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Flushing

Rotary Club of Flushing, Michigan

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 7:00 AM
Sorrentos Restaurant
6395 W Pierson Rd
Visitors Welcome!
Flushing, MI 48433
United States of America
   
Home Page Stories
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.  

Terry Bigelow (middle) with Flushing Rotarians Marty Barta (left) and Darwin Scherba (right). Photo by Ben Gagnon

Pictured (L-R): Marty Barta, Terry Bigelow, and Darwin Scherba.

Flushing resident Terry Bigelow has been named the Flushing Rotary Club’s Service Above Self Award recipient for 2020.

Bigelow, who is the program manager for the Flushing Christian Outreach Center (FCOC), received her award at the Rotary Club’s weekly breakfast meeting on February 6. She was presented the award based on her outstanding professional achievement within her occupation and for contributing her time and energy to the problems and needs of society.

Bigelow, a 1974 graduate of Flushing High School, attended Michigan State University to pursue a career in teaching. During her junior year at MSU, she auditioned and was offered an acting role with The Young Americans Broadway Tour. After a nine-month tour, Bigelow returned to MSU and resumed her education, where she received a B.A. in Elementary Education in 1979.

Bigelow began her teaching career in the Los Alamitos Unified School District in California. She was involved in many aspects of education, from classroom teacher to directing student musicals and drama programs.

With the help of a colleague, Bigelow founded the Los Al Players—a youth performance troupe that developed into what is currently known as the Orange County School of the Arts. The California charter school currently enrolls 2,000 students in grades 7-12 and prepares students for higher education and a profession in the arts.

In 1986, Bigelow returned to Flushing and taught middle school writing in Montrose. She also served as the afterschool drama coach.

In 1989, Bigelow received her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Eastern Michigan University. She would go on to hold the position of Montrose Middle School Assistant Principal and Montrose Alternative Education High School Director from 2003 to 2010. She retired from Montrose Schools in 2010.

Shortly after her retirement, Bigelow became the program manager for the FCOC, which provides food and clothing for 400 to 500 individuals each month. FCOC has become an efficient resource for those in need within the Flushing community, serving every client with dignity and grace. The FCOC is supported by many of the Flushing churches.

Bigelow oversees around 100 volunteers at FCOC and coordinates a variety of programs at the center. She has become well-regarded for bringing compassion and expertise to the FCOC vision and for having a genuine concern for the wellbeing of the community’s most vulnerable members.

In addition to her role with FCOC, Bigelow has been instrumental in providing food for school-aged children within Flushing Community Schools through weekend distribution. As a certified trainer for Bridges Out of Poverty, she has also given presentations across the state and the country regarding the hidden rules of poverty, the barriers of poverty and how communities can help neighbors in need to become self-sustaining.

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.

Rotary has contributed more than $2 billion to fight polio, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication program, PolioPlus, in 1985. In 1988, Rotary formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance later joined. When the initiative launched, there were 350,000 cases of polio every year. Today the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent. Polio is closer than ever to being eradicated.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has just renewed (January 2020) its matching donation program up to 450 million with Rotary International.   Donations made through Rotary to eradicate Polio will be matched 2:1 by the Gates Foundation.

Anyone can be a part of the fight to end Polio and have their donation to Rotary matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Visit endpolio.org to learn more and donate.  Please share this important information with others who may want to help Rotary end Polio.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit Rotary.org and endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.

 

(Left to right): Andrew Schmidt, Rich Willette, Josie Willette, Tina Willette, Lauren Quigley and Kevin Foltz.

(Left to right): Andrew Schmidt, Rich Willette, Josie Willette, Tina Willette, Lauren Quigley and Kevin Foltz.

 

Flushing High School senior Josie Willette has been selected as the Flushing Rotary Student of the Month for January.

Willette received her recognition alongside her parents Rich and Tina Willette and her favorite FHS teacher, Lauren Quigley, at a recent Flushing Rotary Club meeting. Josie is ranked eighth in the senior class with a 4.02 GPA and is currently taking AP Chemistry and AP Calculus classes.

After graduation, Willette plans to attend Michigan State University to pursue a degree in elementary education. She said she would like to stay in Michigan for the time being and job shadow teachers while in college. Eventually, she hopes to continue her education with a master’s degree.

As a student at FHS, Willette is no stranger to the spotlight. Last fall, she was crowned the 2019 Flushing Homecoming Queen and played a key role in leading the senior team to victory in the Homecoming Powderpuff game. She has also been a three-time captain of the Flushing Girls Varsity Soccer team at Flushing and has been named to the All-League Academic team in all four years of high school.

