The Rotary Club of Three Creeks and Lewis River Rotary Club have combined efforts to help promote COVID-19 vaccinations, while using the success of the polio vaccine as evidence.
The two clubs combined to pay for a billboard along the northbound side of St. John’s Boulevard, just south of NE 78th Street. The billboard’s message, “The fight to end polio is proof vaccines work. Let’s fight COVID-19 together” highlights the true success of vaccinations around the world.
Since 1988, Rotary has been leading the fight against polio globally. There are just two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan – left on the planet where polio has not been eradicated.
For more than three years, there have been wild polio cases in only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Polio was declared officially eradicated from Nigeria in 2020. Through June 10, 2021, there was just one case in each nation.
“There is clear evidence that vaccines work,” said Rotary Club of Three Creeks President Kelley Campbell. “And Rotary is one of the organizations behind that. Like the billboard says, the near eradication of polio is proof that vaccines work. As Rotarians, we are proud to be a part of it, and if we can help even just a little bit, to end the COVID-19 pandemic, then we’ve done our job.”
Lewis River Club President Linda Allen agreed.
“Our two clubs are so proud to do something to try and make a difference in ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” Allen said. “Rotary has made a difference around the world tackling polio. We just felt like this was a great opportunity for Rotary to take a lead in making a difference here at home knocking down COVID-19.”
There is already evidence that COVID-19 vaccinations are making a difference. The “fourth surge” in Washington state during May was short-lived and case numbers continue to fall in Washington. This progress has given the state cause to re-open by the end of June 2021.
Visibility of this billboard is 40,000-45,000 cars per week.
CLARK COUNTY, Wash. – The Rotary Club of Three Creeks went unintimidated by the pandemic during the 2020-21 fiscal year.
And the club – less than five years old – granted almost $45,000 to local and international non-profits that serve children, veterans, hungry and homeless over the last year.
“This club makes me proud every day,” said Club President Kelley Campbell. “Not only do we have a passion for serving those in our community who we can help, but ‘Three Creekers’ are diligent about making the most of our opportunity to raise funds that we can grant to non-profits who serve those we – as a club – think we can impact most.”
The financial gifts awarded by the club in 2020-21 include:
The $45,000 that were disbursed in 2020-21 were raised during the club’s 2020 Fundraiser, Dancing with the Local Stars, which proved to be the final large-scale in-person event before the pandemic forced cancellation of such events for the rest of the year. Cyndi Holloway of Waste Connections was the Dancing with the Local Stars Grand Champion, raising nearly $20,000 to set a new fundraising record for the Rotary fundraiser.
Club members also “passed the hat” at their May 20 meeting, raising $300 to contribute to a fundraiser for Martha’s Pantry.
The club also completed a tremendously successful pivot to its annual fundraiser during the pandemic. When dancing wasn’t possible, the club changed its fundraiser to a virtual event called Dining with the Local Stars – a competitive cooking show where nine well-known local business and community leaders cooked and raised money in a competitive format. Gaynors Automotive Vice President Tommy Gaynor was named Grand Champion after raising more than $14,000. He also won the cooking competition. Dining with the Local Stars raised $55,000 that will be disbursed to community non-profits in the 2021-22 Rotary fiscal year.
An announcement of the club’s 2022 fundraiser will be made in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Chef” Tommy Gaynor raises most money, sweeps awards
When the Rotary Club of Three Creeks was forced to pivot its annual fundraiser away from the in-person Dancing with the Local Stars to a virtual Dining with the Local Stars, presented by Taylor Transport event due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no one was quite sure what to expect.
“Our conservative goal was to net $12,000 in funds that we could contribute to the community,” said fundraising committee chair Susanne Holmberg. “What we did was amazing! The sponsors who stepped up made a huge difference in covering the cost of the production of the event.”
The nine local stars who participated in the fundraiser collected $50,000 in net proceeds for the Rotary Club of Three Creeks’ community giving program.
The $50,000 bottom line is more than the previous record of nearly $43,000 set last year with Dancing with the Local Stars, held at ilani Casino Resort. It was the last major fundraiser held in person prior to the shutdowns caused by the pandemic.
“Yet again, the SW WA community stepped up and embraced our club’s efforts to make a difference in the community,” said Club President Kelley Campbell. “From the celebrity chef volunteers and business sponsors, to those who bought tickets and donated to their favorite chef, it was another example of the generosity of those who live and work in this region.”
Tommy Gaynor, of Gaynor’s Automotive, raised the most money, himself bringing in more than $14,000 to be crowned grand champion of Dining with the Local Stars. His cooking, too – despite comedic distractions from fellow celebrity chef Albert Angelo III – won over the judges and Gaynor also took home the Best Chef award for the event.
“This event was so much fun to be a part of,” Gaynor said. “And that we were able to raise so much money to allow this Rotary club to help kids, veterans, hungry and homeless in our community is a really big deal.”
Dining with the Local Stars, presented by Taylor Transport, was produced by the club, but the video recording and production was done by Vancouver’s Wager Audio. The cooking segment was recorded at Vancouver’s Second Mile Marketplace and Food Hub. The virtual event was streamed to a paid audience over the Remo platform, provided by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. All event photography was shot by Vancouver’s Kate Singh.
This year’s Local Stars included Albert Angelo III, Juile Arenz, Tamara Fuller, Gaynor, Ryan Hart, Nelson Holmberg, Ryan Makinster, Tom Markos and Linda Reid.
The show can be seen in its entirety by viewing on the club’s YouTube channel. The direct link to the show is here (https://youtu.be/4wipP4ii438).
Brian Heimbigner has applied to join the Rotary Club of Three Creeks.
Heimbigner, currently a member of a club in Georgia, has visited Three Creeks many times and found a "home" in our club.
His proposed transfer of membership has been read twice during club meetings and a vote of the board will conducted soon.
Born and raised in Eastern Washington, Brian is one of three siblings with a large extended German family of 30 cousins always nearby.
Growing up, Brian worked a lot of summers in many uncles' hot, dusty wheat farms or at his parents' furniture stores. Eventually, he worked 12 hour days, seven days a week at food processing plants through the summer to pay for college.
He attended Central Washington University, University of Washington and University of Wisconsin. He met his wife at Central and they have been married for 48 years. Together, they have a daughter in Wisconsin and a daughter in Sammamish.
Brian has been involved his entire career in multi-million dollar water and wastewater treatment systems with seven companies, involved in engineering, project management, financial, marketing, sales and general management. He has traveled to 41 different countries on business and a few on pleasure. In business, Brian's greatest joy was in developing our people while serving customers. In life, his greatest joy is his family and all of the people he's met along life's journey.
The Rotary Club of Three Creeks continues to announce news about its annual fundraiser, this year Dining with the Local Stars, presented by Taylor Transport, due to a pandemic pivot away from Dancing with the Local Stars.
Tickets to the virtual event – a 90-minute streamed program of nine local stars participating in a competitive cooking show a la the Food Network show “Chopped” – are on sale now, on Eventbrite.
A link to ticket sales has been posted on the event website – www.dancingwiththelocalstars.com – starting on Monday at 8 a.m. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $75 for a VIP package that includes the same mystery ingredients the local stars will cook with, as well as a few other goodies.
The club also announced it has selected John McDonagh, president & chief executive officer of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, as it’s host and emcee for Dining with the Local Stars.
Finally, the club shared its judging panel – those who will actually put the local stars’ food creations in their mouths – will be Chef Aaron Guerra (who is also serving as the culinary consultant to DWTLS), Scot Brantley (Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Three Creeks), and Brad Wager (owner of Wager Audio). A fourth judge, a representative of Taylor Transport, will be added to the panel as well.
“We are so excited about this fresh fundraiser idea,” said Kelley Campbell, the 2020-21 president of the Rotary Club of Three Creeks. “The lineup of local stars we have, not only in our chefs cast, but also in our judging panel and host role, is top notch.
