West Cascade Peace Corps Association
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Minutes Of The WCPCA Board Meeting, June 13, 2011

Location: Home of Dorothy Soper

Attendees: Miriam Aiken, Keith Beyer, Maggie Keenan, Felicia Kenney, Dale Morse, Wendy Nelson, Rosa Sakanishi, Dorothy Soper, and Bob Watada

Guests: Vince Ceccaci and Andrew Dempsey-Karp

President, Dorothy Soper opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. There were no additions to the agenda.

Agenda Items:

  1. Introduction of Guests:

    1. Vince Ceccaci is a new member of WCPCA, moving to Eugene from California just a month ago.

    2. Andrew Dempsey-Karp will discuss the background and volunteer needs for the Oregon Country Fair Peace and Justice Booth, Community Village.

  2. Wendy Nelson: Prior to the start of the meeting, there was a farewell to Wendy Nelson, who is moving to Turkey in September through a fellowship from Georgetown University. She will be teaching English there. Wendy has been the secretary for WCPCA for over a year and a half. Dorothy presented her with a WCPCA sweatshirt, a Peace Corps bag, mug, and badge.

  3. Oregon Country Fair: Andrew Dempsey-Karp presented information about a Peace Corps booth at the Oregon Country Fair, which will be held July 8 – 10. Six volunteers are needed to work in shifts over the 3 days. Three people will rotate each day and each will receive a day-pass (cost of $10). Miriam moved and Felicia seconded a motion to pay for Andrew’s camping pass ($25). Andrew will obtain the day passes for the volunteers and volunteers will reimburse him. The purposes of the booth are:

    1. To generate an email list of potential members of WCPCA, and

    2. To generate an email list of potential applicants for the Peace Corps. Promotional materials for the Peace Corps will be available.

    The July newsletter will give notice about the booth and Andrew will give a report on the activities at the booth for the August newsletter. Maggie and Dorothy will write and have printed a handout about WCPCA to be distributed at the booth. WCPCA will also supply clipboards for signup sheets.

  4. Updates:

    1. July newsletter was a “grand coup” with good articles. Our thanks to Felicia and Keith.

    2. Grand Floral Parade in Portland: The Portland PCVs were able to meet the goal of having 139 participants to carry country of service flags, and there were an additional 60 people on the waiting list. James Cloutier and Joe Hindman marched in the parade.

    3. Successful Peace Corps Projects: At Felecia’s suggestion, Dorothy wrote the Peace Corps and asked about a listing and description of successful Peace Corps projects. Felicia proposed that WCPCA might set up such a database if it did not exist so that newer Volunteers can benefit from the learning experiences of predecessors. In response to Dorothy’s letter we learned that the Peace Corps has already started and maintains such a database. Further expansion of the list is not feasible with our resources so we will “let it rest”.

    4. Nom Party: The Nom party, held at the Wesley Center on Kincaid Street, was successful with about 60 people attending. City of Eugene Mayor, Kitty Piercy, gave a very entertaining talk about her experiences as a PCV in Eritrea. Justin Overdevest bid us farewell as he leaves his post as Peace Crops recruiter on the U of O campus, and we welcomed Hannah Klausman as the new recruiter.

    5. Membership: Membership is healthy though Dorothy would like to have 150 paying members. Several members have joined as free members through the NPCA. Once a person’s name is entered in the WCPCA database, they remain on the e-mailing list unless they ask to be removed. Those on the email list who are not members receive all emails about group activities but they do not receive the membership directory.

  5. Request from OASIS: Maribeth Olsen, representing OASIS, asked WCPCA to make a presentation about the Peace Corps, similar to the one given at OLLI, some time in 2012. OASIS is making its catalogue and they would like us to commit to a panel presentation between January 23rd and April 13th, on a Monday through Thursday, at 10:00 AM or 1:00 PM. We agreed to do the event and Dorothy will pick a date in early February.

  6. Treasurer’s Report: Dale reported that we are under budget in almost every line item and doing well at the midpoint of the year. Funds available for grants include $1,000 from the Beryl Brinkman Fund and another $1,000 from the General Fund. We could easily use $2,000 to fund grants.

  7. Request from Bob Crites: Bob asked us to publish an appeal in the WCPCA newsletter for donations to support a music student from Brazil who will be attending the University of Oregon in the fall. The board agreed to publish a short appeal in the next newsletter.

  8. Humanitarian Project in Memory of Artis Spriggs: Miriam and Felicia suggested two options to fund as a memorial tribute to West Cascade member Artis Spriggs who died of cancer in July 2010. In May 2011, the board approved a $500 one-time donation to a humanitarian project in her memory. Bob Watada expressed his view that the board had previously decided to fund projects vetted by the Peace Corps. Discussion of the options was deferred to the next meeting; notes to consider for discussion include the following summaries of projects.

    Option 1: Fund a PCPP. Selection of this option means that 100 percent of the funds will be dedicated to a project, but the project could not be in Afghanistan since there is no Peace Corps program there at this time. This option would preclude our ability to notify non-WCPCA members about the project in time for additional donations since PCP projects are funded rather quickly.

    Option 2: Donate to a Humanitarian Organization with Current Projects in Afghanistan. Since both Beryl Brinkman and Artis Spriggs were Volunteers in Afghanistan donating to a humanitarian organization working there is consistent with their Peace Corps service. Selection of this option means that a percentage of the donation will be used for finance and administration of the organization. Mercy Corps, suggested by Miriam, has several characteristics that make it a desirable organization to consider. One is that it has low overhead and administrative costs of less than 12 percent. (Other organizations use over 25 percent for administration.) The organization’s headquarters are located in Portland, OR, which will keep the administrative fees in state. Further, they do have current active projects in Afghanistan and we can designate that our donation be directed to Afghanistan. For further information about Mercy Corps go to www.mercycorps.org/countries/afghanistan and scroll down to Program Details.

    Making a donation to a program outside of PCPP provides an opportunity to inform non-Peace Corps friends of Artis about the project and give them an opportunity to contribute.

  9. Fall Program:

    1. August is the picnic at Bob and Rosa’s house.

    2. Fall Pot Luck: This will be held at the Wesley Center. Dorothy will confirm the date and make a reservation at the Center. It will be at the end of the second week of the U of O quarter. Maggie suggested a theme of “Water in Africa” with a presentation by an RPCV who worked on a water project in Niger and is now a volunteer with CREATE. This event will not be an official “ask” event for CREATE and donations will not be requested.

  10. Eugene Celebration: A request to participate in the Eugene Celebration has been sent to the parade’s Grand Marshall. An organizing committee still needs to be formed and volunteers are needed to work at the booth.

  11. International Calendars: The board agreed to order 150 calendars to sell for $12 each, or for quantities, sell for $10 each. Dorothy would like to get two people who are not on the board to coordinate the sales.

  12. PCP to Fund: Discussion postponed to the July meeting.

  13. Other business: Time did not permit.

  14. July Board Meeting: Will be July 18th at Dorothy’s house.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Miriam Aiken