Exceptional Service Feted At End Of Year Celebration

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Janet Peters (right), the 2022-23 Rotary Club of Forest Grove president, passes the gavel to incoming president Amy Tracewell. Photo by Pamelajean Myers.

In celebration of another great year serving the community, the Rotary Club of Forest Grove honored past president Janet Peters and incoming club president Amy Tracewell as well as a number of others for outstanding service during the club’s End of the Year Celebration on June 28.

“It’s hard to believe that my year is over,” Peters said. “I am thankful for every one of you. It was hard but so rewarding. I have a much bigger vision of Rotary and the good we can do in our communities and in our world.

“I am thrilled to hand the gavel to Amy. She brings energy and confidence to this role. She thinks outside of the box and is always looking for ways to make our club more vibrant and alive.”

In addition to the changeover in club officers, a number of awards were presented to club members.

Rotarian of the Year: Tim Pearson was selected as the Rotarian of the Year. A longtime member of the club and a past president, Tim has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the club’s annual Concours d’Elegance car show with the procurement of sponsorships. In his two years as the sponsorship chair, he has set records for sponsorship revenue, including a presenting sponsorship deal with Jaguar Land Rover of Portland.

“Tim’s continued leadership in this area is what propels our Concours fundraising to the best it has ever been,” Peters said. “Thank you, Tim, for all you do!”

First Lady Award: The first female member of the Rotary Club of Forest Grove, Marge Johnston was honored with a First Lady Award. Marge joined the club of July 1, 1987 and helped open the door to the now 28 female members of the club. While continuing to be active during both the Steak Feed and the Concours d’Elegance, Marge was transferred to honorary membership in March after 35 years of active service.

“As Jennifer Jones became the first woman president of Rotary International this year, I think it was appropriate to honor our own first lady,” Peters said. “We honor her longtime service to the club and her legacy as our first female member.”

Mark of Excellence Award: Longtime Rotarian Jim Crisp was recognized with the Mark of Excellence Award. A member of the Rotary Club of Forest Grove since 1988, Jim continues to serve the club in a number of capacities. He serves as the club’s fundraising treasurer and works tirelessly with the Concours d’Elegance behind the scenes, including set-up logistics and promotion of the show with the Portland Area Swap Meet, road signs and the club’s annual presence in the Hillsboro Rotary Fourth of July Parade. He has also chaired the club’s Four-Way Test Committee.

“Jim does so much and he does it all without complaint,” Peters said. “He exemplifies what it means to be a Rotarian.”

Above & Beyond Awards: Two of these honors were presented to club treasurer Sharon Olmstead and public image chair Blake Timm. Sharon took over as the treasurer of the club and the club’s foundation in January as former treasurer Lucas Welliver transitioned to his role as president-elect. While also taking on treasurer’s duties, Sharon continues to work as the chair of club’s Scholarship Committee, which awarded $22,000 in scholarships this year.

“Sharon accepted all of the treasurer’s duties with a smile and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude,” Peters said. “I love working with her as she is always thoughtful and beings a practical approach to her responses.”

Blake serves as the club’s public image chair, newsletter editor, webmaster and social media manager. In addition to producing the weekly Rototeller newsletter, he also records the club’s weekly programs and edits and posts them to the club’s You Tube site.

“Blake is always willing to do what he can to help,” Peters said. “He edits and publishes the Rototeller every week and posts to social media, even when he is on a family vacation in Europe.”

Spirit Of Service Awards: A number of Rotarians who have served critical roles over the last year received Spirit of Service Awards: Michael Cook, Jeff Duyck, Geoff Faris, Melinda Fischer, Julia Kollar, Hector Mendez-Colberg, Claudia Yakos, Parri & Pete Van Dyke and Rus Peters.

A fairly new member of the club, Michael Cook immediately took on the role of Community Service Chair. He put together the club’s Rotarians at Work day, in which club members painted restrooms in Cornelius city parks and distributed flyers for the Cornelius Public Library. “Michael was itching to get involved from day one. He is always looking for ways to make our community better,” Peters said.

A longtime member of the club, Jeff Duyck gives significant amounts of time and treasure to the club. He donates space in his warehouse for the club’s use, manages the maintenance and rental of the club’s canopies and is critical in getting food supplies for the Crab Feed, Steak Feed and Concours d’Elegance. “If you need something, just ask Jeff. He probably knows where to get it,” Peters said. “This guy provides service to our club every single day.”

Geoff Faris has been the club’s longtime chair for the Steak Feed and was the food service chair for the Concours d’Elegance until those duties were ceded to Bon Appetit for the 2023 show. He also chairs the Garden Committee that maintains the club’s McDougall Garden at the east end of Forest Grove. “Geoff has been the go-to food chair for the club for many years. He keeps the garden beautiful by scheduling the work parties,” Peters said.

A satellite member of our club, Melinda Fischer serves the club in two critical roles. As the Youth Exchange Committee chair, Melinda makes sure that our inbound exchange students are cared for and housed and plays critical roles in the selection and onboarding of our outbound student. Melinda also serves as the Satellite Club chair, organizing the monthly meetings. “She is a powerhouse at getting things done,” Peters said. “’Service Above Self’ is her motto.”

Julia Kollar was recognized for her efforts in organizing the club’s annual Crab Feed, taking the chair duties over upon Mike Hundley’s resignation from the club. A familiar face at club service projects, Julia has also been involved with the Concours d’Elegance in varying capacities over the year. “This year’s Crab Feed was the best ever and she put together a team that pulled off a stellar event,” Peters said. “She is organized and a go-getter.”

A newer member of the club, Hector Mendez-Colberg has stepped to be an official club photographer for both club events and the Concours d’Elegance. He shot photos at the Crab Feed this year, which included a photo booth, serves on the club’s board of directors and will serve as co-chair of the Satellite Club next year. “This year he has some new ideas for Concours and is doing an excellent job serving the club,” Peters said.

Claudia Yakos recently completed her third year as club secretary and has always been willing to step in and help the club however she can. She has been instrumental in identifying vendors for the Concours d’Elegance and is currently serving as the volunteer executive director of the Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce. She is also the driving force behind Gardens of Hope, which the club is working towards a Rotary Global Grant for. “Claudia is always willing to share her knowledge,” Peters said. The Gardens of Hope project continues to thrive under her leadership.”

Pete and Parri Van Dyke have been mainstays in the club for a long time. Pete makes his business, Van Dyke Appliance, available to be the “pick up spot” for everything Rotary, from Concours posters to Steak Feed tickets. He also contributes the refrigerators and freezers used for both the Concours and the Steak Feed. Parri has served as co-chair of the membership committee, a member of the board of directors and as chair of the club’s annual Hope For The Holidays service project. Additionally, the Van Dykes have hosted a fall potluck for the club each of the last two years. “Both Parri and Pete live ‘Service Above Self’ every day,” Peters said.

Rus Peters is the husband of Janet Peters and has been her right-hand man throughout her presidential year. He is also active in many of the club’s service projects and is always willing to end a hand. “He has done everything I have asked for or needed this year without complaint and has been my sounding board on all things large and small,” Janet said. “I couldn’t have done it this year without his support and encouragement.”

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