July 14, 2017

NEXT MEETING: July 14, 2017
NOTE: We will meet at Café Soleil. Not Richmond Country Club.

Offering Youth an Alternative to the Streets

The Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL) is a nonprofit, community-based organization founded in 1982 offering youth an alternative to streets. RPAL is dedicated to supporting young people ages 10-18 holistically as they transition from adolescence to adulthood so they can recognize their full potential and achieve success.

RPAL’s programs meet young people “where they are”, offering a myriad of programs that are structured and challenging yet enjoyable. It provides services to over 2000 youth yearly. Whether they need a meal, homework assistance, a safe place to go during after-school time, or just need a caring adult to talk to, RPAL is responsive to their needs. Over the course of 35 years, RPAL has served over 50,000 youth.

Larry Lewis, Executive Director, will provide an overview of RPAL with an emphasis on the need to mentor Richmond youth.


  • The July 14th meeting will be at Café Soleil (3550 San Pablo Dam Rd, El Sobrante).
  • David Brown provided summaries of last year’s program funding. We gave back over $67,000 to our community and to international projects. Well done, Rotarians!

MEETING OF July 7, 2017


President Josh Surowitz called the meeting to order and asked Incoming President Connie Tritt to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Herb Cole asked for silent prayers for peace, freedom, and justice and for a new (Rotary?) president. Sergeant at Arms Sidney Chauvin offered a quote for the day: “It takes an honest man to figure out whether he is tired or just lazy.”

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Ric Ambrose had 2 “Ricognitons”: Jan Brown’s June birthday and 46th wedding anniversary and President Josh’s 13th wedding anniversary.

  • Don Lau had happy dollars because on June 30, he retired for REAL.
  • Sidney Chauvin had many happy dollars (and tears in his eyes) for his daughter who started a new job with a $40,000 pay raise.
  • Tiffany Strauss had more happy dollars because her oldest daughter graduated from high school and will be attending Willamette in the fall.
  • Stacey Street was also happy for having a wonderful trip with her daughter on the beautiful Big Island and for being promoted to COO of the Richmond Community Foundation. Yippeee!
  • Ric Ambrose was more than happy because University of Oregon women’s track team won indoor, outdoor and cross country championships in the same academic year, the first time any NCAA women’s track and field team has accomplished this feat. Goooo Ducks!


Demoting Josh Surowitz

President Josh’s demotion started with his round of thanks to all of our members including, but not limited to: Connie Tritt (Foundation), Henry Moe (Crab Feed), Don Lau (holiday action and for just being Don), Ric Ambrose and Shana Bagley (Event Planning), Herb Cole (International Projects), Nick Despota (website), David Brown (treasurer), Jerry Feagley (board member), Oscar Garcia (behind the scenes work), Mae Saechao, scribes (Stacey Street, Henry Moe, David Cole, Josh Genser, Shana Bagley, and Darlene Drapkin), Gonzalo Ochoa (board member), Alan Baer and Pam Jones (district work), and Alan Blavins (handing over the club in such good shape)

Don Lau took over as Master of Ceremonies. Who knew that Josh S. attended college in Michigan and London, used to be a comedy writer, and met his wife Emily on the beach in Barcelona. The humorous presentation left us all wondering what “El Matador” will do now that he is not president (because having four young children is not enough…) – Supreme Court? Hillary Fan Club? Reality TV? Okole Maluna, Josh!

-Shana Bagley Howe, Rotating Scribette