Taylor with SWaCH members at a press conference for the Red Dot Campaign
Celebration of the United National International Day of Peace (Sept. 21) included an announcement that Taylor Stevenson, Portland Pearl Rotary’s first Peace Scholar, has been named a Rotary International Peace Champion.

Taylor is one of six global champions being honored Nov. 11 on Rotary Day at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The event honors those who make a positive difference in their community, their country and around the globe.

Taylor Cass Talbott in the slum community where she and Brodie livedTaylor will be honored and will celebrate with current RI President Ian Riseley, RI directors, foundation trustees, leaders from the United Nations and renowned humanitarians.

Taylor developed a Rotary Foundations global grant to improve sanitary conditions for waste collectors in Pune, India. Waste collectors together handle 20 tons of unwrapped sanitary waste every day. Stevenson collaborated with SWaCH, a waste-collector cooperative, to create the “Red Dot” campaign, which calls for people to wrap their sanitary waste in newspaper or bags and mark it with a red dot.

This helps waste collectors identify sanitary waste and handle it accordingly. Stevenson developed all the educational imaging for the campaign. She also secured in-kind offerings of support, including free training space and campaign printing.

Pearl Rotarian Anne Oneill, who is the past chair of the International Service committee and served as PPRC’s point person for the Pushing for Peace, Sanitation and Dignity for Pune’s Waste Pickers, said this of Taylor, “Taylor Stevenson is a master of working with and building on the support of local institutions, and is a fierce advocate of society’s most marginalized. For the project, Taylor developed all of the educational imaging used for the campaign, liaised between various stakeholders in a foreign culture, and even lived in the slums with the waste pickers in order understand their lives better.”

We are proud and honored to support Taylor in her peace-building work and that Portland Pearl Rotary and District 5100 are able to be a part of it. Taylor would like to extend her gratitude to Portland, Pearl Rotary, Anne Oneill, District Governor Renee Campbell, and Past District Governor Michael Caruso.

We look forward in hearing Taylor’s latest updates on the Pune waste pickers’ project when she speaks to Pearl Rotary on Tuesday, Oct 3.

Taylor and Brodie 7-28-16Let’s get Taylor and Brodie to Geneva!
We are beyond excited that Taylor has received this very distinguished honor from Rotary International and United Nations. We have informed Taylor that as a Rotary club and with some assistance from District 5100, we would pay for all of Taylor and Brodie’s (Taylor’s husband) air and ground transportation from Portland to Geneva, Rotary International already has housing taken care of. Our goal is to raise $2,318. We have a nice start of $380 [through Sept. 27]. Taylor and I are able to accept cash and checks made out to Taylor Stevenson. Additionally, I will be attending the peace-builder club meeting in October to also try and solicit funds from them, as well as District 5100.

Taylor’s Rotary connection to the Pearl club
Taylor Cass Talbott (previously Taylor Stevenson) is an artist and program designer who uses art and waste to contest the social and economic exclusion of marginalized people. She completed a Master’s in Peace Studies as a Rotary Peace Fellow in Tokyo from 2011-13. While working as a waste reduction specialist in rural Bhutan from 2013-16, the Portland Pearl Rotary Club contacted her with an interest in collaborating on a Rotary International Global Grant. Taylor agreed, going on to develop a peace and sanitation project with the SWaCH waste picker cooperative in Pune, India. When the “Pushing for Peace” project was approved by Rotary International, Taylor and her husband, Brodie Cass Talbott, worked with SWaCH in Pune for 8 months helping to implement the project. You can learn more about her work and the Pushing for Peace project at: www.livedebris.org

Here’s text of RI announcement
The Sept. 21 announcement of the award to Taylor Stevenson included notice of the event and bios of the six peace champions. Here’s a link from Rotary International:

Rotary 5100 District Governor Renee Campbell visits PPRC
For District Governor Renee Campbell, the power of the Rotary wheel–and members’ volunteerism–is “fueled by our desire for service.”

Speaking Aug. 29 to Portland Pearl Rotary, the 5100 leader both celebrated and encouraged Rotarians in a talk that covered the 2017-28 Rotary theme (Making a Difference), polio eradication, leadership development, local and worldwide projects, and fun/fellowship.

