Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon


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Harpoon for the Week of May 31, 2017

Wednesday's Luncheon Meeting will be in the
Michigan Leauge's Ballroom

Playscape Update & Photos
Act Your Age, Grants, Announcements
Don Faber has Died

Program: Jazz Concert

Prepare yourself for a treat!  The Pioneer High School Jazz Band, under the direction of David Leach, will perform for the Club’s annual Spring Concert in the Michigan League Ballroom.  The Pioneer High School Music Department has twice earned the National GRAMMY Signature School Award from the GRAMMY Foundation, the first time any school has achieved such acclaim.  Come hear what the director has called his best Jazz Band in several years.  This will be a superb toe tapping performance you won’t want to miss.

Song Leader:  Joanne Pierson
Accompanist:  Tom Strode
Inspirational Speaker: Agnes Reading

Greeters:  Carolyn Shear, Leo Shedden

Attendance:  Ingrid Sheldon, Rob Shiff


Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • June 7 Speaker:  Christopher Taylor, Mayor of Ann Arbor
    Topic: The State of Our City – Ann Arbor
  • June 10-14 - Rotary International Convention, Atlanta
  • June 14 Speakers:  Loren Rullman, Susan Pile and Amy White
    Topic:  Michigan Union Renovation: The Next 100 Years
  • June 16 (Fri):  Rotarians at Glacier Hills, Shelley Mac Millan
  • June 22 (Thurs): Joint Committee Chair and Board Meeting, Collyer Smith
Farther Out:
  • July l5 (Sat): Rotary Leadership Institute training seminar, Holiday Inn, 3600 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, $84. Contact Dan Romanchik or visit for more info.
  • Sept 11 (Mon):  Golf & Tennis Outing, Travis Pointe Country Club
  • Sept 17 (Sun): Playscape Grand Opening
  • Sept 23 (Sat): One Rotary Summit in Troy (details later at

If you would like  your meeting to appear here, email
Details on monthly meetings may be found on the club's website.


Harpoon has learned that Don Faber has passed away.  It was announced on Wednesday, with great sorrow, that Don was receiving home hospice care, and he passed away shortly thereafter.  As our recorder notes below, all of our hearts are turned to Jeanette and the rest of Don’s family.  Arrangements will be announced in this newsletter as soon as they are known.




Notes of Interest


Program on June 14

We will reveal plans for the renovation of the historic Michigan Union beginning in May 2018.  Loren Rullman and Susan Pile (Sr. Director, University Unions) will give the program; they will be joined by Amy White (Director, Michigan Union) and Helen He (Student Chair, Michigan Union Board of Representatives).  Immediately following our Club meeting, U-M staff will give a building tour to anyone who would like one.  No advance notification is required and information about where to meet will be given during the presentation.


Act Your Age

Kerrytown Concert House was packed with Rotarians and guests to hear Beth Urech’s one woman show.  The wine and munchies flowed freely and there was much chatter.  When Beth took the stage there was silence. Then we tittered as we recognized ourselves as heeding the admonitions of our inner voices. And then there was raucous laughter as Beth made fun of her fits and starts along her journey to wisdom.  Her message - pursue your passions without hesitation or apology, and have fun!  Beth shared with Susan that this was the best audience she had ever had!!!


The Playscape is making great progress.  

President Collyer met with Amy Kuras and Colin Smith, of the City of Ann Arbor, at the Universal Access Playground site to review progress. This dream we had during Nishta Bhatia's 2011 year is now a reality! Some pictures and explanations follow below. We are expecting, weather permitting, that the Playscape will be finished third week of July - two months ahead of schedule!
Check out these pictures:

Rain Garden- Drain tile has been installed at the lower edge of the playground to catch storm water and direct it to the rain garden. The rain garden will absorb the storm water, slowing it down and filtering it before entering the river.


Pink stakes.  Purpose of pink stakes is to set grades and stake the layout on the ground as drawn on the construction plans so that the contractor can then cut and fill the soil to the correct height and layout the playground elements in the right location. For example, all of the pathways must be less than a 5 % slope to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the stakes are set to reflect the exact height that the soil must be filled or cut to achieve this grade.


