Rotary Rewind – May 9, 2023

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Among the projects for last weekend’s Rotary at Work Day was distributing activity flyers for the Cornelius Public Library.

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

This Week – Juan David’s Cookie Drive: Don’t forget to bring some cash or a check this week to purchase some cookies in support of our Rotary Youth Exchange student Juan David’s fundraising drive!

Next Week – At The Cornelius Library: For our Wednesday, May 17 meeting, we will gather in the meeting room at the Cornelius Public Library, 1370 Adair Street. An RSVP will be required in order to get lunch. Please RSVP to President Janet in person on Wednesday or by email before Sunday.

Rotarians At Work Day: We had a solid turnout of club members and friends turn out for Rotarians at Work Day on Saturday. Thirteen Rotarians turned out to help the City of Cornelius distribute flyers for the city library as well as paint the exteriors of restrooms in the city’s parks. We also had a crew doing some maintenance on our McDougall Garden in Forest Grove.

Thank you to the following Rotarians and friends who participated: Parri Van Dyke, Juan David Gabela, Howard Sullivan, Dave Parker, Jim Cain, Jim Crisp, Rus Peters, Jabet Peters, Julia Kollar, Dallas Roark, Tom Carlson and Lucas Welliver. A special thank you to our Community Service Committee chair, Michael Cook, for his hard work in making these service opportunities happen!

Road Cleanup – This Saturday: Our semi-annual road clean-up service project is scheduled for this Saturday, May 13 at 8:30 a.m. We will meet at the Oregon Department of Forestry Office at 801 Gales Creek Road, and will do our cleanup of Gales Creek Road between Thatcher Road and Forest Gale Drive and Thatcher Road between Gales Creek Road and David Hill Road.

This is a longtime club service project that helps beautify the community. Our club has been part of Washington County’s Adopt-A-Road project for over 25 years. Many hands make quick work, so please come out and join us! For more information, contact Paul Waterstreet at 503-888-7185 or H2OST2@JUNO.COM.

Welcome To Our Newest Members, Al Weiss & Sarah Barbour: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove is proud to welcome its newest members, Al Weiss & Sarah Barbour.

Al & Sarah was inducted as members during the club’s weekly meeting on Apr. 19. Al & Sarah’s middle daughter, Blue, is the club’s current Rotary Youth Exchange outbound student and is currently abroad in Ecuador.

Al & Sarah moved to Forest Grove in 2011 with Al becoming Pacific University’s first director of educational technology and curricular innovation.  Prior to coming to Pacific, Al spent 15 years studying and working in educational technology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Al & Sarah met in Japan in the late 1990s, where they were both part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, a teaching exchange run by the Japanese Ministry of Education.

Al was raised in Wayne, New Jersey and earned his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Immediately after college, Al moved to Hawaii where he had brief stints as a pizza delivery driver and substitute teacher before beginning his career in education as a seventh and eighth-grade science and math teacher and working with fourth and fifth-grade students with dyslexia.

Al received Pacific University’s Outstanding Leadership Award in 2021 for his work in supporting Pacific’s pivot to online education in 2020 and 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sarah also grew up on the East Coast and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond. Her work career includes teaching English in Japan and managing the special collections library at the University of Illinois, where she received her master’s degree in library science.

Sarah currently works as a freelance finance writer, working primarily with firms in the private equity, mergers and acquisitions and accounting industries.

Together, Al and Sarah have three daughters. The oldest, Sophie, is studying at Reed College in Portland and their youngest, Irene, is in her final year at the Forest Grove Community School. Upon her return from Ecuador, Blue will be a senior at Forest Grove High School.

Board of Directors Elections: Congratulations to our three newest members of the Rotary Club of Forest Grove Board of Directors! Evelyn Orr, Jonathan Skeele and Pamelajean Myers were all elected to the board by members and will begin their three-year terms on July 1. Thank you all for your service to the club!

Steak Feed: If you haven’t already marked your calendars, mark them for Friday, June 9 on the canpus of Pacific University. Our second-biggest fundraiser of the year (behind Concours d’Elegance), this is an “all hands on deck” event where we need as many Rotarians as possible to help make the event happen. Proceeds from the Steak Feed directly fund our involvement in the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

Rotarians should have already received an envelope with 10 Steak Feed tickets and a list of committee work assignments. Please do what you can to sell your Steak Feed tickets to friends, family, co-workers, enemies…anyone who wants to support the work of our club and enjoy a delicious steak dinner with all of the trimmings. Tickets are $25 each.

For any questions, please contact Steak Feed chair Geoff Faris.

