Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District

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INSTALLATION OF CLUB OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS for the 2024-2025 YEAR

By Edited By Willage, Marc B.
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On July 11, 2024, the installation of officers and committee chairs was carried out. It was a well-attended club meeting, and Dennis Gorman, our executive secretary, officiated the ceremony. 

Below are the positions held by our officers and chairs for the 2024-2025 year:

OFFICER & COMMITTEE CHAIRS
              President: Marc Willage
              President-Elect: Jerry McIlvain
              Immediate Past President: Debbie Willage
              Secretary: Marilyn Sainsot
              Treasurer: Tom Baltz
                  Service: Smart Art: Cliff Harstad and Vickie Dorgan
                                  Other local / Regional: Vickie Dorgan
                                  International: Cliff Harstad
                                  Assistance: Katie Anderson             
              Executive Secretary: Dennis Gorman
              Sargent of Arms: Debbie Willage
              Membership: Gus Samios and Paula Giroux
              Foundation: Bob Mantsh  
              Program Chair: Marc Willage

              Social Chair: Marilyn Sainsot


 


FAITH-BASESD ORGANIZATION PROVIDES SPECTRUM OF SERVIVES - INCLUDING SHELTER AND "DAY" PROGRAM

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On June 20, 2024, we had a presentation about the Pacific Garden by Mission by Chris Ridgeway and Michael Kwiatkowski. Currently, this facility is the oldest operating shelter in Chicago. They typically have 600 guests overnight. These services are offered to men, women, and children; the shelter opened in 1877.

The shelter is a faith-based Christian organization. It provides training in various skills, with - as an example - guests obtaining a GED while there; therefore, the reason for services to guests in their "day" programs. Their goal is to ready guests to be able to be productive, to be able to support themselves.

Typically, the people who are served have suffered from addiction, homelessness (not just people on the street) and incarceration.

Pictured are our two guest speakers: Chris Ridgeway and Michael Kwiatkowski.


WAYS REDUCE THE PERVASE PRESENCE OF POLIZATION IN POLITICS IN

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There appeared to be two forces at work here, and are occurring at the state level.

First, If you have partisan primary elections, the attendance is very low, and skewed toward the extreme right in the case of Republicans, as well as the extreme left of Democrats; Ed described these individuals as “ardent voters.”

Second, is the extreme gerrymandering which occurs at the state level. Apparently, this has been engaged upon by both major political parties.

Ed suggested that gerrymandering needs to be stopped, and be reversed. He stressed that once that it had been made illegal, that the process of redistricting should be strictly carried out by a bipartisan committee.

 

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Rotary Club Hosts Albanian Fellow Roberta Profka for Insightful Presentation

Edited By Willage, Marc B.
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On May 16, the Rotary Club had the pleasure of hosting Roberta Profka from Albania, who presented an
engaging program about her home country. Roberta is in the United States for a six-week fellowship
program sponsored by the State Department, designed to empower leaders from partner countries.
  
SEE THE ENTIRE STORY BELOW.

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WHY AR-15 SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLES ARE SO LETHAL

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On April 18, 2024, guest speaker Ed Spire presented a very informative program on “assault“ weapons. Apparently, these weapons are a special kind of semi-automatic firearm. The projectiles are much smaller and longer, so they can tumble as they hit the body, and typically have a velocity of 3000 ft./s. Apparently, once they are inside of tissues, they fragment.

Ed went on to explain that this sort of weapon originated with the M-16 rifle in Vietnam - in the 1960s.

Apparently, the new gun law addressing “assault” weapons in Chicago, describes the major facets of this type of weapon, in regard to cosmetic features, as opposed to what he feels is the more fundamental description based on a high velocity from such a large charge on such a small projectile, as well as the widespread damage projectile does such damage.

Apparently, there was no standing army. When provisions were placed into the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, that state malicious needed to be formed.

Ed went on to describe that the Heller decision, passed by a 5/4 decision by the US Supreme Court, stated that the Second Amendment does not require firearms to be limited to use in a militia; but rather, citizens can own firearms separate from a militia.

The major point of Ed’s presentation, is that the definition of “assault” weapons should be based primarily on the type of destruction that a projectile can inflict, because of the very high velocity of a long small projectile.

Pictured on the left is our Rotary club member Marilyn Sainsot on the left and Speaker Ed Spire on the right.


ZONING REFORM - EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION

Edited By Willage, Marc B.Friday, April 5, 2024
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On April 4, 2024, Jake Seid presented a program regarding the process of zoning. Jake has been in the zoning consulting business for 16 years. He described that a lot of work needs to be done on the process of zoning. He did acknowledge that sometimes the process of zoning is distorted because of local politics, primarily. In Chicago, Jake noted that each of the Aldermen have a lot of say on what goes on in their ward with zoning.

