Meeting Follow Up : Slides from Dr. Duy

August 13, 2018

At last week’s Rotary Meeting, we heard from Dr. Tim Duy on a local and national economic perspective. This presentation brought a lot of interest in accessing Dr. Duy’s slides. You can find them by clicking here.

Posted in: Blog, Featured (Read more...)

2nd Annual Multi-Sport RiverFest

August 8, 2018

Mark your calendar for September 23, 2018!

What started as a dream to offer another open-water triathlon in Oregon has become a multi-sport festival in just one year. The Rotary Clubs of Salem and South Salem have again teamed up to foster a community experience centered in Riverfront Park, with the aim of raising funds to support charitable initiatives both locally and globally.

The event will include varied races in several distances, food, health and wellness booths, music, and plenty of volunteer opportunities. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring this event to our community and showcase our beautiful parks and Salem’s wonderful downtown,” says John Shirley, Chair of the Rotary Multi-sport Planning Committee. Not just for experienced athletes, the Multi-Sport RiverFest is a community event with an emphasis on promoting active lifestyle habits and an appreciation of Salem’s beautiful and easily accessible parks.

In addition to promoting active lifestyles, the event will raise funds for local non-profits and international humanitarian projects.  Since 2000, the Rotary Clubs of Salem and South Salem have awarded over 200 grants to more than 50 nonprofit organizations in the Salem area. Additionally, international projects include water wells and sanitation facilities in countries like Haiti and Indonesia, and the nearly complete elimination of the Polio virus.

The 2017 Rotary Triathlon event brought participants from five States and Canada, as well as hundreds of local runners and cyclists. Encouraged by last year’s success, the planning committee has added a Half-Marathon and the “Over the Bridge

and Around the World” Kid’s Run, presented by Salem Health. “Adding a half marathon and events for kids gives even more options for both adults and families,” says Robert Chandler, Co-Chair of the event. The planning committee has also made plans for a back-up swim route in case of rain and runoff into the slough, ensuring that triathletes will be able to complete all three legs of the race this year.

Regardless of fitness level or ability, there’s a place for everyone in the RiverFest. The 5K is open to runners and walkers of all ages, kids can dash through the Kids Run, and if tackling a triathlon on your own seems like an unattainable feat, consider signing up as a team. All told, there are now eight race options to get outside and join in the fun:

Kids Run
5k Walk/Run
Half Marathon


Olympic Sprint
1.6k Run 1.6k Run
40k Bike 20k Bike
5k Run 2.5k Run


Olympic Sprint
1500m Swim 750m Swim
40k Bike 20k Bike
10k Run 5k Run

Signing up for a race event isn’t the only way to participate in the Multi-Sport Riverfest. Over 200 volunteers of all ages helped last year’s event run smoothly, and the race coordinators are hoping to sign up even more this year. Spectators and park patrons are welcome and encouraged to visit the food booths, enjoy the music, and participate in yoga in the park. To learn more, visit

Posted in: Blog, Events, Featured (Read more...)

Buy a Dictionary - Add Meaning to Life!

August 7, 2018

Every year, Rotary clubs around the Salem-Keizer area gather together with the goal of distributing a dictionary to every 4th grader in the Salem-Keizer School District. To accomplish this goal, we need your help!

We have an opportunity for a one-to-one matching grant through District 5100. All you have to do is buy one! Or a whole box!

Dictionaries are 2.50/each, $30 for a 1/2 box and $60 for a full box. You can make your donation online by clicking here. Just add the details under the ‘note’ section. E.g. “$60 Box of Dictionaries.”

Click here for the order form and to learn more.

Posted in: Blog, Featured, Literacy (Read more...)

New Member Introduction | Katherine Suchan

July 18, 2018

The first new member of President Rus McCracken’s year was inducted at Wednesday’s meeting. You can get to know more about Katherine Suchan by reading this introduction, written by her sponsor, Brenna Baucum.

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to my colleague and friend, Katherine Suchan. She is a Certified Financial Planner professional with the H Group. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Katherine is passionate about the power of planning and has seen the positive difference a well-crafted plan can make in the lives of individuals, families, and businesses.

Prior to moving to Salem, Kath lived in Eugene for twenty years (go ducks). Katherine has two sons: Ben and Josh. While living in Eugene, she volunteered at their schools, taught Sunday school, mentored middle school girls, and hosted the Cub Scout den.

If that’s not enough to exhaust a working mom with two boys, she also hosted several short term exchange students from a variety of countries including China, France, and Thailand to name a few. Between her sons, their friends, and the exchange students, her Eugene home was full of sights, sounds, and smells of boys.

Katherine doesn’t have to deal with boy smells anymore. She owns a beautiful home in South Salem that she shares with her soon to be Irish Water Spaniel (she’s courting a potential new furry family member so if you know of one in need of a loving home, you come find her).

She’s been here for just over 2 years and has been busily engaging with our community. She serves on the Leave a Legacy board, sorts food at Marion Polk Food Share, and gives of her sweat equity with Habitat for Humanity. I have never met someone who is such an enthusiastic do it yourselfer. She has the heart and soul of a Rotarian, and our club is so fortunate to have her. Please help me warmly welcome Katherine Suchan.

Posted in: Blog, Featured, Member News (Read more...)

