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November 2nd Program
 
"Child Abuse & Human Trafficking - 
Doing Nothing is Not an Option"
 
     As Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention for the City of Rockford, Jennifer Cacciapaglia serves as a key collaborator in coordinating advocacy service organizations, law enforcement, and civic groups.
     Jennifer has spent her entire career focusing on community work and engagement. In 2013, she co-founded the Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (RAASE) to work to end the demand for sexually exploited individuals through preventative measures, survivor protection, accountability of violators and community engagement.
     She also serves as the education coordinator and a trained facilitator for The Amanda Reed Memorial Fund, created to educate young people about the dangers of unhealthy behaviors in relationships which can escalate into lethal violence.
     Jennifer was previously an Assistant State’s Attorney with Winnebago County and City Attorney for Rockford, and she received her J.D. from Northern Illinois University School of Law in 1998.
     As the title indicates, Jennifer will discuss child abuse and human trafficking in our area and some of the programs and organizations that are working to stop these two terrible things.  This will be an interesting and informative program and one you will want to bring a friend or prospective member to listen to.  Lynn Momberger will introduce our presenter and act as Rotary host.
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2023 Service Above Self
 
 
2023 Service Above Self Awards
 
     Rockford Rotary celebrated community service at our October 26th meeting with our Annual Service Above Self Awards.  Seven individual Service Above Self Awards were presented to 9 individuals.  The Mary-Stuard Carruthers Community Impact Award was also presented.
     Congratulations to Dave Byrnes and his committee for a wonderful program after not having one last year.   
 
We started with a buffet from Beef-A-Roo.
 
 
It was nice to see Memorial Hall full for a change.
 
The invocation by Linda Johnson
 
Keynote Speaker Mayor Tom McNamara.  The Mayor also presented the awards and offered his congratulations to each honoree.
 
Introduction of honorees by Dave Byrnes.
 
Kathy Vigna nominated by Jim Coffey
 
 
     Kathy is accompanied today by Kathy Branning from Remedies Renewing Lives; Lynn Delacey from The Alzheimer’s Support Group and Karen Tilly from Alpine Kiwanis.
     From 1981 to 1993 Kathy was involved with the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps as a chaperone, cook and then served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer and as President from 1985 to 1990.  For her efforts she received the Chevron Award for Meritorious Service; was inducted into the Phantom Regiment Hall of Fame in 2016 and currently is a Board Member Emeritus.
     As if one Drum Corps wasn’t enough, from 1985 to 1995, she also worked with the Purple Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, again as President of the Board of Directors and as the Bingo Co-Chair.
     Upon her retirement from Sundstrand in 2011 she got back into community service with Remedies Renewing Lives and Alpine Kiwanis and continues to serve both organizations to this day.
     At Remedies she is on the Board of Directors and serves as Chair of the Fund Development Committee.  In this capacity she leads the efforts for the golf playdays and the annual Charity Gala which is returning on November 11th at the Pavilion at Aldeen.
     Kathy was invited to join Alpine Kiwanis by a Program Manager at Hamilton Sundstrand.  She didn’t waste any time getting involved.  Since joining she has served on many of the 25 committees that keep Alpine Kiwanis running.  From 2013 to 2015 she served as Chair of the Charities Distribution Committee which has the fun job of giving away all of the money generated by Brat Days to over 30 local organizations each year.  She served as President for the 2015-16 Kiwanis Year and as Divisional Lt. Governor for 2017-2018 Kiwanis Year.  Rather than sit back like some Past Presidents do, she took over as Membership Secretary in 2017 and continues in that position today.  As membership secretary she is responsible for collecting quarterly dues, which at times can be a tedious task.  In 2023, the Treasurer decided to relinquish his duties and Kathy took on the responsibility of Administrative Treasurer.  In 2013 Kathy became a Site Chair for Brat Days which meant she was responsible for all aspects of running one of the Brat Days sites.  In 2022, there was a reorganization of Brat Days Committee and Kathy became one of two Co-Chairs of the entire Brat Days in addition to her site chair duties.
     When Kathy’s husband Bob was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014, she became involved with the Alzheimer’s Support Group at Kenrock Community Center.  She served as a Caregiver Member from 2015 until Bob’s passing in 2021.  Again, rather than move on, she continues to serve as a Support Mentor to Caregivers, helping others who are going through what she went through with Bob.  
     To paraphrase one of her supporting letters, “It is a pleasure to work with such a positive and energizing individual who puts hours of volunteer time and effort into chairing, organizing and putting together a village of others to work together”.
     Please join me in recognizing Kathy Vigna with a 2023 Service Above Self award.
 
