Rotary Club of Elk Rapids AM Notes January 26, 2016
-Tom S shared a joke on why the chicken crossed the road?
-Gary C expressed the need for help with nominations for PE, Jerry De Grazia indicated interest and will consider the PE position. 
Jim N. and Camille C. agreed to mentor the new Membership chair or Co-Chairs.
-Jerry announced the winning cover is “Stinky Socks”!   
- Gary announced the Rotary Show Ad packet and letterhead will soon be posted on the website.
-Chris provided an update of GWC projects being considered - Junior Achievement request for $1,500,
Right Tree’s request was tabled, $1,000 pledge to Green ER for defraying the cost of a speaker on environmental issues will expire April 30th if terms are not met, $500 was approved for Project Graduation.
-Chris informed member the robotics program has opportunity for members to help out at the middle school.
-Jim N. will add the Chicken BBQ to the board meeting agenda later today. He will suggest a plan to evaluate the event.
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids PM Notes January 26, 2016
Sherry shared the comment made at the Harbor Days board meeting last week– “Rotary will not be holding their chicken BBQ during Harbor Days this year.” Sherry commented that others in the community will quickly capitalize on this decision by Rotary if the rumor is true and encouraged leadership to get the message out if this was not the case.
Jeff and Donna Lane are celebrating 37 years. Congratulations!
Julia and Myrta have been with the club for 7 years.  Thank you ladies for being a part of Rotary and for all you do!
Norm announced, with a tall stance and glowing face, he and Judy are going to be churched. Congratulation to the both of you!
Sharon Branson is doing great! Very successful fusion, she walked around the nurse’s station multiple times yesterday, and she's eating well. Surgical pain is being managed. All is good! Please keep Sharon in your thoughts as she continue to get heals.
Norm shared how fulfilling and charging it is to be a part of the robotics program as he coaches the students week to week.
Connie invited members to attend the morning meeting anytime they can fit it into their schedule. Jim N commented the morning meeting would love an appearance from Johnathon Winters, aka Jimmy Argo
Paul shared how great of a day he had skiing on Saturday. 
President Tom announced 50/50 raffle tickets are available for the foundation raffle.  Make a donation to the foundation and have a chance to win!  Please get with President Tom to purchase your ticket.
Bob C reminded all of us his goal is ‘every Rotarian every year’ for the $100 donation to the foundation.
Robotics program is still in need of mentors.  Please contact the school if you can help out.
Gary - polio update - Shot Felt Around the World - program for Jan 23 - schools invited to participate– more to come.
Craig Cameron, sponsored by President Tom, is now an official member of the Rotary Club of Elk Rapids. Craig shared he was born in Saginaw – he is a Spartan - dental degree - two children - retired early - son of Bob and Maxine Cameron.  Welcome Craig!
Gary introduced Sheriff Bean –  
34 years in law enforcement - on second term for Antrim County- married 33 years - three children 
Bullet points from Dan’s (Sheriff Bean) discussion with us.
  • Heroin is the biggest problem at this time. 
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries are being closely monitored. 
  • Antrim’s stance is, if you are dealing in this county you will go to prison. 
  • Sand Bar - partnership with multiple entities to work on the fix and contain the concerns.
  • 56 inmates - lower in summer - average is about 45 to 50 in our county jail
  • Commissioners are very supportive of the departments initiatives 
Thank you Sheriff Bean for all you do to keeping our county a safe place to live!
Next week’s meeting will be a member forum - Tom Stevenson will take the spot light!
Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids


January 19, 2016


What a fun night. So much laughter and so many smiles made for a great evening at Rotary!

President Tom opened the meeting and Sargeant Connie filled the dollar cup.

Dale and Barb are celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary.

Bill H has a 14 year anniversary with the club.

We need to keep Carol Hockin's brother in our thoughts. Jim and Carol are hoping for a successful surgery for him and speedy recovery.

President Tom presented Bill D with a sponsor pin for his sponsorship of Scott Dennis.

Twilight Rotary is holding a Super Bowl Raffle to benefit projects such as Born to Read. You can purchase tickets online at Purchase your super bowl square soon. 1 square for $35 or 2 for $60

President Tom shared an invite to participate in a cruise on the 'Biscayne Bay'. This is intended for Civic and Business leaders to have a better understanding of the Guard and Reserve. You could participate in either the Feb 15 or Feb 16 cruise around the Straits of Mackinac. Please reach out to president Tom if you would like to participate.

Day of Caring -

66 Rotarians throughout District 6290 donated a total of $7000. Our District achieved the highest number of donors on #Giving Tuesday. As a result, the district we will have a visit from Past President and Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith. The hope is that he will attend our District Conference in Muskegon.

Speaking of the District Conference.............please make arrangements to attend the April 22 – April 24 conference. Visit the district site for more information.

Gary shared he had four people respond to his email blast regarding club leadership. If you have not had a chance to review his communication, please take a few moments this week to review and reply with any input you may have.

Bob announced to the club that his goal for us is $100 per person per year as our commitment to the Rotary Foundation.

Show updates -

Gary gave a shout out to Don W who has already sold a full page ad to Meijer. Connie N also earned a shout out for the seven ads she has secured. Sale Packets are on the website. All forms are ready for you to begin selling ads. Ad deadline is May 2. Gary announced the five sales teams “Snow Birds”, “AM Satellites”, “Green Machine”, Get Er Done” and “Team Veliquette” You should be hearing from your captains soon. Help is needed in the month of March when Gary is out of town. If you would like to assist Gary with heading up ad sales, please let him know.