Jake noted that the statute regarding zoning for Chicago is 800 to 1,000 pages long. For the last number of years, Jake has worked for Sightline Planning And Zoning. His company provides services to counties and municipalities. A lot of times, the zoning ordinances need to be brought up-to-date, after years of various amendments.

Jake noted that those who don’t want a project to receive a variance, tend to stay home; while those who do want it, tend to go to the public meetings where a variance is discussed.

Jake is a member of the Illinois organization, ILAPA.COM; the organization currently has approximately 1,600 members.

Contemporary problems with the current usual practice of zoning, perpetuate segregation, because there is so much homogeny, where only single residencies of a narrow price range exist, as well as driving urban sprawl. Accompanying more and more modern land developments are the location of retail and other necessary day-to-day businesses, being present within, no longer necessitating a car to “get anywhere." This "mixed development" further integration, because people of less means are likely not to have to own a motor vehicle.

At this time, the less expensive the residences are in the neighborhood, the more likely that there will be unpleasant neighbors, such as industries that tend to pollute.

Pictured on the left is Rotarian Marc Willage; on the right, is today’s guest speaker, Jack Seid.

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UNDERCOVER PILOT FLYING ACCROSS SOUTHEAST - NO TIME TO SPARE TO LEAVE CAMBODIA

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On March 22, 2024, guest speaker Neil Hansen presented a program regarding his very convoluted work flying of variety of aircraft in the 70s. He would often have Chinese copilots; some of these men were required to sit on their hands for when the plane was taking off her landing, because they were so inept.

Then in 1975, after having flown in at least four east Asian countries, Neil found himself to be one of the last American citizens being evacuated from Cambodia. At the time, Neil described that those several days and especially those several hours before he was flown out of the country, were horrifying, because of the Khmer Rouge’s ongoing genocidal murdering of over one and a half million other Cambodians.

In the photograph, pictured guest speaker Neil Graham Hansen and fellow author Luann Grosscup, of their book, FLIGHT.


NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION GATHERS CITIZENS TO COUNTER CLIMATE CHANGE

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Andy Panelli, presented a program about his nonprofit, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which coordinates the institution and support of policies that counter the effects of climate change.

Several measures are supported, including a “carbon tax,” and rapidly increasing use of renewable sources of energy.

Tax credits were noted, in regard to having recently been made available through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Canada has started to introduce carbon pricing, with Europe to start within 2 years.

These measures have been supported by many fossil fuel companie, as well as the US Chamber of Commerce.

The photo is an image of Andy's business card.


CLIMATOLOGIST DISCUSSES SOME PROGRESS BEING MADE, AND AN ALGORIHTM AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

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On February 15  2024, the speaker for our club meeting was Mark Ailes; as a climatologist, he presented various background facts and brought up an algorithm / appcalled En-ROSDS, in conjunction with “Climate Interactive” which features a slide bar for each of many variables that the user could change and see what the projected temperature increase would be at 2100.

Mark is affiliated the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.

Pictured is club president Debbie Willage and today’s speaker Mark Ailes.


Social Work Professor, Detailed the Geobraphic Isolation Experience by People living in Poverty

Edited By Willage, Marc B.
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On February 1, 2024, Dr. Aissetu Ibrahims, a professor in Social Work, made a presentation addressing the large segment of the city's population who live in poverty and isolation. He advises his college students to pay attention to the ZIP Codes in which poverty is concentrated. It turns out, the different ZIP Codes in south and west Chicago are characterized by life expectancies, which can be decreased by several years.

Dr. Ibrahims is the Director of the Master’s Degree program at Northeast Illinois University.

In the photograph, Dr. Ibrahims is pictured with club member, Paula Giroux


AN EXAMPLE OF A GLOBAL PROJECT -- AND HOW INITIATE AND SUSTAIN ONE

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On January 4th 2024, at our club meeting, Marga Hewko -- who heads us the International Services Committee for her Rotary Club, presented an overall review on the "how to's" to initiate an international global grant, as well as on how to maintain one. In the process of putting a international project together, a global grant from the district foundation is part of the project.

Another example of an international project, modern surgical equipment  for struggling medical systems is provided; an example being where in a developing country, where a Black and Decker electric saw was used to open the skull in the of a neurosurgical procedure!

Apparently, Rotary is a key player in Ukraine, with the highest ratings by Charity Navigator.

In the photograph, Marga is the the left and club president -- Debbie Willage -- is on the right    


Information About Our Club: ROTARY CLUB OF CHICAGO FINANCIAL DISTRICT

Our Rotary club, the Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District (Rotary CFD), was established in 1985. we meet for a luncheon meeting at 12:15, on the first and third Thursdays of each month, at the Berghoff Restaurant - in downtown Chicago. We routinely order our lunch off of the menu, which is routinely followed by a presentation from a speaker, after which share comradely over lunch.

Our club engages services projects in the Chicago area. Our ongoing service project is our "Peace Through Smart Art," in conjunction with the Smart Art Museum with the University of Chicago. A series of six weekly art lessons are provided to 4th and 5th grade, with a visit to the Smart Art museum before and after the series of art lessons.The lessons incorporate a strong emphasis on promoting peace.

Other service projects have include:
We have re-packed commodities at the Food Depository of Greater Chicago.
We have assisted in efforts to get winter coats to veterans in need.
We periodically get together at a member’s home to pack art supplies into backpacks, to distribute to sudents participating in our “Smart Art program,"
            Even upon casual observation of the students at the visit before, and then after the eight weeks of instruction, reveals a decidedly increase in engagement of the students with the different pieces of art in the museum.

Our club is just one of 46,000 rotary clubs worldwide; there are some 1.4 million members in the organization. The signature philanthropic project of the international organization, Rotary International, has been an effort to eliminate polio from the world. At this stage, a constant effort is required to terminate periodic breakthroughs (three countries remaining) of the polio virus. It should be noted, that Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, has provided several hundred million dollars to join in the effort to eliminate polio.

Reputed to be the first service club, the first meeting of the first Rotary Club was in 1905, organized by Paul Harris in Chicago.

Of interest to anyone asking about the nature of Rotary, the following one sentence definition was formulated by Rotary International in 1976:
         “Rotary is an organization of business and professional people united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”

For further information on our Rotary Club, our contact email is: 
rotaryclubcfd@gmail.com

 


ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE FATHERS OF CHILDREN WITH CANCER

Edited By Willage, Marc B.
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Fathers of children with cancer, are frequently overlooked.

On November 16 2023, Doctor Noe Mojika presented a program concentrating on how men are frequently left out “of the loop,” in regard to ongoing treatment and care of their children’s cancer.

Dr. Monika is a professor within the Department of Social Work at Southeast Illinois University. Most of his work and attention have been focused on the frequent dilemma of fathers simply not being included enough. Stereotypes of the fathers as primarily the providers and mothers as primarily the nurtures in the family, prevail. 


"Rise Against Hunger" Provides Direct Services Across the Country and the World

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On November 2nd 2023, our guest speaker, Taylor Rotsted, presented a program on her nonprofit organization”Rise Against Hunger.” Established in 1998, the organization has established a presence in multiple states, as well as over 30 countries. Providing a variety of “hands on” services, in addition to hunger relief, is assistance in areas — such as education and healthcare.

Taylor described that her program has worked in concert with a number of rotary clubs, and meshes well with the long standing Areas of Focus that has been established by Rotary International.

In regard to the organization’s variety of programs — noted above, a total of 2000 cal per day our provided to adults over three meals per day, of the plant derived protein
; the meals are meant to have other ingredients added to it, such as vegetables.

Pictured are club member Marc Willage on the left, and today’s speaker — Taylor Rotsted — on the right.
 


Two Different YMCA Camps - One Mission

Edited By Willage, Marc B.
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On November 19th 2023, Bobby Thomas presented a program delineating two YMCA camps that he is the Executive Director,

Bobby and his family actually live on site at camp Duncan. Camp Duncan over the course of the summer, provides both overnight and daycamp experiences to approximately 400 youth. Camp sessions last up to six weeks, for the overnight camp. Adult groups sometimes attend with their organizations.

Camp Independence, the other camp that Bobby heads up, provide services to impaired individuals. Typically serving several dozen students — over the course of the summer, before this bout of inflation required approximately $1800 per week. Campers are asked to pay around $300 per week, and donations provide for scholarships for the rest. 1:1 ratio of counselor to camper is provided.

Pictured here is club member Marc Willage on the left and speaker Bobby Thomas.


Jane Adams Senior Caucus - Run by seniors, Advocating for Seniors

Edited By Willage, Marc B.
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On October 6, 2023, Emily King presented an overview of Jane Addams Senior Caucus. She currently is in charge of development. She has been with the organization for a year and a half, and the overall mission of the caucus is to assist seniors in:
          1. Aging in dignity.
          2. Being free from oppression

Currently, a major focus of the caucus is the “Care Over Cost” project, which describes an effort to inform seniors as to the problems of Medicare advantage programs, including what difficulties may present themselves, for beneficiaries wish to switch over to “original“ Medicare.

Emily described addressing housing situations confronting seniors today. She referred to “HUD buildings,“ [i.e. “senior housing), several areas that almost universally need to be dealt with once the tenants start to organize:
             1. Elevators are frequently out of service with many people having ambulatory difficulties, preventing them from using the stairs. (In addition, obviously, for those, especially living on the higher floors).
              2. Dirty carpeting, which is often filthy, frequently compromises quality of life, for the unusually large percentage of seniors having pulmonary and/or cardiac problems.


The Passing of Our Dear Friend, Neil King

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There are some people who touch our lives that make us better for having known them. We knew Neil through Rotary. Not his beloved Skokie Club, rather our Chicago Financial District. Because it was much more convenient, Neil would often attend meetings with us. We always enjoyed his company. Occasionally, he would fill in as our speaker.  As we grew to know him better, we came to admire his love of life. 

Neil was born on September 23, 1929 in Chicago and was raised in Skokie, IL. After graduating from Evanston Township High School, Neil headed to Yale University, where he was a champion Ivy League pole vaulter. Following his graduation from Yale, Neil served as a naval of cer during the Korean War.
Following his naval service, Neil returned to Skokie to join his father in Armond King Real Estate as a broker, appraiser and counselor.

He served as President of the North Shore Board of Realtors and of The Counselors of Real Estate. Very active in business and civic affairs, Neil served on many boards, including that of Skokie Valley Hospital (now North Shore Skokie Hospital) for 50 years. He loved the Skokie Public Library and the Skokie Rotary Club, where he and his father both served as president and whose meetings he attended weekly even after moving to Chicago.

Always up for an adventure, in 1975 Neil sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with his teenage son in a 36' sailboat. He was also an enthusiastic member of the Chicago's Adventurers' Club, where he enthralled his grandchildren with shrunken heads, the giant stuffed bear and the ags suspended from the ceiling commemorating several of his own escapades.

A natural athlete, he also competed as a decathlete, a marathoner and a runner well into his seventies.
Above all, Neil treasured his family and friends. Neil is survived by his wife, Diana; his sisters Susan Gaede and Louise Webb and cousin Susan Leonard; his children Marcia King, Steven King (Melinda), Carolyn King and Alison Bastien (Helio); Diana's children, Charles Theobald (Sara) and Margit Nahra (Kirk); nine grandchildren and two great
grand children
 


Club Membership - A Call to Service Opportunities

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On August 2, 2023, the topic of membership was discussed, with the discussion being led and presented by two membership experts from Rotary International: Sarah Diller, and Charles Poole. It was a very informative meeting. In the photograph, Charles on the left, Sarah on the right, and club member - Past President Jerry McIlvain - is in the middle.

 


WALKINAG THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO - SEVERAL DIFFERENT ROUTES

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On July 20, 2023, our very own club member, Vickie Dorgan, presented a program regarding a recent trip that she made to Spain to complete her third pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago; there are several trails for pilgrimage to one of the most important sites in Christianity, because of the presence of Saint James tomb at the Cathedral there. In 2024, Vickie plans to take the fourth pilgrimage.

The traditional routes of pilgrimage, transverse France, Spain, as well as Portugal. Tradition mandates that the last 100 km of the pilgrimage are required to be walked by foot. Otherwise, various forms of transportation are permitted, such as a boat, or a train, but not cars and motorcycles, and possibly buses.

This pilgrimage came into existence when it became too dangerous to go to Jerusalem, or Rome, during times of the crusades and the reformation. There are many small stores and shops and restaurants to be available for supplies along the different routes.

Pictured is Vickie, standing in front of the map, showing for several rows off standing in front of the map, showing the various routes to the Santiago cathedral.

 


INSTALLATION OF CLUB OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS

By Tuesday, July 18, 2023

On July 6 of 2023, the officers and committee chairs were installed by Past District Governor, Jane Hopkins.

CLICK ON "R E A D   M O R E" FOR FURTHER DETAILS



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ROTARY SMART ART POGRAM IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SMART ART MUSEUM

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The "Smart Art Project" was conceived by the Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District and has now grown to include multiple Clubs throughout Rotary's District 6450. 
 
 

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Dan Summins gave a presentation on Blessings in a Backpack

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Dan Summins gave a presentation on Blessings in a Backpack at our club meeting on January 5, 2023. The organization started in Louisville Kentucky in 2004, now serving 95,000 children - with food insecurity across the country; 5000 of whom reside in the Chicago area. Each program participant receives a backpack containing meals on each Friday that school is in session. Dan is the Managing Director for the program in the Chicago area. 

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Club Events
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Club Board Meeting

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Rotary Cigar Event

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GOALIES Celebration

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Club Meeting - 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month

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District 6450 Day of Service

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Club Meeting - 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month

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Newsletters
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