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
Adam Schwartz, Jason Schlegal, Amy Slinker
Nov 21, 2018 12:00 PM
Military Appreciation Day. Topic is: Opt Outside: Must-See Adventures While Stationed in Alaska
Bob Cox, Chair, East Rotary Foundation Committee
Nov 28, 2018 12:00 PM
Jeff Jesse, PhD, Dean of UAA College of Health
Dec 05, 2018 12:00 PM
Meeting the health needs of Alaska's peoples and communities.
Friends of Pets and Howling Peaks Training
Dec 12, 2018 12:00 PM
Family Pets
Christmas Party
Dec 19, 2018 12:00 PM
Merriment and Celebration
No meeting today- Happy Holidays!
Dec 26, 2018 12:00 PM
No meeting today- Happy New Year!
Jan 02, 2019 12:00 PM
Barbara Swenson and Justin Zagorski of YWCA
Jan 23, 2019 12:00 PM
Home Page Stories
At our meeting November 14:
  • Conor Hlavinka stood in for Sgt Rich who is in Cuba for the week.  Conor was recently in California and recalled the horror of sensing ash and pollutants in the air far away from the scene of the huge fires.
  • Craig Bledsoe mentioned he is back from being out of the country for a while, most recently in Tokyo where he had a family reunion.
  • Shirley Nelson announced our reading project at Baxter continues on 11/15 from 9:15a to 10:30a.
  • Jay Jackson made a non-profit announcement for her organization Helping Hands for Nepal.
  • Our club heard nominations from these officers for next year.  Voting on these positions will be done at a meeting in December:
  • 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)
  • Anne Adasiak-Andrew, aka Triple-A, announced that Adam Szabo our exchange student has joined the East High cross-country team.  She thanked Rich Dyson for his provision of some of the needed gear.  Also, we are looking for his next host family, so if there is someone you know who might be interested, please let Katie Johnson or Marjorie Poggas know.  I announced that Adam is free this weekend until Sunday dinner in case anyone wants to include him in their plans.
  • Officers of the West High Interact club were part of the program.  They passed around a collection box for the CARE organization.  CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) is a major international humanitarian agency delivering emergency relief and long-term international development projects.  The collection box raised $149, and our club donated another $50 as part of the guest speaker program.
  • Rayli Wilson announced the upcoming Xmas party at Raquel Edelen’s home on December 8.
  • I reminded folks to consider sponsoring a military person for next week’s military appreciation luncheon.  We only have a few more lunches to buy.
  • Adam Sikorski introduced his guest from Priceless, a local organization which combats human trafficking.
  • Lance Wilber announced that the next AERIE meeting will be this Saturday at 8a at the Bagel Restaurant near the corner of Northern Lights and C Street.
  • Bill Ure again brought his guest Mark Schmeling.  It looks like Mark will apply to join our club.
  • Former member Ron Rasmussen visited again and he is planning on applying to join our club
  • Barbara Kagerer brought a guest who is interested in joining our club.  One of her roles in our community is leader of the Alaska Youth Orchestra.
  • Michelle Tabler was glad to be back home after 4 -5 weeks Outside.
  • Gloria Castenada introduced her guests - her son and a close friend.
At other times:
  • On Wednesday I showed up for the East High Interact Club.  The teacher adviser Travis Cooper was present, as was Adam our exchange student.  Next week we may meet with Kim Liland, a teacher at East who advises several clubs and may help us get Interact started again at East.
  • On Thursday the reading project at Baxter Elementary continued with Maxine Froemling and Shirley Nelson.  
  • On Saturday was held the AERIE meeting.  Past president Lance Wilber and new member Laurie Hoefer met.  Topics included discussion of what is going well with our club, how can we improve and what is important for the future.
  • On Tuesday the West High Interact Club met.  We assembled boxes for the Christmas food drive and the club members will distribute them to 9 teachers who have so far agreed to have a box set up in their room.
Our West High Interact Club starts a Christmas time food drive by dedicating space at school to collect food for about 50 hungry families.
Hello fellow Rotarians,
At the risk of being perceived as lazy, this week I lifted more language from others!  This is from the Rotary Club of Hamilton, Ontario, which gives a perspective on the Rotary Foundation:
The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.  As the charitable arm of Rotary International, we tap into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into our priorities, such as eradicating polio and promoting peace.  Foundation grants empower Rotarians to approach challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with sustainable solutions that leave a lasting impact.  Strong financial oversight, a stellar charity rating, and a unique funding model mean that we make the very most of your contribution.  Give and become a part of Rotary’s life-changing work!
