Club Information

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Bellingham Golf & Country Club
3729 Meridian Street
Bellingham , WA 98225
United States of America
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2023 Change of the Guards  
Thursday, June 29th, 6:00-8:00
Bellingham Golf & Country Club
Additional information to follow
Grape and Gourmet will be at the Hotel Bellwether on Saturday March 18 from 4 to 8 pm. 
The event will include:
  • 25- 30 wineries to be pouring with 5-6 upscale restaurants offering great finger food pairings. Details on specific wineries and restaurants TBA soon!
  • Tickets: VIP - $125 each. VIP includes early entry from 4-5 pm with upgraded food options.  General Admission - $75 each
  • Club members have a commitment to purchase or sell a minimum of four $75 tickets. 
  • Wines will be discounted and available for purchase. We anticipate having a list of wines available for pre-order two weeks out from event date.
  • Event ticket sales proceeds will go to BBRC’s commitment to Lydia Place (nonprofit, community-based agency serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Whatcom County since 1989) in support of their Gladstone – Playground Upgrade & Interior Refresh project
Any questions please contact Lance.
Tuesday, Jan. 31st we have a field trip (no meeting at Bellingham Golf & Country Club)
Lydia Place
1705 Gladstone St.
Contact Bill Gorman for details (e.g., parking, lunch order).
As of January 2023, we are meeting at: 
Bellingham Golf & Country Club
3729 Meridian Street
Lunch and social start at noon, meetings at 12:30
Join Us!
December holiday celebration
Annual Holiday Lunch Meeting with Squalicum High School Choir
December 13th, 2022

This year we will have a member only lunch celebration (due to room size)
2022 Bellingham Food Bank Turkey Drive!!
Last year, led by Club members Mike Hammes and Tony Freeland, Bellingham Bay Rotary Club and community members generated more than $32,000 for 2,000 turkeys distributed by the Bellingham Food Bank to families in need. 
This year the goal for this year is to deliver 1,500 turkeys to ensure every Whatcom County family who visits the Bellingham Food Bank receives a turkey for Thanksgiving. 
Click on the following link to donate: 2022 Rotarians Feeding Their Hungry Neighbors Turkey Drive 
Dont be a turkey, donate one! 
Wine by the Water is back 
 at Hotel Bellwether
March 18, 2023

Check back for ticket pricing and purchasing information in 2023. Questions? Contact Lance Calloway
21 Bellwether Way Ste 112
Lunch and social start at noon, meeting at 12:30
No RSVP needed
A message from President Lesa.....
Thanks to all that were able to join us for the Changing of the Guard last week. It was a great time had by all. I think it’s such a great thing to be able to Fellowship with one another again!  For this coming year, the Board and I have been talking about all the exciting changes happening with this new year of Imagining Rotary. 
First, if you didn’t already know, the First Women Rotary International President was sworn in for the 2022-2023 year.  Jennifer Jones, is friendly, down to earth and a go getter! I’m really excited for the things she will do with RI this year.  Rotaract is one big change.  She intends on adding a Rotaract Member on most of her RI committees, as they are now a part of Rotary International in their own rights.   At RI in  Houston this year, we saw a lot of young folks who were Rotaract clubs and very excited to be there.  Speaking of RI Houston. What a great event. Every Member who attends comes away with some new knowledge about Rotary, anyone who has the chance to attend, should.
Bill has some great speaker lineups and we hope to do more Fellowship events this year. By the way, if any member has a fellowship idea they would like to share, please contact anyone on the Board.   With all that said, expect a phone call, just to catch up, get your thoughts from me. I will take just a little bit of your time, unless you prefer to talk a lot about Rotary
  1. To Register to attend the 2022/23 BBRC Changing of the Guard please email Lesa Fergusson ( you and how many guests plan to attend. $55/adult $25/child or order off kids menu.
  2. Pay by BBRC PayPal link (see directions below), or check, cash or card at the door.
  3. To pay by PayPal, click on this link
  • Select donate amount “Other” then enter $55 per person attending event
  • Log into your PayPal account
  • Click on “+ What’s this payment for?” and enter your name and guests’ names attending
  • Click donate now and you are good to go!
  • You will receive a confirmation email of your payment.
President's Message
It’s hard to believe that we are in the last month of ’21 and I have to say I am very proud to be part of a group that continues to thrive and make a difference during this challenging year. I want to send out a huge congratulation to all the members of our club as we have made some great contributions to our community.
This year's Thanksgiving Turkey Drive, led by Mike Hammes, exceeded the goal and raised a total of $32,000. This provided over 2000 turkeys to families in need through the Bellingham food bank. Do you realize that Bellingham Bay Rotary Club has made this contribution to the food bank for the past 15 years?
