Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXV NO. 12                                                                               September 18, 2018
Tom Rummel and Nick Tuit, assisted by Tom Renner were our greeters this morning.
President Odland opened our meeting with “My Country ‘tis of Thee”  Art Ayers provided our invocation this morning,  adding our prayers for Missy Thompson Julie Weber and Don Hixson as they face medical situations and friend John Gillette who suffered a stroke last Wednesday.  President Odland updated us on Don Hixson, who had a slight complication last week and had a pacemaker installed yesterday as we continue to pray for him.
We had a large collection of guests today, including Fred Leavitt and Barry Skuza from the South Haven Public Schools Foundation, our friend Dorothy Lockwood, Speakers Aric Nesbit, Garnet Lewis, Beth Griffin and Dan Seibert, Media representative Rene Rodrequez and additional guests Annie Brown, Phyllis Peterson, Denise Wyatt, and Judy Porth.
Our spotlight this morning was the presentation of a check to the South Haven Public Schools Foundation.  Dene Hadden presented a check for $4,000 to the foundation’s endowment fund.  Since we have added this organization to our educational fundraising events we have donated  $27,581.00 to them, including the $4,000 today.  In addition their endowment has grown another $6,229.00 through other contributions and investment income and they now have $33,820 in their endowment.  In addition, twice each year the foundation awards five grants of up to $500 to classroom teachers for new and innovative projects.  One of those grants is a named Rotary Grant each cycle.  All members of the educational fundraising efforts, Deb Davidson, Scott Mark and Rhonda Wendzel joined Dene in presenting the check to Barry and Fred.
We delighted our guests this morning by singing the 1909 hit “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” (not to be confused by the Doris Day 1953 movie of the same name).  We followed that with the old standard "Give My Regards to Broadway”, a song written by George M. Cohan for his musical play Little Johnny Jones which debuted in 1904.  We finished with “That Rotary Wheel”.
  • We have collected enough money to purchase all of the District Foundation raffle tickets.  Waiting anxiously to see if we are winners!
  • We have a box available to collect old eye glasses for distribution to those in need – a long held passion of Lions clubs worldwide.
  • President Odland was pleased to announce that in looking over a recent club fundraising report he discovered that 100% of our membership donates to Rotary International Foundation and Polio Plus.  We are the only club that donates anywhere close to this level and our average member donation is twice the amount of any other club.
Because the room was filled with politicians and Rotarians, Tom had to step outside to find a trustworthy person to draw a winning ticket.  Deb Davidson held that ticket and turned it into luck by drawing the 2 and winning half of the pot.  Steve Larsen had the other lucky ticket, taking home $2.
  • Deb Davidson has a new grandson to spend her newly acquired fortune on.
  • Scott Mark is celebrating the birthday of his lovely wife Sue on Friday.
  • We celebrated these events with a well done Ludington style celebration song, much to the amusement of our guests.
President Odland introduced our speakers, who each had five minutes to outline their priorities if elected.
26th District State Senate Candidates
Aric Nesbit
A graduate of Hillsdale College, Aric is a former state Representative and State Lottery Commissioner.  Eric indicated that his priorities, if elected, would be working on Auto Insurance reforms, schools, law enforcement, roads and paying down the state’s long term debt.  During the Q&A session, Aric indicates that he supports early childhood education and vocational education.  He also indicated that reforming the criminal justice system is an on-going and bi-partisan effort.
Garnet Lewis
With several degrees including a PhD in University Administration from Northern Michigan University, Garnet retired from a career in administration from CMU.  She is the daughter of a career Air Force officer and was born in England and grew up in Germany.  Her priorities, if elected were supporting education first and foremost, maintaining recreational harbors, and providing broadband access to rural areas.  She indicated that her educational priorities were providing support services for those kids who are falling behind.  Her priority for criminal justice reform begins with elimination for profit prisons which encourage prison administrators to keep more inmates longer.
66th House District
Beth Griffin
Beth, a graduate of IPFW is a former teacher who has dedicated herself to service, especially her local food pantry.  Her priorities include road funding, education funding and car insurance reform.  She would like to see support for teachers, especially in support and training for new teachers and ways to retain teachers.  She supports using specialty courts as one way to reform criminal justice.
Dan Seibert
Dan is an engineer currently working for a systems engineer for Perrigo in Allegan.  He is a reserve deputy for the Van Buren County Sherriff’s Department, and has two young children.  Dan really would like to reduce the amount of influence money in our state and politics in general.  He would like to redirect some corporate tax breaks into programs to help those who most need help and is a strong supporter of roads and education.  He is concerned with the affect that socio-economic status has on school and student achievement and believes that more focus needs to be put on finding solutions to educating students in that situation that work.  He believes that criminal justice reform is imperative for the financial good of the state.
President Odland thanked the candidates for attending and answering our questions and wished them the best of luck in November.  Several pictures were taken with all of the candidates together, although Mark was usually between the two party’s candidates.
We closed our meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: After  Breakfast at the Wellness Center, we will be traveling to The Three Blondes Brewery and VanDerZee Motorplex for a tour.
Next week’s Greeters:  Barry Winkel and Richard Swanson
Editarian:  Dene Hadden