Meeting Notes from July 16, 2024

Special Note:

Roast and Toast: The Roast and Toast celebrating outgoing President Meghan Burton was held June 25 at Darling and Fisher Campbell. Thanks to Nicholas Welzenbach for hosting and Mike Norcia for chairing the event. Food was a full bar and delicious taco dinner, offered as a cost savings due to recent Centennial Event. Mike and Committee offered some comic relief involving Meghan’s beloved SF Giants. Meghan thanked her outgoing board, and presented  a Paul Harris Award to the club’s financial advisor Karra Canum with Wells Fargo Advisors for her outstanding stewardship of the club’s 2 endowments. Hearty appreciation was expressed by all to Meghan for a great year of leadership. Thank you Meghan!
Ron Cassel’s Awards Committee presented the following awards:
Rotarian of the Year:  Gregg Butterfield
Elite Awards: Paul Christensen & Andrew Stearns
Plaque of Appreciation:  Rachelle Lopp & Art Rabitz - two more to be presented at a future club meeting
Framed Certificates:  Erica Buck - three more to be presented at a future club meeting


Meeting July 16, 2024

Meeting called to order by President Doug Brent at 12:30pm.
Barry Cheskin led the pledge of allegiance.
John Pencer gave our inspirational message on one of the five core values of the Rotary: Leadership.  Our values as an organization represent our beliefs and determine our behavior; they are also the basis for the guiding principles that define Rotary. Rotary is a global fellowship of individuals who are leaders in their fields of endeavor and who believe in the importance of leadership development and in leadership as a quality of our members. We are also leaders in implementing our core values. There are two traits that define a leader: (1) Attitude and (2) Stick to it ness.
John read the poem “It Couldn’t be Done” by Edgar Guest that ties in to attitude and “stick to it ness”. The end of the poem reads: “There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done. There are thousands to prophesy failure”. Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing that “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.


  • Jenny Wong was inducted into the Saratoga Rotary; she was hoping to join the Los Gatos Rotary too, but she can only belong to one.
  • Sonja Tappan, director of Los Gatos Education Foundation, guest of Paul Johnson
  • Ali Kagawa, director of Pets in Need, guest of Barry Cheskin
  • Harry Franze, consultant, guest of Dick Konrad
  • Dan Snyder introduced his daughter, who will be attending college in the Midwest this fall.
  • Michelle Mattson, event coordinator West Valley Community Services, guest of Bobbi Bornstein
Decorated eggs St. Lukes Pantry-- “Eat, Drink, Watch Football Soccer”
Copa America (Argentina vs Columbia)


--Thank you to Rotary for $1000 Shelter Box contribution.      
Ali Kagawa, director of Development at Pets in Need told us about the Pets in Need program. There are two locations; Redwood City and Palo Alto; and, it is the first no kill shelter, saving lives since 1965.
  • Rescued and found homes for 1,382 animals last year.
  • Provided 5,315 animals in the community with medical care like vaccines and spay/neuters.
  • All with the help of 7,667 volunteer hours
  • Our club’s generous grant funded the most recent Pet Food Pantry at Ecumenical Hunger Program helping 61 families, 154 pets (cats and dogs), with 454 cans of wet food, 617 lbs. of dry kibble. Approximately 2,922 meals were distributed during the event. Thank you Rotary.
Pets in Need Contact Information:
Meeting Notes from July 16, 2024 2024-07-18 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 9, 2024

This was the first meeting of president Doug Brent’s year. Doug wore a snazzy magician outfit to celebrate the Rotary International theme of “The Magic of Rotary”. He had several magic examples of how through the connections of those we inspire, and causes we start that grow, that we are able to serve many. Pledge was led by Meghan Burton. Doug had the club recite the 4 way test. Meeting hygiene goals were announced: cell phones off, minimize side conversations, Rotary acronyms to be avoided with a $20/infraction charge. Doug will repeat these throughout the year, because just like teeth brushing, you need to do it more than once to be effective.
John Pencer led Inspiration by discussing the core rotary value of Service, which we do by providing greater understanding and peace through our local and international service projects.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
- Mahatma Gandhi


