West Cascade Peace Corps Association
About Us

Email Newsletter for October 2008

Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!

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

Upcoming Events

November 5: Board Meeting at 7:15pm at Shannon and Michael's home

November 14: Our annual meeting and bimonthly potluck at 6pm at 4430 Pinecrest Drive. We will be voting on both officers for the board of directors and changes to the bylaws and constitution for the group. More information on officers and bylaws changes can be found on our Voting Information page: http://westcascadepca.org/voting.html. The program will be presented by Justin Overdevest, the new PC recruiter at the U of O. He'll introduce himself and his anticipated program and then give us a power point presentation of his recent PC experience in two countries: the Dominican Republic and Peru. Bring a dish to share. Paper plates, glasses, and utensils will be provided.

November 30: Volunteer Opportunity to help with take down of the Festival of Trees. See below for more details. If interested, please contact Shannon Micheel via at smicheel@gmail.com for further details.

Summary of the minutes of the WCPCA board meeting, 10/9/08

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

Attending: Rob Dwan, Justin Overdevest, Evangelina Sundgrenz, Wayne Thompson, Rolly Thompson, Jack Meacham, Deb McLaughlin, Shannon Micheel, Felicia Kenney, Dorothy Soper

Special guest: Jen Hagenow of the Seattle PC office.

Wayne chaired the meeting since James was unable to attend.

  1. Tresurer's report: Evangelina gave the report which is summarized below:
    Balances as of 9/29:
    WCPCA checking account at OCCU: $2,247.45
    6 month CD: $2,512.30
    Subaccount at OCCU of money being held to deposit in
    Beryl's Memorial Fund: $2,061.90 which is money returned
    to WCPCA from the Calvert Fund at the conclusion of our
    3 year investment with the fund.

    Beryl's Memorial Fund invested at Edward Jones:
    Bond: $19,649
    Cash and money market: $2,697.98

  2. Secretary's report: Dorothy reported that our membership is about 65; as a result of our having a table at the Eugene Celebration and helping out at the PC table at the current U of O Street Fair we have added some new student members who can now join at no cost. We hope that they'll take part in some activities.

    WCPCA recently filed federal income tax returns for 2005, 2006, and 2007 as requested by the IRS. They weren't filed earlier because previous boards didn't realize that this was required. The IRS requested that we file when we applied for 501 status.

    The Financial Planning Committee will meet in late October or November to talk about our obligations as a 501 organization and also budget for 2009.

  3. Communications Coordinator's report: Felicia has been working on three new designs for the WCPCA website which she showed us. The board was very impressed with their technical and artistic qualities. We would like the general membership to see them and let us know their impression. Showing them at a potluck would also bring the website to the attention of a greater number of members.

    The board thanked Felicia for her work and asked her to show the designs at the November potluck where we can ask for member questions and comments.

  4. Jen Hagenow of the Seattle PC office explained her work and a little of what is going on now for the PC. She comes to the U of O about three times a year to connect with the recruiter here and speak to classes and help give presentations to students in other venues. She's been here this week to take part in the Street Fair at the U of O.

    She explained that due to the devaluation of the dollar the existing PC budget cannot go as far as it had in the past. The PC is "paring down," that is retrenching somewhat as a result.

  5. We reviewed the meeting of six of our members with Sara Brandt of the Oregon Community Foundation regarding establishing an endowed fund in Beryl's memory. A full report on this meeting can be found in the full text of the minutes.

  6. The board had a careful discussion of the bond that we hold with Edward Jones. We would like to sell it now and use the money to create the endowed fund with OCF. Due to the turbulent stock market and possibly the need to act quickly to take advantage of a favorable price, board voted unanimously to authorize Rob and Dorothy to make the decision of whether to sell the bond and to sell it when they feel that the time is right.

  7. We debriefed our participation in the Eugene Celebration. About 30 people took part in the parade. James had repainted the taxi and it and the new flags looked great. We all liked the #3 position in the parade and hope that we'll continue to be in the lead.

    At the booth we had moderate sales of tee shirts and calendars. We collected about 20 names and email addresses of RPCVs in the area that we hope will affiliate with WCPCA. We answered questions of many people and gave out a moderate amount of PC literature. Next year we hope to coordinate more with the PC recruiter at the U of O. We could use more of our own members to staff the booth. Those of us who were there reported a very pleasant experience.

  8. Sale of calendars: We discussed ways to market the 2009 international calendars. This is one of our main fundraising activities each year. The calendars vary in price depending upon the quantity purchased by a single buyer.

    Calendars are available online at our website. They are available through a phone call to Rolly or Dorothy. Other members are encouraged to sign some out to sell. Please call Rolly or Dorothy to arrange that. They'll be on sale at the November potluck. We also hope to sell them through local stores. Rolly is going to check into the possibilities for us to sell them at both the Saturday Market and the Holiday Market. Ideas for selling them from the general membership are welcome.

  9. Nominations for board members: The board accepted with gratitude the report of Jim Beyer who was the nominating committee for the 2009 board members. The names and offices are listed below. The election will be at the November 14th potluck.

