Rotary Rewind – Sept. 28, 2022

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

Mobility Assistance: If you have mobility issues and would like assistance on the Pacific University campus to get to and from parking areas to our meeting location, please contact Amy Tracewell at 541-844-9467 or at least one day before our scheduled meeting. She will work to make sure you can make it to the University Center. Please give one day’s notice for assistance.

Road Cleanup: Our next road cleanup service project is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15, at 8:30 a.m. As usual, we will meet at the Oregon Department of Forestry offices, 801 Gales Creek Road. More hands make for quicker work so make plans to join us for our semi-annual cleanups of Gales Creek Road between Thatcher Road and Forest Gale Drive and Thatcher Road between Gales Creek Road and David Hill Road.

All volunteers who take part in the cleanup will receive a general admission ticket to that afternoon’s Pacific University football game against Linfield.

For more information on the road cleanup or to confirm your participation, please contact Andrea Stewart or Paul Waterstreet.

Youth Exchange Update – Host Families Still Needed: For the first time since 2020, our involvement in Youth Exchange is back! Our outbound exchange student, Blue Barbour-Weiss, will leave for Ecuador on Aug. 25. We wish her all of the best on her journey this year!

Our inbound exchange student, Juan, arrived from Ecuador on Aug. 20. For the first four months of his exchange, Juan will stay with the Barbour-Weiss family.

Host families are still needed that can host Juan during the winter (December through March) and the spring (March through June). If your family is interested, and for information on the requirements for hosting, please contact Youth Exchange Committee chair Melinda Fischer.

Steaks Still Available: We still have packs of steaks available for purchase left over from June’s Steak Feed. The packs of two raw choice steaks from Columbia Empire Farms are available for $20 per pack. If you are interested, please contact President Janet.

New Concours Chairs: We have new chairs in place for the Concours d’Elegance and it will be a team effort. Geoff & Alisa Johnston, Tom Raabe and Allen Stephens will all share in leading our team for the 2023 show. Thanks to the four of them for their longtime dedication to the show and for stepping up in leadership roles. The 2023 Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, July 16. Mark your calendars now!

Wreath Sales Coming Soon: Be watching in the coming weeks as we ramp up our annual wreath sales. The sales benefit our Hope for the Holidays program, which helps local families have a brighter holiday season.

New Member Orientations: Our club held the first of four scheduled new member orientation sessions on Wednesday, September 7, ahead of the club’s potluck social. The other orientations are scheduled for December 7, March 1 and June 1. Watch the Rototeller for times and locations. All Rotarians are welcome to take part. If you know of someone who you believe might be interested in joining us, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce them to our club.

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

Service Opportunities For Club Members
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
Imagine Rotary Raffle To End Polio:
In January, Rotary International President Jennifer Jones sent a package to each district governor-elect with some important Rotary information and a little Rotary swag. Also included was a signed print of an original painting by her brother, Darren Jones, an accomplished artist in the Chicago area. With the print came a request to use the print to help raise funds to help Rotary finish the fight to end polio.

District 5100 has decided to have a raffle for the print. Tickets are $21.55 each ($20 per ticket plus a $1.55 handling charge. We are limited by the state of Oregon to sell only 464 tickets. When all are sold, the district will be able to donate $9,280 towards Rotary’s flight to End Polio.

The raffle drawing will be held on Oct. 27 at 12:50 p.m., during the week of World Polio Day. Anyone who purchases a ticket will receive a Zoom link to witness the drawing. The district will continue to sell tickets until all are sold out or on Oct. 27 at 12:45 p.m., whichever comes first.

For details and to purchase your raffle tickets, visit

Around Rotary International
Rotary Pledges An Additional $150 Million Towards Polio Eradication:
Rotary International President Jennifer Jones appeared on the main stage at the star-studded Global Citizen Festival on 24 September to highlight Rotary’s commitment to eradicating polio and announce an additional US$150 million pledge toward that end.

Jones, who spoke in front of 60,000 people in New York City and tens of thousands more online and on TV, noted the state of emergency that the governor of New York state recently declared to combat a resurgence of polio in the region.

Jones stressed that polio is preventable through vaccines and that wild poliovirus is endemic in only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although female vaccinators are critical to building relationships with mothers and reaching children in these areas, they sometimes can face harassment or even attacks.

In Pakistan, “frontline female health workers put themselves at risk every day,” Jones said. “They are committed, even with obstacles, to reaching every last child with polio vaccines.” The vaccination program works with the local police and government to ensure the safety of these health workers.

Jones talked about the effect of polio vaccinations in some countries being disrupted by COVID-19. She pointed out that in 2021, about 25 million children went without critical immunizations. “The world has beaten back this disease significantly, but we must redouble efforts,” Jones said.

The additional funding Jones announced will go to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which said in August that it was seeking new funding commitments for its 2022-26 polio eradication strategy. “We want this to be the start of a massive effort to reach the initiative’s US$4.8 billion funding goal,” Jones said.

