Rotary Club of Anchorage East

Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Community Service
Vocational Service
Rotary Foundation
Past President
International Service
Youth Services
Sergeant at Arms
Program Chair
Executive Secretary

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                  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
District Site
Venue Map
International Committee Presentations
Jan 24, 2018
Panel pitching ideas for internationl projects - moderated by Anne Garrett
PardiGras aka Foundation Auction- AT CAPTAIN COOK
Jan 31, 2018 6:00 PM
No lunch meeting! Doors open at 6p
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz- AT CAPTAIN COOK
Feb 07, 2018 11:30 AM
Anchorage Update from the Mayor
Tom and Marie Brennan
Feb 14, 2018
Love in Alaska for the Last Half Century
Dr Deena Bishop
Feb 21, 2018
Anchorage School District
Adam Sikorski
Feb 28, 2018
Human Trafficking in Alaska
Ben Kellie
Mar 07, 2018
K2 Dronotics
Julius Brecht
Mar 14, 2018
The Sun - Is it Getting Warmer?
Ryan Binkley
Mar 21, 2018
Anchorage Daily News
Club Assembly
Mar 28, 2018
Anchorage East Rotary
Jerry Balistreri
Apr 04, 2018
How to Read Body Language
Richard Allen
Apr 11, 2018
District Attorneys Office Update
Anchorage School District
Apr 18, 2018
CTE Program
Lisa Aquino, Catholic Social Services
Apr 25, 2018
Coordinated Approach on Homelessness
Adam Sikowski & Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz
May 02, 2018
How to Tell Stories with Photography
Home Page Stories
One of the coolest things about the AER is the number of special and unique experiences you can bid on.  Be sure to bid in our live auction for this special tour hosted by our own demure Rotarian - Barbara Swenson!  It's sure to be a good time for everyone in the family - or bring a group of your adult friends for a great experience:  Behind-the-Scenes Tour at The Alaska Zoo with AER Hostess, and Zoo Sponsor, Barbara Swenson.
Tour Includes:
  • Alaska Zoo admission for up to six adults
  • Approximately two hours of casual exploration of the zoo with a private guide
  • Behind-the-scenes visit to Wolf, Tiger and Moose habitats rarely seen by visitors, with ample time for photography at each location
  • Alaska Zoo themed gift bag for each adult with mementos including animal photo notecards by AER Barbara Swenson
  • June-July, 2018 timeframe
Winners will meet Barbara and an Alaska Zoo guide at the zoo entrance on a date TBD in the June-July 2018 timeframe.  Winners will be treated to a walking tour of the zoo with special insights regarding animal rescue, diet, enrichment and training.  Tour includes a behind-the-scenes experience at the Wolf, Tiger and Moose habitats, lending itself to amazing photo opportunities and close encounters with these magnificent animals.  The NEW Moose habitat is scheduled to open in Spring 2018.  So this will be one of the first “behind the scenes” tours with Elf and Cinnamon, the two moose at the Alaska Zoo.  After the tour, winners can roam the zoo at their own pace until closing.
The Rondy/Rotary Beer Fest, a fundraiser to combat human trafficking, is fast approaching and volunteers are needed. We do have several folks who have signed up to obtain TAPS cards and act as servers at the event, but we need volunteers to help with set up (beginning at 10 am), tear down, and to take ice and water to the vendors or to serve pizza and coffee. The Beer Fest is Saturday, February 17th from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts.  There are many volunteer opportunities before, during, and after the event.  Questions?  Contact Rich Dyson at 830-4858 or
This Wednesday’s presentation will feature the Berington sisters as they give AER a sneak peek into the life of dog mushing and the challenges of racing the Iditarod.  Assisting with the presentation will be a couple of their fury friends.  Come prepared for an interesting and engaging presentation.
PardiGras attendees will get the chance to bid on a 4-nights stay at the spectacular all-suite Platinum Hotel in Las Vegas, featuring full-service valet, concierge service, indoor and outdoor pools, a modern fitness center, and Well Spa and Salon.  Located a block off The Strip and a block from the monorail, the Platinum has easy access to all the attractions of Las Vegas.  And to get you there, you’ll earn 50,000 air miles. Yours only if you bid and win at PardiGras! - Anchorage East Rotary gala and auction!
In the March 25 issue of Time Magazine on page 60, there is an article "The year that polio gets to zero.”  There is this statement:  "The road to almost zero has been a long one -- and a lot of the credit has rightly gone to Rotary International, the global service organization that made polio eradication its mission in 1979.
Our Student and Teacher of the month in December from Bartlett High School were at a recent meeting to receive their recognition.  The student was Jordan Flowers.  He is a Senior from a military family and has lived many places.  He plans to attend UAA and study criminal Justice.  He is also a basketball player.  The teacher was Creed Campbell from the Social Studies Department.  He has been at Bartlett for 14 years.  He teaches Psychology and Debate.  Both received checks for $250.
Sign-up and payment for tickets to the AER Foundation Gala/Auction - PartiGras! - will begin on January 3. Please, if at all possible, pay at the time that you sign up to attend. This will save time as you arrive at the auction. You can pay at the front desk with cash, check or credit card. The tickets are $60 per person.
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson are sons of Ricky Nelson and Grand kids to Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. They sing popular sing-along Christmas songs and they share stories, videos, and pictures of their family Christmases with their family.  There will be food and a beer and wine garden available as well. Here is a link to a tease of what the show will be like. 