I also want to extend a huge thank you to our members' donations at our  November 22 meeting. During our Bucks in the Bay we raised $2,000 to donate to the Whatcom Community Foundation for flood relief for Whatcom County citizens. The club’s generosity was matched with a donation of $5000 from the Bellingham Bay Rotary Foundation to the Whatcom Community Foundation for flood relief. 
As a reminder, December 14 will be the last club virtual meeting for 2021, since we are meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays while virtual.
As of 2022 we will be moving to in person meetings at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel beginning January 11 and back to weekly meetings. We will have a new RSVP process and payment system, so watch for additional details in an upcoming email.
I want to thank everybody for all they’ve done to make this Rotary year work as best as it can be and to continue to contribute to our community. I wish you and your family a wonderful and relaxing holiday season. 
Flood Relief for Whatcom County: The Whatcom Community Foundation's Resilience Fund supports those affected by the catastrophic flooding our community experience. The Bellingham Bay Rotary Club Foundation will be making a donation to flood relieve. If you would like to donate through the Club's PayPal Account, click here.
Our Rotaract Club has decided to do a bake sale to raise money for Flood Relief. The Whatcom County Foundation has a Flood Relief Fund that all our profits will go to. They are working to get the word out as much as possible! Orders can be placed through this Google Form link ( and payment will be taken through PayPal and Venmo.
Long time fellow member Dr. Ed Zech passed away suddenly Monday November 15th in Potomac MD where he and his wife Deborah relocated after leaving Bellingham.  A few notes from his obituary in the Washington Post: At age 24, he married the love of his life, Deborah Zech. He attended Seattle University, then the Creighton University School of Medicine, and finally completed a general surgery residency at Oakland Naval Hospital in 1986. He served in the United States Navy for 24 years, earning a Legion of Merit and other awards, and eventually retiring from the Navy in 2000 after serving as the Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Following eight more years in private practice, Ed retired and settled in Potomac, MD with his family. He was an avid hiker, gardener, baker, "aspiring chef", lover of bad jokes, and Eagle Scout. Ed’s inurnment will be at Arlington National Cemetery.   
Charitable Giving Committee
Bellingham Bay Rotary has a long tradition of supporting organizations in the community through small grants of up to about $1500. The Charitable Giving Committee, currently chaired by Mark Turner, solicits applications, reviews them, and makes funding recommendations to the board. If you'd like to step up and help with this important club function, let Mark know at This is a time-limited committee, with all the work happening between now and the end of January and most of it in January as we review applications. While the decisions can be challenging (we always get asked for more money than we have), it's fun to give away money to worthy causes.
Bellingham Food Bank Thanksgiving Turkey Drive: Please take a moment and consider making a donation and have a huge impact on those less fortunate in our community to make their Thanksgiving special. If you have already contributed, thank you for your generosity! You can make your donation through this link:  Turkey Drive 2021 Rotarians Feeding Their Hungry Neighbors
Message from President Lance
I hope everyone is enjoying the first days of Fall.  In looking at the current status of the COVID numbers in our community it doesn’t appear that we will likely be returning to in-person meetings for several weeks.  With that said the Board wanted to ask members opinions on our virtual meetings.  We have developed a very brief two question survey asking members as to their thoughts on frequency and length of our virtual meetings. Check your September 27 email newsletter for the survey link.

Squalicum HS Student of the Month to resume in October!
Volunteers are Needed to Write Cards to Local Health Caregivers
Please consider writing a card to encourage and thank our health care providers who are on the front lines of the pandemic caring for sick community members. Send cards to:
Attn: Anne Rasmussen, Chief Development Officer
2901 Squalicum Parkway
Bellingham, WA 98225-1851
Wine by the Water postponed this Fall
Unfortunately due to the COVID numbers in our community, the Bellwether has asked we postpone our fall Wine by the Water event this year. Stay tuned for more information once gathering indoors is more feasible.
2021 Thanksgiving Turkey Drive for Bellingham Food Bank
The turkey drive will be returning soon with a target goal of 2,000 birds. Stay tuned for a link to donate.
President's Update: In Person Meetings
COVID is impacting how we manage our lives yet again.  As we all are aware, today the Governor’s mask mandate for all public indoor spaces is now in effect.  With the significant increase in COVID cases in our community it has caused the board to re-evaluate when BBRC resumes in person meetings. For those who may not have seen the email I wanted to send this out again through our member bulletin.  As you are aware, a couple months back the BBRC Board had sent out a survey to membership as to their thoughts on when we should return to in person Rotary meetings.  From the survey results, it was determined to return to in-person meetings beginning September 7th.  However, the situation we are currently experiencing with COVID in our community has changed significantly since this decision to move forward with September in-person meetings was made.  As Whatcom County is in the fifth wave of the virus, we are seeing reported COVID cases at levels seen at the peak of the pandemic back in February of this year.  
