Posted by Linda Lynch
On the last Friday in June, President Pat was greeted by members doing their best to be true Parrotheads with only 24 hour notice. Such an assortment of tropical attire, sunglasses, beads and the like has never before been seen at a Lansing Rotary meeting. A few even seemed to have Jimmy Buffett sitting right next to them. Apparently, Dan Aylward had a video background that was quite impressive, but I was not fortunate enough to see it.
President Pat called his last meeting to order at 12:25. Helen Mickens gave the invocation, beginning by stating that it was quite an honor to be able to deliver the invocation for President Pat’s last meeting. Her words included a thank you to Pat and requested a blessing for Julie Pingston’s upcoming term. The invocation was followed by an acapella version of “God Bless the USA” by Home Free.
President Pat introduced District Governor Nathan Triplett as a guest for today’s meeting. Diane Sanborn let us know that Bill Kane is at Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation, with the health of the rest of our club being good. President Pat introduced two additional guests for his last meeting – his daughter Jenn, who is an attorney in Cleveland, and his wife, Sue.
Next, the meeting was turned over to Michelle Lantz to announce that the food bank had a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility at I69 and Webster Road in Bath Township. The current facility is maxed out and does not allow the food bank to adequately serve all of the need in their seven county area. The new facility will provide additional space for volunteers and new equipment that will help to meet the need, which is expected to increase by 30% in the months ahead. The facility will cost $7.5 million. With Jackson National Life as the underwriter for the Jackson Volunteer Center at the new facility, 86% of the funds needed have already been raised.
Michelle concluded by sharing that she has found the “lost shaker of salt” and that she is sure that President Pat stole it.
Scott Duimstra shone the spotlight on Jim McGuillicudy – who comes from a family of doctor Rotarians. His grandfather was a founding member of our club and his father, Oliver, was President in 1958-59. Jim was President in 1995-96 and is currently one of our Editarians. During a career that spanned more than 40 years, he served as Director of the Michigan State Medical Society and Chief of Staff at Sparrow Hospital. He was inducted into Sparrow’s Physician Hall of Fame in 2016.
Next, Todd Gute, on his actual birthday, gave his report on the June birthdays. He asked this group of Rotarians to share what they will do first when we get to the point where there is no fear of the virus. Attend a Rotary meeting in person, travel, hug family and friends and dinner out were just a few of the responses. Most poetic was the longing to take the family to a baseball game, to mingle with the other fans, enjoy the smell of ballpark food and the crack of the bat. With 50% response, the June Birthtarians raised $550. President Pat played a portion of “Birthday” by The Beatles as their birthday serenade.
President Pat introduced the Chair of the Frivolous Affairs Committee, Kevin Schumacher, to introduce our special music. John Collins shared two Jimmy Buffett songs – “A Pirate Looks at Forty” and “Margaritaville”. For “Margaritaville”, we all unmuted and sang along – and yes that was as scary as it sounds!
President Pat announced that you can hear more of John Collins and a few other Rotarians at a fundraiser for our Foundation on June 28th at Urban Beat.
In a moment that seemed as if President Pat thought the roast was for incoming President Julie, he shared a short slideshow comparing her look to that of several famous Julies – London, Chen, Christy, Andrews and Numar – but concluded that she has the best smile of them all.
Julie quickly turned the meeting back to Kevin Schumacher, to chair the day’s frivolous affair. The traditional roast was pre-recorded with committee members John Pence, Sue Hansen, Courtney Millbrook, Jeff Crippen, Nichole Baumer and Lisa Smith all participating. There was significant discussion about why we were conducting a roast. It seemed to some that it ought to be a deep fry. After all, President Pat does bear an uncanny resemblance to Colonel Sanders.
We also learned that President Pat has long had a ‘President thing’ going on. According to his wife, Sue, he kept a recording of “Hail to the Chief” loaded in his 8 track tape player so it could be played any time he entered the room. He is said to have been issuing Executive Orders since before Governor Whitmer was born, and he is teaching his young granddaughter to call him President instead of Grandpa.
It is a widely held belief that President Pat is not interesting. In an effort to refute this belief, we were treated to photos of Pat in a toga and at a vest party. I must say that the green, yellow and blue ensemble from the vest party is one of the loudest outfits I have ever seen!
President Pat’s term is notable for several reasons. He is our first virtual President (knowing more about Zoom than an 8th grader) and ran his meetings in 30 second increments. His emails are written in red ink, with a conspicuous absence of pronouns. He also introduced country music to our club.
Julie regained control from Kevin and thanked President Pat for his leadership during a very challenging year. He missed only one meeting during his term, instituted committee liaison assignments for Board members, worked on the revamp of the club website (coming soon), interacted with the Happy R’s and worked to keep our virtual format as close to our in person meetings as possible. Julie virtually presented Pat with his Past President pin, a commemorative plaque and his own Rotary bell inscribed with his name.
President Pat thanked the Board members and gave special thanks to Cathy Andrews for all the help she gave him throughout the year. He virtually passed the gavel to Julie, who let us know that there will be no meeting on July 3rd. We will resume our virtual meetings on July 10th, with a program on creating a computer application for an artificial voice.
President Julie adjourned the meeting at 1:38.
The recording from last Friday is here:
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