  • Helmut Clemm from Munich, a Rotarian in town visiting his son to celebrate his 60th wedding Anniversary. He is proud of the good job the LG club is doing and will report this back to his club
  • Alex Bonev, president of the Interact Club, past winner of our speech contest, son of Rotarian Stefka, here to honor  the start of Doug’s year
  • Khalil Tahaei- guest of Marty Fishman, from Iran, a PHD biologist retired, living in LG, volunteers to help low income PG and E customers figure out how to afford energy bills
  • Marjorie Brent- wife of Doug, supporting the start of his year, she’s a baker
Doug will periodically share videos from interviews of club members from the Centennial video cutting room floor. Today was Tom Boyce’s inspirational story from his 1997 trip to Zambia, and how a local immunization effort there grew to 2 million immunizations and  was a part of a major giving effort where every LG Rotarian that year gave $1000 each to end Polio.
Doug thanked Lisa and Barry for hosting first Tuesday and shared some photos of the  60+ attendees. Gordon won the photo caption contest, attached. Birthdays and Anniversaries (attached) were announced and the 4th of July St Luke’s eggs were shown. Thanks to Randy and Kathy.
Upcoming events include
7/13 District Roast and Toast
7/17 Board meeting, all welcome
7/23 In-Meeting service project
8/27 Club BBQ, adults only this time
Meeting Notes from July 9, 2024 2024-07-15 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale
Los Gatos Rotary's Centennial Year in Review Suzanne Boxer-Gassman 2024-07-01 07:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from June 18, 2024

Meghan Burton began the meeting at 12:30
Pledge: Mike Frangadakis
Inspiration: Suzanne Boxer-Gassman: She has been looking through pictures of our rotary year and was amazed and inspired by all of the good work our club has done through service, scholarships, grants and more. Congratulations to Meghan for a fabulous job!
Guests: Shawna Rogers, daughter of Teri Rodgers, Alex Parks, guest of Dick Konrad, Barbara Rogan, guest of Dan Snyder, Jenny Athena Wong, prospective member, Claire Lopp, daughter of Rachelle Lopp, Sangita Seshadri, from Saratoga Rotary and Cary Wilson, guest of Nicholas Welzenbach.
Rotarian in the Wild: Meghan Burton at Sequoia National Park.
First Tuesday: will be held on July 2 from 5:30-7:30pm at Lisa and Barry Cheskin’s home. 65 Ellenwood Ave, LG. This is in honor of our 2024-2025 President, Doug Brent. Since they keep kosher, NO FOOD AT ALL PLEASE-they will be providing the food. Please bring a bottle of wine or beverage of your choice. All are welcome!
Roast and Toast: Come and celebrate President Meghan Burton. Tuesday, June 25 from 5:30-8:30pm at Darling & Fischer. 231 Campbell Ave. The charge is $10 per person, which includes all food and drink. Casual attire and wear your best SF Giants gear! Let Mike Norcia know if you will be attending. They need 5 people for set up and 5 people for clean up afterwards. 
Club Business: The Cat Tale Committee needs 2 more volunteers. The job is to take minutes at our weekly meetings. If you are interested, please contact Diane Eriksson.
Patti van der Burg is closing out the budget for this fiscal year, so please get her any invoices that are outstanding and give her any new budget numbers for next year. 

