Oct. 30, 2017 Newsletter

At first, it seemed like last week’s meeting topic might be about how to dry out your cell phone after dropping it in the sink. Ralph Koozer apparently had just done such a thing, so he was ready to share some tips. (“Put the phone in a box of desiccant in a 125-degree convection oven,” Ralph said. “It works.”) Which in turn drew quite a response. However, we did get back on track, and had an inspirational presentation from Rotary Peace Fellow Bianca Neff.

The daughter of an American father and a Basque mom, Bianca is a 2010 alumnus of the Rotary Peace Center at the University of Bradford in the U.K. She said the Peace Centers are a major initiative of the Rotary Foundation, and over 1150 Peace Fellows have studied at the Centers and are now working globally.

She described the Peace Centers that offer programs for masters degrees, and the 3-month professional certificate offered at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. “In the latest round, there were 500 applications. I wish you could see the quality of these applicants,” she said. “In fact, there are now so many applicants for Bangkok that Rotary is looking to expand that program.”

Bianca showed a photo of her class, and there was an amazing diversity of students–from Japan, Italy, Finland, Russia, Cambodia and Uganda.

Rotary Peace Fellow Bianca Neff.

“We are now in Year 15 of the Peace Fellow program,” she said. “While it’s been successful, some are starting to burn out. Some have suffered horrible things. Some have compassion fatigue. We need to start taking care of people who we owe a lot to.”

She gave some examples:

–Luke, working with NATO in Afghanistan, survived a bombing

–Mel, a friend on a UN mission to South Sudan last July, was there when the UN compound was attacked and a colleague was murdered

The current reality is that:

  • 79% experience negative mental health issues
  • 93% of those are related to field work
  • 50% experience or are diagnosed with anxiety
  • 44% experience or are diagnosed with depression
  • 1 in 5 experiences panic attacks, post traumatic stress or stress injury

“Peace Fellows are self-identifying the issue to be one of the utmost priority,” she said. “And the help that is currently available is not adequate.”

“The future of global peacebuilding lies in resilience,” she said. “There is a need for debriefing, coaching, walking alongside people.”

In response to a “knocking at my door, ” Bianca founded Petra Peacebuilders and is now the CEO. Petra is a location in Jordan, but it’s also a metaphor for an ancient system of waterways that ran through the desert. Plus, “petrose” means “loose gravel,” which can get knocked around. “Petra” conveys “solid.”

“How do we find ways to help keep people in the field? One thing we are doing to address this is trying to get ‘resiliency’ on the curriculum at the Peace Centers. The trustees of the Foundation will vote on this in January. If approved, Petra will deliver services, mostly in terms of training.”

She outlined the following Petra programs that are currently available:

  • Ascend: The flagship Resiliency Training Program. Includes 6 months of training and coaching.
  • Thrive: Resilience Coaching
  • Restore: Retreat program
  • Oasis: Crisis and critical needs
  • Passage: Personal debriefing and retreats
  • Caravan: Group debriefing retreats

For more information or to donate, go to Petrapeacebuilders.org.


New CCC Exec Director, Sean Andries.

The new Executive Director of the Chehalem Cultural Center, Sean Andries, was the guest of Past President Leah Griffith. According to the Newberg Graphic, the 34-year-old Rogue Valley native’s last post was as operations manager at Portland Center Stage. In his own words, Sean states, “My love for the arts and their place in our lives has always driven me to have a strong sense of community. When arts support the community, community supports the arts. I am simply overjoyed to join this community as the director of an organization that plays such a vibrant role in the lives of so many throughout our region.” Welcome to Newberg, Sean!


Guests Nicky Colo’n and Bear.

Nicky and Sherri Colo’n and Bear, the red nose pit bull service dog, were guests representing “Pacific Northwest for Puerto Rico Relief,” a new nonprofit organized after the terrible devastation to the island from Hurricane Maria. They are coordinating disaster relief in terms of food, water, shelter, medicines and other needed items. They are planning a fundraiser on Nov. 10 from 6 to 10pm at the Cultural Center. For more information, please call Sherri at 503-757-3391 or go to www. facebook/pnwforpuertoricorelief.com.

