Thanks to Reporter Brad Barber
Editor's note:  Pictured above are our visitors from Sequim.  The Sequim Rotary Club and Interact Club.  In total we had about 145 members and guests in attendance.  It reminded us of those halcyon days.
Short Program
Pat McCauley shared the story of the Sequim Sunrise Rotary club who are working towards building a youth house for homeless kids in Sequim via their Interact club. There are 50 high school kids who are homeless in Sequim and this puts them at great risk. The book Boys in Boat tells the story of the UW Men’s rowing team and their journey towards a gold medal victory in Hitler’s Germany in 1936. The book focuses on the experience of Joe Rantz who grew up in poverty and attended Sequim High School. This book is being made into a movie which is produced by George Clooney.  Aydon Humphries (President of Sequim HS Interact Club) joined the podium and explained their tik-tok video imploring George Clooney to premier the film at Sequim HS. At first, Aydon didn’t think that much would come of this video. From his perspective it was a simple video made by 3 kids in under an hour. Within a couple days this video had 200,000 views and was soon followed up by George Clooney’s contacts reaching out to confirm George Clooney would support having the premiere at Sequim HS and potentially be in attendance. Thanks to the efforts of these enterprising students, they have been acknowledged as the designated charity at the Windemere Cup. Windemere presented a check for $17,000 to the Sequim Sunrise Rotary club towards there efforts of solving homelessness in their region. These impactful results are due to the hard work of Rotarians connecting and acting for change.
Long Program
Long time Rotary member Assunta Ng led a powerhouse panel of local Asian Americans to discuss their experiences while honoring AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Heritage Month. The panel consisted of Steve Hobbs (WA Secretary of State), Leesa Manion (King County Prosecutor) David Della (former Seattle City Council Member), and Katherine Cheng (Mariners VP of People and Culture). The members expressed a shared sense of the importance of family, community, honor and hard work. Asunta asked the panel when they first saw themselves as Americans. Leesa shared a powerful story that when coming to Seattle as an 11-year-old, it was the first time someone recognized her as Korean and she felt seen. Steve shared as a youth growing up in the 70s in Snohomish County his family suffered from harassment and hateful messages being spray painted on their home. A lot of this anti-Asian sentiment came from misguided notions that the Asians were stealing jobs at that time. Regarding the recent surge of Anti-Asian hate, David mentioned that one benefit has been an increase of Asian citizens running for office as the community has become more galvanized as a result of this troubling recent trend. Katherine raised the point that a lot of the news coverage on this topic focused on Black on Asian crime and hate, but this actually represents a very small percentage of the problem. Assunta then shared a noteworthy slide highlighting 35 Asians elected to office in the region during the 2021-2022 session. Assunta closed with an acknowledgement that in her 30 plus years as Rotarian this is the first program dedicated to AAPI Heritage Month.
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