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Rotary Rewind – Oct, 13, 2021

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If you didn’t make it to our last Rotary Club of Forest Grove meeting, here’s what you missed…

In-Person Meetings Starting Up: At long last, we are starting the transition back from fully virtual meetings to being back in person! We will be in person for our monthly evening meeting this Wednesday. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Zesti Carts food pods on Yew Street near Doherty Ford. There will be no noon meeting this Wednesday.

Our first noon in-person meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 27 in the Boxer Pause in the University Center at Pacific University. Our program will be the official visit for District Governor Jim Boyle. Make plans to join us that day to not only celebrate being in back in person but to celebrate all that is Rotary!

For those who cannot make it to our regular weekly meetings or who are not comfortable meeting in person yet, the meetings will be hybrid, allowing people to attend remotely through Zoom.

Certain health and safety protocols will be in place that is required for us to be able to meet at Pacific. Those requirements, along with meal information and details or how to attend remotely, will be in next week’s Rototeller.

Wreath Sale Fundraiser: For the second year, our club is conducting a holiday wreath fundraiser that will directly benefit our annual Hope For the Holidays service project! The greens are being provided by Fischer Greens, which is run by our own Rotarian Melinda Fischer.

The fundraiser is offering 20-inch wreaths for $30 each and 28-inch wreaths for $40 each. Orders are due by Friday, November 12 with wreaths available for pickup by members on Saturday, December 4. Submit your orders to Janet Peters. You can contact Janet with any questions.

A flyer to promote the wreath sale is attached to this week’s Rototeller and social media announcements will be out in the coming days.

Forest Grove Partnering With Lake Oswego On International Project: The Rotary Club of Forest Grove Board of Directors voted to partner with the Rotary Club of Lake Oswego on an international project. Called Project Flourish, the project is based with the MAIA Impact School in Guatemala, which strives to teach girls, and particularly girls of Mayan descent, to finding their empowered voice and to embrace what education can do for them.

Guatemala has the worst gender equity gap in the Americas. This initiative centers on the creation and implementation of an educational program to connect talent with opportunity for first-generation “Girl Pioneers” (young women born into situations of quadruple discrimination as rural, poor, female, and Indigenous) in Guatemala. The elements of this program center on the following:

● Formal internships to generate experience and informed decision-making
● Preparation for university entrance exams
● Training on soft skills for job interviews and workplace readiness/success
● Workplace English & IT training to increase employability

This project creates a powerful pilot that will serve 42 girls and their families (approximately 336 people). These girls and families represent over a dozen rural villages in Sololá. Once created, the project will continue in perpetuity to serve generations of young women who will break out of poverty.

The project is partially funded through a Rotary International Global Grant. We will have a program on this impactful project later this fall.

ShelterBox HERO Club: Once again, our club has been recognized by ShelterBox USA as a ShelterBox Bronze Level HERO Club! The recognition signifies our club’s continued commitment to donate $1,000 per year to ShelterBox over a three-year period. We are truly grateful for the commitment of our members to continue to give to ShelterBox’s ongoing disaster relief efforts all over the world.

ShelterBox is an official Rotary partner. You can learn more about what the organization is doing around the world by Visiting The ShelterBox Website. Our own ShelterBox ambassadors, Jeannine Murrell and Pamelajean Myers, gave a program to the club on the organization in June, which can be Viewed Here.

Online Dues Payments: Our club is now equipped to process dues payments online! We can now process credit card or debit card payments for quarterly dues. Information on how to pay online will be included with quarterly billings that will be coming to your mailbox or email inbox soon.

With the transition to billing with Quickbooks, some members may not have received their quarterly invoice. If you did not, please contact treasurer Lucas Welliver.

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 4-5 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, bburke@fgsd.k12.or.us. 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.

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 are archived on our club’s YouTube page. Visit https://bit.ly/fgrotaryprograms.

Around District 5100
District 5100 Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility Task Force Open Forum:
At the request of last year’s District Governors, District 5100 created a Taskforce to further RI’s goals (link to RI statement) for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA). The IDEA Taskforce’s chartering document has been approved by the District Governors and we are ready to provide you with support for your club.

In the spirit of inclusion, we would like to introduce the members of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Taskforce and hold an open symposium to determine how we can best serve your club.

