Hearing about hearing.
Meeting Notes recorded by Tom McClellan
Edited by Tom McClellan (who will take great liberties in the editing of his recorder’s notes)
President Jim Hairston rang the bell to get the meeting started at exactly 12 seconds after 12:30 PM.  [ed. note: President Jim is setting a high standard in terms meeting-start-punctuality, which is no doubt frustrating the finemaster who has long looked for opportunities to fine the club presidents for misperformance of their duties.]
Alice Peeples led us in prayer, and Joy Taylor led the pledge to the flag. No misperformance noted. 
Visiting Rotarians included honorary club member George Lin, from Taipei, accompanied by his cousin Mai, and our guest speaker Paige Stringer from the Rotary Club of Queen Ann (Seattle). 
School is out (pre-school is, anyway), so Alan Billingsley’s date was his granddaughter Hazel Billingsley. 
Future Programs:
Dec. 21 – Keith Galbraith, “The Amazing Power of Pet Therapy”
Dec. 28 – Mike Courts, Mayor of Dupont, WA
Jan. 4 – Mark Lindquist, Pierce County Prosecutor’s Elder Abuse Program
Charlie Maxwell noted that our club’s monetary contribution helped the Lemay Enterprises staff assemble a total of 517 bikes for area youth.  100 of those were distributed through the Emergency Food Network. 
Ellie Carr reported the assembly of break-bag food items for 40 needy families at Tyee Park Elementary.  The bags were delivered to the school during the meeting for further distribution to the families. 
The organization started by the Lakewood and Clover Park Rotary Clubs, known as Partners For Parks, sent us a thank-you note for our club’s $1000 contribution toward the Waughop Lake trail renovation in Fort Steilacoom Park. 
There will be a board meeting on Friday, Dec. 16, 0730 at Carr’s Restaurant.  All members are welcome to attend, and new red badge members should take this opportunity to attend, and thereby check off one item from their to-do lists for becoming full-fledged blue badge members. 
Joyce Oubre thanked members for their donations toward Christmas presents for needy Tyee Park Elementary School families.  The wrapping party on Dec. 6 at Carr’s Restaurant went well.  The next step in that process is the distribution of gifts via Santa & Mrs. Claus at the West Pierce Fire and Rescue union hall, 7125 Steilacoom Blvd., 0900-1400 on Sunday Dec. 18.  Volunteers are needed to help the Clauses with the gift distribution and management. 
Fun And Fines
Finemaster General Ed Trobaugh started off in fine form by celebrating Charlie Maxwell’s retirement from Lemay Enterprises last week, and asked Charlie, “How does it feel to be retired?”
Charlie’s reply: “Broke.”  He elaborated by noting that there is now no paycheck, no auto mileage, and no expense account, so he had to buy his own lunch.  Charlie has been employed for 57 years, so this will be a big adjustment. 
There was a discussion of a Wachter owed by Bryan Christensen, who asserted his unpreparedness to pay at this opportunity.  “Just hold it like you do Heidi’s,” Bryan said.  There was a brief but unspecific discussion about carried interest on unpaid debts, without specific resolution. 
George Lin of Taipei was welcomed back to our club, after an absence of 18 months.  George is now Past President of his home club, the most coveted job in Rotary.  George reported that he has a 10 handicap in golf, and further that it is difficult to play when it is this cold.  He invited General Ed to come to Taipei to play a round of golf there.  George plans to attend the RI convention next summer in Atlanta, and looks forward to joining Clover Park Rotary members who may be in attendance.   George contributed $200 toward the Rotary Foundation in honor of his return to our club. 
Ed was about to close down the F&F segment of the meeting, when your scribe stood up with an important matter for discussion.  Wearing his Army Football sweatshirt, Tom McClellan noted, “This is a GOOD year.”  He elaborated by noting that the Army football team had finally beaten the Navy team, after a 15-year drought, and offered up $15 of Happy Bucks.  The principle is that Army can go 1-10 on the season, and still call it a winning season as long as that one win is against Navy.  General Ed (who played football while at West Point) matched that $15 offering, and so did retired Colonel Tank Hairston, as well as Lakewood Police Lieutenant John Unfred just because it was a “uniform thing”. 
[ed. note: There was a special “enhanced session” of Fun And Fines at the end of the meeting.  See below.]
This Week’s Speaker
Paige Stringer is the founder and executive director of the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss.  She has spoken to our club twice before, thanks to an introduction to us by the late Gene Pankey
[ed. note: Gene Pankey was a longtime member of our club, who had lost most of his hearing as a young man due to viral infections which damaged his hearing.  An Army veteran, Gene went on to business success as a car dealer.  He was a great champion of causes related to diagnosis of hearing problems, and research into possible hearing regeneration technologies.  Gene was the reason for the club’s longstanding rule that everyone must speak with a microphone, because Gene had an electronic gizmo that allowed the signal from our sound amplifier to be sent directly to his hearing aids, giving him a cleaner signal.  Even though Gene passed away a few years ago, we have kept the microphone rule in Gene’s honor, and because it helps others of us who need a little bit of help hearing what people are saying.] 
Paige was born with bilateral profound hearing loss, and has worn hearing aids throughout her life.  Early identification and intervention enabled her listening and spoken language development.  She graduated from UW, and got a Master’s Degree from University of San Francisco in marketing.  After working in management positions at Clorox and Amazon.com, Paige left to work as VP and communications director for Listen And Talk, a program for children with hearing loss in Seattle.  In 2009, she launched her Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss. 
80% of hearing impaired people are in developing countries.  Poor hearing impacts brain development, and leads to reading difficulties and reduced academic success.  Early intervention can allow a child to catch up in listening and brain development.  So it is key to diagnose and address hearing problems early. 
Not knowing how words sound makes it difficult to learn to read, because there is no association between sounds and syllables.  The keys to successful remediation are:
1. Early identification
2. Access to technology, hearing aids, cochlear implants
3. Professionals trained in hearing, health care, and education
Paige’s organization was started in 2009, and in 2010 went to Vietnam, training professionals and families, and raising awareness with government officials.  They have trained 150 teachers and therapists, 125 medical pros and audiology technicians.  350 sets of hearing aids have been provided to children in need. 
A similar program in Ecuador will be launched in January 2017.  The Ministry of Health approached Paige’s organization after hearing of the successes in Vietnam. 
Her organization also instituted a program in Mongolia.  A fundraising effort led by Seattle #4 Rotary helped to purchase $21,000 of equipment, which Paige and her team delivered to Ulaanbaatar this past year.  
The organization's team consists of 65 professionals from 5 countries: Audiologists, Speech Pathologists, experts in deaf education and early intervention, and Otolaryngologists.  The Foundation pays for their travel to other countries to teach local experts about how to handle hearing problems.  
The After-Meeting
With a bit of time left, Sydna Koontz told her “Flat Paul” story.  She had been called away earlier in the meeting, helping to deliver food items to Tyee Park Elementary.  Sydna shared a Flat Paul picture of herself and Corky, with some entrepreneurial friends from Maui. 
And Marie Barth offered a late “rat on a Rotarian”, sharing a Jib-Jab video of John Unfred.  [ed. note: Unfortunately a link to that video is not available at press time.  Sometimes, "you must be present to win."]  Elaboration revealed that this was done in retribution for John having uncovered a photograph of a very young Marie Barth, graduating from St. Francis Cabrini:
Marie Barth
George Lin had the winning ticket, but could not draw an ace.