Decade Eight: The 2000s

  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020 2:33pm
  • Life
SmileMobile with volunteer Rotarians Harry Hughes, Rochelle McHugh, Ed Haidal, David Leitzinger, Stan Johann, Alice Beebe, Hank Marrerro and various Smilemobile staff.

SmileMobile with volunteer Rotarians Harry Hughes, Rochelle McHugh, Ed Haidal, David Leitzinger, Stan Johann, Alice Beebe, Hank Marrerro and various Smilemobile staff.

The Rotary Club of Sequim began a dictionary program under the leadership of then Community Service Chair Harry Hughes. Harry passed away suddenly in June of 2005 while heading on vacation with his wife. Since that time, his widow Barbara Hughes has participated in the gifting of dictionaries, affectionately referred to as the “Harry Hughes Dictionary Project.”

The club supplied beautiful hardbound dictionaries with lots of color photographs for 19 years to each fourth grade student in the Sequim School District, including those in private schools and being homeschooled.

Over those years, more than 4,000 dictionaries customized with their individual names have been gifts to local students. As in many things, electronic technology is in the hands of both students and instructors and has overtaken the need for paper dictionaries, making them obsolete.

As an alternative the club has, with the input of Barbara Hughes, chosen to provide teachers in the school district the opportunity to apply for annual grants to assist in the purchase of learning materials for their classrooms. Last year the club helped to purchase new musical instruments for the Sequim Middle School band.

The Rotary Club of Sequim welcomed Cathy Vann, director of the Boys & Girls Club into the club as the first woman member in 1991. A few short years later, in the last of the 1990s, Mary Morgan, the then current director of the Boys & Girls Club, was the first woman member to become club president. Since that time there have been seven other female presidents of the Rotary Club of Sequim.

Under Mary’s leadership, the club helped to bring the SmileMobile to Sequim with financial support and the strategic and convenient location of the Boys & Girls Club parking lot. The SmileMobile provides free and reduced cost care to children without access to a local dentist and has returned to Sequim each year since its first visit. Members of the club helped as volunteers to register children for evaluation and treatment.

Its been the pleasure of the club to have each of the Boys & Girls Club Directors as members of the club. We are pleased that Mary Budke has been a member for almost 15 years.

Rotary International celebrated its 100th birthday in February 2005, and in recognition of this monumental event both the Rotary Club of Sequim and Sequim Sunrise Rotary partnered to renovate the interior of the Olympic Theatre Arts building. The clubs helped to install theatre seating and built the two stages.

Celebration moved online

Rotary Club of Sequim members had planned to celebrate its nine decades of community service through the remainder of the year culminating with a Celebratory Tea on June 18.

However, because of the nation’s ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic and a need to continue social distancing for the unforeseen future, the club’s 90th birthday celebration will be postponed until Aug. 20.

Join members of the club from noon-1:15 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20, via the Zoom app on an electronic device or in person at Pioneer Memorial Park, 387 E. Washington St. To get a Zoom invitation by email, send a request to sequimrotary@gmail.com at least one day prior to the meeting.

The club has prepared a PowerPoint presentation that highlights its 90 years of service to the community of Sequim, the nation and international projects. A member will share experiences in becoming a Rotarian and a guest presenter will discuss the club’s current community project: providing adaptive bikes to youth in the Sequim School district who have physical limitations and are unable to ride a traditional bicycle.

All are welcome, including former members, spouses of former members, former exchange students and club members.

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