Posted by Joseph Quinn on Feb 23, 2018
President Don Daniels called the meeting of the Rotary Club of Lakewood to order promptly at 12:30 p.m. and it became evident immediately that this was to be the "Lakewood Rotary's Got Talent" Day.
President Don called upon Chris Kimball to deliver our Invocation, but that seemed to be a total surprise to Chris.  Nevertheless, Chris responded with an impromptu invocation that sounded to us like he had rehearsed or prepared thoroughly.  We thought right then:  Lakewood Rotary's Got Talent!  I don't know about you, but many of us could not do that just off the cuff.  Nice job, Chris.
Donn Irwin led us in the Pledge of Allegiance today.  Bob Zawilski was working at the Paul Harris table, where he collected $117.  Barb Spriggs not only sold raffle tickets but she also helped at the Procurement Table.  See what I mean...LR has Talent!  Eric Quinn was the official Photographer, but I saw him delegate a portion of that task to his wife and guest--Johanah Kang.  The setup crew was the usual Fab Four:  Duncan Cook, Rob Erb, Ward Fletcher and Bob Hammar--again lots of talent there.  Rob also introduced our one visiting Rotarian and former Lakewood Rotarian...Rod Ladd.
GUESTS: Guests also included Mike Johnson and Paul Davis of the McLane Company, introduced by Jan Gee.  Christine Vu and Andrew Cruz were introduced as guests but later in the meeting became members of Lakewood Rotary.  Aha, fresh talent and new, younger members.  Can't you just feel that average age of Lakewood Rotarians edging down toward 60?
SUNSHINE: John Forkenbrock said former LR member Tom Swarner had a stroke.  John said a card was sent to Richard Simmons, who is recovering at home.  He also said member Ron Adkins is coming back from some health problems.  John Lowney informed the assemblage that Ted Wier had some chest pain so he got a ride in the aid car from his friends at West Pierce Fire & Rescue, where he used to serve as a commissioner.  The diagnosis is not totally definite; he may have had a minor heart attack and it seems that he may well have pneumonia.  John Forkenbrock gave us all a gentle reminder that we need to let the Sunshine Committee know when a member is ill.  John has a talent for being tactful but firm.
STUDENT OF THE MONTH: Bob Peterson introduced the Principal of Steilacoom High School, Michael Miller, before calling forward our Student of the Month-- Jonah Faitala, a standout senior at Steilacoom H.S. Active in student government, Jonah has a 3.2 GPA, and serves on the school district's and the town of Steilacoom's Safety Committees.  He aspires to be a police officer.  Jonah said he has a full scholarship to Northwestern University where he will seek a degree in Business Administration.  Talent for sure.
Above: Lakewood Rotary Student of the Month, Jonah Faitala (Right)
Charlene Miseli reminded us that she wants a Lakewood Rotary table for the March 7th Scouting Breakfast at the Foss Seaport and still has a couple of seats left.
THE AUCTION:   Eric Quinn delivered a rapid fire rap about all we need to do for the 48th Annual Sportsman's Dinner and Auction, which is coming up on April 14th (the four primary things you need to do: procure, buy tickets, volunteer and/or sponsor a table).  He spat out those lyrics so fast this untalented scribe could not keep up, but suffice it to say that we need to keep pushing hard.  Thanks Eric, that rappin' and rhymin' is a rare talent indeed. I did hear him say that the top four teams so far in procurement are: #4, the Big Game Hunters with $2,488, #3 the Foundation team with a bit more (about $2,900, I think), #2 Tequila Mockingbird with $4,275 and the numero uno team right now (drum roll by Chris Kimball right here on account of...he's got talent...)  the Air Pilots with $7,459!  Now there's some talent!  Come on teams, are we going to let those four teams beat us??
President Don held up some book bags that were left with him after our successful book drive for the benefit of Tacoma Area Literacy Council.  He said to pick them up if you want them back.
SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE: Sally Smith announced that the Scholarship Committee chaired by Andrew Neiditz needs nominations for the incentive awards by March 31st.
DISTRICT CONFERENCE:   Sally also informed us that the Community Service Project part of the District Conference/District Training that is coming up in early May needs your help.  Be there at the Hotel Murano on May 3, 2018 for the packing of 50,000 meals (did she say 50,000?).  That project will be done between 7:40 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. that Thursday morning before the conference really gets going.  There is an online registration form. Sally sent me this link after the meeting so it looks easy to sign up:
 Mary Horn added that we can even come over on Wednesday and help with setup.  Greg and Mary Horn are conference chairpersons so let's get behind our leaders and show District 5020 that Tacoma can put on a great conference!  Why? Because we've got the talent but we need to prove it.  Mary also mentioned that Home Hospitality will be on Thursday night.  She explained for newer Rotarians and even some older ones who have never been to District Conference that Home Hospitality is an event when the out of towners (such as our Canadian brethren and sistren) like to visit and have dinner with the locals who are running the conference.  Both diners and hosts are needed so if interested just sign up.  (I know there's no such word as "sistren" but we have to think outside the box in Rotary, as we've got talent!)
Mike McGowan was then called up to award three Paul Harris Fellow awards:  Honorees were: Jan Gee, for her first PH, Jay Mayer for his third, and Don Anderson for his seventh award.  Congrats and thanks to all three of them.  Without such Rotary Foundation giving, matching grants (see below) and many other great works of RI would not be possible.  For all you new members, a Paul Harris award is given for donating $1,000 to the Rotary International Foundation. 
President Don added a timely mention of a project in Ecuador that is close to his heart.  The Rotary Club of Quito, Ecuador conceived of a program to aid people with hearing loss or deafness in their country.  Unfortunately, their first grant request was denied but they re-submitted and won approval for a global grant.  Our International or World Service Committee approved a $2500 matching grant.  Since our club bylaws require all donations of $2,000 or more to have club approval, Don asked for a motion. Mike McGowan made the motion, Bob Hammar seconded it, and the club approved that grant unanimously. 
Above: New Lakewood Rotarians, Christine Vu and Andrew Cruz
INDUCTIONS:   President Don then inducted two new members--Andrew Cruz and Christine Vu.  After the inductions, in accordance with long tradition of the Rotary Club of Lakewood, President Don offered them  both a couple of minutes to tell us about themselves without being given a citation.  Eric Warn, who bloviated for about 8 minutes when he was inducted a few weeks ago, was heard to shout out, "Take all the time you want."  It was almost a mutiny but both new members were a model of brevity.
Christine Vu runs the new USO at Camp Lewis and comes to us after managing the USO at the Portland Airport for the last six years.  Her other half is stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord.  So Christine is an invader from the Rose City.
Andrew Cruz is with Youth For Christ here in this area.  He moved up here from Portland in September.  Yikes!  We are being invaded by Portlanders.  Andrew and his wife just had a new baby two weeks ago.  He thanked us for welcoming him into Lakewood Rotary.  To us, though, it seemed like a welcome infusion of youth and .... dare we say...talent into Rotary Club of Lakewood. 
Citations:   Rod Ladd paid $20 for a "paid political announcement":  the Gig Harbor Rotary Club is holding its fundraiser on March 10th.  We should support it, partly because Rod just sponsored a table at our Auction coming up in April (in case you forgot).  President Don Daniels had some more fun with the John Warner stolen- coat-with-car-keys-in-it caper.  Turns out it was John Magnuson's coat and yes his keys were in it.  A good sport, John M. matched John W. for $20 even though he did nothing wrong!!  Have you heard Maggie play the ukulele?  He's got talent.
Above: Presenter, Georgia Lomax
THE PROGRAM: City Manager John Caulfield introduced Georgia Lomax, the Executive Director of the Pierce County Library system.  Georgia has been with the PC Library since 2006 but has lengthy librarian experience.  Georgia updated us on all of the many PC Library services and functions.  There is much available online as well as in person.  They even provide job help with reviewing of resumes and practice for job interviews.  Their staff can help you develop a business plan.  They also help us relax and enjoy our free time.  You can download free ebooks online, Georgia said.  Now the PC Library is launching a live streaming program so you can follow the latest "Pierce County Reads" selection.  Annually, the PC Library sponsors a big community gathering to celebrate the chosen author for the PC Reads program.  On March 11th, they will be announcing this year's selected book and author.  Georgia also discussed their Strategic Planning process, which sounds like the library leaders really listened to what the public wants.   In conclusion, Georgia discussed the funding of priority library services.  A junior taxing district, the Pierce County Library system serves a huge part of Pierce County including annexed cities such as Lakewood and many others.  The property tax, which is authorized by state law for such libraries up to $0.50 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation, provides 94 to 97% of their money to operate.  2006 was the last time we voted on their tax levy and those funds were basically used over the next six years, so since 2012 they have been mostly dependent upon cost cutting to balance their budget.  Their tax levy rate has now decreased to about 41.5 cents per thousand (Editor's note:  As assessed valuations increase the rate must decrease due to the 1% lid on annual revenue increases, sometimes called "the Eyman Initiative").  Georgia said the PC Library system serves 82,000 more people since they last addressed their tax revenue issue with voters.  One more open house is scheduled next Tuesday to discuss their Strategic Plan.  Don't be afraid to get involved.
The Drawing:   Just before President Daniels gave Rick Selden $5 for kindly drawing only the white chip, Don mentioned that Mike Zaro paid $1000 from his recent raffle winnings.  Great donation.  Don also mentioned that Rod Ladd donated $500, so we all said he can come back any time he wants.  We miss you Rod but thanks for supporting Lakewood Rotary.