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History

THE BEGINNING

Early in the summer of 1959, John Lake, Director of the War Memorial, approached Edward Gehrig on the subject of forming a club for senior men. Mr. Lake had felt for some time that there was a place in the community for such a group. He asked Ed’s opinion and Ed said it seemed like a good idea and he would think about it.

Ed discussed the idea of such a club with others. Some thought the matter would never become a reality. Nevertheless, Ed called seven of his friends who agreed to meet with him at the War Memorial and discuss the idea. On July 15, 1959, nine men attended this exploratory meeting. In attendance were: John Lake, Ed Gehrig, Eugene Hoelzle, Harold Merrill, Sam Shenefield, John Kuivinen, Wilbur Kamm, Lorenz Hittle and Stanley Schlingman.

The idea seemed like a sound one at this first meeting and each promised to bring a friend to their next meeting on August 20,1959. Eighteen men attended and more discussions were held. At the third meeting on September 4, 1959, forty men were present and the question of who would be officers was raised. Walter Wakeman proposed that they appoint the following officers:

President – Ed Gehrig
Vice-President – Gene Hoelzle
Secretary- Harold Merrill
Treasurer – Art Dannecker

All present agreed on the selection of these men. Those selected agreed to serve and the Senior Men’s Club was on its way. The first Constitution and By-laws were drawn up at this meeting and the consensus was that the main object of the Club would be to promote better understanding among men of the Grosse Pointe area and to operate for social, charitable, literary, and educational purposes. Dues were set at $5.00 a year and meetings were to be held bi-monthly on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

The first general meeting of the Club was held on September 15, 1959. Red Jones, a well known American League Umpire, was the first speaker and he was introduced by Ty Tyson, former radio sports announcer for WWJ. After this first meeting, the 82 men present broke up into groups to play cards.

At this opening meeting, president Gehrig made these comments: “To have reached the age of retirement is a credit to a person. Everyone is not granted this privilege. After all, we have been through three wars, a depression, and various illnesses in getting there.” Adopted from: History of Senior Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe, The First Six Years 1959-1966 by Harold Wiek in collaboration with William H. Cook.

John Hammel, Historian


CHRONOLOGY
1960
Ed Gehrig, President
On January 2, the SMC became an independent organization. Previously it was considered to be a sponsored club of the War Memorial. On February 9, the membership was 139. Authorization to purchase the first badges was given on March 8. The first Annual Meeting was held on September 27. The new constitution and By-laws were accepted by the membership. The Woodworkers, Bridge, and Cribbage were the first Sub-Clubs organized. Jesse Shields was appointed Sub-Club Chairman at the Annual Meeting. Col. Ralph Kimble was appointed Editor of a proposed newsletter on December 2. Three Directors were elected to the Board, and Ed Gehrig continued as President.

1961
Ed Gehrig, President
Membership stood at 200 on February 10. The facilities of the War Memorial (Fries Auditorium and the Crystal Ballroom had not been built) were overtaxed. A suggestion was made by Harry Hogan, and later added to the By-laws, that no officer or director serve more than two consecutive years.

1962
Ed Gehrig, President
Our first President completed his term in office on September 25 when Jesse Shields was elected President at the Annual Meeting. A motion was passed unanimously that Ed Gehrig be elected a life member with the honorary title of “President Emeritus.” Seven members were elected to the Board. Our first meeting in the new Fries Auditorium was held on November 13.

1963
Jesse Shields, President
The first Ladies Night was held on April 22, with 276 present. On July 23, the first hobby show was held. The number of directors was enlarged to eight and provisions were made to elect four each year. On November 6, the Club purchased its first wheel chair.

1964
Jesse Shields, President
The offices of Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Secretary were created.
Membership stood at 432.

1965
George Cossaboom, President
On March 19, the officers passed a motion that no more applications for membership would be accepted from outside Grosse Pointe. The membership, on April 13, approved a resolution to incorporate our Club as a non-profit organization. Jesse Shields died on August 9. He foresaw the need and desire for sub-clubs and set about making these a reality as the first chairman of Sub-Clubs. He was also a director and the Club’s second President. At the Annual Meeting on September 28, the incorporation of the Club as a non-profit organization was approved. The membership was 539.

