West Cascade Peace Corps Association
About Us

Email Newsletter for February 2009

Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!

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

Upcoming Events

March 9: Board Meeting at 7pm at the home of Artis Spriggs.

March 13: Bimonthly Potluck at 6pm at the home of Rob and Mary Dwan, 887 Sunset Dr., Springfield. Our presenter will be Hannah Klausman who will share her Peace Corps experiences from Mongolia. Please join us and bring a dish to share.

March 13: Carnaval Brazil from 7pm until 1am at Cozmic Pizza. See the attached flyer for more information.

March 17: The Annual Chef's Night Out fundraiser benefiting Food for Lane County is Tuesday, March 17th at the Hult Center. Join your fellow RPCVs for some tasty morsels and to help clean up after the big event. Plan to arrive at 8:30 on the 6th Street entrance and stay for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. WCPCA has traditionally been a part of this is a wonderful community event. Please RSVP to Shannon Micheel (smicheel@gmail.com) if you plan to attend. We hope for at least 20 volunteers.

August 21-23: 2009 Regional Campout will be held at Bridge Creek, a group site in the Wenatchee National Forest, with SEAPAX as host. More information can be found at the SEAPAX website.


  • COMPUTER CLASSES: The Communications Coordinator (that's me!) is going to be running an "Introduction to HTML and Webpage Design" class in April. This class is free to all members, and the only requirement is a familiarity with computers and the internet. You don't need to be a computer whiz to make a webpage, so if you are interested, contact info@westcascadepca.org. Depending on the level of interest, more classes may follow. Some potential classes are: Making the Most of the Internet, Advanced Webpage Design, Using Spreadsheets, and Using Microsoft Access (a database). If you are interested in taking a computer class, want to suggest the subject for a class or would be interested in teaching a class (on any subject), please contact info@westcascadepca.org.

  • The 4th annual Oregon Asian-American Film Festival is scheduled for April 17-19 at the Bijou Theater in Eugene Oregon. The Film Festival is to show case up and coming Asian film directors, producers, and actors and actresses, and educate the general public on Asian culture as seen through documentaries, shorts and feature films. Like "Slumdog", you can see Asian talent that you would not see on "American Idol". Anyone interested can contact rywatada@gmail.com.

  • SPRING FUNDRAISER: The spring fundraiser at Mekala's was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who joined us! There were a few more attendees than anticipated, but despite the cramped atmosphere, everyone appeared to have a good time. A full report on the fundraiser will be available in the minutes of March's board meeting.

  • NORTHWEST RPCV GROUPS REGIONAL MEETING: The RPCV groups regional meeting was held in Eugene on Saturday, February 21. Representatives from Seattle, Portland, Boise, and, of course, Eugene shared their plans and projects after a wonderful potluck lunch hosted by West Cascade Peace Corps Association. Among the topics discussed were how to get RPCV's involved in groups, mentoring newly returned PCV's, fundraising decisions, financial support for the regional representative, and funding for the Peace Corps.

    The meeting was very productive and helped to solidify relationships among the participants. There are three regional meetings per year. The next regional meeting is in May and is planned for Boise, Idaho. The Seattle group will host the regional camp out and the regional meeting August 21-23. A more detailed summary of this meeting is available below.

  • UO grad Jacki Icenogle returns home after serving in Mozambique "At first they were terrified of this big, tall, white woman..." More Information

  • Former PC Tanzania Country Director leads OSU Extension Service in Multnomah and Washington counties. More Information

  • Peace Corps a winner in Obama budget The Washington Post reports that Obama's $3.5 trillion proposed budget, the State Department will get more funding for the Peace Corps and enough to "significantly increase" the size of the Foreign Service. More Information

  • Is the recession boosting Peace Corps? At the bottom of this recent press release from Peace Corps it says, "Applications to serve in the Peace Corps have increased 16 percent this past year, the largest boost over the past five years." More Information

  • Peace Corps Online: February 2009 newsletter More Information

Summary of the WCPCA Board Meeting Minutes
February 9, 2009

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

Board members present: Wayne Thompson, Rolly Thompson, Rob Dwan, Evangelina Sundgrenz, Jack Meacham, James Cloutier, Shannon Micheel, Michael Kresko, and Felicia Kenney

  1. Treasurer: The Board agreed that Rob and/ or Dorothy, in consultation with Jack, if possible, have permission to sell the bond with Edward Jones when/ if necessary.

  2. Communications:The new business cards distributed to board members.

    The board also had numerous positive comments on the new web page design and thanks Felicia for all her creative efforts.

    Finally, the board would like to acknowledge Dorothy Soper and Felicia for the energy and detail they put into the West Cascade Membership Directory. It will prove to be useful to the board and membership as well.

  3. Partnership Project: The board discussed which projects to fund and each member cast a vote. The decision was to split the $1000 for the Guatemala and Tanzania projects from the PCVs from OR. Information about these projects is now posted on the website under "Projects."

