"What Rotary Does In Anacortes"
by the AHS Broadcast Club
Anacortes Rotary Club Information

"Many Hands Make Light Work"

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
In what is becoming an annual event,  Rotary's A-Team Landscapers arrived bright and early at the home of auction winner Anna Melling (thank you for your generosity Anna!) for a major spring spruce up.  Under the leadership of Mike "Bossman" McClintock and a key assist from Simply Yards owner Mark Lawrence,  a crew of ten eagerly spread tons of mulch, cleaned up garden beds and added new plantings.  Good weather,  good coffee, and good company made for a great time for all,  while raising money that supports local causes.
Three color-coded teams of intrepid explorers set out on Saturday afternoon to seek downtown Anacortes' treasures.  They had to solve a series of devilish clues and puzzles created by Therese Rudzis and Mary Staley to guide themselves to 7 locations where they were required to procure offerings from local merchants and ask befuddled strangers to photograph the team in action.  All three teams succeeded in completing their tasks and were declared winners (though it would be remiss to fail to point out that some were faster than others: go Green Machine!).
After a couple of exhausting hours searching the wilds of Commercial Ave the teams reunited at Frida's with organizers Therese and Mary to celebrate accomplishments and regale the assembly with tales of adventure.  Businesses visited included: Wishing Rock, Sugar Mama's, Pelican Books, Fidalgo Fudge, and the venerable Rockfish Grill.  Until our next adventure...!

While out on a walk last fall, Rotarian Loalynda Bird asked her good friend and fellow Rotarian, Peggy Flynn, for her help to bring the Earth Day Luminary Light Parade to Anacortes. A luminary artist, Loalynda founded the Guemes Parade in 2016. The Parade had grown to capacity over the years and now Loalynda wanted more people and a larger variety of age groups to take the Parade to the next level. An active community volunteer with project management skills, and an avid luminary maker, Peggy agreed.

Their first call was to Rotarian and Chamber of Commerce CEO Jesica Kiser for guidance about dates and logistics. Jesica helped secure the Depot for their preferred date, April 20, 2024.  In conversations with other community leaders, the Procession of the Species was mentioned as another earth-friendly event. Discussions between the organizers led them to conclude that, given the big task of closing Commercial Avenue, it made sense for both the Luminary Parade and the Procession of the Species to take place on the same day. Having joined forces, the next challenge was to resolve the question of timing, given that the Procession is a daytime event and the Luminary Parade happens at nightfall.

The next call was to Rotarian Jordan Hay, Executive Director of the Anacortes Downtown Alliance. Would her organization want to organize a street fair in the time between the Procession and the Luminary Parade? With the streets closed, a street-festival atmosphere could bring additional people downtown on a shoulder season weekend. With Jordan’s characteristic enthusiasm, the event began to take shape.

Operating without any funding, Rotary Grants Committee chair Jack Darnton encouraged the Luminary group to apply for a grant to cover basic necessary expenses. Needing someone with years of experience to manage street closures, Rotarian Jim Poitrus accepted the call and added his wife and fellow Rotarian, Cheryl, to assist with this task. As plans have expanded and grown, Rotarian Don Bird brings his expertise in media and event planning to the team. Rotarian Rick Star’s Rockfish will be setting up a Beer Garden.  Under the guidance of Rotarian and DanceWorks Director Melisa Turnage, a group of young dancers, invited to participate in a Disneyland parade in June, will have the honor of leading the Luminary Parade.

Besides Loalynda and Peggy, other Rotarians have gotten into the spirit by either making their very own, or volunteering to carry, luminaries in the parade. You are likely to see Bonnie Bowers, Jordan Hay, Jesica Kiser, Janette Lione, Marta and Mike McClintock, Sondra Peters, Therese Rudzis, Mary Staley, Rick and Carole Star, and Vicki Stash brightening the evening skies.

With these many seeds having been planted by members of the Anacortes Rotary Club, the First-Ever Anacortes Earth Day Celebration is about to blossom on Saturday, April 20 beginning at 4 pm and ending around 10 pm.  In addition to the Luminary Parade and the Procession of the Species, the Street Fair will feature two live bands, street dancing led by a professional ballroom dance instructor, nearly 20 non-profit organizations featuring earth-friendly exhibits and children’s activities. Downtown shops will have special promotions, and restaurants will offer earth-friendly menus.