1967
Tom O’Keef, President
On June 23, the By-laws were changed to read that “Only senior male residents of one of the five Grosse Pointe communities, who have retired, are eligible for election to membership.”

1973
Ken Cary, President
The first Florida Sub-Club luncheon was held in Delray Beach on January 9.
At the annual meeting of September 25, a newly organized Choral Group made its debut with John Finch as Director and Harold Harder at the piano.

1976
John Carter, President
The Music Makers were organized by Frank Seydler.

1977
Dave Lowe, President
Our 1,000th member was inducted into the Club. He was Edward W. Kulaski, and a special certificate was presented to him.

1979
Harold Munke, President
In our 20th year, Ed Gehrig’s committee picked the motto, “Festivities – Fun – Fellowship.”

1980
Fred Flom, President
Ed Gehrig, our first President, died on March 20. A planting at the War Memorial and an oil painting of Ed, which hangs in the Crystal Ballroom, commemorated his service to the club.

1981
Woodburn Ross, President
John Lake, Director of the War Memorial, retired on October 1. He was appointed an Honorary Member of SMC by the officers and this appointment was approved by the membership at the annual meeting.

1982
Frank Welcenbach, President
The first Past President’s day was celebrated with special recognition of those who have served in this capacity.

1983
Bill Bradley, President
The Senior Men’s Club song, “In Grosse Pointe Fair,” was adopted on April 26, by the Board of Directors. The lyrics were written by club member Harold E. Jinks.

1984
Tom Cooper, President
The membership records of the Club were computerized and a new Standing Committee for Computer Records was established with W.N. Montgomery and Gus Pallas as co-chairmen. The Club celebrated its 25th anniversary on September 19, with a special evening party at the War Memorial.

1985
Ken Jones, President
On March 26, the Board moved to recognize those members with twenty or more years of membership with a special pin. Those members received their pins on Past Presidents Day, July 23.
Membership stood at 1,090 on November 16, 1985.

1986
Robert E. Trinklein, President
A new lectern for speakers was constructed to replace the one which was used since 1960.

1987
Bill Montgomery, President
At the luncheon meeting on May 26, the Club honored the twenty top students from the two Grosse Pointe public high schools. The scholars received a handsome plaque, a history of Michigan, and heard a fine address by Dr. Harlan L. Hagman of our Club. The By-laws were amended at the Annual Meeting making Past Presidents honorary members.

1988
Lawrence Kennedy, President
A major revision of the By-laws was completed.

1989
Bob Waters, President
A handbook of policies was accepted by the Board in April, following a compilation by Bill Bradley, Ted Fleming, Larry Kennedy and Bill Montgomery. The initial task was begun by Woodburn Ross and Frank Welcenbach in 1980. An SMC membership pin was produced; the effort was initiated by Richard Beeman. The Birds and Nature group became a new Sub-Club.

1990
Joe Geisinger, President
On February 13, a new plan of early seating in the Crystal Ballroom was begun which eliminated the many years of crowding in the foyer. The residence eligibility requirement was clarified by an amendment to the By-laws, which stated that “Residency on the date of application shall be recognized for the applicant’s residence eligibility.” The Fishing Club joined the long list of Sub-Clubs.

1991
Harlan Hagman, President
Grosse Pointe Cable TV received permission from the Board of Directors to videotape and broadcast the presentations by the speakers at our semi-monthly meetings.

1992
Wilbur Baetz, President
The Board of Directors, at their meeting of July 14, voted to raise dues to $15.00 and the price of lunch to $4.50, effective October 1.

1993
Bill Lane, President
It was decided to place all historical records kept by the Historian with the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. Many of the S.M.C. records were already there.

1994
Donn Kipka, President
On January 25 the Board of Directors exercised its power to set dues and approved the following motion: “Effective October 1, 1994, members of the Senior Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe who have attained the age of 90 prior to October 1 will no longer be required to pay dues.” The general membership by unanimous vote amended the By-laws to change the cut-off date for dues from November 15 to November 1. The Board approved a schedule of lifetime membership in lieu of annual dues.

1995
Gerald Stoetzer, President
President Gerald Stoetzer died in office on March 5. This was only the second time in the history of the Club that a president has died in office. In accordance with Article V, Section 3, First Vice President Sheldon Flynn became president for the remainder of the term. William Carleton, a member of the Program Committee, substituted for Program Chairman Flynn and was named Vice President. In June, Sheldon Flynn was nominated president in his own right and was elected in July for the 1995-1996 year.

1996
Sheldon Flynn, President
The Medical Equipment which had been kept by a committee of the Senior Men’s Club was turned over to the War Memorial. The Apollo Award for the youngest member of the Club was adopted and went to a new member. Added to the By-laws was provision that Past Presidents and those who have reached the age of 90, will no longer be required to pay dues. The Board was given the authority to waive the payment of fees and dues in individual hardship cases. It was further provided that the Board shall publish the fees and dues and the schedule of single payments for lifetime membership in the Newsletter prior to the new fiscal year.

1997
Joe Fromm, President
The Board of Directors voted to raise annual dues to $20 and to increase the lifetime membership dues accordingly, effective October 1. The price of lunch remained $5. The By-laws were amended to eliminate the second reading for new applicants. The separate data files for membership and the directory was combined into one database under the control of the Computer Records Chairman, George Arsenault. A past history data file of 2,423 former members was compiled to replace many boxes of old records. A cordless lapel microphone was purchased for speakers. A new sub-club, Florida Snow Birds, was established to
formalize the March luncheon held each year in Sarasota.
Membership total at fiscal year end was 1,030.

1998
Bill Carleton, President
Our Directory size was made larger making it easier to read. Member’s FAX numbers, wife’s names and Email addresses were added to our data base and to the Directory as well as a life time members’ code. The Directory Chairman’s position was eliminated and its duties were blended into the Computer Committee, which was expanded. Club tables at the two monthly meetings were added to encourage luncheon attendance. Luncheon price of $5 continued despite increased facility and meal costs. Dues notices and self addressed return envelopes were included with the August newsletter to promote on-time payment and reduce non-payment drop outs at a November 1st cut off for printing the new directory in November.

1999
Wilber Brucker, Jr., President
Our Newsletter was expanded to approximately 16 pages, and significantly upgraded. Special events added two new programs: Cabaret Night, with a live floor-show and dancing; and an outdoor pig roast (Luau) with a banjo band. Sub-Clubs continued to be strong. Our club had an exchange with the Senior Men’s Club of Birmingham. On July 13, we celebrated our 40th Anniversary with a toast and special dessert. A CPA member of our Board reviewed our financial condition, and thereafter, to put our Club on sound financial ground, we discontinued selling Lifetime Memberships, raised our dues to $25 per year and increased the price of luncheons to $6. We adopted an Amendment to the By-laws allowing non-resident members to join the Club, if they had previously resided in one of the Grosse Pointes.

2000
Dan Beck, President
The new Technology Sub-Club was started with a strong membership of 75 members attending the first meeting. It was split into four sectors, the Park, the Farms, the Woods, and the Shores (GP and SCS). The Board of Directors, concerned with negative finances, increased the initiation fee from $10 to $25 effective the new fiscal year, 2000-2001. The By-laws were changed to allow all former Grosse Pointe residents to become members of our club. This allowed 46 former residents to join as new members. The By-laws were also amended, deleting any reference to lifetime memberships. All club records housed at the Grosse Pointe Historical Society are now on discs, thanks to our Historian Chairman, Ivor Carter. Luncheon attendance averaged 212. Membership total at fiscal year end was 993.

2001
Jack Williams, President
This year our club made no By-law or dues changes. Membership exceeded 1,000 men. A new special event of a River Cruise from Port Huron with dinner at Charlie’s Crab was added with great success. The Golf sub-club added play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Golden Hawk for the first time. Our new sub-club, the “Tech Club”, kept us informed on many computer usages and technology updates.

2002
Ed Olsen, President
Membership fell off this year, closing at 965. A By-laws change was approved to include all present or former residents over age 65. Advertising was in our directory for the first time. Investment Seminars were cut back to one a month during this year, but a new team took over at fiscal year-end, with a goal of returning to two seminars per month. Our dedicated Mailing Chairman, Dick Gross, accepted responsibility for our computer records. Our Director of the Choral Group, Lou Mueller, relinquished those responsibilities, but vowed to continue as a member of the group.

2003
Dick Kay, President
At the annual meeting on September 23 the membership of the SMC was announced to be 950 members, slightly below a year ago. The attendance at the luncheon meetings averaged 178 members. New income was raised through Andy Cleek’s 50-50 drawing at the luncheon meeting, the sale of Entertainment Books, and in advertising in the directory. An innovation introduced this year was the breakfast meeting at the War Memorial for past presidents and the elected members of the Board to acknowledge their contributions, and to solicit their ideas for the betterment of the Club. Ed Rowady and Fred Clark acquired May Krager, an attractive and talented retired music teacher from the Grosse Pointe Public Schools for our Choral Group at luncheons.

2004
George Moulton, President
This year all members reaching the age of 82 become life members and are no longer subject to the payment of the annual dues. The existing 50/50 raffle and entertainment book sales programs, as suggested by Andy Cleek and now in its second year, have each added over a $1,000 to our Club’s annual revenue income. The new Directory advertising, under the excellent chairmanship of Robert (Butch) Edgar, now in its second year, has significantly increased our revenue and has greatly contributed to the present excellent financial stability of our Club. A special contribution of $1,000 was made to The Grosse Pointe War Memorial to aid in payment of their current construction project to include a new elevator for the Crystal Ballroom. The golf league has added Chandler Park as was popularly requested by league members. New golf caps were made available and sold at our cost to help promote our Club. The Apollo Award for the youngest member was discontinued.

2005
H. George Arsenault, President
The fiscal year 2005 ended with around 900 members. We added 40 new members; lost 43 in death and we had 16 resignations. For the first time in many years, the two (2) monthly Board Meetings was changed to only one Board Meeting per month to confer on the first monthly luncheon (second Tuesday) instead both monthly luncheons. Therefore, on October 1, 2004, our Secretary had only to produce one Board Meeting Minutes Report for each month instead of two. The Third Annual Past President’s Breakfast was held in the Alger House and included all Past Presidents, all Board members, and all Standing Committee Chairmen. This was paid for by your outgoing President as token of his appreciation for their support during his administration. Our Annual Directory ads, thanks to our advertising Chairman, Butch Edgar, have continued to add to our treasury and therefore $25 remains the annual membership dues and our luncheon fee remains at $6.00 per lunch.

2006
Alfred B. Thomas, President
The year gave us The Ladies Night in June and the Turkey Trot Dinner Dances in the GPWM Crystal Ballroom in November. A riverboat tour and dinner cruise on the “Diamond Queen” and a great lunch at Sindbads in August. In October, we had a great bus trip to Frankenmuth. Our club members actively attended our thirteen sub-clubs. The annual Golf Dinner Dance was again a big success with over 200 in attendance. The Fourth Annual Past President’s Breakfast was held in the Alger House and included all Past Presidents, all Board members and all Standing Committee Chairmen paid by the Club as a token of our appreciation for their support during this past and prior years of club administration. Our Annual Directory ads have again added to our treasury and therefore we had no cost increase for membership fees and the price of bi-monthly luncheons remains at $6.00. We added 30 new members. We lost 40 in death and we had 25 resignations. This left us with a count of around 880 members.

2007
Arthur J. Johnson, President
The year was completed with no change in our finances and costs. The annual events were well attended including the annual Turkey Trot dinner dance and the wonderful Cruise dinner trip as well as the annual Golf Banquet after a great year of golfing. The 13 sub-clubs were active and well attended. Our membership hovered around 870 through out the year. Our past president, George Arsenault, completed the database program code changes to provide your badge number as an addition for the first time in the 2008 Directory. This year the By-Laws of our club has been revised to credit dues for the coming fiscal year for all new members who join in July, August or September. The Directory Ads and 50/50 drawings at our luncheons have kept our financial status on the plus side so that once again we are able to subsidize our luncheons and the cost remains at $6.00 and our annual dues remain at $25.00 with 112 life members, who are not subject to dues, have contributed the annual amount and a few gave even more.

2008

Roger T Sulad, President

The fiscal year ended with 833 members with 59 deaths, 29 resignations, and 27 new members. Our membership continues to be a great concern to the club. We had over a 1000 members a few years ago. The by-laws changed with eligibility for new members at 55 instead of 65. The directory advertising and the 50/50 raffles at or club luncheons kept our club on a sound financial basis. The cost of the lunches remained at $6.00 and the annual dues at $25.00.We still have 13 sub clubs with the golf club maintain the highest Al Thomas, past president, retired as the Newsletter editor after 12 years. Ched Fine has taken over the reigns as Newsletter editor. Our history and by-laws were added to our internet web site.

