Minutes from April 16th, 2018
The Casper Rotary Club
This week's meeting will be held:
Monday, April 23rd, 2018
at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center
800 N. Poplar St.
Casper, WY  82601
Martha Rakestraw
Maribeth Plocek
Lisa Scroggins
Rotary Club of Casper WY
Meeting Summary
President Richard Schwahn called the meeting to order promptly at 12:30, with the ring of the bell and welcomed everyone to today’s meeting. President Schwahn  then had us take a moment of silence in remembrance of our fellow Rotarian Craig Brandon who passed away last week.
Inspiration, Pledge, 4-Way Test:
Vickery Fales Hall
Joe Bennick and  were our greeters today and Joe introduced the members who brought guests:
  • John Griffith introduced Cory Buelt (Diamond Oil  & Gas);
  • Susie McMurry introduced Tim Cortez (Parks and Rec);
  • Charles Schoenwolf introduced Salina Hofland (Coach & Speaker);
  • Cori Burton introduced Garth Turner & Bill Dahlin (Dahlin for Governor)
  • Frida our exchange student was also in attendance;
Gary Pehrsen had us all stand and sing “America the Beautiful” in honor of opening week of MLB.
Tim Cortez was inducted into the club today. Welcome Tim!!
Jim Ruble was awarded his Paul Harris Fellow plus three today, Congratulations!!
Family of Rotary:
Craig Brandon passed away last week, if anyone has information on his service please let us know.
Rotarians of the Week:
  • Steve Loftin nominated all of those who helped at the Food Bank of the Rockies last week: Dan Odell, Clark Turner, Arturo Arias, Errol Miller, Steve Domonkos, Craig DeVore, and Becky Byron.
  • Steven Schnell nominated Kyle Gamroth for emceeing the CASA fundraiser this past weekend.
  • Craig Valdez nominated everyone who donated money, bought tickets, attended and helped with the International dinner for Frida this past weekend. 
  • Frida gave us a report and thanked everyone in the club and especially those who helped her so much this year being here in Casper.
  • Dick Jay nominated Kevin Murphy for spearheading RILA and getting 7 to sign up for RILA this year.
  • Lisa Scroggins nominated Susan Griffith for her part in the Meth Conference last week.
Student of the Month:
None this week.
  • President Schwahn announced that RLI is April 20th and 21st in Casper, it is a great program for any Rotarian so please take the time to attend this.
  • Dave True announced the district conference that will be May 3-5 in Estes Park CO so get signed up by the end of the month. There are moneys available to pay for the entry fee and the hotel. For Hotel reservations call Windy at Dave True’s office, and go online to register for the conference. The club will cover three nights at the hotel and the club member’s registration fee.
  • Peaches announced that the Golf tournament is coming up and this year they have a Casino Theme. They are in need of sponsors so please consider being a sponsor, the sheets are on the table or contact anyone on the board or Peaches. This is our fundraiser for the International project.
  • Phillip Rael announced that the Duck Derby is coming up so please get geared up to sell tickets. The tickets will hopefully be ready by the end of May so we can hit sales early and hard. They are still looking for sponsors so please help out with that.
  • President Schwahn stated that we are in need of a photographer for meetings and events so if you can take pictures for the club please contact Richard.
  • President Schwahn announced for Hal Hutchinson that the highway clean-up will be Thursday May 24 at 5:30, please plan on attending to help clean the highway.
  • President Schwahn also said that statements have been sent out for this quarter so if you have not seen yours please let them know so that they can get it to you. He also announced that this Thursday will be Paul Harris’ birthday.
Program (WHN):
President Elect Dick Jay introduced our speaker today, our very own Jim Grenfell, from Wyoming Housing Network. Jim gave us an overview of what WHN is and does. WHN is a statewide non-profit organization that helps provide housing education and counseling and they work with partners to provide affordable housing around the State. Their goal is to make sure that all Wyomingites have sustainable affordable housing. He gave us some statistics from the State of WY: 33% of households in the State are renters, 24% of those people are extreme low income. We are 11,000 housing units short of having enough housing. 71% of these low income individuals are paying over 50% of their income just for housing. WHN was formed 12 years ago. WHN has 11 affordable housing projects across WY and one more under construction in Powell. They serve over 1500 Wyomingites/year through their counseling program. They are one of over 550 organizations that are a part of Neighborworks America that supplies counseling through Federal Funds and WHN has more graduates than any other organization in the country. They have properties in Casper, Riverton, and Cheyenne and are working on Powell and want to get more in other areas of the State. Jackson has a very severe housing problem that they would love to be able to help with but it is too restrictive with the regulations and such, but they do help with the counseling and education for homeowners there. They work with WCDA in providing the first time home buyers classes to make sure people are ready to be a homeowner. They also do Reverse Mortgage Counseling for those who are considering doing a reverse mortgage, this is required by the Government which is good because about a third of those who take the counseling decide against using the product. They also do foreclosure counseling and renters counseling through a grant they received. They have been able to help many WY families avoid foreclosures in the last bust. They also have a program they work with Habitat for Humanity to make sure those who are selected to build a home are ready to be homeowners. They have a program for down payment through a few banks that will match people’s savings to help with down payment and closing costs, this has been a hard program to get participation which is strange since it is free money. He showed us how affordable housing has changed over the past 50 years or so, it is no longer slum type projects, they are nice buildings that are well taken care of such as Springhill apartments by KWHS. Of the 11 properties they have nine were constructed by WHN and the other two were rehabilitated by them. They are getting ready to do a rehab on Springhill to the tune of over $5 million with most of that going to the exterior sidewalks and the roof. Juniper ridge out by the new car dealerships has a community garden that the residents enjoy. They will be going to Powell to install a community Garden at their property there.
The rents vary by the type of property and how it was financed. They use different funds, grants and loans which determine what they have to charge for rent. They also partner with other groups to create more affordable housing throughout the state.
President Richard Schwahn concluded the meeting at 1:22 letting us know that next week we will be back at the Ramkota for our Club assembly.
No Q&A This Week
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.