Bob & Georgia Eiss nominated
by Lois Seijo
 
 
    Joining the Eisses at their table are Nate and Marie Broughton and Phil and Jan Meyers, members of the Wesley Willows Auxiliary and volunteers on this project.
     You’ve all heard the expression “Bloom where you are planted.” When Bob and Georgia Eiss came to Wesley Willows in 2014, I’m sure it was to have a tranquil and leisurely retirement. Instead, they saw a need and acted to help.
     Wesley Willows is a continuous care retirement community in Rockford. One of the purposes of the Wesley Willows Auxiliary is to raise money for the Good Samaritan Fund, a source of support for those residents who have out-lived their resources, enabling them to continue to live on our campus. For 5 years (2017-2022) Bob and Georgia Eiss were the primary volunteers in charge of the Auction House, a location for a bi-monthly auction of furniture and large household items. The merchandise displayed for resale at the auction was gathered from Wesley Willows homes which had been vacated. The Eisses recruited volunteers to sort clothing, jewelry and smaller items for resale at another campus store and coordinated with the Maintenance Dept. for the transfer of furniture and larger items. They were personally involved in making the items presentable (cleaning and repairing,) pricing them and staging them in one of Wesley Willows’ townhomes, developing all the skills needed to do just that.  Every few months the Eisses also coordinated the loading and delivery of truckloads of unsold or unselected furniture to several Rockford charities.  For their efforts, in 2018 the Eisses were recognized by the Rockford Area Chapter of the Asso. of Fund-Raising Professionals.
     THEN CAME COVID!  Public spaces at Wesley Willows were closed. The Auction format no longer served.  The Eisses brainstormed. As the supply for furniture did not diminish during COVID, the Eisses created a new format so that sales could continue during the pandemic. The newly named Décor and More store opened with fixed prices 3 days a week, beginning in May, 2020, barely two months later. For the next two years they adapted the lay-out as COVID regulations changed, monitoring the number of shoppers and making adjustments due to the need for social distancing, extra sanitation and masks. Gradually things have returned to normal.
     Due to the Eisses’ creativity in responding to changing circumstance, the funds collected during the years of COVID limitations were actually greater than the total sales the previous years during which the auction format was used.  During the 5 years of their leadership at Décor and More, total proceeds from the store and other volunteer efforts which were offshoots of the store surpassed a quarter million dollars ($253,592.00.) All of the proceeds went for the benefit of Wesley Willows residents and all were the results of the Eisses’ volunteer efforts. Oh, I should mention that during three of these five years, Bob served as President of the Auxiliary, with all the responsibilities that position entailed!
     As with most volunteer assignments, the time commitment mushroomed.  It did take over their lives and became a full time job.  They worked family events and their personal lives around the needs of their volunteer commitment, instead of the other way around. Their dedication to doing whatever needed to be done, coupled with their talent in re-designing this fund-raising activity and their cheerful, encouraging presence has inspired many others to become involved in this endeavor.  The Eisses “bloomed when they were planted” at Wesley Willows.  They are perfect examples of “Service Over Self.”
     Please join me in recognizing Bob and Georgia Eiss…..
 
Susan Carlin nominated
by Liz Dickinson
 
 
     It is my sincere pleasure to recommend Susan Carlin for Rotary's Service Above Self Award.
     I have known Susan best as an outstanding member of the Music Academy Foundation Board.  The move from Rockford University to the First Lutheran Church was complicated.  Susan's ability to navigate this move, plus her financial and logistic skills we an important contribution.
     Susan has held a few different roles at the Rockford Art Museum, as a Board of Trustee Member and as President of the Woman's Art Board.  Her agile mind and financial acuity have served the Art Museum well.
     Susan always steps in to help.  There are many volunteer activities she has been involved with, not just involvement but dedicated and loyal service as a volunteer reading instructor and Rockford Women's Club.
     Although Susan grew up in New York, she has thoroughly embraced Rockford as home.  She is a passionate and true ambassador for the Rockford region.  She has always placed her great talents to the organizations to which she belonged. 
 
Roger & Lowes Eggert
nominated by Becky Rundquist
 
 
     It is my privilege to introduce Lowes and Roger Eggert! Pete and I have known them for at least 40 years. We were all members of St. Paul Lutheran church. Lowes taught both our children in Sunday School.
     Service Above Self is a perfect award for this couple. They received the Alma Fringer award from MercyHealth volunteer Association in June for their dedicated service at Javon Bea Hospital. Lowes works in the gift shop on Mondays and has 760+ hours. Roger works as a patient transport volunteer and has donated over 1200 hours to MercyHealth.
     He and Lowes are very friendly and calming. They both have put in countless hours in service to their church, Resurrection Lutheran.
     Lowes is an excellent cook and makes meals for church functions – her sloppy Joes are outstanding.
     Roger is a senior elder at the church and has been responsible for routine maintenance at Resurrection, which is almost 120 years old. He is very capable at building and fixing mechanical problems.
     Roger also volunteers with Habitat For Humanity, putting his skills to great use as a Weekday Wonder.
     Both Roger and Lowes Eggert exemplify “Service Above Self” in the Rockford community, and I am honored to know them.
 
Mary Ann Norwood nominated
by Kathy Kwiat-Hess
 
 
     Mary Ann is one of those individuals who does a lot of work quietly behind the scenes and doesn’t seek the limelight for what she does.  She has been a member of Rockford Rotary since 2002.  During that time, she has
Served on various committees and has participated in numerous service projects.
     She served as co-chair of High School Recognition and Scholarships Committees for a few years.  The last couple of years she chaired the Program Committee, working with her committee to select and provide a wide variety of quality programs for our club meetings. 
     Mary Ann has served as a liaison for our Rotary Academy for several years.  She works with the liaison and students from Eisenhower throughout the course of the school year.
     Mary Ann has also been a reader at Gregory School as part of Rockford Reads for the past few years, reading with 2nd and 3rd grade students each week.
     Anytime our club has a service project, you can count on seeing Mary Ann there as part of the project.
    Mary Ann has been passionate about her work on the board of Golden Apple Foundation.  She has been involved in every part of the process of teachers being nominated for and eventually receiving the Golden Apple award, from delivering apples to teachers, reading portfolios, observing teachers in the classroom, and interviewing teachers as part of the final process.  She eventually became a trainer at new volunteer trainings and has chaired the teacher selection process for 6 years.  In addition, she reads and scores teacher grants and serves on the Outstanding Principal selection committee.  She served on the Executive Committee for 6 years and assists with fundraising efforts.
    Mary Ann is a quiet leader who is most deserving of the Service Above Self award.
 
