The Rotary Student of the Month for May (and the final Student of the Month for the 2023-2024 school year) is Caroline Harbecke. In addition to achieving high academic honors, Caroline has been involved with tennis (both singles and doubles) and other activities. She plans to attend the University of Iowa in the fall.
Christina Sutcliffe is in her 12th season as NIU's Head Softball Coach. Her teams have excelled both athletically and academically.
Coach Sutcliffe Focuses on High Standards for NIU Softball Players
This week's speaker was Christina Sutcliffe, Head Softball Coach at NIU. Christina is in her 12th season at NIU. Her assistant coaches are Alaynie Woollard and Hannah Clark.
The 2024 team's roster is primarily represented by talent from the Great Lakes region, with players hailing from Illinois (14), Indiana (4), Ohio (2), Wisconsin (2), California (2), Florida (2), Iowa, and Arizona. The team leads the MAC in Stolen Bases and is Top 10 in the country for Stolen Bases Per Game. Infielder Caitlyn Shumaker (Senior, Ohio) has broken NIU's career stolen base record, while Catcher and Outfielder Ellis Erickson (Senior, Florida) has one of the longest hitting streaks in the country.
The NIU softball facilities have recently been upgraded with pole and fence removal to enhance fan viewing, backstop padding, graphic-wrapped outfield fences and padding on the top rails, refreshed visitor bullpen, refreshed hitting cage, reroofed dugouts, and an expanded bullpen for the home team. A capital campaign project is currently underway to raise funds for improved and enlarged dugouts.
During her tenure, Coach Sutcliffe's teams (and individual players) have accumulated many athletic honors, including:
  • 13 MAC Pitchers of the Week
  • 22 MAC Players of the Week
  • 19 First Team All MAC
  • 12 Second Team All MAC
  • 3 MAC Freshman of the Year
  • 3 All Great Lakes Region 1st team, 6 2nd Team, 5 3rd Team
  • 5 MAC Nan Harvey Winners
  • 1 NFCA All American 3rd Team
  • 1 NFCA Top 25 Freshman of the year (1st in MAC history)
  • Broken 26 NIU records
In the meantime, Christina and her assistant coaches have kept a strong focus on academic success as well. In the past decade, NIU Softball has also had:
  • 132 MAC Academic Honor Roll Players
  • 62 MAC Commissioner’s Awards
  • 21 MAC President’s Awards
  • 18 MAC Distinguished Scholar Athletes
  • 122 NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes
  • 77 Academic All MAC
  • 11 CoSIDA Academic All District 1st Team, 1 2nd Team
  • 2 CoSIDA Academic All American 1st Team (first since 1988), 2 3rd Team
  • Team was 4th in the country in SB GPA in 2022-2023
The NIU Softball team is also very active in community service, with each player completing at least 20 hours per year. One of their favorite causes is Cal's Angels, a St. Charles-based 501(c)(3) pediatric cancer foundation with a mission of granting wishes, raising awareness, and funding research to help kids fighting cancer. Christina is always seeking additional opportunities for her team to serve the DeKalb and Sycamore community.
Christina Sutcliffe has set a high bar for her team with the following mission and vision:
United as one, we are competitive and resilient on and off the field. We hold each other accountable to exceed our standards and achieve excellence. As a pack, we proudly represent our school and our community.
Forward together, we buy into the hard work and mental toughness it takes to become champions. By outworking everyone and executing our goals, we will become the powerhouse of the MAC.
You can still catch one (or all) of the team's three remaining home games this weekend:
  • Saturday, May 4, 11:00 AM, vs. Miami University (OH), Mary M. Bell Field
  • Saturday, May 4, 1:00 PM, vs. Miami University (OH), Mary M. Bell Field
  • Sunday, May 6, 12:00 PM, vs. Miami University (OH), Mary M. Bell Field
Famous Birthdays This Week
April 28, 1758 – Fifth U. S. President and architect of the Doctrine that bears his name, James Monroe, is born in Monroe Hall, Virginia.
April 28, 1950 – Comedian, talk-show host, and car enthusiast Jay Leno is born in New Rochelle, New York.
April 29, 1863 – Newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst is born in San Francisco. 
May 3, 1903 – Grammy and Academy Award winning singer and actor Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby is born in Tacoma, Washington.
This Week in History
April 28, 1789 – Three weeks into a journey from Tahiti to the West Indies, the HMS Bounty is seized in a mutiny led by Fletcher Christian.  Captain William Bligh and 18 loyal supporters were set adrift in a small boat.  Christian and other mutineers eventually establish a settlement on Pitcairn Island.  Bligh survived and resumed his shipping trade.
April 29, 2004 – President George W. Bush dedicates the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.D.  It consists of 56 pillars, representing U. S. states and territories, and a pair of small triumphal arches for the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of the war and sits on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.
May 1, 1960 – American U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over central Russia.
May 2, 2011 – Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 terrorist  attacks and the FBI’s most wanted man is killed by US special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
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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