Schedule of Events

4:00 Rhythm Studio Dancers

5:00 Procession of the Species

5:45 Music by Anacopper Road

6:45 Music by Pension King and the Dependents

8:00 Luminary Light Parade

A Note from Loalynda & Peggy (pictured below):   "We are more than grateful for the generosity, enthusiasm and energy the Anacortes Rotary Club has brought to this first-ever community event. We simply could not have made this happen without YOU. It truly does take a village . . . and a Rotary Club.  Thank you!"


56 year member, John Chambers, relates how he came by a Rotary banner from Lovisa, Finland over fifty years ago:
Shortly, 1-2 years, after Kirsti and I married, She took me to Finland to show me her home town, parents etc. So one of the things I did was bring along a banner from our club and found out where and when their Rotary met. It was in a small restaurant with a meeting room connected to it. So I went to the meeting, which started out in Swedish, because the majority of the Lovisa population spoke Swedish instead of Finnish. When they asked for any visitors I stood up and reached into the inside pocket of my suit for the banner and as I drew it out the entire membership stood as one man as I handed the banner to their president. He, with great decor, handed me their banner and we shook hands and I was thereby welcomed into their club for the meeting.

I was so impressed by that spontaneous show of respect for the exchange
of banners I never forgot it.

The Rotary Club of Pacifica is a morning club located on the Pacific coast (of course) just south of San Francisco,  and Jim Renfro's first club before moving to Anacortes--purportedly driven by the search for a meeting time later than 7:15 AM.  A younger club than Anacortes,  Pacifica Rotary was founded in 1962, not long after seven coastside communities were combined to form the town itself.  The conquistador helmet on the banner honors Gaspar de Portala' who discovered San Francisco Bay in 1769 while standing on Sweeney Ridge above the the town. Spanish galleons had sailed past the narrow, foggy, cliffs of the Golden Gate for decades, never realizing the bay was there.  Similarly, many native San Franciscans today drive to Silicon Valley without realizing PACIFICA is there!
The banner arrives courtesy of a recent vacation Jim & Stephanie made to reconnect with friends in the club,  including Rotary "power couples" Steve & Colleen Wright, Patrick & Marilyn Hall.  Like Anacortes,  the club draws fascinating speakers and has a great time working together on community projects.  Next time you visit San Francisco and want to see some of the best scenery in the Bay Area, stay a Monday night in Rockaway Beach and check out Tuesday morning's Rotary meeting.
Somehow these two pictures just fit together.  Again this year we want to publicly acknowledge and thank this year's team of Bell Ringers.  LaShan Harrison at the Salvation Army reports that our team collected more than $1100 on Saturday.  We're all familiar with the remarkable work the Salvation Army does in our community, and are grateful our membership continues to show up to help them make a difference.  While event leader Jack Curtis couldn't exactly prove it, he suspects some of our success this year was due, in part, to bringing cute kids and dogs...!  
And adding the perfect festive touch, at Wednesday's lunch we were regaled with Christmas carols by the highly enthusiastic ukele ensemble, "Essential Element".  If you somehow didn't already know that Anacortes had a resident 9 person, all ukele band that rocks,  well, we do!
Specific thanks to:  bell ringers Jack Curtis, The Mccaughans, Jim Anderson, The MacDonalds, Peggy Flynn, Tom Decker, Vicki Stasch, Ron Litzinger, Marilyn Stadler, Krista Oicles, Tom Griffin, Liny Reno, the Lascelles, and Vicki Stash (a second mention) for leading her energetic ukele team
This year's theme, "Many Hands Make Light Work" was put to the test yesterday as 47 Rotarians joined Salvation Army chief Brett Harrison (who is our newest Rotarian) to assemble Thanksgiving food boxes that will be distributed to Anacortes families next week.  The Thanksgiving food box drive has become a club tradition along with helping as bell ringers, collecting holiday funds for those in need. 
How better to move forward after the hugely successful Love Boat fundraiser than, well, with ANOTHER fundraiser.  In its third year "Pints for Polio" at the Rockfish has quickly become an eagerly anticipated opportunity to team with the morning club (Fidalgo Island Rotary) to celebrate the end of autumn and raise funds to combat polio, which are matched 2-to-1 by a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.  Event chairmen Ron Litzinger & Jeremy Graham report that year's donations, matching funds, and sales of t-shirts by both clubs contributed more than $22,000. 
Lots of hard work and dedication were on display with 14 volunteers keeping Rotary and Cap Sante Parks clean, safe, and beautiful. Their contributions are invaluable to our community. Volunteering is lot of work, but this group came prepared with energy, enthusiasm and positive attitudes. The weather was perfect, matched by the impressiove commitment from the group in coninuing the club's park improvements.
Heritage Bank Volunteers: Chloe Dawson, Dorie Michener, Jodie Kittelson, Angela Campbell and Krista Oicles. Community volunteer, Marketa Vorel (our speaker from last month). Rotarians pitching in were Mark Lascelles, Kevin Meenaghan, Rick Star, Bonnie Bowers, Vicki Stasch, Peggy Flynn, Mike McClintock and Tom Decker.
Whether they were pruning along the trails, weatherproofing 200 feet of fence and 2 kiosks, grabbing garbage or weeding the base area trailhead, this hard-working crew smiled, laughed and toiled all the way. Check out the pictures; you can be sure they were enjoying themselves, happy to be making a difference.
These efforts by Rotary and community volunteers result in two parks that are more inviting and enjoyable for everyone.
John Muir's words rang true for club members, volunteers, and friends this month as they made improvements to Rotary and Cap Sante Parks. Nearly 70 hours of work party time was devoted to pulling weeds, removing invasive scotch broom and spurge plants, staining kiosks and trail wayfinding posts, trimming brush along trails and tackling other duties—all to improve park habitat and features so visitors have more fun.  Unlike during Mr Muir's famous treks, donuts & scones were provided to all!
Community volunteers included Terri Bawden, Mark McEathron, Maddy Mackenzie, Janette Lione, John Wilkinson, David Hansen, Chris Hansen, Will McClintock, Nancy Wong, Lisa Graham, Ethan Graham, Tom Haug, Angela Currie and Stuart Currie. Rotarians were Tim Garrison, Jim Poitras, Cheryl Poitras, Vicki Stasch (2 days), Tom Decker, Jeremy Graham, Jack Darnton (2 days), Mike McClintock, Jim Anderson, Mark Lione, Dick Warsinske and Bill Harris. Please thank them. 
May 22- laugh Great Anacortes Rotary Joke Off Championship Finale laugh
May 29- 5th Wednesday Fellowship @ Anthony's Cabana
June 5-   "Pool District Changes", Rob Peterson
June 12- "State of the City" Mayor Matt Miller
June 19- "International Project Update", Marc Lascelles
June 26-  Installation of New Officers
Club Banner Buddies
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Past President
Assistant Treasurer
Club Service Chair
International Service Co-Chair
International Service Co-Chair
Membership Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Fundraising Chair
Centennial Project
Club Historian
Club Workforce Chair
Community Service Co-Chair
Fellowship Chair
FInance Committee Chair
Grants Chair
Public Relations Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
Community Services Co-Chair

