Therapeutic opportunities for those with disabilities is made possible by the Kishwaukee Special Recreation Association (KSRA), according to Executive Director Dawn Schaefer.  Schaefer was this week’s featured speaker at the Sycamore Rotary Club and recounted the history of KSRA along with various programs it offers.
Kishwaukee Special Recreation Association Beginning 47th Year of Service
The Kishwaukee Special Recreation Association (KSRA) begins its 47th year with popular programs in place and new offerings coming according to this week’s Rotary speaker Executive Director Dawn Schaefer.  Schaefer holds a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and is a nationally certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist saying, “I went to school to learn to play.”  She explained how the Association structure with its goal of serving those with disabilities is unique to Illinois.  In Kishwaukee’s case, it is made up of combined taxpayer support from the Sycamore, DeKalb Flagg-Rochelle Township, Genoa Township, and Sandwich Park Districts. Besides program offerings, KSRA also provides one-on-one support including sign language interpretation and activity modifications.
KRSA’s longest-running program is Camp Maple Leaf.  Schaefer said this is a seven-week, full-day camp experience.  She said a modified experience called Camp Adventure Leaf incorporates special therapy sessions from the Adventure Works non-profit in DeKalb.  It runs for three weeks after Camp Maple Leaf.  Other programming offered through KSRA are Special Olympics, swimming, and botchy ball .  Schaefer said their newest program is called ARISE and gives recent high school graduates access to structured recreation activities, fitness training, and group projects.  Schaefer said participants can build their life skills through recreation and community outings.  Coming in 2024 will be a new “sensory room” in cooperation with the Sycamore Park District and programs for veterans according to Schaefer.
Full details on KSRA offerings and contact information are available from their website at
FINAL Rotary Reader Assignment for 2024
Rotary Reader Program
South Prairie Elementary School, 820 Borden Avenue, Sycamore
Thursdays, 2:45 - 3:05 PM (please arrive at 2:30 PM to pick out your books)
April 25 - Jim Stoddard, Attorney
Famous Birthdays This Week
January 15, 1929 – African American civil rights leader Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior is born in Atlanta, Georgia.  He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.  The third Monday in January is designated a legal holiday to celebrate his birth.
January 17, 1706 – Benjamin Franklin is born in Boston.  Considered the Elder Statesman of the American Revolution , he displayed multiple talents as a printer, author, publisher, scientist, diplomat, and philanthropist.  He signed both the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution.
January 17, 1942 – Muhammad Ali is born in Louisville, Kentucky.  In 1964, at age 22, he knocked out Sonny Liston to win the world heavyweight boxing championship. His title was taken away from him in a controversy over his conscientious objection status to the Viet Nam War that was later reversed and then he regained the title in 1974 by defeating George Foreman.  In later life he struggled with Parkinson’s Disease and devoted himself to humanitarian causes.
January 18, 1782 – American orator and politician Daniel Webster is born in Salisbury, New Hampshire.  He served in both chambers of Congress, served as Secretary of State to three Presidents, and argued more than 200 cases before the U. S. Supreme Court.
This Week in History
January 15, 1943 – The Pentagon, is completed to house the U. S. military  It has about 6.5 million square feet of floor space with 17.5 miles of corridors.  About 23,000 military and civilian employees work in the building.  For 80 years it was the world’s largest office building until replaced this past August by a diamond exchange building in Surat, India.
January 16, 1919 – The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution authorizing the prohibition of alcohol is ratified by a majority of states.  It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933, becoming the only constitutional amendment ever to be repealed.
January 17, 1950 – 11 men stole more than $2 million ($29 million today) from the Brink’s Armored Car Depot in Boston, Massachusetts (the largest robbery in U.S. history at that time).  It was almost the perfect crime as the culprits weren’t caught until January 1956, just days before the statute of limitations for the theft expired.  One of the gang’s members agreed to testify against his fellow robbers; eight were convicted and received life sentences, and two died before they could come to trial.  Only a small part of the money was ever recovered.
January 20, 1944 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States.
Birthdays & Club Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Robert Wildenradt
June 1
Jeff Keicher
June 17
Robert Brown
June 24
Christine Kalina
June 25
Join Date
Julie Sgarlata
June 6, 2012
12 years
Tasha Sims
June 7, 2023
1 year
President – Brandon Diviak
President Elect – Steve Wilder
Director (President Nominee) – Jonelle Bailey
Director (President Designee) - Becky Springer
Past President – Tim Neubert
Treasurer – Dr. Michele Jurkovic
Secretary – Sally Bruch
Sergeant at Arms – Paulette Renault
Monthly Committees
July: Board of Directors
August: Jeff Keicher, Brandon Diviak, Pat Shafer
September: Dave Hamilton, Jeff Jacobson, Jim Stoddard
October: Paul Callighan, Matt Nelson, Paul Stromborg
November: Sue Emberson, Jeff Frank, Heidi Wright
December: Paul Barnaby, Larry Berke, Riley Oncken
January: Ray Dembinski, Joyce Klein, Rob Mondi, Tim Neubert
February: Jonelle Bailey, Becky Springer, Tasha Sims
March: Chip Houdek, Brendan Wilson, Jim Buck
April: Bob Hammon, Jeff Petersen, Alicia Cosky
May: Bob Brown, Steve Kuhn
June: Steve Wilder, Paulette Renault

Standing Committees

Membership: Jonelle Bailey, Ray Dembinski, Bob Hammon, Steve Kuhn, Jeff Petersen, Bob Wildendradt, Jeff Jacobson, Brandon Diviak, Matt Nelson, Riley Oncken

Public Image: Bob Brown, Paul Callighan, Jeff Keicher, Joyce Klein, Tasha Sims

Fellowship: Paulette Renault, Pat Shafer, Sally Bruch, Sue Emberson, Dave Hamilton, Paul Barnaby, Larry Berke

Service: Brandon Diviak, Jeff Frank, Michele Jurkovic, Rob Mondi, Brendan Wilson, Heidi Wright, Alicia Cosky, Tim Neubert

Foundations: Jim Buck, Sue Emberson, Matt Nelson, Jim Stoddard, Paul Stromborg

New Generations: Chip Houdek, Julie Sgarlata, Becky Springer, Steve Wilder

Scholarships: Tim Neubert, Julie Sgarlata, Ray Dembinski, Steve Kuhn, Michele Jurkovic, Don Clayberg

Upcoming Events
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jun. 19, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club Golf Outing
Sycamore Golf Club
Jun. 19, 2024
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club Installation Dinner
Sycamore Golf Club
Jun. 19, 2024
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club: Program TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jun. 26, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club: NO MEETING THIS WEEK
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jul. 03, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sycamore Rotary Club: Program TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jul. 10, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
View entire list
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