“Most nonprofits do an auction, or a gala, and true to our club’s personality, we’re thinking outside the box and trying something different,” Campbell said. “So far, it’s been really well received by everyone we’ve talked to about it, and we cannot wait for the event to be shown online!”
Nine local stars – Albert Angelo III (Al Angelo Co.), Julie Arenz (iQ Credit Union), Tamara Fuller (Capacity Commercial Group), Tommy Gaynor (Gaynors Automotive), Ryan Hart (Port of Vancouver USA), Nelson Holmberg (NW Natural & the Rotary Club of Three Creeks), Ryan Makinster (Building Industry Association of Clark County), Tom Markos (Thomas J. Markos Inspection & Consulting) and Linda Reid (Columbia Bank) make up the cast for the 2021 fundraiser.
Each celebrity chef will raise funds for the Rotary Club and the contestant who raises the most money will be crowned Grand Champion. Judges will determine the winner of the best chef, based on a broad criterion that include use of the mystery baskets.
Dining with the Local Stars sponsors include Taylor Transport, Inc., Chappelle’s Towing, PLS Engineering, Gaynors Automotive, NW Natural, Nutter Corporation, Pivotal Painting LLC, Insure North America Benefits Group, Specialty Graphic Solutions, Shine Distillery & Grill, iQ Credit Union, Opsahl Dawson CPAs, Otak, Banner Bank, Kate Singh Photography Studio, Ink Ability, Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Clark County Today and The Columbian.
In 2020, Dancing with the Local Stars raised more than $40,000, and the Three Creeks club was able to award three $7,000 grants – one each to the North County Community Food Bank, Clark County Food Bank and FISH of Vancouver. Three Creeks provided $1,000 to LULAC of Clark County to help stand up a Farmers Market. The club has also made several smaller grants to nonprofits in the community – including the purchase of 50 new stuffed animals to donate to children in the pediatric unit at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center just before Christmas.
In three Dancing with the Local Stars events, the Rotary Club has raised more than $60,000. The club has distributed more than $40,000 to community nonprofits over the three years.
Money raised from Dining with the Local Stars, the club’s major fundraiser, allows the club to make meaningful donations across the community, in particular to nonprofits that help children, veterans, hungry and homeless. Details of the Charitable Giving program are on the club’s website at https://www.rotaryofthreecreeks.com/charitable-giving.html.
"Rotary kindled the spark within me to look beyond myself and embrace humanity."
Incoming Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta urged members to become more involved in service projects, saying that caring for and serving others is the best way to live because it changes not only other people’s lives, but also our own.
Mehta, a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, revealed the 2021-22 presidential theme, Serve to Change Lives, to incoming district governors on 1 February during the Rotary International Assembly. The assembly, a yearly training event for district governors-elect, was originally set to take place in Orlando, Florida, USA, but was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mehta spoke about how participating in service projects through Rotary changed him as a person and made him empathize more with the needs of others. Soon after joining his club, he helped carry out projects that benefited rural communities in India.
Some of the poor conditions he saw in those communities strengthened his commitment to service. “I truly understood the plight of my brethren,” he said.
Mehta participated in initiatives that brought artificial limbs to children, clean water and sanitation to homes, and better health care facilities to communities.
“Rotary kindled the spark within me to look beyond myself and embrace humanity,” he said. “Service became a way of life for me and I, like many others, adopted the guiding philosophy that ‘Service is the rent I pay for the space I occupy on this earth, and I want to be a good tenant of this earth.’”
Mehta encouraged district governors-elect to lead by example during their term and inspire Rotary and Rotaract members to participate in projects that have measurable and sustainable impacts. He’s asking each club to conduct a Rotary Day of Service.
“At the end of your term as district governor, you should feel that because of your leadership, because of your inspiration to Rotarians and Rotaractors, the world has changed for the better because of the service done by them during the year,” he said.
