Deckler Garden

Happy Holidays from the Decker Garden. Thanks to Scott and Cyndi Paceley for the beautiful wreath. You may be able to see it as you drive down Devonshire Drive, and for a hour or two after dark it may even light up.

By |2018-06-13T10:46:13-06:00November 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on

November 14th, 2013 Newsletter


(notes provided by the erudite Mary Hodson)


Fruit orders must be turned in by the November 21st meeting.  Each member is asked to sell 18 cases or make an equivalent donation.  Please contact Robb for details or complaints.

The club said “Shalom” to Benny and Hanna, who thanked us for our friendship.

The C-U Sunrise Holiday party will be held on December 12 at our normal meeting time.  Party Planner Patrice Grant will oversee things again this year.




Tom Ulen introduced his friend and colleague, John Columbo.   Professor Columbo earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Illinois.   He is a distinguished scholar of tax law and holds the appointment as the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor in the College of Law.

Professor Columbo spoke about “The Carle Problem”.   He believes that Carle Hospital has two problems with regard to tax law.

The first problem has to do with the treatment of non-profit hospitals as tax exempt.   For example, in 2012 Carle had $108 million net revenue on $435 million total operating revenues, a 25% profit margin.   Carle also had $763 million in unrestricted cash reserves.  Furthermore, hospitals do not give more in charity than many businesses that match the charitable donations of their employees or give back to their communities in other ways.

Why then are hospitals treated as charities?   The answer is historic.  Hospitals in the 1800’s were really homeless shelters for the poor, run by religious orders.   They were the place that the poor went to die.   If you were rich, you had a personal physician who came to your home.

All of that changed in the early 20th century.  With the development of septic techniques, hospitals became the place where doctors practiced their craft.

Hospitals must have a primary mission of charity, not of selling healthcare to be tax exempt.   Today American hospitals, with the exception of Shriner’s, St. Jude’s and possible academic medical centers, do not have a primarily charitable mission.

The second problem is the unequal burden of the tax exemption.  Urbana residents benefit from 17.5% of the free or discounted care provided by Carle, but Urbana and to a lesser extent, Champaign County, suffer all of the losses of tax income.   This is unfair to Urbana and its schools.  It is also bad tax policy.   No mayor would want a not for profit to move within city lines.

What is the answer?   Spread the loss around communities that are benefiting from the services of regional hospitals.  Professor Columbo and Professor Laurie Reynolds are working on a proposal to require surrounding communities to reimburse Urbana.  But he believes that it will never come to pass because of the enormous sums that hospitals contribute to political campaigns.

If you are interested in following this issue, you can follow Professor Columbo’s blog.



Nov 21st Dec 5th Dec 12th Dec 19th
Introductions Bruce Hatfield Mary Hodson CUSR Phillip Holthaus
Invocation Andrew Kerins Rod Roberts Holiday Party Tod Satterthwaite
Greeters Bruce Hatfield Mary Hodson Make Sure Phillip Holthaus
Allan Penwell Ed Perry You come see Marsha Reardon
Song Leader Phyllis Mischo Penn Nelson Chuck Reifsteck’s Gary Olsen
Notetaker Lintner Conforti Red Coat Chamberlain


Upcoming Schedule

November 21st – Matt Bollant, head coach of women’s basketball at UIUC

December 5th – Kirby Vandirvort and Kristen Williamson from the Rotary District 6490 GSE team that went to Italy

December 12th – C-U Sunrise Rotary Holiday program, featuring The Other Guys

December 19th – Alan Nudo and Steve Becket will discuss the Campaign for Redistricting Reform

January 2nd – TBD

January 9th – TBD

By |2018-06-13T10:46:13-06:00November 15th, 2013|Newsletter|Comments Off on November 14th, 2013 Newsletter

November 7th, 2013 Newsletter


(notes provided by the always friendly, Larry Johnson)


Mary Hodson (with valuable support from her husband Tom) discussed their experiences in taking a WW II veteran, Lou Celentano, in 2010 to Europe.

