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3.15.18 – SPOKES Notes

SPOKES Notes written by Roger Morgenstern

  • Our March 15 meeting took on a whole different look and feel…a different location and focus on “The Essence of Rotary.”
  • Our venue was Clearwater Place, originally the city of Grand Rapids’ first water filtration plant in the early 1900s and now a unique place for weddings and receptions, business meetings, etc. It is owned by Rotarian Ed DeVries and managed by his son Mike DeVries who provided a history of the building and DeVries Properties’ ownership for the last 10 years.
  • We also congratulated Lody Zwarensteyn (21 years) and George Trowbridge (47 years) on perfect attendance milestones.
  • President Renwick focused our discussion topic on the Essence of Rotary and asked three members provide their prospective:
  • George Trowbridge talked about how he learned about Rotary’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) in 1972 when he attended another Rotary District meeting. At the time, the exchange involved five individuals for 6 weeks from another country; the local district would then send five individuals (not all of them Rotarians) to the same country. George said our District did exchanges with Denmark, Australia, India, France, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil. Rotary ended the program in 2012, when our District had an exchange with the Netherlands. He said it was a great way to understand Rotary’s international impact.
  • Christine Lindeman  said while she is now in finance, her work within Rotary the last 18 months has helped her return to her professional roots in social work. She has thoroughly enjoyed her work with co-chairing the community engagement committee and said Rotarian’s involvement beyond weekly meetings strengthens the “Service Above Self” motto.
  • Jon Hankins said he first learned about Rotary in 2002 while living in Seattle, when he was an alternate for a GSE trip to Africa. While he didn’t go overseas, he remained in contact with the group who did and was impressed by the impact it had on their professional and personal lives. Now as a member of the Grand Rapids Club, he had the opportunity last year to go with a clean water group to Nicaragua. “Service and Leadership drive me every day to be a Rotarian.”
  • President Renwick also asked for members of the audience to share some of their thoughts about the essence of Rotary, which was very enlightening.

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