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Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Gig Harbor

Service Above Self

We meet Fridays at 7:00 AM
Cottesmore Care Ctr.
2909 14th Ave NW
Mail to: PO Box 342
Gig Harbor, WA  98335
United States
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Home Page Stories
Call to Order: President Mel Santos rang the bell at 7:30 AM, Invocation by Jan Martin; Pledge by President Mel; “God Bless America” was led by Hal Cline & Cassie McMurtrey, PHS Interact Club; Cindy Reed led us in the Four Way Test.
Visiting Rotarians: Walt Paulsen welcomed Andy Ritting from the Midday Club joined by Joyce Taylor from the Shelton – Skookum Club.
Guests: Tim & Avery Toeber, Cassie McMurtrey (Interact), Joseph Denton, former member Jim Hansen and Sue Jensen.
Opening Comments: Cassie McMurtrey provided an Interact update which includes a book and shoe drive for the Philippines, currently underway. President Mel announced that 14 club members are registered for the District Conference May 4 & 5, in Tacoma. Possibly a club record for conference participation? He also provided a gentle reminder that all members need to be respectful of speakers/presenters, even if we disagree with the message.
  • Exchange student Melanie Meyer was still in Mexico with two host families. From the pictures she’s posted, looks like a fun trip.
  • Andy Ritting presented a $1,000 Midday Club donation to the Olson Foundation. Mark your calendars: July 20th is midday’s major fund raiser: Golf-a-Rita Ville.
  • Cindy Reed announce an Old Fashion Picnic on May 11th when Melanie Meyer’s parents will be visiting. Still on Melanie’s ‘bucket list’: a speed boat ride, sailing, Paddle Boarding and water skiing. Contact Cindy or Jeannie Simmons to arrange a date.
  • Jill Guernsey & Randy Barcalow need Wilkinson Fence Work Party volunteers tomorrow, Saturday April 21st from 9:00 – noon.
Fines & Happy Bucks: Marcia Harris used Lee Smith’s no fine button to provide some Friday morning exercise: standing up for Lee Smith, Peninsula Light Board Candidate followed by another stand up exercise, reminding the few who haven’t yet voted in the Peninsula School District Bond Levy, to cast their ballot by April 24th.
Fine Master Paul Willett celebrated ‘Pot Day’. Since the intended ‘finee victims’ weren’t present, Hal Cline became the designated victim, bestowing on him a lei, a bag of munchies and an official pot hat. Does that make Hal a ‘pothead’?
Lots of happy bucks from Paul Alvestad, Dave Gordon, Buck, Mike Pinch & Howard Mackert. T
Drawing: Rod Ladd gets 10 free next week. Al Abbott’s ticket was pulled for a chance to chance to draw to draw the blue chip and he did! A happy Al went home with an extra $331.
Two Programs:
 Dave Cathers: ‘How to Fix Furniture Dings’ Dave provided many practical tips on how to restore those occasional dings in our favorite wood furniture. Tip # 1: Less is more. Then consider whether wood or veneer, the depth of scar and how to seal the repair (depends on the finish). Fixing furniture dings can require a lot of work (sounds like a guy thing for escaping to the garage). Dave concluded with a final secret, (he assured us is not an “old wives” tale), mayonnaise works!!
Thanks Dave for the practical information. Please do a follow up program on what to do when about dings/scratches on plastic furniture. 😊
Mel Wick:: Reclassification Talk”
Mel provided a very interesting reclassification talk about his family history, interesting factoids about his biography, and many major highlights of our club history. Here are a few highlights of what we learned:
  • Mel’s family history in the Tacoma/Gig Harbor area started with the immigration of his Norwegian grandparents in 1904.
  • After graduating as the first Wilson H.S. graduate class (along w/Gary Glein) and a few bumps along the road, Mel achieved a Civil Engineering and Master’s Degree from the University of Washington.
  • In the course of his fast track career at PacCar, Mel purchased his first rental unit in 1966.
  • The rental purchase marked the beginning of a very successful transition into real estate and property management.
  • 1984 marked the year when Mel joined Rotary ‘for all the wrong reasons’.
  • The club’s first big service project was funding & construction of the ‘Head of the Harbor’.
  • The 1989 R.I. annual conference in Portland changed Mel’s Rotary commitment. After Portland, Mel was no longer a club member, he became a ‘Rotarian’.
  • Early 1990’s, Joann Roberts & Lorraine Green launched the Courage Classic spaghetti feed support for Mary Bridge child sexual assault program.
  • The 2000 Latvia hospital project was another landmark in Mel’s Rotary life. The Latvia project created a new club energy & interest in international projects.
  • In his 35 years as a Rotarian, Mel has visited more than 150 other clubs. His experience qualifies him as a expert, when he states: the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor is THE BEST.
  • Mel concluded his reclassification talk by encouraging all members to attend an international conference (opportunities this June in Toronto and 2019 in Germany).
President Mel adjourned the meeting at 8:34.
Notes by Marcia Harris
Hal was complaining that the churches in Milan were so "rundown".  I guess he has great expectations.
He said this "little arch" was just outside their AirB&B room.
Not man made, but just as spectacular is this Fresno sunset that Rod sent in.  Some may say it is the best thing in Fresno.
A little blurry, but I wanted to document President Mel leading us in the Pledge.  Peter is certainly paying attention.l
Who knew the 4-Way test could be so much fun. 
