Giving Tuesday 2023!
Community Adult Day Center
Downers Grove Community Kitchen
DuPage CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
FISH Food Pantry ($2,000 in total)
Green Halo Scholars
Hope's Front Door
These donations will make a difference in the lives of others. And are made possible by your hard work and support of Rotary GroveFest and Grove Express.
Heather Lippe, Clinical Social Worker, Village of Downers Grove
2023 Charles Dickerman Scholarship Winners!
Dave Humphreys presented four Charles Dickerman Music Scholarships at the North High School Senior Awards Night last Wednesday. The four students, left to right, are: Hannah Janka (French Horn), Claire Gustis (Flute), Cameron Hejny (Clarinet, Grand Award Winner), and Stephen Cecil (Viola).
Nicole Walus presented the fifth Dickerman award at South High School the same evening to Olivia Balicki (Percussion).
A total of $15,000 in Dickerman Scholarships was presented on Wednesday to these five talented students! All scholarship winners are invited to join Rotarians at our breakfast meeting on June 6th.
Heather Kash, West Suburban Humane Society
The DGEDC is a public/private partnership that promotes Downers Grove as a location for commercial, industrial and office projects. ??????
Diveheart, Jim Elliott
In 1996, Jim left his career in the media industry to become a full-time volunteer and teach individuals with disabilities how to scuba dive. Five years later, he founded Diveheart, a volunteer-driven organization focused on building confidence and independence in disabled children, adults and veterans through scuba diving.
Diveheart has a new location, 5147 Main Street. We will hold our 28-Feb, evening meeting there. 2023 will be another exciting year for Diveheart with programs in Chicagoland, Atlanta, Florida and Malaysia. Jim is also working with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago to build a deep pool. The compression created in deep pool has many therapeutic benefits. One example is PTSD sufferers being pain free for two weeks after submerging in a 66' deep pool.
Interested in helping or learning more about Diveheart, visit their website. And look out for Scuba Yeti (formerly Scuba Santa) on Main Street on February 4th and 5th! The Diveheart Outreach Center will have free balloon art on Sunday, 5-Feb.
Oak Tree Talk with Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare, Morton Arboretum
Trees are under threat globally. Of the 60,000 tree species 1 in every 3 is threatened with extinction. Trees are not only critical to the environment, they provide food and habitat for wildlife. In the US, 11% of tree species are threatened, while 83% of the oak ecosystem as been lost in the Chicago region in the last 200 years.
Oaks are of particular importance to Morton Arboretum’s work. They are a keystone species in many forests in the Northern hemisphere and have economic and cultural importance. Over 20% of oak species worldwide are critically endangered or endangered. 50% are threatened or vulnerable.
The Arboretum works with partners globally doing conservation planning, conservation research with a goal of population recovery and restoration. If is critical they work with the local populations to maintain their economies while finding ways to protect vulnerable trees.
Rotarian David Steele, founder of Dads of Steele, was our speaker on Dec 6. Prior to founding Dads of Steele, David worked in social services for 14 years. He noted that absent fathers was a common denominator troubled children shared. When he and his wife lost their one-day-old daughter, Aubrey, he realized that a support system for grieving fathers was lacking. His wife seemed to have more opportunities to cope with her grief. David wanted to build a place to support grieving dads, especially as he appreciated the important role dads played and he wanted them to be available to their other children.
Dads of Steele is now a 501(c)3 non-profit with the motto “Committed, Connected, Courageous”. They have grown to 6000 followers on Instagram and they have a podcast.
Grieving dads find them via postcards at hospitals, word-of-mouth and Google searches. They offer various opportunities for grieving dads to find support, such as a support group phone call every Sunday morning. Their events have included a 3- on-3 basketball tourney, Christmas Karaoke, and organizing to send pencils to Kenya.
Their website is dadsofsteele.org
Since becoming president on July 1st, our club has been busy. We had Rotary GroveFest in June and in September we donated $22,000 to the non-profit organizations that helped out at Rotary GroveFest. Our Done In a Day projects so far:
- August we donated 100 of the most needed items to the FISH Food Pantry,
- September we volunteered at the Fine Arts Festival.
- October was our Halloween Window Painting and we collected coats for Veterans Stand Down Day.
- November was our Grove Express race on Thanksgiving morning.
