Board of Directors Meeting - January 17th

1)     Call to Order
Meeting called to order at 12:06 PM

2)     Approval of Minutes
Motion by Katie Atkinson & second by Kellen Patten to accept the minutes for December

3)     Financial Report
Kellen went over the budget. Motion by Belinda Tidd & second by Lindsay Bensen to approve the financial reports & bills to be paid.

4)     Mardi Gras Party
We talked about having a Mardi Gras Party on Tuesday March 5th. Details are being worked out.

5)     RLI Support
It is suggested that we support someone from our leadership to attend the 2 day event about the leadership of Rotary. It is hosted at the Cordell Neher in Wenatchee. The cost is about $170 that covers food and materials of the course. The board agreed to have both Eric Limon and Dominick Bonney attend the training.

6)     Beer Garden Organization
With upcoming changes, Richard feels that we will do better with the beer garden this year, the 4 local breweries have agreed to come on board and are willing to staff it. It is possible that one of the local wineries will come forward and assist.
Last year we rented a bunch of stuff (tents, tables, and chairs) which cost us roughly $1,100. It was discussed about possibly purchasing materials that were rented to help keep the cost down over the long term. Katie Atkinson made a motion to approve purchasing 2 10x30 tents for our club, second by Eric Limon.

7)     Committee Reports (Please be prepared to report on the committees you oversee)
Patrick – World Services Group has $2,000 budget. He has requested the board to approve spending the $2,000 on Hippo Rollers. Motion by Belinda Tidd, 2nd by Lindsay Benson.
Lindsay – Programs – is continuing to find people to present at our noon meetings, we have quite a few classification talks. Richard suggested possibly county commissioners or other local elected officials to come in and talk.
Katie – Asked for a follow up on previously discussed items. Rob received a $500 for public image grant that will be used for an open house type forum to help recruit new members. Richard is still looking into getting Club Runner access for our club, it was suggested to possibly have another Rotarian from another group to present the usage of Club Runner.

8)     Conference – Club Role
The conference will be in Wenatchee between May 13-16, 2021
The downtown club has offered to provide home hosting.
The sunrise club has offered to handle the golf tournament.
There was discussion about different ideas for showcasing our area during the conference. There was also discussion on using the Convention Center and Town Toyota Center, and possible speakers.
We need to figure out fun things to do on Friday, and events on Saturday.

9)     New Business
None

10)  Adjournment
Meeting adjourned at 1:32 PM

December Board Meeting

1)     Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 12:01 PM

2)     Approval of Minutes (Approve)

Motion by Rob Tidd as submitted, second by Katie Atkinson. Motion passed.

3)     Financial Report (Approve receipt)

Motion to Eric Limon & 2nd by Patrick Bodell. Motion passes.              

4)     Membership

a.     Wenatchee World Corporate Membership (Discussion – Action)

                                                              i.      Jeff Ackerman

                                                            ii.      Ann Marie Morris

Waiting to hear back from Roseburg Rotary group.

b.     Link Transit Corporate Membership (approved through email vote)

    i.      Richard DeRock (conversion)

    ii.      Selina Danko

Motion by Patrick Bodell & 2nd by Eric Limon to transition Richards membership into Link Transit

c.      Renee Parkins, Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (approved through email vote)

 Motion by Katie Atkinson & 2nd Patrick Bodell

d.     Brian Thorpe, Global Car Care (approved through email vote)

 Motion by Rob Tidd & 2nd by Eric Limon

Motion to approve Drew Vader by Katie Atkinson second by Kellen, this will take effect once Rob is able to work with Town Toyota Center on their current corporate membership.

5)     Club Elections – Establishment of Nominees – are there others?

a.     Vice President – Eric Limon (through 2023)

b.     Director – Ivan through 2022

c.      Director – Lindsay Bentsen (continuation through 2022)

d.     Director – Katie Atkinson (continuation through 2022)

e.     Past President – Richard DeRock (though 2020)

We will accept nominations from the floor for open positions, and vote at the next regular Wednesday meeting

6)     Holiday Party (Mardi Gras)
Lindsay will work on coming up with some sort of party for January or February.

7)     Committee Reports (Please be prepared to report on the committees you oversee)

Rob – needs to get together a core group to help grow our membership.

Katie - Public Relation/Public Image – will work with Kat and Dominick to help post and email information out to members. Richard will investigate getting our club setup with ClubRunner email communication tools. Rob applied for a public image grant that will be used for a Rotary open house at Pybus with all 9 clubs in the area to share their information.

