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Email Newsletter for August 2008

Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!

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

Upcoming Events

September 4: Board Meeting at 7:15pm at Dorothy's home

September 6: Jen de-Vries, RPCV Malawi 1999-2001, on Sept. 6th from 3 to 5pm at her home, 1665 SE Bethel Street, in Corvallis will be holding a house party to support the MorePeaceCorps campaign to greatly increase the size of the Peace Corps. Members of West Cascade will be carpooling up to this event, so contact info@westcascadepca.org or leave a message at (541) 607-4140 if you'd like to give or get a ride.

September 12-14: Eugene Celebration - see below for more information. We need volunteers to help staff the booth, and of course we hope that everyone will march in the parade!

September 13: Food for Lane County Empty Bowls Dinner Auction - arrive 8:30 PM for a free buffet dinner then begin cleaning up after the dinner auction. We need about 20-25 volunteers. Please contact Michael Kresko (mjkresko@hotmail.com) or Shannon Micheel at 510-6547 with questions and to sign up. We are still short many volunteers for this and really could use help!

September 19: Bimonthly potluck at 6pm at Benj and Joann Epstein's home at 3950 Monroe Street.

October 9: Board Meeting at 7:15pm at Rob Dwan's home

What do you Think?

If West Cascade was going to put on one additional event a month, what would you most prefer? Hiking? Going to a movie? Let us know in our most recent poll.

Summary of the minutes of the board meeting, 8/7/8

The full text of the minutes is available on the website.

Attending: Benj Epstein, James Cloutier, Felicia Kenney, Rob Dwan, Evangelina Sundgrenz, Wayne Thompson, Dorothy Soper, Jack Meacham

  1. Walk for the Gold: Benj explained to us the details of the 'Walk for the Gold' event for the Special Olympics which will be on August 23rd at Alton Baker Park. Members of WCPCA are invited to take part as individuals. Details about the day's activities are at www.walkforthe gold.com. The board endorsed this activity.

  2. Tax exepmt status: Dorothy reported that she, Rolly, Evangelina, and Felicia have worked on WCPCA's response to the IRS regarding the organization's application for tax exempt status. The information was submitted on 8/7/08.

    Dorothy explained a new restriction that will influence our funding of humanitarian projects outside of the US. We will be limited to Peace Corps Partnership Projects. Otherwise we have to satisfy the many new Department of Homeland Security requirements to prevent the funding of terrorist organizations. We decided to avoid this requirement at least for the time being.

    The board thanked all of those involved for their work.

  3. Treasurer's Report: Evangelina gave the treasurer's report which is summarized below:

    General fund:
    Cash in checking acct.: $2,745
    6 mo. CD: $2,512
    Totals: $5,257

    Beryl's Memorial fund:
    Principal Life Income Bond purchased at Edward Jones:$20,000
    Money market fund with Edward Jones: $2,612
    Total: $22,612

    Three year investment in the Calvert Fund for its humanitarian work: $2,000. This investment plus 1% interest will be returned to WCPCA in early September. The board has previously decided to add this amount to Beryl's Memorial fund. That deposit will bring the total in the Memorial fund to approximately $24,612. We'll be close to our initial goal of raising $25,000 for this fund.

  4. Tax liability: Next week Evangelina, James, and Dorothy will meet with Charlie Ward, our volunteer accountant, to talk about the organization's federal tax liability. We'll also review all of our Oregon state reporting requirements to verify that we are handling them correctly. The former inquiry is necessary because we've received a letter from the IRS asking us to file but on a form that, we feel, doesn't apply to the organization.

  5. Draft flyer: Felicia and Evangelina have drafted a flyer describing WCPCA to hand out at the Eugene Celebration and at other times. The board was asked to review it and make suggestions and then get in touch with the authors.

  6. Fundraising: We talked about possible fundraising activities and several ideas were put forward. The board was especially enthusiastic about Jack's suggestion of writing a cook book with recipes from the host countries of our members. We liked the idea of a cook book that included identifying sources for unusual ingredients either locally or online, short descriptions of the country and/or the typical occasion for the dishes included, and photos.

