DIGITAL EDITION   No. 37     July 17, 2013     EDITOR:  Matt Everson     PHOTOGRAPHERS: Kris Anderson

Our Program For July 24th

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

Top executive Todd Salnas updates Rotarians on Memorial Hospital

COO Todd Salnas

COO Todd Salnas

On New Year’s Day 1950, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital opened its doors. Almost sixty-four years later, St, Joseph Health’s two Sonoma County non-profit hospitals have expanded over the years to account for half of the county’s available hospital beds. This Wednesday, Rotary’s program speaker will be Todd Salnas, the president and top executive of Memorial and Petaluma Valley’s hospitals, along with a wide range of non-hospital-based services. Todd became President and Chief Operating Officer in September 2009 when he moved to Santa Rosa with his wife Jenny and their three young children.


July 31: Preview the San Francisco’s 49ers’ new stadium
August 7: The North Bay Angels’ Che Voight
August 14: To be announced


Visit our district at:
Check out Rotary International at:
Come see us at: http://rotarymeansbusiness.comExplore Memorial Hospital’s site:


President Peggy opens the meeting

President Peggy opens the meeting

For this week’s Rotary meeting, President Peggy opened the traditional proceedings as usual. But before she could get going, Past President Jeanne Levin, perhaps in a show of solidarity and support to a fellow president of the fairer sex, presented our new President with a megaphone. Not just any old megaphone but a PINK megaphone, designed specifically to enhance group communications in the land of babble and other hearing obstacles!

Next, Sam McMillan led our fine group in the Pledge of Allegiance. And Kerri Chambers honored her grandmother, Anna May Fields Chambers, in a personal and touching invocation touched with a sense of wonder at the celebrating her 100th birthday last week, Tuesday, July 9th. A landmark older, even, than our Club!


“In her full century of life, Grandma only had one drink of alcohol”, Kerri swore, “For years she was President of the Lincoln Elementary PTA, where she sewed, baked, and gave countless hours to the local schools. Because my grandma is of Irish descent, I close in her honor with a nice Irish Blessing:

            May you live a long life
            full of gladness and health
            with a pocket of gold
            as the least of your wealth.
            May the dreams you hold dearest
            be those which come true,
            the kindness you spread
            keep returning to you!


The McNeills: Laura, Jock and Molly holding baby

The McNeills: Laura, Jock and Molly holding baby Ella

Ella Rees McNeill arrived too late to make last week’s issue of The Santa Rosarian. Therefore the second daughter of Jock and Laura McNeill gets star billing in this week’s bulletin. Ella, who is one of those “hurry up & wait” ladies, was 11 days past her due date, then caught everyone off guard when she was born late Tuesday afternoon, July 9th, at Memorial Hospital, 19 inches long, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7½ ounces! According to Jock, it took them five days to pick a name because they wanted to get to know her better. Laura’s mother and grandmother were in the room when Ella was born, adding up to four generations of proud ancestors keeping watchful eyes on the project. Laura and Ella are doing fine at home and 4 year old Molly is adjusting to being a big sister but so far is being a big help. Congratulations to Jock & Laura from all of us in the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa! FYI, Ella Rees McNeil’s middle name is the maiden name of our fellow Rotarian Diane Moresi.


Assistant District Governor Ann McGinley was one of our three visiting Rotarians today: From the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa East, our next door neighbors every Tuesday. A familiar face from Sunrise Rotary of Santa Rosa, Financial advisor Scott Holder, dropped in for lunch. And a visiting Rotarian from Avalon, California, self-storage owner Cal Parsons. Welcome, Cal, to the oldest, largest, and most active Rotary Club in Santa Rosa. At the age of 92 years since we were chartered and still counting. Our Rotary Club is almost as old as Kerri’s Grandma!


Julia Parranto proudly introduced her beaming 7th grade daughter Madeleine. It was hard to tell—even this close—who was wearing the biggest smile for the introduction, Julia or Madeleine? Wayne Rowlands welcomed back his guest & prospective member, realtor Sonja Butler. Ray Foreaker introduced his guest, Marcea Keller—registered nurse & educator. And last but definitely not least, Dan Walker’s son from Montgomery High School…Raj Walker!


Eunice Valentine—Sponsored by Don McMillan
Former Executive Director of the Volunteer Center


In the July issue of The Rotarian, who said “It’s time for us to recognize that the real challenge we face isn’t just bringing new members into Rotary.  It’s turning all members into true Rotarians.  It’s helping members get engaged in Rotary – helping them realize the potential they have, and how their Rotary service can change lives”?


Things took an unexpected twist! In true leadership fashion, President Peggy decided to switch around the meeting to engage us all in a bit and of thinking and talking. Each table was asked to respond the survey that was recently mailed to our Rotary membership (with 58 percent completed & returned to Rotary International). Before individual discussions got underway, Peggy reviewed for us the survey questions and the returned responses. In general, she commented, the responses were positive. In areas such as Internal Club Communication & Organization, member satisfaction, and the use of club resources and leadership in general, members responded overwhelmingly that the Santa Rosa Rotary Club is a quality club.

But on a few important questions, President Peggy asked each table to discuss possible ways to improve the club. Each table had an appointed leader plus a scribe to write down the results of the discussions. Each leader was charged with guiding the discussion. The scribe did what scribes do!

