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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Sycamore Rotary News
Our Wednesday meetings are now being held at St. Mary's Parish Activity Center (312 Waterman Street in Sycamore). We are no longer meeting at Blumen Gardens.
Outgoing president Paulette Renault gave a slide presentation on her term in office to wrap up the Rotary year.  Renault spoke about the return of in-person special events including Hula-for-Loota, movie night, and social gatherings.  She applauded various service projects such as reading in schools, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, being able to fund a ShelterBox donation, sending six youth to this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and raising money for scholarships for graduating high school seniors.  She noted the successful meeting relocation to the St. Mary’s Parish Center and the addition of five new members (although 15 members departed mainly due to leaving the area).   Renault labeled it a year of impact and fun.
 
Paulette shared her experience in getting involved with Rotary as a guide for bringing new members into the club.  She said it began with an invitation to a meeting.  This led to an invitation to membership, and then an invitation to join the board leading to her commitment to eventually become president.  She called it an “interesting” journey and said she fully enjoyed it.
 
Renault concluded her remarks with a quote from Nelson Mandela, “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”   A standing ovation of thank you was given outgoing Rotary President Paulette Renault.      
Wednesday, June 29, 1:00 PM (shotgun start), Sycamore Golf Club
 
Join us for golf and dinner! Win great prizes and have lots of fun while supporting scholarships, ShelterBox, and other Rotary causes.
 
$40 for golf, $30 for dinner, or $70 for both
 
Foursome rate: $260
 
Sponsor a hole: $100
 
A lot is happening at the Sycamore State Theater and there is more to come according to new owner Makie Maratos who was this week’s Rotary guest speaker. Maratos, his wife, Kari, and his parents became the new owners of the theater about a year ago when the previous owners retired. He said his family was originally looking for a restaurant site but made the leap into the theater business after seeing the property and imagining its potential. Both Maratos and his wife studied theater in college and are excited about adding more live stage options to the three-screen
venue.

The Maratos family has a restaurant background having operated several establishments in the Rockford area including several “Tom and Jerry’s” branches. Although his father just recently passed away, Maratos says he helped establish the authentic Greek menu in their restaurant which occupies a store front in the theater complex. Maratos sees a steady expansion of the restaurant business occurring as they develop more signature dishes and obtain a license to sell alcohol with meals.

The movie theatre will be celebrating its 100 th anniversary in 2025. It was originally a single 900-seat theatre which included vaudeville performances as well as movies. By adding a stage for live performances and arranging for more specialty films in addition to first-run releases, Maratos says his family hopes to bring an entertainment resurgence to the site. He sees the possibility for an expanded arts scene and community theater centered around the property as a way to help make an impact beyond selling movie tickets and popcorn.
The Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, Roy Smith, explained during this week’s meeting how the organization is more than just being about putting up walls for a house.  As they get ready to begin their 16th home since being founded in 1976,  Smith said it is a full interaction with the recipient family to build stability and self-reliance.  This ranges from the family’s sweat equity during construction to help with managing finances.  He pointed out that homes are not given outright to family recipients, but they do come with no-interest mortgages and many of the typical construction costs are covered by donations from contractors who want to help make an impact in the community through the pride of  home ownership. Smith showed a video about the organization which included a segment featuring former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, who are Habitat supporters.
 
As construction begins this year, Smith said for him personally this will be the 29th Habitat home on which he has helped.  This will be the 16th home for the local Habitat chapter.  Michelle Ramey, whose family will be moving into the home being built in Malta, gave a heartfelt thanks for the home ownership opportunity Habitat is giving.  Smith said in the future the local chapter hopes to increase its capacity to build homes by opening a restore shop to sell donated furniture.  He said the organization is always looking for volunteers to help with construction, cleanup,  meals for workers, and fundraising.  Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a registered non-profit organization.  Their website is www.hfhdcillinois.org.
July 14 - Rick Amato, DeKalb County District Attorney, & Andy Sullivan, DeKalb County Sheriff, discussing no cash bond and other law changes that impact us locally
 
July 28 - Dave Syverson, State Senator & GOP Minority Whip, discussing State budget and what’s going on in Springfield and how that impacts our State
 
August 11 - To be announced
 
August 25 - BaoLinh Nguyen, discussing her journey as a women and Asian to NIU professor and civic involvement
 
September 9 - Tom Matya, Executive Director of Opportunity House
 
The Oak Crest Satellite Club of the Rotary Club of Sycamore meets on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at Oak Crest Community Center, 2944 Greenwood Acres Drive, DeKalb.