Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Meeting on June 17, 2019; Today we welcomed Deb Alwine and Stacey Holland who presented about the NEW Southgate Crossing in Elkhart County.

President Peter Norton opened the meeting and introduced Bill Rieth who shared meaningful words around the theme of Father's Day, led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Four Way Test.

Thanks to today's Fellowship Table volunteers Howard Edwards, Garrick Lankford, and Tom McArthur, who introduced today's guests including: David Damerow (Mel Jacobson), Paul Gardner (Tony Warning), Stacey Holland (Sherm Hansen), Lon Zimmerk (Irwin Larrier), Hiedi Cintron (Deborah Domine), and Aaron Bradford (Bill Templin). Welcome to ALL guests, we hope you can all join us again some other time!

Announcements for June 17:

  • ASAP - like TOday -  ***PLAY BALL!!*** Rotarians, for the first time in 30 years, the Midwest League's Summer Classic will be held in South Bend, Indiana. The 2019 Midwest League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 18, and will feature some of the most promising players in professional baseball today. The Elkhart Rotary Club still has a few available for Tuesday June 18th, first pitch scheduled for 7:35 p.m. Cost per ticket is a special group rate of just $12 per ticket! Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis via email to Susan Ginther at slginther9@aol.com. All tickets will be billed to your Elkhart Rotary account.
  • Doug Risser reminded all Rotarians to consider their donations to the Rotary Foundation and Paul Harris Fellowship eligibility; if you have questions where you stand, Howard will have account balances, see him for more information. As a club we are 96% complete on our annual goal with just a couple weeks remaining, get those end of Rotary year donations in!
  • Dave Dygert asked for more Sergeant Volunteers for the upcoming year beginning in July. Even if you'd prefer to Sergeant on a 'guest basis', the committee would love to have you; contact Dave for more information. It's a great way of raising funds for our club to help service organizations around Elkhart County to do the good work they do!
  • Board of Directors - - please remember that incoming District Governor Al Brothers would like to meet with us at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 1 BEFORE our regularly scheduled club meeting. See you there!
Today's Sergeant was Sherm Hansen, who provided some fun facts about our club, including... Did you know the Elkhart Rotary Club has sponsored FOUR other clubs in the area? Can you name them? If not, drop some money in the basket. Sherm did a great job of FUNdraising today as Rotary fines are collected weekly and are pooled into a fund. In the spring more than $10,000 is distributed as grants to not for profit organizations around our county. Thanks, All, for your contributions!
Sherm Hansen introduced today's speakers, Deb Alwine and Stacey Holland, representing Southgate Crossing. Deb does marketing/leasing for Southgate Crossing and Stacey is the Director of Brand and Development. The Mission of Southgate Crossing is grounded in preserving one of the largest Amish built peg and beam barns in the nation, a beautiful and unique cultural landmark in rural Indiana’s Elkhart County. Southgate Crossing is committed to creating an experience-based destination, rooted in celebrating the traditional know-how of our agricultural and folk heritage and we are dedicated to supporting local artisan producers.
Deb began the presentation with a bit of history about the 'Big Red Barn' of Southgate Crossing. Did you know?....
  • The big red barn was built by Amish craftsmen using the old world tradition of joining mortise and tenon with over 1000 wooden pegs.
  • Construction on this expansive building began in 2006 and now has over 52,000 sq ft of floorspace!
  • The big red barn is longer than a football field, it features hundreds of solid heavy timber beams; the largest are 16"x16" in size of solid Douglas Fir trucked in from Idaho.
  • It has three towering cupolas with the center cupola topping out at 84-feet.
  • About the "Founder’s Beam": Early in 2006 four investors, farmer, Kenny BeMiller, architect, LeRoy Troyer, developer-builder, Art Moser, and attorney, Mick Tuesley gathered with their families to fell a 100 year old white oak. This act symbolized the beginning of the wood timber framing at the market. The beam can be found in the southeast corner of the second floor.
  • The American black walnut found on the wooden staircase railing and trim came from a 96-foot tree which fell during a 2003 storm in a forest preserve behind architect LeRoy Troyer͛s home. 
  • Four Amish construction crews totaling about 30 workers worked together to build the barn. Orie Lehman, of Lehman Carpentry, Shipshewana, Indiana was the construction coordinator, and David Bontrager and his son Rudy of D.L. Bontrager Construction, Middlebury, Indiana led the barn raising.
Deb then introduced Southgate Crossing's Director, Stacey Holland who shared updates about the space and future vision for Southgate Crossing.
Southgate Crossing invites you to join them in fostering an environment grounded in healthy food, sustainable practices, and community building. At Southgate Crossing you can take a class, gather for large and small events and meetings, find unique shopping items, enjoy a tasty meal, and experience entertainment and fun for the entire family. 
Holland said the plan is to continue to transition retail space to provide an opportunities for small businesses, and independent vendors to sell their goods. She has created a American mercantile environment on the first floor to showcase select, local, handmade items and intends to source other retail product to support upcoming classes. Next steps include creating a non-profit heritage school that will offer introductory as well as more advanced multi-day courses. Heritage schools focus on the preservation of cultural or traditional skills. Classes will range from cooking, to sewing, woodworking and, long-term, metal arts.
Southgate is intent on providing space to bring the community together. They have invested in creating a large event center. There are smaller meeting rooms for business rentals, showers, and birthday parties. “What we are trying to embrace, support, and build for the local community and not just cater to out-of-town tourists.” Holland said, as part of that effort, Southgate is establishing what they're hoping will become a cultural hub and intergenerational gathering spot.
“We want Southgate to be an experienced-based destination,” Holland said. The team continues to craft engagement opportunities such as weekly cruise ins, monthly bike nights, and musical entertainment. Southgate currently offers in-house smoked meats through their Smokehouse BBQ and Deli, craft beverage beer and wine making supplies, and a new coffee shop and bakery! 
Holland asks that you spread the word that things are changing at the big red barn. Stop in, learn about what we’re doing, and have and experience that will be memorable. The building is iconic. It deserves to have a mission that is worthy of the space. Holland envisions a sustainable business that the community can be proud of for generations to come. 
Thanks, Deb and Stacey, for an informative program! To learn more about Southgate Crossing, visit their website  and follow them on their Facebook page to learn about upcoming events and opportunities.
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:
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.