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!
Tot Lot Opening
Our Stories

Our presenter on August 5th was Karen Kendrick-Hands, the Co-Founder of the Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group. (ESRAG).

Ms. Kendrick-Hands is a Madison, WI Rotarian but she and her husband raised their children in Grosse Pointe, both graduating from GP South.  Bringing her passion for Rotary and mitigating climate change together, she co-founded ESRAG in 2017.

Until recently, Rotary International had six areas of focus: Promoting peace, Fighting disease, Providing clean water, sanitation & hygiene, Saving mothers & children, Supporting Education, and Growing local economies. There is now a seventh: Supporting the environment.  Being an area of focus enables environmental service projects to receive global grants. It also brings Rotary’s seven areas of focus more in line with the United Nation’s 17 sustainable goals.

ESRAG assists Clubs, Districts, and RI in planning and implementing service projects, building awareness, building global and local support, inspiring action for sustainable solutions, and supporting RI in environmental initiatives.  The organization has 11 Green Themes, which include such service projects as organizing a clean-up, planting trees, and beating plastic pollution.  It also partners with groups such as Drawdown, the world’s leading resource for climate solutions, and Tradewater, whose goal is to reduce the world’s carbon footprint.

To learn more and/or become an ESRAG member (like Liz Vogel), please visit

Phil MacKethan gave it to Neil Sroka for simply saying “yes” when asked to take on the weekly task of sending out the pre-meeting e-mail speaker summaries.

Our presenter on July 29th was Peggy Hayes, the Executive Director of The Helm Life Center.

Ms. Hayes was born and raised in Grosse Pointe before her family moved to Rochester and is glad to be back.  Prior to joining The Helm, she had two 20-year management and marketing careers, one working with malls and the other with hospitals. 

The Helm started out 2020 with great expectations for its 40 programs and 700 members and then Covid 19 hit.  Considered an essential service, it has since had to adjust its programs.  For example, Meals on Wheels used to be hot meals 5 days a week and is now 5 frozen meals delivered one day a week and its lunch service, which typically served 15-20 people a day, switched to carry out only and now serves 50-55 a day. It has never stopped offering its connection to 2,480 services, such has home health care. 

The Helm’s building closed on March 13th and only opened back up on a limited basis, on July 20th.  During this time, the organization continued its bus program taking individuals to doctor visits and has started a program to handle grocery shopping and pharmacy pick-up.  It has taught a “how to Zoom” class and will try to deliver programs online, if unable to at its location.  Trying to slowly bring the services back to normal, there are now light exercise programs being offered and it has held a “party on the patio” and an ice cream social.

Mark your calendars for The Helm’s gala auction (which raises 40% of its revenue) on October 8th.  It will be an online event so attendees can make their bids from their living rooms.  To learn more about the organization  and see all of the great programs offered, go to

The Lunch Bunch continues to meet every Friday.  They get take out from Irish Coffee and then meet at the near by dog park for some out door dining.  Watch for the weekly email invite and join the fun.

Our presenters were Sara Dobbyn, Trainer/Intern Coordinator of Turning Point and David Herrington, whose daughter was a victim of domestic violence.

Ms. Dobbyn has been with Turning Point for 14 years and her duties include overseeing the survivor speaker bureau.  She noted that the services (some through Zoom) and shelters continue to operate during the pandemic. 

Mr. Herrington described his daughter, Lara, as your classic overachiever,  She was the president of NHS and choir in high school, became a lawyer and was an Air Force Jag for 5 years, became a partner at her Lapeer, MI law firm in one year, and was president of the Lapeer County Bar Association and Lapeer’s historical society.  He was proud to have her as a daughter.

Lara was married while in the Air Force and had three children between the years 2001 and 2006.  Mr. Herrington didn’t notice any marital problems until 2008, when he noticed how belittling and controlling her husband could be.

The husband was arrested in 2010 for physically trying to take the phone out of Lara’s hand.  He was ordered to attend AA, anger management, and get rid of any guns.  He barely attended any meetings and did not turn in any guns.

On December 6, 2011, an argument resulted in Lara and her son locking themselves in a room.  The husband grabbed a shotgun and shot the door open, hitting Lara and the son.  He then took Lara outside, killing her and turning the gun on himself. 

Mr. Herrington and his wife took in their three grandchildren at ages 10, 8, and 5 and is proud to report that all are doing well today at 18, 16, and 14.  He believes that his faith has helped tremendously in raising these children and it upsets him greatly that his daughter is not able to see them grow up. 

Ms. Dobbyn noted that the batterer in a domestic violence situation is controlling and not angry.  If you think someone might be a victim, look for signs of isolation, looking scared when together, and constantly being put down.  To learn more about Turning Point, please go to

After having just been awarded the Oil Can we got to enjoy Ted Coutilish's Red Badge Vocational Talk.

Ted first thanked all who have supported him as a new Rotarian – Ted Everingham, Mike Carmody, Mark Weber, Judy Masserang, and Phil MacKethan.

Ted was born in Detroit and has lived most of his life in Grosse Pointe.  Growing up, he wanted to be Oscar Madison (the sports reporting part, not the messy part) and was able to make that happen.  First, as a sports reporter for the GP North newspaper, and then as career.  He has been able to interview many sports stars, including Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.

Seeing the JOA being implemented with the Detroit newspapers in the late 1980s, Ted decided to leave journalism.  Subsequently, he has been the communications director for U of D Mercy, Oakland U, Wayne State, EMU, and Oakland Community College.

Ted’s life took a drastic turn when his son was diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome.  This is a genetic disease that has left him non-verbal with many health issues.  As a result, Ted has given up all of his hobbies and has since devoted all of his time working with his son and those with special needs.

He has been (and is) on the boards of organizations such as the Fragile X Association and Fraxa and has been the communications director for both.  He has written 38 feature stories on Fragile X researchers who are looking for cures or treatments to scale back the disease’s impact. 

Ted is the Executive Director (and communications director – a constant with whatever role he takes on) for The Full Circle Foundation.

Bill Scott, holding a Kendall Oil bottle as a prop, presented the oil can to Ted Coutilish for taking a leadership role and being a very active new Rotarian.