Seventeen Rotary Club of Three Creeks members combine for 39 hours of service
CLARK COUNTY, Wash. – With Covid 19 still very present in Clark County and not everyone comfortable with being together in even small indoor groups, the Rotary Club of Three Creeks took the opportunity to encourage members to serve on their own.
January brought the “Pick your own Cause” service project to a club that’s completed nearly 70 projects in less than six years.
“I am proud of our members for stepping up to continue to lead by example, even in challenging Covid times,” said Rotary Club of Three Creeks Service Projects Director Tina Vlachos. “By picking our own virtual service project, we are still able to commit our time toward service in ways that we are individually driven and inspired by, but as a collaborative where we are still able to join forces and share with one another.”
Whether in Vancouver, Ridgefield or in Cathedral City, Calif., 17 “Three Creekers” as club members often refer to themselves, completed a total of 39 hours of service.
“This was an encouragement for us to do more and I would say it was welcomed with open arms, turned to a great success,” Vlachos said.
In April 2020, right after the pandemic started, the club created its first-ever virtual service project as members were ready to get out and do service projects. The club designed its project within Covid restrictions and safety guidelines, and the project was a success with a dozen members contributing a total of nearly 80 hours of service, illustrating how badly people wanted to be out and about early in the pandemic.
Rotary International President Elect Jennifer Jones unveiled the Rotary Theme for 2022-23, the Rotary Year that begins on July 1, 2022.
The announcement of the theme in January is not meant to supercede the current "Serve to Change Lives" theme for 2021-22 but instead to celebrate and introduce the theme that will officially go into effect on July 1.
The theme "Imagine Rotary" is inspired by Rotary's initiative to rid the world of polio (the purple) and it's newest Area of Focus - environment (the green).
“Imagine, a world that deserves our best,” Jones told incoming district governors on 20 January, “where we get up each day knowing that we can make a difference.”
Jones told the incoming governors about a chance she took when a member asked for assistance in getting a young peace activist out of Afghanistan during the U.S. troop withdrawal last year. At first unsure how she could help, she relied on “that certain Rotary magic” and contacted a former Rotary Peace Fellow she had met a few years earlier. Less than 24 hours later, the activist was on an evacuation list, and soon she was on her way to Europe.
To better engage members, Rotary needs to “adapt and retool,” Jones said, using her hometown as an example. Windsor was once the automotive hub of Canada. But after plant closings left thousands without work, the city needed to retool, in the same way an auto plant would, preparing for new parts or a new model. Now, Jones said, Windsor is a leader in agribusiness and medical and aerospace technology.
For Rotary, “finding the right ‘part’ to engage each member should be our core function,” Jones said. “It comes down to the comfort and care of our members.”
Our January "Pick Your Own Cause" service project is an exciting opportunity for you to do whatever you'd like to do!
Whatever you choose to do, please be sure to document your chosen project with a photo and the number of hours you volunteered by sending me a quick email note or text so we can share as a group and on social media. And, there's an added BONUS if you get a non-Rotarian buddy to tag along with you on your project, and you share that on your own social media, tagging them. Please let Tina know what you and your non-Rotarian friend did so she can enter you into a raffle that will be held at one of our February club meetings!
Need some suggestions? You could do something as simple as the below:
Or do something that takes a little more creativity or sweat equity:
OR come up with your own idea! There are loads of non-profits in the community that need volunteer help.
Two new members were inducted at our club meeting on January 6. The memberships of Louise Hoover and Charla Burke have both been approved by the board of directors, and it's time to celebrate the addition of two new members.
Charla has visited our club three times at Round Table, and is very interested in our service culture and seems to enjoy the club meetings too. She chose our club due to our proven track record of making a difference in the community. By day, she is a project manager for Bonneville Power Administration and she holds bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics. Her interests include biking, soccer, book club and hiking.
Louise, too, has visited us several times, and her transfer from the club in Hoquiam has been approved by the board of directors. She is a retired Clark College administrator and faculty member. Louise ran the math department for about 10 years, and was division chair for math and computer science for three or four. Widowed in 2010, Louise has three children and six grandchildren from her first marriage and two stepchildren and two grandchildren from second. Her hobbies include acting, singing and she was her church cantor in Grayland, clothing design and construction, and reading (mostly mysteries).
Club members were impressed by the stories shared in the Three Creeks Rotary Story Slam contest.
Five members submitted videos to the Rotary Story Slam, and voters who watched the videos chose a three-way tie for first place.
The top three vote-getters are Kinsey Dhoot, Susanne Holmberg and Kristi Straight. All three videos were forwarded to District as our club's winners.
District 5100 also asked assistant governors to submit all videos produced by clubs for the Rotary Story Slam, so we've sent in all five of ours.
This year's Rotary Club of Three Creeks elections are complete, and the board of directors for the 2022-23 Rotary year is now verified.
Beginning on July 1, 2022, the following members will fill club leadership positions:
The membership voted unanimously to approve the slate of proposed officers and directors that was presented by President Elect Andi, and read/published in November and December. The election was completed on December 29 via electronic ballot.
Tickets just went on sale! Get yours now by visiting Dancing with the Local Stars on Eventbrite!
New this year: You can select your own seats/tables!
Buy your tickets now - they are already going fast!
With the service project that was held in lieu of our regular second club meeting of the month last night, President Nelson has chosen to conduct the written posting and second reading of proposed new members Charla Burke and Glenn Healey as of this post in order to keep the new member process moving forward.
A resident of Salmon Creek, Charla Burke has visited the club three times since October and submitted her application in November. Her first reading was conducted at the club meeting on December 2.
