September ’14 Meeting Minutes

Quota International of Grand Rapids Membership Meeting

Sunnybrook Country Club, Grandville, MI

September 18, 2014 

Present: Sandi Aten, Debra Buckley, Elaine Carr, Pat Cook, Diane Friar, Sarah Glover, Barbara Griffin, Martha Herman, Cathy Kaiser, Robin Keith, Maureen Martin, Rachael Owsinski, Gwen Powers, Sue Scharf, Kathleen Slagal.

15 members and 3 guests attended.

1. Call to order: 6:00 pm by President Martha Herman. Quota Collect

2. Consent Agenda: August meeting minutes were approved as sent. 

3. Recognition of Guests:Ashlee Dowley, Meijer Hearing Centers; Trish Lopucki, Northview, Supervisor; Total Communication Program; Nicole Kragt, Teacher, Northview

4. Review of Duck Walk: Great turn out! Quackers, the Duck, was a hit!! Donations were down a bit from last year. Schools and agencies participated which is wonderful! Finally we have connected with them!!

5. Committee Reports:

Communication – Robin: Completed PR for the Duck Walk; waiting on info for PR on the recipient of GRCC scholarship; Rachael will be handling PR for the Barnes & Noble book sale.

Membership – Diane: Awarded gifts to all guests

Program – Barbara: On October 16, we will hear from 2 audiologists, keeping with our theme of education about deaf and hard of hearing.

Service – Sandi: Showed samples of the 9 pilot caps we provided for young GROD students, to help keep their cochlear implants and hearing aids in place. Ashlee will provide one of her employees who speaks Spanish to help with parent meetings at KenOSha.

Fin/Fund – Pat: Barnes & Noble book sale is Nov 8 at Woodland Mall. Committee will meet to discuss spreading out fundraisers throughout the year. Robin will provide information on Amazon Smile – a program that shares a % of each Amazon purchase with your favorite charity: Quota.

Treasurer – Maureen: Thank you for sending in your dues payments.

6. Advisory Council – September 23, at DHHS, 3:30 – 5:00; Members to date: Cindy Cafmeyer, Jeannette Johnson, Ashlee Dowley, Trish Lopucki, Martha, and Kathy F. and Sue Scharf. Cathy K. will facilitate the discussion. This is an introductory meeting to identify unmet needs of the community and how we can collaborate with each other.

7. Strategic Planning – Cheers; The Board has approved an investment in Cynthia D’Amour’s Chapter Leader Lounge program for insight, group coaching experiences, succession planning and Strategic Thinking; Tons of Resources and expertise. This will assist us in a structured, goal oriented process along with landmark decision points and tools for measuring our success.

The next Board meeting will be Oct. 9, 5:30, Diane Friar’s condo. We ENCOURAGE you to join in on the discussion. Please let Martha know who else will be joining us. Robin encouraged all to attend as Strategic Planning will be a key part of this meeting. How do we Engage current members, Attract new members and not burn out?!

8. Other – Martha will write up a submission about the Duck Walk to Make a Difference Day, a chance to win $10K from USAToday newspapers. Robin and Gwen will provide editing.

Pat will investigate the ASL (American Sign Language) program at Forest Hills to see if they would be available to present at a future meeting. They have 3 classes running. Northview has 9 sections running also, with 420 students enrolled.

Quota received a thank you note from Kelly Cleveland for the pilot caps. “I can proudly give these to our new families to help ease the stress of teaching their little ones to refrain from pulling off their equipment.”

Travel raffle was won by Elaine Carr – a specially selected gift from Rockford purchased by Pam Howland.


Trish Lopucki, Supervisor Total Communication Program for Northview Public Schools

Northview offers a Total Communication program (oral and signing) for 60 students, age 2 – 18.

Eight teachers and 19 interpreters are amazing in making this Center based program work – it is recognized throughout the state. The Northview program is special because of the relationships of this family within a family. One key program is their monthly Deaf Connect Days – an opportunity for the students to get to know deaf culture from one another.

