Next meeting
Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Burning Man

Neil & Susan Silverman

Neil & Susan Silverman will present their interesting experience of attending the Burning Man event, a nine day annual festival that involves art, music and culture in a temporary city of like minded people who join together in Nevada celebrating self expression.

The Silvermans have treasured and taught photography together for over 20 years. Sharing their knowledge and experience is as exciting as capturing the image itself. They strive to inspire their students with knowledge, insight and techniques to create new pathways of individual expression for each person.

Neil is a former Rotarian with the Santa Rosa West Rotary Club and together with his wife Susan they are professional photographers who teach workshops, photograph a multitude of subject matter, people, nature, landscape, weddings, special events, travel, commercial and industrial sites. 

PLEASE NOTE: Meeting In-Person & via Zoom!  Please register.

Note: We are moving – Meetings of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa will move to the Bennett Valley Golf Club on Wednesday, starting February 22, 2023, at noon. We must place our reservations eight (8) days before the meetings. Attendance will be in-person only, no zoom option or recording.

–> Debi Zaft will email you the link for online, once you have paid.  Use this link to payCLICK HERE!

Wednesday February 15: tbd
Wednesday February 22: SAY – Social Advocates For Youth (To be held at Bennett Valley Golf – in-person only.)
Wednesday March 1: High School Recognition Program (To be held at Bennett Valley Golf – in-person only.)

Click here for the current calendar (Subject to updates).


Redwood Empire Food Bank – The club’s Rotary Work evening is Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at 5 PM. Please mark your calendar and join your fellow Rotarians for this important hands-on community project!

Peace Pole Dedication – The next Peace Pole dedication will be on February 14, 2023, at the Caesar Chavez Language Academy.

New socials, projects, & events coming soon!

Rotary Announcements

May 27 – 31, 2023: The Rotary International Convention will be in Melbourne, Australia. You can sign up now and book you room(s). This will be RI President Jennifer Jones’ convention so it should be epic as the first woman RI president.


Visit our district at:
Check out Rotary International at:
Come see us at: http://rotarymeansbusiness

Watch The Meeting:  Did you miss the meeting?  Here is a link to the recording of last week’s meeting:
(Click here for recording) 
Please note it is available to view until: (2/12/23)


President Kris Andersen led the opening Pledge of Allegiance and Rotary 4-Way Test and delivered the thought for the day.

Visiting Rotarians

Catherine Ristola from Holland, Michigan, came as a guest of Keven Brown.


Doug Landin has completed his application to the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa and joined us again.

Maxine Freitas is our guest speaker.

Jean Martin, a friend of Maxine’s and Treasurer for the Equi-Ed Board of Trustees.

Alexandra Barrett, our Outbound Exchange student candidate, was present. She attends Analy High School.


Robert Pierce had a procedure to remove skin cancer from his nose.

Marsha Konkle has passed away. Her obituary was in the Press Democrat on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Marsha joined in 1995 and continued to pay her dues even during her illness. Her service will be in Maine.

Jerry Marquis passed away. His service is on March 19th at 1 pm at Ely’s Stage stop in Kelseyville. The address is 9921 Soda Bay Road. His son requested that you bring a bottle of wine to share.

Welcome Back

Long-time Rotarians Kim Murphy and Mark Burchill attended the meeting today.


Laura Stevens was in charge of the raffle proceedings today. Doug Landin had the lucky number but didn’t pull the winning marble. He received the $10 consolation prize. Julia Parranto had the Second Chance winning number.


Moving – Meetings of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa will move to the Bennett Valley Golf Club on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at noon. We must place our reservations eight (8) days before the meetings.

Ukraine – Jeff Gospe announced that a Zoom meeting was held with the Rotary Clubs participating in the Ukraine effort to provide funds for small and large generators. The German club members have taken on the task of purchasing and delivering the generators to the border, where they will meet their counterparts for the final delivery into Eastern Ukraine.

Funds raised to date are as follows:

$4,000 Rotary Club of Santa Rosa
$4,500 Rancho Cotati Rotary Club
$4,000 Healdsburg Club and hoping for more
$2,000 from Jeff Kolin’s IRA as a qualified charitable donation
$1,300 from Jeff Gospe’s work which qualifies for matching funds.

The treasurer of the East Club is using a matching fund donation.
We are currently at almost $25,000.

Ukraine – Ann Gospe announced that she, Jeff Kolin, and Richard Lazovick have updated the club website and placed the Ukraine project on the top of the opening page. In addition, there is a live donate button with information about the project. Take a look!

