Welcome to Downers Grove Rotary

Tuesday, November 28, 2023
November 28th was Giving Tuesday and the Rotary Club of Downers Grove met at the Downers Grove Area FISH Food Pantry and presented $1,000 checks to the following non-profit organizations:

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
Sharing Connections

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.

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Heather Lippe, Clinical Social Worker, Village of Downers Grove

Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Heather Lippe, Clinical Social Worker, Village of Downers Grove, discussed the Village's launch of the Social Services and Referral Program in February of 2022.  The program is designed to connect the residents of Downers Grove who are in need of services with the agencies that provide the services.  The program consists of multiple methods for individuals to connect with the Village social worker, which includes in person, by phone, on line, and through requests from other village departments.  The Village social worker participates in many local organizations or coalitions, such as the Downers Grove Township Senior Advisory Committee and the DuPage County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition.   

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Saturday, May 6, 2023
By: Dave Humphreys
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. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Heather Kash, Director of Development, West Suburban Humane Society spoke at our Tuesday meeting this week. Heather spoke about their operations and how they match 500+ dogs and cats every year. 450 volunteers and 100 foster homes make it possible to deliver their mission:  to work towards the day when all dogs and cats are loved and cared for, and pet owners have access to essential resources so they may enjoy a fulfilling relationship with their pets. You can support their mission by volunteering, making a donation, shopping at their annual Plant Sale on May 12-13, or by sponsoring or participating in their Golf outing or Bark-a-Palooza RescueFest and 5K.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Rotarian Bryan Gay became President and CEO of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation (DGEDC) on September 6, 2022.  Bryan immediately started a listening tour and connected with all the stakeholders invested in the success of Downers Grove.  Coming soon, there will be a DGEDC quarterly newsletter to keep everyone informed. 
The DGEDC is a public/private partnership that promotes Downers Grove as a location for commercial, industrial and office projects. ??????

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Driving through town years ago, Kent Ebersold noticed a motor home parked on the street.  In need of a headquarters for our club's Oktoberfest fundraiser, Kent approached the owner, Jim Elliott.  Jim was more than willing to donate the motor home for the weekend fundraiser and as Jim learned about Rotary and its mission, he joined and has been a worldwide ambassador for Rotary ever since.  

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.

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Oak Tree Talk with Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare, Morton Arboretum

Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare, Director of Global Tree Conservation at the Morton Arboretum was our speak on Jan 10th. A native of Costa Rica she came to attend graduate school at the University of Florida where she met her husband who is from Lisle.  

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.

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Tuesday, 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.

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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. 
Also, on November 29th was Giving Tuesday.  I asked each board member to choose a non-profit organization.  We met at FISH Food Pantry and presented a $500 check to the following organizations:

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Thursday, November 24, 2022
We 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.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Ade 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. 

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Rotary 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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Joy 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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Michael 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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Amy 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. 

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Geri 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.


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Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Laurice 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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Donna 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. 

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Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58

Tuesday, July 26, 2022
David 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.

The Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce

Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Dr. 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:  

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Club Events

Downers Grove Weekly Club Meeting

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Rotary Means Business

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Downers Grove Board Meeting

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Downers Grove Holiday Celebration

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Downers Grove Weekly Club Meeting

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Rotary Theme Lockup 2021-22 logo


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