Bob Williams is president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based public policy research organization. Williams will discuss the topic “Restoring Integrity to our Elections.” An important topic in a democracy. Bring a guest, a potential new member, but bring them to this Friday’s meeting of the BBRC at Glendale Country Club, 7:00AM.


Billing for the 4th Quarter is in the mail. Don’t forget your contribution to the Rotary Foundation. If you haven’t made it yet, plan to do so within the next 30 days by giving your check to the RF Committee (Don, Don, Dick and Cary).

Attendance is always uppermost in our minds. There are plenty of make-up opportunities, e.g., this coming Saturday’s Rotary First Harvest Work Party, the monthly Board meeting on April 18, various committee meetings scheduled throughout the month, and 54 other Rotary clubs in our District. Let’s all strive to improve our attendance!

Martin Luther King said, “Faith is taking the first step, even if you don’t see the first staircase."

Click on the names below to wish your fellow members a happy birthday or congratulate them on their BBRC anniversaries.


Carlos Aragon, 04/03
Steve Peters, 04/08
Tim Moriarty, 04/16
Chris Ballard, 04/22
Paul Chapman, 04/22
Wendi Fischer, 04/22
Colin Radford, 04/28
Terry Baker, 04/29

Ron Healey, 20 yrs
Bob Vallat, 20 yrs
Rick Klobucher, 19 yrs
Alan Bohling, 16 yrs
Larry Gill, 15 yrs
John Sheeran, 12 yrs
Steve Roberts, 7 yrs
Bruce Walker, 7 yrs
Chris Ballard, 6 yrs
Wendi Fischer, 6 yrs
Scott Hildebrand, 5 yrs
David Bolson, 3 yrs
Nick Paget, 3 yrs
Carlos Aragon, 2 yrs
Curt Cummings, 2 yrs
Kelly Nolan, 1 yr

Sammamish High Auction Coming

Evelyn Cogswell announced the annual Auction for the STEPS organization of Sammamish High School. The Sammamish Totems’ Enrichment Program Supporters (STEPS) serves as the primary fundraising body for Sammamish High. They sponsor a “Pass the Hat” Drive in September; Concession and Totem Merchandise Sales, Sammamish Live Music Event and the annual auction. Partnering with this organization may be an important way to support our long-time connection with Sammamish High School. Ask Evelyn for more details.

• • •

Kuechle Promotes Leadership Eastside

KuechleRotarian Jane Kuechle has long been a leader on the Eastside. She’s been a member of Advance Bellevue, which provided leadership training for several years. Now, two existing organizations — Advance Bellevue and the Leadership Institute — have terminated their activities in favor of a new program known as “Leadership Eastside.”

The new program will serve a broader constituency through the Eastside region. Its focus is on enriching leadership capabilities and building regional perspectives. The inaugural class was launched last fall, and includes two BBRC members — Scott Sadler and Carlos Aragon. “There are 38 individuals enrolled in this first class who attend once-a-month seminars, a Fall Retreat and Issues Forum in September and graduation in June,” Jane reported. “Please look into Leadership Eastside and nominate candidates for the next class.” BBRC Rotarian John Ederer also serves on the Leadership board. Find out more by visiting the website.


John Mix


Jim Kindsvater, Norm Johnson, John Mix, John Martinka







Retreat Extra!
Bill's Saturday Adventure

An email from Bill Ptacek regarding his attempted attendance at the BBRC Retreat:

