SPOKES VOL. LXVII NO. 6                                                                             August 18, 2020

Our ZOOM meeting was opened with the Michigan State University Marching Band playing The Star
Spangled Banner. Art Ayers followed with another inspiring invocation.

Our only guest this morning was our speaker, Peter Ter Louw, President and Executive Director of the
South West Michigan Conservancy,
* Our virtual fundraiser was a big success! We collected more than $12,000 and should
net more than $11,000. Most of the donations came from Rotarians but many from
other folks, too. We were especially pleased to see groups that we have supported
offer their talents to the show. Many thanks to Dan Thompson, Rosalie Plechaty, and all
of the members of their committee and others that helped with the fundraiser. It also
provided a big boost for our “brand” and the quality work we do in our community.
* Details on our District 6360 Raffle will be unveiled next week. We have a record of
100% participation and we more than get a huge return on our investment in terms of
District grant money we are awarded.

* If you have a September or October program, or need one, let Bill Roberts know who
you are bringing in.
50/50 and Fines
Mike Livovich was the big winner today and Mark Odland collected the elusive $2 prize.
Fines were charged to:
* Jerry Gruber had a surprise birthday this week. The birthday came as no surprise, but the party
his kids threw him was a surprise.
* Jerry Portman also had a birthday this week, his 79th .
* Dene Hadden is celebrating the 17th birthday of his granddaughter Allison.
* The twins of Kaleigh and Mark Eddy are now teenagers, turning 13 this week.
* Dave Campbell and his lovely wife are celebrating 38 years of marriage this weekend.
* Bob Stickland said he is celebrating his63rd birthday but could have been misheard.
* Bob Brickman is back in town!
* Bob Copping had a not so unusual but funny story about a golfer and his doctor.
President Thompson Turned the program over to Jerry Portman who introduced our speaker, Peter
Ter Louw, President and Executive Director of the South West Michigan Conservancy,
Peter began by thanking us for the kiosk at Pilgrim Haven Nature Area. He indicated that Pilgrim Haven
is the most used of all of the Conservancy’s 55 preserves, encompassing 17,000 acres. He noted that
the Portman Preserve between Paw Paw and Mattawan has up to 1,000 visitors most weekends.
The Conservancy is currently in the process of acquiring and raising funds to improve the Porter
Property which lies directly across the street from Pilgrim Haven. The addition of this land will add 50
acres to the Pilgrim Haven area and give the Conservancy care of nearly 2,000 feet of lake frontage.
The Conservancy shares possession and care of the property with the South Haven Area Recreation
Authority. Currently the Conservancy owns the Pilgrim Haven property and SHARA manages the visitor
facilities. Once the Porter Property is closed on, SHARA will own it and the Conservancy will manage it.
It will mostly be trails, but a bridge and set of steps will need to be built. There are three private
lots/homes at the end of 18th street that will remain in private possession.

Funding for the purchase was secured through a grant from the State of Michigan Land Conservation
Fund with the current owner donating the 25% needed to secure the grant. They are on their
way to raising about $400,000 for taxes, improvements and other necessities for the park to open.
They plan to have a celebration of some type next spring. In addition, there is a drone video
showcasing the Lakeshore along the preserve and along the lakeshore down past the State Park.

President Thompson thanked Peter for his presentation and will mail him our speaker gift, a certificate
to a local eatery soon.
President Thompson closed our meeting with the Four Way Test.
NEXT WEEK: Rosalie Plechaty has the program next week and will introduce Rob Byrd from Moon
Dog Productions.
Editarian: Dene Hadden