NEXT MEETING: May 13, 2016

Pogo Park in Richmond's Iron Triangle Neighborhood

Toody Maher, founder and executive director, will provide an update on Pogo Park in Richmond.

Toody is an incredibly successful inventor, entrepreneur, and developer, as well as a fiercely passionate community supporter. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley in 1983, Toody secured the distribution rights to Swatch Watch in the 11 Western States. Toody pioneered Swatch’s product launch, set up the regional office, and helped drive sales in her region from $0 in 1983 to $30 million in 1986. She next started Fun Products, which created the world’s first clear telephone with lights. In 1990, Toody was named Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Toody next became Business Director at Juma Ventures, a San Francisco nonprofit providing jobs and job training to at-risk youth in Bayview-Hunters Point. To employ 200 youth, Toody worked with the San Francisco Giants and ’49ers to start a Ben & Jerry’s/Tully’s coffee concession business at Candlestick and PacBell Park. The business she started is now a highly successful national model.

After Juma, Toody invented, developed, and patented different products that she later sold or licensed to others. She worked as a consultant on a project for a research institute at UCLA, helping translate their scientific, evidence-based research into formats that people can actually use. During this project, when she was working on how to increase overall health and well-being in communities, she realized how invaluable safe and vibrant parks could be to children, families; this led her to found Pogo Park in 2007.

MEETING OF May 6, 2016


On an overcast day, Prez Alan welcomed all to the “Happiest Rotary Club in Richmond” and Henry Moe led us in the Pledge. Prez Alan asked for Peace on Earth and Sid Chauvin offered “Never, ever go to bed angry!! Stay awake all night, if you have to, and plot your revenge!”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Jan Brown had as her guests: Byron Brown; Kathy Anderson and Rhonda Harris. Jon Lawlis was with Darlene Quenville.


Former Richmond Rotarian Rhonda Harris, who we were all very glad to see, thanked those who helped fix up the Veteran’s Home in Richmond on April 30. She heard comments like “I can see in the kitchen now that it is bright white.” The Home helps veterans with housing, education, health care and legal services and is a one stop center for help.


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense




Jan Brown gave a brief history of the Teen Parent program which started in 1996 with the opening of a center at Kennedy High (which has closed because today there are fewer teen pregnancies) and later at Richmond High. Kathy Anderson, Program Coordinator of the program for the Y, gave a brief overview of the program. The gift bag program was started 11 years ago by Rhonda Harris. Jan gave thanks to Dan Tanita for dental supplies, Burt’s Bees for baby products, Project Linus for handmade blankets and to fellow Rotarians Nick Despota, Doris Mitchell and Mae Saechao for added help and contributions.

Nick Despota gave everyone careful instructions on how to package things into the gift bags (I think most were listening). The most important item to go in was a personal note from the Rotarian who assembled it. Thanks to Jan, Byron, and Nick for organizing the gift bags. The 33 gift bags were delivered to grateful moms the following Monday, May 9th. Byron, Jan’s official event photographer (and husband), snapped the pix you see on the right.

- The Menehune, “Rotating Editor”