August 2022
S M T W T F S
31
01
03
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
01
02
03
Upcoming Events
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Secretary
Treasurer
President
Past President
Vocational Service
International Service
Rotary Foundation
Membership
Public Relations
Vice President
Executive Secretary / Director
Sergeant-at-Arms
Speakers
Club Assembly
Sep 08, 2022
Club Assembly
Oct 06, 2022
Club Assembly
Nov 03, 2022
Club Assembly
Dec 08, 2022
Club Assembly
Jan 05, 2023
Club Assembly
Feb 09, 2023
Club Assembly
Mar 09, 2023
No Meeting
Mar 30, 2023
Club Assembly
Apr 06, 2023
Club Assembly
May 04, 2023
Club Assembly
Jun 08, 2023
Club Information
Flushing

Rotary Club of Flushing, Michigan

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 7:00 AM
746 Chamberlain
Flushing, MI 48433
United States of America
   2022-2023 Theme logo - EN
Home Page Stories

Hannah Boike

Flushing High School senior Hannah Boike has been named the Rotary Club of Flushing’s Student of the Month for May.

Boike, who graduated with the Class of 2022 yesterday, finished high school as a high honors student with a 4.031 GPA. She will be attending the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor’s School of Engineering this fall to double major in biomedical engineering and music performance.

Boike was a three-year member of the Rotary Interact Club at FHS and belonged to Mu Alpha Theta, the Science National Honor Society, the National Honor Society, Student Council (vice president), Beta Chi Theta choir and Madrigals (president). She sang with the Flushing High School choir and performed at many FHS concerts and events.

Additionally, Boike was awarded the Jan Liepmann Vocal Music Scholarship and received the Women of Engineering Merit Award. She was also part of the MSVMA State Honors Choir three years in a row and All State Honors Choir in her senior year.

Music is likewise a primary focus for Boike outside of school. She has composed and performed over 30 songs and plays various instruments, including the guitar, piano and ukulele. She hopes to release her own music someday on a streaming platform.

Boike dedicated time to serving with the NHS/Red Cross Blood Drive, Student Council’s Food Can Drive and the Rotary Mile Water Station at the Crim Festival of Races. As a Rotary Interact student, she also prepared s’mores at the Flushing Candlewalk, made blankets for Hurley Medical Center and volunteered at the Rotary Club’s Area 7 Book Distribution.

Boike said her favorite memories included performing at Flushing High School’s Holiday Collage concert and attending Raider athletic events. Her favorite teacher was Flushing High School choir director Nate Degner, who taught her valuable lessons with music and life in general.

Hannah’s parents are Kim and Jeff Boike, and she has three older siblings: Tyler, Megan and Connor.

(Reprinted courtesy of Ben Gagnon, The Flushing View)

 
The Flushing High School (FHS) Rotary Interact Club continued the tradition of making blankets for children in the Hurley Hospital
pediatric department. Children who are in the hospital are given a blanket that they can take home with them upon their release from the hospital.
Hurley Hospital nurses have shared with the Interact Club the joy and comfort children have received from the blankets.
 
The FHS Rotary Interact Club is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Flushing since its chartering in 2009. Both clubs enjoy working together on a number of projects. The FHS staff sponsor for the Interact Club is Flushing Rotarian and high school Assistant Principal, Kevin Foltz. Many thanks to the Interact Club for your dedication to Service-Above-Self.
 
At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship caused by the war in Ukraine. We’re using our deep networks and decades of experience to take swift action in the region.  Find out more about what Rotary is doing and how you can support relief efforts.

The Rotary Foundation has created an official channel for Rotary members and other donors around the world to contribute funds to support relief efforts underway by Rotary districts. The Rotary Foundation has designated the Disaster Response Fund as the main avenue for this.

Thanks to the generosity of Rotary members and others, as of 18 March, the fund has received more than $3.2 million in contributions. These funds are being distributed to Rotary districts that apply for Disaster Response grants and will be used to provide relief to refugees or other victims of the crisis, including items such as water, food, shelter, medicine, and clothing. 

Learn more about the fund

DONATE NOW

 

Ella Schmidt

Flushing High School senior Ella Schmidt has been named as the Flushing Rotary Student of the Month for February.

Schmidt, who will graduate with high honors this spring, is carrying a 3.6-plus GPA. She is involved with the Rotary Interact Club, the National Honor Society, and the Future Farmers of America (FFA), where she holds the position of Sentinel.

