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 Chamber
Nov 07, 2018 11:45 AM
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Michele Jurkovic
Nov 14, 2018 11:45 AM
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Sycamore Rotary News
The Rotary Club of Sycamore, IL is hosting its annual pancake breakfast again this year during Pumpkin Festival Weekend. This year's event features a brand new venue, the St. Mary's Memorial Hall. Join local Rotarians as we raise funds to support our local literacy projects, clean water projects, disaster relief projects, and much more.

Our new location should provide better parking and more space for families to eat together, so bring your kids and friends and join us for a tasty start to your Saturday. Tickets are $5 at the door or available from your neighborhood Rotarian and all proceeds go to support local projects.

Breakfast includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausages, coffee, orange juice, milk, and apple sauce.
Linda Klein Means was born and raised in DeKalb County. In high school, she decided that she wanted to be a journalist, even though the high school didn't have its own newspaper. This passion followed her to NIU where she became a Northern Star feature writer, and eventually landing her a job with the Chicago Tribune. After marrying her husband, a Rotarian and international business mean, her travels took her around the world to destinations that included Venezuela, Brazil and France, a journey that she writes about in her new book, "Passport to the World: Looking Back While Moving On." 
"Greatness is made every day by those who live here," says Sycamore Rotarian and Mayor of the City of Sycamore, Curt Lang. During Wednesday's meeting, the Mayor shared with us the past, present, and future as he sees it for the City of Sycamore.
Of particular importance to the Mayor was that any future development in the city should be intentional. "You can’t have growth without a plan." Property taxes are a major concern and building up the City's industry will reduce that burden. To that end, Mayor Lang also shared business statistics from the DCEDC showing excellent growth for our local industries.  Additional slides were dedicated to education, the park district, and public works, with an emphasis on taking pride in our history and the historic aspects of our existing buildings. 
This year the City Council is expected to hold 24 meetings, and with a new initiative, each of the 23 local faith groups will take turns providing invocations before city council meetings.
Joe Ryan, head coach of the Sycamore High School Spartan football team, shared his story and some facts about the team with our group. Joe also brought four players from the team along with him. Joe has coached for 31 years, and had great mentors to show him the way including his brother who was a Hall of Fame coach. He is also helped by great assistants. 
Joe has been at Sycamore for 15 years, coaching the football team for all of those. Of the four different places he’s coached, Joe remarks that he likes Sycamore the best. As of our meeting, all of the Sycamore teams are 3-0 for the season and have the most playoff points in the state. The team faces its biggest “challenge” of the year in the First National Challenge Game this Friday against DeKalb. The team has failed to post a win in that game for the last four years.
The new school year has kicked off and with it the resumption of the Student of the Month program. The chosen student for the month of September is Griffin Nelson. Mr. Nelson is ranked 4th in his class with a weighted GPA of 4.483 and an SAT score of 1450. Aside from excelling in the classroom, Griffin also volunteers his time with a plethora of local organizations and extra curricular opportunities included Feed My Starving Children, Track & Field, Football, Basketball, Zumba for a Cause, Business Leadership Academy and others. A quote that always inspired him was from Bruce Lee, "The most dangerous person is the one who listens, thinks, and observes."
Griffin was joined at the meeting by his parents. Of them, he remarked that his household provided him the opportunities to explore, experience and learn. For his future plans, Griffin plans to pursue aerospace or mechanical engineering and would eventually like to travel, having already visited 10 countries and half the US, experiencing different cultures. He believes that immersing yourself in other cultures is one of the best ways to learn. He also hopes to use his degree to be a part of the innovation of the future.
Griffin decided to donate his $100 from the Sycamore Rotary Club to Opportunity House.
Conceived as a way of addressing needs in the local community, the Spartan Food Pantry will soon have its debut opening. Operated out of West Elementary School, the Spartan Food Pantry will provide health foods to any member of the community that currently has a student with the school district. Originally conceived as a project for her Masters in Social Work through Our Lady of the Lake University, the Spartan Food Pantry has been spearheaded by West Elementary’s Health Assistant, Atlee Mathews.
The first year of the program is entirely funded by the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB), including the costs for all equipment. If the first year pilot is successful, then a 501(c)(3) organization will be formed to continue the operation of the program. An initial Board of Directors has been formed consisting of Kristina Crawford (West Elementary School Principal), Courtney Walz (Director of OSCAR), Allyson Cooley (West Elementary School Parent), Riley Oncken (Attorney), and Eric Jones (Financial Advisor).
The pantry will open biweekly starting October 3, 2018, from 4:30 PM to 6:30 pm. The program will only be possible thanks to volunteers who will help with setting up the pantry and operating it during the two monthly openings. Groups or individuals interested in volunteering or donating are encouraged to call West Elementary at 815-899-8199 or email the program at