Weekly Meeting Photos
Aaron & Lea Newcomb with Engedi Refuge                                     Tim Fisher

July 20, 2020     13th VIRTUAL MEETING

Opening :
President Gary informed Members of the passing of a fellow member, Tim Fisher.  Tim was an active and enthusiastic Club member who will be missed.  Bob Diehl will deliver a memorial tribute to Tim at our meeting next week.
Pre-Meeting Social Time
Book Review: Ann Jones "A Great & Glorious Game"
Around 30 members joined the Zoom meeting around 12:15 pm for socializing and a chance to hear Ann Jones’ report on the book “A Great and Glorious Game”, a book about baseball, Ann’s favorite sport.  Bartlett Giamatti was a Professor of English and President of Yale who served as Commissioner of Baseball during 1988 – 1993. He was a person with high ethical standards, often called a Renaissance Man in baseball.  He presided over the banning of Pete Rose from the game and opposed the trading of players.  The book is a collection of 9 essays, dealing with the meaning of  baseball the game and baseball as a metaphor for life.
Opening Welcome
President Gary called the 11th Virtual Meeting of the Rotary Club of Bellingham to order at 12:30 pm.  Around 50 members connected. Gary thanked members for participating in the Zoom meeting and expressed optimism that it would take place without technical glitches.   His optimism was well placed – the meeting proceeded flawlessly.
Club Announcements 
URGENT:  We are looking for Website/Tattler sponsors for the next Rotary year starting July st.  It is a great opportunity to advertise your business and support Rotary.  $350.00 for the year.  Please check out the current sponsors on our website by going to on the home page.  If you "click" on a sponsor it will take you to their website.  It also shows up in the tattler.  Contact Sandee if interested.  We have 4 spots remaining.
All Rotary meetings will be held Virtually on Zoom until further notice due to Covid-19 social distancing.  You can look for an email from Sandee each week prior to the Monday 12:30 meeting (you can start  logging in at 12:15 for short socializing) with the link for that privacy protected meeting.  If you have not done so please, download the Zoom app on your computer (you need a camera and microphone on it), ipad or phone.  There is no cost to you.  If you do not have either, you can also call in.  On the invitation there are US phone numbers you can call and enter the meeting ID number also indicated on the invitation. 
RCOB has now set up a Venmo account for ease in payment of Happy Bucks, Minister of Fun, Dues or donations to the club.  Our account is @RCOB-Bellingham.  If you do not have a Venmo account you can set up an account with your computer then download the app. on your phone (just Goggle "Venmo" and you will find all the information you need)  You then attach it to a debit or credit card (a fee on your end) or attach to your checking account at no cost.  Payment will be sent directly to the RCOB checking account. When you use it for the first time it may ask you the last 4 digits of the RCOB phone number which is 5532.   Give Sandee a call if you need help.
Major Project Proposals Needed - Deadline Extended to 7/31/20:
The virus has affected our usual process for getting our Major Project Proposals in. Hopefully this extra time has given you time to take a look around and see what needs to be done!
The Major Project selection committee would like to have all proposals submitted by 7/31/20.  Major Project Criteria
Website and Phone App instructions:
Here is a tutorial on how to login for the first time.  (Click here)  In order to login you need to know your user name and password in your Clubrunner account.  The user name is Yourfirstname.Lastname.264 unless you have changed it.  Example: Sandra.Lindhout.264  The password is initially set by clubrunner at 264 unless you have changed it.  Sandee can see your Username from my computer but not the password.  She can also change your password for you from her computer at your request if you run into problems.
Once you have originally created your User Name and Password you can download the ClubRunner Mobile app on your phone:                                                             
Here is a link for you to take a look at the app:

