SPOKES VOL. LXVII NO. 1                                                                              July 7, 2020




President Dan Thompson opened his first meeting as our president with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Art Ayers provided his usual reflective invocation and included prayers for Rotarian Mike Livovich and blessings for Rosalie’s husband Walt’s successful surgery.


Our guest this morning was our new District Governor Nathan Triplett.


District Governor’s Comments


DG Nathan Triplett joined us for a brief message.  He began by offering his thoughts to those who have suffered during the current crisis.  He is also proud of the way Rotarians have stepped up during this tough time.  He cited two Rotary institutions that have been valuable. First, the entire Polio Plus organization which was able to provide help to the medical field because of the infrastructure it had built to fight polio and for the help it can provide when a vaccine becomes available.  The other was the values described in the Four Way Test which provided a reminder of the qualities that are needed to get through a situation like this.  He praised our, and other Rotarian’s commitment to the Rotary Foundation to keep that foundation strong.


He also noted that the District received at $25,000 grant from the Rotary Foundation.  Our piece of that was donated to the We Care Utilities Pantry.  In addition to the grant, our club raised $9,000 for that pantry.



  • A ribbon cutting for the Splash Pad will be held this Thursday, July 9th at 9:00 AM.  Rotarian’s are invited to attend. (Wear your hat and shirt).

  • The July Programs are set and work is progressing on our August programs.

  • The District Newsletter is filled with South Haven articles thanks to the hard work of Tom Renner.  Great Job!

  • Two meetings later this week:  Fundraiser committee meets today and Publicity on Thursday.

  • Our Citizens of the Year, Joel and Heidi, are on CBS News this morning.

  • The educational fundraiser has been canceled and the Board has elected to rescind the $100 mandatory donation for that event.  However, we would like to continue to support the three items this fundraiser is associated with.  This includes the LMC Scholarship fund, the South Haven Public Schools Foundation and our own Rotary Scholarship.  Members are urged to make a donation to our Educational Fund, hopefully of at least the usual $100.  You can do that by sending your contribution to Bob Straits indicating your donation to that fund or any of the groups supported by it.

Our Virtual Fundraiser

President Thompson explained our virtual fundraiser.  It will originate from the Huron Street Pavilion on August 9th as part of the Blueberry Festival.  Its goal will be to raise $9,000 in 90 minutes.  It will be a live event interspersed with recorded segments of talent, Rotary information and requests for donation.  Dan described it as a combination Jerry Lewis Telethon and Ted Mack Amateur Hour.  It will be produced by Moon Dog Productions with assistance from Steve Miles.  Folks who donate will be able to donate on line or via Square and can even get a package of pancake mix!

50/50 and FinesOpportunities to Serve:

Tom Ruesink collected fines from:

Rosalie Plechaty is celebrating 45 years of marriage to her husband Walt this week.

Pete Swanson’s granddaughter is 15 this week.

Bob Copping reminded us that during this stay at home eat a lot time “A waist is a terrible thing to mind.”

Tom also distributed this week’s 50/50 prize money to Steve Miles and Scott Mark.




Club Survey:


President Thompson then reviewed the results of the survey that two thirds of our members filled out over the past couple of weeks.


The results were mostly excellent/positive with two exceptions:  Breakfasts and demographics.


Breakfasts have always been troublesome because of the variety of desires or dietary requirements of our members.  It is important to note that a significant majority of members are satisfied or highly satisfied with the cost and type of breakfasts we have.  Matt tries hard to meet the needs of all of the members he can, given our needs and desires and the huge fluctuation in our numbers throughout the year.


Diversifying our numbers is a more difficult task, but one each member should focus on as they go about their lives, always being observant of women and/or minority acquaintances who would add quality to our membership.


The results of the survey, including comments from survey takers, are posted on our website.


President Thompson opened the meeting to comments on the survey and members took the time to support Matt and our breakfasts, especially their costs compared to other clubs or even restaurants and to remind us to look forward to the new music Sue Duval and Bob Boerma have prepared for us once we return to in-person meetings.


Other Items:


Meetings:  We will likely be moving our in-person meetings once things are open and safe.  President Bill Roberts has been interviewing possible venues and once we are ready to move to regular meetings a decision will be made.  Dan also emphasized the importance of keeping meetings interesting.


Membership:  In addition to the diversity issue, Dan warned us that we need to work hard to keep our current members, especially the newer ones, involved in the club and comfortable as members.


Service Projects:  While we are comfortable financially now, we have to look to the future to make sure we can continue to help our community, especially the non-profits that count on our support for their regular work and for special projects they are working on.  He also reminded us to be creative!  Almost any idea is a good idea if we can pull it off.


Opportunities to Serve:


The following opportunities to serve our club are available and provide a great chance for members, especially newer members to get involved in what we do.

  • Vice President – will serve as president beginning in July 2022 so lots of time to prepare and training is provided

  • Grant Coordinator – Tom Renner has stepped down from this position after a very successful term of office.  Big shoes to fill but very gratifying job.

  • Treasurer – Bob Straits will be stepping down next July so you have a year to learn the job.  Have some business or accounting background?  Step right up!

  • Membership Chair – Help us solve our membership problems, recruit new members and keep our members engaged.

  • Program Coordinator – A new position that will be responsible to make sure they have speakers scheduled when it is their responsibility and for helping members find speakers.

  • Awards Coordinator – Makes the necessary arrangements to select our annual awards including Rotarian of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Educator/Service award winner and others as deemed appropriate.


Contact Dan or any Board member if you are excited about taking on one of these positions for the good of our club and community!

President Thompson closed our meeting with the Four Way Test.

July 14th Program:  Tom Noverr will introduce Kathy Beauregard, Director of Athletics at Western Michigan University.

Editarian:  Dene Hadden