Shawna Rodgers: from California Certified Organic farmers thanked us for the gift her organization received through Rotary. CCOF is a non-profit organization that advances organic agriculture through certification, education, advocacy, and promotion. Their mission is to advance organic agriculture for a healthy world.
Meeting Notes from June 18, 2024 2024-06-22 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from June 11, 2024

At Darling Fisher Los Gatos
Meghan Burton opened the meeting at 12:30 and thanked everyone for our flexibility handling the last second change to a new venue. She then led the flag salute.
John Pencer’s inspiration was actually an important PSA on sunscreens. Only 57% of people over 55 years old use sunscreen but everyone should- no matter our skin color or type. Sun damages  skin. Use SPF 50 broad spectrum A&B. Beware of false SPF labeling. He shared a Consumer Report test that ranked Coppertone Waterbabies as the best rated with the best protection- it's not just for kids. He also recommends the third top ranked sunscreen spray: Trader Joe's sunscreen spray. Protect yourself this summer!



  • Sonja Tappan, the executive director of LPEF, joined us once again.
  • Sergio Michel introduced his son, Joshua Michel, who is on the student board for JW House. 
  • Paul Johnson introduced Jenny Anderson, former band teacher and now assistant principal at Fisher Middle School.
  • Rich Briones, husband of Karen Briones and the Chief Medical Officer at Good Samaritan Hospital, visited today.
  • Nicholas Welzenbach introduced Cary Wilson.

The hard boiled eggs for the homeless this week celebrated the NBA finals.
Lissa Kreisler and Jeff Blum were our Rotarians in the Wild - in Tel Aviv in Israel


Happy Birthday to Don Kuehn, Eric Eberle, Ed Bowen, Marie Rector, Haryl Pascal, David Wells, Lisa Cheskin, and Sid Madiwale. 
Rotary anniversaries this month range from Jenna Mittleman at 1 year to Tom Boyce at 28 years. Meghan wondered how Andrew Howard could be a member for 18 years- did he join when he was 10?


Our next First Tuesday Happy Hour is on July 2 at the Cheskin home to honor our brand spanking new president Doug Brent. Please do not bring any food this time. They will provide everything to eat.


Come and celebrate Meghan! Our annual party to pass the baton from one president to the next, otherwise known as the Roast and Toast, will be Tue June 25 at 5:30 at Darling Fisher Campbell. (There will be no lunch meeting that day).
It’s a casual event. Wear San Francisco Giants attire if you can. It’s only $10 per person, which covers the taco truck and all drinks. Please RSVP to Mike Norcia.
He also needs volunteers to help set up at 3:30 that day or to help clean up afterwards, so contact him if you are willing.
Meeting Notes from June 11, 2024 2024-06-13 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May 28, 2024

Meeting called to order by Vice- President Rachelle Lopp at 12:30pm.
Michael Frangadakis led the pledge of allegiance.


Jean-Marc Blanchard gave our inspirational message: Staying Alive
Fifty-two years ago, a chartered plane traveling from Uruguay to Chile, with 45 people on board, crashed into a remote valley of Argentina (Glacier of Tears). The survivors faced snow and freezing temperatures, so used the clothes of the dead to help protect them. They salvaged a radio that confirmed the search efforts had ended. They had no food, so they had no choice but to eat those that had died, in order to survive.
Against all odds, two survivors hiked out of the mountain range to get help, and miraculously, the survivors were finally rescued. This story is a testament to what can be accomplished with persistence and determination in the face of unsurmountable odds, when we set our minds to attain a common goal.


  • Lydia Norcia introduced three morning Rotarians: Kirsten Reilly, Jeanne Williams and Julia Anderson.
  • Suzanne Boxer-Gassman introduced Sara Tiscareno-Kenney, a counselor at Fischer Middle School and a recipient of one of our scholarships.
Our Rotarian in the Wild this week is The Welzenbach Family, enjoying a hike up St. Joe’s in Los Gatos.
Decorated eggs St. Lukes Pantry: Red, White and Blue, Memorial Day Eggs


June 4, 2024, First Tuesday Happy Hour, Rodman Home, 5:30pm-- 7:30pm
The beautiful Centennial video was presented.
Meeting Notes from May 28, 2024 2024-05-30 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May 21, 2024

Meeting called to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30pm.
Gregg Butterfield led the pledge of allegiance.


