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 GrossePointeRotary@gmail.com

Our Stories
Michelle Boggess-Nunley, owner of Posterity Art Gallery
 
After being treated graciously be a GP homeowner where her car stalled on the way to an enjoyable job
 
interview at the CCD (her employer for 14 years), Ms. Borgess-Nunley knew she wanted to remain in Grosse Pointe.  When the opportunity arose to become the owner of Posterity Art Gallery a year and a half ago, she jumped at it.
 
As an internationally known artist, Ms. Borgess-Nunley was well associated with the Gallery as she spent over 3 months during the pandemic, sitting at its front window, drawing a world record breaking maze. To officially break the record, one of the many requirements is that the drawing had to be witnessed and videotaped.  When finished, it measured 1,126 feet long. She has loved drawing mazes since she was a child.
 
As the owner of Posterity, Ms. Borgess-Nunley is promoting local living emerging and well-known artists through community events, and public art displays. Its framing business, with its own woodworking shop, offers high quality frames.
 
www.boggessart.com (http://www.boggessart.com/)
www.posterityartgallery.com (http://www.posterityartgallery.com/)
 (located in The Village)
Roger Hull – Impressions from his recent trip to southern Africa.
 
Roger and Jeanie Hull vacationed in Africa from January 7th to the 23rd after an 18-hour plane ride from Detroit to Atlanta to Cape Town, South Africa.  The City was founded by the Dutch in 1652 and earned its independence from the UK in 1910.  While there, they traveled to Stellenbosch and wine country, climbed Table Mountain, went to the Cape of Good Hope, and visited Robben Island, where Nelson
 
Mandela spent 17 years in prison.  The prison is now a museum.
 
The next part of their trip took them to Victoria Falls and Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe, then on to Botswana, where Roger presented great close-up pictures of animals from the safari they went on.  They finished up by going to Pretoria and Johannesburg, where they visited Kapama Game Preserve and the township of Soweto.
 
Despite suffering tremendous poverty and unemployment, Roger said that Africa is beautiful, and the people could not have been nicer.  If it wasn’t an such a long plane ride, he would consider annual trips to the continent.
Mark Mals, Executive Director of the Mercy Education Project.
 
The organization’s mission is to provide the tools for educational equity, economic stability and mobility; and cultural enrichment opportunities for women and girls who have limited access to resources
 
– empowering them as they work towards a brighter future.
 
Formed in 1992, the MEP is located at Trumbull and Howard and primarily serves southwest Detroit. Since its formation, it continues its core purpose, which is to help girls and women with reading and math through its volunteers. The organization has a budget of $1.25 million, which is 70% financed through government funds and 30% through private donations/grants.
 
Due to the hardships faced by many of their students, it is hard for them to recognize their potential, let alone try to reach it. The safe space offered by the MEP gives them a chance to focus on bettering themselves, and not just surviving. As a former philosophy teacher at U of D Jesuit, Mr. Mals believes in Plato’s pursuit of perfection, making oneself better every day, even if it is something that can never be fully attained.
 
To learn more, please visit www.mercyed.net (http://www.mercyed.net/).
Stephen Ahles – Project SMART for Rotary Clubs
 
 
Mr. Ahles is leading the fight against opioid addiction through community naloxone training and Project SMART.  Over 1 million people in the U.S. have died due to opioid overdoses in the past 10 years.  
 
Project SMART is designed to address all the issues with drug addiction, and to eradicate it. It’s an acronym for School Education, Medicine and Drug Disposal, Awareness, Recovery, and Treatment.  Mr. Ahles’ focus was on school education, where there has been a 169% increase in fentanyl overdose deaths from 2019 to 2023.  He works with Drug Free Clubs of America to educate high school students. The second focus was on proper medicine disposal, where drugs are not stolen or get into our water supply.  A kiosk has been placed in the lobby of the GP Woods Public Safety Dept. where unused drugs can be deposited and are exposed to a charcoal substance that renders them unusable.  When the kiosk is full, it is shipped to a facility for incineration.   The goal is to place a kiosk in every city nationwide that has a Rotary chapter.
 
