Posted by Tim Garrison on Jun 04, 2024
The Rotary Quick and Dirty Boat Building Team of Jeremy Graham, Jerry Ladd, and Ralph Petty constructed a dashing outrigger style boat, decorated in brilliant Rotary blue and gold by Loalynda Bird, Peggy Flynn, and Duane Clark.  Fundraising nails were sold by Stephanie Hamilton and Rick Starr.  Strong overall leadership was provided by Commodore Krista Oicles, who again organized Rotary's team for the annual event.  Graham and Ladd were selected as rowers for the big race competition owing to their youth and swarthy physiques.  At the blast of the starting horn our rowers arched their backs mightily against the sea, and * snap – snap! * in an instant broke both oars!  Undaunted, they plunged hands and arms into water and rowed anyway, turning said ocean into a boiling froth.  It was a herculean effort propelling that boat using only their human limbs while their competitors enjoyed the luxury of oars. One would expect nothing less of a Rotary operation! Our boys persevered when all others would have surely crumpled and finished the race.  Though not a victory in title, the blue and gold received far and away the loudest, most boisterous cheers from the multitude of onlookers. We took third place overall, a fine achievement considering the adversity endured.
Unbreakable! Tim Garrison 2024-06-04 07:00:00Z 0

The Amazing Race- Anacortes Style

Posted on Apr 02, 2024
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...!
The Amazing Race- Anacortes Style 2024-04-02 07:00:00Z 0

Bay Area Banner Buddy

Posted on Feb 24, 2024
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.
Bay Area Banner Buddy Jim Renfro 2024-02-24 08:00:00Z 0

Pints for Polio!

Posted on Nov 05, 2023
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. 
Pints for Polio! Jim Renfro 2023-11-05 07:00:00Z 0

Mt Erie 5th Grade Running Club Celebrates

Posted on Jun 23, 2023
Some projects are big, some are small.  They all matter and make our community special!
"Dear Rotary Members,
I wanted to thank you one more time for the $300 you gave us this year for Running Club shirts.  The students were SO excited and worked so hard to earn the shirts.  I wanted to send a couple of pictures of a few of the students who earned shirts this year.  Again, we appreciate you so much.  I hope you have a wonderful summer.
Jonna Dunham"
Mt Erie 5th Grade Running Club Celebrates Tim Garrison 2023-06-23 07:00:00Z 0

Anacortes American Centennial Dinner Article

Posted on Mar 01, 2023

Rotary Club celebrates 100th anniversary

By Briana Alzola balzola@goanacortes.com
Rotary Club

The Anacortes Rotary Club marked 100 years since it received its charter with a special party Thursday, Feb. 23. The celebration focused on the club's history of leadership and giving back to help the community. It took place 100 years to the day of a big party celebrating the new club.

The March 1, 1923, edition of the Anacortes American announced the charter with the headline "ANACORTES ROTARY CLUB RECEIVES CHARTER FROM DISTRICT GOVERNOR."   "Anacortes Rotary club No. 1,801 was admitted into Rotary Monday night by the district governor and welcomed by the presidents of the Rotary clubs of Seattle, Everett, Mt. Vernon, Sedro-Woolley, Bellingham and Victoria, in the presence of more than 100 visiting Rotarians with their wives and the wives of the members," the article reads. "It was charter night for Anacortes Rotarians and the official life of the club commenced under the most promising conditions; with the good wishes of all the northwest Rotarians presented by letter, by telegram and in person, Anacortes Rotarians received their charter. It was a Rotary night, good humor, good fellowship and hilarity were general, but always there was a note of seriousness of purpose for which Rotary stands."

Representatives from each of the other clubs that were included in the first party were included again this year, club member Duane Clark, who ran the committee for the event, said. It was great to celebrate with them 100 years after the first Rotarians celebrated together; "It was sort of magical," he said.

The party is just one part of the club's centennial celebration, which started with a big float in the July 4 parade. Since then, the club has also hosted a representative from 12 of its community partners, awarding them a plaque and hearing about the connection between them and the Rotary Club. Those partners include the School District, Island Health, fire, police and the Anacortes Schools Foundation. Many of the club's community partners have been involved with the club for most of its 100 years, Clark said.

In December, the club held a party on the day it originally signed its charter.  Then, there was this big celebration, Clark said.  Service projects are also helping celebrate. A trail from Rotary Park to the top of Cap Sante is now open, with easy-to-navigate trails and new signage opened in June. More work is planned at the viewpoint on the top.  All the planning for the Centennial started about five years ago, Clark said.  A program handed out to party attendees included many messages of support for the club, including those from past and present mayors Dean Maxwell, Laurie Gere and Matt Miller.

"Congratulations to Anacortes Rotary and your milestone celebration of 100 years serving the Anacortes community," Maxwell wrote in his message. "The value of the work of your club in Anacortes over your century of service is easily in the millions of dollars. The impact of each one of your club projects has helped to change the profile of the community we all love in many positive ways. You have also changed many lives for individuals who might, without your help, never have had an opportunity to better themselves. Serving as Anacortes’s mayor for 20 years, I witnessed your accomplishments firsthand. They are too numerous to list individually, but the community has appreciated and benefitted with every project you took on and touched."

The program also included a look at Anacortes Rotary Club's history through clippings from the Anacortes American, plus a look at what features have lasted through the century, like leadership, youth enrichment and members getting their hands dirty to complete projects like planting tulip bulbs and cleaning up beaches.

"Woven throughout most months of the past 100 years is the highest devotion to the current and future well-being of Anacortes’s young people from the earliest years through high school and college," the program's section on youth enrichment reads. "Initiatives, some standard and some very creative, addressed, encouraged and supported issues of health, education, recognition, athletics and all the various forms of artistic expression. Students of the Month, foreign exchange students and summer employment opportunities became traditional offerings from Rotary’s earliest days."  The club has often also been involved with parks in town. Before it even received its charter, it helped develop Causland Park to honor World War I veterans.

In looking back at its history, the club honored its first president Ben Driftmier Sr.  "Ben Driftmier Sr. was a remarkable president, setting a high bar for all of those who followed him," the program reads. "He was a member for almost 47 years, having perfect weekly attendance for 36 of those years. The first meeting that he missed in 1969 was on May 28. He then attended the following meeting on June 4, and passed away six days later, on June 10."  Driftmier's grandson and his granddaughter and their spouses were featured guests at this event.


A full list of presidents included every person that served between Driftmier and current president Rick Star.  The club also celebrated its service projects, which it has been completing in many forms for the last century with its partners and community organizations like the City of Anacortes, the Anacortes School District, the Salvation Army and more. It also completes international service projects.

In fact, throughout the last 100 years, a member of the Anacortes Rotary Club has served in a project on almost every continent, according to the club. It also leads an exchange program for students.  During this centennial year, the club is focused on two international projects. One is providing services like clean water, health care and education to 30 villages in Honduras, a project it is teaming up with 12 other clubs to complete. The other project is getting supplies to Ukraine.  The club also works on vocational service, such as working on early literacy and providing scholarships to students.

