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
Kara Moriarty
Oct 25, 2017
AOGA 40th Anniversary
Melissa Moody
Nov 01, 2017
Mike Dunham
Nov 08, 2017
Seward and the Czar - 2 books
Foundation Committee. MEET AT 49TH STATE BREWERY
Nov 15, 2017
Foundation Month - Panel: Rebecca Sentner, Bill Ure and Barbara Swenson
Yuga Takahashi
Nov 29, 2017
AER Exchange Student
Heather Handyside - GCI Dir of Corp Communications
Dec 06, 2017
GCI - What's Coming Up in 2018
Club Assembly
Dec 13, 2017
Holidays with Santa!
Dec 20, 2017
No Meeting
Dec 27, 2017
Dolly LeFever
Jan 03, 2018
Training Canines to Detect Cancer
Denis McCarville
Jan 17, 2018
Alaska Child & Family
International Committee Presentations
Jan 24, 2018
Panel pitching ideas for internationl projects - moderated by Anne Garrett
No Lunch Meeting - Foundation Auction in evening
Jan 31, 2018
Foundation Auction in Evening
Jerry Balistreri
Apr 11, 2018
How to Read Body Language
Home Page Stories
Kathleen Madden was honored as the 2017 Alaskans for Language Acquisition “Friend of AFLA” award winner for her work in supporting English Language Learners.  In addition to organizing the annual AER English camp for many years, Kathleen is a volunteer teacher at the Alaska Literacy Project.  She also organizes and teaches at an English camp in Thailand every year through Thai Rotarians.   Pictured here with Kathleen are Tam Agosti-Gisler (Anchorage School Board and fellow Anchorage East Rotarian) and Valerie Ekberg-Brown, AFLA member.

In preparation for PardiGras, we will be posting news about interesting items that will be available during the auction.  For example:

How would you like to experience one of the shrines of the game, or take a road trip with the home team or just get away for a fantastic family sports adventure?  This getaway award can be redeemed for an amazing sports vacation for two to your choice of any regular season NFL football, NHL hockey, NBA basketball, MLB baseball, or MLS soccer games or PGA golf tournament.  That means you have thousands of games and tournaments a year from which to choose! Your lower level seats assure that you will be part of the excitement.

Your trip for two includes:

3 days/2 nights hotel accommodations at your chosen destination

2 reserved tickets to your choice of any regular season game or tournament

Daily complimentary breakfast

All room-related taxes

Free concierge reservation service


Travel package is non-refundable and subject to availability.  Certificates/gift cards cannot be replaced.  PGA tournament does not include the Masters, PGA Championship, US Open or Open Championship.  A minimum 45-day advance reservation is required.  Travel is valid for 12 months from date of issue.


On Saturday, October  14, 2017 we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the AER Mobile Food Pantry with 38 volunteers, and family & friends on hand to serve 85+ client households.  Special thanks to Past President Dave Kester for interviewing with KTUU to share the important story about this vital community program.  (Here is the link to the KTUU article just in case the imbedded link does not work: Great job by everyone – THANK YOU!!  The next Mobile Food Pantry is Saturday, November 11th.   Please plan to join us to recognize our Veterans.  

