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February 25, 2019   

President Sandy opened the meeting, but because he had a very full agenda, he did not do his regular “special hat” and travelogue introduction. There  were more than a few disappointed faces in the crowd.
After a rousing rendering by the Rotary Brass Plus 3 (the band had 3 guest musicians) of Stars and Strips Forever President Sandy introduced Brian Griffin, who presented a memorial tribute to long-time Club member Joe Coons who passed away suddenly last Thursday.  A summary of Brian’s remarks follows further down the page.
Today the Club celebrated a very special birthday.  Ralph Rinne is turning 95 years young.  Other club members with birthdays coming up are Shauna Naf, Eric Richey and Andy Day.  Members sang Happy Birthday to the group to the accompaniment of the Rotary Brass Plus 3.


Rotation Day details for March 11, 2019:

Please join us for our annual Rotation Day on March 11, 2019, for a fun and informative lunch presentation at one of our fellow Rotarian’s businesses! This is a day in lieu of our traditional Rotarian meeting at Northwood Hall, and an opportunity to join together in smaller groups for inspirational camaraderie and learning more about our individual Rotarian Host’s businesses and interests.
A very special thank you to our volunteer Hosts this year: Brian Griffin, of Griffin Ukuleles; Felicity Dye, of Interconnect Systems; Gary Goldfogel, County Medical Examiner’s office; John Dunne, PeaceHealth Pediatric Clinic, and Byron Manering, Brigid Collins Family Support Center.
To sign up to attend and to order your lunch, please either send an email to , or register on the sign-up sheets which will be provided at our Rotary Meeting on Monday, February 25th.  Please provide your first and second preferred Host sites, and your choice of sandwich options provided by the Sandwich Odyssey. Host lunches are provided by Rotary, so please send your choice of lunch or lunches for presenters to We will do our best to assign guest Rotarians to their preferred Hosts. Please sign up to attend Rotary Day no later than Monday, March 4, to enable our caterer to prepare for our event and to coordinate your Host/Guest site locations.
Your choice of sandwich options are: fresh roasted turkey, ham, roast beef, or vegetarian served on a large freshly baked hoagie roll with mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce and tomato, and the boxed lunches are $13.00 including tax and tip. The lunches are served together with homemade  potato salad and chocolate chip cookie. Bottled water will be provided. Lunches will be individually wrapped and labeled. Guests should provide a check payable to Rotary Club of Bellingham, or exact cash directly to their Host. The Hosts will pay the money directly to Sandee at the next Rotary meeting following Rotation Day.
Dominique and assistants will deliver the lunches to the Hosts between 11:30 and 12:00 on the day of the event in large baskets with all utensils and napkins.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Dominique Zervas by email at, or Colleen Baldwin at

Las Vegas Night scheduled for  February 9th was rescheduled for March 14th in lieu of the weather predictions.   Ticket sales have been reopened  The proceeds from this event support RCOB projects including Student Exchange.  This signature Rotary event always offers a great evening of entertainment and comradery and shouldn’t be missed. Along with the performances from UpFront, gambling and “Elvis”, there are a number of prizes to be given away as well as a silent auction.   To purchase tickets at: on line  or call the box office at 360-734-6080 for $100 each. The lineup includes the Up Front Players, lounge singers and more!  You can also fill out the attached Ticket Order Form and bring it to a Monday meeting and we will process it for you.  Contact Brad Burdick if you can help.

Major Project Update:

You can go to to make your payment or mail a check payable to The Rotary Club of Bellingham Foundation, 2200 Vining St., Bellingham, Wa.  98229 and/or email  your pledge amount to Scott at  Click here to watch a video of our project    

