Posted by Dene Hadden on Nov 26, 2019
SPOKES VOL. LXVI NO. 21                                                                               November 26, 2019
We were greeted this morning by Paul Hemmeter and Deb Davidson
President Odland opened this week’s meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and Art Ayers followed that with a thankful invocation.
Our Guests this morning included our speaker, Erika Morrison from We Care and interested guest Brittany Krenzelak from South Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation.
  • Our ABO was well attended and many local businesses were reminded of our club’s good work in our community.
  • December 10th is our Holiday Party at the Yacht Club.  You must be signed up by November 30th.
  • December 17th is the Open Door Dinner at the Methodist Church
  • December 21st is our day to do the Salvation Army Bell Ringing
  • Glenn Pietenpol statue was dedicated on Saturday with a large showing of community members and Rotarians.
  • The Rotary Foundation is offering a matching grant for donations to their foundation over the next few weeks.  A quick way to get to your Paul Harris award!
  • There will be no meetings on December 10, 24, and 31.
  • We received a nice thank you note from Girl’s on the Run
  • Richard Swanson has four tickets to Hope College’s Vespers performance on December 8th.  Contact Richard if you are interested.
Bob Boerma was our song leader this morning and he drew two songs with tempo changes.These are difficult for us as once we get singing at one tempo it is difficult for us to change speeds anymore.Our first song was the 1912 hit “On Moonlight Bay”.We might have been better off singing the Beatles version of the song as done with comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise on the duo's ATV programme Two of a Kind in December 1963. A recording of the performance was released on the Beatles' album Anthology 1 in 1995.Our next selection was “Oh, You Beautiful Doll” published in 1911 with words by Seymour Brown and music by Nat D. Ayer. The song was one of the first with a twelve-bar opening. The tune has been recorded hundreds of times by many artists from first publication until recent times.
Guest Erika Morrison drew her board member Bob Straits’ ticket but then Bob’s luck ran out as her drew the queen – her second appearance in two weeks.  Tom Rummel gets the $2 prize!
  • Jerry Gruber can’t believe that he now has a 57 year old son.
  • Tony Martorano declined another birthday this week and will wait until January.  (When he is not here and doesn’t have to pay.)
  • Tom Fleming is celebrating his granddaughter Ruby Jane’s 11th birthday this week.
  • Deb Davidson paid a fine for her picture in the paper.
  • Tom Fleming announced that it is Big Ten Tuesday!!  He said it’s a great time to buy gas from Shell this week.  Lots of discounts!
  • Tom Renner, in an attempt to feel better about putting everyone’s picture in the paper, paid a heavy fine to ease his conscious.
  • Ted Weber and Bob Stickland urged their MSU friends to join them in cheering for the Wolverines this weekend.
  • Don Hodgman announced that the ice rink will be open this weekend!
  • Larry Wittkop urged everyone to watch the WMU Bronco’s play for the MAC West title tonight on ESPN.  Go Broncos!!
  • Mark Odland paid for his picture in the paper.  (Same picture, different paper from last week.)
Scott Mark introduced our speaker this morning, Erika Morrison, from We Care in the Name of Christ.
Erica, who originally worked for We Care for four years in the past, has returned to the organization and recently became its Executive Director.
Erika wanted to emphasize Wee Cares “relationships” in her talk this morning.
Their first and most important relationship is with their clients.  One of the first things she noticed when she returned to We Care was the lack of diversity in their client base.  They were not serving parts of our community that clearly needed help.  They hired a Spanish speaking staff member and immediately saw an increase in Hispanic clients they could help.
One of the most amazing things that has happened with clients is when they get past their troubles and turn into givers instead of clients.
The second important relationship that We Care cultivates is with area businesses.  Local businesses often provide donations of things and services that can help the clients of We Care or are generous with monetary donations.  Erika also pointed out the “Passport Card” offered by the Marcoux family businesses which you can get for a $20 donation and gets you discounts at their restaurants.
Thirdly, We Care works with community.  For instance they work with the City of South Haven to keep power on for clients and to help with housing.  They have also set up a poverty seminar for local organizations and governments to help them understand life in poverty.  In addition they work with other community organizations like Van Buren Mental Health, Senior Services, Holland Rescue Mission and similar groups that can provide services.  They also accept help from local civic organizations like Rotary for financial help and help keeping food and personal care pantries stocked.
The fourth relationship they work hard to sustain is with individuals.  They are always looking for help, beginning with prayers.  They also need volunteers for a number of their programs and projects, whether it is for stuffing envelopes or for doing marketing programs.  They also need help with people willing to do event and expo work for We Care.  Of course monetary donations are always gratefully accepted and they appreciate the money we raise at our Christmas party (rather than standing on street corners).
Erika finished with the heartwarming story of Stephanie, a lady from the east side of the state fleeing domestic violence with her three teenage daughters.
President Odland thanked Erika for her inspirational and informative presentation and gifted her with one of our valuable speaker’s pens.
We closed the meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Kathy Brickley will introduce Chad Catalino from the Van Buren County Public Defenders Office
Greeters:  Paul Hix and Don Kitchin
Editarian:  Dene Hadden