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
Shirley Nelson, Anchorage East member
Jan 23, 2019 12:00 PM
Shirley speaks about her work in the field of education
Don Rogers, M.D. Forensic Pathologist
Jan 30, 2019 12:00 PM
Human Factors in Commercial Aircraft Crashes
Rick Benjamin, Anchorage East member
Feb 06, 2019 12:00 PM
Rick speaks about his work at Hope Community Resources
Home Page Stories
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.
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.
At the luncheon meeting on January 9:
  • Bill Ure is happy to return to Anchorage with a new hip.  He praised the Mayo clinic in Scottsdale for their fine work.  He also thanked Sally Archer for her assistance in setting up luncheon programs in his absence.
  • Bill Faulkner mentioned his wife now has a shiny new hip joint.
  • Shirley Nelson announced that the Baxter Elementary School Reading Project continues the next day, January 10, from 9:15a – 10:30a.
  • Our member Justin Mills is involved in our club’s RYLA program this year.  He held a drawing from Adam Sikorski’s hat and Marjorie Poggas was chosen to be a chaperone at the event.
  • Adam Sikorski, our Beer Czar, gave an update about the Beer Fest which will be February 16.  I thought I heard him say there may be a wait list for tickets, and we might be looking at a sellout.  Way to go, Adam!
  • Paul McGuire auctioned off the No Fine Button to Bill Ure for the balance of January for $70.  We have decided to go back to a monthly drawing for the NFB.  Keep in mind you can delegate to others if you buy it and are unable to attend any given lunch.
  • Sheila Lomboy, our co-chair for membership, introduced her guest, Ligia Luton, a commercial banker.
  • Before the meeting I spoke briefly with Reed Smith, who is head of the Anchorage Opera.  There is an upcoming Opera event, and we may be able to get singers to entertain us once or twice.
  • Dave Hoffman introduced his friend Matt McDaniel, who may be making his third visit to our club.
  • Tom Turner was pleased to see his friend Alan is a guest.  Alan was a “can man” who got Tom into the recycling business.  Alan is presently a member of the Soldotna club and he gave us a banner.  Tom praised Alan’s poker playing skills
  • Anne Adasiak-Andrew (aka Triple A) thanked Rich, Katie, Kelly and others who have assisted her family as the host family for our exchange student Adam.
  • I announced that the club members should keep Adam in their thoughts when we plan events.  Adam was present and he was happy to say he now has a season pass to Alyeska and would be happy to go skiing there!
  • Christian Deykes, co-chair of the Community Service Committee, announced the Mobile Food Pantry which is happening this coming Saturday.
  • We sang happy birthday to fellow Rotarians and ate a cake from The Cake Lady.
  • Our speaker Scott McMurren, travel expert, gave an informative talk.  A few takeaways for me were: 1) When the airlines are at war with one another (such as Alaska vs. Delta), the consumer wins; 2) “Earn and burn” your airmiles because over time they become less valuable; 3) The “Global Entry Card” is a good deal; 4) Always bring a headlamp because the overhead light might be burned out.
  • Bob Cox, chairman of the Foundation committee, and Dan Newman, our auctioneer for the upcoming January 19 Foundation auction, talked about the auction.
At other times during the week:
  • On Thursday, Rich Dyson, Shirley Nelson and I went to Baxter Elementary and spent an hour in classrooms helping the students improve reading skills.  The target number of people for this project is 6 per week, to meet the demand from the teachers.  Please consider joining this group.
  • On Saturday a number of members showed up for a cold version of the Mobile Food Pantry.  Included were (I know I am forgetting some names) Gideon Garcia and his daughter, Reed Smith, Gretchen Klein (who may be moving back to Anchorage), Ventis Plume, yours truly, Rebecca Sentner, Christian Deykes, Duff Pfanner, Bob Cox, Dave Kester, Dave Hoffman and his grandson, and Shirley Nelson).  We had an enormous volume of milk and bread, and although we moved a lot of it, there was a bunch to go back to the Food Bank.
  • On Monday evening, the Foundation Committee met about final details for the Foundation auction this coming January 19.  Present included Charlotte Tharp, Barbara Swenson, Lance Wilber, Woody Angst, Michelle Engelke, Bill Ure, Dave Kester, Karen Smith, Carolyn Jones, yours truly and Lynn Shaver.  This will be a great event, and I was impressed with the fellowship and teamship that develops among the committee members as the event comes together.
  • On Monday morning, the East High Interact Club met under the new guidance of Kim Liland, a teacher who leads many groups in the school.  Karen Smith and I attended.  There were about 12 students present.  Karen gave a talk about what is Interact and spoke about the upcoming RYLA program.  We are sponsoring 2 students for RYLA and Karen invited students present to consider applying.  I saw at least one student who looked interested. Karen also presented Mrs. Liland with a check from our club for $1000, which will be deposited in the club’s account for use with necessary expenses.
  • On Tuesday morning, Jeff Blake, Karen Smith and I attended the West High Interact Club.  About 14 students and the teacher advisor John Ruhlin were present.  Karen handed out a sign-up sheet for 8 students who might want to help at the Beer Fest.  This meeting was spent with team building exercises including “Scategories” and “Speed Dating”.
Happy New Year.