Rotarians “make a difference, change the world,” Renee observed. “Surely we’d be missed if (Rotary) didn’t exist.”

The worldwide effort to end polio, she said, is indicative of the the combined achievement of clubs and individual Rotarians: “We all recognize that power, that we apply it, are proud of it, and share it.”

Projects large and small, the Salem Rotarian said, contribute to a better world. She spoke specifically about polio–the three-decade-old effort Rotary spearheaded. “This could be the year that we see the last polio case on earth,” Renee said. She called the goal “audacious.”

And, using her fingers to show just an inch of space left: “Now we are this close!”

New members to Rotary, she said, tend to join for the local service opportunities. “They stay because friendships develop.” The essence of Rotary combines leadership possibilities, service and friendship, the DG believes.

Renee turned her attention to the Rotarians in the room at Ecotrust: “Portland Pearl Rotary is exceptional. Your members and projects (show) progress and success.”

She then saluted Rotarian Jack Bradley as “a person of action” (see following story).

Back behind the podium, Renee returned to her theme of making a difference in Rotary: “We can accomplish so much more in the world together than we could ever do alone…We are Rotarians; we make a difference; and that, my friends, is the power of the wheel.”

The governor was given gifts from PPRC of wine and a gift certificate to Powell’s by President Tara Mussulman. Renee then spent another 20 minutes with the club board and DGE Jim Flood, who had made the DG introduction.

2017-2018 District Governor Renee Campbell with President Tara Mussulman

Golf Tourney Heated Up Funds for Combating Homelessness

Welcome to Portland Pearl Rotary Club/New Generations Golf Tournament

There were about 100 golfers. And the temperature neared 100 degrees.

Yet the heat didn’t stop the Portland Pearl/New Generations clubs’ golf tournament…or from staging a successful benefit golf tournament at Persimmon Golf Course in Gresham Aug. 28.

PPRC Past President Pat Mahoney co-chaired the event with Isaac Samsa from New Generations. The event included multiple sponsors (see below), a wine wall filled with donations, gift baskets which were raffled off, and meals before and after the 18-hole event. Fellowship and fun prevailed. And dollars were raised to combat homelessness.

PPRC Golf Tournament 2017
“Thanks to everyone for a great golf tournament,” Pat announced at PPRC the following day. “It was a great experience working with the New Generations members. There’s a lot we can do together in the future.”

What the tournament netted wasn’t calculated in the first 24 hours after the Persimmon play. But, he said, “we exceeded our expectations.”

And Pat added in writing:

“At our club visioning last year, one of our set goals was to establish partnerships with other Rotary Clubs. This golf tournament partnership with New Generations Rotary Club was a nice, positive experience with results that were mutually beneficial.

Each of the 18 holes had signage featuring various non-profit organizations that our clubs support in the fight against homelessness. Each sign included an impactful quote or mission statement from the nonprofit.

The overall golf experience was great. This event was well-organized with good food and beverages, fun activities, and many opportunities to win prizes.

Thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers, golfers and everyone who made this a event a success. Special thanks to our presenting sponsors–Pearl and Woodstock Ace Hardware and Mottau & Company. Thanks also to Portland New Generations Rotary Club for allowing us to team up with them.”

PPRC Musicians Have A New Name

Pearl Peacemakers of PPRC“Pearl Peacemakers” has replaced the seven-year old PPRC “Jerry and the Pacemakers”–music leader/Rotarian Jerry Baysinger reports. Just one letter added to get from Pace to Peace which seems right for PPRC, Peace Club. It’s never been about “Jerry”; there are four or five of us who learn the songs and lead each week, providing a spark of music to start the meetings with great energy. Finally, Pearl Peacemakers is unique to Pearl Rotary . . . whereas Gerry and Pacemakers has its own page on Wikipedia (chronicling the ’60 British band). Pictured at the June 27th transitional meeting are (from left): Pat Mahoney, Jerry, Matt Lillard, Anne Oneill.

