Upcoming Meetings
Becky Bontreger, Owner
Mar 04, 2024 12:00 PM
Middlebury Produce, Inc.
Surf Internet and Quantum Corridor
Mar 11, 2024 12:00 PM
Gene Crusie, Scott Franko, and Ryan Lafler share updates on fiber and quantum computing data
Ken Himes, COO
Mar 18, 2024 12:00 PM
Waste Away Group
Medix Specialty Vehicles
Mar 25, 2024 12:00 PM
Save lives as safely, effectively, and efficiently as possible
Mike Green, RVMH
Apr 01, 2024 12:00 PM
RV/MH Update
Chris Stager, President & CEO of EDC
Apr 08, 2024 12:00 PM
Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County: landing and keeping Amazon
Kyle Brown, Meteorologist NWS
Apr 15, 2024 12:00 PM
​Indiana's Changing Climate
Sarah Koontz, Director, CareerWise Elkhart County
Apr 22, 2024 12:00 PM
CareerWise Elkhart County -- Modern Youth Apprenticeships
Fifth Monday Fun Day
Apr 29, 2024 12:00 PM
Join us for a social lunch!
Elkhart Area First Responders Lunch
May 06, 2024 12:00 PM
Our Annual Luncheon to thank our area's valued first responders!
Diego Morales, Indiana Secretary of State
May 13, 2024 12:00 PM
Indiana Secretary of State
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I'm allowed to be happy.
I'm allowed to be healthy.
I'm allowed to have a wonderful life.
 
 
Today we welcomed Amanda Noland, Health Promotions Specialist/Mental Health First Aid Instructor at the Elkhart County Health Department. She was joined by her guest Andrew Bylsma, Health Administrator at the ECHD. Amanda shared information about stress relief through positive affirmation and resources for mental health. 
 
There are many resources for those in crisis or those wishes to get help before they're in crisis including one of the ECHD's programs:
Mental Health First Aid
Be Prepared for a Mental Health Crisis
If you are in mental health crisis, please call your health care provider or Dial 911 if this is an emergency. Just as First Aid/CPR helps assist an individual learn life-saving skills – even if you have no clinical training – Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health-related concern. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you will learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health issues and substance misuse, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. Before you can know how to help, you need to know when to help. You will gain a basic understanding of what different mental illnesses and substance use disorders are, how they can affect a person’s daily life and what helps individuals experiencing these challenges get well.
You will learn about:
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma
  • Psychosis
  • Substance use disorders
Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.
The Elkhart County Health Department hosts the evidence-based public education programs for anyone interacting with adults or youth. The Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health situation; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. Training information and registration information can be found here: https://health.elkhartcounty.com/documents/4679/March_AMHFA.pdf
 
 
 
About Amanda Noland:
Amanda has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a master’s from Michigan State University in counseling psychology. After pursuing a career in counseling and advising, Amanda is now a Health Promotion Specialist and Mental Health First Aid Instructor with the Elkhart County Health Department. She has been in her current position for 9 years and enjoys educating the general community on mental health challenges. Amanda is an active member of the Elkhart Chamber Women’s Council and the Elkhart County Suicide Prevention Coalition. On a personal note, Amanda enjoys spending quality time with her 2 children, husband, and shih tzu, Winter.

Today we inducted three New Members as a part of our Corporate Membership Program. 
The HUB Bristol has emerged from the Bristol Community Food Pantry, which has faithfully served our hometown and surrounding area for 20+ years.
Prior to the Pantry, several area churches helped residents by keeping small quantities of food available for neighbors in need. The desire of a central location for people to donate food and receive help became a reality in 2004. Over the years, networking with other area pantries and community resource centers, our assistance has expanded – it’s become “more than just food”. In early 2022, a small group of ‘locals’ began discussions of how to take the Pantry to the next level. A vision for The HUB began to emerge: to walk alongside people that are living in the margins, in need of help and direction for a more meaningful life. The “H.U.B.” stands for: Hearts United for Bristol.
Our focus is to bring hope, healing and wholeness to Bristol. We’re doing this by expanding our services, creating a safe place for people to connect, receive assistance and develop paths forward. Those that have a desire to help others will find ways to connect with those who need that help. We desire for Bristol to be a thriving community, one that cares for one another. To Learn more about The HUB please visit their website: https://thehubbristol.com/
 
New Corporate Members from The HUB are: 
  • Chris Garner, Executive Director
  • Sarah Burton, Food Resources Coordinator, and
  • Sarah Farris, Life Resources Coordinator
Please welcome Chris, Sarah, and Sarah into our club and encourage them to get engaged in our committees, activities, and programs.
 