Rotary members have been at the center of the worldwide effort to eradicate polio for more than three decades. Rotary launched PolioPlus in 1985 and helped found the GPEI in 1988, when there were an estimated 350,000 polio cases across more than 125 countries in one year. Since then, cases have plummeted more than 99.9%, sparing more than 20 million people from paralysis. Rotary has helped immunize nearly 3 billion children against polio, contributed more than US$2.6 billion to global polio eradication efforts, and helped secure more than US$10 billion from donor governments.

The Global Citizen Festival, an annual music celebration, urges world leaders to end extreme poverty, take action on climate change, empower girls and women, and dismantle systematic barriers. This year’s Global Citizen Festival, which took place in New York City and in Accra, Ghana, called on global leaders to invest US$600 million into the future of women and girls, narrow the US$10 billion climate change shortfall, and provide US$500 million to help farmers in Africa to respond to the global hunger crisis.

The New York component, hosted by actor and Global Citizen ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas, included performances from Metallica, Charlie Puth, Jonas Brothers, Måneskin, Mariah Carey, Mickey Guyton, Rosalía, Angelique Kidjo and Billy Porter. Presenters included celebrities Amber Ruffin, Bill Nye, Connie Britton, Katie Couric, Tamron Hall, Katie Holmes and more.

Global Citizen says that since its first concert in 2012, more than US$41 billion in funding has been dispersed that’s affected the lives of more than 1.1 billion people.

Jones urged people to get involved: “Global citizens, use your voice — help us call on governments, businesses, and other leaders to join us in pledging ambitiously at the World Health Summit in October to end polio forever.”

Rotary has worked with Global Citizen for more than a decade, primarily regarding the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. At last year’s event in Paris, France, Jones announced $97 million pledge for sustainable project. At the 2012 concert in New York City, Rotary General Secretary and CEO John Hewko 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.

Last Week’s Program: Claudia & Michael Yakos, Gardens of Hope

Click Here To Watch The Full Program

At last week’s meeting, Claudia & Michael Yakos joined us to provide an update on the Gardens of Hope that they are spearheading in Mexico with assistance from our club.

The Gardens of Hope project was initiated two years ago. There are high hopes of obtaining a Rotary Global Grant to fund the project. With two years of data on the costs of the program and the success rate of its mission, Claudia and Michael are confident that the project will gain Rotary Global Grant funding in the future.

The main purpose of Gardens of Hope is to provide impoverished families in central Mexico with the means and knowledge to grow their own gardens, which can be sustained over time. The goal of making the gardens sustainable was instrumental to help governments and non-profits to sign off on the project.

Claudia’s parents both were raised in Mexico and immigrated to the United States. She and her siblings are first-generation U.S. citizens but spent many summers in Mexico. When her mom passed away, she wanted to do something to help give back to her hometown and the Gardens of Hope project was born.

Every family helped by Gardens of Hope receives a full irrigation system for 71 square feet of land, organic fertilizer and insecticide, a manual with farming and sowing instructions, a hoe and rake, iron mesh, seeds and more. The garden kit id a value of approximately $170 U.S. dollars. There is a technical assistance team that gets together with families twice a month to share experiences and teach additional skills.

Claudia and Michael have been able to meet with government officials to demonstrate how the project is non-partisan (gardens and land are often used as an enticement for votes) and to demonstrate the sustainability and the ability to help and make gardens self-sustaining with technical support. There has been some challenges with some families accepting gardens because they don’t want an expectation to give something back.

The gardens have provided some vegetables that Mexican families do not usually eat with the standard high carbohydrate diet. With education on recipes and what those veggies can do for diets, there has been a change in eating habits among those who have received gardens.

The majority of the gardens have been given to families in communities around Rincon de Ramos, Aguascalientes, Mexico. Gardens of Hope has partnered with two Rotary clubs in the area to assist with the project and provide more “boots on the ground” to make the project happen.

In March 2021, the first 40 garden kits were delivered meetings were conducted in each community. The families were selected by local government social services. In April 2021, the first international team and spent a week working side by side with families to work on the gardens. A number of the people who went on that trip have since joined our club’s cause-based satellite club.

The purpose of the project is not to increase the income of families by selling the harvest but there is a possibility to develop a farmer’s marker. Main purpose is to help provide families with fresh produce and improve eating habits.

In the first year, 40 families took part in the project. In the second year, all but two families continued on with the project. The gardens include radish, squash, carrots, lettuce, beets, Swiss chard, coriander, white onion, green tomatoes, green peppers, Roma tomatoes and green beans. Forty new gardens are being established in Alamitos and El Regusio thanks to the collective support of Rotary and the local government.

Gardens of Hope has also worked with a girls’ home in Aguascalientes to establish gardens with support from our club and the local Rotary clubs in the region. The goal for those gardens is to not only provide a source for produce but to also sell the harvest to the City Restaurants Association to help provide income for the girls that live there.

Next steps include developing new partnerships, recruiting volunteers, a Rotary trip to Mexico in 2023 and continue spreading the word about the project. The goal is to have 100 families participating in 2023.

Club Calendar
Wed., Oct. 5: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Blake Timm, World Athletics Championships

Wed., Oct. 12: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Emily Bakitah, Rise To Shine Education

Thurs., Oct. 13: Executive Board Meeting, 7 p.m.
Via Zoom

Wed., Oct. 19: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program TBA

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