The Rotary Club of Tumwater

Chartered April 23rd 1951


Help prepare and serve dinner, run arts and crafts projects, and supervise games at this Volunteer Tumwater event.  This project will take place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Old Town Center (215 N 2nd Ave. SW). Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and complete a volunteer release waiver to participate in this project.  The waiver must be completed by a parent or legal guardian for volunteers under 18 years old. 
For more information about the event or to register, call (360) 252-5424 or email


This is the month for us to consider how our Rotary values – and our own actions – influence public perceptions of Rotary. Rotary’s strategic plan outlines five core values that define and guide us as we chart a course into our second century of service.

Service is our first value, as it should be. The focus of service is reflected in our primary motto, Service Above Self. We have the potential to create better, safer, and healthier communities, one project at a time.

Fellowship is the reason Rotary was founded over 100 years ago. The friendship, the camaraderie, and the wonderful sense of doing something good together is what keeps us all looking forward to our Rotary meetings week after week.

Diversity is an aspect of Rotary that becomes more important with every passing year.

Integrity is fundamental to the organization’s identity. Every Rotarian is a guardian of the reputation that generations of Rotarians have worked to build. When we maintain the highest ethical standards in all of our dealings, we strengthen the trust that allows us to serve more effectively.

Leadership, the fifth, and final, core vale. Each of us must remember, with our every action, that we are Rotarians. When we are chosen to become Rotarians, and when we choose to accept that honor, we take it upon ourselves to become representatives of the entire organization.

When we are known as Rotarians, then everything we do reflects upon us all. By living by our core values and committing to Service Above Self, we build a stronger Rotary and a better world for all.

Our Board Meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of every month from Noon to 1 PM at the Olympics West Retirement Inn ( 929  Trosper Rd SW, Tumwater, WA  98512)
Members, please sign in to view the latest updates in club documents particularly membership obligations relative to volunteering and dues payments!

Club Executives & Directors

President Elect
Immediate Past President
Community Service
President Elect VP
Vocational Service
International Service
Public Relations
New Generations
Programs co-chair
Youth Protection Officer

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Club Information

Hello, from the Tumwater Rotary Club!


Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
New Market Vocational Skills Ctr.
7299 New Market St SW
Tumwater, WA  98501
United States
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Applications are due by March 27, 2015
Awards:  A total of up to six $1,250 scholarships for graduating seniors who plan to attend technical training, a college or university will be awarded. The scholarship is valid up to two years from the date of award and can be used for tuition and will be paid directly to the institution. Scholarships are awarded to Tumwater high schools as listed below:
Tumwater HS – 2
Black Hills HS – 2
New Market Skills Center-efforts will be made to award, one to each of the         following areas:
                        High School – 1
                        Culinary Arts – 1
Recipients will be expected to attend a Tumwater Rotary lunch meeting in May to be recognized for their achievement.


Our Youth/Vocation Services Chair Wayne Beckwith brought us up to date on one of Rotary's most valuable youth programs.  Teaching the youth today about Leadership Skills and Community Services results in the Local and Global Citizen Leaders of tomorrow. 


What is RYLA?

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a program that originated with Rotary International. RYLA encourages servant leadership in youth by recognizing and rewarding deserving 11th grade students who are chosen to attend RYLA as an "award" for their past and present leadership and service activities. These select young people attend an all-expenses-paid camp where they are inspired by a diverse group of exceptional speakers, make life-long friends through fellowship activities, and discuss the ethical and social issues of today. These activities are conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The result is that these students return to their schools and communities motivated to take on additional leadership roles and to find additional ways to serve. 

RYLA's intent is to encourage students to be more effective servant leaders. RYLA is not a camp intended to teach leadership skills (it is assumed that the students in attendance already possess those skills), however the following topics naturally arise in the course of RYLA activities and discussions:

Fundamentals of leadership
Ethics of positive leadership
Qualities of a "servant leader" 
Importance of communication skills in effective leadership
Conflict management and problem solving
Building self-esteem and self confidence
Elements of community and global citizenship
Rotary's purpose of service to the community and world

For more information about RYLA in our District 5020 please refer to the RYLA documents in the download section of this website.


