October 18, 2022
We were greeted by Rosalie Plechaty as we entered the meeting.
At 7am sharp, we were welcomed by President-elect Melinda
Gruber. We opened with the “Pledge of Allegiance”, followed by
Art Ayers’ invocation. Of special mention this morning were
healing prayers on behalf of Carole Hodgman and Stuart Comiskey.
What a pleasure to have Stuart in attendance!!!
GUESTS: Speaker, Fred Upton, and his office manager, Mike Ryan,
as well as prospective member Shelley Ammerman.
Joining us on Zoom: Bob and Jill Brickman and Dave Campbell
+ We have received thank you notes from the Michigan Maritime
Museum and the Hope College Prison Education Program for our
+ Our Board met last week following the regular club meeting.
Minutes are posted in the “members only” section of our website.
Among the decisions made:
Approved filling the VP vacancy with Angelica Gallegos-
Approved a $2500 grant to the SH Center for the Arts, to
support their expanded arts education efforts for children and
Adopted an updated policy on grant giving
Continued to monitor progress on our Club Citation Goals
+ Thank you to Emily and Melinda (with Griffin’s support), for
organizing a very successful social event last week at Three
Blondes. The next event is scheduled for November 9 th at 5:30pm,
again at Three Blondes.
+ Thank you to the eight Rotarians and one spouse who helped
with Blessings in a Backpack last Thursday. Our next scheduled
“Blessings” is on Thursday, November 3 rd .
+ This year’s Salvation Army Bell Ringing service project is
scheduled for December 10 th . Please add that to your calendar and
plan to participate for an hour or two. Thanks to Griffin and
Sandra for taking the lead in organizing this again this year.
+ Rhonda announced that the date of the Christmas Party would be
December 14 th and would be held at The Congregation.
+ Dana announced that on Thursday, October 20 th , at 11am, he,
Paul Hix, Mary Sue, Tom Renner, and Dave Campbell, will be
meeting at the South Haven Center of the Arts, to present Kerry
Hagy with the check for $2500.
+ Thanks to Larry Wittkop for Sergeant-at-Arms duty this
morning, as Tom Ruesink was in Florida, assessing hurricane
damages and future plans, and Stuart Comiskey just returned from
bypass surgery and rehabilitation.
+ Larry was “drawn” to Fred Upton, as he sought the ever-present
“reliable and honest” individual.
The first winning ticket was held by Bill Roberts, who
proceeded to draw the 10 card.
The winner of the $2 was Jerry Portman.
+ Today is Bob Copping’s birthday! When asked how old he was,
Bob simply said he was “on the other side of 40”.
+ Jean Stein announced the birth of another great-granddaughter.
Bob shared a “little-known story” of William Tell.
Not many are aware that William Tell was an avid bowler; in
fact, his whole family bowled and were members of many leagues.
This, however, was before records were kept, so it can’t be
determined “for whom the Tells bowled”.
PROGRAM: Congressman Fred Upton
Program Chair-Mark Odland
Mark introduced Congressman Upton, indicating that Fred has
served as a Republican U.S. representative from Michigan since
1987, representing the state’s 6 th congressional district since
1993. His district is based in Kalamazoo and stretches along the
Michigan-Indiana border in SW Michigan, where he has run in 25
elections since 1987. A former chairman of the Committee on
Energy and Commerce, Upton has played a major role in shaping
post-Obamacare health care legislation and is the dean of
Michigan’s congressional delegation. Redrawn into the 4 th
district, Upton is not seeking reelection in 2022 and will
retire from Congress upon his 18 th term’s expiration in 2023.
Perhaps a little-known fact, Mark mentioned that Ross Stein was
an original co-chair of Congressman Upton’s campaign.
Before reflecting on various political highlights of his career,
Upton, a University of Michigan alum, provided a highlight from
last weekend at Michigan Stadium, where he was designated a co-
captain, along with Michael Phelps, for the Penn State-Michigan
Some highlights from Congressman Upton’s career:
+ Prior to his election to Congress, he worked for President
Reagan in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
+ From 2010 to 2016, he was selected by his House colleagues to
serve as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. This
committee has jurisdiction over matters concerning energy,
healthcare, the environment, telecommunications, and commerce.
+ His top priorities have been job creation, economic growth,
and working to help all residents of SW Michigan live longer,
better lives.
+ He has long been an advocate for a greater emphasis on
biomedical research to improve the public health and launched
the 21 st Century Cures initiative. He has cited this as his
biggest accomplishment, which survived a Senate filibuster and
paved the way for the FDA to approve vaccines for Covid.
+ His leadership on Great Lakes issues has earned him a local
and national reputation (pipeline safety, protecting the Great
Lakes, and clean drinking water).
+ He has worked tirelessly to ensure SW Michigan remains a hub
of commerce and innovation.
+ He and his staff have worked hard to ensure that Michigan
service members, veterans, and their families receive the
benefits they have earned through their years of service.
+ He is the most senior member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a
bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was
formed to foster bipartisan cooperation on key policy matters.
+ The recent completion of US-31, a project nearly 50 years in
the making. Michiganders are now able to travel from I-94 and I-
96 to US-31 easily reaching their destination safely. Drivers no
longer must navigate interchanges with local roads; instead,
they can stay on the freeway.
Congressman Upton addressed a few questions, before being
thanked by President-elect Gruber and all of us in attendance.
NEXT WEEK, October 25 th
GREETERS: Art Ayers and Kevin Schooley
PROGRAM: Megan Kiker, Clerk, City of South Haven
Program Chair: Amy Nichols
We concluded our meeting with the 4-Way Test.
Respectfully submitted, Art Ayers, Past Seasonal Editarian