Annual Report - October 21, 1994
Peace Corps Association
First Annual Report
October 21, 1994
Prepared by Beryl Brinkman, President
West Cascade Peace Corps Association
West Cascade Peace Corps Association
Starting Balance $12,382.02
|National Membership/ Affil. fees||$964|
|Newsletter Printing & Postage||1964|
|Meetings & Rents/Fundraiser deposits||716||1145|
|National Board Travel||600|
Kai Dambach Medical Fund -250.00
Peace Corps Partnerships -2093.34
Concepcion de Maria -500.00
Witness for Peace -300.00
Cash Receivables $225
Calendar inventory $350
Shirt Inventory $500-600
Filing Cabinet $95
Monster Map, Smaller maps
Laura Streichert, Treasurer
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
Book -The Funniest Job You'll Ever Love, an Anthology of Peace Corps
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
Donations to Peace Corps Partnership Projects and others:
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
BOARD VICE PRESIDENT... Jim Beyers
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
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
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
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
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.
PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS... Bob Crites
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.