The meeting started with the induction of two new members; Jim McGarva, Fire Captain with the Tumwater FD, and Brad Ridgeway, Fire Suppression Supervisor also with the Tumwater FD.
Dave Albert with Friendly Water for the World spoke about the organization's work with Bio Sand Water Filtration Systems.  They are making a difference in Africa, India, Afghanistan, and Honduras.  Part of the organization's Vision is to find practical methods of addressing water as an emerging issue of global importance and empowering people to take charge of their water quality.  Among it's many goals is to help build a filter a day, and double each successive year to achieve the construction and installation of 368,300 filters in ten years.
They are dedicated to clean water because 3.5 million people die of water related diseases every year and a child dies of waterborne illness every 20 seconds. Both of theses statistics do not have to be and can be reduced or eliminated.
$50 will pay for a filter that provides clean water for a family that can last for up to 30 years.
Several of members of the Yelm Rotary Club were in attendance in support of Mr. Albert's presentation.  Their club has adopted this Bio Sand Filtration Program as their International Service project.

Dr Rachel Wood, the Health Director for Thurston and Mason Counties, gave an interesting, engaging, and informative program on what are the responsibilities of the County Health Departments and  provided emphasis on the area of Infection Control.
The Health Department is responsible for Infection Prevention and Control, Information on Access to Health Care, Emergency Health Care Response, and Environmental Health, and Education on Health Hygiene.
Since the recent Ebola Virus outbreak and the onset of winter and the normal Influenza concerns Dr. Woods focused most of her presentation on Infection Control.  The elements of Infection Control are and involve: Surveillance, Non-Pharmaceutical Controls (hygiene), Pharmaceutical Controls (Vaccines and Medications); Contact Tracing/Monitoring those Exposed.
The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest in recorded history with over 20,000 people infected and nearly 9,000 deaths.
While Ebola is a serious and infectious disease we must know that it is only contractible when someone is already exhibiting the symptoms and is only transmitted by direct bodily contact (specifically fluids).
As dangerous as Ebola is Dr. Woods warned us that Influenza caused 36,000 deaths in the US this last year with 17 of those deaths occurring here in Washington State.  All of us need to take the "Flu shot" each year as the virus "shifts and drifts.":  Which means it can alter itself slightly or do a major mutation shift.
Finally, Dr.Woods addressed the now nearly forgotten MRSA outbreak.  This is completely treated with good hygiene (including washing and drying clothes in a hot dryer), protection (bandaging), and monitoring of one's self to watch for worsening.  Almost all of us have the Staphylococcus bacteria in us.  Only 25% of us will get sick.  We also have the MRSA bacteria but only 1% of us will exhibit symptoms &/or develop problems.

Skip Steffen, from the Union Gospel Mission, talked to us "normies" about how we just don't get the stories of those who live in the streets, woods, and shelters. 
We heard from two people who worked hard to turn their lives around and "escape" from the streets.One gentleman had been homeless since he was seventeen.  He was made aware of the Union Gospel Mission from a Jail Ministries program.  The biggest problem was not knowing where to get help.  He stated that the system currently lacks an after care element to assist people in staying clean from drugs and alcohol.
The second speaker was a young lady who woke up one morning in circumstances she could not believe and with that came a "moment of change".  You have to be ready to stop being hurt and stop hurting others.  One undergoes a lot of abuse when under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  She found help at the Union Gospel Mission's "The Nest" Women's Shelter where she entered a recovery plan.  She now provides Life Skills Counseling at Genesis Acres.  
She wants the care system to provide more money for long term recovery,  The most immediate need is for shelteres where people can be warm and be feed.  However, there are not enough volunteers to staff the need shelters.

Omey Nandyal, developer of Compass 360 for Non-profits, talked to us about the need for Non-profits to better solicit for funds. They must better define their purpose and goals.  Increased use of Social Media for fundraising has worked when non-profits promote a project based campaign versus general fundraising to manage the organization.
New donors are more inquisitive, they give out of a sense of expression not duty (very little tithing exists now), they are predominantly women, and they fund big ideas.