- Advocate Charitable Foundation
- Brendan's Smile Foundation
- Catholic Charities
- Community Adult Day Center
- DuPage Habitat For Humanity
- Family Shelter Service
- FISH Food Pantry
- From Walls to Wages
- Hope's Front Door
- Navigate Adolescence
- Sharing Connections
- The Backpack Project
- Watts of Love
With the $22,000 we presented to the non-profits for Rotary GroveFest and the community grants we have awarded since July 1st, we have given $35,500 back to our community! Great job fellow Rotarians!
I look forward to celebrating with you at our holiday party on December 12th.
Grove Express - Community Service Project
Ade Onayemi District Governor Visit
Locally, District 6450 goals are retaining members, growing Rotaract clubs, reaching out to young people, supporting mental health initiatives, showcasing Rotary and supporting DEI initiatives.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet
Volunteers are always welcome to help with their programs, projects and special events. Call 630-495-8008 to help.
Working Genius Explained
Downers Grove Historical Society
The DG Historical Society is adding new lighting to the Main Street Cemetery. Events they have throughout the year include: Founders Day, Golf Outing, Living Cemetery, Educational Events, Tivoli Tour, History on Tap and Recognition Programs. They are documenting information from anyone who has history/information on Downers Grove. If you know of someone they should talk to, please let them know.
NAMI DuPage @ DG Rotary
Their mission is to provide support, advocacy and education in order to improve the quality of life of individuals with mental illnesses and their families. One of NAMI DuPage's innovations, which is now rolled out across the globe, is Ending the Silence - providing mental health and education to middle & high school students, parents & school staff.
The need for support is great. NAMI DuPage is hosting an Octoberfest September 30 - October 2 in conjunction with the DuPage County Fairgrounds. They also need volunteers for their boards and advisory councils.
The need is great. In DuPage County 128,000 (14%) speak sub-par English.
You can change a life by becoming a tutor. Get to know Literacy DuPage via 60-minute virtual meet and greet. Receive 15 hours of training. Schedule weekly tutoring with your adult learner. No teaching or foreign language experience needed. Literacy DuPage will train you.
Serenity House, Donna Foyle & Jarrett Burton
Donna Foyle left her school secretary role and joined Serenity House 18 years ago when her son had addiction issues in high school. Co-speaker Jarrett Burton is 4yrs recovered from a 10yr history of drug and alcohol abuse. Donna and Jarrett told powerful, positive stories of the recovery homes and the level of care individuals receive to overcome their addictions. Donna and Jarret offered our club to visit anytime to see the "Hope and Miracles" that come from living sober and drug-free.
Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58
The Foundation donates to programs that benefit funding educational projects and initiatives that would not otherwise be funded by District 58 due to limited financial resources. Funding focuses on the following: Technology Innovation; Teacher and Staff Development; Curriculum Enrichment; Creating better citizens and community; Preparing students for community partnerships with key individuals & corporations. For over 15 years, they have raised $1.3M. Their 9th Oktoberfest fundraiser is September 16th & 17th.
The Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce
1) Reduce Access to Drugs; 2) Reduce Opiod Use and Misue; 3) Increase Overdose Response; 4) Integrated Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery; 5) Substance Use and Prevention. It is expected that drug companies will provide $10M in funding over the next 3yrs to support DuPage County action.
Tragically, Dr. Lanny Wilson lost his daughter in 1994 at a railroad crossing. The group he started from this led to other roles with the county health department leading to his current position. Dr. Lanny Wilson is a retired ob/gyn doctor and we learned that he delivered babies for several members and relatives. In retirement he joined the Hinsdale Rotary Club and has a farm in Kentucky, where he grew up.
WE CONNECT PEOPLE
Rotary unites more than a million people
Through Rotary clubs, people from all continents and cultures come together to exchange ideas, and form friendships and professional connections while making a difference in their backyards and around the world.
WE TRANSFORM COMMUNITIES
We take action locally and globally
Each day, our members pour their passion, integrity, and intelligence into completing projects that have a lasting impact. We persevere until we deliver real, lasting solutions.
WE SOLVE PROBLEMS
No challenge is too big for us
For more than 110 years, we’ve bridged cultures and connected continents to champion peace, fight illiteracy and poverty, promote clean water and sanitation, and fight disease.
Together, we see a world
where people unite and take action
to create lasting
change across the globe,
in our communities, and in ourselves.