West County Schools

Susan and Steve Chamberlin want every K-12 student in West Contra Costa County to get an excellent public education that will prepare them for college, career and life. They have invested broadly in the community to support teachers, school leaders, parents and community organizations focused on the same objective. They understand that significant social and economic challenges and limited State funding make the education job incredibly difficult. They support the schools, principals and teachers who successfully rise to these challenges. They have engaged City and District leaders in positive discussions about education policy, actively supported well qualified leadership candidates and are providing great school facilities for high-performance public schools. They also believe K-12 public education is the single most important issue facing our community.

MEETING OF September 18, 2015


Alan Blavins presided over the meeting and held a moment of silence for peace, freedom and justice on earth. David Brown led the pledge  of allegiance and Herb Cole had a special thought for the day in remembering Ralph Hill.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Mae Saechao, a CPA who works in Oakland, was the guest of Doris Mitchell.


  • MEETING LOCATION FOR SEPTEMBER 25. Please note that the September 25 Richmond Rotary Club meeting will again take place at Cafe Soleil (side room), 3350 San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante.
  • Saturday October 3rd is Rotary Foundation Fun at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Day in Vallejo. Go to for the link to purchase tickets.
  • Saturday, November 21st is Rotary Foundation Day at the Races. David Brown had warned us that it sells out every year and it is now officially sold out.
  • The Peres School Teacher funding ($100 per teacher) is in full swing and we need our Rotarian group to step up to help fund the 30 or so teachers with regard to classroom supplies. David Brown is at the ready with his trusty credit card reader at each meeting. Funding the teachers at Peres is a long standing tradition.
  • Bill Koziol talked to Charlie Wong on the phone and Charlie had some nice memories to share about Ralph Hill, who passed away last week. Bill also had talked to Ralph earlier last week and although he was not feeling well he mentioned that Richmond Rotary was on his mind and he missed seeing the members at the meetings.
  • Alan Baer talked to Judy Kafka and she has moved into a retirement community with her husband who requires a good amount of care.


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense


The Bishop Wears No Drawers: A Former Catholic Missionary Priest Remembers Africa

Michael Barrington, a Rotarian for the last 18 years and former president of the Concord Rotary, provided Richmond Rotary with an overview of his engaging memoir.

Michael is the chair of Rotary’s International Committee and is responsible for generating more than $1 million in Global and Matching Grants. He also works for The Rotary Foundation as a Technical Advisor and in this role monitors and evaluates large humanitarian projects. He does the same professionally in more than forty countries.

Michael’s talk was dramatically revealing about life in war-torn 1970’s Nigeria, where he worked for ten years as a Catholic Priest trying to serve and help the various tribes he encountered. He was held at gun point on one occasion and really thought that the end was near. His only out was that one of the tribal languages he spoke was understood by several of the people holding the guns and he was able to talk them out of shooting his group.

Henry Moe, Rotating Scribe