The collective leadership and expertise of our 1.2 million members helps us tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges, locally and globally.  We are united by common values and vision for the future as we sharpen our focus with targeted specific causes that will reach communities most in need.
For more than 100 years, our guiding principles have been the foundation upon which our values and tradition stand.  The Four-Way Test, Object of Rotary, and the Avenues of Service express our commitment to service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership.
We direct our efforts in six areas to enhance our local and global impact.  Our most successful and sustainable projects and activities tend to fall within the following areas:
  • Promoting peace
  • Fighting disease
  • Providing clean water
  • Saving mothers and children
  • Supporting education
  • Growing local economies
I hope we have a good showing for our November 28 meeting when Bob Cox, our foundation chair, will head the program.  The foundation committee puts on our annual fundraiser for the Rotary Foundation, but it is also connected to the Community Service committee and the International Service committee in that the monies available to us from Rotary International can be used by these committees to fund projects.  Can you think of a project either local to Alaska or outside of Alaska?
We have a fun program organized for this Wednesday's Thanksgiving with the Troops event!  Approximately 40 service members will join us from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson!  This year's presentation is Opt Outside:  Must-See Adventures While Stationed in Alaska, featuring Citizen-Soldiers Jason Schlegel, Adam Schwartz, and Amy Slinker (see photographs below).  They will share their tips for an epic experience while stationed in The Last Frontier.  Join us Wednesday to hear about their experiences and tips for hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, road trips - getting out and enjoying all that Alaska has to offer!  Be sure to "Like" our club's Event Facebook page at: https://bit.ly/2ziikNv.
At our meeting November 7:
  • I asked for a moment of silence for the memory of Dick Dworksy
  • Rich Dyson reminded us that not too long ago there were about 350,000 cases of polio in the world and this year there are fewer than ten.
  • Jennifer Snodgrass used the No Fine Button to announce Anchorage StartUpWeekend, a 54-hour event to provide experiential education for creators, executors and innovators.
  • I announced on behalf of Shirley Nelson that our reading project at Baxter Elementary continues tomorrow, November 8, 9:15a – 10:30a.
  • Lynne Shaver, Charlotte Tharp, Dave Kester and Raquel Edelen reported on the status of the Foundation Committee, which is in the thick of preparing for the Foundation auction on January 19.  The theme will be Carats and Carhartts.  Dave Kester will be handling the Wall of Wine in Raquel Edelen’s absence.  Members can donate wine or donate money to buy wine.  In a couple of weeks folks can drop off auction items for storage at the Hilton.
  • Christian Deykes announced the monthly Mobile Food Pantry this Saturday, November 10, 1:30 – 3p, at the Fairview Recreational Center.
  • Rayli Wilson was happy to be back at a lunch meeting after being out for a month.
  • Raquel Edelen announced her upcoming Christmas party December 8.  She assured our speaker Chief of Police Justin Doll that we shall drink responsibly.  She also gave a shout out to MJ Thim, Communications Director for the Anchorage Police Department who supported Chief Doll at the meeting.
  • Anne Adasiak-Andrew made a $40 nonprofit announcement about the startup of a French language immersion program in the Anchorage School District.
  • Robin Dublin expressed gratitude to have been a poll watcher at the polls yesterday and to have seen people from all walks of life casting their ballots.
  • Kathleen Madden was happy to be back from a trip to Thailand.  She said she reconnected with a woman who was an exchange student to our club about 14 years ago.
  • I announced the upcoming club Board of Directors meeting tomorrow, November 8, 5:30p at the Captain Cook, and thanked Raquel Edelen and the Captain Cook for providing us with meeting space there.
  • Our speaker Chief Doll chose the Special Olympics for $50 to be donated to in his name.  He told us about the long history the law enforcement across the country has had with Special Olympics.
  • Chief Doll gave a wide ranging and excellent talk about the current situation in Anchorage.  When he discussed the car theft problem in Anchorage, he used the word “criminal ride sharing” to describe the activity of the small group of folks who are responsible for most vehicle thefts.  They tend to transfer the vehicles among themselves in consideration for things of small value.
  • Al Bramstedt was happy to have received a card from the club while he was recovering.  
  • The club raised $300 for the college fund for Sheila Lomboy’s new baby.
At other times:
  • On Wednesday Karen Smith, Rich Dyson and I showed up for the East High Interact Club.  The teacher adviser Travis Cooper was present, but no one else was.  We had a frank exchange of information about what to do next to get the club going.  After the meeting Karen and I visited the classroom of Kim Liland, who is the teacher adviser for the International Club, B-Boys club and the K-Pop club.  Karen will get information to Kim about Interact and we shall discuss how Interact Club might join with one or more of the clubs Ms. Liland supervises.
  • On Thursday I attended the reading project at Baxter Elementary with Maxine Froemling and Shirley Nelson.  I helped by assisting Shannon Ferris, a second-grade teacher, by reading with a couple of her students.
  • On Saturday our District Governor Diane Fejes joined the club to distribute food at the Mobile Food Pantry.
  • On Tuesday the West High Interact Club met.  Discussion was had of plans for the collection and distribution of food for hungry families at Christmas time, and several opportunities to serve in the community.
Hello fellow Rotarians.
Last week I reprinted part of a mass email authored by Barry Rassin, President of Rotary International and Ron D. Burton, Trustee Chair, The Rotary Foundation.  This week I reprint the rest of the language:
You can end Foundation Month on a charitable note by participating in Giving Tuesday, 27 November. Rotary will be joining thousands of other organizations worldwide for a global day of giving.  Our new online giving platform (the email has a hyperlink to the Donation page on My Rotary) has made it easier than ever to give to the Foundation, and you can easily notify someone of a gift made in their honor via email or by printing and delivering a customized notification yourself.  We usually refer to The Rotary Foundation as Our Foundation.  Unlike most charities, our Foundation is truly Our Foundation, because it is both supported by the Rotary family, and supports the work we do.  This year, our Foundation has already approved 222 district grants, with $31.9 million USD in total funding, and 41 global grants, with $11.9 million in total funding.  Our ambitious goals to grow our endowment and our annual giving set the stage for a larger, more effective, more sustainable Rotary—that will Be the Inspiration for generations to come.
Our Foundation committee chair Bob Cox will be presenting our program on November 28.  Please try to make this meeting to hear much more information about this important part of our club.
Our committee did challenge people to set up a periodic donation in any amount at My Rotary.  The members who have done so are in the running for a drawing for Alaska Air Miles.  Setting up a small periodic donation, say monthly, is a way to contribute substantially to Rotary over time.
If you have a family member, friend, or neighbor who is a student at East High School, please pass along the information about the Anchorage East Rotary sponsored Interact Club which provides community service and leadership development for students ages 14-18.  The club is experiencing a rebuilding phase and more dynamic, motivated students are needed to keep the club active.  If you need more information about Interact or would like a Rotarian to speak with and encourage a potential student to become a member, please contact Karen Smith, Rich Dyson, or Paul Paslay.
The No-Fine button is up for bid for the remainder of this Rotary year.  The bidding starts at $250 for each month beginning with December.  If you would like to reserve the No-Fine button for any month from now through June 2019, please contact me at rkdyson@gci.net or 830-4858.  We will accept all bids, so if $250 is beyond your budget, let me know.  You might have the highest offer and win the right to advertise your business once all bids are considered.  Keep in mind that you can purchase the No-Fine button and donate it to non-profit agencies for important community service announcements.  Also, we are still offering to publish your business card in the Eastwind for $25 per month.
Hello fellow Rotarians,
Today I received a mass email authored by Barry Rassin, President of Rotary International and Ron D. Burton, Trustee Chair, The Rotary Foundation.  I decided to lift verbatim some of the language because it is so relevant to the end of knowing more about The Rotary Foundation:
Rotary’s work to eradicate polio continues, as does our work to promote literacy, economic development, better health, clean water, and peace throughout the world—all of it supported by our Rotary Foundation.  In its 101st year, our Foundation continues to be the engine that drives the Rotary machine, allowing Rotary clubs and districts to aspire to larger, more ambitious projects with transformative, sustainable impact.  If your club is thinking about taking on a more ambitious project, remember that Rotary Action Groups  (RAGs) are great resources.  RAGs are international groups of Rotarians, family members, program participants, and alumni who are experts in a particular field, such as microcredit, peace, family health, disasters, or water.  In addition to contributing technical expertise, RAGs can also assist clubs with global grant projects by helping prepare grant applications, conduct community assessments, identify partners, raise funds, and establish monitoring and evaluation plans. Some of the largest RAGs serve as leaders in Rotary’s areas of focus and help clubs take on large-scale global grant projects: RAG for Population and Development, Water and Sanitation RAG, RAG for Family Health and AIDs Prevention, Microfinance and Community Development RAG, and RAG for Peace.  Connect directly with a RAG for assistance with a project, district, or global grant, at any stage of planning.
Our member Bob Cox is chair of our Foundation Committee and is leading the committee to put together our Foundation auction January 19.  Please plan to attend the auction, and if you have items to donate to the live auction or the silent auction, let Bob know so they can be added.  The proceeds of the auction go to The Rotary Foundation.
