Posted by Brian Lan on Nov 13, 2018
About 70 Rotarians and friends attended today's meeting for an update on the effort to eradicate Polio and on other important work of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (TRF).

President Rhonda Poppen welcomed visiting Rotarians from Italy, Tanzania, and Ghana, and from South San Francisco, Central Marin, and Daly City. She also welcomed special guests from the Consulates of Vietnam and Germany.
President Rhonda reminded members to RSVP online for the Tuesday luncheon no later than 5 PM Monday before showcasing several Rotary events from last month including:
  • 10/24 - Project Homeless Connect, spearheaded by Ryan Overton (Financial Management; Merrill Lynch).
  • 10/31 - Monthly Rotary Board Meeting. The board implemented the Youth Leadership Grant and approved the applications of 11 new members.
  • 10/31 - Golden Gate Tap Room Mixer.
Rhonda then updated on several upcoming events including: 
  • 11/20 - Thanksgiving at The Arc will begin at 11 AM
  • 12/7 - Ringing the Bell for The Salvation Army at Union Square
  • 12/11 - Diaper Bag Assembly for Homeless Prenatal Project
  • 12/13 - Baby Showers for Homeless Prenatal Project
  • 12/18 - Holiday Party and 110th Anniversary Celebration at the Westin St. Francis Hotel
Heidi Kuhn (Peace Building; Roots of Peace) shared some wonderful news regarding Roots of Peace and the progress the organization has made in Vietnam. They were able to remove unexploded ordinance from fields in Quang Tri and help 3,000 farmers cultivate black peppers in those areas. The grants that they have received from our Club and other organizations will help in clearing more fields and providing agricultural training. Heidi noted that her team will be heading back to Vietnam on Veteran's Day. She, along with special guests from the Consulate of Vietnam, thanked the Club for the continued support and generosity.
Stephanie Schmautz announced that the Club won Third Place among over 150 participants at the Italian Heritage Parade.

Gary Chow (District 5150 Annual Fund Chair) and our Club's RI Foundation Representative, Phyllis Nusz (Development; PJ Enterprises) recognized the Paul Harris Society members Emily Borland (Architecture; Emily Borland Specification), Bill Poppen (Banking Management; MUFG Union Bank), Rhonda Poppen, and Carla Walter (Dance in the Spirit).
VP of Development Carla Walter and Development Committee member Frank Yoke (Development; San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America) then recognized new Paul Harris Fellow level achieved by Les Andersen (Non-profit Management; Retired), Emily Borland, Bill Poppen, and Rhonda Poppen. The recipients received a standing ovation from the Club members.
Rhonda then noted the District 5150 raffle raised $288,000 for The Rotary Foundation, up from $122,000 last year. Frank Yoke and Russ Ketron were among the raffle prize winners.
President Rhonda recognized Stephanie Schmautz (Retirement Living; The Carlisle) as the October Rotarian of the Month and gave her several small gifts as a thank you.
Those giving $20 or more included:
  • PDG Peter Lagarias (Law - Civil Litigation; Lagarias & Napell), who welcomed the guests from Tanzania and Ghana, made a humorous comment about President-elect Casey Blair (Foreign Equity Trading; Feis Options), and celebrated the California Golden Bears football team's victory over the Washington Huskies.
  • Emily Borland, who shared that she and her family will be traveling to Baltimore to celebrate her grandmother's 100th birthday.
  • John Mount (Statistical Consulting; Win-Vector), who shared that he has started a teaching gig at LinkedIn.
Dora Dye (Education; City College) promoted the 110th Anniversary T-Shirt and noted that they will be available for purchase online.

Today's speaker, Past District Governor Russ Ketron, provided an update on the End Polio Now campaign and other key activities of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (TRF). Russ has a particular interest in the campaign, as he is a Polio survivor. 
Russ provided an overview of The Rotary Foundation, noting that TRF has provided more than $3.8 billion in humanitarian and educational grants since 1947. Russ discussed the six areas of focus for TRF and shared the many ways to contribute to the TRF.
Russ then spoke passionately about the End Polio Campaign, sharing its history and major developments in ending Polio. He mentioned being "This Close" to completely eradicating the terrible disease and asked members to continue to provide full support to TRF so we can complete the mission and rid the world of Polio.

Carla and Frank from the Development Committee provided updates on the Club's 2018-2019 giving goal. The goal is $40,000 and the Club is currently at $13,450. In order to reach the goal, they asked that every member contribute $110 or more in honor of the Club's 110th anniversary. They also provided information on the Super Bowl pool, coming in January.
Today's door prize winner was Casey Blair, who won 500 Paul Harris points. Alan Herzog (Financial Management; Wells Fargo Advisors) challenged Casey to make additional donations and in the end both members agreed to donate $1,000 each. Continuing the spirit of giving, Tom Brunner (Non-profit Research; Glaucoma Research Foundation) generously announced that he would be willing to match $1,000 for every other member who was willing to donate $100. 17 members agreed to donate as well, raising a total of $4,700 for TRF.
Photos by Sally Swanson (Architecture; Sally Swanson Architects).
Edited by Scott Plakun (IT Consulting; The Plakun Group)