Through Rotary Interact, Schmidt volunteered to make s’mores at the Flushing Candlewalk and participated in blanket making for Hurley Medical Center, a Very Special Art Day, the Huge Indoor Garage Sale and Area 7 Literacy book delivery to Flushing Middle School. She has also volunteered her time at a local daycare, volunteered at the Burton Police Department and worked at the soup kitchen through NHS.

Schmidt has played three years of varsity tennis at Flushing High School and will be entering her fourth year of tennis overall this spring. One of her favorite FHS memories is competing at the Flint Metro League Championships at the Midland Tennis Club in her junior year.

Schmidt’s main hobby involves horse-riding and showing horses, especially her own horse named George. Moving forward, her vision is to have a side hustle as a horse trainer/breeder for the horse show circuit.

Schmidt plans to study crop and soil sciences at Michigan State University but she’s also interested in becoming a Michigan State Trooper and pursuing something in the criminal justice field. She currently works at the Flint Farmers Market Apple Cart and is a farmhand at Xanadu Farms.

Schmidt credits Skye McWilliams and Tracey Groom from Genesee Career Institute (GCI) for introducing her to a variety of career fields related to agriculture. She’s especially thankful to her GCI instructors for pushing her to do things outside of her comfort zone through the agricultural program and giving her the total FFA experience, like showing pigs and raising chickens.

Schmidt also enjoys traveling. In fact, her family has set a goal of visiting all 50 states (Alaska this June will be their 50th state). She is the daughter of Andrew and Brandi Schmidt, and her brother Drew is a ninth grader in the Flushing School District.

(Article courtesy of Ben Gagnon, The View Newspaper Group, Inc.)

Traci Koch, RN, the Flushing Community Schools Nurse, was awarded the 2022 Rotary Club of Flushing's "Service Above Self" award.  This award recognizes a member of the Flushing community for exemplary service to the community, thereby reflecting the Rotary motto of "Service Above Self."
 
Employed by the Flushing Community Schools as the School Nurse for 26 years, Traci Koch, RN, provides many essential health services within the schools. In recognizing Mrs. Koch for her outstanding service by naming her Flushing Community Schools Employee of the Year, the FCS stated that "While we have known since she was hired in 1996 just how blessed we are to have Traci as our school nurse, her position has certainly been thrust into the spotlight over the last two years.  She is an absolute pro, as knowledgeable and as helpful as can be, and has taken on the added responsibilities in stride.  She is instrumental in helping us decipher and interpret guidance from the health department and has been the absolute go-to for all COVID activity.  She is our main conduit to the Genesee County Health Department for all things COVID related.  She has done all of this while maintaining all of her regular nurse responsibilities in support of all our kids and buildings.  Traci is pulled in so many different directions daily, and does it with an unmatched level of professionalism, expertise, patience, and thoroughness.  She is incredibly humble, quick to give so much credit to our teams in the buildings that are helping immensely every day.”   
 
Flushing Schools Deputy Superintendent Andrew Schmidt says "Traci was hired by Flushing Community Schools in 1996 (26 years ago).  For a period of years, she worked for both Flushing and Carman-Ainsworth Schools but has worked full time in Flushing for the past 5-6 years.  As a school nurse, Traci is responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of 4,100 students and over 500 staff located at 7 different buildings. Traci floats between buildings and serves students with heart conditions, seizures, severe allergies, and other chronic health conditions. She trains the medical emergency response teams at each building for CPR, first aid, AED, and she is an exceptional teacher.  In addition to providing exceptional care to our students with increasing medical needs, our offices have become pharmacies.  The number of medications being administered is staggering and Traci helps manage all of that with our secretaries and principals.”
 
Finally, according to Flushing Rotary Service Above Self Award coordinator Darwin Scherba “Personally, I’ve had the pleasure of working directly with Traci for a little over a year.  I can tell you this about Traci, no matter what obstacle is thrown her way, she does not panic, she keeps her cool, she does whatever it takes to get the job done.  She has earned the respect of our students, staff, and parents in our district.  She puts ‘Service Above Self’ into every decision that she makes.  And every decision is made for the health and safety of our students, staff and the Flushing Community.  I cannot think of anybody that is more deserving of this year’s Rotary Service Above Self award than Traci Koch.” 
 
The Rotary Club of Flushing is pleased to award its 2022 "Service Above Self" award to Traci Koch, RN, Flushing Community Schools Nurse, for her outstanding service to the students and staff of the Flushing Schools, and to the larger Flushing community as a whole.
The Flushing Rotary Club once again roasted S'mores and provided them to those attending the 2021 Flushing Candlewalk, on December 2 & 3 on Main St. in downtown Flushing.  The Rotary Club of Flushing has been preparing warm S'mores treats for Candlewalk attendees for over 20 years.  The treats are always well received by those attending Candlewalk, and it is one way of welcoming visitors, and community members alike, to downtown Flushing, and contributing to the community and the seasonal spirit.  The Flushing Rotary Club, chartered in April 1992, will celebrate its 30th anniversary as a Rotary Club and member of Rotary International, in April 2022.   The Flushing Rotary Club meets weekly on Thursday mornings at 7:00AM at Sorrentos restaurant on Pierson Rd in Flushing.  Visitors are welcome to attend and see what Flushing Rotary is all about and our service to the community and world. We would be happy to have you join us. More information on Rotary International is available at www.Rotary.org  The Flushing Rotary Club can also be contacted at FlushingRotaryClub@gmail.com

Kylie Kapraun

Flushing High School senior Kylie Kapraun has been selected as the Flushing Rotary Club Student of the Month for November 2021.

Kapraun, a member of the FHS Rotary Interact Club, is carrying a 3.9 GPA and ranks in the top 20 in the Class of 2022. She will graduate this spring with high honors.

In addition to belonging to the Rotary Interact Club, Kapraun is also a member of the National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Blueberry Ambassadors and Varsity Club. Her volunteer work includes helping with food distribution at New Life Church through the National Honors Society, volunteering at the soup kitchen through the Blueberries, reading to kids at Elms Elementary School through Varsity Club and making Candlewalk s’mores and blankets with the Rotary Interact Club.

Kapraun has participated in cross country at FHS for three years (all varsity) and track for four years (all varsity). Her favorite FHS memory, in fact, was running the football from Fenton to FHS for Homecoming pep rally festivities.

Currently, Kapraun is undecided on which college she will attend, but she is planning to study business administration and attend law school afterwards.

Kapraun said that her favorite FHS teacher was Amy McInerney, whom she had for advanced biology and MI Outdoors classes. McInerney helped Kapraun to realize she could handle advanced classes and was always positive, uplifting and encouraging.

Outside of school, Kapraun has an Etsy business and makes products at home to sell—such as YETI cups. Additionally, she enjoys running, biking and reading realistic fiction.

Kapraun also participates in a lot of German folk dancing— mostly at the Carpathia Club in Sterling Heights. She plans to visit Germany next summer.

Kapraun’s Rotary donation will go to Special Olympics/ Project Unify through Elementary, Middle School, and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) at FHS.

(Credit: Ben Gagnon, The View Newspaper Group, Inc.)

The Rotary Club of Flushing held its Annual Fundraising  Raffle drawing during the Harvestfest in downtown Flushing on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 3:00PM. 
 
Winners of the raffle drawing were: Ticket# 0019 to Laurel Allyn for the $1000 prize; ticket #0003 to Sandi Rutter for the $250 Prize; and ticket #0194 to M. Catlin for the $100 Prize.  Prize winners have been contacted and the winnings distributed. 
 
Nearly 700 raffle tickets were purchased, and 12 seat sponsorships with seat name plaques in the Riverview Park amphitheater were purchased, with over $8,000 raised from this year's fundraiser.   The Rotary Club of Flushing thanks the Flushing community for its continued support of our fundraisers and community projects.  For information on seat sponsorship with a name plaque in Riverview Park, email flushingrotaryclub@gmail.com

 
The Rotary Club of Flushing will hold its 2021 Annual Fundraiser Raffle on September 25, 2021, during the Harvest Fest in downtown Flushing. Due to Covid-19, the Entertainment Tent will not be held this year. Tickets for the annual raffle will be sold from 11AM-2:30PM at a ticket sales table on the sidewalk at 105 Main St. in downtown Flushing (across the street from the Hallmark store).  The raffle drawing will be held at 3:00PM.  Tickets are $10.00,  with first prize of $1000, second prize of $250, and third prize of $100 awarded.  Winners do not have to be present to win and will be notified of their winnings following the drawing on September 25, 2021.  Proceeds from the raffle fundraiser will go toward Flushing Rotary community projects.  Past projects have included the new stadium seats in Riverview Park, assistance with the Flushing Nature Trail,  renovation of the river overlook in Riverview Park, literacy projects in the Flushing Community Schools, and the Little Free Library in Cornwell Park in downtown Flushing. 

