Club Information

Rotary Club of La Conner

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 5:45 PM
Farmhouse Restaurant
11376 LaConner-Whitney Rd
Mount Vernon, WA  98273
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Oct 31, 2016
Louise Edens, Charity Starkenburg
Halloween Party at Louise's house
Nov 07, 2016
Nov 21, 2016
Marty Pease
Dog physical therapy
Dec 05, 2016
Dec 12, 2016
Dec 19, 2016
Tina Tate
Friendship House
Dec 26, 2016
Jan 02, 2017
Jan 16, 2017
Jan 23, 2017
Jan 30, 2017
Feb 06, 2017
Ollie Iversen, Barney Bourns
Classification talks
Feb 13, 2017
Feb 20, 2017
Feb 27, 2017
Connie Milliken
Relay for Life
Mar 06, 2017
Heather Bourns, Dan Cain
Classification talks
Mar 13, 2017
Pam Putney
Hospice of the Northwest
Mar 20, 2017
Terry Boese
Island Homebrew
Mar 27, 2017
Michael Frazier
Viva Farms
Apr 03, 2017
Carol Cain, Alice Collingwood
Classification talks
Apr 10, 2017
Coni Jones
Skagit Transit
Apr 17, 2017
Ray Deck, III
Skookum Kids
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Foundation President
Community Service
Club Services
International Service
Youth Services
Vocational Service
Weekly Meeting Notes
Meeting Notes
Jul 11, 2016

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Town of La Conner
Our Projects
Welcome to the Rotary Club of La Conner!
We are a hands-on service club dedicated to improving lives locally and around the world. We do this by promoting and investing in literacy, public health and community service.  We are the club people want to join, because we have fun while making a difference.



Our club is involved in parallel international projects in Copan, Honduras.  One is grant funded in partnership with nine other clubs, and the other is funded by our club and individual members.


Grant-Funded Project


This International Project Alliance (IPA) is a holistic approach to a community need – education, sanitation, potable water, economic development and the infrastructure to support it.


Eleven area clubs have pledged to pool funds.  Other clubs are considering joining the alliance.  Our club contributes $5,000 per year plus a district grant.   The Fidalgo Rotary Club manages the funds and serves as the lead club for grant management, with each participating club having one vote.  Jerry Willins is our club’s representative.  Projects are initiated by the village through the Copan Rotary Club.


So far, the IPA has provided funds for a new school and several renovations, replaced furniture in several schools, built a wooden bridge and several other hands-on projects, provided school room supplies for all schools and have facilitated teacher training.  We are working to rebuild a large water system that will benefit thousands.  In short we have approved, started, and finished a couple of dozen projects with an annual pooled budget of more than $30,000 and additional donated and grant dollars exceeding $25,000.


Club-Funded Project


This includes our Adopt-a-School and Adopt-a-Dream Programs.  The nine clubs involved in the IPA currently support 19 schools and more than 926 children and hope to cover seven additional schools in 2017.  Of these, our club supports two schools, Nueva San Isidro and El Cisne. 


Our money can go a long way toward supporting Copan school children through Adopt-a-School:


  •     $10/year provides what a kindergartener needs to go to school.
  •     $20/year provides for students in grades 1-6.


The Adopt-a-Dream program costs $200/year or less (varies by school) and supports an individual student in grades 7-9.  This level of education is now mandated and requires most students walk a couple of hours to schools outside their villages.  Adopt-a-Dream asks for a three-year commitment for each student funded.


Individual members can also support these schools Adopt-a-School and Adopt-a-Dream.  Checks can be made out to the Rotary Club of La Conner Foundation.  Be sure to specify Adopt-a-School or Adopt-a-Dream.



What do 2000 Wheels and 500 Veggie Race Cars equal?   Happy Children!

What a great turnout from our club to make wheels and then volunteer to make the veggie racers October 1 & 2, 2016 at Hedlin Farms - Festival of Family Farms. Thank you! 
The Hedlin family was most appreciative, and there were lots of smiles everywhere - kids, parents, grandparents, dogs too! 
Thank you to wheel makers David Rapella, David Tracey, Dan Cain, Martin Howard, Marty Pease, Dennis Milliken and Dave Buchan. 
Thank you to our veggie racer volunteers during the Festival:  David Rapella, Dee & Lee Carlson, Heather Bourns, Alice Collingwood (and her Aunt Carol), Patsy Good, Charity Starkenburg, Louise & Craig Edens, Martin Howard, Cindy & Dave Tracey, Marty Pease, Randy Goembel,  Linda Sanford (friend), John Clark (friend), Susan Macek & Dave Buchan. We had a few high school helpers too, and are grateful for their support. 




On a warm and sunny Summer Saturday 130 people came to Maple Hall in La Conner  to celebrate “Moonlight in Margaritaville”, the 10th Annual Auction of the Rotary Club of La Conner.  Donations from numerous community businesses helped make this year’s Auction the BEST ever, with gross sales of over $62,000!
The Rotary Club honored Dave Hedlin of Hedlin Family Farms with a Paul Harris Recognition for his many outstanding years of supporting the community of La Conner and the Skagit Valley.   A special video was presented and he was tickled with his favorite music, Home Grown Tomatoes.
With the money raised this year we received $11,500.00 for La Conner High School Graduates and $5980.00 to support Honduras School Children with annual tuition.
Thanks to everyone that helped make this year’s Auction an incredibly fun and festive event! 
See you next year on August 26, 2017!


2016 Rotary District 5050 Golfun held at Hazelmere Golf & Tennis Club in Surrey, B.C., is now in the past but a grand time was had by all who participated!  Pictured here are Club President, Susan Macek; President Elect, Alice Collingwood; Patsy  Good, Dee Carlson and Marty Pease.



This video was compiled to commemorate time spent in Barbasco Cabanas, Honduras with the Rotary 5050 International YES team (Youth Engaged in Service). Ten incredible high school students accomplished over 80 hours of volunteer service each in their own communities and continued to share their love for people through a ten-day humanitarian service trip in a small, struggling village located near Copan Ruinas. We made relationships, met beautiful people and worked tirelessly to successfully build a complete play structure for children near the school, (the school was provided by the YES program in years past) we distributed personal hygiene kits, brought reusable feminine products for young girls, painted all school house furniture (provided by the YES team in years past as well) and built a chicken coop suitable for roughly 40 chickens.

This was an adventure of a lifetime, thank Rotary for all of their selfless donation and most of all thank God!



Richard Wisniewski accepted a check from the Rotary Club of La Conner for the La Conner Regional library Building fund. The check in the amount of $5,000 was a second annual installment of $5,000 toward the new library.
Wisniewski, President of the La Conner Library Foundation Board said “the library is a place for life-long learning and inspiration and it’s a key resource available to everyone in the community…. One day we’ll break ground for a new, larger, environmentally green library that will provide more open space, including quiet areas for study and reading, digital access, and a community room open to the public for library programs and new offerings.”
According to Lee Carlson, Past President of the La Conner Rotary, literacy and education are major focus areas for the club’s contributions, in terms of both service and financial support. “We have supported the library’s homework databases for the benefit of students for many years,” Carlson said. “We recognize the value that a new library will bring to the community, and are proud to support this project that will serve the community -- from babies to seniors -- well for many years.”

November 1, 1918 to June 14, 2016

Imagine that it's 8am on a cold windy Saturday in February and you are entering LaConner to do your “duty” at Smelt Derby. But before you can get to Derby Headquarters, traffic is stopped by frail Octogenarian Fred Martin selling raffle tickets; now that “duty” became less onerous because you won’t be outside as long as Fred nor in the middle of the street and you have become more inspired to “serve” at Smelt Derby.
The Monday night before Smelt Derby you might have been inspired by a short talk from Fred telling us how Smelt Derby was founded to raise funds for scholarships. You may have laughed at the story of the year as Mayor when Fred ordered the Derby shut down due to too many participants in the 10 cent beers. Followed with a smile when told the Derby was skipped for a year and the merchants missed the crowds and demanded it return.
But the story of Fred’s life was inspiring long before World War II, after years in the Seattle Children’s Home orphanage and teenage years on an Orcas Island Farm. He returned to high school at age 18 and was about to graduate as valedictorian when the war broke out. So he enlisted in the Navy serving as a Pharmacist’s Mate in the  South Pacific where he met Eleanor Roosevelt on Guadalcanal.
Fred continued to want more schooling and got his Pharmacy degree at the University of Washington, just in time to be called up for the Korean War. After the war, he married Margaret, bought a drug store and moved to LaConner. Now, he really began his “Service Above Self”. He served on the City Council, as Mayor, a founder of EDASC, the Economic Development Association of Skagit County, many other Boards and of course 60 years in Rotary. He even worked on painting the Rainbow Bridge orange.
As a Rotarian, Fred had few equals, he had decades of perfect attendance. When the club changed its meeting time from 7 to 6PM, we almost didn’t do it because he kept the Store open until 6PM. He encouraged us to make the change and his on-time record improved.
Whenever a program speaker touched upon local education, economics or political subjects Fred had pertinent comments and questions, right up to the end, as long as he could hear the speaker.
Fred mentored generations of Rotarians and was a wealth of Rotary and community information. We are proud to name our club Outstanding Achievement award the Martin Light award after Fred Martin and Aaron Dee Light another wonderful Rotarian. More recently we encouraged the town to name a new gazebo after Fred and Margaret Martin. Plus we have named a scholarship the Fred Martin Academic Scholarship. His good community work is now entrusted to us and we all intend to inspire others to follow Fred’s example.


On Monday, March 16, 2015, the Rotary Club of La Conner made a donation to the new Conner Park project that is in beginning stages to the Parks Commission and the Town of La Conner as the Club's commitment to the Town of La Conner and local projects.
The new park will be located on a scenic, grassy stretch of town-owned waterfront property just south of Rainbow Bridge. 
"The Rotary Club of La Conner is pleased to support the first phase of development of the new waterfront park with a contribution of $5,000," said President Marge Milnor.  "These funds represent the dedicated efforts of our La Conner Rotarians who have a long history of supporting our community. We have a proud legacy of hard work that makes it so rewarding to be able to give back to this new park. It's a wonderful vision that will provide much enjoyment for children and families in the years to come."
Pictured are John Doyle, Town of La Conner Administrator; Ollie Iversen; Marge Milnor, President Rotary Club of La Conner;
Ramon Hayes - Town of La Conner Mayor