Matt Newman, Evergreen State College Athletic Director, shared what is happening in "Geoduck" athletics.  The motto is "dig Deep".
The school fields nine teams among Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, and track and Field.  The school is a member of the Cascade League.  Of the ten schools in the League Evergreen is last in terms of resources.
There are no "free ride" scholarships.  However, a student athlete may receive a significant waiver on part of their tuition.
Athlete recruiting is done passively.   The School recruits students, then they are asked if they wish to participate in sports. many of the student athletes are from the East Coast of the USA and some 20% are from other countries.

Tumwater City Administrator (and club member) John Doan talked about the "State of the City".  Police and Fire account for 50% of the General Fund Expenses.  As with any municipality with "tight" budgets adjustments need to be made.  The Parks Department is also responsible for Building Maintenance, and the K-9 team is funded by donations.
So what are the Revenues?:  New Development, Property Tax (but they are close to the cap), Sales Tax (COSTCO is about 12 1/2% of the total), and possibly new Districts for Parks, etc. Also the City receives about 1 cent of every dollar of Sales tax collected in the City, and 24 cents of every dollar collected in County property tax.
And Expenses?: State "trickle down" whereby the City pays 25% of the cost to train an officer at the Academy, Indigent Defense in Court ( $200,000/year), Deferred Maintenance, and inflation.
John reviewed what is the "Financial Toolbox". Levels of Service, Newer Income Sources, Improved Efficiencies, Increases in Taxes and Fees (such as Levy Lid Lifts), and one time revenues (e.g.. grants).

Sheriff John Snaza talked with us about the struggle between fully staffing his department to meet public safety requirements and the reality of a limited budget. The Deputy staffing level is what it was in 1990.  The Commission wants him to staff teh new Justice Center, which would require 18 more staff, but without the budget to pay for it.  The 2015 budget will be the same as 2014.
Sheriff Snaza believes that the County priorities should be Safety, Emergency Medical Service (EMS), and Road Infrastucture.

Robin Johnson, owner of 90-10 Physical Fitness, is our Tumwater Business Person of the Year awardee. At 30 years of age Robin was forced by circumstances to start her life over.  With the help of Family & Friends she went back to school at St. Martins University and studied Business.
Robin has Certification in Sports Psychology and Personal Training.
She believes in Community Service and has supported "Toys for Tots", "Friends of Mia", and the "Wounded Warrior Battalion".
In her business she stresses Family and Community.  She teaches core values and requires community service of her seven employees.


Kevin Daton, of the Washington State Department of Transportation Olympic Region, spoke today of the rising demand in road improvement demands and the corresponding drop in revenue.

The Olympic Region contains 7 Counties, 3,000 miles of roadway, and 638 bridges.  Only 27% of the WSDOT revenue comes from the Federal Government.  The amount is flat, meaning that over the next few years that % will decrease. Currently 90% of our roads are rated as fair or better.  10 years from now that could drop to 29%.  While only 23 of our bridges are Structurally Deficient now in 10 years that number could be 71.

The average driver (through gas taxes) pays only $225/year for our road maintenance & construction.  As we continue to drive ever fuel efficient vehicles that number will drop, as well as the revenue the State receives.

The new WSDOT Director has set 6 goals for the Department: Strategic Investments, Modal Integration (consider all modes of transportation), Environmental Stewardship (removal of 825 culverts impacting fish migration by 2030 as mandated by the Federal Government at a cost of $2.4 billion), Organizational Strength, Community Engagement, Use of Smart Technology.




President Mike led the first of three Fireside Meetings to be held over the course of this Rotary year.  The purpose of these meetings is to educate our newest members about Rotary and to remind our other members about changes in programs.  Mike provided an overview of Rotary to include; Resources for more information, an overview of the District structure and key positions, our own club structure, officers, and committees.  Questions then followed which led to further information sharing.

President Mike emphasized the need to increase membership and for sponsors/mentors to help move "red badges" to "blue badges."



