Harpoon – July 5, 2017

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Harpoon for the Week of July 5, 2017

Wednesday’s Luncheon Meeting will be in the
Michigan Union’s Anderson Room

Possible Spam email to Members
A message with the subject line: “Rotary Club of Ann Arbor Member Notice” is not from Rotary. Please ignore or delete
Dues Due by July 15
Notes from the June 22 Board Meeting

John Ackenhusen
Reset and Re-Engage: Achieving “Service Above Self” by “Fun Through Service”

As he assumes the presidency of The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor in July, 2017, John Ackenhusen plans to focus on:

  1. Increasing membership engagement through exciting and diverse meetings and service opportunities;
  2. Enabling the particular passions of each member for service, by learning of those passions and mapping them to Rotary needs; and
  3. Sustaining the charitable finances of our club by increasing the club endowment to cause it to contribute more to our projects and by increasing our support of the Rotary Foundation.
Song Leader:  Downs Herold
Accompanist:  Joanie Knoertzer
Inspirational Speaker: Art Holst
Greeters:  Tom Wright  & JoAnn Barrett

Attendance:  Rob VanRenterghem & Mary Avrakotos

Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • July l5 (Sat): Rotary Leadership Institute training seminar, Holiday Inn, 3600 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, $84. Contact Dan Romanchik or visit rligreatlakes.org for more info.
  • August 24 (Thurs): Rollin’ on the Detroit River (see article below)
  • Sept 11 (Mon):  Golf & Tennis Outing, Travis Pointe Country Club
  • Sept 17 (Sun): Playscape Grand Opening, Chuck Blackmer
  • Sept 23 (Sat): One Rotary Summit in Troy (details later at www.rotary6380.org)
  • Oct 11 (Wed): New member induction and orientation

If you would like  your meeting to appear here, email a2harpoon@umich.edu.
Details on monthly meetings may be found on the club’s website.


Notes of Interest

Dues Due by July 15:
On Monday, June 26, club members should have received an email with the dues bill for the 2017-2018 Rotary year. It starts July 1. The amounts for Active members are based on age as of July 1, 2017. Members between 40 and 69 years owe $350. Members 70 and over owe $320. Dues for members who have not reached their 40th birthday are $200. Emeritus members pay $160. Members-elect owe nothing now but will begin paying dues on a pro-rated basis upon their induction. Honorary members and Inactive Emeritus members are exempt from dues. Questions about your bill? Contact Dave Keosaian. If you are an Ann Arbor Rotarian and did not receive the email, contact John White. Thanks to those who have already paid.
Highlights from the June 22 Board Meeting
The Board of Director’s Meeting was held Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the United Way Building. Here are some highlights:
  1. The Club’s active membership on May 31 was 320 Active Members plus six Honorary members and eight Inactive Emeriti.
  2. The Club’s attendance for April’s four meetings was 35%. The average attendance was 99 members and our engagement ratio was 70%.
  3. The Club’s Endowment Investment market value was $1,917,177.27.

To read a more complete summary, click here.



Does your committee need some help? Let us list it here. Send your listing to Dan Romanchik, dan@danromanchik.com.

  • Harpoon Staff
    One or more volunteers are sought to assemble the Harpoon template each Friday.  It takes an hour or so of easy work.  This draft is then provided to others who actually format it and post it on the website.  Agnes Reading has been doing this invaluable function for several  years, and she needs a break.  Contact Agnes for more information.

