West Cascade Peace Corps Association
About Us

Annual Report - October 21, 1994

West Cascade Peace Corps Association

First Annual Report

October 21, 1994

Prepared by Beryl Brinkman, President
West Cascade Peace Corps Association

West Cascade Peace Corps Association Financial Report

January-September, 1994

Starting Balance $12,382.02

Membership dues$2972
National Membership/ Affil. fees$964
Newsletter Printing & Postage1964
Meetings & Rents/Fundraiser deposits7161145
National Board Travel600
    Kai Dambach Medical Fund -250.00
    Peace Corps Partnerships -2093.34
    Concepcion de Maria -500.00
    Witness for Peace -300.00
Organization administration65.00

BALANCE $11,054

Cash Receivables $225
Calendar inventory $350
Shirt Inventory $500-600
Filing Cabinet $95
Monster Map, Smaller maps
Map manuals

Laura Streichert, Treasurer


1986 Symposium.

Yearly participation in Eugene Celebration -Parade and booth, map-creation

Sale of Peace of Policy Shirts at 25th Anniversary in Washington DC.

Line of three James Cloutier design shirts as West Cascade fundraisers.

Misconnections/ReConnections -four National Awards for best group newsletter

Book -The Funniest Job You'll Ever Love, an Anthology of Peace Corps Humor

Hosted the 1990 National Conference of RPCVs

Peace Patchwork Quilt

Largest Hand-drawn, hand-painted map

One-mile stretch of bike path permanently assigned to West Cascade for quarterly clean-ups.

Donations to Peace Corps Partnership Projects and others:

TOTAL $16,921

Three members have been on the National Board -Marsha Swartz, Don Nordin, Beryl Brinkman

Ex-Eugenian now edits the National Peace Corps Association official publication -World View

Curry and Cliente Fundraiser / dance coming up November 12, 1994


Pete Kent writes: "The first meeting (of the Eugene/Springfield area RPCVs) was held on Election Day: Tuesday, November 1, 1980 at 6:30 p.m. in the Erb Memorial Union. I remember so well because that's the evening Jimmy Carter conceded defeat to Ronald Reagan. Seven people showed up. About a month after the first meeting, then-Peace Corps director Richard Celeste, made a tour of the West, including Eugene. His evening reception was well-advertised and over 100 former volunteers attended. From that meeting, we got several names and addresses of people interested in the new group."

The first newsletter on record, called "Misconnections," is dated June, 1981. Paul Bartel, Pete Kent and Marsha Swartz appeared to be the early driving forces. The first time dues were mentioned was in January, 1982, when a charge of $3 was suggested. At that time Peace Corps was under ACTION. The name, West Cascade, emerged around August/September, 1983.

The activities concentrated during the first few years of potlucks and picnics with an occasional speaker and frequent showing of RPCV slides. The first president of West Cascade was Marsha Swartz. By 1984 nearly 200 Returned Volunteers were on the mailing list, and West Cascade was officially incorporated.

The National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers sent an invitation to West Cascade to join them in November, 1984. Dues to West Cascade increased to $4 in April, 1985 and talk continued about joining the National Council, located in Omaha, Nebraska. The newsletter, Misconnections, was edited by Pete Kent and Marsha Swartz to begin with, although neither gave themselves any credit in the body of the publication. David and Courtney took over the newsletter in September, 1985 and added a hand-drawn logo of the Peace Corps.

The 25th Anniversary of the Peace Corps was already being publicized the October, 1985 with the national celebration to be in Washington DC. By January, 1986, enough members of West Cascade had decided to pay the $9 each to become affiliated with the National Council in Omaha.

A symposium to celebrate the 25th anniversary was held at Valley River Inn on May 17, 1986 was chaired by Pat Wand. The event drew over 100 participants. The theme "Peace as Policy, a Generation of Effort..." was chosen. The key-note speaker, Jack Hood Vaughn, was Peace Corps Director from 1966-69. Tom Kelly designed the flyers, poster and program and developed the logo of spreading hands/ dove that was to become the official symbol for West Cascade. James Cloutier used his expertise to put the design on T-shirts.

The Peace as Policy T-shirts were taken to the 25th Anniversary of the Peace Corps in Washington DC by Marsha Swartz, Beryl Brinkman and Pat Wand. The profits were given to Peace Corps Partnership Projects.

Gary Passow took over the editorship of Misconnections with the February, 1987 issue until David and Courtney Arnold again agreed to edit newsletter in August, 1987.

The "Speaking of Peace" brochure for the Speakers Service was developed by Tom Kelly, Bonny Tibbitts, Greg Rikhoff and Pat Wand. The August, 1987 newsletter states that the brochure was noticed by Margaret Pollack with the Peace Corps in Washington DC and by Diane Botnick of the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and used as a model for other groups around the nation. The NRPCV had moved from Omaha to Washington DC in 1986. Dean Bliss and Stephanie Smock were elected co-presidents around this time.

