Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXV NO. 4                                                                               July 24, 2018
Jerry Portman, Dene Hadden and Paul Hix were our greeters this morning.
President Mark Odland opened today’s meeting with “God Bless America” and Art Ayers provided our invocation, including a special prayer for Julie Weber as she undergoes cancer treatment.
Prospective member Steve Miles along with Diane Rigozzi and our speaker, Connie Didonato were introduced.
Tony Martorano introduced Diane Rigozzi, Van Buren Senior Services Director, who spoke about the upcoming millage votes concerning the senior services in August.  They are asking for a .25 mill renewal and a .25 additional to help them provide services to all of Van Buren County.  They need the additional millage because of the increased number of clients they are serving, up from 271 in 2011 to 462 now and the increase in meals served, from a little more than 100 seniors served in 2011 to 664 individuals served meals in 2017.  They have also expanded their “Care Watch” and medical transportation services.
Jim Davis was delighted to lead us in song today, beginning with the 1921 hit “Ma, She’s Makin’ Eyes at Me”.  We followed that up with “Give My Regards to Broadway”, written by George M. Cohan for his musical play Little Johnny Jones which debuted in 1904 in New York.  We finished with one of our favorites,  “Smile, Sing a Song”.
  • Prospective members Steve Miles and Steve Noverr will be inducted on August 7th.  Anyone with comments concerning their membership should contact Mark Odland before then.
  • Bob Straits was pleased to present a Paul Harris Fellow award to Mark Odland.
  • Don Hixson has postponed his surgery but still needs help distributing car show posters.
  • The Portman Nature Preserve has been presented with a prestigious award from the U S Forest Service.
  • On September 18th any candidate for public office will be able to present their program to the club.  The time will be divided into equal segments so each candidate/proposal will have equal time.  Please let Bob Straits know if you know a candidate who wants to appear in front of our group.
  • It was announced that the performance series presentation of Ikuro Nakamichi has been moved from August 4th to the next night, August 5th.
  • We received thank you notes from “Be the Match” and Camp Warner for our donations and a note that Thea is retiring as Director of the South Haven Center for the Arts.
Don Kitchin had the lucky ticket this morning, much to the dismay of every other ticket holder, and then proceeded to draw the four and win the pot!  He then drew Bill Robert’s ticket for the $2 winner.
  • Steve Miles celebrated the birthday of his 22 year old daughter this week.
  • Tom and Dorann Fleming are celebrating their fifty-first anniversary this week.
  • It is also the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Fleming Family Farm.
  • We sang a fantastic version of a Ludington style birthday/anniversary song for our celebrants.
  • We passed the hat to give our presenter a little more time.
Tom Fleming introduced our program this morning, Connie Didonato from PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly).
Connie began by suggesting that she had some alternatives for us so we didn’t all end up in a nursing home together.
PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is headquartered in St. Joseph and serves mostly Medicaid and/or Medicare recipients but also accepts private pay clients.  Their goal is helping elderly people stay at home.
Qualifications require that clients be 55 or older, live in the area meet a nursing home level of care and be able to live safely in the community with PACE help.
They have a musical care facility including a doctor and provide facilitation of services they cannot provide on sight, including therapy and transportation to those services.  They also pay for prescriptions and home care.
They also have a day center which Connie described as a senior center on steroids.  They provide a wide variety of activities both on site and as field trips and activities away from the center.
Their funding comes from Medicaid and Medicare and private pay.  With this funding they can keep people in their homes at a much lower cost than full time care at a nursing home.
Clients can have an income of up to $2,200 a month and assets of up to $2,000 not including their home.  If someone enrolls in PACE, they can divest any assets and become immediately eligible – but if they decommit to PACE, they will lose that exemption.
About 13% of their clients are from the South Haven area and transportation is provided on a daily basis to their center, if needed, and to medical appointments.
President Odland thanked Connie for her excellent presentation.
We closed our meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Dene Hadden:  Justin Postma, Jackson Schooley and Joe Nelson from South Haven High School will introduce Project Pathway.
Next week’s Greeters:  Jean Stein and Scott Smith
Editarian:  Dene Hadden