DIGITAL EDITION   No. 79   June 4, 2014     EDITOR: Matt Everson     PHOTOGRAPHER: Diane Moresi

Our Program For June 11th


Special Evening Meeting – The Fun Begins at 6pm!


Need we say more? Don’t miss it!


June 18: Applying the Science of Story to the Art of Communications
June 25: Debunking of President Peggy
July 9: Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man


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President Peggy opened the meeting saying “she’s almost at the end and thinks she’s going to make it”to which there was an encouraging cheer. She invited Gesine Franchetti to lead the Club in the Pledge but she was nowhere to be found. Robbie Fouts stepped in and, without a pause, led the group through the pledge. With the Soviet flags draped around the room, it was a bit of an odd feeling. Then newly re-elected (unofficial) Bill Rousseau came up to give the club’s invocation.


Karen Ball presented our visiting Rotarian today, Keith Schoenthal from Rancho Cotati. Welcome, Keith! .

Scholarship Winner

Ed Cutler, Laura Held, Rich de Lambert, Gabi Edman and Avery Roux


Many of our members brought along guests today. Today’s guest list must have cost the Gospe family $400! Jeff’s parents and daughter Natalie, as well as many colleagues were here to support him today. Jeff’s guests included: Mike Sussman, Eric Young, Diana Young, Bill Kazmar, Karin Iwata, Tammy McCoy and Jim Farmer.

Rich de Lambert introduced a large contingent of Interact folks from Cardinal Newman who were on hand to witness their friend Gabi Edman receive a check for $500 to help her attend RYLA Camp this summer. Those guests included: Ed Cutler, Avery Roux and Cardinal Newman President Laura Held. In addition, Jeff Gospe introduced us to Kelsey McCaffrey, our 2014 outgoing youth exchange student who is going to Spain.. Speaking of Cardinal Newman, we heard Member Ray Giampaoli is taking on the task of Interact advisor at Newman next school year.

Other guests at today’s luncheon were: Steve Dunn, from the Redwood Empire BSA, Steve Marburger, guest of Jack Abercrombie, Scott Hubert, guest of Ryan Thomas, and Joe Valentine, guest and husband of Eunice Valentine.

Ted Wilmsen tries his luck with Tim Delaney

Ted Wilmsen tries his luck with Tim Delaney


Tim Delaney presided over The Raffle which had $139 on the line. I tend to just cut and paste the ‘winner’ in this section of the bulletin because it always seems to be Ted Wilmsen! But Ted’s luck only gave him the $10 today. No Queen of Diamonds for him!


President Peggy mentioned Board meeting minutes and agendas can now be found online at the Club’s website -if you know the password. Do you know it? Well, I can’t print it here, you goofball! But it does have something to do with a very important year for our club…(You can find the password somewhere in this bulletin.)


It will be our Award Night with a little touch of home spun entertainment. It starts at 6:00 and will probably end around 8:00 or 8:30. It’s dress up for the red carpet walk and the photographers, or if that’s not comfortable for you, then dress down. In any case just come and have a good time. Wally Lowery, that doesn’t mean you can come nude, but feel free to wear your “hair”that night! There will be some homespun entertainment

Eunice Valentine

Eunice Valentine


Eunice Valentine may have very slightly exceeded the four minute craft talk limit but snuck off stage without a fine? President Peggy is growing soft, huh? It was a nice and interesting talk about her growing up in the northern plains of Montana, the 5th of 8 children! After college, she flew off to Vietnam to serve. She was one woman among all these many Marines. She gave no further detail on how that must have been!

Back stateside, in Boston, she completed MSW degree, wrote a book called Woman in Nam and after many years in the nonprofit world, ended up here in Sonoma County running our Volunteer Center. Recently retired from that post, she now works as Senior Staff at Pacific Foundation Services and somehow finds time to serve in our club as a quality Rotarian!


Today’s speaker was our very own Jeff Gospe. If you’ve taken any time over the years to get to know Jeff, you’d know he has the brains of two men. Yet he is humble about his intelligence. And it was very kind of him to prepare a talk on his experiences as a undergrad exchange student in the Eastern Bloc as the Wall was falling down.

Speaker Jeff Gospe

Speaker Jeff Gospe

His lovely wife Ann Gospe introduced his talk as a “Special Treat…even though I’m married to him” and then mentioned we’d discovered the only way to get Jeff to Rotary on time…make him the program!

In 1989, Jeff went to Cracow, Poland on exchange from Stanford. He was an eyewitness to the fall of communism for a few years and experienced a moment in history to which very few other Westerners had access.

He was in Poland as Lech Walesa and the Solidarity movement gained traction. Elections were held the summer of 1989 that put the ball in motion to bring democracy to the Soviet system across eastern Europe.

He showed us a video of street protests he watched first-hand, shared tidbits of what life was like in the communist system and talked about the Polish rationed diet of pork, cabbage and potatoes leading to 40 lbs. of weight loss

A complete and opposite existence from the West. There were lines for each item to buy, and very few items to buy with very little money for most folks. Even toilet paper was in very short supply. Jeff never mentioned how he coped when it ran out…

Once again, we’re reminded that our Club is made up of some very interesting and intriguing folks. If you missed Jeff’s presentation yesterday, that is a shame. Hearing from a man who was at the very heart of one of history’s greatest moments of relatively peaceful revolution was fascinating. Thanks Jeff!

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In a nod to the upcoming anniversary of D-Day, Peggy gave a quote from Winston Churchill – “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”


Thank today’s (sr1921) Meeting Helpers:

Pledge:  Robbie Fouts
Invocation: Bill Rousseau
Greeters: Debi Zaft and Fred Levin
Raffle: Tim Delaney
Visiting Rotarians: Karen Ball
Ticket Collector: John McHugh
Ticket Sales Assistant: Bart Eddy 


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