Running List of Rotary Event Announcements 
Rotarians are an integral and engaged part of our active community! Here’s a list of upcoming events represented by Rotarians from the Elkhart Rotary Club. If you’d like more information, contact the Rotarian listed for the event or email elkhartnoonrotary@gmail.com and your message will be forwarded to them. Are you a Rotarian with an event to share? Put it in the format below and email to Eric Garton, he’ll add it to the list.

 
  • Thursday, March 21, at 5 p.m. Thirsty Thursday - come enjoy a drink and fellowship with fellow Rotarians and guests. Come on, come all, drop in at 5 or later. Location: TBD.  Contact: Peter Norton

  • Saturday, March 23, Leprechaun Leap! A fun annual fundraiser for Cancer Resources of Elkhart County held at Re-Pete’s Simonton Lake Tavern, 51426 State Road 19, Elkhart. Gates open at noon, leaping begins at 2 p.m.. For info and registration visit: https://elkhartcancer.org/leap/. Contact: Peter Norton.

  • Friday, May 3, early afternoon time TBD. Celebration of Life for Richard "Dick" Brotherson at First Presbyterian Church followed by an Open House at Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Dick was a 55-year Rotarian and loved Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Contact Eric Garton.

May 10-18 (tentative). Rotary International Service Trip. Two service aspects: distribute eye glasses from an eye clinic now happening in San Isidro and also to work with Peace Corps volunteers to distribute books in connection with Dickerson Literacy Initiative in an area along the coast. The group will be limited to 15 participants not all from Elkhart Rotary. Contact: Doug Risser
 
Today we welcomed Weiss Scholarship Foundation founder Brett Weiss, who shared information about ending poverty through the Weiss Scholarship Foundation's efforts. 
 
The Weiss Scholarship Foundation’s mission is to empower children in Kenya with the gift of education while we work to build a world where every child gets a great education. We have built a business model that we have begun to scale to help many more children. A key part of this model is we do much more than just pay school fees. We have a holistic model with trained staff on the ground who are totally engaged in the lives of our children to make sure where there to praise them on what they do well and help them to overcome the enormous challenges they face every day. Education is the only long-term, sustainable to solution to poverty. We are educating the students who will solve the problems Kenya, and the world face.
 
 
The Weiss Scholarship Foundation was created in memory of Bernard and Elsie Weiss. Both originate from the city of Chicago and grew up very poor during the Great Depression. In spite of their difficult circumstances, they worked hard to make sure their three sons had a great education—and therefore great lives. Bernard and Elsie were passionate about education and understood its importance in creating a successful life. That’s why Brett, their son, felt it was appropriate to begin this foundation in their memory. Inspired by Bernard’s and Elsie’s dedication and passion, we work each day to empower children by trying to create a world in which every child has the opportunity to receive a great education.
 

Brett spent twenty-three years in the software business, four years running a social services organization and eighteen years as a high school social studies teacher. In 2009 he made a volunteer trip to Kenya and spent most of three weeks in the tiny village of Dago. Little did he know then that these kind and hard-working people would become a major part of his life. In 2012 he created the Weiss Scholarship Foundation. In 2017 Brett "retired" so he could devote full time to this work. Brett has spent a lifetime studying how the developed world has been trying to help the third world and was frustrated that despite all of the money that was spent, not much really had changed. The Mission of WSF is to End Poverty and the only way we can do this is to make sure every student gets at least a high school education. To date WSF has already awarded 182 scholarships. WSF also has 7 staff people on the ground in Kenya whose job is to do everything possible to help our students be successful. WSF divides all money equally between girls and boys. Brett wrote a book about this work called, "Just Give Them A Hug...And The Rest Is Easy".  It is available on Amazon. Brett and his wife Christine are the parents of two and grandparents of three. Brett is a member of The Rotary Club of Naperville, Illinois.
 