"Be the Inspiration" Shirt

July 11, 2018

If you were inspired by the new board’s beautiful shirts, we hope you’ll join in the fun by ordering one of your own. $4 of each purchase goes to support the Salem Rotary Foundation. Our friends Lisa Campbell and her team at Print Specialties have made this ordering easy. Here’s your 1-2-3 on getting your very own, Be the Inspiration shirt.

Step 1: Go to and enter your personal information. You can leave the PO / Order # blank. For “In Hands” date, please allow at least one week from the date you order.

Step 2: Under “Order Details:”

  • Products:
    • Item # type “Rotary”
    • Indicate the number of each size you would like. (They run a bit small, but don’t shrink when washed.)
      • $17/each up to XL, $19/each for 2XL, $21/each for 3XL.
      • The shirts are Gildan performance tee. 100% polyester jersey knit so they won’t shrink when washed; moisture-wicking, anti-odor properties (not that you need that…)
  • Imprint Type: Screen
  • Placement: Front
  • Additional Information / Notes:
    • Indicate whether you would like a men’s or women’s cut.
    • Indicate whether you prefer design “A” or “B.”


Step 3: Hit Submit. Lisa and her team will be in touch with an invoice and any follow up questions.


Posted in: Blog, Featured (Read more...)

Recycling Changes

July 3, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, we had the great pleasure of learning about some of the nuances behind the recent changes to our recycling system. Reed Carlson,Recycling/Marketing Coordinator from Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association gave us his take, and shared some incredibly useful slides to explain what is, and isn’t recyclable now.

Many of our members requested these slides after the meeting, and we thought you might find them useful too! Click here to access his Power Point Presentation.

Posted in: Blogrecycling (Read more...)

Small Grant Recipients Announced!

June 29, 2018

The Salem Rotary Foundation is excited to announce that nine Salem non–profit organizations will receive a total of $10,000 to help fund vital community projects. The grants range from $500 to $1,500.

The Salem Rotary Foundation is a charitable arm of the Rotary Club of Salem. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded 127 grants to over 60 Salem–area organizations.

Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency:  funds will be used to purchase a locking storage shed to house bikes, helmets and locks as part of the continuation of a very successful bicycle “ownership project”.

CASA of Marion County: funds will be used to collaborate in a partnership with Marion County Juvenile Dependency Court to install “mini-libraries in each juvenile dependency courtroom.

Center for Hope and Safety: funds will provide a sensory light table for children in the confidential shelter.  The light table will create opportunities for children living in shelter to safely explore and strengthen their creativity, cognitive and social skills.

Gilbert House Children’s Museum: funds will be used to purchase supplies for The Creative Space, designed for the crafty and curious.

Northwest Human Services/HOST Youth Program: funds will be used to provide 40 wool blankets at the Overnight Emergency Shelter for homeless, runaway and at risk youth.

Union Gospel Mission of Salem: funds will be used to assist in the purchase of 22 new computers for the Learning Centers (men and women) and computers for staff working with homeless guests, as well as an organization-wide server; 8 ipads for occupational training and it will help site staff assist the guests in using computers.

Start Making a Reader Today (SMART): funds will be used to purchase 300 new bilingual, Spanish language and multi-cultural books to give to children for them to keep.

Capitol Futbol Club: funds will be used to provide scholarships to recreational soccer players ages 3-14 in the Salem area.

Community Action Agency: funds will be used to purchase small rewards and incentives to give to participants when they are meeting their treatment goals, court ordered assignments and personal health goals.

Posted in: Blog, Grants (Read more...)

District 5100 Conference Sponsors | Thank You!

May 15, 2018

The District 5100 Conference is THIS WEEK! It’s finally here! We want to take a moment to sincerely thank each and every one of our sponsors. We simply could not do it without you! Please show them your appreciation by visiting their businesses! To learn more about the conference and check the schedule, click here.

Posted in: Blog, Events (Read more...)

Update on the Gerry Frank Rotary Amphitheater

May 10, 2018

The Rotary Club of Salem and the City of Salem, after working in close collaboration for over 18 months to develop a structure on the site of the existing Riverfront Park Amphitheater, have agreed that a better location for the Gerry Frank | Rotary Amphitheater is in the currently undeveloped 3.8-acre park property at the southeast end of Riverfront Park.

The new location will be incorporated into the new Riverfront Park Master Plan, which is in its final stages of completion. Only a small distance from the original site, this new location provides additional opportunities to use open space when performances are not taking place.

gerry frank rotary amphitheater

“The City of Salem and the Rotary Club of Salem have formed a strong partnership with this project and we are excited about the opportunities this new location offers to residents and visitors of our city,” said Mayor Chuck Bennett.

Rotary Club of Salem President Bruce Anderson echoed the Mayor’s comments, noting that “our club members and City staff worked towards what we believe is a great solution to completing this part of the Riverfront Park. This new location offers a great site for what will be a landmark for Salem and we look forward to working together to provide a key venue that our community will enjoy well into the future.”

To learn more about the Gerry Frank | Rotary Amphitheater, click here.

Rotary Club of Salem is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020 and committed to building a covered and enhanced performance facility at Riverfront Park in support of that milestone, continuing a track record of service to the Salem community.

In 2005, the Rotary Club of Salem donated the Salem Rotary International Centennial Pavilion, also located in Riverfront Park.

