Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon


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Harpoon for the Meeting of February 12, 2014

Ann Arbor Chronicle Headlines Centennial Project

Community Allocations Grant Deadline Approaching

Lots of Spring Dates Announced

Speaker: Marina Whitman, Professor of Business and Public Policy, U-M

Topic: Emerging from the Shadow of a Famous Father


Marina von Neumann Whitman, an exemplar in the academic world, public service, and high corporate positions, tells her story of breaking the glass ceilings in female participation. As the daughter of John von Neumann, who is often hailed as the greatest mathematician of the 20th century and a key figure in the Manhattan project, she gives details of her struggles to emerge from the shadow of her famous father.

Song Leader:  Jim Irwin     Accompanist: Tom Strode

Upcoming Meetings:

This Week:

11:00 Social Committee, Susan Smith Gray
11:30 Rotate Your Food, Hugh Morgan

 Within the Next Month:

Feb 19: Centennial Project Fundraising Launches
Feb 19 Speaker: Mark Barteau, Director, U-M Energy Institute
Topic: Perspectives on our Energy Future
Feb 21 (Friday): Pistons Night – See Notes of Interest
Feb 22 (Saturday) U-M Rotaract Bowling Fundraiser: See Notes of Interest
Feb 26 Speaker: Earl Kenzie, Ann Arbor Wastewater Treatment Services Manager
Topic: Rebuilding the Wastewater Treatment Plant
Feb 28 (Friday) Community Allocations Grant Application Deadline

Farther Out:

Mar 1 (Saturday) Rotary Leadership Training, Shipshewana, IN
Mar 5: Nominations due for our next new member class
Mar 10 – 21: Rotate Your Food Drive, Hugh Morgan
April 9: Orientation and Induction for our new members
May 16 – 19: District Conference, See Notes of Interest
June 22 (Sunday): Centennial Project Kick-off – watch for details! 

Details on monthly meetings may be found on the club's website.


It’s a Great Day to be a Rotarian:  


Recently some members have expressed an interest in reading books written by our members and then getting together to discuss them with the author. Recent publications by our members have included Rich Sheridan’s Joy, Inc: How we built a workplace people love (2013); Jim Irwin’s Playing Ball With Legends: the story and the stories of Don Lund (2012); and Don Faber’s The Boy Governor: Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics (2012). Please let President Maurita know if you’d like to get together to discuss a book with one of our Club’s authors, and we’ll set some dates for this Rotary After Hours experience.

Notes from the Meeting

Our invocation was delivered by John Ackenhusen who spoke of the delights of “growing old and wearing purple.” Ably filling in as a last-minute substitute, President Maurita Holland played piano accompanist to song leader Don Faber, who led us in singing “Clementine,” she of the ruby lips.

Our luncheon team was properly and dutifully thanked; Carl Griffin served as greeter/host and the team of Deb VandenBroek and Dave Kinsella took attendance. The meeting reporter was Don Faber and the photographer was Fred Beutler. The A/V duo was Frode Maaseidvaag and Dan Romanchik, and the mic runners were Jim Miller, Ed Hoffman and Jack Henke.

Steve Kesler called on his guest, Dylan, chair of U-M Rotaract, to tell us about the bowling fundraiser on Feb. 22. Dollars will be raised for their spring break projects in Nicaragua.

Dave Keren spoke for STRIVE, saying “we’re doing very well this year. We’ll be appointing mentors soon, but we need a few more.” If you can help by becoming a mentor, contact Dave.

Bob Hyzy, speaking for the International Humanitarian Projects Committee, updated us on “Amazon Promise” in Loreto, Peru. The area is plagued by lack of roads, however, a clinic and a waiting room have been built to accommodate sick local people. Bob said “we see the easy stuff,” such as dizziness and diarrhea, but also the hard to treat stuff. He said staff uses an ultrasound contributed by the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. Other projects include children’s multivitamins, bednets against malaria and clinic plumbing provided by Engineers Without Borders

There were three deaths to report: Member Adam Kozma, Member Donald Smith and David Marich, son of Mike Marich who died last month. Sympathies and prayers go to the families.

Barbara Niess-May told us why it was a great day to be a Rotarian while displaying a Rotary charm bracelet.

President Maurita said the District Conference would be held May 16-18 at Mackinac Island and urged us to make plans to attend.

President Maurita then re-opened the annual meeting, which was cut short in the past. Endowment Treasurer Dave Keosaian said the permanent endowment had increased by 14.9 per cent for fiscal year 2012-13. “As of yesterday, we’re just below $1.6 million,” he said, while mentioning the ups and downs of the stock market as determining factors. The endowment fund has more than doubled since the stock market troubles of a few years back. Among the major sources of funds for endowment are the community service assessment and proceeds from the golf and tennis outing; expenditures go to such items as humanitarian projects. For more information, go to the website.

Reporting for the Golf and Tennis Outing, Bob Buckler said Sept. 9 opened in a downpour but soon turned into a gorgeous day. “We were very successful,” he said, with 112 golfers, 10 tennis players and 245 people for dinner. Net proceeds were $55,000, “the best we’ve ever done.” Special thanks went to Dave Kinsella, Karen Gladney, Rob Shiff, Downs Herold and Norman Herbert. This year’s event will be at Barton Hills Country Club “because we need more space.” The goal is $70,000 in net proceeds, Bob said, and he made it sound as though it’s a done deal.

