DeKalb County Life for May 26, 2018: New Oak Crest Area Rotary Club completes first work project

New Oak Crest Area Rotary Club completes first work project

By Barry Schrader, columnist for the Daily Chronicle May 30, 2018

Gathered around the two raised garden boxes they built in the interior courtyard of the Oak Crest health center are 11 members of the new Oak Crest Area Rotary club. In back from left are John Peterson, Jim Walter, Nancy Castle, Dan Kenney, Steven Johnson, Sally Stevens and the volunteer carpenter Manny Mascote. In front from left are Barry and Kay Schrader, Maylan Dunn-Kenney, project cochairs Gayle Thistlethwaite, seated, and Ken Moeller. (Provided photo)

     The newly formed Oak Crest Area Rotary Club, organized as a satellite of the Sycamore Rotary Club, just completed its first work project after two months in existence.

     Club members purchased, assembled and then planted flowers and vegetable plants in two raised garden boxes, ideally suited for tending and viewing by Oak Crest Health Center residents in wheelchairs.

     Working with the DeKalb County Community Gardens, its founder Dan Kenney, also a member of the new Rotary, and a volunteer carpenter from DCCG, Manny Mascote, they assembled garden boxes and added plants obtained from the Walnut Grove Vocational Farm.

     The club has attracted 34 charter members, about half from the Oak Crest retirement complex and the other half from the surrounding DeKalb-Sycamore area. Until a June election, interim officers are chair Sally Stevens, vice chair John Peterson and secretary Barry Schrader.

     A board of directors and officers for the coming fiscal year will be elected next month.

     The club differs from most other service clubs in that there is no meal charge since members can bring their own lunches to the Oak Crest meeting room, and it only meets the second and fourth Thursdays of each month for one hour at noon. Half the hour is spent on club business and discussing potential projects and the other half hour devoted to a program or speaker.

     Initial speakers so far have been state Rep. Bob Pritchard, Daily Chronicle General Manger Eric Olson, attorney Ron Klein, DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith and Kishwaukee College President Laurie Borowicz.

     The next two months’ speakers scheduled are DeKalb County States Attorney Rick Amato, Sycamore Mayor Curt Lang, retired NIU sports information director Mike Korcek, and historian Steve Bigolin.

     Rotary International is a service organization with 1.2 million members worldwide in 35,000 clubs. Other area Rotary chapters in the area include the DeKalb club that meets Monday evenings at the Ellwood House visitors center, Sycamore Rotary that meets at noon Wednesdays at Blumen Gardens, and Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary that meets Tuesday mornings for breakfast at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital.

     People interested in learning more about the new Rotary chapter can contact the secretary Barry Schrader at or call 815-758-5424. 

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