North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
May 15, 2023
            May 22: Noon, lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Linda Zienhert, Union Gospel Mission.
            May 29: No meeting – Memorial Day. 
Happy Buck$:
            John Mailiard was happy again for solar-panel-roof savings.
            Ron Noble was happy for a trip to Inchelium with his sons.
            Jerry Logan was happy for a shick-shift auto drive.
            Melinda Keberle was happy that her teenager tried to drive a stick-shift car.
            Michelle Fossum was happy for a glorious camping weekend trip.
            Steve Boharski was happy for a wake surfing outing.
Welcome Sheila
            Spokane-North Rotary officially welcomed new member Sheila Fritts on May 15.
            Sheila, marketing director of the Fairwood Retirement Village and Assisted Living, said “I am grateful to find this group.”
            She said that “back in my 30s, with some kids, I got a Rotary scholarship.  It was a small amount but meaningful to me.  It forced me to write about it, set my goals putting on paper and let me go forward.
            “It is a group that feels in the future.  So thank you,” Sheila said.
This 50th will be Expo-special
             If a 50th anniversary is “golden,” Expo ’74 next spring will remember the golden days of the World’s Fair and the golden nuggets of the legacy of Riverfront Park and many other Expo-spurred developments around Spokane.
            At the May 15 club luncheon, Matt Santangelo outlined the plans for two months of celebrations to honor the 50th anniversary.
            Matt, a former GU star guard, “came off the bench” to sub for Spokane Parks Director Garret Jones for the meeting.  Matt is helping to coordinate the Expo anniversary events.  He also works with Gonzaga’s NIL (name, image and likeness) program and, “wearing his third hat,” works with D.A. Davidson investments.
            As the lively group at the Bark chatted, Matt said, “I am the youngest of nine kids, so I’m used to the noise.”
            He said Jones asked him to get involved when several folks last winter mentioned the golden Expo anniversary and said “Oh, we should do something.”
            Jones knew that Matt, who led Hoopfest for seven years, “needed a point guard to connect all the points.”           
           Matt said that the plans probably should have been started two years ago, but members from 12 public agencies and private organizations are now filling in the details.
           The two-month anniversary calendar will start Saturday, May 4, the day before Bloomsday, and conclude on the July 4th weekend.
           “This is not a World’s Fair; this is an anniversary,” Matt said. 
            Through the two months, the anniversary will focus on “five pillars:”                   
  1. Environmental stewardship (an Expo theme),
  2. Legacy (“it transformed families” and the city,)
  3. Arts and culture,
  4. Recreation and sports (“the Spokane River is healthier now),” and,
  5. Tribal councils.
 ​​            “Because its low-budget, and no major fund-raising, a little things will add up to a big thing,” Matt said.
            For example, the Spokane Indians baseball team next year will be the “Expos.”
            Boxes of Expo ’74 pictures and artifacts will be displayed at the Mac museum and in skywalks and other venues, Matt said.  
            Ron Noble recalled the tangle of railroad tracks, including elevated rails, which formerly occupied the Expo site, and now the beautiful, active Riverfront Park.
            Only the clock tower remains of the waterside environs.
            For many of those who lived and knew Spokane before Expo ’74, there will be at least two months’ worth of memories and stories.
It’s a new ball game
            Matt Santangelo was asked about the NIL program and his involvement with Gonzaga University, where he was an outstanding point guard.
            Matt said when he was recruited in high school in Portland “all we asked was who shoe company do you use and how many times are you on TV?”
            “And during the past 25 years, no school has done better than GU,” he added, as the Zags have gone to the NCAA’s “Big Dance” yearly.
            Matt, born in 1977, played at GU in 1997-2000.  The 6-1 point guard was co- freshman of the WCC in 1997 and a first-team member in 1998-2000.  He won a gold medal in the 1999 World University Games in 1999 and played pro ball in Europe for six years.
            But now, with an open portal for easy exit to other games and NIL have changed the game.
            The Name, Image and Likeness allows payment from companies everywhere.  For example, he said Northern Quest and other sponsor ads with Drew Timme was a key reason the all-American forward stayed at GU, Matt said.
            Matt said the “Zag Collective,” locally and nationally, raised $750,000 last year, mostly for men’s and women’s basketball.
            He said it is very difficult for smaller cities to compete against schools in major metropolitan areas in the new NIL arena.
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
Pictures:  Lenore Romney