Rotary Rewind – Dec. 31, 2022

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR!: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove wishes everyone the happiest of new years for 2023. We are grateful for each and every one of our members who work hard to make our community a better place to live. We will resume our regular weekly meetings this Wednesday, Jan. 4, at Pacific University.

Hope For The Holidays Provides For The Community: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove continued a holiday tradition of making the season a little brighter for those in need in our community, but this year with a new approach.

The club conducted its annual Hope for the Holidays service project on Monday, Dec. 12 in conjunction with the Forest Grove High School Food Pantry.

In past years, Hope for the Holidays has provided families the opportunity for a holiday shopping spree at a local retailer, assisted by Rotarians. This year, the club changed the program’s focus to providing holiday food boxes along with other household items normally not provided by the FGHS Food Pantry.

The food distribution event served 100 families, more than doubling the impact of the project on the community.

“We are fortunate to belong to a group of Rotarian that cares deeply for our community,” said Rotary Club of Forest Grove president Janet Peters. “Giving of our time and treasure to help others is the best part of the holiday season!”

In addition to food shipments provided to the FGHS Food Pantry by the Oregon Food Bank, Rotarians purchased additional items to supplement the boxes. Jim’s Supermarket in Banks donated 330 pounds of apples to the effort while Columbia Empire Farms provided hams at cost. More food was purchased using donations from Rotarians and a District Matching Grant from Rotary District 5100.

Leftover donations from Rotarians to Hope for the Holidays will be used to provide cleaning and personal hygiene items to the Food Pantry. Those items are not usually available through the pantry’s distributions from the Oregon Food Bank.

Volunteers from Forest Grove High School were joined by the following Rotarians and friends: Rus & Janet Peters, Bryce Baker, Tim Orr, Jill Verboort, Greg Nemchick, Jim Cain, Dallas Roark, Willow & Mahayla Oelke, Tom Linkhart, Adrian Olmstead, Pete & Parri Van Dyke, Tim Pearson and Jonathan Skeele.

Hope For The Holidays Featured In Forest Grove News-Times: Our thanks to Dillon Mullan of the Forest Grove News-Times writing a feature on our Hope For The Holidays project, and the work of the Forest Grove high School Food Pantry, which was featured in the newspaper and its digital platforms over the holidays. Click Here To Read The Feature.

Welcome New Members: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove is proud to welcome its three newest members: Bruce Cummings, Jason Feiner and Willow Oelke.

Our three newest members were inducted into Rotary during a ceremony held during the club’s meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Pacific University. We look forward to sharing and serving with all three of these dynamic individuals.

Bruce Cummings was sponsored for membership by Geoff Faris. Recently retired from leadership in the healthcare industry, Bruce has recently started his second career as a real estate professional with John L. Scott in Forest Grove.

Bruce has lived in the area most of his life, moving with his family from Tillamook to Forest Grove in 1968. His first proper jobs were at Poppio’s Pizza and Jan’s Food Mill. His first experience with our club came in 1974 when Bruce attended the Concours d’Elegance and became an enthusiast in cars and motorcycles. “I didn’t know it at the time, but that cool car show that came to my hometown every year was at the hands of Rotarians,” Bruce said.

In his spare time, Bruce repairs and restores vintage Honda motorcycles. He entered a restored dirt bike in the 2013 Concours d’Elegance, which earned a best-in-class award.

Jason Feiner was sponsored for membership by Amy Tracewell. He is currently employed as the assistant director for conferences and events at Pacific University. His previous career path includes time as the director of student activities at Lewis & Clark College and associate director of student activities and fraternity and sorority life advisor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

A native of the Bay Area, Jason earned his bachelor’s degree in theatre and art history from Bradley University and a master’s degree in education administration and foundations from Illinois State. Outside of Pacific, Jason enjoys spending time with his partner, Karla, and their beagle, Daisy. Jason is actively involved with the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, mentoring the undergraduate chapter at Oregon and serving on the fraternity’s national board of directors. Jason received the fraternity’s William J. Fraering Award for outstanding service in 2015 and was cited to membership in its Distinguished Service Chapter in 2018.

