What’s Happening Week of 8-25-14
Rick Lemyre, /Executive Director of the John Marsh Historic Trust spoke to us about what’s happening out at the John Marsh stone house. Structural repairs and reinforcements have been completed, but there’s a lot of work that needs to be completed. In addition, there’s their work towards getting the state park open that would incorporate the John Marsh house.
John Marsh was a very interesting man.
“Doctor” John Marsh was born in 1799 in South Danvers, Massachusetts and murdered in Pacheco, California in 1856. He was an early pioneer and settler in California, and although he did not have a medical degree, is often regarded as the first person to practice medicine in California. He lived in Wisconsin, where he got involved in the Black Hawk War between the Sioux and their rivals, the Fox and Sauk, and was blamed for a massacre of the Fox and Sauk by the Sioux. As a result, he was forced to flee to New Salem, Illinois, taking his mistress and small child with him. Leaving them there, he returned to Prairie du Chien. His mistress, pregnant again and abandoned by her lover, tried to walk for several hundred miles to rejoin him. The journey exhausted her and she and the child died in childbirth. Marsh then gave his small son to a Painter family in New Salem to be raised, and once again became involved in Indian affairs. He was discovered selling guns illegally to some of the Indians and had to flee the territory, this time settling in Independence, Missouri, where he became a merchant. He visited his son once more, then his business failed and in 1836 he emigrated, in the employ of the American Fur Company to Santa Fe, New Mexico and thence to Southern California via the Santa Fe Trail.
In southern California, Marsh found that he was the only person who had any knowledge of western medicine. He presented his Harvard degree to the local Mexican Government of Alta California. The degree was written in Latin, which none of the local authorities could read, so they took his word and granted him permission to practice medicine. Marsh was quite successful in his new profession, but his prices were very high, sometimes as much as a head of cattle to deliver a baby. Nevertheless he is credited as being the first person to practice medicine in Los Angeles. Eventually he made enemies in Southern California and moved north in 1836, first to Mission San Jose (now in the city of Fremont, California). In 1838 he acquired the Rancho Los Meganos, a Mexican land grant, from Jose Noriega on what is now called Marsh Creek on the western edge of the town of Brentwood and just to the east of what is now Clayton, California (acquisition of the rancho seems to indicate that Marsh had become a naturalized Mexican citizen). The price was said to be $300 in cowhides. He thus became the first non-Hispanic white settler in what is now Contra Costa County. Marsh prospered there, but once again engaged in sharp business practices. He began to practice medicine, and again charged very high prices. There is some evidence that he cared for some of the survivors of the Donner Party while living near Mount Diablo. Marsh acquired tens of thousands of head of cattle and lived the life of a wealthy ranchero. In addition, he paid very low wages to his workers, and many of them hated him.
Marsh soon began construction of a magnificent home built entirely of stone quarried from the nearby hills. Abby chose the location of the home next to Marsh Creek, with a fine view of the surrounding valley and Mount Diablo, a few miles south of the present city of Brentwood, California. The entire cost of the home did not exceed $20,000. Abby died in 1855, however, before the Stone House was completed. Marsh ultimately moved into the new house about three weeks before he was murdered.
This is just a snapshot of John Marsh’s life. To preserve our local history contact the John Marsh Historic Trust to volunteer or donate money.
Today, Membership Chairperson, Olga Vidriales, led our group in an exercise designed to help us grow our membership. The photo below demonstrates exactly how she thinks we should go about this growth;
In all seriousness, we all know someone who would make a great Rotarian, we just need to engage them in the possibility of them becoming a member.
Here’s a guide to determining who would be a good Rotarian, where to find them and how to keep them engaged in Rotary.
The Perfect Rotarian
o Capable, Selfless, Committed
o Already involved in outreach programs
o In charge of their own schedule, Change agents, A heart for giving to others
Places for finding members
o Chamber mixers, Places of worship
o Look for Rotary pins & acknowledge their membership ,Engage them immediately, Invite Rotarians to join in activities, Giving warm welcome to new members
Here’s a quick video to inspire you!
Rotary – What’s In It For Me?
That’s not a question most people will ask out loud, but it’s an important one to answer none-the-less. It’s great to be able to give back to our communities and help others worldwide, but if you’re going to be completely honest, you can burn out quickly giving and giving of yourself.
