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
VenueMap
Venue Map
 

Meetings will be held via Zoom until further notice.

Members will receive email invites each week.

Our Stories
The caption reads: Pure Grosse Pointe: Grosse Pointe Public Library Directory Jessica Keyser took advantage of the nice fall weather by, naturally, reading a book on the steps of the Central Branch library’s new entrance. The new outdoor space, funded by the Grosse Pointe Library Foundation, is handicap accessible (ramp is on the Fisher Road side) and has chairs, tables and Wi-Fi for anyone to sit and relax.
Our presenter on November 18th was Ashley Holmer, the Founder and Executive Director of the Red Sweater Project.
 
The school that Ms. Holmer, a former Grosse Pointe resident, helped create after going to Tanzania for the first time in 2005 is going strong.  There are 104 students, over 4 classes, and a staff of 17 (15 of which are local).  They also have 86 graduates who they raise funds for to assist in their continuing education.
 
Ms. Holmer played a video with the Director of English as a Second Language and the Operations Manager speaking.  The Director talked about the impact the school has on the students, focusing on one who has become much more confident and engaged.  The students are currently taking their exams that will place them in their areas of study and, for the older students, qualify them for their post-secondary education.  The Operations Manager takes care of the school and campus, helping with the garden and the rabbits.  Both are used to feed the students, with a goal of providing meals four times a week. Rabbits are raised because it only takes 10 weeks to go from birth to being ready for consumption.
 
A second video focused on the school and students.  The goal of the Red Sweater Project is to provide an affordable education no matter what challenges stand in the way, while also protecting the students and educators through every precaution, and ultimately creating a brighter future for every student.
 
A donation of $1,500 ($125/month) will pay all expenses for a child to attend school for a year.  To learn more or make a donation, of any amount, go to their website www.redsweaterproject.org.
Our presenter on November 11th was Chad Livengood, Senior Editor at Crain’s Detroit Business.
 
Mr. Livengood has been with Crain’s for four years and writes about big business and public policy.  He told two very different stories that focused on inequities in both arenas.
 
In February, he interviewed Dan Gilbert, who, before his May 2019 stroke, was at the top of his game business-wise and politically,  building a high rise at the Hudson’s location and helping to revise Michigan’s auto insurance law.  The stroke brought him back to earth and the top of the line treatment he received gave him a new outlook about the healthcare industry and those who work in it. Mr. Livengood then told about his brother who was electrocuted in a freak accident, at age 20, while working for a family landscape company in 2004.  There was no worker’s compensation so he was passed around in the healthcare system, always requiring around the clock care, which he receives from those making $12.50/hour.  Mr. Livengood, who appreciates Dan Gilbert’s influence and all of the money he is willing to spend in, and for, Detroit, hopes he will do the same for the healthcare industry.
 
Mr. Livengood then talked about the poor state of Michigan roads and the funding to fix them.  The funding is based on a 1951 law that was passed before freeways were built and suburban sprawl existed.  It uses a formula that provides much more money per person to those in rural areas than urban areas and allocates money to roads like Mound the same as to two-lane rural roads.  He wonders why voters put up with it and believes we may have built a state that we can’t afford.   
Our presenter on November 4th was Dan Carmody, President of the Eastern Market Corporation (EMC).
 
Eastern Market has been around for 129 years while Detroit has built around it, vanished for a bit, and is now building around it again. Made up of 5 buildings over 165,000 square feet, it is City owned with the EMC managing since 2006.  With an annual budget of over $5 million, the Market is governed by a 21 member Board made up of 1/3 municipal, 1/3 vendors & merchants, and 1/3 community. 
 
The EMC has three missions: (1) manage & promote the public market, (2) serve as the economic development organization for the Market District, and (3) leverage the Market to improve food access and the regional food economy.  Its purpose is to service the full spectrum of the area’s population.
 
A lot is going on at Eastern Market.  There are food wholesalers such as Wolverine Packing that produces 12 million hamburger patties a week to go along with the small farm and craft vendors on the weekends.  There are also programs to benefit smaller food production: (1) accelerating production with small garden plot innovation; and (2) incubation processors that nurture entrepreneurs in low cost kitchens.
 
Eastern Market’s location makes it attractive to developers, so the EMC tries to balance the welcoming of investment but still catering to small businesses and keeping it affordable.  The EMC is looking to expand and has purchased many neighboring vacant lots that will focus on its core value: shepherding Eastern Market’s rich history to nourish a healthier, wealthier, and happier Detroit.
Steve McMillan, after providing an informative Paul Harris primer, awarded Ted Everingham his Paul Harris +8 pin, which recognizes Ted as having donated $9,000 to Rotary International over the years.  Ted noted that he reached this level through automatic payments.
Dino Valente passed the Oil Can to Murray Davis for being a “Rotary Runner”, delivering his Rotary cookie to him in St. Clair Shores.  Murray handled all the out-of-Grosse Pointe deliveries, driving over 120 miles total. 
Our presenter on Oct. 28th was Donald Campbell. Mr. Campbell, a former Oakland County prosecutor, was a prosecutor/investigator for misconduct claims against attorneys and judges for the Michigan Supreme Court for ten years, and is now an adjunct professor at U of D Mercy Law School and defends attorneys and judges against such claims.
 
Mr. Campbell talked about his most unusual legal case, rather than talking about ethics and professional responsibility.  He figured with Covid “Zoom fatigue”, the Club would prefer this. The case occurred in 1990 when he was an Oakland County prosecutor, and it involved a bored group of boys/young adults wanting to form a gang and an unknown (at the time) unsolved mystery.  (To say it was unusual, would be an understatement).