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Louisville Rotary Club

Meeting Minutes

January 3, 2024

This week’s Rotary lunch meeting was held at St. Joseph’s Senior Living Facility and was attended by 25 members. President Barb DeJacimo called the meeting to order and the club was led in prayer by Mayor Pat Fallot, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and Four-Way Test. President Barb DeJacimo discussed current health issues that are facing several club members, and asked that they all be lifted up in thoughts and prayers. Happy Dollars President Barb DeJacimo is feeling better and got to spend time with her family over Christmas. Garry Tausch shared that sports and academics are excelling at the High School. The Speech and Debate team has seen a lot of success, as has the wrestling team. Cynthia Kerchner thanked everyone for attending the Christmas Party. Jim Dutter explained the upcoming entertainment lineup for Second Fridays in 2024. Jim Edwards is happy the Cleveland Browns made the playoffs. Guests None in attendance.

Rotary Moments by Barb DeJacimo Barb was running for the Board of Education when she was encouraged by Ken Smith to join the Rotary Club. She was concerned that people would think she was joining Rotary for the wrong reasons. She received further assurance from Jen Anderson and ultimately decided to join the club.

Club News Glenn and Tricia Adkins submitted applications to become members. The club was reminded that dues are due. Please turn in any money from Pancake Breakfast. As the Club continues to plan evening and social gatherings, President DeJacimo solicited feedback from the members for suggestions. She asked members to fill out a card identifying their favorite Rotary thing since July, Service Committee suggestions for the winter and/or anything they would like Barb to know about. Arden Lingenhoel and Randy Starr discussed the possibility of doing another service project with the Refuge of Hope. President DeJacimo asked for volunteers to help with the End of Year Banquet in June. Joannie Aljancic and Bob Hallier volunteered to help.

The Program: Rachel and Sheila from St. Joseph’s Senior Living addressed the club. St. Joseph’s offers many services that range from independent living, long-term care and a memory unit. The organization has existed since 1927. They shared that the operation is currently up for sale and they are hoping for a buyer that will allow them to continue operate as a faith-based, nonprofit. St. Joseph’s is routinely a four or five star organization, is a top provider for the Cleveland Clinic and is regularly recognized as the Best of the Best by the Canton Repository. St. Joseph’s is excited to be hosting the Rotary Club.

Coming Events:

Jan. 10 – Debra Esbenshade, Warm Coats

Jan. 17 – Rhonda McQuilken, Leopards Helping Leopards Grant

Jan. 25 – TBD

Jan. 31 – Evening Meeting and Game Night

Louisville Rotary Club

Meeting Minutes

January 10, 2024

A chef salad with fruit and canmoli were the menu items for the noon meeting held in the Conference Room of The

Alsatian at St. Joseph’s Senior Living Center. With 18 members in attendance, Amy Simpkins gave the opening prayer while Club President Barb DiJacimo led the Pledge of Allegiance and the Four-Way Test. There was no song to brighten the day. Unable to contain his enthusiasm, Bill Wood, a University of Michigan alum, reminded all that his team was now the national college football champion. This was met with silence. The weekly drawing winner was Sandor Gyarmapi while the big revolving pot now stands at $105. Rotary Moment

Randy Starr gave a touching message about his first contact with Rotary. The then 10- year-old was with his Grandfather George Starr who was a Rotarian, and Randy got to see first hand the good projects his grandfather was involved with. He was later at a pancake breakfast and watched him do kitchen work — cooking, service, cleaning — and that impressed Randy for he had never seen his grandfather doing kitchen work. From that time on, Randy said he always helped his grandmother, mother and wife with kitchen work thanks to his grandfather.

Club Business * Barb reminded all that the $96.50 dues are now due. Also, if there is still pancake breakfast money out, please get it in. We made around $1800 for the event. * There was a vote to accept both Glenn and Teresa Adkins as new members. * Should we have a meeting for the end-of-the-year banquet? Yes, it was decided. Stay tuned for meeting dates. * The members were reminded to attend the Royal Knights basketball game, 7 pm Jan. 22nd at the high school. It would be nice if we sat together as a group.

The Program Debra Esbenshade, the day’s speaker, was a District 6650 Governor 10 years ago and is a 30-year Rotarian. When she was president of her club she organized their Warm Coats program after she heard about it in 2011. Their first year the club raised $20,000 to fund the program and every club in the District has since supported it. In 2016, Bob Hallier was president of our club and got the ball rolling here. The Louisville Warm Coats program has grown each year since and last year we distributed over 150 coats, gloves and hats. The minimum coat order is 3 boxes with 12 coats each. There are 4 boys, 4 girls and 4 gender coats. The boxes only come in one size which sometimes causes a problem with either filling the need for a particular size or over supply. There are six different colors available. Debra said she has 460 coats stocked in her garage. Anyway, the Warm Coats idea began in 1988 in Pennsylvania and now the program can be found around the world. Often, according to Debra, this is the first new coat a child ever has had. The Youngstown City Schools four elementary schools are providing a coat for everyone of their students. The group is now working on providing shoes and 3 or 4 clubs will try giving out shoes this year along with coats. So far there have been over five million coats given since the program began.

