Harpoon – June 28, 2017

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Harpoon for the Week of June 28, 2017

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

Succession of Leadership:  Witness Collyer Bid Farewell and John Ackenhusen Assume the Presidency

2017-2018 Dues Bills Coming Soon by email

Golf & Tennis Outing Committee Still Seeking Volunteers

Program: Early 20th-Century Jazz Music: America’s Cultural Treasure

Local musician and educator Tom Loncaric will present a brief overview of pre 1950s jazz music. Innovated on American soil, composed of elements from all over the world, jazz is one of America’s greatest artistic achievements. Although its roots are in danger of being forgotten by modern society, early jazz continues to influence the music of today, and still possesses the ability to move people with its rich and vibrant spirit.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Tom Loncaric came to Ann Arbor in 1982 to attend the University of Michigan. In 1986 he began teaching private music lessons and has been serving the local community’s music needs ever since, sharing his experience with piano, guitar and electronic keyboards.

Tom has managed the local business Herb David Guitar Studio and taught at Washtenaw Community College. He continues to be busy performing on stage with a wide variety of artists. Among the notables that Tom has backed include Allen Ginsberg, Michael Feinstein, and many “Oldies” singers including Little Anthony and the Imperials, Shirley Alston Reeves and Lou Christie.  Upcoming performances include:

  • July 4 – Atwood Stadium, Flint, MI. with the Flint Symphony Orchestra  (pop concert of patriotic and Star Wars themed music)
  • July 11 – Zal Gaz Grotto, Ann Arbor with the Easy Street Jazz Band (trad Jazz)
  • July 22 – Dearborn Center for the Performing Arts – with the Stylistics and Shades of Blue (oldies and soul)
  • August 5 – Maumee Indoor Theater – with the Crystals and Shades of Blue (oldies)Early
Song Leader:  Ingrid Sheldon
Accompanist:  Joan Knoertzner
Inspirational Speaker: Ed Hoffman
Greeters:  Al Storey, Norman Herbert

Attendance:  Rick Taylor, Laura Thomas

Upcoming Meetings and Events

11:00 a.m., Social Committee, Susan Smith-Gray

5:30 p.m., Rotary Happy Hour, The Session Room, 3685 Jackson Road

5:30 p.m.: Meet the District Governor evening in Blenheim, Ontario, www.rotary6380.org/Events for more info

Farther Out:
  • 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.
  • July 19: No Rotary Meeting. Enjoy the Art Fair
  • 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

Come one, come all!   Golf & Tennis Outing Committee 

Join in the fun of creating the Wow Factor of the 15th Annual Golf & Tennis Outing to be held on September 11th at the Travis Pointe Country Club.   As a part of our Club’s major annual fundraiser, you will be helping to build our Club’s main source of funding to support our commitment to our Community Service programs.

Here are some volunteer opportunities to consider.  Many are short term, even needing you only on September 11!

Fundraising – join the fundraising committee to assist with solicitation of sponsors for the event.

Auction – Request items; Gather donor information; Package items; Prepare bid sheets.

Auction Event Set Up – Gather items to create attractive displays at the event.  Help with Day of set up.

Auction check out – help at check-out table.

Raffles – Assist with Item management – Gather items. How to raffle? Marketing Slides and write up for meeting presentations.  Signs for Raffle Item Displays at event.  Pre-event and day of sales.

Parties and Pies – assist in creating the parties.  Marketing at meeting and in Harpoon.  Signs for day of and sign-up sheets.

Registration at Golf – Assist with set up, check in process, sell side games, hole in one spotters.

Registration Table at Dinner – volunteers to welcome guests, provide bidder numbers, catalogs, register walk in guests.

Photography – Day of: travel the course, and tennis and dinner event to take photos of the guests.

We look forward to your creative ideas and support to make the September 11th 2017 event a success.

For further info contact John Simpkins, Committee Chair:  johnrsimpkins@gmail.com


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

Conversation was brimming and ebullient at the tables in the Anderson Room Wednesday; perhaps a result of the fine weather, but certainly a reflection of the enthusiasm for our speaker. Even the ring of the Rotary bell, struck by President Collyer, failed to sever the conversation as the laughter and smiles lingered on faces well into “God Bless America.” Norma Sarkar came to the podium and delivered a wonderful Inspiration. Part JFK (“Peace is a daily, weekly, monthly process”), and part a very moving reading of Jim Hullihan’s “Broken Wing – Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover,” the story of a young man named T.J. Ware, Norma’s words put everyone in the right frame of mind.

And elevating that mindset to new heights with music were that

inimitable pair, Jim Irwin and Deanna Relyea. But first, a joke. Proving that a well crafted build-up can never outrun its supply train to the punch-line finish, Jim’s monologue made early-bird Floridians of us all, with laughter flowing into the song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” to Jim’s lyrics “Let’s Start it with Ro-ta-ry.” Deanna’s beautiful piano pealed through the room as Jim stoked the furnace of enthusiasm, converting the Anderson Room into a tent revival of Rotary conviviality.

Collyer returned to welcome all Rotarians and guests, and there quite a number of them. Then John Simpkins made an appeal on behalf of the Golf & Tennis Outing Committee: “The G&TO is our largest social gathering and fund raiser. Please consider participating.” Openings exist for players, and there are plenty of spots for volunteer helpers. And yes, the dinner is always fabulous. [Note: Your reporter claims his usual post as Hole-in-One Spotter, but welcomes company.] Collyer reiterated John’s words of the importance of the event.

John Sepp then delivered the joyful announcement that another Rotary Happy Hour is scheduled for next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at The Session Room, 3685 Jackson Road, “on the south side of Jackson Road, right across from the street from the Quality 16 movie theater.”

Collyer returned to the podium. “Would you please welcome John Ackenhusen, our next president – next week.” Applause followed as Big John A came up to recap the recent Rotary conference in Atlanta. “Former mayor UN Ambassador Andrew Young was there, so was Bill Gates,” John began. He then cited a very sobering statistic: “Rotary International has committed over 1.4 billion dollars to the eradication of polio. We’re almost there, BUT $1.5 billion is still needed [to eradicate the minuscule traces of the disease in Afghanistan].” He explained that a three-year time frame of no new polio cases is required to designate an affected area as polio free. The further commitment of time, money, and personnel to wipe out the vestiges of the disease will be immense, John emphasized “to overcome villager resistance to the vaccine, to re-draw the maps in order to find the villages, and to getting the $1.5 billion.” In regard to the conference, John declared unabashedly, “It was a great day to be a Rotarian in Atlanta…in fact, we shouted it until we were hoarse!” After mentioning that he had received a pin at the conference, John broached the important subject of an upcoming $100 per year member contribution to qualify for district grants. No doubt, we will hear more about this is in the future. John then asked Past President Ashish Sarkar to come up and tell his story. “I must have been stopped 300 times by people I didn’t know who congratulated me on our [AARC] work. I thanked them for all of you,” Ashish exclaimed, “It was a fantastic conference – and next year it’s in Toronto!”

Director Steve Schram took the podium next to deliver a much anticipated installment of his much loved news report. “This is the Noon Hour Edition of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club ‘News You Should Know,’” Steve began. He covered the election news in Georgia, “the most expensive House campaign in history,” then cited Travis Kalanick’s resignation as Uber CEO. “Around the globe this day – “ Steve then explained the elevation of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman as heir apparent to his father, King Salman. The choice has alarmed “some members of the royal family” and critics who “have called him inexperienced and power hungry.” The most interesting news from Ann Arbor may have been Steve’s announcement of the driverless shuttles, which are planned to begin service this fall on North Campus. And finally, Steve informed us of the $34.5 million of public money approved by the Detroit City Council for the Little Caesar’s Arena. This “despite passionate pleas from some residents to reconsider or scrap the deal.” Another great reading, Steve. Perhaps, though, we could have the next one sooner than March, 2018? Nine months is too long to wait.

“Happy first day of summer!” declared Collyer, in reference to Steve’s report highlighting the weather in Phoenix – 120 degrees. “We’re better off here in Michigan.” Amen to that.

Eric Lipson came to the podium to introduce our speaker, Bev Seiford. He highlighted the recent World Peace Conference: “It was a great success, but we don’t want to stop there. Bev Seiford is here to show us how it can continue.” He then introduced a short film showcasing Rotary’s championing of world peace – ‘Let’s wage peace.’ “When Rotarians work together, there’s nothing we can’t do,” Eric asserted. “Our speaker today is Bev Seiford, the person who tied it all together behind the scenes.”

Bev got right into it right away: “It was a big darned deal for us…I would encourage you to watch the videos [of the Conference speakers, on Vimeo]. As you know, Jody Williams was an absolute show-stopper. Her words were [amazing]: ‘Don’t tell me your values. Tell me what you DO, then I’ll tell you your values.’” Bev cited the 148 (out of 150) respondents who answered Yes to the question ‘Did you get from the Peace Conference what you came for?’ She then posed a question of her own; really a challenge: “What are we to do as a Club to support peace initiatives, even as individuals?” She called for a brainstorming session at the tables. Each table appointed a secretary to take notes on the ideas that came up regarding peace and how we can continue the spirit of the WPC in the Ann Arbor area. Great ideas came to the fore (your reporter was lucky to have the input of Steve Schram, Fred and Sue Beutler, and PP Ingrid Sheldon); all of them actionable. Yes, the legacy of the World Peace Conference is alive and well. Again, as Eric said, “When Rotarians work together, there’s nothing we can’t do.”

Collyer thanked Bev as she received a long and spirited ovation, then adjourned the meeting with a ringing of the Rotary bell. Sadly, his penultimate striking of the darned thing.

“Be The difference that makes a difference.” – Nagaraja Rao
Notes by Ed Hoffmann, Photos by Fred Beutler

Meeting Statistics
A total of 92 Ann Arbor Rotarians were on hand to discuss with Rotarian Bev Seiford what we can do about peace. We also had one Member-elect (Joe Diederich). We were honored with the presence of three Visiting Rotarians (1) Kat Forsyth of Sausalito CA,(2) ADG-in-waiting Anne Nauts of Chelsea and (3) Kumaresh Sarkar, Ashish’s brother, of Pune Central, India. We also had six guests, including Charlotte Little, our outgoing Rotary Youth Exchange Student. She is going to Poland. Just before lunch, twelve Rotarians of the Program Committee gathered to discuss our upcoming speakers. On June 22, 21 Rotarians met in the joint meeting of the Board and Committee Chairs. Thanks to Collyer for the pizza! Also reported was a total of 37 tutoring sessions at Angell School and in Ypsilanti. Nine of those sessions were conducted by Bonnie Reece, wife of revered Emeritus Rotarian Jim Reece.
Makeup Cards for Roving Rotarians
Mary Avrakotos (Dexter and Ann Arbor North on May 4); Chuck Olson (Sutton’s Bay on May 31). Chuck reports the meeting in this little resort town in the Leelanau Peninsula had about 40 attendees!
Dues Due Soon
You will soon receive an email with your dues bill for the 2017-2018 Rotary year which 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. The full amount is due by July 15 unless other arrangements are made. If you don’t get your email by June 30 or have any questions, contact Dave Keosaian.
Note: Thanks to John Balbach, Carolyn Shear and Heidi Vitso. They jumped the gun and paid their dues before the official notice.


  • June 30 – Linh Song
  • July 1 – Sujit Pandit

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”