1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Archived Meetings & Notes

Guests always are welcome to general weekly meetings that begin at 4:44PM most Wednesdays in Hugo’s Frog Pond located in Main Street Promenade. A guest fee of $20 is charged to visiting Rotarians and other individuals who may be interested in attending. Every meeting includes light refreshments, soft drinks, wine, camaraderie and enlightening programs.

***Asterisks indicate events with Rotary connections; Rotary “Extras” on days other than Wednesdays.

These photos with “P.S.” long captions help tell the story of the Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown, set to find a way to build fellowship while trying to enhance educational experiences every week, aimed at creating a warm welcome and better community for all concerned. Join us any week. We go around the room with introductions and a “question of the day” that typically connects to the theme of the day’s featured program. Cheers!


Rotary Remembered

The 2017-2018 Rotary year / July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018

Rotary Club of Naperville – Downtown / 2017-2018 Board of Directors 

Kevin McQuillan, President; Jeff Davis, President-Elect / Vocational Service; Gary Baumgartner*, President Nominee; Chuck Corrigan*, Rotary Ride /Treasurer / Club Service; Naish Shah, Immediate Past President; Mike Reilly*, Sergeant at Arms; Nancy Nyberg, Membership Chairman; Gary Baumgartner*, Foundation Chairman; Patti Powers,  International Service; Pat Benton, Community Service; Stephanie Penick*, Rotary Reminders / Programs / PR; and Neal Cerne*, New Generations / Youth Service. (*Past President)

Look for an invoice via email from the treasurer. Plan to pay dues before July 31, 2017, for the next semester, July 2017 through Dec. 2017. The second semester of the Rotary year runs Jan. 2018 through June 2018.

July 5 /  The first Board Meeting Day of the new Rotary year!  Prez Kevin McQuillan used his time during the first meeting of the month to run a board meeting. Sometimes these meetings are designated as Club Assemblies, opportunities for members to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service. Many times after Rotary, members join each other at Hugo’s for more conversation.

P.S. Hey, Members! Scroll down and coordinate your personal calendar with our meeting schedule for the next Rotary year. Also, please pick a date to plan a program.

July 12 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Bryan Ogg to return to play “Stump the Curator.” Dig up local lore and put Bryan to the trivia test again for fun with a historic twist.

P.S. Bryan Ogg provided another educational program about Naperville’s rich past that connects to the future, citing some of his recent adventures to Springfield where he began to dig into old files that related to relatives. He told the story and inspiration that came from a woman he called “Aunt Margaret,” the assistant state historian at the Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield who was a good friend of his Great-Aunt Neva Defenbaugh. Bryan talked about groups with which he is associated such as “Friends of Tosi” and asked members if they’ve driven through neighborhoods in Naperville and noticed some pretty unusual home designs by architect Don Tosi known as “Tosi homes.” Wouldn’t you know? Rotarian Jeff Davis had lived in a distinctively-designed Tosi home as a teenage when his parents first moved to Naperville all those years ago.

July 19 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Mike Briggs, President and CEO of Little Friends, to bring us up to date on happenings at the nonprofit organization. Naperville-based Little Friends serves 800 children and adults with autism and other developmental or emotional disabilities.

P.S. Mike Briggs, President and CEO of Little Friends, provided an enlightening look at the past, present and future of Little Friends, Inc., and it’s mission to empower children, adults, and their families with special challenges to live, learn, work, and thrive in their community. Established in 1965, and with its headquarters located on Wright Street in a block that once belonged to North Central College, Little Friends’ focus is to assist individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Autism.  When the question came up regarding most pressing needs, Briggs was mindful of keeping current with technology and how it helps individuals with developmental disabilities communicate with their teachers. Little Friends also aims to improve its facilities, as the buildings are in need of work to improve their appearance and functionality. Note also the Little Friends Parade of Lights, an annual tradition to shine light on the community during the holiday season, returns on Sat., Dec. 2, 2017, in downtown Naperville.

July 26 / Mike Reilly has invited Tim Ory to present the history of Freemasonry, the oldest and largest fraternity in the world. Naperville’s Masonic Lodge, Euclid Lodge No. 65, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was founded in late September, 1848, and chartered October 2, 1849, with the following Charter members: Captain Joseph Naper, Lewis Ellsworth, Nathan Allen Jr., Dr. Calvin Cole Barnes, Aylmer Keith, John Spaulding Kimball and Nahum Loring. Euclid Lodge No. 65, A.F.&A.M. is the oldest Masonic Lodge in DuPage County, Illlinois. Euclid Chapter No. 13, Royal Arch Masons was chartered October 3, 1851, with the following Charter members: Aylmer Keith, Dr. John Eddy, Harry Thorndyke Wilson, Zadock Hall, Ezekiel Hall, John Bolton, Russell Horace Whipple, Nahum Loring and Vivaldi W. Potter. Euclid Chapter No. 13, R.A.M., is the oldest Masonic Chapter in DuPage County, Illinois.

P.S. Tim Ory serves as the historian for Naperville’s Masonic Lodge, Euclid Lodge No. 65, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. His engaging story about the Masons in Naperville took us to St. Charles and back to Naperville under a full moon by horseback. The Masons have owned a number of properties around town and they helped to build Naper Academy where Naper School is now located on Eagle Street.

July 31 / Midnight. Dues are overdue! Thanks to all who met the deadline. Please plan to pay next semester’s dues by January 31, 2018.

***August 1 / Team 4:44 meets at 7PM to play trivia at West Suburban Irish Quiz Night at Quigley’s irish Pub. Look for email to see who is organizing the 8-member team for August.

August 2 / Board Meeting Day! The first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the meeting. Sometimes these meetings are designated as Club Assemblies, opportunities for members to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service. In addition, today new member Mike Havala, President & CEO of Loaves & Fishes Community Services, will provide an update for our club about what’s new at the nonprofit organization he leads “to end hunger and transform lives.”

August 9 / Ron Nyberg and Nancy Nyberg led a fun and memorable program about first encounters with celebrities.

***August 13 / 21st Annual Rotary Ride at Commissioners Park / Registration info (Click here). In addition to raising funds for End Polio Now, the 2017 Rotary bike ride will benefit three local charities – Loaves & Fishes Community Services, Naperville Responds For Veterans and SamaraCare. Great “September-like” weather that attracted 275 riders, set a record for the event. In 2018, Rotary Ride will return on Sun., Aug. 12. Most details regarding the enjoyable bike ride out in the countryside will remain the same. Click here for a link to photos from the 2017 Rotary Ride. Cheers!

August 16 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for American Legion Post 43 Past Commander Lee Lindberg to introduce Naperville Central High School senior Ryan Park who will present his award-winning speech about the U.S. Constitution.  As a junior, Ryan was first-place winner of the 2017 American Legion Illinois State Oratorical Contest earlier this year. Plan to bring guests, high school age and up. Help fill the room with high school students who could be interested in participating in the annual oratorical contest that offers scholarships provided by the American Legion Post 43. In addition to Ryan, Lindberg introduced Rich Yndestad, writer of the award-winning newsletter for American Legion Post 43 who also attended the meeting.

P.S. Ryan Park emphasized the importance of civics instruction in the classroom and knowledge of the Constitution of the U.S., the topic of his award-winning presentation. Last year, when he was a junior at Naperville Central High School, Park took first-place in the American Legion’s Illinois State Oratorical Contest, receiving scholarship grants along the way. He represented Illinois at the American Legion’s 80th National Oratorical Contest in Indianapolis last spring with a speech focused on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three-to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest. Ryan illustrated how the founding fathers were “architects,” building a strong foundation for the United States of America. His presentation brought to light that two members of the 4:44 Rotary, Ron Nyberg and Naish Shah, also had participated in American Legion Oratorical competitions when they were teens.

August 23 / Chuck Corrigan has saved this date for a visit from the Rotary District 6450 Governor Scott McAdam. McAdam is making the rounds to welcome all clubs in the district to the new Rotary year, where Rotarians will all be “Making a Difference.”

P.S. During the meeting that welcomed the District 6450 Governor Scott McAdam (wearing the dark blazer), the 4:44 Club also greeted this year’s Rotary Exchange student who will be attending Neuqua Valley High School and exchanged Rotary banners with a visiting Rotarian B. J. Harris from St. John, USVI. In his quest to make a difference, McAdam urges all Rotarians to “think numbers and dollars” when telling the Rotary story of service. Talk about the impact of clean water produced by water wells, polio eradication and other projects around the world. “It doesn’t have to be a well project,” he said. “It has to be a project we do well.”

August 30 / Jeff Davis has arranged a program about 360 Youth Services. As that is the start of the new school year, the topic will be a talk by the new CEO with support from Development Director Jason Altenbern about their new relationship with School District 204.

P.S. Jason Altenbern updated the 4:44 group with the process now in place to search for a new CEO. Currently, the position temporarily is filled by Alex Harris who stepped off the 360 Board of Directors to serve as acting CEO. Their mission is to provide life-changing services to youth through substance abuse prevention education, counseling and housing, while their vision is a community where all youth possess the necessary skills to successfully navigate life’s challenges. Altenbern provided an overview of the nonprofit’s recent collaboration with School District 204 to meet local youth where they are in order to help fulfill their unmet needs and challenges.

Upcoming fundraisers: 360 Youth Services will present its annual fundraiser, “A Circle of Radiance” on Fri., Nov. 3, at Embassy Suites.  Kristen Ballenger stopped by to visit from the Naperville New GEN Rotary with info about The Hunt 4 Good, a scavenger hunt for charity, set from 12:30 to 4PM Sat., Sept. 23, in downtown Naperville. Naperville NewGen Hunt4Good

September 6 / No Meeting. Labor Day Week. Too much Last Fling!

September 13 / Jeff Davis has arranged for Cindy Tomei of Illinois Manufacturer’s Association to speak on the state of manufacturing in Illinois. Tomei is the Vice-President of Membership and Marketing and she assists in efforts to raise awareness of the value of IMA membership and the manufacturing industry and the good jobs available.

P.S. Cindy Tomei noted that 30,000 manufacturing jobs are available at the moment in Illinois. The challenge is spreading that word that many well-paying jobs today in manufacturing are high tech.

September 20 / After many years, Stephanie Penick has arranged for Naperville native, local historian and financial planner Steve Hyett to return with his engaging slide show “A Walking Tour of Old  Naperville” as seen through picture postcards. Please note the program may go a little later than normal, but Steve is fine if you have to leave before he’s finished.

P.S. After an introduction regarding the advent and popularity of picture postcards in the early 1900s, the train enthusiast started his presentation with a postcard of the old Naperville Train Station when it was on the north side of the tracks, then shared many postcards of the city’s first churches, complete with banter, Q & A, and details that barely got him 20 percent through his collection. Prez Kevin McQuillen asked Hyett to pick another time to return to complete his presentation. Hyett will return on Nov. 15.

September 27 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Jeff Anderson, Director of Information Technology for the City of Naperville, to “talk tech” with a glossary of terms about the Open Data Portal set to launch on June 30, 2017, via an initiative called “What Works City.” Focused on data and the city’s strategic goals as well as the user experience, the portal features 38 different data sets, the sum of which will create transparency that makes a difference for the citizens of Naperville. To check out the new data page, visit

FYI: Since March 2016, when Jeff assumed his role with the City of Naperville, IT has been undergoing significant changes in the way data is processed on the way toward a data policy that could be described as “public by default.”  Jeff will discuss Naperville’s initial attempts at Open Data through the crowdsourcing PulsePoint app and the launching of Naperville’s Public Safety Incident Maps. He will describe successes, lessons learned as well as initial public reaction to these items. Finally, Jeff will discuss the process and current status of Naperville’s Open Data program as part of the What Works Cities national initiative. Jeff and his family have lived in Naperville since 2000.

P.S. Jeff Anderson presented Naperville’s initial attempts at Open Data through the crowd sourcing PulsePoint app and the launching of Naperville’s Public Safety Incident Maps. With a handy hand-out, he led an interactive discussion highlighting the importance of the city’s networks for public safety.

October 4 / Club Assembly & Rotary Ride Planning Meeting.

October 11 /  Ron Nyberg has arranged for Dr. Troy D. Hammond, President of North Central College, to return to update our club on happenings at North Central College.

P.S. Dr. Hammond provided an overview of his first five years as the 10th president of North Central College with many reasons why North Central stays among the top-ranked private comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences, continually on the annual U.S. News & World Report list of “America’s Best Colleges.”  Club members also accepted an invitation to tour the new Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center that will be dedicated during the 2017 Homecoming festivities on Oct. 20.  (Details coming soon regarding the special guided tour.)

October 18 / Pat Benton, known for finding great programs about nature, has arranged a speaker who will introduce more things to do outdoors. Dr. Shannon Burns, Community Engagement Specialist, Community Services & Education, for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, will cover the the hiking and bike trails and connections between DuPage and Will county.

P.S. With photos from last weekend’s surprise 100-year flood, Kevin Horsfall, Manager for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, provided the latest info and detailed look at construction progress along the 812 miles in the DuPage County Regional Bike Plan, as well as between DuPage and Will Counties. (Nancy Quigley equated 812 miles of DuPage County trails as half the distance from Naperville to Arizona!)  Horsfall’s maps showed the connectivity of hiking and biking trails that one day will lead all the way to Wisconsin. Greene Valley, McDowell Grove and Springbrook Prairie are preserves located in Naperville.

October 25 / Chuck Corrigan has invited Dick Galitz and Rachel Ossyra to give us a presentation on the international projects that the Noon Rotary Club is working on, including the ones our club has supported financially via matching grants.

November 1 / Rotary Ride Sponsor & Volunteer Appreciation! Grant presentations were made to the 2017 beneficiaries: Loaves & Fishes Care Services, Naperville Responds for Veterans, Samara Care and Polio Plus.

P.S. Every week during introductions around the room, members state their names and businesses, then answer a question, typically related to the theme of the program and often light-hearted. This week, members and guests were asked simply to think “Rotary Downtown.” Choose any one letter in R O T A R Y  D O W N T O W N and provide a one-word attribute that describes the club and/or its members. For instance, O could stand for “outspoken” or W could be “worldly.” Chuck Corrigan took notes as some members chose to be unruly by including all letters from Rotary Club of Napervile/Downtown. Here are the chosen words: Ten, pleasurable, real, welcoming, terrific, wonderful (fellowship), neighborly, inquisitive, veterans, diverse, nice, thrilled, Rotary Ride, altruistic, disorderly (in a good way), awesome, worldly, legacy, charitable, donations, young-at-heart, tender, wow, wine, trustworthiness and WOHOO!

Save the date for the 22nd Annual Rotary Ride on Sunday, August 12, 2018.

