SPOKES VOL.LXXIV No.35 March 23, 2021  

President Thompson welcomed everyone, and we opened with the  “Pledge of Allegiance", followed by Art Ayers’ invocation, which  included prayers for Jane Copping (shoulder-replacement  surgery), Mike Livovich (cancer treatments), as well as for our  nation and the world, given the violence and hatred that  permeates society.
GUESTS: Soon-to-be member, assistant City Manager, Griffin  Graham, Yolanda Brunt, Superintendent, Covert Public Schools,  Dorothy Lockwood, and today’s guests from the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Michigan, JoAnna Roach, and Ashley Albrecht. 


+ President Thompson thanked all who assisted with the Thursday  Night Supper, on March 18th, at the First Congregational Church. It was also announced that the suppers will continue for the  month of April.
+ Although our traditional Educational Fundraiser has been postponed, members of our club are encouraged to donate $100 to  either the South Haven Public Schools Foundation or the Rotary  Scholarship Fund. If neither is designated, the money will be  equally split between the two entities.
+ A reminder was provided regarding nominations for the upcoming  “award season”. Forms are available on our website,  www.southhavenrotary.org, for such awards as: Rotarian of the  Year, Educator of the Year, Citizen of the Year. The Club Hero  nomination form is available on the District 6360 website. Our  club is also recruiting a vice-Presidential candidate to begin  serving on July 1, and a Public Affairs Representative to take  over for Tom Renner, who has done such an EXTRAORDINARY JOB  publicizing our club for the past 7 years! Tom will relinquish  the position on March 30th. A Membership Committee Chairperson is  also needed.
+ The New Bronson Hospital will be having a “Sneak Peek”, on  April 30th. There will be 2 tours, at 9 and 10am, and each group  will be limited to 10 people. If you’re interested in touring  the new hospital, please let Dan know.


Since Jane Copping is having shoulder-replacement surgery today,  Bob, no doubt, is very busy with care giving activities. As a  result, President Thompson is “filling in” for Bob in this  segment. The “comic” photo displayed today was of Joseph Stalin, who  ruled the USSR from 1924-53. This MUST BE the ONLY TIME the words comic and Stalin have ever been used in the same  sentence!!! Dan shared 3 “Soviet-Era Oldies” with us and, as the Stalin  graphic “stated”, “Dark humor is like food-Not everyone gets  it”. Some good Cold War humor, Dan. Thanks! 

HAPPY BUCKS- Tom Ruesink
+ Before Tom began his segment, President Thompson provided a  salute to Tom on his 80th birthday!!! CONGRATULATIONS, TOM!!! 
+ Bill and Jan Roberts will be celebrating their 49th anniversary  tomorrow. 
+ Larry Wittkop’s grandson had a birthday yesterday.
+ Larry then provided today’s “Happy Birthday” recording “to the  person whose birthday it is”! 
+ One of our guests from the Girl Scouts, Ashley Albrecht, was  deemed “honest and reliable” and was chosen by Tom to pick the  first number between 1-40. She chose #32, which belonged to Deb Davidson. Ashley’s second number was #19, which made a winner of  

Bill Roberts. As always, enjoy your winnings!!


Bob was born and raised in Grandville, Michigan, in 1935. He was  born at home and in the same house that his great-grandfather had built when he returned from the Civil War. Bob graduated from Grandville High School in the class of 1953,  which was comprised of 70 students. He lettered in football,  baseball, and basketball, and was also active in drama and band. Bob attended Grand Rapids Junior College for 2 years and played  a year of football, as well. His academic advisor was 

instrumental in steering him away from football and into the  field of engineering. He then enrolled at the University of  Michigan and graduated with a BS in Engineering in 1957. He then  received his MBA from Western Michigan University in 1969. Bob and his wife, Delores, met in the 3rd grade, and their first  date was when they attended their senior prom. She, ultimately,  received a degree from WMU in Music.  They have 2 children, a son and a daughter. Their daughter  attended Michigan State University, graduating in 1959. Their  son graduated from WMU in 1961 with a BS in Engineering. He is  employed at Pfizer in Kalamazoo. 

Bob was an engineer for 32 years and lived, at various times, in  Jackson, Livonia, Kalamazoo, and Lansing. He retired in 1989, worked as a consultant for a time, and mentioned that the time  spent consulting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was amazing. 

Upon his return, Bob then worked for the City of South Haven for  16 years. 

He said his favorite sport is skiing; however, due to a skiing  accident within the last few years, skiing is probably in the  “rearview”. 

Bob indicated that his favorite activity is being a member of  Rotary. Bob became a member of the South Haven Rotary Club in  1980 and was sponsored by Ted Weber. 

PROGRAM: The Girl Scouts of Southwestern Michigan  (Heart of Michigan) 

Speakers: JoAnna Roach and Ashley Albrecht 

Program Chair: Dan Liehr 

On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, Juliette Gordon “Daisy”  Low organized the very first Girl Scout troop and, every year  since, they’ve honored her vision and legacy: building girls of  courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better  place. Needless to say, a challenging year! 

Meeting virtually, they continue to reach out as safely as they  can and continue to offer many free family fun events, as well  as many informative programs, involving STEM activities, art projects, and virtual field trips. The group serves young ladies  from kindergarten through the 8th grade. 

One exciting upcoming program will be “Becoming Me”, Michelle  Obama’s sponsored program, which will be a 6-8 week program that  will emphasize the building of confidence, character, and ways  to provide public service. 

The Girl Scouts of Southwestern Michigan have maintained 78% of  their membership during the course of this pandemic year, which  is encouraging, considering it could have been much worse.  However, budgetary issues become more pronounced with such  membership losses. Ashley Albrecht is in charge of the fundraising for Kalamazoo,  Allegan, and Van Buren Counties, and she certainly emphasized  the increased need for funding. Our Rotary club has been a supporter of the Girl Scouts of  Southwestern Michigan for many years, and we certainly plan to  continue that support. A $500 donation will help support 4 girls with “everything they need for the GSA experience”. 

Dan Liehr added an interesting fact at the conclusion of the  presentation-that every female American astronaut who has gone  into space was a Girl Scout! 

JoAnna and Ashley entertained a few questions from our  membership, and President Thompson thanked the ladies for their  presentation. On behalf of our club, and with our appreciation, they will receive gift certificates from the Phoenix St. Café. 

Next Week’s Program: “Introduction to Prescription Drug  Development”
Program Chair, Sue Duvall 
We adjourned with the Four-Way Test. 

Respectfully submitted,
Art Ayers, Seasonal Editarian