October 2018
Heather Handyside
Oct 17, 2018 6:00 PM
GCI - Infrastructure in Alaska
Tabitha Karpow
Oct 24, 2018
Young Professionals Group
Stuart Leidner
Nov 07, 2018
Mat Su Trails Foundation
Salli, our Youth Exchange Student
Nov 14, 2018
Living in South Korea and her experience as an Exchange Student
Robert Hall
Nov 21, 2018
Rotary Foundation Planned Giving
Matt Pogirski
Dec 05, 2018
Cyber Currency
Mayor Bert Cottle
Dec 12, 2018
What's happening in Wasilla
No Meeting
Dec 26, 2018
Happy New Year
Tom Wilder
Jan 09, 2019
Home Land Security...and a little about Active Shooter Training
Patrick Durand
Jan 16, 2019
Engine #557 Restoration
Upcoming Events
Meeting Responsibilities
Monthly Program Chair
Monthly Program Chair Coordinator
Membership and New Club Development Month - August
Basic Education and Literacy Month - September
Economic and Community Development Month - October
The Rotary Foundation - November
Disease Prevention and Treatment Month - December
Maternal and Child Health Month - April
Youth Service Month - May
Bulletin Editor
Bulletin Editor (mentor)
Erickson, Kim
Bulletin Editor
Kochendorfer, Cathy
Bulletin Editor
Standley, Liz
Home Page Stories

Heather Handyside

As the senior director of corporate communications and lead spokesperson at GCI, Heather Handyside is responsible for protecting and promoting the telecom company’s reputation in Alaska and in its growing nationwide markets. She is responsible for answering the tough questions as well as finding new and innovative ways to tell GCI’s Alaska-born-and-raised story. Before joining the GCI team, Heather served as press secretary for US Senator Mark Begich, deputy municipal manager for the Municipality of Anchorage, and as Anchorage’s director of homeland security and emergency management.  During the presentation, Heather will share the story of GCI—Alaska’s largest telecommunications and technology provider—and how the company grew from a 3-person start-up to a 2,200 employee company serving more than 240 communities statewide.


2018 Rotary Uncorked

Wow! What a night! For those who were there, it was a fun night full of great food and drinks and wonderful friends who were there to donate through silent/live auctions to Our House and Rotary.  More pictures to follow!
Please  "Save the Date" & RSVP for our second annual fundraiser for the Rotary E-Club & Susitna Rotary Club.  Last year you enjoyed "The French Connection"!  This year we carry the theme of "The Italian Job" with a Mediterranean flair!  Once again, each ticket qualifies for a raffle prize with the Grand Prize one week trip to the vineyards of Tuscany (air fare not included).  
We are providing all attendees from last year a two week opportunity for advance ticket purchase before we go public with sales!  Don't delay your reservation as we are strictly limited to 60 couples.
If you have any questions or wish to reserve, please contact Cheryl Metiva @ 907-315-9920 or clmetiva@gmail.com

Susitna Rotary Club's Member Education and Information Program

(“ME” Talks)
A fun and informative program to acquaint new members with Rotary and each other.  Rotarians from other local clubs are encouraged to join us!  Click to download flyer.
ME is a program to provide fellowship and Rotary information for new and experienced Rotary members.  Rotarians from all area clubs are invited to attend.
ME meetings are short, 30-minute informal gatherings held September through April on the first Thursday of the month.  Club firesides and other social events are also scheduled throughout the year to increase the fellowship among members while learning more about Rotary. 
ME Meetings:
Mat-Su Family Restaurant                                    For more information contact:
401 W Parks Highway                                             Kim Erickson cell 907-223-8385
Wasilla, AK 99654                                                    kim.erickson@greatlandlaser.com
1st Thursday of the month (Sep – Apr)                   Liz Standley cell 360-739-1124                          
7:00am – 7:30am                                                        liznrich@bellsouth.net
Complimentary coffee and juice                    
No host breakfast available off the menu       
Membership Education and Social Event Schedule:
Type of Meeting
Late Fall/Winter  2018 (Saturday)
New Member Orientation -  Red Ribbon tasks
     followed by club fireside
Fireside – location TBD
September 6, 2018
Rotary Basics
October 4, 2018
The Rotary Foundation:  Worldwide Projects
November 1, 2018
The Rotary Foundation:  Giving
December 6, 2018
Rotary Awareness and Public Relations
December TBD
Club Holiday Party
Fireside – location TBD
January 3, 2019
Community Service Projects
February 7, 2019
Water Safety Projects
March 7, 2019
Youth “Next Gen” Service Projects
April 4, 2019
Rotary Conferences
June TBD, 2019
Lil Su River Clean-up
     followed by a club BBQ
BBQ – Lil Su River
Please congratulate Rylee Rudd for her receiving the Paul Harris Fellow certificate and pin! 

The Paul Harris Fellow program recognizes individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

The honor was established in 1957 to show appreciation for contributions that support our Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or an approved Foundation grant.

Thank you Rylee for your dedication and support!

For the 10th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating — four stars — from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S.

In the most recent ratings, the Foundation earned the maximum of 100 points for demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.

In a letter to the Foundation, Charity Navigator notes that "only 1 percent of the charities we evaluate have received at least 10 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that The Rotary Foundation outperforms other charities in America. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets The Rotary Foundation apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness."

The rating reflects Charity Navigator's assessment of how the Foundation uses donations, sustains its programs and services, and practices good governance and openness.

Rotary make-ups are fun and a great way to meet other Rotarians from around the world.
Rotarians can attend meetings at any club.  If you would like to attend an online meeting, consider making up with the Rotary EClub of District 5010.  Click the following link to visit their website and do a make-up (under "meetings" tab): http://www.rotaryeclub5010.org/Stories/welcome-to-our-new-website. 
The Rotary eClub of District 5010, Alaska-Yukon, was co-sponsored by the Susitna Rotary Club and Anchorage International Rotary Club.

A bit of history about e-clubs... the first web based Rotary club was Rotary E-Club One, chartered January 4, 2002.

Wasilla Sunrise Club meets at 7:00am on Tuesdays in the Jack White/Meridian Points Bldg located at 865 N Seward Meridian Pkwy, Wasilla 99687
Wasilla Rotary Club meets at 12:00pm on Wednesdays at the The Grill in the Grand View Inn & Suites, 2900 Parks Hwy, Wasilla 99654
Palmer Rotary Club meets at 12:00pm on Thursdays at Turkey Red, 550 S. Alaska St., Suite 100, Palmer AK  99645
Eagle River Rotary Club has two meetings on Thursdays of each week: 
                                         Morning:  7:00am at Bear Mountain Grill, 12300 Old Glenn, Eagle River, AK  99577
                                         Noon:  12:00pm at Piccolino's, 12801 Old Glenn, Eagle River, AK  99577
Float 4 Life now being offered in the Mat-Su Valley at Palmer Pool, AK Club & Swim AK. Certified Instructors and Mama Otter (Claire Horton) will be teaching the infant swim recovery skill 6 mos-4 yrs. at the AK Club. Please be sure your child is trained in case they accidentally fall in the water. They will know to roll to their back & float like Josh the Baby Otter!
Thank you Mama Otter!
Sally seems to be fitting well here in Alaska! She will be staying with Lanissa and Rob Grogan, then Cheryl and Marty Metiva and last, but certainly not least, Dan and Lisa Phillips.  Thank you host families so much for your support and sponsorship for this wonderful cause!
Here are the results of our sign-up sheet for 2018-2019 Volunteers!  Great job everyone.
The Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Rotary Water Safety Advocacy Award Winners. Clubs were invited to submit nominations that included a description of their Josh the Otter Water Safety and Awareness program along with successes and outcomes. One Rotarian shared the following with her club’s nomination: “I’m happy to be part of a program that teaches kids about an important and life-saving topic in such an engaging and exciting way. This is one of the most rewarding things we get to do as Rotarians”.
The following eleven clubs were selected this year to receive the award:
  • Rotary Club of Emerald City in South Carolina
  • Rotary Club of Engelwood in Florida
  • Rotary Club of Kerrville in Texas
  • Rotary Club of Laurens in South Carolina
  • Rotary Club of Northwest Des Moines in Iowa
  • Rotary Club of Sarasota in Florida
  • Rotary Club of Susitna in Wasilla, Alaska
  • Rotary Club of Lake Wylie in South Carolina
  • Rotary Club of Longboat Key in Florida
  • Lincoln East Rotary Club in Nebraska
  • Vero Beach Oceanside Rotary Club in Florida
