The Flywheel

Meeting of May 7th

Cinco de Mayo in Contra Costa

cincodemayoOur own Rafael Madrigal is owner of Madrigal Insurance, president of the 23rd Street Merchants Association, and driving force behind at least four very successful Richmond Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Rafael will discuss the modern meaning of Cinco de Mayo in West Contra Costa County.



Last Meeting: April 30th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Glenn Daggs called the meeting to order.  After the Pledge of Allegiance lead by Yvonne Nair, Glenn asked Stoney Stonework for a thought for the day including thoughts in memory of Elof Granberg and Werner SchultzHenry Kelman also advised us that Goldman-Sachs has been charged with criminal fraud, expanding the charge of civil fraud of 2 weeks ago.

Visiting Rotarians

We welcomed Bob Romero, Marty Larson and Mitch of the Walnut Creek Rotary Club.  They invited us to join them for one of their lunch time meetings which include free beer… all for $10.    

Rotarians with Guests

John Nichol’s guest was Eddie Downer of the Mechanics Bank and Yvonne Nair’s guests were from Allied Vocational Training Center located in Point Richmond.  Kevin McDonald, President the Center explained that they provide a 4 month course in welding for troubled youth.  Yvonne mentioned that they may be joining Rotary… they know a good thing.   


  • Alan Baer invited us to join Richmond Rotary’s community outreach activities by participating the in Richmond’s 23rd Street Merchant’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations.  On Saturday, May 1st, Rotary’s contingent for the Parade to the San Pablo City Hall and on May 2nd we will staff Rotary’s booth for the day long Fiesta on 23rd Street. 
  • Erle Brown thanked everyone who made a donation to the Richmond Foundation in the memory of Werner and Elof.  He will be sending notes to both families.  Erle also urged everyone to make their annual donation to the Foundation.  We are currently close to $1,900 with a goal of $2,500 by June 30, 2010.  Note: Years ago Jim Young made a contribution which include an added $.95 … this year in addition to his contribution Jim included $.05 so that Erle’s Foundation accounts have returned to even dollars.  
  • Erle has also started a Foundation account for Josh’s new son Luke.  Thanks Erle.

Special Events

  • Don’t forget to check-out the Calendar on the Richmond Rotary’s Website. It will bring you up-to-date on all of our events.


  • Jim Beaver called each of the following Rotarians for the club recognitions:  
  • Nick Despota, celebrating his “42nd” birthday.  Nick mentioned he had a 35-year old mind locked into a 61 year old body. Since his wife’s birthday is within a week of his, Nick said they have been celebrating with a series of hikes and restaurant meals.  Nick made a donation to the Richmond Rotary’s Carl Rehfuss Fund, which is dedicated to local community projects.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Hank Covell had happy dollars for the 10th time that he is changing the location of his office… this time the phone voice mail message will say “Leave a message and I’ll get back to you when I …feel like it.”
  • Herb Cole’s happy dollars celebrated his sail down the Rhine River with an “extended 7 day stay” in Brussels do to the volcano in Iceland.  Recommendation “Get Trip Insurance.”
  • Raphael Madrigal … in memory of Werner
  • Jon Lawlis … in memory of Werner and celebration of Bill and Kristine Koziol’s new daughter.
  • Dan Sanders is thankful for his wife especially since she was hit by a car 10 years ago.
  • Jim Young’s happy dollars proposed that this be the first annual “Werner and Elof” Joke Day.
  • Guest Kevin McDonald donated happy dollars thank Yvonne for inviting his group to Rotary.
  • Josh Surowitz announce that his new son Luke is doing great.  At days, Luke flipped over from his stomach to his back. Josh’s donation of $100 to the Foundation was loudly applauded.
  • Stoney’s donation was in memory of Werner and mentioned that 3 weeks ago Stoney and his wife had lunch with Werner and Leah at Werner’s.  And always, there was lots of fun and laughter during lunch.
  • Margaret Morkowski announce a partnering of the Read Aloud Volunteer Program (RAVP) with Richmond Rotary with RAVP providing more than 20 board books for the Teen Mom's Project, which provides toys, books and other baby stuff to the little ones whose parents are students and Richmond and Kennedy High Schools.
  • Margaret also invited everyone to the Point Richmond 21st Annual Stroll and Farmers’ Market Opening from 4 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, May 12th.  She also made a donation to the Foundation for her club anniversary.
  • The Beav also mentioned how helpful Werner was during the year the Beav was Richmond Rotary President. 

Raffle Results

There was no raffle today.


This was Joke Day at Richmond Rotary.   Please note --- none of our lady Rotarians told a joke but we did laugh a lot.

The jokes covered a lot of subjects.  Herb, Marty Larson and the Beav provided doctor jokes.  Marty Larson of the Walnut Creek Rotary Club also had a Wisconsin Joke.  Jim Young, Stoney, Glenn and Josh all had Farmer, Agricultural, Pig, and or Horse jokes and Stoney had one about a group of dogs.   Way to go gentleman.  We ladies will be ready for you next year. 


- Rotating Scribe Margaret Morkowski