SPOKES    VOL.LXXII NO.28      February 2, 2021

President Thompson welcomed everyone, and we opened with the “Pledge of Allegiance", followed by Art Ayers’ invocation. Of special mention, this morning, were prayers offered for Ann Gruber, who has been admitted to Spectrum-Lakeland and is currently undergoing tests, as well as for Mike Livovich.

GUESTS: Gail Patterson-Gladney, David Womack, and Dorothy Lockwood



+ President Thompson received a letter of appreciation from Bronson-South Haven Hospital, acknowledging our generous gift for the new hospital’s project- “History of South Haven Health Care”.

+  Dr. H. Clifford Lane, of the National Institutes of Health, in Washington, D.C., will be appearing as part of the South Haven Speakers Series, on Thursday February 18th at 2pm via Zoom. The program will be rebroadcast at 7pm. In February 2020, Dr. Lane traveled to China and, as a result, got a firsthand look at the beginnings of the virus. It should be extremely informative and will be offered free of charge. The South Haven Rotary Club will be sponsoring the event, along with Kiwanis, Lakeland-Spectrum Hospital, and The Mendel Center. 

+ The next Rotary-sponsored Thursday Night Supper will be February 18th. If interested in helping, let President Thompson know. We currently need five additional volunteers.

+ Our next Board meeting will be held on February 9th.

+ Kathy Gallagher, District 6360, shared information with President Thompson regarding Rotary Scholars, which he, in turn, shared with us.



Today’s photo, introducing us to Bob’s comedy segment, was of Gilda Radner, who was born in Detroit, and attended the University of Michigan.

She was an American actress and comedian, who was one of the seven original cast members for the NBC comedy Saturday Night Live. In her routines, Radner specialized in parodies of television stereotypes, such as advice specialists and news anchors. In 1978, she won an Emmy Award for her performance on the show.

She married actor Gene Wilder in 1984 and died of ovarian cancer in 1989.

Bob gave credit for this morning’s humor to Mark Odland. The story introduced us to an Irishman who would always order three drinks at a small-town bar, even though he was alone.

When questioned by the bartender, the Irishman said that he never liked to drink alone, so the other drinks were representative of his two brothers back in Ireland.

There came a time when his three-drink order became two, and people thought that one of his brothers had died. As a result, he was inundated with sympathy cards and flowers.

When questioned, the Irishman indicated that “No”, his brother hadn’t died; he (the Irishman) had quit drinking!


HAPPY BUCKS- Tom Ruesink

+ Mike Livovich’s second daughter, MaryAnnie, will be celebrating a birthday tomorrow.

+ Art Bolt and Cindy both have birthdays this week.

  Art also mentioned that there would be a Thursday morning Southern Rotary Breakfast in Punta Gorda.

+ Larry Wittkop’s “Happy Birthday” recording provided a different message this morning- “Happy Birthday to the person whose birthday it is”.



+Tom selected “reliable and honest” Gail Patterson-Gladney to pick the first winning number. She chose #2, and Bob Stickland came away with the first “prize”. Gail then chose #40, which “belonged” to Tom Fleming. 

Enjoy your “winnings”!! AGAIN, no mention of “seeing” Stuart if you don’t receive your “winnings”, so TOO BAD if you don’t receive them!


SPOTLIGHT: Major David Womack from the Salvation Army

Major Womack indicated that it was more difficult to get volunteers for bell ringing this year; however, Rotary “stepped up”, collecting a record $3865.20.

+ Giving, in general, was up 16-17%. 

+ The Salvation Army serviced 573 families during the Christmas season, which “translated” to approximately 4000 individuals.

+ Food, as well as toys (close to 10,000) were distributed.

+ The Salvation Army also helps provide residents with energy and housing assistance. 

+ Since there couldn’t be a mass distribution, as usual, distributions began onDecember 1st, and people were required to make appointments.

+ A BIG “Shout-out” to Bob Stickland, for organizing our bell-ringing event for so many years!


PROGRAM: “Van Buren County Update"

Speaker- Gail Patterson-Gladney, County Commissioner

Program Chair- Scott Smith, who provided a brief introduction of Gail Patterson-Gladney.

Gail’s “journey” began in Chicago and eventually led to Bangor and, finally, South Haven.

She graduated from South Haven Public Schools in 1967 and then attended the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a Social Work degree.

Gail has seven siblings, ALL of whom have graduated from college. She is married to John Gladney and has four stepchildren, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Gail has been involved in many efforts over the years: she ran a licensed daycare, has worked at the South Haven Memorial Library since 2001, was a South Haven City Commissioner from 2010-16, and then elected to the Van Buren County Commission. She indicated that she NEVER imagined herself working in government.

She was the first African American woman to serve, not only on the South Haven City Council, but also on the Van Buren County Commission.

Gail provided information regarding Van Buren County and its operation:

+ The county is divided into seven districts

+ Gail is the commissioner of District #1

+ At the last census in 2010, Van Buren County had 11, 270 residents

+ The county’s VISION:

   “Van Buren County is a progressive county that is responsive to the needs of our citizens.”

+ The county’s MISSION:

   “The mission of Van Buren County is to service citizen needs through the use of planning, new technology, and creative solutions, while being sensitive to economic, safety, and environmental issues.”

+ Van Buren County’s GOALS:

   1. Develop a county facility master plan that provides productive safe and secure environments

   2. Develop a long-term financial strategy for county revenues and expenditures

   3. Develop a Continuity of Operations Plan

   4. Continue work on supporting and promoting “Market Van Buren” and Veteran Services


Gail closed her presentation speaking about the structure and responsibilities of various aspects of Van Buren County Government, and then addressed a few questions from our membership.

   On behalf of our club, President Thompson thanked Gail for her informative presentation, and presented her with a gift card from Clementine’s.

A reminder that our club Social Hour is held on Thursdays at 10am. Mark Odland will be sending the link to the meeting for those who can attend.

Next Week’s Program: “High School ‘E’ Sports Teams” (sport through video games)- Program Chair: Steve Miles


We adjourned with the Four-Way Test.


Respectfully submitted,

Art Ayers, Seasonal Editarian