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Rotary Club of Bay City

History of new Club Banner
by Mike Stoner - November 2008

At the Rotary International Night event held on October 16, 2008, at the DoubleTree Conference Center, the Rotary Club of Bay City unveiled its colorful new banner. The inspiration for the banner came from the club's most recent offspring, the Northern Bay & Arenac Rotary Club of Pinconning & Standish. Rotary clubs in Bay City and Gladwin sponsored the establishment of the new service club which was chartered on October 18, 2007.

One of the first club-building activities of the provisional club was the design of a banner. The resulting colorful banner impressed not only members of the new club, but members of many other clubs as well. Before finishing his term as president of Bay City Rotary, Rob Clark asked that a committee be established to design a new banner for the Bay City club using the Northern Bay & Arenac one as a model.

A committee was established in May composed of both long-time club members and new members. They included Kathy Czerwinski, Mike Stoner, Kathy Dwyer, Rod Sundstrom, and John Callahan. Regina Turner also participated as a representative of the Northern Bay & Arenac club.

The committee's first decision was to incorporate into the design an image showing both the Saginaw River and the Saginaw Bay since those geographic features have played such an important role in the community's history and are likely to play an important role in its future. The consensus was that the banner should not only celebrate the club's position within its home community but also the club's relation to the international organization which is Rotary. And as so many club members stated at the outset, the banner needed to be colorful. The club's current banner, blue letters on a white field, while certainly dignified in a somber sort of way as might befit so important a club as this, it does not really indicate the vitality and life that are so much the trademarks of the club today.

Mike Stoner
Joined 1992
President 2004
The committee toyed with many ideas for images to display on the banner, things like a Victorian house, a fisherman standing in the bay, a tractor plowing a field, a heron wading along the shoreline, a drawbridge opening up, City Hall, and others. In the end, members listened to Henry Thoreau's admonition: "Simplify, Simplify." It was decided to place the Rotary wheel on the banner's map where Bay City would be located and to have the wheel straddle the river, linking both the eastside and the westside.

Rather than making the banner appear cluttered, it was decided to incorporate only one other image in the design. The decision to use the kiosk was actually the last design element chosen. The idea came from a senior member who suggested that it would be nice to remind club members and others in the area of the club's major projects which have impacted, and will continue to impact, the entire community. The particular image used is the one put together by club member, Andy Rogers, which appears on the kiosk in the micro park next to the Delta College Planetarium.

Below the words on the banner, "Rotary Club of Bay City Michigan USA," the founding of the club is noted in the words, "Exemplifying the ideal of 'Service Above Self' since 1915." The founding of Rotary International, itself, is also noted. A Paul Harris quote was selected that characterizes the good works that have been carried on by the club for so many years; "The greatest achievements are the result of the combined effort of heart and head and hand working in perfect coordination," followed by a nodding reference to Paul Harris, who founded Rotary in 1905.

Even with all of these elements there seemed to be something missing from the banner: drama. A unifying feature was needed to tie it all together and make it both beautiful and memorable. A committee member suggested incorporating a rainbow. This tied in nicely with the initial charge from the club to produce something colorful. The committee then consulted club member, Cindy Chadwick, and asked whether it might be possible to develop a radiating rainbow or sunburst to focus attention on the Rotary wheel and Bay City's location on the map. Cindy worked with the banner manufacturer in California to do so. She also provided the images to the manufacturer to produce the banner, thereby minimizing their efforts and, ultimately, the final cost. Cindy recommended reversing the color of the words "Rotary Club of Bay City" shown on the bay. Making the letters white rather than black allowed the manufacturer to deepen the blue color of the bay and river which, in turn, greatly enhanced the dramatic effect. When the banner was displayed for the first time at the International Night event, even the design committee was impressed with how well the final product looked.

The Rotary Club of Bay City now has a beautiful banner of which it can be proud; one that will represent it in the world of Rotary for many years to come.

Kathy Czerwinski, joined 1993, President 2001-2002
Mike Stoner, joined 1992, President 2004-2005
Kathy Dwyer, joined 2006
Rod Sundstrom, joined 2008
John Callahan, joined 2008
Cindy Chadwick, joined 1989, President 1998-1999
Regina Turner representing Northern Bay & Arenac club.

2009 Banner.

Bicentennial Flag

Pre-2009 Banner

2009 Banner Image (not a photo).