May 4, 2018

NEXT MEETING: May 4, 2018

Richmond's First MultiCultural Bookstore for Kids

It’s easy to find good books, right? Well, if you’re looking for children’s book, not right. Browsing isn’t exactly easy on Internet, and our local bookstores don’t necessarily stock books that reflect the diverse backgrounds of our community’s kids.

Tamara Shiloh set out to change that. Stocked with books that reflect African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, and Middle Eastern cultures, she established the Multicultural Bookstore, which offers a welcome resource to the families of our area.

The bookstore is located at 2325 Hilltop Mall (2nd floor between Zumiez and Macy’s). Tamarah will tell us about her experience in turning this great idea into a great place to bring kids.


Second Annual RotaCare Bowl-A-Thon, will take place Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Albany Bowl.  All proceeds will benefit RotaCare (Richmond). Jon and Darlene and Pam and Neville are planning to attend.  We need Club Members to support our team with per-pin pledges and/or fixed-amount pledges.  Please send your donation to Richmond Rotary with Bowl-A-Thon noted on the check to David Brown, Treasurer.
Alan Baer announced we need people to sign up and donate to the Salvation Army Walk-A-Thon.  If we support this cause significantly, we will get our Rotary name on their van. Alan passed around Pledge Sheet.
Oscar Garcia announced first tree watering for newly planted trees will be this Sunday, April 29th.  He and Felix will let us know how the watering process goes.
• Trina Jackson, of the City of Richmond Council Office, presented a lovely gift of tea from the Japanese Delegation from Shimada. The tea can be steamed or roasted.

MEETING OF April 27, 2018


Past President Josh Surowitz welcomed the group at Cafe Soleil. Oscar Garcia led the Pledge; Herb Cole led the invocation with a prayer for peace, freedom and justice on Earth.  Sid Chauvin’s Thought for the Day…”My wife and I were happy for 20 years, then we met!”

Josh Surowitz and Tom Butt both welcomed the Japanese Delegation from our Sister City, Shimada, Japan.  Tadashi Manya, the Deputy Mayor of Shimada, had a few words to share with the Rotary Club. He views Richmond as his second hometown.  It was back in 1961 when Richmond, CA and Shimada, Japan become Sister Cities, 57 years have passed since then. Over 500 Richmond Friends have experienced Japan’s culture and stayed with Japanese families or in hotels.  There are five Richmond Friendship student guests coming to Japan in June. Shimada Rotarians are looking forward to meeting the new Richmond Friends.

The delegation handed out a flyer for the Shimada Big Festival “Obi Festival”, which will be held on three days in October, 2019.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

A long list of visitors today! They fall into 2 categories. All were enthusiastically welcomed.

Deb Dyer (NIAD), Speaker
Jim Becker (sub for Stacey Street)
Trina Jackson
Josh Miklich
Evan Sirchuk
Ada Recinos
Japanese Delegation from Shimada, Japan
Tadashi Manya, Deputy Mayor Shimada
Toshie Hagiwara
Hiroki Matsushita
Kaori Kosaka
Mr. Yasushiro
Chiyomi Honma


Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Oscar Garcia announced there were no Recognitions this week. But wait!! (See below.)

Happy/Sad Dollars

Josh Surowitz had happy and sad dollars.  Happy dollars for both of his boys being named to their baseball All-Star Teams.  Sad dollars that he is managing one of the teams, so there goes his summer!
Jim Becker had happy dollars to be filling in for Stacey Street, as she is not feeling well.  Also happy that his vision has returned.
Jan Brown had happy dollars that she made it to the meeting.  She went to the Richmond Country Club, forgot about the change in venue today.
Oscar Garcia had happy dollars that his teeth are better now.

Recognizing our Pals in Chalaca, Mexico

The sign’s got it right: “Rotarians working together with families and students.” In April and May, Richmond Rotarians headed down to Chacala, Mexico, to help make badly needed improvements to 3 elementary schools. Hailing from Berkeley, Richmond, and La Penita, Mexico, they pitched in to repair broken-down roofs, rewire faulty electrical circuits, scrape and paint, build furniture and much more. Norm Lundberg, Josh Genser, Connie Tritt, Erle Brown, and Linda Young are toiling away right now, even as you read this (or maybe not).

Thanks to Linda and Josh for sending along these photos.


Jim Becker introduced Deb Dyer, the Executive Director of NIAD.  NIAD used to be known as the National Institute for Artists with Disabilities but over 4 years ago changed the name to NIAD, Nurturing Independence through Artistic Development.  It was founded in 1982 by Elias Katz and his wife, Florence Katz.

Deb Dyer has been working with the organization for over 8-1/2 years and is amazed at the quality of the art produced by these wonderful artists.  She thanked Richmond Rotary for all their support over the years. NIAD has been in its current location on 23rd Street for 30 years. It’s a place where people learn to make choices and grow.

It has many art exhibitions and over 5,000 pieces currently on the web, ranging in price from $5 to $7,000.  It currently works with 65 adults each week. The artists earn 50% commission on art sold. The artists are taken to museums, galleries, studios to see contemporary art and take this experience back to the center.

The exhibitions change each month.  There are 6 – 7 outside curators who choose what will be shown.  Digital online viewing is done weekly with the outside curators. The artists are found through the Regional Center.  Program fees and grants represent 60% of their budget. $300,000 of their budget needs to be raised from outside sources.  $100,000 of art has been sold over the past 3 – 4 years. Richmond has an amazing connection to the art world within a two-block area.

At NIAD, they have what’s being exhibited but also a record of what each artist has done before in their files.  They currently have 6,000 pieces in the building, worth approximately $1.7 million.

These artists learn so much through the process of making and creating art and are so very proud of their work!  Deb loves seeing the smiles of pride!

Rotating Scribe Darlene Quenville