www.mybaycity.com July 3, 2005
Rotary Article 822

Rotary Year in Review 2005

Club shows appreciation for out-going Centennial President Mike Stoner

July 3, 2005
By: Stephen Kent

The Rotary year 2004-2005 was significant in many ways but most importantly it was Rotary's Centennial year. The organization was founded in Chicago when, on February 23, 1905, Paul Harris and three associates held the first meeting of what was to become Rotary International, "the oldest, largest and most influential service club in the world". The Bay City Rotary club was founded in 1915 as the 134th Rotary club.

Mike Stoner presented a wrap up of the year as his final meeting as president of the club for the 2004-2005 year. As Stoner said in the opening letter of the club's history book published this year
"It is a great privilege to be President of a Rotary Club. It is a greater privilege to be President of the Rotary Club of Bay City. Greater still is to be President of the Rotary Club of Bay City during this international celebration of the Rotary Centennial Year."

Stoner started his final program as he did his first by saying "well, here we go kids". He said that incoming presidents get lots of advice. The advice he liked the best was "forget what anyone says and do what you want." Mike says he did just that and was "generally forgiven" by most members. Among the years highlights:
  • The club celebrated the Rotary Centennial year with a "birthday party" on the anniversary.
  • International Night was revitalized with a different theme and setting.
  • Each club meeting was ended with a quote from founder Paul Harris.
  • A history book was published which exceeded everyone's expectations.
  • The high quality of the club's weekly programs was continued. A favorite program being the "Minute Rotarian".

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    Incoming Presidents are always asked to set a goal for increased membership. Stoner said that hewould not do that. It would be a guess at best. Instead he set a goal for members to bring as a guest someone they would like to see join the club. "The rest will take care of itself". By the year's end, the club had 18 new members and lost 5 for a net gain of 13 members or about 10%.

    Club attendance is always a concern "for the record". Stoner challenged all members to try an "on-line" makeup on the internet. Some 25 people did that. Overall, attendance was in the 60% range.

    Rotary International sets a goal of "$100 per member per year" for contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Stoner started the year by saying the amount is not as important as just making the contribution. Many members accepted that challenge. Stoner also started the practice taking the 50/50 drawing once a month and donating the entire pot to the foundation in the name of the day's winner.

    Members were also challenged to work on a Rotary event during the year. Over 60 members did that working on international night, the rail trail cleanup, planting flowers, helping with the micro-park and many other activities.

    Stoner also asked that members take part of the reading program where adults go into schools to read to the kids and then leave the book for the class. He related the story of teaming up with 92 year old Wes Timm. Together they went twice. Wes impressed the kids, the teachers and even himself when he told the kids that he was older than all their ages put together!

    The club also bought a new electronic keyboard this year. By way of thanks from the musicians in the club, Leo Najar and Lee Newton presented a duet on Sax and keyboard.

    Other events of the year included work on the Saginaw club's Centennial Bell project and participating in the twin club project with a club in Turkey.

    Stoner closed by sayingthat his closing quotes by Paul Harris had given him a better appreciation of the man. Where he once thought of Harris as probably a boring old business man, he turned out to be a very complex and interesting character. Abandoned by his parents at age 3, he was raised by his grandparents, people very tollerant of other races, religions and lives. Harris started Rotary because "he was a lonely middle aged man in the corrupt big city of Chicago. He wanted friends." His desire for friends grew into oneof the worlds great organizations, Rotary International.

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    Other Club News

    Harry Farris reminded members that the club will be unit # 26 in the annual Fourth of July parade in downtown Bay City on Saturday the 2nd. As of this writing, the parade has been held. Harry drove his old truck and a number of Rotarians marched.

    Dues are Due by July 1. This is important because Rotary International has changed the dues guidelines. Members who are not paid up by the end of July will be required to re-activate their membership.

    The club extends it's thanks to past president Mike Stoner, but we also thank out going secretary Barb Fisher. In the club's entire history there have only been five secretaries. It's an important and time consuming job that deserves a big THANK YOU to Barb!

    The club received a thank you letter from our sister club in Turkey. The tsunami relief funds sent by our club were well appreciated.

    Brian Kay announced that the annual golf tournament raised over $10,300. This is the club's second most important fund raising project after International Night.

    George Charles told the club that Monday the 27th was his last day as principal of Bay City Central High School. He's now officially retired and will be moving toArkansas in the next few weeks. The club, thousands of students and Bay City will miss George and wish him well.

    Upcoming Programs at the Bay City Rotary Club:
    • July 5 --- Passing of the gavel

    Rotary Highlights in Pictures

    RotaryBayCity.org Rotary Club of Bay City Web Site

    eClub-One: Members with internet connections are encouragedto visit eClub-One monthly for a makeup. To get makeup credit you need to fill out the makeup form on that site. Print the acknowledgement for you receive and turn it in to receive credit. Be sure to enter our club's district number (6310) on that form.
    Click this link to open eClubOne in a new window: www.rotaryeclubone.org.

    The Bay City Rotary Club meets at Noon each Tuesday at the Lumber Barons resturant on the West Side.

    Rotary Club of Bay City Web Site

    District 6310 meeting schedule

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