Speakers
Larry Jackson
Jul 24, 2019 7:00 AM
Interact Club's visit to Cuba
Pending
Jul 31, 2019
Thomas flint/Harbor Country Rotary
Aug 07, 2019
Chickaming Open Lands
 
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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
Map          
Write to us at:
Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary
PO Box 1552
Benton Harbor. MI 49023-1552
 
Meeting Presentations and Stories
Mary Jo Schnell is the executive director of the OutCenter in Benton Harbor, a 501c(3) non-profit organization, partially funded by United Way. The organization serves the LGBTQ+ community, helping to make the community more inclusive for kids, families, employers and employees. The OutCenter offers a drop-in location that is safe and welcoming, with computer lab, library and referrals to services.  Confidential counseling by professional staff or religious leaders are also available.  Programs include Teen Pride Alliance, LGBTQ+ Safe Schools Collaborative, and Advocacy and Education services. Its legislative priority is to protect the LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination by expanding the current law to include them.  For more information click here or call 269.925.8330.
The club held it's first "Lift a Pint for Rotary" event at the Livery in Benton Harbor. Shown, from left and Kyra and Marcy alongside the information display prepared for the event to tell the Rotary story to friends and visitors.  The 6360 District Governor Marjorie Haas was on hand to meet and greet club members and guests. When you combine the fellowship, the drawings and prizes, the pizza and  pints, the funds raised for our projects, the evening was a great success. Farai received an American Flag to celebrate his recent citizenship.  Thanks to president Cindy Kinney and all her helpers for making the event a success.
 
District Governor Marjorie Haas is shown taking a photo of the rapidly disappearing pizza and beverages. Afterward she shared her comments about the night. 
"Just a quick note to thank you for inviting me to your "Lift a Pint for Rotary" event last night.  I enjoyed meeting you and listening to you.  Congratulations on your trip to Cuba and on Faral becoming a citizen of USA!  Your Public Image display board and website are exceptional.  Your club has a lot going [on]. "
Steven Pierangeli, chief assistant prosecutor for Berrien County, returned to Rotary to the rest of his story.  In May his primary topic was Sexting. This time he focused on Cyberbulling crimes which have three laws with escalating penalties. The first is just bullying. Second is "stalking", which is un-consented contact. Physical threats also fall under this area.  And finally there are acts of terrorism which included threats of violence, especially toward schools - a 20 year felony.
   Steve also discussed the attorney general's efforts to protect kids from abuse.  The state offers an anonymous tip line via a new app called OK2Say.
His suggested starting questions are:
  • What are your favorite websites?  Have you seen objectionable pop  ups?
  • Who are texting with?
  • May I look at your feed?
  • How do you choose which people to accept as friends??
  • What personal info do you share?
He also recommends you maintain access to your children's web activities; no secret passwords or lockouts.
Some teens are sending nude selfies to their boyfriends, expecting it to be private.  But, it often happens that the photo or video will be quickly shared with a wide circle of associates.  This can be devastating.  It's a crime for someone to ask you for a inappropriate photo, punishable by up to 20 years and/or $100.000 in fines.
 
For more tips go to
 
   www.kidsmartz.org/ParentTips
 
and www.netsmartz.org.
Farai announced to the club that he completed all the requirements and was recently sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America.  Congratulations Farai!!
Sarah Bischoff, left, staff specialist and Kathleen McCourt, second grade teacher, report that the year-long pilot project was a great success.  Each student had their own Kindle that had content managed by Sarah and Kathleen. They found that the Reading A-Z app was the perfect solution for managing the books they wanted the kids to read. The Kindles went home with the students but were also used in the classroom to add books and other apps. Parental controls limited usage. The testing at the end of the year demonstrated reading growth that exceeded standards and expectations.  The tablets were given to the students at the end of the school year for their personal use. The project was partially funded by a District 6360 matching grant.
 
The wall was filled with ideas about changes the club could consider to close its deficit for breakfast meals. President-elect Cindy Kinney will collect the input and recommend changes for the future.  Thanks to Cindy, Michael Mason and Brian Saxton for organizing the session.
The club was presented with an award for its work for Polio Plus.  Jim Smith shows the award to Alice Ford.  Alice has lead many projects to raise funds for Polio.  The club uses the first meeting 50/50, speakers awards and other avenues to provide fund to eradicate polio.  This fiscal year we donated $2,050 dollars to The Rotary Foundation for Polio Plus.
This week we watched an discussed a TED talk by Reshma Saujanic, founder of Girls Who Code. She contends most parents raise their girls to be perfectionists and their boys to be brave.  This conditioning makes girls overly cautious.  She stated Girls Who Code to over come the conditioning. The 12 minute video is below and available here.
 
 
 
The club gathered at the Hawks Nest in Benton Harbor for fellowship and brief updates on various topics. 
  • Bryan Tutton reported the Bed Race plans are moving forward.  He also pointed to the flowers around town.  This is the result of Bryan's work with local business and the First Church of God.  Bryan also mentions tilling five gardens around time.
  • Dave Bly reported the fundraising events are on track for the fall.  Sponsors will be asked to shift their support from the 5K to other events. Dave also reported that the club's foundation will review grant applications next week. 
  • Larry Jackson will lead four Interact students to Cuba in June.
  • Finally, Dave Krieger has completed two grant applications for next year; one for t-shirts for Interact and Books and Tablets for Kids.
  • Photo by CIndy Kinney, president-elect.
Dyann Chenault, in her role as assistant governor, presents Bob Elliott with the 2018-2019 Hero Award from District 6360.  The club's citation was: "Bob Elliott has been an active member of our club since 2005 and served several years as treasurer. He recently made a transition to bookkeeper supporting the new treasurer. This new alignment provides separation of duties and better financial controls and accountability. Bob also provides the “glue” for the club members with weekly newsletters, posting summaries of presentations, and instructing new members on use of our club’s website. He organized and initiated two district grants for literacy and park maintenance projects. Bob also built and maintains a dedicated website to support our three annual fundraising events. Not only that, he has had perfect attendance for at least two years. Bob is a true Rotarian!" Congratulations Bob.
Steven Pierangeli, chief assistant prosecutor for Berrien County, stopped by Rotary to provide messages that he has been delivering around the community.  His two primary topics were Sexting and Cyberbullying. First, he said sexting involves send photos and videos over the internet.  He suggest parents start a conversation with those who have access to phones with texting capabilities. 
His suggested starting questions are:
  • What are your favorite websites?  Have you seen objectionable pop  ups?
  • Who are texting with?
  • May I look at your feed?
  • How do you choose which people to accept as friends??
  • What personal info do you share?
He also recommends you maintain access to your children's web activities; no secret passwords or lockouts.
Some teens are sending nude selfies to their boyfriends, expecting it to be private.  But, it often happens that the photo or video will be quickly shared with a wide circle of associates.  This can be devastating.  It's a crime for someone to ask you for a inappropriate photo, punishable by up to 20 years and/or $100.000 in fines.
 
Cyberbullying, i.e., sending threats over the internet, was recently made a crime in Michigan.
 
For more tips go to
 
   www.kidsmartz.org/ParentTips
 
and www.netsmartz.org.
 
Larry Jackson is shown holding the charter for the Benton Harbor High School Interact Club. Sarah Stocker, left, and Felicia Smith, are part of the Interact team leadership. The certificate had gone into a black hole for several months, but now the club is official, just in time for the students trip to Cuba.  Congratulations to Larry and his team.
Our own Lee Scherwitz was on deck to provide Lest We Forget’s plan for June 22 and 23, 2019. This year’s theme is Anchors Away - a look at the US navy's role in combat. Displays will present the three navy ships on permanent exhibit in Muskegon and Bay City. Beach landings, boat rides and helicopter rides will be available.  There is a great slate of speakers on both days. Saturday night will end with a FREE outdoor concert by The Fortunate Sons, a Credence Clearwater Revival tribute band.
 
All events will be held on the parcel on St. Joseph River just west of M-63.  Just take M-63 north from St. Joe and exit for Witwam Drive, then turn left at the bottom of the ramp. Parking is at the same location.
 
For schedule information and speakers list go here.
Our member, Farai Rukunda, started Living Beyond Hope, a 501c(3), to support improvement activities in his home village of Arnoldine Zimbabwe. In this week’s update he reported the new school was completed and dedicated on April 23, 2019. School test scores are also improving as a result of donated desks and books.  Six students will receive scholarships to attend high school.  The community also wanted to reward the teachers by providing housing nearby.  Farai highlighted the contributions by the village residents, preparing the ground, making bricks and building the structures.
Brain Sexton joined in for a brief discussion of a global grant to start egg production to provide jobs and income.  District and RI matching grants of $3 or $4 to 1 might be available. The project has the club’s support. Brian will be forming a committee to help produce all the materials that the grant application requires.  If you are interested, contact Brian or Farai.
 
Sunrise Rotarians used these mountains of playground mulch to return the park to a safer area for neighboring children. Special thanks to Mike Kinney for prepping the site and Lee Scherwitz for his outstanding work with a small front loader. This maintenance was made possible by a Rotary District 6360 matching grant.
 
Tara Gillette, marketing specialist for Region IV Area Agency on Aging. Tara graphically shared some interesting facts about "aging" and reviewed some of the many services offered by her agency. She also talked about their new "campus", created with the purchase of the Honor Credit Union.  The new space will let the organization spread out and provide permanent locations for some of their services, which are l are itemized below

Information & Assistance on such topics as in-home care, Medicare/Medicaid, insurance, housing, meals, transportation and more. Info-line 800.654.2810.

