West Cascade Peace Corps Association
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Minutes Of The WCPCA Board Meeting, August 15, 2011

Location: Home of Dorothy Soper

Attendees: Miriam Aiken, Keith Beyer, James Cloutier, Jack Meacham, Dale Morse, Rosa Sakanishi, Dorothy Soper, Wayne Thompson, Bob Watada

Agenda Items:

  1. Minutes of the July board meeting were circulated and approved via email and are posted on the web site.

  2. Updates:

    1. WCPCA Picnic was held on Saturday August 13, at the home of Rosa Sakanishi and Bob Watada. It was a lovely day, all enjoyed Bob’s Zen garden, and the board extended its thanks for their hospitality.

    2. Newsletter: Felicia is out of town, but Keith reported that Felicia has been doing great work on getting the issues out. Felicia and Keith are open to articles and stories about the 50th Peace Corps reunion to be held in Washington, DC in September.

    3. Membership: No new members.

    4. Correspondence:

      1. Jennifer Rubio, of the Peace Corps Partnership Program, sent a letter thanking WCPCA for our donation to the Sustainable Cook Stoves for the PCPP in Peru. When Dale and Dorothy recorded the donation on the PCPP web site, there was an opportunity to designate a person to be notified about the donation. As the funds were from the Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund, Tricia Tate’s name was designated and she too received an acknowledgement from the Peace Corps.

        1. It is a condition of the BBMF grant that recipients of funds are informed about Beryl’s life and that Tricia and Natalie Brinkman be informed about the use of funds.

        2. Jack suggested a standing committee be created to form an institutional memory about these funds.

      2. An email from Bart Bolger, President of the Corvallis Veterans for Peace, asked if our groups might work together. His letter was printed in the August newsletter. See item 4 for discussion.

      3. Dorothy is going to draft a letter to the University asking for the criteria for using the Long House and how reservations can be made for its use. Last spring, our reservation was not properly recorded and WCPCA had to find a new venue. Dorothy wants to make the point that rules should be in writing and available to the public that wishes to use the facility.

    5. Campout: Sam Greer and Joe Hindman of WCPCA attended the campout in Idaho. Sam Greer attended as the West Cascade Representative.  He will be organizing the WCPCA campout next year at Charleston, on the coast.   The NW regional campout was organized by the Idaho RPCV group and held at Grayback Gulch, Idaho. There was a discussion about liability in case of injury and a suggestion that we investigate this before West Cascade hosts the campout in 2012.

  3. Treasurer’s Report: Dale reported that we have less than $500 in the checking account, which reflects the balance after paying $600 for the 2012 International Calendars. There is over $5,000 in the savings account. Dorothy pointed out that we are able to cover expenses with dues and that we have additional income from the sale of calendars and tee shirts.

  4. Letter from Bart Bolger, President of Veterans for Peace, Corvallis. Bob said the organization is largely made up of Vietnam Era Veterans. It is one of many organizations working toward peace. They are politically oriented and will organize around political issues such as Agent Orange and, currently, PTSD.

    1. Bob suggested that we determine if WCPCA has anything in common with Veterans for Peace.

    2. Keith suggested that Bart come to a board meeting to meet us and discuss ways we could work together.

    3. Jack suggested that we express an interest in Bart’s question but also let him know that we are interested in broader issues of peace. Jack suggested an organization such as CALC (Community Alliance of Lane County).

    4. Also the question was raised about how the organization should decide whether to affiliate with another group.  Is that a question for a board decision or a membership decision?  If the board pursues the matter to affiliate, this will be a topic of discussion<.

    5. Before the next meeting, board members were encouraged to research CALC at their web site and decide whether we like the organization and would want to affiliate with them. At the next meeting we can discuss whether to take the question of affiliation to the general membership.

    6. (Post meeting) Dorothy has responded to Mr. Bolger’s request for information regarding RPCVs who live in Corvallis by sending him a list of RPCVs in Corvallis from the 2009 NPCA directory.  At this time the board doesn’t plan any specific further steps with Veterans for Peace in Corvallis.

  5. Eugene Celebration:

    1. Parade: The parade route is shorter this year due to road construction; the starting point is the South Eugene High School at 10:00; participants should arrive at 9:30. Participants should wear costumes from host countries or the 50th tee shirt designed by James. James will have tee shirts there to sell if anyone wants to buy one. James has the flags. Wayne is in charge of the taxi. Nick Bosustow has the four Peace Corps regional signs, the 50th banner, and the cloth banner. We do not yet know our position in the parade.

    2. Booth: Vern Delk has created an attractive and colorful layout for the booth that will feature Peace Corps recruitment materials, WCPCA items for sale, and a map showing countries were the Peace Corps has served and is currently serving. PCVs visiting the booth can insert a pushpin to indicate locations where they have served. We still need a sign with our group name; Dorothy will take one to Kinkos to be laminated and Miriam will pick it up. Miriam has a sign up sheet for the shifts at the booth. There are still a few slots that need to be filled.

      Cost of items for sale at the booth are as follows:

      1. Tee shirts with 50th design, $15;
      2. Older sweatshirts and tee shirts, $10
      3. Peace as Policy tee shirt, $5
      4. 2012 International Calendars, $12 each, or 5 for $10 each.
  6. Review of framework for funding humanitarian programs. Dorothy summarized the history of funding grants for humanitarian projects and the framework for distribution of funds from the Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund (BBMF). (See attachment to agenda.) Historically, WCPCA has funded Peace Corps Partnership Projects but also other types of humanitarian projects both in the US and abroad. (See list on WCPCA web site.) She also referred to the WCPCA constitution and by-laws, which do not specifically mention grants. The guidelines for the BBMF do specifically address grants but do not specify that grants be given solely to Peace Corps Partnership Projects; allocation of those funds is at the discretion of the board.

    1. Bob believes that funds should be allocated only for PCPP and some board members appreciated his concern that projects be vetted by the Peace Corps and be given to currently serving Volunteers in active Peace Corps countries. Wayne also added that in view of all the money that the US has sent to Afghanistan during the war, he did not want to send more.

    2. Miriam cited the WCPCA constitution (revised 11/14/08), Article II. Purpose, Section 1, part b: (paraphrasing) The purpose of this organization is to provide a regional, interdisciplinary forum for charitable activities related to understanding and assisting people from diverse cultures in the Eugene, OR area and in countries where Peace Corps Volunteers have served.

  7. Discussion of projects or programs to honor the memory of Artis Spriggs. Dorothy reminded the board that a $500 donation to a humanitarian organization to honor the memory of Artis Spriggs was approved in May 2011. Dale clarified that the funds for this donation will come from the BBMF, which has a balance of $1,525.00. $1,000 in the general fund for charitable projects has already been spent.

    1. Miriam said that when she made the motion to fund the memorial project, she had intended/hoped that the project would be in Afghanistan where Artis and Beryl served in the same Peace Corps small pox vaccination group. Artis and Beryl were not only close friends, Artis also maintained an interest in Afghanistan supporting not only Friends of Afghanistan but also other charitable organizations in Afghanistan, specifically, Central Asia Institute (CAI).

    2. In lieu of CAI, which has had recent unfavorable publicity, Miriam looked for an internationally known organization with sound financial ratings that has current projects in Afghanistan and recommended Mercy Corps. Felicia Kenny contacted Friends of Afghanistan and asked what group they were supporting. FoA supports School of Leadership – Afghanistan (SOLA). Dale reviewed their financial information and group structure and found that it was sound, though operating on a very small budget.

    3. Dorothy suggested four PCPP projects organized by PCVs from Washington and currently listed on the Peace Corps website as possible candidates for funding.

    4. After a discussion of each of the options, Miriam moved and Jack seconded that we send the $500 donation to SOLA in Artis’ memory. The motion was carried by a vote of 5 yeses and 2 nos. (Eight board members were present; the president can vote only in the case of a tie.)

  8. Other topics.

    1. October 2, Sunday, Mr. Karangathi, the Rotary Peace scholar, from Kenya, will be speaking. WCPCA has agreed to publicize his presentation.
    2. October 7, Friday, is the Welcome Back potluck at the Wesley Center near the U of O campus.
    3. November is the General Meeting of the membership and new board elections.

Respectfully submitted 8/21/11

Miriam Aiken, Secretary