Red-hot Wilsonville Rotary Summer Concerts off to a great start

The 2017 Wilsonville Rotary Summer Concerts are expected to break attendance records this summer with an amazing lineup for July and August. The Rotary Club of Wilsonville has produced the concerts in Town Center Park annually since 2002 to thank residents for supporting Rotary throughout the year. All shows are FREE, but donations for End Polio Now will be accepted. The concerts will be held on four consecutive Thursdays, from July 20 to August 10.

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This Weekend: Through a Child’s Eyes changes lives in Wilsonville


Rotary International’s Award winning Through A Child’s Eyes mother/child bonding program held in partnership with Coffee Creek Correctional Facility is coming up on Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9. It’s too late to join this year but for next year, requirements to be a volunteer are: you must pass a simple background check, take a one hour class on a choice of dates, be a non-judgmental role model, and be willing to dispense unconditional love. Volunteers are assigned a game or craft to assist with, helping the youth and their families get the most out of the day.

It is very heartwarming to see these disadvantaged children spending important binding time with their inmate moms.  They experience a carefree day enjoying BBQ and playing crafts and games together.  Warning!  You’ll be challenged to keep a dry eye when it comes time for the families to say goodbye at the end of the day.

This is the 15th year for this remarkable program, which is held outdoors but within the prison fences. Many of our volunteers have been with us for over a decade. We are a little short of volunteers this year because it is at the end of the 4th of July week.  If you are interested, please talk to a Wilsonville Rotarian or contact Doris Wehler at 503-682-0426.

Upcoming Lunch Speakers at Wilsonville Rotary

Interested in hearing any of the speakers below? Visit the Rotary Club for lunch. If you’re smart, you’ll join the Club and gain many rewards through volunteerism that makes a big difference right here in Wilsonville, as well as across the world. Meetings begin at noon and end at 1:00pm, Al Kadar Center in Wilsonville.

Upcoming Speakers:

June 15: The Transitional Youth Program; Speaker is Bert Waugh, Jr., Founder

June 22: The Civil Air Patrol Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow; Speaker is Lt. Col. Ed Bos, Vice Commander of the Oregon CAP Wing

July 27: Getting Your Project Out In Front of People With Social Media & Online Marketing

August 3: The Rose City Rollers (Roller Derby Team); Speaker: Kim Stegeman, Exec. Director, Rose City Rollers

August 17: What You Should Know About Alzheimer’s Disease; Speaker: Dr. Rob Winningham, Interim Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Western Oregon University

September 7: The Ongoing Cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Site; Speaker: Ginger Wireman, Washington State Dept. of Ecology

November 2: Creating an innovation eco-system and economic driver in higher education; Speaker: Dr. Nagi Naganathan, President, Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech)

TACE Opened Everyone’s Heart of Gold

Crystal Magana and her daughter spoke about the positive impact of TACE at Heart of Gold.

On Saturday night, February 25, 2017 the Wilsonville Rotary had a full house for our Heart of Gold “Mahalo” Dinner and Auction. Mayor Tim Knapp was chosen as 2016 First Citizen. We had a record 254 people who signed up to attend and we feasted on a great Hawaiian dinner. Theme development was perfect in terms of decorations, food, garb, and even a few Hawaiian words in President Martens’ speech.

Crystal Magana, our TACE speaker, was terrific and her speech resulted in collecting over $13,450 for TACE. With increased income from sponsorships, and doing well at both the silent and oral auctions, Rotary is well positioned to carry on with all it service projects. The various committee chairs all did a first class job, and many thanks go out to them.

Youth Exchange bringing life-changing experiences to students

By Jake McMichael, Wilsonville Rotary Member

Jake McMichael introduces Dawson Durig and YEP student Santi Berios from Argentina.

The Rotary Club of Wilsonville has enjoyed following the adventures of  our two Wilsonville High School (WHS) long term outbound students, who are enjoying their high school junior year abroad in Europe. One of our Youth Exchange Program (YEP) students is Amanda Weatherly who is in Poprad, a city in northeastern Slovakia at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, famous for its picturesque historic centre and as a holiday resort.

Amanda writes that her present host family is outstanding and that her Slovak has improved to the point of understanding most of what goes on in school. She is particularly close to the other foreign exchange students in the city. Biz Harms is spending the year in a southern suburb of Vienna, Austria. She claims that she and her friends all talk in German to each other, though they use easier words and talk slower around her.

Dawson Durig spent all of last summer in Argentina. His host brother, Santi Berios arrived in Oregon on Wednesday March 15th spending a total of five weeks with the Durig family. He has been attending WHS with Dawson as well as enjoying spring break and many other activities that is keeping him and his host family very busy.

The YEP continues into school year 2017-18 with two short term family-to-family exchanges this summer and one long term exchange for the whole school year. Lily Burhop, presently in 10th grade at WHS, is our long term exchange student.  She has selected Russia has her first choice country (Switzerland and Austria are backups) where she will be spending her junior year.  Lila Dawson, a short termer, is vying for placement in Argentina.  Her WHS classmate, Sophia Somerscales, has selected Brazil, Argentina and India has her top three choices.  Again, the short termers should be notified soon of where they will be going.

From earthquakes to eclipses, Rotary speakers inform and surprise

If you’ve never attended a lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Wilsonville, you’ve been missing some wonderful speakers covering a broad range of topics and issues. If you’d like to join us for a future meeting, the Club meets every Thursday from noon – 1:00 pm at the Al Kadar Center in Wilsonville. Lunch is on us!

As an example, one of our recent speakers included Dr. Scott Burns, who has been a professor of Geology and faculty leader at Portland State University since 1990 had Rotary members on the edge of their seats describing all the impacts on life, infrastructure and our environment that the “Big One” will have on the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Burns is a frequent expert on earthquakes, landslides and other of mother nature’s most powerful events, often seen on the television news in Portland. He also applies his local knowledge of landscapes and oenology when he leads geological wine tours in the Yamhill Valley area.

Dr. Burns described earthquake liquefaction, which occurs during large Richter scale events. He noted that the evidence of previous tsunamis is along the Oregon coast, including petrified “ghost forests” that resurface along the shore line, particularly during the stormy winter months. He also noted that there is evidence of a “widow” tsunami in Japan in the early 1700s, which means there was no earthquake that accompanied it; and that the earthquake came from somewhere else, and in this case from the the western U.S.

Mayor Tim Knapp awarded 2016 Wilsonville First Citizen

Mayor Knapp accepting the First Citizen award from Rotary president Richard Martens.

Mayor Knapp accepting the First Citizen award from Rotary president Richard Martens.

Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp was announced as the 2016 winner of the Wilsonville First Citizen Award on Saturday evening, February 25, 2017.

Knapp was among four finalists for the award, which is given by the Rotary Club of Wilsonville, and draws upon nominations submitted by the community. The award recognizes local leaders who have a history of making a difference and having a positive impact in the Wilsonville community. The other finalists were John Budiao, CEO of Military Coach; Kyle Bunch, agent with Kyle Bunch Agency of American Family Insurance; and Jean Tsokos, long-time Wilsonville community volunteer and leader with WilsonvilleSTAGE.

The award is given at the Rotary’s annual Heart of Gold Celebration, which salutes community volunteers. This year’s edition had a Hawaiian theme, called Mahalo To You, which means thanks as well as respect. This was the 16th annual edition of the banquet and fundraiser which was started in 2002 to honor Wilsonville’s community leaders who enrich the lives of all local residents.

“Tim Knapp has contributed to the community over the past several decades as a volunteer and an elected official,” said Richard Martens, club president, who chaired the First Citizen Selection Committee. “He has contributed a great many hours of service over the years, in a variety of roles from committee member on up to mayor.  The Rotary extends its congratulations to Mayor Knapp, and to all of the finalists who have made our city a better place for all of our residents.”

Heart of Gold is the Rotary’s largest fundraiser of the year, with funding supporting education and community enrichment efforts in Wilsonville. While the final tally is still underway, early estimates demonstrate the generosity of sponsors and attendees, from which education and social support efforts in the city are funded.

“It is a tremendous compliment to receive the 2016 First Citizen award from the Rotary Club of Wilsonville and be among finalists who all have made significant contributions to our community,” Knapp said. “Year after year, the Rotary contributes to our city in important ways as a partner and friend. I am pleased to accept this award not just on my behalf, but for all the leaders and citizens of Wilsonville who work with such devotion to make this city the wonderful community that it is.”

Mayor Knapp being congratulated by his wife, Melodee after winning the First Citizen.

Mayor Knapp being congratulated by his wife, Melodee after winning the First Citizen.

Knapp moved to Wilsonville in 1986 and served on several city boards, commissions and task forces before being appointed to the City Council in 2003. He was elected to the council in 2004, then elected mayor in 2008. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2016.  His vision for Wilsonville as a connected, supportive community for all its citizens and businesses has been an underlying theme throughout his government and personal work.

During the banquet and celebration, attendees heard from a former inmate at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility who was released in 2016. She and her daughter talked about how they benefitted from the Through A Child’s Eyes partnership, which strengthens families and helps female inmates be better parents both before and after release. Without TACE, she said, she would not have the good relationship now shared with her daughter. Attendees at the Heart of Gold contributed generously to future TACE events after she and her daughter spoke, raising record amounts from the “paddle raise” to support mother-child connections.

Besides TACE, proceeds from the event support numerous other projects of the Wilsonville Rotary Foundation, including local omelet breakfasts to raise funds for schools; the Wilsonville Chess Program to help students learn discipline and problem-solving skills; producing the free Wilsonville Rotary Summer Concerts for residents and raising funds for polio prevention; college scholarships for Wilsonville high school graduates; international student exchange programs, inbound and outbound, that enrich Wilsonville students and their families; and annual projects that have brought solar energy to Africa and clean water to schools and clinics in the Third World.

For those looking ahead to next year, the club is already accepting nominations for the 2017 award, which will be awarded in early 2018. Nominations may be submitted to, or sent to

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