Please Contribute
Dr. Rick Johansen, Med. Dir., BCHD
Oct 24, 2018
Marijuana Referendum
Joe Taylor & Pumpkin Activities Chairs
Oct 31, 2018
Debrief on Bed Race, 5/10K, and Pumpkin Fest
Robert Herrera, Supt. BHAS
Nov 07, 2018 7:00 AM
Benton Harbor Area Schools
Upcoming Events
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#27802 in District 6360
We meet Wednesdays at 7:00 AM
Elks Lodge (BPOE 541)
601 Riverview Drive
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Write to us at:
Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary
PO Box 1552
Benton Harbor. MI 49023-1552
Meeting Presentations and Stories
Nitin Mangaldas Is past district governor for Rotary District 3141 in Mumbai India, more than 8,000 miles from Benton Harbor. He dropped in for a makeup and took a few minutes to address the club.  This was his second visit to the club and expects more since he has grandkids in Stevensville. His club promotes eye care and other health initiatives.  He recommended we explore a district friendship exchange which would have four or five couples from each district visit. Staying with local Rotarians makes the exchange much richer.
President Joseph Taylor has been stressing invocations that are all inclusive.  He decided to provide an example as follows:
Let us take a moment to remember all the religions represented in the Rotary family throughout the world. Let us also recall that when we were invited to join our Rotary clubs we were not asked, “Are you a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, or a Sikh?” We were not asked because all religions are welcome in the Rotary family.
Please join me in a moment of reflection and thanks: With our friends beside us, And no person beneath us, With the bonds of Rotary between us, And our worries behind us, With our goals before us, And no task beyond us, With a thirst for knowledge, And a dream of a Polio-free world, We are thankful for our Rotary friends and the time we are about to share.  Amen.
James "Jim" Cupper, district governor for Rotary District 6360 reminded members of the great work of Rotarians around the world. He mentioned a few of his favorites: peace fellowships, Rotary Youth Exchange and global project like polio eradication, health education, clean water, maternal health and microlending. He pointed out how all these efforts are moving the globe to Rotary’s new vision:   Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
He asked the club to meet a goal of 5% net growth in membership.  The district will hold a workshop to develop promotional materials to help reach the goal.
Don’t forget to register for District Conference which will be held May 16-18, 2019 at Mission Point Resort on Mackinaw Island.  Special room rates are available.
Bake goods and plants are ready for sale.  Yum.
Pumpkin carving and decorating were fun for all.
Pumpkin tank is ready for final drawing. Five winners will receive $500, $400, $300, $100 and $50 cash prizes.
All the proceeds will be used to support our club's mission to serve Benton Harbor.
The Leco team won the Bed Race's fundraising trophy for the second year in a row. Congratulations.
Our own Farsi Rukunda was joined by Veronica Jackson from Leco to discuss Fit 4 Fall, a 5K run and walk that is a mainstay of Leco’s Wellness efforts. The event started as an internal company fitness initiative in 2012.  The event has evolved into a community event sponsored by Leco and Starks Family Funeral Homes.  This year they hope to raise more than $10,000 for the three organizations they have selected: Alzheimer’s Association, Hospice at Home and LOGAN Autism Learning Center.  A unique feature of the event is a silent auction for dinner cards and products.  
This year’s event is at Riverview Park, Woodbine Lodge, October 13, 2018.  Registration opens at 8 am, races begins at 9 am.
You may register online at