Posted in: Blog, Rotary AmphitheaterTagged in: amphitheatergerry frankgerry frank rotary amphitheater (Read more...)

The 2018 Small Grant Window is NOW OPEN!

May 9, 2018

The 2018 Small Grant Application window is now open!

Grants from the Salem Rotary Foundation generally range between $500 to $1,500 each. The hope is to fund projects that directly or indirectly foster, develop, promote, and encourage the health, education, and the general welfare of primarily youth in the city of Salem and the surrounding area.

Applications must be completed by May 31, 2018. 

Click here to access the application and share it with any organization you know that could use some community support from our club!

Want to see who won last year’s small grants? Click here! What to learn more about what the Salem Rotary Foundation does? Click here!


Posted in: Blog, Grants (Read more...)

Small Grant Application

May 9, 2018

The window for submitting GoodWorks Small Grant applications is closed as of June 1, 2018. Thank you for your submissions!

Want to see who won last year’s small grants? Click here! What to learn more about what the Salem Rotary Foundation does? Click here!

Posted in: Blog, Grants (Read more...)

Plant a Tree for Rotary!

May 2, 2018

Rotary International President Ian Risely has an outstanding challenge — to plant at least 1.2 million trees around the world! That’s one tree for every Rotary member!

Our club helped with efforts to reach that goal on Saturday, April 27, by gathering at Woodscape Park Pathway in Salem to plant some trees! There was a lot of hard work, but also fun and fellowship, to help beautify Salem.

In addition, at last week’s Rotary meeting, nearly all attending members took a tree or two to be a part of the effort. We’re the club that gets things done, after all!


Posted in: Blog (Read more...)

New Member Introduction | Heather Cordon

April 11, 2018

Time to welcome another fantastic new member into our club! Get to know more about Heather from her bio here, as read by her sponsor, Kyle Dickinson.

Heather Cordon is a woman of many hats. She is honored to be the Development Director of Salem Free Clinics, a student in her third year of a Bachelor’s program at Reach Training Institute, and the new wife of Thomas Cordon whom she had the absolute joy of marrying in Sedona, Arizona last December.

Heather considers herself to be a life-long learner and enjoys every opportunity to grow and expand her worldview through service projects and volunteerism. Born and raised in the Willamette Valley, she has also had the opportunity to lead teams to Africa, Cambodia, and Mexico for months at a time to help out in orphanages, build community centers, and teach English abroad. Heather is also a leader within this community, where her passions and strengths lie in educating, motivating, and cultivating others towards self-awareness, self-development and personal growth.

As part of her role at Salem Free Clinics, Heather has the ongoing privilege of presenting Salem and surrounding areas with an opportunity to join their mission of bringing hope & health to our local community by providing free healthcare to the uninsured. Heather also has the honor of thanking amazing individual donors and organizations such as the Rotary Club of Salem who has generously awarded Salem Free Clinics with grants on two different occasions.

In her free time, Heather loves to stay active and be outdoors. She enjoys hiking with her husband, practicing yoga at Salem’s Soul Care Center, and swimming laps at Courthouse Fitness. She also loves painting landscapes of local scenery, creating new recipes in the kitchen, eating exotic foods, and venturing to places she has never been.

Heather also enjoys participating in a variety of volunteer roles and is looking forward to more ways she can invest in and support this local community as a new Rotarian.

Posted in: Blog, Member News (Read more...)

New Member Introduction | Kristin Kuenz-Barber

April 5, 2018

This week we were happy to welcome a smiling face that has becoming familiar to many of us after attending as a guest for several weeks. Get to know more about Kristin through this introduction, read by her sponsor Marybeth Beall.

Kristin grew up with her family in a small suburb of Oklahoma City and eventually attended Oklahoma State University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Family Relations and Child Development with an emphasis in Sociology/Gerontology.  She was named one of the top ten Senior Women at Oklahoma State during her last year when she graduated with a 4.2 GPA.  Kristin has a passion for service that started at OSU, when in her sophomore year, she became a Friendly Visitor Mentor (aka.. ”Big Sister”) for a child that was assigned to her through the Stillwater Department of Human Services.  She spent an hour of quality time every other week with this 9yr old little girl who was living in poverty, struggling with the death of a father, anger management, and poor school attendance.  Kristin supported her for three years and helped her with building relationships, learning, and being responsible for her actions.  After college they remained connected and still have a blessed relationship to this day.

After college Kristin began a career in social work and took her first position with a non-profit organization working with severely and persistently mentally ill clients in downtown OKC.  This transitioned eventually into working for other non-profit organizations doing case management for the underserved populations of the city.  Kristin did marry after college and thus in 2002 followed her then husband to Salem, Oregon where he took a position in the wine industry at Willamette Valley Vineyards.

Upon coming to Oregon, she settled in Keizer and is still there to this day.  Kristin began employment soon after moving to Oregon, at Salem Hospital where she initially worked as a discharge planner on the orthopedic unit.  Kristin continued growth in the Case Management Department and eventually became a Social Services Counselor on the Cardiovascular Care Unit.  After ten years at SH, an opportunity to do something a little different presented, and she took a position at Willamette Valley Hospice where she spent seven years as a Business Development/Education Liaison. In October 2017 she was contacted by a recruiter at NWHS and decided to take a leap of faith in combining her social services and business development learning experiences and accepted the position as the Strategic Partnerships Manager.  Kristin is involved with several community and organizational projects at this current time and thoroughly enjoys the meaningful relationships that have formed over the past few months.  She looks forward to many more years of service at NWHS.

Kristin is now currently remarried to her junior high sweet heart (3 years) and has a beautiful 10yr old daughter, Eliana, who is the light of her life – and is a very active soccer player and competitive swimmer. Kristin is active in church activities and spent Spring Break of 2017 on a church sponsored mission trip to the Dominican Republic where she was able see lives changed (including her own)in the work that was done there.  She is now excited to be a part of the Affirming Business leadership group that has formed through Salem Alliance and looks forward to learning and growing in the years to come.  Kristin loves sports and is such a big fan of the OKC Thunder basketball team, that 2yrs ago she and her husband even named their new puppy “Thunder”!  Kristin is also an avid runner and last year had a goal of completing 17 runs in 7 months in 2017. She did accomplish her goal and her grand finale (and greatest accomplishment by far) was completing the Inaugural Salem Rotary Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon where she had fabulous overall time and finished first in her age group.

And if you are wondering, yes, she will be back out there again this year and hopes to see some of her fellow Rotarians join in the fun!


Posted in: Blog, Member News (Read more...)

New Member Feature: Zack Reitan

February 8, 2018

Tis the season, it seems! We had the great pleasure of adding another new member to our throng last week. Get to know more about Zack by reading his intro, as shared by his sponsor, Barry Nelson.

Zack was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest— San Juan Islands to be specific. Having grown up in a very small town, community has been a large focus for Zack since he was young.

During High School, he met a couple guys from Salem at a YoungLife camp in Eastern Oregon and stayed in contact with them. After high school, he moved to the Salem area to reconnect with the friends he made at YoungLife and absolutely fell in love with the area.

Being an adventurous person, Zack loved having so many outdoor attractions in the valley and its’ surrounding areas. He enjoys snowboarding, hiking, kayaking as well as camping. In addition, he loves the people with whom he is connected.

He started his first job ( in the Salem area ) in retail and quickly worked up to management. After fully committing to retail, Zack realized that the harsh hours and holiday rushes were not his “forever” job path. So… he followed in his mother’s footsteps and started his first role in banking as a Teller at US Bank. Over the course of the last 5 years, Zack has become well integrated in the banking industry and now manages the Willamette Valley Bank here in Downtown Salem.

During his development in Salem, he met his beautiful wife, Kayla and is now the father of his first child… his daughter, Blake. Having his friends and family in Salem, Zack and his wife plan on keeping their roots right here. In fact, they are in the process of persuading his parents to transition to the area! They are extremely excited for the growth that we’ve seen in the area and can’t wait to watch as some of the new industries, buildings and opportunities develop here in the valley.

Zack is constantly pushing himself to learn more. He has a passion for creative business and often studies marketing and advertising. He is a firm believer in the idea that you are a sum total of your five closest friends, so he is always looking to surround himself with people who are like-minded and looking to grow their own knowledge and sphere.

Zack is excited to join Rotary and hopes that he’s able to engage in some really fun, meaningful and powerful projects over the coming years. It was the amphitheater project that piqued his interest in the club!  He wants Salem to be as wonderful for his children as it is today, if not better. His goal is to simply be a part of moving the needle forward.

Posted in: Blog, Member News (Read more...)

New Member Feature: Quinn Burke

January 31, 2018

We were pleased to welcome back an old friend into our Rotary club during today’s meeting. Get to know more about Quinn by reading this introduction, as read by his sponsor, Lauren Gutierrez.

John Shirley brought Quinn into our club in early 2013 and he left club in Fall of 2014 when a career change led him to work out of Salem.

Did some math…

182 members in the club

66 members have joined since Quinn departed

36% of you haven’t met Quinn, but 64% HAVE met him

So – we’re going to focus 64% of this introduction on what has happened since Quinn was last a member.

The 36%

Quinn Grew up in Salem and attended South Salem HS and has an MBA from Willamette. He was a VP at Union Gospel Mission when he was with us previously.

The 64%

Quinn spent a couple years working as an operations/project manager at a residential development and construction company in Monmouth and is now back in Salem working as a residential real estate agent with Harvey Realty Group. He and his wife Katy added to their family roster in 2016 – Maxwell Quinn Burke was born July 26th, 2016 – a future Rotarian!

Quinn and Katy traveled to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia pre-baby but Max has racked up the frequent flier miles with them – he has been on 16 flights since arriving 18 months ago!

Quinn is a member of the Salem Leadership Foundation board and is on the board of and teaches Business Launch classes for MERIT, a non-profit that helps empower people to be self-sufficient through entrepreneurship. He enjoys cycling, photography, and everything wine – he’ll fit right in! Ask him about his wine club membership, it’s not what you may think!

I was honored to propose Quinn for ‘re-membership’ and am so looking forward to having him back in our club. He is a Rotarian through and though and knows what it takes to get things done. For the 36% of you out there who don’t know him yet, I’m sure you’ll enjoy him as much as I do!

Posted in: Blog, Member News (Read more...)

