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We Do Things People Think Just Happen

We meet Mondays at 6:30 PM
Buck Shots Bar and Grill
7048 Gateway Park Drive
Clarkston, MI  48346
United States
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Home Page Stories
We had another great Rotary event last night at The Fountains to raise money for our local and international projects. If you missed the fun - come to our Taste of the Holiday's the end of October featuring wines from around the world and food from area chefs.


For my mother....

One of my earliest recollection of my mother is at the age of 4.  I don’t remember when I realized that scars were the result of a healed wound rather than an injury, but the summer of 1974 I noticed pronounced scars on my mother’s leg.  Oblivious to the fact that they were already healed, I said to her “mommy, your leg is hurt and I’m going to take care of you”.  I then proceeded to get the first aid kit and use just about every band aid and bandage there was to wrap my mom’s leg.  Well I’m sure that my mother wanted to stop me; not only because I was obliterating the first aid kit, but because she was sunbathing in the backyard at the time……  but like a loving mother, she let me keep going until I said “there mommy, you will be all better now”.    At that age it never occurred to me to ask how she got the scars.   

A few years later I finally asked my mother about her scars.  She took out a photo album and began to tell me the story of her Polio when she was a little girl.  Her story made me cry…..  she showed me photos of her in hospital beds, leg braces, and told me of the multiple surgeries to stretch her leg bones.  She understated that it hurt, but reassured me that it was well worth it to allow her to walk and become my mother.   Much later I researched Polio and learned of the 1916 United States Polio epidemic and the epidemics that continued to appear the following  summers in at least one part of the country……  worsening in the 1940s and 1950s  when my mother became a victim.  Polio was so serious that in 1949, over 2,700 deaths resulted from the disease in the United States alone.    Though many young people have never heard of Polio, it is important to know that it has destroyed or limited many lives and still does to this day.  The story of my mothers' Polio had a profound effect on me that will last all my life.

In 2008 I learned that my mother was suffering from Post Polio Syndrome.  Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a condition that affects polio survivors years after recovery from an initial acute attack of the poliomyelitis virus.  Post-polio syndrome weakens muscles that were previously affected by the polio infection in addition to muscles that seemingly were unaffected before.  I just had to find a way to help and found the Rotary Polio Plus program and the efforts they were making worldwide.  I immediately made my first donation so that no single person would ever have to experience what my mother has had to deal with her whole life.  A year later I chose to become a Rotarian for one simple reason…..  to show love and support for my mother.  As it turns out, as a Rotarian I am able to spread that love for my mother to many more people than I ever imagined......   

Polio Plus is in it’s 30th year and has made tremendous progress in the eradication of this disease from the face of the earth.  WE ARE SO CLOSE!!!!   This is the home stretch and the most important.  You don’t need to be a Rotarian to be a part of this monumental task, though I would highly recommend it for a life enhancing experience.    

Please visit and sign the petition asking world leaders to  provide critical funding needed to end polio forever.  At this page you can also make a contribution in your name or in the name of a loved one if you so choose.  AND what a difference your donation could make…..  for every dollar donated, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match it with two dollars.  

Thank you so much for allowing me to share my Rotary story with you.

David Boersma


The Clarkston Rotary greatly appreciates the community support and efforts of almost three hundred and fifty volunteers recently in two of our largest community service projects.
On December 4th and 5th, over 100 volunteers joined in selling a Clarkston Rotary Goodfellow newspaper for donations on local streets, Cub Scout Pack #499 at Neiman's and Boy Scout Troop #199 at three holiday bizarres.
100% of the donations received support our "Shoes for Kids" program on Saturday, December 12th providing new winter boots and shoes, hats and gloves to area children. The  Clarkston Area Lions Club provided free eye exams through their KidSight program and the Clarkston Optimists provided socks through their Opti-Socks program. Thirteen local dentists provided toothbrushes and toothpaste. Santa Claus made a special appearance and greeted the children.
The Clarkston Rotary would like to thank Union Joints and Curt Catello for providing the facility and food for the newspaper volunteers.
A special acknowledgement to Oakland Woods for hosting the "Shoes for Kids" event.
Thank you for making this another successful year and helping make the children of Clarkston a little warmer and safer this winter. The children of Clarkston thank you.

We are very close!

For many years the Clarkston Rotary has ushered in the fall with its annual Labor Day Parade downtown.  This year was no exception.  Bands!  Classic cars!  Even a juggling unicyclist!  And beautiful weather as a bonus. What a day.

