Lincolnshire rotary honored as ‘unsung heroes’
The Lincolnshire Rotary held its 20th anniversary Herb Didier Golf Classic Sept. 23 at the Arboretum Club. Golfers head out to their assiged holes for a scramble start. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
THE WORK CONTINUES
The next chapter for the Lincolnshire Morning Star Rotary Club begins with its next weekly meeting: 7 a.m. every Thursday at Walker Bros., 200 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire.
Updated: November 19, 2012 1:34AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — Their work has spread from Lincolnshire classrooms and meeting rooms to affect the world, but some in their own village are unaware of their existence, let alone their mission.
“I bet a lot of people don’t even know that they’re around,” said Mayor Brett Blomberg, singing the praises of the Lincolnshire Morning Star Rotary Club.
“They’re the unsung heroes in town.”
The Lincolnshire Morning Star Rotary Club observed its 20th anniversary Sept. 13 with a golf outing at the Arboretum Club.
Neil Perlman, the club’s president, said about 50 participants raised at least $3,000 for Court Appointed Special Advocates Lake County, a nonprofit agency that helps children in the court system.
“Everything went great,” said Perlman despite gloomy skies. “The rain held on until the second-to-last hole for us.”
The Lake County agency is only the latest in a long line of organizations that has benefitted from the Morning Star chapter. That list includes the Vernon Township food pantry, Boy and Girl Scout troops, Village Hall, Daniel Wright Junior High and the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District. The Rotary also gives out a pair of $2,500 scholarships every spring to Stevenson High School graduates who spent their elementary years in Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103, and operates a holiday gift and Thanksgiving dinner program.
That local effort is in addition to the contributions the group makes to help 1.2 million Rotarians in 34,000 clubs around the world. Most recently, Morning Star and three other chapters raised $22,000 to build a computer lab the Dominican Republic. Ellen Young, a former president of the Lincolnshire chapter, traveled to India last year for Rotary work.
The original Rotary club was founded in 1905 in Chicago, and its world headquarters are now in Evanston. Perlman said the Lincolnshire chapter was the product of Herb Didier, who was then the owner of Didier Farms at the intersection of Buffalo Grove and Aptakisic roads. Didier, Perlman said, recognized that Lincolnshire had no public-service organizations, and decided the village was big enough to support one.
Today, membership is up to 28, in a village of about 7,000 people. Its first meeting was in June of 1992, Perlman said, and it celebrates with the golf round that it organizes each fall.
“We’re happy with it,” Perlman said. “Each year, we do more and more in the community.”
Perlman joined after a friend, who was already in the club, invited him to one of the Thursday morning breakfasts from which the group draws its name. At that meeting, the membership discussed what they could do to support a small band of recent Northwestern University graduates who wanted to bicycle from South Africa to Egypt. The journey that would take them through a variety of nations, languages and levels of political stability.
“With all the different policies, you were wondering ‘How could they do that safely?’” he recalled.
He found the answer to be the African Rotary system. The cyclists met with and stayed with Rotarians throughout their travel. The unity and organization within the group attracted Perlman, who is a physician.
Blomberg credited Morning Star with showing that same kind of initiative around Lincolnshire. He highlighted the club’s collaborations with the Greater Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and the Lincolnshire Community Association.
“They support so many groups in town,” Blomberg said. “They’ve had a very positive impact.”