Rotary Rewind – Sept. 7, 2022

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New and prospective members of our club took part in a new member orientation session on September 7, prior to the club potluck.

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

Next Week’s Meeting – At Forest Grove School District Office & Bylaws Revision: Our weekly meeting on Wednesday, September 14 will take place in the Grove Room at the Forest Grove School District offices, 1728 Main Street. Superintendent and fellow Rotarian Dave Parker will present the program.

As part of the meeting, club members will be asked to vote on a change to the club bylaws that would define corporate memberships. The proposed change was sent to members via email on August 31. The change has been approved by the board but a quorum of 41 members is required to vote on the change. Please make plans to join us on September 14.

Welcome To Our Newest Members!: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove is proud to introduce its three newest members, Michael Cook, Cari Atzen and Rus Peters.

All three were inducted into the club during a special club potluck on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Michael Cook is the co-founder and principal partner of Brookwood Auto Group in Forest Grove. He relocated the business to Forest Grove in 2019 after starting the business in Hillsboro. Prior to running his own business, Michael spent 23 years as a custom exhibit builder and has designed and produced corporate activations for the likes of Mircosoft, Leupold, Audi, Amazon and Gerber.

Michael’s local connections began in 2000 when he won a role in a play at Theatre in The Grove. Over the next three years he performed in multiple productions, including as George Gibbs in Our Town, Linus in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye, Birdie. He also designed and built the set for TITG’s 2002 production of A Christmas Carol.

Michael’s aspiring musical theatre career came to a pause in 2004 with the birth of his son, Brendan. A 2022 graduate of Mountainside High School in Beaverton, Brendan is headed to Oregon State where he will be enrolled in the Honors College to study mechanical engineering. With his parenting now on pause, so to speak, maybe we will see him back on stage at TITG.

Cari Atzen is a partner with Michael Cook in the Brookwood Auto Group as Cari joined with her fiancé, Nate, to expand their motorcycle shop. Before getting into the motorcycle business, Cari worked for the Yamhill County Juvenile Department where she worked as a teacher, counselor, friend and mentor to detained youth. Working with at-risk youth is one of her greatest passions. Outside of her job with Yamhill Country, Cari ran multiple youth programs from a wood lot community service project to projects with the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps.

Raised in Newberg, Cari has a daughter, Sophia, who is a seventh grader in the Forest Grove School District. Her hobbies include traveling, backpacking, rafting vegetable gardening and embarrassing her daughter in public.

Rus Peters was born in McMinnville and later moved to Forest Grove, where he graduated from Forest Grove High School in 1972. He was a three-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball and baseball.

Rus moved to Alaska after graduating and worked for the federal government working to rehabilitate airstrip housing in small villages. He later returned to Oregon and worked as a house framer, a dump truck driver and owner and also helped build the Vista Ridge tunnels on Highway 26. In 2000, Rus went to work for the Oregon Department of Transportation managing the Manning maintenance yard in 2000. He retired from ODOT in April 2020.

Rus and his wife, Janet (our current club president), have been married for 37 years. Together they have four children and seven grandchildren. He played slow-pitch softball for many years and traveled around the country with the different teams he played with. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and traveling.

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.

Youth Exchange Update: 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 has interest, and for information on the requirements for hosting, please contact Youth Exchange Committee chair Melinda Fischer,

Applications for prospective inbound exchange students will be available in the counseling office at Forest Grove High School beginning on Sept. 7. Applications will be due on Sept. 16. Only sophomores may apply to be an outbound student.

New Concours Chair Needed: After this year’s show, Ryan Garcia will stepping aside as Concours chair. Thank you, Ryan, for your incredible dedication to the show through the pandemic and seeing us through to our first live presentation in three years! If you are interested in taking over as committee chair, please contact President Janet Peters or Allen Stephens with the Concours Committee.

Club Treasurer Needed: As Lucas Welliver transitions into his vice president and program chair duties, the club is looking for a new individual who can step in as treasurer. Lucas will be stepping aside as treasurer in January. The treasurer is an officer of both the club and the foundation. If you are interested in the position or have questions, please contact President Janet.

Steak Feed/Concours Leftovers: We have a number of leftover food items from both the Concours and Steak Feed that are available for purchase. If you are interested in adding any of the following to your pantry, please contact President Janet.

Steaks: We have approximately 26 packs of two raw steaks available for purchase. Each pack of steaks sells for $20 each.

Ice Cream: We have a number of five-gallon tubs of vanilla ice cream available for $27 per tub.

Strawberries: To go with that ice cream, we have a number of tubs of strawberries available for purchase for $15 per tub.

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.

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.

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
Corn Roast:
Once again this year, the Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce will be utilizing our canopies for the annual Corn Roast & Harvest Festival on Saturday, Sept. 17. We are in need of a club member who can assist in directing volunteers to erect the canopies in preparation for the event. If you are interested and can assist, please contact President Janet.

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. 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
Vibrant Club Workshop:
District 5100’s Learning & Development Committee will be holding a Vibrant Club Workshop on September 24. The workshop will focus on the essential cornerstones of Rotary that can help make clubs be more vibrant and successful. There will be sessions related to leadership member, The Rotary Foundation and public image.

The workshop combines the best of in-person with technology to allow interactions and quality presentations close to you. Within the 12 regions in the district, there will be “Pods” where Rotarians will gather in person to enjoy fellowship and participate in engaged topic discussions. Each pod will be linked to the District central office team who will synchronously present topic materials. Each session will have breakouts for in-pod discussions, learning and fun Rotary fellowship.

The Vibrant Club Workshop is for all members, not just committee chairs. Registration is now through DacDB. Rotarians will be able to choose a Pod closest to them.  Fellowship will begin at 8 a.m., and the workshop will be 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. The location of the Western Region pod, which includes Forest Grove, has not yet been announced.

Check out the district calendar on DACdb for other learning and development opportunities. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Gary Stewart, chair of the District 5100 Learning and Development Committee, at

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 Statement On Recent Polio Detections In U.S., Europe:
The recent detection of the vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 case in New York, USA, and isolates in several environmental samples collected in London are stark reminders that as long as polio exists anywhere, it is a threat everywhere. It also highlights the importance of vaccination as the only form of protection against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases and the work that needs to be done in our communities to encourage the uptake of vaccines. Also, as the world gets closer to zero wild poliovirus cases, it is increasingly important to track all forms of the virus wherever they may appear, including in polio-free regions.

The U.S. is still considered low risk for paralytic outbreaks of polio due to the high level of vaccine coverage across the population. If a child has received the entire course of vaccines, the risk of becoming paralyzed by polio is negligible. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 92.6% of children aged 24 months are fully vaccinated against polio, slightly below the 95% World Health Organization target.

The best things countries can do to protect themselves from polio until the disease is eradicated from the world are to: maintain high vaccination coverage and robust disease surveillance and be ready to respond in the event of an outbreak to minimize the risk and consequences of polio re-introduction or re-emergence anywhere.

The world currently has a unique opportunity to stop virus transmission for good. Still, all parties, including donors and country governments, must re-commit to polio eradication by fully supporting the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) 2022-2026 strategy. This focuses on adopting an emergency posture while generating greater accountability and ownership from country governments to eradicate wild polio and end variant poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks.

Rotary, a global service organization with over 1.4 million members, has been at the center of the worldwide effort to eradicate polio for over three decades. Every year, through our funding partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary commits $150 million to the global effort to eradicate polio. We have contributed more than $2.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to end polio forever. Together with our partners, we engage communities everywhere to encourage high vaccination rates, immunizing over 400 million children annually. More than 20 million people are walking today who otherwise would have been paralyzed because of our efforts and those of our partners in the GPEI.

The time for urgent action is now. A new vaccine has been deployed – novel oral polio vaccine 2 (nOPV2) – which is more genetically stable to stop outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus effectively. With sustained political and financial commitments, the GPEI is confident that we can achieve a world in which no child is paralyzed by polio again.

Club Calendar
Wed., Sept. 14: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Grove Room, Forest Grove School District Offices, 1728 Main St.
Program: Dave Parker, Forest Grove School District
Scheduled Vote On Change To Club Bylaws

Thurs., Sept. 15: Board Meeting
7 a.m., via Zoom

Wed., Sept. 21: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Dr. Jenny Coyle, President, Pacific University

Wed., Sept. 28: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Claudia Yakos, Gardens of Hope

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