NEXT MEETING: November 16, 2012

Enriching the Lives of RIchmond Youth

Eric Aaholm, Executive Director of Youth Enrichment Strategies, will tell us about the the innovative way that YES improves the lives of inner-city youth and their families.

YES accomplishes its mission by sending hundred of youth, ages 8-16, to week-long summer camps around the Bay Area; by bringing entire families and school communities to Family Camps in the Redwoods; and by offering PeaceTalk communication workshops to our Richmond community.

Learn more about Youth Enrichment Strategies by visiting their website.

MEETING OF November 9, 2012


President Jim Young gavelled the meeting to order. Connie Tritt led us in the pledge today, and Stoney asked the club for a moment of silence for “Peace and Freedom on Earth”. Henry Kelman, a person one would swear is a Republican, voted Democratic!

Rotarians with Guests

Henry Moe brought the principal of Salesian High to lunch today.
Ren Partridge brought his wife to lunch.

Sunshine Report

Hank Cavell reported that sunny ole  Erle is recuperating.


Prez Jim followed up on a portion of the Rehfuss Fund report from the Club Assembly. The ad hoc committee established to research the Rehfuss Fund determined that:

  1. None of the funds held for the last 19 years are from Carl Rehfuss. They appear to have all been donated by club members. Rehfuss gave a lot of money to Rotary International, but it went directly to the Foundation, not to the Richmond Rotary Club.
  2. None of the funds held as Rehfuss Funds for the last 19 years has been spent.
  3. No club documentation exists to describe intent, methodology of investment or expenditure of the funds.
  4. ‘Tribal memory’ suggests that the funds were to be used to create an endowment of $100,000 with the interest income from the endowment funding, “scholarships”, or used, “for the good of the club”.
  5. ‘Known giving’ since 2006 has averaged $1,928/year. At that average rate it will take 29.5 years to reach the $100,000 goal. Current funds balance is about $43,000.
  6. For the past three years giving to the funds has been $500+/- per year, including reinvested interest income.
  7. There has been a sea change in FDIC insured interest income opportunities. Once in the 3%-6% range, it is now less than 1%-2%.
  8. All known historic, living contributors to the funds have been contacted by the ad hoc committee. The committee is still considering its recommendation on how the Rehfuss Funds should be used.
  • Pam Jones is planning on attending the Rotary day at the races and is trying to collect some other Richmond Rotarians to join her. She also reminded us that on December 14 the El Cerrito firefighters would be conducting their annual toy drive – so bring a toy like last year.
  • The Holiday Auction is upon us! Now’s the time to declare your auction item. If you have already decided what you’re donating, please go to Holiday Auction page and enter you donation electronically. Past auctions have shown us that events that members attend together sell well. Fellowship is the backbone of Rotary. Don and Heather need more items for the Auction so hurry up and get yours registered on the website.
  • Mark Howe has found some folks that want to help paint the Whirley Crane – none other than Henry Moe and the Salesian Roteract club. Stay tuned to this station for more info.
  • Stoney is planning a Christmas Extravaganza with the El Cerrito Club. It will be held on December 15 at 6:15PM, at the Richmond Country Club. The cost of $150 per couple. There will be a band and a choir. Interest is high. Get you money in David Brown soon.
  • Josh G is having another Scotch mixer and anyone, who pays of course, is welcome. The scribe didn’t catch the date, though. Call or send an email to Josh for more details.
  • David announced that the club has received a $10,000 grant from Rotary International for the President Jim’s “Richmond Tales” project. Jim will also be hosting a Richmond Tales project mixer at his house to familiarize the members with the project. Date TBD.
  • The next Richmond Rotary board meeting will take place on December 15th, 12:00, at the West County Wastewater board room,  at Hilltop.


  • Bruce Harter had a bunch of happy dollars to recognize three electoral victories:  the extension to 2019 of the .075/SF ($10 million annually) school district parcel tax, passage of Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, and voter authorization of Measure E, which authorizes another $460 million in bond issuance for school construction.  The school board better put their spending caps on.
  • Henry Moe introduced Sara Cosby, a mother of two successful daughters who attended Salesian and were leaders of the Salesian Roteract club. She explained how, as a single parent, she raised two “good human beings” – to Sara that means not being selfish. The family was poor but she never took welfare. Instead she trained her girls to work for what they wanted. The girls were involved in Girl Scouts, Roteract, and work for the Contra Costa Times and Extreme Pizza. Elisa, one of the daughters, attends UC Berkeley and the other attends UC Davis, majoring in Public Heath. The girls were active in Roteract. Sara is thankful for the opportunity Roteract provided them.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Happy, sad, who knows? Dollars were contributed but the details weren’t recorded. No matter. The happiness and regret were shared, and the dollars were collected.

Norm’s Nonsense

Courtesy of Dave Calfee.

Sven was assigned to orientation of new army recruits. He was told to sign up as many as possible for the enhanced life insurance benefits, which cost the new recruit an additional $30/month from his allowance.

The officer in charge noticed Sven had a success rating of over 90%, whereas other recruiters averaged only 3-5%. Upon investigation he heard Sven tell his men, “If they send you to Afghanistan and you get killed, the government is going to pay your family $20,000 if you have only the regular insurance; but if you have the enhanced insurance they will pay $200,000; Now which do you think they will send to Afghanistan first?”


The Wit and Wisdom of Lincoln

Tom Waller introduced Arnold Kuntz the author of the “Wit and Wisdom of Lincoln” today. Arnold explained that depression was the likely motivation behind Lincoln’s renowned sense of humor and Wit.

Humor was the tonic he used to ward off his always present dark moods. And a famous sense of humor it was.

In a typical Lincoln exchange, one day a person visiting Lincoln and was surprised to see him polishing his boots and said “you polish your own boots sir?” and Lincoln responded “whose boots do you think I am polishing?”

Lincolns’ overriding goal in life was to be esteemed by his fellow man.

-Rotating scribe, Mark Howe