Club Meeting Notes

The opening festivities were brought to order by President Mack Beers after welcoming all of our guests for the important grantee announcement for Rotary Charities. Miriam Owsley reminded us of the story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody for reflection and gratitude:

“This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”

This tied in nicely with Ramona Pleva’s pitch for the next day’s Blood Drive, asking “Everybody” to turn out rather than “Nobody” doing it figuring “Somebody” will do when “Anybody” can and should.

Steve Wade announced that the Program Committee would meet and consider programs for August through January. His second note was encouraging all to take advantage of the Rotary Matching as of June 1. MATCH FORM The second opportunity is December 1.


Jeff Hickman made the announcement that more than $425,000 was granted to these organizations whose representatives joined the ZOOM meeting Tuesday. Each of these were made in the Assets for Thriving Communities category:

  • Civil Air Patrol $50,000

  • Cognition $50,000

  • The Garden Theatre $50,000

  • Grow Benzie $50,000

  • Habitat for Humanity $50,000

  • Newton’s Road $20,750

  • Arts-Northport Arts Association $25,000

  • Rock Youth and Senior Center $50,000

  • Traverse Area District Library $50,000

  • Traverse City Dance Project $30,000

Congratulations to each of the Grantees! There was a “Gratitude for Grantees event held at noon on Wednesday to further celebrate the acknowledgments – all were invited.

Jeff also introduced us to the new CEO of Rotary Charities, our own Sakura Takano, who secured the position from a nationwide field of 20 candidates. Allison Beers interviewed Sakura in a lighthearted fashion but gave us the inside scoop on her background, education and what originally brought her to Traverse City.

Sakura has been in the area for nearly a decade now and a club member for six years. She joined the staff of Rotary Charities since 2019 following her work with Goodwill of Northern Michigan. When Sakura first came to TC , she had been coming out of a three-year stint as a stay-at-home Mother after having received an MBA from Columbia University. Though now an established member of the non-profit and social enterprise world, Sakura began her career in investment banking, which didn’t satisfy her longer-term goals. Working extensively with Cecil Macnally at Goodwill gave her a solid grounding where she grow and expand her interests while serving the Traverse City sector.

Her favorite aspect of Rotary is seeing her colleagues out in the community in service to that community. She apparently has a soft spot for Kid’s Free Fishing Day too, where she is off the hook (pun intended) from the realities of fishing with her kids.

Sakura is a second-generation Rotarian. Her father was active back in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she hails from originally. According to Sakura, though she loves joining her family when she can, she couldn’t leave there quickly enough when jetting off to college. She was looking for a change…and got it.

A most intriguing story was her rendition of her time working in Istanbul, Turkey as a graduate student working with the business development of a high-end butcher, and helping them develop a strategy and including her suggestion to consider burgers in their strategic plan increasing their margins and establishing a new service.

Despite her background in banking, she always had a great interest in social enterprise. It was that strong desire that led to an internship with the Rockefeller Foundation and she was of and running. All of her past experiences have proven to be formative and she brings an exciting vision for the future of our organization. Her commitment to the success of Rotary and Rotary Charities is clear and fresh and welcome. Congratulations Sakura! Good luck and a long career with us. 

Oh, and her dog is an Aussie-Doodle named Lafayette (thanks to Hamilton) and no, she does not speak Mandarin….
Rotary Charities Spring Grant Awards
We couldn't be more excited to announce the recipients of our Spring Grants. Each of these 10 Northern Michigan Nonprofits have incredible passion for their mission, and we're proud to support their initiatives to build more resilient thriving communities.
See the press release on our website for more details:
View the event by clicking on the link below
Rotary Club's Tuesday Meeting Details
Rotary Club of Traverse City
ZOOM Only Club Meeting
You're welcome to check in around 11:45 AM for breakout sessions
The start of the meeting is at Noon.
Tuesday, September 14, 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

Amanda Scott

YouthWork AmeriCorps Director & Program Manager

Child & Family Services

Get to know this Rotarian: Ben Whiting
Get to know this Rotarian: Ben Whiting

Current occupation: I help organizations bring out the best in their people, and break through their perceived limitations. I do that with keynotes, workshops, and the occasional card trick.

How long have you been a Rotarian? About 5 years.

What made you interested in joining Rotary? I had an absolute blast performing in the 2016 Rotary Show and met some wonderful, amazing people. The idea of continuing to have fun with my new friends while giving back to my community was too appealing to resist.

What do you love the most about rotary? The friends I’ve made within the club. Whenever you have the opportunity to work with a fun, like-minded group of people to enrich your community, it’s hard to beat.

What has been your favorite program or volunteer opportunity with rotary to participate in? I’m chair of the Good Works Committee. We take the money raised from the Rotary Show (which I also love participating in) and give it back to local nonprofits in the community. Nonprofits can apply at:

What keeps you with Rotary? The friends I’ve made and the stories of the people and organizations Rotary has helped.

What are you currently reading? The Gilded Girl. It’s a retelling of A Little Princess that takes place in 1920’s New York City and involves magic. It was written by Alyssa Coleman and published in April. I think it’s better than Harry Potter.

What are you currently watching? My wife and I have been rewatching The Wonder Years. Even though it originally aired in the 80’s it HOLDS UP! It’s fantabulous.

What is a fun fact about you? While I spend the majority of my time delivering keynotes and communication workshops now, I have straight-up magic and mind-reading shows happening at Turtle Creek Casino in June and July. It’s called Reconnected and you heard it here first
Rotary Fund Match 

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

The first 2021 deadline is approaching soon...

June 1, 2021

Rotarians - People of Action
Blood Drive Chair Ramona, leading by giving blood
Lisa Pointe and Ramona Pleva  
David Ford and Nick Beadleston 
Tech Team working to get and be ready to go...
Sep 21, 2021 11:45 AM
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Sep 28, 2021 11:45 AM
ZOOM- Community Development Financing
Oct 05, 2021 11:45 AM
In-Person - SCORE
Oct 12, 2021 11:45 AM
ZOOM- Rotary Charities Annual Report
Oct 19, 2021 11:45 AM
In-Person - Report for America
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