Rotary News
Convention: Southern hospitality
The Atlanta Host Organization Committee is offering some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality at the Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June. It has planned a wide range of activities featuring everything from good food and music to inspiring tours of local landmarks. If it’s your first convention, these events are chances to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world, and if you’re an experienced convention goer, you can catch up with old friends. Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron will host Rotarians for a “Strike Out Polio” night at the new SunTrust Park, where you’ll...
Member spotlight: The power of the press
When Teguest Yilma helped found the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Entoto in 2002, she thought polio had already been eradicated from most of the world. But while Ethiopia had been free of the disease, Yilma was shocked to learn that new cases had started cropping up in surrounding countries such as Somalia. “I was thinking, it’s not possible, we can’t be free if the countries around us are not free,” she says. Yilma, the managing editor of Capital, Ethiopia’s largest English weekly newspaper, has brought a journalist’s skills to the fight against polio. She became vice chair of the Ethiopia...
Member interview: Writer sheds light on FDR’s right-hand woman
Battling breast cancer in 2000, Kathryn Smith found comfort pursuing her lifelong interest in Franklin D. Roosevelt. The more she read, the more intrigued she became with the 32nd U.S. president’s private secretary, Marguerite Alice “Missy” LeHand. “I thought, what a fascinating life she had because she was by his side through the polio crisis, establishing the polio rehabilitation center in Warm Springs and then after his return to politics,” she says. Smith, a past president of the Rotary Club of Greater Anderson, S.C., and a longtime newspaper journalist, turned that curiosity into a book...
The Rotarian Conversation with Ban Ki-moon
One of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s earliest memories is of fleeing with his family into the mountains during the Korean War, his village burning behind him. His father and grandfather had to forage for food in the woods; his mother gave birth to his siblings away from anything remotely resembling a health facility. “I have known hunger,” he says. “I have known war, and I have known what it means to be forced to flee conflict.” The soldiers who came to their rescue were flying the blue flag of the United Nations. The UN provided them with food and their schools with books....
Culture: Life in the bike lane
Like a lot of us, I spent much of my childhood riding bikes, but fell out of the habit for a while. Forty years. Then my wife and I moved to New York, where cyclists risk their necks in a daily Thunderdome of cabs, police cars, firetrucks, double-decker buses, messengers on motorbikes, and delivery trucks backing around corners at 20 miles an hour. Not for me! At least not until my 50th birthday, when my metabolic furnace flamed out. Calories started going directly from beer bottle to beer belly. It was time to start exercising. Either that or give up Samuel Adams, and I couldn’t do that to...
Club Information

We are a strong, participative membership giving of our time, talent and treasury in innovative ways to enhance the living environment of the Grosse Pointes, the surrounding communities, and, through Rotary Int’l and District 6400, the world at large.

Grosse Pointe

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 5:30 PM
War Memorial Reception Room
32 Lake Shore Rd
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI  48236
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories

Chris Lambert, founder and CEO of Life Remodeled, center left with Kelly Cleaver, director of development, was the guest speaker at the Wednesday, Feb. 8, evening meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe at The War Memorial. He was welcomed by President Ted Everingham, left, and introduced by Rotarian Bob Bury, right.
Life Remodeled is a non-profit that was formed in 2010 to help rebuild Detroit neighborhoods. In 2016, it committed $5 million in cash, labor and materials to the Denby High School neighborhood. It helped repair occupied homes, put together a six-day volunteer project to remove blight from 300 city blocks and built a park, designed by students, right next to the high school.
In 2017, Life Remodeled plans on tackling a two-year project with the same financial and labor commitment around Central High School. In addition to repairing homes and removing blight, the organization is moving into the Durfee School building, and the students will move across the campus to the under-capacity high school. The plan is to make the Durfee building a "business incubator" and community innovation center with tech companies moving in and interacting with the students as guest lecturers and through employment.
Life Remodeled chooses neighborhoods which show “significant need but radical hope.” The impact of its work is reflected in reduced crime and increased hope (the forming of neighborhood clubs) and investment. Mark your calendar to participate in this year’s blight removal and beautification the week of July 31 - Aug. 5.  To learn more or to register to volunteer, visit its great website at
(Photo by John Minnis)
Father Tim McCabe, the Executive Director of the Pope Francis Center, was the guest speaker at the Wednesday, Feb. 1, evening meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe at The War Memorial. He was welcomed by President Ted Everingham, left, and introduced by Programs Committee Co-Chair John Ellis, right.
In 1990, Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church in downtown Detroit opened its doors to those seeking refuge from a winter storm. Father McCabe said Father Hartigan put on a pot of coffee, set out some folding chairs and offered people a place to get warm.  This commitment to ministry has continued for over two decades.
The Pope Francis Center (renamed in 2015) is a Jesuit ministry located at 438 St. Antoine Street in Detroit. With an $800,000 donation from the UAW-Ford Foundation in 2013, the facility is now equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen and laundry facilities for the 150+ it serves on a daily basis. It also provides hot showers and access to doctors, dentists, lawyers, mental health professionals and housing providers through its free clinics. A subsequent $240,000 donation has allowed it to implement a nutritious food program.
Father McCabe believes it is very important to treat all homeless as human and to acknowledge them.
To learn more, visit
(Photo by John Minnis)
At the Feb. 1 evening meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe, past Oil Can recipient George McMullen, left, passed it to Paul Rentenbach for all he does in Rotary and the community. Since retiring, Paul has ramped up his involvement in projects and does a great job leading by example. The Oil Can was once bestowed upon Rotarians who had committed a faux pas, but today the can is used to recognize Rotarians for good work or deeds and "Serve Above Self." (Photo by John Minnis)

