The Flywheel

Program for August 4, 2006

Clean Water For Tanzania

These days when Father Pirmin Ngolle returns home to visit his family in southern Tanzania, it is a matter of life or death. The Benedictine priest has been watching children raised in villages where he grew up dying by the hundreds. Their killer is not HIV/AIDS, which is taking such a toll throughout Africa, and it isnít famine. It is in the water they drink from contaminated rivers, causing one out of three children to die by the time they reach their 12th birthday.

Learn more about it.


Meeting of July 21, 2006

Prez George Egan promptly rings in the meeting that concludes his first month at the helm. Stoney leads us in a prayer for peace. Prez George invites Nick Despota to lead the pledge of allegiance and Pam Jones gives us not one, but two thoughts for the day, with the most intriguing one coming from our own Elof Granberg: "Never be the third man in a three-man fox hole if a German tank runs over you." You'll have to talk to Elof for the explanation.

Visiting Rotarians

Richmond Rotary welcomes today's guests. Coming all the way from Grand Rapids Michigan was George Trowbridge where Rotary is busting at the seams with 375 members. Also visiting from Berkeley was Bert Rich.

Rotarians with Guests

It seemed like family day at Rotary with the Herb Cole family taking over a whole table! Herb introduce his two sons, their wives and grandchildren (with more at home with Norma). Jim Young introduced his wife Linda and niece, Serona and eventually son Zeb joined us too. Jan Brown introduced her son, Matt. John Troughton introduced his son, Chance; along with two business associates. Thank you all for joining us today at Rotary!

Sunshine Report

David K reports that Dan Tanita is recovering from back surgery and Elof Granberg is recovering from eye surgery.

Paul Harris Presentation

Erle Brown awarded the revered three-stone Paul Harris pin to Herb Cole in honor of his 4th milestone in giving to the Rotary International Foundation. Impressive as this was, the real treat was watching Herb present his two sons with their own Paul Harris recognitions. Congratulations Herb, Reyes and Herb III. A proud moment for us all to enjoy. Prez George gave an eloquent description of the Rotary Foundation as the largest nongovernmental charity foundation in the world. Leslie Levy couldn't help but point out that Paul Harris was an attorney.


Hank Covell reminds us of the No-limit Texas Hold 'Em Poker Party at La Stradas next Friday night (August 4) at 7PM. Everyone is welcome in on the fun. Make your own dinner reservation before. Pick up the rules for the evening from Hank. Then, bright and early the next morning will be the Mervyn's back to school shopping spree to benefit children through the Salvation Army. Contact Frank Desplancke to sign up for this rare opportunity. Your support is needed. Prez George urged us to consider the Rotary credit card application (soon to arrive in your mail box) which gives 1% back to Rotary's fine causes. Herb Cole announced that Stoney and Past Prez Jonathon, are signed up to participate in one of the last polio immunizations in Ghana. (which Judy Kafka and Ted Abreu participated in a couple of years ago). They'd love to have others join them. The trip will be October 29 to Nov. 8. Herb also invited participation in a wheelchair delivery March 14-30. Good dates to mark on your calendar.


No recognitions today.

Happy/Sad Dollars

A very happy (and broke) Bob Dabney just returned from his daughter's wedding.  Frank Desplancke is one happy guy with the announcement that he and wife Beth are expecting.  David Brown is happy that wife Cheryl has a new knee. Josh Genser is happy to be going fishing with Jim Young along with sons - another great auction adventure. Herb Cole was so happy to read about Rotary in Kirgizstan that he brought the article to share. David K. reports that Rotary flowers cheered up Phyllis Brown as her health improves and David's wife, Janet, is also doing well after carpel tunnel surgery. Werner Schwarz was saddened by the passing of two friends, including former District Governor, Dick Hyland and Hank Simonsen from the Rio Vista Club. Hank Covell enjoyed the annual trek to David Calfee's , a bitter sweet event this year as this will be the end of a long tradition. The good news is that everyone enjoyed the time and that Norm Foley was among them showing great improvement.


Visiting Rotarian, George Trowbridge, won a free lunch the next time he is in town for Richmond Rotary!


The Program

Jim Young introduced Eddrick Osborne a Richmond local (check out his Globe Newspaper Hour on Saturday radio), who in turn introduced today's speaker, Doug Harris, Executive Director of Athletes United For Peace. Doug introduced a full panel of star athletes turned youth ambassadors who were all in attendance at Richmond Rotary:  David Meggyesy (former linebacker for St. Louis Cardinals, author of "Out of Their League"and Western Director of the NFL Players Association), Hal Perry (former team Captain of the USF Basketball Championship team of 1955), and Paul Daniels (former BHS Basketball coach, and principal of ECHS under Herb Cole's regime).  Doug himself was a star from BHS who helped take his team (as its star center) to the Tournament of Champions, and went on to play professional basketball as well.

The Tournament of Champions was really the topic of the day, an historic institution whose roots go back to 1949.  Doug and his partners would like to permanently record the significance of this piece of nostalgia in a film documentary that could use some extra cash ($76,000) to scour the archives for film footage that spans four decades in an era when high schools like the Richmond Oilers, the Berkeley Yellow Jackets, Castlemont High School and even the upstart Elk Grove, proudly battled for bragging rights with some of the greatest coaching and player talent in the State.

The broader purpose of the AUP is to bridge cultural differences with the universal appeal of teamwork. Their web site ( gives an impressive overview of the work and recognition this group has achieved both locally and world wide. The organization organizes sports clinics for youth in Berkeley, Richmond and throughout the East Bay, and has prepared documentary films that focus on the historic roots of sports and teamwork. In an ambitious Peacebuilders 2000 project, the AUP took Richmond, Oakland, and Berkeley youth to the Peace Builders conference in the Netherlands in 1999 to honor the first Hague International Peace Conference of 1989. The AUP has also been designated as an NGO partner (non-governmental organization) with the United Nations for the significance of its work.

Richmond Rotary thanks Mr. Harris and all of the distinguished guests who joined him in his presentation of the AUP Tournament of Champions video project. For more information, be sure to visit the Athletes United for Peace web site.