The Anacortes Rotary Club hosted its first major fundraiser in 1941, an all-male cast performance of "Just Married." Fundraising has continued to grow and in the last 15 years or so, the club has brought in between $70,000 and $100,000 a year to support giving and programs in the community.

Anacortes American Centennial Dinner Article Jim Renfro 2023-03-01 08:00:00Z 0

Winning the "New School" Way

Posted on Jan 21, 2023
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!
Winning the "New School" Way Rick Star & Jim Renfro 2023-01-21 08:00:00Z 0

Viewpoint & Trail Background

Anacortes Rotary Centennial Viewpoint & Trail at Cap Sante

Celebrating 100 years of giving to the community, the Anacortes Rotary Club is proudly sponsoring enhancements to the Cap Sante Trail System. When completed, the viewpoint, trail and signage improvements will enrich the user experience for residents and visitors alike.

  • A Trail that’s easy to find and follow
  • Safer, more accessible view spaces
  • Improved walkway along marina to a refurbished gazebo
  • More ways to share Anacortes’ history, culture and natural beauty

An improved and easy-to-navigate trail to the top of Cap Sante is taking shape as the Anacortes Rotary Club takes a big first step in the celebration of its centennial.

Working with the City of Anacortes Parks and Recreation Department, club members mapped out improvements to the existing path from the lower parking area to the crest of Cap Sante. The club is funding the purchase of gravel and other trail enhancement costs and providing some volunteer help. The Parks Department is doing almost all the trail work. 

“Our goal is a trail route that is accessible and safe, using the existing pathways,” said Anacortes Rotary President Dan Worra. “This project celebrates the spirit and one-hundred-year history of Rotary in Anacortes by providing recreational amenities for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.”

Directional trail signs are included in the Rotary Viewpoint Trail plan, along with an improved entry area just south of the Anacortes Yacht Club. Rotarians are also considering additional improvements for the paved path and gazebo along the shore of Cap Sante Marina as part of the project.

A trail grand opening and “rec fest” featuring groups such as Friends of the Forest, OARS and the disc golf community is planned for Saturday, June 11.

A key point to the trail project is encouraging walkers to use the direct path to the top in place of the existing road, Rotary project chairman Tom Decker said.  The goal is to improve safety for pedestrians by keeping them off the road and to lessen traffic through the adjacent neighborhood.

Another aim for the path improvement is to route hikers off the steep, eroded informal trails that currently cross various parts of the park. 

“Our plan will help restore some of the park’s unofficial trails to a natural state by renewing native vegetation and discouraging use,” Decker said. 

At the top of Cap Sante, the club and the city are exploring concepts regarding a new viewpoint area with space for more people to enjoy the summit panoramas. Improved public access and separation between visitors and cars are key goals.

“More and more these days, residents and visitors are looking for easily accessible, healthy outdoor activities, which is bringing more visitors to Cap Sante,” Decker said. “Our summit trail and viewpoint will be simple enrichments to create more public enjoyment and enhance connections to what is already a very popular spot.”

The Anacortes Rotary Club is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2022. The club has raised more than $220,000 for the project from club members and grants, a sound foundation for substantial investment in the project. Anacortes Rotary will turn to community members in coming months for more financial support.

“Our goal is an enhanced place for people and connections to downtown,” Decker said. “We are looking at environmentally sensitive ways to provide more public enjoyment. The goal is enhancement of the park experience for every member of the family, from kids to grandparents.”

Anacortes Rotary Club members have a long history of stewardship at Cap Sante. Through the years, the group has funded improvements at Rotary Park at the base of the headland, worked in cooperation with the city to eradicate invasive plants, provided volunteer maintenance help and helped construct disk golf amenities. 

Park Summary and Historical Background:  Cap Sante Park, a 37-acre City parcel, is located on a prominent headland on the northeast corner of Fidalgo Island within the City of Anacortes. The headland itself is a dedicated park (Cap Sante Park) that has a few trails. An area along the southwestern shore also is a park (Rotary Park) that has a broad shoreline trail leading to the gazebo and a picnic area, plus a disc golf course and parking.

In the 1860s and early 1870s, the area was known as Rocky Point. In 1877, Anna Curtis Bowman, wife of Anacortes Founder Amos Bowman, named it Cap Sante because it reminded her of a rocky promontory that juts into the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, where she spent much of her childhood. Originally, the St. Lawrence River promontory was named Cap de la Sainte-Famille, which means “Cape of the Holy Family” in French. The name evolved through time to Cap Sante, which means “Cape Health.” Source: Anacortes Museum

Viewpoint & Trail Background Tom Decker 2023-01-13 08:00:00Z 0

Charter Signing Celebrated

Posted on Jan 01, 2023
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.
Charter Signing Celebrated Rick Star 2023-01-01 08:00:00Z 0

Viewpoint Trail Signs Installed

Posted on Dec 21, 2022
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
Viewpoint Trail Signs Installed Tom Decker 2022-12-21 08:00:00Z 0

Chain of 100 Wishes

Posted on Dec 12, 2022
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.
Chain of 100 Wishes Jim Renfro 2022-12-12 08:00:00Z 0

Upcoming Speakers

July 17- "CyberSecurity Panel", Douglas Lapore, Compumatter & Liz Svoboda, Heritage Bank
July 24- "Sunflower Fund Update", Marketa Vorel
July 31- 🏝 5th Wednesday at Skyline Beach Cabana 🏝
Aug 7-   Charitable Giving Report, Jack Darnton
Aug 14- TBD
Aug 21- Environmental Stability Rotary Action Group, Jackie Davison
Aug 28- Friends of Anacortes Forest Lands, Youth Coordinator Hanna Katz
Upcoming Speakers 2022-12-09 08:00:00Z 0

Club Historian Declares "Foul"

Posted on Dec 05, 2022
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.
Club Historian Declares "Foul" Duane Clark 2022-12-05 08:00:00Z 0

Ringing in the Holidays--Rotary Style!

Posted on Nov 30, 2022
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.

Ringing in the Holidays--Rotary Style! Jack Curtis 2022-11-30 08:00:00Z 0

A-Town "Boxing Day"

Posted on Nov 28, 2022
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.
A-Town "Boxing Day" Jim Renfro 2022-11-28 08:00:00Z 0

$1 = $3 = One Cure

Posted on Oct 20, 2022

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.

$1 = $3 = One Cure Jim Renfro 2022-10-20 07:00:00Z 0

Letters from Copan

Posted on Sep 11, 2022
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


Letters from Copan Jim Renfro 2022-09-11 07:00:00Z 0

Honoring Mr. Anthony's

Posted on Aug 21, 2022

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.

Honoring Mr. Anthony's Jim Renfro 2022-08-21 07:00:00Z 0

Centennial Float Wins!