Brian Farkas, Director of Special Projects for the Detroit Building Authority, was the guest speaker at the Wednesday, Jan. 25, evening meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe at The War Memorial. His topic was about the Detroit Demolition Program.

In the last 2 ½ years, over 10,000 homes have been demolished, he said. His department’s goal is to remove blight to stabilize neighborhoods and let the market take over to increase the value of the surrounding homes.
Below, Club President Ted Everingham welcomes Farkas to Grosse Pointe Rotary.
(Photos by George R. McMullen Jr.)
Past President Roger Hull, left, acting on behalf of President Ted Everingham, welcomed Vocational Talks from Michelle Roberts and Mike Bergman, above, and Neil Sroka, below.(Photos by George R. McMullen)
Past President Roger Hull, right, was honored as a multiple Paul Harris Fellow by Past President and Past District Gov. Kim Towar at the Jan. 18 meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe. Hull joined Rotary in 1999 and served as president in 2006-07. He currently serves as secretary of the Rotary of Grosse Pointe Foundation. (Photo by George R. McMullen Jr.)
Charlie Davis, right, was recognized for 50 years in Rotary at the Jan. 18 evening meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe at The War Memorial. Past President Roger Hull, left, who led the meeting in President Ted Everingham's absence, congratulates Charlie on his half-century of service to Rotary. (Photo by George R. McMullen Jr.)
At the Jan. 11 meeting at The War Memorial, President Ted Everingham led a very informative Grosse Pointe Rotary meeting. The keynote speaker was Odis Bellinger, Director and Founder of  "Building Better Men." Their goal, best said by their mission statement, “is to empower young men with the skills needed to become leaders in their community”. For additional information on "Building better Men simply click on the attached link ....
Ashish Sarkar, Past President of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club, was the guest speaker at the Wednesday, Jan. 4, evening meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe. His topic was the upcoming Rotary World Peace Conference.

The Conference takes place from March 31st to April 1st at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus. It is hosted by the Michigan, northern Indiana, northwest Ohio and southern Ontario based Rotary clubs.

Over the two days there will be plenary meetings with breakout sessions on the following themes: (1) Peace and Conflict Resolution; (2) Poverty, Hunger and Health; (3) Role of Faith Based Organizations in Peacemaking; (4) Role of Media in Peacemaking; (5) Preserving Basic Human Rights; (6) Violence Prevention; and (7) Role of Youth in Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution -- Taking Action. The panels will primarily consist of academics, religious leaders, and medical professionals from the local area and around the world.

The goal of this gathering is to empower community leaders, Rotarians, youth, and others to promote and practice peace in their own communities and beyond. Mr. Sarkar’s role is to help raise funds by asking local Rotarians to provide contacts as potential sponsors and to attend the event.

Attendance is not limited to Rotarians. To learn more, go to

Jeff Jay, center, founder of Love First: Intervention and Recovery Services, was the guest speaker at the Sept. 14 meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe. He and fellow guest Steve Anderson, right, was welcomed by President Ted Everingham, left.

Jeff grew up in Grosse Pointe and was an alter boy, president of his class and merit scholar. By age 26, he was an alcoholic and drug addict, living in a park in California.  His recovery began when his family held an intervention and got him into treatment.  