    Shannon will develop a rough draft for a standardized scoring formula to determine funding such as, sustainability, life saving resources, community contribution percentage, completion potential, size of grant.

  4. Regional meeting: reviewed agenda for regional meeting on February 21st 12-5pm. WCPCA is providing a potluck lunch and lodging for several out of town representatives.

  5. Fundraiser dinner: Feb 21st to raise money for partnership projects, Mekala's 6:30 pm buffet. Felicia will post and send out email announcement and Wayne will receive RSVPs. $20 agreed to charge / $12 for food and $8 partnership project.

  6. Felicia will devote a page on website to Beryl and her memorial fund.

  7. Next Board Meeting: Monday, March 9, 7:00pm, home of Artis Spriggs.

    Next Potluck: Friday, March 13th, at the home of Rob and Mary Dwan, 6:00 pm. Presentation: Hannah Klausman, Mongolia, 2006-2008

Minutes by Michael


As of 2/10/09 WCPCA has 83 members with two new members joining in February.

Summary of the western regional meeting of the affiliated groups of the National Peace Corps Association

February 21, 2009, Eugene, OR

This regional meeting was attended by representatives of RPCV organizations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Other states included in the western region are California, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana and the US territories in the Pacific.

Attending this meeting:

WCPCA members and guests: Joe Hindman, NPCA board member who represents the western region, Wayne Thompson, James Cloutier, Shannon Micheel, Vern Delk, Dale Dow, Justin Overdevest, Artis Spriggs, Rosa Sakamishi, Bob Watada, Rolly Thompson, Evangelina Sundgrenz, Dorothy Soper

Members of other western region organizations: Richard Ireland of the Columbia River RPCA, Portland, OR, Sam Greer from Boise, Idaho, Aileen Lie, Paulette Thompson (Seattle liaison to the NPCA board), and Joana Ramos from SEPAX, the Seattle, WA, RPCV organization.

We met in the Community Room at EWEB's headquarters at noon. WCPCA provided a potluck luncheon. Joe Hindman presided at the meeting. Below are highlights of the meeting. No attempt was made to record all of the details of the meeting.

  1. Each RPCV organization represented gave a report of its activities over the last year. One item of note is that each now distributes its newsletter electronically.

  2. We discussed how each organization defines a returned volunteer. Is it someone who served a minimum amount of time? Successfully completed training? No consensus was reached but none of the groups has a problem with this question.

  3. We discussed ideas for attracting new members and retaining current ones. We agreed that its helpful to have a range of activities that will appeal to different age groups and family configurations. Families with children seem to like picnics and other active programs. Being in parades attracts people in general. Virtual activities and pub nights were recommended for younger RPCVs. Potlucks seems to appeal to all ages but a little less so to younger members.

    Everyone felt that the PC should be forthcoming to give RPCV organizations the names of volunteers who are completing their service. We noted the recently published directory of RPCVs from the national organization.

  4. For organizations planning to write grant proposals, checking with the Friends of Malawi was recommended.

  5. We discussed the funding of active PC projects through the Peace Corps Partnership program. We understand that this must be the channel to fund any PC project now.

  6. We discussed the pros and cons of having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. SEPAX has chosen to be a "registered nonprofit charitable group" with the IRS as an alternative. We learned the basis for this decision.

    There was a suggestion that the NPCA put all of the affiliated organizations under its umbrella thus letting them become 501(c)(3) organizations without making an individual application. We discussed this.

  7. Sam Greer reminded us that there is an existing agreement among the organizations of the western region that each group will contribute annually to the travel expenses of the regional representative. These expenses are typically $1,200 to $1,500 per year.

    Participation is voluntary. The typical amount contributed is $1 per member. Contributions are made directly to the representative. It's not clear whether all of the RPCV organizations in the western region are aware of this agreement.

  8. We discussed the PC's funding from Congress. We agreed that we would like to see an emphasis on improving the quality of existing PC programs before the general expansion of the PC.

    We discussed briefly who might be the new PC director.

  9. Joe and others identified the current initiatives of the NPCA. They are:

    • More Peace Corps campaign
    • Raising money for the 50th anniversary celebration in all of its facets
    • Seeking $25 million in grants to create an endowed fund of which the income would provide ongoing funding for its activities
    • Seeking $500,000 from the Gates Foundation to fund PC projects in agriculture
    • Reorganizing the website
  10. Coming meetings:

    • Regional meeting in May, 2009, in Boise or Spokane
    • Campout August 21-23, 2009, in Washington near Leavenworth in the Cascades; host group is SEPAX in Seattle
    • Regional meeting, January, 2010, Portland
    • Regional meeting, May, 2010, Seattle
    • Campout, August, 2010, host would be the Portland, Eugene or Boise group
    • September, 2011, celebration of the 50th anniversary, Washington DC

We adjourned shortly after 4:00 pm and planned to gather at 6:00 pm at Mekala's Restaurant for a fundraising dinner organized by WCPCA.

Summary by Dorothy Soper, WCPCA