Rotarian Larry Berke and his wife, Kay, founded Royal Travel in 1972.  His daughter, Kendra Thornton, is now president and was introduced by her father as this week’s guest speaker.
Royal Travel Exec. Kendra Thornton began her travel career with online service Orbitz and then ran her own agency before assuming the role of president of Royal Travel.
Our Double Good virtual fundraiser is happening NOW! See article below for more info!
Overcoming COVID Travel Turbulence
International travel is disrupted, and the internet can be overwhelming when trying to find choices, but Royal Travel can be your partner in making a dream trip a reality according to Kendra Thornton.  As president of the family-owned business started by her parents, Thornton said the unexpected challenges to travel brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have pushed the 14 Royal Travel employees to use their 50-years of relationship-building to the fullest in order to give travelers a safe and enjoyable experience.
Thornton said people want to travel but it is taking on different forms than traditional destination tourism.  To begin with, she said her team works more closely with hotels rather than airlines to create the best travel packages.  This makes a difference as Thornton noted a concentration of domestic rather than foreign travel causing a sharp rise in prices.  For example, Florida hotel costs that were $300 a night have jumped to $800 a night which can  make it more costly to visit Florida than to go to Italy.  She also noted an increase in multi-generational travel where families want to stay in private homes, participate in a dude ranch experience, or even take a yachting vacation; all things that keep the family unit together.  Sought after amenities include spas and fitness centers along with nature features.
Using terms like “vaccination vacation” and “tsunami inside a hurricane,” Thornton said there are a few basics for travelers to keep in mind.  This includes travel insurance and verification of  medical coverage.  She said the future is likely to include a vaccine confirming passport.  Whatever may be happening, Kendra Thornton said Royal Travel will adapt to offer a premier travel experience.  For more information, see their website at
Happening NOW: Virtual Fundraiser through Double Good
With efforts led by club member Jonelle Bailey, we have set up a Double Good virtual fundraiser! It’s 100% contactless, we keep 50% of the profit, and the product ships directly to the buyer.
Everyone in the club is invited to create a Pop-Up Store and sell Double Good gourmet popcorn! Prices range from $18-$59. The popcorn is award-winning and really delicious!
Our fundraising window began yesterday (January 20, 2022) at 5:00 PM and ends on January 24, 2022, at 5:00 PM.
If you haven't already done so, please follow these steps:
1. Download the Double Good app
2. Enter our Event Code GQAORC in the app
3. Create your Pop-Up Store
4. Share the link with your family, friends, and colleagues!
The app is available for free on iOS and Android.
Rotary Reader Assignment (Final Week)
11:10 AM - 11:25 AM (Please arrive at 11:00 AM to pick out your books.)
South Prairie Elementary School, 820 Borden Avenue, Sycamore
Tuesday, April 26 - Julie Sgarlata (education director)
IMPORTANT: Monthly Committee Assignments
MAY - Steve Wilder (chair), Larry Berke, Jeff Frank, Heidi Wright
JUNE - Paulette Renault (chair)
Food Pantry Donations Requested
Donations are currently being requested for the Sycamore Food Pantry. Bring a bottle of laundry detergent...or $10 for Julie Sgarlata to purchase one. Money is easier to handle.
Personal hygiene items (bar soap, shampoo, etc.) are also being sought.
Position Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination

We see the decision to vaccinate as a civic and humanitarian imperative. Rotary is not a political or religious organization, it is a service organization and this is the lens through which we are advising you of our position.