At our meeting October 31:
  • District Governor (DG) Diane Fejes was the program this week.  Advice she expressed that resonated with me is to consider a satellite club which meets outside of the Wednesday lunch period.  She thinks this might be a good way to attract younger members.  She senses change in what Rotary meetings will look like in the future.
  • DG Diane encouraged us to consider corporate memberships whereby a company can send a designated person to lunch and other Rotary events.
  • DG Diane expanded her vision of our District’s scope of giving to include the fight against human and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
  • DG Diane also encouraged us to keep in touch with former members of our club.  These folks might rejoin, and they might also be ambassadors for Rotary to attract new members.
  • I welcomed Sheila Lomboy back to our club after an extended absence.  She is co-chair of the membership committee with Shawn Florio.
  • Sergeant Rich reported he attended a Rotary Club in Belgium which has no women members.  He said the club was open to the concept!
  • Robin Dublin asked for a show of hands who might want to attend the social event on November 8.  Based on the small showing, this event will be cancelled.
  • Robin also asked us to keep in our minds the victims, family and friends of the shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Mike Zahare announced certain changes in his practice of law, and donated $100 to his Paul Harris.
  • Jim Olson repaid his debt to Rich Mystrom.
  • Shirley Nelson announced again our ongoing reading project at Baxter Elementary, 9:15a – 10:30a on Thursdays.
  • Lynn Allingham was back from being in the Carolinas.
  • Rick Mystrom announced that he now has six grandchildren.
  • Jay Jackson told us that the Rotary District encompassing Nepal invites our District 5010 to their district conference in late February.
At other times:
  • On Wednesday Adam Szabo our exchange student and I showed up for the East High Interact Club.  It looks like the club will re-form from scratch.  Another teacher brought in some students from the International Club who talked about how they attract members and the kinds of activities they do.  It looks like Random Pies of Kindness might be a project for the Interact Club this year.  There was also discussion how to get the word out about the Interact Club, including the use of social media.
  • I was speaking with Robin Dublin who mentioned that pond hockey might be a good social event.  This involves a sort of hockey game at Westchester Lagoon or Cheney Lake where the ice is cleared.
  • On Thursday I attended the reading project at Baxter Elementary with Maxine Froemling and Shirley Nelson.  I helped a first grade teacher with one of her learning centers.
  • On Thursday the Beer Fest met at Adam Sikorski’s home.  Present were yours truly, Lance Wilber, Jess Gutzwiler, Kelly McCormack, Jim Arlington and Rich Dyson.  Arrangements appear to be well underway for a successful 2019 Fest.
  • On Thursday Bob Cox, chair of the Foundation Committee, held a rescheduled meeting at his home.  Attending were Charlotte Tharp, Mary Rohlfing, Lynn Shaver and Woody Angst.  The focus was on the upcoming Foundation auction.
  • On Tuesday the West High Interact Club met.  This week is Interact Club Week and our Chair of Youth Service Karen Smith celebrated by bringing cupcakes for the students. There was discussion of the order for hoodies, the upcoming food drive and the candlelight vigil in November.
This week is World Interact Week.  Interact clubs empower young people ages 12 to 18 to take action in their community, develop leadership skills, and gain a global perspective.  Every year we celebrate the accomplishments of an estimated half a million Interact club members during World Interact Week.  Please take an active role in supporting our West Interact Club by attending and participating in their meetings, held every Tuesday from 10:20am – 11am.  Here are some interesting facts pertaining to Interact clubs:
  • The first Interact club was chartered on 5 November 1962.
  • There are over 20,370 Interact clubs in 159 countries.
  • There are an estimated 468,556 Interactors around the world.
  • 80% of the world’s countries have Interact clubs.
On October 27 Carolyn Jones hosted a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner social at her home in downtown Anchorage, which featured a wide range of delicious Asian food.  The evening was full of fun, friends, and outstanding food.  Thank you Carolyn for being a great host and making all of us feel at home.  Thank you Gloria Castaneda for the photos.
District Governor Diane Fejes honored us with her official visit and gave an inspirational speech on the status of Rotary, our club accomplishments, and the future of Rotary both locally and worldwide.  She was joined by President Paul and Assistant District Governor Mike Bridges of the Hillside Club.  During Diane Fejes’ visit, she awarded Shawn Florio his Paul Harris + 5 pin (photo below).
At our meeting October 24:
  • Dave Kester made a final pitch for the World Polio Day event happening tonight at Buzz & Mary’s theatre.  He pointed out that several businesses have signed up to display a sympathetic message on their reader signs.
  • Bob Cox gave out Paul Harris pins to Jay Jackson, Christian Deykes and Minda Thon.
