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Meeting Notice and Club News

Coming Up This Week

President Tammy Bonifield invites you to a scheduled Hybrid Zoom meeting on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at 7:30AM!

Our speaker this week will be Rhiannon Pniewski, Forever Families

Forever Families is a non-profit, licensed State of Michigan child placement agency committed to providing education, preparation & support to ensure safe, loving, and permanent homes for children. 


This week's Invocation will be given by Ethan Ames.

Please contact Mike Ladwig if you wish to read an Invocation at a future meeting.

Meet The Governor Bus Ride

June 27, 2023

The Rotary Club of Plymouth is sponsoring a bus to Meet the Governor on June 27th in Amherstburg. They have chartered a big bus to take many Rotarians to watch their club member Russ Jones be installed as District Governor. Our club members are invited to join them on this international junket!

DEPART/RETURN: Plymouth Cultural Center, 525 Farmer Street, Plymouth

TIME: Bus will depart promptly at 4:00 P.M.

COST: $40/passenger if there are more than 50 riders. $50/passenger if there are fewer than 50 riders Pay by cash before boarding the bus.

SNACKS: Snacks provided. Bring your beverage.

PASSPORT: Remember to bring your passport or you will not be able to board the bus.

RSVP: Penny Joy, 734-306-8432 OR pennyjoy663@gmai

"We always have a bunch of fun on this bus ride! It's so much easier than driving individually."

This is NOT a fundraiser for the Plymouth Club! They are only charging the cost of the bus/driver, gas premium, and tip.  

Member News

Livonia Civic Chorus Presents "Matinee"

May 21, 2023

Club members Victoria Haltom and Dave Stechholz (with son Andrew) performed in the Livonia Civic Chorus presentation of "Matinee" this past weekend. The reviews are in (on social media that is). By all accounts, the concert was a big success!

Living & Learning Enrichment Center Field Trip

May 17, 2023


There is a saying” Go big or go home”. Rachelle Vartanian, founder of Living and Learning Enrichment Center must have changed that saying to Go big and get a big home. And she did. That was where the club went on our first outing in 2023. The new home of the Living and Learning Enrichment Center at the old Don Massy estate on 8 Mile and Griswold in Northville. 


Many of us have dreams. Most of us forget the dreams when we open our eyes in the morning as we plan our busy days. Some dreams we ponder but dismiss them as being too audacious or frivolous to pursue. There is a rare breed of people who take their dreams as a calling or a quest and in their pursuit of those dreams they lose the words impossible, can’t, or won’t, and with an equal measure of inspiration and perspiration they begin to see their dreams form.

Rachelle Vartanian had the dream of creating a place where hundreds of autistic people, young and old, could meet, socialize, learn, and be creative in a fellowship of like-minded people where every day the menu included equal measures of love and kindness.


We assembled in the main house of the old Don Massey estate. We heard the history of the house about its past owners and Rachelle spoke about all the events, classes, and social activities that are now ongoing with the Living and Learning Enrichment Center. Rachelle then led us on a tour of the house. We saw the lovely and ornate wall treatments, spacious sleeping quarters, and well-appointed rooms.

Next, we went on a tour of the grounds. It was like entering an enchanted playground. There were the alpacas, that were brought in for their gentleness around humans, and their wool which is gathered, shipped out to a business in Frankenmuth that turns the Alpaca wool into highly valued socks which are then sold to the public. The multi-acre grounds also include bunnies, a small miniature golf course, a lavender farm, a honey farm, and a veggie garden. There is a paved walkway opened to the public that circles the entire grounds. I personally want to return and walk the grounds more slowly because I am sure there was much that I missed.


As we ended our tour of this extraordinary facility, we received the best, last. As we were preparing to leave, we noticed the buses with autistic folks pulling up and we saw and felt a pure joy and a sense of belonging in their eyes and in their spirit. It was like they were returning home and the Living and Learning Enrichment Center was their home.

Mike Ladwig

More Photos

Upcoming Meetings

05/24/2023 - Rhiannon Pniewski, Forever Families

05/31/2023 - Club Town Hall Meeting, Followed by Board of Directors Meeting

06/07/2023 - Club Assembly

06/14/2023 - Jane Cooper Muszynski, founder of Spitfire Training

06/21/2023 - Stacey Diefenbach, Miracle League of Plymouth

06/28/2023 - Matt Hatty, Rotarian, How to Access and Benefit From the District's Member Database, DACdb

Upcoming Events

06/10/2023 - Kids Coalition Against Hunger Meal Packing, with the Livonia Lion's Club, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM, Signup Here.

06/17/2023 - Livonia AM Rotary 2023 Installation Dinner and Celebration at the Lake, Details to follow.

06/27/2023 - Meet The Governor Night, Harrow, Ontario, Details HERE.

07/13/2023 - Livonia AM Rotary's Annual Carnival, July 13 - July 23, 2023.

08/26/2023 - Touch A Truck, Presented by the Churchill HS Interact Club.

09/18/2023 - District Governor's Golf Outing, Grosse Ile Golf & Country Club

10/23/2023 - AAA Pregnancy Resource Center 50th Anniversary Fall Fundraiser Banquet, featuring special guest speaker Dr. Ben Carson.

10/25/2023 - World Polio Day Spaghetti Dinner Community Fundraiser, Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church.

Phone Access Option (929)436-2866

Meeting ID: 924 328 2286

Password: 4waytest

Every Wednesday, 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM.

All Are Welcome!

Past Meetings and Events

Most Ministries Humanitarian Mission Trip to Mexico

April 22 - April 29, 2023

My sincerest thanks to our Livonia A.M. Rotary Club in serving and partnering in a Mexico mission trip. We partnered with MOST Ministries out of Ann Arbor, a “MOST” mission team from Christ our King Lutheran Church in Saline, and YLM (Ysleta Lutheran Mission) in El Paso, Texas. We also partnered with the Zaragoza El Paso Rotary Club (who provided the key contacts, three translators, and volunteers alongside of the mission team), and the Club Rotario

Cuidad Juarez. The Juarez Rotary made up the $3,000 added costs on the project, which totaled $13,000 for the re-roofing and added foam to end the Winter storm water leakages. (The $13,000 did not include the mission team’s transportation and other costs, just the newly-redone roof [above], foam, removal of the old materials, etc.).

Read More

Starfish Family Services

May 12, 2023

Our speaker this past week was Jean Overman. This was Jean's second time speaking to our group. The first time she discussed Starfish Family Services, a support program providing high quality early childhood education and support for families in Inkster and surrounding areas. At our meeting Jean (a fellow Rotarian from Dearborn) gave us insight into Operation Refuge, Mothers Pantry, Camp Inspire STEM programs and LIT.

Camp Inspire and STEM is passionate about creating life changing experiences to girls in 5th -12th grade and increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) awareness especially in forensic science and coding.

Professionals from Apple, Google, and Schoolcraft College present programs to expose the girls to opportunities available to them, igniting possibilities for their future. The girls participate in Kids on Campus, get involved in 6 week career programs, and are made aware of scholarships. Mentors are a main part of Camp Inspire's program. The leaders work with parents and students to accept that education is important and a way out of poverty.


The LIT (leaders in training) program is mainly for boys 14 -24. The boys get exposed to different types of Trades that they might be interested in such as Construction. Jean told us that for many students, they had never held a hammer before entering the program. The idea is to get the students learning a trade while getting paid for their effort. 


Counseling is a major part of Operation Inspire, helping the kids deal with the closing of schools due to COVID and the lack of a community school since the Inkster school dissolved. There are five different school buses taking kids to various surrounding districts.

Mothers pantry is also part of Operation Refuge. The pantry operates like a grocery store, letting the client enter the store to select only the food that they want and need. 

Susan Paluchniak

COG Award Winner!

May 06, 2023

The Council of Governors (COG) Award is presented to that individual who demonstrates outstanding service in one of the avenues of service in Rotary and shows a continued commitment of service to their Rotary Club. Just as the "COG" represents an integral working part of the Rotary Logo Wheel, the individual represents a vital moving part of the Rotary Wheel of Service.

This prestigious award was presented to our club president, Tammy Bonifield at the District Conference in Windsor this past weekend. Congratulations, Tammy!

District Conference

May 05, 2023

This past weekend the Livonia AM Rotary Club had a strong presence at the District Conference at Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino. This was a joint conference between Districts 6340 and 6400. Club members Tammy Bonifield, Bob Carris, Sharon Pommerville, Claude Kendrick, and Bill Friske attended.

We were inspired and amazed at what other clubs are doing to impact Rotary’s 7 areas of focus around the world. On Saturday, we heard from our Rotary International President, Jennifer Jones. She spoke of her experiences with Polio eradication efforts and her interactions with Rotarians from around the world. On Sunday, we heard from Mitch Albom who discussed his long work running the orphanage in Haiti since the category 7 earthquake in 2010. For the last few years, he has traveled to the orphanage every month to help start a school there and get medical care. 

There were many other impactful relevant speakers and projects, too many to mention. Many ideas were shared, notes were taken, and inspirational thoughts were spoken. Networking was happening at every break, event, and meal to engage Rotarians to collaborate and share. 

Our Club was awarded the Richard Hedke Award for Outstanding Club Administration. 

Bob Carris and Sharon Pommerville were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. The Paul Harris recognition is awarded to Rotarians who contribute $1,000 or more to the Annual Fund or PolioPlus.

Tammy Bonifield was awarded the prestigious Council of Governors (COG) Award. Next year the District conference will be in Grand Rapids hosted by the Amway Grand Hotel.

Bob Carris and Claude Kendrick

More Photos

Club Assembly

May 03, 2023

Last week we held our Club Assembly. We had an informative discussion pertaining to our yearly club dues. We were informed by President Tammy that our per-member fees to Rotary International and the District will be increased this year. We reviewed where our annual dues are spent (Rotary International dues, District 6400 dues, PETS fees, Foundation contributions, Weekly donuts and coffee, and Zoom equipment costs). It was determined that a dues increase is needed. We heard a recommendation from John Clay for a 9% increase that received approval from all members after a lively discussion.

Next, we heard the Giving Committee Report from Larry Stephens. The following grant requests were approved:

  • Kids Coalition Against Hunger
  • Livonia Symphony Orchestra
  • Bottoms Up Diapers Bank
  • SPN Survivors

The following requests were paused pending scheduled presentations to our club:

  • Autism Alliance of Michigan
  • Miracle League of Plymouth

Mike Ladwig

District Grant Committee

May 02, 2023

The Livonia AM District Grant Committee met via Zoom. Here are the recap and action items:

John Clay, Claude Kendrick, Bob Carris, and Erin Dobbins attended the Zoom meeting. Several ideas were discussed including:

  • Funding to purchase supplies for the school pantry - Community Grant 
  • Funding to purchase equipment needed for the Clarenceville Tech Center - Community Grant

  • Working with Ann Arbor Rotary and other clubs to sending aid to the Ukraine - Collaborative Grant
  • Starting a transition program for the Methodist Foster Home for Boys - Community Grant
  • Starting an Interact Club in the Methodist Home - Community Grant
  • Building a water tower in Dr. Stanley's village in Cameroon - Global Grant

Action Items:

  • Bob to follow up with Global Grant and needs from the Livonia School pantry
  • Claude to follow up with Clarenceville tech center
  • John to follow up with Ann Arbor Rotary

The committee also talked about DACdb and a Fireside Chat for newer members.

Erin Dobbins

Earth Day Clean Up

April 22, 2023

Club member Erin Dobbins participated in the District 6380 clean-up for Earth Day at West Bloomfield High School.

Erin joined other Rotarians from that district when they volunteered at an Earth Day project replacing the wood chips and mulch on an interactive nature path behind West Bloomfield High School.

More Photos

District Assembly

April 29, 2023

Rotary District 6400 Assembly was held at the Plymouth Cultural Center this past Saturday. Representing Livonia AM Rotary were Bob Carris, Bill Friske, Sharon Pommerville, President Tammy, Mike Ladwig, along with new members Victoria Haltom and Erin Dobbins.

With an estimated attendance of 200 Rotarians on hand, the energy in the room was electric. After a tasty breakfast, we heard from District Governor-Elect Russ Jones, followed by current District Governor Traci Sincock.

There was a fireside chat session entitled “From 8 Track to Spotify,” a panel discussion between “honorary” Livonia AM Rotarian, Trey Greene, and Jehnya Footitt, a 20-something Rotarian. The two discussed ways that older Rotarians can communicate with the younger generation, who may be interested in becoming a Rotarian.

The attendees then participated in three 50 minute concurrent sessions, offering 13 different topics to choose from, including; Club Treasurer Training presented by our very own Tammy Bonifield.

Bringing together that many fellow Rotarians into one Assembly, it was an almost spiritual experience.

Mike Ladwig

More Photos

D.O. it for Denny

April 26, 2023

Most people think that all angels have wings; white, fluffy wings, attached to their backs so they can easily fly up to the clouds. Our speaker disproved this notion for Sami McKay is truly an angel without wings. Sami is the founder of the D.O. it for Denny, a Facebook service group. Denny was her uncle who at an early age was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. He did not let his disease deter him from following his dream of becoming an attorney. Denny defended those who were poor and dedicated his life to helping those who needed help the most. Muscular Dystrophy took his life at an early age, but his passion for service to others lives on through Sami and her group.

The D.O. it for Denny group has a monthly service project that Sami does with help from her family and a few close friends. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Making blessing bags of food and seasonal items for the homeless and food insecure locally.
  • Collection and distribution of backpacks and school supplies for those in need at the Kennedy School in Livonia.
  • Twice yearly book drives for parentless children.
  • Easter projects that match families that need help with families that want to help families in need. 
  • Coordinate between helping families that need help with providing a nice Christmas for their families with people who want to help them.

I guess if I had to write a mission statement for D.O. it for Denny it would be, “All altruism, all the time,” brought to you by Livonia’s own First Citizen Award Winner, Sami McKay. She is truly a wingless angel.

We also heard from Erin Snyder, a student at Schoolcraft College and the recipient of Livonia AM Rotary’s Janice Newsome Memorial Scholarship. Erin was presented by Dawn Magretta, club member and Executive Director of Schoolcraft College's Foundation.

Erin is in the nursing program, and the scholarship allows her to cut back on her work schedule and spend more time on her studies.

Mike Ladwig

Non Profit Leadership Summit

April 26, 2023

Club members Dawn Magretta, Nancy Darga, Sharon Pommerville, Mike Ladwig, Claude Kendrick, Bill Friske, and Bob Carris, joined Livonia Lion Matt Collins attending Mayor Brosnan’s Non Profit Leadership Summit. The Mayor thanked us all for our service and told us how important we are to the community.

Several great ideas and resources were shared, such as; a website where you can post your service project to attract volunteers that are looking for a volunteer opportunity. Likewise, a website where groups in need of assistance can post their project hoping to attract help from a service club.  

Paul Harris Fellow Recognition

April 19, 2023

Club members Sharon Pommerville and Bob Carris were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows by Rotary International.

Paul Harris Fellow recognition is awarded to Rotarians who contribute $1,000 or more to the Annual Fund or PolioPlus.

Rotary established the recognition in 1957 to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions.

Autism Alliance of Michigan

April 19, 2023

Our speaker last week was Rebecca Drzewicki from the non-profit group Autism Alliance of Michigan. Rebecca spoke of the group’s mission; We lead efforts to expand opportunities for people touched by autism across their lifespan. Their vision statement: People with autism will lead lives that meet their greatest potential.

The Autism Alliance offers the autistic person a lifelong guide with professional help and answers for anyone touched by autism. They help those with autism to maximize educational opportunities. They also help in finding gainful employment for their autistic clients.

Rebecca mentioned the GPS program that Autism Alliance coordinates. Since many people with autism wander off when in public, the center provides a GPS system to track the movements of the autistic student. This is just one of many services the alliance provides.

Our second guest, Bill Joyner, visited to accept a BIG check from the Livonia Rotary AM group on behalf of the Livonia Historical Society to place a historical marker at the former site of the old Bentley High School. Our donation put them over the top for the funds needed to order the plaque.

Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting - Double Header

April 12, 2023

There are times even a hard-charging, motivated group like the members of our Livonia AM Rotary Club needs to get their batteries recharged. Our first speaker last week, Charlie Mahoney, had just the spark we needed to bring our motivation level up to full charge.

Charlie won the Livonia Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award for Community Service at the Leadership and Awards Celebration for 2023. If there is a worthwhile community-oriented project in Livonia, Charlie is probably involved.

Charlie spoke of her work with two of the plethora of projects she is involved in; The Livonia Community Foundation, and The Livonia Symphony Orchestra. The Livonia Community Foundation has an endowment of $2 million. The foundation looks for groups that are helping the general welfare within our town and provides financial support. The second group she spoke of was the Livonia Symphony Orchestra. Charlie mentioned the June 9th Bob Bennett Memorial Classic in support of the orchestra. She spoke with such passion about these two events that you could not help but be motivated to support these groups.

