Brentwood Rotary Roundup

.: Past Meeting Review :.

Past President Dirk Ziegler – The Importance of Youth Services – September 19th, 2016

Thanks to Dirk Zeigler, our Youth Services Chair, on a thorough presentation about Youth Services this week. We all enjoyed learning more about Rotaract, Interact, RYLA, Camp Royale, Camp Venture and Youth Exchange. We are glad our club has such a strong Youth Services component at all three local high schools and beyond. Youth Services is a very important and growing part of Rotary; and is key to getting our message out there to our future leaders.

Speaking of youth…what a perfect meeting to honor our local high school students-of-the-quarter! We all enjoyed hearing what these brilliant minds are doing and where they’re going. Thanks to Liberty Union High School’s Superintendent Eric Volta for bringing these tenacious teens in to share their accomplishments.

An enormous congratulations to Lori Avon, our club Treasurer, on her Rotarian of the Month award. Lori has worked diligently on our financials and budget to keep the club fiscally prudent. Thank you Lori, we are grateful for your service to the club and community!

Finally, a warm and happy birthday to Bob Jones, Silky Sahnan and one of our club photographers, Muhammad Saadiq!

Tara Sanders – Work-Based-Learning: Developing a Strong Workforce – September 12th, 2016

A giant thank you to Tara Sanders, Community Development Supervisor at Los Medanos College. The club learned a great many things from her informative presentation this week. Work-Based-Learning is an instructional strategy that involves employers and prepares students for success in future careers. Some attributes of it include multiple activities, employer site tours, classroom guest speakers, short-term job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships. The significance of the program is that it exposes students to a talent pipeline, develops a more talented workforce, trains prospective employees in company culture and helps assess potential employees.

A huge Happy Birthday to Stephanie Fischer, Don Barnhill, Gus Vina and Thais Kishi. And a Happy Anniversary to Jennifer and John Fink; and Mac and Nancy Kaiser.

Club Assembly – Financials, Projects, Goals, Family Feud? – August 29th, 2016

Our monthly Club Assembly was another success today. The productivity of the serious business of the assembly work was lightened-up by our sergeant-at-arms with a fun, light and comical round of Family Feud. We like to balance the dedicated work of service with some healthy banter and good-times. As for the nitty-gritty…President Olga Vidriales announced that we recently won a third-place award of $397 per capita giving to the District Annual Fund for a $35,000 total giving to the Annual Fund. We were updated and kept informed of our ongoing service projects, club goals and objectives, public relations status, bonus meeting, foundation and endowment giving. President Vidriales stayed true to what’s important; reminding us about her number one priority “Being Passionate” about Rotary, and about all things service.

Steve Lack, Past District Governor – Club Fundraising – August 22nd, 2016

Today, Steve Lack shared a wealth of knowledge with the club on fundraising. What makes a fundraiser successful, beneficial and fun? He provided the great pointers on how to make a fundraiser fantastic; define your purpose, set a goal, set a budget, define your target audience, develop multi-prong marketing plan, free up the money in the wallet, identify the WOW factor by exceeding audience expectations. Mr. Lack was very supportive and enthused  with one of our club’s largest fundraisers, the upcoming Autumn Gala, and the substantial success and interest it has gained in our community.

Mr. Lack also discussed the annual allocation of our district’s club fundraisers including $3,000,000 for local service and $450,000 for international. This ultimately translates in to 450 scholarships district-wide for a total of $578,000 or $1,248 per club average. Now that’s support for local education! GREAT work Rotarians!

Dave Wahl, shared a significant topic in his final History of Rotary in About Forty Minutes. Let us remember that the importance of Rotary is happiness, which comes from helping others.
+ If you want happiness for an hour—take a nap.
+ If you want happiness for a day—go fishing.
+ If you want happiness for a month—get married.
+ If you want happiness for a year—inherit a fortune.
+ If you want happiness for a lifetime—help others. (Chinese proverb)
We couldn’t agree more Dave! Outstanding job with The History of Rotary in About Forty Minutes! We all have thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the roots and culture of our club.

Finally, a huge congratulations to Linda Hardcastle and Alan Buetow on earning their Blue Badge status. Way to make Service Above Self a priority!

Fred Collignon, District Governor – District Update, August 15th, 2016

Our club’s Board of Directors had the pleasure of having a special meeting with District Governor Fred Collignon today, his wife and team were also in attendance. Mr. Collignon praised our club for our outstanding work in the community, for engaging new members and for our strong youth services programs. He also gave the board some good direction and suggestions on building upon these strengths to improve the overall success of our club even more.

During his presentation to the club Mr. Collignon recognized our district of 71 clubs and its accomplishments.
+ For example, with 5,000 in youth programs, we have the largest Rotaract contingent in the nation; and the second largest Interact.
+ We are in the top 10 in foundation contributions.
+ We are engaged in community service projects near and far.

Our club was glad to have Mr. Collignon and his team share their experience with the club and the healthy status of the district with our members.

Fred Ehler, Past President – What is a Rotary Fellowship anyway?
August 8th, 2016

Our very own Past President Fred Ehler shared with our club about what a Rotary Fellowship is and the significance of one. Per Fred, a Rotary Fellowship is a group of Rotarians and Rotoractors who get-together to share common interests. Examples of some Rotary fellowship groups include chess, marathoners, antique automobiles, yachting, curling, railroading, wine appreciation, golfing and many more. A few of the benefits of a Rotary fellowship are an opportunity to learn a new hobby or interest; and making new and lasting friendships outside one’s own club, district or region. Would you like to learn more about getting involved in a Rotary fellowship that might interest you? Take a peek at to learn more. Thanks for keeping us informed Fred!

Mike Crosby, filling in for Dave Wahl, on The History of Rotary minute, elaborated on a different Rotary Fellowship that we’re sure Mr. Wahl himself would enjoy. The Rotary Global History Fellowship is an Internet based project, investigating the history of Rotary. Look it up for more information or to find out how to get involved.

Boy Scout Zach Peterson also joined us with an update on his Eagle Scout project. His project at Saint Anne’s church in Byron, which included constructing trellis frames and building benches, is now complete. Way to go Zach!

Our club celebrated some very special birthdays and anniversaries this week. Don and Rae Huntington have enjoyed 51 wonderful years together; and David and Veronica Roche are celebrating 31 great years. Congratulations! David Roche is also celebrating a special birthday. Happy Birthday David!

Laura Day, Past District Governor – Boosting Membership – August 1st, 2016

The energetic and enthusiastic Laura Day shared with us how to attract, engage and retain new members in an effort to enhance the Rotary experience and expand our reach of service in the community. So what exactly do our new members want? Here are a “few” of the answers – friendship, a network, professional development, connection with the community, an avenue to give back, stay active, get children involved, reduce stress, build confidence, humanitarianism, inspiration, foster a good attitude, learn, work with all kinds of people, opportunity to “do good”, pride, responsibility, stay youthful. Ms. Day also reminded us that Rotary is changing and admits that it doesn’t have all the answers. She suggests being ready to grow via new, “methods and means”. “Rethink everything. Be flexible and innovative”, she said. She also discussed being fun and vibrant in an effort to attract new members; and to consider being flexible with meeting dates and times. So what is Rotary? A leadership organization. We meet regularly, get to know one another and form friendships in the name of service.

In his History of Rotary, Dave Wahl touched on Rotary Peace Centers at Chulalongkorn University and introduced former Los Medanos professor Maria Tuttle studying as a Peace Fellow.

Happy Birthday to Howard Bowles, Lynn Valintis and Rhonda Kraeber. And Happy Anniversary to John Mancuso.

Joel Keller, BART Director – “It’s Time to Rebuild” – July 25th, 2016

Joel Keller shared some interesting facts and information about Bay Area Rapid Transit this week. Our club found it interesting to learn that while the idea of BART started in 1946, BART didn’t actually open until 1972. See the following picture of opening day at Lake Merritt. BART is comprised of a $3.5 billion infrastructure and rolling stock. Ridership is escalating at 435,000 per day, seats are sometimes completely filled, BART employs the oldest railcars in the country. Mr. Keller explained that eight new cars are on order from Switzerland (with 306 ultimately planned). According to Mr. Keller, 76% of BART’s operating costs are currently paid for by customers. BART is now testing the eBART trains and is looking at about 1.5 years to implementation. Mr. Keller informed us that the Delta Transit Center in Brentwood is currently under-way. In the words of Mr. Keller, “It’s time to rebuild.”

Per Dave Wahl’s, The History of Rotary tidbit, Rotary’s PolioPlus program was launched in 1985. The expressed goal of the program was to “Immunize all the world’s children against polio.” By 1994 the Western hemisphere was clear, by 2000 the Western Pacific was clear, and by 2002 the European Region was confirmed clear of Polio. We are indeed “this close.”

This week we celebrated the birthday’s of Fran Bowman and Doug Hardcastle as well as the anniversary of Dan O’Brien.

Randell H. Iwasaki, P.E. – Keeping Contra Costa Moving – July 18th, 2016

The Rotary Club of Brentwood had the pleasure of enjoying Randell H. Iwaskai, the Executive Director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, present on transportation in our county. The CCTA is a public agency formed by Contra Costa County voters to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and perform countywide transportation planning. Mr. Iwasaki educated the club on the success of recently completed projects including – Measure J (passed with 70+ percent), Highway 4 Corridor  (Sand Creek Road interchange and widening) and SR 160/Hwy 4 connector ramps. He also discussed planned future projects including the Balfour Road upgrade plan and TriLink to Tracy. Furthermore, Randell made us informed on funding gas tax apparitions — Local (65%), State (22%), Federal (13%).

During The History of Rotary Minute, Dave Wahl discussed Rotarian Action Groups. RAC’s are 30,000 members strong in groups from all around the country and world. The wide variety of focus includes Literacy, Peace, Blood Donation and many others.

Our club was also proud to present a $2,500 District Grant to the Village Community Resource Center. The Rotary Club of Brentwood will be matching this grant to help the VCRC in their outstanding efforts towards literacy, including a family literacy night and a boot camp in an effort to improve literacy locally.

We also recognized Kaelynn North, Larry Wahl and Lynn Valintis during a special Paul Harris presentation. Furthermore, our President Olga Vidriales received her Paul Harris Society Member recognition. A huge Happy Birthday to Dwayne Mullins and our sergeant-at-arms, Dana Eaton.

President Olga Vidriales – Leading with Passion 2016-2017,
A Terrific Start to a New Term – July 11th, 2016

Olga Vidriales started out her new term this week with great energy, enthusiasm, music and a fantastic guest speaker. She also inducted her new board members, promoted two new members to blue badge status and outlined her objectives for the year.

The passionate and vigorously entertaining William K. Wesley J.D., MBA shared his life experiences about a Full Life Balance to an attentive audience. His full life balance approach includes the following five key components – physical, emotional, professional, spiritual and charitable. The charitable key we find right here at our club in our community.

Our new Sergeant-at-Arms, Eric Volta, wished Happy Birthday to members Shellie Seyer and Fred Ehler. Also, a very Happy Anniversary to William and Donna Foster, Olga and Vincent Vidriales, and Bill McElmurry. Both veteran and new Rotarians alike are excited for what’s in store this fun, service-filled coming year! Service above self is “what” we’re all about. And doing it with passion is “how” we do it. #rotaryservinghumanity

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President Roger Strauss – A Year in Review, June 27th, 2016

Just a few things Rotarians in District 5160 have done this year. We’re an amazing group!
You will end this year with +/- 50 new members
You will have donated $620,000 to the Rotary Foundation Annual Fund.
You will have Donated $122,000 to the Polio Eradication Program. With matching funds from Rotary international and the Gates Foundation this will equal +/- $450,000.
You have sent 138 Young Adult Leaders to Camp Royal.
You have sent 40 Young Adult Leaders to Camp Venture
You have Donated $3,000,000 to your local communities.
You have given Over $500,000 as Scholarships to Students in our Communities
You have supported your local communities with $120,000 of local Grants for projects.
You have supported the world with over $150,000 in Global Grants.