Aug 05, 2019
Aug 12, 2019
Picnic at Heritage Park. Remember to bring your Salvation Army Back 2 School Donations
Aug 19, 2019
Body Language
Sep 02, 2019
Sep 09, 2019
Oct 14, 2019
Journey To Housing - District Grant
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Do Good Expo sponsored by Canton Township
Summit on the Park
Sep 11, 2019
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
One Rotary Summit
VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College
Sep 24, 2019
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Kids Against Hunger Meal Packaging
Wayne County Community College
Sep 28, 2019
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
District Governor Golf Outing
The Golden Fox at Fox Hills Golf Course
Sep 30, 2019
10:30 AM – 7:00 PM
World Polio Day
Oct 24, 2019
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards 2019
Wayne Country Community College Downriver Camput
Nov 14, 2019 - Nov 16, 2019
View entire list
Russell Hampton
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President's Message
Lisa Kennedy
member photo
Greetings Canton Rotary Club Members!  It is hard to believe an entire month has passed since taking office.  As I greet you all, I am encouraged and hopeful that we will have another successful Rotary Year.  I am thankful for the strong leadership and organization that Sue and John Kowalski gave us over the past three years.  We will be planning a wonderful celebration for Sue’s Past President Dinner.
District Governor John Chambers theme this year is “Do the Right Thing”.  When you focus on those words and the meaning, it is amazing how many times you will apply that to a situation.  “Do the Right Thing”.  That is who we are as Rotarians, we “Do the Right thing”.  Those simple words have been resonating with me lately as I encounter normal life situations…. the gentleman with a walker who needed help stepping up the curb to get into the grocery store.  The piece of trash laying near the trash bin outside work, being honest with a friend when your words may not be popular, but necessary.  “Do the Right Thing.”
As Rotarians we live by the 4-Way Test of the things we think, say, and do.  What a code of honor.  Through a Rotary Club project at a women’s substance abuse center, Paula Talbot shared the 4-Way Test.  Her club’s real-life experience of placing those simple words into action is saving and affecting change in other’s lives.  Pretty powerful words.
In closing, as we go forward this month, let’s focus on our words and our actions and set the example for our community.  Let’s wear our Rotary pin with purpose and pride.  Do the Right Thing and watch Rotary Connect the World.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Abe Vinitski
August 1
William Simmerer
Susan Simmerer
August 8
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Photo Albums
Rotary Year 2019-2020 First 6 Months
Rotary Year 2018/2019 - Second Six Months
Rotary Year 2018-2019 - First Six Months
Speaker Paula Talbot and the 4-Way Test
Today we welcomed our speaker Paula Talbot from the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club.  Paula talked about our Rotary 4-Way Test and the project that her Club took on to help people fighting addiction in her community and surrounding communities. 
Today we opened our meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and our Invocation.  The restaurant was super speedy with lunch today, and we enjoyed pizza, salad, and pasta as soon as we finished our opening ceremony.  After lunch Lisa introduced Paula Talbot from the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club.  Paula serves as the Dean of Assistant Governors for our District 6400.  She is very involved in her Club and, as a result, she took our Rotary 4-Way Test on the road to a local substance abuse center.  She and her fellow Rotarians thought that maybe the 4-Way Test could help people who were experiencing life struggles.  When they visited the center they were offered the chance to put up a poster of the 4-Way Test where the women who resided there could see it.  However, they decided that was not enough.  So, they baked cookies, gathered their 4-Way Test Banner, and took their idea on the road.  They spent an evening telling these women who were working to recover from addition and all its problems about the 4-Way Test and how to apply it to their lives.  The 4-Way Test makes reference to "of the things we think, say, and 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?"  Paula and her team stressed that it is not just what we say or what we do, but it starts with what we think.  She talked about some of the lives that they have changed - how one woman said she started thinking about her addiction and how it was NOT fair to her kids.  These ladies never even read (much less saw) the 4-Way Test poster that hung in their facility.  But now, they understood the principles of the 4-Way Test and how to apply that test to their lives.  The team from Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club has now presented this program several times to recovering women in this facility.  Some of these women are from the Windsor area, but many are from around Canada.  Thank you Paula for touching so many lives for the better and for sharing this work with us.