Two quotes from Charlie,1) “The first place you look for help is at the end of your wrist.” 2) “You make your life by what you give.” Thank you, Charlie! I feel I left the meeting fully charged.

We also heard from Jeff Skebo, a teacher at Coolidge Elementary School here in Livonia. Jeff submitted a grant request to the Livonia Public School Foundation for the purchase of 30 Ukuleles to be taught to 3rd and 4th grade students at Coolidge. His grant request was approved. Jeff spoke of the process of ordering the ukes and building a wall unit in the school to house the instruments. He also spoke of how this was the first time many of the students have been exposed to playing a musical instrument, and how excited they were with this new opportunity.

Our club is an annual contributor to the LPS Foundation. It is refreshing to hear of a successful project that we helped, through our contributions.

Mike Ladwig

More Ukulele Photos

Club Gift of Support to Clarenceville HS Food Pantry

April 05, 2023

Club members Sharon Pommerville, Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan, Larry Stephens, Pat Zucal, Mike Ladwig, and Claude Kendrick were on hand to present a check to support the food pantry at Clarenceville High School. President-Elect Claude is shown presenting a BIG check to school Superintendent Paul Shepich, and Veronica Cruz with Livonia Kids and Families.

More Photos

Club Assembly

April 05, 2023

At our last meeting, we conducted our monthly Club Assembly.

We began with a more secular innovation delivered by Bob Carris. President Tammy Bonifield mentioned that whoever would like to present an invocation at future meetings should relay that information to Mike Ladwig so he can put it on the weekly schedule. Mike will forward that information to Bill Friske so it can be inserted in our newsletter.

Tammy asked for a few volunteers who would be interested in learning how to assist with the setup and operation of the Zoom equipment, coffee service and meeting setup and teardowns. Kate Mackie volunteered to help with the coffee setup.

Mike spoke about the two potential new club members. Both attended the suggested minimum of three club meetings, followed by a one-on-one conversation with the membership chairperson. Both potential new members showed a keen interest in joining our club. Both applicants’ membership was enthusiastically approved by a unanimous vote. Welcome Susan Paluchniak, and

Victoria Haltom as new members of the Rotary Club of Livonia AM.

Giving Committee – Chair Larry Stephens

A total of six Grant Applications were approved by the Giving Committee:

  1. Most Ministries
  2. Clarenceville School District All-Night Party Sponsorship
  3. Livonia Historical Society – Marker for the Old Bentley High School
  4. Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels
  5. Source of Universal Love
  6. Livonia Kids and Family – Clarenceville Food Pantry

All requests were approved by all those in attendance.

Treasurer’s Report – Bob Carris

We should be spending down to our prudent reserve by the end of our fiscal year of June 30, 2023. We heard from Pat Zucal that we will be hosting our Annual Carnival this year at the Sears location at 7 Mike and Middlebelt. Sears informed us the fee would be double what we paid last year.

Grant Committee – Chair Erin Dobbins

Erin spoke of the Juarez Community Center funding request. The grant has been written, we should receive an approval status by the end of April, or early May.

Mike Ladwig

Bottoms Up Diaper Bank

March 29, 2023

This past week we heard from Tess Hoffman from the Bottoms Up Diaper Bank program and Elaine McElwaney from Fish and Loaves Community Food Pantry in Taylor MI.

The Bottoms Up Diaper Bank program, located in Grosse Ile, operates out of the Fish and Loaves facility. Since its inception 7 1/2 years ago, the Bottoms Up program has given away over 1,000,000 diapers to families in need in the Downriver community. Because they are volunteer-driven, less than 1% of received donations go to paying for expenses.

Most people who are young and start a family are at their lowest income level. Diapers cost on average $150-$275 per month, up to 14% of new parents’ incomes. This might not be the most glamorous project we have been presented with, but glamour should not be mistaken for need. 

Diaper need is an often-overlooked measure of Americans’ economic reversals. There are so many people “who do not have enough money to meet their basic needs, and what we’ve found is that diaper need is a window into poverty.”

Mike Ladwig

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

March 22, 2023

At our last club meeting, we held a Town Hall Meeting facilitated by our club member Erin Dobbins on the subject of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We were joined in the meeting by District Governor Traci Sincock and DG-Elect Russ Jones.

Erin opened the meeting with a handout asking each club member to describe what the term, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion means to them.

We began the discussion with the statement that Rotary International feels it is important to reach out to potential new members who have traditionally not been on our radar as potential new members. To accomplish this, we need to review how our meetings are run and the practices that people of different cultures might find uncomfortable to be a part of. We began with our morning prayer and our pledge of allegiance. Some club members voiced that they want to keep the pledge and the types of prayers we currently use without any change. A few others, on the subject of the prayer, are in favor of a more generic prayer that people of different beliefs could feel comfortable hearing.

Next, Erin read two position papers from Rotary International’s website: Rotary's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Rotary DEI Terms and Explanations.

To paraphrase the moon landing speech in which Neil Armstrong said, “We at Rotary are entering one small step for man, one large step for diversity, equality, and inclusion within Rotary”.

Mike Ladwig

Forgotten Harvest Food Packing Event

March 25, 2023

We had a great showing of club members at the Forgotten Harvest food packing event this past Saturday. The volunteers included Claude Kendrick (and daughter Kayla), Tammy Bonifield, Nancy Darga, Victoria Haltom (soon to be a member), Dave Stechholz, Larry Stephens, Mike Ladwig, Greg Greene, and some of the Churchill HS Interact Club members.

More Photos

Starfish Family Services

March 15, 2023

On rare occasions, we meet and hear from people who by their sheer presence can increase the energy in a room to such a level that many people in the room can feel it. Such was the case with our speaker last week.

That energy-altering speaker was Reverend Jean Overman, a fellow Rotarian from Dearborn, and a Board of Directors member of the non-profit group Starfish Family Services.

Jean explained Starfish’s mission is to strengthen families’ equitable opportunities through early childhood education programs.

Starfish’s emphasis is on strengthening the family unit so that when children are of school age, their toolbox is filled with the needed tool for success

By the numbers, Starfish has:

  • 16 Centers in Wayne County (2 in Livonia).
  • 430 employees including therapists, social workers, educators, and administrators.
  • 3,000 youth and adults served (ages 0-5 in early education, and ages 0-64 in behavioral health service),.
  • 58% of clients are children, ages 0-6,
  • 87 cents out of every dollar received goes directly for services to Starfish children and families. 

With a goal of improving the family life for every member of a young child’s family, they provide parenting skills for parents, and through weekly home visits, they enhance the educational and learning opportunities for preschool children.

Their goal is to strengthen family foundations, grow parent-child relations, promote healthy child development, improve the child’s emotional, behavioral, and well-being, and create a positive and personal network of support.

With all that Starfish has on their plate, it is a heavy lift, it would take a person like Reverend Jean and her 430 Starfish angels to lift it. 

Mike Ladwig

Honoring Nancy Darga

March 09, 2023

A few of us made it to Northville’s first annual Community Awards Dinner to honor seven individuals who made a difference in their community, one of them being our very own Nancy Darga.

Nancy was recognized by the city’s dignitaries as the Volunteer of the Year at the Marquis Theatre.

 This is a huge honor, she has been instrumental in the reconstruction, development, and implementation of many of the city’s areas, including the river walk, the farmers market, and a pavilion to name a few.

The awards presentation was preceded by a delicious dinner at Genitti’s Hole in the Wall.

Pat Zucal

4-Way-Test Soccer Ball Booth

March 10, 2023

Club members Bill Friske and Bob Carris hosted a 4-Way-Test Soccer Ball booth at the Great Lakes Rotary PETS training seminar at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo this past weekend. 

PETS is designed to train incoming club presidents, from more than 350 clubs. It has proven to be a terrific venue for us to promote our soccer balls. Historically, presidents-elect will purchase one or more to take back to show their clubs. Since the soccer ball has the 4-Way-Test in 16 languages, it is unique throughout the Rotary world. Our soccer ball makes a great leave behind for traveling Rotarians doing projects overseas. We donated one of our soccer balls to be auctioned off at the conference, to raise funds for Polio Plus. Believe it or not, the winning bid was $1,300. That winning bid combined with the Gates Foundation double match will mean $3,900 for Polio Plus. We also gifted 6 more soccer balls to RI President Jennifer Jones to give out during her last months as RI president!

Bob Carris

President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS)

March 09, 2023

“Create Hope in the World,” will be the theme for our 2023 -24 Rotary year.  The PETS Conference exceeded my expectations with dynamic, inspiring speakers and training that was engaging, thought-provoking and fun.  The networking possibilities were endless as everyone discussed how their club impacted their respective communities. 


I went to the vendor booths and hung out with Bob Carris and Bill Friske during my break time. 

Our Super District 6400 club theme is  “Be the One.” I am so proud of our club and our leadership when I hear about how all clubs are working on DEI, Grants, social media, membership, and establishing a local footprint.  

I feel more prepared and knowledgeable about The Rotary Way!  I thank the Livonia AM Rotary club for the opportunity to represent our club at PETS this year!

Claude Kendrick

More Photos 

Chief Robert Jennison

March 08, 2023

Last week we heard from Fire Chief Robert Jennison of Livonia Fire and Rescue. The Chief began his talk by telling us his story of firefighting as an 18-year-old volunteer at his home in Lyon Township. He spent 24 years at the Livonia Fire Department achieving many promotions until he accepted his current position as Chief, a year ago.

Chief Jennison informed us that the Livonia Fire Department has 5 fire stations throughout our town. The department has 89 firemen, and the Fire and Rescue are available for calls 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Besides fighting fires and handling paramedic calls, the department works on:

  • Haz Mat Calls
  • SWAT
  • Paramedics
  • Active Shooter Response

The Chief told us that one of the greatest problems with fires is that people do not have smoke detectors in their houses, or they have them, but the batteries are out of power. He recommended that people change their batteries, twice per year, when they change their clocks for daylight savings time. He also said that lithium batteries, when not handled properly, can be deadly. Chief Jennison recommends unplugging charging stations after the battery reaches a full charge, and not sleeping with your cell phone under your pillow since that can produce heat which may cause the battery in the phone to explode.  

Mike Ladwig

Livonia Fire and Rescue

City of Livonia Fire Statistics 2022

Club Assembly

March 01, 2023

We learned that fellow Rotarian, Dr. Stanley Ngeyi, passed away last week. When a memorial service is announced, we will share that information with the club. Dr. Stanley will be missed.

Giving Committee – Larry Stephens informed us that two Grants were approved for:

  • AAA Pregnancy Resource Center, for the purchase of car seats.
  • VT Seva, to support visually challenged students in India.

There were two grant requests that were paused pending our request for more information or a future presentation to the club. They are Bottoms Up Diaper Bank Grosse Ile, and MOST ministries.

Treasurer’s Report - Bob Carris informed us that the Interact club approved donations to Shelter Box, Wayne County Horse Patrol, VT Seva, and Syria & Turkey earthquake relief. 

We were reminded that we need a few more volunteers for the Forgotten Harvest event on March 25. Hopefully, We will have some Interact students join us.

President-Elect Claude Kendrick represented our club at the Fire and Ice fundraiser at Schoolcraft college. He said the food was excellent, and rumor has it that due to the vast quantity of food and the large array of desserts, when arriving home, Claude had to drill another hole in his belt. 

Mike Ladwig

Interact Club's Gifts to the Community

February 28, 2023

Club members Dave Burton and Bob Carris were on hand when the Churchill HS Interact Club met at Mayor Brosnan's office recently to distribute generous donations to various Livonia organizations. The funds were the proceeds from their 2022 Touch A Truck event. The recipients included the Livonia Police Dept, The Livonia Fire Dept, the Wayne County Sheriff, and VT Seva.

More Photos

Joint Meeting with Churchill Interact Club

February 27, 2023

Livonia AM Rotary Club members paid a visit to the Interact Club at Churchill High School last week. We began the meeting in our regular fashion with the Pledge of Alliance. President Tammy Bonifield asked the interactors to sign up for our food packing at Forgotten Harvest on March 25. She went on to tell us all many facts about Rotary:

  • There are 1.2 million Rotary members worldwide.
  • 99% of Polio is eradicated worldwide.
  • Rotary clubs provide local as well as international impacts in their communities.
  • Interact and Rotary clubs inspire our future generations of service volunteers.

(Authors note—at this point, we were 15 minutes into the meeting. I looked around the room and of the 18 Interact students present, I did not see one on an electronic device, miracles do happen).

Next, we heard from Churchill HS principal Kristen Quesada (who I originally mistook for a student). She spoke of her leadership style, focusing on truly listening to students. She told us her main focus is on what is best for her students.

Next, we heard from Interact club President Ivanna Ibrigido Torres. (note after another quick scan of the Interactors with ten minutes to go until the conclusion of the meeting, still, no Interactors using mobile devices). Ivanna talked about their interact clubs’ weekly meetings and how they use GroupMe to communicate the agenda. She spoke of the many club and charitable events they support over the year. 

It was a refreshing meeting to see young people engaged and embracing the Rotary 4-Way-Test.

Mike Ladwig 

More Photos

Fire and Ice Culinary Extravaganza

February 23, 2023

President-Elect Claude Kendrick is heading to Kalamazoo this Thursday for a weekend of intense training to be our club's next president.

At Great Lakes Rotary PETS, Claude will join over 350 presidents-elect from 6 districts with clubs in Michigan, Indiana, and Ontario. Claude will gain practical knowledge to prepare himself for his leadership year as a Rotary club president. PETS trainers have developed a curriculum based on years of experience and feedback from the previous attendees.

Claude is sure to ​leave PETS feeling “fired up” and eager to begin the amazing year ahead as our Rotary club’s President!

Passing of Dr. Stanley Ngeyi

February 26, 2023

With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of club member Dr. Stanley Ngeyi. Very little is known by the club at this time. Information will be shared when we learn more. Dr. Stanley was Chairman of the Chemistry Dept and a full professor at Madonna University, and an active member of the club until his work schedule and illness interfered with his weekly attendance. In the coming weeks, we will highlight the incredible story of Dr. Stanley's return to “give back” to his home country of Cameroon through Rotary's Ambassadorial Scholarship program, and the numerous projects our club did in Cameroon. 

Fire and Ice Culinary Extravaganza

February 23, 2023

Club member Claude Kendrick (and his wife Jeanne) attended Schoolcraft College's Fire and Ice Culinary Extravaganza fundraiser to support the students and programs that are associated with the culinary arts department. Fellow Livonia AM Rotarian Dawn Margretta spearheaded this event along with other members of the Schoolcraft Board Community. The guests met the students and instructors in their kitchens and tried samples of their delicious entrees, flavorful desserts, and tasty beverages.

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Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels

February 22, 2023

They are unseen and unheard. Their productivity in society long expired, and they live lives of quiet desperation. They are lonely for company and hungry for food. These are the clients of Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels.  

Our speakers last week were Danni Murphy and Chris Brown of the Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels program.

Chris explained Meals on Wheels’ mission is to provide meals, personal care items, human contact, and general welfare checks for homebound seniors in the Ypsi area. They deliver 250 meals per day, 120,000 meals per year.   

The staff of workers for the program includes a combination of paid staff and volunteers. They also provide a personal care pantry, as 2/3 of their clients are incontinent. Less than 10% of their funding is furnished by government funds. 

Their mission at Meals on Wheels is to make those among us in their twilight years a little more like their golden years. Just because someone is unseen and quiet doesn’t mean they are not among us. It is refreshing that Meals on Wheels can be a voice for the quiet and can shine a light on the unseen.  

Mike Ladwig 

Northville Chamber of Commerce to Honor Nancy Darga

March 09, 2023

Club member Nancy Darga will be recognized as The City of Northville's "Volunteer of the Year". The Northville Chamber of Commerce has organized this first annual Northville Community Awards Dinner.

The event will be held at Genitti's Hole in the Wall & Marquis Theater on Thursday, March 9th, from 5:00-8:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

Meet Our Newest Member - Ethan Ames

February 15, 2023

The members of Livonia AM Rotary are happy to welcome Ethan Ames to our Rotary Club family.

Ethan lives in Wyandotte and works in Livonia, as a Chiropractor. Ethan achieved the Eagle Scout designation and would be interested in being an ambassador between our club and the Scouts. Rotary offers unlimited opportunities for collaboration with other organizations, and for personal and professional growth. It is our job to help Ethan fulfill his goals of civic engagement in our community, through Rotary.

The next time you are at the club, be sure to introduce yourself to Ethan.

Club Meeting - Mayor Brosnan

February 15, 2023

We had the honor and privilege to host our Mayor, and fellow Livonia AM Rotarian, Maureen Brosnan, as our guest speaker.

Maureen spoke of her experience campaigning for the position of Mayor. While knocking on residents’ doors, there were four overriding issues that kept being requested from those she spoke to :

  1. Keep Livonia safe.
  2. Take care of the kids.
  3. Fix the roads.
  4. Make Livonia a place their kids want to live in when they grow up and start their own families.

There was a shortage of firemen and police officers when the mayor took office. That shortage has been eliminated, which should make us all safer.