Also, we need someone to replace Jo this year with proof of the show book. Jo will be out of town and will not be able to take on this role.

Jerry shared four poster and book cover options with both the am meeting and evening meeting groups. The votes are in and the results will be shared soon.

Acts and music are well underway. Lorna, Myrta, Connie, Jerry and Cheryl are making great progress with this years show. The back drop has been ordered by Myrta. Julia will manage ticket sales. Camille is managing the front of the house. Sherry will take care of show promotion. Great job Jerry and team!

Bill D shared the following update on the Haiti project -

Rotary International Approves Haiti Water Project Grant!

Rotary International has approved a Global Grant totaling $151,486 that will provide Hygiene Education and Clean Water to 1000 families in Trianon, Haiti. This will impact over 6000 people, mostly children, that have faced devastating waterborne illnesses elevated by the recent cholera epidemic. Focus on bringing this aid to Trianon started with a project in 2013 led by the Elk Rapids and Traverse City Rotary Clubs, where 300 homes and a number of schools were beneficiaries of the program delivered through Pure Water for the World.

 Approximately 1/3 of this project funding has come from donations from more than 15 Rotary Clubs across the country the majority of those being in our District 6290, including a significant grant from Thirsting to Serve, our District 6290 water advocacy group. The remaining funding, 2/3 of the total Grant, came from The Rotary International Foundation though District and RI matches.

We should be very proud of the leadership the Elk Rapids Rotary Club and our associated Interact Club has demonstrated in bringing hope to the people of Haiti in a significant and meaningful way! 
Thank you Bill and Dean for your dedication to this project. We truly appreciate your leadership.

President Tom announced District 6290 training held this past Saturday at ERHS was a success. There were 50 – 60 in attendance. We have met our grant requirement with Gary, Bob and Tom attending the training.

Gary, Sherry, Tom, Bob and Jim N all attended a full day of sessions prior to the Grant training that closed out the day.



January 5, 2016


Joe Y, 51 year club anniversary. Wow Joe!
Wes K, 15 year club anniversary.
Bill D 14 year club anniversary.
Bill H was serenaded with the ER Club birthday song.
Tom B was pleased to announce his children are fine after their car was struck by a police car on Cedar Street.
Camille excitedly shared how nice her son’s destination wedding was.  Very relaxing. 
Weatherization project thank you was extended to Ralph by Don W.
Don W shared…Earl R is getting married.
Sherry announced the birth of her grandson, Caleb Michael, arriving on Thanksgiving Day.
Connie thanked everyone for the support provided to her son Kyle and his family.  Kyle is making progress and continues to improve.
President Tom encouraged members to attend the January 16 district training day. He also noted how important the Grant Seminar attendance is. “We need people to attend the seminar training that will be offered as part of the upcoming District Training taking place at ERHS January 16 for us to qualify to apply for grants.”  Please let President Tom know if you can attend the Grant Seminar on the 16th. 
Jim Sak announced the 2016 Honor Roll list on behalf of the selection committee – Edson W. Murray, Keith Hubbell, Joseph W. Yuchasz, Fred P. Rohe, Stuart Merillat, Elmer Peterman, Jim McKimmy The date and time for the paver installation and celebration will be announced at a later date. Congratulations to these honorees!
President Tom shared a picture from Sara Sanderson our Peace Scholar. Sara is working hard to stay in touch with District 6290 Clubs.
Bill D announced the $12,600 Grant for Elk Rapids Schools Robotics Program. He informed members this is a $30,000 annual project.  He noted the school will be seeking corporate sponsors as well.  
Mancelona Rotary Club extended an invite for us to participate in their Texas Holdem fundraiser event at Lakes of the North on Jan 9.  Call Chuck Johnson to register 231-350-6176
Presentation by JoeY – bulleted highlights of history Joe shared
  • Club started July 14, 1950 - sponsored by TC Rotary - five hundred in attendance -Robert Hockstead was the first president.
  • Fundraiser Show – began as Black Face then transitioned to Minstrel show in 1965 - cartoon came in to play in the book for the 11th show 1970.  
  • Chicken BBQ - idea launched in 1955 Ads read….. 2,500 dinners per hour in Belfast Maine.It was noted that 28 turns of the grilling case for the chicken will get you to the end of the pit. Joe noted the Plymouth Rotary video is worth watching.
  • Projects - 53 harbor - 65 first building - 52 gym floor - rotary park a frame 70 - town hall curtain, George green scholarship fund, hospital bed, board walk and so on.
    Joe, I hope I have all of the dates correct.
Next week’s club meeting program – Elk Rapids DDA plan will be presented by Andy LaPointe 
Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids


December 8, 2015

Santa Claus (aka Jim Sak), and Mrs. Santa Claus (aka Verna Sak) auctioned off 30+ wrapped gifts with cryptic hints about the nature of the gift, which raised $3,090 for three pantries in the area;  Acme Christian Thrift Store, Good Samaritan, and Antrim Baby Pantry in Central Lake, which has food and clothing for babies.

Each year, members of the Rotary Club of Elk Rapids donate a gift for ​their​ annual ​auction​ that takes place during their Christmas dinner meeting in December.

​Typically the funds raised may be matched by a Rotary Charities Challenge Grant up to a total of $3,000, which doubles the value of the donation to the three community groups.  Donations are auctioned off to the highest bidders present, with the bids being made by Rotarians, friends of Rotary, local businesses, and former Rotarians.
And, the prime rib was very good too.