  • I reminded the members that District Governor Diane Fejes visits our club next week for the annual visit, and I encouraged a good turnout for her.
  • Our speaker Jeffrey Harris was a rebound student who spent a year in Finland, and he spoke about his year in that country.  He chose to have $50 given to the Alzheimer’s Resource Center in his name.  He read the following description (the font size was too small for my eyes):  The mission of the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska is to support Alaskans affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders to ensure quality of life until a cure is found.  Their staff of professional educators and care coordinators provide information, referrals, education, consultations, trainings, support groups and care coordination to Alaska’s vulnerable individuals, not just those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
  • I announced to the club that the board has awarded Darrel Kester an honorary membership.  Darrel was a charter member of our club who now lives in Girdwood and does not often get up to Anchorage. Darrell wondered in good humor that he used to be senior active, now he is honorary.  Does this mean he is getting old?
  • Gloria Castenada used the No Fine Button to talk about the goings-on of the social committee.
  • Rick Goodfellow gave a shout out to Carolyn Jones for her gracious hosting of the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner October 20.
  • Bill Ure and Brenda Hewitt talked about the upcoming visioning session that the club will hold on November 7.  By the end of the month a brief survey needs to be filled out by everyone, and then a more focused survey will go out to the 20 – 25 people who will attend the session.  There will be Moose’s Tooth pizza and salad!
  • I thanked the October team which takes care of many different lunch duties including the pledge of allegiance, the moment of inspiration, the introduction of visiting Rotarians and the greeting of people at the door.  This month’s team included Bobi Rinehart, Bob Cox, Brandon Spoerhase, Maxine Froemling, David Stringer, Woody Angst and Anne Garrett.
  • Ron Rasmussen visited our club.  He is a former member of our club who is planning to return.
  • Sandra Wicks leaves for Mexico tomorrow for about 6 weeks.  She and Bruce Phelps will be doing Rotary things there.  She also gave 1000 of her foundation points to Bill Ure for using his vocation to help her.
  • Robin Dublin announced that she had just voted early, and reminded us to all vote.
  • Robin also announced our next social event, which will be November 8, an evening at Georgia Blue Gallery and Framagio’s Artisan Cheese.
  • Barbara Swenson accepted a $3,000 check from our community service committee on behalf of the YWCA.  This is a grant that the committee has given out.
  • Barbara Swenson also made a nonprofit announcement about the upcoming 29th Annual Women of Achievement awards sponsored by the YWCA.
  • Bill Ure introduced his guest Mark Schmeling
At other times:
  • There was no East High Interact Club meeting because there were parent/teacher conferences.
  • On Thursday Shirley Nelson lead our nascent reading project at Baxter Elementary. It starts about 9:15a and goes for an hour.  Several other Rotary clubs in the area have successful programs and I’d like to this to be successful, too.
  • On Monday, October 29, Bob Cox planned to hold a foundation meeting at his home, but the awful road conditions lead to rescheduling the meeting to November 1.
  • On Wednesday night was held the World Polio Day event.  Many people attended from different Rotary Clubs, and East Rotary was well represented.  Thanks so much to Buzz and Mary Rohlfing for again stepping up to offer their theatre for the event.  Thanks to Dave Kester for his tireless efforts to promote this important event.  There was a movie presented about how the Rotary fight against polio before.  I did not know that there were times when it was unclear whether the fight against polio would catch hold, and that it was the persistence of certain key Rotarians that made the difference.
  • On Tuesday was the West High Interact club.  Jeff Blake and I attended from our club.  It looks they will get hoodies for the club members with an Interact/Rotary design on it.  Also, they will start collection of food to put into boxes to distribute to up to 60 needy families at Christmas time
Hello Anchorage East members.
November is the time to celebrate the wonderful work of The Rotary Foundation (“TRF”).  Go to My Rotary and click the link to The Rotary Foundation to explore the activities of the Foundation. Consider how our club can help!
A funding mechanism for TRF are monies contributed by clubs in a given year and are invested for three (3) years, then a portion of the funds are returned to the club.  The returned monies can be used for District Grants, which last one year and are usually used for “shovel ready” smaller dollar projects, or for larger, or much larger Global Grants which involve club(s) from different countries and may extend over years.  The uses that these monies can be put to, when combined with further monies from a District or club(s), I think is limited only by the imagination.
A transition from District Grant to Global Grant may look like a project which succeeds on a smaller level and then is scaled to a larger project.  Our own members Sandra Wicks and Bruce Phelps, for instance, have long had their own organization for raising monies to fund outstanding projects in Mexico, including water filters and scholarships.  From time to time these projects have been funded in part by a District Grant.  I think that the water filter project in particular may be a great one to scale up to a Global Grant which might reach many more people, while in the meantime Bruce and Sandra’s organization helps with the immediate and ongoing need.
Our honorary member Jay Jackson likewise has her own organization which gives desperately needed assistance to people in Nepal.  A Global Grant to assist folks there on a greater scale is something perhaps several clubs in our area can join together to accomplish.
Global Grants can go the “other way” too. That is, Alaska can be the place where the work is done if the sponsoring club is outside the country.  There is plenty of need in our own backyard, and the Rotary model gives the flexibility to tackle these issues.
Our Community Service Committee (Christian Deykes and Rebecca Sentner are co-chairs) and our International Committee (Anne Garrett and Adam Sikorski are co-chairs) mostly deal with these grants.  Why don’t you approach them with your ideas and attend their next meeting?
AER assists with reading at Baxter Elementary School on Thursday mornings (9:30-10:30am).  Pictured are Shirley Nelson (left, leader of this community service), Jay Jackson, and Maxine Froemling.  Others who have participated include Paul McGuire and Rich Dyson.  It is a vitally important program for our youth and a lot of fun, too!  Please see Shirley to sign up for a month.
Recently, Barbara Swenson received a $3,000 check on behalf of YWCA.  Photographed below are Barbara, Justin Zagorski form YWCA Alaska, and AER Member Christian Deykes.
At our meeting October 17:
  • Immediate past president Lance Wilber was our stand-in Sergeant-At-Arms for Rich Dyson who is travelling with his wife in Northern Europe.  Lance auctioned off the No Fine Button for the Halloween meeting for a $100 donation from Heather Flynn to Polio Plus.
  • I was told by Rodney the Hilton employee who is our primary caregiver at the meetings, that the Hilton chef is thinking about serving a breakfast menu at our lunch.  A show of hands showed lukewarm support for this proposition.
  • Tony Freije was given the chance to make a No Fine Button presentation, and he spoke about his employer KTUU’s upcoming series on emergency preparedness in the Last Frontier. The series is called “Are You Prepared”?
  • Kathleen Madden is soon off to Thailand.  Kathleen sat with two guests of our speaker Polly Smith from the Alaska Literacy Project.  Kathleen also introduced our speaker.
  • Sally Archer reminisced about the vibrant social scene she just saw in Austin, Texas.
  • Brandon Spoerhase said he and Larry Baker were also just in the Austin, Texas, area. Brandon said he saw performances by Sir Paul McCartney and Metallica.
  • Duff Pfanner and his wife will soon be travelling to Mexico and plan to be involved in some Rotary activities there.
  • Charlotte Tharp addressed the club about her role this year as President Elect.  She said her goals include supporting me as president (which she is doing well), to put together her Board of Directors for next year and to attend the President Elect Training Seminar (PETS) in Seattle.
  • Bob Cox made a presentation to one of our members for reaching the Paul Harris +1 designation.
  • David Kester once again pitched the World Polio Day that happens October 24 at Mary and Buzz Rohlfing’s theatre across from the Hilton.
At other times:
  • On Wednesday just before the meeting, our exchange student Adam Szabo, myself and many others attended the East High Interact Club meeting.  The faculty adviser Travis Cooper was present. There was further discussion about how to proceed with the club this year.
  • On Saturday we had this year’s first Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner social.  The veil of secrecy is lifted!  Appreciating Carolyn Jones’ fine hospitality were Sue Sampson and her spouse Stefan Spinell, Craig and Ruth Ann Bledsoe, Gloria Castenada; Anne Adasiak-Andrew, together with Adam Szabo our exchange student who Anne and her husband Tim are hosting, Curro Martinez from Spain who is another exchange student and a friend of Adam’s at East High, Rick Goodfellow and Jan Ingram, Chris Wolpert and Kelly Day; Sandra Wicks, David Hoffman, Sylvia Condy and Karen Jordan.
  • On Tuesday Jeff Blake and I attended the meeting of the East High Interact Club. The club has decided to take over a project that another teacher was leading to put together boxes of food to distribute around Christmas.  There may be 60 families who receive this food. Next week the planning will start in earnest. I also confirmed that officers from the club will be making a presentation at our club that they put together about the fight against human trafficking.
As we leave October, which is Vocational month on the Rotary calendar, let’s recall other ways our club supports the vocations in our community.
Under the lead of our member Shirly Nelson, we support the work of elementary school teachers in ASD by reading to kindergarten, first and second grade students.  Emphasis may be on students who are at risk of falling behind in the critical skill of reading and understanding.  We need more members to participate, so please check in with Shirley.
