North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
March 27, 2023
            March 31: Social starting at 5:30 p.m. honoring Brian Hipperson’s retirement.  Salads and desserts welcomed.  The event is at the home of Michelle and Terry Fossum. 
            April 3: (No lunch planned.) Noon tour of new downtown stadium.   Sign-up required.  Hard hats will be provided.  Meet northeast of the project, near the Boy Scout office on Washington.
              President Melinda Keberle continues to invite members to consider serving on the club board of directors, including secretary.  Presidential candidates can consider a quarterly system or a full year term.  Steve Boharski serves as 4th quarter club president until the new Rotary year starts on July 1.
            Melinda displayed a large “gum drop tower” poster by the 3rd grade students at Holmes Elementary, using club-sponsored kits from the Mobius Science Center.  A large array of thank-you notes accompanied the other poster.
 Happy Bucks: 
            Steve Boharski enjoyed sun, swimming and snorkeling in Belize.
            Jerry Logan added $1 for club member John Mailliard’s donation to the Lumen scholarship fund.
Human Trafficking spurs special challenges
            “Human trafficking is a process, not an event,” Stephanie Pratt told the club at the March 27 luncheon.
            In a Zoom talk, Pratt described the details of illegal trafficking and shared an eight page handout, saying that incidents of the crimes are statewide, nationwide and globally.
            Pratt is the Victims of Crime Program Manager and Anti-Human Trafficking lead for the state’s Office of Victims Advocacy (OCVA).
            With more than 30 years of experience in victims services, she currently oversees state and federal grants for support and assistance for victims/survivors of labor and sex trafficking.
             “My job is to get funding out the door,” she said.
            Trafficking involves men and women and youth, Pratt said.  Cases can involve cash, forced servitude, jewelry, car-jacking, stealing drugs, or a number of other items, she said.
            Though incidents are statewide, she said, accurate totals are difficult because many victims choose not to prosecute, for fear, family connections or many other reasons.  “Often, boys and men don’t want to seem vulnerable or weak,” Pratt said.
            “Human trafficking is much more than sex trafficking,” she said.
            Her handout said: “There is no one face of human trafficking.  All ages, genders, races, religions and nationalities are exploited by traffickers into all forms of labor and services.”
            In many cases involving young men and women, the assailants often “take their cell phones away and keep them isolated” to avoid helpful communications, Pratt said.
            “Some people just fall off the grid,” she said.
            “Human trafficking can be gang-based, family-based or some with drug addictions,” she said, adding that a group in the Wenatchee area preyed on young LGBT persons for “survival sex.”
            Misuse of on-line sources for human trafficking, she said is so large “it’s scary.”
            Pratt said some 400 volunteers have been trained about trafficking, “trying to increase awareness.”  She added the state legislature also has bills pending to try to deal with the issues.
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink