The Oak Brook Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting a 2019 “Spring Fling” open house on Wednesday, May 15 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the White Eagle Homeowners Clubhouse at 4265 White Eagle Drive in Naperville. The organization’s Spring Fling event is free to its members, friends and general public.
The event has something for everyone:
- Fishing information for Midwest locations for trout, steelhead, salmon, smallmouth bass, and northern pike from experienced Trout Unlimited members including maps and lists of preferred guides and lodging.
- Hands-on fly tying instruction for novice and experienced tiers. Fly tying equipment and materials will be provided free of charge.
- Oak Brook TU information tables on upcoming volunteer activities for conservation work days, youth education and advocacy programs.
- Orvis and DuPage Fly Fishing representatives will be on hand with their latest 2019 fishing gear and apparel.
- Free raffle of door prizes for all attendees plus a bucket raffle featuring fishing gear and other prizes.
- Plus introductory annual Trout Unlimited memberships at 50% off for first-time members.
- And a free dinner featuring grilled brats and hot dogs for attendees.
See 2019 Spring Event Open House Flyer for more information.
See directions to White Eagle Homeowners Clubhouse at 4265 White Eagle Drive, Naperville.
Oak Brook Trout Unlimited would like to thank everyone who participated in our 2018 Rod Raffle which generated $2,684 toward covering our annual operating costs covering monthly meeting facility rental fees, speaker fee and/or travel expense, membership communications, our website and administrative expenses (insurance and miscellaneous fees). We must provide Chapter funding for these programs because there are no other outside sources of funding. National Trout Unlimited membership dues are not shared with our Chapter for funding our local conservation activities, youth programs and general operating expenses.
The annual fundraiser featured 80 participants, with another 16 providing “restricted” donations to the chapter’s conservation, youth camp scholarships and endowment fund. The $4,410 gross revenue netted $2,684 after expenses. The 80 rod raffle participants was a drop off from 96 in 2017.
The first prize winner was Paul Stinsa of Glenview Heights, who selected an Orvis Recon 4wt Recon Rod and Battenkill Reel with fly line—a $648 retail value.
The second prize winner was Frank Zbyliski of Palos Heights who received a Fishpond Westwater Roll Top Duffel and Ice Storm Cooler.
The 10 Third Prize winners of a $25 Orvis Gift Card were:
Wayne Bernahl, Elmhurst
Mark Bethke, Naperville
Mike Finney, Channahon
Chris Mehuys, Chatham
Clifford Pixler, Glen Ellyn
Joe Weisenberger, Ashland, Oregon
Jim White, Oak Park
Phil Uhl, Oak Forest
Joe Vitti, Downers Grove
Frank Zbyliski, Palos Heights
Our December 12 Holiday Party at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton drew 57 members and guests for our annual social event and fundraiser. The Holiday Party—which included a silent auction and bucket raffles—netted $4,052 after expenses.
Special thanks to the following guides who donated one-day trips for two anglers:
Dowagiac River—Jay Anglin of Anglin Outdoors.
Driftless Area—Mat Wagner of The Driftless Angler.
Muskegon River—Kevin Feenstra of Feenstra Guide Service.
Northern Illinois Rivers—Mike Allen of Midwest Waters Angling Co.
Please support these guides as you make your 2019 fishing plans. For a list of other OBTU “business partners” and past donors to our Holiday Party and monthly raffles, please see our website “Business Partners” page in the “About Us” section.
Your donations to our annual rod raffle and holiday party event help fund our Chapter’s general operating expenses for the year for monthly meetings, speakers, and various conservation and youth education activities.
Arrowhead Golf Club was our new 2018 Holiday Party venue where 57 members and guests gathered. Tom Wilhelm kept things moving as our MC with Rod Raffle, Bucket Raffle and Silent Auction winner announcements.
The January 16, 2019 Oak Brook TU membership meeting featured the chapter’s annual election of Officers and Directors nominated by the Leadership Development and Nominating Committee.
The current Board of Directors elected the following officers to serve a term of one year in the offices as indicated below:
President: Willie Beshire
Vice President: Dave Carlson
Secretary: Carol Hennessy
Treasurer: Jack Potts
Willie Beshire, formerly Vice President, has been elected as the chapter’s new President. Dave Carlson, the chapter’s current Conservation Committee Chair, has been elected Vice President. Dave will continue to serve as the Conservation Committee Chair. Carol Hennessy and Jack Potts will continue to serve in their current roles as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
Meeting attendees formerly elected as returning Board Directors for a three-year term Jim Schmiedeskamp and John Snyder. Jim will continue to serve as the chapter’s Communications Chair responsible for membership communications, publicity and our website. John Snyder, who has served as the Fundraising Committee Chair the past two years, will join the Conservation Committee.
Dan LaFave was elected as a Director to complete the remaining two years of an open Director position. Dan is currently the Illinois TU Youth Camp Director and member of the Membership Committee.
To learn more about Board positions and other volunteer opportunities, please contact Lisa Gilmore, Leadership Development and Nominating Committee Chair or the appropriate Officer or Director listed in the 2019 OBTU Board Contacts List.
