August 4, 2017

NEXT MEETING: August 4, 2017

Children of Mexico International

Prudence Ashley, a bilingual speech-language pathologist is Vice President of Children of Mexico International. The nonprofit coordinates volunteer professional speech therapists, nurses, and teachers to work with special needs children, their caregivers and teachers. Children of Mexico International is committed to enhancing the lives of children and young adults by sharing the most current communication techniques, therapy materials and equipment, education and research to those with a need. Please learn more at our website:


  • President Connie Tritt announced that Richmond Rotary Club was awarded a District grant to plant 100 trees in Richmond. The Club will need to plant at least one tree per member this year, and will plan the remaining number the following year. Now to figure out how to plant the “damn trees”….
  • The grant also covers putting tiles on 25 garbage cans in Richmond. They will have the Richmond Rotary logo.
  • President Connie announced that it was TGIFF and encouraged all members to attend. El Cerrito Rotary was covering munchies (buy your own cocktails) at McBear’s Social Club on San Pablo in El Cerrito.

On October 21st you can indulge yourself in the pleasures of wine and cigars with members of the San Ramon Rotary Club. The event is being held at the Blackhawk Country Club. Talk to Pam Jones if your our interested.

MEETING OF July 28, 2017


President Connie called the meeting to order and asked Mey Saechao to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.  Herb Cole led a silent prayer for peace, freedom and justice on earth.  “Thoughtful” Sid Chauvin had this to share: “It is better to try something and fail, than to try nothing and succeed!!!”


Connie reviewed the Four-Way Test with the group (we passed!) and reminded everyone that when people ask “What is Rotary” we can say “We are a leadership organization of local business, professional and civic leaders. We meet regularly, get to know each other, form friendships, and through that, we’re able to get things done in this community.”


Connie also shared the history of the lapel pins, the first of which was designed and created in 1909. The wheel became Rotary’s symbol in 1906 but the meaning behind it has evolved over the years, from civilization and movement, to people working together. The cogs and keyway were added much later, and the design was standardized to have 24 cogs. People wear their pins to demonstrate pride, to publicize Rotary, and to build relationships with Rotarians throughout the world.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Oscar Garcia did the honors, though there was only one recognition.

  • Connie Tritt celebrated her 6th Club Anniversary and had a $60 check to represent her years in the club. She noted that after this year it will probably feel like much longer….
  • Josh Surowitz had five happy dollars to celebrate political theater. In particular he respects John McCain who, though he has ideological differences from Josh, demonstrated tremendous courage in the recent vote, and as a POW is an American treasure.
  • Jerry Feagley had 5 dollars – he wasn’t sure if they were happy or sad – to mark a saga with a property in Tahoe he purchased back in 1979. Jerry recently received a call from a friend who saw the property on a History Channel documentary – it was apparently the location of the final murder at the hands of the Zodiac Killer!
  • David Brown couldn’t resist throwing in some dollars since he couldn’t believe our fearless leader even pissed off the Boy Scouts….
  • Simon Ellis had 5 happy dollars for his son, who, along with all those concerned, walked away without injuries from a motorcycle accident that involved three cars.


Canine Guardians Dogs Provide Critical Assistance

Your Scribe introduced the speakers for the day, Rochelle Heskett, Founder/Executive Director for Canine Guardians Assistance Dogs, Katrinka Ruk, Executive Director for Council of Industries and Board Member for Canine Guardians, and Ellie, a Canine Guardian! Rochelle founded her organization after Ellie, a beautiful Golden Retriever being trained by Bergin University of Canine Studies to be a service dog, was placed with a veteran with PTSD. Ellie came back to live with them 3 years later when the Vet felt he no longer needed her services.


Rochelle, Katrinka and Ellie demonstrated some of the amazing things that her service dogs can do for veterans, diabetics or those with disabilities including: “Fix,” where she untwisted her leash; “Leash,” where she picked up her leash and handed it back; “Give”, where she picked up keys (David Brown demonstrated that volunteers need extra training!); “Light,” where she turned on the light and “Switch” to turn off the light.  Rochelle next provided additional information about Canine Guardians and answered questions. She noted that they are limited by funding (it costs about $5,000 or more to train a dog) and volunteers. The main reason they have trouble finding volunteers is that people don’t want to have to give up their puppy after it has been trained! She added that it is an incredibly rewarding experience and that there is no cost to Puppy Parents, unless they want to support the program. She encouraged everyone to consider hosting their own puppy! She also described some of their programs supporting diabetics (dogs are trained to detect high/low blood sugar by scent) as well as their goal to expand services to help children with cancer. Visit for more information.



- Stacey Street, Rotating Editor