Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Jun 22, 2021 6:00 PM
See Upcoming Events to Register
Jun 29, 2021
Year End Report
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Installation of 2021-22 Board - Dinner on June 22
Lighthouse Beach Pavilion
Jun 22, 2021
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Club Service Committee - Zoom
Jul 14, 2021
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Club Service Committee - Zoom
Aug 11, 2021
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
View entire list
The Light for June 15, 2021
The Light for June 15, 2021
By Kate Collinson
President Chris Joyce welcomed members to the meeting before leading the group in the Why We Are Rotarians statement.    Zbig Skiba gave the Thought for the Day: Zbig is creating CEO mastermind groups for business leaders who value People, Planet, and Profit. It can be a little scary starting a new venture, so he seeks inspiration wherever he can. Here are some of his favorite inspirational quotes from different perspectives:
  • “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.” Ornette Coleman, Jazz musician
  • “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
Katherine Peterson reminded the group that we will NOT be meeting virtually next Tuesday morning.  Please join us on Tuesday, June 22, 6 p.m. at Lighthouse Beach Pavilion for a barbecue dinner (catered by Hecky’s) with a delicious dessert for the 2021-2022 Installation of the new Board, and an opportunity to thank the Board of 2020-2021.  Vaccinated members and their guests must register at our club’s website (  Sign into your account, go to “Upcoming Events,” click on “Installation” and see the “Members” button under “Online Registration”. The deadline for RSVPs was Friday. Please bring a lawn chair and a non-alcoholic beverage.    We hope to see you there for the first club gathering in a very long time!
Ann Weatherhead explained that interested members will be walking on Sunday afternoon, as part of an ELRC Race Against Hate team.  Please consider supporting the racial equity work of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore by participating in this annual run/walk.  To register, go to the YWCA website:    Then, select: Join A Team, Enter: Evanston Lighthouse Rotary – Ann Weatherhead.  Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email and instructions for T-shirt pick-up.  Date, time and location:  Sunday, June 20, at 2 p.m., meeting on the front lawn of the Evanston History Center.  After a 30 - 40 minute walk along the Lakefront, there will be Fellowship time, details TBD.
Rotary’s Virtual Convention takes place this week with lots of interesting speakers and break-out sessions.  Check it out!  Houston will be hosting next year’s (hopefully ‘in person’) convention!
Bill Glader explained that a Taste-of-Evanston Zoom meeting was scheduled for Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. The Committee will be discussing Sponsorships, Silent Auction, Restaurants, Master of Ceremonies, Publicity Plans, Permits & Insurance, and Website (  
Zbig Skiba reminded members there are only 16 (of 50) remaining trees available for purchase – in memory of a father or another occasion.  These will be larger trees, subsidized by City of Evanston, and the cost is $80.    Please refer to Zbig’s email, or contact him directly, for further info.
Bruce Baumberger reported that he purchased a quantity of Ravinia tickets for performances on July 9, 17, 23, and Aug 15.  If you have an interest in attending any of these concerts, please let Bruce know.
Foundation Chair Gary Peterson encouraged members to make their annual Rotary International contributions.  While we’ve already exceeded the club’s $18,000 2020-2021 Goal, further contributions will increase the funds available for future matching grants.  To donate, please visit, selecting the Annual Fund option.
New Member Installation
President Chris Joyce virtually welcomed Vai Ravikumar into our club (with Sponsor Zbig Skiba).  Zbig reconnected with Vai when she was interested in purchasing a tree as part of our planting campaign.  Vai mentioned that she was considering re-joining our club – and the rest is history.  Bruce Baumberger shared some passages from Vai’s original Rotary biography:  She immigrated to Pittsburgh from India in 1979, ultimately earning a Masters at the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. Vai has two sons and has primarily worked in Banking and IT management.  She is Interested in our domestic and international service projects.  We’re glad to have Vai back and look forward to working together!
Topic: Community Service Grant Awardees
Organizer: Susan Prout
Susan thanked members for raising funds (through TOE and the Holiday Sale) to support our Community Service Grant awardees!  “We couldn’t do it without you!”   Rather than set a theme and request proposals from local non-profits, the Community Service Committee focused this year on current needs – and more specifically, urgent needs.  The committee then brainstormed groups that were filling critical needs during the pandemic. 
Committee members contacted organizations and began disbursing funds as needed. Where necessary, committee members also helped groups develop their fund requests.  The process was very gratifying as committee members learned more about non-profits in our community.  Four of 16 grant recipients will be sharing information this morning.  It’s hoped that the other worthy organizations will be able to participate in future meetings.  A spreadsheet of all 2020-2021 Community Service Grant recipients will be emailed to each member.
Debi Morganfield, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois (MWNEI), began her presentation with an enthusiastic thank you!  ELRC funds will be used to subsidize the costs for elderly individuals who cannot afford the full meal fees.  Evanston Meals at Home, Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois has been serving Evanston and the surrounding area for 53 years.  In the “most radical movement in its history,” Meals on Wheels built a food production facility just prior to the onset of COVID.  In operation for one year now, the facility allows MWNEI to deliver fresh, rather than packaged/processed, foods. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, MWNEI did not miss a beat!  Staff wore many hats and the organization adapted, initially delivering frozen foods weekly while safely distanced.  Volunteers over 65 years of age were asked to sit things out and instead made wellness phone calls to the isolated population MWNEI serves.  With tremendous community support (800 current volunteers and countless donors), Meals on Wheels was able to get through this, successfully feeding people during a very scary time!  Aidan Vernon, son of Bill Vernon, built a three-level vertical garden for MWNEI as his Eagle Project.  The garden is currently used to grow herbs and flowers to enhance participant meals.
Rev. Michael Nabors of the Second Baptist Church thanked our club for its donation of $1,350 to their Tuesday Soup Kitchen.  Funded through the Second Baptist Church budget, the Tuesday Soup Kitchen typically serves 57 individuals and 4-5 families.  In addition to a warm, home-cooked buffet-style meal (prepared in their communal kitchen by volunteers under the supervision of Calvin Parkes, Kitchen Coordinator), participants also enjoy fellowship and an hour’s rest.  While COVID-19 precluded the use of their social hall for the Tuesday Soup Kitchen, brown-bagged delivery of meals (masked and socially distanced, of course!) continued every Tuesday. Volunteers with health care and social work backgrounds further ministered to those members of the downtown community in need.  As Illinois moves into Phase 5, Second Baptist Church looks forward to returning their Tuesday population to the fellowship hall!
ELRC member Clarence Weaver (of C&W Market and the C&W Foundation) explained that no one could have foreseen how appropriate their tag line – “here to serve the community” would be!  Living in the community, C&W has been well-placed to pivot in response to public needs.  Their Saturday morning grocery giveaway, in its 63rd week, represents a unique collaborative effort (District 65, Evanston Aid, Evanston Community Foundation, ELRC).   What began as an effort to feed 25 seniors has grown to efficiently serve more than 200 families in less than an hour – curbside, masked, and socially distanced.  Recipients are comfortable asking for help from C&W, and C&W maintains its “line of sight” on those in need. 
Tackling food insecurity while respecting the Environment (Rotary’s newest area of focus) was a goal for Joy Joyce of the Community Service Committee.  Inspired by the quote – “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” Joy contacted a number of interconnected organizations supporting ecology, the environment, and sustainable agriculture.  Joy introduced Jennifer Billingsley from the Evanston Food Exchange.  With the Foster Street Urban Agriculture program/Family Focus, the Edible Evanston Project, and the Youth Grow Team Ridgeville, the Evanston Food Exchange received ELRC funding this year at the beginning of the growing season, allowing it to do larger projects.  While safety protocols were necessary during COVID, the ‘outside’ nature of their work meant they could still accomplish their goals.  The Evanston Food Exchange shifted its focus during the past year to growing more food for distribution to the community.  Over the last year, Chef Q Ibraheem has developed an organization and distribution network serving more than 200 meals several times/week.   Jennifer was optimistic that much food would be grown during the coming months and participating children would have a great experience. 
Susan Prout thanked our speakers and explained that Certificates of Appreciation would be dropped off to each recipient organization.  Lastly, thanks to the Community Service Committee for identifying and working with these fine organizations. 
Guests and Milestones
Jason Kaiser, Howard Area Community Center, prospective member
Kelly Nunn & Patric McDowell, Wickshire Senior Living of Wilmette, prospective sponsors of TOE
Jennifer Billingsley, Evanston Food Exchange, speaker
Debi Morganfield, Meals on Wheels Northeastern Illinois, speaker
Rev. Michael Nabors, Second Baptist Church of Evanston, speaker
Jacob Bachman, June 19
Clarence Weaver, June 25
Club Anniversary
Jean Saunders – June 21, 5 years
Next Week’s Meeting
Installation Dinner:  Tuesday, June 22, 6 p.m.  at Evanston Lighthouse Beach