Personal observation at one table: The immediate result was quite refreshing. A surprising number of good ideas were spawned and, during the free-wheeling discussions that followed, we were astounded by comments and rather candid observations of fellow Rotarians. These gave others unexpected observations and opinions that would be helpful in improving the Rotary Club overall, if more widely expressed in the original survey.

A tradition of humor: A new discussion touched on the possibility of misinterpreting our club’s tradition of humor and bantering between veteran fellow Rotarians during club meetings. Also the possibility that being the largest Rotary Club could result in feelings of exclusion from fellowship groups that may exist among our members. With other clubs in the district having fewer members, it is obvious that the fewer members, the closer members become in their on-going fellowship with each other. Another positive observation was that because we go all out to involve Red Badgers immediately involved in club duties and assignments, those efforts should continue well-beyond new member status. New members often require more time to recognize where individual interest lie within our large club.

A major club project: The current search for a significant long-term project developed within our Rotary Club caught the group’s attention for the next discussion. Groups speculated on “signature projects” that that the whole club could support and work on as a team; a project that would best serve our community and expand our Rotary Club’s recognition and respect in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and throughout Rotary International and District 5130 for years to come.

Does an “invisible wall” exist that separates the Mexican/Hispanic community from the Caucasian community in Santa Rosa? If such a divide exists now or might exist in the near future, what might be done to or diminish such a separation in this community? While changing demographics project that the coalition of immigrants will outnumber the established majority over the next decades, most of us admit we have little knowledge or interaction with new and growing coalitions. Should we consider this proposition in the search for a project that might foster greater change and improved interaction between various demographics and coalitions—a project to foster interaction and exchange between the two or more cultures that would use the size and influence of Rotary’s World Community Service to bring down this wall, foster understanding and exchange, and bring both our club and community more closely together. Brilliant!


Kim Murphy reported that Genie Delles had bravely shorn her hair rather than watch it fall out on its own from the partially-completed chemo treatments and her on-going battle with cancer. And she hopes to kick cancer’s butt! Go Genie! Matt Everson’s father is back in the hospital to treat the lack of circulation in his remaining leg. The doctors staved off another infection and, for the time being, saved his remaining leg. We hope he’s out of the hospital by the time you read this.

Darren Elliott helps Robby Fouts choose a card

Darren Elliott helps Robby Fouts choose a card


With the losing cards down to only 43 and the Rotary Jackpot at almost $300, Jane Duggan distracted Robbie Fouts from both winning Jokers and auctioned off two tickets to the Sonoma County Fair for a winning bid of $45. Hardly anyone noticed when Robbie drew the Three of Diamonds and slunk back to the Rowdy Table with a scant $10 to console him in his loss!


Our Rotary Club needs families to host this year’s 2013-14 youth exchange student from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. This will be the 17 year old high school senior’s first visit to the United States. What a great opportunity to host someone from part of the world that most of us have never heard of! About the size of Santa Rosa, Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia, about 130 miles in each direction between Italy and North Africa’s Tunisia.

The youngest of three children, Giovanni loves sports, especially basketball & skiing. His favorite subjects are economics, accounting, and law. Both his parents work outside the home—his dad works in a local market and assists his mother in the family’s optical and photo business. Our club’s exchange student will arrive in Santa Rosa three weeks from now. Host families are often non-Rotarians. They don’t need to have children at home or live in the Santa Rosa High School District. Sound interesting? Call one of the youth exchange chairs—Larry Miyano (696-4905), Craig Meltzner (526-6336) or Jeff Gospe (494-9249).


It must be time for the annual Sonoma County Fair. Groupies Steve Olson and Sam McMillan are bidding on clean pigs and short-haired sheep for barbeque at bargain prices, then peddling them to eager Rotarians. Stay alert this summer and don’t miss out at the legendary Sonoma County Fair!


[list style=”arrow” color=”blue” el_position=”first last”]

  • Wally Lowry is fined for a photo we dare not show you!

    Wally Lowry is fined for a photo we dare not show you!

    Past President Wally seems to be floating around the Internet, at least what appears to be a photograph of Wally Lowry hiding behind the bottom half of a male mannequin’s body. In addition to his weird disclosure, he shelled out $25 to compensate for the public’s embarrassment.

  • Jack Abercrombie didn’t have to stretch too far to portray Uncle Sam in Oakmont’s 4th of July Parade. What did he learn? Nothing Uncle Sam does is free. Jack contributed $25 to the club!
  • Robbie Fouts’ failure to find one of the hidden Jackpot Jokers cost him nothing and he pocketed $10 in raffle consolation! Don’t even know why we mention it.
  • Jock McNeill was so excited at the birth of little Ella Rees last week that he contributed $50 each to open new Paul Harris Fellowships for big sister Molly and her little sister Ella!
  • Mike Kallhoff donated $50 because his photograph was snapped accepting a big check from the Exchange Bank’s Jim Curry on behalf of the United Way.
  • Creed Wood donated $25 to have his photo taken down from the video screen.[/list]


“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know, the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve”.
                                                                                                                          A quote from Dr. Albert Schweitzer


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

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