Posted by Richard Hull on Jan 07, 2019
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Today’s Program: The Status of Girl Scouts Today
Meeting Called to order: by President Dan Lehuta  @ 12:22 pm
  • Invocation by: Tom McLean
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: Jim Larson
  • Song: “God Bless America”, led by Gloria Strait
  • Four Way Test led by: Bill Lahmann
Visiting Rotarians
  • Veronica Rollins - Tacoma 8
  • District Governor Craig Gillis - Campbell River
Guests of Rotarians
  • Heather Antanaitis – Addie Rocchio with Girl Scouts
  • Nancy Riordan - Jen Boelts, Olympia High School Career Center Counselor
  • Tore Neilsen – Daughter Julie Japhet
  • Denny Peterson - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney associate Lori Lynn
  • Tom McLean - Amy VanSurksum, Associate. Dean of International Student Services at SPSCC
Happy Bucks led by Victoria Byerly
  • Victoria Byerly – Announced engagement!!
  • Colleen Gillespie - Reported on a great trip to Dallas over the break
  • Jen Boelts – Looking for volunteers to read OHS student resumes
  • Nick Schmidt - Scored Rose Bowl tickets and (despite the final score) enjoyed the game
  • Bill Lahmann - Was also in California for the Rose Bowl, but watched it from a hotel room with his young granddaughter.
  • Oscar Soule - Is delighted to have recently met his goal of giving 100 units of blood.
  • Laurie Tebo - Is delighted at the birth of her granddaughter, and also reported on the opening of Harvest Home, a new residential facility for pregnant and parenting women who are struggling with substance use disorder and mental problems.
  • Geoff Crooks - Reported that he is an ex-troop leader for girl scouts and was looking forward to program.
  • Bob Wubbena - Encouraged Rotarians to get involved in the proactive activities to address the downtown homeless problem.
  • Debra Stephens - Reported on her trip to the Ukraine where she was part of an initiative to provide legal training, and donated a book brought back from Kiev.
  • Craig Gillis - Reported that he has now visited all 90 rotary clubs in the District, and encouraged Rotarians to attend the District Conference May 9-11th.
  • Cyndi Zechmann - Celebrated her birthday!
  • Jim Leonard - Thanked Victoria for leading Happy Bucks this week and circuited a sign-up sheet for others to volunteer for this role over the next 6 months.
Paul Harris Awards
Judy Henderson announced that Renetta Wilson has earned her Rotary Foundation Paul Harris plus one award soon after her first Paul Harris award last year.  Renetta described how this was due to an employer matching donation and encouraged other Rotarians to explore if their employer offered this too.  Judy brought attention to a brand new Rotary International sign that the club has acquired that articulates the impact that Rotary has on the world.
Community Grants
Mark Elliott reported on the Fall cycle of grants from the Fred Balz Community Grants Fund.  The committee received eleven grants requesting a total of $18,600, and were able to fund seven of these requests and disperse a total of $9,000.  A complete list of these grant recipients, along with a list of members that served on the committee, is listed below.  Mark announced that our local Olympia Rotary Foundation, headed by Larry Poplack, was able to budget $18,000 for Fred Balz grants this year. The remaining $9,000 will be dispersed in the Spring grant cycle.
  • Bridge Music Project - $1,000 - Tuition for at risk youth to participate in eight week song writing workshops where they will to use music and writing to deal with life's challenges.
  • Heritage Center Trust - $1,000 - Refurbish and increase the life of the "Moving Forward Looking Back: Washington's First Women in Government Traveling Exhibit." Reprint the traveling exhibit on 8 - double sided banners. Create K-12 curriculum that would travel with the exhibit to schools.
  • Family Support Center - $1,000 - Acquire needed items to set up one of five new Advocacy Rooms where client meetings will take place. The goal is to provide a warm, comforting and confidential space.
  • Little Red School House - $500 - Funding to assist with the purchase supplies in order that each child served returns to school with a new backpack, school supplies, new or gently used coat and new underwear and socks.
  • Olympia Family Theater - $2,500 - Expand access for local children and families to Olympia Family Theater productions through subsidized tickets and educational scholarships. Funds will be leveraged to apply for a match from the City of Olympia.
  • Puget Sound Estuarium - $1,500 - Upgrade the equipment used for Pier Peer Program, a night time viewing of aquatic life hidden below Boston Harbor Pier.
  • Senior Services of South Sound - $1,500 - Music Mends Minds project - music therapy for seniors with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, brain injury or stroke. Within their ability, participants can play instruments or sing as part of the "band." Each participant gets a song book with the music that everyone is singing.
Committee Members are: Geoff Crooks, Colleen Gillespie, Mark Gillispie, Holly Mason, Brian Martin, Nancy Riordan, Bob Wubbena, & Co-Chairs Skip Steffen & Mark Elliott
Mark then introduced Bobby Williams, executive director of the Bridge Music Project - one of the grant recipients - who described how the money would be used to help at risk youth develop approaches to address challenges in their lives through music and writing projects.
Board Nominations
Past-president Christy Peters reported that all past-presidents met last month to discuss a slate for board nominations. They proposed Reid Bates, Geoff Crooks, and Corinna Phillips as new board members for two-year terms, Ned Owens as treasurer, Cyndi Zechmann as secretary, and Sean Padget as president elect.  The Rotarians present voted unanimously to elect the slate as proposed.  Christy noted that Sean is the first past-president to serve a second term. He will be President in 2020, our centennial year, where his past experience will be heavily relied on.
Egg Auction
Steve Bean auctioned a dozen eggs.  Despite it appearing at one point that Oscar Soule had bid $400 for a single egg, the entire box of eggs eventually went to Renetta Wilson for $20.
New Member Inductions
Holly Mason introduced Michael Kershisnik, architect and project manager who has lived and worked in Olympia for the past 23 years, whom she is sponsoring for membership.  District Governor Craig Gillis awarded Michael his pin, and President Dan Lehuta formally welcomed Michael to the club.
Program: The Status of Girl Scouts Today
Colleen Gillespie introduced Veronica Rollins, the South County Girl Scouts Regional Director, and Mary McBride, Community Engagement Manager for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Girl Scouts.
Veronica gave an overview of the Girl Scouts organization.  Founded in 1912, it today has 2.6 million members - 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults (mostly volunteers).  73% of female US Senators and 51% of female House of Representative members are Girl Scout alumna.   Veronica directs the activities within 6 counties in the southern Washington where there are 450 troops comprising of 4,692 girl scouts and 2,269 adult volunteers.
The four pillars of the organization that inform and guide Girl Scout programs are STEM, life skills, outdoors, and entrepreneurship.  The goal is to create the appropriate challenges and opportunities within a safe environment that allow young girls to develop to be go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders (GIRLs).
Mary discussed the aim of empowering every girl—regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, gender identity, religion, or geographic location—to make the world a better place.  The organization is making substantial efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion, working to make its programs more accessible to girls who haven’t historically been served by Girl Scouts. These efforts include changing its workplace culture to attract and retain a diverse staff, creating culturally-responsive opportunities for girls, staff-led community outreach programs, and participating in regional coalition work such as the School’s Out Washington’s Expanded Learning Coalition. 
Mr Snappy: Allen Miller won a $25 gift certificate to the Fishtail Brewery
Meeting adjourned at 1:27pm