    James asked Wayne, the fundraising committee chair, to develop this idea with the committee and think about having a cookbook ready to be marketed in the fall, 2009, in time for holiday purchases. Wayne agreed to have the committee work on this matter and return to the board with further ideas.

  7. Membership: We agreed to talk in detail about membership issues at our September meeting. We feel that we can approach this subject better when we know if we have received tax exempt status or at least when we'll receive it. Topics that we need to discuss include recruitment and the dues schedule. James would like to write a personal letter to previous and prospective members as part of a possible fall recruitment campaign. We need to recruit members before printing a membership directory for the fall.

  8. Monthly gatherings: We discussed the frequency of our potlucks and other social gatherings. There was some interest in having a potluck with a program each month except possibly during the summer. Jack suggested alternating a potluck with a program and purely social gatherings of different types including attending a movie, etc. The PC recruiter organized such gatherings during this last year. We'll continue this conversation at another meeting.

  9. Election of officers: We discussed the procedure for the election of officers that will take place this fall. Articles VIII of both the constitution and bylaws explain that each year we need to have a nominating committee of 1 to 3 members and that the election must take place at a November meeting of the general membership. This could be at a potluck.

    We agreed that Wayne and Dorothy will organize a nominating committee of members who are not on the board and that nominations will be announced to the membership in October. We felt that there should be a general encouragement of the membership to nominate board members and also, consistent with our policy of several years, that the nominating committee should avoid contested races. There are ample opportunities for interested members to serve WCPCA as officers or at large board members. We also note that board members must be paid up members of the organization.

  10. Coming potluck and other meetings:

    September 4th: next board meeting at 7:15 pm at Dorothy's home.

    September 13 and 14: Eugene Celebration activities.

    September 19, 6:00 pm: Potluck at Benj's home.

    October 9th: board meeting at 7:15 pm at Rob Dwan's home.

Announcements

  • WCPCA will take part in the Eugene Celebration on September 12, 13, and 14. We count on the event to keep our presence known in the Eugene area and to meet newly returned PCVs and encourage them to join our organization. The board is looking for volunteers to help with several tasks and to give us new ideas for activities. See our ideas below and please let us hear from you.

    We're always a welcomed presence in Saturday's parade. Join us in the parade and consider wearing clothing from your service country and carrying its flag.

    At our booth we hope to meet new RPCVs in the area as well as those who've been here for awhile. We answer many questions about the Peace Corps from community members. The U of O Peace Corps recruiter joins us and supplies ample literature to hand out. We hope to raise funds to pass on to active PC projects through the sale of merchandise including the new issue of the international calendar published by the RPCV group in Madison, WI. Perhaps you would like to take a turn at staffing the booth.

    We're looking for local RPCVs to join us before the event to help refurbish our hallmark cardboard lorry which we'll carry in the parade. It's a great visual but could use a little sprucing up!

    If you have ideas to add to the above or can join us for any of these activities, please let us know by sending an email to dorothysoper@comcast.net.

    See you there!!

  • NPCA Advocacy News

    The NPCA has an Advocacy Network and an Advocacy News page, both of which offer opportunities to take action on issues that are important to the RPCV community. Among the "Action Opportunities" listed is a late September candidate forum on climate change for the Oregon candidates running for US Senate. More information can be found on the Advocacy News webpage or by emailing mmeldonian@OxfamAmerica.org or calling (617) 728-2504.

  • 100 House Parties on September 6, 2008

    As noted in the calendar, a house party will be held by Jen de-Vries, RPCV Malawi 1999-2001, on Sept. 6th from 3 to 5pm at her home, 1665 SE Bethel Street, in Corvallis. Members of West Cascade will be carpooling up to this event, so contact info@westcascadepca.org if you'd like to give or get a ride.

    "The purpose of the 100 House Parties," according to Campaign Coordinator Rajeev Goyal, "is to build excitement, rally RPCVs and other supporters behind the movement, recruit volunteers and advocates, and also to raise necessary funds for the campaign. I urge people to contact us immediately so they can host a party - big or small. Let's go for it!"

