Posted by Paula Olson on Jul 19, 2019
      President Bill Potter opened the meeting with a nice bell ringing melody, as yet unnamed. We’ll see if he can repeat it next week. Dave Coleman gave a nice Invocation and Astrid Arola led us in the Pledge of Alliance.  Meeting set up was done by Ward Fletcher wearing all hats. He collected $205.00 at the Paul Harris table. Leanna Christian sold raffle ticket sales and was Sergeant at Arms; Paula Olson was bulletin writer; and Troy Wilcox was the photographer.
            We had a couple of visiting Rotarians: Skip Stephan and a Past President, Tom Sadler.  Guests included Ryan McGrady, an Assistant Chief at West Pierce Fire and Rescue; and Daniel Fredrick and Clare Barnett from Café Oasis, an organization that works with homeless kids. There was no Sunshine Report.
      President Potter reminded everyone that next week is the Member-Guest Invitational and parking will be tight. Joe Quinn will have eight spots available at his house within walking distance to the clubhouse. Prices will vary according to how much he likes or dislikes you so start sucking up now if you want to park at his place. For reasons unclear to this writer, Pres Potter nicknamed John Lowney as “J-Lo.” Well the name kinda fits but he sure doesn’t look like the other “J-Lo.”  A-little-confused Mark Edgecomb announced that we received a service grant from the District. Rose Stevens popped up to help Mark explain the details. The total grant is $7,000; we will pay $3,500 and the district will kick in the other $3,500. The money will go to disabled children in a town about 350 miles outside of Kathmandu, Nepal. Things like Braille paper will be purchased along with uniforms, sporting equipment, and other school supplies. Rose will be visiting the school in November when she makes her next trip to Nepal.
       Pres Bill gave the run-down of things to do and places to go in August and September. He announced that there is a District-Zone Institute in Denver, CO on September 5th for the rest of that week. It is open to any Rotarian and talk to Bill for more details. August 8th is the Floating Board meeting, which is a fellowship event. We’ll get a tour of the lake and lots of food and drinks and fun.  August 15th is the Rotary Baseball game, which is all sold out but if you talk nice to Bill he can hook you up. Give him a call if you want to go.  August 17th is Beer Stock at Ski Lake Park. Remember that proceeds will go to your Paul Harris account so not only will you have lots of fun and beer but will fatten up your PH. On August 21st there will be the rededication of the Child Abuse Center at Mary Bridge Hospital. August 24-25 is the Courage and lots of us have signed up to work at the rest stops. Phil Eng is the man in charge of that. Whew! I’m exhausted just writing about these things to do.
       Then it was what Pres Bill calls “Deposit Time” when members deposit funds in his fine account.  Rick Selden was the first victim. He showed up in his theme attire from the Calgary Stampede, kinda like when you show up at a party as the only one in a costume. He and Lowell and J-Lo hung out in a 10,000 square foot home with eight bedrooms but no pool. They all had a great time and Rick deposited a green leaf. Paula Olson announced that she has no life and nothing to announce so she gracefully avoided a deposit. Jim Sharp deposited a total of $50 honoring the marriage of his son to his lovely bride, accompanied by sun at the wedding. Chris Kimball told us about his trip to Normandy, Germany visiting a former exchange student and her family. They went to the Porsche factory. Next was France in the heat and no air conditioning. Milkshakes were $20 a pop and Chris paid $100, split between the club and his Paul Harris. Mary Marlin and Sally Porter Smith deposited $40 in honor of Jim Sharp and West Pierce fire fighters and all they do for the community.
      Pres Bill asked a trivia question. When the Eiffel Tower was built in the 1800’s, what was the tallest building at that time, that the tower surpassed? Guesses came from all over the room with many thinking the Empire State Building. Nope, wrong answer. Finally after the folks started to get restless, Bill heard someone whispering the Pyramid at Giza, which was the right answer. Wow, we were surprised.
      Mark Edgecomb introduced our speakers: Dylan Alexander and Hank Foster. Dylan was a local boy all grown up and representing the women’s professional soccer team, the Seattle Reign FC. Hank came via North Carolina and represented the men’s soccer team, Tacoma Defiance. They told us that since the Rainiers are the most successful AAA team in the country, they want soccer teams to do the same. So a new multisport stadium will be built right near where Cheney Stadium is now. It will involve youth teams, such as Foss High School, and give kids options to either play sports or get involved in the business of sport teams. There will be a big development of commercial and residential units as well as parking next to Cheney Stadium. Of course, it’s still in the development stage but with public and private funding, they hope to have it done by 2022 – 2023. The source of funds include Multicare and Metro Parks.
Above: Presenters Dylan Alexander and Hank Foster
      The organization is called “We are Tacoma”. The Reign are one of the best soccer teams in the world, and Megan Rapinoe lives here. She will mentor youth as well. The Reign has been in Seattle since 2011 and will now be in Tacoma. The new stadium will focus on experience for fans and business owners.  And soccer is more and more popular. The July 28 game is sold out and the September 7th game is almost sold out.
      The guys took questions from members. Various baseball fields will be replaced and new fields will be around the city so we can host national tournaments. Metro Parks will be involved to make sure the new fields are appropriate. The attendance for the Reign is now 5-7,000 people but in the future, it is hoped that it will be at least 6,800 and up to 10,000. For Defiance, it is now 2-4,000 people but is building. When soccer teams play at Cheney, the turf must be replaced for baseball. It costs about $30,000 each time and must be completed within 12 –24 hours. We have the best grass-conversion team in the country. The Defiance is really building up its players. They just signed a 16-year-old star. The Defiance models its relationship with the Sounders like the Rainiers and the Mariners. They get players from the Sounder Academy. The players hope to impress the Defiance with the hopes of moving up to the Sounders. The Reign get players all over the world out of college and other teams.
      Parking will be an issue and everyone in the development team is prepared to address it. Concessions will stay local like they are at Cheney now. The new organization will partner with high schools to reserve seats for teams and have play offs at the stadium. Corporate sales will help businesses give a great sport experience. There will be lots of summer camps for kids and the same kind of entertainment now at Cheney, like with Rhubarb the Mascot. There will be party decks and suites. The stadium alone will cost about $60 million. Sponsors come from all over the area, including Seattle down to Centralia. The Rainiers have 2,500 corporate partners.
      In answering why Dylan and Hank are involved, they expressed that sports brings people together and creates bonds. It was a way of expanding their love of sports. They were asked: Who was the greatest baseball player of all time? Hank said Hank Aaron, his name sake and Dylan said Derek Jeter for his leadership qualities.  
Raffle winner was Jim Sharp and he pulled a white one for $5.00.
And of course, if you read this bulletin, tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up for a missed meeting. And if you shop online, please do so at Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.