There are many programs at our parks, in our schools, and at the Rec Center designed for children. We have a world-class library offering many programs for our youth. We have many houses of worship to address the spiritual needs of our families.

Working with Wayne County and receiving infrastructure funds from the Federal government, we may finally “fix the damn roads”.

What will bring our children back to Livonia when they start a family are affordable housing and good schools.

Maureen brought up the recent discussion about the Noble Library. Because of its current condition, it may not be economically feasible to return the building to a functioning library. The city is still reviewing options for that property.

The Mayor also mentioned the 28 boards run that have unpaid volunteers that counsel her. She also gave praise to all of the service clubs that give their time, energy, and riches that help make Livonia a wonderful place to live and work

Mike Ladwig

You Are Loved - Delivers Gratitude Boxes

February 14, 2023

Club member Susan Landmesser was at it again, delivering happiness throughout the community on Valentine's Day, through her amazing organization, You Are Loved

(Reprinted from Facebook)

Gratitude Boxes were delivered today to The Livonia Fire Dept., Livonia Police Dept., EMS Unit, and the ER Staff at St. Mary's Hospital.

These folks do soooo much in keeping my community of Livonia safe and protected and never think of expecting a Thank You.

I love gifting them a box of homemade cookies and buttons, along with a little note of thanks. It's the least I can do to show a smidgen of appreciation and gratitude this Valentine's Day.

THANK YOU for ALL you do. Your hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed.

Taylor Conservatory Foundation’s Annual Gala

February 10, 2023

Club members Tammy Bonifield and Sharon Pommerville joined our newest club member Erin Dobbins at the annual fundraiser to support the Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. The two were also supporting our new friend, Erin, as she was one of the principal organizers of the event.

More Photos

Club Meeting - Dual Speakers

February 08, 2023

The long arm of giving for the Livonia AM Rotary club crosses many borders, and quite a few oceans. Last week’s speakers are indicative of that.

Speaker # 1 Marty Mora, with MOST Ministries (Mission Opportunities Short Term). Their organization provides; Eyeglass clinics, medical clinics, vacation bible studies, construction projects, and water filtration.

MOST's focus is on short-term projects in 52 countries. Marty showed slides of a community center in Juarez Mexico, the one that our club member Rev. Dave Stechholz visited on a recent eyeglass mission. The community center’s roof is in desperate need of repair. Our club granted a generous donation to aid with the repair efforts.

Speaker #2 Priya Sankar, with VT Seva, a nonprofit whose mission is to support international nonprofits in over five countries. Their pillars of support are community, health, and education. Priya spoke of her local club supporting schools for the visually impaired, and schools in remote locations. They procure needed but non-funded items for the school of approximately 250 sight-challenged children. They also provide assistance for remote location schools. Our club also furnished funds to help her organization fulfill those lofty goals. Priya is the mother of our friend Harish, a Past President of the Churchill HS Interact club.

While Rotary International's reach spans the globe, the outreach is prevalent in our own community as well.

Mike Ladwig

Club Assembly

February 01, 2023

The meeting began with an introduction of the Grant Committee. It will be chaired by Erin Dobbins, with committee members Bob Carris, Nancy Darga, and John Clay. They will track deadlines for various grant opportunities and determine the best practices for writing the request.

Next, we heard the Treasurer’s report from Bob Carris. He told us about the balances in both our Accounts and the Interact account, both accounts are positive. It was also brought to the club’s attention that the Hardies Family Trust distributed a check for $5,000 to our Churchill HS Interact Club to pay for the park rental for using Greenmead for our annual Touch A Truck event. In consideration of the donation, the Hardies Family Trust will be named as a sponsor for the event. It was also suggested we have a combined Interact Club and Livonia AM Rotary meeting. It is tentatively set for Monday, Feb. 27th.

Larry Stephens reported that the Giving Committee approved three grant requests this month:

  • The Civic Park Senior Center was awarded monies to buy rolling food carts.
  • The Taylor Conservatory Foundation.
  • M.O.S.T. Ministries, Marty Moro, one of our speakers on Feb. 8th. 

Mike Ladwig

$5,000 Touch A Truck Gift

January 30, 2023

Club members Bob Carris and Mike Ladwig were on hand to receive a very generous donation of $5,000 from the Hardies Family Trust to help underwrite the operating expenses of the annual Touch A Truck event organized by the Churchill HS Interact Club with the assistance of our club.

Seedlings Speaker's Gift

January 30, 2023

President Tammy stopped by Seedlings Headquarters recently to present Katelynn Lucas with our 4-Way-Test soccer ball. Katelynn presented to the club via Zoom a few weeks back and we wanted to express our thanks to Katelynn in person.

Culinary Pop-Up Lunch at Schoolcraft College

January 26, 2023

Club member Bill Friske (and Rose) joined club member Dawn Magretta at a special Culinary “Pop-up” Lunch at Schoolcraft College. Because of construction, the college created this event to help their Culinary students gain some experience.


The attendees enjoyed a program titled "2023 Economic Outlook" by nationally recognized economist, Dr. Cedric Howie.

More Photos

Livonia All-Stars vs Redwing Alumni Hockey Game

January 29, 2023

This past Saturday, at the Eddie Edgar ice arena in Livonia, the 21 members of the Livonia All-Stars hockey team played against the Detroit Redwing Alumni team. The stands were packed with standing room only for last minute ticket buyers. The game was entertaining, and the Livonia All-Stars led by Brandon McCullough gave the Redwings a very competitive match.

A few takeaways from the game.  Your Livonia AM Rotary club, led by Pat Zucal, Greg Greene, Nancy Darga, Claude Kendrick, and Mike Ladwig handled ticket sales, online ticket verification, and wristband distribution like all-stars. Rotarian Eric Ladwig worked as a bench coach for the All-Stars. Our fellow Livonia Rotary club provided security for the Redwing locker. Our fellow Rotarian, Mayor Maureen Brosnan dropped the ceremonial first puck. The crowd was a blend of young and old. Judging by the many smiling faces in the stands, it was very entertaining to all who attended.

Because of the many sponsors picking up much of the costs, the true winner of the game was the local charity, Livonia Kids and Families. The game, with ticket sales and monetary sponsors, raised around $14,000. It was a win-win for all involved. Even the Livonia All-Stars who, although they were outscored by the Redwings 11-7, collected memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives. And the city of Livonia hosted a wonderful event that was enjoyed by all. 

Mike Ladwig

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Club Meeting - Source of Universal Love

January 25, 2023

Every organization should be able to give a simple, one-sentence mission statement of their purpose. If I was tasked with providing one for our speaker’s organization, S.O.U.L (Source Of Universal Love), it would be “They deal in human kindness”.

Ginger Wiechers, our speaker, is the founder and Executive Director of S.O.U.L. S.O.U.L. began in 2003 when Ginger, who owned a coffee shop kept hearing of the many people who had requests for food. Over the years her passion to help those in need of food and shelter morphed into S.O.U.L. They have an office in Downtown Farmington. They service 900 people in the Farmington, Livonia, and Redford areas. They take food donations and raise money by conducting monthly estate sales.

They have a resale store that also funds many of their giving programs. Many of their clients are working people who were low-income households, and if one household member got sick, it could throw their entire budget into disorder. Sometimes people in need must decide whether to pay their rent or pay for groceries.

One way people can express human kindness is through food and financial support. S.O.U.L. fills this mission with love and compassion. For additional information about S.O.U.L, call (248)318-6691 or look them up and friend them on Facebook, Source of Universal Love.

Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting - Seedlings Braille Books for Children

January 18, 2023

Our speaker this past week was Katelynn Lucas, spokesperson for Seedlings Braille Books for Children.

If I was to write a mission statement for the organization “Seedlings Braille Books for Children,” it would be - to open the doors of darkness and let the light shine in so that what the eyes can’t see the mind can create. The magic that creates this sense of wonder, knowledge, and adventure, is books, braille books.


Katelynn Lucas told us that Seedlings Braille Books publishing was started in 1978. They had one braille printer and published 33 books in their first year. Jump to the present time and Seedlings has a staff of 11 paid workers and 30 volunteers. They have printed over 600,000 braille books that have been distributed to over 75 countries.


Seedlings books help children learn spelling and punctuation in braille. For these students, Seedlings places clear labels with braille markings onto the pages of standard children’s books. This way, sighted children can read along with the unsighted child. Seedings also prints chapter-only books (no pictures) for students 12 and up. The following are a few of the programs Katelynn mentioned to aid in getting more books into the hands of young braille book readers:

  • Book Angels - for young readers up to 21 years old – they can receive up to 5 free books per year.

  • Adapt a Reader Program - For a donation of $100 you can adapt a reader.

60% of seedlings books are free of charge to their readers. For those Seedlings books that are bought, the average price is $10. The average price for other braille books from other providers is $100.


All the workers, volunteers, and donors of Seedlings Braille Books are Angels! The gifts they present go way beyond the numbers, it can only be measured in the hearts of the braille book recipients. We have yet to find a way to measure that, but trust me, it is enormous. 

Mike Ladwig

YOU ARE LOVED SLEEPING BAG PROJECT: Showing that Service to Humanity is Year-Round

Reprinted from Bill Joyner's Friday Musing 1/16/2023


You are loved was founded a few years ago by fellow Rotarian Sue Landmesser-Cohl with the goal of providing sleeping bags to the homeless in our community. Sue spoke to our Rotary club a few years ago, and subsequent to her speaking the club and Sue felt a synergy and she joined our club. The partnership began.

Read The Full Story Here

Club Meeting

January 11, 2023

We had two sets of speakers last week. First, we heard from Rusty and Laura, club member Larry Stephen’s son-in-law and daughter. They spoke of the Camp Bellevue mission in Ecuador, where they play an integral part. Rusty and Laura help provide after-school programs, community education, summer camps, leadership, and development. They showed a photo of the office copier secured with a generous donation from our club. Check out the video below to see the incredible work of the mission.

Our second speaker was Haitham Fakhouri, President of “Bold Media”, a Livonia business that aids in digital messaging for local businesses and nonprofits. Haitham spoke of the history of website development and the importance of businesses and nonprofits having an online presence. Bold Media helps its clients with “Branding”, which is advanced advertising with a dash of an explanation of what the client has to offer and why customers should choose their organization for their needs. What the Yellow Pages and ads in the Livonia Observer provided in the 20th century, Bold Media provides in our current century. 

Mike Ladwig 

Erin Dobbins - Newest Member of Livonia AM

January 11, 2023

The Rotary Club of Livonia AM is excited to welcome Erin Dobbins, our newest club member. Erin is a past president of the Taylor Rotary Club. Erin lives in Livonia and has recently transferred from the Taylor club. Please join me in welcoming Erin to the Livonia AM family!

Club Assembly

January 04, 2023

This week we held our Club Assembly. The following items were discussed:

Giving Committee - Larry Stephens informed us that two grant requests were approved by the committee; 1) Livonia Public Schools Foundation, and 2) Rosedale Gardens Presbyterian Church for their Christmas blessing bags project. Two additional requests are “pending” awaiting the requesters addressing our group during a meeting; 1) Source of Universal Love (S.O.U.L.), and 2) Wheels on Meals Ypsilanti. Both groups will be addressing us in the near future.

We received a warm thank you note from St. Mary’s Community Outreach.

There was a discussion about our club becoming active in helping early teen girls from poorer nations stay in school and not drop out of school because of embarrassment from starting their menstruation cycle. This led to a discussion of the possibility of wring a grant request to purchase some sewing machines that could be sent to Ecuador so Ecuadorians could make their own sanitary menstruation for the pre-teen young ladies. 

This led to a discussion of forming a grant writing committee with an emphasis on writing international grants. Once the committee is formed, Mike Ladwig will reach out to PDG Rick Caron, an expert on grant writing, to address the committee.

We will be sending up to six club members to help with the Livonia All Stars vs. Detroit Red Wings Alumni Charity Hockey Game on Jan. 29, located at the Eddie Edgar ice arena. The proceeds of which will be donated to a local Livonia charity.

For a Feb. project, we will be procuring additional info about a Tim Tebow night for a local fundraising event.

We discussed possible outside meetings for spring. Some locations are; 1) Living and Learning Enrichment Center, 2) Clarenceville Food Pantry, and 3) Roush Auto Hall of Fame.

Mike Ladwig

Christmas Break

December 28, 2022

Club members Sharon Pommerville, Tammy Bonifield, Nancy Darga, Mike Ladwig, John Clay, Bob Carris, Larry Stephens, Rick Popa, Pat Zucal, and Bill Friske got together for a nice breakfast at George's Senate over the Christmas holiday break from our regular club meetings.

Greg Greene Inducted into Canton Hall of Fame

December 18, 2022

Club member Greg Greene was recently induction into the Canton Township Hall of Fame. Greg was recognized for his 30 + years of volunteering his time to various causes and commissions with the goal of making Canton a great place to live. Check out this terrific commemorative video created by the organizers to express the community's gratefulness to Greg for all that he has contributed over the years. Congratulations, Greg!

More Photos

Salvation Army Bell Ringing

December 17, 2022

Livonia AM club members along with members of the Churchhill HS Interact Club were well represented at Joe’s Produce for the Salvation Army bell ringing event a few weeks back.

Our team serenaded folks with Christmas tunes and handed out Christmas candies to all the kiddos. Fun time, all for a good cause.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered!

More Photos

Club Meeting

December 14, 2022

Our last speaker for 2022 is the epitome of all that is good about Livonia. I am referring to Reverend Kellie Whitlock, senior minister at Rosedale Gardens Church.

Reverend Kellie spoke about a few of the outreach programs she has spearheaded with the goal of honoring fellow Livonians, including Livonia first responders. They began the blessing bags in 2017 with a modest goal of providing 100 bags for nursing home workers who were on duty on Christmas day. During a meeting with then-Mayor Dennis Wright and Police and Fire Department chiefs, they expanded the count to 500 bags to be delivered to the nursing home workers on duty on Christmas day.

During the second year, they took the program to St. Mary’s hospital and distributed 700 bags to hospital workers. With the generous donation of Primo Pizzas, they also hosted a 2 ½ hour pizza party.

The 2019 project focused on helping 25 Vietnam Vets in need. Also, police and fire distributed $25 cash awards to those in need of some holiday cheer.

With COVID rearing its ugly head in 2020, they altered distribution by making bins for doctors and medical staff to pass out Christmas blessings to 1,100 medical workers.

2021 brought on the “Be the I in Kind” program, with lawn signs and large banners throughout the city, reminding people to be nicer to one another. Along with this event, 3,100 bags were made for LPS employees to be distributed prior to Easter weekend.

2022 the blessing bag project will continue to grow with blessing bags handed out to employees at senior living locations. Through a generous donation of $5,000 the police and fire departments again will have the cash to pass out in the community this year.

Starting with a modest plan of providing some holiday joy to 100 people, moving on to putting the “I” in kind, to this year’s outreach, Reverend Kellie Whitlock and her merry band of Christmas elves, not only put the “I “in kind, they have become the “ME” in Merry Christmas. For that, all of Livonia thanks you.

Mike Ladwig

Gift Wrapping at MCHS

December 12, 2022

Club members Sharon Pommerville, Dave Stechholz, Claude Kendrick, John Clay, and Bill Friske, along with "friend of Rotary" Bryan Squires, volunteered their time to help wrap a mountain of Christmas presents at the Methodist Children's Home Society this past Monday. It was breathtaking to see the number of presents that were donated to help support the many families that MCHS assists at Christmas time!

Storage Closet Declutter

December 09, 2022

Believe it or not, our club made its move to the Livonia Senior Center over two years ago. In that two years, we've been slowly transferring our Rotary paraphernalia from members' homes to our meeting place storage closet.

It didn't take long for the space to become overloaded and in need of a good purge and some straightening out.

Club members Tammy Bonifield, Bob Carris, and Bill Friske put in a bit of overtime on Friday to clean out and organize the closet.

Club Assembly

December 07, 2022

This week we held our Club Assembly. The following items were discussed:

District Holiday Party

  • The party was well attended with great food, lots of fun, and a wonderful venue.
  • Our club received 3 awards at the party: 1) Every Rotary Every Year Club, 2) 100% Foundation Giving Club, 3) A Certificate of Support for our Contribution to End Polio Now.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • See Newsletter And Website For Details And Sign-Up Links.
  • Present wrapping at Methodist Children's Village at 10:00 AM Monday, December 12th. This is a drop-in activity and will last until approximately 5 PM.
  • Salvation Army bell ringing Joe's produce Saturday, December 17th, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM one-hour shifts
  • Celebrating Brad Bonifield Saturday, January 7th, from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM, One Under Craft Beer and Eats, Livonia.