Our vocational committee over the years has reviewed scholarship applications of numerous seniors at East High and Bartlett High, and has chosen to award scholarships to some of these folks to further their education.  Last year we disbursed $24,000 to 8 students.  Jeff Blake has the idea that later we could invite these recipients to visit our club so we can check in on their lives (and remind them that Rotary can also be a part of their lives if they pursue membership).  These recipients are exceptional students and many have overcome significant hardship.  I bet the vocations they choose will be enriched by their participation!  Mike Zahare heads up our vocational committee, so talk to him about ideas you might have related to vocational matters.  Perhaps you’d like to give a “vocational minute” to our club during a meeting about your vocation?
Our community service committee has a lot of money to distribute.  Applications for grant money could propose to support vocational training.  Please think of some worthy local cause that could use grant money and talk to Christian Deykes or Rebecca Sentner.  This year the community service committee has already given one grant to assist YWCA Alaska in covering the staff time necessary to implement Diversity & Inclusion Dialogues which fosters inclusion among our diverse community.
Our larger Rotary structure provides matching funds for projects.  One such District Grant our club secured this year supports the work of people who fight human trafficking by giving them the tools to be more effective.  See Adam Sikorski for more information on this matter.
It seems to me our imagination is the limit to what we can do to support the vocations that people enter.
As we embark on this new Anchorage East project to mentor elementary students, it is important to understand our mission:
  • Offer quality time to a student.
  • Assist the reader by reading to and/or being read to.
Jay Jackson and Shirley Nelson met Thursday, October 4, at Baxter Elementary.  They had the privilege of reading with a few students, enjoying important interaction with them.  They also met with several other teachers who are thrilled that Rotarians are stepping into their busy classrooms to offer their time.  Teachers have prepared special areas to sit and read one-on-one, plus they have set up an array of children’s books from which to select (the student will probably pick their favorite).
Please do not hesitate to try your hand at this most important gift to a child.  Just think how SPECIAL this student will feel that an adult—you—are spending valuable time with ME!
  • Baxter Elementary School, 2991 Baxter Road (just past the Anchorage School District main office on E. Northern Lights Blvd.)
  • Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:30 AM
  • Check in at the main office at 9:15 AM.
  • Log in as a visitor on the computer.  Your name tag will print out.
  • Check out the same way when you leave the school.
There are currently 6 classrooms wanting our assistance: 2 kindergarten, 2 first grade, 2 second grade.  Please give your time.  Sign up and Shirley Nelson will assist in assigning a classroom. The rest is up to you.  You will have one of the most inspiring 60 minutes possible!
Rotarian Shirley Nelson officially checks in at Baxter Elementary School
After you log in, the printer will send you a name ID sticker to wear.
One classroom's comfy reading nook by their class library.
Another classroom has a separate area with two chairs for the AER volunteer and student to read together.  A section of books for the student to choose from are in the yellow box.  
At our meeting October 10:
  • Maia Hernandez was our guest.  She heard about Rotary and reached out to us through the Rotary website.  It turns out she has a connection with Kara Blake.  A possible future member of AER?
  • We officially exchanged club banners with our exchange student Adam Szabo who was our speaker.
  • Anne Adasiak-Andrew introduced Adam and made a strong statement in support of being a host family.  She and her husband Tim, who also attended the meeting, were moved by the appeals that were made for host families and decided that they could not stand to see Adam not have a host family.
  • Lonzo Henderson presented our club’s award to an outstanding East High teacher (Heather Roach) and an outstanding East High student (Matias Miller).
  • Dave Kester played a short video about Polio Plus and again promoted World Polio Day which will be celebrated October 24 at Mary and Buzz Rohlfing’s theatre across from the Hilton.
  • Kara Blake, our Club secretary, gave a talk about her position in the club, focusing on some “best practices” to make easier the process of checking in and being on a monthly team.
  • Rotarian Becky Beck attended our meeting.  She works on the District level as a leader to support Youth Exchange in Southcentral Alaska.
  • Tony Freije had to be at work and delegated the No Fine Button to Karla Jutzi who talked about the “Thanksgiving Day Blessing” event which distributes food to needy families.
  • We sang happy birthday.  Adam Sikorski and Gloria Castenada have birthdays this month.
  • I bought the No Fine Button, and I am delegating it to Gloria Castenada so she can speak to our group.
  • I made another announcement about the October 20 Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner event. The food theme is Asian fusion.  Chicken teriyaki and kalbi ribs will be supplied by the host.  Each guest should bring an Asian side dish from any country.