Dear Sayoko, Jim and Steve,

Well not for lack of trying! My wife and I left promptly at 5:30am in order to get to the retreat by 8:00am. All was going well until we got near the top of Blewett Pass. At about 7:00am we pulled off to the side when the snow got to about 4 inches deep. Trucks were pulled over to the side and the center lane trying to get their chains installed. We were minding our own business and waiting for the snow plow when we saw a car coming in the other direction basically forced off the side of the road by a careless driver who pulled into their lane to avoid the tuck in the center lane. The young couple (they are engaged and due to be married in July) were in the ditch. Margaret and I tried to help them push their car out of the ditch, when we looked up and saw another large truck sliding down the road right at the car. We got everyone out of the way when the truck slammed into the car. We had the couple and the truck driver wait in our car until the State Police arrived. At about 9:00am the police and tow truck finally arrived. We decided to head to Leavenworth and catch the last half of the morning’s activities. When we got to the bottom of the pass we realized that the young lady had left her purse in our car. Reluctantly, we turned around and got to her before their car had been pulled out of the ditch. She was so grateful that she tearfully hugged my wife. By then it was well after 10:00am and still snowing, so we headed back to Bellevue. I guess in the scheme of things we were destined to be at the Pass at that time. Sorry to miss the retreat.

I did talk to Mike Montgomery and he asked that I reiterate some of his messages from PrePets and Pets that all clubs think about publicizing Rotary, that all clubs organize a water and literacy project and that there be “no crappy programs.” All of which the Bellevue Breakfast Club has under control. Again, I apologize for not making it to Leavenworth. Let me know if there is anything I can do to follow up.

Bill Ptacek

Vol. 18, No. 40, APRIL 3, 2006

The Friday Program:
Operation Deep Freeze With the Polar Sea

McCulloughCaptain Richard A. “Mac” McCullough, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Polar Sea, described the fascinating story of duty in the ice-bound continent of Antarctica. Deep Freeze is an annual re-supply of vital fuel and foodstuffs to the National Science Foundation research site at McMurdo Sound.

McCullough, a native of Rome, Georgia, enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1966. He has served 40 years in the military, earning his commission in 1981. He has accepted many different tours of duty. At one time, he commanded the Polar Star, sister ship to the Polar Sea. He has earned the designation of Gold Ancient Mariner, which recognizes his time in service in the Coast Guard.

Captain McCullough told of the 50th trip to Antarctica by a Coast Guard icebreaker, leading the way through the ice for the re-supply ships — a tanker and freighter with fuel, and a container ship loaded with a million pounds of new supplies and taking on 1.2 million pounds of recyclables for transport from McMurdo.


GreetersFriday Potpourri

President Lingenbrink welcomed members and guests to the final meeting of March. He introduced Hal Teel for the Invocation and Pledge, and Elena Howell, who introduced three visiting Rotarians and several guests of Rotarians.

Having fulfilled the requirements of the Red Badge, Hal Teel exchanges Old Red for his new Blue Badge. Congratulations, Hal!


A Mini-Assembly With International Service

FaulknerCyril Faulkner, Director of International Service on the BBRC Board, conducted a quick lesson in the work of International Service.

“We’re the Rotarians who oversee the work of both the Rotary Foundation and the BBRC Foundation ... we get the best of both worlds ... we collect money and spend it!”

Cyril introduced Don Chandler and Dick Brown, who gave a thumbnail on the Rotary Foundation Committee this year. Chandler said, “Our campaign is going quite well, with $23,000 pledged or collected by our members, which is $293 per member. We’re shooting for an average of $300 per member and a goal of $33,000. There is still one-third of the club having not yet committed to the campaign. What we want most is 'Every Rotarian participate Every Year.' If everyone participates to his/her level, we’ll be on track.”

The Rotary Foundation is the organization that appropriates funds to support several of our club’s projects. As Dick Brown said, “You can pay quarterly or in a lump sum ... make it as convenient as you can. But, we’re counting on all our members participating in this campaign, which ends June 30. Make your checks out to The Rotary Foundation and give your checks to Don or me.”

StefyInternational Service also sponsors our Youth Exchange project, which this year hosts Stefy Balitierra from Mexico. The program is a cooperative venture of the four Bellevue Rotary clubs. Mike Ralph is Chair of Youth Exchange.

World Community Service is perhaps one of the BBRC’s largest and most active committees. Curt Cummings is the chair of WCS. “It’s a big committee,” he said. “We’re helping to sponsor John Martinka and his Computers for the World trip to Slovakia (a team of 15 people leaves this week for Eastern Europe). Our $20,550 budget handles tons of requests, but our awesome committee is able to stretch our dollars and help out where we can.”

