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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Upcoming Speakers
Ray Dembinski
May 29, 2019 11:45 AM
Club Assembly
Club Events
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Assistant Treasurer
Rotary Foundation
Membership Chair
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Sycamore Rotary News
Our speaker for this week was Thomas Hammock, head coach for NIU's football team. Thomas made the return to his alma mater after 16 seasons as an assistant at the college and NFL levels, most recently as the Baltimore Ravens' running backs coach. Coach Hammock shared stories of his football past, his approach to coaching, and the high expectations he has for the team and the program going forward. He's also committed to connecting with the local community and getting the team involved in local community service and outreach projects.
This week we were joined by Rotarian Bob Pritchard. Bob shared with us information about the DeKalb County History Center (DCHC). Bob's passion for the preservation of the region's history was one of the many reasons that he joined the board of the DCHC. At their location in Sycamore, the History Center "will explore the diverse stories that are part of our county’s history; gather people together through exhibits, programs, and research; and inspire people to apply this knowledge to enlighten the decisions of tomorrow. DCHC is also committed to building the capacity of local organizations by providing resources and opportunities for collaboration."
Clint Scharff, Scout Executive and CEO of the Three Fires Council of the Boy Scouts of America spoke about recent changes in the organization including updating the Elgin camp, selling their camp property in Rochelle, and broadening scouting’s focus to appeal to scouts interest in social media and technology. He addressed the question of girls in Boy Scouts. Girls now have the option to earn Eagle Scout status, an honor not available to them in the Girl Scouts. He discussed scouting’s interest in meeting the needs of children coming from single parent and blended families and how they differ from traditional family units and also spoke about helping Scouts understand “failing” and how to respond at such moments.
The club was joined today by Brian Reis, Executive Director for the Ellwood House in DeKalb. Brian educated us about the history of the house, its current role as a museum and meeting space, and the many renovations being planned as a part of the Project 1879 initiative. The Ellwood House was originally built by Isaac Ellwood, an early investor in barbed wire. Eventually his investment bore fruit and his wealth enabled him to build this house, recognized as Distinctive Destination of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. More information on Project 1879 can be found at the website
Today the club was joined by Diana Hulst, Executive Director for the DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau (YSB) who presented general information about the services offered by YSB. The YSB serves youth and their families through a variety of counseling and social services. The club has supported YSB in the past by assisting with their annual bike auction fundraiser. More information is available at
Tom Cleveland, Airport Manager for the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, presented to the group on the various happenings and improvement projects being considered for the airport. Uniquely sized relative to other airports outside of Chicago, DeKalb's airport is well suited to handle a variety of commercial traffic for local businesses as well as shuttle service for organizations like the NIU sports teams. Some of the proposed enhancements to the airport would allow it to service larger aircraft.