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12.19.19 – Rotary News

Rotary News written by Tom Mathison

The Rotary Club of Downtown Grand Rapids gathered at noon at the University Club for its regular meeting. President-Elect Jon Hankins called this meeting to order at noon by welcoming everyone and announcing the line-up of events and future speakers for the Club:

  • Dec. 26th: No luncheon – Christmas Holiday
  • Jan. 2nd: No luncheon – New Year’s Holiday
  • Jan. 11th: President’s Post Holiday Social at Marchand’s home – RSVP by Jan. 2
  • Rotary office closed – Dec. 23rd – Jan. 3rd.

Today we have our own Rotary band, “Twice December”, to perform for the Club, and Jon invited  Tom Mathison to lead us in our song today, “White Christmas”, accompanied by Rotarian Kevin Paul at the piano.  This was followed by today’s invocation by Max Smith.

Following lunch, Jon invited Peter Albertini  to the tell the Club about a newly formed group in the Club, called the R2R Work Group.  As Peter explained, with the business origins of Rotary, it is appropriate that we establish an interactive directory of Rotarians that can be preferred vendors to other Rotarians.  Peter will be leading this group, so please contact him if you are interested in participating and/or helping with this new group!

Jon invited Melissa Boivert to introduce guests and visiting Rotarians, and then invited Bill Buchanan to introduce two Interact students from Ottawa Hills High School, Amina Mussa and Alexis Queada-Figueroa, who spoke about their activities and plans for the future.  Bill also introduced the head football coach from Ottawa Hills, who stood to be recognized.

President-Elect Hankins invited Katherine Roye to the podium to provide an update on the Service Above Selfie contest.  The competition started last Sunday, and the top prize this year is $5,000.  Just submit photos of volunteers at their non-profit before the end of March.  At each table are cards to tell you how to submit the photos.

In place of a regular speaker today, we were entertained by our own Rotary band, “ Twice December”, comprised of Club members Kevin Paul, Ken Estelle, Inge Whittemore, Tom Bylenga, and Justin (at the drums).  Their stirring set of holiday favorites included:

.              I’ll Be Home for Christmas

.              The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

.              Favorite Things (from “Sound of Music”)

.              It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

.              Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

.              Jingle Bells

.              Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

.              Holly Jolly Christmas

.              God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / We Three Kings

.              We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Twice December concluded to warm, appreciative applause from the Rotary audience.

Jon reiterated the announcements and then rang the Rotary bell to adjourn the meeting.



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