The Club's 100 year celebration float turned out to be a real crowd pleaser that wowed the Anacortes 4th of July Parade judges. Perhaps it was Lindy Reno leading Rotarians and Anacortians singing "happy birthday America and Anacortes Rotary Club..." (which turned out to be impossible to articulate in unison) or maybe it was driver Mark Lascelles "encouraging" the judges with a $10(Canadian of course) donation,  or maybe it was just the enthusiasm of the marchers and the beauty of the float itself that garnered a perfect score from Mayor Matt Miller and his team.
Special recognition goes to team that designed, built, and decorated the float (and themselves):  Jim MacDonald, Stephanie Hamilton, Loalynda Bird, Duane Clark, Colleen Craig, Lindy Reno, Colleen Craig, and Mark Lascelles.  Enjoy the live action clips below.
Parade Beginning (Mark Lascelles video)
Parade Finale (Steve Berentson video)
Centennial Float Wins! Jim Renfro 2022-07-11 07:00:00Z 0

2022-2023 New Rotary Year Celebration

Posted on Jun 30, 2022
Rotary Assistant District Governor Connie Milliken honors outgoing President Dan Worra and administers the oath of office to incoming President Rick Star, while celebrating with friends and family at Anthony's Cabana.  Notable accomplishments during past year include: 30 Rotarians volunteering 450 hours building the Cap Sante "Trail to the Top", Storvik Park Landscape Improvements and Maintenance, Senior Center & Museum Landscape Maintenance, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Bark in the Park, Cap Sante HS gift bags, Award of Multiple Academic Scholarships, Fall Fundraiser campaign, Anthony’s Community Benefit dinner, and International Projects in Honduras.
Additionally, numerous members were honored with Paul Harris awards for their contributions (42 this year!) while special recognition was bestowed upon "Rotarian of the Year", Marilyn Stadler, for her extensive contributions to club and community, including Friends of Fidalgo Pool, Senior Center fundraising, and multiple Rotary projects. In the words of 2021-22 President Dan Worra, "Marilyn always finds her YES."
Finally, no major Rotary event would be complete without an appearance by our very own "Sea Level"--including a rousing encore of The Romantics classic, "What I Like About You".  Sea Level's line up consists of 2020-21 President Tim Garrison, 2021-22 President Dan Worra, and 2022-23 President Rick Star.  Rumor is President-Elect Lindy Reno is secretly practicing drums ahead of her 2023-24 debut...
2022-2023 New Rotary Year Celebration Jim Renfro 2022-06-30 07:00:00Z 0
Anacortes American Centennial Trail Article Jim Renfro 2022-06-15 07:00:00Z 0

Cap Sante Trail Dedication

Posted on Jun 10, 2022
Mayor Matt Miller and Anacortes Rotary President Dan Worra cut the ribbon to officially dedicate the new "Centennial Trail" to the top of Cap Sante.  For the past few months Project Captain Tom Decker (seen below) has led club & community volunteers while coordinating with city officials to build the trail.  Enhancements include informative kiosks, new directional signage, and an ADA-accessible viewpoint to be built later this year.
For more detail, check out https://anacortesrotaryhelps.org/projects/
Cap Sante Trail Dedication Jim Renfro 2022-06-10 07:00:00Z 0

Anthony's Grants Awarded

Posted on May 24, 2022
From left: Warren Carr, Transition Fidalgo; Janie Crane, Island Hospital Foundation; Melissa Turnage, Fidalgo DanceWorks; Elise Murphy, Anacortes Waterfront Alliance; Heidi Velin, Fiddlehead Montessori School; and Carla Bigelow, Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center.

Anacortes Rotary Club members heard from many of this year’s grant recipients at its May 18 lunch meeting, including Anacortes School District leaders who accepted a check for $20,600 to support teacher training for its Science of Reading initiative. Funds came from last fall’s successful fundraising campaign.


Representatives of six organizations receiving grants funded by the recent Anthony’s Dinner were on hand to explain how their funds would be used.


• Fidalgo Pool received a $3,000 grant to support lifeguard training and certification.

• Fiddlehead Montessori received a $1,500 grant for curriculum materials as it expands to serve preschool and kindergarten students.

• The Anacortes Waterfront Alliance received a $1,350 grant for a new racing team sail.

• Fidalgo DanceWorks received a $2,000 grant for its Dance for Parkinson’s class.

• Transition Fidalgo received a $1,000 grant for Anacortes Middle School garden renovations.

• Island Hospital Foundation received a $2,000 grant for its Reach Out & Read program that makes early literacy a standard part of pediatric primary care for low-income families.


Anthony’s grants also went to the Anacortes High School Metals Club ($3,000), special ed programs at Fidalgo Elementary and Island View Elementary ($1,300), Literacy Nights at Fidalgo, Island View and Mount Erie elementary schools ($1,500), Anacortes Parks & Recreation ($2,600), Ready to Learn Fair ($2,000), Reading is Fundamental ($2,000) and Anacortes Boys & Girls Club ($2,000).


Anthony’s grants totaled $25,100, the largest amount ever thanks to the work of Lindy Reno and her team and great support from club members.

From left: Anacortes Rotary Club President Dan Worra; Angie Miller, Anacortes School District Director of Teaching and Learning; Dr. Becky Clifford, Anacortes School District Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning and Inclusive Services; and Dr. Justin Irish, Anacortes School District Superintendent.

Anthony's Grants Awarded Jack Darnton 2022-05-24 07:00:00Z 0

Mayor Matt's State of the Union

Posted on Mar 25, 2022
Mayor Matt Miller, with help from his assistant, Jennifer Tottenham, joined us for lunch and provided an update on the City's plans for 2022.  Of particular interest were work now underway on the new Cap Sante summit trail (with major club support) and the ever expanding fiber network services for which a number of members have eagerly signed up.  Note that as Mayor Matt is a proud member of the Rotary Club we are reserving a shovel for him to help move gravel as we build the trail with the City.
Mayor Matt's State of the Union Jim Renfro 2022-03-25 07:00:00Z 0

Ringing In the Holidays

Posted on Dec 21, 2021


From 10AM to 6PM on Saturday the 18th, club members and guests rang the bell to a joyous $1,032.52 in donations from our community. In spite of heavy rain and cold, strong wind for the first half of the day, our stalwart members wished everyone visiting Safeway with a “Merry Christmas”.  Special thanks to all the generous customers who demonstrated the true spirit of Christmas Giving.


