Welcome to the

     Rotary Club of Anchorage East

Anchorage East

Do Good, Have Fun, Make Friends

We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Hilton Hotel
500 W. 3rd Ave.
Anchorage, AK  99501
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
Rich Dyson, AER Past President
Feb 27, 2019
PolioPlus Trip to India
Home Page Stories
It's a GIRL!
Our inbound for 2019/20 will be Gabi Muniz from Belo Horizonte Brazil. She is 16 years old (born August 2002) and is currently looking for a first host family.  We're open to all school zones.  If you've got a place in your house and heart, let Katie know!  (907-342-5203; ak.ktjohnson@gmail.com)  We are also still soliciting for our current student Adam who lives in the East school zone.
The World Affairs Council is seeking mentors for the upcoming 2nd annual Speed Mentoring – International Edition.  They are looking for 20 more mentors, and about 15 volunteers to assist on March 20th at the Hilton hotel (same day as our lunch meeting, but they will be downstairs.)  The time commitment would be from 8:45am to 12:10pm.  If you want to mentor, please fill out the mentor application below using the link. They need 56 mentors total.  If you have questions, please contact Rachel Williams with the World Affairs Council (907-276-8038; Rachel.williams@alaskaworldaffairs.org).  Below is additional information from Rachel Williams explaining the event:
Around 300 high school students from across the Anchorage and Mat-Su School District will be invited & encouraged to participate in this event designed to jump start their postsecondary planning. Students will be bused from their high schools to the Hilton. Students will rotate in small groups through mentors aligned with their interest areas. Each student group will spend 8 minutes with a mentor and will have time to meet with 10 mentors by the end of the rotations. To close the event, we will have a Keynote Panel presentation on Volunteer Opportunities Abroad along with a free-form networking period for students and mentors to connect.
Hello fellow Rotarians.
Here’s some words from the website of the Rotary Club of Georgetown – Sunrise, Texas, about the Rotary theme for February:
One of the six areas of focus of Rotary we don’t seem to talk about very much is peace and conflict resolution and prevention, which happens to be the theme for the month of February. It is often, however, the conflicts that occur throughout the world that are the root causes of poverty, despair, economic hardship and poor health. Take for instance the major deterrent to polio eradication: the difficulty in vaccinating children in war torn countries. We also see these conflicts occurring in some form within our own communities with the same results.  Rotary International as an organization understands this relationship and therefore is deeply invested in supporting individuals and programs that will develop leaders who are committed to seeking ways toward peace.  The path toward peace begins with understanding and respect for the differences that make us unique.
These are the same types of values that are studied in the peace centers supported by Rotary International in association with several major universities across the globe.  The mission of these centers is to “empower, educate, and increase the capacity of peace builders through rigorous academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities.
Through this experience, Rotary Peace Fellows build the skills needed to act as leaders and catalysts for peace and conflict resolution both in their communities and around the globe. These Fellows develop the skills needed to act as “leaders and catalysts for peace and conflict resolution both in their communities and around the globe.” As Rotarians we should all be similarly committed to understanding the conflicts that exist in our own society, to speak out when necessary, and to seek solutions that reflect the values of Rotary.
Woody Angst of our club, Anchorage East, sent out an email to a few of us this week making reference to further materials about the Rotary Peace Fellowship program, and the application materials.  It looks like May 31 is the deadline for applications for the 2020 -2021 program.  Woody suggested, and I heartily agree, that each of us think of someone who we might nominate for this program.  Who do you think might be a good candidate?
Our newly inducted East High Interact board has taken on a project within its first week.  They are crocheting wool blankets for the Pioneer Home in downtown Anchorage.  The board has members joining at lunch and after school to finish the blankets and hoping to deliver them in the coming month.  You will see a familiar face, our Exchange Student Adam, as the Communications Director.  The group is led by teacher advisor, Kim Liland and it's obvious they have a lot of fun!
The West High Interact Club has decided to support homeless students at West and other places.  We thought of the idea of asking Harry Kieling, our past District Governor, to donate some backpacks from the Rotary Cares For Kids program he started while he was DG.  During our Feb. 19 meeting, he brought 16 backpacks to the club meeting.  Each backpack had some items in them like a blanket and some toiletries.  The club members are talking to Target to get gift cards and talking with the school Parent Teacher Student Association for help to supply each backpack with a water bottle and a West High t-shirt.
From our February 13 luncheon:
  • February is Anchorage East Rotary past president’s month with “past” presidents conducting the meetings during the month.  Today Past President Dave Kester (2015-2016) presided at the luncheon meeting for February 13, 2019.
