Speaker Chair Steve Schlott introduced our return guest speaker, Jamie Gaskin, from United Way  and a former neighbor of Steve’s. Jamie reviewed his personal and career histories, noting that he has “lived in crisis” in the past few years: a divorce and residential change, followed by a recent remarriage, occurred in the midst of his very active role in the discovery, response, and management of Flint’s water crisis. Change is neither new nor overwhelming to Jamie, who grew up in an adoptive home in Charlevoix and went to college for a degree in social work. As Chief Executive Officer at United Way, an organization that receives $1.5 million dollars from 300 companies and 15,000 workplace donors, grant funding that rounds the annual budget up to $7.6 M, Jamie and his folks at United Way manage projects for other organizations that need specific support in finance, logistics, human relations, oversight, etc., as well as fund grants to organizations that strengthen the four “legs” on which the “table” of community stands upright:

  • Health (addressing crime reduction, neighborhood stability, and opioid abuse issues, for instance, and accounting for roughly 10% of budget),
  • Education ( including 2 full-time staff working with schools on literacy, involving 40% of budget),
  • Financial Stability ( accounting for 10% of budget; examples being TeenQuest/YouthQuest training, Junior Achievement support at the individual level and loan assistance for acquisition of property for the Farm/Food Program on a broader scale), and
  • Basic Needs (40% of budget going to emergency shelter costs, building handicap ramps, the Swartz Creek Backpack Program – a Club focus, and such).

Jamie offered to return for a presentation on his extensive knowledge of events and issues regarding the Flint Water Crisis, noting that this would be a full speaker commitment, by itself, with information and import to warrant exclusive focus. We look forward to it.

Jamie Gaskin‘s successor at Boys and Girls Club, Tauzzari Robinson, was formally installed today by President Crys Reed (see photo) after the meeting was called to order and Art Ridley found the flag after and extensive search so that he could lead the other 17 present in the Pledge. King Jeff Dennings fined all those not among the 29 present at last week’s “Multi-Club” Installation Banquet, Tauzzari paid a fine by John Losinski for arriving “on Ohio time”, the entire Club paid a fine a “no Phil” because the newly installed President Phil Holmblade was absent, Jack Medemar and Matt Mrasek paid “for having their own meeting”, and Steve Schlott paid for attempting to fly under the “fine” radar by sitting at the head table. The morning’s “50/50” pot sales by Carol Dennings rose to $20 dollars, and the winner was Matt Mrasek.

Bill Hentgen reminded all of the schedules of Cultural Center programs and events, and the annual InterService Club Luncheon will be Friday, November 16.

Until next time, “Promise Yourself…