Although many think addiction is a will power issue, it is actually a medical problem requiring treatment.  When one develops a chemical dependency, the drugs he/she takes (alcohol or other), react differently in their system.  It becomes perceived as a need, not a choice.

Jeff believes it is up to all of us to intervene when there is an addiction issue.  Loving intervention requires paying attention to the details, following through in the recovery process, and accountability (changing one’s own environment to assist in the recovery).    

Jeff, and his wife Debra, have a book on the subject titled Love First, A Family’s Guide to Intervention.
(Photo by George R. McMullen Jr.)

At the Sept. 14 meeting of Grosse Pointe Rotary, Mike Carmody (not shown) inducted Maria Kokas, left, who was sponsored by Peter Stroh, right.  Maria is the Director of Learning Systems and Resources for the Henry Ford Health System and resides in Grosse Pointe Park.  (Photo by George R. McMullen Jr.)

The Hon. Frank Szymanski, 3rd Circuit Court, Juvenile Division, was the guest speaker at the Sept. 7 meeting of Grosse Pointe Rotary. Judge Szymanski believes that the single biggest problem facing our community is kids not being in school. He believes this to be the driving force behind many other problems, including crime, homelessness, and poverty.  

He is very proactive and some of his outreach programs include: 1) KKIS – Keep Kids in School.  He believes that zero tolerance was well-intentioned but with bad results.  For the kids to not feel degraded or unwanted, every attempt should be made to keep them in school.  2) KAREN – Kids Are Reading Every Night.  Reading at least 20 minutes every night helps a child learn to read and to develop a lifelong love of it. 3) Teach Transcendental Meditation and yoga to juvenile offenders as a way to self-regulate.  4) Guitars Not Guns.  A program to teach music to at risk youth.  5) A Youth Deterrent Program in which life offenders counsel at risk youth on the consequences of crime.

Judge Szymanski is also the author of the book, Identity Design: Design the Identity You Need to Get the Life You Want.
Below, Rotary President Ted Everingham with Judge Szymanski at the club's meeting.
Photos by George R. McMullen Jr.
At the club's Sept. 7 meeting, Sebastian, Grosse Pointe Rotary's youth exchange student from Taiwan, was introduced to the club by Rotarians Bill Scott, above, and Steve McMillan, below. He will be living with Rotarian Michelle Roberts’s family and attending Grosse Pointe South High School. A picnic was scheduled at the Farms Pier Park on Sept. 15 to meet Sebastian and get to know him better. 
Grosse Pointe Rotary President Ted Everingham, left, and guest speaker Judge Frank Szymanski, right, also welcomed Sebastian to Grosse Pointe. 
(Photos by George R. McMullen Jr.)
Rotary District Gov. Sue Goldsen, above, was the guest speaker at the Aug. 10 meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe. She was welcomed, below, by President Ted Everingham. Photos by George R. McMullen Jr.
Grosse Pointer Mary Lamparter introduced guest speakers Carol Borden, above, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Inc. founder and CEO, and regional coordinator, Jolanthe Bassett. The organization raises, trains and donates service dogs, mostly German shepherds, for veterans. The training process can last 18 months to over two years at a cost of up to $22,000/dog. The dogs can assist those who are hearing impaired, have mobility problems, or suffer from PTSD. Through sense of smell, they can anticipate good dreams from bad dreams and when an anxiety attack is about to occur. Veterans commit suicide at a rate of 22 a day and have a 90 percent divorce rate. Ms. Borden is proud to say that both of those numbers are zero for those who have been given one of their service dogs. For more information, visit
Mary Lamparter introduces the guest speaker, Carol Borden, founder of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.
From left, Grosse Pointe Rotary President Ted Everingham, Carol Borden, Jolanthe Bassett and Mary Lamparter.
Mike Bergman, sponsored by George McMullen, became the newest Rotarian. Mike is a former Marine who works for Ucontrol Energy and resides in Grosse Pointe Woods. Pictured with Mike, center, at the Aug. 3 induction are Past President and Past District Gov. Kim Towar and Past President Fred Ollison III.
Shirley Roseman from Detroit Rotary invited our club to participate in a Rotary-sponsored Kids Against Hunger event on Oct. 15. The goal is to make 100,000 meals and they are seeking 20 volunteers and a $2,000 donation. Visit
Grosse Pointe Farms Det. Lt. Richard Rosati, picture here with Rotary of Grosse Pointe President Ted Everingham, was the guest speaker at the club's July 27 meeting. (Photo by George R. McMullen Jr.)
Under the leadership of Dave Colton and Diane Strickler, Rotarians and family members served 71 lunches at Crossroads on July 26. For several years, this has been one of our most heart-warming community projects. When summer begins, the opportunity for a decent lunch ends for some Detroit area students. We are delighted to know that these children enjoyed a nutritious lunch. (Absent from the photo but taking part were Robert Lucas and Florence Seltzer.)
Corinne Martin, founder and executive director of the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society, was the guest speaker at the July 20 meeting of Grosse Pointe Rotary. Educated in specialeducation and then working in the auto industry, it was  Martin’s love of animals that won out. She started the GPAAS 20 years ago in her garage and is currently located on Harper Avenue next to Harper Woods Veterinary Hospital. GPAAS conducts its Saturday adoption days at SOC. She is the only full time employee.
Last year, the GPAAS took in 600 animals working with Harper Woods Veterinary Hospital and with G.P. Shores, Woods and Harper Woods. It can house 25 cats and 25 dogs at a time, and the rest reside at volunteer foster homes. The foster homes are comprised of people who would like to trial run a pet with the possibility of adopting or those who like the occasional playmate for a family pet.  
With vet bills of over $100,000 a year, the GPAAS funds itself through adoption fees and donations. If anyone is looking for some exercise, the dogs need to be walked at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. everyday. To volunteer, donate, or learn more, visit (Photo by Fred Ollison III)
Rotary of Grosse Pointe President Ted Everingham, center, welcomes Laurie Smolenski and Flo Wackerman as special guests at the club's July 20 meeting. Smolenski is from Grosse Pointe and has been an outbound exchange student, a Rotary Global Scholar, and is currently a Rotary Peace Fellow in Australia, at one of the five world peace centers. She is one of 50 students selected worldwide.  Side note: The Smolenski family has hosted 17 Rotary exchange students. Wackerman was a G.P. Rotary exchange student in 1998-99. Since then, he has run Rotaract (college level Rotary) in Germany and co-chaired the Rotaract portion at last year’s RI Conference He recently became a Rotarian, joining a Club in Munich. Below, Everingham and Wackerman exchange club flags. (Photos by Kim Towar)

