Posted by Paula Olson on Feb 08, 2019
What’s that white stuff coming down?  Is it the wildly and widely predicted winter storm?  Why weren’t all the tables filled with brave and sturdy Rotarians?  Could it be we have some snow scaredy cats amongst us?    

          President G. Selden opened the meeting on time as usual. Charlene Miseli led us in a Boy-Scout-inspired invocation and Donn Irwin led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Ward Fletcher and Rob Erb did the set up; Jim Rooks manned the Paul Harris table.  Barb Spriggs did double duty at the raffle ticket sales table and Sergeant at Arms; Paula Olson as bulletin writer; and Eric Quinn as photographer.   
  We had a visiting Rotarian: Charlie Maxwell from Clover Park.  Guests included Jessie Harrington and Jason Che and Norm Fiachi, Assistant Fire Chief. John Warner was on the lookout for the Abominable Snowman. John Lowney reported on Ted Wier who was last seen strolling (with the help of his walker) into the shower at the UP Care Center. Sadly, according to John, he was alone, which is probably best for his heart. (I just faithfully report what I hear, folks.) Ted welcomes visitors, but call first.
Above: Rick Selden (left) introducing Charlie Maxwell (Right)
         Pres. Gayle read us a letter from Faye Simmons, Richard’s sister, thanking us for the flowers at his service and all those who attended. She expressed how proud Richard was to be a Rotarian. Apparently, Richard always saved Gayle the last piece of his famous apple pie and in that honor, she was auctioning off his amazing covered pie holder.  John Warner started bidding at $5.00. Gayle pointed out all of the holder’s features: it opened and closed, it had a pie plate in it, and it was made of material of the future – plastic. Bidding went wild until it got to $55. Then it slowed to $56, $56.99 by Mark Blanchard, who had the winning bid. We learned something at this meeting. Of all of our esteemed President’s talents, auctioneer is NOT one of them.  Do not hire her as an auctioneer.
          Charlene announced the Boy Scout fundraising breakfast on March 7 at 7:00 am at the Murano Hotel. She tried to get us in the competitive spirit by signing up for more tables than other local Rotaries. She’d love it if we all showed so let’s show our Boy Scout support. Eric Quinn announced the upcoming Sportsman Dinner and Auction.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Anyway, it’s happening on April 13th and it’s a freaking big deal. Eric needs lots of volunteers for lots of jobs so sign up. Team rosters were on the table, buy tickets for the dinner and procure, procure, procure.  If you are unfamiliar with procuring, that means donate stuff to the auction for other people to buy. It’s for the best cause – us! Paula Olson read some good detailed descriptions of items and some bad ones.  A good one has enticing descriptive detail; a bad one has two words. Rick Selden announced that Charlie Maxwell was donating a tour of the LeMay family home and collection and he and John Lowney were doing lunch. I think they promised something more than dogs and chips. Donna Phillips passed around cards with procurement ideas on them so the teams’ creative juices could start to flow.
          Mary Horn reported on the previously homeless family that Rose Stevens got involved with helping. They are in an apartment but are sleeping on the floor with no furniture or much of any household goods.  Of course, Lakewood Rotarians are on the job and soon they will be well stocked. Kitchen stuff and toys for boys aged 4, 7, and 9 and an 11 year old girl are especially needed.
          Greg Horn announced the birthdays. wedding anniversaries, and Rotary anniversaries for the month of February 2019.  Birthday people included Barlow Buescher, Mary Marlin, Dave Reames, Anne Enquist and Mary Moss.  Wedding anniversaries included Johnny Walker to Millie, 8 years, Morris Northcutt to Lavonne, 15 years, Chris Easter to Wendy, 20 years; Terry Roarke to Walli, 41 years; Donna Phillips to Andy, 50 years and Mo Sarram to Fereshteh, 59 amazing years. Congrats to all! Rotary anniversaries included Eric Warn, 1 year, Kendra Rioconosciuto 1 year, Andrew Kruse, 1 year, Christine Vu, 1 year, Cheri Loiland 5 years, Jim Weinand 7 years, Kris Peterson 9 years, Dan Livingston 13 years, Donna Phillips 14 years, Ward Fletcher 19 years, Chris Kimball 20 years, Michael Lewis 10 years, Dave Coleman 31 years, Mo Sarram 32 years, and Dave Reames 41 years.