To top things off, we inducted another new member; Scott Dennis.  He recently retired from the Air Force (pilot) and was a speaker at our Rotary Club a few weeks ago.  His experience as an Air Force General will be a welcome addition to our Rotary Club.
(from Dean Branson)


November 17, 2015

Thanksgiving feast - simply excellent! Thank you Roberto and staff.  Thank you goes to Myrta as well for coordinating such a nice meal with Roberto.
Food Drive at Toms - help is still needed for Saturday……. thank you, on the spot volunteers, Norm, Tom A and Jim N for filling these last few openings. Tom A noted four Interact students will be helping as well.
Ralph recapped three project that are queued up and ready to be tackled. Dean is leading one on Thursday.  Jim also has one for Thursday and could use two more helpers. Jeff needs two to three people at Rotary Park on Wednesday. Review the sheet being sent around for projects and sign-up for whatever you can help with. We really need to get these homes better prepared to handle the cold winter days.
Jerry is 65 tomorrow! Members sang to Jerry even though he was absent so our guest could here our Rotary birthday song.
Many wonderful guest were introduced. Everyone enjoyed their company and conversation.
Tom S is still in need of our thoughts and prayers as he continues to heal from an emergency appendectomy.
The program began with the ‘goody sisters’ dressed as pilgrims in their bonnets and long dresses………..
Myrta and Julia welcomed all of us to the Mayflower. They shared their version of the first Thanksgiving story.  They began with a quiz and then started the search for a wild tom turkey. The story unfolded as Myrta and Julia moved around the room and incorporated members into the story by having them share what they are thankful for. Their search for a tom turkey took them to our president, Tom Klingler. They closed with a Thanksgiving poem.
President Tom thanked the ‘goody sisters’ for the nice program.                           
Sherry Steffen
Elk Rapids Rotary Club

November 10, 2015

Marcia announced this is last chance to purchase a calendar and support the fundraiser while having a chance to win prizes.
Tom A has reached his one year anniversary mark. So glad you joined the club Tom.
Al Bonney commented,”coming to this club is an awful lot of fun!”
Gary added a $20 bill, from Mary's purse, to the cup in order to share how thankful he is for those who serve our country.
Sign-up sheet was made available for ACTS pantry food drive on November 20 and November 21 at Toms Market. Shifts are available beginning at 9am and going until 7:30 pm
Julane shared she is so very proud of her father-in-law. He served during Pearl Harbor.
New Foundation Chair is Bob C.  Thank you Bob for stepping up and filling this position.
Julane Underhill offered the opportunity for members in attendance to help with the backpack for kid’s project by purchasing a raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize and fill backpacks with school supplies for children in our region.
Ralph will be reaching out to those who signed up to help with weatherization and fall work.
Last week, Myrta made available the gift tags from the Village Market Giving tree. There are six left. All six were distributed tonight. Thank you members!
Interact update - Tom A shared the following new items - email address exchange will begin to take place between Haiti and Elk Rapids
Holidays activities include participating in the ACT’s can drive and “giving days” over a one week long period, collecting various item such as coat’s, boots, etc. The items collected will be  donated to one of the local nonprofits.
Also, theatre arts event coming up with a lot of the Interact students participating in the play. Please be sure to support them and enjoy the wonderful production.
Bill introduced General Scott Dennis and his wife Debbie
Scotts message was…..
What do Vets need when they return from service?
Scott explained we need to focus on the majority of our great young Americans who serve and then return to civilian life.
Myths such as “You can’t handle the truth”, “They went into the service because they couldn’t find a job”, “They all have PTSD”.  The truth is, military personnel are thinkers due to decision making being pushed to very low levels.  Service entry is voluntary and is becoming highly selective to enter. Most of our troops are some of the most well-adjusted people on the planet and do not need (nor want) to be treated differently that everyone else.
Vets have the following traits; Leaders, Team Players, Continual Learners and are more focused on contribution versus salary.
Scott concluded with – Our returning Vets have done something special, but don’t need to be treated special, they just need some help connecting, finding career opportunities and mentorship in the business world.
Gary - next week mtg. - Thanksgiving feast!
Sherry Steffen
Elk Rapids Rotary Club


October 27, 2015


Marcia has Service Above Self calendars for sale as a fundraiser for the Twilight Club.

$25.00 per calendar. They only sell 4,000 calendars. Prizes range between $50 and $5,000. The funds raised go to support Twilight Club Good Works projects. Marcia will have calendars for sale at next weeks meeting as well.


Edson invited everyone to stop into St Petersburg if you end up down that way over the winter.


Earl’s surgery went well and returned good reports.  Three weeks of no golf and he will be good to go.


Myrta shared that Pat continues to make progress. He walked from one room to the other without his cane.  


Jim S reported slow and steady progress is being made at Rotary Park.


Thanksgiving feast will be on Nov 17. Please register by Nov 3


Jim N reported weatherization of homes will be taking place soon. 


Tom A introduced Johnnie. Everyone welcomed Johnnie and his son PJ. Johnnie’s expertise is traveling and speaking with youth. Johnnie has been speaking at Life Leadership for years. He shared a message with us of how important it is to support youth. Johnnie will be speaking tomorrow at Elk Rapids High School, 1:00 pm in Peterman Auditorium. Everyone welcome.


Gary introduced Scott from Short's Brewing. Great start up story was shared. Scott overheard Joe talking at a wedding reception of how he wanted to start a brewery and.......Scott said I am good with paperwork, I can fix this.  He went to Bellaire the next day.....

Scott went on to say… the business community brought us to Elk Rapids. They attended a Chamber of Commerce meeting… they walked out asking....did you just say we are starting a brewery in Elk Rapids? I guess I did. 

They are growing at the rate of 40% a year.

