black Angus Pot Roast, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Broiled Cod Filet or Butternut Squash Ravioli.  Master of Ceremonies is Mayor Darryl Lindberg; charter member, Pastor Don Lyon reflects on his 50 years with Loves Park Rotary and our keynote speaker is District Governor, Scott Shore.  Music through the years by Dr. Kris Tumilowicz.  Please turn in your RSVP's by March 14th.
50th Anniversary Party for Loves Park Rotary March 17th 2017-03-07 06:00:00Z 0

Birthdays & Announcements

Posted on Mar 07, 2017
Happy Birthday to the Mayor, Darryl Lindberg and Steve Johnson.  Welcome to Tom Brooks son, Nicki, who was also celebrating a birthday.
Congratulations to Jack Wonderlick who received his Paul Harris+3 pin for his foundation giving. 
Birthdays & Announcements 2017-03-07 06:00:00Z 0

Dr. Kris Tumilowicz

Posted on Feb 28, 2017
Dr. T presented his classification talk to the group.  We were able to see many before and after photos of happy patients who received help with their teeth.  Dr. T's dentistry practice can help fix gaps, straighten teeth, whiten and otherwise help improve people's smiles.  He explained how modern techniques and procedures available today allow better, more natural results in a more comfortable environment.  He told us how most crowns and fillings today are not done with precious metals but with porcelain for a better appearance.  He even discussed the difference between canker sores (which are not contagious) and cold sores (which are very contagious).  He also talked about snoring and sleep apnea and Dr. Larson interjected that it is, indeed, a very serious matter.  Thank you, Dr. T, for helping us know more about what you do.   
Dr. Kris Tumilowicz 2017-02-28 06:00:00Z 0

The Ethnic Heritage Museum & The Graham-Ginestra House

Posted on Feb 21, 2017
We were visited by Sue Lewandowski, board President of the Ethnic Heritage Museum.  The museum is housed in a home at 1129 S. Main St.; it was built in 1850.  It has six rooms devoted to immigrant groups settling in southwest Rockford:  African-American, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian and Polish.  The museum is open on Sundays from 2 to 4 PM and private tours on other days can be scheduled by phone.  Sue also talked to us about the Graham-Ginestra House at 1115 S. Main St.  Built in 1857 by Mr. Graham who co-owned the Rockford Cotton Mills.  The house was later sold by his family to Sicilian immigrant, Leo Ginestra, who lived there until his death in 1978.  Ginestra’s daughter, Therese, lived there after his death with her husband and they were responsible not only for restoring much of the original beauty of the home but getting it listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.  It features a free-floating staircase made of Cherry & Walnut, edged glass stained windows, parquet floors and hand-painted ceiling murals.  Thank you, Sue, for showing us another interesting piece of Rockford history. 
The Ethnic Heritage Museum & The Graham-Ginestra House 2017-02-21 06:00:00Z 0

Swedish Historical Society

Posted on Feb 14, 2017
Mike Lunde, President, and Tim Krumland, site manager, spoke to us about the Swedish Historical Society which was founded 78 years ago.  According to them, Rockford has the third largest concentration of Swedish people in the country, at one time with about 80 furniture companies.  Some people may not know that many of the Swedes, travelling by boat from their native land, settled in Rockford in 1845 because of a Cholera epidemic in Chicago at the time.  Among other things, the Swedish Historical Society maintains the Erlander Home Museum, restored to its original Victorian décor and located in Haight Village, a national historic district. The Erlander home was built in 1871 by Swedish craftsmen, is a 12 room Italianate style residence and was the first brick home constructed for a Swedish family in Rockford.  Tours are available and visitors to the home will see many Swedish artifacts, furniture, carvings and dolls as well as paintings by the Erlander’s daughter, Mary, an accomplished local artist who lived in the home until 1951 when it was purchased by the Swedish Historical Society.  Additionally, the Society welcomes visitors to Rockford and hosts events that preserve their Swedish heritage such as Midsommardagen (Midsummer Day) in June in Midway Village.  Even the famous author, Carl Sandburg, visited and wrote something about the area.  Thanks, Mike and Tim, for an informative and entertaining glimpse into Rockford’s Swedish heritage.
Swedish Historical Society 2017-02-14 06:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Field of Honor

Posted on Feb 08, 2017
We were visited by Lori Berkes-Nelson and John Beck from the Rockford Park District.  Primarily, they talked about the Field of Honor which is located in the Arthur W. Anderson Peace Park near city hall in Loves Park and was dedicated in 1995.  Art Anderson worked with the Park District and served as chairman in establishing and building the Field of Honor Memorial.  It has five vertical columns weighing 10 tons each representing all five major wars in the 20th century:  World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf Wars.  There are eight life-sized statues to remind us of the men and women who served and 40 American flags circle the memorial.  There is also a small column to honor civilian contributions to the various war efforts, an area often overlooked.   Part of Art’s vision was to have future generations understand the significance of the sacrifices our veterans made.  Since History is an important part of the curriculum in the 5th grade in the Harlem School District, the kids are invited to be a part of the annual Veterans Day service at the Field of Honor.  Thank you, Lori and John, for presenting to our club. 
Loves Park Field of Honor 2017-02-08 06:00:00Z 0


Posted on Feb 07, 2017
Diana announced that going forward there are plans for three committees for fund raising, membership and programs.  Once committee chairs have been determined, they are tentatively planning on monthly meetings on the second Tuesday after the club’s regular meeting. 
Congratulations to Jerry Flaming on receiving his ruby pin as a Paul Harris Fellow plus eight!
Announcements 2017-02-07 06:00:00Z 0

District Vocational Training Team takes trip to Uganda

Posted on Jan 31, 2017
Shannon Scheffel talked to us about her trip to Kemwenge, Uganda.  She was team leader and one of four members of the district vocational training team that took advantage of a global grant for districts 6420 & 9211 for economic & community development.  Also represented was a farmer, nutritionist and baker.  Shannon says the scenery was breathtaking with reserves all around them and they generally enjoyed cool weather .  Their host was Father John and his wife and all the residents were very enthusiastic about learning everything the team had to teach them, especially cooking and baking.  Shannon said Fr. John’s wife made an amazing meal for them at the end of their time there, incorporating virtually everything they had made while they were there.  Thanks, Shannon, for showing us our Foundation dollars at work!
District Vocational Training Team takes trip to Uganda 2017-01-31 06:00:00Z 0

Carl & Dianna Cole from YES Club

Posted on Jan 24, 2017
We welcomed Carl and Dianna Cole from Young Eagles Success (YES) Club, a community outreach project of Sounds of Good News Productions.  Rotarians may remember that they were recipients of one of our grants last year and Carl thanked us again for that.  Their vision is Anti-Drug, Alcohol, Violence and Crime and Stresses “Movement for Improvement” to bring Inspiration with Alternative Education to Children, Youth and Young Adults.  Their love of music provides a path to reach the youngsters to help them develop a general “Respect” and “Positive” behavior.  Carl and Dianna are reaching kids and making a difference every day and it’s encouraging to hear about the positive results they’ve had.  They’ve recently been awarded 501 c(3) status and he was excited to share with us about a new partnership with the local owner of 12 McDonald’s restaurants.  Once a month, they will be able to perform at one of his 12 stores and talk about YES.  It sounds like they’re going to call it “Happy Times”.  Thank you Carl and Dianna for sharing your vision of YES with us. 
Carl & Dianna Cole from YES Club 2017-01-24 06:00:00Z 0

Harlem High School Student of the Month, Leah Mueller

Posted on Jan 17, 2017
John Hurley introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Leah Mueller.  Her father, John Mueller, was here with her as was her grandmother, Joann Hendrickson, and her counselor, Emily Chovanec.  Besides ranking in the top of her class with an ACT score of 33 and a 4.59 GPA, Leah is a member of the National Honor Society and volunteers with the Harlem Vet Project and other events that benefit veterans.  She’s also a volunteer at her church, especially in the youth group, and with the Gateway Performing Arts Studio, where she likes to help create costumes for the musicals.  Her future plans are to attend college next year and study neuroscience.  We know she will do well.  Congratulations, Leah, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month. 
Harlem High School Student of the Month, Leah Mueller 2017-01-18 00:00:00Z 0

Nancy Chamberlain from Rosecrance

Posted on Jan 16, 2017
Nancy Chamberlain, Director of Communication from Rosecrance, visited us.  She cited some staggering statistics of the number of people in this country suffering from mental illness and/or substance abuse.  Rosecrance’s mission is to provide help, hope, and lasting recovery to children, youth, adults and family through inpatient as well as outpatient treatment.  Begun as an orphanage for boys over 100 years ago, they have evolved to more than 40 locations in Chicago, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.  They now serve over 32,000 families per year.  It is a huge undertaking but the staff is committed to being “The Best Opportunity for Lasting Recovery”.  Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your information with us.
Nancy Chamberlain from Rosecrance 2017-01-17 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jan 16, 2017
Happy 37th wedding anniversary to Doug Schandelmeier and his wife. 
Diana Johnson was happy to report that, in spite of an error and the extra candy we received, all is now sold.  Good work Rotarians!  She also recognized Jon Eppes as a new Paul Harris Fellow with several others being awarded their sapphire for Paul Harris Fellow times two:  Don Banke (from two weeks ago), Don Lyon, Doug Fisher & Joe Corrigan.  Thank you all, for your generous giving!
Announcements 2017-01-17 00:00:00Z 0

Classification Talk from Doug Schandelmeier

Posted on Jan 10, 2017
We heard a classification talk from Doug Schandelmeier today.  He was born and raised in Rockford and has also lived in Loves Park and, now, Machesney Park.  When he got out of school, he worked for a while at Moody Bible Institute.  Doug is married and a third generation electrician and member of IBEW 64.  A recent highlight for him was accepting a 70-year pin from the union for his dad.  Doug is now semi-retired.  His interests are many and varied.  He worked for a local radio station for about a year and a half.  Sometime in his 40’s, he became interested in Native American History; he helped his brother build a sweat lodge in his brother’s back yard where they pray and sing and Doug is the firekeeper.  He considers it a great honor that he has been able to attend the sun dance for the last several years, which he said is the pinnacle of Native American ceremonies.  Thanks for sharing personal information, Doug, to help us get to know you better.    
Classification Talk from Doug Schandelmeier 2017-01-11 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jan 09, 2017
We understand congratulations go out to Andrew Reynolds and his wife as the proud parents of a new baby.  Also, a new grandchild for Dr. T and his wife. 
Announcements 2017-01-10 00:00:00Z 0

Tom Brooks named Rotarian of the Year!

Posted on Dec 21, 2016
As past Rotarian of the Year, Ginger Thompson, was pleased to introduce our latest winner of the award for 2016, Tom Brooks.  Tom joined Rotary in 1993 and we have been blessed by his commitment to volunteering ever since, especially with the youth.  He has worked as a youth exchange officer at the local club level for about 15 years and has served as the District 6420 Chairman of Rotary Youth Exchange since 2012.  As Ginger pointed out, many Rotarians are unaware of the countless hours that can be spent in helping these “kids”.  Tom has always been heavily involved in the many hours needed to interview prospective exchange students but also helping them after they arrive with any of the many issues that can arise.  Some are very serious indeed, but all require responsible and compassionate attention.  In a typically humble fashion, Tom is quick to divert attention to other contributors who also help.  On a personal level, Tom spent many years working with the Blackhawk Area Council for the Boy Scouts even after his “retirement” in Feb., 2016.  His dedicated support to area youth never stops.  Tom, we’re proud to know you and we congratulate you on being named Loves Park Rotarian of the Year!
Tom Brooks named Rotarian of the Year! 2016-12-22 00:00:00Z 0

Police Chief Chuck Lynde Wins Loves Park Rotary Award

Posted on Dec 20, 2016
After giving us a brief history of Rotary’s mottoes, Mayor Darryl Lindberg presented the 2016 award for Service Above Self to Loves Park Chief of Police, Chuck Lynde, at Loves Park Rotary’s annual Christmas party.  He was in attendance with his wife, Jeni.  Chuck was hired by Chief Darryl Lindberg in 1985 and became a full time patrol officer in 1988.  He was the first canine handler in Winnebago County and served as a handler from 1992 to 2012.  After several awards, commendations and promotions over the years, he was promoted to Chief of Police June 13, 2016.  He and Mrs. Lynde have three sons and, on a personal level, Chuck is proud to be the Director of the Wildcats Basketball Club through the Rockford Boys & Girls Club.  The Wildcats train over 1500 athletes from the region every year and bring several tournaments to the area as well as hosting more than a dozen camps.  Mayor Lindberg thanked Chief Lynde for his many fine years of contributions and affirmed that he truly does embody the Rotarian motto of "Service Above Self".  Congratulations, Chief & Mrs. Chuck Lynde.
Police Chief Chuck Lynde Wins Loves Park Rotary Award 2016-12-21 00:00:00Z 0

Candy Drive Almost Complete?!

Posted on Dec 19, 2016
Andrew Reynolds recapped the results of the 2016 candy drive at the Christmas party.  Over 500 boxes were sold with the top three sellers being, in order, Dan Madden (#1), Shannon Scheffel & Anita Papich.  There were also several honorable mentions, including all the folks who worked behind the scenes to make the drive a success.  Thank you, Rotarians!  There may be a few boxes left; if you know someone who didn't get any candy, see Anita.
Candy Drive Almost Complete?! 2016-12-20 00:00:00Z 0

Dictionaries Are Delivered!

Posted on Dec 18, 2016

Mary Petro announced that all the dictionaries have been delivered to area schools and she emailed pictures of the many “thank you’s” from the kids.

