Posted by Eric Garton on Oct 07, 2019
Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Meeting on October 7, 2019; Today we inducted two new Rotarians into our Club; Jessica Benko and Dean Leazenby, and welcomed fellow Elkhart Rotarian and President and CEO of ADEC, Donna Belusar, PH.D., for a presentation of udpates and news from ADEC!

President Candy Yoder opened the meeting and introduced Deb Osza who shared thoughtful words, led the Pledge, and Four-Way Test.  

Welcome table volunteers were John Hill, Ashley Bowen, and guests were introduced by NEW MEMBER Dean Leazenby and included visiting Rotarians Judy Jankowski (South Bend) and Doug Grant (Wawasee). Guests of Rotarians included Victoria Johnson and Troy Smith of ADEC (Donna Belusar), Stephenia Anderson (Tom Shoff), Tricia Mentz (Judy Jankowski), Austin Canniff and Skyler Canniff (brothers of Brad Canniff). Welcome to ALL, we hope you can all join us again some other time!

Two new Elkhart Rotarians were inducted today by Merritt Diltz: Jessica Benko and Dean Leazenby - - Welcome to you both!

Announcements for October 7:

  • County Road 6 Cleanup is THIS SATURDAY, October 12 at 8 a.m.; meet at Northland Corporation 22462 Co Rd 6 at 8 a.m. - - coffee and donuts provided, WE NEED YOUR HELP to Volunteer! Please contact Tom McArther at 574-326-1641 to signup. If enough hands pitch in, this important community service takes only about an hour to complete.
  • Reminder for Thursday, October 17: Susan Ginther is leading an Elkhart Rotary International Service Project Opportunity called "Dresses for Girls in Guatemala". You are invited to attend on Thursday, October 17 from 5-8 p.m. at 620 Verdant Drive in Elkhart, to participate in sewing dresses from kits that will be provided. Our goal is to have 30 dresses complete and ready to send by Christmas, delivered to the Guatemalan village of San Gaspar de Chajul. This effort can be a life changing experience for the girls who'll receive these gifts. And if you can't attend (or don't know the first thing about sewing), you're welcome to provide supplies from a wish list on the sheet attached below, or you can always provide a monetary gift to help with the cost of supplies or shipping. Thanks for your help with this international project.
  • Terri Rickel announced that 18 Board and Membership Committee Members met on Monday, September 30 to plan strategies for Retention and Engagement of our club. Key areas the club has decided to start with relate to developing a list of prospective members and beginning a new Mentor program established for new club members. More info to follow!
  • Doug Risser gave a short introduction to the Rotary Foundation... Did you know the Rotary Foundation has THREE main funds in which to contribute? 1) "Polio Plus" - -helping to eradicate polio around the globe, 2) the "Endowment Fund", and 3), the "Annual Fund" (from which about 1/2 of the funds feed back into our District and the other 1/2 feeds International Projects). When you contribute to these funds, you support Rotary's mission around the world! Please be a part of Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) and do your part with a contribution HERE today.
  • Additional Reminders:
    • Jim Rieckhoff is moderating next week's October 14 Mayoral Candidate Forum with Dave Miller and Rod Roberson - - if you have questions for consideration please send them to moderator Jim Rieckhoff ASAP; there will continue to be slips of paper on the table for questions OR you can email Jim directly at
    • Doug Risser: upcoming friendship exchange that will take place March 1-14, 2020 to Sao Paolo, Brazil. For more information contact Doug directly.
    • December 6 is the Salvation Army Gala - - If you're interested in attending, contact Peter Norton. The Elkhart Rotary Club is being honored this year by Salvation Army and the club is considering filling a table to support the event.
Today's Sergeant was Bill Rieth. Nice job of FUNdraising today, Bill! 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: Donna Belusar, PH.D., is the President and CEO of ADEC - sharing updates and news from ADEC.

ADEC’s services revolve around one mission: Helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities find a life full of choice and possibility. We serve more than 1,000 individuals each year through more than a dozen programs, ranging from music therapy for children to supervised group living for adults.

ADEC proudly advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties so they can live lives full of informed choice and possibility.

ADEC believes in Choice and Possibility. Did you know that the four letters of ADEC’s acronym represents its four core values?
  • A life of their own
  • Dignity
  • Employment
  • Community
Here is an infographic shared by Donna and is featured in their newly-printed Annual Report.

About fellow Elkhart Rotarian Donna Belusar: 
Donna L. Belusar, Ph.D. was named President and CEO of ADEC in the fall of 2013 after her hire as CFO in 2012. Prior to her tenure at ADEC, Donna served as a senior vice president with CTS Corporation in Elkhart for four years. In this role, she acted as CFO and oversaw Human Resources and IT. Belusar spent 26 years climbing the ranks at International Business Machines Corporation. In the last eight years of her time with IBM, she worked as the corporate headquarters program manager, executive director of internal audits for corporate, Americas and Asia Pacific and executive finance director for global financing in the United States, Brazil and Mexico.  Donna holds an honorary doctoral degree in corporate enterprise management from Binghamton University, an MBA in finance from Binghamton University and a BS in business engineering from Michigan Technological University.

When asked why she enjoys working at ADEC, Donna says, “Being part of ADEC and our community is professionally and personally rewarding. I feel all my prior work experience and my personal achievements have led me to be where I am today – here at ADEC – connected with the community and raising the dreams and aspirations of those who we serve. The lasting positive impact ADEC services provides is so rewarding – in the lives of the individuals we serve to the families that count on us to be there and provide guidance, to the extended communities where we are engaged every day, to our donors who trust and see where their generous gifts are going, to the local businesses who hire and provide work, and to our staff who know everything they do is genuinely supported and believed in.   We truly are an organization that provides choice to all and our possibilities are endless. It’s an honor and a privilege to work here.”

Thanks, Donna, for a very informative presentation!
For more information about ADEC 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, 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 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.