Guest Speaker Wesley Berry
Today we welcomed local entrepreneur and author Wesley Berry who spoke to our Club about his life and his new book Big Things Have Small Beginnings.  Wes is currently the host of The People's Voice, a weekly radio talk show that features both controversial and unifying topics.  Wes started his career as a teenager working at his family's floral shop.  But that was just a start to a long life of learning and success!
We started today's meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Opening Invocation.  Members were reminded about the August 12th Volunteer Appreciation Picnic and the Back 2 School supplies that we will be donating to the Salvation Army.  Please see our website for further details. 
While the restaurant prepared our lunch orders, Lisa introduced our guest speaker for today, Wesley Berry.  Wes started working at his family's Detroit-based florist shop when he was a teenager. He quickly demonstrated a strategic style of management that propelled it from a $60K per year business to a $60 million-dollar international business operating in 130 different countries. In 2016, after 40 years in business, he sold it to "retire" and follow other passions.  Through the years, he's provided consulting services to over forty businesses, served as Headmaster of a state-licensed private vocational school, and worked as a licensed real estate agent, having participated in over thirty commercial transactions.
Wes has received many honors and awards, including:
* 2003 - Pheasant Ring Autistic Community Ring of Hope Community Service Award
* 2008 - NAACP Oakland County Chapter's Corporate Leadership Award
* 2008 - Florist Review Magazine's Retail Florist of the Year for Community Involvement
* 2008 - Chamber of Commerce honoree as Business Person of the Year
* 2011 - Inc. Magazine's Top 500|5000-ranked Fastest Growing Retailer
* 2011 - Optimist Club's Person of the Year
* 2012 - Optimist International's Business Person of the Year Michigan District
* 2014 - Civil rights organization United We Walk's Community Leader Award
* 2016 - Commissioned Honorary Naval Commander (O-5) by Michigan Governor Schneider
In his new book he shares what he has learned over the years about leadership and business growth.  In many businesses that fail, the small things are overlooked; they are the things that are often the easiest to implement, but at the same time they are easy to forget.  It’s these small things that have the greatest impact in the long-term.  Neglecting small things can be the difference between failure and success.  His book, Big Things Have Small Beginnings is available on the Amazon website.  Thank you for a very interesting talk Wes.
After Wes finished his talk we enjoyed lunch and some Rotary fellowship before we adjourned on time at 1:15 p.m.
Installation of New Member and Officer Installation
Today we installed Barry Burnham as our newest member.  We also installed our Club Officers and Directors, and the Canton Rotary Foundation Officers and Directors.  Thank you to District Governor John Chambers who officiated at the installations, and who also helped us dedicate our two new banners.
We started today's meeting with the Canadian and U.S. National Anthems led by Jill Karolyi.  We toasted the Queen, the Office of the President of the United States, and Rotary International - the greatest service organization in the world.  Lisa Kennedy gave the invocation, Ken introduced our guests, and Kevin ran the 50/50.  Outgoing President Sue Kowalski then gave her farewell address, thanking the members for their support throughout her year, and highlighting the Club's accomplishments during the year.  See an outline of  Sue's address under its own heading below. District Governor John Chambers installed our new Board of Directors for the Canton Rotary Club.  Our new President is Lisa Kennedy, President Elect is Marlette Anquetil, Secretary is Bill Tesen, Treasurer is Sue Kowalski, and Directors are Dean Clemens, Sarah Maiga, and Nate Houghton. 
District Governor Chambers then installed our newest member, Barry Burnham.  We welcome Barry to our Rotary family and look forward to getting to know him and his wife Nancy better. 
