Rotary Rewind – July 10, 2023

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Janet Peters, Jill Verboort and Jill’s children were among those that took part in a graffiti cleanup at Fernhill Wetlands last Thursday.

If you did not make it to our last Rotary Club of Forest Grove meeting, here is what you missed…

This Week – At Forest Grove School District Offices: Our weekly meeting this Wednesday, July 12 will take place in the Grove Room at the Forest Grove School District offices, 1728 Main Street. Please make sure to join us this week as we get ready for this weekend’s Concours d’Elegance.

Upcoming Meetings: Our July 19 and 26 meetings will be back at Pacific University. After July 26, our weekly meetings will take place at the Cornelius Public Library for the foreseeable future. Due to renovations to Pacific Hall (the former library), our usual meeting space in the University Center will be used as classroom space for much of the 2023-24 academic year. More details on the meetings and how meals will work will be available as we get closer to that transition.

Concours d’Elegance – This Week: Our biggest fundraiser of the year is this weekend! Our annual Concours d’Elegance is this Sunday on the campus of Pacific University. This is an “all hands on deck” event for the club. We need every club member involved on show day to make sure that we put on the most successful event possible.

If you have not checked on what your volunteer assignment is, check it out Here On Sign Up Genius. Please take some time to look at the page to see where you are assigned. If you have any questions on assignments, please contact Janet Peters.

Concours Concert – “Celebrating Our Senses”: The Concours d’Elegance will once again feature a Friday night vineyard concert. The second “Celebrating Our Senses” will take place on Friday, July 14 at the Eagles Next Reserve Winery & Vineyard, 12995 NW Bishop Rd., Hillsboro. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. for the dinner event with music by Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee King Louie Pain and the Renato Caranto Trio beginning at 6:15 p.m. Dinner includes a three-course meal, featuring appetizers of charcuterie and fruits and vegetables from Wedge and Cured, a Texas-style barbeque entrée from Ferrtie’s BBQ and gourmet cookies for dessert provided some of the dedicated bakers of the Rotary Club of Forest Grove. A selection of wines from Eagles Nest Reserve Winery will also be available along with assorted ciders from Bull Run Cider Company of Forest Grove.

Tickets are $75 per person. For more information, please visit the Concert Page on the Concours d’Elegance website or contact Court Carrier at 971-404-7864 or

For More On Concours: Still curious as to what the Concours d’Elegance is all about, what it is and why we do it? We encourage you to visit the show website,

Fernhill Wetlands Service Project: Thanks to the Rotarians who rose to the occasion last Thursday and showed up at Fernhill Wetlands to help remove graffiti from the bid viewing shelters. We had a great crew that showed up on short notice for an hour-and-a-half of work. Thanks to Amy Tracewell, Parry Harmon, Janet Peters, Jill Verboort, Lucas Welliver and Greg Nemchick for making the time to serve the community!

Name Badges – The Rules Have Changed: With the fact that we will be moving from place to place for the next few months, members were asked to take their badges home with them at last week’s meeting. Normally, we would fine members for taking their badges home…but it is now the opposite. Please bring your own badge to the meeting to avoid a $1 fine. All fine money collected goes towards the club’s contribution to the PolioPlus fund.

For those who do not yet have their badges, we will find a way to make those available while we are at Pacific over the next two weeks.

Community Event – Emilio Inc. Poker Ride: Draggin Pipe, operated in part by Rotarian Cari Atzen and Brookwood Auto Group, operated by Rotarian Michael Cook, are sponsoring a motorcycle poker ride in support of Emilio Inc. on Saturday, July 15. The end of the ride and subsequent Ride Bike Show will take place at Brookwood/Draggin’ Pipe.

Emilio Inc. is an organization built in the honor of Emilio Hoffman who was the victim in the Reynolds High School shooting on June 10, 2014. Emilio Inc. believes that awareness and education are essential to helping with mental health challenges and preventing youth violence. They engage with community organizations, government agencies and businesses in an effort to make communities safe and maintain a high quality of life for children.

The post-ride event includes an auction and raffle, a presentation be Emilio’s parents, food provided by Jerrick’s BBQ (at Zesti Carts) and a beer garden sponsored by 10 Barrel Brewing.

For more information on the event, please contact Cari or Michael.

Nyuzen Sister City Recognition: The City of Forest Grove’s Sister City Committee is looking for local businesses who would like to participate in a video celebrating the 70th anniversary of the city’s sister city relationship with Nyuzen, Japan.

The video would involve local businesses holding a 70th anniversary banner and will be presented in Japan to the people of Nzuyen in late September. Filming takes just a few minutes and can be done on July 18, August 11 or August 16.

If you are interested in participating with this project, please contact Pat Truax at 503-310-7740 or and she will schedule a time with you. Thank you in advance for your support of the sister city program.

Fernhill Wetlands Community Event: There will be a Fernhill Wetlands Community Event taking place on Saturdsy, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The aim of the event is to help people learn how to cohabitate with urban wildlife while painting and discovering the nature of the wetlands. The event will includes talks from experts from the Portland Audubon Society, Urban Coyote Project, Clean Water Services and others. The event is free but you should bring snacks and water.

