December 1, 2017

NEXT MEETING: December 1, 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas (Richmond Style)

Join Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay for a unique annual Richmond holiday tradition. Come enjoy a nostalgic holiday romp with ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future that have visited Richmond during the past year, set to the traditional Christmas carol.


  • No meeting this Friday! Enjoy leftovers and quality time with your families (not necessarily in that order).
  • Nick Despota reminded everyone that anyone who has not already submitted his or her auction donation needs to do it this week. We all take pride in the extent of our support for local communities. But let’s remember that this generous level of support is only possible because of your generosity.
  • Our Holiday Auction is also the day we contribute to the Richmond Police and Firefighters drive. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for this purpose.
  • President Connie announced that the board has decided to try a meeting schedule change: Our meetings would begin promptly at 12 (as opposed to 12:30), and end at 1 (as opposed to 1:30). This shift is intended to attract new, or non-attending existing, members for whom the somewhat earlier in-and-out period is more compatible with their work schedules.
  • Charlie Fender would like a ride to and from the Auction. If you can do this, please give Charlie a call at 510-526-1625, and send an email to Nick so we know this is taken care of.
  • On December 15th, instead of our usual noon time meeting we will gather for a holiday party at the Richmond Art Center. Yipee! (Not that we don’t like noontime meetings.)
  • David Brown announced the distribution of money collected for those affected by storms and hurricanes in the Gulf states. $2,350 was raised, and here how we distributed it:
    $250.00      Rotary Club of Beaumont, Texas
    $250.00      District 5890 Disaster Relief Fund
    $250.00      District 6200 Foundation
    $600.00      St. John Community Foundation
    $1,000.00   TRF Gulf Coast Disaster Relief Fund
  • Crab-Eaters Alert. Our annual Crab Feed Fundraiser will take place on January 27 at Salesian High School.

MEETING OF November 17, 2017


President Connie Tritt presided over the meeting. Herb offered an invocation, members pledged their allegiance to the flag, and Sid proposed this thought-for-the day: The fact that there is a highway to hell but only a stairway to heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Hank Covell brought his bride of many years, Doreen, to lunch today.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Hank observed that the Uber ride home from the Oakland Airport took longer than the flight from Phoenix to Oakland.
  • Jerry is happy to be visiting Rotary club in Mexico.
  • Jim Findley had sad dollars about the passing of his aunt
  • Nick had 3 happy dollars for visits to the DC offices of 3 California Representatives: Mark DeSaulnier, Barbara Lee and Ted Lieu. Nick joined hundreds of other members of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby who visited the capital to push for a carbon fee and dividend system.
  • Jan Brown had a dollar’s worth of shout-out dollar for her participation in Ric Ambrose’s imaginative offering to last year’s Auction: a drawing class at the Richmond Art Center that emphasized close observation.
  • Stacey was happy to have performed a capella at a public event.
  • Mey was happy to celebrate with an anniversary trip to Maccu Pichu.
  • Connie had sad dollars about Trump’s sad decision to permit trophy’s from elephant hunting to be imported into the U.S.
  • Darlene Drapkin was pleased that she received recognition as Richmond Chamber Ambassador of the Year. She is dedicated to promoting Richmond!
  • Ric Ambrose had sad dollars, recounting the fact that an artist he knows lost his life’s work in the last month’s wildfires. Ric reported that, in support, his staff at the Richmond Art Center raised $1,000 and donated a truckload of art supplies.


Rising Sun Energy

Stacey introduced Abbey Leonard, the Director of Development and Marketing at Rising Sun Energy Center. Stacey was proud that the Richmond Community Foundation has supported the work of this great organization, which has served the dual goals of career development and supporting the transition to a low-carbon green economy.

Rising Sun has been tackling economic inequity and climate resilience challenges for 23 years. It empowers young men and women to achieve environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities. Through thoughtfully-designed workforce development programs, it strives to enable everyone who wants a good family-sustaining career can have one.

Rising Sun has two main programs:
1. California Youth Energy Services (CYES), which employs local youth during the summer. CYES served 4,400 families by providing energy efficiency upgrades this summer.
2. Green Employment Training Services (GETS) trains adults in construction and prepares them for apprenticeship programs in the building trades,

The majority of the young people served by Rising Sun have been African-American, but recently Rising Sun has been able bring an increasing number of Latino youths in its programs.
Rising Sun is also helping more women in their programs, with the consequence that more women will enter into the building trades. Young women are also being introduced to work in the energy field through the CYES program. Click the video below to hear from one of them.

To learn more, visit the Rising Sun Energy Center website.


-Darlene Drapking, Rotating Scribe