  • Acting Sergeant of Arms Past President Rich Dyson (1990-1991; 1996-1997) also known as present Sergeant of Arms – joined the participants at the monthly birthday table and the club serenaded all of them with a rendition of Happy Birthday.
  • Charlotte Tharp (President Elect) introduced her guest Adrian Raymond who is in the process of transferring to Anchorage East.  All members should try to welcome him next week.
  • Past President Jeff Blake (2011-2012) led the Pledge of Allegiance and Past President Jim Arlington (2005-2006) gave a short recital as to “love” preparing us for Valentine’s Day.
  • Conor Hlavinka has the No Fine Button and gave a brief talk on available real estate loans that can be obtained through his new position at Residential Mortgage.  He also indicated that he is available to meet and discuss with any member about the financing on their residence.  He left his new business cards on the tables and the members should feel free to take them to post his information in their contacts list (presumably in respective cell phones).
  • Past President Lance Wilbur (2017-2018) announced that there will be a meeting for the “red badgers” on Monday the 18th at 5:30pm at the Inlet Towers.  Blue Badge members are free to attend to keep Lance from being abandoned.  Remember the AERIE meetings are to help new members feel more comfortable and gain more knowledge about our club.
  • Adam Sikorski, the Beer Czar was at the head table, where he pulled double duty – first as Beer Czar touting the Beer Festival this weekend and showing the “crown” to be awarded to a participant at the beer festival.  Then he introduced our guest speaker, Jolene Goeden.  It was also noted that they have all the volunteers for the festival, so all efforts should be directed to selling tickets.
  • Jolene Goeden, Supervisory Special Agent, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, spoke about human trafficking in Alaska, noting that when she started the job, it was basically her alone.   Since that time two agents have been added along with an officer from the Anchorage Police Department.  Though four people are involved in this area, the human trafficking aspect is only part of their job.  She discussed such issues as “human trafficking v prostitution.”  As we know from prior discussions in the club, this is a complex issue.  But her tone gave the impression that she and her crew are working hard at trying to aid those who have been trapped in this form of slavery.
  • President Elect Charlotte Tharp will be attending President Elect training in Seattle starting late next week and we hope that the weather eases up so that she does not have issues with air travel.
  • Bill Ure announced that next week’s speaker will be from the Anchorage Fire Department.
  • Remember - go out and do good!!
Further announcements:
  • The food pantry was held on February 9, 2019.  Thank you to all of the Rotarians that attended and helped in the distribution.
  • On Tuesday February 12, 2019 the West High Interact Club met and moved forward with their project to aid homeless students in their school.  Past District Governor Harry Kieling will be attended the meeting this coming Tuesday and he has worked to deliver backpacks to them for distribution through the appropriate channels.
  • As seen in the Eastwind, two members of East High Interact Club will be attending RYLA in Juneau.
Juneau bound!
Levi and Pang, both Interact East High School students, are AER's scholarship recipients for RYLA, being held in Juneau, March 7, 2019 through March 10, 2019.  They completed their applications, answered questions and were interviewed by Justin Mills and Karen Smith to receive the top honors.  Way to go Levi and Pang and we can't wait to hear about your leadership adventures with chaperone Marjorie Poggas.
The Short-term Exchange Program (STEP) through District 5010 application process closes February 28th!
Rotary Short Term Exchange presents opportunities for students to advance their knowledge and world understanding by allowing them to live abroad for a brief time over the summer.  Students live with one host family in the destination country for one month in the summer, under the sponsorship of their local Rotary Club.  This is a true exchange program because the host brother/sister from abroad will also spend a month with the participating student in his/her home in Alaska during the same summer.
Photographed is our own Rick Benjamin presenting to our club on Feb. 6 on the topic of how to best relate to people with disabilities.  For about the last 10 years, he has been the Director of Spiritual Wellness at Hope Community Resources.
Karla Jutzi receives a check presented to her by Christian Deykes during the Feb. 6 luncheon.
AER's Reed Smith arranged for Ms. Elizabeth Baldwin to sing for us during our luncheon on Feb 6.  Thank you Reed and Ms. Baldwin!
At the luncheon meeting on February 6:
  • Charlotte Tharp introduced her guest, Adrian Raymond (I misspelled his entire name last week) who is in the process of changing Rotary clubs to join us.
  • Rich appreciated President Elect Charlotte Tharp for all the things she does.  She will be going to PETS later this month, has a very active accounting practice, prepares my agendas for meetings and does other things behind the scenes.
