NEXT MEETING: August 15, 2014
Update on Galaxy Desserts
Paul Levitan is President and CEO of Galaxy Desserts, a Richmond-based food manufacturer that is now part of Brioche Pasquier, a leading French bakery group. Galaxy Desserts is home to over 200 dessert lovers working in a 52,000 square foot building filled with thousands of sticks of creamery butter, pounds and pounds of dark, milk and white chocolates, loads of ovens, enormous freezers and one eclectic kitchen dedicated to researching and hand-crafting the most fabulous, French-inspired desserts. Paul and Chef Jean-Yves Charon co-founded the company in 1998 on the promise of creating “exceptional individual desserts” while doing all crafting, baking, freezing, and packaging in-house. This will be an update from several years ago when Paul first visited Richmond Rotary
- Connie announced that new members and anyone interested in membership are welcome to meet at the Baltic in Point Richmond on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 5-7.
- Stacey thanked Tom for all the help in scheduling speakers through October. She asked everyone to help in identifying possible speakers for the club. We’re looking for speakers that will make everyone want to attend meetings as well as draw in new members.
- Pam reminded everyone that the Rotary Foundation Day at the Races, sponsored by BARSHEEP is November 15th starting at 11:00 AM. The cost is $40 per person. The event sells out every year so reserve your space soon by getting a check to David Brown.
- Pam also announced that we are sponsoring 75 teenagers, 14-years-old and up, to attend the play “Cops and Robbers” showing at the Berkeley Marsh theater on Friday, September 12th. We have bought the entire house for that night. If anyone wants to be a chaperone that evening, please let Pam know.
- Stacey announced that the Cerrito Vista Sip and Savor will take place at the Mira Vista Country Club on October 19th. The cost is $45 per person and will benefit the El Cerrito Public Library.
MEETING OF August 8th, 2014
President, Stoney Stonework welcomed everyone to the meeting. Stacey Street led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Stoney asked everyone to take a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth.
Sid’s thought for the day was, “when management and labor both understand they are all on the same side, then each will prosper more”. I think those are true words of wisdom.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Stacey Street introduced her husband Don Benham as her guest today.
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
- Don recognized Jeff Mulvihill as just having celebrated a birthday on August 6th. Jeff had a wonderful celebration with his family. Being new to the club, he didn’t realize he was going to be hit up for money just for having had a birthday! He will be making a donation to the Foundation in the near future.
- Don then recognized Stoney for his having joined Rotary 20 years ago on August 5th! Stoney, deciding to get everything out of the way at once, then told us about his upcoming wedding anniversary on August 15th, on which day 50 years ago he was married at the tender age of ten. He then announced that August 28th will be his birthday, and that his father had also been born on August 28th. Next, he told us that Martin Luther King’s March on Washington took place on his 21st birthday. And then he told us a long story about how his parents had to track him down in New York City, take his money away from him, and send him home And after all that, he still didn’t have a donation.
- Alan Blavins had happy dollars because he’s going fishing next week in Papua New Guinea to catch one of the world’s rarest fish! Good luck Alan and we definitely want to see pictures.
- Erle had happy dollars because he’s off on a cruise to Alaska and will be back on August 27th.
- Markku had happy and sad dollars. The happy dollars were for the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” album and the acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The sad dollars were for the 50th anniversary of the acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Religious Freedom, which the United States never signed.
- Mark Howe had happy dollars because he proposed to his girlfriend and she accepted. Congratulations Mark!
- Josh Genser had happy dollars for a successful fishing trip with six PAL kids. The club donated the fishing equipment for the weekend. The teens who participated had never fished, never camped or slept out under the stars, or swam in a river, or cooked outside.
- Stacey had happy dollars because her husband Don is with her today, and because next week they are going both to Las Vegas and Oklahoma.
- David Brown had happy dollars for being joined by another trombone player (Don Benham). He also reported that he sold several of his unused Giants seasons tickets on Stub Hub and after the payment went into the Rotary account, he simply decided to donate it to the Foundation. Thanks David!
- Don Lau had happy dollars for Joe and Rita Bagley’s hosting of the Summer of Love event at which everyone had a great time.
- Herb had happy dollars because he is pleased that there are now several people in the club who actually talk more than he does.
WriterCoach, Love Coach
Tom Waller announced that we have two programs today for the price of one. First, he introduced June Pangelinan, the Richmond Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator for WriterCoach Connection, who in turn introduced Beverly Roberts Charles, the Richmond Program Manager, and David Almonte, the Community Liaison for WriterCoach. June told us that they are now recruiting for volunteers to work with students at Kennedy High, to which they are expanding in the fall. They currently have 100 volunteers working at Richmond High. It is not necessary to be a teacher or have any specific credentials. What’s important is to be a good listener, be patient, and be open. The time commitment is roughly 4-6 hours per month. June noted that the Richmond community has really stepped up and embraced the work they’re doing. Anyone interested can go to their website at www.writercoachconnection.org.
Tom noted that he has been a volunteer and has experienced unbelievable personal satisfaction from the doing so. He commented that it makes him feel he is having a personal impact on young lives. He also reported that the teachers are very excited about it, because the work is coordinated with the subject matter they’re teaching. He urged everyone to give it some thought.
Tom then introduced our main speaker, clinical psychologist, Dr. Victoria Bentley. Dr. Bentley talked today about loving relationships, sex, and intimacy after 60. Dr. Bentley emphasized the importance that relationships, sex, and intimacy have in increasing people’s longevity and overall physical and mental health.
At the age of 62, Dr. Bentley experienced a number of losses in her life. Because she generally felt burned out, she decided to step back for awhile and essentially ended up “dropping out” for about seven years. During that time she started a non-profit, “Empower Congo Women” to help victims of sexual violence in the Congo, and she began to research the topic of senior sexuality. Because she was aging, she felt as if she had been “kicked out of the game” and that the possibilities for romance, sex, and intimacy were essentially over. But, she came today to tell us that isn’t true. One of the things she found in her research is that sex is really good for us – it increases antibodies by about 30%; fights cholesterol and high blood pressure; and helps us to sleep better. She also found that it’s actually normal for us to be sexually active until we’re at least 90! Dr. Bentley reported that aging is not a disease, it’s a biological process that is dependent upon the choices we make to a large extent. So, if we keep ourselves strong through exercise, healthy through good diet, and mentally sharp through learning new things, we will be able to have satisfying sex for the rest of our lives.
Lynn Martin- Rotary Scribe