CummingsSo far, WSC has given $850 for a polio-plus walk, $3000 to Chris Monger for medical equipment to Honduras, $1700 to the Prosthetic Outreach Foundation, and Curt will be leaving in a week for a school, water and sanitation project in rural Kenya.

MartinkaMartinka’s trip was augmented by two $250 checks from Steve Szirmai and Bill Spencer which were matched by Microsoft, who provided 150 sets of software for the computers being installed in Slovakia. Despite the observation that “the Rotary Foundation is slow to pay,” Martinka received his matching funds recently, just in time for the team to head off on their trip. Two other projects: one to Jenny Andrews for $3000 to ship books to Ethiopia and one to Margie Burnett for a $2000 water project in Kampala, Uganda school.


Corr Pearce Inducted

PearceThe BBRC grew by one new member when William Corr Pearce III was inducted into the club Friday. Corr, as he prefers to be called, is sponsored by Jim Gordon. Wayne McCaulley is Corr’s co-sponsor, and Curt Cummings will get him going in his selected committee, World Community Service.

Corr’s classification is “Business Development.” He is a retired officer from active duty in the Coast Guard, having just returned from duty in Kuwait. He maintains his service in the Coast Guard reserve. Corr's business is located in Issaquah, where he lives with his two daughters.

Corr is a University of Alaska and Washburn University graduate. Mention of the Topeka, Kansas, school brought a cheer from the one person who knew the name of their mascot — the Ichabods. (Sounds like something Wally Mahoney might know!)

President Steve performed the induction ceremony, telling Corr he’s joined a worldwide organization that is active in 167 countries, has 1.2 million members, 33,000 clubs and his own personal 4-way Test Card. With his team of advisors, Corr will surely jump right into Rotary. The audience thought so, with a big Standing O!


District Conference Update

The deadline for the Rotarian discount on hotel rooms at Chateau Whistler has been extended until March 31st. After this date, rates will go up, and hotel rooms will no longer be exclusively reserved for our District Conference.

Below are links for forms and information pertaining to this year's District Conference (all PDF):

Latest District Conference Newsletter

District Conference Agenda

Conference Registration Form

Registration form for bus service to and from Whistler

Information on ski discounts at Whistler Blackcomb

Sign-up form for Friday tennis matches


A Saturday Shocker! Salvatori Resigns!

SalvatoriNear the end of the BBRC’s annual Planning Retreat, President-elect-to-be Phil Salvatori sought recognition and told the assembled delegates that he had an announcement: “I regret to inform you all, but I have thought long and hard about the job I’m about to take on, and I must tell you ... I just can’t do it! Therefore, I’m resigning as your President for 2007.” A stunned silence followed as Phil retreated through the closed double-doors. About 30 seconds when by, then Sergeant At Arms Chris Ballard yelled, “Okay, Phil, your time’s up,” and the perpetrator showed up at another entrance to the large meeting room proclaiming “APRIL FOOL!” We knew it was coming but we couldn’t see it!

• • •

Retreat–2006: A Leavenworth Success

RetreatIt was Jim Zidar’s Retreat, and his long years of corporate success showed. A smooth-running BBRC ship steered its way through a morning of thoughtful discussion, to produce a wall-full of ideas for the coming year. Zidar opened the 2006 Planning Retreat with 49 members present, commenting that Steve Lingenbrink’s year was “successful by any measure from the standpoint of the new fellowship activities that were established and an outstanding group of new, quality members joining the club. The involvement in 2005-2006 was good for the health of our club and retention of members. I appreciate being kept closely informed by Steve all through the year, and I promise to do the same for my successor, Phil Salvatori.” (Unless he resigns again on April Fool’s Day, 2007.)

