Guest Luncheon Speakers

January 5, 2016

Wheaton Lioness and Wheaton Library Director Betsy Adamowski introduced our speaker Nancy Castellanos, Department Head, Reference Services of the Wheaton Library. Betsy said that Nancy pretty much runs the second floor of the library.

Nancy gave a very nice presentation on the library’s goals and the various services that are offered by the library. She said that they are striving to create a library that is suitable for everyone regardless of age and includes people with disabilities.  Departments in the library have grown from 5 to 8 over the last two years. Services include an on site Notary Public, a first Tuesday of each month voter registration, proctoring services, computer introduction classes, advanced tutorial classes and an on-line tutorial to learn all sorts of computer skills called Lynda.com.   Classes are held to help people with photography skills, help with Kindles and tablets. They also have special equipment for visually impaired people and home delivery for members who can’t get to the library.

The library located at 225 N. Cross Street, now has a huge “kids” space along with story-times for children and they partner with a number of other libraries and parks so that their members can get special access to them. Unincorporated Wheaton area residents can get membership by bringing their tax bill information in to the library.

The first Wheaton Library was dedicated by Wheaton resident John Quincy Adams (a descendant of 2 U.S. Presidents) in 1891 in memory of his wife.  The library took over its own management in 1923.

To learn more about our library log onto wheatonlibrary.org.


January 12, 2016

Wheaton Lion Ron Austin introduced our speakers Dr. Linda Weil and Dr. Monika Spokas. Both are Developmental Optometrists and work for the Clarendon VISION Development Center in Clarendon Hills, IL.

They work with children who have learning problems, poor listening skills, a tendency to interrupt people, shifting from one activity to another, careless mistakes on homework and difficulty playing quietly, loses and misplaces things often and more.
There are more than 17 visual skills required for reading and learning. Including the ability to point the eyes together as a team, to focus and to track across the page as we read. If any of these 17 skills aren’t working properly it can really influence a person’s ability to read and learn.

Many years ago work consisted of farming, hunting, defending, waiting on people, etc. 150 years ago brought the industrial revolution and people had to concentrate on things at arms length. This caused accidents in people with vision problems.  30 years ago the computer became a vital working tool and it too required a constant close up eyes on job and it too created problems for people with vision problems. Now smart phones cause even greater concentration for people and more problems.

Students start to show double vision problems around third grade and many kids are not diagnosed.

To learn more about Clarendon Vision Development Center log onto VisionAndLearning.org.


January 19, 2016

Wheaton Lion and Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk introduced our speaker James Volpe, Wheaton’s Chief of Police who gave us an overview of the police force and his role as Chief. Chief Volpe has been with the Wheaton Police Dept. for over 30 years and was made chief Nov. 1, 2015.  The dept. has 65 police officers and operates with a budget of $12,000,000. Jim noted that the department has very little turnover and promotions come from within the well trained force.

The chief said they work hard to dispel the thought that Wheaton’s department is “just like other police departments that are racist, take money on the street, etc.”  He said that is definitely not the case and they work every day to proof that they are honest and treat everyone equally.

When asked what the biggest problem is in Wheaton the chief said the use of Heroin was.  He said that it’s easy to get, not too expensive leaves no track marks and is a big hit with young people.  He pointed out that it’s very addictive and the town has lost about 47 people over the last 5 years to heroin overdoses.

Lion Mike Bernard, who heads the Wheaton Park Dept., said that he has worked with Jim and the Wheaton Police for 10 years and that they are very helpful and do a great job.

Chief Volpe does approve of the concealed gun law which was passed by the state.  Illinois was the last state to approve this law. He said that Wheaton does not have a serious gang problem.  They do have some young people who moved here from gang laden cities who try and convince people that they are in a local gang.  All in all, the city is in good hands and crime is at a minimum.

To learn more about our police department link on to wheaton.il.us/departments/police.


January 26, 2016

Wheaton Lion Clancy Boynton introduced our speaker Lisa Evans, Advancement Director of Freedom Golf Association located at: 504 Burr Ridge Club Drive, Burr Ridge, IL 60527.

The Freedom Golf Association was founded in 2012 by Edmund (E.Q.) Sylvester who was a lifetime active golfer. E.Q. had a triple amputation of feet and one arm due to a fairly rare illness.  He went out to Cog Hill after he recovered from the surgery and tried to hit balls on the practice range. Cog Hill owner Frank Jemsek, a good friend, asked him what he was doing and was he getting any help. He said he was trying to hit a golf ball with no feet and one hand and no he hadn’t had any help. As a former President of Hinsdale Golf Club and Mill Reef Golf Club he knew a number of people in the golfing family and he decided to start The Freedom Golf Association to help children and adults with developmental injuries including surgical work, Autism, sight disabilities and veteran military people with PTSD. Frank Jemsek helped him get it started.

The key feature of the association is the camaraderie that develops through lessons and even getting out on a course and playing.  Lisa said that one young 8 year old Autistic boy went out on a course for the first time with an aid and hit his first tee shot.  He turned around to his mother, smiled and said “I love golf”.  It was the first time he had spoken. U.S. Veterans enjoy not only the sportsmanship but also the serenity that is found on a golf course.  They build friendships and find reasons to go on with life in a positive way.

Lisa said that they had 178 clients in 2013, 678 in 2014 and 905 in 2015.  They’re sure they will have over 1,000 in 2016 and she said they really do need some volunteers who know some golf and can spend some time helping their clients. About 50% of the clients are veterans. FGA gives a 2 day training session for new volunteers before they interact with clients.

A non-profit association they also look for donations from companies and individuals.

To learn more about Freedom Golf Assn. go to fgagolf.org.  Lisa can be reached at lewers@gfagolf.org or on the phone at 630-455-6018.


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Wheaton Lions Club Events

October 12, 2017
Annual Wine Fest
Arrowhead Golf Club
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December 2, 2017
Reindeer Run
Downtown Wheaton
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