Rachael Wade
Apr 25, 2018
United Way
Patricia Birkoltz
May 02, 2018
Tara Gillette
May 09, 2018
Aging Mastery Program
Scott Chrispell
May 23, 2018
Ted Talk
Jun 20, 2018
Miss Sourthwestern Mi
Jun 27, 2018
Ted Talk
Jul 18, 2018
Ted Talk
Aug 22, 2018
Ted Talk
Sep 19, 2018
Upcoming Events
#27802 in District 6360
We meet Wednesdays at 7:00 AM
Elks Lodge (BPOE 541)
601 Riverview Drive
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
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Write to us at:
Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary
PO Box 1552
Benton Harbor. MI 49023-1552
Meeting Presentations and Stories
City Center Park on Main Street was cleaned up in preparation for spring.  We're sure it will arrive one of these days. Mulch will be added later.
Our own Bob Gifford presented his third and final installment of local electricity.  The image above is a schematic of the type of reactor at the Cook plant.  It  features three completely separate circulating systems: from left, the reactor loop, the generator loop and the cooling loop. Bob reported that AEP plans to continue operating the plant even if a few others are closing theirs.  Bob was selected by AEP to oversee the construction and establish the control systems. The sheer size of the equipment made the project unique.  Most of the central elements were brought in by barge. AEP established a rule for the design that it must always be under the control of a human operator.  Hard copies of operating manuals are always nearby. They have computer aids and instruments but the actual decision making is done by a human operator.  The plant had several safety system upgrades after the Fukushima tidal wave event.
From left, Gershon, Tamia, Dyesha and Daniel, representatives from Benton Harbor High School's FIRST Robotics team #1940, won an award for Most Creative design and were also cited for the simplicity of their design.  The team didn't have enough practice to do well at the St. Joe district competition but learned from the experience to excel at Gull Lake, placing in the top group and advancing to the quarterfinals. Dyesha was the team leader and she felt learning to trust team members was her most important leadership insight.  As Joe Taylor said, this truly is a "sport for the mind".
President Elect Joseph Taylor completed PETS and was certified by district 6360 as qualified for his term as president for 2018-2019.  Cindy Kinney, president-nominee, also completed the training.
Sister Paulita and Martha Thieneman from the Readiness Center made a return visit to Rotary. Martha provided an overview in preparation for sister Paulita's final year in 2018-2019. Our Foundation has provided three grants to aid the efforts of the Readiness Center.  For thirty-five years Sister Paulita has been preparing youth for school.  Along the way she expanded her efforts to include parents and teens, working to produce successful citizens through education.  She puts in a little fun and work to make sure the education is well rounded.  She serves about one-hundred families.  All her services are free; the teens must volunteer to mentor or do housekeeping to earn their place in City Kids afternoon program. Many of her charges are with the center through out their entire school years. How well do her students do?  They do great! with 97% graduating high school. Learn more, donate or volunteer by clicking here.  St. John's Catholic Church allows the use of the Readiness center rent and utilities free.
Bill Wolf, Berrien County administrator, experienced his first emergency in his 13 years on the job. Recent flooding put 300 people out of their homes and activated the county's emergency response network.  Shown below is the emergency operations center. The center, located at 2100 Empire, has a permanent staff but becomes home for county and state resources, such as: public safety, health, logistics and other inter-agency personnel.
The flooding did $3 million worth of damage to roads, and drains.  There was another $5 in damage to private property.
    In other news, Mr. Wolf said work is continuing at the jail and a new county Paw Paw River Park will begin this year.
Dyann Chenault, club secretary, has accepted the additional position of Assistant Governor Elect for our region.  In other news, the club board appointed Larry Jackson chairman of the New Generations Committee and member of the board of directors.  Larry will serve out the current term of Mike Scheffler.  Larry's first priority is recruiting candidates for the RYLA Camp this July. Congratulations to Dyann and Larry on their appointments.
Bob Elliott and Jim Smith presented new books at Mildred Wells Academy.  Above, first graders show off their new books donated by Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary. The books belong to the student to take home.  Below Kindergartners show Jim Smith the book they selected.  Books will be delivered to all pre-K, K and 1st graders in all Benton Harbor Area Schools and all charters in the next few weeks.

The Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary Foundation set a deadline of April 16, 2018 for grant applications. The Foundation is looking for projects which focus on the youth of Benton Harbor and target literacy, numeracy, leadership development, or personal development. The grants will usually be for $500 - $1000 but the the grant amount is based a combination of the project details and available funds.  Matching grant requests are encouraged.  Awards will be presented at our regular club meeting on May 9, 2018.

To download the grant application click here.  You will also find it www.bhsunriserotary.org, just click the Grants/Foundation button on the menu bar.

There are just a few rules to follow: 1) Organizations that have received grants in the past may only apply if their project is complete and the grant report has been submitted, 2) organizations are limited to one application per cycle, and 3) emailed applications only.

Larry Adams, past-president of Charlotte Rotary, and assistant governor, related how his club started a satellite club after Rotary International provided for them in the latest changes to club constitutions.  It was a three year journey for this "old, white, male". They needed eight members to start the satellite; four came from the sponsoring club, four others were recruited. Selecting an evening time slot (5:30-6:30 pm) and meeting at a pub, with meal and drinks optional, made the club attractive to younger professionals.  The club has 17 members now.  Fundraising is limited to funding small projects. Dues are $160. Check out the FAQ on Satellites Clubs at RI, click here.
Joe Taylor, president elect and Cindy Kinney, president nominee, just completed pre-PETS training.  Joe presented three ideas that might foster more participation:
  1. Create a satellite club
  2. Promote Ted Talks for content and possibly as make-ups (TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks; 18 minutes or less. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages)
  3. Live stream our meetings.  Post in our You Tube channel (yes, we do have our own You Tube channel).
These ideas will need further discussion and changes to our bylaws.  Stay Tuned!
Joe finished by showing Michael Pritchard's amazing Life Saver Bottle, which turns even the dirties water into pure drinking water.  See it at the link below.
There are 102 Ted Talks on Clean Water!
Elena, on left, and Anna from the Lake Michigan Catholic Interact Club were at our meeting to announce the 4th Annual College Game Night.  The March 18th event coincides with the early rounds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Drop in the Watermark Brewing Company in Stevensville any time from 1-5 pm for TV, games and beverages. Tickets are $15.  The brewery will also donate $1 for each pint sold during the event.  The proceeds will go to this year's mission trip to the Dominican Republic in June. The brewery is at 5781 St. Joseph Ave in the Village of Stevensville, just south of John Beers road (how appropriate!).
Jim Maier, president of Lakeshore Rotary Club is pursuing Rotary International's goal of planting one tree for each member to improve the environment.  Jim is a long time golfer and decided to combine his love of golf with his desire to meet RI's goal.  He knew that Berrien Hills golf course lost 150 trees to Elm Borer disease and made that the place to plant Rotary's trees.  The course is happy to have the trees and will help plant the trees. After much research Jim found a supplier with small trees for only $4.50 each.  They even offered to deliver the trees to Rotary for free.  That made the project financially attractive and he went to work on the labor side. He recruited Lakeshore's high school golf coach to have team members help with the project.  The Interact club will also pitch in.  Jim is working to complete the project by Earth Day, April 22, 2018.  The Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotarians will participate on an individual basis.
Jay Fettig, owner of the North Pier Brewing Company, shows off the results of the canning line installed last year. Jay said you can now find North Pier brews in most locations in southwest Michigan.  (He's still working to get into Meijer's.) He noted that his sister owns the North Shore Inn which will open with a new manager as soon as the renovation is complete.  Don't expect the burgers to change as long time cook John Howe will still be flipping burgers.
President Brian Saxton is shown on right below presenting a check to Jim Paul of Slumberland Furniture.  The check is the proceeds of the 2017 Great Bed Race and will be used to provide beds to the needy in the community.
Next up was Megan from Upton Middle School Interact Club.
Megan was on hand to receive a donation to their club.  The club is raising matching funds for a grant to place additional playground equipment at Countryside's Youth Campus.
The evening concluded with a trivia contest.  Mike Kinney had 15 tough questions for the crowd.  The winning table is shows off their trophy below, clockwise are Kyra and Dan Utroske, Bob Elliott and Pam Pappas.  The winners also went home with beer and chocolates.
Special thanks to Mike and Cindy Kinney for a great 5th Wednesday experience.
Our own Bob Gifford told the story of electricity starting from Benjamin Franklin.  Below are a few of the inventions Bob highlighted for us. (The list if from the historical archive web site - I couldn't  take notes fast enough to keep up with Bob)

1752 By tying a key onto a kite string during a storm, Ben Franklin, proved that static electricity and lightning were the same.

