Next meeting
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Facing Today’s Agricultural Challenges

Dayna Ghirardelli

The average citizen of Sonoma County does not  fully understand the current challenges faced by our farmers and ranchers as well as how important Ag is to the local economy and the lifestyle we all enjoy. Local Agriculture’s survival is dependent upon a well inform citizenry including community-minded people like the members of Rotary. Sonoma County Farm Bureau is the largest local Ag advocacy organization and strives to enhance the agricultural literacy of residents of all ages. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Wednesday October 4: Senator Mike McGuire
Wednesday October 11: tbd
Wednesday October 18: Hanna Center
Wednesday October 25: Ukraine Update

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


Redwood Empire Food Bank – 2nd Wednesday of the month.  The next one is October 11th – 5 PM – 7 PM

SRJC Rotaract Fundraiser – You can make your donations here: Click here to donate

NOTE: Club Dark & Social – On the 5th Wednesday of a month, the Club is dark. There will be a social on the following Saturday each month, there is a 5th Wednesday.

For more details and additional events, see the Announcements and Such section below.

More socials, projects, & events coming soon!

Rotary Announcements

  • The Meat Auction will be on October 15th at Kim Murphy’s Party Pad. Please plan on attending. Any party held at a pad promises to be a good one!
  • SRJC and Sonoma State Rotaract members will be walking to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Saturday, September 23rd at 9am at Sonoma State. If you cannot make it, Rotaract is walking to raise funds and you can make a donation here.
  • The Golf Tourney to support Ukraine refugees. October 13th. You can help them by going to to sign up for the golf tournament or the dinner.
  • Stargazing BBQ Social on October 7th. Dinner will be at 5pm and stargazing starts at 7:30pm. Email Julia if you’d like to attend.

See the Announcements section below.

Opening the Meeting

President Ann Gospe called upon Past President Jeff Kolin to give the Pledge, Four-Way Test and the Opening Thought. The Pledge was recited like we have been doing it since Kindergarten. Good job, Rotarians. Solid 10 out of 10. The Four Way Test was better than it’s been as Jeff didn’t mess around. First… Second… Third… Fourth… I like it.  Jim Greene kept up his crusade to make it a Five Way Test by adding “And Have Fun” at the end. I like Jim. He seems like he likes to have fun.

Jeff then gave us lots of thoughts about change. I’m not sure what we’re trying to change. Maybe it’s how we recite the Four Way Test. Maybe it’s changing the Four Way Test to the Five Way Test. At any rate, JFK, Clinton, Obama, Harriet Tubman and Ann Frank all had thoughts on the importance of change. Personally, I like to think I’m open to change until the store doesn’t have my usual deodorant.

(Also, as an aside, not one person mentioned the band aid on Jeff’s nose. You know you’re amongst friends when they just ignore something like that… until the bulletin writer puts it on the internet.)

Visiting Rotarians

There were no visiting Rotarians this week which means I didn’t have to chase down names so I might have been the only person that was glad to hear that no one wanted to visit us.


Craig Meltzner introduced his lovely wife Elaine and also introduced our Rotary Youth Exchange student Isidora Sarria.

Peter Holewinski introduced his son Aaron, mentioned it was his birthday, and then begged us not to sing, which was clearly a good choice considering how badly this group butchers the song every month for the Rotarian birthdays.

Finally, Natasha Perez introduced us to her sister Kamila who is an 8th grader at Caesar Chavez Academy. I have already slotted Camila into our club starting in the year 2032.


Ginny Cannon mentioned that she had not heard any news and asked if anyone else had something to share. We then all stared at each other for a few moments waiting for someone to deliver devastating news. But no one did, so yay for sunshine!

Opportunity Drawing

The incomparable Diane Moresi handled the raffle and announced that there were 5 marbles left. This is the first time in a while that there was one less marble in the bag than the week before so I feel like we’re on the right path. Or it could be that Diane is the only one of us who knows how to count. At any rate, she called out a number and Ray Giampoli shouted out a very enthusiastic, “HEY!” Alas, that was the most enthusiasm he could muster after he drew another bad marble. Of course, his $10 never made it into his pocket and went straight into the pail for Polio.

But that wasn’t all! There was another chance to win as Ann revealed that last week’s speaker Eric Johnston, publisher of The Press Democrat, had left a free subscription to be raffled off. The excitement was palpable as Diane called out another number. After several moments of people checking their numbers Diane realized that the number called may have been her own. She was right. But before we could accuse her of any chicanery, she mentioned that she already had a Press Democrat subscription and decided to draw another ticket.

So, the second-chance drawing turned into a third-chance drawing and there hadn’t been this much excitement in the room since Ann forgot her agenda on her first day as President. This time, Rotary Exchange Student Izzy, announced that she had won. After summoning Host Parent Laura Stephens into the room, Laura was informed that Izzy had won the household a Press Democrat subscription and Laura responded with an enthusiastic, “RIGHT ON!” Who says hosting students doesn’t pay?


President Ann thanked those of us who went to the Four-Club Social at the Sonoma County Museum last week and mentioned that we would be hosting the April social where the theme will be The Beatles and Ann will be dressed as Paul while singing, “Here Comes the Sun.” (Okay, maybe that last part isn’t true… yet. At any rate stay tuned for a social in April.)

Ann also reminded us that the Meat Auction will be on October 15th at Kim Murphy’s Party Pad. Please plan on attending. Any party held at a pad promises to be a good one!

