Posted by Brian Taylor
The virtual meeting of the Rotary Club of Lansing started with breakout sessions and gave members the opportunity to experience the closer comradery of the members despite our distancing. The meeting was conducted by President Pat Hanes. After the breakout sessions we were brought back to the larger group meeting at 12:27 with the ring of the bell.
The invocation was given by Scott Keith with a focus on comfort for those who are anxious and to have a positive outlook Following the invocation President Hanes informed us briefly of the history of the song “America the Beautiful” after which we watched and listened to the song for the patriotic music of the day.
President Hanes then showed a backdrop of photos from the original founding members of Rotary and then introduced some distinguished visitors including District Governor Margie Haas, John White from the Ann Arbor Rotary Club, and Lydia Williams. Diane Sanborn provided the status of the health of the club with some unfortunate and heartbreaking news of some of our members including Kelly Rossman McKinney and Tim Daman. Our hearts and prayers go out to them during this time of trial and loss.
Joe Garcia provided information on the use of the $30,000 grant money provided by the Club in its benefit to Cristo Rey. The grant arrived at the perfect time to provide immediate help in masks, shields, cleaning, food, and economic stimulus for the Cristo Rey organization. We were then presented with the “This is Lansing” video created by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing with the focus on people making the place and the blessing that it is to be in the Lansing area.
For our speakers, we were able to benefit from three individuals within the area and learn from their experience and outlook during this difficult time. Julie Pingston advised on the impact of COVID-19 with tourism in the Lansing area. 31% of unemployment is related to the travel industry. Many groups in Lansing are adjusting by providing virtual vacations even though consumer confidence is improving.
Steve Japinga, as a member of the Lansing Chamber of Commerce, advised on the efforts to reopen business in Lansing. We are Region 5 and the Chamber has organized a task force to represent Region 5 in the reopening efforts. They have also been hard at work providing information in their resource guide found on the Lansing Chamber of Commerce website to provide up to date information that cuts through the clutter of social media.
The final speaker was Bob Trezise, President of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). Bod discussed their efforts to recruit companies to come into the Lansing area along with the 1 In All Program. This program provides entrepreneurs money and training for small business development.
The meeting closed at 1:31 with the ringing of the bell by President Pat Hanes.
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