Willow Oelke was sponsored for membership by Parri Van Dyke. Willow is employed as the business and community development officer for Wauna Credit Union in Forest Grove. She has a long history in the banking and financial world and a lifetime of service in non-profits and community organizations.

In addition to her work at Wauna, Willow sits on the boards of firestorm for two local area non-profits that focus on serving families in crisis, including the Hope Squared Foundation. She is also devoted to financial literacy. She believes that this is often a root cause preventing individuals from rising out of poverty.

When not serving the community, Willow is a wife, mother and grandmother who spends most of her free time with her family.

Leadership Transitions: With the beginning of 2023 comes a couple of leadership transitions within the club. Amy Tracewell has ended her term as program chair and will begin preparation for taking on the role of president for the 2023-34 Rotary year. Thank you for your great work, Amy!

Lucas Welliver is transitioning into the program chair role as he continues the process of getting ready to be club president in 2024-25. With that change, Lucas has stepped down as club treasurer and Sharon Olmstead has taken over that role. Thank you, Lucas, for your great work as treasurer! We look forward to continued leadership from all three of you as our club moves forward.

Concours Concert Event – Help Wanted: The Concours Committee has given the green light to go ahead with another concert event linked to the annual show. The concert is tentatively scheduled for Friday, July 14 with the Concours taking place on Sunday, July 16. If you are interested in helping plan and execute the concert event, please contact Court Carrier.

Caterers For Future Meetings: President Janet is looking for one to two more members to serve with herself, Howard Sullivan and Court Carrier in identifying local caterers that could serve the club at future meetings. We will have a number of meetings coming up where we will meet at the Forest Grove School District offices and will need catering for those meetings. If you would like to assist, please let President Janet know.

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
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
Award Nominations Open:
Is there a Rotarian out there that you believe is worthy of special recognition of their work within the club, the district or Rotary? There are a number of award nominations open to recognize members for exceptional service at both the district and international level. Click Here to view the nomination criteria along with links on where you can nominate for awards.

If you have questions about the awards programs, please contact District 5100 Awards Committee co-chairs Tom Markos,, and Christine Huot,

District Committees – It’s Not Too Late!: A number of district-wide committees are looking for members. If you are interested, you can find contact information for the committee chairs in the latest District 5100 newsletter (link below).

Vocational Service – Lal Bhatia, Chair

Working to promote the awareness and opportunity to advance our vocations as an opportunity to provide service to our communities.

Public ImageDiane Noriega, Chair

Working to promote Rotary through our club projects and communications with the general public and with Rotarians within District 5100.

MembershipDennis Long and Julie Fugate, co-Chairs

Focusing on finding ways to attract new members, but primary emphasis this year is to engage our existing members to retain them as members by finding their interests and focus.

Grow RotaryMarcia Wimmer, Chair

Growing membership will be accomplished by identifying opportunities for new clubs and to add Satellite clubs to existing clubs to provide additional opportunities to participate.

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

Around Rotary International
Rotary Voices Podcast:
Did you know that Rotary International has a podcast that highlights worldwide projects and other ways that Rotarians are making a difference? Rotary Voices is the official podcast of Rotary magazine, with stories from the magazine and the Rotary Voices blog.

The latest edition of the podcast, released on Dec. 16, spotlights Rotary’s first $2 million Programs of Scale grant. Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia is working to eliminate the disease, including training 2,500 community health workers. In Rotary magazine’s latest podcast, we check in with Rotarians Martha Lungu and Eric Liswaniso, who are working in their communities to combat malaria. We also explore the science behind malaria with Abigail Pratt, a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and speak with Diana Schoberg, who traveled to Zambia to report the magazine’s December 2022 cover story, “A community cure.”

Click Here to access the fill list of podcasts or find it wherever you listen and subscribe to podcasts, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and IHeart Radio.

Club Calendar
Wed., Jan. 4: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Dr. Marc Williams, Pacific University Center For Entrepreneurship, Sports & Entertainment

Wed., Jan. 11: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Shannon Huggins, Clean Water Services, Gales Creek Dam Project

Wed., Jan. 12: Executive Board Meeting, 7 p.m.
Via Zoom

Wed., Jan. 18: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Tim Graham, Forest Grove High School CALC Program

Wed., Jan. 19: Board Meeting, 7 a.m.
Via Zoom

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