//How Rotaract Shaped Who I Am

How Rotaract Shaped Who I Am

This is the meeting for the week of March 19, 2018 through March 25, 2018

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: How Rotaract Shaped Who I Am
Program Description: A talk about one person’s journey through life as a Rotaractor, the people he met along the way, and how it all shaped his life.
Speaker: Daniel Bastardo

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

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 60 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!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President-Elect Andrew:

Hello fellow Rotarians and guests! Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s meeting for this week.

Last week saw the passing of Stephen W. Hawking, a giant on whose shoulders the public could stand in wonder at the cosmos. There are many articles that bear far more deserving testament to his life and legacy than I could possibly write here. He remains an inspiration to me to live with a little more curiosity and fearlessness. I will never forget giving one of my old students a copy of A Brief History of Time as a starting point for all of his big beautiful questions and the weeks of many more questions that followed.

This week, I’d love to know what you’re curious about. What do you want to know more about or skills you want to gain? Feel free to share your curiosity or things that fill you with wonder in the Disqus below. Who knows what can happen when you share a question?

In service,

Andrew Taw, President-elect
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

From Yvonne: “Greetings from Brussels, Belgium, where there is a chocolate, waffle, and/or beer shop on every block. For this week, I’ve lined up some jokes that I think you’ll like a whole chocoLOT.

What do you call a lamb covered in chocolate?
A candy baa.

What is the opposite of Chocolate?

What food is crazy about Valentine’s Day chocolates?
A cocoa-nut.

Weekly Inspiration:

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

If there’s anyone in education who is aiming for the stars, it’s Kenyan astronomer Susan Murabana. On a mission to inspire Africa’s young people—and especially young women—to become scientists, Murabana and her husband started The Travelling Telescope, an initiative that brings a mobile telescope to students across Africa, many of whom have never seen space up close. So far, they’ve brought the stars to more than 40,000 young people and counting.

The Traveling Telescope Inspiring Africa’s Next Astronomers


New Member Induction:

It is always a joyous occasion when this segment of our meeting appears, as it means we have just welcomed a new individual into our international family as our club’s newest Rotarian. In this week’s segment, we are welcoming new member Rebecca Fry!

Meet Rebecca.

Rebecca lives in Sydney, Australia and works in Corporate Social Responsibility at Johnson & Johnson as the Government Affairs & Community Specialist. She’s been involved in the Rotary family for 12 years, having been involved in both RYLA and Rotaract. She currently is the Chair of Rotaract Australia MDIO.

We’ve asked Rebecca to record a short video introduction of herself. Here it is below:

New Member Introduction – Rebecca Fry


On behalf of the club’s Board of Directors and the club membership, we welcome you to our club as our newest member, Rotarian Rebecca! You are now part of our international eClub, but also officially a Rotarian in the global family of Rotary. Congratulations Rebecca!

For Members Only: Updates

Congratulations to the new Board of Directors for 2018-2019!

  • Tzviatko Chiderov for President-nominee
  • Heather Shaw for Treasurer-elect
  • Raquel D’Garay-Juncal for Secretary-elect
  • Brett Sham for Director-elect

A big thank you to everyone who participated and ran for an office! It was a close race for the contested positions. We’re lucky to have so many talented leaders who are willing to step up and volunteer their time as a leader of the club. We are also lucky to have had so many members participate and vote in the election! Thank you everyone! As a reminder, Andrew Taw is still President-elect and will serve as President starting July 1, 2018. Kenneth Oku and Yvonne Kwan will still be serving out their 3-year Directorship positions as well. Stephen Zhou will become Immediate Past President starting July 1.

Past Member Announcements:

  • Member name badges delayed but will be shipped out in February
  • Active members now have yourname@siliconvalleyrotary.com email forwarders! Your forwarder should be your full first name plus the first initial of your last name. Emails going to your @siliconvalleyrotary.com email will be forwarded automatically to the email you have on file with our club. If you want your email forwarder changed to a different variation of your name, please email Webmaster Mitty at mittyc@siliconvalleyrotary.com.
  • Members Only Facebook Group: If you haven’t joined our members-only Facebook Group, consider joining! Request an invitation from mitty@siliconvalleyrotary.com
  • Service Blotter Submissions: Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we hold regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

Online Rotary Hour Social on March 24, 2018 at 5 PM Pacific Time

Save the date to join Andrew Taw and Brett Sham for an online social that spans the Pacific! There will be many stories, much laughter, and maybe a beer or two because we can assure you that it is certainly 5:00pm somewhere. President-Elect Andrew will send out a link for members the day of the event.

Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm PST

Date: March 24, 2018

March 31, 2018 – Service Project: Event Assistance with Gardeners, Landscapers, & Urban Farmers at The Plant Exchange in Oakland, CA

Join us for a lovely morning to help set up for The Plant Exchange, an event that encourages reuse, recycling and organic living. This community-wide free event is where gardeners, landscapers, urban farmers, and beginners come to exchange plants, equipment and information about ways to make our urban environment more sustainable, aesthetic, and healthy.

Set-up is from 8:00am – 12:00pm. The event is from 12:00 – 4:00pm. The plan is for us to help set up and to check out the event during the first half hour or hour of the event before we head over to lunch (location: TBA). Please remember to dress comfortably in closed-toe shoes.

