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May 5, 2020     4th VIRTUAL MEETING

Opening :
President Cathy enthusiastically (she scared herself with the bell) called the 4th Virtual Meeting of the Rotary Club of Bellingham to order at 12:35pm.  Around 60 members connected and clearly, members are getting more adept at using Zoom.  Around 25 members came on line for some chat and social time before the meeting began.  Cathy thanked members for participating in the virtual meeting format but expressed the hope that we could soon get back to a normal meeting arrangement. 
Many members seem to have mastered the magic of Zooming, but for those than have not, Scott Wilson presented some information on how to handle several useful functions (muting, hand raising, etc.) of the  Zoom program.

Important Announcements and immediate attention needed:  

Lynda Hinton reported the next scheduled activity is Virtual Bingo is today, Thursday, May 7, at 4:00 hosted by Paul Grey.  Contact Lynda or Paul to sign up.
John Dunne, co-chair of the Music Committee thanked Rick Kaiser for providing interesting recorded introductory music.  He also noted that he is working to get things set up so that in the future the Rotary Brass can also perform.
Cathy reminded members to be thinking about when (e.g. late February or early March) and where the next Club ski trip might be held.  Suggestions can go to either Cathy or Bob Diehl.
Jack Westford suggested that we invite members to do brief book reports during the social time (12:15 – 12:30) before our meetings.  Seeming like a good idea, it was determined that next week Mike Plenkovich would report on the book, “Lost in Shangrila”.  This reporter has read the book and it is great.
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.  Give Sandee a call if you need help.
The Rotary Clubs of Whatcom County Donate to Help Local Children Struggling with Hunger.  The article is in the Bellingham Herald 5/6/2020..  Here is the link:
All Rotary meetings will be held Virtually on Zoom at least thru May 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.  
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 odd 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
RCOB Service Fund Grant applications:
Incoming President Gary is taking applications for Service Fund Grants of up to $1K each, up to $4K total remaining funds, for community projects. Applications are being accepted through May.  These grants must have a Rotary Club of Bellingham sponsor the application.  Here are the guidelines listed in our Policy Manual:
    How A Grant Is Requested: Each grant application must be sponsored by a member of the RCOB who is not a paid employee of the requesting organization. The project should be part of an IRS-recognized not-for-profit organization’s program, but not necessarily limited to one. Only one request for a grant may be made by any one member in a Rotary year. Applications should be in the form of a one-page letter signed by a member of the RCOB, giving the full name of the organization, a single sentence covering the organization’s mission statement, the amount and purpose of the request, the relationship of the member with the organization and extent of involvement (including other members’ participation too) and name/phone number of a contact person at the organization.
    How A Grant Is Presented And Reviewed: The member/requester should give the application to the chairperson of the Service Fund Committee who will then call a meeting of the SFC so the member/requester can attend and present the application in person. If the SFC endorses the request, the SFC then presents the endorsed request to the Board of Directors of the RCOB for approval. If approved, checks are issued by the RCOB or the RCOB Foundation as appropriate. If fund limitations preclude granting all fund requests, the SFC will give priority to projects that most comply with the current year’s objectives of the RCOB.
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 RCOB Rotarians Karen and Joe Morse from San Diego
Lara Welker, independent facilitator/program manager on contract with the Chuckanut Health Foundation.
Ryan Blackwell with Northwest Regional Council
Presentation:  Paul Grey
As a continuation of the International Service Committee’s report begun last week, Paul Grey reported on committee activities during the past year and those planned for the next: The $23K water project in Copan, Honduras has gone well.  Committee members are looking at future water projects in Haiti (Robin Halliday) and Mexico (Dominique Zervas).  Sponsorship of student scholarships in the IPA (International Projects Association) Adopt-a-Dream program is being evaluated.  Roland Trenouth has researched 15 potential food packaging programs for next year and narrowed the list down to one for committee consideration.  The successful ARES computer-based education program in Africa, through participation of Mark Knittel, is being considered for further support.  At this time near the end of the Rotary year, the Committee has $6,509 in unspent funding.
Peter Theisen introduced today’s program, the “The Aging Well Initiative”, presented by Heather Flaherty, the Executive Director of the Chuckanut Health Foundation (CHF).  Flaherty was joined in the presentation by two collaborators, Ryan Blackwell and Lara Welker. 
