Battle of the Bayou 2021
It's that time of year again! 
Last Weeks Speaker
Good Afternoon  All:   Below is my Scribes Report for the Sept. 17 meeting at our noon SL Rotary luncheon.   The District Governor, Gary Chenoweth, was present for the annual address to our Rotary Club, speaking also for RI President Shektar Mehta.  If you care about the current year efforts of RI Pres Mehta, please read your RI Mag for July and you will not only enjoy the more productive format, but the enlightening reports on the focus of our July 1 new year.   Before the presentation by our DG Chenoweth, we were advised of some of the projects SL Rotary is focused upon:   Ernie Petrus reported on the PO RIVER Project.  That is an outreach facility operating about 4+ hours from any other community in Liberia, providing medical and education services to local residents.   We helped with weatherproofing part of the building, providing some air conditioning equipment for an otherwise steamy operatory and medicine storage room, and now we need to see to the replacement of a vehicle.   The old equipment has worn out, and a new vehicle for medical and supply transport costs about  US $48,000.  
The combined efforts of area Rotary Clubs is to raise in the next few weeks $15,000 toward the vehicle cost, and to seek matching funds from RI and the District, to reach the needs of the PO River Clinic to buy the new vehicle.   A check, or billing instructions to Lisa Ashcraft, with payment to WEHOP (a charity for Rotary projects) will move things along fast.
The Battle of the Bayous between Fruitport and Spring Lake football teams, where money is being raised by the High School Interact Clubs, was double successful.  SL won a hard fought and close football game by 3 points, and Tracy Straight and Jeff Clark reported that nearly $10,000 was fund raised for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and a special needs piece of equipment.  Our Ed Grafton was recognized for initiating the Battle of the Bayous competition between the two schools, and having a positive engagement of young high schoolers and their followers to raise funds for the Hospital.
Which got us to the program:   DG Gary Chenoweth is from Elk Rapids, which is his and his lovely wife Mary’s retirement home for the past 8 years.   Prior to that time the Purdue Grads lived in Indiana, and the DG worked for a large (say really large) grain processing business that has facilities around the Midwest.   Having some background knowledge of his business, he learned early on to not accept “NO” as an answer and developed a salesman’s thick skin to be able to aim at the target and not quit after a miss.   He became very involved in his Elk Rapids local club and District 6290 efforts to defeat Polio.   RI, and our Districts and Clubs, have partnered with the Gates Foundation and others to try to eradicate Polio.   The efforts go on, and that is still one of the main programs of RI in some middle eastern countries and areas of Africa.  Until Polio is eradicated, all young people in those areas of the world need to continue to be vaccinated. 
The message from RI Pres. Mehta is to grow Membership, pursue Education for the illiterate, and to gain Literacy for young people.   Each month Pres. Mehta has a new focus of effort.   He has, however, led a program in India, with the blessing of its government, to achieve literacy for its young people.   Over 14 million youngsters in India who were not able to read previously, are now literate, which leads to a total new situation for their society.   There are over 400 Million young people in India, (under age 16) and within the next few years it is hoped that the efforts to teach reading to them will result in over 25% becoming literate, which would not have been the case 10 years ago.  India has a caste society, and including young men and women in the literacy effort will enable the newly literate to pursue the life of their choices.
The additional message of Pres. Metha is that without growth in RI membership, in all member countries, there could be a material lessening of the opportunity to provide Service to others.   Examples of diminished ability to serve are evidenced by the material loss of membership (over 50%) of Lions Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Optimist Clubs, and even our Rotary District 6290 where the member census is down 175, and the closing of the Manistee Rotary Club.   The goal of DG Chenoweth, and RI Pres. Mehta, is to have each current member of Rotary bring another possible member to a meeting, a local club event, and to show the guest what activities the local club participates in.   There is a need to continue local club activities, with joint ventures involving other local clubs.   The designated Muskegon River Region of District 6290 includes the Muskegon, Spring Lake, Grand Haven, Allendale and Coopersville local clubs.   This group is already functioning as mentioned above for securing funding for a vehicle to use at the PO River Clinic in Liberia.  Also, Kim Blum, an Ass’t DG from the Allendale Club, is ready to help with arranging joint venture projects for these Muskegon River Region of our District. 
DG Chenoweth and ADG Blum noted that there appears to be opportunities with water quality, environmental and health related projects for joint venture efforts of our area clubs.   Another favorite theme for RI Pres. Mehta is the DEI Emphasis, on Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion.   This translates to including all different backgrounds of people, including ethnic, racial, religious, and origin, along with inviting anyone who ascribes to the 4 way test, is ethically sound, and able to fulfil the RI membership requirements to be actively pursued for Membership.   One simple example, but effective for Environmental stewardship by Rotarians, was to organize shoreline and creeks and river cleanups, similar to what we do with Highways.   That could be a joint venture with any number of the nearby clubs.   Perhaps in consort with Friends of Ottawa County Parks, of which this scribe just became a Board Member….
The other encouragement provided by DG Chenoweth was to see if our club would like to participate in a June, 2022 Jump-Off with volunteer sky divers signing up sponsors with the funds going to help fund Polio Plus.   His vision, and probably a good one, was to have a District Wide event, probably centered at the Grand Haven Airport, where up to 6 tandem (12 for the math folks) can sky dive at one time and the 57 local clubs could take off with 10 different flights, 6 jumps at a time, to perhaps set a sequential record (of sorts) where there would be national coverage of the event.   Sounds like fun, and a better way to go than waiting for the sky to fall…Again, a good thought and something to set our fund raising and club participation efforts.   FYI, when I was a younger Rotarian, going on 46 years ago, we started our first club fund raiser.   It was an industrial garage sale where members were able to donate their leftover or unused and unsold inventory, which was then sold to the general public.   We raised about $2000 in our first year effort, selling nursery plants, office panels, spools of colored wire, some yard maintenance products, stainless steel fishing table parts, etc.   That eventually transformed into raffle ticket sales, silent auction events, Las Vegas events, the Winter skate and tent events, and now perhaps some additional ventures (diving out of a plane??) all to raise funds for Service to our Community and World.
The final bit of encouragement from DG Chenoweth was announcing that RI is finally going to provide Internet Training for club members by online programming for Incoming Officers, and future service opportunities.   Elk Rapids has a fund raiser that involves older Rotarians that simply sit in a rocking chair, rocking away their day, with side bets on how long the member can keep rockin!!   Ludington has a trailer set up to make Elephant Ears at fairs, performance venues, etc.  Not for the winter, but for summer events, so everyone stays warm!   The club makes about $5000 from every event, with just enough events annually to keep everyone excited.   Can you imagine what we could do at the new Park in SL?? We could even offer a healthy menu item like Orange Juice and Walnuts with Yogurt!!
Our DG fulfilled his mission to give a message to us from RI Pres. Mehta, encouraging words to continue our Service above Self, and a plan to overcome membership losses with involvement in Club activities.   Thanks to our leaders, and all of our Members!   
Your Scribe,   Tom Boven
Author's Bulletin Extra!
This week's snippet - Learning from your elders is a valuable method of improving yourself - my Grandmother passed away last Monday, and this last weekend our family reminisced about all of the things she taught us.  I suppose the real takeaway for me is that, in looking back, I've realized I should try to enjoy these opportunities and moments more often in life - not just when life forces me to take pause.  Who can you learn from today? 
This weeks joke -  "I'm sorry" and "my bad" mean the same thing....unless you're at a funeral!
Upcoming Speaker
Speaker DateTopic
Spring Lake Interact StudentsSeptember 24, 20212021 Life Leadership Conference report
Jeff ClarkOctober 1, 2021Movement and mental health
Erin and StaceyOctober 8, 2021Soup for All
Robert LopezOctober 15, 2021Lilly Mansion tour/box lunch
JT Hogan SLHS ADOctober 22, 2021SL Fall Sports updates
Dave LorenzOctober 29, 2021Pure Michigan
Rotary Merchandise
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
James Bos
September 7
Bradley Bench
September 14
Morgan Rescorla
September 17
Ed Grafton
September 27
Spouse Birthdays
Mary Cotterall
September 3
Leif VanHorssen
September 4
Rick Behm lll
September 25
Bill Burns
September 28
Barry Kram
Bronwen Kram
September 9
Jess Garrison
Skylar Garrison
September 9
Leon Stille
Dzintra Stille
September 16
Chris Burns
Bill Burns
September 22
Sue Zwart
September 27
Join Date
Pete Sherwood
September 3, 1971
50 years
Kevin Green
September 10, 2009
12 years
Jason Kik
September 18, 2015
6 years
Mac MacLachlan
September 18, 1987
34 years
Bernie Wade
September 20, 1996
25 years
Craig Sytsema
September 20, 2013
8 years
Tom Boven
September 29, 1972
49 years
Russell Hampton
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