Rotary Rewind – Sept. 22, 2021

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If you didn’t make it to our last Rotary Club of Forest Grove meeting, here’s what you missed…

Forest Grove Partnering With Lake Oswego On International Project: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove Board of Directors voted to partner with the Rotary Club of Lake Oswego on an international project. Called Project Flourish, the project is based with the MAIA Impact School in Guatemala, which strives to teach girls, and particularly girls in Mayan descent, to finding their empowered voice and to embrace what education can do for them.

Guatemala has the worst gender equity gap in the Americas. This initiative centers on the creation and implementation of an educational program to connect talent with opportunity for first-generation “Girl Pioneers” (young women born into situations of quadruple discrimination as rural, poor, female, and Indigenous) in Guatemala. The elements of this program center on the following:

  • Formal internships to generate experience and informed decision-making
    ● Preparation for university entrance exams
    ● Training on soft skills for job interviews and workplace readiness/success
    ● Workplace English & IT training to increase employability

This project creates a powerful pilot that will serve 42 girls and their families (approximately 336 people). These girls and families represent over a dozen rural villages in Sololá. Once created, the project will continue on in perpetuity to serve generations of young women who will break out of poverty.

The project is partially funded through a Rotary International Global Grant. We will have a program of this impactful project later this fall.

Caused-Based Satellite Club: The charter ceremony for the new cause-based satellite club, scheduled for this last Sunday, September 19, has been postponed. A new date will be announced soon. More information on this new component of our club, and its international service project with Gardens of Hope during our club’s weekly meeting this Wednesday.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Survey: Members are asked over the next couple of weeks to take our club’s annual diversity, equity and inclusion survey. The survey is designed to help better understand the club’s perspectives about these issues. We hope to use the aggregated data to compare to last year’s survey and to help our club further develop. We hope to have as many club members as possible complete the survey by the end of September.

Click Here To Take The Survey

A Note On Zoom Meetings: With the ongoing surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19 I have made the decision to move our meetings back to Zoom for the time being.

This isn’t the decision I wanted to make. I would love nothing more than to return to normal with all of you, singing, embracing, and eating together. But the world is not ready for normal yet. Delta spreads so much more easily than past variants, and this last week we’ve had a higher number of cases in our community than ever before. Masks are being required even for outdoor events and the CDC is recommending against all large gatherings. We must do our part to halt the spread further and keep our community members as safe as possible. Club leadership will continue to monitor the situation, and we will reinstate our in-person meetings again as soon as it is safe to do so.

As always I appreciate your feedback and questions, and I look forward to seeing you at our home away from home on Zoom this Wednesday.

Yours in Rotary Service,
Bryce Baker

Rotaract Liaison Needed: The club is looking for a member that could act as our liaison with the Pacific University Rotaract Club. If you are interested or would like to learn more about the role, please contact President Bryce.

ShelterBox HERO Club: Once again, our club has been recognized by ShelterBox USA as a ShelterBox Bronze Level HERO Club! The recognition signifies our club’s continued commitment to donate $1,000 per year to ShelterBox over a three-year period. We are truly grateful for the commitment of our members to continue to give to ShelterBox’s ongoing disaster relief efforts all over the world.

ShelterBox is an official Rotary partner. You can learn more about what the organization is doing around the world by Visiting The ShelterBox Website. Our own ShelterBox ambassadors, Jeannine Murrell and Pamelajean Myers, gave a program to the club on the organization in June, which can be Viewed Here.

Online Dues Payments: Our club is now equipped to process dues payments online! We can now process credit card or debit card payments for quarterly dues. Information on how to pay online was sent out with the quarterly billing that went out earlier in July.

With the transition to billing with Quickbooks, some members may not have received their quarterly invoice. If you did not, please contact treasurer Lucas Welliver at 971-241-7426 or

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 2- 4 p.m. Donations are accepted on-site on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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.

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 are archived on our club’s YouTube page. Visit

Around District 5100
Rotary Story Slam:
One of the most effective ways to introduce people to Rotary is by telling your story. District 5100 is holding a competition, called Your Rotary Story Slam, encouraging you to share your Rotary story.

A “story slam” is a competition based on the art of storytelling. You will present a 3-5 minute oral story without notes. This year’s topic is “Serve to Change Lives.” Share a time where Rotary service changed your life, a time you’ve changed a life or have been part of an impactful project. The story should be yours – authentic, true and fit The Four-Way Test.

Our club will have its own Story Slam competition within the next two months. Club-level winners will compete in a regional story slam over the winter. The winners from each region will present at the District 5100 Conference and will receive a $500 cash prize.

