Posted by Joe Quinn on May 25, 2018
President Don Daniels called the meeting of the Rotary Club of Lakewood to order promptly at 12:30 p.m. on this Not Quite Memorable (Not Quite Memorial) Day of May 25, 2018.  A somewhat sparse but vociferous crowd of Lakewood Rotarians was on hand.
HELPERS:   Invocation:   Chris Kimball       Pledge:  Jay Mayer
Setup:  Duncan Cook, Rob Erb, Ward Fletcher, and Bob Hammar
Paul Harris Desk: Gary Fulton (who ably collected $545)
Sergeant at Arms/Greeter:  Johnnie Walker Photographer:  Bob Zawilski volunteered
Drawing:   Barlow Buescher        Visiting Rotarians:  Rob Erb introduced Lou Samdal of the Parkland-Spanaway Rotary Club
GUESTS:  Terry Roarke introduced his wife Walli Roarke
SUNSHINE:  "Ain't No Sunshine When You're Gone" by John Forkenbrock who was absent today.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Don Daniels announced that Bob Hammar--in case you did not notice or were absent today--is selling Rotary shirts and other RI garb that will include the RI logo.  They will be ready in time for the International Conference in Toronto in June if you tell Bob you are going.
Barb Spriggs said she bought one of the two "Five Rotarians Run the Yard" packages and it was well worth it.  She thanked John Lowney for his power washing, and also Rick Selden, Steve Mazoff, and Troy Wilcox.  Wait that is not quite five!  Who am I forgetting on this Not Quite Memorable Day?? Gawd, I hope I am not forgetting President Don!  It was Greg Horn, I think, but I am not quite sure.   Barb volunteered a $20 Citation on top of what she paid already for this popular item at the Sportsman's Dinner and Auction.  Another work party like that one is scheduled for June 2 at the home of a non-Rotarian, so we are not quite finished with yard work!
Lou Samdal of Parkland-Spanaway Rotary announced their July 21st Sixth Annual Golf Tournament at the Veterans Hospital Golf Course.  Play 18 holes for $100 per golfer (including BBQ ribs and much more) and support our Veterans as well as P-S Rotary Club.  Remember how they support our fundraisers.  Contact: for more information.   Lou also mentioned a Memorial Day Service at Bethany Lutheran Church at 264th and State Route Seven (the Mountain Highway).  Either he did not mention start time or I did not quite remember.
Rob Erb announced that our Major Project has a hands-on component.  Bring your rakes and shovels to the site of the Rotary Pavilion in Fort Steilacoom Park on June 16th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Sign-up sheets are on the tables, he said, or contact Rob; they need 30-35 volunteers and have about half that many thus far.  In other words, we are not quite there yet.  Dave Coleman piggybacked on that one, saying that commemorative bricks are on sale for display at the Pavilion.  You can buy one for $100, $250, or $500, with more money getting more lines on a larger brick.  Raise the paddle contributions at the last two auctions will count toward brick buying. Dave needs volunteers keep track of brick sales--he can not quite do all this by himself.  Ward Fletcher said we are not quite done hearing about the major project, as he is leading a painting project soon.  The siding is on site but painting has to be done at the proper time for sequencing the work--he is not quite ready to put six (6) painters to work but contact Ward to get on that list.  Overall, the project is not quite done, but the goal is to have it ready for Lakewood Summerfest in July so time is a-wasting!
NEXT STEP:  Chuck Hellar and Nicole Hancock stepped forward to introduce Cassidy Barnes of Harrison Prep.  These two hard working Rotarians served Cassidy as Mentors in the Next Step program for 2+ years.  Cassidy participated in the International Baccalaureate program that the Rotary Club of Lakewood steadfastly championed and almost singlehandedly put into place (not quite).  Her list of accomplishments is so long that space and time prevents us from being all inclusive, but we have to say National Honor Society, Jr. and Sr. Class President, cheerleader at Lakes H.S., and I think they said 4.0 GPA. Oh almost forgot but not quite:  full ride scholarship at Princeton University!  It seems that the Next Step Program really makes a difference; Cassidy gave a heartfelt thanks to her two mentors for all their help.  Nicole invited all LR folks to join this unheralded but very worthwhile committee so we would not be surprised to hear it has grown.
CITATIONS:  Donn Irwin prattled on about being Sergeant at Arms.  I think he said Johnnie Walker received  an IOU for $20 from some unnamed Rotarian, but eventually I think it was revealed that the donor was Ron Irwin.  Sorry if I did not quite get that straight but there was one too many Irwins involved.
New member Bob Cammarano contributed to the Citation Fund for a four month cruise starting in L.A. and ending in Rome.  He said it was nice to do absolutely nothing!  (Well maybe not quite absolutely--he did eat and dance.)
Ed Shannon gave $20 and $100 more to the Paul Harris Foundation for his latest golf trip.  Seems he had never before quite played all of the golf courses at Pinehurst, North Carolina.   He and his wife played six Pinehurst rounds at six different courses in one week so that means he has played all 9 now and says Pinehurst is the best ever.  Hard to top that, but I would say Ed has played not quite all of the golf courses in the U.S. so he has to keep going.
