Good News Grosse Ile

and Grosse Ile Rotary

November 12th, 2020

Host: Ben Fogt

With Tracey Pearce

Good News Grosse Ile With Tracey Pearce

2020, Ben Fogt

What's the Deal, Grosse Ile?


[0:00] [Ben Fogt} This is episode 8 of What's the Deal, Grosse Ile, a podcast exploring the people, places, history, and events that make Grosse Ile unique.

[0:08] In the event that you've been avoiding social media, you have been missing out on at least one great thing that's come from 2020.

[0:15] Each Sunday Grosse Ile Rotary hosts this quirky, but short, little Facebook Live show called Good News Grosse Ile.

[0:20] It’s a video announcement show sharing the good things happening on the island at the start of every week. Tracey Pearce is the host. She agreed to talk with me for this episode of What’s the Deal, Grosse Ile?

[0:28] Thank you for spreading cheer on Grosse Ile and I want to thank you for joining me on What's the Deal, Grosse Ile?, Tracey.

[Tracey Pearce] Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it very, very much and I look forward to spreading the news about our Grosse Ile Rotary.

[B] Oh, you are doing a good job, already. I can tell you that. Before we get to what Grosse Ile Rotary does and especially Good News Grosse Ile, tell me about Rotary International. I knew some people who were extremely active in the Youth Exchange program back a few years ago.

[T] Okay first and foremost Rotary International is a service organization and our motto is "Service Above Self" and we really take that to heart here in Grosse Ile. And all clubs I'm sure do. Rotary was actually started in 1905 in Chicago by a man named Paul Harris. He was a business owner and he saw an opportunity to serve his community.

[1:23] So he met with some of his other friends who were also business owners and they shared the same vision which was just to help out community members and serve in their community. The reason that it's called Rotary, because I'm sure that is a big question, is because they actually rotated the offices that they would meet in. I thought it was going to be a big secret why they called it rotary but they just rotated offices and where they met and that was it. So Rotary International is actually one of the oldest and biggest service organizations in the world. We have over 1.2 million members which is pretty great. That's a lot of room to improve everybody, local, state, and then nationally and internationally.

[2:14] And the main project that we had talked about a few minutes ago was eradicating Polio. So there are less than 500 cases worldwide now and it's only in two countries. So in our lifetime we are going to see the eradication of polio which is a pretty big deal. Even though we don't have it here, it's still going to be a really big deal for it to be eradicated worldwide.

[B] Right especially since people travel and so well we've seen it with coronavirus right now but Polio can come back just from people traveling between places.

[T] Right and we certainly don't want that.

[B] That's right. I read the Grosse Ile Rotary was chartered in 1947, Seventy-three years ago. How has Rotary been part of Grosse Ile all these years?

[T] So I had to ask some of my friends this, because as you know, I am (well you might not know but) I am new here and I'm new to Rotary. So a few things that Rotary has done. Right now, currently, we're doing a sock drive for Vista Maria. Our sock drive is going to be over by the time this is published, but we also have done food drives for the community, coat drives, Mitten drives, diaper drives, drives for everything I guess. We also put out the island directory.

[3:30] And something that I think that you might find very interesting because you are a Boy Scout family, right?

[B] We have been, but not here.

[T] Okay. So to start a Boy Scout Troop, another organization has to charter them and the Roseate the Grosse Ile Rotary Club actually chartered the Boy Scout Troop here. That's one way that we have helped out in the community, but also we have done a lot of other projects around the community. And something that is exciting for high school kids is we always award every year... we award a $2,700 award to a graduating senior who exemplifies Service Above Self and we also do a Citizen of the Year award which actually just happened last night. So we'll be putting out more information. It had to be a very small, intimate gathering, obviously. So we'll be putting out more information about that soon. We're really just a service organization here to help the community.

[B] You mentioned Vista Maria. Tell us more about that project.

[4:38] [T] So Vista Maria is actually based in Dearborn, but they have several branches throughout the United States. It's a place where it's just for girls and they go there to get help if they're having trouble with their family life or if they're having trouble with school. They're taken away from their family. They go there and they get a lot of support. They actually live there and they don't really have a lot of their own things to take with them. So we had some speakers come over the summer and we donated

a ton of stuff. We got a whole list of things that they would like. So as individuals we just chose off of the list what we would want to give them and did our own shopping.

[5:21] And when the ladies came they were looking over all of these things that we donated and they're like "Oh my gosh. They're gonna love this. They're going to love that. Oh, they're going to fight over this and they're going to fight over that." Although I loved donating the stuff, I didn't it didn't feel good to me to hear that they're going to fight over any of it. I know that they didn't mean that negatively, just that there wasn't enough for everybody. So we really just sat down and thought what is one thing that we can focus on that we can actually get one of enough for everybody. There's usually about a hundred forty girls there. So we thought, "what is one thing that we can get enough to give to everybody so there is no fighting over it?" And so we came up with socks. Socks are fun and girls love cute socks and something that is affordable and something that the community can get behind because everybody knows girls like cute socks. So our goal was a 140 pairs of socks and as of right now I have 258 pairs

[6:25] sitting here so we have a few more pairs rolling in. We're going to have enough to donate two pairs for each girl.

