"The Literacy of the Heart — How Poetry (Writing) Plays a Part in Public Schools & Other Programs," Samuel Green, the first Poet Laureate for the State of Washington, having been appointed by Governor Gregoire in December 2007. Mr. Green has published numerous collections of poetry, notably The Grace of Necessity, which won the 2008 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. He has taught extensively on poetry, including at Seattle University. In January 2009, Mr. Green was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. [O'Brien]


Oscar Wilde:  To get back my youth, I’d give up anything in the world, except take up exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

Click here to view a slideshow of photos from this week's meeting.


BBRC Reveille
Lynne Nierman & Roger Allington

After an inspiring invocation by Lynne  Nierman, Roger Allington greeted visiting Rotarians by asking them to stand, identify themselves, and tell how many traffic fatalities there have been on the nation’s roads this year.  A visitor from the Duvall Club wrongly suggested that there have been 50 fatalities.  District Governor Jesse Tam, present to recognize a number of BBRC members for outstanding service, divined that there have probably been “a whole bunch” of traffic fatalities. 

Mr. Allington revealed that there have been, in fact, 43,000 fatalites, 39% of them involving alcohol.  At the risk of putting too fine a point on the matter, some local clubs, closer to hill country, may want to spread the word that “moonshine kills.” A number of brand new and returning guests, were present, suggesting a robust outreach effort by the club. 

New Student of the Month Partner School 

BBRC Reveille
Jeff Adair, Elena Olsen & Chuck Henry

Chuck Henry, Jeff Adair, and Dr. Elena Olsen were in attendance from Eastside Prep, our new partner in the Student of the Month program: Mr. Henry being the director of Eastside Prep’s Epic Urban sustainability center; Dr. Olson, head of the English program; and Mr. Adair, Dean of Students. 

Eastside Prep includes Grades 5-12 and graduated its first class this year.  The school won several environmental awards this year also.  Dean Adair said the school started with 16 students and will have, next year, 186.  The school places special emphasis on service learnin —not just volunteering, but understanding the issues students are addressing through service.  It is clear that such an institution will fit hand-in-glove with the priorities of Rotary and the BBRC.


New Member: Celia Morant   

BBRC Reveille
Celia Morant, with President Jenny Andrews, Wendi Fischer, Bob Bowen & Cyril Faulkner

President Jenny Andrews inducted new member Celia Morant, accompanied by a cast of about a half-dozen prominent members of the club.  Celia was given the unique Classification of "IT Maven," to the general amusement of all. 

Helpers issued various charges to the new member, with:  Bob Moloney inviting her to the new members group;  Wendy Fischer introducing her to the 4-Way Test;  Bob Bowen making a pitch for the International Committee; Cyril Faulkner stressing the importance of the immunization program against polio; Cristóbal Baladrón (correctly pronounced cris-TO-bal ba-la-DROAN) representing the Exchange Program; Sayoko Kuwahara putting the fear of The Spider Monkey in her; and sponsor Chris Addison presenting her with the Rotary pin. 

Jenny ensured Ms. Morant that everyone is ready to help her in any way, as she introduced the newest Rotarian in the World. 

Rotarian of the Month: John DeWater 

BBRC Reveille
Rotarian of the Month John DeWater & President Jenny Andrews

“It takes a lot to achieve 10% growth [in membership], said President Jenny.  “It takes a lot of things, but among the most important is someone to guide the whole program." With that introduction, she welcomed to the platform John DeWater as Rotarian of the Month. John, who has led the new membership effort, been a member of the band, and contributed in many ways, had never received a Rotarian of the Month award before. 

Polio Grant  

BBRC Reveille

Steve Lingenbrink came to the platform, warning that one should “never give a trial lawyer the microphone.”  Aware of that dark side, he veered left, succinctly and amusingly announcing that Rotary has received another grant from the Gates Foundation and a challenge to clubs able to continue in our worthy effort against polio. 

Lingenbrink then issued the “Poker Stimulus Package.”  Tim Leahy brought poker chips forthwith to donate.  Mitch brought winnings of about one baggie of change, perhaps $60.  Lingenbrink explained that since winners are donating their proceeds, “the more people who lose at poker, the more we’ll have.” 

The other side of the equation quickly presented itself, as panhandlers, reduced to penury by their wanton charity, appeared, begging change from the tables with liquor bottles in hand and homeless signs. 

President Andrews explained that every club in the world has been challenged to raise $1,000 for polio plus, but the BBRC is setting a goal of $2,000 to make up for third-world clubs that can’t raise that much. 

