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

Contact Us!

Mailing Address
PO Box 2111
La Conner, WA 98257
Email Address


Oct 12, 2015
Jim & Jean Kalis
Latest travels
Oct 19, 2015
Dr. Paul Johnson
International schools
Oct 26, 2015
David George Brooks
That Gratitude Guy
Nov 09, 2015
Nov 16, 2015
Cate Anderson
Children''s Museum of Skagit County
Nov 23, 2015
Rachael Sylte
Tulip Festival
Dec 07, 2015
Dec 14, 2015
Rick Bolduc, Barney Bournes
Classification talks
Dec 21, 2015
Claudia Avendino Palomera
Oasis Children's Shelter
Dec 28, 2015
Larry Logue
Ethiopia Water Project
Jan 04, 2016
Dick Johnson, Doug Jones
Classification talks
Jan 11, 2016
Jan 25, 2016
Jennifer Beemer
Burned Children's Recovery Foundation
Feb 01, 2016
Dennis Milliken, Marge Milnor
Classification talks
Feb 08, 2016
Feb 15, 2016
Feb 22, 2016
John Milnor
Smelt Derby Final Details
Mar 07, 2016
Mar 14, 2016
Mar 21, 2016
John Edwards
Rotary Caribbean Program

Club Executives & Directors

President Elect
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Foundation President
Community Service
Club Services
International Service
Youth Services
Vocational Service
Public Relations
October 2015

Welcome to the Rotary Club of La Conner!

Matthew M. Paul, 94, died Friday, May 8, 2015 at the University of Washington Hospital following a brief illness and surgery.

He leaves his wife of 69 years, Wilma Paul; his sons, Bill (Bertha) Paul, Martin (Genevieve) Paul and John (Kim) Paul; 13 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren and many close friends. Matthew was preceded in death by his son, Clarence and a daughter-in-law, Robin Paul.

Born and raised in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the son of Willem Gerard Paul and Plonia Kwakernaak, he was a current resident of Mount Vernon.

In his early years, Matthew grew up during the great depression and survived World War II by escaping from a concentration camp and going underground. He married Wilma Groeneweg in Amsterdam October 2, 1946. In 1951 Matthew, Wilma and their first 2 sons emigrated to the United States to milk cows in California. In 1956 his family received U.S. citizenship in Santa Ana, California. 1961 brought the family, which had now grown to four sons, to Mt. Vernon. The whole family worked hard on their dairy on Riverbend Road through 1977. They were honored to have been named Dairy Family of the Year in 1964.

Staying in a dairy-related business, Matthew became involved in buying, selling, and trucking hay with his sons Bill and Clarence. Buying hay became a passion of his that he continued through his lifetime. He never had a desire to "retire" but did enjoy bowling, golfing and travelling. Going to Bolivia to distribute wheelchairs to the poor and lame was a special experience for him.

Matthew served on many boards and committees related to the dairy industry, the Mt. Vernon Christian School, was a longtime member of the Rotary Club and in 1978, he ran as a republican for the state legislature.

Matthew had a passion for his community and family. He believed in hard work. He will be greatly missed.
- See more at:
In Memoriam

We remember our friend and longtime Rotarian Matthew Paul who passed away May 8, 2015.

Matthew, who joined the La Conner club on January 1, 1972, led a life of service, hard work and dedication to his family, friends and colleagues. Among his many accomplishments were his two terms as president of our club, from 1986 - 1987 and 1995 - 1996. He was a Paul Harris Fellow in 1990. Our club's annual Tulip Sales project  began under his leadership more than 20 years ago. Over the years we have raised more than $125,000 toward our local and international programs and projects.

