DIGITAL EDITION   No. 72   April 16, 2014     EDITOR: John Poremba     PHOTOGRAPHER: Kris Anderson

Our Program For April 23rd


The Rotary meeting for this coming Wednesday will be a casual evening meeting starting at 6:00 and $25 per person. It will be a fun evening meeting for you and your significant other or bring a friend. There will be wine, food, a diverse silent auction, a fun pay-it-forward table, and live auction lead by our beloved Ray Dorfman. All funds received will go toward the club charitable projects and scholarships. You won’t want to miss this fun festive evening.



April 30: Open Space District
May 7: Project Amigo
May 14: Al Loebel’s Recent Visit to Turkey


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Check out Rotary International at:
Come see us at:
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President Peggy Soberanis called the meeting to order.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Past President Will Haymaker. Mike Kallhoff reminded all Rotarians that the real strength of Rotary is the strength of its Rotarians. Nowhere is the true meaning of Rotary more evident then when we apply the “Four Way Test”. Put the test into practice and share with all you meet. It is an excellent opportunity to promote the values of Rotary.


Nona Lucas sat patiently waiting for a visiting Rotarian to join our weekly meeting. Unfortunately, there where no visiting Rotarians joining us this week.


Debi Zaft introduced her guest, Peter Holewinski. Bart Eddy Introduced Gabriella Ambrosi from Sequoia Senior Solutions. Ryan Thomas introduced his law partner and the speaker for today’s program, Roy Johnston.


Penny Tibbetts announced that Bob Sorensen had injured his foot and was keeping it elevated. Rumor has it that Bob was injured trying to snow ski sans snow.


It is with great sorrow that President Peggy announces that Nick Knickerbocker’s wife, Camille, died on Wednesday. All notes of condolences and support may be sent to Nick at the Lodge at Paulin Creek, 2375 Range Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. We’re waiting to hear if and when there will be services.

Debi Zaft pulls the correct card and wins the pot (with Karen Ball)

Debi Zaft pulls the correct card and wins the pot (with Karen Ball)


Karen Ball proclaimed that the raffle jackpot was now up to $291 and that there were ten cards in the velvet bag for a fortunate ticket holder to draw from. Draw the Queen of Diamonds and they would be a winner. Debi Zaft held the winning ticket and confidently reached into that velvet bag picking the Queen of Hearts. Debi was a winner and happily walked away with the $291 pot. Would it be fair to say that she not only won the money but could be considered “Queen for a Day”. Congratulations Debi!


President Peggy presented the assembly with a proposed change to District 5130’s By-laws. Copies of the proposed change were made available to all Rotarians present and time was given for each to review the proposal.

The proposed change would replace Article III.4 of the existing by-laws and change the composition of the Nominating Committee. The current process provides for a Nominating Committee of the last five living Past District Governors of District 5130. A by-law change would allow for a Nominating Committee of nine members to included the three most immediate past District Governors, the current District Governor, the current District Governor Elect, the current District Governor Nominee and three at-large committee members.

After a discussion by the assembly on the pros and cons of this proposal a vote was taken. The majority of Rotarians present voted not to change the existing by-laws as proposed. President Peggy will notify the District of the results of our vote.


Carol Shi from Maria Carillo H.S. with

Carol Shi from Maria Carillo H.S. with principal Rand VanDyke

Bill Hatcher presented our final Student of the Month for this program year. Rand VanDyke, Principal of Maria Carrillo High School, introduced Carol Shi. Carol is an outstanding student whose academic accomplishments merited this recognition. She has an exceptional GPA and a passion for learning that makes her stand out among her peers. She is planning to attend Brown University next fall and was presented with a plaque honoring her accomplishments and a check for $100. Well done Carol!


President Peggy announced plans to hold a “Club Academy Award” celebration on June 11th. She sought agreement from the members on whether they would prefer an evening meeting (a more formal dress up affair) or the regular lunch meeting. The Board of Directors was apparently of no help to our President in reaching a decision (deadlocked at six votes for each) so she was forced to take it to the people. The Club consensus was to celebrate at an evening meeting. President Peggy will have further details about the meeting when location plans are finalized. So dust off the tuxedoes and cocktail dresses, it should be a fun event.


President Elect Mark Burchill announced the roll out of the Club’s Strategic Plan. To be successful an implementation task force is being formed to ensure that steps are taken to make the plan happen. Mark needs regular members to participate in the implementation task force which will be headed up by the President Elect. Interested Rotarians should contact Mark. Mark also requested input on the development of protocols for our guest speaker programs. Each table was provided with an opportunity to submit their suggestions for inclusion in these protocols.

Cathy Vicini with elephant ballon

Cathy Vicini with elephant ballon

Yale Abrams thanked those Rotarians who volunteered to assist in the Work Day project last week.

