The Flywheel

Program for November 21, 2008

The Rotary Foundation

Rotary member providing health services in India

The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

Brad Howard of the Rotary Foundation visits us to discuss how tens of thousands of men and women are tackling that mission.


MEETING OF November 14th, 2008

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

This Week’s meeting was held at Salesian High School in Richmond. President Mark Howe called the meeting to order and asked Father Nick Reina, SDB, Director/President of the High School and member of our club, to lead the Pledge of Allegiance

Rotarians with Guests

Guests included school Principal, Tim Chambers, other members of the faculty and four members of the School’s Rotary Inter Act Club, Rida Kazmi, Christiana Cobos, Hoang Nguyen and Anelique Aspacio.  These young ladies had provided Rotarians with guided tours of the camps prior to the meeting.  Thanks Ted Abreu and Mark De Luca for making all of the arrangements for the day.


  • Sid Chauvin announced that the Reno Train Trip will take place on January 25-26, 2009.  Money is due on November 17th.   Call Sid for reservations. (510) 222-7665
  • April Jordan invited all Richmond Rotarians to Peres School to read to the children in grades K-6th on Wednesday evening November 19thDinner is served at 5 pm and reading begins at 5:45 pm.  The evening ends with an assembly and raffle in the multi-purpose room.  Grand prize is a lap-top computer donated by Jon Lawlis
  • Don Lau reminded everyone that our Annual Auction will be Friday, December 12, 2008 in the large room at the Mira Vista Country Club.  Jim Beaver and Don Lau will be our Auctioneers.  Josh Surowitz, Laura Kuhn, Jim, Don and Margaret Morkowski will be calling the Rotarians for Auction items.  Please remember to invite your family and friends to this fun, fun raising event.
  • Mark Howe invited everyone to his house for a cocktail party tonight. We’ll be celebrating the success of the Winehaven event. 
  • Jan Brown announced that there will be training in AutoMark at the Nevin Center on November 15th.
  • Hank Covell announced that the Richmond Rotary’s 2nd Annual Crab Feed will be at Salesian High School on Saturday evening, January 24, 2009.  Save that date.  Details to follow.
  • Jim Young invited everyone to a Business Persons Reception at the new Wells Fargo Bank branch adjacent to Target Department Store on Macdonald Ave.  The reception this Wednesday, November 19th,  from 6 pm – 8 pm, will celebrate the opening of the new branch. 

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Jon Lawlis had many happy dollars celebrate his daughter decision to stay at college this coming semester after serious considering returning home and taking a semester off.
  • Bob Dabney had happy dollars for “being up and about” following his surgery.
  • Rafael Madrigal, a graduate of Salesian High, gave happy dollars because his school had not burned down when he graduated in the by-gone days.

Norm's Nonsense

This week Norm Foley exhorts us to mind the birds:

• The dove brings peace and the stork brings tax exemptions.
• Said the wren to the hen: "Never again".  
• The early bird gets the worm but what does the early worm get?


A short history of Salesian Order

Salesian High School

Father Nick Reina gave us a short history of the Salesian Order and an overview of facts about the school. 

Saint John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Order, was born in northern Italy in 1815.  He became a priest during the rise of the Industrual Revolution in Turin, Italy.  Father Bosco saw a great need and opened a center to house and teach young men, heading for a life of crime, skills to make them valuable workers for the various industries.  Later he also began a school to educate girls.  Father Bosco negotiated the first labor contracts with industry for his young students during this time.  Father Nick said the Salesian Order of priests and brothers, which number more than 18,000, is the second largest Order of men in the Catholic Church.  Their members are located all over the world with approximately 3,000 in the United States.

Salesian High School is located on 20 acres of land adjacent to the Salesian Boys and Girls Club.  The grounds consist of school buildings, newly refurbished athletic fields and beautiful, contemplative gardens. The school was established in 1927 as a seminary for the Salesian Order and in 1960 it became a collage-prep school for boys.  In 1990 girls were admitted to the school both to meet the need but also to achieve a longtime vision of having a school for girls.

The school provides a curriculum which meets the UC system entrance standards and 99% of all graduates enter college.  Currently, there are 295 girls and 290 boys enrolled at the school for a total of 595 students.   Tuition at the school is $10,500 per year with 30% of the student body receiving some type of financial aid.  Students are the “center” of the school and diversity is its strength.  The students represent many faiths with application forms indicating that 70% are Christian and with the Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu other faiths also represented.  Four years of religious study is required.  The focus for each year includes:  freshman year, the Old Testament; sophomore year, the New Testament; junior year, the history of Christianity and an overview of today’s social world; and senior year, world religions and the commitments we make as individuals to society and to ourselves.

— Rotating Editor, Margaret S. Morkowski