Posted by Kevin V. B. Schumacher
Rotary once again lured us into the bowels of the Gannon Building at LCC where President Pat Hanes took to the podium. Tyler Parson prayed for relief to the almighty. We were led out of the darkness by Ken Beachler as we desperately sang God Bless America. Lolo Robinson crisscrossed the room with a mic to make sure all visitors got their moment of fame.
Laurie Baumer let it be known that Denny Anderson, formerly of Weiland Davco and who helped immensely with Rotary Park, died unexpectedly at 69. Youthful, given the average Rotarian’s age in our club. Glenn Granger introduced us to 3 Rotoractors at the fledgling Rotoract Club at LCC. We must cultivate the young if our Order is to survive. Scott Duimstra gave a “this week in deceased Rotarians” report, aka, the history report. We learned about Clark Graves, who in 1919 raised $2 million to help the US government offset the deficit caused by WWI. To honor him, our Rotary Club called him Gassy Graves and conducted a singalong in which he was given the wrong lyrics. And that, dear friends, was the genesis of special music and our club tradition of Rotarians singing the wrong words to songs.
Foundation President John Person announced $40,000's worth of international grants (keep in mind, this is just the international grants, we give even more locally). In accord with the foundation mandate of improving our city, region, state, nation and world, YOUR CLUB’S international grants helped: teach a man to fish in Costa Rica (rec’d by Mark Campbell); equip a school in South Sudan (rec’d by Irv Nichols); teach children at the Niyaka Aids School (Kurt Guter); fund Integrated Health in Togo (Pam Miklavek); supply equipment for Global Dental Relief clinics in Guatemala (rec’d by John Person); coordinated with the East Lansing Rotarians to fund a factory to manufacture feminine napkins providing employment and improving health in Bangladesh; and provide immediate relief for the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico (rec’d by yours truly). Just an fyi, THIS IS WHY WE ASK YOU TO CONTRIBUTE TO ROTARY! Collectively we can do greater things than any one of us acting alone. You don’t have to give much, but the Club and your fellow members, expect you to give. As they say in the UP, “Ten bucks is ten bucks, eh!” The key is that each of us gives something. Ok, get off the soapbox Schumacher.
Professor Guy Yehuda and his amazing clarinet supplied our special music today. He performed an homage to Manuel de Faya, the quintessential Spanish composer. The homage itself was composed by Jean Frances. While listening to Yehuda perform was entertainment enough, I had a ringside seat and was able to watch the sheet music as well which made his performance all the more impressive.
Speaking of ringside seats, John Pence has been knocked around by today’s speaker, Bob “Sugar Bear” Every. Every, every bit as punchy as his golden gloves would lead you to believe, is the executive director of the Greater Lansing Hall of Fame. Inaugurated on our nation’s bicentennial, the Hall of fame celebrates Mid-Michigan’s athletic legacy. Treasures and plaques of the Hall of Fame are on display at the Lansing Center. Of course he regaled us with stories of Magic Johnson and John Smoltz, (Sorry folks, I love Jack Morris) but he also told of some lesser known local sports legends and tear jerker stories of their lives. But, the Greater Lansing Hall of Fame, as an organization, isn’t just about past high school glory. Nosireebob. They organize the Hall of Fame Softball Classic which will be held this May; the Hall of Fame 5k on July 19th, the Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on July 30 and this year only, they play host to the US Girl’s Olympic Softball 2020 Stand Beside Her Tour. After learning that Chris Holman was a member of our club, Sugar Bear laughingly commented that now he knows he stands a chance at becoming a Rotarian (somebody please invite him to lunch). President Pat ended the meeting with the traditional coin toss to the speaker after a few questions were answered.
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This is what he was doing Monday, skipping work on the Vasa Singletrack in Traverse City along with Dave Trumpie!