Eric Willard nominated
by Janine Idstein
 
 
     It is my honor today to introduce my good friend, Eric Willard.  Eric is here today with his wife, Betty, Col. David Draeger, Kelvin Judson, and Jim DiVerde.
     First and foremost, Eric is proud to have served in the U.S. Army 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam from 1967-68.
     His early career was in marketing and training in manufacturing and service companies, although later he spent 14 years focused on computers and technology as a school district Chief Technology Officer in the Chicago suburbs and Belvidere.
     Eric worked for several years with the Business and Professional Institute at Rock Valley College to provide training guidance and resources for companies in the area.  During this time, he volunteered at the Veterans Drop-In Center, teaching computer classes and helping veterans with job training and job searches, as well as working on fundraising for the center. After the founder of the center passed away suddenly it only made sense for Eric to step in as interim Executive Director. His 6-month term turned into 2 years, but under his leadership the center has seen tremendous growth in mission, scope, and community influence.  Eric has allied the center with Rosecrance Health Network, Veterans Path to Hope, IL Dept of Employment Services, IL Dept of Veterans Affairs, the VA, and over 20 other businesses and government organizations.  Core members of this team, called the Veterans Leadership Team, meet every Wednesday at the Center.  Eric’s collaboration with these organizations, and his energetic leadership, have turned the Veterans Drop-In Center into Rockford’s first One-stop-shop for “Everything Veteran”.  Eric left his role as Executive Director in very capable hands after hiring Sean West as the new director.
     Two weeks after “retiring” from the Veterans Drop-In Center, Eric accepted another interim position for three months as Superintendent of the Veterans Assistance Commission of Winnebago County, where (after five months) he will use his sixth retirement to continue to serve in an advisory capacity to the new Superintendent. (Do you see a pattern here?) Once again, Eric left the Superintendent position in very capable hands after hiring Jesus Pereira.  Eric is very proud of bringing two excellent young, bilingual leaders to the Rockford area.
In addition, he is currently spearheading a group seeking funds for the Veterans Drop-In Center expansion, with hopes to include enough space for the Veterans Leadership Group as well as to be downtown near a bus station for easy access to the Veterans.
     His life membership in VietNow, Vietnam Veterans of America, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and as an Associate Member of the Navy Club, contribute to his awareness of the needs of veterans.  However, he has also volunteered his time with many community committees, including Midway Village Museum, the New Metropolitan Technology Steering Committee for the City of Rockford, the Belvidere Citizens Corp, Growth Dimensions, the International Quality Leadership Institute, and the Youth Services Network in Boone County. 
     Now that Eric has officially retired for the sixth time, he said he’s looking forward to a more normal life and more “self-time.”  I know his wife Betty is looking forward to this as well. 
     Please join me in recognizing Eric Willard with a 2023 Service Above Self Award.
 
Catherine Brown nominated
by Wray Howard
 
 
     It is my pleasure to introduce Catherine Brown as a 2023 Rotary Service Above Self recipient.
      Catherine’s community volunteer activities over many years line up with several of Rotary’s top priorities including fighting disease, supporting mothers and children, and supporting education. In particular she has been a champion for those who are underserved or have limited access to healthcare services.
      She has been a member of the Crusader Community Health Board of Directors for 14 years and served as their Board Chair and was nominated by Crusader for this award for her outstanding dedicated service to that organization.  She has spent many hours over those years contributing to important decisions that will lead to positive community health outcomes.
      Cathy’s cancer diagnosis some years ago spurred her to fight hard and use her experience to inspire others.  She began working with the American Cancer Society to ensure our community is aware of risks and is empowered to mitigate those risks.  As chair of the Purple Tea Coalition, she has worked to engage the African American community in Rockford in being proactive about cancer risks.  Every step of her own health journey has been redirected to how to better equip her community to be healthier.  It epitomizes selflessness and prioritizes service.
      In addition to her work with Crusader Cathy has served as a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, is a past Chair of the West Gateway Coalition, Chaired the Purple Tea Coalition and has served as a mentor to young mother students.
      Please join me in honoring Cathy with the Rotary Service Above Self Award.
 