For more details about Weiss Scholarship Foundation visit: www.weissscholarshipfoundation.org

Today we inducted two new Elkhart Rotarians!
Dr. Patrick Russell, sponsored by Dr. Larry Knight and Chris Cossin, sponsored by Dr. Tom Neat, were inducted by Membership Chair Eric Garton and President Julie Cotton. Please welcome Patrick and Chris and get to know them in the weeks ahead.
 

Running List of Rotary Event Announcements 

Rotarians are an integral and engaged part of our active community! Here’s a list of upcoming events represented by Rotarians from the Elkhart Rotary Club. If you’d like more information, contact the Rotarian listed for the event or email elkhartnoonrotary@gmail.com and your message will be forwarded to them. Are you a Rotarian with an event to share? Put it in the format below and email to Eric Garton, he’ll add it to the list.

  • Thursday, March 21, at 5 p.m. Thirsty Thursday - come enjoy a drink and fellowship with fellow Rotarians and guests. Come on, come all, drop in at 5 or later. Location this month: TBD. Contact: Peter Norton
  • Friday, May 3, early afternoon time TBD. Celebration of Life for Richard "Dick" Brotherson at First Presbyterian Church followed by Open House at Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Dick was a 55-year Rotarian and loved Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Contact Eric Garton. 
  • Early May, 2024. In September, Rotarian Carl Dickerson of Dickerson Literacy Initiatives presented a program at the club about a project in Costa Rica in cooperation with Peace Corps volunteers to distribute books in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Rotarians have distributed books in recent years in connection with eye clinics from IU and the Goshen Rotary Club. We are considering doing a trip to Costa Rica in early May that would distribute books in connection with five Peace Corps volunteers and also distribute eyeglasses that will be made for people from a February 2024 eye clinic trip. If you wish to support such a trip or travel with the group, contact either Doug Risser or Ashley Bowen for more information.

Important Information and Upcoming Deadlines:
  • J & K KISSINGER AWARD NOMINATION FORM Deadline for Submission to elkhartnoonrotary@gmail.com: Mar 29, 2024. The J & K Kissinger Award was created in 1989 by District 6540's then-Governor William H. Heinhuis to commemorate the Rotary life and service of John M. (Jack) Kissinger, a member of the Elkhart Rotary Club who served as District Governor during the 1963-1964 Rotary year.
  • ELKHART ROTARY CLUB - Grant Request Information and Guidelines 2024 As part of its mission of “Service above Self”, the Elkhart Rotary Club provides an opportunity for financial support for programs benefiting the Elkhart County community. Requests for donations/grants will be accepted by email until the end of day Monday, April 1, 2024. Grants normally range from $500-$1000. However, the Donations Committee will consider applications of exceptional merit requesting larger amounts. Funding of approved grants will occur Monday, June 17, 2024 at a regularly scheduled club meeting.
Did you know our Club Sponsors a scholarship for Elkhart High School students?
We established an Endowed Fund with the Community Foundation of Elkhart County in 2023 which will help grow our funds for the future, guaranteeing the continuation of the scholarship initiative. Why? Giving to the Community Foundation’s Elkhart Rotary Club Scholarship fund will make a difference now and the kindness will continue into the future. What are the benefits of giving to our Elkhart Rotary Club Scholarship Fund? The Community Foundation of Elkhart County will match gifts by 25% made to the Rotary Scholarship Endowed Fund. Your $100 gift will really be $125! And it’s tax deductible!
Download the instructions or CLICK HERE to donate!

Today we welcomed Rich Carlton, President of Aunalytics.

Aunalytics is a data platform company that delivers managed IT and analytics services, providing the experts and technologies needed for you to get answers and achieve business outcomes. Aunalytics is a trusted partner in digital transformation. Digital Transformation is top-of-mind for organizations across various industries. But that doesn’t mean simply converting your systems into digital formats. Rather, it is an organization-wide shift to full utilization of data.

Aunalytics builds data platform to deliver answers. Turning data into answers with the secure, reliable, and scalable data platform deployed and managed—as a service.

