2021-2022 District Governor Ray Anderson

Ray's visit to the Longmont Rotary Club included awarding 6 club members with their newest Paul Harris pin, along with providing an update on District 5450 news, upcoming Rotary events and winning the Fishbowl! (now he can't say he never wins).  Ray has been a member of the Rotary Club of Highlands Ranch since 1997 serving as its President in 2000-01. He has served as Assistant Governor, District Membership Co-Chair, a member of the District Visioning Team, PETS Facilitator, and a graduate of RLI. Ray is a Paul Harris Fellow and member of the Paul Harris Society. 
Our  District is working with District 5440 and 5470 to get a specialty Rotary license plate considered by the State Legislature.
Please help us make this happen.  Anyone can sign as long as they live in Colorado (no PO Boxes allowed).
To complete the online form go to
Kathy Wadell, well-known local storyteller, entertained us by telling tales for the Season of Giving, with musical interludes by our own Dale Sherrod, on piano.  Before beginning, Kathy reminded us that oral storytelling requires only the voice of the teller, plus the active imagination of the listeners.  She encouraged us all to picture the characters and scenes however our individual brains perceived them. 
First, we heard a  Hannukkah poem, “Hannukkah Miracles,” which focused on how one little candle can be seen through the dark.  This set the mood for a season of LIGHTS, during the darkest part of the year.
Paul Flanders introduced his topic saying he will share highlights of some historical examples of when “the pen is mightier than the sword.” 
George Whitefield earned his degree from Oxford in mid-1770 and was a preacher and evangelist. He did not have a parish but instead traveled throughout Great Britain and North America over many years giving sermons at massive revivals.  He was a great storyteller and spoke thousands of times to crowds of thousands.  His sermons were written down and shared broadly.  His words, both spoken and written, were a major part of the First Great Awakening.  He is recognized as one of the founders of Methodism.
Club member, Maria Karagianis shared a few of her experiences from her journalism work at Boston Globe during the 70's.  Some of those stories included; 1) the riots over integration and mandatory busing, 2) an  assignment in South Africa, where she illegally entered the black township of Soweto, traveled with a black man and covered the apartheid situation and 3) a recent assignment to the Greek island of Lesbos, to report on the refugee problems, which were being completely covered up by the government.  
Maria also talked about the a learning center that was established (Discovering Justice), designed for the study of civics, law & justice. Maria was part of the Pulitzer Prize winning team from the Boston Globe for coverage of busing during desegregation in Boston. Maria now provides consulting strategy services for a non-profit.  

Crossroads is a school with a unique vision for the Longmont area. Their mission is to assist middle and high school students who have experienced academic and/or behavioral struggles in traditional schools, to reach their potential through an individually distinctive, learner-appropriate program.  

Barb Bulthuis, the Executive Director provided a brief historical review of academic models in the US.  As the growth in American cities rose, the early American learning model centered on a factory-style learning of the 3 R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic). Classroom sizes comprised 30 students, of the same age learning the same material.  While this model proved effective for many, some differentiating began to develop. Ideas such as “No child left behind” arose as the discovery that children learn differently and more academic individualization offers more success for students.  Charter schools, magnet schools, vocational trade schools and certificate programs now offer successful paths for many students.

Diane Crist is a Colorado native who has lived in several countries and has used multiple modes of public transportation as a result. She has had a long-standing interest in improving public transportation, as well as the environment.   The Colorado Department of Transportation forecasts that 1.1 million more people will move to Colorado in the next 30 years while at the same time, the State has also set the goals of reducing emissions by 50% by 2025 and by 90% by 2050. Diane presented information about hyperloop technology as the future for fast, carbon-free transport of passengers and products helping to achieve these goals.  Colorado entered the Hyperloop One Global Challenge and in 2017 was one of 10 winners worldwide and one of four in the US. The initial Colorado proposal was for a hyperloop system starting in Cheyenne through Longmont to DIA and ending in Pueblo.  Since then, the plan has been modified to a 40-mile system for transportation from Ft. Collins to Denver, which would take approximately 7 minutes.



