Posted by Dene Hadden on Apr 17, 2018
SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 39                                                                              April 17, 2018
Apparently we were greeted by Stu Comiskey and Larry Wittkop this November-like morning.
President Renner opened our meeting with “America the Beautiful” and Art Ayers offered our invocation. 
We had a bunch of guests this morning.  Megan Cairns from the National Blueberry Festival, Grace Spelde – our speaker from Wings of Mercy along with Fred Leavitt and Barry Skuza from The South Haven Public Schools Foundation.  In addition, Kim Cross, Heather Chalupa and Andrea Jeiger from Maple Grove School were there.
Our first spotlight was Megan Cairns from the National Blueberry Festival was introduced by Art Ayers.  Megan gave us an update on the 55th year of the festival including a birthday party for the festival and adding some new twists and are looking to redefine the festival.
Our second spotlight was presented by Dene Hadden.  He introduced the President and Treasurer of the SHPS Foundation, Fred Leavitt and Barry Skuza, along with Kim Cross, Principal of Maple Grove Elementary School.  South Haven Rotary holds an annual education fundraising event and while half of the money from that even goes to LMC scholarships, the other half goes into an endowment fund held by the South Haven Community Foundation.  A portion of that endowment’s earnings are used to fund teacher grants for innovative strategies and supplies to be used in their classrooms.  The SHPS Foundation is presenting two grant checks this morning.  The first was to Andrea Jeiger for implementing a take home library for English as a second language families.  The second grant to Heather Chalupa for a Songs and Stories on the Beach program is actually named the Rotary Grant and is funded by the earnings from the Rotary endowment.
Jim Davis was our song leader this morning.  Dottie decided that we needed to add another patriotic song to our repertoire and she repeated “America the Beautiful” before getting into “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” and then “You’re a Grand Old Flag”.  We finished with “all Hail to Rotary” sung to the tune of “Anchor’s Aweigh”.
  • President Renner reminded us of the Rotary District Conference coming up this weekend.
  • Tom Rummel updated us on the progress of the South Haven High School Robotics team.  The team finished 10th in regional competition which qualified them for the state competition.  At the state completion they finished 80th. There are more than 500 robotics teams in Michigan.  This qualified them for the World competition in Detroit in two weeks.  They have been raising money (more than $11,000) to cover the cost of registration and attending and have reached this goal.
  • Please send in your RSVP’s for our educational fundraiser as soon as possible.  The event is designed to be mostly a social evening with entertainment and door prizes galore, along with a few silent auction items.  Please invite your friends so this becomes a community social event where we can showcase our commitment to education in our community.
  • The first of this year’s Speakers Series will occur on Thursday, April 19 at LMC.
  • There will be a memorial service for Tom Whale on Saturday, April 21st at 1:00 PM at the Congregational Church.
Tom Rummel, in an effort to get funding for the robotics team, had the correct ticket this morning.  Unfortunately he drew the ace, a great card, but not a money winner.  Barry Winkel took advantage of Ted Weber’s absence and won $2.
  • Jerry Gruber celebrated his granddaughter’s 20th birthday.  She is a student at WMU!
  • Dan Thompson celebrated wife Missy’s birthday.
  • Joel Rummel, son of Tom and Donna, turned 18 this weekend.
  • Don Kitchen was pleased to announce that his mother-in-law turned 96 this week.
  • Tom Fleming’s grandson Conner also had a birthday this week.
Paul Hix introduced our speaker today, Grace Spelde from Wings of Mercy
Wings of Hope is an organization of pilots who volunteer their time to fly people to get medical treatment who cannot afford commercial flights to major treatment centers.
The most common destination is the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, but they often fly to the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Cleveland Clinic and U of M.
They will pick you up from your location, take you to the facility and make sure you have a ride back following treatment.
The pilots are all volunteers and Wings of Mercy pays for the fuel.A typical flight is about 800 miles round trip and fuel costs about $800.
The planes they use are owned by the pilots or are made available by the owners, some who are corporate.Anything over water requires the use of a two engine plane and all flights include a Second in Command in the cockpit.
Their focus right now is spreading the word about this service.They are working with faith communities and others who may have contact with people with financial need who have health problems.
The application for their services is on their website.
President Renner thanked Grace for her informative presentation and provided her with our speaker’s gift.
We closed our meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Domestic Violence Coalition introduced by Jerry Gruber
Next week’s Greeters:  Dorothy Lockwood and Tom Rummel
Editarian:  Dene Hadden