Craft brewing industry is booming. Scott believes there is still room for brewery's to open in small towns. Many people visit the pub as their little hub of the town. About 50% of the people who come to the Bellaire Pub do not drink.

Cider is very popular and exploded quickly.

Jobs...then hop fields......the economic impact of the craft brew industry is very large.

Imperial is the distributor for Short's statewide. One new item hits the shelf every other week. 

Short's was appreciated for their business model of being affordable and a family pub by member Paul.

45,000 barrels will be produced this year. Third largest brewery in Michigan. 

Michigan only, Michigan forever.



Next week will be member forum. Mystery speakers are on the agenda.




Sherry Steffen

Rotary Club of Elk Rapids 


October 20, 2015


President Tom complimented everyone on the nice turn out of Interact members and Rotarians at tonight's meeting.


President Tom announced a group photo will take place at the end of the meeting and also asked board members to please stay after the photo for a short board meeting.


President Tom suggested that we have introductions today by everyone introducing themselves as we go around the room.


Ron announced we did great with making contributions in memory of Lee.  The Yocum’s are out $1,000 as they make out their check to match the contribution made to the cancer center by Rotarians.


Jim N is going to be a grandpa in March!


Jeff L announced the latest Good Works donations of $300 for the Christmas Cantata,  $950 for Cherryland Middle School ($600 IB Assembly and $350 Library Grant), $1,500 for Elk Rapids High School speaker, Johnnie Tuitle, $1,500 for Village Market Giving Tree, $438 for Girl Scout Troop #3781 babysitter training .


Jim H is celebrating a birthday!


On behalf of Erin, Sherry announced the Chamber of Commerce Presents - Learning How to Protect Yourself Against Fraud, Sponsored by: Chemical Bank  October 27th 7-9pm Contact the Chamber at 264-8202 for registration.


Sherry and Steve invited everyone to attend Mill Creek 25th Anniversary celebration, Wednesday evening beginning at 5:30 p.m.


Superintendent Prissel introduced Interact Leader, Victoria Willson and also assisted with presenting each Interact student with their pin.

Interact projects this year include Pure Water, assisting families in need at Christmas, helping Rotarians with weatherization and fall cleanup to mention a few.

It was also shared $400 has already been raised for breast cancer.

Interact is thinking about canned water sales as a fundraiser. 95% of canned water sales goes to help fund clean water in third world countries.


Keri and Kate LaLone sheared a couple of highlights from the Thirsting to Serve conference.

Kerry focused on the curriculum that has already been created.  She noted it can simply be imbedded into the current school curriculum, it meets the standards and was written for middle school.  Kate showed members some of the devices used to filter water for safe drinking. Kerri noted they were provided one of each type of filter for classroom instruction.


Next week’s program  - Short’s Brewing


Sherry Steffen

October 13, 2015
Gary is our birthday boy this week.
Don thanked Gary, Jim, Don and Marcia for volunteering their time for this year's honor flight. The veterans are on their way and will return in a a few days.
Joe Y reported the morning meeting welcomed two visiting Rotarian who appreciated the convenience of being able to catch a morning meeting on their way to the airport as they leave their summer home on birch lake.
Ron  is staying fit by shoveling horse @#$% and bailing hay when at his ranch in Texas.
Surgery has not taken place yet for Edson Murray. He reported he will be fine the doctors just need to determine if the surgery can safely happen.
Cards were passed around by Myrta for those we are sending wishes to. Thank you Myrta for staying up to date with who needs our hugs.
Variety Show - Myrta announced the theme for this year is 'Camping'
Ron announced our guest speaker, Glen Chown, GT Regional Land Conservancy Executrive Director.
Bullet points from the presentation are as follows -  
Serving five counties in Northern Lower Michigan
39,000 acres and 121 miles of shoreline 
The conservancy was started in 1991 by Rotary.
Protecting farmland is an important part of the conservancy's work. 
Many Elk Rapids volunteers help maintain the Maple Bay property.
Old camp ground property next to Saylor Park at Yuba will become part of the land conservancy.
Conservancy is helping with the fund raising for the Milton township park development. 
Chain O Lakes supplies 60% of the surface water of the Grand Traverse Bay.
Jennifer Jay from the conservancy announced the Volunteer appreciation party as follows - We would like to say thank you for all the work our volunteers do. Whether you are an existing volunteer or are considering becoming one join us for an enjoyable evening with good food and drink. This event will be held at the beautiful Garvey Family Wedding Barn in Williamsburg. RSVP is required- please call 231.929.7911
Reminder to invite guests for our November Thanksgiving dinner.
Oct 20 meeting will be held at Elk Rapids High School as a partnership meeting with Interact.
October 06, 2015


Sherry's birthday was celebrated by members singing their traditional Happy Birthday song.


Gary C is on his second anniversary and already slated to lead us as president next year.


Clinton's healthy new baby boy arrived last night. Congratulations!


Myrta is back after a long four weeks of illness and reminded all of us somehow we need to make sure each other knows when one of us is suffering. Notes, hugs, food, whatever are helpful during these times. Myrta announced hubby Pat is making great progress. Feeling is returning to his leg.


Jim S shared a fun story of how he thought he missed his grandson’s game only to pull up to the soccer field with a 0-0 score board and overtime starting. He must have brought luck with him. His grandson scored two goals and teammates another two for the win. Go ELKS!


Harvest dinner and silent auction will be held this Thursday.

Cheryl Knight asked that we please support this event.


Christmas cantata practice has started. Please contact Cheryl for details and to participate.


Jeff reported - Earl Rafferty has been diagnosed with a very serious melanoma.