PPRC 2016-2017 Youth Exchange Year End Reports

Noah Lovgren PPRC Outbound 2016-2017

Tour, travel with family ends Noah’s year
by Noah Lovgren, Switzerland, PPRC outbound, 2016-17

Hi, all Rotarians, I hope Portland is treating you well 😀

I’ve got very little time left, but in the past few months I’ve been busier than ever. I got to go to the southern tip of Italy with my current host family, went to Stuttgart, Germany, with my class, and got to go to Northern Germany with my basketball team for a tournament (see picture, Noah is front, far left). What lies ahead?

On Saturday I’ve got the long-awaited Euro Tour with the other Rotary exchange students from Switzerland. I’m extremely hyped. We’re going to 11 cities in 11 countries, namely: Zurich, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest, Postonja and Venice.

On July 10, when we arrive in Zurich and are done, my parents and brother, Martha, Mark, and Henry, are coming to Switzerland. Then we’re going to travel two weeks in Switzerland and try to see as much as possible-I mean the country’s not that big, is it?

I’ll be arriving home at 11:44 PM on July 24, which is a Monday. You’re welcome to greet me at the airport if you want. I don’t think I’ll be fit enough to come to the Rotary meeting the next day, so we’d have to see each other the week after.

I’ll see y’all soon and am excited to share my year with you!

Outbound PPRC Exchange Student Rebecca

Reflections on a year overseas
by Rebecca Zich, India, PPRC outbound, 2016-17

Hello, everyone! This might be a little late but I need to give a huge thank you to everyone who helped contribute to my amazing year in India. This time I spent away from home I found a new one. I found family and friends who truly care for me. I lived with five different families who each taught me so many different things. I learned some very important life lessons and important aspects of Indian culture. So for the Jaykhedkar, Satpute, Dinani, Gandhi, and Daga families, I cannot thank you enough for opening up your homes to me and making me feel like a part of your family. I miss you all a lot!

For all my friends from wisdom high and the other hobby classes I took, I really can’t thank you enough for welcoming me so perfectly! Even if you just talked to me once, asked me how my day was, or said good morning you may not have realized how much that helped me in my first few months in India when I was feeling lonely. I’ll miss messing around and having fun in class and all the after school meets. Seriously, all my Indian friends are so perfect and I love and miss you all so much!

For all the beautiful and amazing exchange students who I went on the tours with and my exchange family in Nasik, thank you for teaching me some rad things about all your cultures and just being awesome. Exchange students are really the coolest people in the world and I was so lucky to travel around India with you guys. I now know I have many homes all over the world with my international friends.❤️

Finally other than people I met in India, I’ll miss the country itself. People don’t realize how amazing, beautiful and diverse India is. I was lucky to be able to travel around the whole country and see it for myself. When I landed back in USA, I immediately saw the differences and I missed India dearly. I miss the constant sound, the traffic, the abundance of people out and about outside, the cows and dogs in the street, the delicious street food, and more. I just miss it so much. I feel the streets are so empty here and I miss the strong Indian sun. Not to mention the food, the food is so bland here, I would kill for my host moms’ cooking right now! Anyway, what more can I say? This year was perfect and I want everyone who helped make it perfect to know!

Kristina 2016-2017 PPRC Inbound Exchange Student

Pali 2016-2017 PPRC Inbound Exchange Student

Kristina, Pali reminisce, share gratitude for exchange
Farewells to Rotarians were genuinely and gratefully shared June 20 by our inbound youth exchange students—Kristina. from Slovakia, and Pali, Chile. They came to the breakfast meeting (their last before going home) dressed in their Rotary blazers and laden with pins, buttons and Rotary-related memorabilia.

“You made a dream come true,” Kristina (blue blazer) told the club. “…I’m so grateful for my exchange.” She cited her host families, fellow inbound exchangers and friends for making the ten months in Portland so memorable. Kristina believes she’s more independent, stepped out of her comfort zone and can more easily talk to strangers. “This made me realize I can do so much more than I ever thought I could do.” Her year involved considerable USA travel—including, with Pali, attendance at the international Rotary convention in Atlanta earlier this month. “I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me.”

Pali, right, came to Oregon from northern Chile and was the first exchanger sent by an all-women Rotary Club which includes her mother. Early months here were difficult, she admitted, especially with limited English and being so far from family. “The world is bigger than I imagined,” she said, and cited friends from Mexico to Japan through y.e. And her best friend during her exchange year: Kristina. “I didn’t know where Slovakia was…today I know someone from there is my friend…she’s more than a friend, she’s my sister.” The countless memorable experiences will go back to Chile with her, Pale said, adding: “What you gave me doesn’t have a price. You will be in my memory forever.”