Margaret Williamson, Executive Director of Pro Literacy Detroit, pictured with President Ted Everingham, was the guest speaker at the Wednesday, July 13, meeting of Rotary of Grosse Pointe. 

Unfortunately, Williamson told the Rotarians present, approximately 1 million Detroit and Michigan residents are unable to read, even though there are some 150 literacy organizations out there offering assistance. Pro Literacy Detroit helps adult learners 16 and over become literate. Most of the students come through referrals from fellow/former students and from work force entities, such as Focus Hope.   

Pro Literacy Detroit has used a RI grant (the first of its kind in the U.S.) to create 250 trade tutor workshops. Williamson is proud of Rotary’s participation through the Rotary Literacy Initiative and an exchange program where Australian Rotarians helped tutors in 2 six week sessions.  

Ms. Williams believes that every dedicated student, no matter at what reading level, paired with a volunteer tutor will succeed.  
(Photo by George R. McMullen Jr.)
Immediate Past President Fred Ollison III proudly shows a framed picture taken by Rotarian John Minnis at a meeting last year featuring Fred, past District Governor and Past President Kim Towar and Rotary International Director Jennifer Jones, who was visiting the club. The frame was presented by current President Ted Everingham. (Photo by George R. McMullen Jr.)
President Ted Everingham introduced Liz Vogel, a former Mount Clemens Rotary Club member, who was inducted into the Grosse Pointe Club at its July 13 meeting. Liz is the Deputy Supervisor for Clinton Township and was a member of the first Interact Club at Grosse Pointe South High School. (Photo by George R. McMullen Jr.)
2016-17 President Ted Everingham took charge of his first meeting July 6 as head of Rotary of Grosse Pointe. He also had the honor of opening the first meeting on a new day and time — Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. — and in a new venue, the Reception Room of the Grosse Pointe War Memorial. Founded in 1937, Grosse Pointe Rotary previously met on Wednesday at noon in the Ballroom of the War Memorial until the 2016-17 year in compliance with bylaw changes unanimously approved by the club. (Photos by George R. McMullen Jr.)