Upcoming Events & Menus:

Jan. 17 — Rhonda McQuilken, Leopards Helping Leopards grant. Subs, chips, fruit cup & dessert.

Jan. 22 — Royal Knights game at the high school. 7 o’clock

Jan. 24 — TBD. Broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl, fruit, dessert.

Jan. 31 — Evening meeting. Club croissant, vegetable soup, dessert.

Submitted by Allen Gress, Secretary. Photo by Denny Valentine

Debra Esbenshade, Warm Coats, 1-10-24.jpg

Louisville Rotary Club

Meeting Minutes

January 17, 2024

“Creating Hope in the World” Bob Hallier gave the opening prayer followed by President Barb DiJacimo leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the Four-Way Test to open the meeting held in the St. Joseph’s Living Center. Surprisingly, there were no happy dollars and no happy song. Mark where were you? There were 19 persons including two guests attending the meeting.

This week’s Rotary Moment was given by Greg Anderson who said “all the services Rotary does is what I needed when i joined 20 years ago. I looked at those services to fill my desire to give back . . . I like the Rotary programs, the people and the opportunities to give back . . . that’s the message we should be giving.”

Denny Valentine was the lucky winner of the Roboball drawing. The grand pot is now $109.

Club Business

From Barb — Those who want to help plan the yearend banquet we’ll meet next Tuesday at the library. Also, remember the Royal Knights basketball game Monday 7 o’clock at the high school. Bring a canned food item.

From Randy — Refuge of Hope will pick up used furniture you may wish to donate so give them a call. The organization has placed 13 homeless persons in apartments this winter.

From Jim Dutter — Rick Dunlap is in the hospital for heart procedure.

Also, we need 10 volunteers to chaperone the Youth Exchange Trip to Washington trip in March. We also need a driver. From Barb — We have 25 calendars from Pinnacle Press. Our club is featured with a number of colorful photos for the month of December, 2024.

Thanks to Denny Valentine for providing the material for the Press. Should we write a thank you note to them? Induction for a New Member Greg Anderson, our Induction Master, handled the induction of Trisha Adkins as the first member of Rotary for 2014. One of Greg’s messages to Trisha is a reminder to “judge your daily activities by the Four-Way Test.” Trisha, a teacher, will be asked to give the membership a brief biography soon so we all get to know her better.

The Program: Rhonda McQuilken and Jennifer Slack, both teachers a Louisville elementary School, presented a program called Leopards Helping Leopards, a program that was financed in part by our Rotary Grant Program. The idea for the club is to find high school students interested in mentoring selected 5th graders. The groups meeting once a month but the hope is the pair will contact and stay in touch with each other more. Some of their activities planned include decorating and baking cookies, a relay race day, celebrating Earth Day by planting trees and a scavenger hunt. The younger ones are given cards that can be sent by school mail. None of the 5th graders turned down an offer to participate. One of the group’s goals is to foster a sense of community.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 22 — Royal Knights game, 6 at the high school.

Jan. 23 — Banquet Planning committee meeting, noon at the library in Brock’s office.

Jan. 24 —Megan Vance, Gigi Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center

Submitted by Allen Gress, Secretary

Louisville Rotary Club

Meeting Minutes

January 24, 2024

“Creating hope in the world” The snow and cold may have held down some members, but 17 braved the wintery weather to attend the luncheon meeting held in the Conference Room of Alsatian. Club President Barb DiJacimo called the meeting to order and Mark Sigler gave a touching prayer. The Pledge was recited along with the Four-Way Test. Songmeister Sigler chose the song This Little Light of Mine for our musical awakening of the day. The Secretary’s Extra— For those interested in such information, the Little Light song dates from 1925 found in published poetry, but several verses have been added over the years. It is considered an African-American spiritual and the song is also in the United Methodist Church hymnal. You can find Biblical reference to the Little Light of Mine in Mathew 5: 14-16. Happy Dollars * Glenn Heiller has returned after a weekend journey to Connecticut where he attended his two granddaughters’ volleyball tournament. He also announced that the Baseball Hall of Fame has voted to induct Joe Mauer, a fan-favorite player for the Minnesota Twins. Joe was a catcher his entire 15-year baseball career with the Twins. *

Cynthia Kerchner requested an accurate accounting of signs for the Farmers Market and Second Friday. She plans to order additional signs but needs to know our inventory. *

Bob Hallier was the winner of the Rotoball jackpot. Rotary Moment Travis Kelley presented the day’s Rotary Moment. “I moved here in 2019,” he said. “And I wanted to get involved with the community. I found out quickly how many good people there are here. I heard about Rotary, came to a meeting and joined. This has been a wonderful chance to be a part of this organization.”

