Notes from the July 7, 2021 Meeting

Susan Froelich

Susan Froelich officially began her reign as president with her first full meeting. She identified timing as the biggest issue and that making the meeting run well and on time is still part of the new role.

Happy rotary New Year was the greeting!

Joanne Pierson jumped right back in with music with “it’s a great day to be a Rotarian” to kick off the beginning of Susan’s year. The music was accompanied by a terrific power point of many, many Rotarians and events and with credit to Jim Irwin, composer.

Tom strode launch the meeting with the piano music “Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies,” as always a beautiful song.

Arthur Williams

Our inspirational message presenter, Arthur Williams, was articulate as always. “In preparation for my inspiration, my thoughts as an educator and teacher over 46 years came to mind. I provided a moment of inspiration for my students daily. I felt my students were beleaguered by negative messages constantly. Therefore I felt it imperative that I provide them with some positive messages to combat the negative message they were receiving. We too have all experienced a great deal of tragedies over the past, almost 2 years now. The Coronavirus-COVID 19 Pandemic wreaked havoc on our daily lives; George Floyd’s death which caused us to have a reckoning with racial injustices; The January 6, 2021 insurrection; – increases in violence; mass shootings; natural disasters- causing buildings collapsing . These were some of the negative messages we as adults are receiving almost daily which brings to the inspiration for today.”

The inspiration is taken from Mattie J.T. Stapanek”s book, Hope Through Heartsongs,

About Normal

Right now,

I don’t know what Normal is


That’s because Normal has been changing

So much

So often,


For a long while of lately.

I’d like Normal to be


Good health…

Emotional health,

Spiritual health.

I’d like Normal to be

Like that.

I’d like Normal to stay,

Like that.

For now though,

I know that Normal won’t be normal

For a little while…

But somehow,


Even if things are not Normal,

They’ll be okay.

That’s because I believe

In the great scheme of things,

And Life.

Rotarians in the news include Ashish Sarkar who was quoted in the July International Rotary magazine (pg14) for his leadership role in the Pandemic Relief for Detroit Project which became a $71,000 project supported by RI with a global grant. Ingrid Sheldon, recognized as an emeritus member of the EMU foundation who contributed much to the workings of that organization.

Up next, Kathy Waugh talked to us all about donations, donations, donations for the Golf and Tennis outing which will be LIVE this year. Kathy says to use your imagination about what you can do in terms of skills, event you could plan, a talent you could provide for someone else……..(read more…)

The event is going to be all in person including the auction. There will be more details to come about whether we will do both online and live auction. Go to the website to connect for golf, dinner and volunteering.

Sally Hart Petersen

Club Survey: Sally Petersen discussed the annual survey to be launched on Friday,July 9. It will be live until the end of the month.  While the basic satisfaction questions are being maintained to understand trends, there is a deep dive into several new areas. The questions were developed from several committees to make planning and the work for the next year.

Dawn Johnson

Dawn Johnson was very complimentary of the work that goes in to making our meeting operational for everyone. The zoom format allows meetings available to so many beyond current members as well as locals who find it hard to get to the in person meetings. The production crew needs to be expanded to continue the optimal meetings. More information will be both on the website and discussed at meetings.

On July 22, the District President is holding a picnic for all club members in the district. Go to the Rotary 6380 website to register.

Today’s speaker was introduced by Christina Ferris. Deana Fisher, COO, St. Louis Center, Chelsea, MI is an MSW from Wayne State and ran children’s services with various Detroit organizations before joining the St Louis Center four years ago. Her focus has been on the long term plans for care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are living longer with the typical issues of aging as well as, in some cases, outliving families. Also, some have no families that attend to their care in any way.

Deana Fisher

St Louis Center transformed from a school into a residential facility that originally had children as young as five. With legislation requiring school systems to provide special education, SLC eventually relinquished its license for children to focus on adults.  Fairly recently SLC has focused on adults with IDD and also include homes for families who have an IDD child and want to live on the site with the supportive services of ILC

The Center has adopted a Montosorri-influenced approached to teach people to care for themselves as opposed to being cared for. Teaching residents to do for themselves both empowers residents and changes the role of staff. Adults want to have control and participate in decisions. This is a change that has had strong positive results. For example, food selection became more flexible and enabled choices. The implementation of white boards and index cards on which people keep reminders helped people navigate their lives. Many residents have jobs and they pack their own lunches. They enjoy making decisions (like Doritos and potato chips) but are monitored to make sure they eat balanced meals. SLC is not simply “taking care,” but helping people care for themselves.

Activities must be more than using time. They must have a purpose. Coloring as an activity may have the purpose of working toward an exhibit, for example.

SLC is overseen by the catholic Servants of Charity Congregation and relies heavily on grants and donations.

“Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” By Robert Hunter, a line from the Grateful Dead song, “Scarlet Begonias”.


(notes by Marsha Chamberlin)