Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon


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Harpoon for the Week of September 27, 2017

Wednesday's Luncheon Meeting will be in the
Michigan Union's Anderson Room

New Southfield Area Club Charter Celebration
DSA Presentation at Holocaust Memorial in December

Jack Harbaugh

A Life in Football - 55 Years

Here in Ann Arbor we know the name “Harbaugh”.  Jack Harbaugh is a former football player and coach, and incidentally, the father of the first pair of brothers to serve as NFL head coaches and the first pair of head coaching brothers to face off in a Super Bowl.  Jack played football for the Bowling Green State University Falcons from 1957 to 1960, where he was a three-time letterman.  In 1961, he played professionally for the New York Titans, today the New York Jets.  Jack’s coaching career began as assistant coach at Perrysburg, Ohio High School.  He moved to Eaton, Ohio High School head coach; then Xenia High School head coach.  Since then he has coached at Western Michigan University, Western Kentucky University, was associate athletic director at Marquette University.  And then there was Morehead State University, Bowling Green State University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Stanford, University of Pittsburgh and the University of San Diego.  And even after Jack retired in 2006, he served as Stanford’s running backs coach in the 2009 Sun Bowl (under his son, Jim).  We are going to enjoy hearing about the life of a football great, Jack Harbaugh.

Song Leader:  Shelley MacMillan
Accompanist:  Joan Knoertzer
Inspirational Speaker: Dennis Powers

Greeters:  Nishta Bhatia, Don Deatrick 

Attendance:  Ray Detter, tbd


Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • Sept 27 (Wed), 5:30 p.m. - Happy Hour @ The Session Room, 3685 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor. John Sepp.

  • Sept 30 (Sat), 6:00 p.m. - Southfield Area Rotary Club Charter Celebration. Hilton Garden Inn Southfield (see notes of interest)

  • Oct 11 (Wed), 11 am: Community Allocations Committee, Anderson Room, Mary Steffek-Blaske
  • Oct 11 (Wed): New member induction and orientation. Sally Petersen
  • Oct 28 (Tues): World Polio Day
  • Nov 8 (Wed), Hill Auditorum, VIP event 5:30 pm, performance 7 pm: Stories of Service. Come and help Rotarians celebrate our veterans.
  • Dec. 3 (Sun), 1:30 p.m. - Distinguished Service Award.  Holocaust Memorial Center, Farmington Hills - Collyer Smith

  • May 3-6, 2018 (Thurs-Sat): District Conference at Eagle Crest
  • June 23-27, 2018 (Sun-Wed): Rotary International Convention in Toronto

If you would like  your meeting to appear here, email
Details on monthly meetings may be found on the club's website.


Notes of Interest


UAP Grand Opening

Last Sunday’s Grand Opening of the Rotary Centennial Universal Access Playground at Gallup Park was a resounding success.  Click here for a special Harpoon report.


Rotarians welcome to meet this year's Rotaract Executive Board

Joanne Pierson and Andrew Sohn, co-chairs of our Rotaract committee, are inviting other interested Rotarians to join them for a kickoff dinner with this year's Rotaract Executive Board. The event will be held at The Original Cottage Inn on William Street starting with a pizza dinner. The price will be under $20. Following this "Meet, Great & Eat" session, you are also welcome to attend the first general meeting of U-M Rotaractors in the Union's Parker Room at 8:10.


A Note from Immediate Past President Collyer Smith

Dear Fellow Rotarians;


After our very successful Peace Conference, Rotarian Bev Sieford engaged us all in a break out session at our Wednesday luncheon with the question:


    What will you do for Peace?


I thought long and hard about what I could do. And then it came to me. Taking a page out of my two mentors' play book, I was inspired by Past President Maurita Holland's initiative with an off campus tour;  and Past District Governor,  Michael Angelo's initiative of "Go Public with Rotary". And of course, tying in our mission:  "Helping Kids Succeed". 


On Sunday, December 3, starting at 1:30 pm, we have scheduled a tour of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills. The tour will be one hour, After the tour, we will be presenting our Distinguished Service Award to a Holocaust survivor who has made -Helping Kids Succeed-- his purpose in life. He has gone all over the world speaking on the Holocaust to school children- with the students in Michigan being his priority. Our DSA recipient will then share his personal story. The event will  end at 4 pm- followed by refreshments.   


Our DSA event will be co-sponsored with The Rotary Club of West Bloomfield. Their President, Scott Loney, and I, have been working diligently to not only bring in Rotarians- but also non Rotarians as well.


We will be honoring Holocaust survivor Martin Lowenberg.  As Martin told me two years ago on Remembrance Day- "Collyer, we aren't getting any younger. Pretty soon, there will be no one left to provide a first hand account of the Holocaust."


