Posted by Joe Quinn on Oct 05, 2018
         The theme of our bulletin today was self-evident:  President Gayle Selden is traveling for a few weeks and various Past Presidents have stepped up to take care of President Pro Tempore duties.  But read the Lakewood Key to see how many LR Rotarians stepped up and will continue to do so. PPT John Lowney was the first to step up as will be shown below. He rang the bell right on time and got us rolling.
       Thought for the Day: John called on Barlow Buescher to give us the thought for the day.  Barlow said Rotary is all about relationships and living a life that makes a difference.  He said we do step up despite our “busy-ness” (at first, I thought he said “dizziness” but maybe that’s pretty close to accurate).
       Pledge – Bill Allen led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. Photographer – Bob Zawilski
       Setup Guys -  Duncan Cook, Bob Hammar, and Ward Fletcher, with Troy Wilcox working his magic with the AV system as usual.
       Chuck Hellar acted as Sergeant at Arms  (note the correct spelling; it is not “Sargent”).
       Our Greeter was missing today so the committee chair needs to email that reminder each week.  He did not step up and shall remain un-named except to say that he must have been preparing to write this fine bull. Apologies and no excuses. Mick Johnson collected money at the Paul Harris table.
       Visiting Rotarians included Rick Thompson of Parkland-Spanaway and Caitlyn Billingsley of Clover Park.  Ted Wier pointed out that Caitlyn owns the Moonrise Restaurant and has been an avid supporter of our auctions. Guests:  Mary Covelli Johnson introduced her daughter, Melissa West (our Program Speaker), Penny Taylor, and Emily Ott, a previous Lakewood Rotarian (some wag hinted that she could always return).  Jim Sharp, West Pierce Fire Chief, introduced Mike Bolt, the newly promoted Assistant Chief of Operations.
       SUNSHINE:  John Forkenbrock delivered the sunshine report.  Richard Simmons fell at home but he is OK, John said.  Ron Irwin said John Magnuson was supposed to be our President Pro Tempore today but he has developed blood clots in both legs.  He was advised by his doctor that driving from Edmonds to Lakewood presented a health risk.  Get well quick, Mags!  So that explained why John Lowney stepped up on very short notice to be our President Pro Tem today.  I am not sure that John even had 24 hours notice so…did he not step up and do a great job??!
       PAST PRESIDENTS’ LAMENT:  But John Magnuson did not lose his wit.  He had the time and sense of humor to write a detailed “Past President’s Lament” that Lowney read to many guffaws.  What Mags did was spin a tale of woe in the voice of Past Presidents, creatively weaving their names (most if not all of them) into a Quick lament about Horns, Rediskes, Seldens and too many others to count.  Hilarious…the press corps wants a copy.
       FOUR WAY TEST:  Keeping with a Gayle Selden tradition,  PPT Lowney then made us recite the Four-Way Test, which we did loudly and confidently (well, most of us stepped up).
       ANNOUNCEMENTS:  John then said today we have a “covey” of announcements.  It was Dave Covey who stepped up to announce that the annual Harkness Furniture (South Tacoma Rotary) miniature golf fundraiser will be October 12th.  We have one team so far and want to field two. Pavilion Ribbon Cutting:   The dedication ceremony for our Lakewood Rotary (well, City of Lakewood really) Pavilion in the Park will be October 27th.
       Board meeting: Right here at Tacoma Country and Golf Club on October 18th starting at 5:30 for those Puffins who want to get a blue badge item taken care of.
Speaking of Puffins, Monica Cordell was itching to pass on the Puffin and today was the day for two other new members to step up to claim him/her?  Leanna Albrecht and Colleen Cook stepped forward but John decided that Leanna gets the Puffin as she was proposed first.  Monica said the Puffin has traveled to several states since she assumed the reins.
         Bob Zawilski criticized the bulletin committee for the item last week about “Great Management” when of course obviously we meant Grant Management.  And it is in Nanaimo and not Tenino Bob added!  Wait, we did not even get the country right, Zawalski? (He won’t even notice I spelled his name wrong; who reads this stuff anyway as Mags used to say.)  Thank God it is bad form to fine bulletin writers.
        CALENDAR:  Eric Quinn said he is going to compile the LR calendar on Club Runner from now on as he is sick and tired of being criticized by Bob Z for not editing out our mistakes in the bulletin.  Anyone with calendar items is asked to notify Eric Quinn and he’ll be the keeper of the calendar (which Leanna Christian will be taking over at some point, right Leanna?).  John Lowney added that he really relies on Club Runner accuracy as he has the app on his phone.  Apparently he showed up at Dave Betz’ house but lo and behold it was not Dave Betz’s house any more as Dave moved and forgot to tell Club Runner his new address.  Yes, that could be embarrassing.  So check your listing.
       Concert Band Tickets:  Ed Shannon had two Tacoma Concert Band tickets to auction for October 13th.  Hmmm, it seems LR Rotarians are really busy and booked up so did not step up without more notice.  John Lowney auctioned them off for $20 (thanks to Bill Allen) but it was like pulling teeth to get any bids.
