Guest Luncheon Speakers

September 12, 2017

Wheaton Lion Steve Maney introduced our speaker fellow Wheaton Lion Tony Payne who is the General Manager of the Wheaton College Artist Series which kicks off on September 15th.

Tony, a long time Wheaton resident got his Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College in 1979, his Master of Music from Bowling Green University in 1981 and his Doctor of Music from Northwestern University in 1983. His favorite part of music is writing music which he’s been doing for years.

Tony went over some changes the college has made and will be making for the Music School. They are opening a new music building on the 15th which will be twice the size of the previous building. They are raising money for a new concert hall to replace the existing hall. This will take a few years.

The Artist Series, which started in 1963 will start off this season with the Canadian Brass on Sept. 15th. Along with this wonderful quintet, 11 local schools are putting together a brass band with 35 kids which will also play on the 15th. Along with these students, musicians from Wheaton College’s Symphonic Band and their Symphony Orchestra will also play with this “brass band”. It should be a fun evening.

Tony said that if a Wheaton Lion phones for tickets and tells Laurie that they are a Wheaton Lion, one ticket will be free. Upcoming concerts are: Ray Chen, Violinist October 6, American Spiritual Ensemble, January 20th, Yamato Drummers of Japan, February 10th and a Grand Night for Singing with Lawrence Brownlee, Tenor on April 21st.

September 19, 2017

Wheaton Lion Bob Rutan introduced our speaker Lt. Colonel Steven J. Kurczak, Professor of Military Science, United States Army.

LTC Kurczak heads up the Military Science at Wheaton College’s US Army Senior ROTC program. He has served 20 years on active duty with the Army as a Field Artillery Officer after commissioning from the James Madison University ROTC program in Virginia with a bachelors degree in English. He has deployed 3 different times to the Middle East in support of the Kosovo peacekeeping mission. He is married with 6 kids and lives in Elburn, IL. Steven has been awarded many medals including a Bronze Star, 2 Meritorious Service medals, Army Commendation medal, Army Achievement medals and others.

127 Wheaton College students are enrolled in ROTC and they learn to lead others, learn Army Basic Training and advanced military courses in their Junior and Senior years in college. When they graduate they are commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants and are often assigned to work with a group of U.S. soldiers usually 40 people.

Of our Army officers 80% (6,000 officers) come from ROTC programs and 20% come from military schools like West Point. Average 2nd Lieutenants wages are about $48,000 after 2 years -$59,000, after 4 years - $75,000 and after 23 years - $134,000.

For more information about the Wheaton College ROTC Program link onto

September 26, 2017

Wheaton Lion Ron Austin introduced our speaker Lisa Drake, the Executive Director of CASA of DuPage County which was founded in 1993. The Wheaton Lions Club has been a financial supporter of CASA of DuPage for several years. Lion Ron Austin is on their Board of Directors and serves as their Treasurer.

CASA of DuPage County, Inc. is a non-profit organization that recruits, trains and supports volunteer citizen advocates to effectively speak to the best interests of abused, neglected and dependent children in DuPage County's juvenile court system. Every child has the right to a safe, permanent and nurturing home.

CASA of DuPage County offers a volunteer caretaker for each child that has been an abuse subject in a court case trial. If the child is called in to court for the trial, a CASA volunteer is there with the young person.

In 2013, 103 kids died in Illinois from abuse. In Illinois only 18% of children of abuse have a court appointed advocate. CASA of DuPage County has trained 750 advocates since 1993. Over 100 CASA advocates are serving 194 children right now.

Children CASA works with are usually living outside their family home. A CASA advocate visits a child at least once a month.

To learn more about CASA of DuPage, visit their website at

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