Guest Luncheon Speakers

July 11, 2017

Wheaton Lion Michael Gresk introduced our speaker Geoffrey Gresk. He and his wife Rachel are Dean of Students, teachers/administrators at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani in Iraq, Kurdistan.

The university was started in 2007 with 45 students. Geoffrey and Rachel joined the staff in 2009. The university was built to be similar in style to an American University. The school now has 1,500 students including undergraduate and graduate students. Courses include Business, English, Construction Engineering, Computer technology and many other fields. All of the courses are taught in English. 1/3 of the students are female and the school is made up of 3/4 Arabs and 1/4 Kurds.

Geoffrey said that the average age of people in Iraq is 19 years old. This leads to the need for history to be taught as so many weren’t alive when war broke out. Many of the female graduates go on to get their masters degree and move out to other countries where they can get good jobs.

For more information on the university, link onto

July 18, 2017

Wheaton Lions Martin Findling who heads up our Sight & Sound Committee and Dr. Gregg Pusateri, Director of Access Technologies for Spectrios Institute for Low Vision stepped in for our scheduled speaker Mario Gumino of the Lions of Illinois Foundation who couldn’t get to our meeting.

Martin spoke about sight problems affecting people which can’t be detected through the normal eye testing procedures. Doctors are trying to spread the word that problems which for years were determined as mental are in fact caused by vision problems. Methods have been developed to aid these people and the correction involves eye glasses, physical aid and mental work which helps the patients overcome the problems.

Dr. Pusateri went over a number of vision products used to help people with low vision do important things like drive a car. Biopics are worn on the forehead and allow people to use them to read road signs and see cars very close to them in detail.

Bioptics driving systems are prescribed for patients with adequate side vision but with mild to moderate central losses of vision that can be compensated for with the magnification of the bioptic telescope. Bioptic drivers use the telescopic portion of the bioptic eyewear for no more than 1 to 2 seconds while moving by a quick tilt and down and back with their heads.

He also described headboards that have hi-def screens that allow people to see things in detail. Dr. Pusateri said that Apple Computer leads the industry in electronics that can be used to improve the sight for low vision people.

July 25, 2017

Wheaton Lion Pam Sharar-Stoppel introduced our speaker Stephen L. Davis, Chairman of The Will Group and founder of TuskegeeNEXT.

Stephen came to Wheaton in 1984 and he and his wife have 8 children who are all grown and working. He has been very active in various boards and built companies that have 67-100 employees. Several years ago he felt a need to build an educational program for needy students. He remembered the Tuskegee Airmen program from World War II which trained African American men to be pilots. . The program was a big success and Stephen felt a similar updated program would be perfect for young men and women in the greater Chicago area. He started TuskegeeNEXT 3 years ago,

The program offers Flight Training, Life Skills and Educational Assistance. Boeing Pilot Technical Market Outlook forecasts nearly a half million new commercial pilots will be needed to fly all of the new aircraft in the next 20 years.

TuskegeeNEXT costs about $25,000 per student. The pilot training is done at the DuPage Airport and when the students graduate they are given $1,000. to honor the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen Pilots. One of the graduates was a young man named Kevin who also spoke to us and let us know what a life changing experience the school has been to him.

For more information about the program, visit They do need donations to keep the program going.

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April 8 & 12, 2019
Vision Screening
Wheaton Public Library
Children's Department
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