NEXT MEETING: January 30, 2015
The Real Country of Madagascar
Richmond Rotary’s Immediate Past President Liliane Koziol will talk about the real country of Madagascar, as opposed to the Dreamworks Madagascar movies, which actually have nothing to do with Madagascar… Liliane will discuss almost everything we want to know about this wonderful country but have been unable to discover due to the language barrier (material from Madagascar is either in the home language of Malagasy or French, since it was a former French colony), and the geographic barrier (it’s an island!). This is sure to be a fascinating, entertaining and educational program!
- The inaugural Richmond Rotary Club Winter Party will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at the Bubbaloo Café event center, 1402 Marina Way South in Richmond. Cocktails at 6:30pm, dinner at 7:30pm, and dancing to follow (same great band as last year). Per-person cost for the evening (including dinner) is $75 with a special price of $37.50 per person for those just interested in dancing and socializing. If you’re planning on attending and you haven’t yet paid Club Treasurer, David Brown, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm payment arrangements. It’s hoped that paying by check or credit card at the Club meeting on January 30 will be satisfactory/timely enough.
- The 8th Annual Richmond Rotary Crab Feed will be held on Saturday, February 7, at Salesian High School (same room as always). Cocktails at 6pm and dinner at 7pm. Tickets are $40 per person, payable in advance to David Brown.
- The special Rotary Night at the Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond will be on Thursday, February 5 (note date correction/change). The performance of “There Goes the Bride”, a British Comedy, will begin at 8pm. Tickets are $25 each, with a large part of ticket proceeds going to Albany Rotary as part of their annual theater fund raiser. While investing more than 17 hours of his personal time, our own Alan Blavins did the painting of set scenery for the play.
- There will be upcoming tree-planting opportunities for those who enjoy hands-on, camaraderie-filled Club projects. On February 15, the gathering will start at 8:30am at the corner of 28th Street and Downer Avenue in Richmond’s North & East Neighborhood. Richmond Rotary is partnering with local organizations, Richmond Trees and Groundwork Richmond, as part of the City’s ongoing program to beautify and upgrade local neighborhoods and parks. Sign up with Felix Hunziker and stay tuned for more information, including more tree-planting happening in mid-March. (Past tree-plantings were enjoyed by all who joined in!)
- During the Sunshine report of what’s going on with Richmond Rotary members, everyone applauded the return of George Egan and Sid Chauvin. In other news, Dan Sanders is recovering from a broken arm. Judy Kafta broke her leg and is in rehab in Walnut Creek. Mike Winter reported that Kimberly, daughter of long-time Richmond Rotary member, John Nicol, has passed away due to cancer.
- Jawan Eldridge, the principal of Peres Elementary School, masterfully and warmly shared some thoughts with the Club while he was at the meeting. (As a side note, Stoney reminded us that Jawan’s parents are from Youngstown, which is, of course, in the same state as his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes.) Jawan encouraged Richmond Rotarians to “come feel our environment and view what we have done” at Peres. Here’s what he shared with us at the meeting.
- His sincere appreciation for the many things that Richmond Rotary has done for the Peres school over the years, including the on-site dental clinic set up by Dan Tanita, the periodic reading to students, and the checks for teachers to use for school supplies.
- An invitation to come to the school on Wednesday evening, January 28, to attend a meeting and learn more about the new Common Core teaching and learning standards. The meeting is being held primarily for the parents of second and third graders from 6pm to 7:30pm (includes dinner).
- An invitation to attend a special concert at Peres on Saturday, February 28, at 10am, in honor of Black History Month.
- An invitation to come read to students sometime during the “Read Across America” week of March 2.
- An invitation to come to Career Day in May (more information to follow) in order to share personal experiences from college and career.
- The third LITD (“Later In The Day”) meeting of the Richmond Rotary Club will be on Monday, February 23, at the newly named Mex-Cal restaurant at Hilltop (formerly La Revolucion). For the time being, these additional, more informal meetings will be held once a month and will serve a variety of purposes (as a way to introduce and recruit prospective new (and not just younger) members who may not be able to always make regular noon-time meetings on Fridays, as a meeting make-up opportunity for current members, and a just plain fun time to socialize). Meeting format and content are still a work in progress, “evolving” as they say. Gathering time will be 5:30pm to 6:00pm, with the meeting lasting no later than 7:00pm. [Added Scribe Note: There were 13 of us current members (plus two spouses/significant others) who attended the second LITD meeting on January 26. We discussed upcoming tree-planting projects and other matters of not earth-shattering significance. It was a good time! Come check out the meeting on February 23rd and bring a prospective new member.]
