Dad's of SteeleTuesday, December 6, 2022 By: Kim Morton
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
Giving Tuesday!Tuesday, November 29, 2022 By: Ann Hattan
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 ProjectThursday, November 24, 2022We are so proud to have almost 6000 runners/walkers yesterday at our second annual 5K run. Thank you to the volunteers that helped make the event so special. Every runner enjoyed the Rotary Bacon Station. Whether it’s the smell of bacon or the taste, it was once again a great tradition.
Ade Onayemi District Governor VisitTuesday, November 8, 2022Ade Onayemi, our District 6450 Governor, reminded us of the history women have played in Rotary, even though it took a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1987 that Rotary clubs may not exclude women from membership on the basis of gender. Jennifer E. Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, is Rotary International’s president for 2022-23, the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 117-year history.
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.
Club Awards!Tuesday, November 8, 2022Rotary GroveFest was voted the 2022 Best Non Profit Annual Fund Raising Event in DuPage County by Suburan Life! In addition, our Rotary District 6450 recognized RGF with a Fundraising At Its Finest Award and Harry McCabe was the Foundation Chair of the Year Award.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of JolietTuesday, October 18, 2022Joy Newburn, Director of Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, said at the meeting that they are a faith-based organization providing service to people in need and calling others of good will to do the same. Celebrating its 50th year as a licensed child welfare agency, the agency employs over 250 people and operates on a $21M budget. In the past year, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet has served over 10,000 with their mobile food pantry and provided over 100,000 nights of housing, and supported many others with services such as Back To School Fairs, Community Classes, Counseling and Veteran Support.
Volunteers are always welcome to help with their programs, projects and special events. Call 630-495-8008 to help.Share
Working Genius ExplainedTuesday, October 11, 2022Michael Rodriquez, Personal Growth, Leadership and Teamwork, presented the 6 Types of Working Genius. Personally, Michael cannot wait for March, when his first grandchild will be born, Levi Maverick! Professionally, Michael wants individuals and teams to be successful. To do so, they need to follow the 6 Types of Working Genius, not skip steps, and thus not skip people. WIDGET is the acronym for Wonder (being curious), Invention (solving problems), Discernment (assessing and evaluating), Galvanizing (rallying others), Enablement (assisting others), and Tenacity (Getting things done). Personally, these types are the fastest way to help identify the type of work that brings joy and energy, and avoid work that leads to frustration and burnout. A team needs all types to be successful.Share
Project C.U.R.E. - Jessamyn MooreTuesday, September 20, 2022 Jessamyn Moore, Project C.U.R.E. Operations Director, runs the Woodridge warehouse, one of seven warehouses in the US supplying life-saving medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics throughout the under-resourced world. Project C.U.R.E. is the world's largest distributor of donated medial relief - touching the lives of children and families in more than 130 countries.
Project C.U.R.E.'s greatest needs are volunteers, supplies and equipment and shipping. Just this week volunteers are needed to sort through 70 pallets of donated equipment and supplies in Woodridge.
Downers Grove Historical SocietyTuesday, August 30, 2022Amy Gassen, President, Greg Elisha, VP, Lois Streba, Director, Downers Grove Historical Society spoke on their mission of keeping history alive for future generations by preserving and promoting the heritage of Downers Grove.
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 RotaryTuesday, August 16, 2022Geri Kerger, Executive Director of NAMI DuPage, started her career as a lawyer. When the first mental health court in Illinois was established in DuPage County in 2003, Geri started to work with families who were advocating for treatment versus jail-time for mentally ill defendants. NAMI DuPage was started by families in 1985 and has grown to become the largest NAMI affiliate and one of the most innovative.
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.
Literacy DuPageTuesday, August 9, 2022Laurice Hoffman, Literacy DuPage, explained how they empower adults, families and communities through literacy. Serving the most in need Literacy DuPage helps adults achieve their goals through accessible and customized tutoring in English. Laurie highlighted the wonderful relationships she has built since 2005 when she started tutoring adults.
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.Share
Serenity House, Donna Foyle & Jarrett BurtonTuesday, August 2, 2022Donna Foyle and Jarrett Burton, Serenity House, Recovery Home Program Manager and Recovery Specialist spoke to our club how 4 beds in an abandoned Addison farm in 1985 has grown to over 102-bed residence for men and women throughout DuPage County. Through the years, Serenity House has added programs for family, parenting, recovery homes and more. Serenity House's goal is to break silence, end stigmas, get well, and empower generations.
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 58Tuesday, July 26, 2022David Olsen,Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 Vice President, thanked our club for the support on the successful Grove Express last Thanksgiving. Everything is on track for another successful race this year.
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.Share
The Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) TaskforceTuesday, July 19, 2022Dr. Lanny Wilson, co-chair of the Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce, provided a wealth of information. The task force serves the County Board and County Health Department with the goal of eliminating drug overdoses in DuPage County. The extensive framework and activities has five pillars:
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.
David Edwards, Super Bowl LVI ChampionTuesday, July 5, 2022 St. Joseph's 2nd grade, competitive "ball hogger" showed off his Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LVI this year! Always competitive, David's dream was to follow in the footsteps of his cousins, his heroes, former DGN players Tom and Garrett Edwards, who led the program to a 40-9 record that included a state championship in 2004.
David was drafted in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 and has now started in 41 games, including the Super Bowl victory this year! David's humble personality and thoughtful answers to our questions impressed everyone.
Family is very important to David. He is married to Caroline, also from Downers Grove, and they have an 18-month-old and an 8-week-old baby. In town to see their parents and attend a family wedding, David's focus is on living in the present and continuing the Edwards family tradition of pride in family. Thank you, David for taking time in your precious offseason to speak to our club!
Ryan Gustis' Backpack Project Wows DG Rotary ClubMonday, July 4, 2022Ryan Gustis, The Backpack Project, wowed us with his service above self. Ryan will be a sophomore at Downers Grove North High School, where he is on the cross country and track teams. Nine-year old Ryan was visiting the Macy's Christmas windows when he could not turn his back on the homeless people he saw on the streets. He talked to them, learned their stories and was compelled to help in someway. The Backpack project was born with 10 backpacks delivered that first year full of supplies. Then it was 122 backpacks, then 285, 315, 400, 530, and now this year's goal is 675! Ryan and the entire organization are working for a world where dignity and kindness are hand-delivered in the form of a backpack full of supplies.
Ryan Gustis is pictured with our treasurer, Heath Mielke, and the contents of a backpack.
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