Zidar highlighted his goals for the coming year. “Major areas of focus will be service, fellowship and fun. We will work hard to define what our club mission, vision and values shall be. We will work to implement a focused process of club giving. We will work to grow our membership by a net of 5 new members. We’ll expand our diversity, work on retention of our current membership, we will plan, listen and engage.”

The Club Leadership Plan
After breakfast in the Fourth Floor banquet room at the Enzian Inn, Past President Brian Evison was called upon to briefly outline the provisions of the Club Leadership Plan. Brian has made a couple of trips back to Evanston to participate in discussions at the RI level on club retention and the Leadership Plan.

Re-structuring the club operations chart.
Membership should be involved in the process of governance.
Communication needs to insure that all members are aware of every aspect of the club’s agenda.
Plan more effective communications.
CLP not mandatory, but RI urges adoption of new plan.

Details of the Club Leadership Plan
Restructure the Four Avenues of Service.
Design board the way we want it.
The CLP proposal is expected to involve one to two years of discussion and implementation in the clubs of Rotary. For the BBRC, this was the beginning of that journey. We will hear more about the CLP.

• • •

Mission/Vision/Values in the Midst of Change
SmithPrior to going into the three breakouts for the balance of the morning, Tom Smith, Club Service II Director, set forth to explain the club’s strategic plan for the days and weeks ahead.

Tom opened his remarks saying, ”There will be no raffle this coming year.” The Board of Directors, taking the recommendations of a committee formed to explore changes, voted to move away from the raffle and build a new fundraising base leaning on three distinct prongs. These will be discussed in detail at the breakout sessions.”

What we will be asking ourselves is what sources will we tap for fundraising? What shall our spending priorities be? How will we craft our budget and what projects will be tackle? All of these are a question of priorities in determining our vision for our club. “It’s been said that your values are how you spend your time and how you spend your money. If that’s so, we have many ways to decide what our priorities are.”

At the RI level, there are scholarships (Ambassadorial Scholarships, perhaps the finest offered in the world). There is Polio Eradication, Humanitarian projects and community projects.

At the club level, we’ve established ourselves as bestowers of scholarships, participating in international projects, making major BBRC Foundation grants, supporting Rotary First Harvest, sponsoring community projects and actively protecting our environment. “People think we’re the Raffle people. We’re not check-writers, we’re a hands-on service club. We’re the best darn Rotary club in the world! But, who are we, really?”

The elements of change include defining our mission — what we do and how we do it. We must corral our vision — the image of ourselves and others. The process we use will result in prioritization and definition, an expression of our values.

With that, the members were released to go to their respective breakout sessions. There were three sessions, governed by a color-code directing each member where they were expected to be based on the set schedule.

Cary Kopczynski facilitated the session Fundraising; Jane Kuechle did Giving; Shelley Noble hanlded Projects and Membership.

• • •

Fundraising in the New Environment — Breakout
Kopcynzki BreakoutCary K explored the idea of having three separate fundraising events during the Rotary year. “The goal would be active participation by all members in two of the three events.
The first would be the BBRC Golf Outing. This event has been very successful over the past 10 years, helping to raise expense money for the raffle. Dick Brown is already working toward expanding this great event as a stand-alone fundraiser for the club.”

For the coming year, the Board of Directors has decided to stage three major fundraising events. The Golf Outing, chaired by Dick Brown; a Walk-a-Thon, chaired by Jenny Andrews; and an auction, chaired by Bob McKorkle.

Since planning for the Golf Outing is already underway, the discussion centered on the other two events. Jenny talked about the Walk-a-Thon, explaining there “are different ways to go in sponsoring an event like this. There are models out there than can give us direction. Our Rotary friends at Mercer Island sponsor one of the most successful such events anywhere. We see this event being staged at a place like Marymoor Park, with perhaps a picnic on the agenda.

Bob McKorkle floated up the idea of a “Lifestyle Auction, one that uses assets that we have but we’re not using. For instance, a condo or cabin for a weekend that could be auctioned off. We should invite others to participate, not only to bid on items, but to provide their lifestyle items for auction. It all goes to a good cause. We’ve determined our theme must be to have fun and to incorporate new ideas.”

• • •

Giving, Focus/Planning — Breakout
KuechleJane Kuechle entertained a third of the attendees at a time, conducting three sessions concentrating on our giving habits.

The members thought we should give where our funds will have an enduring impact, that may change people’s lives, with an emphasis on youth, using leverage available through Rotary International, but not to forget our commitment to hands-on projects.
Jane also asked the question: What’s in it for Rotary and Rotary members?

The replies came back that “we’re serving the community, we promote goodwill and understanding, we leave the world better off, we bring fellowship to the community, we are results-oriented.

After all of the ideas were captured on the charts, Jane distributed colored dots, asking each participant to place six dots on the six statements that turned them on most.

• • •

Projects and Membership — Breakout
NobleShelley Noble facilitated this breakout, building a list of things that proved to be favorites of the attendees. Some of the items included the newly-adopted school supplies project, the Hopelink book drive, the Giving Tree, Thanksgiving baskets, Rotary First Harvest, Preserve Planet Earth and Home Remodel projects for needy families.

Participants were particularly interested in serving youth with scholarships and mentorships. We should enable these to happen. “Our project world should embrace ALL of the ideas out members may have ... in other words, follow passions, make opportunities, enable these to happen.”

It was pointed out that our membership is diverse financially, and those hands-on projects are important for their involvement. We should acknowledge all members' service and possibilities they bring to the club. DECA, J-A and other organizations give us the chance to partner with youth organizations for community projects. We should be on the lookout for the opportunity to establish a Rotaract club in an area high school. We should call Patti Payne with good news about Rotary’s impact in the community.

• • •

Fundraising Recap
Cary K reviewed the results of his breakouts:

Questions posed:

How much money are we trying to raise?
We are shooting for the same amount or more than we’ve raised in the past, but we recognize it could be less as we continue to grow our new fundraising process.

What are we raising the money for?

How do we publicize that?

Walkathons are popular and we should be able to tap into those who are quite familiar with staging walkathons. Mercer Island reportedly raised $150,000 for their Half-Marathon. We want to increase membership participation in all our fundraising activities.

Auction – Tim Leahy has volunteered his services.

• • •

Where Should Our Dollars Go Recap
Jane K reviewed the results of her sessions:

What impact do we want to make?
The results of voting by those in Jane’s sessions pretty well establish priorities for us to follow:

1) Change people’s lives
2) Focus on Eastside Community
2) Focus on all three major areas: local, national, international (This was a tie for second place)
3) Focus on Youth
4) Improved awareness of OUR ethics?

What’s in it for Rotary and ourselves?
• Fellowship
• Hands-on involvement
• Network of trusted friends
• Opportunity to push beyond
• Chance to make a difference as a club

How we focus:
• Develop tiers of priorities
• Select recipient(s) before we raise the dollars.
• More focus on fewer recipients, and go deeper
• Enduring impact — systemic change, sustainability
• Based on documented need.

• • •

Projects and the Membership Recap
Shelley revealed the results of her sessions — Community Service/Membership
Projects — strong theme around partnering. Leverage our resources, leverages our impact. Work closely with schools, mentoring, adopting schools, DECA, Rotaract, Hopelink.

There’s a need for balance in projects ... low budget, hands-on, need for variety.
Request for projects from the community, just like we ask organizations for RFPs for our grants.

Continue to support our passions – enable members who have special passions.

Membership – Partnership with Sammamish parents – recruiting
How we market ourselves? PR, a committee?
Expanding membership? +5 net goal.
Focus on under 40 recruiting
Save the world and do the Chicken Dance, too.

Retention: why do we stay in Rotary and the BBRC? It’s because of shared values. Together we really do make a difference and focus on having fun.

• • •

Wrap-Up to Adjourn
Jim Zidar thanked his facilitators for their hard work, not only in preparation for the Retreat, but managing each session. He announced that Sayoko Kuwahara will be moving from Fellowship to Membership Retention next year.