  • I announced to the club on behalf of Gloria Castenada, our Director of Happiness, that this will be her last East Rotary meeting before she returns to Columbia, to return to Alaska about March 16. I believe she will be making up missed meetings in Cartagena and Bogota.
  • Dave Kester complimented our exchange student Adam Szabo for his growing command of American things to say.  Dave was kidding him that since there may be fewer student teacher conferences these days, the club will be keeping an eye on him.  Adam replied, “I have nothing else to say”.
  • Gideon Garcia, who helped organize the month for the Past Presidents, thanked everyone for saying yes when he asked for their participation.
  • Conor Hlavinka had the No Fine Button, and spoke about his new line of work with Residential Mortgage, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrim Bank. This company offers extensive services for loans on 1 – 4 unit properties. Conor looks forward to creating relationships with clients which will lead to meeting their needs in this area.  After he finished, President Rich remarked that $80 was looking to be a good bargain for the NFB this month.
  • Jeff Blake recalled that Dave Kester had been his sergeant at arms when Jeff was president.  Jeff again gently pestered folks to make sure their Clubrunner info is current.
  • Jennifer Snodgrass was proud and happy to announce that she has been selected to be one of this year’s Top Forty Under 40. I found out later that her husband Brandon has also been a Top Forty Under 40.
  • Rich offered a free lunch to anyone who could name the US presidents who have a birthday in February, their names and birthdates. No one got this one (Ronald Reagan on Feb 6, Benjamin Harrison on Feb 9, Abraham Lincoln on Feb 12, and George Washington on Feb 22)
  • Today was the first day of the month in which Past Presidents run the meetings. Rich Dyson presided, Dave Kester was sergeant at arms, Jeff Blake was a greeter, Jim Olson led the pledge and Al Bramstedt gave a moment of inspiration.
  • Past President Lance Wilber announced that February 18 in the Pubhouse at Inlet Towers, 1020 W. 12th Ave, will be the next AERIE meeting.  More details to follow.
  • Our own Reed Smith, director of the Anchorage opera, treated us to an aria sung by Elizabeth Baldwin, accompanied on piano by Richard Gordon. She sang “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s opera Norma.  It was wonderful.  Thank you, Reed, for arranging this. Ms. Baldwin will soon be appearing in the Anchorage production of a chamber opera called An American Dream, by Jack Perla.
  • Our own Justin Mills will also be in this local opera, playing a police officer who arrests someone.
  • East member Rick Benjamin was our presenter.  For about the last 10 years, he has been the Director of Spiritual Wellness at Hope Community Resources. He spoke about relating to people with disabilities. My takeaways include when forming any sort of relationship with a person with disabilities, follow their lead.  They will teach you how to relate to them.  People who have a disability are human beings like any other, and in the future we may recognize any disability as merely another manifestation of the rich variety of human life on earth.
  • Karla Jutzi of the Food Bank accepted checks totaling $5,000 as the club’s contribution to the Food Bank.  Christian Deykes, co-chair of the Community Service Committee, made the presentation and also reminded us that the Mobile Food Pantry will be this Saturday.
  • Shirley Nelson announced that the Baxter Elementary School reading project continues tomorrow, 9:15a to 10:30a.
  • Adam Sikorski gave another update about the Beer Fest which will be at the PAC on February 16. The event will sell out if 525 people sign up.  Proceeds from the event will go to at least Covenant House and Priceless. There are plenty of tickets available at CenterTix (search for Rondy Rotary Beer Festival). There is a need for more volunteers, in addition to ticket buyers. Shawn Florio is coordinating the volunteers.
  • Mike Zahare was happy to read the highlights of yours truly, and notices how much this club does.
  • Reed Smith introduced his wife Judy Berry.
At other times during the week these things happened:
  • On Thursday (Rich Dyson, Shirley Nelson and myself) went to Baxter Elementary from 9:15 to 10:30a to help reading with the students.
  • On Thursday there was a meeting of the Brew Crew to further plan for the February 16 Beer Fest. Present were Adam Sikorski, Rich Dyson, Lance Wilber, Shawn Florio, Tony Freije, Jess Gutzwiler, Brandon Snodgrass, yours truly and one other.  There was further of the final details for the event, including the advertising to occur within this last week.
  • On Saturday the Mobile Food Pantry took place at the Fairview Rec Center.
  • On Monday and Tuesday, East High Interact Club and West High Interact Club met. I was out of town so I don’t know what happened.
Hello fellow Rotarians.
