Norm Johnson started us off with an excellent prayer focused on Service Above Self:
- We join together as Rotarians with the goal of “Service Above Self.” In this endeavor we seek not individual recognition but move from one act of service to the next – as service to others is the rent we pay for the privilege of being. So, when at a decision point, forego service to self and instead offer service to others. Your decision may result in a small expenditure of energy and result in a minor inconvenience, but unknown to us at the moment of service is the major impact this will make in the life of another. Proceed with passion for you are all making a difference.
Jane Kuechle introduced two visiting Rotarians and “bunches of chiropractors,” which included our speaker’s husband! Oh, my aching back!
Mark Hough Update on Afghanistan
For the past six months Mark Hough has been in Kabul, Afghanistan, helping the country develop a written legal system. He is back in Seattle for a few weeks before he returns to continue his mission.
Mark’s work has been focused on working with law faculties and Islamic law teachers to review curriculum, develop classes and essentially write law books, a “first” for the country. Mark noted that this effort is really a “long term thing" that will take time.
Regarding security, Mark said there really has not been much of an impact on him, but it has prevented him from going outside of Kabul. He said the group has a handful of nattily dressed body guards wearing blue blazers. They have nicknamed the guards “The Bee Gees” — the Body Guards.
Officers for next Rotary year 2009-2010 were asked to stand and be recognized.
- President: Margie Burnett
- President Elect: Chuck Kimbrough
- Immediate Past President: Jenny Andrews
- Secretary: Jonathan Koshar
- Treasurer: Robin Callan
- Club Administration: Chris Monger
- Public Relations: Elena Howell
- Membership: Chris Rasmussen
- Foundation: Morris Kremen
- Community Service: Tim Leahy
- International Service: Bob Bowen
- Sergeant At Arms: Curtis Cummings – not officially on the board anymore but notable nonetheless
A motion was made and seconded and the offers were selected by unanimous voice vote! Ta da!!
New Members: Lee Smith & Tamara Dean
Today two new members were inducted into the club on Friday.
Lee Smith is sponsored by Alan Pratt (Rourke was a Stand-In) and her Classification is Executive Coaching. Lee is the president of CoachWorks International in Bellevue. She coaches executives on leadership. Lee's community involvements include Kindering Center and mentoring of graduate students at Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University, and her passion is leadership facilitation. Lee lives in Woodinville.
Tamara Dean is sponsored by Chris Rasmussen and her Classification is Residential Condominium Sales. Tamara is a realtor with Windermere Real Estate East. She has been in the real estate business since 1998 and now specializes in residential condo sales. Tamara lives in Kirkland with her husband, Benny and four children. She has been involved in CASA, and one of her hobbies is flying helicopters. She is soon getting her pilot’s license.
Sayoko Kuwahara is the official BBRC Mentor and both Lee and Tamara were automatically enrolled in Newbies Committee,led by Bob Moloney.
In honor of these two newest Rotarians in the world, they were given our traditional standing ovation! Welcome to the club!
Cary Kopczynski noted that November was Rotary Foundation Month, and the goal was for every Rotarian to donate or commit to donate to the Rotary Foundation. More than 2/3 of the club membership committed to donate or donate to Foundation last month.
As promised, Cary and Norm Johnson presided over a drawing of the names of three members who met the goal for November of donating or committing to donate. Mario, who has been a fixture at the Glendale Country Club for 15 years, was asked to draw the three names.
The first drawing was for the 3rd prize, a basket of books donated by King County Library and Jeanne Thorsen. The winner was Chris Monger.
The 2nd prize drawing was for a basket of “goodies” from the Gift Horse Basket Company and Jeanne Thorsen. The winner was Ercan Turkarslan (a future elf — remember, Ercan, don’t look a Gift Horse (basket) in the mouth!)
Finally, the 1st prize, provided by Steve Luplow of Ben Bridge Jewelers, a men’s Tisot Watch valued at $375, went to Chris Ballard! Chris was absent, so Steve Lingenbrink promptly placed the watch on his wrist and “claimed” that he’d deliver it to Chris “… sometime soon.”
Jenny also offered a pitch for the Foundation and the good it does around the world. She reminded us of the goal of “Every Rotarian Every Year.”
(By the way, Jenny had us practice pronouncing Ercan’s name — it is pronounced “ER- zhan.”)
Student of the Month: Conner Bowman
The December Student of the Month from Sammamish High School is an outstanding and impressive young man, Conner Bowman. He was accompanied by his parents Anne and Mike and brother Kyle.
Bob Holert introduced Conner and shared with the club written comments from his Counselor at Sammamish. She described him as having a “world view, determined, humble, intelligent, patient, empathetic.” She said:
- We should all heed Conner Bowman's example of how to live life. Never have I seen someone forge ahead with goals and interest areas in the face of obstacles the way that Conner has. Few students come away from their life experiences with the depth of compassion and acceptance of others the way Conner does.
