Friday Sep 19, 2014

Michael Luis

Author and Historian

Bellevue—Post World War II Years

Scribe: Megan Sweeters Editor: Jim Kindsvater

In this issue

Executive Director of the Wooden Boat Center and former Mayor of Medina, Michael Luis, shares the history of Bellevue – Post World War II, contained in a new book offered by the Bellevue Heritage Center, following Bellevue from a small farming town into an important urban center and economic hub. Club news includes information on the Ryla program, update on the Adoption Party, a Membership Moment by Alan Pratt, Grant Seminar information and an appearance from our BBRC SSA, Tim Leahy.


Colin Radford introduced our guest speaker, Michael Luis, to share history of the Seattle area along with a collection of photographs and documents from the newly published book of Bellevue’s mid-century history by the Eastside Heritage Center; Bellevue – Post World War II Years.  Drawing from photo achieves from the 1940’s to 1960’s, Michael describes the two decades that laid the foundation for the success, building Bellevue from a small farming town into an important urban center and economic hub. Bellevue became the primary commercial center for the vibrant new communities of the 1950s-60s. Families flocked to the shiny subdivisions, with new schools, shopping centers, churches and parks springing up right behind. But it was strong political, business and civic leadership that kept Bellevue from being just another sprawling suburb. As business began to push outward from Seattle, Bellevue was able to grow gracefully and preserve its sense of place.1

The book provides insights into Bellevue’s transformation with history of transportation, land and buildings, shopping, entertainment, governing and changing demographics. Mr. Luis shared stories and photographs from the book including the building of the I-90 Bridge in the 40’s, incorporation in 1953, 1955 Award of All American City and promotion of “Beautiful Bellevue”, building of Overlake Hospital, expansion of I-405 and building of the Evergreen Point Floating bridge. Buy your own copy of Bellevue – Post World War II Years today!

1 Website; Eastside Heritage Center; Copyright 2006

Club Business

Invocation and Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Chuck Kimbrough gave the Invocation and led the pledge, and Sheldon Sweeney introduced visiting Rotarians and Guests.

September – New Generations Month

This week Madeline Gauthier shared information about the Ryla program. BBRC is sponsoring a Ryla Event which is an opportunity to develop young leaders while inspiring them to connect, exchange ideas and take action in their schools and communities. The event will take place at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma from February 26th to March 1st, 2015. BBRC will be sponsoring high school students from the area and applications can be submitted to Madeline Gauthier.

Adoption Party

Two weeks to go! 42 kids have signed up and your participation is needed! Girish Bhatia and Madeline Gauthier provided an update on the Adoption Party scheduled for Saturday, October 4th. Drivers are still needed!! Please complete the DSHS Background Authorization and submit to Girish. Also, Madeline needs help with various duties before and during the Adoption Party. Please call and sign up today!

Membership Minute

Alan Pratt joined BBRC in June of 1986 after 17 years with the Emerald City Rotary Club. What continues to keep Alan engaged, inspired and lifetime member of Rotary? Rotary’s Service above Self and the deep friendships that he has formed, considering his Rotary friends as family. Alan has served in many capacities within the club, including President, and continues to be our #1 new member recruiter!

Rotarian of the Month

Wendi announced that Alan Pratt is our September Rotarian of the Month. Rarely does a week go by that Alan doesn’t have a guest at the Meeting or sharing the Rotary story with a new member prospect! Congratulations Alan and thank you so much for your many years of service to Rotary!


Sergeant-at-Arms, Tim Leahy, reminds us why we should always turn off your cell phone during Rotary meetings, fining Scott Hildebrand and Chuck Kimbough $20 for violations! Tim then led the group in a speedy “getting to know you” game, changing partners every 30 seconds – Question: High School or College – What do you have in common?   Lots of fun and commonalities!


  • Norm Johnson Memorial – Dedication September 22nd at 12 noon at the Crossroads Community Park
  • Grant Seminar – Saturday, October 11th at the Rainier Community Center. Don’t miss it! It will be lots of FUN, says Paul Chapman!
  • Sunday, September 22nd, don’t miss the Fellowship event at Bake’s Place and entertainment by Josh Stewart.
  • Thoughts and Prayers for Bob Maloney on Thursday as he undergoes a Triple Bypass.
  • Mark your Calendars for the BBRC October Fest on November 1st at Lawrence the Florist.
  • You are welcome to also join St. Judes in Redmond celebrate October Fest on October 18th.

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