  

The Rotary Club of Flushing has awarded scholarships to two Flushing High School students for going above and beyond with acts of community service.

On June 17, the club presented scholarships to Megan Kassuba and Ashleigh Whaley, who both graduated this spring. Kassuba received the Gerald and Josie Knight Memorial Rotary Scholarship, while Whaley received the Richard and Kathy Merrill Rotary Scholarship.

Kassuba, who graduated with a 3.69 GPA, plans to attend Central Michigan University this fall to study environmental science. Her goal is to become a park ranger and travel around the United States to all the national parks.

As a Girl Scout member, Kassuba earned the Girl Scouts Silver Award and helped younger Girl Scouts earn badges. She was also the captain of the FHS ski team for two years and the girls’ golf team captain for one year.

Kassuba’s volunteering experiences included collecting money for Whaley Children’s Center, making blankets for Hurley Medical Center, and restoring four basketball hoops at Seymour Elementary School. She also volunteered with the Catholic Charities Soup Kitchen, the Flushing Candlewalk, and St. John Vianney Church.

Whaley, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, plans to attend Grand Valley State University and study nursing. She attended Mott Community College while in high school.

At FHS, Whaley was a four-year scholar-athlete with the girls varsity soccer team and was an MVP and scholar-athlete on the girls varsity basketball team. She also tutored students in mathematics as a member of Mu Alpha Theta and volunteered to help with kindergarten classes at the Early Childhood Center, where she was a role model for younger kids.

Outside the school setting, Whaley participated in a Nazarene Church project in Arizona and helped a local church revitalize its building. She and other volunteers also passed out water to homeless people who were suffering from the extreme heat at the time.

Whaley also volunteered with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to organize and distribute food products; prepared food at the North Flint Soup Kitchen; volunteered with Flushing Community Church to put together Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter gift baskets for those in need; and volunteered with youth at a Flushing soccer summer camp.

Each year, the Rotary Club of Flushing scholarships focus on service, as the Rotary motto is “Service Above Self.” The Rotary Club strives to award scholarships to students who demonstrate exemplary service above self and distinguish themselves among their peers by their service to the community. A scholarship subcommittee comprised of Rotary members and community representatives reviews student applications and makes recipient selections.

The scholarship program funds are administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

 
On June 24, at the soccer pavilion at Seymour Elementary School, the Rotary Club of Flushing held its annual Pass the Gavel meeting during which outgoing 2020-2021 Rotary President Marty Barta passed the presidential gavel to incoming 2021-2022 Flushing Rotary president Gary Whitmire.     During Ms. Barta’s term as president, the Rotary Club initiated a regional literacy library reserve, providing books to area Rotary clubs to provide to schools in their area in Genesee County to promote literacy.  The Flushing Rotary Club also established the “Little Free Library” in Cornwell Park in downtown Flushing, providing free books for the community, primarily for school-age children to develop literacy; recognized a Rotary Student of the Month at FHS from September-June; and provided two Rotary Scholarships to graduating FHS seniors recognizing outstanding community service and academic achievement.  The Club also engaged in strategic planning to align its projects and priorities with the needs of the community in which it resides, and which it serves.  President Barta was able to utilize Zoom to conduct virtual meetings during this challenging year to ensure that the Rotary club could continue to meet and conduct its business of serving the community.   Incoming president Gary Whitmire will continue leading the Rotary club forward, implementing its strategic plan and serving our community and world through the club’s local, regional and international projects.  The Rotary Club of Flushing, chartered in 1992, has provided financial and in-kind support to the Flushing community for 29 years.  The Rotary Club’s signature project was the stadium seating in Riverbank Park in downtown  Flushing. The motto of Rotary is “Service above Self”, and the Flushing Rotary Club strives to reflect this in all of its initiatives.
Individuals who reside or work in Flushing who are interested in learning more about the Rotary Club of Flushing can visit the Club’s website at www.FlushingRotary.com  and/or email FlushingRotaryClub@gmail.com 

2021 Rotary Tommy Award recipient Tim Glavin (left) receiving the Tommy gems from 2020 Tommy recipient Gary Whitmire (right). Photo provided

Rotary Club of Flushing charter member Tim Glavin has received the 2021 Tommy Award for displaying exemplary service to the community and to the Rotary Club of Flushing.