Focusing on diversity, membership
For the 2021-22 Rotary year, Mehta wants members to focus their efforts on empowering girls and ensuring their access to education, resources, services, and opportunities so that future generations of women leaders will have the tools they need to succeed. Mehta asked members to use Rotary’s belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion is critical in all we do as a compass to guide this work.
“There are many issues that girls face in different parts of the world, and you as leaders will ensure that we try and mitigate the disadvantage of the girl that they may have,” he said.
To be able to do more through service, Rotary needs to increase membership, Mehta said. Membership has hovered around 1.2 million for the past two decades. He challenged the incoming governors to be catalysts in their districts to help increase membership to 1.3 million by 1 July 2022. Mehta’s Each One, Bring One initiative asks every member to bring one person to join Rotary within the next 17 months.
Increasing membership while also continuing our commitment to eradicating polio, fighting COVID-19, and serving our communities is an ambitious goal. “And that should excite you,” Mehta said. “Rotarians love challenges.”
CLARK COUNTY, Wash. – The Rotary Club of Three Creeks, which annually hosts Dancing with the Local Stars (DWTLS) – one of the most popular nonprofit fundraisers in Clark County, has announced there will be no dancing in 2021.
“Without any assurance in regards to the pandemic that we could have a live audience of 200-300 people in a ballroom at ilani in March, we couldn't responsibly plan Dancing with the Local Stars for 2021,” said Club President Kelley Campbell, who won the 2019 Dancing with the Local Stars Grand Championship and Best Dancer awards. “We also did not feel good about asking local stars and professional dancers to spend as much time with one another in close proximity as is necessary to do the event right.”
Instead, the club will compile Dining with the Local Stars, a competitive cooking show featuring nine celebrity “chefs” from around the area modeled loosely after the popular Food Network show “Chopped”.
Local Stars Albert Angelo III (Al Angelo Co.), Julie Arenz (iQ Credit Union), Tamara Fuller (Capacity Commercial Group), Tommy Gaynor (Gaynors Automotive), Ryan Hart (Port of Vancouver USA), Nelson Holmberg (NW Natural/Rotary Club of Three Creeks), Ryan Makinster (Building Industry Association of Clark County), Tom Markos (Thomas J. Markos Inspection & Consulting) and Linda Reid (Columbia Bank) make up the cast for the 2021 fundraiser.
Three shifts of three celebrity chefs will cook together, masked and physically distanced in a commercial kitchen at Second Mile Marketplace and Food Hub, preparing dishes with ingredients in mystery baskets that they will not know until just before the timed cooking sessions begin.
Video of this culinary competition will be captured by Vancouver’s Wager Audio and edited into a 90-minute show which will be streamed to a paid audience on Saturday, March 27. Each celebrity “chef” will raise funds for the Rotary Club and the contestant who raises the most money will be crowned Grand Champion. Judges will determine the winner of the best chef, based on a broad criteria that include use of the mystery baskets.
“We are very excited about this event, especially because of the creativity of trying something new, in order to keep raising money that makes a big difference in the community,” Campbell said.
In 2020, Dancing with the Local Stars raised more than $40,000, and the Three Creeks club was able to award three $7,000 grants – one each to the North County Community Food Bank, Clark County Food Bank and FISH of Vancouver.
The club has also made several smaller grants to nonprofits in the community – including the purchase of 50 new stuffed animals to donate to children in the pediatric unit at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center just before Christmas.
In three Dancing with the Local Stars events, the Rotary Club has raised more than $60,000. The club has distributed more than $40,000 to community nonprofits over the three years.
The Rotary Club of Three Creeks has yet again made a difference in Salmon Creek.
The club yesterday donated 50 new stuffed animals to the Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital’s foundation for children who are receiving care during the holiday season.
“We are so excited that we have the opportunity to provide these gifts to children who are receiving care at the hospital during this wonderful time of year,” said Club President Kelley Campbell. “One of our four priorities for giving is children, so having been asked to provide a little help for these children was well-timed and the club is more than happy to provide the stuffed animals.”
The donation was made through the club’s Charitable Giving Program, which provides small grants or gifts to nonprofits that show need through an application/request process that is reviewed by the club’s charitable giving committee and ratified by the club board of directors.
