Rotary Hears Update on Bay Veterans Foundation
May 14, 2019
By: Stephen Kent
, former Rotarian and Past President of this club, spoke about the
Bay Veterans Foundation
. Founded in 2015, the Vets Foundation is different from the VFW and American Legion. The new group raises funds for and supports various vet related causes in the area, but they were founded to give a different kind of support to the Vets themselves.
One of the first goals was to provide hands on experience, training, and work opportunities for Vets who want to work with their hands. A dream was to start a "maker space" or workshop where the Vets could gather and use equipment to make things. This would be more than the simple
"birdhouse" shop. They might make birdhouses, but they would be kits to give to young people.
Along the way to that end, the Foundation spearheaded work on projects like Battery Park in front of Wirt Library. That was the first public park in Bay City and was, for many years, a central gathering place. Over the years it lost the look of a park as other buildings were constructed around the area. When the Wirt Library was built the parks looked even less like it's purpose.
With leadership from Don Carlyon and others, the Foundation located information and even blueprints for the original cannons that had once graced Battery Park. They worked with Bay Cast and others to make replicas of those guns, which had been donated years ago and melted down as part of the war effort. The new cannons, a new war memorial and a replica guard shack now restore some of the park's former appeal.
The dream of the "maker space" was never lost. Recently the Foundation was able to purchase the old "Wings N Things" building across from the Pere Marquette Depot for renovation and conversion to this new use. Subsequent work revealed various issues with the old building and property. A brownfield recovery grant was obtained to clean up environmental issues from a former gas station. That effort found an unknown tank of other substances.
The building proved to have some other internal issues as well.
But obstacles have been overcome and work continues on the site. Research has uncovered old pictures, prior tenants, some of the building's uses, and plenty of stories. The plan is to restore the building to a look close to the original, a look that compliments the Depot.
Bay Veterans Foundation Building with awning on left
For more information visit
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CLUB NEWS and ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Tall Ship Celebration
is coming to down in mid-July. As always, Rotarians will fill a number of volunteer jobs. See Nancy Greve
for details and to volunteer.
passed out raffle tickets for the upcoming Golf Outing. Members are asked to either sell those tickets, or to purchase them. The prize will again be an I-pad computer with AirPods.
A challenge has been underwritten by Lindsay Richardson
, who will give a gift certificate to a local restaurant to the person selling the most Golf Outing raffle tickets! Don't miss this one.
The district has requested assistance with housing and transportation for a Rotary Global Scholar
from Pakistan who will be in the area June 10 to 13. If you can assist, please tell Harvey.
The district also asked for help recruiting OUT-bound foreign exchange students
. We have had a regular stream of inbounds, but it's been a while since anyone went abroad from our area. Informational meetings are planned in the next weeks.
A number of people commented on how well the Mitten State Music Revival
came off! Jeff Yantz will present a wrap-up soon.
The club will meet off-site on these dates:
June 4 - The Depot
June 18 - Marriott Uptown
July 30 - Marriott Uptown
At the board's direction, these Breezes,
the club web site,
and the member database
will be dropped as of July 1, 2019.
Replacing these systems,
used for the last fifteen years,
will be the Club Runner program.
If there are features of the current system that you like or rely on,
be sure to ask board members or incoming administration if there will be
a replacement for that feature.
---- DATES TO REMEMBER ----
June 24, 2019: Golf Outing
- 9:00 am Maple Leaf Golf Course
(See the official schedule at
May 21, 2019: Ennis Center for Children
has been working with abused and/or neglected children for over 39 years. Rahsaan Burnley
will talk about the Center, where services have been reaching over 3,500 Michigan children and families in crisis annually. On any given day, we help over 300 children in our foster care program alone.
May 28, 2019:
Diane Fong and Carolyn Wierda will update the club on the
latest information from the Bay Area Community Foundation
is an intimate affiliation of carefully selected business and professional people,
having as its objective the promotion of high ethical standards in private, commercial
and civic life, and dedicated to the ideal that the basis of all worthy endeavor is unselfish service.
Current and past DISTRICT DISPATCH
newsletters are available on the District site shown in the LINKS section below.
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Remember! Check attendance sheets at the front desk.