This week's meeting featured Past President, and now a resident of Phillipsburg MT, Jim Jenner. Jim told us about racing carrier pigeons and how it affected his life and may others by caring and nurturing these wonderful creatures.  To see a slide show of photos for this meeting click HERE. NOTE - This slide show will not be available after 2 months.
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Monday, June 20, 2016
Today’s Program: Jim Jenner: Carrier Pigeon Racing
Meeting Called to order: President Jack Belmont (12:22pm)
Invocation by: Sarah Clinton – “Fire and Water” by Matt Daffern
Pledge of Allegiance led by: Jim Leonard
Song: America the Beautiful, led by Gloria Strait
Four Way Test led by: Dirk Farrar
Visiting Rotarians:
Bruce Sanders – West Olympia Rotary Club (President)
Jim Jenner – Phillipsburg, Montana Rotary Club
Katya Miltimore – West Olympia Rotary Club
Guests of Rotarians:
Katya Miltimore (Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County) – Guest of Skip Steffen
Fred Gentry (Bean, Gentry, Wheeler & Peternell PLLC) – Guest of Gerry Alexander
Ivy G. (Graduate Student, The Evergreen State College) – Guest of Sam Bovard
Jeff Reed (Shelton, WA – friend of today’s speaker) – Bruce Sanders
Happy Bucks – Host: Vida Zvirzdys-Farler
Vida Zvirzdys-Farler: Reminded the Club about Music in the Park – a 37 year tradition in Olympia. The next concert is Wednesday, July 6 in Sylvester Park.
Dirk Farrar: Spent Father’s Day with 4 generations of Farrars.
Manoela Pitta Lopez de Andrada: Sad that today is her final meeting, but very glad to know our club. She will depart for home on Monday, June 27.
Judy Henderson: Recently visited Canada on behalf of Rotary Literacy Committee – returned with a book for the club literacy project. In Canada she enjoyed the beautiful scenery!
John Sabo: The Olympic Flight Museum Airshow this past weekend was a huge success!
Christy Peters: Her son returned from his Thailand exchange. She is excited to have him home – it was a wonderful experience for him. On the return trip, he met his dad and they were able to visit Japan for several days (a bucket list trip for her son).
Kyle Cronk: Excited to share that his family has moved from Port Angeles to Olympia. They might have a house full of cardboard boxes, but it’s great to be in the same house.
Chuck Fowler: Reported that the Swedish Friendship Exchange group had a great visit in the Olympia area the past weekend. Many were involved in the different events and all the help was greatly appreciated. Chuck gave a special thanks to Leslie Johnson for the Squaxin Island Museum tour and to Ralph Munro for his personal tour of the State Capitol Building.
Exchange Student Honza Vesely: This is his last meeting (before his last meeting). He gave a Rotary flag from his home club to our club to say “thank you”. He is proud to have completed high school in the US while on exchange. This week he will be earning money doing yard work and will donate it all to our club as an expression of his thanks for all the club has done to support him.
Auctions - Steve Bean
Scuderi Eggs: Jim Jenner was the highest bidder.
Harlequin Tickets (c/o Gloria Strait): President-Elect Wendy Holden was the highest bidder.
President Jack – District 5020’s conference is this weekend! For more information, please visit the club and district website. The host hotel is our very own Red Lion Hotel in Olympia, WA.
Skip Steffen – Fred Balz Community Grant Committee Award Presentation: The committee allocates grants twice each year. They look for the areas in our community where the investment will have the greatest impact. By focusing on raising the endowment balance to $500,000, the annual award amount has increased 50% (approximately $15,000/year). The goal of the committee (and all involved in the appropriation of Rotary grants/scholarships) is to maximize Rotary’s collective effort throughout our community. The most recent recipient of the award is Smart Girls, a program by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County. Smart Girls is a program run in all club locations and at the Young Girls Juvenile Detention Center. The focus of Smart Girls is on the power of positive thinking, mentoring and empowerment of young women. Katya Miltimore, Boys and Girls of Thurston County Executive Director, accepted the award and thanked the club for their ongoing support.
Sarah Clinton/Jim Balz – Olympia HS Interact Club: Sarah, Jim and Zoe Scuderi (outgoing Interact Club President) shared that the International Dinner was a huge success. Over 300 individuals attended. The event also had the support of 52 community partners. The dinner raised $1,500. The money will be split between two local non-profit organizations: The Tronie Foundation and The Thurston County Food Bank.
Caroline Manger – shared a story called “The Final Exam”.
Steve Bean introduced long-time friend Jim Jenner. A former member (1981) and past-president (1993) of our club, Jim is a 6th generation Pacific Northeasterner. He is now a member of the Rotary Club of Phillipsburg, Montana. Jim presented President Jack with a club flag from his home club. He shared that he has been involved with pigeons since he was 10. To illustrate his story he shared an excerpt of a film that he produced.
It all started when Jim met David Lee. David brought pigeons to show and tell. Since that day, he and David have learned all about pigeons. They spent their time searching for wild pigeons all over Seattle. They looked in warehouses, rundown houses and all sorts of unsavory places.
Later in life Jim realized that nature (and a connection to nature) was a problem facing young people. He was inspired to help solve the “Nature Deficit Disorder” and set out to use pigeons as a way to accomplish his mission. He traveled all across the county and around the world. He saw (and whenever possible helped create) the special bond between people and birds.
Pigeon racing developed as a way to send information back “home” quickly. Pigeons just know how to return home. With the invention of trains, pigeons could be carried hundreds of miles away and then released to carry information and messages back to their home. They can average 50-60 miles an hour.
Passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of children, Jim found that pigeon therapy was a way for individuals (especially children) who faced hurdles to connecting with and feeling a part of society, to overcome their hurdles. The film showed several examples of how pigeons helped build community.
Jim told the story of “rollers” (pigeons who have a unique flight pattern) in the communities he visited in South Central LA. Entire neighborhoods of children and adults have rediscovered pigeons and “rolling”. It has brought them all together in a very positive way.
Pigeons should not necessarily be treated as pests. Around the world they have become even more important (as a back-up to the technology dependent societies – they are the original twitter feed!)
Jim’s book “The Featherhood” is about a pigeon who is brought to the US as a “breeder” bird. He is attacked by falcons and ends up in a train yard in Tacoma. This pigeon is saved by a 9 year old boy. The story shows the impact of the positive relationship between pigeon and boy.
Mr. Snappy: Jim Jenner - $30 gift certificate to Rivers Edge Restaurant
Meeting Adjourned: President Jack at 1:30pm
Next Meeting: Presidential Transition