Posted by Stan Eastberg
Call to Order at 7:30 by President Mel with a video featuring golf bloopers in honor of our speaker who will be talking about The First Tee program. Invocation by John Duppenthaler; Pledge led by President Mel; the song Crazy Beautiful Life by Dave Gillespie; and 4 Way Test led by Lee Smith.
Visiting Rotarians announced by Coach (Jack Stonestreet) – no visiting Rotarians.
Guest of Rotarians: Tim Toerber, guest of Annie Arbenz; Sue Jensen, guest of Dad, Al Bucholz; Chandler Hueckol (sp?), Ryan Kallenberger, and Brian Archer, guests of Richard Schmalz; Max Morgan, guest of Lee Smith; David Holsinger, guest of Sophie Perkins; Tanaya Lanning, guest of Mel Santos, Josh Sheanin (sp?), guest of Hal Hodgins; Oliver and Rocky, guests of Mac Pinch, and Debra Krishnadasans, host Mother for Exchange Student Melanie.
 
Comments and Announcements:
  • President Mel recognized Annie Arbenz for her great job of organizing the Christmas party – she, in turn, recognized her committee members and volunteers. President Mel also challenged Annie to demonstrate her juggling skills that he saw her perform with snowballs at the party – she successfully juggled 3 small cartons of coffee creamers without dropping any – very impressive.
  • President Mel asked for volunteers to share their New Year Resolutions – only Oliver Pinch shared a resolution – that he would be good in school this year (thunderous applause from Dad)
  • President Mel noted that we have completed the first half of his Rotary year and recognized Debbie Miller for all the support she has provided to him
  • President Mel provided the background story on our program today. Mel had challenged the Vocational Service Committee with finding something new for our club to be involved with and Richard Schmalz brought forward the idea of supporting The First Tee program. The idea was strongly supported by all Avenues of Service committees and by the Board, resulting in a sizable donation being made to support the expansion of The First Tee program into Junior High Schools in our area and to provide the equipment to support the instructional effort.
  • Rotary Exchange student Melanie Meyer reported attending a New Year’s Eve party and having a good time with good eats – but we didn’t learn many specifics about the party. She also made a visit to University Village in Seattle and toured the University of Washington campus. With less than full enthusiasm, she reported having to start school and having to do homework again. She admits to having lots of fun while here with us and is clearly not ready to go home yet. We also learned that her birthday is on January 20.
  • Walt Paulson led us in a celebration of Rotarians having birthdays in January.
  • Hal Cline reported that 34 couples have signed up for Dinners for 8 and he is looking for 6 more couples to step forward.
  • Rod Ladd reported that we still have about 358 sign-ups to go to reach our goal of 380 guests at the auction. He says that we go to the auction to have fun – but we must first Buy a Ticket!
  • Bob Martin (looking sharp in a coat and tie) was called on to do a new member introduction – but alas, the new member to be introduced was not here – deferred to a future meeting.
  • Bob Martin was also asked to provide an update on our hands-on projects, but he didn’t have a lot to say. The carport project is completed and no additional action has happened on the fence project.
  • Sharon Shaffer announced that 25 members (out of a target of 60) have registered for the Star Awards dinner. As an incentive, she reminded us that Chris Myers is again serving as the MC. Always a multi-tasker, Rod Ladd said it is so easy to sign up that he did it while Sharon was making her announcement.
  • John Eddy invited members to attend the next Rotary-After-Hours at The Hub in Gig Harbor from 5:30-8:00 on Wednesday, January 10. Don’t look for John to be there however, he’ll probably be traveling on business again.
 
Fines and Happy Bucks: Chris Myers started the fine session by complimenting Coach on his new haircut while suggesting it looked like he cut it himself. He then fined Rod Ladd for working on his phone while Sharon Shaffer was making an announcement. Chuck Perry got fined for wearing a sweater past the dates of the ugly sweater contests. Pam Peterson was fined for moving the podium out of the way of the speaker last week (really Chris, is this the best you’ve got?). John Dunham was fined for getting help in moving furniture. With his usual irreverence, Chris asked President Mel if the first half of the Rotary year was going as slow for him as it is for us – not sure if he got any fine money for that question. Chris then wrapped up the end of the College Bowl season by fining alumni from the Pac 12 schools that had lost their bowl games. Happy bucks included money for a successful cataract surgery, fund raising for the Ed Worthen eye clinic, School bond drive to be run, and a football victory for UCF over Albany.
 
Raffle: Duane Fister won the 10 free and surprise of surprises, Jeff Harris won the chance to draw a chip for the $216 pot. No one (except Jeff) was disappointed when he drew a white chip.
 
Program: Richard Schmalz introduced our speakers – Ryan Kallenberger, Executive Director of The First Tee, and Brian Archer, Program Director. The program began with a wonderful testimonial from a parent who has both a son and a daughter in The First Tee program. Jermane Walker (in full Washington State Patrol uniform) talked about how fantastic this program has been for his kids. He focused particularly on the core values his kids are learning from their participation. Ryan then showed a video overview of the National School Program which provided visual evidence of exactly how the golf and life skills instruction is done. This program has expanded exponentially since its beginning in the South Sound in 2011. There are many different levels of instruction in this program and it was interesting to learn that one of the homework assignments for participants is to record how they apply the core values and life skills taught in the program to other parts of their lives outside of golf. Ryan then talked about the SNAG program (Starting New at Golf) and asked for a volunteer who has never golfed to come forward for some basic instruction. Annmarie Huppert took up the challenge and in a few short minutes she learned how to properly grip and swing a golf club – although the people sitting at the table just in front of her were looking pretty nervous. Ryan thanked the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor for the generous support and unveiled a banner to be hung at each participating school which prominently displays the Rotary logo. At the conclusion of Ryan’s remarks, President Mel asked Don Buchanan to step forward to present a $1,500 check to The First Tee which represents the proceeds from the Salmon sales over the past two months.
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:30
Notes by Stan Eastberg