Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) is the second largest employer in Pullman, after Washington State University. SEL has its own Health Clinic and they have been approved to administer the Covid-19 vaccine. They have already given the vaccine to thousands of Pullmanites.
 
But without the help of volunteers, the task would not be very effective. A member of our Rotary Club, and also a SEL employee, gave her time on Saturdays to help with this important mission. Way to go Wende!
Last year, over Labor Day weekend, during high winds and high temperatures, fires destroyed the small towns of Malden and Pine City in Whitman County, about 45 miles north of Pullman. About 80 percent of the homes were destroyed, as well as the city hall, the post office and other buildings.
 
Our club contributed $100 to match an additional $100 from District 5080 for the Rotaract Club of the Palouse to support the recovery efforts of the two towns. The Rotaract club had a Care Drive in the fall (clothes, food and toiletries), and the $200 were used to buy four $50 gift cards (see photo) for the townspeople.
Club members donated $204 of groceries to the Community Action Center (CAC) Food Bank in Pullman.
 
The food donated is from the list of things that the CAC always needs.
 
We hope that during these times families in need will have enough to eat.
 
Pictured are two young guys working at the food bank who helped unload the van.
Last month the Grocery Outlet opened in Pullman. The owner of the new store generously donated a $100 gift card to our club. Two more donations from club members increased the amount by $150. We used $190 to buy canned goods, pasta, and laundry and hygiene products at the Grocery Outlet. We donated all the goods to the Community Action Center (CAC) Food Bank, just in time for Thanksgiving. The rest of the money, plus another donation from a club member, will be used to buy more goods before Christmas and donate them to the CAC Food Bank.
Our club donated $1000 in canned soup, Mac & Cheese and other staple food items to the Pullman Child Welfare Food Bank. Of the $1000, $300 were awarded to our club through a Rotary District 5080 Express Grant, the rest is from our club. We are grateful to the District for their help to feed people in need in Pullman.
 
The picture shows the Pullman Child Welfare's pantry, the happy person who received our donation and club member Archie, owner of Dissmore's IGA.
 
Many thanks to our Rotary club members who applied for the District Grant, who organized the event and who delivered the donation.
Volunteers from our club and some of their children are seen spiffing up the Mayors’ Grove along N Grand Ave.
It was a rainy and cool day, but they still had fun beautifying this green space in Pullman.
This Rotary event takes place twice a year, in June and October.
Our Rotary Club has teamed up with the Rotary Club of Cranbrook Sunrise by contributing $7,000 toward a project to cultivate fruit and nut trees in Nepal. Club members contributed $2000 to help with the project, the rest comes from our club.
 
Agriculture in Nepal makes up 34% of the gross domestic product. About two-thirds of the workforce in Nepal works in agriculture. However, subsistence farming is limited to corn and wheat, which are not ideal for the mountainous terrain, require hard labor and do not bring enough profit.
 
Sanskriti Farm & Educational Resource Centre has in place a farming model for fruit and nut trees, which contain more nutrients, do not require as much water, and can be planted in hilly terrain. They want to share this model with farming communities, and also connect these communities with institutions and service organizations, like Rotary, to make their farming more profitable and sustainable.
The Community Action Center (CAC) in Pullman helps people move out of poverty. They have a food bank, provide affordable housing, and give cooking and gardening classes. They have also been coordinating efforts related to fire relief in Whitman County.
 
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent fires in the county, the CAC needs a lot of help. Volunteers from our Rotary club were there to provide it. They cleaned the CAC kitchen and helped re-stow some of the bulk items. This will make it easier to distribute healthy food so that no one in the county will go hungry.
The first Rummage Sale of our Rotary club and Northwest Cancer Foundation of Hope was a great success! This year we weren’t able to have our regular fundraiser events because of COVID-19, but the Rummage sale was approved by the Director of the Whitman County Public Health Department only a few days before it took place. This was very good news, as the Rummage Sale committee had been preparing for months. They picked up donations, sorted them, stored them and finally displayed them for the sale.
 
