Ruzak Ruminations for the Rotary meeting of August 24, 2021
This week’s in-person along with zoom meeting at the Great Wolf Lodge was definitely a celebration of community connectedness!  President Mark opened the bell rung meeting with reminiscences of the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King 58 years ago this week, including the fact that the speech was an off the script impromptu one, with the leader casting aside his prepared words (similar to what President Mark often seems to do). After our pledge of allegiance, Herb Lemcool then started the room (and screen participants) off on God Bless America.
Sid Lammers took the off-script aspect to heart with a personal message to “get vaccinated”.  Four members of Sid’s family, all of whom were vaccinated, were diagnosed with COVID recently. All had varying degrees of symptoms, with Maria and Sid completely asymptomatic, so as Sid explained with the help of the vaccine he reflected on the joy of just being present. And in yet a different off-the-script manifestation of community connectedness, Randy Kamp shouted a classic Rotarian style friendly dig at Sid that “we are all especially glad Maria survived”.
An equally off-script Max Anderson created a new category of connectedness asking if there were “any Visiting Rotarians with guests”, then adding back in the usual “Rotarian with guests” producing Randy Kamp announcing Jordan “Van”(but there’s really no middle part there he later explained, just jesting on Dutch heritage) Starkenburg, a Presbyterian Pastor later investigation revealed. Also introduced was John Cox as head of Munson Surgical Administration. 
Lynn Moon introduced new Rotarian John Van Wagoner, the new TCAPS Superintendent, with a resume full of experience he brings to the community. A traditional rousing celebratory standing ovation welcomed John, his wife Sarah, and 4 children to our community.
For announcements:  Mark proclaimed that the date of September 13 will be the Rotary Golf Outing at TC Country Club with a 12:30p shotgun start. Please reach out to Mike Meindertsma or Kathy to sign up as a group of four or by yourself to be put in a group of four.
Carla Weaver let us know that applications for 2022 outbound Exchange students are due this week with interviews set for Sept 26.
Carla and Alexis Juett introduced all new members who joined during COVID zoom time from 2020 - 2021 and in addition to a welcome package the entire room exploded with a cascade of confetti streamers in celebration.
Miriam Owlsley said we need to sign up to be a grant reviewer by tomorrow (so too late by the time this epistle is read) with interviews of grantees to start August 30.  And in the continuing spirit of celebration.
Trevor Tkach won the $60 fifty fifty mimicking the confetti explosion with his own version by tossing his tickets into the air.
Club Program
Then it was on to one of the most heart-rendering stories of community connection and a celebration of the impact on so many lives that individual efforts can have that has been presented to our club. This time it was not only of our own medical community member's connections, but also that connection with and within another community in Guatemala. Wendy Irvin introduced John Cox from Munson, who after mentioning some basics about Team Medicos, began the essence of his presentation with how he personally was affected by the fragile condition of a young girl in the Guatemala town in which their efforts began. His tales of the impact their efforts have had on the quality of life of residents, by providing basic hygiene, clean water, medical treatment and training climaxed with the showing of a short video of their team(s) that so powerfully expressed this impact, his own honest reaction of emotional connection (especially as he was reunited years later with that little girl, now revealed as “Bianca”) truly moved the audience.
Along the path of this celebration of community connection, we learned that since beginning in 2015 with the first medical teams sent to Guatemala in 2017, the group has sent 10 teams helping 5,000 villagers with the support of sponsoring pharmacies and other entities in our own community while supporting and engaging local leaders in remote villages to assess their specific needs. Through partnering with Mission Impact they work to make sure each project is important to the local Guatemalans (sounds like they’ve taken a few pages of Marilyn Fitzgerald’s book If I had a Water Buffalo to heart).  Their efforts have provided 1000 pairs of glasses, 15 prosthetic limbs, and $21,000 in medications.
How it all started was with the building of concrete stoves, which used less wood and yielded less smoke, thus increasing environmental air quality and resource management, hence improved health. So much so that as time went on the villagers were simply and accurately stating “our children live more” (not in a subjective quality way, but by sheer numbers), sometimes by simply deworming children and providing vitamins that produced results in just a week. Then water filtration units were provided to a number of villages, and dry compost units (because if you just bury waste in a tropical rain forest, it goes instantly into the water supply).
These shorter-term projects led to even more long-term goals to improved access to Health and Education, along with critical infrastructure. So a clinic was built in Coyolate, primarily with the Guatemalans directing the project and the Medicos team providing support; which now has a local nurse practitioner, who then also teaches volunteers in other communities, thus expanding the reach of even further. In the plans is a Proximos Pasos - New Hope Nursing School, similar to high school vocational schools, again expanding that community connectedness even more.
Through all of these efforts focus remains on creating relationships, and adapting to local cultural traditions (so for example even using witch doctors to exorcise demons so that the medications will be able to work) by being flexible and sensitive (for example that our speaker’s blue eyes were perceived as potential soul-stealing) to others interpretations. The focus is on taking care of one’s community, immediate and extended. This leads us right back to Sid’s reflection, and as President  Mark summarized the presentation as “touching, enlightening, amazing work”.
As a final celebration of connection expression, President Mark announced that the Rotary Club Board had heard and listened to its member's comments about finding the new lunch billing system confusing so we will be reverting to the old system of billing for lunches actually eaten at the end of each cycle rather than in advance then receiving credit for uneaten ones.
Meeting adjourned with … members in physical attendance, and … by zoom. 
Rotary Club's Tuesday Meeting Please Attend
Rotary Club of Traverse City
ZOOM Only Club Meeting
You're welcome to check-in around 11:45 AM 
The start of the meeting is at Noon.
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
(Same Meeting ID & Password) this will be the same every week)
Join the ZOOM Meeting from your computer
Phone ZOOM Details   
 +1 646 558 8656 
      Meeting ID: 817 2758 9532
Find your local Phone Number if you are not calling from Eastern Time Zone
Rotary Charities & Rotary Camps & Services Annual Meetings
Speaker Chris Uhl will present about community development and Financing 
***CANCELLED *** 2021 Rotary Golf Outing!
Due to extremely low participation, the Rotary Golf Outing for 2021 is not going to be held.
Hopefully, we can get better numbers for next year’s outing.
Thank you.

