Guest Luncheon Speakers

February 4, 2020

Our guest speaker was Sonya Stowers, President of the Chicagoland Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. (BSMA)  Sonya currently has a son serving overseas.  Formed in 1942, BSMA's objective was to gather the mothers of American servicemen.  Beginning with 300 members in Flint, Michigan, this group of mothers banded together to perform various types of volunteer work to support their children serving in the military.  

The BSMA not only provides support for active duty service personnel, promotes patriotism, assists veterans organizations, they are available to assist in homeland volunteer efforts to help our country remain strong.  The BSMA sends thousands of care packages to service personnel overseas, organizes speaking engagements, homecoming events and funerals nationwide, hosts social events and much more.  The Chicagoland Chapter sent 4,300 lbs of items to deployed serve personnel in 2019.  

The community can help BSMA by:

• attending, supporting, sponsoring their events

• spreading the message to families of servicemen, veterans and the community at large

• finding companies to sponsor care package drives

On February 9, the Chicagoland Chapter of BSMA will be putting on a "Battle of The Branches" Chili Cook-off at American Legion Post 76, 570 S. Gary Ave, Carol Stream.  Join them from 2-5 pm.

The Wheaton Lions Club would like to thank Sonya for her presentation and her service to the community.  We also wish her son and all service members safety in their work for our country. 

February 11, 2020

Wheaton Lion Ron Austin introduced our speaker Scott A. Witte, Dir. of Horticulture for Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Scott had a co-worker, Jeff Reiter, Senoir Manager Communications who helped with the presentation.

The park is part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.  The park which includes the McCormick Estate, museums, gardens and the beautiful Golf Course was donated by the Robert R. McCormick estate and is 500 acres.  Along with that was $55 million donated to help maintain the property and help veterans. Robert McCormick died in 1955 and the museum was opened in 1958.

Colonel McCormick (a “citizen” soldier) served actively in World War I and spent his life helping veterans and presenting wonderful history to Illinois residents. He was also in charge of creating The Ontario Paper Co., Tribune Tower, WGN Radio and headed up the Chicago Tribune.

Scott showed several photos of the improvements that have been made over the last couple of years to the properties and buildings. They included new Display Gardens, New Rose Gardens, new walkways, a childrens play area and inprovements to the museum.  More improvements are underway and won’t be finished until 2021.  The museum will be open on Presidents Day, Feb. 17 from 10:00 - 4:00 pm

For more information log on to  To reach Scott, call 630-260-8169.

February 18, 2020

Wheaton Lion Tim Whelan introduced our speakers Ken Withrow, LCSW, CADC, the Executive Director of the Evangelical Child & Family Agency and Julie Sellers, MA,ALMFT, ECFA Counseling Center Therapist.

Ken went over the history of ECFA.  It started in 1946 as a group helping children that were abused and parents who needed help with pregnancies and homes. In 1950 they opened an office in Chicago where volunteers could work with people in need of help.  In 1984 they opened a new headquarters on Main Street in Wheaton.  Their headquarters is still in Wheaton and they also have an office in Wisconsin.

They work with mothers for about 1 year after a new baby is born and they also place children from other countries with families.  This year they will be celebrating their 70th year in business with a gala at Abbington in Glen Ellyn

Julie  who received her masters degree from Wheaton College went over the years she has been a teacher to children and the work she’s now doing at ECFA.

For more information log on to Their office phone is 630-653-6400.

February 25 , 2020

Wheaton Lion John Vires introduced our speaker Bob Sperl, Director of Parks and Planning for the Wheaton Park District.  The Park District was started in 1921 and manages 48 parks.

Bob went over the work going on at the Wheaton Memorial Park.  The Bandshell is almost finished and will be huge.  There will be over 300 seats at the bandshell. 
Our Wheaton Lion sponsored separate viewing terrace will be finished in time for the opening on May 22nd. Improvements to the park include the new bandshell 
and surrounding vegetation and food service.  New security and IT services, improved sound system, resetting of the Doughboy Statue and cleaning up of the Mary Lubko Center building.

The official opening day of the park is May 22, 2020, For more information log on to Bob’s office phone is 630-510-4970.

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You Should Know

Wheaton Lions Club Events

Due to the Coronavirus and because of the “shelter in place” mandate, the decision has been made to CANCEL all Wheaton Lions Club events through the month of June. Once the “shelter in place” order is lifted we will reevaluate the lunch meeting schedule.

However, the Wheaton Lions Club announces that every Tuesday at noon, during the month of May and June, we will have a virtual guest speaker! See the Guest Lunch Speakers page for more info.

You Should Know

Charity Grant Recipient Bridge Communities