Posted by Joe Quinn on Jun 28, 2019
      Our third generation Rotarian President, Gayle Selden, bid us a memorable farewell today, but the Rotary story continues strongly with Bill Potter getting ready to jump into the deep end of the pool.
      Gayle thanked this year’s (and today’s) helpers including kudos to the Setup Crew of Bob Hammar, Rob Erb, Duncan Cook, Ward Fletcher, Terry Roarke, and Bob Cammarano.   But she did not forget the AV guru, Troy Wilcox.  The Thought for the Day was delivered by Clint Johnson and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Duncan Cook.  Gary Fulton collected $1752 today at the Paul Harris table (more on that below).  Our photographer was Phil Eng.  Handling Sergeant at Arms duties and introducing Visiting Rotarians was Leon Titus.  The only Visiting Rotarians today were our program speakers Jeff and Betsy Pence but see more on them below.
      Guests included “The Queen Mother”—Sharon Selden—and John Magnuson, who is actually now an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Lakewood.  John quipped that, because he was sitting between Ron Irwin and Donn Irwin, he felt like “an Irwin sandwich”.
      Sunshine Report:  Thankfully, there was not much to report but Gayle did say that Alice Peoples of Clover Park Rotary passed away.  You may remember the program a few years back when Alice told us the story of being interned in a Japanese concentration camp when she and her mother were unluckily behind the lines when Japan stretched its Axis power into other parts of Asia.  I believe Alice was in China visiting at the wrong time and ended up in a Japanese camp. 
      Presidential Soliloquy:  At that point in the meeting, Gayle used her presidential privilege to talk to us a bit about one subtle change made during her year.   She prefaced her remarks, lest they be misinterpreted, by noting that Rotary is “in her DNA” and RI has been part of her life since a very young age with Grandfather Ed, and Papa Rick including her in important events such as the Pancake Breakfast.  She did not think we noticed this subtle change but some of us did; you can see that by looking at a past bulletin or two.  Early on in her year, Gayle started to label the Invocation instead as the “Thought for the Day.”  Apparently, this did come down from on high (Rotary International) in an effort to be more inclusive in our clubs.  She noted with approval, and many agree, that Gordy Quick’s referring to it as “The Inspiration” was a fine idea.  Gayle said that RI as a whole has lost members who deemed the clubs as not inviting enough or not inclusive.  This revision is intended to address that perception.  We do not believe it is intended at all to mean that RI or its clubs are godless entities.
        Installation Banquet:  By the time you read this it will be all over!  Nonetheless, Gayle called on John Lowney to remind us not to miss the changing of the guard, passing of the torch (and all other a propos clichés) tonight, starting at 6:00 p.m.  More in depth coverage by this unfake news outlet directly below after the meeting report!  The Bill is coming due.
      Golf Outing:  A show of hands was requested:  who wants us to resume our annual attempt to play 18 holes of golf competently later this summer?  A surprising number of hands went up so we definitely need to do it.  After the meeting, some discussion was held.  The current guest fee at Tacoma Country and Golf Club is $100, up from about $86 in the past.  Should we consider going to Meadow Park or elsewhere nearby?  Should we consider a different day?  Phil Eng suggested that we could charge each player $50 for the golf portion, including those of us who are TCGC members, which would cut the price in half for those non-members and actually make it cost less than two years ago.  Of course cart rental and pizza price would stay the same.  Give any thoughts of these ideas to Joe Quinn by email or phone.
Awards:  Gayle said at the Pierce County President’s Council LR was given two more awards and there may be more coming.  It is always nice to be recognized, but especially when one does not have to pay a fine! 
RI Night at Tacoma Rainiers:  Bill Potter reminded us of the county Rotary club tailgate party and Rainiers game in mid-August.  See Bill if interested.
Craft Beer Fest:   Greg Horn said that the following weekend is the Orting Ski Lake Craft Beer Fest.  August 17th is the date of the 10th annual craft beer fest, featuring over 200 hand crafted brewskis.  As an added bonus, $30 of your $35 entry fee goes to Polio Plus!
