Posted by Stan Eastberg
Last Friday
Call to Order at 7:29 by President Mel to a video featuring the song I Think I Love You by the Partridge Family (circa 1970’s) featuring David Cassidy who died on November 21 at age 67. Mel tells us that David’s last words were “so much wasted time”, and reminded us to use our time wisely. Invocation by Marti Anderson; Pledge led by President Mel; America the Beautiful started by Randy Spitzer; and 4 Way Test led by the triumvirate of Walker Allen, David Gillespie, and David Cathers.
Visiting Rotarians announced by Coach (Jack Stonestreet): Past President Joyce Taylor, now in the Shelton club. Coach also asked all of the Past Presidents in the club to rise and be recognized.
Guest of Rotarians: Tim Toerber, guest of Annie Arbenz; Jeff Stillman, guest of Lee Smith; John Guardia, guest of Ben Paganelli, Jeannette Murphy (scholarship winner from the Women’s Prison Program and our speaker in January), guest of Buck Frymier; Cheri Fletcher, guest of Todd Fletcher who was presenting his Classification Talk today; Gretchen Hodgins, guest of Hal Hodgins; Rosalie Buchanan, guest of Don Buchanan; Sue Jensen, guest of Dad, Al Bucholz; and Jim Hanson, guest of Jerry Walston.
Comments and Announcements:
  • President Mel thanked the Board members for a wonderful Board meeting. The Board has elected to position the Christmas Party as a thank-you to club members and will financially support the event to keep the costs as low for club members as possible. Canterwood Golf and Country Club has also presented our club with a very favorable deal, so Mel encourages all members to attend this event.
  • President Mel announced the appointment of Jennifer Hamilton to lead our Public Relations efforts which Mel describes as an enormous job. Expect Jennifer to be asking for help from all of us.
  • President-Elect Paul Alvestad presented the report of the Nominating Committee. Treasurer - Brady Buskirk; International Service Committee – Rod Ladd will continue as Chair; Community Service Committee – Corey Coryell will become the new Chair. Please thank these Rotarians for their willingness to step into these important leadership roles. President-Elect Paul also reported that the role of Vice President Elect - Elect, has not yet been determined, although several solid candidates are being considered. Paul says the announcement of this leadership role will be done next week.
  • Exchange Student Melanie Meyer reported on her trip to California with other Rotary exchange students – trip included visits to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, the Hollywood Sign, and also some surfing. Sounds like a good time was had by all. After one day back in school, Melanie traveled to Whistler for skiing over the Thanksgiving holiday – her first ski experience outside of Switzerland. She also reported being very impressed with the dancers after attending the Dancing Classrooms show which Betty Felker helps organize with many of our local schools.
  • Annie Arbenz reminded us that the Christmas Party will be held at Canterwood Golf and Country Club on Saturday, December 16 at 5:30 p.m. Thanks to help from the Board and Canterwood, the cost is only $30 per person this year (down from the $40-45 in previous years) and will feature a choice of entrees to include a steak, salmon or vegetarian choice. Annie asks that everyone sign up within the next week. Sign ups will be done through the Constant Contact internet service and members will receive an email with a link for signing up. Please see Annie or Melissa Schwab if you need help signing up. You are also reminded to please provide two books (kids, youth or adult) – you can bring the books to a Rotary meeting or on the night of the event. Some of the books will be sent to the Philippines while some will be donated to the Community in Schools organization.
  • David Cathers reported on the success of the Basket Brigade Thanksgiving efforts this year. Some 1580 baskets of food were delivered this year. David and his team of volunteers were recognized with a standing ovation and a hearty Hip Hip Hooray. An additional outreach of the program this year was sending 150 baskets to people in the Cascade Locks, OR region that were so impacted by the Eagle Creek fire. David read a very emotional letter of appreciation from one of the basket recipients. A voice from the audience announced that David is a semi-finalist for the Unsung Hero Award this year sponsored by LeRoy Jewelers.