Thanks to the following club members and their guests who participated: Krista Oicles, Marilyn Stadler, Jim and Stephanie Renfro, Tom Kuhn, Jim Anderson, Mark Lione and Janette (his fiancé!), Ron Litzinger, Tom Griffin, Mark and Mary Lascelles (special shout out for working two, one-hour slots!), Kevin Meenaghan, Mark McCaughan

Ringing In the Holidays Tom Griffin 2021-12-21 08:00:00Z 0

A 2 Club Christmas

Posted on Dec 10, 2021
The Anacortes Rotary Club and Fidalgo Island Rotary Club (our sister morning club) jointly rang in the holidays at the Transit shed with music by C-Level (Tim Garrison, Rick Star, Dan Worra, and special guest Dan Conrardy). Thank you to Anacortes High and the Anacortes School Foundation for the amazing decorations!
A 2 Club Christmas Jim Renfro 2021-12-10 08:00:00Z 0

Pints for Polio

Pints for Polio, held on October 14 under the big tent at the Rockfish, brought Fidalgo Island Rotary and Anacortes Rotary Club together for fellowship and fundraising. Each club raised close to $2,110 and with two for one matching dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the evening raised $12,800 to help in the eradication of polio world wide.
Pints for Polio Jim Renfro 2021-11-02 07:00:00Z 0

Singing For Our Supper

Posted on Oct 28, 2021
The AHS Tenor & Bass Choir led the club in singing the Star Spangled Banner at the Majestic,  followed by an a cappella rendition of Billy Joel's "The Longest Time". This was their first post-COVID public appearance!
Singing For Our Supper Jim Renfro 2021-10-28 07:00:00Z 0

Fall Fundraiser Focuses on 3 Areas

Posted on Oct 16, 2021
Each fall the Anacortes Rotary Club holds an event to raise money for important community and
club projects. Despite concerns around COVID 19, we are still committed to funding three
important areas:
 a new program in our schools that will help identify and support students who
struggle with reading challenges such as dyslexia, ongoing Rotary community efforts and a special
water project in our adopted village in Honduras.
Look for a letter from Chairman Rick Star coming soon,  and check out the video below.
Fall Fundraiser Focuses on 3 Areas Jim Renfro 2021-10-16 07:00:00Z 0

9/11 Ride Inaugurates New Scholarship

Posted on Sep 14, 2021
110 miles! Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of Rotarian Jack Curtis or the first responders who greeted him at the Tommy Thompson Trail yesterday. Jack’s ride on 9/11 honored first responders and kicked off a new scholarship with the Anacortes Schools Foundation. Learn more about the Curtis Family First Responders Scholarship and donate at asfkids.org 
9/11 Ride Inaugurates New Scholarship Marta McClintock 2021-09-14 07:00:00Z 0

Incredible Support for Anacortes Schools!

Posted on Sep 03, 2021
President Dan Worra and Grants Chairman Jack Darnton pictured with ACSF President Treva King and ACSF Executive Director Marta McClintock
     On Wednesday, September 1, Rotary presented Anacortes Schools Foundation President Treva King and Executive Director (and Rotarian) Marta McClintock a giant check in the amount of $110,250. This important sum included $88,000 earmarked for 2021 summer learning. The lion-share of this funding came from our generous anonymous donor and was facilitated through the work of Rotarians Jack Curtis, Melissa Turnage and Justin Irish. Other support included  $22,250 for Impact, the Kindergarten through 5th grade summer program, $3250 for backpacks and school supplies for the Ready to Learn Fair and $500 toward Class of 2021 Senior Banners which were displayed on Commercial Avenue during the months of June and July.
Incredible Support for Anacortes Schools! Marta McClintock 2021-09-03 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Scholarship Awarded

Posted on Jul 15, 2021
Anacortes High School's Woojun Jeong enthusiastically received the club's 4 year scholarship for college expenses last Wednesday at the Rockfish, from President Dan Worra and Scholarship Chairman Mark Lione.
Woojun is a well rounded young man who excelled in maintaining a 3.92 GPA while tackling a number of AP courses focused on Math, Science, and Computer Science.   He is also an exceptionally gifted musician who plays the guitar, the bass guitar, and the drums.   He participated in the Jazz Band, the Jazz Choir, the Symphonic band, and the Drumline!
He is excited to be attending USC in a pre-med program beginning in August.
Rotary Scholarship Awarded Jim Renfro 2021-07-15 07:00:00Z 0

"Rotating" to the Rockfish

Posted on May 15, 2021
The club honored its roots as in-person meetings pick up steam by "rotating" this week's meeting to Anacortes' Rockfish Grill, courtesy of owner and Rotarian Rick Star.  A little known fact:  Rotary was so-named because of the early practice of rotating meetings between members' various places of business.  In a post-COVID twist, a half dozen members also attended via Zoom.  
"Rotating" to the Rockfish Jim Renfro 2021-05-15 07:00:00Z 0

At Last:  ROTARY IN 3D!

Posted on Apr 29, 2021
After more than a year of two-dimensional Zoom meetings the Anacortes Rotary Club is now able to meet in person.  Thanks to vaccines and Anthony's unique open air patio, members are re-connecting and experiencing anew the fun and excitement of a real Rotary lunch.  Loalynda Bird, this week's speaker, shared her vision for a new "Luminary Parade" event she is working to bring to Anacortes (hopefully) later this year.  Special thanks go to the club's newest member, Anthony's manager Kasey Baker, who found a safe way to make the gorgeous lunch venue a reality.
At Last: ROTARY IN 3D! Jim Renfro 2021-04-29 07:00:00Z 0

3 New Rotarians Welcomed!

Posted on Mar 03, 2021
President Tim Garrison and Master of Ceremonies Jack Darnton swear in Jack Curtis, Courtney Orrock (a returning Rotarian), and Brady Turnage

     In what is officially the Anacortes Rotary Club’s largest, mass Zoom induction ceremony ever (okay, the first), we are proud to welcome three new members who have elected to embrace “Service Above Self”.  There is much to accomplish in 2021 and the community looks forward to their energy and contributions.  Meet Anacortes’ newest Rotarians:


Jack Curtis.   

Jack is a recently retired Naval aviator, fresh from commanding a Growler squadron at NAS Whidbey.  He now works as a government contract technical analyst and is a co-founder of End Speed Group, a leadership and organizational culture consulting firm, along with fellow new Rotarian Brad Turnage.  Jack stays busy coaching youth sports, volunteering at A Simple Gesture food bank, and spending many hours on the ACFL trails.


Courtney Orrock.   

Courtney Orrock has returned to Anacortes (and the club) after working for almost 10 years in Las Vegas, first at Sunrise Children’s Foundation, then at Wyndham Destinations, the world’s largest vacation club and exchange company.   Now a stay-at-home mom rearing an 18-month old daughter,  Courtney is looking forward to re-engaging with the Anacortes Arts Commission, Anacortes Library, Island Hospital Foundation and other worthy causes.


Brady Turnage. 

Brady (along with Jack Curtis) founded End Speed Group, utilizing his more than 20 years of experience building and leading teams in the Navy and as a lacrosse coach at the University of Delaware. Brady was the Commanding Officer of a carrier-based jet squadron at NAS Whidbey and is currently a Contract Instructor, training EA-18G Growler aircrews.

3 New Rotarians Welcomed! Jim Renfro 2021-03-03 08:00:00Z 0

Fundraiser Raffle Winner!