With piano accompaniment from Dale Sherrod, the club sang all the official songs of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard), along with recognizing those club members with military service or family of a veteran.  Our guest speaker, Mr Dick Kounovsky, from Legion Post 32 was introduced.  Dick shared with us the history of the Star Spangled Banner flag. 

The Star-Spangled Banner's history starts not with Francis Scott Key, but a year earlier with Maj. George Armistead, the commander of Fort McHenry. Knowing that his fort was a likely British target, Armistead told the commander of Baltimore defenses in July 1813 that he needed a flag—a big one. This flag was 30 feet tall and 42 feet long on a flag pole 90 feet high.  He wanted the British to see the flag way out at sea.
Detective Stephen Desmond of the Longmont Police Department provided us with a wealth of information about How to Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud.  He named several groups responsible for the problem here in Longmont:  Asian and Russian mafia, Nigerian, Canadian, & East European scammers, as well as local meth addicts.  He warned against counterfeit checks (which can bounce back up to a year after transaction), deals that sound “too good to be true,” phone and internet scams such as fake Lotteries, telemarketing,  the Grandparent Scam, Online dating and Phishing.  Because scammers have gotten quite sophisticated, DO NOT be fooled by an email with your bank’s logo, especially if you notice grammar and spelling mistakes in the text.  Watch out for fake ATM’s, skimmers on gas pumps, etc.  In general, credit cards are safer than debit cards, and the ones with a chip are best.
Beware also of Roofing, Tree Trimming and Paving Companies that solicit business door-to-door.  Check Better Business Bureau and get references for this type of service.  Mail checks from a secure drop box or the post office.  The raised flag on a home mailbox is a signal for people who want to steal.  Checks can be laundered and changed, unless you use a gel pen.
Noting that almost everyone will be a victim sooner or later, Stephen gave us some general suggestions to minimize the risk:
Chris Ray announced the giving totals of our October Polio Fundraiser.  Our club raised $20,618 ($10,308 + the $10,000 challenge match), Compounding that with the Gates Foundation 2:1 match, our grand total is..... 

Dave Willman of Rotary District 5450 updated our club on the process to eradicate Polio. Below are great statistics to highlight the progress that has been made so far.

  • 6 Core partners
  • 20 million volunteers
  • 17 billion national investment
  • 200 countries involved
  • Over 2.5 billion kids vaccinated, soon to be 3 billion

Paul Flanders may have retired from teaching high school, but he continues to share his vast knowledge of history to numerous groups. We were lucky to have Paul join us for lunch and share some interesting highlights of the The Battle of Britain.  He recommended a new book on this topic: The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. 

The Battle of Britain, (July 1940-Oct 1940), was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy defended the United Kingdom against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe.  Newly elected Prime Minister, Winston Churchill would navigate Britain through this tumultuous wartime. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, and it was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally.  One of Churchill’s most powerful weapons was his words. His words were defiant, heroic and human, serving to inspire everyone in Britain and throughout the world.  The speeches he delivered are now among the most powerful speeches ever given.  Churchill regularly worked 18-hour days, working weekends and traveling abroad to conferences and battlefronts. He could be charming and generous but also exasperating, rude and bad-tempered. He drove his staff very hard, but he drove himself even harder.  

Famous wartime quotes from Churchill: 

Rotary Club member, Dick Lyons has served as a Election Observer, volunteer for the State Department, serving in Europe and Central Asia. He has completed about 15 Election Observation missions in Europe and Russia.  Leading into his talk, he offered this disclaimer,  "The information shared today is my opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the OSCE”. So who is the OSCE?   Dick explained that this organization acts a bit like a “mini-UN”  The OSCE is a forum for political dialogue on security issues for the joint action to improve the lives of individuals and communities. The OSCE has 57 participating states in Europe, Asia and North America.    Dick guided us through several elements of the election process in countries he served, offering some compare and contrast with US election practices.