Announcements and Club Business * Barb raised the possibility of serving a luncheon meal at the Refuge of Hope as we did a year or so ago. Everyone agreed to help. The date of the meal is February 21. More information to come. * Barb mentioned for a 2nd time . . . maybe the 3rd. A driver and a chaperone are needed for the Youth Exchange Washington Trip March 8-10. Please, pretty please. *

Cynthia Kerchner explained the idea of organizing a free hot chocolate night to promote the community ice skating rink. We did get a few volunteers to put this together, but a lot will depend on the weather.

The Program Megan Vance, a North Canton Rotarian, discussed the work of Gigi Playhouse for the Down Syndrome Achievement Center. Gigi provides a network of non-profit free purposeful and therapeutic programs for Down Syndrome persons and their families. There are 58 Playhouses across America and one at Beldon Village serving Stark and surrounding counties. In was organized in 2019 and is 99% volunteer-run, funded 100 percent through donations. Vance invited our club to offer sponsorship with a contribution to help keep the doors open and provide activities for the individuals. She thanked us in advance for helping either through donations or by volunteering. More information can be obtained on-line at Among their actives are a 5K run, a one-mile walk and Dash for Down Syndrome.

Coming Events:

Jan. 31 — An evening of fun and fellowship with pizza and accompaniments. We’ll meet at Alsatian at 5 and at 5:30 the pizza comes out of the oven. This is a family event so come one, come all. Bring your favorite games. Who can tell stories? I prefer the YMCA song or Sloopy Hang On and I always wanted to learn line dancing. Mark we’ll need you! Submitted by Allen Gress, Secretary

Louisville Rotary Club

Business Meeting Minutes

February 7, 2024

“Creating hope in the world!”

Following the prayer and the usual Rotary rituals, President Barb DeJacimo asked for Happy Dollars from the 16 members in attendance. Before members jumped in for the evening fun — Barb gave a pitch for the school’s fundraiser Dueling Pianos with dinner, entertainment and an open bar. The March 16th activity will be held at Courtney’s Event Center in Alliance. Doors open at 5:30 with dinner served at six. The fundraiser is to establish a fund that can be used for future school election campaigns. *

In order to match Barb, our club thespian — Don Marshall — gave a spirited pitch for To Death Do Us Part, a production of Louisville’s Community Theatre. The dinner, catered by Mr. Mike’s, is at Water’s Edge this Friday, Saturday and Sunday the 9th through the 11th. The curtain opens at 7. Tickets are $45. There is a cash bar. Don is keeping secret his role. *

Jim Edwards introduced Mark Lytle, a guest from Conneaut, Ohio. Mr. Lytle, a Rotarian, is here to learn about our flag program, see our Flag Barn and learn about the needed maintenance.

The Rotary Moment Denny Valentine shared his early Rotary years since his club initiation in 1979. His neighbor Don Lothamer, invited him to attend a meeting and he has been attending ever since. Denny told the story of how after working as a bricklayer he had to get used to dressing up for the meetings. He must have looked the part for he was elected club president just four years later. A professional photographer, he has be made signs, banners and whatever is needed for the club since. He probably holds the club record for the least missed meetings.

Rotary Business * Glenn Adkins was initiated as the newest member of Louisville Rotary. As usual, Greg Anderson performed the initiation duty for the club. * Glenn Heiller & Jim Edwards spoke to the high school Athletic Director and mentioned the club provided 18 flags for the football stadium and flags for both the baseball and softball fields, therefore shouldn’t the club get some free advertising on the gymnasium digital sign? It was agreed and the advertising began last Friday at the McKinley game. Thanks guys! *

Barb again made a plea for drivers for the Washington, D. C. trip with the visiting exchange students. This can be a husband-wife combo. There will be 7 girls and 3 boys in a rented van. Dave Yeagley is also looking for chaperones for an April 10-14 trip to NYC. *

Randy described the Nationwide sponsorship program called The Sleeves Program for elementary school children. The Board authorized $600 for the program to be administered by the teachers. Randy then discussed the progress of the club’s 100th Anniversary plans.

