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Tag Archive | "Rotary Club"

Rotary paper recycling resumes

By Tom Noreen

Thanks to Cedar Springs Public Schools the Cedar Springs Rotary Club will resume paper recycling on or about June 1. The School has graciously released one of their Paper Gators so that the Rotary Club could use it to replace the NuWool truck that it has used for over 20  years.

The Paper Gator bin will be located in the same location as the paper truck. The nice thing about the Paper Gator is that you can put all types of paper in it. The exception being corrugated cardboard. That can be recycled at the Rockford Solid Waster Transfer Station across from Meijer.

 Looking forward to seeing you there and thanks for your support!

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Rotary Club honors 5th grade essay winners

From left to right: Darla Falcon & Carolyn Davis (4Way Test Committee), First place Evan Mattson & Addison Jones with teacher Mrs. Kahler,; Second Place Sophia Whitten/Mrs. Cairy and Otto Pigorsh/Mr. Moleski; Donna Clark (committee) and Third Place Caleb Christie and Nolan Papke, Mr. Moleski and Mrs. Gallagher.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Rotary handed out awards to students on March 7 in their annual Rotary 4-way test essay contest. They invited fifth grade students from Cedar View and Creative Technologies Academy to participate. All essays were written in 200 words or less. Teachers chose the 2 best essays from their class and submitted them to the committee, which included Darla Falcon, Carolyn Davis, Donana Clark and Bea Hesley.    

Clark and Rotary president Tom Noreen spoke with each of the classes ahead of time, and gave them some background on Rotary. “Tom and I visited all of the 5th grade classes and shared what the 4Way test is, how it started and tried to inspire students with ideas of how to write a story that would be compelling and touch our hearts—something real, something that impacted them that they could relay with feeling,” explained Clark.

The students were then on their own to write the essays. And the students who won had a good grasp of what the committee was looking for. Out of 12 essays, they chose six—two for each place. 

“The essays were phenomenal this year! We had so much trouble narrowing it down to just one 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner that we decided not to,” said Clark. “We were a bit extravagant and allowed ourselves to choose two for each place!”

The first place winners were Evan Mattson and Addison Jones, both of Mrs. Kahler’s class. They each won $35 and a gold medallion of 4Way test.

Second place winners were Otto Pigorsh of Mr. Moleski’s class, and Sophia Whitten, of Mrs. Cairy’s class. They each won $20 and a gold medallion.

Third place winners were Nolan Papke of Mrs. Gallagher’s class, and Caleb Christie, of Mr. Moleski’s class. They each won $10 and a gold medallion.

The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and is a code of ethics each Rotarian aspires to live by both in their business and personal lives. It says: “Of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

This is the 10th year that the Rotary has partnered with local schools on this project.

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Rotary donations to Hurricane Harvey victims

The Cedar Springs Rotary collected donations for Hurricane Harvey victims last week. Courtesy photos.

Cedar Springs Rotarians join with you and many others with their sadness on the natural disasters happening in the US. We worked together to offer drop off sites last week for donations to send to those suffering in Texas from Hurricane Harvey. There were locations at many local Rotarians offices to drop off items. Locations included Choice One Bank, Independent Bank, State Farm, Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation and Northern Physical Therapy. The items collected include baby food, diapers, kids clothes, medicine, work gloves and other basic needs. The items are being sent directly to Texas with a local church headed down on a mission trip. We will be monitoring the situations there and with the other disasters and their long term affects and be considering future endeavors to help our fellow Americans in need.

Rotarians are called to service projects and put “service above self.” The group works to serve local projects, like the Cedar Springs Library youth room and the pavilion in Morley Park, and international projects as well. We welcome community members to help in these projects and encourage them to consider joining us if they are feeling called to serve others. We have a variety of membership options and welcome a conversation with you to see if it is a fit for you. Please check out the Facebook page “Cedar Springs Rotary Club” to see more about what we do or visit us at Red Flannel and enjoy a Chicken dinner before the parade.

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North Kent Community Services receives Rotary Grant

Rotary grant presentation to North Kent Service Center with Jason Parker, Kim Burge-Stout, Claire Guisfredi,  and Tom Noreen.

Rotary grant presentation to North Kent Service Center with Jason Parker, Kim Burge-Stout, Claire Guisfredi, and Tom Noreen.

In October 2016, Cedar Springs Rotarian Kim Burge-Stout submitted a $7,000 matching grant to Rotary District 6290 in support of North Kent Community Services (NKCS) in Rockford. The Rotary Clubs of Cedar Springs and Rockford each donated $3,500 towards the grant. In December, the Cedar Springs Club was notified that the grant had been approved and NKCS would receive a total of $14,000.

On January 11, the Rotary Clubs of Cedar Springs and Rockford presented NKCS Executive Director Claire Guisfredi a check for $14,000. Presenting the check on behalf of the two clubs were Rockford President Jason Parker, (a former Cedar Springs Rotarian), Kim Stout, and Cedar Springs’ President Tom Noreen.

Claire updated the Club on how past grants have been applied toward some of the Center’s programs. She talked about the difference the Thrive Empowerment Program for Women was making in the lives of mothers in the area. Women who were at their wits end have found hope and success after attending the six-month program held in the annex of the Cedar Springs Public Schools’ Hilltop Administration Building. Facilitated by NKCS Program Director Chérie Elahl, the students learn life skills, goal setting, and mindfulness skills, while holding each other accountable for the goals they have set for themselves.

Guisfredi went on to explain how the current grant money would be used. About $6,000 would be used for technology upgrades to the Center’s hardware and network. The remaining $8,000, along with funds from the Sparta Community Foundation and other organizations, would be used to fund a Community Needs Assessment.

