Posted by John Mathers on Aug 17, 2018
We welcomed the following guests: Brenda Kahler and Tom Bondi from the local accounting firm of Armanino; Larry Meek from the 49er Rotary Club of Nevada City, CA; Angelita Cabrera; Jean Rosenblum who was past president of her Colorado Rotary Club; Sarah Cummings from Robert Half; as well as Denise Evans and Lily Nhep from the local Capital One Café.
President Rhonda told us that today's program would focus on the impact our work with the Homeless Prenatal Project has on its clients.
We have supported HPP for the past two years by providing nearly 500 diaper bags stuffed with necessities for expectant mothers. Those diaper bags are given to women at baby showers that mark their graduation from HPP's prenatal training program. One of the goals of today's meeting is to share the fun and excitement of those baby showers, so Emily Borland (Architecture; Emily Borland Specifications) is wearing the decorated plaster cast of a recent mother's pregnant belly, and we were playing a game to guess the number of toilet paper squares that would reach around Emily at the widest point of that cast.
Casey Blair (Foreign Equity Trading; FEIS Options) gave a recap of the Board Meeting last Saturday at Lynn Luckow's (Development; office, reporting that our fundraising goal this year for The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International was set to $40,000, five new members were approved, and ten grants were selected to present to the board of the San Francisco Rotary Foundation. President Rhonda then asked for volunteers: someone to help find hospitality in the Club for Rotarians and family visiting San Francisco, and one or more people who can serve as Club Videographer. Contact Rhonda if you can help in either of these areas.
Our Member Moment was all about Dora Dye (Education; City College of San Francisco), eldest of four siblings. She grew up in Vallejo and was the first to graduate from college. She became a high school Spanish teacher but left to join the corporate world as a paralegal.
One of the stories Dora told was how she had met David Dye (Management Consulting; Retired), 2016-17 president of this Club. Back in 1994, Dora was a paralegal educator and paralegal. She attended a paralegal educators’ conference at the Sheraton Palace as a guest speaker. At the conference, she met David who was a paralegal educator from St. Joseph, Missouri. They did not know at the time that they were at the site of the Four-Way Test plaque that is affixed to that hotel building, or that they were going to be Rotarians someday. What did happen was that David and Dora fell in love, David moved to California, and they celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary on August 8, 2018 by returning to the Sheraton to view the Four-Way Test plaque and enjoy a root beer float.
Those giving $20 or more today were Emily Borland for her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary; John Mathers (Management Consulting; eVo Associates) just for being at the luncheon: his first after his recent knee replacement surgery; Tim Hornbecker (Human Services; The Arc of Alameda) because his step-daughter had given birth to a child; David Shen (Dentistry; OrthoWorks Orthodontic Group) for moving into his new office on Battery Street; and Tom Briody (Elder Care; Institute on Aging) for the Institute on Aging’s expansion to Southern California. 

Martha Ryan, founder of HPP, shared that they are celebrating 30 years of service to the community. HPP was founded in 1988 with a grant of $52,000; now the organization has an $8.1 million budget. Over the years, HPP has moved its mission forward and re-evaluated its target population (single moms and kids aged 0-5). HPP recently opened a new generation health center for teenagers and will soon open a facility to provide housing for pregnant homeless women.
Martha was a nurse who worked in the refugee world but found that there were similar needs here in San Francisco and started to help "homeless" mothers with housing, prenatal care, substance abuse support, and domestic violence. The work has been successful: Last year, HPP helped 251 families move into housing.
Martha felt the best way to reach women going through this program was with other women who had previously been through it. She said that when the women receive the diaper bags, they feel special, and when they feel special, they do better.
Martha introduced one of HPP’s former clients and staff members, Megan Lucas, who shared what she went through, including a foray into addiction and homelessness, and how HPP had helped her. Megan is now a lawyer who works in the SF Public Defender's Office.
Christian Kuhn (Peace Building; Roots of Peace) won the belly cast/toilet paper contest. Scott Plakun (IT Consulting; The Plakun Group) won the door prize: a pillow donated by Robin Azevedo (Mattress Manufacturing; McRoskey Mattress Company).