The FINAL Central Area Meeting

October 11-13, 2013

The weekend weather was gloriously beautiful.  The hotel was on a harbor with salmon leaping through the air every few minutes.  I walked to the lighthouse each morning to see the sunrise.  There was a wonderful farmers’/craft market within walking distance.  Oh, to have a GR Quota friend to share it with!  Oh well, I survived, sat with district friends at the meetings and dinner and learned so much.  Nice weekend!

Eighty attendants included big groups from North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Laura Lehman, International President, opened the Saturday proceedings by explaining several concerns the Board had about moving headquarters to Dallas; after one meeting there, they have changed their minds so QI headquarters will stay in Washington DC.

Regional candidacy is open so the web site has all the candidates with their information.  Votes must be to governors by October 15. This does not concern our club because we are unique in that we remain the same six clubs currently in our District will also be in our new Region. Yvonne Babe is running unopposed so she will continue on as Regional Director.

There are more than 50 JQ clubs invited to convention and being asked to submit a video for convention.

There will be a “Draw Down” at convention.  Tickets are $100 and must be purchased by March 1.  (They may be bought as a group.) 400 will be sold and the winning ticket will be worth $10,000!!!!!

Members are not reading the online version of the Quotarian online as was hoped, so there a hard copy of the publication will be mailed to all in February.

Barbara Schreiber was introduced.  She is a young 45 years old with a bundle of energy.  I was impressed with her new outlook, quick thinking and commitment to Quota.  By the way, she asked again that everyone email her with one reason why you love Quota (she only had a very few respond to her first request—maybe that shows how very few read online!)

Karen Murphy spoke next.  She said that Central Area has the highest average member per club in the world – 27 (helped by 52 members in Flint and 51 in Iosco County). Karen is challenging other clubs to match us.

She did say that an average of 87 members worldwide are leaving each month.

Quota’s fiscal year is being changed to the calendar year, which should make many things easier for all.

Karen also said that her club’s JQ has raised $5,000 and will be raising $15,000 next month.  Wow!

She announced that this year was NOT a deficit budget year!!!!!!!!!

$1.5 million was donated by Quota worldwide.

There were “reports” by all the district governors.

Yvonne wore her frog hat and she did a great job promoting our Duck Walk!

The 6th district raised $81,000 last year!!!! Yikes!

Julia Witherspoon was the guest speaker — she spoke about her Cops ‘n Kids program and said “I love Quota!” about 600 times (sincerely each time!).  She has two new extensions called “Book ‘em” (books for prisoners that they receive right after being booked) and “Books at Birth” which are given to new moms when they leave the hospital.  She was presented with an honorary membership in Quota —there were many tears by presenter and presentee.  It was quite touching and she is such a wonderful person—so inspiring and loving!  (We might want to plan ahead for our March project and think about doing a version of either of her two new projects so we can buy books at the Book Fair in November ????).  Just a thought…………

Concluding the afternoon was a panel discussion with the board members. Many attendees had questions about the new structure but I think we have most of the information that was covered and we were promised to receive much more.  Possibly the biggest concern was the fiscal calendar change re:  dues/taxes.  There is no definite answer at present, as the board will have to wait until the Regions make singular decisions in January.  We were reminded several times about the time involved in making this major structural change.

This is wordy, I know, so I will just say further that there was a nice banquet on Saturday night when I sat with the Flint contingent and had a very enjoyable time.  I bought a Q pendant from the Silent Auction, which raised $1466 for the Wanda Frey Joiner foundation.  Sunday involved lots of talk about Cincinnati:  cost of the registration is $360 per member. The good news about that is that you can pay in 4 installments.

We split up into Regions to discuss the future.  Our Region 4 discussion was about how we can use the new structure to change the way we do things as one entity going forward.  For example, our yearly conferences could still move from club to club but without a “host” so that each club contributes in a different way.  Also, communication within the Region will become more important, actually, necessary.

That’s it in a nutshell (maybe a big Brazil nut?).  Please contact me if you have any specific questions.



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Barnes & Noble Bookfair Fundraiser!

Be sure to kick-off your holiday shopping with our fundraiser. Books are always a great gift, and with so many choices there’s something for everyone on your list!

What more needs to be said? It’s going to be a fun day. We’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Woodland Mall from 10:00am-6:00pm.

Don’t live in Grand Rapids or can’t make it?

Easy, shop at your local Barnes & Noble or online. Use our bookfair id #11195823 when you checkout (please see B&N website, click details, for online help). Every time you use the id number on that day, we get get a portion of the sales. See the flyer below for more details.

We still need your help. If you haven’t signed up to volunteer, contact Pam H.

Click here for your printable Bookfair Vouchers. Print these to pass out to friends, co-workers and anyone else who can shop!

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Barnes & Noble Book Fair Fundraiser

Here is a complete list of the events:

10:00am – 6:00pm National pre-release party for Chef Del Sroufe’s new cookbook, “Better Than Vegan“. Be one of the first to purchase it!

11:00am Santa arrives at Woodland Mall

11:00am Free holiday head bopper headband to first 60 children

11:00am – 3:00pm Make your own bookmark craft

11:00am – 5:00pm Free Gift wrapping available (donation appreciated)

11:30am Santa’s Elf arrives at Barnes & Noble

11:30am Story time read aloud and signed

11:30am – 1:30pm “Waking The World“, book signing by author Doug Rouledge

12:00pm – 1:00pm Paws With A Cause will visit B&N

1:30pm Grand Rapids Oral Deaf students’ choir

2:00pm – 4:00pm Meet “Sensible Shoes“, author Sharon Garlough Brown

2:00pm – 4:00pm Book discussion by author Lisa Rose Starner, “Grand Rapids Food: A Culinary Revolution

3:00pm – 6:00pm Free Fingerprinting for children

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Another way we share

For me, one of the best parts of Quota has been making friends from all around the world. As the digital age reduces the size of our planet, we are able to connect with friends half-way around the globe quicker than ever before. We can send them a quick message on Facebook, a birthday wish on Twitter, or post a picture of time spent with them on a blog.

That’s what I wanted to share with you today.

Well, that and Kim took a picture on her phone, figured out how to email it to me, and I’m sharing it with you. Seriously, if Kim can figure out how to do that (and post her president’s messages on the blog), you don’t have an excuse!

Our incoming Quota International President, Karen Murphy, is making her way across North America with her husband Brian. They are visiting clubs, cities, Area Meetings, and Quota members. As Karen and her husband head toward Milwaukee to the last Central Area Meeting, Kim extended the invitation to our club via email and Robin, Cathy and myself joined three members from Kalamazoo (Betty, Judi and Suzy) Thursday evening. We had dinner at Watermark Grille.

(Kim’s phone photo)

I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all enjoyed our time with Karen and each other (I’m not leaving out Brian; he was also interesting, he was also mostly quiet, like any good Quotarian husband).

Here’s the entire group

Karen is fascinating; a forward-thinker, a superb leader, funny, a good listener, a proud Quotarian, and Australian so she has that great accent.

Pat is currently at the Central Area meeting as I type this. I’m sure she will have news to share when she returns. We will be sure to post it on here so you can keep up with the latest from Q.I.

I want to leave you with this reminder. Quota is about sharing and caring. We help others, we make a difference. We also make friends and strong connections that bring us closer. When we make a difference, it ripples through so many more people than we can ever hope to reach. But it’s when we get together, sit down, and have a meal. It’s the thanksgiving of our new friendships, lasting friendships, and laughter. I have learned this through experience. There is great joy in our service and there is great joy in our gatherings. Yes, I am plugging meetings. Every meeting. Conference, Area meetings, Conventions, and club meetings. Dinner meetings with future Q.I. presidents are a bonus. And don’t forget committee meetings.

These are the connections that make us stronger. These are the connections of Quota.


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a thank you…

The following is a thank you letter sent to Quota of Grand Rapids; when our club used service money (money raised from events like the Duck Walk) to make a difference…

September 24, 2013

Dear Quota Club Friends,

Thank you very much for the generous gift of the ELMO document camera for my classroom.  I have wanted one of these devices for a long time.  It has made reading a book much more meaningful, and allows us to enlarge any document for better viewing. As we are all about being “visual” here, it has been wonderfully helpful.


One way that I have used the document camera this year is with an individual student and editing her writing piece.  The old way would require us to crunch up together and look at the changes or fixes she could make writing very small on her paper.  By using the document camera, we can blow up her writing piece on the white board and make corrections together much more easily.  This also allows me to show her written examples or English rules off to the side that can be more easily read and explained.  In the first picture we are standing at the whiteboard making corrections and editing on a giant version of her work.

A second way that I have used the camera is when reading aloud in a chapter book.  Reading aloud also capitalizes on the student’s residual hearing. While I am reading the English text, simultaneously the interpreter is using ASL.  Having the ability to enlarge the text and show specific examples of complicated text or vocabulary WHILE we are reading is fantastic!  The second picture is an example where the interpreter is signing “math” and I am pointing to the word “arithmetic”.

As a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students, I am first and foremost a teacher of language.  I can’t thank you enough for helping me by granting me this technology.  I’m sure I will come up with some other ways to use this document camera to enhance our learning.


Julie Williams

Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Highlands 5/6 Middle School

Northview Public Schools

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October 2013 President’s Message

In August, we had a Special Guest at our Membership Meeting–District 20 Yvonne Babe. In 2014, District 20 will become Region 4, and Yvonne will be the first Region 4 Director.

Quota International is a dynamic group with years of history behind us, and also a great future in front of us. Barbara Schreiber is the new Executive Director of Quota International and is a forward thinking leader.

Quota International President Laura Layman and President Elect/Treasurer Karen Murphy will both be at the Central Area Meeting in Kenosha WI on October 11-13 to expand on the impactful service projects of Quota. Karen Murphy will visit Grand Rapids on Thursday, October 10. Call Kim at 616-443-6138 for information.

Mark Your Calendars for these fun times: International Convention from July 18-21, 2014 in Cincinnati, OH, and the District 20 Conference from May 16-18, 2014, in Port Huron at the Hilton Double Tree Inn.

Yvonne, and Lisa Kent, the President Elect of the Region, put together The Leap Pad, District 20’s newsletter , sent every two months, sharing what is happening in our District. Recent items include: Quota Cares Walk to End Silence: Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo on Sept. 15; Trivia Night in Flint Sept 21 and Iosco County Sept 28; Festival of Cakes in November in Traverse City visit; Younkers Community Days in Traverse City on Nov 15-16; and Port Huron sponsored a Fishing Tournament that netted $10,000.
These are Quota Stats: worldwide members: 5,514, District 20: 179 members, Flint: 35, Grand Rapids: 30, Kalamazoo: 15, Iosco County: 51, Port Huron: 37, & Traverse City: 11.

Yvonne encouraged us to “rev up” our club with these actions:

  • Spice up our service or fund raising projects. Here are some examples from other clubs:
  • Change projects every five years. (Netherlands)
  • Each year have a one-time project (Make comfort blankets for stroke patients)
  • Build a hearing exhibit at the Children’s Museum
  • Sponsor a Tennis Tournament
  • Create a more flexible and simplified club structure. Look at our mission statement and see if it can be simplified. Some examples of simplification include:
    • Simplify operations, such as one meeting a month, as Grand Rapids has done.
    • Reduce the size of the Board to make meetings easier.
  • Make better use of technology. There are some cyber clubs that communicate over the internet and only meet for service or fundraisers.


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