West Cascade Peace Corps Association
About Us

Email Newsletter for July 2009

Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!

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

Upcoming Events

August 8: West Cascade Table at Saturday Market
West Cascade needs volunteers to help staff a table at Saturday Market. We will be selling t-shirts and calendars, plus getting the word out about the Peace Corps. Please contact info@westcascadepca.org to volunteer.

August 21: Backyard Bluegrass Show
Join us for a backyard bluegrass show by the Coast Fork Ramblers. The show is open to up to 75 RPCVs and friends. The suggested donation is $10 per person or $20 per family. We encourage attendees to bring their own food, bottle and blanket. Please RSVP at: http://www.westcascadepca.org/rsvp.php?name=WCPCA-20090821T190000

August 21 - 23: Northwest Regional RPCV Campout
The 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 (http://home.seapax.org/2009/01/10/regional-campout-august-21-23-at-bridge-creek).

August 22: West Cascade Table at Saturday Market
West Cascade needs volunteers to help staff a table at Saturday Market. We will be selling t-shirts and calendars, plus getting the word out about the Peace Corps. Please contact info@westcascadepca.org to volunteer.

September 5: Eugene Celebration Parade
Join us in the annual Eugene Celebration parade! The parade begins at 9:30am. More information on our meeting place is to come.

September 11: Bimonthly potluck

November 13: Annual Meeting

Announcements and Notes

  • The Eugene community Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration of the atomic blast will be held at Alton Baker Park, on August 6. A community Potluck will be begin at 7:00 p.m. The program will begin at 8:00 p.m. with Koto music by Mitsuki Dasai, and end at 9 with the floating of lanterns.

  • Picnic on July 25th at Tugman Park

    A good time was had by about 25 at this picnic. We were especially pleased that three new members and one visiting RPCV joined us. And we welcomed two children of members. We had a good visit, played croquet, and enjoyed the hot weather. If you lost a hat at the picnic, please contact info@westcascadepca.org and we'll get it back to you.

  • Municipal library in Guatemala, a Peace Corps Partnership Project

    A few months ago WCPCA dedicated a grant of $500 to equip a municipal library in Granados, Guatemala, with books and computers. Establishing the library was a project of Laura Kutner, PCV from Portland, and we were responding to her request for support for this Peace Corps Partnership project.

    Laura is home now for a break but will soon return to Guatemala where she has accepted a Peace Corps staff position for next year. She was in Eugene briefly and a small group of us met with her to learn more about her work and see photos of her community and the library. Laura is a totally charming young woman who enthralled us with the story of how she worked with her community to plan, raise money for, and create this much needed facility which the community has named for her. The "Laura Kutner Municipal Library," stands in commemoration of Laura's skill and hard work, the generosity of supporters in the US, and the gratitude of the citizens of Granados.

    Laura made it clear that our gift was essential to her completing the project during her service period. WCPCA donated $500 of the total of $1500 that Laura had requested. Other contributions came in small amounts from individuals. We were impressed that Laura spent the money wisely, making good use of various bargains that were available to the municipality and also the work of American NGOs to send books and computers to Guatemala.

    We were especially impressed with the way that Laura worked to make this project sustainable by securing the participation and ongoing support of various constituencies. The municipality pays the librarian; a local bank donated the space; school teachers and the librarian work together to make the library a reading center for young children and a place for older students to work on school projects. And it seems that all ages in Granados gravitate to the computers which have a good stock of software.

    In her "thank you" letter to us, Laura concluded, "Without all of your help it (the library) would not have been possible. Now Granados can count on a beautiful and modern library to help everyone have a brighter future."

    We hope that Laura will return to Eugene in a year or so to speak to our whole membership. She has an important story to tell and will surely have new experiences to share as well.

  • Eugene Celebration Weekend, September 4-6

    It will be coming up quickly, so please mark your calendars. Yes, this important weekend is also Labor Day weekend.

    WCPCA will take part in the Eugene Celebration parade on Saturday morning, September 5th. We'll also have a booth on both Saturday and Sunday, September 5th and 6th, to offer information about the Peace Corps and sell calendars and tee shirts. We use the proceeds of these sales to fund humanitarian projects. To see a list of the projects that we've funded over almost thirty years, go to the website, www.westcascadepca.org, and click on "projects."

    For the parade, please, if at all possible, wear a traditional item from your country of service. This will help us make the strongest statement. We try to have a large flag for every participant to carry. But we don't have a flag for every Peace Corps country. So you might bring your own flag if you have one. If you would like to borrow a traditional outfit, send an email to info@westcascadepca.org and we'll find you one. We'll have our cardboard bus that always has room for more riders, and also our banner. We need lots of you to take part and make a strong statement for peace.

    To see photos from our entries in the 1988 and 2008 Eugene Celebration parades, go to our website and click on "scrapbook" and then "WCPCA photos". Twenty years and we're still going strong! See if you can identify some of those good-looking people from 1988. Next month we'll be asking members to sign up to work at the booth on Saturday and Sunday. Please check your schedules and see if you can spare us two hours. This participation helps! Many thanks in advance.

  • Membership Update

    WCPCA now has 104 members. Twenty new RPCVs have joined the organization since January. Welcome to you all!

