Spokane North Notes
A weekly bulletin of the Spokane-North Rotary Club
October 6, 2014
Editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
Photos: Sandy Fink
Program coordinator: Jim Minkler
           Welcome new members!:  It was an historic day for Spokane-North as its roster increased by 10 percent with the induction of three new members. 
One is returning (Brad Stark, classification: financial planning); one is transferring from a California club (John Maillard, classification: law enforcement, retired); and, one is new to Rotary (Chad Haverkamp, classification: banking).

         BRAD                JOHN                    CHAD
            Fall social: Some 35 to 40 members, family and guests are expected for Saturday’s (Oct. 11) fall social at Hidden Acres Farm in Greenbluff, said coordinator Jodi Harland.  The club is providing beverages and desserts and members are contributing chili and side dishes.  The gathering is 5:30-8:30 p.m., but those wanting to pick, or buy, pumpkins, apples and other items are welcome to arrive early, Jodi said.  Hidden Acres is at 16802 N. Applewood Lane in Mead, across the road from Walters Fruit Ranch.
Drop-in centers fight drop-out rate
             In 2001, it was noted that Spokane was the largest city in the U.S. without a Boys & Girls Club.  Now it has three, and Executive Director Dick Hanlin talked about the programs and the possibilities with the club Oct. 6.
            Spokane-North connections with the Boys & Girls Clubs date to the opening of the Northtown Club, in space owned by St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, at 544 E. Providence.  Some 20 members helped paint the inside of the facility as a “dirty hands project” one Saturday morning in 2001.
            B&G Spokane has since added the Lisa Stiles-Gyllenhammer Club in the former Mead High, then Junior High, at 12509 N. Market, and the Be Great Club in the former Libby Junior High building at 2900 E. First.
            Locally, Hanlin said, some 2,500 young people, ages 6-18, are members of the clubs.  Nationally, the 4,000 B&G Clubs “impact” some 2.4 million youth, he said.
            Mottos and mission statements motivate the programs.  Brochures say the clubs are “Helping Right Their Stories,” and that “Great Futures Start Here.”  The mission is “to enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible adults.”
            Hanlin said the clubs are much more than after-school, drop-in sites.  “It’s not just a pool table and a gym,” Hanlin said.  “We have state-of-the-art computers and 100-plus field trips. “
            And, he adds, “We are the largest after-school meal site east of the Cascades.  A well-fed kid is more prone to get homework done.”  He said the Northtown club has 62 percent single-parent families and 40 percent minority student participation.
           Academic success is a main focus at all three clubs, Hanlin said, citing the efforts to help cut the drop-out rate in public schools.
          He stresses the clubs’ “magnet activities,” called that because “they attract kids back.”
            “If we can have kids come back twice a week for three years of their lives, they’re going to make it,” he said.
            While the Boys & Girls Club history in Spokane is short, the organization’s roots date to efforts in 1860 by women in Hartford, Conn., who founded a Boys Club “to get kids off the street.”  The national organization changed to Boys & Girls Clubs in 1990 and celebrated a centennial in 2006.
            In Spokane, the clubs and their $1.6 million annual budget are directed by a 30-member board.  Current President is George Garber of Baker Construction.
            Hanlin said “he was born a Husky, but is now a Coug.”  He graduated from WSU with a public relations background and has been with B&G Clubs since 1982, including the last four years in Spokane.  He is a former Portland and Grants Pass, Ore., Rotarian.
            The bulk of young members are ages 7-11 and walk to the club facilities, he said.  Programs target academic success, attendance and behavior and he said “the second semester of 6th grade” is one of the most vulnerable times to fight the drop-out rate.
            A 10-week summer program supplements the school-year offerings and funding is being sought to stay open Saturdays, Hanlin said.  One funding challenge is the loss of about $130,000 a year previously provided by the Zak Industries golf tournament.
            He said the lease on the 22,000 square feet of rented Northtown Club space expires in 2021, so that club is looking at options, including other venues or buying the current site, leveling it and rebuilding to better fit the program.
            Responding to a question, Hanlin said if the clubs were being organized today, West Central and the Holmes School area “could arguably have been a place where we would have started.”
Lincoln Center has fascinating history
            Is our club now in a “healthier” venue?
            The first building on the site at Lincoln and Sharp was a church, now in the space which holds the 29,000-square-foot Monroe Ballroom in the Lincoln Center.
            The church, built in the 1920s with art deco adornments of that age, served as a home for the John G. Lake Church and later, Second Harvest Foundation.
            John Graham Lake was one of Spokane’s best-known residents, and perhaps one of its least-remembered.
            Lake, born in 1870, was one of 17 children in a family in St. Mary’s, Ontario, Canada.  Eight siblings died very young.  The family moved to Michigan and Illinois and Lake claimed to have been ordained as a Methodist minister at age 21, in 1891.
            He served as a Pentecostal minister in South Africa from 1908 to 1913.  He and wife, Jenny, had seven children, but she died just six months after moving to Africa.  Lake returned to the U.S., remarried, and was an itinerant preacher for a year before settling in Spokane, possibly because of his acquaintance with James J. Hill, who founded the Northern Pacific Railway.
            In Spokane, Lake started the Church of Truth and Divine Healing Institute.  He operated “healing rooms” in the Rookery Building and the Masonic Temple, and, until 1920, accounts say, he saw up to 200 clients a day.  Lake claimed to have “healed” more than 100,000 people.  His faith-healing business was so big that Spokane for a time was called “America’s Healthiest City.”
            In 1920, Lake relocated to Portland, then Houston, doing faith-healing work.  He was instrumental in opening a number of churches in the West, including the Lincoln Center’s predecessor, but apparently never set foot in his namesake church here.
            Lake returned to Spokane in 1931, bought another church and operated faith-healing rooms until 1935, when he suffered a stroke and died at age 65.