Posted by Eric Garton on Dec 02, 2019
Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Meeting on December 2, 2019; Today we welcomed fellow Elkhart Rotarian, Shawn DeBaar, Captain of the Salvation Army of Elkhart.

Vice President Bill Burton opened the meeting and introduced Dawn Fisher who shared positive words, led the Pledge, and Four-Way Test.  

Welcome table volunteers were Steve Thalheimer and Andrew Harmon; Andrew introduced the guests including: Kathy Strukel (Shawn DeBaar) and Tammy Higginbotham (Fran Conner). Paul Warning introduced this month's visiting Elkhart Memorial High School Students: Sean Hrame(sp?) Heather Hilliard, Alexis McNeely, Razel Martinez, and Mariana Villasenor. Welcome to ALL, we hope you can all join us again some other time!

Before our meeting during lunch we enjoyed live music played by a quartet from the Elkhart Municipal Band. Band members were introduced by (fellow band member, but not participating in the quartet today) Terry Lilley as: Steve Allen, Dennis Wekeman, Dean Ferguson, and Brian Malone. Thanks for serenading us, guys! Really appreciate you being at the meeting.

Announcements and continuing club reminders for December 2:

  • Dave Lehman thanked the club for their generous donations for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Matterhorn - - $1400 was raised from Rotarians, providing 85 turkeys for the dinner - - Kurt estimates the event served nearly 1800 guests!! 
  • Erin Wagler, Chair of the Marketing Committee, asked for photos of volunteerism in the community throughout the month of December - - we want to highlight the wonderful work being done by Rotarians that make our community a better place. Email those directly to Erin.
  • Tony Warning thanked those who purchased ads on our new paper placemats  - - proceeds directly benefit Rotary Interact Club Members from local high schools who travel to Costa Rica annually on a service trip to serve the Kitson Library.
  • REMINDER: Save the Dates from Peter Norton and Matt Lentsch - - Salvation Army Fundraising Chair
    • Friday evening, December 13: Restaurant Fundraising for Salvation Army - PETER IS LOOKING FOR A DESIGNATED DRIVER
    • Saturday, December 14: Ringing Bells for Salvation Army - - SIGNUP with Matt Lentsch directly at or his phone:  574-535-8679. Shifts are two hours, come help with this important fundraiser -- it's fun!
  • REMINDER: Rotary District 6540 Matching Gifts Campaign continues through January 31, 2020 your personal donation of $100-$5,000 to the Annual Fund of The Rotary Foundation will be matched with FOUNDATION RECOGNITION POINTS. Your matching foundation recognition points can be used in several ways: 
    • For your own Paul Harris designation, at the first level or toward the next multiple. For example, your personal gift of $500 will be matched with 500 points for a total value of $1,000 to achieve designation as a Paul Harris Fellow.
    • To recognize another individual with a full Paul Harris Fellow designation or an initial contribution. For example, your $1000 check will be matched with 1,000 points to award Paul Harris Fellow designation to a relative, a community member, or another Rotarian. 
    • For multiple recognitions, any combination of points designations for yourself and/or other individuals, with a minimum of 100 points per designation. For example, your personal gift of $500 will earn 500 points. You can keep 200 points for yourself to attain the next level, and award 300 points to a deserving new member of your club to inspire future sustaining contributions to the foundation and a future Paul Harris Fellow designation. 
    • INSTRUCTIONS for the matching promotion:
      • Mail a personal check payable to "The Rotary Foundation" to District Rotary Foundation Chair, Judy Walker, including donor information and designating the beneficiary(ies) of the matching points if applicable. 
      • Mail to: Judy Walker, 8421 Manor Ave. #406, Munster, IN 46321
      • Questions? Voice or text 219-680-6557; email
      • Only those donations submitted per the above instructions will be matched
      • Club checks or online donations are not eligible for this offer
Today's Sergeant was Stan Cohen, who provided some entertaining trivia re: Black Friday. Did you know that Black Friday began in Philadelphia? Or that 52% of Black Friday shoppers actually regret their purchases? And we're sure you already know that approximately 12% of Black Friday shoppers are drunk! Nice job of FUNdraising today, Stan! Rotary fines are collected weekly and are pooled into a fund throughout the year. In the spring more than $10,000 is distributed as grants to not-for-profit organizations around our county. Thanks, All, for your contributions!

