Chronology of Centennial Planning

On Nov. 30, 2011, we kicked off our 2016 Centennial Year. Watch this site for stories, plans, photos and events.

February 19, 2014: Bob Buckler and Joe Fitzsimmons present the Centennial Project: Rotary Centennial Playground at Gallup Park and set out fundraising goals and opportunities. See slide presentation.

January 8, 2014: Visit from Shirley Smith's grandson and great-grandson and also a talk by Margaret Leary on William W. Cook and mention of Shirley Smith.

April 30, 2013: Three Projects Under Consideration

DTE Rotary Centennial Project
Rotary Ann Arbor - Washtenaw Promise
Rotary Smiles Project
April 10, 2013: Presentations of Candidate Centennial Projects.

On this day, we will hear from three community leaders in the areas of environment, education and health. Click on the title of each presentation to read the one-page summary.

Jim Cook, past President of our club and newly-honored DSA recipient, will speak on the 'DTE Riverfront Project.'
Scott Menzel, the Superintendent of Washtenaw Intermediate School District, will present on the 'Ann Arbor/Washtenaw Promise.'
Alice Penrose, Medical Director of the Washtenaw County Public Health Department, will speak on the 'Rotary Smiles Project.''
December 3, 2012: Rotary Centennial Project Subcommttee Update by Anne Glendon

The Centennial Project Subcommittee consisting of past presidents Norman Herbert, Jim Cook and myself, was drafted by President Nishta last Spring to spearhead identification and vetting of a legacy project that will be the most public part of the Centennial celebration, one that future generations of Rotarians and the community will be proud of. We began working early this year gathering input from local community leaders and getting substantial input from the Club’s membership through interviews, a club forum and membership survey.

The top 10 project ideas generated from these efforts fell naturally into three categories: Environmental Enhancement of the northern gateway to Ann Arbor and related park development; Education & Literacy support for students in local secondary and college schools; and, community Health and Wellbeing, with a special emphasis on improving access to basic dental care for at risk individuals. All projects being considered comply with guidelines approved by the Club’s board and align with global priorities set by Rotary International. Whatever project is ultimately selected, there will be opportunities for incorporating an array of program elements that members can put their hearts into for a long time to come.

This fall the Subcommittee met with potential partner entities from the nonprofit, government and private sectors, including leaders from United Way, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, City and County administration. There has been overwhelmingly positive response and great interest in partnering with our Club. Each contact made excellent suggestions on how to gather more targeted data and who we should talk to. To maintain focus and simplify scheduling multiple meetings, we decided to tackle one major concept area at a time. Since the top overall category was for some kind of gateway project, that’s where we began.

Currently we are exploring options at the former MichCon site now being remediated by DTE along the river on the city’s NE side. New member Bob Buckler, former head of Detroit Edison, has been very helpful and informative; he is helping connect us with key people at DTE. Later this month and early next year the Centennial Project Subcommittee will explore Educational and Health projects .

Finally, a word about the decision-making process moving forward: The Subcommittee reports in depth to the Centennial Steering Committee which in turn gives monthly updates to the Board and membership. Our goal is to present three well-defined, feasible projects to the membership in April, complete with projected costs, scope, recommended partners, timeline for implementation and a vision of long term sustainability. The membership will then have ample opportunity for input and feedback before a final decision is made, and they’ll be engaged before, during and after project completion.

Oct. 2012: AND, THE SURVEY SAYS…… See a summary of the Centennial Project Survey results. Each of the project areas is ranked according to importance. There are two listings of the project concepts – one ranked in order of very enthused., the second in order by wasn’t that interesting. The Centennial Committee has begun feasibility studies on the top ten (10) scoring project concepts:

· “Ann Arbor-Promise” - modeled after Kalamazoo Promise – help fund college
· N. Main River Walk/beautification
· Beautification of entrances to City
· Childhood wellness project to include anti-obesity, substance abuse education
· Develop a community-wide system of bike paths/walkways
· Need-based Mobile Health screening/access to health care for kids
· Expand current tutoring/”Success by Six” efforts
· Need-based dental screening/dental care for kids
· Rotary pavilion/center at DTE property – multi use (park, education center)
· Develop a program to provide mentoring/tutoring re: college prep (tests/ apps/financial aid)
June 20, 2012: The Centennial Project

Our members generated many good ideas at the June 20 meeting. Here they are: Centennial Project Ideas.

Centennial Kickoff Meeting on June 20, 2012

The Centennial Committee is very excited about the opportunity to tap the wisdom and creativity of our membership at the June 20th luncheon meeting when we will "Imagine the Possibilities of a Centennial Project" – the most publicly visible component of our Rotary Club’s celebration of 100 years of leadership in the Ann Arbor community. We need your inspiring ideas to help define and propel our Club effort! Click here for a starter kit.