Officer Ken Szmanski, from Metro Police Authority, spoke today about his work as School Resource Officer in Swartz Creek Schools. This is where he met our Club’s Speaker Chair, Carol Dennings, while giving away bicycles, intervening in behavioral issues in classrooms, and attending 13 years of proms. Although he is no longer in that particular role and is working “on the streets” again, he still retains the heart for kids that sent him to school for elementary education and served him well in his 22 years of police service. Officer Szmanski seemed to echo our Lt. Gov. Jack Proffitt‘s message about understanding the important “Why?” of decision-making and dealing with young folk. In one anecdote, Szmanski told how he defused an incident of a 7-year-old’s systematic destruction of whole shelves of library and textbooks as well as the clearing off the teacher’s desk onto the floor. The officer literally and figuratively extended his hand to the young man and inquired about the reason for the youngster’s distress. The boy talked about having “no friends” and “feeling dumb”, but opened up in the officer’s overtures. conceiving his career work as a “noble” job, Szmanski is fully convinced that a law officer can enforce the law appropriately “without being a jerk” – several of the people he has arrested have sought him out later in life, with their children, proud to show him the contrast between “who I am now” and “who I used to be” and appreciative the man who modeled rather than preached the message of “character”.
In lieu of the absent President Phil Holmblade, the meeting was called to order by “Stand-In President” Jeff Dennings, with Jack Proffitt leading the Pledge of Allegiance and Greg Hilliker saying grace before breakfast. Terry Jones and Joe Cozart were assessed “make-up” fines for all their missed meetings. Bill Hentgen proposed a fine for the comments he got last week on his clothing and opened the floodgates for a series of fines against him for such things as wearing his Ice Folllies costume, blinding others in the meeting, and monopolizing the fines. Carol Dennings paid for thinking that a seat at the head table would insulate her from the fines, Peter Venos proposed a fine against TailTwister Jack Medemar for “sneaking into” the meeting and it cost Pete a “spitting into the wind” fine. Greg paid a fine for “looking for escape routes” but won a big vote of confidence when he sobbed over the absence of “friends” among the 21 present today. Mic Goulet sold the winning “50/50” ticket to Art Ridley, who struggled with the idea of the Club holding on to “his” money.
- Judge Joe Farah reported on the food, drink, and sound arrangements with Atlas Valley for the upcoming “$5K Raffle”.
- At present, Jim Reigle reports that 24 tickets are still unsold and in his possession, and John Losinski pointed out the impact of ticket sales on our youth-impacting program possibilities. SELL!
- Don’t forget next Tuesday’s Board Meeting at 6:00 p.m. at Dan Crannie’s !
Until then, “Promise Yourself…”