Rotary Rewind – Jan. 8, 2023

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If you did not make it to our last Rotary Club of Forest Grove meeting, here is what you missed…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove wishes everyone the happiest of new years for 2023. We are grateful for each and every one of our members who work hard to make our community a better place to live. We will resume our regular weekly meetings this Wednesday, Jan. 4, at Pacific University.

Hope For The Holidays Provides For The Community: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove continued a holiday tradition of making the season a little brighter for those in need in our community, but this year with a new approach.

The club conducted its annual Hope for the Holidays service project on Monday, Dec. 12 in conjunction with the Forest Grove High School Food Pantry.

In past years, Hope for the Holidays has provided families the opportunity for a holiday shopping spree at a local retailer, assisted by Rotarians. This year, the club changed the program’s focus to providing holiday food boxes along with other household items normally not provided by the FGHS Food Pantry.

The food distribution event served 100 families, more than doubling the impact of the project on the community.

“We are fortunate to belong to a group of Rotarian that cares deeply for our community,” said Rotary Club of Forest Grove president Janet Peters. “Giving of our time and treasure to help others is the best part of the holiday season!”

In addition to food shipments provided to the FGHS Food Pantry by the Oregon Food Bank, Rotarians purchased additional items to supplement the boxes. Jim’s Supermarket in Banks donated 330 pounds of apples to the effort while Columbia Empire Farms provided hams at cost. More food was purchased using donations from Rotarians and a District Matching Grant from Rotary District 5100.

Leftover donations from Rotarians to Hope for the Holidays will be used to provide cleaning and personal hygiene items to the Food Pantry. Those items are not usually available through the pantry’s distributions from the Oregon Food Bank.

Volunteers from Forest Grove High School were joined by the following Rotarians and friends: Rus & Janet Peters, Bryce Baker, Tim Orr, Jill Verboort, Greg Nemchick, Jim Cain, Dallas Roark, Willow & Mahayla Oelke, Tom Linkhart, Adrian Olmstead, Pete & Parri Van Dyke, Tim Pearson and Jonathan Skeele.

Hope For The Holidays Featured In Forest Grove News-Times: Our thanks to Dillon Mullan of the Forest Grove News-Times writing a feature on our Hope For The Holidays project, and the work of the Forest Grove high School Food Pantry, which was featured in the newspaper and its digital platforms over the holidays. Click Here To Read The Feature.

Blue Badges Awarded: Congratulations to Rus Peter and Michael Cook for completing their new member obligations and earning their Blue Badges at Wednesday’s meeting.

Leadership Transitions: With the beginning of 2023 comes a couple of leadership transitions within the club. Amy Tracewell has ended her term as program chair and will begin preparation for taking on the role of president for the 2023-34 Rotary year. Thank you for your great work, Amy!

Lucas Welliver is transitioning into the program chair role as he continues the process of getting ready to be club president in 2024-25. With that change, Lucas has stepped down as club treasurer and Sharon Olmstead has taken over that role. Thank you, Lucas, for your great work as treasurer! We look forward to continued leadership from all three of you as our club moves forward.

Concours Concert Event – Help Wanted: The Concours Committee has given the green light to go ahead with another concert event linked to the annual show. The concert is tentatively scheduled for Friday, July 14 with the Concours taking place on Sunday, July 16. If you are interested in helping plan and execute the concert event, please contact Court Carrier.

Caterers For Future Meetings: President Janet is looking for one to two more members to serve with herself, Howard Sullivan and Court Carrier in identifying local caterers that could serve the club at future meetings. We will have a number of meetings coming up where we will meet at the Forest Grove School District offices and will need catering for those meetings. If you would like to assist, please let President Janet know.

Past Programs: Did you miss a meeting or want to go back and check out a program again? Most of our programs since May 2020 (over 100 videos to date) are archived on our club’s YouTube page. Visit

Service Opportunities For Club Members
Elks Backpack Program:
The Elks Backpack Program, which provides food for youth in the Forest Grove School District experiencing food insecurity, is looking for 50 new or gently used backpacks for the program. If you have backpacks to donate, please bring those to a future meeting and we will get them to the appropriate people.

FGHS Community Food Pantry: Our club’s support for the Forest Grove High School Food Pantry continues.  Thanks to its partnership with the Oregon Food Bank, food donations are still welcome but are of less need at this time. Of need, however, are toiletries and hygiene products as well as household cleaning materials.

The Food Pantry is open on Mondays from 4-6 p.m. The pantry is now open in its new site in the building along Nichols Lane between the football field and the Basinski Center.

For information on the Food Pantry, please contact Brian Burke, If you wish to make a cash donation to the pantry, Click Here.

Additionally, Rotarian Gwen Hullinger has put together an Amazon wish list of items that can be purchased and donated. Click Here To View That List.

Around District 5100
Award Nominations Open:
Is there a Rotarian out there that you believe is worthy of special recognition of their work within the club, the district or Rotary? There are a number of award nominations open to recognize members for exceptional service at both the district and international level. Click Here to view the nomination criteria along with links on where you can nominate for awards.

If you have questions about the awards programs, please contact District 5100 Awards Committee co-chairs Tom Markos,, and Christine Huot,

District Committees – It’s Not Too Late!: A number of district-wide committees are looking for members. If you are interested, you can find contact information for the committee chairs in the latest District 5100 newsletter (link below).

Vocational Service – Lal Bhatia, Chair

Working to promote the awareness and opportunity to advance our vocations as an opportunity to provide service to our communities.