Today's speaker was introduced by Eric Garton who welcomed fellow Club Member Shawn DeBaar, Captain at the Salvation Army in Elkhart.
The Salvation Army Mission Statement
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

Salvation Army of Elkhart Leadership
Salvation Army Programs are led by Salvation Army Officers. These officers are responsible to lead by assessing needs, delivering programs and directing ministries for our local community. From serving food to balancing the books, they function as the Executive Directors and the Pastors for the Elkhart Salvation Army.
Shawn discussed some common misconceptions about Salvation Army, including unfounded accusations of discrimination; Shawn was very clear that the very essence of their mission is non-discriminatory and that ALL are welcome at their locations and programs. He also clarified compensation questions that often float around this time of year when social media and other forms of media spread vast of amounts of misinformation related to charitable giving.
Shawn announced that "Kettle Pay" is here - - so you can't use that old excuse, "I don't have any cash on me" anymore!
In a direct response to an increasingly cashless society, The Salvation Army will begin accepting electronic donations at kettle sites, making it easier to donate to the iconic Red Kettle Campaign this Holiday Season. When a donor “bumps”their phone to the NFC tag, they will automatically be taken to a custom donation page where they will be able to donate to The Salvation Army via Google Pay or Apple Pay, depending on their device-type. Most Android phones made since 2012 will work as will iPhone X, Xr and Xs Max. The funds will be distributed to local Salvation Army locations based on the billing ZIP code of the donor’s phone. Phones without bump capability will be able to scan a special QR code that will take them to the donations site.  “The iconic bells and red kettles aren’t going to disappear any time soon - we’re just making it easier and more convenient for the community to donate,”said Major Glen Caddy, Divisional Commander. “Hopefully, it’s a win-win for both donors and The Salvation Army as together we continue to fight for good.” For a 30-second video overview, click here.
Shawn highlighted recent Salvation Army of Elkhart contributions in our community; from helping to manage flood response and recovery at over 600 addresses in Elkhart County in February of 2017 to addressing the needs of those evicted from Hotel Elkhart in June of 2018. 
A little about Shawn
Captain Shawn DeBaar serves, along with his wife Aubrey, as the Corps Officer of The Salvation Army in Elkhart, IN.  His leadership includes the entire service area of the Elkhart Salvation Army which encompasses Elkhart, LaGrange and Stuben Counties. Captain DeBaar has served as the Corps Officer of the Elkhart Salvation Army since June of 2017. Prior to his appointment to the Elkhart Salvation Army, Captain Shawn served for four years in Branson, MO leading the work of The Salvation Army in Taney & Stone Counties. Originally from Grand Rapids, Shawn earned his Bachelors of Ministry degree from Nazarene Bible College where he majored in Bible and Theology. He was also trained as an EMT/Firefighter following High School. The Captain is also a graduate student at Asbury Theological Seminary completing his Masters degree in Biblical Studies. Shawn is passionate about helping communities develop models of charity which restore dignity and hope to those in poverty.  Captain Shawn has built successful ministries such as community gardens, affordable Christmas toy shops, and low-income food cooperatives. He is knowledgeable about the culture of poverty and the impacts that poverty places upon those stuck in it.  In particular, Captain Shawn has been invited to address public health professionals, government leaders, and faith communities about the impact that inadequate and unsafe housing has on those in poverty, especially children.
Captain Shawn is also an experienced Emergency Disaster Services leader. He has served as the Incident Commander for various disasters with a specialty in mass care. He was appointed to the Region D Homeland Security Oversight Committee while in Branson. Following the February 2018 flooding in Elkhart County, Captain Shawn has served as the Co-Chair of the Elkhart County Flood Recovery Task Force.
Thanks, Shawn, for a great presentation! If you would like to learn more about the Salvation Army of Elkhart, visit their website
About Rotary:
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, community leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and act to create lasting change – across the globe, in our local communities, and in ourselves. The Elkhart Rotary Club was founded in 1917 and serves its community through volunteerism, providing grants to not-for-profit organizations, sponsoring, and participating in service projects such as ringing bells for the Salvation Army, twice-yearly roadside trash collection, and are the originators and continuing supporters of Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Elkhart Rotary Club’s membership consists of approximately 150 dedicated individuals from various professional backgrounds and diverse interests. Membership in the Elkhart Rotary Club is by invitation. We welcome guests to attend any of our meetings and hear from our great lineup of weekly presenters.
For more information on the Elkhart Rotary Club, visit or email Like and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook/ElkhartRotaryClub to stay current on meetings, upcoming events or speakers, and initiatives in the community.
Upcoming Meetings and Programs:
Join us for our next meeting:
All meetings are at noon on Mondays at the Matterhorn Banquet and Conference Center, 2041 Cassopolis St. in Elkhart IN, 46514. In months that include a FIFTH Monday, the Elkhart Rotary Club holds an alternative meeting or activity.