Behind the Scenes of Tournament of Roses

CaplesLakeMWiPad by KMarsh

This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: Behind the Scenes of Tournament of Roses
Speaker: Jermaine Ee
Meeting for the week of October 12th to October 18th, 2015

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Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our meeting!

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 45 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!


president-rushton-bubble-leftMessage from the President

As of writing, I’m finishing up a week working in Cape Town, South Africa. Amazing place on sooo many fronts, but I’ll focus at the moment on a single word I learned from Julius, a math and science educator from Nigeria living in Johannesburg.

Julius’ home culture is the Yoruba, and I asked him what constitutes success in the eyes of his community back home.

He thought for a minute, and then said, “Being described as omoluabi.” Here’s the opening paragraph from the Wikipedia article covering this term:

“The Omoluabi is a Yoruba philosophical and cultural concept to describe a person of good character. The omoluabi concept signifies courage, hard work, humility and respect. An omoluabi is a person of honor who believes in hard work, respects the rights of others, and gives to the community in deeds and in action. Above all, an Omoluabi is a person of integrity.”

May we all seek to live up to such an idea.

Rotarian guests, we ask that you consider contributing something – perhaps what is for you is the regular cost of a Rotary meal, or just any other amount you might be willing to donate. Donations will go directly to power the efforts of our Rotary club. Here are some of the many options you have to complete a donation:

To pay via Google Wallet or PayPal, you’ll need to log in to your account with those companies.

Those of you who prefer a more traditional approach can mail a check made out to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley to our treasurer: ℅ Allen Thompson, 13500 Cascade Ct., Bakersfield CA 93314.

Non-Rotarian guests, you are certainly welcome to help us out too if you would like! Even a small amount can help us make something good happen for someone in need.

Yours in service,
Rushton Hurley, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

The Power of Images

We believe that there is power in imagery, and that great photos can inspire in its own unique way. Every week we feature a powerful photo to inspire you.

from Keith Marsh
Here is a photo I took in late September at Caples Lake near Kirkwood (south of Lake Tahoe). It is a composite the night sky and foreground. The biggest challenge was adding the reflections of the stars in the water.

CaplesLakeMWiPad by KMarsh

The Power of Ideas

Sometimes one good idea is all the power you need to get the engine of creativity moving. We would like to share with you one good idea to help you power your week.

Sometimes we have challenges that threaten to overwhelm us. It’s worth remembering that those moments are opportunities that we couldn’t have without the negative bits.

For this week’s quote, here’s one from Mark Twain:

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”


Being a Good Sport

From President Rushton:

As of writing, I (President Rushton) am in South Africa, some hours after the South Africa vs USA Rugby World Cup match. The final score was 64-0, and given that we’re discussing rugby, you can probably guess which team won. Following on the quote above, though, I can say the Americans gave it a good go in the first half.

I should note that I genuinely don’t think the South African team played dishonorably by running up the score (there was just a phenomenal mismatch happening), but let’s just say that watching the game wasn’t particularly uplifting as the second half developed. Perhaps the next match will be a more competitive one for both teams. That’ll test Twain’s “size of the fight,” perhaps.

This video, however, sent to me by Jim Adlhoch (a guy with the heart of a Rotarian, for certain), is exactly the kind of video that makes me love sports. See what you think.

Events & Projects

This section of our meeting is where you learn about both recent and upcoming events and projects our club has going on. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

What We Do: Upcoming Events

Butte and Valley Fire

Rotarians wanting to help the individuals, families, and firefighters for both the Butte and Valley Fire are encouraged by our district to donate to the Red Cross or Salvation Army.