Cathy Vicini reminded everyone that next week’s meeting will be an evening event at the Flamingo Hotel rather then the our regular lunch meeting. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and the cost is $25 per person. It will include a silent and live auction and a white elephant table. Rotarians are encouraged to look through their home and garages for items that might make an interesting addition to the white elephant table. Remember there is always something that you haven’t used in a while that would be another person’s treasure.

Ray Giampailo was very excited to announce that the club has already met last year’s sponsor level for this year’s Giro Bello. However, our goal is to increase the sponsor level to 20% over last year, so your efforts are still needed. Please continue to contact prospective sponsors for their support. Thank you all for your effort in making the Giro Bello a success.


A picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of Shannon McConnell, her picture was worth 1,197 stairs. Shannon raised $325 for the American Lung Association by climbing 1,197 stairs (52 flights) in the former Bank of America Center building at 555 California Street in San Francisco. Shannon donated $52 dollars (one for each flight she climbed) to the club. I am sure there were many Rotarians who got winded just looking at the picture of Shannon climbing those stairs. Nice job!

And then there was Carmen Sinigiani! What do you say to a Rotarian who just ran a 50 mile Endurance Run wearing her Rotary shirt. I would say awesome!!! Our healthiest and most fit Rotarian completed the 50 mile endurance run in 10 hours and 30 minutes. For her effort and the two week vacation in Mexico before the run Carmen donated $50 to the Club. Thank you so much. You are an inspiration to all of us.

It’s a great time to be a Huskie. As an alumni of the University of Connecticut, Ray Dorfman was proud to publicly review the accomplishments of his alma mater when both the men’s and women’s basketball teams won national titles. This is the fourth time in the school’s history that it has won both titles. To celebrate this accomplishment Ray donated $100 to his father’s scholarship fund.

Kim Murphy and Don McMillan

Kim Murphy and Don McMillan

Happy Talk.   Given a chance to confess or share for only $10 dollars Fred Levin rose to proclaim he was a victim of elder abuse. What is that all about Jeanne? Don McMillan was happy and excited about both his boys flying home. Kim Murhpy was in a level five cyclone in Australia last week. Before the cyclone hit Kim was able to play golf and dive the Great Barrier Reef. How exciting. Gesine Franchetti was proud to announce she has received a promotion. Rosso’s is opening a new restaurant at 1229 Dutton Avenue that will serve Italian street food for breakfast, lunch and happy hour. Rosso’s new restaurant will not be open for dinner. President Peggy was quick to recognize Gesine‘s blatant self promotion and fined her $50. Shannon McConnell’s husband recently made a very good sale in his new job.


Ryan Thomas introduced our program speaker, Roy Johnston. Mr. Johnston is an attorney and partner with Ryan Thomas. Elder abuse is a growing epidemic in our society. There are over 250,000 elders abused in California each year. This represents about 5% of the elderly population. Two-thirds of the abusers are either family members or care givers and only one in six cases are reported.

Elder abuse can take many forms. It is any mistreatment that results in a loss that is either physical, emotional or financial. It is often neglect by others, isolation, withdrawal or lack of support. It can even be self neglect. Elders become victims of financial abuse when their funds and savings are fraudulently taken from them. They can be victims of identity theft, predatory lending and home improvement scams. Many times the scams are perpetrated by family members, commercial businesses and strangers. Often the people don’t even know they are being abused. The elderly are unwilling to report the abuse when a family member is involved because many elders consider it a family matter.

Roy Johnston - speaker

Roy Johnston – speaker

Public and private agencies are required under the law to report any instance when they feel abuse may be present. They have a legal liability to do so. However, when you have a reasonable suspicion that abuse is present you can voluntarily report the instance.   If the report is done in good faith you are shielded from liability. Reports may be filed with the Adult Protective Authority in Sonoma County.

Mr. Johnston gave a case study as an example where the executor and heir of a deceased elderly person could not find any assets for that person. Further investigation revealed that a neighbor had changed the address for this individual, changed title to her property and stolen $170,000 in savings and investments. A civil claim was eventually settled for $250,000.

How often is an elderly person unaware that they are being taken advantage of? How often is their physical and emotional well being put in jeopardy? We as a society have the responsibility to care for and protect those who once cared for us. For additional information Rotarians may contact Roy Johnston at the following email address:


President Peggy closed a the meeting with a quote: “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors”.


Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Officers

President: Peggy Soberanis, President Elect: Mark Burchill, President Elect Nominee: Jose Guillen, Past President: Bill Rousseau, Secretary: Jack Abercrombie, Treasurer: Cecil G. Humes, Sergeant at Arms: Jack Geary

President Rotary International

Ron D. Burton, member of the Rotary Club of Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Governor, District 5130

Helaine Campbell, Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise

Attendance Secretary

Jack Abercrombie P.O. Box 505 Santa Rosa, CA 95402 707-538-4770

Board of Directors

Tim Delaney, Debra Dorfman, Matt Fannin, Jose Guillen, Doug Johnson, Nicole Le, Robert Pierce, Jack Tolin, Cathy Vicini