Meeting Presentations and Stories
Posted on Sep 25, 2016
The Great Bed Race is won or lost during the games refereed by Whitney, Mike, Pam, Beth and Larry (not Rafai, Sorry!). This was just one aspect of a great event, won again by Wightman Associates. Lakeland and Home was most creative, Lakeland Building Service won best team spirit. Wightman also lead in donations, with $1,200.
The Pumpkin Festival was busy with pumpkin decorating and carving, plant and bake sale, and over 500 pumpkins circulating the tank waiting for the final drawing.
Great work by all the Rotarians that did all the big and little things that made these events successful. All the proceeds, net of expenses, will go for our programs to benefit the youth of Benton Harbor.
Stay tuned for an update that includes photos by Alan Bartlett.
Posted on Sep 17, 2016
Our new layout with a large tent near the starting line worked out well, especially for a couple of brief rain falls. Turn was down but we will still help fund our Books for Kids program with the proceeds. Thanks to our hosts: Harbor Shores and Renaissance Athletic Club, all our runners, walkers, sponsors, prize and food donors, workers - both Rotarians and friends of Rotary.
Posted on Sep 14, 2016
The Boys and Girls Club, with funds provided by a club grant, combined with the Renaissance Athletic Club, the Y, and the City of Benton Harbor, to provide basic swimming instruction. In a report provided by Brian Saxton, the students reported impressive growth in comfort with the water and learning to swim. We hope several of this new swimmers will become new sailors next summer.
Posted on Sep 14, 2016
Imani, a student at Dream Academy, enjoyed the experience of a weekend of RYLA camp. The leadership exercises were fun and challenging. She even canoed for the first time. Imani plans to attend the next RYLA camp in the spring.
Posted on Sep 07, 2016
Bob Kynast, the club's fundraising chairman, provided a preview of the Pumpkin Run on September 17. Bob used the club's video review to remind members why we need to work on this event (see below). All the details are at the event website, click here.
Posted on Sep 07, 2016
Tyler Cook was inducted into membership of Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary by Dyann Chenault. Tyler is a third generation Rotarian, lives in Cassopolis with his wife and child, teaches school at River School in Sodus and will be the faculty advisor for their new Interact club. Janet Drews is Tyler's sponsor.
Posted on Aug 31, 2016
Jasmina started her presentation with facts about Germany. It has 16 states, a population of 82 million and uses the Euro for its currency. Schwerin is the capital of her state and the home of the Sherweriner Schlosse, a castle perched on an island. See below.
Jasmina said the park/castle was one of her favorite places to go. She attends a gymnasium (high school), which is for college preparation. She plans to study international event planning. She speaks French and English and plans to add Spanish. Her family has hosted an exchange student from Argentina and her sister was an exchange student in France. America was her dream destination.
Her goals for her exchange year is to have three different hosts, attend a big football game, go skiing and make friends at school and RYE events. Lee Scherwitz presented her a birthday card. She turns 16 on September 1, 2016.
Posted on Aug 24, 2016
The youngster pictured is riding a tricycle that he can "peddle" with his arms. He's a special need child and received the bike from the Ray Carlson Memorial. This is just one of the success stories told by Craig Carlson, founder and chairman, of the organization. Craig started life with his feet on backwards. His father and mother sacrificed so much to correct Craig's feet. It took 7 years of surgery and therapy before he took his first step. Along the way the Elks offered to help. The Carlson's were too proud to accept the help but Mr. Carlson eventually became an Elk. Craig was working at the Elks when his father died in 1991 and he decided to start the Ray Carlson Memorial to honor his father and the sacrifices he make for his special needs child. Now the Memorial raises funds for special needs children in Berrien County, those with juvenile diabetes, arthritis, cancer, or hearing, speech or physical impairments. The organization covers all its administrative costs so that 100% of funds raised or donated go to help special needs children, like the tricycle, a service dog, a special car seat. Eight volunteers and 200 local sponsors power the organization. This year they will spend $42,000 helping children.
Plans are being finalized for a special needs park, filled with equipment such that every child will be find fun and enjoy an appropriate apparatus. The estimated cost is $210,000. Stay tuned. To learn more or make a donation click here.