November 8 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Naperville resident Rocky Caylor to present a program about his business, Cadence Premier Logistics, located in Joliet. President/CEO Caylor will take us on the fascinating ride that his company has traveled as it’s embraced high-tech, indoor soccer and community service during a period of growth and development.

P.S. Cadence Premier Logistics President/CEO Rocky Caylor provided an overview of how he ended up building a trucking business in Joliet with a fleet of more than 350 trucks, one of the logistics industry’s newest and safest fleets. With tremendous respect for the men and women who helped his business grow, he credited them as the reason he has continued to do business in Illinois. Caylor also noted that he served the 1st Battalion 9th Marines, a highly decorated infantry unit during the Vietnam era, service that was followed by numerous White House and foreign dignitary details. He is still very involved with veterans issues through Marine For Life Chicago and also supports other charitable organizations.

Also, visiting Rotarian Ravi Srivastava from Ahmedabad, India, brought a banner to exchange.

November 15 / By popular request from 4:44 members, Stephanie Penick has arranged for local historian Steve Hyett to return with the rest of his vintage postcard collection that tells the story of Naperville. This time Steve will begin with the YMCA.

P.S.  With his radio voice in his back pocket for comic relief, local historian Steve Hyett returned to finish his slide presentation of vintage Naperville postcards that tell the story of the City’s growth from the late 1800s through the turn to the 20th Century. With mostly black & white images, Steve’s colorful banter brought to life Naperville’s early growth and development in downtown Naperville that included the YMCA, Nichols Public Library, Jefferson Hill (where Quigley’s finds its home), the Washington Street and Main Street Bridges as well as the recreation they attracted. The Edward Sanatorium also was featured on a postcard that made members wonder if an appropriate postcard greeting would have been “Wish you were here.” Always a popular guest speaker, Hyett will return next year with his story and pictures about the early development of the railroad, another collection of history that has captured his interests over the years.

November 22 / No Meeting. Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. We’re grateful for this week’s news that Chuck Corrigan (Rotary Downtown charter member and fifth president), has been designated to be in line to serve as the District Governor in Rotary District 6450, the birthplace of Rotary (1905). He’ll assume official duties from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Here Chuck is pictured sandwiched between Prez Kevin McQuillan and a Past District Governor Dick Galitz after a recent meeting at Hugo’s.

November 29 / Stephanie Penick has invited Katie Wood, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance, to stop by to provide “A snap shot of the glistening holiday season and other news in downtown Naperville.”  As always, thanks for shopping, dining, banking and entertaining in downtown whenever possible! And remember the almost immortal words of Chuck Corrigan: “I’m thankful my (downtown Naperville) office is next to Quigley’s Irish Pub.” During this presentation Nancy Quigley will tell us about holiday festivities at Quigley’s, including Photos with Santa on Sun., Dec. 3, Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest and New Year’s Eve Dublin Time.

P.S. During the meeting, Katie Wood was joined by Little Friends VP / Agency Advancement Renee Miklosik to share the Little Friends’ experience with gratitude in anticipation of the Parade of Lights on Dec. 2 as well as the Cookie Walk on Dec. 3 in downtown Naperville. Prez Kevin MCQuillan used the meeting to announce three RCND grants that will go toward unmet needs at Little Friends, Loaves and Fishes Community Services and the Todd Early Childhood Center.

December 6 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Kenn Miller to talk to us about a new initiative called Mental Health Awareness Ministry. On Nov. 9, 2017, Kenn helped to organize an enlightening and engaging program titled “Addiction and Mental Health, and Naperville Police Department Resource Meeting for Faith Leaders” to spread the word that help is out there and to rid stigmas.

P.S. Kenn Miller has agreed to return in March to update the club on progress as it relates to local initiatives to raise awareness via all groups involved, including KidsMatter and places of worship.

Registration for Rotary Ride, set for Sun., Aug. 12, 2018,  is now open with special holiday rate of $25.

December 13 / Jeff Davis has arranged for Nicki Anderson, President/CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce to bring us up to speed regarding the member supported-business organization as it looks forward. Her presentation is titled “Understanding the Impact of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.”

P.S. Nicki Anderson provided a fast-paced, fact-full overview of the business group she has led since 2014, a group started in 1913 when it was known as the Naperville Association of Commerce. She noted that in 1917, the NAC considered allowing women into the group, but the issue was tabled. The NAC changed its name to Naperville Chamber of Commerce in 1947. The Chamber influenced bringing a U.S. Post Office to town, the establishment of the Naperville National Bank as well as the Naperville Park District, all the while providing support for the local business climate aimed at continually developing a thriving community for schools, public services and a desired place for longtime and future businesses to succeed. Today Chambers throughout the nation are challenged to be forward thinking, innovative and communicative on many levels, she said. Nicki cited the strong Chamber staff, board of directors and new brand as well as the recently launched Future Forward Campaign to raise $250,000 as examples that the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is “alive and well and constantly seeking new ways to be a better partner and resource” for its nearly 1,200 members representing all sizes of businesses and the new generation. Nicki’s husband, Bill Anderson, a Past President of the Rotary Club of Naperville, owner of Oswald’s Pharmacy and member of the NACC attended, too.

December 20 / It’s time for Holiday Trivia Party with caroling, caroling, caroling and other songs of the season when Santa Jim Boyajian returns to lead festivities. Deck the halls!

P.S. Santa Jimbo brought a new bunch of holiday trivia cards to stump the group that was divided into two competitive teams. Even before the fun-loving group burst into Christmas carols and holiday songs, Mary Corrigan knew the horse’s name in Jingle Bells was Bobtail. And “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night” was written by Clement Moore.

December 27 / No Meeting! Happy Holidays!

Second Semester – 2017-2018 Rotary Year /  Dues are due by January 31, 2018.  Treasurer Chuck Corrigan will be sending invoices. Watch for them!

January 3 / No Meeting! Happy New Year! Happy Second Semester of the Rotary Year!

January 10 / Nancy Quigley has saved this date to introduce State Rep. Jeanne Ives, (42nd District), who serves a small portion of Naperville as well as Carol Stream, Lisle, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield and West Chicago. First elected in 2012, Rep. Ives announced recently that she is running for Governor of Illinois. Note! Rotary is a nonpolitical organization, but elected officials who serve are occasionally booked as featured speakers during election cycles to help inform voting members. As a matter of policy, Rotary Clubs do not take positions on public questions including political issues; yet, many local Rotarians value participating in the election process with an educated vote. Rotarians worldwide as well as 4:44 Rotarians also serve as elected officials. (For instance, currently 4:44 Rotarian Mike Reilly serves on the Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners and 4:44 Rotarian Mike Connelly serves the 21st District in the Illinois Senate.)

January 17 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Nalco Water President Christophe Beck to speak to our Rotary Club. His presentation is titled “Addressing the World’s Water Challenges.”

P.S. Nalco Water President Christophe Beck opened his talk with the news that by 2030, demand for fresh water will exceed supply by 40 percent. The Ecolab company he leads provides a unique, high tech learning environment, dedicated to developing expertise of industrial and manufacturing customers to minimize water usage, maximize results and optimize total cost of operations. For instance, note the chart below that it takes 450 gallons of water to make one burger and 39,090 gallons of water to build one car. “Every drop counts… Water is life and we all need to contribute to its conservation.”

January 24 / Mike Reilly has arranged for Troy Cooper, President of the Naperville Parks Foundation, to present. He will tell us about what the foundation is doing, especially the Hobson Oak project.

P.S.  With good humor, passion for the great outdoors and enthusiastic enlightenment, Troy Cooper, President of the Naperville Parks Foundation, took us along the path he navigated, complete with kayaking, to join and become president of the organization that mostly provides scholarships for youngsters who qualify in order to participate in park programs. He also gave the history of the Hobson Oak and how the landmark tree, now down and in storage to dry, soon will be available for artisans to purchase and possibly craft furniture. In addition, saplings from some 300 acorns could be sold. The products from the burr oak tree will turn into a fundraising initiative for the NPF, Cooper said. Jim Ensign, a fellow NPF board member, stood in for Mike Reilly who arranged the program.

Click here to a story with photos about the old Hobson Oak that stood as an historic landmark for roughly 250 years in DuPage County.

January 31 / Stephanie Penick has invited Christine Jeffries, President of the Naperville Development Partnership (NDP) since 1997, to return. This week she’ll update us about economic development, noting lots of pressing issues that may make for good discussion. Then this spring, Christine and her marketing team will present the “State of the Hospitality Industry in Naperville” with additional news about local hospitality—hotels and restaurants, etc.

January 31 / It’s that time again!  Dues for second semester will be past due at midnight. Note also that Rotary Downtown welcomes its first new member of 2018, Rocky Caylor.

February 7 / Club Assembly (Note: Previously scheduled “Kick Off for Rotary Ride 2018” has been rescheduled for March 14.)  Registration for 22nd Annual Rotary Ride, set for Sun., Aug. 12, 2018,  is now open with special early-bird rate.

February 14 / Stephanie Penick has booked Aaron Weiner, PhD., Director of Addiction Services, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, to provide an enlightening presentation with facts about drug use, including marijuana, past, present and future. Dr. Weiner’s presentation, with Q&A is geared toward 60 minutes. This program could run long.

P.S. Dr. Aaron Weiner, director of addiction services for Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, shared his passion to communicate how he thinks the proposed cannabis or medical marijuana program is deeply flawed. He said he even hesitates to use the term “medical marijuana” that lets users take whatever amount and concentration of cannabis they wish, products often described with whimsical cartoon-sounding names that are aimed to attract youth.

With informative slides and results of research, he cited studies that found long-term marijuana use increased the chances of developing an opioid use disorder. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)

Dr. Weiner explained how he thinks marijuana is a dead-end for pain — a substance from which users will develop a tolerance and a need to increase the dosage, becoming a gateway drug to other highly addictive substances. He urged his audience to learn more and to contact Illinois lawmakers as they address proposals to expand the medical marijuana program as well as legalization of the recreational use of cannabis. Dr. Weiner created an awareness that distinguished “commercialization and legalization” and what he believes to be a movement funded by addiction profiteers. The timely topic prompted an invitation for Dr. Weiner to return to delve deeper into the facts, leading to a better understanding of the need to fight substance use disorders and addiction among all ages.

The Valentine’s Day meeting also proved to be a banner day with exchanges from an exchange student from Taiwan and a visiting Rotarian from Brazil.

February 21 / No Meeting! President’s Day Week! (Note: When a national holiday or school vacation break falls within the Rotary meeting week, the 4:44 Club will not meet.)

Rotary Club of Naperville / Downtown is set to celebrate its first 11 Years!

February 28 / Paul Harris Fellow Dinner, 5:30PM (11th Anniversary of RCN Downtown Charter & Celebration of Paul Harris Fellows) Every member’s dinner is included with dues. Guests are $75. RSVP by Feb. 21.

P.S. During the 11th anniversary celebration of the Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown Charter Night that always includes recognition of Paul Harris Fellows and the club’s 100 percent-member commitment to the Rotary Foundation, Rotarian Neal Cerne assisted Prez Kevin McQuillan, not pictured, with swearing in the club’s newest member, Rocky Caylor.

During festivities the club’s Rotary Foundation Chairman Gary Baumgartner again explained that since 1957, Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

In addition, Charter Member and Past President Chuck Corrigan who also now serves as Chairman of Rotary District 6450 Grant Committee walked members and guests through the Rotary grant process. Rotary grants for projects can be initiated by a Rotary Club and matched by other Rotary clubs so dollars multiply for many worthwhile causes throughout the world, including the initiative to End Polio Now.

March 7 / Stephanie Penick has invited DuPage Children’s Museum President/CEO Sarah Orleans and Director of Education & Programs Thomas Sullivan to share some fun about early learning at the museum. Sarah will introduce Thomas and he will do the science demo!  Wear primary colors!

P.S. Members enjoyed learning more about work of the internationally-known DuPage Children’s Museum, grateful for paper clips, kid-safe scissors and index cards with a fun hands-on presentation at 4:44 Rotary!

***March 10 / The West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Parade, Naperville’s annual tribute to fun and frolic when everybody can be Irish will begin at 10AM Sat., March 10, following the Rotary Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K that begins at 8AM in downtown Naperville. Put on a little Irish accent and help raise some green for worthy charities. RCN Downtown also celebrated the Chairman of the WSI St Patrick’s Day Parade because our member, past president and future President of the Rotary District 6450 Chuck Corrigan led the way.

March 14 /  Kick Off for Rotary Ride 2018! Registration for 22nd Annual Rotary Ride, set for Sun., Aug. 12, 2018,  is now open with special early-bird rate. Beneficiaries of the 22nd Annual Rotary Ride in memory of Carmen DiGiovanni will be Loaves & Fishes Community Services, 360 Youth Services, Naperville Responds for Veterans and End Polio Now. Today’s meeting is a workshop when we will announce sponsors so far and any other newsworthy features for the 22nd Annual Rotary Ride, beginning and ending at Commissioners Park. 

P.S. For example, the owner of Mill Race Cyclery in Geneva attended to talk to us about ideas for promotion and race day. Volunteers such as Loaves and Fishes presented new efficient procedures for stocking their rest stop. Naperville Responds for Veterans had an idea to attract folks to Commissioners Park to learn more about Rotary and why they host the bike ride. And Rotary After Dark intends to stop by with a plan for their international project that includes collecting used bikes to send to a village in Africa.

***March 20 / Illinois Primary Election Day. Polls open 6AM to 7PM. Note! Rotary is a nonpolitical organization, but elected officials who serve are occasionally booked as featured speakers to help inform voting members. As a matter of policy, Rotary Clubs do not take positions on public questions including political issues; yet, many local Rotarians value participating in the election process with an educated vote.

March 21 / 4:44 Rotarian Naish Shah will update the club on his recent travels on behalf of Rotary International.

March 28 / No Meeting! Spring Break!

April 4 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for folks from the Naperville Convention and Visitors Bureau to address the “State of Naperville Hospitality.”

P.S. During the presentation, Becky Bekkali and Mike Gronek showcased the sales and marketing focus of the Naperville Convention and Visitors Bureau, funded by the local Hotel/Motel Tax, to attract visitors to meeting spaces in Naperville. Naperville’s 19 hotel properties offer space for trade shows, weddings, fundraisers, etc. Plus, the city offers nearly 300 dining choices. Their slide presentation also included what’s “new or coming” to Naperville. Businesses recently attracted to Naperville are Black Rock*, Sparrow*, CH, Kilwins*, Solaia, Pete Miller’s*, Aloha Poke Co.*, Red Arrow Tap Room*, Patel Brothers, London Skye and Pain*.  (*Eateries, of sorts)  Attracting visitors to the community is an important part of economic development. The hospitality industry also gives back to the community (click here for story) which was evident during the holidays and many other occasions.