Background: Mary’s dad was in the 825th Tank Destroyer Batallion (TDB), but passed away before his comrades began getting together for reunions.  Lou Celentano happened to be the reunion emcee, and he always talked about going back to Europe.  After Lou’s wife and son passed away, Tom made the offer to take Lou.

In 2010 Mary, Tom and Lou visited several cities and sites at which the  “Battle of the Bulge,” occurred, a major German offensive campaign launched through the Ardennes region in Belgium.  From Dec.16, 1944 – Jan. 25,1945.  British and American forces fought Hitler & his army through the Ardennes in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Results: decisive Allied victory & German operational failure, but at a cost> U.S. casualties> 19,000 killed, 47,500 wounded, 23,000 captured or missing.  “Battle of the Bulge” coined by the press to describe the way the Allied front line bulged inward on wartime news maps.

Itinerary: Flew into Amsterdam, then from Liege, Belgium, to village of Stavelot.  Here they met Lou’s long-time friend Marcel, a member of the Belgian military, which helped the Americans during the battle in Stavelot.  Marcel and his wife Julia have stayed in touch with some members of the 825th.  Julia also takes care of/decorates the graves of all of Lou’s friends, men of the 825th.  While in Stavelot a reception was held for them at the Town  Hall.   At the conclusion, they played the Star Spangled Banner and gave Lou and Mary a bouquet to place at a monument commemorating the soldiers and civilians who defended Stavelot.  Marcel had Lou sign his book of remembrance which was also signed by 2011 GSE team leader and next year’s district governor, Les Mitkos.

Mary & Tom 1st visited Stavelot in 2005 when attending wedding of former RYE student, Peter Reipen in Germany.

After leaving Stavelot they went to Bastogne, site of the Mardasson Memorial, along with Rotary friends Joseph and Roby Leunis from Leuven, Belgium.  Around Bastogne fierce Allied resistance blocked German access to key roads in the NW and W.  Air attacks on German forces & supply lines sealed failure of German offensive.

Town square in Bastogne named Place de McAuliffe after the acting general of the 101st Airborne.  When asked to surrender McAuliffe sent the message “nuts” to the Germans.  Bastogne was freed by General Patton’s 4th armored division on Dec. 26, 1944.  While in Belgium and Luxembourg, when people found Lou was a WW II veteran they said “If it wasn’t for you we would be Germans today.”

Next they visited the Henri Chapelle American Military between Liege and Aachen, where 9,000 American soldiers are buried, including Lou’s best friend, John G. Armstrong.

Then on to Luxembourg City and the village of Ernzen, Mary’s maternal grandfather’s ancestral home on the Luxembourg-German border.  Mary’s German cousins live on the German side of the border, just across the river from Echternact, Luxembourg.  Mary met her 4th cousin Manfred, who took them back into Luxembourg to visit the WWII museum at Diekirch.   Manfred’s mother prepared Mary’s birthday dinner in a wood-fired cook stove in Mary’s maternal grandfather’s ancestral home in Ernzen.

They also visited Hamm, Luxembourg, where General Patton is buried at the American Military cemetery.  Patton was worshiped by the Belgians.  After that, they traveled to Weisbaden, Germany where the 825th TDB was stationed after WWII ended.

Lastly they went to Hamburg, Germany, to visit Mary & Tom’s former Rotary Youth Exchange, Peter Reipen, his wife and two children.  Hamburg was heavily bombed during the war, resulting in deaths of around 43,000 civilians.

Lou Celentano resides in New Haven, Connecticut, where Mary and Tom and Peter and his family, visited him this past summer.

Mary & Tom, kudos to you on your presentation, sharing your travels, meeting with family and friends, the history lesson.


