Archive for Community

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:

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!

Growing Gardens April 2017
by Heather Bowman and Pat Mahoney…
compiled by Don Barney, community service director

On a rainy Earth Day morning, 25 Rotarians and friends gathered at Columbia Park in North Portland to prepare for a day in the mud–the spring Dig-In with our community partner Growing Gardens. Rotarians gathered with several other teams from around Portland to socialize, enjoy donuts and learn how to build a good garden bed.

Team Rake Superior (Don and Jo Barney, Matt, Fiona and Leo Lillard, Pat and Deanne Mahoney, Jack Bradley, Diane Brandsma and Perry Swanson) traveled to the home of Heather Rivas and family to build two garden beds in their backyard.

Growing Gardens volunteer and team leader Jessica Gutsgell provided clear and simple instructions that the Rake Superior team executed remarkably well. Heather Rivas and her family were active participants in building the gardens. With cooperation from the weather, plenty of laughs and some real honest work, the Rivas family gardens were constructed of the highest quality, on schedule and within budget.

Growing Gardens April 2017 2
The Pearl Onions (Katja Gluhr, son Emmerich and husband Emory, Alanna Miel, Adam Creighton, Janet Young, Jim and Heather Bowman, Nancy Fowler, Casey Hazlett and Seth D.) traveled to Northeast Portland to build two garden beds in the home of a young family. The mother, Gabriela, pitched in to help build garden beds, with her two daughters, Addy and Lucinda.

Under the direction of the Growing Gardens volunteer team leader, Adam, the Pearl Onions quickly got to work, dividing into two teams to dig two garden beds. The teams raced to complete construction, and despite so many hands and tools working in a small space, no injuries were sustained. The team uncovered lots of worms, to the delight of Addy and Lucinda. Gabriela shared her delight over the garden beds, saying that she had wanted to start gardening for a long time, and was excited by the support she was receiving.

The new raised garden beds came together quickly, and the teams returned to Columbia Park for a pizza party, happy in their labors.

Each of the Portland Rotary teams also raised $1,000 for Growing Gardens as part of their participation in the Spring Dig-In.

Growing Gardens’ mission:

Promote home-scale organic food gardening to improve nutrition, health and self-reliance while enhancing the quality of life and the environment for individuals and communities in Portland, Oregon.

Pearl Rotary camaraderie

Pearl Rotarians are used to building bonds, two members together (delivering Meals on Wheels), in small teams (feeding men in transition at Bud Clark Commons), in groups raising funds for good causes in the community and in social get-togethers.

But this was a new chapter in camaraderie: bending their backs and getting their hands dirty, together learning new tricks of an age-old occupation, and joining in the joy of preparing for a literal harvest of good food and good will.
Growing Gardens April 2017 3

2017-18 logo, RI

Rotary’s incoming International President, Ian H.S. Risley, has called for us, as Rotarians, to “Make A Difference.” Portland Pearl’s answers to President Risley are:

Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference in the lives of waste-pickers in Pune, India.

Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference in the lives of young girls completing their education in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Portland Pearl Rotary makes in a difference in lives of Portlanders by delivering and serving food through Meals on Wheels and Transition Projects.

Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference by offering educational scholarships and awards of merit to students.

Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference by establishing one of the only Social Justice committees in District 5100.

Portland Pearl Rotarians make a difference by fostering supportive, healthy, dynamic relationships with fellow members and our community.

Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference by growing leaders.

As we get closer to the new Rotary year, roughly 14 weeks away, I as your incoming president have been thinking a lot about how we will make a difference in the new year. We will continue to be a diverse and fun-loving club, which works towards bringing about positive changes in our local and global communities, or as Lou Radja calls it, “glocal.”

I want to make a difference by showing up for our club and to you as my fellow friends and family in service and peacemaking. I want to make a difference by celebrating who we are, what we do and why we do it. I know we’ll make a difference in the coming year because with all of us together, nothing can stand in our way. Our future is bright.

—Much Love, Tara

Growing Gardens April 2017

New Avenues
New community partnerships for Pearl Rotary will swing into action in April with at least 30 club members signed up for volunteer activities on two scheduled local projects.

The club’s Community Service Committee is developing the new partnerships to provide volunteer opportunities for PPRC members to give back with service to the community and to recommend effective uses of funds available in the Pearl Fund for charitable purposes.

New Avenues for Youth:

First up on Tuesday, April 4, is New Avenues for Youth’s Scoop-a-thon, a fundraiser for the core area non-profit. Teams of community volunteers will spread throughout town to scoop ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s outlets to raise awareness and funds for New Avenues’ job training programs.