John Pencer gave our inspirational message. John was down in Rancho Mirage looking to join a morning Rotary meeting. He googled times for the meeting and was met with multiple times and days; but decided to go on Thursday, not really knowing whether or not there would be a meeting. Well, there was a meeting with seating for ~10-12 people and ~6 Rotarians were present. 

The speaker was a 17-year-old local High School Girl Scout who had been in Girl Scouts for 12 years and was working on her gold sash, after completing her bronze and silver. Her project: a friendship bench that could seat 2-4 people. Her project and slide presentation were inspired by her friend Gemma, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at age 1. She told the audience that Gemma was the most positive and inspirational person she had known. Sadly, Gemma, passed away ~1 year ago. After this very emotional speech, the Rotarians started making plans on ways to help; such as: providing a truck, providing lumber and other ways to get involved.

John’s takeaway: you don’t need a huge club to have a big impact.


  • Lydia Norcia introduced Marily Hart, who’s hoping to join the club.
  • Kyle DeMattei from Los Gatos and Kevin Jones from Mountain View wanted to see what the Rotary was all about.
  • Dan Snyder proudly announced that his daughter Allison has an internship this summer at Montana State University, studying physics of solar flares.
  • Andrew Howard introduced Santiago who is studying business at San Diego.
Meeting Notes from May 21, 2024 2024-05-24 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May 14, 2024

The meeting was brought to order by President Meghan at 12:30PM.
The pledge of allegiance was led by Lissa Kreisler


The inspiration was given by Jean Marc Blanchard, who titled his piece, “PolioPlus to the Max”
In December 1999, Ivory Coast Polio Plus leaders, including Marie-Irene Richmond Ahoua were preparing for a conference on Polio and a local immunization drive to take place in January 2000. But, the government changed and immunization day was canceled. Some Rotarians appealed this decision to the First Lady who caused the vaccination day to be reinstated. Many areas were under rebel control and it was difficult to access places where immunizations were really needed. Some Rotarians didn’t participate due to the danger, but some, including Marie-Irene, persisted in spite of the danger. On Nov 30, 2015, Ms. Ahoua became Rotary District Governor,  and, fittingly, that was when polio was declared eradicated in Ivory Coast. Jean Marc told us that we don’t need that level of courage or persistence…we can just give to the Polio Plus campaign!

Club Business

Visiting Rotarians
Michael Hyman from Morning Rotary, and associate of Ed Stahl’s.
Visiting Guests
Jenny Wong, an author who is interested in becoming a member and was visiting for the second time. Introduced by Michelle.
Katie’s St. Luke’s eggs this week had a “Welcome to the pool”  theme.
Michelle Strachan was featured as Rotarian in the wild, kayaking in a full, full, reservoir.
First Tuesday in June will be at Nicolette Rodman Kelly’s house. All details will be  in Meghan’s newsletter. Should be a fun one!
President Meghan noted that Rotary Champions working with their recipients really make an impact on our community. She showed a picture of Henry Vitkovich presenting a $750 check to Parents Helping Parents.

Jeff Blum and Skip Brewster spoke to us on behalf of the Los Gatos Foundation for Older Adults. They are asking everyone in the community, and particularly Rotarians to fill out a survey that will be used as input to the process of considering a new community center. On 20 June, from 5:00PM-8:00PM, they will also host a live meeting to get feedback at the Masonic Hall. They’d like people of all ages to participate, and the survey can be found here
Meeting Notes from May 14, 2024 2024-05-17 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from April 30, 2024

