There were 27 Club members in attendance. Guests included Steve Agouridis (Skokie School math and science teacher);  Penny Fields; Helen Assimos (Rhonda Miller’s aunt); and Jan Hubbard (Good News Partners). The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Rebecca Wolf and Patti Van Cleave gave the Thought of the Day concerning the recent  events in Paris.


ANNOUNCEMENTS: Barb Tubekis announced that Steve Agouridis challenged his Skokie school students to furnish food items for our Thanksgiving project and that he would match the number of bags that they were able to collect and donate. To his surprise, they came up with 40 bags of groceries which Steve generously matched as “advertised”. Special thanks to Steve. Patti’s solicitation letter for the Foundation will be going out next week, so members were encouraged to get her names of people who should receive these invitations to donate to the Rotary. John Thomas announced that the three Caucus selected nominees for Winnetka Village trustees were Louise Holland (a Rotarian), Penny Lanphier and Christopher Rintz. They will be appearing at our Rotary meeting on February 4. On February 11 we will be visited by the three independent candidates Carol Fessler, Marilyn Prodromos and Kristin Ziv. President Thomas  announced that effective the start of the new year, Wes Bauman would be retiring “with honors” from being our official reporter of meeting minutes. Four other Rotarians quickly volunteered to help with the minutes for next year. There were no birthdays or anniversaries announced. Tim McCabe announced several events taking place this holiday season at the Community House, including the Children’s Theatre production of Mary Poppins; the adult version of A Christmas Carol; Breakfast with Santa on December 5; and the opportunity to see the Chagall for Children exhibit loaned the Community House by the Kohl Children’s Museum  for practically free admission. Ned Meisner reminded everyone of some glitches with enrollment for new health insurances plans, which has to be done by December 15, and that he and Eric Birkenstein could help anyone with this enrollment problem. Rich Lalley reported that he attended a Groupon Corp. party which was given to support 50 of Chicago’s poorest families. For every dollar donated as a result of this party, Groupon will give a 20% discount on goods and services purchased from Groupon. It also gave each child and family 3 gifts for the holidays. Rich also announced that New Trier has named a new faculty member to be its representative at our Rotary meetings—her name is Anna Helpin.


HAPPY BUCKS: Heidi Sibert reported that she bought $100 worth of raffle tickets at a recent event sponsored by her employer, Martin Associates, and that she was the lucky winner of $900, which she donated to the Rotary’s Operation Warm charity. Rodg Morris donated in recognition of Rich Lalley’s favorite NFL team losing 3 straight games!  Kristen Leahy was happy that her WHO organization was able to get a $400 donation to our Operation Warm project. Patti gave a donation in honor of Gina Di Sandro for her efforts in helping the Winnetka Congregational Church organize and donate 20,000 meals for use by the needy during the Thanksgiving week. Wes Bauman was happy about Rich Lalley’s successful operation and that his friends in France were safe after the Paris attacks. Sam Badger recognized the 240th anniversary of the Marine Corps, which was established November 10,1775. Rhonda Miller contributed just to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.


Dig and Grin was done (again, at the last moment due to cancellation) by Rodg Morris who warned against “ admitting to false accusations and committing perjury.”


SPEAKER JAN HUBBARD: Jan is the Director of Development at Good News Partners, which is located on the Evanston-Chicago border. It receives grants from Rotary and has been a grateful recipient of  our Operation Warm project. 147 families are given food baskets supported in part by our Rotary. The organization was started in 1976 by several faith organizations to help the homeless in that area. Jan mentioned that food and clothing is fairly available to the poor in Chicago, but affordable housing is a big problem. GNP is an Asset Based Community Development model organization (ABCD). Its housing options include: New Life Interim Housing, a 36 bed shelter for homeless women and children; a large single room occupancy building called the Jonquil Hotel that accommodates 58 families; 44 units of GNP affordable rental housing; and 43 units of cooperative housing for low income families. Since its beginning, GNP has partnered with 165 families as they moved through the housing spectrum to home ownership. GNP provides employment and supportive services such as property management and rehab training; children’s activities and support groups; adult enrichment programs; chaplaincy; personal and family support; educational support; violence prevention; and workforce development. Its Good News Partners Christmas Market is held in December at the Gale Academy Public School where gifts can be purchased at discounted prices; Christmas treats are shared; and there is complementary gift wrapping. The purpose is to give families a chance to be part of the gift-giving process, not just the receiving. Drugs are prevalent in the community served by GNP. Thus, it is offering bible study groups and work force development programs to motivate the young adults to find gainful employment. GNP works with a construction company that trains and finds job for these people in rehab projects.


After the presentation, Wes Bauman was the lucky winner of our “almost unwinnable” raffle. He donated half of his winnings to the GNP and half to our Operation Warm project.( Rumor is that due to his apparent change in luck, he is now reconsidering his earlier resignation as Rotary’s official scribe.)