April 11 / Mike Havala has arranged for our program and a tour at Loaves & Fishes Community Services, located at 1871 High Grove Lane. Folks! This meeting will be a field trip! Anyone who wishes can add to the fun that follows by staying for the inaugural Chef’s Showdown that begins at 6PM.

***April 11 / Chef’s Showdown at Loaves & Fishes between Hugo’s & Catch 35. 6-9PM with sous chefs Mayor Steve Chirico, Julie Chirico, Nicki Anderson & Joe Vosar. Lively banter will be provided by emcee Ray Kinney. $100 per person. ICYMI: Link to festivities!

April 18 / Stephanie Penick has asked Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico to return with an update of the State of the City. Mayor Chirico first served a four-year term as a member of the City Council, then ran and was elected Mayor in 2015.

P.S. Mayor Steve Chirico brought the club up to speed on happenings, proposed developments and progress in this widely-recognized city, often identified nationally as one of the best places to raise a family in the country. Mayor Chirico reminded members that the crime rate is going down in this city with a population approaching 150,000, thanks to the community’s focus on public safety, health and welfare. He credited award-winning police and fire personnel for achieving our third ends policy of public safety. Police and fire departments work together alongside the entire community and with Crime Stoppers. After the meeting, the Mayor took a few moments to meet this year’s Rotary Exchange Student from Taiwan, Edward Lai, a junior attending Naperville Central High School.

April 25 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Carey Caylor to present a program about the rigorous training and education involved in preparing today’s flight attendants for service on commercial airlines. Carey is a New Hire Flight Attendant and Recurrent Instructor for American Airlines. She also works in recruiting. Carey twice received the Flight Attendant of the Year Award. She also was recognized with the 2016 Champions of the Airways for the time she saved a baby’s life that was choking and not breathing. Program certainly will be timely. (FYI: Carey is our newest member Rocky Caldor’s wife.)

P.S. Naperville resident Carey Caylor presented an engaging overview of her more than 30-year career with American Airlines that began when she was based in Washington, D.C. Reminiscing about how commercial flying has evolved, she noted flying is not as much a dress-up novelty or a first-time adventure as it was when she entered the field. Today it’s a necessity and more casual, and public safety requires constant training. As for passenger advice…  First and foremost Carey said always to pay careful attention to the flight attendant safety instructions at the beginning of every flight. Aircraft can be different. She emphasized the importance of taking time to read the safety briefing card at every seat no matter how experienced a flyer. If ever an oxygen mask is needed, be sure to place it over nose and mouth. Buckle up and stay buckled at all times while seated. When asked if she’d ever served celebrities on her flights, she mentioned Dolly Parton, Mike Ditka and Walter Payton. Usually in control, she admitted she couldn’t restrain her enthusiasm when Payton entered first-class and she beamed, “Sweetness!”

*** May 2 / Thanks to the generosity of 4:44 Rotarian Rocky Caylor, founder and CEO of Cadence Premier Logistics, who coordinated a donation on behalf of Rotary Club of Naperville Downtown, a half-full 53-foot trailer containing five pallets of bottled water as well as other pallets with food items, paper products, cleaning supplies, bedding and t-shirts was delivered to Loaves & Fishes Community Services, a nonprofit organization under the leadership of 4:44 Rotarian Mike Havala. More than once, VP of Operations Cary Gilkey (left) and volunteers said the delivery was a miracle. Really! This week they recognized the need to order bottled water for volunteers because their supply was way down. Plus, they’ll need extra bottled water next week for volunteers who come to help with donations from the Letter Carrier Food Drive on May 12. In addition, as one of the beneficiaries of the 22nd Annual Naperville Rotary Ride, volunteers from Loaves & Fishes will help staff one of the rest stops during the popular bike ride slated for Sun., Aug. 12. Some of the bottled water will be earmarked for that event, too. Cadence driver Ray Tirado and VP of Planning and Development Scott Cedar (far right) helped make it happen. Cheers to making connections!

May 2 / At the request of members, local history buff Steve Hyett will return to share another of his favorite topics on May 2 & 9. The two-part program is titled “When Trolleys Rode the Prairie Path.” With fast-talking Steve and his radio voice, it’s sure to be a fun ride.

P.S. Part I of Steve Hyett’s talk took up and down the river from Dundee all the way to Yorkville. We learned about street cars pulls by mules in the 1860s and how turn-of-the century street cars were distinguished from interurbans, a type of electric railcar that ran between cities or towns. Steve’s historic images from the last century, complete with stories about cattle guards across the railroad tracks, milk runs and funeral cars, certainly connected the group to another time in history. Part II is set for May 9. Stay tuned.

May 9 / At the request of members, local history buff Steve Hyett will return to share another of his favorite topics on May 2 & 9. The two-part program is titled “When Trolleys Rode the Prairie Path.”

May 16 /  Stephanie Penick has arranged via Jack Shindler, Director, Center for Global Education, North Central College, for Hikaru Kobayashi, a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, who happens to be a well-known former government official from Japan. For the Ministry of the Environment there, he was director in charge of international and domestic negotiations for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Hikaru Kobayashi talked about building and outfitting an “eco-house” based on his own house in Tokyo.

P.S. Jack Shindler, Director, Center for Global Education, North Central College, introduced Hikaru Kobayashi and the meaning of his name. Hikaru means “sunlight” and  Kobayashi means “small forest,” appropriate for a man whose life work has been to convince and mobilize citizens to care about sustaining their environment. With slides and narrative, Kobayashi emphasized that sustainability can be enhanced everywhere as the responsibility of households. As an example, Kobayashi talked about actions taken to build an “eco-house,” based on his own house in Tokyo. With plenty of questions about CO2 emissions, Prez Kevin McQuillan quickly developed a rapport with the speaker, welcoming him to attend meetings anytime until he heads back to Japan this summer.

May 23 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Christine Jeffries, President of the Naperville Development Partnership (NDP), to return since she didn’t get very far into the economic development project slides during her presentation on Jan. 31. She’ll continue on the economic development path.

May 30 / No Meeting! Remember Memorial Day! The Naperville Memorial Day Parade begins at 10:30AM, Mon., May 28, followed at noon with a 30-minute special remembrance in Central Park with patriotic music and wreath laying to recognize the ultimate sacrifices given in service for freedom and peace.

June 6 / Rocky Caylor, who serves on the Land Use working group of the 5th Avenue Redevelopment, has arranged for Naperville resident and attorney Pat Kelly to bring us up to date on happenings with the Fifth Avenue Project. Kelly represents the Pilgrim Addition on the 15-member 5th Avenue Steering Committee where members have been engaged in the opportunities for local residents to help reimagine certain properties along Fifth Avenue near the downtown Metra station.

P.S. Pat Kelly, a resident of Pilgrim Addition where Rocky Caylor also lives, engaged our club in enlightening Q&A regarding the challenges of bringing neighbors, neighborhoods, city officials, consultants and developers together with a common goal to redevelop 13 acres of land along Fifth Avenue near the Metra Station. Kelly noted six working groups are organized as “Land Use, Parking, Transportation/Traffic, Pedestrian Safety/Connectivity, Storm Water and Design.” During introductions and Q&A, Kelly quickly discovered parking was the issue that concerned most members in attendance. The handout “Theoretical Parking Deck ‘Fit Test’ Summary” that was available features seven layouts with various options and construction cost estimates ranging from $18,000 to $25,000 per parking space. Kelly said so far, four stories seem to be the height threshold, but site designs could help with the vision.

Among interesting ideas Kelly noted a tunnel (not the former Cow Tunnel) that could run underground along Main Street to connect schools along the way toward a downtown destination. A tunnel could keep neighborhood vehicles off the roads relieving congestion as well as give walkers and cyclists a safe path to school. If this type of infrastructure is found to be financially feasible (A tunnel could cost several million dollars, Kelly said.) for all its safety and health benefits, the vision for a tunnel could become a reality.

June 13 /  Stephanie Penick has invited Mary Lou Wehrli to update us about “Laughing Lincoln,” a Century Walk sculpture now in progress for Central Park that will be the featured focus of the “Jubilee Old-fashioned County Fair” on September 30, 2018, in the park.

June 20 /  Stephanie Penick has arranged for John R. Dallas, Jr., co-founder and CEO of ENCLAVE O’Hare, to present a program about the “Learning-and-Earning Center for Entrepreneurs,” located in Elk Grove Village near O’Hare Airport. The “Local-to-Global Resource Hub” is an inspired membership community of lifelong learners, individuals committed to prioritize venture-relevant competence development of entrepreneurs and others with direct Influence on sustainable success. (Some of you may recall hearing my enthusiasm for the “illuminating” concept after Jim and I attended a presentation there last summer.) Enclave is housed in a building that has been repurposed after years as a branch of Elk Grove Village Bank & Trust.

P.S. John Dallas definitely provided food for uncommon thoughts as he explained economics and many reasons why folks in Chicago and its suburbs (and every individual everywhere) need to focus on “T4” or “Think things through thoroughly.”

ENCLAVE (See slide above) is not to be confused with a traditional venture incubator or an accelerator. ENCLAVE is defined as “a learning-and-earning center — with strategic emphasis on lifelong deep learning for entrepreneurs, their influencers (i.e., investors, bankers, lawyers, accountants, consultants et al) and other stakeholders.

During stimulating questions with responses, or Q&R as John put it, members were caught off guard slightly by bringing psychology into the conversation of economics as well as the educational and experiential needs of entrepreneurial individuals. Prez Kevin McQuillan will try to coordinate a group field trip to ENCLAVE.

June 27 / Installation Dinner 5:30PM at Meson Sabika / Prez Kevin McQuillan will turn the gavel over to Prez-Elect Jeff Davis. Guests ($75 all inclusive) are welcome. Member dinners are covered by dues.

New Rotary Year begins July 1, 2018 – Dues are due!


Rotary Club of Naperville Downtown, AKA 4:44 Club / 2016-2017 Rotary Year Begins First Semester

July 6 / Note: This meeting includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month along with a Club Assembly. Club Assemblies are opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service. Members are reminded to pay dues by July 31, 2016.

P.S. Youth Exchange host Chuck Corrigan and fellow Rotarians said “so long and farewell” to Bagus Unggul Pranoto, our Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Bandung, Indonesia, who has been our frequent guest since August 2015. This time Unggul expressed his good byes with fond memories of collecting buttons and pins during his travels of the Midwest and to New York City while in the U.S. for the past year. Unggul returns home soon. (Thanks to the server at Hugo’s for snapping our group photo!)


July 13 / Jeff Davis has saved this date for a presentation by Anna Payton, Executive Director of the Naperville Area Humane Society.

nancy-annaP.S. Anna Payton talked about making a difference in the lives of animals and people in the local community in her leadership role at the Naperville Area Humane Society. Currently, the nonprofit organization established in 1979 is in the middle of a shelter and outdoor expansion project that will assist in serving more than one adopter at a time as well as greatly increase daily enrichment for dogs in a variety of ways.

Other amenities such as a multifunctional Butterfly Garden and landscaping that includes tribute trees and benches are planned at the shelter located at 1620 W. Diehl Road.

npd-mike-andersJuly 20 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Deputy Police Chief Mike Anders to talk to us about his passions for education and community policing. With timely information, he’ll inform our members how we can take information to our respective businesses and other organizations leading to more opportunities for the NPD to present and meet with the community.

P.S. Deputy Police Chief Mike Anders is in charge of the Patrol Division, which employs 177 individuals. The goal of the Patrol Division is to address community problems and assure a safe community environment through directed and routine patrol. As the largest and most visible division of the Police Department, the Patrol Division provides the first response to emergency and non-emergency incidents.

During his presentation, Anders provided an enlightening program regarding active threat training as well as the importance for every business and organization to have procedures in place for public safety. Policing has evolved throughout the years.  What might have worked 20 or 25 years ago, no longer applies. Anders walked the group through ALICE Training and the need to have a plan when faced with danger. (ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.) Creating a plan with survival tactics is encouraged for any team, business or interested group. Anders said the NPD will assist organizations to test plans and policies. Pay attention!

ron-&-bryanJuly 27 / Stephanie Penick, with a second by Patti Powers, has arranged for the return of Bryan Ogg, Curator of Research at Naper Settlement, the city’s outdoor history museum. This time we’ll play “Stump the Curator,” so bring your questions about Naperville’s past. Come and learn more about yesterday on Wednesday.

P.S. “Stump the Curator” proved to be fun way to engage members in Naperville’s heritage. Bryan Ogg was such a good sport and so very knowledgeable. Wouldn’t you know? Ron Nyberg of Swedish ancestry was surprised to learn of a Swedish connection near Petterson Court, just west of downtown Naperville near the DuPage River. And even though Rotarian Pat Benton was on vacation, Bryan pulled his name out of the air as the only member who was a former president of the Naperville Heritage Society / Naper Settlement.

August 3 / Our club assembly this month will feature member Nick Ryan with a presentation about Water Street District as it prepares to open Hotel Indigo this fall. Daryl Barnes, the GM for the Hotel Indigo, and Dave Miller, the Owner of Elements, will join Nick for the presentation. (Note also that on Wed., February 22, 2017, our club will celebrate its 10th anniversary at Elements on Water Street. 4:44 Rotarians are planning the party.)

water-street-menP.S. Dave Miller provided an overview of Elements, a concept that’s been a 7-year project in the Water Street District. Elements will begin with soft openings in December 2016 and go into full swing after the first of next year. Miller described the interior as “rustic urban/organic contemporary,” with descriptions of an attractive “wood ribbon ceiling.’ In addition to a banquet room for 200-250 people, Elements will include two meeting room spaces and pre-reception lounge.

Daryl Barnes kicked off his segment with an award-winning video featuring the upbeat music of Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.” The Hotel Indigo property in Waco, Texas, featuring energetic Daryl Barnes &  its No.1 staff was a showcase of things to come for the boutique hotel with 158-guest rooms slated to open this fall in downtown Naperville. Daryl said he “likes exceeding expectations” with the Indigo brand and he has big plans to be involved in the community, much like developer Nick Ryan and Marquette Properties.

The parking deck is just about ready for vehicles. Contractors are working on the streets in order to have the parking deck open by the 2016 Jaycees Last Fling over Labor Day weekend.

August 3 / Board Members! A board meeting will follow Nick’s presentation.

rotary mtg aug 2016August 10 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Jane Boettcher, a student and entrepreneur from Naperville North High School, to present her story about Merry Tutors, a nonprofit enterprise she created when she was a freshman. Last year she participated in the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA). Now in its third year, the tutoring service aims to create scholarships for its dedicated volunteers. Jane will be a senior in the fall of 2016. Merry Tutors is based in the Alive Center on Fifth Avenue. Kandice Henning, Founder and Executive Director of the Alive Center, also provided an educational overview of her facility, its association with Naper Bridge and its benefits for teens (and others) in the community.

