Meeting for the Week of June 8th, 2015

This Meeting’s Highlights
Speaker: Zuhal Sharp
Program: Rotarian Action Groups: an Introduction
Meeting for the week of June 8th to 14th, 2015



from President Rushton Hurley

You’ve found your way to this week’s meeting of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley – welcome!

I am in Taiwan and Japan this week, enjoying the chance to connect with teachers at a Taipei university. I am blessed to have regular opportunities to share ideas on how technology can improve learning. I also think that the work we do in our eclub to help others learn about the work of Rotary is an especially fun piece of what our club strives for!

This week, we’ll focus on a number of different elements of Rotary’s work around the world. You’ll see a video about the work of two Peace Scholars, learn about this year’s anniversary of approval of the Salk polio vaccine, and hear in our program about the work of Rotarian Action Groups. Along the way, you’ll get our usual onslaught of local activities, shared thoughts, cool tidbits, and even a joke. We feel sharing ideas, energy, and laughs is a healthy way of going through one’s life.

Guests, we welcome your comments, as well, and ask that you consider contributing the cost of a meal to the service projects our club is putting in motion. Feel free to use our donation system for Happy Dollars, or you can mail a check made out to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley to our treasurer: ℅ Allen Thompson, 13500 Cascade Ct., Bakersfield CA 93314.


A Sense of Place, A Sense of Peace

How do you give kids who are separated from the familiar a path to avoid the pitfall of gangs and crime? There’s clearly no easy answer. Instead, creative and dedicated people have to come together to see what might work in any given setting.

This video describes the work of two Rotary Peace Scholars who worked to provide something to some kids from Sudan – living in Australia.


The Power of Images

from member Rushton Hurley
At the very end of May, I had the chance to go to Breckenridge, Colorado. Kevin Brookhouser and I were both speakers at a conference for teachers, and while we worked seemingly nonstop, when I did get a break late in the day the first day of the conference, I managed to drive a bit south of town to get this shot.

south of Breckenridge (2015-05-30) (1800p)


What We Do

Honoring Play
Last week member Art Taylor connected with Assistant Governor Ken McLaughlin (Area 5), and learned that he (Ken) nominated the PlayGarden team (see last week’s meeting for details) for Rotary’s Significant Achievement Award, which is a huge honor. Well, Wednesday, Governor Ed and Ken attended the San Jose club’s meeting to present them with the award! The Significant Achievement Award is a worldwide award with only a few recipients. Way to go, Julie!

Barbeque Championships
The never-boring Rotary Club of Santa Clara will have its 2015 Silicon Valley Barbeque Championships on June 26th and 27th, and you should go and participate in the festival of yumminess which also raises funds for their club’s service efforts. More details on the event are at:

Our SAFN (Social Activities Force of Nature) Stephen Zhou is coordinating several volunteers from our club to help with one part of the program, so if you are interested in serving as a volunteer or a backup volunteer, contact Stephen ([email protected]).


The World of Rotary

This week’s meeting includes a major emphasis on what Rotary is making happen around the world, and, as you may know, the premier effort of Rotary for almost thirty years has been the eradication of the horrible scourge of polio. We are this close!

Rotary News posted a short piece in April marking the 60th anniversary of the approval of the Salk polio vaccine, along with a summary of Rotary’s efforts since establishing the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. Give it a read here.

Service Time

Last week we highlighted the work members are doing to help others. Think about what you’ve been up to in the last week (or since you last filled out the form!), and please share with us what you’ve been up to. What you are doing can inspire others to make a difference!

Happy Dollars

Around this time, I’m guessing many of us have folks for whom the finish of the school year:

from guest Lisa Bickford ($20):
To celebrate Nathan’s completion of Junior year at Piedmont Hills High School. Summer learning, here we come!

Money Matters

Greetings fellow eClub of Silicon Valley Rotarians! This is your report for the year-to-date ending May 31, 2015.

Since our club’s beginning in January through 5/31/15, we received $110 in donations from our guests. We thank our guests very much for supporting eCSV’s projects. 100% of our guest donations goes directly to service projects. We used your donations to help fund a ShelterBox for the people of Nepal who have recently suffered so much due to earthquakes. The Board of Directors allotted $250 of guest and member donations and asked for members and guests to help with more. You answered with another $365! Fabulous!

We have added PayPal and Google Wallet to our methods of donating. Members and guests can “Send Money” from either PayPal or Google Wallet to [email protected] Your generosity will help us do great things.

Dues are all paid! Yay! Just in time for me to send out invoices for next semester’s dues!! Seriously, thanks to everybody for getting their dues paid and, also seriously, you will see another invoice within the next few weeks for the first semester of the 2015-16 Rotary Year. Included with that invoice will be a pitch for The Rotary Foundation (TRF). Please be generous. Some of you prefer to make your donations directly to TRF and that’s fine. Sending it in with your dues is quick and easy and gives you yet another option for supporting this very important Foundation. I will take care of getting your donation to the Foundation and you only have to tell me if there’s a particular fund you want your donation to go to. If you don’t specify, I donate the money in your name to the SHARE Annual Fund. That’s the one that returns money to our district for our projects.