2009

J. Theodore Everingham, President
The senior men’s club of Grosse Pointe celebrated its 50th anniversary in July.
First V.P. John Prost recruited an outstanding slate of speakers including Detroit Mayor Kenneth Cockrell, Jr. and Dave Bing, who at the time had not announced his candidacy but was elected to succeed Mr. Cockrell. During the year we raised our annual dues to $30.00 from the previous $25.00 where they had been since 1999. The board considered adjusting the price of lunch, but left it at $6.00, the amount set 10 years earlier. In addition, the members elected to amend the by-laws the residency requirement for membership. This change, coupled with lowering the minimum age for membership to 55 during Roger Sulad’s presidency was intended to increase our pool of potential members while maintaining the time honored culture of the club.  And so we begin our 2nd 50 years sharing the same Fun…Festivities…Fellowship that we and our forbearers have enjoyed for more than half a century.

2010

John Prost
, President
It was a very good year for the organization. Member ship was sustained at 781 very close to 800. We had 46 deaths and 46new memberships. In our history files, many well-known members of Grosse Pointe have been members I the past. Among the past members have been G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams and others. The Grosse Pointe News published an article in the feature section about the senior men’s club. The article featured information about the club as well as sub clubs. The front page told of our 50-year history with 2 great photos and the club’s logo. Our by-laws were amended to eliminate the $25.00 initiation fee requirement for reinstatement of a past member. Our annual dues remained at $30.00 which became effective last year. Our luncheon fee was increased from $6.00 to $8.00 effective October 1st to compensate our treasury for the over $8.00 luncheon cost we have been subsidizing for the past few years. We had a successful speakers program this year thanks to our 1st VP Ken Burns. We had the Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing, the former Mayor of Detroit, Dennis Archer; Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick; Author, Dick Tennent’s “Destroyer Men; Three Minutes to War”; Dan Shine, Author, Larry Stephenson’s World War II story, “Operation Plum” among many others. I leave the Presidency to the able hands of Ben Burns knowing this great club will begin the next 50 years with the same Fun…Festivities…Fellowship that have been maintained for the first 50 years.

2011

Benjamin J. Burns, President
There was only one by-law change last year and that was to change the qualifications for lifetime membership without the obligation of any paying reaching the age of 82 to members who have been in the senior men’s club for 10 years and have attained at least the age of 82. It did not alter the language pertaining to past presidents. Our membership remained about the 740 level throughout the year. We had some outstanding speakers throughout the 2010 calendar year including Gov. Rick Snyder before he won the Republican primary and Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick before she lost the Democratic primary to speaker now Congressman Hansen Clark. Bryan Thompson our special events chair scheduled a trip to Willow Run to the Yankee Air Museum, two trips to Tiger ballgames as they were having an outstanding season and a boat trip on the Detroit River. Sadly we lost some long-time members including Mike Quinn, who handled the invocators most of the year. We wrestled with finances and raised the membership cost $10.00 to $35.00 and the luncheon cost to $10.00 per meal in order to stabilize our cash situation. We’ll learn during George Lilly’s year whether our budget adjustments were enough.

2012
George S. Lilly, President
The principal focus this year was on membership. As an inducement we offered a free lunch to every member who sponsored a candidate, once his membership was approved. Prospective members have long been given a free lunch. Some men who play golf or bowl with our sub-club golf or bowling leagues are not members of the SMC. Through the efforts of our membership chairman, Eric Lundquist, those individuals were contacted but we only were successful in gaining a few members from their ranks. A total of 40 new members were approved for membership this year. Forty-nine members died this year.  Every member’s death is significant loss for the club but among them was our past president, Ben Burns, who appeared on the surface to be healthy and attended every meeting up to his death on September 7 from an illness that has plagued him for many years. Membership stands at 700 and our meetings are attended by an average of 134 members. Our historian, Don Blain, donated a filing cabinet for all of our records and arranged for the filing cabinet to be placed in a locked room within the Alger House. The 50/50 raffle which has generated much revenue for the club since being almost 10 years ago by Andy Cleek, was modified to allow two winners to share one half of the revenue from ticket sales. Our sub-clubs, which number more than a dozen, continue to thrive, judging by the number of men who continue to participate in them. The club recently approved a motion by Paul Decker to honor members’ volunteer works within the community. A committee is being formed to locate such individuals. The Florida snow birds requested an increase of $200.00 to $300.00 to cover any additional expenses by that sub-club at their annual banquet. That motion was approved by the board. If Ken Van Dellen administration is as good as the quality of speakers he recruited for 2012, most certainly, 2013 will be a banner year for the club.

2013

Ken Van Dellen, President
During 2012-2013 there were expected pluses and minuses. We lost 52 members through death and 6 through resignation while gaining 41 new members with a net loss of 13, leaving u with 681 members. The need to work on recruitment and making the club more attractive to the younger of the senior spectrum has been our task for the past few years. Ed Rowady worked on a task of making the younger members feel welcome. His idea was to have a fall “Fellowship” breakfast to give new members a better opportunity to meet club members and the sub-clubs and to stimulate discussion among the members. The breakfast was a nice activity and may become an annual event. Our finances are in very good shape. There was a gradual trend towards receiving the newsletter electronically rather than USPS. The club approved a motion by Paul Decker last year to honor members’ volunteer works within the community. A committee is being formed to locate such individuals Nominations for such an award have been solicited and may be implemented in the coming year.  Some developments during the past year have stimulated discussion of minor changes in a few of our by-laws so there may be amendments later this fiscal year. Dick Gross after 9 years has resigned from his duties of Computer Records. We are fortunate to have Henry Fischer as Dick’s replacement. He is a skilled data base programmer and is familiar with data-based programs. Prior to Dick, Georg Arsenault wrote the data-base programs and chaired the key-punch records for 6 years, beginning in 1996. We have a group of board members for the coming 2013-2014 fiscal year. I leave the clubs presidency in the very capable hands of Ed Rowady that he is and his board members will continue to advancement of this great club.

2014

Edward P. Rowady, President
The SMCGP membership at the end of the 2014 fiscal year was 655 members.
The 2013 -2014 board of directors focused on the needs of the current and future members in order to increase our member active committee membership was considered crucial for the planning, development, communications, and implementation to keep and attract new members.  Amendments were made to the following by-laws: Article IV Board of Directors, Section 4 and Article VI, Election Procedures, Section 2 and Article III –Members, Section 2, and all changes are included in the 2015 Directory. Fellowship Breakfast was conducted by the new member’s orientation and promotion of programs and events. The “Distinguished Member Award” process was implemented for the first time recognizing C. Frank Turpin and George Arsenault for their long and dedicated service to both the club and the community. Three new chairman positions were created to further to assist in attracting and retaining new members: Assistant Membership Chairman – Bob Murphy; Membership Ombudsman -Roger Sulad; Public Relations Chairman – Dan Beck. Welcome packages including badges and essential information were assembled by Badge Chairman – Roger Wittmer and distributed to new members to simplify their introduction into the club.
A variety of speakers were selected covering a variety of subjects such as, history, local and national issues, sports, technology, and health. A schedule of special events was planned and communicated as “The Grand Tour” as communicated in the monthly SMCGP Newsletter to encourage participation. A meeting was held between SMCGP and the Senior Men’s Club of Birmingham to exchange ideas this resulted in a golf competition between the    two golf sub-clubs and an opportunity to promote to promote publicity for the clubs. SMC of Grosse Pointe hosted the SMC of Birmingham at Plumbrook golf club in the initial golf scramble challenge with 42 golfers participating. Birmingham has indicated they plan to host the 2015 golf competition in what could become an annual golf competition.

2015
Charles R. Rutherford, President
The SMCGP continued to lose membership. At the end of the fiscal year 2014 there were 655 members, while at the end of the fiscal year 2015 there were approximately 605 members. The Board, through Second V.P. Bob Murphy, studied the issue and proposed an amendment to the by-laws to change the name of the SMCGP by removing the word “Senior.” At the annual meeting of the Club on September 22, 2015, the motion was defeated by the members, since the motion failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds vote of the members present.

