Club History – 1990s

Bob Weaver (1990-1991)

Bob WeaverNewberg Rotary had some notable achievements this year. At the local level the club acquired its own office in the Chamber of Commerce building. Most Rotary materials were stored here except the things needed for weekly meetings. The fundraising goal for the Lifeline program was exceeded by $1,650. This excess contributed to a total amount of $19,150. The youth exchange program continued to thrive. Rotary International requested all the materials that the Newberg club used for this program in order to use Newberg as a model for other club’s exchange programs.

Don Tarlow (1991-1992)

Don TarlowDuring Don Tarlow’s time as president, the club really focused on the Rota-Dent project. At this point A-dec was able to let the club purchase units at cost. This enabled the club to sell them at a small markup to other clubs and raise money for the donation of a unit. For every ten units that were sold, one was completely donated. Don fondly remembered attending assembly parties with his family and other Rotarians as they worked to build dental units. These building parties helped keep the price of the units down and provided a great opportunity for fellowship.

Don also contributed to the publicity of the Rota-Dent program. Recognizing the importance of the program, Don wrote a letter to the Rotarian magazine to help spread the word about Newberg’s efforts with the dental units. The Rotarian responded by writing an article which allowed Rotarians all over the world to become familiar with the Rota-Dent project. This magazine feature was undoubtedly a boost to the club and the dental project.

In addition to the Rota-Dent project, the pancake feed continued. This year a record breaking number of people
were served. Over 4,000 meals were eaten during the Old Fashioned Festival.

Mark Meinert (1992-1993)

Mark MeinertSince the beginning of the club, Newberg Rotary has sponsored a Boy Scout Troop. In 1992 Troop #265 celebrated its 50th year. The Rotarians joined in a picnic for this celebration. The Newberg Human Resource Center, along with the Rotary Club and school district, collaborated to build a handicap ramp at the Great Expectations Teen Parent Child Care Center. The Lifeline project remained and had 125 units available for placement. Within Newberg, the club participated in a community cleanup day.
Rotary continued the push to eradicate polio. By 1991, 118 countries reported having zero cases of the disease. By September 23, 1992 the American Physical Therapy Association announced the western hemisphere was free of polio. However, only 52 percent of children under the age of two in Oregon had received a polio vaccine. Rotary District 5100 launched plans to increase polio vaccination statewide.

Inside the Newberg Club, Past President Russ Gainer was recognized for 38 years of service in Rotary and 34 years of perfect attendance. Another Past President, Milt Robins was also recognized for 34 years of perfect attendance and 46 years of service. Another individual accomplishment was by Joe Schneider who celebrated his 40th year as a Rotarian in the Newberg Club. He had been a member of Rotary longer than anyone else in the club at the time.

LeRoy Benham (1993-1994)

Leroy BenhamWhen LeRoy Benham became president, his goal for the year was to have fun. He said that meetings were jovial and lighthearted. Both membership and attendance increased this year. Even with all the fun, the club was still able to have a serious impact on the community.

The Newberg Community Hospital underwent an addition in the 1990s. They required 1.4 million dollars for the remodeling. Newberg Rotary helped with fundraising for the project and after its second annual drive had raised a total of $650,000. In addition to the pancake feed and other large community projects, Newberg Rotary was involved in more specific acts of service as well. When a family lost all of their belongings in a house fire in 1993, the Rotary Club was there to support them with contributions that included clothing, kitchen items, furniture, and various other items. Another individual act included the donation of a pair of glasses to a student of Newberg High School.

LeRoy has been dedicated to Rotary even outside his time as president. Shortly after his presidency he became the manager for the Rota-Dent program. He held this position for nine years. Directing this program allowed him to travel and have contact with people all over the world. He was able to go to Australia, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles to show the Rota-Dent units at Rotary International conventions. He also traveled on multiple dental trips, going to Guatemala and Siberia. LeRoy was also active in the establishment of the Newberg Rotary Foundation while Ken Austin was president.

