Rotary Meeting: October 20, 2020


PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN (Executive Director of Fairytale Town) kicked off the pre-meeting with some fun trivia. How many questions did you get correct?


ALLISON CAGLEY (Sergeant in Arms) (Executive Director of Friends of Sacramento Arts) introduced RIVKAH SASS (CEO of Sacramento Public Library) who gave our thought for the day. RIVKAH thought we could all use some wise and encouraging words about living life and making the most of things by learning and growing no matter what your age. This list is adapted from an article that was in the San Francisco Bay Guardian a few decades ago. Unfortunately, the author is unknown.


Fourteen Points To Live By

  1. Never cook on Friday.
  2. Working while pregnant is a drag and should be avoided if at all possible.
  3. Always have fresh flowers in the house, even if all you can afford are daisies.
  4. Not going barefoot at least once a day causes mental illness.
  5. Oppressed people really will always strive towards freedom.
  6. Allowing your son to play with guns will not necessarily cause him to become a war monger.
  7. Love is more powerful than hate, even if it is a lot slower.
  8. Baby Boomers are not the coolest generation in history.
  9. If your marriage isn’t fun, fix it or get out.
  10. Racism still stinks and progress against it is too slow.
  11. The purpose of life is to enjoy.
  12. Despite the fact that men are frequently annoying, male energy is needed to balance the universe (or vice versa). Learn to live with it.
  13. Despite the fact that children are frequently annoying, they are life’s greatest gift.
  14. Peace is possible.


GRANT BLEDSOE (President of Three Oaks Capital Management) led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.


KELLEY MORAN (President of Moran & Associates) was our meeting sponsor of the day and explained the joys of Bajrang yoga. KELLEY not only practices but also teaches yoga. He led us all in some calming breathing exercises that put us all at peace. KELLEY encouraged all Rotarians to join his happy hour with Bajrang on Thursdays at 5 PM, a 20-minute guided mediation held on the Zoom platform. If you are interested in KELLEY’S Bajrang happy hour, please reach out to him.



CLICK HERE to read more about Bajrang yoga

CLICK HERE to watch PRESIDENT KEVIN’S beautiful medley dedicated to KELLEY


JON SNYDER (Broker of Snyder Commercial Real Estate) led us in a eulogy for ERNIE FARRINGTON who recently passed from complications of a stroke. ERNIE was born in Nebraska and nicknamed “Moose.” Some of his early jobs included working as a forklift operator and TV repairman. ERNIE then moved on to UPS and up through the ranks of the company. At one point, he negotiated the union contract with Jimmy Hoffa! ERNIE moved his family to east Sacramento where he started Capitol Delivery Systems as well as Heaven’s Gate Pet Crematorium. He had a deep involvement in youth sports and youth philanthropy. ERNIE joined Rotary in 1975 and was best known for his “telegrams” during meetings. ERNIE was not only a successful businessman and family man but also an all-around fun guy who will be terribly missed. We all offer our condolences to ERNIE FARRINGTON’S family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you.



PRESIDENT ELECT BOB MILLER (Business Development Officer of First US Community Credit Union) reminded us that the term end is rapidly approaching. If you would like to nominate someone for a position, please contact BOB MILLER.


PRESIDENT KEVIN encouraged members to donate $100 before October 24th because that money will be matched by our Rotary District and the Gates Foundation to increase it to $600 in the fight against polio. Polio is eradicated in all but two (2) countries which are Afghanistan and Pakistan. Your contribution will help enable Rotary to achieve the eradication of polio everywhere.


CLICK HERE to donate to the fight against polio. Your $100 donation is worth $600!


JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Owner of Swentowsky Photography) needs three (3) more volunteers for meal services at Loaves & Fishes for Thursday, October 29th 10:30 AM to 2 PM.. Loaves & Fishes are taking precautions in light of COVID with social distancing and sanitization so please do not let that stop you from volunteering. Please contact JOHN SWENTOWSKY if you would like to assist. JOHN is also getting into the holiday spirit by ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Thank you, JOHN!


PAUL KEEFER (Executive Director of Pacific Charter Institute) is continuing his weekly volunteer opportunities with the River City Food Bank. SMUD has been volunteering in force, but we need more Rotarians to show everyone our giving attitude! The River City Food Bank currently needs volunteers from 8:30 to 10:30 AM or 10:15 AM to 2:15 PM for food distribution.


CLICK HERE to volunteer for the River City Food Bank between 8:30-10:30 AM

CLICK HERE to volunteer for the River City Food Bank between 10:15 AM-1:30 PM


JON SNYDER shared that his son, JAMES, and JAMES’S lovely wife, will be coming over from New Jersey to spend the month with JON. JON has donated $100 and stated that he may feel differently at the end of the 30 days. We hope you all make it through the 30 days and thank you for your donation, JON!