Meghan Burton began the meeting at 12:30
Pledge: Suzanne Boxer-Gassman
Inspiration: Suzanne Boxer-Gassman: From the book: A Whack on the Side of the Head, because sometimes that is what we need in life. To be creative in life we need metaphors:
  1. life is like eating a grapefruit, sometimes sweet and sometimes tart
  2. life is like a jigsaw puzzle, finding the right pieces
  3. life is like a maze, sometimes we get lost but find the right path
  4. life is like an elevator, sometimes up and sometimes down
  5. life is like a puppy dog
Guests: Elaine Ware and Jenny Athena Wong, both prospective members
Rotarian in the Wild: Tina Orsi-Hartigan hugging an elephant at a sanctuary in India.
Mission Trip to Punta Colonet. Mexico: Skip and Donna Brewster shared about their trip to Mexico to build a house in 5 days. This trip has been partially sponsored by Rotary for the past 25 years and they have built 34 houses. After 5 days of labor, giving over the keys to the family who now owns the house was emotional and magical. 
Red Badge Presentation: Jeff Blum presented Ryan Rosenberg with his Red Badge. Welcome to the club, Ryan! 
Centennial Celebration: Mike Norcia shared that there will be some surprise guests and lots of fun next Tuesday night, May 7, at the Mountain Winery at 6pm. There will be a shuttle to the venue from downtown Saratoga, please let Mike know if you will be using this service. There will also be golf carts from the parking lot into the venue. Arrival time is 6pm, 6:45-7pm dinner and 8pm is the program. The shuttle service starts at 5:45.
Polio Plus: We are almost at the end of our drive. It will go into the beginning of May. Marty Fishman spoke about Rotary creating the Polio Plus drive in 1985. Rotary and its partners have reduced polio cases by 99.9%. We continue to get close to the final push, with one area on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan still active. We must continue to vaccinate, monitor outbreaks and improve health resources. Donate at, donate by check or credit card or join the Polio Plus Society.
Meeting Notes from April 30, 2024 2024-05-02 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from April 16, 2024

President Meghan Burton welcomed us and began the meeting at 12:30.
Ron Cassel led the flag salute.
Dan Snyder shared a personal experience about a recent time he was asked to contribute to the community. It was inconvenient, but it ended up feeling very empowering. What we do matters. Hold back our doubt and criticism and let the good happen.


  • Joann Smith from the Los Gatos morning club welcomed us all to come to their meeting Wednesdays at 7:30 am at the Los Gatos Lodge.
  • Ramon Ware introduced his wife, Elaine, who just retired.
  • Paul Johnson introduced Sonja Tappan, the new president of the Los Gatos Education Foundation.
  • Suzanne Boxer Gassman introduced Jenny Athena Wong, author.
  • Terri Trotter introduced Galina Dodium, who is a prospective member visiting for the second time.
This week’s hard boiled eggs for the homeless were decorated for an April shower bring May flowers theme.
Rotarians in the Wild:  Meghan Burton was at the Madonna Inn in SLO and showed a photo of her by the Rotary sign.

Next Tuesday: There is NO meeting at Shir Hadash!

Instead, we meet at the New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) on 106 E. Main Street, where the old Los Gatos library used to be. Meet at 12 noon for lunch and a tour. 

Meeting Notes from April 16, 2024 2024-04-18 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from April 9, 2024

Meeting called to order by Vice President Rachelle Lopp at 12:30pm.
Diane Eriksson led the pledge of allegiance. 
Judy Rodriguez gave our inspirational message about how this Club and all the kind, friendly, intelligent, energetic, organized and generous people that make up the Rotary have inspired her. 
The Los Gatos Rotary Club is celebrating 100 years of service this year and that is quite an accomplishment; and a testament to all the people in this room and all the others that served before us. She was so pleased to hear this year we gave $93,000 to 48 different charitable organizations---truly remarkable! 
Judy has been associated with this club for almost 30 years as a wife, Inner Wheel member and Rotarian. She loves coming to Tuesday meetings because of all of you. Judy ended her message with “let’s continue to serve the Los Gatos Rotary Club for another 100 years!” 