Can't draw a straight line?  No worries - they are boring!  You and your friends will have a fun evening creating a magnificent original art piece of your very own.  A special price of $60 gets you appetizers, non-alcoholic beverages (BYOB), dinner, dessert, humorous appraisals and laughs!  All materials will be provided.  Class size is approximately 10-12 participants, and everyone must be at least 21 years old.  The class fills on a first-come first served basis.  Email RSVPs to  Please do not cancel or no-show.
The event takes place on November 9 from 6-8:30'ish and is located at the Rhonda Scott Art Studio (3320 North Shore Drive).  See Rayli Wilson for details.  You can also visit the website at
Tony Freije was born in Chicago, Illinois to Steve and Becky Freije, and he grew up in Fargo, ND.  Tony attended the University of North Dakota with a focus on marketing and entrepreneurship.  Upon graduating, he found that the mountains were calling him, and he moved to Anchorage in 2009. Tony enjoys working in media and is the General Sales Manager at KTUU channel 2.  It is there that Tony works with many businesses, non-profits, and other groups to help their messages be heard across the state of Alaska both on TV and online.  Tony is looking forward to joining Rotary to do what he can to make the community a better place and to support those that need it most.
Gretchen is delighted to be joining Rotary Club of Anchorage East.   Gretchen joined Alaska Public Media as Director of Major and Planned Giving in August 2017.  Gretchen has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector from developing programming to raising philanthropic dollars for non-profits ranging from Peace Health Medical Foundation, Prince of Wales Health Network, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Ketchikan Youth Court.  Gretchen was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska.  Gretchen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Parks and Recreation Management & Tourism Development from Pennsylvania State University. She has been actively involved in Rotary Club 2000 in Ketchikan, Delta Kappa Gamma, Lions Club International, Ketchikan Area Humanities and Arts Council, Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce (Vice President), and Ketchikan Running Club.  Gretchen enjoys travelling, hiking and gardening.

Iditarod Musher Aliy Zirkle is thrilled to join AER on Wednesday, November 22 as our guest speaker for our annual Military Appreciation luncheon.  Aliy will break from her racing season training to share in the opportunity to recognize and thank our service men & women for the phenomenal job they do every day to preserve our freedom and keep us safe!

In 1998, Aliy raced her first 1,000-mile sled dog race - the Yukon Quest. She went on to win the Yukon Quest in the year 2000.  Aliy is the only woman to ever win the Yukon Quest 1,000-mile race!  Aliy began racing the Iditarod in 2001 and has started, and finished, every Iditarod since then. Aliy and her husband, Allen Moore, own and operate SP Kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska. Aliy’s goal is to win the Iditarod with the wonderful dogs that she breeds, raises, and trains. She says that she began mushing years ago, because she simply enjoyed being with dogs and she still does.  Aliy considers the Iditarod the ultimate statement for the dog-human bond. “Until you go out along the Iditarod trail and find your team in an extreme blizzard or an impossible wilderness situation, you will never truly know how awesome Alaskan Huskies are and their incredible dedication to us as human beings. I am amazed year after year by my dogs.”

I can't believe I got fired from the calendar factory.  All I did was take a day off.
Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda?  He was lucky it was a soft drink.
I wasn't originally going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.
This week's lunch menu will consist of soup and build-you-own sandwiches.
Please take a moment to review the biography for our newest proposed member, Mr. Johnny Turner.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Katherine Zerkel or Sheila Lomboy.

EARLY LIFE - I grew up in Kentucky, 28 miles out of Louisville, Kentucky in Oldham County.  I was one of nine children, and I loved being part of a big family.  We always had a big garden, and I also worked on the construction jobs with my dad, grandfather and uncle in masonry contracting during the summer, or on weekends throughout the year.  Growing up I was active in Cross-Country Running, Track & Field, and Playing Trombone in our high school Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Marching Band. 

I graduated from high school May 1979.  After high school, I had a track & field scholarship to Bellarmine College, and a Music Scholarship to the University of Louisville for their Marching Band.  I accepted the music scholarship, and at Louisville I was involved in the ROTC program.  Ultimately, I decided to leave Louisville early to pursue a career in the US Air Force. 

USAF Career - I served from February 29th, 1980 until retiring March 1st, 2000.  I was stationed at Langley AFB, VA (1980-1981), Osan AB Republic of Korea (ROK) (1982-1983), Kirtland AFB NM (1983 – 1984) Suwon AB, ROK (1984-1986), Osan AB, ROK (1986-1988), Pope AFB, NC (1988-1993, and Elmendorf AFB, AK (1993-2000)

MARRIAGE & CHILDREN - I met my wife, Kwang Suk Kim in 1982, and we were married April 12th, 1983.  We have two sons, Sean born in the 121 Evac Hospital, Yongsan U.S. Army Post, ROK, and Ian born at Womack Army Hospital Ft. Bragg NC.  I love my family, and hope to be blessed with grandchildren one day.  My wife works as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) with many elderly patients. 

