The May 12, 2021 meeting opened on Zoom with social time. Past President Rosemarie Rowney was sporting her virtual Rosie the Riveter gear online. 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 to sign in using the Chat function responding to “Everyone”.
At 12:29, President Joanne Pierson started the meeting by ringing the bell. Tom Strode led us in “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Agnes Reading provided the inspiration – quotes by Alex Trebek focused on successful people seeking new challenges. The musical interlude was “If I Only Had a Brain”.
President Pierson welcomed the attendees & new members & guests; thanked the set-up team, the photographer, reporter, and attendance taker. Birthdays for the week were announced. Bob Buchanan’s email was hacked so don’t respond to an email requesting funds. A celebration of life for Rob Boehnke is scheduled on Thursday, May 20 at 2:00 pm at Barton Hills and Rotarians are invited. President Pierson announced that Norma and Ashish Sarkar have been very generous with their Rotary international donations and are well past the Paul Harris fellow donation amounts.
Dan Lewan reported that in India the coronavirus crisis is engulfing the healthcare system and the country has been disastrously overwhelmed. On Tuesday, India was approaching 23 million COVID cases and 249,992 deaths were reported. Our long-time friends at PUNE Metro Rotary Club are working with their District and other Rotary Clubs to set up an additional facility, a COVID Centre with 75 oxygenated beds. They are asking for our help. They have secured a hotel and funds with which to set up the center, and are asking for funds to support the daily operations of the center. The International Humanitarian Projects Committee (IHPC) has committed $3,000 to support this effort and is asking our Club members to consider providing additional support. To support this effort, go to https://www.a2rotary.org/donate/ and click “Donate” or make a check payable to the Ann Arbor Rotary Foundation with “INDIA” in the memo line and mail to: Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, PO Box 131217, Ann Arbor 48113. The goal is to collect all donations in the next 10 days and no later than May 31 by which a transfer of funds to India will be made.
Dallas Dort introduced today’s speaker. Former Ann Arbor resident, Andy Wood, was a four-time Jeopardy champion last year, when Alex Trebek was still hosting. He did so well that he’s about to participate in the next Tournament of Champions, to be aired next week. Andy is true Ann Arbor townie, a stand-up comedian with an engineering background.
In 1993 when Andy was attending Ann Arbor Huron High School, he attempted to try out for Jeopardy but was quickly eliminated. Several years later, he moved to LA to pursue a comedy career. Fox was created a game show program and Andy signed to be a fake contestant and while recording this program he ruptured a disc in his back. Andy was laid up due to this back injury during most of 2019 which allowed plenty of time for him to brush up on his trivia skills and attempt to become a Jeopardy participant. He made it through many initial rounds to be eligible to compete and then COVID hit. However, in August 2020, the show resumed taping. Andy was able to compete on September 9 with Alex Trebek hosting. The Wheel of Fortune stage was used as the green room for Jeopardy because the space was bigger and allowed for social distancing. 5 shows were taped that day with 10 contestants total. Andy was called to participate in the first game. Game strategy is more about hitting the buzzer at the correct time than it is about trivia. Andy prevailed in the first episode by being the only contestant to answer the final Jeopardy question correctly. Then a quick clothing change, make-up refresh (he did his own due to COVID), and on to the next round with all staffers calling Andy “Champ”. He lost during the 5th game to a personal friend. Last month he went back to Culver City to participate in the Tournament of Champions.
Next week’s program is the Ann Arbor Huron High School Jazz Program. President Pierson closed the meeting with a quote from Christopher Morley” “Act like you expect to get into the end zone”.
President Pierson adjourned the meeting at 1:27.
Respectfully submitted by,
Photos by Fred Beutler