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Rotary Holds Homecoming Meeting

Great Lakes Loons President and General Manager Paul Barbeau Speaks.

November 29, 2009       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Last Weeks Meeting - November 24, 2009

Paul Barbeau
Rotary welcomed Paul Barbeau, President & General Manager of the Great Lakes Loons (and Midland Rotarian) to talk about baseball and the Loons.

Rob Clark, in his introduction, related the best baseball game he remembered: the Loons Playoff game last summer against Fort Wayne. Rob and his son Owen stayed to the very end as the Loons came back over and over to win in the bottom of the 11th. Barbeau agreed that it was one of the team's best victories yet.

Barbeau spoke to the club several years ago and took this occasion to provide a preview of the upcoming season and an update on the results and impact the Loons have had on the area.

The Loons is composed of three entities: The Michigan Baseball Foundation which owns the building and facility, The Great Lakes Loons which is the team itself, and most recently a radio station.

Each of these entities is a non-profit with a board selected from the region. As non-profit's there is no private investment or ownership in any of these businesses.

The goal of the organization is threefold: To have an economic impact, to have a charitable impact, and to have a social impact.

In economic terms, the construction alone, pegged at over $35 million, had an obvious impact. The Loons now contribute 25 to 30 full time jobs and some 200 part time jobs for the region. The organization also tries to meet all of its purchase and supply needs from within the region. Loons bring people to the area contributing over 2,000 hotel room nights a year to the economy.

The Loons Charitable activities give back to the community in numerous ways. The most visible way is through grants. The Loons have given out just over $100,000 to organizations in thirteen counties that deal with youth related activities. Another $100k is budgeted for this year and applications are available on the web site.

The Loons provide fund raising opportunities to clubs, churches, sports teams, and others through such things as staffing concessions at games.

The social impact is the hardest to quantify but may be the most valuable. Minor league baseball appeals to people for all walks of life. On any game night you will find four to five thousand people who have come out to have a good time.

Barbeau went on to say that minor league baseball ties a community together in a way that other businesses can't. Community support and interest make the team possible. The team responds by providing safe, clean, affordable family entertainment. With 70 home games, and ticket prices in the $6 to $9 range, a day at the ball park is within the reach of everyone.

For more information visit


  • Tuesday was the annual Rotary Homecoming welcoming past members, family members, and guests to the meeting. Rob took the occasion to introduce the many quests to the variety of service projects of the club. He had members stand who had worked on each to illustrate the support and interest the club members have. Rob also recognized the many schools that members represent. Many people wore school colors to celebrate the day.

  • Ed Keating Receives 2009 Rose Award
    The third annual Rotary Outstanding Service and Excellence Award was presented to Ed Keating. Ed has exemplified the meaning of Rotary Four Avenues of Service. For the past three years Ed has chaired the Program Committee and has been instrumental in bringing some of the excellent speakers, including Lloyd Carr to speak at the District Conference. Ed is also the Club President Elect for 2011-2012.

  • Congratulations and Thanks to Cindy Chadwick who was presented with her Paul Harris Plus Four pin for contributions to the Rotary Foundation.

  • Vocational Days are coming up in February and March. Griff, Ralph and Dee Dee ask that, if you plan to host students, please fill out a form as soon as possible and turn it in to one of them.

  • Lee Newton Concert committee announced that they will be selling ads in the program for this year's concert. The committee met today and will meet each month on the 3rd Tuesday before the regular meeting.

  • Meeting Times: Lunch is now on the table at noon allowing members to start the meal earlier. The meeting starts by 12:30 and the speaker starting by 12:50. The meeting typically adjourns around 1:15!

  • Make-up On-Line at


    The Lee Newton Concert committee> has scheduled to meet the third Tuesday each month at 11:15.

    Upcoming Programs

    (See the official schedule at )

  • December 1: CMU's new Medical School development project: Dr. Cam Enarson, interim dean of CMU's new medical school and Kathleen M. Wilbur, interim university President will discuss the development of the new medical school venture.

  • December 8: Learn about Toastmasters International, an organization dedicated to helping you improve your communication and leadership skills. Angie Price from Weinlander Fitzhugh will describe what Toastmasters it, and how you can you benefit personally & professionally.

  • December 22: Annual Holiday program with members of the club helping to celebrate the season in song, verse and prose.

  • December 29: 10 Minute Rotarians


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    Stephen Kent

    Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

    More from Stephen Kent

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