Conflict and violence displaced more than 68 million people in the past year, and half of those are children.  Rotary refuses to accept conflict as a way of life!  Our projects provide training that fosters understanding and provides communities the skills to resolve conflicts.
How does Rotary make help happen? Through our service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, our members take action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education and unequal distribution of resources.
This weekend our club puts on our second annual Rondy Rotary Beer Fest.  Proceeds in part go to Covenant House, which saves youth from abuse, trafficking and homelessness, and to Priceless Alaska, an anti-sex trafficking organization. The distribution to Priceless Alaska will go to purchase computers which have FBI approved enhancements to access the “dark web” to search for victims.
I encourage all of us to support this homegrown club activity this Saturday which acts to decrease violence and fight the effects of inequality.
It’s a little early to think about baseball but it’s never too early to think about improving Rotary’s public image in our communities.  District 5010 and the Rotary Clubs of Anchorage East, Hillside, International and Russian Jack have combined to enhance Rotary’s image with the local baseball fans.  [Rotarians Greg Solomon, Mike Bridges and Carolyn Jones also tossed a little money into the pot and Greg donated his graphic design skills to make this work.] This Rotary partnership cut a great deal with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots summer league college baseball team.
When Mulcahy Stadium opens in May and throughout the summer of 2019, every baseball fan who comes to the park for a high school game, an American Legion game or an Alaska Baseball League game, or any other event, will see an 8’ x 16’ outfield billboard promoting Rotary in the Anchorage community.  The contract with the Glacier Pilots also gets us a full-page color ad on the outside back cover of the Pilots baseball program, the Rotary wheel and logo on the reverse side of admission tickets; 54 radio PSAs and promo spots at all the Pilots home games.  We will tell the Rotary story from End Polio Now to highlighting local projects of the participating clubs.
And that’s not all!  The district and participating clubs will share 300 general admission tickets, 10 season’s passes to all regular Alaska Baseball League games and 4 season box seat tickets.  Each participating club may use its share of these tickets as the club chooses: sell/auction them off as a fundraiser, give them away to local students or whatever.  And, finally, the district and participating clubs will have the opportunity to host a Rotary Night at the ball park, share in the Split The Pot proceeds, and offer discount ticket/food packages to its members.
This is an amazing partnership with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.  Rotary will be supporting a local nonprofit that showcases future MLB talent; helps develop local baseball talent and provides healthy summer entertainment to the baseball fan and Anchorage community.  Not only will Rotary’s public image be enhanced by this partnership, but there are so many ways that the participating clubs can promote fellowship amongst their members and the other participating clubs.
It is a win-win for everyone!
Play ball!
Winter Orientation was the middle of January.  Students had an opportunity to learn more about our Rotary program and how to keep themselves safe while abroad.  Our future outbound Jonah found out he's headed to the Czech Republic (aka Czechia).  This is the same district as our current inbound Adam comes from (and Prokop from a couple years ago too).  So the AER ties are strong to district 2240!
We are also once again soliciting for host families in the East school zone.  Adam will need to move again in late March or early April.  It sounds like he'll be headed home in June, but it could be as late as early July.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask your friends, family and neighbors.  Don't let your inability to host be the end of the conversation!  Contact Katie Johnson ak.ktjohnson@gmail.com with any leads.
Thank you for supporting Youth Exchange!
The photo above is of Folds Family and host student Adam at Winter orientation.  Left to right are Patrick, Adam, Jonah (outbound), and Bethany.  In front is Charlie. Not pictured is Rowan (Rebound 2018/19).
District Governor Diane Fejes visited our Interact Club at West High School on January 29th along with committee members to discuss the club's next service project.  Their focus is homeless youth and invited guests from the community to discuss their non-profits and needs from the community.   These kids are future leaders.  Governor Fejes was so impressed once again and will be visiting in the near future to provide support. 
At the luncheon meeting on January 30:
  • Charlotte Tharp was happy to appreciate our member Gloria Castenada, who regularly greets people at the front door, and recommended a new position in our club for her, as the Director of Happiness.  Thanks, Gloria, for helping us set a high tone at our meetings.
  • Charlotte was also happy that Gretchen Klein has returned to Anchorage from Ketchikan.
  • We viewed another short video from the Rotary Foundation, provided by Woody Long.
  • I also welcomed back Gretchen Klein, who had been our social committee chair.
  • Sergeant Rich noted with approval that our newest member Mark Schmeling was wearing his Rotary pin, and asked all others, without their pin on, to put a dollar on the table.