The Rotary theme for January is vocational service.  Our club participates in vocational service in several ways:
  1. Last year we gave eight $3000 scholarships to deserving graduating seniors from Bartlett High and East High.  We shall give scholarships again this year.  Our vocational committee is headed by Mike Zahare, and other members include Mary Rohlfing, Rick Benjamin, Bob Hume, Sylvia Condy, Bill Miernyk and Lonzo Henderson.
  2. Periodically we invite an outstanding teacher and student from East High, or Bartlett High, to have lunch with us. During the lunch we bring them up to the podium to recognize them and give them each a check.  Bill Miernyk and Lonzo Henderson ably head up this project.
  3. Our member Gene Furman has given an annual cash award to a deserving accounting student.   The amount of the award is keyed to the price of an ounce of gold.  We have money on hand and need to find a deserving accounting student!
  4. Mike Zahare has become a “roving reporter” to briefly interview members during lunch about their lives.
By the way, I just visited the West University Rotary Club in Houston.  A past president told me about their principal fundraiser, a flag project.  Four times a year they erect about 1600 flags around Houston.  Each recipient pays $75 per year, and each flag is about 2 feet by 3 feet, or larger.  The flag is attached to a post which has Rotary information on the post.  Since most folks renew their donation, a permanent metal post holder is placed in the ground so the post can be easily inserted and removed.
I think this is a similar project to one conducted by a club in Homer.  Do you think this might be a good one for our club?  This might be associated with the active duty military members and veterans in our club, to honor their vocational service.  This project might also acknowledge the economic benefit to our community to have a strong working military community.
  • On Thursday January 3, the Beer Fest Committee met.  The meeting was attended by Chairman Adam Sikorski, Shawn Florio, Mike Ferris, Jess Gutzwiler, Tony Freije, Rich Dyson, Lance Wilber and Brandon Snodgrass. Adam reports that the committee is on pace with most of its tasks and catching up to the ones they were behind on. Brandon emailed followups to the brewers and has received a number of confirmations from a handful of brewers and distributors.
Adam said they are looking to hire a string quartet to play background music for the connoisseur session which runs from 2-3pm on Beer Fest day, February 16th. He asked me to look into this.  Today I happened to be at the Horn Doctor, which is owned by our own member Barb Kagerer and her husband, and I brought this up to Barb.  She immediately thought of someone and called them to determine if they are available.  Also on Beer Fest news, I attended the Jan 8 meeting of the West High Interact Club.  I brought up the opportunity for them to help at the Beer Fest in the cloak room.  There is a need for about 6 – 8 people, and the club is interested.
  • On Monday, January 7 the Foundation Committee met to further organize for the January 16 Foundation auction.  Present were Chairman Bob Cox, Mary Rohlfing, Michelle Engelke, Dave Kester, Karen Smith, Lance Wilber and yours truly.  Also present was the auctioneer the committee has hired for the event, Dan Newman.  This promises to be a fine event.  For instance, some of the live auction items being considered at this time include the following:
    • Tickets to the Anchorage opera, plus dinner and one night hotel stay.
    • Use of a motorhome together with all the camping gear needed for a fun-filled weekend.
    • Jewelry to be determined.
    • An instrument to be determined, plus one or more lessons to get you started.
    • Day trip to the Brooks Lodge to see how bears catch salmon.  Includes airfare on PenAir.
    • Anchorage Firefighters cook dinner for a group.  This has been a very popular item in the past.
    • Five (5) nights in the Caribbean, plus airmiles to help you get there.
  • At the West High Interact Club meeting on Tuesday, the teacher adviser John Ruhlin expressed great satisfaction with the results of the food distribution drive.  Apparently within about one hour 39 boxes of food were assembled, and during two days all of the boxes were distributed. About 300 total people received food.  John said that if he were an employer, he would hire these young people to work for him! 
Dressember did not go so well because the November 30 earthquake messed things up.  School was closed for a week, so there was little time before the end of the semester to pull everything together.  The 10 – 15 students present discussed projects they might want to do during the rest of the school semester.  I suggested that they might want to participate in the Shelterbox challenge, which is to raise money and sleep in one of these tents in the middle of winter.  One of the students expressed little enthusiasm and thought she would have to raise more than $200 to make it worth it.
At our meeting December 19:
  • Santa Dave K arrived and presided.  His visitors included:
    • Jon Dyon’s two children.
    • Oki Avellaneda-Cruz’s two children.
    • Emily Rohrabuagh’s child.
  • Barbara Kagerer gave her No Fine Button presentation from Santa’s knee.  She recounted how she met her future husband when she took her flute to his music repair shop.
  • Before the meeting, Jim Arlington gave orientation to prospective members Mark Schmeling and Justin Eppler.
  • I mentioned that there will be no meetings for the next two Wednesdays, and our next lunch meeting will be January 9.
  • David Stringer, Jennifer Snodgrass’s father, announced that today is his last day at our club.  After 43 years with the First National Bank of Alaska, he is retiring to the Houston, Texas, area.
  • Rick Allen announced that he will be leaving his position as District Attorney of Anchorage and returning to work in the Palmer area.  This will greatly shorten his commute to work, and he will rejoin the Palmer Rotary Club where his wife is also a member. 
  • Christian Deykes, co-chair of our Community Service Committee, together with Barbara Kagerer, presented a $1,000 check to the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage.  NSAA board member Sara Miller was present to accept the check.
  • Sergeant Rich mentioned that he will resume a monthly auction of the No Fine Button, starting at the January 9 meeting.  The effort to auction off the NFB on a weekly basis has not been a success.