COACHING CAREER – (June 1994 – April 2017) I moved to Alaska with the US Air Force in 1993.  I fell in love with the State.  In the spring of 1994 I got involved with Cook Inlet Soccer Club as a volunteer coach assisting my eldest son’s team.  I started coaching competitive soccer in 1996, and year around in 1996.  As I was nearing retirement (December 1999) I was asked to work for the Club as a full-time Staff Coach.  I served as the Competitive Team’s Coordinator, Recreational Director, and in the latter years as the Club’s Youth Technical Director.  I was passionate about coaching, and building the soccer organization.  Many of my players had stellar youth soccer careers, and several have gone on to be able to play at the collegiate level.  Whether they played collegiately was not as significant if they grew up being active, and healthy, and succeeding in life.  I hope my players had FUN playing the game, and that my commitment to them impacted them positively.  I hope that I planted a lot of seeds, and that many of my former players will one day themselves become coaches and will work with their own children, and other’s children as well. 

NEW YORK LIFE (NYL) CAREER – New York Life is a Fortune 100 Company.  Realizing I’d never be able to retire as a Coach on my military pension, I started with New York Life last year seizing the opportunity to work for the Company You Keep.  I have been a client myself for twenty years, and I saw the opportunity to work as a New York Life Agent as another way of helping families and business owners develop sound financial strategies.

Yuga's "dance card" is filling up quickly thanks to so many generous members!  Our members are sure making him feel special!
Yuga was on KTUU this week while wrapping presents for Operation Santa Claus!  He has become an expert wrapper!  He'll be at the Mobile Food Pantry this Saturday to meet even more awesome Rotarians!
It is not every day you have the opportunity to make history.  However, Rotarians around the world are on the verge of making history by eradicating polio from the face of the earth.  You will be pleased to know, cases in 3 remaining countries that have the polio virus continue to go down substantially each year.  As I write this, so far in 2017 RI reports there have been just 6 reported cases in Afghanistan, 4 in Pakistan and 0 in Nigeria.  With being this close, it is critical to maintain momentum as we “Countdown to History.”
World Polio Day is Tuesday, October 24, 2017.  Let me encourage you to join your Foundation Committee to celebrate World Polio Day at the Bear & Raven Theater on 10/24.  There will be a showing of the polio update from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plus food, fun and so much more.  Save the date and more details will follow as the Foundation Committee puts them together.
I hope you make plans to join us so that you too can be a part of making polio history!
I told my girlfriend she drew her eyebrows too high. She seemed surprised.
I've decided to sell my Hoover... well, it was just collecting dust.
I ordered 2000 lbs. of chinese soup. It was Won Ton.
Yuga is continuing his Alaska Adventure by beating Rich Dyson in miniature golf!  Should we fine him for that? He told us he then had "yummy" Japanese food and great conversation.  Thanks again to all of you who reach out to this young man.  He appreciates the kind gestures.  
He is sporting shorts for his walk home from school, but pants will soon come as will the snow.   Yuga is ready to have fun in the snow!
His spunky "sister" set the table last night and appropriately named his spot!  
As some of you have noticed, his schedule is quite busy with school, clubs, soccer and the "stuff" teens do, but he loves getting invitations!  You can reach him via cell at 907.205 7181.
Spots are filling up fast for our next social event.  As of Monday, 15 people have RSVP'd for dinner, which leaves only 5 spots left.  Contact Rayli Wilson for any questions or to RSVP.

This week's lunch menu presents an Italian buffet:

Caesar Salad


Meat sauce

White Sauce

Sliced grilled chicken

Vegetable medley         

Rolls with butter

Chef's dessert (varied)


Alaska Heritage Center

City Trolley Tour -- -- ends soon!

Segway Tour – we have Mary offering a free tour

Bike on the Coastal Trail – he has a bike!

Camping – he’d love to sleep in a tent!

Fishing – caught one on the Kenai but not on a Charter!