Our next order of business was for District Governor Chambers to install our Canton Rotary Foundation Board of Directors.  Our Foundation Directors for Rotary Year 2019/2020 are Ken Beardsley, Ansel Dooley, Sarah Maiga, John Kowalski, Bill Brown, Larry Oldford, and Bill Simmerer. 
District Governor Chambers helped us dedicate our two new banners - The 4-Way Test Banner, and the Object of Rotary Banner.  Look for more on these banners, their meaning, and their relevance in following newsletters.
After lunch, our new President Lisa Kennedy addressed the Club by telling her Rotary Story and what brought her to Rotary.  She outlined personal history stories of some of our members, and told us about her passion for the coming year.  Please see Lisa's entire Presidential Address below.  It will make you smile, laugh, cry, and celebrate Rotary.  Welcome to the 2019/2020 Rotary Year!
President Sue Kowalski's Farewell Address
Please click on "Read More" to see Sue's complete Farewell Address.
Farewell Speech for 2018/2019 Club President
Thank you to all Club members for their support during the year.
Accomplishments during the year:
  • Moved to L A Bistro
  • Evening Meetings continue to be well attended
Community Projects:
  • Picnic for Liberty Fest Volunteers, they brought school supplies for Salvation Army “Back 2 School Drive”, and our Club members also contributed supplies; Club sponsored (supplied 100 of each) compasses and protractors
  • Hosted table at National Do Good Day in September
  • Built Little Free Library, 2 benches, planted trees in Heritage and Griffin Parks
  • Supported 6 Eagle Scouts at awards dinner celebration
  • Society of Women Engineers scholarship
  • Worked on Kids Against Hunger food packaging – 2 different locations
  • Rang bells for Salvation Army in December and assembled 75 Senior Citizen Baskets
  • Collected and donated 22 backpacks to Windsor-Essex County at District Convention
  • Gave a $3,000 and a $2,000 vocational scholarship to graduating seniors at the high schools
  • Past President’s Dinner and Golf in October (fellowship)
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving at Cherry Hill School
  • Hosted Area 5 Picnic at Cady-Boyer Barn
Rotary Projects:
  • Helped Plymouth AM prepare for spaghetti dinner
  • Had 5 members at One Rotary Summit in September
  • Sponsored 4 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards  students at a 3 day seminar
  • Completed an update on Visioning for the Club
  • Supported Windsor Roseland Rotary Club in their India water project
  • Shelter Box donation - $1,000.  Have purchased several Shelter Boxes over the years.
  • Collected money for Polio on World Polio Day in October
  • Exchange student bowling and pizza party
Final Highlight:
  • Successful Liberty Fest Beverage Tent despite cold and rainy weather
Lisa Kennedy's Presidential Address
Please click on "Read More" to read Lisa's entire Presidential Address.
Presidential Address
July 15, 2019
Thank you’ s:  DG John chambers and first lady Sandy, AG Russ Jones, PDG Jim Karolyi & Jill, Past President Sue Kowalski, Board Members, Club members, friends and family (My Husband Mike.)
As a young child something very impressionable happened to me.  My grandpa worked at the post office and was a member of the rural letter carriers association, and he and my grandma took me to their dinner.  I felt very special to be there and then they showed a film of one of their charities they were passionate about.  It was a young girl who had no arms and legs, and I couldn’t believe my eyes as I watched her go up the staircase unassisted. I couldn’t stop asking questions after dinner. My grandpa gently explained that there are others in this world that need our help and they had chosen this young child to make a difference.  I remember seeing pictures of Compassion International children they had sponsored and trying to figure out how they were my grandparents' kids because they didn't look a thing like us.  At a very young age I learned about this wonderful thing called service.
Fellow Rotarians, when I visited your Canton Rotary Club for the first time… had me at hello!