Every July the first event of the new Rotary year is  a picnic for the students and parents of SCAMP.  As always, the picnic was held at Independence Oaks County Park, and the families enjoyed dinner along with a balloon sculptor and a face painter.  It was a great start for the new Rotary year which began on July 1.

On July 6, 2015 the Clarkston Rotary wished Joy our exchange student a safe and farewell return to her home in the Philippines.  Her name best suits her for all the lives she has touched in so many ways while residing here in The United States. She was a true example of an International Rotarian student that will be missed by all. She has a friendly and gentle demeanor that she portrays through her actions and words.  She has made many friends here in the states that she and the Clarkston Rotarians will cherish forever. Instead of  saying goodbye, which to her meant she would never see or speak to us again, she would say "Until we meet again..."   

Clarkston Rotary celebrated their 75 Year Anniversary on June 19, 2015 during Concerts in the Park. In appreciation for all the support from the Clarkston community, the rotary provided 700 FREE barbecue dinners.  The Rotary showcased some of the projects that provide support to local and international communities, such as: Shelter Box, Shoes For Kids, Water Project, Community Service (ex: exchange students), and eradication of Polio.  Clarkston Rotary wishes to thank the Clarkston Community for their ongoing support and looks forward to the next 75 years!

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Depot Park in Clarkston was a beehive of activity on Saturday as Cub Scout Pack #499 buzzed around the park raking and filling bags of leaves and twigs.
Supported by their parents and Clarkston Rotarians the park was officially declared ready for spring and summer park activities. A record 84 bags were filled eclipsing last year's count of 76 bags. This is the 6th year for the activity and is greatly welcomed and appreciated by the City of the Village of Clarkston.
For their efforts the Cub Scouts were treated to pizza, pop and candy after the cleanup.

Tonight’s speaker was Eileen Heasley. Eileen is a member of the Troy Rotary and is a retired kindergarten teacher. She has been involved in the water project since 2004 and most recently has been working in Lebanon. Eileen and her husband started with 1 orphanage focusing on the cultural needs of that region. Her relationship has grown to where they now call her the "American Angel". She also presented some global statistics; 750 million people lack safe drinking water with more than 850,000 people dying each year. Over the past 10 yrs. Eileen and her husband have provided safe drinking water to 300,000 people in over 20 schools and have trained 150 others to do similar work. There are local grants in process in the US to help fund this project.

Tonight’s speakers were Travis, Meagan, Nykeyriah, Kylie, and Skyla. These young adults are participating in AmeriCorp NCCC (North Central Region Cedar Six). AmeriCorp was founded out of the Civilian Conservation Corp and is made up of 18-24 year olds. The program runs 6-8 weeks with teams consisting of 8-12 young adults focusing on community based projects. Each participant is trained in CPR, first aid, leadership skills, etc. Projects range from home repairs to clean up of public lands and re-establishment of infrastructures (boardwalks, parks, and shelters). If you would like more information on AmeriCorp, please contact J.J. Trotta (319) 472-9664 ext 20,

Tonight’s speaker was Joe Gorz, a Clarkston High School Graduate and a graduate from Michigan State University College of Ostheopathic Medicine in 2013. He spoke to us about the Peru Osteopathic Health Initiative. Joe is one of 32 MSU students working on this program. Joe is working with the Traverse City Rotary as they are seeking matching funds to be used for medicines and supplies for the underserved patients in Peru. Pictured Jeff Lichty and Joe Gorz.

Welcome Jeff Reddy!  On April 13, Clarkston Rotary welcomed a new member to the club. We're happy to have him aboard.  Pictured from left are Al Avery, John Halleran, Jeff Reddy and Bart Clark
The speaker at tonight’s Rotary club meeting was Melissa Henry, Business and Marketing Librarian with the Clarkston Independence District Library.  Her position was only recently created with the passing of the millage.  She told us a little about the history of the Library and then shared some of the services and date bases available to us.

Welcome John Ransom!  On March 31, Clarkston Rotary welcomed a new member to the club.  John Ransom was previously a member of the Fenton and Birmingham Rotary clubs.  He works for Fifth Third Bank.  We're happy to have him aboard.  Pictured from left are Al Avery, John Ransom, John Halleran and President Janet Thomas.  

