Rotary Meeting: July 20, 2021
Please note: Due to solar flares and global warming our meeting recording is not available this week.
On your marks, get set, go! The Olympic Games start in Tokyo on Friday, but Rotarians got an early start with Sacramento’s own Olympian STARR WALTON-HURLEY. She shares personal stories detailing the history of skiing in Northern California. Those tales include her own adventures on the U.S. Olympic skiing team in 1964. Our meeting Tuesday led by PRESIDENT BOB MILLER (Business Services Manager / First US Community Credit Union) opened with MICHAEL BULLINGTON (a Former Rotarian from Rotary Club) setting a festive mood with lively tunes on the piano. Greeters ART BREUER, MIKE GILLIGAN (Retired from RINA Accountancy Corp.) and KATHY HERRFELDT (owner of Home Care Assistance) worked the doors. APRIL JAVIST (Executive Director of the Sacramento Literacy Foundation) provided and poured the wine and PP DIANE WOODRUFF (Retired Chancellor California Community Colleges) took photos.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
ROBYN DELONG (Coldwell Banker) lit our Olympic fever by telling the tale of a heroic Olympian. “Imagine being in the ocean in a rowboat with sails – with winds of 40 miles per hour and 8-foot waves tossing you about. That’s what sailing competitors were facing in Seoul’s 1988 Olympics. Finn Class is set up for one person in a 14-foot dinghy and 470 dinghy, competition has two in a 15 1/2-footer. In the heat of competition, the will to win often takes priority, especially in the Olympics, with both individual and national glory at stake. But back in 1988, Lawrence Lemieux, leading his race in the Finn competition, set aside his dreams of Olympic gold to help two men who were racing in the 470. On the morning of Sept. 24, multiple races were sailing, with participants spread out over a 2-mile circle. Having done well in the first four races, Lemieux was in contention to medal and spent the early stages of the 5th race in first place. It was supposed to be the Canadian sailor’s year. The 32-year-old Lemieux was finally representing Canada in his preferred Finn class, and doing well. Then he spotted a flipped vessel about 100 yards south of him. He could see a man sitting on the overturned boat holding onto the centerboard. He spotted the second crew member in the water ahead of him, chasing his ship despite being weighed down by his gear. It was clear that the boat was drifting faster than the man could swim, and Lemieux feared he would be lost at sea – a prospect that forced him to stop and lend a hand. Lemieux dropped out of the race and rescued an exhausted Joseph Chan who had sustained a back injury but was otherwise unharmed. Pulling him aboard his single person craft in high seas carried its own risks. ‘Once I got him into the boat, I was concerned we were going to capsize ourselves,’ Lemieux says. When he reached the capsized boat, he learned they were missing a rudder and saw that Siew Shaw had sliced open his hand. He then set off to find the rudder so the Singaporeans could right their boat. It took him less than 15 minutes, but by then many of the Finn class competitors had raced past. Lemieux’s coach, meanwhile, had come looking for him, fearing the worst. Arriving just as Lemieux returned with the rudder, his coach took over the rescue effort enabling Lemieux to finish the race. Although he finished 22nd out of a field of at least 35, Lemieux has no regrets. He stayed in touch with the Singaporean men he helped rescue that day and the 3 sailors meet from time to time on the international circuit. Lemieux has become an in-demand coach. Because of his willingness to put service above self, Lemieux received a different medal – one for true sportsmanship – the International Olympic Committee’s Pierre de Coubertin Medal-an honor that has been bestowed upon fewer than 20 competitors. ‘By your sportsmanship, self-sacrifice and courage, you embody all that is right with the Olympic ideal,’ IOC President Samaranch told Lemieux when presenting him with the award. One could say, doing the right thing wins the gold every time.”
To watch a recap of the events that took place on the water that day click here.