Charla is interested in Rotary for its service above self spirit, and our club in particular due to the proven track record of making a difference in our community. She is a project manager for Bonneville Power Administration and she holds bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics. Her interests include biking, soccer, book club and hiking.
Like Charla, Glenn is impressed with Rotary's service to communities and chose our club on invitation from PE Andi Costello. He is a veteran of the United States military, who now works as a financial professional with New York Life. He has lived in the PNW since 2015, and he has two year old son and 22 month old daughter. Glenn's interests include hiking, skiing, cycling, etc. -- the PNW lifestyle, "along with being a history geek".
As is our custom, if there is any feedback from members about either of these proposed members, please contact a board member in writing by no later than noon Monday, Dec. 20. The club board will vote on both proposed members via email beginning on Monday evening.
Rotary Club of Three Creeks celebrates fifth anniversary with huge benefit to community
CLARK COUNTY, Wash. – In the same year that 20 percent of Clark County residents relied on food banks and pantries, the Rotary Club of Three Creeks quietly celebrated its fifth anniversary.
Even without big fanfare, in 2020-21 alone, the Rotary club donated $21,000 cash, and 108 volunteer hours to three local food banks.
“Rotary’s mantra is ‘Service Above Self’”, said Club President Nelson Holmberg. “Members of our club take that very seriously and it’s why we’re successful. It’s our brand and it’s who we are. Since our club’s inception, we’ve made quite an impressive impact for a group of 27.”
The Three Creeks club – primarily serving Hazel Dell, Felida, Salmon Creek and Ridgefield – was chartered by Rotary International on October 7, 2016. Since then (through October 7, 2021), the club completed 62 service projects, for a total of 1,674 service hours within the community. If each volunteer was paid $25 per hour for their service in these projects, that impact equates to $41,850.
“All I can say is wow – with a capital ‘W’”, said Rotary District 5100 Governor Jim Boyle. “This club has always kind of blown my mind, but to see in terms of the numbers what impact it has made to the community in just five years is beyond impressive; it’s admirable.”
To put the financial total into context, the impact is even more impressive. Examples of how the value of service translates to the community include the following points. These are based on Rotary International’s seven areas of focus: Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water, Supporting Education, Saving Mothers & Children, Growing Local Economies and Environment.
That’s just the direct volunteer service impact of the club. Financially, the club has already raised $120,000 in four years through its annual fundraiser. Three years of Dancing with the Local Stars raised $65,000. The dancing fundraiser is a popular event in the community that is paid for by sponsorships and volunteer efforts, so that 100 percent of donated funds can be awarded as grants into the community.
In March 2021, the fundraiser shifted to an online Dining with the Local Stars format, and raised a record $55,000, even during the height of the pandemic. The 2022 fundraiser will again be Dancing with the Local Stars (www.dancingwiththelocalstars.com), scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26 at ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield.
The club recently established, launched, and provided seed funding for the locally controlled Rotary Club of Three Creeks Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit separate from the club itself to collect tax-deductible donations and award grants and financial gifts following the strategic priorities set by the club.
In 2018, after the second fundraiser, club members voted to determine giving priorities for the club and the top four selected were children, veterans, homeless and hungry.
“After establishing the giving priorities during a club meeting, we invited nonprofits from across the community to participate in a round of ‘speed dating’ at another club meeting to make their pitch to the club about why we should partner with them in giving,” Holmberg said. “It was absolutely an eye-opening experience to understand all of the need in our community.”
Since that vote, the club has selected North County Community Food Bank as one of its partners and has granted $30,000 to the Battle Ground-based organization. Clark County Food Bank and FISH Vancouver are other direct benefactors of Three Creeks major grants.
In 2020-21 alone, the club granted nearly $40,000 to nonprofits that fit into the giving priorities established by club members. Members even virtually “passed the hat” during a club meeting on Zoom to raise $300 in a pop-up fundraiser for Martha’s Pantry.
“Rotarians have a knack for recognizing needs within the community,” Holmberg said. “When it became evident in 2020 that food insecurity was a major issue, our club responded – quickly – and provided $21,000 and lots of volunteer hours that were needed by three of the county’s major food banks so that they could fully provide groceries to their clients.”
Included in the total hours of volunteer service to the community are four toy drives that filled barrels for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Santa’s Posse program, amounting to approximately $4,000 of new toys donated by Rotarians.
“And all of this doesn’t even consider the more than $20,000 individually donated by members over the same five years to The Rotary Foundation, which makes an international impact, over those five years,” Holmberg said. “We’re making a big difference locally and we’re also doing our part, as a small club, to make a difference in the world. I think we all are pretty proud of that.”
Before Thanksgiving, the club posted the "First Reading" of the 2022-23 Rotary Club of Three Creeks Board of Directors ballot, as proposed by President Elect Andi Costello.
This ballot was read a second time at our club meeting on Thursday, Dec. 2 at Round Table Pizza in Salmon Creek, and is being posted publicly and shared electronically one more time now as a "second reading", to satisfy requirements of the club's bylaws.
We will vote, electronically again this year, the week of December 13 club vote to be completed and results announced no later than December 31.
If there are others who would like to have their names added to the ballot for any of these positions, please email PE Andi directly (email@example.com), or speaking with her in person prior to the ballot being released. There will also be a "write in" option on the ballot later in December, which would provide another opportunity for those interested in serving on the club board.
President: Andi Costello
President Elect: Nelson Holmberg
President Elect Nominee: Kinsey Dhoot
Treasurer: Dave Wetmore
Secretary: Susanne Holmberg
Membership: Carol Mackey
Service Projects: Tina Vlachos
Club Administration: Kinsey Dhoot
The Rotary Foundation: Brian Heimbigner
Public Image: Nelson Holmberg
Sergeant at Arms: Jesse Braman