The Chairman's Corner

Notes from Merv Shetler

January 2007


Bluebills Year-long Contributions in 2006

A Record Year for the Bluebills

Another year has passed for the Bluebills and the accomplishments are something to be proud of for all our members. We sometimes tend to overlook the day-to-day accomplishments, but when we reflect at years end it is almost overwhelming. The stories of the volunteer work that our Bluebills are doing in the community are coming in from many different sources. If you go back and read the monthly newsletters it shows that this is not just an Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas thrust, which get most of the headlines. Our members are working all year volunteering their time, energy, skills, knowledge and experience. We do not yet have the final figures for the number of volunteer hours and materials provided back to the community but I can assure you it has been a record year for the Bluebills.

I would like to highlight some of the key projects and new activities for this past year (below)

Most of these highlights are covered in more detail in our monthly chapter newsletters that can be viewed on the website. My goal for 2007 is to find those personal unreported volunteer projects that are going on in the community and there are many. Bluebills and Boeing retirees are volunteering through their schools, churches, agencies and friends that we never hear about in the chapters. We would like to hear from all of these to give credit where credit is due.

A new year and new challenges. Let’s meet the challenges of the New Year.

How about those Bluebills??

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A New Eastside Chapter

A new chapter has been approved for the Eastside of King County. This chapter will concentrate on social services, charitable agencies and volunteer opportunities in the eastside communities. We are missing much of this area with our other three chapters – Seattle Heritage, Everett Snohomish and Olympic Peninsula. There are some 25 plus zip codes spread around the greater eastside and we would like to get better participation from the Boeing retirees & spouses living in these communities. An example of some activity in this area is a Bellevue Community College/Bluebill program where we conduct quarterly mock interviews for students. The students are also working on a Volunteering/Recruiting Project in their Video 215 class.

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Expansion of Warehouse/Storage for School Programs

We now have a Gifts-in-Kind/Kids-in-Need warehouse/storehouse established in three of our chapters. The Heritage Chapter supports two warehouses; the central warehouse in Kent and a new one in Rainier Valley that support around 130 schools. The Sno-King Chapter opened their warehouse this year and served 25 schools in Snohomish County. The Oly-Peninsula Chapter has rented a warehouse in Port Hadlock and serves 13 schools all over the Olympic Peninsula. The volunteers that manage these stores are working many hours to support the teacher visits through out the school year. The only break they get is the summer school break
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Using Our Talents and Showing Our Hearts

Another area of common interest in all chapters are the classes and projects of making quilts, scarves, hats, layettes, refurbishing stuffed toys, etc.. There seems to be no lack of talent in this area. The Busy Bee’s & the Sew ‘n Sews are busy all year filling the needs for the agencies and centers wanting their products. All their efforts are helping needy folks, children’s hospitals, Habitat for Humanity newcomers, Adopt-A-Family, assistant living residents, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas gift packages. The smile on the face of a child receiving one of their refurbished stuffed animals makes it all worth while
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Museum of Flight Puts Bluebill Painting on Display

In June we had a very special program with the Museum of Flight celebrating the 90th anniversary of the first flight of Mr. Boeing’s first airplane, the Bluebill. This evening was highlighted with the presentation of a limited painting of the Bluebill to be displayed in the Museum of Flight for all visitors to see and appreciate. The evening included a presentation by the 787 Chief Test Pilot on the 90 years of flight testing from the Bluebill to today’s 787. The 250 attendees, retirees, spouses and friends showed us there is interest in some join programs with the Museum of Flight and we are looking at options for future joint projects.
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Playhouse Made for Tacoma Children's Museum Auction

This summer we also teamed with the Boeing Management Association (BMA) active and the BMA Goldcard (retirees) to build a playhouse for the Tacoma Children’s Museum. This is an annual fund raising auction and this year the effort raised $85,000 from all sources. Our playhouse contributed $3,500 to the cause. We are working with other Boeing groups and agencies to see where we might be able to share resources for greater impact and effect.
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All Chapters Make the Season Special, Again

All the chapters had special programs for the Christmas holidays. There were adopt-a-family programs, shopping for gifts for children, gift certificates for food at Safeway, gift baskets for children at Children’s Hospital & Fred Hutchinson, cards & letters for nursing home residents and many other unique projects. Christmas seems to bring out the charitable giving in our members.

Merv Shetler

Chair, Central Leadership Council

September '04 Chairman's Corner

May '05 Chairman's Corner

Fall '05 Chairman's Corner

Summer '06 Chairman's Corner

To see Bluebills Volunteer Statistics, click on the chart icon to the left.

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 date of this page version: 27 February 2007