There will be NO MEETING on JULY 1
The office will be closed July 3

Our next meeting will be held
Wednesday noon

July 8, 2015

President Sue's Inaugural Meeting 

The Grand Hyatt

This Week's TOTEM
June 2015

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Looking Ahead

July 1, 2015

July 8, 2015

President Sue's Inaugural Meeting
Garfield High School Jazz
Combo Performance
Day Chair:  David Fain
Grand Hyatt

July 15, 2015
Rhonda Hilyer
"Relationships, Agreements, Results"
Day Chair:  Dorothy Bullitt






President Sue Nixon's
Inaugural Meeting

You won't want to miss the first meeting of the new Rotary year, featuring a special musical performance by students from the award-winning Garfield High School Jazz Band! Hope to see many Garfield alumni at this opening meeting of the new year - including Rod Waldbaum (recently inducted in the school’s Golden Grads Hall of Fame), Dorothy Bullitt, Jon Bridge, Kathy Williams, Sten Crissey, Susan Adler . . . (if you’re an alum and were missed, please email

Enjoy a little summer jazz and a surprise or two while escaping from the heat at the Grand Hyatt!




President Tom Betts Presides over Last Meeting
Click HERE for the video

Reporter:  John Hamer

“Let’s get this party started!” That’s how President Tom Betts opened his final meeting.
Danner Graves led us in the national anthem, with Freeman Fong on the piano. Then Danner announced a second song, sung to the tune of “Taps.” Lyrics included: 

Tom’s term is done
Gone the fun
From his flowers
From his ‘titles’
From his puns
He served us well
He was swell
Now he’s gone.”

Erick Slabaugh led the invocation, in which he said “I give thanks for the fine example of character in action that Tom provided and the resulting improvement of our club.” He added that our club has “a lot of characters.”
President Tom noted that we have added 70 new members this year. He introduced Diankha Linear and Mark Davis to give a recap of the prizes won by those who sponsored new members. They then drew the final prize -- two roundtrip Alaska Airlines tickets anywhere they fly, two ACT Theater season tickets, plus a Big Island Bees Honey gift. The winner: John Iverson.

Bob Rosner then said to President Tom: “We gave you a fake agenda, so you don’t know what’s coming today.” He then showed a video focusing on President Tom’s efforts to combat hunger by increasing Rotary food programs. Several Rotarians, including Grace Chien, Roberta Greer, Danner Graves, Shelley Rotondo, Lisa Mayfield, Sten Crissey and John Enger gave testimonials on the video.

A surprise guest was Chef and Restauranteur Tom Douglas, who presented President Tom with a white chef’s jacket and hat. Douglas described how Tom for many years provided floral centerpieces for Food Lifeline events, and this year’s food drive contributed towards 10,000 meals. Rosner then poured a sack of rose petals over President Tom’s his head, saying: “Hey, he’s a flower guy!” Ken Grant took to the piano and played “Waltzing Matilda” while photos of the past year’s programs, Rotary staff, and Tom’s family ran on the big screens.
The featured speaker was Jesse Jones, consumer reporter for KIRO7 News. Jones said to Tom “I know you have a floral business…but have you started growing pot yet?” Jones said he was a little late because they were investigating “a missing case of 25 year old scotch that was found in a Jaguar near a home in Mill Creek.” He asked Tom “Do you know anything about that?” Jones added: “I have the most respect for Rotarians, because you give without asking for anything in return. When I see you all in overalls with a shovel, trying to build a playground, or bringing food to families in need, it lets me see you at your best.” Jones called out Mark Wright, his former colleague at KING5, and led us in singing “Happy Birthday” to Mark.

Rosner asked Jones several questions, including: “What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned on the consumer beat?”
Jones: “If you see a scam, say something about it. Often no one says anything if they’ve been ripped off. They’re too embarrassed.”
Rosner: What’s your most amazing story?
Jones: “Probably the story that the state wasn’t offering mammograms for female state workers under the age of 50, even those with a high incidence of breast cancer in their families.” After the story aired, the state made it the law to give those mammograms.
He added: “I find joy in the small stories. If somebody has $1,500 in the bank and they’ve been hit with an unjust $2,000 bill, that is more important to me than busting city government.”
He also discussed the Oso mudslide, noting that his televised appeals helped raise money to pay for gas cards for people who couldn’t afford to drive to the hospital or to funerals. They also raised money to help wildfire victims in Eastern Washington. Rosner: “You sound like a Rotarian!”

Laura Mathers, Rotary’s executive director, paid tribute to President Tom, noting: Our relationship is a little bit like newlyweds: commitment, compromise, a temper tantrum or two, compromise. It really has been a whack-a-mole environment here. Very challenging, while also being very rewarding.” She said the #1 objective was “to get this organization on a strong financial footing,” and that had been accomplished. “It’s been an honor and a privilege for me to work side-by-side with you,” she said. “You’ve been a true mentor.”
Paul Ishii, a past Rotary president, said Tom had proved that “Anyone could be president of this club. But when did that ever change?” He said Tom “implemented many of the strategies that saved our club. It took a business owner to do that….  He loves our club, and all of you. He really had a hard assignment and protected this institution.”

Rosner asked all the former Rotary presidents to join Tom onstage. Laura Rehrmann gave Tom and his wife Kris honorary Paul Harris fellowships, contributed by an anonymous donor, plus a gold badge with a diamond that identifies him as a past president. Also a framed gavel “for dedication and leadership” in “rebuilding club strength while battling hunger.” Rosner then announced “the world premiere of a special song,” which was sung by Linda Rough to the tune of “I Will Survive.”

Lyrics included:

“Not just survived!
Oh, we have thrived!
Thanks to Tom and Laura’s efforts,
You can “BETTS” that we have thrived!
There’s the Four-Way Test to live
And there’s Foundation gifts to give,
Yes we survived,
Number Four has thrived,
Number Four HAS THRIVED!”

In his final remarks, Tom said: “This has been an amazing year in so many ways. I am so impressed by the depth of commitment in this room.” He gave special thanks to Dwight Edwards, our videographer; Mark Wright, who has emceed many programs; and the Board of Directors. He asked his Executive Committee to join him on stage: Ken Grant, Lisa Mayfield, Hamilton McCulloh, Heather Fitzpatrick, Shelley Rotondo, Lou Lundquist, and thanked them all individually for their efforts.

He thanked the Rotary staff: Mariah Kimpton, Sam Thompson and Laura Mathers. Of Laura, he said: “Over the past year, I honestly believe that I have spent more time in direct contact with Laura than I have with my wife.” He added: “We have been faced with some huge challenges over the past year, and without Laura, we wouldn’t have made it.”

Finally, he thanked “the unsung heroes of our club” -- Lisa Mayfield, Diankha Linear, Dorothy Bullitt, Paul Ishii, and Harvey Rubenstein, adding: "I can’t thank you people enough.” He concluded: “This has been the most challenging year of my life, but in many ways it has been the most rewarding. Thank you all. And it is now my distinct pleasure to say: Meeting adjourned!”


June 24 - President Tom's Farewell 
May 27 - Cong. Dave Reichert
May 13  - Tom Skerritt, David Horsey, Tim Egan Laureate All-Star Panel

Click HERE to view the video archive (2006 - Present)


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