Vol. 12, No. 25, December 20, 1999
  • Holiday Celebration Breakfast
  • Holiday Greetings
  • Meeting Reminder
  • Expanding Rotary In Russia Conference
  • District 5030 Family Tree
  • New Members Inducted
  • Passages
  • Sergeant At Arms Committee Meeting
  • Web Fun
  • The Holiday Celebration Breakfast
    The largest gathering in the history of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club took place last Friday at the Glendale Country Club, with 194 persons taking part in the holiday breakfast. Member families swelled the attendance figures, with the laughter and squeals of children echoing throughout the packed meeting room. A sumptuous meal prepared by the chefs at Glendale made the morning meeting a special occasion.

    With President John DeWater back at the helm after a week’s absence due to illness, Frank Stillo opened the holiday proceedings with the invocation and pledge to the flag. Kevin Jewell welcomed four visiting Rotarians.

    Dick Brown came forward to chair the program for the Holiday Celebration. A couple of seasonal musical favorites, “Deck the Halls,” “O Christmas Tree.” And Madeline Gauthier, with John Mix at the piano, conducted “Jingle Bells.” Then what to our wondering eyes should appear but the figure of one of the more ancient characters in history. Tumbling down the hillside with a big red pack on his back came Santa Claus, who burst through the door to the cheers of the crowd!

    Santa had a gift for every child, along with comments about their Rotarian Dads and Moms. Santa was a little out of shape, having trouble getting his breath during the entire gig. He’s so used to driving his sleigh everywhere that a little bit of exercise is more than the body can stand!

    After Santa’s anticipated appearance, Steve Thorson, tenor, and Michelle Vertatschitsch, at the piano, entertained with four outstanding songs. Steve, with a voice and stature like Pavarotti, received a standing ovation for his work. He sang “O Sole Mio,” “The Lord’s Prayer,” “Ave Maria,” and “O Holy Night.” Steve consented to give free breathing lessons to Santa after the program was over.

    Don Chandler, BBRC Exchange Student Chairperson, gave a gift of a Bellevue Square Shopping Spree to Marina Petribu, from Recife Brazil. Her hosts were present for the breakfast. Ann Redmond and her daughter Kelly and Dick and Diane Haelsig have all hosted Marina during her stay in Washington.

    Shelley Noble, representing the Community Service Committee, awarded a $2,000 check to Kathleen Negrone, on behalf of her son Raphael, for his special education at the Wilderness School. Both Kathleen and her husband are deaf, and Raphael suffers from some disabilities that make his education difficult. The couple also received two $25 gift certificates at the Outback Steakhouse Restaurant. HopeLink, the new name for the former Multi-Service Center, coordinated the award ceremony.

    While Angela signs for Kathleen, HopeLink program coordinators Jennifer and Shelley Noble prepare to award Kathleen a check for her son's education.

    Father Bob Bethea, pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Bellevue, closed the festivities with a snapshot of what Christmas is all about. “Christmas is primarily a time to receive, contrary to popular thinking. For, unless you’re willing to receive, there can be no givers.”

    With a farewell “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” the program ended with President DeWater’s thought for the year: “Let others praise ancient times. I am glad I was born in these.” Ovid, 23 BC.

    See the BBRC Christmas Album here!

    And a special thanks to Wallace “Elmer Kodak” Mahoney credit for his photography! TOP

    New Members Inducted
    Larry May
    became the Club’s 110th member in ceremonies Friday. Currently in sales and marketing for electrical products, Larry knows something about Rotary, being a former Interact member in high school. His tenor voice blends in the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, and he loves boating and snow skiing. Larry and his wife Jimmi Sue have a daughter, Megan. Larry’s sponsor is Alan Bohling.

    Will Einstein is a Community Service Representative for Puget Sound Energy, who previously worked on the staff of Jennifer Dunn and for King County Council member Jane Hague. He’s a Mercer Island native, graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, and enjoys singing, skiing, hiking, cooking, and home projects. He and his wife Brooke live in Seattle. As for Y2K, Will’s sponsor, Wally Mahoney, cautions that “if you have problems with your electricity, just call Will. He won’t be able to get the power back on, but you’ll feel better.”

    New members Larry May(r) and Will Einstein (l) enjoy the moment as they are inducted by President John DeWater.


    The BBRC’s first president Lou Webb and his wife Marilyn have pulled up stakes in the Puget Sound and moved to Castle Rock, Colorado, to be closer to family. We are all saddened to lose “Mr. Rotarian,” but perhaps he will return for a visit in time. New address: Lou and Marilyn Webb, 3224 Country Club Parkway, Castle Rock, CO 80104. One thing that never changes (except when you upgrade your address) is your email locator.

    Try Lou at inablue@aol.com. TOP

    From the Officer and Directors of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club to its members, spouses, families and friends everywhere, may you find the spirit of the season within every gift and every greeting, as we search for greater peace, goodwill, and understanding in the world around us. TOP

    Meeting Reminder
    No meetings the next two weeks to observe Christmas and New Years. When the New Year arrives, the first meeting will convene on Friday, January 7th, at Bellevue Square, Center Court. There, the Club will hear from Kemper Freeman, Jr., President of Bellevue Square Management, who will discuss his thoughts on the Future Development in Bellevue. Meeting begins at 7:00 a.m.