The BBRC Board wants to check in with membership and ensure that they are comfortable and safe in returning to in-person meetings.  We have drafted a simple survey we ask that you complete at your earliest convenience, so we know how you feel in returning to in person meetings and what precautions you see that are needed to be comfortable to resume our lunch meetings in person. While there is a great AV set up with the Bellingham Rotary Club to allow for a great hybrid experience, we still need to ensure that if we move forward with in-person meetings we need to ensure members are comfortable in attending.  We also need to be able to have enough attendance to meet the required minimum of 20 people for in-person meetings with the Four Points by Sheraton or the Club will be paying to meet the differential amount.  We hope the Board will have a decision on how we proceed next week and will inform you. 
Your input as to what you are comfortable with in this current environment is very critical for the board to hear.  If you have not yet completed the survey, we ask that you please take 2 minutes to complete this survey so we can move forward with the club membership’s interests clearly in mind. Please check you email inbox, or contact President Lance if you need the survey link. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts!
Rotary Mentors needed for WCC’s Bachelors of Business program
Given the success of our mentorship program with Western students, we are now pursuing a mentorship program with WCC students. WCC has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and we are looking for Rotarians interested in participating in a mentorship relationship with students in the BUS 460, Organizational Leadership, course next winter 2022. Mentors would be expected to meet with their mentee weekly for approximately 8 weeks (Jan 24th-Marchc 14th). More details about the nature of these meetings will be sorted out this Fall with the Business Faculty at WCC. When Mike and Tresha met with the faculty last spring, both stated how valuable their mentorship experiences were as undergraduates, and were excited to offer this to their students.
If you are interested in participating, please let Mike or Tresha know!
1st Annual Stan Dyer Day of Service: A Success! 
Thank you to all the volunteers for attending the first annual Stan Dyer Day of Service! As you can see, the blackberries were fierce but the crew did great work to help remove many of them. Special thanks to Tony Freeland for organizing the event, bringing the tools, the refreshments, and the donuts. I think we made Stan proud.
Update on In-Person Meetings 
As our community emerges from the past 16 months of the pandemic Bellingham Bay Rotary Club is also preparing for re-emerging.  As we have done since May 2020, BBRC will continue with Zoom meetings the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month through the end of August going from 12:30-1:30 PM.  Beginning September 7th BBRC will resume our normal schedule of weekly in person meetings at the Four Points by Sheraton on Lakeway Drive.  The Club is currently evaluating the technical details to allow for hybrid meetings can also be conducted with Zoom meeting capability along with in person.  We are finalizing the details with the Four Points regarding our lunch meeting process and will be following up with specific details within the next few weeks.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact Lance Calloway or Mike Bates.
Passing of John Robert Sleeth
January 28, 1945 - July 3, 2021
John Robert Sleeth, age 76, passed away peacefully on July 3rd, while in the care of Hospice in Sun City AZ. John was born Jan 28, 1945 to Stanford and Phyllis Sleeth in Long Beach, CA. Since 2005, John's health had declined due to Parkinson's Disease and Dementia.
John graduated from LHS Class of 1963. He married Gerry Ellen (Ohmart) Sept 4, 1965 at Garden Street Methodist Church. John graduated from WWU December 1968. He served in the ANG at the 262 CMBT SQ 1967 - 1973 . He worked five yrs for Standard Oil Co in Bellingham & Burlington. He worked 15 years for the telephone industry, traveling throughout Washington & Alaska. Before retiring in 2017, John & Gerry Ellen owned & operated Speedy Automated Mailers, Inc. for 33 years. In 2006 & 2015 SAM Inc was a Small Business of the Year Finalist at the annual Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce awards banquet. Nov 2001 &  July 2007, John was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award at the monthly chamber meetings.
Roy Pearson, owner of Pearson Construction, submitted John's name to become a member of Rotary in the early 1990's. John was twice named a Paul Harris Fellow. June 2015 John was given the Power of One Award, for making a difference as Chairman of RYLA and for his Audio Visual Support.
John was a 33RD Degree Mason, actively involved for 50 years with several branches of the Masonic Fraternity. Music was a big part of John's life - enjoyed playing the piano, organ, keyboard and most especially the opportunity to perform on the Mount Baker Theatre organ.
John is survived by his wife Gerry Ellen (Ohmart); brother Bill & his wife Julie (Tiplin), Oro Valley AZ; sister-in-law Lynn Shepson-Sleeth, Beaver Dam NY; sister-in-law Marla (Trenkle) Ohmart & Ann Trenkle, Sun City AZ; numerous nieces & nephews. John was preceded in death by his parents, brother James Sleeth; sister Pamela Sleeth and brother-in-law Jack Ohmart.
Cards can be mailed to:
Gerry Ellen Sleeth
13605 N. Newcastle Dr.
Sun City AZ 85351
Stan Dyer Day of Service:  Saturday August 14th! 
As promised, here are the details for our 1st annual Stan Dyer Day of service. Mark your calendars Now!!
