Peace Through Service
District Governor Rotary International
Scribe: Jenny Andrews Editor: Jim Kindsvater
Steve Lingenbrink discussed his first time at a BBRC meeting in January of 1992 at the Bellevue Athletic Club. The presentation that day was by Phil Smart, Sr. who talked about the eight hours we all have when we are not sleeping or working. After the meeting, Steve talked to Mr. Smart, who told him to join Rotary and give it a while. Steve joined Rotary and, as a result, ended up doing good works in medical and dental clinics in several countries. The house band gave us several songs and was joined by no less than John Lennon (?). Many Rotarians turned out not to be smarter than District Governor Steve and had to chip in $2 for their efforts. Mike Ralph gave us a glowing description of the International Service Committee activities.
Tim Leahy introduced our district governor, Steve Lingenbrink. Tim noted that he came into the club under Steve’s leadership and that he was very impressed by Lingenbrink’s commitment to all things Rotarian, noting that on a recent trip to Ireland, Tim and others were searching for pubs when our district governor was searching for Rotary meetings and events. District Governor Steve Lingenbrink was welcomed with a standing ovation by his home club.
Steve discussed his first time at a BBRC meeting in January of 1992 at the Bellevue Athletic Club. The presentation that day was by Phil Smart, Sr. who talked about the eight hours we all have when we are not sleeping or working. After the meeting, Steve talked to Mr. Smart, who told him to join Rotary and give it a while. Steve joined Rotary and, as a result, ended up doing good works in medical and dental clinics in several countries, which proved that attorneys can, indeed, do well.
Steve traveled to Kenya, Russia and Guatemala where he worked on water filtration projects that reduced infant mortality rates by 50 percent in some cases. He started including the family on the trips and called them vacations. Trips included polio eradication missions where Steve, his wife and daughters administered the polio vaccine to those in parts of the world where polio was not eradicated.
He reflected on this year’s Rotary International theme, “Peace Through Service,” and admitted his inability to grasp the concept or internalize the theme. Upon reflection and discussion, Steve landed on the idea that peace in any form can come through service. He used the example of a mother in a third world country utilizing clean water from a purification project instead of dirty water to use for family consumption. Her use of clean water provides a measure of peace to her and her family. First Harvest, a project of our district, provides healthy and nutritious vegetables and fruit to those struggling with nutrition needs. That too represents peace to a struggling family. Likewise, scholarships provided through Rotary provide peace by building good citizens who will help build, rather than tear down the social fabric.
Steve pointed out that RI will host three international peace forums in Berlin, Honolulu ad Hiroshima in the coming year. The forum in Honolulu will be held on January 25 and will be the best chance to attend because of its relative proximity to Seattle.
As District Governor, Lingenbrink wants to work on the Rotary brand, which he described as “broken.” He said that we tend to focus on what we are rather than what we do. As a result, non-Rotarians don’t know about the community connection inherent in Rotary.
Rotary First Harvest demonstrates service above self. The district will invite the community to First Harvest on the second Saturday in October. The event will be featured on Pandora Radio and it will feature Gabe, an actor who came to First harvest to have his experience documented. The “Gabe” experience will be highlighted to non-Rotarians as an example of the benefits of service in just one of our many community building opportunities. Steve said that bringing a friend to First harvest or other service event would be a good way to introduce your friends and neighbors to Rotary.
The theme for the district this year is “A Life Building Hope.” Steve reflected on this theme saying that he wants to focus on the many avenues of service and personal development offered by Rotary. Those avenues include skills in grant writing, public speaking and leadership afforded to every Rotarian. The district will hold a seminar at Bellevue College from 8:00 am to noon on September 15 which will feature a number of workshops on growing membership through action and connection.
Finally, Steve gave a pitch for the Rotary international Foundation. The admonition, “Every Rotarian, Every Year” was heeded by our club, which became a 100 percent donation club last Rotary year. This is an important distinction because it allows us to participate in RI matching grants and it will allow us to expand and focus our efforts around the world and here at home.
The meeting started with the pledge and invocation by Kit Bauerman and introductions by David Bolson. A number of district governors, former district governors and past district governors were in attendance to hear our own Steve Lingenbrink address his club as District Governor. The list included Don Gregory, Rosemary Aragon, John Jacob Gardner, Jihn Matthews, Ezra Chone, John Inger, kay Zeteen and Ann Liberado,
The House Band was in attendance to do an Oktoberfest song that featured some outrageous German accents by
Andrew Face and John DeWater.
Mike Ralph gave a presentation on the International Service Committee. Mike told the club that the Antigua trip would be February 15 to 27. Those traveling to Antigua will be setting up computer labs at a library and the state college.
Also, the International Service Committee will have a hand in a water treatment plant in Columbia, where a $4500 contribution will result in $21,000 worth of water treatment after matching grants. Finally, the club will participate in an Agros International project in either Nicaragua or Guatemala which utilized $8500 from the district and leveraged the project into a $30,000 endeavor.
John Martinka served as a substitute Sergeant at Arms for a rousing rendition of “Are You Smarter Than a District Governor?” The game featured questions that Mr. Lingenbrink was challenged to answer and cost everyone in the room $2.
The club welcomed the House Band back up with a special guest. John Lennon was back among us in the person of Steve Goldfarb to sing “The Ballad of Steve and Terri” to the Beatles’ “You Know it Ain’t Easy.” The song was notable for its refrain of “bye bye to sanity.”
Next week, gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee will speak to the club; an appearance by Republican Rob McKenna is in the works as well. The following week will feature an off-site meeting at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, which will require an RSVP, so watch out for your opportunity to respond.
It was announced that KITH and Housing at the Crossroads have merged and that Salisbury Court in Kirkland has suffered major fire damage.
Chuck Kimbrough told the club that the adoption party is coming up on October 20 and that there might be four tickets available for the upcoming WSU v. Oregon football game. Chuck is the contact in both instances.
Rotarians will have a chance to participate in events benefiting the RI Foundation at the Sounders game on 9/22 and the holiday party at the Rainier Club on 12/15. Also, if you want to know more about Rotary, information on the Rotary Academy will be available at an orientation on October 23. Information on all these events are available at the district website.
Welcome backs were given to Curtis Cummings and Norm Johnson, who have been away for some time.
Thomas Carlyle said, “He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.”