Rotary Rewind – Nov. 12, 2023

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The show field at the 2023 Concours d’Elegance featured nearly 300 cars. Photo by Hector Mendez-Colberg.

This Week – At Forest Grove UCC: This week’s meeting, and all of our meetings for the rest of the 2023 calendar year, will be held at the Forest Grove United Church of Christ, 2032 College Way (across the street from Pacific University). Join us as we hear from Michael Yakos about The Rotary Foundation (did you know November is Rotary Foundation Month?) and meet our Youth Citizens of the Month from Gaston.

Remember that if you wish to receive lunch at meetings, confirmation for lunch orders must be received by secretary Janet Peters by the Saturday before each week’s meeting. A sign-up sheet will be available at weekly meetings or you can RSVP to Janet via email.

Plan Ahead – Holiday Cancellations: In order for Rotarians and their families to celebrate the upcoming holidays, our club will not meet at its regular Wednesday time on the following dates: Wed., Nov. 22; Wed., Dec. 20 and Wed., Dec. 27.

Welcome Don Ast: At last week’s meeting, we welcomed Don Ast as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Forest Grove. Don is involved with the hay industry locally and joins our club after he and his father were involved in Rotary in the 1960s. Click Here To Learn More About Our Newest Member.

Hope For The Holidays: Mark your calendars! This year’s Hope for the Holidays project will take place on Monday, Dec. 18, at the Forest Grove High School Food Pantry. Because of the rules that the Food Pantry has with the Oregon Food Bank, we will not be allowed to distribute meals inside the building. Instead, we will distribute the meals under tents just outside the pantry along Nichols Lane.

A sign-up sheet for volunteers will be distributed at meetings over the next couple of weeks. There will be a need for members with trucks who can help transport food from Fred Meyer and Winco to the high school, as well as set up for the event. The distribution will take place from 4-5:30 p.m., the normal open hours for the food pantry.

All of the food for the project is being covered by $2,500 from the club and $2,500 from a District 5100 Matching Grant. Money from wreath sales and other donations will be used to purchase and provide household items, like toilet paper and laundry detergent, that are normally not available at the Food Pantry.

For more information or questions, please contact Parri Van Dyke.

Wreath Sales: Thank you to everyone who not only purchased or sold wreaths for our fundraiser for Hope for the Holidays, but also to some volunteers (in particular Tim & Evelyn Orr) who have assisted Melinda Fischer in the production of wreaths. Wreaths will be delivered on Saturday, Nov. 25. For questions, please contact Janet Peters.

A Note About PMail: When club leadership sends out emails through the DacDB Pmail system (these will usually have ROTARY in the subject line), these are mass emails sent for the purpose of informing the whole club of information. While it may look like the email is addressed specifically to you, it is not. Please keep this in mind when choosing to reply to an email.

The PMail system is the same system we use to send the Rototeller out each week. This means that if you are opting-out of receiving club emails, you will not receive the weekly newsletter either.

Rotarian Rob DeCou To Speak At Old College Hall Lecture Series: Rotarian and 2005 Pacific alumnus Rob DeCou will be the featured speaker during Pacific University’s Old College Hall Lecture Series on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

A member of the Nor’Western Rotary Club in Port Angeles, Washington, Rob will present on “Resilience: A Journey Through Entrepreneurship and Ultra-Endurance Endeavors.” The CEO of his own creative business and an instructor at Peninsula College in Washington, Rob has also done numerous ultra-endurance events (bike rides, runs, triathlons, etc.) to raise awareness and funds for a number of causes, including the fight against human trafficking and PolioPlus.

Learn more about Rob in this feature published in the Fall 2023 edition of Pacific magazine, written by Rotarian Blake Timm.

The lecture is free but advance registration is required (there is a cap of 50 attendees). If you are interested in attending, Please Register Online.

McDougall Garden Work Party: Thank you to the small but mighty group that braved the cold to do some clean-up work on the McDougall Garden on Saturday, Oct. 28: Geoff Faris, Pamelajean Myers, Jim Cain, Carl Heisler and Blake Timm. There will be additional clean-up work to do on the garden later in the fall as the leaves continue to fall.