1800 First electric battery invented by Alessandro Volta.

1808 Arc lamp invented by Humphry Davy.

1820 Separate experiments by Hans Christian Oersted, A.M. Ampere, and D.F.G. Arago confirmed the relationship between electricity and magnetism.

1821 The first electric motor was invented by Michael Faraday. (Bob didn't mention this but it very important)

1835 Joseph Henry invented the electrical relay, used to send electrical currents long distances.

1837 Thomas Davenport invented the electric motor, an invention that is used in most electrical appliances today.

1876 Charles Brush invented the “open coil” dynamo (or generator) that could produce a study current of electricity.

1879 After many experiments, Thomas Edison invented an incandescent light bulb that could be used for about 40 hours without burning out. By 1880 his bulbs could be used for 1200 hours.

1881 The electric streetcar was invented by E.W. v. Siemens

1882 Edward Johnson first put electric lights on a Christmas tree. (This wasn't in Bob's presentation but I couldn't leave it out.)

1883 Nikola Tesla invented the “Tesla coil”, a transformer that changes electricity from low voltage to high voltage making it easier to transport over long distances.

1893 The Westinghouse Electric Company used an alternating current (AC) system to light the Chicago World’s Fair.

Bob spoke of how Edison and Westinghouse battled to established their preferred approach.  Edison wanted DC distribution and Westinghouse preferred AC.  The AC approach won because it could distribute power much further with greater efficiency.

Bob then brought the discussion closer to home.  He noted that by 1900 Berrien County had an extensive urban rail system to provide transportation.  Power was also available for public lights. 

Bob had to pause his presentation here but promised to return with more local history of electricity through out the area.

