Rotary Club of Sycamore, Illinois
We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 11:45 AM
Blumen Gardens
403 Edward Street
Sycamore, IL 60178
United States of America
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Sycamore Rotary News
Our final meeting at Blumen Gardens will take place on Wednesday, May 25.
Blumen Gardens had asked that the club relocate as soon as practicable and the new venue was chosen after exploring numerous options. Our per-meeting cost at St. Mary's Parish Activity Center will be less than Blumen Gardens, while also providing plenty of parking, a built-in projector and screen, and access to washable dishware and utensils (remember that Rotary's seventh area of focus is "Protecting the Environment").
Beginning June 1, our Wednesday meetings will be held at St. Mary's Parish Activity Center located at 312 Waterman Street in Sycamore.
Words like recreation, education, training, charter flights, business travel, and maintenance all came up as DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport Manager Renee Riani spoke at this week’s Rotary meeting.  Riani, an aviation graduate of Purdue University, became airport manager two years ago.  She was no stranger to the airport having spent time as an aviation instructor for the Kishwaukee Education Consortium (KEC) which maintains classroom and airplane simulator facilities at the site.  Although she originally envisioned a career as a pilot, she found her career took her on a path of being a flight instructor and then spent time in marketing and management for DuPage Airport.
Although there are no regularly scheduled commercial flights at the DeKalb Airport, Riana went through an extensive list of aviation related activities that can be found on the property since it is categorized as a General Aviation Airport.  These include several types of flight school programs in addition to the KEC offerings.  One of their tenants does skydiving instruction for the military.  There are several maintenance operations, serving both public and private aircraft.  Charter and corporate flights are also part of the mix.  For example, Target Corporation is a frequent user because of their large distribution operation in DeKalb and the NIU basketball team flies out of the airport for certain games (although the more elaborate needs of the football team prevent their use of the facility for the time being).  A recent addition to the airfield is the ComEd helicopter unit used for aerial repairs of high voltage power lines.
Revenue for airport operations comes from fuel sales plus lease of city-owned hangers and support buildings on the property.  The city also leases some land to companies who then build their own structures on site.  Riani believes the economic recovery from Covid should put airport operations on break-even basis.  Dollars from the Federal Aviation Trust Fund have been used for a $4.8 million  refurbishing of  the 25-year-old north-south runway system (the original runway layout was from east to west).  Next in line is use of  Federal dollars for rehabbing the adjacent north-south taxi-way system keeping the airport a vital part of economic activity in the region. 

Rotary members in Ukraine are helping neighbors return to their homes, distributing supplies from other countries, and organizing long-term aid — all despite being affected by the war themselves.

Since Russian military forces entered the country in late February, Rotary members have been holding regular video calls to coordinate relief work. Mykola Stebljanko, a member of the Rotary E-Club of Ukraine and the editor of Rotary's Ukrainian magazine, Rotariets, says they are focused on three main activities: supplying medicines and electricity to hospitals where wounded civilians are seeking care, finding shelter for displaced families, and managing the flow of incoming humanitarian aid.

Recent efforts by members in District 2232, where Stebljanko is the public image coordinator and a past governor, have focused on cities that residents are now returning to after fleeing Russian attacks earlier this spring.

"Ukrainians are coming back home to their towns and cities in ruins," says Stebljanko, who in a March interview had told Rotary magazine about being awakened by air raid sirens at night and taking shelter with his family in the bathroom of their home in Odesa. In early May, news reports said that city had been struck by missiles.

"It's hard to describe how much destruction there is in some cities and the work that needs to be done to bring them back," he says.

The district has acquired and distributed dozens of high-powered generators to help restore power to hospitals, businesses, and some homes. Clubs have also organized the transportation of several donated firetrucks from other countries in Europe. In addition to being used to respond to fires and other emergencies, Stebljanko says, the trucks have ladders that allow utility workers reach power lines that need repair.

To read the full article, please visit

What a joy to have North Grove Elementary 5th Grade EarlyActors at our meeting on Wednesday! Huge thanks to Principal Ryan Janisch and Molly Tucker, District MTSS Coordinator, for leading and bringing them!
Now in its 12 year at North Grove, participation in the EarlyAct Club is available to all 5th Graders...and nearly 50% of the class (42 students) are involved! Incredible! The club meets twice a month to plan and work, with a focus on 10 character traits through the school year: Digital Citizenship, Respect, Collaboration, Citizenship, Empathy, Equality, Honesty, Integrity, Responsibility, and Trustworthiness. The club functions to both educate and develop a healthy and positive culture within the school.
Club meetings involve creating announcements, posters, an activity for the month, a service project, a video, and a newsletter blurb. The videos, which are shared with the entire school community, include several EarlyActors presenting the monthly trait, skits to show correct and incorrect behaviors having to do with the trait, and then...a dance party! Here's an example of a video from March 2021. A major intention behind much of these activities is to teach younger students to help their community.
One of the most amazing EarlyAct projects has been their work with Kazo School in Rwanda. The North Grove students learned that some young people at Kazo were unable to go to school because they lacked pencils. Determined to address such a basic need, EarlyAct set a goal of collecting 10,000 pencils and 1,000 pencil sharpeners to send to the school in Rwanda. They achieved their goal, and then School Tool Box matched it! While Kazo School and its students were incredibly grateful, they knew that other schools in Rwanda (and Uganda) were in need as well. So the 20,000 pencils (and 2,000 pencil sharpeners) were distributed by EarlyAct to numerous schools. As a thank you for the pencils, the Kazo students made and sent woven baskets to each classroom at North Grove. They also exchanged videos with North Grove. See one here.
In addition to the Kazo project, EarlyAct has completed projects with Feed My Starving Children, Habitat for Humanity, and a cancer center...and to support those serving in the military. They also make annual visits to the WLBK radio station, Sycamore City Council, and, of course, Rotary Club!
The EarlyAct program at North Grove Elementary School has been successful thanks to Rotary's support, teacher volunteers, and students wishing to be creative, learn to problem solve, and make a difference!
Sycamore Senior Reese Hill is the May Student of the Month.  Hill is both  accomplished in school dance activities as well as being a youth instructor for dance.  She also has played basketball.  She participates in Interact and has taken part in various community service projects.  She credits her experience with youth dance instruction for leading her to pursue a pediatric nursing career when she goes to college.  Hill will be attending the University of Missouri.  She is donating her $100 Rotary check to Shriners charities.
The leadership of DeKalb County United believes the semi-pro team can be a catalyst for uniting the community as well as offering an exciting product on the soccer field.  Club president John Hall explained that the non-profit group was organized in 2017 by volunteers but strives to deliver professional results.  The club plays at the NIU Soccer Complex and is a member of the Midwest League made up of 27 clubs in six states.  Its three teams have about 100 adult players.
Big news for 2022 is the formation of the DKCU Soccer Academy.  The academy is the result of the merger of the KVSC and NIFC local soccer clubs and will provide soccer for about 350 youth ages six to nineteen.  Hall says the coordinated club alignment between youth and adult programs will make it easier for someone to move through levels of play into the semi-pro ranks.
Hall explained that the soccer club is supported through ticket sales; sponsorships; hosting camps and tournaments; and merchandise.  He said the club wants to partner with local organizations and non-profits to jointly increase community awareness of their activities.
More information on DeKalb County United is available from their website at