Spokane North

We meet In Person
Mondays at 12:00 p.m.
Bark, A Rescue Pub
905 N Washington St
Spokane, WA 99201
United States of America
We welcome visiting Rotarians and all Community Members interested in Rotary!!!
Past President
Rotary Foundation
International Service
Board Member
Board Member
2023-24: Create Hope in the World
RI President-elect R. Gordon R. McInally calls for Rotary to create hope in the world by working for peace and mental wellbeing. He urges members to engage in tough conversations and earn the trust that’s necessary to realize these values.
North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
May 20, 2024
           May 27: No meeting. (Memorial Day Holiday.)
           June 3: Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: Mary Wissink, commissioner for Spokane County Water District 3.
           June 10: Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: Karol Widner, Fairwood Farmers Market.
           June 17: Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: Katie Parsons and Geneva Johns, Women Helping Women fund.
           June 24: Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: Bill Simer, President’s Quarterly Update.
Happy Buck$:
          Sandy Fink was “very happy for the two physicians who saved "my life” last week resulting in the adding of a pacemaker. Lenore and Bob Romney added to the happiness, and all the members cheered Sandy’s success.
          Michelle Fossum, who had thought her dad’s drive back to North Dakota was uneventful, learned that her dad dodged a deer near Butte, Mont., and hit a highway sign. Car damage was $6,000, but Michelle is happy dad was okay
         Sheila Fritts was happy for the time spent last Saturday at the Rotary table in Riverfront Park and Nancy Hanson was happy to have Sheila and Melinda Keberle at the table.
          Jerry Logan enjoyed Michelle Fossum’s talk about legal issues at the Fairwood Retirement Village.
          A dinner meeting is planned July 12 at Art Rudd’s house to celebrate the last Rotary year and welcome the new officers and board members. 
CP: The J.D. story
         Life has not been easy for J.D. Paquet, but living in the computer age has made things much better than it might have been.
         At the club’s May 20 luncheon, J.D. who has cerebral palsy, and his parents, Frank and Sandi Paquet, talked about J.D.’s condition and challenges.  Club member Jerry Logan asked the Paquets to visit to personalize some of the mental and physical challenges during the club’s month-long talks on mental health issues
        J.D., now 39, graduated from Mount Spokane, lives independently in an apartment and works in various jobs. 
       “I also have cats,” J.D. said, meaning two cats.  One is “Gizmo,” which J.D. said likes to j on to his computer.
        One new device is a smart watch which sends an alert if J.D. falls from his wheel chair.  “I can just hit a button,” he said, “and I have to wear it all day because I take care of myself.”
        Frank Paquet said J.D. has a caregiver who visits 4-5 hours a day, five times a week, to help with meals and other necessities.  A next-door neighbor in the apartment complex also has cerebral palsy, but cannot speak and must use sign language.  J.D. said “he tells me he I make his day.”
      The affable J.D. said when he was at Mount Spokane high a teacher let him use the public address speaker to make announcements. 
      J.D. said, “When I had control of the p.a., with my allergy system I sneezed right in the middle during an announcement.”  And, he told the teacher, “you might want to put 911 on speed dial” to get through the announcements.
      Talking about a job when he was working at a wholesale electrics supply shop, J.D. said he hit the joy stick on his electric wheelchair “and almost hit the shelf” he was working on “because I forgot to put the brake on.”
      He grows his computer skills on YouTube and the Zazzle custom artwork products firm. And J.D. talked about life on his computer games, warning young users, not allowed on programs for 18-year olds, that they must leave the website.  “The kids use their parents’ computer accounts to get on,” he said. 
      J.D. also said he is learning some artificial intelligence applications.
      Asked if he had tried to use occupational therapy, J.D. said, “No.  I was lazy. I dropped the ball.”  His mom said he did have some speech therapy.
      Frank said J.D., an only child, does have a trust which helps with expenses.
      With his persistence, his pleasant demeanor and humor, and a trusted system of support, J.D. has made a life worth living.
Some thoughts about CP
      Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder which affects damage to the brain before, during or shortly before birth of a child.
      Online sources, including the Mayo Clinic, described CP as an abnormal development in the child’s brain that controls movement and muscle tone.
      CP conditions range from mild to moderate to severe, often making walking, swallowing, and eye muscle imbalances difficult.
      Symptoms vary but conditions rarely worsen from childbirth.  In some cases CP affects the whole body; in others CP affect one or two limbs or just one side of the body.
