Great meeting today as we welcomed special guests from Quilts of Valor: In the Bend Chapter members Mary Ann Lienhart Cross and Elkhart Rotarian Susan Ginther. They honored our very own Jim Rieckhoff with a beautiful quilt for his service to our country in the Vietnam war. Quilts of Valor®: In the Bend is a chapter of the Quilts of Valor® Foundation in South Bend, IN. They make and award Quilts of Valor to Veterans and Service Members in our area. In the Bend QoV started in 2015 in South Bend when Pam and Alan Camren and Darlene Seufert met with Erica Broecker to ask if Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center would partner with Quilts of Valor. Having known several Vietnam vets, she readily agreed. They started having monthly meetings to sew in the classroom. More volunteers joined as the months went on. Erica picked out a quilt to teach those who were interested in learning more. They meet most months of the year on a Friday and Saturday to work on quilts that they are are honored to wrap around veterans to offer comfort and thank them for their service. The Chapter has more than 30 members now and welcome anyone in the area who would like to sew at the church, or in their own homes, to further their mission. So far, the Chapter has awarded over 200 quilts.
Today's speaker was Sandra Chambers, Manager of Volunteer Services at REAL Services. REAL Services assists in establishing a community in which those we serve can maintain their independence to the maximum degree possible and find meaning and satisfaction throughout their lives. We offer services in 12 counties across Northern Indiana, including Elkhart, Fulton, Jasper, Kosciusko, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, Starke, and St. Joseph. REAL Services will be recognized as the trusted and valued community resource for Aging Adults, those striving to become financially self-sufficient, those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia as well as those who care for them. REAL Services provides programs that promote nutrition, self-sufficiency, education, and protection for 30,000 people in northern Indiana each year. Created in May of 1966 as part of the planning division of United Way, REAL Services was established to develop a service network to meet the needs of older adults in St. Joseph County. 1967, REAL Services received the first federal grant in Indiana from the U.S. Administration on Aging (AOA) for Research and Development. This grant funded the Information, Counseling, and Referral (ICR) program, which originally sent interviewers door-to-door with questionnaires to determine the immediate needs of the elderly in the community. With this information, REAL Services could then refer seniors in need to the appropriate health, welfare, employment, housing, legal aid, and other relevant community services. As a result of the ICR project, a directory of community services for older adults was prepared and distributed, and new programs were developed to meet any unmet needs. In 1968, REAL Services designed the first program in the entire United States to set up nutrition sites to provide meals and socialization for older adults—a program which has served as a model for nutrition assistance across the country. REAL Services has since established itself not only as a state-wide leader, but as a national example in effectively serving the senior community through innovative ideas, competent management, and sound financial guidance. Without REAL Services, more than 5,000 older adults each year would have to move to nursing homes to receive the care they need, and 2,000 people in the community would not have access to food each day. The staff and volunteers at REAL Services work tirelessly to help people of all ages, races, nationalities, and income levels to maintain their integrity and independence, and to achieve satisfaction in their lives. To do this, REAL Services runs more than 20 distinct programs that promote nutrition, self-sufficiency, education, and protection for 30,000 people in northern Indiana each year.
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Running List of Rotary Event Announcements.
Rotarians are an integral and engaged part of our active community! Here’s a list of upcoming events represented by Rotarians from the Elkhart Rotary Club. If you’d like more information, contact the Rotarian listed for the event or email and your message will be forwarded to them. Are you a Rotarian with an event to share? Put it in the format below and email to Eric Garton, he’ll add it to the list.
  • October 25, 4 p.m. “Read With Me’ session with the Red Ribbon Rookies. Location: Prairie Street Mennonite Church, 1316 Prairie Street, Elkhart. We could ALWAYS use more Rotary Readers! Contact: Jim Snodgrass

  • October 30, 12 p.m. It's the Fifth Monday Fun Day! In lieu of a regular meeting at Matterhorn today, bring your lunch to High Dive Pavilion, where we'll enjoy a casual lunch with Rotarians. Location: 500 E Beardsley Ave, Elkhart, IN 46514. Contact: Julie Cotton

  • November 16, 5:30 p.m. Social, 6:15 p.m. Dinner. District 6540 Rotary Foundation Dinner at the Crystal Ballroom in Elkhart. The event is seeking silent and live auction items, donations, and sponsors. Guest Speaker is John Smarge, Rotary International Director 2010-2012 and RI-USAID Partnership Steering Committee 2021-2024. For info and reservations visit: Contact: Terri Rickel

  • December 9, 9 a.m. start, shifts TBA. Rotary Bell Ringing for Salvation Army. Contact: Paul Warning, stay tuned for more info and signups.