Doctors James Gendernalik and Allison Meadows of Family Physicians of St. Joseph, P.C. felt that patient care was degraded under the current insurance bureaucracy, with its heavy emphasis on data entry by doctors.  They decided to break from the insurers and embrace the “direct primary care” model. In that approach the focus is on doctor-patient relationships, with increased access and more time spent with the patient.  The "direct" portion means without the third party insurance company in the middle dictating choices. The practice uses telemedicine by text, email, Skype or phone to engage with patients at home or on the road. A house call is not out of the question. Those options can save trips to the office or the ER.  There are a total of four doctors at Family Physicians, the only Direct Primary Care provider in the area.
    DPC covers routine items and annual examinations, which is enough for most healthy people. Patients are encouraged to have high deductible insurance to cover for catastrophic events. Family Physicians charge a monthly fee of $75 for those over age 50, and $150 for families.  The copay on services is $0. There are charges for blood work, drugs and radiology but there negotiated prices are about 10% of the list prices.  For more information click here. .
The club recently awarded a grant to Countryside Academy to pilot the techniques recommended by the Reading Now Network.  The program is titled: Readers for LIfe and will focus on one 2nd grade classroom.  The funding will allow a mini-library in the classroom with specially selected books for guided reading.  Having the books in the classroom will maximize the time allocated to reading.  Volunteers are welcome for a once per week interaction with a student or a small group.  The club hopes the project will validate the approach and thereby justify expanding to more classrooms.
Our own club’s Marcy Hamilton, a planner with the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, is engaged in a project for the Ox Creek Watershed. The creek flows through Benton Township and Benton Harbor before emptying into the Paw Paw River. The creek is considered by some as the most polluted in the area.  It is also prone to flash flows which destroy the creeks organisms that promote plant and fish life. Run off from Orchards Mall area is a focus area.  It has 34% impervious surfaces, (roofs, streets and parking lots).
    A phase I grant will begin to reduce the runoff. Brookfield Dodge will reduce its parking and replace asphalt with a green area or rain garden to hold runoff on site. Wightman Associates has made a similar swap.  For more information visit www.SustainOx
A trio of Liji, Sherri and Chris were on hand to update the club.  Liji Hanny, director of operations returned to confirm their priorities as follows:
   helping kids succeed academically
   encourage healthy lifestyles
   provide opportunities for character and leadership development
With two locations serving 1,800 kids each year, from age 6 to 18 the club has tremendous impact.
   Sherri Ulleg, communications coordinator, started as a volunteer helping with the newsletter. She mentioned several programs that addressed each priority.  For Rotary, the academic programs are closest to home, such as reading, power hour and math programs.
   Chris, 17, came to the club after moving from Arkansas, the death of his mom, and his father sent to prison for drug problems. He said, "without a doubt, the club saved my life." The staff took time to build a relationship.  He even learned to shave in the Passport to Manhood program. He lives with his grandmother, but the club is his home away from home.  He's excelling in school and looking forward to his senior year and then on to college.  He also serves as Junior Staff at the youth campus, where his personal experience makes it easy for him to relate  to the kids like him. The club has made him "confident, more understanding and a true leader."  He asked for the photo below as a reminder of day.
President Joseph Taylor conducts the induction ceremony with Dathan Lumpkins. Dathan founded his own Lumpkins Private Wealth Management company after twelve years with Chase. He grew up in St. Louis and credits his mom for keeping hm busy and out of trouble. His wife Betsy and two girls complete his family.  Brian Saxton is his sponsor. This is Dathan's first service experience.  Welcome to Rotary!
Our "gateway" signs on the east and west entries into Benton Harbor were recently refreshed with new signs based on the new Rotary branding guidelines.  Thanks to Lee Scherwitz for making this happen and to Mike Kinney who helped with the installation.

