Award-winning humorist and singer/songwriter Mike Ball and his guitar led us in singing “Love Is Not Hard To Find” a song by a 15 year old girl from Lost Voices. She wrote the song several years ago and now it is sung often in Lost Voices settings and other other venues. Mike is headlining the Lost Voices Benefit Concert on Sunday, March 1, that is sponsored by our Peace Committee.
Change was the order of the day, beginning with Mark Makulinski’s mounting the (new) dais to deliver the Inspiration. Mark summarized his successful business philosophy and left us with two sayings he shared with his employees. First, “Don’t Judge – Manage.” Second, “making money is the result of what we do, not the reason.”
President Elect Joanne Pierson celebrated the change in the opening of the meeting and promised that change will be the order of the day during her presidency.
President Elect Joanne then thanked the Luncheon Team, noting that their work starts as early at 10:00 am and thanked Bob Dascola for standing in for Sargent-at-Arms Anonymous today.
Announcements included requests for volunteers to help with coach’s training for the Spring Girls on the Run event. Contact Lauren Heinonen for details – indoors and chairs will be included.
In honoring the theme of Change, our Golf and Tennis Outing will be on a Tuesday this year, September 8, and at Fox Hills, a new venue and a new day.
President Elect Joanne introduced guests, finishing with the youngest Rotarian candidate to date – Sargent Anonymous’ six week old granddaughter, who was attending with Deb Bolino.
Rick Price and Carolina Typaldo, co-chairs of the Community Allocations Committee, introduced representatives of three non-profits which received grants last year.
First up was Amy Wilhelm from the Student Advocacy Center. The SAC helps students and families understand and exercise their rights to a public education. Our grant funds the only hotline in the state that connects callers to the resources that can help students stay in school or get back into school. The resources include referrals to legal counsel, access to advocates, and help with food, shelter, clothing and transportation.
Next, Olivia Vigiletti from Dawn Farms told us just a bit about their programs for youth. Dawn Farms is a long term residential treatment center for people 17 and older struggling with substance abuse. They also treat 13-15 year olds in the family setting. This outpatient program recognizes that young people don’t control their environment so the whole family must be involved in the solution.
Derek Miller from Community Action Network told us about their six locations in community centers that work with children and families to create stable and supportive communities. The Network’s youth graduate at a 97% rate, a great accomplishment. Our grant supports their Ready Set Tech summer camp that combines interdisciplinary instruction with coaching with computer and life skills.
Notes from the Program
Dennis Powers introduced Jackson Reigler, a sophomore at Michigan who has tapped the resources of the UM optiMize to further his project of cleaning the Great Lakes of plastic waste and turning that waste into clothing. Jackson grew up in Muskegon, loving Lake Michigan. He started beach cleanups, naming his project OSHKI, which means “Fresh” in Obijawe, when he was a junior in high school. He has turned his project into a company that makes T-shirts from the plastic bottles that wash up on Lake shores. His supply chain is entirely in the United States and all production is done in the US. He talked about how the fast fashion industry has promoted waste and sacrificed quality for turnover, and therefore, profit. He credited luck and the internet with putting him in touch with good people at the right time. His company is making a profit, 5% of which is going to other non-profits that are working to save the Lakes. His vision for 2020 is to expand beach cleanups to 20 cities and collect 5,000 pounds of plastic waste. And he plans to extend his product offerings to include other things than T-shirts.