Posted by Brian Lan on Aug 25, 2018
We welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests from around the world (China, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany) as well as the Bay Area, Nevada, and North Dakota.
President Rhonda recapped several events from the previous week, including the very successful New Members Gathering on August 15 and the Rotaplast Bocce Ball Tournament on August 19. Around 150 Rotarians attended the tournament, which raised $4,000.
President Rhonda noted that Jim Patrick (Office Supplies, Patrick & Company) will host a Rotary 101 session after the luncheon for new and prospective members to share how to get involved in the Club’s activities and projects. Rhonda announced that the Rotary 5150 Foundation Picnic will be held on Sunday, August 26 in Foster City. She also noted that the Private Evening Tour at SFMOMA will be held next Thursday, August 30 at 5:45 PM. Finally, Rhonda highlighted several upcoming volunteer activities next month, including the Rotary Meadow work day on September 15 at 9 AM and the Friends Like Me Dinner Club at The Arc on September 17 at 6 PM.
Rhonda introduced a new segment to the luncheon called the Time Capsule to honor the Rotary Club of San Francisco's history. This week's spotlight was Jim Emerson (Retired Clergy; Presbyterian), Past President from 1990-1991 and former pastor at the Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. Anita Stangl (Nonprofit Medical Services; Alliance for Smiles) shared news about Jim’s health, and a card was passed around for members to sign and wish him well. Members also watched a video interview with Jim as he shared his own Rotary experiences.
Rhonda announced that $1,500 had been raised for the Rotary Foundation thanks to a winning bid for a basket prepared by Stephanie Schmautz (Retirement Living; The Carlisle) and Jane Mermelstein (Real Estate; Zephyr Real Estate).
Those giving $20 or more today were: Massimo Maresca (Government Agencies; Consulate General of Italy) who announced that this would be his last luncheon as he would be returning to Italy after working several years at the University of Berkeley and the local Italian Consulate. He thanked the Club for their welcoming support. Lynn Luckow (Development; praised and offered his support to member Connor Krone (Non-Profit Management; Student Investment Lab) for Connor’s bid to run for the San Francisco Board of Education. Donna-Lee Young Rubin (Nonprofit Medical Services; Rotaplast International) shared her touching story of how she joined Rotaplast International five years ago after dealing with the death of her husband and moving across the country. Lillian Tsi-Stielstra (Insurance Services; Wells Fargo Advisors) shared that she recently completed a Half Marathon; this was an especially inspiring feat as she had suffered a stroke several years ago. John Mathers (Management Consulting; eVo Associates) provided an update on the Gold Miners Ball as the committee recently had its second meeting. He shared his excitement for the Ball and believes it will be an outrageous event. New member Brian Lan (Financial Planning; Merrill Lynch) announced that his singing group would be performing this on August 23 at 7:30 PM at Gateway High School and that everyone was welcomed to attend.
Today’s guest speaker Manuel Mollinedo talked about how accredited zoos (207 in the US) have helped to save endangered species. Manuel is the former director of the Los Angeles Zoo, San Francisco Zoo and Honolulu Zoo. He shared the story of how at the turn of the last century, the Bronx Zoo (with the help of President Theodore Roosevelt) was able to prevent the extinction of the American Bison. More recently the LA Zoo helped to save the California condor when the species dwindled down to only 27 birds due to lead poisoning. Thanks to the captive breeding program as part of the California Condor Recovery Plan, the number of condors grew and were eventually reintroduced back into the wild in locations such as Big Sur. Manuel also shared his own experiences as a zoo director, including a hilarious story about a visit from President Ronald Reagan and their unexpected encounter with a silverback gorilla during a tour of the LA Zoo. Finally, Manuel answered questions from the members about conservation efforts, various endangered species, and how zoos connect with the community. To thank Manuel for his wonderful presentation, a gift donation to The Rotary Foundation was made in his name to help fight polio. Manuel was very touched and shared that his great grandmother had suffered from polio.
Ann Daugherty (Investment Management; IBN Financial Services) won today’s door prize. There will be no luncheon next week. The speaker for September 4 will be Astronomer, Leonard Kuhi, who will talk about how a star is born and dies.
The production of these luncheon minutes is a team effort. Many thanks to Brian Lan for taking notes, Bob Hermann (Retired) for taking photos, and John Mathers for editing the notes.