Glavin, a 29-year charter member of the club who participated in its formation in April 1992, received his Tommy Award during a virtual Rotary Club of Flushing meeting on March 25. Fellow Rotary members describe Glavin as a dedicated Rotarian since the club’s chartering, assisting in every community service effort and ensuring that many functions of the regular Rotary meetings go smoothly

Glavin, who has primarily served as Sergeant-at-Arms for the club, quietly and consistently serves the club by arriving early every week, setting up for the weekly meeting, arranging for attendance, collecting 50/50 raffle funds, and managing member name tags. He is also responsible for ensuring all members are wearing their Rotary pins and will fine them if they are not, which is a Rotary tradition.

Glavin also collects “Happy Bucks” from members during the meeting when they share a positive event in their lives.

“It is not always those who are front and center who should be recognized, but often those who just do what needs to be done and make it look effortless and seamless in a consistent and dependable manner,” said Flushing Rotary member Dr. John Cote. “Tim is a master of ensuring things are always taken care of and his dependability and dedication to his role are without question.”

Glavin is the owner of CIS Insurance Agency in Flushing and has been a corporate sponsor of many Flushing Rotary fundraisers and events over the years. His wife Connie, who is in automotive sales at a local dealership, has also procured sponsorships over the years for various Rotary fundraising events to support community projects in Flushing.

Rotary has been a family affair for the Glavins, as their son Tom has also helped at Rotary fundraisers by wearing the duck costume during the annual Duckie Race fundraisers.

The Thomas J. McNally Memorial Award, named after former Flushing Rotarian Thomas McNally Jr. (who is not deceased, but rather the first recipient of the award), was first presented in 1995. The award was the brainchild of former member Gerald Knight, who wanted to establish an award within the Rotary Club of Flushing to recognize a member who exhibited exemplary service to the club. Because the Flushing Rotary chapter was just three-years-old at the time, it did not have sufficient funds to award a Paul Harris Fellow, one of Rotary International’s highest awards given to members.

The Tommy Award is traditionally awarded on the Thursday preceding St. Patrick’s Day each year (this year’s award was delayed because of COVID) and recognizes a member of the Rotary Club of Flushing who has exhibited outstanding service to the club in the preceding year.

The award is represented by a necklace made of emerald green beads that are referred to within the Rotary Club as “the precious gems.” The recipient is expected to keep these “gems” safe, to wear them periodically at club meetings, and to plan and coordinate their awarding to a successor each year, in cooperation with prior Tommy Award winners in a secret planning session known as the “Tomclave.” Only prior award recipients can participate in the selection of the recipient each year.

Isaac Tift

Flushing High School senior Isaac Tift has been selected as the Rotary Club of Flushing’s Student of the Month for February.

Tift, a member of the National Honor Society, is carrying a 3.97 GPA in his final year at FHS. He has been recently accepted to the University of Michigan-Flint, where he plans to study early education. Tift also plans to return for his master’s degree after he begins his career in the classroom as a Pre-K/third-grade teacher.

Tift, who is an avid reader and writer, plans to write a book of his own someday. One of his current interest areas involves writing an informational text on teen issues, particularly regarding anxiety and mental health. He would also like to write children’s books in the future—a goal that aligns with his early education career path.

As a student at FHS, Tift competed in the Quiz Bowl, participated in the high school board gaming club and served as a Teacher Cadet at Central Elementary School, Elms Elementary School and the Early Childhood Center (ECC).

Tift said that his favorite FHS teacher was Mrs. Canterbury, his 10th grade English instructor. He described Canterbury—who recently retired from the district—as kind, personable, compassionate and relatable, always open to conversation and willing to help him with any problems he brought to her.

In terms of volunteerism, Tift spent much time giving back to his community. He worked at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, where he helped prepare and serve food, clean up and greet guests when they arrived. He also had numerous volunteer experiences as a Boy Scout, including garbage pick-up duties at the Flushing Township Nature Park and other local parks.

Tift’s $100 Rotary donation in his honor will go to the Humane Society of Genesee County.

(Courtesy of Ben Gagnon, The Flushing View, 2021).

 Pam Miller with her Service Above Self Award. Photo provided

Flushing High School social worker Pam Miller is the 2021 recipient of the Service Above Self Award presented by the Rotary Club of Flushing.

