The Pulse

Written by John Wood

It was an action-packed day at ye olde Rotary Meeting this week, as President Todd offered the Rotary Confab a multitude of ways to put the “Service” in “Service Above Self.”

After the usual “thank yous” for those Rotarians who helped with the meeting festivities this week — greeters Tom Bacon, Jaydeep Balakrishnan (say that three times fast) and Gary Bazlen (say that ten times fast), photographer Virginia Wade, wine sponsor Jim Henderson, and Pulse Reporter, Yours Unruly — President Todd beckoned forth PP Jon Snyder for the thought of the day, who beckoned forth Albert Einstein, and his quote of “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.  The important thing is not to stop questioning” — which led to a question of where the flag was this week, as we saluted an imaginary one in its absence (it may have gotten lost in Einstein’s time-space continuum).

Next up was PP Peter Dannenfelser and his three minutes of fame as this week’s meeting sponsor, who donated his time to promote the good works of Fairytale Town (for which he is a Board Member) — not just the park that we’re all familiar with, but also its Adventure Playground that serves 1,200 families in South Sacramento.  Donations to support the playground are available — see Peter for details.

Speaking of Rotary Meeting Sponsors, co-chairs Megan Laurie and Danielle McGarrity are looking for a bunch of them, and I can’t think of a better person for the job than you!  Not only will you support the club directly with your $350 contribution, get to promote your business or favorite nonprofit to the highest quality members of the monied class, and snag that front row parking spot on meeting day, but Danielle and Megan have introduced the latest in Rotary swag — the Rotary Meeting Sponsor of the Day Beverage Koozie.  All of you who claimed the Rotary Sunglasses as Meeting Sponsors last year, polish off your pitch, sponsor again this year, grab yourself a beverage koozie, and be the picture of Rotary cool.

Speaking of cool, Tom Bacon, lead guitarist of the Rotary Rockers, and the Big Kahuna of Sac Century Challenge Champions, encourages YOU to become a Challenge Champion, too.  You don’t have to bike a gazillion miles — you just have to be a social influencer in your world, get the word out about the Sac Century and the Sacramento Children’s Home Crisis Nursery that it benefits, and make some rain by shepherding your crowd to the Sac Century donation page.  See Tom for details.

Want to help out with the Sac Century, but don’t want to be a Challenge Champion?  Sign up to volunteer before, during, or after ride day at the volunteer site here:

While we’re on the subject of giving, President Todd advised that over $500,000 has been donated by Rotary Clubs nationwide to Hawaiian Rotary District 5000 for their Maui Fire Relief fundraising efforts.  Now that’s the power of Rotary.  It’s not too late to help — you’ll find District 5000’s donation page here:

Turning to the Rotary social calendar, we have:

  • PP Hal and PP Beverly’s ever-popular Swim Party and BBQ this Sunday (8/27) – check in with the Rotary office or Beverly for details;
  • John Swentowsky is looking for a couple more volunteers for Loaves & Fishes next Thursday (8/31), so see John for more info; and
  • President Todd, and his partner, Mark, are hosting a Fireside in their home on September 14th.  Todd admits to having a “New York Yankees Room” in the house, so sign up for the event and see for yourself just how deep Todd’s obsession runs for his Bronx Bombers (with John Swentowsky enabling Todd’s addiction with a gift at the meeting of a Roger Maris bobble-head doll from his recent visit to the house that Ruth built).

By the way, if you feel that one of our fellow members is a particularly fine example of Rotary volunteerism (like John Swentowsky), President Todd would like to know.  He’s taking nominations for this year’s Rotary Member Spotlights, which will feature the exemplary Rotarians in our midst (like John Swentowsky).

After a generous round of self-tithing by several Rotarians, President Todd called upon April Javist to introduce our speaker of the Day, Rob Stewart, of PBS KVIE’s “Rob on the Road” fame — a show Rob said was created by our own PP Kevin Smith-Fagan in his pre-Fairytale Town days at PBS KVIE (today the show would be called “Rob on the Crooked Mile”).

In addition to the Emmy-winning show that bears his name, Rob also hosts the PBS show, “America’s Heartland”, which highlights American agriculture.  In both cases, Rob likes to live and promote the tenets of “Be in the Now”, and “Live in a State of Hope.”

An entertaining talk, as you might expect from Rob, whose grandfather was a Rotarian.

Our speaker next week is forensic psychologist, Dr. Andrew Mendonsa, so show up next week and have your brain fingerprinted, and commit to taking action on at least one of the service opportunities covered at this week’s meeting!

John Wood


Photos Courtesy of John Swentowsky, Swentowsky Photography