Guest Luncheon Speakers

November 7, 2017

Wheaton Lion Club member Tim Whelan introduced our speakers. Katie Michel, Scott M. Hardek and Jennifer Martyn from the Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Board of Directors.
Tim is also on the board of this non-profit organization.

Our speakers went over the scope of the Forest Preserve and the various projects the Friends of the Forest Preserve are trying to accomplish. In the 4 years the Friends have been in business they have raised $ 700,000 in contributions from donors. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has 60 preserves Projects that are being funded are architectural projects, Wheel-chair access for people in wheel chairs to special lake boats that wheel chair riders can enter, wheelchair ramps to buildings, the saving and growth of Blanding Turtles (200 were born this year and volunteers can watch a turtle and help it grow for 1 year and then they are released). Also being done is work on Cosley Zoo and Belleau Woods Forest Preserve which has rare foliage and animal life.

For more information you can log on to their web site at General inquiries can be asked on the phone at 630-933-7097.

November 14, 2017

At our annual Thanksgiving Lunch at Wheaton College, college president Philip G. Ryken thanked the Lions Club for all that our clubs does for the world and gave us a brief background on our speaker Dr. Jamie Aten who heads up the M.A. Course in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership at the college. Dr. Aten holds a degree in Psychology. The Humanitarian and Disaster research center is dedicated to the study of faith and disasters.Dr. Aten’s Masters Degree course helps to train students in how to respond to major disasters. His interest in this started right after he moved south just before the terrible Katrina storm which occurred in 2005 hit and covered 400 miles across the Gulf Coast. He said that this really helped him learn the importance of first responders who live in an affected storm area.

Dr. Aten was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at age 35 and said that it is in remission. This diagnosis happened right after Katrina hit.

The course Dr. Aten teaches helps people work with communities that have had a disaster in: community response, searching through damaged areas to save people, rights and wrongs during and after a disaster and also teaches students how to work with FEMA, the Red Cross and other aid groups. Jamie said that this has been the busiest year for disasters that he has had in the 12 years he’s been teaching it.

He told us about a storm in Mississippi that crippled an area. A group in the Midwest raised funds and purchased $60,000 worth of microwaveable food, rented a semi-trailer and driver to deliver it. When he arrived in Mississippi, he found out that the area had no electricity so they couldn’t microwave or refrigerate. The entire truckload of food was scraped. He also said that researchers have found that a big media problem that hurts aid to a community is that disaster coverage only lasts 14 days in the media and people assume that things have been corrected.

Members of the class have gone to Hungary and South Korea and will be going to Kenya after Thanksgiving to help communities and of course learn.

For more information visit

November 28, 2017

Our luncheon was divided into two sections. The first concerned the Dec. 2 Reindeer Run and the second was a discussion on the club’s finances.

Dan Novak, Superintendent of Special Facilities, spoke about the upcoming run and how successful things have been so far. We have a wonderful sponsorship amount from a number of companies and an excellent runner and volunteer count.

Dan also introduced 3 employees of the Wheaton Park District. They were Kristina Nemetz, Superintentent of Marketing & Special Events who handles the creation of posters, postcards, signs etc., and Michelle Artis who was recently promoted to Run Director and Amy Seklecki, Marketing & Special Events Coordinator.

John Dalby, our Lions Club Treasurer, went over our 2 club divisions which are the Wheaton Lions Charity and the Wheaton Lions Club. He showed us slides on the income and expenses for the Charity Div. and also the Club Div. In Charity, 80% of the money we raise from various events is donated to Sight & Hearing people & organizations. The money we collect from quarterly dues pays for our Masonic Hall rental, our luncheons, Lions International Club dues which cover our insurance, various ongoing expenses and equipment expenses. This division has been losing money for several years.

John went over the various expenses and revenues and mentioned that our club membership dues have not increased since 2006. We will be upping our quarterly dues effective January 1st. John would also like us to pay our dues electronically and more information will be sent to all of our members. Security will be handled by Intuit which has an excellent reputation.

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February 23, 2019
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Hubble Middle School
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See the organizations to whom the Lions made donations.