Patrick – World Service – will have a meeting and discuss projects we want to be involved with.

Patrick – Youth Exchange – Our next year outbound student will be Hannah Johnson that will be going to Chile. Richard mentioned that we should consider allowing Hannah’s parents on as honorary members to the club while their daughter is away.

8)     Conference Committee Meeting Scheduling

Richard wanted to schedule a conference committee for the district conference, Monday January 7th afternoon.

9)  New Business
None

10)  Adjournment

Meeting adjournment 1:20pm

Meeting Notes for Jan. 2, 2019

Call to order at 12:15, 21 people in attendance.

Guest: Bryan Campbell

New Member: Selina Danko, with Link Transit.

Announcements

  • Our inbound exchange student Alina went to Detroit, Michigan and saw her first NFL game. She said it did not matter that she didn’t know anything about NFL rules because, apparently, the Detroit Lions don’t either! She visited the Ohio Zoo and got a giraffe for her Rotary jacket. She also visited the Motown Museum and ate hot dogs at Tony Packo’s. And she spent New Year’s with Hanna, an outbound Rotary Exchange Student.

President Richard’s “This Day in History”

In 1947 Mahatma Gandhi begins march for peace in East-Bengali, in 1942 the 28 nations at war with Axis powers pledge to make no separate peace deals, in 1570 Tsar Ivan the Terrible's march to Novgorod begins and in 366 The Alamanni cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire. Check out other notable events to happen on Jan. 2 here.

Happy Bucks

  • David Kazemba had a buck for finally being able to show up for meetings after an ankle injury.

  • Rob Tidd obviously had a buck for the Cougars winning the Alamo Bowl and he also mentioned the Huskies did the best they could, but…

  • Lindsay Bentsen had a dollar in celebration for being able to visit family over the holidays

  • Richard DeRock had a buck for travels over the holidays, which included some work, some Rotary and lots of family.

Announcements

  • The GESA High School Basketball Tournament is this weekend at the Town Toyota Center. Get info about that here.

  • The Sunrise Rotary is organizing a suite night for the Wenatchee Wild Game on 2/15/2019. Tickets are $25 per person. There is a sign up sheet, or talk to Rob.

  • Monday, January 7 is the kick off week to start preparing for the 2021 District Conference. The initial meeting will be at the Link Transit offices in Olds Station at 6 pm on Jan. 4.

Program – Presented by Pres. Richard De Rock

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President Richard reviewed the history and structure of Rotary International. It was started by Paul Harris in Chicago in 1905 with business owners from four companies. Currently there are 1.3 million members, not counting members in auxiliary clubs like Rotaract. There are 35,000 Clubs, 529 Districts, 17 Rotary International Zones in 200 countries (out of 204). One member from each of the 17 zones make up the Board of Directors of Rotary. Keeping with the original concept, all terms are for 1 year in order to keep the leadership “rotating”. There are 181 Rotary Districts in North America. Our District has 57 Clubs with 2,621 members. Our District stretches from Prosser, WA to Clearwater, BC, Canada. President Richard also discussed the “bottom-up” structure of Rotary, and you can learn more about that and the history of this great organization we all love on the RI website here.

In June of 2017, Rotary adopted this new motto:

Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.

Our Rotary goals are:

  • Fellowship

  • Integrity

  • Diversity

  • Service

  • Leadership

Take home on the ticket raffle was $25 and David Bentsen won!

 

Happy Buck follow up – Adele Wolford and the Beauty of Bronze

A few weeks ago I (Dom) threw down a happy buck to highlight this great program that has been the brainchild and passion project of Adele Wolford. It’s because of Adele that we have the beautiful Art on the Avenue pieces that we all enjoy along the Apple Capitol Loop Trail and in downtown Wenatchee. But you may not know that she also started the Beauty of Bronze program that gives every 5th grader in the Wenatchee School District the chance to experience what it’s like to sculpt with real bronze. So I wanted to follow up by including this little video feature my company put together for the NCW Community Foundation highlighting Adele, the Beauty of Bronze and Art on the Avenues. She’s a special lady who has singlehandedly enriched the lives of thousands through her volunteer work.

Meeting notes by Cindy Herdt, additional blurb by vice president Dominick Bonny.

Meeting notes for Dec. 19 – 2019 Club Elections!

Our inbound exchange student, Alina, from Finland, was our presenter ahead of the holidays!

Our inbound exchange student, Alina, from Finland, was our presenter ahead of the holidays!

