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President’s Message

In-Person Meetings to Resume
Vacant Officers Positions Filled

Men, April is upon us. I hope you and your loved ones have already been vaccinated, that your taxes have been filed and the return is on its way. We have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is our life, having this pandemic ever-present in our lives.

Our Club is alive and well. We are planning to hold the Club’s first actual in person meeting since the pandemic began. Mark your calendars for May 11th at The Ark, located at St. Ambrose Church, 15020 Hampton, off Jefferson in GPP.

An exciting speaker is lined up for the event. Elliot MacFarlane will cover highlights of Single Malt Scotch whisky–peaty & non-peaty, the various regions of Scotland, and his favorites Single Malts, with time left over for some Q&As. An actual tasting session will be scheduled for a later date at an appropriate time of the day. I hope you can attend on the 11th of May. Tables of six will be placed six feet apart and all attendees must wear masks if not seated at their table. The current Michigan requirements expire on April 19th . Watch the May newsletter and eBlasts for any changes which may occur that could alter the Club’s plans.

The once open Secretary position has now been filled by John Klobuchar. The Club owes much to David Morrow for having done a yeoman’s job in doing all the secretary work for well in excess of a year. John will clearly need our help and that of David for some time to come, but he is energetic and committed to the Club’s success. He will do an excellent job. Thanks David and John. John will be featured in May’s newsletter as the third in a series of “Meet Fellow Member…”

Chip Rohde has agreed to fill the 2nd Vice President role heading-up Member-ship. What a find he has been. Chip is featured on page 4 of this month’s Newsletter. We all need to help our new leaders in every way we can. Please promote the Club and get your friends to become members. The more members we have, the easier it will be to keep our Club alive and relevant. Chip has some great ideas as to how to promote membership, but as you all know, your family members and friends are the best and easiest sources.

Let us all seek out new members every chance we get. I look forward to seeing you in the Zoom meetings in April and finally getting together in person at our May meetings.

Jim Callahan, President

Check your Heart and Soul with Chili to go

Purpose: Join Sunrise Senior Living for a Drive-up blood pressure clinic and enjoy a complementary bowl of Chili to go
 
Location: The War Memorial

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2021
 
Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
 
RSVP to Mary Jo at Sunrise on Vernier at 313.642.2000 by Monday, March 15, 2021

President’s Message

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day men! March Madness is upon us and I hope that you have all received your COVID19 vaccinations along with your family members by the time you receive this Newsletter. Our Board’s Committee on Alternative Sites for our actual meetings has settled upon the Tompkins Center located in Windmill Point Park, Grosse Pointe Park as our temporary home for actual meetings until the War Memorial welcomes our return. There will be plenty of space for us to maintain social distancing. There is ample parking space and the meetings will potentially be catered by Mary Lou Muer of Blue Pointe fame. The Committee is ironing out cost and the menu selections, but they assure me that everything will be to our satisfaction and enjoyment. We are aiming at May to begin our meetings at the Tompkins Center, if all goes well. We will update you as we progress.

At our last Board of Directors’ meeting of Feb. 9, 2021, we welcomed Arthur J. (Chip) Rohde, Jr. who many of you know as a new member of the Board of Directors. Chip is a great addition to the Club and the Board of Directors. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to us, not to mention his vitality and enthusiasm. Please welcome him as the opportunity presents itself.

Remember that the old Senior Club badges are available for a contribution of $20 and that we are need of a person to fill the vacancy of Secretary also that of 2nd Vice President. If you are interested please call me at 313 220 8315.

Jim Callahan, President

President’s Message

James A. Callahan

Men, it’s hard to believe that we have been plagued with COVID19 for one year now. When considering all that we have lost since it began, we can fully appreciate its significance in how it has changed our lives, possibly forever. Masks and social distancing are minor inconveniences when taking into account the deaths, businesses, schools and homelife disrupted. We are fortunate, in that the Club remains and is reworking itself to be more relevant to its members and the community.

If you have suggestions as to how the Club can be more meaningful in your life please let me know. You have my cell telephone number and email address. Corrective criticism is always appreciated as well as compliments. Join our ZOOM meetings to stay connected. Merely send David Morrow (davidmorrow@comcast.net) your email address and he will send you an invitation.

Annual membership dues of $40 for 2021 are owing NOW. Those who have missed paying their dues for two years(2019 and 2020) are being dropped from the rolls. PLEASE PAY YOUR DUES FOR 2021 IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO THUS FAR. The Club’s original badges are still available for a contribution to the Club; suggested of $20. Those badges, representing “Charter Membership” are authorized to be worn once we begin actual meetings again.

Our Past President, Christopher Walsh (2018-2019) is recovering from respiratory surgery at American House. I am sure that he would like to hear fromAnyone who becomes a new member will be given a free lunch along with his sponsor, once the Club resumes meeting in person.

The Directory for 2021 will be published in February. We’d appreciate your review of its contents and your particular listing and report any corrections to Henry Fischer at fischerh@ameritech.net.

James A. Callahan

President’s Message: Latest Developments

“It was a close run thing” – This quote is attributed to Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, after the Battle of Waterloo. i think this is an appropriate reference since the Club is still standing despite Covid19. The club has adapted to a changing environment. We continue to meet via zoom for the speaker’s meetings, book club, and investment club. The golf and tennis groups still play, with different locations perhaps, but still soldiering on. The card players are meeting, initially via zoom and now across large tables. Conditions on gatherings have prevented the choir from carrying on as usual. Clearly, all of us wish we could meet in person.

But a word of caution about the future of the Club. It faces strong headwinds. To grow and not stagnate we must continually attract new members and offer new activities with wider appeal. This requires flexibility and new approaches. I encourage the club to engage in new activities. If something doesn’t work , let’s move on and try a different approach. Let’s not be afraid to experiment.

I am pleased to announce the following “election’ results:
President James Callahan
First VP Henry Fischer
Treasurer James Hoekwater
Asst. Treas. David Buckler
Secretary David Morrow
Asst Secretary Jim Triano
Directors- John Snyder, Jerry Teagan, Ed Benz, Albert Spalding Jr
The new terms take effect on October 1, 2020

Ken Mokray,
President

Presidents Message

Message From the President

Gentlemen:

During this time, the Men’s Club is “cracking on,” as the Brits say.SMC president

  • For updates on the Club, please look for both eBlasts and the Newsletter, or check the website.
  • Please check your junk mail to see if our messages are getting routed to a junk mail folder. You should be able to right click on such a message and choose “Mark as not junk.”
  • We are resuming mailing the printed Newsletter to all who paid for this service.
  • Please check the Directory to ensure that your email address, phone number and address are correct. Inform Henry Fischer of any errors at fischerh@ameritech.net. If you are not receiving our emails, let Dave Morrow know at davidmorrow@comcast.net.

Activities

  • We continue to hold our bimonthly meetings with guest speakers using Zoom at 11:00 am on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. You will receive an eBlast about each meeting with the name of the speaker and the link that you click on to join the Zoom meeting with your computer, tablet or smart phone. Should you be uncomfortable using Zoom, you can call in and listen on your phone, or you can contact us for help with Zoom. Feel free to invite guests to these meetings. You can forward the eBlast with the Zoom invitation to your guest or ask Dave Morrow to do it for you. Having good turnouts for these meetings is important and helps us attract quality speakers.
  • The Readers are holding their book club meetings via Zoom.
  • The investment club is meeting via conference call at 9:00 am on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Contact Thomas Bidigare at his cell 313 977-0709 or tombigidare@comcast.net. 
  • The golf group is up and running.
  • The tennis group is now playing at the outdoor courts at Grosse Pointe Woods Lake Front Park every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 am.

Stay safe and let me know if you have any additional ideas to keep the club intact until the world returns to normalcy.

Ken Mokray,

President

Message from Ken Mokray, President of the Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe

 

On April 14th, the Men’s Club Board of Directors held a video conference meeting on Zoom.  I want to inform the members of the following steps we will take to insure the continuity of the Club.

  1. Though both Club and Sub-Club meetings are restricted during the lockdown, I will send periodic eBlasts out to the membership to inform them of specific actions. Please check your emails.
  2. The Men’s Club will hold its first Zoom based online general meeting on April 28th at the usual time at 11:00 am and a subsequent one on May 10th at 11:00. Some Sub-Clubs, such as the Readers, will be holding their own online meetings.
  3. The Board authorized two donations to aid the community. $500 to Gleaners Community Food Bank to provide 2,000 meals and $500 to the Ascension St. John Foundation for their Associate Hardship Fund to aid frontline healthcare workers and their families.
  4. Choral Group members have volunteered to don their blazers and sing out from their front porch at 7 pm each evening.
  5. The Newsletter will be posted on the website and sent out via eBlast but paper copies are suspended until safe distribution can be assured.
  6. Feel free to shout out support in recognition of our healthcare workers at 7pm each evening (as is occurring in NYC )–inside the house is okay as well.
  7. Standby for an eBlast sending an invitation for the first Zoom-based meeting.

Please stay safe and keep in touch with each other.  If you know a member who is not connected to the internet please give them a call to check in and update them on the Club.