Saturday, August 14th, 8:00 am
City of Bellingham Memorial Park
Landscape maintenance (city to provide tools) Lunch/fellowship after our hard work
Contact Tony if you have questions or want to be put on the list of Rotarians willing to participate.
A message from outgoing president Mike (2020-21)
It is hard to believe that our Rotary year is coming to a close. I have to admit when I became your President, I expected a totally different Rotary year than we have experienced. When it became apparent that we were going to evolve into a zoom meeting only concept I said to myself “yikes” or words to that effect. So, what did we do as a membership: we adapted, we evolved and we accomplished more things than I thought was possible. Some of the things that we were able to accomplish as a club are:
  • In order to make the meetings as interesting as possible, we established a solid zoom meeting schedule adding things like the mystery guest, business spotlights, quotes, some good news, and the wheel of fun raffle.
  • We established the “care and compassion” component to our existing fellowship committee and engaged in member outreach to check on our members during Covid.
  • We improved our internal controls for the club.
  • As members we wrote cards to the residents of long-term care facilities that were on lockdown. 
  • You volunteered to mentor students from Western Washington University and agreed to expand that program further to include the Whatcom Community College next year.
  • As members we supported the annual turkey drive, Toys for Tots and hurricane relief efforts for Copan Honduras.
  • Some of us volunteered at the large-scale vaccination site in order to get community members vaccinated.
  • We donated to Jeff Hills GoFundMe page and helped out with his meal train.
  • We established a Stan Dyer Day of Service program to honor a beloved member of the club
  • We supported the Stove Team project and purchased cookstoves for residences of Latin American countries.
  • We donated to our Rotaractors Clean Water Project on the Western’s Give Day.
  • We granted $15,000 to local not-for-profits to support their engagement within the community, and donated monies to Communities in Schools to purchase backpacks for Shuksan Middle School students.
  • We provided seven scholarships to Squalicum High School,  Bellingham Technical College, and Whatcom Community College students 
  • We supported our multiyear major project Docks for Kids, spearheaded by Eddie Hansen and Bill Geyer.
  • Our activities were twice recognized by articles in the Peace Arch Journal once in the Bellingham Alive Magazine, as well as in the Bellingham Herald
  • We gained three new members during the Rotary year and said our final goodbyes to Stan Dyer, Jeff Hill and Past President Jerry Simons.
  • Members Heather Flaherty and Ian McCurdy welcomed new family members into their homes.
There were personal accomplishments by members as well:
  • Heather Flaherty was named Young Professional of the Year for Whatcom County
  • Guy Occhiogrosso received the Young Professionals award Top 40 Under 40 for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
  • Flo Simmons was named interim Chief of Police for the Bellingham Police Department
  • Christine Palmerton was named as the Area G Assistant Governor
  • Sue Sharp received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce.
So, as it turns out, this wasn’t the year I thought it would be, it was much more.  It has been my honor to be your President this year and I am grateful for your support.
Mike Bates
Docks under construction: Look and see!
Eddie and some fellow Rotarians took a field trip to see the initial construction of the Bloedel Docks project. Below are some pictures of what they saw. Exciting to see the progress!!
If you missed the write up in the Bellingham Herald, click here
New Member: We are excited to announce that Josh Hungerford is a new member of the Bellingham Bay rotary club. Josh works at Saturna Capital, and is a husband and father of 3. Welcome, Josh! 
Kudos to Sue Sharpe: 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
One of our long-time members, Sue Sharpe, is being honored with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. Click here to read more. Congratulations, Sue!
Congratulations to Flo (Chief Simon): Award Recipient!
Flo was recently awarded the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award (ESAR)! This award recognizes Chief Simon’s support for employees who have served in the military. According to the ESGR, their goal is to "support employers who share their most valuable resource, their employees, with our great Nation thereby ensuring our national security." W hat a great honor, Flo. Congratulations! 
Volunteer T-shirts 
A big THANK YOU to Tony for coordinating the t-shirt order. For those who put in a order for the upcoming COVID mass vaccination clinics, Tony will deliver your shirt(s). If you still want to volunteer for the COVID mass vaccination clinics, information is below the tshirt images.
Directions for how to volunteer to help with the upcoming large scale vaccination clinics in Whatcom County. 
Our program about StoveTeam was powerful. For those of you who missed the program, or want to share this information with others, here’s some information. StoveTeam facilitates the placement of low-some, fuel-efficient, safe cook stoves around the world:
  • Smoke from indoor cooking fires is a leading cause of death of children under age five. It kills more people than AIDS and malaria combined
  • The most dangerous activity a woman in the developing world can undertake is cooking for her family, and most of them have a baby on the front or a baby on the back. For that baby, it’s equivalent to smoking three packs of cigarettes per day.
  • 4 million burns are reported each year, and many more go unreported. Children are especially vulnerable as most open fires are on or near the ground.
Ways to learn more:
StoveTeam is currently focusing on our Justa stove project in Guatemala. Our goal is to install 5,000 cookstoves into homes in the next 3 years. We are working on gathering club and district support to fund our efforts and would welcome any support from your club or advice on approaching your district. There is more information about the Justa project on our website at and you can download a project description PDF here.  
Here’s a link to donate
1. Click on the following link:
2. In blue horizontal navigation bar at top of page, click on "volunteer."
3. Under Emma Clark's “Volunteer” video, click on the “general volunteer” link. 
4. Complete this form.
  1. At the very bottom, there is a dialogue box that says “Is there any additional information you would like to share with us”.
  2. In this box, state that you are a Rotarian, and would like to help with the large scale COVID19 vaccination sites that are forthcoming.
Unity Care Northwest: Slideshow on adapting to COVID
Tamara Tregoning, our guest last week from Unity Care Northwest, wanted to pass along the attached slides on how they have adapted to COVID of the past year. Take a look!  
Congratulations on our newly elected 2021-22 Board of Directors!
Past President
Mike Bates
Lance Calloway
President Elect
Lesa Ferguson
VP/Program Chair
Tim Krell 
Carlye Gillespie
Inga Drechsel
Director (year 2 of 2)
Tony Freeland
Director (year 2 of 2)
Erika Buse
Director (year 2 of 2)
Sean Stimac
Director (year 1 of 2)
Mark Turner
Director (year 1 of 2)
John Bosche
Volunteer Opportunity: COVID mass-vaccination clinics
Here are directions for how to volunteer to help with the upcoming large scale vaccination clinics in Whatcom County. 
1. Click on the following link:
2. In blue horizontal navigation bar at top of page, click on "volunteer."
3. Under Emma Clark's “Volunteer” video, click on the “general volunteer” link. 
4. Complete this form.
  1. At the very bottom, there is a dialogue box that says “Is there any additional information you would like to share with us”.
  2. In this box, state that you are a Rotarian, and would like to help with the large scale COVID19 vaccination sites that are forthcoming.
2021-22 Slate of Officer: 
Per the BBRC bylaws (Article 3, Section 1), the following slate of officers is being shared with the membership. Additional nominations to this slate will be accepted until February 15, 5:00 pmA separate email ballot will be sent out after Feb. 15 with the finalized slate. Watch your emails.
Past President
Mike Bates
Lance Calloway
President Elect
Lesa Ferguson
VP/Program Chair
Tim Krell 
Carlye Gillespie
Inga Drechsel
Director (year 2 of 2)
Tony Freeland
Director (year 2 of 2)
Erika Buse
Director (year 2 of 2)
Sean Stimac
Director (year 1 of 2)
Mark Turner
Director (year 1 of 2)
John Bosch
Service Above Self: Volunteers for COVID vaccinations  
As we have mentioned previously we have been asked as Rotarians to make ourselves available on a volunteer basis to help out with vaccinations within the community. Turns out that a collaborative effort on the part of many of the healthcare providers and the Whatcom County Health Department will be putting on large scale vaccination clinics in the future. All volunteers must register in order to be covered for liability.  Please consider signing up in order to be of service to your community.
Here are directions for navigating to the sign-up pages:
1. Click on the following link:
2. In blue horizontal navigation bar at top of page, click on "volunteer."
3. Under Emma Clark's video, you will find  (a) information about current volunteer opportunities, (b) a link to a sign up form for general volunteers, (c) a link to a sign up form for medial licensed personnel volunteers, (d) a link to a sign up for for case contract tracing investigators.
2021-2022 Slate of Officers....
Per the BBRC bylaws (Article 3, Section 1), the following slate of officers is being shared with the membership. Additional nominations to this slate will be accepted until February 15, 5:00 pm.   
Past President
Mike Bates
Lance Calloway
President Elect
Lesa Ferguson
VP/Program Chair
Tim Krell 
Carlye Gillespie
Inga Drechsel
Director (year 2 of 2)
Tony Freeland
Director (year 2 of 2)
Erika Buse
Director (year 2 of 2)
Sean Stimac
Director (year 1 of 2)
Mark Turner
Director (year 1 of 2)
John Bosch
We have resumed our 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month zoom lunch meetings .
Highlights from the 1st half of the Rotary year as we prepare for the 2nd half. We.....
Launched mentoring program with WWU Roteract (contact Steve White if interested)
Started a community service pen pal program at Christian Healthcare Center and Alderwood Park Healthcare Center
Had a successful Turkey drive for food back-  2,000 turkeys purchased
Established Stan Dyer Day of Service (stay tuned this coming spring!)
Gave $10,000 for Hurricane relief in Copan, Honduras 
Ratified new BBRC Bylaws & Constitution (ok....not exciting but a lot of work by the board!)