Please join us on October 26, 2021 from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. You can sign up here.

When it comes to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility, we would like to know:

1. What are your concerns when it comes to addressing IDEA?
2. What are you excited about for RI’s new direction?
3. What activities, speakers, and concepts have already worked for your club?
4. What resources would be most helpful to your club?
5. Is your club interested in assisting the IDEA Taskforce?

Your input will be vital to helping us address District 5100 matters and issues. With your help, we can ensure we are creating a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for potential new members as District 5100 clubs improve their local communities.

 Rotary Story Slam: One of the most effective ways to introduce people to Rotary is by telling your story. District 5100 is holding a competition, called Your Rotary Story Slam, encouraging you to share your Rotary story.

A “story slam” is a competition based on the art of storytelling. You will present a 3-5 minute oral story without notes. This year’s topic is “Serve to Change Lives.” Share a time where Rotary service changed your life, a time you’ve changed a life or have been part of an impactful project. The story should be yours – authentic, true and fit The Four-Way Test.

Our club will have its own Story Slam competition within the next two months. Club-level winners will compete in a regional story slam over the winter. The winners from each region will present at the District 5100 Conference and will receive a $500 cash prize.

Our club will take submissions for the Rotary Story Slam through November and we hope to have some presented at this Wednesday’s meeting. The club is offering 100 Paul Harris Fellow points to every member that participates. The winning story from the club will receive 500 Paul Harris Fellow points in addition to moving on in the competition.

For more information, visit rotarystoryslam.com.

Save The Date: District 5100 Rotary One Conference: Mark your calendars for May 19-22 as District 5100 will present its first combined Spring Training Event and annual conference in Seaside. The combined conference will provide Rotary training opportunities, inspirational speakers and a celebration of what is hoped to be a great year in District 5100.

Around Rotary International
Rotary Voices: Spouse Membership Is Low-Hanging Fruit (By Maris Brenner, Rotary Club of Sandusky, Ohio):
As a career Sales/Marketing professional, it was always easier to “close the sale” when our potential client had familiarity with our product. And, in many cases, already liked it. In sales, we call this the “low hanging fruit.”

Most Rotary clubs already have potential members close by.

In my Rotary Club of Sandusky, Ohio, we were blessed with members who recruited spouses to volunteer at our fundraiser each year. The Pizza Challenge needed many hands to work side-by-side with members. On Saturdays in September through November, these same spouses are always eager to volunteer for our annual “Clothes Kids” project where they are matched with a child to go clothes shopping. I know this because on each of the five Saturdays at 7:30 am these spouses are waiting anxiously to find out which child they will shop with.

Also, all our members’ spouses attended the annual holiday luncheon enjoying the sounds of our high school’s bell choir. They help with the annual picnic as well. Our membership chair invited her husband to most events. Bill was nearing retirement from public office and Judy started to discuss the possibility of him becoming a full member.

The problem was cost. As a club of 100 members, we must guarantee the number of meals to our Yacht Club to ensure there is enough staff and food. Semi-annual dues, RI dues, district dues, a nominal scholarship donation, and 25 prepaid weekly meals. For many families, adding that additional $800 expense a year was just too expensive.

Thankfully, Judy kept working with our membership committee on options. At the same time, Rotary International began promoting stories of alternative membership formats and looking at these helped. Our committee spent months speaking to members and spouses who were the most visible at our events and service projects.

As a result, we introduced a spouse membership option that was a good value: waiving the requirement to prepay meals. We learned in our interviews that spouses would not come to every lunch. That was not their primary motivation.

In the Spouse/Partner Plan, meals are paid based on actual attendance and billed in the next Semi-Annual Statement, not in advance. RI Dues and District Dues were kept in the plan pricing.

We introduced the new plan in September 2019. That October, the first new spouse members were Bill, our membership chair’s husband, and Dale, the longtime partner of Rotarian Carole Romp. They were all smiles as was the club.

It was contagious after that. In January 2020, four more spouse members were welcomed. The pending list was five more. We needed these enthusiastic new members as COVID-19 hit. We have lost members to death and job relocation this year. By next month, six more will officially join our club.

But it’s not just about numbers.

These new members are active and retired teachers and nurses, a retired county commissioner, and leaders from small businesses. They may not attend every meeting, but they are our hardest workers. In November, our “Clothes Kids” Shopping did not miss a child because we had even more volunteers on tap this year.

