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District Conference on Mackinac Island

Club members Tammy Bonifield, Sharon Pommerville, Susan Landmesser, Mike Ladwig, Eric Ladwig, Bob Carris, and Harish Jaisanker (Churchill HS Interact Club) enjoyed an inspirational weekend at the magnificent Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Mackinaw Island, MI

The theme for the conference was "ILLUMINATING LIGHT”. My takeaway on this is that we can get so caught up on what we are doing, and the projects we are a part of that we “can’t see the forest for the trees”. This conference was a time for me to look back on what we have accomplished over the past year collectively. We didn’t just “do” projects. We were illuminators of light that took the form of hope for many who have been left in the dark.

The $5 Soccer Ball

In the bible, there is a story of Jesus multiplying five loaves and two fish into a meal that fed 5,000 hungry believers. Not to be outdone, our very own Bob Carris turned 6 of our four-way test soccer balls into $600 by convincing our incoming President of Rotary International, Jennifer Jones, to autograph the 6 balls so they could be raffled off for $100 each, they all sold for the asking price, and $600 was raised. A fellow Rotarian matched the revenue from the ball sale so now we are up to $1.200. It was decided that the funds from the ball sale would be used for Polio Eradication. Because the proceeds were used in this fashion, they qualified for a match by the Gates Foundation of $2 match for every $1 donated, for a total donation of $3,600, or $600 per ball. While I would call Jesus’ loaves and fish story a miracle, I don’t think Bob’s story would qualify as one. Just a lot of quick thinking, and a little help from our fellow Rotarians.


During the conference, our club was awarded the prestigious Hedke Award for Club Excellence - Club Administration Division. This was a total group effort, every club member who has helped on Projects, sat on the Board of Directors or the Giving Committee, attended Meetings in person or on Zoom, offered Feedback, Support, and Help to the club, contributed to our winning this award. I am just humbled to be a part of it all. You should all take a bow, you deserve it. We have won the Friday Musing award for Service Club of the Year, and now the Rotary Hedke Award. All I can say is we must be butter because we are indeed on a roll.


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Rotary Club of Livonia AM

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37637 Five Mile Road, #179

Livonia, MI 48154

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