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Next Meeting

May 24,2022


Powerboat Enthusiast and Author

Tim Matyn

Tim Matyn will give us a history lesson of his favorite sport and its long association with the city of Detroit. Tim became a boat racing fan at an early age, especially the big unlimited class hydroplanes. In the mid 1950’s his father began taking him to the races on the Detroit River and he has attended every race since then. He has an extensive collection of books and photographs of the races.

Tim has authored three books: A Chronology of the Gold Cup Races (2020), A Chronology of the Harmsworth Races (2021), and earlier this year A Chronology of the Silver Cup. He will have copies of books with him for purchase and signing.

The Gold Cup Race is to power boat racing what the Super Bowl is to football, what the Kentucky Derby is to horse racing, what the World Series is to baseball, and what the Indianapolis 500 is to automobile racing. The first race was held in 1904 on the Hudson River in New York. The race remains an annual event. Although it has not been in Detroit since 2018, the Detroit River has been the scene of more contests than any other venue, with many Detroit owners and drivers involved.

The Harmsworth, founded in England in 1903, was a contest between nations, not boats or individuals. The international competition was held sporadically between the years of 1903 to 1961. The race was won by U.S. representatives sixteen times, nine of which were won by Gar Wood, the famous boat builder and transplanted Detroiter.

The Silver Cup Races, sponsored by the Detroit Yacht Club, were held from 1947 through 1961. The perpetual trophy, formally known as the O.J. Mulford Trophy, was donated for the race by the family of the former president of the Gray Marine Engine Company, based in Detroit.

Tim was born in Detroit, has resided in Grosse Pointe Woods for forty-one years, obtained his BA from the University of Detroit in Business Administration (major in accounting), and was a controller in private industry.


Guests (including spouses) are always welcome.  Consider inviting a guest to this and all meetings. Meetings are scheduled to begin at 11AM at Tompkins Center at Windmill Pointe Park.  Please arrive on time so meetings can begin promptly. Includes Lunch, $20 at the door.

Directions to Tompkins Center: Take Jefferson to Bedford (toward the lake) to Windmill Pointe Drive. Reservations can be made by email to or by a call/text to 313-550-9661, if email is not available.


The vintage (yellow) Senior Men’s Club badges can be purchased for $20 proudly worn at all Club events and you will be designated as a member of the Charter Club.  To obtain your badge, contact Chip Rohde at or 313- 259-1010. Dave Buckler, Treasurer, will accept your contributions.

Future Speakers

June 14 Cathy Hasse
Chairman the Highland Games

July 12 Fr. Rich Bartoszek
Director of Spiritual Care, Beaumont Health

July 26 Rolf Mammen
Brigadier General, Commander 127th Wing Selfridge National Guard Base

Sept 13 David Dulio
Center for Civic Engagement

Previous Speakers


Traveler, Author and retired Brownell Teacher

May 10, 2022

The scheduled speaker for today cancelled yesterday due to an out of state death in the family.

Fortunately, sought-after speaker Rufus McGaugh was willing to squeeze us in this morning between speaking yesterday at Macomb Community College and Thursday at the SCS Friends of the Library Annual Meeting. He last spoke to the SMC four years ago (March 2018) on his lifelong quest to see the world.  Today will be Part II of the topic.

Rufus McGaugh

The last time Rufus was with us he had completed his goal of visiting every country in the world and had published Longitude & Latitude with Attitude: One Man’s Quest to See the Entire world.  Since then, he has published two more books: 1) Joyriding with a Terrorist in Yemen: and Other Travel Tales and 2) Drowning in all Seven Continents.

Rufus was born in Detroit.  He grew up wanting to be a marine, a spy, and a teacher.  Rufus enlisted in the Marines and fought in Viet Nam (1970-1971).  He was wounded in 1970 and earned the purple heart.

After graduating from Wayne State University, he taught in Grosse Pointe Middle Schools from 1974 to 2010.

Mc Gaugh describes his two favorite trips as to Russia in 1966 to pick up and adopt their oldest son, and in 2006 to 11 Mile and Van Dyke to pick up their foster son, whom they later adopted. He and his wife live in Grosse Pointe.

His favorite activities are backpacking, mountain trekking, mountain climbing, and travel.


Conductor, Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra
April 26, 2022

Winner of the American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, professional division, The American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music, professional division, and 19 ASCAP awards for Adventurous Programming from the League American Orchestras, Nan is one of the most innovative and dynamic conductors working in the US today.  Critics have hailed her work as having “perspicacity, nerve, and all-around savvy” for her fresh approach to concert programming.

Nan earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her Master’s degree in performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. A professional flutist for many years, Washburn began her studies in conducting in 1984 with Denis de Coteau at CSU Hayward, continued with Harold Farberman at the Conductors Institute and at the Aspen Festival with Paul Vermel. Nan has also participated in several masterclasses with world class directors.

 Washburn first came to national attention as a co-founder, the Artistic Director, and Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic from 1980 to 1990.