I am convinced that Each One Bring One may be as easy for clubs as asking those special friends who already feel like members to join the family of Rotary.

Last Week’s Program: Dave Parker, Forest Grove School District Update

Click Here To View The Complete Program

At last Wednesday’s meeting, Rotarian and Forest Grove School District superintendent Dave Parker joined us to provide an update on the district through the first month of in-person school after over a year of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dave pointed out that his presentation outlines a lot of challenges that the district is facing, but the overall good news is that kids are back in school and learning in person, and that the district is moving forward.

Dave presented some of the current numbers and data about COVID-19 in Oregon and Washington County. The COVID curve is much steeper than what we saw last year when schools were shut down completely, and that has created some challenges. The delta variant surge is making a slow decrease and that trend is also what is being seen in the schools.

In Washington County, the number of active cases two weeks ago was 371.9 per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate of 8.7 percent. That is actually a lower number than what the county experienced one year ago. This is likely a direct result of the fact that Washington County has a vaccination rate of 81 percent, which is the highest in the state of Oregon.

The proportion of COVID-19 cases among juveniles under the age of 18 surged in August and September. Juveniles make up 20.3 percent of the population in the state and the number of positive cases within juveniles is just above that percentage. The number of positive juvenile cases in Oregon is between 1,500 and 2,000 per week. The highest rates of case positivity and among kids ages 12-17, closely followed by ages 6-11.

Forest Grove School District is maintaining a steady but low number of cases. As of October 14, there were 10 active COVID cases among students from three different schools and three staff members at two schools. The district maintains a COVID-19 Dashboard, which is updated weekly. To date, there have been three classrooms across the district where it was shown that transmission had taken place in the class. In those cases, the entire classroom was quarantine and education was moved online for a specific amount of time.

Dave believes that the steps that the district has taken to try and mitigate COVID-19 risk are working. Portable air conditioners with HEPA filters have been installed in every classroom and major indoor open area in the district. This has raised the number of air changes in each of those areas, on average, to 11 per hour. The district is also pushing more fresh air through each building’s HVAC system than in the past. This will ultimately cost more but provides another layer of risk mitigation. The district has universal masking protocols in place for students and staff and works to maintain three to six feet of distance between people when possible.

Dave reported that approximately 96 percent of district teachers and staff are vaccinated against COVID-19. There are about 20 employees that have received exemptions and will need to follow additional safety protocols. Those include staying at least six feet away from students at all times, a requirement to wear a KN95 mask and eating lunch in isolation from others.

While health protocols have presented several challenges that the district has been able to meet, there are continuing other challenges that are being faced not only by FGSD but most districts across the state.

Transportation is a major challenge due to a shortage of drivers. Forest Grove School District was short eight drivers, which provides challenges not only to regular bus routes but buses available for activities. There will be new drivers coming on board and those individuals should be finished with training by the end of the month.

The district is short on available substitutes for both teachers and instructional assistants. When substitutes cannot be located for absent staff, principals and other district administrative staff are filling in as needed. The Oregon Department of Education this week lowered the requirements for obtaining an emergency substitute credential. If you think you might be interested in helping the district out as a substitute, please contact Kevin Noreen at the district office.

Nutrition services have also been affected by the issues with the supply chains thanks to the pandemic. There have been instances where the district’s food-service contractor, Sodexho, has purchased food from Costco or Cash and Carry to supplement what is not arriving. Fortunately, the district has not encountered a situation where a meal could not be served.

Sports and activities continue to move forward without much difficulty. Spectators and athletes who are not actively participating in games are required to be masked. Dave pointed out that students have done a great job following masking protocols and often self-police to ensure compliance. Dave noted that there is not a vaccination mandate for spectators to attend events. They are requiring that everyone mask up.

Club Calendar
Wed., Oct. 20: Monthly Evening Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Zesti Carts, 2131 Yew Street, Forest Grove

Wed., Oct. 27: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause, University Center, Pacific University
Program: District Governor Jim Boyle

Wed., Nov. 3: Weekly Meeting, Noon
Boxer Pause, University Center, Pacific University
Program: TBA

Thurs., Nov. 4: Executive Board Meeting, 7 a.m.
On Zoom

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