 
815 Stone Scrubbers nominated
by Lynn Momberger
 
 
     The Mary-Stuart Carruthers Community Impact Award is presented in honor of Carruthers, who was a member of the Rotary Club of Rockford.  In addition to recognizing individuals, she saw the need to recognize organizations in our community performing Service Above Self.  This year’s recipient of this award is 815 Stone Scrubbers. 
     815 Stone Scrubbers is a group of volunteers currently cleaning headstones of Civil War Veterans in Winnebago County, led by organizer and long-time community volunteer, Janie Jenkin.  You may be wondering how one decides to take up gravestone cleaning? For Janie it stated with now a 120-year-old brick American Foursquare just down the street from here in historic Churchill’s Grove. In September of 2019, she and her husband purchased this home, 6 months later the Pandemic hit and after 21 years she found herself without a job and a lot of time on her hands. She began to do some house genealogy on the original owners and saw they were buried just 3 blocks away inside Greenwood Cemetery. Their stones were covered in moss and lichen.  She decided she wanted to honor them and get them cleaned up. She began to research and found a training class that summer in Peoria and was hooked.
     In Spring of 2023 Jenkin officially started 815 Stone Scrubbers.  With donations she received from Greenwood Cemetery, Haunted Rockford-Kathy Kresol and Amber Kresol, Jenkin invited like-minded individuals and coordinated the first ever grave cleaning event on May 6th, 2023.  Through October, they met monthly at Greenwood Cemetery where Jenkin taught others how to properly clean and restore the headstones of Civil War Veterans.  The group began with just three volunteers, but with volunteers coming to help from all over the region and from Wisconsin, they now have 50+ people helping in the effort of honoring these veterans.  In just six months, they cleaned, raised, and repaired the graves of all 468 Civil War Veterans who rest in Greenwood Cemetery. That is a lot to accomplish in such a short time!  Next Spring they’ll move on to other cemeteries and focus on the remainder of the Civil War Veterans buried in the county and after that, 815 Stone Scrubbers will start on other veterans from different wars.  
     Please join me in congratulating 815 Stone Scrubbers as this year’s recipient of the Mary-Stuart Carruthers Community Impact Award. 
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November 9th Program
 
Veteran's Day Program
 
     Please join us on Nov. 9 as we celebrate “A Salute to Veterans”.  The program will include a presentation by Sean West, Executive Director of the Veterans Drop-In Center, as well as a certificate presentation to all the Veterans in attendance. 
     If you are a Veteran and will be attending, please contact Janine Idstein (jidstein@olsonfh.com) with your name and branch of service.  
     This is a great opportunity to invite a guest - especially if they are a Veteran!
     Janine Idstein will be coordinating this event and acting as her own Rotary host.
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President's Message
 
President's Message
 
     Thank-you to all who helped at the Northern Illinois Food Bank Friday afternoon. We served 337 families in a 2-hour time period. Great job!!
     Thank-you to Tyler Smith and his committee on planting our district grant Pollinator Garden last week.
     It was great to see memorial Hall full for our Service Above Self Awards! Thank-you to all who attended and helped putting it together.
     We will also be having another Rotary Happy Hour at Prairie Street on Thursday 11-30-23. It's on the books.
 
     Thanks Pete Rundquist President
 
 
 
        
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Pollinator Garden at Welsh School
 
Pollinator Garden
 
     Under the direction of Tyler Smith and his committee, Rockford Rotarians joined students from Welsh School to plant a pollinator garden on October 20th.  This project was made possible by a District 6420 grant.
     A special thanks to all who helped out.  From the pictures, it looks like everyone had a good time.
     And a special thanks to Tyler Smith and his committee for organizing this event.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Future Programs
Future Programs
 
11/09/23 - "Annual Tribute to our Veterans"
                  Host - Janine Idstein
 
11/16/23 -   "Rockford Symphony's 5th Music Director"
                   Speakers - Yaniv Attar and Julie Thomas
                   Host - Elise Cadigan
 
11/23/23 - Thanksgiving - No Meeting
 
11/30/23 - No Regular Meeting
                  5:00 PM - Happy Holiday Hour(s)
                                   Prairie Street Brewery 
 
12/07/23 - "The Changing Face of Medical Care and
                    the Education of Doctors"
                   Speakers - Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green &
                                     Dr. Jeff Smith
                  Host - Elise Cadigan
 
12/14/23 - "Our Park District Expanding Our Economy"
                  Speaker - Jay Sandine, Executive Director
                  Host - Paul Von Driska
 
12/21/23 - "Multi-Cultural Holiday Festival Music"
                  Rockford Music Academy
                  Host - Elise Cadigan
 
12/28/23 - Happy Holidays - No Meeting
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Weekly RI Foundation Message
 
Each week we will be publishing a message from the Rotary International Foundation.  This week's message is:
 
WHAT IS EVERY ROTARIAN, EVERY YEAR?
 
