"Combating Human Trafficking on the Southeastern Front!"
President Paladin Rescue Alliance
Scribe: Kaj Pedersen
Kaj Pedersen started the meeting by letting the club know about the success of BBRC’s presence at the Rotary First Harvest event last Saturday, where we had 28 people participate in packing food for the food banks – a great showing!
Our thanks to Chuck Kimbrough for kicking off our meeting with his inspirational thought this morning. This was quickly followed up by Steve Szirmai, who introduced our many guests that attended our meeting this morning. We thank our guests for their attendance.
Our student of the month, Seona Chalana, from Eastside Preparatory School was
presented with her award this morning. She spoke to her interest in looking for ways to seek more inclusion in our society. This drove her interest in looking to study Political Science at the University of Washington. We wish her much success on her journey.
Our Club President took the opportunity to recognize Scott Sadler as our Rotarian of the Month for April. This award was presented in light of the tremendous work that he and the RI Foundation committee have accomplished over their last few years of campaigning around EREY. This month the foundation numbers talk to the effectiveness this committee’s work in 2017-18: $377 per capita amount (3rd in District) | total amount to date is $33K (4th in District) | Polio Plus stands at $1,587 | Our current total is $84,374, thanks to a benefactor contribution from Jim Owens and makes us 1st in the District. Scott also acknowledge the support from his committee with a special mention for Jim Zidar’s contributions to their work. Well done to you all!
We are only nine days away from the run! We are seeing good progress on the number of registrations (1200) and our sponsors are locked in. Now we need to close out on our volunteers for the race. Dustin Walling led the charge at the meeting looking for support from our members to reach out to our networks – we need to find 90 volunteers between now and race day. We have to meet this number, so that we secure Bellevue Police Dept.’s approval for the event.
Dennis Newell and John Schwager discussed the Retreat and the
survey they would like members to respond to in advance. This will help with the planning for Chris Boland’s presidency in 2018-19. We have 23 people signed up for the Retreat, which represents a quarter of the club showing up in Leavenworth. It is going to be a wonderful event for fellowship and planning for our next Rotary year.
We finished off the club program with a promotional video in support of the RI Convention happening in Toronto this June and last minute announcements. This included a shout for Rotary founder’s birthday – Paul Harris.
We heard our speaker, Jon Proctor the President of the Paladin Rescue Alliance, discuss how his organization fights human trafficking in Southeast Asia with a unique three pronged strategy – focusing on prevention through education, rescuing women from the brothel and setting the victims up so they are independently secure. A good discussion ensued with our members after the presentation, especially in light of the challenges with sex trafficking in the PNW.
The meeting was concluded by our President with the closing quote from Josh Hawely: “More than 150 years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, slavery is illegal almost everywhere. But it is still not abolished – not even here, in the land of the free. On the contrary, there is a cancer of violence, a modern-day slavery growing in America by the day, in the very places, where we live and work. It’s called human trafficking.”