If you donate to TRF with your dues payment, you will still get a receipt directly from TRF. Donations to TRF are generally tax-deductible.

We also have our Happy Dollars section for our Members and Guests. Please donate Happy Dollars for your memorable occasions and leave us a note in the comments section telling us what your Happy Dollars are for. Please remember that the Happy Dollars section can be used for any purpose for sending in donations or payments. But please be sure to leave a comment so we know what your payment is for!!

Best wishes and yours in Service to Rotary

From your treasurer,
Allen Thompson


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The Tidbit

This week, member Lisa Highfill not only gives you something practical; this cool technique also will entertain and amaze your (less-tech-savvy) friends!


A Little Humor

From funny man Ricky Gervais:
* Where there’s a will, there’s a relative.


Selected Comments from Last Week

We love to hear from our guests and members regarding their thoughts about our meetings and programs. Here’s a sampling of comments from last week’s meeting on Janel Alimboyoguen and Andrew Lin’s program, Rotaract Club of Silicon Valley: Doing Things Differently.

from member Martin Fox (Utah, USA):
Love that photo Keith. I’m with you on the best time to spend time in Arches National Park. Would love to learn some of your magic. Great video on the Uganda work and thanks again for our very active Rotaractors. Looking forward to working with them.

from member Manju Ramachandran (California, USA):
I loved the “boyfriend” analogy! Great stuff, I wish there more hours in the day to mentor someone outside of the workday!

from guest François Tessier (Quebec, Canada):
This presentation is the proof that Rotaract rocks!!! And, Rushton, we can literally say that you “shine”!! Thank you for sharing the Uganda video… very moving and inspiring…

from member Chris Cochrane (Ontario, Canada):
Keeping learning more gems in the tidbit section. Excellent update on Rotaract and mentoring.

from guest Hardeep Singh (California, USA):
Absolutely loved this week’s program. Kudos to these awesome Rotaractors! As a (very recent) former Rotaractor, I’m always happy when I see Rotary Clubs supporting Rotaract Clubs. I liked listening in on the conversation about how some people in their twenties stay in Rotaract, whereas others join Rotary. It really does depend on the individual. Some might say I’m still a bit young, as I’m in my twenties, but I’m ready to take that leap from Rotaract to Rotary!

from member Deepali Mehrotra (California, USA):
Keith – It is great to look at wonders of nature from your lens. What a gem! Rushton – Great to see the video on Uganda and learning about the programs run by Rotaract Club of SV.

from member Heather Shaw (California, USA):
What a great presentation! It seems that these two are on their way to great things. Thanks for giving me a better understanding of Rotaract.

from member Mark Dohn (Michigan, USA):
How wonderful to hear Janel and Andrew speak about mentoring and their desire to not just grow professionally but personally. Again this meeting shows the power of the eClub. I loved that the meeting went from presentation to brainstorming and sharing – and the best part is that we can share this brainstorming session with so many other Rotaract groups!

from member Allen Thompson (California, USA):
“The Program” always been the highlight of every Rotary meeting I’ve ever attended. It almost always details some aspect of human existence that I heretofore have known little, or nothing, about. Rotaract is one of those things I’m still learning about and this week’s program was a huge step forward for me. Thanks to Andrew and Janel for a wonderful presentation.

It’s starting to heat up in California’s Central Valley, as it always does this time of year. Those of us in California often hear talk about “the drought” and how we all have to conserve water. Here in the valley, we are very focused on the water situation because we need so much of it. The Central Valley is huge, flat, and very agricultural. From north of Sacramento to Bakersfield, we use a huge amount of water to grow the crops that feed the world. The water supply comes, for the most part, from the snow-melt of the Sierra Nevada. And there’s very little snow up there! Stay tuned as this story develops….

Keith, another wonderful picture. I think I’ve seen that one before but I never get tired of your pictures again and again!

from member Richard Knaags (Western Cape, South Africa):
Keith’s photos are surreal. Andrew and Janel, it looks like your Rotaract club is a well developed friendship network. I know so many people who as young professionals do not have this kind of support so I am sending a huge high five to you guys. Are all Rotaract clubs like this?

from member Lisa Highfill (California, USA):
Thank you for sharing all that Rotaract is about. I’m curious what age this can begin? Are there groups for high school students/college? Any group that works to do good in the world is a great club- I agree that finding the right fit for you helps a club go beyond just the actions it takes and into something more important.

from member Andrew Taw (California, USA):
Super cool work! Love the talk about mentorship. And most importantly, that’s a hell of a logo you guys have!


This Week’s Program

Zuhal Sharp is the point person with Rotary International on RAGs – Rotarian Action Groups. What are these? Rotarian Action Groups help Rotary clubs and districts plan and carry out community development and humanitarian service projects in their area of expertise. The groups are organized by Rotarians and Rotaractors who are proficient, and have a passion for service, in a particular field.

Today you’ll learn about RAGs and what some of them have been doing around the world. Learn a little, and if inspired to do so, check out the link to the RAGs page after the program to find one for you!