The proceeds from the sale support our local community, local scholarships, and cancer patients. In addition, four local non-profits benefited from the unsold items: Northwest Center- People of all abilities, Goodwill, Alternatives to Violence in the Palouse and Palouse Treasures Thrift Store.
 
We are very grateful to all the volunteers who donated their time, University Collision for allowing us to use their parking lot space, and Evergreen Storage and Colleen Hinman for storing all donations for a few months, as well as all the community members for their donations.
 
Our Rotary Club seeks to enrich the educational experience for students pursuing a degree or certification and the Technical and Industrial Division or Nursing & Health Sciences Division at the Lewis-Clark College (LCSC) in Lewiston, Idaho. For this purpose, we have made a gift of $500 to the LCSC Foundation to create a scholarship annual fund.
 
A student enrolled in the above mentioned Divisions at LCSC may receive this scholarship provided that he/she graduated from a high school in Whitman or Latah County, and they their minimum cumulative GPA is 2.5.
 
We are happy to help students with their vocational education!
The Castlegar Rotary Club in British Columbia, Canada, is coordinating a project to bring clean water to the town of Peñico, Peru. The club has asked other Rotary clubs for funds to support the project. Our club has contributed $500. This is what the Castlegar Rotary Club says about this undertaking:
 
"Right now in Peru many hospitals have closed their doors to new patients. New Covid-19 patients are left to die on the streets with no help.Imagine trying to avoid Covid-19 with no water to wash your hands and the little water you have to consume is contaminated. This is the situation in Peñico, Peru. We want to help by putting in a clean water system. The village of Peñico will contribute to the project by digging the pipe trenches for the water system."
Charice is seen below with donations from our club members to Alternative to Violence in the Palouse (ATVP). Charice is in charge
of thecommunity service projects for our club and organized a collection of items needed by this emergency shelter in Pullman.
ATVP provides round the clock emergency and support services to any victim of domestic or sexual violence, and to survivors and their children.
At Palouse Discovery Science Center (PDSC) in Pullman people of all ages learn about science and technology with hands-on exhibits.
PSDC is a non profit organization and a fun place for families to visit. Their indoor exhibits are currently closed, but they have activities outdoors three times a week.
On the Nature Loop, people can watch birds, learn about plants, and enjoy the views of the Palouse hills.
Weeds had taken over this short trail and the PDSC staff needed help clearing those weeds. Rotary club volunteers took on the task!
This is a selection of the main club activities and achievements that happened during President Alison Weigley's tenure. Alison’s presentation was through Zoom during the last meeting of her presidency. She kindly provided her presentation to all club members, which is where the summary below comes from.
 
All club members are very thankful for the energy and enthusiasm that she put into all of her achievements.
 
A. Review of Goals
1. Celebrate our members
2. Grow our membership
3. People of Action: Get Stuff Done & Have Fun!
4. End polio
 
B. Fellowship & Celebration
Nine different celebrations and social gatherings took place during the year. The most notable were:
1. The visit to our club by the District Governor Bob Quay
2. The parade to celebrate the birthday of our most senior member. Those who participated drove their car by the member’s house to adhere to rules of keeping distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
C. Welcome New Members!
Six new members joined the club this year, all under the age of 40!
 
D. Club and Member Charitable Giving
Between our Club donations, member donations and a District Grant to our club, we disbursed $26,438.75.
You can see where some of the money went by scrolling down this webpage.
 
E. Partnership with Northwest Cancer Foundation of Hope
Our club formed a symbiotic relationship with NW Cancer Foundation of Hope. Among other things, this relationship has allowed f us to raise funds together and then distribute those funds to the local community.
1. Successful raffle project in 2019
2. Rummage sale in 2020
 
F. Special Recognition
    1. Rotarian of the Year: John Brewer
    2. People of Action: Jess Downs & Ana Dodgen
    3. MVP’s: Jess Downs, Debi Dockins, Colleen Hinman
    4. Rookie of the Year: Zach Mansee
      
Alison thanked the Rotary Club members for making her Presidential year so memorable and fun, then pass the gavel to Jess.
One of the main projects of Rotary International (RI) is to eradicate polio in the world. RI has been working toward this goal for more than 30 years.
Our club helps achieve this goal by making monetary contributions every October (last October we donated $2,200).
 