President Mel thanked Josh Sherwin  verbally and with a check for $500.  The video he produced was instrumental in getting $38K for our "Raise the Paddle" at the auction you can now view the YouTube video with a link on our website.  If you have not seen it, please take the time to do so.  It will make you proud.  Thanks Josh!
AnnMarie Huppert is reporting on her First Tee training at Meadow Park Golf Course.  About 10 members have signed up to do so.  Thanks for representing our Club!
Melanie had a lot to report on.  She walked the Narrows Bridge which was on her Bucket List; she will be going to Mexico next week for Spring Break; and her family will be here May 12 for a visit.  The next picture relates to another experience some time ago.
Walker Allen presented her with some glass art relating to her tour of the Museum of Glass.  Walker knows one of the docents who will do another tour for Melanie and friends whenever she wants.  Great to have 130 friends ready to help you isn't it Melanie?
As hard as it is to believe, Camilla wants you to be thinking about how you can help at next years auction.  Have you procured anything yet?  Better yet, will you help with organizing the procurments?  Let Camilla know ASAP.
Jan announced that members have donated over 400 books, some of which have already been distributed.  She and Donna are thinking about how to distribute the rest.  These are mostly novels, biographies, and table books.  If you have any ideas please let them know.
Betty read a thank you note from Vaughan School regarding our support for their dance program; don't forget they have a June dance competition for State.  She threw in a plug for Toastmasters which meets next door.  Let her know if you are interested.
With a smile he fined Richard Pifer for coming to the meeting dressed for his next cruise.  Richard happily paid.  The next two pictures were for Happy Bucks paid.
Sharon showing off an article about Kurt Grimmer, our STAR award recipient.  Makes you think he was a good choice.  I am pretty sure Al Abbott would agree.
Terry and Lynn traveled to the Valley of Fire in Nevada and then Grand Canyon, followed by visit to some Rotary Snowbirds in Surprise; you saw the picture last issue.
Michelle Sabia and Hillary Bridge on the left presented on the August Courage Bike ride.  Last year Rotarian bike riders raised $45K of the $300K that was raised.  There are about 5 different rides ranging from 3.4 miles to 144miles.  Our Club did the Saturday lunch stop last year and will again this year.  Hillary is the daughter of one of our former members, Earl "Boog" Powell.  The following slide indicates how the money was spent last year.
Nicole Comforte, with World Possible talked about the Raspberry Pi and Rachel programs we have been using in Guatemala.  Rachel is basically a wireless computer hub with a terabyte of data in three languages that can service up to 50 computers.  Information can be downloaded to the laptop and used any time.  Over 130 different learning programs like Khan University are on this system.  There are now 6-8 countries being served with exponential growth expected because no internet is required.
The Rachel device is on the right and a small group of users on the left.  A great opportunity to bring learning to the 52% of the world without internet.
Call to Order at 7:30 by President Mel. Invocation by Bob Martin; Pledge led by Hal Cline. Song: Randy Spitzer; 4 Way Test: 
Visiting Rotarians announced by Coach – Cindy Niemi
Guest of Rotarians: _John Gardia, Ken Serber and Ian Ward; Josh Irwin; Jeff Barcalow
Comments and Announcements: two speakers today; Josh was instrumental in the auction video (with Al Abbott) also did video for the Star Awards; Josh recognized for his efforts for his contribution was provided a bonus of $500 to thank him for his service. Tim Williams is putting a week in Puerto Vallarta up for auction for $2250; Ann Marie met with 1st Tee for a golf lesson – guys were great and made the training fun (Meadow Park), provided giveaways during training, showed them the storage sheds where all the gear for the program is stored, looking forward to starting with her first team on April 23rd. Mel is working on setting up a date a Canterwood and will advise us of a date – currently 10 people from our club have volunteered to assist.
Exchange Student Report – Melanie Meyer – Last Friday walked over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge; Sunday the Anderson’s took her to the farmers market in Olympia; Tonight is the talent show at Peninsula HS (she helped plan it); next week going to Mexico for Spring Break. (Hal) She was given a piece of glass from the docent of the Museum of Glass. She has 2½ months before she returns home. May 12th her family will be in town and Rotary will announce a social event for use to get to know them.
Auction Volunteers for 2019 (Camilla Brocker) – recruiting for next year; Will be following up with volunteers from 2018; Peter Glein has been in charge of procurement for the last three years and is requesting help for 2019 (data entry, etc.)
Book Drive (Jan Martin)– turned in numbers on Monday (380 books); need ideas on what to do with some of these books (book sale, donations, etc.)
Toastmasters & Ballroom (Betty Felker) – Thank you letter from Pacific Ballroom Dance. Asked people to raise hands if anyone wanted to build leadership skills, speaking skills or lose weight; she invited everyone to attend meetings at noon at Harborplace. Passed around cards for Ad libbers group, last Thursday of every month.
Fines and Happy Bucks: (Peter Glein) – rolled into happy bucks; Annie celebrated completion a ½ iron man in San Diego; Sharon Shaffer – Kurt Grimmer featured (Star Award winner) in Gig Harbor Living; Sophie Perkins and David Holsinger went on first boat cruise; Randy Spitzer celebrating getting started with choir rehearsals; Bob and Jan Martin leave on vacation;
Raffle: Larry Olson. Randy Spitzer gets 10 free next week; Lee Smith pulled a white chip – no winner!
  • Nicole Comforto – “World Possible” – small NPO to connect offline learners to education about the world (people without internet); thank you for our past support in Guatemala and to provide their story on who they are and what they do, and to show what the donations have been used for. Showed pictures from her visits to Lima sponsored by Rotary when she was studying national education. 52% of the world’s population does not have access to the internet, these are mostly impoverished countries. Education is crucial to supporting mother’s and children’s lives, nutrition, employment, empowerment of women, economic growth and the environment. For every dollar spent on education get about $10 in return on that child’s contribution to the world. Staff was all volunteers until 2014. OER2GO- free websites that work offline created and accessible in multiple languages to deliver education (136 modules); RACHEL – Remote are community hotspot for education and learning which works anywhere the enables devices to access the websites (serves as a wifi hotspot); Chapter program in other countries – gathers local content using RACHEL; first chapter in Guatemala – have already trained 1600 teachers. In Kenya started 2nd chapter bringing RACHEL to 10k students. Have gone as far as Sierra Leone. US program is a recent program used in prisons in 14 states (including women’s prison in Purdy). Total 6 chapters estimate that they have reached of 500k learners using RACHEL. Bob Cairns from Port Orchard Rotary introduced RACHEL in Kenya. Now bringing RACHEL and Chromebooks to schools in Guatemala which is supported by the ministry of Guatemala.
  • Michelle Sabia – “Courage Bike Ride” - Thank you for support over the last 26 years; 9 Pierce county Rotary clubs involved last year; raised $45k last year; all total raised over $300k last year; raising more money and spending less; Cause is for the needs of children; 70% of patients are Medicaid; the Greatest Needs funds are truly a gift from the community; they are gifts that go beyond the medical needs of children. Information provided on the tables with statistics of the children that are helped through this funding; these services cannot be provided without this monetary support; showed a patient (Dawson) who is a recipient of these types of funds who contracted a rare condition from his leukemia treatment. Held a beach volley ball party for him while in the hospital. Got to test out new highly equipped patient bed. Also was able to attend first pitch at a Rainiers game. Will also be at the next ride. Asked that we all think of Dawson when we volunteer. Ride is the last weekend of August. Will be back in Eatonville and Pac Forest; 4 ride options based upon last year’s feedback; (1) 3.75 fat mile ride and run designed for beginners/families/trail riders ($25 fee with no fundraising minimum); (2) Cascade Cruiser – 23 mile (3) Tahoma half century, (4) two day 144 mile Northwest Brew Thru; Maps displayed and also available on Courage.org. Volunteer support is greatly needed – (Hillary Powell) is contact for volunteer coordination and logistics; contact info is at the bottom of the information sheet. $’s are allocated by the Board of Directors to requesting physicians.
Wrap up (Mel) – Rod Ladd announced that he had seven center pieces leftover from the auction and that they are available for purchase for $10.
Meeting adjourned at 8:30.
Notes by Jennifer Hamilton
We are up to 5 cases now, all in Afghanistan.  Nigeria is a8 mos. polio free and the last case in Pakistan was November 2017.
Now does this look like 370 people having fun or what?  In my mind this was our best auction ever and kudos to Hal and his committee.  There was energy and excitement the entire evening.  Put it on your calendar for next year!
Now this picture of Veronica and Jeff may look posed, but I know Chuck only  photographed  spontaneous happiness and joy.  We all felt this way the entire evening.
These were some vegetable skewers from Morso that were delicious, but there was lots more great food; pulled pork sliders, burger sliders, chocolate covered bacon, crab cocktail with mango salsa, and much more.  You could not begin to eat all of it.  And all of this while you are socializing and bidding.
Chris and Keith had the stage for the live auction and as usual did a great job.  Keith really knows how to work the crowd and keep the bidding going.
Now I don't know if she had the winning bid, but her number is up with authority!
Each year there is a little game at the Auction called Heads or Tails.  This picture shows me using my head and winning the $500. pot.  I am not sure what Juanita was thinking.
We had lots of VIP's at the Auction.  This happens to be District Governor Tom Carroll and his wife Laurie.  Very nice of them to attend since they get so many invitations.
Dear Charity Administrator,
We are excited to tell you about a new AmazonSmile promotion that will launch soon. Amazon is tripling the donation amount to 1.5% when customers make their first eligible smile.amazon.com purchase from March 12 - 31. This is a great opportunity to increase Floyd and Sandra Olson International Service Foundation's AmazonSmile donations by reminding your supporters to shop at smile.amazon.com.
3x your impact! From March 12-31, Amazon is tripling the donation rate on your first smile.amazon.com purchase! Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/20-4817547 and Amazon donates to Floyd and Sandra Olson International Service Foundation.