Jo reported – Edson Murray is making a trip to Ann Arbor Wednesday for a deep melanoma removal.

Everyone, please add Earl and Edson in your prayers.


Also, let's continue to keep Patty Bach in our prayers as her challenges are ongoing. We have not seen Dick or Patty in awhile but as we know, they continue to need our support.


Cole Shindler thanked the club for sending him to Life Leadership. He went on to say his mentor helped him write a seminar this year. With the support of his school principal he was able to present to the freshman class. Cole’s mentor is also working with him for a presidential scholarship to Hope and an internship this summer shadowing a senator. Johnnie, Coles mentor, would like to come and speak at ERHS. Cole is asking that we please consider a donating to help fund this opportunity for the school and Johnnie.


Tom A happily announced his recent check-up shows he is doing very well and great improvement has been made with his embolism condition.


Jim shared the highway clean up that took place this past Thursday and Saturday was successful. Cole, Don, Dean, Bruce, Tom A, Tom S, Ron, Paul, George etc. all pitched in to get the job done.


New member, Ed Boettcher, sponsored by Dean was introduced. President Tom read the commitment agreement Ed will make. Ed shared he is currently County Commissioner. After selling his masonry business a couple years ago he found he needed something to do. Welcome Ed!


Jerry asked for member input regarding the variety show theme.

Member suggestions included:

  • Summer camp

  • Elections

  • Pirates

  • Monkey Business

  • Black and White

  • Capitol Steps

Show committee will take all into consideration and recommend a theme to the board.

Show will be held, May 20 and 21 please mark your calendars now. Cheryl Knight stressed how important participation is and asked that we rearrange what we can to keep ourselves available in order to participate or help with the show in some manner.


Member forum - brief notes captured…….



Don Pond

Five siblings - football player - Army- Vietnam – out of Vietnam in 1970 - wife Louise and two children. Loves to travel. 40Th Anniversary coming up. Louise and Don are making place for a celebration in France.


Stan Sheridan

“Because thing are the way they are things will not stay the way they are.”

Didn't like school. Loved to work. CFO to President of Faygo.  After retirement, Stan joined the board.

“What was the best thing before sliced bread?”

“Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.”

“More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”


Don and Stan - thank you for sharing your story.  We enjoyed them.


Chamber Sign donation - As previously voted on and failed, the membership asked committee to revisit their proposal.  The previous proposal of $5,000 was reduced to $2,500 for a membership vote tonight.

Voting results - Yes = 25, No = 8


Next week‘s program - Oct 13 Glen Chown, Executive Director of the Land Conservancy


Nov 17 Thanksgiving meal – Myrta reminded us that Roberto will be preparing a turkey dinner. This special meal will be an evening to invite spouses and guests. Please start thinking of your guest list and getting out those invites.


P.S. Rick, the notes we saved after all. I figured out how to retrieve an item when 'delete' is accidentally hit.


Sherry Steffen

Rotary Club of Elk Rapids



September 29, 2015
Welcome Traverse City, Bellaire, and Mancelona! Very nice to have neighboring clubs join the meeting tonight as they partner with us on the Pure Water for the World project.
Celebrating special birthdays for Jack “80” and Jeff “ 75”
Also, special anniversary for Jerry making it to “40” years!
Interacts second meeting took place today. Their next fundraiser will be selling hot cider during home coming. Jim N commented the Interacts liaison; Tom Ault is doing a great job. Interact is becoming involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters and will also be helping us with our weatherization projects this fall.
Dean reported four club members attended the recent water conference.
Bob picked up information from the chamber regarding the sign.  The information packet was sent around for those interested.
Marcia shared how nice her island trip was as she visited Mackinaw, Néebish, Sugar, and Bois Blanc. She is also celebrating the in-laws have gone home.
Make note of a new date  - District Training assembly is now January 16, 2016
Reminder, Ron and Marty Yocum will match up to $1000 of our combined contribution made to The Cowell Cancer Family Center (Munson - Traverse City) in memory of  Lee Welch. This offer is good through the end of the month.
Homecoming Friday night - two tickets were made available to any member who would like them.  They we provided courtesy of the school due to us being a sponsor.
Jerry announced show dates of May 20 and 21. At next week’s meeting we will talk about possible show themes. Jerry also informed us that Connie with be partnering with him as co-chair for the show.
Jim - adopt highway clean- up will take place Thursday and Saturday.  Jim has enough people between members and Interact.  Thank you everyone!
Program notes -
Carolyn Meub, executive director of Pure Water for the World, just returned from Haiti about ten days ago.  When asked, how is Haiti? Carolyn says she replies with “the government is a basket case, the Haitians are not.” They are resilient wonderful people.
  • All local clubs participating with Elk Rapids are playing an important role in the global grant.
  • Dean raises great questions. He also, as part of the grant, asked the local club in Trianon to collect a sample from the river. The results were used for the grant application.
  • Haiti has accepted that a ‘point of access’ is acceptable for a water source.  Meaning, water from the well.  Note: the well water is then ran through the filter system.
  • We need to do more to build relationships with the Rotary club in Haiti. Encourage them to go to the villages with us.
  • Population is about 9 million in Haiti
  • Comments from Haitians - Life is more important than money. I need to protect my family. I protect my family with clean water.
Carolyn closed with; Because of all Elk Rapids Rotary Club has done and getting great support from the area clubs.  I felt it was important that someone for the area have a voice on the board for Pure Water.  Just announced today… Bill Donberg will now be a member of the board.
DG, Tom Schmidt’s donation gift from us was presented to Carolyn. Tom had asked for the donation in his name to go to Pure Water for the World.
Gary  announced, next week … variety show, member forum, Chamber of Commerce sign vote, induction of new member and so on. It will be a great meeting.  See everyone then.
Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids
September 22, 2015
Ron Y shared ……As we know, Lee asked for people to donate to the Munson Cancer Center in his memory.  Ron announced that he and his wife will match up to $1,000 of donations made in memory of Lee. This act of helping support a very dear friends request is one way Ron felt he could honor Lee’s wish of supporting the cancer center in his memory. Please consider a donation by sending any amount you can to the Munson Cancer Center, noting in memory of Lee Welch. Ron will only be provided with the overall dollar amount in order for the matching funds to be added to the “in memory of” donations. Thank you Ron for your kindness and helping to fill Ellen’s heart with love from Lee and Ellen’s Rotary friends.