Announcements

  • Our club’s outbound student Hannah Johnson from WHS is heading to Chile in the summer for the year!

  • Katie A - $25 per ticket for suite seats with Sunrise rotary at the wild game in January.

Happy bucks

Kris Cameron had a buck in thanks that her son gets the holiday off.

  • Alina’s had a greenback because her brother got engaged!

  • Cam’s wife Stacy just accepted a new job! Congrats Stacy.

  • Shannon McMannus is thankful for the help of people and the local church aftermath of the tornado in Port Orchard.

  • Richard had a buck in celebration of his daughter’s 30th birthday, which was last week and they celebrated with some Swiss cuisine (reminiscing her exchange to Switzerland) together.

Elections

We had four new board members nominations:

  • Eric Limon VP

  • Lindsey Bentsen

  • Katie Atkinson

  • Ivan Christensen

All were approved unanimously.

 

Presentation: Alina and Finland

The club was treated to an interesting and informative presentation from inbound exchange student Alina Heikkurinen on Dec. 19. If you haven’t talked to Alina yet, please make an effort to attend and ask her about her fascinating country and culture!

The club was treated to an interesting and informative presentation from inbound exchange student Alina Heikkurinen on Dec. 19. If you haven’t talked to Alina yet, please make an effort to attend and ask her about her fascinating country and culture!

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Dom’s Book Corner

“Educated” by Tara Westover

Sometimes when you finish a book, you set it down and rarely, if ever, think about it again. This is not one of those books. This is a book that sticks with you forever. This is a book that will make your blood boil. It’s a book that will make you consider the plight of, and despair for, abused and neglected children everywhere. This is a book that will open your eyes a bit to how our society, in some sectors, has backslid into the kind of ignorance, superstition and religious fanaticism one would expect from 14th century Europe.

Hats off to Dr. Tara Westover, the author and subject of this enlightening memoir. I don’t think I’d have the bravery and persistence to break out of such an incredibly toxic childhood, never setting foot in a classroom until I was 17, and go on to attend Cambridge and eventually earn a doctorate in history from Harvard. As a member of an organization that values and supports access to education for all, I highly recommend picking up this book in 2019, if you haven’t read it already.

Meeting notes by board member Kathryn Bonny, unsolicited book review by vice president Dominick Bonny.

Meeting Notes for Dec. 12, 2018

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Guests

  • Bryan Campbell, Rotarian

  • Selena Danko, proposed member

  • Drew Vayner

  • Jack de Mestre, junior Rotarian

  • Steve Wright, general manager, Chelan PUD

Alina’s Update

Our inbound exchange student Alina got back from a Rotary weekend in Canada where she met Santa! And as you can see from the photo below, she was thrilled. There was also a lot of skiing!

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Happy Bucks

  • Martin Barron had $1 and a shout out for the figure skating club’s awesome show this past weekend.

  • Bealinda Tidd had $1 for her husband Rob

  • Rob Tidd had $1 about bell ringing with the Salvation Army last weekend, and another for the LEGO competition he helped judged earlier in the day

  • Shannon also had $1 for bell ringing, she took a shift at Wal-Mart on Saturday.

  • Bryan Campbell had $1 for his recent Caribbean vacation.

  • Ivan had $1 for the Wenatchee Wild’s last weekend, and a few other things.

  • Katie had $1 in celebration of the new floors in the VIP lounge where we hold our meetings. We can now freely move our chairs!

  • Kevin had $1 and a Cheshire Cat-like grin over the Cougar’s loss to UW in the Apple Bowl.

  • I (Dominick) had $1 and a shout out for the Beauty of Bronze exhibit currently at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. More than 500 Wenatchee 5th graders get the chance to become sculptors every year and the result is an interesting social experiment. I recommend checking it out if you get the chance.

  • Brandt Cappel had $1 as well!

Announcements

  1. Club elections next week! That’s an important meeting so don’t miss it. Plus we’ll be hearing from our current inbound student Alina about life in Finland and how she’s finding her year in America.

Chelan PUD General Manager Steve Wright speaking to the club, Dec. 12, 2018.

Chelan PUD General Manager Steve Wright speaking to the club, Dec. 12, 2018.

Presentation:

The State of the PUD, by Steve Wright

We heard an interesting and informative presentation about the strategic plan and fiscal health of our public utility district from General Manager Steve Wright on Wednesday. You can get all the info on the Chelan PUD’s website here.

