Chris Offer


May 3, 2021     48th  VIRTUAL MEETING

Pre-Meeting Social Time: 
Teri Treat reviewed American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It is a thriller that tells a story about migration into the United States from Central America, which Teri describes as “heart wrenching”. In American Dirt, Lydia Quixano's husband, a journalist, runs afoul of a cartel boss. Lydia’s entire family is murdered, with the exception of herself and her young son,
Luca. Lydia and Luca must run for their lives to try to leave Mexico, despite the dangers lurking along the difficult journey and with the cartel in pursuit. Teri noted the “deep love for their children” that motivates migrants to come to America and called the book a “must read” of the “humanitarian crisis” at our border.
Opening Welcome:  
President Gary welcomed everyone to our 4,962th meeting and our “10,000th” virtual
meeting. Actually, it is only our 48 th . We had approximately 40 members in attendance.
Club and Committee Announcements
1. John Dunne – Major Project Recommendation applications are due 6/30/2021. The Major Projects Committee will review ideas in July and August and hope to make a recommendation to the Board in September.
2. Peter, Paul, Gary and Cathy will review recommendations for the Club’s major awards, with announcements coming in time for our end of the (Rotary) year recognitions.
Rotary International Foundation Gala Fund Raiser:
Sean Hogan, Rotarian and Past District Governor (2012-13) is asking you and your club members to join him and other Rotarians across Canada and the US for a special celebration Gala Event on Wednesday, May 12 at 5:00 pm.
Dean Rohrs has made a video ( explaining why The Rotary Foundation needs us now.  The demand for funds has doubled, showing Rotarians understand the need and the power of the Foundation, but donations have only increased by 6%.  Last year, the Foundation ran out of funds to support projects by November.  This year, we expect that to happen this month. 
The TRF Gala will celebrate what we have achieved and inspire Rotarians to do more.  The virtual gala starts with a Red Carpet event hosted by Jennifer Jones (RI President 2022-23), along with other senior Rotary leadership, and followed by some great entertainment: music, magic and bartending!
The need is greater than ever.  This is our call to action, as we both inspire and celebrate on May 12.
The cost to attend is $110 USD with only $10 going to the cost of the event.  Attendees will receive a charitable tax receipt for $100, which goes directly to The Rotary Foundation, with Paul Harris Recognition points going to the member and helping your club achieve its Foundation goals.
We have an opportunity to inspire our members; to share stories of how our Foundation has enabled us to change the lives of children, families and communities, both locally and around the world. 
The need is greater than ever, as we face the long term consequences of the pandemic, and as we move ever closer to the end of polio.
For registration or more details, visit the event website:
District 5050 has been a leader in our support of The Rotary Foundation.  The more our members give, the more funds we will have, so that we can continue to Do Good In The World.
Please share with your club members and encourage them to register.
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.  
Rotary Cruise
Marty Haines again reviewed the details of the planned Whale Watching Cruise, scheduled for June 21,  and urged all members to reply to the email invite. Family members and friends are encouraged to attend. Ahoy! Special price is $90 a person and the date is Monday, June 21st. You can sign-up by using the email that was sent out or go to the website under events and register. Marty guarantees great weather for the whale watching trip. :-)
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.
Dr, Michael Mallory and Jodi Borrelli joined us and introduced by Sandee Lindhout and President Gary.
Paul Grey introduced our speaker, Chris Offer, Vice-Chair 2021-22 Rotary Peace Center "Rotary's Peace Initiatives at a Tipping Point"
Paul Grey introduced Chris Offer, 2021-22 Vice-Chair of the Rotary Peace Center. He titled his presentation Rotary's Peace Initiatives at a Tipping Point.

Chris is a retired law enforcement officer and District Governor of District 5040 and has a long history of commitment to and involvement in Rotary’s peace initiatives. Among these efforts was a project to raise $50 million dollars for Rotary’s peace programs.

Chris reviewed the long history of Rotary in peace projects around the globe. It began in 1921 in Edenborough, Scotland, where Rotary International made its 4th area of emphasis 
Peace and World Understanding. In 1942, a UNESCO conference was organized by the Rotary Clubs of 21 nations. In 1945, 45 Rotarians participated in the framing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco. In 1999, Rotary Peace Centers were formed, graduating its first class in 2004. In 2017, RI partnered with the Institute for Economics and Peace, and this year opened its new Peace Center in Uganda.

Chris distinguished between “negative peace” (absence of direct violence and fear) and “positive peace” (creating attitudes, institutions and structures that sustain peace). The latter is the focus of RI. He listed the eight components necessary to achieve “positive peace”: a well-functioning government, equitable distribution of resources, free flow of information, good relations with neighbors, high levels of human capital, acceptance of the rights of others, low levels of corruption and a sound business environment.

He noted the distinction between equality and equity, giving the example that the same    traffic fine (i.e., equality) for people with disparate incomes punishes the poor more than the rich (i.e., inequity). Finland has set an example of having laws which provide equity rather than equality. He showed us a traffic ticket from Finland, where one apparently wealthy driver was fined 54,024 Euros for speeding. Wow!

He stated that positive peace is associated with higher per capita income, increased resilience, better environmental outcomes and higher GDP growth. Using a set of metrics, RI has found that 81 countries have become more peaceful while 80 nations have deteriorated. Canada is in the former group and, unfortunately, the US is in the latter group.

Chris said his main goal was to show how we can get involved. He pointed out the Rotary Peace Project Academy (, a free training course. We can participate in and support Rotary’s programs to reduce domestic violence, Rotary’s Peace Centers and other programs. He described the Rotary Peace Center programs, where one can obtain a Professional Certificate after a 1 year staggered course (has about 80 fellows per year) or obtain a Master’s Degree in Peace and Development (about 50 fellows per year). The Master’s degree is a 15-24 month course of study. The Rotary Peace Center's incoming class for 2021 consists of 117 finalists from 63 nations. Chris gave examples of Program graduates who have gone on to become leaders for peace in their countries. He encouraged our Club to continue to support the Rotary Peace Academy, nominate a candidate to be a Rotary Peace Fellow, participate in local or international peace projects and support
RI peace initiatives.
Covid Report: 
President Gary said the hospital currently has 27 patients with Covid, 10 of whom are in
the ICU, with one in critical condition. This is close to the most the hospital has had at one time since the beginning of the pandemic. Garrett Jeffrey added that there are currently 60 Covid related in-patients throughout the Peace Health hospital system and reported that some are thinking that this increase is related to the presence of Covid “variants” in our communities, and that this may well represent a “new wave” of infections.
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
Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Executive Secretary
Vice President/Program Chair
Past President
Director/Vocational Service & Membership
Director/Community Service
Director/International & Youth Service
Director/Club Service & Meetings
Website Administer
Editor:  Steve Ban
Reporter:  Tim Farris
Invocation:  Paula McCandlis
Greeter:  John Harris, Gary Goldfogel and Sandee
AV:  Mark Knittel
Music:  John Harris's National Anthem
Minister of Fun:  Kirstin Hunt
Book Review:  Teri Treat "American Dirt"  by Jeanine Cummins