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Basanese, Roberts speak at Golden K meeting

(Ben Detterman photos) From left are Joan Jouppi of the Golden K Club, Sarah Sleeter and Michigan State Police Trooper Geno Basanese, who spoke to the club about the Torch Run on Sept. 10.

One does not need sunshine to brighten a day. Just join the Golden K on any Monday morning and the day will brighten up automatically.

Sue Proudfit, as program chairperson, rings the bell. Alyce Derwinski positions her music, pulls up her bench as Al Calcari raises his director arms and the music begins to fill the great hall. Oldies, one after another, roll out with the singing from this senior chorus, second to none.

Guests serenaded with the “welcome” song included: Michigan State Police Trooper Geno Basanese, Sarah Sleeter, Vivian Johnson and Jim Roberts with his son, Daniel. Happy birthday wishes to Ellen Roberts, Rose Pedo and John Corson on Aug. 26, Jim Verrette on Aug. 27, Sharon Scholke on Aug. 28 and Carol Olson on Aug. 29. Happy anniversary to Don and Rose Pedo and Leon and Sarah Gospodarek on Aug. 30, along with Mike and Pauline Werner on Aug. 31. Sarah Sleeter, who just came to visit, had the winning 50-50 ticket. Sometimes it can pay to visit the Golden K.

Basanese announced the upcoming Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics in Michigan. This year, these students will be riding, walking and/or running Sept. 10 from the MSP post on the north side to the Iron Mountain City Police Department downtown. These students enjoy running with the officers and at the end they are greeted with cheering, food, cool drinks and interviews by TV6.

In spite of their own cognitive impairments and disabilities, they take pride in helping with the fundraising and many participate in several of the events. Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District provides shirts for all students at $25 per shirt and welcomes donations to help defray the cost. Donations of any amount can be given to DIISD, Sarah Sleeter or Trooper Basanese.

From left are Golden K chairwoman Sue Proudfit and program chairman Bill Roberts with his son, Jim, who spoke about his work as a missionary with Wycliffe.

Bill Roberts, as program chairman, shared his “thought for the day” from the Dalai Lama: ” If you feel too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Bill then introduced his son, Jim. who does missionary work with Wycliffe and has been making a difference in people’s lives one village at a time.

Growing up in Channing, he never dreamed his life would take him from “Yooper” land to travels throughout the world and several U.S. states. He has been to some highly sensitive and risky places.

Wycliffe’s focus is Bible translations. They work with churches, governments and universities, advocating for policy change and enforcement. They do literacy and education programs. They have about 5,000 people working in about 100 countries across the globe. Staff members come from at least 60 countries.

Jim started as a pilot, where he experienced many unusual flights, some of which he shared with GK members.

Going from one country to another meant Jim had to learn the culture and language. He used his knowledge and inspiration from God to help people medically and spiritually, educating them in general health practices.

Translating the Bible gave people a better way to treat one another. It could gently teach those who did not know they can learn to read, write, study and learn, giving hope to those who didn’t think there was anything to hope for.

Jim learned to treat others with respect to their culture. By serving others, doors open and long-term relationships build, working across cultural barriers to get better results with a gentle word and humility.

Experiences ranged from delivering a baby aboard the plane to being intercepted by the Peruvian Air Force and forced to land for inspection or treating a small child medically for worms and amoebas.

His reward was gifts of all kinds from grateful people, to seeing that young child later — alive.

Reflecting back on his childhood, Jim commented that the lessons learned from all over the world were the same that he experienced growing up in the U.P. Treating people with dignity and respecting their ways of life. Translating the Bible in the language of the people wherever his travels took him, then watching them learn, grow and respond brought joy and satisfaction to his life.

No Golden K meeting will take place on Labor Day. The next general meeting will be Sept. 9. The Golden Throats sing Wednesday at Victorian Pines. The Golden K Peanut Fundraiser is going on to raise money for the scholarship and donations they make to local charities in the community.

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