For more information, visit

Save The Date: District 5100 Rotary One Conference: Mark your calendars for May 19-22 as District 5100 will present its first combined Spring Training Event and annual conference in Seaside. The combined conference will provide Rotary training opportunities, inspirational speakers and a celebration of what is hoped to be a great year in District 5100.

Around Rotary International
Peace Corps Volunteers And Rotary Members Find Meaningful Connections:
In December 2017, on his first night as a Peace Corps volunteer in the ancient North Macedonian city of Štip, Cal Mann was welcomed with a raucous party at a rustic cabin far outside of town. There was an abundance of food and drinks, and a boom box blared local music. As the party raged well past midnight, Mann watched, beer in hand. “I’m like, I can’t do this for two years, that’s for sure,” he recalls.

So you can understand his trepidation the next day when he found out a barbecue was in the works. Being a good sport and new to the city, he opted to go — a pivotal decision, it turns out. At the barbecue he struck up a conversation with a man named Zoran Kolev, who spoke English. As talk came around to Mann’s work as a Peace Corps volunteer, Kolev mentioned that there was a new service club in the city: the Rotary Club of Štip.

“He told me they had just started the club a few months before,” Mann says. “They didn’t really know what Rotary was, but someone had told them it was a good thing to do.” This was great news to Mann, who had been a Rotary member since 2004 (and who currently belongs to the Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley).

“I was thrilled to have met someone involved in Rotary so I could tap into my experience there. And they were happy to have someone who knew what Rotary was.”

Mann’s primary assignment with the Peace Corps was to work with a legal clinic for Roma residents, but volunteers are encouraged to take on a side project. Rotary became his. “I had just linked up with a club of people with big networks in the community, and most spoke English,” Mann says. “I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid. I figured that’s a pretty good opportunity. I better jump on it.”

Mann connected the club with a youth group and worked on small projects such as litter cleanups. When two Peace Corps volunteers in Štip who were teaching English needed more books, Mann talked to the club about finding a local distributor and also reached out to his friends at the Rotary Club of La Jolla, California, where he’d been a member previously, to connect them with the Štip club so that they could work together on the project. Read More

Last Week’s Program: Mariana Valenzuela, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Click Here To View The Complete Program

At Wednesday’s meeting, we were honored to be joined by Mariana Valenzuela. Mariana is the community partnerships manager for Centro Cultural and was appointed to the Forest Grove City Council in 2020 to fill the term of the late Tom Johnson. Mariana joined us to talk to share her story and her experience through the lens of the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Mariana came to the U.S. as an 11-year-old child. Her expectations of the U.S. were shaped by Hollywood movies, so imagine her shock when she arrived to El Paso, Texas. She is a native of Chile where she could walk easily to the beach or turn and see the mountains. From Texas, Mariana went to college in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and started her family.

Eventually life took Mariana to Idaho for five years. It was the last place she expected to go but she followed a job opportunity at Idaho State University. After living in the southwest where 60 percent of the population was Hispanic and Spanish was spoken, Idaho was certainly different. She did not realize how different it was until her daughter’s first day of Kindergarten. A little boy asked if she was Mexican. No, she said, and explained that she was from Chile. At that moment, she realized the difference between her and others around her. She has thought a lot about that encounter over the last few months.

Mariana believes that skin color is just the second layer of who we are. The first is the energy and light that truly makes us who we are.

Mariana took time to explain the meanings of diversity, equity and inclusion with illustrations explaining the meanings. In defining diversity, all of the pieces are different but they are all part of a whole. Every piece is necessary to complete the whole picture.

In the last few years, companies have tried to develop a more diverse workforce. Mariana pointed out that there is a distinct difference between diversity and inclusion. Diversity is inviting people to the dance. Inclusion is asking them to dance. Companies work better with different perspectives participating in the decision-making process. Diversity is meaningless, however, when they are not invited to be part of that process.

In defining equity, we think about that some pieces go together easily and can become part of the whole in no time. Some are more complex and require a more sophisticated process to make them fit together. How do we do this? We develop strategies to make it happen, such as empathy, determination, perseverance, a wise understanding of justice.

With inclusion, all of the pieces are essential and necessary to put the puzzle together. You cannot do it without all of them.

We can do all kinds of DEI trainings, but Mariana believes that we just go back to basics and utilize the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Club Calendar
Meetings Are On Zoom Unless Noted

Wed., Sept. 29: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Program: Claudia Yakos, Cause-Based Satellite Club

Wed., Oct. 6: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Program: Ryan Garcia’s Trip To Italy

Thurs., Oct. 7: Executive Board Meeting, 7 a.m.

Wed., Oct. 13: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Program: Dave Parker, Forest Grove School District

Thurs., Oct. 14: Board Meeting, 7 a.m.

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