January started off strong with International President Ian Riseley taking center stage at the DoubleTree San Jose. His Theme: Rotarians Who Are Making A Difference – From Devastation Comes Inspiration. Several Niles Rotarians attended the event and were inspired.
At our first club meeting of the year we welcomed a new club member Tina Steckler Fernandez. Tina was sponsored by her husband Craig and will be mentored by best friend Dana Jones. Welcome to the club Tina – we are excited that you are a part of our Family. Rock and Roll was the theme of our day as we heard about the ups and downs and passion for Rock and Roll as lived by musician Roem Bauer. Thank you for sharing you heart for your music. Roem followed the meeting up with a House Party at the Jones.
The second Kick Off meeting “On to Toronto” for the Rotary International Convention was held at BJ travel. If you plan to attend, reach out to Sandi Pantages and get in the Loop. It will be a lot of fun!
Our next meeting kicked off with me getting caught up on my Rotarians of the Months – I went back to October and named Sam Forbes Rotarian of the Month for stepping in at the last minute as Sargent at Arms and for doing such a great job. Thank you so much Sam! Our program that day was a fascinating young man Brian Edwards, Principal Librarian of the Fremont Libraries. He discussed how the libraries are evolving in the technology era. We are very lucky to have people like Brian looking to the future to protect a gem in our community — our Fremont Library.
The meeting on the 19th included Maria Mendoza being acknowledged as December’s Rotarian of the Month for her work on the eBulletin. Maria stepped in at the 11th hour to take over the publishing of the weekly bulletin. She has done a wonderful job and now has partnered with Mary Lynn to provide links to Mary Lynn’s Shutterfly Photo albums. If you haven’t take a look you should and can do so by scrolling to the bottom of the eBulletin each week and click on the Shutterfly links provided – no need to sign in or have a Shutterfly password. Great job Maria and thank you to our Ambassador of Fun for her “Fun Photos!” Paul Iannacconi made some Paul Harris presentations. He presented Dan Smith with a plaque for being a Major Contributor to the Rotary Foundation and Paul Harris Society Member; Paul then made a presentation to Mary Florio for her Paul Harris and for being a Paul Harris Society Member. Our speaker for the day was Priya Mayureshwar from the “Yes for Schools” program. Particularly interesting to me was her discussion on breathing techniques for students, parents, and teachers. The program offers life skills to manage stress and emotions. It really was a fascinating discussion with some amazing results in the short time they have been in operation. Best of Luck Priya – everyone could use a program like this.
January 20, 2018 was Starstruck Theater’s James and the Giant Peach social. Niles Rotarians gathered at the home of Sandra and Daren Young for dinner, laughter, and fun. The group finished dinner and moved on the Smith Center for a production of James and the Giant Peach. It was wonderfully done – the kids in this play were amazing. A good time was had by all.
For the last meeting of the month, it was time for Club Assembly – I know how important it is to give the club info BUT sometime they can be so boring. I decided to use this meeting to shake things up a little. At the last Family Fun Meeting I felt very bold and nervous in asking people to change tables. You all did and it was really fun. Soooooo Rich Brunelli told me that next time I should hand out numbers so I would truly mix things up. I have to say I was very nervous about it. I do know that with our lives so busy that coming to Rotary weekly and being able to sit with your friends is a very important part of the glue that holds our club together. Of course I had Dana Jones (she carries a gun) hand out the numbers, and I am a part of the BEST CLUB on the planet. You all changed seats and tables and did so smiling! I felt like if we could do this a couple of times during the year, it would give are growing group of new Rotarians an opportunity to get to know our seasoned group. Thank you all for your indulgence. The mini slide presentation with Club info is later in this Pinion. I was very honored to have all the Area 3 Presidents at the meeting, along with 5170 Area 3 Assistant Governor Jim Bell. Early in our year Jim asked that we all attend 1 of each other’s meetings together. It has been really fun, a great way to get to know each other better, and interesting to see the culture of each club. We played the Favorites Game. There is no wrong answer in the Favorite Game. Rotarians were asked to pick 1 – Favorite Rotary Social, moment, or project, tell what and why – We then went table to table with 1 person telling their favorite and what they learned about the others at the table. There was much diversity in the answers from International (life altering) moments, International Conventions, Pizza with Santa, Reverse Raffle, to Feeding the Hungry. As the song says “We are a friendly happy band and the greatest in the Land”; with so many favorites and such a strong Family I hope you had fun – I know I did.
ONE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT – Gary Raver is getting HITCHED! Gary announced he has asked his high school sweetheart Debbie to be his bride. He announced it during Happy Bucks! Congratulations Gary and Debbie – Debbie, we look forward to getting to know you. Gary sure looks smitten just say’n!
One other notation for the day – One of our 1st women Rotarians was fined for her 30 years as a Niles Rotarian. She was also our FIRST Woman President. I cannot tell you how proud I am to call Sandi Pantages my friend. She is an amazing woman. She and Dick have and continue to give so much of themselves to our club. Sandi is the Pinion Editor, works on the Membership Committee, runs the floor at Feed the Hungry, and is in charge of Youth Protection for the club. They are at everything, District & International Conferences included, and are fun and dedicated. Thank you for everything you do for our club! You both are a blessing!!! [From the Pinion editor – WOW! Thank you!!!].
Social Change – Wow – our third Social Change event was a huge success. We met at Das Brew for a tour of the Brewery, a flight of beers with sandwiches and chips provided by Pranav and a friend of Sophia’s, Earl, who talked about an interesting app he has developed that allows you to send drinks to your friends from your phone. We had lots of questions and lots of fun. Here is a summary of the evening.
- 22 attendees
- 7 Rotarians
- 15 Guests (ages 21-40)
- 3 Repeat guests from previous Social Change Events
- We actually ended up with about $150 profit. So we will use this money for our next events.
Feedback from guests:
- Would like to do community events (clean parks/schools, Feed the Hungry, tutoring, counseling)
- Would like Rotary to help build professional skills/mentoring
- Networking opportunity, sporting events, chef events, board games
It was a great evening and a great turnout – Congrats Sophia and Aziz!
PLEASE NOTE WE HAD MORE MILLENIALS THAN ROTARIANS!
Finally we closed out the month with a beautiful Memorial Service for our dear Steve Barnett. It was held January 28, at Round Hill Country Club. Niles Rotarians turned out in force to support the family and celebrate Steve’s life with a huge group of friends. Thank you to Margo Hood, Sandy Stabile, and Steve Beven for stepping in and supporting, organizing and directing guests in the (because of you) controlled chaos. You did a beautiful job and I know the family appreciated your loving care. We will miss Steve’s bigger than life smile, his gentle kindness, his jokes and his amazing prayers.