January 28, 2020
Our greeters this morning were Sue Duvall and Tom Renner.
We opened with My Country ‘Tis of Thee
Tom Renner presented the invocation. (Art and Kris Ayers continue on their trip to Kenya)
Soon to be member Dave Campbell
Prospective member Mary Sue Lyons
YDC Representatives Jennifer Green, Brook Blanchard, Angelica Gallegos-Dickerson
Program Presenter Ron Goldy from MSU Extension Services
We received an update on the Youth Development Company from Brook Blanchard.
YDC is in its 23rd year of providing after-school and summer programs to the youth of our communities. A current focus has been establishing fiscal sustainability into the future. YDC recently established a child care center. The establishment of a Boys and Girls Club for our area was endorsed.
President Mark Odland presented a $500 grant in support of the YDC Summer Swim Program.
Rotarian Larry Wittkop presented an interesting historical perspective on the age-group swimming program that was created in the 1960s with the support of Rotary, notably through the leadership of our own Jim Davis. The age-group program evolved into a competitive travel youth swim team which is still active. The first timing system installed at the high school pool was funded through a grant from Rotary thanks to proceeds from our pancake breakfasts. Larry observed that the High School Swim Record Board is in need of replacement (a possible future Rotary-funded project?). In closing Larry invited members to purchase tickets for a February 8 rib dinner fund raiser at the Moose Club sponsored by the high school boys swim team. He will have tickets ($15) at our next meeting.
* We received an update on Tom Fleming who underwent bypass surgery in recent days while in Florida.
* The Music Committee is getting close to unveiling their song choices. Sue Duvall and Bob Boerma have led this initiative.
* Updated program and greeter assignments were distributed. (They will be posted soon the Club website).
* President Odland reported that the Portmans have offered to host a summer event (perhaps in August) at the Portman Nature Reserve. Preliminary planning is underway.
* Ice Breaker is this coming weekend. Rotary will again have an ice sculpture. It will be displayed outside Johnnie’s Jewelry.
Bob Boerma prefaced our song-singing with an appeal to show emotion fitting the songs.
The group did pretty well with “You Tell Me Your Dream, I’ll Tell You Mine,” “Bill Bailey,” and “Rotary, My Rotary.”
Kaleigh Eddy’s number was pulled. Her luck ended there, however, as she drew the 8 card. Lucky Ted Weber won the second ($2) drawing.
* Happy birthday Ross Woodhams
* Happy 59th anniversary Karen and Bob Boerma
Sergeant-at-arms Stu failed to have the group serenade our celebrants. A future fine?
In order to give our speaker adequate presentation time the “happy dollars” basket was passed.
We welcomed Ron Goldy from the Michigan State University Extension Service. A longtime MSU extension service spokesperson, Ron feels there is a lack of awareness among the public as to where our food comes from.
He noted that in the agricultural community totaled 80% of the population and the harvest of a single farmer on average fed four people. Today the agricultural community totals 2% of the population and the harvest of a single farmer feeds 155 people.
Using his own finances, Ron in recent years has produced a series of informative videos showing the evolution of  food products, from planting to harvest to packaging to the grocery store shelf to the consumer. He showed us videos on the harvest of pickles (“the real dill”), grapes and blueberries.
He would like to distribute his videos more broadly and invited suggestions.
We thanked Ron for his presentation and presented him the traditional Rotary pen.
President Mark thanked our guests for joining us. We concluded with the Four Way Test.
Reported for Editarian Dene Hadden and Sub-Editorian Art Ayers by Tom Renner