I’m going to talk a lot about growing membership this year, so I felt it only fitting to share my Rotary story and why I connect with others to try and do the right thing.  From my first visit – Mary’s warm smile and hearing the camaraderie of Sam who called her Tumbelena, to the trip to
Vegas with Ken & Mary where I learned about Ken's driving skills and his sales mantra “in sales you can sell a lot and make a little or sell a little and make a lot,"  to Ken and Mike's gambling antics where Ken became the “Cat Daddy” and Mike the “Deuce Man,” I was made to feel a part of a big Rotary family.
Early on in my Rotary experience, I was told I had to go to district assembly as I would learn what all the positions are.  I must have been a fast learner because in true Rotary spirit they made me Secretary at my second or third meeting.  Then I heard “You don’t really understand Rotary until you go to District Conference”.  AAAHHH, there I learned about children in Nicaragua that were existing off the city dump.  Yes, I threw my hand volunteering my Canton Rotary Club to help.   I learned that Rotarians traveled to India and other countries giving polio drops to little children and that Rotary was going to eradicate polio worldwide.  The power of Rotary!  I learned of Rotarians that traveled to remote regions of the globe to build water wells, schools, and set up medical and dental clinics.  I heard all these exchange students from all over the world pour their hearts out about their Rotary experience. I felt so honored and humbled to be associated with this great organization called Rotary.
14 years ago, in 2004-2005, I served my first term as President during our Centennial Year.  I like spending money, so we built a clock plaza in Heritage Park and Roger fondly reminds me he got to finish paying for it in his year. 
I remember many events at Roman Forum like Pizza with Santa and Greg rearranging the pepperonis on the Pizzas, so they were just right.  Greg would send soup home to me when I was sick and bring me figs off his tree.  He would also give me carry-out of his freshly made gnocchi, and he would say “Mike is working late; he might like this.”   
I learned about all thing’s aviation, and all general bits of wisdom from Bill Brown, a member of the original "Lilley Road Mafia."
Mike and I both loved hearing about the travels of the Nomads and spending time with Roland and Mary.  Mary invited me to tea in downtown Plymouth and it was one of my most favorite afternoons. 
I loved how John Schwartz, the club's first President, would crab at us for not following rules and properly reporting back to the club after board meetings.  Anyway, who needs Roberts’s rules when you have Ken’s Rules, right? 
And there was Larry Schaefer who just crabbed for no reason at all but had this big ole teddy bear soft heart.
And Roger, my Rotary sponsor and big procrastinator but is an animal lover and who has the kindest soul.  We still take each other to lunch on our birthdays.
Later, I heard we had a returning club member and former banker, Bill Tesen.  Thank goodness for Bill Tesen who has his hand and heart in everything.
There was Larry Oldford who I could always count on to make me look early! 
 John and Sue who are involved in all things Rotary and many of you might not know that Sue is an amazing cook.  I love our evenings of fellowship and sharing a meal.  And it comes with a cat so that is a trifecta for me!
  Ansel, who learns new operating systems just for fun. I love those smarty pants:)
More recently we had our corvette man, Bill Simmerer, return to the club.  Bill will lead our Membership committee this year with Dean assisting him.
 And now I am very excited to help all our newer members find their voice, their story, in this great organization we call Rotary.
Yes, I connected and gained a Rotary Family. 
 RI President Mark Maloney and Governor John are asking us to grow this great organization we call Rotary so we can achieve more.  Grow our service and the impact of our projects.    Rotary “Connects the World”. 
This year we also want to foster an environment where Rotary does not compete with family but supports and compliments it.  I love seeing the children at our meetings and events.  They are learning about service like I did as a child. 
Keep in mind Prospective Members join rotary for local & international service, as well as personal & professional development.  Invite them to share Rotary. 
What is your Rotary Story, or what rotary story do you want to create to connect with your community and the world?
District Governor John says to “Do the right thing”.  When we learned that there are 70-80 homeless families in our community, we are doing the right thing by connecting with Journey To Housing for a project I am very passionate about.  And I am happy to report our District Grant has been approved to provide the kitchen and bathroom move in kits.
We also learned that there are families making choices between food and their personal hygiene products and missing school.  Who knew there was a big need for feminine hygiene products in our schools, shelters and community?  We are doing the right thing.  We have initiated enough conversations that they are on the list for Back to School Supplies for Salvation Army.  We will be doing a drive.
Now I am asking you to do the right thing and share this wonderful thing we call Rotary and let’s grow and diversify our club, so it represents our community.  
In closing,
I like to say Rotary is a marathon, not a sprint.  But the reality is, it is a relay where you give it your all and then pass the baton to your fellow Rotarian and then you cheer them on. 
Sue (and John), thank you for your service to our club and district. Thank you for passing the baton and let’s grow this great organization we call Rotary!
Cultural Diversity
Today Aruna and Shiva Koushik from the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club visited us.  Aruna spoke to us about Cultural Diversity.  Aruna is our Rotary District Governor Nominee for 2021/2022.  She is passionate about polio and supporting her community.  Welcome Aruna!
Announcements from our meeting today:
  • The Canton Police Awards will be held at the Summit on the Park in Canton on July 30, 2019.
  • Trash pickup July 20, 2019.  Please see the "Community Flyers" section to the right for more information.
  • We are starting to discuss additional fundraisers.  The Canton Rotary Clock project with commemorative bricks and benches was suggested.
  • Our Journey 2 Housing District Grant has been approved by our local Rotary District, and has been forwarded to Rotary International for final approval.
  • Belleville Rotary Club has a Golf Outing coming up on August 23, 2019, at Fellows Creek.  For additional information see
  • Remember Sarah's Maiga Homes Partner Appreciation Mixer on Thursday, August 1 from 4-6pm.  Please contact her to make your reservation.
President Lisa Kennedy introduced Aruna Koushik with an interview.  We learned that her husband is Shiva Koushik who is the Immediate Past President of the Windsor-Roseland Rotary Club.  Aruna and her family have no pets, as she is allergic to them.  Shiva and Aruna have a son and a daughter, and three other children who call them Mom and Dad.  Aruna is a human rights officer for the Province of Ontario, is a sexual harassment expert, has worked in the office of mediation services, is the Past President of her Rotary Club, and runs a school for classical Indian dancing. 
Aruna talked about some of the little things that we can do to make guests from other cultures feel welcome when visiting us.  She talked about the areas of food, seating, conversation, and events.  Cultural is learned behavior that is found in our family, origin, environment, and beliefs.  Questions to think about when considering our cultural reactions are:
  • How do we connect?
  • How do we share?
  • How do we listen?
Some ways of showing healthy and respectful curiosity to another person's culture are:
  • Ask a simple question.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Reflect back on what has been said.
  • Be willing to accept differences.
  • Show genuine appreciation for someone else's culture.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us Aruna, and for helping us to expand the way we think about diversity.
Meet the Governor Night 2019
Tonight Ansel, John, and Sue traveled to Harrow, Ontario, Canada, to meet our upcoming District Governor for 2019/2020, John Chambers.
Meet the Governor is an annual event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Harrow, Ontario, Canada.  This is the 66th year for Meet the Governor Night, and we thank the Rotary Club of Harrow for organizing and sponsoring this event.  The night started for us with a bus trip to Harrow hosted by the Plymouth Rotary Club.  We met at the Camoes Portuguese Club where we partook of the annual tradition of "red pop and sunflower seeds."  (The red pop recipe is a closely guarded secret.)  Our distinguished group of Past District Governors, District Governor Elect John Chambers, DG Nominee Noel Jackson, and DG Nominee Designate Aruna Koushik were piped in by the bagpiper.  Peggy Golden, President of the Harrow Rotary Club, welcomed everyone and acted as Master of Ceremonies.  After the Toasts, the National Anthems of Canada and the United States, The Rotary Song, and grace, we enjoyed a dinner of chicken, salad, pasta, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls and butter, assorted pastries, and coffee or tea. 