To learn more about the Rotary Action Group for Addiction Prevention, go to www.rag-ap.org (http://www.rag-ap.org/).

Last night we were joined by Linda Smith, President of U Snap Bac, a non-profit operating in the City of Detroit for 38 years providing services to create healthy neighborhoods, advance racial equity, increase housing stability, and affordable homeownership. Linda has been part of the organization since June 10th, 1995, and has been the president of U Snap Bac for 29 years.

Recently, U Snap Bac has established 64 units of affordable housing by Mac between Alter Road and Wayburn. Linda was part of the first affordable and sustainable home projects in Detroit. Starting with a marketing budget of $0, and through sole word of mouth, Linda has helped find buyers interested in their new housing units. U Snap Bac provided a year-long course for the new home buyers of those units that were once a week and helped these people manage their homes and stay residents, some for over 20 years.

On the west side of Alter Road, Linda partnered with the northeast guide center and helped them obtain the land from residents, to build new housing for families with mental illnesses who are now able to seek help right on the site. There are 10 units of affordable housing she has helped attain land behind for right behind the Rite Aid on Alter. One of U Snap Bac’s missions is to work with families purchasing a home for the first time, or people who have never owned a home for longer than three years, to get a grant of $25,000. They also help find all sorts of resources to keep families in their homes. The organization is also launching a home repair grant, along with a senior citizens program help that's helped 25 seniors get up to $2,000 in grants to help them improve the conditions of their homes. 

U Snap Bac invites speakers and volunteers from all over to help residents with everything from wealth management, to home ownership, and estate planning. Many people in Detroit are living in homes left to them by their parents, but these homes are owned by the land bank. Linda has tried to help these people become homeowners. Instead of telling these people what they need to change about their house, her new approach is to show them ways that are safer and healthier, taking a step back and not assuming that she has all the answers. 

Word of mouth is their main type of communication, but they have just launched a hotline for people to call who are looking for resources to help them. Rotary can help by volunteering, from distributing food on Saturdays to coming in to speak and give advice on wealth management and homeownership at their office.

Nicole & Bob Deem: Learning to Live & Thrive with PTSD
 

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, series of events, or a set of circumstances.  Mr. Deem’s PTSD is the result of what he experienced during his years as a firefighter.  
 
Symptoms of the disorder may include nightmares (where the individual’s mind has them suffering the event again), flashbacks, social anxiety, and altered moods.  When Mr. Deem had one of these nightmares, he was not able to function the next day and it took some time for Mrs. Deem to come to grips with this.  What has allowed her to thrive are a good therapist, faith, a strong church community, a service dog, medication, a strong trusting marriage, and having a purpose.  
 
The Deems rely greatly on the two service dogs they have owned.  To be a service dog, it must be trained to perform a specific task that mitigates a specific disability for a specific person. They stressed that these dogs should be treated like medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, and need to be accommodated in public buildings and basically ignored to be allowed to perform their task.
Steve Tengler: The SET Fund: Rebuilding Michigan – one scholarship at a time.
 
With a $2,000 inheritance, Steve and Elizabeth Tengler started an education fund in 1998, which has continuously grown since then.  Each year, the SET Fund provides scholarships to Michigan residents attending Michigan colleges. They are awarded based on financial need and community involvement to applicants who live in the state and plan to enroll in or are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at a Michigan college or university.
 
The Fund has given out 38 scholarships totaling $177,500, with a typical finalist being a child of a single parent earning $30,000/year.  The hardships suffered by some of the recipients are staggering, yet the students find a way to still help others.  The Fund’s goal is to reach $1 million dollars with the hope that the students, upon graduation, will live, work, and continue to volunteer in Michigan.
 
A wine tasting fundraiser will take place on 9/14 at the Windmill Pointe Park’s Tompkin’s Center.
www.setfund.org (http://www.setfund.org/)
Up and Coming Speakers
Bob Montgomery
Apr 17, 2024
GP Theater
Linda Boyle
Apr 24, 2024
Exceptional Artist
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