The Courage Bike Ride:   Then, as Phil Eng announced, the weekend of August 24-25 we will be staffing a rest stop for the newly re-invented bike ride up near Leavenworth.  The new route goes over Blewett Pass and then comes back toward Cle Elum by a different route…Old Blewett Pass Road.  Volunteers needed for this fun event.
One More Fellowship Event not to Miss:   If that was not enough in August, do not forget the Floating Board Meeting.  On Thursday, August 8th, at Holly Hedge, come visit our hosts, the Mazoffs, the Reames, and the Whalens for a great picnic and a float out on Steilacoom Lake.
Before proceeding to her last fine fest for some nefarious reason Gayle had us recite the Four Way test and 99% of us said it flawlessly.  No, I am not going to repeat it here because by now you should have it down cold.
Final Fines:  Before nailing some folks, Gayle called up Jan Gee for her drawing winnings check from last week’s drawing, in the amount of $1280.50.  Jan donated about 10% of that amount to the cause.  Treasurer John Lowney was seen running rapidly forward waving a piece of paper; apparently it was the IRS or gambling commission form that all big winners must complete! 
Gayle got John Magnuson up and said he’d not been fined all year because he left us for Edmonds Rotary.  John rejoined that he might leave again right now but it was too late.  He added that he missed the close bonds of friendship he’s made over the years in this club.
Gary Fulton shared a word about the Installation Banquet and how the non-Rotarian of the Year award is named after Bernie Ootkin, a Jewish doctor that many of us remember.  A Paul Harris award of $1000 is given in Bernie’s name each year to one honored Rotarian.  In passing, Gary mentioned that Jan Gee was not only fined today.  She also donated $1280 to the RI Foundation today!
Gordy Quick rose to say that the annual delivery of the first zucchini of the season was not ready to be given to Gayle.  But he added that, although the deer ate five of his tomato plants, the zucchini have begun to flower. 
Grand-daughter fines:  Don Daniels said their oldest grand-daughter graduated from high school and wants to be a firefighter.  Donn Irwin added that their oldest grand-daughter just gave them their second great-grandson!  Rob Erb mentioned that they married off a grandkid last week, and all three of these grandpas paid money to show pride in their offspring. 
You might remember that Greg Horn paid a fine for a traffic ticket in Lakewood, after he tried to name drop to the cop:   he told the “arresting” officer he was in Rotary with the guy’s Chief, Mike Zaro.  The cop, undaunted, called Mike who reportedly told him to “pepper spray” the miscreant—future District Governor Horn.   Chief Zaro implied that the story was true, but then he paid a fine for a recent 8-day trip with his wife to Croatia. 
Bob Hammar said that he created a donation page on Facebook for his birthday and it yielded donations of $501 to Rotary.  Really?   That is pretty impressive. 
Finally, Gayle had the audacity to try to fine her own mother!  She got Sharon Selden up to be recognized for being named Volunteer of the Year this year by LASA.  Sharon also was honored recently by the Junior League of Tacoma as Sustainer of the Year.  Not to be outfoxed, Sharon actually stated:  “Dad is taking out his wallet.”  This turned out to be a true statement, albeit somewhat misleading.  At that point, Gayle said she was calling Rick on the carpet (Get it…Ed Selden Carpet One…free ad)  by honoring him with the last fine of her reign.  Well, Rick showed that the older generation of Rotarians and Seldens is equally adroit and sharp as the younger generation, as out of his wallet Rick pulled….a Get Out of Jail Free card exempting him from a fine!!  The irony is that we think that was Gayle’s idea in the first place when she was Auction Chair—the winning team members each got such a card and Rick has been saving his all this time.  What a fitting way to end her fine year, so to speak.  She tried to fine her parents for supporting her so well all year, and they rewarded her with tricks. Hilarious. 