Financial Report - Treasurer Bob Carris

  • We are in a strong financial position and able to reach our goals.
  • The annual carnival is our biggest fundraiser. We did well this year and early indications are that we will be able to hold the carnival in the same location at the Sears parking lot next year.
  • Bill Friske has created a spreadsheet of all the grants we have given over the past six years. He highlighted grant recipients we tend to give to each year (Legacy Grant Recipients). There was a discussion on using this spreadsheet as a tool to help with budgeting. Ideas included budgeting the total amount we typically give to the Legacy Grant recipients and that will allow us to project how much we can give to new parties requesting grants.
  • The membership was told to talk to Bob or Tammy if anyone wishes to go into more detail about budget issues such as reviewing receipts, etc.

Giving Committee - Chairperson Larry Stephens

  • The committee reviewed 4 grant applications in the last month and made the following recommendations. 1) Roll a Hippo, 2) Living and Learning Enrichment Center, 3) St Mary’s Outreach Center, and 4) Interact Club Past President Harish‘s program working with the visually impaired in India (VT Seva). The recommendations were approved by the club membership.
  • Rosedale Garden Presbyterian Church grant request is currently under review and the committee has requested more information.
  • New grant requests are coming in at a steady and manageable rate


  • Sending out reminders to Legacy Grant recipients to apply for a grant if they have not done so.
  • Organizations applying for Grants are a good resource to tap as future speakers at our meetings.
  • Doctor Stanley has been in and out of the hospital lately. He is planning a return trip to Cameroon in 2023 and plans to deliver the ultrasound machine to the clinic at that time.
  • Water Well in Cameroon. By making a significant investment, we may be able to get matching funds for this project if we choose to pursue it.
  • Much discussion and energy about pursuing international projects. Our Rotary district is supportive of efforts by district clubs interested in pursuing international projects.
  • Discussion on having a traveling Cookie and Eggnog Christmas Celebration (like a progressive dinner) on Thursday, Dec. 22. More information will be coming.

John Clay

Deck The Rec. Contest

November 30, 2022

Club member and founder of You Are Loved, Susan Landmesser, is participating in the Livonia "Deck the Rec" competition. Susan is looking forward to handing over all the hats and gloves to 3 local charities after the event is over.

District Holiday Party

December 01, 2022

President Tammy Bonifield, Sharon Pommerville, Bob Carris, and Taylor Rotary member Erin Dobbins attended the first ever District 6400 Holiday Party last Thursday at the Phoenix Mill in Plymouth, with 100+ members from throughout the district. 

Hosted by Governor Traci Sincock, all were treated to a great dinner, and contests including a live auction. As noted in the picture, our club won the "Every Rotarian Every Year" award. EREY is awarded to those clubs whose members donated a minimum of $100 each to the Rotary Foundation, during the previous year. A great time was had by all.

Bob Carris

Greenleaf Commission

November 30, 2022

Our guest speaker this past week was Jim Baringhaus, Chairman of Livonia's

Greenleaf Commission on Sustainability

The Greenleaf Commission is a Livonia government agency. Their charge is to promote and educate the Livonia community on environmental issues.

Jim spoke of four major initiatives the commission engaged in during 2022:

  • Green Infrastructure - Renovation, replacement, and solarizing of the Livonia housing stock.

  • Tree Ordinance - Since trees play a major role in removing pollution in our air, they are working on a plan to sustain and increase the number of trees we have in our community.

  • Recycling - Jim informed us of the City's successful trash recycling program. He also mentioned how to recycle rainwater by using rain barrels.

  • EV Charging Stations - There are plans underway to increase the number of Electric Car charging stations in the city. Many EV auto owners are installing electric car charging stations in their garages.

We all applaud the many efforts of Jim and the members of The Livonia Greenleaf Commission. They are showing us how to live in a greener and cleaner city. 

Mike Ladwig

Local Celebrity Visitor

November 16, 2022

At our last meeting, we had a special visitor in attendance, Jimmy Crowley. Jimmy is a bit of a local celebrity. Many people around town know the Livonia resident as the guy who mows lawns and shovels driveways for veterans, the elderly, and disabled residents. And he does it all for free. The club enjoyed his visit and learning about his generous spirit. Jimmy has hung up his shovel but is very active in volunteering around the community in other ways. We're hoping to see Jimmy at future meetings.

Read More About This Good Neighbor

Sleeping Bag Mission 2022

November 19, 2022

WITH SO MUCH GRATITUDE AND THANKS TO ALL who donated anonymously, who gathered together to sort, fold, build kits, and assemble sleeping bags for the You Are Loved

Sleeping Bag Mission 2022.

We are gathering our photos for our album so that should be posted by next week.

Special mentions to:

Livonia Civic Senior Center

Livonia Democratic Club

Livonia A.M Rotary

Mile City Church

City Orchard and Pelic Groups

Friday Musings

Northstar Marketing Content

My personal friends and family.



Susan Landmesser

Larry Stephens Out of Africa

November 16, 2022

Our speaker at our November 16th meeting was club member and Giving Committee chairman, Larry Stephens. Larry, who is a retired minister, returned to Africa this past summer. He returned to Kenya where thirty years ago he began a church in the town of Nairobi, Kenya. When he started the church in 1992 the church was built attached to a 400 square feet house. Larry showed us pictures of the church today, and its a much larger edifice that continues to serve the spiritual needs of many residents of Nairobi.

Today the church, the Komarock Church of Christ, has an outreach program to help local street kids to leave drugs and return to school. Their motto is If you save the life of one person, you can change the world.”

Larry also graced us with stunning pictures of the Kenya landscape, the large animal preserves in the country, and some really, lovely pictures of local Kenyan birds.

Larry left us with the message to travel while we can, and step outside our comfort zone. The message I received from Larry’s presentation is prosperity is not measured with dollar signs, but with your legacy of helping others. I guess that is the Rotary Way.

Mike Ladwig

Gift to Livonia Civic Chorus

November 15, 2022

Livonia Civic Chorus Vice President Jennifer Perry received a $2,000 check from our club. 

Club member, and Livonia Civic Chorus member, Rev. Dr. David Stechholz is shown here making the check presentation. 

Livonia AM Rotary is supportive of both the LCC and Livonia Symphony Orchestra, both with separate upcoming concerts in December. 

Club Meeting

November 09, 2022

We began our meeting with our own Rev. Dave Stechholz providing a heartwarming message for President Tammy Bonifield and her family on the transition of her husband Brad, a great man, and a true friend of Rotary. He is loved, and he will be missed.

K.I.S.S. and the Roll A Hippo

Often, we overcomplicate things to the point where we give up trying to solve our problems because we think they are too dang complicated. Other times, when we employ the K.I.S.S. method of problem-solving (keep it simple stupid) the answers to our problems are right in front of our noses.

In many parts of the world, people live in rural villages and are many miles from the sources of freshwater creeks, rivers, or lakes. Without sources of animal or mechanical transportation, they are often left to carry the water in containers they place on their heads. This makes for many trips from the water source to their villages.

To increase the amount of water that can be transported, enter the Roll A Hippo. A device made from plastic that can roll up to 24 gallons of water, as opposed to the usual maximum of 5 gallons of water on their heads. They just fill the rolling hippo and push it back to their destination. This drastically reduces the number of trips needed to provide water and does not strain the neck and back muscles of the women who do the heavy water transporting.

Our speaker on the subject was Luke Vorstermans, founder of the Roll A Hippo Foundation, and a member of the Rotary Club of Gibsons, British Columbia. Luke spoke about his club’s work providing Roll A Hippos to people in rural areas of South Africa. The Gibsons Rotary Club solicits funding for the Roll A Hippos and partners with the Hillcrest Durban South Africa Rotary Club. The Hillcrest Durban club purchases and distributes the Hippos locally for approximately $150 per unit. They also throw in some seeds and hand-held farming equipment. Pretty simple solution to a pain in the neck (literally) problem.

Below is a link to the material that Luke used during his presentation. Creating awareness is a big part of Luke's challenge!

Mike Ladwig

District Governor's Visit

November 02, 2022

Our special guest this past week was District Governor, Traci Sincock. DG Traci is from the Northville Rotary Club. This was her official visit to our club. District governors commit to visit every club in their district at least one time per year. That’s 50+ club visits. DG’s Traci’s visit was our opportunity to hear what is happening at the district level. It is also our opportunity to update DG Traci on the progress our club is making toward our goals for the 2022-23 Rotary year.

Here are some highlights that were discussed:

  • The responsibility of the District Governor is to be the bridge between Rotary International and the individual clubs. Communication is a two-way street between these two entities.

  • DG Traci explained that Rotary should be a safe place for people to come together in friendship and through community events, to better our neighborhoods.

  • New members should feel welcomed by all and have the desire to be of service to mankind.

We also discussed upcoming projects:

  • You are Loved, sleeping bag kits with warm items for the homeless, and financially insecure, to be distributed on Nov. 19, in Detroit.

  • Gift wrapping holiday gifts at the Methodist Children’s Home on December 12, 13, and 14th, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Saturday, December 17th, Joe’s Produce, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, one-hour shifts.

The Board of Directors met briefly with DG Traci at the conclusion of the regular club meeting.

Mike Ladwig

MCHS Trunk or Treat

October 29, 2022

Club members Sharon Pommerville and Bill Friske participated in the Methodist Children's Home Society's truck or treat this past weekend. A quick glance through the photos will show you what a terrific event this was for the residents, and staff, and the community surrounding the MCHS campus.

More Photos

World Polio Day Spaghetti Dinner Community Fundraiser

October 26, 2022

In 1979 Rotary International set a goal to bring the Polio vaccine to all of the nations in the world, in an effort to eradicate the brutal and painful disease. This almost impossible quest, with the aid of many other groups and other organizations, has almost been completely met. There are still some cases reported in remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The two Livonia Rotary clubs met this past Wednesday to host a Spaghetti Dinner Community Fundraiser. The proceeds of which will be donated toward the Rotary International polio vaccination effort.

The kitchen crew arrived early Wednesday morning to make the spaghetti sauce and chop the lettuce and onions for the salad. Hungry diners began arriving early, and they kept coming. The line of diners moved smoothly and everyone I spoke with commented that the food was excellent. There was a true sense of community as Livonia residents came to support a worthy cause. Although the official head count of the participants is not available at this time, many experienced spaghetti dinner volunteers said that the counts looked to be well up from last year’s event. All in all, this year’s Spaghetti Dinner Community Fundraiser was a win-win for everyone involved. We raised some money to help fund the End Polio cause, and a good time was had by our diners and volunteers.

Mike Ladwig

More Photos

Club Meeting

October 26, 2022

Some people’s answer to a challenging situation or to something that has never been tried before is a resounding “You can’t do that”.

Last week we had our End Polio week at Livonia AM Rotary. Our club hosted two people who have intimate knowledge of this dreaded disease, Bill Joiner, the voice of Livonia through his Friday Musings blogs, and our own member, Nancy Darga. Bill’s story regarding Polio is centered around his mother, who was a Polio survivor. Nancy herself is a Polio survivor.

Bill’s mother raised a family and spent twelve years on the Livonia School Board of Education. Bill recalls his mom explaining to her children the physical pain of living with Polio. But it was not an everyday topic of discussion in their home.

Nancy, an architect, was the chief designer for Wayne County Parks and Recreation Department before she retired. She also spent twelve years on the Northville City Council. Nancy was three years old when she was diagnosed with Polio. She shared the story of painful operations on her legs so she could regain her ability to walk. Many neighborhood parents wouldn’t let their children play with Nancy out of fear of that Polio could be transmitted through Nancy to their children.

Both Nancy and Bill’s mothers did not let the disease of Polio define them. They defined what was possible for Polio victims to accomplish. To those who said to them, “you can’t do that, you had Polio” they probably replied, “step out of my way and watch me”.

Hearing both the sad story of the extreme pain that Polio can cause to those who get this disease, and the inspiring story of overcoming obstacles to reach a goal was an exceptional way to begin our “End Polio Week” for our Rotary club.

Mike Ladwig

Rotary Club of Dublin Central

September 21, 2022

Club member Larry Stephens and his wife Diane recently returned from a trip to Ireland where they spent time with family. While there, Larry paid a visit to the Dublin Rotary Club. Club president Monica is pictured wearing our internationally famous 4-Way-Test "Football!"

Club Meeting

October 19, 2022

Our guest speaker last week was Rachelle Vartanian, Founder, and Executive Direction of Living and Learning Enrichment Center located in Northville MI...


Many of us have dreams that we immediately forget as our alarm clock beckons us to arise to face the new day. Some of us remember our dream but dismiss it as nothing more than a foolish dream. A few of us like the dream so much that we try to turn that dream into a vision until we give up thinking it is too big, and undoable, and we throw the dream into the mental trash can.


In the movie “The Man from La Mancha,“ the lead character, Don Quixote sang a song entitled “The Impossible Dream." A few of the lyrics describe Rachelle, "To dream the impossible dream, and to run where the brave dare not go.”


Rachelle’s youngest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism. Rachelle noticed there were few programs available to enhance social skills and social interaction for teens and young adults with autism or related challenges. She began her Living and Learning Center humbly with a small rental space off the beaten path in downtown Northville. She offered classes on social skills and fun activities to her clients. She knew there was a greater need, and she could not meet that need in her current location so she sold her house in Livonia, quit her job, and expanded the center to attract more clients and expand the offering of services to her clients. That was her vision.


Rachelle noticed the Don Massey estate on the corner of 8 Mile and Griswold in Northville was for sale, the asking price was $2.9 million. She envisioned how the building and property could make her dream come true by offering programs such as Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis, Social Skills Groups, Summer Camps, Job Skills & Vocational Training Programs, and Farming and Agricultural Experiences, to name a few. The buildings on the property are large enough to expand her client base. She took to raising the money with her contagious enthusiasm. She bought the building a few years ago. Rachelle and her ever-growing staff have been going like gangbusters to bring that impossible dream to fruition. Today, the Living and Learning Enrichment Center is the gold standard for equipping people who have autism with the skills to become contributing members of society. And it all started with one fiercely dedicated lady’s dream.

Thank you, Rachelle, for sharing your inspiring story with the Livonia AM Rotary Club.

Mike Ladwig

This year's Churchill HS Interact Club officers - Tara Nguyen, Mahi Garg, Ivanna Brigido, and Kayla Miller, and the entire Interact Team!

KCAH Meal Packing Event

October 15, 2022

Over 50,000-plus meals were packed for our neighbors in need, around the corner, and around the world, at the annual Kids Coalition Against Hunger meal packing event at St. Edith’s. Club members Susan Landmesser, Mike Ladwig, Greg Greene, John Clay, Dave Stechholz, plus Claude Kendrick’s daughter Kayla, who was on another team, joined Rotarians from the Livonia Noon, Ann Arbor, and Northville Rotary clubs and high school Interact clubs, Thrivent and event chair Rick Hart, KCAH Director Mike Burrell, as well as several of the Livonia Lions and past chair Matt Collins, other service clubs, church groups, and other groups. Our club distributed more than 100 flyers for the World Polio Day Community Spaghetti Fundraising Dinner, and a few tickets were sold, with special thanks to Thrivent.

Rotarily, Dave Stechholz

More Photos

Club Meeting

October 12, 2022

Our speakers this week were Carrie Budzinski and Brian Weiss who launched Vote.Run.Serve-Livonia in December 2021. Michael Testa later joined as the correspondent for Livonia Public Schools. All 3 are Livonia residents.

Vote.Run.Serve-Livonia is a volunteer driven, local news source designed to help make information about the City of Livonia easy to access for residents. It’s mission is to provide non-partisan information about municipal government, local issues, and community events. The hope is that by doing so it will change the way we engage with each other and bring people and organizations together to work on projects which will improve Livonia.

Using their Web site VoteRunServeLivonia and their  Facebook page, they report on City Government, Local events, and Candidates running for office. On the first of each month, they post a recap of what went on during the previous month. Some of the topics recently covered include Greenmead Master Plan Draft, October 5, 2022 – City Council MeetingCandidate Meet and Greet (VIDEO), and October Happenings.


In addition to reporting on current events, they publish downloadable guide booklets on various topics such as Livonia’s 2022 Voter Guide, Livonia Non-Profit Guide. On their Facebook page, they have videos on various topics including Running For Office which provides information about the nuts and bolts of how to run a campaign.

Carrie and Brian explained this is a labor of love for them. They have very little interest in becoming a 503-C3 organization in order to be able to acquire funding through donations or grants. They enjoy what they are doing, do not need much money to do it, and really do not like keeping books or filling out tax forms.

John Clay

Club Assembly

October 05, 2022

Last week we held our Club Assembly. The following items were discussed:

Treasurer's Report: Bob Carris informed the club that Touch a Truck was financially successful with the generous profits going to fund the goals of the Churchill HS Interact Club.  Bob also mentioned that our club’s coffers are full and prepared to fund our grant needs for the year.

Giving Committee: Larry Stephens told us two grant requests were approved last month; Livonia Kids and Families, and the Stuckey Center Day Treatment Program. Both grant requests were approved by the Giving Committee, the Board of Directors, and the general membership.

We discussed two upcoming club-sponsored events:

  • The KCAH meal packing event at St. Edith’s’ is on October 15, 2022. We need a few more Rotarians to sign up if we are to have a full Rotary assembly line. A reminder, we start work at 9:00 AM, and we should arrive at 8:30 AM to sign in.

