Vol. 107, No. 39, March 28, 2023

Next Meeting:

What:  Lansing Rotary Club Social Gathering
When:  Thursday, March 30, 2023
Where:  Lansing Brewery 
Address:   518 E. Shiawassee Street, Lansing
Time:   4:30 to 6:00 p.m. 
Refreshments:   Appetizers, Pizza and a Cash Bar 
Editarian:  Julie Pingston 
New Member Proposed

The following proposed member has emailed their application to the office.  If anyone has a comment on this proposed member please forward it in writing within ten days to the Rotary office, before approval by the board of directors.  Thank you,

  • William Frysinger, Retired Business Owner, sponsored by Julie Thomasma
Endowment Luncheon 
The Planned Giving Committee of the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation will be hosting a luncheon meeting at the University Club of Lansing on Thursday, May 4th. The purpose of this luncheon is to learn about your Foundation and its Endowment Fund, and how your personal legacy and love of our Rotary Club can fit into your estate planning.
Invitations to the luncheon have been mailed to those club members thought to be most interested in such a presentation. However, if you would like to attend, and have not yet received an invitation, please contact the Club office via email at cathy@lansingrotary.com or by phone at 374-8989 so that we can arrange for your participation.
Editarian Report for March 24, 2023
12:30 CALL TO ORDER by President Elect Nick Heriford
RECITATION OF 4-WAY TEST: Led by President Elect Nick
Of the things we think, say or do—
1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, Katie shared this blessing by the Reverend Victoria Wick.
Blessed are the generations of brave women who dared to hope,
For it was women who were the last ones at the cross with Jesus, and it was women who first visited the tomb.
Blessed are the generations of faithful women who dared to resist,
For it was in the homes of women that Christianity first spread, back in the days when you still risked your life to follow in the way of Christ.
Blessed are the women who have been making our churches what they are since the very beginning.
Blessed are the martyrs, missionaries, and mystics.
Blessed are the prophets, poets, and preachers.
Blessed are the church secretaries and women’s groups, who do the often invisible labor of making everything work.
Blessed are the first women we ever saw behind the pulpit or heard preach, who made us wonder what if.
Blessed are the ancestors who forged a way in the wilderness, so that we wouldn’t have to fight the same battles and clear the same paths they once did. Blessed are the ancestors who prepared the ground before them, so that we wouldn’t have to plant our seeds of possibility in inhospitable soil.
Blessed are the descendants that will come after us, who will carry on the work we have yet to begin.
Blessed are the descendants we may never meet, who will create the worlds we haven’t yet dared to imagine.
Blessed are we, who have answered the call.
Blessed are we, who claim titles and platforms our foremothers only dreamed of.
Blessed are the clergywomen we are today,
Blessed are the clergywomen we don’t yet believe we’re capable of becoming.
PATRIOTIC SONG: My Country ’Tis of Thee (accompanied by Hari Kern on the piano)
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS AND VISITING ROTARIANS: Today’s guests included Jake Tucker, Tony Migaldi, Hunter Crane, Josh Barens and Bill Frysinger.
HEALTH OF THE CLUB: The health of the club is good!
1. Rachel Kuntzsch received her red badge today. Welcome to the club, Rachel!
2. There will be a blood drive at LCC next week. Please donate!
3. Report on Guatemala “Hearing the Call” update from Kim Garland
Kim described the negative impact of hearing loss in the United States and other countries. 466 million people in the world have hearing deficits, 34 million of them are children.
Our club supports a project in Peten, Guatemala where the closest audiology services are 300 miles away and where 1 in 5 people live with hearing loss. This project is closing the gap.
Contributing to the project’s $137,500 budget, our club’s share helps with equipment for the local clinic, advertising costs, staff training and vehicles for travel. Among the goals for this year are auditory screening for 250+ newborns, hearing tests for 500 people, the fitting of 100 hearing aids, and the administration of hearing screenings at schools. So far, since receiving the grant from the Lansing Rotary in November 2022, 348 patients have been seen and 194 hearing aids have been fitted. Best of all, this project is sustainable since local people are learning how to do the screenings themselves.