Concours Polo Shirts – Order Now: For the first time in many years, the club is producing updated Concours d’Elegance polo shirts. Club members typically wear these shirts on Concours day and at our club promotional functions, such as the Steak Feed. The new polo shirts will be the navy blue that we have had in past years and feature the updated Concours d’Elegance logo on the front and our club logo on the sleeve.

Orders are being taken now with both men’s and women’s sizes available. Both men’s and women’s shirts will cost $29.50 each. If you are interested in purchasing a shirt, please contact Tim Pearson.

Concours Sponsorship Opportunities: The Concours d’Elegance Committee is well underway with procuring sponsorships for our 2023 show, which will take place on Sunday, July 16. There is plenty of sponsorship opportunities for both businesses and individuals for starting as low as $350. How important is sponsorships? Most of the profit that comes from Concours, which helps pay for our service outreach and funds our Scholarship Program, comes from sponsorships.

Click Here To Download The Sponsorship Flyer, which describes a number of the show’s sponsor opportunities. For more information or to help secure a sponsorship, please contact Tim Pearson at 503-998-8616 or or Andrea Stewart at 503-357-1427 or

Concours Entertainment Sponsorship: At last week’s meeting, Tim Pearson announced a new entertaimment sponsorship that is available for the Concours d’Elegance. The sponsorships, sold for $250 each, include four tickets to the show, inclusion in the Concours program as an entertainment sponsor and on signage at the entertainment stage, recognition by the emcee, and a 35% discount on any advertisement that they would like to purchase in the program. There are multiple sponsorships available. For more details, or to purchase, please contact Tim Pearson.

RYLA Applications Open: The application period is now open for the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Held annually, RYLA is week-long intensive leadership camp that is open to youth and young professionals ages 19 to 32. The program has been described as a life-changing professional experience for many participants, many of whom also become Rotarians.

Our club annually sponsors one to two RYLA participants, all of which attend on scholarships provided by District 5100 clubs. This year’s RYLA will take place July 8-14 at the Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, just east of the Portland metro area.

If you know a youth who might benefit from attending RYLA, have them visit The website includes a link to the online application form.

For questions, please contact our club’s RYLA chair, Andrea Stewart, at 503-357-1427 or

Concours Concert Details: The Concours d’Elegance will once again feature a Friday night vineyard concert. The event will take place on Friday, July 14 at the Eagles Nest Reserve Winery, 12995 SW Bishop Rd., Hillsboro. Court Carrier is looking for assistance on identifying potential caterers and musical performers for the evening concert, which will be held at a local winery. If you have possible leads or want to be involved with the planning committee, contact Court.

Youth Exchange Update: Back in January, we learned that our selected outbound Rotary Youth Exchange student had withdrawn from the program for personal reasons. Since then, our club has officially applied to host an African exchange student in a one-way exchange through the “Power of One” program.

The club has recently learned that we were approved for a “Power On One” exchange. We will be hosting a female student named Fareeha from Uganda. We are not waiting on guarantee forms in order to move forward with approval from Forest Grove High School. As part of our club’s commitment to the program, the club will cover airfare, a clothing allowance, health insurance and some other expenses.

The Youth Exchange Committee is looking for host families that are willing to host Fareeha for a three-month period. If you are interested, please contact Youth Exchange Chair Melinda Fischer at 503-502-6523 or

The Youth Exchange Committee, meanwhile, is make applications available for the 2024-25 outbound program at Forest Grove High School on May 1. Applications will be due on June 2 with interviews taking place in early June.  Applicants should be freshmen at Forest Grove High School.

For more information on the District 5100 Youth Exchange Program, visit For information at the club level, please contact Melinda Fischer.

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.

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

Around Rotary International
Rotary Network Helps Family Attacked By Pirates (By Vince DiCarlis, Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island, Washington): We all have various reasons for joining Rotary – to give back to our communities, to experience fellowship, or to help people in other countries. But these things come and go. I recently experienced a situation that confirmed for me why I will always remain a member. The Rotary network came to the aid of a member’s family after they were attacked by pirates on their way to the Caribbean.

In late March, I got a call from Bob Baranski, a good friend and leader in our club. I could tell right away that he was upset. He told me how his daughter Cory and her husband, Chris, who live and work off their sailboat, had been attacked by four men with guns and machetes as they were anchored at Panama’s Pearl Islands awaiting passage through the Panama Canal.

The pirates had approached silently in a small vessel shortly after sunset and stormed aboard. Cory locked herself in the aft bathroom with a VHF radio to attempt to send a distress call. But the attackers broke down the door with their machetes, silenced Cory’s radio, and cut cables to all the other radios and the autopilot display.

