HAPPY NEW YEAR NILES ROTARIANS! We made it through the holiday season! I cannot believe I am truly half way done. The first meeting of last month was a special meeting to me because it was at my home church Harbor Light. Rick King gave Padma Magadala her first Paul Harris as she literally said goodbye to her Red Badge. We did not have the words to the “Day of exchanging your red badge for blue” – BUT we sang it anyway as Padma danced along. Congratulation Padma – As Rick King said, we are very lucky to have you in our club.
December is the month we celebrate 30 years of women in our club as the first women inducted in 1987 included Past President Nancy Farber and Past President/ 1st woman President of Niles Rotary Sandi Pantages; Nancy and Sandi joined on December 17. Thank you both for paving the way for the rest of us.
On December 7, my presidential team and Don of course were very happy that I finally got some fining done to help catch up. Our program was the amazing Bell Choir from Fremont Christian School. It was a very nice meeting and a great way to begin our holiday season.
December 14th was a fun day!!! We kicked off the meeting with our Reverse Raffle Players for the 2nd year in a row entertaining us with a little Elvis and company. Steve Landon, Ray Pederson, Bruce Prescott, Brian Hughes supporting our own Audrey Kearns (as Elvis) had everyone rockin! Kimberly MacFarlane and Brian let everyone know the Theme of the 2018 Reverse Raffle will be ALOHA. Casual aloha shirt attire and lots of surprises are in store. The kick off was a great success and lots of laughs – following the kick off it was my pleasure to exchange Aziz Akbari’s Red Badge for BLUE – Congratulations Aziz we love having you in our club. The program of day was about the History of Pizza with Santa – I described the history and we also had our shoppers in the house to tell a few stories. Judy Zlatnik has done a wonderful job for 15 years and 2017 was her last – BUT Becky and Randi will be taking over. The families they interview are proud, humble, hard working people; Becky and Randi tried to tell a story of two families but were moved to tears. The family interview process is so personal. Historical details and pictures can be found further in the Pinion. We ended our meeting with the 2018/2019 elections; it’s official that Jeff Schinkel will serve as our Community Services Director and Dana Jones will continue in her role as Club Administration Director. Bruce Prescott was voted in as President Elect Nominee.
December 21 was our annual Richard King Christmas Carol sing along meeting. We were honored to have District Foundation Chair Russ Hobbs, Past District Governor Joe Hamilton, Past District Governor Ron Sekkel and Past President of the Pleasanton Club Richard Flanders join in on the fun. Russ Hobbs was here to award Past President Angus and Paul Iannaccone with the 100% Member Participation award for the 2016/2017 year. Congratulations Angus and Niles Rotarians. Raj Salwan, Daren Young and I were awarded our Paul Harris Society plaques and pins.
December is always a great month for Community Service and Fun – Niles Rotarian continued the tradition of Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army. Two sites were selected: Safeway at the Hub and Dale Hardware. Niles Rotarians worked two hour shifts in pairs from 11:00 to 7:00. Our Ringing Rotarians included Bill Arvoy, Dolores Viano, Mark Crutcher, Margo Hood, Sandi Pantages, Padma Magadala; Steven and Carolyn Springer at Dale and John Dutra, Larry Bowen, Jeff Schinkel, Rich Brunelli at Safeway. We had a couple of empty spaces this year but we will overcome that next year. Thank you to all who participated.
ON THE SAME DAY we had Pizza with Santa. Friday the 15th Chuck Canada, Steven Landon, Dirk Lorenz and Kathy Laidlaw decked the halls of the Centerville Free Dining Room in preparation for the party. Bright and early the next morning Rotarians and our special families began to arrive. Crafting, jump housing, horseback riding, laughing and getting to know our families began about 9:00 am. The Rotarian involvement is overwhelming – we had over 45 Rotarians, family members, Rotoractors and guests step up to make this a memorable day for our families. Santa arrived at about 11:00 am and the party got REAL! Cries of joy, smiling faces, laughter and parents that could not believe what was happening. It’s the best day!! Finally we settled in to pizza as the families expressed their overwhelming gratitude for blessing them.
All of this occurred in 2 days: 2 community service projects and our annual Christmas party at the Young’s on Friday evening after decorating for Pizza with Santa. Thank you once again to Sandra and Daren for hosting our club in your beautiful home. Thanks to the Social Committee, Lisa Lorenz, Tammi Souza, Angus Cochran and others for organizing a great evening.
I am looking forward to a GREAT 2018. As an avid Facebook follower it was so much fun to see large groups of Niles Rotarians making non Rotarian events look Rotarian. We give together, we work together, we volunteer together, we play together, and in our free time we choose each other a lot of the time. Family by Choice – Makes me smile!!
Happy New Year everyone!