Shooting or hunting

Exit or Mat-Su Glaciers

Portage Glacier Tour

Kenai Fjords Tour

Sled dog tour

Dog sled races

Northern lights viewing

River rafting or boating

Wildlife Conservation Center – we have free passes

Girdwood in the fall – beautiful

Drive to Cooper Landing for fall colors

Flightseeing/helicopter tour


Easy stuff



Movies at Bear Tooth or normal theater


UAA sporting events

Watching a soccer game at your house or restaurant


Get Air/ Shockwave

Saturday Market

Any fast food restaurant or Japanese restaurant

We're almost at the two-month mark with our awesome 2017/2018 inbound student Yuga.  Don't let his quiet demeanor fool you; he's ready to rock and roll on adventures.  Every year I hear club members complain in April, "I tried to get ahold of the student, but they were too busy." Here's the hint:  Yuga is making friends right now and you can be one of them.  His schedule is wide open!  He plays soccer Monday and Wednesday, but otherwise give him a call or text and take him on your favorite adventure.

One of Yuga's goals is to improve his English.  You can help him out by simply inviting him over for dinner.  In that vein, he likes language games. His wish list is below, but if you have something you love, don't hesitate to give him a call.  Interactions with Rotarians will help him gain confidence in his English and will keep homesickness away.  Thank you for your support of youth exchange.  Call Yuga at 907-205-8181!

Wednesday’s lunch menu will include the following:


Meat sauce

White sauce

Sliced grilled chicken

Vegetable medley

Rolls with butter

Chef’s dessert (varied)


The Foundation Committee will meet on Wednesday, October 4 at 5:30 pm at La Cabana Restaurant at the corner of Cordova and 4th. All AER members are invited to participate.
About a month before he died, my uncle had his back covered in lard. After that, he went down hill fast.
"Doctor, there's a patient on line 1 that says he's invisible." "Well, tell him I can't see him right now.
The future, the present, and the past walked into a bar. Things got a little tense.
I just found out I'm colorblind. The diagnosis came completely out of the purple.

Anchorage East Rotary is planning a beer fest on February 17th in conjunction with Fur Rondy as a fundraiser to combat human trafficking.  There is a need for assistants who have had Training for Alcohol Professionals (TAPS) and who have been certified.  The cost of the class is $45 for non-CHARR members.  The AER Board of Directors has authorized reimbursement for up to 10 AER members to take this class.  The class is about 4 hours long and there is a test upon completion.  If you are willing to help with the beer fest, take the class and exam, you can log onto for more information.

You do not need to pre-register.  However, you should arrive at the class 15 minutes prior to the beginning and bring ID and writing instruments.  You will need to pay the $45 and submit a receipt to AER for reimbursement.  Questions?  Contact Rich Dyson at 830-4858 or

This week's lunch menu includes a soup and sandwich buffet.  There will be two soups from which to choose, build-your-own sandwiches, chips, cookies and coffee.
On Tuesday 9/12, Bruce and I drove to Seward to give the Water Filters for Lake Chapala Villages presentation to the Seward Rotary Club.  Attending the meeting was the Seward club's new exchange student, Fatima from Bolivia.  We overheard the members talking about Fatima's need to be at Anchorage airport by 10:30 a.m. on Friday 9/15.  We offered to host Fatima overnight Thursday night so she and the club would not have to worry about getting her to Anchorage early Friday morning.  The Seward Rotarians were happy to have that option.
Fatima and her YEO came to Anchorage on the train Thursday night and Fatima stayed overnight with us.  Friday morning, Super Host Mom Karen Smith came with our exchange student Yuga to pick up Fatima and take her to the airport to meet the other exchange students to go to the fall Youth Exchange orientation, so Yuga and Fatima already knew one other exchange student before arriving at the airport to meet all of the other exchange students.
While we were in Seward, a former Anchorage East Rotarian (now a member of the Seward Rotary Club) gave us a lot of frozen vacuum-packed salmon filets from his freezer.  When we tried to pay him, at least for the processing, he told us to apply it to the water filter project at Lake Chapala.  Thanks, Harold.  And thanks, Karen. 
With Rotary, one thing leads to another, which leads to another, and you never know where the connections will take you.


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