July 21 Meeting Notes

The July 21, 2021 meeting opened on Zoom with social time.  Lori Walters opened the meeting and reminded members to make sure that their name is shown accurately in Zoom so attendance can be recorded correctly and for guests to indicate which member has invited them.  Please sign in using the Chat function and respond to “Everyone”.

At 12:30, President Susan Froelich started the meeting by ringing the bell. Tom Strode led us in “The Star-Spangled Banner”.  For inspiration, Heather Eckner shared a selection about inclusivity from “Widening the Circle: The Power of Inclusive Classrooms” by Mara Sapon-Shevin.  Ingrid Sheldon provided the musical interlude by Chad & Jeremy entitled “A Summer Song”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfvL2oLeBYs

President Susan welcomed the attendees & new members & guests; thanked the set-up team, the photographer, reporter, and attendance taker. Birthdays for the week were announced.  Sad news was shared.  A memorial service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 W Liberty on July 24 at 3 pm. for Frode’s wife, Marilyn Maaseidvaag who passed away on July 17.  A “Celebration of Life for Len Stenger.” will be held on July 24 from 1:30 – 5:00 pm outdoors at 2451 Trenton Court in Ann Arbor. Please RSVP to Lois Stenger at loisstenger4@gmail.com or 734-223-5142. Eldon Berry’s wife passed away recently and service will be held on July 31 at First Presbyterian Church.

President Susan reported that Sally Hart Petersen is hoping for 50% response rate on the recent survey, so please complete the survey is you haven’t done so.  Deadline is July 31.  Mary Avrakotos’ artwork is displayed at the Mattaei Botanical Gardens celebrating the Ann Arbor Potter’s Guild’s anniversary. (Click here for more info and a photo.)  A reminder that volunteers are needed for the Golf & Tennis Outing and to sign up to attend the event.

Marsha Chamberlin introduced LaToya Elliott who manages the BookPALS program with Children’s Literacy Network which is seeking volunteers.  Contact LaToya for more info.

Beth Fitzsimmons

Beth Fitzsimmons presented information from Rotary International’s (RI) Area of Focus on Saving Mothers & Children.  Through the Rotary Foundation, communities receive help & training to take control of maternal & infant health care such as providing mobile prenatal clinics, cancer screening, and preventing injuries & death that occur during home deliveries.

Bob Buchanan

Bob Buchanan presented information about Growing Local Economies another RI Area of Focus. This area improves life quality & human dignity and works by strengthening local business managers, especially women; providing access to financial institutions, and those in turn become finance managers.  Club grants receive a district match, then a RI match.  These projects are managed by in-country Rotary Clubs which is a key to its success.  RI disbursed $9.2M in 2020 to grow local economies.  Of this, 91% was spent on awards/operations.

Ingrid Sheldon

Ingrid Sheldon presented information about RI’s Area of Focus – Protecting the Environment.  Rotary shares an interest in protecting our common legacy:  the environment.  Rotary members tackle environmental issues by coming up with projects, using their connections to change policy & planning for the future.

Click here to review the slides for the above three Areas of Focus. (Thanks to Fred Beutler for collecting them.)

Beth Lane


Ken Fischer introduced today’s speaker, Beth Lane, Filmmaker. Writer, Producer, and Director of the documentary film “Would You Hide Me?”  The film is about the seven Weber siblings including Beth’s mother who survived the Holocaust and emigrated to the US after WWII.  The children were separated upon entry into the US as each was adopted into a different family.  Beth’s grandmother was killed at Auschwitz and her grandfather was trapped in Germany after the war and was forced  to give up the children.  Two farmers hid the siblings during the war which allowed the children to survive. When Beth’s mother, Ginger was in her twenties she had a skiing accident and she became a quadriplegic.  During her recovery, she experienced dreams & nightmares about her experiences hiding during WWII.  Arthur & Paula Schmidt were fruit farmers who risked their lives to hid the children in a laundry shed on the farm in Worin, Germany from 1943-45.  Ginger decided after 40 years to contact her siblings to reunite.  Beth’s uncle, Alfons Weber wrote down his memories about this experience.  Beth along with her mother and Beth’s sister visited the farm in 2017.  They were able to meet the Schmidt’s grandson.  After this experience, Beth decided to start this film project using her Uncle Alfons’ memoir as a guide.  Through a personal lens, Beth is using this film to make positive change.  More information can be found at www.bethlane.com.  After two months of editing is completed, Beth estimates the film will be completed during the fall.

Next week’s program is the Fiona Tanner, founder of the Noble Gorilla Program. President Susan closed the meeting with a quote from Edith Wharton “There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

President Susan adjourned the meeting at 1:30.

Respectfully submitted by,

Jennifer Fike

(Photos by Fred Beutler)