Upcoming Meetings
Brett Bauer, CFO of 1st Source Bank
Mar 27, 2023 12:00 PM
Interest Rates and the Economy
Julie Cotton, Founder of Next Level Improv
Apr 03, 2023 12:00 PM
April Fool's Improv... No Foolin'!
Tom Rose, Author
Apr 10, 2023 12:00 PM
Balloon in a Box - - coping with grief
Apr 17, 2023 12:00 PM
At Five Star Life Camp - - Presenter will be Aubrey Danielson, Executive Director of Five Star Life
Tami Silverman, Bri Youn, and Taylor Johnson
Apr 24, 2023 12:00 PM
Indiana Youth Institute’s 2023 "State of the Child" Presentation
Andrew Wiand, Executive Director
May 01, 2023 12:00 PM
Darrel Peterson, Executive Director
May 08, 2023
Lifeline Youth Ministries
Charmaine Torma, Executive Director
May 15, 2023 12:00 PM
Elkhart Education Foundation
Andrew Hicks, Concord Rotary Club
May 22, 2023 12:00 PM
Serving the hospital of Matamba, Tanzania
No Meeting Today
May 29, 2023
Fifth Monday - There will be an alternative social event - more info coming soon!
Our Club Leadership
President Elect
Vice President
Rotary Foundation
Past President
Chair of Morning Division
Executive Secretary
Assistant Secretary
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Marketing Chair
Meetings and Club Activities

Today we welcomed David Parkinson, volunteer and coordinator with the Electrifying Engineers robotics team and members of the team. The Electrifying Engineers are a part of FIRST®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. For 30 years, FIRST has combined the rigor of STEM learning with the fun and excitement of traditional sports and the inspiration that comes from community through programs that have a proven impact on learning, interest, and skill-building inside and outside of the classroom.  FIRST engages PreK-12 students in exciting, mentor-based, research and robotics programs that help them become science and technology leaders, as well as well- rounded contributors to society.


Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Noon Division meeting for March 6, 2023 as we welcome Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tives Ini­tia­tive (JDAI) new program coordinator Brad Miller & former program coordinator Ray Caples 

Indiana joined the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) in 2006 and JDAI was added to Elkhart County in 2011.
JDAI is a bipartisan effort with public, private and community partnership for juvenile justice system improvement. The initiative focuses on the reallocation of public resources from mass incarceration toward investment in youth, families, and communities. This reinvestment provides an opportunity for lasting improvement to public safety.
JDAI is the most replicated juvenile justice system reform effort implemented nationwide.  For over 25 years, JDAI has proven that the juvenile justice system’s dual goals of promoting positive youth development and enhancing public safety are not in conflict and can be greatly strengthened by eliminating the unnecessary or inappropriate use of secure detention. Indiana is one of approximately 300 JDAI sites in 40 states and the District of Columbia to implement the Eight Core Strategies to enhance and improve their juvenile justice systems. These sites are home to approximately 30% of the nation’s youth ages 10 – 17.
By the numbers: 
Marion County joined the JDAI in 2006, becoming the first JDAI site in Indiana. By the end of 2016, the County had reduced admissions to detention by 66.4% and the average daily population in detention had fallen by 40.8%. During this same period of time, IDOC commitments were decreased by 52.5% and the number of felony petitions filed has also been reduced by 59.6%. The County has saved millions of taxpayer dollars previously used for incarceration, through the use of less expensive and more effective community-based alternative supervision programs for youth. In 2009 and 2010, four (4) additional Indiana counties became JDAI sites—Johnson, Lake, Porter, and Tippecanoe. Three (3) more sites were welcomed into Indiana’s JDAI expansion in 2011 and 2012—Clark, Elkhart, and Howard counties. In 2014, the Indiana JDAI expanded to include an additional 11 counties.  These counties include:  Allen, Bartholomew, Boone, Delaware, Henry, LaGrange, LaPorte, Madison, Monroe, St. Joseph, and Wayne.
Ray and Brad shared Elkhart County's numbers from 2011 (when JDAI began in Elkhart County) through 2022:
ADP = Average Daily Population; ALOS = average length of stay; IDOC = Indiana's Department of Corrections numbers of juveniles incarcerated; and F-Petitions = Felony Petitions
Congratulations and THANKS to President-Elect Julie Cotton for receiving her Paul Harris Fellowship award at our meeting today, presented by President Todd Stone.