Dom’s Book Corner

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The Soul of America

By Jon Meacham

In his new book George H.W. Bush biographer and presidential historian Jon Meacham does an excellent job reminding readers that American history has been never sunshine and roses, but somehow we managed to make significant progress in our relatively short history as a nation. He decided to write it after the tragic events in Charlottesville, as he and the rest of the nation looked on as Klansmen and Neo-Nazis rallied and counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed. It’s an erudite rebuke of the politics of fear and ignorance as well as a step-by-step roadmap of inspiring turning points and game-changing figures in American history. I highly recommend this one. I have a copy on my bookshelf if anyone wants to borrow it (if you can stand my sporadic notations).

One of my favorites from the book was this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

“Americanism is a question of spirit, conviction, and purpose, not of creed or birthplace.”

Notes by Dominick Bonny, vice president, Wenatchee Confluence Rotary

Board of Directors Meeting - October 18th

1)    Call to Order

12:05 pm by Richard

2)    Approval of Minutes
1st – Patrick Bodell 2nd – Eric Limon

3)    Financial Report

Rotary North Club bank account not closed as check was lost in mail. Richard working to get that fixed. Have to have no assets before filing tax return.

Budget sent out from Kellen after meeting.

Expense request - $25 for booth at Young Professionals week

            Approved: 1st- Katie Atkinson, 2nd- Dominick Bonny

4)    Membership

a.     JD Greening: Asking JD to withdraw his application and apply at a later date. This will allow him to not be “black-listed” from rotary.

b.    Other issues? No other issues…keep inviting guests!

5)    Committee Reports (Please be prepared to report on the committees you oversee) Rob & Bealinda will work on descriptions for each of the committees. Will help club members better understand what each of the roles are and if they want to sign up.

6)    Attendance at District Assembly, Conference and RLI

Assembly: Richard, Rob and Bealinda attending in Chelan.

Conference: Need members to attend Kamloops in 2019 and Kelowna in 2020.

RLI: April 13/14, 2019 in Wenatchee. Fees are budgeted and paid by club for President/Vice President. Great event to attend to learn more about Rotary and if wanting to run for position in future, RLI will be the first step towards that.

7)    Vice President (President for 2021-22)

Position presented to the board.

8)    Establishment of Conference Committee

Confluence Rotary responsible for the 2021 conference; our club will need volunteers for several committees to help with preparation

So far, Rob has stepped up for Chairman and Jim Adamson has volunteered for Co-Chairman.

9)    New Business - none

10)   Adjournment : 1:30PM by Richard

 

Meeting Notes for Oct. 10, 2018

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Guests:

Rotarians Harrison Mutikanga and David Isingoma from the Kampala North and Kampala South Rotary clubs respectively. Kampala, Uganda.


Alina’s Update:

Having Fun at the Rotary Youth Exchange Convention in Penticton

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Our Rotary Youth Exchange student Alina Heikkurinen joined about 40 other exchange students from around the globe in Penticton, B.C. recently. She had a great time and made a lot of friends. Our club youth exchange officer Patrick Bodell and his wife and brand new club member Mabel, as well as our youth exchange counselor Kat Bonny joined Alina and fellow Rotarians for the conference.

Announcements

  • Oct. 24 is the meal to end polio at the Wenatchee Valley Senior Center. $5 gets you in the door and raffle tickets are availble for purchase. It’s a modified pot luck, so folks are asked to bring a heavy appetizer or dessert. Please email Lindsay Bentsen at lindsay.bentsen@gmail.com for details, but you can also find all the info and RSVP on Facebook here.

  • Rob was please to announce that our Gorge concert fundraiser brought in about $11k for our foundation over the summer. Great job everyone who volunteered!

  • The Battle of the Bridges, aka the Eastmont vs. WHS football game is on Nov. 2 and we need volunteers to help serve concessions. Volunteers are asked to be to the Apple Bowl in Wenatchee at 6 pm. Please email Rob Tidd at rtidd@corpoffices.org for details and to let him know if you can help out.

Happy Bucks

  • Shannon had $2, one for relatives who were spared from the hurricane’s path in the Carolinas recently and another for NW Battle Buddies, which is a veterans’ charity organization she’s involved with.

  • Rob had a buck for the Wenatchee Wild’s home opener.

  • Lindsay had a buck and a plug for the meal to end polio raffle on the 24th. Please bring cash and buy raffle tickets!

  • I (Dominick) had a buck in celebration of my wife Kathryn’s birthday.

