The Official Salinas Steinbeck Rotary Club Newsletter!
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It take a Rotary Village

Queen KathyAs each month begins in my Rotary year, I reflect on the past month’s activities and experiences. In September the students made their first presentations of the school year. They hit the ground running with their brownie sundae sale at club rush in mid-September which was a hit; they earned about $400! Then they made the trip to the Carmel gallery to present their generous donation to the Sawhira school project in Africa. Thank you, Russ and Alice Wilcox for providing transportation for the students so they could attend the gala. The students have inherited this passion for this school project from Irma Solis-Smith who was also in attendance at the gala.

We had some great speakers in September. We learned about the legal impact of drones and the status of our area desalination project. We met our new Sheriff, Steve Bernal, as he shared his ideas to improve his officers and their collaboration with the county community. Thank you, Roger Powers, for bringing these fine speakers to our club.

We got an enthusiastic membership growth plan from Queen Kathy. To create some fun and to challenge us to invite prospective members to our club, she has organized several teams, some of which are already strategizing! Soon we will get some ‘free’ passes to hand out; this is a nice, easy way to invite new friends to our meetings. The draft for our brochure is just about ready to go to press, and it is easy to brag about our club with a showpiece item to share.

Oh yes, we also greeted our District Governor, Mike Andritch, who warmly endorsed and encouraged our efforts in our community. Many areas of service were covered. One of those—vocational service—is the theme for October. Beginning October 7, Steinbeck Rotarians will be sharing the highlights and experiences of their occupation/careers at the weekly Interact meetings.

Jan Holmes ends her messages with, “Begin each day with gratitude.” Great message! We learned our own Past DG Rod Belton had a brush with a life-altering event. Each time I see Rod, he has this new, fresh outlook on the day. We, as Rotarians, can learn from him and from Jan. We are given that opportunity to work together, to have fun together, to improve our own lives, and to make that difference in our community a little bit each day.

Being your president has opened my vision about the club activities, but I maintain that all of you make your contribution of time, talent, and resources in various ways and various amounts. Some of you have family constraints or business obligations that also preclude your being at every function or project event. I can empathize. There are many ways to contribute, and that can be tailored to your schedule. The dessert auction was a hit, because Debbie and Anne recruited your help in a flash. Our inbound exchange students were able to ‘bond’ together with a fun BBQ gathering because many of you answered Melissa Mears’ request for lodging for the students and for contributions to the dinner. Some of you were able to volunteer time at our Salinas air show event last weekend. Another opportunity is the tailgate party at EAHS in mid-October. And thank you, Robert Mendoza, for your countless hours ‘behind the scenes’ by gathering news items and by updating our website and Facebook page.

There are many more of you that I need to thank, and I will. I appreciate you, my fellow Steinbeck Rotarians, for giving up a little of your time and talents to improve the life of one person a day. You are a gift to the world!

Yours in Rotary Service,
President Becky Mears

The Queen Speaks

Regina Gage Sitting outside on the last eve of September 2015, I felt something wet and vaguely familiar on my head. For a fleeting moment, I thought the birds were being naughty or somehow, the roof was leaking and droplets were being thrust onto my head. Then, it hit me. Rain. Beautiful, cleansing and so desperately needed rain. I was so excited I called my husband Steuart who’s been on the north coast diving for molluscs to let him listen to the sound of rain. Gratitude indeed.