Beth Pent from Attrell’s, who is awaiting confirmation of her membership in our club, joined us, too.

Jeff Lane introduced Dave Henderson, who was attending for the second time. Jeff said he met Dave through work, and Dave is very interested in joining Rotary.


“Get well” wishes to Jack Czarnecki, who had surgery to remove a brain tumor last week. According to Jack’s wife Heidi, his spirit is strong and he is now doing physical therapy. He is at OHSU, Kohler Pavilion, K10 (10th floor), Room 26. Visitors are welcome.

Tony Lelack reported that dictionaries still need to be delivered to Ewing Young School. If you can help out, please contact Tony. And thanks to Tony for coordinating this project this year.

Happy Birthday wishes to Mike Caruso–69 years young yesterday!

Welcome back to Ray Hillman, who has been gone for a few weeks to Tennessee visiting his son.

Laura Tilrico reported she will be gone for two weeks on a cruise to Hawaii. She said the Nepal drinking water grant has been sent off to Rotary International. Nice work, Laura…

Auggie Gonzales announced that he is working to schedule the next Guatemala dental trip in March, 2018. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Auggie.

My husband, Mike Miller, and Jeff Lane (right) were clowning around at the new Resource Room at Mountain View Middle School last week. Jeff worked to get the room stocked with food, supplies and clothing for kids who may need some help. Mike was there exploring volunteer opportunities. The room will open Monday, Nov. 6. If you are interested in volunteering–even just an hour a week–please see Jeff.



pumpkin animation


  • Rachel Huber invites you to bring the kids (or grandkids) in their costumes to “trick or treat” with the residents of Avamere, 730 Foothills Dr., from 4 to 6pm on Oct. 31.


  • The annual benefit for “Quilts for Empowerment” will be Saturday, Nov. 4 from 2 to 4pm at the Wine Country Barn, 16200 Lewis Rogers Lane in Newberg. For more information, please contact: quilts4empower@gmail.com. Early bird tickets are $30; $40 day of event.
  • Dec. 2 is the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event in the Cultural District. Festivities get underway at 3pm; Santa arrives at 5:30pm. A holiday craft fair and a kids craft sale are also planned.
  • Providence Newberg Health Foundation is sponsoring “An Evening of Hope” on Dec. 13, from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Chehalem Cultural Center. Well-known violinist Aaron Meyer will be performing. The event is to fund new technology which will help increase breast cancer detection and save more lives. Tickets are $25, and are available at http://pnhf.ejoinme.org/benefit or by calling 503-537-1671.

Oct. 23, 2017 Newsletter

Mary Ann McCammon displays a quilted square made by a member of a Kenyan women’s Obstetric Fistula support group.

Some people are “reinventing” themselves in retirement these days in amazing and inspiring ways. Our speaker last week, Mary Ann McCammon, is one of them. After a career in nursing at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU), she “retired” to start and run a nonprofit to help and empower women in Kenya.

She started by describing the medical condition–Obstetric Fistula– which captured her interest and resulted in the formation of her organization, “Quilts for Empowerment.”

“In western Kenya, a girl can be married off at age 11 or 13 in exchange for a cow. She usually gets pregnant right away, and due to circumstances there, is often malnourished during the pregnancy. Then, during childbirth, there can be complications which lead to Obstetric Fistula.”

According to the Fistula Foundation, Obstetric Fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries. It is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labor, without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment. It leaves women leaking urine, feces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation and deepening poverty.

Mary Ann said that many husbands in Kenya abandon their wives with the condition. Looking for a way to help these women, she made her first trip to Kenya in Oct. 2015 and took quilting supplies. She held classes, which grew in number of attendees as word got out.

Mary Ann’s husband, Steve, displays some quilt squares.

“I am an art quilter. We tried everything…and then the idea of telling their story through quilting took hold.”

She returned six months later to work with the women on further development of the idea. They did table mats, table runners and small quilts. “In 2017, we added tote bags with story quilts on the pockets,” she said.