Ticketing Site

Video of what the concert will be like.
Anchorage South Club member, Brad Erickson, would like to make the following offer to Rotarians who purchase tickets:   “There is a special spot on the ticketing site where Rotarians can buy tickets.   $5 of every $35 dollar ticket that a Rotarian purchases will go to the Polio Plus fund.“ 

Hope you can take advantage of it.
Yuga received a letter from Santa and he's on the NICE list this year!  Yuga has finals and will miss our incredible AER holiday luncheon.   We've collected $100 to purchase a gift for his first Christmas in America.  Feel free to reach out during the school break for some adventures.  He'd love to ski or sled or see the zoo Lights.  His big wish includes a trip to NYE or a VR... (he's a teenager for sure!!)
He is still in need of a home in the SAHS district.  See Katie with any possible hosts.  He is leaving our home January 3rd.  We can be creative!  
Thank you my fellow Anchorage East Rotarians for your trust in me and nominating me for the office of District Governor.  I am truly honored.  As you can see below [see note from Peggy Pollen], I was not selected from the many qualified candidates.  However, I appreciate the opportunity that you all granted me.  Please join me in welcoming District Governor Nominee Designate (DGND), Joe Kashi.
Note from Peggy Pollen: 
Dear Alaska-Yukon Rotarians,
On behalf of DG Harry Kieling, we are very pleased to announce the selection of Joseph Kashi, Soldotna Rotary, as Governor for Rotary District 5010 in 2020-21.  Please join us in congratulating Joe on his selection. We look forward to the strong future of the District with his leadership.
Just a quick note to let you know our meeting this week not only includes a visit from SANTA, but it also includes wonderful music from special guest Kathryn Hoffer, violinist and concertmaster of our Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by Janna Preston on piano!  Our very own Rick Benjamin will lead us in a few Christmas carols on piano for a sing-along later in the meeting.  If you play a musical instrument and would like to play along, PLEASE BRING YOUR INSTRUMENT and play Christmas carols with us!  I plan to bring my flute and would love to have other musical Rotarians joining in.  Please note, however, that there may or may not be printed music to read from.  So if you're comfortable with the possibility of playing carols by ear, please join in!
Terrific AER participation with 24 enthusiastic volunteers for the Mobile Food Pantry distribution held this past Saturday!  We served 76 client households with wholesome items provided by the Food Bank of AK. Thank you everyone for your service above self.
Arnie Cohen received a shoutout in the recent edition of the District 5010 Foundation Focus Newsletter for “being instrumental in facilitating a Global Grant Scholarship.”  The next time you see Arnie, please take a moment to congratulate him!
Using our District 5010 grant funds, on November 4, 2017, in partnership with the Vancouver (WA) Sunrise Rotary Club, we distributed 85 family water filters in El Refugio, Cabo Corrientes, which is located two hours south and west of Puerto Vallarta.  Anchorage East Rotarians Bruce Phelps, Sandra Wicks and Duff Pfanner (and his wife Kathy Atkinson) helped with the distribution, along with a couple from the Vancouver club.  On January 10 we will distribute another 85 water filters in the same area as not all families attended the November distribution which also included several neighboring communities.
A fun time was had by all who attended the Rotary Xmas Party!  Laughs, good food, more laughs, stories, and Tam the winner of the Ugly Sweater Contest!
Pictured below are East High School’s teacher and student of the month - Teacher, Melissa Bledsoe Fischer, AKA " The Jazzmom", and Student, Katelyn McGeary.  Ms. Fischer is the Choir Director of the Fine Arts Department at East High School (East), and she enjoys Jazz, travel, gourmet cooking and running.  Katelyn is a senior at East and plans to attend UAA to major in Music Education.
Please see the follow biography for newly proposed member Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz.
Please see the follow biography for newly proposed member Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz:
Life these days feels like a beautiful, ever-evolving work of art. I invest my time between co-parenting my preschool daughter, Ida Luna, and toddler son, Rio Esteban, with my former spouse Laura Norton-Cruz. When I'm not with the kiddos, I'm actively pursuing a lifestyle that aligns my talents with the innate curiosity I was born with. I’m also an avid cyclist and swimmer that is currently learning to roller skate.
My bi-cultural background as an immigrant from Colombia and my thirty years as an Anchorage resident have been a blessing. I continue to speak my first language of Spanish and thanks to my exploratory nature, I find myself eager to engage with the culture of others. I think food and a story make for unforgettable experiences, and I consider myself to be a good cook and ok storyteller —on the journey to getting better.
As a professional, my first career as a freelance photographer has evolved with the advent of social media to that of a one-person media company. I’ve come to embrace and enjoy expressing my personal brand through the creation of visual, spoken, and written content.  As a business owner navigating the opportunities of the attention economy, I’ve developed habits to stay adaptive and resourceful.
Today it's my role as father and creative person of color living in the context of a global digital community that I value most. I feel like my journey in life is to delve into how my experiences differ from that of others.  That narrative surfaces in my personal work as an artist through the people and places I meet and has become central theme to the work I produce as a publisher of hand-made books.


