Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXV NO. 19                                                                               November 6, 2018
Tony Martorano and Don Hodgman were our greeters this Election Day morning.
Tom Renner, stepping in for absent President Mark Odland opened today’s meeting with “God Bless America” and Art Ayers provided an invocation including our prayers for Julie Weber, Missy Thompson Jean Stein, Ann Hemeter and Don Hixson.
Our guests today included prospective members Jim Bradford, Rosalie Plechaty and Don Shook along with our speaker Dr. Sarah Dempsey and spotlight guests Mac Black and her friend Jessie.
Mac Black and friend Jessie, who spent most of his time here with Korky Ingersol, spoke to us about the microchipping program at the Al-Van Humane Society.  She said they get 8-10 animals a week that are lost but microchipped and they are able to reconnect owners and manuals.  Art Ayers presented Mac with a check to help support the microchip program.
  • Thanks to all who helped with the bridge decorating, including the Pietenpols, Kitchins, Ruesinks, Odlands, Richard Swanson, Tom Renner and Bob Copping.
  • Mark reminded us that the Blessings in Backpack helpers should be at Lincoln School, 1:15 PM on Friday.  Thanks to those that helped last Friday including the Martoranos, Pietenpols, Kitchins, Art Ayers, Tom Renner and Mark Odland.
  • Also thanks to those who helped decorate downtown, including Rhonda Wendzel and Tom Rummel.
  • Jean Stein will miss a couple of weeks of our meetings due to surgery on Friday.  Our thoughts and prayers go with her.
  • On December 11th we will be having our annual Christmas get together, at Beeches Golf Course.
  • Mark Odland messaged that he had visited Don Hixson at Bronson/Pipp in Plainwell and he has had the respirator removed but is having kidney problems.  Visiting hours are 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM.
  • The Elks will be hosting a Veteran’s day dinner on November 11th from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.  Veterans eat free, other adults are $10.00 and kids are $6.00
  • The first “Back Door Dinner at the Congregational Church” that we are scheduled to work is Thursday, November 15th.
  • December 18th is the Rotary Open Door Christmas Dinner at the Methodist Church and all are invited to come and help serve.
  • Got your warm clothes?  We are scheduled to Ring the Bell for the Salvation Army on December 22nd.
  • Dene Hadden read a thank you note from the most recent recipient of the Rotary/LMC scholarship, Jessica Calderon, a student studying to become a social worker.
Bob Boerma was our song leader today but he drew the short straw of songs to lead.We began with “Cuddle Up a Little Closer”.The song was published in 1908 from the Broadway musical Three Twins.  We managed to get through it with Bob’s careful direction.  Next up was a dance tune “Ballin’ the Jack”.  The composer and entertainer Perry Bradford claimed to have seen the dance steps performed around 1909 and they are similar to the shimmy which has black African origins.  The dance moves were standardized in the Savoy Ballroom, and put to music by Smith and Burris in 1913. The tune became popular in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1913.
Jim Davis was the lucky ticket holder this week but found the 10 so went home penniless.  Paul Hix, who earlier in the day received a book on the Yupper Language from Richard Swanson to get him ready for the “Yupper Singers” at the Christmas party, kept his lucky streak alive by winning the $2 drawing.
  • Don Hodgman celebrates his birthday this week!
  • Dan Thompson is pleased to celebrate his son’s birthday who is serving on active duty in the Navy.
  • Tom Renner’s daughter Suzie has a birthday this week.
  • Richard Swanson’s son Matt also has a birthday this week.
  • Since we didn’t want Don to get too sentimental, we sang a Ludington style birthday song and did it very well.
  • Tom Fleming reminded us again:  Don’t forget that Big 10 Tuesday has commenced and you can save $.10 a gallon on gas from now through basketball season.
  • Stu Comiskey paid for his picture on the front page of the Herald-Palladium and several others were hit with stiff fines for appearing in the paper.
  • Jerry Gruber seemed kind of excited that he is traveling to Hawaii to take a hula dancing lesson.  We will schedule him as a program to demonstrate his new found skill.
  • Bob Boerma was proud to attend the Michigan Penn State game last Saturday and watch both bands perform a halftime show with music written by his son Scott – and his tickets were free!
  • Larry Wittkop continues to cheer for MSU football while Scott Mark reminded us of MSU’s basketball opener tonight.
  • Dene Hadden noted that he had seen the first of two candidates for SHPS superintendent and urged members to stop by tonight to see the final two candidates at the high school at 6:00 and 7:30 PM.
  • Don’t forget to VOTE!
Bob Boerma introduced our speaker, Dr. Sarah Dempsey from the Citizens Mediation Services.
Sarah began by thanking Rotary for our work as she is very familiar with what Rotary clubs do as she often accompanied her grandfather to meetings when she was a little girl.
The Citizens Mediation Services offers a way for people to settle disputes using trained volunteers to help parties with conflicts come to some resolution.  They serve five counties and have 35 active volunteers who act as mediators.  Volunteers have to do a 40 hour training to be able to mediate civil disputes and 48 hours of training to do domestic mediation.  They also offer mediation services in specialized situations like special education situations.
The use a process call Facilitative Mediation which includes opening remarks, uninterrupted storytelling, joint sessions and other steps to reach an agreement, which, when signed, becomes legally binding.
Ninety-five percent of their cases are court referrals and of those, 80% are breach of contract situations and 10% are domestic matters.  Van Buren County sends them more referrals than any other county, partly because of the good relationship they have with county judges and court administrators.
They are just starting a new program for juveniles using the tenants of restorative justice.
Volunteers tend to be retirees and professionals, veterans and are often attorneys, but they will work with anyone who is willing to take the training and has the time to help.  There is an opening on their Board and they would like someone from Van Buren County.
The costs of these services vary, depending on the income of the people involved and can range from free up to about $150 per session.
Bob Boerma thanked Sarah for her very informative presentation and provided her one of our speaker’s gifts.
Tom Renner closed the meeting with the Four Way Test
Next week’s program: Art Ayers will introduce Ted Guimond, Resident Blacksmith at the Michigan Flywheelers Museum
Next week’s Greeters:  Paul Hix and Melinda Gruber
Editarian:  Dene Hadden