Notes from the Meeting

The Anderson Room was packed as members and guests looked forward to the joyous proceedings of a presidential transition. President Collyer knouted the bell for the last time, a broad smile on his face. Everyone sang out “God Bless America” to the max to Joan Knoertzer’s accompaniment. With his usual friendly nod, Collyer called for the Inspiration, which Ed Hoffman came up to give: “Transition – our annual celebration of where we’ve come; in this case through the thoughtful and steady leadership of one great member, Collyer Smith, and of the promise of future accomplishments under his successor, John Ackenhusen.” Weaving in our speaker’s subject, music, at the end, Ed declared, “the magnum opus of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club is nowhere near complete.”
Past President Ingrid Sheldon joined Joanie to lead the assembly in singing two beloved Rotary anthems, “The 4-Way Test” and “R-O-T-A-R-Y.” Your reporter, scanning the room, thought of the impression being made on all the visiting Rotarians and guests. It must have been immense.
From the podium Collyer declared: “What a beautiful day for a presidential transition!” Then, fixing on a smiling Ken Fischer, he admitted, “I’m looking forward to adopting Ken’s wardrobe after today.” [Note: True to his word, three hours later Collyer could be seen at The Session Room donning a light knit sweater, cradling a beer lovingly in his hand.] Really, one would think the completion of a Rotary presidency is the equivalent of Papillon’s jump to freedom from island imprisonment.
Collyer went on to highlight achievements during his term. In typical fashion, however, he focused on their fruition as the result of others’ work. “Was I the only one to get goose bumps when the kids got their STRIVE awards…kids who started with Ds and Fs being inspired to earn As!” He then touched on Rotaract: “Under the leadership of Kelly Hall, who was just amazing…DG Michael Angelo Caruso asked, no, demanded that the Rotaractors come to the district conference on Mackinac Island and address more than 50 Rotary clubs. We have a really great future with our youth!” Right on. He concluded by citing with evident pride the Universal Access Playground, which will open to the public by the end of July: “What Joe Fitzsimmons and his team did – getting one million dollars – is amazing.” The grand opening, of course, occurs September 17. Save THAT date! Collyer then affirmed emotionally, “Ladies and gentlemen, it has been a privilege to serve as your president.” Thus ended his distinguished term of leadership. Not quite–
Two men and a shirt
Then came the beloved tradition of AARC past presidents (14 of them, in this case) coming to the podium to thank the outgoing leader and to congratulate the new.
From some hallowed place a distinctive garment appeared; “the Presidential Mantle of Leadership,” Collyer announced with a solemnity worthy of the royal regalia of Britain. He then recounted to the assembly the relic’s mysterious odyssey from the court of Kublai Khan (just joking), no, from a Rotary Hawaiian jaunt long past, to its annual manifestation in the Anderson Room. To nobody’s surprise but Collyer’s it was revealed that the shirt, tunic, jacket, whatever, has never been washed. “This shirt represents solidarity,” Collyer declared, “that we do everything we can to meet our goals.” New president John Ackenhusen then helped Collyer on with the shirt.
At this point your reporter earnestly hoped that John would, prior to placing it on Collyer, demonstrate that it can indeed stand on its own. John affirmed with obvious gravitas, “In honor of this shirt, I would like to dedicate it to Collyer, from whom I received it,” to which Collyer replied, “I don this coat, unwashed for many years.” John then bestowed gifts: “Here is a mounted gavel on a plaque, and a box that it can be carried in.” Regally trussed, our now-Immediate Past President waved, shook everyone’s hand, and gave the podium to John with moist eyes.
Tom Loncaric Jazzes it Up
President John’s first act was to introduce our speaker, the distinguished musician Tom Loncaric. “Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Tom came to Ann Arbor in 1982, attended the University of Michigan. He has performed in Flint, with Little Anthony and the Imperials, and with many other luminaries.” John cited Tom’s virtuosity on piano, guitar and keyboard. “I met Tom at the Zal Gaz Grotto. Watch his performance on You-Tube, at ‘easyfourboogie,’” John urged. “Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Tom Loncaric!”
“What a privilege to address you today!” John declared unabashedly. “I was intrigued when John asked me to speak about jazz, the diverse nature of it. That’s what I’m going to focus on.” First, though, Tom pulled out a 1940 Britannica volume and read the opening sentences of its description of Jazz.  “Now I’m going to play ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ and make comments as I go.” What followed was a fantastic rendition of the Scott Joplin classic, after which Tom explained the meaning of ‘Ragtime’ – “It means ragged time; the right hand [playing] isn’t regular.” Tom said of Joplin, a genuine innovator: “He is one of America’s greatest composers.”
Next came John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” After the applause subsided, Tom remarked of America’s National March: “Nobody would ever think that that’s jazz [because] it’s a march, right? Once again, the right hand is not regular – it’s ragged time underlying the march.” In regard to Sousa’s possible influences for “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Tom proposed North African.
Tom then played a rousing “St. Louis Blues” – “Until the Beatles era, the biggest-selling piece in the U.S.,” he explained. “Every artist in the country did covers of it.” Then a real treat: a comparison Liszt’s “Liebestraume” (1850) with James P. Johnson’s “Charleston,” the romping jazz-age standard: “[Johnson] took a melody that was a very familiar parlor chord progression, then put a jagged melody into it. The ‘Charleston’ is really ‘Liebestraume’ in disguise.” Tom then played Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” with its “Eastern European sound, making it one of the biggest songs of the twentieth century…Later jazz musicians like Charlie Parker, the saxophonist, were influenced by ‘I Got Rhythm.’” After playing Gershwin Tom jumped to Fats Waller: “He was so brilliant. He studied at Juillard and brought church music into jazz,” Tom noted. The room exploded in applause after he played “Ain’t Misbehavin’” but clearly wanted more. Al Storey remarked, somewhat challengingly: “Somehow we have to have some kind of an encore,” which generated huge laughter – and agreement. In answer to a question from the audience, “Who was the greatest person in jazz?,” Tom admitted that he thought Louis Armstrong could be the top dog. “Armstrong showed trumpet players that the high note could be hit.” Whatever the outcome of that, one thing was sure — the high note had been hit by Tom Loncaric in the Anderson Room, and everybody knew it.
John thanked Tom warmly, then adjourned the meeting with a salient quote by Abraham Lincoln: “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet.” Upon being reminded, he wacked the Rotary Bell for the first time.
“Be The difference that makes a difference.” – Nagaraja Rao
Notes by Ed Hoffmann, Photos by Fred Beutler