Nov 14th Nov 21st Dec 5th Dec 12th
Introductions Patrice Grant Bruce Hatfield Mary Hodson CUSR
Invocation Ed Perry Marsha Reardon Rod Roberts Holiday Party
Greeters Patrice Grant Bruce Hatfield Mary Hodson Make Sure
Robb Patton Allan Penwell Ed Perry You come see
Song Leader John McDaniel Phyllis Mischo Penn Nelson Chuck Reifsteck’s
Notetaker Hodson Lintner Conforti Red Coat


Upcoming Schedule

November 14th – John Colombo, The Carle Problem

November 21st – Matt Bollant, head coach of women’s basketball at UIUC

December 5th – TBD

December 12th – C-U Sunrise Rotary Holiday program, featuring The Other Guys

December 19th –

By |2018-06-13T10:46:13-06:00November 8th, 2013|Newsletter|Comments Off on November 7th, 2013 Newsletter

October 31st, 2013 Newsletter

(notes provided by the distinguished gentleman from Connecticut, Ed Perry)


Please join in by wishing Benny a fond farewell this Wednesday, November 6th starting at 5:00pm at Boltini Lounge in downtown Champaign. Located on Neil street immediately south of the new Hyatt Hotel that is under construction. Benny will soon move back to Israel and this is our chance to wish him well as a friend, club member and story teller!.

CU Sunrise Annual Fruit Sale has officially started! This is our big fundraiser of the year so join in and sell that fruit. The Club’s goal is to raise $11,000 this year which averages out to 18 cases of oranges and grapefruit per club member. We also have the goal of 100% club participation. If selling fruit is not your cup of juice please consider a cash donation. The money raised will go to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank and to our Club’s charitable foundation.  All inquires and confusing orders should be sent to Robb, post haste.

We will be ringing the bells for the Salvation Army this holiday season. This year it will be on Saturday, December 21st at the front door of WalMart on Prospect. Be sure to sign up for your hour of ringing and if you need a few tips on how it is done see Benny and Ed.  Ed may even loan you his Santa costume.

“Big Brothers and Big Sisters” is having their annual fund raising event November 15.   Tickets are available from Eric for the dinner and/or raffle.




Kate Morgan Olsen presented information about the humanitarian aid that is taking place along the US-Mexico border near Tucson, Arizona. Kate is the daughter-in-law of Gary and Michelle Olsen, and has been working with the organization called “No More Deaths”in the Tucson, Arizona area. Their mission is to end the deaths and abuse of the migrants crossing the border in the Sonoran Desert area.

Kate and her fellow volunteers set up base camps and distribute water, food and medical suppliers for those crossing the border and walking through miles of the Sonoran Desert in an attempt for a better life. Kate noted cases of cruelty and the No More Deaths newsletter states that over 2,000 deaths have been reported on the Arizona border. Kate noted frequent inhumane treatment of the immigrants by the US border officials. The organization continues to spread the word that the current U.S. border enforcement strategy is a failed policy and change is needed.

More information can be found at their web site, . Kate has other speaking engagements this week including speaking on the U of I campus and at Parkland College.



Nov 7th Nov 14th Nov 21st Dec 5th
Introductions Jim Gould Patrice Grant Bruce Hatfield Mary Hodson
Invocation Larry Johnson Ed Perry Marsha Reardon Rod Roberts
Greeters Jim Gould Patrice Grant Bruce Hatfield Mary Hodson
Scott Paceley Robb Patton Allan Penwell Ed Perry
Song Leader Ben Mast John McDaniel Phyllis Mischo Penn Nelson
Notetaker Johnson Hodson Lintner Conforti


Upcoming Schedule

November 7th – Mary and Tom Hodson, Taking a World War II Veteran to Europe

November 14th – John Colombo, The Carle Problem

November 21st – Matt Bollant, head coach of women’s basketball at UIUC

December 5th – TBD

December 12th – C-U Sunrise Rotary Holiday program, featuring The Other Guys

By |2018-06-13T10:46:13-06:00November 4th, 2013|Newsletter|Comments Off on October 31st, 2013 Newsletter

Program to be rescheduled

Postponed due to relationship difficulties – Cary Woolard and Donna Giertz will discuss their new book, Friendship: The Art of Getting Along with Difficult People… sure to be on the New York Times best sellers list.

By |2013-11-01T17:49:19-06:00November 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Program to be rescheduled