Weekly Meeting Photos
         Patricia Boyce            Kristi Birkeland                       
                                                                                 More Bellringing 2020 Photos

December 14th, 2020     31st  VIRTUAL MEETING

Pre-Meeting Social Time
Book Review: 

Robin Halliday reported on Magic Lessons, a historical novel by Alice Hoffman. This is the second of two prequel novels to the popular novel and movie, Practical Magic, which was about two orphaned sisters sent to live in Massachusetts with their aunts, who were witches.

Magic Lessons takes place in the 17th century and follows Maria Owens, starting in England, where she is found abandoned in a snowy field as an infant by a witch named Hannah Owens, who discovers that Maria also has magical powers, as does Maria's birth mother. Maria winds up being a servant on a Dutch Caribbean island, falls in love and has a child, Faith, with John Hawthorne, who just happens to be one of the judges in the Salem Witch Trials. Naturally, Faith also winds up being a witch, so when they all move to Salem, things get complicated and, for Maria and Faith, dangerous.

Opening Welcome
President Gary called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM as Sandee rang the bell. He welcomed all members and guests; there were 52 people at the virtual meeting. 
Club and Committee Announcements 

1.  Army Captain Ruairi Ward reported that the RCOB bell-ringing effort on December 12 brought in a total of $4,309.14, with the Haggen – Barkley location providing the largest amount. This year's total exceeded last year's of $3,500; great job, everyone!

Thank you to our Bellringer's:  Tom Grinstad, Nathan Twining, Andy Day, Monty McAllister, Sandee Lindhout, Peter Theisen, Scott Hume and Family, Bob Diehl, Gary Goldfogel, Kelli Linville, Dominique Zervas, Garrett Jeffery and Family, Rich & Stephanie Bowers, John Pedlow, Roland Trenouth, Shauna and Ward Naf, Dave Blair, Rogan Jones, Steve Ban, Del VandeKerk, Felicity Dye, Paul Grey, Fred Kaiser, Larry Halgren, Brad Burdick, Rick Haggen, James Pyles and our newest member Vinson Latimore.  Also our leader, Dick Tucker, Coffee Crew Jan Marchbanks and Jim Cunningham and Kathie Hardy for playing the Harp.

As promised, bell-ringing organizer Dick Tucker has purchased hot sauce from Growing Veterans for every bell ringer, which can be picked up at Dick's office, 1800 C St., #226. Please return any aprons and bells at that time.

2.  Member Sara Mahoney accepted, on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club, a $1,000 Service Grant, which will be used to help provide breakfast, lunch and snacks to needy K – 8 Whatcom County students and their families during the pandemic.

3.  Major Project Co-Chair Jennifer Moehl reported that our Club has reached about (52%) participation for pledges and donations for the Max Higbee Center's remodel. As an added incentive to reach our goal of 100% participation, three anonymous Club members have agreed to donate $0.50 for every $1.00 of future donations, to a maximum of $15,000. Jennifer also showed part of a video of a long time Max Higbee center client expressing his appreciation to the RCOB for our support of their new facility.

4. Hoping for a miracle, in this season of miracles, President Gary reminded us, for the umpteenth time, that the RCOB still needed one more business website sponsor for this year. And, lo and behold, a miracle happened!: Debbie Ahl announced that her consulting firm would purchase that last sponsorship, in large part to publicize one of her favorite local organizations, the Mt Baker Foundation.

