Rotary Club of Houghton Lake

Houghton Lake

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Buccilli's Pizza
2949 W. Houghton Lake Dr.
Houghton Lake, MI  48629
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Club News
Ed Piglowski spoke to the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake recently about the UPS Ed & Caren  Christmas for Kids Auction that has taken place annually for the past 28 years. The auction raises money to purchase winter clothing for approximately 400 local children. Ed noted that donations of new winter clothing are welcome, but financial donations are the easiest to manage. Rotary Club of Houghton Lake  President Denise Stefanko presented Ed with a $1,000 donation in support of the Christmas for Kids program.
The Houghton Lake High School Interact Club held a "Color Run" Sunday, October 22nd to raise funds for their 2018 trip to El Salvadore. The weather was great for the 54 people who participated.
Becky Yuncker MA LPC, Executive Director of the Northern Michigan Children's Assessment Center recent spoke to the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake regarding the progress in provided services and the number of children served by the center. The mission of NMCAC is to “prevent and educate the public on child abuse and neglect, as well as to reduce the trauma…by providing a timely, comprehensive and multidisciplinary response to allegations in a safe, child focused setting.”  The Center has a full time forensic interviewer, family advocate, therapist, and conducts medical exams with the support of MidMichigan Health.  Since January 2014, the center has assisted over 626 children. The Rotary Club of Houghton Lake made a $1,000 donation to support the NMCAC's outreach and prevention efforts. Pictured is 2016-2017 Rotary President Jim VanSice and NMCAC Executive Director Becky Yuncker.
Longtime University of Michigan equipment manager Jon Falk spoke to the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake with stories from 50 years of experience. Having decided in high school that he did not want to play football but still help the team, Jon became the equipment manager. When Jon became a student at Miami University of Ohio in the late 60's he continued to serve as equipment manager for Miami's head football coach Bo Schembechler. After becoming University of Michigan's head football coach in 1974, Bo called on Jon to become U of M's equipment manager. Jon thought he ruined his chances the first day on the job when Bo kicked him out of his office for wearing Ohio red instead of Michigan blue. Being from Ohio, red attire was all Jon had. Jon made a quick clothing adjustment and never looked back now having served as Equipment Manager for U of M head coaches Bo Schembechler, Gary Moeller, Lloyd Carr, Rich Rodriguez, Brady Hoke, and now Jim Harbaugh. He has 17 Big Ten title rings to prove it and likes to remind Michigan football players that before games. Back in the 1990's, a young Michigan football player named Tom Brady liked to ask Jon which ring was his favorite, to which Jon would reply "The next one!". In 1997, U of M won the Rose Bowl which added a National Championship ring to Jon's collection. Jon's "The next one" response made an impression on Tom as that became his response to a similar question after winning another Super bowl. Jon continues to keep in communication with Tom. Jon's keys to success involve loyalty and respect noting, "If someone sees something in you to offer an opportunity and you take it, they deserve your loyalty, appreciation and respect. With that, you'll succeed". (Pictured are Interactors Rachel Sajdak, Emily Burgis, and Madison Roll with Jon Falk. )
The Rotary Club of Houghton Lake held a golf outing October 3rd to raise funds for for the Roscommon County Sheriff Boot Booster program. Gordie LaFontaine donated Pine View Highlands for the outing which raised $2,200 for the Boot Boosters program. "This is such a great cause - helping to keep the children of Roscommon County safe!!" noted Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Denise Stefanko. Security boots have already been installed in all the schools in Roscommon County at a cost of $187,000 of which $16,000 remains. Donations are still being encouraged. To donate to the Friends for Safe Schools Fund, donors can either visit the RCCF’s website at, send a donation check to the RCCF at P.O. Box 824, Roscommon, MI 48653, or contact any Houghton Lake Rotarian. For information on the Boot project, call Sheriff Stern or call the RCCF at 275- 3112.
The Rotary Club of Houghton Lake recently made a significant donation to their scholarship endowment fund with the Roscommon County Community Foundation (RCCF). The Houghton Lake Rotary Club Memorial Scholarship Fund provides annual scholarships to graduating Houghton Lake Community Schools students who plan to attend an accredited college, technical or skilled trade school. The $10,000 donation brings the fund balance to nearly $44,000.
The Houghton Lake Rotary Club Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to honor of Houghton Lake Rotarians who passed-away while active members, including founding member and past president John MacKenzie (2004), past president Russ Graham (2004), and past president and District 6290 Governor Robert Gandolfi (2014). John, Russ, and Bob exemplified the Rotary motto ‘Service Above Self’. The permanent scholarship fund memorializes their commitment to community by helping Houghton Lake High School students pursue higher education and fulfill their potential. Donations to the Houghton Lake Rotary Club Memorial Scholarship Fund are encouraged and can be sent to the Roscommon County Community Foundation at P.O. Box 824, Roscommon, MI 48653 or made online at 
For information on the Roscommon County Community Foundation or to make a donation, visit online or contact Executive Director Suzanne E. Luck at (989) 275-3112. For more information about the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake visit online or on Facebook at @HLRotary. Pictured are (left to right) Rotary Club of Houghton Lake members Gordie LaFontaine, Stephanie Harris, Bob Pacella, Rhonda Lamberg, Tom Moreau, Koreen Pray, Susan Tyer, RCCF Executive Director Suzanne Luck, 2016-2017 Rotary President Jim VanSice, 2017-2018 Rotary President Denise Stefanko, Rotarians Rick Hacker, Paula Fuller, Dick Follrath, Barb Souder, Becky Yuncker, and Gary Gandolfi. 
The Rotary Club of Houghton recently donated $1,015 to purchase a protective vest for the new K-9 officer "Kato". Sheriff Stern noted that Kato, a 2-year old German Sheppard from Slovakia is the second K-9 for the county (along with Ghost who already has a vest). The new vest is similar to the vest that K-9 officer Ghost has and is bullet & stab resistant. The two dogs make it possible for a K-9 to be on duty at all times. Pictured is 2016-2017 Rotary President Jim VanSice and Sheriff Ed Stern.
Houghton Lake Rotarian Rhonda Lamberg was recently recognized Rotarian of the Year by 2016-2017 Rotary President Jim VanSice. Lamberg is advisor to the Interact Club (a High School based service club) and staff member of the Rotary District 6290 Life Leadership Conference. This past year, Lamberg helped 14 Interact student members coordinate, raise funds, and participate in a service trip to build homes for families in El Salvadore. "She took on a challenge with the Interact club that I am so proud of", noted President Jim. "She put our clubs on the map"!
The Rotary Club of Houghton Lake recently awarded a $750 Service Above Self Interact Scholarship to Courtney Ignat who plans to attend Central Michigan University this fall. Pictured are Service Above Self Interact Scholarship recipient Courtney Ignat and 2017-2018 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Denise Stefanko.
The Rotary Club of Houghton Lake recently awarded a $750 Service Above Self Interact Scholarship to Madison Flick who plans to attend Grand Valley State University this fall. Pictured are 2017-2018 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Denise Stefanko, Service Above Self Interact Scholarship recipient Madison Flick, and 2016-2017 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Jim VanSice.
The Rotary Club of Houghton Lake recently awarded a $750 Service Above Self Academic Scholarship to Lauren Haggert who plans to attend Aquinas College this fall. Another $750 Service Above Self Academic Scholarship was awarded to Chance LaPratt who was unavailable for a picture. Lauren was also selected for the Miss Houghton Lake Spirit Award which earns an additional $250 Scholarship from the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake. Pictured are 2017-2018 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Denise Stefanko, Service Above Self Academic Scholarship recipient Lauren Haggert, and 2016-2017 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Jim VanSice.
The Rotary Club of Houghton Lake recently awarded a $750 Service Above Self Vocational Scholarship to Madisen Forman who plans to attend Ferris State University this fall. Pictured are 2017-2018 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Denise Stefanko, Service Above Self Vocational Scholarship recipient Madisen Forman, and 2016-2017 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Jim VanSice.
STRIVE (Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) finished the year with Kristena Kelley meeting her goals for the year and achieving Honor Roll.  She was awarded a gift card at a recent Rotary meeting for her efforts.  STRIVE, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake, works each year with HLCS students in need to set goals and develop habits to achieve them. Pictured is HLHS student Kristena Kelly with ROTARY STRIVE Chairman and Houghton Lake Public Library Director Kimberly Young.
2016-2017 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Jim VanSice "passed the gavel" to 2017-2018 Rotary Club of Houghton Lake President Denise Stefanko at the June 27th Rotary meeting. Jim thanked the club for a great year that saw $40,000 raised during the annual Community Service Auction, $15,000 in grants provided to local organizations and projects, $4,250 in scholarships awarded to local students, $2,000 donated in support of Rotary's Polio Plus campaign, and $3,000 presented in support of the Houghton Lake Interact Club trip to El Salvador. Jim, an 10-year member of the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake and manager of the Houghton Lake Walmart noted "This has been one of the most humbling things I've done. To see what we can do as individuals and what we can give back to the community is second to none". Jim also recognized Rotarians for "Service Above Self" support through the year before handing Presidential responsibilities of the club over to Rotarian and Owner/Operator of Morning Glory Mercantile, Denise Stefanko.
The Rotary Club of Houghton Lake helped support the purchase of an ambulance for a town in Haiti with a donation of $2,500 that, when added to $1,000 from the Roscommon Rotary, was matched by Rotary District 6290 for a total of $7,000. Houghton Lake Rotarian Dr. Dan McGregor travelled to Haiti with the Hands For Haiti group to help deliver the ambulance and provide medical support to the community. Pictured is Rotary Club of Hougthon Lake President Jim VanSice presenting $2,500 to Hands For Haiti representatives Debbie Gischia and Glenn Verbrugge.
A HUGE "Thank You" to donors, attendees, and Rotarians who participated in the the 18th Annual Rotary Club of Houghton Lake Community Service Auction, Saturday, April 29th! With your help, we had the largest ever attendance and gross receipts for our annual fundraiser. Final numbers are still being calculated, but we expect to raise nearly $40,000 to support local projects and organizations! A list of donors can be found in the PDF section in the lower right of this web page. THANK YOU!
Last June, the Houghton Lake Interact Club, adopted the educational service trip to El Salvador as their club's international project for the 2016-2017 school year, and rapidly started planning fundraising events to assist the 14 members who volunteered to attend the trip. The educational service trip will take place March 22-March 30. It is the District's third annual trip to this area and it is coordinated by the Rotary District Interact Advisor, Doug Mealey, who has directed several trips, of this type, in this and other Rotary districts. Chaperones include Rotarians and Interact Alumni (who are now adults and have been on these trips in this or in other Rotary districts).

