Posted by Lolo Robison
President Julie Pingston cheerfully welcomed attending Rotarians and guests to World Kindness Day 2020, then called the meeting to order. She hoped all would demonstrate kindness throughout today’s meeting.
 
In preparing for the invocation, Donna Gardner learned something new about a prayer that she’s known since she was a child. She discussed the history of the Prayer of St. Frances – known by some as the Peace Prayer or the Simple Prayer for Peace. It was widely known as a Christian prayer, attributed to St. Frances of Assisi, a 12th Century philosopher and mystic. The prayer, which was completely absent from his writings, was first attributed to St. Frances in 1912 when it appeared in a French magazine. The prayer was heavily publicized during both World Wars. It was widely accepted due to its inclusive language and focus on service to others. Having just celebrated Veterans Day on the 11th this week, Donna thought it fitting to recite “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” to thank our Veterans. She then offered words of wisdom from yet another modern-day philosopher – America’s favorite neighbor – Mr. Rogers. “Look for the helpers,” Mr. Rogers encouraged us in difficult times or scary situations. Donna then thanked our guest speaker, Dr. Jack Lipton, for being one of our helpers today.
 
As a visiting Rotarian from the East Lansing Rotary Club, Nathan Ekola, Aerotek Recruiting & Staffing, introduced himself. President Julie introduced her guest, Kristina Reitler, Director of Sales and Acting Manager, Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.
 
Diane Sanborn reported that the health of the club is wonderful.
 
President Julie reminded Rotarians that Frank Cherf turns 95 Sunday, Nov. 15, and asked everyone to shower him with a birthday card. Frank’s daughter was also visiting from Arizona.
 
To highlight Rotarians doing great things, President Julie announced that John Person, Executive Director of Hospice of Lansing, is in discussions with Michigan State University in an effort to take advantage of the N95-mask decontamination system, which was introduced to Rotarians by Attending Veterinarian Dr. Claire Hankenson, Director of Campus Animal Resources, who was our guest speaker the previous week.
 
Musical Director John Dale Smith delighted all in attendance by combining the special music selection and patriotic song, in honor of our veterans. All were invited to stand or salute when the song for their branch of service played.
 
Janet Lillie introduced today’s speaker, Dr. Jack Lipton, who established the MSU COVID-19 Early Detection Program, which is currently running more than one thousand saliva samples per day. By January, Dr. Lipton’s team will have tested 21,000 samples per week! He explained everything you could possibly want to know about COVID-19 testing. Terms like spit, bubbles, swab, false positive, “this data is hot stuff” and “saliva’s gross” was actually provocative and engrossing. Dr. Lipton, who one Rotarian described as the spitting image of actor Tom Hanks, in turn described the nasal-swab process as a Buccal swab being inserted through the nose in order to scrape the brain. Not going to lie, but I’d much rather give a spit, wouldn’t you?
 
Lolo Robison’s email is lrobison@cata.org