Tag: fundraiser

Let’s Get Together

The Great Lakes Society was formed to sustain the work of FLOW. Now the Great Lakes Society wants to encourage others to join and participate with comments, suggestions for how the Society can foster FLOW’s work to find and apply solutions to address the systemic threats to the Great Lakes. You can join the Great Lakes Society here.

I like working in groups and working with people because of the team dynamic, the camaraderie, the exchange of ideas; all these intangible benefits are valuable aspects of being a member of a group. The French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville noted that the key to the United States’ successful democracy was the variety and volume of associations in civil society. (In 1835) Tocqueville said that “knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.” That is to say, our groups, societies, clubs, and teams facilitate the broader democratic process simply through the exchange of ideas that occurs when we collaborate.

These benefits are why belonging to associations can improve the quality of our lives, and it’s why I joined FLOW’s Great Lakes Society this year as a Manitou Member. The Great Lakes Society is a group that does so much more than support FLOW’s work financially. It is a group that is chock full of passionate and motivated people committed to protecting the Great Lakes with great laws, and FLOW brings them all together to create a sum greater than its parts.

room full of guests - Copy

Great Lakes Society members at our Annual Celebration came from across Michigan, Illinois, New York, and Ontario, Canada.

The Great Lakes Society is building a collaborative network of individuals who care about the Great Lakes. Memberships come from across the Great Lakes Basin in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as from Colorado, Washington DC, Kentucky, Washington. We are also growing our Great Lakes Society in Canada, starting in Ontario.

Our members represent many areas of expertise, from high-caliber natural resources policy experts such as Maude Barlow from the Council of Canadians and Wenonah Hauter from Food & Water Watch, to renowned poets such as Michael Delp and James Lenfestey, to professionals in government, professors, leaders in business, experts in the renewable energy industry, to doctors and lawyers and filmmakers, teachers and farmers, grassroots activist and students. The list goes on.

I had the great pleasure of organizing (along with an excellent contingency of generous volunteers and Society members) the inaugural Annual Celebration of the Great Lakes Society this past August. My fellow Society members are so different, yet alike in their passion for and engagement in the preservation of the Great Lakes’ common waters. I was delighted by the day’s art, music, and culinary indulgences (including great beer) and even more delighted by the conversations I had with fellow Society members. I was engrossed in discussions of inspiring, various topics, such as how to go about commissioning a Great Lakes Symphony (think Holst’s Planets, but with five Great Lakes instead) and use music as a catalyst for promoting Great Lakes education. Or how to connect the idea of “virtual” and “embedded” water consumption to use of everyday consumer items, perhaps expanding on our Beans4Blue coffee to include things like beer, or clothes. Of course there was plenty of discussion about how climate change has affected our Great Lakes.

A sign of good beer

A good sign at The Workshop Brewing Company where we hosted the inaugural Annual Celebration of the Great Lakes Society

I was not surprised by the level of intelligence and awareness of my fellow Society members, rather I became even more inspired to help FLOW take our work to the next level and find workable solutions to the systematic threats facing the Great Lakes we all so deeply care for.

The Great Lakes Diaspora

This time of year I’ve been working (again with our dedicated volunteers and Society members) to expand our Great Lakes Society through our holiday membership drive. From organizing the databases to dreaming up the letters and emails to nursing the inevitable paper cuts that come with stuffing envelopes, it’s been quite a journey. One of our volunteers even said he had a dream (or was it a nightmare?) about licking envelopes after one long night of work.
Throughout this process I’ve become familiar with our members and our followers, and I noticed that so many of our followers are spread out far beyond the Great Lakes Basin. Our care for and love of the Great Lakes follows us wherever we live, these lakes are truly that valuable and magnificent. We are growing our membership and as it continues to spread out geographically we are also working on new ways to bring our Great Lakes Society members together virtually. This is to promote members’ engagement and collaboration with FLOW on our policy work, as well as with each other.

In the spirit of Tocqueville, in the spirit of cooperation, and in the spirit of collaboration, I’m asking you to leave a comment and let us know, what are some ideas you have for creating a more inclusive Great Lakes Society community that promotes the exchange of ideas and improves interpersonal connections among members? We’re open to your feedback, and of course, we hope you join us and become a member of the Great Lakes Society today.

