SPOKES VOL. LXVI NO. 48    June 30, 2020





Note to Members: I sincerely apologize for sending the wrong ZOOM access information for Tuesday's meeting. Tom Renner



President Odland opened our change of officers special ZOOM meeting with Dottie’s piano rendition of God Bless America.  Our guest, Pastor Jeffrey Dick, offered our invocation this morning, including asking for blessings on our new leadership.


Our guests this morning included the afore mentioned Rev. Jeffrey Dick, District Governor Margie  Haas and Anna DeVries


District Award


District Governor Haas was pleased to present our club with a special Rotary Award for donations to the Rotary Foundation.  Our club has achieved, again, 100% of our membership contributing to the Rotary International Foundation, with an average donation of $100 per member.  President for a few more minutes Odland thanked DG Haas for presenting the award in person – kind of.


Special Awards


Mark was pleased to present three special awards this morning:

Bob Stickland is receiving his third Paul Harris Award


Dene Hadden is receiving his second Paul Harris Award


Marty Graber, who will be returning to the US in July, is also receiving his second Paul Harris Award


  • President Odland announced that we have received three grants which were announced in the last few days.

    • $2000 matching grant for 2021 scholarships

    • $2500 matching grant for the History Wall at the new South Haven Bronson Hospital

    • $4,000 Carl Sandelin District Grant for the South Haven Splash Pad.  This grant, along with previous grants and donations from our club will bring our donation to the splash pad to $17,500.  A ribbon cutting for the pad will be held July 9th at 9 a.m. Rotarians invited.

  • 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.

Induction of our New President

Mark took time to thank members for their hard work in making his two years as president successful for our club.  He particularly thanked Tom Renner, especially for his outstanding Public Relations work, a key goal for Mark during his term, the securing of major grants and especially those 15 members who recruited so many new members into our club, especially in this difficult time.

Mark then introduced our new President, Dan Thompson via a special slide show put together with the help of Dan’s daughter Meredith.  After being appropriately embarrassed and honored, President Thompson assumed the chair with the ringing of our club bell, which has been cleaned and polished for this term.

Dan Began his term by making a few announcements:

  • Membership Committee will meet July 2nd.

  • We received a thank you note from scholarship winner (and granddaughter of Jerry Gruber) Sierra Garber.

  • We have been invited to the Splash Pad ribbon cutting at 9:00 AM on July 9th.

  • We will hold a virtual fund raiser on August 9th, in conjunction with the Blueberry Festival

  • Next week’s meeting will be a Club Assembly

Special Awards:  President Thompson had three special awards to present:

Special Service Award to Deb Davidson for her service to the City of South Haven upon her retirement from the city.  Deb’s service, from City Clerk to DDA Director has been exemplary and she has the thanks of our club for her service.

Educator of the Year Award to Anna DeVries.  Anna was presented this award, which includes both being an outstanding teacher/educator and committed to serve our community beyond the classroom.  Anna was nominated by her principal who describes her outstanding work in the classroom and her dedication to her students.  Anna also volunteers with several organizations and activities in our town.  She is the granddaughter of former South Haven teachers Don and Dorothy Jackson (and colleagues of this Rotarian) in South Haven Schools.

Rotarian of the Year Award to Mark Odland.  Mark, who has served as president of our club for the past two years, was the unanimous choice of the selection committee, made up of former Rotarians of the Year.  Mark has provided outstanding leadership for our club with a steady hand and strong goals, including securing grants for community projects, improving our public image (with much help from Tom Renner) and adding enthusiastic members to our club (with many thanks to the members who served as recruiters and sponsors).  We are proud to have Mark as our Rotarian of the Year.  He was presented with his award by Dan Thompson’s daughter Meredith.  She also presented Mark’s wife and Rotary partner LaRae with flowers as a thank you for all of the help she provides Mark and our club.

Mark thanked the club for the award and expressed his joy at being a member of our organization.  He thanked everyone for their help over the last four years, especially the new member sponsors, Sue Duval and Bob Boerma for the new song selections (if we ever get to sing them) and all of the others who do so much for our club.  He offered special thanks to LaRae, who is by his side at all kinds of Rotary activities.

Well Deserved Mark and LaRae!

President Thompson closed our meeting with the Four Way Test.

July 7th Program:  There will be a Club Assembly reviewing the results of the survey members were invited to take and outlining President Thompson’s plans for the year.

Editarian:  Dene Hadden