Rotary Meeting: February 1, 2022
PAST PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN (Executive Director, Fairy Tale Town) called us to order with a celebration of Lunar New Year…the Year of the Tiger is now upon us! PAST PRESIDENT KEVIN shared a bit of history: on February 1, 1914 our Club was formally chartered by Rotary International – and to this day descendants of the founding members remain active in Rotary.
PAST PRESIDENT KEVIN thanked our Meeting Sponsor, PAST PRESIDENT DR. WES YEE (Yee Dental Care) and Chair of the Day DICK OSEN.
Huge thanks to the Rotarians who served as Greeters, Past President FRANK POELMAN (Poelman Company Ltd) and SAM JAROSZ (Public Relations and Communications Director, Salvation Army); Wine reception host DR. BARBARA ARNOLD (Opthalmologist, Barbara J. Arnold MD); and Photographer JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Swentowsky Photography).
PAST PRESIDENT PETER DANNENFELSER (Architectural Arts) cautioned us to avoid the “Us vs. Them” mindset that permeates much of the media coverage we see and focus on how much more we have in common than what separates us. Let’s reach out and help our neighbors, and grant others grace and space during these challenging times.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS GIULIANO KORNBERG (Executive Director, Sacramento Philharmonic) introduced our meeting guests: Prospective Rotarians PETER COYL (Sacramento Public Library), guest of RIVKAH SASS (CEO/Sacramento Public Library), MARY JO STRENG, guest of JIM STRENG,  RORY ACHESON, and BOB W.
PAST PRESIDENT DR. WES YEE donated his time to CATHY LEVERING (Executive Director, Sacramento District Dental Society and Foundation). CATHY explained that the Dental Society is made up of dentists from a five-county area. Their signature program, Smiles for Kids, partners member dentists with local schools to screen and provide dental education to thousands of children each year, totaling more than $1 million in pro bono services each year. Dearly departed Rotarian DR. SKIP LAWRENCE and DR. WES YEE were instrumental in connecting the Dental Society & Foundation with our Club, which provided them with their first grant of $65,000 (matched by Sierra Health Foundation to become $130,000 in impact!)
KATHE NATHAN described the Meeting Sponsorship Committee and how much she has enjoyed having the chance to reach out and talk with members she doesn’t always get to engage with. Meeting sponsorship is a great tool for anyone to share their passion by inviting a nonprofit they care about up to speak for 3 minutes or (for newer members especially) to share their work with the Club (anyone interested in either sponsoring a meeting or joining the committee should contact KATHE.)
  • KATHE NATHAN reminded us that the national blood shortage continues, and it’s easy to give at your local Vitalant center – make an online appointment today!
  • PAUL KEEFER (Executive Director, Pacific Charter Institute) shared that two families are lined up to host our Rotary Youth Exchange student beginning this Fall. We look forward to introducing our student to everyone!
Chair of the Day DICK OSEN welcomed Sacramento County Supervisor DON NOTTOLI, District 5 representative (a region with more than 300,000 people that stretches from Rancho Cordova down to Galt and the Delta communities.) After 28 years of service, Supervisor NOTTOLI has decided not to seek reelection this Fall.
Supervisor NOTTOLI thanked the Club for all that we do and the many agencies we represent. After a moment of silence for Elk Grove police officer Ty Lenehan, Sup. NOTTOLI shared his hope that when we look back on these last two years of the pandemic, it will have resulted in us becoming stronger and more compassionate toward each other. He believes the County is seeing the peak of our Omicron surge; case rates are down, and vaccination numbers continue to increase. Recently 90,000 COVID tests were distributed by Sacramento Public Libraries in a matter of days.
Sup. NOTTOLI explained Sacramento’s process for allocating its $300 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds (half of which we’ve received and the other half is due in May 2022). A community survey of 1,500 residents found that top priorities were affordable housing, homelessness, public health and business support. A detailed list of expenditures can be found on this County page.
Homelessness remains a very troubling issue for our region, and the Supervisor shared that in response to a recent complaint from the American River Parkway Foundation, new Park Ranger positions have been added and more clean-ups scheduled. It remains a struggle to provide enough shelter beds, and officials cannot legally relocate unhoused individuals unless a shelter bed is available. Volunteers are needed for the annual “Point in Time” count of unsheltered individuals in our region on Feb. 23 and 24. Sup. NOTTOLI encouraged Club members to sign up for a volunteer shift.
Given recent redistricting in both the City and County and several upcoming elections (County Supervisorial Districts 1,2 and 5, Sacramento Sheriff and District Attorney), Sup. NOTTOLI encouraged everyone to remain involved and engaged with their elected officials now and into the future.
Didn’t get a chance to make it to last week’s meeting? Don’t fret! There is still a chance to make it to the next one! Join us Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church from 12:10-1:30 PM to hear guest speaker Mike Pereira, football officiating expert. Mike Pereira is a former American football official and later Vice President of Officiating for the National Football League and currently the Head of Officiating for the United States Football League. Since 2010 he has served as a rules analyst for Fox Sports, for which he has gained the nickname, “Mikey Rule Books.”
  • 2/15/2022- Dark