5. Football Pool Grid - Seahawks vs Washington 12-20-2020  Here (Click Here for game schedule)

6. December 10, 2020 Board Briefs

Susie Thomson attended and presented the club’s 7/1/2019-6/30/2020 -  990 tax  form that her and the Thomson Company have prepared for the club free of charge over 20 years.  The board approved.  Thank you, Susie
Shauna Naf attended to present the newly created New Members Manual.  It will be available shortly to all members.  Thank you, Shauna.
It is with great regret that the board accepted the resignation of Bob Nicholl and the request for leave of absence John Mahoney
The December 21st Christmas Meeting will consist of a production from the Bellingham Symphony put together by Gail Ridenour and comments from Mike Cohen with the Bellingham Food Bank and Hans Erchinger-Davis with the Light House Mission.  After that members will be encouraged to donate, and the proceeds will be disbursed equally between the two organizations.
Cathy Buckley and Peter Theisen have completed the task of creating an MOU that will be used each year going forward for all Major Projects.  It was presented and approved
Presenting your 2021-2022 Officers:
President:  Peter Theisen
President-Elect:  Paul Grey
VP-Program Chairman:  Doug Cole
Treasurer:  Steve Gray
Past President:  Gary Goldfogel
Board of Directors (2 years):  Shauna Naf & Felicity Dye will join John Pedlow and Steve Hettick
Paul Grey reported that Honduras has experienced 2 major hurricanes recently causing extreme flooding.  IPA supports 38 Villages in the locations hardest hit.  They are turning their focus to getting clean water to the villages.  IPA is the organization our International Service Committee and the RCOB have partnered with.  There will be more to follow.
The Board discussed how to enhance our Zoom meetings and the suggestion came up to do a Zoom “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” The Social Committee is looking into it.
2020-2021 Max Higbee Major Project special announcement:  Donations and pledges for the Major Project Fund have reached $69,000, which represents only 51.7% of the membership and the number of new donations has been falling each week. To spur us to reach our goal of $100,000 for the Max Higbee Center's building fund, three anonymous Rotarian angels are offering to match 50 percent of every new donation up to $15,000, which would carry us to our goal. Take advantage of this way to stretch the value of your donation!
The Max Higbee Center started as grassroots effort led by educators, families and people with developmental disabilities who wanted quality recreation and social opportunities. Today, the Center serves over 400 individuals in Whatcom County through its welcoming social and recreation programs.  Jen Moehl and John Dunne are leading the fundraising of this project. Members can donate from their tax-deferred accounts directly to RCOB without incurring a tax liability. Click Here for Donation Form
These programs also provide vital respite support to families. The stress and financial responsibility as a family caregiver can be extraordinary and lifelong. The services that Max Higbee Center staff provide are essential in supporting families to work, rest, and fulfill obligations while maintaining a safe and enriching environment for their family member with a disability.  Their new facility at 1400 N. State Street, currently under construction, will allow the Center to expand its program capacity to meet an urgent community need. Our contribution to the project will be funding the new recreation room, the largest and most actively used room in the new facility, which is to be named the Rotary Room.  Click here for further information.  
Other Announcments
Blood Drive - Steve Ban reported that our blood drive will be open for the entire Rotary year, until June 30, 2021. We are participating, along with the other clubs in our Area G, in a District 5050 challenge against the other District Areas. He is encouraging friends and relatives to join in. Those who can't donate blood can donate plasma. Currently, the W. Bakerview office is the only donation location open in Whatcom County. Click Here for additional information. You must schedule your donation appointment on the eflyer in this link to make sure your donation is counted. If you have already given blood and didn’t follow these procedures, please contact Steve and he will make sure that your donation is counted.
The minimum age for donating blood is 16 and those 16 and 17 would need parent’s permission to participate. 
All Rotary meetings will be held Virtually on Zoom until at least January 1, 2021 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 Google "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 0282.   Give Sandee a call if you need help.  360-734-5532
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 members, Dale Ring joined us again  
Paul Grey introduced our speakers, Patty Boyce and Kristi Birkeland
Fred Kaiser introduced Therese Norton , an attorney for the Northwest Justice Project
Major Project: Max Higbee Center
Jenn Moehl showed part of a video of a long time Max Higbee center client expressing his appreciation for the RCOB' s support of their new facility.  Jenn reminded us that it is time to pledge our support for the Max Higbee Center major project.   Click Here for presentation  Remember 3 generous Rotarians have agreed to make a 50% 
match of all new donations up to $15,000.
Whatcom County United Way 
Patricia Boyce and Kristi Birkeland
Documents from United Way
  United Way Impact Graph   (Click Here)
  United Way Grants  (Click Here)

In introducing the program, Program Committee Chair Paul Grey, reminded us that “Saving Mothers and Children” is one of RI's main priorities, and introduced speakers Patricia Boyce and Kristi Birkeland from United Way of Whatcom County (UWW), who presented an update of their organization:

1.  36% of Whatcom County (WC) households struggle to make ends meet.