The Red Cross is actively helping victims of the Butte Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties and the Valley Fire in Lake and Napa counties. They are asking for just cash donations at this time. People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

The Salvation Army uses 100% of disaster donations in support of local disaster relief operations. To give, go to or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) and designate “Northern California Fires.” Donations by mail may be designated “Northern California Fires” and sent to:
The Salvation Army
PO Box 348000
Sacramento, CA 95834 USA

For the Salvation Army, monetary funds are most needed at this time. In-kind donations are not currently being accepted outside the disaster area. However, these gifts are vitally important to your local Salvation Army. To give items locally, visit or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK.

Rocktoberfest Service on October 17

(Last week for this one!) While this isn’t a club-wide thing, we think it’s an important one for you to know about and join in if time allows!

Support the Children’s Health Council via their Saturday, October 17th, program called Rocktoberfest. You and your close buddies can go to Woodside for the annual shindig, which includes, as they put it, “great beer, wine, food and dancing to the amazing sounds of PopRocks.”

They’ll need a number of volunteers, so if you want to help make it happen, here are the needs:

EVENT SET-UP: Saturday, October 17th from 10:00am-2:00pm

Set-up volunteers will assist with preparing for the event, including: decorating, hanging signage, setting up party rentals, marking parking areas and doing whatever it takes to get the arena ready for the evening.

EVENT: Saturday, October 17th from 5:00-10:30pm

General volunteers will be assigned to any of the following areas: registration/check-in, food or beverage service, VIP lounge area, raffle ticket sales, silent auction, fund-a-need or wherever there is need.

EVENT CLEAN-UP: Sunday, October 18th from 9:00-11:00am

Clean-up volunteers will assist with cleaning up the outdoor covered arena after the event, including: taking down decorations/signage, breaking down party rentals, trash disposal/recycling, and doing whatever it takes to get the area cleaned up.

Things to know about volunteering:

* Must be 21 years or older
* Need to be able to stay for the entire duration of shift
* Volunteers assignments may require standing or walking/moving around
* Venue is outdoors at an equine facilitated therapy center
* Breakfast, lunch or dinner (depending on shift) will be served to volunteers prior to shift

For all questions, more information or to sign up to volunteer contact Sydnee Brooks at [email protected] or 650.617.3818.

Find out more at the Children’s Health Council and this cool gig at their website.

Thanks to member Art Taylor for this service suggestion!

San Mateo Rotary’s Annual 5K Fun Run on October 25

The Rotary Club of San Mateo is hosting its annual 5K/10k Fun Run on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at Seal Point Park (1901 J Hart Clinton Dr, San Mateo, CA 94401). A few of our club members are planning on participating. Anyone else interested in participating, please comment in the Disqus section, and we can plan on meeting up at the Fun Run, and afterwards for lunch. All proceeds benefit a local scholarship for at-risk kids. Registration includes a T-shirt.

You can register for the 5k/10k Fun Run via their page here.

More Socials Soon!
Look forward to more socials coming up for October and November dates! If you have any suggestions for socials in the Silicon Valley / Bay Area, please leave us a comment in the Disqus section at the end of this meeting.


The World of Rotary

We are part of the Rotary International family with over 1.2 million members in over 180 countries in the world. Rotary’s reach is global. Here are some Rotary initiatives and events we think we should know about.

In this section, we almost always add material directly from Rotary. This week, though, I include a link to an article that challenges traditional thinking on poverty eradication in profound ways. Titled, “Using Design Thinking to Eradicate Poverty Creation,” it speaks to the difference between addressing poverty’s symptoms and taking on its causes. As this is a fundamental issue for many efforts of Rotary, I think it’s well worth our consideration.

The piece is by Martin Kirk (@martinkirk_ny), Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel), and Joe Brewer (@cognitivepolicy), and I’ve reached out to them to see if we can connect about a possible presentation to our club. Those with a few extra minutes to do so, please read the article and add your thoughts in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Using Design Thinking to Eradicate Poverty Creation article from Stanford Social Innovation Review


Service Survey

One piece of being a Rotarian is finding ways – both big and small – to help others. Our members report the good deeds they do and the good efforts in which they participate, not in order to brag, but to remind us of the many possibilities there are for using what we have for those in need.

Did reading all that members are doing in last week’s meeting inspire you to spend a little time helping others? We’d love to know! Please tell us what you’ve been doing, big or small, to make the world a better place in our Service Survey.


Happy Dollars

Every week we offer the opportunity for guests and members to express their gratitude for something good that has happened to them this past week. Think of this like a digital karma jar.

Here are the messages from the Happy Dollars contributors from last week:

From member Richard Knaags ($50):
“Awesome to hear and speak to my awesome friend Rushton in person this past week. He also came and spoke to the children in our Project Program, which is an outreach initiative to teach kids in a disadvantaged school to program.”

Had anything cool happen recently? Perhaps you learned something new, or made a new friend, or visited some cool place. Let us know, and leave a happy dollar or two to celebrate it!

Fill out my online form.


There are no birthdays left this month, though after the big set from last week, we may need a break! On the horizon, however, Keith Marsh, Linda Tangren, and Allen Thompson are all folks we’ll celebrate in November. Feel free to start preparing a haiku for them. 🙂


The Tidbit

Every week, we feature a new tech tid bit or life hack to make your life more convenient.

Member Lisa Highfill gives us a look at the new Voice Typing feature in Google Docs. Yet another reason to give Google Drive a look, this is!

A Little Humor

We feature a little bit of humor every week because we believe laughter is sometimes the best medicine, and we just want to brighten your day!

by @NicCageMatch from
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”

Selected Comments from Last Week

Part of what it means to be in a club is to learn each other’s thoughts regarding what we experience together. That’s easy enough when a group of us attends a social or works together on a service project. More generally, though, each week we can add our thoughts to the Disqus section at the bottom of the meeting, read and even reply to what other members have posted, and enjoy learning more about how this amazing group of people sees the world.

Here are a number of comments from last week’s meeting. We hope you’ll enjoy them, and that we’ll all have the chance to read what you add to this week’s meeting!

“Maybe I should just do this every week in addition to my Santa Clara meetings. I really enjoyed all the information, and the ease of use. I felt energized after reading all the great stuff you are doing!” -Karen Suty, guest (California, USA) [Response from President Rushton: Karen, you are always welcome to hang out with the eClub of Silicon Valley!]

“I’m a huge fan of Kiva and the work that they do! I think it’s awesome that these high schoolers are partnering with Kiva to make a difference — not every person, let alone every teenager, can say that they are helping to alleviate poverty in another country. It’s always a wonderful thing to hear a students’ perspective of their learning, and everyone here was just oozing with enthusiasm. Project-based learning is so valuable, and it’s great that these students have passionate teachers like Trevor to guide them!” -Yvonne Kwan, club member (California, USA)

“Wow! I can’t wait until project-based learning is the norm and not something seen as unusual or out of the ordinary. Making education engaging and fun just makes sense. Trevor, what a great project – congrats! Also it was very good to hear from your students, thanks for making them a part of this presentation. Rushton, thanks for the great tidbit! I hope you are enjoying South Africa!” -Tzviatko Chiderov, guest (California, USA)

“Dear Trevor, your enthusiasm is very contagious. This education approach is really winning. Learning English and Empathy at the same time is an amazing achievement. I must say that the Mick Ebeling is to me also a very great source of inspiration for the project I’m doing right now. Thank you for sharing it.” -François Tessier, club member (Quebec, Canada)

“Very interesting meeting and great highlight of the wonderful world of Kiva. I’ve been a micro lender for the past 2 years. I’m curious, how do children with leaning disabilities thrive in this environment? What is the tech component? Is there cloud based learning? How well are kids prepared to take standardized tests like the ACT and SAT which they will need for college. I admire the tenacity of a program like this – the world exposure is great! Just not sold on the finer details of core science and math learning that sets the benchmark for statistical and analytical growth. How many kids have graduated from the program?” -Manju Ramachandran, club member (California, USA)