  • World Polio Day Community Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for Polio eradication is Wednesday, October 26, 2022. So far, we have 13 club members signed up to work on this event.

A few non-sponsored events were brought to our attention for anyone who wants to partake:

  • Christmas gift Wrapping at the Methodist Children’s Home Society, December 12th, 13th, and 14th, anywhere from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Please Contact Carrie Ann Piechocki at MCHS to volunteer, at

  • There is another Build-a-Bed delivery day scheduled for Saturday, October 15, 2022. Contact Wendell at (734)516-8780 if you are interested in helping.

PE Claude Kendrick will be attending the annual President-Elect Training Seminar in Kalamazoo, from March 11 - March 13, 2023.

Our club needs a Grant writer, if interested, please contact Tammy Bonifield.

Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting

September 28, 2022

Our guest speaker this past week was Jim Baringhaus,  Chairman of Livonia's 

Greenleaf Commission on Sustainability

The Greenleaf Commission is a Livonia government agency. Their charge is to promote and educate the Livonia community on environmental issues. Jim has been on the Greenleaf Commission since 2017.

Jim explained a few of the projects the Commission has been involved with. One was the 2019 simple recycling plan for Livonia waste. They have done community outreach at many city events. On earth day they organized a tree planting in Livonia. They introduced recycling at city events with special receptacles for recyclables. On Oct. 1st they held an Electronic Vehicle (EV)bevent at Schoolcraft college where they explained how electronic vehicles operate, and they had some EV cars on hand for attendees to be driven in.

Jim’s presentation to our club was cut short, so we have rescheduled him to return on November 30th. I am anxious to hear the rest of his presentation. We only have one earth, so we can’t afford to muck it up and make it uninhabitable. But there is time to make it sustainable. There is no plan B.

Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting

September 21, 2022

Our guest speaker this past week was Matt Carr, President of Storch Magnetics, a Livonia-based maker of magnets of various shapes, sizes, and applications. Some of the magnets they fabricate are used in conveyor systems during the manufacturing of metal products. 

Storch created the SuperMag, the world's first self-cleaning permanent magnet engineered specifically to work in front of vehicles. The truck-mounted SuperMag picks up metal debris from roadways and airport runways, eliminating tire blow-outs, and saving costly down time for crews and their equipment.

Storch Magnetics was recently honored with the Livonia Greenleaf Commission Award for another of their inventions, the AIROTRUST. One of the concerns with returning to an indoor work environment during the pandemic was that almost everyone in the workplace was sharing the same, poorly filtered air. 


Matt and his crew designed and built the AIROTRUST, a magnetic filter housing paired with a high-quality filter that snaps directly onto the ceiling tile grid, over a return or supply vent, to create an extra layer of air filtration. The AIROTRUST unit allows staff to return to work with the added peace of mind that comes with clean, safe air.

Mike Ladwig

Good Old-Fashioned Neighborhood Corn Roast

September 18, 2022

We welcomed the last weekend of summer in Livonia with an event we affectionately refer to as The Good Old Fashion Corn Roast. Led by Bill Joyner and his crew (himself and the Bodyguard), with over 30 Livonia service clubs in attendance, we had us a party.

The Clarenceville HS young men’s basketball team was out early shucking the corn, The Livonia Lions Club cooked it, and it was served in one-hour shifts by local elected officials. Your Livonia AM Rotary Club held the gateway spot with our newly minted Rotary canopy, passing out the water. 

Club members Mike Ladwig and 

Pat Zucal arrived early to set up, Bob Carris brought the water and ice, and Kate Mackie, and Susan Landmesser joined us as did Rev. Dave Stechholz.

As the residents mingled, ate corn met with our different Livonia service clubs, heard live music from local musician Robert Johnson, and the Livonia Civic Chorus you could feel the community spirit become enhanced as the bonds between fellow Livoniaites were strengthened. 

More Photos        Mike Ladwig

District Governor's Golf Outing

September 18, 2022

Club members Claude Kendrick, Greg Greene, and Bill Friske (and Rose) participated in the District Governor's Golf Outing in Kingsville, Ontario.

Golfers from all over our district enjoyed perfect weather, an amazing golf course, a terrific dinner back at the clubhouse, and of course camaraderie with fellow Rotarians and friends.

Proceeds from this event support International projects through Grants from the district.

More Photos

Rotary Day of Service

September 17, 2022

Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) Bunk Bed Delivery

On this beautiful Saturday, volunteers met at Stor-N-Lock Self Storage in Westland, where several beds frames, mattresses, sheets and pillows were assembled on Sept. 10th, and readied to deliver to families that need them today.

To that end, President Tammy Bonifield and Past President Greg Greene from Livonia AM, Bob Moore from the noon Livonia Rotary club, and Matt Collins from the Livonia Lions club were among the many who went to several homes in Inkster. There, several beds, including bunk beds, were assembled for very appreciative children and their parents. 

The work on both Saturdays shows what teams of dedicated individuals can do together to serve others.

Greg Greene

More Photos

Club Meeting

September 14, 2022

This week's guest speaker was fellow club member, Rev. Dave Stechholz. Dave spoke of the M.O.S.T. Ministries mission trip he recently joined with fellow Lutherans. The journey took them to Juarez, Mexico.

The mission trip began in El Paso, Texas in fellowship with other members of their church. Father Dave told us how his briefcase with “Rotary” printed on the bag opened up many conversations about Rotary with his Texas and Mexican hosts.

The purpose of the mission was to bring prescription eyeglasses to Mexico and distribute them to financially insecure residents of Juarez. They had 608 pairs of glasses to distribute. The missionaries tested the eyeglass customers by having them look through 3 different prescription strengths of glasses to see which one improved their vision the most. Once the prescription was determined, they would match it with one of the pairs they brought from Michigan.

Another item discussed was a community building in Juarez which is very important to the residents. The building is in need of attention, especially mold removal.

Our AM Rotary group discussed pursuing a global grant with our Texas Rotary friends to work on refurbishing the community room. And to think it all started with Father Dave and his “Rotary“ bag.

More Photos                          Mike Ladwig

Bed Building Day Success!

September 10, 2022

Club members Tammy Bonifield, Mike Ladwig, Dave Stechholz, and John Clay joined the Livonia Lions Club, the Livonia Rotary noon club, and volunteers from the community, to build bunk beds for local kids in need. The group built 50 beds at Lowe's in Westland. The project was organized by Sleep in Heavenly Peace of Western Wayne County. These 50 beds, along with new mattresses, pillows, and bedding will be delivered to the children this Saturday, September 17th.

Club Assembly

September 07, 2022

We began our meeting with President Tammy asking for a vote on a new member applicant, Kate Mackie. Kate received a unanimous approval vote from all members present and she is now an official member of the Livonia AM Rotary Club.

Treasurer's Report/ Touch A Truck - Bob Carris reported on the Touch a Truck results and Finances. This year TAT had an attendance of over 7,400 attendees with preliminary indications of record-breaking net profit from the event to fund the Churchill HS Interact Club's charitable giving throughout the year. A beginning discussion was had on positive items for this year’s event and some notes for improvement for the year’s event.

Giving Committee - Larry Stephens reported the status of the grant requests reviewed over the previous month:

  1. Growth Works
  2. Kids Coalition Against Hunger
  3. Bethany Christian Services
  4. Orchard View Middle School (Muskegon) Special Ed. Teacher (a relative of a club member) for non-reimbursed school supplies 
  5. The Roll A Hippo Foundation from a club in Canada

All were approved by the Board of Directors, and by unanimous consent of club members in attendance at the Club Assembly, with the exception of the Hippo project which was paused pending a presentation to the club.

We discussed many of our upcoming events, and Nancy Darga suggested a social media campaign to promote our footprint in the community. Further discussion will be held to determine the feasibility of this proposal.

Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting

August 31, 2022

It would be nice if all of our projects or organizations that we deal with are like the Ice Cream Social or Touch a Truck. But turning a blind eye to the unpleasantness in life is not the Rotary way. So when we heard our speaker from last week, Theresa Bizoe, from First Step, our Rotary group was ready to listen with an ear for being of service to those who have benefitted from First Step’s services.

First Step is a Wayne County private agency that deals with domestic violence and sexual assault, and aids 7,000 to 8,000 clients per year mainly in Wayne. They have a 24-hour helpline and response team. They can provide victims with temporary housing and legal, medical, and financial information. All of the services they offer are free to their clients. It is a comfort to know that when someone has been a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence, First Step is available for them to put back better the broken pieces of their lives.

Mike Ladwig

Our Newest Member, Susan

August 31, 2022

President Tammy finally caught up with our newest member, Susan Landmesser, to present her with a framed Certificate of Membership. Susan is an active member of the club and is the founder of You Are Loved. Susan's organization will start accepting donations of gently used, clean sleeping bags, blankets, and warm weather gear the first week in September. 

Touch A Truck 2022


The seeds for this year’s Touch A Truck were planted at the end of last year’s event. A little tweaking here, a little more forward planning there. Club members Bob Carris, Bill Friske, and Claude Kendrick along with Churchill HS Interact President and Event Chair, Ivanna Brigido Torres, and a host of Interact students began meeting in early summer to begin laying out the plans for vehicle placement on the grounds, promotion, and all the little details that need to be addressed to make our event a successful one.


Some might say Touch A Truck is a place where kids and adults alike can sit in vehicles that they may not ever get the opportunity to sit in; Race cars, helicopters, fire engines, huge excavation trucks, to name a few. We had over 50 vehicles to choose from. But I think the genius of Touch A Truck is that it ignites a spark in the young attendee's sense of wonder, awe, and imagination. They are not just sitting in a rescue vehicle; they imagine they are on a run to save someone’s life. That little girl sitting in a race car, when she shuts her eyes to go to sleep that night, she can imagine being in a stock car race. After many deft and challenging driving moves, she sees herself being applauded for winning the race. Those boys and girls leave Touch A Truck with their craving for wonder and awe fulfilled and their imagination opened. And if you think it was only the children who were taken in by the sense of wonder you would be mistaken. I saw Bob Carris’s inner child come to the surface when the first helicopter landed.


As I was bidding a few people a thank you for attending, one adult, Linda Fischer said “This was awesome!” After thanking a little girl for attending she told me, “This was the best day of my life!” With that being said, and all the smiling faces I noticed, to all of the over 100 Interact, Rotary AM , Local celebrities, and Amazon employees manning the hot wheel and coloring book tent, I say to you all, “Mission Accomplished!”

-Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting

August 24, 2022

Last week we heard from Veronica Cruz, the Community Involvement/Government Affairs Executive with Alpha USA and an integral member of Livonia Kids and Families. Livonia Kids and Families is a food bank for food insecure students in the Livonia Public Schools, housed inside Franklin High School. They have a program for students with moderately cognitive disabilities that helps train them for entry-level positions in the public sector.

There are several new initiatives that Livonia Kids and Families are rolling out, including a $50,000 computer tech lab at Clarenceville High School. The organization also plans to open a food pantry at Clarenceville, and a deep freezer so they can expand their food inventory. A club road trip may be in the makings.

Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting

August 17, 2022

This past week our speaker was Sue Dale from The Care Team. The Care Teams’ main focus is helping people provide hospice care for terminally ill patients so they can transition from this world with dignity. She mentioned that hospice care is available to those with less than six months to live and the cost of hospice care can often be absorbed by Medicare. The main determinant for receiving hospice care is whether a disease or condition the patient has been diagnosed with is curable. This is not an easy subject to discuss, but one that should probably be addressed before we or a loved one are confronted with a terminal illness. Sue spoke passionately about her work and did a terrific job discussing a difficult subject.

Mike Ladwig

MCHS Victory BBQ Success

August 17, 2022

Sequels are often disappointing when compared with the originals. The movie, The Bad News Bears was a classic, beloved by almost everyone that saw it. The Bad News Bears Go to Japan lacked the spark of the original movie. But with that history of sequels, we persevered with the Victory Soccer Match at the Methodist Children's Home - Part 2.

I arrived early to watch the match. The residents were pumped up and confident. With a year’s experience under their belts, and another year of skillful coaching from coach Dave Burton, and his able son Ben, the boys were ready to put their new skills and confidence to the test. And the residents met and exceeded the challenge. They played well as a team with each player holding their position more firmly and improving their passing and driving to the net skills. Their defense confused the staff who were not prepared for such improved play by the residents. Last year the residents were outmatched by their opponents, this year they gave the staff team all they could handle, and led in the score for much of the match.

At the conclusion of the match, as the residents were running toward the gym for the delicious post-match meal, they were whooping and hollering like a group that just won the super bowl. The essence of true sportsmanship and a feeling of pride, accomplishment, and pure joy of competition by the young men was evident to all those who attended.

As usual, Tammy and Brad's pulled pork, and the fixings led by Bob Carris’s wife Teri's potato salad were worthy of a Victory meal. It had the feeling of a family reunion, as we were all, Rotarians, MCHS staff, and the young men residents one big happy family.

Oh Ya, by the way, this sequel was much better than the original. Two thumbs up. Getting ready for Victory Soccer Match - Part. 3.

Mike Ladwig

Ice Cream Social

August 17, 2022

Our Rotary club's crack team of ice cream scoopers was on hand to lend a hand for the Livonia Senior Center ice cream social last Wednesday. I arrived with Mayor Dennis Wright, to the room was full of joyous seniors enjoying their ice cream with all the fixings. I think everyone who attended left with a satisfied sweet tooth, a full belly, and a smile on their face.

Mike Ladwig

Photos of Ice Cream Social

Club Meeting

August 10, 2022

This past week we heard from Laura Reiners, the Community Relations representative of Growth Works out of Plymouth Michigan. Laura explained Growth Works' mission is to restore hope, embrace change and improve lives for most children who suffer from alcohol and substance abuse dependency.

They also work with the juvenile justice system to help kids get rehabilitation instead of punishment through the court system. They stress early intervention for these problems.

A unique program they have is “Peer Recovery” where a substance abuse client can be assigned to a paid Growth Works “Recover Coach.” The Coach, who has obtained a minimum of two years of sobriety, helps the new member through regular communication to receive and implement the necessary tools to achieve and maintain good, healthy sobriety.

Growth work also works in the area of suicide prevention for young men and women. They work in conjunction with schools and other social service outlets to identify at-risk youths so they may intercede and counsel the troubled youths.

Growth Works serves Western Wayne County with over 70 trained professionals. If you think you know a youngster that may need their services, an early phone call would be advisable. That phone call could correct the course of a life, or actually save it.

Mike Ladwig

Club Assembly

August 03, 2022

This past week President Tammy conducted her first Club Assembly. It went as smoothly as the ice at the Little Caesar’s Arena.

Treasurers Report - We heard from Bob Carris who told us we will have a healthy balance in our accounts while exceeding our prudent reserve fund going into the new fiscal year. With a healthy revenue stream for the current year from the proceeds of our Rotary Carnival, we anticipate having adequate funding for the various causes we support.

Giving Committee - Larry Stephens reported that three grant requests were submitted to the committee for consideration. 

  •  Taking Action for Peace, a two-day conference with the goal of educating, empowering, and inspiring all ages to take action. Featuring speakers, projects, workshops, and various events to help teach and share ways to bring about peace in our world. 

  • Blessings in a Backpack, a Livonia based nonprofit that delivers food for food-sensitive children in the Livonia public school system.

  • The Livonia Jaycees requested we sponsor a murder mystery play and dinner. This request was paused pending more information.

Taking Action and Blessings were approved by the Giving Committee, and Board of Directors, and unanimously by all members present. Livonia Jaycees was Paused Pending further information.


Touch A Truck - Bob Carris reported that the issue of what food items the Interact Club will be allowed to sell, while not infringing on the food truck vendor, was amicably resolved. We will have 2 helicopters, and 2 horses this year.

MCHS Soccer Program - Dave Burton reported that the Methodist Children's Home Society soccer match preparations and Victory BBQ plans are going smoothly.

Mike Ladwig

Meet Your District 6400

Assistant Governor 

Reprinted from August 2022 District 6400 "News & Notes"

Tammy Bonifield grew up on the West side of Michigan in the small farming community of Lowell. She attended Michigan Technological University and received a BS in Business Administration. While at Tech she joined Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and began her life of service and leadership. 

Tammy and her husband Brad have two sons, Tristan and Trevor. Tristan earned a Master's in Bio-Chemistry from Michigan Tech and Trevor is working toward a Welding Associate's Degree at Schoolcraft College. Both boys earned the high honor of Eagle Scout.

Tammy works in Northville in accounting and finance at The CFO Group where she has been for the past 11 years. She is currently in her 10th year on the Livonia Public Schools School Board, Treasurer of her sorority housing board, and sews for Days for Girls.

Read More

Club Meeting

July 27, 2022

This past week we were blessed to host guest speakers Donna Alexander and Star Pettaway from Bethany Cristian Services They provide Christian-inspired social services that help protect and empower children in Metro Detroit. Their primary focus is on helping to match foster parents with children who need families and aiding young adults who have aged out of foster care and are embarking on independent living.