  • Lee Smith provided an update on Rotary’s participation in the Build-a-Bike program this year. Two of our members will be helping to build the bikes and we will be delivering 30 bikes that will include a Rotary emblem on the bike. This is our third year of involvement in this effort.
  • John Eddy announced that Rotary-After-Hours this month will be on Wednesday, December 13 (5:30 – 7:30) at the Tides Tavern.
  • Betty Felker reported that the Dancing Classrooms program continues to be a big success as evidenced by a wonderful Holiday show last night. Rotary received some nice recognition for our sponsorship efforts. Betty also invited everyone to attend the regional dance competition on Saturday, December 9 (2:00-3:30 p.m.) at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way. Vaughan Elementary school will be participating in the event.
  • Walt Paulson asked for volunteers to help with the breakdown of the Festival of Trees event. He needs several people for Sunday, December 3 starting at 9:00 a.m.
  • Because of time constraints, President Mel asked Walt Paulson to do the birthday celebrations next week.
Fines and Happy Bucks: President Mel asked the Fine Masters to defer this weeks fine session and to do a double fine session next week – they reluctantly agreed, but I suspect President Mel might want to have a few dollar bills in his wallet next week.
Raffle: We started a new pot this week after Jeff Harris pulled the blue chip last week. Mike Pinch won the ten free tickets for next week and Marsha Harris (are you kidding me?) won the chance to pull the blue chip which fortunately for her, she did not do.
Program: President Elect Paul Alvestad introduced two speakers this week – Todd Fletcher for his Classification Talk and Felice Davis (technically introduced by Buck Frymier) to provide us with an update on the WCCW Purdy Prison program.
Todd Fltecher is VP Operations, Western United States, Life Care Centers of America. Todd provided us with a wonderful photographic introduction of his childhood years through the present. The outfits he was wearing in the pictures accurately reflected the normal dress of the day, but brought many chuckles from those of us who remember wearing similar attire. Todd advised our members with young children to take pictures of them dressed up in outrageous outfits because it is fun to show later in life. Todd attended Walla Walla College where he received a degree in Business Administration. He got a second degree in Long Term Health Care Administration and started his career in Life Care Centers of America which was started in 1990 and owned by his uncle. He worked in many different care facilities throughout the country as he was learning the ropes. In 1996, he and his Uncle bought Cottesmore from Inez Glass and his family moved to Gig Harbor. Todd has very nice things to say about his wife, Cheri, and his two boys and one girl – a lovely family as evidenced by the many photos. In his current role, Todd travels extensively throughout the Western region which is why we don’t see him all that often.
Felice Davis is the Associate Superintendent of the WCCW facility (Purdy Prison) where she has worked for the past four years. She worked herself up in the correction system, starting as a probation officer. She also worked for a time at the McNeil Island facility. One of her main areas of focus for reaching out to communities is to emphasize the importance of early childhood education as a way of preventing many girls from heading in a direction leading to incarceration. She referenced that there are seven primary pathways that bring women to prison – six of the pathways dealing with early trauma (e.g. domestic violence or sexual abuse). If early childhood education teachers can spot and address the trauma symptoms early, many women can be saved from the prison experience. She also noted that 56% of the Purdy’s prison population is severely mentally ill and would be better housed elsewhere. While the Purdy prison was built to house only 750 or so residents, it now houses over 1,000 residents which severely constrains the system. Developing the soft skills required for a successful reentry into society is one of her primary areas of focus. She notes that self-advocacy (people feeling good about themselves) is of huge importance for success after release. Another statistic she shared is that 70% of women incarcerated are Mothers and if I heard her correctly, some 70% of their kids become incarcerated as well. Felice appreciates the over 700 volunteers that help with their 136 programs provided to the residents. She also invited us to visit the prison – but suggests that we call first as it is after all, a prison.
Meeting adjourned at 8:31
Notes by Stan Eastberg