A big Rotary weekend

Posted 3/6/18

It was a cold, rainy, sleety, windy weekend at the DoubleTree Hotel at Sea-Tac. (My writing mentor Milt Lum loves it when I start a column that way.) Thank goodness the weekend activities were all …

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A big Rotary weekend

Posted

It was a cold, rainy, sleety, windy weekend at the DoubleTree Hotel at Sea-Tac. (My writing mentor Milt Lum loves it when I start a column that way.) Thank goodness the weekend activities were all inside the warm hotel rooms – well, except for the drafty elevators on the outside of the building!

As regular readers know, I am active in Rotary International as a part of the East Jefferson Rotary Club. This column is focused on Rotary and a huge meeting 10 days ago at Sea-Tac.

The club I am in is one of approximately 90 clubs, with about 4,300 Rotarians, in western Washington and northwestern Canada, spread from Chehalis in the south to Port Hardy at the upper end of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Each of those clubs has a president-elect whose one-year term starts on July 1.

The meeting at the DoubleTree involved two days of training for the presidents-elect from 500 Rotary clubs in eight districts in the Pacific Northwest. Each of those districts has a governor and some number of assistant governors.

I am an assistant governor, the liaison responsible for the two clubs in Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles and my own club. The dubious honor of this position qualifies (or requires) me to attend the event, help out with chores in support of the trainers and also get some training for my role.

More than 700 Rotarians attended and enjoyed five meals together, along with the speeches given in a room so big, I swear it could have had two different climates. The annual event provides training and a reminder of the breadth of Rotary’s programs, from local students-of-the-month recognition to the worldwide eradication of polio.

So, in addition to your humble columnist, who was there whom you might know? The president-elect in the Port Townsend Noon Rotary Club is retired PT school superintendent David Engle, who is replacing Sheldon Spencer. The president-elect in the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary Club is Jayne Neu, who is replacing Donna Doney. The East Jefferson County Club is replacing Terry Umbreit with Caleb Summerfelt.

Many in Port Ludlow know Caleb as a member of the Port Ludlow Village Council and the truly unappreciated and unpaid traffic cop for Nextdoor Port Ludlow. However, as talented as Caleb is, his real asset is that he is but 35 years old. Consequently, he makes a real contribution to any effort to reduce the average age in Port Ludlow as well as the East Jefferson County Rotary Club.

FROM HERE TO AFGHANISTAN

Assuming you read this far, you might also be interested in a little more information. If you have an interest in serving the communities of the world, from Chimacum to Afghanistan, you ought to look into Rotary.

Locally, you can see the work we do in the shelter at H.J. Carroll Park, the bookmobile barn at the Jefferson County Library, the foreign exchange students going to foreign countries and those coming to spend a year in local high schools, scholarships and contributions to local charities throughout the area. Rotary took a leadership position on the eradication of polio in 1981, when there were hundreds of thousands of children around the world being infected. So far this year, there are only three cases identified. Oh yeah, there are even a few fun people involved with whom you might enjoy a meal, including the publisher of this newspaper.

If you want to see what some Port Ludlow folks are up to these days, be sure to stop in at The Bay Club at 3 p.m. this Saturday to see the rejuvenated Port Ludlow Follies. I suspect the whole spectrum of talent will be on full display by your friends for your enjoyment. Frankly, as you watch them, be reminded of what Bern Williams is purported to have said. “A friend is a lot of things, but a critic he is not.”

Love a curmudgeon and have a great week.

Ned Luce of Port Ludlow writes this column weekly for The Leader.

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