20 February: Kenya Smiles – at Sunset!

Tonight, District Governor Laura Day and D5160 International Project Team Leader Sheila Hurst were our special guests. But more about that later!

Jim Aquino led us in the pledge of allegiance. Besides our special guests, Vallejo Rotarian, Past President and District Governor’s Special Chartering Representative (whew!) Pete Friesen was with us. Carol Larson also brought Tyler Browne, the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the brand-new Vallejo Admirals Baseball Club. Tyler briefly told us about this Club, which just signed a contract with GVRD to play at Wilson Park. In a side conversation, he told me that the level of play is expected to be between that of A and AA minor leagues.

Then Laura and Sheila gave us their tag-team presentation on the District’s International Project, “Kenya Smiles” – a sustainable dental preventative health project for a few communities in Kenya. Laura and Sheila have lined up local Kenyan Rotarians, dentists, academics and governmental agencies, a couple of major corporate sponsors, and the generous support of District 5160 Rotarians (and non-Rotarian dentists!) to exceed their financial goal of raising $40k for the project. Laura also pointed out that with grants from Rotary International, the project will actually be able to raise nearly $140k to carry out the program, which also includes a training trip to California for a group of Kenyan dentists, and a trip of American dentist to Kenya for on-site education. There followed a spirited Q & A, after which, Laura announced that our Club would host the team from Kenya on 10 April!

Cheryl Feldman gave us an update on our major fundraiser, Luau – at Sunset! – on 26 April. Price is $75 per couple, venue is the Vallejo Power Company on Virginia Street. Entertainment by the Berkeley Ukulele Band. No host bar. Menu pending… The Special Events Committee met after our regular meeting.

Secretary Bryant Burleigh announced that Vice President and Club Buyer Liz Burleigh is taking orders for “Rotarian at Work” t-shirts. Since the price goes down with volume, Liz plans to aggregate all our orders and send them in together. So, get your shirt size to LizBurleigh@gmail.com.

President Tom announced these events upcoming:

  • 16 March – 2013 Mayor’s Annual Prayer Breakfast. Benefits Global Center for Success
  • 27 April – Rotarians at Work, an opportunity to roll up our sleeves in put in some labor for good cause. Tom Schneider is working on some good projects for us
  • 4 May – District 5160 Assembly at Solano Community College Vallejo Campus. This is free for all Rotarians, and is a fabulous opportunity to learn more about Rotary and get to know more Rotarians.
  • 18 June – what President Tom prefers to call our “Change of Command”, when the baton of Club leadership passed to President-Elect Steve Davis

Before  President Tom could ring the closing bell, several Rotarians rose to turn over their Happy Dollars – irrepressible lot!

The final bell rang, right on time, though many Rotarians tarried after to talk with DG Laura and Sheila and to get caught up with each other.

Next Meeting Speaker:  our own Janet Kendall, who’ll tell a great athletic tale about a famous Native American cowboy of the western rodeo scene. Y’all come – at Sunset!


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