Posted by Stan Eastberg
Call to Order at 7:30 by President Mel who was missing his normal coat and tie as he was dressed for a day of golf; Invocation by Ron Roberts; Pledge led by President Mel; the song, America, led by Hal Cline and Peter Glein; and 4 Way Test led by Ed Lindstrom.
Visiting Rotarians announced by Jack Stonestreet: Assistant District Governor Howard Svigal.
Guest of Rotarians: Sue Jensen, guest of Al Bucholz; David Holsinger, guest of Sophie Perkins; Geoff Barcalow, guest of Randy Barcalow; Linda Cohrs, guest of Annmarie Huppert; Tim Toerber, guest of Annie Arbenz, Jean Vanberg, guest of Dick Vanberg; Pat Lantz, guest of John Lantz; Oliver and Rocky Pinch, guests of Mac Pinch; and John Guardia, Ian Warren, Pete Clement, and Pat Delapp, Board Member of The Ripple Effect, and Michael Ewens, our speaker.
 
Comments and Announcements:
 
  • President Mel played a video tribute to the life of First Lady Barbara Bush.
  • Rod Ladd is looking for volunteers to sign up for the food packaging project in conjunction with the District Conference. With a target of packaging 50,000 meals, they need lots of help.
  • President Mel announced that he along with 13-14 other club members will not be at the meeting on Friday, May 4 as they will be attending the District Training and Conference. Past President Dick Vanberg will be our substitute President.
  • Rotary Exchange student Melanie Meyer showed pictures of her Spring Break trip to Mexico and reported that her tennis team won their match last Thursday. She also commented on the campaign activities going on at school for the ASB elections – this is all new to her as they don’t have an ASB at her school back home. Melanie will also be attending the District Conference this next week.
  • Annie Arbenz introduced Tim Toerber as our newest member to be inducted. Past District Governor Bob Martin did his usual fabulous job of inducting Tim into the club – Bob’s induction ceremony is the best I’ve seen in 40+ years of Rotary membership. Tim took the microphone for a couple of minutes to let us know he had previously been a Rotarian in the Sunrise club and that his father has also been in Rotary for over 40 years. Tim was also a former Exchange Student in Brazil.
  • Kieth Harris auctioned off the parking space (to Tim Williams for $30) and the No Fine Badge (to Scott Junge for $20 – he promised not to use the time to hawk rhodies).
  • Cynthia Kennedy was introduced to present attendance awards only to be informed by Mel that we didn’t have enough time to do it today and that we’d present the awards at future meetings
  • Randy Barcalow provided an update on the great progress being made by the Wilkinson Fence project volunteers. Randy tried to show pictures, but the laptop was not cooperating today for picture displays.
  • Hal Hodgins is in charge of programs for next year and asked for volunteers to serve on a committee for this work (Dave Gordon and Jeff Harris showed interest).
 
Fines and Happy Bucks: Fine Master Mac Pinch nailed Tim Toerber with his first fine as a new member and then fined Rod Ladd for the elegant cowboy boots he was wearing on this, his 61st birthday. He got Gary Glein for not wearing any socks and then fined Dave Cathers for poor drawing skills during his presentation last week on fixing nicks in wood furniture. All members of the Dragon Boat team were asked to contribute $1 for their 4th place finish. Happy Bucks were started by Annie Arbenz for 1. Time in Rotary, 2. Help from Lyn Junge with transporting a large and bulky Costco purchase, and 3. An overheard testimonial about how the Rotary Prison Program had totally changed the life of one of the participants. Randy Spitzer is happy about this being concert week for his beloved Cora Voce group, and Rod Ladd contributed $61 in honor of his 61 years on this earth. Annmarie Huppert sang praises for our own Howard Mackert who rescued her from a serious car repair issue, and Scott Junge was grateful for the birthdays of grandchildren.
 
Raffle: No one claimed the 10 free and Hal Cline drew a white chip in the drawing.
 
Program: Tom Borgen introduced Michael Ewens to provide an update on The Ripple Effect project. Michael has been a frequent and favorite speaker at this club and we were again mesmerized by his unselfish dedication to improving the lives of people in Guatemala, primarily through extensive water projects that he has been organizing and leading for the past 12-13 years. Of particular interest during this update were the many pictures he showed of the people in Guatemala that he works with and for in the effort to bring clean water to areas that have never had a reliable source of clean water before. According to Michael, these are people who live a simple life (80% live on less than $1 per day) and for whom malnutrition is common (at least 40% of the kids are malnourished). The Ripple Effect is now working with over 20 villages (closely with 9 of them) which impact over 20,000 people. A common theme in Michael’s presentation is how effectively Rotary and The Ripple Effect have been able to leverage donations for maximum benefit to so many people who desperately need the help. His efforts clearly demonstrate the impact we have on people we’ll never meet or even know much about – evidence as good as it gets of the impact of Service Above Self. Michael reminds us that teamwork and community activism are equally important and he describes in great detail the participation by the Guatemalan people in all of the projects he works on. He notes that The Ripple Effect is not engaged in doing a project, but rather that they are joining together with the communities to achieve progress.
 
Once again, Michael Ewens has demonstrated how the spirit and work of Rotary and those efforts supported by Rotary can make a real difference in the world. His final message to Gig Harbor Rotary is that this group has made a huge difference to people in his neighborhood in Guatemala. “You have changed their lives, not for one or two years, but for generations”.
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:35
Notes by Stan Eastberg