Next Meeting:
When:Friday, December 13, 2019
Where:The Lansing Center, First Floor
What:The 96th Annual Children's Christmas Party
Guests:Students from Gardner International Magnet School
Chair of the Day:John Dale Smith
Greeter:Tim Salisbury
Chair of the Month: Lisa Smith
Remembrance:Diane Sanborn
Editarian:James McGillicuddy
A Lansing Rotary Tradition
It snowed a little bit on December 1, 1916, but that didn't stop the Lansing Gas Company trucks from picking up the 35 boys from the State Industrial School for their noon meal at the grill room of the Hotel Downey.  The young men were treated to a lunch and other holiday festivities by the members of the newly organized Rotary Club of Lansing.  Probably no one at that 1916 event ever imagined that it was just the first of many Rotary Christmas parties that would continue into the next century.
A tradition had been born.  In 1919, the party was dedicated to the "Newsies", boys who sold the daily paper on Lansing streets.  Apparently many of the boys were from low-income families and were described by one local reporter as "regular guys with tattered cloths and freckled faces."  Rotarians considered them special and showed their best holiday spirit, treating the boys to pie and real brown fried cakes, a visit from Santa and such gifts as candy, a magnet and a jackknife.
A year later, on Christmas Eve of 1920, 100 underprivileged boys, ages eight to 18, crowded into the banquet hall of the Lansing Chamber of Commerce where Rotarians treated them to a dinner of chicken, turkey, mince pie and many other tasty items.  Vaudeville performers from the nearby Bijou Theater provided entertainment and each boy received knitted gloves and a cap, candy, mixed nuts and two bunches of grapes.  One of the highlights of the day was the appearance of Santa Claus, skillfully portrayed by Rotarian Winton Bennett, a Lansing dentist.
By 1922, Rotary members decided to expand the Christmas party into a more permanent activity - making Christmas cheer last throughout the whole year.  Each Rotarian would invite a boy, not his son, to be a special guest at a December luncheon where he would enjoy the club's Christmas activities.  But, each would "keep his boy until the time comes when the boy would break into the world to depend on his own resources.  The Rotarian would not take over the parental role but provide opportunities the young man might not otherwise have - a ride in the country, a trip to a baseball game or a swim at a park pool."  Referred to as the "Boys Auxiliary" it was sort of an early version of today's Big Brother program.  Still, even though Rotarians would sometimes direct their Christmas parties at different groups, they didn't forget the boys at the Industrial School.  One year, they "passed the hat," raising money so the boys could have a holiday event at the school.
By the late 1920's, the Christmas party was being put on for crippled children, supporting the overall work being done by Rotarians in that area.  In 1934, members of the Michigan Crippled Children's Commission attended the party at the Hotel Olds.  The children received gifts and were entertained by the storytelling of George H. Becker, the steward at the hotel.
And later Rotarians remember Louis J. Brand, board chairman of the John Henry Company, who skillfully played Santa Claus for almost 40 years.  But, perhaps it is Ted Swift who more than anybody made the holiday event a Lansing institution.  Known as "Uncle Ted", Swift appeared before the children explaining why Santa would not be able to appear this year.  A natural comedian and actor, Swift kept everyone on their toes or in fits of laughter, singing, dancing and finding other ways he could fill in for the missing Santa. 
Soon before his death in 1999, Ted Swift talked about his accomplishments in life.  "I think I'm a pretty good lawyer," he said. "But I know people will probably remember me for a prank I pulled in law school, for once addressing the Michigan Supreme Court in rhyme and for being Uncle Ted at the Rotary Christmas party.  I'm not sure about the first two, but I guess I wouldn't mind people remembering me as Uncle Ted.  "You should see those kids' faces.  It's something I'll never forget."
Rotary District Matching Program
This matching program is to help our members reach their next Paul Harris or your first by matching the money needed to reach that level.  You make a contribution of half the amount needed to reach the next Paul Harris, make sure Cathy has your donation.  A form will be completed so the District will match your contribution with the available points.  The "Earn a Reward" Points Match Challenge will continue until May 31, 2020, or until the pool of donated points is exhausted.
