"Rotating the Wheels"
President (2018-19) Bellevue Breakfast Rotary
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Bellevue Breakfast Rotary’s annual “Rotating the Wheels” celebration was held on Saturday evening, June 29 at Newport Yacht Club on a sunny, warm evening to celebrate the change from the 2018-19 Rotary year to the 2019-20 Rotary year. The club celebrated the leadership change from President Chris Boland (2018-19) to President Desiree Yuzawa (2019-20) and their respective Boards.
Tonight’s celebration, at the request of President Chris Boland (who picks the theme), was designated a “tailgate party” and participants were encouraged to wear apparel from their favorite team. As expected, the most common outfits were in the colors of the Huskies, Cougars and Seahawks but there were also other schools recognized – Kansas, Jacksonville University, USC, Stanford and Cal to name a few. After beverages, jello shots and fellowship, a tailgate party style meal was served which included hamburgers, brats, pulled chicken, salads and various chips and dips. A huge thank you to the Fellowship Committee and members Carmela Ramaglia, Kit Bowerman, Robin Callan, Sam Peterson, Bob Holert, Traci Tenhulzen and John Martinka as well as guests Kathy Holert and Jan Martinka who helped immensely – both with set-up and tear down as well as the serving of the drinks and meal!
Throughout the evening, we were entertained by the Paul Harris Fellows, our own BBRC band! Thank you Josh Stewart, Chris Monger, Paul Chapman, Andrew Face and Steve Goldfarb for being such great contributors to a fun event!
The meeting began with Dennis Newell sharing a list of activities for BBRC over the Chris Boland led year. There were many!
Next came retiring President Chris introducing his Board and thanking them for their contributions. Then Desiree took the stage and introduced her board, some of whom are carryovers and others new.
But the highlight of the evening to this scribe was the announcement of the BBRC Rotarian of the Year for 2019-20 by Chuck Kimbrough. There is no more deserving member of BBRC for this award than the man to whom it was presented – Howard Johnson. Splendid in his Kansas Jayhawks jersey, Howard received his award to raucous applause!
Howard M Johnson has been a BBRC member since March 1987 and been active in nearly every program/event of BBRC. Howard is a former Marine, received a degree in Education from Kansas University and then taught Math in high school in Lawrence Kansas. He also has an MS Mathematics Education and a PhD in Educational Administration, both from Harvard.
Howard was the Principal at Interlake H. S. in Bellevue from 1966- 1970, the youngest Principal in the history of the District. He and his wife Judy have funded the Interlake HS “Howard Johnson Principal’s Scholarship” for $5000 for senior who demonstrated excellence in study of Mathematics, Science and/or Career & Technical Education and will pursue these subjects in their higher education. This has been funded for 40 years, making Howard and Judy major donors to the Bellevue School District Foundation.
Howard was also a University of Washington Professor of Education, teaching secondary school curriculum and school finance, from 1970 to1982 and Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Administration. Bell School District, from 1982 to his retirement in1999.
While with BBRC, Howard has been: a major donor to BBRC, Rotary First Harvest and Rotary International; President of BBRC; Chair of the Board for Rotary First Harvest as well as an active participant, promoter and fund raiser; a “performer” at BBRC meetings including impersonating President Abraham Lincoln and imitating Willie Nelson;Treasurer for all BBRC fund raising for many years -All in for Autism, Charity Golf Tournament etc.; and a regular cashier for BBRC meetings.
Howard introduced John Martinka to Newport HS teacher Jeff Mason of the Cisco systems networking class. From this, the BBRC “Computers for the World” program evolved into an annual fun BBRC computer project, installing computers and networks in schools in Antigua and elsewhere around the world! When Kansas is in NCAA tournament, he and Judy regularly attend and root on the Jayhawks.
Needless to say, Howard has done it all and richly deserves this reward! Congratulations Howard! And a big Thank You to Chris Boland for the fine job he did this year!
Note this color is Jayhawk blue!