Posted by Paula Olson on Sep 06, 2019
      On this significant day and meeting, President Bill Potter was a no show and Past President Mark Blanchard opened the meeting. Although you would be correct that we had no musical interlude to lull us away from our lunches and focus on Rotary business, we got something much better. Gotta keep reading to find out about it. Paula Olson gave a nice Invocation and Terry Roarke led us in the Pledge of Alliance.  Meeting set up was done by Ward Fletcher, Rob Hammar, Rob Erb, Troy Wilcox, Terry Roarke, Bob Cammarano and Lowell Johnson. Jim Weinand collected $635 at the Paul Harris table. Deidre Soileau was our greeter; Chuck Hellar sold raffle ticket sales and was Sergeant at Arms; Paula Olson was bulletin writer; and Phil Eng was the photographer.
            We had a couple of visiting Rotarians: Jerry Obendorf from Skookum Rotary, Joe Leroy from Passport and Bob Lawrence. Guests included Judi Eng, Tom and Judy Hosea, Sharon Rediske.  There was no Sunshine Report.
      In absentia, President Potter invited us to join his table at the Nourish dinner on September 12th. Joe Quinn talked about the golf outing on the last Friday of September (Sept. 27th). Let him know if you want to sign up. So far he has two foursomes. PP Mark read a heartfelt letter from Greg Horn, thanking us for supporting his rise to fame and fortune in the Rotary hierarchy. (Oh, I just found out that these are volunteer positions. Strike the fortune part here.) His letter outlined his star studded rise from a mere member to District Governor Elect and his graduation from Governor Elect Training, which was four days in Denver, CO.  Congrats, DGE Horn!  Make us prouder and do whatever Mary says to do.
      Bob Lawrence invited us to the Lakewood Arts Festival and film fest to be held at the McGavick Center on September 13, 14, and 15th. Flyers were on the tables and it looks like a lot of fun. Jerry Obendorf invited us to support the Skookum Rotary by attending the Oyster Fest on Oct. 5 – 6, 2019 at Shelton. It’s their main fundraiser that they share with other nonprofits so they are looking for a big attendance. Flyers are on the tables. Gayle Selden reported that there are six spots left for the CPR training so contact her to sign up. Phil Eng reminded us about Monday Night Football so get on the list to host and attend.  Fun times!!
Above: New Lakewood Rotarians, Julie White and David Swindale
      Next were new member inductions. Sally Smith introduced Julie White and Chris Kimball introduced David Swindale. After the solemn ceremony of induction and exchange of gifts and invoices, our newest members told us more about themselves. Julie told that she received a Rotary scholarship back in the day on her way to higher education. She comes from a small town in Indiana and grew up in New York in a town about four and a half hours from New York City. She has a wife named Tanya and two children who are musicians. She is the President of Pierce College which is a national leader in equity and promoting student success.  David calls Lake Louise home but he was born in New Zealand and has a dual citizenship. He grew up in Hawaii and came to this area to work for Joe Stortini and is currently University Place Director of Planning and Development Services. He is married and has three children.
       Okay, now the meeting gets fun, not that it wasn’t fun before but this next segment is off the charts fun and if you weren’t there, you totally missed it. John Magnuson on guitar and Greg Rediske on his Melodeon Accordion sang and played the song they wrote for Judy and Tom Hosea. Tom and Judy purchased the song at the last Sportsman Dinner for $37.95 but frankly I thought it was worth at least $40. Next year, we need to bid this one up. The song was entitled “Dey Bin Everyvhere, Man” (nope, I didn’t misspell; it’s the real title) and focused on Tom and Judy’s travels in their RV, named Large Marge (any reference to Marge’s size is strictly done with love so she takes no offense). But it wasn’t just a simple song performance; it was a combo song and comedy act. No sooner than the first line of the song was sung “Tom and Judy took off outta up vun day” when Greg interrupted to correct John that it was “UP” not “up.” An argument ensued involving ethnic slurs and references to bodily functions – think the second letter in UP. Back to the song telling that Tom was the driver and Judy was the co-pilot when Greg interrupted again to chastise John on assuming that Judy was just a co-pilot and not the driver, inferring sexism on John’s part and accusing John of not being “PC.” So, yes, more argument about bodily functions and ethnic slurs. Next stanza was about crossing a bare dessert, which resulted in another interruption about their need to use suntan lotion and an argument about the desert being bare not Tom and Judy. The song continued in this vein until the hilarious end. Tom and Judy have gone a whole lot of places, including some notable places like Walton’s Five and Dime, Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, Penis Palace Bath House, Hell’s Revenge, Coon Dog Cemetery, Donner Pass, Devil’s Knife and Fork and lots more. I’m telling you, there is no way to adequately describe this incredible performance. It was fabulous.
       Then PP Mark tried to squeeze money out of us. Wynn Hoffman wanted 15 minutes to tell about his vacation to Glacier Park and Montana with the grandkids. They stayed in a locomotive in Essex, Montana. John Magnuson paid to tell us about his bike trip from Belgium to Amsterdam which was about 300 kilometers (just 200 miles). Joe Quinn reported a new grandson and future Rotarian. Yes, Congratulations to Eric and Johanah Quinn for their first child, Storey, weighing in at seven pounds and 1.8 ounces. We can hardly wait to meet him. Gordon Quick, the resident zucchini expert helped Barb Sprigg show off her 61 pound zucchini grown by her son. Chris Kimball showed off his strength (watch out Joe, Chris is coming for your medals) and lifted it high in the air for all to see and appreciate.  How many loaves of zucchini bread will this make, you want to know. 31.2. Amazing!!
      Finally, we got to our program. Gayle introduced Joe Leroy, the CEO of Hope Sparks. He is known as the best boss in the world, one who cares about his employees and is a pleasure to work for. Joe was a little nervous about trying to follow the aforementioned segments of the meeting but he did a great job. Janie Frasier was also present to talk about Hope’s Closet.
Above: Presenter Joe Leroy, accompanied by Lakewood Rotarian Janie Frasier
      Hope Sparks has been around since 1895 and is 124 years old. Its name and primary focus has changed over the years and now focuses on children and family basic and mental health needs. It helps about 5,000 families a year and has about 27,000 clinic and home visits. Hope’s Closet is a clothing bank, which looks like a boutique for a family’s basic needs. It has about 21,000 items and has served about 3,000 families. They have a holiday event where families can shop for gifts themselves and not simply accept what is given to them. Hope’s Closet will take any item and they have an arrangement with Value Village who will pay them for items that Hope’s Closet can’t use but the store can sell.
      The office of Hope Sparks is a welcoming and inclusive environment and has a big toy in the waiting room for children to enjoy. It is affiliated with a site at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital for sexual assault treatment. Charles Wright Academy is a partner due to two teachers’ experience with Hope Sparks. They developed a program where high school students are paired with child clients of Hope Sparks to develop their own personal comic book hero and book cover. This is a way to help children face fear, own their story, and figure out how to live life empowered.  To do this, the pair fills out a questionnaire to develop what the hero would look like and do. The results are amazing. One example was about Resilient Ricky. The child had been abused and when to live at grandma’s in order to stay out of foster care. At school he was labeled a problem and he started doing self-harm and wanting to die. Resilient Ricky’s motto is “breaking through,” and the child now smiles where he never smiled before. They have helped 80 children in this way over 10 years.
      Joe is happy to conduct a tour of their facility. The Four Way Test hangs in the play and art room. Financing comes primarily from contracts, some grants and fees for services, crime victim funds and donations. Greater Lakes Mental Health and Hope Sparks refer clients back and forth. They work with Remann Hall and Pediatrics Northwest and get other referrals from schools. Their staff is largest for children aged 0-to-three years with 50 staff members. Behavioral health is one of the most challenging issues facing children. A study was done recently which demonstrated that a parent has to make 26 phone calls before they can find mental health treatment for their child, a completely unacceptable statistic.  Hope Sparks works closely with Pediatrics NW to understand the needs of children and wanting to create a system that is a “health care system” not a “sick care system.” Thank you, Joe for a very interesting talk about a great organization.
       Raffle winner was Gary Fulton and he pulled a white one for $5.00.
Yes: If you read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske then you can get a make-up for a missed meeting. Furthermore, if you shop online and do that on Amazon Smile, a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.