For more information on this event, contact Jose at

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 (over 100 videos to date) are archived on our club’s YouTube page. Visit

Service Opportunities For Club Members
Elks Backpack Program:
The Elks Backpack Program, which provides food for youth in the Forest Grove School District experiencing food insecurity, is looking for 50 new or gently used backpacks for the program. If you have backpacks to donate, please bring those to a future meeting and we will get them to the appropriate people.

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.

During the summer, the Food Pantry is open Mondays from 2-3:30 p.m. The pantry will be closed on July 24 and Sept. 4. The pantry is located along Nichols Lane between the football field and the Basinski Center. Click Here for more information on the FGHS Food Pantry and on other resources for those experiencing food insecurity.

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
Rotary Friendship Exchange:
District 5100 has an opportunity for Rotarians to participate in a Rotary Friendship Exchange. District 5100 and District 3261 in NE India have combined forces to create a Friendship Exchange in India in January/February 2024 timeframe. The return exchange will be in May/June 2024 timeframe here in our district.

Independent travel can be arranged before or after the exchange on your own. Indian Rotarians may be willing to help with arrangements for travel to places of interest, such as the Taj Mahal, which is located in Uttar Pradesh a state just north of District 3621. District 3621 includes all or parts of the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

If you are interested in participating in this exchange, please contact District RFE Chair Dennis Wickham,, for an application. 

Rotary Friendship Exchanges are funded by Rotarians participating on the exchange. Some clubs may help by providing funding for meals when inbound RFE Team members visit their club. Rotarians participating from this district and their club are expected to host Rotarians from our partner district and plan the various activities of the inbound RFE team. The culture of India is such that guests are not expected to pay for any of the expenses associated with being a guest! Participants in this exchange are expected to not only host inbound Rotarians but financially support activities that are planned for the inbound guests. 

District 5100 Newsletter: Click Here To View The Monthly District 5100 Newsletter

Around Rotary International
A Milestone For A Rotary Club In South Africa (By Ifechukwude Rex Omameh, 2023-24 President of the Rotary Club of Blouberg, South Africa):
In July, I became the youngest president in the history of my Rotary club, and the first president of color.

It was while I was sitting in the audience at the Rotary People of Action: Champions of Inclusion concert in Cape Town that I realized the significance of this. I had a conversation with Rotary General Secretary and CEO John Hewko, who encouraged me to share my story. I’m excited about what my presidency could mean to the future of my club, my district, and Rotary in South Africa. 

I’ve always advocated for transition in Rotary. I joined the Rotary family in 2007 as an Interactor in Nigeria, where I grew up. I didn’t even know it was called Interact. I just volunteered at Rotary projects, and we would meet informally to plan our own activities.

I joined Rotaract when I began college in Nigeria. When I moved to Cape Town to further my education, I became a member of the Rotaract Club of Blouberg. Four years later, in 2020, I joined the Rotary Club of Blouberg. I was the club’s first dual member of Rotary and Rotaract, the same year Rotary International elevated Rotaract to equal status with Rotary.

Club History
Blouberg Rotary has a rich history. Chartered in 1986, the club has hosted well-known guest speakers like former president F.W. de Klerk and performer Pieter-Dirk Uys. I’m honored to be chosen to lead a club with projects that have run for decades. I’m even more honored to lead a Rotary club in South Africa, where no person of color has led a club in more than 35 years. 

My transition from Rotaract to Rotary wasn’t entirely smooth. I was the youngest member of my Rotary club. Within a year of joining, I was approached by fellow Rotarians asking me to run for president because the club needed a “breath of fresh air” and good leadership.

I was almost certain that neither myself nor my club were ready for my leadership. The difference in age was dramatic. The average age of our club members then was over 50 years old. Similarly, while South Africa is 80.1% black, at the time I joined, our club was 2.7% black. I accepted the nomination but knew I didn’t stand a chance. 

Many Firsts
But I strongly believe that humanity should be our race and love should be our religion. There are so many Rotarians in South Africa and the world who share this vision. As a Rotarian, I express service above self through my favorite areas of focus: ending hunger, ending polio, basic education and literacy, and water and sanitation. I host our district’s annual polio fundraising event and our sandwich drive distributes more than 28,000 sandwiches to those who are hungry in collaboration with partners and other Rotaract and Interact clubs.

I was not selected president in 2020, but I was humbled to receive multiple nominations to run again for the 2023-24 year. It’s a moment of many “firsts.” Most importantly, it’s a time for growing in diversity and equity. The Blouberg Rotary Club has been active in embracing DEI, and I am so proud to call them not just fellow Rotarians, but family.

At the Champions of Inclusion event, I saw what diversity and integration can look like in our service clubs around the world. I was inspired by the speech of Andrè Hadley Marria. I look forward to serving my club as its youngest president, and watching Rotary grow in South Africa and elsewhere.

This story was originally published on the website.

Club Calendar
Wed., July 12: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Grove Room, Forest Grove School District, 1728 Main St.
Program: Concours Prep

Thurs., July 13: Executive Board Meeting, 7 p.m.
via Zoom

Sun., July 16: Concours d’Elegance
Pacific University Campus

Wed., July 19: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Dining Commons, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Eva Aguilar, Washington County Recycling

Thurs., July 20: Board Meeting, 7 a.m.
Via Zoom

Wed., July 26: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Dining Commons, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Claudia Yakos, Gardens of Hope

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