  • Christian Deykes announced the next Mobile Food Pantry which will be held Saturday October 13 in the parking lot of the Fairview Recreation Center
  • Shirley Nelson encouraged participation in the reading project we have started at Baxter Elementary.  Last Thursday was the first time for the project.  Shirley is looking for 6 people to commit to show up each week.
  • Sean Bradley was happy to recognize the personal benefit he has gained from studying and applying the information in Rick Mystrom’s book about diet for people facing diabetes, and others.
  • We were reminded once again to include our exchange student Adam Szabo in activities he might enjoy.  Anne Adasiak-Andrew said make sure to bring Cocoa Puffs.
At other times:
  • On Tuesday Jeff Blake and I attended the West High Interact Club.  Over the weekend the club decided to have a bake sale, and a group of the club members set up a table today in the hallway to sell sweets.  I later found out the they raised $27 and are thinking that this money and other sources might go to help alleviate the most recent ravages of weather in Indonesia.
  • On Wednesday just before the meeting, our exchange student Adam Szabo, myself and many others attended the East High Interact Club meeting.  The faculty adviser Laron Thomas was present as were two other teachers.  There was discussion about how to proceed with the club:
    • Join forces with the International Club or Key Club at East?
    • Seek to volunteer at the coat check for the AER Beer Fest?
    • Volunteer at the Food Bank of Alaska on Thursdays to help sort mostly perishable food?
    • Show up at the Mobile Food Pantry?
  • On Thursday we held the monthly Board meeting.  Everyone in the club is encouraged to show up at these meetings to observe the good work our members do to keep all our club’s “moving pieces” in motion.  The meetings are the second Thursday of each month at the Captain Cook.
  • On Saturday many members of our club showed up to run the Mobile Food Pantry at the Fairview Recreation Center.
As you know, our club sponsors the Interact Club at West High and the Interact Club at East High. Each club has a teacher adviser who spends his lunch hour hosting and adding direction to the club.  These advisors are not paid to do this work; they are committed to the students.
Woody Angst, Karen Smith and I showed up this morning at the West High meeting.  The club talked about projects for the coming year.  After the meeting Woody, Karen and I talked about Woody’s idea to consider a global grant to combat human trafficking, using the fundraising efforts of this club and other sources.  This grant could be in the form of a scholarship for a person to study in this area.  This would train a person to better work toward the goal of eliminating this terrible activity.
At our Board meeting last week, our Board voted to contribute money to the operation of these two Interact clubs.
Last Saturday our club participated in the Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) at the Fairview Recreation Center. We assist the Food Bank of Alaska (FBOA) to distribute mostly perishable food to people in need. The folks who work at the FBOA exhibit service above self to help provide basic necessities to folks in our community.  Our club has participated in the MFP for years.  Our members, their family and friends show up rain, snow or shine to make this distribution work.
Our club now asks our weekly speaker to choose from one of three charities, and we give $50 to the chosen charity in the speaker’s name.  Each of these charities employs people who are passionate about their work to serve their target populations. Most recently our speaker chose the Alaska Literacy Project.
Our commitment of money to these charities helps them accomplish their missions.  These examples show the variety of fine vocations which our club supports though our funding and through showing up to do work.  Can you think of other vocations our club might support?
Heather Roach is an extraordinary teacher with approximately 24 years of experience.  She teaches Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology.  In addition, she runs the Robotics Club.  Ms. Roach is a tremendous asset for East High school.
Matias Miller is from Anchorage and is a Senior at East High.  He is looking forward to graduating but is undecided about the college he will attend.  Matias is currently exploring options.  His hobby/interest is hockey.  Congratulation!
Vocational training teams (“VTTs”) are groups of professionals who travel abroad either to teach local professionals about a particular field or to learn more about their own.  Teams can be funded by district grants and global grants.
VTTs reflect the Rotary Foundation’s long-standing commitment to vocational training.  Activities vary from one team to the next but examples may include training medical professionals on cardiac surgery and care, sharing best practices on early childhood education, or explaining new irrigation techniques to farmers.  A successful VTT increases the capacity of the host community to solve problems and improve the quality of life.
If a VTT is funded by a district grant, the activities should support the Foundation’s mission to promote goodwill and peace, improve health, support education, and alleviate poverty.  If funded by a global grant, the activities must:
  1. Align with one or more of the six areas of focus (promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water; sanitation and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; growing local economies).
  2. Build the capacity of either the team members or the benefitting community; and
  3. Have a sustainable and measurable impact.
Can you think of how you might use your professional background to create a vocational training team from our club or from our District 5010?
Pictured below are photos from our recent garden box build at Tudor Elementary School on October 2.  Photos are courtesy of Robin Dublin.
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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