Above / Tim Johnson, top left, joined Jane DiGiovine and her family, all geared up for the 21st Annual Rotary Ride. In 1997, Jane’s husband Carmen DiGiovine had helped to initiate the bike ride for charity when he was a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville / Sunrise.

During Rotary Ride, trivia dotted the landscape around the track in Commissioners Park on 111th Street.

Glorious sunshine, an occasional breeze and September-like temperatures welcomed 275 cyclists to the 21st Annual Rotary Ride, held in memory of Carmen DiGiovine, at Commissioners Park, 3704 111th St. in south Naperville, on Sunday, August 13.

Cyclists started the leisurely bike ride between 6:30AM and 10:30AM with a choice of three distances through the scenic countryside or a 1.4-mile family loop around Commissioners Park.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Naperville / Downtown and presented by DiGiovine, Hnilo, Jordan and Johnson, Ltd., the bike ride again was SAG supported until 2PM; offering 21, 41, and 62 (metric century) mile routes.

According to 2017 Rotary Ride Chairman Jeff Davis, who has served on the Rotary Ride Committee for the past six years, proceeds will benefit Naperville Responds for Our Veterans, Loaves & Fishes CARES Services, SamaraCare (formerly Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Services) and End Polio Now.

PHOTO GALLERY / Rotary Ride 2017

“The event grows every year,” said Davis, pleased with the increase in turn out, the beautiful weather and all the dedicated volunteers.  “Cyclists came out and enjoyed the ride in the country to help support four worthy causes that benefit. We couldn’t ask for much more than a day like today.”     

The 2017 event attracted about 100 more riders than last year with a couple from Missouri, and most participants had pre-registered online, organizers said.

“Silver Springs had 51 riders this year,” said Rotarian Pat Benton who hosted the SAG stop with his wife, Polly, and Rotarian Nancy Quigley. “I’m not sure, but Nancy and I think it is double 2016.”

Benton said the first arrival to Silver Springs was at 8:25AM. The time for the rider from the start was 2:15 hr.

“All the riders said this was the best organized ride they have done,” added Benton. “All appreciated the road markings. The Rotary sign at the entrance to the park in Silver Springs was a big plus to show the correct entrance for the rest stop.”

Volunteers from the Naperville Jaycees, Loaves & Fishes, SamaraCare, New Generations, Neuqua Valley High School Rotary Interact and other Rotary Clubs assisted with this ride, Davis said.

Davis also expressed gratitude to the 2017 Rotary Ride sponsors, including presenting sponsor DHJJ as well as Jane DiGiovani and Family, Will and Kathie Gillette, Gary and Gloria Baumgartner, Positively Naperville, Quigley’s Irish Pub, Casey’s Foods, First Community Financial Bank, Esser-Hayes Insurance Group, Naperville Bank and Trust, Fair Oaks Ford, Gerald Nisson, Seabreeze West, Ryan Hill and NPV Property Services.

The 2018 Rotary Ride will take place on Sun., Aug. 12, said Naish Shah who will serve as chairman of the 22nd annual bike ride.

Family Fun Loop / 8-11AM


Rotary Ride 2017 benefits Polio Plus, Naperville Responds for Veterans, Loaves and Fishes CARE Services, and SamaraCare.

In addition to three choices of routes throughout the countryside, from 8AM to 11AM, a Family Fun Loop with signs noting Rotary trivia to help create awareness about the international service organization was available for families to run, walk, bike or stroll.

The Fun Family Route was set up around the track at Commissioners’ Park where men were playing cricket, folks were walking and biking, and kids were inline skating and skateboarding on this weather-perfect Sunday.

Four organizations benefit from Rotary Ride

Naperville Responds For Veterans assists Veterans and their families in need by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor and coordinates the process of repairing, building and donating homes.

Loaves & Fishes CARES Services help local families in financial crisis meet their essential needs by providing emergency financial support and resources.

For 45 years, SamaraCare has been a provider, educator and advocate for progressive mental health counseling for people of all ages, offering services that lead people to live life to the best of their ability.

End Polio Now, a Rotary International Charity, makes a global impact to protect children against polio forever. For as little as $0.60, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life. In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches every dollar that is raised through Rotary International Charities to eradicate polio.

For more info, visit www.napervillerotaryride.com.

Same time next year: second Sunday in August 2018

Early bird registration ($25) will be offered in December. Right after the first of the year in 2018, registration is $30, then $40 during July 2018 and $50 in August.  Ride day, Aug. 12, registration is still being considered. Riders are guaranteed a t-shirt if registered by mid-July.

A lunch buffet of fresh fruits and a healthful menu comes with the ride. Other nutritious snacks and beverages will be available midway along the SAG-supported routes. (SAG means “Support and Gear” for bicyclists, the marked vehicle available along the route that rescues cyclists, their bike and what gear they have on board when they can no longer ride due to fatigue, personal injury and/or bike failure.)

For details about 2018 Rotary Ride, visit www.napervillerotaryride.com. 

Sponsorships remain available any time. For questions and inquiries, email sponsor co-chairman Pat Benton at pat.benton@gmail.com or call (630) 989-1833. The Ride is being organized by the Rotary Club of Naperville / Downtown.