  • Richard had a buck for his recent Montreal, Canada trip. He went with his wife and fellow Rotarian Robin, and Rob and Bealinda Tidd joined them for the Rotary Zone Training session that followed Richard’s governor training. Then they went to Nashville for a transit meeting. Busy, busy!

Program:

Water and Sanitation Projects in Haiti, by Wenatchee Rotary

Presented by Gary Arseneault and Kay Gilbert

Gary and Kay gave an eye-opening presentation about Wenatchee Rotary’s ongoing work on sanitation and clean water projects in Haiti since the devastating earthquake in 2010. You can watch the powerful short film about the project above to learn more. The project is poised to take the next leap forward and become a larger part of Rotary International’s efforts in the region. But they can use our help. It’s still an uphill battle and they need financial help as well as volunteers for the next trip to Haiti. Get more info by visit Wenatchee Rotary Club’s website here.

Board of Directors Meeting - September 12th

1.       Call to Order – Meeting called to order at 12:09 by Richard DeRock

2.       Approval of minutes

Cameron De Mestre made a motion to approve the minutes from the June and July months & second by Katie Atkinson

3.       Treasures Report
Updated financials presented, motion by Eric Limon and 2nd by Patrick Bodell

4.       Update on financial reports – IRS 9900

a.       Corporate close down for North Club

b.       Secretary of State Charities Filing for Confluence Club

c.       I-990 for Confluence Club (May 29, 2018 – June 30, 2018)

We have to close down the North Club it has to be done by the end of October, Richard is going to look into that and may need to involve an accounting firm. We do need to file our taxes on the Confluence club, that would be a 990 form. There should be no revenue for the month of June which we need to file for. We also need to file with the state on the Charities filing, Richard has filed the preliminary.

5.       Directory Edits
Katie Atkinson will take on getting the directory entries updated for the 8 club Rotary directory. This will include updated details and information for each of the members in this area.

6.       Membership updates
We have 6 new members added since we chartered as Confluence club, we have 7 new proposed members that are interested in joining.

a.       Two resignations of Steve Ellis & Jeremy French, motion by Eric Limon & second by Katie Atkinson

b.       Approval of Corporate Membership for Rimmer and Roeter Construction – Jamie Rimmer & Steve Roeter – Katie Atkinson motioned, 2nd by Eric Limon

c.       Approval of Brandt Cappell – motion by Cameron De Mestre & second by Kellen Parton

7.       New member vetting – was suggested to check social media posting by prospective new members. Rob Tidd will check with Kat Bonney about checking social media page content prior to new members being joined.

8.       Satellite Club Sponsorship – “Rotary Now”

a.       Organization –

b.       Location – Rivertop Grill at the top of the Coast Center Hotel

c.       Time – Twice a month at 5:30 PM

There was discussion about the satellite club and discussion about other Rotary clubs that have satellite clubs. Lindsey Bentsen moved forward to approve, second by Cameron De Mestre.

9.       Report of committee assignments and goal achievements
Membership – number one in district for membership growth

Rocky Reach tour went great, Katie said there might be an opportunity for Skating

Patrick posted Treats blog on Facebook, you can sign up for notifications.

Katie has been working on our clubs’ public image.

10.   Lindsey is working towards getting this setup, Lindsey approved moving forward with $30 fee, 2nd by Katie Atkinson.

11.   Cameron is working with Randy, we need to dig the holes for about 20 shrubs and put in drip lines, Cameron is willing to coordinate, we just need 3 people to help put the plants in the ground.

12.   Make a difference day – If we want to continue, we need someone to take the lead on that event. Make a difference day is Saturday October 27th we will seek out volunteers to help lead the efforts at the next regular meeting.

13.   New business – Patrick asked about the monthly stipend for exchange students, Kellen will get together with Patrick after the meeting.
Earl brought up the fact that next year, will be the 50th anniversary of our Club.
Richard said we need to identify who wants to work on the District Conference.
In April of 2019, Rotary leadership will be hosted in Wenatchee, it teaches everything about Rotary, this is a Saturday/Sunday. We need to encourage people to continue.

14.   Adjournment – Meeting adjourned at 1:25 PM

Meeting Notes for Aug. 29, 2018

New member Mabel Bodell, MD, giving her classification talk at today's meeting. 

New member Mabel Bodell, MD, giving her classification talk at today's meeting. 

25 people attending

Guests: 

  • Our youngest Rotarian, Cam's baby son Jack. 
  • Gil Sparks with the Wenatchee Downtown Club. 
  • Paul and Linda, Andrea's parents.
  • Luis, a guest of Braden's.
  • Kris Cameron, a guest of Dom's.
  • Brandt Gulick, a guest of Rob's.

