Posted by Mary Marlin on Jul 12, 2019
      Right on time, the gong jolted the members of Lakewood Rotary to silently stand and the Reign of Bill Potter was officially implemented, recognized or was it feared? Ah, his smile dissipated the concerns and the meeting officially began.
      He even suggested, "Yell if I'm wrong."  (a generous, dangerous offer, I might add). A new banner was lifted by the Pres to signify a new day was at hand. Music played and Rotarians clapped to the beat. Here comes fun!! Fellow Rotarians, visiting Rotarians and Guests were all welcomed and the thought for the day was given by Andrew Kruse.  Jamie Gregory, a visiting Rotarian from Puyallup, and an Assistant Governor, led the members in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Those assisting the set up for the meeting were Duncan Cook, Ward Fletcher, Bob Hammar, Rob Erb, Troy Wilcox, Terry Roarke, Bob Cammarano, and Lowell Johnson. At the Paul Harris table was Steve Enquist. Chuck Hellar and Brian Ivey did ticket sales. Eric Quinn was the busy photographer and Yours Truly... the Bulletin Writer. 
Above: Jamie Gregory joined us for the meeting, and was immediately surrounded by microphones!
      The Sunshine Report was given by Barlow Buescher and the news was that Ted Wier is now in St. Anthony's hospital for two weeks. We wish you well, Ted.  A Rotarian who has passed, Ed Johnson, was given tribute by Bill and Ann Riley who donated funds on behalf of their friend. Guests today included Bob Hammar's wife of 62 years and his daughter, Taryn. His granddaughter, Mary Olivia, also in attendance, was honored by her grandfather with a Paul Harris award.  Also present was the Assistant Chief of Logistics of West Pierce Fire and Rescue, Norm Fiacchi, encouraging all to vote on August 6th for three ballot propositions.
     Several announcements were then made regarding the good works and good fun of Lakewood Rotary. Note the Lakewood Summer Fest on Saturday, July 13th. Sally Smith reminded us that storytelling for families would be held at our pavilion at Steilacoom Park from 6:30 to 7:30. There will also be food trucks, activities for children, a rocking band, and plenty of ways to spend money on exciting homemade items. Springbrook has enjoyed 55 Happy Campers this summer. Students have sent 1500 ladybugs on their way, and a fair sponsored by Diane Formoso on August 6th will gather needed school supplies. 
      Greg Horn encouraged all to join the 10th Annual BeerFest on August 17th at Ski Park. On August 15 is the Mandatory Fun Night at the Rainiers with Bill Potter and sporty others. The Mary Bridge Courage Rededication of the Child Abuse Intervention Department will be renamed to include the partnerships of Rotary Clubs of Pierce County on August 21st.  The Courage Bike Tour chaired by Phil Eng will occur on August 24th and 25th. Gordy Quick modeled an apron that Richard Simmons had for the Courage Classic and insisted it had a slimming affect. Yours truly was a happy recipient. And don't forget the Board Meeting at 5:30 next Thursday!!  Congratulations to our newest member, Ron Banner, who after passing the Four Way Test with the membership joining in, thanked the club for being able to be a member of a group that "gives back". His sense of humor is already a welcome addition he's given to the team. Bill Potter then mentioned that he will award the first four new members of his presidency a $250 grant they may use to assist others.  This Puffin Grant will be a unique way to pay it forward. To be continued....
     Then, of course, came the opportunity to add to the coffers. Steve Enquist  and Anne had fun in Russia and Steve was busted when Anne mentioned Steve's donation was 16 cents, even though it sounded generous in Russian. Anne mentioned it was particularly interesting to hear locals speak of their experiences during World Wars I and II.  Scott Buser contributed and was recently honored by the Tacoma Athletic Commission for his incredible work helping the organization with softball officiating. Donna Phillips didn't make it to London but her granddaughter and sister did.
     Sally Smith then introduced the speaker for the day, Jim Sharp, our esteemed member and the Fire Chief of West Pierce Fire and Rescue! We learned a lot  from Jim today. Here are some important facts.  Lakewood and University Place have six fire stations, and a heck of a lot of firefighters and emergency medical services personnel. West Pierce answered16,000 calls last year! They do everything: full service re. urbanized areas, marinas, lakes, divers, rescue teams, hazardous materials issues, high rescue cases, education of children and adults  re care and rescues, derailment issues, freeway accidents, and Western State needs. Calls have increased 28% since 2011 and show little means of slowing quickly.
Above: Jim Sharp, Fire Chief of our very own West Pierce Fire and Rescue
         There is definitely a high demand for service, especially in West Pierce. The area West Pierce Fire and Rescue serves is densely populated. There are major issues of drugs, homelessness and a shortage of doctors. People call 911 for many reasons.....some urgent, but some because they can't access care without ambulance transportation, or because people are lonely and know firefighters are generous, kind people; additionally, the older population is increasing and medical issues are more prevalent. In 1940 the emphasis was on fire emergencies. Now it is often medical emergencies. So the good news is that needs are being addressed.  Local agencies are picking up many responsibilities. Church members are assisting as they can. Making avenues easier to help others is a big need for all who want to help.  Once chronic phone callers are helped, the phone calls stop happening. This "Connective Care" is the connection to resources, and the connections are all improving across the community because of agencies like West Pierce. The more you know, the more it works.  But it's all hands on deck! On August 6th, three West Pierce ballot measures, if passed, will fund approximately 85% of the fire district's operating budget.  VOTE!! And  note that the total taxes assessed in 2020 will be less than 2016.  Thank you, Jim, for all you and your staff do to protect and assist Lakewood and Pierce County.
      With that, the meeting was adjourned, but not before our newest member, Ron Banner, got LUCKY and won the $5 raffle ticket.  Welcome to Lakewood Rotary, Ron!   Yours truly, Mary Marlin.
      And yes, read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up. Additionally, if you shop online, please do so at Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.