Big Bang-Quet Results

Big Bang-Quet Results

Fellow Rotarians here are the Big Bang-Quet results. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the University Club’s Big Bang-quet Charity Challenge! Twenty-four organization’s were a part of this year’s “challenge” and our Playground in the Park Re-Imagined project finished in 6th place with 840 votes or $4,200! Many thanks to all who voted online, recruited friends and family to vote, and/or attended and voted at last night’s Grand Reveal party. Thanks also to the Community Foundation and MSUFCU for their sponsorship of this event. And, a special thanks to our own Phyllis Riley for her advocacy on behalf of including the playground project among the charities/causes in this year’s event.

The Community Foundation will be sending us a check for $3,570 – which is our share (85%) of the votes cast – and moves us one step closer to fully funding the playground project.

You can go to and click on the full details link to see all of the Big Bang-quet Charity Challenge rankings.

Thanks once again everyone for your support!

The Playground in the Park Re-Imagined Committee

Playground in the Park Re-Imagined Honorary Chair Suzy Merchant Talks About the Project

On February 26th Sponsors, Community Members and Rotarians gathered at the Hannah Community Center for a Park Project Briefing for Playground in the Park Re-Imagined. East Lansing Mayor, Nathan Triplett, Parks and Recreation Director Tim McCaffery, Project Chairperson John Saltzgaber, and Honorary Chairperson were on hand to give the attendees an update and forecast for the community build date in June of 2014.

Honorary Chairperson, Suzy Merchant delighted the crowd with her personal feelings about Patriarche Park, the project, and the power of play.

Project Chairperson, John Saltzgaber outlined the remaining opportunities for sponsors, community support through the purchase of brick pavers and participation in the Community Charity Challenge called the Big Bangquet.

You may also view the video on YouTube.

The Big Bang-Quet Community Charity Challenge

The Big Bang-Quet Community Charity Challenge

The East Lansing Rotary Foundation makes it possible for our organization to compete in the Big Bang-Quet Community Charity Challenge.  This is a special opportunity to raise awareness and funds for our Playground in the Park Re-Imagined project. The timing is wonderful since the the voting structure of the competition makes the cost of supporting our charity within reach of the whole community and comes at a time when the community will be encouraged to participate as we prepare for the final push to completion. The park is expected to be completed in June of 2014.

Share with your Family, Friends and Neighbors

To participate in the Big Bang-Quet Community Charity Challenge Rotarians, friends and supporters are encouraged to visit the voting website: to cast their votes (each vote costs $5)  from February 1 – March 24.  Votes cast for Playground in the Park  Re-Imagined will yield 85% of the fund for the cause. Additionally, should the park project be among the top vote getters there are added benefits, the top prize is a $10,000 banquet at the University Club to be used for further fund-raising.

Sponsors Determined to Succeed

The Playground in the Park is a collaboration between the East Lansing Rotary Club, the City of East Lansing and many sponsors and supporters, including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund ( a major grantor).  Planning and fund-raising has spanned nearly four years as the sponsoring organizations looked for solutions to replacing the aging wooden play structure with a safer, eco-friendly, long-lasting, and accessible play space.

Buy A Brick Paver to Support Park Project

Buy A Brick Paver to Support Park Project

Buy A Brick Paver

As work begins on the dismantling of the old play structure at Patriarche Park in East Lansing it is a good time to remind our friends and family that a wonderful way to support the new play structure is to purchase a brick paver or two. Create a lasting memory of your support for this community asset. Here is  the script for a public service announcement from Honorary Chair, Suzy Merchant:

“I’d like to invite you to join with me in creating a new, more accessible and safer playground at East Lansing’s Patriarche Park.

The new playground has exciting new play spaces.  You can help make this new play facility available to children throughout our region by buying a brick paver, today.

Each brick paver can be customized with the names of family members, your business, or others to create a lasting testimonial of your support for this state-of-the-art play facility.”


Create a lasting memory and help build a legacy for our children . . .


East Lansing Rotary Participates in Medal of Honor Monument Dedication

East Lansing Rotary Participates in Medal of Honor Monument Dedication

On November 11, 2013, Veteran’s Day, the East Lansing Rotary participated in the Medal of Honor Monument dedication ceremony. Rotarian Pat Boog took the lead on this project, working closely with the City of East Lansing to raise the funds and develop the actual memorial monument.

The monument will serve as a permanent memorial for 2nd Lt. Skinner, one of only two Medal of Honor recipients in the Tri-County Region since the Civil War. The plan is to expand the area in future years to incorporate a Veterans Garden honoring all veterans. Several members of the East Lansing Rotary Club attended a special luncheon prior to the ceremony, and some of them who were veterans donned their uniforms as a sign of respect to Lt. Skinner.

Rotarians Jim Little and Bob Davis shown in their military uniforms.

Shortly after the Medal of Honor dedication the East Lansing     Rotary voted to continue in service to this project by committing to raise the funds needed to make the Veteran’s Garden a reality. The site of the Medal of Honor monument and future gardens is on the grounds at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing.

Also attending on this blustery day was a Marine Honor Guard and singers from the East Lansing High School chorale group, the EL Singers.

Taste of East Lansing Benefits Playground in the Park

The Community Relations Coalition (CRC) is proud to host the 2nd Annual Taste of East Lansing on Saturday, April 27 from 4-7 p.m. on the 300 block of Albert Street in downtown East Lansing. This tasty event will offer opportunities to sample local cuisine from sixteen different vendors, a silent auction, live music and entertainment, childrens activities and fun for students and families alike.
To taste the delicious samples from local vendors, food tickets may be purchased for $2. Food samples may be redeemed for one or two tickets each. Twenty-five percent of food ticket proceeds and 50 percent of silent auction proceeds will be donated to the Rotary Club of East Lansing’s Playground in the Park Re-Imagined project. The project will bring a new playground to Patriarche Park in 2014. The park is located in the Bailey neighborhood, one of the three neighborhoods supported by the CRC.
For a list of vendors and sponsors or for volunteer opportunities visit the Taste of East Lansing website at