April 14, 2017

NEXT MEETING: April 14, 2017

Making Waves Academy

At this Friday’s meeting we will learn about Making Waves Academy, a 5th-12th grade, public charter school. The Academy’s mission is to rigorously and holistically prepare students to gain acceptance to and graduate from college. The larger goal is for their students to ultimately become valuable contributors to the workforce and their communities.


  • Our newest member, Al Nero, was sworn in today. Congratulations, Al.
  • Joshua Genser announced a BARSHEEP bowling tournament Saturday May 20, 2017, at Albany Bowl. We need one more bowler. You can also for your own team. Talk to Josh if you are interested.
  • Maryanne Haas from the Lions Center for the Blind, is raising money for blind students by walking around Lake Merritt. Find out more: http://www.lbcenter.org .

MEETING OF April 4, 2017


Past President Alan Blavins called the meeting to order and asked Jon Lawlis to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Herb Cole asked for silent prayers for peace, hope, and justice. Sergeant at Arms Sidney Chauvin offered a quote for the day: “Talk is cheap… except when Congress does it.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Dan Tanita, DDS brought several visiting dentists from Russia as part of an ongoing international Rotary program: Ilya Zhotnikov, Lyudmila Smolyankov, Andrey Migas, Irna Kostrimitina, and Vladimir Muzyukin.

Mike Winters brought Cecilia Orosco

Jon Lawlis brought the lovely Darlene

Speaker James Kennedy brought Regina Ames, Janet Kennedy (Martinez Rotary), Mila Coffey, and Rosemary Viramontes.


Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Ric Ambrose announced: Simon Ellis’s wedding anniversary was in March.
  • Josh Genser has a sad dollar for being here because his fishing trip was cancelled.
  • Jon Lawlis had sad dollars for waking up at 5 am to prepare Al’s new member packet but left it at home; Happy for daughter’s birthday.
  • Tiffany Straus happy dollars because extra ECMH building sold.
  • Liliane Koziol happy to be back at the club after all of the District Conference preparations.
  • Stacey Street had sad dollars because her husband lost his mother after recently losing his father and happy dollars for seeing the amazing Hamilton production.
  • Maryanne Haas has happy dollars for being a troublemaker for good causes.
  • Dan Tanita has happy dollars from the visiting $100 to Maryanne’s fundraising walk around Lake Merritt and $300 to Liliane’s Madagascar project.
  • Ric Ambrose is sad because the Ducks did not win the NCAA Championship.
  • Herb Cole had some very sad dollars.


Kennedy-King Memorial College Scholarship Fund

Stacey Street introduced today’s speaker James Kennedy. He runs the Kennedy-King Memorial Scholarship Foundation. This program is celebrating its 49th year. In 2016, Kennedy-King awarded 28 scholarships to students from Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, and Los Medanos College. Over 744 scholarships have been awarded.

Scholarship alumni spoke about their experiences. Here’s what they said:

Alfonse Upshaw is a 1992 graduate of Contra Costa College. Studied business. Community college and Kennedy-King were very transformative for him. He received the scholarship and then transferred to Cal and landed a job as a CPA at Deloitte. He now is an accounting officer at Kaiser. He enjoys being engaged in the community.

Mila Coffey was awarded a Kennedy-King scholarship. It was $2000. They are now $10,000. She is now a CPA and financial planner. Contra Costa College and San Francisco State. She enjoys giving back to the community. Her education turned her life around. She studied hard, held 2-3 jobs as a single parent, and struggled financially. The scholarship allowed her to get a B.A. at Cal.

Rosemary Viramontes was a 1992 graduate from Contra Costa College and scholarship recipient. She works for the City of Richmond in work force development.

Regina Amos was a 1982 sports scholar. She had to leave Contra Costa College to raise her family and work, but after a divorce, she went back to Contra Costa College while working three jobs. She was awarded a scholarship and transferred to Holy Names College. Having people believe in her helped her through the tough times. She works to empower others and help them transform their lives.

For more information about and to donate to this amazing program: www.kennedyking.org


- Shana Bagley Howe, Rotating Scribette