Martha adjourned the meeting at 7:10 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cathy Kaiser, Recording Secretary

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Quota Shops for Charity

Now you can shop and donate at the same time! AmazonSmile will donate a portion of all purchases to Quota Club of Grand Rapids Charitable Foundation.

Purchase gifts or household supplies, and help us buy hearing aids and provide ASL interpreters at no additional cost!

Quota Grand Rapids Charitable Foundation

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Quota Fundraiser – Barnes & Noble Book Fair – November 8

Quota International of Grand Rapids is hosting our annual Book Fair fundraiser at Barnes & Noble at Woodland Mall on Saturday, November 8. 

Barnes & Noble will donate a percentage of sales to Quota to help fund our service projects to support the deaf and hard of hearing community. Click here to see the activities and print copies to hand out to your friends and family.

How can you help? There are three different ways!

  1. Visit the Barnes & Noble Store at Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids during regular store hours on Saturday, November 8.  Special events will be happening all day long. Please see the attached Save the Date for more information. Make sure to mention Quota ID#11465085 to your cashier when completing your purchase or present a copy of the attached voucher.
  1. Shop at ANY B&N store on November 8 – anywhere in the US.  Please make sure to mention Quota ID#11465085 to your cashier when purchasing. (or present voucher).
  1. Shop online at www.barnesandnoble.com anytime between November 8-13.  Type in ID#11465085 when you checkout, and Quota will receive a percentage of the online sale!

Barnes & Noble is a great place to shop for gifts for the upcoming holidays or to feed your own love of books. Winter is coming and everyone likes getting cozy with a good book when it’s cold and snowing outside! Thanks for your help.

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DHHS support

Quota of Grand Rapids is providing co-pay funding through Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) for the purchase of hearing aids for five individuals. This is only one of several service projects Quota does for which we raise funds with events like our recent Duck Walk and the upcoming Barnes & Noble Book Fair (Woodland Mall, Saturday, November 8.) We are proud to serve the community through organizations like DHHS.

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Quota International President Karen Murphy

Here is a wonderful article about QI President Karen. Some of our Grand Rapids Quotarians were privileged to meet Karen and her husband when they were touring the United States. She is warm and funny and Quota Clubs worldwide are lucky to have her leading our international organization.Karen Murphy

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October ’14 President’s Message

Even though we didn’t make our financial goal for the Duck Walk by about $1000, I think we made tremendous strides in connecting with the Northview Total Communications staff and the GROD staff, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and their staff, the Meijer Hearing Center, Elder’s Helpers and others that we don’t usually have as participants.  That was one of my goals from the Summer Celebration.  I want to thank the committee for their hours of work and generous time spent making the Duck Walk a success!

Undoubtedly a positive relationship is blooming with Quota and our agencies, schools, and community members.  From here, I think we will find more people spreading the word, attending and, hopefully, donating.

The Quota Advisory Council met last week at DHHS with a small group, who are very engaged, in identifying the unmet needs of our community.  Cathy Kaiser led with an excellent tool for each entity to respond.  You can find the information by clicking here.  The minutes are also included by clicking here.

My relationship with Ashlee Dowley is growing even further.  One day when I was pitching the Duck Walk, I mentioned that we didn’t have enough money to support a Spanish interpreter for the Mother’s Group at Ken-O-Sha.  This group meets once per month for 2 hours and discusses issues related to the struggles of having deaf and hard of hearing children.  Many of the children are from Hispanic homes where Spanish is the only language spoken.  With an interpreter, those moms would be able to  understand and be confident that their children are in the correct program.  Ashlee told me that she had just hired a young man, just out of college at GVSU who majored in medical interpretation with an emphasis in Spanish!  She set aside part of his work schedule to attend the meetings. Chris Ward started at Ken-O-Sha last Friday with his first group.  He was definitely excited to put his skills to work and meet the moms, with enthusiasm!  And all of this didn’t cost anyone any money!!  Thank you, Ashlee!

Now to the Make A Difference Day.  I started to put together the registration information yesterday and found that the event does HAVE to occur on the 4th Saturday of October, Oct. 25th this year.  So… I thought we could still participate.  People would drop off old, unused, or broken hearing aids to be repaired and given away to those persons who cannot afford them.  They would be distributed through DHHS and other agencies.   Proposed hours are from 10 – 4.  I will let you know what’s happening along the way.  If you’d like to spend some time assisting on Oct. 25th, please let me know.

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Teacher is a hit with sign-language covers of popular music videos

Check out this story about an ASL teacher from Romeo, Michigan to learn how she’s getting her students interested in learning sign language.


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The Wisdom of Cats!

One day an old alley cat crossed paths with a younger cat frantically trying to catch its own tail. The older cat watched carefully for a while. When the young cat stopped for a breather, the older cat asked, “Would you mind telling me what you are doing?”

The young cat said, “Sure thing! I went to Cat Philosophy School and learned that happiness is in our tails. So I am going to keep chasing my tail and someday I will catch it and get a big bite of happiness.”

The older cat responded, “Well, I have never been to Cat Philosophy School, but I agree: Happiness is in our tails. However, I have found that when I just wander around enjoying life, it follows me everywhere I go.”

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DUCK WALK – September 15, 2014

What a wonderful day to walk in Millennium Park! Our Quota Event signs and bright yellow balloons lined the way where our new Banner greeted our participants in front of Shelter B.


Our new banner welcoming  our walkers!

Our new banner welcoming our walkers!

Registration hard at work!

Registration hard at work!


Despite the cold weather, almost 80 people joined us for our annual Duck Walk, a fund and awareness raising event. We had several activities for the kids including face painting by former JQ member, Amy, and our own member, Rachael and her friend, Kenzee.

Face painting masterpieces!

Face painting masterpieces!

Special guests included Mr. Quackers and ventriloquist Chris with his puppet friends, Gertrude and Theodore. Ashlee from the Meijer Hearing Center conducted free hearing screening for our guests. And Quotarian Sue demonstrated her fishing skills with the kids at the duck pond!

Mr. Quackers and friend!

Mr. Quackers and friend!

Chris with Gertrude and Theodore!

Chris with Gertrude and Theodore!

Free hearing screenings provided by Ashley from Meijer Hearing Centers

Free hearing screenings provided by Ashley from Meijer Hearing Centers

Goin' fishing!

Goin’ fishing!

There were participants from many of Quota’s partner service organizations including Northview’s Total Communication Program and the Grand Rapids Oral Deaf program.

We hope everyone who participated had a great time! Thanks for supporting Quota and our service mission.


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August 2014 Meeting minutes

All the excitement from the Duck Walk led to a delay in posting our minutes from August. Have no fear, here they are! A huge thank you to Cathy for doing such a fabulous job.

Quota International of Grand Rapids Membership Meeting

Sunnybrook Country Club, Grandville, MI

August 21, 2014


Present: Barbara Griffin, Martha Herman, Pam Howland, Cathy Kaiser, Robin Keith, Maureen Martin, Rachael Owsinski, Kim Savoie, Sue Scharf, Emily Uebbing.

10 members and 4 guests attended.

1. Call to order: 6:00 pm by President Martha Herman. Quota Collect

2. Consent Agenda: July meeting minutes were approved as sent. Robin was awarded a prize for uncovering the false line in the minutes. (Sorry – no fundraiser for the Australia Convention).

Martha announced the updated Finance & Fundraising Chairperson’s job description. It was determined that membership does not need to approve this. It will be finalized at the next Board Meeting.

Travel raffle: All agreed to follow Emily’s suggestion and designate travel raffle funds for World Service projects. This will be implemented beginning with the 2015 -16 budget year. Travel raffle netted $22 and the gift was won by Jeannette Johnson, an edible treat brought back from convention by Kim and Emily.

3. Recognition of Guests: Jeannette Johnson, the new DHHS Development Director, with her interpreter Roberta Schultz, Kenzee Daniels, guest of Rachael Owsinski, and Kathie McFarlin, guest of Martha Herman.

