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Eugene Southtowne Rotary is a service club of committed members partnering with Rotary International to provide support in service to local and worldwide communities through truth, fairness, goodwill, and better friendships, beneficial to us all.

Here's the Latest...

  • Dr. Guy Higashi is the president of New Hope Christian College in Eugene. The college was first established in 1925 and next year will be celebrating its 100th annivesary!
  • New Hope has its main campuses in Eugene and Honolulu but also has partnerships with campuses in Taiwan and Myanmar and a full online program.
  • There are about 225 students at the Eugene campus and about 200 at the Honolulu campus.
  • The college is fully accredited and has many 2-year and 4-year programs available.
  • Most programs revolve around Biblical Studies and Theology but there are many others offered including Business Administration and Crisis Response.
  • Dr Higashi has been in Oregon for three years and travels back to Hawaii several times a year to see family. He has four children and four grandchildren.
  • He recently was in Hawaii helping his aging parents and the topic of leaving a legacy came up. Dr. Higashi encouraged everyone to live a life that will make a positive impact!
  • Christian Education is important in America because it has helped shape our country and where we are today.
  • Many of the largest campuses in the US were founded as Christian institutions: Harvard, Yale, Princeton to name a few.
  • It allows the students to develop their world view in a safe and positive environment

presented by Fred Crafts

Radio Redux is a Eugene-based repertory theater company that celebrates “theater of the mind” programs like those of the Golden Age of Radio. As a result, it encourages patrons to stretch their imaginations in ways that contemporary cultural activities rarely do.

Upcoming performances include:

  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Its a Wonderful Life
  • Casablanca
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Lost Horizon

Radio Redux started at the Wildish Theatre and they've been selling out for the past 5 years. They are moving on to the Hult Center and performances begin October 31. Fred Crafts was the art editor at the Register Guard for several years.

Listen to a snippet of Fred and fellow actors perform here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kr2kvuhsysyoyq8/Radio%20Redux.m4a


Today's speaker was John Gartland, Atorney-Mediator with Gartland, Nelson , McCleery & Wade, P.C. in Eugene.

  • John graduated from OSU and went to the U of O Law School. He began as a family law lawyer and litigated for ten years. He didn't like what he considered a waste time/assets just because of the complexity of some cases.
  • He got interested in Mediation: having someone neutral trying to get two parties to settle outside of court. It took him eight years after his first mediation experience to become a mediator on his own.
  • He mostly does pre-marital agreements, blended family and estate planning.
  • His clients are referred to him from a few sources: previous clients, pastors/ministers, other lawyers
  • He is a facilitator. He doesn't make the decisions, he only has the ability to influence the decisions made. He provides a safe place to talk and that keeps people from making decisions based on emotion (fear, stress, concern). Mediators are not a subsitute for a lawyer though! He is always very clear in recommending that each party have their own representation.
  • He is impartial and objective in his approach. The process is completely voluntary but full disclosure is critical. If he feels that one of the parties is withholding information, he can turn down or stop the mediation process.
  • The cost comes out of both parties' fees.
  • The advantages are: clients agree ahead of time on the speed of the process, the settlement, and the goals and ensure they are well-within range. It is something that both parties have agreed on, therefore the likelihood of the agreements being honored are much higher

Today's presentation focused on how Oregon communities are regulated so our rivers are safe for fish, swimming and drinking water supplies.

Presented by Southtowne member Walt Meyer.

Walt has worked as an environmental engineer for 45 years, mostly in Oregon working with communities to provide safe drinking water and to treat their wastewater. He is a commissioner with the Eugene Springfield Wastewater Management Commission which is responsible for wastewater treatment in our community.

Highlights from Walt's presentation:

  • There is a legal framework for protecting water in Oregon.
  • In the 60s, the water quality program was established to come up with beneficial uses for every water body including fisheries.
  • Fish and aquatic life tends to be the one benefit that affects our laws and regulations.
  • An example of that is dissolved oxygen criteria. Fish eggs have to have a fairly high level of oxygen in order to survive. Temperature affects this and we have seen mass fish kills because oxygen levels drop and cannot support fisheries.
  • The Willamette River used to be highly polluted by municipalities and industry and fish could not survive. Because of that, people demonstrated and demanded that the legislature take steps to improve the Willamette River.
  • The clean water act was passed in 1972 which included provisions to create a waste water treatment plant in every part of Oregon.
  • In Eugene, the treatment plants use a process for purifying even dissolved materials out of the water. This process ends up producing methane that we use to generate electricity.
  • Farmers and huge farms of poplar trees surrounding the city use the "leftover" materials as a source of fertilization.
  • Temperature is the biggest problem that environmentalists are trying to control and it gets worse each year. They have been looking at many alternatives to help with this problem and "temperature trading" has been chosen as a natural and less costly way to influence the problem. Click here to learn more: http://www.thefreshwatertrust.org/fixing-rivers/water-quality-trading/
  • Future challenges include more stringent toxicity requirements and new pollutants.
  • Toxicity is related to fish consumption. The fish consumption rate is 175 grams per day which means toxicity requirements have to get more and more stringent.
  • Pollutants include mercury, Bis 2-ethylhexyl phthalates (a plastic by-product), nutrients, temperature, and human health products like drugs (DO NOT FLUSH YOUR MEDICATIONS!)
  • At any given time, if you test river water you will find traces of all kinds of medications like Viagra.
  • Protecting our Rivers and Lakes will be a LONG Term Endeavor.