Concours d’Elegance Committee: The Concours d’Elegance Committee is starting the planning for our 50th show on July 21, 2024. If interested in getting further involved with the Concours, the steering committee is always looking for volunteers to prepare for the show throughout the year. For more information, contact Tom Raabe at 503-704-1200 or or Geoff Johnston at 503-939-7868 or

The next meeting of the Concours Committee will be on Wednesday, Nov. 8 via Zoom at 7 p.m. If you are interested in attending, please contact Tom Raabe for the link.

Committee Communications & Meetings: Our executive board is working to put together a master calendar of club functions and committee meetings. The goal is that this calendar will be available for all members of the club to access. If your committee is planning to meet during the months of November and December, please send that information to any member of the executive board as soon as possible.

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
Do You Know Of Service Opportunities?: Are you aware of service opportunities in our area that our members might be interested in? We can advertise those here! This space is not limited to club-sponsored activities but to any service opportunity in the community. To promote the service activity, please send a detailed description of the project, the date and time, contact information and a link to register to Rototeller editor Blake Timm,

Red Cross Community Blood Drive: The Red Cross will be holding a blood drive this Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 13 & 14) at the Forest Grove United Church of Christ, 2032 College Way. Click Here To Make An Appointment

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 Mondays from 4-5:30 p.m. 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.


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


Around Rotary International
Pens Against Polio (by Etelka Lehoczky): Lorraine Stevens had the motive and the means. All she needed were accomplices in her plot: publishing a collection of original crime fiction to raise money for the fight to end polio.

The idea for the anthology of short stories, published in July 2023 as “An Unnecessary Assassin,” came to Stevens last year at a literary festival in Yorkshire, England. She’d recently learned about the poliovirus reappearing in Great Britain and was talking with friends about how upset she was by the news.

“I happened to mention that polio had been found in the sewers of London,” says Stevens, a member of the Rotary Club of Scunthorpe, Humberside, England. “I found that quite disturbing. I had known polio was still around, but not as much as I went on to find out. One of my author friends said, ‘Well, you know enough authors, Lorraine. Why don’t you do an anthology and sell it for charity?’”

A former librarian who regularly attends crime-writing festivals, Stevens knew her friend was right. This was something she could do. She began asking authors she knew to donate stories for the book. Her first recruit was David Penny, the author of a well-regarded series of historical mysteries. He was eager to fight polio.

“Growing up in Wales in the ’50s, polio was a major issue for us,” Penny says. “This was just prior to the vaccine coming out, and it was pretty much everywhere. As a kid of six or seven, it was always on your mind. I knew people who were in leg braces or iron lungs — or who died from the disease. That stays with you. It becomes almost an embedded fear in you.”

Penny helped Stevens assemble a diverse group of short stories and arranged to self-publish the book using Amazon’s print-on-demand program. The pair were excited to receive two submissions specifically about polio. Gerralyn Ingram, who writes under the name G.L. Waring, used her story to channel her anger at both vaccine deniers and arrogant doctors. A former pediatric nurse, Ingram based the villain of “It Takes Three Drops” on doctors she’d encountered.

“They think they know everything, and their opinion is the only opinion that counts,” she says. “In the story, basically, here’s a doctor who thinks he’s God… [and] who doesn’t think that a woman can be equally as qualified and actually know better.”

Among the book’s highlights are stories by Ann Cleeves and Lee Child. Cleeves’ contribution, “The Habit of Silence,” is a detective story set in a distinguished library. In Child’s “Safe Enough,” a contractor working on a suburban lot begins stalking the lot’s previous owner. Child interweaves his menacing tale with a critique of economic policies that hurt the working class.

Other stories feature a wide range of situations. Chris McGeorge’s “Box” is a locked-room mystery set in a glass box 820 feet (250 meters) underwater. Robert Scragg’s “Revenge is Best Served Hot” and F.D. Quinn’s “Best Served Cold” each give a culinary twist to crime. Judith O’Reilly’s “A Face for Murder” combines a whodunit with a satire of YouTube makeup tutorials.

