Club Information
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Rotary Opens Opportunities

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 7:00 AM
Peace Lutheran Church
06321 Blue Star Memorial Highway
South Haven, MI 49090
United States of America
Photo from Left to Right: Mary Sue Lyon (South Haven Rotary President); Ashley Deming (Maritime Museum Director of Education & Administration); Patti Montgomery-Reinert (Maritime Museum Executive Director); Dan Thompson (South Haven Rotary Board Member).
Rotary Presents Michigan Maritime Museum Grant
South Haven Rotary has presented the new Michigan Maritime Museum a $10,000 grant for a video, touch-screen learning center in the museum's Golden Age of Greats Lake Passenger Steamships main floor exhibit.  The touch screen learning center features five key topics of the exhibit: Destinations, Routes, Service, Costs and Popular Ships and is an integral part of the exhibit, located at the entrance, that introduces visitors in a dynamic way to valuable information about Great Lakes steamship travel.
“Our visitors are raving about this exhibit, the wealth of information it contains, and all the interactive elements. It is popular with every age group,” says Ashley Deming, Director of Education & Administration for the Museum. “In the short time we have been open, we have already had over 100 students come for educational programming directly related to this exhibit and more booked. We could not be more proud of what we have accomplished.”
South Haven Rotary originally planned to spread the grant over two years, but the hard work and dedication of our club members, friends and families this year enabled us to hold two very successful pancake breakfasts. Those revenues, combined with generous individual contributions, enabled our Rotary Club to distribute the entire grant to the museum in 2022. 
Speakers and Events
Dene Hadden
Oct 04, 2022 7:00 AM
South Haven Public School Foundation
Sarah Snoeyink
Oct 11, 2022 7:00 AM
Market Van Buren
Congressman Fred Upton
Oct 18, 2022 7:00 AM
Our Latest Club News


Rotary Supports Beach Safety Initiative
The Rotary Club of South Haven recently presented a $1,640 grant to the Bronson Wellness Center’s Safe Kids Greater South Haven (SKGSH) water safety program. The funds have been used to install life jacket loaner stations at South Haven’s North and South beaches.
According to Pam Ford, coordinator of the SKGSH program, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death in all children ages 1-4, and is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children 19 and under. The availability of life jackets adds one layer of protection. According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, 65 people have drowned in the Great Lakes in 2022, 29 of those drownings were in Lake Michigan. Tragically, two of these were in South Haven.
Pam emphasized, “Preventing drownings in our community has been a driving force behind joint efforts by the South Haven Rotary, City of South Haven, South Haven Area Emergency Services, Bronson South Haven and Safe Kids to bring life jacket loaner stations to beaches in Van Buren County. We want to educate and provide resources that help locals and visitors safely enjoy Lake Michigan.”

Rotary President Mary Sue Lyon affirmed that the club is continuing its mission to partner with the community to advocate for water safety measures and communicate important water safety messages to the public. In 2020 South Haven Rotary was a major contributor toward the construction of the City of South Haven Splashpad, providing families a warm weather day alternative when Lake Michigan conditions are hazardous. Rotary was also a contributor to a project through the Visitors Bureau and Bronson Safe Kids Coalition in printing water safety placemats for restaurants and lodging establishments.
This newest contribution allows SKGSH to place the life jacket loaner stations at the city's South and North Beaches.  SKGSH has also placed loaner stations at the Pilgrim Haven beach, Van Buren State Park, and Covert Township Park.
The Rotary Club of South Haven over the past two years has donated over $120,000 in support of local, regional and international non-profit initiatives.

True Servants in Service Beyond Self
The Rotary Club of South Haven is privileged to recognize Gail and Bob Brickman for their incredible support of the Rotary International Foundation and recent membership in the Trustees Circle of the Arch Klumph Society. A Rotarian since 1964, Bob is a past RI Vice President and has traveled the world representing Rotary International. He and Gail are true ambassadors of Rotary within the South Haven community. Bob has faithfully maintained the club's membership directory for years.
"Bob and Gail truly exemplify the Rotary principle of Service Above Self and we are honored to count them among our club members," said Rotarian Mark Odland who recognized them during the club's annual dinner.
Named after the sixth president of Rotary International, the Arch Klumph Society recognizes the Rotary Foundation's highest tier of donors — those who have contributed $250,000 or more during their lifetime.
South Haven Rotary Honors Paul Layendecker
A community leader dedicated to making life better for the people who work and live in South Haven is being honored by the Rotary Club of South Haven.
Paul Layendecker is the 2022 recipient of the club’s Community Service Award. He was honored during the organization’s annual induction dinner on June 30. Paul is pictured receiving award from President Mary Sue Lyon.
The award, initiated in 2010, recognizes citizens who have demonstrated significant service to the community through commitment, participation, achievement and contribution to the character and well-being of the South Haven area.
Layendecker, who is Director of Operations and Program Director for Midwest Family Broadcasting, has extended a highly active and visible professional life to the community through personal involvement in a variety of organizations.
“Paul truly exemplifies the Rotary principle ‘Service Above Self’,” said Rotarian Mark Odland. “He takes his position on the radio beyond what others might do by using his talents to support organizations throughout the area. He can always be counted on to help promote the people and organizations who are working hard to make South Haven a wonderful place to live, work and play.”
His community involvement has included a leadership role with We Care Community Resource Center, past chairman of the Van Buren County United Way and past president of the South Haven Kiwanis Club. He has donated thousands of hours of airtime on COSY radio promoting South Haven. He was recently presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Greater South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce.
South Haven Rotary Honors Member Art Ayers
A South Haven Rotarian whose persistence has facilitated a club initiative to make an impact internationally is being honored as the organization’s Rotarian of the Year.
Art Ayers was recognized during the club’s annual induction dinner on Thursday, June 30. Art is pictured receiving award from Mark Odland.
A member of the Rotary club since 2014, Ayers was instrumental in coordinating an initiative through Rotary International that led to the construction of a 160,000 gallon water storage cistern from thew Maternal and Child Hospital in Ngoswani, Kenya. The system recently became operational as a safe water resource to the hospital which serves approximately 300,000 people.
“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Art for his tireless work under sometimes frustrating conditions to plan, organize, coordinate and lead this process,” said Rotary president Bill Roberts. “The $75,000 project was approved by Rotary International in 2021, a huge accomplishment that came as a result of Art’s focus, hard work and tenacity.”
Ayers is a person who exemplifies the object of Rotary, Service Above Self. He serves as chaplain of the club and is an active volunteer on projects. He was the club’s president in 2016-17 and was honored as the club’s Rotary District Hero in 2018.
“He is a humble servant leader who always shares credit even when his work was significant,” said Roberts.

A Vision Becomes Reality

Lifesaving Kenya Water Project Completed
Years of visioning, planning, fundraising and designing is being rewarded with the construction on a 160,000 gallon water storage cistern for the Maternal and Child Hospital in Ngoswani, Kenya. A global grant from the Rotary International Foundation, together with grants from the South Haven Rotary Club, other Rotary Clubs in District 6360 and individual Rotarians, provided $75,000 for the project. Members of the Milimani Rotary Club of Nairobi, Kenya, joined Maasai leaders in a celebrative groundbreaking for the project designed to be a safe water resource to the hospital which serves approximately 300,000 people. Here's a photo gallery showing construction of the cistern.
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Brandon Hinz
    September 21
  • Kaileigh Eddy
    October 27
  • Bob Straits
    September 7
  • Deb Davidson
    John Davidson
    October 4
  • Scott Mark
    October 11