            Oh Lord, now President Gayle donned her crown. Chris Kimball was the first victim. Turned out someone was in a car accident because someone else let loose with Chris’ $1 million dollar bills and thought Chris was responsible. He had a list of reasons why that wasn’t so. Larry Clark had to explain why he was on a Clover Park poster dressed as Dr. Hormone. His explanation was that it was advertising a fundraiser for student scholarship and it was better than a cape and tights. Hhhmm. We’re not sure about that, Larry. Scott Buser’s daughter got married in San Diego on the only day of the year where it poured rain. President Gayle took Rose Stevens to task for a picture of her in the back of a cab without a seat belt. OMG, we were collectively horrified until Rose said that she was crammed in the back with three of her best friends and even if she wanted to put on a seat belt, one really wasn’t needed. We felt better. She brought Gayle a present from Mexico and Gayle seemed mollified.
        Andrew Neiditz introduced the program and the speaker, our own Lakewood Fire Chief Jim Sharp.  Jim has been in the fire service for 33 years rising from the ranks of dispatcher. He was made Assistant Fire Chief for Lakewood in 2008 and Chief of West Pierce Fire Department in 2013. That is a combination of Lakewood and University Place. Jim’s topic was West Pierce CARES. He  introduced Norm Fiachi, a board member of  CARES and new hire. CARES is a diverse organization started in 1994 as a 501(c)(3). It was known as the Lakewood Life Safety Charity Fund. It started as a fund to help citizens affected by fire or accident and as a supplement to fire fighters digging in their own pockets to help folks. It is employee driven and its board members come from all facets of the fire department. The letters of the acronym means: C – community; A – assistance; R – resources; E – education, S – support.  What it does is best told by stories. It gives taxi vouchers to people who need non emergent transportation to the hospital, saving ambulances for true emergencies. When that first started, CARES received a national award. It gives transit passes to homeless people who need transportation, gift cards for food or clothing and other necessities, and assistance to families after a fire or accident before the Red Cross can get involved. It assists fire department members, like an elderly retired member who needed a new roof. CARES helped pay expenses while fire employees did the work. CARES sponsors “Santa at the Station” an alternative to Santa driving around on a fire engine. This is a picture opportunity for families to pose with Santa, visit a fire station and have hot chocolate. There is an event in Lakewood and University Place.  It also provides education resources for the community.
Above: Presenter, our very own Jim Sharp, Fire Chief, West Pierce Fire and Rescue
            Jim explained why it exists. The department can’t use tax dollars for these purposes and there needed to be a place for citizen donations and 501(c)(3) grants. It replaces fire fighters’ individual generosity. Jim told the story of a homeless man who was going on a work interview but he didn’t have suitable clothes. A fire fighter learned of his predicament and picked him up and took him to the store for clothes, which the fire fighter paid himself. The two created a bond and the man landed the job. It was a fresh start for him. CARES can give a broader reach for that kind of help.
            CARES’ budget is about $10,000 a year. $6,000 comes from employee donations, 35% in grants and the rest private donations. Jim told the story of a fund of money compiled by insurance companies and businesses that clean up after fires. There was no suitable 501(c)(3) organization to put it until they learned of CARES. The first year, they donated $10,000.  Other examples of how funds are used are rebuilding a handicap ramp, and taking people to get medication from pharmacies if they have no transportation. This stopped the use of the ER and 911 when people run out of meds and are in crisis.  There was the time that a person slipped and fell and couldn’t let medics in the house. Medics had no choice but to break a window. The fire department tries to repair that type of damage and CARES paid to replace the glass. CARES will pay for vet bills for injured pets because of a fire.
            Questions included the connection between CARES and “Fill the Boot.” Jim explained that there is no connection. “Fill the Boot” is sponsored by the labor union for muscular dystrophy. Similarly “Caring for Kids” is different but a close affiliation. Jim talked about the rapid rise in non-emergent EMS issues across the country and here in Pierce County. The availability of CARES helps a lot.
            Thank you, Jim, for a very interesting and informative presentation.
Raffle winner was Mark Edgecomb who got a whopping $5.00. And we skied off into the traffic. 
           Ah yes: Read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up. Also, do all or most of your online shopping on Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.