Don Pond thanked Gary C on behalf of Club Service for getting the heaviest piece of equipment on the street level at HERTHA making set up and take down for meetings much easier to manage.

Joe announced it has been 75 years for the theatre.  Huge congratulations!

Good Works update provided by Jeff -  Chamber sign donation was revisited by the committee.  The recommendation to the board was for $2,500.  The board has supported the $2,500 for the Chamber of Commerce sign including the marquee.  This donation will be voted on by the membership at next week’s meeting.

Craig Mosher from Right Tree shared the history of this 501C3 organization and how they provide opportunities for young ladies (6,7 and 8 grade)  to help them discover their worth, their gifts, their voice and their future.
Craig and his wife Barb opened Water Toys rental as a way to help provide funding for the summer activities. 40 percent of the non-profit budget is now coming from the rental shop.  Visit if you would like more information and details.
Do not miss next week’s program, September 29 featuring Carolyn Meub, Executive Director of Pure Water for the World. The program will be on Managing Waterborne Diseases in Haiti. We have invited Rotary Guests from Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City, Mancelona, Bellaire and Frankfort.  This is also a good opportunity to invite a spouse, friend or neighbor. Remember to register accordingly.
Two announcements I am adding in during the writing of these notes –
Sunday, September 27 from 2pm to 4pm the Elk Rapids Historical Society is hosting the history of the Elk Rapids Women as a celebration of their 70th year. Stop in for snacks and refreshments and to meet current women in the organization helping to make a difference in the community and region.
Do you love college ball?  If so, you will not want to miss the games being play at TC West field this weekend.  Our very own Kathy Moody-Breece coordinates this tournament of high level ball to be played in our area. College Teams – CMU, Oakland, U of M and WMU will gather for the tournament. Game time for both Saturday and Sunday will be 10:30am and 12:30pm. This is the 21st Collegiate Softball Tournament.  Admission is only $2.00 each day.  Enjoy!

Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids
September 8, 2015
Joe Y noted the Satellite Club offered a beautiful setting….. calm river……………very pleasant occasion this morning.

Julia had Bill share with members that Jim M’s radiation is working and things are looking bright.

Make note, per Gary, next week’s meeting is Friday @ 5:30 p.m. at the football field. Tailgate party and home football game. Go ELKS!

Bob made available 3 shirts for anyone who was interested, he then went on to tell a great story about mowing the lawn and drinking twice boiled spider in his tea. 

Jim N shared that his arm is doing well and he is almost ready to ditch the sling.

Dean introduced Julie Clark from TART. Main comments regarding the Acme to Charlevoix trail were as follows -

Years of progress have been made as the region works toward a trail connecting Traverse City to Charlevoix. This portion of the  trail was broke down into three study groups. Charlevoix to East Port. East Port to Elk Rapids. Elk Rapids to Acme. Rough estimates for 46.2 miles will cost approximately $11 million dollar's. Each community will need to identify a trail team to keep the project moving forward. TART will support the communities with leadership resources however, each community will need to determine their local support and determine the funding of their section. 
Visit for more information.

Thirsting to Serve Water Conference will be held September 26th in Grand Rapids. Please visit the District website for more details and to register. 
Reminder, next week’s meeting is Friday night. See you then!
Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids 
September 01, 2015
Don thanked Gary for the temporary cabinets. Meeting set up and tear down team will enjoy them while they last. Gary replied he would extend the thank you to Tom Vranich for providing main level locked storage.
Welcome Winston.....Camille's new puppy.
Myrta extended an invite for everyone to attend a PEO evening of dinner and entertainment. Sept. 24 @ HERTHA 5:30pm cash bar with a 6 pm dinner. Contact Nancy Sanford 264-9965 for more details and to purchase your $35.00 ticket.
Marcia asked for a volunteer for late January or early February. Someone will need to be present, on Marcia's behalf, during the district training assembly to be held here in Elk Rapids at ERHS. Marcia will be out of town during this time. Thank you Jim Notoff for stepping up and filling this need.
Jim S informed members that the pedestals are in place! Jim thanked everyone who assisted for their hard work in getting these in the ground. DPW for cutting the pipe to size and other volunteers to date ....Travis B, Bob (owner of Twisted Fish), Jim Witte, Gary C, George, Dale, Ron, Roy, Rick, Chris....
Next step is landscaping and building of patio - Pine Hill will be our partners on this project. Look for an email from Jim regarding project date.
Two story board samples were present - looking awesome.
Jim is also working with Jack to extend the deck to create a continual walk way as visitors view and enjoy the story boards.
Don Pond informed members there are volunteer opportunities for you to support this years Veterans Honor Flight Oct 11, 12,13 or 14. The needs vary each day. Please contact Don for more details.
President Tom announced - Tom S will chair ? Sorry, Tom and Tom............I did not hear the name of the committee and have not been able to reach anyone.
First item on club assembly is the donation for the Chamber sign of $5,000.  The plan is for Good Works to come back to full membership with a new proposal.
Chris  announced that today was the Satellite Club's 5th meeting. He took questions from the floor regarding the agenda, communication etc. Overall, off to a good start.
Jim N provided a handout as a weatherization overview and update. This fall we will need to service 10-15 homes between Oct 1 and Dec 20. Sign up sheet was circulated.
If you can help, please let Jim know.
President Tom needs  a forth person for golf outing. Contact him for details.
Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids
August 18, 2015
News Flash - last week Tom Ault won the jack pot of $100 and kindly donated his winnings to the Interact Club.

