VOL 20, NO 11, SEPTEMBER 18, 2007


Friday Program:
"Festa Italiana Seattle and The National Italian American Foundation," Gerard Centioli, President & CEO of ICON LLC and Senior Partner/Sr VP of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE)

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club-Reveille ImageBob Holert introduced guest speaker Gerard Centioli of Icon, LLC in Seattle. Gerard is a graduate of Gonzaga, and he began his career by working in family-owned Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in the Seattle area.

Gerard’s father was an active Rotarian and member of Rainier Rotary. Like his father, Gerard promotes diversity through various organizations and activities in western Washington. Specifically, Gerard promotes Italian heritage through the National Italian-American Federation (NIAF). He relayed to us that there are over 25 million Italian-Americans in the U.S. The NIAF was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1975. It’s a non-partisan organization whose mission is to preserve Italian heritage and culture. It has programs that turn students to leaders, and graduates to leaders. Overall, they help young people meet their goals.

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club-Reveille ImageThis fall, NIAF will help host Festa Italiana, an Italian American celebration that will start in the Rainier Valley area and culminate festivities in the Seattle Center.

In addition to relating several interesting anecdotes and facts about the Italian-American culture in America, Gerard closed with the following advice: Embrace and celebrate your culture – that’s what helps us all come together to be the USA.

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Invocation and Pledge
Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club-Reveille Image

Bob Bowen provided the invocation and led the club in the Pledge of Allegiance. The focus of his invocation was how “haves” give to the “have nots,” one of the fundamental themes of Rotary.

Wendi Fischer introduced visiting Rotarians and guests of Rotarians. Rotarians included Karen, an attorney from Kirkland, who informed us she is looking forward to her trip to China this fall, and Janet, a non-profit manager who is looking forward to the Apple Cup (rumor has it she was on the side of the Cougs).

Rourke O’Brien introduced his two sons, Michael and Timothy. Steve Lingenbrink introduced his friend, Bob, who is a potential applicant to the BBRC.

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New Member Induction: Jonathan Koshar

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club-Reveille ImageJonathan Koshar was introduced by his sponsor, Dick Brown. Jonathan is an old friend and former member of the BBRC. He left in the 90s after four years in the club, and moved to Annapolis for his job. After that, he also lived in Bermuda and Barbados before moving back to the Bellevue area.

Jonathan was born in Denver. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State, his MBA from Florida Institute of Technology, and his CPA from WSU. Sixteen years ago he married the love of his life, Lauren. Their son Theodore was born four years ago.

When he was in the club the first time, he served in several important roles, including club treasurer. Currently he is the chief operating officer for the second largest builder in the Puget Sound region.

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Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club-Reveille ImageOut of Africa — Curtis Cummings

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club-Reveille ImageCurtis Cummings gave a special presentation to the club about the recent trip he took to Africa with Steve Lingenbrink and friend and fellow Rotarian Randy Osman. They traveled to the western part of Kenya, near Lake Victoria, and up to the Kaikipia Plateau. Curtis relayed that they participated in “lots of projects,” including a water well, teaching chess, building desks for schools, and building latrines.

In digging the well, Curtis explained that this was a demonstration effort to prove that they could do it. The area they were in is a ten-hour drive from Nairobi, so bringing in equipment and supplies is next to impossible. One thing that helped to bring all the projects to completion was the use of local labor.

Their group also built desks so students wouldn’t have to sit on dirt floors. Curtis explained that the floors were covered with fleas and chiggers, which could make it extremely difficult to use as a learning environment.

Their team also brought chess to five different schools. Curtis’s wife, Carla, served as teacher, giving all kids the necessary instructions. All children who participated received their own chess sets, complete with a bag to put them in.

The team also worked on a few other projects, but the highlight of the trip was getting together with former BBRC member Mike Hyodo. Dr. Mike is doing missionary work in Nairobi, and he showed the team the slums that house over 600,000 people.

Overall, the team did many other activities, but most importantly, they laid the groundwork for future visits and future funding so that the work they have begun will continue.

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Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club-Reveille ImageIn & Around Idaho, With John Mix
Photo courtesy of Mark Hough

Former BBRCer John Mix, in role of self-appointed Moscow Food Critic At Large, prepares to sample the wares of the newest barbecue joint in town." Mmmm ... that pulled pork is good!

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Web Fun

Humor in Religion
Courtesy of Chuck Barnes

The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted, "My Mummy looked back once, while she was driving," he announced triumphantly, "and she turned into a telephone pole!"

A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man was beaten, robbed and left for dead. She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would catch the drama. Then, she asked the class, "If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?" A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up."

A Sunday school teacher asked, "Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ?" "No," replied David. "How could he, with just two worms?"

A Sunday school teacher said to her children, " We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a higher power. Can anybody tell me what it is?" One child blurted out, "Aces!"

Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about. The daughter answered, "Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt." Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson was about. He said "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."

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"State of the District," District Governor Don Gregory


Sign language is useful to the deaf, but vital to the Italians. ~ Belgian Writer Paul Carvel

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


Colly Radford, 21 yrs
John DeWater, 17 yrs
Margie Burnett, 13 yrs
Peter Powell, 13 yrs
Shelley Noble, 9 yrs
Tom Miller, 4 yrs
Steve Szirmai, 2 yrs
Hal Teel, 2 yrs

Fellowship Opportunity at the Issaquah Village Theater

Reveille ImageRoger Allington announced an upcoming social even at the Issaquah Village Theater on Friday, October 12th. The play is “Million Dollar Quarter,” and there will be 32 seats available for BBRC members and guests. There will be a no-host dinner at the Chinese restaurant about a block from the theater just prior to the play. Sign-up sheets will be available at the meeting Friday. See Roger for tickets and details.

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This Week's Editor

This Week's Photographer

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