Posted on Aug 24, 2016
Posted on Aug 10, 2016
Shown, from left, Tanieka, Larkin, Lou, Addie, Alyssa, Annie and Grace, representatives of the four Interact clubs that participated in this year's trip to the Dominican Republic. A total of thirty-five students went on the trip. The initial impression was a joyous place, filled with music and signs of faith. The people and the place were upbeat and colorful. Each student provided a water filter to a family in the village - setting it up and teaching how to use it. Local Rotaractors helped with translation. They also helped construct a latrine - a block and cement affair involving lots of work. Finally they assisted in a mobile medical unit that provided services to locals. They had plenty of time to meet and play with children, passing out forty bags of clothes, shoes and toys. The kids were very happy. A day at the beach and life at the compound made the trip fun as well as satisfying for the work the team accomplished. Many found new facebook friends when they got home.
Rotarians have had a busy summer so far. Pictured at left is the expanded chicken coop at Countryside, thanks to great teamwork by Rotary and Countryside. Well done, everyone! And on a rainy Saturday morning the Rotary's Centennial Park at Chicago and Linden was refreshed and repaired for the season. Thanks to the AKA sorority for their ongoing clean up and care of the park.
Posted on Aug 03, 2016
Aicha Camara is our club's first outbound Youth Exchange student. She expects to pursue a career in robotics and thought Japan would be an excellent country to explore her ideas. She was selected by a club in Yokohama. The city has 3.7 million residents and is only 30 minutes from Tokyo. She made several comments in Japanese during her presentation and will learn more on her arrival. She will attend St. Joseph High School, an all girls private school. After her presentation Alice Ford, on behalf of our club's foundation, presented Aicha a grant to cover her obligations to the host district. The grant consisted of contributions from individuals, the club and foundation challenge. Her flight is August 8th. Bon Voyage Aicha.
You can keep up with the adventure by checking our her blog located here.
Posted on Jul 23, 2016
Sunrise Rotary's Garage Sale to End Polio Now raised $1,800, which grows to $5,400 when the Gates Foundation 2-for-1 match is included. That's enough to immunize 9,000 children! Thanks to Alice Ford for all her great work to plan, price, organize and sell for polio eradication. Also thanks to all the Rotarians and friends who offered items for sale and worked in the heat to End Polio Now.
Posted on Jul 27, 2016
Bill Smith, district governor for 2016-2017, fully embraces Rotary's new president's theme: Rotary Serving Humanity. In the spirit of that theme the district is providing a self-teaching kit for Hands-Free CPR to each club. The governor also told his personal story of growth in Rotary. It was all about responding to requests to join and to accept new positions of responsibility - so ASK people to join and to serve the community. He recommends attending the leadership institute and annual convention in Atlanta. In the board meeting afterward he stressed new member orientation, citing Jackson-noon as an excellent example.
Posted on Jul 20, 2016
Lynn Todman, chairman of the board opened the presentation with her person story of how her grandfather left a share cropping family at 13 to pursue an education. He found success and instilled in Mrs' Todman's family the importance of education. This inspired her to lend her support to this program. Alloyd Blackmon, executive director, continued the presentation. The Benton Harbor Promise launched in 2011 with a mission to help all students in the greater Benton Harbor area achieve a post-secondary education. The Benton Harbor Promise realizes that every student regardless of financial means should have the opportunity to earn post-secondary credentials. The program provides full tuition and mandatory fees at any accredited community college or Career Technical school in Michigan where the student is accepted. The program has enrolled a total of 600 students but struggled initially with poor attendance and grades. The program worked with Lake Michigan College to provide "wrap-around-services" that included tutoring and transportation. Now the grades and graduation rates are at the national average, 70% are going on for four year degrees. For more information or make a donation click here.
Posted on Jul 16, 2016
New Rotary International president John Germ offers this wonderful pick-up line in the latest issue of The Rotarian magazine:
"I think you have the skills, the talent, and the character to make our community better, and I want you to join me in doing that."
The magazine also offers proof that Rotarians are happier and healthier because of their service.
Posted on Jul 10, 2016
The Belgium flag will welcome home Victoria Majois from her Rotary Youth Exchange year ending in July. Victoria had praise for her Lakeshore host family and Lakeshore High School where she was graduated this year. The highlights of her trip were: being part of the track team (sports are by village in Europe), Niagara Falls, spring break in Florida with her host family and a trip out west. Her biggest take-away from RYE: you can be happy in more than one place.
Posted on Jun 29, 2016
Yes, that's beer you see in the picture for this story. Noel Dolan told Rotary how innovation takes place at Whirlpool. She works in the "garage", a silicon valley like atmosphere with ping pong, foosball and collaboration happen among sixty professionals in a separate building. She used the Vessi Fermenter and Dispenser* as an example to describe the process. It starts with SPARK teams the generate product ideas and pitch them to management. A successful idea can win a $20,000 prize for the winning team. The garage then goes to work to create concept designs. In the case of Vessi, the idea was put out on Indiegogo funding site to test initial market reaction. They sold 120 units in just a few weeks. Now they are working on the market and distribution channels.
*Vessi is an 8 gallon vat with temperate and pressure controls designed to make and dispense beer in a single unit about the size of a dishwasher. The dispenser shown in the photo is part of the unit..
Posted on Jun 21, 2016
Dave Krieger is shown after receiving an award for outstanding leadership during his presidency. Dyann Chenault presented the award in place of incoming president Patrice Grant who had broken her ankle - ouch!. The other new officers for 2016-2017 are Joseph Taylor, president nominee and Dan Utroske, chair of the club administration committee. Dave presented a review of the year and thanked all the fellow officers for making his year special and successful.
Posted on Jun 15, 2016
Our own Dyann Chenault has attended the Rotary Leadership Institute recently and talked about Vocational Service, one of Rotary's five areas of service. When Rotary was founded the business climate was dog-eat-dog and cutthroat competition. Paul Harris thought a cooperative effort of non-competing businesses was better approach. This lead to rotating meetings at each business; hence the name Rotary. The early objects of Rotary included promotion of business interests of its members. The Four Way Test made ethics a top priority of Rotary. Club activities in Vocational Service include things like Group Study Exchange, support of Junior Achievement, and career mentoring. But we seem to have lost the promotion of business of members. Who better to do business with than a Rotarian? Not for discounts but for ethic business partners. Jim Schueneman suggested we add "I am ... I do..." to our meetings.
Posted on Jun 11, 2016
The Benton Harbor Parks Conservancy placed a new sign at City Center Park. The sign faces Main St. and shows Rotary as the adopting partner.
Posted on Jun 08, 2016
Stacey Davis, marketing representative for Mid-West Family Broadcasting, volunteered to play the piano for the club song. That put everyone in an excellent mode to hear her tell about Mid-West Family Broadcasting's unique position in their markets. Mid-West has no competition, radio or TV, that provide local content to the 283.100 residents in the tri-county area. They have eight people doing local news and feeding the free Town Crier Wire app. And with six stations, all the listening habits covered. They also support the community with shows like the Brenda Layne Show and non-profit access to Moody in the Morning. Super Saver ads are just one way Stacey and Mid-West can put all these tools to work for local businesses.
Bill Schalk, communications manager, is happy to report that Cook Nuclear is still the lowest cost producer in the AEP portfolio. The low prices of natural gas is driving down prices but that is inspiring an industry-wide initiative to look at ways to reduce nuclear power costs. The plant is the middle of the license renewal which will extend operations to 2034 and 2037. Cook has a big impact on the community; employing 1,200 people with $100 million payroll, they also pay $36 million in property tax. The site has space for a third unit but demand is not growing enough to build a third plant.
Posted on May 25, 2016
The book, Tree Lady, was just one titles from the 700 books that went out from our Books for Kids program. It is a book of learning and inspiration, teaching persistence and community service. The books go to all pre-K, K, and 1st grade students in all the schools in the area. The books are the students to take home, read and share with friends and family. Thanks to District 6360 Foundation for a matching grant to help fund this program. Also, thanks to Patrice Grant program chairperson for selecting and organizing the distribution, and all the Rotarians who helped with labels and delivery.
Sep 15, 2014 by Bob Elliott
Pam Pappas - September 5
Mike Scheffler - September 8
Bob Elliott - September 30
Jul 30, 2013 by Robert Kynast
Lee Scherwitz - Oct 9
Larry Culby - Oct 14
Lorraine Day - Oct 14
Kevin Geiser - Oct 14
Sarah Stocker - Oct 20