  • Sandra Wicks was happy about Gloria Krohn’s festive holiday hat.
  • Charlotte Tharp mentioned that during her year as Vice President, she did not have to fulfill the traditional role of that job to do the club programs for the year.  She honored Michelle Table who did a great job in that role by transferring 1000 recognition points to Michelle.
  • I spoke with Jim Arlington after the meeting about ways to revive the chili cookoff which has been associated with the annual Super Bowl party.  There is a trophy to compete for!  Maybe there is another type of event which can happen together with a chili cookoff?
  • I was in touch with Mary Rohlfing about our member Gene Furman.  The club holds money from him which is meant to honor an accounting student.  Mike Zahare, chair of the Foundation Committee, will look into finding such a student, and we shall plan towards the end of my year to invite Gene to a club meeting to make the presentation.
  • Our exchange student Adam Szabo cooked about 120 cookies based upon a recipe he uses in his home in Slovakia.  Anne Adasiak- Andrew, aka Triple A, brought about 60 of these cookies to pass out to us.  Adam could not make the meeting because he had final exams at East High.
  • Adam is set to move to his new host family just after January 1.
  • Lance Wilber recalled he took a Polar Plunge into the water last week.  He was wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt.  He went with our prospective member Mark Schmeling, who plunged in a suit and tie!
  • Christian Deykes was happy that on his new diet, he has lost 25 pounds
At other times:
  • On Tuesday December I met with Midtown club, Hillside club, and International club presidents for our monthly meet.  One topic was getting the word out about RYLA, which happens in March.  It looks like our club will look to East High for candidates, and we might also look to West High.  We sponsor Interact clubs at both schools.  International Club has a connection with King Tech School and also maybe West High, but they lost the person in their club who has done RYLA in the past.  Midtown Club has a connection to SAVE High.  Hillside usually sponsors one or 2 students but does not usually have a connection with any particular school.
  • Another topic of interest at the presidents’ meeting was the satellite club concept.  The idea is to have meetings outside of the traditional weekly meetings, which may attract more members for who the time of the “regular” meeting does not work, younger prospective members and spouses of members.  Anchorage International plans 2 extra meetings a month (I think 2) that will be on different days and times.  There is minimal expense and setup because the meetings are held at restaurants or other commercial places.  The meetings may include a Rotary moment or some short activity to engage people, and are largely social.  Hillside Club has set the first, third and fifth (if any) weeks of the month for its regular meeting, the second week for the board meeting, and the fourth week for a meeting at a location to be announced.
  • I leave December 20 to spend a couple of weeks visiting my parents in Houston, Texas, and I return January 5.  Feel free to let me know of any Rotary activity you have been up to.
Happy holidays.
I just noticed that although December is Rotary Family Month, the emphasis is on disease prevention and treatment.  Our club is doing well to have raised over $4100 this year for PolioPlus, which helps us get ever closer to the worldwide elimination of this terrible disease.
I am visiting my parents now for a couple of weeks.  They live in Houston, Texas, and I spend time with them each year.  At lunch I was speaking with a woman who is an honorary member of the West University Place Rotary Club.  Her deceased husband was a member, but she has not attended the club for a long time.  The fact the club meets at 7:15a is a factor.  I challenged her to go with me to the meeting.  I have not attended this particular club in Houston before, and I look forward to extending my Rotary family when I visit.
I hope all of us are getting to reconnect with loved ones and friends, and make new acquaintances for the new year!
President Paul
Big thanks to fellow Rotarians and their family members who participated in our club’s first year serving at the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage’s “Solstice Tree Tour.”
President Paul Paslay, Lynn Shaver, Bob Cox, and Karen Smith’s husband Terry and their two teenage daughters (Ashley and Katelyn) served coffee and cocoa with a friendly smile to thousands of event-goers this past Sunday at Kincaid Park.  The walking/skiing tour of beautifully decorated trees in the park celebrates the return of longer daylight hours and our community’s fabulous trail system.  Money raised helps the NSAA maintain those trails year-round.  Anchorage East Rotary provided not only helping hands but also a $1,000 community service grant.
Gloria Kron, Christian Dykes, Sandra Wicks, Bruce Phelps and their families were also seen along the trail.  Gloria even had on a Rotary vest!  Thanks for participating, Rotarians!
Below are photos from the holiday party at the newly formed East Anchorage High School Interact Club, lead by teacher Kim Liland.
I met several Rotarians in Fribourg, Switzerland during the town's annual St. Nicholas Day celebrations (the patron saint of that town). They were selling glühwein/vin chaud or mulled wine as a fundraiser from their street booth so I helped them out by buying some! They were surprised to meet an Alaskan Rotarian!  They support water projects in Africa and shelters on a local level.  I learned they have 4 clubs in their town and I saw the booth of another club too!   They send greetings to AER!
At our meeting December 12:
  • Bill Miernyk honored a teacher and student from East High.  The teacher is Mark Elfstrom, an 18 year veteran of ASD, and the student is Kawailani Aasa.
  • Woody Angst from the Foundation Committee showed a short video on a Guatemala water project sponsored by Rotary.
  • I announced that there will be our monthly Board meeting the next day.  I mentioned that there would be food and drink!   