And thanks to Tom McArthur for returning a club flag to our meeting from his travels in Florida, where he visited the LaBelle Rotary Club. LaBelle is located along the Caloosahatchee River and not far from Lake Okeechobee. LaBelle is known for its Curtis Honey House, country architecture, citrus farms, and Swamp Cabbage Festival.
Today we welcomed fellow Elkhart Rotarian and Executive Director of Tolson Center for Community Excellence, Breanna Allen as she shared both the history and future of Tolson as an exciting new project for our community. The Tolson Center for Community Excellence builds off the foundation established by Herbert and Ruth Tolson and carried forward by the City of Elkhart for decades. A true community partnership—built on the feedback from residents—is creating a revitalized Tolson Center rooted in South Central Elkhart, reaching across generations and cultures to serve all of the Elkhart community and beyond.
Breanna shared the history of the community center.
Then Breanna shared what's coming! The NEW Tolson Facility will include:
  • 30,000 sq. ft
  • 2 Indoor Gymnasiums
  • Dance and Art Room
  • Computer Room
  • Childcare Room
  • Community Care Room
  • Commercial Kitchen
  • Outdoor Basketball Courts
  • Soccer Field
  • Park 
  • Beautiful Landscaping
  • Indigenous Plants
For more about the Tolson Center for Community Excellent, including how you can become involved or support the project, visit: https://www.tolson.org/
More about Breanna: 
Born and raised in Terre Haute, Breanna earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Criminology & Criminal Justice and African & African American studies from Indiana State University. Allen continued on to earn a Master of Science degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Indiana State University. Allen recently earned an Education Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education from Northcentral University.  Allen is a mother of four and resides in South Bend with her husband and family. Breanna’s professional career brought her up to Michiana to work as a Student Affairs Specialist at Harrison College. Gaining experience supporting at-risk college students, fostering an environment to increase student engagement, and assisting with Career Development prepared Allen to transition to Ivy Tech Community College Elkhart County Campus, as the Director of Career Development for three years. While working in higher education, particularly with adult learners, Allen recognized gaps in the alignment of the workforce and education. Furthermore, there was a significant disconnect amongst minorities with college graduation rates low and the struggle of securing a high wage high demand job. This realization empowered Allen to begin pursuing her Doctorate of Education Degree in Higher Education Leadership, from Northcentral University, in San Diego, California. Allen’s dissertation focus is “The effect mentoring programs at Community Colleges have on Minority Males Success”. Prior to entering her new role at Tolson Center for Community Excellence, Allen worked for a non-profit organization, Horizon Education Alliance. While not working, she is serving her community in a variety of capacities, including as a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Eta Mu Omega Chapter in South Bend and serves as the President of the chapter. Breanna is also the secretary of the Inclusive Procurement Board with the City of South Bend and is a '40 under 40' recipient. Servant leadership drives every move Allen makes, knowing that giving to the community only makes it stronger. She has a personal investment in serving minority and women entrepreneurs and the youth, as they are our future. 
What a great day to be an Elkhart Rotarian! Thanks to those who joined us in person for the President's Day edition of our Club Meeting at Matterhorn Conference Center. 
Today we welcomed Jennifer Sager, Chapter Co-President of the Elkhart Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a private, not-for-profit dedicated to providing beds for children. Sleep in Heavenly Peace believes that all children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads. Across the US, too many boys and girls go without a bed—or even a pillow—to sleep on. These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even floors. This can affect their happiness and health. That’s where Sleep in Heavenly Peace comes in. They're a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need. Our organization has grown steadily over time, and we’re working on opening more chapters in different states to serve more people.
