North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club Bulletin
May 3, 2021
            May 10:  Rotary Social, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Nectar Wine and Beer, downtown (120 N. Stevens).  President Steve Bergman said the event will occur whatever Covid phase is placed in the county.
            Happy Buck$:  Ron Schurra was happy that his young grandson continued a family tradition by singing “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” on a walk.
Fellowships and a very long ride
            For a longtime Rotarian who preaches fellowship, why did Mel Dick ride his bicycle more than 4,000 miles from Sandpoint to Key West, Florida, by himself?
            The avid cyclist, then age 67, left Sandpoint last Aug. 1 and reached Key West Sept. 25th.
            Mel’s wife, Claudia, joined him in Florida for 2 ½ months.  Then the couple took trains back to Sandpoint and Mel told our club May 3 on Zoom that “I haven’t been on my bike since.”
            Mel, immediate past president of the Sandpoint Rotary Club, described the possibilities of the wide-ranging Rotary Fellowship program.  He said fellowship members do not need to be Rotarians.
            He said fellows gather for traditional topics such as music, history, gourmet cooking and many others.  The site lists more than 70 topics.
            Other groups include yachting, golf, magicians, genealogy, bird watching and bicycling. Mel said a “Tour de Tucson, bike ride which raised about $1 million for Rotary’s Polio Plus program.
            Specialty topics include Esperanto (an international language), beer and “Wisk(e)DRAM.”  Mel said his taste of that last topic included “wee drams” of four Kentucky bourbons.  Rotary does have a “rum” fellowship group, too.
            Mel hopes the next topic might be a chocolate-lovers fellowship group.
            He said that following an aggressive two-year membership program the Sandpoint Club now has more than 100 members with very few Covid casualties.
            Mel and Claudia moved to Sandpoint in 2002 following 27 years in accounting with the Arthur Andersen firm.  He In Sandpoint, he was chief financial officer at Coldwater Creek.  Web sites note his long connection with education – he was board director of the Panhandle Alliance for Education – and autism awareness groups. 
            Mel competed in Race Across America to raise autism issue funds.  A Bonner Bee story last summer said Mel had ridden other tours of more than 1,000 miles.  Mel also coordinates the annual CHAFE 150 bicycle ride to raise money for the Lake Pend Oreille School District for students on the autism spectrum.  
            During his long bicycle ride to Key West, Mel said he often stayed at campgrounds and, with many restaurants closed for Covid, he ate at gas stations and convenience stores.  He rode 100 miles seeking water at a campground, but the facilities were closed, so Mel said he rode 33 more miles that day to another campground.  The Bee story said Mel averaged 75 miles a day, burning 5,000 to 7,000 calories a day.  Asking donations of one cent per mile, Mel raised more than $5,000 for Rotary youth programs, the Bee reported.
            Mel told our club he met an amazing group when he stopped for breakfasts at 5:30 in the mornings and added his long ride “kind of renewed my faith in the country.”
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink