The Light for January 11, 2022
 
By Katherine Peterson
 
Presiding was President Linda Gerber, who welcomed club members to the 27th meeting of the current Rotary year.
 
Joan Borg recited Why We Are Rotarians and her Thought for the Day, which was “Ask for help when you need it.”

The elm tree, she noted, is not embarrassed to ask for help when it finds itself in a tricky situation. If it comes under attack from caterpillars, it releases pheromones to attract parasitic wasps, who then lay their eggs inside the caterpillars and neutralize the threat. We often think that self-reliance is the key to success, but the elm knows that you don't need to try to handle everything yourself. Sometimes you just need to call in the wasps.
 
 Announcements
 
Ann Weatherhead announced the Walk For Warmth,  Jan. 17 – Martin Luther King Jr Day.  https://interfaithactionofevanston.networkforgood.com/projects/143504-4275-walk-for-warmth-2022  On this National Day of Service, Interfaith Action is sponsoring an event where supporters will walk together to raise awareness of homelessness in our community.  And through donations, provide support for those who are experiencing homelessness and facing a brutal winter. The Walk is at 11 a.m. and begins at First United Church.  We will walk a path to each of the six Faith communities that provide overnight shelters.
 
Winter Overnight Shelter:  6 Faith Communities provide overnight Shelter every night during the Winter Months. It moves every 2-3 weeks to a different Faith Community. Due to COVID protocols, it can only shelter 20 people each night. There is a Wait List of about 50.  Ones who can’t get into shelter ride trains all night, couch surf, or sleep on the street. Meals are provided at various Soup Kitchens.
 
During the day, Warming Center at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Costs have increased with the increase in services and need to hire staff.  Volunteers have been limited due to COVID. Interfaith Action and Connections for the Homeless work hand-in-hand to serve the homeless.  All recipients of services are registered with Connections to coordinate services. 
 
Margarita Inn (Connections) – Transitional shelter for those who are working with Case Manager for services and assistance in moving to stable housing.  Most are placed in housing OUTSIDE of Evanston due to the lack of affordable housing in our community. It is currently serving about 80 individuals with a wait list of more than 150.
 
The needs in our community are great, Ann said. “I welcome all who would like to walk with me on January 17 – either in person or in spirit.”
 
Susan Prout announced that the scheduled diaper packaging event for Bundled Blessings has been postponed until March or April.
 
Although this announcement did not occur at the club meeting, you may want to know that a new Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Happy Hour will begin every other Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. over Zoom, starting Jan. 19. Get ready for FUN and some uplifting “getting to know you” conversations.  Details forthcoming shortly from Kelly Fedei of Club Service.
 
Paul Harris Award
 
Holly Hadmut Halliday was recognized by Keven Stevens, District 6440 Governor, as our newest Paul Harris Fellow.  Holly remarked, “It is wonderful to serve and change lives.”
 
Program
 
Speaker: District 6440 Governor Kevin Stevens
 
Keven Stevens is a member of the Rotary Club of North Chicago, where he has served as President, Treasurer, and Foundation Chair.   Beyond his club engagement, Kevin served as Assistant Governor Coordinator, Assistant Governor, and Veteran Affairs Liaison for District 6440. He served as our member at large for the Midwest PETS council and on the District 6440 Club Visioning team. Kevin is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and member of the Paul Harris Society. 
 
Kevin served for 10 years with the US Navy Seabees, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006. He served on the steering committee and strategic planning committee for Roll Call Chicagoland, an emerging regional career networking consortium for military veterans, and is a member of the Museum Advisory Council for the National Museum of the American Sailor.
 
Kevin is an advocate for childhood literacy and education, and he served on the steering committee for CONNECT - the North Chicago “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.
 
Kevin is President of Real Capital Partners and earned his B.A. in Economics from Beloit College, where he serves on the Alumni Board. For the past decade he has served as a judge for the Wisconsin DECA State Career Development Conference, and on the Boards for the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Exchange Club of North Chicago, and is Past President of the Navy League of the United States Lake County Council.
 
He also serves on the Board of Directors for A Safe Place, the sole full service provider of services addressing domestic violence in Lake County and furthering the Lives of Youth, an advocacy organization providing targeted opportunities for promising youth. Kevin serves on the membership development Committee for NEIC Boy Scouts of America, on the committee for Boy Scout Troop 675 in Wadsworth, is troop leader for his daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, and is a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4551 in Antioch, Ill.
 
Kevin thanked the board for meeting late last night.  He invited everyone to speak in the club to ask questions and be heard.  His work is to meet clubs and hear them. 
 
Kevin explained we were one of the last clubs he has met in the district, and he wants to hear from Rotarians.  His focus as a Rotarian has been “taking action on things I find appealing and attractive.”  As a Navy Reservist out of Great Lakes Naval Station, Kevin was looking for a place.  His cousin made him aware of Rotary. 
 
Kevin was already involved in the North Chicago area, and felt it was a place to have an impact.  It was a smaller club, and the early perspective gained there has supported his view.  Collaboration and finding other people to help is how to get things done. 
 
Early on, Kevin explained, having conversations with clubs about their unique perspective was very formative to how he functions today as District Governor.  He was asked to address veteran’s affairs.  Kevin encouraged members to visit other clubs as he’s done to understand various views. When he visited a variety of clubs he really felt there were some disconnects. 
 
We are an international organization of local clubs that fall into districts.  Districts are simply administrators and managers, but sometimes when you get into those positions, some people get treated differently.  We want to maintain the mindset of servant leader. 
 
At the district level we have 150 roles to fill, all voluntary, which is done by creating relationships through feedback from clubs, and we are better able to provide service as a result.  When he joined his club there was a real lack of trust, and Kevin felt he was able to connect with the district to manage that issue and put the club on the map.  He further explained that we want to be able to reach into the pool of talent in our clubs.
 
As an organization we have a tremendous opportunity in the Foundation, he noted. Rotary is two separate organizations. Everything is impacted by the Rotary Foundation. The challenge is, do all our members and clubs get that?  To support that thinking, we realized that grants management has been very dry. 
 
Kevin’s objectives for the year are: 
  • Establish a Technology Interface Task force that will engage an inside-out / top to bottom review involving users, exploring needs and employing the resources necessary to make the district and external resources necessary to make our interface visitor user friendly, functional, fresh and provide for a standing technology committee and funding to assure continuous review and improvement.  A working plan in place by January 2020 and begin to upgrade our technology and social media interface.
  • Three new clubs of any type
  • Increase District participation giving in all areas by 10%
  • 200 people to Houston conference.
  • Five friendship exchanges planned, executed, or in process, at least one wrap-around service.
  • Increase District membership in Rotary Fellowships and Action Groups by 100%.
  • Establish a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force that will explore and propose how the district might advocate effective and practical policy and / or programs that support individual club objectives and Rotary International DEI guidance.   
  • Celebrate our success, recognize efforts, thank our supporters, and be proud!
Guests and Milestones
 
Visiting Rotarians
 
Basil Lewis, Rotary Humberside Club, Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
 
Evelyn Lee, District 6440 Assistant Governor
 
Birthdays
 
Yves Lassere, January 13
 
Brien Johnson, January 14
 
Bryant Wallace, January 17
 
Sponsors