The competent ones are back in charge of meeting set up.  And we learned about a service project opportunity in the Dominican Republic.
Notes from the Nov. 9 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
recorded by Tom McClellan
David Cotant and Mike Killen each returned from their 1-week sabbaticals, and that meant the meeting got set up properly, with no computer glitches like last week, when your humble scribe was thrust into service, unqualified, and barely prepared.  And the new set up includes getting the electronics out of the middle of the meeting room, making more table space for us to gather. 
The meeting had barely started when there was an interruption by Paul Webb, who asserted without evidence that the meeting was not starting on time, according to his watch.  President Becky Newton deftly reached for her iPhone, and showed the time was exactly at 1230, and Paul rather sheepishly retreated and promised to get his watch squared away. 
Jeannie Hill kicked things off with a Veterans Day theme for her weekly inspirational thoughts:
1. (from someone who did not serve)  Dear Veterans: Those of us who have not served will never fully understand the sacrifices you've made, both in times of peace and of war. We will never fully understand what you were required to do, or how you were able to do it. We will never fully understand the depth of your scars. But what we can offer you is this: We see you. We recognize your humanity. And we send you love that is gentle, patient, and healing. With blessings and gratitude, we ask that you remember you are loved. Thank you. 
2. Together we served side by side,
completing our missions with honor and pride.
Together we laughed, together we fell.
We did the job in what was hell.
For some, we got the call,
no longer to serve, the biggest fall.
Injury and illness an abrupt end.
Civvy life hard to comprehend. 
The dark days loomed our thoughts lament,
Was this all our duty meant?
Until one day a brother's arm
Around the shoulder it meant no harm. 
Unto a group that felt akin,
To laugh and banter, like we're still in. 
And now together we stand tall, 
With each other's back no longer to fall.
- - - Simon Bangert
3. From year to year he drifts alone. 
His story only a few have known. 
About a boy who went to war,
and there he stayed forevermore. 
His leathered skin and graying hair,
his tattered clothes and gazing stare,
Standing tall, yet head so low,
he carries scars we'll never know. 
So know that our freedom isn't free. 
It came from heroes such as he.
     - - - Patricia L. Cisco
Guests that this week’s meeting included Tom McClellan’s wife Shelley, Ramona Hinton’s 16 year old granddaughter Reagan, Paige Hansen from the Lakewood Playhouse, and our guest speaker Robert Hildreth joining us via Zoom.
Future Programs
Nov. 16    Chris Loftis, WA State Patrol
Nov. 23    Chris Aubertin, Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club
Nov. 30    Lonnie Peterson, New 988 Phone System for Mental Health
Sunshine Report
Tom McClellan mentioned that he spoke Tuesday to Ed Trobaugh, who has been kept away from meetings lately attending to his wife Pam’s health concerns, and many doctors’ appointments.  Ed is doing well, and Pam is getting good care.  She had a couple of falls at home, one of which resulted in a slight break of her pelvis. 
Foundation Minute
Georgene Mellom shared a passage about Rotary’s Areas Of Focus
Rotary is dedicated to seven areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever.  Here are the first 3:
• Promoting peace: Rotary encourages conversations to foster understanding within and across cultures. We train adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict and help refugees who have fled dangerous areas.
• Fighting disease: We educate and equip communities to stop the spread of life-threatening diseases like polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. We improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in developing areas.
• Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene: We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.
We will learn about the other four next week!
Membership Update
Gretchen Allen announced that Municipal Court Judge Lisa Mansfield has agreed to accept membership and will be induced next week.  Paige Hansen is considering membership, and was visiting this week to size us up.  Gretchen also has a third prospect in the works.
Our club got some ink recently for our South Puget Sound Wildlife Area work party, in the Clover Park Schools News.
Joyce Oubré was absent this week, but sent word that there will be a Christmas shopping event Dec. 10, 0900 at the Target store in Lakewood.  This will be done in concert with West Pierce Cares, the charity arm of our fire department.  We have 91 kids across 7 schools to support.  Please contact Joyce at to sign up as a shopper. 
Caring For Kids is holding a fundraiser on Dec. 15, 6-9 PM at the Elks Lodge in Lakewood.
Diane Formoso of Caring for kids also sends work that they need some volunteer help:
The Caring for Kids Holiday Fair will be held Saturday, December 10th with setup on Friday, December 9th at Thomas Middle School. We will be serving 800 families with gifts for their kids plus a ham for dinner. We need volunteers starting at 3:00 P.M. on Friday and 7:30 A.M. on Saturday. We also need volunteers to move the gifts from Spare Space Storage in University Place to Thomas Middle School. Email for directions to the storage area. If you would like to donate an unwrapped gift you can stop by our Center Monday-Thursday, 8:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M. at 10527 Kendrick Street S.W. Please help us give our kids in need a Merry Christmas!
Questions: Diane 253-279-9777 or
President’s Minute
Becky Newton noted that there was recently a lot of discussion at the Presidents’ Council regarding marketing and membership.  Lakewood Rotary is interested in partnering with us to produce a membership video.