Paul Grey - Rise Against Hunger - April 27th
Paul Grey announced that the Club will participate again this year in the Rise Against Hunger (RISE) project to be held on April 27.  Members are asked to volunteer to help fill food packages on that day.  Those who have participated in the past report that it is a fun and very rewarding event.   To register or donate here is the link
Board of Directors Meeting Briefs February 25, 2019
District Governor Del VandeKerk visited the board to encourage members to attend the District Conference, April 12-14 inn Tulalip, Washington.  Early sign-up is prior to March 11thThey have now announced a 1-day registration for Saturday April 13th for $250.00.  They are going to have an excellent speaker on Membership.
Galbraith Mountain Major Project - President Sandy reported that it looks like it will be tricky to attain our goal of $100,000 but close to $83,000.00 has been pledged so far.
There will be District Training Assembly March 23rd – Surrey BC 8:00am-3:00pm – club is required to pay for 5 attendees $175.00.  Board members were encouraged to attend.
Las Vegas Night – Due to weather it was rescheduled to Thursday March 14th.  President Sandy reported that achieving the $7000 net profit looks challenging and we need everyone’s support to achieve it.   
Cathy Buckley attended the recent PETS (President-Elect Training Seminar) and reported that it was very good, informational and inspiring. 
She is working on Committee Selections for next year please contact her if you have a preference.
It is time to schedule for next year.  The Board agreed to continue Board Meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 4:30. Upon checking into the availability of the Dorothy Haggen location we have found that the space will no longer be available.  We are currently looking for a new location.
July 1st will be cancelled due to the July 4th Holiday and Northwood Hall is closed.
September 9th will be the District Governor Visit
Christmas we will meet December 23rd and cancel December 30th
Monty McAllister reported on the Exchange Student program that they have several students with interest in YAIL and RYLA and may request additional funds for next year to send more students.  There is also a short 1 month exchange available where one student comes to a home here and their child goes to the home out of country.  Minimal costs involved.
They will be sending one outgoing student next year and are looking for Host Families.
Next Board Meeting:  Due to the Vegas Night date change to Thursday March 14th we have rescheduled the March Board meeting to Monday March 18th at Northwood Hall.  We will invite the new 2019-2020 Board. 
We again discussed and agreed the importance of maintaining the non-political nature of our club in its activities and that use of club email lists and other club tools for personal, business and political uses is not authorized.
Guests of Rotarians:  
Students of the Month:  Music
Kathy Hiyane-Brown introduced Luke Springer from Bellingham High School and his grandparents Claydene & Bert Lederer
Katherine Deets introduced Aiana Raduege from Sehome High School and her Mother Amy Raduege
Garrett Jeffery introduced Sydney Glover from Squalicum High School and her parents Jason & Stacey Glover.  Along with music teacher/accompanist Mr. Parker
Felicity Dye introduced former Exchange Student from District 5011 in Oregon who is now attending WWU
John Dunne introduced Guest Musicians who joined our Rotary Brass Gena Mikkelson with Whatcom Symphony, Vonnie Jenkins and Paul Plesha with Bayshore Symphony
John Moffat brought his wife Karen Lerner
Scott Wallace introduced his wife Marge Laidlaw
Paula McCandlis brought newly appointed Whatcom Superior Court Judge Lee Grochmal who is replacing retiring Judge Chuck Snyder at the end of the month.
Jennifer Moehl introduced this months Vet - Jennifer Enriquez  Click Here for her resume  She will make her presentation next week March 4th.
John Harris brought Nancy Barnhart and wife Patricia.
Monty McAllister brought Jennifer and Martin Schultz who recently moved here from Anchorage.
Joe Coons, a Rotarian since 1962 and member of our Club since 1981, died suddenly on February 21st doing something he loved, working on a boat in Squalicum Harbor.  Joe had turned 84 in January.  Brian and Joe were friends both in and out of Rotary, and it was especially poignant that they and their wives Judy and Marya, had dined together the previous evening. The following afternoon Brian received a phone call that Joe had died.
Joe was born, raised and educated in New York City.  After graduating from high school in 1952 he studied economics at Union College in Schenectady where he became involved with radio broadcasting.  After graduation he and Judy married and moved to Hartford where Joe began his business career with Proctor and Gamble.  In 1961 he bought a radio station in Ohio and by 1965 also had developed a thriving business consulting with radio stations.  His connection to Bellingham began when he developed a relationship with International Good Music (IGM) a pioneer in radio station automation.  In 1973 he sold his radio station, moved his family to Bellingham, merged his consulting business with IGM and reestablished his business as Paperwork systems.  Joe sold the business in 1978 to Control Data, a new Control Data division was formed over which he presided, and Joe and family relocated to Connecticut for three years.
Joe retired in 1981.  He and Judy moved back to Bellingham where he became involved in office supply, software development and marine sales and charter businesses and numerous community activities.  Brian states “ Joe was highly intelligent.  His energy, creative and financial skills, innate good judgment and his caring for people and community led him into leadership roles in an amazing number of organizations, one of which was the Rotary Club of Bellingham”.  Joe served as our Club president in 2003-2004 and was one of our most dedicated members.  He was an eight-time Paul Harris recipient, edited and published our rosters, served diligently on committees and presented thoughtful and tasteful invocations.  Joe cared about his community and his nation.  He leaves behind a host of friends.
The family requests memorials be directed to the Whatcom Community Foundation, 1500 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, Wa. 98225 for equal distribution to the Bellingham Technical College and Whatcom Community College Scholarshi Funds.
A gathering of friends to celebrate Joe's life will be held Monday, March 4th from 4 to 6 in the Marina Room at the Bellingham Yacht Club.
Our two exchange students, Carla Serrat and Rumbi Machiridza, from Spain and Zimbabwe respectively, reported on their experiences at the recent Rotary YAIL conference.  Both had a great time, enjoyed the camaraderie of the conference participants and felt they had learned some valuable leadership skills.
Program:  Students of the Month in Music
Megan Stanfield introduced the three students of the month being recognized for excellence in music: Luke Springer from Bellingham High, Ariana Raduege from Sehome High and Sydney Glover from Squalicum High.
     Luke Springer -  hosted by Kathi Hiyane-Brown.  Luke plays the trumpet and hopes to continue his studies in music performance at St. Olaf College.  At Bellingham High he has distinguished himself as a student leader and by participating in the marching, pep and jazz bands.  Luke played a short number that showed clearly his trumpet mastery.
     Ariana Raduege- hosted by Kathleen Deets.  Ariana, a cellist plans next year to attend St. Olaf College where she will major in music performance.  She has participated in four years of concert orchestra and played competitively in State-level ensembles.  She is a leader among the music students, having been especially active in mentoring younger students.  Ariana demonstrated her musical talents by playing an excerpt from a Dvorak concerto.
     Sydney Glover – hosted by Garrett Jeffrey.  Sydney, a superb soprano vocalist, plans to continue her studies in vocal performance.  She has been singing since very young and has developed her talents to the point of being invited to sing with a high school group at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  She has performed locally at several venues including the Bellingham Music Club.  For us she performed a challenging piece from the opera Die Fledermaus.
Special Invitation to the Membership from last months Squalicum Student of the Month in Theatre,  Gillian Brown:
I just wanted to let you and your fellow rotarians know that we are putting on a show this week! Please consider this your official invitation! It’s our annual student directed one acts, they will be happening Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (28th-1st) at 7:00 pm. We would certainly love to have support from community members like you guys!
Mar 25, 2019
Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center
Apr 01, 2019
Immigration Lawyering
Apr 08, 2019
Membership Committee Update
Apr 15, 2019
Science & Most Inspirational/Community Service
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rise Against Hunger meal packing - Rotary Work Day
St. Lukes Health Education Center
Apr 27, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
2019 Sunnyland Memorial Park Clean-up
Sunnyland Memorial Park
May 18, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM


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