Paul Paslay here, your president elect.  At lunch on November 15, I announced the following slate of officers for the 2018- 2019 year (after the meeting Bill Ure agreed to become Vice President). 


Please note, one small update with Shawn Florio agreeing to co-chair the Membership team with Sheila Lomboy.


PresidentPaul Paslay
Past-PresidentLance Wilber
President-ElectNot filled
Vice-PresidentBill Ure
Youth Services OfficerKaren Smith
FoundationBob Cox
Community ServiceCo-Chairs:  Rebecca Sentner and Christian Dykes
Vocation ServiceJerry KaFevers
International ServiceCo-chairs:  Anne Garrett and Adam Sikorski
CommunicationsChris Wolpert
SocialElaine Kroll
Sergeant-At-ArmsRaylie Wilson
SecretaryKara Blake
TreasurerJennifer Snodgrass
MembershipCo-chairs: Sheila Lomboy and Shawn Florio

Please come and enjoy lunch with your fellow Rotarians this Wednesday, 29 November.


We shall sup on soup and a build-your-own-sandwich buffet.




A message from Dave Kester to District 5010 Presidents:

After a highly successful Polio Awareness event with over 150,000 Rotarians viewing the Livestream from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation HQ on World Polio Day on October 24th, below is an update on where we are currently in making Polio history and the countdown to history campaign.  Let me encourage you to share with your club members just what we have been able to accomplish so far and motivate them to keep up the momentum as we finish Foundation Month and move on to hopefully a Polio-free world in 2018.  On behalf of the 16,000,000 children that you Rotarians have saved from the crippling effects of Polio over the years, YOU ROCK!

Did You Know.......
-There are more than 450 million children in up to 60 countries who are vaccinated each year!
-There are 150,000 Polio-Funded Workers in up to 70 countries.
-There are disease surveillance activities (environmental testing) in up to 70 countries.
-If Polio is not eradicated within 10 years, there will be as many as 200,000 children paralyzed each year.
-We talk about the 15 cases of Wild Polio year to date, but we sometimes forget the estimated 16 million cases that have been prevented since 1988.
-I have been asked several times about the cost to Vaccinate a child. We often talk about 60 cents per child, but that is just the cost of the vaccine. To protect a child, which includes all the support services and multiple vaccinations, is about $3 US per child.
Keep up the great work!
Where does our district 5010 stand in our Zone?  See below.
Remember with the TRF match (5:1) and the Gates match (2:1) $20,000 in DDF turns into $90,000 of support.
DistrictDirect ContributionDDFMembersPer Capita
5550 $                     50,430 $ 17,4241431 $       47.42
5010 $                     19,672 $ 35,1051767 $       31.00
5370 $                     55,107 $   5,0002116 $       28.41
5040 $                     27,717 $ 10,0001475 $       25.57
5360 $                     35,747 1809 $       19.76
5050 $                     38,606 2544 $       15.18
5060 $                     30,493 2666 $       11.44
Country Updates:
-Since our last report, there have been four new cases of Wild Polio Virus in Afghanistan and none in Pakistan.
-In Pakistan, a round of National Immunization Days (NIDs) are scheduled for next week, aiming to reach about 37 million children aged less than five years across the country.
-In Afghanistan, there has been one new WPV1 positive environmental sample, collected from Kandahar province. In Pakistan, has been six new WPV1 positive environmental samples.
 YTD 2017YTD 2016YTD 2015
Yuga is thankful for the members of AER who have been hospitable since his arrival in August.  I am afraid to mention all of you by name because I might miss one.  Please know he feels blessed!  A shout out to Leah and Mariko for welcoming Yuga this Thanksgiving holiday.  
A need - the Smith gang is leaving town Wednesday and Yuga doesn't want to miss our luncheon and opportunity to meet Aliy Zirkle and her team.  Can anyone pick Yuga up from South High School and get him to lunch?  We would also need someone to get him back to the Smith house after lunch.  He doesn't return to school because it ends at 2pm.
Please keep him in mind when reaching out to friends in the South Anchorage area.  He needs a 2nd and 3rd host family.  He has become a 4th kiddo for us and he'd fit into anyone's family dynamic.  Feel free to grab him for some fun and get to know him first!
Blessings to all and if you can help on Wednesday, please reach out to Karen.
I hate when people ask me where I see myself in 3 years.  It's not like I have 2020 vision.
Age doesn't always bring wisdom.  Sometimes it comes alone.
Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.
Paul Paslay here, your president elect.  This is a reminder that tomorrow we meet at the 49th State Brewing Company, 717 W. 3rd Avenue (corner of G Street).  Our menu includes build-your-own slider bar and taco bar, and selections from "49er cookie trays" and fresh fruit trays.  See you there!

Photo Albums