Willette belongs to several clubs at FHS, including the National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, the Student Leadership Organization and Varsity Club (where she is a Media Specialist).

Willette also fills her spare time with volunteering. She has dedicated many hours to serving with the Special Olympics, the Flushing Candlewalk, soup kitchens and food drives. Additionally, she tutors kids from Central Elementary School every week and serves with the “Chain Gang” for youth and sub-varsity football games through Flushing High School’s sports officiating class.

Although she is focused on grades and athletics, Willette earns some extra money by babysitting and using her painting skills to create welcome signs to sell. For hobbies, she enjoys watching movies and TV (her favorite movie is “The Proposal”) and hanging out with friends, family and cousins.

Willette said that her favorite time at FHS was attending classes when her older sister Logan was a senior at the high school. Namely, because Willette — a freshman at the time—got to hang out with her sister and her friends.

Willette has designated her $100 Rotary donation to be given to Special Olympics, which she has enjoyed being associated with as a volunteer since seventh grade.

(Reprinted from The Flushing View, January 30, 2020, by Ben Gagnon, with permission)

The Rotary Club of Flushing will once again be accepting applications for its 2020 Rotary Scholarships.  Applications for the Rotary Scholarships can be completed at the following website: 
https://cfgf.iphiview.com/cfgf/GrantsScholarships/Scholarships/tabid/626/Default.aspx Be sure to select Rotary Club of Flushing Scholarship.  Follow the directions online.  Applications for the Rotary Club of Flushing Scholarships are due by March 15, 2020.   

Pictured (L to R): Andrew Schmidt, Sarah Paschack, Allison Paschack, Amy Paschack, Kevin Paschack, Kevin Foltz and Lauren Quigley Photo provided

Pictured (L to R): Andrew Schmidt, Rotary President, Sarah Paschack, Allison Paschack, Amy Paschack, Kevin Paschack, Kevin Foltz, FHS Assistant Principal, and Lauren Quigley, FHS teacher.

Flushing High School senior Allison Paschack has been chosen as the Flushing Rotary Club Student of the Month for November.

Paschack, who will graduate with honors this spring, is seventh in her class with a 4.034 G.P.A. She has held the positions of vice-president of the National Honor Society, president of Mu Alpha Theta and president of the Science National Honor Society. She was also a member of FHS Rotary Interact Club in ninth grade through 11th grade and was the club’s treasurer in her junior year.

In addition to studies and club affiliations, Paschack plays varsity tennis, serves as a personal tutor to several FHS students and works part-time as an associate at Kohl’s on Linden Road. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, particularly Indie.

Paschack’s volunteer experience includes taking part in a service project trip to Peru, where she and other volunteers helped to build a community center in the small town of Cusco.

After graduating from FHS, Paschack plans to attend the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, to study biochemistry. Paschack said that her career pursuit is to be a pharmacologist and help people with her acquired skill set.  Paschack’s favorite FHS memory was taking AP chemistry, which is taught by Lauren Quigley. Paschack said that she appreciated how Quigley made a challenging subject fun and enjoyable to study. “She is always in a good mood, and that is contagious,” Paschack said about Quigley. “I can always go to her if I need help or to just talk about something.”

 Paschack has designated her $100 Rotary Club scholarship to be given to the Rainforest Alliance, a global organization that helps to support and protect rainforests around the world. She said that her donation decision was heavily influenced by her service project trip to Peru and the time she spent in the rainforest.

Paschack received her recognition alongside her parents Kevin and Amy Paschack and her younger sister Sarah, who is a freshman at Flushing High School.

The Flushing Rotary Club has also recognized eighth grader Drew Tunnicliff as the Flushing Middle School Rotary Student of the Month for November. Drew (far left) is pictured alongside his family: Dr. Steve Tunnicliff, Allyson Tunnicliff, Melissa Tunnicliff and Braeden Tunnicliff. Photo provided

The Flushing Rotary Club has also recognized eighth grader Drew Tunnicliff as the Flushing Middle School Rotary Student of the Month for November. Drew (far left) is pictured alongside his family: Dr. Steve Tunnicliff, Allyson Tunnicliff, Melissa Tunnicliff and Braeden Tunnicliff.

 (Story reprinted with permission from The Flushing View, December 5, 2019, by Ben Gagnon).