November 9, 2018

NEXT MEETING: November 9, 2018

Meet our new District Governor

This Friday we will welcome Jon Dwyer, the District Governor for District 5160. Visits from our DGs are always great opportunities to develop a broader picture of Rotary’s activities in the country and around the world.

We hope you’ll be able to make it.


  • Jan Brown wanted everyone to know that she has sent out a survey, asking your preferences for the 100th Anniversary of Richmond Rotary.       The survey only takes a minute. Please do it now:
  • Josh Surowitz, Auctioneer Extraordinaire, made an emotional pitch for all to make a contribution to the upcoming (11/30) Holiday Auction, give generously, invite rich friends…Let’s Make It Great!!!
  • Pam Jones announced that the Firehouse Dinner that was sold at last year’s Auction will be on11/16 6:30pm at Firehouse #64 Bayview. Contact Pam if you want to know if you are on the list
  • David Brown made another pitch for folks to buy bikes for the Toy Giveaway. David posted it on social media and has received $1400 in donations, but we need more. Credit cards gladly accepted.
  • Prez Jerry had a plethora of announcements:
    – Our Holiday Party, this year with El Cerrito Rotary, will take place at Richmond Art Center on December 8. Save that date.
    – Jerry and Erle Brown had the distinct pleasure of passing out $100 checks to teachers at Peres Elementary School.
    – The Club raised $800 to support Polio program
  • Herb Cole wanted all to know that the next polio vaccine project will be in India in January 2019. Talk to Herb if you’re interested in joining the effort.

MEETING OF November 2, 2018


Prez Jerry was back at the podium and welcomed all and asked Hank Covell to lead us in the Pledge. Herb Cole offered a silent prayer for peace, freedom and justice. Sid Chauvin offered: “If you don’t think every day is great try missing a few.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Josh Genser’s guest was Vinay Pimple and Bob Dabney’s guest was Demnlus Johnson III. Yes, it’s Election Season at the Rotary.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Recognitions Master Oscar Garcia did the honors:

  • Tom Butt celebrated his 38th year with Richmond Rotary
  • Josh Genser was happy to be hosting his annual Whiskey (Rye) tasting extravaganza. Thanks Josh! Auction item for this year will be Irish Whiskey (no cabbage)
  • Coach Josh Surowitz was happy that his kids soccer season was over.
  • Darlene Drapkin was happy that she will be in Mexico next Friday. She also reminded us that it is up to each of us—that includes you, dear reader—to recommend speakers for our meeting. You surely know people who are involved in projects or a profession that would be of great interest to our membership. Use your imagination. Then invite the prospective speaker to go to our Make a Presentation page and fill out the form. Darlene will take it from there.
  • Herb Cole reminded all that Alan Blavins was ready with another Fish Story for the Club.
  • Hank Covell was extremely happy that he got to attend his granddaughter’s wedding in Arizona.
  • Prez Jerry was sad that he missed last week’s meeting due to a medical concern.
  • Sid Chauvin was “sick” about the Raider season being over (no doctor needed for this diagnosis)


Early Childhood Mental Health Program

Nick Despota introduced our speaker, and soon to be Richmond Rotarian, Jeff Sloan. Jeff is the new Executive Director of the Early Childhood Mental Health Program (ECMHP) in Richmond.

Jeff grew up in Richmond and is a graduate of Salesian High School and UC Berkeley. He holds three Masters degrees: in clinical psychology, business administration, and theology. Jeff thanked the Club for its support of ECMHP over the years; and also thanked individual Rotarians like Josh and Elena Genser, who funded the construction of a playground at its new facility.

The goal of the program is “Keeping Families Together,” which is no small task these days since many young children face developmental trauma due to poverty, bullying, violence, separation from parents, racism and isolation.

ECMHP addresses these issues by working closely both with the child and the family. The organization focuses on early intervention, accepting children from 0 to 7 years of age. Its services include a therapeutic nursery school, family therapy services, parent and family support groups, in-school consultations, kinder transition, and immigrant and asylum legal workshops.

ECMHP has been serving the greater Richmond community for over 40 years. For more information, visit its website at

The Menehune, Rotating Editor