Mike Egleston, a travel advisor was introduced by Ed Stahl 
Gali Dodium, who was interested in finding out about the Rotary community, was introduced by David Hubbard. 
Our Rotarian in the Wild this week is Marie Rector among the Mayan ruins in Tikal.
Meeting Notes from April 9, 2024 2024-04-12 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 26, 2024

The meeting was brought to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30.
Mike “The Greek” Frangadakis led the pledge of allegiance.
Erika Buck gave the inspiration. She again went to the book 100 Ways to Calm for an excerpt, and this time shared a little life advice:  Be late for work. Call or email your boss and tell them you’ll be a little late. Do something nice for yourself! Make yourself a great breakfast, practice yoga or take the dog out for a walk. And, miss the traffic! A much more restful day (unless being late annoys your boss :-)
Introduction of Guests
  • Cindy Carter, President Elect of  Sebastopol Rotary joined us today. She was visiting with her daughter who works in Los Gatos at Charles Schwab, and wanted to check out how another large club operates after meeting Doug Brent at President Elect Training. Her daughter, Michelle Flamm also visited. 
  • Ed Stahl introduced JoAnn Smith from the Los Gatos Morning club.
  • Tom Boyce introduced Peter Morris, a former Rotarian, and  now Executive Director at the Terraces. This is the second visit to our club.
The Rotarian in the Wild was Rachelle Lopp. Rachelle climbed an 800 year old 200 ft high tree in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Janice LeFevre of Saratoga Inner Wheel sent a slide that showed their work supporting artificial limbs, and thanking those who supported their raffle.
Meghan reviewed the contribution several Rotarians made to Rise Against Hunger, along with Saratoga Rotary, and others. The group  packaged 20,000 meals that will be used anywhere in the world, where needed. Each kit is a healthy meal in a bag, that just needs to be boiled, and seasoned to local tastes.

Upcoming club events

(Please note: details/links for these will be provided by Meghan in her weekly newsletter.)
  • The April, “First Tuesday” will be held at Chez Felipe in downtown Los Gatos on 2 April from 5:30-7:30. Hope to see you there!
  • Paul Christensen discussed Great Race progress. Sponsorships are going really well (thanks to Patti!), and sign-ups are on track with progress last year. But Lisa Cheskin pointed out that we still have about 400+ people to sign up, so continue getting the word out! Paul stated that this week, you  will  get a link to a website where you can sign up for different tasks to support the race. Most will be race day tasks, but it is possible to work ahead of time, and it is even possible to sign up for tasks that still allow you to race. This is a major fund raiser for the club (and very significant for the Scholarship Foundation), and we’re asking for everyone to find a way to help.
Meeting Notes from March 26, 2024 2024-03-29 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 19, 2024

Meeting called to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30pm.

Ramon Ware led the pledge of allegiance.
Dan Snyder gave our inspirational message: Dan led us on a journey of how wanting to get into better shape by swimming connected him to one person who inspired him to get involved in community events. Which then led to other opportunities to serve, such as working on a parcel tax, being a trustee for school service, Rotary, providing food service for those with cancer, and many more. Dan was inspired by many people and inspired us to do the same.


  • Peter Morris was introduced as a previous Rotarian and new director of The Terraces, Los Gatos.
  • Paul Christensen introduced Damir and Ava Herman; Ava designed the logo for the Great Race.
  • Dan Synder introduced his daughter Allison, who is home from college.
Our Rotarian in the Wild this week is Marty Fishman, visiting the pyramids in Egypt.
Decorated eggs St. Luke's Pantry:  Happy Spring!