One night of rain inspired me to reflect on what I’m grateful for at this moment:
  1. Steuart survived abalone diving and did not get his head chomped off by a great white. I’m serious. Every time he engages in this sport, I try not to dwell on the fact that great whites like to eat seals, seals like to eat abalone, and when a person is squeezed into a black shiny wetsuit, what do they resemble? Exactly my point-a tasty plump seal!
  2. Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley had a successful Texas Hold Em on Saturday, September 26. Thank you to fellow Rotarians Gordon, Dan and Wayne for participating in our fundraiser; Gordon for his patience and expertise as a dealer, Dan and Linda O’Brien for attending and donating a gift certificate to our raffle, and Wayne for his support. And…thank you to the Salinas Rotary club for your patience and kindness as I made my weekly announcements at our Wednesday breakfast. I am very new to the Rotarian world but what I see so far is a group of caring and diverse individuals committed to making a positive impact in many ways.
  3. Posey, our oldest sweet Labrador was diagnosed with diabetes several weeks ago. Soon thereafter she developed ketoacidosis, a life threatening condition related to diabetes. Thank you to my vet at Salinas Animal Hospital for recommending we immediately take her to The Pet Specialists of Monterey who literally, saved her life.
  4. Thank you for the existence of Care Credit for Veterinarian services!

Regina Gage
This article was written by Steinbeck Rotarian Regina Gage. Regina is the Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley. Did you know that the name Regina means Queen? Over the next 2015-2016 Rotary year, Regina's option article, The Queen Speaks, will offer a different perspective on a various number of topics.  

What is New Generations?

Bob Mendoza What is New Generations? This is my third year as the New Generation Chair; it is also referred to as Youth Services Chair. In my third year, I am still learning how to define New Generations. According to the handbook, New Generations refers to “the youngest generation in the family of Rotary.” In our club the umbrella of New Generations includes: Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (Camp Royal), Rotary Youth Exchange, several scholarships to Everett Alvarez High School seniors, and we award one student each month from EAHS $50.00 for their academic and personal achievements. In helping and recognizing local youth, Steinbeck Rotary Club meets in article 5 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution: “the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.”

My job as New Generations Chair is to support the outstanding Rotarians heading Interact and Rotary Youth Exchange. First, Interact is Rotary’s service club for youth ages 12-18. The goals of Interact include “developing leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrating helpfulness and respect of others, understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work, and advancing international understanding and goodwill.” Russ Wilcox and his amazing wife Alice Gates-Wilcox lead Everett Alvarez High School’s Interact Club and help facilitate the above qualities in its members. I believe the Club has around 80 members, double the number in our club. Even though the year has just started, they are fundraising and donating time and money to both international and local projects. For Rotary Youth Exchange, Melissa Mears heads up our club and District 5230. She is busy. Rotary Youth Exchange allows students to spend up to a year living in a different country and learning a new culture. Students ages 15-19 participate in the Youth Exchange. I am proud of our club because, under Mel’s guidance, we have consistently hosted student's year after year from all over the world and we have sponsored one of your own to live abroad for a year. This year we have Ombeline from France and we sent our very own Isaac Guzman to Italy for the year.

This will be an exciting year for New Generations. It is an avenue of service that encompasses a fundamental idea: “that every Rotarian has a responsibility to support the personal and professional success of young people while recognizing the diversity of their needs.” I see every Steinbeck Rotarian having fun and helping our young people become outstanding community and world citizens!

Cary Swensen
This article was written by Cary Swensen.  Cary is the owner of the Salinas Sylvan Learning Center and is dedicated to helping the children of the Salinas reach thier full potential. Over the next 2015-2016 Rotary year, Cary will offer insights and options and will usually focus on youth. Cary is also an extemly proud Seattle Seahawks fan.

Upcoming Speakers and Events

Join us every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at the
National Steinbeck Center
1 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901
Click here for a map!
  • October 7Rabbi Bruce Greenbaum speaks about “The modern State of Israel: Living in the Holy Land with lots of Challenges.”
  • October 14 - Rotary Youth Exchange (Inbound or outbound).
  • October 21Dr. Jim Harvey – Moss Landing Marine Lab: Foraging of the Blue & Humpback Whales in Monterey Bay.
  • October 28 - Rotary Youth Exchange (Inbound or outbound).
We will update our website speaker page when we have more info.
For more info about Steinbeck Rotary, visit
and our Facebook page.
Speaker Calendar
Copyright © 2015 Salinas Steinbeck Rotary Club, All rights reserved.

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