KATHY BREUER donated $100 as well, in honor of ART BREUER’S birthday. Happy birthday, ART and thank you, KATHY!


RIVKAH SASS reminded everyone to please vote and drop your ballots off at the Sacramento Public Libraries. Volunteers are outside the libraries on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 AM to 6 PM. Not only will you receive a friendly smile upon arrival, but also a courteous reminder to sign your ballot as well as an I Voted sticker. Consequently, if you are still making your decisions and need an explanation of the initiatives, Sacramento State currently has videos with in-depth explanations. RIVKAH donated $100 as well as a reminder to show some love to your local libraries! Many thanks, RIVKAH!


CLICK HERE to view Sacramento State’s initiative explanations


PAUL KEEFER stated that his son turned 17 recently and donated $100 in honor of that day. PAUL reminded Rotary that he will soon have two (2) children in college so squeeze as many donations out of him until that day. Happy birthday to your son and thank you, PAUL. Good luck to him when he does make the college journey!


JIM LEET (Attorney at Boutin Jones Inc.) is currently in the process of learning Latin with his 10-year-old granddaughter. JIM’S daughter is extremely interested in Greek and Roman mythology. JIM suggested to her that since she wanted to learn so much about it that she might as well learn the Roman language. She agreed to do one lesson a week with JIM. He donated $100 for the occasion. Thank you, JIM, et bonam fortunam (and good luck) on your Latin learning journey!


CHRIS ANN BACHTEL (Chair for the Day) introduced our guest speaker, PROFESSOR ROBERT EMMONS. PROFESSOR EMMONS, a UC Davis Professor, has written eight (8) books on generosity and gratitude as it relates to our happiness and his research has been published in dozens of major publications.


PROFESSOR EMMONS studied gratitude for over 20 years and calls it a life transforming view of the world with both science and data to back it up. Gratitude works and gratitude matters as it is one of the touch points of human nature and fundamental to understanding life itself. Gratitude has the power to heal, energize and change lives. While this may sound like a hyperbole, PROFESSOR EMMONS wanted to put this to the test. What is gratitude? You may think it is about saying thank you, being appreciate, or praising those who did something for you, but it is much more than that. Gratitude is a celebration of the good and recognition that this good is sourced outside the self. If you choose to focus on the good and notice the good, you can say yes through the affirmation of life and recognize that the good comes to us from outside ourselves.


There has been a huge surge in research on gratitude in the last 50 years. What we have basically learned is gratitude is all over the place and touches every aspect of life. It all began with this question: “Do we want to be happy; can gratitude unleash this happiness?” But how do we accomplish this? PROFESSOR EMMONS conducted random assignment placebo controlled experimental trials by asking participants to write down three (3) or four (4) things that are centered around gratitude. For example, there are many things in our lives that we might feel grateful about by thinking back on the past day and writing down five things in your life that you are grateful or thankful for. From ages 8 to 80, gratitude is available to everyone.


Gratefulness also increases emotional well-being as grateful people get along better with others, are less depressed, achieve more, pay-it-forward, and are more resilient to trauma. Not only are they happier, but it is measurable and sustainable. Gratitude is a good medicine as it lowers inflammatory biomarkers, blood pressure, cortisol and shows an increase in exercise, reduced smoking rate, and promotes better sleep. It is also great for businesses and in the workplace as a lack of gratitude can be attributed to absenteeism, incivility, gossip, and ostracism.


Why does gratitude work? It amplifies, rescues, and connects. These are the “ARC” of gratitude! Through the lens of gratitude everything looks better, bigger, and amplified to the good while turning down the volume on the bad. It helps keep our relationships going smoothly. Everyone can become good at being grateful. PROFESSOR EMMONS suggests journaling as well as letters and visits while broadcasting thankfulness. He encouraged Rotarians to write a letter to someone you would like to thank as the benefits are endless.


If you choose to see the world through grateful eyes, the world will never look the same way again. PROFESSOR EMMONS left us with a thought from Albert Schweitzer: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude.”


Allow us to show our gratitude with a huge thank you to PROFESSOR ROBERT EMMONS for joining us and reminding us how gratitude can change not only our outlook on life, but life itself. In honor of PROFESSOR EMMONS speech, Rotary will provide a polio vaccine to 100 children in vulnerable communities. If you would like to contact PROFESSOR EMMONS, his email is: and his Twitter handle is: @Dr_RobertEmmons.


Go forth with gratitude and remember the 4 Way Test:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?




Join us at the same time, same place for our next guest speaker, PROFESSOR MARY-BETH MOYLAN, Associate Dean at McGeorge Law School. PROFESSOR MOYLAN will review the ballot initiatives with us and has a longstanding expertise in politics and government. We look forward to learning from you, PROFESSOR MOYLAN!