President Rod introduced today’s speakers Jere Righter – Artistic Director of the Croswell Opera House who spoke first. Jere said that this was a particularly special year since the Croswell will be celebrating its 150th anniversary. Built back in 1866 (almost as old as our club president), the Croswell has a seating capacity of 650. Back in the 1870’s Jere said the opera house held 1,200. Why?, you ask, because the audience sat on benches not bolted to the floor! In 1890, John Philip Sousa played there. Jere passed around some enlargements of some very old photos of the downtown as well as interior of the Croswell.
Speaking next was Emory Schmidt, chairman of the capital campaign as well as of their board. Emory said that he and his wife, Kris, have been part of this community since 1978 and that he never ceases to be amazed at how well people in Adrian support causes like the one the Croswell has embarked on to raise $6.2M to renovate this historic theater – “the crown jewel of the arts in southeast Michigan”, as he termed it.
He said that about 5 years ago the theater was experiencing some very lean times and close to folding actually. Thanks to the board’s strategic plan, the Croswell is now making money and continues to plan incredibly successful events throughout the year. Some 30% of the theater’s patrons live in Ohio, Emory said!
The capital campaign got its original shot in the arm, he said, when a former Adrian resident and AHS grad, then Julie Henderson, attended the Shrek production several years ago and was quite impressed. Julie married George Argyros, who was the Ambassador to Spain during the Bush administration. When representatives of the Croswell asked her for a gift in the amount of $250,000 Julie wrote a check for $1M instead which became seed money to start the campaign!
The campaign's goal is $6.2 of which $5.2 has already been pledged! Emory announced that yet another anonymous donor has come forward and offered a $250,000 matching gift! There is yet another $1M currently in the pipeline as the “stretch goal” has increased to $7.2M.
A Great Big Night celebration is planned for June 1. The Croswell hopes to be able to report that the campaign was successful in raising the entire $7.2M amount. The production that night will be “Billy Elliott”. In April the Journey Tribute Band will perform. In July the production Leap of Faith will be presented and in April – the Drowsy Chaperone.
Following their presentation, President Rod presented Jere and Emory a check for $10,000 from our club towards the capital campaign.
Membership Survey – At last week’s Club Assembly we gave everyone attending a Membership Survey to complete. If you did not receive one, they will be handed out during subsequent meetings.
REMEMBER: DisCon 2016 - First timers interested in attending this year’s DisCon (June 23-26 in Kalamazoo) should know that subsidies are available through our club ($250) as well as the District ($150). Please contact any club officer if you are interested. Rod mentioned again that our club will host a hospitality suite at the conference. We need volunteers!
Lenawee Humane Society Walk & Wag Event – Patty Clark will be participating in the upcoming Lenawee Humane Society Walk & Wag event scheduled for May 14. Please go to her Facebook page to donate. See promo piece below. Thanks.
Onion Sales – Kathye announced that the annual sales is officially launching. Every member is expected to sell 8 bags. We make $6 on each bag we sell for $10. Kathye gave everyone an envelope containing a tracking sheet. You have until the end of April. Onions will be arrive around the second week in May. So, please go out and sell, sell, sell. We will be splitting revenues with the Lenawee Youth Council as in the past. Kathye sent out a flyer electronically so you can post on your Facebook page. Yours Truly landed 16 sales in 2 days doing this. So can you.
DG Wayne Titus’ Volunteer Hour Collection Worksheet – DG Wayne still wants each of us to track hours, both Rotarian-related and non-Rotarian-related that we give of ourselves in service to others. They should include direct hours worked as well as planning and development time. We will be surveying members again about June 1.
Adaptive Wheelchair for ERaceStigma - Dan Buron said this is go-fund-me project. He invited members to visit: gofundme.com/j7wpedmk
REMEMBER – Semi-annual dues are due!
GET WELL – Still thinking about you, Jane. You get back here soon!
DATES TO REMEMBER
April 30 – District Assembly Saturday, Schoolcraft College from 8am – noon in Livonia. The following people have been invited to attend from our club: President-Elect, President Nominee, Youth Exchange Chair, Foundation Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Public Image Chair, Service Project Chair, Membership Chair, all board members. Please let Chuck know if you will be able to attend.
April 30 - We have scheduled our next planting day with the 3rd Day Farm Project for April 30th from 9-11am. Come out and take a look at the new tractor that our club just purchased for this program. The food from this garden will go to the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry. This pantry has distributed more than 448,000 lbs of food and served more than 174,000 meals. Please mark your calendars and roll up your sleeves for another great project from our club!
May 5 – Thanks to Gerry Burg who is making the arrangements, all past and future Junior Rotarians will be on deck at our regular meeting on May 5th for Junior Rotarian Day! As in the past, these young folks will do everything Rotarians normally do to run the entire meeting that day from checking people in, to doing the fine session and even the program! We haven’t done this for some time but we thought this year was appropriate. Thanks, Gerry!
May 16 - It is that time of year again! The Strokes For Students golf outing will be held on Monday, May 16th and Rotary usually has 2 teams. If you want to play on one of those teams, please let me know. The cost to golf is normally $100 per player, however we have monies budgeted to reduce your cost to $50 per player. Please let me know if you want to play this year so we can get our teams submitted. If you would like to be a hole sponsor, the cost is $250.
May 22 – EraceStigma 5k Run – Greg Adams will again be in charge of this important event again this year. Greg said he needs 6-8 Rotarians on site by 8:30 on May 22 to help with the Kids Dash. Please contact Chuck Chase in case you can help.
June 30 - Our annual changeover dinner will be a joint one with members of the Adrian AM Club and is scheduled for Thursday, June 30 from 5:30 to 8:0pm at the home of Noon Club Rotarian Rhonda Gage and hubby, Bob. The address is 8838 Clare Court, Onsted (north side of Loch Erin.) Bring your spouse or significant other.
Weekly Programs - 2016
April 21 - John Sullivan on "Relationships"
April 28 - Dane Nelson and Bob Benhke – APS Bond Issue
May 5 - Club Assembly
May 12 - Ann Hinsdale Knisel on School Readiness Program
May 19 - Sue Lewis on Child Advocacy Center
May 28 - Mark Murray and Mike Olsaver on ARF and RI Foundations
June 2 - Club Assembly
June 9 - Member Moment - Kathye Herrera, “What Does Tech Fab Do?”
June 16 - Carrie Hartley – Boys & Girls Club (Could be the 23rd)
June 23 -
June 30 - CHANGEOVER DINNER (NO MEETING)
Here is former Noon Rotarian Bill Chase in Chicago recently for Rotary's Council on Legislation with RI President, Ravi, and Mike McCullough from the Trenton Rotary Club.