DSV Rotary Meeting Schedule

July 11

  • Speaker – Carol, from Valley Evening Rotary Club, on the upcoming “hands-on” project at Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School
July 18
  • Speaker – Terry, on The Amazing Race
July 25
  • Speaker – Gary Parkhurst, on the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association and its efforts to build a modern Education Center
August 1
  • Speaker – Brett Lee, from Davis Rotary Club on their club’s relationship and collaboration with Rotary Clubs in Kiev, Ukraine
August 8
  • Speaker – Lee Halverson, on the history of the Veterans Memorial Building in Danville
Meetings every Tuesday, 7:00am
Black Bear Diner
807 Camino Ramon
Danville, CA 95426



June Meeting Highlights

In honor of D-Day, David Behring graciously recommended some remarkable World War II books. As we commemorated the 79th Anniversary of this significant day, we remembered the immense sacrifices made during the Battle of Normandy.

Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were either killed, wounded, or went missing. Among the Allies, approximately 210,000 brave individuals were casualties, with nearly 37,000 losing their lives in ground forces and an additional 16,000 in Allied air forces.

David, a passionate history buff, had the opportunity to visit Normandy and vividly shared the gruesome details of that historic event. His knowledge and enthusiasm for this subject are truly captivating. Let us never cease to express our deep appreciation for the soldiers who risked and sacrificed their lives for our freedom.


Ted Mendelson highlighted a remarkable water project in which our Rotary Club, alongside 26 other clubs, participated. The Redondo Beach Club took the lead in this initiative, which centered on Seme Kaima Village in Kenya.

Two wells were successfully dug, with the aim of benefiting approximately 10,000 people in the community.


MJ McColgan, a member of our Rotary Club, presented on June 27th. MJ was born with Cerebral Palsy. We haven’t seen MJ at our Club Meetings for quite a while, as he fell and has been undergoing a strenuous PT program. But we were honored to have him come in on the 27th to share the book that he recently published…his autobiography called “Life of a Champion”.

MJ was raised to focus on his “ability, not his disability.” He has won 48 Special Olympic Gold Medals in golf, and has a large ring with 48 diamonds to show for it!

He has an amazing list of golf wins:

  • 9 State Champions
  • 3 National Championships for the Special Olympics
  • 48 Gold Medals or the Special Olympics

He has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame in:

  • California
  • Michigan
  • San Ramon HS

MJ has a winning spirit. He was always the first person to show up to practice. He was taught to work hard and his goal was to win every tournament he ever played! His parents, Linda & Mike, have been MJ’s inspiration. They have given him the confidence and support to become the successful person that he is today.

Not only does MJ have a winning spirit for golf, but he also has a beautiful spirit of giving back, which is why he joined Rotary. For the past 8 years, he has run a Red Cross Blood Drive, which has become the largest, most successful blood drive in our area.

It is an honor to have MJ as a member of the Danville Sycamore Rotary Club.


Terry Church, our incoming club President, just got back from Melbourne where he attended the Rotary 2023 International Convention. Over 14,000 people from all over the world attended. The theme for this coming year of Rotary is “Create Hope in the World”.

Jim Vlantis, a fellow Rotarian in our Club, received the Arch Klumph Award at the Convention. This award is given to the highest tier of donors, those who have contributed $250,000 or more during their lifetime. Arch Klumph was the 6th president of Rotary.

Mary Whipple, Jim, and her cousin also were at the Convention. Mary went to Australia a week before the Convention and through her travels golfed the longest golf course in the world: Nullabor Links which spans 1365 kilometers, with holes that span several different communities.

Some additional announcements from the meeting:

  • June 16th – Daniel’s Demotion Party, 6:00 at Sycamore Club House
  • June 17th – Club Assembly at San Ramon Community Center, corner of Bollinger & Alcosta
  • Claes shared an article about Odessey of the Mind. We sponsored a 4th Grader. This is a program to develop young people’s creativity.
  • Jack Worthington, from our Club, was one of the judges.
  • David Behring, from our Club, is at the National History Awards Program in Washington, DC
  • Jennifer Shuen, from our Club, is on a College Review Board
  • The Rise Against Hunger 20,000 packages that we packed were just shipped to Vietnam.

Dan Hanel, who has authored a series of books called “In the Shadow of Diablo” Treated us to a fascinating presentation on the local history behind his series.

Dan Hanel has been an educator for over 35 years – as an award-winning science teacher when he was named the Distinguished High School Science Teacher for the State of California, and as an award-winning school administrator serving at the high school, district, and county office levels.

He was fascinated with the history within our Valley, and challenged himself to write a book about it, which has since, turned into a series of books:

  • Book 1, “Mystery of the Great Stone House” is about the historical accounts of the brutal murder of Dr. John Marsh, one of the most important figures in California History.
  • Book 2, “Death at the Healing Waters” is about the intriguing history of the Byron Hot Springs Resort. This resort was the most famous resort back in the day!
  • Book 3, “Ghosts of Black Diamond” is the historical accounting of Nortonville, a 19th-century coal mining town at the foothills of Mt. Diablo. All that exists today of this once-booming town, is a cemetery and an incredible history.
  • Book 4, “Beneath the Tangled Vines”, is a novel about the California wine industry following the earthquake of 1906.
  • Who knew that Richmond, CA once was the center of the wine industry in CA!




Melanie Prole, from our International Committee has been leading a remarkable project alongside multiple Rotary Clubs. We are thrilled to announce the Monterey Mexico Matching Grant, totaling an impressive $108,000. The grant aims to support Cardiac Prevention at the Monterey University Hospital.

Melanie’s dedication and collaborative efforts have been instrumental in making this project a reality. We applaud her commitment to service and extend our congratulations to her and the participating Rotary Clubs.