Rotary Club of Sycamore, Illinois

We meet Wednesdays at 11:45 AM
Blumen Gardens
403 Edward Street
Sycamore, IL  60178
United States of America
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Sycamore Rotary News
Illinois divorce law changes range from name changes to major procedural changes according to an update given to Sycamore Rotarians by family practice attorney Jim Buck on August 14.  The latest round of updates takes into account changes in traditional family roles and careers plus things like new federal tax laws.
Using funds raised in celebration of the club's 75 anniversary, the Rotary Club of Sycamore today made a donation valued at $5,000 to the Spartan Food Pantry. The donation consisted of items needed to expand the pantry's operational efficiency to be able to continue to offer their services as demand continues to increase into the pantry's second year of operations. These items included ten 8-foot tables with storing racks, folding chairs, wire shelving units, a shoe rack, and utility wagons as well as a monetary donation of $2200. These donations come at a critical time for the pantry. Originally launched as a fully-funded pilot program through the Northern Illinois Food Bank, starting next month the pantry will have to transition to a fully self-sufficient entity, relying on local donations to continue to thrive. The donation is also timely due to the recent St. Albans fire, which has left many families in the area without food, shelter, clothing, and daily necessities.
Whether it was growing up in a family where he was the only boy, going through school where grades did not come easy, learning the carpenter trade, or marrying and becoming a dad to six kids, Dan O’Connell always seemed to be getting some valuable life lessons for his next step of  a journey that led his wife and him to own a thriving campground business near Amboy until their retirement.  A native of Chicago’s northwest side, Dan was the youngest of seven children.  He graduated from Fenwick High School and Loras College and then married Jane and became a union carpenter supporting his family.  Early skills learned in typing and writing led to union leadership roles at the Chicago district council of carpenters.  But it was family camping vacations that ultimately led to that final step into the business of recreation.
photo credit:
As the club kicks off it's 2019-2020 club year, Club President Patrick Shafer and Club Treasurer Michele Jurkovic provided their snapshot of the club's situation, the past year's financials, and budget and goals for the coming club year. President Shafer identified five primary goals for the coming year in an effort to reinvigorate the membership and grow the club:
  1. More Involvement in Committees
  2. More Active Participation
  3. Increase Weekly Attendance
  4. Increased Membership / After Hours Mixers
  5. Ideas for Large Impact in DeKalb County
As a part of Michele's presentation, the club dues were held at last year's levels with decreased levels of spending on the exchange program (due to the elimination of a long term exchange student this year) and lowered levels of giving to a variety of charities. In order to resume or increase the club's giving, fundraisers must be improved  or club dues must be raised.
Social events were a focus and the club will host its first mixer of the year tomorrow at The Forge of Sycamore with the club providing pizza and appetizers while members and guests mingle.
Today's meeting featured State Representative for the 70th District, Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore). Representative Keicher, also a member of the Sycamore Rotary Club, shared an update on the recently concluded General Assembly session. Rep. Keicher was appointed to Rep. Bob Pritchard's seat on July 17, 2018 and was subsequently elected to the position in November.