Now, “Quilts for Empowerment” is a registered nonprofit in Oregon. She is also partnering with the “Women and Development Against Distress in Africa” (Wadadia.org) organization and has a coordinator, Norah, teaching the classes now.


Her outlined her business model:

  • Pay the quilters a fair trade wage
  • Work with women in existing Fistula support groups
  • Pay the women when they finish a product

Mary Ann said that the proceeds from two quilts will enable a woman to buy a laying hen; $300 will buy a good milk cow.

Mary Ann signs a book for the library at the end of her talk.

Future Plans:

Mary Ann has set a number of goals for the upcoming year, including holding two successful events, identifying major donors and sponsors, identifying markets, developing a three-year budget, submitting grant applications and selling products on her website. Additionally, she wants to set up a mechanism to measure the impact personally and financially.

On Nov. 4, a fundraiser will be held at the Wine Country Barn, 16200 Lewis Rogers Lane from 2 to 4 pm. Program products will be for sale and there will be a silent auction. Early bird tickets are $30; Day of event, $40. For information, contact: quilts4empower@gmail.com.

“Friends of Rotary” Program Begins

Paula Radich announced the start of the new “Friends Of Rotary” program. She said the likely prospects for this new type of membership are community or family members, or prior Rotary members who desire to serve the community.

This type of membership would be a good fit for those who lack sufficient time or ability to attend weekly meetings. The requirements are that applicants must demonstrate high ethical standards, meet the qualifications for admission to Rotary and participate in one to two events per year. They may not vote, and cannot serve on the board, but will get the newsletter. There is no cost to join. “Friends of Rotary” only pay for meals or events when they attend. Paula thanked Ann Dolan and Julie Want for their work in helping to get the program going. If you know of any candidates for this program and would like an application, please contact Paula.


We had 3 guests last week:

  • Visiting Rotarian and husband of the speaker, Steve McCammon (a member of the Kruse Way Rotary Club) joined us
  • Mary Beth McNulty, a friend of the speaker who is an esthetician in Newberg, attended
  • Maria Ines De Aguirre from Argentina (center, below) was a guest of Dr. Stan Kern and Dale Welcome. Maria was a Rotary exchange student who stayed with Dr. Stan’s family 43 years ago and became and remained friends with Stan’s daughter (who is Dale’s wife)!

Various and Sundry

Congrats to Om Sukheenai for winning the “Judges’ Choice” at the Oct. 14 “Soup’s On” fundraiser for Soroptimist International. Her “beef in herbal coconut milk” took first place, and now everyone wants the recipe!

Jeff Lane will be welcoming his second grandchild–a boy–in February. Jeff is also organizing the effort to have a Resource Room for students at Mountain View Middle School up and running by Nov. 1. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Jeff.

Dale Welcome is having shoulder replacement surgery in early November. Ouch! We wish him the best.

Aaron Lewis, left, and Corey Zielsdorf were among the volunteers who stayed after last week’s meeting to put stickers on dictionaries our club will distribute to third graders in Newberg and Dundee schools.

Calendar Items

  • Rachel Huber invites you to bring the kids (or grandkids) in their costumes to “trick or treat” with the residents of Avamere, 730 Foothills Dr., from 4 to 6pm on Oct. 31.
  • Dec. 2 is the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event in the Cultural District. Festivities get underway at 3pm; Santa arrives at 5:30pm. A holiday craft fair and a kids craft sale are also planned.



Oct. 16, 2017 Newsletter


The beautiful “Inca,” a falcon native to South and Central America and to the Southern U.S., let her feelings be known occasionally during last week’s presentation.

If you count “Inca,” the falcon who occasionally squawked loudly during Alina Blankenship’s presentation on birds of prey last week, we actually had two guest speakers!

Alina was introduced by John Kerekanich, and was also accompanied by falcons “Caspian” and “Siren,” and “Orion,” the owl.

John Kerekanich introduces Alina Blankenship with Siren looking over his shoulder.

She has a wildlife conservation facility in Molalla, and is licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do educational presentations. “All migratory birds are protected,” she said. “You have to be licensed to possess them.”

Some of Alina’s birds are “abatement” birds. They work with agricultural growers, who hire them to intimidate and scare off nuisance birds which cause loss of crop revenue. Others, such as Siren, a peregrine falcon, work landfills and airports to move gulls away.

Arctic native Caspian.

Wildlife conservationist Alina Blankinship with Orion, a Barred owl.












Alina described these birds as “performance athletes.” Some have been clocked at 242 miles per hour. They are “hearing machines”–they have depth perception in their hearing– and have amazing vision. “Where we might be able to look down and see a bug, she can look and see a bug on a bug. We have a single focal point, they have two.”

“They are also smarter than we give them credit for,” she said.

Someone asked Alina if she was afraid of being bitten. “I’m actually more fearful of their talons,” she responded. “They have 350 pounds per square inch of pressure available.”

She said these birds have a 85-90% mortality rate their first year. “Falling out of the nest is actually learning to fly, but some don’t make it. I have a simple rule: If you can catch one of these, it needs to go to rehab. If you can’t catch it, it will probably be just fine and should be left alone.”

If you would like to learn more and donate to Perch, Alisa’s nonprofit (it’s only $20 to sponsor an owl), please go to www.ISaveWildlife.com.


Dave Henderson, left, moved to Newberg from California about a year ago. He said he plans to start attending our meetings “frequently,” and was the guest of Jeff Lane.

Beth Pent from Attrell’s attended for the second week in a row. (Hopefully she’ll be joining our club????)

Shannon Buckmaster‘s daughter, Anna, joined us as well. Anna has been accepted into the Rotary student exchange program for an overseas study program this summer.

Judy Robinson’s husband, Marvin, accompanied her for lunch. Judy, at right, also reported that the high school Interact club is off to a roaring start.

Paul Jellum brought “David” Gao, a visiting professor of international trade from China who is working at GFU this year.


Tony Lelack reported the dictionaries are here and ready for distribution to students. They need to have Rotary stickers applied prior to going out. If you would like to help, please contact Tony.

Rota-Dent Update: Grant Gerke reported that the International Chair of the Beaverton Club is supporting the development of a medical clinic in Uganda. They intend to outfit a full dental clinic there, but until it is built and ready, they will use Rota-Dent equipment.


Jeff Lane, along with Club Treasurer Terry Weldon (center) and Bob Ficker (far right), share a laugh after last week’s meeting.


Jeff Lane reported there will be an 11:30am get-together before our regular meeting this week to discuss getting the third School Resource Center up and running. Our club is helping to organize and staff these centers to help students. The Center at Mountain View Middle School is slated to open Nov. 3.

This week’s meeting will feature Mary Ann McCammon and the program “Quilts for Empowerment.”

Next week, Rotary Peace Fellow Bianca Neff will be our speaker. Bianca has lived in Kyrgystan, Kenya, Morocco, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. She now lives in Malaga, Spain. She is the founder and CEO of Petra Peacebuilders, an organization designed to help provide global peace builders with the emotional, mental and psychological support they need as they work in really tough places.



Oct. 9, 2017 Newsletter

Club Past President and Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center renovation project manager Jim McMaster.

An update on one of Newberg’s biggest and most exciting projects–the Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center–was provided last week by Club Past President and Aquatic Center Project Manager Jim McMaster. Jim was also the project manager for the construction of the Chehalem Cultural Center, and started out by saying that project was “tame compared to this.”

He gave a section-by-section overview of the new facility, which is slated for completion in March, and includes three new pools: a Leisure pool, a Competitive pool and a Spa pool.

“The existing pool was built in 1970 when the Haworth and Villa Street area was farm. It was a large facility for that time” he said. “But, the community has outgrown the building and equipment.”

One view of the proposed new entrance.

Front Entrance Jim said the newly designed entrance will allow kids to be dropped off in front more safely and the amount of parking will be quadrupled.