For five years Nan was the Artistic Director and Conductor of the West Hollywood Orchestra.  She also held the posts as Music Director of Orchestra at Sonoma, the Camellia Symphony in Sacramento as well as Principal Conductor of the Channell Islands Symphony, the Acalanes Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco State University Orchestra. She made her opera conducting debut with the full production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the El Dorado Opera Company (LA). Washburn has conducted numerous orchestras throughout the United States.

The Michigan Philharmonic is in its 76th year with Nan in her 23rd season as Music Director. Under her leadership, the orchestra has experienced unprecedented growth in artistic excellence and in the scope and diversity of its programs throughout Southeast Michigan. National recognition for the orchestra during Washburn’s tenure includes 6 ASCAP awards, several prestigious grants from the Knight Foundations and second place honors from the American Prize, professional orchestra division.

Websites at:

A small group from the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra perform at the Ford House Tunes from the Terrace Series.  They will return on August 11, 2022, with the number of musicians determined by the Ford House budget.


GP Historical Society
April 12, 2022

Mason Ferry and Stuart Grigg from the Grosse Pointe Historical Society will present The Future of Grosse Pointe Past.

The Society has been collecting stories and artifacts about the Pointes since 1945. In the 1990s, the group acquired and restored the oldest surviving structure in the area, the c. 1823 Provencal-Weir House. Originally a ribbon farmhouse on Lake St. Clair, it was moved several times and now sits at 376 Kercheval.  Tucked behind the house museum is another historic treasure – a log cabin c. 1836. Originally located in Macomb County, the cabin was moved to Christ Episcopal Church in the 1930s, where it served for many years as the home of  a donkey featured in nativity plays. When the livestock departed, the cabin was disassembled and rebuilt in the current location.

An Administration and Collection Resources Building  Building under construction at 275 Kercheval, across from the Provencal-Weir house, is scheduled for completion by June. The new 5000 sq. ft. building includes space for permanent storage of the extensive collection of information about Grosse Pointe buildings and homes, including 5000+ original blueprints. A dedicated digital lab will feature the custom hardware and software used to preserve and share information and stories on the internet. There will be space for changing exhibitions and displays, public activities and programs, workspace for volunteers and researchers, and a collection of special-focus books about our community.

 From the first peoples hunting and gathering on the shore of Lake St. Clair through today’s residents and the future Pointers in schools today, there is a clear theme: a great place for a community to grow and thrive with resources and amenities to make a good life.  Grosse Pointe is fortunate to have an organization dedicated to the community’s unique and important history.

The Society’s website is


Michigan Parkinson Foundation

March 22, 2022

Mary Sue Lanigan, CEO
Jeff Lathem, Chairman

Parkinson’s disease affects approximately 1.5 million people in the United States. Although Parkinson’s disease most commonly affects people over age 60, it can occur as early as age 20.

When Jeff Lathem’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he left school to be totally immersed in the family’s car dealership business.

In addition to being Chairman of the Michigan Parkinson Foundation, Laethem is actively involved with the St. John Hospital Guild, is an officer of the Children’s Charity at Adios and a Director of the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation. An avid boater, enthusiastic singer, and struggling golfer, Jeff, his wife Alysia, and their three children live in GP Shores.

Mary Sue Lanigan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Parkinson Foundation, an organization that provides direct patient services and education to people living with Parkinson’s disease and their families. The Foundation is headquartered in Bingham Farms, serving the entire state of Michigan. Mary Sue has been with the foundation for six years.

Prior to that, Mary Sue was the Development Director for the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region for fifteen years. Additionally, she is a patient educator at the Cleveland Clinic and community education director at the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland. Mary Sue has 31 years of experience in program development for chronic disease management in both the non-profit and the private sector.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education from Kent State University.  The website of the Michigan Parkinson Foundation is

President and CEO, The War Memorial

March 8, 2022

A special thank you goes out to Charles for filling in for Chris Pratt who became ill the day before scheduled to speak. When reached at home that night Charles responded, “I will be happy to help you out at the last minute.  The relationship of the Men’s Club with the War Memorial is a special one.”

Burke reviewed the impressive improvements to the WM. With the announcement that the War Memorial will be opening November 3 with the first major event being a celebration of Veterans Day, the Club interrupted with spontaneous applause. The Club again interrupted the presentation with applause when Charles announced, “We want you back.”

A Virginia native, Charles received his Bachelor of Music from West Virginia University,’ his Master of Arts from George Mason University and did Doctoral Work in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Michigan.  He began his career teaching for five years in Fairfax.  He then spent 15 years as the Senior Director of Education & Artistic Director and Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles. During 2013 he served as guest instructor in orchestra directing.

Burke joined the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association in March of 2014 and is the President and CEO. The War Memorial is a venerable institution with a reenergized determination to emerge as a regional driver of arts, learning, patriotism, hospitality, and connectivity. Located on the grounds of the historic Alger Estate, it offers programs to honor veterans, engagement experiences for adults and children, community events and celebrations, and premier hospitality services. With new programming and innovative leadership, combined with a substantial grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Association has embarked on a long–range planning process, PLAN 2025, to revitalize its stance as a unique, dynamic and forward-thinking hub for southeast Michigan.

