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August 12, 2019  

Opening :

President Cathy opened the meeting and got everyone standing without ringing the bell, a feat doable only by a determined woman and a vocal burst at the microphone.  Once on our feet we were treated to a fun, happy and creative meeting filled with hugs and smiles. 

It is possible that all that love and joy was begun by Gary Goldfogel who was slated to give the invocation.  He began it by hugging the President, and then offered three life lessons, and an awful joke about parrots and hookers.

The true highlight of the opening ceremonies was Rick Kaisers presentation of George M. “Cohen”s  immortal tune “It’s a Grand Old Rag”.  Rick impressed us all with the fascinating history of the song, and then astonished us by his singing a very tuneful rendition with its difficult syncopation leaving the rest of us to sing the much easier chorus. 

Along the way we learned that political sensitivities of the day caused the name of the tune to be changed to “Grand Old Flag” and thanks to Chuck Snyder, Rick learned that George M. was not Jewish but an Irishman named Cohan.


All in all it was a great start to a fun meeting.


Dale Long, a visiting Rotarian from California was sent home without a club banner as our supply was exhausted. The lack of a banner may have added to  his impression of Bellingham as he commented to your reporter after the meeting that our city streets seemed to make no sense, that he would have never found our meeting had he not had GPS.  He was told that it also rains almost every day here.

Bob Diehl announced the shocking news that after 110 years a Diehl no longer owned the Ford dealership.  Mike will stay on as an employee, Bob has retired.

Truly the end of an era.

Our new exchange students are headed this way.  Emma Starke will arrive from Germany at the end of the week.  We will all receive an email and will be asked to join in welcoming her.  In the following week we will also be welcoming Aramis Melgarejo from Peru.  I wonder if he would have enjoyed the Mexican meal we were served today.

The District Governor, Brad Whittaker, will be attending our meeting on Sept. 9th.  Plan on attending.

At the next meeting look out the window and admire the new water feature in the courtyard.  It seems that large decorative balls are all the rage this year in Bellingham.  We have the Acid Ball in Waypoint Park on the waterfront, and now Northwood Hall has a large round ball spewing water from its top.  It appears to be a metal ball coated with a surface that gives it the appearance of stone.


Board of Directors Briefs: August 8, 2019
Susie Thomson, Treasurer of the RCOB Foundation, presented the 2018-2019 RCOBF Financial Report.  She reports that the Foundation ended with a balance of $1,502,674.00.  Our Designated Dues account balance ended with $40,751.  She also reported that she has completed the RCOB taxes dues 11/15/2019 and they will be submitted.  It was noted that Susie does our 990 free of charge.
The RCOB Foundation held a recent meeting and acknowledged that Kathy Hughes has been on the Board for 9 years including President for the last 3 years. 
The RI Constitution has been revised causing us to update ours, which Sandee has done.  Now we must review our current Club By-Laws to make sure they are in compliant with the Constitution and recommended club by-laws.  If there are any major changes the club membership must approve them. 
The Anacortes Rotary Club is planning their 100th Anniversary in 3 years and the RCOB was their sponsor.  Sandee and Teri Treat are in communication with them.
Sandee also pointed out that we have not met our required minimum of 50 lunches served at Northwood Hall at each meeting to cover room charges for the last couple weeks.  We are charged for any shortage. 
Paul Grey and the International Service Committee are requesting that we join the IPA (International Project Alliance) which costs $2,000 per year and recommend a 3-year commitment.  IPA is a large collaborative group of 10 local Rotary Clubs in Northwest Washington State who made a long-term commitment to helping the people of the Capan Ruinas region of western Honduras.  Approved by Gary Goldfogel and seconded by Peter Theisen, the board approved, and a grant will be requested from the RCOB Foundation.
In a separate item the International Service Committee is asking us to request a grant for $2,500 to the El Zapote Water Project which will be matched by the Fidalgo Rotary Club. The project has been fully vetted by IPA and ready for funding. It consists of replacing worn out water distribution lines which serves 950 villagers.  The District grant cycle is too short to consider matching funding.  The Board approved this request and  a request for a  grant from the RCOB Foundation will also be submitted.
The September 12th Board meeting has been changed to Monday, September 9th after the noon meeting with the District Governor.  
Other Items:

The annual District Rotary golf outing will be on August 23 at Homestead Golf Club in Lynden.  Cost is $125 per person for golf and dinner with proceeds going to Rotary International.  Contact Nathan Twining if you are interested in participating.

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.
Guests of Rotarians:  
John Macpherson brought John Mahoney with Anvil
John Harris introduced his wife Patricia.
Mike Diehl introduced Jackie van der Velde our "Take a Vet to Lunch" of the month
Lisa Saar presented a charming veteran Jackie van der Velde, who spoke of her desire to find employment in the Health and Wellness field.  She spoke of her desire to help people feel better.  An excellent resume of her considerable qualifications was found on each of the tables.  (Click Here for resume)

The Happy Bucks were so plentiful today that the program was delayed five minutes.  There were bucks for a new Tesla, the Plenkovich’s 57th anniversary and Paul Gray’s high achieving grandson. The happiness continued until finally the coffers were full and at 1:05 Pete Theisen was able to introduce Laura Clark, Head of the local Humane Society.

Ms Clark made an excellent presentation explaining the role of the Humane society in our community.  With humor and passion she told us of its 1902 founding, of blankets for Carriage horses in old Fairhaven, of alligators in bathtubs that liked to be read to, of the Wildlife Rehab Center near Deming and much more.  She left us with a strong belief in the caring mission of her Society.


Unfortunately, she offered no solution to Bellingham’s deer problem other than her mention that there are indeed cougars in our city limits.  Your reporter is hoping one will visit the South Hill area.
Sep 23, 2019
Neil Stege - Washington Roundtable
Sep 30, 2019
Sonya Wingard - Animals As Natural Therapy
Oct 07, 2019
Sandy Ward - Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Oct 14, 2019
Carol Hendricks - Days for Girls International
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Editor:  Tom Grinstad
Reporter:  Brian Griffin
Invocation:  Gary Goldfogel
Greeter:  Rich Bowers
Greeter & Announcer: Sara Maloney
Raffle:  Jan Marchbanks
AV:  Mark Knittel
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Minister of Fun:  Paula McCandlis
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