    We hope that all members will take part in our activities and consider contributing to our business meetings. All business is conducted at our monthly board meetings which are open to all. Their dates are posted on the website.

    An updated version of the membership directory will be distributed via email as a .pdf file in mid-August. The directory lists members only and is distributed to members only. Please make sure that our webmaster, Felicia Kenney, has the correct contact information for you no later than August 6th. You may reach her at info@westcascadepca.org. Remember, you have to be a paid up member to be in the directory. You may renew your membership or join the organization using the website.

  • Sharing the work

    The nominating committee will soon be talking to members who are interested in helping with our business activities. We'll need new board members for next year and invite anyone interested to attend upcoming board meetings to learn more about the board's work. The next board meeting will be on Thursday, August 13th, 7:00 pm, at the home of Dorothy Soper. All members are welcome.

    Sharing these responsibilities is important to maintain a vital organization. As more take part, more of us will be able to learn the business, contribute to the work, and see some of our ideas come to fruition. We welcome all but especially new members. Nominations for the next board will be published in this newsletter in October. The election will take place at the November annual meeting/potluck.

  • Recently, the House of Representatives considered and defeated an amendment to reduce funding for the Peace Corps from $450 million to $373.4 million. A number of Oregon Congressmen voted against this cutting amendment, therefore preserving $450 million as the House recommendation for Peace Corps funding.

    Those lawmakers who supported Peace Corps funding were as follows: Wu, Blumenauer and DeFazio.

  • Peace Corps news Interested in the newsletter put out by the Peace Corps? You can find them at:

  • Essay: Reconsidering "The Ugly American"
    New York Times, July 10, 2009
    For the earliest volunteers, "The Ugly American" provided a sort of how-not-to-travel guide...

  • Africa Global Connect has launched a platform for electronic global collaboration, to change lives in Africa. This NPCA-affiliated endeavor is reaching out to current volunteers, RPCVs, the African Diaspora, development practitioners, scholars, technology innovators, and anyone who cares about Africa.

  • "I learned more in the Peace Corps than I did at Oxford."
    In "Oracle Bones," by Peter Hessler (Peace Corps China)

  • President Obama announced that he will nominate a career international development specialist to be director of the Peace Corps.

  • Former Peace Corps Volunteer now living in a cave near Moab.

Summary of the minutes of the July 9th board meeting

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

Membership: WCPCA currently has 106 members. In the last month 13 new members paid dues. In response to our mailing 290 letters of which 270 were successfully delivered we received responses from 11 people who joined.

Treasurer's report:
Major expenses this past month: $275.04 for letters, envelopes, labels, postage for mailing to 285 people in effort to recruit new members and donations.

Income, $194 total in new memberships and donations. Many supplies remaining foradditional mailings.

Our bond, which is "booked" at $20,000, is (news via Dorothy Soper) currently worth $19,085.

OCCU general fund accounts (checking, savings), approx. $4550
OCCU Beryl's Memorial Fund account, approx. $700
E. Jones Beryl's Fund, money market account, approx. $6670
E. Jones Beryl's Fund, bond, approx. $20,000
Total assets, approx. $31,900

The board approved unanimously a resolution of praise for the efforts of Dorothy, Felicia and others in preparing and mailing letters of recruitment to 300 potential members.

A Paypal button has been added to the website, which will allow people to pay for copies of the calendar via Paypal. Buttons can be added for t-shirts once we have an inventory (including counts) for them.

The Internet Security class will be held on July 22nd at Dorothy's house from 1-4pm. If there is interest, additional classes could be held in the evenings.

Saturday and Holiday Market participation
Rolly signed up for 8/8 and 8/22 at Saturday market. James and Michael will sign up for Holiday Market, as the signup begins after Eugene Celebration and Rolly will be gone.

Covering the phone while Rolly is away
James volunteered to cover the phone while Rolly is away. She will be gone from 9/2 until 10/7.

Laura Kutner
We haven't heard anything from Laura Kutner. We are going to drop this for now and revisit the issue if she contacts us.
Update: we heard from Laura and she gave a presentation to the group on July 29th.

Tugman Park picnic
The event is from 2pm until 5pm on July 25th in Tugman park. The board brainstormed kid-friendly activities and came up with frisbee and croquet. James will do caricatures from 3:30pm until 5pm.

Membership and June mailing
James and Evangelina volunteered to call new members.

Eugene Celebration
Dorothy will deal with signing up for the Eugene Celebration parade.

Board Membership
Having discovered that there is no limit to the number of at-large board members we can have, the board happily welcomes anyone who would like to participate, even if they can't attend each meeting. Rolly will be stepping down as Vice President, and we'll need some new faces to help fill board positions.

Fundraising Concert
The backyard bluegrass concert will be given by the Coast Fork Ramblers on 8/21 from 7pm until 9pm. As with the potlucks, the show is open to RPCVs and friends, with the address only being given out in response to an RSVP. The event will be limited to 75 people. A donation of $10/person or $20/family is suggested and will go to a PC partnership for Oregon volunteers. It will be BYO food, blankets and bottles, although refreshments will be provided for the band.

Next board meeting:
8/13 at the home of Dorothy Soper