Todd Slisher, Executive Director of Sloan*Longway ( ), brought visual aids to the meeting this morning and wowed the crowd (really only 17 present) with his displays depicting the intended changes for the Cultural Center area downtown. The 400,000 artifacts that Sloan has acquired since 1966 serve 65,000 kids and a lot of adults. Reflecting a “future orientation”, the improvements will allow displays that the Museum has had to decline, develop a  “History/Science/Technology” focus for the new Charter Academy ( )in development, and increase display space and eating options to build and retain visitors to this community resource. This privately funded venture will expand Sloan’s existing space from 58,000 square feet to 100,000, adding a cafe that will accommodate more than 200 visitors and covered walkways to neighboring Cultural Center buildings. Todd does a great job in sharing this exciting vision of Flint that is vibrant and vital to the image of an area sometimes viewed as desolate and declining.

President Phil Homblade did his standard opening ritual, asking Greg Hilliker to lead in the Pledge and Ken Cullen to pray the invocation. Jeff Dennings hawked tickets to the “Holiday Party” (wink, wink! see below) that will recognize Ron Ballard‘s 50-year membership and service in the Club, a sympathy card recognizing the loss in Art Ridley‘s family circulated for signatures, and the fines opened; Mic Goulet paid a “Groundhog Day” for experiencing the same thing again, Greg Hilliker paid a fine by the “King” Jeff Dennings for taking cuts in front of him for fine proposal, John Losinski paid a fine for showing up early, Kevin Wainwright paid a fine for using his crutch as a “crutch”, Bill Hentgen paid a fine for wearing a patchwork psychedelic shirt, Jack Proffitt paid for “only attending “5 Optimist Meetings” in the past week, and Bill Reeves only showed up this week to collect his “50/50″ drawing winnings!

Remember: “Holiday Party”/ “Tribute to Ron Ballard” at Ruggero’s on January 31 at 6:00pm (dinner at 7:00), $30/person, guests welcome, contact Jeff Dennings for tickets.

Until next time, “Promise Yourself…”