MEETING OF January 23, 2015
President Stoney Stonework called the meeting to order at the Richmond Country Club and Henry Moe led the pledge of allegiance. Stoney asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. As for the thought for the day, we actually got a two-fer. Sid Chauvin reminded us that Winston Churchill (see Happy Dollars below) said, “Never, never, NEVER quit.” Alan Blavins had these reassuring words, especially for those feeling the need to get back to the office: “Only Robinson Crusoe got things done by Friday.”
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Don Lau introduced his son, Jordan, as his guest.
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
- David Brown was recognized for his “one-year-shy-of-the-big-six-oh” birthday on January 21. He had a good time and a check for the Rotary Foundation.
- Twenty-four hours after David Brown’s big day, George Egan celebrated his 73rd birthday. At least every year at this time, he remembers that he slept through (in a coma) a good part of 1968 following a serious accident. Alive to remember is a blessing to be counted!
- Josh Surowitz happily celebrated his seven-year anniversary in the Richmond Rotary Club. He reminded everyone of the LITD meeting on January 26 (see Announcements above).
- Don Lau had some happy dollars for his grandson’s third birthday.
- Stacey Street was very happy about her daughter’s upcoming stage debut at the Berkeley Playhouse.
- Josh Genser was happy about attending a recent evening event in Concord that featured Karl Rove and Ellen Tauscher, both of whom seemed to agree more than they disagreed. What’s the world coming to! Josh also couldn’t contain his happiness about having a Stanford grad be the program speaker for the day.
- Alan Baer happily reported that Richmond Rotary’s holiday bell-ringing on behalf of the Salvation Army catapulted the Club to second place in competition with other Clubs, just behind the El Sobrante Club.
- Alan Blavins was happy about finishing his set painting (volunteer) duties for the Masquers Playhouse performance of “There Goes the Bride”, a British Comedy.
- Sid Chauvin was happy to make a donation in honor of the 50th anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill, a man the likes of which the world could truly use more of today.
- Stoney was happy about this meeting day coinciding with the 22nd birthday of his grandson, who’s a senior in college.
Giving Back: The Golden State Warriors Community Foundation
Stacey Street introduced Jose Gordon, Executive Director of the Warriors Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Golden State Warriors basketball organization. Jose is a graduate of Stanford University and was previously the Senior Director of Development Communications for the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in Palo Alto.
Jose has been in his current position a little less than two years, following the commitment of the new Lacob-Guber Warriors ownership group to put more emphasis on philanthropic community engagement. His main responsibilities involve fundraising and grant-making. The goal is to be a fully pass-through Foundation – “raise and give”!
In just a short amount of time, there has been significant progress. Last season, the Warriors were the leading philanthropic fund-raising team in the NBA.
There is a strong desire to have increasing community impact in the following areas.
- Grant-making, especially in San Francisco and Alameda counties.
- Basketball court refurbishments (more than 50 courts around the bay area have been built or improved so far, often involving local partners).
- Ticket donations (over 7,000 tickets were donated last year).
While not in initial priority areas, Richmond has been a substantial beneficiary of Warriors Community Foundation generosity in the form of targeted spending meant to help highlight and celebrate local efforts.
- A new basketball court in Martin Luther King Jr. Park with active participation from basketball Hall of Fame member, Mitch Richmond (quite a nice name match).
- A positive, high-visibility event for “Remembering Rodney Frazier” (a basketball point guard from Richmond High School who was shot and killed in a senseless incident).
- The Harrison Barnes Basketball Clinic in August 2014 in conjunction with the Richmond Police Activities League (PAL), the YMCA, and the City of Richmond Parks and Recreation Department.
Responding to questions, Jose commented briefly on the planned move of the Warriors team to San Francisco. Since the team moved in 1962 from Philadelphia, it now plays in the oldest arena in the NBA. After the move to San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors will still be very much a “bay area” team. As Jose pointed out, it’s only a 15-mile drive from where the team plays now to where it will play (and only 7 miles as the crow flies). Feel better now, Oakland?
Tom Waller, Rotating Scribe