SPOKES VOL. LXVII NO. 44                                                                              June 1, 2021



President Thompson began our virtual meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Pastor Jeffrey Dick began his tenure as our club chaplain this morning with an invocation reminding us of the sacrifices made by members of our military and with prayers for Mike Livovich as he continues treatment and for Jane Copping who is a Grand Rapids hospital undergoing treatment for blood clots. Our guests this morning included soon to be member Emily Gruber and speaker Roger Paul.

In Remembrance of Bob Stickland:
President Thompson noted that services for Bob Stickland have been scheduled for August 8th at 2:00 followed by a Celebration of Life gathering.

Our Sneak Peek at Bronson isJune 22 & 24 has been rescheduled. There are still some openings.  Contact Dan if you are interested.; Thanks to those who volunteered to help with the Dyckman;Bridge Flower Planting last week.; Our new officer induction ceremony will take place on July 6th at 7:00 at Stanley Johnson Park.  It will be an informal gathering with light refreshments. Bring chairs.; Education Donations   Since we are not holding our Educational fundraiser this year, members are encouraged to donate, through the club, to either or both the South Haven Public Schools Foundation or our own scholarship fund.; Forty members of the club completed the pancake breakfast survey and the results will be discussed at a special Board meeting this week and at the regular Board meeting next week.; Tom Rummel has been selected as our Club Hero this year for his dedication to our club and his willingness to serve as substitute treasurer in the winter months.  He will be recognized at the virtual District Conference on June 24th.

50/50 and FinesOur big prize was awarded to our enforcer, Stu Comisky.  Art Ayers was awarded the $2 Prize.

Fines were charged to:

Nick Tuit recognized two graduations:  A granddaughter is graduating from GR Christian and will matriculate to Calvin College and a grandson is graduating from Calvin.; Art Ayers has a granddaughter turning 11 this week.; Scott Mark is celebrating a birthday this week, one just slightly north of his 29th.; Larry Wittkop’s granddaughter is graduating from WMU and entering grad school as she continues her work with autistic children.; Tom Fleming was privileged to listen to his granddaughter offer a service at church this Sunday as she gets her divinity degree, the 4th in her family to achieve this degree.; Dene Hadden mentioned that his wife will have enjoyed another year of married joy next Sunday, June 6th, which is also the anniversary of the beginning of one of the biggest battles in history.


Our speaker this morning was introduced by Nick Tuit.  Dr. Roger Paul is an audiologist who graduated from Indiana University and practiced in Indiana before retiring in 2009.  He and his wife, weekenders in South Haven for many years, moved here permanently in 2015..  He has become very active in various volunteer activities, including serving on the Board of Van Buren County Senior services.


Roger began his service with Van Buren Senior Services six years ago when he became a volunteer doing energy audits for senior homes.  In the process he became aware of the many needs of seniors in our county and came to admire the work of hundreds of volunteers.


VBSS has seven locations in the county offering various services, some open part time and others,  like the ones in South Haven and Paw Paw, open every day.


Roger listed the services that are provided to seniors in our community, which includes:

Ride Easy Volunteers who provide transportation to medical and other critical appointments to those without transportation.; Tax Assistance; Medicare/Medicaid Assistanc; Care Watch which provides assessments for home health care and safety needs and help getting the help needed; Food Programs including food trucks that deliver food to selected spots in various communities in the county and lunches which are available Monday – Friday. ; Ramp Program:  The program will build ramps for those who need them to get in and out of their homes.  They are designed and pre-assembled at the SH Township Hall and transported to the site and installed.


COVID-19 has hit the program hard, going from 35 staff to 5 and from hundreds of volunteers to only a few but Senior Services Executive Director Diane Rigozzi has done an outstanding job of keeping services going by adopting to health department regulations and still getting things done, especially the food services part of the program.


Roger also talked about the new South Haven Senior Center currently under construction in the former Village Market building on M-140.  While the hope was to have the building open by November 1st, it looks like a January 1st opening is more realistic.


The new facility will include:

Large kitchen and dining area, able to seat up to 250 people and available to rent for events; A Salon – which will pay rent for it’s space; Three pickleball courts and a walking trail; Computer lab; Arts and Crafts room; Dance and Exercise Room; An Auditorium that will seat 175; Rental rooms for groups and businesses; Additional classrooms and meeting rooms; Moore Family Pharmacy who will pay rent for their space.


Roger really credited Diane Rigozzi with the vision behind this center.


They are about to embark a 3.2 million dollar capital fundraising campaign to pay for the refurbishing and construction that is occurring.

President Thompson thanked Roger for his dedication and sharing the work that has been accomplished with us and presented him with our speaker’s gift certificate.

President Thompson adjourned the meeting with the Four Way Test at 8:00 AM

NEXT WEEK:   Heather Oestrike will present an update on the Rotary sponsored Telemedicine Initiative.


Editarian:  Dene Hadden

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