Happy Bucks

  • David Kazimba had a happy buck because it's the first day of school! 
  • Ron Brown also had a buck for that, and another for the Wine and Food Awards which took place this past weekend (watch a video recap here) as well as a buck for his daughter in college. 
  • Cam had a buck in thanks for old baseball buddies, with whom he recently had a 20-year reunion. 
  • Rob had a sad buck in support for a member who recently lost a loved one in law enforcement. 
  • Andrea's dad Paul had a happy buck for her joining our club, and said her grandfather (also a Rotarian) is very proud. 
  • Bob Bullis had a happy buck because he got to meet up with an old boot camp buddy from the Marines recently and spent some time catching up. 
  • Mike Williams had a happy buck for the light at the end of the tunnel that we're beginning to see when it comes to this smoky fire season. 
  • Ivan had a happy buck because he recently got to take a lovely road trip up into Canada and back. 

Announcements

  • From Patrick Bodell: Our outbound exchange student Treat is settling in in Japan, and it was our inbound student Alina's first day of high school at WHS today. 
  • Gil Sparks wants to invite everyone to the all club meeting on Sept. 13 at Pybus Public Market, where we'll be hearing from Dr. Jeff Jones of UW medicine. Lunch is provided by Cafe Columbia and is $10, please let Rob know if you want to RSVP. 
  • From Lindsay Bentsen: Our Sept. 26 meeting will be an evening social at Andrea's house in East Wenatchee. Please email Andrea or/and Lindsay to RSVP and to get directions. Also go to our Facebook page for more info about that event. 
  • Our private club pickleball lessons will be taking place on Oct. 13 from 11-1. Please let Lindsay know if you'll be there. 
  • From President Richard: Please join us Oct. 24 for the all-club polio dinner. 
  • From Rob: Please sign up to serve concessions at the Battle of the Bridges EHS vs WHS high school football game on Nov. 2 at the Apple Bowl. 
  • Your last chance to volunteer to help out at the Gorge is this weekend during the Dave Matthews Band weekend. Please contact Rob if you can help out. 

Today's Program: Mabel's Classification Talk 

We are extremely lucky to have Dr. Mabel Bodell join our club recently and today she gave her classification talk. It was an interesting mix of her family and educational history and it was as fascinating as it was inspirational. I do believe our cumulative GPA, as it were, as a club went up considerably on the day she joined.

We'll post her slideshow to the blog later for those of you who missed the meeting. 

Three Members Officially Inducted

 And finally we officially welcomed three new members today: Andrea Johnson, Katja Rowell and Tony Hickok. Here's a short video of that: 

Multimedia and copy by Dominick Bonny, vice president. 

Wenatchee Confluence Rotary Welcomes Our First Exchange Student!

About 15 members of the Wenatchee Confluence Rotary club gathered Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Pangborn Memorial Airport to welcome the club’s first international exchange student, Alina Heikkurinen. 

Heikkurinen, 17, is from Riihimäki, a small town located in the south of Finland, about 42 miles north of Helsinki. After a long trip, she said she was pleasantly surprised such a reception. 

It was her big sister that gave her the inspiration to apply for the program. 

“My big sister was on rotary exchange in Canada 2010-2011 and when she left I said: ‘When I’m big enough, I’ll be an exchange student too,’ she said. “And here I am now! I admire the way how she speaks English as fluent as Finnish. I want to be as open-minded as I can and try new things. I’m sure this year will be awesome!”

Patrick Bodell, youth exchange officer for Wenatchee Confluence Rotary, organized the welcoming committee and he and his wife Mabel will open their home to Heikkurinen, serving as her first host family. 

Bodell said part of the reason he feels so strongly about Rotary exchange is because he has benefitted from the program too. 

“There's no better way to promote cultural awareness, build international goodwill and ultimately, world peace than through youth exchange,” he said. “Having been an exchange student myself, I feel fortunate now to be on the other side of the equation and in a position to reciprocate as a host family and Youth Exchange Officer for my club.” 

Heikkurinen is one of three international students in the area being hosted by Rotary clubs. Each student will attend high school and live with a total of three host families during the course of their exchanges.

To learn more about Rotary Youth Exchange in general, visit rotary.org, and to learn about what other projects Wenatchee Confluence Rotary leads, visit wenatcheeconfluencerotary.com. 

Photos and copy by Dominick Bonny, vice president, Wenatchee Confluence Rotary.