Meeting Statistics
A total of 99 Ann Arbor Rotarians witnessed the changing of the guard and learned about jazz from Tom Loncaric. We also had two Members-elect (Joe Diederich and Marcia Lane). We were honored with the presence of two Visiting Rotarians (Kat Forsyth of Sausalito CA and Ashley Plichta of Battle Creek). We also had five guests. Just before lunch, fifteen Rotarians of the Social and Membership Committees met. Also reported were several off-site meetings of incoming club leadership, Membership and Service Above Self committees and club leadership.
Makeup Cards for Roving Rotarians
None this week.
Rollin’ Down the (Detroit) River with Rotary
Save the date for this special event! District 6380 Rotarians will be “Rollin’ Down the River with Rotary” in celebration of 30 years of women in Rotary. This dinner cruise will be on the Detroit Princess on Thursday, August 24 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Details and registration information will be coming soon.


  • July 6: Silvia Pedraza, Bob Swistock
  • July 7: JoAnn Barrett
  • July 8: Lolita Nunn
  • July 9: Jack Henke, Missy Stricherz
  • July 10: Scott Westerman
  • July 11: Terry Foster

Websites of interest to Rotarians

Rotary International: The RI home page has links to About Rotary, The Rotary Foundation, Club Locator and Member Access. Our Club is in Zone 29. The zone has 17 districts and covers portions of Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario.

District 6380. Our district’s website includes 51 clubs in the counties of Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland and Macomb in Michigan and Kent in Ontario. The district’s monthly newsletter and articles of district-wide interest are posted there.

Rotary Club of Ann Arbor: Our Club’s website provides background material and information including the current Annual Report, Active Framework (aka Strategic Plan), New Member Nomination Form, Committee Descriptions, Club and Golf Outing brochures, synopses of upcoming programs and an archive of Harpoons. Find us on Facebook.

Submit news, committee meetings, and announcements to the Harpoon, the newsletter of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. Contact the Club to subscribe by email.

Our Club also sponsors the following Rotaract and Interact Clubs:

U-M Rotaract Club

Huron High Interact Club

Pioneer High Interact Club

“Rotary Serving Humanity”