There will be a posting of the official reports from the retreat on the Website.

Feedback that has been received during the Retreat indicates generally positive remarks. Attendees particularly liked Leavenworth and the Enzian — the meeting facility. It appears that the quality of comments from participants increased in intensity from years past. This could be because of the changes that have been proposed and the willingness of people to stretch and consider other avenues. Jim concluded, “We really got into it!”

With the clock reading 11:35AM, adjournment was declared and a successful Retreat came to an end. The homeward trip included some snow flurries over Stevens Pass and a wet roadway.

• • •

The Day (and Night) Before
ZidarNorm JohnsonNo one has ever accused the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club of attacking the target halfway. With great gusto and enthusiasm, teams of members spread out from Bellevue Friday morning and afternoon to participate in all kinds of interesting activities. There was the KopczynskiTeam of Cary K, Andrew F, Chip E and Steve V spending a good solid day on the slopes at Stevens. Then, there were the golfers — the Johnson Par Team of Norm Johnson, Cyril Faulkner, Tom Smith, and Rick Klobucher — slapping the ball around the East Wenatchee course. And finally, the Retail Therapy Team, unloaded carloads of money in their quest for hot buys. Competing for the top prize were Pat Smith, Carolyn Johnson, Sandy Zidar, Shelley Noble, Jane Kuechle and Jenny Andrews.

Once the Olympic-like efforts were completed, the entire throng descended on Leavenworth’s King Ludwig’s Biergarten for a delightful buffet meal and refreshments. A highlight, beyond the award ceremony for our sporting teams, was Bob Ottos Polka Pals, who are receiving four apostrophes for their music stands, courtesy of the CPA’s in the BBRC.

Retail Therapy
The Retail Therapists went about their mission with zeal and verve. Shelley Noble earned 2nd Runner-up; Jane Kuechle 1st Runner-up; but none could hold a candle to the eventual winner, newcomer Sandy Zidar, who staggered the Therapy Team with her confidence and use of the credit card. In her acceptance speech, Sandy said she was long ago recognized for her shopping talents when her husband noticed the handwritten thank-you notes coming from Nordstrom. She was on a first-name basis! Wow! Be it known that Sandy Zidar earned the Eddy trophy for Retail Therapy excellence.

Retail Therapy


The skiers also had their competition. Kopczynski cited the steely concentration of Andrew Face and Chip Erickson, but had to agree that Steve Vincent’s fall, where he lost almost every article of clothing, was a thing of beauty. Steve grabbed the top prize in the ski competition.

Long, Straight, In the Cup
The golfers went for warm weather near the Columbia River. Norm Johnson announced that Cyril Faulkner completely buried the competition, likening him to our own “Tiger Woods.” Cyril, who shot an impressive 78, has copped other golf trophies since becoming a BBRC member. He is no flash in the pan! A second place tie occurred between Rick Klobucher and Tom Smith. "Norm Johnson also participated." [Norm's words.]

The Year of the Chicken Dance
chicken danceThe remainder of the Ludwig portion of the evening was spent toe-tapping to the music of Bob Otto’s bunch. They were GOOD! Starting a concert with Beer Barrel Polka ensures success! Highlight of the music would be the famous Chicken Dance. A surprising number of Rotarians seemed to know this ancient rite.

After the dinner event, the serious card players retired to the Enzian for a few games of chance. Word has it that Sadru Kabani earned gas money back to Bellevue.

BBRC members attending the Retreat included Roger Allington*, Jenny Andrews, Fred Barkman, Chris Ballard, Chuck Barnes, Margie Burnett, Doug Cameron, Evelyn Cogswell, John DeWater, Ted Ederer, Chip Erickson, Brian Evison, Andrew Face, Cyril Faulkner, Alan Forney, Jim Gordon, Tom Harrelson*, Ron Healey, Tom Helbling, Bob Holert, Elena Howell*, Howard Johnson, Norm Johnson, Sadru Kabani, Rick Klobucher, Cary Kopczynski, Jane Kuechle, Sayoko Kuwahara, Tim Leahy*, John Martinka, Wayne McCaulley, Bob McKorkle, Mark Meyer*, Tom Miller, John Mix, Tim Moriarty, Shelley Noble, Kelly Nolan*, Alan Pratt, Steve Roberts, Phil Salvatori, John Sheeran, Tom Smith, Peter Stadelman, Steve Szirmai*, Hal Teel*, Steve Vincent*, Jim Young and Jim Zidar.