Posted on Jan 27, 2021
Congratulations to Annie Brogan, who won the $1,000 gift certificate to Burton Jewelers!  We had 101 entries into the raffle, representing donations of $500 or more.  Overall, this Rotary event raised nearly $70,000 which will help area families in need.
Thank you to all who helped out. We are humbled by your generosity and compassion. 
Fundraiser Raffle Winner! Jim Renfro 2021-01-27 08:00:00Z 0
Still Rakin’ it In (community cleanup pt2) Jim Renfro 2020-12-16 08:00:00Z 0

Raking History

Posted on Nov 30, 2020

Nearly a dozen Rotarians and family turned out with rakes and blowers to spruce up the Anacortes Museum grounds. Amber Walker coordinated the cleanup with the City as part of ongoing efforts to support community services and help offset COVID budget cuts.  Next stop is the Senior Center on Saturday December 12th at 10AM. Come join us!

Raking History Jim Renfro 2020-11-30 08:00:00Z 0

30yr Kiwanan Becomes Honorary Rotarian

Posted on Jul 08, 2020
Dennis Richards was recognized as an honorary Paul Harris Fellow for his 22 years of community service as Director of Marketing at Island Hospital, for his 30 years as a member of the Anacortes Kiwanis Club, and for his leadership as Chairman of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce. Rotarian Virginia Smiley conferred the honor along with President Stephanie Hamilton.  Congratulations Don, and THANK YOU!
30yr Kiwanan Becomes Honorary Rotarian Jim Renfro 2020-07-08 07:00:00Z 0

Virtual Changing of the Guard

Posted on Jun 25, 2020

Wednesday’s meeting, attended by more than 30 Zoom-savvy Rotarians, celebrated the conclusion of Stephanie Hamilton’s presidency and the start of Tim Garrison’s. Assembled members applauded Stephanie for her inspired leadership during some of the most unusual circumstances in the Club’s 98 year history. Assistant District Governor Connie Milliken officially installed Tim as Anacortes Rotary’s 2020-21 President, and Tim described how he and his new board and committee chiefs are already building upon Stephanie’s amazing work this past year.

Special Paul Harris recognitions were made, on behalf of Virginia Smiley, to recognize community leaders who have contributed so greatly to Anacortes:

Dick Nelson-         Dakota Creek Industries

Dennis Richards-   Island Hospital (and Kiwanian)

Shirley Yap-           Shell Puget Sound Refinery

Nels Strandberg-    Strandberg Construction

Club member Kevin Meenaghan was also honored as a new Paul Harris Fellow. Paul Harris said: “He who tries to find the good in others will be rewarded, for others will surely find the good in him. Of all the earth’s sad and lonesome creatures, the most helpless is he who loves not his fellowmen.”

The new leadership team and all members look forward enthusiastically to the re-opening of our community and new opportunities for “Service Above Self.”


Virtual Changing of the Guard Jim Renfro 2020-06-25 07:00:00Z 0

"School to Go" Summer Support

Posted on May 28, 2020
Anacortes Rotarians helped deliver the final forty-plus packages of games, puzzles, books, and art supplies for low income students to enjoy over the summer.  On April 27, our club presented a $2,500 check to the Anacortes Schools Foundation to fund the great work Carrie Worra and others are doing through this new program - School To Go. The club’s $1,250 contribution was generously matched by District 5050, which is providing matching grants to clubs around the region to help combat the effects of the coronavirus.  To learn more, check out  https://www.anacortesschoolsfoundation.org/

"School to Go" Summer Support Jim Renfro 2020-05-28 07:00:00Z 0

School To Go & Anacortes Rotary Partnership

Posted on Apr 30, 2020
Anacortes Rotary has stepped up in a big way to help students stay safe, healthy and learning this spring — and lessen the impact the coronavirus is having on students’ regular schooling since they can’t be in their classrooms.
On April 27, our club presented a $2,500 check to the Anacortes Schools Foundation to fund the great work Carrie Worra and others are doing through a new program - School To Go. The club’s $1,250 contribution was generously matched by District 5050, which is providing matching grants to clubs around the region to help combat the effects of the coronavirus.
“Thank you so much Rotary for advocating for our most financially insecure families,” Carrie said. “I am beyond thrilled to be able to supply these students with a little extra support during this difficult time.”
“We have struggled to raise funds quickly for this project, so Rotary is truly saving the day,” Carrie said.
School To Go is funded entirely through new, targeted contributions to the Anacortes Schools Foundation. Rotary’s support ensures it will continue into June.
The Schools Foundation began the School To Go Program to provide educational support, including school, craft and basic household supplies, to families currently enrolled in the Food to Go weekend food program. It targets the most food insecure families in the school district who are at the same time the ones most likely to be most adversely affected by the school closures.
Bags contain an inviting mix of school and craft supplies - items like colored pencils, science experiment books, math learning cards, Word Find pads, modeling clay, sketch pads and sudoku puzzle books.  The bags are individually packed with materials appropriate to students’ age and grade level.
The first delivery was March 30. The most recent monthly delivery was April 27, when pre-bagged supplies bags went out to about 55 students in 35 homes.
Assisting with delivery in April were Rotarians Maddy MacKenzie, Marta McClintock and Dan Worra. The next and final delivery is May 25.
School To Go & Anacortes Rotary Partnership Duane Clark 2020-04-30 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Goes Virtual!

Posted on Apr 10, 2020
It's not easy for an organization used to meeting face-to-face for 115 years to suddenly adapt to the age of Zoom.  President Stephanie Hamilton set up and led Anacortes Rotary's first ever video meeting.  It was cathartic for all, as we shared stories of how our families are adapting to COVID-19.  We also discussed how members can contribute to two programs supporting our local restaurants and frontline workers.  All readers are encouraged to take a look at the "Buoy Anacortes" and "Anacortes Strong" websites below, and help if you can!
Rotary Goes Virtual! Jim Renfro 2020-04-10 07:00:00Z 0

Inaugural "Fireside Chat" for New Members

Posted on Mar 16, 2020
On March 11th the Anacortes Rotary held it’s first-ever New Member Fireside as a lunch meeting! New members from the past year were introduced, and each table received a 5-min “speed date” from each of the club’s committee chairs. 
This event was a hit, stay tuned for the next one!
Inaugural "Fireside Chat" for New Members Maddy McKenzie 2020-03-16 07:00:00Z 0

Par 4-Way Test

Posted on Feb 24, 2020
The Club joined the Library Foundation this weekend to transform the entire Library into a miniature golf course to help raise funds for a variety of library activities. Last year the Anacortes Rotary Construction Gang (Jim MacDonald, Mark Lascelles, Tom Kuhn and Duane Clark) built a hole highlighting Rotary's core "4-way Test" values, which they updated and enhanced for this year's event.
Par 4-Way Test Jim Renfro 2020-02-24 08:00:00Z 0

Skip and Sondra Peters join A-Town!