Jack “Spike” Sumner (1994-1995)

Spike SumnerSpike Sumner had been a member of other service organizations but joined Rotary in 1985 at the invitation of Don Tarlow. He became president in 1994.
The major service project of Spike’s presidency was the planting of trees throughout the city of Newberg. PGE approached the club for help with this project. Trees were planted on 2nd street and many can still be seen today located between Nap’s Thriftway and Hoover Park.
Among Spike’s favorite memories from his time with the club are those of the pancake breakfast, auctions, and time with other Rotarians. Spike teamed up with another Rotarian, Mark Meinert, to switch the pumpkin to the duck. Spike cut the back out of a duck decoy and it showed up at the club just as the pumpkin mysteriously went missing. Weeks passed while the club was uncertain of how the switch was made even though Spike and Mark had placed their initials on the bottom of the duck. The duo eventually came clean when they were found out. The switch to the duck took place while Don Stram was president but this event, and the trees planted on 2nd street, show that Spike has left a lasting impact on Newberg Rotary and the community.

Don Skei (1995-1996)

Don SkeiWhen Don Skei became president, he was able to travel to Nice, France for the Rotary International Convention. He had a great time there while he met people from all over the world. He enjoyed visiting a bunker from World War II that was used as a meeting place for one of the French clubs. Another highlight from the beginning of Don’s presidency was the installation banquet. The club enjoyed the entertainment which was provided by a barbershop quartet.

Throughout his time with the club, Don has enjoyed the many social events that he’s been able to be involved in. He happily remembered Valentine parties for the RotaryAnns as well as great installation banquets.

Another aspect of Rotary that Don enjoyed was the programs. He said that programs, and the club in general, help people come in contact with people and professions that they would otherwise not be involved in. He especially enjoyed a series of programs organized by a Rotarian who was a retired FBI agent. He would ask the Agent in Charge from the Portland branch to come speak to the club. These presentations by various agents were surely informative and interesting for all who heard them.

Travels and service took members of the Newberg Club to Honduras in 1995 to help improve school and clinic buildings there. The Rota-Dent program was still going strong with regular assembly parties scheduled. The goal for this year was to ship 44 units. The club continued to donate a unit after a certain number of units had been sold. The yearly auction was held in January with a Medieval Feast theme. Over 200 people attended the feast which was held at the St. Paul Community Center. The event was considered a “Royal Success” with the money raised going to the Rotary Foundation.
This was the first year that the weekly newsletter The Rotator was sent out by fax. The entirety of District 5100 was also impacted by technological advancements as a new district web page was set up. Through the page, members could access news and information about the district. The Rotary Club continued its relationship with George Fox and was able to see it merge with Western Evangelical Seminary this year.
Newberg Rotary celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. A celebration was held with twenty seven of the past presidents or their wives in attendance. Past and present members of the club gathered to reminisce about the good times that had been had over the years and the clubs accomplishments. In addition to the celebrations throughout the year, the club suffered the loss of Past President Joe Schneider. Joe was a great Rotarian who was dedicated to serving others.

Bill Dolan (1996-1997)

Bill DolanFundraising continued and really impacted the local community in 1996 and 1997 while Bill Dolan was president. The club came together to raise money for a local boy who needed school clothes in addition to over $1,200 that was raised for a local woman who needed a bone marrow transplant. During the Christmas Season the club also donated time and money to bring poinsettias to seniors participating in the Meals on Wheels program. The Rota-Dent program grew and the club began to seek new ways to publicize the project. They wanted more clubs in the area to know that it existed and how meaningful the project really is. This Newberg project brought in about $46,791.31 this year which was close to double the amount that had been earned the previous year.

One of the biggest accomplishments of Bill’s presidency was the formation of a morning club. Some members felt that an early morning Rotary Club would be easier for many to attend. With the help of Ken Austin and other interested Rotarians, the morning club was formed. The new club became known as the Early Birds by December of 1996. This new club originally held their meetings at J’s Restaurant but eventually moved to Providence Newberg Hospital. The Early Birds have become so successful that they now have more members than the Noon Club.

Phil Edin (1997-1998)

Phil Eden
Phil Edin worked in sales at Climax Manufacturing.

Sherrie Mathieson 1998 to 1999

Sherrie Matheson (1998-1999)

Sherrie Matheson was the first female to serve as president of the Newberg Rotary Club. Club traditions and projects continued and the auction was held with a “Hats Off” theme. The club also held a membership drive that was organized by Larry Bohnsack and Stan Kern.


Michael Sherman (1999-2000)

Michael ShermanWhile Michael Sherman was president he was able to attend the Rotary International in Singapore. Community service continued as he challenged the local Kiwanis Club to a Salvation Army bell ringing challenge at Fred Meyer during the Christmas season.

Sherman was serving as Newberg’s Fire Chief at the time of his membership in the Newberg Rotary club