IF you donate via credit card, please email your receipt to Cathy to insure your matching funds.
We normally do our Paul Harris appeal in April, but we didn't want to miss out on this opportunity.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask: or Paul Harris Chair, Donna Gardner,
Editarian Report for December 6, 2019
President Pat called the first meeting of December to order at 12:23. Our invocation was given by Lolo Robison, followed by a Rotary rendition of our National Anthem accompanied by John Dale Smith. President Elect Julie Pingston assisted with the introduction of our guests. Diane Sanborn reported that the health of the club was excellent.
President Pat then convened the annual meeting of the club by recognized that a quorum, as defined by Article V of our Bylaws, was in attendance.
Jennifer Marsh, Treasurer, reported that we received clean audits for both the club and the foundation for fiscal year 2018. The club has approximately $160,000 in assets, while the foundation has $3.9 million. Our income is slightly below what has been budgeted, but this is primarily due to timing. She finished with a reminder that our Christmas party is on December 13th and it would be appreciated if our Christmas donations were made now. A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept Jennifer’s report.
Dennis Fliehman, immediate Past President and therefore chair of the nominating committee, presented nominations for Board of Directors. The three nominees are:
•   Rebecca Bahar-Cook – Rebecca was sponsored by Paula Cunningham and became a member in March 2010. She has been very active in the club, working on our Silver Bells float and our 100th anniversary celebration. She is a Paul Harris Fellow. Outside of the club, she is the CEO of Capital Fundraising Associates, and has assisted fundraising efforts of many organizations in the community. Just a few of her other activities include serving as a past County Commissioner and on the Board of the Williamston Theater.
   Tim Salisbury – Tim was sponsored by Harry Holmes for membership in May 1998. He is from Grand Rapids and came to our area as a student at MSU. He has worked for PNC Bank for 27 years and has been the Regional President for 10 years. His community involvement includes working with the YMCA, Sparrow Foundation and LEAP, among many others
   Kevin Schumacher – Kevin has been a member since August 1997, sponsored by Roland Rhead. He has been very active with our foundation and was particularly involved in the Rotary Park project. He has been practicing law for 33 years at Glassen Rhead McLean Campbell and Schumacher, primarily in the areas of bankruptcy and oil and gas law. He met his wife during his first week at MSU in 1978 and they have been together since. Since she is from Puerto Rico, he has learned to speak Spanish. He has ridden DALMAC and competed in triathlons and marathons.
These nominees were unanimously elected by the members in attendance.
President Pat accepted a motion to adjourn the annual meeting; motion was seconded and approved.
Our President Elect nominee is identified by the nominating committee, elected by our Board of Directors and presented to the membership. Our President Elect nominee, to become the PE in July 2020 and President in July 2021 is Sue Hansen. Sue graduated from MSU in 1988, just before her oldest enrolled as a student there. She started her career at Old Kent Bank, which was followed by almost 5 years at Bureau of the Lottery for the State of Michigan. She returned to banking, with stints at Fifth Third, First Financial, First National Bank of America and MSUFCU. She is currently Vice President Relationship Manager at Tri-Star Trust Bank. She joined Rotary in March 2004, sponsored by Micki Pasteur. She is a Past President of the Foundation Board of Directors. She was married to her husband for 46 years. She is an avid Spartan fan who attends many sporting events. She enjoys golf and being on and near the water. Congratulations Sue!
President Pat also pointed out that several Rotarians have been in the news recently.
•   Jay Smith received the Distinguished Constructor Award and will be inducted into the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame.
   Courtney Millbrook was recognized as Lansing Symphony was named the Arts and Culture Organization of the Year by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.
   John Dale Smith was awarded the Individual Artist of the Year by the Arts Council Applause Awards. This is the second time he has received this award.