[B] I wonder if we can get to three? When's the end of that?

[T] Thursday the 19th.

[B] Okay so that will actually be the day this comes out.

[T] Oh perfect. We'll be right on task. I know we're going to have enough.

[B] So we mentioned how small that meeting was then, the other night. And of course, that's because of the coronavirus pandemic. If somebody's listening in the far, distant future, they may not even remember what we're going through at the moment. But that's obviously put a hold on a lot of events. How has Rotary dealt with social distancing with being a social organization and community organization like it is?

[T] Yeah. Well, it's interesting that you ask me of all people, because I joined during the pandemic. So I have nothing to compare it to. Before all of the coronavirus pandemic started they had weekly meetings at Perdino's, which is a restaurant on Macomb.

[7:29] Now what we're doing is rotating between Zoom meetings and also we do socially distanced meetings. And in the summer it wasn't difficult because we had nice weather and we would go to the Community Grown Gardens and our tables were spread out.

So we would have meetings there and we would do service projects there, help plant gardens or whatever it was that they needed at the time. So that, thanks for them that they let us come to our meetings there. Now with the winner, with the weather getting a little bit cooler, it is going to be a little bit more difficult. But Robin, our president, has come up with a space at one of the yacht clubs and it's a big enough room for us to still socially distance. So we're making it work.

[8:19] Masking.

[B] It's been a challenge for everybody. That's for sure.

[T] It certainly has.

[B] And of course, what we're really here to talk about is that you've created a new way to connect with the community this summer. What inspired you to create Good News Grosse Ile?

[T] Well, I don't know about you, but I am a sucker for any good news. Especially if it's a good news video or a feel-good video or anything like that. So.

[8:47] in the pandemic time... There's an actor named John Krasinski. He was Jim from The Office. You've seen that and he started doing a video called Some Good News.

[8:59] And I think it was just stuff he found on the Internet that he thought was cool and he wanted to share it because, obviously, we all needed a little bit of good news. Of course I got sucked in because I love stuff like that. And when Robin had asked... Robin is our president right now... When she asked me "What do you think we could... what is a suggestion that that you could do to bring in more people or get us noticed or something like that?" And I said "Well, what about if we just do a video weekly about the good news happening in our community because a lot of the reasons that we come here to live on Grosse Ile is the great community

[9:37] and the schools and our neighbors." So I just thought if we started sharing that, that would be something really wonderful.

[B] Absolutely. So how does this show work? How do you get things to put on it?

[T] So, I don't mind asking anybody if they have some good news that they want to share, or if they share the good news, "Can I share that on my video?" So you can either send us a message if you want to us to share your good news. You can send us a message on Facebook or you can email us at So I have gotten some messages that way. And then also on our Grosse Ile Now Facebook page, if I see some good news then I'll ask if I can share it on the video, No news is too big and no news is too small. I love sharing everybody's good news, even if it's small. It's still really good and one other thing that I especially like to share about is things that the kids are doing that's really good.

[10:40] And if the kids see it then they're gonna they get excited. When they get a shout out on video, it doesn't matter I'm not a celebrity. But if they know that somebody is celebrating them, they're going to love it.

[B] Absolutely. I think that's true for just about anything. When does it come out? I know you can watch it live, so if we want to watch it live, how would we do that?

[T] It's usually on Sunday night at seven o'clock. I might be a couple minutes earlier, a couple minutes late, but I'm trying to be Sundays at seven o'clock on our Facebook page Grosse Ile Rotary.

[B] I'll share the links in the episode description.

[T] Okay. Perfect. Thank you. And then I also share it to the Grosse Ile now Facebook page as well.

[B] You know we've talked about all that and should actually add that if you miss it on Sunday night you can always watch it on the rotary Facebook page. It's available forever, in perpetuity, as long as Rotary exists which is at least another... forever. Yeah, so Rotary. How do people learn more about Rotary?

[11:49] [T] Well if you want to learn more about Rotary in general and stay anonymous, because that's what I did, I wanted to check it out first. You can just go to and get a ton of information there about the history, the mission, and vision, and what kind of things Rotary stands for. If you want information about our Grosse Ile Rotary, you can either send us a message on our Facebook page or you can send us an email as well at the same email address.

[12:20] and we will be happy to get with you. We have we meetings every week and like I said before some of them are Zoom meetings so it's pretty easy to check it out. You can stay home and you don't have to get a babysitter. So that's actually working out for for me.

[B] Is there a requirement to turn your video on or can you can you watch in your pjs?

[T] You can watch in your PJs AND turn the video on if you want. There is no requirement to turn the video on but it is nice for us to see who's lurking.