The WM website is located at

February 22nd



 Larry Burns, President & CEO of The Children’s Foundation, returned to Detroit in January 2017 to lead the Foundation.  Larry hosts the popular WJR program Caring for Kids and recently began a new series, Pathways to Wellness.

Burns is a graduate of Central Michigan University and previously served as VP for Advancement at the University of Akron following more than two decades of healthcare and higher education leadership at the University of Toledo and the Medical College of Ohio. 

The Children’s Foundation brand is the umbrella for the evolving partnerships of the Foundations organization. Through its fundraising, grant-making and advocacy, researchers and community organizations can identify and implement innovations in advancing children’s health and wellness.

The Children’s Foundation include Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, The Jamie Daniels Foundation, Healing Kids Foundation, and the Paul W. Smith Golf Classic. Current Foundation focus include mental health, nutritional wellness, abuse, oncology, cardiology research, and injury prevention.

The organization’s website can be found at

February 8th


Building Civility

Social and mass media have politicized everything from religion, race, the pandemic, and beyond, leading to an unprecedented level of polarization. Friendly banter and debate have been halted, longtime relationships have ended and estrangements within families have occurred. Today, many believe they cannot be friends with people whose politics are different from their own.

Media contributors Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson have been longtime friends, despite their different perspectives on pretty much everything. The one thing they agree upon is the importance of their friendship, including a healthy dose of mutual respect. The duo promotes bringing people of opposing viewpoints together for healthy disagreement, personal interaction, constructive conversations, and friendship despite opposing views. The duo also finds common ground in sharing a fondness of Kentucky bourbon.

Building Civility will be their topic at the February 8th meeting of the Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe. They will be discussing civility-building in politics and community and providing insights from their friendship and the Great Lakes Civility Project.

The Civility Project’s website is located at

January 25th


Annie Dennis earned a BFA from Western Michigan University in 2010 and an MFA in 2013 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Annie is both an artist and an educator and is currently serving as education director and archivist at Pewabic. Her personal work evokes feelings of serenity with an earthy, natural palette and pleasingly repetitive carved details.

Pewabic Pottery is a National Historic Landmark, founded in Detroit in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry, a successful china painter, and Horace Caulkins, a dental equipment supplier and kiln manufacturer. Today it continues to be an active working pottery, architectural tile studio, ceramic arts education center and vibrant cultural destination that attracts visitors from around the world.

The nonprofit Pewabic Society Inc. operates the pottery and has expanded their initiatives to include education and museum space within its historic building. Many Pewabic products are still produced and sold at the site. Learn more at where you can also sign up to join the email list or become a member of the organization.

January 11th


Jeremy Dimick, the Director of Collections and Curatorial Departments at the Detroit Historical Society (DHS), will be the presenter at our first luncheon meeting of 2022 to be held at the Tompkins Center on January 11th. Jeremy has worked with artifact collections at the Henry Ford Museum and the Michigan Historical Museum. In 2012, he became the Curator of Collections at Flint’s Sloan Museum and Buick Gallery, leading the collections and exhibit development teams before joining the DHS in 2017.

Under an agreement with the City of Detroit, the DHS is the day-to-day manager of the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the more than 250,000 artifacts held in the collections.

Learn more about the DHS, visiting the museums, joining Detroit Historical Society, or making contributions, by visiting their website at The hours of operation of the museum are generally 10-5 on M-S and Sunday from 1-5. Say the word “Hudson’s” and who of us will not be able to share a story about visiting the elegant downtown department store. You can still catch the “Hudson’s Holiday” exhibit until January 30th.


Uniserve Director
Michigan Educational Association (MEA)

The Men’s Club welcomes Chris Pratt back as a presenter. The last time he stood before us in December 2019 he was directing GP South’s Tower Belles.  In August of 2021 Chris left the classroom to join the MEA as UniServ Director of South Oakland Districts.

The position of UniServ Director was developed by the NEA as a title for field staff of state affiliates like the MEA, providing service to members as it relates to contract issues, evaluation appeals, legal matters, and grievances.  The scope of the position also includes organizing, public advocacy and building organizational capacity.

Chris taught choral music for 21 years in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan with the last nine years at South. Collectively, his choirs won over 130 Grand Champion awards and seven national titles. The Pointe Singers and Tower Belles earned numerous Grand Champion awards throughout the Midwest and were named FAME National Champions in 2019.  His students have gone on to professional careers in performance, education, law, business, and medicine. When at South he took his students on a performance tour of nine countries from Ireland to Poland.

While Chris was at South he also served as the President of the Grosse Pointe Education Association. He obtained his BS in Music from Ball State, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Indiana University, and his EdS from Oakland University. He also currently serves as the Executive Director for the Michigan Music Education Association.

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