West Cascade Peace Corps Association
About Us

Email Newsletter for March 2009

Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!

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

Upcoming Events

April 13: Board Meeting at 7pm at the home of Jack and Mary Meacham.

May 7: On May 7th at 5pm, join fellow RPCVs and nominees for dinner followed by a presentation by Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, at 7pm at Mc Arthur Court. Free tickets for the event can be reserved and then printed online at tickets.uoregon.edu. Preceding the presentation by Greg Mortenson, we will be meeting for dinner at McMenamin's on 19th and Agate at 5pm and then walking over to the event. More information: http://culture.uoregon.edu/event/1406

May 15: Mark your calendars! May 15th will be the date for the Peace Corps Nomination party. The festivities will be held at the Many Nations Longhouse on the UO campus. Join in the celebration with nominees, their families, and RPCVs. Exact time TBA. This event will be our bimonthly potluck.

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.


  • Have you seen Peace Corps Connect yet? It is the new National Peace Corps Association website, combining Peace Corps-related news, the Polyglot Blog and a social networking website, called Connected Peace Corps. The NPCA is really encouraging all RPCVs to join Connected Peace Corps, and at least one of our members has found it incredibly helpful in connecting with former PCVs from his area. Check out http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/.

  • One goal of the current board is to provide opportunities for our members to take part as a group in local service projects. You'll read elsewhere in this newsletter about the work of ten of us at Chef's Night Out, an annual fundraiser of Food for Lane County. This is approximately the tenth year of our support for this event.

    The board invites individuals to step forward with suggestions for additional service activities and offers to organize our participation. If you have an idea, please come to a board meeting with your thoughts in writing. Contact Rolly ahead of time to be put on the agenda. It's best to have at least a two month lead time so that members can be informed through our monthly email newsletter.

    We look forward to learning about some good projects! Thanks in advance.

  • Thanks again to everyone who came out for the fundraiser dinner at Mekala's on February 21st after the regional meeting. The dinner sold out and then some. About 75 people came, and our profit was $521. Wayne was pleased with Mekala's food and service, especially since more food than anticipated was needed. The board wants to send out special thank-yous to Jack and Mary Meacham for all their help.

  • Chef's Night Out a Success
    The Annual Chef's Night Out fundraiser for Food for Lane County is always a "delightful and delicious event," and this year's affair on St. Patrick's Day was no exception. There were over 600 attendees eating their way through four floors of tasty offerings while helping to raise funds for the important cause of ending hunger in our community. For those new folks or for those who have not attended the event before, the lobby and communal areas of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts are transformed into a festival of food, a bazaar of sorts, featuring local restaurants and bistros who sample their delicacies for the fair price of $60. All procedes from the event go to the local food bank that provides a variety of hunger prevention services both directly and indirectly in Lane County.

    West Cascade Peace Corps Association has supported the event over the years by helping staff and volunteers clean up after the smorgasbord. The work went quickly, thanks to the volunteers and Hult Center Staff. Volunteer started thier clean-up tasks at 8:50 and ended in less than an hour. Everyone fueled up on the sumptuous treats before the cleaning began. Sheila, the volunteer coordinator for Food for Lane County, sent me a heartfelt thank you to all of those who volunteered and wanted me to recognize the following RPCVs who donated their time and energy to this wonderful night: Dolly Marshall Michael Mooser Bob & Rosa Watada Josh Grenzsund Rolly and Wayne Thompson John Hofer Don Nordin Dorothy Soper

    We encourage you to look out for more opportunities to join your fellow RPCVs in volunteer activities in our community. Activities are listed on the West Cascade website and are announced in the monthly e-newsletters and at West Cascade events.

  • The University of Oregon ranks ninth in nation in Peace Corps volunteers! Read more

  • In sad news, a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin was killed in March. More information

  • The Peace Corps program in Madagascar has been suspended due to the recent violence. More information

Summary of minutes of the WCPCA board meeting, 3/9/09

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

Attending: Rob Dwan, Rolly Thompson, Wayne Thompson, Bob Watada, Felicia Kenney, Michael Kresko, James Cloutier, Dorothy Soper

Guests: Artis Spriggs, Rosa Sakanishi

James presided at the meeting. Minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated by email and approved.