Jim Weinand said he saw something in the bulletin (you read it here first...all the news that fits...or not quite) so he gave some bucks for a wedding anniversary.
This writer gave $100 to Don Daniels' formerly starving Citation Fund due to another son getting married back in New York.  We had a truly memorable and moving experience last Monday when we visited the 911 Memorial Museum in lower Manhattan.  I will never forget the video, photos and audio of firefighters climbing up to their deaths while helping to save those who went down to live.  Very emotional so if you have not seen it you should.  Never forget those who died that day in all three places the terrorists struck.
Lowell Johnson gave $100 and told us about his scary experience in Arizona.  After four days in the hospital he came out unscathed and not really remembering what happened.  He has no after effects from the incident so we can honestly say he did not quite have any permanent residual condition but Rondi was scared out of her wits to be sure and dealt with the emergency heroically.  Medical privacy laws such as HIPAA prevent us from going into the details of Lowell's condition, but suffice it to say that it was a near death experience...well not quite but it could have been serious.  We are pretty sure Lowell has a good sense of humor.
Bob Hammar told of his participation in the Honor Flight ceremony back in Washington, D.C.  He and 56 other vets took part.   All served in either World War II, Korea or Vietnam.  One female veteran served during all three wars.  Lakewood Rotary has supported Honor Flight.
Mayor Don Anderson went to Charleston, S.C. and then to San Diego to celebrate a new grandson.
In Memoriam:  Greg Rediske mentioned that Lakewood Rotarian Ron Adkins passed away.  A service will have to wait as his sons are now out of the country.  Ron served on many LR committees, including Group Study Exchange and Next Step, Greg said.
OUR PROGRAM:  Christine Vu introduced Jeff Keller, a Gold Star Father, who is the director of the Portland USO at the airport.  Jeff replaced Christine at the job in Portland that she left to come here to manage the JBLM USO.  The theme of Jeff's talk was the meaning of Memorial Day, so it was the perfect program for this weekend.  Jeff introduced his companion, Piper, who is a potential service dog (he is not quite certified just yet).  Soon Piper will be placed into service with a veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Jeff said he rambles a lot and he is not quite funny (yes, he actually said that with no prompting) but then proceeded to deliver quite a memorable and emotional program to kick off this Memorial Day Weekend. 
Jeff and his wife had two sons--Andrew and Derek--and ten years ago they were living a good and happy life.  Both sons played many sports and one year their team finished third at the Little League World Series.  Andrew struggled in High School, although he really excelled at football.  After graduation, he said he planned to join the U.S. Army.  Not being a particularly military family, Jeff and his wife feared that choice.  Eventually, they convinced Andrew to give college a try.  He tried but it was just not for him.  Ultimately he said he was joining the U.S. Army and could not be dissuaded.  He was shooting for Airborne and Special Forces.  Initially rejected, Andrew worked hard and was accepted into Airborne School and then went with a unit based in Vicenze, Italy.   Andrew was deployed to Afghanistan and 32 days later he was killed.  Jeff told the difficult story of how his family received the bad news; Derek took it especially hard and could not deal with it for several years. 
Jeff's overwhelming emotion in the end was not anger, grief, or remorse; it was pride in his two boys. He joined a group of 8 Portland area Gold Star Fathers so that helped him deal with it.  He said Andrew was always so humble.  For example, he never told his parents he finished #1 at Airborne School.  Derek has now recovered from the grief and is successful in college.
Jeff found his calling and his passion at the USO.  Obviously, he still misses Andrew but honors his son's life.  He noted some things Andrew said about serving his country.  He seemed to know that our time on earth is short, so we had better make it count.  Jeff lives that philosophy now; when people ask him when he will retire he simply says "the day before I go." 
Jeff said Memorial Day is not the same as it was for him and his family ten years ago.  It is no longer about baseball, backyard barbeques, holiday sales and the like.   Although it is not quite Memorial Day, Jeff said, his Memorial Weekend Remembrance is about making a difference in the world.  He thanked us for Rotary's work in a life of service and making a difference.  Thank you, Christine and Jeff:  this was a truly memorable program to help us remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.  (There is just no way to apply the "not quite" label to this program so we will not say that.)
But the meeting was not quite over:
A fitting end to the meeting:  John Warner said this is the 150th Anniversary of Memorial Day.  It was invented by a general named John Logan--an artilleryman serving under General Ulysses S. Grant in the Grand Army of the Potomac--in 1868.  Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day became an official U.S. national holiday in 1971. Naturally, the very first Memorial Day ceremony took place at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Drawing:  Ed Shannon had the lucky ticket but not quite the lucky chip so only won $5.
But wait...we are still not quite done!   TEASER/PREVIEW:  It is not quite June--the month for many wedding anniversaries-- but it soon will be.  In June, probably on either June 15 or June 22, we will have a very brief but special recognition of all the Partners of Rotary, so stay tuned right here to learn more.  All spouses of Lakewood Rotarians should come to that meeting to be recognized for all their help to us.
For the program next Friday: Colonel Jay Miseli.
Finally: If you purchase anything online, do so through Amazon Smile so you can donate a portion of your purchase to Lakewood Rotary. Also, if you read this bulletin, tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up.