Additionally, there were 26 partners who accompanied their Rotary members.

*New members since last Planning Retreat

The Friday Program:
Operation Deep Freeze With the Polar Sea

McCulloughCaptain Richard A. “Mac” McCullough, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Polar Sea, described the fascinating story of duty in the ice-bound continent of Antarctica. Deep Freeze is an annual re-supply of vital fuel and foodstuffs to the National Science Foundation research site at McMurdo Sound.

McCullough, a native of Rome, Georgia, enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1966. He has served 40 years in the military, earning his commission in 1981. He has accepted many different tours of duty. At one time, he commanded the Polar Star, sister ship to the Polar Sea. He has earned the designation of Gold Ancient Mariner, which recognizes his time in service in the Coast Guard.

Captain McCullough told of the 50th trip to Antarctica by a Coast Guard icebreaker, leading the way through the ice for the re-supply ships — a tanker and freighter with fuel, and a container ship loaded with a million pounds of new supplies and taking on 1.2 million pounds of recyclables for transport from McMurdo.

McCullough“This was the toughest trip in the history of this assignment. The 50th trip began in November of 2004, when the Polar Sea left Seattle. The crew had liberty in Honolulu and Sydney, Australia. Plying the southern seas is very challenging. There are few land masses to break up the ferocious waves and you encounter huge ice bergs on the way. The icebergs are beautiful, wind-carved objects, hundreds of feet high. Each one gets a number and is tracked by the Navy.”

What made this trip so tough was the condition of the ice. “We had 84 miles of 8-foot ice to ram through in order to reach our destination. It was the worst ice year in history.” McMurdo Station is located on Ross Island, and is the largest outpost on the continent. The build-up of ice on the Ross Ice Shelf spawns ice bergs. A “berg” numbered 15A is 1200 square miles, the size of Rhode Island and actually blocked access to McMurdo in 2003-2004. The iceberg was so huge it created its own weather system.

The Polar Sea is a non-nuclear ship with a sledgehammer bow. It does great in solid water, according to Captain McCullough. Some of the ice chunks the ship plows through are the size of school buses. The ship must move back and forth in order to ram the ice. The broken ice path must be groomed to allow passage of the supply ships.

McMurdo’s weather in summer is 28-38 degrees air temperature. It gets easily 100 below in the winter. With 1200 personnel at the Station in summer, they have a semblance of comforts of home. A wine bar and espresso is one feature. The Chapel of the Snows handles spiritual needs, and the Air National Guard handles re-supply by air in C-130 aircraft.

McCulloughThe Polar Sea has three pitch propellers, each 16 feet tall. Often they need maintenance. The Captain said that salt water freezes “just slightly below 28 degrees.” On this particular voyage, it became a joint project when the Russian icebreaker Krasin joined the effort to smash the heavy ice. On the way, the Polar Sea crew saw all kinds of wildlife, penguins, orcas, seals. On the way back from Antarctica, the crew offered humanitarian aid to residents of two islands in American Samoa who were buffeted by a strong cyclone.

For his first-hand report of the work of the Polar Sea, Captain McCullough was presented with a certificate showing the BBRC’s support for Rotary’s Literacy project. A book was donated to the King County Library System in his name.

Thanks to Jim Gordon for his introduction.



A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

- The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.
- The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.
- The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.
- The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

- The first worm in alcohol - Dead.
- The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead.
- Third worm in chocolate syrup - Dead.
- Fourth worm in good clean soil - Alive.

Just then a little old woman in the back quickly raised her hand and said, "I get it! As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"