  • Charlotte Tharp introduced her guest Adam Rayant (apologies since I probably misspelled his last name), who would like to move from his current Rotary club, to East Rotary.  His Rotary club just moved their meeting place far enough away that it is more convenient for him to join a club closer to his work downtown.
  • Shirley Nelson reminded the club that our Baxter Elementary School reading project continues tomorrow from 9:15a to 10:30a.
  • Adam Sikorski gave an update about the upcoming Beer Fest on February 16.  Things look like they are coming together nicely.  There will be another meeting of the “Brew Crew” tomorrow at 2525 C Street at 6p.
  • Conor Hlavinka announced that after 20 years in the jewelry business, he has taken a position at Residential Mortgage as a mortgage loan originator.  He noted that his business relies on referrals and welcomes anyone who wants to talk to him.
  • Walt Featherly and two other men were sitting by themselves at a table.  Walt graciously paid the fine for all for being at an all-male table.  He reported that the men were getting along with each other well.
  • Conor Hlavinka purchased the No Fine Button for February.  February is Past Presidents’ month and that means I am an off duty at the podium.  Sergeant Rich Dyson I believe will be at the podium February 6.
  • Our member Paul McGuire announced he is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the club.  Paul is a good Rotarian, has been a model and inspiration to me personally, and he will be sorely missed.  I hope you find your way back, Paul!
  • Don Rogers, a forensic pathologist, was our speaker.  My takeaways were I’m glad someone else is flying the airplane because some important technical considerations are a complete mystery to me.  Also, apparently computers are not soon going to take over from humans all aspects of flying.  Don related a number of human failings which lead to tragic crashes.
At other times during the week these things happened:
  • On Thursday Rich Dyson and Shirley Nelson went to Baxter Elementary from 9:15 to 10:30a to help reading with the students.  They also spoke with Shannon Ferris, our contact there, about how to increase the involvement of the community in the program.  There is a demand for people to help out, so please think about volunteering.
  • On Thursday there was a meeting of the Brew Crew to further plan for the February 16 Beer Fest.  Present were Adam Sikorski, myself, Rich Dyson, Kelly McCormack, Tony Freije, Shawn Florio and five other non- club members, including Dr. Fermento.  There was discussion of the selection of judges for the event, and all the other details that are involved.
  • On Monday, East High Interact Club met.  Present were Rich Dyson and myself.  The teacher advisor and the group considered the election of officers.  This step should be completed by next week.
  • On Tuesday, West High Interact Club met.  Jeff Blake and I attended.  The teacher advisor John Ruhlin discussed with the group how they might go forward in a project to assist homeless students at West.  The club seemed interested in the idea of distributing backpacks to people.  I reached out to our Rotary District to see if PDG Harry Kieling’s backpack project might give them about 10 backpacks to fill with things like a water bottle, pencil and paper, etc., and then distribute.
Hello fellow Rotarians.
On February 23, 1905, the very first Rotary meeting was organized by Paul Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey, who gathered at Loehr’s office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago.  Paul Harris, an attorney, wanted to create a professional group with the same friendly spirit he felt in the small towns of his youth.  They decided to call the new club “Rotary” after the practice of rotating meeting locations.  The name Rotary International was adopted in 1922.  The February 23 anniversary is now known as “Rotary World Peace and Understanding Day.”
One way our club can promote this goal is to become involved in Peace Fellowships.  Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Centers program develops the fellows into experienced and effective catalysts for peace.  The fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.  In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 1,200 fellows.  Many of them now serve as leaders at international organizations or have started their own foundations.
Each year, The Rotary Foundation awards up to 50 fellowships for master’s degrees and 50 for certificate studies at premier universities:
  1. Master’s degree programs:  Accepted candidates study peace and development issues with research-informed teaching and a diverse student body. The program lasts 15 to 24 months and includes a 2-3 month field study, which participants design themselves.
  2. Professional development certificate program:  Experienced leaders gain practical tools for promoting peace and international development during an intensive, 3-month program, which includes 3 weeks of field study and peer learning opportunities with a diverse group.
I believe that our club has already been involved with other clubs to send one such person to South Africa.
The students of the East High Interact Club had a special visitor Monday, January 29, 2019 - District Governor, Diane Fejes.  Diane encouraged them to continue their good deeds and be the inspiration globally.  The club was also presented with their Presidential Award of Excellence honoring their service in the year 2018.  They reached the bronze level, exceeding over 300 hours of community service.  The club meets Mondays at lunch, 10:40am for 45 minutes.  Rotarians are always welcome.  As they build their club, support is critical.
At the luncheon meeting on January 23:
  • Bob Cox reported on the Foundation auction held over the weekend.  He recognized and praised (I might have forgotten a name or two) Lance Wilber and Barbara Swenson as emcees; Raquel Edelen, Rayli Wilson and Dave Kester for a successful Wall of Wine; Charlotte Tharp and Kara Blake for front table and checkout duties; Mary Rohlfing for the restaurant raffle; Karen Smith for the menu and room setup; Carolyn Jones (with help from Gretchen Klein) for the setup of the silent auction; and Lynn Shavers’ husband Jim for the construction of the photo booth.  Bob proclaimed Michelle Engelke a hero for the baskets she put together.
  • Sargent Rich sported his new Rotary themed vest which he bought at the auction.  He also complimented Sylvia Condy on an article in the recent Anchorage Free Press, which mentioned Sylvia used to be a rancher.  Sylvia mentioned that some of her work as a psychologist involves working with transgender folk.
  • Sargent Rich’s army buddy Mike Flanagan (from the early 1970s) was a guest.  He was present to support Mark Schmeling.
  • Finally, Sargent Rich reminded us to put some money in the yellow cups to help fund the stipend we give to Adam our exchange student.
  • Marjorie Poggas paid a $1 fine because her club badge is on her dresser at home.  She recently was in Fairbanks and mentioned that the Fairbanks Children’s Museum makes for a good visit.
  • Bill Ure had the No Fine Button.  He is working on a development in the Valley and has homes and/or building lots to sell!
  • Bob Cox presented Duff Pfanner with a Paul Harris pin for PH+3.
  • Mark Schmeling was inducted into our club.  His sponsor Bill Ure mentioned that Mark may be one of the first people to become a Paul Harris member before he joined, which is a testimony to his commitment to our club and to Rotary.  Lance Wilber gave the charge.  Please make Mark welcome!
  • Our speaker was our own Shirley Nelson.  Amy Slinker introduced her and mentioned that Shirley tutors Amy’s child Annabelle.  Shirley recounted her years in the bush where she sharpened her problem-solving skills when she built her own cabin.  We did not have time for a problem-solving exercise that she brought, but maybe we can do this at a future club assembly.  Shirley chose the Alaska Academic Decathlon to receive a $50 check from the club.
  • Immediate Past President Lance Wilber announced the next AERIE meeting to be held this Saturday, January 26, 8:30a, Alaska Bagel Restaurant, 113 West Northern Lights.
  • Adam Sikorski gave an update on the upcoming Beer Fest.  He needs about 30 volunteers for the Beer Fest, and about 10 have signed up so far.  Shawn Florio is the contact for volunteers.  He thinks the Fest may well sellout, which means scaling some things up like the amount of pizza needed.  Doors open on February 16 at 8a and close at 7p.  Volunteers are needed who have a TAP card (TAP is an acronym for Training for Alcohol Professionals), to act as greeters who distribute wrist bands and glasses to attendees, to roam the venue, to assist, to relieve vendors and in other ways.
  • Jeff Blake on behalf of the Communications and Public Image Committee gently pestered us to update our cyber info on the club website.  He said if people are having problems logging on to the website or the app, they might call Gideon Garcia for help.
  • Robin Dublin was happy for being on the winning team at the Homer Winter Jamboree Women’s Hockey Tournament over the past weekend.  Also, she was able to hike to an area with smooth ice across the bay and go skating outside.
  • Our exchange student Adam Szabo assisted Minda Thon and Gloria Castenada to greet people at the front door.  I mentioned again for people to keep Adam in their minds when they make plans.  Adam passed out a list of things that he would like to do in the remaining months of his time here.  This weekend I understand he will be using his season pass at Alyeska.  Last weekend he attended the winter orientation for youth exchange in Wasilla.
  • Mike Zahare, chair of the Vocational Committee, donned his “roving reporter” hat and interviewed our own Jennifer Snodgrass.  I’d like to see more of this because we get to know so much more about each other.
At other times during the week these things happened:
  • On Thursday Rich Dyson, Shirley Nelson and I went to Baxter Elementary from 9:15 to 10:30a to help reading with the students.
  • On Saturday morning at 8:30a there was a meeting of AERIE (Anchorage East Rotary Information Exchange).  Unfortunately, only Past President Lance Wilber showed up.  This is a subject which is in my mind because next Rotary year as past president I shall take over from Lance to be in charge of AERIE.  Please share with me any ideas you have to continue to make this a good program.