Sorry I haven't sent anything for a while now I have been terribly busy with the end of your school semester! I what to let the club know I am participating in most of my classes now and am contributing to the class work.

Over the holidays I met both sides of my host family for Christmas dinner and New Years!

I also have been skiing with my family as well. I enjoy it very much and would love to continue to get better.

We had a meeting with all the exchange students in our district and had a "cook off" my friends and I cooked s'mores over the fire for all my friends and there family.

I also visited Milan to help my brother move into a new apartment and we were able to see the church of Milan.
I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday and I hope to hear from the club soon! Please pass this along to the other club members!


  Annina Liebner
Polio this week as of 17 January 2018

We had 22 cases last year, 14 in Afghanistan and 8 in Pakistan. Fall seems to be the big risk period.  Would hope for less than 10 cases this year and none next year.  These are exciting times.
Here is Ricky and Cassie about to attack the root ball of the flowers which were long gone.  Cassie is not at all intimidated by the machete.
Cassie is discarding the flower foliage which now is kind of like a raisin to a grape.  We have been disappointed that no flowers grow in our pasture.
I hope Cassie gets her left hand out of the way of the machete.  Since she left with both hands, she must have.
And look at the power of that blow.  Completely severed the root ball!
I guess this root ball was a little tougher and took them both.  John Winslow was taking the pictures, but he also worked on the dismantling.  I don't intend to cast aspersions, but Cassie was the only one who was wet from top to bottom.  John also left out the pictures of the family of voles that were dislodged in the recycling.  No animals were injured in the recycling process.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Past President
Director at Large
Club Service
Community Service
International Service
Vocational Service
Membership Chair
Public Relations
Youth Services
Youth Protection Officer
RI Foundation
Michael Ewens
Apr 27, 2018
Ripple Effect Guatemala
Joan Toone
May 04, 2018
Fight against polio
Flag Day Celebration
Jun 15, 2018
Jersich Park
Mel Santos
Jun 29, 2018
Swan Song
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