*SPECIAL NOTE: PDG Steve Kuhn reached out to former Rotary International president, Ian Riseley, concerning the fires in his home country of Australia. Past President Riseley replied the he and his wife Juliet are fine and the fires are about 100 miles away. He thanks everyone for their support during this this very trying time for this country...he notes that Rotarians around the world are making a difference in Australia!
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Six short term exchange students from Argentina joined the Sycamore Rotary Club for a meeting on January 22, 2020. The exchange is coordinated through the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Sur in Argentina. The students will spend six weeks with area host families and then this summer their American counterparts will visit them in Argentina. Short term exchange is a great way for area youth to experience another culture, both as a host and as a guest!
Each year, District 6420 hosts The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, also known as RYLA. RYLA is a Rotary Club sponsored event for students in grades 9-12 to attend the weekend camp where they will gain valuable leadership skills and make new friendships. The 2020 RYLA weekend will be held at the Lorado Taft Campus in Oregon, Illinois from Friday, May 1st through Sunday the 3rd. Students participate in a number of engaging activities centered around leadership development and they get to hear from a number of motivational speakers during the weekend. The camp also promotes many values of Rotary, to include selfless service, teamwork, creativity and inclusion. For the past two years, we've been at near max capacity...interested students should contact their local Rotary club about applying and local Rotary clubs should be seeking them out! Now is the time! Watch the 2019 RYLA video here.
Rotary once again had a Rose Parade Float submission this year. Picture is above. The operating budget for the float is $100,000 yet this is the only Rotary advertising you will see on TV.  The Tournament of Roses is viewed by over 70 million viewers around the globe each year with over 700,000 in attendance.  Rotary International does not fund this endeavor as it is the generosity of fellow Rotarians across the country that have made this a tradition for well over 35 years.  The Rotary Rose Parade Float won the Princess Award in 2017 and 2018.

During January, Rotarians are encouraged to focus on this important avenue of Rotary service. Discussions on vocational service can lead to projects that not only develop the ethical consciousness and vocational skills of Rotarians but also the talents within their communities. Vocational Service Month is an opportunity to begin year-long vocational service activities, ranging from Rotary discussions to awards to community projects. Following are some suggested activities to undertake during Vocational Service Month:

  • Devote a meeting in January to examine the second Avenue of Service, including The Four-Way Test and The Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions. After expanding members' awareness, solicit their input in planning projects for the remainder of the year.
  • Introduce a "mini-classifications talk" series in which each member gives a five-minute talk on his or her vocation. Schedule one speaker for the beginning of each meeting until everyone has made a presentation. The purpose of these talks is to promote vocational awareness among Rotarians and help them recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations.
  • Present a vocational award to someone in the community who has exemplified outstanding professional achievement while maintaining very high ethical standards. Promote the presentation within the community, and consider making it an annual October event.
  • Invite experts to give a presentation on the vocational needs of the community and develop a project in response to those needs. Possible projects could focus on developing character, providing career information to youth, mentoring small businesses, or organizing workshops that provide employees with new skills.
  • Encourage club members to put their vocational skills to work as a Rotary Volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are available on ProjectLINK, a valuable resource that lists many vocational projects that clubs and districts can also choose to support financially or with donated goods. ProjectLINK also includes examples of successful vocational service projects that Rotary clubs can model as they plan their own activities.

For more information, visit www.rotary.org * or contact RI staff at vocationalservice@rotary.org

Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary Grant Makes an Impact
For the past three years, the Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary has funded a $10,000 community grant focused on children, youth and families of DeKalb County. One 2019 recipient, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), recently provided some feedback on the impact of the grant. CASA provides advocates for abused and neglected children who are involved in some type of legal process. Being an advocate requires a good deal of specialized training and CASA's grant submission requested funding to increase their capacity for training additional, much needed, volunteers to meet the needs of the children and youth of DeKalb County.
From the Director of CASA, Jill Olson, "Thank you again to the Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary for its grant to CASA.  We have begun our Fall Advocate Training Class and I am attaching a few pictures for you to share with your members.  Our class has 6 new volunteers and is being taught by 2 of our staff members.  The classes include 30 hours of training using the National CASA Association Guided Learning Curriculum which is a new version this year.  This curriculum uses a number of video exercises as part of the instruction so the addition of the laptop, monitor and big screen TV has been a great addition and has permitted us to set up the training in our offices.  These new trainees will be completing their training in mid November and will be sworn in by the DeKalb County Juvenile Court in early December.  Our next training class will begin in the spring of 2020.
We appreciate the support of your Rotary Club in helping us to create the best possible learning environment for our advocates.  Effective advocacy for the abused and neglected children in DeKalb County is essential in order to carry out CASA’s mission of a safe and permanent home for these children as soon as possible.  Thank you for helping us to do this."
According to Heather Hilleshiem, president of the Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary Club, "This is exactly the type of local impact we hope to make on our community through this grant each year. We're funding this grant primarily through our annual "Taste of DeKalb" event in September and our hope is that the popularity and success of that event in years to come will allow us to increase the value and impact of our grant."

A historic announcement was given on October 24th, World Polio Day:

The World Health Organization’s declaration of the eradication of WPVtype3.

Now on to eradicating WPVtype1 which means we would eradicate polio world wide!


Our AA Sisterhood of Schools joint project with RCs and rotarians of D-4921 🇦🇷 and Sycamore Rotary Club of D-6420 🇺🇸 moves forward to its eighth-year-in-a-row student exchange.
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February 2020

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