Dictionaries Are Delivered! 2016-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Candy Drive Still Going!

Posted on Dec 15, 2016
Just letting folks know we still have some candy available.  As of this morning, we had 54 milk chocolate, 15 dark chocolate, 2 assorted chocolate, 8 nuts & chews, 2 sugar free almond, & 1 sugar free walnut.  Please help sell these remaining boxes if you can but it will be important to check with Anita before you commit to providing a certain type of candy.  You can bring orders & money Tuesday to the round table but I would phone Anita before then to make sure she still has some.  Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make another candy drive work!  Hopefully, we should have results Tuesday night at the Christmas party.  See you there.
Candy Drive Still Going! 2016-12-16 00:00:00Z 0

Dictionary Delivery volunteers needed! 

Posted on Nov 17, 2016
Volunteers needed!  Please let Mary Petro ( know if you can attend the Dictionary delivery to Harlem Schools. 
Project;  Delivery of the Rotary Dictionaries to Harlem schools
Date;  Friday, December 9th, 2016
Times/Locations;  The Harlem schools are listed below. 
  • Rock Cut – 8:20am
  • Ralston – 8:50am
  • Olson Park – 9:20am (have specials at 9:30)
  • Marquette– 9:50am
  • Windsor – 10:20am
  • Maple – 10:50am
  • Loves Park – 11:10am (go to recess at 11:20)
Note:  The delivery times listed above can be longer/shorter at each location so please note that these times listed are just estimates.
Thank you for your assistance with this!
Dictionary Delivery volunteers needed! 2016-11-18 00:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Rotary High School Student of the Month

Posted on Nov 15, 2016
Ginger Thompson introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Lauren Huff.  Her parents are Lora Dalen & Melvin Huff and her dad was here with her as was her counselor.  Besides ranking in the top 7% of her class with a 4.0 GPA, Lauren is secretary of the National Honor Society and has been co-president of Link Crew for two years.  She’s also in Spanish Club and attended RYLA camp last year.  It taught her how to be a team player and leadership skills she hopes to utilize this year as a counselor for RYLA.  In her spare time, she teaches at her local church and has been a reading buddy at North Suburban Library.  Her future plans are to study Psychology and Spanish at the University of Illinois, Springfield or Western.  Congratulations, Lauren, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month. 
Loves Park Rotary High School Student of the Month 2016-11-16 00:00:00Z 0

Week 2 of Candy Drive

Posted on Nov 14, 2016
More orders were turned in this week and Diana entertained us with some trivia for the teams.  It came down to a tiebreaker again with tough questions such as "How did Hershey's kisses get their name?"  It turns out that it's a sound made during the productions process.  No one guessed that one right.  Keep up the good work, candy sellers!
Week 2 of Candy Drive 2016-11-15 00:00:00Z 0

Birthdays, Anniversaries & Announcements

Posted on Nov 14, 2016

Happy birthday to Doug Fisher and happy 7-year club anniversary to Jon Eppes.


Volunteers needed for our Paris travelogue on Saturday, especially to set up chairs at 4:30 or tear down after the program.

Birthdays, Anniversaries & Announcements 2016-11-15 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club Dictionary Label Project Invite

Posted on Nov 08, 2016
We will be meeting to put labels into the Rotary dictionaries next Tuesday.  This will take place 
Nov. 15 following our regular meeting at 1:00(ish)
Location:  at the Harlem School District (Conference room)
You are invited!  Remember, many hands make fast work!
Rotary Club Dictionary Label Project Invite 2016-11-09 00:00:00Z 0

Kickoff for 2016 Candy Drive!

Posted on Nov 07, 2016
The 2016 Candy drive fundraiser has officially started!  Teams were selected and we played Jeopardy trivia courtesy of Andrew “Trebek” Reynolds.  Each week we’ll have a new round of jeopardy and teams will get a boost of 100 points for each box of candy sold.  Team one had a bonus this week thanks to Mary Petro’s sale of a box. It helped push them to a tie with John Hurley’s team.  This led to an exciting tie-breaker of “rock, paper & scissors” between John and Dr. T.  Team one led with the rock and crushed the competition. 
Kickoff for 2016 Candy Drive! 2016-11-08 00:00:00Z 0

Birthdays & Announcements

Posted on Nov 07, 2016
Happy birthday to Doug Fisher and Gail Daughtry.
John Hurley received his second sapphire as a Paul Harris Fellow for Foundation giving.  Dr. T announced that our club is third in the district in per capita giving.
Birthdays & Announcements 2016-11-08 00:00:00Z 0

Go Cubs Go!

Posted on Nov 01, 2016
President Diana Johnson and her son were privileged to attend one of the world series games and she said the experience was amazing!  Of course she came back with a new Cubs hat and a special towel (see photo).
In honor of the occasion, Diana treated us to some Cubs trivia.  The Cubs played in six locations before they finally settled at Wrigley in 1916, which was originally Wigham park.  The park was built in 1914 and was originally the home of the Chicago Federals.  Bill Veck, who later became owner of the White Sox, worked in the office and is responsible for planting the ivy.  Their first night game was scheduled for 8/8/88 but was postponed a day because of rain; the attendance was a crazy 51,556.  Five Cubs have won the Cy Young award and six have been named Rookie of the Year.  And "Mr. Cubs", Ernie Banks, was the only player to be named MVP in back to back years.  Thanks for the interesting info, Diana, and we're happy at last to be able to call the Cubs world champions. 
Go Cubs Go! 2016-11-02 00:00:00Z 0

Guests and Announcements

Posted on Oct 31, 2016
Our guest this week was Don Johnson.
Don Lyon informed us that Mel Sparlin is in Swedish American Hospital and may require surgery for his knee.  We send Mel many thoughts and prayers and wish him a speedy recovery; hope to see you soon, Mel!
Guests and Announcements 2016-11-01 00:00:00Z 0

Mission of Hope Haiti

Posted on Oct 25, 2016
Stacy was here to talk to us about a group called Mission of Hope Haiti.  She is from the Rochelle club but is one of the people who started the Byron club with Mel Sparlin eight years ago.  She and her family have visited Haiti and are each sponsoring a child there.  Mission of Hope was founded in 1998 and exists to transform Haiti.  They are a Christian organization that hopes to help Haitians help Haitians.  Stacy said there are many urgent needs for food, clothing, housing, schools and all the essential needs of any society.  They recognize that one of the best means of helping this country is to educate their youth so that is a large part of the focus.  Stacy said her family fell in love with the people of Haiti and encouraged all to visit their and meet them firsthand, but at least to consider sponsoring a child for $35/month.  You can visit for more information or to make a donation.  Thank you, Stacy, for visiting us. 
Mission of Hope Haiti 2016-10-26 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Anniversaries & Announcements

Posted on Oct 24, 2016
Craig Anderson and Joe Corrigan both celebrated wedding anniversaries with their spouses the previous week.
Mary Petro celebrated four years as a Loves Park Rotarian.
Mel Sparlin was honored to be named a lifetime member of the Byron Club, which he helped found eight years ago. 
Dr. T announced that his son, Nick, is celebrating the birth of his son, Oliver.  This is not Kris’ first grandchild, but is his first grandson. 
We welcomed Derek’s guest, Paula, from Harlem Community Center.[C1] 

Guests, Anniversaries & Announcements 2016-10-25 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem High School Student of the Month

Posted on Oct 18, 2016
Tom Brooks introduced Harlem High School Student of the Month, Noah Tanker.  His parents, Steve & Kari Tanker were with him as was his counselor Morgan Hatch.  Besides ranking in the top 25% of his class, Noah is treasurer for the student council and will be treasurer for the 2017 senior class.  In his spare time, he races BMX bikes and rides for one of the top teams in the nation.  He competes all over the country and is a two-time state champion.  His future plans are to attend Lindsey Wilson College in Colombia, Kentucky to major in media studies and journalism.  Congratulations, Noah, on being named Loves Park Rotary Student of the Month. 
Harlem High School Student of the Month 2016-10-19 00:00:00Z 0

Venice, Italy

Posted on Oct 17, 2016
Dave Smith gave us a pictorial tour of Venice, Italy.  He told us that the city is built on a series of 118 small islands using 12-foot wooden supports.  He explained that, while you might think they wouldn’t hold up over time, the water actually hardens them to the point they are like being petrified.  They stayed in an old hotel that used to be an embassy with magnificent chandeliers and an outside garden area with 12 foot walls.  Dave said there are not motor vehicles and all traffic is by foot or boat.  Water taxis are more reasonably priced but he said you “have” to take a gondola ride when you’re there.  One of the memorable sights for Dave was the “Bridge of Sighs”, which spanned between the courthouse and the prison, and was often the sight of a prisoner’s last glimpse of sea or sky for a long time. 
Venice, Italy 2016-10-18 00:00:00Z 0

A Little History of Loves Park Rotary

Posted on Oct 11, 2016

Our speaker was Pastor Don Lyon, the sole remaining founding member of our club. Because preparations are beginning for the 50th anniversary celebration next year, he thought it was appropriate to present a little history of Loves Park Rotary. He started a new church on North Second Street in 1954 and sometime later he was invited by a Rockford Rotarian to check out a new Rotary club starting up in Loves Park. Their first meeting place was in the Clayton House Motel above the office. Over the years, there were many other meeting places, among them the Top Hat Restaurant and the Mayflower. Thanks to the graciousness of the Mayor, we have been holding meetings for over 20 years now in City Hall. Don recalled many fun times when the fundraiser was an auction that everyone helped with. He said sometimes it involved taking someone's old appliances and other items. It was a way to raise money and stay in shape at the same time. He also remembered a lot of fun meetings where Rotarians were “fined” for getting their picture in the paper but not wearing their Rotary pin or other similar things. Because of the handiness of several club members, there were many other ways that Rotary was kept in the public eye, such as the sun dial at Sinissippi Park made by Sofus. Thanks for sharing your memories, Don.

A Little History of Loves Park Rotary 2016-10-12 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Oct 10, 2016

The first travelogue was held Saturday, October 8. It was about Hawaii and the South Pacific and Anita said it was one of the most beautiful she could remember.

Announcements 2016-10-11 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Grants for 2016

Posted on Oct 04, 2016
Once again Loves Park Rotary was able to provide grants for several local non-profit organizations.  Funds were raised by Rotarians through their annual sale of candy.  Proceeds from the fundraisers are used for the Rotary Student Exchange and many local groups, and grants this year totaled over $7,000.  On hand to receive some of the grants from Rotary President, Diana Johnson, were Mary Petro for the North Suburban Library District, Shannon Scheffel for the Harlem Community Center, and John Hurley on behalf of the Literacy Council; John Hurley was then able to present the grant money to Sheryl Thogerson, Executive Director of the Literacy Council. Other grants awarded were for the Boy Scouts of America, Blackhawk Council, Sounds of Good News and K Cancer Baseball. 
Rotary Grants for 2016 2016-10-05 00:00:00Z 0

Jack Wonderlick on Skiing

Posted on Oct 03, 2016
Many of us know that long-time Rotarian, Jack Wonderlick, is a retired oral surgeon.  What some may not know is that he is also a certified ski instructor.  He has worked with young children and even someone in his 70’s.  Jack brought in some of the basic equipment needed such as a helmet, goggles, boots, poles and skis and demonstrated them for us.  He talked about some of the changes and advancements in equipment over the years and gave us some tips on getting started.  He showed us the proper techniques for making turns and slowing down and also talked about some of the things not to do.  For example, based on experience, he said there is a “right way” to get on or off the ski lift.  The talk was entertaining, instructive and a lot of fun.  Thanks, Jack, for the “lift”.
Jack Wonderlick on Skiing 2016-10-04 00:00:00Z 0
NSLD Open House, October 15th from 9:30-11:30am.  2016-10-04 00:00:00Z 0

Anniversaries & Announcements

Posted on Oct 03, 2016
Diana’s guest was Jeff Douglas from Des Plaines Office Equipment.
Shannon is celebrating 14 years as a Rotarian this year.
Thank you to Tom Brooks, Dave Smith, Ginger Thompson and John Pruitt for taking all day Sunday to interview prospective outbound exchange students for next year.  Tom said they had so many excellent kids that the process of narrowing them down was difficult as usual. 
Anniversaries & Announcements 2016-10-04 00:00:00Z 0

Grant Awarded to Boy Scouts of America, Blackhawk Council

Posted on Sep 27, 2016
The club was to hear from Scout Executive, Don Kinney, but he had something that required his personal attention at the last minute.  Our own Tom Brooks filled in and accepted the $1,200 grant for the Blackhawk Council.  Tom talked to us about the scouts in general and also career exploring, where the scouts are able to visit with area professionals in police, fire, health and industry and examine possible career paths.  It's a great opportunity for the scouts and the grant money is well spent to help provide this for them.  Tom explained how the scouts learn many life skills and are prepared for leadership roles later in life.  Thanks, Tom, for doing a great job with the last-minute impromptu talk. 
Grant Awarded to Boy Scouts of America, Blackhawk Council 2016-09-28 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Satellite Club - 815 After Hours

Posted on Sep 26, 2016
Shannon Scheffel sent out the following info regarding the new club:  "Loves Park Rotary Club is launching a satellite club in the "815" area.  A "non-traditional" club would be a huge asset for our community.  Attached is an invitation for the first meeting to create/ charter the 815 After Hours satellite club.  Please forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested in this type of club.  It will meet twice a month and we imagine the focus will be on hands-on projects in our community.  Other details will develop as these planning meetings take place."
The first meeting will be from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm, Wednesday, October 5 at Lucha Cantina.  If you have any questions, email Shannon or call 815-978-9092.
Rotary Satellite Club - 815 After Hours 2016-09-27 00:00:00Z 0