Care Management programs which offer families effective home-based alternatives for people who need help.

Caregiver Education & Support providing outreach, resources, training, and education about caregiving, aging, and available services.

Computer Learning via the SeniorNet program which teaches people aged 50 and older computer skills to enhance their lives.

Senior Volunteers whose programs help children and other seniors in their communities. Grandparents and other relatives raising children receive support.
 
Senior Employment program provides high quality job training and employment assistance for senior job seekers.

Advocacy on public policy issues affecting seniors and persons with disabilities.

Community Planning, Development, & Funding for programs which help seniors and persons with disabilities remain independent, and support caregivers.

...and more. The Agency on Aging works to assure the highest quality or life for older persons through a person-centered approach to service delivery, information provision, and advocacy.

The foregoing information was provided in a brochure distributed at our Rotary meeting.

You can learn more by calling the Area Agency on Aging at 800.654.2810 or on the web at www.areaagencyonaging.org.




 
 
Benton Harbor High School's Robotics team members - the Tech Tigers - were up early to tell Rotary about their recent experience at the Gull Lake First Robotics competition. The team is shown in front of a banner declaring them the Chairman's Award winner for the 2019 Gull Lake District.  The award cited the team's efforts to "Transform the culture of their community in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect & honor for science and technology". The team was recognized for its efforts in health and safety. The Tech Tigers are only the second team from SWMI to win the award.  The award automatically qualifies the team for the next round of competition.  Shown above on left of banner are Amiya, co-captain Deyisha, coach Delbert Patterson, and co-captain Tamia; on the right, the back row, from left, Coach Shannon Harris, Gerson, Daniel, and lead mentor Joseph Taylor, in front are Karl, Kenneth and Antwon.  Not shown is Jacobia. The team thanked Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary for being a sponsor.
CircEsteem, a program using circus apparatus, has been improving the lives of young people in Chicago for 19 years.  Now Dottie Gietler, youth leadership director for Ghostlight Theatre, announced today that a CircEsteem Summer Camp will be offered in two weeks in June 2019.  Campers, ages 6-16, will be given opportunities to learn a variety of circus activities.  See the short video below for an introduction.
The video is also available at https://youtu.be/5EHj-1LulDk
 
The camp is one or two weeks, June 17-21 and June 24-28, 9 am to 4 pm, with a public performance at the end of each week.  The camp costs $250 each week, free transportation is available on request.  To learn more, donate or volunteer, go to www.ghostlightbh.com
 
Martha "Martie" Hesse is the executive director of The Ghostlight Theatre. She has been working for the past 18 months to establish her 501c3, purchasing a building at 101 Hinkley in the Arts District of Benton Harbor, connected to the local arts community, especially Paul Mow, music director of Twin City Players. After acquiring a matching grant of $50,000 from Michigan Economic Development, she raise $100,000 from local enthusiasts and businesses. A full slate of shows have been planned for this summer, starting with Bridges of Madison County opening June 13, 2019. There are tons of opportunities to participate, volunteer, donate, buy a seat with your name on it, etc.  For the other shows for summer 2019 and more information click here.  Martie explained that the ghostlight is the light left on so the theatre would not be completely dark.
Patti Masters is the Early Head Start Administrator for Tri-County Head Start, serving Berrein, Cass and Van Buren counties.  The organization takes a "whole family" approach when dealing with clients. Interviews with clients can lead to a wide range of services such as, safe sleep information, prenatal care, and referral to other agencies.  Home visits address toddlers with older children attending centers four days per week. Family members are incorporated into activities to avoid the agency being used as a babysitter. Preparing each child for the next step, preschool or kindergarten is the primary objective.There are qualifying factors but no fees. Volunteers are welcome.  Click here to  volunteer, learn more or donate.
Our club partnered with Countryside Academy to pilot the Reading Now program for reading improvement. One element is the library-in-the-classroom which provides an extensive selection of books right in the classroom.  The teacher reports: "The majority of my classroom groups are extremely engaged in the books. For example, this week one group is reading Don't Let Pigeon Drive the Bus! This book is not only award winning (Caldecott Honor) and great for practice with reading expression, but it’s highly engaging! All kids love the pigeon books." We'll have to wait for end of year testing to see if this interest turns into students ready for third grade.
At the first meeting of the year the new foundation directors elected the following officers for 2019.
Dave Bly - president
Mel Burton - vice-president
Barbara Starke - treasurer
Ellen Russell - secretary
Their terms are the calendar year.
The other directors are Alice Ford, Mike Kinney and Larry Jackson.
Thanks for your willingness to serve our organization and the community.
 
 
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 of America
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News

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.