Rotary Club Tuesday, 2/23/21 Meeting Notes

It was a great day for a Rotary Meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, as President Mack Beers called our meeting to order. 

Visiting Rotarians included our District Governor Jon Catlin. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Tom Petzold offered up our Gratitude and Reflection. 

Club announcements included:

Art Burkowski has a call out for member volunteers who could help do a short write-up/recap (every 6-7 weeks) of the weekly meeting for the Bulletin Committee.

Requirements include:

  • colorfully recap the weekly Rotary Meeting

  • embellish details and makeup stuff when necessary and appropriate

  • highlight our brilliant speaker presentations 

Those who have a knack for this type of creativity, please submit writing samples or standup comedy monologues or just say yes to this opportunity please reach out to Art at or get in touch with Kathy Bussell A Nobel Prize for literature is not necessary, we need you :).

President Mack recapped our wine tasting event that was held via Zoom! It was a huge hit and the President is hinting that perhaps a Beers tasting event is in the works! Stay tuned folks and get your beer steins ready!

Our program was introduced by Ken Weaver. Leila Hilal from the International Affairs Forum (IAF) at NMC along with interim director Jim Bensley spoke about the longevity and impact of the IAF has locally and globally.

The IAF brings us an advanced understanding of the world, international affairs and the role the US plays.  Expert speakers present public talks on global issues with a non-political agenda.

The IAF began as a volunteer organization and has grown into a strong community asset that is now in its 27th year. 

With the now online format, speakers are available from across the globe and have ranged from a former Peace Corps director, a National Geographic editor and a five-star general. Global issues are discussed with a wide range of views. 

The IAF now has a YouTube channel that allows the speakers and events to be archived. The organization is self-funded and rely on donors and members for resources and engagement.

The IAF has developed partnerships in the area such as with Traverse Connect and promote global citizenship and local economics. This allows for our immediate community to stay current on issues of national security, the Middle East and China.

There is also an educational component to IAF. Seven years ago, NMC began to ask the questions “where do we want our students to be?” and “how can we help our students be successful in the global economy, business and culture?” From there a short-term study abroad program was birthed that has allowed over 400 students to visit 20 countries. An academic class can now be paired with experimental activity with a global aspect and an event. 

A Student Leadership Team has been formed. These students follow up with IAF speakers which increases their comfort with international topics and helps to promote the continual study of global issues. 

Upcoming speakers include:

March 18     J. Carl Ganter, Director of Circle of Blue, Climate Change, Water and Food

April 15    Dr. Courtney Radsch, Advocacy Director, For the Committee to Protect    Journalists, Protecting Press Freedom Globally and Locally

May 20    LingLing Wei, Senior Correspondent, The Wall Street Journal, China Shutdown, the Future of the US and China Relations

June 17    Bill Clifford, CEO and President, World Affairs Councils of America, Foreign Policy Mashup

The IAF speaker presentations are on the third Thursday of the month and begin at 5 pm. 

For more information, you can check out

Ken Weaver awarded our speakers the Wheel of Hope certificate. 

And with that President Mack bid us adieu.

Rotary Club's Tuesday Meeting Details
The Next Rotary Club Meeting is on Tuesday, March 30, 2021
You're welcome to join Zoom by 11:45 am to be placed in a breakout room with 
a small number of other members to socialize. 
(Same Meeting ID & Password) this will be the same every week at least until we meet in person.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 817 2758 9532
Passcode: 42
Speaker: Kristine Erickson
Program:  Grand Traverse Civic Center
Safe Passage

The members of the Rotary Club of Traverse City have been working to help families in the Guatemala City garbage dump community since 2005, when member Paul Sutherland,  invited Hanley Denning, founder of Safe Passage, to visit Traverse City.  Later that year, a group of TC Rotarians visited Guatemala and witnessed the living conditions these families endured, as well as the programs being started to help them find pathways out of the unimaginable poverty they face.  Your club contributed financial resources and also worked with others in the community to start “Great Lakes Friends of Safe Passage”, a network of people committed to spreading the word and raising funds to support this important work. Some of us also served on the Board of Directors, worked on committees, and provided technical assistance critically needed when Hanley died suddenly in a car accident in 2007. Thanks to our community’s efforts and continuing financial support, along with others around the country, Safe Passage has thrived, now has a school of its own, and is providing education, pre-K to 9th grade, to over 500 children in the area.

(Thank you from Safe Passage)

Tour on Campus with Trae (English)
Recorded Live
Camino Seguro / Safe Passage

Dear Rotary Club of Traverse City Members,

Happy February (feliz febrero)! 

The school year is in progress and the pandemic has necessitated the continued education of our students through the remote-learning model implemented last year. Homework projects continue to be sent home during disbursements every couple of weeks, along with food and hygiene supplies. Students complete the packets for their parents to return to the teachers at the next disbursement. This process will continue until safety allows us to open - hopefully in the coming weeks.

Along with educational materials, our first disbursement of February included something extra special. Our teachers sent a personalized card to each of their students to celebrate and show their love and support on Valentine’s Day (Día del Cariño). Our second disbursement of the month included important safety preparation for parents, as they completed enrollment paperwork and reviewed protocols with staff for the reopening of school in the coming weeks. It was an important event and our Executive Director, Trae Holland, wanted to give a glimpse of what was happening to our supporters around the world. Check out the video below!

Thank you to everyone who continues supporting us in our mission to end the cycle of poverty through education. If you would like to see how you can change the life of a student, check out our feature on a sponsor and long-time supporter below. 

Many thanks,
The Safe Passage Team

Rotary Posts, News & Thank Yous
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Upcoming Events
IM Rotary - Meeting #3: The Rotary Connection
Apr 20, 2021
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Rotary Club Monthly Zoom Board Meeting
Apr 26, 2021
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
IM Rotary - Meeting #4: Youth Service
May 18, 2021
12:35 PM – 1:00 PM
View entire list
Mar 30, 2021 11:45 AM
Zoom Meeting - Grand Traverse Civic Center
Apr 06, 2021 11:45 AM
Zoom - Residential Real Estate
Apr 13, 2021 11:45 AM
Zoom- Woodland Creek
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Paul Sutherland
March 6
Becca Binder
March 7
Leon B Michael
March 7
Robert H. Witkop
March 12
Jason Allen
March 13
John Scott
March 13
Ralph Bednarz
March 13
Cindy Ruzak
March 15
Fran Gingras
March 18
Mike Wills
March 20
Ruth Blick
March 20
Jay Hooper
March 24
Elaine Wood
March 25
Dan Buron
March 26
Todd J. Muha
March 26
Kennard R. Weaver
March 27
Join Date
Bob Stow
March 1, 1994
27 years
Jack Burns
March 1, 1982
39 years
John Scott
March 1, 1996
25 years
Kennard R. Weaver
March 1, 1972
49 years
Paul LaPorte
March 2, 1993
28 years
Gil Bogley
March 3, 2015
6 years
John Noonan
March 3, 2004
17 years
Melissa Fri
March 3, 2020
1 year
Chris DeGood
March 4, 2008
13 years
Connor Miller
March 4, 2014
7 years
Robert Krasa
March 9, 2010
11 years
Autumn Haag
March 10, 2020
1 year
Paul Heidbreder
March 15, 2016
5 years
Sid Lammers
March 16, 1982
39 years
Richard Vida
March 28, 2006
15 years
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Rotary Show 2022 Director
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