20 March: Adopting a Ugandan Village – at Sunset

The great bell rang and Board Member Samuel Thompson led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Visiting Rotarians: our speaker, Larry Hutchings, Past President, Clayton Valley / Concord Sunrise club; our old and regular friend Mike Diaz, Past President, Vallejo noon club; Paul Nannar, Vallejo noon club; Mike Campi, Napa Sunrise club and a guest of Foundation Chair Joan Sumagaysay. Guests of Rotarians: Cecile Stifle, Asst VP, WestAmerica Bank, Vallejo Branch, guest of Sam Thompson; “JJ” Feldman, son of Treasurer John and Cheryl Feldman.

Rotarians made a spirited Happy Dollars session as they welcomed JJ Feldman back from his second deployment to Afghanistan. JJ spoke very briefly about having a good deployment. He allowed, though, that as happy as he was with his Army duties, he will leave the service in July and return to California to pursue a college degree. We’re sure his parents are very proud of his service, and happy he’s getting out of the service!

Our guest and speaker Larry Hutchings spoke with passion about a project of adopting the “village” – actually a collection of smaller villages within a larger geographic area – called Nsawo when he was the Grants Chair of his club. Utilizing the Rotary grant program, Larry and his club were able to raise about $35,000 for a variety of projects for this village including well-digging, seed and animals (pigs and cattle), and education facilities for the roughly 2500 people of the village. Larry talked with us about the second phase of this grant where he and his club plan to go back to the village with ~$30,000 more to do a micro-loan program, to expand on the educational work already embarked upon, and to develop a maternal health program.

At the end of Larry’s talk, Paul Nannar rose to donate $200 to our club as seed money for a gift to Larry’s project.

Rotarian Shontell Beasley arrived in time to be called forward as Rotarian of the Week. A very modest Rotarian, Shontell didn’t toot her own horn, but told about her 10-year-old daughter – a very serious student in Benicia schools – and, only very briefly, about her accounting and book-keeping business. What Shontell didn’t mention is the hours of work she does for our club, first by keeping Treasurer John Feldman on the straight and narrow; but also the work necessary to obtain our club’s tax-exempt status from the State of California!

Foundation Chair Joan Sumagaysay rose to announce the Rotary Foundation Global Study Scholarships for 2013-2014. To be eligible, the person must have (or will have) his / her Bachelor’s degree. Contact Joan – JoanSumagaysay@umpquabank.com – if you have someone who you think should be considered for this scholarship.

Cheryl Feldman reminded us of our First Annual LUAon Friday 26 April. Sell your tickets! Invite your friends! This is how we will raise the money to support the Continentals, and our International Service Project – to be decided in the next few weeks. Cheryl mentioned that Michael Wilson, well-known to us as a master auctioneer

President Tom reminded us that our meeting on 10 April, DG Laura Day is bringing by the Kenya Smiles dental vocational team.  This is a Solano County Rotary event. We expect a lot of Rotarians, so we need you to register for this meeting so Nader El Kabanny and his crew will know how much food to buy. Do this by clicking on thislink:http://kenyasmilesatsunset.eventbrite.com. Treasurer John guarantees that he’ll credit the $15 charge for this meeting to your meal invoice for next quarter.

Remember to register for the 4 May District 5160 Assembly at the Solano Community College facility on Columbus Parkway. It’s free, and you’ll get to meet a lot of other Rotarians, and you’ll learn a lot more about Rotary.

The great bell rang promptly at 6.15, and Rotarians went on about their business.


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