 Member  Spotlight 

Like a Good Neighbor... 

Our newest member, Heather Ladd, recounts the time she met "Jake from State Farm" (she really did!) and the opening of her new insurance practice in Anacortes. Heather grew up in a suburb of Seattle, where her parents taught her that no matter how hard times are for us personally, we are able to lift others by giving what we can to help and that it is our responsibility to do so. Many times she saw them go without for others, while instilling in her that education, hard work, determination, and practice are the keys to success and to never give up on what you believe in.

The first person in her family to go to college and earn a degree (working full time to pay her own way) she began her State Farm career in Tacoma, WA in 1998  and learned the impact a small business owner could have in their community. Heather served in several different local offices and corporate roles including being named a Vice President of State Farm in 2019. After 6 relocations she decided it was time to come home to the Pacific Northwest and fulfill her passion for servant leadership, helping customers and supporting our local community of Anacortes. 

Heather is joined by husband Jerry and their daughters, Abigail (14) and Emmalyn (10).  Jerry (owner of Ladd Custom Woodworks) and Heather have been married for 21 years and met while competitive swimming in college at Pacific Lutheran University.  They enjoy spending time with family and friends, hiking with their two golden retrievers, volunteering, and traveling. Welcome, Heather!

Want to Donate?
We always have projects that can benefit from your support. Drop us us a line and we'll contact you to discuss current and long-term opportunities.