One could tell by Donna and Star’s presentation, that they are deeply committed to the well-being of the young adults and children they work with. An exceptional level of care and compassion was expressed when the ladies informed us that the number of children requesting referrals to foster homes exceeds the number of homes available for placement. 

Mike Ladwig

Bethany supports vulnerable kids and families in the U.S. and around the world, because everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected.

Club Meeting

July 20, 2022

Our speaker last week was Robb Drzewicki. The thing about Robb is he doesn’t need caffeine in his coffee. He is one of those guys that is hard-wired to go hard and fast. While most of us need to “get started” in the morning, I venture to guess Robb wakes up on the starting line,  and before he hears the gun to indicate the race is ready to begin, he is already at the first turn. Robb has a plethora of service projects he is involved with. He volunteers at the Good Old Fashion Corn Roast. He is active in the head-shaving event to end cancer at St. Baldricks Church. He is a guest bartender along with Dan West of the Chamber of Commerce where tips and proceeds go to various local charities, just to name a few of the many charitable projects he is involved with. 

Read More

Club Meeting

July 13, 2022

Our club meeting began this week as Tammy Bonifield confidently and with much zeal began her term as President of our Livonia AM Rotary Club. During our “happy bucks” part of the meeting, many members spoke of the fun and fulfilling time we had on our installation day at Tammy and Brad’s cottage located in the Irish Hills area. The mood at the picnic was congratulatory for the previous year and positive vibrations for the coming year. One highlight was naming Claude Kendrick as Rotarian of the Year. He is the most worthy recipient of the award. 

Our guest speaker was Kerri Hill Johnson of the Methodist Children’s Home Society. Kerri is becoming more of a family member to our Rotary group than a guest speaker, due to the number of close interactions and projects we have both been involved with. Kerri spoke of the history of the Methodist Children’s Home Society and the many ways they help those living at their facility. They provide a foster care agency, traditional foster care and adoption services, K-8 schooling, emphasis on trauma care, and age-out foster care, to name a few of their programs.

Mike Ladwig

Kerri Hill Johnson

Installation Picnic Success!

July 09, 2022

We held our Rotary Installation Picnic at Tammy and Brad’s cottage located in the Irish Hills area. The weather was as cooperative as the spirit that permeated during our event. District Governor Traci Sincock was on hand and joined club members Bill Friske (and Rose), Bob Carris (and Teri), Dave Stechholz (and Janet), Bill Fried, Sharon Pommerville, Greg Greene, John Clay, as well as outgoing president, Mike Ladwig, incoming president Tammy Bonifield, and future Claude Kendrick.

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Rotarian of the Year

Club member Claude Kendrick has been recognized as our club's "Rotarian of Year."  Claude took charge of the club's volunteer and event registration process by digitizing our antiquated paper system using Sign-up Genius, for everything! Claude participated in pretty much every one of the volunteer opportunities and club activities that he organized. He selflessly gives his time and is the definition of what it truly means to be a Rotarian. If that is not enough, Claude agreed to be our club President for the Rotary year 2023-24. Claude has set an example that we all should strive to follow!

Thank you, Mike!

July 01, 2022

Our club was truly blessed this year to have Mike Ladwig step up to be club president after a relatively short time as a Rotarian. He brought a tremendous spirit with him, to do more projects, help more organizations, and reach out to many new areas. He was relentless in asking every speaker every week to join our club and hand them an application as well as a soccer ball and letter opener! He became well known in the district for his willingness to help out with district projects. He was also key to the club's winning a district Hedke Award for Administrative Excellence. He also worked with the local Lions Club president to do Covid meals for St Mary Hospital, flowers, and candy for the Moms at St. Mary, and meal packing for Kids Against Hunger. Mike is always upbeat and positive at every club meeting and at every event. He was also instrumental in bringing in two new members and transferring in two existing Rotarians. He also encouraged a total of 8 Rotarians and spouses to attend the District Convention at Mackinaw Island and a first-ever Churchill HS Interact President to attend! Through a tough Covid year, Mike has guided our club successfully and has guaranteed a smooth handoff to incoming President,  Tammy Bonifield! Thank you, Mike!

-Bob Carris


Shirt Sale

Club member Bob Carris ordered a batch of "Rotary At Work" t-shirts, in various sizes. The shirts look great and are available now for purchase. If you are interested in buying one, please get in touch with Bob at, or call/ text Bob at (734)788-6363.

Orders Your Now

Only $10

Club Assembly

June 29, 2022

We held our monthly Club Assembly at this meeting.

Tammy Bonifield presented a Treasurer’s Report, and we continue to maintain a robust financial position. We received $450 back from Conference, and $1,000 from Dearborn Heights Rotary for the Ultrasound project.  Expenses included: $9,048 for Ultrasound is now paid in full. Due’s structure has changed with the new virtual options. Therefore, instead of paying a $5 meeting fee, this is rolled into the dues fee. This will cover the cost of coffee, donuts, Zoom, A/V costs, etc. 

Bill Friske gave a report of the Giving Committee. The total amount approved was ($7,500). Seedlings ($1,000), Schoolcraft College Scholarships ($2,000), American Red Cross ($1,000), Sleep in Heavenly Peace ($2,000), St. Martha’s ($1,500) for new furniture in their Gazebo.

Pat Zucal informed the club that the Rotary Carnival at the Livonia Sears parking lot is good to go with a start date of July 14, 2022. Sears site secured. Developing a QR Code flyer and Chamber E-blast. It will take people to the Wade Shows website for all information. There will be no pre-sales. 

Bob Carris and Bill Friske reported on Touch a Truck on August 27. Charging $3 per car to park. Also, have 2,000 Hot Wheels donated again this year. Letting Interact take the lead. May have a Nascar driver with a vehicle and truck there. Cost to use the park has increased from $250 donation to $900 mandatory for Greenmead. The expected net profit for Interact is $5,000. 

Mike Ladwig reported that the Ice Cream Social at the Senior Center is set for Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 11:30-1:00 PM.

Tammy Bonifield updated the group on the upcoming Installation Picnic at her lake house in Irish Hills, Saturday, July 09, 2022. A Signup Genius invite was sent to everyone.

Bob Carris reported that he has taken delivery of a batch of Rotary at Work shirts. The shirts are available in multiple sizes. The cost is $10 each. Contact Bob to purchase one.

Meet the Governor Night

June 28, 2022

Club members Tammy Bonifield, Claude Kendrick, and Sharon Pommerville made the trip over to Canada to take part in the Meet the Governor party in Harrow, ON. The gathering celebrated the district's gratitude for the service of our retiring governor and welcomed our incoming governor, hosted by the Rotary Club of Harrow for this the 69th time.

Club Meeting

June 22, 2022

Our guest speaker this past week was Lauren Peters with Blessings in a Backpack“Blessings in a Backpack” is a Livonia-based service club whose mission is to augment meals for Livonia Public students who may be food insecure. They determine which LPS students qualify for government-assisted food service and add them to their distribution list. Blessings in a Backpack in Livonia was formed in 2014. They currently provide food for 4,000 LPS students. They pack meals in a vacated Livonia school building and distribute them to most elementary schools in the district. After the volunteers pack the food, the packs are given to Three Men and a Truck for delivery to the schools. The food packs are then placed in backpacks in the recipient students’ locker. Each pack contains six meals. Blessings has multiple sources of funding. They have a Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser, this year at Merri Bowl on Nov. 19. Many local service organizations contribute. One local political organization brought into the distribution center 2,475 boxes of mac and cheese. Blessings in a Backpack Livonia is another group of quiet, hardworking volunteers who live by our Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.” 

Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting

June 15, 2022

Our guest speaker this past week was Harish Jaisankar, the 2021-22 Co-President of the Churchill HS Interact Club.


Harish spoke of his journey of “service above self” that began as a 9-year-old when he and his younger sister, after a trip to his parent’s native country of India came upon a school for deaf children. Noticing the many items the clinic lacked, Harish and his sister organized a bottle drive for the clinic that netted a $700 donation. The then 10 year old Harish, and his 7 year old sister returned to India and viewed the improvements that their donation provided, and they were both hooked on helping others in need. A few of the other projects Harish was involved with include helping raise $5,000 for funding protective equipment for St. Mary’s hospital during the Covid crisis. The interact club, through their work on the recent “Touch a Truck” event raised $5,000 to purchase Rotary sponsored Shelter Boxes that provide shelter for those throughout the world who suffer from natural disaster home displacement. Harish will begin his college career at the University of Michigan where, he informed us, he has already joined the Rotaract club. He is a living, breathing, epitome of all that is good in Rotary.

Mike Ladwig

Touch A Truck Organizing Committee Meeting

June 08, 2022

This large gathering is the second meeting of the Touch A Truck organizing committee. Our committee includes nine Interact members, led by TAT Chair, Ivanna Brigido. Our meeting was joined by Greenmead Supervisor, Emily Tchorz-Fielder.

LSO Golf Outing

June 10, 2022

Club Members Pat Zucal, Greg Greene, Claude Kendrick, Bill Friske, Eric Ladwig, and Mike Ladwig participated in the Livonia Symphony Orchestra's "Chip in for the ARTS" Bob Bennett Memorial Golf Classic held at Whispering Willows Golf Course in Livonia.

Club Meeting

June 08, 2022

Our guest speaker this past week was Livonia Chamber of Commerce President/ CEO, Dan West.

Dan informed us of the plethora of new business openings in our city including the Beaumont Outpatient Campus on 7 Mile Road and Haggerty.  The large number of business openings speaks to the robust business climate in our city. He also spoke of the increasing short-tempered attitude many customers have developed recently due to staff shortages. He asked that a little empathy would go a long way in reaching the goal of “being kind” to our fellow Livoniaites.

Mike Ladwig

Club Assembly

June 01, 2022

We held our monthly Club Assembly at this meeting.

1. Tammy Bonifield presented a Treasurer’s Report, and we continue to maintain a robust financial position. She also informed the assembly that the board voted to adjust our yearly dues structure. We will no longer pay $5 per in-person fee to attend meetings and to cover the cost of refreshments and coffee. We will increase our dues to all dues-paying members. This increase will also help defer the cost of the Zoom meeting option. We also want to inform members that if the club pays for a member to attend an outside event, and the member does not attend, nor inform a club member of their absence prior to the event, the club will bill the absent member for the cost of the entry fee.

2. Larry Stephens informed us that the Giving Committee did not have any grant requests last month, so no grants were funded. Bob Carris mentioned that the funding for the ultra-sound machine is almost complete, just awaiting an answer to our District Governor’s Golf Outing grant request for matching funds. 

3. Although Pat Zucal was unable to attend our club assembly, he informed the Board of Directors that our Rotary Carnival at the Livonia Sears parking lot is good to go with a start date of July 14, 2022.

4. Bob Carris spoke of the Touch A Truck organizing committee meeting recently held between members of our AM Rotary Club and the Interact students from Churchill High School. The Interact members have stepped up to chair all of the various sub-committees, such as; Truck Coordinator, Parking Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Sponsors, Grounds, Marketing, Etc. An item still to be determined is the amount to request as a suggested donation for parking.

 5. Mike Ladwig informed the group that we will not be offering club support for the Special Olympics coming to Detroit this summer. However, if we receive any information on volunteer opportunities for this event, we will post that information in future newsletters.

-MIke Ladwig 

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KCAH Food Packing Event

May 28, 2022

Livonia AM Rotarians Susan Landmesser, Sharon Pommerville, Greg Greene, John Clay, Claude Kendrick (with daughter Kayla), and Mike Ladwig joined Matt Collins and the Livonia Lions Club for a Kids Coalition Against Hunger meal packing event. The volunteers met their modest goal of packing 25,000 meals. However, the results will not be modest to the folks who will be the recipients of those meals, and who might otherwise go without food on the day that they'll receive the nutritional benefit of the volunteer's endeavors.

Mike Ladwig 

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Club Meeting

May 25, 2022

Our speaker this past week was Lori Barbera, Regional Philanthropy Officer at the American Red Cross. Lori spoke of the Red Cross’s mission to collect blood, blood platelets, and blood plasma and to distribute them throughout our country. She touched on blood drives set up at temporary locations and the huge costs associated with them. We are fortunate to have a Red Cross blood donation center in Livonia on Five Mile across the street from St. Mary’s Hospital. Lori also mentioned the Red Cross’s mission to help victims of house fires and the work that they do in war-torn regions around the world. She informed us that 90% of all funds raised go to aiding those in need since most of the people working at the Red Cross are volunteers like our own member, John Clay.

-MIke Ladwig 

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Club Meeting

May 18, 2022

Our speaker this past week was Rick Hart. Rick is assuming the responsibility for overseeing the Livonia meal packing event “Feed the Children", which will be held in the Fall. He also discussed the company that he works with, Thrivent Financial. Rick mentioned some tax considerations for legacy gifting that may be of benefit to heirs of wills and trusts. Rick just may be the most polished presenter we have had this year, which may be due to his time as a professional actor.  

-MIke Ladwig 

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Bob Carris Addresses District Conference

May 14, 2022

Club member Bob Carris made an appeal to those gathered at the recently held District Conference on Mackinac Island for help funding our UltraSound for Bawac project. Bob outlined our club's efforts to raise funds to purchase and send a brand new Portable Ultra Sound Machine to the Village of Bawac, Cameroon. Bob explained the circumstances leading to this vital need, and the urgency to fulfill this need as soon as possible. 


Rotary District Conference on Mackinac Island

May 12-15, 2022

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

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Rotary District Conference

May 12-15, 2022

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.

-Mike Ladwig


Club Meeting

May 11, 2022

Our speaker last week was our own club member and City of Livonia Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan. She spoke of a few highlights of the past few years, namely the hiring of new police officers to bring us to full staff and the outstanding Covid response given by city workers, namely our firefighters. Looking ahead she distributed a magazine-style document that showed in an easy-to-read format, the Livonia Annual Report. Maureen also spoke about the project to access the condition of all of our city-owned buildings to determine the maintenance requirements for each one with an eye on the possible sale of some buildings that can no longer serve our needs in a cost-effective manner.   

-MIke Ladwig  

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Mother's Day Flowers for

St. Mary's Hospital Staff

May 07, 2022

On Mother’s Day, club members Dave Stechholz, Bob Carris, and Mike Ladwig spent a shift at St. Mary’s Hospital distributing candy and flowers to hospital employees working on Mother's Day. It was a fun project as the gifts were much appreciated by the recipients.        

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Club Assembly

May 04, 2022

We held our monthly club assembly during this meeting. We heard a financial report from Tammy Bonifield where we learned we are maintaining a strong financial position. Larry Stephens reported for the Giving Committee and informed us that they approved grants for; 1) The Livonia Public School Foundation, 2) The Westland Rotary Club for their fundraiser to buy raffle tickets to a Detroit Tigers game, 3) Open Door Ministries, a food bank, and help center in Canton, and 4) a contribution toward the Livonia Lions Club meal packing event on May 28th. Our Board of Directors approved the funding, and the monies were approved by those in attendance at the Club Assembly. Pat Zucal informed us we may need to find an alternative location for our annual Rotary Carnival as our current location, Livonia Mall Sears parking lot, may have a tenant for the lot which would make us need to change our venue location. Bob Carris spoke of Touch a Truck and informed us that Grant Sobczak will be playing a much smaller role in the planning and implementation of the project due to his school schedule and summer internship. We have a SignUpGenius for volunteers. Bob and a few other club members will be meeting with the Interact Club's new president, Ivanna Brigido Torres to discuss the project. Greg Greene will coordinate with the group that is in charge of volunteers for the Special Olympics coming to Detroit. We are asking for volunteers to support the Livonia Lions Club's meal packing event to be held on May 28th. Please use this SignUpGenius link to volunteer for this event.

                   -Mike Ladwig

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April 30, 2022

Club members Dawn Magretta Tammy Bonifield, Sharon Pommerville, Nancy Darga, Claude Kendrick, John Clay, Mike Ladwig, and Bill Friske attended the Rotary District Leadership Assembly in Plymouth. We heard from District Governor-elect Traci Sincock who welcomed us to the first "live" District Leadership Assembly in three years. We heard a rousing keynote address from Mary Jean Gallagher, who spoke to the positive areas of Rotary and that we should not be afraid of embracing new ideas and novel ways in the future. Ms. Gallagher's words could be summed up in her closing quote,

"We are angels of hope for our club members, communities, and the world." 

There were three 50-minute breakout sessions dealing with subjects such as Grant Writing, DACdb, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Membership, Fundraising, Rotary's Action Plan for Club Success, and Hybrid Meeting Technology (co-presented by our own Bill Friske). Bill did us proud with his concise, thoughtful presentation. There was an aura of positive vibrations from all the like-minded attendees.   

                   -Mike Ladwig

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Club Meeting

April 27, 2022

This week we heard a terrific presentation from our incoming president, Tammy Bonifield. 

