Pulse for the Week of January 30th, 2023
Brown Bag Day Next Tuesday
There is no regular Rotary Club meeting next week. It is Brown Bag Day, and you will be going to the BBD session for which you registered (hopefully). Look for an email on Friday with the details for your Brown Bag meeting. Our next regular meeting will be on Valentine’s Day and will feature Kitty O’Neal. Program information and the reservation link will be emailed next week.
A Passionate Reunion!
Recap of the Weekly Meeting of January 31, 2023
Reported by Nancy Teichert
Who knew what your fellow Rotarians sitting next to you every week were up to when you weren’t watching? Hidden passions were on proud display at this week’s meeting, which also served as our club’s first Reunion Day. Our members do a lot of extraordinary things in their spare time. The Passions Day table hosts included:
Realtor Robyn DeLong was barely visible behind the bountiful collection of hand-made, brown teddy bears with big red hearts, and smiling baby dolls with yarn hair of many colors and bows. All shapes and sizes are ready to give love to needy children. Many are donated to the Children’s Receiving Home and the Sacramento Children’s Home Crisis Nursery. If you want to buy one for yourself, you will pay an “adoption fee,” which is used to purchase more materials.
Lev Kaganovich (Construction Management) stood in front of a table covered with shot glasses collected during his U.S. and European travels, one from every country and city he and his wife, Galina, have visited. “It’s fun,” said Kaganovich. “But not much room left at home.”
Judy Kjelstrom (Education) displayed her passion for biotechnology and cell research and shared her table with Kathy Toschi (financial advisor), who is also an artist who paints and creates ceramic pieces.
Jim Phillips (Air Conditioning) is already recognized in our club as Mr. Yosemite for his annual snowshoeing trips to the park and his presentations to our club. He grew up on a family ranch in the region and delights in telling Yosemite’s history. He offered copies of his report on the first white people to see Yosemite Valley. In search of a route to the Pacific Ocean, the Joseph Walker party left Salt Lake City in 1833. They lowered their horses down cliffs by ropes but couldn’t reach the bottom of the valley. The next white visitors were two hunters chasing a wounded grizzly in 1849. It wasn’t until 1851 that an indigenous tribal chief helped white frontiersmen reach the valley floor. Assisted by Sarah Hodge, he also handed out ice cream cones, reminiscent of the days when he led club day trips to Yosemite that always culminated in the group feasting on ice cream.
Past President Jim Leet (Boutin Jones Law firm) displayed his backpacks, boots, and other gear he use on his hiking trips through Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Iceland, and other exotic locations. Next up for him is the Cotswolds and Wales in Great Britain. Another hiker Paul Keefer (Pacific Charter Schools) set up his small sleeping tent and other gear used on the Pacific Coast Trail.
Before she took up real estate, Jamie Furlong (Legacy Investment) used to design gardens and decorate wedding receptions with the flowers she loves. Her photos showed the brilliant colors of what was in season at what times. She still works with a local collective of flower farmers.
David Brandenburger may look like a real estate broker, but he also helps run the Loch Leven Lodge on the shore of Donner Lake. His family, with dad and Rotarian Stephen Brandenburger (resort proprietor), has owned the lodge for nearly 50 years.
Past President Peter Dannenfelser (Architect) removed the cardboard roof of a model house he designed. He was inspired to become an architect by his father’s hobby of building small toy planes. Peter still builds wooden planes to help children learn manual dexterity and how to make things fly.
We are very familiar with Clayton Lee (Investment Real Estate) who has made our club a leader nationally in Rotary for building water treatment facilities in Honduras, Ethiopia, and Uganda. His passion is focusing on engaging the villages in sustaining the clean water system after it is installed. In Uganda, the people dug 18 miles of trenches to deliver the water so needed. “You dig 18 miles of ditches, and you own this,” he said.
Bruce Hester (Multi-residential real estate) and his wife, Elfrena Foord (Financial Planning), have traveled the world to 106 countries and 46 territories. His world map displays a brightly colored flag for each trip. His goal is to reach 200!
Barbara Arnold is an ophthalmologist with an eye for beautiful river scenes. She started painting at age 10, and the Sacramento’s Delta is captured with her brush on linen canvases. Why does she do it? “Painting is like meditating,” she said. “Leaving home without changing addresses.”
After members took their seats for the regular meeting program, Sarah Hodge (Association of Water Agencies) offered a Thought for the Day. “Make the most of today. Live today with Gusto.” Others helping President LINDA GEERY (CFO, California Lawyers Association) manage the meeting included:
Greeters John McIntyre (Chief Philanthropy Officer for Mercy), Dave McKee (retired real estate), and Bob McLean (retired contractor), wine reception host Ed Melia (retired accountant), meeting sponsor John Massey (CFO, Luxe Aviation) and chair of the day Nancy Smith-Fagan (YMCA).
Massey donated his time to speak to Jamie Lou Waterhouse, who runs a nonprofit program called “Girls Love to Fly,” an all-girl flight school. Less than 6 percent of the people in aviation are women. Waterhouse, who used to be afraid of flying as a passenger, provides scholarships to women eager to learn.
ELFRENA FOORD offered up another Rotarian Spotlight, featuring January “babies” among our club members.
We learned that Kathy Toschi (Financial advisor) was adopted by German parents and has connected with her birth mother who is an author. Her first kiss was from none other than Bruce Springsteen when she was only 13 years old. Springsteen’s mother suggested the kiss.
Dr. Hugo Bogren (Radiologist) was trained as a physician in Sweden before practicing at UC Davis. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday by going on a cruise with 21 family members. He was an avid sailboater when younger.
Ed Melia (retired accountant) was a varsity football player before beginning his career. He’s happy to have three adult children who learned from his accounting experience to work and earn their own money instead of borrowing from him. Fun fact is that many of his children and grandchildren are female. When a family vote is taken, his wife, Barbara, usually counts the votes and wins.
Paul Keefer (Pacific Charter Schools) runs six charter schools. He’s into backpacking, golf, and many other sports. He is one of three generations of men in his family to become Eagle Scouts. He learned while camping to cut a hole in his tent so when a bear looks inside, he can spray it and run.
Neil MacMullan (Software Consultant) worked in technology sales for IBM and Microsoft before retiring. Fun fact is that he plays the French Horn, which he realized was one of the most useless musical instruments unless one is playing the Rolling Stones’ song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Bruce Hester (Real Estate) is the winner of the Broker Choice Award, which is given by commercial real estate brokers who would hire him as their broker. When in the Air Force, he bought a plane for $1,200 before getting his pilot’s license. During one flight, he had to make an emergency landing. Elfrena said, “As his wife, I’m glad it’s a past hobby.”
During club announcements, Bob Rosenberg (Real Estate) reminded us that pilot Brian Schul will be a popular speaker at the Feb. 28 meeting. Steve Huffman (Historical Association) urged members to sign up by the end of Thursday to get their preferences in for next week’s Brown Bag Day. And, Sarah Hodge and MAGGIE HOPKINS asked members to nominate someone for the Jean Runyon Award Nominations to acknowledge their championing women in business. Nominations can be made by clicking on this link: https://rotarysacramento.com/get-involved/jean-runyon-community-service-award/
During the “You’re A Gem for Giving” segment of the program, good news was reported by President-Elect Todd Koolakian (Sacramento Children’s Home), who went skiing with his husband. Sarah Hodge ran into Maggie Hopkins when delayed at the airport. Past President Beverly Brautigam (CPA) was pleased with her winery’s placement in a recent competition. Nancy Smith-Fagan is happy about her new job at the YMCA.
Smith-Fagan also introduced the guest speaker, Katie Kanowsky, a mental health professional who counsels people, including many children in the public schools. Kanowsky said finding your passion can help us find our purpose in life. There is power in finding your purpose which can relieve stress and anxiety, she said.
Once a pastry chef, Kanowsky said she realized that wasn’t enough of a purpose for living. “Happiness will increase if you live your life on purpose,” she said. Finding a central motivating aim in your life, not necessarily a professional vocation, will help you shape the course of your life.
Kanowsky went back to school at age 35. “I needed the energy that came from my passion, my purpose,” she said. Urging us to create the world we want to live in can help us live with purpose. “Lean into what makes you happy,” she said.
Past President Walter Dahl (Attorney) ended the meeting with the smile of the day.
(Photos courtesy of Virginia Wade and Judy Kjelstrom)