These two are pictures of Spider, Giant mushroom fairy house – playscape toys


Footings – instead of concrete footings, the contractor used helical anchors, which are like giant screws that are drilled into the ground. The advantage is that they are less invasive to surrounding ground area than it would be to dig concrete footings.  In addition, because the dock is adjacent to the water, and the water table is higher at this point, the footing holes won’t fill with water, making it difficult to pour concrete. Should provide a great fishing opportunity for kids with mobility restrictions!!

Don't forget to invite your family and friends to our Grand Opening on Sunday, September 17th!!


Community Allocations Grants

Peg Talburtt presented the list of awards for this year’s Community Grants Program. Before announcing the recipients, she summarized the exceptional quality of this year’s applications and how difficult it was not to be able to support more of the very deserving proposals received. This year’s grants went to the following non-profit organizations: Ann Arbor Symphony $5,000 for KinderConcert Program; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County $5,000 for Community Based Mentoring Program; Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan $5,000 for Power Hour, an after school program in Ypsilanti; Children’s Literacy Network $5,000 for 2017 Summer Book Program; Community Action Network $5,000 for “How do they make that and how does it work? program; Dawn Farm $5,000 for Youth and Adolescent Outreach; Foundations Preschool $5,000 for Days of Discovery program; North Star Reach $2,500 for Campership for one camper for one week; Ozone House $5,000 for their Education Project; Packard Health $5,000 for Back-to-School Health Fair: SOS Community Services $5,000 for Summer Programming; Washtenaw Camp Placement $3,000 for camperships; and Washtenaw Success by 6 $2,500 for Imagination Library. 


Joint Meeting of Committee Chairs and Board Members on Thursday, June 22

President Collyer will conduct his final board meeting on the evening of Thursday, June 22. It will be held at the United Way Building (2305 Platt Road) from 6:00 to 8:00 or so. This event will replace the board meeting regularly held on the morning of the third Wednesday and will be a joint meeting with current, incoming and aspiring Committee Chairs. A pizza dinner will be served. More information and an agenda will be coming soon by email.


Rotarians at Glacier Hills 

We will meet on Friday, June 16. This event will be the last one before a summer hiatus in July and August. It will be held in the Manor. Doors open at 9:45 for coffee and snacks. The meeting starts at 10:00 and wraps up by 11:00. All are welcome. Information on the program will be in an upcoming Harpoon. 



Does your committee need some help? Let us list it here. Send your listing to Dan Romanchik,

  • Harpoon Staff
    One or more volunteers are sought to assemble the Harpoon template each Friday.  It takes an hour or so of easy work.  This draft is then provided to others who actually format it and post it on the website.  Agnes Reading has been doing this invaluable function for several  years, and she needs a break.  Contact Agnes for more information.

Notes from the Meeting


The Star-Spangled Banner imparted added grandeur to the Anderson Room as President Collyer led a packed audience. Past President Patricia Garcia then stepped to the microphone and delivered a highly thoughtful Inspiration, based on Emma Lazarus’ iconic poem “The New Colossus,” which was written by Lazarus in 1883 to spur public donations for the construction of the Statue of Liberty pedestal. As Patricia quoted from the sonnet: 


“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name MOTHER OF EXILES…”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Next, the irrepressible Jim Irwin, whose bounteous enthusiasm is like ‘a lamp beside the Rotary door,’ introduced wonderful pianist Maurita Holland, “Ann Arbor’s answer to a Mighty Woman!” In guiding us toward the song, Jim continued, “I personally think when you leave Ann Arbor, you’re camping out…Baseball is in the Bible, in Genesis….” With that, the assembly sang “In Ann Arbor’s Summer Time,” written by Jim and Maurita. A play on “In the Good Old Summer Time,” the audience was asked to insert “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” after each verse.


