Member notes and letters - General

Chicago Public School Science Fair

Hello, judges!
Thank you for donating your time and expertise for judging the 68th Annual CPS Student Science Fair, Inc. Symposium Competition on Thursday, March 15th. I greatly appreciate this!
Sixteen of the presenters qualified for the State competition and will be presenting at Bradley University in Peoria at the end of April. We wish them the best.
I look forward to working with all of you again next year, at our new venue; where-ever it might be.
Thank you, again! We couldn't do this without you!

My best,
Jennifer Patush
March 15, 2018
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I would like to extend my appreciation to the Kiwanis Club for your continued and outstanding support of the annual swim meet. This year there were one hundred and forty-three swimmers registered who were representing nine area agencies. One hundred and twenty-five were able to compete the day of the meet. I would like to give a special thank you to Lisa (Raisin) for another outstanding job as announcer, and thank you to all of the Kiwanis and Key Club member for providing a great meet for the athletes.

Lisa White, SEASPAR
November 22, 2006
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Bob Jacobs Recognized as an Outstanding Citizen by District 58

On Monday, September 11th at 7:00 p.m. the District 58 Board of Education will hold its regular monthly meeting at the Longfellow Center, 1435 Prairie, Downers Grove. The District 58 Legislative Committee and Board of Education will be recognizing Robert "Bob" Jacobs at this meeting. Bob has served on the Legislative Committee for 13 years and has been dedicated to our children, our district, and our community. As a current committee member, you may have either served with Bob in past years or gotten to know him for a brief instance. We are hoping a respectable representation of Legislative Committee members will be able to attend this Board meeting and help recognize an outstanding citizen who gave of himself time after time for the benefit of children. Please mark this date on your calendar. After formal recognition by the Board, a reception/ recess with coffee and cake will be scheduled.

District 58 Legislative Committee
September 1, 2006
Bob Jacobs
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Relay for Life by Bob Jacobs

Dear Kiwanis Friends

The experience of being invited to march in the first lap of the Relay for Life on the eve of May 20th was incredible. As many of you know, Relay For Life is an annual Fund raiser staged by the American Cancer Society. To participate as a survivor was indeed an honor as well as a very emotional event for me personally. I happened to be the oldest of the group at age 80 - and walking side by side with a little girl only eight years old (and with a big broad smile on her face) certainly added to the emotions of the evening - both spiritually and real-life. Maya Hall is her name. She came all the way from Peoria to participate in the Relay for Life. Maya suffers from a rare tumor malignancy, but fortunately has been under control thru a prescribed chemo treatment
this past year. A periodic scan will keep physicians alert to her condition. Let's remember Maya in our prayers.

Here's a salute to Gretchen Sauer - and of course her army of South High School Key Clubbers, teachers, and secretaries Thirty teams were organized with over 300 participants - walking and jogging the South High track beginning at 7:00 PM that evening and continuing on until 7:00 AM the next morning. Is it any wonder that the proceeds from pledges and donors reached close to $50,000?? Our heartiest congratulations to all these wonderful people who participated and
supported this wonderful event.

Our DG Kiwanis Club was one of the chief supporters as well - and it was great to be able to say hello to many of our Kiwanis friends. - helping out at such a meaningful fund raiser event. Having one of our families there to partake in the delicious buffet - organized by Gretchen and her
kids - was a special treat as well.

Bob Jacobs
May 20, 2006
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2nd Annual Ride the Rail Bike Ride by Paul J. Jarsoz

I participated in TCF Bank's 2nd Annual Ride the Rail Bike Ride for the March of Dimes. A group of 11 of us rode our bikes from Milwaukee to Chicago in two days. TCF Bank is an avid supporter of the March of Dimes and the Ride the Rail is just one of the many fund raising events the Bank sponsors.

Truth be told, I was one of the slower riders, but I didn't drop out (two did) and actually completed the ride. Not bad for an aging Baby Boomer whose idea of exercise is walking down the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

In spite of my sister's dire prediction, I didn't have a heart attack, not even mild chest pains. My thighs did feel like lead after the first day of riding though. Thank goodness for Motrin and the hot tub at the hotel. I experienced only nominal butt soreness, which I attribute to my many dedicated years of holding desk jobs. And Doyle you'll be happy to hear that I experienced no back problems.  (Must have been that pre-ride adjustment.)

We started off on Friday morning from the TCF Bank Bayside branch, located approximately ten miles north of downtown Milwaukee. The weather was in the 60's and partly-cloudy, which was great biking weather. We biked by incredible mansions in Shorewood, passed by the world-famous Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum, cruised through downtown Milwaukee and had a picnic lunch at the South Shore Yacht Club, located just south of downtown. From here on, we generally followed the Milwaukee to Chicago bike trip promoted by Wisconsin radio station WGTD.

The segment from the Yacht Club, hugging the lake through Cudahy and South Milwaukee ending at Oak Creek Parkway, was glorious: incredible scenery and views of the lake. The flip side was the trip through Racine (along urban streets) and Kenosha (along a monotonous gravel path through the prairie). By this time, the temperature had dropped a bit. Thanks to our support team, we were brought to our hotel, for showers, dinner and blissful sleep. (Big treat: sleep number beds at the Radisson. Who knew?)

On Saturday, we rejoined the trail after departing from the TCF Bank Waukegan branch. Mother Nature looked favorably upon us, as it was sunny and in the 70's. This segment of the path up to the Great Lakes Naval Station is another gravel path, which appears to be an abandoned train line bordered by nondescript housing stock. South of the Naval Station we found ourselves on a tree-lined asphalt path, generally cycling parallel to the Metra tracks. This segment went through some of the most affluent Chicago Northshore suburbs. After passing through Wilmette, we arrived at Evanston, where we cycled on the streets until we reached the Northwestern University Campus. At this point the path ran along the lake front and we were treated to a postcard-perfect view of downtown Chicago. Upon reaching the Chicago border, we traveled the streets for about three miles at which point we joined the Chicago lake front bike path at the northern-most fringe of Lincoln Park. After biking for a few more leisurely miles along the bike path (passing through clots of healthy young joggers, roller bladers and cyclists) we left the path, made a quick jog through the streets of Lincoln Park and ended the trip at the Children's Memorial Hospital Outpatient Clinic on north Clark Street.

Taking into account our revamped itinerary (due to unexpected construction, and bowing to time pressures) and tossing in a few wrong turns here & there, I rode for approximately 88 miles. Who would have thought?

But most importantly I raised $1,410, surpassing my goal of $1,000.

Paul J. Jarsoz
May 19-20, 2006
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Downers Grove - Winner of the 2003 Governor's Home Town Award - April 2003

Keith Hoffman and Marc Hausmann celebrated reaching goal by shaving their heads

Why were people cheering when Marc Hausmann and Keith Hoffman had their heads shaved at the Scot press/Julian BBQ? Marc and Keith promised to shave their heads if the Chamber/Kiwanis Bone Marrow Drive raised $21,000. The crowd recognized the tremendous amount of hard work that went into organizing the Bone Marrow Drive and the dedicated efforts of hundreds of volunteers involved in the process. Reaching the goal was a major accomplishment for the entire community and could help make a positive difference for people with life threatening illnesses in Downers Grove and around the world.

The State of Illinois also recognized the significance of this project. In April, Downers Grove received the 2003 Governor's Home Town Award. For 22 years, the Home Town Award Program has honored communities that have planned and implemented projects that positively addressed local needs and had strong volunteer involvement. The Bone Marrow Drive qualified on both those fronts.

Kiwanis members Keith Hoffman, Becky Anderson and Warren Holbrook with Award

In a few short months, the Bone Marrow Drive united the entire community and raised a total of $22,500 to fund the bone marrow testing of 1,070 people. To date, 523 people have undergone testing and three potential matches have been identified. One donor completed a transplant in hopes of helping a young girl in St. Louis. All test results were placed in the National Bone Marrow Registry, which is accessible to people throughout the world. In addition, 60 people donated blood in hopes of saving more lives.

In March 2003, judges visited Downers Grove to learn more about our Bone Marrow Drive and meet the people involved. In April, the State of Illinois announced that Downers Grove had won the Home Town Award.  In June, representatives from the Village traveled to Springfield Illinois to attend the 2003 Governor's Home Town Awards Banquet to accept the Award.

Winning the 2003 Governor's Home Town Award is a great honor, recognizes the tremendous volunteer efforts of the hundreds of people who were involved with the Bone Marrow Drive and reflects the warm hometown spirit of our community. Congratulations to all involved in bringing the 2003 Governor's Home Town Award "Home" to Downers Grove
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ILLINOIS BELL TELEPHONE'S (AMERITECT'S) - Highest Community Service Award - The Alexander Graham Bell Award for FORMATION OF TROOP 84
1988 Report by Curtis B. Frank

I provided initial planning, guidance and coordination to create and maintain a Boy Scout Troop, which would serve the more severely
Illinois Bell President, Frank Zimmerman and Curtis Frank
retarded and handicapped young boys in the Western suburbs. After the troop was formed, I continued to provide guidance and assistance in order to help the troop become solidly established and functional in providing a meaningful and challenging experience for the boys.

As scoutmaster of Troop 57 of Downers Grove, I had successfully opened that troop to the financially disadvantaged, the mildly retarded, and the deaf. These youths were able to enjoy the full scout program and enter into the many challenging activities with assistance from the other youth of the troop. This sharing strengthen the troop, but it also had its limitations in that the programs had to be geared to the majority of the scouts in order to hold their interest and to provide the caliber of program that could give them a challenge. The more severely handicapped youth who could benefit by the companionship, skill training, and leadership development offered by scouting were thus excluded.

A "new" troop was needed that could provide scouting benefits with programs scaled to the special needs of the more severely retarded and physically handicapped youth. Several years ago, a troop for the handicapped was attempted in Western Springs, but it had failed leaving the youth of the Western suburbs unable to join in with their peers above the Cub Scout level.

Fortunately, my active participation in scouting for nearly twenty years coupled with my involvement in the Downers Grove Breakfast Kiwanis and with the Downers Grove Park District's SEASPAR program for the handicapped afforded me with the necessary resources and connections to start a new scout troop for the handicapped.

Kiwanis has been willing to assist and help the scouting program and has provided financial assistance to Troop 57 by helping the scouts afford Summer camp and special high adventure activities. During the Summer and Fall of 1986, I worked with the president of Kiwanis, Mr. Leroy James, with the idea of starting a new troop that would cater to the handicapped and be sponsored by Kiwanis. Mr. Bruce Gates, West Suburban Council District Executive, and Mr. John Katzfey, the Scouting Coordinator, were very receptive of the idea as well as Mr. Bob Pindar of SEASPAR. Together we worked to make the new troop a reality. Since SEASPAR is regional in scope and in order to be able to serve the maximum number of handicapped youth, we decided to make the new scout troop regional in scope encompassing suburbs from as far away as Elmhurst, Brookfield, Lemont and Naperville. After conducting several exploratory meetings in the Fall of 1986 we met with the Downers Grove Kiwanis Club to present a plan of action and to secure their support for a new troop. After soliciting the assistance of a fellow Scoutmaster, Mr. Jim Baldwin of Troop 80, the stage was set to start organization meetings with the parents of the initial core of twelve scouts who showed an interest in joining a new troop. The meetings continued throughout the Winter of 1986-1987 with the target of being able to start as early as the Spring of 1987.

Although I had full support of the scouting council and other involved scouters, we realized that in order for the new troop to function and be viable, leadership would have to come from the parents themselves. The parents were understandably very apprehensive of the program, how their children would fit in, and were unsure of their own capabilities of leading the new troop and of the contribution they could make. With Bob Pindar' s guidance and the assistance of my fellow scouters and their wives, we met repeatively. As our meetings stretched from Winter to Spring of 1987 we provided scout training along with each organizational meeting until the parents felt confident in their own abilities and the scouting movement.

A major obstacle of obtaining a Scoutmaster was in a large part overcome by my giving the parents my personal assurance that I would be there to assist them. Since I was already Scoutmaster of Troop 57, I would not be able to properly run one troop while simultaneously giving all the support necessary to start and maintain a second troop. A new Scoutmaster for Troop 57 had to be found. Mr. Dave Conley, a former Webelo's Leader came forward so that I could reduce my Troop 57 involvement to that of Assistant Scoutmaster. As assistant I still went and helped on all campouts, and hikes throughout 1987 as well as spending two weeks at Summer Camp, but Dave shouldered the weekly responsibility of planning and overseeing Troop 57's meetings freeing me for the new troop.

Our many meetings with scouters, scouts and parents finally paid off when Troop 84 was chartered with Mr. Laddie Malek as Scoutmaster and Mrs. Joy Kellogg as Committee Chairman for a core of eight enthusiastic scouts. Everyone's personal contribution of time and energy was rewarded, as we knew we had a core of workers who would make Troop 84 strong. Since the original meetings were carried on well into 1987, the first troop meeting could not be held until the end of Spring preventing us from fully organizing the scouts into patrols until late Summer due to vacations. I do not know of anyone who logged the actual hours involved, but they were extensive, especially if you consider the men of Kiwanis, the men and women of scouting, the SEASPAR organization, the parents, the new scouts as well as present scouts from both Troop 57 and Troop 80 who gave unselfishly of their time and talents.

With the arrival of Fall, Mr. Baldwin, who is scoutmaster of Troop 80 and myself accompanied by volunteer scouts from our respective troops, assisted the new scouts by teaching outdoor skills at the weekly troop meetings. Also, several scouts of Troop 80 accompanied the new scouts on their first short day hike and the new scouts were invited to join with the other troops at their first Camp-O-Ree in October. Additional plans to have the new scouts join Troop 57 scouts for a cookout and overnight are temporarily put on hold due to the cold weather and the understandable apprehensive of the new scout parents for the boys tenting in cool weather.

Although Troop 84 has its advancement requirements and activities geared to the special needs of the scouts, the ideas of scouting are the same. In order to better promote patrol coordination, a basketball game was organized as the troop was forced to consider more indoor activities. Mr. Malek and the parents coached and I was elected by the scouts as referee. At first all effort was based strictly on each scout for himself, but after several weeks, the scouts started to play more as a team, which was a rewarding experience for me.

So that the scouts would not lose interest, the troop meetings had to be kept interesting and involve the scouts. I combined these two ideas by teaching them First Aid. The use of bandages goes over well with all boys and Troop 84 was not an exception. The First Aid merit badge is not easy in any troop, and the First Aid segment proved to be just as challenging for Troop 84. After five weeks of participative teaching, capped by a film by the Downers Grove Para-medics, I was rewarded once more to see six of the scouts earn the segment for advancement.

With the return of Spring, we will start simple outdoor activities that can involve the scouts as patrols.

Equipping a new troop can be costly. The troop flag and lettering alone cost over $200 but it is a very important symbol during troop activities and for giving personal pride to the scouts. After Troop 3 which was the first troop chartered in Downers Grove stopped several years ago because of the closing of the schools which brought boys to that troop, I was honored by having their last colors awarded to me. With great pride I re-dedicated these same colors to Troop 84 as the first troop for the handicapped in Downers Grove and Kiwanis paid for the lettered troop flag.
Some troop equipment was able to be donated by other area troops, and operating funds were earned by the new scouts themselves in order that they could have personal pride. With only eight handicapped scouts to start with, fund raising was limited. By having Troop 84 sell Christmas wreaths and garland, their order could be added to Troop 57's large wholesale order giving Troop 84 all the advantage of a large troop. In addition to helping Troop 57 deliver their wreaths, I delivered wreaths to the new scouts of Troop 84 so they could distribute them themselves to their customers. The scouts of Troop 84 earned over $250 to pay for their awards and equipment on their own.

When we started Troop 84 there were several parents who had reservations on the value of scouting for their sons. With the success of Troop 84, we are expecting many more boys to join us come Spring and are now actively recontacting those parents and boys.

When you help any child there's a great reward, and I have felt this reward for my nineteen years in scouting, but none as great as the love that is given freely by the handicapped. With my recent nomination as a district scouter, I will endeavor to continue my service to the youth for herein lives the future.

Curtis B. Frank
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