      THE PROGRAM:  Jeff and Betsy Pence delivered our Program today, about the Rotary Friendship Exchange program.  Jeff is the Secretary of the Bremerton Rotary and Betsy is with the East Jefferson club.  They both serve proudly on the District 5020 Friendship Exchange Committee.  Jeff said he was an Interact member some 48 years ago while attending Clover Park High School, so this was a bit of a homecoming for him.  He worked as a boxboy at the Lakewood Safeway at Villa Plaza.  He and Betsy have presented to about 30 clubs so far about the Friendship Exchange program.  They also own a scuba store in the Port Ludlow area.
Above: Presenters Jeff and Betsy Pence (with Queen Gayle, of course)
Jeff said Betsy talked too much and then he proceeded to do all the talking!  He spoke and showed slides of exchanges to India and Nova Scotia that they have attended.  These exchanges are usually 9-12 day adventures and are very enlightening about other cultures.  Jeff said the hosts make friends instantly and some of these friendships last for life.  He spoke of an 18 course Hindi dinner and other delights.  The friendship exchanges also give you a chance to show off your local area when hosting, as these exchanges are just that—they involve reciprocal visits.  He said more often than not the hosts will not let you pay for anything. 
Jeff made this an interesting program with his discussion of the diverse cultural traditions and things like the constant honking of the drivers in India. 
Jeff said there are also some short term adventures or exchanges lasting as little as three days.  Some exchanges are not even international with clubs in different parts of the U.S. doing exchanges.  For example, some club members might want to come from Washington, D.C. to see Mount Rainier, while Washington State club members might want to visit the nation’s capital.  There are even waiting lists so contact the District Friendship Exchange Chair if you seek adventure.
Jeff and Betsy are doing an exchange to England next year, but alas it is already full.  Get on the waiting list.  Interesting program but we still wanted to hear from Betsy! 
The Drawing:  Jim Rooks won $5 only, since Jan Gee took the only red chip last week and won big.
INSTALLATION BANQUET:  I promised a bit about the banquet, which was held on the evening of June 28th at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club.   The Lakewood Key reporter was present but took no notes so you will have to trust a 73-year old memory.  Let me just say it was an awesome show.  
Gayle gave a memorable goodbye speech, but since her father Rick was the MC there was no way she could take advantage of him with any fines like she tried to do at the lunch meeting.  The Rotarian of the Year Award went to Wynn Hoffman for his excellent work on the bookkeeping for the Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction.  The Bernie Ootkin Award to the non-Rotarian of the year went to a young volunteer lady who works closely with West Pierce Fire & Rescue.  Greg Rediske installed the new officers and Phil Eng installed Greg as Secretary, as he could hardly install himself!   Well he is so good at the installation ceremony he probably could but it would be a bit awkward to say the least.   Something new (or maybe it was the second time) was the passing of the gavel starting with Past President Bob Lordahl and going through about 20 of us PPs all the way to Bill Potter.  Nice symbolism.
Speaking of Bill Potter, his debut speech showed that he is going to be a different kind of President.  Bill has a lot of ideas and he has a zany way of presenting his thoughts, at about a mile a minute.  He revealed about six minor policy initiatives but like I said there was no notebook so you will have to wait for his first meeting to know what they are!  (Remember by the way,…no meeting on July 5 so his inaugural meeting will be July 12th.)  I spent most of the weekend trying to come up with “Bill jokes” to sprinkle into the bulletin in coming months.  What do you call it when Bill holds us over past 1:30 p.m. at a meeting?  A Bill of Detainer.   (I figured no one ever heard of a bill of attainder, whatever that is.)  What is it called when Bill packs us all up in a bus to go to a Seahawks game?   A Bill of Lading.  Or lastly, what do you call it when Bill makes an unpopular decision with us in the peanut gallery?    A Pitter Bill to swallow?  Now that is bad.  Good night.  We will have a helluva year with Bill at the helm.  Hold on for dear life; he has a lot of great ideas.  He has already met with the Mayor, City Council and Police Chief to see what LR can do for Lakewood.  Really! 
Lastly, thank you to Gayle Selden for serving as our President. It has been a memorable year with you leading us.
Oh yes, read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up for a missed meeting; additionally, if you shop online, please do so at Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.