Tammy outlined her experience at the President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS). The 3-day conference prepares the president-elect’s for their upcoming year as club president. From Thursday evening till noon on Saturday, the sessions are packed full of motivating speakers, seasoned instructors, and plenty of networking. PE's leave the seminar feeling that they are ready to take on their year as club president. Tammy also touched on what to expect at the District Conference on Mackinaw Island.


-Mike Ladwig

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Leadership Summit

April 27, 2022

At the conclusion of the meeting, club members Dawn Magretta, Tammy Bonifield, Sharon Pommerville, Mike Ladwig, Claude Kendrick, Bill Friske, and Greg Greene, hustled out to attend Mayor Brosnan’s Non Profit Leadership Summit. The Mayor thanked us all for our service and told us how important we are to the community. There was a break-out session where each table discussed ways to improve communications between service organizations, non profits and residents. Several great ideas and resources were shared, such as; a website were you can post your service project to attract volunteers that are looking for a volunteer opportunity. Likewise, a website where groups in need of assistance can post their project hoping to attract help from a service club.  

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Civility Project Luncheon

April 21, 2022

Club members recently attended a luncheon to hear celebrated Detroit journalists Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson focus on the importance of civility in politics. Local Democrats and Republicans came together in conversation to explore how they came to their political perspectives based on beliefs, backgrounds, and personal experiences. The attendees learned ways to build civility in tense relationships and why it’s so needed in our nation today!

The Civility Project website states, "Americans are at their best when they can talk, disagree, even argue, but keep the dialogue going".

Club Meeting

April 20, 2022

This week we heard from Matt Collins of the Livonia Lions Club. I look up to Matt as a role model when it comes to doing service projects. He spoke passionately about the flower and candy distribution on Mother's Day at St. Mary Hospital. He also mentioned a “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” bed building project that our Rotary club may participate with in early summer. Matt also mentioned an upcoming food packing event that the Livonia Lions are sponsoring. Our Rotary club has committed to participate, both financially and with volunteers. Sign-up HERE if you would like to help.

-Mike Ladwig

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Club Meeting

April 13, 2022

Our speaker this week was Rev. Kate Mackie, Rosedale Gardens Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Kate spoke of the history of her church’s special campaign, “The Blessing Bag Project”. These gift bags are given to health care workers, teachers, and caregivers in area nursing homes. The bags

include many goodies and gift cards from local businesses. In the past, the money was raised through efforts such projects as last year’s “Be the I in Kind” sign sales. The organization has also held a pizza day for teachers in the Livonia and Clarenceville school districts. These projects add to the rich tapestry that makes Livonia a caring community.

-Mike Ladwig

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Club Assembly

April 06, 2022

This week we held our monthly club assembly and discussed the following:

Bob Carris, who will be Treasurer in a little under 3 months gave the Treasurers Report. We still

maintain a robust cash position.

Larry Stevens, our Giving Committee chairperson, gave his report which included two funding


  • Salvation Army, $500 worth of our 4-Way-Test soccer balls for their newly formed a Salvation Army soccer league.

  • Stuckey Center, Adult Day Treatment Program, $1,280 toward their life skills project that teaches life skills, such as grocery shopping and food preparation.

The Board of Directors approved the Grant Applications, and the

expenditures were unanimously approved by all attendees of the Club Assembly.

President Mike spoke briefly about an upcoming volunteer opportunity with the Special Olympics, to

be held the last week of July and the first week of August, on Belle Isle.

We had a discussion and saw Photos of the painting project at the Methodist Children's Home Society. With all the Rotary volunteers, and their family and friends, and the additional assistance of the Korean United Methodist Church of Troy, all of the areas that we were hoping to complete, were finished. Some of the boys came through during the project to sneak a peek at their bedrooms. They were very appreciative.

President Mike brought to the table the idea of creating a “Presidents Emergency Fund” be used to finance requests that need to be acted upon quickly. These expenditures would have to be approved by the Chair of the Giving Committee, and the club Treasurer.

The club set a $2,000 per year spending limit on the President's Emergency Fund.

-Mike Ladwig

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MCHS Painting Project

April 02, 2022

Club members Mike Ladwig, John Clay, Sharon Pommerville, Tammy Bonifield (and Brad), Dave Stechholz, Nancy Darga, Dave Burton (along with his wife Colleen and his sister Chris), and Bill Friske joined forces with Maddy Bezzina and other Interact Club members, and a dozen volunteers from the Korean United Methodist Church of Troy.

The 20+ volunteers stuck it out for more than 8 hours to complete the painting of the (10) bedrooms and all of the hallway walls and ceilings. We patched, we painted, and when each room was complete, we gave them a good scrubbing.

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Club Meeting

March 30, 2022

This week our club members heard from David Yeager representing Open Door Ministry, a food bank and help center located in Canton. From its humble beginnings making food baskets for 16 families out of a private home, to purchasing a 48,000 sq. ft. building in Canton. The organization now helps to feed over 500 families and provides life skills for those looking to begin employment. Their ministry provides hope for a better tomorrow, as well as a full belly. Hope and a full belly, what a great combination.

-Mike Ladwig


MCHS Painting Project

March 26, 2022

Club members Mike Ladwig, Bill Friske, Dave Stechholz, Larry Stephens, Bob Carris, Nancy Darga and her husband Mike, and John Clay joined forces to kick off the painting project at the Methodist Children's Home Society in Redford. We focused on patching and painting residents’ bedrooms. We will return next Saturday with a crowd of 17 volunteer painters to attempt to complete the job. A special thanks to Masco for supplying the paint and supplies to do the job.

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Field Trip to Health Sciences Center

March 23, 2022

This week our Rotary club visited the new Health Sciences Center at Schoolcraft College. We were joined on our tour of the facility by Chris Kelly, President of the Plymouth AM Rotary club, City of Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull, and Barry Burnham, President of the Canton Rotary Club. The tour was arranged by club member Dawn Magretta and was conducted by Associate Dean of Schoolcraft College David Kessler, and the school’s Facilities Manager Jerry Piasentin.

This amazing facility will train future healthcare Heroes, including; Nurses, Ultrasound Technicians, Respiratory Therapists, Pharmacy Techs, EMT Techs, and more.

As we toured the newly constructed building that will train these future healthcare providers through hands-on training, including a mock pharmacy and operating room, I felt like I was walking out of the 21st-century college campus and walking on to the medical facilities of Star Trek circa 24th century. It was an impressive, and a truly illuminating tour.

- Mike Ladwig

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Club Meeting

March 16, 2022

Last week we heard from Ted Davis, Superintendent of the Livonia Parks and Recreation department. Also, under his purview, is the Senior Center and Greenmead Historical Park. Ted spoke of the challenges of running these programs under COVID, and how attendance and membership were down at indoor venues like the Rec Center. Fortunately, attendance increased at outdoor activities, such as; public golf courses, and our many parks. He also touch briefly on the Senior Center's future move into the Livonia Rec Center.

- Mike Ladwig

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Soccer Ball Booth

March 10, 2022

Our club was an official vendor at the Great Lakes Rotary PETS event this past weekend. Bob Carris and Bill Friske tag-teamed the booth from Thursday afternoon until mid-day on Saturday. PETS is a training event for approx. 350 President-elects, representing 350 Rotary clubs. The event offers our 4-Way-Test Soccer Balls a lot of valuable exposure. This exposure will lead to awareness of our soccer ball program and plenty of future sales.

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Club Meeting

March 09, 2022

Our speaker this week was Wendell Gramlich, Chapter President, Sleep in Heavenly Peace. SHP is a bed-building nonprofit that builds beds for children in need. Their format is like the “Feed the Children” food packing event. Volunteers assemble beds, with mattresses and bedding and deliver them to those in need in our community. If we participate in one of these events, we will work on bed assembly. Most assembly teams also contribute to the cost of raw materials and bedding and mattress costs. We were joined in the meeting by Matt Collins of the Livonia Lions whose club is interested in participating in a local bed-building event. This subject is definitely worth reviewing at our next club assembly.

-Mike Ladwig


Club Assembly

March 02, 2022

This week we held our monthly Club Assembly.

  1. Tammy Bonifield gave a brief treasurer’s report. We are in a solid financial position. It appears we will have sufficient funds to carry on our grants and giving while maintaining a solid prudent reserve.
  2.  Larry Stephens spoke for the Giving Committee. Two projects were approved for funding; SPN Survivors, and The Rotary Foundation. It was also mentioned that a list of "Legacy" grant recipients will be drafted and addressed by the committee in the near future.
  3. Claude Kendrick informed the club of the two Signup Genius campaigns we have, The Civility Project, which has 11 of 16 seats reserved. If the entire 16 available seats are not taken by March 30, we will open it up to any guests of members. And the painting of the Methodist Children's Home Society dormitory which is very far under required number of volunteers needed. It was suggested we ask our Interact students to solicit help from the honor students at the high school, to help with the project.
  4. Pat Zucal gave an update on the Carnival at the Sears parking lot. Tentative dates, July 14-24. Bob Carris asks if we should pursue last year’s carnival company to have a second Rotary-sponsored carnival in the fall.

-Mike Ladwig

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Club members Tammy Bonifield, Bob Carris, and Mike Ladwig were on hand to celebrate Churchill Interact Co-President Harish Jaisankar and his sister Oviya, as they were honored by the Livonia Chamber of Commerce. The brother-sister team are the 2022 recipients of the Livonia Outstanding Youth of the Year Award for years of fundraising for those in need, increasing public awareness of various causes, volunteering for food banks and community clean-ups and more. Read More

Club Meeting

February 23, 2022

This week during our club meeting, we had the honor of hearing from Lorna Durant and Laura Ulaszek of the Livonia Public Schools Education Foundation. They shared the foundation’s mission and a few of the initiatives they have been involved with. The foundation worked to provide hot spots for all LPS students, and chrome books and laptops during the pandemic so students who did not have access to those items could participate in online learning.

Another initiative of the LPS Foundation is setting up bank accounts for Kindergarten students to ease the way towards a savings program for college.

I know the Livonia Public Schools does an outstanding job providing the “meat and potatoes” of the children’s educational needs. The LPS Foundation oftentimes provides the “Sauces and Seasonings” that make the learning experience quite a bit tastier.

-Mike Ladwig

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Club Meeting

February 16, 2022

Our guest speaker was newly appointed Chief of Police, Thomas Goralski. He shared his wide range of experience. Beginning with four years with the Detroit Police Department. Then moving through the ranks of the Livonia Police Department, first as a patrolman, also as a police detective, a Lieutenant, a Commanding officer, and Police Captain.

Chief Goralski spoke of many changes and innovations his department has embarked upon, including using social media such as YouTube to attract new recruits to the department. He also mentioned the department has gone to twelve-hour shifts for patrol officers and hired a social worker to go on some calls when mental health concerns may need to be addressed.

We all feel the police are there to protect and serve, but with Chief Goralski at the helm in Livonia, I can also feel a sense of peace and calm.

Business discussed during the meeting:

-Mike Ladwig

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Club Meeting

February 09, 2022

Our guest speaker was club member Eric Ladwig. He provided an inspiring talk on how he blends civic engagement with his successful business practices. Some of the projects he worked on were backpack giveaways to the financially vulnerable that he worked on with then-Mayor Dennis Wright. He also discussed the book giveaway with a local author (Erica Robertson) and book signing of her book The Adventures of a Little Black Detroit Girl at Clarenceville High School. There was a wide-open Q&A session where the topic of expanding childcare so more people could resume working post-pandemic drew much of the attention.

Mike Ladwig informed the attendees that the painting of the Methodist Childrens Home Society is back on schedule, and the club is awaiting confirmation of a date to begin the project.

John Clay provided us with a detailed report on the Sleep in Heavenly Peace bed building project. It was determined that there is a date conflict with the bed building event this year and our Methodist Home painting project. We will attempt to have Wendall Gramlich, chapter president of the bed building group, address our group to see if we have an interest in participating in future events.

We voted to give the Happy Bucks to a club member to use for helping others in the community, each time the balance reaches $50. They will then report back to the club to share where the money was used.

-Mike Ladwig

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Club Assembly

February 02, 2022

We held our monthly Club Assembly this week, items discussed were:

1. Financial Position - Club Treasurer Tammy Bonifield informed us that our current financial position is strong. We have funds available to meet our current level of spending, and grant-giving while maintaining a prudent reserve to carry over into our next fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2022.

2. Giving Committee - Chair Larry Stephens reported on (3) grant requests that were approved by the committee, and the Board of Directors; a). Giving Songs, b). Volunteers of America, c). St. Mary Outreach. Club members present unanimously voted to approve the grants. It was also discussed that the Giving Committee will review past worthy recipients of grants to make a giving request to those still in need of monies but will have not been scheduled to present to the club.

3. Tammy also mentioned that reservation for our Rotary District Conference are being accepted now. It will be held on Mackinaw Island on May 12-15. Participants will be guests at the Grand Hotel.

4. Bob Carris reported that we have approved monies for the RYLA online convention. 

5. President Mike Ladwig mentioned a new Livonia Service Corp that is comprised of volunteers to help Livonia residents in need of snow removal, light household repairs, or yard work.

6. Mike also commented on the Rotary District 6400 mid-year Presidents Council. He informed the group that the general attitude was positive, and the presidents had a “let us solve the problems instead of complaining about how hard the problems are” attitude. 

7. Mike spoke on one of Rotary’s goals for 2021-2022 year is to work on Diversity and Inclusion. With that in mind, he announced that our club has purchased a sponsorship table at the Chamber of Commerce Civility Project luncheon to be held on April 12th. Members can sign up to attend on Signup Genius. If our 8 tickets go quickly, we will purchase another table at a reduced fee. We made this event open to Interact students. However, due to scheduling difficulties, they cannot commit so far in advance. Therefore, they will need to purchase their tickets, and we will reimburse them after they attend the event. 

8. District Governor-Elect Traci Sincock, signed in via zoom to join in on our discussion of Sleep in Heavenly Peace project. This is a project similar to “Kids Coalition Against Hunger” where service clubs and others join in constructing beds for the the most vulnerable in our community. Traci added that a few Canadian Rotary Clubs are taking part in this project. I asked for volunteers to project manage this effort and report back on their findings. Past President Greg Greene and new member John Clay agreed to help in this. 

-Mike Ladwig

Club Meeting

January 26, 2022

Our speakers this week were Alex Broadrick CEO, and Denise Figurski , Major Gifts Officer of Volunteers of America, Metro Detroit. They presented a heartwarming discussion of the ways they make our community a better place for everyone. Through their car repurposing, veteran outreach, and housing for those in need, all with the attitude that they are not giving a handout, they are helping by providing a hand up. From their presentation, I have adopted their way of providing for others. “Helping the most vulnerable reach their true potential”.

-Mike Ladwig

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Did You See Our Ad?

January 21, 2022

Our club entered into an agreement to have a Livonia AM Rotary ad appear in the Friday Musings online newsletter. Friday Musings is published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The newsletter focuses on Livonia and goes out to thousands of subscribers from all over southeastern Michigan.

We are hoping to use this virtual billboard space to promote club events and projects and hopefully, encourage service minded members of the community to come and check us out!


Club Meeting

January 19, 2022

Our speaker this week was Tracy Bins, Executive Director of Giving Songs. They are a 501c non-profit whose mission is to address the motor vehicle needs of wheelchair-bound children. A portion of their fundraising efforts includes music produced by band members who have an attachment to the group. It was suggested that the “Giving Songs” group might benefit from sponsoring a table at the Good Old Fashion Corn Roast hosted by Friday Musings to increase awareness within our community. To amplify that awareness, their musical supporters might give a performance.

-Mike Ladwig

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Club Meeting

January 12, 2022

Our speaker this week was Karl Peters, Director of the Livonia Senior Center. 

Karl did a great job bringing to light, all of the many activities and services available to area seniors through the center. Such as; chair yoga, bingo, senior trips ,“meals on wheels”, affordable senior bus transportation, and so much more. Karl informed us that there are over 150 volunteers that make the senior center one of the crown jewels of the city. He also spoke about the Livonia Senior Center Project and the proposed move of the Senior Center to the Livonia Rec Center property.

Following Karl's presentation, the club discussed a two-prong approach for marketing to new members. One is the message we are designing to include on the letter opener Pat Zucal is having printed to distribute in the “new resident” packets the Chamber passes out to our new Livonia residents. We will be able to view this at our Wed. meeting.

We also discussed John Clay’s flyer to be used as an ad piece in the Friday Musing online newsletter that comes out thrice weekly. 

-Mike Ladwig

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Club Assembly

January 05, 2022

Last week we held our monthly Club Assembly. The first order of business was a report by the Giving Committee chairman, Larry Stevens. Larry addressed the three grant requests that passed committee and were approved by the Board. 

1) $1,500 for Livonia Cares. The funds will support the efforts of the Livonia Cares organization, “to assist with the basic needs of individuals and families in Livonia."

2) $300 for misc. costs associated with our painting project at the Methodist Children’s Home Society. 

