Sister Pat Siemen


May 17, 2021     50th  VIRTUAL MEETING

Pre-Meeting Social Time: 
Catherine Riordan reviewed Universe of Two, a historical novel by Stephen P. Kiernan, based loosely on the life of mathematician Charles Fisk and his work on developing the atomic bomb with the Manhattan Project in Chicago and eventually at Los Alamos. The novel is rich with details drawn from other narratives about the building of the bomb. Kiernan develops a more fictionalized love interest for his lead character and creates a connection between her, a talented organist working in her family’s organ shop in Chicago, and his eventual designing of a very successful organ in his later years. She says about Charlie, later in their married life, that his “greatest kinds of strength are hidden”, and that he is someone who “cannot be stopped until he's changed the world, which he did twice”. Chapters alternate between third person accounts of Charlie’s life and the  personal reflections of Brenda, his girlfriend and eventual wife. The book is well written and an easy read. Catherine has a copy to loan out if you wish to read it.
Opening Welcome:  
President Gary, who, for once, was both at the meeting and in Whatcom County at the same time, called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM and welcomed all members and guests.
Club and Committee Announcements
1. President Gary Goldfogel gave a short report of the recent Board meeting.

2. Teri Treat reminded members of the Sunnyland Memorial Park Clean-up this Saturday 9AM-12PM, in conjunction with Bellingham City Parks. A maximum of 20 members can participate; there is room for about 7-8 more. 12 volunteers from outside Rotary are joining. We hope to do something again in the Fall. After a long hiatus, it will be nice to be together outside again.

3. Marty Haines reviewed the details of the upcoming Rotary Whale Watching Cruise:
A year ago it was necessary to cancel the 2020 annual cruise due to the Covid 19 outbreak. It was to be our first whale watching cruise with San Juan Cruises. We have rescheduled the same whale watching cruise on June 21, 2021, for members and their family and friends, with the requirement that all attendees (except children less than 12 years of age) be fully vaccinated (i.e., at least 2 weeks past their last shot) against Covid by that date.
San Juan Cruises will be using their largest vessel, Victoria Star, and operate at 50% capacity, which is 70 passengers; our group should be smaller.  Lunch is included, with choices of lasagna with meat and a vegetarian option.  When you register, please indicate your lunch preference.
This will be a welcome activity for those members who are comfortable spending time with other Covid-vaccinated people. What a great opportunity to get together after a year! And remember, Marty has guaranteed perfect weather for the cruise! 
Sign-up now and mail the $90/person payment (special rate) to Sandra Lindhout, 2200 Vining St., Bellingham, WA 98229.  Make a check out to Rotary Club of Bellingham. You can also pay through VENMO, and PayPal as a last resort, due to processing fees. If you choose PayPal, please add $2.00 to cover processing fees. You can also go to  home page and pay through the Major Project Donation and indicate "Cruise" or use the link sent each Monday.  
For any questions, please contact Marty Haines, Chairman, at: or cell phone: 360-739-0204. Here is a link to view some photos of previous cruises:

4. Peter Theison announced that the  Service Fund Committee is still taking applications for the grants of up to $1,000 to be awarded.

5. Shauna Naf reported that she has been doing PR for the new Max Higbee Center, the beneficiary of our 2020 Major Project fund raiser. This included a story and photos with RCOB members on our Facebook page. Shauna encouraged members to share the story on
their social media.

6. John Dunne announced that Major Projects applications may continue to be submitted
through the end of June.
2021-2022 Rotary Year Planning
Peter Theisen is working on planning his 2021-2022 Rotary Year as President.  Regarding committee planning, he has announced that he will keep all chairpersons and committee members in place for next year, unless a member requests a change.  Contact Peter or Sandee if you would like to be added to additional committees or want to make a change.  
Ongoing Announcements:
Blood Drive:
Steve Ban reminds us that when we donate blood, they are still testing for and informing the donor whether or not he/she has Covid antibodies. He also 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. The minimum age for donating blood is 16 and those 16 and 17 would need parent’s permission to participate. Rumor has it that you can score a Bloodworks pair of socks for donating!  You may schedule your donation appointment on the flyer in the above link or you can make an appointment by phone. In either case, when you are donating, please tell them that you are donating on behalf of RCOB.


