Grosse Pointe Rotary Club
Grosse Pointe

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 5:30 PM
The Village Grille
16930 Kercheval Ave
Grosse Pointe, MI 48230
United States of America

Our meetings are Hybrid Meetings.

Members will receive email invites each week to join in person and a link to join virtually.

If you wish to be a guest please contact a member or Email us at

Our Stories
Pamela Good spoke the club as the Beyond Basics Co-Founder and CEO.
Beyond Basics is a nonprofit working to eradicate illiteracy, which it views as America’s largest and most solvable disability. It addresses the Literacy Gap, which includes any student reading more than one grade level behind. This is a huge issue, with 85% of the 43,000 Detroit Public Schools students falling into this gap. It may be surprising, but the percentage in the GP Public Schools is 31%. A child who struggles to read becomes an adult who struggles to succeed.
Beyond Basic’s solution is to provide intensive one on one hour long, daily, tutoring that delivers results: seeing students achieve grade-level movement in an average of six weeks.  This is done through four different programs. They offer 14-week Readiness for those two or more grade levels behind, 10-week Read to Rise for those at least one grade behind, 4-week Scholars for those less than one grade level behind, and Scholars Plus to assist with college and career readiness. Beyond Basics has a staff of just under 160, which includes paid tutors, and have impacted 90,000 students since incorporating.
To learn more, please visit or watch mchLd3UmqdU
Superintendent Jon Dean spoke to the club, giving the State of the Grosse Pointe Public School System (GPPSS) Address.
The District’s vision is to be one inclusive community learning together with a mission to cultivate educational excellence by empowering students, valuing diversity, inspiring curiosity, and pushing possibilities. Dr. Dean wants every student to meet their desired outcome, whether it be Harvard, U of M, the military, or skilled trades.
GPPSS is an outstanding school district, ranking in the top 2% nationally. A fact sheet available at (GPPSS By the Numbers) promotes its achievements. These include 18:1 student-teacher ratio, 30 high school sports with 120 teams participating, and 13 National Merit Semi- finalists.
In addition to the website, the District offers many sources of information. Board meeting are televised, surveys and focus groups are conducted, and, to receive the weekly E-Newsletter, School Pointes, email Two-way communication opportunities are also available at Listening Sessions With Dr. Dean, which can be found on the District website calendar. 
Diallo Smith spoke to the club as COO of Life Remodeled. Life Remodeled is a non-profit that was formed in 2010 to help rebuild Detroit neighborhoods. Its current budget is $2.5 million and operates with 11 very dedicated full-time employees.
The organization has two main components right now. First, is the Durfee Innovation Society, that opened in 2018, at the former Durfee Elementary School. It’s at 100% capacity with 39 organizations/businesses (“tenants”) operating out of the building. Life Remodeled provides a dynamic environment for the tenants by operating at cost with very low rental fees. A list can be found at Second, is the Six Day Project, which annually brings in thousands of volunteers to clean-up and remove blight in a neighborhood. This year, the project will take place from 10/3 to 10/8 in the community surrounding Cooley High School. (Life Remodeled is in the process of purchasing the Cooley High School building, to start another innovation center).
Life Remodeled’s core values are (1) Community First, where it seeks ideas and input from the community to align with its values; (2) Always Find a Way, to create a future that doesn’t yet exist through innovation and creativity; (3) Bold Humility, where it tries to be servant leaders that value the needs of others with confidence and determination.
Abagael Adair spoke to the club as Senior Manager of Philanthropy for the The Children’s Center. The Children’s Center was formed in 1929 and is located in Midtown Detroit. It is home to many specialized clinical services, leading the way in working with children who struggle with behavioral, emotional, educational, intellectual, and developmental challenges or may have experience trauma. It examines barriers in the home, school, and community, working with the family who raises them and the organizations that support them.
Its programs/services are broken down into four categories: (1) Healthy Start – addresses autism, parent-child interactions, and pregnant moms; (2) Healing the Hurt – offers clinical, medical, and crisis care; (3) A Safe Home – provides foster care and adoption services and a young adult (16-21) self-sufficiency program; (4) Bridging the Gap – offers a boutique with clothing, toys, and household items, a food pantry, a library, and activity rooms for elementary, middle school, and high school students.
Ms. Adair read a very moving testimonial from a 28-year-old police officer who was physically and mentally abused by his mother and grandmother as a child but was saved by the Children’s Center and the foster care system. The police officer now teaches other officers how to recognize signs of abuse.
The Center’s $20 million budget is funded through Medicaid, State money, and private donations. To learn more, please go to
Virginia DiGiuseppe and Sandy Stanley spoke to the Club as members and leaders of the Grosse Pointe Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
The AAUW is a national organization that has been in existence for 140 years. The GP Branch was formed 78 years ago and consists of members with 12 board members and 4 executive officers. Its mission is to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. Its vision: diversity is their strength, equity is their commitment, inclusion is their destination, with the result being empowerment.
The focus is on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) for girls at the elementary and middle school levels. A 10-girl Legos robotics team has been formed at Defer Elementary that competes in a league. Another team, of 11 girls, at Pierce Middle School won an award in a Legos robotics competition. The emphasis on STEM led to STEAM, with the inclusion of art. This program has 45 students, from ages 13-19, at local schools participating. The organization also awards scholarships at the national and local levels, with four awarded in Grosse Pointe last year.
Through public policy, it is looking to change legislation, with the Equal Rights Amendment and the Fair Pay Act as the primary areas of focus. Nationally, it has a program in place called Two-Minute Activist to encourage legislators to fight for equal pay, family leave, and to stop sexual harassment.
On August 3, David Eardley was officially inducted into the club. Eardley is the new Senior Pastor at Grosse Pointe Methodist Church and has been a pastor at many churches throughout Michigan. Prior to the Grosse Pointe Rotary Club, he has been a member of the Frankenmuth and Rochester Rotary Clubs. Welcome Aboard, David!
Caitlyn Stark spoke to the Club as the President of the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce (CACC).
The Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce has been a visible business leader that advocates and drives business opportunities. Through business alliances, it is a catalyst for its membership and provides a persuasive regional voice benefiting its communities. It is made up of two full-time and two part-time employees and 340 members.
The CACC’s purpose is to provide advocacy, exposure, and connections for its member businesses and alliances. The exposure can be on a regional or national basis as three of the corporations in the area are foreign owned. A quarterly newsletter connects the members.
Stark is proud of the fact that only one restaurant in the area closed due to Covid. The CACC was a strong advocate for its members with the State of Michigan, regarding the restrictions that were imposed throughout the pandemic.
To learn more, please visit
Julie Huellmantel spoke as Early Intervention Specialist for the Grosse Pointe Public School System.
Early Intervention is a system of services that helps infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. It helps them learn the basic and brand-new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life, such as physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional, and self-help skills.
Early On is a state-wide system of early intervention services mandated by federal legislation (Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). It’s designed to help families find the support and services to promote the development of their infants and toddlers. Its purpose is to enable young children (birth to three) to be active and successful participants in a variety of settings – in their homes, with their families, in childcare, preschool, and in the community.
In determining eligibility for the program, Ms. Huellmantel analyzes the child’s developmental history, conducts a routines-based interview, observes the parent and child interact, and looks at medical documentation (health, hearing, and vision). The evaluation looks at the developmental delay in five areas: cognitive, physical, communication, social or emotional, and adaptive. Parent input is considered in all of these areas.
When a child is eligible, an Individual Family Service Plan is put together. These plans are reviewed every six months, if not sooner, and the services available include vision, audiology, nursing, nutrition, and health. They are provided within a family’s routine.
The idea of the program is to coach the parents to be the best teachers possible and to enhance interaction. To make a referral or learn more, visit
Up and Coming Speakers
District Governor Traci Sincock
Oct 05, 2022 5:30 PM
District 6400 Governor Report
Steve Kiefer, Chairman
Oct 12, 2022 5:30 PM
The Kiefer Foundation
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