The Eugene Celebration in September, 1987 was the first year that West Cascade had an entry as a marching group in the parade.

Don Sauer, the Director of the Madison National RPCV Conference in July, 1987, visited Eugene in October, 1987 and met with several members of West Cascade. He suggested that Eugene would be a good location for the 1989 National Conference. However, Cleveland, Ohio bested Eugene for the site. George Jeffcott was elected president in February, 1988. The first curry dinner fund-raiser was held at the Unitarian Church on October 8, 1988. The dinner attracted 200 diners and raised $850 profit.

By February, 1989, the National Council had decided on Eugene as the site for the 1990 National RPCV Conference. A press conference was held in September to officially announce the choice of Eugene as the site. Timothy Carroll the Executive Director of the National Council of RPCVs in Washington DC. was on hand to officially declare the upcoming event. However, no media showed up at the press conference having been lured away by a criminal event. Many RPCVs were in attendance though. Timothy Carroll discussed with Bonny Tibbitts the possibility of creating the world's largest hand-painted, hand-drawn map in conjunction with the conference. She subsequently authored the grant proposal and carried out the preliminary work before the final painting at the Conference.

Don Nordin took over the presidency in August, 1989.

April, 1990 saw the opening of the registration to the 1990 in July. Most of the activity in the months leading up to July involved conference activity. Wayne Thompson and Beryl Brinkman co-chaired the event with the help of 44 other RPCVs. Chair heads were Jim Beyer, Dale Dow, Gary Burlingame, Rex & Shirley Stevens, Lisa Greenberg, David and Courtney Arnold, Patty Shaner, Linda Ague, Jim Anderson, James Cloutier, Don Nordin, Marsha Swartz, Pat Anderson.

The Conference drew about 1200 participants. It remains the largest attended conference sponsored by a local group. Many regular conference events were pioneered by the 1990 Conference. The "open mike," painting of a huge map, the Run for Peace, and the making of a peace tapestry remain models for conferences to follow.

During the National Board meeting at the Conference, Don Nordin was appointed to be a Board representative from West Cascade to the National organization. August, 1990 saw Beryl Brinkman take over the editorship of Misconnections. In October, 1990 Jim Anderson became the president.

Talk of changing the name of the monthly newsletter, Misconnections, began in January 1991. A survey revealed mixed opinions on the subject. James Cloutier began his tenure as illustrator to the publication in March, 1991. ReConnections became the official name of the West Cascade publication in April, 1991.

Publicity began circulating among the nation's RPCV groups to submit stories for the first official publication of The Funniest Job You'll Ever Love, an Anthology of Peace Corps Humor. The compilation was to be ready for the 30th Anniversary of the Peace Corps in Washington DC in August, 1991.

With the August, 1991 campout at Mount St Helens, the Northwest Region came to find its identity. West Cascade joined forces with the RAVN and Portland RPCV groups to keep the region connected with quarterly meetings. West Cascade edited the regional page, an update on the activities of the RPCV groups in the five states circulated to the newsletters in the region.

September, 1992 brought about the election of "founding mother" Marsha Swartz to once again serve as president of the group. Rhea Connors and Beryl Brinkman took over the presidency in November, 1993. In December 1993, the membership was given the opportunity to decide whether to change the name from West Cascade Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to West Cascade Peace Corps Association in line with the national group. The membership voted to change.

Volunteer days have been a part of the group's activities in later years. Work on a homeless shelter, yard work for homeless transition, Habitat for Humanity, bike path clean- up have been some examples.

Carol Bellamy, Peace Corps Director, came to Eugene in January, 1994 and West Cascade hosted a reception head by Jim Beyer. The reception at the University of Oregon drew 300 RPCVs and interested persons.

October, 1994 West Cascade had its first annual meeting with the guest speaker, Congressman Peter DeFazio.

Board positions within West Cascades Peace Corps Association are mostly self selecting. Show up at enough meetings, participate in a few projects, make some affirmative response to requests for help and, by golly, one's name may suddenly appear on a list like the following. Below are listed the candidates for West Cascade's board positions for 1995.

  • PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD... Beryl Brinkman

    Beryl has been co-president with Rhea Connors for 1994. She has been the editor of "Reconnections" since 1991. Beryl served on the Board of the National Peace Corps Association from 1991 to 1994 and has been active in the formation of the Northwest Regional Conference. Beryl was a co- coordinator of the 1990 National Conterence of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, which was hosted by West Cascades. Her Peace Corps assignment was in Smallpox eradication in Afghanistan 1967-1969. She currently works as a revenue agent for the State Scholarship Commission.


    Jim is currently active in the organization of the auctions for our fall fund raiser, EUGENE PEACE CORPS FESTIVAL. He organized the "Race for Peace", which was one of the highlights of the 1990 National Conference. Jim is a regular participant in maintaining the bike path that West Cascades cleans quarterly as part of Eugene's adopt-a-path program. His Peace Corps assigmnent was in rural commwnty development in Panama 1966-1967. Jim works as a grants administrator for Oregon State Scholarship commission.

  • BOARD SECRETARY... Susan Rich

    Susan is new to West Cascades after being active in the Boston area Peace Corps Association. She teaches Poetry and Literature at the U. of Oregon. In Peace Corps she served as a teacher in Niger 1984-1986.

  • TREASURER... Dorothy Soper

    Dorothy has served as Secretary for the past year. She has been active in the background for many years. Dorothy played a key role in the workshops committee tor the 1990 conference. She has been gracious host to many committee and board meetings as well as our monthly potluck. Dorothy is a frequent volunteer at West Cascades projects and she has even recruited her family members to help. Dorothy served in Ghana as a teacher 1963-1965. She is a teacher in this society as well.

  • BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE... Marsha Swartz

    Marsha has been President of West Cascades off and on for many years. She was last President in 1993. She has helped establish the Northwest Regional NPCA group and in 1989-1990, she served as a board member of the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (the earlier name for National Peace Corps Association). Marsha twice organized and produced a curry feed fimd raiser. Her recipe for chicken curry will be used by the EMU staff at the upcoming EUGENE PEACE CORPS FESTIVAL. Marsha served in Uganda as a teacher 1966-1968. She currently works with the Eugene Housing Authority.

  • MAP PROJECT... Lorraine Parce

    Lorraine is the czar of our volunteer projects. She is a frequent participant in U. of O. recruiting events. Nearly every meeting this group has, which is not a pot luck, has been served food platters prepared by Lorraine. Her Peace Corps assignments have been in Tunisia and in Jamaica from 1983 to 1988. She taught the hearing impaired. In Eugene she is a volunteer with the Literacy Council.

  • BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE... Richard Bremmer

    Richard is newly returned from Costa Rica, where he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1990-1993. He worked in business development in Costa Rica and is active in similar work in Eugene. Richard took over as interim director of Centro Latinoamericano to help that organization through some rough times. He is now the supervisor of the Mentor Program.

  • RECONNECT PROJECT... Dianne Brause

    Dianne organized a program to help Peace Corps Volunteers reenter American society at Lost Valley Education Center, where she is also president of the board. She has made it possible for West Cascades to sponsor one of the five Reconnect pilot programs operating in the United States. She is active in the movement for responsible tourism. Dianne served in The Dominican Republic, 1967-1969

  • BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE... Heidi Pfunder

    Perhaps there is something to Heidi's last name. Last Spring this woman waltzed into a West Cascade meeting and in about ten minutes raised $1,000 to "Pfund" an education project for disadvantaged children in Honduras. She had just left Honduras after her Peace Corps service (1991-1993). She had been a teacher trainer in special education. Instead of returning to her native Atlanta, Heidi is now living in Eugene and teaching at Thurston Middle School in Springfield.

  • SPEAKER SERVICE... Linda Ague

    Linda worked as a registrar for the 1990 Annual Conference of the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (now the National Peace Corps Association). She is now the coordinator of the West Cascades speaker service continuing the efforts of Rex Stevens and Bonnie Tibbits. Linda was a Peace Corps teacher in Serria Leon (1972-1974). She is now a teacher in 4-J.

  • ILLUSTRATOR... James Cloutier

    James is responsible for the cartoons that enliven "ReConnections". His illustrations also appear in "Group Leaders Digest" and other NPCA publications. He produced a workshop on the Spirituality of Peace for the 1990 NCRPCV conference, served as raconteur at the Twenty fifth anniversary Returned Peace Corps Volunteer symposium, and has designed at least four of the tee shirts that West Cascade sells at various Peace Corps Association events. James was a land settlement worker for the government of Kenya back in 1965-1966. Now, he is an inspiration to all those struggling artists by actually earning a living as an artist and illustrator. His Hugh Wetshoe character is an Oregon institution.

  • ISSUES & POLICY... Don Nordin

    Don was also involved with the 1990 NCRPCV conference as chair of the workshop committee. He has served as Vice President and as President of West Cascade, worked on the formation of the Northwest Regional group, and served on the board of the National Peace Corps Association from 1990 to 1994. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in India 1967-1969, working in Village level food production. Don now operates Equinox Industries. Equinox manufactures bicycle trailers and related accessories. He is also active in Cerro Gordo, a new town project near Cottage Grove.


    Bob has become very active of late. He is leading the charge for the EUGENE PEACE CORPS FESTIVAL. This is a benefit for a Peace Corps Partnership Program in Romania to be held November 12 at the EMU ballroom. Bob is our nominee for the Northwest Regional position on the NPCA board. He was a volunteer in Brazil from 1964-1966. His understanding of Portuguese and connection to West Cascade were factors in his connection with Maria de Lourdes Matella who, as her manager, he has helped move from a talented Mozambiquian runner to the world champion in her class. Bob is also a counselor at Briggs Middle School.

  • CAMPUS RECRUITER... Laura Taylor

    Laura has just arrived in Eugene from Washington, D.C. where she was working with the International Organization for Migration. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, 1991-1993.