So, why Rotary? What do Rotarians get out of their membership that really helps them? The answers are nearly as many as there are Rotarians, but here is a list of benefits that was put together by the attendees of the 2013 Rotaract Big West conference (10-12-13). This session was facilitated by Past District Governor, Laura Day. She also spoke to our club about this very same topic. (Photo below is PP Dirk Zeigler and PP District Governor Laura Day)
What’s In It For ME?
Friendships; lifelong, like minded, diverse, belonging, quality, being present with quality people
Reduce stress, have fun, keeps you young
Be excellent role models for your kids, family and friends
Social skills, free Beer (that is a Brentwood Rotary exclusive trait!)
Awareness, both locally and internationally. (This is especially important for retiree’s who may be out of the loop.)
Public speaking, confidence, attitude, inspiration, pride, support
Sense of empowerment, skills needed to move things forward
Work with all kinds of people, people different than you
Networking (this was #1 at our meeting)
Mentorship and guidance, Role models, have them and be one
Connect with your community
Time management and organization, Learn about business
Responsibility, teamwork, opportunities to meet leaders and celebrities
Persistance and persuasion
Job opportunities, Study abroad
Support and help in times of personal need
Did you see a benefit that speaks to you? If so, you may want to join us and see what Brentwood Rotary is all about. We promise fun and lots of camaraderie!
What’s Happening Week of 8-11-14
See the graphic below, there are still a ton of volunteer opportunities. I believe we need a couple more bodies for tomorrow at Heritage!
Thanks to those who stepped up and helped at Garin, Dirk is very appreciative. See below for fun photos from the Kohl’s shopping spree. Everyone had a great time. This year we were able to secure a donation of 30 backpacks from Jansport! Thanks to Rhonda for making the phone call that made that happen. It’s just one less item for struggling families to worry about when sending their kids back to school. I also heard that IPP Mike Crosby donated his Kohl’s store credit to the cause. Thanks Mike! This is an annual event where you definitely get back as much as you give!
Kohl’s Shopping Spree 2014
Did you sleep in this morning or were you out helping the kids of your community? Brentwood Rotarians helped kids of the Village Resource Center score some great Back-to-school clothes with the help of Kohl’s and First Bank.
What’s Happening Week of 8-4-14
Lots of volunteer activities coming up. If you can spare some time in the upcoming month please check out the calendar or Facebook page for all the activities we’re going to be participating in! Some involve cooking while others only need you to tell others about Rotary and what they can get out of it by joining!
Also, President Gursky’s surgery went well and hopes to be back at it in two weeks. After the business portion of our meeting was finished we had a fascinating speaker, Ed Daley from the Patriots Jet Team.
The all-volunteer Patriots Aerobics team has been flying since 2001 and uses the Byron Airport as its home field. They are a show team known for its fast-paced formation flying and choreographed six-ship aerobatic maneuvers. The planes, which are Soviet L-39 “Albatross” jet trainers and light attack jets, manufactured in The Czech Republic. These jets come to the Patriots in pieces with no reassembly instructions!
The first order of business is to strip off the old paint, rip out old heavy military radios and install lightweight solid state radios. One of the most interesting parts of the reassembly story is learning that the wings are held on by four large bolts. Those get screwed on and then the plane goes for a test drive!
The Patriots organization has always pursued a goal of serving area youth. It is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the youth of America with an appreciation for the Aviation and Aerospace industries. It is dedicated to inspiring young people to explore the fields of math, science, technology and engineering. Faithful volunteers visit local schools to host on-site demonstrations and science-related activities in hopes of igniting a spark in the minds of students to pursue a technical field. On August 23, the Patriots is planning to sponsor the First Annual Brentwood Air & Ski Show at the Orwood Resort. In-the-water performances will also be provided by a demonstration water team, called the Portland Water Spectacular. To learn more about the Patriots Jet Team, visit www.patriotsjetteam.com.
What’s Happening Week of 7-28-14
We had a busy but fun and informative meeting. First, we had 3 Interact students who gave us their impressions of Camp Royal and Camp Venture. Heritage High Interact President Stephanie attended Camp Royal. She said she learned how to lead and how to be a better person. Camp Royal was the best experience of her life to date. Also from Heritage are Manny & Michaela, they attended Camp Venture. They learned what it’s like to start a business, how to make a business plan and pitch their business idea to investors, etc. The experience got Michaela’s creative juices flowing which was really helpful since they only had 4 days to get everything done! Why is Manny holding a pool noodle? They were given the noodles the first day of camp. They had to keep it with them at all times to represent the dedication it takes to launch a new business. Speaking of new businesses, East County should be getting a low powered FM radio station dedicated to providing real time information for East county residents. The call letters are KLSN 92.9. Tony came to explain what’s involved, how the station will be funded and what type of programming they will offer. It sounds exciting and it seems a long way off till their planned initial broadcast in August 2015! Tony signs our ceremonial 5 feet of clean water pipe!