This is why we’re Rotarians

PPRC 2017-2018 President Tara Mussulman
Who we are as a club . . .
Portland Pearl Rotary is a diverse, fun-loving club that enjoys serving our community and the world together, focused on meaningful results.
Who we are as a collective organization . . .
Rotary International joins leaders from all continents, cultures and occupations to exchange ideas and take action for communities around the world.
What we value . . .
We build lifelong relationships.
We honor our commitments.
We connect diverse perspectives.
We apply our leadership and expertise to solve social issues.
As Rotarians We Are . . .
Smart: We look at problems from a different angle and apply our expertise to solve social issues in ways others cannot. We are insightful and discerning.
Compassionate: Tackling the world’s toughest challenges requires empathy. As Rotarians, we champion real people, stories and conversations that are relatable and universal.
Persevering: We find lasting solutions to systemic problems at home and abroad.
Inspiring: We are motivated by the enduring connections and positive change we bring to communities and the world, we encourage others to take action. We convey hope, enthusiasm and passion.
This is WHY we are Rotarians. This is us coming together and Making A Difference.

Thank you for a great year!

Pat Mahoney PPRCIt’s been a truly wonderful experience serving as your president this past year. The list of important and fun activities that we engaged in goes on and on. It culminated with a trip to the Rotary International conference in Atlanta, followed by a festive transition meeting where the gavel was handed to Tara Mussulman to begin her adventure as our new president. As I reflect upon the year, it dawned on me that Rotary is really a fluid experience. We did some meaningful work this year but there is more work to be done. Thanks to your generosity, we received some important donations. But there is more fundraising to do because there is more giving that is needed. We should be proud of the work that we’ve done as Rotarians, yet so much work remains to be done.
When asked “What is Rotary?” I admit that I’ve stumbled on my answer. I’ve finally come upon a response that seems to fit: “Rotary is a worldwide organization of humanitarians doing amazing volunteer work around the planet and around the community.”
Portland Pearl Rotary is the embodiment of this, with our strong international commitment as well as our growing community presence. We were able to add sixteen new members this year which gives us greater resources to make an even bigger impact. Our work provides great fellowship and lots of fun. As we move forward, we will have a mix of old and new members leading the way.

I encourage Rotarians to strongly consider taking the opportunity to serve as club president in the future. The experience will be meaningful and deeply rewarding. It certainly has been for me. Thank you for the opportunity to serve this amazing club.

It is my highest honor to serve as your Portland Pearl Rotary President for 2017-2018 year. In preparation for this leadership role I thought about the fundamentals of our club, Rotary International and who I am as a leader and member. I spoke of these tenants at the passing of the gavel on Tuesday, June 27th, but I also wanted to share this in writing to give you time read and to think about how these elements show up for you in your life and Rotary experience.

Tuesday, June 27, was marked by a farewell from 2016-17 President Pat Mahoney and a 2017-18 preview by incoming Tara Mussulman.
Pat termed his year “fluid”–and then cited more than 25 wide-ranging accomplishments (including membership growth, +10 this year; recognition of Lincoln High School students; youth exchange participants, the support of waste-pickers in Pune India, etc.) and numerous club volunteers (including board members; Rotarians that hosted German students last fall; servers of homeless men at Transition Projects–“We make an amazing taco salad; I know because every time I go we get a standing ovation.”).

Of the presidency, he said it was “rewarding” for him and he’d encourage Rotarians to seek the position: “I can’t put into words how much value you’ll get out it. I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve this wonderful club.”

Pat was given his past president’s pin and a sash from his predecessors–Lori Beight and Tara. Awaiting him were gifts from club members, mostly tied to his love of golf.

Tara, after the gavel passing, began her PPRC reign in song and dance–leading routines to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” “Happy New Year,” she said in advance of the July 1 start of the Rotary calendar. “I’m super excited to start off my year.”