Posted on Feb 20, 2020
Skip and Sondra Peters, Rotarians from Kingston, WA recently moved to Anacortes and joined our club! Sponsor Jim Anderson & "Master of Ceremonies" Jack Darnton are seen performing the always colorful induction honors.
Skip and Sondra Peters join A-Town! Jim Renfro 2020-02-20 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Supports Joint Island Hospital/Anacortes School Health Program

Posted on Feb 07, 2020
Island Hospital and the Anacortes School District work together to provide mental health services to youths who might otherwise be unable to receive care. Rotary's contribution helped expand mental health services in the schools from two to four days per week, with services also being available throughout the summer. Pictured below (left to right) are Club President-Elect Tim Garrison, Island Hospital CEO Charles Hall, Anacortes Schools Superintendent Mark Wenzel, Club Treasurer Therese Rudzis, and Island Hospital Foundation Director Jeannette Papadakis. Additional information can be found at: islandhospitalfoundation.org/someone-to-talk-to
Rotary Supports Joint Island Hospital/Anacortes School Health Program Jim Renfro 2020-02-07 08:00:00Z 0

Anacortes Waterfront Alliance thanks Anacortes Rotary!

Posted on Aug 21, 2019

Anacortes Waterfront Alliance Director Kevin Pratt shares their thanks for Anacortes Rotary's grant of $3,500 this past spring

"The Anacortes Waterfront Alliance is very grateful for the funds received to help purchase a youth learn to sail boat. We have experienced the impact that these boats have had on our program for many weeks now and are thrilled to have had the support of the club. The boats are safe, stable, and fun for kids to sail on both while learning and challenging their skills... Please relay our gratitude to the rest of the club so they can share in the joy of the students."
Anacortes Waterfront Alliance thanks Anacortes Rotary! Maddy Mackenzie 2019-08-21 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary team takes 1st place in the quick & dirty boat building

Posted on Jun 05, 2019
It takes six hours to build a boat, two hours to decorate it and less than five minutes to determine if it’s going to stay on top of the water … at least that’s how it works at the Quick and Dirty boat race.
This year, two of the seven competitors sank. The first to go, right at the starting line, happened to be last year’s race and overall winner.
The annual Quick and Dirty Boat building Demonstration and Parade — a favorite feature of the Anacortes Waterfront Festival — asks teams to build a boat in six hours using limited materials. Then, they decorate it and take it down to the water.
“The weather was perfect, and we had a great time,” judge and organizer Pat Barrett 
Rotary team takes 1st place in the quick & dirty boat building 2019-06-05 07:00:00Z 0
Members create bags for graduating seniors of Cap Sante HS 2019-05-09 07:00:00Z 0
Students of the Month 2018-11-19 08:00:00Z 0

Rotarians and Middle School students work at Storvik Park

Posted on Oct 03, 2018
Anacortes Rotarians turned out in large numbers along with a great turnout of Middle School students on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Storvik Park to upgrade the playground. Volunteers included John Prosser, Dan Worra, Tom Decker, Bonnie Bowers, Tim Garrison, Krista Oicles, Michael and Marta McClintock, and Mark Wenzel, working side by side with the kids and members of the Fidalgo Club to spread new bark in the playground. 
Another work party is schedule for later in October for more renovation on the park playground. 
Rotarians and Middle School students work at Storvik Park 2018-10-03 07:00:00Z 0
Anacortes Middle School Students take 1st place in State competition 2018-05-12 07:00:00Z 0
AVID Students make make a presentation May 2nd 2018-05-07 07:00:00Z 0
Members listen to an explanation of the new circle at Sharps corner  2017-11-22 08:00:00Z 0

Fall fundraiser bring in $70,000 

Anacortes Rotary Fall Auction brings in $70,000 including $34,000 for Veterans 
The Veterans Service Office of the Causland American Legion Post in Anacortes is the primary beneficiary of the Anacortes Rotary Club fundraiser that brought in an estimated $70,000 Oct. 13. Of the total, $34,000 came during the special “raise the paddle” for the Veterans Service Officer program, which provides professional assistance to an estimated 2500 local veterans and dependents. 
Fall fundraiser bring in $70,000 2017-11-15 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Fall tailgate event

Media Release: Anacortes Rotary Fall event Friday, Oct. 13
The Causland American Legion Post Veterans Service Office is the designated beneficiary of the Anacortes Rotary “Tailgate Honoring Anacortes Veterans” fall fundraiser. Date for the event is Friday, October 13
“We are working with our local Legion Post and its three service officers to make sure this essential outreach program continues to aid local veterans. It is a program with proven results,” said Anacortes Rotary President Krista Oicles.
Here are narratives of veterans recently assisted by the Causland Post program:
•             A World War II veteran suffers a near fatal heart attack. His wife, while hurriedly applying for her husband’s benefits, suffers a serious stroke. Both land in local hospital intensive care units.
•             A Vietnam Veteran, first struggling to assist with an adult child’s substance abuse problem, then faces medical care for his wife’s heart attack. The bills come to more than $60,000.
•             An Iraq Veteran strains to keep a job while trying to support his wife and five children, ages 3 to 14, as they live in a 28-foot trailer in a local campground. 
These real-life examples of local veterans and their families show who is helped — and will continue to be helped – through Anacortes Rotary’s "Raise the Paddle" auction event. Recognizing the 2,500 local veterans and their health care needs, Anacortes Rotary Club officials say they named the highly successful outreach program as a top fundraising objective for this year’s fall event.
“A big challenge facing many veterans is how to navigate the Veterans Administration system of benefits and health care.” Said Rotary Tailgate Chair Bonnie Bowers. “Every day, the Veterans Service Officers of the Causland Post work with Vets who need counseling, help with medication management, wound care, mobility equipment training and hospice care equipment and supplies. Our funding partnership with the Veterans Service Office is an innovative approach to addressing these challenges.”
“As this year’s designated beneficiary, the Veterans Service Office, is at the forefront of our fall fundraiser,” Bowers said. “Thanks to our generous citizens and sponsors, the Anacortes Rotary Club has been able to fund more than $70,000 each year for community and international projects and programs—strategies like Causland Post officers that truly make a difference for Anacortes. We are looking forward to a great fall event.”
More than 200 people are expected to enjoy a fabulous dinner in a huge hangar at Anacortes Airport Friday, October 13. Along with food and beverages, the event will feature a live auction for bids on appealing auction experiences and items. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $85 per person.
Tickets are available from Anacortes Rotarians or on-line at: www.anacortesrotarytailgate.com
“We sincerely appreciate all the local support we have seen for our local veterans and their families as well as for our Rotary efforts to make our community a better place to live and raise a family,” said Oicles. “Please make plans now to attend the October 13 event to support this essential program.”
In addition to the Causland Legion Post Veterans Service Officers, the event will generate financial support for a range of Anacortes Rotary charitable efforts. Major sponsors include Burton Waring, Strandberg Construction and Williams & Nulle, PLLC.
Rotary Fall tailgate event 2017-09-25 07:00:00Z 0
Annual Fall fundraiser 2017-08-30 07:00:00Z 0

Warren Tessler is awarded a Paul Harris Fellow

Anacortes Rotarians honored Warren Tessler, center, with a Rotary International Paul Harris fellowship. Citing Tessler’s commitment to Anacortes were Virginia Smiley, left, and Vicki Stasch, right.