***August 14 / 20th Annual Rotary Ride  Thanks to Chairman Jeff Davis and the Rotary Ride Steering Committee!  Gear up and sign up today.

duck-flamingo***August 16 / Riverwalk Duck Race will begin at 10AM Tues., August 16, from the footbridge to Centennial Park to the Eagle Street Bridge. Many longtime Rotarians have served on the Riverwalk Commission and Riverwalk Foundation in support of the Riverwalk’s growth and development since 1981. Thanks to Rotary, families can sled on Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk. And there’s a Rotary Plaza near the Washington Street Bridge. Take a quack to help celebrate the Riverwalk’s first 35 years!  Help keep wildlife wild.

August 17 / Due to a last-minute conflict, Nick Chirico, originally scheduled, will find a future date to talk about videography and his local promotional projects, one of which was a PSA for the Riverwalk Foundation. Stephanie Penick has arranged for Brand Bobosky, president of Century Walk, to return with an update about his outdoor works of art in public places. The title of his program is “Century Walk at the Crossroads.”

rotary-brand-8-17P.S. As founder of Century Walk, Brand Bobosky presented an overview of his first 21 years of helping to identify locations, fund (55 percent public money and 45 percent private of the total $3,886,685 for all works of art) and create local historic themes for outdoor works of art. Bobosky is enthusiastic about a plan he will present during an upcoming workshop (Aug. 22, 2016) for the City of Naperville SECA Fund to provide funds annually for the care and maintenance, etc., of 46 art works placed prominently throughout the city. The art exhibit with murals, sculptures, mosaics, reliefs is available for public view around the clock 365 days a year. The art is located mostly in downtown Naperville with a Dr. Seuss piece at each of the three Naperville Libraries and a YMCA piece at the 95th Street Fry Family Y. For images of all 46 works of Century Walk, visit After the meeting several Rotarians had suggestions for Brand (member and a past president of the Rotary Club of Naperville) and how to fill the Century Walk Board.

August 24 / Stephanie Penick has booked Hadi Finerty from the Alzheimer’s Association office in Joliet with a presentation, “Know the 10 Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.” (Note: The Walk to End Alzheimer’s-Naperville is slated for Sunday, September 18, 2016, at North Central College Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, 455 South Brainard Street, Naperville, IL 60540.  Check-in: 8:30AM  Ceremony: 9:30AM 3-Mile Walk begins: 10AM INFO:

rotary-8-24-16P.S. Naperville resident Hadi Finerty presented an awareness program that included some of the tell-tale signs that could indicate the early signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is the most common form of dementia. Currently, no cure has been discovered for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. Usually thought to be an “older age-related disease,” diagnosed most often in individuals over 65 years of age, some Alzheimer’s can occur much earlier. According the fact sheet at, Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.  AD is also the only cause of death among the top 10 in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. In 2016, an estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease. Rotarian Kevin McQuillan shared his experiences of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s and some of the issues that need to be addressed when a special memory care facility is needed.

August 31 / Prez Naish Shah has arranged for District Governor Ron Broida to visit our club. During this meeting we’ll host Rotary Ride Recognition (Similar to last year: sponsors, charities and ride committee recognition.).  DG Ron also will speak on a topic of choice of our club members and/or give an update on District 6450 initiatives, etc. Again, many thanks to all who contributed to the success of Rotary Ride and its proceeds that will benefit Rotary International End Polio Now, Naperville Responds for Our Veterans and Loaves & Fishes CARES Programs.

September 7 / Prez Naish Shah encourages every member to set aside this date for updating the club’s strategic plan. (Note: This first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the Club Assembly. Club Assemblies are opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service.)

***September 13 /  Wendy Steinberg, a Rotary Peace Fellow, is leading an initiative to foster peace through music from different parts of the world. At 8PM Tues., September 13, “Universal Love,” a concert at Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Avenue on the campus of North Central College, is a joint musical event for all three Rotary clubs of Naperville, co-sponsored by Rotary, North Central College and other generous sponsors. General admission tickets are $40.

bike-project-2September 14 / Pat Benton has invited David Gorman to be our speaker with a presentation about “Bikes for Lesotho.” During Rotary Ride in 2015 and 2016, our club collected gently-used bikes for the initiative that is also promoted by the Rotary Club of Naperville/Sunrise.

P.S. Anyone with a gently-used bike can drop it off during regular business hours at Naperville Bank & Trust, located at Benton and Washington streets in downtown Naperville. All bikes, even parts, can benefit the local bike shop and folks in the African village.

***September 17 / Naperville Sunrise Rotary’s annual Harvest Moon party slated from 7PM to 11PM on Sat., Sept. 17.  The event this year at Naper Settlement raises funds for international projects around the world. A limited number of advance tickets are available for $40 per person at  If any tickets remain, they will be available at a premium price at the door.

water-street-river-storageSeptember 21 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Riverwalk Commission Chairman Geoff Roehll (also a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville/Sunrise) to give us an update of the Riverwalk during its 35th year as the community’s natural treasure. In addition, Geoff will give us a glance of what to expect at the 4th Annual Naper Lights at Naper Settlement hosted by Rotary/Sunrise during the holiday season. (Please note that Penick serves on the Riverwalk Commission as liaison for the Riverwalk Foundation. Geoff is the one who had the idea for folks to write 35-word memories about the Riverwalk to help commemorate the 35th year.)

P.S. Geoff Roehll provided a picturesque overview of the history of the Riverwalk as well as a look into its future development to connect with a North Central College park next to Burger King as well as extending the path to Martin Avenue. During the Q&A, the Water Street Project along the DuPage River between Main and Webster streets, expected to be completed early in 2017, and its underground storm water storage attracted lots of interest as it relates to the Riverwalk.

***September 26 / From District Governor Ronald J. Broida / District 6450 (Greater Chicagoland) is working with the Rotary District Governors in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Rotarians are conducting a needs assessment for more than 160,000 homes, businesses and other buildings across 20 Louisiana parishes devastated by floods. The Task Force is organizing a small group of fellow Rotarians to facilitate the process of communicating the needs, coordinating the inflow of donations, setting logistics for working with suppliers to maximize the effectiveness of our support, and function as the interface with the affected districts. All funds from clubs and individuals are welcome. Send funds to: Rotary Club of Hinsdale Foundation, P.O. Box 395, Hinsdale, IL  60522-0395. Note “Louisiana Flood Relief” in the memo of the check. For more info, click here.

naish-and-bob-rossSeptember 28 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Bob Ross, Chief Operating Officer for School District 203, to talk to our club about lending voices as residents and business owners to a survey that aims to learn what our community thinks about the yearly school calendar as well as school start and end times. School District 203 seeks help to optimize student learning and better serve its families. The 10-minute survey will be launched on Oct. 4, available through Oct. 18, at Ross is looking for our club to ask good questions.

***September 29 / Three-Club Member-Guest Naperville Rotary Golf Outing is slated for Thurs., September 29. at Springbrook Golf Course, Naperville (estimated start time 11 AM / Finish at 4:30PM). After golf, dinner will be served at Aurelio’s pizza at 5PM. Cost per person / guests and other details are available here.

October 5 / Club Assembly Day! Prez Naish Shah encourages every member to set aside this date for Part II of the club’s strategic plan.The first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the Club Assembly. Club Assemblies are opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service.

rotary-rachelOctober 12 / Tony Chirico has arranged for an educational program with a presentation by Kenn Miller and Rachel Ossyra to enlighten the club about Naperville-Aurora Residents for Lower Taxes, a.k.a. an initiative labeled NARFLT. The November 8 Ballot will include two questions regarding lowering taxes and consolidating road service departments (with a proposed intergovernmental agreement or IGO) as a way to achieve more efficient government. The presentation provided information to help educate community members about the pros and cons of voting “yes” or “no” for the questions that impacts both Naperville and Aurora residents in Naperville Township. For more info, visit

***October 16 / New event hosted by Rotary Club of Naperville: Rotary Festiville, 1-5PM Sun., Oct. 16, at Top Golf.

sullivan-2October 19 / Jeff Davis has arranged for School District 204 Superintendent Karen Sullivan to present a program, “Impact of Technology in our classrooms and beyond.” Allan Davenport, District 204 Director of Instructional Technology will join her in the presentation.

P.S. Beginning the presentation with an overview of a few facts about School District 204, Rotary members were introduced to the ever-evolving ways students are using technology with the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in a school district that can boast multiple Grammy Awards. With more questions than time available to address them all, School District 204 Superintendent Karen Sullivan and Allan Davenport will return at another time for Part II of the very enlightening and timely program, complete with the 2016 variety of HAL.

October 26 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Loren Michaels Harris to present a program titled, “The Importance of Understanding Your Never Ending Story.”  Loren is a survivor of the foster care system who says his only source of continual healing from the scars of foster care comes from addressing the need for better protection of all children. This program is certain to link to other informative programs that have been presented to us such as “Connect for Life” and Project H.E.L.P.

P.S. Rotarians experienced a very compelling presentation by a 54-year-old man at home with his powerful story, one that needs to be told over and over—with or without the video introduction. (Unfortunately, the video hookup did not connect, but Loren still landed on his feet with an engaging talk.) The trials and tribulations that have contributed to the strength of character and Loren’s determination live an incredible story of surviving one birth mother, one adoptive mother, and 20 foster mothers.

November 2 / Club Assembly Day! The first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the Club Assembly. Club Assemblies are opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service.

***November 8 / General Election Day! Polls are open 6AM-7PM. Remember the words of Plato: “One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

neil-rotary-ben-quoteNovember 9 / Naish Shah has scheduled Neil Samuels who will present Deepening Our Conversations through Intentional Listening.” An expert in the field of Appreciative Inquiry, Neil served as adjunct faculty at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. He has published in the education, management and organizational development fields in the US and UK and has presented his work at the Academy of Management, the National Safety Council Congress and the International Conference on Appreciative Inquiry. He also  founded his own consulting firm, Profound Conversations, in 2006 to help leaders re-discover their strengths, clarify their commitments and fundamentally change their conversations. He believes that conversations characterized by depth and intensity lead to successful, lasting change. Neil lives in Naperville, Illinois where he serves on the board of Project HELP, a non-profit dedicated to preventing child abuse through parent education and mentoring. In addition to his board duties, Neil works one-on-one with families and was recently named the National Exchange Club Parent Mentor of the Year. (Note: Our club recently approved a grant for Project HELP.)

***November 11 / Veterans Day / Take a moment to pause and reflect at 11AM Friday, November 11, or simply remember to observe “11-11-11.” An annual observance is held at Veterans Park. Thanks to all who have served.

November 16 /  Chuck Corrigan arranged for Randy Smith, a teacher at Naperville Central High School, to present the program about the Illinois Global Scholar initiative that he and fellow teacher Seth Brady developed for students in Illinois. (Update! On Dec. 8, 2016, Brady and NCHS were awarded a grant of $100,000 for the program by Farmers Insurance.)

November 23 / No Meeting! Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25 – January 1, 2017 / 4th Annual Naper Lights hosted by Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise at Naper Settlement. (Thursday thru Sunday evenings.)

julie-carlsenNovember 30 / Naish Shah has arranged for Julie Carlsen Director of Community Relations from Naperville District 203 to be our guest speaker to address parallels between the Rotary Avenues of Service and the work of a school district.  Julie will share more about the coordination of our Naperville D203 volunteer organizations to support and sustain quality education – particularly how Rotarians can engage in vocational service to prepare students for college and career readiness.

December 7 / Club Assembly Day! The first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the Club Assembly. Club Assemblies are opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service.

P.S. During this month’s Club Assembly as members were discussing recent grants and future gifts (and in the spirit of the holiday season), Nancy Nyberg mentioned a way to present a poetic gift list of four items. Simply remember “Something you want. Something you need. Something to wear. Something to read.”  Thanks for reading!

December 14 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Rachel Ossyra (Rotary Club of Naperville, Public Relations Director, and District 6450 Grants Committee Chair) to give our club a presentation about her six international service trips to Africa (often two weeks at a time) where clean water, healthcare and education have been the focus and greatest needs.

December 21 / Holiday Sing-a-long and Trivia Fun! Oh, Boy! Oh, Boy! Oh, Boyajian returns! Jimbo and his ho, ho, holiday spirit will lead us in song and a silly seasonal quiz to test our memories. Dress appropriately for comfort and joy! Be prepared to chime in to the festivities. Cheers!

December 28 / Happy Holidays! No meeting between Christmas and New Year’s. Cheers!

***Another Rotary Semester wraps up. Dues are due now and by January 31, 2017.

Second Semester – 2016-2017 Rotary Year /  Dues are due by January 31, 2017. 

January 4 / Club Assembly Day! Happy New Year! The first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the Club Assembly. Club Assemblies are opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service.

January 11 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Taylor Fauley, president, pilot, editor and producer of Diamond Head Productions, to talk to us about his business that took flight via NaperLaunch at Nichols Library, in partnership with the Naperville Development Partnership. Taylor is a Naperville resident.

P.S. During an engaging program, Taylor Fauley presented a variety of applications that he uses with his drones, including photography at industrial construction sites. Fauley also presented a video of Naperville restaurants that included images of the Riverwalk produced for the Naperville Development Partnership and another one featurin the 2016 Noon Lions Club Turkey Trot 5K.

January 18 / Chuck Corrigan has arranged for Gina Zager to present a program about the impact of our club’s recent grant to Todd Early Childhood Center in West Aurora. In addition, ECC Principal Laurie Klomhaus will inform our members about the programs and opportunities the school offers young students and their families.

P.S. During its last 2016 cycle of “Giving,” Rotary Downtown presented a $1,000 grant to Todd Early Childhood Center for the purchase of boots and shoes for the students. With assistance from Mary Corrigan and Gina Zager, Laurie Klomhaus (center) provided an inspiring program about the work being accomplished for the young students as they prepare for elementary school. The cup is filled with “Pennies for Pasta,” another story of giving that the young students have embraced.

January 25 / Naish Shah has arranged for Jenna Saldaña to present a program about Project Amigo where she serves as Executive Director. She’s also an active member of the Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA. Amanda Stiberth of St. Charles volunteers with Project Amigo and also will attend. Project Amigo is a nonprofit organization with a goal to support rural children living in poverty in Colima, Mexico, to achieve the education and skills they need to lift themselves and their families out of generations of poverty in order to build better and stronger communities.  It also provides safe hands-on service opportunities in Colima for Rotarians and their families. INFO:

***January 31, 2017 / Ding! Ding! Ding! Dues are due. Ding! Ding! Ding!

February 1 /  Board Meeting DayThe first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the Club Assembly. Club Assemblies are opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service.

February 8 / Jeff Davis has planned this week’s program presented by Kiyoko Czech, Community Manager, Relay For Life, American Cancer Society.

P.S. Kiyoko Czech provided a few stats (For instance, 1 of 3 women and 1 of 2 men in the United States would be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes.) as well as info about ongoing research, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and patient programs of the American Cancer Society. She provided a history of Relay for Life, one man’s idea that grew, noting Relay for Life is looking for a large Naperville venue that helps establish the annual walk around a track as a broader “community” event. Stay tuned!

February 15 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Michael Albrow to give a talk titled “Fermilab at 50 years: A National Treasure.” Recently retired from Fermilab, Mike is also a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville/Sunrise where a committee is collecting gently-used bikes of all sizes to restore and send to a village in Africa. (Bikes can be dropped off during business hours at Naperville Bank & Trust, Washington at Benton, in downtown Naperville.)

P.S. Mike Albrow shared lessons in physics and the attractive nature of Fermilab where the arts are celebrated among the bison and natural beauty to welcome visitors. His presentation included images from Batavia to Switzerland where a colorful photo of a humongous particle detector at CERN in Geneva ignited a big “Wow!” as Mike pointed out the man on the floor to provide a comparison to the size of the detector.

February 22 / Happy 10th Birthday to Rotary Club of Naperville / Downtown!

Nancy Nyberg and Nancy Quigley arranged a special evening and program at Hugo’s Frog Pond to begin at 5:30PM for the Annual Rotary Foundation Dinner. Charter members, no longer members, and other guests were welcome. To commemorate its 10th anniversary as well as the 100th birthday of the Rotary Foundation, the Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown honored six community members— Bryan Ogg, Pat Bowler, Jane DiGiovine, Tom Jordan, Tim Johnson and Brad Wilson— with Paul Harris Fellows. Other members recognized friends and family with the distinctive award. Thanks, Gary Baumgartner, 4:44 Foundation Chairman.

P.S. Rotarians Lynda Reilly and Mike Reilly named their daughters, Meg and Kate, as Paul Harris Fellows, an honor Rotarians can bestow with their ongoing support of the Rotary Foundation. Rotarian Meghan Moreno received her first Paul Harris Fellow, a result of her investment the Rotary Foundation via the Rotary Club of Naperville / Downtown. The Rotary Club of Naperville / Downtown is among a few Rotary Clubs worldwide in which every member is invested in the Rotary Foundation.

***February 28  / Primary Election Day! While Rotary is a nonpolitical, nonreligious humanitarian organization, the international group encourages its members to be civic-minded and educated. For a listing of all the candidates on the ballot in the Naperville Township Primary, running for a spot on the ballot in the April 4 Consolidated Election, visit “Meet and Greet the Candidates.”

March 1 / Jeff Davis has asked Scott Mitchell, Executive Director of the former Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Services, to present the program. Dr. Mitchell plans to talk about his organization’s new branding and new name, SamaraCare, which has been announced with new messaging. Surely to address a timely topic, the new messaging is needed to prevent the stigma related to seeking help and some of the trends professionals are seeing in the area of behavioral healthcare. Scott has participated in our meetings a number of times during our first decade, including being among our first presenters back in 2007 when we met at Sullivan’s Steakhouse.

March 8 / Stephanie Penick has invited Deputy Chief Jason Arres from the Naperville Police Department to show us the recently launched crime location map now accessible as public information via the city’s website. Deputy Chief Arres also will take questions about the city’s community policing and other public safety issues.

P.S. Deputy Chief Arres, six weeks into his current position with the NPD, presented the high-tech interactive crime map initiative begun last year when he was Commander/Public Information Officer, working with Jeff Anderson and the City’s IT department. The map, accessible around the clock, displays a legend of points to identify where crimes are committed. He emphasized that 90 percent of reported thefts in Naperville are the result of not locking cars. “Lock It or Lose It” is one of the city’s campaigns to raise awareness.

Moving on to drug-related challenges with heroin and other opioids as well as the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, Arres noted that officers in the NPD are provided with the drug Narcan, and they’re trained in its use to reduce the impact of a drug overdose. A year ago, the City launched a new program called “Connect for Life” to involve the community in education, prevention, support and enforcement. The NPD aims to reduce the number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses in Naperville by helping individuals seeking treatment for their addiction. Deputy Chief Arres emphasized the importance of helping the community learn about the program that already has saved lives. In fact, Connect for Life with new strategies and its team of Sobriety Coaches help individuals who can come to the Naperville Police Station to get the help they need, without fear of arrest. Community policing works because keeping Naperville safe is everybody’s responsibility. Arres emphasized the importance of calling the NPD whenever something is suspicious in your neighborhood. FYI: The RX Drop-Off at the Naperville Police Station and all 10 fire stations is where individuals can dispose of expired and unused prescription drugs, no questions asked.

***March 11 / At 8AM Rotary Sunrise will host the St. Paddy’s Day 5K, an annual run followed at 10AM by the West Suburban St. Patrick’s Parade on the streets of downtown Naperville. 4:44 Rotarian Nancy Quigley will serve as Grand Marshal of the 2017 WSI St. Patrick’s Parade. Sláinte! Many members of the Rotary Club of Naperville are dedicated members of the West Suburban Irish. Rotary 4:44 members also make up a team of trivia players who participate in monthly WSI Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub. This special St. Patrick’s Parade in Naperville has become a time-honored tradition, organized for friendship, fun and service every year with lots of Rotary connections as well as other Rotarians that have served as grand marshal, begorrah!

March 15 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Charles “Chip” Staley to present a program about Neuqua Valley’s Alive Inside Outreach program that involves 14 Neuqua Valley students as music detectives for seven elders at Naperville Senior Center. The former Neuqua Valley High School Fine Arts Department chairman, now retired, is working on some ground-breaking research that is sure to inspire, connect and open doors to the wonderful world of music.

P.S. Chip Staley introduced club members to and his Alive Inside Outreach program that provides teens and elders opportunities to work together and connect via their love for music. During March, gifted music students from Neuqua Valley High School met at the Naperville Senior Center to compile individual “playlists” for willing-to-participate elders receiving day care. In teams of two, the students interviewed the elders to learn their favorite music, then the selected songs were recorded onto memory cards and placed into headsets for each of the participants. Stay tuned for the rest of the story as it evolves!

March 22 / Stephanie Penick has arranged this week’s program featuring Heather Hutchison, Artistic Director, for Artful Impact! Known around town for her passion to showcase the power of the arts for all ages, Heather is putting together a presentation that’s sure to inspire via the innovative programs and talented performers she assists through the creative process. Stay tuned!

P.S. Heather Hutchison, Artistic Director for Artful Impact!, provided an overview of the programs she offers as the nonprofit business that works under the efforts of the School of Performing Arts, now in a new location at 1112 S. Washington Street. Artful Impact! is dedicated to making individuals stronger by empowering them through a wide range of arts experiences. Heather introduced the club to singer and guitarist Forrest Kellogg, an alumni of the SPECTRUM program and now Mentor and Counselor for SPECTRUM program, who entertained with a couple songs before he enlightened Rotarians about what he learned in the program. Several years ago, Forrest performed Impossible Dream on stage at The Wentz for Ignite the Nite, a fundraiser for KidsMatter. He is an amazingly talented young man.

March 29 / Stephanie Penick has planned this week’s program titled “Mega Trends Shaping Entrepreneurship in 2017.”  Martha Carney, Executive Director of ConVerge, North Central College’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will discuss emerging trends in innovation and entrepreneurship. The presentation will include the move of innovation enterprises from City Centers (such as 1871 in Chicago) to Community Hubs (such as ConVerge in Naperville); the positive spillover effect of community based entrepreneurs on local businesses; suburban co-working trends; and deeper integration of business and academics. (Since it’s spring break, bring guests to fill seats for members away for the week.)

P.S. ConVerge is up and running in downtown Naperville, distinguishing itself from an incubator. For new business ideas ConVerge aims to be an “accelerator.”

***April 4 / Illinois 2017 Consolidation Election Day! While Rotary is a nonpolitical, nonreligious humanitarian organization, the international group encourages its members to be civic-minded and educated. For a listing of all the candidates on the ballot, running to serve Naperville’s taxing bodies, including the binding questions voters will be requested to answer, visitMeet and Greet the Candidates.”

April 5 / Prez Naish Shah is planning this week’s program featuring Rotarian Eric Luedtke who became a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Mahomet, Illinois in 2001.  Eric’s passion in life is to be a servant to the poor and oppressed of the world.  For over 35 years, Eric has worked in faith based missions in India, Mexico, Nepal, Spain and Thailand.  For the last 18 years he has worked with slave children and women rescued from the sex slave trade in Nepal through his involvement in faith based missions and Rotary International. During these years, Eric has traveled sometimes twice every year to Nepal. These travels have taken him into the remote high villages of the Himalayan Mountains as wells as most of the lower regions of Nepal. His focus is to provide free education to poor/low caste/slave children, micro-financing and vocational training to the parents and women rescued from the sex slave trade.  This initiative is giving them a voice in their future and a means to escape the slavery of society they would have otherwise been a prisoner to for life. In addition to this work, Eric has been involved in the rescue efforts after the massive earthequake in Nepal in 2015. Eric is a wonderful speaker who has inspired hundreds of Rotarians at multiple Rotary District and Club over the years.. Board Meeting Day! The first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the meeting.

P.S. Jeffrey Mitchell from the Rotary Club of Westmont was attracted to the meeting when Eric Luedtke informed of about his initiatives in Nepal. As is customary when Rotarians attend each other’s meetings, Eric and Prez Naish exchanged Rotary banners representing their clubs.

April 12 / Jeff Davis is planning this week’s program about immigration. He’s invited Kyle A. Knapp, Attorney at Law with Law Offices A.E. Gustafsson, P.C., whose practice concentrates on the subject.

P.S. With a compelling presentation based on the facts, definitions and the law as currently written, Knapp’s story about his practice of experiences concentrating on immigration truly was educational. The excellent speaker certainly was well-versed on this timely topic, drawing clear distinctions between Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visas as well as other terms tossed around in today’s news. Most members left the meeting mindful of the challenges faced by this land of the free.

April 19 / Prez Naish Shah is planning this week’s special program as the club welcomes three new members. (It’s customary to give potential new members time to get to know our club, typically 6-8 weeks, and to see if the time of weekly meetings is convenient. Membership is never rushed to give interested guests welcomed time to be sure the 4:44 meeting schedule is a good fit as members are missed when unable to attend.)

P.S. Three cheers for three new members who were inducted together on April 19, 2017, marking a milestone as the most members to join at one time since the Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown was chartered with 25 members a decade ago in February 2007. Welcome Mary Corrigan, Beth Cerne and Anthony Yeboah, pictured here with Prez Naish Shah and Membership Chairwoman Nancy Nyberg, center.

April 26 / Jeff Davis has arranged this week’s program featuring a presentation by Dr. Laura Bokar. Laura is President/CEO of Fox Valley Institute for Growth and Wellness in Naperville and has been an individual, marital/couple and family therapist for more than two decades. Virtual Reality used in therapy will be the topic.

P.S. Dr. Laura Bokar provided an overview of the growth and development of the Fox Valley Institute, a business she started more than 20 years with one therapist, herself. After her presentation, members were given a chance to put on headphones and goggles to try “virtual reality experiences.” One of the programs available at the meeting aims to help individuals with a fear of heights. Another was to help with relaxation. Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy can treat phobias, fears, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and all all types of emotional behaviors. According to Dr. Bokar, Virtual Reality environments also provide techniques to practice mindfulness and more.

***May 2 / Team 4:44 meets at 7PM to play trivia at West Suburban Irish Quiz Night at Quigley’s irish Pub. Look for email to see who is organizing the 8-member team for May.

May 3 / Board Meeting Day! This week Prez Naish Shah has arranged guest speaker Bill Popp, a member of the Rotary Club in Romeoville. Bill is doing some great work (alongside Dr. Mike Searcy) by conducting “Fear No More” programs in many areas. The program empowers children and women through self-defense training in schools and businesses. It elevates the community by preventing violence in schools, homes and public places. (The first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the meeting. Sometimes these meetings are Club Assemblies, opportunities for members to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service.)

May 10 / Jeff Davis has arranged this week’s program featuring a presentation by Gary Leavenworth about special programs for seniors. He will address the new Ride Assist Naperville initiative, aka RAN, as well as Singing for Seniors, a musical performance that will be held this year on Sat., Oct. 21. Stay tuned.

P.S. Gary Leavenworth was joined by Bev Frier and Karen Courney, the two women who initiated the Senior Task Force where they helped to identify that transportation for seniors to get to and from area medical appointments is an unmet need in Naperville. Now in progress, RAN provides affordable ($12 per ride) and dependable transportation (all drivers are fully screened and insured volunteers) by appointment for folks who apply. For more information and/or to help spread the word, call (630) 864-3087. The photo is from the first official Ride Assist Naperville trip to an local hospital!

May 17 / Ron Nyberg and Nancy Nyberg have arranged this week’s program. DuPage Children’s Museum Executive Director Sarah Orleans will return to bring us up-to-date about the museum as it nears its 30th anniversary celebration. For 30 years the DuPage Children’s Museum has been inspiring the potential of all children through hands-on exploration. Packed with innovative ways to explore art, math, and science, the DCM encourages curiosity, creativity, and problem solving for young visitors and will celebrate with adults during its annual gala on June 17.

P.S. Among other things, DuPage Children’s Museum Executive Director Sarah Orleans gave Rotarians a team-building opportunity by table to play with pipe cleaners! The teams competed to create the tallest structure.

Grants also were presented to 360 Youth Services and Family Shelter Service.

May 24 / Stephanie Penick has invited landscape designer Andy Howard from Hitchcock Design Group to talk to us about some of his attractive ideas for outdoor enjoyment in public places. Andy’s presentation is titled “The Power of Play Spaces.”

In addition, Chip Staley returned so the club could present him with a grant for ArtSpeaks, a nonprofit organization that inspires the community to value and advocate for quality arts education. Previously Staley introduced club members to and his Alive Inside Outreach program that provides teens and elders opportunities to work together and connect via their love for music.The $1,000 grant will underwrite the cost of 30 headsets with memory cards of music playlists for senior citizens.

P.S. Andy Howard provided beautiful images of what can happen with well-designed elements in natural settings.

 May 31 / Jeff Davis has arranged for Phil Lebeau to return to give another presentation. Phil LeBeau is a reporter for CNBC who is often featured in the financial segments on morning TV. At CNBC he primarily reports on the automotive sector and airline industry.

P.S. Phil Lebeau welcomed Q & A from the get-go, answering a wide ranges of questions, including what it’s like to cover the President of the United States and the latest in what’s driving technological innovations in the auto industry. Other topics among many addressed were battery recycling, electric cars that talk to each other and the future of automobile dealerships.