    According to the press release, starting on September 6, 2008, the MorePeaceCorps.org campaign will be hosting 100 House Parties in all 50 states and 10 countries around the world to build support for doubling the size of the Peace Corps. With parties springing up in places like Santiago and Micronesia, what was originally billed as a domestic campaign has become a global phenomenon. MorePeaceCorps will even be holding a party in Kabul, hosted by a former Peace Corps volunteer who is now head of the Save the Children program in Afghanistan. MorePeaceCorps was launched in 2008 by the National Peace Corps Association to call for a bigger, better and bolder Peace Corps one that is doubled in size by 2011, the 50th anniversary of the founding of Peace Corps.

    More information

  • NPCA Online Survey

    Want to tell the NPCA what you think? Try their online survey.

Addendum to the August 2008 Newsletter

  • UPDATE ON WCPCA'S PARTICIPATION IN THE EUGENE CELEBRATION. WE HOPE THAT YOU'LL JOIN US.

    EUGENE CELEBRATION PARADE, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th:

    WCPCA will be at the head of the Eugene Celebration parade this year, entry #3.Join us in this prominent position to make a statement for PEACE AS POLICY.

    We'll carry our usual banner, flags from many nations, and be accompanied by our hallmark, the lorry that carries untold numbers. You're welcome to wear clothing from your country of service. Bring a flag, too, if you have one. Families with children are welcome.

    We'll meet at about 8:45 am on East 11th between Oak and Pearl. Look for a #3 sign. If you're early you can get a treat of coffee and bagels at 11th and High. The parade will start at 9:30 am.

    WCPCA BOOTH AT THE EUGENE CELEBRATION, SEPTEMBER 13th AND 14th:

    We're cosponsoring a booth with the PC recruiter at the U of O. We'll have the latest PC information and literature to hand out and use to respond to questions. We'll sell shirts and calendars to raise money for the grants that WCPCA makes to humanitarian projects.

    We need more volunteers to staff the booth. Please call or email James Cloutier if you can help: 342-3797 or president@westcascadepca.org.

    The booth is #47 and will be located on Park Street next to the Wells Fargo Bank and near the site of the Saturday Market.

    Please join us. Many thanks in advance!

  • THE NEXT POTLUCK will be on Friday, September 19th, 6:00 pm, at the home of Joanne and Benj Epstein, 3950 Monroe St., Eugene.

    Rolly Thompson will show slides and talk about 'The Real Kenya' that she saw during a recent month's visit to the country. Please plan to join us for socializing and the update on Kenya. Bring a dish to share. Paper plates, glasses, and utensils will be provided.

  • WCPCA HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE IRS AS A PUBLIC CHARITY. DONATIONS ARE NOW TAX DEDUCTIBLE as provided by law for a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.

    As a result of this designation the board lowered membership dues to $15 for individuals; $22 for a household; no charge for students or for the first year after an individual leaves the PC. All contributions beyond the membership fee will be tax deductible to the donor.

    With this new designation we hope to expand our support of humanitarian projects. The board looks forward to the membership's participation in this effort.

  • WE ELECT OFFICERS AND AT LARGE BOARD MEMBERS FOR 2009 IN NOVEMBER.

    Jim Beyer is heading the nominating committee. If you have suggestions or want to nominate yourself, please contact him at jimbeyer@comcast.net. We need an active board and look forward to hearing from you.

  • FOOD FOR LANE COUNTY VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITY. Saturday, September 13, 2008, 8:30pm

    Food for Lane County Empty Bowls Dinner Auction - arrive 8:30 PM for a free buffet dinner then begin cleaning up after the dinner auction. We need about 20-25 volunteers. Please contact Michael Kresko (mjkresko@hotmail.com) or Shannon Micheel at 510-6547 with questions and to sign up.

    Food for Lane County is located at 770 Bailey Hill Road. You can get there by heading west on 11th Street from Downtown Eugene until you reach Bailey Hill Road which is adjacent to the Fred Meyer Shopping Center. Turn right, heading north. Drive about a quarter of a mile and Food for Lane County is located on the the left (west) side.

    We hope to see you soon at some of these events!