Meeting Virtually
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 12:00 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.
Shauna Naf introduced Christina Murray, Banner Bank branch manager at Barkley, and Jodi Borrelli.
Chuck Snyder & Dale Rings joined us from Arizona. Great to see Chuck and Johanna getting settled, although sad for Bellingham!!
Mark Knittel introduced Brian Griffin and former member Rick Wright. Great to see both of them.
Paul Grey introduced our Program Speaker, Sister Pat Siemen, President of Adrian Dominican Sisters. 
Mark Knittel honored Brian Griffin:
Whatcom Talk published a story about Brian (military spy, author, historian, sailor, maker of ukuleles), naming him "The Most Interesting Man in Whatcom County"! RCOB received special mention. Brian reported that the article is mostly true. His job in the military as a counterintelligence officer was to keep track of the president of South Korea, who was a bit
Brian co-founded the Children’s Company in Sehome Village, and also started one in Marysville. They sold toys and clothes for kids. They had a good run until the national chain, Toys R Us, came to Bellingham and offered prices to costumers that were less than what Children's Company could buy wholesale! 
Brian has built 168 ukuleles over the years; he currently has 28 ukuleles on order, which will take about a year to complete. Stewart Fuchs is a famous ukulele player who uses Brian’s ukuleles, which is increasing orders. Brian is beginning to feel that this hobby is becoming too successful!
Here is the story about Brian in WhatcomTalk   (Click Here)
Program Committee Chair Paul Grey introduced our Program Speaker, Sister Pat Siemen.
Sister Siemen is President and CEO of Adrian Dominican Sisters, located in Adrian, Michigan. She is also an attorney who has worked to support justice and equality for minorities and to preserve the environment. Oh, and she also happens to be Paul Grey's step sister, which might help explain why she came all the way from Michigan to Bellingham! Her talk was entitled Promoting Peace and Ecological Resiliency.
In 1884, the Dominican Sisters came from New York to Adrian, Michigan to work with German immigrants. They started with one tiny wood house, which was home to 4 sisters. They eventually built a hospital, and then established Adrian College. They’re now located in 4 countries: USA, Dominican Republic, Philippines, and Norway.
Sr. Pat talked about the different ways that the Dominican Sisters pursue peace making
and ecological sustainability: Their primary way of supporting peace is through prayer and presence. They see themselves as a powerhouse of prayer. They 
aim to honor all forms of diversity, and build relationships based on justice, equity, and care for one another. They are now looking at ways in which they have unintentionally supported racist structures in the past through built in privileges, with the goal of eliminating those supports. 
70% of their revenues for operating expenses go towards caring for 230 aging Sisters. They have an investment advisory board that directs their portfolio toward assets which have positive environmental, social, and governance influence, so that they don’t support weapons making, pollution, racism and inequity in society. They use their funds for community impact investments. They’ve made 556 low interest loans over 40 years totaling $37.4 million, with an extraordinary repayment rate of 98.7%.
Typically, with their peace making, they like to work locally and with marginalized people.  The Sisters are also helping to create resilient communities, which will enhance the quality of life (education/housing/food) for future generations. They are helping Mercy Housing NW here by providing food, valued at $1.5 million to date. In 2018, they worked with consultants to develop criteria for their Climate Solutions Fund. They invested $46 million, which were mostly nuns' pensions, to leverage $136 million.
Their sustainability categories are energy, food, purchasing, transportation, waste, and land/earth care. They support biodiversity: bees, natural plants, vermiculture (eliminating food waste). They support land health. They’re committed to education and life-long learning. They believe that, for peace to last, there has to be a transformed consciousness of the interrelatedness of all aspects of life on earth. The future for the Dominican Sisters holds a recognition of the multicultural nature of religious life, the ongoing work against racism, living lives with integrity, and being welcoming of all.
Covid Report: 
President Gary reported that the Covid numbers are starting to improve: There are 16 Covid patients in St. Joseph Hospital (down from the mid to high 20's), 4 leaving soon, but two in the ICU in serious condition. There was one death of a person with serious underlying
health problems.  The hospital was busy lately because of the birth of all the babies
conceived during the pandemic quarantine!
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:
May Rotary Anniversaries - Thank you! 
Sandee Lindhout is celebrating 50 years of service as our Executive Secretary and 55 years affiliation with the Rotary Club of Bellingham. Wow! 
Sandee, thank you so much for all you do and happy anniversary! 
Dewey Desler
Member Since 1987
Chuck Snyder
Member Since 1994
Del VandeKerk
Member Since 1998
Phil Gubbins
Member Since 2004
John Macpherson
Member Since 2003
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
May Birthdays
  • Colleen Baldwin
  • Monty McAllister
  • Ruairi Ward
  • Dennis Williams
  • Scott Wilson
  • Kathy Hiyane-Brown
Jun 14, 2021
Peacekeepers, Police Reform & Pandemics: Contemporary issues and challenges in law enforcement
Jun 21, 2021
Whale Watching Cruise
Jun 28, 2021
Changing of the Guard & Awards
Jul 12, 2021
Asian giant hornet Update and WSDA's response plans for 2021
View entire list
Upcoming Events
RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards)
Jun 19, 2021 – Jun 20, 2021
Rotary Whale Watch Luncheon Cruise
Jun 21, 2021
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards)
Jun 26, 2021 – Jun 27, 2021
View entire list
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Editor:  Steve Ban
Reporter:  Hans Erchinger-Davis
Invocation:  Doug Cole
Greeter:  President Gary and Sandee
AV:  Rick Kaiser
Music:  Rotary Brass's God Bless America
Book Review:  Catherine Riordan "Universe of Two" by Stephen P. Kiernan