The event location:

Ability Now Bay Area

4500 Lincoln Ave

Oakland, CA 94602

Please contact President-elect Andrew Taw at pe@siliconvalleyrotary.com if you can attend.

Other Upcoming Club Events:

  • June 1-3, 2018 – San Jose, CA – Rotary District Conference for our home district, District 5170 – conference activities begin Friday night at 6 PM, includes an all-day Saturday conference, and Sunday morning service projects in San Jose
  • June 22, 2018 – Toronto, Canada – Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s RI Convention Friday Happy Hour in Toronto from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  • June 22-27, 2018 – Toronto, Canada – 2018 Rotary International Convention
  • August 2018 – Our eClub’s second annual charity fundraiser is coming up! More details coming soon!

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! What would you like to do? We’re working on putting together some exciting socials and impactful service projects for our upcoming quarter’s event calendar. Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.

Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Last week we had a couple of happy dollars contributions. Here they are!

Member Rory Olsen made a $15 donation to happy dollars and asking it to be donated to The Rotary Foundation’s Polios Plus Fund. Here’s what Rory had to say:
“The interior of the house is almost ready for painting. The exterior is being resided. Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.”

Member Catherine A. made a donation to happy dollars. Here’s what Catherine had to say:
“As of today I’ve lost 25 lbs since July 4, 2017! I’m feelin’ groovy, healthy and full of energy!”

So what are you happy about? Share with us below to help with doing good around the world.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting featuring the program on Making CHAMPS in Rotary:


“Brett, I couldn’t agree with you more in terms of taking your passion and using it as a force for service (this is how my band rolls), and it IS a great method of engaging youth to become involved in genuine acts of service. This program has given me an idea for my school. If I get back to Cali I’ll look you up. Ive wanted to learn to surf (like Chris C. I’m a Canadian snowboarder, but trapped in Japan). Another awesome Great Big Story!”


“I just attended this meeting as I’m flying from Destin FL to Fresno CA, and let me tell you I could not be more excited about what you’ve got going on here! I’ve been surfing the East Coast since I was 13, and I’ll be in the Pacific this weekend! Your idea of having the older folks join through a membership fee to allow the younger folks to get engaged is absolutely what I’ve been waiting to see in some of the clubs back home, and I plan to support your fellowship immediately. I absolutely could not agree with you more about the younger folks getting involved and about how the Rotary brand is seen. This is something I want to get on board with as soon as we find a house and get settled in. Thanks so much for sharing!”


“Thanks for an awesome presentation Brett, you can really see the passion! I also found the bodybuilder story so inspiring – I just imagine how difficult it would have been at the beginning where the instinct to hide would have been so strong and yet he triumphed and now loves his body. Such an incredible story! On another note here in Sydney we went to a great cocktail night for Rotaract’s 50th birthday, will post up photos later but we had a blast!”


“Brett, thanks for such an energetic and engaging presentation. Was really great to hear how emgaged you are with youth programs, and so good that you offer the chance for Interactors and Rotaractors to become members of your fellowsgfe at no charge. During the week I was in Melbourne for work, and attended a meeting of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, the oldest club in Australia. It’s a large club with almost 250 members. RI President Ian Riseley was the guest speaker at the event and delivered the Angus Mitchell Oration, named after Sir Angus, who was the first RI President from Australia and was member of that club.”


“Brett, SURF sounds like so much fun and such a great way for folks to socialize and learn about Rotary. Hope to see you, your shirts, your hats and your SURF members, at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay some day! The Isiah Griffin Great Big Story was really powerful. Thanks to the team for selecting that video. Yvonne Kwan, you ROCK! 😉 —Catherine A. RESV Club Member”


“Happy birthday Rotaract! 
Brett, thanks for this program. It was great to meet you during the recording and hear about the process of starting a Rotary fellowship as well as all the traction you’re getting. I look forward to following your progress.”

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: How Rotaract Shaped Who I Am

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. Last week we celebrated the 50th birthday of Rotaract. It is only fitting that this week, we continue our celebration of Rotaract with our guest speaker who will share with us about his Rotaract journey. This week our guest speaker is Daniel Blanco, a former Rotaractor.

Daniel Bastardo Blanco is a 26-years old Venezuelan Ph.D. Candidate of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN.  He is receiving his doctoral training at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where his work focuses on understanding the mechanisms of immune signaling and cell metabolism that control the differentiation and function of T cells, a specialized group of cells of the immune system. While in college, he founded the Rotaract Club of Elmira College (Dist. 7120) in Upstate New York. He also founded the Rotaract Club of Cumaná (Dist. 4370) in his hometown in Venezuela. During his years in Rotaract, he traveled to Mexico and Argentina as part of service projects and he was named Rotaractor of the Year of District 4370 in 2013. Daniel is passionate about service and entrepreneurship and he is currently working on the establishment of a nonprofit called “The Venezuelan Alliance of Memphis” which goal is to provide immediate assistance to Venezuelan people arriving in Memphis in distress due to political persecution.

Members and guests, please welcome Daniel to our meeting!

Daniel Bastardo Blanco presents to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Share with us your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

If you have questions for Daniel, feel free to ask in the comments!

Upcoming Program Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, you are welcome to join us. Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. Please note the timezone for all recordings are listed for San Francisco, California, USA time (Pacific Time).

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. 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 to pass along to your club’s secretary 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. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. 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.
2018-03-20T13:48:47+00:00March 19th, 2018|26 Comments