Next Meeting is Hybrid
Wednesday September 29, 2021

A Refugee’s Perspective
Afghanistan & America:
Current Challenges,
Hopes For Peace

Aimal Halim

Join Rotary Peace Fellow Aimal’s return to the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa to share candid, inspiring stories of life in Afghanistan and America, including his unique perspective about progress of the past 20 years, the current refugee crisis and hopes for the future.

Hear first-hand from a refugee and Muslim about…

  • His service as a translator & cultural advisor to American forces;
  • Life under the Taliban and consequences to him and his family;
  • His journey from poverty & homelessness to university graduation, US citizenship and selection as Rotary’s first Afghan Peace Fellow;
  • Current challenges to Afghan women’s education and rights, as well as his volunteer efforts to resettle Afghan refugees; and,
  • His insights about America & Americans, with deep respect for our democracy, ideals and Rotary—and his love of American football!

Here are links to articles about Aimal from Chris Smith & the Rotary Magazine.

–>  Debi will send you the Zoom login link for the 12:00 meeting once you have paid. Feel free to put your feet up, grab a sandwich, and join the meeting. <–


In-Person / Hybrid Meeting details:
All meetings are in-person and online meetings. In-person meetings will be located at the Epicenter Sports Center located at 3215 Coffey Lane, Santa Rosa, CA.  Use the first door, closest to Piner Road. There will be greeters at the door to guide you.

–> Please note that you NEED TO MAKE A RESERVATION IN ADVANCE so we have a proper count.  Payments received by Saturday will be considered for the upcoming meeting.  Payments after that will be for the following meeting.
–> Debi Zaft will email you the link for online, once you have paid.  Use this link for details and to pay.  CLICK HERE!

Wednesday October 6: Art Start

Keep checking back.  New Programs coming soon!


Sept 18th:

Ann would love more people on the social committee and someone to be in charge.
See Ann if you are willing to help.

Keep checking back.  New socials coming soon!


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)
Please note it is only available to view until 10/3/21

Opening Ceremonies:

President Ray welcomed us to Rotary. Matthew Henry led us in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and The Four-Way Test. His reflection today was a quote from William Penn, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”

Visiting Rotarians:

Bob Rogers and Randy Hartt

Sunshine Report:

Debi Zaft’s sister-in-law passed away due to a brain tumor.


Kris Anderson and Steve Olson ran the raffle today. Seven marbles and $47.00 in the pot. Pete Lescure had the correct ticket, but he pulled a yellow marble. The pot rolls over.



Craig Meltzner announced the Youth Exchange informational meeting for September 29th. The information is posted on the Rotary Facebook pages.

Ann Gospe announced that the Octoberfest will be at her house on Saturday, October 30th. Stay tuned for more information. We will be auctioning the Junior Livestock Auction meat at the event.


Julia donated $300.00 to the club administration budget last week and it was missed in the bulletin.

Carolyn Fassi cannot help with the Giro d’ Wine Country because her favorite nephew is getting married that day. She is contributing $25.00 because she is missing the event.

Ted Wilmsen was not at last week’s meeting because he was in SoCal to see family. He really enjoys stopping near Moro Bay to see the Elephant Seals. Because he was gone, he is donating $100.00 to Polio Plus.

Debi Zaft and Cookie Garrett donated $100.00 to Polio Plus too.

Today’s program was Bob Rogers, our Zone and District Polio Plus Coordinator on what is happening with Polio in the world today.

Bob played a video of a National Immunization trip to India in January of 2020. Rotarian Brad Howard arranges trips for vaccinations and was the moderator in the film.

In 1988 there were 350,000 children that got polio that year. In 2021 we are down to just Pakistan and Afghanistan as endemic countries. Originally there were three wild polio viruses and now there is only one. The polio vaccination has live virus in it. That mean 1 in every 2.3 million doses will give a child polio. As of September 2020, there were 53 cases in Afghanistan and 76 in Pakistan. This year only two cases, one in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. Rotary and their partners were doing well with vaccinations until 2019. Suddenly there was more conflict and lack of accessibility. 2020 was better due to Covid. Another problem in 2019 is that a group put out a video that said the vaccination made you sterile. Two healthcare workers were killed in 2019. The Taliban do not trust us to go house to house to vaccinate, but it looks like they will allow vaccinations at the local mosques. The new polio vaccine NOVP2 does not have the live virus in it. It has completed clinical trials and has been given emergency status to be used. Now, it is being used in seven countries in Africa: no illnesses! For those who may not know, Rotary does not do this on their own. They have partnered with the World Health Organization, CDC, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI. The new strategy for 2022 – 2026 is the end game for a polio free world. If you go to the website, you can read the Polio Global Eradication Initiative. Since Rotary started the vaccination drive in 1986 over 19 million people have been safe from paralysis and over 1 million have not died from polio. But as we all know, Polio is only a plane trip away.

Rotary started the Paul Harris Society for those Rotarians who donate $100 a year to Polio Plus. Bob Rogers recognized 9 members of our club who are committed to this goal:  Kris Anderson, Dan Balfe, Debi Zaft, Ray Giampaoli, Jeff Kolin, Julia Parranto, Carolyn Fassi, Karen Ball, Doug Johnson. Flyers to join the Paul Harris Society were on the tables. Sign up to donate $10.00 a month and you do not even have to think about it.

The Puerto Vallarta water project is on!

20 club members can go March 23-28, 2022. The price is $1845 per person, double occupancy. More details to come.

Additional Pictures:

Governor, District 5130

Dustin Littlefield


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

Board of Directors

Club Service I, Membership, Julia Parranto
Club Service II, Club Meetings, Casey D’Angelo
Club Service III, Fundraising, Diane Moresi
Club Service IV, Member Activities, Anne Gospe
Club Service V, Information Technology and Records, Pete Lescure
Community Service I, Member Involvement, Rio Ray
Community Service II, Youth, Andrea Geary
Vocational Service, Carolyn Fassi
International Service, Dan Balfe

DIGITAL EDITION No. 426 September 22, 2021  EDITOR: Kris Anderson PHOTOGRAPHER: Jeff Gospe PUBLISHER: Richard Lazovick