3) $200 for VT Seva Detroit. This local group is raising money to support schools for the visually challenged in India. For just $1 a day, the schools can educate, feed, and house a blind student, giving them the opportunity to explore their passions despite their disability.

We heard from club Treasurer, Tammy Bonifield who proposed that we approve a donation of $2,700 to The Rotary Foundation (TRF). $1,000 has been previously approved by the club at the November Club Assembly. The additional $1,700 is to qualify for the Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) designation. The EREY program recognizes clubs whose members donate a minimum of $100 each, to TRF during the Rotary year. 

All expenditures were unanimously approved by all assembled members. It was also noted that the Giving Committee requests that organizations who benefit from a Livonia AM Rotary grant, be the party that submits the grant application. 

Mike Ladwig informed the assembly that the painting of the residential cottage on the grounds of the Methodist Children’s Home Society has been paused due to the increase of Covid activity. We were informed by the management of the Senior Center that protective masks need to be worn in the senior center by all visitors until further notice. 

We informed club members that the Board approved purchasing magnetic letter openers to be placed in the Chamber of Commerce “New Resident” welcome packets. We also approved the expenditure of $500 annual fee to sponsor a three times weekly ad in the “Friday Musing” online newsletter.

Mike Ladwig requested ideas for an offsite club meeting suggestion, since the Ford Piquette Plant, and the Roush Racing venues are unavailable. Dawn mentioned the new Schoolcraft College wing may be an option in early spring. 


Club Meeting

December 22, 2021

At our last club meeting in 2021, we hosted Judy Wells from St. Mary Outreach Center. The outreach center is a food pantry superstore serving the Wayne Westland area. Club member Claude Kendrick brought the outreach center to our attention. During the presentation, it became apparent why he became involved. The outreach center does great work helping those in need in their communities.

We were also visited by Charley Mahoney who told us about the raffle tickets she is selling as a major fundraiser for the Livonia Symphony Orchestra. Although none of our club members had the winning ticket, it was for a good cause and well worth the money.

-Mike Ladwig

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Salvation Army Bell Ringing

December 18, 2021

The AM Rotary along with our Interact Club was well represented at Joe’s Produce for the Salvation Army bell ringing event on Saturday.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered!

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Club Meeting

December 15, 2021

At our weekly meeting we heard a terrific presentation from Linda Holman from Livonia Cares and Colleen Dohl from the Salvation Army. Livonia Cares is a network of Christian churches partnering with social service agencies to meet basic needs of individuals and families in Livonia. Linda explained how Livonia Cares partners with the Salvation Army. Livonia Cares helps to vet those seeking assistance, along with member churches, to rule out those who seek help from multiple churches in Livonia in an effort to “game the system”, by getting financial assistance from multiple locations and pocketing some of the funds for money they were not intended for. Vetted candidates for assistance are then referred to the Salvation Army. Colleen explained The Salvation Army not only offers money for bills, but they provide counseling on a plethora of topics to help the clients move from dependence to self-sufficiency.

A special THANK YOU to club member Tammy Bonifield for surprising us all with the gift of her beautifully packaged homemade cookies.

-Mike Ladwig

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Livonia Civic Chorus

December 12, 2021

Club member David Stechholz participated in the Livonia Civic Chorus's "Welcome The Holidays" concert recently.

The concert was held live at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church and live streamed on YouTube.

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Club Meeting

December 08, 2021

At our weekly meeting we heard from Marlene Kunz, the Director of Northville Civic Concern.

Northville Civic Concern is a food pantry and so much more. Her shared stories spoke eloquently of her years of service to those less fortunate in our community. She lives, sleeps, and eats 24/7 all of the elements of our 4-Way-Test, and she is an inspiration to us all.

-Mike Ladwig

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Livonia AM Rotary Named - Service Club of the Year

December 06, 2021

Published in FridayMusings


There was not a week gone by that this breakfast club meeting at the Senior Citizen Center wasn't planning an event, working on an event, accepting grant applications to reach out and support a Livonia program or project.

Organizing the successful Touch a Truck, bringing in hundreds of residents from neighboring communities and thousands from Livonia, providing beverages for the Good Old Fashioned Corn Roast, putting together Livonia's only carnival this year helping them raise funding to enhance their grant program, increasing their communication network to let others in the community know of their outreach, working with the Rotary Interact Club at Churchill.

Livonia has a number of successful service clubs and it was difficult choosing just one of many; the Early Risers Kiwanis Club chief among them, but FridayMusings is proud to call the Livonia Rotary AM Club its 2021 Best Service Club of the Year.

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Rev. Dave is Published

December 03, 2021

Club member Rev. David Stechholz just published a book. The English District Saga: A Niche in the History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America.

Amazon states, "Former Bishop and President of the English District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Reverend Dr. David P. Stechholz provides a rich vantage of the English District's history within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America".

Congratulations Rev. Dave!

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Club Assembly

December 01, 2021

During our Club Assembly meeting we heard a report from the Chairman of the Giving Committee, Larry Stevens. The giving committee approved 4 grants and placed 4 grant requests on pause awaiting further consideration. The 4 pproved grants were:

  1. Rotary Foundation- Polio Eradication
  2. Livonia Civic Chorus
  3. Livonia Cares
  4. Shelter Box  

The Board of Directors further approved the 4 grants the giving committee approved, and they were also approved unanimously by all present at our Club Assembly.  

The club asked Pat Zucal to get prices for promotional items to be used in the Chamber of Commerce "new resident" packets. The items are 1) Imprinted post-it notes, 2) Pens 3) Wallet size calendars, or 4) letter openers. The club will review and vote on the one we want to use. 

We also discussed a new project for our club, the painting of a living quarter building at the Methodist Children's Home Society. Most who attended the club assembly agreed it was a worthy endeavor. Further discussions will transpire before we can announce dates and times for this project. 

The idea of an outside meeting to be held at a venue of interest was discussed. We learned that due to renovations, the Ford Piquette will not be available in the immediate future. We will make inquiries into the availability of meeting at the Roush Automotive Collection Museum here in Livonia. 

Club member Susan Landmesser, founder of You Are Loved, honored our club with a plaque expressing her appreciation for our efforts to help make the sleeping bag project a Huge Success!

Our prodigal member, Tim Belanger, closed the meeting by reciting the 4 way test with an Ohio accent.

-Mike Ladwig 

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More Photos

Club Meeting

November 24, 2021

At our weekly meeting we honored Sarah Phillips, daughter of our Rotary member Rev. Dave Stechholz, as she received her Paul Harris award. Prior to the presentation, we heard from past President Greg Greene who zoomed in an inspiring lecture on the history of the Paul Harris award. A rousing 

awards presentation was made by Governor-Elect Traci Sincock

Member Bob Carris reported that the Interact Club is doing great work. They are nearly to their goal of $5,000 for Shelter Box. They are also donating $200 for a visually impaired program in India, and donated an additional $5,000 for PPE needs for St. Mary’s Hospital.

Member Cory Moore updated our group regarding the organization "Giving Songs", who recently submitted a grant request.

Following the presentation our club voted to cancel our weekly meeting on December 29th so we can celebrate the holiday season.

After the meeting adjourned, the Board of Directors conducted their monthly meeting. 

-Mike Ladwig

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You Are Loved - Delivery Day!

November 20, 2021

Club member Susan Landmesser, founder of You Are Loved, along with club members John Clay, Claude Kendrick, and Mike Ladwig, joined a host of volunteers and drove down to Fourth Street and Temple to distribute footwear, coats, and sleeping bag kits, including warm clothes, and blankets to the homeless and needy people from the area. 

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Churchill High School NHS

November 17, 2021

Club member Dave Burton was recently asked by Churchill High School to be a guest speaker at the National Honors Society Induction Ceremony. One of their Four Pillars is Service, defined as follows, " Each member of NHS strives to provide service to the surrounding communities in order to benefit those around them, a necessity in society today." Dave was introduced by our club's Interact President, Harish Jaisanker, and gave a brief talk regarding service opportunities around the world and more, specifically in our local community. Dave emphasized the local work of the Livonia AM Rotary Club and its relationship to the Interact Club at Churchill High School. It was very satisfying to hear that so many of the Churchill NHS members are participating in this club and that community service is promoted by this prestigious organization.  

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Club Meeting

November 17, 2021

We held our regular club meeting at Schoolcraft College in the American Harvest Restaurant. We enjoyed a 5-star meal and were given 5-star service. The deserts were decedent. We heard a few remarks from Schoolcraft College’s new President, Glenn Cerney, but the afternoon was mainly spent chowing down on delicious food with lively conversation at each table. A special thanks to our Club Secretary Dawn Magretta for arranging this wonderful event. 

-Mike Ladwig

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More Photos

Club Meeting

November 10, 2021

Our speaker last week was Karla Truxhall representing SPN Survivors. She spoke about the dark and sad topic of young people's suicides and suicidal thoughts. She shined a light with rays of hopefulness and coping mechanisms. Her methods of helping young people to find options other than ending their lives is truly inspiring. She was an inspiration to all attendees and is a treasured asset to our community. 

- President Mike

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Club Assembly

November 03, 2021

We held our Club Assembly meeting via Zoom as the Senior Center was needed for election business. We heard, and viewed an inspiring presentation from Rusty Campbell, Larry Steven's son in law, regarding their missionary work in Ecuador. We can all feel heart felt joy in our small part in aiding Rusty and his wife Laura in this worthy endeavor. 

Next we heard from our "Dream Team" Giving Committee's Chairman Larry Stevens. He informed us that the Giving Committee will meet monthly, prior to our monthly board meeting, to review and vote on the submitted grant applications. The Board will have an opportunity to review and then vote on the grant applications. If a majority of the board approves of the application, it will be brought to the general club membership for open discussion, then an Yea or Nay vote by the general membership. If the grant receives approval from all three groups, the grant application will be forwarded to our Treasurer for record keeping and check writing. 

All seven of the grant applications were approved by the three groups, and will be forwarded to our Treasurer.

-President Mike


Club Meeting

October 27, 2021

Our speaker this week was LaShawn Thomas, Director of Governmental Services City of Livonia, from the Mayor's office. She focused on the Livonia 21 plan and her duties of bringing this plan to fruition. There was a lively Q&A session so we ran out of time for her to discuss her role as a the community groups in our city , and how she could aid in combining our efforts with the city government. 

Following Lashawn's presentation, we held our monthly Board of Directors meeting.

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Spaghetti Dinner Community Fundraiser

October 21, 2021

Each October, all Rotary clubs around the world are challenged to donate their time, funds, and voices to help End Polio Now. To that end we held our third annual World Polio Day Spaghetti Dinner Community Fundraiser. Our two Livonia Rotary clubs, along with our Interact Club, and a local scout troop hosted a very tasty and successful spaghetti dinner. The proceeds of which will help eradicate Polio in the small parts of the world where it is still being found. A special thanks to our hard-working chefs, Tammy and Brad Bonifield who provided a delicious meal, and all the Rotary members, and Churchill Interact students, who volunteered for the event. It was a win-win for everyone involved. 

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Event Photos

Club Meeting

October 20, 2021

Our guest speaker was Bill Joyner of Friday Musings fame. Bill spoke of his Mother having Polio and how that experience touched his family. Bill gave some observations about the many Livonia service clubs and what they mean to the health of our community. He singled out the many great works of our club specifically. Bill gave us an overview of Livonia’s Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast held recently by Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan. Bill is a special friend of Rotary's and it is always a pleasure to have him address the club.

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Club Meeting

October 13, 2021

Our club heard an eye opening presentation from Allison LaPlatt, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Allison's talk covered a wide range of relevant and useful information and available resources. Here are some resources folks might be interested in based on the additional conversations:

  • Anyone interested in volunteering can learn more on their website: or you can just contact Alison directly.

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Zoom Meeting Recording
Must Enter Passcode: L4cY.i!C

Livonia All-Stars vs. Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association

October 10, 2021

Just like the movie "Field of Dreams" where an Iowa farmer built a baseball field and players from the past came out of the cornfields to play baseball and relive past glories, Livonia's own Brandon McCullough had a dream of organizing a hockey game between Detroit Red Wing Alumni players and the local Livonia players named the All-Stars and fulfill the dreams of almost 400 fans and fill the coffers of a worthy local charity, Livonia Friends and Families. 

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-Contributed by Mike Ladwig


Club Assembly

October 06, 2021

Our club held our monthly Club Assembly.

First off was a Member Spotlight 

  • We officially announced John Clay as the newest member of our club.
  • We announced Claude Kendrick as Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Susan Landmesser has begun sorting clothes, blankets, and sleeping bags at her store front location at 37653 5 Mile, 3 doors to the west of the Eric Ladwig's UPS store, Hours are 2:00-6:00PM Tue, Wed, Fri, and Sat, drop in volunteers always welcome.

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John Clay

Interact Club

October 04, 2021

The Churchill Interact Club sent us this photo recently and reported that their membership has grown to more than 40 members. They have been working hard and have met their goal of raising $5000 to support Shelter Box. The club will soon start raising funds for a second Shelter Box.


Kids Against Hunger Meal Packing Event

October 02, 2021

Many of our club members participated in the Kids Against Hunger meal-packing event at St. Edith’s Roman Catholic Church, joining several other volunteers and service organizations from the Livonia area. In total, more than 200 volunteers showed up and over 75,000 meals were packed. These meals will be distributed to various area food pantries, and to groups responding to world hunger.

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Kids Against Hunger Photos

Club Meeting

September 29, 2021

Our club enjoyed District Governor, Aruna Koushik's Official Visit.

Following our Club Meeting, DG Aruna participated in our monthly Board Meeting.

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Club Meeting

September 22, 2021

Rev. Dave Stechholz lead a discussion of our highly anticipated World Polio Day Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser. This event enjoys terrific community support. Rev. Dave spoke to the history of Rotary's commitment to eliminate Polio from the face of the Earth, and how all clubs are called upon to do their part to support Rotary's mission. The public is invited, and Volunteers are Needed! Sign up HERE.

Joanna Hardesty gave us an update about our VERY successful Fall Carnival that took place this past weekend!


Ice Cream Social

September 20, 2021

Our club participated in the Sundaes on Monday ice cream social at the Livonia Senior.

We were the title sponsors for the second time this summer. The seniors walked past us with their bowls of ice cream, and our volunteers scooped hot fudge, melted Caramel, Strawberries, Oreo chucks, Pecans, sprinkles, whipped cream and even a Cherry for the on top! The seniors took their seats and participated in Bingo.

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Ice Cream Social Photos

Livonia AM Rotary Fall Carnival

September 16-19, 2021

Our annual Fall Carnival was a huge success! We enjoyed terrific weather and the community came out in large numbers to join us in fun, food, entertainment, and exciting carnival rides! The Skerbeck Family provided the community with some of the most popular thrill rides for thrill-seekers and kiddy rides for the little ones. ​

Congratulations and special thanks to Joanna Hardesty and Pat Zucal for making our carnival possible this year!!

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Carnival Photos

Good Old Fashion Corn Roast

September 19, 2021

Our club participated in the 4th Annual Corn Roast with over 30 community organizations ranging from art and culture to non-profit. Roasted Corn, Kona Ice, and so much more as the Livonia community gathered for a fun Sunday afternoon while strolling the historic setting as only Greenmead can offer.

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Corn Roast Photos

Club Assembly

September 15, 2021

We held our monthly Club Assembly. A club assembly is typically held as a regular Rotary club meeting where there is no scheduled program but where the club business is discussed. The President and Club Board of Directors provide reports from their area of

responsibility, i.e. projects, upcoming fundraisers, etc.

This format provides members with an opportunity to suggest items for discussion to improve their membership experience. One of our Club goals is to increase our members’ satisfaction in meeting content and structure, events/fundraising opportunities, and community service opportunities provided.

Club Meeting

September 08, 2021

Our guest speakers were City Councilwoman Laura Toy, and City Councilman Dan Centers. Both are running for re-election to City Council this fall.

At the conclusion of our regular meeting, we held our monthly Board Meeting.

Board Meeting Minutes
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Club Meeting

September 01, 2021

City Councilman, Brandon McCullough, spoke about the upcoming Livonia All Stars vs. Detroit Redwings Alumni charity hockey match.

We also received an update from Rusty Campbell (son-in-law to Larry Stephens) regarding the work they have completed with the grant money we sent to their mission in Ecuador.


Rusty, President Mike, and Brandon

Touch A Truck

August 28, 2021

Our annual Touch A Truck event at Greenmead Historical Park was a huge success. We drew more than 5500 visitors!

The Churchill Interact Club, with the assistance of The Rotary Club of Livonia AM hosted the annual Touch A Truck event at Greenmead Historical Park. This was a hands-on family event that provided a unique opportunity for children and adults alike to explore vehicles of all types, including; public service, emergency, utility, construction, landscaping, transportation, delivery, and just plain awesome – all in one place. The event was a huge success!

Touch A Truck 2021 VIDEO
FOX 2 Detroit Promotional Video
Touch A Truck 2021 PHOTOS
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Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining"!

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