Public ImageDiane Noriega, Chair

Working to promote Rotary through our club projects and communications with the general public and with Rotarians within District 5100.

MembershipDennis Long and Julie Fugate, co-Chairs

Focusing on finding ways to attract new members, but primary emphasis this year is to engage our existing members to retain them as members by finding their interests and focus.

Grow RotaryMarcia Wimmer, Chair

Growing membership will be accomplished by identifying opportunities for new clubs and to add Satellite clubs to existing clubs to provide additional opportunities to participate.

District 5100 Newsletter: Click Here To View The Monthly District 5100 Newsletter

Around Rotary International
Why Rotary Is Growing In Ukraine During A War:
Membership has grown 23.5% in Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the country on 24 February 2022. The region, which comprises Rotary District 2232, has added four Rotary clubs and five satellite clubs. The reasons behind this growth hold important insights for any Rotary club interested in increasing its membership or any district looking to add clubs.

The clubs in Ukraine became more visible in their communities in the days and months after the war began. People are witnessing the positive impact members are having and want to join in on making a difference.

One club, for example, had their members learn to become volunteer firefighters so they could help put out fires, literally, when local building are hit by shelling.

People are drawn to the opportunity to find meaning and purpose when they see real positive change taking place.

Survey Results
The example in Ukraine essentially confirms the results of the three most recent Rotary International annual surveys – the all-member, programs and offerings, and leadership surveys. These found that club experience is the single most important indicator of member satisfaction. A Rotary member who does not have a positive club experience won’t find enough value in the club to stay. New members who join a club but find it doesn’t meet their expectation frequently leave. And new members who are never integrated into club activities are most likely to leave no matter what else Rotary has to offer beyond their club.

In the surveys, Rotary International membership staff used attitudinal questions and resulting answers to cluster members into four distinct types.

  1. Inclusive-friendship engagement
  1. Disengagement
  2. Exclusive-professional engagement
  3.  Hyper-engagement

Each type had implications for satisfaction and retention. The scariest part was that 24.9% of members worldwide, the second highest, fell into the disengagement type. These members are the most likely to terminate their membership from dissatisfaction.

Impact Clubs
We believe the growth the Ukraine clubs have experienced is not a fluke, and has important lessons for all clubs. The “impact clubs” that are forming in North Carolina, USA, do more service projects and have less meetings and are growing in their membership.

We conclude that no one joins a club, Rotary or otherwise, to sit around and do nothing. People join because they want to become engaged with a cause and do something real. Rotary matters and engaging our members in service opportunities that create lasting change matters.

If you want to grow your membership, create a club experience that allows your members to be people of action. Let’s learn from the example in Ukraine and grow Rotary by engaging our members.

Last Week’s Program: Dr. Marc Williams, Pacific University

NOTE: Due to a camera malfunction, we were not able to capture Dr. Williams’ presentation. We sincerely apologize.

For our first meeting of 2023, we had the honor of welcoming Dr. Marc Williams, an assistant professor in Pacific University’s College of Business and the founding director of the Pacific University Center for Entrepreneurship, Sports & Entertainment.

Dr. Williams is sports marketing pioneer, renowned schola, social commentator and pop culture expert whose business experience includes top executive roles at Champs Sports, Footaction and Reebok. He was recently named as one of the top 100 influential blacks in the world today by CORE magazine.

Rather than talk about his program and his business and academic experience, Marc told us the story how he ended up at Pacific University and how he feels an affinity to Rotary.

Marc largely was raised in Princeton, New Jersey, where his father taught African Studies and American history at Princeton University. Marc’s father often talked about the fact that Rotary was one of the first organizations to accept African Americans into its membership. His wife worked as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program during her time as a Fulbright Scholar.

The influence of Marc’s father continues to be critical to him and gives him perspective in being in an interracial marriage and wanting to be in a place where he is conscious about not discriminating against anyone. In February 2022, Marc and his starting figuring out where they wanted to live in the U.S. that meet their needs in terms of racial justice and equality and also had a significant Asian population. He spoke with his friend, the commission of the West Coast Conference, who helped identify the University of Portland, Pepperdine and the University of the Pacific as possible communities and schools to partner with.

In a subsequent session of Internet research, during which his computer laptop battery died, he stumbled upon the website for University of the Pacific and the website for Pacific University came up instead.

Marc contacted the dean of the College of Business at Pacific, who offered to fly Marc and his wife out to Forest Grove to check out the campus. When they visited, they knew that Pacific University was where they wanted to be. The Williams moved from Texas to the Portland area in July.

Marc comes from a family of high-achieving children and he admits that, for him, school did not come easy. Both his brother and sister graduated from high school early. Marc was curious about life but not about education and attained a 2.4 GPA upon graduation. His father encouraged him to attend Tuskegee University, a Historically Black College and University in Alabama. He achieved a 3.9 GPA as a freshman but dropped to a 1.6 as a junior and subsequentially dropped out.

After some time figuring out what he wanted to do, his father admonished Marc not to compare himself to his siblings but to “stay in his lane” and be himself. That inspired him to return to college and he eventually graduated with his undergraduate degree from William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Club Calendar
Wed., Jan. 11: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Shannon Huggins, Clean Water Services, Gales Creek Dam Project

Thurs., Jan. 12: Executive Board Meeting, 7 p.m.
Via Zoom

Wed., Jan. 18: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Tim Graham, Forest Grove High School CALC Program

Thurs., Jan. 19: Board Meeting, 7 a.m.
Via Zoom

Wed., Jan. 25: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Hector Martinez, CASA of Oregon

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