Annual Celebration of the Great Lakes Society

Click here to view and download the full press release PDF


Contact: Liz Kirkwoood, Executive Director
231 944 1568 or liz@flowforwater.org

Celebrating the Great Lakes Society: Common Waters, Common Purpose

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – FLOW (“For Love Of Water”), the Great Lakes Basin’s only public trust policy and education center, is hosting its first Great Lakes Society Annual Celebration at The Workshop Brewing Company in Traverse City, MI from 12-3pm, on Saturday, August 17, 2013. FLOW welcomes community members and guests of all ages to join in the celebration and learn about FLOW’s programs and the Great Lakes Society. Great Lakes Society members share a common purpose: to protect the common waters of the Great Lakes Basin. The Society’s members provide vital funding to FLOW with a four-year pledge of support. FLOW will present two Beacon Awards to acknowledge those members who have shown tremendous passion for and dedication to protecting the Great Lakes. This free program includes performances by several talented local musicians, including pianist Jimmy Olson and vintage swing duo The True Falsettos. FLOW would like to thank our generous co-sponsors Oryana Natural Foods Market and Food for Thought for their support.

FLOW’s Founder and Chair, Jim Olson notes that “FLOW’s cutting edge work—on water, energy and food, climate change, water levels, invasive species, diversions and exports, nutrient loading and the public trust doctrine—would not be possible without our Great Lakes Society. These dedicated supporters make our work here at FLOW possible and allows us to apply our critical research and work to protect waters of the Great Lakes.”

FLOW invites water lovers to join the Great Lakes Society in its founding year. New members pledging and making their first year contribution before December 31, 2013 will be recognized as Founding Members. Members pledge a four-year commitment to donate at one of three levels.

  • Isle Royale Member: $500 or more per year for four years
  • Mackinaw Member: $250 per year for four years
  • Manitou Member: $125 per year for four years

Great Lakes Society Founding Member and Director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School, Melissa Scanlan, says that joining the organization is important for maintaining the integrity of these shared waters, which contain 20% of the world’s freshwater supply. “I support FLOW by joining the Great Lakes Society because the Great Lakes are a public treasure to be protected today for future generations,” says Scanlan.

GLS INVITE POSTERFLOW is fortunate to host the party at a brand new venue, The Workshop Brewing Company, located at 221 Garland Street in the Warehouse District. The Workshop’s mission is to sustain nature, build community, and honor the craft of brewing beer. They do this by creating honest, traditional beers and wholesome, delicious food using ingredients sourced as locally/organically as possible, served with genuine warmth and enthusiasm, in a setting that is welcoming and fun.

FLOW is delighted to celebrate with performers pianist Jimmy Olson and vintage swing duoThe True Falsettos. Born and raised in Northern Michigan, pianist Jimmy Olson graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy with a major in percussion and continued his studies at the L.A. Musicians Institute in California. Olson formerly played with bands including Egon and Medicinal Groove, and now plays with G Snacks. Olson plays throughout Northern Michigan on a regular basis with his band and as a solo musician.

The True Falsettos are a vintage swing duo featuring Joe Wilson (Steel Guitar, Guitar, Vocals) and Kevin Gills (Bass, Vocals). Embracing the hot jazz and swing styles of the 30’s and 40’s, Joe and Kevin play some of the liveliest, most danceable music around. In addition to original tunes, Joe and Kevin play the songs of the Nat King Cole trio, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Fat Waller, Jimmie Lunceford, and Louis Jordan.

FLOW greatly appreciates the help of our event co-sponsors, Oryana Natural Foods Marketand Food for Thought. Oryana has been supporting good food, sustainable agriculture and cooperative economics since 1973. The co-op offers high quality food produced in ecologically sound ways at fair value to member-owners and the community at large. Local, Fair Trade and organic foods are emphasized. Oryana was Michigan’s first Certified Organic Retailer. Today, Oryana generates $14 million sales annually from their 8,800-square-foot facility located in Traverse City.

Food For Thought produces more than gourmet, organic canned preserved goods; their goal is to produce gifts that matter. When you give a gift from Food For Thought, you can be assured that they have done their best to bring you products that make a difference in the quality of life on this planet. Satisfaction is guaranteed. Food For Thought strives to be a model of corporate responsibility that is expressed, in part, through an unwavering commitment to organic foods. Such a commitment has a direct and positive impact on the quality of land and water. Not only does Food For Thought make products that help sustain and preserve our natural world, but they are also of the best quality available anywhere.

We look forward to spending the afternoon with our current and future Great Lakes Society members.