2.  UWW supports 22 local organizations each year, selected by a community panel after reviewing applications.

3.  50,000 WC residents benefit from WCC grants.

4.  $175,000 has been distributed by UWW so far for COVID-19 assistance.

5.  UWW focuses on ALICE (see below) households struggling financially by:

·       providing basic needs

·       increasing economic mobility

·       breaking the cycle of poverty

6. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Threshold identifies households that are, financially, above the Federal Poverty Level yet barely able to afford the Household Survival Budget (which are the costs of basic needs, like housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, technology)

7. ALICE household members usually have low wage jobs and no savings to guard against emergencies or for investing in the future for education, home ownership, or retirement.

8. All household (HH) types (young; single/roommate; families with children, especially with single parent; seniors) are represented in ALICE or below income levels.

9. HHs of certain races (Hawaiian, Hispanic, Black) are more likely to live below the ALICE threshold, due to economic and systemic racism limiting their earning power.

10. The percentage of low-wage jobs (less than $20/hr) in Washington has been increasing over the past 10+ years, currently at 30%.

11. ALICE level HHs keep our economy running. They build and repair infrastructure and educate and care for the workforce.

12. Patricia and Kristi concluded their presentation by discussing long-term solutions, for households struggling financially, by business, the internet, government, housing, credit card companies, and local communities. Please see links above. 

Local Covid Update:
President Gary reported that the County COVID-19 dashboard has been inaccurate the past several days. The percentage of positive tests is decreasing. The number of Covid patients hospitalized at St Joe's has dropped from a peak of 16 to less than 10. The County is also changing how COVID-19 related deaths are counted: Only those persons who die because of COVID-19 will be counted. Those who die due to other conditions while having a positive COVID-19 test will not be counted.
Program Recordings:  We are now recording the speaker portion of our meetings:
Missed a meeting? Remember a great speaker but want to revisit the content? You can catch the recording on our Rotary Club of Bellingham YouTube page:
December Rotary Anniversaries - Thank you! 
Paul Landgren
Member Since 1995
Thank you for 25 years of service! 
Paul Hanson
Member Since 1966
Dave Blair
Member Since 1979
Rick Haggen
Member Since 1982
Jim Cunningham
Member Since 1994
Daver Morse III
Member Since 2003
Kathi Hiyane-Brown
Member Since 2003
John Huntley
Member Since 2010
Catherine Riordan
Member Since 2012
Dennis Williams
Member Since 2012
Steve Hettick
Member Since 2016
Bacchus Taylor
Member Since 2019
December Birthdays
  • Lisa Saar
  • Jamie Vos
  • Teri Treat
  • Chris Lyddan
  • Bob Sytsma
  • Loch Trimingham
  • Kathie Hardie
Jan 25, 2021
The Mt. Baker Foundation-One in Three of Us is at Risk for Chronic Kidney Disease…are You the One?
Feb 01, 2021
ID's for the Homeless
Feb 08, 2021
Bellingham Rotaract Club
Feb 15, 2021
Holiday - President's Day
View entire list
Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide
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:  Catherine Riordan
Reporter:  Steve Ban
Invocation:  Debbie Ahl
Greeter: President Gary and Sandee
AV:  Shauna Naf
Music:   Provided by Rick Kaiser
Minister of Fun:  Dick Tucker
Book Review:  Robin Halliday "Magic Lessons" by Alice Hoffman