Birthdays & Anniversaries & Announcements

Posted on Sep 26, 2016
Happy 10th wedding anniversary to Andrew Reynolds and his wife.
Happy Birthday to Diana Johnson and Derek Papich.
The first Travelogue starts Saturday, Oct. 8 - if you can help set up chairs or tear down, see Anita.
Interviews will be held Sunday, 10/2 for potential outbound exchange students.  If you would like to help, see Tom Brooks or Dave Smith.
Birthdays & Anniversaries & Announcements 2016-09-27 00:00:00Z 0

Char from Just Goods

Posted on Sep 19, 2016
John Hurley introduced Charmaine from Just Goods.  She and her husband were practically founders according to John.  Char explained that Fair Trade is about creating opportunities for marginalized people and empowering the poorest of the poor.  They promote goods and products made in safe working conditions, especially products that are natural and not harmful to the environment, to help the people who provide them earn a “just” wage.  Many of these items may come from areas like Central & South America, Africa and Asia.  She and her husband have a long connection with Rotary; many years ago they were a host family for a student from South Africa.  Thanks, Char, for helping us to understand more about Just Goods and Fair Trade.
Char from Just Goods 2016-09-20 00:00:00Z 0

Jane Burden & Craig Anderson talk about preplanning funerals

Posted on Sep 12, 2016
Craig Anderson introduced one of his co-workers at Fred C. Olson funeral home, Jane Burden.  Jane is married to Loves Park city clerk, Bob Burden, and is active on the boards of many local organizations such as the North Suburban Library District and the Swedish Historical Society, just to name a couple.  She was also presented with the Rotary Service Above Self award in 2013 by Mayor Lindberg.  Jane and Craig talked to the group about the “top ten reasons to preplan” and how that should be considered an integral part of good estate planning for any family.  Besides helping the family to avoid overpaying at a bad time when they might be more vulnerable, a lot of difficult decisions can be made at a time when people are able to think more clearly and rationally.  Thank you Jane and Craig, for sharing with us about a difficult-to-talk-about topic. 
Jane Burden & Craig Anderson talk about preplanning funerals 2016-09-13 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Guests

Posted on Sep 05, 2016
Lori Barker, Rockford Health
Tammy Christianson, Heartland Hospice
Lindsay Greg, Peak Medical

The ladies went over the various services available in the community, including a review of supportive care, hospice and medical care options.
Rotary Guests 2016-09-06 00:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Chief of Police, Chuck Lynde

Posted on Aug 29, 2016
Loves Park Rotary welcomed new police chief, Chuck Lynde.  After graduating from Northwestern, he started as a part-time patrol officer in 1985 under then chief, Darryl Lindberg.  He became a full time patrol officer in 1988 and, after a few years, spent the next 20 years as a canine handler.  After various promotions, he became Deputy Chief in 2014 and then Chief of Police on June 13, 2016.  Thank you for visiting, Chief Lynde, and congratulations on your new position.
Loves Park Chief of Police, Chuck Lynde 2016-08-30 00:00:00Z 0

A History of Roscoe

Posted on Aug 23, 2016
Mary Petro gave us an interesting talk on the history of Roscoe.  How many people knew the village was almost named Tuttleville or North East?  Instead, residents decided on naming it either after resident, Charlie Roscoe or an English poet named William Roscoe, admired by one of the early settlers.  The first family settled there in 1835 and Roscoe boasts that they were the first school in the country to raise the U.S. flag over it’s building.  Mary showed us many fascinating pictures and shared other interesting historical facts.  There is much more historical information available in books, etc. at either library in Roscoe or Loves Park.  Thanks for sharing Mary.
A History of Roscoe 2016-08-24 00:00:00Z 0

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Posted on Aug 22, 2016
Happy birthday to Mel Sparlin & Jack Wonderlick.  Happy wedding anniversary to Don Lyon & Jon Eppes.
Birthdays & Anniversaries 2016-08-23 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome District Governor Scott Shore

Posted on Aug 09, 2016
District Governor, Scott Shore and his wife, Adriane, visited Loves Park Rotary.  He gave us some pins, candy and a little of his history.  He grew up in Rockford, graduated from Guilford High School and became a judge in the 10th Circuit Court.  He’s retired but his brother is still a judge in Rockford.  He talked about RI President John Germ’s theme of Rotary Serving Humanity.  He said there will be a celebration this year in San Diego marking the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, where there will be recognition of certain individuals reaching the “next level” of giving.  He was quick to pass on John Germ’s appreciation of our giving in the club and Scott personally thanked John Hurley for his contributions.  He said RI’s President also recognized our club’s upcoming 50th anniversary.  He said a highlight for him so far was when the 535 governor-elects met with RI President John Germ.  He’s looking forward to the many coming events including the gala event in the fall recognizing Foundation giving at Deer Valley Country Club in Rock Falls, the District Conference at Starved Rock State Park and the next International Conference in Atlanta, GA.  Thanks Governor and Mrs. Shore for visiting Loves Park Rotary and sharing your enthusiasm!
Welcome District Governor Scott Shore 2016-08-10 00:00:00Z 0

Anniversaries & Announcements

Posted on Aug 08, 2016
Ciara visited us; she leaves for Spain Friday, 8/19.  We were also visited by Assistant Governor, Peg Wilkerson.
Anita Papich had good news on two counts:  She was able to purchase over $1,000 in school supplies for about $150.  The club also was successful in getting our grant approved for Carpenter’s Place.  Derek Papich wrote the grant under the direction of grant chairperson, Will Geske.  Originally, the grant asked for $750 from the district which would be matched by the club for a total of $1,500.  Then we learned there were additional funds available from the district which will bring the total grant to $2,000.  Good work everyone involved with the grant!
Dr. T congratulated Past President John Hurley on being the newest member of the Paul Harris Society (members donated $1,000 per year).  Our club now has seven members in the Paul Harris Society. 
Anniversaries & Announcements 2016-08-09 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome New Rotarian Steve Johnson

Posted on Aug 01, 2016
The club welcomed Steve Johnson, Diana’s husband and the first spouse to join Rotary under the new rules for dues for spouses.  Steve talked about how he and Diana met (they won a disco dance contest and went to Las Vegas).  Then he presented his classification talk about his career as a pharmacist and how he learned many things he still uses from Stu Smith.  He talked about the different types or tiers of prescription drugs and how the co-pays can change frequently due to negotiations by pharmacy benefit mangagers (PBM’s).  He felt the negotiations by the PBM’s are part of the reason the individual pharmacies have trouble competing with the larger stores.  That, and the fact that sometimes they’re forced to wait as long as eight months for payments from the state.  All in all, Steve said things have changed a fair amount from the days when they used typewriters instead of computers.  And, he pointed out that now he is able to give flu shots.  Thanks, Steve, for becoming a new Rotarian and sharing your classification talk with us. 
Welcome New Rotarian Steve Johnson 2016-08-02 00:00:00Z 0

New Board for Loves Park Rotary

Posted on Jul 26, 2016
Diana thanked outgoing board members John Hurley and Lori Perkins for their contributions and announced the new board members:
President, Diana Johnson; President-Elect, Andrew Reynolds; Past President, Will Geske; Secretary, Don Banke; Treasurer, Shannon Scheffel; signing up for two years are Gail Daughtry, Dan Madden and Mary Petro; In the second year of their two-year terms are Tom Brooks, Dave Larson, and Derek Papich.  Thank you all for helping our President and your Loves Park Rotary.   
New Board for Loves Park Rotary 2016-07-27 00:00:00Z 0

Anniversaries & Announcements

Posted on Jul 25, 2016

We welcomed Doug Fisher’s wife, Betty, as our guest and sang happy anniversary to Tom Brooks (41-year wedding anniversary).
President Diana Johnson and original founding member, Don Lyon, will co-chair a celebration next year in honor of Loves Park Rotary’s 50th anniversary.  They are looking for some volunteers and so far Anita Papich, Dave Smith & Ginger Thompson have stepped forward.  If you can help, please see Diana or Don.
Diana announced that the board approved membership for spouses of members at reduced rates.  The dues will be lower for spouses because, while there will still be district & international dues, the local club dues will be waived.  Also, the spouse could use meal tickets instead of prepaid meals to save some money. 
Dr. T congratulated Ginger Thompson on being the newest Paul Harris Fellow.  As the district chair for foundation giving, he said he was very proud of Loves Park having one of the highest per capita giving levels. 
Anniversaries & Announcements 2016-07-26 00:00:00Z 0

Andrew Reynolds' Classification Talk

Posted on Jul 18, 2016
Andrew Reynolds, our President-Elect, gave a classification talk about what he does.  As the owner of Thinknut and creator of Fuelz, Andrew struggles with telling people what he does.  He tends to shy away from the traditional labels of career services or placement specialist because he likes to think “I give the world what it’s waiting for” and help people to discover who they were meant to be.  He sees that the working world has cycles and that often times there is a gap between the hours sought by an employer vs the hours a worker is actually engaged.  This gap can make it difficult to find good help in today’s market.  Through the unique assessment Fuelz offers and the resource materials from Thinknut company, he hopes to help people develop their skills into more marketable talents and see that they are properly placed to distribute their talents & skills to the best possible audience.  He introduced us to Sarah, who switched her career plans as a result of reevaluating herself and now works with him.  They work with staffing agencies, HR departments, schools, nonprofits and individuals.  You can find out more by visiting  It sounds exciting and thanks, Andrew and Sarah, for sharing with us what you do.
Andrew Reynolds' Classification Talk 2016-07-19 00:00:00Z 0

John Hurley receives the Paul Harris Society Chevron pin

Posted on Jul 12, 2016
Claire Giaert is a District coordinator for the Paul Harris Society.  She discussed the Paul Harris Society; it only takes $85.00 a month to be a member.   Rotary offers many ways to be a society member.  Clair presented John Hurley with the Paul Harris Society Chevron pin.
John Hurley receives the Paul Harris Society Chevron pin 2016-07-13 00:00:00Z 0

Ciara receives $500 grant!

Posted on Jul 11, 2016
Ciara, one of our outbound students, received a $500.00 grant from Harlem Township.  Congratulations Ciara!
Ciara receives $500 grant! 2016-07-12 00:00:00Z 0
Songmaster Dave Larsen 2016-07-12 00:00:00Z 0

Passing on the Gavel!

Posted on Jun 28, 2016
Outgoing President Will Geske wanted to thank so many people who helped him through his year with expert tutelage such as Mel Sparlin, John Hurley and Anita Papich.  There were too many people to thank for him to remember everyone but he also appreciated Diana Johnson stepping up in the middle of the year as President-Elect and Shannon Scheffel taking over this year as Treasurer.  Together with his board, they were able to accomplish a lot.  The board going forward under Diana as the new President will be Will as Past President, Andrew Reynolds as President-Elect, Tom Brooks, Dave Larson, Dan Madden and Mary Petro.  Diana said next year she hopes to brainstorm with the club on membership as one of her priorities, and appealed for any help Rotarians can give her filling in our speaker roster with new & interesting speakers.  Thanks, Will, for a great year and we look forward to another strong year with Diana at the helm!
Passing on the Gavel! 2016-06-29 00:00:00Z 0

Anniversaries, Birthdays & Announcements

Posted on Jun 27, 2016
Dr. T said we could start the new Rotary fiscal year out right with some charitable giving to the foundation.  He commented that we did great under President Will Geske and he was sure Diana would appreciate it as well.  Shannon also asked if folks could catch up on any dues owed from the last fiscal year too.
Happy Birthday to Dan Madden and Dr. T and next week to Don Lyon.  Dr T and his wife will also celebrate their wedding anniversary on his birthday.  Also, a happy wedding anniversary to Ginger Thompson and her husband.
Anniversaries, Birthdays & Announcements 2016-06-28 00:00:00Z 0

Birthdays, Anniversaries & Guests

Posted on Jun 20, 2016
Welcome to our guests:  Dave McClellan from Downtown Rotary and Al Olson and his daughter Debbie; Al was invited by Dave Smith and was an original charter member of Loves Park Rotary.
Happy Birthday to Don Skadow and Bob Rehfeldt's wife, Fran.
Happy club anniversary (12 years) to Doug Fisher.
Congratulations to Derek Papich, the big winner of our progressive 50/50 raffle; the latest estimate was that the prize will be over $200!
Birthdays, Anniversaries & Guests 2016-06-21 00:00:00Z 0

Spring Membership Day

Posted on Jun 20, 2016
June 21st was designated as membership day for Loves Park Rotary and each Rotarian was asked by the committee co-chairs, Don Skadow and Andrew Reynolds, to invite a prospective member or guest.  While there were few guests, good use of the time was made by Andrew to discuss Rotary in general and membership specifically.  He asked for a few of us to share positive experiences with Rotary.  John Hurley shared how he and Marta valued the time spent hosting an exchange student.  Dave Smith also said how he enjoyed attending an international conference, much the same as what was related by Dr. T last week.  Andrew also asked for positive ways we had impacted the community.  Mary Petro reminded us of how, when Ann Powell was director of the North Suburban Library District, Anita Papich spearheaded an effort to clean up their auditorium and also to convert their old card files.  It was also recalled how one of our members, Sofus Sorensen, had designed and built a sun dial for Sinnissippi Gardens.  Andrew recalled how he had actually considered joining a different Rotary group but, through two different encounters, found our club so warm and welcoming that he decided to join Loves Park.  He felt some of our more mature members had a lot to offer younger generations and thought we could enhance a positive experience for visitors by having several people greet them as well as following up to thank them for visiting (i.e., invite them back again).  Thanks, Andrew for a good meeting with a lot of great ideas and feedback.  Now we just need to do what we do best, right?!
Spring Membership Day 2016-06-21 00:00:00Z 0

