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Rotary’s January Student of the Month is Lilly Fifer, seen here being introduced at this week’s meeting by Assistant High School Principal Steve Balster.  Fifer has a passion for aviation.  She was awarded the Chicago Area Business Aviation Association Scholarship for flight training and took course credit in aviation at Kishwaukee College.  She earned her pilot’s license last year.  She plans to attend the University of Dubuque or Southern Illinois University pursuing studies for a career in aviation.  Fifer also enjoys singing.  She is in the school choir and is a cantor at St. Mary’s church.  She is active in a number of extra-curricular organizations, including Rotary Interact, National Honor Society, a Business Academy leader,  Bass fishing club, Spanish Club, Tennis, and Softball.  Outside of school, she has a special connection with the non-profit Camp Kesem at Northern Illinois University.  The camp provides an outdoor experience specifically for children impacted by a parent with cancer.  Fifer said she will be donating her $100 Rotary service check to the local camp.
DeKalb County Administrator Brian Gregory updates Sycamore Rotary on the status of County Home operations.  Gregory also gave an overview of the economic growth benefiting county taxpayers and progressive steps by the County Clerk and County Treasurer to better serve residents.
News/Updates
County Prepares for Long-Term Operation of Nursing Home
DeKalb County Administrator Brian Gregory says the County Board is no longer looking at sale of the County Nursing Home.  Originally faced with mounting losses, the County planned to sell the facility to a private operator.  The sale fell through when the buyer was unable to obtain initial state approval and opted to back out of the deal rather than pursue resolution of state oversight board issues.  Gregory said a change in state Medicaid reimbursements opened the path to a break-even operating scenario for the county.  The Jordan Health Group provided a business plan to the county which won bi-partisan support.  The county will create an oversight board for the nursing home and defined budget checks and balances going forward according to Gregory.  He is currently looking for volunteers to serve on the new oversight board.  Gregory also urged Rotarians to spread the word about the county retaining ownership of the nursing home and its commitment to quality care for residents.
 
Gregory also mentioned several items affecting county services and taxpayer benefits.  He noted that county treasurer and Rotarian Becky Springer was able to earn over $500,000 in interest on property tax collections which will be apportioned out to the county taxing bodies for extra income.  Springer said she plans to offer paperless property tax billing this coming tax cycle.  Meanwhile, he said county clerk and Rotarian Tasha Sims is reviewing new ways to make sure election voting is both secure and easily available to all qualified voters.  Sims added she is always looking for election judges to help with the voting process.  Gregory added that taxpayers are benefiting from economic development growth in the county, particularly along the I-88 corridor in DeKalb.  He said this means the overall county tax rate will be going down again this year.  Gregory also noted that state rules mean several large-scale solar projects planned for DeKalb County are expected to move forward this year.
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 8, 1935 – The American King of Rock and Roll (with such hits as “Hound Dog”, “Love Me Tender”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, and “Suspicious Minds”), movie actor, and Las Vegas performer Elvis Presley is born in Tupelo, Mississippi.
 
January 9, 1913 – 37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, is born in Yorba Linda, California.  Nixon served in the U.S. Senate, was Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower, and staged a political comeback after losing to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 Presidential election, winning the Presidency in 1968.  His early successes ending U.S. military involvement in the Viet Nam war and a landmark visit to China in 1972 were diminished by his direct involvement in the Watergate scandal.
 
January 11, 1755 – Alexander Hamilton is born in the British West Indies.  He was chosen by George Washington to be the first Secretary of the Treasury.  He died from a gunshot wound in a duel with Aaron Burr.
 
January 12, 1737 – American statesman, patriot, and first signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock, is born in Braintree, Massachusetts.
This Week in History
January 9, 1972 – The longest winning streak for a major professional sports team is snapped at 33 games when the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 120 – 104.  A 39-point performance by the Buck’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (later traded to the Lakers in 1975) hands the Lakers their first loss since October 31.
 
January 10, 1776 – Thomas Paine published his 50-page pamphlet on American independence, “Common Sense”, influencing among others the authors of the Declaration of Independence.
 
January 11, 1964 – The U. S. Surgeon General declared cigarettes may be hazardous to one’s health, the first such official government report.
 
January 12, 1932 – Hattie Caraway from Arkansas was appointed to the U. S. Senate to fill the unexpired term of her deceased husband and later that year is officially elected to the seat becoming the first woman elected to the Senate.  She serves through 1944.
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
 
________________________________________
BOARD OF DIRECTORS, 2023-2024
 
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
Sycamore Rotary Club: NO REGULAR MEETING THIS WEEK
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.
 
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To provide feedback or contribute content for this newsletter, please contact Tim Neubert at timneubert90@gmail.com.