New Avenues for Youth was established in 1997 by local business and community leaders in response to the growing needs of homeless and at-risk youth in Portland. Its mission is to work in partnership with the community to prevent youth homelessness and provide homeless and at-risk young people with the resources and skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives.

Pearl Rotarians Chris Krenk and Michael Steen, liaisons to New Avenues, report at least nine club volunteers are signed up for the event. A team from that group will work the noon to 1 pm shift at the Ben & Jerry’s shop at Portland State University, 510 S.W. Mill St, in Portland. Plans call for a possible second shift of Pearl Rotarians to scoop during a later slot at the Ben & Jerry’s 524 SW Yamhill.

Club members signed on for the Scoop-a-thon include: Chris Krenk, Michael Steen, Don Barney, Casey Hazlett, Elizabeth Cramer, Kristina Belasova, Pali Perez-Roja, Kelly Morrow and Rich Barker.

As its participation in the fundraising effort, Pearl Rotary will present a $1,000 sponsorship check to Sean Suib, executive director of New Avenues for Youth, when he speaks to the club on April 11.

Growing Gardens:

PPRC’s liaisons to this new community partner—Heather Bowman and Casey Hazlett—outline the role for club volunteers signed up to participate in Growing Gardens’ annual Dig-In event on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. The Dig-In marks the kickoff for Growing Gardens’ seasonal activities.

Growing Gardens promotes home-scale organic food gardening to improve nutrition, health and self-reliance while enhancing the quality of life and the environment for individuals and communities in Oregon.

The non-profit organization helps communities through three projects: (1) Its Youth Grow After-School Garden Clubs to develop the next generation of Portland gardeners (2) Its Lettuce Grow program works with thirteen adult correctional facilities and four youth correctional facilities around Oregon, providing horticultural education and gardening opportunities to inmates. (3) Its Home Gardens project supports fresh food access by helping low-income families grow food for themselves.

For the next three years, Growing Gardens staff will provide education, support, materials (seed, seedlings, tools, fertilizer, etc.), and coaching to help the family successfully grow its own fresh food.

This year, Portland Pearl Rotary has formed two teams among some 12 in the community to build garden beds for Home Gardens’ Spring Dig-In. On April 22 from 10 a.m to 1 p.m., the PPRC teams will construct garden beds in the yards of two families in North Portland. The teams will then be treated to pizza and drinks by Growing Gardens when they finish their work.

PPRC teams for Dig-In are:
Team: Rake Superior; Team Captain: Pat Mahoney
Team Members: Pat Mahoney, Deanne Mahoney, Perry Swanson, Jack Bradley, Michelle Bradley. Matthew Lillard (with Dean, Fiona and Leo), Lora Lillard, Don Barney. Jo Barney, Diane Brandsma.

Team: Pearl Onions; Team Captain: Heather Bowman
Team Members: Heather Bowman, Jim Bowman, Casey Hazlett, Blake Evenhus, Seth Gardner, Janet Young, Katja Gluhr (and Emmerich & Emery), Mary Lange, Alanna Miel, Adam Creighton.

PPRC team rosters are full, but added volunteers are still needed who can lend yard tools or donate to support the garden project. Each team has a goal of $1,000, which is the amount it costs to support one Home Garden for three years. To donate, talk to Pat Mahoney or Heather Bowman, or donate online at:


Students of the Month February 2017

PPRC Students of Month February 2017
The multi-year co-presidents of Lincoln High School Rotaract Club–Jennifer Song (left) and Joanne Lee–were honored 2/21 as PPRC’s students of the month. They are pictured, with their plaques, with our club’s youth service director (and president-elect Tara Mussulman). Summarized Tara in an email to the LHS seniors: “On behalf of myself and speaking for the Portland Pearl Rotary Club, I want to extend a thank you to both of you for your excellent and engaging presentations, your leadership in LHS and in the community and clearly the torches you both carry. We are always impressed with the LHS students we have the good fortune to recognize them for their accomplishments; and each of you met and exceeded our hopes in extending our award to deserving students. Congratulations on your achievements and best on future successes.”

Portland Pearl Rotary Club Supports Girls Scholarships in the Congo
For the fourth consecutive year, Pearl Rotary Club is funding girls scholarships at the Discovery School in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.

A commemorative PPRC check was presented Jan. 31 to Rotarian Lou Radja who through his non-profit EduCongo here in Oregon supports the school his father manages. Two thousand students attend; Pearl Rotary’s support–now in its fourth year–provides tuition, supplies and uniforms for 40 girls.

International Service Director Alanna Miel (left) made the presentation, explaining that $4,000 was designated from the club’s Pearl Fund and the additional $2,000 came from District 5100.