      Research states there is no known cause for CP, but say 40-50 percent of CP victims were born prematurely.  CP occurs in about two in 1,000 births, but fewer than one in 1,000 born at term.
      Despite the challenges, a 2023 study said lifespan for CP patients showed 80 percent lived 58 years or more.
      Cerebral palsy cases have been traced since Hippocrates in ancient Greece and Emperor Claudius in Rome nearly 2,000 years ago.
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink.
North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
May 13, 2024
           May 20: Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: J.D. Paquet, one person’s cerebral palsy story.
           May 27: No meeting. (Memorial Day Holiday.)
           June 3:  Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: Mary Wissink, commissioner for Spokane County Water District 3.
           June 10: Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: Karol Widner, Fairwood Farmers Market.
           June 17: Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: Kristi Gravelle, Women Helping Women fund.
           June 24: Noon meeting at the Bark. Speaker: Bill Simer, President’s Quarterly Update.
Happy Buck$:
          Sheila Fritts was $2 happy to produce a new podcast and to have Jeff Levine as a guest at Rotary.
          Jerry Logan also was happy to have Jeff L  back for a visit.
          John Mailliard was happy for booking a talk at Fairwood Retirement Village but unhappy that his meeting time is 8:30 a.m.
          Steve Bergman was happy, as did many people, to see the spectacular aurora borealis light show.
          Melinda Keberle was happy for a birthday and a Seattle area visit with her son to see an M’s game and a boat ride. 
          Last chance for club members to join the Rotary table from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18 as part of the 50th anniversary of Expo ’74.  The table will be near the Rotary Fountain in Riverfront Park.
Agencies help the disabled find work                   
       The names may seem odd – Skils’kin and Skookum.
       But in the world of helping disabled persons find work, those two names are serious players in finding the right jobs for a more-productive life.
       At the May 13 luncheon, Steve McBride said those programs “can change the disability world.  Disabled people don’t sit in their basements; they get involved.” 
      McBride’s talk was part of our club’s luncheon monthly theme as Rotary worldwide in May features mental health issues.
      Steve said Spokane-based Skils’kin, located at 4004 E. Boone, is a community-based, non-profit organization which started in 1962.  He said a major change involved the nation-wide AbilityOne, to create training opportunities to help individuals with disabilities to lead more independent, productive lives.
      And a major push came from federal agencies.
      McBride, vice president of operations, said Skils’kin disabled workers started cleaning buildings and grounds at Fairchild Air Force Base, then the Foley Federal Building downtown and now includes staff at Felts Field, the U.S. Border Patrol building and other properties.
      He said Skils’kin outreach programs also include custodial work at Malmstrom AFB and the Great Falls, Mont. Airport and Warren AFB at Cheyenne, Wyo.  At Fairchild, he adds, food prep work also has been added.  And another new client will be the Farragut Naval Station at Bayview, Idaho.
       McBride said the agency is open to all other businesses or groups also who can use the disabled for their programs, including commercial laundry, packing and shipping.
      The next major jump is scheduled July 1, when Skils’kin merges with Skookum, a Bremerton, Wash.,-based agency.  The Journal of Business reported last fall that Skils’kin had 166 employees and a $13 million annual budget.  Skookum, which operates in 13 states and Washington, D.C., had 1,400 employees and a $200 million annual budget.
      McBride said he is a fourth-generation Spokane-area resident, “a dirt farmer from Deer Park” who grew up at 12th and Fiske.  After graduating from EWU, he said he owned a few small firms and sold energy and medical devices.
      He said he worked in Seattle for a few years and was offered positions there, or in Salt Lake or San Francisco.  But, he said, “happiness wasn’t through hedonism,” and “in-service to others happened to come my way.”
      So he joined Skils’kin to work with disabled people seeking jobs.  McBride also is a board member for the Spokane Home Builders Association and is president of Spokane Housing Ventures.
      So McBride is well aware that 3,000 housing units have been lost in the area and some 80 percent in low-income areas, including a high percentage of people with disabilities, need work.
      He worries that if his clients “earn just $1” above guideline limits they could lose housing.
     McBride said he and others are working on a HUD program to help.  He said the idea was formulated “on a napkin at a retirement party at the Park Inn.”  Next Thursday, he said, he travels to Washington, D.C., to spread the message.
      For those with disabilities who have been helped through Skils’kin, they are happy did indeed come their way.   
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink.
Luncheon Menu at Bark
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