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Upcoming Events
ELRC Last Meeting of the 2021-22 Board
Jun 22, 2022
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Installation of 2022-23 Board - Dinner on June 26
Lovelace Park
Jun 26, 2022
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
International Service Committee Meeting
Jun 27, 2022
7:15 AM – 8:30 AM
Jul 05, 2022
Club Meeting: Assembly
Jul 12, 2022 7:30 AM
Club Service-RI Cafeteria
Jul 13, 2022
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Club Service Committee - Zoom
Jul 13, 2022
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Club Service Committee - Zoom
Aug 10, 2022
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
View entire list
The Light for June 14, 2022
The Light for June 14, 2022
By Kate Collinson
President Linda Gerber welcomed members to the meeting as Hillary Hufford-Tucker led the group in our statement of purpose.  Noting that the world can seem very dark these days, Hillary shared some thoughts on the importance of taking time to relax/recharge/reflect in summer.  From Maya Angelou, “Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”   And from Anne Lamott, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” 
Albert Menard announced that the next Golf Road trash pick-up will be on Saturday, July 9. We will meet at the parking lot of TJ Maxx, on the corner of Golf Road and East Prairie, at 8:30 a.m. Hoping for a few more hands this time!
Marv Edelstein, a resident of the New England Village (NEV) neighborhood that borders our Golf Road Clean-up area, shared some kind recognition of our club (in their newsletter:  “I would like to recognize and thank the Lighthouse Rotary of Evanston for the recent cleanup of Golf Road.  Sam Lovering is our local Rotary representative.  Volunteers have been doing a Golf Road garbage cleanup regularly which includes our NEV stretch.  By chance, they did the cleanup after our shrubs and trees were pruned. Cleanup of the garbage was needed and appreciated.  If you know a member of the Lighthouse Rotary, please extend NEV’s thank you!”    As Marv noted, while we may not feel like our small gestures are noticed, they are important and appreciated. 
Katherine Peterson encouraged members to register (and attend) the upcoming 2022-2023 Installation Picnic Dinner, which will be held at Lovelace Park (2740 Gross Point Road) on Sunday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m.  The Club Service Committee has worked hard to make this a safe and enjoyable event for all vaccinated members and guests.   Dinner will be provided by Hecky’s BBQ with C&W’s new ice cream truck making an appearance at this not-to-be-missed event.  You only need to bring beverages, cups, and outdoor chairs.   Please note:  Those wishing to order a vegetarian “Beyond Burger” meal, should contact Lesley Peters at  The deadline to register is quickly approaching: Friday, June 17.  Please register at your earliest convenience and find all the details for the event using this link:
RI recently concluded its annual Convention in Houston.  During the closing session, incoming President Jennifer Jones shared the question she has been asked most often -- How does it feel to be Rotary’s first woman President?  Feeling a sense of excitement, she noted the opportunities for lifting and the importance of an invitation.  While there are many different paths to Rotary - and the Convention, all journeys began with an invitation to join a club!  Jennifer hopes to harness diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to extend that invitation across the world.  She also encouraged members to be trailblazers, continuing President Shekhar Mehta’s Empowering Girls Initiative.
Three Evanston Lighthouse Rotarians attended the recent RI Convention.  Bryant Wallace (current Technology Chair and incoming President-Elect) thanked our club for the opportunity to attend and stressed the impact of meeting so many Rotarians who place Service Above Self.  Describing the experience as “drinking from a fire hose,” he cited the incredible conversations/stories and the opportunities for exchange with fellow Rotarians.  With new appreciation for our club and each member, Bryant looks forward to compounding the impact of the work that we do, both locally and globally.  He also thanked the RI staff who worked so hard to make the convention a valuable experience for all.
Jean Saunders, a member of the RI Marketing team, whose job entails helping members around the world tell their stories, attended her sixth Rotary Convention.  The Houston Convention was “like the others” -- people from around the world striking up powerful conversations (including newbies like Bryant experiencing it for the first time)!   Wearing a lab coat, Jean was stationed in the People of Action Inspiration Lab, hosting quick chats and longer Info-sharing sessions.  Jean enjoyed the ‘in person’ experience and seeing many familiar faces including Lyle Staub and wife, Suzanne and Mark Gibson, and Mary Bak
Rebeca Mendoza, who attended her 3rd Convention, showed a brief video clip of the House of Friendship.  For Rebeca, posted at the Resource Center, the Convention was an opportunity to meet ‘in person’ many Rotarians with whom she’s worked for years on grants and projects.   The Resource Center is the location where Rotarians may donate, purchase this year’s collectible signature tie and scarf, or ask a variety of questions (about grants, programs, logistics).  Like Jean, Rebeca’s time at the Convention was hard work!  Getting to meet some of the 400 RI staffers from around the world and talking with many interesting people made it a “tiring, wonderful experience.”
Bruce Baumberger explained the long and interesting connections two ELRC members have to Visiting Rotarian Kirk Reed.  Formerly of the Wilmette Harbor Rotary Club, Kirk and Bruce were Assistant Governors together in the 1990’s.  After serving as Pastor at Trinity Methodist Wilmette, Kirk eventually moved to Tucson, Ariz., where he (like Bruce) served as District Governor. Proving it’s a ‘small world,’ Ann Weatherhead grew up with Kirk in Columbus, Ga. After losing touch for many years, Kirk and Ann reconnected at Trinity Methodist Church. When she was moving to Evanston, Kirk suggested that she consider joining Rotary! 
This is the Centennial year for Kirk Reed’s family in Rotary.  His grandfather joined Rotary in 1922 and Kirk and his son are currently Rotarians in their respective communities.  Kirk is the Chair of this year’s Ride to End Polio in Tucson.  The ELRC is very familiar with the Ride as several of our members – Kristin Brown, Jean Saunders, Barb Miles and their spouses – have participated in recent years.  Kirk explained that the ride began modestly, raising $25,000 in its inaugural year, but has grown into a multi-million dollar fundraiser.  At the 2012 Rotary Convention in Bangkok, Kirk wisely invited General Secretary John Hewko and his wife Marga to participate in the Ride. Donations jumped to $100,00 in their first year and (pre-COVID) the ride has subsequently grown to 7,000 riders (120 Rotarians), raising $10 million-plus.   Over the ride’s 11-year history, it has raised more than $56 million.  Please consider participating in Tucson, biking locally (as part of the ‘indoor’ ride) or sponsoring our club members to raise funds for polio!  
PDG Lyle Staub joined us to present Graduation Certificates to two EL Rotarians who recently completed the District’s rigorous Leadership Academy.  Charlotta Koppanyi and Kathy Tate-Bradish successfully completed the six-month-long program designed to develop more effective leaders.  Charlotta and Kathy looked in depth at RI Communications, Membership, Public Image, Youth Service, and the Rotary Foundation.  Lyle also thanked the many club members who are part of the Paul Harris Society, committing to donate $1,000 or more each year to the Annual Fund, Polio Plus Fund, or approved global grants.
Kassandre McGovern provided an additional announcement:  This year's theme of the Evanston Fourth of July Parade is “Celebrating 100 Years.” Our club will be participating and marching in the parade. Members are asked to wear Rotary attire. End Polio Now T-Shirts can be purchased online at Volunteers are needed to pick up, deliver, and return flags from and to the storage locker. A vehicle will be needed to tow a trailer from U-Haul to Neil Gambow’s residence. If anyone has a convertible or other car to drive people who cannot march in the parade, please contact Kassandre McGovern. We will be marching with the Noon and Virtual Clubs.
Topic: City Issues
Speaker: Stephanie Mendoza, Evanston City Clerk
Linda Gerber introduced Evanston City Clerk Stephanie Mendoza, who graciously agreed to speak to us on very short notice when scheduled speaker Jon Marshall’s travel plans were upended.  While young, Stephanie’s list of accomplishments is long!  
Born in California to Mexican immigrants, Stephanie moved with her family to Evanston for more opportunities and a better life.  The first in her family to graduate from college (while working full time and raising a family), she has run a successful local business with her husband and has been an active leader/volunteer with many of the organizations that were critical to her success – Childcare Network of Evanston, Infant Welfare Society and Reba Early Learning Center.
Stephanie seeks to empower young mothers and the Latino community every day. Recently, Stephanie served as a Prevention Specialist for Connections for the Homeless and is currently Director of Community Outreach for Evanston Latinos.  A talented community organizer, Stephanie has also been a campaign manager and field director for a number of elected officials.
Stephanie believes that good government begins with good practices!  She knows firsthand the importance of language and outreach.  Prompted by the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, the City of Evanston created the Community Member Relief Fund.  The Community Member Fund is a short term, special fund designated for undocumented Evanston residents who do not qualify for General Assistance or Emergency Assistance programs, but have life-threatening circumstances such as eviction, utility disconnection, food insecurity, or other emergency needs. In addition to immigrant families, students/families who move to Evanston for educational opportunities may face lower salaries and limited worker permits. Stephanie urged Rotarians to advocate for making this much-needed Community Member Relief Fund permanent.
Citing gaps in services and in the way Spanish speakers are served, Stephanie talked excitedly of a potential Welcome Center planned in conjunction with Family Focus. Funded by the State of Illinois, the Illinois Welcoming Center model eliminates the systemic barriers that immigrants may face in approaching state services.  The goal Is to strengthen the overall human service delivery system for immigrants and refugees and build the capacity of immigrant and refugee communities.  When one’s primary language is not English, it can be difficult to access legal assistance, health care, wraparound services such as social work, food assistance, language instruction, and tutoring.  Evanston has exceeded the necessary population threshold for such a center.  Family Focus is currently engaging in culturally relevant outreach, seeking input on what specific services are needed in an Evanston-based Welcome Center.
How can Rotary support these efforts?  Advocacy is important; partnerships are key. The ELRC, as established members of the local community, can provide needed advocacy for these efforts. An easy first step would be a Tuesday morning program about the potential Welcome Center at Family Focus.  As with the C&W grocery giveaways, ELRC advocacy and volunteers can make a difference!  We are good “thought partners,” with an ear to the ground.  While we may not be direct service beneficiaries, as community members we will benefit from these efforts!  
Samantha sees herself in the young moms pushing strollers, taking advantage of the grocery giveaways.  When necessary, her (“wonderful”) children accompanied her to college labs so she could complete her work.  She gratefully accepted help when it was needed and is now in a position to give back. Having been there, she doesn’t want anyone else to experience what she went through.  While some may criticize handholding, Stephanie knows it can be a valuable step to self-sufficiency. 
Stephanie is an excellent example of Service Above Self – and she may be interested in joining Rotary!  We are lucky to have Stephanie – with her important voice and lens – in our community.
Guests and Milestones
Visiting Rotarians
Kirk Reed, Rotary Club of Catalina (Tucson), formerly Rotary Club of Wilmette Harbor
Harinder Singh, Rotarian from District 3011, and a Northwestern University parent
Jose Lopez, Rotary Club of Delta Waverly (Lansing), a prospective ELRC member
Jacob Bachmann – June 19
Club Anniversaries
Vaidehi Ravikumar- June 14, 1 year
Paul Brown – June 13, 1985 (Charter Member – 37 years)
Ira Graham-- June 13, 1985 (Charter Member – 37 years)
Bob Teska -- June 13, 1985 (Charter Member – 37 years)
The Light for June 7, 2022
The Light for June 7, 2022
By Myra Janus
The meeting was presided over by President Linda Gerber. Happy Pride Month! It is a month for love, respect, diversity, and inclusion.
Why We are Rotarians and The Thought for the Day were presented by Gary Peterson: “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”
June 13 marks the 37th Anniversary of the founding of The Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse. Paul Brown told us that in 1984-85, the Rotary Club of Evanston, a luncheon club, explored starting a new club, a breakfast club, and created the Evanston Lighthouse club.  There were 25 charter members and a banquet was held at the Orrington Hotel on June 27 to mark the beginning of the club.
Members included current members Paul Brown and Bob Teska. Other members included George Means, General Secretary of Rotary International, who was the speaker at the banquet, and Dr. Carlos Canseco, President of Rotary International in 1984.  Historical note: Dr. Canseco launched the international campaign to eradicate polio by using an aerosol vaccination he co-developed with Albert Sabin in 1982.
Evelyn Lee, our current Assistant Governor, introduced Scott Daniels, the incoming Assistant Governor.
Kristin Brown would love to have volunteers help send off campers next Sunday morning at the YMCA from 7:30-9:30 a.m.  Please let Kristin know ASAP if you are interested, because she needs to do background checks.
Katherine Peterson, as Club Service chair, reminded members that the Installation Dinner for the new Rotary year will be held on Sunday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m., at Lovelace Park, located on Gross Point Road between Central Street and Isabella Street.  Details and registration can be found at:
Katherine also announced that the Club Service Committee will be meeting tomorrow at Curt’s Café on Central Street. at 8:30 a.m. and asks that you let her know if you are coming.
Ann Searles thanked Kathy Tate-Bradish for her presentation at Ann’s PEO chapter about her project in Kenya.
John and Ann Searles passed their Bassett certification so they can pour alcoholic drinks at Taste!
Cassandre McGovern announced that the theme of the Evanston Fourth of July Parade is “Celebrating 100 Years.” Members are asked to sign up to march wearing Rotary attire. Volunteers are needed to pick up, deliver, and return flags from and to the storage locker. A vehicle will be needed to tow a trailer from U-Haul to Neil Gambow’s residence. If anyone has a convertible or other car to drive people who cannot march in the parade, contact Neil. We will be marching with the Noon Club. There will be an e-mail this week asking for sign-ups.
There was a ribbon-cutting on Saturday at C&W Grocery celebrating the opening of their new food pantry and attended by several members of the club. Evanston Rotary Club has sponsored this effort and our members have served as volunteers.
Highland Garden Club members Ann Searles and Steve Goranson were featured in the Evanston Roundtable for working at a sale for the Nancy Allred Garden, which is being rehabbed with a donation from Louis Allred.  