Becky also said to look for a very brief survey coming to your email concerning meeting times and a couple of other questions.
Fund And Fines
Teresa Nye was “in loco finemasteris” this week, and started off by ratting on herself for a 10 day trip to Florida and Arizona.  She and Chris watched their son play lacrosse in Tampa. 
She then assessed a $5 fine against Paul Webb for his “untimely” interruption.
David Cotant confessed to having returned from 12 days in Palm Desert, during which many golf balls were reportedly punished for their sins. 
Sue Potter confessed that she had brought with her a collection of homemade jewelry because Katelyn Billingsley had apparently wanted to buy some of Sue’s creations.  [ed. note: Way to throw Katelyn under the bus, Sue.]  But let the record reflect that AFTER the meeting, other Rotarians came to examine Sue’s wares, and Sue was able to sell $118 worth, which she figures is worth a 50% tithe. or $59, which she will contribute at the next meeting.
Hallie McCurdy’s son is a senior at PLU, and a starter on their basketball team.  They won the season opener 100-67 over the Evergreen Geoducks (yes, Evergreen has sports teams), and this was despite benching the starters for most of the second half.  Her son even had a nearly half-court length 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half.  That was worth an unspecified fine. 
This Week’s Program
Rob Hildreth is a Rotarian and past club president of two Rotary Clubs which he merged in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.  He is a 1982 graduate of the Citadel, and served as a US Army attack helicopter pilot and later instructor pilot, eventually teaching Latin American military officers to fly helicopters as part of an Army program.  He served as the US Embassy’s field coordinator for counter-narcotics in Peru.  He left the Army in 1991, and began a residency in the Dominican Republic where he operates a financial services business. 
Living and working there led him to Rotary in the D.R. and to working on service projects to serve the poor children of Puerto Plata, which is a coastal town on the northern shore of the island of Hispaniola. 
He has supported the Puerto Plata School for the Deaf vocation center, securing a matching grant from the Rotary Foundation.  As a founder of the Rotary Children’s Safe Water Project, of $3 million has been raised to provide 48,000 families with safe water filtration in over 600 communities.  He has served as the District 4060 Water Resources Chairman from 2003-2018.
Since 2002, Robert has dedicated much of his time as president/director of Project Las Americas, a US charity serving the island of Hispaniola with primary education and nutrition to 84 Haitian children, low income housing and community development, enhanced reading to 1,632 children, women’s empowerment including college scholarships for 2 dozen Dominican women, education and mentorship for 210 high risk girls, and water related projects. Project Las Americas has received strong support from many Rotary clubs and other organizations.  The Rotary Club of Clover Park has donated the funds from our International Service Project budget this year to support the literacy project that Project Las Americas is operating in Puerto Plata.  
Our club became aware of Rob’s worth via Ramona Hinton, whose former club in Rockford, Michigan has partnered with Project Las Americas in the past.  Project Las Americas is a 501c3 originally started for water projects, and it started a reading program in 2014 which now involves 4 schools and 2000 students in the slums of Puerto Plata.  Many of the students are the children of single mothers, and come from domestic abuse and behavioral problem home situations. 
La Programa Nuevos Horizontes (New Horizons) involves forming a cadre of high school girls to become educators.  Most are from families without higher education.  The goal is to change the male-dominated culture to promote women holding positions of authority, and to improve overall educational attainment.
The program employs a Canadian educational concept.  The teacher reads a passage or story, and then small groups do activities related to it - - draw a picture, look up vocabulary words, find the moral of the story, etc.
The Dominican Republic ranks in the middle of developing countries for adult literacy, although only 15% of adults there are “active readers”.  This program hopes to change that by inspiring a lifelong love of reading.  Most schools there are without libraries.  The challenge in fostering an interest in reading is that it goes against Dominican culture to be a “reader”.  Funds go to pay a reading teacher’s salary ($3900/year) and buy some books.  The program is having some success in getting kids up to grade level. 
If Rotarians were to come to Puerto Plata to visit, would that help and what would you have us do?
Answer: Yes! That would be helpful.  Having adults come visit the students in the literacy program would serve as an example of what they can become.  We could even be involved in a water or community housing project, in addition to helping with the literacy program.  There are also beaches, cultural sites, and other attractions that could be part of such a group trip.
What is the response from students’ parents?
Some adults are learning reading from their kids.  They are seeing a change in misbehavior problems.  Gaining literacy changes the legacy for their children’s and grandchildren’s future prospects by having educated parents.
Robert elaborated that the D.R. has a lot of corruption, especially in contracting.  Men do not like to work for a woman boss, as part of the culture.  Much of those cultural boundaries and expectations are enforced by the mothers and grandmothers, but the hope is that by educating the young women, those attitudes can change over time.
Rotary Clubs in the D.R. are accepting of women, and that is starting to change societal viewpoints. 
Raffle: With 3 aces and 2 jokers in the deck, and with $103 in the pot, Tom McClellan had the winning ticket, but no luck in the drawing.
And Finally…
Get rid of your radio, and get a violin.