Tonight’s speaker was Jim Tedder, recently elected Michigan House Representative.  He spoke to us about what it’s like to be a freshman legislator.  He showed us a sample schedule of his week, both for his days in his District and his Lansing days.   He serves on the Education Committee, the committee for Workforce and Talent Development, as well as committees for Communication and Technology and Health policy.  He gave us a lot of background, non-political information like the swearing in ceremony, how his seat location was determined and how he was assigned his parking spot. He described his special appointment to the Committee on Committees, one of 5 commissioners on the Midwest Higher Education Compact.   We learned a lot about things we don’t think much about, and we are very anxious to have him talk to us again in a few months as he becomes more familiar with his new position. 


ImageOur inbound youth exchange student from the Philippines had her first pumpkin carving experience.  She and her host mother shared this" mother-daughter first."  Joy reported that it was great fun and she was about to start on her second pumpkin.  


The Hills Were Alive….


On Saturday, April 19 Depot Park was buzzing with the sound of rakes as members of  Cub Scout Pack 499 were joined by their parents and members of their sponsoring Clarkston Rotary Club to ready the park for spring.  The weather was perfect, and the group filled a record-beating 76 bags of leaves and twigs.  (The previous record was 36 bags.)  The park clean-up is an annual event for the Cub Scouts and Rotary.  The two-hour work session was followed by pizza and pop and a chance to enjoy the sunshine and the equipment at the park.   Good Job Scouts!






In November, two Clarkston Rotarians went to Africa to help Rotary keep it’s promise to the children of the world to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.   Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty of the Clarkston Rotary Club traveled with a team to Ethiopia to deliver polio drops in response to the recent outbreak of the virus in the Horn of Africa.  Global efforts to eradicate polio have made impressive progress over the past decade. When Rotary began the fight in 1985, polio affected 350,000 people, mostly children, in 125 countries every year. Since then, polio has been reduced by more than 99 percent. In 2012 there were only 223 cases anywhere in the world.


If you weren't at the Clarkston Rotary Fall Wine Tasting Fundraiser, you missed a great evening.  Ten wine tables, two beer tables and 15 restaurants provided plenty of tasting and feasting.  Planning has already started for next year's party.  If you came this year, we're hoping you'll come again.  If you didn't, plan on it for next fall.  Image

Hello All,

I want to thank you again for all your support of ShelterBox.  I am attaching a link to an 8 minute update of the good work your donations did in 2013.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests.

Please continue to keep ShelterBox in mind as you watch the news and see how people are suffering from conflict and natural disasters in the world.

Yours in Rotary,
Mary Sloan



Last Monday’s downpour couldn’t dampen the spirit of SCAMP goers and their families as they enjoyed the annual picnic put on by the Clarkston Rotary Club.  For years, the first event of the new Rotary year, which begins July 1, has been providing an evening picnic at Independence Oaks Twin Chimneys.  Along with the hot dogs, potato salad, coleslaw, watermelon, and cookies, the students and their families were treated to  the antics of Bingo the Clown, a face painter, and music by The Men Of Grace.  “It’s a chance for the families to get to know the other SCAMP goers and their families.  We really look forward to it,” one mother said of the picnic.  It’s a favorite of the Clarkston Rotary members, too.




ImageClarkston Rotarians and partners participated in Clarkston's Relay for Life May 18-19 at Clarkston Junior High School.  Two day event raised $74.463.94 in the fight to end that dreaded disease, cancer.



Clarkston Rotarian Jeff Lichty was honored with Rotary International's highest recognition, the Service Above Self award. 

As Rotary’s highest honor for individual Rotarians, this award recognizes up to 150 Rotarians annually, worldwide, who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service, with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary.

 Jeff has held multiple Rotary offices at the club, District and Zone levels.  He has practiced humanitarian service by participating in National Polio Immunization Days in India, on eyeglass medical missions to Grenada and Peru and by visiting a Rotary-USAID water and sanitation project in Ghana, West Africa, in order to help raises funds to complete the collaboration project.

 ImageCongratulations Jeff! We already knew you live Rotary, and now Rotary International has said it knows it too.




After 25 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease, but a strong push is needed now to root it out once and for all. It is a window of opportunity of historic proportions.

Reaching the ultimate goal of a polio-free world presents ongoing challenges, not the least of which is a hundreds of million dollar funding gap. Of course, Rotary alone can't fill this gap, but continued Rotarian advocacy for government support can help enormously.

As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high.

"If we all have the fortitude to see this effort through to the end, then we will eradicate polio." - Bill Gates




Clarkston High School’s robotics team, Team RUSH (Respect Unity Spirit Heart),  unveiled its latest robot at the 2013 Team RUSH Open House, held on Monday, February 18 at 6:00 PM at the Clarkston High School, in the CSMTech (Clarkston Science, Math and Technology) Academy.  Joe Liu, our Youth Exchange student from Taiwan, is a part of the team.  In the photo he is shown on the right  working on the robot with fellow team members (from left)  Jason Markesino, Andrew McLatcher, Kristijian Dodik.


Since its initial charter in 1940, the Clarkston Rotary Club has been actively involved in downtown Clarkston’s Christmas decorations.  Initially, it was the lighting of a single pine tree in front of what was then its township hall. Over time it progressed to the business area on Main Street with the lighting and decorating of an even larger tree on the corner. Over the years, the decorations on the lampposts have been updated several times. Beginning in 2011, the Clarkston Rotary undertook a three year visionary program, “Illuminate Clarkston’s Downtown for the Holiday’s”. Working with Bronner’s of Frankenmuth, it was envisioned that LED Snowflake decorations with lighted garlands would be used to decorate each of the 34 lampposts along Main St.  In November 2013, Clarkston’s downtown will be entirely decorated with snowflakes and in 2014 the Clarkston Rotary will be able to celebrate 75 years of community service.




As we've heard many times, Rotary's main focus is to eliminate polio worldwide. Since 1979 Rotary has been trying to accomplish this feat.  In Vancouver, British Columbia iOctober, Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty joined other Rotarians from Canada and the Eastern US on a walk to call attention to our efforts.


On Friday and Saturday, November 30 and December 1, members and friends of the Clarkston Rotary club were on Clarkston street corners selling the Goodfellow edition of the Rotary newspaper to raise funds for the children of Clarkston. 100% of the donations raised were then spent to provide Clarkston area school children with new winter boots and shoes, hats, mittens or gloves the following weekend.  More than 100 volunteers devoted time and energy to the Clarkston Rotary Club’s Goodfellow newspaper sales and “Shoes for Kids.”

The donations collected from the two days on the streets, as well as donations from the Clarkston Women’s Club, has helped 425 Clarkston schoolchildren this year. We at Rotary are thankful for the groups involved.  Oakland Woods Baptist Church provides support and use of their church on the day of the distribution. The Clarkston Lions provide Project Kidsight, a free pre-school eye examination. The Clarkston Area Optimist Club have joined with their Opti-Socks program.
—  Boy Scout troop No. 199 helped with the sale of papers.  Clarkston schools and local churches support the program by collecting new hat and glove donations.


A Walk for Peace


On the evening of September 21,  some Clarkston Rotarians took part in a 5K twilight river front Walk for Peace along the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  The event, held to coincide with the United Nations World Peace Day, was designed to spread the word about world peace.  “The walk was designed to attract attention from regional and international media and to assist Rotary in enhancing its reputation as a world leader in the furtherance of world peace and conflict resolution.,” explained Joyce Jones, Windsor Rotary president and event organizer .  Rotary International Past President Ray Klinginsmith and Rotary Foundation Chairman Wilf Wilkenson were among the honored guests.  After the walk, the walkers attended a barbecue and a Peace concert featuring local artists including Jody Raffoul, Maria Connel and The Music Express. As many in the community may recall, Windsor was also the site of the successful 2008 Rotary World Peace Summit. This event is being hosted by the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland in conjunction with District 6400 and District 6380.

 To quote, “One Rotarian can change a community. Connect more than a million, and we can change the world.”


Twelve of this year's newly-arrived Rotary Youth Exchange students got together for the first time for their inbound orientation on Saturday, Sept 8 and 9.  It's so energizing to be around these young people.  Some have English that is better than others', some are nervous, but all are excited to be here and are looking forward to an exciting year learning our culture and sharing theirs. Hopefully, you'll all get a chance to spend some time with them.  We all will meet them at the District Conference in April.  Welcome to the USA!
Outbound Rotary Youth Exchange Student Miranda Moore left on Sunday, August 26,  for her year abroad.  She will be studying in St Maixent L'Ecole, France, where she will be hosted by the St Maixent l'Ecole Rotary club and live with three different host families. The Clarkston Club has gotten to know her very well as she has attended the meetings ever since she applied to go. She's excited about the adventure and promises to keep in touch frequently.  The day before she left she wrote," I have been excited since the day I was accepted into the program, and I am so thankful to have an opportunity like this. It is finally starting to sink in that I really am doing this, and it seems a little crazy. But I really am just too excited to be feeling anything else and I can not wait to arrive in France!"  We're anxious to follow her on her year abroad!