Had members making news: Guy Occhiogrosso recognized by National Association of Chamber Executives top 40 under 40, Heather Flaherty selected as the Chamber 2020 Young Professional of the Year, Flo Simons as Interim Police Chief (1/4)
Lets also take a moment to remember the loss of two Rotarians: Jeff Hill & Jerry Simons
Wishing everyone the best as we close out 2020. Our next Tuesday lunch meeting will be January 12th, 2021 at noon via Zoom!
Happy Thanksgiving week everyone! Great news to share about our Food Bank Turkey Drive: The goal of purchasing 2,000 turkeys was accomplished. Thank you to Tony Freeland & Mike Hammes for organizing this annual event, and for mobilizing Rotarians and friends of the club to help achieve the goal.
Charitable Giving Committee-Accepting applications NOW 
 The Charitable Giving Committee awards small grants to non profit community programs in the range of $1,000 – $2,500. Please circulate the attached application to any community organizations you think might benefit from one of these grants. Application deadline is December 31, 2020.
Questions? Contact Mark Turner, Committee Chair. 
Toys for Tots- Supporting the holidays
Since many families struggle financially during the holiday season, and this year has additional challenges, the  Board has voted to donate the $250 (usually given to our Holiday program entertainment) to the Toys for Tots program. There are many worthy charities that would welcome donations this year, but we hope this small gift to Toys for Tots helps a family enjoy the holidays with a little less stress. 

Help for Copan, Honduras 
As some of you heard from Bob Moles during our last Tuesday lunch meeting, Copan, Honduras was hit hard by Hurricane Eta. Our club has a long history of projects in Copan , thus hearing that our friends in the area are struggling is a tough one. The Board, along with the International Committee, is considering  how we might help. We will provide additional details as they arise. In the meantime, if you have questions contact President Mike .
New Mentoring Program with WWU Roteract Club- Sign up now!
 Quick reminder that the club is participating in a mentorship program with - same as last week the WWU Roteract club.
Please take a moment to complete the brief questionnaire that will be used to match Rotarian mentors with Roteract mentees:
Questions? Contact Steve at  
Did you know that the Rotary theme for November is “Rotary Foundation Month”In addition to supporting the Polio initiative, here are some additional initiative supported by  the foundation. You can go to the  RI Foundation website to read more:
HEALING THOUSANDS: Rotarian and physician Pia Skarabis-Querfeld has spent years building a network of volunteer doctors to help refugees in Berlin, Germany.
REBUILDING LIVES: Rotary clubs worked together to help Puerto Ricans rebuild their homes and hearts after Hurricane Maria.
THE POOWER OF LLIGHT: A grant helped a club in Durango, Colorado, USA, install more than 200 solar lights in remote, off-the-grid Navajo homes.
Wine Sale through the Bellwether- A pseudo Wine by the Water/Grape & Gourmet event!
Even though we can’t gather and host our Wine by the Water fundraising event this fall, the Bellwether is extending an opportunity for us to purchase wines, and collect some fundraising dollars ($1/bottle) while doing so!  With the holidays coming up, and the dark days of winter, think about stocking your cellar with some wines and help the club raise some money.  Below is an overview of information from the Bellwether. Complete details, along with the wine list and order form, are in the Monday emails from Tresha.
Wine order due date: Monday, November 16th by 5:00PM
Minimum orders: All orders must be a 6-bottle minimum of each selection
Order form: Complete the order form and return to Hotel Bellwether (drop off at front desk, email: or fax to 360-392-3101, ATTN Wine Shop)
Payment: Hotel Bellwether’s wine shop will tally your order and send your invoice via square for credit card payment. If you prefer a different method of payment, please call 360-392-3179 or email and we are happy to accommodate
Pick Up: At Hotel Bellwether on November 30th, 2020. There will be an option for no-contact pick up. For any guests choosing to stay for dinner or drinks – the Lighthouse Grill will waive the corkage fee for the evening of wine pick up so you can uncork your first bottle!!
Questions?Please reach out to Cory DeWispelaere-Rusch / Food & Beverage Manager / 360.392.3179  
Food Bank Turkey DriveThanksgiving is just around the corner
Time is almost out for you to make a donation to the Food Bank  Turkey Drive. You can either make a donation by clicking this link, or by making a check to the following:   
1.     Make check payable to Bellingham Food Bank
2.     In check memo line put: Bellingham Bay Rotary (or BBR)
3.     Mail check to: Mike Hammes, 4290 Pacific Highway, Bellingham WA 98226.
New Mentoring Program with WWU Roteract Club- Sign up now!
Quick reminder that the club is participating in a mentorship program with the WWU Roteract club.
Please take a moment to complete the brief questionnaire that will be used to match Rotarian mentors with Roteract mentees:
Questions? Contact Steve at  or call at 206-972- 5531. 
    Our next Tuesday lunch meeting is October 27th via zoom. Contact President Mike if you'd like more information, or would like to attend as a visitor.