New Member Feature | Chi Nguyen-Ventura

January 29, 2018

 It’s that time again, time to welcome yet another member into our club. Get to know more about Chi by reading over her introduction, as delivered by her sponsor, Dawn Bostwick.

Chi was born in Vietnam. She and her family immigrated to the U.S. in 1990 to seek political asylum. Her grandfather served as Colonel in the Army Rangers before taken in as a POW for fighting alongside the US.

Chi graduated Valedictorian from Madison High School in Portland. She was awarded Oregon State University’s most prestigious award, the Presidential Scholarship which afforded her the ability to attend college. Chi majored in Business, minored in Visual Arts, and completed with an Honors Bachelor of Science. In 2004, Chi studied abroad in Norway at the University of Adger for her International Business option. After working for five years in advertising and then automotive, she received her MBA with honors from Willamette University. Her successful business today is a result of her thesis. Chi serves as Contributing Assistant Professor, part-time, at Willamette University, assisting MBA students with their own thesis projects.

Chi’s business, AutoMedic, serves a niche business. Her business has quick mobile response to detailing and servicing vehicles at the customer’s site. Some of her customers are Zipcar, Port of Portland, BLM, KOIN TV and KGW fleets. A lot of her clients do not have time to take their vehicles out of use, and Chi found a need for quick response for detailing and servicing autos, and has built a successful business serving these needs.

Chi served as a city councilor in King City and was a charter member of Portland New Generations Rotary Club. Chi and her wife moved their family to Salem in July 2016. They have two children, Alexander who is 3, and Isabel who is 1 ½. Their household is completed with several family members who they rescued from the Humane Society – dachshunds Grimm & Katie.

Fun fact – Governor Kate Brown officiated their wedding on a rooftop terrace in the Pearl District in the summer of 2011.

Chi is energetic, super intelligent, and her heart is in serving others. We are adding a fabulous new member to our club!

Posted in: Blog, Member News (Read more...)

Statesman Journal: Setting the Stage Fundraiser

January 24, 2018

We were proud to be featured in the Statesman Journal to help spread the news about our upcoming GoodWorks fundraiser, “Setting the Stage” on February 10th. Learn more about the event by reading the Statesman Journal article here, or by clicking here.

Posted in: Blog, Events, Rotary Amphitheater (Read more...)

New Member Feature | Debbie Jensen

January 18, 2018

Introducing new members into our club is one of our favorite things to do. Get to know more about our newest member, Debbie Jensen, with this introduction, which was read to the club by her sponsor Tom McGirr.

Until moving to Salem in November of last year, Debbie Jensen could was a native California, having grown up in Vallejo CA and then moving to the Bay Area.

Debbie has been in banking since 1988 and achieved her Corp Finance Certificate at UC Berkeley extension and attended Cannon Trust School in Pepperdine in 2004.  She has worked as a Senior Trust Officer the past 5 years at U.S. Trust in Walnut Creek and spent the prior 13 years as a Trust Officer with Wells Fargo Private Wealth Management in San Francisco.  She now works for Columbia Trust Company in Salem as a Senior Trust Officer and Team Leader.

Over the years, Debbie’s family moved to the Salem area.  That, and quality of life considerations, triggered her decision to move to Salem. Debbie is married to Roger, who was a contractor and has now started up his own business as a certified home inspector.  Debbie’s son Bret is currently in the Army stationed at Fort Brag NC.

She loves getting involved in her community as evidenced by her being a Rotarian since 1996.  She was president of her local Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow.  Debbie and Roger enjoy the outdoors, camping, hiking, wine tasting and looks forward to her new life experience in Oregon.

Debbie has been trying to convince Tom McGirr, her sponsor, that California makes some good Pinot Noir.  He has advised her she needs to do some extensive wine tasting in the Willamette Valley to taste REAL Pinot Noir!

Please welcome Debbie to Salem Rotary!

Posted in: Blog, Member News (Read more...)

Gold Star Report 2016 - 2017

December 21, 2017

Steven John Ickes Rotary Club of Salem
Gold Star Report No. 25
July 1 2016 – June 30 2017
Steve Ickes – President

The Rotary Club of Salem had another stellar year.  Funds were raised to support our projects and committee activities. Our major Good Works recipient was St. Francis Shelter. Funds were used to build a new playground. St. Francis Shelter provides temporary housing for families with children with the purpose of moving them from crisis of homelessness into stable, safe and long term housing. The playground replaces an old, inadequate plastic play structure. Children now have a new, safe place to play outside. Funds raised also supported the work of several club committees and expenses related to our exchange student.

Planning for our 100th anniversary began in earnest. The board approved and the club supported the idea of building an amphitheater in Salem’s Riverfront Park. The planning committee was formed and strategies developed for the advance work necessary to assess the level of support within the community. The goal is to have it built and dedicated in the spring of 2020.

Planning continued for our inaugural Triathlon. We agreed to co-sponsor the event with the South Salem Rotary Club. We hired the help of a sports sponsoring business to lay the initial groundwork for the October 1, 2017 event.

We inducted new members, and saw the lowest attrition in five years. Members distributed dictionaries, donated gifts for the tree of giving, rang the bell for the Salvation Army and raised funds for Marion Polk Food Share.

The Rotary Club of Salem – Who We Are

The Rotary Club of Salem first organized in September 1919 when a small group of forward-looking business and professional men met above Giles’ Wholesale Fruit Store at south High and Trade Streets. The club was officially chartered on January 1, 1920. The Rotary Club of Salem was the 306th club formed in the world and has been making contributions ever since.

The Rotary Club of Salem is the second largest club in District 5100.  Our attendance averaged 65%.  Attendance includes attending weekly meetings, participating in Rotary sponsored activities and events, meeting make-ups at other club meetings – anywhere in the world, on-line make-ups, committee meetings and other committee work. Our membership reached 193. We ended the year with 179. Of those, we have two honorary members, 16 Corporate Principals, 19 Rule of 85 and 156 active members.

Club Leadership

President | Steve Ickes

Club Leadership Committees

Office of Past President Committees | Mary Way
Nominating Committee, By-Laws, Service Day Committee; Past Presidents Council

  • Nominating Committee – a full slate of candidates was presented to the membership for consideration and ultimately, voted into office.
  • Past Presidents Council – regular meetings of past presidents continued.

Office of President Elect Committees | Bruce Anderson
Program, Strategic Planning, Presidential Citation

  • Program Committee – Our Program Committee brought an amazing array of speakers and music to our club meetings each week.
  • Presidential Citation – We received a Presidential Citation award this year for all the accomplishments of the club. This is a recognition awarded from Rotary International for meeting or exceeding expectation in several categories.

Office of the Secretary Committees | Holly Berry
Attendance, Roster, Club History Committees

  • Attendance – Paul Farrell. 36 members were recognized for perfect attendance this year.
  • Roster – Warren Bednarz. The printed roster serves as a reference for members when proposing new members, club leadership, club history and a listing of members.
  • Club History – Ron Rubel.  With our centennial just a few years away, work has begun on organizing and consolidating club records.

Office of Treasurer Committees | Chuck Swank
Cashiers Committee

  • Cashiers – Kelly White & Mike Niblock. Oversees the collection of lunch payments.

Club Service 1: Club Meetings | Larry Konick
Bell Ringers, Greeters/Traveling Mic, Invocation, Music Committees

  • Bell Ringers – Brenna Baucum. Solicit and announce the “bell ringers” at weekly club meetings with humor and enthusiasm.
  • Greeters/Traveling Mic – David Deckleman. Schedule members to greet all who attend weekly meetings and introduce guests.
  • Invocation – Richard Pine. Schedule members to give an invocation at the start of weekly meetings.
  • Music – Mary James/Chris Ray. Schedules committee members to choose and lead the song at weekly meetings.

Club Service 2: Fellowship | Chane Griggs
Fellowship Events, We Care, Firesides, Rotary Minute, Featured Rotarian Committees

  • Fellowship – Teresa Lulay. Getting to know each other is important and the committee provided several opportunities throughout the year that allowed for conversation.
  • We Care – Natalie Dunn. When life events occurred for our members, the committee stepped up and lets them know everyone was thinking of them by circulating and sending cards.
  • Fireside – Teresa Lulay. Gatherings held throughout the year giving those working on acquiring their blue badges a chance to get to know others in the club and more familiar about how the club operates.

Club Service 3: Membership | Steve Nass
Membership Development, Red Badge, New Members Orientation Committee

Membership as of July 1, 2016 – 171
Membership as of June 30, 2017 – 179

  • Membership Development – Robbin Kerner & Steven Broncheau. 26 new members were recruited, installed and oriented this year. Unfortunately, we lost 14 members.
  • Red Badge – Lauren Gutierrez.  The Membership Committee reviewed and made changes to the Red Badge process.
  • New Member Orientation – Larry Gray. Orientations are held regularly to familiarize new members with the history of Rotary Club of Salem and discuss events and activities in which they may participate. 

Club Service 4: Communications | Barby Dressler
Public Relations and Internal & External Communications Committees

  • Weekly Update – Stephanie Smetana. The weekly e-blast message with members is distributed via Constant Contact. It includes standard content such as the President’s Message, meeting information, program description, bell ringers, announcements and links to Rotary resources. Periodic articles are featured and messages that support club activities and fundraising.
    • Average open rate – 52%; industry average – 27.9%
    • Click through rate average – 5%; industry average – 8.4%
    • Open by mobile – 36%
    • Open by desktop – 64%
  • Followers on Facebook:
    • Followers/likes:  441
    • 56% women, 43% men
    • Ages:
      • 25-34 – 18%
      • 35-44 – 25%
      • 45-54 – 21%
      • 55-64 – 21%
    • 31 countries

Vocational Service | Nick Williams
Youth and Adult Vocation

Community Service 1: Community Needs | Mike Ferris
Food Drive, Holiday Giving, Blood Drive, Hands On Committees

  • Food Drive – Brent Neilsen.  This was our 28th city-wide food drive. Food and funds were raised to provide 168,131 meals to hungry families and children in Marion and Polk counties, reaching an 83% participation rate for our club.
    • Funds raised by all Clubs – $77,578
    • Funds raised by RCS – $55,377
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringers – Fred Gates. Twenty club members spent an hour each ringing the bell outside Kohl’s on the skybridge.
    • $6,800 raised during club meeting
  • Holiday Giving – Dawn Bostwick. 
    • 60 Gifts for Oregon State Hospital
    • 333 Gifts for Children  (fewer than last year, but were nicer and a bit more expensive) for the Salvation
    • Army toy drive.
      • $9,000 (Approximate value) raised in cash and gifts
  • Blood Drive – Tim Nissen. Approximately 80 pints of blood were donated during four blood drives.
  • Hands On – Sue Bloom.

Community Service 2: Fundraising | Christian Bryant
Good Works Event, Golf Tournament, Good Works Selection Committees

  • Good Works Project Selection – Brenna Baucum. This year’s $30,000 large project was awarded to St. Francis Shelter for a new playground. A plastic structure was woefully inadequate for the needs of the apartment complex housing families experiencing homelessness. New plans include a structure with a slide and opportunities to climb, swing and jump. The new playground will make a major contribution to the well being of children for years to come.
    • Good Works Event: $54,431 raised
      • Director of Fundraising – Lauren Gutierrez
      • Decorations chair – Claudia Vorse
      • Marketing chair – Brenna Baucum
  • Golf Tournament – Natalie Dunn. All Salem Rotary Clubs participate and proceeds go to the dictionary project. Each club retained its green fees and sponsor dollars – See Dictionary Project for funds raised. 

Community Service 3: New Generations | Tommy Love
International Youth Exchange, Interact, Student of the Month, RYLA, Literacy, Dictionary Committees

  • International Youth Exchange – Linda Bednarz.  This year our Youth Exchange program hosted a lively young woman, Eva Doblasova from the Czech Republic. Our outbound student, Lauren Lindholm spent the year in Argentina. The committee has added new members and has continued to network with other local clubs in recruiting students for short term and long term exchanges to provide foundations of world understanding.
  • Student of the Month – Ryan Collier.  We had eighteen incredible students of the month and three Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipients. Outstanding students from North Salem High School and South Salem High School were recognized each month. Each month, students told us of their lives, school activities, and their future plans and dreams. Categories from which students were chosen include student body president, fall athletes, humanities, math/science, service above self, winter athlete, vocational, and performing arts.
  • RYLA – Ida Mae Lafky.  Recognizes young leaders and provides them with an opportunity to expand their perceptions and ideals. RYLA participants gain knowledge about themselves and learn to work with others in order to become better people and future leaders. We sent two to the training this year.
  • Literacy – Jenn Columbus. This year the Literacy Committee provided:
    • $300 for the Salem Library Bookmobile
    • $100 to provide books for our guest speakers at the club to sign (signed books go to homeless shelters and local classrooms).
    • $5,200 to provide books to local non-profits, including St. Francis Shelter, Salem Interfaith Hospitality, Center for Hope and Safety, Smoke Place, CASA of Marion County, and Marion County Court Care. 
  • Dictionary Project – Todd Irvine & Barby Dressler.  We began distributing dictionaries 19 years ago to every student in 4th grade in Salem Keizer Schools in either English or Spanish. We distributed more than 3,800 dictionaries in 68 elementary schools in Salem. Funds for this program are raised through the Annual Rotary Golf Tournament and donations
    • $2,648 raised from golf tournament and donations (club paid balance of $1,490 for cost of dictionaries)

International Service | Shalisa Beck
RI Foundation, International Service, Peace Builder

  • RI Foundation – Dawn Bostwick. $26,871 donated by club members
  • International Service – Howard Bauman. We can be proud of the 11 wells and 2 community latrines that we have completed so far in Haiti. All of these villages have shown evidence of improved economies, better school attendance, and no further cholera deaths have been reported. When our next Global Grant is completed, the total will be up to 17 wells and 4 community latrines. 
  • An important objective of our committee has been to work closely in support of our District 5100 International Service Committee, and to also help other clubs interested in international service. In that regard, committee members Howard Baumann, Cynthia Witham, and Bo Nyleen played a significant role in this year’s District Training Assembly in April 2017 at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, by presenting our club’s experience on:  “Removing the Challenges of Global Grants.” Working with our district clubs and other organizations, we financially supported:
    • Portland’s Paraguay Literacy Project
    • Beaverton’s Uganda Female Farmer’s Project
    • Tigard’s Guatemala Clean Stove Project
    • African Woman’s Peace Project in Kenya, through the Kenyatta University in Kenya
  • Rotaract. The Rotaract Club sponsored by our club has completed its seventh year.

Salem Rotary Foundation
Annual Report 2016-2017
Dawn Bostwick – President 

The Salem Rotary Foundation is an IRS-recognized not-for-profit organization, “the charitable heart of Salem Rotary.” Its members are members of the Rotary Club of Salem. Foundation funds support the Good Works Committee’s Small Grants and also help to support the Club’s annual Major Good Works project.

September is Salem Rotary Foundation month with one club meeting devoted entirely to hearing from grant recipients, as well as a report on the previous year’s results, Foundation history, and goals for the current year.  We ended the month with a party at the Rotary Pavilion.  Grants included $30,000 (partially funded this year) to St Francis Shelter, our Major Good works project, $2,000 in Duval Scholarship funds to Chemeketa Community College, and some $13,000 in small grants to ten different organizations.