Lou was gracious in his praise of his fellow Rotarians: “In an area where the average income is $2 per day, this is a big deal.”

Giving Tuesday Celebration

On Nov. 29, Portland Pearl Rotary celebrated Giving Tuesday, the international day of giving. Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving with the purpose of creating awareness around charitable giving at a time of year known for commercialism and consumerism, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Often stylized as #Giving Tuesday, this movement in Oregon is championed by #Oregonians Give. The chair of the #Oregonians Give committee, Agnes Zach, was a featured speaker at PPRC back in June. Our Giving Tuesday celebration was intended to bring awareness to PPRC’s giving activities and to celebrate with some of our giving partners.

We began by celebrating the fundraising success from Puttin’ on the Pearl and the cruise raffle. Fundraising Chair Roger Devine presented the net proceeds check from the fundraiser to Pearl Fund secretary Anne Oneill in the amount of $28,243. Anne then spoke about the role of The Pearl Fund.

Next up was International Service Director Alanna Miel who spoke about some of the committee’s charitable causes including the Nepal Literacy project and the Instove clean cooking project. She then introduced one of our recipients, Lou Radja of EduCongo. Lou thanked the club for its giving to the Lubumbashi Discovery School girls scholarship program each of the past four years. PPRC has given $4,000 each year which has been matched an additional $2,000 by District 5100. A girl can be educated for an entire year at the Discovery School for only $150.

Next was Community Service Director Don Barney who spoke about our community partnerships with Salvation Army White Shield, Growing Gardens, New Avenues for Youth and Street Roots. The club approved a $1,000 donation to Growing Gardens and is looking forward to some volunteer opportunities in the spring. Don then introduced Cole Merkel, Vendor Program chair with Street Roots. Cole thanked us for our recent donation and explained that the funds were used to provide Street Roots newspaper vendors with health care, medicine, health food and other incidentals. Street Roots founder Israel Bayer was the recipient of PPRC’s Community Vision Award earlier this year.

Our final speaker was Rotary Foundation Chair Phil Rothrock, detailing the great work that TRF is doing around the world. This year we are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of our foundation and every member is encouraged to donate $100. This is also important for PPRC to maintain its status for matching grants from Rotary International. Phil announced that every dollar that you donate to the Rotary Foundation prior to the end of the year will be matched with Paul Harris points.

We ended the meeting with a group photo accompanied by the #Oregonians Give logo. I am hopeful that Giving Tuesday will become an essential part of PPRC’s giving program in the future. It’s nice that our club meetings are already scheduled to occur on Giving Tuesday each and every year!


   (Editor’s note: PPRC Rotary peace scholar Nicholas Drushella reports an amazingly successful June 29 fundraiser at Weiden & Kennedy.)

“I wanted to thank [everyone] for attending Wednesday’s Evening for Imagine Scholar. Due to your overwhelming generosity, we raised around $45,000 (the most ever at an event for us)!

These funds will have a profound impact on the success of our students and the program. We cannot extend sufficient gratitude for the important role you played in making this happen.

I hope you enjoyed hearing directly from Mandisa and Thenjiwe [two scholars from the Nelspruit area of South Africa]. Their voices represent the stories of so many young people living in Nkomazi. With opportunity and support, these students will continue to overcome immense hurdles and lead the charge for sustainable change.

Thank you once again for making the evening so special for me personally, and the entire organization.”

Homelessness in Northwest Portland. Pearl Rotary current partners Transition Projects and Loaves and Fishes. Outreach to potential new community partners in Pearl Rotary’s Northwest Portland service area. Joint activities with Rotoract and other Pearl Rotary committees.

These were key targets for 2016-17 identified by your PPRC Community Service Committee at its organizational meeting held July 26. The committee will meet henceforth on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning in September, in the downstairs lobby of the Ecotrust Building immediately after the regular morning club meeting on that day.

Don-Barney-July-2016July 26th committee meeting (from left): Chris Krenk, President Pat Mahoney, Doug MacGregor, Don Barney (community service director), Jack Bradley, Michael Steen.

With club President Pat Mahoney in attendance, the committee addressed his goal for Community Service to develop a signature club program or project that contributes to solutions of the community’s top priority homelessness problems. Research on needs and possible activities to help the homeless is underway, including discussions with key homeless advocate Israel Bayer, executive director of Street Roots based in Northwest Portland.

The PPRC board has forwarded to Pearl Fund trustees its approval for a $2,500 donation to Street Roots to support its program for health and safety benefits to Street Roots homeless and transient vendors, employed to sell the organization’s weekly newspaper on Portland streets at designated locations and earn income to meet their basic needs.

