Posted by Matthew DeBord on Jul 22, 2019
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Today’s Program: Mexican Border Alien Status w/ Seth Goldstein
Meeting Called to order by President Colleen Gillespie
  • Invocation by: Diane Gallegos
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: John Sabo
  • Song: America the Beautiful led by Gloria Strait
  • Four Way Test led by: Judy Henderson
Visiting Rotarians
Bill Knight, Lacey
Guests of Rotarians
  • Brenden Clerget (running for Mayor of Olympia), guest of Corinna Phillips
  • Barbara Soule (Oscar’s wife),
  • Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg (Seth Goldstein’s wife)
  • Tamika Watford (works a non-profit), guest of Heather Antanaitis
  • Shawna Dutton (Habitat for Humanity), guest of Mark Elliott
Happy Bucks
  • Dave Sederberg – 60th Birthday/Daughter is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and did a TED talk at Olympia High School/Books by the Bay on 8/3. 
  • Debra Stephens – Thanks to Martin Meyer for organizing the Lakefair Races and managing the volunteers.
Lakefair Run
Martin Meyer noted the runs (half marathon, 3k, and 5k) occurred 3rd Saturday of July.  We sold out all the mile markers, had excellent volunteer support, and raised $21,000 in entrance fees. 
Community Grants
Mark Elliot introduced Shawna Dutton from Habitat for Humanity – awarded a $1,000 grant from the Rotary Foundation.  Shawna thanked the club for the donation, which helped a family get a new home after 500 hours of work to build the home along with significant community support.  There will be three new homes in the Habitat for Humanity development off College and 37th this fall. 
To visit South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity’s website HERE to learn more or volunteer:
Here is a full list of the Community Grant Awards for Spring 2019:
Habitat for Humanity
Support building 3 homes
Food for youth at Rosie's Place
Boys and Girls Clubs
Summer Day Camp sponsorships
Supporting meaningful conversations between teens and seniors
Food Pantry expanded services
Pacific Harbors Council - Boy Scouts of America
Purchase Eagle Scout Award Kits
Wolf Haven
Support Education Program for low income students
Washington Center
Sensory Friendly performing arts experience for children with sensory challenges
Homes First
Purchase materials to replace a wooden fence at a shared home for adults with disabilities
Support field trips and swim lessons for Olympia School District students participating in Power Scholars Academy program.
 $ 9,000
New Meeting Venue
President Colleen announced we have a new home!  South Sound Manor at 455 North Street SE Olympia, WA 98501.  The food will be catered by Elyse’s.
Upcoming Meetings
July 29th – Hotel RL
August 5th – Dickies’ BBQ at Priest Point Park
August 15th (No meeting on the 12th) – St. Martin’s University
Steve Bean held an auction to raise $10 per person to donate to Little Red Schoolhouse for socks and underwear and raised over $100 to add to the over $300 raised last week at the Olympia Country Club.
Program  - “A Rabbi’s Trip to the Border”
Oscar Soule introduced Rabbi Seth Goldstein.  Oscar explained that Seth moved to Olympia in 2003 and is the Rabbi at Temple Beth Hatfiloh and an All-Star on the Stars of David Softball Team.     
Seth’s trip was sponsored by T’Ruah and HIAS.  He served as a representative of Temple Beth Hatfiloh and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. 
Seth traveled to El Paso, Texas, Ciudad Juarez in Mexico and into rural New Mexico to visit an ICE detention facility.  Seth brought historical perspective to his presentation, starting with the Israelites fleeing the rule of Pharaoh in Egypt through the Red Sea after God parted the waters for Moses. 
Seth’s own family immigrated to the United States and he explained the history of those in the United States government limiting immigration, including the Johnson Reed Act of 1924 (link below), which established quotas for how many people could immigrate to the United States based on their country of origin.  The local impact was important as Representative Albert Johnson was from Washington, and represented the 3rd District, which is Southwest Washington. 
Seth traveled with a group of 20 Rabbis to the Otero Detention Center. The center is a privately owned center that detains those seeking asylum for an average of 65 days.  Seth was moved to see the fenced facility that resembles a prison. 
The group met with Las Americas, and Immigrant rights association, visited the Immigration Courts, which are managed by the Department of Justice and visited the Federal Courthouse/ Casa Franklin.  They visited the Annunciation House, which is run by the Catholic parish in El Paso.  The group traveled across the Hope Border crossing into Juarez and visited the Casa Del Migrante in Juarez.  When crossing back over the border, they walked over bridges and saw families being held in CBP Detention pens. Links below:
The group also visited the border wall and saw 28’ sections of the wall constructed during the Obama Administration and sections built under the Clinton Administration as well. 
Seth finished his presentation with a hopeful message, including a photo from an overlook showing one large city that combines Juarez and El Paso.  He also showed a photo of a Post-It note from the Annunciation House saying, “Welcome.  You are safe.  We Love You.”
Mr. Snappy Winner
Phyllis Mandel, who earned a $25 gift card to the Oyster House
Meeting Adjourned by President Colleen Gillespie