Grosse Pointe Rotary Club

Grosse Pointe

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 5:30 PM
Grosse Pointe Yacht Club
788 Lake Shore Road
Grosse Pointe Shores, MI  48236
United States of America
Venue Map

Meetings will be held via Zoom until further notice.

Members will receive email invites each week.

Meetings are in
The Venetian Room   (June - August)
The Fo'c'sle Room   (September - May)
Visiting Rotarians and Guests are Welcome!
The Grosse Pointe Rotary Tot Lot Re-Imagining
In 1973, Grosse Pointe Rotary designed and installed the initial Tot Lot play park in the City of Grosse Pointe for children 2 to 5 years of age at the corner of St. Clair and Waterloo. Then, in 1997-98, the club performed a true makeover of the original park and invested significantly in park improvements.
Now in 2020, the Rotary Club of Grosse Pointe will once again be “re-imagining” the Tot Lot to make it an ADA/ADHD compliant, all-inclusive play park and learning development environment for kids 2 to 5 years of age. 

We have already raised $250,000 and purchased the new equipment.  Now we are looking for volunteers.  Click HERE to see a video about the project and HERE to see how you can volunteer and help with the installation.
Our Stories
Our speaker on May 20th was Katie Dotson, our Outbound Exchange Student in Denmark.
Katie has been in Denmark since August 2019 and will be returning to GP in July 2020.  Due to the Coronavirus, her classes went online on 3/12 and it resulted in the cancellation of all of her spring travel plans.  The one bright spot is that she was able to spend a lot more time with her third host family (who has 4 daughters) and really bonded with them.
She was able to share pictures of a few of her local trips, such as to Copenhagen, which included other Rotary exchange students.  There are 120 students in Denmark, with 26 from the United States.
One of her highlights was receiving a private tour of the Novo Nordisk plant, which is the world’s largest maker of insulin pumps.  As someone with Type 1 diabetes, this greatly interested her. 
Katie believes she has become much more responsible and independent as a result of her exchange.  She is very grateful that Rotary didn’t make her come home, and leaving it up to the local Clubs and the host family. 
Our speaker on May 13th was Gerald Hasspacher, co-chair of the Sierra Club of Southeast Michigan
Mr. Hasspacher described the stark reality of climate change and how greenhouse gases can exponentially reach a level that will impact our ability to grow food.  These exponential loops include worldwide forest fires, the warming of the ocean, snow melting in the arctic, and the accumulation of calcium carbonate on the ocean floor.
Warnings indicate that there needs to be a 40% worldwide reduction of emissions by 2030.  Ironically, Covid 19, causing the shutting down of factories and keeping people in their homes, has momentarily created a trend toward that goal. 
Mr. Hasspacher offered a litany of ways to help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, both large and small.  On the larger end, this includes installing wind turbines, purchasing electric cars, and putting solar panels on our homes.  On the smaller end, this includes not using fertilizer, replacing your grass with native plants, and not using waxed dental floss. 
Our speaker’s hope is that those in charge will treat climate change as seriously as they have Covid 19.
Julie Baumer passed it to Phil MacKethan for all of his work putting together our online meetings.
(despite the slight technical difficulties today). 😊
Our speakers on May 6th were Bettina & Lena Gaechter from Switzerland. They spoke to us about how they and their country are dealing with Covid 19.
Bettina and Lena are sisters living in Siblingen and Schaufhausen, Switzerland.  Their father, Hans Peter, is a life-long best friend of Johann Finkelmeier.  Bettina, age 26, is in veterinary school and Lena, age 24, works in multi-media production and will be pursuing a masters in business administration.
Bettina describes herself as an introvert so self-quarantining has not had a huge social impact, except she is now spending a lot more time with her 6 roommates. She has filled her time by gardening, painting, and doing craft work.  Unfortunately, it did cause the cancellation of her practical veterinary training.  After 5 years of technical, she was looking forward to working with animals. 
Lena is working from home, which is a newer concept in Switzerland.  She believes that the routine she has established – coffee, work, exercise, lunch, work, socialize – has made the transition to staying at home easier. 
Both feel that their age group, and the country as a whole, has taken the stay at home orders seriously.  They are not fans of Sweden’s decision to take a herd mentality approach.
Bettina and Lena are very proud of their country for doing their part and following the rules.  One of the silver linings that Bettina has noticed is how silent her world is when she steps outside.  She finds it very calming to hear the sporadic conversation and see nature blooming.  Both are optimistic that we will all get through this and will adapt to our “new normal”
The country is set to open shops and schools in the next week.
Our speaker on April 29th was Laurie Smolenski, the Outreach and Development Officer at the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
A former Grosse Pointer, Laurie’s Rotary background is extensive, as her parents hosted 17 exchange students and she was an exchange student herself.  She has since received a Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Resolution from the University of Queensland in Australia as a Rotary Peace Fellow and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain as a Rotary Global Grant recipient.
The IEP is a global think tank that uses data to better understand and communicate the drivers of peace. Laurie is responsible for managing IEP’s partnership with Rotary International, disseminating IEP’s research through diverse public channels, and supporting IEP’s educational programming.
The IEP’s Global Peace Index is an annual measuring tool at the global and national levels. The index allows it to assess the social, political, and economic factors that create peace. The IEP also produces the Positive Peace Report that studies the factors – attitudes (social views), institutions (governments), and structures (equal distribution of resources) -- that sustain peace.
Analyzing these factors, there are 8 pillars: a well-functioning government, equal distribution of resources, the free flow of information, good relations with neighbors, high levels of human capital, acceptance of the rights of others, low levels of corruption, and a sound business environment.  The IEP is partnering with Rotary to be proactive in bringing balance to these pillars. In doing so, they are training “activators”, both young and old, to help bring peace to communities.  The goal is to train 150 people, in 6 regions, to initiate 1,000 projects by 2024.
For a deep dive into the numbers, go to
At the April 29th meeting John Minnis praised George McMullen’s courage and dignity, as evidenced in his cancer battle presentation and then passed the oil can to Julie Baumer for her “strength” in caring for George.

Just a few more pictures from last weeks meeting. Including our roving reporter John Mozena and visiting Past President John Maliszewski.
Our speakers this week were the officers of the Grosse Pointe South Interact Club.
Unfortunately, the State’s cancelling of the school year has limited the Club’s community service, but they were able to have several well attended projects.  This included, on behalf of The Helm, raking leaves for seniors and writing notes to be included in Meals-On-Wheels meals.   It also partnered with the National Honor Society at Gleaners Food Bank and had a great turnout preparing bag lunches for Lunches of Love.
President Enya was happy with the volunteer projects the Club was able to complete and with the turnout.  The leadership is encouraging the writing of letters of support to health care workers and to seniors.  They also thanked Kevin Cox, George McMullen, Julie Baumer, and Scott Matthews for their support.  
George McMullen presented three $1,000 Interact scholarships to Elliott Gunnell (who was president last year and graduated early to study in Sweden – which has been delayed), Laine Johnson, and Enya Nguyen.  They all thanked the Club. 
Finally, George ended the presentation by nominating Kevin Cox to be faculty-advisor for life.  It was unanimously approved without discussion.
Up and Coming Speakers
Jun 03, 2020
Scott Tagliareni w New York Life
Jun 10, 2020 5:30 PM
Finance: the new normal
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