PRESIDENT BOB led the club in the Pledge of Allegiance and Sergeant-At-Arms GIULIANO KORNBERG (Chief Revenue and Development Officer for the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera) introduced guests including our club’s YIP (Youth Incentive Program) members. PRESIDENT BOB initiated a new highlight for our meetings which is spotlighting the work of our club’s hard-working committees.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE ROTARIAN PULSE REPORTERS
PRESIDENT BOB thanked the entire Pulse Report Crew for their excellent work on the Pulse. BOB introduced JOHN GORALKA (President of the Goralka Law Firm). The Committee Chair, JOHN, personally thanked the reporters and team members. In particular, he thanked SULAF AL AJEELI (Membership Services Coordinator of Rotary Club of Sacramento), JIM CULLETON (President of Strong and Associates), DANIELLE MCGARRITY (Development Director of Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento), JOHN MCINTYRE (Chief Philanthropy Officer of Mercy Foundation), PAUL KEEFER (Executive Director of Pacific Charter Institute), SHIRLEE TULLY (Chief Development & Brand Officer at Capital Public Radio), NANCY TEICHERT (Retired Journalist), ANN SOLOMON (Regional Director for Western North America at the University of Auckland), JODI FORD (Legal Assistant at The Goralka Law Firm), MAEGAN BODILY (Director of Operations at The Goralka Law Firm), and SARAFINA ANGLERO-EVANS (Legal Assistant at The Goralka Law Firm), all of whom keep us informed by participating in the production of our weekly newsletter.
Coming up soon is the Sac Century Challenge on Oct. 2 chaired by PAST PRESIDENT SUSAN SHERIDAN (Retired Law). The bike ride will begin and end on the state Capitol Mall with a food and music festival. TODD KOOLAKIAN (Sacramento Children’s Home Crisis Nursery Program) encouraged members to participate by registering to ride, become a Challenge Champion to raise donations by sponsoring a rider, become a sponsor, or make a personal donation. The Crisis Nursery has served 2,047 children at risk for abuse or neglect because their parents need emergency overnight or day stays due to distress, medical emergencies or employment problems. Over the past three years, the bike ride has raised $249,024 to benefit the Crisis Nursery Program. Since the century’s inception, it has raised $450,000 for various charities. PRESIDENT BOB applauded the committee’s work and advised that when PP DIANE MIZELL (retired Credit) shows up as a caller on your cell phone to ask for a contribution, “Just say ‘Yes.’”
ERIC SOLIS (Wells Fargo financial advisor) updated the club on the Youth Incentive Program (YIP) which pairs members as mentors with aspiring students. The YIP matches at risk 7th graders with volunteer Rotary mentors for 5 years. This ongoing commitment is truly an example of Service Above Self by Rotarian volunteers. Since conceived by PAST PRESIDENT FRANK POELMAN (residential contractor), the YIP has awarded $200,000 in scholarships. Today, there are 9 students in the program and more club members are needed as mentors. NORM MARSHALL (Headwaters Construction) has mentored Angel Garcia for the past four years and who will attend University of California Merced. “He loves me as one of his own,” said Garcia. GABRIEL GENDRON (Residential Real Estate) introduced his mentee Tim Paige, who will be a freshman at University of California Santa Barbara. “He will always be there checking on me,” Paige said. APRIL JAVIST (Sacramento Literacy Foundation) has been a mentor to Grizzel Yanez for ten years. She now attends San Francisco State, and was recently named assistant editor of the university’s Poetry publication. “She’s a part of our family,” said JAVIST. A very special thank you to all the YIP mentors!
PRESIDENT BOB solicited volunteers for the on July 31 and to serve meals at Loaves and Fishes on July 29.
PAST PRESIDENT BEVERLY BRAUTIGAM (Sacramento Collaborative Divorce Group) invited everyone to a swim and barbecue at her Elk Grove home on Sept. 5. PRESIDENT BOB joked, “I will be there, but don’t let that stop you.”
There were a lot of members willing to pay donations to “Let’s Go on a Run,” because they had good news to share.
GIULIANO KORNBERG (Chief Revenue and Development Officer for the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera) donated $25 toward both his Paul Harris and Eddie Mulligan because he was featured on the cover of Comstock’s Magazine as one of the best young professionals in Sacramento.
MIKE GILLIGAN (Retired from RINA Accountancy Corp.) gave $500 to both his Paul Harris and Eddie Mulligan in memory of his mother who died at the age of 103.
Prompted by today’s space launch, PAST PRESIDENT FRED TEICHERT (Teichert Foundation) shared his great memory from 52 years ago when the first man landed on the moon. He was a 20-year-old in Florence, Italy, struggling to translate the big news to the Italians. He donated $250 to both his Harris and Mulligan.
ANN RYAN SOLOMON (regional director, Western North America at The University of Auckland) gave $50 toward her Harris and Mulligan in honor of her mother who turned 90 with all seven of her children. As well as in honor of Wally Funk, 82, the oldest person ever to go into space today on the Blue Origin and a sister alumna from Stephens College in Missouri.
Back to Olympic excitement, STARR WALTON-HURLEY talked of her joy of skiing with her Olympic torch at her side. She competed in the 1964 games at Innsbruck, Austria, as the top US finisher in the downhill run. “Once an Olympian, always an Olympian,” never a former or ex-Olympian, she said. Her first talk to our club, with her father, Stan Walton, as a member, was after she skied on the U.S. team. She carried the torch at the 50-year anniversary celebration of the Squaw Valley Olympics in 2010. Just imagine being one of only six women selected every four years to ski on the U.S. Olympic team! “Skiing is a way of life,” said Walton-Hurley. “It’s kind of magic, the privilege of being a skier.” Of course, she said, the first thing anyone asks her about being an Olympian is: “Did you win a gold medal?” “No, I didn’t,” she responds. “I did the very best I could do. That’s what’s really important. It’s inside you that makes you do your best.”
She started skiing in 1945 in Soda Springs, where her grandfather and great-uncle developed Sugar Bowl and the Donner Ski Ranch. Her mother had to sew a ski outfit for the three-year-old and she won her first race at age five. In the late 1920s and 1930s, her family built the Soda Springs Hotel and Rainbow Tavern and got the railroad trains going through the mountains to stop there. After her family moved to Sacramento, she still skied every weekend, forgoing her school proms.
Before the trials for the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley, she broke her foot and could not compete. Instead, she carried the torch at the opening ceremony. With her dad as her coach, she was both the Junior and Senior National Champion Skier of the Year by 1963 before becoming an Olympian the next year. At Innsbruck, there were 109 competitors in the Olympics and only 18 were women. “You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t want to win a gold medal,” she said. A member of the chapter of Northern California Olympians, she also served as the U.S. coach in the World Transplant Games, where people who have undergone transplanted organs compete. These days, she’s often on the slopes still skiing and staying at her family’s cabin in Soda Springs. Ever year, she skies with five other Olympian ladies in Vail with an average speed of 55 miles per hour. Walton-Hurley also is involved in a new ski venture – the SNOW Sports Museum which will be built near the entrance of Squaw Valley. Its mission is to preserve winter sports and the Olympic history of the Sierra Nevada region. She said it will need donations of memorabilia of skiing to put on display.
As a thank you gift, 100 people will be vaccinated against Polio in her honor. Dick Noonan (Excursion Railroad) also presented her with a pin from the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles.
Our Superheroes training camp is happening Saturday, August 7, 2021, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Ascension Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights.
- We will be harnessing our power by bringing together the three essential elements for our Rotary; building our memberships, increasing our Foundation giving, and getting our story out to our local communities.
- Register now by clicking here.
If you didn’t make it to the July 13th meeting, don’t fret! There’s still a chance to make it to the next one!
On July 20, 2021, from 12:10 PM – 1:30 PM, we will be meeting at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Next Tuesday’s guest speaker will we be Jot Condi of the California Restaurant Association. Jot joined the California Restaurant Association (CRA) in May of 1999 as the association’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, serving as the restaurant industry’s chief lobbyist in California. He was promoted to the position of president and chief executive officer on May 17, 2004.
Upcoming Rotary Club Meetings at a Glance:
- 8/3 – The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 12:10 – 1:30 PM
Speaker: Amanda Blackwood- Chamber of Commerce
- 8/10 – The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 12:10 – 1:30 PM
Speaker: Panel – Arts Nonprofits
- 8/17 – BROWN BAG DAY!
- 8/24 – The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 12:10 – 1:30 PM
Speaker: Dr. Olivia Kasirye- Public Health