His service to Rotary, his friendship and his amazing legacy will be cherished.
Just a few of our many thoughts about Matthew.....
"Matthew was a great Rotarian and a wonderful friend. I remember him talking about his trip to Nepal (I believe) to deliver wheel chairs and how it broke his heart to realize how much that act impacted the recipient quality of life. He was also incredibly kind to me when Willie was ill and eventually passed away. Matt was a big man with an even bigger heart, we’ll miss him tremendously."
 -- Audrey Gravely

"Matthew had "Retired" from promoting the tulip sales, handed the project over to Deacon George. When circumstances changed Matthew headed up the "Tulip Fundraiser" again, assisted by Dan Cain. - In his account on the trip to Bolivia he reported shampooing children's hair, to rid them of head lice, not just handing out wheel chairs.
--Irene Johnson
"Mathew was one of my heroes.  Forged in the horrors of Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation, immigrating to a new country and learning a new language (boots?), succeeding in the US economy, and raising a great family, these and more are the reasons why we should welcome all who seek freedom and want to work hard.  Oh, did I mention that he was a quintessential example of what a Rotarian should be."
--Jerry Willins

"My lasting impression of Matthew Paul: He was full of Dutch and American pride, strong of conviction, loving of family and friends, hardworking, humorous  and a dedicated Rotarian. I'm so glad I had the chance to go with him  to Lynden last year to sell tulips."
--Susan Macek

Matthew's Obituary


We are heading into the second year of international projects in Copan, Honduras.  The International Project Alliance started with six Rotary clubs here in the Skagit Valley and this year has grown to 10.  It allows for the ability to apply for larger grants at both the District and Rotary International levels allowing for larger projects to be tackled.  Check out the webpage for the IPA by CLICKING HERE.

The Rotary Club of La Conner welcomed our newest member on Monday, September 28!  Cheryl Sullivan is the new principal at both La Conner Middle and High Schools and is part of the new corporate membership of La Conner Schools and joins Lori Buher and Peter Voorhees.

Corporate Member, Peter Voorhees, will once again be in charge of the Turkey Trot that will take place on the morning of Thanksgiving!  Proceeds from the Turkey Trot will benefit the La Conner High School track and cross country teams.
If you would like to get involved and help there are some tangible ways to do so.....

1. Sponsorship - For a generous donation, your company can have their name and logo on the shirts, digital media, and printed material for run. The goal of sponsorship is to cover the overhead cost of the event so 100% of race registration goes to help the Track Team.

2. Donate a Prize - There is a raffle give away at the end of the race from everything from massages to pumpkin pies - an opportunity for good publicity or help out.

3. Help with Race Administration - Helping with set up on Wednesday Nov 25th (afternoon for 3 hours) and or help with morning of registration and packet pick-up on Thanksgiving morning (Done by 10:30am)

4. Help promote the race on social media by 'sharing' and spread the word.

5. Sign-up and participate - We are hoping to have over 350 people this year.
If you would like to participate OR help in any of the many duties needed to make this another success, contact Peter at 360-420-0423

On Monday, September 21 we learned about how extensive the problem of human trafficking is in Skagit County as well as across the United States.
This was an eye opener for everyone present.  We feel we live in this safe place called Skagit Valley, but the exploitation by force, fraud, or coercion of vulnerable people for commercial sex operations and for forced labor has invaded our peaceful valley.  The Coalition is working with the schools and getting the word to organizations like Rotary about this problem.  For more information you can go to their website

On September 12 Past District Governor Jack Frisk passed away. 
A Celebration of Life honoring Jack will be held
Sunday, September 27, 2015
11:00 AM
Maple Hall, La Conner
Click the link below for more pictures

La Conner Rotarians Martin Howard, Jerry Willins, Dave Tracey, Lee Carlson, John Milnor, Dick Johnson, Thomas (member Patsy's son) and Susan Macek worked dilligently on Saturday, September 12 pressure washing the parking areas, gutters, replaced front door lightbulbs, trimmed the tree out back and cleaned out the garden patch below it, took all the weeds and limbs to the compost station.  Many hands made for a quick clean-up!
The Town of La Conner then came in and repainted the parking space stripes and the handicapped parking spaces!

