Click HERE to buy your Anthony's Fundraiser Tickets Before They Sell Out!
Wednesday April 12, 5:30 at Anthony's
100 Year Centennial Celebrations Conclude
On a cold Thursday night at the Port of Anacortes Transit Shed the club, guests, and benefactors from the community celebrated a yearlong series of events culminating in dinner and entertainment reminiscent of the inaugural February 23, 1923 revelry.  Numerous projects and events took place throughout 2022 and will culminate in 2023, including the work on a new Cap Sante hiking trail and viewpoint. If you would like to participate or just learn more about your club's storied history, check out "100 Years of Service".
2023 Grant Applications Begin!
The Anacortes Rotary Club is accepting applications for its 2023 grant awards--deadline is March 10.
We anticipate awarding approximately $25,000 in grants this spring. Requests in the $1,000 range for smaller projects are welcome. Larger requests should not exceed $10,000. 2023 Rotary Grant Guidelines

Our goal is to fund a wide variety of worthwhile and effective projects that address needs in all corners of our community. Past grants have targeted social services for youth, families and seniors; education and career training, recreation programs and park development, art and cultural programs and civic enhancements. The majority of the grant decisions will be made in late April, with funds awarded soon after. 
Anacortes Rotary Club Information

"Big wheel keep on turning!  Rotary keep on burning!"

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Majestic Inn & Spa
419 Commercial Ave
PO Box 94
Anacortes, WA 98221
United States of America

Last weekend members participated in one our favorite fellowship events.  5 groups of Rotarians descended upon the homes of hosts representing Italy, Spain, Russia, Mexico, and Ireland with side dishes and aperitifs in hand for an evening of fun, conversation, and music. Fellowship Chair Sondra Peters organized things and hosted the Spain contingent where Rotarian husband, Skip, entertained with his piano playing and stories of his upcoming sailing expedition through the Northwest Passage.

Heated debate ensued at the following Wednesday meeting about which country had the MOST fun but proved inconclusive despite compelling evidence from each.  It was determined the only way to resolve is to do it again!

Under the leadership of Jack Curtis and Melissa Turnage, members donated toiletries and filled 60 "go bags" for the Anacortes Family Center. Executive Director Dustin Johnson updated the club on recent Family Center activities and described how the bags provide much needed supplies for individuals and families who find themselves in need. 
Sports teams--especially winning ones--tend to generate strong community followings. Anacortes High School Head Football Coach, Justin Portz, joined us on Wednesday to share his team's remarkable journey that goes far beyond wins on the field (of which there were many). Since arriving in the "not a football town" of Anacortes, as he was told by a local parent in 2018 shortly before the varsity team disbanded, Coach Portz has planted and grown his philosophy about leading with love and being inclusive.  At AHS, if a kid of any skill level approaches him he'll find a role for that student either on the field or somewhere else--no one is cut. And if someone is in the program, it's his goal to make sure that kid feels safe and valued on the field and off.  The football family plays together, supports each other all year round, and the players work together in the summer to run a skills camp for youngsters.
Maybe that's why they finished 8 and 1 in the regular season including a 21-2 victory over mighty Archbishop Murphy! Maybe that's why recruiters from both WSU and the UW sat down with him to talk about his talented players.  We Rotarians would like to believe it was the club's 2019 grant towards new uniforms that helped put 'em over the top ;-)
Football is a tough sport and fewer parents want their kids playing because of the potential for injuries. But Coach Portz pointed out that because of the tackling techniques they teach, the team didn't have a single significant injury all season. Wow! Echoing Superintendent Justin Irish's comments, we are so lucky to have him here. Heck, Anacortes might just be a football town after all!
On a wintry December 22 Thursday night at City Hall the Anacortes Rotary Club, community partners, and supporters celebrated the 1922 signing of the charter that officially established the Anacortes chapter.  The tone was set by a talented, high school jazz trio who serenaded with Christmas classics as guests arrived to fabulous hors d'oeuvres from Gereadeli and libations flowed from the bar provided by the Rockfish.  There was even a visit from Santa accompanied by the world's tallest elf, Kevin Meenaghan, distributing centennial Christmas ornaments made by AHS.
President Rick Star provided glimpses into 1922 of what life was like at home and abroad, then handed the ball to Club Historian Duane Clark who shared amazing facts about the original 17 and the club charter.  Rotarians and honored guests that night proceeded to sign a newly fashioned version of a charter document that will last us the next 100 years.