***June 6 / Team 4:44 meets at 7PM to play trivia at West Suburban Irish Quiz Night at Quigley’s irish Pub. Look for email to see who is organizing the 8-member team for June. (Note: West Suburban Irish Quiz Night does not meet in July or September.)

June 7 / Board Meeting Day! The first meeting of the month usually includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month immediately following the meeting. Sometimes these meetings are Club Assemblies, opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service. And so it is scheduled this week. Community Service Director Pat Benton (Grants Chair, too) will present our Grants Process and history. It could be an opportunity to encourage all members to submit grant applications. He’ll likely highlight some of our more unique grants and take time for Q&A. In addition, Prez Naish will present progress on our club goals and strategic plan, and that’ll wrap up the agenda for our club assembly.

P.S. Rotarian guests from India exchanged Rotary Club banners with Prez Naish Shah as is customary when Rotarians visit other clubs around the world.


***June 10-14 /  Rotary International Convention will be held in Atlanta, June 10-14, 2017. Prez Naish Shah, Past-President Chuck Corrigan and Mary Corrigan are attending. Some 40,000 Rotarians from around the world are expected. Bill Gates is scheduled to speak at the Opening Session of the RI Convention in Atlanta with another pledge and challenge match.
P.S. On Sat., June 10, Rotary Downtown received a photo of Mary Corrigan upon her arrival in Atlanta. Coincidentally, music and the mind as well as musical instruments in play spaces have been high on the club’s topic of interest this past year. (See program notes from March 15 and May 24.) Stay tuned!

June 14 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Mike Cooper to share his gift of gab and good humor. Mike will tell us about his hopes and aspirations for the Naperville Senior Center and Adult Day Care Services, a business he runs with his wife. (FYI: Mike’s business connects to ArtSpeaks, a recent recipient of one of our club’s grants that provides ways for high school students and elders to exchange stories and create memories through music.)

P.S. Mike Cooper entertained with the history of his “dream” job in partnership with his wife that provides day care services for the elderly. This month, in addition to recognizing Alzheimer’s Awareness, their business is planning its 3rd Annual Relay for Life event on June 21. Cooper also serves to help promote RAN, Ride Assist Naperville, a recently-launched initiative that provides dependable and affordable transportation to and from doctors’ appointments for the senior community.

June 21 / Meghan Moreno has arranged a special program about the expansion of the Edward Cancer Center and she’ll tell us a little about her responsibilities with the success of the campaign. Since opening in 2005, the demand for services and space has grown at Edward Cancer Center. During this presentation, we’ll have an opportunity to learn from the professionals and doctors at Edward about the multi-phase expansion at Edward Hospital in Naperville where individual care and philanthropy top the list of needs.

P.S. Rotarian Meghan Moreno teamed up with Dr. Samir Undevia to tell their story. Dr. Undevia recounted his history and his practice that treats bone and soft tissue sarcomas as well as advanced and metastatic tumors of all types for which conventional chemotherapy has been met with new challenges. The presentation enlightened the group about advances in cancer care that are available at Edward, a nonprofit institution with slim margins. As Chuck Corrigan mentioned, the medical education with Q&A came at a time of calm without the pressures of what to do now when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer.

In addition, Prez Naish Shah welcomed the club’s newest member, Mike Havala, President & CEO of Loaves & Fishes Community Services. During our club assembly on Aug. 2, Mike will provide his profile and an update for our club about what’s new at the nonprofit organization he leads.

June 28 / Installation Dinner for members and guests ($60 dinner includes sangria/wine/beer) at Meson Sabika. Prez Naish Shah will turn the gavel over to Kevin McQuillan and a new board will assume its duties of service for the Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown.

Thanks to all!


banner-pass-rotary-7-15Oh, what a year in Rotary! 2015-2016

Here are some meeting notes with photos from July 2015 through June 2016. Thanks to all who arranged such good speakers and enlightening programs during 4:44’s ninth year!

Watch for new program info to be listed as it’s arranged by members of the 4:44 Rotary. Whenever traveling to visit another Rotary Club, remember to take a Rotary-Downtown banner to exchange in fellowship.

***The next Rotary International Convention will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, June 10-14. Registration for the convention is now in progress.

July 2015

July 1 / Stephanie Penick arranged for Bill Epp, Chairman of the Naperville Riverwalk Commission, to update our group about future plans for development along the DuPage River as well as how the volunteer commissioners keep track of maintaining the award-winning linear park, often referred to as the city’s “crown jewel.”

(Rotary Ride Committee meeting scheduled to meet from 6-6:30PM July 1 was changed to 6PM Tues., June 7.)

From District 6450! Here are a few quick notes on some upcoming events and activities sent from District Governor Osei David Andrews-Hutchinson in early July. Note: The District Governor is making the Rotary rounds, scheduled to address 4:44Rotary on Sept. 16. Save the date!

July 8 – Welcome a NEW CLUB to RI District 6450! – MONTGOMERY!!!!
July 10-12 – Central States Rotary Youth Exchange Conference in Grand Rapids, MI
July 20 – 1st Board of Directors Meeting of the 2015-16 Rotary Year
July 22 – 1st Leadership Team + Assistant Governors Meeting
August 4 – Rotary (District 6450) Family Fun Night at The White Sox (White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays)  Tickets are ONLY $22 and all proceeds from tickets go to END POLIO NOW!  Treat a Veteran for $30, and they get a meal at the game!

geodesic-dome-homeJuly 8 / Stephanie Penick arranged for Bryan Ogg, Curator of Research at Naper Settlement, to return for another engaging history talk. This time the topic addressed “Teardown” (noun and verb) with an update of other happenings at the 19th century outdoor history museum. One of the houses destined to be demolished is the geodesic dome home along Oswego Road. Bryan also wrote a recent column, “Why That Little House Matters,” an enlightening story that provides additional information about house history in Naperville.

krisna-bansalJuly 15 /  Rotary Downtown member Krishna Bansal talked to us about the India Independence Day Flag Raising on Aug. 15, an annual event that will be followed by the first India Day parade and a festival in Central Park on Aug. 16.  He also provided background on his efforts to lead the Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board for the City of Naperville as well as a similar initiative in Aurora. 

(Rotary Ride Committee meeting at 6-6:30PM was postponed.)

July 22 / The monthly Club Assembly with Board Meeting will be held beginning at 4:30PM. These once-a-month meetings held on the fourth Wednesday are geared toward members only. No special speaker/program will be featured. Rotary/Downtown member Naish Shah will present the new Rotary Global Rewards program during our club assembly.

rotary-speakerJuly 29 /  Stephanie Penick has arranged for Naperville resident William Crawford to talk about his best-selling book, “Justice Perverted.” While trying to coordinate this date for Pulitzer Prize-winning Crawford to present his compelling story, he said, “Your listeners will hear a yarn that is unbelievable." 

(Rotary Ride Committee meets 6-6:30PM.)

August / Rotary Theme:  Membership and Extension Month 

August 4 / Rotary (District 6450) Family Fun Night at The White Sox (White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays)  Tickets are ONLY $22 and all proceeds from tickets go to END POLIO NOW!  Treat a Veteran for $30, and they get a meal at the game!

August 5 /  Mike Reilly has arranged this date for Congressman Bill Foster to visit with a “Washington Update.” The scientist and businessman represents the 11th Congressional District of Illinois. He previously served from March 2008 until January 2011 as the Representative of the Illinois 14th Congressional District. Foster is the only physicist in Congress. (Rotary Ride Committee meets 6-6:30PM.)

goodbyepolioAugust 9 / The 19th Annual Naperville Rotary Ride ($50) will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown. The bike ride, open to all cyclists of all skill levels, will begin and end at Commissioners Park on 111th Street. One of the beneficiaries will be Polio Plus, an initiative to end polio worldwide. Two local organizations, Naperville CARES and Naperville Responds for Our Veterans also will benefit from funds raised from Rotary Ride. Watch for complete details coming soon.

August 12 / Mike Reilly who originally arranged for State Representative Grant Wehrli to be our speaker will reschedule Rep. Wehrli’s visit due to a session in Springfield. Meanwhile, Chuck Corrigan did an admirable job in booking Chad Pedigo, Special Event Manager for Bridge Communities.  Bridge Communities serves homeless families in DuPage County with mentoring, housing, and supportive services.

Rotary-4842-August-12,-2015-EditAugust 19 / Jeff Davis has scheduled Debbie Mossburg to speak about “Bike Bald” Cycling for Childhood Cancer Awareness. She’ll also share her experiences as a outbound Rotary Exchange student.

Check out Rotary Ride (click here) photos. Attend the Wrap Up Meeting on Aug. 19. Three cheers and thanks to all for a successful ride & fundraising event!

August 26 / The monthly Club Assembly with Board Meeting will be held beginning at 4:30PM. These once-a-month meetings held on the fourth Wednesday are geared toward members only. No special speaker/program will be featured.

September 2015  / Rotary Theme: Basic Education and Literacy Month

September 2 / Patti Powers has arranged for Mike Mayse, Executive Director of IMD Guest House, to speak to us about a respite home he founded. For info, visit IMD Guest House | Mission.

September 9 / Tony Chirico has arranged for attorney Paul Simon to present a most informative program about business mediation training.

rotary-district-6450September 16 /  District Governor Osei David Andrews-Hutchinson will address our club during his official visit for Rotary District 6450.

For the District Governor’s complete schedule as he travels around the district known as the “Birth place of Rotary since 1905, visit Rotary District 6450. 

News update from District Governor! Congratulations to Robert C. Knuepfer, Jr., past governor for our district, who has been selected to serve as a director for the Rotary International Board for Rotary years 2017-2019.

September 23 /  Tony Chirico has arranged for Mayor Steve Chirico to present the program. Please plan to stay a few minutes longer than our usual hour to accommodate a shift in timing and Q & A. Thanks.

Rotarians and future Rotarians welcomed Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico (second from left) to Wednesday’s meeting. Chirico provided an enlightening overview of his experiences and challenges since May 3 when he and the new City Council were seated. Thanks to trivia-minded Chuck Corrigan (back right) club members also learned that the first Naperville mayor was not Joseph Naper. Cheers!

September 30 / Due to some jockeying of schedules, the monthly Club Assembly with Board Meeting will be held beginning at 4:30PM. Prez Mike Reilly reports that Pres. Elect Naish Shah will preside over this meeting as Prez Reilly will be vacationing in Europe. Pending grants will be presented. Pat Benton will provide the necessary info but he will not be at the meeting as he will be out East to see Pope Francis.

October 2015 / Economic and Community Development Month

rotary-phil-lebeauOctober 7 /  Jeff Davis has booked Naperville resident Phil LeBeau, a Correspondent with CNBC  First in Business Worldwide.  He will be speaking on the automobile industry and will take questions.

P.S. This presentation by Phil LeBeau proved to be excellent with plenty of forward thinking news about the auto industry, including first-hand experiences with autonomous cars, fast-developing technology and the Google car. In addition, LeBeau noted that the technology is way ahead of rules of the road. Be prepared!

skeet-with-labelOctober 14 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Certified Arborist Skeet from Care of Trees, also a Naperville resident, to return with more good advice about trees and landscaping. This time the title of his program will be “How a Certified Arborist Prepares for Winter.” Skeet also will provide a much-valued Q&A. Please be prepared with questions.

P.S. This program proved to be extremely enlightening as Skeet stressed the importance of reading labels on items kept in containers in the garage. (Everybody failed the test of ingredients on the wiper fluid bottle, some harmful to your health!) Yes. Skeet knows about things other than the care of trees to keep us safe.

rotary-bill-novackOctober 21 / For a timely discussion consistent with the Rotary theme of “Economic and Community Development Month,” Stephanie Penick and Jeff Davis have arranged for Bill Novack, Director of Transportation Engineering and Development for the City of Naperville, to provide an overview of T.E.D. and other notes of interest.

P.S. Bill Novack’s presentation provided a history of T.E.D. as the City of Naperville department has developed since 2001. Back then, Peter Burchard was City Manager when resources were realigned to place all civil and traffic engineering functions and planning, building and development functions under a single work group. T.E.D. also provides the administration and management of engineering, transportation and development projects and services within the City, ensuring that infrastructure maintenance and expansion enhances the environment and quality of life throughout the community. Novack appears at City Council meetings, workshops and Planning & Zoning meetings, Riverwalk Commission meetings and then some.

October 23 / Third Annual World Polio Day! Several members of Rotary 4:44 visited Rotary International on Oct. 22, 2015, to help heighten awareness to End Polio Now. The story is posted (click here) online with additional photos. We’re “this close!”


October 28 / The monthly Club Assembly with Board Meeting will be held beginning at 4:30PM. These once-a-month meetings held on the fourth Wednesday are geared toward members only and are designed to address Rotary-specific information. No special speaker/program will be featured.

November 2015 / Rotary Foundation Month

rena-naper-settlement-2031November 4 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Rena Tamayo- Calabrese, President and CEO of Naper Settlement / Naperville Heritage Society, to return to talk more about history and the city’s outdoor  museum village located in the heart of Naperville.

P.S. In 2031, Naperville will celebrate its first 200 years. Meanwhile, on behalf of stories told at Naper Settement, Rena provided a glimpse of the more recent focus at the historic city museum that features the 20th and 21st centuries. Today’s stories include liberty (conflict and equality), welfare (risk and innovation), defense (bravery and sacrifice) and tranquility (diligence and legacy) as Naperville approaches its milestone.

November 11 / Special Presentation of Community Service Grants with gratitude to sponsors for supporting 2015 Rotary Ride.

jane-DiGiovineP.S. This special meeting provided a chance to express appreciation to the sponsors of the 2015 Rotary Ride in memory of Carmine DiGiovine. In addition, Community Service Director Pat Benton presented gifts of $3,500 to Janet Derrick of Naperville CARES and Teresa Ryan who accepted on behalf of Jack Persin for Naperville Responds for Our Veterans. Earlier a gift had been presented to End Polio Now (See above photo posted on Oct. 22, 2015). Sponsors recognized were Jane DiGiovine (Pictured above with Pat Benton and Kevin McQuillin); Tim Johnson, DiGiovine, Hnilo, Jordan & Johnson, Ltd.; Ray Jones, Friedrich Jones; Bill Hayes, Esser Hayes; Lou Petritz, First Community Bank, Tom Miers, Naperville Bank & Trust; Amanda Zienty, Fair Oaks Ford; Doug Gerald, Gerald; Will & Kathy Gillett; Teresa Ryan, Ryan Hill Reaty; Ron Nyberg, Nyberg & Cassioppi; Naish Shah for Polio Plus; Tim Penick, Positively Naperville; Adam Leroy, Janor Sports; Dan Casey, Casey’s Foods; and Nancy Quigley, Quigley’s Irish Pub.

4:44 Rotarian Jeff Davis will be chairman of the 20th Naperville Rotary Ride, slated for Sun., Aug. 14, 2016.  Save the date!

November 18 / Jeff Davis has arranged for Susan Rasmus and Jason Altenbern to present a program about the Indian Prairie Education Foundation in School District 204.


P.S. Susan Rasmus, Executive Director of the Indian Prairie Education Foundation, provided a history of the IPEF since 1982, citing how the privately funded foundation has contributed to the Grammy-winning music and arts programs that are now celebrated in the school district. In addition, the presentation included the more recent focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and ways to engage elementary and middle school students in robotics and computer coding. (Link to recent story in the news about the program) During the program, Jason Altenbern, Community Relations for District 204, thanked the 4:44 Rotary for its $1,500 donation last year, helping to “re-purpose” 505 used notebook computers that “brought hope to more than 500 kids” without a home computer. School District 204 Superintendent Karen Sullivan also attended the meeting.

November 18 / Rotary District 6450 Foundation Dinner, 6-9PM at the Abbington in Glen Ellyn. The district will recognize and celebrate the Foundation and the generosity of our clubs and members throughout the last year. Chuck Corrigan planned to attend on behalf of 4:44.

November 21 / 4:44 Rotarian Naish Shah will return to Tucson to participate in the bike ride, Miles to End Polio. Thanks for supporting his ride with the team led by General Secretary John Hewko from Rotary International. All donations will be matched and matched again by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

P.S. The 2015 El Tour de Tucson is history! Congratulations to Naish for completing the 104-mile El Tour de Tucson with the Miles to End Polio Rotary International Team for the second time! According to the Tucson News, the 2015 race was a photo finish 3:54:59.72 vs 3:54:59.90. And after nearly 10 hours & five minutes, 2,458 cyclists had finished the perimeter ride around Tucson, Arizona. Thanks, Naish, for representing Naperville and 4:44 Rotary well!

November 25  / NO MEETING!  Happy Thanksgiving!  (Typically, the monthly Club Assembly with Board Meeting is held beginning at 4:30PM. These once-a-month meetings held on the fourth Wednesday are geared toward members only. No special speaker/program will be featured.) It’s long been a 4:44 tradition not to meet on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day.

November 26 – January 1, 2016 / Rotary Club of Naperville / Sunrise (our club’s sponsor back in 2007) will host its 3rd Annual Naper Lights. This year’s bright idea of colorful and whimsical holiday displays will return to Naper Settlement, Thursdays through Sundays, beginning Thanksgiving Day.

December 2015 / Disease Prevention and Treatment Month

connerDecember 2 / Chuck Corrigan has arranged for Conor Cunneen to return! The President of the National Speakers Association – Illinois Chapter (and a well-regarded speaker, author and business humorist) will tell us “What Mark Twain Can Learn You ‘bout Public Speakin’,” based on Conor’s new book. This is sure to be a fun program that will have you laughing and learning.

P.S. By the end of the meeting, Conor Cunneen had offered entertaining history about Samuel Clemens’ connections to Ireland as well as good public speaking advice in terms of M.A.R.K. T.W.A.I.N. And everyone had had a few much-appreciated laughs provided by the Irishman who has a way with words.


December 7 / Prez Mike Reilly announced that the slate of officers for 2016-2017 had been approved by the club: President / Naish Shah; President-Elect, Vocational Services / Kevin McQuillan; Vice-President, Rotary Ride Chairman / Jeff Davis; Treasurer, Tony Chirico; Immediate Past President, Secretary, Mike Reilly; Membership Chairman, Nancy Nyberg; Foundation Chairman / Gary Baumgartner; Sergeant at Arms / Nancy Quigley; Community Service Director / Pat Benton; International Service / Vasavi Chakka; Club Service, Administration Rotary Ride / Chuck Corrigan; PR, Newsletter, Programs / Stephanie Penick;  New Generations, Youth Chairman / Neal Cerne.

December 9 / Chuck Corrigan again will introduce Bagus Unggul Pranoto, our Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Bandung, Indonesia, a frequent guest since August. This time Unggul will be the program, teaching us a few things we don’t know about his home country, Indonesia, and sharing some of his experiences as an exchange student as he approaches the end of the first half of his visit. He also will display some of the photography that he has done both in Indonesia and here on his visit.

exchange-studentP.S. Leo LeSage attended the Rotary Youth Exchange presentation and later wrote: “About a year ago, in a meeting at my house, we discussed restarting a Rotary Youth Exchange program in Naperville. In subsequent meetings it was decided that we should go ahead with resuming a youth exchange program, and it was agreed that it should be a joint program of the three Naperville Rotary clubs. As you all know, we applied for and received an inbound student, Bagus Unggul Pranoto, from Indonesia.  He has been hosted for the first half of the year by Chuck and Mary Corrigan, and Chuck and Becky Anderson Wilkins will be his second host family.  Bagus speaks good English, and he is a very nice and well-liked young man. I believe Bagus’s time with us has been a very good experience for everyone involved.”

A planning meeting is planned at 7:30PM on Wed., Jan. 6, to discuss the future of the Naperville Rotary Youth Exchange program. Anyone, Rotarian or not, is welcome to learn more. For information, contact Leo LeSage at

December 15 / To receive big savings, register by December 15, 2015, for the Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea, May 28-June 1, 2016.***

snata-jimDecember 16 / Annual Holiday Party with trivia, music and caroling, caroling, caroling, caroling led by Jim Boyajian… Santa Jim returns with fun and frolic and some new twists in the spirit of the holidays with a chance for everybody to chime into the festivities.

P.S. The 9th annual sing-along from the songbook began with Deck the Halls and ended with Silent Night. The most contentious question in the trivia quiz was “What color are the berries on the mistletoe plant?” And the one trivia question that gets asked yearly is “From which country does the poinsettia plant originate?” Thanks also to Nancy Nyberg for the gift of homemade chocolate sauce.  Happy Holidays!

December 23 / NO MEETING!  Christmas Holiday Break.


December 30 / (Reminder: Send Second Semester Member Dues.) NO MEETING!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 2016 / Vocational Service Month and the New Year is off and running!

January 6 / Nancy Quigley has arranged the program about a microfinancing coffee project in Honduras. Note: This meeting begins a change in board meeting schedule to the first Wednesday of the month that also will include a Club Assembly.

Note: A planning meeting is planned at 7:30PM on Wed., Jan. 6, 2016, to discuss the future of the Naperville Rotary Youth Exchange program. Anyone, Rotarian or not, is welcome to learn more. For information, contact Leo LeSage at

wehrli-&-connellyJanuary 13 / State Senator Mike Connelly will provide on update on what’s happening in Springfield. (Program pending. Stay tuned!)

P.S. When the first session of the Illinois Senate was scheduled to begin at noon, Jan. 13, 2016, in Springfield, Sen. Connelly figured he’d be unable to be back at Hugo’s in time for the Rotary/Downtown meeting at 4:44PM; therefore, he arranged for State Rep. Grant Wehrli to take his spot.  Thanks, Rep. Wehrli.

Senator Mike Connelly has agreed to reschedule his talk in the spring. Stay tuned. Guests always are welcome to 4:44 Rotary Downtown at Hugo’s Frog Pond in Main Street Promenade. Guest fees are $20 per person, including stimulating programs and refreshments.

judges-cerne-&-friendJanuary 20 / Neal Cerne has arranged a timely program that will feature the Hon. Robert E. Douglas and his personal experiences on the bench in DuPage County. In his fascinating bio, Judge Douglas notes that it will certainly not always be easy being a judge, “The law is the law, even if you do not always like what the law says.” … To Douglas, the law has a purpose and the orderly administration of that purpose is the laudable goal of the judiciary.

P.S. Judge Douglas provided a most engaging story with some of the ins and outs of whistle blowing that occurred back in the early 1990s regarding the Illinois Tollway.

January 27 / Neal Cerne has saved the date for a program regarding the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, consisting of two independent entities: The Judicial Inquiry Board and the Courts Commission. Longstanding JIB board member Ray McGury will enlighten us about the two organizations and how they are different and how they work in concert.

rotary-lawP.S.  With Prez Mike Reilly far left and Ron Nyberg far right, Judge Neal Cerne extended the hand of friendship to guest speaker Ray McCury, with gratitude for another compelling story about the state of Illinois.

February 2016 / Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month

February 3 / Note: This meeting includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month along with a Club Assembly.

February 10 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Naperville Township Veterans Advocate Mike Barbour to present a program titled “What you should know about the Veterans Administration.” The Veteran who served in the Army during Vietnam aims to bring us up to speed to help spread the word about the latest in services available to Veterans of all ages.

February 17 / Jeff Davis has requested this date for a program featuring a panel of seven, a group of professionals uniquely working together to assist seniors with their individual goals at retirement and daily needs. One member of the panel is a Rotarian from with the Rotary Club of Moraine Valley.


P.S.S. Also during the Feb. 17 meeting Ashley Penick presented her student violin to Nancy Quigley who will take the instrument to La Unión, Honduras, later this year. Several years ago, Rotary Downtown began supporting a micro-finance coffee growing business and one of the employees, Heather Farrell, also teaches violin lessons to students in one of the small schools. During a recent visit to update the 4:44 Rotary, mentioned the need for more violins. Thank you, Natalie Vitale for doing a brief story for NCTV-17.  Gently-used violins are now being collected for delivery.

February 19 / Lisa A. Pinto, President of Naperville Sunrise Rotary, has invited members from all Rotary Clubs of Naperville and their guests to an All-Rotary Party on Friday evening, Feb. 19, 2016, at Naperville Country Club. Save the date! Details will follow after the first of the year. UPDATE: Jan. 14! The cost is $25 per person. Let Mike Reilly know if you’ll be attending. Thanks a bunch.

February 24 / Paul Harris Annual Dinner & Charter Night Celebration / During this annual meeting, guests ($50 each) are encouraged as we enjoy dinner this year at Meson Sabika and a special program about the Rotary Foundation and more. This special all-inclusive dinner with program will begin with a cocktail hour at 5:30PM and run until about 8PM.

February 29 / It’s leap year! That means it’s also a Presidential Election Year! Plan to vote Tues., Nov. 8, 2016.

March 2016 / Water and Sanitation Month

lindsey-willhiteMarch 2 / Stephanie Penick has arranged for Lindsey Willhite, Director of Public Relations, for the Chicago Wolves, a professional ice hockey team founded in 1994, to share his sports story. The Chicago Wolves play in the Central Division of the Western Conference of the American Hockey League.  (Lindsey, a Naperville resident of Brookdale, spent 22 years at the Daily Herald covering every level of sports from the local high schools to the pros sports before his current position with the Wolves.)

P.S. Great program with historical perspective by Lindsey Willhite with connections to vintage Chicago Wolves memorabilia and a stash of unexpected gifts from Rotarian Kevin McQuillan.

disney-couple-&-bookMarch 9 / Pat Benton has arranged for RJ and Suzanne Ogern to make a presentation about their experience as Disney employees and the book they have written on the Magic Kingdom. Their book, “Together in the Dream,”  is available at Anderson’s Bookshop in downtown Naperville.

P.S. This fun program about a couple’s adventures working at Walt Disney World was a time to learn that most 4:44 Rotarians despise the annoying song, “It’s a Small World,” that resonates throughout the Disney ride located in Fantasyland. One thing we failed to do after Suzanne told us about all the Disney characters she’d portrayed in parades was to sing, “M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E.”

March 12 / Rotary Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K steps off at 8AM, followed at 10AM by the West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Parade! Think sunshine. Think green!

March 15 / Primary Election Day: Polls open 6AM to 7PM.

autism-rotary-kenn-2March 16 / In advance of World Autism Month in April when the Moser Tower will be illuminated in blue lights, Kenn Miller returns to update about progress related to the spectrum of autistic disorders that impact the nervous system in more males than females. The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely, creating needs not only for individuals on the spectrum, but their families.

P.S. Kenn Miller, Vice President and Community Relations for Autism Home Support Services, provided an enlightening program to help distinguish facts and myths of autism, including when “at home” services can assist families. (Kenn is a charter member of 4:44 and a past president who resigned when his commitments with AHSS took him away from Naperville on Wednesdays.)

March 23 / Note: This meeting includes a change in our once-a-month board meeting along with a Club Assembly. The club assembly topic will be an assessment of our club’s four annual scholarships awarded to single parents attending community colleges. Do we need to make any changes for the scholarship awards to pass our test, “Will funding make a difference and will funding fulfill an unmet need?” Pat Benton has arranged for Karen M. Kuhn, M.S., CFRE, Assistant Vice President, Development, College of DuPage, Interim Executive Director, College of DuPage Foundation to be our guest speaker. She’ll focus on the positive often overlooked during administrative changes featured in the media as well as address issues and concerns during Q&A. President Mike Reilly reminds us that club assemblies are geared toward members only. No guests, please. Thank you.

rotary-oneMarch 30 / Naish Shah has arranged for members from Rotary Chicago One, including Marga Hewko, to be our speakers. They will present information about their Global Grant to send medical equipment and supplies to Burkina Faso (formerly known as Upper Volta), a landlocked country in West Africa that is in great need.

Note: On Thurs., March 24, Chuck Corrigan emailed three proposed “Grants for International Projects” to our members that, if approved, could support grants proposed by three Rotary Clubs in District 6450. Please check your inbox for those grants and try to be familiar with all three prior to the presentation on March 30. All three grants will be reviewed and considered for approval by the board on April 6. As a charter member of 4:44, Chuck now serves as Rotary District 6450 Grants Subcommittee Chair – 2015-16. Our club is fortunate to have his dedication to Rotary on the district level, too. Thanks!

rotary-mikeMarch 31 / Save the date for this Rotary extra!  Rotary Club of Naperville celebrates its 75th Anniversary 6PM-11PM Thurs., March 31, at Embassy Suites in Naperville.  All Rotarians and guests are invited to festivities hosted by the first of three Rotary Clubs of Naperville. Cost: $75 per person.  (Rotary Club of Naperville was chartered in 1941, followed by “Sunrise” in 1991, then “Downtown” in 2007.)

P.S. State Sen. Mike Connelly, a member of Rotary 4:44 who gave our club a big shout out, attended the celebration to help honor the Rotary Club of Naperville and its 75-year milestone with recognition by the State of Illinois.

April 2016 / Maternal and Child Health Month

rotary-new-membersApril 6 / Note: This meeting includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month along with a Club Assembly.  Attendance is encouraged for all members as the club welcomes two new members to our roster! In addition, Chuck Corrigan also will lead us in an informative discussion and vote about funding grants for international projects. Thanks to all for making an effort to attend.

P.S. / During the meeting, President Elect Naish Shah and Membership Chair Nancy Nyberg welcomed two new members, Meghan Moreno and Adam Kotowski, both of whom had completed their requirements for membership in recent months. Welcome, Meghan and Adam!

In addition, after the two new members were installed, four grants—one for Project HELP in Naperville and three matching grants for international projects—were presented for review and approval. Subsequently, club members approved all four grants.

rotary-suzyn-price-&-friendsApril 13 / Suzyn Price has reserved this date for speakers to talk about live donor organ transplant. (Members may recall Suzyn’s friend Vincent Shavers, who attended a meeting with her last summer.) Vince’s donor, Rachel Koch, will speak about the experience. More details will follow as date nears.

P.S. Vincent Shavers and Rachel Koch joined forces to share their compelling story of friendship that began in childhood. According to Rachel, her close relationship with Vince was brought to a new level when she gave the gift of life, one of her kidneys, to her friend whose life was challenged by renal failure, more commonly known as chronic kidney failure. This program provided a chance for all of us to tell how kindness had touched each of our hearts.

NPD-Cunningham-RotaryApril 20 / Nancy Quigley has arranged for Naperville Police Department Deputy Chief Brian Cunningham to speak about Connect for Life, the City’s new drug prevention program to assist users seeking help.

(Note also, the Naperville Police Department and its innovative programs will be recognized during the annual CAPS Dinner on Thurs., May 12, hosted by Citizens Appreciate Public Safety in the Pavilion at Meson Sabika.)

And in the words of Naperville Crime Stoppers President Quigley, “Keeping our community safe is everybody’s responsibility. If you see something, say something.”

NPD-Brian-CunninghamP.S. NPD Deputy Chief Brian Cunningham presented the serious facts that drug overdoses kill more individuals than cars, guns and falling across the nation. He also said 90 percent of drug additions begin in the teen years, often with the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Adults and teens are misguided who think using prescription drugs to get high is safer than using street drugs. Last year officers in the NPD were provided with the drug Narcan, and they were trained in its use to reduce the impact of a drug overdose. In March, the City launched a new program called “Connect for Life” to involve the community in education, prevention, support and enforcement. Parent involvement is key, he said. Cunningham estimates about 75 percent of crime in Naperville is drug related. The new program already has helped prevent overdoses by individuals in their twenties and one 17-year-old. In fact, Connect for Life with new strategies and a 7-member team of Sobriety Coaches helped five individuals before the end of its first month in existence find professional help. Medications can be helpful – but also harmful or even fatal when taken in the dangerously high doses needed to “get high.” Cunningham also emphasized the success of the RX Drop-Off at the Naperville Police Station and all 10 fire stations where individuals can dispose of expired and unused prescription drugs, no questions asked. Our club will follow up with Cunningham.

Note also that on April 20, Jeff Davis has called the Rotary Ride Planning Committee to meet immediately following our meeting. The 20th Anniversary Rotary Ride is set for Sunday, Aug. 14. The website is up and running, ready to accept early-bird registration.

rotary-saybrookApril 27 / Suzyn Price has arranged for Todd Andrlik to speak about his book on the history and development of the Saybrook neighborhood. He did quite a bit of research and it is a wonderful and fascinating history of the neighborhood and Naperville. (Note: This program originally was posted for April 20.)

P.S. Todd Andrlik, a self-proclaimed news junkie, is an accomplished researcher who has written about newspapers during the Revolutionary War. Further, shortly after he moved to the Saybrook subdivision, he wrote the history of its development that began in 1966. Chuck George of CVG Design Group was the architect of Saybrook who later went on to design the first stages of the Naperville Riverwalk.

jubilee_letterApril 30 / His Holiness Pope Francis will officiate at a Mass to Rotarians at St. Peter’s Square, Rome, on April 30, 2016. According to K.R. Ravindran, Rotary International President, 8,000 seats will be reserved for Rotarians, as well as friends and family. For more information, visit the Jubilee of Rotarians website, which has been provided by District 2080.

May 2016 / Youth Service Month

May 4 / Note: This meeting includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month along with a Club Assembly. Club Assemblies are opportunities to exchange ideas regarding happenings in our club regarding the avenues of service that include community, international, club and vocational service.

chirco-brosMay 11 / Tony Chirico has arranged for Mayor Steve Chirico to be our featured speaker, the week after he marks his first year as Mayor of Naperville. Guests our welcome. Guest fees are $20, including refreshments and an informative program.

P.S. Mayor Steve Chirico provided a brief history of townships in Illinois, a unit of government established in 1849. Every township in Illinois is 36 square miles and roughly shaped like a square. Naperville is served by six townships: Naperville, Lisle, Wheatland, DuPage, Winfield and Milton. Naperville Township is the largest township serving Naperville, extending to portions of Aurora, Warrenville and Eola. Naperville Township is comprised of approximately 50,000 properties, 34,000 in Naperville. Editor’s Note: Of the 102 counties in Illinois, 17 currently do not have townships. The primary functions of townships in Illinois are road maintenance (in unincorporated areas) as well as general assistance and property assessment. Note that when members “went around the room” with introductions and time to answer to question, “What’s your favorite City service?” the most frequent answer was “garbage collection.” Most members lived in either Naperville or Lisle Township. None of the members lives in unincorporated Naperville.

rotary-patMay 18 / Pat Benton has invited Cindy Crosby to speak. She writes the a blog and is affiliated with the Morton Arboretum. The topic will be the Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove. She will be bringing some of her spectacular photography and her experience as a naturalist.

P.S. Pat Benton did it again! He found another engaging program, perfect for a lively Q & A about spring flowers, summer prairie plants and taking time to explore the colorful landscape of the season. Cindy wore many hats to tell her story, while encouraging members to get to know the spring, summer and fall prairie right around the corner at the Morton Arboretum or down the road 74 miles at the Nachusa Grasslands where the bison roam. With colorful handouts, too, Cindy suggests listening to birds and insects while learning about the complex interactions that support all this diversity of life.

MAIL BAG! This week’s mail included thank you notes. One is from Waubonsee Community College with gratitude, recognizing the club’s support of two scholarships for students who fit our club’s qualifications, complete with bios and photos. The other letter is from Sherry Healey, President of Community Access Naperville. She wrote, “We appreciate your support of our mission: to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to work in, contribute to, and enjoy their community.”

troy-and-ron May 25 / Ron Nyberg has arranged for Dr. Troy Hammond, President of North Central College, to return for an update and news about “A Brilliant Future.”

P.S. In January 2013, Dr. Troy Hammond began serving as the 10th president of North Central College. During his second visit to Rotary 4:44, he provided an update of happenings at North Central College, including “A Brilliant Future” that involves all the disciplines in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) and then some. A number of his remarks were dedicated to the construction of the $60-million Science Center, on schedule with plans to open in time for the college’s third session to begin in March 2017. When it opens, the 4-story facility will include 18 teaching labs, 16 research labs, 15 classrooms, a lecture hall, 19 student gathering spaces, 53 faculty offices and a rooftop greenhouse. Dr. Hammond also provided an overview of the stage venues as he touted the high caliber of entertainment and speakers that appear on campus from Pfeiffer Hall to the Wentz Concert Hall and Madden Theater in the Fine Arts Center to Meiley-Swallow (former Grace Evangelical Church). He welcomed everyone to visit the college for one of its performances and to become part of “A Brilliant Future.” And our Rotary invited Dr. Hammond back at the same time next year.

After Dr. Hammond’s presentation, he posed with club members and guests for a rare group photo.


PLEASE NOTE! / Rotary District 6450 is participating in a Rotary friendship exchange with a District in India, and the host committee is looking for volunteers to serve as host families for the visiting Rotarians during their stay, which will be June 15-30. Please reach out to Prakash at with any questions that you have and thanks for considering this opportunity – the first of its kind for our district! More opportunities like it will come!


May 28-June 1Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea. (Early Bird registration is now history.)

May 30 / Naperville Memorial Day Parade, 10:30AM throughout downtown Naperville. Memorial Day Commemorative Concert in Central Park, 12:15PM.

June 2016 / Rotary Fellowships Month

June 1-11 / Special opportunity for Rotarians to help heighten awareness during Alzheimer’s Association Forget Me Not Days event. Volunteers will collect donations for the Alzheimer’s Association, while raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Look for volunteers standing outside donation locations near storefronts, business offices, attractions, etc., with Forget-Me-Not flower seeds to plant in honor of the more than 5 million living with Alzheimer’s and dementia related diseases. If you’d like to volunteer on June 10-11, contact Naish Shah.

Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown has placed planters of tiny blue forget-me-nots around downtown Naperville and Naperville Plaza.  Thanks, Nancy Quigley, Chuck Corrigan and Pat Benton for use of locations with your connections!

Forget-me-nots are reminders that during the month of June, individuals worldwide are asked to take the Purple Pledge. Use your brains to fight Alzheimer’s Disease and Progressive Dementia! For information about a Rotary initiative highlighted in the April 2015 Rotarian Magazine titled “Slow Fade, New Hope in the Fight to Stop Alzheimer’s,” click hereOne more thing… The Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Naperville is slated for Sunday, September 18, 2016, at North Central College Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, 455 South Brainard Street, Naperville, IL 60540.  Check-in: 8:30AM  Ceremony: 9:30AM 3-Mile Walk begins: 10AM INFO:

June 1 /  Note: This meeting includes a once-a-month board meeting scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month along with a Club Assembly.

julie-and-jeff-libraryJune 8 / Jeff Davis has arranged for Julie Rothenfluh, Executive Director, Naperville Public Libraries, to be our featured speaker.

P.S. Julie Rothenfluh brought the club up to speed on many services provided at Naperville’s three public libraries, including recent enhancements and scheduled renovations to provide more access for all residents. More than books, the Naperville Library system provides access to technology, classes, workshops and programs geared for all ages. Check it out.

June 15 / Stephanie Penick has requested this date. If all stays as planned with sessions in Springfield, State Senator Mike Connelly will be our featured speaker to provide a recap of happenings in the State Capitol.

connelly-rotaryP.S. Always engaging and entertaining, Mike Connelly compared his earlier experiences in the Illinois House to his now serving in the Illinois Senate, mindful that the Illinois’ new fiscal year starts in a few weeks and lawmakers must continue working (for vouchers in lieu of checks for now) to ensure schools open in the fall, his top priority. He also aims to improve the Illinois economy, create jobs and improve the government in Springfield.

Senator Connelly also noted the states’ responsibility to fund essential services, universities, and correctional facilities. He appeared optimistic that lawmakers in the Senate will negotiate in good faith and produce a comprehensive balanced budget——or at the very least a temporary, balanced spending plan that Governor Rauner and President Cullerton have agreed is a way to move forward while a long-term plan is worked out.

rotary-bannerYes. Connelly expressed disappointment in the process in Springfield, happy to be serving in the Senate where he has a good relationship with Cullerton.

As is a tradition of Rotary clubs worldwide, Rotary Downtown passed one of its banners to a visiting Rotarian from Florida as an expression of friendship.

June 22 / Vasavi Chakka has arranged for Victoria Deppe, a Naperville resident since 2000, to provide the program. Vickie has more than 25 years of project management experience in nonprofit and political arenas. She is currently the Legislative Liaison for the Convention of States Project, the Vice President of the Naperville Area Republican Womens Organization, the Secretary and Newsletter Editor for KidsMatter in Naperville, and Secretary of the Fox Valley Orchestra Board. She will be talking about the Fox Valley Orchestra.

June 29 / Annual Installation Dinner Rotary Year 2016-17 / At Hugo’s beginning at 5:30PM. Guests $75.

rotary-pres-to-presP.S. During the Installation Dinner Past President Ron Nyberg officiated as President Mike Reilly passed the gavel to Naish Shah.

Naish arranged for our guest speaker to be the new District 6450 Governor Ron Broida.

In is wrap up, Mike Reilly entertained members and guests with amusing tributes to all 4:44 Rotarians for the little contributions they made in a big way throughout his year of service.

Rotary Club of Naperville Board of Directors / Year 2016-17

Naish Shah, President; Kevin McQuillan, President-Elect / Vocational Service; Jeff Davis, President Nominee / Rotary Ride; distrct-gov-&-pres Tony Chirico, Treasurer; Mike Reilly, Acting Secretary / Immediate Past President; Nancy Nyberg, Membership Chairman; Gary Baumgartner, Foundation; Nancy Quigley, Sergeant / International Service; Chuck Corrigan, Administrative / Club Service / International; Pat Benton, Community Service; Stephanie Penick, Rotary Reminders / Programs / PR; Neal Cerne, New Generations / Youth.


***The next Rotary International Convention will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. Take advantage of early registration for the convention.

sam-RCN_Downtown_Dinner1320140217-2A few of many memorable moments with photos from 2014-15 Rotary Year and 2015-2016…

The Annual Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship & Charter Night Celebration was held Feb. 18. Guest speaker was John Hewko, General Secretary of Rotary International, who recently rode in El Tour de Tucson, a 104-mile bike ride to help raise millions of dollars to End Polio Now. Paul Harris Fellows were presented to all ages! And our club welcomed a young Paul Harris Fellow, thanks to Rotarian Nancy Quigley. The annual dinner is held in February, the month of the club’s charter in 2007.

indie-rotaryIn May, the program featured IndieBound Naperville. Since several of our members also are members of IndieBound Naperville, a group of more than 130 independent businesses,  Past President Chuck Corrigan led the program with notes on his participation as well as the benefits of shopping locally. Chuck also introduced IBN member Greg Gordon, owner of Dog Patch Pet & Feed, who provided an enlightening retail perspective of running Naperville’s original pet store.

rotary-ride-run-walkThe monthly Club Assembly in May with Board Meeting was a chance for members to catch up on happenings in the club. These once-a-month meetings held on the fourth Wednesday are geared toward members only. No special speaker/program was featured when we were updated by a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville about the Naperville Rotary Freedom 5K Run and 2-Mile Walk on Sat., July 11, as well as our club’s plans to host Naperville Rotary Ride on Sun., Aug. 9.

The Rotary year wrapped up with the 4:44 club’s annual Installation of Officers Dinner and a time to celebrate the past year with President Lynda Reilly when membership grew with three new members and look forward to the future with President-Elect Mike Reilly. Cheers to the new Rotary year!

banner-pass-rotary-7-15The Rotary year always runs July 1 until June 30.

Watch for new program info to be listed as it’s arranged by members of the 4:44 Rotary. Whenever traveling to visit another Rotary Club, remember to take a Rotary-Downtown banner to exchange in fellowship.

Guests always are welcome to this casual and small Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown. Note that during weeks of holidays, this club does not meet. Guest fees for refreshments, camaraderie and a great program are $20 per person.