Ruzak Rotary Ruminations for September 28th, 2021

 The meeting was rung to order at high noon by President Mark, and suspense built over the first few minutes while announcements moved up in order of presentation and Sharron Z. encouraged awareness  with a poem for the meeting’s Reflection and Gratitude, as we waited for additional participants to zoom in. 

      Ramona Pleva announced details about the perfectly timed for Halloween Rotary Blood Drive of October 29th, from 10am to 5pm at Kirkbride Hall. Ramona’s buying drinks at Pepenero’s afterward (just kidding in the holiday trick spirit). For more details please visit :

     The gist of Sharron’s beautiful recitation of Brent Peterson’s poem was that a man asked the Creator to speak to him and a meadowlark answered but the man did not hear. The same non-recognition response happened with a request to the Universe with resulting thunder in response, and again when the unseen answer to “ let me see you” was a star shining brightly, and “for a miracle” request a life was born unnoticed. So the man cried out in despair “touch me, and let me know you are here” but the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on. So don’t miss out on a blessing because it isn’t packaged in the expected manner. 

     Ten minutes into the meeting a quorum of 104 was announced to have been reached by Connor Miller so Ben Marentette proceeded to open an annual meeting of both Rotary Charities and Camps and Service. Initial business was to accept the minutes from the previous Camps and Services meeting, which was motioned by Herb Lemcool with a second from Madison Ford; then the Rotary Charities minutes were motioned by T. Michael Jackson and seconded by Sharron Zimmerman. Both motions were individually affirmatively voted unanimously.

     Ben moved on to the election of the candidates for 3 Rotary Charities Board positions, with the nominees of Allison Beers, Marlene Bevans, and Greg Luyt requesting a motion to accept the presented ballot. Ken Musson so moved, with Herb Lemcool seconding, and the zoom vote again was unanimous in on-screen hands raised, with no nays (or visual thumbs down for that matter).

    Next came the election for Rotary Camps and Services, “hotly” contested election with 4 candidates: incumbents Chis DeGood, Katy McCain, and Dan Rickard, along with second-time nominee Cindy Ruzak. Sakura Takano announced that results would be sent via email later in the day. Sakura and Mark both thanked all participants for running.  And with Ken Musson moving, and a second from Sharron Z. the annual meeting was concluded.

    Then it was on to the program, an excellent and wonderfully articulated one by Yi Wei of IFF. After Seth Johnson provided several impressive credentials such as a BA from Harvard and Chicago Business School, Yi expressed she already has several connections to Rotary via youthful participation in water projects, and to the Grand Traverse region as a percussion student at Interlochen.

    Her organization IFF was founded in 1988 with a donation from Rotary for $500,000  to primarily make flexible long-term real estate loans to non-profits serving low-income and special needs populations. IFF serves as a financial gap filler when traditional means are not possible, with the belief that owning real estate makes a non-profit more able to control their own space/place requirements plus it strengthens their balance sheet. IFF serves clients in 10 states across the Midwest with  $1 billion in capital deployed so far (quite a community impact return on investment I would say).

    By sector, affordable housing and schools have so far the greatest share of dollars but projects range across many others such as arts and culture, youth services, and community development. She mentioned several projects in our area, with the very first project the organization made a donation to being Dann’s House, serving people experiencing chronic homelessness and addiction. As an example, IFF was able to arrange financing on a project that was difficult to make happen with traditional resources. She also mentioned Common Grounds, and a project in Grayling where the resources of IFF covered the difference in appraised value versus sales price to make the project possible; as well as the Horizon book store project to create a community event space. 

   But IFF is more than a lender, as they also provide consulting services in a variety of ways such as non - profit facility planning and development, thought leadership, and policy advocacy, or early childcare impact studies. Wherever they are involved their approach is tailored to the needs of the region and community.

For more information on the initial Rotary grant please visit:

Rotary International Article - The miracle of the oil and fishes
Please CLICK HERE to view the article 'The miracle of the oil and fishes' that was featured in Rotary International Magazine.
15th Annual Jim 'Van' 
Work Bee
15th Annual Jim Van
Work Bee
There is still time to sign up and join us tomorrow...
  • Date:  Friday, October 1, 2021, It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day  
  • Time:  1 pm – 5 pm
  • Location:  East Creek Reserve off Mayfield Road       
  • Dress:  Work clothes, work gloves & work boots (Extra gloves will be available)
  • Social Hour 4:00 PM: We’ll wrap up with fellowship and treats!
  • Please RSVP by emailing or calling Kathy (231)-313-0253, you're welcome to leave a message if I miss your call. Please include your cell phone and email address – in the event, we have a rain delay
  • Directions: South on Garfield Road. From the intersection of E. River Road go ¾ mile further and turn left onto Mayfield Road. Mayfield Road is a dirt road. Travel east on Mayfield Road 1 mile. Just across East Creek, there will be a trailhead on the left (north) side of the road. Turn into the trailhead.
In memory of long-time Rotarian and devoted steward of East Creek Reserve,
Julius “Jim” VanEenenaam (1929-2008)
Activity Co-Sponsors
Rotary Camps and Services 
Grand Traverse Conservation District

Tuesday, Club Meeting Details - Hybrid

Rotary Club Meeting
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
At the Park Place Hotel & Conference Center 
(Same Meeting ID & Password) 
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 817 2758 9532
Passcode: 42
Program: TC Newtech 
Speaker: Jennifer Szunko
Rotary Fund Match at the Community Foundation

The Rotary Fund at the Community Foundation provides a $1 to $1 match to gifts made by

Rotary members to eligible nonprofit organizations - Annually up to $250.00 

USE this amazing

opportunity, please & DOUBLE your donation

CLICK HERE to get the MATCH form

 December 1, 2021is the deadline for nonprofits to have the forms to the

Rotary Club office

9/11 Honor Run 
Our Club Sponsored a Championship Baseball Team
Our Club Sponsored a Championship Baseball Team
"Thank you so much for sponsoring our American Legion Junior baseball team this year. Your team consisted of mainly Covid seniors that did not get to play their senior year of high school ball. 
We ended up winning the championship this year thanks again"
Coach Lee Cobb
Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotary Club Fundraiser
Sharing Live Dance with Northern Michigan Communities

Sharing Live Dance with Northern Michigan Communities

This summer’s artistic and theatrical performances will look and feel very different than they did pre-pandemic. For the Traverse City Dance Project (TCDP) organizers, that’s precisely what they’ve been working towards. This spring, TCDP was awarded a $30,000 Assets for Thriving Communities grant supporting their Moving Theater project, which equips the group with the technical equipment they need to bring live dance performances to communities across...CLICK HERE to view the rest of the Rotary Charities article.

CLICK HERE to view the Traverse City Dance Project Rotary Charities video
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