Happy Holidays, Niles Rotarians! With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror, we are truly in the midst of the holiday season. And Niles Rotary has a plethora, a myriad, nay a bunch of ways for you to celebrate with friends and fellow club members. You could join us on the Train of Lights on Friday, 12/2. The following week, you could ring in the season with some caroling at Scott Chambers’ house on Friday, 12/9, and ring the bell for the Salvation Army at Dale Hardware on Saturday, 12/10. Finally, the culmination of Niles Rotary’s holiday madness will be Saturday, 12/17, when we host Pizza with Santa and the annual Niles Rotary Holiday Party at the Allen’s home.
Before we bid adieu to 2016, and because I neglected to write an article for the November issue of the Pinion, I wanted to express my appreciation to all the club members who helped organize the many social and service events for Niles Rotary in October and November. Thank you, Paul Andrus and Jeff Shinkel, for organizing the Candlelighters Ghost House assembly and disassembly. Thank you, Harry Avila, Wendy Mills and Melissa DiMatteo, for running the Niles Walking Tour and Essanay movie. Thank you, as always, President Elect Rose, for Feed the Hungry. It’s especially great to see so many of the newer members of the club taking the lead with Niles project.
And thank you, Past President Steve, for assembling the Niles special-ops community-service team to put a waterproof tarp over the top of the Bunk House at Shinn Park. This service project was so covert, so stealthily-crafted that no-one – not even I – knew it was happening until it showed up in the Tri-City Voice. I didn’t even get a pair of night-vision goggles or a colorful code name out of the deal.
In the month of December, I am going to ask Niles Rotary Club members to contribute to a project being championed by the District Governor’s spouse, Barbara Orth. The mission of the project, titled “Read Me a Picture,” is to promote visual literacy and art appreciation through book ownership. As Barbara points out, over 61 percent of low-income families have no books in their house, and their children are at a substantial disadvantage in achieving success in elementary school.
In supporting Barbara Orth’s project, our goal is to give at least one book to every second-grade student enrolled in Title 1 schools in Fremont Unified. These schools have high percentages of children from low-income families enrolled. Fremont Rotary and Fremont Warm Springs Sunrise Rotary will be partnering with us on this, as there are 460 second-grade students for whom we hope to purchase books.
Stepping up to the plate to help make “Read Me a Picture” a huge success at Niles Rotary is Sam Forbes. Thank you, Sam! So, look for more information coming out on how you can help support this literacy project. The Governor’s spouse has asked that we collect funds to purchase the books through the month of December. Stay tuned.
With that, I would like to wish everyone in the club the happiest and merriest of holiday seasons. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, Three Kings Day, St. Lucia Day or (my favorite) Boxing Day, I hope you get to spend time with loved ones. And lay off the egg-nog on Hogmanay, if you are driving. We want everyone back at the club safe and sound for the second half of my presidency.