May 22, 2020

NEXT MEETING: May 22, 2020

How is Contra Costa College responding to student needs?

Mayra Padilla will share some basic information about West Contra Costa County, its students, and how the college is responding to the community needs. She will highlight some bright spot programs and identify some of our students’ unmet needs. This will be an interactive presentation so you will have an opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback about how students’ experience at Contra Costa College might be improved.

For security reasons, our video conference meetings are by invitation only. The Zoom invitation will be sent to our members with the subject “Richmond Rotary Invitation.” If you didn’t get it last week, please check your spam. Rotary guests are welcome. To receive the Zoom link, request it by sending an email to prior to our meeting on Friday.


With 50 Hygiene packets ready for delivery to GRIP and the homeless, our club has committed to another 50. Thank you to our generous donors, volunteers and organizers for this event. Community Chair Pam Jones, with Darlene Quenville, Jon Lawlis, Alan Baer, Tamara Shiloh, and you, were the force behind the effort. Thank you and good luck on the next 50! Using Amazon’s wedding registry, we have set up a Richmond Rotary Community Project to purchase hygiene gift bags for homeless people in the Richmond area. Visit the registry here, to choose the items you want to donate, or just go to Amazon and search for “wedding registry”, then in the next search field, “Richmond Rotary.” Thank you for your generosity!

There’s a virtual Board Meeting this Thursday, May 20, at noon. Contact Jan if you’d like to attend.

The Danville Rotary is conducting a fundraiser, A Virtual Lyyve Party to support Bay Area Food Banks. It’s on Sat. May 23 12pm-12am. Tickets start at $5. For more information, visit.

Happy Sad Dollars

Without dedicated a team of scribes, Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars have become occasional treats: nice when we have them, too bad when we don’t. (Volunteers?) This week we have a few Happy and Sad Dollars, even reaching back a month to grab notes left in our PayPal donations page, where you can record the source of happiness and sadness when you chip in a few bucks.

Last week Nakele was simply happy to attend online Rotary zoom meetings. Yes.

Jan offered congratulations the UC Berkeley University & College Graduates of 2020. In honor of both this year’s grads and Cal’s alumni of 50 years ago, when commencement was canceled for different reasons (Kent State & Peoples Park unrest), Jan had happy dollars that this year’s canceled graduation was replaced by a 2020 Virtual Commencement via Minecraft. Go Bears!

And last month, Darlene Quenville had happy dollars because her parents had a safe car journey from Florida to upstate New York. They drove because flights were cancelled due to the coronavirus.


Reflecting and Adapting

After welcomes and preliminaries, we randomly divided our group of some 30 members into small breakout rooms of 4 or 5 per “room” (a “room”, now defined in physical terms as a packet of digital audio and video signals transmitted through space, to and from computers located somewhere and computers right here on our desks, or laps—back and forth—thereby creating the sensation of “being together.” Welcome to the 21st century.)

Each small group discussed any or all of three questions: How do you imagine Rotary meetings if we don’t have a place to meet? What partnerships could our club build that would promote service to the community? What is the most memorable program you’ve heard this year?

After about 15 minutes of discussion within the smaller groups, everyone returned to the “main room” and shared their ideas. Despite having several separate conversations, we heard a lot of overlap.

Using breakout rooms was effective because it enabled small group discussions. Some good ideas surfaced. And just as importantly, each of us had an opportunity for conversations with a small handful of other Rotary members. Almost like sitting at a table with a bunch of friends.