Dr. Loren Hamel, MD, president and CEO of Lakeland Health, reported excellent progress on the renovation/expansion which includes new operating rooms, new ICU, four story patient wing and relocated visitor entrance and emergency area.  Interior traffic will be greatly improved, the parking garage will add one more floor and a roof for year-round covered parking. The $160 million project is 50% complete.

In other news, Dr. Hamel discussed the "integration" with Spectrum Health. Spectrum is number 1 or 2 in performance; they are committed to low cost operations; and have an insurance company.  The integration will be for systems and reporting.  Lakeland will retain it's own board and will make all investment decisions for changes under $10 million. Buildings will keep the Lakeland name.

Dr. Hamel explained how Medicaid works in Michigan: hospitals are assessed a contribution amount and the Federal government matches it 5 to 1.  The State does not used General Fund revenues for Medicare.  The current ACA reduced reimbursements but expanded enrollments.  Changes under consideration now are unknown.

Two new members were inducted into Rotary today; from left, Pastor Mel Burton sponsor for Sophia Mason, Sophia, Heron Plaza Rico and his sponsor president Joseph Taylor.  Sophia operates her own non-profit, Self-A-Steam, focusing on teaching robotics. Heron is an engineer and Whirlpool. Welcome to Rotary!
The club met in assembly to discuss preparations for our three fundraiser in mid September.  Click on the image below for more information.
Lisa Cripps-Downey returned to provide an update on the Berrien Community Foundation.  The BCF is celebrating its 65th anniversary with $50 million in assets under management. She announced that $186,000 in scholarships were recently awarded.  The variety of the scholarships reflect the donors" wishes, be it for band students, artists, or student athletes. The entire amount was funded by donors' endowments. In other news, BCF is now accepting hard assets such as houses, cars or art collections. Lisa explained that non-profits, such as our club's foundation, is eligible to establish an "Agency Fund" to access BCF services of professional investment, gifting grant processing and reporting. There are volunteer slots available for scholarship review committees, youth advisory council and more.  To donate or learn more visit the website by clicking here.
Momono Sakura, on the left with two friends from St. Joe High, returned to her host club to make her final presentation. Her highlights were too numerous to recount here but a few will probably stick with her for a long time.  She loved: shopping in South Bend; traveling to Chicago for a Cubs game and the stage performance of Hamilton; visiting Disney World, the Grand Canyon and more. She took pride in offering a Japanese Culture Class at school. The shyness she exhibited on her arrival last July was completely absent this time.  She reported that she had performed a Japanese dance at the recent RYE talent show.  She had words of praise and love for her two host moms, Kelly and Kim.  She plans to offer an English language course when she returns to Japan. Shown below she was recognized  by president Joseph Taylor for her fine presentation.
From left, Julie, Eddie, Lee, Dyann, Michael, Brian and Dave were on the assembly line to rehab the racing pumpkins for use in the Great Pumpkin Festival Race/Raffle.  Also helping were Sue, Cindy and Bob.
Dr. Trevor Kubatzke  has been president of Lake Michigan College for nearly a year.  He made his first visit to Rotary to present an update on the college. He was happy to find his new college had the lowest tuition within 100 miles, was ready to open its viticulture center with 25 students, offered a residence hall with apartment style rooms, including laundry.  The college also is ready to close on the purchase of the Western Michigan University building on the campus.  It will become the business education center.  Classrooms are also changing to offer live, live streaming and stored video for later review and study.  A flat tire will not cause a student to miss class!  Three classrooms are now operational; plans are to update all the classrooms.  LMC awarded its first bachelor degree.  Benton Harbor promise students are doing much better with the Start to Finish initiative.
The club had several new books left in our store room so we made an extra distribution.  The poster above and several individual thank yous were shared at our club meeting.
Capt. Rockey Adams hosted the club at the Berrien County Emergency Management Operations Center.  The main tactical room is filled with communications equipment organized in clusters.  During an emergency  the clusters are filled with personnel involved with a particular aspect, for example, health, or first responders.  Rockey took the opportunity to make us aware of two tools each member may want to add to their side, namely Smart 911 and B-Ware (Short for Berrien Awareness).  See the images below. Click here for more information.
President Joseph Taylor, in response to an inquiry for a club member, explained that Juneteenth, is a shortened form of June 19th.  The day celebrates that date in 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to declare the end of the Civil War and issue an order freeing all of the slaves in Texas.  The announcement was two and one-half years after Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. The date is commonly called "Freedom Day". A murdered messenger is one possible explanation for the delay.  Louisiana slave owners had moved to Texas to continue operating their plantations with slave labor.
  Joe quoted president Trump's June 19, 2018 announcement as follows: "As a Nation we vow to never forget the millions of African Americans who suffered the evils of slavery. Together we honor the unbreakable spirit ad countless contributions of generations of African Americans to the story of American Greatness."
   Twenty States celebrate Juneteenth as an official holiday.


President Joseph Taylor announced that the board of directors for the Benton Harbor Area Schools approved the formation of an Interact Club at the high school.  A committee will be formed to help establish a chapter next school year 
Club Information

About Our Rotary Club

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
United States
District Site
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Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Public Relations
Immediate Past President
Club Administration
Club Service
The Rotary Foundation

Whitney Hadanek - May 4

Don Mitchell - May 12

Lynn Sperry - May 17

Olivia Starks - May 25

Julie Webb - May 29

Dyann Chenault - Jun 10

Skip Heavener - Jun 13

Bob Gifford - Jun 15

Dave Bly - Jun 20

Bob McFeeter - Jun 25

Rotary membership gives men and women an opportunity to forge new friendships and share the rewards of helping others through volunteer service.