  • Our Purpose: We use data and technology to improve the lives of others. Our purpose is the north star that guides our strategy and enhances our culture. We are passionate about our role in our community. Our sense of purpose motivates and inspires our people. Our purpose resonates with our midsized clients who are typically purpose driven.
  • Our Team: Everyone is a leader at Aunalytics. It’s in our DNA. Aunalytics believes an inclusive, diverse team produces the best work. At Aunalytics, we believe in being part of something bigger than ourselves.
  • Our Mission: Aunalytics gives back to our communities. At Aunalytics, our mission is to improve lives and communities and are proud to support many local organizations through participation in philanthropic activities—here are a few of the organizations Aunalytics and our team members devote time and resources to:

Aunalytics' data platform powers our answers through 

  • Managed Services
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Data Management
  • Enterprise Cloud

Aunalytics provides an end-to-end solution and access to technical experts so that you can concentrate on achieving business outcomes.

For more information visit: https://www.aunalytics.com/


Today's Guests and Prospective Members
Chris Garner and Sarah Farris from The HUB in Bristol, who have been accepted as members are awaiting their induction (along with Sarah Burton) scheduled for February 26.
We also welcomed prospective member Biran Hollowell from Schrock Commercial in Goshen, who's interested in joining the club.
We also welcomed (for the last time as a guest) Dr. Patrick Russell, who was recently approved as a member by the Board. He'll be inducted soon as is sponsored by Dr. Larry Knight. Also, Chris Cossin, sponsored by Tom Neat, was not present but will also be inducted soon!

Today's Sergeant, Jim Snodgrass, gave a little lesson in Patron Saints, as we celebrate St. Valentine's Day this week. Some fun quizzing of the tables yielded some good fines that support our not for profit partners in the community through our Donations Committee Grants. Eric Garton, Wellfield Botanic Gardens' executive director was asked about the Patron Saint of Horticulture... to which he confidently and accurately answered: Saint Fiacre! He was born in Ireland and sailed over into France in quest of closer solitude, in which he might devote himself to God, unknown to the world. He arrived at Meaux, where Saint Faro, who was the bishop of that city, gave him a solitary dwelling in a forest which was his own patrimony, called Breuil, in the province of Brie. There is a legend that St. Faro offered him as much land as he could turn up in a day, and that St. Fiacre, instead of driving his furrow with a plough, turned the top of the soil with the point of his staff. The anchorite cleared the ground of trees and briers, made himself a cell with a garden, built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, and made a hospice for travelers which developed into the village of Saint-Fiacre in Seine-et-Marne. Many resorted to him for advice, and the poor, for relief. His charity moved him to attend cheerfully those that came to consult him; and in his hospice he entertained all comers, serving them with his own hands, and sometimes miraculously restored to health those that were sick. He never allowed any woman to enter the enclosure of his hermitage, and Saint Fiacre extended the prohibition even to his chapel; several rather ill-natured legends profess to account for it. Others tell us that those who attempted to transgress, were punished by visible judgements, and that, for example, in 1620 a lady of Paris, who claimed to be above this rule, going into the oratory, became distracted upon the spot and never recovered her senses; whereas Anne of Austria, Queen of France, was content to offer up her prayers outside the door, amongst the other pilgrims.
 

THIRSTY THURSDAY, February 15 at Brass Elk! Come enjoy a drink and fellowship with fellow Rotarians and guests. Come on, come all, drop in at 5 or later. Location this month: Brass Elk.  Contact: Peter Norton
Today we welcomed South Bend Rotary Club visiting Rotarian John F. McSorley, Managing Partner with Guidance Wealth, LLC. John presented "America’s Private Retirement System". John is the managing partner and a co-founder of Guidance Wealth, LLC, Guidance Investment Advisors, LLC, and is a partner and co-founder of Guidance Tax & Accounting, LLC.  He has worked in the financial services/risk management industry since 2001. John heads Guidance Wealth’s Qualified Plan Development, working both as an advisory representative and as a fiduciary consultant to ERISA plans. John has been the primary architect and developer of the Guidance Asset Allocation Model Service which offers participants an added level of assistance with selecting or designing an appropriate retirement plan portfolio.  In addition to passing the FINRA Series 7 and 66*, he holds the specific pension industry designations of QPFC (Qualified Plan Financial Consultant) through the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) and AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®) through fi360 and Center for Fiduciary Studies. ​John is a long-time resident of the Michiana area. Following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The University of the State of New York, Albany, later earning his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. John and his family have been involved in service with community organizations, including varsity and club athletics, fine arts, and financial education assistance programs. He is a senior member of Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District’s Military Service Academy Nominations Committee, providing recommendations to our congressional representatives, for the young men and women seeking appointments to the respective service academies.  He also serves on the Finance Committee and Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Michiana, and the Investment Advisory Board for the National RMHC Investment Program.  
 
