This week's meeting featured Jennifer Butte-Dahl who spoke to us on immigration of refugees coming from the Middle East into Europe.
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
February 29, 2016
Indian Summer Golf & Country Club
To view a photo slide show of this meeting click HERE
(NOTE - This link to the slide show will eventually be disabled)
Meeting called to order by:  President Jack Belmont
Invocation by:  Reid Bates
Pledge of Allegiance led by:  Warren Carlson
Song:  Star Spangled Banner
Four Way Test: Ned Owens
Visiting Rotarians:  Allen Johnson, Ken Balsley & Jeff Reiner from Lacey Rotary
Guests of Rotarians:  Dan Lehuta introduced Scott Stevens, Zale Crawford introduced a GHB Insurance Rep
Happy Bucks:  Judy Henderson – Celebrating her birthday Allen Miller – Olympia Kato Sister City event is coming up and he is looking for volunteers to host high school students from Kato for 10 days.  Dan Lehuta – Celebrating his daughter’s leap day birthday and invited members to the Defeating Violence with Prayer at the State Theater at 202 4th Ave on Saturday March 12th at 11 AM.  Skip Steffen - thanked Rotarians for serving meals at Union Gospel Mission, and then read a letter from a mother thanking the Union Gospel Mission for helping her daughter with food and clothing when she was severely bipolar and walked around barefoot in downtown Olympia. Oscar Soule - encouraged members to attend the opening day for the Mariners at Safeco Field and Blintzapalooza on March 20thWendy Holden – Had a great experience with PETS leadership training and celebrating Rotary’s birthday.  John Sabo – Reminder of the Rotary Foundation Dinner on March 24th at Indian Summer at 5:30.  Don Chalmers – Had a great trip to Beijing celebrating the new year/year of the monkey.   
Steve Bean auctioned a dozen of Joe Scuderi’s eggs for $25 to Jim Balz. 
Steve also auctioned off two tickets to Harlequin’s newest show for $35 to Jeff Reiner. 
Brian Martin introduced the newest member of the club, Chris Lanese.  Chris attended Dartmouth and Harvard Law School.  He is now serving as an assistant attorney general.  Chris has four children and is running for Thurston County Superior Court Judge.  Dennis Peterson provided Chris with his special member number.
Judy Blinn – Checked on everyone wearing their Rotary “bling”
Bill Lahmann is the Youth Protection Officer for the club and he presented the youth protection bylaws which were approved by the club. 
PROGRAM:  Jennifer Butte-Dahl spoke to the group about her experiences providing humanitarian aid as part of the Rotary Shelter Box program on the Greek Island of Lesvos.  Jennifer showed slides of her experiences including photos of the refugees, the camps, the border crossings, the bus stations and many other experiences. 
She also showed a slide showing that there are now 60 million people who are displaced in the world, more than at any time in the last ten years.  She also showed a slide of the common routes of refugees who flee from Syria through Turkey and then take a six mile boat ride from Turkey to Lesvos and then walk to the northern shore of Lesvos and go to the Greek mainland and further north to the Balkans. 
Jennifer talked about the lack of help to arrange the camps and how willing and helpful the refugees were in working with them to build tents and organize the camp.  She also spoke about how strange it was to see people sunbathing on the beach on vacation just a short walk away from refugee camps.  She showed many pictures of the idyllic Lesvos coastline. 
Jennifer said that it was surprising to see that the refugees were not poor and uneducated, but that many of the refugees were doctors, lawyers, scientists and that many of the children spoke English.
She encouraged Rotarians to get involved and donate to help support the refugees. 
Mr. Snappy Winner: Chris Lanese - $25 Starbucks Gift Card
Meeting adjourned by President Jack Belmont
Submitted By: Matt DeBord