Kenowa Courier – 1/2/18

The Official Newsletter of the Kenowa Chapter of AMBUCS – Chartered May 28, 1957. President: Kelli Williams – Vice-President: David Hodge – Treasurer: Doug Levering Secretary: Andrea Spagnoulo – Sergeants: Rod Weersing and Nick Bakker

Today’s Meeting: 

It was a cold and blustery start to 2018 but a hardy group of Ambucs met today at Sunnybrook. Our speakers were Hudsonville High School senior Noah Ambrose along with Rich Williams and Allison Milanowski both of Williams & Company but, relevant to our topic today, both also are on the UGive, or University of Giving, board. Rich describes UGive as the “shark tank” of giving. Students volunteer to be part of the program and then they select and champion a 501(C)3 non-profit group that is in competition with the selected groups of other teams of students. The teams research and present information on their selected non-profit to the full class and, via class voting, the 14 initial proposals are winnowed down to 10, and then to 6 and, finally, to the top 3 with the top vote getter receiving $5,000 for their charity, 2nd place $1,000 and the 3rd $500. The donated funds are provided by sponsors.

Along the way the students are introduced to philanthropy, do research, meet and work with adults associated with the charities and both develop and make professional and persuasive public presentations. These skills serve them well as future leaders and community members.

In Hudsonville, 140 students have participated in UGive in just 18 months, positively impacting the needs of many non-profit agencies. Rich and Allison say the process is motivational and, often, emotional. Noah credits the course with rounding out his education, growing new and valuable skills and connecting him with the larger world around him. Most importantly for us, the Kenowa Ambucs came in 4th place in the most recent session which was a very strong showing. President Kelli, David Hodge and his son, Thomas, represented the Ambucs in working with the Hudsonville High School team.

50/50 Winner:   No drawing today

The Social Network

We had a nice group out for the Kenowa Chapter’s Christmas social on Tuesday, December 19 at Osgood Brewing in Grandville. Gift were selected (and then “stolen”) and pizza and beer was consumed. The hot item was a bracelet from Dennis Engels. It was a nice, casual night out to relax with your Ambuc colleagues and celebrate a successful 2017 while looking forward to 2018. If you missed it, make a point to join us next year.

 “Seinfeld – Four”

No need to put your name on a wait list, the 2018 restaurant calendars are here. This fundraiser, done in collaboration with the Walker chapter, is structured so that there is a daily weekday drawing for a gift card to one of several sponsoring restaurants. To be in the drawing, participants buy a $20 calendar with the entry application. There are 260 chances to win a gift card of at least $20. We are asking each member to buy a calendar, sell calendars to others, or buy several to give away as thank you gifts for your business. Kelli Williams has the calendars.

Denim & Diamonds

The Kenowa club’s “Oscars” fundraiser is transitioning to “Denim & Diamonds”. The 5th annual AMBUCS benefit will be held on February 23rd with drinks, dancing, noshes and both silent and live auctions. This is a significant fundraiser for our club, and we offer a variety of sponsorship levels.  Please share the sponsorship packages (attached) with your business contacts to help ensure a successful fundraiser. Contact is Beth Carroll (

A: Not Lads, Fellows, Guys, Bros or Blokes.  Q: What are Chaps, Alex?

For bringing in a new member and other commendable deeds committed during branding, our Branding Time contest winner is Dawn Martinson. Not sure at exactly what function chaps are the optimal fashion choice, but that is her prize. Congratulations, Dawn.

Chapter Miscellaneous

Griffins Hockey Game Fundraiser:   The Griffins game was December 15 and many thanks to Kelli, Curt and everyone who bought or sold tickets and helped out at the game selling pucks. The club will be updated when we have a final amount to report.

Chapter Board Activity:   On November 28, the Board approved a donation of $665 to the Hudsonville Public Schools adaptive swim program to fund the purchase of two specialty life jackets necessary to keep special needs students safe in swim class. The Board is also looking at updating our Chapter by-laws.

Medical Equipment Loans:   Refer any medical equipment loan contacts to the Family Network of Wyoming, 1029 44th Street SW, Wyoming (616) 885-9919

Fun Fact:   According to, a pine tree planted in 2004 in memory of former Beatle George Harrison died after being infested by beetles.

Quote of the Day:  “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”  — Oprah Winfrey


January 16:   Chapter meeting (Noon at Sunnybrook).
January 23:   Chapter Board Meeting. Noon @ Grandville City Hall (Lunch = Weersing)

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