- I met Conner his freshman year, right after he was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. Three years later, one would never know the kind of battle he has quietly waged all this time. Conner, himself, says, "From what I can tell, my life has not been that difficult, compared to the struggles of many others. I may have had a slight obstacle or two in my life, but none of those ever hindered me from getting me to where I am now, which is ultimately where I am happy." We could all benefit from this outlook on life.
- Academically, Conner has steadfastly insisted on his academic independence and responsibility. Many students undergoing chemo can suffer from cognitive challenges related to the treatment, not to mention feeling nauseous and having low energy. I encouraged the family to implement a 504 plan and access a reduced schedule. I could not convince Conner to use it. I'd be in his morning classes, and there he would be. I'd discuss a reduced work load for Conner with his teachers, and he would turn in every assignment and project. The more I tried to support him, the more he insisted on supporting himself.
- After four years, I look at his transcript and AP Scholar Designation with wonder. When I asked him how he did it, he said that he didn't want his disease to get in his way and that this has helped him prioritize what is most important to him so he could use the energy he had to accomplish his goals.
- Conner's interests are varied and he has left the door open for what he may study in college. He will use his experiences with travel, music, photography, Sea Scouts, and serving others as a spring board for his studies. Looking at the colleges he is interested in, I see common threads: great student/professor ratios so he can participate fully in his education, opportunities for study abroad, and a focus on educating the whole student, not just the mind.
Conner has been an excellent student and participated in a variety of activities at Sammamish, including football, track, swimming, Jazz Choir, Sea Scouts and Mandarin Chinese Club. He has plans to go to college, either at Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma or Franklin College in Switzerland.
With Connor's courage and commitment, there is no doubt in anyone's mind he will have a successful life!
(Editor Note: I’m not sure this reporter can accurately write about what happened at the meeting! Just recognize that I was at the back of the room, there were millions (err, maybe 6) elves running around (at least three were really cute!), and there were three yahoos getting taken for a ride!
Wendi Fischer was invited up to the podium by President Jenny. Wendi asked if any of us were “searching for Santa?” Then she began to sing “Santa Baby.”
Magically, three elves (yes, the cute ones) floated into the room – Sayoko Elf, Margie Elf, and Elena Elf. They selected three stooges from the audience – Kim Shrader, Bill Rambo and Tom Smith — and brought them up front to three chairs.
The elves gently wrapped feather boas around the necks of their volunteers and then blindfolded them with "magic bandanas." Then the real magic began!
As Wendi sang, three more “elves” – all needing a shave and wearing gaudy outfits – showed up and ambushed the three stooges – err, volunteers! It was horrible! It was embarrassing! Anyway, this author went into shock momentarily while the whole ambush went on, and on, and on ...
At the end of Wendi’s wonderful singing, the magic blindfolds were removed and the three volunteers were “shocked” to see a close-up view of the male elves!
Sayoko also reminded everyone that next Saturday, December 20th, there will be a Rotary social event at the Bellevue Park Ice Skating Rink. SIGN UP FOR THIS EVENT HERE!
Steve Lingenbrink – looking at his beautiful, new watch – also reminded everyone that next Thursday, December 18th, the usual weekly social will begin at 4:30 PM at the Rock Bottom in Bellevue, then will move to Steve Szirmai’s Fast Signs shop for a fully catered party at 6:00 pm. Everyone’s invited!
Howard Johnson was bragging about our club’s Rotary First Harvest participation so far this Rotary year. We have had 73 participants this year towards our goal of 150. Twenty-eight helpers participated on the November 8 alone! Howard thanked Ruben Ladlad for working with his daughter’s school to bring a group of volunteers, and he recommended that everyone try to bring coworkers to First Harvest work parties in the future. The next work party is set for January 10, 2009.
Please bring your food bank piggy bank THIS FRIDAY, and drop them off at the check-in table. Bob Bowen will deliver them to the Renewal Food Bank in Bellevue just in time for the holidays, when the spare change is most needed.
Ruben Ladlad announced that RYLA is scheduled for March 5-8, 2009. If you know of any junior or senior high school students who would be candidates, email Ruben soon.
If you still have Giving Tree gifts, please bring them this Friday or contact Ron Healey right away,.
The annual BBRC Golfing with the Elves will be held on Wednesday, December 24th, with a 9:00 AM tee time at Mt Si Golf Course. Green fees will be just $10 if you bring an unwrapped stuffed toy or non-perishable food items.
Take a break from the sounds of the holiday with some fresh air and fellowship, as we celebrate the Winter Solstice. RSVP to Norm Johnson.