Mike Meindertsma 932-2616 or

There is still time to sign up! 9/11 (Now)  Virtual Honor Run - Join US!

There is still time to sign up to participate or donate!

9/11 Honor Virtual Run 

CLICK HERE to Run, Walk or Donate

Good afternoon racers and volunteers,

It is with a heavy heart that we will be moving the in-person race this year to 100% Virtual, due to low in-person registration. With less than 30 days to the event, we don't have enough participants to cover the in-person race day expenses and donate to our Local First Responder Charity. However, we are shifting everything to 100% virtual so you can still participate and we can all honor our Local First Responders and the events of September 11th, 2001, twenty years ago. 

This was a very tough decision and one we don't take lightly. We want to thank everyone who has registered and volunteered throughout the years. We wish you will all come back in-person next year!

I want to give a huge shoutout to our sponsors who are in full support of the race and are still donating to keep the spirit of this day alive. A special thanks to the Kurt Rivard Baird Group, UpNorthLive/TV 7&4, Floor Covering Brokers and the TC Rotary Club for staying with us and generating awareness to always remember the September 11th attacks and supporting our Local First Responders. We couldn't do this without you. 

This time will be used to re-group with our local first responder leaders and see how we can best serve this community moving forward. Rest assured this event will remain committed to our mission of raising funds to support emotional wellness programs for our local first responders and honoring the lives lost on September 11th, 2001. We will never forget.

Participants have the option to switch to the virtual event, donate your fee to the race, or receive a full refund.

Thank you for your understanding. Please give us a few days to process the changes you request to your account. 

Race Director, 
Jen Casey
The 9/11 virtual run is to honor those who lost their lives in the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks, as well as Local First Responders. Proceeds will go to the Grand Traverse Region Public Safety Alliance. This non-profit fund was set up to recognize emotional wellness and develop programs for our first responders (Police, Fire, EMS, Emergency Management, 911 Dispatchers and Coast Guard).
Get to know this Rotarian: John Racine
Get to know this Rotarian & 2017-2018 Club President: John Racine
Current occupation? Mediator (had been an attorney in private practice in TC for 43 years).
How long have you been a Rotarian? 30 years.
What made you interested in joining Rotary? It’s made up of movers and shakers who do good and get things done.
What do you love the most about rotary? All the terrific things we’re able to accomplish by putting our collective efforts into action.
What has been your favorite program or volunteer opportunity with rotary to participate in? There have been so many, but probably the nearest and dearest to me is the Munson Manor dinner committee. Serving a home-cooked meal to out-of-town relatives of Munson Hospital patients is so sincerely appreciated by those stressed-out people – we always leave the Manor afterward with a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
What keeps you with Rotary? The camaraderie, friendships, and knowing that our organization continues to do great things, both locally and around the world.
What are you currently reading? I’ve been enjoying a series of novels by Canadian author Louise Penny about a fictional French Canadian homicide detective.
What are you currently watching? Don’t watch much TV. When I do, it’s often Jeopardy (yes, I’ve become my parents) or a sporting event.
What is a fun fact about you? While in law school at U of M, I played as a ringer on the dental school hockey team.
Taking TADL on The Road
Promoting literacy and curiosity is at the heart of Traverse Area District Library’s mission. TADL has been awarded a $50,000 Assets for Thriving Communities grant in support of their new Bookmobile. The Bookmobile will bring books, resources, equipment, and educational materials to schools, long-term care facilities, and events throughout Northern Michigan. CLICK HERE to read the full story.
Rotary Charities Grant Cycle News

June 21 through August 13 Pre-grant Meetings

Schedule your meeting with Freya for Systems Change Accelerator Grants or Sakura for Assets for Thriving Communities Grants.


September 1, 2021 Applications Due

October 31, 2021 Review Meetings Completed

November 2021 Decisions & Notifications

Learn More


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