The Pulse for the Week of August 15th, 2023
The Pulse
by Jim Culleton
The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” set the tone for our weekly meeting with PRESIDENT Todd Koolakian (Director of Philanthropy/Sacramento Children’s Home) at the helm. He graciously thanked our greeters, CHRIS ANN BATCHEL (Retired), MEGAN WYGANT (ED/CLARA Studios), and AMIN ELMALLAH (Retired/California State University). Photography by JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Swentowsky Photography) and the wine reception hosted by the entire club were also acknowledged.
Welcome Guests
Guests included Lori Korleski Richardson, Moira Doherty, Harold Bellamy, Steve Boutin, Scott Masten, Assistant District Governor Kathy Clemens, Bruce Hagel, and David Clemens.
Thought for the Day
PP JIM LEET (Attorney, Boutin Jones, Inc.) gave us the Thought for The Day and shared the following comments:
“Our fundamental starting point, with guns and everything else, is this: What policies help us live well together? What’s best for the most? What’s good for the common good? What policies are vital for humans to thrive? We are not just thinking individualistically, but as a ‘polis,’ as people—less about the ‘I’ and ‘me’ and more about the ‘We’ and ‘us.’ There’s something that unites us that is deeper and more profound than all the stuff that divides us. Something that unites across party lines and transcends labels and categories—our shared humanity.
To be fashioned by our shared humanity is to be an image of love; that is, to be life-giving, generative, imaginative, and full of ideas. All of us are gifted with this potential. We are not consumers; we are creators! In fact, create more than you consume. Create peace and justice. Create connections between diverse peoples. Create art and music. Plant, grow, cultivate life. Create love and support for family, friends, and the community. Our gifts, whatever they may be, should be used to bring about a more life-giving world.”
Meeting Sponsor
JIM LEET also sponsored the meeting and generously donated his time to MEGAN WYGANT of CLARA Midtown. She is in need of an intellectual property attorney. The call for assistance has been made. CLARA aims to provide arts access to all ages and offers early education from kindergarten through sixth grade. Being involved in the arts contributes to better performance in school. Noteworthy developments are taking place at CLARA, where they educate youth, our entire community, and numerous schools.
Welcome Our Newest Member
SARAH HODGE (ACWA) introduced our new member, MEGAN MASTEN, from Acuity Technical Solutions LLC. Megan, a Sacramento native and proud Sac State graduate with a business degree, has been working at Acuity Technical Solutions for the past 3 and a half years in business development and outside sales. She expanded the software and hardware sales of the business, which previously only offered IT consulting services. Megan serves on the advisory board and co-chairs the small business committee for Tech CA, California’s public sector technology association. Before Acuity, Megan interned at Visit California. Outside of work, Megan is an avid reader who enjoys road trips. Her faith is of great importance to her, and she is an active member of Society Church. Megan also has a passion for live music and can share stories about Shrek raves.
  • Assistant District Governor Kathy Clemens presented Todd with a few gifts, including chocolate.
  • President Todd called for Sac Century Lead Committee Members:
1. Rest Stop Coordinator
2. SAG Drivers and Ham Radio Coordinator
3. Road Sign Placement and Pick-up (2, maybe 4 people total)
If you are able to fill any of these roles, please contact the event chair PP Susan Sheridan or President Todd so to ensure the ongoing success of our biggest fundraiser.
For more Sacramento Century volunteer opportunities please click here to visit the volunteer page.
  • John Swentowsky could use a few more volunteers at the end of the month for Loaves and Fishes.
  • Todd also announced the establishment of a Maui Fund to assist those devastated by the recent fire in Hawaii. If you would like to donate, please contact the Rotary office.
President Todd’s Levels of Giving
  • President Todd shared photos of his family vacation in Cape Cod
  • PDG Fred Teichert (ED/Teichert Foundation) generously donated on his 75th birthday. He also thanked Kathy, our Assistant District Governor, for her dedicated work.
NANCY TEICHERT (Writer/ Retired Journalist) introduced our speaker, Dr. Garen Wintemute, who spoke on “Firearm Violence: What We Can Do.”
We all recall the names: Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Parkland, the Tree of Life synagogue, the Pulse night club. These high-profile mass shootings claimed around 700 lives. However, they represent only a small portion of the people who die due to gun violence. There are names we don’t know, and over 120 people are killed each day by firearms in the US. Suicides have long accounted for the majority of these deaths. Individuals aged 75 and older face the highest risk. Many of us have been touched by these numbers. I, for instance, had a close relative who, overwhelmed by his wife’s health problems, took his own life with a shotgun. Furthermore, violence is the leading cause of death for children and teenagers from one to nineteen years old, as well as for young adults under twenty-five. As an emergency room physician, our speaker realized that by the time gunshot victims reached the hospital, most were already dead or dying. Firearm violence is a critical public health issue that must be considered in our nation’s understanding and experience of the Second Amendment. For over three decades, our speaker has produced over 200 scientific studies on the health impacts of guns as the founding Director of the violence prevention research program at UC Davis and the California Firearm Violence Research Center. He has dedicated his life to improving public health in this challenging and controversial area.
Dr. Garen Wintemute, an Emergency Room doctor, shared some staggering facts with us.
The years 2019-20 saw the largest increase in firearm violence and firearm suicide ever recorded. In 2020, it became the leading cause of death for children aged one to nineteen. Garin discussed the history of background checks and their implications on society. He also commented on the impact of introducing a gun into a home, dispelling the notion that it makes the household safer. In fact, the opposite is true. Among blacks, whites, and Hispanics, males aged 20 to 24 have the highest death rates.
Dr. Garen Wintemute continued with a series of slides (see slides below) outlining potential actions:
1. See something, say something.
2. Improve our policies.
3. Violence Intervention Programs.
4. Improve care for substance abuse and mental health.
5. Enhance access to healthcare, education, jobs, income, and housing.
6. Be the change you wish to see.
During the Q&A session, topics covered included gun transactions, background checks, banning high-capacity magazine clips for rapid-fire weapons, and “Stand Your Ground” laws.
NEXT WEEK – Rob Stewart “Rob On The Road”
  Rob Stewart of the famed Rob on the Road on PBS KVIE will be our guest speaker on August 22, 2024. Rob has connected the people of Sacramento across an unlimited number of topics including our own April Javist and early literacy and Giuliano Kornberg with Mayor Steinberg on the arts. Be sure to get to the meeting early as Rob will walk us down memory lane of his last 12 seasons and what his next 12 seasons will bring.
Presentations slides from Dr. Garen Wintemute are below.
Photography Courtesy of JOHN SWENTOWSKY of Swentowsky Photography.