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April 27, 2020     3RD VIRTUAL MEETING

Opening :
President Cathy welcomed everyone to our third Zoom meeting.  She noted that another week of self-isolation had passed and people were getting tired of it, but we needed to stay the course.  The Department of Health website has a lot of information on how the COVID-19 pandemic is playing out across the state.  Cases and deaths are still mounting but at a lesser rate than in March, with most deaths of people over 80 years of age.

Important Announcements and immediate attention needed:  

  1. 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 or download the app. (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.  Payment will be sent directly to the RCOB checking account.  Give Sandee a call if you need help.
  2. Cathy said we are already looking into the 2020-2021 club ski trip.  We want to pick a spot early so we get the best deal.  Bob Diehl said some of the resorts under consideration are old favorites Sun Peaks and Sun Valley, as well as new sites Kicking Horse (BC), Mammoth Mountain (California) and Red Mountain (BC).  Bob said one concern with Mammoth Mountain is that it is so big.  One of the benefits of the ski trip is keeping the Rotary Club group together so we can enjoy each other.
  3. Lynda Hinton said the Social Committee had a successful Virtual Happy Hour on Thursday, the 23rd, with a total of 16 people attending at various times.  The next scheduled activity is Bingo on Thursday, May 7, hosted by Paul Grey.  People need to register by Monday, May 4.
  4. Mark Knittel gave an update on the Major Project Bellingham Recovery House grantee for 2019-2020.  Greg Winter from the Opportunity Council will give a status report on the residential facility in the coming weeks.  The project had been stalled, but now has all its permits and is back on track.  Greg looks forward to giving us and update and a tour.
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
Recovery House Major Project Pledges:
We still have a few pledges that don’t have money turned in yet. We are trying to finalize our accounting. Please turn in your funds ASAP. Sandee can help if you need to know your balance, payment options, or exactly where you stand on this.  Make checks to RCOB Foundation and mail to 2200 Vining St., Bellingham, 98229
RCOB Major Awards:
The Rotary year end is approaching and it is time to start promoting the nomination of members to receive one of the 4 Major Awards.  They are presented at our changing of the guard June 29th.  The awards consist of a $1,000 donation to the RCOB Foundation in their names.  RCOB Major Awards Criteria and Winners
Please send any nomination suggestion to Past President Sandy McIntire, President Cathy Buckley, Incoming President Gary Goldfogel or Sandee.  We will collect nominations for the month of April.
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.
The Program today is an update by the International Service Committee.
Mark Knittel gave a power point presentation updating the Club on the ARES (African Ruggedized Education System) Project.  This project, known as a “classroom in a box,” provides student resources and teacher aids in a compact format to recipients in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and the Philippines.  The materials include battery-based wireless server, textbooks, an administrative system, as well as Windows and Chrome notebooks.
In January of 2018, the Club donated $5,000 initiating a project with three Canadian Rotary clubs.  The Clubs’ donations were matched by the District and Rotary International, and further augmented by another group in Canada, making a total donation of $130,000.  These materials were distributed to 20 schools in Kenya, at a cost of $6,000 per school.  The deliverables included 20 notebooks, a projector, ARES server, intensive training and installation and support.  These were done in three stages, in the first quarters of 2018, 2019 and 2020.  We need to do an impact assessment now, but that is stalled due to the COVID-19 crisis.  There are two assessments and trials undergoing or planned.  One is at the Dadaab refugee camp on the Kenya/Somalia border.  This will expand to other sub-Saharan camps.  The Kenyan government, a new sympathetic player in the project, is negotiating trials in public schools in selected regions. 
In the future, Mark hopes our club and the Canadian clubs will fund new, similar projects in Africa.  He would like to see us donate $5,000 in 2021 as seed money to add other schools in the Laikipia region of Kenya, to continue in the years 2022-25.
Catherine Riordan gave a power point presentation on her recent trip in February to Copan, Honduras, as part of the International Partnership Alliance (IPA).  Fourteen different Rotary clubs in Washington sent representatives on the trip.  They reviewed the status of a water distribution system on the El Zapote River near Copan.  The locals do much of the work, representing a good example of leveraging donated Rotary funds.  She attended a Rotary meeting in Copan and exchanged banners.  The clubs also donated school supplies and uniforms for students.  Getting to some of the schools was difficult and adventurous due to the poor quality of the roads, which crossed rivers at grade in places, and the prevalence of cattle on the roads.  Most of the students in the schools are very young (kindergarten age and slightly older) as many of the older students work to help support their families.  Catherine said they are always looking for new IPA leaders.
The best place to learn more about the International Partnership Alliance is its foundation website which describes the various projects and offers a chance to give online.  
Also, if you're a Facebook user, IPA has a FB page with over 700 recipients in Hondurans and the US.  Posts are in English with Facebook translation available.
Gary Goldfogel gave an update on the COVID-19 situation in the county.  He said that not much had changed from last week.  He said that although testing for the virus was more available, testing for antibodies was not.  At St. Joseph’s Hospital, there have been no COVID-19 patients on ventilators or in the ICU for two weeks.  Although some patients have died in the hospital who were documented as COVID-19 patients, those people were terminally ill from other causes with little evidence of the virus and were moved there from nursing homes to die.  He said the hospital is nearly empty and will be opening up to elective surgeries, probably by mid-May.
Gary said that the number of COVID-19 cases is far less than has been estimated, perhaps ten- to a hundred-fold less than estimates.  He predicted that in this area the adverse consequences of social isolation and people losing their jobs due to the pandemic will be far greater problems than people being afflicted with the virus.  He emphasized that the biggest area of concern was with older and sicker people.
Final Announcements:
Cathy thanked all those involved in today’s meeting, and those who attended the Happy Hour last week.  DC Morse was miffed that no raffle winner was announced since he thought he had the winning ticket.
Happy April Rotary Anniversaries! 
Ken Jernberg
Member since 1969
Brad Burdick
Member since 1998
Mauri Ingram
Member since 1999
Bob Nicholl
Member since 2004
Rogan Jones
Member since 2004
Dominique Zervas
Member since 2008
Megan Stanfield
Member since 2009
Nancy Jordan
Member since 2009
Scott Hume
Member since 2013
Happy April Birthdays!
  • John Griggs
  • Rogan Jones
  • Jim Wakefield
  • Bob Morse
  • Steve Ban
  • Sandy McIntire
  • Nathan Twining
  • Gail Ridenour
  • Larry Halgren
  • Hand Erchinger-Davis
  • Garrett Jeffrey
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
View entire list
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
View entire list
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Editor:  Tom Grinstad
Reporter:  John Moffat
Invocation:  Doug Cole
Greeter:  Cathy Buckley and Sandee Lindhout
AV:  Shauna Naf 
Minister of Fun:  John Moffat
Music:  Gail Ridenour's husband Kevin Woods
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