SPOKES - Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Despite the apocalypse winter weather warning that resulted in yet another day of closed schools, thirty Rotarians and guests gathered in the warmth of the Wellness Center for our meeting this morning.
We were warmly greeted by Jerry Gruber and Dan Liehr.
Our opening was a robust "America the Beautiful" followed by the invocation, offered by Tom Renner, with a special blessing for Marty Graber and Steve Larsen in Kenya.
Our guests included soon-to-be-members Francis Peet and Sue Duvall and our speaker, Susan Murphey. We also welcomed back a sun-kissed Dan Thompson.
We welcomed into membership Francis Peet who was sponsored by Rosalie Plechaty. Francis is our first Rotarian through the new membership classification - Corporate Member. This membership is in the name of the Michigan Maritime Museum and affords representation by a designated representative of the organization. Francis is the Shipwright at the Maritime Museum. After majoring in philosophy at college, he served in Heifer International, a global non-profit working to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable, values-based holistic community development. He became interested in wooden boat building while employed in the Upper Peninsula. At the Maritime Museum he is responsible for keeping the fleet in tip-top-shape. Ask him about is recent work restoring the fife rail on Friends Goodwill. (In case you are wondering, a fife rail is a design element of a European-style sailing ship used to belay the ship's halyards at the base of a mast.) Today's Editarian won a buck for explaining that to our bewildered membership. He is also a collector of vinyl records  - music to our ears!
We have welcomed several new Rotarians in recent weeks with more to come. President Mark reminded us that with growth comes a challenge to us all to wrap our arms around these new members in the true spirit of Rotary hospitality.
* President Mark announced that South Haven High School students, Torie Loikits and Opal Eddy, have accepted our invitation to attend the District Rotary Youth Leadership Camp next summer.
* Members are invited to the "Robot Reveal" by the South Haven High School Robotics Club this Thursday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the high school.
* President Mark expressed on behalf of the Pietenpol family their appreciation for the expressions of care from Rotarians during Glenn's final days.
* Blessings in a Backpack is this Friday, March 8, at 1:15 p.m. at Lincoln School.
* Lake Michigan College will host at their South Haven campus a Jazz-Chocolate-Wine Fest fund raiser on Friday, March 15 from 7-10 p.m.
* Dan Thompson encouraged members to send him nominations SOON for: the District's Club Hero Award, the South Haven Educator Service Award, the South Haven Rotarian of the Year Award and the club's Community Service Award (given to a non-Rotarian).
* Circle Tuesday, June 25 on your calendar for the club's Annual Dinner. Details to follow.
* Our Club is featured in the March issue of the District Newssletter - the Ice Breaker ice sculpture and Zamboni craftsman Don Hodgman.
Jim Davis led us in a robust round of songs: "Daisy," "I've Been Working o the Railroad," and "Sing Everyone Sing".
Step aside you oldtimers, new member Jim Bradford was today's 50/50 winner and he successfully pulled the "two" to win the pot. Seasoned Rotarian (I won't say oldtimer) Don Hodgman won the $2.
Jerry Gruber's grand...Bob Copping's sons... Mark Odland's son... and the Weber CLAN -- granddaughter Kadyn Hoyt, grandson Joshua Grimes, wife Julie, father Richard (96 years young) and Ted!!!
Sergeant at Arms Stu quietly passed the Happy Dollars basket.
(a special thanks to Steve Miles for his technology wizardry!)
Program Chair Jean Stein introduced our speaker Susan Murphey. Jean's awareness of Susan career began with a holiday treat delivered by Susan during Jean's recent convalescence. (South Haven has amazing people living in our midst.)
Susan's 30-year professional career was spent as a researcher in the diagnostic division of Abbott Labs. Her focus, beginning in 1981, was on gaining  an understanding of HIV/AIDS. Since then there have been advances in testing and treatment, changing the path of HIV/AIDS from certain death to a chronic manageable disease. In the U.S. there are more than 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS and 1-in-7 of these people don't know they have it. Globally there are around 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS.
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but it is possible to detect and treat it through drugs that can help control the virus and even prevent transmission to other people. Despite scientific advances there is currently no licensed vaccine available to prevent HIV infection or treat those who have it. The work goes on.
Susan's story on her work as a scientific detective was inspiring.
President Mark presented Susan with our traditional Rotary pen.
NEXT WEEK (March 12)
Greeters: Don Kitchin and Bob Copping
Program Chair: Deb Davidson
Program: The Be Nice Program Leadership Team
Spotlight: High School History Club
We thanked our guests and speaker for joining us today and concluded with the Four Way Test.
Tom Renner
Pinch-hitting Editorian