VOL. LXVI NO. 45  -- June 9, 2020


More than 40 members joined us this morning via ZOOM.  President-elect Dan Thompson chaired our meeting this morning and we began with “Hamilton’s” Leslie Oden Jr’s version of “America the Beautiful”.  Art Ayers offered our invocation, offering special prayers to the Rummel family and for understanding and caring in our country.


Our guests this morning included our District Governor Margie Haas, Former District Governor Terry Allen and our speaker, Dr. Lowell Hamel.



  • Our next club meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 16th at 7:00 AM via ZOOM.  We will continue to meet weekly via ZOOM until we can meet face to face in a safe environment.

  • Mark Odland announced and read a very nice thank you note from scholarship winner Tory Loikits.

  • On this past Thursday member Jim Davis became a great grandfather with the birth of Corbin Davis.

  • Beginning in July we will go back to our normal speaker’s schedule so please take a look at the schedule and plan to secure a speaker on your assigned date.

  • 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.

  • If you have not received the club survey, sent out on Friday, check your junk or spam email.  Please respond to the survey at your earliest opportunity and feel free to use the comment section.

  • Tom Renner is completing his term as our grants chairman this month.  Thanks you Tom for your great work.  You have secured nearly $10,000 in District grants for our club for a variety of projects for organizations in our community.  Well done and thank you!

  • Margie Haas spoke to us about the virtual District Conference taking place this week.


Tom Campbell was our 50/50 winner this week while Tom Rummel won our virtual $2 prize.


  • Richard Swanson’s grandson is celebrating his 10th birthday this week.

  • Bob Copping is pleased to be celebrating his lovely wife Jane’s birthday this week.

  • Nick Tuit’s son and daughter-in-law are celebrating birthdays this week.

  • Rhonda Wendzel’s sister has a birthday this week.

  • Stu Comiskey is excited about the birthday of his twin girl granddaughters 2nd birthdays.

  • Kaleigh Eddy announced that her daughter Alexis turns 16 this week.

  • Bob Boerma’s lovely wife Karen has a birthday this week.

  • Margie Haas has a grandson who graduated from high school this week.

  • Dan Thompson has Meredith and her children with him for a vacation.

  • Kevin Schooley announced that today was the last day of school this unusual school year.  He said there will be a graduation and that plans for next year are being discussed.


Melinda Gruber introduced our speaker this morning, Dr. Lowell Hamel, COO of Spectrum Lakeland Health and COVID-19 Survivor

Dr. Hamel told us his personal story of COVID-19 survival.  In April of this year he got hospitalized with what began with a mild case of the virus.  It quickly turned worse and he was transferred to Spectrum in Grand Rapids and placed in ICU.  Shortly after that they told him he needed to go on a ventilator, gave him a few minutes to call his wife and intubated him.  He was “out” for seven days and has no recollection of anything that happened but then began what turned out to be a fairly quick recovery.  There were times during his time in ICU when he and his medical team did not expect him to survive.  He had high praise for the team at Lakeland and at Spectrum for how quickly they reacted to his situation and how they made sure he had the best and most up-to-date treatments.  He attributes his survival to three major factors.  First was the transfusion of serum from COVID survivors that he received.  This was a new treatment and the only FDA approved protocol was from the Mayo Clinic, so Spectrum had to take the steps necessary to use that treatment.  He also said that his ventilator treatment was newly discovered when they had him on his stomach most of the time.  Also on the medical front, COVID sends blood clots throughout the body so administering anti-coagulants early made a big difference in his recovery.  Secondly was his family support system.  His daughters and wife provided amazing support and also made sure, along with the CEO at Lakeland, that he got the best treatment available and had plenty of emotional support.  He said that they left no stone unturned to help him.  Thirdly he believes that his faith, and that of many others, from family and friends to complete strangers made a huge difference.  He talked about how people felt called to pray for him and to offer whatever help their faith could to help him recover.  He had many stories of the call to prayer people told him they experienced in his behalf.

As we began asking questions, he mentioned that he never felt short of breath but his oxygen levels were very low.  He suggested that the main ways to prevent getting the virus were washing hands and not touching your face.  He said that wearing masks can be effective, especially in preventing you from spreading the virus but if you are wearing a mask and constantly adjusting it is not helpful.  Being outdoors is safer than being inside.  Inside should provide high airflow, perhaps turning off air conditioners to prevent air from recirculating and always maintaining social distancing.

He ended by urging anyone who thinks they may have had the virus to get tested for antibodies.  You could be a walking donor who could save someone’s life.

President Odland thanked Dr. Hamel for his story, one of the best programs we have ever had at Rotary and hope the message he sent about the real dangers of this virus is received.

We closed the meeting with the Four Way Test.

Our next meeting will be a virtual meeting on June 16th.  Details will arrive in an email from Mark or Dan.

June 16th  Program:  Bob Straits will introduce Dr. Matthew Dommer from Emergency Medicine Bronson Health

Editarian:  Dene Hadden