Program:  From Tragedy Comes Compassion.  Robert J. Walker (Robert started by saying he made a change in the title of his presentation; he now calls it “Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude.)
Robert and Teila Walker live in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and are the parents of now 7-year old Bridger, the middle child of five.  Bridger was a young boy full of life who adored his younger sister and loved rocks.  In July 2020, Bridger and his sister went to a friend’s house and while playing in the backyard, a dog lunged at them. Bridger stepped in front of his sister and was bitten and mauled by the dog.  The damage to his cheek and face was severe and there was a small fracture around his eye.  Bridger was taken to the hospital where two hours of surgery were performed including 92 stitches. While in the hospital, he overheard that the dog was going to be put down and he asked for that not to happen.
Today’s program was presented by one of our own members, Tracey Burnett, who also serves as a Representative in the Colorado State Legislature.  Tracey informed us about the many types of training one goes through after being elected:  Legal processes, rules for legislators, budget, ethics, computer systems, and security at the capitol, to name a few.  She learned a lot in several all-day training sessions.             
Veterans Village – Paul Melroy of Veterans Community Project
The Veterans Community Project is dedicated to case management and connecting veterans to the community. Its goal is to end veteran homelessness everywhere and help every veteran in need. It is privately funded which allows for assistance to a broader range of people.
Coming to 451 S Anderson Street in Longmont is a veteran community with 26 tiny homes and a community center. Of those homes, 21 will be for single veterans and 5 of them will be a bit larger and set up for families. These homes are designed with veterans’ needs in mind, giving them a sense of security and serenity, and are fully furnished. Most of the labor will be completed by volunteers as they partner with Habitat for Humanity.

There’s no doubt that Dr. Don Haddad, Superintendent of schools, is proud of his 33,000 students.  This is Don’s 21st year in the St. Vrain Valley School District and his 37th year in public education. Don stepped into this position when the district was in need of  much repair and attention and now the successes of this district are many.   St. Vrain is among Colorado’s top districts, now 7th largest school district and one of only 16 districts nationwide to win a 2012 Race to the Top grant-a $16.6 million windfall to fund programming in science, technology, engineering and math.   St. Vrain has some the highest competitive graduation requirements (24 credits to graduate with three years of math) and a drop out rate of 0.%.  Dr. Haddad reported he has over a thousand more students than last year, (current total=33K), with a build out plan of 80 thousand students.  Academic programs are available for Pre-K (and FT kindergarten) through 14 (focused college programs). 

Don added that responding to COVID requirements has been challenging. “Our kids are counting on us and we need to keep them in school.  That’s my focus, keeping them in school, advancing their academic growth and allowing them the multifaceted experience of public school life”.


OJ Pratt grew up in the auction business, declaring in his youth that he would not go into the family business. Of course that was want eventually happened.  In 1980 OJ moved to Longmont, worked for 3 years at the Longmont Police Department and in 1984 he purchased Pacific Auction.  OJ recounts the many hours spent practicing his chant as he and his father drove down the highway on the way to their next auction. 
OJ offered us some guidance in the art of auctioneer speak, drawing more laughter than anything.  OJ also brought with him a few collected artifacts, also recounting the varied items he has sold over the years.  He reminded us that a good auctioneer needs to connect with his/her audience, using charisma and personality to create excitement to drive bidding and command attention of the crowd.    
Andy McClure calls his sports announcing a hobby, but its something he does about 300 times a year.  Having an education in both broadcasting and ministry, he has worked this "hobby job" in Colorado for two decades.  Andy has a long resume of public address announcing work.   The opportunity to be a sports announcer for the Tokyo Olympics kind of fell together naturally and he was thrilled to learn he would be working with women's volleyball.  The pandemic made the 2020 Olympics rather surreal- No fans or family members were allowed to attend and of course McClure had to undergo quarantine. He could only go to the venue and his hotel, as well as get takeout or convenience store food.  Security was also very rigorous. In spite of the challenges, the work was amazing and the experience, "unbelievable".  
When asked what was his favorite part of this experience, he shared that is deceased daughter always loved sports and her dream was to attend the Olympics.  Andy felt like he was sharing this experience with her.  "The raising of the US Flag when the US Women's Volleyball won the gold was something I will never forget".  Andy had another special treat on his return flight home-he flew back with the US Women's Volleyball team!  

