This week's program featured Alicia Elliot who has developed West Central Park on the corner of Division and Harrison on Olympia's Westside.  This is the first park in Olympia to be developed and maintained privately.
To see a slide show of photos from this meeting (along with Beethoven's 6th symphony), click HERE.
Olympia Rotary Club
The Wheel
Today’s Program: West Central Park developer Alicia Elliot
Meeting Called to order:   12:20pm by President Jack Belmont
Invocation by:    Bob Heck
Pledge of Allegiance led by: Judy Henderson         
Song:  Star Spangled Banner accompanied on the piano by Dennis Williams
Four Way Test led by:  Chris Lanese
Visiting Rotarians:
None today
Guests of Rotarians: 
Kelly Cooper - DOH, Tom McCleat, CPA and Fred Adair’s wife, MaryJane
Happy Bucks:
Nick Schmidt—celebrating his 32nd birthday and receiving a grant of $1,000 to attend conference.
Oscar Soule—the Blintzapalooza fundraiser grossed over $20,000 and netted over $8600 that will go to many worthy causes including Emergency Shelter, Interfaith Works, and others.
Manuella (exchange student from Brazil) enjoyed a trip to Victoria B.C. where she learned about and watched a curling tournament.
Colleen Gillespie—GO Irish!  Sweet 16!
Colleen Gillespie—Happy Spring!  Thank you to Rotarians who have contributed to the Fred Balz fund—two members not present, Kim Dinsmore and Alan Miller and two who were present, Fed Adair, and Neil DeBoer
Judy Blinn asked people wearing their Rotary Bling to please stand—several tables had 100% participation
Jim Balz announced several new Paul Harris awards:  Sean Padget (+3), John Hough (+2), Corrina Phillips (+4), Dennis Peterson (+4), Judy Henderson (+4) Congratulations!
Program:  Introduced by Rosemary Barnhart
Presented by: Alicia Elliot is where you can find more information about the West Central Park.  Alicia Elliot moved from the east coast to Olympia years ago, and raised her family here.  While raising her family she invested in property like her grandmother had done.  Alicia also had a grandfather that was a maritime lawyer in Houston Texas—he invested in both land and a Tugboat company, giving him enough money to invest in the future of his children and grandchildren.  Alicia took seriously her gift and had a vision of investing in the community she lies in.  One of the things she has done is invest in the community through the development of a park—she came with a purpose: to create a public, open, greenspace that could foster the recreational, educational and creative needs of the community in which it sits—a haven in an urban environment.  It became the West Central Park at the corner of Harrison and Division.  Alicia believes this is one step in restoring the local economy for the future also. She believes in the moto—reduce, reuse, and recycle.  There are many empty buildings in our area—why build new when we could restore old?  The corner at Harrison and Division was virtually empty for 15 years.  People had tried development of things like a 7-11, but the community wanted a say in what was on that corner.  Alicia bought the property in 2012 with a vision of having the community develop and care for the space.  Thus, the park was born—Alicia’s goal was to make the community we live in a better place by turning urban blight into something useful for the community.  There a plans to further develop the property with a café, food trucks, Westside Farmer’s Market, and increasing the garden space for both edible and non-edible plants.  Alicia then spend a great deal of time on Q&A from the audience.
Mr. Snappy won by: Gerry Alexander—a $20 gift certificate donated by Gordon Osberg.
Meeting adjourned at 1:15 pm by President Jack Belmont