  • On Monday, DG Diane Fejes joined Karen Smith and myself at the East High Interact Club.  There looks to be a core of interested students, and Kim Liland is a dynamic leader.  There was attendance taken and a discussion of election of officers.  Karen presented the Presidential Bronze award to the club (thanks, Tam Agosti-Gisler, for forwarding the award to me so that it could be presented).  I think this recognizes 300+ hours of service by the club.  Karen reported after the meeting that she has about 6 applications for this year’s RYLA program from the East High group.  DG Diane addressed the club, and Karen also talked about the connection between what goes on in the club and the greater picture of making the world a better place, and the larger community of Rotary.
  • On Tuesday, DG Diane joined Jeff Blake, Rich Dyson, Karen Smith and I at the West High Interact Club.  There was a special guest, Barb Dexter, who works with the McKinney – Vento homelessness program.  Barb reviewed the resources available to combat the persistent problem of homelessness in Anchorage.  One thing I did not know is how much a challenge it is to find rides for students to and from home, and to and from the places to which they sometimes are displaced.  Also, getting enough food is a challenge, especially during Spring break and Christmas break when certain resources are not operating.  Next week the club plans to focus more and just what they might do; one thought is to do a project to supply help during Spring Break to homeless students.
  • On Monday Carolyn Jones hosted a Foundation auction debrief at her home.  Bob Cox, Woody Angst, Lance Wilber, yours truly, Michelle Engelke and Lynn Shaver showed up.  Over a bountiful spread of food and beverage, the group went over the auction.  There was some brainstorming which included the idea should Anchorage East join with other clubs to put on one combined auction?  Should the event be moved to November?  Should there be a way to kindly refuse auction items that are submitted, but probably won’t bring enough money to make it worth all the effort to log the item(s) in, set them up, and so forth?
Hello Club members.
January has been vocational month in the Rotary calendar.  I was impressed to hear last week that our new member Mark Schmeling has enjoyed a rich and varied work history, and it reminds me that each of us have unique work histories. As for myself, early in my life I decided, if that is the word, to follow in my father’s footsteps as an engineer.  This did not work out, and in 1972 I decided to get a degree in political science and become a lawyer.  I started lawyering in 1978 and stayed on this course until I retired last year.
I heard that one of our members has just made a complete change of course after 20 years in one industry (I won’t be a spoiler because I am sure he will let us know his news).
I like it when our vocational chair Mike Zahare dons his “roving reporter” hat and interviews our members about what they do in their work lives, and other matters.  We get to know each other better when we know more details about how each of us spends a goodly portion of our lives.
Our members bring to Rotary different perspectives of the world that we develop in the world of work.  It enriches our lives to hear these perspectives from others.  Rotary in its constitution and other documents prescribes that a variety of professions and vocations be represented in each club.  Perhaps in that way it helps us Be The Inspiration to other Rotarians to show them the different choices there are in the world.
Hello clubmembers.
I just received the February issue of the Rotarian magazine.  RI President Barry Rassin again has good words about the work Rotary does to transform their communities:
…I’d like to challenge every Rotary club to come up with at least one high-impact service project.  Each club already has the potential, the resource, to make it happen.  It has the power to change people’s lives – completely…
One of the most transformational projects I’ve been a part of involved providing a Jeep to a group of midwives in Haiti.  We had asked the midwives what we could do for them, and they told us they needed a way to reach expectant mothers in a remote part of the country.  We supplied a Jeep, painted it pink, and put the Rotary logo on it.  Three years later, we went back to see how they were doing.  They were excited by the outcomes:  They told us that the mortality rate for mothers and infants in that region had dropped by 50 percent…
What makes a project transformational?  It doesn’t have to involve a lot of money, but it has to reach people and have a major impact in the community.  That is the key, and that is where careful planning and thorough research come in.  So do your research.  Leverage your resources.  Seek partnerships that can increase your impact. And then take action!
The Communications Committee is encouraging everyone to review your information on Clubrunner and update anything that has changed.  If you've changed jobs, retired, moved, changed phone numbers or email addresses, or perhaps you'd like a new photo uploaded, chances are you've got a few things to update.  Please take a few minutes and make the necessary changes.  If you're not quite sure how to do this, feel free to send clear information to Chris Wolpert and he will be glad to update your Clubrunner information.
The Anchorage East Rotary beer festival is fast approaching on February 16.  This is an important fundraiser for our club and we are asking for your help.  An estimated 30+ volunteers will be needed again this year.  The event is at the PAC, with doors opening for volunteers at 8:00am.  Last pour is at 6:45pm.  If you would like to volunteer, please reply to SFLORIO50@GMAIL.COM with your name, phone number and email address.  Please also state any time restrictions you might have.
And in preparation for the upcoming AER beer festival, President Paul Paslay submitted this photo showing the “pretentious judge’s award”.
At the luncheon meeting on January 16:
  • Katie Johnson introduced her guest Meg Zaletel.
  • Bill Ure had the no fine button and talked about his vocation and profession as a realtor.
  • Michelle Tabler recalled visiting a Rotary Club in Westminster, Colorado.  She thinks she may have been the club’s first ever visitor, and recalls them asking her how did she find them (because they have a website) and why did she come to their meeting (for Rotary fellowship)?
  • Bob Cox made a final pitch for the upcoming Foundation auction.  I saw a number of new items brought in at lunch.
  • Ventis Plume donated $100 to the Foundation auction.
  • Shirley Nelson asked people to consider the Baxter reading project at Baxter Elementary on Thursdays at 9:15a – 10:30a.
  • Dave Kester displayed some of his wardrobe for Anchorage South Rotary’s gala event, including a fedora and gangster like tie to match the theme of the evening.
  • Sheila Lomboy informed me that we are set to induct Mark Schmeling at the next meeting.
  • We watched another Foundation video that Woody brought in.
  • I invited Berry Kirksey and Mark Schmeling to join me at the head table.
  • Julius Brecht presented today.  His topic was “The Milky Way – Our Galactic Neighborhood”.  My takeaway is there are lot of very big numbers to consider when we consider what is outside planet Earth.
At other times during the week these things happened:
  • On Friday the Communications Committee met.  The “Comms” committee has a role in a number of matters:
    • Review and update of the club Powerpoint to be shown at the upcoming District conference.
    • Consideration of the two Facebook pages.  We have one closed group page and the other a public page.  We have decided to keep both.
    • Continuing with the solicitation of business cards to place on our website.
    • PSAs.  The committee may seek some club funds to put together one or more PSAs.  I think this is a good idea.
    • Updates of the Clubrunner.  The idea here is for all members to be current with their information on Clubrunner, including contact information and photo.
  • On Saturday we held the Foundation Committee annual Foundation auction.  I was out of town, so I’ll let others talk about this event.
  • I want to make a special shout out to our member Greg Solomon who is leading in a number of matters.  Thanks very much for your expert input on all this, Greg:
    • He is helping with the graphic design for the club for the Government Commons project.
    • He is working with the Anchorage Opera to get a club advertisement in the program.
    • He has designed a great looking ad to place in the East High yearbook.
    • He has designed a banner that will be placed on part of the outfield fence at Mulcahy stadium for the upcoming Glacier Pilots’ baseball season.
  • There was no East High Interact on Monday because it was MLK day.
  • On Tuesday the West High Interact Club met.  Jeff Blake and I showed up.  The club talked about sign-ups for working at our Beer Fest.  The club also talked about a project to assist homeless students, and an email was composed to send to contacts in the ASD administration to ask how the club might be of service.
Hello clubmembers.
I just received my issue of the Rotarian magazine.  This is a benefit of your membership in Rotary so be sure to let me know if you are not getting it.  RI President Barry Rassin has good words about vocational service which is the January monthly theme:
Vocational service can be hard to define, but it is easy to describe.  It is simply the point where our Rotary lives and our professional lives intersect.  When we put our Rotary ideals to works through our work, that is vocational service…
Rotary emphasizes the dignity of every vocation and the worth of every calling.  Remember that the four founding members included no doctors or peacemakers – just an attorney, a mining engineer, a coal dealer and a printer.  From the beginning, the diversity of those vocations gave Rotary a special strength.  And that diversity is reflected in our classification system, which aims to ensure that each club represents the full range of businesses and professions that serve each community.
Paul Harris put it this way: “Each Rotarian is the connecting link between the idealism of Rotary and her trade or profession.”  It was true when he said it and should be equally true now.  We only spend an hour or two a week at our Rotary meetings, but most of us spend most of our waking time at work.  Through Rotary, those hours are also an opportunity for service:  a chance to Be the Inspiration to those we work with, those who work for us and the communities we serve.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Past President
Social Committee Chair
Community Service Co Chair
Community Service Co Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
International Service Co Chair
International Service Co Chair
Membership Co Chair
Membership Co Chair
Communications Co Chair
Communications Co Chair
Sergeant at Arms
Youth Exchange Co Chair
Youth Exchange Co Chair
Youth Services
Executive Secretary

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