Susanne Holmberg, a member of the Charitable Giving Committee and founding president of the club, delivered the stuffed animals to the hospital on Wednesday, Dec. 16, and hospital staff immediately thought of at least one specific child who would love a cuddly toy.
“It was touching to know that one of those 50 stuffed animals would be delivered to a child right away,” Holmberg said. “This is what Rotarians do. We are People of Action and doing even something small like this makes a huge difference to someone.”
The Three Creeks Charitable Giving Committee has been busy in 2020. Before this donation, the club had already given $1,000 to ShelterBox USA, an organization that provides disaster relief shelter, $1,000 to LULAC Southwest Washington, and $850 to the United Way of Lane County, Ore., for wildfire relief.
Money raised from Dancing with the Local Stars, the club’s major fundraiser each year, allows the club to make meaningful donations across the community. Details of the Charitable Giving program are on the club’s website at https://www.rotaryofthreecreeks.com/charitable-giving.html.
Kinsey Dhoot became the newest Rotarian in the World at our club meeting on Thursday, Dec. 3, when past president Susanne Holmberg and future membership director Carol Mackey crashed Kinsey's front door for a (mostly) masked & distanced induction ceremony.
As she wrote in her application, "I am a mother, wife, sociologist, humanitarian, and educator. I love traveling and have traveled to over 20 countries. I fell in love with Rotary long ago when I observed their compassionate action helping people locally, nationally, and internationally. Since I was a little girl, I knew my purpose was to help make this world become a better place. Rotary is a supportive, fun, and genuine place that truly makes the world a better place. I always feel at home when I am with Rotary! I have the best husband in the world and two amazing children. My son is turning 6 years old (he loves science) and my daughter just turned 4 (she loves to sing & dance). I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and have most my family in Yakima, WA and Seattle, WA. I am currently creating a program to help teens heal and coach them to optimize becoming who they want to be."
Kinsey is a teacher in the Evergreen Public Schools. She holds Masters in Teaching & Curriculum Instructions National Board Certified Teacher Bachelor of Science in History & Social Sciences (WSU graduate).
Welcome to the club Kinsey!
North County Rotary Club makes first contribution from its community grant program
For the first time, the Rotary Club of Three Creeks has made a contribution from its Community Grants Program.
On Friday, the club announced it approved a $1,000 grant to ShelterBox USA for the purchase of a ShelterBox. ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and tools for displaced families.
“It’s exciting to announce that we have the opportunity to share some of the money we’ve raised through Dancing with the Local Stars with a great organization like ShelterBox, which truly does make a difference,” said Club President Kelley Campbell. “Whether it’s giving shelter to refugees who are stranded due to political conflict or those who’ve lost everything in a natural disaster, ShelterBox is there to provide for those in need.”
Mike Robinson, a member of the Lewis River Rotary Club, is a ShelterBox volunteer locally, who submitted the grant application to the Rotary Club of Three Creeks.
“Natural disasters and conflicts don’t take holidays and ShelterBox doesn’t either,” Robinson said. “It’s the most vulnerable who need the basic necessity of shelter, no matter where they are, and we are here to help. We are grateful for this grant, which will provide another box to a family in need of shelter and tools to navigate a crisis in their lives.”
Three Creeks’ Community Grants Program is an opportunity for 501(c)3 nonprofits across Clark County to apply for small grants, funded by the club’s annual Dancing with the Local Stars 2.0 fundraiser. The program requires applications, which are considered by the club’s charitable giving committee and ultimately approved by the club’s board of directors. More information about the program can be found at www.rotaryofthreecreeks.com/charitable-giving.html.
Through its major giving, the Three Creeks club partnered with the North County Community Food Bank to provide a $10,000 grant. This year, Three Creeks provided another $7,000 NCCFB, but also gave $7,000 a piece to Clark County Food Bank and FISH of Vancouver. The priority, due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy, was to provide assistance in secure access to food for families across Clark County.