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Posted on Jun 14, 2016
We welcomed Josh Albrecht, Director of Marketing and Public Affairs and Lindsay Arellano, Director of Sales and Service from the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Tourism is big in Rockford and the RACVB has won many prestigious awards for their efforts.  The “Tough Mudder” held recently was a big success and the 2015 Puma Cup hosted here was such a big deal that folks had to book hotel rooms as far away as Madison or Algonquin.  The Sportscore Complexes and Indoor Sports Center drew almost 3 million people in 2014 and over 7,600,000 guests to Winnebago County spent $340 million at area businesses.  Other big draws for Rockford area are Rock Cut State Park, the Carlson Ice Arena & Riverview Ice House and the BMO Harris Bank Center (including the Rockford Icehogs).  The RACVB ran a full page ad in the 2016 Cubs Yearbook and ESPN will be here in the fall to broadcast the Ultimate Frisbee event.  You can visit and see a calendar of events as well as area restaurants, hotels, etc.  Diana Johnson thanked them for sponsoring the Young at Heart Festival.  Thank you, Josh and Lindsay.  It was great to hear some of the very many positive things the Rockford area has to offer. 
Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 2016-06-15 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jun 13, 2016
Just a reminder that our Membership Day will be Tuesday, June 21.  The goal for that day is for each Rotarian to try to bring a guest. 
Dr. T reported back to the club on attending his sixth International Rotary Meeting in Seoul, South Korea.  There were over 51,000 registered attendees and 182 flags from different locations represented in the Parade of Flags.  He thoroughly enjoyed himself and looks forward to the next meeting, being held in Atlanta. 
Announcements 2016-06-14 00:00:00Z 0

Dominic Bandzaitis, Our Exchange Student

Posted on Jun 07, 2016
The guest speaker was Dominic Bandzaitis, our exchange student from Lithuania.  He recalled how his sister had been an exchange student so he was definitely interested and had two choices, Thailand or America.  He was met at the airport by Tom Brooks and was shown around by Dave Smith and another exchange student, Brock, whom he’d made friends with before he arrived.  Dominic was overwhelmed to be here and found one of his more pleasurable experiences to be the onion rings at Beef-A-Roo!  He was nervous about what to expect at school and this was his first experience with a school bus (at home, he was only 10 minutes away from school so he walked).  He had brought his saxophone, thinking he’d probably need it to occupy a lot of his spare time.  It came in handy as he was able to sit in with the Moonlight Jazz as well as play in the band at Harlem’s graduation ceremony.  Highlights of Dominic’s time here were his inbound orientation, which he really enjoyed and a boat trip around Lake Michigan with other inbound students.  He’s looking forward to a summer tour in a couple weeks to the East coast.  Something that stood out for him was how people seemed friendlier here than at home.  He said at home you wouldn’t normally walk up to a random person and start a conversation like here.  Thanks, Dominic, for sharing about your time here and we’re pleased to have had such a nice young man visit us. 
Dominic Bandzaitis, Our Exchange Student 2016-06-08 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Birthdays, Anniversaries & Announcements:

Posted on Jun 06, 2016
Our guests were Don Johnson from Rockford East/Cherry Valley, and Ciara Ort.
Happy Birthday to Mike Winters and Happy Wedding Anniversary to Dave Larson & his wife; Diana Johnson is celebrating her 14th club anniversary. Congratulations to our Rotarians!
Because Big Brothers & Big Sisters were not able to use the books furnished from the Travelogue monies, 10 each were donated to eight area schools.  There were some books left over.
Guests, Birthdays, Anniversaries & Announcements: 2016-06-07 00:00:00Z 0

Lucky Raffle Winners!

Posted on Jun 06, 2016
We had our big raffle drawing:  Congratulations to grand prize winner, Pastor Don Lyon, who won $750!  Other winners were Diane Fitzgerald for $500 and Jon Eppes, who won the golf outing for four people at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club;  other prizes awarded were the Ice Hogs four-pack and a $150 gift basket.  A special thank you to John Pruitt and Andrew Reynolds and all who helped make this another successful raffle!
Lucky Raffle Winners! 2016-06-07 00:00:00Z 0

Dr. Linda Oshita, Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools

Posted on May 31, 2016
We were visited by Dr. Linda Oshita, Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools for Winnebago and Boone County.  The Regional Superintendent of Schools by Illinois law has supervision over all school districts in the region, and has duties as official advisor and assistant of the school officers and teachers of the region.  The regional Superintendents have served Illinois for over 150 years with a three-fold mission of providing safety, support and success for area schools.  With responsibilities covering anything from asbestos, security, background checks, bus training, licensing, and high school equivalency, just to name a few, their concerns are many.  Thank you, Linda, for enlightening us on the many areas the Regional Superintendents and Assistants are involved with.
Dr. Linda Oshita, Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools 2016-06-01 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on May 30, 2016
We are in the final stages of our Spring raffle.  The big drawing will be next week!  Why not plan to attend to see if you are the lucky winner or at least sold the winning ticket!
Will announced that the deadline for submission of grant requests is June 14.  If you know of an organization considering applying for funds, make sure they get in touch right away. 
Will reminded us that our Membership Day will be June 21.  The goal for that day is for each Rotarian to try to bring a guest. 
The Rockford Club is celebrating 100 years Wednesday, June 15 at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club with a dinner at 7:30 PM; cocktail hour starts at 6:30.  For further info, contact Lyn Allison at or Judy Cooper at or call 815-965-0607.
Announcements 2016-05-31 00:00:00Z 0

Former Exchange Student Visits

Posted on May 23, 2016
Rotary visitors today were Liana Kirillova, her Mom, Tamara and boyfriend (and former Rotary exchange student) Mikhail Zolotykh.  Liana and Kikhail both received their Masters Degrees from SIU in May.
Former Exchange Student Visits 2016-05-24 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Marina Klein

Posted on May 04, 2016
Andrew Reynolds introduced our Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Marina Klein.  Her parents are Chris & Jennifer Klein; she was also joined by her brother and sister and grandparents.  She plays the French horn in the school band and recently qualified for 1st place at the Grade School Music Association with the piano.  She’s participated in track & field and is on the swimming team, placing 3rd in the 25 Butterfly event at the Rockford All-City swim meet.  Marina is an excellent student and is in four honors classes this year with almost all A’s.  In the community, she volunteers at Locks of Love and at the Northeast Christian Church in the Children’s Ministry and Disaster Cleanup.  She hopes to go to Rock Valley College after Harlem High School would like to write books and music.  She also hopes to open her own original restaurant (not a chain) because she loves to cook.  Congratulations, Marina, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s Middle School Student of the Month!
Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Marina Klein 2016-05-05 00:00:00Z 0

K Cancer Youth Baseball

Posted on May 03, 2016
Our guest speakers were Randy and Alan Rapier, adult & youth advisors for K Cancer Youth Baseball, and Samantha Roberson, a cancer survivor.  The two main goals of this non-profit organization are to support families battling children’s cancer and equip the next generation of “socially conscious leaders”.  They can help families by providing financial assistance, temporary housing near medical facilities, taking care of lawns or pets, care packages including gift cards or toys, and visits from celebrity ball players.  While still a fairly new organization, they helped nine families in 2015 and there may be as many as 70 families in the area needing their help.  They are working to enhance awareness of themselves with public speaking appearances, presence in parades, TV appearances and other local events.  Their goal is “Striking Out” Childhood Cancer.  Thank you to K Cancer Youth Baseball for raising our awareness of their important mission. 
K Cancer Youth Baseball 2016-05-04 00:00:00Z 0

Anniversaries, Birthdays & Announcements

Posted on May 02, 2016

Happy Birthday to Don Banke, Will Geske and Andrew Reynolds.


Happy wedding anniversary to Diana & Steve Johnson (36 years), Lori & Wes Perkins.


Happy club anniversary to Don Banke and Doug Schandelmeier.


Thank you to Dave Larson, Don Banke and Don Skadow for their efforts to Keep North America Clean and Beautiful!  Dave said they had over 60 people volunteering to help.


Congratulations to Loves Park Rotary for two Literacy awards at the District Conference, one for Club Achievement for outstanding speakers for Literacy and one for Sustained Excellence for our continued involvement in the dictionary projects.  Thanks John Hurley and Mary Petro and all who have been involved in these projects. 
Congratulations to Dr. Kris Tumilowicz for receiving the Cliff Doctorman Award as a scouting Rotarian, also at the District Conference.
Anniversaries, Birthdays & Announcements 2016-05-03 00:00:00Z 0

Carpenter's Place

Posted on Apr 26, 2016
Loves Park Rotary welcomed Cathy Barsema from Carpenter’s Place.  Cathy retired from Rockford Memorial Hospital as a registered nurse after many years.  She and her husband, Allan, founded Carpenter’s Place in 2000 as an experiment to provide a day-time center for homeless individuals where they could have a mailing address and a shower.  It has evolved and grown to a 24,000 square foot center which helps an average of 94 guests per day with practical and essential life services. Part of their mission is to provide direction with accountability to people with broken lives.  They are usually available from 8:15 am to 3 pm on weekdays.  They except donations, especially men’s clothing since approximately 75% of the guests they serve are men.  They receive some Federal grants and funds from some foundations but mostly are not reliant on state funding.  The guests make and sell bracelets which raised about $20,000 last year.  Faith-based services are available but are optional.  They offer help in too many areas to list but some examples are case management for individuals, mental health services, help obtaining ID’s, meals, laundry & basic hygiene requirements and transitional housing, to name a few.  Thank you for visiting, Cathy, and helping us to understand some of the many things Carpenter’s Place does for the homeless in our community. 
Carpenter's Place 2016-04-27 00:00:00Z 0

Announcements & Birthdays

Posted on Apr 25, 2016
Welcome to Andrew Reynold's wife, Lucia and Happy Birthday to Doug Schandelmeier's mother.
Anita announced that the Travel and Adventure series received two donations, one of which was from the daughter of one of our original founding members, the late Sofus Sorensen.  Some Rotarians remember Sofus fondly as the very talented craftsman behind many of our handmade Rotary items.
John Pruitt reminded us that we're asking for at least a donation of $75 from Rotarians in lieu of raffle ticket sales if they're unable to sell them.
Dave Larson reminded everyone that this weekend is Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful if folks are unable to attend the District Conference events on Saturday.  If you want to help clean up, meet at 9 AM at the North end behind City Hall Saturday, April 30.  Clean up goes until noon. 
Announcements & Birthdays 2016-04-26 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem High School Student of the Month, Grace Zimmer

Posted on Apr 19, 2016
Tom Brooks introduced our Harlem High School Student of the Month, Grace Zimmer, who was here with her father, James Zimmer.  At Harlem, Grace has been active in volleyball for four years and was selected MVP. She also has been a member of the Link Crew, National Honor Society, and the Student Council, where she was vice president.  She likes to participate in the Stroll on State and the Hometown Christmas and horse wagon rides.  She is also in the Rockford Volleyball Club and hopes to continue with volleyball at Edgewood College in Madison where she will be majoring in business with a minor in economics.  Congratulations, Grace, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s High School Student of the Month! 
Harlem High School Student of the Month, Grace Zimmer 2016-04-20 00:00:00Z 0

More on Visioning

Posted on Apr 18, 2016
President Will Geske gave us more information on the nine action items the Visioning Committee came up with.  The first three had the highest priority:
  1. Competitively choose three small community projects (these could change from year to year).
  2. Complete our first five-year signature project.
  3. Develop a strong public relations committee.
  4. Form an interact club at Harlem High School.
  5. Collaborate with other local clubs and appear on local TV.
  6. Hold a Career Day.
  7. Initiate an essay contest in school, such as the Four Way Test.
  8. Grow membership
  9. Recruit host families for our exchange students from outside the club.
As Will pointed out, implementing these action items would require active participation and volunteers from all club members, not just board members.  Thanks to Will and all members of the Visioning Committee for all the hard work you’re doing!  Anyone interested in volunteering to work on or chair a committee, please see Will.
More on Visioning 2016-04-19 00:00:00Z 0
Announcements & Anniversaries 2016-04-19 00:00:00Z 0

Skype visit with our outbound foreign exchange student

Posted on Apr 12, 2016
Tom Brooks and Dave Smith set up a skype visit with Kate Fabsik, our exchange student visiting the Czech Republic.  There is about an eight-hour time difference so it was evening when Kate was talking to us.  She is living in Prague which is very colorful and rich in history and she loves it.  She’s starting to learn the language a little better and says sometimes you just have to force yourself to “put yourself out there a little” past your comfort zone.  She visits the local Rotary about once a month and her host family has taken her on several trips to Rome (she had a hotel right by the Vatican), Spain and Slovakia.  Shortly, they plan on embarking on a Euro tour to France, Spain & Italy.  Kate is eating well and says they have a lot of meat and potatoes and dumplings.  She’s adjusting to the differences in school – the schedules are different each day but the same every week and some days she’s there from 8 or 8:30 am until 5 pm.  There are as many as 11 students overseas from our Rotary district.  Kate’s advice to future exchange students is to expect the unexpected and to keep an open mind because “this experience will change your life”.  Thanks, Kate, for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us and thanks to Tom & Dave for setting it up for us.    
Skype visit with our outbound foreign exchange student 2016-04-13 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Apr 11, 2016
Rev. Scott Nesse from Stonebridge Church was a guest of Dr. Larson.
Guests 2016-04-12 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Lillian Hardy

Posted on Apr 06, 2016
Andrew Reynolds introduced our Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Lillian Hardy.  Her parents are Delica Austin and Joel Austin (step-dad); Patrick Hardy and Maria Hardy (step-mom); she was joined by several family members and teacher, Luke Tassoni.  She has been involved in the Drama Club, Student Council and Track for both years of middle school.  In the community, Lillian volunteers at Harlem Community Center where she helps with cheerleading for the young kids.  She’s also active with young children at the Discovery Center and in her church, where she’s in a youth group called “Reallife” and helps in the nursery.  She hopes to go to Xavier University in Louisiana and then to Harvard for her graduate work.  She’d like to be a neuropsychologist and possibly own her own clinic someday.   Congratulations, Lillian, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s Middle School Student of the Month!
Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Lillian Hardy 2016-04-07 00:00:00Z 0

Dave Smith has pictures of Bari, Italy

Posted on Apr 05, 2016
Dave Smith had photos of Bari, Italy which was home to our exchange student from many years ago, Monica, and her parents.  Bari is located in the lower right side of Italy by the heel of the “boot” and the city is known for its unusual architecture.  The local fields were full of stones so the residents used them in construction and you can still see the dome-shaped roofs made with them.  Dave said, of course they’re also known for their pastries and cappuccino and pizza, which he felt he had to sample.  The local cathedral was beautiful and he also had pictures of the many olive trees.  There are some spectacular cliffs which many of the local youth use as spring boards for diving into the crystal blue ocean waters.  Dave was content to just take pictures of that part.  Thanks for sharing, Dave! 
Dave Smith has pictures of Bari, Italy 2016-04-06 00:00:00Z 0

Announcements & Birthdays

Posted on Apr 04, 2016
Welcome to Mel’s daughter, Julie, and happy birthday to Shannon’s son.
Announcements & Birthdays 2016-04-05 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome to CASA!