Paul Demello, who spoke at Rotary last week, decided to help our local community by donating a Life Jacket Loaner Board for Lake Prator.  Paul's foundation Just Against Children Drowning plays an important role for us as well as other families with pools in Florida by donating and building fences around them to prevent drownings. Thank you Paul!
A BIG THANKS GOES OUT to everyone who took part in the Float 4 Life! 
Instructor training with Jodi Sheets, ISA instructor. Jodi very graciously offered her training for free in exchange for a trip to Alaska for she & her husband, Paul.  
We were able to work with three pools in the Valley to provide over 15 hours of pool training and four full days of Jodi's time. Facility certifications will be issued to:
  1. Alaska Club-  Thanks to Jessica Hamilton,club manager & Jared Schmidt, pool director  
  2. Palmer Pool-  Thanks to Tim Pickard, Director
  3. Swim Alaska-  Thanks to Tinamarie, Owner
THANKS to the following 14 volunteers who worked with Jodi in the pool to learn the lifesaving swim recovery skill for infants:
  1. Alaska Club-  Danielle*, Brett*, Denisha*, Sam, Jared, Kim Erickson (Susitna Rotary), Jessica/observed
  2. Palmer Pool-  Aurora*, Ruthie*, Sandy*, Felicity* (daughter of Susitna Rotary member Jack Timm), Tim/observed
  3. Swim Alaska-  Tinamarie, Emmy
 *Instructors who received individual certifications as an Infant Swim of America (ISA) Instructor
THANKS also to our pool side support that gave direction and moral support to parent volunteers as we worked with 4 to 5 different children every 15mins:
  • Linda Conover/Susitna Rotary-lead volunteer on deck + created & sent out the signupgenius for participants 
  • Linda Brewer/Denali Refuse Staff performing "other duties as assigned" by Mama Otter
  • Catherine Inman/Susitna Rotary
  • Liz & Rich Stanley/Susitna Rotary
  • Eddie Ezelle/Susitna Rotary
  • Katie Philips/daughter of Rotary members, Dan & Lisa Philips
THANKS  to Rylee Rudd for taking care of our Alaskan gift for Jodi to take back to Lincoln, NE. 
THANKS to our parents who graciously volunteered their precious 1 to 3yr old children for instructors to be trained.  We had 140 slots (15 minutes each) filled up with 1 to 3 year old's. 
THANKS to the entire community for making this event possible & coming together in a joint effort to teach Water Safety to our kids.  
We hope to continue this joint effort to save lives...one child at a time!
MY BIGGEST THANKS goes out to Jodi Sheets,  my mentor.  "You Rock!!"  None of this would have been possible without you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the difference you will make in our community.
I think it was a huge success and we are looking forward to being able to offer Float 4 Life! classes here in the Valley.  Our Susitna Rotary Club is anxious to help in any way we can to prevent drownings in our community.  Please let us know as soon as you have a plan for classes so we can keep the momentum going. Josh the Otter can help to market the classes for you.
We still have over 30 parents with 1-3yr olds on a waiting list.  This would be a great opportunity to offer a couple more sessions so new instructor can practice this lifesaving skill while it is still fresh.  I will be contacting each pool to see if we can work out a time for these parents.  
With heartfelt thanks to all,
Claire Horton, Mama Otter
Susitna Rotary
NOTE: Check out this web site  justagainstchildrendrowning.org Paul Demello, the founder will be the speaker for our Susitna Rotary meeting!  Please join us 6-7pm, Wed  July 11th at Extreme Fun Center Sky Lounge for his inspirational talk!

Membership (34 total)

New Members:

Bill Borden (transfer)

Linda Conover        Dan Phillips  

Paul Newman         Liz Standley

Charlie Nicolos      Rich Standley


 Red Ribbon Program: Kathy Timm

 Member Education Program: Kim Erickson & Liz Standley


Fellowship & Fundraising

The French Connection $3,960

With Rotary eClub of District 5010

Supporting service projects

Co-chairs:  Cheryl and Marty Metiva


“Time, Talent & Treasure” Auction & Movie

 Valley Rotary Clubs supporting The Rotary Foundation

Club’s portion $1,090

Committee:  Cheryl and Marty Metiva, Kathy & Jack Timm, John Schweiger, Cathy and Kelly Kochendorfer, Dan Phillips


Ice Breaker $4,308

With Big Lake Lions Club supporting local service projects

 Co-chairs:  Lanissa Grogan and Rylee Rudd


Iditarod Restart Party

Supporting End Polio Now - $6,869 total (Susitna Rotary $360)

Hosts:  Kim and Tryg Erickson


Josh Collingsworth Memorial Foundation

 Club’s portion $2,550

Auction supporting Josh the Otter service projects

 Co-chairs:  Kathy and Jack Timm


New Member Fall Orientation & Fireside

 Chair:  Kathy Timm    Facilitator:  Kim Erickson     Fireside Hosts:  Kathy and Jack Timm


Little Su River BBQ

 Chair:  Kathy Kochendorfer


Summer BBQ & Fireside

Hosts:  Lynn and John Mitchell


Water Safety Programs: $5,925
Josh the Baby Otter - Claire Horton
Kids Don’t Float Loaner Boards -Jack Timm, Marty Metiva, Kelly Kochendorfer
Float 4 Life Classes - Claire Horton, Linda Conover, Lanissa Grogan
Youth Scholarships  $1,000
Rotary District 5010 Kids Care  $500
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) $325
Rotary District 5010 Conference-Seward  $650
Co-chairs:  Cheryl Metiva               MC:  Marty Metiva
Community/Individual Support
Conway Seavey $252
McKinley Wooten    $122
Wasilla High Swim Team $100
Willow Resident Handicap Ramp $697
Other Hands-On Service Projects
Big Lake Library Clean Up
Kiva - Lanissa and Rob Grogan, Kathy and Jack Timm
Reading in the Classroom - Kathy Timm
Upper Little Su River Clean-up - Jack Timm
Susitna Rotary Club made a big impact on our community during the past Rotary year with a particular emphasis on water safety.  Here's peek at the statistics for the Josh the Otter school programs.  Another 44 hours were spent maintaining the Kids Don't Float kiosks.  Pool sessions were also held teaching young children basic water safety.  Finally, countless hours were spent planning, organizing, and tracking all these activities. For instance, Cathy Kochendorfer alone spent 40 hours over six weeks on the scheduling.
A $6,500 district grant was received from Rotary District 5010 to help pay for these programs.  Past President Chuck Foster is compiling information for the final grant report due June 30th.  Please email Chuck at cfoster176@gmail.com with any information you have documenting expenses, volunteer hours, and kids served.
Thank you to the many volunteers that helped make children in our community safer around the water.
Josh the Otter- Water Safety Presentations to all Kindergarten classes in the Mat-Su Borough
Trapper creek
Big Lake
Swanson #1
Swanson #2
Midnight Sun
Wasilla Lake
American Charter
Lady of Valley
Alaska Club 1
Alaska Club 2
Alaska Club 3
What does it take to have a perfect Little Su Classic?  Sunshine, canoes, kayaks, life jackets, sun screen, BBQ and lots of smiles!
Everything came together last Saturday for a fun day picking up trash and enjoying the beauty of the Little Su River.  Jack Timm, with help from Kathy Kochendorfer, coordinated the outing.  Jack made the swift-flowing river safer by taking out "sweeper logs" the week before and giving direction the day of the event.  Kathy Kochendorfer arranged transportation for floaters PLUS donated and prepared 80 lbs of chick for the BBQ. 
Kelly Tothe from the Alaska Office of Boating and Safety came out to see us off and provide any needed life jackets.  The Swift Water Safety Rescue Team accompanied us again and was immediately put to work when one of the vessels swamped early in the float.  Fortunately, no one was injured and all gear was eventually recovered.
Phil Horton/Denali Refuse provided a flatbed truck to transport all the kayaks and canoes to the starting point then later hauled away the trash that was collected. 
Eddie Ezelle/Mat-Su Food Bank donated all the paper products and, with the help from the fine BBQ skills of John Mitchell, cooked all the food.
Cathy K., Claudia Buzard, and Dan Phillips provided transportation from the Houston bridge park to the starting point at 3 Bees Gravel Pit.
Cheryl and Marty Metiva made the sweep through the 3 Bees Gravel Pit to pick up the extra vehicles and signs.
Liz Standley, Lanissa Grogan, Lynn Mitchell, Trudi Mitchell, and Dan Phillips made up the rest of the shore crew.  Dan recorded the event on video.  Watch out for that drone, Lanissa!
Lisa Phillips, once again, captured the essence of the day in photos.  Click to see the full photo album.
Everyone brought a side dish to accompany the delicious BBQ chicken and, thanks to Kim Erickson (at the bequest of Evelyna), there was peach cobbler and homemade ice cream for dessert.
Jack and Kathy Timm, Phil and Claire Horton, Rob Grogan and Rich Standley, Lisa Phillips and Kim Erickson, Kelly Kochendorfer, Evelyna Kuhr, Daun Weis (Wasilla Rotary Club President-elect) and Mark, Clyde Boyer and Clyde Boyer, Jr., and several new friends that learned about the event via Facebook: Victoria and Jessica; Derek, Amanda, Theresa, and Ricky; Mark and Michelle (hope I got those all names correct).
Thanks to the generosity of Robert Hall, the two youngest (but clearly experienced) paddlers won a $250 gift certificate to Gorilla Fireworks for picking up the most trash.  Congratulations to Victoria and Jessica!
Thanks to Kathy Timm, Susitna Rotary made a loan to Suwariyah in Tangerang, Indonesia last week to build a clean water sources facility at her home to improve access to water sources for the family.
Suwariyah's story
Good day lenders! Meet one of KBMI’s clients, Suwariyah. She is 50 years old and married with four sons. Suwariyah is a housewife and she looks after her four children. Her husband has had a grocery shop in the Tangerang District for seven years. Her husband is the only breadwinner in the family. Still, their income is barely enough to provide for their basic needs. They would like to improve their living conditions and create a happy and healthy life for their children.

Suwariyah has asked for a loan of 600,000 Indonesian rupiahs (IDR) from KBMI. This loan will be used to build a clean water sources facility at her home to improve access to water sources for the family. Today her family has no access to a water source in their home and must rely on the river for bathing. Her family income is insufficient to build water sources but Suwariyah will be able to repay the loan received.

She and her family want to live a healthy life with clean water. Suwariyah is very grateful for the opportunity and wants to thank all lenders.

This loan is special because:
It helps prevent the spread of disease by providing access to clean drinking water and sanitation.

Thank you to Jack and Cathy Timm, Marty and Cheryl Metiva, Kelly and Cathy Kochendorfer, Dan and Lisa Phillips, Stan Mitchell, and Claudia Buzard for spending Memorial Day completing the work below on the Kids Don't Float project:
#1 at Little Su, behind Miller's Market mile 57.5 Parks Highway 
 Install the new branding Josh sign and stock life jackets
#2 at North Prator Lake near the corner of Ballyshannon Dr and Morris Rd
 Install life jacket rack and new signage and stock life jackets
#3 at Bearpaw Lake near the corner of W King Arthur Dr and White Rabbit in Houston
Install new signage and stock life jackets
#4 at South Prator lake near Castle Dr and Duke Dr in Houston
Install new signage and stock life jackets
#5 at south Lalen Lake near W Skyview Dr and Carousel Way
Install signage and life jacket rack and stock life jackets
#6 at East Lalen Lake near Alice Ann Ln and N Larry Trail
Assess the area for new life jacket kiosk
#7 at Seymour Lake near Sylvia-Denise Ave and Meadow Lakes Dr
Install new signage and stock life jackets
Susitna Rotary Club awarded Eva Venama, a former RYLA attendee and frequent volunteer for Rotary activities, a $1,000 college scholarship at last week's meeting. Congratulations, Eva!
Susitna Rotary Club was awarded the 2018 Rotary Citation for achieving goals that strengthen Rotary and the club. Goals included increasing club membership, developing sustainable service projects, giving to The Rotary Foundation (TRF), and building awareness of Rotary in our community.
Congratulations to 2017-2018 club president, Cheryl Metiva, and all club members for "Making a Difference"!
22 pots of chili, tons of cornbread, yummy cake, plenty of laughter, and music by Conway Seavey.  What more could you ask for at the first Mat-Su Valley Rotary Chili Cook-off?
Check out the photos Lisa Phillips (Wasilla Noon Rotary Club) took at the event.  Chili Cook-off Photo Album
Club Information

Welcome to Susitna Rotary! October is Economic and Community Development Month. 


Service above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 6:00 PM
Sky Lounge
Extreme Fun Center
3501 Old Matanuska Rd
Wasilla, AK  99654
United States
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