“I’m really beginning to be fascinated by 3D printing. This week’s “inspiring video” demonstrates a very practical use of the technology. Mr. Ebeling undertook a difficult project but, not only did he take his equipment and technical knowledge to South Sudan to fit Daniel with a prosthetic hand, but he trained a small group of locals to produce prosthetic limbs for others among them!! That’s forward-looking. That’s committed. That’s sustainability. It seems obvious that Mr. Ebeling will remain involved and continue to mentor the group but he has multiplied his efforts and set them on the road to independence by helping them help themselves. This is truly Beneficial for All Concerned!” -Allen Thompson, club officer (California, USA)


The Program

This week’s program is a behind the scenes look at the Tournament of Roses Association. They are best known for putting on the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl events, which happen annually and attract millions.

Jermaine Ee is one of the youngest members of the Tournament of Roses Association. Jermaine is also a member of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles, and General Secretary of Big West Rotaract (the west coast collaboration of Rotaract). Jermaine currently works as the Founder and Director of Customer Success of Candeavor, a digital marketing and design agency based in the Silicon Valley.

In this week’s program, Jermaine shares with us inside stories about Tournament of Roses. This program is conducted by president-elect Mitty, and is conducted in an interview-style. Apologies ahead of time for the poor audio quality at times. To compensate, we have made sure to annotate portions of the video where the sound quality was poor.


You’re Almost Done! The Attendance Survey..

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting! You just have two last things to do before you’re done with this meeting. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you though.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our DISQUS comments area. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
  • I think my favorite part of the program was the tour of the house at the end, and watching Lozano crack up as Jermaine was wondering out loud whether what he was doing was legal! Lisa, great job with the Tidbit, too.

    • Jermaine Ee

      Mr. President, I am still wondering! Glad you enjoyed the program and have a safe trip home!

  • Having lived in the area and attended the Rose Parade any times, I have always been impressed by their organization. Now I’m even more impressed! Loved it when Jermaine showed us around! The power of video!

    • Jermaine Ee

      Mark, glad you enjoyed it. Don’t be a stranger when you come to the Rose Parade next time around!

  • Martin Fox

    Loved the inspirational video. Compassion, kindness, and inspired sportsmanship goes a long way in building bridges across countries, cultures, races, and religions 🙂 Thanks for the insider look at the Rose Bowl organization.

  • Earlier this year (2015) our Treasurer, Allen Thompson, and myself
    were asked to be National Advisors to the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee.
    Result… we have in-club direct connections to Rotary’s participation via its float.
    After the 2015 Parade, KTLA asked myself to help them create some nifty wrinkles to their coverage of the 2016 Parade.
    Have been in constant contact and this mission will be complete later this month.
    Requesting for Rotary to get primo coverage during the 2016 Parade.
    So encouraging to see how the Tournament of Roses keeps its participation
    fresh and relevant by constantly adding new faces with fresh ideas.

    Jermaine, keep up the enthusiasm and great work!

    • Jermaine Ee

      Thank you Chris! I am so grateful to be in this position!

      The partnership between Rotary and Tournament of Roses is perfect for me. It is the best way to start every new year! Last year while on Tournament duties, I had the opportunity to spend some time with PRIP Gary Huang and his aids. The 4 days leading up to the Rose Parade brought me even closer to Rotary.

  • Manju Ramachandran

    I loved the tour and the history lesson of the Wrigley House! Thanks for sharing!! How do nonprofits from other areas participate? It’s been a dream of mine for many years to come watch the Rose Parade. Hopefully in the next 10 years.

    • Jermaine Ee

      Manju, talking about the Tournament of Roses is a good reminder for myself just how special this is. I had to study up before the presentation 🙂

      As a Rotarian, you can sign up at to help decorate the float. Let me know when you come to California!

