As is customary with the Bonners Ferry Rotary Club, some outstanding presentations are made by some interesting unique people located right here in Boundary County.  We have heard from a variety of speakers over the last several months.

Sandy Ashworth, director of the Boundary County Library, spoke about the proposed library expansion and partnering with the county’s business development efforts and its academic needs (NIC, U of I).

Kala Voth Plyler made an informative and delightful presentation about her trip to New Zealand. Image




Two high school students provided comments regarding the FFA; the Community Choir was here just before their sold out concert in early March......


and representatives from the Missoula Children’s Theater provided information about how they prepare for a theater presentation within one week of arriving in the community. 

Five individuals including Rotarians Norm Braatz and Don Bartling provided samples of their writing fromtheir "Write Stuff" organization.


Julie Smith discussed the services and fees associated with her company called "Entirely Natural"  


        Julie Smith

On April 23, Ryan Soltis spoke to us regarding his craft of violin making. He graduated from the Violin Making School of America in 2000.  Post graduation he went to work making violins in his home state of Minnesota and also worked in New York City.

In 2002 Ryan set up shop in Salt Lake City where he resided for six years. ImageAt the 2004 Violin Society of America-sponsored Oberlin workshop, Ryan was fortunate to meet renowned maker, Samuel Zygmuntowicz. Through his ongoing collaboration with Zygmuntowicz as his primary mentor and inspiration, Ryan feels fortunate to have developed a finer understanding of how to make instruments that balance clarity and tone.  He described the use of spruce and Balkan maple in making violins, citing that willow, aspen and other soft woods are used to make violas and cellos. His violins sell for about $18,000.

Ryan strives to hold himself up against excellent standards of workmanship. He was accepted as a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers (AFVBM) in August 2010, a major accomplishment. Ryan’s studio is located in his Moyie Springs home with work stemming primarily from clients who are located in New York City.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Ryan’s daughter, Yonna, played some classical selections. 

On April 30, Bob Small from the Area Agency on Aging provided information about the organization that serves the five northern countiesof Idaho.  He concentrated on the agency’s RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) portion, citing 18 ways to volunteer your services including meals on wheels, food banks and animal shelters. Image Remember, “Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers, and the Titanic was built by highly skilled paid workers.” To learn more about volunteering opportunities throughout northern Idaho, visit with them on line. click here.

Anne Tompkins, Boundary County Parks & Recreation Sports Director, gave us an overview of Parks & Rec and provided highlights of the current (2013) sports program. Image Anne cited the continuing need for monetary or voluntary contributions.  The soccer program has 260 kids already registered. Other sports programs include a free track meet scheduled for 5/23, tee-ball for kids 4-6, adult softball, soccer and tennis camps for youth and adults, volleyball and many others. Current needs include scholarships, sponsors, coaches and board volunteers.

On May 14th, Kyle Flory and Rob Tenas, discussed their work as local videographers and their   Image

agreement with the Boundary County Commissioners to produce a full-length documentary on Boundary County’s unique history and the natural resources that abound here.  Both Kyle and Rob have spent enough time in Los Angeles to convince both to return to north Idaho. They anticipate the documentary to be completed in 6 months and hope to have it aired on PBS. The County would ultimately own it.  

An offsite visit to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol was conducted on May 21st.  This visit is featured in a separate story. click here for that story.