Want to know what the Rotary Club of La Conner does!

Moonlight and Martinis 2015 was a great success.  We raised over $55,000.00 for our projects and the kids in La Conner and Copan, Honduras!
Recent gifts totaling $6,726 from the Rotary Club of La Conner benefitted the both La Conner Regional Library and the La Conner Library Foundation.
Two grants totaling $1,726 from La Conner Rotary and Rotary District 5050 funded three homework help databases for school students and other patrons. World Book Online Reference, American Indian History Online and A to Z USA, from World Press Media  provide accurate information for school reports and support lifelong learning as well, according to Library Director Joy Neal.
Rotary also awarded a $5,000 grant to La Conner Library Foundation for the new library building fund.
"The Rotary Club of La Conner is pleased to support the library foundation’s campaign for the new La Conner library,” said Marge Milnor, 2014-2015 president. “We look forward to continued support for this important project that will provide much needed space and expanded programs for the benefit of everyone in the community. We have a proud legacy of hard work that makes it so rewarding to be able to contribute to the vision of a new La Conner Regional Library.” 
Pictured are Susan Macek-La Conner Regional Library Foundation Director, Joy Neal-La Conner Regional Library Librarian and Rotary Club of La Conner Past President-Marge Milnor
Pictured are Joy Neal, Richard Wisnewski (La Conner Regional Library Foundation President), Marge Milnor and Susan Macek


Planning is in full swing for this year's "Moonlight & Martinis" Harvesting Hope Auction.

Click on the link below to go straight to the site to enter auction items, buy tickets or browse what will be available for bidding.


We are selling tulips at The Farmhouse and just west of the Roundabout coming into La Conner (next to the old Morris Street Station).
Booth Hours are as follows:
Monday 12 - 6 PM
Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday 12 - 6 PM
Thursday 12 - 6 PM
Friday 12 - 6 PM
Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM
Sunday 11 AM - 5 PM
Tulips are $5 for a bunch of 10 and the proceeds help fund scholarships for graduating seniors from La Conner High School, Dictionaries for 3rd graders, a project in Copan, Honduras providing school uniforms and supplies to students in addition to clean water and sanitation.  We have many other projects in and around the community.
If you are a business in the cities of La Conner, Anacortes, Burlington, Mount Vernon or Sedro Woolley and would like tulips for your work area delivered, please contact Linda Ryan at (360) 870-9509 or to place your order.

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.
Pictured are La Conner Mayor  Ramon Hayes, La Conner Town Administrator John Doyle, Park Commissioners Brian Scheuch and Ollie Iversen and Rotary Club of La Conner President Marge Milnor.
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."

From the pancake breakfast to fish painting, from the fishing derby to raffle prizes, and from suds, sliders & spirits to a dance with the Esquires, the 50th Annual Smelt Derby Festival in La Conner offered something for just about everyone on an amazing sunny Saturday, February 28.
Thank you from the Rotary Club of La Conner for your sponsorship/donation to help make this year’s historic festival a success. We raised more than $13,000 (gross) to support our local and international programs focused on literacy, education, polio eradication and clean water. The Smelt Festival also generated lots of community goodwill and spirit as a day for “kids of all ages.”
Your generous support made a difference! Our partnership with you is key to Rotary’s impact.

The Rotary Club of La Conner, honored Brian Cladoosby with a Paul Harris Award last night for his committment to his community! To read more about Brian Cladossby and the Swinomish Nation, go to


Birthdays & Anniversaries

Spouse Birthdays:
  • Bill McGuinness
    October 16
  • Jim Ryan
    October 31
Join Date:
  • Richard Johnson
    October 7, 2002
    13 years
  • Cindy Tracey
    October 27, 2003
    12 years
  • David Tracey
    October 27, 2003
    12 years


Town of La Conner
Our Projects