  • Yvonne Kwan

    The article “Using Design Thinking to Eradicate Poverty Creation” is definitely thought-provoking. It reminds me of my sociology courses that always urged us to ask the “why” instead of the “how”. We always talk about the “war on poverty,” but the points that Martin, Jason, and Joe bring up question whether or not that’s the right frame of mind to have. I love it.

    Jermaine, always a pleasure to watch you present! 🙂 Thanks for the great tour and tidbits about Tournament of Roses. I’ll make it down to a Rose Parade one of these years!

    • Jermaine Ee

      Yvonne, how about 2016 Rose Parade? 🙂 See you in Seattle soon!

  • Keith Marsh

    In 1997 when I was President of my terra club, I worked on the Rotary float. Golfer Chi Chi Rodrigues was the Grand Marshall. It was a great experience. Thanks to Jermaine for providing this program.

    • Jermaine Ee

      Glad you enjoyed it Keith, both this program and the 1997 parade!

  • Jermaine: Your enthusiasm is countagious! Congrats!

    • Jermaine Ee

      Thank you!

  • Catherine Liu

    Need to see more about the tour in the end. I really like to look through the pictures of every game myself.

  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Thanks for a great presentation Jermaine! It must be such an honor to be a part of this great tradition. Also, I appreciate you giving us a private video tour 🙂
    Lisa, what a near tidbit! I had no idea we could do that!
    And this week’s inspirational video is one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing Jim! People are good.

  • Rory Olsen

    Thank you for another interesting program

  • Hardeep Kaur Singh

    Great to see you here, Jermaine! Thanks for a great program. I think I need to go to the Rose Parade!

  • Nathan Gildart

    A very unique look into American history! Thank you! I took a peek at the ToR foundation website and get the impression that you’re active all year long in terms of fundraising, and impressed that you donate to local non-profits. (meaning it’s about the community…awesome!) Though I grew up playing rugby and European ‘football’ I still love American football and loved this.

    The basketball video was awesome. As a coach, that’s what it’s all about! #inspired

  • Thanks for the great talk. I love knowing about the history and the behind the scenes of the parade!

    Also, last night I volunteered at the rocktoberfest. I met another Rotarian there who was very interested in what we are doing with our online group. The event itself was very fun considering the difficult topics they covered in the speeches. I had no idea Palo Alto had teen suicide at 5 times the national average These people are out there making a difference as I met many parents who felt this group saved their child’s mental health. I will definitely volunteer for them again

  • john lozano

    Jermaine, great to get the behind the scenes look at the parade. Glad to have participated.

  • Richard Knaggs

    Thank for the information Jermaine. I have watched a couple of Football games on TV. I think I understand it. It is all about Territory gain and getting 4 chances to get a touch down before the other team does. I guess I am going to be doing some research. Just a few quick questions. Who maintains the house? What are the princesses main function? What do they end up doing after their term of office?

  • Mahmood Khan

    Jermaine, you made me remember the Rose Parade which I attended 25+ years ago. I think it is time to do it again. Thanks.

  • Andrew Taw

    Hi Jermaine, great to see you here! Thanks for the tour of the Wrigley House! My partner glanced over and asked if the house was yours to which I answered, “I’m sure, one day, it will be.”

  • Paul Mosso

    Thank you, another great meeting! I enjoyed learning more about the Rose Parade and the history behind it.

  • Lisa Highfill

    What a great inside look at the history and tradition behind The Rose Parade. I have always loved this parade and have so many memories watching this with my mom. Thank you for sharing the inside tour of the beautiful home!

  • Andrew Knaack

    Hope everyone had a great week! Thanks for sharing Jermaine. We watch the parade most years at our cousin’s house. Thanks for you help.

  • ShagsCA

    Better late than never. The Rose Parade float is one of Rotary’s most viewed annual exposure by the general public. We should try to organize a group to go down the week of preparation and lend a hand. Not too far a drive (ha!)


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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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