 I will be coordinating transportation for those that need rides. Further details will be forthcoming.  I hope you can join me on this memorable event.


An Invitation to the Southfield Area Rotary Club Charter Celebration!

With former Ann Arbor Rotarian Brandon Marsh as its visionary and president, the Southfield Area Rotary Club will celebrate its charter on Saturday, September 30; from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Southfield (26000 American Drive).  The program will include remarks from Southfield’s Mayor; from John W. Barfield, founder of Bartech Group and author of “Starting from Scratch, From Humble Beginnings to a 2-Billion-Dollar Business; from Rotary District 6380 officials; and include the induction of the new club’s first class of new members.  With about 60 members, the Southfield Area Rotary Club will begin as the sixth largest club in our District.  The celebration will include a buffet dinner, cash bar, and lots of dancing with DJ Lightning “Rod” from the Detroit Princess and Mr. Smooth Dance Instructor Maurice Evans.  Interested Rotarians from other District 6380 clubs are encouraged to attend and may register by clicking here.  For a full description of the evolution of this fine new Rotary Club, click here.



President John Ackenhusen reports the following: To gauge Rotarian attendance at last Sunday’s Universal Access Playground Grand Opening in the face of the random arrival times, departure times, and locations of our members, we invited members of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club to list any Club members that they spotted and turn the list in to John White.  An award would be given to the most prolific “citizen reporter.”


John White prepared the single longest list, listing over 75 names of Ann Arbor Rotary Club members.  Norman Herbert gathered a list of 75 members, as did a crack(ed) reporting team of made up of Don Deatrick, Rosemarie Rowney, Marsha Chamberlin, Barbara Eichmuller, and Joanne Pierson.


With the combining of all names from all lists, we found that about 92 members of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor attended our September 17 Grand Opening of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club Centennial Playground.

Observed from Westbound I-94 this week.

Meeting Notes

President John rang the Rotary bell and the assembly rose to sing O Canada with particular verve. In fact, after having belted out The Star-Spangled Banner, everyone looked around, as if to ask, ‘Where’d that come from?’ The Anderson Room certainly revealed a new acoustical level that day.


Doug Moffatt came to the podium and began his Inspiration with a hearty “What an awesome week – and a great time to be a Rotarian!” He then shared a reminiscence: “I was always inspired by Aubrey Newman. He loved the song Smile.” Doug shared with us the lyrics of the 1928 classic, also known as When You’re Smiling: “When you’re smiling, When you’re smiling/The whole world smiles with you/When you’re laughing, When you’re laughing/The sun comes shining through/But when you’re crying you bring on the rain/So stop your sighing be happy again/Keep on smiling ‘cause when you’re smiling/The whole world smiles with you”


Doug then concluded his wonderfully upbeat message with a quote from Mother Theresa: “Let us all meet each other in smile.”


Henry Johnson bounded up to the dais next. “How are you?” he inquired with his usual panache. “Fine,” replied his audience, in voice so anemic and mild-mannered it wafted through the room like a pint of spilt molasses. “No,” Henry began again: “How ARE you?” Members and guests got the message: “FINE!” Smiling, Henry remarked to everyone’s relief, “That’s more like it.” Indeed, Henry’s assertive coaching paid off as the room resounded with a beautiful Let There Be Peace on Earth. One member, obviously surprised by the performance, was heard to declare, “That was like church.” Amen.


 John returned to welcome all members, visiting Rotarians, and guests, especially our speaker , District Governor Barry Fraser and his wife, Carolyn. Paul Schissler and Anne Nauts were also welcomed by everybody. Then Past President Ashish Sarkar introduced two guests of his, visiting Rotarians from a town in India where, Ashish observed, “there is lots of poverty." In addition to other guests, the assembly welcomed Jessica Black, guest of Susan Smith Gray and a representative of the Ann Arbor’s Park Commission. As Susan explained in her introduction, “Jessica made sure the shrubbery between the River and grass [at the UAP site last Sunday] was cut! Her ‘to-do’ list was four pages long!” Jessica would speak later in the meeting, but the members gave her a rousing ovation then and there. Bravo Susan and Jessica.


“We have really had a very busy week,” John remarked, encapsulating a unique, emotion-filled two weeks as RCAA celebrated a successful Golf & Tennis Outing and the apotheosis of its six-year centennial project, its biggest single gift to the community to date, the Universal Access Playground. John continued: “Past President Ashish reminded me that this club is a lot like changing of a jet in flight – our annual G&TO, and a once-in-a-lifetime Centennial UAP!”


Social Committee chair Susan Smith Gray came to the podium to thank all the volunteers for their dedication during the grand opening. “I’d like to thank Chuck Blackmer, Jessica Black, Carolyn Grawi – dear John [Ackenhusen], our wonderful m.c.; Bev Seiford, who kept our speakers on schedule; Susan Westhoff [who did double-duty for the Club and the Leslie Science and Nature Center]; and if you heard the steel drums – Shelley MacMillan brought him after hearing him perform at Glacier Hills; Jessica Black – we met, and met, and met again…I relied heavily on the Parks staff. If it hadn’t been for them, we would have had a very different experience on Sunday.” After copious applause, Carolyn Grawi rose from the Anderson Room’s back bench (at least 30 feet away) and insisted, as clear as a bell, “I’d like to thank someone who hasn’t received the public [acclaim] she deserves – Susan Smith Gray!” Krakatoan applause erupted simultaneously through the room as Susan, second only to Ashish in crediting others over themselves, smiling broadly, gestured her thanks. BRAVO.


John then welcomed Brandon Marsh to the podium as “one who graduated from our club to start his own, in Southfield.” Now 50 members strong, Brandon’s RC is hosting an event to which he extended an invitation to everyone: September 30, at 6:00 p.m., at the Southfield Hilton Gardens. (See above.)


On behalf of John Sepp, President John announced an upcoming “social get-together at The Session Room, [Wednesday] September 27, at 5:30 p.m.” Address: 3685 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor. [Note how your reporter deftly juggled these details compared to his Southfield RC post. As Bill Murray says in Stripes, “this is…ridiculous.” Please accept his manifold apologies.



Anne Nauts introduced our distinguished speaker, District Governor Barry Fraser, who, of course, hails from Canada. Anne described Barry’s incredible commitment to his community, Chatham, Ontario. Among his many local achievements is establishment of a one mile eco-trail as well presiding over the 127-member Chatham Rotary club. An agricultural expert with a particular interest in clean water issues and projects, Barry is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his agricultural work in Ontario. In addition, as Anne described, “he has helped in India and has a passion for developing the economic and community [synergies needed] for clean water projects. He was also elected ‘Man of the Year’ in Chatham – It is with great pleasure that I introduce District 6380 Governor Barry Fraser.” Warm applause greeted the new DG, who immediately thanked Anne, “Anne, with her husband Paul Schissler, are, I can tell you, a real team.” He was clearly impressed with our club and the turnout: “Before the meeting, I noticed a Program Committee meeting taking place over here, a STRIVE meeting over there, as well as others.” He commemorated Dave Williams’ father, former DG Brynn Williams: Thanks to Brynn Williams we planted 15,000 trees in 1991-2. Now they’re 30-35 feet tall!” Indeed, the theme of stewardship of the environment would recur throughout Barry’s address. Turning his attention to the recent UAP celebration at Gallup Park, he remarked “it’s a jewel. I would also like to applaud President John for his ‘Re-set and Reengage’ [focus]. This is always important to do.”


“Being a member of Rotary, we are part of a worldwide network, now 1.22 million, which is up since July.” He recounted an exchange he had in 2007 with a Kathmandu Rotarian who had spearheaded a lifesaving clean eater project: “’You’ll be the next mayor of Kathmandu,’ I said. She stopped dead in her tracks. ‘No,’ she said, ‘I can get more done in Rotary than ever as a politician.’” After citing the progress of Rotary youth programs such as Rotaract and RYLA, he noted “We’re doing worthwhile projects. That’s cause for celebration because of our outbound exchange students,” He then outlined Six Focus Issues: 1) Fighting disease: “Now we’re this close to eradicating polio – just 8 new cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” 2) Environmental sustainability. 3) Sanitation and clean water. 4) Saving mothers and children. 5) Education. 6) Growing local economies. Regarding environmental sustainability, Barry remarked, “This business of planting trees is very important. This Club has planted a lot of trees – just look at what it does for your Centennial Park!” Indeed he observed that “the work really begins at the local club level…You [RCAA] are certainly able to bring projects to fruition – that’s why we’re Rotarians.”


After describing the Bill and Melinda Gates 450 million dollar match pledge, made at the Atlanta conference, he highlighted his goals as DG: 1) Improve the mental health of youth in our communities; “A lot of these kids are really depressed.” 2) Improve the environment, especially water quality. He showed photos of an algae bloom in western Lake Erie. “We think it’s always happening ‘over there.’” 3) A renewed District commitment to literacy. “One can’t go very far in life without being able to read.” In his conclusion, DG Fraser stressed the importance of our club: “Your club, as President Ian says, is ‘the boots on the ground. You are certainly people of vision making a difference.”


Among the questions posed by the audience, Steve Pierce asked Barry about his background in agronomy. “I was what’s called an ag-rep in Canada,” he began. Then a mistake – “Like your Michigan State.” [Boos galore] Ashish then asked about the “resources being dedicated to youth from R.I., because we’re getting old!” His answer: “There’s a new Rotary club in Southfield with al lot of young people. [Going forward,] we need to do a much better job at this.”