District Governor Presentation

President Andrews called Jesse Li, to the platform and, quickly realizing that she had called Governor Tam by his wife’s maiden name, corrected the record. 

Governor Tam gave special awards to three members: Steve Lingenbrink, this year’s Executive Assistant Governor; John Martinka, membership chair; and Wayne McCauley, who worked hard behind the scenes as District Conference chair.

Presenting attractive award plaques with embedded clocks, Governor Tam noted that they had been “a dream team.  No one dropped the ball.”  

BBRC Reveille
District Governor Jesse Tam , with President Jenny Andrews, Steve Lingenbrink, John Martinka & Wayne McCaulley

Golf Tournament Update 

BBRC Reveille
Tim Moriarty & Kim Shrader

Noting that “on days like this, it’s hard to look out the window and think about Rotary,”  Kim Shrader and Tim Moriarty informed the club that we have a great opportunity in our annual golf tournament, a major fundraiser for the year.  By signing up on the spot, members were offered, for a limited time only, collector’s item “Lehman brothers” golf balls. 

They also announced that Jo Ellen Munson, in the audience, but not a member, had decided to be a complimentary hole level sponsor for $250. 

Rotary First Harvest

BBRC Reveille
Howard Johnson

Howard Johnson talked about yellow sheets on the table explaining Rotary First Harvest.  He announced that the Rotary International president will be there this week.  With characteristic dignity, he encouraged the club not to forget our competition with the Kent club for Rotary Club of the year.  There is just one work party to go, and we are just 21volunteer work hours ahead of the Kent club. 

Fearing that Mr. Johnson’s point might not have been made strongly enough, President Andrews let the club know that she “really wants to kick President Julie LeFevre’s butt on this thing.” 

Proposed Members: Kabani & McVicker

Aisha Kabani is Vice President of Eagle Beverage and Accessory Products in Kent and resides in Bellevue. She is a member of the Women in Food Service Forum and involved in the Emerging Leaders Committee. Yes, she is the daughter of our long-time active member, Sadru Kabani. Her proposed classification is “Specialty Beverage Manufacturer."

Troy McVicker is a sales executive at Copiers Northwest and the owner of “Event Source NW.” He is no stranger to the BBRC, as he served as MC at our Red Dress party last November and got everyone, young and old, dancing. He is a member of the Bellevue Chamber, Kirkland Chamber, Woodinville Chamber, and Eastside Business Associates, just to name a few. Troy lives in Kenmore with his wife, Jami, and two children, Kaela and Zach. His sponsors are Steve Lingenbrink and Jan Nestler. His proposed classification is “Life of the Party.”


Sam Parail became a father this week.  Looking a little bleary for his wife’s efforts, he reported that the new Parail, a boy, weighed in at 7 lbs and 21 inches. 

Jane Kuechle urged the club to reserve the date April 25, 2010, for the Bellevue 5k for next year.   

Wendy reminded the club that on Saturday, June 6, those who like to party should come, attired in 70's clothing to the disco party at her home. Click here for more information or to RSVP.

Sergeant at Arms David Bolson appeared and was booed — perhaps in fear that fines were going to be levied.  Instead, he announced that the Morgan Stanley employees gave over $400 for the Bellevue 5K.   

Today’s Program

"The New Plan: Reconnecting with Our Young People," Bernadette Bascom

BBRC Reveille
Bernadette Bascom

Gayle Stevens, President-elect of the Duvall Club, came among cheers and affectionate jeers to introduce the speaker.  She corrected the pronunciation of her fair community as “DU-vall, Not du-VALL.”  Like many visitors to our club, she said, “This is a great club.  You made me laugh, and I’m not even awake yet.” She then introduced Ms. Bascom.   

Bernadette Bascom was born in Baltimore as daughter of the noted Civil Rights Activist Rev. Marion Bascom.  She learned a lot about adversity growing up, marching with her father on Saturdays, having things thrown at her, and suffering many indignities.  In the meantime, she sang anywhere and everywhere.  Her highly-educated parents wanted her to go to college, but instead she escaped to Seattle, where she sang with the group Epicenter, became a huge success and went on to perform all over the world.  She had her own show in Las Vegas for 15 years, but longed to come home to Seattle.  Stevens stated that Ms. Bascom was “the most generous person I’ve ever known.”  She started a music program in Bothell that brings confidence and self esteem to kids from under-privileged families.  “They come with all the problems and piercings, hiding under their hoodies,  but after one session with Bernadette, they lift up their heads.”