Bill Glader gave an update on Taste of Evanston:
Helen Oloroso is researching how to list Silent Auction items for bidding online before the event. Kelly Fidei has created a flyer for soliciting items for the Silent Auction. Social media preparation is well under way.  Linda Gerber (with assistance from Dan Coyne and MaLu Simon) have 15 restaurants signed up and a list of 60 more that they will contact to fill our goal of 40 restaurants.
Michelle Macklin from Reba is helping with volunteers. Randy Usen and the sponsorship team continue to work on leads. It's very helpful when members can pass along contact information for businesses that might be interested in sponsoring. Steve Steiber and John Osterlund have put together many sponsors that they are in the process of contacting. 
Jim McGuire is creating postcards to pass out at the Fourth of July parade as well as a Taste of  Evanston banner to display while we march down the street. We'll have a holiday sale presence at the event to make people aware of our products, or maybe even to get orders in. We'll have a Raffle Ticket kiosk to boost sales and offer them online again in the ticket purchasing area. 
Don Gwinn announced that painting will continue on Saturday, June 11, starting at 9 a.m. at 1930 Jackson St. Brien Johnson, Dan Coyne, Nick Powers, and Keith Sarpolis volunteered.
and that he and Bill Vernon did a repair for Lula, who is still making lunch every day for Connections for the Homeless. Don leaves for Guatemala this week.
Nick Powers asked what the largest cities in the world were in 1900. The answer: London, New York City, and Chicago in that order. Today none of the largest cities are in the U.S. or Europe. They are in Asia. In the future it is predicted they will be in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Linda Gerber thanked Dan Coyne for hosting the Taste of Evanston meeting on very short notice.
Bill Glader thanked Don Gwinn for his hard work organizing projects with Rebuilding Together.
Neil Gambow thanked Kassandra  McGovern for stepping up to work on organizing our part of the Fourth of July parade.
Keith Banks thanked Michelle Macklin and Dan Coyne from Reba Place Development Corporation Board for their work on TEO and their affordable housing work.
Topic – Inspired Indian Cooking
Speaker – Kalpana Waikar, founder and CEO
Kalpana’s parents came to the U.S. in the 60’s with her and her two brothers and settled initially in Columbia, Mo. They had come to the States on student visas for higher education.
Her mom had a hard time adjusting to the cold. Her dad earned his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. They later moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they were part of an Indian community. Kalpana’s mother and the other women cooked for the men.
Kalpana was the only Asian in her high school and there was only one Black person. She badly wanted to fit in with her peers, asking for P&B sandwiches for lunch instead of Indian food. Her parents were strict but loving and she has a deep appreciation for the obstacles they faced in coming to this country.
She never learned how to cook Indian food in her youth. Her mother knew the recipes well, but there were no cookbooks or written recipes, and her mother’s instructions were rather vague. Kalpana earned a degree in English at the University of Cincinnati and went to work as a sales rep for Abbott. She had met her husband before he went to college in California and they reconnected. She moved to Los Angeles and her love of cooking started in the mid '70’s when she finally saw an Indian cookbook.
She married her husband, who was a management consultant, and they moved to Chicago with their 10-month-old son. Soon after, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and after 6 months of treatment, he was cancer-free and has remained so for 20 years. The experience made them yearn for a change.
He left his consulting job and became a creative writer and stay-at-home dad, and she started business school at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern in 2005 when she was 37 years old. She was hired at Kellogg as an academic advisor and then director of academic services and worked at Kellogg for seven years.
By this time they had both a son and a daughter. Kalpana was ready for a change and wanted to start a business. She learned that people wanted to learn how to cook Indian food but had difficulty sourcing the necessary fresh spices.
In 2019 she was selling monthly subscription boxes with curated meals and shipping them around the country. With the beginning of the pandemic, as the business grew through word of mouth, it became too much for one person.  In August 2020, she put the business on hold and started working on a long-term viable business of selling spice kits for specific Indian dishes.
These included a recipe and were easier to distribute. She and her husband decided she needed a retail store and found the former Hewn Bakery site on Dempster to be an ideal spot to carry out her new retail business plan. This required cleaning, painting, and meeting Evanston zoning requirements. She signed a lease in September 2021 and opened her store, Inspired Indian Cooking,  in mid-December of that year.  They sold 2,000 spice kits in the first 10 days!  Her son just graduated from college and her daughter has finished her freshman year.
Guests and Milestones
Visiting Rotarians
Evelyn Lee – Asst. Governor 2020-22 - Rotary Club of Evanston
Scott Daniels – Asst. Governor 2022-23 – Glenview Sunrise Club
Other Guests
Kalpana Waikar – Speaker
Jose Lopez
Bill Vernon – June 11 
Club Anniversaries
Brad Weiss – 16 years – June 6, 2006
Kathy Tate-Bradish – 7 years – June 9, 2015