The Centennial Committee, represented by Claire Foley and Karen Kerry, was next. Claire said the financing piece of the Centennial project will be led by Joe Fitzsimmons. Karen said the project was off and running. An artist’s rendering has been done. The Universal Access Playground at Gallup Park will be 5,000 square feet, barrier-free and cost approximately $550,000. Exceptional leadership in discussing with community leaders various needs in Washtenaw County was provided by Norman Herbert, Anne Glendon and Jim Cook. Going forward, the Centennial Committee will be led by Bob Buckler, Bernie Lugauer and Claire Foley. They will be counting on the fundraising expertise of Joe Fitzsimmons, Jim Cook and Jerry Prescott in a capital campaign. Pat Pooley and the Social Committee will be planning a potluck picnic plus music at the future site of the playground as one of the club’s social events in June, 2014.

President Maurita briefly outlined how the Strategic Plan becomes an active framework. She thanked the core team and the Strategic Planning committee, past presidents, directors and the Rotary board. She spoke of “transformational change through leadership in service, enjoying Rotary and changing lives.” Our goals include: Signature programs, dollars for humanitarian projects, sound board management based on measured feedback, operations grounded in processes and procedures to make a dynamic culture and attracting a vibrant, inclusive and diverse membership.

Notes from the Program:

Beth Fitzsimmons introduced our speakers Ethan Lowenstein, Director, Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition; Tracey Marchyok, teacher, Ann Arbor Learning Community; and two students and their parents from the fifth grade of AALC. Ethan said “we’re part of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative and our goal is to maintain community and build democracy.” He said teacher morale was low, they were dropping out, and he asked what schools were for. The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition, with three schools in Ann Arbor, aims to “create a microcosm of democracy.” He said “we try to help young people learn to become the citizen-stewards of our community.” He mentioned 35 community partners “to help develop pride in place.” He showed a 6-minute film which showed young people cleaning up Detroit by collecting discarded automobile tires. (Editor’s note: The short video shown by Ethan noted that Cass Community Social Services has a program that helps beautify Detroit by taking discarded auto tires, shredding them, and fashioning them into rubber door mats, some of which grace the porches of Rotary club members. The door mats are sold for a modest price to churches, synagogues and civic groups such as Rotary clubs, thereby creating jobs for people in Detroit at risk for homelessness. These organizations then resell the mats to members as fundraisers. Contact Cass Community Social Services at; for further information, call 313 883-2277). Tracey Marchyok then spoke about interconnections and people knowing their place. She showed how the Huron River Watershed was used as a classroom before introducing two students who valued ecology and kept nature journals. One student said that “streamside, we pick up trash. We care about nature and the health of our creek.”The second student took pride in the waders she got to study the creek in detail. One of the parents noticed an “awakening of passion” on the part of her child in the creek and in ecology, while the second parent said “we want kids to maximize their outcomes in school; everything connects.” In closing, Ethan said his group was funded by Great Lakes Fisheries Trust.

Closing quotes: “From the freedom to explore comes the joy of learning. From knowledge acquired by personal initiative arises the desire for more knowledge. And from mastery of the novel and beautiful world awaiting every child comes self-confidence.”--- E.O. Wilson, 2010, in The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth.

“The issue is not to teach a child the sciences, but to give him the taste for loving them.” ---Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On Education,  new translation, 1979.


Notes by Don Faber   Photos by Fred Beutler

Notes of Interest 

The Passing of Donald Smith: Donald passed away on February 5 at age 92. He joined our club in 2006, sponsored by David Anderson and Dave Krehbiel. His memorial service will be held at 1:30 pm on Sunday, February 16th at the First Presbyterian Church. A remembrance of Donald is on the agenda for our luncheon meeting on February 19th.

Our Centennial Project is the subject of an extensive article in the Ann Arbor Chronicle.  Read All about it here. The Centennial Planning Committee and the Centennial Campaign Group will launch our fund-raising activity at the Feb. 19 luncheon meeting. Be there to hear about all the work that has been done, and the great progress made on this signature project.

Key Dates for our Next Class of New Members: Our next class will be oriented and inducted on Wednesday, April 9. Current members can nominate candidate(s) on-line by March 5 after reviewing these Membership Guidelines.

Annual Rotaract Bowling Fundraiser: Rotarians, spouses, friends, etc. are invited to come out to Colonial Lanes on Saturday, February 22 at 1:00pm. The cost of $15 includes pizza, pop, shoes and bowling with an enthusiastic group of young people headed for a service project in Nicaragua over spring break. Contact Siyi Chen to sign up.

District 6380 Rotarians Pistons Night: The District has arranged for an outing at the Pistons game against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, February 21. Tickets are a bargain at $15 and $30 and a portion of each will go to PolioPlus. See the flyer on the District website.

Registration for the District 6380 Conference is Open: The conference will be held at the Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island from May 16-18. Details (although not the detailed schedule) are available on the District website.

An Idea for Meeting Efficiency: For our luncheon meetings, if you are on the agenda or have a guest to introduce, please sit near the podium or near a mic runner. If you can't sit near a mic runner, please let the nearest one know you will be needing the mic. Also, please stand when you have the mic and hold it 3-5 inches from your mouth so that the audio tech can see you and properly adjust your volume.

Meeting Statistics: Only the hardiest 76 Rotarians came out for lunch on Febuary 5. We had one Rotaractor, nine guests and six speakers. In conjunction with the luncheon, a total of 28 Rotarians met in meetings of the International Projects, Membership Development and STRIVE committees and the Board. Also reported was a meetings of the Centennial and Membership Development committees on February 4. Finally, four members met over the weekend to assemble last week's Harpoon, post it on the website and send it out.

Makeup Cards from Roving Rotarians: Barbara Bryant (Scottsdale AZ on January 27)

Birthdays: February 15 – John Rasmussen; February 16 – Jack Weg; February 18 – Griff McDonald, Chuck Olson

Links of Interest: Websites of interest to Rotarians are listed below:

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 6380.

Our district's website includes 53 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, 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 Harpoon the 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   Ann Arbor Rotaract Club

“Engage Rotary, Change Lives