Those attending the trip from our area are Seniors: Rachael Earley, Lauren Haggart, Courtney Ignat, and Ashley Lee, Juniors: Julia Lee, Corrie Stadler, Madelyn Yuncker, Sophomores: Sarah Barnes, Kelli Ignat, Joey Peterson, Freshmen: Kaylyn Allen, Chloe Koupal, Sidney Shaloy, Alyssa Taylor, and Interact Advisor, Rhonda Lamberg, as Rotarian Chaperone. 

The cost for each student and each chaperone was originally $1300 each, which included airfare, hotel, meals, and transportation while in El Salvador, and included the cost of building supplies for a home. Each Interact student was responsible for the cost of their trip, but as a service club project, the Interact membership worked hard to offset the cost for the Interactors attending. With the generous support of our  local Rotary Club providing $3000 for the building supplies for one home, the cost for each individual attending from Houghton Lake was decreased to $1000.

Through the Interact Club's efforts over the past 9 months with several garage sales, bake sales, bracelet sales, many can/bottle drives, canister change drives, and in-kind donations, the club received approximately  $8000 through the generosity of our local community residents and visitors. A recent t-shirt sponsorship supported by local service groups, businesses, and individuals, supplied the Interact membership with club shirts and allowed the Interactors to reach a total of $14,000 for their club's fundraising efforts of this international project. The outpouring of support from our community and those around us has been remarkable and very notable.

The goal of the service trip was to build at least 3 homes for multi-generational families (families that may include grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives) in what is known as the 100 house Rotary Village in Talnique. 54 Interactors and 30 adult chaperones will represent District #6290, by attending this year's service trip to El Salvador. Rotary Clubs and individuals have generously donated funding to allow for 8 homes to be built on this year's trip.

The Rotary Interact Club sincerely thanks the Rotary Club of Houghton Lake, Houghton Lake High School administrators, educators staff, and students, Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce, service groups, churches, businesses and individuals, parents, families, visitors, and all those who have supported this international educational service trip project.
Paul Berg
Ann Cartier
Mike Chires
James Deamud
Dick Follrath
Paula Fuller
Gary Gandolfi
Richard Hacker
Stephanie Harris
Diebold Insurance
Gordie LaFontaine
Rhonda Lamberg
Melissa Liberty
Daniel McGregor
Thomas Moreau
Matthew Nester
Robert Pacella
Scott Perry
Koreen Pray
Jim Raschke
Midge Rutter
Matthew Shaw
Anita Sheppard
Barbara Souder
Phillip Spicer
Denise Stefanko
Melissa Sullivan
Susan Tyer
James VanSice
Brandon Warson
John Winkler
Kimberly Young
Becky Yuncker
Brett Zubeck
Friend of Rotary
Mark Clements
Karen Krupansky
Alyssa Loney
Dallas McGeary
Bob Michela
Diane Ocenasek

Club Directors
Past President
Interact Chair
STRIVE Chairpersons