Sycamore Rotary Past President Paulette Renault (at podium) welcomes three new members during this week’s meeting!  Pictured left to right are Phillip Meyers (Customer Success Specialist at the Suter Company), Heather Tomlinson (Ogle-DeKalb County Recovery Order System of Care Coordinator for Sauk Valley Voices of Recovery), and Scott Schramer (Operations Manager for the local ServiceMaster restoration franchise).  A coin toss was held for who would be the obligatory spoon carrier with Meyers getting that dubious honor.  Give these new members a warm Rotary greeting when you next see them.
Cancer Survivor Avery Gerdes Talks about a Leukemia/Lymphoma Society fundraiser.  Gerdes underwent intensive blood cancer therapy beginning when she was three years old.  She will celebrate her 18th birthday in March and is cancer free.  Lifetime mentor and friend Rotarian Julie Sgarlata is helping with a fundraising drive by Gerdes.  Gerdes is part of a philanthropic leadership development program for high school students called “Student Visionaries.”
High School Senior Raising Funds to Support Leukemia Research
Avery Gerdes was on a family trip when she was diagnosed with leukemia at age three.  She went through a series of intensive blood treatments over the next four years.  The Sycamore High School Senior can now say she’s been cancer free for ten years.  She is active in clubs like Rotary Interact and enjoys sports like volleyball and soccer.  She plans to pursue an early childhood education curriculum in college.
Gerdes admits that because of her young age she does not fully remember all that went into her treatment or the hardships endured by her family, but she knows she wants to give back to the organization that supported her.  Through a program called “Young Visionaries” organized by the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, Gerdes and others like her are raising money while learning about philanthropic leadership.  She has a fundraising goal of $30,000.  One of the members of her fundraising team is lifelong friend and mentor Rotarian Julie Sgarlata who knew Gerdes and her family from their church preschool program.
The ”Young Visionaries” training builds on the fundraising pillars of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.  These are research, education and support for patients and their families, and advocacy to help break down barriers to care.  Gerdes says she wants to see a day without fear of blood cancers.  A fundraising wrap-up event will be held March 9th.  Individual Rotarians generously added their support for Gerdes by giving to Sgarlata and helping her make up several hundred dollars needed to exceed her personal fundraising goal.  More details are available 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
February 22, 1732 – George Washington is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  He served as commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and became the first U.S. President.
February 23, 1868 – African American educator and leader W. E. B. DuBois is born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.  He was one of the founders of the NAACP in 1909.
February 24, 1885 – Admiral Chester Nimitz is born in Fredericksburg, Texas.  He commanded Allied naval, land and air forces in the South Pacific during World War II and signed the Japanese surrender document on September 2, 1945.
February 24, 1846 – American frontiersman “Buffalo Bill” Cody is born in LeClaire, Iowa.  He became world famous through his Wild West show which traveled throughout the U. S. and Europe for 30 years.
This Week in History
February 21, 1965 – African American nationalist and religious leader Malcom X is assassinated while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in New York.  This followed a philosophical split with the more radical Nation of Islam and his founding of the Organization of Afro-American Unity.  Three Nation of Islam members were eventually charged with his death (although later release of previously secret FBI documents showed only one person actually did the killing).
February 23, 1905 – Chicago attorney Paul Harris invites three other business acquaintances to a meeting at his office for fellowship and service.  They continue to meet weekly and the group  expands to eventually become today’s Rotary International.
February 24, 1582 – Pope Gregory XIII corrected mistakes on the Julian calendar by dropping ten days.  The Gregorian or “New Style” calendar was then adopted by Catholic countries followed gradually by other nations.
February 24, 1867 – The U. S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson following bitter opposition to his post-Civil War reconstruction policies in the South. The effort to remove him from office failed in the Senate by one vote.
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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