Posted on Mar 29, 2016
Our guest speakers were Taryn Marko and Maureen Barrett from CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).  Taryn is the program director for Winnebago County and Maureen has been an advocate for about three years, currently serving seven children.  CASA was started in 1977 by a Seattle, WA judge, David Soukup, who was concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children’s lives without sufficient information. His idea was to use trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of the children in court. The first case in Winnebago County was in 1987. CASA volunteers participate with the children to learn of their situation first hand and then deliver to the court their opinion on what steps need to be taken to assist the children in the best manner. The children don’t go to court, the CASA volunteers do. The advocates are considered a Guardian ad Litem (at Law).  Judges accept nearly all the CASA volunteers' recommendations.  CASA members are appointed individual cases based on their strengths and commitment time frame and visit with the children, their families, teachers, physicians and so on. Often they are the only consistent voice or contact in these children’s lives.  To volunteer, you need to be 21 or older with a High School diploma or GED.  As a volunteer, you are asked to complete training with judges, attorneys and other CASA staff and will be screened closely for commitment and objectivity, among other things. Last year CASA volunteers helped over 400 children but there are approximately 900 still waiting for an advocate.  Thank you to Taryn and Maureen and all the CASA volunteers for what they do to advocate for the children.
Welcome to CASA! 2016-03-30 00:00:00Z 0

Announcements & Birthdays

Posted on Mar 28, 2016
Happy Birthday to A. Marie Holmes, Gail Daughtry’s husband and Ron Spear’s wife. 
Our raffle will be starting up as soon as the tickets are printed in the next week or two.  Our goal is to sell 15 tickets per Rotarian for a total of 600 tickets.  Cost of a ticket is $10 or three for $25. 
Our guests were two outbound students, Kirsten Mekeas, headed for Zimbabwe and Cjara “CiCi” Ort, headed for Spain.
Cleanup day will be Saturday April 30,2016.  Anyone interested in volunteering, see Dave Larson.
Announcements & Birthdays 2016-03-29 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome to Teresa Marotta and Blanche Helbling

Posted on Mar 22, 2016
Representing St. Bridget Food Pantry, Teresa Marotta was on hand with Blanche Helbling of Northern Illinois Food Bank to thank Rotary for our previous grant to the pantry.  Blanche said the problem is not so much getting the food but getting it distributed so she appreciates the efforts of groups like Teresa’s at St. Bridget Food Pantry.  Teresa said they gave away over 155,000 lbs. of food last year and served over 6,600 families, an increase of over 57% in the last two years.  She said they are at capacity spacewise and utilize many hardworking volunteers; and Msgr. Deutsch has asked her to explore a separate facility for the pantry.  This would be a much more efficient operation as they currently must take donations to a lower level for storage, then bring it back up for staging on pick up day.  Additionally, there is no refrigeration available so they are not able to accept perishable items.  They quoted Pope Francis in their slide presentation:  “You pray for the hungry.  Then you feed them.  That’s how prayer works.”  Also, Teresa mentioned how personal it becomes when you try to help people.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”  Thank you, Teresa and Blanche, for all you do for our community.
Welcome to Teresa Marotta and Blanche Helbling 2016-03-23 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Mar 21, 2016
Dr. T mentioned the Foundation Dinner coming up April 29 at the Hoffman House and also the District Conference April 30 – May 1 at the Clocktower Resort.  Rotarians should have received invitations to both events from the district through clubrunner.
Announcements 2016-03-22 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem High School Student of the Month, Brandon Chiodini

Posted on Mar 16, 2016
Ginger Thompson welcomed our Harlem High School Student of the Month, Brandon Chiodini.  His parents, Dan and Laura Chiodini, were able to attend with him.  Brandon is an outstanding student with a 4.46 GPA, class rank of 10 out of 463 and an ACT score of 32.  He’s been on the Science Olympiad for six years (including middle school), Vice- President of the National Honor Society for two years and in the German Club for three years.  He’s done the work camp for the Boy Scouts for two years, working his way up from dishwasher to assistant cook.  Brandon has also been active in the youth group at Third Presbyterian Church, called the Night Crusaders, for four years, including three mission trips to Missouri and Michigan.  He hopes to attend the University of Illinois and major in Physics.  Congratulations, Brandon, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s High School Student of the Month! 
Harlem High School Student of the Month, Brandon Chiodini 2016-03-17 00:00:00Z 0

Prof. Carl & Mrs. Dianna Cole from Sound of Good News visit

Posted on Mar 15, 2016
Prof. Carl Cole and his wife, Dianna, visited Loves Park Rotary to personally thank us for the grant received last year for Sounds of Good News.  Originally from Freeport, Carl was the last of seven children and was introduced into music by his mother who organized regional tours for him and his siblings as part of the “Singing Coles”.  Dianna provides vocals, is business manager and education coordinator for their company, SOGN, which is now in its 34th year.  It really is a family affair with their son, Andrew, also involved in the production company.  They are especially passionate about their “Young Eagles Success” (YES) club which provides an anti-drug, alcohol, violence & crime vision of character development and excellence for kids using music.  Their motto is “No child left out” and they create an opportunity, without fees, to engage kids who may be having difficulty at home or in school.  They partner with St. Paul Lutheran Church and Pastor David Thies, as well as Chief Deputy Don Gasparini Jr.  They receive the support and praise of countless area leaders and members of the community.  Thank you Prof. & Mrs. Cole for visiting and sharing your vision for our children, youth and young adults.
Prof. Carl & Mrs. Dianna Cole from Sound of Good News visit 2016-03-16 00:00:00Z 0

Raffle is Starting

Posted on Mar 14, 2016
Our raffle is starting up and our goal is to sell 15 tickets per Rotarian for a total of 600 tickets.  Cost of a ticket is $10 or three for $25.  John Pruitt says we have one sponsor so far, Backyard Grill & Bar in Loves Park, and we’re looking for a second sponsor.  The prizes will be slightly different this time with not all cash prizes.  First prize is $750 and second prize is $500 with some other smaller amounts.  Additionally, there will be other prizes such as a golf outing for four (4) at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club, party baskets and so on.  
Raffle is Starting 2016-03-15 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Mar 14, 2016
Happy Birthday to Ron Spear and Happy 49th Club anniversary which means it’s also Don Lyon’s 49th anniversary, as our remaining founding member.  Shannon Scheffel received a Paul Harris +5 pin for her contributions to the Rotary Foundation.   Congratulations Rotarians!
Announcements 2016-03-15 00:00:00Z 0

Winnebago County Coroner, Sue Fiduccia, visits Loves Park Rotary

Posted on Mar 07, 2016
We were visited by Winnebago County Coroner, Sue Fiduccia.  She has served since 1995 when she was picked by her predecessor, Dr. John Seward.  Sue has won every re-election since then, but is stepping down this year at the end of November after over 20 years.  Some of her office’s many functions are to determine cause and manner of death, assist with identifications, perform autopsies and conduct inquests.  However, Sue sees her responsibility as more than that.  Over the years, she has brought a personal touch to the many grieving families she’s been involved with.  Her service to the community goes way beyond a normal workday or workweek.  Sue’s office also works to bring closure to veterans, area homeless, or families without sufficient economic means available to them.  Sue has truly been an asset to the community and we will miss her. 
Winnebago County Coroner, Sue Fiduccia, visits Loves Park Rotary 2016-03-08 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Olivia Spray

Posted on Mar 02, 2016
John Hurley introduced our Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Olivia Spray.  Her parents are Amy & Charlie and she was joined by her mother and math teacher, Nikole Clevenger.  She is on the Science Olympiad Team and also participates in soccer and track.  She likes to do “dangerous things” such as go mountain biking with her father and ride four-wheelers with her grandparents.  In the community, Olivia is involved with the Peer Court at the Machesney Township Building.  She hopes to go to college and someday be a police officer, lawyer or do stunt work.   Congratulations, Olivia, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s Middle School Student of the Month!
Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Olivia Spray 2016-03-03 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Mar 01, 2016
Will Geske and our focus committee made available to club members our Rotary Mission Statement and an “elevator” speech as well as notes on what they’ve covered so far in the Visioning process.  They discussed and voted on many different topics, especially regarding our direction for the next five years.  Examples were:  what Loves Park Rotary stands for, what we want to see the club achieve in the areas of youth service & community service, and specific traits of the club in size, attributes and administration.  They also looked at club aspirations or goals in the areas of international service, the Foundation and fund raising, to name a few more.  In each of the areas discussed, the committee identified some points that were voted higher items of interest such as in the admin. area, having a three-year succession plan for the President and various committees.  Or, in the area of club attributes, having affordable membership and a well-balanced blend of youthful and mature members. 
Visioning 2016-03-02 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Feb 29, 2016
John Pruitt announced that we will again be conducting a raffle fundraiser and the drawing will probably be at the first club meeting in June.  He said prizes may be different this time, with the club hoping to offer some other prizes in addition to cash. 
Also, the Clean Up Day this year will be Saturday, April 30.  If you can help, please see Dave Larson or Will Geske.
Announcements 2016-03-01 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem High School Student of the Month, Marissa Olson

Posted on Feb 16, 2016
John Hurley introduced our Harlem High School Student of the Month, Marissa Olson.  Her parents are Bryan & Lori Olson and were in attendance with her.  She scored 31 on the ACT test, has a GPA of 4.6 out of 4.0 and is #3 in a class of 464.  At Harlem, Marissa is the Activity and Membership Coordinator for the Key Club and also is a member of the Link Crew, National Honor Society, and the Math Club.  She is active at Third Presbyterian Church where she is president of the youth group and looks forward to going on a mission trip every summer.   She also is part of the Adopt-A-Shelf program at North Suburban Library District where she and other volunteers help keep shelves organized.  She hopes to pursue a degree in neuroscience at a four-year university to eventually become a neurologist.  With her grades and drive for achievement, we’re sure that she will excel at whatever she puts her mind to.  Congratulations, Marissa, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s High School Student of the Month! 
Harlem High School Student of the Month, Marissa Olson 2016-02-17 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome Judge Janet Holmgren!