The highlights of the Oak Brook TU Chapter’s 2018 Finance Report follow:
$31,036 was raised in the chapter’s 2018 fiscal year (October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018) through the following sources per the Revenue chart below:
— Spring Solicitation, Annual Rod Raffle, Holiday Party Fundraiser and Meeting Raffles.
— Contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations.
— Investment and interest income.
$23,057 in expenses were incurred across the following consolidated categories per the chart below.
— $15,701 for conservation, youth education and membership programs.
— $5,326 for fundraising costs including printing, mailing and prize expenses.
— $2,303 for general administrative expenses which includes accounting software, email services, website support costs, and miscellaneous printing/mailing costs.
The Chapter ended the 2018 fiscal year with net income of $7,979. See the detailed 2018 Financial Report_Newsletter.
The Oak Brook TU Endowment Fund ended the 2018 fiscal year with $35,642. The objective of the Oak Brook TU Endowment Fund is to provide long-term funding of key chapter conservation initiatives through the fund’s investment earnings. The Endowment Fund principal is permanently restricted to generate earnings for future chapter conservation initiative. The fund is invested with Vanguard. For questions about the Oak Brook TU Endowment Fund, please contact Fred Hodge (630.267.9643).
Abe Downs will speak on fly fishing Wisconsin’s northern waters for smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskie. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Oak Brook Recreation Center Central Park West Building. Guests are welcome.
Abe Downs, owner of Great Northern Fly Fishing, is an Orvis endorsed guide, serving both experienced and novice fly fishers. Located in the heart of Wisconsin in Stevens Point, Great Northern Fly Fishing specializes in guided fly fishing trips on northern Wisconsin rivers. Anglers can choose between McKenzie drift boat and wade fishing on the beautiful and historic Wisconsin River and surrounding waters. Stevens Point is a 4.5-hour drive from Chicago.
The Trout Unlimited national organization is excited to be bringing the 2019 TU Upper Midwest Regional Rendezvous to Illinois. Save the date and plan to attend the conference in Zion, Illinois on March 29-31.
Designed specifically for TU volunteers, TU’s regional rendezvous is an occasion to be inspired and learn from the work of your fellow volunteers and TU staff across the region.
Featuring a mix of workshops, round-table discussions, and networking opportunities and, of course, steelhead fishing, the Upper Midwest Regional Rendezvous is a great way to meet people who share your passion for conservation and learn from each other tips, tactics and ideas to take home and make your own chapter or council stronger!
The cost of the rendezvous will be $125 for the full weekend, with options to attend for just one day, as well as other options for joining parts of the event.
See the TU Upper Midwest Rendevous website for more details including the three-day agenda.
By Jim Schmiedeskamp
Starting with this newsletter issue, I will be profiling various members of the Oak Brook TU Chapter as a way to for our membership to get to know each other better. With the election of our 2019 Officers at our January 16 annual meeting, I thought I’d start with our new President—Willie Beshire.
Willie became involved in Oak Brook TU after retiring as a teacher at Wheaton Warrenville South High School where he taught various math courses for 10 years. Teaching became a second career after working for 27 years as a management consultant for two global consulting firms, including Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting). His last consulting location was Australia where he worked for nine years.
Willie’s first OBTU volunteer role was as an Illinois TU Council Summer Youth Camp mentor in 2014 which grew into the Camp Director position in 2015. He has been the Camp Director through 2018. With his new responsibilities as Chapter President, Willie has turned over the Camp Director reins to Dan LaFave. As Camp Director, Willie has traveled the Chicago area visiting other TU chapters, attending various fishing and outdoor shows, and staffing special year-round events at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops promoting the camp and its educational benefits for 13-18 young men and women. Besides the Illinois TU Council Camp Director position, Willie became more involved in the OBTU Chapter overseeing our membership meeting content as the Meeting Programs Committee Chairman in 2016. He became the chapter’s Vice President in 2017, a role he served through the end of 2018.
Like many OBTU volunteers, getting involved has provided many post-career benefits. “My experience at OBTU has exceeded my own expectations in many ways,” says Willie. “I look forward to continue developing new friendships and working with the OBTU team to optimize our collective experience. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any ideas for improving our chapter. Also, let me know if you would like to get more involved.”
Hometown: Medina, Ohio
Current home: Wheaton, IL
How long as a TU member: 7 years
Introduction to fly fishing: About 15 years ago by friends who were leading the Fly Fishing Field Studies course at the College of DuPage (COD). Later became an “Adjunct Instructor” assisting with the COD program.
Favorite “fishing hole”: Too many to count! Any good trout stream in the Driftless Area. The Muskegon River is a great place to chase steelhead. And the Au Sable River, the home of the IL Youth Camp and birth place of TU, is a sentimental favorite.
Saturdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
February 2 through February 23
Learn the basics of fly tying for free at Orvis Fly Tying 101! During this two-hour class you will learn essential fly tying techniques and leave having tied your first fly.
As a thank you for taking the class, you will receive special offers on fly tying materials, accessories, and kits. Classes will be offered through Saturday, February 23. 8 students per class, and registration is required. Fly tying equipment and materials are provided.
View the Orvis Yorktown website event calendar for upcoming dates and to sign up on their website. Participants must register online. Contact the store directly for any questions.
306 Yorktown Center
Lombard, IL 60148