Salem Rotary Foundation donations received:

  • Bell Ringers: $10,420
  • Major Gifts: $5,000
  • Club Support: $11,000
  • Donations: $32,414
  • Permanent Fund Increase $86,837
  • Interest: $136
    • Total $ 155,807

Salem Rotary Foundation total assets: The Foundation finished the year at $832,696. The increase resulted from donations as well as growth in the Permanent Fund via investment earnings and appreciation.

Rotary Club of Salem Grants awarded:

  • St Francis Playground $30,000 (partially funded this year)
  • Club Good Works Small Grants
    • United Way – $1,427
    • Northwest Human Services – $1,375
    • Helping Hands Resouces – $1,000
    • Salem Fre Clinics – $1,500
    • Salem Pubic Library Foundation – $2,000
    • Community Action Agency – $1,006
    • Boys and Girls Club – $1,500
    • CASA – $1,500
    • Center for Hope and Safety – $600
  • Chemeketa Community College Foundation Duval Scholarship – $ 2,000

Funds Raised – All Categories

  • Food Drive: $55,377
  • Tree of Joy: $9,000
  • Salvation Army: $6,800
  • Major Fund Raiser: $54,431
  • Dictionary Project: $2,648
  • Rotary International Foundation: $26,871
  • Salem Rotary Foundation: $32,414
    • Total: $187,541

Respectfully submitted,

Holly Berry, Secretary
Rotary Club of Salem
December 2017

Posted in: Blog (Read more...)

Statesman Journal Article: Literacy Grant Window

December 13, 2017

Our club made the papers once again today. Rotarians Todd Allen and Irene Trent-Valencia attending Holding Court this week to help spread the word about the literacy grants that our club is offering. Grants range from $500 – $2,500 and support literacy related projects in and around our community. The deadline is January 15, 2018. For more information on how to apply, click here.

Check out the entire Statesman Journal article by clicking here!

Posted in: Blog, Grants (Read more...)

Literacy Grant Window - Now Open!

December 5, 2017

Do you know of a great nonprofit partner that could benefit from grant dollars to support literacy-related projects? Our club’s Literacy Committee has opened their grant window. From now until January 15, we are accepting applications. Grants range from $500 – $2,500 and support literacy related projects in and around our community.

To apply, click here to review the requirements for the application. Please see Literacy Committee Chair Jenn Columbus if you have additional questions.

Posted in: Blog, Grants, Literacy (Read more...)

Inaugural Rotary Triathlon

October 3, 2017

Hundreds of volunteers and participants took over over Salem on Sunday for the Rotary Triathlon! This partnership between our club and the South Salem club is the first of its kind, and one we hope to repeat in the years to come. Thanks to everyone who volunteered and participated. Read more about the event in yesterday’s Statesman Journal article!

Thanks to Ron Cooper for this beautiful recap. It reminds us all how fortunate we are to live, work and play in Salem.

Posted in: Blog, Events (Read more...)

Rotary Amphitheater Design

September 21, 2017

Following several months of presenting design concepts to thousands of people in our community and hearing their feedback, our architects submitted their final concepts in early September. Today, the Design Committee selected the Basket Weave design by CB|Two Architects as the Preferred Design for the Rotary Amphitheater. The committee’s recommendation will go to the Salem Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and to City Council for final approval.

This is an exciting milestone in the effort to bring an enhanced amphitheater Riverfront Park, and the Design Committee expresses its sincere appreciation to those at AC & Co. Community Architecture, Anderson Shirley Architects, and CB|Two Architects who devoted many hours to develop the initial design concepts that have been shared with our club and community over the past several months.

Additional renderings and information is available at

Posted in: Blog, Rotary Amphitheater (Read more...)

2015-2016, Mary Way

September 13, 2017

 Mary med low resDSC_5305

Theme: Be a Gift to the World

Rotary International’s President, Ravi Ravindran, set the theme “Be a Gift to the World” for this Rotary year. Our Club had a great year making meaningful contributions in our local community and in the world.

Our Food Drive, holiday giving to the Tree of Joy and the Salvation Army, and blood drives were as strong as ever. Again this year we sent two aspiring young leaders to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp. We lined up host families to welcome pairs of teenagers from the divided nation of Cyprus. We sponsored a Rotaract Club, and maintained ties with an Interact Club at South Salem High School. We welcomed exchange student Nishka Ajmera from India, and followed the progress of Emani Price in Slovakia.  Leah Borden was our short term student in Japan during June.

The Salem Area Trail Alliance (SATA) was selected as our major Good Works project. With the $30,000 awarded, they proposed to build a pump track for bicycles in Geer Park within city limits.  We loved the idea of kids being able to get outdoors and play in their own neighborhood, testing their skills on a hilly bike track. Near the end of the year, we had a ceremonial presentation of the big check to SATA that was enthusiastically attended and featured on our Facebook page and website.

The Board of Salem Rotary Foundation made available $28,000 for the Club’s charitable projects around Salem. The Good Works Committee, led by Bruce Anderson, awarded $12,000 to nine worthy recipients for small grants and scholarships. These projects included an industrial-grade kitchen appliance at a homeless shelter; scholarships for would-be soccer athletes; and prescription medicine for low income patients. We continued to fund the Duval scholarship for a student at Chemeketa Community College.

As the year closed, the Board dedicated a second $15,000 seed funding for a major project in celebration of our Club’s 100th year in 2020.


Posted in: Blog, Club Years - 2011 - Current (Read more...)