President Julie Pingston pulled everyone in from their small group conversations and called the meeting to order – as much order as there can be with a LOT of festive attire filling the screen. The invocation – a prayer for peace - was provided by Rebecca Bahar-Cook and the patriotic song was My Country Tis of Thee provided by John Dale Smith. President Julie welcomed guests, including Rita LaMoreaux (District Rep/Delta-Waverly Rotarian) Kristina Reitler, who is on her 3rd meeting with us, and Katie Krick, who recently completed her new membership paperwork. Diane Sanborn– with her cone-wearing pup on her lap - shared the health of the club is well. With Donna Gardner’s friends Anna and Elsa being acknowledged as visiting us from a very FROZEN far away land, the holiday program began.
Jim Phillips provided a brief history of Lansing Rotarians helping the kids at the holidays; early on, Rotarians gave wheelchairs and supported other needs of local children; in the 50s and 60s the performances at the annual holiday celebration set the framework for the “not ready for prime-time players” we’re all delighted to pretend we don’t know and several shenanigans we’d probably rather forget, but secretly love.
Mary Moreno, representative from Gardner International Magnet School, thanked Rotarians for their support of the school and the children – 95 special needs students- who will greatly enjoy the ADA picnic table and other outdoor playground equipment we are helping to make possible for them.
Almost like the 12 days of Christmas, here are the 12 Positives of 2020 (A.K.A. the never-ending Monday) as reflected upon by Rotarians:
Courtney Millbrook talked about her appreciation for the outdoors, and her family’s joy in experiencing the great outdoors in a variety of ways for the past 12 months.
Jeff Crippen reflected on family time; kids traveling home to visit – with their 11 dogs – cooking great meals together, playing golf together, celebrating an engagement and more!
Mark Hooper talked about his 10 family farms and the growing soybeans there (his ZOOM virtual background) and compared farming to thriving in pandemic times. Our land has changes, growing conditions have changed, but Rotarians working together are a primary resource; gave wishes for a bountiful harvest of purpose and service to others.
Lolo Robison celebrated her family, health and fitness that included time she’s enjoyed walking with her husband, gardening, 9 knitting projects and more.
Rebecca Bahar Cook shared the positive side of ZOOM/technology that allows us to gather with people we love all over the world; from celebrating her birthday, participating in her 8 book clubs, and networking differently than would have been possible years ago.
Uma Umakanth began the year with 7 goals and a plan that had to change greatly – but despite the challenges, they have had more STEM activities, more student engagement, and more creativity than ever expected. He noted his optimism that these young scientists will help shape our future – perhaps even making COVID the last pandemic we see.
Sandy Draggoo bragged on her 6 grandkids from 21 to 31; one is a COVID nurse in GR who has stayed healthy and one got engaged this year – so much to celebrate and enjoy!
Susan Angel highlighted her daughter getting married this year- outside – safely/successfully with 5 guests - and reflected on how so many people have stepped up so generously this year to help local nonprofits with a wide variety of needs. She also reminisced on what Jack Davis did for this region right up until his life’s journey ended and noted how so many others continue to lead and make a difference every day, in this club, and in our community, when people need it most.
John Shaski shared his gratitude for his great group of 4 friends that date back to elementary school that he ZOOMs with weekly, that he lives next-door to his best friend, and for his work/role at Sparrow, noting his non-clinical role and his pride in supporting the people who make the miracles happen, which allows him to personally support many wonderful causes, including the Rotary Foundation.
3 Musical Interludes included: #1: Riverwalk’s Holly Jolly Christmas performed by Ben Cassidy, Bob Purosky, Sam Rohloff, and Travis Williams, #2: Riverwalk’s The Snow's Gotta Go performed by Caila Conklin, Rachael Cupples, Sabrina Dahlgren, Mandy Fuller, Sarah Hayner, Kelley Lofton, Tricia Rogers, and Rachel Weinfeld and #3: a Dance Performance - Cool Yule - performed by Karyn’s Dance Place.
2 singalongs to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Silver Bells
1 Yooper in a knit hat - Kevin Schumacher - gave a “Rotary 2020 Gone in 60 Seconds” slideshow that had NO hope of being done in 60 seconds, but the photos and his accent were entertaining.
President Pingston closed the meeting with holiday wishes for all, noting our next meeting will be Friday, January 8th, 2021. Following tradition, singing of White Christmas closed out the meeting.
Respectfully submitted by Michelle Reynaert,