  • I conducted our annual meeting at which the following officers were confirmed for Rotary Year ’19 – ‘20:
    • President – Charlotte Tharp
    • President Elect – Bill Ure
    • Past President- Paul Paslay
    • Vice President – Jon Dyson
    • Secretary – Kara Blake
    • Treasurer – Clay Hightower
    • Sergeant at Arms – Jennifer Snodgrass
    • Community Service-  Co-Chairs Rebecca Sentner & Christian Deykes
    • Foundation – Bob Cox & Co-chair TBD
    • Membership-  Co-Chairs Shawn Florio & Sheila Lomboy
    • Social – Raquel Edelen
    • Vocational – Mike Zahare
    • Youth Exchange-  Co-Chairs Katie Johnson & Marjorie Poggas
    • Youth Services – Karen Smith
    • Communications – Chair TBD & Co-Chair Jeff Blake
    • International Service – Chair TBD & Co-Chair Adam Sikorski (who will also continue as Chair of the Beer Fest Committee)
  • Dave Kester announced that we have raised $4100 for Polio Plus so far this year, which is well beyond our goal.  Thanks, Dave, for your service on the District level as chair of the PolioPlus initiative.
  • Mark Schmeling attended our club again.  He was introduced by Dave Kester.
  • Jay Jackson mentioned a remarkable $899 roundtrip airfare to Nepal to attend their District Conference, for those who are interested.
  • Ashley visited us from Anchorage South Rotary, together with President Amy Mackey-Hornak.  Ashley recently moved to Anchorage and feels blessed to have joined such a welcoming community as Anchorage, and is blessed to see the generous donations that have been made to her firm.
  • Amy Mackey-Hornak pitched her club’s event, the Prohibition Day gala, which is a fundraiser for King Tech Center.
  • Frank Cahill had happy bucks for the large amount of snow that just fell on Anchorage.
  • Pat Rumley donated $100 to the Paul Harris of Raquel Edelen to honor her for the help she has given.
  • Julius Brecht, a member of Anchorage Downtown, visited our club and he expressed happiness that there was no loss of life when the earthquake hit our area November 30.
  • Raquel Edelen thanked the group for all the cleaning up that we did after the party last Saturday; this made it easy to completely clean her home.  At the party she got another 12 bottles of wine for the Foundation auction Wall of Wine, and we are well on our way to having a great Wall of Wine portion of the auction.
  • Barbara Swenson introduced her guest Amy Lester from the YWCA.  Amy is the new development director.  Barbara offered 100 recognition points to anyone who signed up on December 12 to attend the upcoming YWCA gala.
  • Katie Johnson confirmed she is back from her work stint in Kenai.  She recalled good visits with the Kenai River Rotary Club.  She said it looks like we have a second host family for our exchange student Adam Szabo!  Katie donated to her Paul Harris based on the formula 30 weeks X 5 days/week, the length of her transfer to Kenai.
  • We raised $485 for our Hilton servers.  The money was given to Rodney, our contact at the Hilton lunch, who will distribute the money among the various servers we have had over the year.
  • Sheila Lomboy, co-chair of our membership committee, introduced her guest Justin S. Eppler, an attorney in town.  I think Justin may want to join our club!
  • Justin Mills introduced his guest James Olafson.
  • Based on what I heard from Past President Sean Bradley, I spoke with Past President Lance Wilber and he agreed to be the lead for the February lunch meetings, for which the Past Presidents make all arrangements.
  • Shirley Nelson announced that the Baxter Elementary reading project continues tomorrow. 
At other times:
  • On Tuesday evening December 11, the Community Service Committee met.  Present included Laurie Hoefer, Rebecca Sentner, Sandra Wicks, Christian Deykes, Duff Pfanner, Bruce Phelps, Heather Flynn, Reed Smith, and your truly.  Approval was made of grant applications by Partners’ Reentry Program ($3,000), Campfire ($3000), Junior Achievement ($3000) and Anchorage Opera ($3000).  We need another tent, perhaps with an East Rotary logo on it.
  • Sgt Rich located the 6’ X 3’ club banner that Greg Solomon made during his year as president.  We will use it at the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage “Solstice Tree Tour” December 17.   We are a sponsor of this event.
  • On Thursday December 20 the Board met.  We had lots of pizza, Caeser salad and adult beverages.  Unopened bottles of wine were donated to the Wall of Wine at the Foundation auction.  I am grateful for the good attention all the board members show for the best interests of our club.   We decided not to have a Board meeting in January.  The next board meeting will be Tuesday, February 5, 5:30p, at the Captain Cook.
  • Also on Thursday, Maxine Froemling, Rich Dyson and I showed up at Baxter Elementary for the reading project.  The routine is becoming that we meet up in the main office at 9:15a, go to a classroom (grades kindergarten to 2nd grade) about 9:30a, and help out until 10:30a.
  • On Friday, Rich Dyson, Karen Smith and I attended the Xmas party for the East High Interact Club, together with about 40 students and the social studies teacher advisor Kimberly Liland.  This club will grow out of several clubs already in existence at East under Kim’s enthusiastic and able lead.  I brought 7 pizza pies from Costco, and the Interact banner and bell I borrowed from the West High Interact Club.  7 pizza pies (the recommended number I got from Karen) was the perfect amount of pizza).  Kim liked how the sound of the bell got students’ attention quickly!  The next meeting will probably be Monday, January 14.
  • On Sunday, our club was one of many sponsors for the Solstice Tree Tour.  Many thanks to Barbara Kagerer for being our contact person.  Lynn Shaver, myself, Bob Cox, and Karen Smith’s husband Terry and two of their daughters were hosts at a table serving cocoa and coffee.  The parking lot and up the road was jammed with cars and I saw large number of people skiing and walking up the Mize Trail where every few yards there were trees decorated by various sponsors.
  • On Monday, December 17, the Youth Services committee met at Mo’s O’Brady’s to discuss the club’s upcoming participation in RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Academy).  Katie Johnson (our co-chair for Youth Exchange) was present with Karen Smith (Youth Exchange Officer), member Justin Mills and me.  RYLA will be held in Juneau from March 7 – 10.  This program takes 50 - 75 high school sophomores and juniors and over several days develops their leadership skills.  The young people who are chosen are ones who demonstrate good prospects to become leaders, more than young people who already take leadership.  Our club’s goal is to sponsor 2 students and one chaperone.
  • On Tuesday, December 18, Jeff Blake and I once again attended the West High Interact club.  About 10 students were there, and they prepared the boxes for the food distribution and began the process of filling the contents.  Food should be distributed later this week.
  • There will no meeting of the East High Interact Club on tomorrow December 19.  Last week the club met on Monday (we didn’t get word of the change in date and did not show up), and next year plans to have its first meeting Monday January 14, and Mondays thereafter.
Hello fellow Rotarians.
I have been trying to attend as many East Rotary club functions as I can this year.  Being retired gives me more time!  Some reflections follow from my travels, as they might relate to the Rotary Family month theme for December.  There seems to be an overriding theme of the natural connectedness among all people which creates a large and blessed family in our part of the world:
  1. Visits to the West High and East High Interact clubs reaffirm my hope that the future of the world will be in good hands.  These young people are getting good leadership and guidance from their teachers, and it appears from their families as well.  The students interact with each other easily and are receptive to working to serve others.
  2. The Solstice Tree Tour last Sunday was remarkable to me because all the hundreds of people I saw on the Mize Trail appeared happy and thankful.  There were many families on the trail.  The very recent and abundant snow boosted everyone’s spirits, but I sensed a feeling of community and joy among all the people.
  3. At our last lunch meeting I heard expressions of thankfulness that everyone in the affected areas survived the November 30 earthquake.  I also heard thankfulness expressed among the members for aid and assistance we have given each other.
  4. We raised almost $500 to express our gratitude to the Hilton servers who are part of our Rotary family every week.
  5. I saw the love and encouragement given to the students at the elementary school where we hold a weekly reading project.
  6. There was fellowship and comradery at our Board meeting last week as the board shared food and drink in a beautiful location high above Anchorage and worked through issues to make our club work better.
  7. At the meeting of the Community Service Committee, thousands of dollars in grants were approved which will improve the lives of many in our community.
  8. At the meeting where we discussed the upcoming RYLA program it became clear how much this program depends on the close connections between people to choose the team that will participate.  The benefit to the students who participate may well ripple into the world as these folks take up more leadership in the future.
Thanks to all of you for giving me a chance to see these encouraging developments, and to realize what a wonderful foundation is being built for the future.  See you next year!
At our meeting December 5:
  • Members reported on their earthquake experience: 
    • Heather Flynn has mixed feelings about the loss of much heirloom crystal over which there can be no dispute who inherits.  Also, a large bottle of olive oil broke and went everywhere. 
    • Our speaker Jeff Jesse gave a shout out to the facilities people at his area of UAA for doing a fast and thorough job to clean up the mess which included broken water pipes. 
    • Anne Adasiak - Andrew reported our exchange student Adam Szabo thought the earthquake was great. 
    • Raquel Edelen was thankful that the “hotel down the street” suffered little or no damage.  Particularly, at Fletcher’s there was no loss at all of the alcohol on the shelves!
    • Sylvia Condy suffered loss of a combination of balsamic vinegar and fine scotch. 
    • Karla Jutzi was on the sixth floor when the earthquake happened, but she reported that the Food Bank of Alaska didn’t have any food fall off the shelf and the FBOA was able to do a Mobile Food Pantry or two over the weekend. 
    • Sgt Rich reported that his son and our member Jon Dyson is missing the meeting because he is at his job at the Alaska Airlines Center helping clean up a big mess of glass, toppled awards and statues.
  • Elliott Delgado and Don Rogers visited from Russian Jack Rotary to sell tickets for the auction of a gun kit.
  • I informed the membership that Jay Jackson just texted me that she will miss the meeting because she is at the Municipal shelter with two very sick kittens.
  • Katie Johnson returned for good from her work assignment on the Kenai.  She mentioned that we need future host families for Adam.  She offered him to the first people to fill out the paperwork!
  • Anne Adasiak – Andrew was in Texas at a conference when the earthquake hit, and recalled she and other Alaskans at the conference may have been much more concerned than people in Southcentral Alaska because they were not in Southcentral to know what was happening.  She reported that all went very well with her family, and in particular Adam and her son were able to check in on other family members.  Anne echoed that Adam is a good person, a fine exchange student and will be a good host son.  Adam is out winter camping this week due to the school closure.
  • Sally Archer was happy that about 10 people showed up that the memorial service for Marjorie Poggas’s husband.  Marjorie expressed thanks for the support and kindness she has received from us during this period of time.
  • Sandra Wicks and Bruce Phelps are back from Mexico for the month.  They reported making new Rotary contacts, buying 30 or more water filters and supplying 34 scholarships in pursuit of their unflagging commitment to make life better for people in the area.
  • Rich noticed broccoli on someone’s plate and this reminded him of recently deceased former President H.W. Bush.  I googled this matter and saw that President Bush refused all invitations to sit down and eat this vegetable.
  • Dave Kester, who is the Polio Plus Chair for our District 5010, told me we have smashed the annual goal I set of $3500; the year is not one half over and we have donated about $4100! 
  • We took another collection for Adam and now have about $240 for a gift for him and for other expenses he might incur.  I asked folks to consider that next week we shall collect money for our Hilton servers.  We shall give the money to Rodney our main contact who will disburse among the numerous servers who have helped us this year.
  • Rich Dyson was unable to interest anyone in using the No Fine Button at any price.  I think we need to bring some fresh thinking to the NFB idea.  Any thoughts?
  • I arranged with Janine to have flowers delivered to Dick Dworsky’s Celebration of Life on Saturday.  Bill Miernyk gave me Dick’s Rotary badge to offer to Sally Dworsky.
  • Karla Jutzi reminded us of an upcoming volunteer gift program.
  • Robin Dublin was happy to announce she is now employed with the State as a program director related to subsistence matters (I think I got that right).
  • Jeff Jesse was our speaker.  After a long tenure at the Alaska Mental Health Trust, for the past 18 months he has been a provost at the UAA School of Health.  He plans to grow the programs under his jurisdiction to meet the growing demands for health care providers in the State.  He focuses on consolidating and streamlining operations across the campuses, and has a goal to supply the employment needs from Alaskans, and not “travelers’ from Outside.  A specific example of this is in Bethel where in order to get people from Outside to travel there, they are offered seven-day, 12 hours per day shifts after which they can travel home.  This schedule is hard on local residents who might supply these services but also have families and regular routines.  I was interested to hear that the use of mannequins to simulate medical problems is very useful to people learning the ropes.
  • Bobi Rinehart introduced her guest Craig Miller who is with the Department of Health.
  • Bill Ure brought his guest Mark Schmeling again to lunch.  I hope to move his application for membership forward soon.
  • I gave Gloria Castenada a ride to Rotary, and when I announced the chance for fellowship with her to give her a ride home, Lynn Shaver raised her hand.  Thanks, Lynn!
  • Sally Archer was happy that Tom Turner gave her tickets to the Arctic Entry Story Telling event.
At other times:
  • On Wednesday there was no East High Interact Club meeting because of the ASD closure.
  • On Thursday there was no reading project at Baxter Elementary because ASD was closed.
  • On Thursday I gave Jennifer Hile’s PH+1 pin to her mother JoEllen Weatherholt at Wells Fargo.  I included a note wishing her well and asking her to consider rejoining our Rotary family.
  • On Saturday three events took place:
  • The Mobile Food Pantry took place.  Bill Faulkner, Bob Hume, Christian Deykes, Craig Bledsoe, Barbara Swenson, Gideon Garcia, Bill Ure, Ventis Plume, Reed Smith, Shirley Nelson, Frank Cahill, Sandra Wicks, Lynn Shaver, Heather Flynn, Dave Kester, Duff Pfanner, Bob Cox and Jennifer Sierra showed up.
    • I made a brief appearance at the MFP, then went to the Celebration of Life for Dick Dworsky.  Sandra Wicks, Carolyn Jones, Paul McGuire, Sean Bradley, Rich Dyson and Sue Sampson attended.
    • There was an extended period of time when people came to the front and spoke about Dick’s life and their connections to him.  Afterwards I gave Sally Dworksy Dick’s Rotary pin (which was Bill Meirnyk’s idea).
    • Saturday night was a great Xmas party hosted by Raquel Edelen at her home.  There were about 40 people who participated in the gift exchange, so there were probably 50 – 60 people present.  Everyone was in high spirits, and the theme of the exchange seemed to be adult spirits.
  • On Tuesday, December 4, West High Interact Club had its weekly meeting.  Jeff Blake and I attended.  There were about 15 students present.  They discussed the film Not My Life, which is a very powerful expose of the cruel realities of human and sex trafficking in various parts of the world.  This film and a panel discussion took place at the World Affairs Council.  The club also focused on the upcoming food distribution they will complete, and their participation in Dressember (see www.Dressember.org for more details).
Hello fellow Anchorage East Rotarians.  This week I copy these words from a website for a club in District 5910:
December is Rotary Family Month, a time when Rotarians are asked to not only spend more time with their own families, but to celebrate the family of Rotary and extend a special hand to those in need.  Our clubs will be ringing bells, delivering meals, hosting parties and events for everyone from children in need to the wonderful seniors in our community.  We will have a wonderful time recapping these activities throughout the month.
  • Anchorage East used to regularly participate in bell ringing and I know there are one or more clubs in the Anchorage area that are doing so this month.  Maybe one of our members could take the lead next year to re-establish this tradition?
  • The West High Interact club, which our club sponsors, is taking over and being in charge of an annual project to put together boxes of food to deliver later this month to families in need.
  • Raquel Edelen hosted a great Christmas party last Saturday which attracted about 40+ members by my count.  We enjoyed good food, fellowship and a spirited gift exchange.
  • We shall not have regular Wednesday lunch meetings on December 26 or January 2, which allows us to spend more time with our families and loved ones.
  • A good number of members got together last Saturday for our Mobile Food Pantry, despite the bad weather.