4. Leaders Survey: Conducted by QI before convention, the survey revealed interesting facts about Quota worldwide, including: The average number of years of membership is between 10 and 19 years; average size of the clubs is 16-25; average age 51-64. The synopsis is attached. If you would like the complete results, contact Martha or Robin.

5. DHHS and collaboration: We will be collaborating with DHHS and other agencies to enhance fundraising efforts. On August 23, guests had the opportunity to duck tape Jeannette Johnson to the wall. Join the DHHS Fundraiser at Logan’s Road House on Alpine, Wednesday, September 3, 5 – 9 pm. Cathy will buy drinks for any Quotarian who arrives after 6 pm. On September 25 at 7:30 “No Ordinary Hero” will be playing at Celebration Cinema at Rivertown.

More to come! See the attachments.

6. Duck Walk update: Martha sent and passed around the sign up list of duties the day of the event. Sign up! Meijer Hearing Centers want to participate. They want to provide a sponsorship for the walk. A hearing screening booth will be available at the walk. Martha is coordinating the purchase of “Quota Blue” t-shirts that all members can purchase to wear at the Duck Walk and other events. Cost is $9.00. She will send the ordering/size information. A new duck costume will be ordered for Bruce Savoie, our duck mascot. Robin provided Duck Walk brochures/pledge form for all to recruit walkers. She also e-sent the brochure with electronic donation connection (www.quotagr.org) to all Quota members, last year’s walkers, celebration attendees, Quota alumni, and shopping event vendors. Cathy will send brochures to anyone without an email address. We have received our first $250 sponsorship plus a $100 donation from Peggy Frank, Audiologist from Newaygo. Barbara Griffin has also sponsored the Walk from her team. Martha sent information about the Duck Walk to 43 hearing centers and audiologists.

7. Barnes & Noble update: Pam announced that Lisa Braendle is Co-Chair and anxious for a Quota member to step up and Co-Chair with her at this fun event. The book sale is Nov. 8 at Woodland Mall, the same day that Santa arrives there. We will have crafts for kids, guest authors and more!

8. Daytime tours of Ken-O-Sha: Sandi is coordinating a visit to the GROD school. Watch for details of this school-time event.

9. Guest Speaker: Jeannette Johnson, Director of Development, DHHS.

Jeannette delivered a very interesting overview of DHHS services and deaf culture, with the assistance of her interpreter, Roberta. DHHS was established in 1996 and has grown to provide services for 3,000 individuals, with an annual budget of $750,000. Their biggest service is providing interpreters within a 15 county area; 250 jobs per month. DHHS has an ADAPT program for senior citizens. DHHS offers ASL sign language classes. ASL is the official language of deaf in this country, originating in the 1960’s through Gallaudet. DHHS also offers a kids sign program to provide socialization and deaf role models for young people. They also held summer camp for 40 kids this year. Any organization can request cultural and sensitivity training. Anyone can stop into DHHS Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm. Deaf see the world through their eyes – they are very visual and tend to be blunt. Look at the deaf person when you speak – not at the interpreter. For more information contact Jeannette: development@deafhhs.org.

Martha adjourned the meeting at 7:15pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cathy Kaiser, Recording Secretary



Leaders Survey 2014

Quota International sent out a survey to 242 Club Presidents and 20 Regional Directors. 52% were returned and here is a synopsis of its results.

  • There are 68 clubs in the U.S., 44 in Australia, 7 in Canada, 6 in the Philippines, 3 in New Zealand, 2 in Aruba and India, and one each in Curacao, Suriname and The Netherlands
  • In our region, there were 4 respondents.
  • The average number of years of membership is between 10 and 19 years.
  • Most members have served as Presidents for 2 years.
  • Average size of the clubs is 16-25; average age 51-64.
  • 100% of the clubs serve Disadvantaged Women and Children; 94% serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and 72% provide World Service
  • There are several pages depicting the primary focus of each club.

I found the statistics to be quite interesting. Lots of ideas and projects were given in the comments and goals sections.

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