01 Sep

Catching Up With the President

Keith Lakatosh, President, 248-854-8446

Baby date, 37 weeks, Heather is doing great and our house is ready to welcome a new member of our family. Our basement remodel is now complete and we look forward to many happy memories down there. So we wait in eager anticipation for our new arrival, but in the mean time there is still work to be done. The work I am speaking of is fulfilling my commitment to the Rochester Jaycees of ensuring their sustainability and their influence in the community and the state of Michigan. First, let me start with the latter, our influence in the community and the state of Michigan.

As you may already know, a couple months ago an ambitious member of our chapter approached me with a request. Rob Lykins was a relatively new member, only having joined 6 months prior, but he wanted to utilize the resources of the Jaycees to fulfill one of his goals and in exchange help raise awareness of the Jaycee organization. He wanted to form a team of runners to complete a relay style run across the state, from coast to coast, lake to lake, and the Jaycees could help him accomplish it.

After a meeting or two, our committee of Rob Lykins, Krista Tocco, Julia Webber and myself decided to partner with another community organization to help raise awareness for a great cause, as well as ourselves. We partnered with Blessings in a Backpack of Michigan, who you might recall gave a heartfelt presentation to us back in May. They provide weekend lunch programs to at-risk children for a number of school districts across the state.

Rob was hard at work assembling his team, developing his strategy and designing the course for the race. He was even able to use his connections to acquire an RV to accompany them and challenge and accommodate the tireless runners. Our partnership turned out to be serendipitous because through their existing partnership with Meijer, Inc. we were able to get the food donated for our team of runners. The grocery list was long and carb-tastic, including dozens of loaves of bread and bananas, not to mention all the hard candies, which are apparently great to keep you distracted during long runs. Regardless, it was an expense we were welcome to eliminate.

When it came time to face his challenge, Rob went in prepared, energized and ready to conquer. His team was assembled and provisions collected. While they still faced a number of last minute problems, they were prepared to overcome them and still achieve their goals (You can read his account of the event later in this newsletter). They were cheered along as often as possible through the efforts of our member Krista Tocco and her communications to Jaycees chapters along the course. Conveniently the Michigan Jaycees were hosting their quarterly convention in Lansing and the team’s course led them directly past the event. They even received a police escort through downtown Rochester at Midnight on the second straight night of the relay. The team reached their final destination at Lighthouse Park in
Port Huron at 10:00 am Sunday morning after having run 40 hours and 234 miles. Not only was a Jaycee member able to accomplish his goals, but he was able to raise awareness for a great cause. This is truly a great accomplishment and at the core of the mission of the Rochester Area Jaycees.

My hope is that the aforementioned story can inspire you to think beyond the status quo and think of what goals you want to achieve. The Jaycees will always be here to help make your goals a reality. Now I want to discuss my second responsibility, the sustainability of our chapter. With the summer coming to a close, the Rochester Jaycees are entering what I will coin as the “make it break it” season. Over the next two months we have three fundraisers that are critical to the sustainability of our chapter and our ability to provide the great opportunities to our members and the support to our community.

The first fundraiser we have is the gate-keeping for the Paint Creek Center for the Arts Annual Arts & Apples Festival. This event is being organized by our Community Vice President Julia Webber and she is in need of volunteers for Saturday and Sunday September 11th-12th to work a couple hour shift passively collecting donations at the entrance gates of the event. If you have time in your schedule that weekend please refer to the Evite you received from our chapter or contact Julia Webber (jwebber@rajc.org).

The second fundraiser involves the Rochester Heritage Festival. This is the second Rockwall fundraiser we are running this year on Saturday and Sunday September 25th-26th. If you missed the opportunity to volunteer at the first rockwall event over Memorial Day, it is a fun and entertaining fundraiser for our annual Rochester Jaycees Scholarship. Doug Allen is running this event and if you are interested in helping that weekend please contact him at nellaguod527@gmail.com.

The last fundraiser I want to talk about is the 40th Annual Rochester Area Jaycees Haunted House, The Tunnel of Terror. As you know, this event takes a lot of coordination, preparation and physical manpower to be successful. I am asking all the Jaycees who can spare a night or two on any Friday or Saturday in October to please help out at the Haunted House. Positions will be available by first come first serve so contact Paul Jackson (pjackson5677@hotmail.com) or Dan Moellering (dmoellering@rajc.org) to select your nights to volunteer. I will be hard at work acquiring hospitality from local restaurants from around Rochester, so I promise volunteers will be well fed!