Wrapping things up, our own house band, Sea Level (Rick, Tim Garrison, Dan Worra) romped with an expanded line-up including Lindy Reno on percussion and, keeping it presidential, Curtis Payne on guitar / vocals. Then Kiwi (Mark Lascelles) brought us into a toast with another of his amazing poems.  By the time the last reveler rolled out into the snowy evening and Mayor Miller had finally locked up the building, I'm sure everyone would have agreed that it had truly been a night to remember.
Recent improvements to the Rotary Viewpoint Trail at Cap Sante Park take you easily from the water’s edge to the Cap Sante summit in a short 1⁄2 mile walk. Now, seven new interpretive signs have been added to trail kiosks, telling local stories and making the path even more enjoyable for park visitors. The signs, installed in the park Friday (Dec 16), are a cooperative effort of the Anacortes Rotary Club, the Samish Indian Nation and the City of Anacortes.
Anacortes Rotary is providing the money for the park improvements from three sources, club charitable resources, a separate grant from the Rotary International regional district and a City of Anacortes Lodging Tax grant to the club. Rotary Volunteers built the kiosks earlier this year. The 4-foot square panels are placed at four trailside locations in the park, where they give park users background on the history, culture and natural surroundings of Anacortes.

Team members responsible for the design and installation of the interpretive panels are Bret Lunsford and Adam Farnsworth, Anacortes History Museum; Jackie Ferry, Samish Tribal Historic Preservation Officer; Brian Tottenham. Sky Guthrie and Bob Vaux, Anacortes Parks and Recreation; and Jack Darnton, Anacortes Rotary.

Cap Sante offers one of the best panoramas on Fidalgo Island, with sweeping mountain, water, island, valley and forest views. The park is enjoyed by hikers, dog walkers, boat watchers and casual strollers, all drawn to the park’s variety and its summit’s splendid scenery. Looking toward the future with the City of Anacortes, Anacortes Rotary is examining design options for a new summit viewpoint looking east toward Mt. Baker. that will include easy ADA access at parking lot level, seating, more interpretive signs and multiple view locations. Final design and engineering work will follow, guided by further community input and approvals from the city.
See All 7 Kiosks
Read the Article
Everyone knows wishes are more powerful when linked together!  Kids of all ages stopped by the Rotary tent at Winter Wonderland Friday & Saturday night to enjoy candy canes, glow sticks, and snap bracelets while writing down their ultimate wish for the season.  iPads, Elsa "Frozen" toys, happiness and world peace were the most requested, with snow, puppies, and kittens (a pink one!) making strong showings.  Parents and Rotarians alike loved seeing the smiles and earnest faces of the kids as they built their part of the chain,  which will be prominently displayed at City Hall as part of the club's 100 year celebration on December 22nd.
Fellow History Loving Rotarians,
At our November 30 luncheon meeting, those present witnessed a very creative and unique, if somewhat questionable, legal maneuver.  Whereas Raj, our District Governor (DG), was unable to meet with us in person, visiting via ZOOM instead, and whereas special DG presentations were to be made at this luncheon meeting, and whereas a couple of our members are creative, and whereas quick-thinking action was required, Jim Anderson, acting in a legal fashion, and Mark Lascelles, acting as a DG want-to-be conspired to “officially” swear-in Mark as our DG for two minutes – long enough to carry out the required duties.  It all worked out great, and DG Raj even suggested that Mark’s tour of duty should last for more than two minutes.
Those few minutes of fun reminded me of a delightful and clever legal PRANK that was carried out during a joint meeting of Anacortes and Oak Harbor Rotarians in June of 1960.  The complete story is recorded in the June 17, 1960 edition of the “Anacortes Rotarian.”  I’ve attached a copy of the two-page record of that meeting.  The story begins midway through the first page, but, in fact, the entire report is a great read, opening a window into the topics covered in a typical 1960s Anacortes Rotary meeting.   50-year Anacortes Rotarian Paul Luvera was the bulletin editor at the time.   President Ben Van Deusen and Sergeant At Arms, Earl Morgan, who by the way, was the grandfather of current member Christine Cleland-McGrath are shown in the 1960 scrapbook picture below.
President Ben Van Deusen (cello) and Sergeant At Arms, Earl Morgan (violin), who by the way, was the grandfather of current member Christine Cleland-McGrath.
Thank you to the 32 Rotarians and supporters who greeted shoppers at BOTH Safeway doors, braving a blustery late November Saturday in Anacortes.   The Rotary bell-ringers collected donations of more than $1500 ($1553 to be precise) for the Salvation Army.  With the proceeds from sales of the “must have this season” Rotary Santa hats we'll be able to donate another $200 toward the effort.