For more about Guidance Wealth visit: http://www.guidancewealth.com/

Today's guests included:
  • Prospective Member Chris Cossin, a guest of Tom Neat
  • Aaron Mishler, guest of Jamison Czarnecki, and
  • Visiting Rotarian from South Bend, Ella Williams

Rotary Foundation Chair Howard Edwards Made Presentations of Paul Harris Fellow Awards:
  • Andy McCaskey, PHF+7
  • Dave Lehman, PHF+7
  • Eric Garton, PHF+3
  • and Howard Edwards, PHF+2, presented by Past President Todd Stone
Thanks to all for supporting the Rotary Foundation and the good work it does around the world. To support the Rotary Foundation visit: https://www.rotary.org/en/get-involved/ways-to-give

Peter Norton was today's Sergeant and we all learned a lot about Amelia Earhart! Did you know that her lost plane may be found?!
Don't forget, fines support local not for profits in our spring Grants. Know a not for profit that should apply for a grant, CLICK HERE

Running List of Rotary Event Announcements 

Rotarians are an integral and engaged part of our active community! Here’s a list of upcoming events represented by Rotarians from the Elkhart Rotary Club. If you’d like more information, contact the Rotarian listed for the event or email elkhartnoonrotary@gmail.com and your message will be forwarded to them. Are you a Rotarian with an event to share? Put it in the format below and email to Eric Garton, he’ll add it to the list.

 
  • Saturday, February 10 Volunteer for the Frosty 5k. We have more participants signed up currently than we’ve had in the past 15 years of doing the race. Based on that, we are anticipating a record year and hoping to find 25 to 30 volunteers willing to face the cold weather to help with a variety of tasks (some are indoors even)! We are looking for volunteers for the Frosty to do the following: Packet Pick-up, Giving runners their packets/t shirts/bibs when they arrive, Course Monitoring, Standing on the course cheering racers on and assisting in giving directions, Water Stations, Handing water cups to runners, filling up waters, picking up discarded cups, Finish Line, Handing out waters to runners, collecting chips from bibs from runners. Here is the sign-up link for the Frosty 5 Volunteer Opportunities: https://signup.com/go/omsYWbH. Volunteers will at least get a frosty t shirt or coffee mug, snacks and drinks. Contact: Jamison Czarnecki

  • Thursday, February 15, at 5 p.m. Thirsty Thursday - come enjoy a drink and fellowship with fellow Rotarians and guests. Come on, come all, drop in at 5 or later. Keep an eye out for the location announcement from Pete Norton. Contact: Peter Norton 

  • Early May, 2024. In September, Rotarian Carl Dickerson of Dickerson Literacy Initiatives presented a program at the club about a project in Costa Rica in cooperation with Peace Corps volunteers to distribute books in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Rotarians have distributed books in recent years in connection with eye clinics from IU and the Goshen Rotary Club. We are considering doing a trip to Costa Rica in early May that would distribute books in connection with five Peace Corps volunteers and also distribute eyeglasses that will be made for people from a February 2024 eye clinic trip. If you wish to support such a trip or travel with the group, contact either Doug Risser or Ashley Bowen for more information.

Monday was a packed day at the Elkhart Rotary Club: Fighting Parkinson's, a new Member, Curmudgeons Day, Remembering Ken Pletcher and Dick Brotherson, and more....
We welcomed Phil Miller of Rock Steady Boxing Michiana. Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) is a health and wellness program designed for people with Parkinson’s Disease, a neurological condition that affects balance, strength, walking, and especially confidence.
 
RSB is based on a foundation of non-contact boxing, and it’s very effective for improving all of the symptoms that people with PD typically experience. There are over 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s diagnosed annually and 1.5m people in the United States living with PD. Rock Steady Boxing was founded in 2006 in Indianapolis by former Marion County Prosecutor Scott C. Newman, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 40. The overarching mission of Rock Steady Boxing is to equip their affiliate RSB locations to empower the coaches to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease through a non-contact, boxing-based fitness curriculum.
 