This year we are also donating the proceeds from our weekly $1.00 ticket raffle. At the end of each meeting, the guest speaker draws a ticket from
a basket. The club member who has the chosen ticket then picks a card from a deck, and if an ace is drawn, then he/she gets half of the pot.
If not, the pot increases every week. We give the other half to charity. At the end of June we gave $295 to RI for the polio eradication campaign.
Rotary club volunteers work hard to beautify the Mayors’ Grove twice a year.
The Grove is located along Grand Street, one of the two main thoroughfares in Pullman.
Everything is so green because of the unusual amount of rain this year.
 
 Top row: John, Zach, Jess & Steve           Middle row: Eric, John & William, Ana         Bottom row: Jake/Zach/John, John/Zach/Jake/Jess
 Top row: Steve, Eric, Jess/Zach/Eric             Bottom row: Ana, Zach/Jess/John/Ana/Jake/Eric (photographed by Steve)
Wear Blue, Run to Remember is a running community that honors fallen and active U.S. military members, as well as their families. On June 7th, Samantha Tjaden ran her first marathon in honor of her husband Army 1LT Gwilym Newman, who was killed on April 12, 2007. Samantha is a Gold Star Athlete and a PhD student in Criminal Justice at Washington State University.
 
Samantha ran from Pullman, WA, to Troy, ID, and back. People from the community showed their support to Samantha by standing along the route, including three members of our Rotary Club. Charice is seen here holding the American flag. Her husband was in the military for many years. She went to support at the beginning of the run. Jess and Eva went to the 16.6 mile marker. Jess was in the navy, he said: “We got to cheer on the runner and meet quite a few people who had driven over from Tacoma to support her as well.”
As most hospitals in the United States, the Pullman Regional Hospital has lost revenue during the pandemic, due to the cancellation of all non-essential surgeries, among other reasons. Therefore, the hospital has set up a COVID-19 fund to provide for equipment, supplies, and operations. The supplies include testing kits for the virus.
 
We are proud of our hospital, so our club donated $8,344 to the COVID-19 fund. Because of the virus, our club stopped having in-person meetings in mid-March. This amount comes from three sources: 1) The club: money saved by not paying for the weekly meeting place and food, 2) donations by club members, and 3) a matching grant from our Rotary District. The money from the grant had to be used for fighting COVID-19 in our community.
 
     Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, our Service Projects coordinator has found a way for our club to contribute to our community. Kudos for Jess! Specially because our club canceled the meetings starting on March 18, when Jess had scheduled a project to help Habitat for Humanity. We are hoping to resume our meetings on June 3rd.
     Jess responded to a call for help from the Palouse Chapter of the Washington State University Alumni Association (WSUAA). This is what they said:
     “Due to these challenging and uncertain times, more and more of our WSU undergraduate and graduate students are seeking food assistance. Please join us by making a donation of non-perishable food to the Cougar Food Pantry, the student food pantry on the WSU Pullman campus. On Monday, April 27, between 4:00 - 6:00 p.m., WSUAA volunteers will pick up non-perishable food items from your porch and deliver them to The Cougar Food Pantry to provide food to students in need."
     Jess and wife Eva, who is also a club member, picked up the donations from club members, and set them all at their front door for the WSUAA volunteers to pick up.
 
Every year, our Rotary Club funds projects or services that improve and enhance the Pullman community. The concept was initiated in 1979 by then Rotary President Irv Field, with calls for projects costing up to $1,000, or “One Grand.” The Rotary Club of Pullman has funded over 40 projects under this program. In recent years, the "One Grand" has turned into "One and a Half Grand".
 
This year the award committee, chaired by club Secretary Eric, chose two projects with a total cost of $2,000. In order to be able to fund both applications, some of the committee members donated a total of $500.
 
The award recipients were: 1) The Pullman Community Garden at Koppel Farm, for the purchase of a rototiller, and 2) The Pullman Child Welfare, who will purchase computer equipment and peripherals.
 
Alas, the awards were not presented in person, since we are all cooped up at home trying to fight the spread of the coronavirus.