Our own lovely Jenni from Finland is about to finish her year abroad, hosted by Southtowne Rotary and shared her experiences today.

Jenni says this has been the best year of her life. She left for Eugene on August 5th and started the biggest adventure of her life. She looks at a picture from one year ago and realizes how much she changed.

Before she came she had an orientation camp in New York. She met the other exchange students from Finland. She saw the Empire State Building, a broadway show, and many other cool things.

During her year, she had three AMAZING how families. Lallie and Steve McKenzie were her first family. Her second host family was Charlie and Sanice Wilshire - Charlie was her cross country ski coach. Her current host family is the Ball family and she was able to live with one of her best American friends who is also now an exchange family. She can now say she has four families.

She's collected over 14,000 images and tons of "stuff" over the course of her year.

Jenni participated in lots of sports as it is a really good way to make friends and get to know people. She played soccer in the fall and then cross-country skiing in winter and lacrosse in spring. Skiing was the easiest because she knew how but the other sports were quite new, especailly Lacrosse.

She's traveled so many places while in America including Seattle, Portland, and Oregon Coast and all over Oregon and especially to Florida for Thanksgiving with her host family including Disney World!

Jenni loved meeting exchange students from all over the District both inbound and outbound and during the meetings, she really made a lot of friends from all corners of the world. When she goes home she will be able to say she knows people from all over the world.

She really loves school especially IOP (Integrated Outdoor Program) where she was able to do hiking, biking, rock climbing, etc. She especially loved Smith Rock and rafting/camping.

She loved celebrating the holidays especially Halloween which isn't really celebrated in Finland like it is here. Christmas was really hard because she missed her family a lot.

She was able to go to lots of Rotary events like the duck race and one of our Actor's Cabaret performances.

She has been able to come to Rotary every week and she loves seeing everyone and is always looking forward to it.

She loved going to two Ducks games with Deanna and with Kate. She loved going to prom, which does not exist in Finland. She went with lots of friends and had a lot of fun.

Jenni feels she has grown up and learned independence and many things about other cultures and has gained lots of self confidence and not to mention all the friends. She goes home in one month. It will be harder to go back than it was to come here.

She will definitely come back. :)

She wanted to say thank you to everyone who made the year possible and made her dreams come true.


  • Head Start helps low-to-moderate income parents and their children in our community with emergency funds, books, food baskets and employment opportunities. It is funded 60% by the Federal Government and 40% by the Oregon Department of Education.
  • Ninety percent of the famillies are considered low-income. One specific family lost their father. The mother was unemployed and because of Southtowne Rotary, she is now employed and they are receiving food boxes so the family can survive.
  • Holiday food boxes are handed out during the Holidays. During vacations and summer months, the kids aren't receiving the free meals they receive at school. Southtowne Rotary helps provide what they need.
  • Because of the fundraiser this year, Southtowne will be able to provide 200 food boxes this next year.
  • Shut-off notices from utility companies are being paid by the emergency funds provided. One family has a child with a previously-undiagnosed brain condition. Southtowne Rotary provided a gas card for multiple trips up to OHSU in Portland. Another family received a refrigerator so they could keep fresh food from going bad.
  • One mother spoke about the impact Rotary has had on her family. Her husband was laid off in September 2013. Their power was going to get shut off right before Christmas. Because of the emergency funds provided by Southtowne Rotary, they've been able to buy a solar panel to be off the power grid.
  • Another mother spoke of the value of Southtowne Rotary providing free books because it allows her to bond with her daughter by reading instead of sitting in front of the TV.
  • A teacher from Head Start shared what she's been able to witness first-hand. A family was out of food stamps for the month but she told them that Southtowne Rotary had provided food boxes and other basic necessities. Another story where DHS got involved, a father was deported back to Mexico. Again, the mother didn't have enough to provide basic needs for their children, but having food boxes allowed the mother to not have to worry about that.
  • Papa's Pizza will host a fundraiser next Wednesday to support the family of the girl who has the brain condition and will have surgery in June.
  • There was also a short video presentation explaining what Head Start does in the community with interviews with the coordinators, parents and children.

Today I visited Club Tricolores at Fairfield Elementary. Club Tricolores meets twice a week while the parents of these kids learn English (a program of our partner, Downtown Languages/Pilas). Many of our Southtowne members have volunteered here over the years and I was asked to share about my job. So, I taught them about simple websites and we created this page together. Below is their contribution.


Hey my name is Miguel and I'm going to tell you about Club Tricolores. I come on Tuesdays and Thursdays and when I'm here we work on projects and then play.


My name is Yasmin and I go to Fairfield. My favorite thing about Club Tricolores is that we get to have fun and learn tradions of Mexico. I've never been to Mexico.


My name is Esmeralda. I'm 9 and in 3rd grade. I have one brother. He's three. My mom is learning English while I learn how to make a website.


My name is Timo Kirchler and I'm a volunteer at the Tricolores club. I'm a student at the University of Oregon!


My name is Jesus. I go to school at Prairie Mountain and I'm in 5th grade. At club I finish homework, play basketball - sometimes. I have one sister and five brothers!

Talk to Susie or Camille if you want to volunteer next year! The graduation is coming up soon and I'll do my other job: face painting, at that event!

Coke and Cindy, who have taken over leadership from Ted Rose and Susan Hill, gave an update on Project Amigo in Colima, Mexico. Southtowne contributes to Project Amigo annually, and has done so for a number of years.

Highlights from the presentation:

  • Project Amigo was born from a Rotary project
  • Ted and Susan decided to retire and Coke and Cindy became executive directors in July of 2012. They live now in Mexico with two of their seven children.
  • A video interview with one of their students was presented. The students said they could not have continued studying without Project Amigo. One student calls it their "salvation". He wants to become a chemical researcher. He says it amazes him that people from other countries who don't know him would help him in this way and to thank them, he will do everything he can with this opportunity. He calls his supporters his second family. Coke says that all of the students have this same heart and attitude.
  • Project Amigo does very little building and other projects now and focuses on scholarships and funding students.
  • Supporters can choose a student and support them through a scholarship. Supporters can also go for a visit 7-8 times a year for a work week.
  • Project Amigo requires a lot of their students. They have to be committed to school. They have to have the support of their family and families often need their kids to work in the fields (sugar cane, blackberries, etc.) or in construction.
  • Students have to have a visible state of poverty and they have to commit to a number of requirements including getting good grades. Students who slip a little go on probation and this works to motivate them to stay in the program.
  • Students are required to write a monthly email to their sponsor or sponsors. Sponsors are asked to write back and get involved. Project Amigo staff translates as none of the students speak English.
  • Sponsors can teach English during the work weeks, which the students really need to move forward with their lives.
  • None of the students have parents who went to college, and most have not been through high school. An educated sponsor therefore often becomes a mentor to them and coming down on a work week provides a connection and catalyst for the student to keep trying.
  • In 2002, Project Amigo found funding for 5 students to go to college. 4 received their degrees. Since, there has been 45 graduates.
  • 70% of students are female. Males can't break through the walls as frequently (familial, self-imposed, etc.)
  • Maria was featured in a video (see below) and she is studying architecture. She has been with Project Amigo since seventh grade. She never met her sponsors but she communicates with them and she feels like she knows them even though she's never met them. It's incredible to her that they give her their money and time even though they do not know her. Her family is very proud and always wants the best for her and this motivates her because her parents were never able to study. It's very emotional to have that pride of her family. Maria expresses through tears that she would never have the opportunity without Project Amigo. She feels it is very beautiful that a stranger could give this opportunity to her.
  • Project Amigo is attempting to stay in touch with students who get their degree and help them to get employment. Because many of the kids are indigenous, and therefore darker skinned, it is hard for them because of prejudice.
  • Project Amigo is expanding to have a presence in Mexico and they are approaching graduates to become sponsors.

Learn more and get involved: http://www.projectamigo.org/

Vocational training begins at Charlie’s Factory

Last week marked the beginning of a three month pilot training program at Exportadora Camino Norte, Charlie Hall’s glass etching and candle making factory. Four youth from EEE, Fernando, Jesus, Rafael and Max were excited to be learning glass etching, a wonderful new skill.

Charlie commented: “After only 3 half days these guys were at 70-80%”. We couldn’t be prouder! And you should be too! It is through your support as a Friend of EEE that this program was made possible.

