Official Weekly Bulletin of the Rotary Club of Lafayette, CA
May 1, 2014 | VOL 68 | ISSUE 40

As Debbie rang our gang to order @ 12:30 pm we were wondering “where is everybody”?
Oakwood’s hardwood room was a scene of members milling about in sombreros, and tables festooned with Mexican flags and other nic nacs from south of the border.
It was Cinco de Mayo! And our celebrity chef, Jeff of La Finestra, had laid out an array of Mexican foods, including flan.
Members queued happily and later Dick was overheard telling his tablemates that he had stacked his tortillas too high, unable to fold them.

Red badger Ryan stood in as greeter and told us that life is not a box of chocolates (apologies to Mrs. Gump) but that it’s a jar of jalapenos – what you do today can burn your caboose tomorrow!

Debbie then looked ‘round the room and announced to our surprise that there were no guests and no visiting Rotarians. Luckily, we did have guests arrive later.
Our dauntless leader then called Dick, John Sherry & Norma forward to receive service pins in thanks for the hundreds (possibly thousands) of hours that they’ve committed to the club.
Pins were then distributed to members who had brought in new members, featuring Mike Heller (2), Jay (2), Greg (1) and Alan Mac (1).

Debbie kicked off announcements with a bocce challenge on 6/14 in Martinez. We need a team! Jim Jorgensen remarked that it’s a great event, urged us to join the fun.
John Sherry told us that donor funds for the Concert at the Res were now in excess of $7000, that we’ll begin work early on 5/10, that the manual gate will be open, and that the Jeremiah O’Brien sets sail on 5/24.
At 12:45 pm Mo Williams entered and was welcomed by Debbie. Our “head frog” then “leapt to it” and cheerfully donned a sombrero.
Debbie then reminded us all that district assembly would take place on Saturday 5/2 in Vallejo.

Guests, now in place, were introduced. Chris Lane, a guest of Jesse, asked whether this wasn’t the “Lamorinda Sunrise” club. Well, we can understand his confusion…we are serving Mexican today!
Carrie Lifson, Jay’s daughter, was also in attendance, and we learned that Carrie works with Alan Mac.
Back to announcements; Mo Levitch reminded us that we are nearing the July concert and that there are 20 tickets still available for the Jeremiah bay cruise at which the Rossmoor band will be playing.

Anna was not at the meeting so Debbie asked Ryan Svoboda, our greeter, to assume sergeant-at-arms duty, which he did.
First up was Larry Blodgett, and Ryan tried to levy 2 fines, noting that Larry flashed a $20 but handed over a $1.
Jay fessed up to the big 6-0 and tossed that many happy dollars into the large sombrero that Ryan impressed into service for collections duty.
Jay also revealed that Buddy would turn 60 on Tuesday and that “60” is the new “58” – very comforting! Jay also reminded us of Taste of Lafayette on 5/20.
Ryan then made his way over to John Sherry who had happy dollars because he “fixed the bitch” to close the puppy era. But the stud could still use a girlfriend!
Ray Bland then stood and let us know that his family visited from Maine and everybody enjoyed the Exploratorium. The Blands will also be traveling to Europe for 2 weeks.
When it came to Chuck’s turn he proposed to Ryan a removal of $5 from the hat. Ryan then performed a deft maneuver to place the hat behind his back, away from Chuck.
Smiling, Chuck handed over $2 and a Rotary banner from Virginia. Chuck then admonished us all to appreciate our food (Virginia’s was subpar) and handed a homemade blue badge to Alan Mac.
Our cherished ex-president, walking & talking, enjoying himself so much that finally Dick & Jay hollered “hey, is this the program” ? ?
Ryan quipped that he received good exercise following Chuck and the microphone around.
Debbie tossed $5 in to the wide brimmed hat for her 5-year old gransdon, a big Buster Posey fan, who played catcher in T-ball.
Norma, celebrating her 32nd anniversary, said that she has had 42 years worth of happiness!
Mo Levitch had happy dollars for the fire truck that we sent to Baja California and now hoping to follow up with police motorcycles. Mo also presented a small Cinco de Mayo party hat to Chief Eric.
Buddy had $20 happy dollars for celebrating 56 straight birthdays with Jay close by.
Dave Abrahams had $5 dollars for The Fresh Connection building opening and for daughter Josephine winning the McCaulous coloring contest.
Ed Stokes had happy dollars for Cliff Dochterman, a great Rotarian, past RI president, and current Moraga citizen of the year.
Bob Shusta had happy pesos for knowing Ryan Svoboda’s parents from earlier trips to Mexico, small world.
Maurice Williams made a donation to the sombrero as his son returned safely from Rio de Janiero, and had a great time despite a shooting close to his hotel.
Ray Bland then rose again to thank Diablo Foods for returning a lost credit card, that nobody had tampered. Ryan wanted to know whether it was already “maxed out”.
Matt Shriner, hurriedly compiling meet the member notes, was happy because he took his daughter to the zoo.
And Eric tells us that a business was robbed 2-weeks ago but the thief is now in custody after uploading a review to the Yelp web-site!
And with that Ryan handed the cash laden sombrero to Troy for salting away in the best club coffers.