What’s Happening Week of 7-21-14
We had a fun and musical meeting, but first, we had just a little business to take care of. Brentwood Rotary donated $1,000 to Brentwood PAL. Officer Rucker was present to receive the check. After completing the business at hand, we were entertained by the Brentwood Theater Group who are putting on The Music Man. There were two performance groups, The Delta Dons and Luke who entertained us with some fantastic songs. During the 2014-2015 Rotary year, our speaker gift is a donation of 5 feet of clean water to a village in Africa. Member Jack Gaughn (and director of Music Man) received the certificate and signed our ceremonial pipe representing the clean water project.
First Meeting of Steve Gursky 7-14-14
We did a lot and still got out early! First, introductions of this years board. Carissa Pillow – Visioning, Bruce Ghiselli - Foundation, John Mancuso – Club Administration, David Roche – Sargent of Arms, Rhonda Krabber – Secretary, Steve Gursky – President, Mike Crosby – Immediate Past President, Olga Vidrialles – Membership, Dirk Zeigler – Youth Services, Jennifer Fink – Public Relations/Club Photographer, Jay McGlaughlin – International Services. Not pictured, Vicki Sexton-Treasurer, Shellie Seyer-Vocational Services, David Wahl – Assistant District Governor. After board introductions we introduced our newest honorary member, Jim Fraizer. Serving as the State Assemblymember for the 11th AD, Jim Frazier believes his chief responsibility is to serve the public. Community service has long been a passion for Jim prior to his time in office. He is not only co-founded The Network of Care which delivers snack and meal bags to 2,000 families with children in pediatric and trauma hospital units monthly and feed 150,000 families in the past decade but also helped create the Friends of Oakley- a Community Foundation which serves economically disadvantaged citizens in Oakley whose work feeds families and provides gifts to children through the Oakley Christmas Basket program. Jim is a long-time supporter of the special needs community where he work includes creating the 1st All-Abilities Playground in East County in Oakley, co-sponsoring the CAST for Kids Fishing Derby and financially supporting the creation of the Special Haven Multi-Sensory Room in Antioch which helps individuals with autism, brain injury, developmental disabilities, dementia and PTSD among others increase their focus abilities, self-esteem, well-being and changes behavioral abilities in a safe and peaceful setting. Over the past eight years, Jim has also been a dedicated volunteer for the Northern California Special Olympics Summer games held in Berkeley and most recently in Davis, CA. Most recently, he has become a member of the Advisory Board of Opportunity Junction, a local non-profit committed to helping low-income Contra Costa residents gain the skills and confidence they need to obtain and keep jobs. Enabling them to support themselves and their families through technology, literacy and personal development classes and get back on the road to economic self-sufficiency. For his community service and philanthropy, Jim has received a Threads of Hope Award for individuals who help strengthen the fabric of the community for his work serving families of hospitalized children and the prestigious Bay Area Jefferson Award for Public Service created by the American Institute for Public Service which honors community service and those making a difference in their community.
Final Meeting of Mike Crosby
(What a meeting it was!)
Mike ended his year with a bang. We inducted 2 new members (District Guide Steve Lack did the honors), recognized members with awards, honored a major donor to the Paul Harris Foundation, and as if that wasn’t enough we had PRIP Cliff Dochterman speak on being a Rotarian. It was a fantastic meeting (and chocolate dipped strawberries didn’t hurt the cause either!) Stay tuned for video of the meeting, but until, here are some highlights. Mikes first new member Bob Jones (at his very first meeting) finally gets his blue badge at Mike’s last meeting. Scott Goggin gets the Can Do Award. District Guide Steve Lack inducts 2 new members.
Demotion Party Highlights
Everyone who attended this weekends demotion party had a great time giving Mike the send off he deserves. It started with great food and fellowship then moved on to a roast hosted by Jack Gaughn. This photo of Don Huntington sums up a lot of feelings; The evening concluded with awards and the passing of the gavel. Vicki Sexton, 2013-2014 Rotarian of the Year