Incoming La Grande Rotary president, Jessy Watson, congratulates Tucker Billman on his 2020-21 presidency by naming him a Paul Harris fellow. President Billman successfully managed a challenging year for fellow Rotarians by arranging alternative meetings and media, completing service projects in the community, and by skillfully and tactfully leading the club. Rotary meets each Tuesday at noon at the Riverside Pavilion. For now, it is a bring your own lunch affair. Soon the club will transition to its former home at the transportation hub.
Jessy Watson supervises EOU soccer players cleaning up Highway 30 between Les Schwab and the truck stop. Two tons of trash including tires, a mattress, a TV, and every manner of cans, bottles and plastics were hauled to WastePro. EOU football, Lacrosse and soccer teams did an amazing job beautifying the strip. Thank you, EOU athletes!
Although everyone gathered in their own homes and lunched on their own Figgie pudding, La Grande Rotary still enjoyed a virtual Holiday Program through a Zoom meet. Jessie and Heather Watson hosted the event and Brent Clapp arranged the technology and music. Special musical guests, Grande Ronde Symphony’s, Director, Zach Banks and Viet Block played a rendition of Christmas songs for the Club. You can join the party and hear their music at: https://vimeo.com/491359520
President Tucker Billman announced to Rotary on Tuesday that the annual Daddy Daughter Dance, scheduled for February 2021, will be postponed. Due to the current State restrictions on indoor assemblies, the La Grande Rotary Board made the decision to delay the event. As we await changes in the response to the pandemic, La Grande Rotary will keep the community informed about when DDD will be rescheduled.
La Grande Rotary received emergency COVID grant funds from Rotary District 5100 to help families with food needs in Union County. These funds purchased 1200 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruit from our Saturday Market that were distributed last Saturday to the Food Bank. Michelle Long, past president of La Grande Rotary, wrote the grant, purchased, and delivered the food. Now that is Rotary in Action!
Michelle and Jessy Watson’s dad, Larry.
Mike Billman spoke to Rotarians gathered at Pioneer Park Pavilion this week. A backdrop of trees was an appropriate setting for a talk on Oregon Forestry. Billman’s thirty years experience in leading both private and State efforts to manage forests has thrust him in a pivotal position of urging the use of collaboration as a method for managing healthy forests. By developing working relationships with teams of foresters, timber owners and mills, and environmentalists, Billman has found that collaborative resolutions can avoid litigation and acrimony and achieve the aims of having a healthy forest.
Hot dogs, hamburgers, pickle juice, mayonnaise, and sticky sodas made grimy surfaces on Pioneer Park picnic benches this summer. Craig Nightingale, pictured, scrubs down at the Rotary Pavilion in Pioneer Park, Tuesday. Thanks to service-oriented Rotarians, it is time to have another picnic!
Dave Koza delivers a care package to Jared Maxwell of Baker County Farm Bureau. Rotarians are making contributions to a trailer load of donations headed to the Oregon State Fairgrounds to be dispersed to victims of the wildfires burning around Oregon. If you’d like to donate, please take goods to Legacy Ford in La Grande by noon 9-17-2020. They are accepting gently used clothing, diapers, packaged food, wheelchairs, and other goods.
Twenty Rotarians hopped onto the Hollywood Squares zoom meeting this week to greet District Governor Jo Crenshaw (second from right, top row). Jo gave the club greetings from smoky Portland and congratulated the club for our work in the region and beyond. She gave us a pep talk on how we could be helpful in the current fire/smoke/homeless situation as did Aloras Winters (Hermiston Rotary Club). The Club will determine how best to support our region with special crisis grant opportunities offered by 5100.
La Grande Rotarians met for lunch and fellowship at the La Grande Rotary Pavilion in Pioneer Park this last week. The Pavilion was constructed by the La Grande Rotary in 2004 as a community service project. The structure seats 60 and can be rented by contacting the La Grande Parks at https://www.lagrandeparks.org/content/6737/Pavilion-Rental