Next meeting
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Equi-Ed – Therapeutic Power of Horses

Maxine Freitas

Maxine Freitas  is a 4th generation Californian who in 1993 started the Equi-Ed program which utilizes the therapeutic power of horses in helping people with disabilities.   This became a part of the Special Education Department of Santa Rosa City Schools.  Equi-Ed maintains an affiliation with the Adapted Physical Education and Equine Science departments of Santa Rosa Junior College and offers horsemanship instruction, competition opportunities, and specialized educational programs for children with and without disabilities.​

Maxine actively works to promote public awareness of therapeutic riding through student riding demonstrations, and public speaking engagements to organizations and corporations.

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

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

Wednesday February 8: Burning Man
Wednesday February 15: tbd
Wednesday February 22: SAY – Social Advocates For Youth
Wednesday March 1: High School Recognition Program

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


Redwood Empire Food Bank – The club’s Rotary Work evening is Friday, February 10, 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: (2/5/23)


Charles Howard-Gibbon conducted today’s opening. He led the club in the Pledge of Allegiance and the reciting of the Rotary 4-Way Test. His thought for the day was provided to him by Andrea Geary. “Happiness is not an accident, nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design.”

Visiting Rotarians

Peter Andersen was visiting today from the Rotary Club of West Sacramento. The little-known fact is that Peter is President Kris Anderson’s brother and represents the classification of highway engineering.

Doug Landin was visiting again today. He is a relatively new Santa Rosan and a regular visitor to the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa. He is applying for membership.


Laura Stephens introduced her daughter Crystal Montgomery who is visiting from Pennsylvania.

Mary Graves introduced Caryn Shapiro-Stone, administrator and volunteer coordinator for Catholic Charities Caritas Village.


Ginny Cannon is on a yoga retreat in Mexico, so President Kris assumed her duties. Kris announced that her mother was temporarily in an assisted living facility.

Julia Paranto is still not feeling well.


Past President Ray Giampoli conducted the raffle this afternoon and was pleased to announce that we had almost 100% participation. President Kris’s brother, Peter, pulled the number for today’s raffle. Visiting Rotarian Caryn had the winning number but did not select the winning marble. She received a $10 consolation prize. The Second Chance winner today was visiting Rotarian Doug Landin. The Scratchers needed to be replenished, so Doug received a large candy bar of his choice.


Super Bowl Pool – Doug Johnson announced that the Super Bowl Pool to raise funds for the Ukariane generator effort is going well. Tickets are $20 per square. Half of the money raised will go to the winner and half to the Ukraine generators. Doug asked if anyone would be willing to attend the East/West Rotary Club to make an announcement.

Meeting Location Change – President Kris announced that the Board has decided to move from Epicenter to the Bennett Valley Golf Club restaurant after surveying the membership. The cost will be $33, which will include dessert and coffee. There will be a $10 option for a beverage only for those with dietary or financial concerns.  The first meeting in the Bennett Valley location will be Wednesday, February 22, 2023. It is a four-month trial. At this time, there will not be a Zoom feature.

Giro Bello – Ride Director Robert Pierce announced that the initial planning phases are coming together. Several past coordinators have volunteered to serve in the same capacity as last year. He encouraged everyone to make sure they were signed up to participate. There will be a Giro Bello Zoom meeting the week following the move to Bennett Valley, which will take initial time and planning on Robert’s part as Sargeant of Arms.

Ukraine Update – Jeff Gospe and Curt Groninga announced that the clubs had finalized the MOU with the four participating clubs. Approximately $20,000 will be sent next week to the Rotary Club in Germany so that they can purchase equipment and coordinate its delivery. They are making every effort to get the generators as far east in Ukraine as possible. The goal is to raise and send $70,000. The Healdsburg Club is making a sizeable contribution toward the effort.

International Service Committee – President Kris presented a check for $4000 toward the Ukraine project.

Peace Pole Dedication – The next Peace Pole dedication will be on February 14, 2023, at the Caesar Chavez Language Academy. We do not contribute to all the Peace Poles, but we are welcome to attend other dedications.

Redwood Empire Food Bank – The club’s Rotary Work evening is Friday, February 10, 2023, at 5 PM. Please mark your calendar and join your fellow Rotarians for this important hands-on community project!

Dictionary Project – The dictionaries have arrived. Today is the first pick-up opportunity for those Rotarians involved in the distribution. If you do not get your dictionaries today, please make arrangements with Ted Wilmsen to pick them up as soon as possible. The lead Rotarians should contact the office managers this week at the schools where they will deliver. This is the 23rd year we have provided dictionaries to third-grade classrooms across the city.

Ukraine Calendars – Sam McMillian suggested that those Rotarians delivering dictionaries might like to take Ukrainian calendars into the classrooms to “show and tell” what Rotary does worldwide.

Obie – The club’s traveling bear, Obie, went on a trip to Colorado and did not return home. As Red Badge Rotarian Laura Stevens tells the story, Obie unknowingly fell out of the car into a snow drift and was unfortunately never found. Along with her explanation of how Obie disappeared, Laura donated $50 to the club.

Santa Rosa Rotary Club Foundation – Chuck Wear informed the club that it was time for nominations for the foundation’s board of directors. If you are interested or would like to nominate a club member, please contact Chuck. The foundation meets once per month. Considerations as a candidate are an area of expertise with which one could contribute and prior committee experience. An announcement of who is selected will be made at a March Club meeting. Chuck explained that there are two foundation boards and they are sometimes confused. One is the Rotary International Foundation, whose mission is to donate globally, and the other is the Santa Rosa Rotary Foundation, which donates locally in our community. The Rotary Club Foundation was started 30 years ago and currently has approximately $20 million in assets.


Susan Nowaki introduced today’s guest speaker, Major Randy Hartt, the Sonoma County Coordinator of The Salvation Army. He is also a Rotary Club of Santa Rosa member. Major Randy and his wife, Major Tracie Hartt, have been officers with The Salvation Army for 30 years. The Majors have served in The Salvation Army since 1989. Before Major Hartt was an officer with The Salvation Army, he was a medic in Santa Clara County for three years from 1987-1989, running 911 calls and contract calls with the San Jose Ambulance/Santa Clara valley paramedics. Major Hartt is a Disaster Specialist with The Salvation Army, and he and his wife have had numerous appointments throughout their careers.

Major Hartt began his presentation by informing the club that we were the winners of The Salvation Army Christmas Bell Ringing competition this year, collecting a total of $2,064.82. An award has been ordered to present to the club. It will be delivered by Marjor Hartt at a future meeting when it is completed.

Major Randy showed an informative video highlighting The Salvation Army’s work in the community. The following programs are part of The Salvation Army in Santa Rosa.

  • Tutoring and Mentoring
  • Double Punches Boxing Club
  • Social Services
  • Housing Program

Please watch the attached video for detailed information and the people behind each program.

The Salvation Army also maintains a Disaster Response Unit in Santa Rosa. Find the details in the slide presentation included here.

According to Major Hartt, The Salvation Army is a Christian organization that doesn’t proselytize. All are welcome regardless of their beliefs. It is a “ministry of presence, and they believe that action speaks.” Their mission is to “be there for people in their time of need and help them move forward.”

Currently, The Salvation Army needs Advisory Board Members. Rotarian Paul Hamilton is an advisory board member and took a few minutes to characterize his experience. He encouraged Rotarians to consider applying.

For additional information, visit

Program Slides

(No program slides this week)

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)

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. 487 January 25, 2023  EDITOR: Diane Moresi PHOTOGRAPHER: Jeff Gospe PUBLISHER: Richard Lazovick