Committee members agreed that continuing the club’s ongoing service work with homeless men at Transition Projects (TPI) and its recent funding support of the nonprofit p:ear’s mission to aid homeless youths in the area are steps in the right direction to a comprehensive club program.

Committee chair Don Barney outlined his plan for Community Service to provide oversight on the club’s monthly feed of TPI homeless clients and on PPRC’s weekly delivery of Meals on Wheels to low-income and incapacitated residents within and neighboring our service area. Designated committee members (TBA) will act as “traffic cops,” in Barney’s words, to assure assigned club members are prepared to carry out their tasks for these programs.

For the TPI feed, club member Roger Devine has volunteered to purchase foodstuffs for PPRC from a local Cash’nCarry for a taco salad-based meal and deliver them to PPRC-assigned volunteers at Bud Clark Commons each month during the coming Rotary year.

Another TPI project–to familiarize homeless clients on how to use computers to search for job opportunities and complete job applications–started last year with the help of Pearl Rotary donations of laptop computers. It’s expected to resume later this year when new TPI staff assignments are set. A TPI call for more computer-savvy volunteers to help train these men will be issued and your committee will urge club members to respond on either a short-term or continuing basis to guide one-hour training sessions.

New PPRC community service proposals

In the planning stage, PPRC’s Youth Service Director Tara Mussulman and Barney are promoting a new Rotoract-Community Service project–still to be defined–aimed at extending the reach of the club’s local service program into the broader community.

Also being assembled is a new outreach effort through the committee to inform and broaden support from residents of the Pearl District on the goals and service of the club. Planned are short presentations by PPRC members, to be sanctioned by the boards of larger Pearl condominiums, to condo owners in those building. Objectives: to raise the Pearl Rotary profile in its service area, to educate Pearl residents on ways to give back to their community, and to inform them about opportunities to serve through Rotary. Janet Young, with the assistance of Dave Haack and Joe Taylor, is developing this program for launch in the fall.

Outreach to other Northwest Portland community non-profits and service advocates is also being explore –led by Jack Bradley, supported by Chris Krenk and Michael Steen–to determine the needs and potential for new joint service projects. Bradley and his cohorts have begun talks with such groups as White Shield, Outside In, New Avenues for Youth, Janus. Other discussions proposed by committee members are with Multnomah County’s homeless issue leaders, and Central City Concern, Friendly House, Pearl District Neighborhood Association, and members of the Pearl District business community.

Club member Doug MacGregor suggested the committee further investigate a new Northwest Portland “community patrol” safety program, recently launched, for its potential to include volunteers from PPRC.

A packed house in the Ecotrust‘s Billy Frank, Jr. Conference Center honored Street Roots on Tuesday. June 7, bestowing the beloved Portland non-profit with the Portland Pearl Rotary Club’s 2016 Community Vision Award.

Street Roots with Portland Pearl RotaryEvery week, 150 men and women sell 9,500 Street Roots newspapers in the Portland area. Known as Portland’s quaint homeless publication when it started 17 years ago, Street Roots is now award-winning, weekly publication that covers critical environmental concerns, arts, culture, civil rights and social justice. And most importantly, it provides job opportunities and meaningful advocacy for people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

I like selling Street Roots,” said Sandra Hahn, pictured with Rotarian Matt Mahaffy while accepting the Community Vision Award on behalf of the organization. “It’s bridged the gap between me and my neighbors, and I’m proud to sell it.”

For the many people who work with Street Roots, the organization means not just a stable income, but it’s also a place where they can enjoy a cup of coffee before work, and to talk with friends over shared interests. For them, Street Roots means stability, hope, and confidence. And on many occasions, it has meant a key to having their own apartments.

“We are an organization of second, sometimes third chances, because we know that no one gets anywhere without someone to believe in them,” said Joanne Zuhl, the newspaper’s managing editor.

Israel BakerWhen you buy a $1 newspaper from a Street Roots vendor, 75 cents goes right into their pocket, and they can make enough in a shift to afford a meal, buy a night in a hotel, or even pay a cellphone bill explained Israel Bayer, Street Roots executive director (pictured at top). The organization also partners with at least 70 Portland-area businesses who value its sales vendors. “We can’t keep enough vendors on enough corners,” says Bayer.

A tireless voice for the city’s homeless, Bayer spoke at length about the challenges facing Portland. Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler — just days removed from his election — was among the attendees, and he released a statement about the meeting on his Twitter account following the event.

But as upbeat an event as this was, it was only a brief pause to acknowledge Street Roots hard work. As leaders in our city, the non-profit sees a way forward, and is pushing forward to provide more opportunities for people to not only make and sell their newspaper, but for the community to invest in all the people that call Portland “home.”