Scramble for Scholarships GREAT SUCCESS!

The East Lansing Rotary Club hosted its 35th annual Scramble for Scholarships on Monday, September 11, 2023 at the Michigan State University Forest Akers “West Golf Course” located at 3535 Forest Road in Lansing, MI.

We met this year’s goal to raise $10,000 for the Joe Gross Memorial Scholarship program.  Over the past 35 years our Rotary club has awarded over $120,000 in scholarships to deserving East Lansing High School graduates to assist them with their college expenses.  Your gift can help us continue this tradition.  Checks should be made payable to: East Lansing Rotary Foundation and may be mailed to: East Lansing Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 4205, East Lansing, MI 48826-4205 or given to Foundation President Joe Osypczuk.

Please contact Golf Committee Chair Bob Page (email: or phone: 517/347-6990) if you would like to support this year’s Scramble or would like more information about it. Click HERE to learn more!


East Lansing Rotary Club Awards $8,500 to Local Seniors


The Rotary Club of East Lansing, through its Foundation, is pleased to announce the award of
“Joe Gross Memorial Scholarships” to four graduating seniors at East Lansing High School.
The scholarships totaling $8,500, were presented to the following college-bound seniors:
Arianna Burtley – Eastern Michigan University, Elijah Layne – Kalamazoo College, Kate
McAndrews – Hope College, and Tate Schwartz who will be attending Purdue University.

These scholarships are awarded annually upon meeting several criteria that include: the student
applicant’s involvement in the Community and related service activities; academic
accomplishments; and financial need. The individual scholarship amounts vary and can range
between $1,000 and $3,000. The scholarships were presented to the students at this year’s High
School Convocation on May 19th by Robert Page and Dr. William McMillan
Scholarship funds are raised through the East Lansing Rotary Foundation which holds an
annual golf outing in September known as the “Scramble for Scholarships.”

Last September’s (2022) golf outing marked the 35th year for the event. Over this period, the Rotary Club of
East Lansing and its Foundation have awarded over $ 175,000 in scholarships to assist
graduating East Lansing High School seniors with their college expenses. The scholarships are
named for Joseph Gross, who cared deeply about young people and their futures. He was a past
Rotary Club of East Lansing President and a past Governor of Rotary District 6360.
Many thanks to all the Community sponsors, donors and of course the golfers, that have
supported these scholarship efforts throughout the years!

From left to right, scholarship recipients Arianna Burtley, Elijah Layne, Kate McAndrews, Tate Schwartz. Congratulations! 

Pickles for Pickleball! Fundraiser for Patriarche Park

We are excited to announce an East Lansing Rotary Club fundraising project to assist the Patriarche Park Pickleball Association in providing funding for individual fencing around each court, a safety enhancement feature for 10 new pickleball courts at Patriarche Park’s newly renovated Sports Court Complex which includes pickleball, tennis and basketball courts.

The East Lansing Rotary Club is selling delicious McClure’s Pickles for only $10 each! You have your choice between Garlic Dill Spears, Spicy Spears, Sweet & Spicy, Garlic Dill Whole Pickles or Bloody Mary Mix for only $12. Place your orders HERE!

Questions?  Contact Chris Nugent at 517-282-5052.  Get your pickles today!! 


East Lansing Rotary Foundation supports MSU Summer Circle Theatre

Michigan State University’s Summer Circle Theatre and the East Lansing Rotary Club have the common distinction of each being founded in 1961. The two stellar organizations have made innumerable contributions to the City of East Lansing since their inception. In recognition of beginning their 61st year of operation, the East Lansing Rotary has pledged its financial and volunteer support to the Summer Circle Theatre as it prepares for its 2022 season with program offerings of 18 free performances and children’s camps.

Summer Circle Theatre (SCT) provides a professional venue for MSU students that offers free theatre to Mid-Michigan audiences. SCT presents shows of varying styles using the talents of community members and professional artists. Beyond theatrical productions, SCT is committed to offering free programming including a Kids Camp and special activities to create a summer destination for arts, education, and entertainment.

The East Lansing Rotary has long supported multiple community service projects in East Lansing that improve resident’s quality of life.  From building playground equipment at Patriarche Park, supporting the Greater Lansing Food Bank through its “Weekend Survival Backpack Project”, the “Weekend Warrior” project which helped to distribute masks, hand warmers and sanitizers in downtown East Lansing during the pandemic, to offering scholarships to East Lansing High School graduates as they pursue their college careers.

“The Summer Circle Theatre provides a great night of free entertainment to East Lansing residents.  There is nothing quite like enjoying a live performance, on a beautiful summer night under the stars, on the campus of Michigan State University,” said Peter Dewan, President-Elect of the East Lansing Rotary.  “East Lansing Rotarians are pleased to step up and offer our support.”

“We are so thankful to receive the support of the East Lansing Rotary Club,” said Artistic Director of Summer Circle Theatre Rob Roznowski. “This support helps to return the tradition of free summer theatre and children’s programming to our mid-Michigan community.”

Additional information about the Summer Circle Theatre can be found at

Community members interested in becoming involved with the East Lansing Rotary can learn more by attending our luncheon meetings at the University Club of East Lansing, visit our website at become a friend on our Facebook page at

Ghana Project

The International Service Committee has sent the Global Grant “Transforming Communities in Ghana” to Rotary International Foundation for review. We would like to get your support financially. This project is described in this powerpoint presentation. It represents a scalable agricultural effort to reduce undernutrition and food insecurity in the Upper East Region of Ghana where women and children are particularly affected. We are partnering with the Tamala Rotary Club and the University of Tamala in Ghana.  The in-country project manager is Dr. Clement Kubuga with Tamala University.  He earned a Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in nutritional science.

Now it is time to fund the project in the amount of $45,000. Funding will come from three sources. We will have $30,000 from RI and DDF (District). Our Club goal is to raise internally $15,000. We have raised $10,500 as of 3/19/2021 (attached). The upcoming sale of Van Atta Green House Coupons will help to raise an additional 15% of its proceeds ($375 per 100 coupons).

Our goal is to complete the Club member funding by May 15, 2021.  Checks are to be made out to the East Lansing Rotary Foundation with Ghana written on the memo line. Please send checks to P.O. Box 4205 East Lansing Michigan 48826-4205.  Our foundation is designated as a 503 (C) entity. Three thousand dollars in anonymous Club member matching funds has already been pledged.

Van Atta Gift Cards Now Available to Support Ghana Water Project

The Rotary Club of East Lansing is selling $25 Gift Certificates to Van Atta’s Greenhouse and Flower Shop. 15% from every gift certificate sold will go towards the Ghana Water Project, where the Rotary Club of East Lansing is working in cooperation with the Rotary International Services Committee to transform communities and improve lives in the upper east region of Ghana.
If anyone is interested in buying a gift certificate they can contact Christy Crandell at 517-243-7822 or email me or contact any East Lansing Rotarian.
View this informative Power Point Presentation HERE!

East Lansing Rotary Club, City of East Lansing to Launch Downtown Weekend Warrior Program

As a part of the “Daytime. Nighttime. Anytime. Place Project,” the East Lansing Rotary Club will be partnering with the City of East Lansing to launch the Downtown Weekend Warrior Program this Saturday, Feb. 20.

Members of the Rotary Club will be volunteering their time to help activate several public spaces in downtown East Lansing every Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. over the next six weekends. They will be overseeing the community’s use of heaters at rotating outdoor dining spaces in the downtown and will also be distributing masks, hand warmers and hand sanitizer to downtown patrons.

“The call was put out to East Lansing Rotarians and they are eager to volunteer their time to support the City of East Lansing and downtown businesses,” said Chris Nugent, President of Horizon Bank (Greater Lansing Market) and President-Elect of the East Lansing Rotary Club.

Community members can grab takeout from downtown East Lansing businesses and dine outdoors during the Downtown Weekend Warrior activations this winter and early spring. Dates, times and locations are provided below:

  • Saturday, Feb. 20 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; the pedestrian alley in the 500 Block of Grand River Avenue (adjacent to Campbell’s Market Basket)
  • Saturday, Feb. 27 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; the pedestrian link under Newman Lofts (adjacent to Barrio Tacos)
  • Saturday, March 6 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; the north side of the Division Street Garage
  • Saturday March 13 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Ann Street Plaza (corner of Albert and M.A.C. avenues)
  • Saturday, March 20 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; location TBD
  • Saturday, March 27 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; elevated plaza on the east side of the East Lansing Marriott

“East Lansing Rotary members are pleased to partner with the City of East Lansing as we navigate through these challenging times,” said Peter Dewan, East Lansing Rotary Foundation Board. “We continue to seek out opportunities to fulfill our motto ‘Service above Self’ and believe the Place Project is an excellent way to support our community.”

In addition to supporting the Place Project through the Downtown Weekend Warrior Program, the East Lansing Rotary Club generously contributed $5,000 towards the project’s crowdfunding campaign goal.

“We appreciate the East Lansing Rotary Club’s support of this exciting project for downtown, both by way of volunteer service and funding support,” said East Lansing Community & Economic Development Administrator Adam Cummins. “We hope to see community members mask up and come on out for some heated, outdoor dining this winter and early spring at the various public spaces we plan to activate.”

While masks are required both inside businesses and in outdoor public spaces in downtown East Lansing, masks can be removed when eating and drinking while seated at food service establishments or in the City’s outdoor dining spaces. In addition to mask requirements, community members should practice safe physical distancing from those that are not a part of their household and adhere to all other public health orders currently in place. Open alcohol will not be permitted in the City’s outdoor dining spaces at this time.

Outdoor heated dining will also be available at the Division Street Garage location or the plaza on the Marriott’s east side during the upcoming East Lansing Downtown Underground Market days, which will take place every other Sunday on the lowest level of the M.A.C. Avenue Garage through early May.

East Lansing Rotary Supports the City of East Lansing During the Global Pandemic

Chris Nugent, President-elect of the East Lansing Rotary and Peter Dewan, Board Member of the East Lansing Rotary Foundation presented a $5000 check to Adam Cummins, Community & Economic Development Administrator, City of East Lansing to support the Place Project.  The Place Project is an initiative created to help sustain and provide additional business support services in response to the significant economic consequences experienced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Place Project (Project) is part of a long-term economic development and recovery strategy that will help address some of the many social and economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Multi-disciplinary and experimental, the Place Project will prioritize public health and use simple, cost-effective tactical urbanism techniques to reactivate and enhance downtown public spaces by providing interesting, comfortable places for the community to safely gather and engage in the local economy.  Each location identified for the Project will be designed for social distancing, as applicable, to provide an environment for people to socialize safely, engage in the local economy, and get outdoors.  “East Lansing Rotary members are pleased to partner with the City of East Lansing as we navigate through these challenging times.  East Lansing Rotary members continue to seek out opportunities to fulfill our motto “Service above Self” and the Place Project is an excellent way to support our community”, said Peter Dewan.

Key areas of the downtown the Place Project will actively engage include: the MAC Parking Garage, the elevated plaza at the Marriott, the Division Street Garage, Ann Street Plaza, Bill Sharp Park and the 500 Block pedestrian alley.  Included in the programming will be pop-up Farmers’ markets, East Lansing library programs, Art Pop-up displays, safe public seating and warming areas among other community events.  Additional information about the Place Project can be found at