Salvation Army Lieutenant Shane Ingram reached out to project lead Jack Curtis to express how grateful he and his team are for the club's support.  He said the $1500 haul is the largest he could remember for an opening weekend!  If you think about how little it costs the Salvation Army to fill one of the food boxes our club packed a few weeks ago, you can see how far these funds can go!

If you’d still like to contribute, bell ringing continues throughout the holiday season and the Salvation Army now has its “Virtual Red Kettle” where you can learn more and donate online.

The Club kicked off the holiday season in classic fashion with one of its most venerable "Centennial Community Partners".  Lt Shane Ingram hosted a full house at the Salvation Army Center for Worship & Service,  enthusiastically describing upcoming programs and his vision for the center and community. Anacortes Rotary Club Historian, Duane Clark, then shared more than 50 years worth of photos from both groups' collective work. 
Phil Madden, Mike Matheson, and John Carabba packing boxes in the early '90s
After the lunch meeting concluded,  nearly Rotarians headed downstairs to help Food Bank Director, Paula John, prepare Thanksgiving Dinner food boxes for Anacortes families.  The dedicated crew packed 124 boxes in 37 minutes!
The holiday season continues, with Bell Ringing at Safeway scheduled for Sunday Nov 26.

For the second year Anacortes and Fidalgo Rotary Clubs teamed up to hold the “Pints for Polio” fundraiser to cure polio under the big top at the Rockfish Grill.  $4,700 was raised from members and guests while Monday Night football played on the big screen.

Better yet,  each of those dollars was matched by TWO additional dollars by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, meaning every dollar collected at Rockfish provided one dose for one child.  Multiply by Rotary’s 35,000 clubs around the world and the collective impact is huge. Rotary launched its polio prevention drive in 1979 and has partnered with the Gates Foundation since 2007.  Polio cases have been reduced 99.9% and nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries have been protected.


October is Rotary’s “End Polio Month”,  which is why the Anacortes and Fidalgo clubs along with many others around the world hold polio awareness events this time of year.  We are happy to do our part as part of this broad global effort.

We recently received dozens of colorful letters from two elementary schools in Copan, Honduras.  The children and teachers of Escuela Lempira and Carrizalito #1 wrote to share their appreciation for Anacrotes Rotary's support.   In recent years, along with other Skagit County clubs, Rotary has provided funding and on-site help for a variety of programs including:
  • Finding and maintaining sponsors for 30 primary schools and 400 individual secondary students (via its Adopt-a-School and Adopt-a-Dream programs)
  • Creating library systems for village schools
  • Providing health care for students
  • Ongoing construction and repairs for schools, village power, water systems and home latrines
  • Equipment for health clinics and emergency services
  • Economic development and microfinance
Here are three samples that exemplify the sentiments of all.  They speak for themselves!

Dear Rotary Club,

I greet you affectionately wishing you are in good health and your dear family. The reason for my letter is to thank you for all the help that you have given me as I know: I use for my study, uniform clothes and shoes.  I and my family are very grateful because with my study I am ensuring my future. Without more than tell you I say goodbye to you with much affection.

Erik Fainardo Ramirez

Dear Rotary Club,

I am grateful for the support that you give my children, it is a great blessing since we are a low-income family, thank you very much for the uniform and supplies and we know that when our children get sick they will have help.


Good day beloved sponsor hope you are well I hope you are having a great time with friends and family.  I want to tell you that I am in 5th grade and I have seven classmates and I thank you for the supplies you give us, thank you very much. It was a pleasure to write you this letter. I hope to be able to write you again soon.


Francis Solis



The Club held this Wednesday’s lunch at Anthony’s Cabana where we honored none other than “Mr Anthony’s” himself,  founder Budd Gould, for his service to the community.