    President: James Cloutier
    Vice President: Rolly Thompson
    Secretary: Dorothy Soper
    Treasurer: Jack Meacham
    Communications Coordinator: Felicia Kenney

    At-large board members:
    Robert Dwan
    Michael Kresko
    Shannon Micheel
    Evangelina Sundgrenz
    Wayne Thompson
    Bob Watada

  10. Volunteer opportunity: Shannon let the board know of the opportunity of WCPCA members to volunteer to help with setup and cleanup at the Festival of Trees this fall. The board viewed this favorably. More information is forthcoming on this event.

  11. We set the next board meeting for Wednesday, November 5th, 7:00 pm, at the home of Shannon and Michael, 952 Polk Street. For questions contact Michael at mjkresko@hotmail.com.

  12. The next potluck will be on Friday, November 14th, 6:00 pm, at Dorothy's home, 4430 Pinecrest Dr. For questions contact Dorothy at dorothysoper@comcast.net.

    The program will be presented by Justin Overdevest, the new PC recruiter at the U of O. He'll introduce himself and his anticipated program and then give us a power point presentation of his recent PC experience in two countries: the Dominican Republic and Peru.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm.

Minutes by Dorothy

Announcements and Notes


    Looking for around 20 RPCVs to help with take down of the Festival of Trees, Sunday, November 30th.

    This is a benefit for Cascade Health Solutions, a local non-profit health and wellness organization.

    This year, the festival will benefit the building of a free-standing hospice to help patients and families of those with terminal illnesses.

    Duties will include the following: - putting the trees in bags and then into refrigerated boxes. - Boxing all the presents under the tree. - and then loading the trees and presents onto trucks for Monday delivery to purchasers.

    This volunteer job begins at 6:00pm on Sunday and you will meet at Valley River Inn.

    If interested, please contact Shannon Micheel via at smicheel@gmail.com for further details.

    THANKS in advance! This could be a great chance for families to participate together in a wonderful volunteer opportunity!

  • NPCA, Group Leaders Forum (GLF) held on October 4th, in San Francisco: a summary

    Hi Group Leaders,

    I'd like to pass along a quick review of the recent GLF held in San Francisco. Saturday morning it was announced that NPCA is back in the black! That's welcome news and it's hoped with the financials in order that membership will receive more attention.

    The GLF Saturday morning meeting recognized several outstanding member groups for community service (Loret Miller Award), electronic media and print media. Anne Baker gave an update on the regional meetings held this year in Atlanta and Seattle. Erica Burman gave some background on the Virtual Community and exciting news for near future roll out. Kevin Quigley mentioned several opportunities that could strengthen NPCA including an expansion of the online mentoring program, a June meeting on the future of Peace Corps at Pocantico, an anticipated Chrysler Foundation grant of between $25,000 to $50,000, connection with the Gates Foundation for Africa Rural Connect, and the outcome of the Changing Our World Feasibility Study for 50th Anniversary Fundraising.

    Many of you will remember the $21,000 raised last year with $10k contribution from affiliates and $11k matched from a NPCA supporter. Expenses to date are $4,740 with $16,687.50 remaining. NPCA is waiting to scale web improvements. They're currently engaged with several folks from Silicon Valley and the tech philanthropy sector to develop a dynamic profile-based social networking site for RPCVs and folks who identify with the values of the Peace Corps. Erica Burman showed screen shots of the site and the slides should be available on the NPCA site now. Details need to be given yet, but I am optimistic this could be a significant change in the way our community communicates and grows.

    The Saturday afternoon breakout sessions covered a lot of ground in an open free flowing format. The sessions were held as one event to give the small group a chance to hear each other.

    Janet Grieg talked about the MorePeaceCorps campaign. It's very clear that there are many RPCVs in our communities who do not join affiliate groups but do interact with national campaigns like MPC. Strategies to reach these unaffiliated RPCVs were discussed. Membership was always in the background while we discussed the MorePeaceCorps campaign, the NPCA Virtual Community and the various websites where new RPCV communities might be found. We walked through Facebook, Yahoo Groups and the Peace Corps wiki suggesting that groups connect now to boost their own numbers. There are a good number of RPCV Facebook users and who have independently created Facebook groups - usually country of service groups. They are networked RPCVs who can be easily contacted by affiliate group leaders to share events, newsletters, fundraising drives and other activities.

    Some group leaders learned for the first time about the data sharing agreement and the availability of contact data at NPCA. Several groups indicated they would like to tap into that information to boost their own membership.


    It was a productive day. Folks came away with some ideas for their own groups. I don't want to wait until next year to tap into that enthusiasm again. With NPCA's support and the involvement of other group leaders, I'd like to hold online meetings this year on specific issues that group leaders identify as their most pressing. It would give us all some space to implement specific solutions to issues that affect many affiliates - whether it might be membership, raising funds, supporting in-country projects, working with the Peace Corps or other topics.

    Best, Ben

    Benjamin W. Bellows, MPH

  • More Information from MorePeaceCorps

    MorePeaceCorps, the group that recently brought you house parties around the world to advocate for a much expanded Peace Corps, is planning more house parties next month and is busy with other events as well. Want to know more? Check out their fourth newsletter.