Thank you all for taking time to catch up with the Rochester Area Jaycees. While I eagerly await entering into my new role as a father, I examine the accomplishments and goals of our organization. I think about the new and adaptive projects we have run for our community, like the first ever Michigan Green Career Expo. I think about the successes of our members and the impact they have had to the people around them. I look forward at the remainder of the year and aside from the fundraisers mentions above we also have great community events like the Christmas Shopping Tour and the Rochester Christmas Parade/Santa’s Mailbox. I am inspired everyday by the impact our organization has on the community and the benefit derived from the efforts of our members, both for themselves and the people they influence. My hope is that all our members take advantage of the opportunities the Jaycees have to offer.

01 Sep

Free CPR Training – Register Today!

Jocelyn Moellering, Individual Development VP, 248-383-5623

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2010 @ 6:30 PM


Here is a great opportunity for you to gain a skill that could save someone’s life, and it’s free! The fire department of Rochester Hills offers monthly non-certification CPR classes to the community free of charge. A group of us will be attending Monday, September 13 at 6:30 pm. The classes are located in the training room at Fire Station #1 (directions in the link below). The American Heart Association Family and Friends classes offer adult, child and infant CPR. Classes will consist of lecture, videos and manikin practice. The class teaches one-person CPR and management of complete airway obstruction. Students will receive an American Heart Association Participation card ( not a certification card).

We hope you’ll be able to join us! You can register for this event today! Next to “September 13th,” click “Register.” Please let me know by the September GMM if you would like to participate, even if you sign yourself up online. Also, if you need help signing up, let me know and I can register for you.


01 Sep

40th Annual “Tunnel of Terror”

Dan Moellering, Management VP, 248-805-1326


It’s that time of year again! The Rochester Area Jaycees will be putting together their 40th annual Haunted House – the Tunnel of Terror – in the parking lot of the Rochester Municipal Park in downtown Rochester. The Haunted House will run from 7:30-10:30 pm every Friday and Saturday throughout the month of October. We are looking for volunteers to help with ticket-taking, guiding people through, and “monsters” (scaring the living daylights out of people!). Please let myself or chairperson Paul Jackson know what nights you’ll be able to volunteer and what you prefer to do. We’ll be sending out an Evite soon as well. You can email Paul at pjackson5677@hotmail.com or Dan at dmoellering@rajc.org. As Keith mentioned in his article, the Tunnel of Terror is a major fundraiser for our chapter and it’s also a great tradition in our community. We’ll also be doing a “Friendly Monster” tour for kids one of the Saturday afternoons (date TBD). We’ll let you know more about Haunted House at the September GMM. We’d love to have a lot of you come out to this chapter favorite!


01 Sep

Run Across Michigan Wrap Up

Rob Lykins, General Member

This run started as a dream of a few friends running across Michigan, sleeping in tents on the side of the road when we were tired, and eating whatever we could carry. With the help of three organizations, The Rochester Area Jaycees, Blessings in a Backpack, and Meijer, the team of nine saw their dream become reality.

Each member of the team brought something special to the run.  The bulk of the runners ran approximately 35 miles, with one runner running a total of 52 miles over the 37 hours. Everyone on the team (including the drivers) contributed by running at least one mile. Even though the run started 2.5 hours later than scheduled,  the team managed to finish only 45 minutes after the target end time. After the first 2 miles the team had settled in to a schedule and the run went as smooth as planed. On top of each runner rotating and running every 4-5 hours, the team faced many other challenges. Some challenges they faced were:

  • The RV getting stuck in traffic and arriving an hour and 45 minutes late
  • One of the runners forgot their running shoes (and borrowed a pair for the run)
  • A team member missed a connecting flight and met up with the team 5 minutes before the run started
  • The RV missed a turn and lost the team for about 15 minutes

Through all the obstacles, the team remained positive and had a great time. With 9 people living in an RV the attitude and atmosphere could have been anything. Over the 234 miles in 37 hours you did not hear any complaining. Just light conversation and laughing.

Goals were accomplished, many memories were created and will be shared with friends and family for years to come (raymond). From the team of runners we would like to say thank you to The Rochester Area Jaycees, Blessings in a Backpack, and Meijer for all the support and help.

Thank you for all of your help and support,

Robert Lykins and the rest of the team

06 Jun

Oustanding Young Michigander/Distinguished Service Award

Keith Lakatosh, President, 248-854-8446

It is that time of year again to nominate community members for the Outstanding Young Michigander and Distinguished Service Awards.

The Michigan Jaycee Outstanding Young Michigander program was started in 1955 to recognize outstanding community leaders age 21 and 40 years old from around the state of Michigan. The program honors up to a total of ten (10) individuals annually that is made up of up to five (5) Outstanding Young Michiganders (OYM) and up to five (5) Distinguished Service Awards (DSA), one in each of the following categories: Outstanding Young Religious Leader, Educator, Public Safety Officer, Government Leader and Farmer.

It is not required that the nominee or nominator be a member of the Jaycees. A local chapter may nominate only one (1) person for each DSA category. Each Michigan Jaycees chapter is limited to no more than two (2) OYM nominations. See Nomination Form below for details on the submissions process.


Anyone is eligible as long as they are of Jaycee age. If you are interested in nominating someone for one of these distinguished awards please contact me. Nomination submissions are due to the state by June 15th.

06 Jun

Detroit Photo Shoot

Jocelyn Moellering, Individual Development VP, 248-383-5623

SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 2010 @ 3:00 PM


Explore Detroit like never before – behind the lens of a camera. Amateur photographer and Management VP Dan Moellering will be your photography instructor for the day. He’ll give you tips and tricks on composition, lighting, exposure, and speed for capturing the best shots. Please bring your camera with you or let us know if you need to borrow a camera. Also, if you’re interested in using a film camera, you’re welcome to borrow our Canon Rebel SLR or use your own if you have one. We’ll meet at the DIA in the main surface lot behind the museum. We can arrange car pools for those interested, as well.

There will also be a follow up event in July for those interested. We’ll be assembling scrapbooks of our Detroit photos (or other photos if you prefer) and learning calligraphy for embellishing the scrapbook. That event will be July 15th at 6:30 at the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. I’ll put out an article in July’s Heartbeat with more information.

Please email me at jmoellering@rochesterareajaycees.org or Dan at dmoellering@rochesterareajaycees.org if you’re interested in joining us or if you’d like more information on the photo shoot and/or the scrapbooking/calligraphy event.


06 Jun

General Membership Meeting (GMM)

THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 2010 @ 7:30 PM

The second Thursday of every month, we have a GMM to go over upcoming projects.  Our meetings are held at the Rochester Community House which is located at 816 Ludlow in downtown Rochester. Ludlow runs north off University Drive (Walton Blvd), approximately one half mile east of Livernois (or one half mile west of Main Street/Rochester Rd). We encourage you to come early and mingle before the meeting.


Our monthly community donation for June will be a “critter collection” (food and supplies for shelter animals). Here is the list of desired items.

  • Canned Dog, Cat & Kitten Food
  • Cat Litter
  • Cat and Dog Toys (nonporous)
  • Clorox® Wipes – Petkin Paw Wipes (8″ X 7″)
  • Dog Toys (stuffed)
  • Grooming Brushes
  • Facial Tissue & Paper Towels
  • Fleece Fabric
  • Kong® Toys (Large & XL)
  • Oster® Grooming Clippers
  • Paper Towels
  • Rabbit and Ferret Toys
  • Rubber Dishwashing Gloves
  • Towels
06 Jun

Technology Committee Meeting

Dan Moellering, Management VP, 231-881-4272

MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2010 @ 7:OO PM


We are having another committee meeting to explore different possibilities for how we want to market ourselves using our website, Facebook, and other social networking sites. Also, we’ll continue to discuss ideas on how to better manage our CPGs, training manuals, and other paperwork to make them more accessible to our chapter. If you have ideas, even if you don’t consider yourself “tech savvy,” please consider joining this committee. If you’re interested, please email me at dmmoelle@gmail.com or sign up at the June GMM.


06 Jun

Safety Town Setup

Julia Webber, Community VP, 248-613-6875

FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2010 @ 12:30 PM-3:00 PM



For 32 years, the Rochester Area Jaycees have helped teach 4, 5, and 6-year-olds to develop an understanding of safety in their environment as well as a healthy awareness of danger. The kids that go through Safety Town will begin an adventure in learning. This is accomplished by the students participating in classroom learning and safely maneuvering our miniature town — complete with cars, bikes, traffic lights, and signs.

On Friday, June 18th, we are scheduled to meet at Public Storage on Dequindre Rd. at W. Utica Rd. at 12:30. We will load Safety Town supplies into trucks and vans. The supplies will then be delivered to Brooklands Elementary on Auburn Rd. at 1:00 PM. Setup is scheduled from 1:00-3:00. Any and all assistance is welcome. Please contact Julia Webber for more information or to get involved.