Rotary Club of Maple Valley

August 2017


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Welcome to our Club!

Welcome to our Club!

Maple Valley

Service Above Self

We meet Fridays at 7:15 AM
Greater Maple Valley Community Center
22010 SE 248th Street
Maple Valley, WA  98038
United States
District Site
Venue Map



This is a union that was meant to be!! The Rotary Club of Maple Valley is the newest member of the Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce!


Pictured here is Sue VanRuff, the Executive Director at Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce, with our Maple Valley Rotary President, Bill VanRuff




pictured: Ralph Horn, Cheri MacKinnon, Erin Sipila, Matt Copple, Sean Stewart, Leslie Fuller, Jim Flynn, Ehrin Stumpges, & Donna Hayes

If third grade students at Shadow Lake, Lake Wilderness, Rock Creek and Glacier Park Elementary schools don't know the meaning of philanthropy, they can now look it up! Each student received their very own dictionary thanks to the Rotary Club of Maple Valley! This is the fifth year that our Rotary Club has participated in the dictionary program and handed out approximately 600 dictionaries to students in the Tahoma School District. Many thanks to our group of dedicated Rotarians in getting these books handed out to our children! 





Aloha 30! According to Wikipedia Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion and mercy.

With support from our community the Rotary Club of Maple Valley has been sharing it’s aloha spirit locally and globally since 1985. The funds we raised at this year’s Auction will directly benefit Maple Valley and Black Diamond children, families, seniors, visitors and those in need, through our donations of scholarships, food bank supplies, senior meals and much,  much more!


Our first meeting of the 2014/15 Rotary year began with an announcement that a long time and much loved member of our extended family, Mindy Habenicht had passed away this morning.  I have written many times in the last few years about Rotary being more than a club, more than a service organization, more than a charitable foundation.  Rotary is truly a family and nowhere in the world of Rotary is it exemplified more than in our club.  Rotarians come to be in many ways and from all vocations and stations in life, but once members, we all become part of something much bigger than we knew it was when we were introduced.  Rotarians meet weekly as a club but that is not the extent of our involvement.  We work on projects that take participation.  We form committees that formulate programs and procedures.  We attend board meetings to ensure the smooth running of the organization and to oversee the handling of funds entrusted to our stewardship.  We do work parties and service events.  But most important to us is the camaraderie between members and their families for, you see, Rotary is a group of hard working dedicated individuals AND their families, many of whom work right alongside us.   We volunteer together, we hang out together, we form lifelong bonds, and we become one big, extended family.  Long time Rotarian, Gary and his wife Mindy Habenicht are the quintessential Mom and Dad to so many from our Rotary family, to their church family, and to the community at large.  High school sweethearts who stayed in their hometown and enriched it by raising four amazing children and passing their strong values of commitment to family and community, hard work, being there for anyone who needs them, and leaving a place better than they found it, they are looked up to by so many.  Their son, Brett followed Gary’s footsteps as a Rotary President and his daughter, Lindsay is a member of Rotaract at Seattle University.  Their daughter,  Kristin has spearheaded several fundraising events in the community and all of the members of four generations of the Habenicht family can be found rolling up their sleeves and working for the betterment of their hometown and beyond. 

Mindy Habenicht, from sweet little girl who came to live on the river, to the town sweetheart, to matriarch of a family with Service Above Self as an identity and friend to hundreds, to Mom of Maple Valley, Ravensdale, and Hobart, thank you for your love, your caring, and your example of a life well lived.  You will be forever loved and missed.

by Sandra Hixson-MatthewsImage



Incoming President Bill VanRuff welcomes the new Maple Valley Rotary Board for 2014/15.  From Left to Right are Cheri Mackinnon, Patty Pouliot, Kirk Lantier, Chris Phillips, Cindy Holm, Bob Smith, Bill VanRuff, Rock Jenkins, Shelley Emmons, John Sheller, Clark Davis, Sean Henderson (President 2013/14), Fritz Gottfried, and Storm McNeil.  It's going to be a great year!Image



Storm McNeil was named Rotarian of the Year.  A much deserved honor for an amazingly dedicated Rotarian.  Congratulations Storm!Image



By Sandra Hixson-Matthews

      It’s been a great year for the Rotary Club of Maple Valley.  Sean Henderson finished his year with a donation to the Burundi BioSand Water Filter training program.  He presented the check to Seconde Nimenya after her presentation to the club at Friday’s meeting.  Seconde was born and raised in Burundi, Africa where education is only available for those who can afford to pay for it, including elementary education.  She was fortunate to have extended family members who could sponsor her and she did not take this for granted.  She went on to college and holds an MBA.  Committed to giving back and helping  in their home country, Seconde and her husband Chalver are now working with a non-profit that trains people on how to make and install BioSand water filter systems.  Once educated, those who need clean water can build the filters, sell them, and train the purchasers in their use.  The Nimenyas will be going to Burmundi next month with Friendly Water for the World to conduct a training program.  Seconde is an author and a Rotarian with the Mukeltio club.  Her book, Evolving Through Adversity, can be ordered through her website of the same name or through  If you are interested in the water project, go to   Recognizing the positive impact of early education in developing countries, for over 12 years Maple Valley Rotary has been giving scholarships to elementary age students in Cameroon, Africa.  Image



The 2014 Maple Valley Rotary Scholarship recipients joined us for breakfast on Friday.  Pictured from left to right are President Elect Bill VanRuff, Allegra Sundstrom, Interact President Jon Cantalini, Interact Treasurer Caleb Krafsky, Tavares DeLeon, MacKenzie Galloway, Madelyn Burt, Emily Lewis, Nicholas Pennington, Past President Kirk Lantier, and Sarah Lewis.  Other recipients who could not be present were Karly Gordon and Alyssa Schnell.  Photo by Sandra Hixson-Matthews

See a transcript of the presentation written by Kirk Lantier, below.Image


The Rotary Club of Maple Valley is pleased to present the Students of the Month for May.  Congratulations to Bryanna Marlotty and Michelle Perry.  Image


The Rotary Club of Maple Valley is pleased to announce the Students of the Month for April. Congratulations to Erin Horn and Ashlee Allison.Image

The President's Dinner will be held on June 8th at the Maplewood Golf Course from 4:00 - 8:00 pm. The price is $45.00 per person.

Rotarians and their spouse/significant other are invited to attend this annual event of fellowship and fun! This a great time for new members to socialize and familiarize themselves with Rotary. It is also the perfect opportunity to connect with fellow Rotarians and catch up. Our President, Sean Henderson, will be naming his "Rotarian of the Year" and recognizing his board. Our President-Elect, Bill VanRuff, will be introducing his board and discussing future plans.

For you golf enthusiasts, Bill will be setting up tee times from 11:00 to 11:30 am. so let him know if you would like to play!

Casual dress attire. You can pay at a regular club meeting with cash, check or credit card - or, just RSVP and we will bill you.

We hope to see you there!


Maple Valley Rotary is proud to present a number of scholarships to qualifying, local graduating seniors.  Applications are available to all and any graduating seniors in our service area including Home School and Private School students.  The service area includes all of Tahoma School District 409 and Black Diamond Elementary District 216.  To apply, please fill out the application at this link

If you have questions about the application process, please send an email to:



We are proud to announce our March Students of the month: Nick Mason and Nicolette Olson.



The Rotary Club of Maple Valley is pleased to honor two outstanding students, Morgan Engelhardt and Austin NiesnerImage


The Fund a Need Project from our 2012 auction is complete.  

Cutting the ribbon are Cpl Lang, wife Kiri and one of their two sons.  Shown here with, from L to R, Homes For Our Troops President Major General (USA Retired) Timothy McHale, North Peninsula Builders Association President Garret DelaBarre, Owner Hines Construction Jerry Hines (barely visible), and Past Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd.

We are pleased to honor two outstanding students; Alyssa Schnell and Anthony CruzImage

ImageThe Rotary Club of Maple Valley is pleased to announce the Students of the Month for December.
   Left to Right,  Kayla Harbold and Emily Lewis.

The oldest annual project of the Rotary Club of Maple Valley is serving a special holiday dinner to our honored senior citizens. 

Members and Guests of The Rotary Club of Maple Valley were hosted by the Food Bank for their Friday morning meeting and were able to present a check for $10,000 to Director Lila Henderson and Board Member, Lori Guilfoyle for a much needed forklift.  The new grocery store style set up the food bank is using required the forklift for safe movement of product to and from the high storage shelves.  From left to right are Kirk Lantier, Lori Guilfoyle , Lila Henderson, Sean Henderson (no relation), and Bill VanRuff.  Please see the article on page ___ for more information.  Photo and Caption by Sandra Hixson-Matthews

Maple Valley Rotary is pleasedImage to announce their October students of the Month, Susan (Susie) Neds and Alexandria (Alex) Coomes.



Caleb Krafsky and Carter Galgano

Brody Kunz named Maple Valley Rotary's Rotarian of the Year for 2012/13Image

By Sandra Hixson-Matthews

 2012/13 Outgoing Board and 2013/14 Incoming Board

Photos by Sam Matthews

By Sandra Hixson-MatthewsImage 

     Fourth Grader, Brennan Snodgrass is shown here helping his dad, Rotarian Kelly Snodgrass and fellow Rotarians to hand out dictionaries at Lake Wilderness Elementary last October.  Brennan received his dictionary the previous year and was eager to share the experience with this year’s third grade class.

     Once again the Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey Team is having their Rotary Dictionary Night.  The Thunderbirds are donating 1/2 of the ticket price for their game against the Kelowna Rockets on Friday, January 25th to promote literacy in Western Washington.  The game is at the ShoWare Center in Kent.  Anyone who attends and specifies they are there for the Rotary night will be helping their local Rotary club to provide dictionaries to third grade students.  Maple Valley Rotary has participated in the dictionary program for the past four years and gives approximately 600 dictionaries to students in the Tahoma School District each fall.  The $12 per ticket raised from the Thunderbirds event goes a long way toward helping to purchase those dictionaries.  If you order tickets to attend, please tell them you would like to name Maple Valley as your Rotary Club.  Thanks!