We are now more than half-way through the Rotary year, and the Club is gearing up for the many activities planned for the winter and spring. President Elect Rose is organizing the Reverse Raffle Fund Raiser and an outing to a rugby game; Past President Lisa Lorenz and Chuck Canada are setting their sights on the annual Paso Robles wine adventure; Paul Andrus has three service projects in planning stages; Dirk Lorenz is helping the Interactors register for RYLA and the speech contest; Jeff Falk can’t wait for our annual Day at the A’s; Sandra Young and Manuel Franco are facilitating the digging of a well in Kenya; and Geeta Kadambi is in India as I write this column promoting her Sight Now eye-care project in India.
That’s just a sample of all the activity that the Niles club generates through our shared commitment to the ideals of Rotary International. I haven’t even touched on the work that goes on keeping the operations of the club running smoothly. Sandy Stabile manages club service with aplomb; Audrey Kearns is a persuasive voice for us on the Area 3 international service committee; Paul Iannaccone drums up support for the Rotary Foundation and recognizes our Paul Harris fellows; Tammi Souza cheerfully takes minutes for the monthly board meetings and does so much more; Don Cole runs the numbers and keeps a wary eye on our finances; Larry Bowen safeguards the Niles Foundation funds; Dana Jones cracks the whip (with a smile) at our weekly meetings; Rick Hood and Chuck Canada drive our membership efforts; Adam Moura oversees mentoring and on-boarding of our new members; Margo Hood makes sure we send our best wishes to members under the weather; Rosemary Ashley makes our weekly deposits at the bank; Steve Barnett does his best to inject some levity into the club with the Bad Joke Contest; Josh Carlson cranks out our e-Bulletin every week; Scott Chambers engages lively and engaging speakers; Mary Lynn Pelican and Aggie Freeman support our local Rotaract Club; and Sandi Pantages writes, edits, and publishes the monthly Pinion and cajoles me into writing this column most months. (Sorry I am frequently late with my submission, Sandi.)
I know I must have left off the names of some members from this litany. I apologize for any omissions. The larger point I am trying to make is that the collective energy expended on the behalf of this club is nothing short of awesome. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the people listed above, for helping to make Niles Rotary the best Rotary club in the world. For newer members, level of activity indicated by the roll-call of announcements made each week must seem overwhelming. But the best way to overcome that feeling is to dive in and volunteer on a committee or attend a service event or come to a social. Jump in!
Before I end, I would like to mention a couple of highlights from the past month. On January 3, 2017, Rotary International President John Germ came to dinner in San Jose. Hundreds of Rotarians from all over our Zone were there. But which table did Rick King introduce to John Germ? You guessed it – the Niles Rotary table. Thank you, Rick, for bringing President John Germ over to meet us. It was a thrill.
I also wanted to thank Sam Forbes for kicking off the fundraising last week for the District Governor’s spouse, Barbara Orth’s “Read Me a Picture” project. We are well on our way to meeting our goal of giving a book to every second-grade student in the Title 1 schools of Fremont Unified School District. My personal thanks go out to everyone who has contributed to this effort so far. If you haven’t given yet, please consider making a donation to support Barbara and our students.