After moving to Anacortes in 2000, Warren Tessler became well-known as owner of La Vie en Rose Bakery, where he was also pastry chef and noted for his extraordinary offerings. He then served as director of marketing and operations for Anacortes’ Trust Accounting Center. Committed to community service and volunteerism, Tessler served as treasurer and president for the Anacortes Arts Festival and Anacortes Noon Kiwanis Club. He is treasurer of the Anacortes Family Center, co-chairs the Anacortes Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee where he leads its annual Open Streets event. He also chairs the Anacortes Learning and Lunches Committee, serves as president of the Anacortes Parks Foundation, chairs of the Guemes Channel Planning Committee and is a member of the Safe Routes to School Committee.

Club President Krista Oicles commented during the award ceremony: “When does Warren have time to sleep?”

Tessler also has 27 years of healthcare management experience as CEO, COO, consultant and director to a number of high-ranking hospitals, regional health networks and healthcare-management institutions. He currently is a commissioner for Island Hospital.

Warren Tessler is awarded a Paul Harris Fellow 2017-08-29 07:00:00Z 0

Results from the 2017 Anthony's Event

Posted by Tom Decker
Rotary-Anthony’s event brings in $20,000
Community diners, hosted by the Rotary Club of Anacortes and Anthony’s Restaurant, raised approximately $20,000 for local charities at the annual Rotary-Anthony’s dinner February 22.  All proceeds from the evening will go to six school groups and a local dance program.
Recipients include:  Anacortes School District, “Books to go” program to distribute age-appropriate books to select students; Fidalgo Dance Works, autism movement therapy and dance for students with special needs; Anacortes Middle School, ovens for cooking class; Anacortes Robotics Booster Club, operating budget support; Island View Elementary School, kiln for art class; Anacortes High School Science Department, “Science Café” start-up program; and Anacortes High School Spanish Class, subscriptions for scholastic Spanish magazines and newspapers.
“We were thrilled with the results, thanks to the generosity of our community participants. Best of all, the financial assistance from the dinner will help our grant recipients continue their support to a large population of students and youth in our community,” Anacortes Rotary president-elect and benefit dinner organizer Krista Oicles said.
Each year, the staff at Anthony’s creates a special menu for dinner guests at the community banquet. Proceeds are raised through dinner ticket sales, raffle tickets and donations.
Rotary Club members credit Anthony’s for opening its doors to the Anacortes community for this event. “The Anthony's organization brought in more than 40 of their team-members, prepared distinctive appetizers and dinners and merged all of their skills for a fun event,” said Club President Kevin Meenaghan.
For the past six years Anthony's has opened the restaurant to the Anacortes Rotary Club for an evening.  As a result, all proceeds from the sale of tickets go to local charities and community groups.  Past recipients include the Anacortes Boys & Girls Club, Gentry House, Senior Activity Center, Anacortes Family Center and the Salvation Army.
Last year’s event raised money for four local organizations: Friends of the Anacortes Library, Friends of Fidalgo Pool & Fitness, Anacortes Senior Activity Foundation and American Legion Causland Post 13.
Since the first Anthony’s event in 2011, the Anacortes Rotary Club has raised and donated more than $134,000 for local programs and groups.
Results from the 2017 Anthony's Event Tom Decker 2017-03-09 08:00:00Z 0

Anacortes Dinner at Anthony's

Posted by Tom Kuhn
Media Release: 2017 Anacortes Rotary Anthony’s dinner: Wednesday, February 22
For more information: Contact Tom Decker, 360-899-9173
The Rotary Club of Anacortes will hold its seventh annual community benefit dinner at Anthony's at Cap Sante restaurant Wednesday, February 22.  All proceeds from the evening will go to six school groups and a local dance program, based on submissions to the club’s giving committee.
Recipients are: Anacortes School District, “Books to go” program to distribute age-appropriate books to select students; Fidalgo Dance Works, autism movement therapy and dance for students with special needs; Anacortes Middle School, ovens for cooking class; Anacortes Robotics Booster Club, operating budget support; Island View Elementary School, kiln for art class; Anacortes High School Science Department, “Science Café” start-up program; and Anacortes High School Spanish Class, subscriptions for scholastic Spanish magazines and newspapers.
The dinner is open to the public.  Tickets are available from Anacortes Rotary Club members or at the club website: rotarydinneratanthonys.com.  Cost is $110 per person.
“These grant recipients will serve a large population of students and youth in our community,” Anacortes Rotary president-elect Krista Oicles said. “They came to our club with creative, well-focused grant requests to meet the needs of many students and to fill the gaps in existing programs to assist young people.” 
Each year, the staff at Anthony’s creates a special menu for dinner guests.
Rotary Club members credit Anthony’s for opening its doors to the Anacortes community for this event. “The Anthony's organization brings in a large number of their team-members, preparing a distinctive meal, providing a wonderful evening of fun, all to benefit community program, said Club President Kevin Meenaghan. “It is a great team effort: Anthony’s provides the dinner and the club provides wine paired with the meals.”
For the past six years Anthony's has opened the restaurant to the Anacortes Rotary Club for an evening.  As a result, all proceeds from the sale of tickets go to local charities and community groups.  Past recipients include the Anacortes Boys & Girls Club, Gentry House, Senior Activity Center, Anacortes Family Center and the Salvation Army.
Last year’s event raised more than $25,000 for four location organizations: Friends of the Anacortes Library, Friends of Fidalgo Pool & Fitness, Anacortes Senior Activity Foundation and American Legion Causland post 13.
Since the first Anthony’s event in 2011, the Anacortes Rotary Club has raised and donated more than $114,000 for local programs and groups.
Anacortes Dinner at Anthony's Tom Kuhn 2017-01-13 08:00:00Z 0

Spray Pad: Storvik Park:  Rotary contribution media release

Anacortes Rotarians came together to make a splash for kids early in November, donating $9,136 to fund a herd of spraying seals that will be a major element inside the Storvik Park spray pad under construction by the City of Anacortes.  Fidalgo Island Rotary Club President Peter Martin and Anacortes Rotary Club President Kevin Meenaghan made the presentation to Nicole Johnston, City of Anacortes parks and recreation manager and project coordinator, Wednesday, Nov. 16.

“We are gratified to have both area Rotary Clubs cooperating to support this exciting park project developed by the City of Anacortes,” said Martin. “And having the generous financial match from the Rotary International District organization really maximized our overall contribution for the spray park.”

“Rotarians know this is going to be a much-loved, much-used addition at Storvik Park,” said Anacortes Rotary Club Giving Chair Jack Darnton. “Kids will be out of the house and splashing around at the park enjoying fresh air and fun for years to come. We encourage even more Anacortes groups and individuals to get behind this great outdoor recreation project and support the parks department’s fund drive.”