RSB certification is perfect for various types of professionals, including personal trainers, boxing coaches, physical therapists, and other rehabilitation specialists who want to expand their offerings and help their clients achieve more. Rock Steady Boxing has grown into a thriving international nonprofit organization with more than 850 certified affiliates around the country and in more than a dozen countries worldwide. RSB has approximately 60,000 members around the world, including 71 currently in the RSB Michiana program. There are currently two locations; one in South Bend that offers classes Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays; and a location now in Elkhart that offers classes Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.
 
What Are the Physical Benefits of Rock Steady Boxing?
Many benefits are linked to the Rock Steady Boxing training methods. There’s a plethora of scientific research that supports routine exercise for people who live with Parkinson’s Disease. Regular RSB training sessions help people with Parkinson’s to experience less muscle stiffness and pain while generally improving their balance and capacity for motion.
RSB training is an effective training method that’s hugely beneficial for people in all stages of PD, including those who have just been diagnosed and those who have lived with PD debilitation for decades. Rock Steady Boxing helps Parkinson’s patients to move easier and safely while improving their posture, gait, flexibility, and resistance to injury. It opens the window to healing and happiness.
 
For the majority of Parkinson’s patients, increasing physical activity levels to a minimum of 2 1/2 hours weekly significantly slows down the decline in quality of life. RSB-trained professionals are uniquely able to customize fitness programs based on the individual needs of their clientele, to target specific impairments. Benefits include:
  • Improving confidence
  • Decrease the severity of PD symptoms
  • Experience reduced fear of falling down
  • Perform daily activities more efficiently with higher quality
  • Understand their physicality better and improve self-management
  • They will be able to perform activities that many of us take for granted, like climbing stairs, entering a vehicle, and simply standing up and walking across the room. Regular training sessions will improve every area of their lives.
For complete details about Rock Steady Boxing Michiana, visit their website: https://www.rocksteadyboxingmichiana.com/ and follow them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/rocksteadyboxingmichiana/

Today we inducted a NEW MEMBER, Mike Greene! Mike's membership was sponsored by longtime member Sherm Hansen.
Welcome to the Club, Mike, we look forward to you getting involved to support our efforts in the community and beyond. Mike was inducted by Membership Chair Eric Garton and President Julie Cotton. 

Today’s Sergeant, Deb Osza, turned to materials inspired by Curmudgeons Day, celebrated on January 29, raising a cheer to the lovable grumps who add a dash of comedy to our lives by honoring their cantankerous charm and embracing the laughter they bring! As it turns out, Curmudgeons Day can be traced back to American entertainer, W.C. Fields, as it is celebrated on the anniversary of his birth, which was January 29, 1880. Born William Claude Dukenfield, his stage name of W.C. Fields is well known for his comic acts where he portrayed antisocial, bad-tempered characters. In addition, Fields was also world-famous for his uncanny ability to juggle, even performing for Queen Victoria of England! 
Great job, Deb, and don’t forget, fun fines are pooled to provide not for profit grants to our community partners in the spring.. interested in learning more? DOWNLOAD the Not for Profit Grant Application HERE Applications are due April 1.
 

We remember longtime Rotarians Ken Pletcher and Dick Brotherson, who passed away recently.
 