  • Our Community Service committee gets together today (Tuesday Dec 11) to consider a number of grant proposals that will benefit people in need in our community.
  • This Sunday afternoon there will be a Solstice of Trees on the Mize Loop at Kincaid Park.  Our club is a sponsor and will send members as volunteers to serve hot beverages.  Come to enjoy the fellowship!  Contact Barbara Kagerer for more details.
  • A number of us also attended the Celebration of Life for Dick Dworsky, and a memorial service for Marjorie Poggas’s husband.  I learned things about Dick at his Celebration of Life that I did not know.  It makes me think we should hear more from our members, maybe in the form of “Vocational Minutes” or other brief addresses at club meetings.
What would you like to see our club do to increase our sense of community as we do good in the world?
Mark Schmeling grew up in Dallas, Texas and moved with his family to Wisconsin during high school.  An opportunity to work on the oil spill cleanup crews in the summer of 89’ introduced Mark to his future home of Alaska and he returned for good after obtaining his accounting degree from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1991.  After many years in the hospitality industry, Mark took his passion for helping others to New York Life where he enjoys working with his clients on their protection and retirement needs as a Financial Services Professional.  Mark currently serves on the Board of Directors for Lutheran Social Services Alaska and as an elder at his church, is incredibly mediocre at golf, and loves spending as much time as possible with his wife Katherine and their two daughters, Amanda and Madeline.
Our club recently approved a grant in support of our community’s wonderful trail system, and the trail maintenance done year-round by the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage. Yay, Anchorage East Rotary!  With our donation, we have the opportunity to participate in the NSAA’s 3rd annual “Solstice Tree Tour” on Sunday, December 16, Kincaid Park. If you are not familiar with this wonderful all-ages outdoor solstice celebration, please see https://www.anchoragenordicski.com/solstice-tree-tour/
This event truly is beneficial to all concerned: money is raised to support trails and community health, companies and organizations like Rotary get to promote themselves to thousands of event-goers, and the public gets a fun, free winter celebration! Two ways you can get in on the action:
  1. We need a minimum of 4 volunteers to help serve coffee and hot cocoa to the public at our Anchorage East Rotary coffee/cocoa table that will be along the tour route on the Mize trail in Kincaid Park. Two shifts available, Sunday, Dec. 16, 3:45-5:30pm and 5:30-7pm. We need at least two volunteers per shift, but more are welcome!
  2. Come to this free event with your family! Walk (or ski, if there’s snow) the 2.5km Mize Loop at Kincaid anytime between 4 and 7pm on Sunday, Dec 16.  Be amazed at all the beautifully lit and decorated trees. S’mores, warm drinks, friendly people. It’s magical and beautiful out there!
To volunteer, please email me, Barbara Kagerer, barbara@horndoc.com or sign up during this week's AER lunch meeting.  Please specify which shift you would like. This is a great one for families, too! I will email you back to confirm. Thank you very much!
At our meeting November 28:
  • Our speakers today were Bob Cox and Woody Angst from the Foundation Committee.  Bob chose to have $50 donated to the Alaska Junior Theatre on the speakers’ behalf.
  • During the program, Bob held a drawing for Alaska Airlines miles to one of our members who signed up to make a periodic donation to the Foundation.  Arnie Cohen won the drawing.  There was friendly speculation out loud whether Arnie might use the airmiles to travel and visit us.
  • Bob also made two Paul Harris presentations.  Bill Ure received his PH+4, and Garrett Wong received a major donor award.
  • Barbara Kagerer bought the No Fine Button which she will use on December 19.
  • Barbara had a happy dollar because it is snowing.  Robin Dublin was excited to see snow, but she was also excited about upcoming activities of the Nordic Ski - Alaska School Activities Association.
  • Lynn Shaver had a shout out for KLEF which she listens to while she heals, and she also had good things to say about the Wall of Wine.
  • Raquel announced again the details of her holiday party at her home on December 8.
  • Craig Bledsoe announced that the memorial service for Marjorie Poggas’ husband will be tomorrow, November 29.  Craig also presented Marjorie with two items from an International Conference he attended with her father who was a District Governor for our District.
  • Lance Wilber liked Black Friday.  He also put on the table the list of things for Red Badgers to do to move to a Blue Badge. 
  • Mark Schmeling again was Bill Ure’s guest.  Mark has applied to join our club.
  • Jay Jackson gave a non-profit announcement about the ways to give to help her organization (an approved charity), Helping Hands for Nepal.  She noted that next year will mark 20 years of helping Nepal.
  • I mentioned that we had two sympathy cards to sign on the back table, one for Sally Dworsky and her family, and one for Marjorie Poggas and her family
  • Karen Jordan said her goodbyes to us until May 15.  She and her husband are off to warmer climes, golf and other activities.
  • Bill Ure related a frightening experience his daughter and her partner suffered in Thailand, which thankfully turned out OK.
  • Karla Jutzi was thankful that her organization was part of an effort to give food over Thanksgiving to about 8,000 families.
  • Lynn Allingham apologized for being late, but she was one of the folks who went to the Hilton for our meeting instead of the Cook.  She encouraged members to make donations for the live and silent auctions at the upcoming Foundation dinner in January.
  • Tom Turner gave five happy dollars to be able to sit for lunch with Janine Becka, Kara Blake and Jennifer Snodgrass, our back-table crew.