    Information below includes:
    1. Message from President Mike
    2. Jerry Simons- Past President of BBRC passes
    3. Thanksgiving Turkeys for Food Bank-Donate now!
    4. Charitable Giving committee-Call for members
    5. District 5050 Blood Drive Campaign
    6. Rotary International Foundation- What is the foundation benefactor?
    1. Message from President Mike
    Interact/Rotaract: I am happy to let you know that we have been able to expand our card writing program to an additional convalescent center.  In addition to the Lynden facility we are now writing cards to the residents of the Alderwood Park Convalescent Center here in Bellingham. This is being accomplished by the members of both Squalicum High School Interact Club as well as the WWU Rotaract members. With their help we are able to reach an additional 40 people who are very grateful to receive some correspondence. Thank you Interact and thank you Rotaract.
    Additionally, we are in the inception stages of establishing a mentorship program with WWU Rotaract students.  In the current environment there will be opportunities to meet the students via zoom. I want to thank Steve White for taking the lead on this program. I’m sure we will all hear from him shortly about how we can plug into this important outreach.
    New Committee Chairs: Thank you Mark Turner and John Bosch for agreeing to chair the following committees:
    Charitable Giving Committee:  Mark Turner chair
    The International Committee:  John Bosch chair
    I will be interested to see what new perspective they bring.
    2. Jerry Simons- Past President of BBRC passes
    For those of you in the club who had the pleasure of knowing Jerry, here’s a link to his full obituary. Jerry passed away on September 12th in Anchorage Alaska.  The club has sent a card to his family expressing our condolences.
    3. Thanksgiving Turkeys for Food BankDonate now!
    As promised here's information about how you can make a contribution to this year's  BBRC Food Bank Turkey Drive.
    Electronic payments can be made by using the following link:
    If you prefer to mail a check, here's the information
    1. Make check payable to Bellingham Food Bank
    2. In check memo line put: Bellingham Bay Rotary (or BBR)
    3. Mail check to: Mike Hammes, 4290 Pacific Highway, Bellingham WA 98226.
    If you have any questions, reach out to Tony.
    Also…. Did you know that based on the CARES act, you are able to take a $300 charitable giving deduction whether you itemize or take the standard deduction?  Make sure to keep your receipt from your donation to the turkey drive! Of course, you should always consult your own tax accountant to verify specifics for your individual situation, but here’s a longer explanation:
    The CARES Act, among other coronavirus relief efforts, has instituted a provision allowing people to deduct $300 for charitable contributions. If you are married and filing jointly, your deduction is still limited to $300. Taxpayers can take this universal deduction no matter whether they itemize or take the standard deduction on their taxes.
    Deductions under the CARES Act must be in cash (including checks and credit card payments) and given to a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions to non-operating private foundations, support organizations and donor-advised funds don’t fall under this new deduction. Because the CARES Act deduction is a universal above-the-line deduction, you can list your contribution as an adjustment to income on your taxes.
    In short, with the CARES Act, if you donate up to $300 in cash to a qualified organization, your adjusted gross income will be reduced up to $300.
    4. Charitable Giving Committee-Call for members
    Message on behalf of Mark Turner, Chair
    The Charitable Giving Committee is responsible for soliciting applications and then awarding modest grants (up to $2500 but usually in the $1000 range) to worthy non-profit groups in Whatcom County. The committee does its work from now through February, with most of the work in January as we review applications and decide where to invest our money. This is one of our most important committees and your work on it has direct impact on our community. Mark Turner took over as chair of the committee this year and is seeking at least two new members to replace those who have stepped down or left the club. Let Mark know you're interested by email to
    5. District 5050 Blood Drive Campaign
    A message on behalf of District Governor Carol Tichelman
    We have decided to start a friendly and voluntary blood donation campaign in district 5050.  We want to encourage our members, their friends and families who are able, to participate in this life-saving humanitarian act.  One blood donation can potentially save up to three lives.  If your members are unable to donate blood, they might be able to donate much needed plasma.
    There will be District recognition given at the end of the Rotary year by Area, as that is the only way our friends in Washington can enroll.  Bloodworks Northwest does not offer individual person or Club tracking for groups – but they have set up a tracking system for us by Area. 
    Here's how the donation process will work for U.S. Rotarians in District 5050:
    1.        Your members (and their family and friends!) will click on the blood drop link on the right side of the attached eFlyer when scheduling an appointment.
    2.       When they show up for the appointment, they will be asked if they are from a specific group and will reply Rotary.
    3.       Donation totals will be available each quarter. Your members can also encourage their friends and family to use the attached eFlyer to link their blood donation as part of your Club’s donation record.
    6. Rotary International Foundation-  Who is a Rotary Foundation Benefactor?
    A Rotary Foundation Benefactor is a person who has notified The Rotary Foundation that they have made provisions in their final estate plans to Rotary for US$1,000 or more, or who has made an outright gift of US$1,000 or more to The Rotary Foundation’s Endowment. Benefactors receive a certificate and insignia to wear with a Rotary or Paul Harris Fellow pin. They are listed in the Benefactor Report and identified in the Club Recognition Summary.
    Clubs with 100% member support of Rotary’s Endowment are eligible to request a Rotary’s Promise Club electronic certificate. Qualifying support may be a commitment for a future gift to The Rotary Foundation in an estate plan or an outright gift of $1,000 or more to the Endowment.
    A US$1,000 gift to The Rotary Foundation creates a legacy of helping people live better lives around the world. Today there are over 100,000 Benefactors worldwide.  Will you join them by making a gift of $1,000 to Rotary’s Endowment or by leaving a gift to Rotary in your estate?
    Did you know that September is Rotary’s Basic Education and Literacy MonthClick here to read the article “Advancing Literacy and supporting students during a pandemic.”
    Information below includes:
    • Message from President Mike: Mentoring opportunity with WWU Rotaract & Interact Service Project
    • Rotary International Foundation: What is a Major Donor and Arch Klumph Society Member?
    • Community Service Projects: Updates
    • September Birthdays
    Message from President MikeMentoring opportunity with WWU Rotaract  & Interact Service Project
    I want to share with you that the new Rotaract President, who is a student at Western Washington University, contacted me this week. She and her members are interested in the possibility of establishing a mentorship relationship with our club.  I look forward to exploring that possibility with her and her members and what that might look like. I will keep you informed of any progress that is made.  She also indicated that they would like to be made aware of any volunteer projects that we are involved in so that they could consider their engagement as well. 
    Unrelated, I spoke with the Interact Advisor from SQHS this week and she indicated that they are searching for socially distanced volunteer opportunities.  I shared with her the fact that the club is writing cards to patients in assisted living facilities.  She thought that sounded like a great idea and indicated her willingness to have her students write cards as well.  As a result of these conversations I believe we will be able to expand our efforts into a second assisted living facility.   
    Rotary International Foundation:  What is a Major Donor and Arch Klumph Society Member?
    Major Donor – The Rotary Foundation recognizes individuals or couples whose combined giving reaches US$10,000, regardless of the gift designation. This recognition level can be achieved only through personal contributions. Major Donors may elect to receive a crystal recognition piece and pin(s) commemorating the gift at each new recognition level. Since Rotary’s Major Donor recognition began there have been over 30,000 Major Donors.
    Arch Klumph Society – Donors whose cumulative gifts total US$250,000 or more are recognized as Arch Klumph Society members. Recognition includes an induction ceremony and your picture and biography in the Arch Klumph Society interactive gallery at the Rotary International headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Members also receive invitations to society events, along with membership pins and crystals that commemorate their giving level. Since the society’s creation in 2004, there have been over 700 Arch Klumph Society members.
    Community Service Projects: Updates
    Inga, coordinator of the CHC skilled nursing facility Pen Pal project, reports that the letters received thus far are much appreciated! Approximately 8 of our club members are sending monthly cards to residents monthly. Thank you to those were able to participate in this service project, and for the smile you’re putting on these folks’ faces!
    Tony is working on coordinating another fall service project. It will likely be something associated with the holidays in December. Stay tuned, and contact Tony if you have any ideas for future community service project we can engage in this year.
    September Birthdays
    Happy Birthday to the following Rotarians with September Birthday:
    Steve Brummel- Sept 2nd
    John Purdie- Sept 5th
    Brent Walker- Sept 8th
    Martin Meade- Sept 11th
    Sean Cool- Sept 25th
    If you have a September birthday and don’t see your name above, contact Tresha  so she can update our membership data!
    June 2023
    S M T W T F S
    Darby Galligan, City of Bellingham
    Jun 13, 2023
    Community Development Neighborhood Village projects
    Changing of the Guard
    Jun 29, 2023
    Karyl Jefferson, Executive Director
    Jul 11, 2023
    Lhaq’temish Foundation, Lummi Nation
    Bryan Rust and Deb Dempsey
    Jul 25, 2023
    Community Boat Center
    Club Executives & Directors
    President Elect
    Vice President
    Past President
    Rotary magazines 2023 Photo Awards

    In Rotary magazine’s 2023 Photo Awards, we see the world courtesy of this year’s finalists.

    A song of their own

    The Imagine Impact Tour brings Gaby Moreno to her home country of Guatemala to inspire children to dream big.

    Rotary International Convention concludes with a message of hope

    As the gathering in Melbourne comes to an end, Rotary looks forward toward Singapore and a focus on mental health.

    Rotary projects around the globe June 2023

    Learn how Rotary clubs are taking action in Canada, Grenada, Korea, Australia and Ireland.

    Peace and climate change take center stage in Melbourne

    Nobel Peace Prize laureate, child climate change activist, and Rotary Peace Fellows explore the intersection of environmental protection and peace