Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 40                                                                              April 24, 2018
We were greeted with big smiles from Dorothy Lockwood and Tom Rummel.
President Renner opened our meeting with “God Bless America” and Art Ayers offered our invocation. 
Our guests this morning were Ann Gruber and our speaker Melanie Hooker.
Our spotlight this morning was the induction of Scott Smith into membership in our club.  Jerry Portman, his sponsor, led the induction, reviewing the reasons we welcomed Scott into our club and the responsibilities of members.  Scott grew up in Alma, Michigan and attended Alma College.  In addition to his degree in biology, he has degrees in Physical Therapy and Public Administration, among others.  He enjoys the dysfunction of government and has been involved for many years and is South Haven’s current mayor.  He and his wife Listy have three high school children.
Our music this morning was a bit off key.  First, Dottie decided to play “God Bless America” again so we could get some more practice.  We then muddled through “Cuddle Up a Little Closer”, the 1908 hit that was part of the musical “The Three Twins”.  Then, in spite of the best efforts of song leader Bob Boerma, we barely managed to get through the 1913 hit “Ballin the Jack”.  There is a dance that was introduced at the same time the song was popular but none of us volunteered to demonstrate it.  We finished with a well done rendition of “Roll Rotary”.
  • Our Club Hero was recognized at the District Conference last weekend.  Programs from the dinner to honor our here, Art Ayers were available and it seemed quite clear that our hero was the best.
  • This weekend is our annual education fundraiser “South Haven Future.  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.  We will begin at 6:00 at Lakeshore Ciao.  There will be silent auction items and a ton of door prizes.
  • The first of this year’s Performance Series will occur Friday evening when pianist Wei Lou from China will perform at the Methodist church, beginning at 7:30 PM.
  • We received a very nice thank you from We Care for our donation to them at Christmas time.
  • St. Joseph’s Rotary club will be celebrating their 100th birthday on Saturday, June 16th with the Rotary International president as the featured speaker.
  • After you have finished reading your Rotary Magazine, think about dropping it off in local offices for people to read as they are waiting for appointments
As strange as it may seem, Tom Reusink ended up with the winning ticket, possibly through some sleight of hand.  Lady luck caught up with him at the table, however, when he drew the seven and went home penniless.  Jerry Gruber won the $2 prize which he turned over to Ann immediately.
  • Jerry Gruber announced that his wife Ann will be celebrating a birthday while he is out wading around in trout streams.
  • Nick Tuit will be home when his wife celebrates her birthday this week.
  • Jerry Portman’s youngest daughter is turning 30 this week.
  • Dorothy Lockwood’s granddaughter is celebrating a birthday this week.
  • Over the next seven days Dene Hadden will have two granddaughter’s turning 8 and 12.
  • All of the birthdays were celebrated with a well done standard version of the birthday song.
  • We welcomed back Art Bolt from warmer climes.
  • Art Ayers paid the first installment of his fines for numerous pictures in the paper.
  • Steve Larsen congratulated the Jazz Band for an excellent concert last week with their guest performer.
  • We were all distressed when Bob Copping informed us that no one would be making yardsticks any longer.
  • Larry Wittkop recognized the SHHS women’s soccer team for their three straight victories.
  • Tom Renner reminded us of the latest update from Marty Graber.
Jerry Gruber introduced our speaker today, Melanie Hooker representing the Domestic Violence Coalition
The coalition began in 1996.Their purpose is to assist victims of domestic violence, from securing nurses to assist victims to helping with legal paperwork and procedures.
They originally trained nurses to do this work but now are served by a core of nurses through Bronson Hospital.
They rely a great deal on volunteers to assist with paperwork, transportation and other services that the coalition provides.
They helped 470 people last year and have received more than 50 calls so far this year.
One of the biggest problems in Van Buren County is that there is no housing available for victims that need to get out of a dangerous living situation.They do work with Allegan and Berrien County but there are not enough beds available to meet the needs of those counties and Van Buren County.There is some hope that money will become available from the federal government to help construct/locate a facility but the people in the county will have to support any programs housed in that building.
Intimate partner murder is the #1 cause of death among women.That is why a facility si important.
The budget of the coalition is made up mostly of grants but a significant portion is via donations and it is often difficult to get donations compared to other more attractive programs.
They will be holding a fund raiser on May 18th at the Lawton Community Center featuring two comedians, including Dwayne Gill.
Melanie is also involved in a program that provides personal items for homeless veterans.
President Renner thanked Melanie 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: Historic Warner Memorial Camp by Kelly Dendel
Next week’s Greeters:  Jean Stein and Tony Martorano
Editarian:  Dene Hadden