Rotary Club of Sycamore, Illinois

We meet Wednesdays at 11:45 AM
Blumen Gardens
403 Edward Street
Sycamore, IL  60178
United States
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Tim Suter
Apr 25, 2018
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Sycamore Rotary News
Students with disabilities often have little opportunity to use playgrounds; for those with physical issues, the equipment may simply be inaccessible...while for those with cognitive or autistic problems, the environment may not be safe for them to use.
 
But the Sycamore Rotary Club is now actively involved in an effort to provide a safe location in town, for use by children with such hurdles to overcome.
 
Citizens for Inclusive Playgrounds wants to erect the play area on the campus of South Prairie Elementary School; that is the site within the district where most children with such disabilities are assigned, and a safe location designed to let them play and interact with all students is needed.
 
Rotarian Marijo Schwartz, who is with the Sycamore School District, has been spearheading the effort to bring the playground to town; a goal of $130,000 is needed, and so far over $71,000 of that has been contributed by a combination of public and private donors.  Over $57,000 is still required to launch the project; the Sycamore Rotary Club will be seeking a grant from District 6420 to supplement its own donation, and some individual Rotarians are pledging to contribute.
 
There is no set deadline for the project, but all monies must be collected before work can begin; it's hoped that construction can be completed over the summer.  Anyone wishing to contribute should contact the DeKalb County Community Foundation, or Marijo at mschwart@syc427.org
 
It's larger, has better facilities and aesthetics, and offers more services...but it remains a jail, and it will soon be ready to hold DeKalb County's most dangerous criminals.
 
The nearly-completed county jail will be ready for use in May, with open houses and tours on the 17th, 19th and 20th of the month.  Joyce Klein, head of the corrections department for the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, says the new design is meant not only to better house the current population of inmates...but is meant to encompass expansion and modifications in the years to come.
 
The new jail has more cells for various types of inmates...ranging from minor offenders being held overnight, to those with psychological issues or under suicide threat who need constant monitoring.  The cells for more difficult inmates are designed to be accessible, safer and easier to view for corrections officers.
 
More up-to-date design elements including an increase in outside lighting, and color-coding for the various portions of the jail.  And there are larger kitchens for food preparation and service (provided by VAC), as well as up-to-date medical and dental facilities -- which reduce the need to take inmates out of the jail, thus reducing the risks involved with doing so.
 
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) will give the keynote address at the District 6420 Conference, to be held on Saturday, April 28th at Faranda's in downtown DeKalb.
 
Kinzinger is currently serving his fourth term in the United States House of Representatives and represents Illinois’ Sixteenth Congressional District, which stretches across 14 counties in the Northern Illinois region.
 
Congressman Kinzinger serves as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. 
 
As a 20-year old sophomore at Illinois State University (ISU), he challenged a three-term incumbent for the McLean County Board. 
 
After serving on the McLean County Board, Kinzinger joined the United States Air Force. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in November 2003 and later awarded his pilot wings. He has served in the Air Force Special Operations, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air National Guard.
 
Kinzinger continues to serve as a pilot in the Air National Guard, with the current rank of Major.
 
We are still looking for Rotarians to help out at these remaining Rotarians at Work Days work sites:
       Saturday, May 5th at Rotary Park at Sycamore Lake
       Saturday, May 12th at the Pay it Forward House
       Saturday, May 19th, YSB Bicycle Auction at the DeKalb H.S. Fieldhouse
 
We have sufficient numbers for the Kishwaukee SRA project at Hopkins Park on May 19th.
 
Sign-up sheets are available at all upcoming Rotary Club meetings; you can also contact Brian Adams for more information.
 
Our incoming exchange student is Sebastian Colmenares.  He is from a suburb of Valencia, Venezuela and will be 18 when he arrives.
 
We must find three host families to share the 11 months he will be here.  Homes with high school aged child(ren) are preferred.  If you are interested (and want to know more), or know of families in the school district who might make great host families, please contact Bert Gray, Youth Exchange Officer, at rkgray1@sbcglobal.net or 217-521-0968.
 
Bert will provide the club with more details about Sebastian as they become available.
 

Blumen Gardens received approval from the Sycamore City Council on April 16th to repave its northeast parking lot; this will be a welcome addition for customers, and Rotarians, who have been using this unpaved lot for shopping and special events.

The reconstruction work is scheduled to begin the week of April 23rd; Rotarians coming to meetings for the next few weeks are advised that parking around Blumen Gardens may be limited, and traffic on the grounds will be re-routed while the work is in progress.