SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 17                                                                               October 31, 2017
Our greeter this morning was Ted Weber.
We opened our meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and Art Ayers offered our invocation.
Our guests today included our speaker, Major David Womack of the Salvation Army, Jerry Portman’s wife Julie, District Foundation members Carl Kincaid and Tim Sullivan, Peter Ter Louw from the SW Michigan Land Conservancy and prospective member Dan Thompson.
Carl Kincaid and Tim Sullivan presented our club with a $2500 grant for help with the fire detection system at the Historical Society of South Haven building.  In addition, Paul Hix was presented a check for $750 for winning one of the District Foundation’s raffle prizes.  Paul has donated his winnings to the Pullman area for children’s support.
We presented a check to the SM Michigan Land Conservancy to help with Pilgrim Haven.  We also learned that Pilgrim Haven has received $170,000 in grants to continue to preserve that area.  Peter Ter Louw also talked about the addition of property owned by our own Jerry Portman being added to the Conservancy’s list of properties.  This land, home to the rare Mitchell’s Satyr butterfly, is described as “spectacular”.
Bob Boerma got to lead us in song this morning, beginning with the lovely “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” It was first published in 1912, at a time when songs in tribute to a romanticized Ireland were very numerous and popular both in Britain and the United States.  We followed that with a totally inappropriate (considering the weather outside) “April Showers”, which is one of our newer songs, introduced in the 1921 Broadway musical Bombo, where it was performed by Al Jolson.  We finished with a flourish, singing “All Hail to Rotary”.
  • Snowbirds are reminded to let Bob Straits and Rhonda know when you will be gone and to take care of your financial arrangements prior to leaving.
  • Members are encouraged to move around each week so you get to know your fellow Rotarians, especially new members.
  • Our first Blessings in a Backpack work session is scheduled for November 3rd at 1:30PM.   Let Rhonda know if you will be able to help.
  • We received a nice thank you from the South Haven Center for the Arts for our donation which allowed them to replace chairs at the building.
  • We received word that Jean Stein has a broken arm and that Glenn Pietenpol is undergoing eye surgery.  We wish them both quick recoveries.
  • Elian Garcia, the young man working on his Eagle Scout project to put IED’s in buildings, is holding a pancake breakfast at the Congregational Church this Sunday from 8:00 AM until noon.
  • Don Hixson reported that Dick Averill and his wife are moving to Chicago.  He will be missed by all.
  • We received a report on Marty Graber from Art Ayers.  He indicates all is quiet in his area of Kenya at this point.  Hollee is leaving for Kenya this week, taking 12 computers which we helped purchase.
Tom Ruesink asked Julie Portman to draw the ticket for the 50/50 drawing this week and Tom Renner had the matching ticket but drew the Queen to build the pot for the next winner.  Tom Rummel won the $2 prize.
  • Don Kitchin had a birthday this week, and his son who has been in New Zeeland, came home for a visit.
  • Richard Swanson’s Sister-in-law also celebrated a birthday and we presented each of our birthday recipients with a Ludington style birthday song.
  • Jeff Melvin is preparing for a trip to Hawaii next week, where they will cruise the islands.
  • Many members gave a very reluctant welcome to winter this week.
  • Tom Fleming reminded us that it is Big 10 Tuesday at local Shell stations this week id you have a fuel rewards card.
  • In response to Tom’s inquirey, Jim France indicated he did not ride his bike to our meeting today.
  • Larry Wittkop is sure that Glenn Pietenpol is keeping an eye on his Notre Dame team this week.
  • Dene Hadden thanked all who attended the SHHS volleyball team match against #4 ranked Niles last night.  They were treated to a spectacular exhibition of the power, beauty and grace of women’s volleyball.
  • Jerry Portman reported that he and his wife Julie enjoyed a very nice weekend at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island last weekend.
  • Jerry Gruber offered his support to the Houston Astros tonight as former Tiger Justin Verlander takes the mound.
In the absence of Jean Stein, President Renner introduced our speaker, Major David Womack from the Salvation Army.Tom indicated that our Rotary club has been ringing the bell for the Salvation Army since 1982.
Major Womack has been with the Benton Harbor Salvation Army in Benton Harbor since June of 2016.The Salvation has been in Benton Harbor for more than 100 years.
He indicated that they are revitalizing their advisory board and would love to have someone from the South Haven area on board.
David also thanked us for our work on their behalf, including the approximately $1500 we raised ringing the bells last December.
He also passed out brochures outlining the Services that the Salvation Army offers.He highlighted their reinstituted youth programs, noting that 70% of Benton Harbor residents live below the income levels required for basic living expenses.
The Salvation Army has a number of emergency programs for providing rent, utilities and a food pantry for those in need.
Benton Harbor is one of the few Salvation Army locations in the area that offers a men’s shelter for homeless men.
There is also a drug rehab residential program run by the Salvation Army in Grand Rapids.
Additionally, the Salvation Army is heavily involved in disaster relief from recent hurricanes.
President Renner provided Major Wolmack with one of our speaker’s gifts and thanked him for presenting.
We closed the meeting with the Rotary Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: How the Michigan Lottery Works by Aric Nesbit, Director of the state lottery system.
Next week’s Greeters:  Barry Winkel and we will have to see if Glenn Pietenpol can join him, otherwise we need a substitute.
Editarian:  Dene Hadden