4. Scott Duimstra—The Capital Area District Library will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary on Friday, April 28th from 6-8 pm
Statistically, Scott described how CADL is ranked in the top five libraries for visits, funding and circulation nationwide.
And even though a library party might not sound like fun, it is going to be. In his own words, Scott said to his fellow Rotarians, “Library party, Scott, really?” It got a good chuckle.
5. Joel Hoffman—Announced the Paul Harris kick-off for April, this year’s theme of which will be 'doing good in the world’.
The Rotary Foundation helps Rotarians to advance the world through understanding, goodwill and a host of enviable traits. This is why it is so important that every Rotarian from our club give three times each year—during their birthday month, during the holidays in December and again in April in recognition of Paul Harris.
Eighty-nine percent of all funds generated are spent on program awards and operations and The Rotary Foundation has received 14 consecutive years of a four-star rating from the Guidestar Charity Navigator.
Given that $5.1 million of the amount raised last year by Rotarians was from donors who gave between $25 and $50, it is important to recognize the aggregate function of smaller level donations. Please give—three times each year! Let’s shoot for 100% participation across the board.
SPECIAL MUSIC: There was none today, always a sad affair when it turns out like that.
SPEAKER: Damon Rensing, MSU Men’s Soccer Coach
Dan introduced Damon as a longtime coach whose tenure at Michigan State University rivals that of Tom Izzo. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Damon was recruited to MSU soccer by fellow Missourian Joe Baum—the MSU soccer coach. He left MSU after college, returning later as assistant coach under Joe, taking over as head coach in 2009. Damon’s dad was a professional soccer player.
The following are the key points of Coach Rensing’s talk
1. Damon described MSU Soccer as the equivalent of running a $1.5 million small business. This budget includes salaries, travel, scholarships, trainers, assistant coaches etc. It’s all about doing more with less through what he refers to as ‘commitment culture’.
2. It’s a little strange to tie your fate to a bunch of 18-22 year olds!
3. He will try to keep his language away from the four-letter words he often uses during half-time talks with the team—words like PASS and GOAL…
4. Damon shared a fun story about MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo, who is clearly the most recognized face at MSU Athletics. In 2010, during Damon’s second year as head coach, his team was among the top five in the country. At the end of the season, there was a losing streak—against teams like the University of Michigan and Penn State. He needed advice and reached out to Tom, who met with him for 45 minutes. Tom’s advice was to meet individually with his players, since lots of little conversations can translate to success. After beating Oakland, then Butler (#7 in the country then), Izzo called Rensing to congratulate him—all the way from Maui. This was a big deal to a young coach and embodies what MSU Athletics are all about.
5. Damon continues to root for the St. Louis Cardinals. He apologized to Tigers fans for that but said it can’t be helped.
6. Something noteworthy is how frequently soccer alums from MSU return to campus for games. These are players from teams that had lots of success or not so much. Some were big players on the team, others not. What’s striking is their sentiment for the culture of soccer at MSU. Strong memories and support from alums feed into the ‘family culture’ that continues from year to year. The commitment of former and present athletes is a strong reflection on the team.
7. It’s okay for the game to get more competitive, but never at the loss of the culture that has become so important over time.
8. A sport like soccer is all about succeeding and failing on a daily basis. This is what shapes players going forward, and is the best possible preparation for all facets of life.
9. Division I soccer is an interesting beast. In some sports, a few athletes receive full ride scholarships. At MSU, ten soccer scholarships are divided among the 28 players. Seven and a half of those scholarships MUST be given to players from Michigan. In other words, there are no fully funded athletes in soccer. Rather, the scholarships are shared.
10. In his tenure at MSU, Damon Rensing has had one Sweet 16 run, three Elite 8 runs, and one Final Four Run. His team might not have the biggest stadium or biggest budget, but they do have stability. Between Damon and his predecessor, Joe Baum, they have coached the sport of men’s soccer at MSU for a total of 50 years.
11. Sometimes, star culture is what runs a program. Everybody focuses on one or two key players. Other programs are focused on autocracy, as is the case with Tom Izzo. Players come to play for Izzo. What Damon has strived for is a commitment culture, where people come to be part of the TEAM.
12. Upon having his athletes come up with four words to describe who they are as a team, these words were distilled down to the following: CONFIDENT, CONSISTENT, RELENTLESS and SELFLESS. Together, these words comprise the qualities he looks for in his Spartans. He pays close attention to potential players and how these words reflect their style of play and for life in general.
13. COVID threw in a monkey wrench into coaching soccer although things are starting to return to normal.
14. In a sense, Damon considers MSU the equivalent of a blue collar school. It takes a lot of heart to accomplish what they do—and that’s what life is all about.
1. Chris Hohman asked about the recruitment process.
Damon stated that he maintains close ties to coaches, to spread the word about the school. Right now, the MSU brand of being a Spartan is at an all-time high. He tries to have the majority of the team come from Michigan, though. In fact, 8 starters for the Final Four match-up in 2018 were Michiganders.
2. Dr. Horowitz asked two questions. How long until athletes become independent contractors? Also, should there be headgear in soccer?
Damon was adamant that there is no need for head gear. No heading is allowed in youth soccer and, when trained with the proper technique after that, there is no risk of injury.
He then noted that the cost of athletes during their time at MSU is approximately half a million over four years. That being the case, if a student is an independent contractor, does that mean they can be fired? He sincerely hopes this mentality will stay out of soccer a bit longer. Other sports, like basketball and football, are leading the way in this domain.
3. Camron Gnass asked how Damon finds hyper local kids, who play for the team and do so well.
By investing more in facilities, MSU serves as a beacon and good model for local kids to become familiar with. Interacting with MSU soccer keeps them goal oriented and interested while building on the heart of the Spartan mentality allows kids to understand that a team is more than just the top players who get lots of field time. A true Spartan understands that a team is comprised of all the players working together for the best outcomes possible. It’s not an ‘I’ sport.
4. John Person asked about Damon’s impressions of the transfer portal
Damon implied that the transfer portal takes away from the commitment culture. It takes away from the family feel or permanence of a long-standing team. In his view, he wants a team that focuses on family first (the team), academics second, and soccer third. It’s not good to have people coming and going. Consistency matters.
5. Julie Pingston asked about the connection between men’s and women’s athletics.
This appears to still be evolving. The answer to this was a little confusing.
6. Sue Mills asked how many big ten schools have men’s soccer.
Nine have men’s soccer. When UCLA joins, this number will become ten. Three big ten schools were in the Final Four in 2018.
7. Katie Krick asked when it is healthy for a child to begin specializing in a sport.
Damon quickly responded that specialization should not occur before puberty (8th or 9th grade). It’s too wearing on the body and not helpful for the sport at hand. Consider the fact that there has ever been a pitcher from the Little League World Series who has gone one to pitch in a major league game. There has been too much wear and tear already to make it in the big leagues. It is better to play multiple sports to build up bodies and muscle.
Damon also noted that DeJuan Jones, of East Lansing, ran track in high school but never played club soccer. Despite not playing at the club level, DeJuan is going to play for the national team.
Money does not mean sport success. For comparison, imagine paying a Harvard professor $10K per year to tutor your child so that they can go to Harvard. No amount of money can guarantee a spot since inherent ability is a big part of the equation.
At the end of the presentation, President Elect Nick presented Damon Rensing with a soccer ball, on which was written the Rotarian Four Way Test. Nick certainly earned points for giving such an appropriate gift.
In lieu of a traditional speaker’s gift, it was announced to Damon that we will be making a donation in his honor to a local organization through our Lansing Rotary Foundation which has, over the history of our club, given in excess of $2 million to local organizations and projects.
NEXT WEEK: March 30, 2023 we will have a Social Gathering at Lansing Brewing on Thursday night from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. If you have not tried it due to the weather and or being too busy… TRY IT, it is fun!!
Stay well, Everyone!!
Pam's email is:  pam@thedaviesproject.org
Apr 07, 2023
Apr 14, 2023
Apr 21, 2023
Apr 27, 2023
4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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Rotary Club of Lansing
P. O. Box 13156
Lansing, MI   48901-3156
Meeting Responsibilities
Chair of the Month
Garland, Kimberly
Pingston, Julie
Download Files
Dr. Holli Seabury's Presentation