       BUILD A BIKE:  Rick Thompson of Parkland-Spanaway Rotary stepped up to plug the build a bike program that we have supported strongly in the past.  Their goal is to build 500-600 bikes for poor kids for Christmas this year.  Helmets will be provided too.  Rick said there is nothing quite as touching as seeing the kids’ smiles (and tears) when there is a Santa Claus after all.   (Ted Wier and I  did see that one year with tears and hugs all around. Very emotional.)  Les Schwab is volunteering the quality control this year making sure all bikes are assembled safely and fully with all nuts tightened.   No pun intended.
        BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES:  Greg Horn delegated the duty to Eric Quinn who reviewed the lists for October for us as follows:
        Wedding Anniversaries:  Colleen Cook (Craig), John Lowney (Pam), Dave Reames (Barbara) and Skip Stephan (Jeannie) for October, with Skip and Jeannie celebrating the most:  48 years.
        Too many Rotary Anniversaries to mention but Greg Rediske led the field with 36 years in Rotary.
        Birthdays:  There were seven October birthdays but it seemed only Gordon Quick and Mary Horn were present to be recognized.  Mary said, in answer to Eric’s question, that the best meal she has ever had was a wine lovers 12 course meal during their travels and then said Greg should pay for it…to universal acclaim and agreement! Gordie Quick said his best was at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Alberta, Canada. He was most impressed with the finger bowls, as (“yuh unnerstand”) being from Nebraska he had never seen one before in his young life.  Gordie probably did not know if he was supposed to drink it or bathe in it.  He paid $25 for the story.
       FINES:   PPT John Lowney could not locate Gayle’s tiara on short notice but Greg Rediske then magically produced a crown that looked like something from a Burger King commercial (Bob Z. you had better produce a picture of that!) so John could fine us in fine style.  John pulled out the old saw about $2 if you were not wearing your Rotary pin and it looked like that raised at least $50.  Sad. 
       PAST PRESIDENTS:  John decided to let us off the hook and asked all Past Presidents to stand and answer the question:  “Why did the chicken cross the road?”  Each of us was given a script to read as if we were Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, etc.  It was pretty funny and did take us right up to the program without time for many fines so that was a good thing. 
       OUR PROGRAM:  Mary Covelli Johnson introduced her daughter, Melissa West, who did a program once before for us when she served as a Senior Programs Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.   Melissa earned a B.A. and M.A. from UW and is the mother of two children.  She is now involved as an advocate for quality health care, worldwide, for a nonprofit known as Village Reach.  They focus on underserved communities primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, and Mozambique, which are their “core” countries.  However, they also do some work with “partner” countries, such as Pakistan, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia. 
Above: Presenter, Melissa West
       Melissa immediately informed us that she had no chicken jokes and indeed this was serious stuff.  She said the End Polio Now movement has become a model for all nonprofits to use, because of the common agenda, shared measurements and data, and the idea of mutually reinforcing activities.  Continuous communication and updates are also key; the Rotary Polio Plus program is good at that.
       Village Reach advocates for change in policies and funding within their core countries.  This nonprofit realizes that the national government in the country where they are working is indispensable so Village Reach learns how to work with them.  Melissa talked about the difficulty of distributing vaccines in nation states with few decent roads.  With their emphasis on “The Last Mile”, Village Reach specializes on those who are hard to reach.  The Congo of course is really vast…as large as all of Western Europe, she said.  Village Reach also works with other necessities and not just vaccines, such as gloves for example.  The founder of this organization happened to meet Nelson Mandela’s wife while traveling on a plane to Africa.  It inspired him to “transform the system” and so he founded Village Reach.
       The nonprofit’s approach in these countries is to (1) learn or study the country; (2) develop their program small at first; and then (3) build the program up to scale and sustain it.  For example, they design the supply chain for the vaccine before trying to distribute it. One program they created is called Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (say that three times fast!).  It is a sort of hotline to call and get health care advice immediately from trained medical personnel such as nurses.  This is now national in scale in the Congo.  Now this nonprofit is beginning to explore use of drones, for example to deliver vaccines to remote places.  They also use taxis or something like Uber to transport samples (blood, urine) to the lab and back with results.  Melissa also answered some intelligent Rotary questions such as whether local governments are getting more cooperative and less resistant: the answer is yes.  Also, whether crime against VR volunteers is a problem:  the answer is not really but of course it does happen.
        A very informative program.  Thanks to Mary and Melissa. For more info go to
        The Drawing:  Mary Moss had the winning ticket and yes it was THE winning ticket.  She won at least $1200 and immediately pledged 10% to Gayle’s fine budget.  (OK I made that last part up but maybe Mary reads the Lakewood Key.  She will step up.  Doesn’t everybody?)
               Read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske to get a make-up for a missed meeting. Also, if you shop online, do so on Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.