Please contact Sandee at 360-734-5532 or if you run into any trouble.
Former member, Dale Rings joined us again
Sandee Lindhout introduced Captain Ruairi Ward with the Salvation Army
Paul Grey introduced speakers Aaron & Lea Newcomb with Engedi Refuge
Paul Grey introduced today’s program, “Restoring Lives from Human Trafficking,” presented by Aaron and Lea Newcomb, co-Founders of the Engedi Refuge.  The Engedi Refuge is a local organization, established in Whatcom County in 2013, that counsels and provides support to victims of sex slavery and human trafficking.  The organization is a recipient of a recent RCOB Service Grant.
The Engedi Refuge consists of an 18-month residential program, a safehouse setting, where victims, generally highly traumatized women, can receive  help in a variety of ways to get out of the circle of violence associated with sex slavery and human trafficking.  In addition to a stable environment and a safe venue, the victims receive trauma therapy, health counseling and education in activities needed for normal day-to-day living (life skills), such as financial management and finding a job.  Emphasis is place on reintegrating victims back into the community and also finding ways to provide long-term support.
Aaron presented some sobering statistics, related to the national sex trafficking problem.  He emphasized that annually 600,000 to 800,000 women and children are trafficked.   The average price for commercial sex with a minor is $400 per hour and the average age of a child’s entry into the trade is 13 years.  Prostituted people are typically sold 10 – 15 times per day.  Sadly, nearly 60% of the victims enticed or forced into prostitution come in through the Foster Care system.  Aaron emphasized this is not an indictment of that system but rather the result of the many difficult situations foster children often face. 
The Engedi Refuge currently is housed in an old farmhouse in the Lynden area.  Plans are in progress to build a new facility designed for the needs of the program.  Several local builders are contributing to the support of the project and fundraising efforts are in progress.  It was to this building project that our Club Service grant went.
Aaron and Lea have also worked outside our area.  They are co-founders of the National Trafficking Shelter Alliance (NTSA) a national referral system for sex-trafficking victims. 
During the Q and A session after the presentation several good questions were raised:
Q: Is Engedi Refuge able to handle the needs of our area?
A: No, 60 – 70 folks are turned away annually.
Q: What is the origin of the name Engedi?
A: It is an Israeli word that means “place of refreshment”.
Q: Does Engedi Refuge work with children?
A: No, only those over 18 years.
Q: Is there a religious component to Engedi Refuge?
A: Yes, during the last 6 or so months of the 18-month program, there is a Christian spiritual element.
Q: What is the average time in the program?
A: Typically, one year.
Q: Why do some leave the program after one year?
A:  Generally because they are not interested in the spiritual component.
President Gary and Garrett Jeffery updated us on the state of the COVID-19 virus in Whatcom County.  The number of cases is up, more on a per capita basis in the northern part of the county than in Bellingham.  There are currently 4 cases at St. Joseph’s hospital.  In anticipation of an increased number of virus cases as we approach fall, personal protective gear is being stockpiled.  Gary opines that the antibody tests still are not reliable for general use.
At meeting’s end Sandee tolled the bell…
July Rotary Anniversaries - Thank you! 
Bob Morse
Member Since 1970
Frank King
Member Since 1988
Ralph Rinne
Member Since 2000
Debbie Ahl
Member Since 2010
John Harris
Member Since 2012
Bruce Clawson
Member Since 2013
Paula McCandlis
Member Since 2014
Felicity Dye
Member Since 2017
Zach von Schneidau
Member Since 2019
July Birthdays
  • Zach von Schneidau
  • Greg Baker
  • John Dunne
  • Kelli Linville
  • Mark Knittel
  • Rob Westford
  • Doug Cole
  • Ken Jernberg
  • Paul Hanson
  • Mauri Ingram
Aug 10, 2020
Rotary Youth Exchange and its global and local impact
Aug 17, 2020
Whatcom Dispute Resolution - Peacebuilding: The Time is Now
Aug 24, 2020
"Zombies, Gamblers, and Mostly Employed"
Aug 31, 2020
Vision for Whatcom County 2020-2023
View entire list
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Executives & Directors
President Elect
Executive Secretary
Vice President/Program Chair
Past President
Director/Vocational Service & Membership
Director/Community Service
Director/International & Youth Service
Director/Club Service & Meetings
Website Administer
Editor:  Tom Grinstad
Reporter:  Arlie Norman
Invocation:  Doug Cole
Greeter: John Moffat, Gary Goldfogel and Sandee Lindhout
AV:  Shauna Naf
Minister of Fun:  Debbie Ahl
Music:  Rotary Brass "America The Beautiful"
Book Review:  Ann Jones "A Great & Glorious Game"