[B] I agree and for folks that are listening to the podcast, I'll tell you the difference between the interviews when we can look face-to-face is very different from when we can't.

[13:12] You can actually hear the difference. I encourage people to participate fully in those video conferences.

[T] Right. It's it is a lot nicer and if you are thinking of joining the Rotary, then we should be able to see what you look like.

[B] Not that that's a requirement that you look great... So it's been great talking to you about that. I think it's a wonderful project that you're doing and its really brightened up the days for a lot of folks this summer and as long as you decide to keep doing it. I'm sure it's a big task to undertake, but but you're doing great job.

[T] Thank you so much. I appreciate it and it's really not that big of a task because it's just sharing good news so...

[B] Some day you'll want to be somewhere on a Sunday night though.

[T] Yeah well actually this past Sunday I did the video instead of at seven o'clock I did it at I think like two o'clock in the afternoon because we were celebrating my husband's birthday and I didn't want to skip the video and I didn't want to interrupt our family dinner.

[14:19] [B] So as you know, I like to ask guests to share wish for Grosse Ile. But before we get to that, we're getting close to Thanksgiving and I'm trying to compile a bunch of thankfulness statements from folks on the island.

[T] Yes. I love that.

[B] And so when this comes out, it'll be a week before Thanksgiving of 2020 and it will probably be tough for some of us to have those thanks this year with the coronavirus on a resurge here.

[14:50] What are you giving thanks for this year?

[T] Well, I am actually giving thanks for the chance to slow down and really focus on what is important to me and my family. So I was furloughed for about three months earlier this year, but I chose to see it as an opportunity to spend more time with my family.

And also to work on my own health, which was good. I had a lot more time, so I started exercising daily and also cooking more meals at home. Pluses and misuses to that but I'm choosing just to count the pluses.

[B] Excellent. Thanks for that. That's really great. It's great when folks are able to take this bad time and find the positives, ways to make positive change for themselves and for other people, which... You've done both it sounds like.

[T] Thank you.

[B] So then of course this leads to our big wish. So what is your wish for the community?

[T]] So I have a ton of wishes for our community, but I think the main one is that we can all just remember to focus on what it is that we love about the community, what brought us here, or what keeps us here, and remember that we have a beautiful, unique place to live.

[16:10] and to appreciate it

[B] Well thank you, Tracey. I want you to know that you're appreciated and that a lot of people are thankful for all your efforts.

[T] Well thank you. You are as well. I appreciate your podcast. I think it's awesome and I can't wait to hear what else comes up.

[B] Oh, I've got some interesting plans. I'll tell you that.

[T] I have no doubts.

[16:32] [B] Get in touch with Good News Grosse Ile and Grosse Ile Rotary at the links in the episode description or in the transcript (linked in the episode description)

This interview was much too fun.

Tracey has really dedicated herself to this and we should thank her any chance we can.

I promised a couple event announcements, but first I want to remind you to call in your thanks to be included in the next episode on Thanksgiving Day. Let’s share what we’re thankful for.

Here’s one from me to start.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to talk with people about the things they’re passionate about.

And I have you all to thank for that. Otherwise, I’m just a guy asking questions.

Thank you for the encouragement to do this.

Now, your turn.

Call the What’s the Deal line, ‪(734) 250-9554‬

and share what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Now the events.

First. Wednesday, November 25th

(2020 for the far future folks)

at 6 pm, I am hosting a What’s the Game, Grosse Ile? Virtual Game Night.

The facebook page will have details and links and a description of how to participate.

We can have thousands of participants, so come one, come all.

Join as a family.

Join as yourself.

Join, and don’t tell anyone.

However you do it… It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Second… And this is the BIG one. Really big.

On December 12th at 4pm, will be, the first, of hopefully many, Carol on Macomb.

I’ll explain next week, but I want it on everyone’s calendars.

We need a massive number of people to line Macomb, no closer than 12 feet apart.

And we’re going to sing Christmas Carols.

And it’s going. To. be. Epic.

Again, details coming on the Facebook page, and in the Thanksgiving episode of the podcast.

That part I said earlier?

You have no idea how much I appreciate you.

Yes you. The one listening to the podcast right now.

If you don’t hear that from anyone else today,

hear it from me.

I appreciate you.

[18:35] What's the Deal, Grosse Ile? is recorded and produced by me, Ben Fogt. You can keep in touch with me through the What's the Deal, Grosse Ile? Facebook page or email me at

[18:48] You can share episodes from Facebook or hear them from the website And of course it never hurts to subscribe so you can get the latest episodes through your favorite podcast delivery tool, like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, and so many others.

Our intro and credit music is Mocktails in the Rain by Antii Luodo which is used through a Creative Commons license. Find more of his music on as Antii's Instrumentals.

[19:16] Thanks for listening to What's the Deal, Grosse Ile?