Celebrating 20 years of Rotary in Ukraine from Rotary International on Vimeo.

Twenty years ago, six clubs (three in the U.S., two in Canada and one in Scotland) helped charter the Rotary Club of Kiev, the first in Ukraine.  The Clarkston Rotary club, under the leadership of Lu Hewko, was instrumental in its founding.  Now the country has more than 40 clubs and many Rotaractors.  At a recent event, Rotarians instrumental in bringing Rotary to Ukraine celebrated.  Clarkston Rotarian Lu was among the revelers.  


On July first, 2012, Bart Clark will take over the reins of Clarkston Rotary president for the 2012-2013 Rotary year.   Rotary changes all of its officers, including the Rotary International president, on July first, and they each serve for one year.  Here Bart is given the President’s pin by outgoing president, Al Avery.  Bart, in turn, gives Al, a past president’s pin during the formal induction dinner held this year at Mesquite Creek. 


The new board of Directors is made up of  Frank Rivers, Janet Thomas, Rick Miller, Mary Sloan, Al Avery, Harold Sutherland, Lisa Troschinetz, Joel DeLong and Bart Clark.


On July 16, the Clarkston Rotary Club again entertained students and their families from Clarkston SCAMP at a cookout and picnic at Independence Oaks.  The Rotarians cooked the hot dogs and set out the potato salad, coleslaw and watermelon, while the students and their families enjoyed the bouncing house, face painter and Bingo the clown.  This year The Men of Grace from Pontiac’s Grace Centers of Hope entertained the crowd during dinner.  The SCAMP picnic is always the first Rotary activity of the Rotary year, which begins on July 1.  It’s a favorite for all involved.  



Rotarians Celebrate at Monday’s Meeting

 Led by President Al Avery, Clarkston Rotarians joined Rotarians around the world in celebrating their successful efforts to raise $200 million dollars in order to meet the Bill and Melinda Gates challenge of eliminating polio worldwide.   Rotary International began planning in the early 1980’s for one of the most ambitious humanitarian programs ever undertaken by a private entity.  In 1985, it launched PolioPlus, a multimillion dollar initiative to immunize all the world’s children against polio.  Rotary’s commitment was so great that the World Health Assembly resolved in 1988 to wipe out the disease that had killed and paralyzed for 5000 years.  Clarkston Rotary enthusiastically joined in the battle.

 Since 1985, more than two billion children have received the oral polio vaccine.  Reported polio cases have dropped 99.8 %, from 350,000 a year in 1988 to fewer than 2000 a year today.  Clarkston Rotarians Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty participated in the effort by personally delivering the polio drops to children in northern India in 2005.

 Since 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $355 million to Rotary International in the global effort to eradicate polio, issuing the challenge that Rotarians worldwide would raise $200 million by June 2012.  That goal has been reached, and Clarkston Rotarians celebrated on Monday with a cake and a talk from District polio co-chair Virginia Barrons.  The fight is not over.  Polio is still endemic in four countries; India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan, although India just completed its first year without a new case reported.  We can’t quit until the job is done and no new cases have been reported in the world for three years.

 We have completed this round of funding, but the fight goes on and fundraising must continue.

 As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere, including the United States, remain at risk. The stakes are that high. 




that the original idea for a Clarkston Historical Museum came from the Clarkston Rotary Club? And that the museum was a joint venture between Clarkston Rotary and the Clarkston Historical Society?


It may have been 40 degrees, windy and snowing, but it didn't stop Clarkston Rotary members and Cub Scout pack 499 scouts and parents from cleaning up Depot Park.  Dave Boersma, Cub Scout den leader and Clarkston Rotarian, arranged for the collaboration, and due to the combined efforts, the park looks great and can be enjoyed now that spring finally arrived!



Rotary International is a volunteer organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members belonging to 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary celebrated 100 years of service in 2005. The Rotary Foundation has awarded more than US$2.1 billion in grants, which are administered at the local level by Rotary clubs.

What is the purpose of Rotary?
Rotary clubs exist to improve communities through a range of humanitarian, intercultural and educational activities. Clubs advance international understanding by partnering with clubs in other countries. Rotary also encourages high ethical standards in all vocations.