Collyer returned to greet everyone, including our speaker: “What a great afternoon we have for you today! Thank you, Dr. Swift, for joining us today.” He then imparted some sad news – “Our thoughts go out to the Ingram family. Also Don Faber is now in home hospice as his colon cancer is progressing.” A low hum, or groan, made a circuit around the room as the members digested the news. All hearts were clearly turned to Don and his family.


In regard to the upcoming Golf & Tennis Outing at Travis Pointe Country Club, an appeal from the Committee chair was made: “We need auction items…maybe your home in a nice location, or FBI stuff [looking at Greg Stejskal]!


Tom Millard then came up to make a much anticipated announcement: “The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor History Minutes book is a gift to the membership from the Committee – Norman Herbert, Tom Conlin, and myself. The book is truly a memorial to Rotarians.” In describing the beautiful design, including distinctive Art Deco lettering, Tom continued, “It is electric red – not the color of that school in Ohio.” Much applause followed as members examined the copies placed on the tables. What a great memorial to our Club’s centennial year!


Immediate Past President Ashish Sarkar took the podium to confer our Club’s Distinguished Service Award on Kim Eagle, M.D. Dr. Eagle’s story is the stuff of Rotary inspiration. Hailing from Bozeman, Montana, “son of a math teacher and grandson of a famous fly fishing and hunting guide…[Dr. Eagle] learned to fly fish at the age of five and when he was in middle school, became a guide for many tourists who visited the area….” Ashish described how Eagle, then enrolled at Oregon State University, combined his love of biology and theology by deciding on a career in medicine. There was a significant obstacle, however, as Asish noted: “His parents, with four children, could not afford the expense.” Miraculously, opportunity rose to necessity in the person of Mr. Don Hopkins, a devoted fishing client of Eagle’s. Hopkins, a Yale graduate, “was really fond of Eastern education.” When he heard of the young man’s plight, he approached his parents and offered to contribute to the cost of Kim’s medical education, thus setting in motion a journey that would take the scholar from Yale to Tufts and to Harvard, where he served a fellowship in cardiology. Dr. Eagle then “joined the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital in 1986. He rose to the rank of Associate Director of Clinical Cardiology and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.” In 1994 Dr. Eagle moved to Ann Arbor with his family. He is Albion Walter Hewlett Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. In addition, he teaches at the U-M’s School of Public Health and serves as Director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center. As Ashish summed up the situation: “The gentleman must have figured out that this young man was a good investment for the greater good of society.” As Ashish concluded: “On behalf of the members of our Rotary Club, it is my privilege to present our Rotary Club’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award to a world-renowned cardiologist, an excellent professor, who has gratitude from all the thousands of physicians he has trained over the years, and praise from all his colleagues at the University.” (Click here to read the full citation.)


After acknowledging a loud ovation from the room, Dr. Eagle thanked Rotary for all it had given him: “A youth training program in ’71; a year later you gave me a scholarship. You have been funding me for a long time, and I thank you!” He then recounted his experiences founding Project Healthy Schools and Project My Heart Your Heart, which have been adopted by over 80 Michigan schools. His listeners in the Anderson Room were highly impressed with the origin of Project My Heart Your Heart: the family of a man who had died with a pacemaker had offered it to one of Dr. Eagle’s fellows, “to see if someone else who needed it, but could not afford it, could use it.” [from Ashish’s comments] Thus was born a massive humanitarian endeavor, the recycling, sterilization, and reuse of (to date) over 80,000 pacemakers. Very aptly, Dr. Eagle encompassed his passion to help others with a quote from Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we do. We make a life by what we give.”