Mel attended morning Satellite Club meeting today and paid a happy dollar for finding people of a sound mind. Bill delivered a happy dollar on behalf of Julia for Jim Saks entertainment this morning. Jim showed up at the end of the meeting to start working on the installation of the story boards.  When Julia asked what was going in the holes Jim replied “giant geraniums”.

Ron Yocum proudly announced his range in Texas was the location for the Chevy ad shoot.

I could not even begin to write the announcement and have the same impact Bob made when he talked about Norms book signing ceremony at the Milton Township Hall. All of us laughed the whole time he told the story. Congratulations Norm!

Ralph H noted it is time to start thinking about weatherization for homes in need. Sign-up sheet was sent around. Contact Ralph for questions or to volunteer to help.

Jeff L announced $1,250 dollars will go to High Tea. There will be application made for a
district foundation grant for the other $1,250 to support books that will be distributed to young ladies about breast cancer.

President Tom thanked Bob and Mike again for their leadership with the BBQ.  The question was asked of - How much chicken was left over? President Tom answered with – “30 to 50 half’s  were donated to ACTS”

Tom Ault introduced Tom Kern. Ault share that he and Tom have known each other for years.  They have children of the same age who completed school together beginning with kindergarten. Tom commented we are fortunate to have Toms Golden Touch as the Executive Director of the Elk Rapids Chamber of Commerce.
Tom Kern presented the Chamber’s 2015 goals and objectives accomplished to date and others that are still being worked on.

President Tom announced a club assembly for next week. Do not miss this one! See you then.
August 11, 2015
Don and Sharon Watkins are proud grandparents of twins. Congratulations Watkins on your grandson and granddaughter!

Jim Sak contributed nine happy dollars as a thank you to Travis and Erin for drilling nine holes at Rotary Park.  Jim noted that after about twenty shear pins later, Travis had the nine holes ready for the story boards.

Gary  C excitedly told us about his gift from his children… taking a ride in an Indy car…… around the track……two laps……full suit ……185 miles an hour……….his comment to Mary was “thank god it was only two laps”……..  

Norm could not go without sharing, after hearing Gary C’s story, so he shared that…. his kids got him a rubrics cube once. Norm’s comment received as many laughs as one of Nick’s jokes.

Dale D commented how many Rotary pins were worn today in honor of Lee during his service today.  

Bob shared,  "I had a great fist year volunteering for the BBQ. I am ready for next year!" Sign-up sheet is already available. Bob asked that people make note of how to do certain things so new people like him know what to do and how to help support people with various tasks.

Jim H thanked everyone for helping with the parade. Jim commented “It went over great!”

Mel contributed a happy dollar for Bob and Mike Shockley for managing the BBQ with very little directions and doing such a great job. Chicken prep went well and Mel was very appreciative of all who helped as well as the community support.

President Tom thanked Mike and Bob for a successful BBQ fundraiser. Great job Bob and Mike!

Jerry D will head up the variety show for 2016. He is looking for a co-chair to help with the skits. Please let Jerry know if you can help out.

Jeff - Good Works meeting today. No quorum, but took action anyway. Smiles.....  $1,250 donation to High Tea for books used to educate young ladies on breast cancer. The other 1,250 will be distributed at a later date for another High Tea project. Questions, please reach out to Jeff L.

Matt Herbert from Nature Conservancy provided a very informative presentation regarding the restoration of a reef located offshore here in Elk Rapids.

Next week, Tom Kern will share the 2015/2016 priorities of the Chamber.
Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids

August 4, 2105 Mtg Announcements


Norm smiled when he shared they made it through two day’s of processing cherries on generator power.

Donberg’s are going to be grandparents!

Gary shared that prayers for Lee are much needed. He asked that we pray for Lee and Ellen both.

Joe's only loss is a simple TV antenna. This is an expression of relief as we have all seen the serious damage the storm caused.

Mike and Bob - appreciate everyone's support for the upcoming BBQ.  There are many opportunities left for volunteering. Please do what you can to help.  Also, take a couple minutes to think of someone you can reach out to join us Saturday and have a little fun as well.

District Governor Tom Schmidt shared a little of his accomplishments and background with us. One impressive fact is, DG Tom’s attendance shines from January 1978 to date, 100% attendance!
DG Tom referred to his training that took place in San Diego. He mentioned he was hoping for a theme of “Push for Rotary” during his year as DG. With the theme announced of “Be a gift to the World” DG Tom feels the theme he was hoping for really holds the same meaning.

DG complimented our Club with having a + 7 rating. He noted the district has a +6.
He went on to expand on Push for the World making motivational comments such as…
Push forward to be a gift for the world….
Plan until something happens……
Promote Rotary……
Wear your pin……
We do not say thank you enough……
DG Tom then shared the following –
As we think of Rotarians, what is it that makes for a True Rotarian?  Let me use the word ROTARIAN to answer that question at least partially.
          R is for Relevant to their Community
          O is for Observant of Needs
          T is for Tolerant of Others
          A is for Available to Serve
          R is for Responsible to Invest in Others
          I is for Inspirational to Encourage
          A is for Aspiring to Impact Others
          N is for Naturally Inclined to Integrity
A true Rotarian is not someone who just sits at a meeting and who may or may not eat a meal, drink a cup of coffee, listen or not listen to what is going on.  A true Rotarian is a person of action and participation.
And then closed with - Because you gave you are a gift to the world.
Gary presented DG Tom with our gift to him of $200 to a cause of his choice.  DG Tom chose the
Haiti water project.

Reminder, no evening meeting next week.  

Satellite Club will be meeting Tuesday, August 11 at 7am
Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids


July 28, 2105 Mtg Announcements

Jim Sak - Rotary Park improvements -  Pedestals are ready.  Story boards have been printed. We need an auger for nine holes. If you know of someone who has a tractor with an auger that is preferred.

President Tom reported the Inaugural meeting of Satellite Club this morning went well. Nice celebration.
Jeff L - Good Works  update - Board approved the following - 
Chamber of Commerce Sign $5,000
ABC Walk  $1,000
Paddle Antrim $1,000
St. Paul out reach project - back to school items $1,000
Jim needs people to walk in the parade.  He also needs another chicken. Let him know if you can help.
Bob - volunteers are still needed for the BBQ. Please do what you can to help.
Next Tuesday night - New District Governor, Tom Schmidt,  will be in attendance.  Spouse night! Be sure to register.
Kim from Silver Muzzle Cottage  - Kim explained how they make a difference in a dogs life by caring for homeless senior dogs.
Sherry Steffen
Rotary Club of Elk Rapids

July 21, 2105 Mtg Announcements


Jim N shoulder surgery tomorrow.
Jack Sisson is doing well

Lee Welch is still dealing with his back issues and hoping for relief soon.

Please keep Jim, Jack and Lee in your thoughts.

Norm reported cherries are done in Southern MI. In Northern MI sweet are almost over and tarts are under way.

Jim S needs volunteers to be chicken people in the Harbor Days Parade.

Chicken BBQ - Bob and Mike ask, “please sign up if you have not done so. We still have shifts open for all types of work.”  Sign-up sheets were circulated.

President Tom announced Don Pond as new Club Services chair and John DeMarsh as Co-chair for Membership
Both John and Don took their oath of office.

Gary announced next week, Kim Nelson will share the story of Silver Muzzle Cottage.

Julia reminded members that Art Rapids is July 30th. We are sharing the cost of this concert. Please support the event.

Program - Dean introduced Greg Payne and Klaus Heinert from the Kewadin Park Shoreline Project.  Lon Bargy, Milton Township Supervisor was present as well.


P.S. With the notes being prepared today, July 23 I am able to add a note about Jim N and how he is doing. I talked with him a few minutes ago.  He is home and comfortably (thank goodness for pillows) situated in bed.  He is a little loopy and trying to manage his pain. However, doing well overall. His son and daughter in law are with him for a couple weeks, brother will take over for the next two weeks and then sister after that.  The Houghton’s brought dinner tonight.  Thank you Houghton’s!



Sherry Steffen

Rotary Club of Elk Rapids


July 14 mtg announcements

President Myrta and Chris White  announced the formation of a Satellite Club. The first meeting will be held July 28th, 7:00am at Rotary Park. The purpose of it's formation is to accomodate current members and attract new members who have a hard time with an evening meeting.

Lorna shared the  Old Town Playhouse is presenting Alice in Wonderland this week-end. Friday and Saturday, 7pm  There will also be a matinee on Saturday at 2pm.   Look for Loran's  grandson Cobain. 

Jim N thanked everyone who helped with highway clean-up and the team who also took the time to apply a fresh coat of paint on our Rotary Park sign.

President Myrta and Lorna presented Paul Harris fellow recognition's to Joe, Sherry,  Roy, Gary and Myrta.

Ellie and Mike were honored by Lorna and Bill with a Paul Harris recognition as well.

Julia announced the Concert in the Park will be held at the Day Park this year. Entertainment by David Chow and Miriam Pico. Please take time to support this event on July 30th at 7pm

President Myrta shared her goal accomplishments of -

  • Membership

  • Paul Harris fellows

  • Fun

President Myrta recognized Paul and Bill for their partnership throughout her term as president.

President Myrta also acknowledged  Chris, Jim N, Jim H, Camille, Bill, Dean, Jeff L, Lorna, Jim S, Joe and Roy

Installation of new officers took place starting with President  Myrta having Preisdent elect Tom take the  oath of office.
Tom presented Myrta with past presidents pin.

Myrta and Tom administered the oath to the following 2015-2016 officers
Gary, Joe, Jim H, Jeff L, Dean, Lorna, Stan and Bill H

Tom presented Myrta with a plaque honoring her for a wonderful year. The plaque included the governors citation award our club received this year.

Newly installed 2015-2016 President Tom shared highlights of his bio with us.

President Tom wants to work on attracting younger members and engaging new members in activities. 

For major projects President Tom will be challenging committees to come up with a project that will have benefit and make an impact for years to come.

Rotary Theme for this year is "Be a gift for the world." With watery eyes......President Tom shared what he was told at his PET's conference. "You have been given a gift as president, make the best of it you can." President Tom added, "This Club is a true gift and I am honored to be your President."

Gary reminded members of next week's presentation - Milton Township's  new Waterfront Park. 

Sherry Steffen

Rotary Club of Elk Rapids