The current topic is rest rooms. The club hopes to be able to use the rest rooms in the new library, but to do so we must construct a concrete sidewalk from the parking lot — about 5 feet wide at an estimated cost of $25K to $30K. * The white robo ball still has not be claimed so the big prize is approaching $150.

Upcoming Events:

February 9, 10, & 11 — Community Theatre presentation at Running Waters Event Center. See Don Marshall for details. February 14 — Replay for the Kids — Natalie Wardega presenting.

February 16 — Family skate night — 5 o’clock on. Get your free hot chocolate.

February 21 — Refuge of Hope work project — need 10 helpful volunteers.

February 24 — Canton Rotary Club challenges us to a Bowl-a—there fundraiser for Junior Achievement programs. February 28 — Evening meeting with Andy Turowski who may discuss the city’s 2024 plans.

Submitted by Allen Gress, Secretary

Louisville Rotary Club
Meeting Minutes

February 14, 2024

A special celebration for Bill Wood was held during our regular program at the Alsatian Senior Living Center Wednesday’s. Bill, a faithful club member since 2012, was presented a medal signifying the Rotary Paul Harris 4th Level of Giving. The Paul Harris Fellowship program was begun in 1957 for members who contribute $1,000. So the 4th Level is given to a Rotarian who contributed four times the $1,000 dollars or $4,000. On behalf of the club Greg Anderson presented, with class, the award while reminding the members one of Rotary’s slogans “Every member, every year.” As far as club records go, this is the first such winner for Louisville’s club. Bill, with an“Aw shucks” approach, said he has a sum deducted from each month’s pay so you don’t miss the money as it builds.” Good idea for us, Bill. Congratulations and thank you for being an excellent model for the rest of us. *

Amy Simkins gave the opening prayer followed by the Pledge, the 4-Way Test and request for Happy Dollars led by President Barb DeJacimo. * First with his buck was Glenn Heiller who congratulated Don Marshall for his performance in last week’s community theatre production To Death Do Us Part. Glenn ended with sage advice for Don — “Don’t quit your day job!” * Eva Roshong gave all a warm Happy Valentine’sDay. * Barb DeJacimo reported that Cynthia Kerchner was in recovery for a new knee. *

Arden Lingenhoel was the robo ball winner that carries with it an opportunity for the marble award which is now sits at 130 big ones. *

Barb reminded all of our commitment to serve the noon meal at Refuge of Hope. Twelve persons are needed with 11 signed up. Next Wednesday, meet at their Canton building at 10. There will be no noon meeting that day. * Barb is looking for bowlers to staff a team that has been challenged by the Canton Rotary. This is a fundraiser to support the Junior Achievement program. So far, Randy Starr is the only club bowler. *

Barb discussed the meal card and cover charge for all members attending. There is a $2 fee for not eating so please pay even if you don’t enjoy our prepared meal. * The Hot Chocolate activity Friday at the ice skating rink has been cancelled due to the weather. * Barb rounded up two volunteers for the Program Committee for April to June. Chair-Eva Roshong, Glenn Heiller and Jim Edwards.

The Board authorized $600 dollars for the Refuge of Hope Women’s Shelter.

Rotary Moment:   Jared Shive shared his special moment while driving our two exchange students to a Cavs game in Cleveland. When returning to Louisville — late a night — one of the students couldn’t remember where her new placement was. Neither could Jared. Alas, it had a happy ending.

The Program Natalie Wardega, the Director of Operations for the Replay for kids program, spoke about her work in restoring old or damaged toys that are distributed for needy children given through numerous social agencies. Replay for Kids is a Medina-based 501(C) 3 organization. The toys donated are not those typically found in an adapted equipment catalog and are age and gender appropriate. These are toys that other children play with. Over the past 10 years, Replay for for Kids has supported 988 workshops that have repaired, adapted or assembled over 21,750 toys. Replay for Kids, founded in 1999, is supported financially through many grants and foundations in Northeast Ohio. “Our mission is to increase the availability of toys and assistive devices for children with disabilities,” said Natalie. “No other organization in our area provides similar services.” They can be reached at 330-721-8281 or email

Upcoming Events:

Feb. 21— Refuge of Hope service project - 10 am

Feb. 28 — Evening meeting with Andy Turowski

March 6 — Business meeting, 100 year goals and updates

Submitted by Allen Gress, Secretary
pix of Natalie Wardega

Natalie Wardega.jpg

Louisville Rotary Club
Meeting Minutes

February 21, 2024
In lieu of a meeting, thirteen of us visited the
Refuge of Hope in Canton.  We volunteered to help serve meals to the underserved of Canton.

After serving the meals, we sorted donated clothing for the clients.  A good time was had by all and a worthy ministry was greatful for our services.  

Refuge of Hope 2-21-24.jpg
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