NEXT MEETING: August 28, 2015
Junior Achievement: Program Overview
Stacey Martin-Bonaduce, Program Director for Junior Achievement (JA) in West Contra Costa and Oakland, will provide an overview of programs that prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.
JA provides business/entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workforce readiness programs for K-12th grade students throughout Northern and Central California. Volunteers are key to JA’s success, creating a powerful combination of academic knowledge and real-life business experience that bridges the gap between the classroom and the world beyond. During 2014-2015, more than 4,000 volunteers taught JA programs to over 100,000 students from diverse socioeconomic demographics in 23 counties.
MEETING OF August 21, 2015
President Alan Blavins called the meeting to order and asked Jim Young to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. He asked Stoney Stonework to invoke a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on Earth. In Sid Chauvin’s absence, Herb Cole had a thought for the day: Your friends will come and go, while your enemies will tend to accumulate so be nice to everyone!
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
There were no guests, but Rotarian Ralph Porter from the Solano Sunset Club in Vallejo joined us for lunch. And if it wasn’t Ralph Porter (excuse a possible scribe error), the man made a very good impression anyway and we welcome him back.
Happy and Sad Dollars
Stacey Street introduced Cecilia Gaerlan, Executive Director for the Bataan Legacy Historical Society. Cecilia gave an extremely compelling presentation on World War II in the Philippines. Cecilia’s father, Luis Gaerlan, was a soldier during WWII in the Philippines, but though he suffered horrific trauma, he never told the full story to his family since it was too difficult to remember. When Cecilia started learning the truth, that Filipino soldiers were used, deceived and sacrificed to win the war, and ultimately betrayed when deprived of benefits on Truman’s signing of the 1st Surplus Rescission Act, she founded Bataan Legacy to address the lack of information about the role of Filipinos during the war. Its multimedia presentations are designed to teach everyone the importance of WWII in the Philippines and to present the war from different points of view – soldiers, civilians, Filipinos, Americans and other nationalities.
Cecilia provided a brief historical overview, chronicling the history of the Philippines as a colony, then a Commonwealth, the history of fighting over the Philippines, and then how it was ultimately invaded and overpowered by the Japanese. She described the Bataan Death March to the prison camp after the surrender on April 9, 1942, where troops were forced to march 60 miles in tropical conditions, and were beaten, bayoneted or left to die if they couldn’t go on. Nearly 11,000 died, and another 25,000 perished in the prison camps. In addition, in 1945, during the liberation of the Philippines, approximately 100,000 civilians died in Manila, and by the end of the war, approximately 1,000,000 Filipino civilians perished.
Cecilia also showed several short videos and film clips, including historical footage that she narrated live, and interviews with Filipino soldiers. Cecilia closed by inviting everyone to attend two special events: an exhibition on WWII in the Philippines will be at the SF Public Library from September 12 through January 9, and a conference hosted by Bataan Legacy on Saturday, October 24th from 10 AM to 5 PM in San Francisco. Visit For more information or to register (attendance is free), please visit this web page. For more information about Bataan Legacy, visit www.bataanlegacy.org.
Stacey Street, Rotating Editor