After a round of "sing songs" it was on to our program.  Our current District Governor Paul Sincock gave his final address to the Clubs and was then presented with the Past Governor's Pin.  DG Paul highlighted the District Clubs' events and summarized the year.  Thank you for your service to Rotary this year Paul.
Incoming District Governor John Chambers was introduced by PDG Elizabeth Smith Yeats.  John talked about his goals of growing membership and supporting families.  He also talked about his motto for the year, "Do The Right Thing", especially as it relates to families, Rotary, and the community.  In keeping with his family theme, his District Conference will be family friendly and will be held at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, on May 15-17, 2020.  He said that there would be a joint fundraiser between our District 6400 and a nearby District in November.  After DG John's address to the attendees, he was presented with the District Governor's Pin by Paul Sincock and, with his Club, the Rotary Club of Detroit A.M., he was presented the District Governor's Banner.  We welcome you as our District Governor of 2019/2020, John, and we look forward to an uplifting your of service under your leadership.  Welcome District Governor John Chambers!
Captain Rotary Visits!
Today Captain Rotary visited our Club and spoke about his work and his new upcoming role in Rotary District 6400.
Our guest today was Noel Jackson, aka Captain Rotary.  Dr. Noel Jackson is a a dentist in Trenton, a member of the Trenton Rotary Club, and District 6400 District Governor Nominee.  He will serve as our District's Governor in 2020/2021.  He has traveled internationally on many projects providing dental care and instruction.  He has also been active in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program in our District.  Dr. Jackson's core values encompass service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership.  He is passionate about engaging new members.  We look forward to hearing more from our very own Captain Rotary as he prepares for his year as District Governor.
Liberty Fest 2019
This year we celebrated Canton Township's Annual Liberty Fest by manning the Canton Rotary Beverage Tent.  This is our major fundraiser of the year for us, and allows us to carry out many charitable projects.
At our meeting on June 10th we finalized plans for the Beverage Tent and for our work schedules.  It was "all hands on deck" as we readied the plans for this major fundraiser.  The first day of the event was June 13th; however, due to the inclement weather, the festivities for the day were cancelled.  On Friday, June 14th, we tried again.  Success!  The weather cooperated, and we were able to operate a full day of activity with good attendance and a happy crowd of beer drinkers.  We were looking forward to Saturday; however, the weather, while basically dry, was rather overcast and chilly.  Everyone still enjoyed the day and the fireworks though!  Thank you to all of our visitors.  We look forward now to planning our projects for the coming year and to spending our funds to help the local community and the world.  Thanks everyone!
Dedication of Mildred Brown Memorial Tree
We met at Heritage Park by the Veterans Memorial to begin our evening meeting.  Here we dedicated a tree in memory of Mildred Brown, beloved wife of member Bill Brown.
This evening we honored Mildred Brown with a plaque dedicated to her at one of the trees that the Canton Rotary Club planted in Heritage Park this past year.  The tree is near the Veterans' Memorial which is special to World War II Veteran Bill Brown.  Mildred Brown, affectionately known as Millie, passed away on February 25, 2018, at the age of 95.  Bill and Millie enjoyed 75 years of marriage together.  Our Club was indeed privileged to have known Millie.
After the ceremony, we adjourned to L A Bistro where we enjoyed dinner and fellowship.  We were joined by member Bill Brown and two of his daughters.  Former member Roger Haslick and wife Maureen also joined us to honor Millie. 
Club Information
Welcome to our Club!
Service Above Self
First Monday of Month at 6:00 p.m., Second thru Fifth Mondays at 12:05 p.m.
L A Bistro
44314 Cherry Hill Road
Canton, MI  48187
United States of America
(734) 968-1436
DistrictSiteIcon District Site
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Published by Canton Rotary Club, P.O. Box 87991, Canton, MI  48187
Please contact Susan Kowalski, Executive Secretary at with any questions.