MEETING TIMES: Gualala Rotary meets each Friday at the CLSD Training Room from 7:30 a.m. to about 9:00 a.m.

On the first Friday of each month, there will be a special presentation or guest speakers. On August 26, Rich Hughes made a fun presentation on “Kindness.” For October 7, Lisa Woods will speak about ‘Dreams,” and in November, Nora Messinger will talk about a local service project. Spouses and guests are welcome!

The Rotary Book Club: NEW! Thanks to Rich Hughes, Lisa Woods, and Ron Miles!

The first meeting of “The Eclectics,” a.k.a. the Gualala Rotary Book Club, is October 28, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. at the CLSD Training Center. Our first book is “Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel” by Francine Klagsburn. Lisa has ordered five copies from Four-Eyed Frogs for the Club. If you wish to buy from The Frog, you will receive a 10% “Book Club” discount.

Planning Meeting August 26, 2022

The Club met at the CLSD training room on August 26, 2022 from 7:30 to 11:30 for an extended planning meeting. As an ice-breaker, Rich Hughes made a presentation on “Kindness”, wearing one of his famously goofy hats (photo below). At the end of the meeting, the Club had come up with goals for 2022-2023:

  1. Gather as a group and decide on areas that allow members to serve in a way that is meaningful to them (satisfaction, commitment, and loyalty to Rotary Club).

2. Develop both ongoing and time-limited service projects

3. Know our fellow Gualala Rotarians and how they want to serve.

4. Reach out to others to see how Gualala Rotary might contribute/serve their needs (so that we don’t reinvent the wheel or necessarily develop service projects for everything). Examples: soliciting needs from teachers, Meals on Wheels, Redwood Coast Land Conservatory, and Coastal Seniors. More broadly, needs of children, literacy, or families with needs especially during the holiday season, and senior.

Rich Hughes Leading the Icebreaker on “Kindness”

June 2022

Our June Member’s Meeting was a gala event at the Gualala Community Center. A birthday, new members, and a rousing acclamation for the winners of our Club’s Healthcare Scholarships.

Health Care Scholarship Winners: In 2022 we awarded scholarships to local healthcare workers who wanted to extend their education in this all-important field. Two of our five scholarship winners were able to attend, bringing with them their smiling and supportive families. Marty Trieb, committee chair, shared with everyone the winners’ accomplishments, future goals, and motivation. Ara Chakrabarti, CEO of Redwood Coast Medical Services gave a keynote speech, reiterating the importance to rural healthcare of these scholarships.

Dick Soule’s Birthday: Long-standing member Dick Soule turned 100, so naturally we had to celebrate. Spouse Ellen came. Dick blew out the candles, Cliff Putnam gave a wonderful history-of-Dick talk, and Dick read an excerpt from his memoir of his World War II days.

New Members: a big welcome to the new members who joined in 2022, and their sponsors.

Ron Miles, new member Susan Martin, new member Heather Giovanni, Steve Chell, new member Caithy Zikouros, Jim DeWilder, new member Nora Messinger, Annan Paterson.

Mike Coombs, Treasurer, surprised Annan with a good financial report.

The rest of us chilled.

March 2022 Meeting

Nineteen of us met at Del Mar on March 11 for our monthly members/social meeting. Committee Chairs reports: Jim de Wilder tells us the Radio Project continues to roll right along. Marty Trieb reported the Scholarship Committee has two more recipients of our Health Care Scholarship Initiative. Club Secretary Ron Miles reported we now have 29 members in our chapter.

The Finance Committee reported our financial position looks good due to the rise in the stock market over the recent past. The Committee will next be discussing rebalancing the portfolio or Vanguard Index funds. To start getting more funds in the door, a fund-raising letter written by Paul Plakos will go out to the Coastal Community at the end of April.

Treasurer Mike Combs reported the Lions Club may be interested in allying with us or taking over entirely Oktoberfest. This event depends on getting the support of the beer vendors. Project Santa also has a healthy balance for next Christmas.

President Annan brought forward the discussion of election/re-election of officers for 2023. The membership voted yes to having the current officers continue in their positions for one more year to ensure continuity and stability.

We had two guests (and prospective new members) at our meeting and dinner, Susan and Neil Silverman.

The Meetings Committee (aka FUN) introduced a new feature to get us to know each other: the Interview. Steve Chell is the Club MC, and Annan agreed to be the first out of the gate. Here’s an excerpt of what we learned about Annan.

She lived in Fresno for 24 years after college working as a school psychologist and LIKED FRESNO. The event in her life that “rocked her,” as she said, happened at age 35 upon learning she had ovarian cancer.  Amazingly, she said this life-threatening event made her life better.  Also surprising: the most interesting place she has visited gave her claustrophobia (but she did it anyway.) Paul Plakos asked which she preferred, and not surprisingly, she chose the Beatles over the Rolling Stones. Her favorite song is “Lovely Day.”

February 2022 Meeting

The Committee Chairs reported on: the high school radio project, the Healthcare Scholarship program, and the introduction of four new guests, Dan and Heather Ruggelbrugge, Kristen Balliet, and Heather Giovanni. Icebreaker fun, and then pizza dinner.

Holiday Party: December 10 , 2021

Ever played “White Elephant Gift Exchange?” After reports from the chairs of the committees on Health Care scholarships, the High School Radio Project, and Membership/Meetings (also known as the FUN committee), we moved right into our gift-giving. Everyone received something charming, delightful, ooooops, or meaningful. We ended with a new poster child for our next party: Dave Crowl got a karaoke microphone. It works!

November 12, 2021

Guest Leslie Tittle was our guest speaker, informing us of changes to policies for Project Santa for 2021 due to COVID. Gualala Rotary is the treasurer and main service organization in the area for Project Santa, which brings a little holiday cheer to those in need.

Nora, Annan, and guest Leslie Tittle

District Governor’s Visit: Oct. 15, 2021

The District Governor asked how our Club kept going during the COVID-19 lockdown, and if we found Zoom a useful tool when we could not all meet together. He also honored our special guests, the owners of Sea Ranch Supply, Stacy and Chris Atkinson, who were one of three finalists for the District’s Ethics in Business Award. And our own Michael Combs, for his Paul Harris award.

The Kick-Out Dinner

We hold an annual “kick-out” party. Our old president is “kicked out,” and the new president installed. In 2021, the kick-out took place August 27th at the Del Mar House, the Sea Ranch.

In addition to the wonderful catered lasagne dinner accompanied by some outstanding wine of the North Coast, the old President, Jim DeWilder, received tributes, including this one from our new President, Annan Paterson:

Former Presidents of Gualala Rotary, all “kicked out.”

(To the tune of Auld Lang Syne)

Should old presidents be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Should old presidents be forgot

No, never you, Jimbo!..

For auld lang syne, my dear

For auld lang syne.

Gualala Rotary kickes ye out

For auld lang syne.

(You get the picture!)