Our Speaker 

Arthur Williams, life-long educator and Huron High School principal for 19 years, among many other achievements, gave a wonderful introduction to our speaker, Dr. Jeanice Swift: “Ann Arbor high schools are the main feeders of the University of Michigan; just one evidence of the kind of community we live in…My only regret is that I worked only one year with Dr. Swift [before his retirement]. She serves 17,500 students. It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Jeanice Swift.”  A hearty ovation greeted the Superintendent, who gave an immediate “Good afternoon. Wow, what a great day!” She then declared a major theme of her address, echoing a familiar expression: “It’s a great day to be in Ann Arbor Public Schools!” In beginning her review of AAPS’  achievements and challenges, Dr. Swift noted, “We’ve overcome some things,” no doubt referring to the ongoing erosion of state and federal support for public education. However, she stated right off how proud she was for our schools to have been awarded International Baccalaureate Program status recently: “This was the top request of parents, to offer an international baccalaureate. They pick you [the IBP organization], you don’t pick them!” In addition, emphasis is being placed on early childhood education. “With the ‘Young 5s program, we’re able to capture those young birthday students, and to offer them their own grade level. Young 5s has expanded so far to 3,000 students at 14 schools, including Carpenter Elementary, Eberwhite, and Mitchell.” Another innovative program is STEAM, “where students fabricate in metals and other materials as well as raising fish. We are working to prepare them for THEIR future, not preparing them for our past,” Swift declared. At Northside school, she described how students released the salmon they had raised into a stream. “Also, with AAPS Arts Advantage, we’ve placed 250 brand new pianos in schools…and Pathways to Success school has been achieving great things [as we saw two weeks ago with the Rotary STRIVE award ceremony].” A major push into renovating older schools is ongoing and bringing great results. “Some of these schools date from the 1930s and 40s. They were in need of a face-lift.” The August, 2016 Allen school flood is a case in point. A ruptured pipe underneath the building necessitated the moving of the student body to Ypsilanti’s West Middle School. After tremendous effort, Allen reopened last April. A “Welcome Back, Allen Eagles!” sign greeted the students over the door of their refurbished school. Dr. Swift emphasized the opportunities afforded by recent millage and bond funding for the expansion of renovations, technological upgrades, the total revamping of the school bus fleet, and new playground equipment.  One area that remains a challenge, however, is in reaching economically disadvantaged children, who are achieving only a 69% graduation rate. “We’ll reach 90%, I promise,” Swift proclaimed as the room erupted in hearty applause.


As Collyer affirmed while thanking Dr. Swift, “Boy, are we lucky to have Dr. Swift as our Superintendent!”


“Be The difference that makes A difference.” – Nagaraja Rao
Notes by Ed Hoffmann, Photos by Fred Beutler



Meeting Statistics

A total of 96 Ann Arbor Rotarians witnessed the well-deserved DSA Award to Kim Eagle and heard an enthusiastic update on the Ann Arbor Public Schools from Superintendent Jeanice Swift. We did not have any visiting Rotarians but did have 19 guests. Just before lunch, nine members of the Community Allocations Committee met.


Makeup Cards for Roving Rotarians

None this week.



  • May 29 – Jed Jacobson
  • May 29 – Toni Kayumi
  • May 30 – Reno Maccardini
  • June 1 – Ashish Sarkar
  • June 4 – Peter Allen
  • June 4 – Ingrid Deininger
  • June 5 – Don Deatrick
  • June 5 – Shelley Mac Millan
  • June 5 – Jim Reese
  • June 6 – Sumedh Bahl

Websites of interest to Rotarians

Rotary International: The RI home page has links to About Rotary, The Rotary Foundation, Club Locator and Member Access. Our Club is in Zone 29. The zone has 17 districts and covers portions of Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario.

District 6380Our district's website includes 51 clubs in the counties of Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland and Macomb in Michigan and Kent in Ontario. The district’s monthly newsletter and articles of district-wide interest are posted there.

Rotary Club of Ann Arbor: Our Club’s website provides background material and information including the current Annual Report, Active Framework (aka Strategic Plan), New Member Nomination Form, Committee Descriptions, Club and Golf Outing brochures, synopses of upcoming programs and an archive of Harpoons. Find us on Facebook.

Submit news, committee meetings, and announcements to the Harpoonthe newsletter of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. Contact the Club to subscribe by email.

Our Club also sponsors the following Rotaract and Interact Clubs:

 U-M Rotaract Club

Huron High Interact Club

Pioneer High Interact Club

"Rotary Serving Humanity"