Posted by Joe Wald
With Final Four electricity in the air and the topic of conversation at nearly every table, President Elect Pat Hanes called the meeting of the Rotary Club of Lansing to order at 12:30ish at the Country Club of Lansing, our preferred home away from home. With no bell ring to get our meeting going, members figured this out all on our own. President Elect Pat acknowledged our wonderful pre-meeting background music provided by John Dale Smith, who ended with a wonderful rendition of “Singing in the Rain”. For our first meeting in April, the invocation was provided by Paul Rathbun followed by a strong rendition of our National Anthem.
 
Spartans of Spartans, Duane Vernon and Sue Mills were invited to the front of the room to lead the group in a spirited chorus of the Spartan Fight Song. Yes, Sue has not lost a beat from her days as cheer leader extraordinaire!! And I’m just guessing that this was not the first time that Duane did his pom-pom best to this fight song so near and dear to so many of our hearts. And, the pom-poms were then presented to our resident Duke Blue Devil, Irv Nichols. Can’t imagine what the underlying message was….NOT!
 
Lisa Smith was in charge of the microphone as guests and visiting Rotarians were introduced. A special guest of the day, Tim Bograkas, guest of Rich Howard, took the mic at President Elect Pat’s request to share the feeling of players who have the honor of participating in the Final Four. By the way, Spartan alum Tim was able to experience this not once but twice. What did he share? Just that going on the court for a Final Four game was only about 10x the emotion of a regular game. It was agreed that people are in love with this current Spartan team. Diane Sanborn declared the health of the club to be good…with a side note that Rotarian Chris Holman was also feeling well, and we were all glad to hear that!
 
Announcements followed, with President Elect Pat, whose year begins on July 1, sharing that as part of his focus, he wants to emphasize enhancing memberships and member involvement during his term in the coming year with the development and focus on our many, now dormant committees. Each member will be contacted to serve on at least one of the many member committees available. Recently participating in President Elect Training with more than 700 incoming club presidents, he learned a lot about Rotary that he never knew. The overriding theme of the meeting was “member involvement”. Focusing on our club, Pat shared that we are known as a ‘check writing club’, and there is much more that we can do.
 
Jenn Dubey then shared information about the “Hands On” committee as she spoke about the opportunities this will offer to club members. Members should sign up at the front desk with Cathy over the next few weeks.
 
We were then reminded to please bring books for the Ingham ISD, with the focus on children’s books at the grade school level. We will be collecting books through April. May 15 we will have opportunities to support food preparation at Christo Rey. June 7 will offer support for Barb Whitney and the Art Path Project. June 8 will offer food pantry support at the Greater Lansing Food Bank. July will support a Habitat Build. August will focus on weekend survival kits for food packets for kids who need food over the summer. Everyone should consider being a part of this important series of community projects, each with a focus of making a difference in our community. Of course, this is exactly what Lansing Rotarians do!!
 
John Person then stepped in for Donna Gardner to speak about the Paul Harris campaign which runs through April. Want to make a difference in the world. Here is that chance. Notes will be coming our way with the opportunity to contribute to a range of projects, one of which is PolioPlus. Donna’s goal is 100% Lansing Rotary participation. We should expect nothing less. The current Rotary Board and Rotary Foundation Board have 100% participation. Paul Harris Fellows were asked to stand. We have done well, but there is more to do. We are looking to every Lansing Rotarian to step up and do your part also.
 
John Dale Smith then introduced our special music for the day, Rachael Cupples. With many, many performances to her credit, Rachael sang two Gershwin songs for us, Someone to Watch Over Me and I’ve Got Rhythm, and did she ever. Once again, special thanks to John Dale and Ken Beachler for bringing Lansing Rotary just the best of the best!!
 
President Elect Pat, filling in for President Dennis, also took on the roles of Chair of the Month and Chair of the Day as he introduced one of the club’s most enjoyable programs, the New Member Presentations.
 
Nancy Eyde began the program sharing that many Rotarians know her family from being in the area for many years. Thanking Jack Davis for sponsoring her, and Chris Holman who also brought her to meetings, Nancy shared her journey. Moving back to Lansing last fall from Washington DC when her Dad passed away, Nancy spoke about her father, George, who so many of us knew, and how her family came to the Lansing area. Talking about this exciting time to be in Lansing, Nancy lives downtown, something she never would have expected having grown up in the area. Joining Rotary, she shared, is a great way to reengage with the Lansing community.
 
 
Cindy Kangas began by speaking about her greatest excitement, that of being a mom of children aged 15 to 26. Passionate about being in and serving the Greater Lansing area, Cindy serves on the Board of the Turner Dodge House and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She also serves through the NFP Association, Junior Achievement, Eles Place and Capital Area Humane Society. Her Lansing story begins with her Mother and Father both attending the Lansing School for the Blind. Cindy was a member of the Delta Waverly Rotary Club. Realizing that all Rotarians are striving to make the world a better place, Cindy thanked the club for this opportunity.  (I was so interested in her speech, totally forgot to snap a photo!)
 
Ryan Moore made the final presentation of the day. A Chiropractor, Ryan shared the story which brought him to this profession and to the Lansing community, a location he never even thought of. Aspiring to be a professional soccer player until a back injury sidelined him at the age of 21, Ryan was offered opiods or surgery to address his medical situation. Eventually turning to alternative medicine, chiropractic care resolved his problem enabled him to return to soccer, and led him to a new profession to help others as he was helped. Meeting his future wife in Chiropractic School and the adjusting groups, Ryan’s future was set. As they “got close” Ryan’s wife announced it was time to go home to Michigan, a move we are all pleased took place to bring Ryan to our community. He and his new wife decided it was time to start their new practice and the rest is history.
 
 
Welcome to each of our new members and thanks for three exceptional presentations. Pat thanked each and gave them their member Blue Badges, the Rotary coin and shared with each that in lieu of a speaker’s gift, the club will make a donation to our Bio Sand Filter water project to provide clean water to developing communities in the Dominican Republic. He then asked the club members to keep in mind that this is their (our) club, and to please share any ideas they would like to see in our weekly meetings with him. Once Pat takes on the leadership role, we can also expect to see a higher profile of the Foundation on a weekly basis.
 
Our club will meet next week back at the Lansing Center when our speaker will be Dr. Richard Bennett, Urologist with the Sparrow Health System. The meeting concluded with the sounds of Go Green, Go White not once, not twice, but three rousing times as we all prepared for what we hope will be not just a Final Four appearance…but a National Championship for our beloved Spartans. The meeting adjourned at 1:20 p.m.
 
Joe Wald's email is:  jwald71@gmail.com