SRJC and Sonoma State Rotaract members will be walking to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Saturday, September 23rd at 9am at Sonoma State. If you cannot make it, Rotaract is walking to raise funds and you can make a donation here:

Finally, Ann called attention to the Golf Tourney to support Ukraine refugees October 13th. You can help them by going to to sign up for the golf tournament or the dinner.

Ann then called Julia Parranto for an announcement but Julia went big and gave us THREE announcements. First, she claims she doesn’t have a brain right now (many of us can relate, Julia) and lost the signup sheet for the Stargazing BBQ Social on October 7th. Dinner will be at 5pm and stargazing starts at 7:30pm. 18 spaces are available at $100 per tickets. Email Julia if you’d like to attend. Secondly, Julia attended a Rotary meeting for the Rotary Club of Waukesha, Wisconsin and brought back a banner made of beer and cheese. At least that’s what I assume. It was hard to see from where I was sitting. And finally, she bought Rotary Club of Santa Rosa “Rotarians at Work” t-shirts and has a handful left. See her if you want an XL shirt.

Ann then promised that we would be ordering more shirts like this in other sizes and Dan Balf asked if we could have ball caps made as well. When Ann asked if any Rotarians would like a hat, every bald dude in the room raised their hand. It doesn’t look good for the hats though, fellow baldies.


Ann then sharpened her spear and took aim at some Rotarians who have taken trips as of late to tell us about their adventures. Craig Meltzner shared that he went on a white-water rafting trip on the Snake River. Craig described his experience as “magical, serene, exciting” which sounds as if David Copperfield, Bob Ross, and Evel Knievel planned a joint vacation.  He also acknowledged that his wife Elaine was with him and all that emotion pushed him to donate $180 – split between the Larry Miyano fund and the John Brown fund.

Past President Kris Anderson then shared that she got back from her 50th high school reunion deep in the heart of Wiscaaaaansaaan. They hung out in a garage and went sailing on Green Bay. Probably not at the same time. Fifty-five classmates attended which sounded cool until she mentioned how that some are now dead. Way to bring us all down, Kris. But donating $50 to the club helped change the mood.

Mark Burchill also shared about his vintage train trip that didn’t end up having a lot of vintage or even enough train. The trip did not live up to the brochure in any way. From tiny hotel rooms to buses instead of trains, the trip was underwhelming. Even through all that disappointment, Mark gave $50 to the club.

Fred Levin announced that he was celebrating his 52nd Wedding Anniversary. After confirming that he was celebrating it with Jeannie Levin, Fred gave $100 to the John Brown Fund.

Pete Lescure got up to brag about how he was celebrating his 63rd High School reunion. I hear his favorite piece of technology in high school was the abacus.

Finally, Jim Greene was outed by President Ann for a 6-day fishing trip that Jim took to Mexico. It was so hot and humid that Jim is still affected as it took him a while to understand that Ann was trying to get him to pay up. Once he paid up, Ann then took the opportunity to announce that Jim is now an official member of the Club. Ann informed us that Jim has been a Rotarian for 53 years, which means he became a Rotarian when Fred and Jeannie were just dating, and Kris was a freshman in Wiscaaansan. Welcome to the club, Jim!

Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker was introduced by Jeff Gospe who mentioned that the Rotary Youth Exchange program was first introduced in 1927 (which I believe would be about the time Pete Lescure was starting kindergarten). He welcomed Isidora (Izzy) Sarria who came up with the energy that one would expect from someone who was born in the 21st century.

We learned that Izzy loves sports, including Soccer, Tae Kwon Do, Volleyball and Swimming. (Fun Fact: Volleyball was invented at the YMCA. And yes, that’s a shameless plug for the Y. I gotta get something out of this gig.)

At any rate, we also learned that Izzy loves sweets. A girl after my own heart! We then got a nice tour of Chile and all that beauty it has to offer (she admittedly left out the ugly parts which we all appreciate, I’m sure). She showed us her hometown of Talca which, oddly enough, is known for its unique way of serving hot dogs. So, it’s kinda like the Chicago of Chile without the mob.

Izzy also shared photos from her school and talked about the differences, including the uniforms and the fact that she’s been with the same class of kids her entire school career. She then introduced us to her family, including her father Fernando, her mother Arieth, and her brother Fernando Jr. They are a very handsome family. Like seriously. None of our families look that good.

Finally, Izzy shared her California bucket list. It includes a Warriors game, surfing, Disneyland, and Six Flags. If any of you can make one of those happen, I won’t tell anyone when you graduated from high school.

Program Slides

(Click on image below to view Isidora’s amazing slides)

Click above picture to see Isidora’s amazing slides of Chili, her friends, and more…

Club Job Openings:

Need a person on the board for Vocational Service Recognition

Additional Pictures:

Click on pictures to see full size.


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

Governor, District 5130

Tom Boylan DG - 2023-2024

Tom Boylan DG – 2023-2024

Club President

President Ann Gospe 2023-2024


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

Board of Directors

Ann Gospe – President
Casey D’Angelo – President Elect
(awaiting confirmation) – President Elect Nominee
Kris Anderson – 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 – Local Service
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. 517, September 20, 2023  EDITOR: Matthew Henry PHOTOGRAPHER: Richard Rossi PUBLISHER: Richard Lazovick