Giving help to parks, and to kids, and hearing about those who are serving the youth of today.
Notes from the February 8 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
recorded by Tom McClellan
Lots of plans are moving and developing for upcoming Rotary Club events.  And we welcomed several guests to this week’s meeting, including our guest speaker Bobby Arkills of Tacoma Youth For Christ, and his City Life staffer Eldare Gentry.  Plus we had longtime friends of the club Diane Formoso of Caring For Kids, and Sally Saunders from Partners For Parks.
Jeannie Hill kicked things off with some inspirational quotes:
1. I have decided to stick to love; hate is too great a burden to bear.  - - - Martin Luther King, Jr.
2. When we feel love and kindness toward others,  it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but helps us develop inner happiness and peace.  - - - Dalai Lama
3. I want someone who will look at me the same way I look at chocolate cake.  - - - Unknown
Sunshine Report:
We learned that Joyce Loveday recently lost her brother-in-law, husband Virgil’s brother, who passed away after a long illness.
Ramona Hinton organized a “card shower” for Fred Willis and Ed Trobaugh, who have not been able to get to meetings lately. 
Future Programs
Feb. 15    Former Sheriff Paul Pastor, Criminal Justice Reform
Feb. 22    Mary Dodsworth, Lakewood Parks Department
Mar. 1      Committee meeting day, no speaker        
Joyce Oubré shared word that registration is now open on the club’s website,, for the March 17 Clover Park Rotary Invitational, or CPRI.  Alan Billingsley will be collecting entries at upcoming meetings, and also prize donations for the board.  The Fundraising Committee also welcomes your donations of items for the silent auction. 
For a Foundation Minute, Georgene Mellom shared an item from a recent Rotarian magazine article, noting that if we can successfully eliminate polio from the planet, it will only be the second disease ever to be totally eradicated. Smallpox was eradicated as of 1980. 
David Cotant used to run a “Rotary Store” for our club, with promotional items that have Rotary logos, such as aprons, key chains, pens, letter openers.  See David if you wish to acquire any of those (free!). 
Becky Newton read a letter from Project Las Americas, thanking our club for its donation to support the literacy project in the Dominican Republic.  100% of donations go toward supporting that effort, since they have other donors covering the administrative costs of running that charity.  Our club is planning a trip to visit Puerto Plata, D.R. in September, with tentative dates of Sep. 17-23.  Contact Tom McClellan or Alan Billingsley to learn more. 
Alan did note that his wife Debbie (a former school librarian) has secured a 50% discount on Spanish language books from Scholastic that we can take down with us.  Look for more trip details very soon.
Paige Hansen was absent, but sends word that the Lakewood Playhouse is in need of volunteers to help in their warehouse, working on the set storage and costumes storage.  They need people Wednesday through Friday, 6pm to 10pm.  Contact their Director of Education, Deborah Armstrong,, (253) 677-3804.
Check Presentations
President Becky presented a $1000 donation from our club’s Charities Account to Caring For Kids, accepted by that organization’s president Diane Formoso. 
Diane stopped by our meeting this week, even though she was extremely busy getting ready for the fundraising auction on Feb. 11.  She has 5-7 volunteers working 4 days a week managing inventory of all of the clothing and school support items they provide to young people.  See the attached sheet listing some of the accomplishments of Diane’s group.
An additional $1000 check was presented to Sally Saunders of Partners For Parks.  They are working on the planning and fundraising for the huge new project of turning the “H Barn” in Fort Steilacoom Park into a community center.  It is being done in conjunction with the City of Lakewood, and will likely cost $5 million and take 4-5 years.  Hallie McCurdy will be doing a presentation on this project at the March 22 meeting. 
Fun And Fines, With Katelyn Billingsley
Katelyn started by noting that Scott Adams, Marie Barth, Alan Billingsley, Paige Hansen, Jeannie Hill, Sheri Hodson, and Becky Newton all have February birthdays. 
Sheri Hodson further celebrated that she and husband Mike just returned home from a big trip to the Holy Land with a church group.
Joyce Oubré is back from a trip with Ron to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, just for fun though, and not related to our upcoming trip in September.  And then when she got back she was late for a meeting, so she paid $100.
Georgene Mellom is just back from Maui, where she went to visit her daughter.  But Georgene purchased a Fraley at the beginning of this Rotary year, so no charge for this trip. 
Paul Webb happily celebrated his 23rd anniversary of being in Rotary, and paid $23.
This Week’s Program
Bobby Arkills is the director of Tacoma Youth For Christ, and he started by remembering Katelyn from when she was a teenager in the Campus Life program.  He also introduced Eldare Gentry, a youth minister who runs the City Life program. 
Bobby spoke about the differences among youth today versus years ago.  Youth now are always on their phones, unlike when we grew up.  Times are not more difficult now, just a different type of difficulty.  Kids do not consume news from regular channels and media, but get it via social media.  This leads them in many cases to a perceived lack of safety.
This generation has the worst mental health in history.  They have a lack of trust in organizations.  They are showing record isolation and loneliness, in spite of the greater abilities to “connect”.  That increased connectivity actually brings less relational connection. 
But there are reasons for hope.  Youth today are highly collaborative.  They value diversity, authenticity, availability, and self-care.  They are innovative and independent, and they are self-reliant.
Youth For Christ (YFC) finds that people who are 60+ make great volunteers to work with youth, because they are comfortable in who they are. 
YFC runs several programs in schools, and in the community:
  • Campus Life, high school and middle school
  • City Life, outreach outside of school
  • Teen Moms
  • Mentor 180
The Mentor 180 diversion program, hoping to keep young people out of Juvenile Hall, mentoring with an adult for a year.  More schools are opening up post-Covid to onsite volunteers
$180 in the pot, 3 aces remaining, but no joy for Randy Black.
And Finally…
Following the shoot-down of the Chinese spy balloon, the US Naval Institute shared this story on Twitter about a navy ship’s crew in 1945.
Your editor would be remiss not to note that while that gun crew did not succeed in hitting their target, Venus has not tried to mess with us since then.