Alec Garnett is a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, representing District 2 (Denver).  He assumed office in 2015 and his second term ends in 2023. Garnett began serving as House majority leader in 2019 and became the state’s youngest Speaker of the House in January 2021. 

Alec grew up in Boulder and some of his family were farmers and others, miners. He studied history in college in Ohio and earned his Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Colorado – Denver.  Alec wanted to serve in the public sector because he believes you can have such an impact. As a result of redistricting in 2010, he lived in one of the youngest districts in the state and made the decision to seek election to the House. Key interests for Alec are affordable housing, jobs, education, violence prevention, opportunity for all, to name a few. 

Garnett believes Colorado has one of the best systems in the country resulting in one of the most bipartisan. 90% of what the legislature does is bipartisan. As Speaker of the House, he believes he is speaker for ALL of the House. He gave examples of legislation that was accomplished by bipartisanship including balancing the budget. Every member of the House gets to introduce fivebills each session whether they are a democrat or a republican. A new process is being put into place for redrawing the maps in the most non-partisan way; the old process gave the speaker most of the authority but the new process outlined in detail by Garnett will help ensure non-partisanship.

Alec responded to a number of questions regarding voting rights, relieving overhead costs for small businesses, raising caps on personal property taxes, water rights, and campaign finance.


Jackie List, Executive Director, provided a history and complete update on services provided by Safe Shelter of the St. Vrain Valley.  For 43 years, they have been helping victims of domestic violence, including verbal, psychological, and physical attacks.  Started as a crisis hotline, it soon became apparent that this organization needed space, both for face-to-face interaction and for protection of victims. They have outgrown several facilities over the years, and have been in their present shelter facility since 2004.

    Safe Shelter services are free, confidential, available in Spanish and English, and accessible 24/7.  They serve all who are facing a pattern of intentional abuse in their relationships.  Their programs include:  Outreach (safety planning & counseling), Children and Youth (in conjunction with St. Vrain Valley Schools), Legal Services and representation, and Collaborative and Transitional Housing, in cooperation with The Inn Between and Boulder County Housing Solutions. They now have a grant for Emergency Housing solutions.​

Longmont Power and Communications: Energy Benchmarking & Efficiency Works Business
Commercial energy benchmarking is an excellent way to learn how to save on utility costs and possibly prevent/find any issues in our local businesses. Debbie Seidman of Longmont Power and Communications shared on Tuesday about the process and benefits of completing an energy benchmarking plan for anyone who runs or owns a business.
Another great way to learn about your business’s or home’s energy use is through Efficiency Works at There are so many excellent tools available such as building tune-ups, rebates, and free energy assessments. This year only there is a 50% rebate bonus for items like food and grocery, office and appliance, cooling, building envelope, VFDs and water retrofits. You can schedule free advisements and assessments to see how you and your tenants may save on utilities. Longmont Power and Communications also offers a nonprofit Community Efficiency Grant for projects.
The Longmont Rotary Charity Fund awarded a $2,000 grant to the Recovery Café.   Club member, Andy Lee will be the Project Manager for this grant. Andy shared a beautiful moment with us about his passion behind helping those who struggle with addictions. This grant will provide two computer stations at the Café so that visitors may search for jobs, work on their resumes, and connect with family.
Grace Munro of the Amarok Society spoke with the Club about the inefficiencies of education in rural areas such as Bangladesh. While school is free, there are many costs associated with it, leaving many children unable to attend. Oftentimes there are 60 students to one very underpaid, under educated teacher. When parents find their children aren’t learning enough, they pull their children out of school in order to work and help provide for the family.
    Chris Wiorek of the Niwot Rotary Club provided an update on the WASH program of Rotary District 5450. "Clean water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) are the basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life." Chris reminded us that half of the schools in our world do not have hand washing facilities.  Some may have toilets, but no where to wash your hands.  And many health care facilities in our world do not have access to clean water.  Can you imagine your doctor not being able to wash his/her hands after each patient? 
    Chris reviewed three district projects:
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