Dan Smith, Water Resources Manager for the City of Tumwater and a member of our club, delivered his classification talk and the program for today. He is responsible for what we drink, flush, and drain in our City.  As Water Resources Manager he, 2 more staff, and and 8 field operations personnel are responsible for our drinking water, sanitary sewer, storm water, and reclaimed water.

60 to 70% of his time is devoted to Stormwater management.  It must be captured and cleaned before it is allowed to return to the earth and ultimately become our future drinking water sources.  This involves quality treatment and flow control before returning to our lakes and streams.  While we do not think about it, our automobile brakes deposit copper and zinc in the roadway, to the stormwater drains, and to the ultimate drinking water source.  Further, if those chemicals enter the lakes and streams it is harmful to fish.

Currently the City has significant water projects underway on Cleveland Ave, near SPSCC (rain gardens), and T Street.  He will tell us more about these projects in the future as they develop.

The City provides 967 million gallons of water per year. (470 million gallons were provided in this last summer with 141 million provided in August alone).  The City maintains 91 miles of sewer lines, 118 miles of water lines, 2600 storm drains, and performs 1700 water analyses per year.

 Reclaimed water is the next new and important topic we will hear more of in the future.  As more reclaimed water is diverted to and used as irrigation at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course more potable water can be diverted to its primary purpose thus expanding that resource as demand continues to grow.



Today we said a final goodbye to our Charter member Jim Brown.  The service was a wonderful tribute to an "ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life." (Pastor Amy Walters). From his relationship to family and friends, to his community life, to his potato salad Jim was extraordinary.  Farewell our friend.

James George Brown

Jim was born on January 3, 1924, to parents Emmett Brown and Anna Marry Chopick Brown, the first of four boys, Jim, Jake, Vince and Patrick. In 1942, Jim joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and was a flight engineer on B-17s during the World War IT; he traveled extensively during those four years.
On May 21, 1949, Jim and Helen were married in the First Christian Church of Olympia. Jim became a member and an integral part of that congregation. The family grew and was blessed with the addition of six children, Anne-Marie, Jim, Jeff, Cindy, Bonnie and John.
Jim first joined his father and brothers in working at the Brown Lumber Company, which had the slogan, "Brown's boards build better buildings." In 1966, Jim worked for the City of Tumwater as Superintendent of Public Works. He retired in 1986 after 20 years of service. The city of Tumwater named a park after him in honor of the many contributions he made to the city; Jim Brown Park is located not far from where Jim resided for 60 years.
Jim was a member and supported many organizations he believed in: the Tumwater Rotary Club, United Way, the Red Cross, and the Tumwater Library Board. He also served two terms on the Tumwater City Council, and 24 years on the Tumwater School Board.
In 2004, Helen, his wife of 55 years, preceded him in death. On August 29,2014, Jim died from complications after surgery. He is survived by three daughters, Anne-Marie Brown, Cindy Beauchene, and Bonnie Workland (Paul); and three sons, Jim Brown (Cindy), Jeff Brown (Lorri), and John Brown (Michelle); 15 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; foster children and numerous exchange students.
Jim will be remembered as a people-person who had a sense of humor and crossword puzzle in his hand. We will miss you, Jim Brown.




We were fortunate to have PDG Ken Balsley drop by for a visit.  The program did not happen as originally scheduled so he stepped in and gave an impromptu talk on "40 years in Rotary."

Ken joined Rotary to "build the community."  He has a passion for Club Service and Membership.  Rotary should be available to all potential members regardless of the ability to pay dues, or not.  

His proudest memories are the number of people he as brought into Rotary (just under 100), bringing in six women into Lacey Rotary as soon as that was possible, helping start two new Rotary Clubs (Capital Centennial and Yelm), an Interact club, and the St, Martin's University Rotaract Club.

A person must always reflect on their own behavior as a Rotarian.

Ken espouses getting involved and spread Rotary!!



Monica Langford, Community Volunteer Coordinator for the City of Tumwater, brought us up to date on the full Volunteer program.  In 2013 2819 volunteer hours were recorded.  Through the first six months of 2014 3326 volunteer hours have been recorded worth $72,746.  The City of Tumwater offers an opportunity to participate in a volunteer "event" each month.

