Rotary Meeting, June 7, 2022
Rotarians were greeted by ELFRENA FOORD’s (Arata Brothers Trust) tickling the ivories on the piano providing wonderful background music and the sparkling smiles of PAST PRESIDENT PETER DANNENFELSER (Architectural Arts), THERESA WHEELER (Owner/Prevail Public Affairs)  and PAST PRESIDENT BRIAN VANCAMP (Owner, Van Camp ADR). Thank you ELFRENA FOORD, PAST PRESIDENT PETER DANNENFELSER, THERESA WHEELER and PAST PRESIDENT BRIAN VANCAMP for providing such a friendly and inviting beginning to our meeting.
Those smiles grew even larger and brighter as the Rotarians enjoyed the wine selection, donated by FORREST JUNOD (Retired/MD). Thank you FORREST JUNOD for sponsoring and providing the wine for our meeting.
VIRGINIA WADE was on hand to record the festivities with pictures and images. Thank you VIRGINIA for sharing your pictures and photographic talents. JOHN M. GORALKA, this week’s reporter was present to record the events from this newsletter.
PRESIDENT BOB MILLER (VP, Business Services / First Community Credit Union) gaveled the meeting to order. PRESIDENT BOB waxed nostalgic about the end of his term in about 24 days.  PRESIDENT BOB promised not only a peaceful but an enthusiastic transfer of power.
PRESIDENT BOB MILER then introduced our own THERESA WHEELER (Prevail Public Affairs) to provide our thought for the day. THERESA reached back to 1905 to Ukrainian writer and feminist LESYA UKRAINKA. The poem is entitled the CONTRA SPEM SPERO (which means “In the eyes of hope” or “against all, I hope”).
Thoughts away, you heavy clouds of autumn!
For now springtime comes, agleam with gold!
Shall thus in grief and wailing for ill-fortune
All the tale of my young years be told?
No, I want to smile through tears and weeping,.
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I want to live! You thoughts of grief, away!
On poor sad fallow land-unused to tilling
I’ll sow blossoms, brilliant in hue,
I’ll sow blossoms where the frost lies, chilling,
I’ll pour bitter tears on them as due.
And those burning tears shall melt, dissolving
All that mighty crust of ice away.
Maybe blossoms will come up, unfolding
Singing, springtime too, for me some day.
Up the flinty steep and craggy mountain
A weighty, ponderous boulder shall I raise,
And bearing this dread burden, a resounding
Song I’ll sing, a song of joyous praise.
In the long dark ever-viewless night-time
Not one instant shall I close my eyes,
I’ll seek ever for the star to guide me,
She that reigns- bright mistress of dark skies.
Yes, I’ll smile, indeed, through tears and weeping
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I shall live! You thoughts of grief, away!
THERESA- thank you for this very timely recital of hope even in the darkest of moments.
PRESIDENT BOB led us through the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge seems so much more meaningful now with the topic and videos of our meeting and even the news each night. PAUL KEEFER, acting Sergeant at Arms (Executive Director/Pacific Charter Institute) then introduced our guests.
ROBYN DELONG introduced Rotary’s newest member DEIDRE LYNN JOHNSON. DEIDRE is an Administrative Law Judge, retired. DEIDRE is from a military family. Her father fought in WWII receiving two (2) purple hearts. He fought at the Battle of the Bulge. Her mother served as a nurse in WWII. DEIDRE (“DEE”) JOHNSON’s background is both impressive and interesting. Click here for a more detailed description of her background story.  DEE JOHNSON’s membership was sponsored by ROBYN and DANIELLE MCGARRITY. Thank you ROBYN and DANIELLE!
Seated at the head table were LEV KAGANOVICH (Consultant/Energy, LEED & Commissioning Consulting), PRESIDENT BOB MILLER (VP, Business Services / First US Community Credit Union), VLAD SKOTS (Ukrainian American House), and JOHN MCINTYRE (Chief Philanthropy Officer / Mercy).
PRESIDENT BOB then asked us all to go for a run, BOB’s favorite part of our meeting where BOB seeks to have members part with their hard earned cash. BOB proudly noted that he had never been “shut out” or failed to negotiate donations.
  • DAVID BRANDENBURGER – contrituted in honor of his daughter, a Christian Brothers High School Graduate off to college in Connecticut on an Athletic Scholarship- she must have pretty awesome parents!
  • SARAH HODGE- SARAH noted that she had a very successful outing with her YLP students.
  • DAN MCVEIGH- DAN contributed in honor of his three (3) grandsons and a daughter moving to Europe for a year with her husband.
  • DEE JOHNSON- contributed in thanks for her Rotary Club membership. Thank you DEE – we are lucky to have you!
  • OLEG KAGANOVICH – LEV contributed in celebration of his upcoming trip to Europe. This will be his most extensive trip to date. Safe travels LEV!
INTERESTED IN SPONSORING A MEETING? This is a great way to get your message and your favorite charities message to the Rotary membership, contact PRESIDENT BOB today.
Our esteemed chair of the day JOHN MCINTYRE (Chief Philanthropy Officer/ Mercy) noted that there are presently 52 Rotary Clubs in Ukraine- none in Kyiv alone- so, despite the fact that Rotary is not a political organization, we all have a personal stake and significant interest in the tragedy underway in Ukraine. As Rotarians, we abhor suffering and injustice, and are committed to finding just and peaceful outcomes and resolutions, while supporting relationships that are “good for all concerned.”
It’s with that as context, it was JOHN’s privilege to introduce today’s speaker, VLAD SKOTS:
  • An immigrant to the US from Ukraine,
  • A successful entrepreneur in shipping and transportation management both nationally and internationally, and
His work with UKRAINIAN AMERICAN HOUSE has been important since he founded it in 2018 – after all, there are more than 15,000 Ukrainians in Sacramento County, one of the largest concentrations in the country – yet since the onset of the war, that work has only become more urgent and vital.
MR. VLAD SKOTS shared his own very personal journey of his life. VLAD truly exemplifies the American Dream and Rotary’s goals for service above self. VLAD arrived in America with $1,000 and could not speak English. He worked as a janitor at a Chinese restaurant and went to school at night to learn English. He became a truck driver and fell in love with the “big variety” of geography, landscapes used traditions in America.
While VLAD described his own remarkable journey, VLAD kept the focus on the ongoing tragedy that is now Ukraine. VLAD briefly described his life in Ukraine prior to February 24, the invasion. VLAD then focused on life in Ukraine now.
In his PowerPoint which is attached, you will find a map of Ukraine covered in red dots throughout the country. These dots represent the missile strikes on the first day, February 24. While the Ukrainian people were aware of the danger before the invasions, they believed that they would be protected from a massive, overall invasion from our modern society and from the earlier agreement when Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons.
VLAD noted that within the last 10 days, large grain storage facilities were destroyed by the Russians. This will create a food emergency for the entire world. VLAD’s PowerPoint and video provide a detailed description of the state of Ukraine today. The video, in particular, is both compelling and disturbing.
06/14/2022 – RYAN & ALEXIS SMITH – Room Redux Sacramento Roomredux  Room Redux Sacramento provides Bedroom Transformations for local children who experienced physical or sexual abuse. These transformations help support these victims’ mental health and healing from those traumatic experiences. You will not want to miss the opportunity to learn about this little-known and very important program.
06/21/2022 – KATHY LESTER – Sacramento Police Chief – Learn about the good and bad in Sacramento from our Chief of Police!
06/28/2022- Recognition Day!