  1. Global vaccination is the path to ending the pandemic and the emergence of new variants. Rotary endorses and strongly encourages vaccination for all individuals including our members who are currently able to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In areas where COVID-19 is surging, communities are facing extreme challenges, health systems are overwhelmed, and contentious rhetoric is dividing us. It is critical that the virus be contained so that the world may begin to heal. To that end, the purpose of this statement is to reinforce Rotary’s position.
  2. Misinformation has become an “infodemic” that hinders the fight against COVID-19. In line with our Four-Way Test, Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation are committed to providing our members with science-based information.
  3. Rotary International staff at One Rotary Center were required to be vaccinated by 10 October 2021, as a criterion for employment after that date. RI’s employee vaccination rate stands at over 99 percent.
  4. Globally, Rotary is actively engaged in assuring equity in vaccine access to all people. Our efforts have included advocacy with the G-20, and a proof-of-concept program with GAVI/COVAX to leverage our frontline experience with polio eradication to facilitate vaccine delivery in several low- and middle-income countries where Rotarians are active. While we know many clubs are already deeply involved in COVID-19 prevention, we are working on additional strategies to multiply our collective efforts. GAVI/COVAX is a partnership including WHO and UNICEF focused on global access and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.
  5. Those children for whom vaccines are not currently available are at significant risk. Until vaccines are available for all children, the vaccination of adults is the best way to protect children who cannot be vaccinated. Pediatric admissions for COVID-19 are rising precipitously in areas of low vaccination.
  6. Rotary salutes health care workers everywhere as they continue to provide lifesaving services. Local recognition of these heroes by each of our clubs can help to encourage them to continue their important work. Rotary abhors any harassment and attacks on healthcare workers.
  7. Rotary and Rotaract clubs are encouraged to
    • set good examples by being exemplary role models; 
    • redouble their efforts to support COVID-19 treatment, prevention, and vaccination efforts.
  8. Vaccines have proven to be one of the greatest advances of modern medicine. The World Health Organization estimates that vaccines save between 2 to 3 million children’s lives each year, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative estimates the polio vaccine has saved more than 19 million children from paralysis. Vaccines are safe, effective and are responsible for eliminating or controlling many other vaccine-preventable diseases such as smallpox, measles, rubella, and Ebola. And now, there is the opportunity to end the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccines.
  9. The eradication of polio remains a goal of the highest order for Rotary. We can apply the lessons we have learned in fighting polio to the efforts in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Shekhar Mehta, President, Rotary International

John Germ, Chair, The Rotary Foundation

Local Sites (Within 5 Miles) to Get COVID-19 Vaccine
Hy-Vee Inc. #1642
2700 DeKalb Ave, Sycamore, IL 60178
CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #17575
2555 Sycamore Rd, DeKalb, IL 60115
Walmart Inc #10-0786
2300 Sycamore Rd, DeKalb, IL 60115
OSCO Drug #3272
1322 Sycamore Rd, DeKalb, IL 60115
Walgreens Co. #5603
1340 Dekalb Ave, Sycamore, IL 60178
Meijer #313
541 Puri Pkwy, Sycamore, IL 60178
Walgreens Co. #4042
100 W Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, IL 60115
CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #02375
1022 W Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, IL 60115
DeKalb County Health Department
1525 W Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, IL 60115
OSCO Drug #3381
220 W Peace Rd, Sycamore, IL 60178
Famous Birthdays This Week
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.
January 19, 1809 – Poet and mystery/suspense writer Edgar Allen Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
This Week in History
January 17, 1950 – 11 men steal 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 gangs 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.
January 21, 1954 – The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear powered submarine, was launched at Groton, Connecticut.  It shares its name with Captain Nemo’s ship in the 1870 Jules Verne classic “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
January 21, 1976 – The Concorde supersonic jet began passenger service cruising at twice the speed of sound.
January Monthly Committee
Bob Hammon
(Yes, JUST Bob! Extra credit, for sure!)
Birthdays & Club Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Mitchell Doty
May 3
Michael Villalta
May 4
Jonelle Bailey
May 11
Rob Mondi
May 17
Ethan Rutten
May 18
Brandon Diviak
May 22
Kathleen Smith
May 23
Tim Neubert
May 30
Join Date
Joyce Klein
May 1, 2019
3 years
Paulette Renault
May 1, 2011
11 years
Steven Kuhn
May 7, 1997
25 years
Patrick Shafer
May 8, 2013
9 years
Paul Barnaby
May 15, 1996
26 years
Sally Bruch
May 20, 2009
13 years
Upcoming Events
Sycamore Rotary Club: Speaker TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jun 01, 2022
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Sycamore Rotary Club: Speaker TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jun 08, 2022
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Oak Crest Satellite Club Meeting
Oak Crest Retirement Center
Jun 09, 2022
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Sycamore Rotary Club: Speaker TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jun 15, 2022
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Sycamore Rotary Club: Speaker TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jun 22, 2022
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Oak Crest Satellite Club Meeting
Oak Crest Community Center
Jun 23, 2022 11:45 AM
Rotary Golf Outing
Sycamore Golf Club
Jun 29, 2022
1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sycamore Rotary Club: Speaker TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jul 06, 2022
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Sycamore Rotary Club: Speaker TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jul 13, 2022
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Oak Crest Satellite Club Meeting
Oak Crest Retirement Center
Jul 14, 2022
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Sycamore Rotary Club: Speaker TBD
St. Mary's Parish Activity Center
Jul 20, 2022
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
View entire list
Advertisement for Russell Hampton
Advertisement for ClubRunner
Advertisement for ClubRunner Mobile
To provide feedback or contribute content for this newsletter, please contact Tim Neubert at