This initiative encourages every Rotary member to:
 
     • Participate every year in a Rotary Foundation program that makes a difference in the world
     • Contribute every year to the Foundation’s Annual Fund at a sustainable amount
 
The Foundation recognizes a club as an Every Rotarian, Every Year Club if its giving reaches US$100 per capita or more and all dues-paying members give $25 in a year.
 
Today, about one-third of Rotarians participate in this initiative. Thanks in part to the generosity of these donors, the Foundation awarded more than 2,000 global grants in 2020-21 for large-scale, sustainable projects. Think about how much more Rotary could accomplish if every member gave at least $25 to the Annual Fund.
 
Thank you for supporting the Every Rotarian, Every Year initiative.
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Rotary Lunches
 
     Starting with our September 7th meeting, we will be having lunches at our noon meetings.  We will be starting with a package from Beef-A-Roo.  It will consist of a Wrap, salad, chips, cookie, and a soda or water.  There will bea variety of meats in the wraps.  This is a work in progress and things may change.  Lunches will start on September 7, 2023 and will be available at 11:45 AM the day of the meeting.
     PLEASE.  If you plan to bring a guest, PLEASE let us know 3 days in advance so we can make arrangements for food.  It will be your responsibility to cover the cost at $12.50 per meal.
 
     Thanks
     Pete Rundquist - runky907@comcast.net
     President, Rockford Rotary
     
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Rotary Links
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Speakers
Nov 09, 2023
Annual Tribute to our Veterans
Nov 16, 2023
Rockford Symphony's 5th Music Director
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Board Meetings
Nov 21, 2023
 
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Lisa Capriotti-Angileri
November 10
 
Elizabeth Dickinson
November 11
 
Mary Maxted
November 16
 
Rosemary Collins
November 16
 
Suzanne Berger
November 18
 
Kathy Kwiat-Hess
November 20
 
Paul Logli
November 20
 
Tom Scoville
November 21
 
Angela Trevino
November 22
 
Join Date
Linda Niemiec
November 6, 1997
26 years
 
Michael Foreman
November 11, 2021
2 years
 
Denny Johnson
November 14, 1985
38 years
 
Tom Clabough
November 21, 2002
21 years
 
Frances Salinas
November 30, 2022
1 year
 
Maureen Crowe
November 30, 2022
1 year
 
Meeting Responsibilities
Meeting Set-Up and Take-Down
 
October 19th
Moe, Eric
 
October 26th
Carlin, Taylor
 
November 2nd
Clabough, Tom
 
Meeting Greeters
 
October 12, 2023
Thacker, Beth
 
October 19, 2023
Todd, Jo An
 
October 26, 2023
Foreman, Michael
 
November 2, 2023
Norwood, Mary Ann
 
November 9, 2023
Shelain, Suzanne
 
November 16, 2023
Maxted, Mary
 
cember 7, 2023
Johansson, Russ
 
December 14, 2023
Buchmann, Frank
 
December 21, 2023
Drollinger, Cynthia
 
Meeting Invocators
 
October 12, 2023
Dickinson, Elizabeth
 
October 19, 2023
Moe, Eric
 
October 26, 2023
Johnson, Linda
 
November 2, 2023
Buchmann, Frank
 
November 9, 2023
Todd, Jo An
 
November 16, 2023
Kwiat-Hess, Kathy
 
December 7, 2023
Maxted, Mary
 
December 14, 2023
Niemiec, Linda
 
December 21, 2023
Ryan, Michelle
 
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Rockford Rotary - Our 108th Year - www.rockfordrotary.org