Earthspeak Team

Andi Jobe and Dr. Kathi Hoffer evaluated the students with the best hearing abilities in February to learn if they would benefit from Earthspeak’s “Corrective Babbling” speech therapy program. A pilot program was outlined having our teachers trained by San Miguel Earthspeak Master Trainers; our teachers would then pass this skill onto parents who will practice with their children at home. Follow-up is planned in 6 months to assess progress. It’s our hope this program will become a model to benefit many other hearing impaired children.

For more information Kathi Hoffer asked that we include information about the school for the deaf and in particular, how to get to their newsletter. Please visit their website at www.eeesma.com for the latest news and information from this important -- and Southtowne sponsored -- program!

Joelle R. Goodwin, Mrs. Oregon 2009 discussed why and how she got involved in pageants, what she has learned from them and why she remains involved with the pageant community.

Highlights from Mrs. Oregon's presentation:

  • Joelle grew up watching Miss America pageants
  • Joelle's dad was always her biggest supporter and hated it when she didn't win
  • Her first pageant was initiated by her dad in 4th grade: the Junior Miss Black Oregon Pageant. He connected Joelle to dresses, lessons, and all kinds of resources.
  • Joelle aged out of the Miss pageants (17-24) and so she started looking toward the Mrs. pageants
  • In the meantime, Joelle became a second lieutenant in the US Army
  • The Ms. Nernberg Pageant was put on by the Army where she was stationed and she won that title
  • Joelle spent her Mrs. Oregon money on a smile makeover. :)
  • Pageants are like a sport, a very expensive sport. There is a lot of training that goes in to it. Costs include a personal trainer, pageant coach, hair & makeup, entry fees, spray tans, manicures and pedicures.
  • Wardrobes are expensive. Gowns run $500-1000. Interview suits, swimsuits, shoes, etc.
  • There's a lot more than just winning. Community service is a requirement in most pageants and contestants should be very involved in their communities.
  • Joelle's personal platform has been HIV & AIDS advocacy and prevention
  • The winner of the Miss Oregon pageant wins a $10,000 scholarship. Most pageants have scholarships.
  • Pageant contestants become good public speakers.
  • Pageant contestants get to travel and experience different cities and cultures.
  • Most pageants are for-profit operations but don't make any money.
  • The winner of Mrs. America go on to Mrs. World. It's the longest running Mrs. pageant.
  • When Joelle competed in the Mrs. United States pageant as Mrs. Idaho in 2007 because she wanted the experience of the big national stage.
  • Some pageants are non-profit like Miss America and Miss USA. Each year, the Miss America organization makes available over $45 million in scholarships.
  • With Miss America, when a young woman wins a scholarship, it goes in to a foundation and is sent to her school.
  • During the Miss America competition, there is an interview, swimsuit/fitness, evening gown, talent, and on stage questions.
  • There are still a lot of pageants including pageants that focus specifically on race and culture - but these are going away as our country progresses.
  • Miss USA is owned by Donald Trump. There is no talent or stage question portion of this contest.
  • There are quite a lot of famous actors and entertainers who have won pageants.
  • Joelle tried her hand at directing the Miss Lane County program and it wasn't for her.
  • Joelle didn't think she would enter pageants anymore but on May 31, she will be competing in the Ms. Veteran America preliminaries. This competition was created to showcase the woman behind the uniform. The preliminary contest is May 31. Proceeds provide housing to homeless veteran women.
  • Joelle does coach sometimes.
  • Joelle hates the Toddlers in Tiaras type competitions.
  • There isn't any training offered on handling rejection.
  • A lot of fasting and working out goes in to the preparation and a lot of binging happens after.
  • The Ms. Veteran America contest is open to all sizes, colors, and ages and that is a different spin on a pageant that gets away from the stigma.
  • There are a lot of stigmas and pressures for pageants. Joelle's approach is to try to help others build their confidence so as not to rely on so much of the "purchased" enhancements.



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Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club

We meet at the Vet's Club, 1626 Willamette Street every Thursday at noon! Join us.

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 5158,
Eugene, OR 97405-0158

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The Four Way Test


What Is Rotary?

Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

What Is Southtowne?

We are known in the Eugene/Springfield community as the “fun” club, where our members come to listen to engaging programs each week and are entertained by our spirited Sergeant-At-Arms. The ideal member for our club is someone who is passionate to help the youth in our community, and who enjoy positive business and personal camaraderie on a weekly basis.

Project Highlight: StoveTeam

In Latin America, millions of households are using either open fires or inefficient stoves to prepare food. The open fires are unsafe for women and children and smolder all day. Inefficient, non-vented and non-insulated cement block stoves produce smoke and use large quantities of wood.  Learn More...

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