Miller, a longtime staff member at Flushing Community Schools, was presented with the award for her dedication to counseling students and launching outreach efforts for kids and their families.

Marty Barta, Rotary Club of Flushing president and former assistant principal at Flushing High School, said that Miller works relentlessly to get students the help they need, whether it involves situations at school and at home or scenarios involving mental health.

“She is deeply concerned about the students with whom she provides services,” Barta said. “She is confidential but also knows at what point she needs to seek help from outside sources. She is an exceptional listener, and the students know that she listens to their concerns.”

Along with her counseling work, Miller is described as having an “open wallet” because she frequently buys clothes, shoes, coats, lunches, food and other necessities for many students and their families in the Flushing community. For instance, Miller established a Prom Dress room, where she allows students to pick out dresses for an upcoming dance if they cannot afford to purchase one themselves.

Although she purchases many of the items herself, Miller has put together a network of community organizations and people whom she calls on for assistance when necessary. Over the years, she has arranged for beds, refrigerators and other household items to be delivered to families who need them and coordinated meals for families in the Flushing Community School District—especially around the holidays.

“Pam adopts students and their families every year during the holidays, gathering gifts that the students and the family want and need,” said Barta. “She digs deep into her own pocket to provide a holiday for these families. She takes no credit for these gifts, saying they are from Santa or from an anonymous donor.”

When the COVID-19 shutdown happened, Miller volunteered to help pack and distribute meals for FCS families—never missing a day of food distribution. She also volunteered at Flushing Christian Outreach Center to help pack and distribute food.

Professionally, Miller heads up the high school’s PPSC (Promoting Positive School Climate) efforts. In this capacity, she leads students, teachers and staff members in promoting a positive school climate at the high school by spearheading Raider Rewards when students are “caught doing something great.” She also hangs positivity banners throughout the high school and plays a huge role in preparing for the district’s annual Raider Rally to kick off a new school year.

In addition to being a problem solver for students, Miller serves as the high school’s “truancy officer” by tracking students’ attendance, arranging meetings with students and parents when a child has attendance issues and—when necessary—filing truancy paperwork with the county. Miller attends truancy hearings at Genesee County Probate Court and does all the follow-up work on getting students back on track and attending school.

The Rotary Club of Flushing’s Service Above Self Award reflects Rotary International’s motto and seeks to recognize someone in the Flushing community who goes above and beyond (Service above Self) in their service to the community and beyond, thereby exemplifying the Rotary motto. The recipient is always a non-Rotarian.

(The Rotary Club of Flushing expresses its appreciation to Ben Gagnon of The Flushing View for this story)

Michael Benko

Flushing High School (FHS) senior Michael Benko has received the Rotary Student of the Month honors for the month of December from the Rotary Club of Flushing.

Benko, who will walk with his senior class in the spring, is also currently enrolled at Flushing Raider Early College (FREC). Although the program requires him to attend high school for five years instead of four, Benko is earning numerous college credits while attending high school at a fraction of the cost of college classes. All his classes during his fifth year will be taken at Mott Community College.

Upon graduation, Benko plans to transfer his credits to Kettering University or Carnegie Mellon University to earn a degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering. Benko said that he would like to work for NASA if he goes the aerospace route or get into the automation field if he decides to earn a mechanical engineering degree.

As a student at FHS, Benko said that his two favorite teachers were Mr. Taylor and Mr. Bartlett. He said he enjoyed how they engaged with students in unconventional ways and kept their classes fun, while getting the lessons across in an easily understandable manner.

Benko kept himself busy at FHS with a variety of extracurricular school activities, including spelling bee contests. Last year, Benko finished second in the Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD) Spelling Bee (representing 21 districts) and finished second in that contest during his ninth-grade year.

Benko also won his ninth-grade spelling bee contest at Flushing and has finished near the top in every spelling bee he’s entered since fourth grade.

From seventh to eighth grade, Benko participated with the Flushing Middle School robotics program and helped to design a robot that won a competition at Milford (Aquatics ROV) and a best design award.

Benko has also been involved with the FHS theatre program, getting his start as Juror #11 in “12 Angry Jurors.” He also starred in “Ax of Murder” and “Caught in the Act” during his junior year and appeared in “Clue: On Stage” (winter 2019) and “Star Stars: The Comedy Awakens” (spring 2019).

For hobbies, Benko enjoys model-making, fishing, reading fantasy novels, playing video games and drawing emblems from shows and video games, along with some portraits.

Benko also dedicated time to volunteer with the Soup Kitchen and Catholic Charities, where he prepared food, sorted clothes and toys, and helped in any capacity.  The Flushing Rotary Club places a priority on community service in selecting its Student of the Month and annual Rotary Scholarship recipients.

Benko’s $100 Rotary donation will go to the Old Newsboys of Flint. (reprinted from B. Gagnon, The Flushing View, January,  2021).

Pictured (L-R): Andrew Schmidt, John Gault, Darwin Scherba and Matt Catlin.
 
The Rotary Club of Flushing has installed a new Little Free Library book dispensary in Cornwell Park in downtown Flushing at the SW intersection of Cherry and Main streets.   The Little Free Library will provide books free of charge for individuals to use on a 'take a book, leave a book exchange basis.'  The inaugural books are being provided by the Rotary Club of Flushing as a part of its literacy program and are primarily intended for grades K-7.  The Flushing Rotary Little Free Library is a member of the worldwide Litte Free Library network (www.littlefreelibrary.org) of over 100,000 locations worldwide.  The Rotary Club of Flushing is pleased to be able to provide this resource to the Flushing community to promote literacy.
 
Rotary International has been partnering with the World Health Organization, The United Nations, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Gates Foundation, and pursuing the eradication of Polio since the inception of its Polio Plus initiative in 1985, and the End Polio Now campaign in more recent years.   The public are invited to support this longstanding effort to eradicate Polio, which has been reduced by 99.9% in the world, by making a donation online at ENDPOLIO.org 
The Rotary Club of Flushing supports the Flushing community through its various programs and activities of community service. Over the 28 years since its chartering in 1992, the Rotary Club of Flushing has provided approximately $200,000 in new stadium seating for downtown Riverview Park, annual scholarships to Flushing High  School graduates who have demonstrated a record of academic achievement and community service, vocational and literacy initiatives via its Literacy  Project to provide books to families in need, the Little Free Library initiative, renovating the Riverview Park river overlook deck, supporting the Flushing Nature Trail, and community events such as supporting the holiday Candlewalk and the annual Entertainment Tent during the Flushing Festival. 
 
If you would like to support the work of the Flushing Rotary Club in our community, you can contribute to our Flushing Rotary Club Fund at the Community Foundation of Flint at DONATE HERE  Contributions may be tax-deductible, as this is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Check with your tax advisor.
The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The "signature" program of the Rotary Foundation since 1985 has been it's Polio Plus initiative to eradicate Polio globally.  Since 1985, Polio cases have been reduced over 99% and Polio is endemic in only Afghanistan and Pakistan today. The Rotary Foundation has raised nearly a half-billion U.S. dollars during this period to support global polio vaccination programs.  Over $200 million of this has come from matching grants from the Gates Foundation. In addition, the Rotary Foundation supports the global water initiative to ensure safe drinking water globally, and conflict resolution training programs in cooperation with the United Nations to promote world understanding. 
 
You can support the Rotary Foundation and the work of Rotarians around the world in eradicating Polio by making a contribution to the Rotary Foundation and designate your gift to the program area of your choice.  Please Donate Here
Thank you for your support of the Rotary Club of Flushing and the Rotary Foundation.

Book sorting pic #1: (left to right) Madalyn VanLandeghem (Rotary Interact President), Marty Barta, Arissa Presley and Lauren Brokaw. Photo provided

Flushing HS Interact Students during book sorting: (left to right) Madalyn VanLandeghem (Rotary Interact President), Marty Barta (Rotary Club president), Arissa Presley and Lauren Brokaw. 

The Rotary Club of Flushing recently collaborated with the Flushing High School Interact Club to set up a new book distribution center for the Rotary Area 7 Literacy Project.

Interact Club students under the direction of Rotary Club of Flushing President Marty Barta sorted through pallets of books at Future Engineering Inc. in Flushing, which is owned by Rotary Club of Flushing member Matt Catlin. Interact Club members then organized the books and arranged them on shelves, completing the project in two days (approximately five hours total). All the while, the students stayed masked up and maintained a six-foot of social distance as much as possible.

Catlin will be providing storage for the books at his company so that they can be distributed to eligible students in the area. Local Rotary clubs participating in the Area 7 Literacy Project include the Rotary Club of Flushing, the Rotary Club of Fenton, the Rotary Club of Grand Blanc, the Rotary Club of Flint, the Rotary Club of Greater Flint Sunrise, and the Genesee Valley Rotary Club.