Super Bowl Pool – There are 24 spaces left to fill before Sunday, February 12, 2023. Remember, $1000 goes to the Ukraine project and $1000 to the winner. So buy now and make a difference!

Rotary Club Foundation – The Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Foundation Committee is open for nominations to the Board. Please contact Ann or any other Foundation member if you are interested. It would be beneficial to have more club members on the Foundation board.


– Ted Wilmsen informed the club that all the schools should have been notified by now. If anyone needs more books, he has more dictionaries in his car today.

Steve Olson reported the annual delivery of dictionaries is a family affair for the McMillans. Sam and I delivered dictionaries to his daughter Jennie Harriman’s third grade class at Manzanita Elementary on Tuesday. Jennie is following in her mom Rita’s footsteps as an elementary teacher (retired) . The little girl in the photo is the daughter of Libby Daulton, the schools Office Manager. Libby is on her way to becoming a Paul Harris Fellow thanks to Sam’s generosity.

SCARC – Debi Zaft announced that the SCARC Crab Feed is on February 22, 2023, at 6 PM. She has tickets. They are $65 apiece.

Redwood Empire Food Bank – The Rotary work project is Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at 5 PM.


Past President Ray Giampaoli thanked Bill Hatcher for the opportunity to hunt ducks at his “exclusive” club. In addition, he donated $50 to the John Brown Fund.

Matthew Henry shared that his 17-year-old daughter is so used to texting that she did not know how to leave a message on an answering machine, so he donated $17 for each year of her life.


Program Chair Susan Nowacki introduced Maxine “Max” Frietas today’s guest speaker.

Maxine Freitas is a 4th generation Californian who started the non-profit Equi-Ed program in 1993. Equi-Ed utilizes the therapeutic power of horses in helping people with disabilities.

Since 1988, Max has been a counselor to at-risk students at Santa Rosa City Schools and an Equine Science instructor in the Agriculture Department of Santa Rosa Junior College since 1989, where she created the only curriculum for Therapeutic Riding offered at a junior college in California.

The Equi-Ed program is run in conjunction with the Santa Rosa City Schools special education department and the agricultural department of Santa Rosa Junior College. The elementary, middle, and high school students receive credits through the Adaptive Physical Education department when applicable. At SRJC, the students receive credit through the Equine Science class held at Shone Farm.

Max briefly explained how the program started and her work with students from Montgomery High School. The students and teachers are transported to the barn at Shone Farm, where she combines the academic curriculum and the opportunity for riding for those who are able.

In addition, after securing a grant, she created a vocational education program as well. The students cared for the horses at the barn and then prepared and properly bagged the horse food using measurement and organizational skills back in the classroom. The program bridged the hands-on experience at the barn with the classroom adding life skills to the curriculum.

Maxine also teaches in the work experience department at SRJC. She supervises students working or doing internships in the community.

Unfortunately, each program’s horse-related activities have been on hold since Covid.

Another aspect of the project is working with the Wounded American Veterans Project.

Equi-Ed is not just a pony ride, as Max says. Instead, the program provides students with perceptual motor skills, verbal skills, learning, core strength, and balance development.

With the help of dedicated volunteers, therapy, sport, education, and leisure create the core mission of Equi-Ed. Max emphasized that volunteers are essential to carrying out the work of Equi-Ed.

Visit the website for more information about Equi-Ed volunteer opportunities and fundraising information.

Program Slides

Here are a few of the slides:


Club Job Openings:

Still need a few bulletin writers. Need a person on the board for Vocational Service Recognition

Additional Pictures:

(Click on image below to view additional ALL of the meeting pictures)

Click on above image to view all meeting pictures

Governor, District 5130

Jennifer Strong


Debi Zaft P.O. Box 505 Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Board of Directors

Kris Anderson – President
Ann Gospe – President Elect
Casey D’Angelo – President Elect Nominee
Ray Giampaoli – Past President
Debi Zaft – Secretary
Karen Ball – Treasurer
Robert Pierce – Sergeant At Arms
Julia Parranto – Club Service- Membership
Andrea Geary – Club Service – Club Meetings
Matthew Henry – Club Service – Fund Raising
Charlie Howard-Gibbon – Club Services – Member Activities
Pete Lescure – Club Service – Records and Outreach
Casey Carter – Member Involvement
Mary Graves Community – Service – Youth
Tim Fawcett – Vocational Service
Scott Bartley – International Service
Paul Hamilton – Foundation Representative

DIGITAL EDITION No. 488 February 1, 2023  EDITOR: Diane Moresi PHOTOGRAPHER: Jeff Gospe PUBLISHER: Richard Lazovick