She then unveiled the new banner and theme: “Rotary: Making a Difference.” People come to Rotary for service…and they stay for the fellowship, she noted. She plans more one-time volunteer opportunities; said PPRC will participate in the RI president’s goal to plant trees for the environment (75 in PDX, Tara said, one for each member of our club); and promised more fellowship activities. When querying Rotarians, Tara said, “You told me you enjoy being with each other. “I hope to create more opportunities to get us together.”

Rotarians create lasting solutions and take action for positive change, she ended. “We convey enthusiasm, hope and passion.”

2017 PNG Rotary Golf Tournament

2017 PNG Rotary Golf Tournament

Mark your calendars! We have been invited by the Portland New Generations Rotary Club to partner with them in hosting a fun and important golf tournament. The mission is to raise awareness and resources to alleviate homelessness in Portland. The event will be held at Persimmon Country Club’s private golf course on Monday, Aug. 28, with lunch followed by a 1 p/m/ shotgun start.

Of Portland’s homeless:

• 49% are unsheltered
• 57% are disabled
• 17% have young children
• 30% are women on their own
• 19% are older than 55
• 6% are younger than 24
• 11% are US veterans
• 27% have been homeless for more than 2 years

The Portland New Generations and Portland Pearl Rotary clubs have combined to serve the City of Portland for more than 47 years. Together we have donated thousands of dollars and volunteered countless hours to our community. One of PPRC’s visioning goals is to collaborate more with other Rotary Clubs. Both clubs share a vision of making a difference in the homeless community and we support many of the same non-profits. What a great opportunity to work together!

Portland Pearl Rotary hosted its own golf tournament for a couple of years, with modest success. New Generations has hosted this tournament at Persimmon CC for the past two years and it has grown in stature each year. By combining our effort and resources, the goal is to produce an event that has a much greater impact than we were able to produce on our own.

This is where we need your help! PPRC members are tasked with recruiting foursomes to play in the tournament. The cost is $500 per foursome or $125 per player. This includes 18 holes of golf, lunch, dinner, drinks and prizes. The more players that we recruit, the more money we can raise in support of homelessness. We have set a goal for PPRC to bring at least 10 teams to the event. We need your help to accomplish this. If you play or if someone you know or work with plays, invite them to join us. This can be an excellent opportunity to team-build with your colleagues, enjoy a fun day with clients, or a chance to get away from work for a while.

Another significant task is for us to recruit event sponsors. There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available including:

• Presenting Sponsor (1 Available) $2,500
• Drink Shack Sponsor (1 Available) $1,500
• Putting Contest Sponsor (1 Available) $1,000
• Hole in One Sponsor (1 Available) $500
• Contest Sponsors (4 available) $250
• Hole Sponsors (18 available) $150

Our goal is to fill all of the sponsorship slots. It will be a great opportunity for you or your company to gain great exposure while also supporting a very worthy cause.

We will also be looking for 5-6 day of the event volunteers to help out.

Registration is available at: http://pearlrotary.tofinoauctions.com/golf2017.

For more information about the tournament, please contact your PPRC golf committee members, Jack Bradley, Tara Mussulman or Pat Mahoney. We look forward to having you join us for a fun and rewarding day on the links!

Pearl Fund Update

Pearl Fund Update

The Pearl Fund is the non-profit arm of Portland Pearl Rotary Club which funds the various projects and charities that are supported by the Club. Thus far in the 2016-2017 Rotary year PPRC has made the following contributions to the Pearl Fund:
• Brag for a Buck $2,094
• Golf Ball Drawing $1,730
• Puttin’ on the Pearl $23,600
• Cruise Raffle $8,580
• Wine Exchange $390

In addition, individual club members made direct contributions to the Pearl Fund totaling $4,301.

The funds raised have been used to support the projects supported by the International Committee:
• Scholarship for students through EduCongo $6,000
• Cyprus Friendship Project $3,500

The PF has also contributed to local projects and grants from the Community Service Committee:
• Transition Projects meals $1,909
• Growing Gardens $1,629
• White Shield $1,000
• Street Roots $2,500
• Dictionary Project $600
• New Avenues for Youth $1,000

The final area of support is with youth where the Pearl Fund supports our two Rotary Youth Exchange students and also pays for one student to attend RYLA.