Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 47                                                                               June 12, 2018
We were cheerfully greeted by Deb Davidson and Bob Stickland this morning.
President Renner opened our meeting with the “Our Country ‘tis of Thee” and offered a prayer for peace as our invocation.
Our speaker MacKenzie Vanderwarf and prospective member Tom Noverr were our guests this morning.
No Spotlight this morning.
Jim Davis was our song leader this morning and after an unexpected repeat of “Our Country ‘tis of Thee” we led off with one of the newer songs on our playlist, the 1926 hit “Baby Face”.  We stumbled a bit on a couple of the lines, but sang mostly with much gusto!  Our second song, California Here I Come”, is another of the songs we sing that came from the 1921 Al Jolson musical “Bombo”.
  • A sign up list and menu for the change of officers’ dinner at Hawkshead was passed around.
  • We are reminded of the Senior Services Millage for Van Buren County that will be up for a renewal and increase in August.
  • The St. Joe Rotary Club will be celebrating their 100th anniversary on June 16.
  • Sign up for the July 1st Pancake Breakfast was passed around.  Make sure you have your name on the sheet!
  • Dan Thompson indicated that the sign-up sheet for the golf outing prior to our change of officers’ dinner in late June is being passed around.  We need lots of entries, including non-Rotarians and spouses!  A putting contest is included!
  • If you have not paid for the South Haven Future educational fundraiser, please send your check to Rhonda as soon as possible.
President Renner had the lucky ticket somehow, but then his luck ran out as he drew the 10.  Glenn Pietenpol, using Bob McAlear’s ticket, managed to win the $2 prize.
  • Bob Boerma announced that his lovely wife Karen’s birthday is this week.
  • Don Hixson’s daughter had a birthday also.
  • Ted Weber was happy to announce that he and Julie are celebrating their anniversary this week.
  • Paul and Ann Hemmeter are also celebrating their anniversary this week.
  • Dan and Missy Thompson joined Paul and Ted in celebrating their anniversary this week.
  • Stu Comiskey is the proud grandfather of twin girls, born this past weekend.
  • Dan Liehr enjoyed a family trip to Moab, Utah last week.
  • Tom Renner was pleased that his Cubs are currently in first place.
  • Bob Copping had in interesting story of a vacationer and a bear in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Don Kitchen paid for missing last week’s meeting, even though they tried to be there.
  • Bob Stickland sadly announced that long time friend to South Haven and many in town, Donnie Olson had passed away.
  • Bob Brickman was pleased at the turn out of Rotarians for Elian Garcia’s Eagle Scout presentation and for Art Ayers’ sponsorship of Elian.
  • Larry Wittkop is proud of the SHHS Varsity Softball team for winning regionals – the first time since 1982.  They play undefeated Spring Lake at Hope College at 5:00 this afternoon.
  • Jerry Gruber also had an interesting story for us, but did not pay enough money to have it published.
  • Paul Hix was proud of the Florida kids who spoke and performed at the Tony Awards, and of the recognition that the SHHS Drama program received at those awards.
  • Tom Ruesink is preparing for his annual fudge tasting trip to Mackinaw Island next week.
Larry Lewis introduced our speaker, MacKenzie Vanderwarf, by talking about his grandson’s life threatening illness and how a bone marrow transplant saved his life.
MacKenzie works for Michigan Blood who is contracted by Be the Match to find and recruit possible donors for any number of illnesses that can be cured by transplants of blood or bone marrow transplants.
In the case of Larry’s grandson, two donors were identified and one of them, s college student in Ohio, agreed to donate his bone marrow.The transfer was accomplished and successful as his grandson is now 100% cured.
MacKenzie noted that about 30% of the time, siblings’ tests indicate a match but the rest of the time the use of a donor program must provide the match.
People between the ages of 18 and 44 have the best match potential and of those that register, 1 in 438 will actually become a donor.Donating is not a difficult procedure, often just a blood donation.Even in the case a transplant is needed, the donor suffers relatively little discomfort and is usually up and around the following day.
The other source of donor material is from umbilical cord blood which can be collected and saved.
Michigan Blood and Be the Match really strive for commitment for those that sign up as potential donors as it is very disheartening for families to find out that matches are available but have decided not to follow through.
Interestingly, MacKenzie noted that once a donation has been made and takes root, the cured patient will have the DNA of the donor.They will no longer have the same DNA as their family.She even said that if a male receives a bone marrow transplant from a female, their DNA will show as a female from then on.
MacKenzie provided us with cards that she asked us to hand out to potential donors, including women who are or thinking of becoming pregnant or others who we believe will follow through with the donation if a match is made.
Club members were very pleased with MacKenzie’s presentation and President Renner presented her with our speaker’s pen.
We closed our meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: A Kenya Update with Marty Graber
Next week’s Greeters:  Bob Herrera and Kathy Brickley
Editarian:  Dene Hadden