Rotary Club of Sycamore, Illinois
We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 11:45 AM
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
312 Waterman Street
Sycamore, IL 60178
United States of America
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Club Foundation Chair
Polio Chair
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Sycamore Rotary News
Loves Park Rotary Club Secretary and Youth Exchange Officer Ciara Stahly says she was “completely changed” by her personal experience as a youth exchange student to Sweden while in high school.  That experience prompted her to continue involvement with Rotary after college graduation  and she now is part of the District 6420 Youth Exchange team.  Joining Stahly at this week’s meeting was Alisa Stewart, president of the Mendota Rotary Club.  She took part in a six-week exchange to Bolivia with two students while teaching in Putnam County.  She noted that the Mendota Club has hosted two youth exchange students since she joined the club.
Stahly and Stewart praised the Rotary program as the flagship youth exchange offering.  Its goal is to promote peace through cultural understanding and develop leadership.  It will be sponsoring  9,000 students in 40 countries.  They said all clearances and oversight are covered making club sponsorships easy.  They added that there is something special about building lifelong relationships as a result of the youth exchanges.
Stewart and Stahly encouraged Sycamore Rotarians to consider raising funds to host a youth exchange next fall.  Both the short term and long-term programs will be offered.
History awaits you at every turn in DeKalb County according to County Historian and DeKalb County History Center Executive Director Michelle Donahoe.  Speaking at this week’s Rotary meeting, Donahoe talked about their special guidebook promoting about 50 different locations in the county where some 100 historical objects can be found.  Donahoe said there is also a travel app (Out and About) that can guide you to points of interest throughout the whole county.  She said a next step is with volunteers and interns cataloguing a guide to historical township sites.
The DeKalb County History Center was created in March of 2018 as a way to combine items from about 20 different collections into a consolidated, professionally cared for site.  Major components were the Joiner History Room materials from the Sycamore Public Library and the Sycamore History Museum artifacts whose campus was expanded and improved.  Donahoe said their mission is to Gather, Explore, Engage, and Inspire an interest in county history.  Their latest project involves support from the Smithsonian Institute to create a website focused on township histories.  She noted that Cortland Grade School students are actively involved in helping with this project.
Donahoe said the History Center offers a number of different kinds of programs to meet various history interests.  These include walking tours, brown bag lunch presentations, and genealogy classes.  Volunteers are a big part of their success according to Donahoe with over 4,300 hours donated so far this year valued at $129,000 in services to the Center.  She said the Center welcomes donations as long as they have a DeKalb County connection, are not a duplicate of something already their collection, and are in good condition.  More information on their collections and activities is available on their web site at
The 2022-2023 Club Fundraising and Planned Giving "budget" was shared during this week's meeting and is summarized below. So when someone asks you, "How does your Rotary Club positively impact the community?", you'll have a great answer!

$15,000 - 50/50 Meeting Raffle (Year-Round)

$7,000 - Meeting Fines & Happy Dollars (Year-Round)

$5,000 - Pancake Breakfast (October)

$5,000 - Holiday Green Raffle (November - December)

$1,500 - Double Good Popcorn Sales (January)

$6,000 - Hula-for-Loota (April)

$2,000 - BBQ Drive Thru Dinner (June)

$41,500 - TOTAL

Planned Giving

$7,500 - 50/50 Raffle Winners

$4,250 - SHS Scholarship Fund

$3,880 - Other International Project (TBD)

$2,750 - Spartan Food Pantry

$2,750 - Sycamore Food Pantry

$2,250 - Literacy in Third Grade Classrooms (15)

$2,000 - Interact HS Club Advisors

$2,000 - Shelter Box

$1,500 - Interact HS Club Program

$1,370 - District 6420 Grant: Habitat for Humanity

$1,200 - RYLA

$1,000 - Coats for Kids

$1,000 - EarlyAct Club (North Grove Elementary)

$1,000 - Feed My Starving Children

$1,000 - Interact MS Club Program

$1,000 - "Nothing Reads Like a Book" 6420 Project

$1,000 - Student of the Month

$900 - Adopt-A-Family Program

$500 - Rotary Reader Program

$400 - Books for Ukrainian Children

$250 - Habitat for Humanity

$250 - Pay-It-Forward House

$250 - Safe Passage

$250 - School Supplies

$250 - Tails Humane Society

$250 - The Barn on Baseline

$250 - Cause for February (TBD)

$250 - Cause for March (TBD)

$250 - Cause for June (TBD)

$41,500 - TOTAL


If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me (Tim Neubert) or any another board member. Thanks!

Rotarian Jim Buck took a critical look at the use and abuse of the English language in everyday conversation during this week’s Rotary meeting.  Buck said he is fascinated by words and has large bound dictionaries at his office and home, keeps a thesaurus readily available, and is an avid reader.  During his overseas military service, Buck said he volunteered to staff the camp’s supply room so he could have first pick of new books arriving at the base. Buck noted there are more than one-million words documented in the English language.  He said about 170,000 words are in common use with the average individual using a vocabulary of 20-30,000 words.  Buck says what bothers him is how words are misused, sometimes so frequently their real meaning gets lost.
Buck went through a three-page list of words and phrases he finds are often used the wrong way.  For example, he pointed out that the adverb “hopefully” is now frequently used as verb.  Another example was using “anxious” instead of “eager” (such as “They were anxious to get to the game” when the grammatically correct way is  “They were eager to get to the game” ).  Buck said generational differences are also found with the younger generation responding to a “thank you” by saying “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome” or greeting people with “Hi Guys” regardless of gender.  Although lamenting that the English language is frequently used poorly,  Jim Buck said he will still do his best to use it properly.              
Rotary Reader Program
South Prairie Elementary School, 820 Borden Avenue, Sycamore
Thursdays, 2:00 - 2:20 PM (please arrive at 1:50 PM to pick out your books)
December 15 - Paulette Renault, Small Business Owner
January 5 - Pat Shafer, Retired Insurance Agent
January 12 - Becky Springer, DeKalb County Treasurer
January 19 - Eric Jones, Financial Advisor
January 26 - Julie Sgarlata, Substitute Teacher
February 2 - Jeff Petersen, Airport Management
February 9 - Brendan Wilson, Retired Army Officer/NATO Diplomat
February 16 - Brandon Diviak, Investments
February 23 - Riley Oncken, Attorney
March 2 - Julie Sgarlata, Substitute Teacher
March 9 - Dave Hamilton, Insurance Agent
March 16 - Michele Jurkovic, OD
March 23 - Stephen Hansen, NIU/Business Manager
April 6 - Don Clayberg, Education
April 13 - Jeff Jacobson, Appraiser
April 20 - Michael DeVito, Insurance Agent
April 27 - Bob Brown, Retired Wireless CEO
As with Happy Dollars and fines, 50/50 raffle proceeds have long been earmarked for the scholarship fund for Sycamore High School seniors. In an effort to "spread the wealth" and support more causes, the members of your Rotary Board have determined that 50/50 raffle proceeds collected each month will benefit a different cause.
50/50 raffle proceeds will help address food insecurity in our community through the support of the Spartan Food Pantry (for November) and the Sycamore Food Pantry (for December). The Board has committed that the total amount given to this cause will be no less than $250.
Thank you for your support of this important cause...and best of luck with the raffle! The pot is over $6,200 and just 8 cards remain, but you can't win if you don't play!