    The next week’s program (January 14th) will take place at Safeco Field, where Brian Evison has a program prepared for the BBRC. Again, meeting begins at 7:00 a.m. More details will be made available when Reveille resumes publication on January 5, 2000.

    Word has been received from Glendale Country Club that an extensive renovation of their kitchen will take place in early January, forcing the change in meeting locations. However, the Glendale management now indicates that the third meeting of the month, on January 21st, can be accommodated at the Country Club. TOP

    Expanding Rotary In Russia Conference
    Brian Evison
    reminded members of the upcoming conference at the SeaTac DoubleTree the end of January to explore further expansion of Rotary into Russia. Over 70 Russians are expected to attend, and the need is great for host families. The BBRC is responsible for providing three host families. Guests will begin arriving on January 25 for the conference that runs January 28th through 30th. If you’re interested in helping to increase the level of goodwill, peace, and understanding in a critical part of the world, please contact Brian with your questions. TOP

    The District 5030 Family Tree
    Seattle #4 has sponsored 9 clubs in our district, which in turn sponsored 15 clubs, which in turn sponsored 19 clubs, which in turn sponsored 4 clubs, which in turn sponsored 1 club. The 48 clubs of District 5030 and their genealogy:



    The Manger Was Empty
    adapted from a story by Casandra Lindell

    He arrived early on Christmas morning to give the church a thorough inspection, noting with approval that the aisles and seats had been swept and dusted after the midnight Christmas Eve service. Every forgotten flyer and bulletin insert had been rounded up and discarded. The church was relatively clean.

    Outside, it was just beginning to grow light. In the church, where only the pastor moved, candles flickered and threw shifting shadows on the arches and the stone floor. Occasionally, stray candlelight picked out the rich colors in the stained glass windows. It was cold and, except for the pastor’s slow tread, it was silent.

    He paused beside the almost life-sized nativity scene to say a Christmas prayer of thanksgiving to the One whose birth is celebrated. The figures, each lovingly crafted with wonderful realism, sat on a small stage. A night sky and the star that led the shepherds and the wise men to the Messiah on the day of His birth could be seen through the open door of the stable. The shepherds were just entering, eyes wide in obvious awe. Various kinds of livestock stood in stalls of hay on the edges of the scene. And in the center was the Holy Family. Looking at the manger scene, the pastor could almost feel the reverence of that long ago night.

    Slowly, a puzzled frown crept across his brow. Then his choked gasp rustled through the empty church. The manger was empty! The small figurine representing the infant Savior was gone.

    Hurriedly, and with growing agitation, the pastor began to search the church again. Starting by the manger, he peered back through the aisles, nearly crawling on his hands and knees to see all the way under each seat. But there was nothing. Next, he called the custodian, thinking he may have seen the figure of the infant Jesus. Then he called the assistant pastor and the elders, but no one had any explanation. In the end, each shaking his head sorrowfully, they accepted the truth they had all been trying to avoid: The figure could not have been mislaid or lost – it must have been stolen.

    Disheartened, the pastor informed the congregation that assembled that morning of the theft. For a person to steal the very symbol of giving, the reason for hope – well he just did not understand.

    “The figure of the Christ Child,” he said, “must be returned before this Christmas Day is over. No one will ask any questions, but it must be brought back immediately.” Toward the end of the day, the discouraged and heavy-hearted pastor took a walk through the wintry streets of the neighborhood.

    Ahead of him he saw one of the youngest members of his church, a six-year-old boy named Tommy. Bundled shabbily against the cold, Tommy trudged up the sidewalk, proudly dragging behind him a brand new toy wagon.

    But as the pastor drew nearer he saw that the wagon was not empty – within lay the missing baby Jesus, now wrapped and blanketed but not quite hidden.
    The pastor crouched down beside Tommy, one knee feeling the damp snow through his pant leg. His face was grim and disappointed. Tommy may be just a little boy, and one must make allowances of course – but he was still old enough to understand that stealing was very wrong. The pastor made this crystal clear to Tommy, while the little boy stood, his seemingly guiltless eyes filling with what the pastor was sure were penitent tears.

    “But Pastor,” the small boy quavered when at last the man finished talking. “I didn’t steal Jesus. It wasn’t like that at all.” He paused to swallow hard and wipe away a tear. “It’s just that I’ve been asking Him for a red wagon as a Christmas present for a long time, and I promised Him that when I got it, I’d take Him out for the first ride.” TOP

    The Reveille is published weekly by the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club for the enlightenment and enjoyment of its members. It is available through the website, by email, fax, and is sometimes even distributed in person. Typos do not occur; if you think you see one, tell John Mix -- although you are probably wrong. Members of the Publications Committee responsible for Reveille production include: Craig Groshart, Tom Helbling, Mark Hough, and John Mix. Layout by Cheep Graphics, Tacoma.

    We also owe a debt of gratitude -- or something -- to Wally Mahoney for his photography services. TOP

    Rotary graphics provided by Tord Elfwendahl, The Rotary Club of Stockholm Strand, RI Dist 2350. TOP