Ms. Bascom began by saying, “I’ve had a blessed career.  I’ve worked with some of the most incredible people in the world.  Stevie Wonder paid for my vocal training.  So many have reached out to me, that I wanted to reach out.  I came from a profoundly blessed intellectual family.  My father has a Ph.D. in theology, and my mother has a masters in music.”  She added that her father was “a friend of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and called him Mike.”  He was pastor of the largest black church in Maryland. Among the congregation were found the black elite: doctors, lawyers, principals, the founder of the NAACP, first black mayor, and others.  She grew up with some of the greatest and most community-minded people anywhere: the Dean of Johns Hopkins University, the rabbi of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.  She attended the Park School, and her brothers went to Latin School. 

BBRC Reveille
Gayle Stevens introduces the speaker

“We had everything but the companionship of our father.  Thank God for our mother,” she explained.  “That’s why I feel compassion for the kids we work with.  We were put on the back burner — our thoughts, opinions and dreams.  I’ve always been able to empathize with the dreams of our children.”  Having founded a program to reach out to children, she said, “In my interaction with them, I’ve heard some of the most insightful and unique ideas.  It’s time to reconnect with our children and let them be our future.  That’s what the music foundation is about.  Not so much music, but to allow them to express themselves, with esteem-building lyrics, to give them confidence in performance and hard work.  I’m here to solicit your help in a new way of reaching our kids.”

Ms. Bascom has been teaching at the First Place School in Seattle, working with homeless kids 7-11 years old.  The program, she said, has allowed them to laugh, play, and be good at something.  “They have bloomed before my eyes,” she said.  The Academy for Success in Bothell, has also been an amazing success.  “We have a board that is a dream team, including a state senator, Gayle Stevens (president-elect of the Duvall Rotary Club), Jim Geisler, and Eric Barna.”

Noting that everyone is different, Ms. Bascom said, “Everyone is not a scholar, doctor, computer wizard.  Our nation was created and made great by the oddballs who didn’t fit in — Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Margaret Mead, Shirley Chisholm, George Washington Carver, Patrick Henry, Georgia O’Keefe.  They made our country great.”

“I need your help,” she appealed.  “Our kids are getting left out.  We have many priorities, and most of them are not them.”  Pleading for people to make kids their priority, she repeated, “I didn’t come from an underserved environment.  We had everything, but my parents didn’t know anything about us.  That’s what I want to alleviate.”  She noted that Connie Thompson, anchor from KOMO, recently came to her program and ended up inviting a student to be her intern for the summer.  “There’s someone you can take to work with you.  I’ll provide that person if you can’t find one.  Why not guide the next crew that comes, be responsible for what happens after this.”

BBRC Reveille
President Jenny Andrews & Bernadette Bascom

She continued: “We see them every day on the street and we don’t even notice them.  All children are our children, but we tend to forget about that.  Kids are interested and available for these relationships with us.  We must pass the torch to them.  Why not prepare them with love respect and our guiding hand?” She pointed out that in her program, “we have the help of some of the greatest entertainers of the world to do it with us.  Members of the Supremes, the Platters, and others have come free of charge to help.  I’ve been all over the world.  In Japan, they didn’t even know what we were talking about and they were crying.  Music is the universal language.  It’s part of our DNA.  Even babies start moving to the music.  They don’t have to be taught.”

Bascom concluded by saying, “I see kids with their heads down.  I don’t want them to tell me what happened, ‘cause I can’t handle it.  But I see them lift up their heads when they get some attention.  Remember the effect music can have on you.  It has the same effect on children, and we need to start using it as the powerful weapon that it is.  I know everyone won’t get the urgency and potency of this message, but I know that my message will hit a cord in some heart here today that will compel you to act as it has me.  Listen to that small voice in your heart to get involved in caring for our children.”

Web Fun

The  Economy Is So Bad That ....
Courtesy of Wally Mahoney

1. I went to buy a toaster oven and they gave me a bank.

2. I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

3. CEOs are now playing miniature golf.

4. Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars are now trading higher than GM.

5. Obama met with small businesses to discuss the Stimulus Package: GE, Pfizer and Citigroup.

6. McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

7. People in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.

8. The most highly-paid job is now jury duty.

9. People in Africa are donating money to Americans.

10. Mothers in Ethiopia are telling their kids, "Finish your plate. Do you know how many kids are starving in the U.S.?"

11. Motel Six won't leave the light on.

12. The Mafia is laying off judges.



Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club Reveille Newsletter