Back side A Care Home on Cherry St. donated some property to the project, which will allow easier access for everyday maintenance activities like garbage trucks, chlorine delivery, etc.

Front Recreation Area Will have lots of glass and be “real inviting.”

Rendering of new lobby (from CPRD website).

Lobby Will serve as more of a community area. Will have a check-in desk and 2 large classrooms nearby with views out to the pool.

Leisure Pool There will be programs and features for all ages, and Jim said this pool will get the most use by far. One very unique feature will be the “fire truck,” which was specially built for little kids and has a slide on it. He said it is important to have a good swim lessons program. He came to the Aquatic Center in 1980 to manage it, and said kids were older then when they started lessons, maybe 6 or 7. Nowadays they start at ages 2 to 4.

For teens, there will be a diving board, 2 rock climbing walls, and drop slides. He thinks GFU students will like that, too.

The leisure pool will have a Figure 8 shape and a “Lazy River” for floating.

Competitive Pool Jim said this pool will feature a floating bulkhead to adjust the size, and will be 6 feet, 7 inches deep. It will have a spectator area capable of seating 302. Both GFU and the high school teams will have a separate entrance.

Spa Pool Will be 25% bigger than the current one. It will hold 14 people, and features different sized jets.

Phase 2: The Gym and Fitness Area. CPRD will borrow $5 million to complete Phase 2, with an elevated walking track and room for yoga, cardio and free weights. The entire building will be brought up to seismic code. Design is just beginning.

Total cost is estimated at $18.9 million. Opportunities to donate to the project and to be recognized for your support were presented. Ideas range from a park bench for $1400 to Lobby Naming Rights for $20,000. The two Newberg Rotary Clubs have already stepped up to help sponsor the building of the new, $143,000 park playground. For more info on this tax deductible opportunity, please contact Jim.


Jim also mentioned that his son, Spencer, has been accepted into the Peace Corps, and will be leaving for Swaziland soon.

Welcome back to Dan Keuler, who has been on paternity leave with his new son, Jackson.

And congrats to Shannon Buckmaster, who announced her daughter will be joining the Rotary student exchange program.



Becky Ankeny, seen at right with Dr. Stan Kern and Paul Jellum (front), deserves kudos for being so good at “doing the Duck.” Her willingness to take on the job frequently with a unique blend of humor and irreverence has increased the amount of giggles, snickers, snorts, and donations! Thank you, Becky.






  • Beth Pent, after care and pre-arrangement specialist with Attrell’s, is checking out both Newberg Rotary clubs and visited ours last week.
  • Heidi Czarnecki, wife of Jack, joined us for lunch.


Past President Leah Griffith found the timely photo below of “Rotary Pumpkin Champs” in the Newberg Graphic 1965 archives in the Library. (Remember Stan Kern telling us about this contest?) Now there’s a club activity we could consider resurrecting!


  • This week’s program sounds like a “Do Not Miss.” The topic was suggested by John Kerekanich in the recent club survey for program ideas (thank you, John). Alina Blankenship will discuss wildlife conservation featuring a live bird of prey.


  • Don’t forget “Soup’s On,” the Fall fundraiser for Soroptimist International, this Saturday, Oct. 14 at 5pm. Come enjoy a variety of gourmet soups made by professional and home chefs. Soroptimists work to improve the lives of women and girls locally and around the world. The venue is the Dundee Community Center, 1026 Hwy 99W in Dundee. Tickets for the event, which includes a silent auction, are $25. For more info, or to buy a ticket, go to SICV.org or call Debby at 503-740-8182.


  • Dec. 2 is the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event in the Cultural District. Festivities get underway at 3pm; Santa arrives at 5:30pm. A holiday craft fair and a kids craft sale are also planned.


  • Providence Newberg Health Foundation is sponsoring “An Evening of Hope” on Dec. 13, from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Chehalem Cultural Center. Well-known violinist Aaron Meyer will be performing. The event is to fund new technology which will help increase breast cancer detection and save more lives. Tickets are $25, and are available at http://pnhf.ejoinme.org/benefit or by calling 503-537-1671.