Posted by Donn Irwin on Jun 08, 2018
After today’s meeting our current President has a trio of meetings left to preside over….please keep the applause to a minimum as President Don likes to keep things on schedule… that end the meeting was brought to order once again at the appropriate time.
Charlene Miseli did the invocation, followed by Phil Eng leading us in the pledge.
Lakewood Rotary’s minions got the heavy lifting done so that the rest of us could just show up, eat, enjoy the meeting and leave. We don’t say it enough but this reporter wants to be sure that our set up crew gets a big Thank You for showing up every week and getting things done for the rest us. This week’s crew consisted of Rob Erb and Troy Wilcox with Gary Fulton pinch hitting. Duncan Cook, Ward Fletcher and Bob Hammar were MIA or on the IR. As you came in today you were greeted by: Alejandro Sanchez Perez. Jan Gee doubled up as the raffle ticket seller and our Sergeant-At-Arms. Bud Montgomery collected our contributions to the Paul Harris fund….a nice tidy $767.00 – thank you very much! The photographer this week is Sonia Martinez and Donnnnnnnn Irwin recorded the events with no bias whatsoever……possibly some misspelled names, convoluted sentences, several omissions and an inaccuracy or two thrown in; but certainly not biased. No visiting Rotarians were announced but President D chided Phil Eng regarding his pseudo “visiting Rotarian” status. John Forkenbrock mentioned that he is now using a walker and that Duncan Cook made it through surgery and will hopefully be back with us next week. No visitors please.
Unannounced announcement: Sally Smith re-pack project. Two shifts 9:00AM-noon and noon-3:00PM (I didn’t catch the date but I think it is this Thursday).
Rob Erb brought us up to date on the Pavilion Project and asked for 2 Bobcat drivers for Saturday  June 16th. If you haven’t signed up to help with the landscaping project on the 16th please bring your rake and be at the Pavilion site on Saturday June 16th – 9:00AM. Trust me – you’ll dig it.
 Samuel Goldwyn was one of Hollywood’s great movie producers and, like Yogi Berra, could just murder the English language. During this dialogue I’d like to share some “Goldwynisms” with you. To lead things off I’ll start with something that your Lakewood “Key” writers might say, Mr. Goldwyn is credited with saying…”All of this criticism…it’s like ducks off my back.”
Things got a little hectic when our intrepid Mr. Potter wandered up to the podium to hand President Daniels a secret coded message (or maybe it was just a note) while there was an announcement being made by someone in the back of the room. This unauthorized protocol breach seemed to cause President Daniel’s a bit of anxiety about his control of the meeting ... but he quickly recovered and moved on to introduce Kim Prentice who then quickly moved to introduce Clover Park High School’s Principal, Tim Stults.
Kim then introduced Lakewood Rotary’s Educator of the Month for June – Mel Ninnis.
Above: Educator of the Month, Mel Ninnis
Mel Ninnis has worked in Clover Park School District for 34 years, 32 of which have been at Clover Park High School. His integrity, passion and the importance he places on family and faith are traits for which he is known.
Earlier this spring, Mel was honored as the district’s 2018 Certificated Employee of the Year. Mel's ability to draw out the best in kids is exemplary. He teaches them to live with passion, with pride and with confidence (not conceit). He is loyal, loving and strong and he expects all around him to rise to this level. He has touched the Lakewood community in ways that will never be replaced.
According to his principal, Mel was the embodiment of the district promise before there really was a district promise. He balanced ferociousness on the basketball court with incredible kindness and gentleness in the hallways and classrooms.
Tim says, “It has truly been my pleasure to work alongside Mel. Rarely have I encountered an educator so dedicated to building students up into the young men and women they were designed to be as Mel has throughout his career.”
There are statistical successes that Mel and Clover Park High School are proud of…from 18 consecutive years in the boys basketball playoffs to state championships; to NBA players and college players from the program. But for Mel, those things are mostly a means to another end. They have given him the platform to speak into the lives of young people for many years. It thrills him to no end to see student athletes grow into eagles and begin to fly.
Lakewood Rotary awarded Mr. Ninnis with $100.00 and a Paul Harris Fellowship.
Mr. Ninnis also gave a talk on the Power of Words. Congratulations to Mr. Ninnis.
Noting the Power of Words, Mr. Goldwyn once stated: “Don’t let your opinions sway your judgment” and then chipped in with “These days, every director bites the hand that lays the golden egg.”
This just in: Joe Quinn has asked that the following announcement be published in the Key: “Calling all LT Partners and spouses of Rotarians. Please join us at LR meeting on Friday June 15th. We want to honor your aid to our club in a brief but unusual way on that day. June is anniversary month so hopefully that day we will mention June birthdays and anniversaries too.”  Joe Quinn
We had some special guests that showed up (a bit late but nevertheless they showed up).They just happened to be in the “neighborhood” and wanted to hear our speaker. These guests were just passing through, although it would seem that they are directionally challenged – they are from Uganda on their way to Toronto! Actually the “guests” have a relative in the US Army that is stationed at JBLM. Unfortunately I didn’t get their names.
Here’s a thought - according to Buckminster Fuller “politics is an accessory after the fact.”
Sally Smith introduced our speaker for the meeting – Charlie Gray. Charlie is the Executive Director of the Pierce County Housing Authority. He attained his Master of Public Administration from Seattle University and his BA in Psychology from Western Washington University. In his spare time he enjoys reading, skiing and hiking.
Charlie opened with a story about a “best birthday ever” – one where someone gets a new home. After a quick showing of hands Charlie found that, not surprisingly, Lakewood Rotarians don’t think that big government can solve problems.
Above: Presenter, Charlie Gray
He quickly jumped into an explanation of the Point in Time Count which is done every year to try to collect real time data on the number of homeless people in the USA. He noted that, while certainly flawed, this is the best information we have on the homeless count. The latest information shows that as of 2017, there are 40,799 homeless vets in the USA - up 20% from 2016. They are mostly male (91%) and 41% of those are between the ages of 31 and 50.
The reasons given for most of the homelessness are an extreme shortage of affordable housing, low incomes, PTSD and substance abuse.
Locally, we have identified 147 homeless veterans. Housing and Urban Development provides housing vouchers and help in dealing with these vets situations. Pierce County HUD has received additional vouchers so that by 2019 the number of homeless vets will be down to 77.
You can get more information on this topic by going to: or
Thank you Charlie for an informative update on a tough topic.
President Daniels called President to be Gayle Selden up front for an audience. Said audience designed for the sole purpose of giving PE Gayle a check for $903.00 for drawing the red chip several weeks ago at our weekly drawing. Not one to miss an opportunity for begging….er, reminding us of his shortfall in the “citations,” our current President did a great job of hinting, groveling and pretty much begging that Gayle toss her winnings into his “citation” fund. Ms Selden paused, got that little smile on her face that we will all get way too familiar with real soon, and politely declined President Daniel’s “offer.” Gayle’s winnings are going to RI. That was just fun to watch.
This week’s winning number was held by Kendra Riconosciuto. The red chip would yield $425.00. The white chip $5.00. Kendra got $5.00
Sam Goldwyn: “We’ve all passed a lot of water since then”
Next week’s meeting we learn about those things that are supposedly a girl’s best friend. The topic for the June 15th meeting is Pearls and Diamonds – A History and a Trade. Shawn Luvaas from Diamond Designs Unlimited will be the speaker
Is Ole still reading this stuff?
Oh yes: Tell Greg Rediske you read this bulletin and you will get a make-up, and make sure to shop on Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.