Rotary Rewind – Sept. 27, 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…

Project With Habitat For Humanity: Thank you to all members and friends who attended our service project last Saturday at the new Habitat for Humanity build site on 23rd Avenue between D and E Streets. The work party took two-and-a-half hours clearing brush and debris from the site in an effort to start preparing it for construction of new homes. Thank you to Dan & Melinda Fischer, Jim Crisp, Greg Nemchick, Bryce Baker, Tom & Becca Raabe and Richard Kidd for their work!

Claudia Yakos Named Hometown Hero: Congratulations to our own Claudia Yakos for being named as one of this year’s Hometown Heroes by the Forest Grove News-Times and the Pamplin Media Group! Claudia was only recognized for her work with Rotary, but also her work with the Hispanic community through her business, CIMA Services, and her international humanity work through My360Project and her own non-profit, the Espy Collective. We are proud of all that Claudia does to make our community and the world a better place! Read The Full Article

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.

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

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 will be included with quarterly billings that will be coming to your mailbox or email inbox soon.

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 4-5 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.

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
Rotary Announces $97 Million Pledge For Sustainable Projects During Global Citizen Live:
Rotary International President-elect Jennifer Jones took the stage at the Global Citizen Live concert on 25 September in Paris, France, and pledged $97 million in grant funding from the organization next year for sustainable, Rotary club-led projects.

Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour broadcast with events and performances across six continents, aimed to unite people to take action to defend the planet, end the COVID-19 pandemic, defeat poverty, provide education for all children, and promote equity and justice for all. Some of the world’s top artists, celebrities, activists, and government leaders participated in this year’s event to raise awareness and support in cities including Paris; Lagos, Nigeria; London, UK; Los Angeles, USA; New York City, USA; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Seoul, Korea; and Sydney, Australia.

In Paris, where Jones pledged Rotary’s support, thousands of people gathered at the iconic Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower to see performances from Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Black Eyed Peas, Christine and the Queens, Doja Cat, Angélique Kidjo, and more. Other leaders pledging support included European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

“Every day millions of girls walk miles to fetch clean water, and millions of boys are on the streets instead of going to school. Every day moms and dads struggle to find ways to feed their children,” Jones said from the main stage in Paris. “And every day, members of Rotary and Global Citizen start our days knowing that we can make a difference.”

“This year we’re putting a special focus on empowering girls worldwide, opening doors for young women to build brighter futures,” Jones said. “Today Rotary is committed to helping end poverty globally and protecting the planet by pledging $97 million in grant funding during 2022 for sustainable, member-led projects.”

She added: “We stand together with Global Citizen as people of purpose, people of action.”

Read more quotes and pledges from world leaders during the event.

Rotary has worked with Global Citizen for a more than a decade, primarily regarding the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. At the 2012 Global Citizen event in New York City, Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and celebrity ambassador Archie Panjabi announced Rotary’s $75 million commitment to polio eradication. Rotary and Global Citizen have also connected at Rotary International Conventions, the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meetings, polio advocacy events, and polio funding announcements.

In total, more than $1.1 billion in commitments, 157 million trees to be planted, and 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be donated to developing countries were announced in conjunction with the 25 September event.

Last Week’s Program: Claudia Yakos & Julia Kollar, Gardens Of Hope

Click Here To View The Complete Program

At Wednesday’s meeting, we heard from our Claudia Yakos and Julia Kollar about an international service project that is growing with help from out club, Gardens of Hope. Claudia opened the program by thanking the club for its support in applying for a Global Grant from Rotary International to help grow the project, which begin in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Claudia explained that the start of this project was in memory of her mother, Esperanza “Espy” Torres, who passed away in 2019. Espy was involved with Rotary in her home country of Mexico. She served as the secretary of the Rotary Club of Aguascalientes, Mexico from 1965 to 1969. While women while not allowed to be part of Rotary, she accompanied her boss to meetings and performed all of the secretarial functions of the club.

Upon Espy’s passing, Claudia felt inspired to start a non-profit organization to honor her mother’s memory. She founded the Espy Collective in 2020. Between the collective and Claudia’s passion for international service through Rotary, she started the work on the Gardens of Hope project. Aguascalientes was selected for the site because Claudia still has family in the region and because of the need in the region.

Gardens of Hope’s mission is to provide organic family gardens planted in backyards by women head of households, the elderly and people with disabilities. Among the project’s goals was to reach out to as many beneficiaries as possible while using few resources, to ensure that resources reached the most vulnerable groups, to raise the nutritional quality of the rural population’s diet, to encourage organic agriculture and environmental awareness and to promote the use of new technologies.

Each family garden includes a full backyard production system including a drip irrigation system fitted with a professional filter, 45 seed packets, 300 grams of organic fertilizer, one bottle of organic insect repellent, a hand sprayer, a gardening kit and 147 feet of wire mesh to keep animals out of the garden.

The Global Grant endeavor began two years ago with a target to conduct the project in 2020. In April 2020, Claudia, Julia, Rotarian Daryl Carnley and eight others traveled to Mexico to do the initial work for the project. Because Global Grants were put on pause by Rotary International in 2020, the work on the grant continues.

Once the first 40 gardens were planted, technical help came in every two months to provide support in managing and selling surplus, adapting the gardens to different types of climates, soils and other environmental factors; management of the gardens in terms of agricultural technology, and organizing and motivating family and neighbors.

The gardens provide a number of socio-economic benefits to the community, including improving nutrition, health & hygiene; family integration, agricultural education, developing a green and entrepreneurial culture and improving of households and neighborhood communities.

Claudia and Michael Yakos will be traveling to Mexico next week to meet with another Rotary club in Aguascalientes to develop more partnerships and relationships. At this point, the Global Grant is expected to take place in 2023. With the club’s support, this year the group will plant gardens at a school in Aguascalientes. Initial conversations are also taking place with a girls’ home to plant gardens with the intent to sell the produce to restaurants in the community.

With the global grant, the goal of Gardens of Hope is to increase the number of gardens planted to over 400.

Club Calendar
Meetings Are On Zoom Unless Noted

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.

Wed., Oct. 20: Monthly Evening Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Location & Program To Be Announced

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