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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...

presented by Tom Greider, Roehl & Yi Investment Advisors LLC

Tom is a Financial Life Planning advisor, having earned the Registered Life Planner designation through Kinder Institute of Life Planning. Financial Life Planning is the process of melding money with meaning. It allows people to live richer, fuller lives – personally, professionally, financially, and spiritually.

Tom is also a member of the Heritage Institute, an organization that is nationally recognized for its “family before fortune” approach to financial planning.

In addition, Tom provides employee education for 401(k) plan participants through group and individual meetings. He also acts as a liaison with retirement plan trustees and investment committees.

Tom was a professional tennis coach for 36 years and owned Willowbrook Raquet Club and worked for YMCA for 12 years.

Contact Tom

Highlights from the Presentation:

All people can benefit from financial life planning. It helps you to better understand the purpose of your money and wealth. Without knowing what gives you vigor and passion in your lives, it is difficult to know how much money you will need in your retirement years. Anyone, regardless of your assets, all of us have dreams and desires we would like to see fulfilled before we leave this earth. People in a transition stage of their life, especially, can benefit whether job change, retirement, death of a spouse, divorce, etc.

Money is just a tool and how you use that tool is important. There's a balance between hoarding money and spending too much money.

One example of how this helped a client is Elizabeth Gates, an elderly lady who went through the financial planning process and a passion for photography was uncovered. The process helped her to publish a book of photography and sell it up and down the Oregon Coast.

Another example was an insurance entrepreneur who sold his company in order to pursue work within our community.

This is emotional. It's about analyzing your life and your passions and investing in what's important.

Financial planning brings spouses and family members together toward lifetime goals. It allows them to share discovered and undiscovered passions. It takes 3-4 confidential conversations to get the process started and it is a coaching process. Tom has always been a coach.

Tom provided a packet to each of us to help begin the process.


  • 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 John Brown, Southtowne member, partner at Evan, Elder & Brown, and commissioner for EWEB's Board of Commissioners.

If you ever want to know anything about what is happening in Eugene, John is the man.

Highlights of the presentation:

  • John has been in Eugene over 60 years and spoke about the changes over the years.
  • John predicts is that the next 10 years hold a greater magnitude of change than what he's seen the past 50-60 years
  • The urban growth boundary was created in the 70s
  • Envision Eugene is happening now to figure out how we are going to grow over the next 20-30 years. They will expand the urban growth boundary in some ways including the areas around LCC and West Eugene for residential and industrial
  • We are totally out of industrial land
  • Another possible area of growth is out by the airport
  • Rezoning will happen for multi-family and commercial
  • There will be maximum lot sizes and density will increase similar to how it is down Patterson and up Hilyard.
  • Goodpasture Island Road is growing dramatically and an expanded bridge is going up over Delta in order to accommodate traffic.
  • Traffic is about to get a lot worse and reliance on alternative modes of transportation will increase. All the new buildings are being built right up to the road and so roads will not widen.
  • Ferry Street Bridge is the area that will change the most. Apartments, small lots, and senior housing are all coming in to that area and traffic is already challenging.
  • University district development is beginning to slow because of current density levels.
  • Springfield is growing also, just not to as much of a degree.
  • We used to be reactive in terms of economic development but the tide is shifting to promote this area. No land to develop on and a challenging development environment are obstacles in that process.
  • Hynix, even though they are no longer here, are still one of the top 10 taxpayers in lane county. Large companies add a lot of revenue to our economy.
  • Monaco's property consisted of over a million square feet. All of that property is leased and becoming not enough for the companies that have moved in.
  • Probable Rumor: Occupation of Hynix is close to becoming a reality
  • Probable Rumor: A hotel near Valley River
  • Probable Rumor: A Conference center
  • Oregon state police will relocate and build new buildings
  • Probable Rumor: Whole foods is coming
  • Other growth: Natural Grocers is almost built on Coburg, Starbucks is moving from Pearl to an expanded location on Broadway, Crazy student housing projects are almost complete, Civic stadium will finally become something new and prosporous and the new YMCA will be built, new and remodeled schools are happening all over the city, the beer district continues to grow and expand (Ninkasi is the 5th largest brewery in the nation and doesn't even have a national presence yet) - and there is much more
  • This is the most extensive growth we've seen in the past 30 years.
  • John's opinion is we need to grow, but we need to grow smart. Fortunately we've been able to keep this an attractive area to live in but it will be a challenge to maintain that over the next decade or two.
  • Downtown Springfield and Glenwood are both growing and expanding and will look much different a few years from now.
  • Drastic change is a reality.
  • It's becoming very important to look at where you live and are going to live because everything around you is changing.
  • There are 7-8000 apartment units being built that won't be used by students
  • A new State Mental Hospital in Junction City is proving to provide infrastructure challenges. But Junction City is a huge area of opportunity.
  • EWEB is in good shape to support the growth and riverfront properties are up for sale and negotiations are ongoing with major developers for that riverfront area.

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/


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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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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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