Rotarians in the News:  Deb Dunkhase, and Toby Hyde


There will be a Community Grants meeting after next week’s General Membership meeting.

The date of the Community Grants event is February 26 – more on this later.

John Ockenfels said that one of the things we’re trying to do this year is track our alumni of youth exchange and group exchange programs to invite them to become Rotarians.

Deb PVA introduced our speaker/topic – the District 6000 Conference next year.  It will be hosted by our club due to DG John Ockenfels being one of our members.  Deb and Mike Messier are co-chairs of the conference, which will be held April 16-18 next year.

Nancy Pacha revealed that Home Hospitality is being revived as a Friday night event.  It has been offered sporadically at previous conferences – it involves inviting Rotarians from other clubs into your house for a meal.  More than half a dozen of us have already volunteered.

Chris Knapp’s favorite event is the flag ceremony which is a procession of inbound and outbound exchange students carrying their native flags.

Jim Peterson noted that at the lunches and dinners, each table saves a space for exchange students, of which we have roughly fourteen inbound and ten outbound.  They will be attending sessions, staffing display tables and talking about their countries.  They will be the 15 to 17-year-olds wearing the badge jackets.

Jim also noted that the rotary grant program projects are highlighted during the conference – few Rotarians are familiar with their scope.

The traditional House of friendship will have tables about countries, projects and vendors, probably in the foyer of the Marriott.

The first day of the conference will be Thursday April 16.  Instead of a golf tournament there will be some informal group activities that are expected to include a beer and wine tasting.

On Friday the official conference begins.  There's a two hour luncheon, which will probably be one of the two most-attended events (along with Saturday’s luncheon).  Bob Bowlsby, a former IC Rotarian and U of I Athletic Director, will be Friday luncheon’s speaker – his topic will be why it's important that kids be involved in community service projects outside school.

Saturday will be similar to Friday except that it will include a breakfast.  Saturday's luncheon speaker will be Priyanka Rao, a phenomenal young woman that many IC Rotarians may be familiar with.  Also on Saturday we're looking at presenting some panel sessions discussing topics encompassing more than just Rotary.

Saturday night Aaron Thomas will be the keynote speaker, the son of the Aplington Parkersburg coach instrumental in recovering from the tornado.  Preucil School will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with some entertainment as well.

None of the events will be black tie optional event this year – rotary casual is the attire.

Sit at a table with people you don't know if you want to learn something about other clubs, and meet people you'll continue to see for years.

District Conference is more than annual meeting - it's a party to celebrate John’s year as District Governor. They are not for Rotary elite or directors and officers, but for everyone.

We're anticipating 400 people attending at least a portion of the activities, including Rotarians from other districts.

Information about the conference will be continually updated on the district 6000 website.