President’s Message for June 25, 2015

Quotarians – YOU are amazing people!  You have embraced our mission, our vision and our new format so well.  We are making extraordinary progress in accomplishing our goals to improve our Club!!  We are moving forward with energy, enthusiasm and strength.

I was emailed a copy of our credits toward the Hear For Good program.  I recently had a meeting with Gillian Borkowski at Hear USA.  Some of you may know her from past years in Quota.  She is an outstanding audiologist who continues to share our quest to help the deaf and hard of hearing. Her clients recycle their old hearing aids with her company.recyclesymbol

She graciously gave us a box filled with used parts, totally a donation of 1,237 points!!  We are now at 1,974 and I couldn’t be more proud of the progress we have made!  FABULOUS!

More good news will be coming.  I’m doing these messages in smaller bites rather than one message a month.

Thank you for your support!


Why, Do Babies Fly Planes?

This question comes up when we say “we bought Pilot Caps” for deaf infants at 2 local schools.

Pilot Cap

Babies don’t fly planes, but some have cochlear implants, or hearing aids, and the caps help them to stay in place.


This thank you from a teacher says it all:

Pilot Caps“Dear Quota Club,

Thank you so very much for the donation to receive 10 pilot caps for our deaf babies.  It is so important for the babies to keep their hearing aid(s) in and the pilot caps do wonders to achieve this goal.”


Jane Swainston

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Northview

How to use your sense of hearing to recharge

Pleasant sounds have the ability to bring us instant stress relief. “White noise” sounds that come from nature sound machines or trickling mini-fountains create a blank slate for the human brain to relax. If you don’t have a sound machine, try listening to what’s closest in nature: leaves rusting, the wind blowing, rain falling or waves crashing. Turn on beautiful music while you do work. And smile. This will ease up the strain on your middle-ear muscles, which in turn softens low-frequency noises such as traffic or ambient conversation.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services – MayFest 2015 – Deadline to purchase tickets

Quota International of Grand Rapids is pleased to be one of the sponsors for MayFest, a fundraiser for DHHS. The event will be held on Saturday, May 16, from 6-9 pm, at the West Michigan Caterer. Join us for a silent auction and beer and wine tasting.

Thursday, May 14 is the deadline to purchase tickets to MayFest 2015 at the reduced price of $28. Afterwards, the price will increase to $38. (You can also purchase tickets at the door.) Contact Dave at 616.732.7358 or by email at to purchase tickets.



Quota’s Hear for Good project hits the news!

Thanks to President Martha and Nancy from DHHS, Quota’s Hear for Good project made the news this week. Watch the Fox 17 interview by clicking here.

Hear For Good is a service project of Quota International of Grand Rapids in which Club members are collecting used hearing aids. The hearing aids will be sent to Starkey, Inc., a leading manufacturer of hearing devices, to be refurbished and reprogrammed for points toward the purchase of new, lower cost hearing aids which Quota will donate to deaf and hard of hearing persons in need. Donation boxes are being placed throughout West Michigan businesses including nursing homes, audiologist offices, funeral homes, etc.

Let us know if you would like a donation box for your business, church or organization. If you would like more information about Quota or would like to volunteer to make a difference in people’s lives, please email us at

President’s Message for May, 2015

Here we are, ready to tackle our spirit and put it to work. During the next few Club meetings we will be fine tuning the plan and including people who haven’t experienced Quota.

At the May Club meeting, we will be asking for help with the Duck Walk. There are 3 groups and 3 tables of leaders, each with their own mission. The Involvement Team, led by Pam and Sarah, will begin to collect names of volunteers who will be assigned specific tasks for the walk, e.g., greeters, registrars, security persons, etc. The Communications Team, led by Rachael and Cathy K., will begin to create a plan for marketing the Duck Walk, designing messages for posting on Facebook, writing press releases, etc. The Activities Team, led by Kathy F. and Sue, will be identifying specific jobs that need to be accomplished by members and volunteers, establishing a time line for completion of activities, e.g. when do press releases go out, how often do we post on Facebook, etc. At each meeting we will share our information, give suggestions on improvements and grow our message to the community.

We will need everyone’s help, ideas and connections to be successful. We know most of this through our history. Now it’s time for action.

As we proceed through the year, we will work on our fundraisers, and find new opportunities, people and stories about how we can help the deaf and hard of hearing. And it will include fun, laughter and new visions for our future.

We currently have plans to donate some of our funds over the next 3 to 5 years to the new Mary Free Bed/YMCA building on the E. Beltline. We have committed to fund a loop system in two rooms, the kitchen and a classroom. This building is the first of its kind in the U.S., and we are a part of it. Sue S. has been very passionate about this project, and we are happy to be a part of it as well.

Additionally, I want to thank the Gavel Club for a wonderful ceremony. Pam, you stole the show with the Roast to Robin and Peggy!  Everything was meaningful and encouraging.

“There are few experiences in life more exhilarating than being part of a successful collaboration. Being part of creating something larger than our individual self touches our souls, connects us to people, and brings a deep sense of satisfaction. You can do it, you can be it, you can have it.”  (Author unknown)

Let’s get moving!!

Quota Volunteers at Fulton Street Market!

Quota is again  (wo)manning the coffee cart at the Fulton St. Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of the month from 10 AM to 12 Noon. We are there to promote Quota, sell coffee to support the Farmer’s Market and to provide ear plugs to promote healthy hearing.

Volunteering is a lot of fun. We meet lots of people, get to know your fellow Quota members better and get in some shopping… What could be better? I would love to have two volunteers to join me for each date.

This year’s dates are:


  • May 2 (coming up this weekend!)
  • June 6
  • July 4—although not sure the market will be open that day.
  • August 1
  • September 5—(Labor Day weekend)
  • October 3

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Kathy or leave a comment on this post!

50/50 Raffle!

We are pleased to announce our 2015 Raffle winner, Sandi from Grand Rapids.  Sandi won $1210 and has plans to share it with the students at the GR Oral Deaf Program.  Congratulations, Sandi!

And thanks to all who purchased tickets for our fundraiser. The proceeds will help us help the deaf and hard of hearing in West Michigan.

Installation of Board of Directors and Announcement of 2015 Quotarian of the Year!


Quota International of Grand Rapids announces the installation of the following Quotarians to the Board of Directors for the 2015/16 fiscal year

President                     Martha Herman, Empowered Consulting, LLC

Vice President            Pam Howland, Retired

Treasurer                     Maureen Martin, Home Repair Services

Directors –                  Sandi Aten, Retired

Kathleen Freeman, Hope Network

Rachael Owsinski, Fifth Third Bank

The Club also announces that Maureen Martin has been selected as the 2015 Grand Rapids Quotarian of the Year! This award is given annually to a local Quotarian who exemplifies the standards of Quota International and the organization’s motto, “We Share.” Maureen has been a member of Quota since 1981, currently serves as Treasurer and has also served as President, District Governor and in other leadership roles during her long tenure with the Club. Her dedication, experience and “voice of reason” continues to help guide the club as we move forward into the future.

Congratulations to Maureen and the newly installed Board of Directors.