Visit to find more information about RAGs and connect with a group that interests you. At that page, you can view the list of current Rotarian Action Groups and their websites in the Rotarian Action Groups Flyer, contact a group that interests you directly using contact information found in the Rotarian Action Groups Directory, and read a summary of RAG activities in the 2014 Annual Report. For questions, feel free to contact RI at [email protected].


I Attended!


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  • Thank you so much for this presentation… knowing more about Rotary help up to empower our projects… That is the case with the RAG… Thank you very much…

  • Keith Marsh

    I have been a member of the Water and Sanitation RAG for about 3 years. Lots of good information for clubs and Rotarians. If our club decides to pursue an International Service project in Water and Sanitation, this is a great resource.
    Another great Tidbit from Lisa and photo from Rushton.

  • Allen Thompson

    Man, is it hot today in Bakersfield. Over 100F (38C) and a really good day to stay indoors and take in the new Rotary eClub meeting.

    Nice picture, Rushton, though I hope you’re not offended when I say that Keith’s are a touch better. I think Keith’s camera equipment is worth more than my house. However, it is a great picture and I suggest you title it “Waxing Gibbous”.

    Rotarian Action Groups sound like a great way to get deeply involved in a specific cause. I have been particularly interested in Clean Water for some time. I think I’ll check out WASRAG

    I love this week’s Tidbit! As Lisa instructed, I turned the feature on and proceeded to say “Ok Google, what the (expletive deleted)”. It shamed me with a factual response….HAHAHA!!

    • I love that you got schooled by Google, and that you mentioned me in the same sentence with Keith – all good! I’m hoping we’ll start getting lots of folks involved, as there’s no reason we limit ourselves to one picture each week. Let’s share what we see with the club!

  • Live the tidbits. I had no idea the depth of RAGs.
    The informatiion keeps getting better… I

  • Hardeep Kaur Singh

    RAGs are great! I loved learning more about what they do. I attended the annual meeting for the Rotarian Action Group for Population and Development in Sydney last year during the RI convention, and it was a cool experience. I would love to be able to get more involved. Thanks for the informative presentation!

  • Okay, Google! “Which Action Group should I join?” It had trouble with that one. Seriously great information from Zuhal, and great tidbit from Lisa. I’ll go through my pictures from here in Japan to see if I can come up with another remotely worthy of expectations Keith has set!

  • ShagsCA

    Go Cavaliers! Go Warriors! Being from Ohio, near Cleveland (Youngstown) and now living in Walnut Creek, near Oakland, “my” team wins either way! Great meeting this week, Rushton.

  • Andrew Taw

    This is my first introduction to RAGs and it was very informative! That’s a pretty cool list of RAGs in the directory in the link.

  • Martin Fox

    I had no idea there were so many RAGs – thanks Zuhal. Great resource for members and clubs. Thanks for the Tidbit Lisa.

  • Richard Knaggs

    Thank you for furthering my knowledge about the Rotary community and allowing me to see why it is such a successful group of people. That is a really beautiful picture Rushton.

  • Already tried out my tidbit..very cool! Thanks for the great info on Rotary RAGs…more things I was unaware of with this group I continue to be more impressed

  • Yvonne Kwan

    Thank you for a great and informative presentation, Zuhal! Rotarian Action Groups are so inspiring and truly emanate a passion for service. I had the chance to speak to a few at the RI Convention, and they are so pumped about the things that they do. I also love the fact that they’ve opened membership to ALL members of the Rotary family!

    Lisa — super cool tidbit! I think I’m going to have a little too much fun with this…

  • Zuhal — thank you so much for such an educational session on RAGs! I was just having a conversation about RAGs at the RICON15 in Sao Paulo this past week, and I’m so glad to get the chance to hear more about RAGs from you in this presentation! Rotary has so many great programs, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of the great opportunities that are available. Thank you for all you do for Rotary International. I will probably be sending you an email in the near future to inquiry about a possible new RAG. Thanks again for presenting!

  • What a great and informative meeting this week about RAGs! The more I learn as new Rotarian about the structure and supports that are available to us to reach out and be of service is amazing!

  • Lisa Highfill

    Thank you for sharing so much information. I love knowing that so many people are doing good around the globe.

  • Andrew Knaack

    Thank you Zuhal. It is really interesting to learn more about RI’s initiatives to bring people together. I find it really timely with the RI Convention just passing.

  • john lozano

    Thanks Zuhal. I have enjoyed learning more about the Rotary world and all the great work people do. Great information about RAGs.

  • Paul Mosso

    Zuhal, Thank you for the great presentation and education on RAGs! I am very passionate about literacy and I’m excited to hear that there is a RAG focused on such an issue. I will definitely check it out! Also, thank you for reminding me about the Rotary Fellowship Groups; it sounds like a fun way to interact with Rotarians with similar interests.

  • Meg Taylor

    Exciting stuff! Thank you.

  • Manju Ramachandran

    Wonderful presentation! Thank you! I wasn’t aware of what RAGs did!! There is always more to explore!


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Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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