Spokane North Notes
A weekly bulletin of the Spokane-North Rotary Club
September 28, 2015
Editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
Program coordinator: Brad Stark
          On deck: Some great programs are scheduled the next few weeks, starting with mayoral and City Council candidates.  Our next field trip, Nov. 9, is to tour Gonzaga University’s new $60 million student union.  Check the calendar listings on this page.
Romney outlines club’s challenges
          “How much can 28 members accomplish?”
        Member picture  That was President Lenore Romney’s question as she presented a first-quarter report to members at the Sept. 28 luncheon.
          Romney presented a progress report on the club’s five goals for the year and the year-long budget approved by officers and directors.
          Of the first goal – the club’s mission of serving disadvantaged youth locally and nationally – she said the club was studying how to “get back in the (Rotary) grant program.”
          Chris Lynch attended the Fall District Assembly to learn how to prepare grant requests for consideration early next year. 
          “Every dollar you put into Rotary International comes back to the clubs through grants,” Lynch said.  The easiest, she added, was matching grants, which are limited to $2,000.  Global grants from RI, more difficult to obtain, can provide up to $10,000, she said.
          Past President Sandy Fink said the club got a $2,000 grant several years ago, working with then district governor Lloyd Gray of Club 21.
          “A grant may not help us this (Rotary) year, but we don’t want to miss out next year,” Romney said.
          In reviewing budget items, Romney detailed $28,500 in projected expenses, with projected revenues of $25,940 – a projected shortfall of $2,560.
          The budget, Romney said, includes funding the usual variety of projects at Holmes Elementary, plus funding $1,050 worth of requested projects at Glover Middle School and $1,600 at North Central High School.  All of those funds are targeted to help needy students.  Glover and NC are where many Holmes’ students matriculate.
          Goal two asks club members how much can be done with 28 members.
          In the past, Romney noted, club revenues grew when members did not attend the luncheons they had previously paid for.  But that’s not a good way to raise money with a smaller club, she said.
          The club operating budget faces a projected shortfall of $1,835 this Rotary year, and the best way to increase revenues is to add new members, Romney said.
          She raised the possibility of foregoing the installation banquet – a $1,500 expense beyond the members’ $17 luncheon fees – or charging for spouses and guests.  And she said the $1,000 budgeted for “PETS” (president-elect) training might be saved if a past president volunteers to serve again, as Romney did.
          The most difficult issue, she said, is recruiting members to take on board positions.  Romney said that even though the board suggests a by-laws change to cut to eight, from 12, the number of board positions, no one as yet has volunteered to become vice-president/president elect for this year and six of the eight spots are still open for Rotary year 2016-17.  Election of new officers is scheduled in December.
          “I’ve always thought that board service was fun,” Romney said, “but maybe I’m a little strange.”  The lack of leadership volunteers, she added, “is straining the board’s resources.”  After the meeting, club member Melinda Keberle, who is coordinating Holmes projects this year, volunteered for a board position.
          The club’s third goal, supporting the Rotary Foundation, continues on track, Romney said.
          Of the fourth goal – have interesting and fun meetings – Romney praised program coordinator Brad Stark and last year’s coordinator, Jim Minkler, for “great meetings all year.”
          Of goal five – have fun socializing – Romney showed an “applause meter,” which drew loud reaction.
          A dozen members and guests attended the Sept. 21 social at The Backyard restaurant and tavern and coordinator Bruce Ellwein asked members for other ideas.  He suggested a non-competitive bowling outing as next quarter’s social gathering.
          As the meeting closed, the one visiting Rotarian at the luncheon talked about one small club which does big things.
          Bill Sperling, Spokane-North president in 1992-93, has been a member of the 500-plus member downtown Seattle Club while he lived in Bainbridge Island.  But he talked about the Nanaimo, British Columbia, Rotary Club.  With just 15 members, Sperling said, that club takes a hot-dog cart to various civic and school events and raises $60,000 a year for Rotary.  “They really do make a difference,” he said.
          AND “so do we” observed President Lenore!