Anacortes Rotary & Anthony’s have been working together since 2011. The first Rotary dinner was hosted on January 17th and actually took place BEFORE Anthony’s official opening a few days later.  Then as now, ALL proceeds from dinner—not just the profits—went to the community.  That means Budd & Anthony’s have been generously donating the venue, the food, and their staff’s time to Anacortes for the last 11 years! 

10 dinners have raised a total of $200,000.  The money has supported a wide range of projects, causes and organizations, everything from the American Legion, Fidalgo Pool and the Anacortes Family Center to the Salvation Army, Hospice of the Northwest and the Anacortes Library. Money has gone to the Anacortes Senior Center, the Anacortes Waterfront Alliance and the Ready to Learn Fair.

Many grants have gone to programs at our elementary and secondary schools. They include but are not limited to:

• Support for the Robotics program and the Metals Club at Anacortes High School.

• Literacy nights at all Elementary schools.

• Ovens to support the Garden to Kitchen program at Anacortes Middle School.

Donations have been large: We gave the Boys & Girls Club 21,000 in 2014. And some have been small: We gave the AHS Spanish Dept. $169 in 2018 for supplemental Spanish magazines. Most grants fall in the $2,000 to $5,000 range.

There have been 32 recipients over the 10 years - some groups have received more than one grant - and 48 grants in all.  The Giving Committee, led by Rotarian Jack Darnton, has been overseeing the grant program since 2016 and making recipient recommendations to the Board.

All the grants have touched people in our community. Anthony’s generosity has made Anacortes a better place in so many ways. The gorgeous summer weather and the the Cabana provided the perfect day and place to thank Bud and Anthony’s once more for this wonderful partnership.

February 23-  100yr Centennial Dinner Celebration at the Transit Shed
March 1Anacortes Family Center, Dustin Johnson will be updating us on the centers latest to projects and the ongoing needs of the organization.  We will also do a short service project for the Center
March 8- Fire and Police Department, Anacortes Fire Chief Bill Harris and Anacortes Police Chief Dave Floyd informational program about staffing, looking ahead to the April Levy Lid vote
March 15- Saint Partick’s Day Fellowship,  We are planning a little Irish fun, and by the end of the meeting we will know who the real Irish Rotarians are!
March 17- MORE St Patty's Day with the McClintock's at Skyline Clubhouse (6pm) 
March 22Anacortes Waste Water treatment plant, Corrine Hamburg to present “Sewage 101” a look inside how the waste water treatment plant operates. Corrine is in the Skagit Rotaract Group and is a PUD Commissioner
March 29- Fifth Wednesday Social and crowning of Rotary's March Madness Champion
April 5- Roozengaarde Farm history and Tulip Fest, owner John Roozen
April 12- Anthony's Fundraiser Dinner (6pm)
April 19- Anacortes Senior College
April 26- The Holding Space, founder Miranda Montellano "Birth and Wellness Cooperative"
Fab Four
As planning began in 2017 for the club’s Centennial, it became obvious that the possibility existed that not one, not two, not three, but four Anacortes Rotarians were on track to become 50-year members by the time the club celebrated 100 years. Those four members became known as the “Fabulous Four.” Click here to read more about remarkable members John Chambers (joined 1968), Bob Murray (1969), Von Kuehn (1972), and Jim Anderson (also 1972).
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Past President
Assistant Treasurer
Centennial Project
Centennial Celebration
Club Historian
Club Service Chair
Club Workforce Chair
Community Service Chair
Fellowship Co-Chair
Fellowship Co-Chair
FInance Committee Chair
Grants Chair
International Service Co-Chair
International Service Co-Chair
Membership Chair
Public Relations Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Fundraising Chair

Member Spotlight 

President Rick Star and Master-of-Ceremonies Jack Darnton welcome Anacortes Rotary's Newest Member, Jeremy Graham!
Jeremy Graham has lived in the Northwest for most of his life, spending most of his youth in Roseburg, OR. He earned his Civil Engineering degree from Oregon State University and married wife Lisa after graduation, raising two boys in Central Oregon.
Jeremy and Lisa relocated to Anacortes in March of 2020 and are soon to be empty nesters.  
Jeremy is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys fishing, boating, hunting and hiking. Since moving to Anacortes he and his family have spent most of their time exploring the Puget Sound and southern BC from their boat.  
Jeremy is already a Rotarian from his Oregon days and is eagerly looking forward to jumping in on the Cap Sante Trail enhancements and other projects.
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