Posted on Feb 15, 2016
Judge Janet Holmgren of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court visited Loves Park Rotary to talk about the Problem-Solving Courts.  Judge Holmgren spent 10 years in private practice and has been on the bench for 21 years, with the last eight in the Problem-Solving Courts.  There are many different courts:  Family Drug Court, Adult Drug Court, Adult Mental Health Court, Veterans Court and Youth Recovery Court.  It is only as of 2016 that standards have been established in Illinois for the Problem-Solving Courts.  Judge Holmgren says that these standards have helped the courts do their work and provide fairness and an opportunity to be heard for the people they help.  The system is relatively new, with the drug courts being established in the late 1980’s and the mental health courts in the early 2000’s.  She shared some amazing statistics:  About 5% of the general population has serious mental illness but the jail population is about 15%, and 54% of the jail population has a drug disorder.  With the success of the Problem-Solving Courts, they have observed a 42% reduction in recividism, which is the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.  State funding is important but has not been consistent, especially lately, and they also partner with many local organizations such as Rosecrance and Stepping Stones.  Thank you, Judge Holmgren, for visiting us with this important information.
Welcome Judge Janet Holmgren! 2016-02-16 00:00:00Z 0

Teachers from Chile Visit Loves Park

Posted on Feb 08, 2016
Our guests were Steve Kuhn, the District Governor Nominee from Sycamore, and two teachers from Chile, Miriam and Martha.  As a veteran, Steve appreciates the contribution of our Armed Forces so he passes out Rotary veterans pins wherever he goes, including Loves Park.  However, the main reason he was visiting our club was to introduce Miriam and Martha, two teachers from Chile.  He was part of a vocational training team that sent six teachers to Chile to help local teachers with their English.  Miriam and Martha both teach English in Combarbala, Chile which is largely a rural area.  When our team visited them, they were invited to the U.S. to visit.  Some money was raised by several clubs, Loves Park being one of them, so they were able to come spend some time with us and thank us.  They brought a present for our club and presented it to President, Will Geske.  Steve said the vocational training teams are still active and the district currently has one in Uganda.  Thanks, Steve, for bringing such nice visitors.
Teachers from Chile Visit Loves Park 2016-02-09 00:00:00Z 0

Brighton Young is Loves Park Rotary's Middle School Student of the Month

Posted on Feb 02, 2016

Andrew Reynolds welcomed our Harlem High Middle School Student of the Month, Brighton Young.  Her parents are Mark and Stacey Young and her mother was with her along with their friend, Karen, and Brighton’s Math teacher, Emily Bork.  She is involved in school with the Science Olympiad, plays the baritone tuba in the band and is on the golf team.  A highlight for Brighton was attending the Masters last year where she got a “high five” from Tiger Woods.  She’s helped with various golf organizations including the Rockford Pro-Am.  She’s involved in the Children’s Theater Project, the Teen Peer Court and is a member of the Grace Lutheran Church confirmation and youth group.  When she reaches 14, she can volunteer at Hoo Haven.  After high school, Brighton wants to be selected to play on the Alpine Bank ProAm team and work hard enough on her golf game to play division one on a scholarship.  She’d like to excel academically so that she can achieve her dream of becoming a veterinarian. Congratulations, Brighton, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s Middle School Student of the Month!
Brighton Young is Loves Park Rotary's Middle School Student of the Month 2016-02-03 00:00:00Z 0

Chinese dance, Shen Yun, to visit Rockford

Posted on Feb 01, 2016

The club was visited by Professor Hao Feng from the U of I and his wife, Ying Qi.  They were here to tell us about a New York based dance group called Shen Yun which will be in Rockford at the Coronado theater in March.  They are touring with a full European orchestra and blending classical Chinese dance with Wester & Eastern music.  The costumes are all handmade and the traditional Chinese instruments, the Pipa and the Erhu, are part of the orchestra.  The dance has three main components:  Form or Wu which blends dance and martial arts, Technique which is similar to modern acrobatics, and Bearing which is the pinnacle – Dr. Feng said it is like the PHD of dance.  The story they tell is famous, second only to the Bible, with 81 episodes and not unlike Homer’s “Odyssey”.  The group will tour five continents and 100 cities this year and Dr. Feng encouraged everyone to attend this event which has received rave reviews.  Thank you Dr. & Mrs. Feng for giving us this glimpse into Chinese culture.

Chinese dance, Shen Yun, to visit Rockford 2016-02-02 00:00:00Z 0

Anniversaries & Announcements

Posted on Feb 01, 2016

Dan Madden is celebrating six years with Loves Park Rotary and Tom Brooks announced that he is retiring from the Boy Scouts after many years.  Congratulations to you both!
Anniversaries & Announcements 2016-02-02 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Anniversaries & Announcements:

Posted on Jan 18, 2016
Happy anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Schandelmeier.  Doug said they’re celebrating 36 years together!
We still have about 35 boxes of candy for sale if you know anyone who would like some.  Remember, Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  We have Assorted as well as Nuts & Chews available.  See Anita.  Dan reminded us that whatever we sell now goes directly toward money we can use for grants.
Guests, Anniversaries & Announcements: 2016-01-19 00:00:00Z 0

2017 Will be Loves Park Rotary's 50th Anniversary!

Posted on Jan 18, 2016
Will said it’s not too soon for folks to start thinking of possible ideas for a celebration of our club’s 50th anniversary.  Would we want to have a dinner?  Possibly a combination fund raiser?  Would we have guest speakers:  possibly our club’s past governors or their family?  Does anyone have pictures?  Mel reminded us to think about all the many changes in the last 50 years such as women’s role in Rotary (two of our past governors are women)?  If you want to chair a committee or serve on one, let Will know. 
2017 Will be Loves Park Rotary's 50th Anniversary! 2016-01-19 00:00:00Z 0

Rotarian of the Year is Ginger Thompson!

Posted on Jan 12, 2016
Dave Smith was honored to present our new Rotarian of the Year, Ginger Thompson.  Normally, this would have been done at the annual Christmas party but she was unable to attend.  Dave said that, even though Ginger is a newer Rotarian, she embodies the qualities that epitomize a good Rotarian putting “Service Above Self”.  She’s always jumped in to help out with tasks and projects asked of her, including vacancies left by departing Rotarians.  She and her children help with food service at the club travelogue events.  Ginger’s experience as a counselor at Harlem has made her invaluable as an interviewer of the many potential exchange students.  She’s often given of her free time on weekends and even traveling to Sterling to help with the District interviews.  She is a great liaison between Harlem and the club for the youth exchange students but also for our high school student of the month winners.  She has even taken the necessary certification to become our club counselor for the inbound youth exchange students.  It may have been a surprise to this humble Rotarian but it was no shock to most of us to hear that Ginger deservedly received this award.  Congratulations, Ginger, and thank you!
Rotarian of the Year is Ginger Thompson! 2016-01-13 00:00:00Z 0

The Workforce Connection

Posted on Jan 11, 2016
We welcomed Pam Lopez-Fettes & Theodore Duckett from the Workforce Connection and Scott Haugh, a veteran’s representative from the Illinois Dept. of Employment Security.  They are part of the Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance and serve Boone, Stephenson & Winnebago Counties as well as regionally outside those counties.  Their mission statement is to create a competitive, skilled and educated workforce by providing a system for individuals to gain meaningful employment responsive to the needs of business.  In the last year, more than 15,000 people used their free services available in One-Stop Centers in Rockford, Freeport & Belvidere.  They organize one of the largest job fairs in Illinois and work with many area schools and businesses to connect their two main customers, job seekers with prospective employers.  They provide assessments of the job seekers as well as the employers to insure a good fit.  They provide education resources and training including on-the-job training for current or prospective employees.  869 people earned National Career Readiness Certificates through the WorkKeys assessments offered by the Workforce Connection last year.  There were 2700 more workers employed in the region and 1600 new jobs created in the last year.  Well done Workforce Connection.  These folks work long hours, tirelessly, to benefit our community.  Thank you for visiting Loves Park Rotary!
The Workforce Connection 2016-01-12 00:00:00Z 0

Zoe Walker is Harlem High School Student of the Month.

Posted on Jan 11, 2016
Ginger Thompson welcomed our Harlem High School Student of the Month, Zoe Walker.  Her parents are Jennifer and William Walker and her mother was in attendance with her.  Ginger said Zoe’s counselor is Mr. Hatch but Ginger has also worked closely with Zoe since she is a Link Crew Co-President.  She is a lead presenter in anti-bullying presentations in health classrooms and volunteers at the new-student pizza parties and orientations.  Zoe has been in track for two years and she’s been an apprentice counselor at Camp Winnebago for three years.  Other activities in the community involve the YMCA and RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards – Rotary’s leadership training program for young people).  She has returned from RYLA camp from last year to be a lead counselor at camp this year.  She is on the district committee for RYLA and is a Communications Coordinator for RYLA.  She hopes to continue to Rock Valley College to pursue a career in criminal justice.  Congratulations, Zoe, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s High School Student of the Month!
Zoe Walker is Harlem High School Student of the Month. 2016-01-12 00:00:00Z 0

Guests & Announcements:

Posted on Jan 11, 2016
Exchange student, Lyana Krillova was a guest of Dave Smith and Matt Ohms was a guest of Tom Brooks.
Will Geske announced that our focus committee has completed our Rotary Mission Statement and an “elevator” speech.  Copies were available for Rotarians and Will said more info will be forthcoming at our Feb. 9th meeting, especially regarding our direction for the next five years.
Guests & Announcements: 2016-01-12 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem Middle School Student of the Month

Posted on Jan 04, 2016
Welcome to our Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, 8th grader, Breanna Riggins.  At school, she is on the Student Council, the Show Choir and does play tryouts.  She is a winner of Huskie Habits Paawsitive Drawing and was selected by the team to mentor another student.  Breanna is active in the community, especially with Toys for Tots and Tow Trucks for Tots, where she participates in a parade of tow trucks in Chicago loaded with donations.  She likes to help her neighbors with yard work and help care for her grandpa.  After graduating from high school, she wants to continue helping Toys for Tots, attend college, and become a teacher and chef so she can help teach others.  She hopes to continue her volunteer work, helping at food pantries and homeless shelters.   Congratulations, Breanna, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s Middle School Student of the Month!
Harlem Middle School Student of the Month 2016-01-05 00:00:00Z 0

2015 Christmas Party at the Forest Ridge Events Center

Posted on Dec 14, 2015
President-Elect, Diana Johnson hosted the annual Christmas party in the absence of President Will Geske, who had a prior commitment.  The meal was a choice of prime rib, chicken or salmon and was very good.  After the meal, Craig Anderson & Don Banke gave a recap of the results from the Candy Drive.
Anita Papich, individually, and team 5 had the high sales, with Dan Madden and Mel Sparlin, respectively, posting great second & third place finishes.  Over 600 boxes have been sold to date but the sales are not final so we hope to net about $4,000 by the time we’re done.  In Will’s absence, Craig thanked everyone for their hard work and contributions.  Diana was able to keep things entertaining with drawings for Christmas gifts and musical interludes provided by Dr. T and Tom Brooks, with a lighting assist by Don Banke. 
Tom had previously introduced both of our outbound exchange students as well as our inbound student, Dominic.
Mayor Lindberg gave us a little history on the origin of the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self”.  It’s earliest versions dated to 1911 but it was officially adopeted in 1989.  He then announced this year’s winner of the award, Nick Nelson.  He is Vice President of the Parks Chamber, board member of the North Suburban Library, and is currently Secretary (also a past president) of the Loves Park Lions Club.  He is a past member or board member of many local organizations. Nick and his wife Cathy have a daughter, Hannah.  They are very involved and volunteer at Boylan (Nick’s alumnus) as well as their Church, St. Bridget.  Congratulations, Nick Nelson, on receiving Loves Park Rotary’s 2015 Service Above Self Award! 
The announcement of the winner of the Rotarian of the Year award was postponed to a later date.  The evening was brought to a close with a warm version of “Silent Night” led by Dr. T and Tom and then, “Merry Christmases” all around!
2015 Christmas Party at the Forest Ridge Events Center 2015-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Rachel Huwe was Harlem High School Student of the Month.

Posted on Dec 07, 2015
Andrew Reynolds and President Will Geske welcomed our Harlem High School Student of the Month, Rachel Huwe.  Her parents are John & Vickie and she was in attendance with her mother.  She is a National Merit Scholar and an Illinois State Scholar with a GPA of 4.42 and a class rank of 14 of 456 students.  She received the NIC 10 Scholar Athlete Award every year and was the Wendy Heisman’s Scholarship Award winner for 2015. She has been in the Key Club & Students for Action for three years, and the Link Crew & Math Team for two years.  Rachel is an active volunteer at school and in the community and volunteers at many sports activities such as the Boston Marathon for three years.  She hopes to earn a Master’s in Accounting and secure a position with the
FBI as a Forensic Scientist or become a controller for a firm.  Congratulations, Rachel, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s High School Student of the Month!
Rachel Huwe was Harlem High School Student of the Month. 2015-12-08 00:00:00Z 0

Candy drive nears completion

Posted on Dec 02, 2015
As the candy drive nears its completion, President Will Geske sends these important reminders:
  • Monday, December 7, 2015 SET UP TABLES
We need a few people to stop by after lunch - 1 pm - to set up tables for the candy drive.
Loves Park City Hall. Right door - through double doors - Center hallway. THANK YOU!
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2015 SIGN IN PLEASE
Candy is arriving December 8, 2015. There will be a sign-up sheet at the Rotary Meeting
Tuesday, December 8th regarding delivery, so please sign in!
Candy drive nears completion 2015-12-03 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome, Chris Eldridge from Rockford Rescue Mission

Posted on Dec 01, 2015
Chris Eldridge serves as Director of Operations at Rockford Rescue Mission.  He began his work at the Mission over six years ago as Program Director, and has also served in the fundraising/development efforts of the organization.  He is a Nationally Certified Recovery Specialist through the state of Illinois and a licensed minister through the Church of God denomination based in Cleveland, TN.  He has had the opportunity and pleasure of traveling and teaching on faith, homelessness, poverty and education, and feels privileged to be able to contribute to the transformation of the Rockford community and its most at-risk population, the homeless and near homeless.  The Mission Statement of the Rescue Mission is to “share hope and help in Jesus’ name to move people from homelessness and despair toward personal and spiritual wholeness.  Chris talked about the many fine things the Mission does for the people in our area and mentioned particular concern about a growing problem of women and children who have lost their homes and their hope for the future.  To offer a solution to this significant concern, the Mission planned a new facility called Pitney Place for Women and Children.  Their goal is a new Crisis and Life Recovery Center for women and children.  With outstanding examples of selfless giving like Chris, we know they will accomplish much good for generations to come!  Thanking you, Chris, for sharing this important information with us and the Mission’s vision.
Welcome, Chris Eldridge from Rockford Rescue Mission 2015-12-02 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Kaitlyn Durham.

Posted on Nov 30, 2015
John Hurley introduced our Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, 7th grader, Kaitlyn Durham.  She was with her father, Jeremiah Durham.  Kaitlyn helps as a Teachers’ Assistant at school and in VBS at Grace Lutheran.  In her spare time, she likes to read and do art.  She hopes one day to be a teacher or firefighter. Congratulations, Kaitlyn, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s Middle School Student of the Month!
Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Kaitlyn Durham. 2015-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Commander Marvin Koch, VFW

Posted on Nov 24, 2015
Our guest speaker was U.S. Navy veteran, Marvin Koch, local VFW Post Commander.  Commander Koch is a career veteran of over 21 years, serving in Iraq & Afghanistan.  His post has about 500 members but are always looking for more.  Any veteran of a foreign war who served overseas is eligible to join.  They are all volunteers and serve the community in many ways, raising money for area schools, serving meals & providing clothing for homeless and hungry vets and their families.  They also provide a military honor guard for our fallen vets.  They welcome visitors and contributions from the community in the form of canned goods, etc. and their hall is available to be rented.  Thank you, Commander Koch, and all the members of the military, for your service to our country.  A grateful nation thanks you!!
Commander Marvin Koch, VFW 2015-11-25 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome Governor Jim Nelson!

Posted on Nov 23, 2015
Governor Jim Nelson paid us a visit and congratulated our club on our Paul Harris Foundation donations.  Loves Park Rotary gave $3,390 which was fourth in our district and we were #1 in per capita giving.  He was also happy to congratulate Past President, John Hurley, on attaining a Paul Harris Plus One level of giving.  Keep up the good work Loves Park Rotary!
Welcome Governor Jim Nelson! 2015-11-24 00:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Rotary's Harlem High School Student of the Month

Posted on Nov 16, 2015
Ginger Thompson introduced our Harlem High School Student of the Month, Alexis Bolgert.  She was in attendance with her parents, Tom & Sherrie Bolgert.  She is in the top 13% of her graduating class with a GPA of 3.81 and an ACT score of 27.  Lexi, as she is known, retook the ACT several times to improve her score and increase her chances of getting a good scholarship.  She has been in the National Honors Society for two years and has been in the soccer program three years (two in JV and one in Varsity).  She does a lot of volunteer work, helping with the Northern Illinois Blood Bank, Rockford Rescue Mission & Carpenter’s Place, just to name a few.  She hopes to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy at either Clarke or Carroll University.  Congratulations, Alexis, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s High School Student of the Month!
Loves Park Rotary's Harlem High School Student of the Month 2015-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

B Ball Jeopardy!

Posted on Nov 16, 2015
Team 4 was up for basketball Jeopardy and we heard a lot about Michael Jordan and others.  It was very entertaining and kept us guessing.  Candy bars were the treat.  We were reminded that there is one more week for sales and Mel Sparlin was the big seller last week.  Keep up the push and the good work, everyone!
B Ball Jeopardy! 2015-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Play Ball!

Posted on Nov 09, 2015
Our presenter this week was team 5 with a theme of baseball trivia.  Doug Schandelmeier kept things lively as the emcee.  Will also announced that Dan Madden had high sales last week with 35 boxes.  Keep selling gang!  The deadline is Nov. 24
Play Ball! 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

Birthdays & Announcements:

Posted on Nov 09, 2015
The club sang Happy Birthday to Gail & Doug.
Thank you to Dave, Tom & John for delivering dictionaries and to Polly for providing dessert every week for Dave & Dominic
Christmas parties are approaching:  The annual Rotary party is Tuesday, Dec. 15 and the deadline for RSVP’s is Dec. 10.  Cost is $35 per person and additional details are in previous Spark article.  The Parks Chamber Christmas party is Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 4:30 – 7:30.  If interested, see Diana Johnson.
John Pruitt won the 50/50 and had the Ace of Spades!!  Congratulations John!
Birthdays & Announcements: 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

Harlem Middle School Student of the Month

Posted on Nov 03, 2015
John Hurley introduced our Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Logan Watkins.  He is an eighth grader and his parents are Michelle & Chris Watkins.  He was on the school’s basketball team previously and hopes to sign up for track in the Spring.  Meanwhile, Logan plans to stay focused on his education and getting good grades.  That will help since he plans on taking all honors classes and maintaining straight A’s through high school.  This January will be his 18th season of hockey (two seasons per year) with the Rockford Park District.  He’s also enjoyed playing baseball in the summer for the Boys & Girls Club and has taught younger kids to skate.  Congratulations, Logan, on being selected as Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month!
Harlem Middle School Student of the Month 2015-11-04 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Nov 03, 2015
The labels are on the dictionaries thanks to a lot of helpers.  Volunteers willing to help pass the dictionaries out next Tuesday morning, Nov. 10, at seven elementary schools should see John or Dave.
Saturday, Nov. 7, will be a busy day with interviews for the youth exchange in Sterling/Rock Falls.  Also, our second travelogue is this Saturday, featuring the Highlands of Scotland.  If you are able to help for either of these, please do so.
It was clarified that our goal for each Rotarian during the candy drive was to sell 15 boxes.  In lieu of those sales, a donation of $100 would probably suffice for the profit on 15 boxes.
Announcements 2015-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Birthdays & Announcements:

Posted on Oct 27, 2015
Guests:  Mel’s daughter, Julie; Bob McKonell; Dave McClellan from the downtown club
Happy Birthday to Mike Acaley
If you are interested in the District Interviews for Outbound Student on Saturday, November 7th, please contact Tom Brooks:
Loves Park Rotary Christmas Party will be Tuesday, December 15, 2015
With a 5:30 pm Social Hour & 6:15 pm Dinner - program to follow
Location: Forest Ridge Event Center (former Prosser's).  Instead of a regular meeting that day, we’ll have a round table.
Dr. T encouraged anyone wishing to make a donation to the Paul Harris Foundation to do so before the end of the year.  You can contact Kris to find out the status of your giving.
"Rotarians putting the Four-Way Test stickers in dictionaries the Club is giving to Harlem, Concordia and St Bridget third graders this fall. John and Will were also participating."
Guests, Birthdays & Announcements: 2015-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Week 2 for Candy belongs to NASCAR!

Posted on Oct 26, 2015
Don Skadow and team 2 were up for NASCAR and the subject was trivia with questions about various drivers including Richard Petty, Danica Patrick, and others.  Some candy orders were turned in and Rotarians were reminded to be sure and fill forms out completely, including delivery information (i.e., club to deliver or member, or pick up, etc.)
Week 2 for Candy belongs to NASCAR! 2015-10-27 00:00:00Z 0

Abby Sundberg is our Harlem High School Student of the Month for October

Posted on Oct 20, 2015
Andrew Reynolds introduced our Harlem High School Student of the Month, Abby Sundberg.  She was in attendance with her mother, Amy, and her counselor, Morgan Hatch.  She has a GPA of 4.6 and an ACT score of 30.  She is in the student council and the National Honors Society where she serves on a service committee.  She received the NIC 10 Scholar Athlete Award three times and has also received the AP Scholar Award. Abby loves volleyball and has been the team captain for two years as well as MVP twice.  She has helped out in many volunteer activities at school and her church such as the Grace Lutheran food pantry as well as other areas in the community such as a coat check fund raiser at Giovanni’s for a PAWS event.  Abby has a history of excellence, having received a similar award from Loves Park Rotary for middle school students when she was in eighth grade.  Congratulations, Abby, on being named Loves Park Rotary’s High School Student of the Month!
Abby Sundberg is our Harlem High School Student of the Month for October 2015-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

2015 Candy Fund Raiser Begins!

Posted on Oct 19, 2015
Team One started our official fund raiser with a presentation on Hockey.  Each team was asked trivia questions on Rotary or Hockey such as:  What is the greatest distance from Chicago that a Rotary pin was displayed?  Answer:  The Moon.  Or, how many Stanley Cups have the Blackhawks won?  Answer:  Six.  The teams with the highest scores then entered a “shootout” (pictured is Dave Larson trying his skills as Mayor Lindberg looks on).  Team four won the shootout.  Next week we’ll here from team two, NASCAR – sell that candy!
2015 Candy Fund Raiser Begins! 2015-10-20 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Anniversaries & Announcements:

Posted on Oct 19, 2015
Guests:  Julie
Happy Anniversary to Joe Corrigan and his wife; Mary Petro is celebrating three years with Loves Park Rotary.
Mayor Lindberg announced that he introduced a resolution which also passed at the city council meeting to vacate Loves Park Rotary’s remaining debt on the neon sign on Riverside Blvd.  You may remember, we were splitting the cost with the city.  The amount of the debt forgiven was considerable.  Thank you, Mayor Lindberg and Loves Park!
Remember the next LP Rotary After Hours meeting will be at 5 pm.Wednesday, 10/28 at Prairie St. Brewhouse, 200 Prairie Street.
Guests, Anniversaries & Announcements: 2015-10-20 00:00:00Z 0

Update on Youth Exchange

Posted on Oct 13, 2015

Tom Brooks, District Officer, gave us an update on Youth Exchange, thanking Derek Papich for stepping up to replace Jim Warwick as Youth Exchange Director. Tom said all the new kids are here and they're actually in the process now of looking for our next outbound student. They had an open house last Thursday and he thanked the several Rotarians who showed up to help interview the 12 kids who were there. Dave Smith mentioned that, interestingly enough, the mother of one of the kids was our outbound student in 1993 to France! Tom said they were able to narrow the prospects down to three and we would get to meet the next outbound student at the Christmas party. Thanks Tom, and everyone involved, for all you do!


Update on Youth Exchange 2015-10-14 00:00:00Z 0

New Travel & Adventure Series is Underway!

Posted on Oct 12, 2015

The first episode in the Travelogue series was Oct. 10 and featured the Amazon river. Anita thanked the many volunteers who helped set up and tear down and expressed the wish that there would be as good a turn out for the next presentation on Scotland Nov. 7. We hope to have enough sales by then to recover our costs for the season. Anita reminded us that each Rotarian is asked to either sell or purchase two season tickets. She also thanked all who helped buy or sell ads for the Register Star insert in the Go section. The cost of the insert was paid and there was an additional $900 profit. Thank you, Anita and all the great volunteers, for all you do!

New Travel & Adventure Series is Underway! 2015-10-13 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Anniversaries & Announcements

Guests: Mel Sparlin's daughter, Julie & our exchange student, Dominic

We could use help putting labels on dictionaries Oct. 27 at the Harlem Administration Building.

Our annual fund raising event for this year has officially begun and the theme this year is sports. Team 1 is Hockey and will present Oct. 20. Don't miss it! A change this year will be that the base of operations for sorting and delivery will be at a room in City Hall instead of the Street Department. Thank you to Mayor Lindberg for providing the space!

Guests, Anniversaries & Announcements 2015-10-13 00:00:00Z 0

John Schuster, CFO of Rosecrance

Posted on Oct 07, 2015

John Schuster, a fellow Rotarian (four years with Rockford East/Cherry Valley), visited us. He talked to us about Rosecrance where he has been CFO since 2011. Rosecrance has almost 800 employees and multiple campuses in Rockford and treated over 21,000 clients for mental health issues or substance abuse in fiscal year 2015. There is a huge need for their services in this area with over 100 heroin or opiate-related overdose deaths in Winnebago County in the last 18 months. They provide beds every night for almost 300 people and about 1,500 teens have been served in substance abuse programs (37% of their clients are 16 or younger). Of the more than 4,500 adults served, 59% are age 34 or younger. Rosecrance's Florian program is the only one in the nation to treat firefighters & EMT's for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Keep up the good work, John, and thank you for enlightening us on the really important work done by Rosecrance in our community.

John Schuster, CFO of Rosecrance 2015-10-08 00:00:00Z 0

Kylie Almond is Harlem Middle School Student of the Month

Posted on Oct 06, 2015
Ginger Thompson introduced our Harlem Middle School Student of the Month, Kylie Almond.  She is an eighth grader and her parents are David and Nicole Almond.  While at school, Kylie likes to stay focused on her education which is probably a good idea for someone who aspires someday to be a heart surgeon.  In her off time, she likes to babysit because she loves children and plays softball for HCC.  Her sister also plays and the two alternate between pitcher and catcher.  Congratulations, Kylie, on being selected as Loves Park Rotary’s student of the month!
Kylie Almond is Harlem Middle School Student of the Month 2015-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

Guests and Birthdays

Posted on Oct 05, 2015
Guests:  Mel Sparlins's daughter, Julie; Don Banke's guest, Ryan Bejot, from Per Mar; Peg Wilkerson here with our guest speaker
Happy Birthday to Joe Corrigan's wife!
Guests and Birthdays 2015-10-06 00:00:00Z 0

Visioning Begins for Loves Park Rotary

Posted on Oct 05, 2015
On Saturday, October 3rd, 13 members of Loves Park Rotary Club met at ‘Hand n Hand’ to start the process of long-range planning. This meeting was led by a team from Rotary International who took the group through a visioning process to help the Club plan for the future.  A development team was selected which consists of the past two presidents, current president & future president.  Thank you to all who came and contributed. 
Visioning Begins for Loves Park Rotary 2015-10-06 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome to Carter Newton from Galena Rotary

Posted on Sep 28, 2015
Carter Newton from Galena Rotary came to speak to us about Vocational Training Teams (VTT).  He said the simplest way to describe a VTT is to say it is people who use their skills and talents to go out and do good in the world.  Most recently, he and a team of seven women went to Combarbala´, Chile.  Because they are in an area (Region IV) that was affected by the 8.6 earthquake and subsequent Tsunami, there are many ways the team could have provided assistance.  However, the grant money raised by their club and matched by Rotary International was utilized to work with local teachers and children to teach English.  Carter said the team discovered many creative ways to work with the people to teach them and it was all made possible by Rotarians' donations to the Rotary Foundation.   He came away from Combarbala´, with all its natural beauty, with a greater appreciation for the beauty around him every day.  In a very short time he will be interviewing for another team to make a trip to Africa.  We wish Carter well and feel blessed to hear about yet another way Rotarians are making a difference in the world.
Welcome to Carter Newton from Galena Rotary 2015-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Anniversaries, Birthdays & Announcements:

Posted on Sep 28, 2015
Guests:  Julie and Don Johnson
Happy Birthday to Derek Papich
Happy Anniversary to Andrew Reynolds and his wife.
Remember the meeting for Visioning for our club is Oct. 3 from 9 am – 1 PM at HCC’s Hand-N-Hand facility on Forest Hills Rd.
President Will Geske announced that not only is fruit not available from Florida this year but may not be available for 3 – 5 years.
Nigeria is polio free so there are now only two countries left where the battle continues.
Guests, Anniversaries, Birthdays & Announcements: 2015-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome to our new exchange student, Dominic!

