Special guests: Richard Bagine visited us once again.  He is on an extended U.S. visit, and is a member of the Ngong Hills Rotary Club in Kenya.  By virtue of coming to visit us more than once, he was persuaded to come back and be a guest speaker before our club on Feb. 18.  Keegan Fengler was also attending as a visiting Rotarian.  She is a paleo-geology instructor at Central Washington University, and is a member of the Ellensburg Morning Rotary Club, in addition to being the daughter of our member Karen Fengler-Nichols.  Former club member Bruce Barth accompanied his wife (and current member) Marie Barth

Sunshine report:  Sue Potter was back with us in person, reporting that her father passed away quietly on Christmas morning after a long illness.  She thanked the members for the flowers and for the many kind expressions of warm thoughts. 

Upcoming events and/or commitments for our club:

January 15: Fireside Imageat the home of Marie and Bruce Barth.  6:00 P.M.  5015 81st St. SW.  Lakewood.  RSVP to Marie, who says to bring nothing but a smile.  [ed. note: that word was bring, not wear]

The Rose Sale Committee will be meeting in January.  Look for a separate announcement via email. 

March 5: Southgate Literacy Night (and Rotary Spaghetti Feed).

Two Truths And A Lie

Choi Halladay was this week's contestant.  He asserted that (1) As a child he grew up speaking Swedish, (2) he got a bachelor's degree in music, and (3) he is a certified master gardener.  Of the 3, the last one was revealed to be a lie, since as Choi puts it, "I have no green thumb.  I could even kill a plastic plant." 


Memorable fines and stories 

General Ed welcomed back President Sheri after what he had hoped would be a more fruitful (for the treasury) trip.  Sheri went to see family in Southern California for 5 nights just before Christmas. 

General Ed then confessed to his own Christmas trip to see his son and family in Vancouver, WA.  Ed's calculation skills of the amount of the fine for 3 nights was of a similar standard to what he applies to others' trips. 

Speaking of trips, Jim Harrison and his wife enjoyed 4 days in Oahu and 5 in Maui. 

Choi Halladay revealed that he got engaged recently, asking his fiancée to marry him while they both were in the middle of a training run across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  This brings new meaning to the phrase "taking the leap".  He was happy to pay $50, which Finemaster Ed assured him was just a down payment on a whole lot more in the way of related expenses yet to come.  No date is set yet for the upcoming nuptuals. 


Speaking of weddings, Bryan Christensen got married on Dec. 20, and enjoyed a honeymoon in Victoria, BC.  Following the precedent set by Marilee Johnson when she married Wally 18 years ago, Bryan offered up $100. 

Joyce Oubre brought her checkbook, because she and Ron were married 40 years ago, when Joyce was just 8 years old!!



Tom Faubion stood up, with a microphone, and paid $2 to rat on Judi Maier.  Ed seemed to savor the rare opportunity to hold Judi to account for something, since she has what pilots refer to as a "low radar signature" when it comes to fine-worthy life events. 

But it seems that Judi recently was featured in the November/December 2014 issue of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Magazine, in a section covering local Bar members and discussing their avocations [i.e. what they like to do outside of work]. 

Judi likes to play the harp, having done so since she was 7 years old.  She has even played professionally, although now she just plays for her own enjoyment and others. 

Ed then proposed that at some future meeting, Judi could team up on the harp with Jeannie Hill on the flute, at which point Judi said, "Don't forget Choi Halladay." [the music major, see above].  Club members were left a bit perplexed at the proposition of seeing Ed Trobaugh with a conductor's baton.  So we'll see what happens. 


Today’s speaker:  Paul Means came to brief members about an upcoming trip he is leading to Guatemala for the purpose of bringing improved cookstoves to a remote village.  Tom McClellan's wife Shelley has been on a trip with Paul and his wife Sue before, a trip which also included Alan and Debbie Billingsley.  Shelley will be participating in this summer's trip again, and Paul is looking for other Rotarians who might like to be part of the team. 


Paul is a retired project manager at Weyerhaeuser who has been on 7 of these trips previously.  He says that they are among the most pleasurable and uplifting experiences of his life. 

Families in these remote villages are descendants of the Mayan people, and typically do not speak Spanish as their native language, although the children are taught it in state-run schools in the villages.  The women cook food on a "3-stone stove", which means that there is a fire built on the dirt floor of their wooden homes, and a plate of sheet metal is balanced upon 3 stones.  This is where the maize tortillas are cooked, and perhaps a pot of stew/soup.  The smoke is not ventilated other than through the cracks in the wall boards.  Respiratory illnesses are a big problem, and the children are sometimes injured when they fall into the fire.


The Hands For Peacemaking Foundation was established in 1985 by Dr. Leeon Adler, MD as an effort to address the widespread medical challenges faced by these remote villagers.  The foundation has established a manufacturing facility in Barillas to construct the stoves, and then it partners with teams (usually from the U.S.) who help to install the stoves. 


The Hands For Peacemaking Guatemala staff requires that a village present a request for their project. The village or villagers must be willing to pay a portion of the cost, then the Hands For Peacemaking Foundation finds a sponsoring individual, group, or organization that is willing to partner with the village to make their project a reality.

Based on a recommendation from our Rotary Club's International Projects Committee, and with the approval of the board, our club is donating $2000 to Paul's effort this year.  That means stoves for 10 families. 


Tom McClellan's wife Shelley McClellan will again be part of the team this year, and Paul is looking for some Rotarians to be part of the team.  Based on an initial response at the Dec. 31 meeting, a few of our members may be interested in going. 

Trip Details: July 16-27, flying into Guatemala City and then traveling by bus to Barillas, Guatemala, then by truck to the village where the stove installation work will be done over a period of 4 days and nights.  The ride is not easy, but the Hands For Peacemaking staff work extra hard to make sure that all team members are well fed and cared for.  There is even some recreational time in the old city of Antigua, Guatemala that is built into the schedule.  The cost is $2350 per person, plus air fare.  You don't need to know Spanish, or be good with tools.  Just come and be part of the contribution, and in return get an experience you will never forget. 

If you would like to participate, or just to learn more, please email Paul Means

Club Assembly Notes: The rest of the meeting was devoted to an update from President Sheri about some recent club news and events. 

Honorary membership is a category authorized by Rotary International, but not yet defined nor implemented by our club.  The Membership Committee is taking up this issue.  If you have any input, please contact Randy Black

Treasurer Judi Maier gave an update on the club's accounts.  Key points: after a lot of work, our club is back in the good graces of the IRS in terms of its general account not being a taxable entity.  It is important to understand that when you make a contribution to Rotary, your money will end up in 1 of 3 places. 

Donations to the Rotary Foundation are commonly known as donating to "Paul Harris" after the eponymous fellowship.  Such donations result in a donation receipt from the foundation.

Donations to our club's Charities Account are also tax deductible, although for amounts less than $100 a donation receipt is not required to be issued.  You can keep your own records.  For donations that are part of a purchase, such as Theater Benefit tickets or rose sales, the value of the item received musts be taken off of the donation for tax deduction purposes.

The club's general fund pays for the ongoing expenses of the club.  Unless otherwise specified, meeting fines go to this account, and are not tax deductible.  As an example, the weekly raffle proceeds go into the general fund. 

On that note, this week's raffle winner: Tom McClellan had the winning ticket, but showed zero ability to draw an ace from the deck. 

Did You Know: All of the pictures you have seen here in these weekly email bulletins can be viewed and downloaded from this Photo Album of 2014-15 Meeting Pictures.