Ms. Flaherty spoke briefly about the history and mission of the Chuckanut Health Foundation.  It is a rebranded outgrowth of the St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation, and she follows Sue Sharpe as the ED. Over the years the CHF has studied and provided leadership to the Whatcom County community in several areas, such as children’s issues and palliative care.  The recent Aging Well Initiative focuses on issues affecting older folks, those in the time of life before life’s end (age 60 – 74 years), generally the aged but pre-palliative population.   
The Initiative has studied issues that affect the target population in eight domains; (i) community and health care, (ii) transportation, (iii) housing, (iv) social participation, (v) outdoor spaces and buildings, (vi) respect and social inclusion, (vii) civic participation and (viii) employment and communication and information.  Population demographic data were reviewed, housing availability was reviewed, and specific areas of interest and concern were determined by surveying folks in the focus age group.  With this information the Initiative developed conclusions about the situation in Whatcom County and what should be addressed further by the community.
Ryan Blackwell presented population demographics detail for Whatcom County. There are about 54K persons aged 60 or older in the County, representing about 24% of the County population.  Relative to the State, the County has fewer people ages 25 – 59, but more in the 60 – 74 age group.  Of interest to the current COVID virus situation, the majority of cases and deaths have been among the older population.  Data in several categories within the 60 – 74 years were presented.  For example, about 9% of the group are minority, 9% are at or below the Federal Poverty limit and 21% have disabilities. 
Lara Welker summarized data on the congregate housing situation for aged folks. Currently there are 9 skilled nursing and 17 assisted living facilities, 24 adult family homes, 5 independent-living retirement and 9 retirement communities and 16 rent-restricted apartment complexes.  Not surprisingly, most of these are in Bellingham.  With the aged population growing, there might be a shortage of congregate housing the in the future.
The final task of the Initiative was to survey and hold listening sessions with some 300 area folks in the 60 – 74 age group.   Three key questions asked were;  what is important to you, what are the challenges or concerns for you and what programs and services could be added or changed?  In terms of importance five themes emerged; (i) interaction, relationships and connection, (ii) family, (iii) health, (iv) health care and (v) housing. Perhaps surprisingly, the interactions theme was of most concern.  In the challenges area, medical conditions and health care topped the list.  In terms of things to be added or changed, programs and services were of greatest concern.  With this information, 6 focus areas for future study and work and have emerged and will be addressed: cultural shift, information and navigation, intergenerational community, housing, transportation and welless and healthcare. 
Further detail of the Initiative studies and information about the Chuckanut Health Foundation can be found on their Web site,
Finally, a few remarks were presented by Dr. Gary Goldfogel about the COVID-19 situation in the County.  There have been no deaths in the past few days.  There are no patients on ventilators at the hospital (the hospital is only 28% occupied) and testing for the virus is becoming easier.  Gary does not believe the antibody tests now available are reliable and are not worth getting.  He recommends we continue social distancing and is optimistic that the health aspects of the pandemic in Whatcom County will slowly improve.  
COVID–19  Information that Came to the Tattler Reporter after the Club meeting.
Club member Dr. Garrett Jeffery provided postscript comments on the COVID-19 situation.  He agrees with the Goldfogel assessments and notes:  “Any symptomatic person can now be tested if their provider orders the test.”   “There are other medical conditions that can result in death and it is very important to seek appropriate health care, even despite the epidemic”.  Finally, “I want to reiterate that it is very apparent we are all learning as we go.”  He discussed how to think about the data being collected and scenarios as to what could happen in the future.  Here is Dr. Jeffery's comments
Happy May Rotary Anniversaries! 
Dewey Desler
Member since 1987
Chuck Snyder
Member since 1994
Del VandeKerk
Member since 1998
John Macpherson
Member since 2003
Phil Gubbins
Member since 2004
Rud Browne
Member since 2007
Mark Knittel
Member since 2007
Arlie Norman
Member since 2008
Lynda Hinton
Member since 2014
Rich Bowers
Member since 2016
  Andy Day
Member since 2016
  Garrett Jeffrey
Member since 2018
Happy May Birthdays!
  • Tim Fisher
  • Colleen Baldwin
  • Monty McAllister
  • Megan Stanfield
  • Dennis Williams
  • Scott Wilson
  • Kathi Hiyane-Brown
May 25, 2020
Holiday - Memorial Day
Jun 01, 2020
Annual Youth Awards Program
Jun 08, 2020
Mood and Effective Communication
Jun 15, 2020
Bellingham Recovery House update
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Upcoming Events
Cancelled - RI Convention - Honolulu, Hawaii
Jun 06, 2020 – Jun 10, 2020
Virtual RCOB Board Meeting
Bellingham Legal Center
Jun 11, 2020
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
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Editor:  Tom Grinstad
Reporter:  Arlie Norman
Invocation:  Paul Grey
Greeter:  Bob Morse, Cathy Buckley and Sandee Lindhout
AV:  Scott Wilson
Music:  by Rick Kaiser
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