Ron Wake then rose to present Mike Heller with a Paul Harris society pin, congratulations Mike!
Dan Furlong then approached the lectern with John Sherry to successfully recite the 4-way test, another milestone on the way to blue badge status.
We now segue to another installment of Debbie’s brainchild, “Meet the Members” !

Jesse Wellen was born in Harlem, NY in 1942. His mother was a nurse and his father a funeral director. The members were quick to catch the irony!
When the family opened a nursing home young Jesse lived with his folks in the same building. The family later moved to Queens and Jesse graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in 1960.
At the time Trinity was all-male and we were pleased to learn that Jesse made regular road trips to visit the ladies at the nearby women’s colleges.
Jesse did not like law school but he did like what he saw on TV about the summer of love in San Francisco. Our young hero went West and landed @ Bush & Powell.
There were stints at Aetna & Xerox but gradually Jesse became more & more involved with his own private real estate ventures and was successful until the law changed everything in 1986.
Meantime, Jesse married in 1973 and had 3 children in Mill Valley, all of whom excelled at sports and are now fully grown.
Jesse purchased the car wash in 1990 and has been in business in Lafayette for 24 years. Son Blake is a partner in the business.
Jesse and 2nd wife Theresa have been married since 1999 and together have 6 grandchildren, with lucky # 7 on the way.

Matt Shriner said some very nice things about joining Rotary and gave shout outs to some of the members, Dan Baker being one of them.
Our 44 year old hero lived in 8 states in his lifetime and counted 34 different homes during his 2 score and 4 years of life. He intends on staying at his current address on Valory Lane.
(At this moment Larry Blodgett hollered out “how many aliases have you had” ? ?)
Matt and his wife-to-be Jessica have an 18-month old daughter and a “dog-like” cat that Matt was spotted one time walking on a leash. Jessica hails from Argentina, speaks 5 languages, and is “to the left of frugal”.
Interspersed through his talk were references to sports, and we learned that Matt shaved a “W” into his chest during an exciting Warriors season.
Matt attended high school in Harvard, MA, ran various businesses, had a love affair with cars (actually a “bad history”) and played trombone. Matt has a younger sister and a cousin who is close like a sister.
After Wake Forest our young entrepreneur joined Enterprise, washing cars while wearing a necktie.
This transitioned into a sales & marketing job with Pfizer for 9 years followed by the purchase of 2 territories of the BrightStar Care franchise.
BrightStar does everything from make grilled cheese to insert an IV. Matt has 200 employees and is in the top 10 nationally for BrightStar. Last year Matt’s franchise won the customer loyalty award, # 1 out of 250!
Matt’s passion is to push for senior causes because seniors are always the underdogs. At this time we were passing 1:30 pm and Debbie pulled out the hook…

We had a raffle with Chief Eric taking home $2 and Bob Shusta pulling the marble, though your scribbler is unsure whether he claimed the $55 pot.

OMG, just a few days to the Concert at the Res ! ! Please see John Sherry for work details if you haven’t signed up already ! ! Let’s have 100% attendance on Saturday 5/10 ! !

Rotary International News Other News: Club Calendar

Addressing women’s health needs in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

Rotary members and family pack health kits to distribute.

By Pamela Godoy, past president of the Rotary Club of Mandaluyong-Pasig-San Juan, Philippines

Not long after Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) made its first landfall on 8 November, Rotary members in District 3800 began mobilizing donations to help the relief efforts.

Instead of the usual items for relief packs (canned goods, instant noodles, etc.), the members of my Rotary club decided to take a different approach and focus on Continue reading →

The Four Way Test
Of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Officers & Directors
Ron D. Burton . . . . . . .RI President
Steve Lack . . . .
Dist 5160 Governor
Debbie Cooper . . . . . . . . President
Chuck Vogel . . . . . Past President
Buddy Brodwin . . . . . . Club Service
Greg Vaisnor . . . President Elect
Bob Shusta . . . . . .Secretary Excu.
Norma Evans . . . . . . . . Secretary
Greg Vaisnor . . . . . . .  . Treasurer
Ronald Wake . . .Rotary Found. Chair
Maurice Williams
Community Service
Terry Ring
. . . . International Service
Dino Riggio 
. . . . Vocational Service
Anna Stevenson
. Sergeant at Arms
Give Hope - Give A Hand
The Rotary Club of Lafayette donates an LN-4 Prosthetic Hand in the name of our speakers each week.
The LN-4 Prosthetic Hand transforms lives and empowers those who have lost hands and limbs due to land mines, birth defects, and other catastrophes.
Make Up Meetings
and locations of nearby clubs:
Upcoming Speakers

5-15 Jim Carley, How to make your retirement funds last a lifetime
5-22 Kevin Nelson author, "Lunches with Mr. Q."

Local & District Events
Rotary International Events
05/01    Jay Lifson
05/28    Margaret Harbarth
05/31    Don Anderson
05/4    Anna Stevenson

 Notes by David Abrahams | Photos John Sherry