Kenneth E. Pletcher, 93, of Goshen, passed away Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, at Elkhart General Hospital. He was born Feb. 9, 1930, in Elkhart County to Henry I. and Agnes L. Pletcher. He married Lois Jean Clementz on July 4, 1954. She preceded him in death on May 18, 2014. He married Thyra L. Metzler on Oct. 25, 2015.
Ken graduated from Wakarusa High School, Class of 1948. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was at the atomic bomb blast at Ulta Flats.
Ken was the vice-president of manufacturing at NIBCO and spoke highly about being a team player. He would say God first, then family, then NIBCO. He was a member of Beulah Missionary Church where he served as chairman of the church board and lived his life by living the Bible. He was active in the community serving on numerous boards including Salvation Army, Youth for Christ, YMCA board. He served as president of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board and received the Indiana Hall of Fame Award.
Ken taught his sons the value of hard work, whether it was clearing brush and splitting firewood to shoveling manure and caring for sheep, cattle and horses. He loved to farm and used it to teach his sons responsibilities. He served on the Elkhart Redevelopment Committee and on several Ivy Tech Committees. Ken truly felt everyone should have the opportunity to achieve a greater education. He was a Paul Harris Fellow as a Rotarian and helped build a Habitat for Humanity home with the Rotary Club. He enjoyed his annual trips to Lake Oba in Canada. He also enjoyed being able to have a private pilots license to fly a single engine aircraft. He enjoyed riding his Harley motorcycle and he also found time to do some farming! Ken's favorite quote was: "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." Surviving are his four sons, James A. (Karen) Pletcher of Middlebury, Mathew J. (Patti) Pletcher of Bristol, Jeffrey A. (Karen L.) Pletcher of Middle Brook, Virginia, and Michael J. (Tracy) Pletcher of Manchester, Missouri; 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren; and sisters Sandra Bergin of Charlotte, North Carolina, Esther McGowan of Cornwall, New York, and Jo Stein of Phoenix, Arizona. He was preceded in death by sisters Hilda Hahn, Dorothy Berkey, Marjorie Shirk, Pauline Motts, Wilma Stickel, Mary Jean Freed and Maxine Hisey, and brothers Ernest Pletcher, Donald Pletcher and Warren "Shorty" Pletcher. Visitation will be 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, 1531 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46514, and one hour before the 11 a.m. service on Friday, Feb. 2, at Beulah Missionary Church, 57595 Old County Road 17, Goshen, IN 46528. Burial will follow at Olive West Cemetery, Elkhart.
 
Richard Willard Brotherson (Dick), 93, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at Greenleaf Health Campus, in Elkhart, IN. Dick was born on May 4, 1930, in Mishawaka, Indiana, to Howard Christian Brotherson and Lucille Stackman Brotherson, and grew up in South Bend while spending his summers on Diamond Lake in Cassopolis, MI. He attended Thomas Jefferson school in South Bend through 9th grade, where he met his future wife, Patricia Kissinger Brotherson. At Thomas Jefferson he was a 4-sport athlete and voted the Most Outstanding Student and Most Likely to Succeed at his graduation prior to entering high school at John Adams. Dick graduated from John Adams in 1948 where he was on the golf team and a leader of the High Y Service Club. Dick attended University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1952 with a BS degree in Commerce, where he was in the Naval ROTC. He was also a founding member and Commodore of the Notre Dame Sailing Club. Dick and Pat were avid sailors, sailing Snipes early on and had the distinction of being the first non-residents of Eagle Lake to win first place in the Eagle Lake Regatta in 1951. Dick still had all his sailing trophies proudly displayed in his home before his passing. In addition to his parents and in-laws, John M. (Jack) and Kathryn Kissinger, Dick was predeceased by his wife of nearly 61 years, Pat, and son, James R. Brotherson, as well as a sister, Mary B. Hardig, and sister in-law, Sally K. Wilt. Survivors include his daughters, Susan “Susie” M. Swartz (Marshall) of Winston Salem, NC, and Nancy B. Banks (John) of Union, MI. He is also survived by a daughter-in-law, Patricia P. Brotherson of Elkhart, 6 grandchildren, Andrew “Drew” Brotherson (Linda), of Bristol, IN, Spencer Brotherson of Indianapolis, Brian Chappell (Alexandra) of Cary, NC, Maj. Adam Chappell (Kendra) of Yorktown, VA, Matthew Banks of Nolensville, TN, and Lindsay Borden (Nicholas) of Niles, MI, two bonus grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, a brother-in-law, James Hardig, of South Bend, a nephew and 7 nieces. After graduation from Notre Dame as a commissioned Naval Officer, Dick served in the Navy during the Korean War, and upon discharge, took a position with Phillips 66 in Indianapolis, beginning a 42-year career in the petroleum industry as a distributor. From Indianapolis, he moved to Bloomington, IN, and in 1959 the family moved to Elkhart, IN, where he went to work with his father-in law, John M. Kissinger, who owned J &K Oil Company. After the Kissingers retired, Dick and Pat took over J&K Oil, where they remained until retirement in 1996. Dick was a member of Kiwanis for 5 years, and later joined the Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow and a member for over 54 years. It was through his service at Rotary that his love for the Wellfield Botanic Gardens began. This consequently led to his donation of the fountains in two of the ponds at the Gardens.
Dick was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Elkhart Career Center where he was President for one year. He was also a former member of the Elks BPO 425, Christiana Creek and Elcona Country clubs where he could enjoy golfing. Dick was also a member of First Presbyterian Church in Elkhart for over 63 years where he was a Deacon and a Trustee through the years. Dick loved golf and played until his late 80’s when his back told him it was time to put away the clubs. Their summer home at Diamond Lake was a gathering place for all the children and their friends until the late 1980’s and afforded fun family times where Dick could continue his love for sailing, this time sailing an MC. Dick and Pat loved to travel, having visited all the continents with the exception of Antarctica and Australia. Dick also made a solo trip to Thailand the year after Pat’s death and came home 20 pounds lighter due to his dislike of Thai food! Dick and Pat also loved antiques, buying and selling under J&K Antiques for a good portion of their married life. Dick never met a stranger and was known as a jokester, even when it was not entirely appropriate! He was most proud of his Honorary Sheriff’s Deputy badge, presented to him at Rotary many years ago. A Celebration of Life for Dick will be held in early spring. In the meantime, Dick would like for all to remember to “Be Good”, his favorite parting words to everyone who passed through his home in his later years.  Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wellfield Botanic Gardens, 1011 N. Main Street, Elkhart, IN 46514, The Rotary Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Dr., Chicago, IL 60693, or the Notre Dame Sailing Club C/O University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.