Assault Aftermath
Chris was hit on the head several times with the butt of a pistol, while Cory was choked and forced into a closet with a machete held to her throat. Two friends who were also on board were pushed into the forward bathroom. Chris was forced to lay face down at gunpoint while the pirates ransacked the boat for an hour and a half.

The thieves took all cash, wallets, jewelry, phones, foul weather gear, lifejackets, clothing, and jugs of gasoline, as well as ripping out the boat’s electronic gear. They also took Stella, Cory’s and Chris’ six-month-old puppy. After they were gone, Chris was able to contact police and determine the boat was safe to sail to Naos Marina near Panama City to await repairs.

I was horrified by the story. Bob asked if we could connect them with some local Rotarians whom they could trust, as both Chris and Cory were seriously shaken up.

I began using Rotary’s extensive network to arrange for help. Through a call to Rotary International, I reached the Rotary Support Center. Johanna Martinez put me in contact with the Rotary Club of Panama Este and Nick Taylor, a Club and District Support supervisor. He listened with empathy and promised to try and connect Chris and Cory with local people who could help. (He then reached out to Gregory Franks, a CDS senior supervisor for the Americas, who contacted zone and district leaders.)

Marco Austin, president of the Panama Este Club, contacted Javier Juarez, a member of the Rotary Club of Balboa less than two miles from the marina. Javier immediately visited Cory, Chris, and their friends, and helped them get basic supplies to replace items that had been stolen. He also contacted friends in the marine supply business and set up a work group to examine the boat and begin repairs.

I was amazed that it took less than three hours from my initial phone calls for help to arrive. Javier continued to visit the group daily, assisting them in finding resources and places to shop and eat (as they still couldn’t cook on the boat).

Rotary Creating Ripples
Meanwhile, Allan Sellers, a Rotary District Coordinator for Zone 25a, began to use his connections to various agencies including the Panama Coast Guard, the Canal Authority, and the Ministry of Tourism. In Bob’s words, “the Rotary connection sent ripples (more like waves) through the agencies.”

Thanks to these efforts, once repairs were done, Chris and Cory were escorted through the canal by the Coast Guard. The authorities even found Stella on an uninhabited island nearby. The group went on to Miami via the Cayman Islands to make further repairs, having received an unbelievable amount of “boots-on-the-ground” support.

A few days after the incident, Rotary came to the rescue in yet another way. Chris was having difficulty getting an emergency replacement passport, and at Bob’s request I contacted our U.S. Congressman, who has a copy of The Four-Way Test on his desk. Within 30 minutes, the issue was resolved.

Reflecting on the incident, Bob said, “It isn’t just what we do as Rotarians, it’s who we know and the influence we have. When people ask me how they can help, I tell them (if they are members of Rotary), ‘just keep being Rotarians.’”

To all those involved – Javier Juarez, Marco Austin, Nick Taylor, Allan Sellers, Gregory Franks, and Johanna Martinez – thank you for all your help. When I tried to personally thank Allan, he told me, “No need to thank us, this is what we do.”

And that is why I will always be a Rotarian.

This story was previously published on the website.

Last Week’s Program: Tom Hartz, Friends of the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge

NOTE: Due to the absence of the Public Image chair, a video recording of the program is not available. Thank you to Dallas Roark for providing this week’s program recap.

Last week’s program was presented by Tom Hartz on behalf of the Friends of the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge. During the presentation, Tom shared with us the importance of the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge as a vital habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife in the region. He emphasized the critical role that the Friends of the Refuge play in supporting and maintaining the refuge’s diverse ecosystems and the programs and initiatives that help protect and preserve the refuge’s natural resources.

The presentation concluded with a call to action for members of the community to get involved and support the Friends of the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge through volunteer work, donations, and other forms of support. As Rotarians, we are committed to making a positive impact in our communities, and supporting organizations like the Friends of the Refuge is a great way to do just that.

Club Calendar
Wed., May 10: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause Room, University Center, Pacific University
Program: Kristy Reddick, Community Action

Thurs., May 11: Executive Board Meeting, 7 p.m.
via Zoom

Sat., May 13: Road Cleanup Service Project, 8:30 a.m.
Oregon Department of Forestry Office, 801 Gales Creek Rd.

Wed., May 17: Weekly Meeting Noon
Cornelius Public Library, 1370 Adair St., Cornelius
Program: Club Assembly

Thurs., May 18: Board Meeting, 7 a.m.
via Zoom

Thurs., May 18: Satellite Club Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Location To Be Announced

Fri., June 9: Steak Feed, 5-8 p.m.
Pacific University Campus

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

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