NKCS is implementing a three-year strategic plan and has a bid out to select a group to conduct the assessment to determine whether NKCS is meeting the community’s needs with its current programming. It will look at clients, current programs, the community at large, and several other factors to determine what NKCS could be doing better to fulfill its mission “….improving the lives of all people in northern Kent County by providing access to basic needs and promoting economic independence.”

The local portion of the Rotary grant comes from funds raised by the Cedar Springs and Rockford Clubs. For the Cedar Springs Club, funds raised at the annual golf outing and Red Flannel Day chicken dinner were used. The matching portion is money returned to the district from contributions to the Rotary Foundation by Rotarians and others world-wide. The Rotary Foundation, which has a four of four-star rating by Charity Navigator, returns one-half of the funds raised within a Rotary District back to the District after three years. The District then can use these funds for local and international projects. Every Rotarian is encouraged to give $100 to the Rotary Foundation each year.

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Jack and Marge Clark honored at Rotary meeting

Jack and Marge Clark were recently honored at a Rotary meeting. Standing behind them is Rotary president Amanda Gerhardt.

Jack and Marge Clark were recently honored at a Rotary meeting. Standing behind them is Rotary president Amanda Gerhardt.

Cedar Springs Rotarians gathered at the historic Mangiamo Restaurant in Grand Rapids to celebrate the past and upcoming years. The Rotary club presented a special award to Jack and Marge Clark, with a $1000.00 donation to the Rotary Foundation in their name.

Jack has had 59 years of perfect attendance to weekly meetings, showing his commitment to the Rotary ideals. Marge has been a faithful servant to the Rotary effort to wipe out polio from the face of the earth. She has been painting pinky fingers purple as a fundraiser for many years.

Rotarians shared stories of how the Clarks have led and impacted lives by their own example of “Service Above Self.”

The musical group Perculators entertained the Rotary group following a delicious dinner.

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Rotarian receives award from Lions

Rotarian Aaron Gauger (left) receives the 2015 outstanding service award from Lions Club member Art Probst (right).

Rotarian Aaron Gauger (left) receives the 2015 outstanding service award from Lions Club member Art Probst (right).

The Cedar Springs Lions and Rotarians recently shared an evening of fellowship, food, and service opportunities at their annual picnic. The Lions and Rotary clubs are the two largest service organizations in the world.

Rotarian Aaron Gauger, of White Creek Lumber, was awarded the 2015 outstanding service award by Lion Art Probst. The decorated door has become a traditional award the clubs share.

Most all of the 36 club members and their spouses were in attendance.

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Two clubs are better than one

Jack Clark (left ) presents door prize to Art Probst (right)

Jack Clark (left ) presents door prize to Art Probst (right)

By Nancy Noreen

The Rotary and Lions Clubs of Cedar Springs met together for their annual picnic Wednesday evening, August 20.

During the get-together, Rotary President Carolyn Davis asked Jack Clark, the longest sustaining Rotary member, to present the traditional door prize to Art Probst, the longest sustaining Lions member. This custom began in 2006, when the Lions bestowed the Rotarians with an actual door as a “door prize.”  Since 2006 the door prize has passed back and forth between the groups.

N-Rotary-lions2-group-webThis year Dan and Carolyn Davis upgraded the door with photos of some of the good works the Clubs have done in the community as well as informational data about each group. Although the Rotary/Lions picnics are currently centered around eating and talking, that wasn’t always the case.

The joint picnics began shortly after the Lions Club was chartered in 1959. They were held in Morley Park and the highlight of the gathering was the tug-of- war between the Clubs. One year the rope snapped and Lion Ed Hoven ended up with a broken nose, after it was accidentally jabbed by a tumbling teammate. Whether or not a broken rope and busted nose were the cause, the joint picnic moved to Gordon Park with a game of volleyball replacing the tug-of-war.

Lions President Jerry VanderWal shared that Lions does not symbolize wild jungle animal. L-I-O-N-S stands for: “Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety,” great watchwords for every citizen.

The Lions and Rotary mottos “We Serve” and “Service Above Self,” aptly describe these two organizations. Cedar Springs is privileged to have active Rotary and Lions Clubs. Their labors benefit the whole community.




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Rotary Paper Trailer

By Tom Noreen


During the last fifteen years, the Cedar Springs Rotary Club has recycled over 35 million pounds of newspaper for $70,000. All of this money has been returned to the community in the form of scholarships, support of local organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, Cedar Springs Historical Society, Cedar Springs Library, Red Flannel Festival, and others. The paper trailer is the Club’s largest fundraiser.

Members of the club diligently check the trailer on a daily basis in an effort to keep it neat and safe. They also pull out materials that cannot be recycled as part of our contract with Nu-Wool. The papers are either turned into cellulose insulation or mulch for hydroseeding operations. Because these materials require high quality newsprint, Nu-Wool does not accept magazines, pasteboard (cereal type boxes) and corrugated cardboard. Sometimes club members haul pickup loads of these unwanted materials and take them to Kent County’s recycling point across from the Meijer store on 10 Mile Road in Rockford. They have also hauled off bags of dirty diapers, dead fish, and other assorted trash.

During the month of January, the trailer has been vandalized on multiple occasions. A person or persons have gone in and broken bags, tossed papers all over the trailer, and made a mess that takes hours to clean up. The picture is of a repair job that took three Rotarians about two hours to straighten up.

The paper trailer is a good investment for the community as it saves landfill space and natural resources plus returns the profits. Please help the Rotary Club in their effort by neatly stacking your papers, disposing of magazines, books, pasteboard, and cardboard at Rockford. If you have any questions about the trailer, please see any Rotarian or visit their website at www.cedarspringsrotary.org.



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