Jennifer shared that the Elkhart Chapter began in 2018 and since that time has delivered over 550 to the local community. Their chapter is entirely made up of volunteers (currently 8) and they receive support and operating funds from the community as donations of funds as well as in-kind donations - - like bedding and other supplies. On average, one single bed + mattress + bedding = $300 to construct using volunteer labor. Volunteer days might make 10-20 beds (10 bunkbed sets) by 30-40 volunteers, maybe 3-4 hours to complete. To learn more about the Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Elkhart Chapter, or to find out how you can help visit: https://shpbeds.org/chapter/in-elkhart-co/
Announcements Today:
  • Keith Sarber put in a plug for community theater! Murder is coming down the tracks to the Bristol Opera House... February 24 – March 5. Elkhart Civic Theatre will present Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express starting February 24 for a two weekend run at the Bristol Opera House.  The play is based on Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name. About the play: Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed multiple times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, the passengers rely on detective Hercule Poirot to identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again. Keith Sarber stars as Monsieur Bouc! For more info and tickets visit: https://elkhartcivictheatre.org/murder-on-the-orient-express-opens-february/
  • Jim Snodgrass, on behalf of the Red Ribbon Rookies, thanked those who contributed ideas for the committee's inaugural 2023 project. The committee has chosen to partner with Tolson Center for Excellence and their literacy initiative AND Council on Aging, who will help supply volunteers for that initiative. We look forward to hearing more about this project - -great job, Red Ribbon Rookies!
  • Julie Cotton announced:
    • Junior achievement volunteer training is upcoming - New Volunteer Training and Kit Pick ups are Tuesday 2/21 11:00-12:30. These  will take place at JA BizTown 1025 N Michigan St, Elkhart. Please note you only need to come to training if you are a completely new volunteer.  There will also be a virtual training on Thursday March 2 at 10am  you will need to arrange kit pick up prior to the training. Get inspired with a quick video about JA volunteer opportunities: https://youtu.be/qrj5Hu9qmpM
    • Join our upcoming wellness challenge, or "couch to 5k" as we prepare to help out as 'Sparkle Runners' in support of the Girls on the Run Michiana Elkhart 5k run scheduled for Saturday, May 13. You can walk or run to support the participants. More info to follow...
    • May 29 we'll have a fifth Monday social - no regular meeting; We'll also coordinate participation in Elkhart's Memorial Day Parade - -more info coming soon!
    • Sunday, June 11: South Bend Cubs game! Signup at https://elkhartrotary.org/event/southbend-cubs-game-1/
Today we welcomed Sean Lanier, Founder and Executive Director of Resolve Solutions, a nonprofit in Virginia that works to provide a local solution of identifying undiscovered talent of future global leaders to address the manpower shortage critical to the National Security of the United States of America. Resolve Solutions' Mission is: Providing educational and financial support along with early college preparation. For more about Resolve Solutions and how you can support their efforts, visit https://resolvesolutions.org/
Today's meeting began as President Todd Stone introduced Candy Yoder to give some thoughtful words. Along with leading the Pledge and Four Way Test, Candy shared a timely, brief history of Black History Month for February: President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Today, Black History Month is a time to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and society—from activists and civil rights pioneers such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Rosa Parks to leaders in industry, politics, science, culture and more. 
Important Announcements, Dates, and Deadlines:
  • Peter Norton reminded club members that this Thursday, February 16 at 5 p.m. is Thirsty Thursday at Artisan. Come as you are, enjoy a drink and fellowship with fellow Rotarians. 
  • March 28 is the deadline for nominations for the J & K Kissinger Award, to be presented to District 6540's 'Rotarian of the Year' by President Todd Stone at our district event in April. For more about the award and to find the nomination form, CLICK HERE
  • April 1 is the deadline for grant applications for not-for-profit organizations in our area. Download the application here.
  • June 11: Join us for Sunday Funday with the South Bend Cubs vs. the Lansing Lugnuts! Where: Four Winds Field in the Owner's Suite
    When: Sunday June 11th, Game time is 2:05PM, (the Ballpark is open prior to the game if you and your family would like to take advantage of their many Game Day experiences.) Who: All Elkhart Rotarians, families and friends welcome! Cost: $40/person includes ticket for admission, rental of the owner's suite, hat, T-shirt, and lunch! Register online here - - don't miss your chance, this event will sell out! 
  • Today, we welcome Elkhart High School senior Shea Hull, who'll be joining us weekly in February. Today, Shea introduced herself from the podium said she looks forward to returning next week to learn more about what Rotary has to offer in the community.