The Rotary Club of Tumwater

Chartered April 23rd 1951


However, there will be a new set of monthly themes starting July 1, 2015.  In order to provide increased emphasis on, and knowledge in, the Areas of Focus RI has changed the monthly themes as follows:
July = No theme
Aug = Membership and Extension Month
Sep = Area of Focus; Basic Education and Literacy
Oct =  Area of Focus; Economic and Community Development
Nov = Rotary Foundation Month
Dec = Area of Focus; Disease Prevention and Treatment
Jan = Vocational Service Month
Feb = Area of Focus; Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution
Mar = Area of Focus; Water and Sanitation
Apr = Area of Focus; Maternal and Child health
May = Youth Services Month
Jun = Rotary Fellowships Month
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



 Please contact our membership chair at:


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
District Site
Venue Map

Tumwater Rotary Information

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.


Major William Lum Director of the Olympia Office of the Salvation Army talked about "What we do, and Why we do it".  He used props to create references to "Soup-Soap-Salvation", the Army's holistic approach to serving the individual. 
Soup represents that part of the Army's mission to provide for immediate and critical needs; i.e.. food and shelter.
Soap represents that every person is important and should be treated with dignity.  The Army has Case Management Services to help individuals work toward self sufficiency.
Salvation represents the Army's Ministry as part of the Faith Community, preaching the Good News and meeting human needs without discrimination.
On 12/12/2014 Tumwater rang the bell for Salvation Army.  For that day the club collected $763 or $95/hour.

Skip Steffen, executive director of the Union Gospel Mission, talked bluntly about the root issues of homelessness.
Family Values as defined by earlier generations; education, self motivation, work ethic, and accountability; are not as prevalent as in the past.
Untreated mental illness and early childhood abuse are the primary reasons behind drug and alcohol abuse and ultimately homelessness. 60% of the inmates in the Thurston County jail suffer from mental illness.  At the Union Gospel Mission 60% of the men have suffered from childhood abuse and so have all of the women.
Over the last few generations budget priorities have changed and while mental illness and drug abuse are on the rise funds directed to needed programs have been reduced.  
A "quirk" in the system is that drug abuse is defined as an illness and victims receive monthly social security checks.  So we are unintentionally feeding the victims abuses as they take their monthly check to get high, then return to places like the Mission to get help until next month.
Another unintended consequence of voter action is the legalization of Marijuana.  Statistics from Colorado and Washington show that more homeless have migrated to those two states because they can be in possession of the drug and not be arrested.
States are now examining their Medicaid programs and proposing changes to treatment of mental illness and substance abuse.  A more holistic approach to treatment is now favored; look at the whole family unit; family education, intervention at birth, court ordered therapy.  Also treat the whole patient; mental health assistance, drug counseling, and medication.

Area 14 ( Tumwater, South Puget Sound, Olympia, Olympia Capital Centennial, West Olympia) AG Marnee Obendorf gave us an update about Rotary in District 5020, and the duties of the Assistant Governor (AG). 
First, the purpose of an AG is to communicate to and among clubs on what is happening in Rotary International, the District, and the Area.  This means informing the clubs of actions taken at District and International, what is happening in other clubs in the Area and throughout the District, and informing District about what is happening in the clubs; successes and issues.
The AG is charged with assisting clubs to find opportunities for service and ways to strengthen.  
Many clubs are changing and moving away from traditions and no longer sing, pray, donate to the Foundation, nor emphasize the importance of attendance.  At the President Elects Training (PETS) the emphasis will be on helping clubs establish their identity.  "How or what do people think when referring to your club?"  E.G. Tumwater Rotary is the Corn Dog Club.  Does out club want a different identity; e.g.. The club that helps students succeed through scholarships, or the club that helps homeless school children?
Marnee gave us a list of new items for the future; the New Focus membership program, Satellite clubs, the new Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) to teach future Rotary leaders, the success of the Youth Exchange Program (34 in & 34 out), increased emphasis on Business Ethics in the Vocational Avenue of Service, the coming Club Training in Centralia (DLTA), and the Russia Friendship Exchange.

Ken Parsons, former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Venture Bank, is now legally able to speak about some of the mechanisms of the Federal Government that nearly shut down Community Banking in the United States.  
As late as July 2008 House Finance Committee Chair Barney Frank was encouraging investment in FNMA and FREEDIEMAC".  In September of 2008 The Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson announced the "takeover" of those institutions.
Community Banks that invested in those institutions lost significant amounts of money as the stock of institutions was now valueless as previously chartered.  
The Treasury had no interest in Community Banking.  While Venture Bank was actually able to find investors to fill the gap in FNMA & FREDDIEMAC losses the Treasury kept "upping" the required investment making the goal of solvency impossible.
A very few people decided who would survive and who would fail: e.g... Lehman Brothers was selected to fail, Bear Stearns was sold "cheap" at auction, Goldman Sachs (the biggest player in the game) was made into a Bank and given TARP money, Morgan Stanley survived.
Sadly, even in his book former Treasury Secretary Paulson considered the thousands of homeowners who lost their homes as "collateral damage."

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.

Last year we said goodbye to Jim Brown, our last remaining Charter Member.  Today we said goodbye to Jim Heath, the first new member following our Charter in 1951. 
For More information and pictures of Jim please see the Heath links under Downloads.


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.





May 27, 2015
School Financing
Jun 03, 2015
Policing the mentally troubled
Jun 10, 2015
History of Lakefair
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