Fourteen  of us hardy (or foolhardy, on this bitterly cold day) folks gathered today to meet Jennifer Acree, Program Officer for the C. S. Mott Foundation, and hear her describe the organization’s philanthropic mission and impact. Started in 1926 by this 3-time Mayor of Flint to focus on (1) Service to the City and its citizens, (2) Education, (3) promotion of Civil Society, and (4) creating and preserving a healthy Environment. While Foundation grants impacting Flint amount to roughly $60M annually, another $60-70 M is distributed across the nation and around the world, coming from the Foundation’s $3B endowment. The dramatic impact on our community has been and will continue to be  evident in the new “Educare” project (mitigating the negative cognitive and behavioral effects of lead on area children), the revival of ”community education” in all Flint schools, the recent relocation of Buckham Art Gallery, youth entrepreneurship programs, housing infrastructure development, and Dan Crannie’s TV viewing habits (you have to ask him about it).

President Phil Holmblade asked Mic Goulet to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Ken Cullen to say grace before the meal, then opened the fines: John “J-Lo” Losinski immediately fined Ron Ballard for saying that “It’ll be a cold day in Hell before he’d spend 50 years in this Club” and “Today’s the day!” but was fined in return by Greg Hilliker who noted that “This is too cold to be Hell.” Kevin Wainwright fined himself for wearing short sleeves to the meeting (there was no opposition), Jeff Dennings fined “J-Lo” for being envious of the King’s (Jeff’s) success, Ken Cullen passed a fine against the Southerly table for leaving him without means of support, Jack Proffitt fined President Phil for “losing control of the meeting”, and John Losinski passed a fine against “the next person through the door”, prompting Judge Joe Farah to remind him that “there is heat in the jail.” Carol Dennings won the “50/50” this week and will plan to be here to sell tickets next week.

Until then, “Promise Yourself…”