To quote  Winston Churchill—We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Ken A. Mokray, President

MC Luncheon Speaker: David Silver, Founder and Executive Director of Detroit Horse Power

David Silver and 2nd VP Henry Fischer

Our luncheon speaker on March 10th was David Silver of Detroit Horse Power, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit formed by him in 2015. His vision was to expand the opportunities for children in Detroit through riding and taking care of horses. David is from New York and grew up with horses. He competed in three day eventing, an Olympic sport that combines dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. He got his degree from Dartmouth College and joined Teach For America, who placed him in Detroit. David taught on the west side of Detroit and was influenced by the research on social emotional learning that helps to develop the character traits that underlie success in school and in life. The programs of Detroit Horse Power illustrate how horses teach perseverance, empathy, responsible risk taking, confidence, and self-control. DHP started with a two-week summer camp with 18 students and has grown steadily ever since, averaging 100 students in the summer months. For the present, they travel to the facilities of the DHP partners, but those barns can be more than an hour away. One of their closer partners is the Grosse Pointe Equestrian Center (formerly Grosse Pointe Hunt Club).In addition to the summer camps, Detroit Horse Power offers after-school programs with more than 20 students on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on weekends but again, the travel to the distant barns is a problem. Their goal has always been to have permanent home for riding and caring for horses within the Detroit city limits, and for several years they have been considering different sites. They ultimately settled on the 18-acre site at Linwood and Fenkell, the former site of Paul Robeson Academy, off the Lodge Freeway. After lengthy negotiations, they finalized a lease from the Detroit Board of Education last October. They hope to open the facility by early 2023, after constructing stables for 25 horses, indoor and outdoor riding spaces, and fenced paddocks. They have engaged architects, planned an environmental assessment, and started a $5 million capital campaign. David invited us to their annual gala held in November of each year.

In his question and answer session, David told us how they plan to acquire horses by donation, but of course the cost of maintaining the horses will be high. In order to continue to make their programs free to Detroit students, they are exploring various partnership and funding possibilities. Although DHP has a staff of three, most of the teaching is done by volunteers.

For more information, see the Detroit Horse Power website here.

Message from Ken Mokray, President of the Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe

To err on the side of caution, I have suspended the March 24th meeting and affiliated choir practice sessions.  The Board and I will evaluate future meetings on a rolling basis. So, standby for further announcements regarding the April meetings.  I believe the easiest and fastest method of communication is electronically.  I would urge all members to check their emails on a regular basis. I suggest everyone check their junk mail as well.  Occasionally, emails go astray and end up in that box.  Please allow the Men’s Club as a legitimate sender.

Also, check our website site regularly as well.  We will continue physical mailings for now – however as it becomes less efficient to assemble or distribute paper mailings, the Board will consider alternative methods of distribution.  Check the accuracy of your email address in the 2020 directory and let us know if it needs to be corrected.  Hopefully, this situation will resolve quickly.

Be well and stay safe.

MC Luncheon Speaker: Leader Dogs for the Blind

Lora Cabarios, director of national personal giving at Leader Dogs for the Blind

Our speakers on February 25 were from Leader Dogs for the Blind of Rochester Hills. Founded 81 years ago, they have served more than 16,000 clients over those years.

People who are blind or visually impaired endure hardships we can barely imagine. Things that were once routine and taken for granted, suddenly become insurmountable hurdles.

That’s where Leader Dogs for the Blind steps in. From white cane training to matching people with a Leader Dog, they provide the tools and training to reintroduce people to a life of independence, confidence and companionship. It’s a way of living that leads to a new perspective on life.

We heard from Lora Cabarios, who described the mission and history of Leader Dogs for the Blind. Founded by members of the Lions Club, Leader Dogs graduated 3 client guide dogs in its first year and now graduates about 200 per year, as well as training about 100 clients in white cane travel. They are completely self-supported and rely on donations for all of their expenses. They serve the entire US and 19 other countries. Their mission is to help the 90% of the blind population that do not travel independently to do so. Lora then introduced Jeff Hawkins and his leader dog Gracie.

Jeff Hawkins and Gracie

Jeff described his journey with juvenile macular degeneration, the disease that ended his 25-year career as an EMS paramedic. As with most other blind people, he has some vision on the periphery, but it is not safe for him to travel without assistance. He first went to Leader Dogs for white cane training and then returned for a leader dog. He described the social isolation that affects most of the visually impaired and how a leader dog can help overcome such isolation.

Jeff showed us how he works with Gracie. On command, she can take him back to his chair, to the door he came in by, or to a fire door that he shows her. If he introduces her to an audience member, she can return to that person on command. She guides him through crowds, across busy streets, and on to airplanes, buses, cars, etc. He explained why it is important for people to avoid distracting Gracie when she is working. When he removes her harness, however, she returns to being a dog and can be petted and played with.

For more information on Leader Dogs, see their website.