Running List of Rotary Event Announcements 
Rotarians are an integral and engaged part of our active community! Here’s a list of upcoming events represented by Rotarians from the Elkhart Rotary Club. If you’d like more information, contact the Rotarian listed for the event or email elkhartnoonrotary@gmail.com and your message will be forwarded to them. Are you a Rotarian with an event to share? Put it in the format below and email to Eric Garton, he’ll add it to the list. 

 
  • Wednesday, January 31, Welcome Reception for Dr. Larry Huff, recently hired Superintendent of Elkhart Public Schools. This is a great opportunity to connect with Dr. Huff and learn about his background and his vision for Elkhart Community Schools. Please RSVP by January 26, 2024, to https://forms.gle/QTTbwSGDrpWn7SVR7 Contact Doug Thorne.

    • OPTION 1 Elkhart Aquatic Center, 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Refreshments: 7:30-8:00, Remarks by Dr. Huff: 8:00

    • OPTION 2 St. James AME Church, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Refreshments: 4:00-5:00, Remarks by Dr. Huff: 5:00

  • Sunday, February 4, Elkhart County Symphony concert at the Lerner Theatre at 4:00 p.m.  Our concert features Mr. Brian Major, Metropolitan Opera Baritone as guest soloist with the Symphony. Tickets available at the Lerner Box Office. Contact: John Hill

  • Saturday, February 10 Volunteer for the Frosty 5k. We have more participants signed up currently than we’ve had in the past 15 years of doing the race. Based on that, we are anticipating a record year and hoping to find 25 to 30 volunteers willing to face the cold weather to help with a variety of tasks (some are indoors even)! We are looking for volunteers for the Frosty to do the following: Packet Pick-up, Giving runners their packets/t shirts/bibs when they arrive, Course Monitoring, Standing on the course cheering racers on and assisting in giving directions, Water Station, Handing water cups to runners, filling up waters, picking up discarded cups, Finish Line, Handing out waters to runners, collecting chips from bibs from runners, Here is the sign-up link for the Frosty 5 Volunteer Opportunities: https://signup.com/go/omsYWbH. Volunteers will at least get a frosty t shirt or coffee mug, snacks and drinks. Contact: Jamison Czarnecki

  • Thursday, February 15, at 5 p.m. Thirsty Thursday - come enjoy a drink and fellowship with fellow Rotarians and guests. Come on, come all, drop in at 5 or later. Keep an eye out for the location announcement from Pete Norton. Contact: Peter Norton

  • Early May, 2024. In September, Rotarian Carl Dickerson of Dickerson Literacy Initiatives presented a program at the club about a project in Costa Rica in cooperation with Peace Corps volunteers to distribute books in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Rotarians have distributed books in recent years in connection with eye clinics from IU and the Goshen Rotary Club. We are considering doing a trip to Costa Rica in early May that would distribute books in connection with five Peace Corps volunteers and also distribute eyeglasses that will be made for people from a February 2024 eye clinic trip. If you wish to support such a trip or travel with the group, contact either Doug Risser or Ashley Bowen for more information.