President John thanked Barry and Carolyn warmly as he struck the Rotary bell. “Remember the poker chips,” he said, “and JET: Join leaders; Exchange ideas; Take action!”


“Be the difference that makes A difference.” – Nagaraja Rao


 Notes by Ed Hoffman, Phots by Fred Beutler and John Ackenhusen

Summary of the Board of Director's Meeting

The Board of Director’s Meeting was held Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at the United Way Building. President John opened the meeting by introducing special guests District Governor, Barry Fraser and his wife Carolyn and Assistant District Governor Anne Nauts.
The Club’s active membership on August 31 was 303 Active Members plus six Honorary members and eight Inactive Emeriti. The Club’s attendance for August’s five meetings was 36%. The average attendance was 100 members plus 9 others. Our engagement ratio was 56%.
Letters of resignation were accepted from Bob Johnston (retiring and relocation) and Susan Rossi (health) with regret. Five new Members-Elect were submitted by the Membership Committee as well as two transfers. It was voted unanimously to accept the nominations of Christie Bacon, Matthew Bowden, Greg Dill, Richard Ingram and Dan Lewan as Members-Elect as well as transferees John Huber (Upper Montgomery County, MD) and Bryan Smith (Champaign, IL) to be inducted in the October 2017 New Member Class.
On August 31, the Operating Fund Balance was $73,873.64. The Club's Endowment Investment market value was $1,952,612.70. 
President John announced the second alternative meeting outside of the weekly meetings to enable those who are not able to attend lunch meetings to participate is a social event that is scheduled for Wednesday, September 27 at 5:30 at The Session Room located at 3685 Jackson Road. All are encouraged to attend.
Reports from Directors included 1) Multiple open committee positions for AV/Video Coordinator, Junior Rotarians, STRIVE, Tutors, Social Media, Website, Service Above Self Scholarships, Harpoon and Membership Committee are looking for volunteers. There are jobs waiting for all members wanting service opportunities. Contact Ebru Misirli Mansfield, 2) The new website is in final preparation for its launching in the next month. 3) Golf and Tennis Outing was a great success under the new leadership of Chair John Simpkins. 4) The Universal Access Playground Grand Opening was well attended with 88 Rotarians as well as hundreds of other visitors both young and old. 4) The Interact and Rotaract Clubs are active again now that the school year has started.


Meeting Statistics

85 of us attended the September 20, 2017 luncheon, hosting four guests including Carolyn Fraser, speaker and DG Barry’s wife.  Seven visiting Rotarians joined us:  DG Barry Fraser, Asst. DG Anne Nauts, Paul Schissler from Chelsea, Dr. Madhvi and Mrs. Pavindra Mehendale from Pune, India, and our own Brandon Marsh and Jaredet Waddy from Southfield. Before the program 20 members met as the Program, Strive and Youth Exchange committees.

Makeup Cards for Roving Rotarians:
None this week.
  • Sept 29 - Deanna Relyea
  • Sept 30 - Dave Anderson, Anne Glendon
  • Oct 1 - Janet Torno
  • Oct 2 - Mary Sue Coleman
  • Oct 3 - Eldon Beery, Fred Beutler, Jeannine Buchanan

Websites of interest to Rotarians

Rotary International: The RI home page has links to About Rotary, The Rotary Foundation, Club Locator and Member Access. Our Club is in Zone 29. The zone has 17 districts and covers portions of Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario.

District 6380Our district's website includes 51 clubs in the counties of Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland and Macomb in Michigan and Kent in Ontario. The district’s monthly newsletter and articles of district-wide interest are posted there.

Rotary Club of Ann Arbor: Our Club’s website provides background material and information including the current Annual Report, Active Framework (aka Strategic Plan), New Member Nomination Form, Committee Descriptions, Club and Golf Outing brochures, synopses of upcoming programs and an archive of Harpoons. Find us on Facebook.

Submit news, committee meetings, and announcements to the Harpoonthe newsletter of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. Contact the Club to subscribe by email.

Our Club also sponsors the following Rotaract and Interact Clubs:

 U-M Rotaract Club

Huron High Interact Club

Pioneer High Interact Club

"Rotary Serving Humanity"

Rotarians welcome to meet this year's Rotaract Executive Board

Joanne Pierson and Andrew Sohn, co-chairs of our Rotaract committee, are inviting other interested Rotarians to join them for a kickoff dinner with this year's Rotaract Executive Board. The event will be held at The Original Cottage Inn on William Street starting with a pizza dinner. The price will be under $20. Following this "Meet, Great & Eat" session, you are also welcome to attend the first general meeting of U-M Rotaractors in the Union's Parker Room at 8:10.