  • Raquel stressed that she wants the Wall of Wine to be a success again this year so that in the future we can build on the success.  December 15 is a key date to take stock where we are in terms of donations of money and wine.  I gave Janine a $100 check made out to “Anchorage East Rotary” to be used to purchase wine.
At other times:
  • On Wednesday I showed up for the East High Interact Club meeting.  Kim Liland is the new teacher adviser.  It looks like we shall be taking steps to start up the club under her lead.  Kim has great energy and connection with her students.
  • On Thursday, the reading project continued at Baxter Elementary.  Shirley Nelson, Rich Dyson and I showed up.  I continued to help 2nd graders practice their reading.
  • On Tuesday, December 4, there was no West High Interact Club meeting because ASD schools are closed because of the November 20, 7.0 earthquake.

Hello fellow Anchorage East Rotarians.

I was looking for something more to say during this Rotary month, which is Family month.  I came across this quote from an eClub in District 5110:

You can see it in their faces.  The joy that spills forth as Rotarians take part in service projects, locally or internationally, says volumes about why more than 1.2 million people around the globe belong to Rotary clubs and are committed to making the world a better place.

Recently our long-time member Dick Dworsky passed.  This Saturday, December 8, starting at 2p, there will be a Celebration of Life for him at First Congregation Church, 2610 East Northern Lights Blvd (on Northern Lights just east of the intersection at Lake Otis Parkway).  I plan to go, and our club is considering what we might add to the event such as an arrangement of flowers.

Our member Marjorie Poggas recently lost her husband.  Our member Craig Bledsoe thoughtfully stepped up and announced this to the club at our November 21 luncheon, then at the meeting November 28 he kindly recalled attending an International Convention with Marjorie’s father, who was then District Governor for our District.  From that conference Craig drove back with awards that her father received but could not easily transport, and at our meeting gave them to Marjorie.  These sorts of events remind us that Rotary is a family of people who share efforts to make the world a little better, and share each other’s lives.

Highlights for Anchorage East Rotary from November 21 – November 27, 2018. 
  • At our meeting November 21:
    • We invited about 40 military service members for  our annual military appreciation day.  Our program was presented by Jason Schlegal, Adam Schwartz and our member Amy Slinker  The topic was “Opt Outside: Must do adventures while stationed in Alaska”.  Jason and Adam spoke to their personal outdoors hunting, fishing and other activities.  Amy reviewed a trip from Anchorage to Seward, and back, and highlighted all the things to do along the way.
    • Each service member stood up and introduced themselves.  Sergeant Rich expressed particular  enthusiasm when Army members introduced themselves.
    • I briefly explained to the service members what Rotary is all about.
    • Anne Adasiak-Andrew, aka Triple AAA, announced that at long last Anchorage School District voted to approve a French language immersion program.  Our member Tam Agosti-Gisler, who has long been a champion for this program, was able to follow the vote over the internet in Greece where she and Hans are travelling.
    • Raquel Edelen told us more information about the military members at her table.
    • I mentioned that for our upcoming Foundation auction on January 19, we need to put together the ingredients for a Wall of Wine.  We need donations of wine, or money to buy wine.  Please be in touch with Raquel Edelen or Rayli Wilson to make donations or for more information.
    • Jay Jackson and Bill Ure identified two service members present who are soon to be parents.  We raised $400 to split between them.
    • Shirley Nelson mentioned there is no reading project tomorrow, on Thanksgiving, but our program will resume at Baxter Elementary on November 29.
    • Past President Sue Sampson introduced her guest, who is Stephen Spinell her husband and an Internet Rotarian.
    • Mark Schmeling was Bill Ure’s guest again.  Mark has applied to join our club.
    • Carolyn Jones reported we are well on the way to raise the funds to sponsor an ad on the outfield fence of Mulcahy stadium during the baseball season.
    • I drove Gloria Castenada to lunch and Jeff Blake drove her home.
    • Charities chosen by our three speakers include AWAIC, Anchorage Community YMCA and Make a Wish Alaska.
    • I mentioned that we have a sympathy card to sign to send to Sally Dworsky, wife of Dick Dworsky who recently passed.
    • Craig Bledsoe and others sat with Marjorie Poggas at a table.  Craig mentioned that Marjorie’s husband recently passed. 
    • I mentioned that next week’s meeting is at the Captain Cook
    • Craig Bledsoe also mentioned his wife is healing from foot surgery required when she was injured training in Oklahoma City to slide out of a passenger jet.
    • Rick Allen’s son has been accepted as a Rotary exchange student.  Rick was an exchange student himself.
  • At other times:
    • On Wednesday Karen Smith, Adm Szabo and I showed up for the East High Interact Club meeting.  We met in the classroom of Kim Liland, who is a teacher who leads several clubs at East.  We are exploring that she might add the Interact Club into her mix of clubs.
    • On Monday Bob Cox held a meeting of the Foundation Committee.  Present included Bob, Woody Angst, Lynn Shaver, Michelle Engelke, Lynn Allingham and yours truly.  The preparations for the January 19 Foundation dinner are in full swing.
    • On Tuesday Jeff Blake and I attended the West High Interact Club meeting.  They are fully engaged, under the guidance of teacher John Ruhlin,  collecting food to build food boxes to distribute  during Christmas.  Jeff had the idea if any member of our club drops off one or more cans of food at the West High office, this donation will be added to what is being collected by the students.
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 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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