Posted by Ramona Pleva on Sep 01, 2020

It was the first day of September 2020 and Past President Homer Nye stepped in for President Mack Beers. President Mack and First Lady Lorraine are on a California highway and en route to visit their new grandchild. 

Homer offered up a moment of silence as we honored Helen Childs. She is the wife of Ross Childs and passed away late last week. 

Visiting guests and Rotarians were given a moment to self identify. Joan Bonney was joining us and I must say, she is looking radiant!

Al Bonney took a moment to offer up dinner for six at the Boathouse to the first person who could muster up $200 for it. Lisa Pointe, who is fast on the run course, is too fast to catch and scored the dinner outing. This item was from last year’s Rotary Foundation Fundraising Gala and the highest bidder that night isn’t able to use this item. (I am so happy that I am one of Lisa’s closest friends and will probably be invited to said dinner.) 

Homer then initiated the Pledge of Allegiance with a flag that was down one star. Our apologies to Sakura and any other native Hawaiians. But this is what sometimes happens during times of pandemic and so we roll with it. 

Sharron Zimmerman gave us an update on Rotary Camps and Services. The parcel known as Kentbury Woods has been sold to the adjacent owner of 40 acres. Also applications for the Camps and Services and Rotary Charities Board of Trustees are being accepted. On Sept. 15 we will be presented with the slate of candidates and on Sept. 22 we will vote. This leads us to the next item….

On Sept. 15 and Sept 22, we will need a quorum at our meetings. What does this mean? We need 114 Rotarians to show up via Zoom to vote. Please make every attempt to make it as we are trying to proceed via the bylaws and everything is just different right now.  So remember 114 is the magic number…..

Speaking of magic, our resident Magician Ben Whiting announced that applications for the next cycle of Good Works grants are being accepted. Despite not having a Rotary Show this year (which I’m still not over…..) money magically appeared in the Good Works coffers! Not sure how that happens but I’m willing to learn!  The magical link that you should share with local nonprofits for Good Works is:


Pat Parker reminded us of the 9/11 Virtual Honor Run. We have two options!  There is a virtual 5K race and then for those who find a 5K too whimpy (ahem…. Jen Casey!) there is a lovely 11 mile option! But beyond running, the monies raised support our First Responders. Assistance is provided to them to support emotional and mental wellness. Let’s face it, their jobs are physically, mentally and emotionally challenging, we need to show them some love and run!  The link to sign up is:


Homer indicated that he did the Honor Run last year, he may or may not have actually run it….. It may have been a combination of a walk, frolic, skip, limbo  and a shimmy…….

We have three Rotarians who made the list of the top 40 Under 40 list this year. A huge congrats go out to Max Anderson, Jody Treitch, and Kat Paye. Whoop, whoop!!

Steve Wade introduced our speaker today. Seth Johnson joined the United Way in December. Through some interesting twists and turns, Seth found his way in Northern Michigan to pursue his love of community service. He comes from a family of pastors and even though that is a very prestigious line of work according to Homer, we are grateful that he is a part of our community. 

Some current happenings at the United Way include:

211 - it’s a 411 for Health and Human Services in the area. It operates 24/7, provides crisis support, and has texting and email platform. Real-time data is able to be captured. The number one requested service is for utility assistance followed by healthcare services. There is also cybercrime and online fraud program. 

Also happening at the United Way is the Americorp Vista Program. It has 12 individuals that support local nonprofits. There is a volunteer center with volunteer needs. One of the programs they participate in is an  “Age in Place” program which can provide wheelchair ramps for individual homes to increase barrier-free living. 

Day of Caring is slated for Sept. 17 and there are a plethora of volunteer opportunities available both online and in person. 

Education and child literacy is a service that provides parents and caregivers assistance with nurturing language skills of young children to support their development process. 

Vision to Learn is a program provided in conjunction with Father Fred. School-aged children can receive free vision screenings and glasses prior to starting the new school year. 

Next steps for the United Way?

Identifying the gaps in our community for services and then filling them for an exponential change in our community. It starts with “Trouble”.

  • 10.4% of people in our community have food insecurity

  • 2018: 84% of high school seniors graduated

  • 2017: 48% of 3rd graders had reading proficiency

  • 2019: 38% of families in the area are living below the ALICE threshold. ALICE represents the minimum income level necessary for household survival. As Seth mentioned, “they are one flat tire away from an emergency.”

Solution for Trouble?

PEOPLE!!! - We need to chip away at the issues. These PEOPLE are the ones who are Hand Raisers, Game Changers and Problem Solvers. 

Thank you Seth for a great presentation. By the looks of the chat section from the meeting, you received a five star Google rating. We are thrilled that you have joined our club and look forward to serving with you in the future. 

REMINDER: we need a quorum on Sept. 15 and Sept. 22. The magic number is 114. Let’s blow this out of the water people!

And with that, Homer cut us loose!