West Cascade Peace Corps Association
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Email Newsletter for March 2008

West Cascade Peace Corps Association

Email Newsletter for March 2008

Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!

In this edition of our electronic newsletter, you'll find:

  • notices about upcoming events
  • a summary of the board meeting
  • links to some interesting stories online
  • plus a few other updates

Upcoming Events

  • Call For Peace In Kenya. Saturday, March 22, 2008, 3 - 5 PM

    The community is invited to join in solidarity with local Kenyans at a call for peace in Kenya on Saturday, March 22, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Gerlinger Lounge in Gerlinger Hall, at the corner of University & 15th, on the University of Oregon campus. The event includes addresses about the recent presidential elections and current political situation in the country, calls for peace in several tribal dialects, and African music. More information.

  • Peace Corps Social. Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 6 - 7 PM
    Come eat, drink, and socialize with returned Peace Corps volunteers at Rennie's Landing, 1214 Kincaid. This is an informal occasion open to anyone. Most likely, we will be upstairs.

  • Board Meeting. Thursday, April 10, 2008, 7:15 - 9 PM
    Stop by and help us plan upcoming events. Will be hosted by Deb McLaughlin at 2080 Friendly Street.

  • Nomination Party. Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 6 - 8 PM
    Join us to help celebrate the nominations of future Peace Corps volunteers! Held on the University of Oregon campus. This potluck and sendoff needs volunteers from West Cascade to help set up, clean up and to bring food for the potluck. If you'd like to help, please contact info@westcascadepca.org or call (541) 607-4140.

  • Bimonthly Potluck. Friday, May 9, 2008, 6 PM
    Come join us for the next potluck! More information on this event to come.

  • Sri Lanka Reunion. Saturday, July 19, 2008

    For all and every Sri Lanka RPCV: A reunion on Saturday, July 19th, 2008. Enna, enna. By the sea at beautiful Alderbrook Inn, two hours from Seattle, WA. Spend the day connecting with old batch mates, Peace Corps staff, meeting other Sri Lanka RPCVs and exploring the stunning natural wonders of the Puget Sound. Please sign the online Sri Lanka RPCV address book and get lodging, transportation and other details on the web at http://www.Serendipity2008.com.

Summary of the board meeting of March 13, 2008

We had a sparser turnout than usual for the board meeting for March.

The highlights were a discussion of expanding the student membership rate, the Nom party, update of the status of the 501c3 application, fundraising ideas, the possibility of the return of ReConnections, board member changes, and an online guest book for those who knew Beryl.

The student membership rate change got a lot of discussion. The idea is that there are a number of people besides students who might find it difficult to pay for a membership. West Cascade has a long tradition of charitable giving, and it is membership payments that make that possible. Of course, they also help pay the fees and other costs of keeping the group up and running, enable us to have a website, buy necessities for potlucks and, when we do mailings, pay the high cost of postage. We discussed changing the "student" rate to $15, which is what we get from the National Peace Corps Association if someone pays for a local membership through them, and renaming it to something that is more inclusive. "Low-income rate" didn't sound right, though. We tabled the idea until the next board meeting in hopes of inspiration.

The Nom party (ie Nomination party) is the big send-off that West Cascade helps give to volunteers from all over the area before they leave for their assignments. For some, this is the first chance they have had to meet returned volunteers and just sit and discuss the adventure that is ahead of them. West Cascade does an awful lot for this event, and we really need volunteers to help with setup, clean-up and to bring food for the potluck. We will be sending out an email reminder about this, as well as a postcard. Members of the board will be hard at work over the next month helping Brett, the University of Oregon Peace Corps Recruiter, prepare for this event, including with planning the food - in addition to what is brought for the potluck, preparing a pamphlet giving volunteers information on ways to fund their projects, and getting the word out.

Thanks to the hard work of Rolly, our vice president, and Evangelina, our treasurer, the 501c3 application is in and we have even received a little card letting us know that it has been received. Now we have to wait. We should receive a response within six months, and hopefully it will tell us that we have 501c3 status and are a real nonprofit.

On the financial front, we are still looking for fundraising ideas. One of the big reasons for this is that we need to add to the Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund before it can go into a permanent named fund managed by Oregon Community Foundation (http://www.ocf1.org/). We still have some t-shirts and sweatshirts from past printings and want to sell those before we make anything new on that front. James, our president, suggested doing a book of quotes or perhaps another edition of "The Funniest Job You'll Ever Love". Rolly suggested a wine tasting, and Wayne has additional plans that he is working on.

It looks like a revival of ReConnections may be in the future. It would be a quarterly paper newsletter, as opposed to monthly. The board is looking for volunteers, as this kind of project improves in quality with greater participation. We tabled setting a deadline for the first issue until the next board meeting.

Lastly, we have had a little more reorganization of the board members at large. Rob Dwan has joined us, as have Michael and Shannon, our former secretaries. Maggie has removed herself from the board for now, and James is going to contact Eli about his status. Artis is considering joining the board but wants to attend a few more meetings first. Anyone else who would like to come by and chip in their two cents is welcome to join us.

Lastly, Artis said that the online guest book for Beryl has been renewed indefinitely. There is a link to a guestbook in the top right corner of the page (and again at the bottom).

Announcements and Requests

As noted above, West Cascade wants to revive ReConnections, our paper newsletter as a quarterly publication. However, to do this, we need some volunteers. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Rolly (vicepresident@westcascadepca.org) or leave a message at (541) 607-4140.

Also, we need volunteers to help with the setup and clean-up of the Nomination party on April 22nd. This is an important event for future Peace Corps volunteers, and it can't happen without your help! If you are interested in helping, please contact info@westcascadepca.org or leave a message at (541) 607-4140.

Links to Information of Interest

Peace Corps volunteers on occasion are accused of being spies. In Bolivia last month, a US Embassy official tried to make that more than an accusation by asking Peace Corps volunteers and a Fulbright scholar to keep tabs on Cubans and Venezuelans. More information can be found at:

As noted in the minutes, there online guest book for those who knew Beryl. There is a link to a guest book in the top right corner ofthe page (and again at the bottom). The guest book containscomments from many people who knew Beryl. You are invitedto contribute your thoughts, as well.

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: