Salvation Army’s Director of Development Joy Martinbianco returned to the Club this morning to introduce Major Randy Hellstrom as our guest speaker for our meeting. Major Randy has served the Salvation Army throughout the midwest (including Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, South Dakota, and Michigan) with personal roots in our area (early childhood in Owosso and stints in Jackson, Battle Creek, and Kalamazoo before his assignment to Flint). He mentioned the “Time2Ring” program in which our Club’s participates this coming Friday (Dec. 13 at ELGA Credit Union on Pierson Road) and we joked that Mic Goulet could get a Gaines Jewelry watch back for his volunteer bell-ringing stint. Some of the other, perhaps lesser known, agency ventures are a major focus on Human Trafficking (with “safe housing” and “Information and Referral” support for victims), development of a Medical Respite support system for caregivers, Youth Sports program at their downtown gym facility, and Music (a concert coming up on December 15).

After ringing the Opening bell, President Phil Holmblade had Jeff Dennings and Jack Proffitt take the lead in Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer, respectively, then had some announcements: Bill Hentgen announced various Cultural Center events (particularly Classy Brassy Christmas coming up on Wednesday, December 5); Dan Crannie announced the upcoming World’s Largest Office Party on December 7; 8 people associated with our Club volunteered for work at the YMCA’s Santa Run this coming Saturday (December 1) and are to park in the lot south of the building before checking in; Jack Proffitt has some shirts available from “The Bridge” Family Fun Day activity we supported; and Jeff Dennings reported on the successful InterService Club Luncheon.

The interaction devolved into chaos when the fines were opened and Steve Schlott fined Mic Goulet for “shameless promotion”, a miffed Mic struck out with a fine for several of our official Optimist leaders for coming in “dressed as if they are auditioning for a role in ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’“, King Jeff Dennings fined the Southerly table for requesting a “pardon”, Jack Proffitt fined the entire Northerly table for “harrassing the TailTwister”, Ron Ballard paid a fine for “being nobody” despite his 50 years of  honorable service, and Carol Dennings was fined for “giving a civics lesson” to “Hizzoner” Joe Farah. Dan Crannie donated his “50/50” drawing winnings to the Salvation Army before the meeting adjourned.

Until next time, “Promise Yourself…”