Posted on Sep 21, 2015
In lieu of our normal noon Rotary meeting, we officially welcomed Dominic Tuesday night from 4 to 6 pm at Harlem Community Center’s Hand-n-Hand facility on Forest Hills Road, courtesy of Shannon Scheffel.  Dominic is our exchange student from Lithuania!  Sandwiches, salad, chili & chips were provided along with beverages; and it was all topped off with a nice cake.  There was time to greet Dominic and sign his welcome banner, courtesy of Jon Eppes and Minuteman Press.  Thanks, Shannon, for hosting us and all involved who helped us to welcome Dominic in style!
Welcome to our new exchange student, Dominic! 2015-09-22 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Anniversaries, Birthdays & Announcements

Posted on Sep 15, 2015
IMPORTANT DATE.  Please Note change. Tuesday, September 22, 2015
In lieu of our normal noon Rotary meeting, we are celebrating Dominic's INBOUND WELCOMING PARTY from 4 to 6 pm at Harlem Community Center’s Hand-N-Hand facility on Forest Hills Road just South of Rockford Speedway. Dominic is our exchange student from Lithuania!  Please rsvp ASAP to Linda Layton at Will Geske’s office at 815-637-6850 or
Guests:  Julie and Don Banke’s guest from Per Mar, Ryan
Happy Birthday to Joe Corrigan and Erik Abrahamsen
Happy Anniversary to Rod Myer and his wife.
Guests, Anniversaries, Birthdays & Announcements 2015-09-16 00:00:00Z 0

Visit from Loves Park Fire Chief Philip Foley

Posted on Sep 14, 2015
Chief Foley has been with the Loves Park Fire Department for 50 years, joining in 1965.  He has been chief for 34 years and was appointed Full Time Fire Chief by Mayor Darryl Lindberg in 1999.  All other firefighters with the department are volunteers.  You can visit to learn more about their history, staff and equipment.  Chief Foley cited many statistics comparing Loves Park to U.S. figures, showing our department is doing an amazing job responding to calls and protecting life and property.  He offered some safety tips for all homeowners and residents regarding smoke and CO detectors, such as where to place them and changing batteries twice per year, etc.  He also mentioned that keeping dryer vents clean is very important.  He asked that people have their house numbers well marked and visible and, in the event of a fire, to let the firefighters assist with evacuation of family and pets rather than reenter a burning building.  They have oxygen masks and apparatus for most animals.  Gail Daughtry emphasized the tremendous work done by our department in the community and this was echoed by alderman John Pruitt.  They raise funds for many worthwhile charities and Gail said their help is huge for the Young at Heart Festival.  Thank you, Chief Foley, for all you and your department do for our community!
Visit from Loves Park Fire Chief Philip Foley 2015-09-15 00:00:00Z 0

Linda Gerber visits to instruct on use of Clubrunner

Posted on Sep 01, 2015
Linda is a member of Rockford Rotary and has visited before to help us with Clubrunner.  She reminded us how we can sign on and how to update your profile to make sure information is accurate.  She showed us how you can opt to receive different communications from different Rotary areas such as the district.  However, she stressed that our privacy is protected and that the only three things that are sent to the district or Rotary International are your name, phone number and email address.  There are links to the district website or you can also visit to view your giving levels to the Paul Harris Foundation or to actually make a donation.  You can also look at club goals and charts for membership, etc.  Rotary District 6420 also has a facebook page.  Thanks for taking the time to visit, Linda; it’s always informative and helpful!
Linda Gerber visits to instruct on use of Clubrunner 2015-09-02 00:00:00Z 0


Posted on Sep 01, 2015
John Pruitt celebrated his first year with Loves Park Rotary while Mel Sparlin has been with us 36 years.  Congragulations, gentlemen!
Anniversaries 2015-09-02 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome Miss 2014 Winnebago County Fair Queen!

Posted on Aug 31, 2015
Danielle Tumilowicz, daughter of member Dr. Kris Tumilowicz and Patti, was with us along with her parents.  She is 22 years old and a Cum Laude graduate of DePaul University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising.  Her ultimate career goal is to become a sports reporter.  But for the last five years, since she was 17, Danielle has been involved in pageants.  She placed as a top 15 finalist in the Miss Illinois Teen USA pageant and was chosen as Miss Winnebago County Fair Queen in 2014.  She really appreciates how competing in the pageants has helped her public speaking skills and interviewing is huge.  Although she admitted that she felt sometimes more could be learned from not placing.  Danielle hopes to continue competing, perhaps in the Miss USA and Miss America pageants.  She really enjoyed working with the younger girls and felt one of her responsibilities as a title holder was to inspire them and be a role model for them.  One of her passions is her love of animals and she likes to volunteer at local shelters or rescue operations.   We thoroughly enjoyed Danielle’s visit and talk and it was easy to see how she won the crown!  Thanks for sharing and congratulations to the proud parents, Dr. & Mrs. Tumilowicz!    
Welcome Miss 2014 Winnebago County Fair Queen! 2015-09-01 00:00:00Z 0

Guests Birthdays & Announcements:

Posted on Aug 31, 2015
Guests & Announcements:  Mel’s daughter, Julie was our guest;
Happy birthday to Jon Eppes and Doug Schandelmeier.
Please come prepared to stay for just a few minutes for a group photo at our regular meeting Sept. 15 to be used for the travelogue insert.
Guests Birthdays & Announcements: 2015-09-01 00:00:00Z 0

North Suburban Library in the Midst of Improvemen

Posted on Aug 24, 2015

Mary Petro reminded us that North Suburban Library District (NSLD) has been around for over 70 years (started in 1943-1944 with the Woman’s Club). She said it was three years before the city was incorporated and NSLD was behind the incorporation and helped promote it. Mary says the library is asking for patrons' patience during the remodeling but added that they are still providing books, newspapers, magazines and computer usage with the many fine programs they offer still being available. Dust barriers help protect the many areas of the library being worked on. Meanwhile, the library staff have reminded folks that they still have the Roscoe branch available if they're bothered by the work, but many people just love coming to the library they are familiar with. She spoke about the 1969 air handler being replaced, new ductwork, the remediation of the asbestos ceilings, and updated plumbing, just to name a few projects. Mary thanked the many people like Diana & Steve Johnson who worked so hard to help pass the redirection of the expiring of the bond in 2014. The funds made available by the redirection are making the renovation possible. Mary says that everything is progressing on time and on budget and they should be through with Phase I by Thanksgiving. To learn more, you can visit Thanks, Mary, for the update.

North Suburban Library in the Midst of Improvemen 2015-08-25 00:00:00Z 0

Guests, Anniversaries and Announcements:

Posted on Aug 24, 2015

Happy anniversary to Gail Daughtry and her husband, sharing 43 years together.

Guests: Mel’s daughter, Julie and Don Banke’s guest, Brian from Per Mar.

IMPORTANT DATE. Please Note change. Tuesday, September 22, 2015

In lieu of our normal noon Rotary meeting, we are celebrating from 4 to 6 pm at Harlem Community Center - Dominic's INBOUND WELCOMING PARTY. Dominic is our exchange student from Lithuania! Please rsvp to Linda Layton at Will Geske’s office - by 09.21.15.

Guests, Anniversaries and Announcements: 2015-08-25 00:00:00Z 0

Brock Ashford Returns from Italy

Posted on Aug 17, 2015

Brock Ashford, our rebound student is back from Italy and visited with his father, Will Ashford. He gave us some highlights of his time there with a slide show. Brock stayed in La Bisiacaria, which means “between two rivers”. His host mom likes to cook and served mostly vegan fare but cooked him an entire turkey for Thanksgiving. They can speak Italian but mostly they speak in a dialect which is completely different. Italian law was his favorite subject in school and he enjoyed tutoring a young lady from Bangladesh who had no formal schooling. He said there is a popular misconception that gondola drivers always serenade their boat riders but he never saw any sing. In fact, Brock liked to stand on the bridges and sing to the people passing underneath. He was able to visit many places over there but one of the things he learned is that America is not the center of the unviverse. People are really all the same and openmindedness = adventure. Brock shared one of his favorite poems with us, “To Live”. Thanks for sharing, Brock, and come back and visit often.

Brock Ashford Returns from Italy 2015-08-18 00:00:00Z 0

Guests and Announcements:

Posted on Aug 17, 2015

Mel’s daughter, Julie and exchange student, Dominic. Incidentally, Jim Warwick reminded us that we still need a second and third host family for him.

Guests and Announcements: 2015-08-18 00:00:00Z 0

Loves Park Rotary Meets Chief of Police Rodney Scott

We were visited by Loves Park Police Chief, Rodney Scott.  He was promoted to Deputy Chief a couple of years ago under Chief Puckett and Mayor Lindberg said he is proud to have a man of his caliber.  Chief Scott has two masters degrees and teaches at Northwestern University.  His department has 34 officers and three civilians and they receive over 23,000 calls for service a year.  They have a great record in the state, especially in the area of DUI enforcement.  Chief Scott worked with the Sheriff’s department to consolidate record management and saves the city over $13,000 per year and hopes to ultimately combine 911 service.  He is proud of their website which is and said social media is definitely an important tool in law enforcement (remember to go to their Facebook page and “LIKE” them.  Hot topics these days are body cameras and suspects fleeing arrest.  Chief Scott is especially pleased with their efforts to see that every day officers visit elementary schools in the area.  The children learn about safety and also learn to recognize and trust officers.  Thanks, Chief Scott, for an interesting and informative presentation! 
Loves Park Rotary Meets Chief of Police Rodney Scott 2015-08-12 00:00:00Z 0

Need help after 8/18 meeting!

Posted on Aug 11, 2015
Request from Anita and President, Will Geske:  Please enter on your calendars to allow extra time this week, 08.18.15, to stay after the meeting for a few minutes to help fill boxes with school supplies.
Need help after 8/18 meeting! 2015-08-12 00:00:00Z 0
Shannon Scheffel Receives Past District Governor Pin 2015-08-11 00:00:00Z 0

Need Volunteers!

Posted on Aug 10, 2015
Eric Abrahamsen is looking for volunteers for service work in the community.  Eric has agreed to chair a committee for the club and he mentioned there are many opportunities in the area where we can lend our support.  One specifically mentioned was the Food Pantry at St. Bridget.  There are many chances to help at different times on different days.  If you can help, see Eric.
Need Volunteers! 2015-08-11 00:00:00Z 0

Thank You to Rotary from Rosie's Birthday Club

The club received a nice thank you from Vickie Benson on behalf of Rosie’s Birthday Club.  Dr. T received one as well and read it to us.  They sent a nice collage of pictures of some of the kids with their gifts.
Thank You to Rotary from Rosie's Birthday Club 2015-08-11 00:00:00Z 0

Guests and Anniversaries

Posted on Aug 10, 2015
Welcome to Dominic, our exchange student from Lithuania!  Our other guest was Mel’s daughter, Julie, who was on hand as we wished him Happy Birthday!
Alma Causevic celebrates her anniversary with Loves Park Rotary this month.
Guests and Anniversaries 2015-08-11 00:00:00Z 0

Jim & Mary Warwick's trip to China - 2009

Posted on Aug 09, 2015
Jim Warwick and his wife Mary presented a slide show of their trip to the People’s Republic of China in 2009.  Highlights were pictures of Beijing and the Forbidden City, located in the center, which was constructed as the Chinese Imperial Palace in the 15th Century and remained so until it was turned into a museum in the early 1900’s.  Jim says it got its name because it was forbidden to males after dark unless they were eunuchs.  They also saw the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs most of which have never been opened.  There was a great blend of history and art and Jim was able to explain about the significance of the many different palaces, structures and ornamentation.  They were also able to visit the Beijing Zoo during their trip and saw and photographed many Pandas.  Thanks, Jim and Mary, for a glimpse of your trip.  We enjoyed it!
Jim & Mary Warwick's trip to China - 2009 2015-08-10 00:00:00Z 0

Anniversaries & Guests

Happy anniversary to Don Lyon and his wife (64 years) and Jon Eppes and his wife (21 years).
Guests:  Mel Sparlin's daughter, Julie and Jim Warwicks's wife, Mary.
Anniversaries & Guests 2015-08-04 00:00:00Z 0

Bob Rehfeldt’s Classification Talk

Posted on Jul 20, 2015
Bob and his wife, Fran, have been married 56 years and have two children.  He was in the Marine Corps Reserve for seven years.  Bob joined the Fire Department in 1960 and worked as a dispatcher for 33 years, eventually becoming Senior Dispatcher.  When 911 was added to the system, Bob was a supervisor working the first night they went active.  He and a friend worked in their off hours at an office supply business for many years until Bob had an opport