Penny was delighted by the diversity of the stories.

“You don’t want all the same thing,” he says. “There’s some funny stories, and there’s some poignant ones in there.”

Penny’s own contribution, written as DG Penny, was based on an idea he’d been thinking about for several years: What are the consequences of trying to do the right thing? In “Drive By,” Penny’s protagonist tries to protect a victim of human trafficking and soon comes to regret it.

“An Unnecessary Assassin” also includes two poems. That’s unusual for a crime anthology, but one of them further cements the book’s link to polio. In “Surviving Relations,” Jim Taylor describes a man who had polio as a child and now embraces a succession of dangerous pastimes. “He would never run. It didn’t stop him doing what he wanted,” Taylor writes. “Look him in the eyes, and he would look straight back, unwavering.”

The anthology also references polio in its cover art, which is shaded purple, and in an afterword explaining the significance of the color. It’s what is used to tint children’s fingers at mass vaccination events to show that they’ve received the vaccine. The title refers to the fact that polio is preventable with a vaccine.

“We came up with all sorts of different ideas. There were probably over a dozen potential titles,” Penny says. “This one won because of the alliteration.”

The book is available in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon. Stevens has also sold it at Rotary club meetings and crime-writing festivals all over Great Britain. It’s raised more than US$3,000 so far, and its proceeds will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“The phrase ‘An Unnecessary Assassin’ kind of sums up the thing,” Penny says. “Polio is totally an avoidable disease, provided there is enough money to immunize each child.”

This article first appeared on the website.


Last Week’s Program: Tom Raabe, Geoff Johnston & Alisa Johnston, Concours d’Elegance

Click Here To Watch The Complete Program

At last week’s meeting, we had a chance to recap our 49th Concours d’Elegance car show and look ahead to our banner 50th show in July 2024. Three of the show’s four co-chairs, Tom Raabe, Geoff Johnston and Alisa Johnston, led the discussion.

Last year’s show, the 49th edition and our second since the COVID pandemic, collected over $100,000 in total revenue with nearly half of that going back to the club’s foundation. Those funds are used for the club’s scholarship program, for scholarships at Pacific University and for other club service outreaches.

Alisa took some time to go over the show’s history went over history. Alisa’s father, Allen Stephens Sr., was the club’s fundraising chair in the early 1970s and was tasked with coming up with a fundraiser that could bring in money to return to the community. He did not like fundraiser sales, like roses or chocolate, but was interested in cars and developed the Concours as a fundraising event. We should be proud that this event has lasted for this long and has become a hallmark event in the community.

The Concours committee meets once per month until June and July, when the committee meets weekly. There are 20 sub-committees working to make the Concours come together. All sub-committees should be led by Rotarians in the club, but there are many people from outside the club who help make it all happen.

We need people to step up with taking on duties with garbage & recycling (currently handled by Jim Crisp) and the fence set-up/take-down (currently handled by Carl Heisler & Tim Schauermann). If you want to do another duty than you did last year, please contact volunteer chair Janet Peters.

This year’s theme is 50 Years of Elegance in reference to our 50th show. There will be some special classes, including a class of past Best in Show winners and 60 years of Mustang. We are hoping for some special entertainment as well.

For the third annual concert event connected with Concours, McMenamins Grand Lodge is sponsoring the use of their grounds for the event. The idea of the addition of the concert event is to make it a Concours weekend from Friday to Sunday.

Over the past 50 years, the proceeds from the Concours for scholarships and service projects has exceeded $1.3 million.


Club Calendar
Wed., Nov. 15: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Forest Grove United Church of Christ, 2032 College Way
Program: Michael Yakos, Rotary Foundation

Thurs., Nov. 16: Board Meeting, 7 a.m.
via Zoom

Wed., Nov. 22: No Meeting. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sat., Nov. 25: Wreaths Delivered (contact Janet Peters)

Wed., Nov. 29: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Forest Grove United Church of Christ, 2032 College Way
Program: Emily Cupo, Stove Team International

Wed., Dec. 6: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Forest Grove United Church of Christ, 2032 College Way
Program: Forest Grove High School Music Programs

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