Posted by Dora Dye on Oct 10, 2018
Each year, The Rotary Club of San Francisco celebrates Italian Heritage by carrying 150 flags in the annual parade, representing some of the countries where Rotary serves in the world. Blue Angels fly overhead, and this year as in years past, the sky was a perfect blue.

Many thanks to Stephanie Schmautz for chairing this event. She and husband Eric Schmautz, along with their daughters, Mollie and Katie, also made sure that participants were well nourished for the march, supplying snacks, water, and even ice cream after the parade. Before, during and after the parade, Dora Dye was on hand to distribute snacks and water.

Flora Burke and her daughter along with Susan and John Dean, Dan Joraanstad, Bob Hermann, Gary Keener and his husband Jefferson McCarley, and Cecile Chiquette helped to decorate the cable car that was part of our procession.

To carry all the flags, Josie McHale, Interact co-chair and past president of the San Bruno Rotary Club, Interact co-chair Connor Krone, and District Youth Programs chair David Dye recruited almost 200 energetic Interactors, Rotaractors, and youth exchange students. Also present were members of the new Interact Club at Westmoor High and St. Ignatius. The Rotary entry in the Italian Heritage Parade was led by Bill Poppen, carrying the Italian flag; Susan Dean, carrying the flag of Rotary international; and Josie McHale's husband Bart, carrying the American flag. Those watching the parade applauded as our flags passed by.
In addition to the parade of flags and the cable car was a 1948 Cadillac donated by the Academy of Art and made possible by Michael Petricca. The classic car carried Club president Rhonda Poppen and Interact co-chair Connor Krone in the parade.

Said Connor, “I had fun interacting with the students and meeting new Rotarians from other clubs! It was great to have a celebratory atmosphere to promote Rotary and build stronger friendships.”
Laine Hendricks picked up, delivered, and distributed the t-shirts for the event. Says Laine, “I had a wonderful time at the parade and enjoyed interacting with the people along the parade route. This is my 3rd or 4th time attending the parade, and I encourage all Rotarians to join in next year. It’s a great way to connect with our Interact members.”