Petoskey Rotary Noon Club NEWSLETTER

June 24, 2020

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Petoskey via the world wide web! Liz Ahrens, President officiated the meeting. If you did not get the chance to attend, you can watch it from this:  Recording

Pledge/Anthem:  Howard Richards led us in My Country Tis of Thee

4-Way Test:  Kassia Perpich

Invocation:  Tim Dykstra

Calendar Winners:  Read by Bob Metzger

Calendar Winners June 24, 2020

Calendar Winner
Sold By
Don & Cathy Walt
Jim Parker
Boyne City
Matthew Waterman
Katherine Williams
Grand Rapids
James Martin, Jr.
Eric Fisher
Emerson Meyer
P. Sunrise
Ron & Carol Rojeski
P. Sunrise

Visiting Rotarians:  Christine Hammond, Clare Rotary

Guests:  Andrea Coronado

Life Events: 

Rotary Care List:  None

Birthdays:  None

Anniversaries:  None


Personal Announcements:

Bill Topham's daughter gave birth! He's in Pennsylvania to help. All is well.

John Hurd and his wife, Kate Kelly, are moving to Asheville, NC in late July! John and Kate are ready for a new adventure--one that will bring them closer to family, better weather, and even more arts & culture that Kate is passionate about. We're very happy for you, John, but we will miss you so much!!


Exchange of Officers Event:  Happening tonight!! We will gather at 5:30 pm near the Pennsylvania Park gazebo, to honor Steve Cross's presidency and also to install Christian Smith as a new board member. This is a "BYO party" -- Bring Your Own beverages, food, chairs, and masks! 

In-person meeting next week:  Next Wednesday, July 1st we will attempt an in-person meeting at the Perry Hotel. It will be in the Reycraft Room, limited to 40 people. Reservations will be required on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be 8 tables, with 5 people seated at each table. You will be required to wear a mask when you enter the hotel and when you are seated at your table but not eating. There will be no singing, no group tea/coffee service and no buffet lunch. Everything will be served individually. This in-person meeting will also have several cameras and devices so that Rotarians can still participate via Zoom as well.

Obviously this is a big test / experiment for our club. We ask that you please be patient and kind as we try to optimize the meeting experience for all Rotarians, whether that be in-person or via Zoom. Please click here to RSVP for the meeting. We need to get a headcount to Reg by Monday.

Increased Meal Costs:  Effective July 1st, in-person meal costs will increase to $14.00 per person (formerly $12.00 per person), due to serving plated meals instead of a buffet.

Quarterly Invoices:  Jim Wibby will be send out quarterly invoices soon. They will cover club expenses during April, May and June. Most invoices will be quite low, since we haven't had any in-person meal costs!


Today we were joined by Mike Kazanowski (founder / co-owner) & Michael Kolkmeyer (head distiller) from Gypsy Vodka.

Co-owner Mike and his twin brother / co-owner, Adam, have been working on their distillery for almost six years now. Both brothers are from the Birmingham area downstate, and they attended colleges in Michigan, but then they moved to Colorado and fully embraced the "ski bum" life.

While skiing one day, they met a man on a chairlift, who made vodka for a living--an occupation that still allowed him plenty of time to ski! The brothers were inspired to start their own distillery. They began to do research and apply for bank loans. They were rejected left and right, but refused to give up on their dream. They sold a car and started living out of a van, traveling around and working at music festivals. They did this for a few years. Their simple lifestyle allowed them to save $50,000, which was enough for them to produce their first run of liquor.

They moved back to Michigan, but continued to produce their spirits in Colorado. After going back-and-forth between Michgian and Colorado for a few years, they felt ready to permanently settle somewhere. Eventually they decided to locate in Petoskey due to our community spirit AND water quality -- Gypsy Vodka sources its water from the artesian wells in Alanson.

Because of their small operation, they're able to use non-GMO sweet corn as their vodka base (instead of GMO feed grain, like larger distillers).

Very early into the COVID-19 pandemic, they received a call from McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital saying the hospital had only 72 hours left of hand sanitizer use. They wondered if Gypsy Vodka could produce hand sanitizer for them.

The brothers immediately jumped at the chance to serve the community. Using a formula from the World Health Organization they halted their vodka production and switched over to hand sanitizer. They've made 4500 gallons to date!!

Next Week's Program:  Val Meyerson, Petoskey District Library

Parting Shots:  Howard Richards treated us to Jerry Samuels, “Their Coming to Take Me Away HaHa"