By Nancy Teichert
President Todd Koolakian opened the meeting by thanking our cheerful greeters PP Walter Dahl, PP Peter Dannenfeiser, and Jim Culleton. Cell phone photography was provided by Jim Henderson. The wine reception was hosted by Golden Pacific Bank.
Thought for the Day presenter PP Dan McVeigh reminded all of us to forgive others and ourselves for whatever grudges are troubling us. “With the daily onslaught of news of the division in the country based upon politics, religious views, family tensions, and “us versus them” mentalities, it is important to remember,” he said. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou and others, on forgiveness, McVeigh concluded: “So sometime today think about who in your family, your work or your friends who have offended you or for whom you hold a grudge and find a way in your heart to forgive them their offense. It will likely free you in the process.”
Meeting sponsor Dee Hartzog donated her time to Laura Heintz of Stanford Sierra Youth and Families, which has aided youth and families for 120 years. Serving 20 counties, the program has helped 6,673 youths and their families, placed 149 foster youths into stable homes, provided mental health to 9,937 youths, and distributed backpacks stuffed with school supplies to 1,300 children.
Nationally, there are 437,000 children in foster care on any given day. Of the 60,000 in California, only 64 percent graduate from high school, 31 percent transitioning out of foster care experience homelessness, and 50 percent are unemployed at the age of 24. Stanford Sierra offers the Wonder Mentoring Program to pair caring adults with foster youth who get mentorship and guidance. “Every youth deserves a lifelong connection,” said Heintz.
President Todd introduced Stephen Norris, director of development for Juma, a program that offers youths a job, a chance to learn workplace skills, and counseling to plan a career. Zuma works with the Golden 1 Center, the Rivercats and other employers.
A new feature for meetings debuted with Culleton and Elfrena Foord quizzing members on how well they know others with Todd’s Tuesday Trivia. Nicknames was the category with two truths and a lie about fellow Rotarians.
- Leo McFarland was nicknamed Ace by his grandkids because he got a hole in one.
- Dick Osen was nicknamed Flinch because he was a goalie on his high school hockey team before they started wearing face masks.
- Latif Yusufi was called “Kodak” because he really likes cameras.
Number 3 was the lie. (Latif earned the Kodak nickname because of his affinity for colorful clothes.)
Share your nickname! Send Elfrena at email@example.com your nickname and a sentence or two on how it came about.
Who’s left standing? The next question was which members had 40 years of club membership. Top of the list was PP Bob Cole with 72 years, with a picture in the member directory which may date back to when he was 29 years old and he’s now 101! He was followed by others including Dick Noonan 48, Bob McLean 47, PP Frank Poelman 45, PP Dan Cole 45, Ed Melia 45, Steve Huffman 44, Mik Miklaus 44, Hugo Bogren 43, Jim Phillips 43, and PP Brian Van Camp 43.
In club announcements, Robyn DeLong invited those interested to buy tickets to go together to the October 26 evening performance of Les Miserables.
With the Sacramento Century Challenge bicycle ride from the Capitol through the Delta set for September 30, more volunteers are needed, said PP Susan Sheridan. Help is needed for the early check-in for the race, the Clarksburg rest stop and the SABA (secure bicycle site on the Capitol Mall). Bob Rosenberg added that five or more volunteers are needed to drive through the Delta and provide assistance to the riders.
Let’s Go Skiing was popular. PP Bob Miller donated money in honor of Sacramento State University’s big football win over Stanford; Rosenberg celebrated his 45th wedding anniversary; PP Wes Yee celebrated a European vacation and his late father being honored by the Railroad Museum, Yusufi celebrated an anniversary, PP Van Camp was proud of his 43 year membership; Judy Kjelstrom is now 8 years cancer free; PP Poelman enjoyed his 64th wedding anniversary and Bobby Reed boasted that his team won the chugging and running competition at Point West Rotary’s recent brewfest.
Justino Santana introduced guest speaker Cathy Rodriguez-Aguirre, president and CEO of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The chamber serves six counties with advocacy, connections and resources. She likes to “cheer” Hispanic youths, business and community leaders to get what they need to expand their growth and success. The chamber’s priorities are education, financial literacy, broadband access and home ownership. Sacramento’s businesses should market themselves to Hispanics. “Our community is part of everyone’s community,” she said. As is club custom, President Todd presented Cathy with a certificate of thanks showing that in her honor our club donated money to give 100 children vaccinations against polio.
Photos Courtesy of Jim Henderson