ALERT: Spamming From Reunion.com
Robin Stark, Web Flunky
Chuck Barnes brought this to my attention, and my very own sister, who doesn't listen to any of my "good advice," recently went through this, so we'd like to make you aware of it also.
You may be familiar with a site called reunion.com.You may even have an account there that helps you keep in touch with people from your past. They have a free account, which gets you, basically, nothing, and they have a paid account, which allows you to actually contact other persons who also have accounts. That's all fine.
What is not fine is that they have instituted a new method of spamming, and they do it before you even realize it, sending an email message "from you" to EVERYONE in your address book!
If you visit reunion.com or even think about clicking on a link to visit the site, please read this blog post and be very careful about clicking on anything at the reunion.com website.
As usual, if you are on a Mac, this doesn't concern you [smug, contented sigh].
Anna Mickelson Cummins, Gold Medal Winner, 2008 Olympics, Women’s Crew (8)
Bill Rambo introduced today’s speaker, Ann Mickelson Cummins, who gave us a terrific speech about her background and biography leading up to the 2004 Olympics in Athens and her training to be the world’s best crew for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Anna started out living in Bellevue (Sommerset) and attending Newport High School, lettering in three non-rowing sports. She then went to the University of Washington (is there anywhere else?), but wasn’t sure which sport she should try out for. Well, the crew team wanted Anna because of her height (6 feet tall) and her athleticism., so Anna decided to try rowing for one year. That was in 1999.
After 6 months, her scores on the rowing machine ranked Anna as “Olympic caliber,” and she wound up on the champion UW rowing team. In fact, one of her classmates was Jenny Hogan (former traffic anchor at KOMO4 TV), who spoke to the BBRC previously.
After graduation, Anna moved to the US Olympic Rowing Team and her first Olympic Race was at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. They came in second place for the silver medal, the first medal for US women’s rowing since 1984 in Los Angeles. Wow!
After Athens, Anna wondered if she did that well with only two years of training after college, what if she were to devote the next four years to rowing and preparation for Beijing? Well, her decision was to move to Princeton, New Jersey, and join the US Olympic Rowing Team for the next four years. (By the way, because it freezes in Princeton, they train in San Diego in the winter months).
For the next four years (2004 to 2008), Anna decided to focus on the “Golden Changes” — Technique, Movement, Nutrition, and Mind.
Rowing is a sport of physics – you need a long reach and long stroke. So, to focus on technique, Anna spent a lot of time rowing in smaller boats (women’s pairs) to focus on techniques. Anna really developed her techniques and wound up on the fastest pair on Olympic team.
With chronic back problems and degenerative discs, Anna decided to focus on her physical movements, with lots of back exercises and physical therapy. One bonus was her weekly 1-hour massage therapy.
The team really decided to change their nutritional habits in order to get more out of their bodies, so they ate more fresh fruit and vegetables and ate lean meats. They ate as much as they wanted because they were working out seven hours per day.
Anna realized that the hard work or rowing and training were all part of a mental game, too. She needed support outside of rowing to keep her balanced, soo, she got involved with a church and worked with a sports psychologist.
With these four Golden Changes, Anna became faster and stronger, and she and her pair partner won a World’s Cup!
The rest of the talk was about Beijing and how Anna and her teammates prepared for the races. Their real focus was to beat the Romanians, the world champions from 2004. The Romanians were the three-time defending World Champions. Among the nine members of their team, they had 21 gold medals in their boat! The Romanians were definitely a formidable foe.
Anna showed the NBC video of the actual race and stopped the video at the 500 Meter, 1000 Meter, 1500 Meter and finish line. She talked of the different things going on in her boat both physically and mentally. She spoke of some of their “tricks” to keep them focused on winning and focused on the race, not how much they hurt.
The last part of the race was really exciting! Many Rotarians were out of their seats and leaning to get a better view of the screen. Anna said that in her mind, the last 500 meters were for her to “make my last elite strokes! To put every ounce of power and everything I have into these last 500 meters!” When the boat crossed the finish line the BBRC erupted in applause and cheers! It was really exciting.
Anna no longer rows competitively. She is now married and is helping her husband open Cummings Chiropractic, where Anna will help patients focus on nutrition.
At the end of the program, Jenny thanked Anna for her wonderful presentation and presented her with a pin from Rotary Polio Plus. There was a buzz in the crowd, as many BBRCers asking Anna questions and touchied her Gold Medal.
Calmness in Our Lives
Courtesy of Wally Mahoney
I am passing this on to you because it definitely works and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following this simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you, too, can find inner peace.
Dr Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished."
So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before the morning was over, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates.
You have no idea how great I feel right now! Pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace