Posted by Michelle Reynaert
President Courtney Millbrook called the meeting to order in the beautiful Michigan Room of Lansing Community College. Mark Hooper gave the reflection, which focused on the history of Valentine’s Day (apparently NOT all chocolate and roses). Singing of God Bless America ensued. President Millbrook led all assembled in the 4-way test and Parker Sessa facilitated the introduction of visiting Rotarians and guests. President Millbrook reported on the health of the club, offering sympathy to David O’Leary on the loss of his brother and noting that Don Colizzi is recovering from a presumed stroke, missing Rotary and would appreciate notes.
Announcements included a reminder about New Member Orientation on Thursday, Feb. 23rd at Lansing Brewing, at 3:30pm, prior to the Club social at 4:30. The Signature grant application portal is now open; the link is on the website and the deadline is Feb. 28th. A red badge was presented to Dan Wyant, and Kurt Guter gave an update on an international grant that provided a simple hand pump well system to bring clean water via a well at a primary school and also educate the village about the importance of hand-hygiene.
Terry Terry introduced Sarah Wallace and Liudmilla Bondar, who provided an opera selection that tied nicely into the upcoming valentine’s holiday and two lovely piano selections for our special music enjoyment.
Michelle Reynaert served as chair of the month and Ron Horowitz served as Chair of the Day, introducing David Andrews, WILX TV anchor, to speak to the club about his 40+ years in broadcasting. David shared 10 photos with the Club, chronicling his unconventional journey (jump) into journalism, the time he spent in parks & rec, his mid-Master’s degree move into Texas country radio, work as a beat reporter for TV, and a road trip to Lansing in 1986 where he’s been ever since. From his time at WLNS, to his past 25 years at WILX, David has been a part of many milestone moments in news. From early days sitting at a manual typewriter with a cigarette in hand, working with tapes, to today’s digital world and his current fan-following on social media, the speed of change over the last 40 years has been even faster in the past five years. His wife, beloved radio host of many years, Monica Harris, is an active participant in his fun social media memes, which also occasionally star one or even all three of their daughters. David decided to fight controversy with cake; each week, he bakes a cake that gets featured on his social media. If you aren’t following him on your favorite social channels, you should be! Robust Q&A ensued about how he manages to leave the tough stuff behind him each day to not drag him down, what media will look like in the future, advice he gives to his own children as they navigate life/careers, and how news has changed (become faster/digital, more demanding with less resources, limiting what can be covered locally).
President Courtney thanked David for his time and noted that in lieu of a speaker’s gift, we’ll donate to a local organization through our Lansing Rotary Foundation, which has, through the history of the club, given more than $2M to local organizations and projects.
REMINDER: See you next Friday, February 17, in the Michigan Room of the LCC downtown campus; our speaker will be James Dover, President & CEO, Sparrow Health System.
Respectfully submitted by Michelle Reynaert,