Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Meeting on February 11, 2019; Today we welcomed Elkhart County Commissioner Suzie Weirick, who provided updates on a number of Elkhart County projects.

President Peter Norton opened the meeting and introduced Gail Martin, who shared thoughts from a Lakota-Sioux prayer, led the Pledge, and our Four Way Test.

James Davis introduced our guests including visiting Rotarians Doug Grant, as well as Rotarian guests Patsy Boehler, executive director of ETHOS and guest of Sherm Hansen, as well as the staff team from Salvation Army of Elkhart, guests of their director, Shawn DeBaar. Susan King introduced her guest and newest member of the Beacon Healthcare team, Shannon Oakes. Dean Bergeman also introduced a handful of students from Memorial High School who joined us at our meeting today, each providing a short introduction and their best plans for the future.

Important announcements from February 11:

  • Doug Risser thanked Rotarians who helped to host our Rotary International President, Barry Risser this past weekend. Doug reminded the club it's a special honor to host the International President -- afterall, there are over 32,000 Rotary Clubs around the world and we're fortunate to be a stop on Barry Rassin's tour. Doug also shared some interesting facts about the 'Be the Inspiration' logo flag, which was designed by Barry Rassin and his wife; being from the Bahamas, the symbolism in the logo represents the blue waters of the bahamas, the sunset over the ocean, as well as a stylistic heart and sail of a sailboat. Great info, very interesting! 
  • On behalf of the Marketing Committee, Chair Erin Wagler reminded the club to add the ClubRunner App to their phones. The ClubRunner Mobile App is a must have for all ClubRunner subscribers. Search and view your Member/District directory and Executives/Directors. Access contact information, click to call, email, get directions, and add Club members to your own personal contacts. View the latest feed of stories from your Club's and District's Story list and read about upcoming Events and Speakers while keeping track of your Attendance statistics. You can stay connected with your Club and District, even on the go.. And if you need help adding the app to your device, please ask a member of the committee such as Eric Garton or Erin Wagler, they're happy to help you out!
  • Merritt Dilts announced our NEW and recently approved Corporate Membership - - look for it online or click here to download
Today's Sergeant was Michael Christofeno, who did a great job of poking some fun to raise some FUNDS! Valentine's Day trivia was the subject du jour - - DID YOU KNOW... Americans are expected to spend over $20.7 BBBBillion on Valentine's Day this year! Rotary fines are collected weekly and are pooled into a fund. In the spring approximately $10,000 is distributed as grants to not for profit organizations around our county.

Today's speaker was Suzie Weirick, Elkhart County Commissioner. Member, District 3 - representing townships of Baugo, Cleveland, Harrison, Locke, Olive, Osolo and Union, plus liaison to County Drainage Board, MACOG, St. Joe Valley River Basin, Community Corrections Advisory Board (CCAB),  Emergency Management Board, and Public Defenders Advisory Board.

Suzie provided a bit of background of Elkhart County.. did you know it was established in April of 1830, has a $100m annual operating budget, 30+ departments and 900+ employees county-wide, or that Elkhart County has 1123 miles of roadway and 202 structures in its jurisdiction? As we're in the grip of winter weather, she reminded club members of emergency declarations - (Green)Normal, (Yellow)Advisory, (Orange)Watch, and (Red)Warning. And as we near the anniversary of the 2018 flooding, Suzie took the opportunity to thank the staff from the Salvation Army who were in attendance at the meeting.

Suzie provided updates on...

  • Snow Removal - - a reminder that crews do the best they can under challenging conditions and financial limitations. 
  • The County Road 40 Buggy Lane - for a recent news story, CLICK HERE.
  • Dunlap Overpass project - - Elkhart County government will receive almost $20.09 million from the Indiana Department of Transportation for the $30 million Dunlap overpass. The height of the overpass will exceed train height by 23 feet and overall length will be 3600 feet. For more info CLICK HERE.
  • Landfills - - 221,823 TONS of Garbage were collected last year, including 5056 tons of recycling and generated $6.3m in funding for the county. There is an expansion landfill in progress.
  • New Juvenile Detention Center - broke ground last year, will be state of the art, built adjacent(attached) to the adult facility. The County will take possession in April 2019. For recent news story, CLICK HERE.
  • Elkhart County Courthouse Clock is 150 years old and in need of repairs; a $40,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County was secured to help maintain the historic structure. For more CLICK HERE.
Suzie concluded with brief Q&A. Thanks for a great presentation keeping us up to date on some exciting and necessary projects in our county!

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, roadside trash collection, and are the originators and sustainers 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 elkhartrotary.org or email elkhartnoonrotary@gmail.com. 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:
  • February 18: Gavin Ferlic, Elevate Ventures’ Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the South Bend – Elkhart Region
  • February 25: Chris Snyder, Chief of the Elkhart Police Department
  • March 4: Dr. Steve Thalheimer, Superintendent of Elkhart Community Schools
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 a dinner meeting (no presenter) at the same location.