•   Jack and Susan Davis will celebrate the public opening of the Susan and Jack Davis Nature Pavilion at Fenner Nature Center at 4pm. There was a public open house on December 7th.
•   Tyler Parsons, who was not in attendance, was married last weekend.
Running a bit behind schedule, Ken Beachler came to the podium and announced the conclusion of our hour with President Pat. He then recalled attending an LCC concert featuring John Dale Smith several years ago. The first part of the concert was filled with classical selections. After the intermission, Ken was surprised when the curtain was raised to reveal a big band to accompany John Dale’s performance of jazz selections. Today, John Dale was to share some jazz selections with us, but without the big band.
John Dale commented that the award was a complete surprise to him and that this is the first time he has ever been the featured special music. He went on to introduce a medley of three secular Christmas selections offered in a jazz style. We were soon humming along to “Deck the Halls”, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Jingle Bells”. After the applause died down, President Pat thanked John Dale and commented that Rotary would not be the same with out all that he does.
President Pat introduced Lisa Smith, Chair of the Month, with a comment that she had selected a month in which she only had to find a single speaker due to the Christmas party and holiday meeting schedule. Lisa introduced James McGrath, President of WMU Cooley Law School, who she first met while teaching a body pump class at the MAC.
President McGrath began by telling us a bit about his storied background – a stint in the US Air Force just out of high school, followed by a time in a rock band and operating Rocket, a rock and roll night club. He was an activist who was arrested 13 times. Eventually, he made his way to Howard Law School, Harvard School of Public Health and received a Master of Law in graduate legal education from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. He and his husband have an adopted daughter and are foster parents.
WMU Cooley is focusing on Access, Practice Ready and Affordability. Programs are accessible to young people as well as returning students and veterans. Tuition was recently reduced by 21%. They are also focusing on integration into WMU, a process that will likely take some time to fully accomplish.
He began his discussion of teaching and learning by administering an immediate feedback assessment complete with scratch off answer cards. We were encouraged to participate as a table and to discuss our answers. This is one of the techniques that is being used in the classroom. WMU Cooley is focusing on learning techniques and challenging the status quo. It has been discovered that the traditional learning styles that many of us are familiar with are not effective for long term retention. Learning is hard work and an eclectic method, which utilizes all learning styles, is much better.
Although I was not able to capture all the learning methods, I learned that cramming, highlighting, reading and re-reading are not the most effective learning methods although they are all very popular. More effective methods include retrieval, self-testing, generation/priming/pre-testing and spaced review. The goal is to be engaged while reading or listening. WMU Cooley is helping students retain information by administering a comprehensive exam at the end of each year to increase knowledge retention.
WMU Cooley is also focusing on overall GPA, jobs and the number of students who pass the bar exam. Changing standards will shorten the time frame for passing the bar and will make it more difficult to achieve success in that area.
President McGrath is especially proud of the weekend program for students who are working on a second career and thus attending law school while working, the Innocence Project and the Gifted and Talented Education program for law in conjunction with MSU.
Alas, there was not time for questions! President Pat thank President McGrath for speaking to us, presented the Rotary coin and explained our gift to our clean water project in the Dominican Republic in lieu of a speaker’s gift.
Next week, we will meet at the Lansing Center for our annual children’s Christmas party.
The meeting was adjourned just a few minutes after 1:30.
Linda's email is:
Dec 27, 2019
Jan 03, 2020
Jan 10, 2020
at LCC Downtown Campus, the Michigan Room
Jan 17, 2020
LCC Downtown Campus, Michigan Room
View entire list
Rotary Club of Lansing
P. O. Box 13156
Lansing, MI   48901-3156
Meeting Responsibilities
Chair of the Day
Smith, John Dale
Salisbury, Timothy A.
December Birthday Chair
Watkins, Scott
Sanborn, Diane
McGillicuddy, James E.
Chair of the Month
Smith, Lisa
Yeadon, Nanci