top of page

Member Spotlight

The meeting opened with excitement and joy on the cooler project funding and a great Career Day at Clarenceville with our two members, Rick Popa and Dave Stechholz, presenting programs for the students. Tammy Bonifield was very grateful for a new jet ski that will be in the lake for the June 15th installation at Tammy's lake cottage. Tammy provides the meat, but club members are to bring other dishes to pass at the dinner.

Member Spotlight: John Clay

John Clay grew up in Redford Township, then South Haven, and then back to this area. Went to Schoolcraft College, Western, Wayne State, and Michigan State. He graduated from Western with a Master's degree in Psychology.

John started as a prison Psychologist at Jackson Prison. From there, he was in charge of group homes in Central City Detroit. He then went on to be the Chief of Activity Therapy in Warren. There, he learned that all hospitals are not the same.

Another job took John to Livingston County where he was a Psychologist for all the group homes in the county for developmentally disabled students. About this time, he had a couple of kids and wanted to spend more time with them, so he changed jobs again. That's when he decided to work for schools because the hours and pay were better. John worked in Wayne Westland, Dearborn, and Greenfield Village Schools. He retired from the school when his wife suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, and he decided he had to take care of her. She now walks 6 miles a day! John tried various activities during retirement, such as glassblowing and welding.

John had back surgery in the fall and is still recovering, but getting stronger.

When asked by Claude what motivational technique he could share with us, he said to help people see what their strengths are and build from there.

Member Spotlight: Nancy Darga

Nancy Darga passed out short bio that she had from previous jobs. She was born in 1953 and contracted polio at 10 months. She was the 4th child of 5 . Her Mother is a first-generation American. Her Mother's family came to America when famine came to Italy. Since they were expert stone cutters and metalsmiths, they found jobs building tunnels in New York. Henry Ford brought them to work in his factories. Her Father's family came to the States on the second boat after the Mayflower.

Nancy was raised Catholic and went to East Catholic High School, but when Martin Luther King was assassinated, her family transferred her to Bishop Gallagher. Nancy went to Michigan State, where she graduated as a landscape architect. She went to work in South Chicago to work for Public Housing. Nancy came back to the Detroit area where she worked as Chief of Design for Wayne County Parks. She had some interesting events working there as the first woman architect. She will share some of those memories when she is "loose of tongue."

Nancy got laid off when the county did not have funds, but that opened Nancy up to a job with Disney(where she always wanted to work). This was to work for Disney in Japan. She lived in the British Embassy and worked with an animator who had worked previously with Walt Disney. The animator shared great insights on what it was like to work for Disney.

Nancy came back to Detroit because her job became available and invited Michael Darga to the first Rogue River rescue that she had organized. He fell in the river and she fell in love. She worked for Northville City Council for 12 years. Nancy has volunteered and worked for many organizations in Northville but also finds time to participate in Livonia Rotary.

Susan Paluchniak


Logo_Creator__print2 (1).png

Rotary Club of Livonia AM

Join Rotary’s 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

37637 Five Mile Road, #179

Livonia, MI 48154

Join Leaders | Exchange Ideas | Take Action

bottom of page