The Area 7 Literacy Project started in 2014 with a primary focus to distribute books to kids from birth through age five. Books were given to Reach Out and Read at the Hurley Pediatric Clinic and distributed by the Salvation Army at the downtown Citadel and Beecher Corps.

After the Flint Water Crisis, Reach Out and Read secured other sources of book funding, and the Salvation Army requested that the Rotary Clubs distribute all materials through the Beecher Corps. Through 2019, 22,500 books had been distributed.

In 2020, the Area 7 Literacy Project was expanded beyond the Beecher district and adjusted its focus to include a K-6th grade reading level. This change allowed books to circulate to school districts in the Area 7 Literacy Project network rather than just the Beecher area.

While the project continues to provide 1,000 books annually to Beecher Salvation Army, it has also expanded to include the distribution of an additional 4,000 books annually by the six participating Rotary clubs. Five of the clubs will handle distribution through the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan Backpack Program, and the Rotary Club of Flushing will partner with the Bread for Life Backpack Program for distribution.

Books will be distributed four to five times a year based on the number of eligible students in each club’s school district.

The community goal of the Area 7 Literacy Project is to get children fluent in reading outside of school hours and ready to read when they enter school. Books distributed in the project network are fun books and not “assigned reading.” (Reprinted courtesy of Ben Gagnon, The Flushing View).

 

The Flushing Rotary Club awarded its 2020 scholarships to three Flushing High School graduates on July 23. The recipients were Flushing High School 2020 graduates Josie Willette, Landen Moore-Pierce and Landon Young.

Willette received the Gerald and Josie Knight Memorial Scholarship, Moore-Pierce was awarded the Richard and Kathy Merrill Scholarship and Young received the general Flushing Rotary Scholarship. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship that can be used for college tuition at the institution they attend this fall.

Willette plans to attend Michigan State University and pursue an education major in high school teaching. Moore- Pierce will attend Alma College on an athletic scholarship and plans to pursue a nursing major. Young will be attending Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois and is interested in a career in the healthcare field.

The Flushing Rotary scholarships are based upon a combination of factors, including academic achievement and community service. A priority is placed on service, as this is the motto of Rotary International: “Service above Self.” The Flushing Rotary Club seeks to recognize students who have engaged in active community service during their high school years.

A Rotary Scholarship committee comprised of Flushing Rotary members and non-Rotary community representatives selects the recipients. Funding is awarded from the Flushing Rotary Club Scholarship Fund and administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. The Rotary Club typically awards between two to four scholarships per year.

The Flushing Rotary Club is pleased to recognize these three outstanding students in the Flushing community and wishes them success in their academic pursuits and career paths. The Flushing Rotary also recognizes the efforts of the scholarship recipients’ parents in their important formative role. 

(Pictured: Flushing Rotary President Andrew Schmidt and FCOC Director Terry Bigelow)
 
​​​The Rotary Club of Flushing recently made a contribution of $2,000.00 to the Flushing Christian Outreach Center (FCOC) in support of its many programs to provide support to local citizens in need.  The FCOC provides food and personal items as a human services agency via its food pantry and clothes closet programs.   The FCOC was founded in 2005 by a consortium of churches in the Flushing community, and continues to provide foundational services to our community. The Rotary Club of Flushing is pleased to be a supporter of the FCOC and its programs.   
The Rotary Club of Flushing presented a check for $2,000 to the YMCA of Flushing in support of their food distribution and assistance program benefiting residents of the Flushing community.  The check was presented to (Left to Right) Ashley Schlager, Senior Program Director at the Pierson Road YMCA, Hunter Comack and Zach McMurray. Ashley is holding the check from the Rotary Club of Flushing in the amount of $2000.00.   The Rotary Club of Flushing is a service organization that provides support and develops projects, such as the seating in Riverview Park, to benefit the Flushing community.  Funds are raised via the Flushing Rotary Club's annual raffle and entertainment tent.  The Flushing Rotary Club has contributed over $500,000 to the Flushing community in direct support via scholarships, the Riverview Park development, support of the Flushing Nature Trail, and support of the Flushing Community Schools robotics program and literacy initiatives.  The Rotary Club of Flushing is in its 28th year of serving the Flushing community.