West Cascade Peace Corps Association
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Email Newsletter for January 2008

West Cascade Peace Corps Association

Email Newsletter for January 2008

This is the first of what we hope will be a monthly newsletter that will take the place of ReConnections, the paper newsletter that was put out for most of the history of the WCPCA. At some point in the future ReConnections may come back, but at the moment we just don't have enough help to put it out. I'm Felicia Kenney, the Communications Coordinator. Mainly, that means that I work on the webpage, but I will also be sending out this newsletter and putting notices in the paper about upcoming meetings. If you have some information that you think would be of interest to West Cascade members, if you would like to volunteer to help with some aspect of the group, or if you have a comment or suggestion, please let me know at info@westcascadepca.org.

In each issue of this email newsletter, you can expect:

  • a summary of the board meeting written by our secretary, Dorothy Soper
  • notices about upcoming events
  • plus other information you may find interesting
This newsletter will just be plain text. If you find this newsletter hard to read because of the lack of formatting or would just rather view it as a webpage, you will be able to follow the link at the top of the email newsletter to the newsletter on the West Cascade website, which will be exactly the same except for formatting.

That's my introduction. I hope you find this newsletter helpful. Now, here's the news!

Highlights of our board meetings in December 2007 and January 2008 by Dorothy Soper

Further information is always available on our website.

Coming meetings: Everyone is welcome!

Board meeting, 2-14-08, at 7:30 pm, home of Benj and Joann Epstein

Potluck, 3-14-08, at 6:00 pm, home of Deb McLaughlin, 2080 Friendly in south Eugene, phone 255-2872. The program will be a power point presentation by the parents of a Eugene PCV in Mongolia about their recent trip to visit their daughter and learn about her project and the country.

Election results: Using paper ballots mailed to all paid members of WCPCA we elected a new slate of officers whose term began 12-1-07 and ratified a new constitution and bylaws. Twenty-seven of the forty-eight ballots sent were returned and all supported the proposed slate. Many thanks go to Artis Spriggs and Tom English for counting the ballots and thus "certifying" our election.

The new officers are:

  • President - Dustin Johnson-Nicaragua (2004-6)
  • Vice President - James Cloutier - Kenya (1964-66)
  • Treasurer - Evangelina Sundgrenz - Uzbekistan (2000-01)
  • Secretary (appointed) - Dorothy Soper - Ghana (1963-65)
  • Communications Coordinator (appointed) - Felicia Kenney - Benin (2003-04)
  • Board members at large:
      Maggie Keenan - Philippines (1987-90)
      Eli Meyer - Nicaragua (2004-06)
      Rolly Thompson - Peru (1964-66)
      Benj Epstein - Fiji (1978-81)
      Wayne Thompson - Peru (1964-66)
      Deb McLaughlin - Paraguay (1995-97)

Dustin has taken a new job and will soon be moving to the Portland area. As a result, James Cloutier will become the president on 2-5-08. The board thanked Dustin for his service as president for the last 18 months.

Financial Situation: Balances in our Oregon Credit Union accounts are:

    Business Checking: $6,140
    Business Savings: $5.00
    Business Money Market Acct.: $508
    Beryl's Memorial Fund: $22,561

We'll shortly be investing the funds in the Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund with Edward Jones Investments. This money is the gift of Beryl's sister, Natalie Brinkman, and her friend, Tricia Tate. Stipulations of the gift are that we make grants from the interest that it earns to continue Beryl's humanitarian efforts. Our longer term plan is to raise enough money so that the fund will have$25,000 in it and then can be managed by the Oregon Community Foundation. We will also need to be a nonprofit organization with a 501 C3 status to take this step.

In addition WCPCA has invested $2,000 through the NPCA in the Calvert Foundation's Microenterprise Program.

Most of our recent income is from the sale of the calendars published by the RPCV group in Madison, WI. We expect to earn about $400 in profit when all of the calendars are sold. We're almost reached this goal.

WCPCA Contributions: We sent $200 to Father Charles Mwipopo in Tanzania for work in his parish. The money was raised by the sale of some of Beryl's jewelry and donated to WCPCA for this purpose.

We voted to send $300 to a Peace Corps Partnership project in Mongolia. Funds were requested by a Eugene PCV to use at her high school to help refurbish a music room for the teaching of Mongolian traditional and modern music. The local community has already contributed approximately $1,500.
More information on this project

Communications with members and the local RPCV community: Felicia is creating a database for our membership and others on our mailing list. The board approved her purchase of Microsoft Access to do this. When the database is complete she'll send an email to everyone on our mailing list asking them to update their contact information.

Starting in January we'll send a monthly email newsletter to those on our mailing list to summarize our activities and upcoming events. Full information is always available on our website.

We plan soon to work on a new membership directory so that we may more easily stay in touch. We'll use the database to do this.

The board authorized Rolly to subscribe to a message phone for the organization through MTM. This number will be on the website and put in the publicity that is released to the public. Rolly will check the messages.

WCPCA as a charity: Evangelina and Rolly have completed the WCPCA's application to the IRS for the organization to gain 501 C3 status as a charity. If we receive this from the IRS, contributions to the organization will be tax deductible. We believe that this status will be help us in fund raising.

NOM Party: Brett Holt, the PC recruiter on the U of O campus, has begun planning the annual NOM party to honor new volunteers who will leave soon for their PC service. The board accepted his suggestions of holding the event on Tuesday, April 22nd in the Many Nations Longhouse on the U of O campus. It will be in the early evening and will include a potluck dinner provided by the members of WCPCA. Brett is working on the program of speakers and musical entertainment. We need a good turnout!

Regional RPCV Meeting: This meeting for the northwest will be on January 26th in Olympia, WA. Dustin will prepare our report to submit and may be able to attend. No one else volunteered to attend.

Information of Interest

A group of RPCVs are putting together a collection of stories for the Peace Corps' 50th anniversary and are looking for additional submission. More information on this is available at:

An op-ed piece in the New York Times has sparked a great deal of debate about the effectiveness of Peace Corps volunteers.