The directors of the Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary Foundation, appointed by the club last December, met for the first time in 2018.  The first order of business was the election of officers for calendar year 2018.  The officers are:
Lee Scherwitz, president
Dave Bly, vice-president
Ellen Russell, secretary
Bob Elliott, treasurer
The other directors are Mel Burton, Alice Ford and Mike Kinney.
The foundation begins the year with the following fund balances:
General Fund,  $4,555
Sailing Scholarship Fund:  $1,189
Endowment Fund:  $7,500
Thanksgiving Fund :  $8
Arnoldine School Fund:  $1,150
Interact Dominican Trip Fund:  $0
BH Alumni Athlete Scholarship Fund $0
Total of all funds:  $14.402
Becki Tomsheck, program manager, has 20 years experience in training.  In 2017 she decided to put that experience to work for Junior Achievement. JA trains in three areas: financial literacy, workplace readiness and entrepreneurship.  The model brings experienced business volunteers into classroom to go through JA's excellent educational materials. The  work is all supported by donations and includes many classroom volunteers.  140 classes are planned for the spring, starting in March.  Why not join in? Training will take place February 13 from 1-3 pm.  To enroll or ask about other volunteer opportunities write to becki.tomsheck@ja.org.
Our own Ellen Russell, with 14 years of Head Start experience, said a huge change had taken place this school year.  Resources were shifted from centers to home visitation.  This was specifically targeting the 0-3 years old children, with the belief that theses early years are very important to ultimate outcomes.  The program has a special reading curriculum, includes pre-school practice, helps with parents education and builds resiliency skills. See the short video below on this final element. Parents are also taught to advocate for their children.  Head Start requires a 25% local match to the Federal funds, so please consider donating or volunteering.
The club's board of directors appointed the following members to serve as directors of the Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary Foundation for the 2018 calendar year.
Dave Bly
Mel Burton
Bob Elliott
Alice Ford
Mike Kinney
Ellen Russell
Lee Scherwitz
These directors will elect their officers in January.
Philip Freeman, superintendent of Lakeshore Public Schools, was at Rotary as a spokesperson for the Reading Now Network.  The network is the result of efforts at a regional level to improve results. Superintendents in the ISD cooperate to drive results. They determined that five key principles are necessary
  • Uncompromising focus on reading
  • Data used deeply
  • Shared leadership - Sustained commitment
  • Classroom management focused on learning
  • Collective responsibility for every child's success
Along the way they learned it's not about:
  • Class size
  • Condition of building
  • District size
  • Building size
  • Technology resources
  • Principal's resume
  • A Specific Program
  • A Special reading intervention
What children need is 90 minutes of reading every day. Current Initiatives include professional development, principal coaching, lab schools and classroom libraries. This last item adds 30 minutes of reading time to each day by eliminating trips to the media center.  Books on the buses also increasing reading.
The club's foundation - Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary Foundation - is pleased to announce the recipients of two Alumni Scholarship Awards.  The funds were made available by alumni donors who were inspired by the resurgence of the Tigers under Coach Uzelac. The scholarships go to Eusean Jennings and Willie Roberson. Mr. Jennings had the highest GPA and Mr. Roberson was team MVP.  Both winners are seniors from last season's football team and plan to on to college. They were recommended by coach Uzelac and Mr. Slivensky.  We appreciate the assistance of new athletic director Tray Crusciel in this process.
Dan Utroske and Rhonda Pallas are shown at Wal-Mart in Benton Harbor.  Rotarians were at both doors all day.  People were generous and filled the kettles.  Thanks to all the bell ringers and to Alan Bartlett for organizing the event.
Momono Sakura is the club's Rotary Youth Exchange student from Higashiouni, Japan, a town the size of Kalamazoo, located about 2 hours southwest of Tokyo. Her first love in running.  She won a medal in the Rotary Pumpkin 5k shortly after her arrival and joined the track and cross-country team. Her family includes her father, a welder, her mother, city commissioner, and an older sister. She attends an online school in Japan and is in the 10th grade at St. Joseph High School. She used an innovative way to talk about Japanese culture: she conducted a survey, asking students at school to vote on several suggestions, such as rice, cherry blossom trees, sushi and many more.  On rice, she said it is part of each meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner. She noted that her last name means Cherry Blossom.  Sushi was the number one association students had with Japanese culture.
Becki Tomsheck has spent twenty years training others, at Whirlpool and now at Junior Achievement.  JA offers classes in their three pillars of business education: financial literacy, workforce development and entrepreneurship. Becki will be training volunteers on February 13 for the 140 classes that are planned to start in March.  The training provides all the materials and tips for being successful in the classroom. She will also be doing special training for JA-in-a-Day at Steam Academy on February 16th.  Training will be based on the need of volunteers for that day.  If you would like more information or sign up for the training write to becki,tomsheck@ja.org.  Becki also encourages everyone to participate Achieve-A-Bowl in the spring.
Darrin Drollinger, Executive Director, was our host at the International Headquarters of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, whose logo appears above.  The ASABE is an educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. Founded in 1907 and headquartered in St. Joseph, Michigan, ASABE comprises members in more than 100 countries. They publish three peer-reviewed journals and a bi-monthly member magazine.  The conference room had several models of farm equipment on display, this being the principle area of activity of most of the members.Thanks to Dolores Landeck, Director of Public Affairs, for arranging our visit.
    On to the Christmas party; with a buffet dinner provided by Lee Sherwitz and Patrice Grant with many elfs helping too. The evening finished with Christmas carols.  See part of the gang below.
The club took the opportunity of the meeting to collect donations for the Wonderland Toy Store. The night's haul is shown below.
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Benton Harbor-Sunrise

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 7:00 AM
Elks Lodge (BPOE 541)
601 Riverview Dr.
For mail: PO Box 1552
Benton Harbor, MI  49022-1552
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Pam Pappas - September 5

Mike Scheffler - September 8

Bob Elliott - September 30


Lee Scherwitz - Oct 9

Larry Culby - Oct 14

Lorraine Day - Oct 14

Kevin Geiser - Oct 14

Sarah Stocker - Oct 20


Brian Tutton - Nov 22
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