  1. James reported that he had attended a curry dinner fundraiser sponsored by the Columbia River RPCV group in Portland. He reported a successful evening with a good turnout. They held a silent auction with 6-8 items for sale.

  2. Rolly said that there are only four calendars left to sell. She will offer them at a good price.

  3. Jack was unable to attend the meeting and he distributed the treasurer's report by email a few days in advance. The board approved the report of which highlights are below:

    OCCU general fund accounts: approximately $6,100

    E. Jones, Beryl's fund, money market account: $6,500

    E. Jones bond, face value: $20,000

    Total assets are approximately $32,300 compared to $31,900 in January.

    Major expenditures in the last month were:

    $500 grant to a PC project in Guatemala for a library project

    $500 grant to a PC project in Tanzania for medical staff housing

    Profit from the fundraiser dinner at Mekala's Restaurant held after the Regional RPCV group meeting netted $521.

    Jack suggested that his reports maintain the value of the bond at its purchase price of $20,000 since its fluctuations make it difficult to assess other financial information. We'll continue to monitor the bond's value and can report it separately at the board meetings. The board approved this approach. At the time of this board meeting the bond's value was $17,605.

  4. Dorothy reported that WCPCA now has 82 members. Three new joined in the last month.

  5. Felicia reminded everyone that she'll be offering several computer classes to interested parties beginning in April. Anyone interested should send her an email.

  6. Michael asked if there were any questions about Shannon's suggested scoring rubric to rate Peace Corps Partnership Projects when we are evaluating them for funding. The board approved her idea enthusiastically.

  7. We reviewed the list of volunteers to help with clean up for the Food for Lane County fundraiser, Chefs' Night Out. Eight people had indicated that they would help. Felicia suggested that she put out an announcement of the activity via email once more to the full mailing list. The board agreed to this.

  8. At the last meeting the board indicated an interest in using the list of RPCVs in our region that appeared in the new directory published by the national organization to attract new members and seek contributions for our grants.

    Dorothy agreed to draft a letter and create a new kind of stationary using the taxi design that is on the website. She'll present that to the board at the next meeting.

  9. The board reviewed its goals for the year and the progress being made. They are listed below.

    • Goal #1: Continue bimonthly potlucks with a program . We've done this and are having a good attendance and excellent programs.

    • Goal #2: Spend $1,000 to fund one or more PC Partnership Projects by March. In February we funded two projects for a total of $1,000 and thus have already met this goal. Information about the projects is posted on the website. The board anticipates making at least one more grant this year.

    • Goal #3: Identify fundraising ideas and find people willing to pursue them. Wayne and Rolly agreed to do this. We completed a successful calendar sale in January and held a successful fundraising dinner in February. Rolly and Wayne organized both. At this time we discussed briefly having one more fundraiser this year, perhaps at a winery in the fall.

    • Goal #4: Identify local service projects for members of WCPCA to take part in as a group.

    We don't have an overall chair for this activity. The board decided that it would like to have individual members suggest activities and present a plan to the board for recruiting and organizing volunteers from the organization. If the board approves such a proposal the individual submitting the proposal will be in charge.

  10. Rolly will be our contact person with the National Peace Corps Association for planning the 50th reunion in 2011. Wayne offered to gather ideas for a local celebration.

  11. James gave a brief report on the regional meeting held in Eugene on February 21st. Joe Hindman, WCPCA member and NPCA representative for the western region, presided. A full report is elsewhere in the newsletter.

  12. As per an existing agreement that all organizations within the western region contribute to the expenses of the regional representative, the board voted to give $100 to Joe Hindman for this purpose.

  13. Wayne reported on the fundraiser dinner at Mekala's on February 21st after the regional meeting. The dinner sold out and then some. About 75 people came. Our profit was $521. Wayne was pleased with Mekala's food and service, especially since more food than anticipated was needed. He thanked Jack and Mary Meacham for their work.

  14. Artis, cochair for activities, asked for some suggestions of activities. Board members suggested activities that could include children such as a picnic in a park, possibly with baby sitting available.

  15. The next board meeting will be on Monday, April 13th, 7:00 pm, at the home of Jack and Mary Meacham.