In keeping with the marine adventure theme of the park, concrete in the spray pad will be stained to look like water and sand. In addition to the seals, other elements will be seagulls and sit-and-ride orca whales, according to Johnston.

Spray Pad: Storvik Park:  Rotary contribution media release  Tom Kuhn 2016-12-07 08:00:00Z 0

Anacortes Rotary raises $80,000 to support mental health program

As published in the Anacortes American

The Anacortes Rotary Club recently raised $80,000 that will help fund a social worker as part of the Mental Health Intervention Program in the Anacortes School District.

“Rotary’s support for this program really exceeded our expectation, an amazing response,” Anacortes School District Superintendent Mark Wenzel said in a press release. “We have a critical need for mental health therapy and social work in our schools.

This contribution will have direct, lasting impact on the well-being and future success of our students.”

The money was part of $110,000 raised at the club’s annual fundraiser, which about 200 people attended.

The previous raise the paddle record amount was $46,000 (raised for the mental health program in 2013).

“I am proud of our community and our club for setting a new club fundraising record,” Anacortes Rotary President Kevin Meenaghan said in a press release. “Especially fantastic is that every dollar for the Mental Health Program returns to the community for a much-needed program.”

Anacortes Rotary raises $80,000 to support mental health program Tom Kuhn 2016-10-27 07:00:00Z 0

Annual Fall Fundraiser

Posted by Tom Kuhn on Aug 30, 2016
                Join your friends and colleagues for Viva la Fiesta! Viva Rotary! on Friday, October 14th at the Anacortes Airport! Enjoy an evening of mariachi music; a South of the Border menu, a piñata and much more while raising funds through the live auction in support of the youth in our community, with special emphasis on the mental health needs of high school students.  Tickets are $85, or $850 for a table of ten. To purchase your tickets, go to the website below, create your account and make your purchase.
Annual Fall Fundraiser Tom Kuhn 2016-08-30 07:00:00Z 0
Anacortes Rotary Volunteers help the LaConner Rotary Club Auction Tom Kuhn 2016-08-30 07:00:00Z 0

Anacortes Rotary dinner at Anthony's restaurant nets more than $25,000

Anacortes Rotary Dinner Nets More Than $25,000; Four Groups Benefit
Four local organizations will share in the more than $25,000 generated by the Anacortes Rotary Club annual community benefit dinner February 24 at Anthony's Cap Sante restaurant.  The 150 dinner guests helped raise funding for computer, technology and equipment needs.
Grant recipients are Friends of the Anacortes Library, Friends of Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center, Anacortes Senior Activity Foundation and American Legion Causland Post 13.
 The Rotary Club made the following grant allocations from the dinner proceeds:
Friends of Anacortes Library — $9,800 for three computers pre-loaded with educational software designed for children from 2 to 12 years of age with over 65 educational applications and more than 2,000 activities.
Friends of Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center — $5,200 for a new and better chair lift to lower and lift handicapped or injured patrons to and from the water with ease.  

Anacortes Senior Activity Foundation — $3,500 for computer monitors for vision impaired users.

American Legion, Causland Post 13 — $2,500 for a dedicated computer system, an   urgent technology need so the post can continue assisting veterans.
Additional funds raised during the dinner will go to other Anacortes Rotary Club community charitable grants this year, club officials said.
As part of the evening’s events, Anacortes Rotary Club President Tom Griffin paid tribute to Anthony’s owner Budd Gould with an honorary Rotary membership.
In remarks honoring Gould, Griffin noted that Anthony’s contributes the food, facilities and service so that all money from tickets directly benefits the club’s charitable giving program.
“Through Budd Gould’s generosity and the hard work of his staff, our club is able to maximize our dinner fund-raising efforts.  Anthony’s opens its doors to the Anacortes community for this event. Their local team sets aside the day to hold a wonderful evening with a special menu and amazing service to assist local groups,” Griffin said.
“We know our club could not host an event of this size and quality and generate community funding like this without the major effort of the Anthony’s staff,” said Club dinner organizer Kevin Meenaghan.  “Our sincere thanks go to Anthony’s owner Budd Gould and all the Anthony's local team members for their outstanding community service. We look forward to continuing this tradition.”
For the past five years, Anthony's has set aside its restaurant for the Anacortes Rotary Club community dinner, helping the club raise approximately $121,000.  Past grant recipients include the Anacortes Boys & Girls Club, Gentry House, the Senior Activity Center, the Anacortes Family Center and the Salvation Army Cold Weather Shelter.
Anacortes Rotary dinner at Anthony's restaurant nets more than $25,000 2016-03-02 08:00:00Z 0

Elementary Principals recieve $300 checks

Posted by Tom Kuhn on Oct 30, 2015
The Anacortes Rotary Club presented checks in the amount of $300 to 4 Elementary School Principals.
Kevin Schwartz - (Whitney)
Brian Hanrahan - Island View Elementary School)
Tara Dowd - (Fidalgo Elementary School)
Peter Donaldson - (Mount Erie Elementary School
​The funds are to be used at the Principals discretion to help their students.3 of the Principals are pictured along with Stephanie Hamilton, Vocational Services Chair and President Tom Griffin.
Elementary Principals recieve $300 checks Tom Kuhn 2015-10-30 07:00:00Z 0

World Polio Day

Posted by Bob Thompson on Oct 18, 2015


World Polio Day: Rotary Club of Anacortes fights to end polio worldwide
Anacortes, Wa. October 20, 2015 — In honor of World Polio Day, which is widely recognized on 24 October, Anacortes Rotary is proud to be a part of Rotary’s 27-year mission to eradicate the crippling childhood disease polio.
World Polio Day follows a succession of significant developments that have made 2015 one of the most important years in the history of the polio eradication initiative.
The message to world leaders is clear: support the final push to achieve eradication now while the goal has never been closer, or face the potential consequences of a new polio pandemic that could disable millions of children within a decade.
Since 1985, Rotary has contributed nearly $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries.  The disease remains endemic in only two countries -- Afghanistan, and Pakistan -- although other countries remain at risk for imported cases.
A highly infectious disease, polio causes paralysis and is sometimes fatal.  As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. For as little as US 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.  After an international investment of more than US$9 billion, and the successful engagement of over 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, polio could be the first human disease of the 21st century to be eradicated.
GPEI is spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  It includes the support of governments and other private sector donors.
About Rotary
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.  or,   Anacortesrotary.org

World Polio Day Bob Thompson 2015-10-18 07:00:00Z 0

Boys and Girls Club comes to thank Rotary

Posted by Tom Kuhn on Apr 01, 2015
7 happy and energetic members of the Boys and Girls Club and their supervisor came to thank The Anacortes Rotary for their continued support..
Boys and Girls Club comes to thank Rotary Tom Kuhn 2015-04-02 00:00:00Z 0