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SPOKES Notes by Roger Morgenstern

  • 14 was our annual Holiday Luncheon and what a treat it was. We had great holiday music by our own “Traveling Rotary Band” of Tom Bylenga, Ken Estelle, Kevin Paul and former Rotarian Inge Whittemore. It was a hit parade of holiday favorites, including several sing-a-alongs. The band has been together for three years and while they have performed at our annual Senior Neighbors Holiday Luncheon, this is the first time they’ve played at our holiday meeting. I’m guessing they’ll be back…
  • With assistance from Bill Buchanan, we got to meet our Interact students from West Catholic High School and were pleased to have other Interact students sitting among our members during lunch.
  • Jackie Taylor followed up her and Dawn’s e-mails from earlier in the week explaining the different roles performed by the Rotary International Foundation and the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation, both of which annually request $100 donations from Rotarians. She also introduced David and Nancy Huhn for their special announcement of a $100,000 legacy donation to the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation to support one youth a year in pursuing post high school education in a variety of areas, but focused on vocational education or the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field. David’s explanation of their decision to donate via their annual required distributions from their IRA is a reminder to all Rotarians to review your estate plans and consider ways of donating back to the community. Jackie said the Huhn’s generous donation has helped the Club’s foundation reach the $1 million mark, quite a milestone.
  • James Eliassen reminded us of the Senior Neighbors Holiday Luncheon Dec. 19 at Kuyper College. He said donations are still welcome, but it looks like they have “a ton of volunteers and while that’s great, we’ll never turn anyone away.”
  • President Renwick welcomed to the club our two newest members, Julie Brinks, vice president and general manager at WOOD TV 8 and Nathaniel Phillips, corporate relations manager for Habitat for Humanity Kent County.
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