The Flywheel

December 3rd meeting cancelled.

Ted Abreu

In order to permit our members to attend a gathering to honor our friend Ted Abreu this Friday, the Richmond Rotary board has decided to cancel our regular meeting. Our next meeting will be our Annual Holiday Auction, Friday, December 10th, at Mira Vista Country Club.

The gathering for Ted Abreu will take place on December 3rd, between 11 AM and 2 PM, at Pine Meadows Golf Course located at 451 Vinehill Way, Martinez.



Last Meeting: November 19th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Alan Baer called the meeting to order at Mira Vista.  Glenn Daggs’ children led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Stoney Stonework asked us to observe a moment of silence for Peace, Freedom and Justice. Henry Kelman told us today’s General Motors Offering on the New York Stock Exchange is the largest Public Offering in history.    

Visiting Rotarians

Alan welcomed our District Governor Karl Diekman and his wife Hiromi Dickman.  Other visiting Rotarians included Mack Lingo of the nearby Berkeley Club and Mike of the New Forest Rain-Tree Club in England brought greetings from their President Tim Richardson.  Mike mentioned that for his town the “New” was a relative term in that it was founded in 1068.        

Rotarians with Guests

Alan’s guest was his lovely wife Santa. Glenn’s children were his guests as were 5 of Richmond’s Finest with the attendance of Police Chief Chris Magnus and Deputy Chief Medina plus 3 of their fellow Richmond Police officers to honor Lt. Larry Lewis, RPD of PAL. Also in attendance were the president and many members of the Richmond Kiwanians here also to honor Larry, their fellow member.    

Sunshine Report

Bill Koziol circulated cards for signatures for Father Nick Reina of Salesian High School who recently had a hip replacement and for Ted Abreu.  Sid Chauvin has been talking with Ted’s son and Sid reported that Ted was in Hospice Care and not doing well. Since this meeting, members learned the sad news reported below.


  • Ted Abreu passed away on the morning of November 20—the day after this meeting. Those of us who knew Ted will miss him greatly. Members will receive notice of Ted’s service via email when it becomes available.
  • Alan reminded everyone about our Annual Holiday Auction which will be held December 10th here at the Mira Vista Club.  Please use the form in the column to the left to submit a description of your auction item. Please invite all of your friends to attend.
  • Rafael Madrigal invited everyone to attend the 23rd Street Merchants Association Christmas Party which will be held at the Ford Building Craneway on Sunday, December 5th from 5 pm – 11 pm.  Tickets cost $10.  Please call Rafael at 233-4987 for more details.
  • Sid encouraged everyone to attend the Rotary’s Reno Intercity Train Trip 2011 which will take place Friday, January 21st and Saturday January 22nd.   Check the website for prices and then send your checks to David Brown.  Checks are due by December 3rd.  Sid will be glad to give you more information. 
  • Please participate in Richmond Rotary’s project of serving dinner at GRIP’s Souper Kitchen. The dinners are held on a Wednesday evening at their 22nd Street center from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm.  Check our website for details and the dates for the November and December dinners.  Thanks to Bob Dabney for organizing Richmond Rotary’s participation.

Special Events

  • Alan invited everyone to Richmond Rotary’s Holiday Party which will be held as part of our December 17th meeting.  We have a great “twist” to this year’s event.  You are asked to bring at least one unwrapped toy for the Richmond and El Cerrito Police and Fire Departments annual Toy Drive. Our own Enos Johnson will join Santa Claus and the other elves in gathering the toys.  It should be lots of fun. 


  • Our District Governor Karl asked Glenn and Erle Brown to join him at the podium to honor both men in their valued efforts for the Rotary Foundation and the Trustees for Rotary’s Polio Plus.  Glenn’s children were presented with their Paul Harris and club pens for their participation in Club events.  Erle was acknowledged for his great efforts in achieving Richmond Rotary’s 3 place district ranking in funds contributed per member.  The Club gave gentlemen a standing ovation.  Thank you both.
  • Karl then recognized George Egan as a “Major Donor” to the Rotary Foundation with a cumulative donation of more than $10,000.  George was presented with a major donor crystal pen and also he received a standing ovation.
  • Pam Wilson then welcomed Larry Lewis to the podium to honor Larry for the “…. vision and courage…” he has provided to the children and the entire Richmond community as the director of the Police Activities League.  Larry helped to found the League in 1982 and later became its director.  PAL has come a long way with Larry’s leadership and is a major factor helping children achieve their goals and to stay away from crime.  Karl and Pam awarded Larry with a Paul Harris Fellowship which is the highest award Rotary can give to a non-member.  Richmond Rotary also presented Larry with a monetary contribution for PAL.  Larry was noticeably touched with the honor and after his gracious comments he received a hardy round of applause and standing ovation not only from Richmond Rotary, but his fellow Kawanians and his fellow Richmond Police Department officers.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Due to the activities of the day, we did not collect Happy and Sad Dollars.

Norms’ Nonsense

-A cowboy had always dreamed of owning his own cattle ranch and finally made enough money to buy himself the spread of his dreams in Wyoming.
"So what did you name the ranch?" asked his best friend when he came to visit.
"We had a hell of a time," admitted the cowboy. "Couldn't agree on anything. We finally settled on the Double R Lazy L Tripple Horseshoe Bar 7 Lucky Diamond Ranch."
"Wow!" His friend was impressed. "So where are all the cows?"
Cowboy: "None of 'em survived the branding."



Illiteracy and Poverty

Karl Diekman

Karl Diekman, our District Governor was our speaker for today.  Karl has been the president of 3 Rotary Clubs and brings a love of travel along with experience to his position of District Governor.  Karl showed us his Rotary experience with a series of “narrative photographs” beginning in 1967 to the present.
About this time during his speech the fire alarm in the building went off and many of us left the building and on our return, Karl remarked that a fire alarm during his speech was rather appropriate since he is a retired Fire Chief.
Through his narrative Karl introduced us to many of those people he has met in Rotary.  Early-on in Rotary he noticed how we Rotarians are each at a different point in our careers and in our involvement in our clubs. He encouraged us to be a mentor to those who are younger and learn from a mentor if we are in the early stages of our careers and in our time at Rotary. 
One of Karl’s “photos” showed his experience in India of administering dosages for Polio-Plus vaccine while partipating in the Rotary International project with the United Nations/WHO and the Bill Gates Foundation to eradicate polio by 2012. 
Another “photo showed Karl riding an elephant in a “circus comes to town” fundraise for his Rotary Club.  Karl reminded us that we should have “fun” fundraisers. 
Karl also mentioned that his special project as District Governor is the “Dictionary for Life Project.” This program will provide dictionaries to 6th grade children in Zambia. And in recognition of his visit with us today, Karl bought dictionaries for Pam and Alan to thank them for their efforts in making today’s program such a success.
And in return, Alan thanked Karl and his wife for joining us today with the presentation of a check for more than 80 dictionaries for the children of Zambia.

- Rotating Scribe, Margaret Morkowski