DSV Rotary Meeting Schedule
- Speaker – Geoffrey Kosankaki, Asante Africa Foundation
- Greeter – John Gardner
- Speaker – Chris Behring, “556 Camino de Santiago Journey”
- Greeter – Michael McColgan
- Speaker – Stephen Davis, “Carnivorous Plants”
- Greeter – Stephen Mckae
- Speaker – Tribute to Outstanding Teachers
- Greeter – Ted Mendelson
- Dark – Memorial Day
Black Bear Diner
807 Camino Ramon
Danville, CA 95426
Ted Mendelson, a dedicated Rotarian and our club’s International Committee Chair, recently returned from a trip to Guatemala where he helped families in need.
Along with his wife Pattie and fellow Rotarians from local clubs in our district, Ted participated in a project to install concrete floors and properly vented stoves in the homes of 50 Chajalajya families. This 11-day “hands-on” project required the team to mix their own sand, gravel, cement, and water to make concrete and transport it to the job site.
Replacing dirt floors with concrete has significant health benefits, such as reducing the risk of parasites, bacteria, and insects that can cause diarrhea, respiratory disease, malnutrition, birth defects, depression, and Chagas disease.
The installation of concrete floors and properly vented stoves now provides these families with safe living conditions and helps promote healthier children, better school attendance, and pregnant women having healthier babies.
Thank you Ted for sharing your experience and all the work you do in working with the disenfranchised in our community and internationally.
It’s inspiring to see Rotarians making a positive impact on the world!
Jack Worthington, Incoming District Community Service Chair, facilitated a breakout session on successful community service projects.
Three clubs shared their stories on how their projects met three primary goals: responding to a need in the community, energizing club members/promoting membership, and raising awareness of Rotary’s presence.
These projects included
- HRC’s annual Filipino Christmas festival
- LaMorinda Sunrise
- Walnut Creek’s fundraiser for White Pony Express
- Dougherty Valley’s “Truck Time” event
- Fairfield/Susuin’s “Good Character Award” ceremony
Worthington also announced the upcoming creation of a “Landing Page” on the District 5160 website where clubs can share service projects, invite participation, and learn about funding possibilities from district grants.
Bill Kiper, a highly decorated Navy pilot and retired instructor of fighter pilots in training, was the guest speaker at the DSVR Rotary Club, invited by his son-in-law David Behring.
Kiper, who served in Vietnam flying F8s, shared his experiences with the Honor Flight program. The program offers trips to war memorials in Washington D.C. for veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
Decorated buses with police escorts take the veterans on a tour of the city while family, friends, traveling passengers, and USO officials gather for a big send-off at the airport.
Upon their return home, they receive a hero’s welcome. Many veterans are accompanied by “Guardians” who sponsor and provide assistance. Behring, who serves as a guardian, participates in veterans’ activities in the Bay Area where many trained. The Rotary Club also takes part in veteran activities at the Veterans Hall and Alameda County Fairground.
The emotional highlight of the Honor Flight trip is “Letter Night,” where veterans read and share letters from students, family, friends, and scouts who are inspired by their service.
Let us express our gratitude to Bill Kiper and all veterans for their service, sacrifice, and selflessness, which allow us to enjoy the many freedoms we have today.
The recent 6-Club Meeting was a wonderful opportunity for Rotarians from our local area to come together and connect. It’s always great to catch up with fellow members and hear about what exciting projects and initiatives are happening in other Rotary clubs.
During the meeting, we had the pleasure of hearing from Paul Cobbe, founder of Apex Baseball and a sports agent with over 20 years of experience. His presentation was inspiring, as he shared stories of how he has helped many young men achieve their dreams of playing baseball. It was clear to see how his passion for the sport and commitment to helping others have made a positive impact in the lives of many. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from such an accomplished individual and look forward to future meetings where we can continue to connect and learn from one another.
It is with great sadness that we recognize Mary O’Donnell and Claes Elving, two valued members of our Rotary Club. Their story is one of heartbreak and tragedy, yet their strength and resilience have left a profound impact on us all.
Mary’s daughter, Shawn O’Donnell, tragically lost her life last year while riding her bicycle to work in Washington D.C.
Shawn was a member of UC Berkeley’s Crew Team, and her former teammates, together with Mary and Claes, rallied to raise funds for a racing shell in her honor. They were able to collect over $56,000 and named the racing shell “Shawn’s Boat.”
“There is nothing that can fill the void that Shawn’s family and friends feel in the wake of her passing,” O’Donnell’s former UC Berkeley teammate Andrea Sanders said in a statement. “However, there is a way that Shawn’s love of adventure and desire for a challenge can live on. That is through the dedication of a boat in her name.”
On March 25th, Shawn’s Boat was launched at the Briones Reservoir near Orinda, in the presence of her friends and family. It was a bittersweet reunion for UC Berkeley’s Class of 2004 rowing team, who gathered for the first time since graduation to watch the current Cal rowing team take the shell on its maiden voyage.
We honor Mary, Claes, and the entire Crew Team for their strength, resilience, and inspiring generosity. We are proud to have Mary and Claes as members of our Rotary Club and grateful for the opportunity to recognize their remarkable story.
Learn more about Shawn O’Donnell at ShawnsBoat.com
Rise Against Hunger
Thank you to our DSV Rotarians who attended and showed their support, and to Asante Africa Foundation for their dedication to improving lives through education.
Learn more about the Asante Africa Foundation