Special thanks to Chris Walsh for proposing and directing the establishment of a new website, effective March 1, 2015. Remember the following: http://www.seniormensclubofgrossepointe.com. Members and guests now have access to an updated website that is vibrant and easier, and faster to navigate. The website includes information on Sub Clubs, events, newsletter, Club history and membership application. Current information is readily accessible. This information includes photos of Club events and programs, and hopefully will increase Club membership.

The Board established a complementary luncheon policy authorizing the President or his designee to issue a maximum of five per month, including the speaker and guest, blood pressure service providers and invocator.

On July 14, 2015, a committee report by Chris Welsh proposed how the monthly newsletters are to be printed and distributed to minimize the costs of printing and mailing. The policy passed. All members are encouraged to receive the newsletter electronically or to pay an additional $15.00 per year if a hard copy of the newsletter is requested.

A new Article III, Section 2 was approved on July 14, 2015, to now require one sponsor for an application for membership and upon payment of annual dues, the membership Chairman with the approval of the President shall declare the applicant a member of the Club.

With Board approval, the SMCGP is now a member of the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce. Thus, each member of the SMCGP now has networking and marketing opportunities and an array of other programs and services. Visit the Chamber’s website at http://www.grossepointechamber.com.

A special thanks to Dick Ruzzin who answered the call for persons to establish, promote and operate a new Sub Club. He established the “Special Interest Automobile” Sub Club, enrolled interested members to join the SIA Sub Club, and thereafter conducted two automobile displays, one after a luncheon meeting of the SMCGP and the other display for veterans after our Special Event at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant.

A new policy was adopted regarding “Attire” for luncheon meetings. It now reads:  “A suit with tie or trousers with collared shirt, with or without tie, and sport coat.” For our yearly speakers, a donation or gratuity of $500.00 was made to the Grosse Pointe Library Foundation.

Each speaker was named in a children’s book for one of the libraries. The speaker was given a bookmark with the SMCGP logo and the year 2014-2015 thereon, with a ‘thank you’ and a quotation from Calvin Coolidge that states:  “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

A special thanks is extended to Arthur F. Stefanski, CPA, who accepted the chair of the “Audit Internal” committee. He has written and published a document for “Internal Control Review.”

Thank you Edward Rowady for chairing the program for honoring the eight 20-year members at our meeting on June 23, 2015. Past President Rowady did a masterful job working with the principals of Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Point South high schools for the program honoring the schools’ senior students with 4.0 GPAs.

Special Events co-chair Edward Benz planned the Cabaret Night on Nov. 5, 2014, at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Crystal Ballroom. It was well attended with an evening of dinner, dancing and conversation. The next event was on May 7, 2015, with a bus trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts for the Diego Rivera exhibit, preceded by lunch. On June 10, 2015, the Club took a cruise on the Clinton River that included a buffet lunch and cash bar. On July 23, 2015, the Club had a tour of the Ford Avenue Piquette Plant, with lunch at a historic Polish restaurant in Hamtramck.
The membership requested and we added the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” following the Pledge of Allegiance at our luncheon programs. I had hard-working officers, directors and committee chairmen who faithfully performed their duties and responsibilities. A long-standing member of the Board and chair of the Sub Clubs Peter Cooper Higbie died on Aug. 7, 2015. Our “Get Well” chair Sam Ciaramitaro resigned because of illness.

The Club’s presidency is now in the capable hands of J. Robert Hynes. He and the Board will continue to provide programs and special events of interests to the SMCGP.

2016
Bob Hynes, President
J. Robert Hynes, President – Now that was fun … and fast … and educational and rewarding. It really was a treat to have served this fine group through, first the vice president chairs and then the presidency. The early on boards that devised the by-laws gave us a fine route for guidance. It seems you learn just enough in serving the board and then straddling each VP chair to carry you through that year.

Just as you get that job down pretty pat, on you go. It was my pleasure to learn from the five or six terrific previous officers of the Men’s Club. Thank you all. As you know the GPSMC welcomes men 55 and over. Actually, we not only welcome you, we need you. Young men with fresh ideas are the future of this club. So many have said to me, “I haven’t retired yet”.  But for you to have this group of guys to join for a $10 lunch twice a month and hear some pretty darn good speakers. Not bad. And your well on your way hopefully to a major leadership role in what has become a rather historic club.  I’m now ready to join a bunch of George’s and a Charlie, Ken, Ed and more at the past president’s table. Thank you all for allowing me to serve.

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