Each month an event is offered by a different department within the City; e.g.. Roads, Parks, etc. 

Currently 13 people volunteer with the Fire Department.  The City will be working with the other jurisdictions to create volunteer opportunities with the Stream Team Program. 

Special event programs that also need community volunteers are; The Tumwater Artesian Brewfest, the United Way Day of Caring, and a Tree Planting project. In the future there may be more volunteer opportunities with the Police Department, Adopt-a-Site, and a Community Matching Grant Program.

Also with Monica was Todd Anderson with the Tumwater Parks Department who spoke about volunteerism specifically related to the City Parks Programs.  3,000 children were involved with Parks programs assisted by 430 volunteers (totaling 1500 hours).  Each Parks event needs at least 30 volunteers.  Parks events include a Basketball league, Earth Day activities, Trails Days (clearing and restoring), an annual Egg Dash, and the 4th of July celebration.





Retired Washington State Trooper Glenn Cramer provided us a brief history of traffic accidents caused by misuse of alcohol. From the first auto fatality in 1899 we have experienced tremendous increases in accidents especially those related to consumption of alcohol and marijuana.  In 1995 there were 3 million traffic fatalities and 67% of those were related to such consumption.  Since the legalization of Marijuana in our State (1/13-1/14) there has been a 23% increase in Marijuana usage related accidents.

A new problem is how food and drinks are being infused with Marijuana, sometimes to extreme levels.  A document is available on this website under Downloads showing some of the products that are Marijuana infused.  Also attached to that document is a listing of the costs to Washington for every traffic  accident that occurs here.  Since Marijuana ingested through infused food and drink takes up to two hours to have an impact we could see an  increase in the number of  accidents as a result of people ingesting the food, not feeling an immediate effect, then driving.  (Like a delayed drunken reaction).

The enforcement and penalties that apply to drinking while driving apply to driving while drugged.  However, the penalties for driving while drugged do not include treatment. (no rehab, no follow up).

What can be done?  EDUCATION: about drugged driving, about the infused food and drinks,  training of law enforcement personnel (especially how to identity Marijuana impairment).  Currently six Washington counties are participating in a study of volunteer drivers to gather data about the number of marijuana related accidents and their impacts.  In a similar study in California one in 16 drivers had consumed alcohol while one in seven drivers and consumed Marijuana.




Today we hosted the 2014 Lake Fair Court.  For more information about each member of the court please go to:





Ever wonder why the Rotary year begins 1 July? The international convention initially played a key role in determining the start date of our fiscal and administrative year.

Rotary's first fiscal year began the day after the first convention ended, on 18 August 1910. The 1911-12 fiscal year also related to the convention, beginning with the first day of the 1911 convention on 21 August.

At its August 1912 meeting, the Board of Directors ordered an audit of the International Association of Rotary Clubs' finances. The auditors recommended that the organization end its fiscal year on 30 June to give the secretary and treasurer time to prepare a financial statement for the convention and board, and determine the proper number of club delegates to the convention.

The executive committee concurred, and at its April 1913 meeting, designated 30 June as the end of the fiscal year. This also allowed for changes to the schedule for reporting club membership and payments. Even The Rotarian changed its volume numbering system to correspond to the fiscal year (beginning with vol. 5, July 1914).

Rotary continued to hold its annual conventions in July or August until 1917. Delegates to the 1916 event in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, approved a resolution to hold future conventions in June, mainly because of the heat in cities where most of them occurred. The next one was held 17-21 June in Atlanta, Georgia.

The term "Rotary year" has been used to signify Rotary's annual administrative period since at least 1913. An article in The Rotarian that July noted, "The Rotary year that is rapidly drawing to a close has been signalized by several highly successful joint meetings of Clubs that are so situated as to assemble together easily and conveniently."
Since the executive committee's decision in 1913, the end of the Rotary year has remained 30 June.

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Jan 28, 2015
AG Marne Obendorf
Rotary Awareness Month
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