  • Red Cross Blood Drive was a great success with ~38 donors. 
  • First Tuesday Happy Hour April 2, 2024 at Chez Phillippe, LG; 5:30 to 7:30
  • Rise Against Hunger Community Service Event: Sunday, March 24, 2024 from 9:00-1:30 at Saratoga High School
  • Dick Konrad—Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce Wine Walk, Saturday April 20, 2024, 1:00-4:00pm STROLL, SIP, SAVOR. Volunteers needed: contact Dick Konrad
  • Paul Christensen—Great Race Logo Design winner: out of 87 logos submitted, Ava Herman was the winner and was presented with a check for $100.00. Congratulations to Ava!
  • Sign-ups for The Great Race at Vasona Park, April 14, 2024 will be coming soon.
  • Mike Norcia—Mark your calendars for the Centennial Celebration at the Mountain Winery, Tuesday May 7, 2024. Cocktails at 6pm, Dinner at 7pm.
  • $175 per person.

30 For 30:

Our own resident poet laureate, Jeff Blum read two poems from the heart: the first one was about our Red Cross Blood Drive this past weekend; and the second one was to Lissa and their twelve years of being together.
$30.00 to each one.
Paul Christensen—on the many places he has been, including ski trips to Whistler and Big Sky; and a trip to the Grand Canyon. $50.00 for each.
Meeting Notes from March 19, 2024 2024-03-22 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 12, 2024

The meeting was called to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30 (welcome back Meghan).
Pledge was led by Nicholas Welzenbach. 
Inspiration from Erika Buck, who inspired us with quotes about strong women in honor of Women’s History Month.

Visiting Rotarians:

Suzanne Boxer-Gassman introduced Kathleen Thomas from SJ Rotary and co-chair of ELC.

Other visitors:

Dan Snyder’s guest was Melissa Crow who sits on the LGUSD board with him. 
Rotarian in the wild was Jeffrey Barnett and his wife, Annemone, on Shady Lane. We have such beautiful views so close to home.
Thank you, Kathie Benko and Randy Cobb for the adorable eggs decorated for St. Patrick’s Day. We always appreciate the time you put in each week.

March Birthdays

  • Linda Lester March 1
  • Tsovo Massena March 1
  • John Colwell March 2
  • Tony James March 2
  • Tom Picraux March 3
  • Matthew Hudes March 3
  • Don McCleve March 4
  • Tom Boyce March 5
  • Matt Mullikin March 5
  • Michelle Strachan March 5
  • Daniel Doore March 17
  • Patti van der Burg March 17
  • Paul Mudgett March 17
  • Edward Graziani March 20
  • Jamie Hekkelman March 25
  • Clayton Bruntz March 30
  • Norman Snyder March 31

March Anniversaries

  • Preston Hill 52 years
  • LeRoy Neider 44 years
  • Don McCleve 32 years
  • Grady Jeter 24 years
  • Craig Roberts 24 years
  • Suzanne Boxer-Gassman 18 years
  • Paul Mudgett 17 years
  • Larry Jinks 16 years
  • Kamyar Negari 15 years
  • Rami Wazni 11 years
  • Haryl Pascal 7 years
  • Laura Douglas 1 year
  • Amy Liang 1 year
  • Karen Briones 1 year
Meeting Notes from March 12, 2024 2024-03-15 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from February 27, 2024

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday, February 27, 2024 

Vice President Rachelle Lopp began the meeting at 12:30
Pledge: Karen Briones
Inspiration: Suzanne Boxer-Gassman: In honor of the students participating in the speech contest, she read a poem by William Arthur Ward on risk taking.  We need to take risks with trust, love, sharing, and hope. We have to reach out and take risks to make life meaningful and interesting.
Guests: Rianna and Don Spaulding, guests of Jeff Blum. Ron Mahagon, guest of Sergio Michel.
Rotarian in the Wild: Judy and Julian Rodriguez with penguins on the Falkland Islands.
First Tuesday Happy Hour: March 5 from 5:30-7:30 at the home of Ed Stahl. 110 Twin Oaks Drive, LG. Please bring an appetizer and beverage of your choice. Red wine and dessert will be provided.
Champion Forms: Submit your champion forms by February 29.

Service Opportunities:

Interact at LGHS is making blankets to give to the animal shelter on Wednesday, Feb. 28 from 2:30-3:30 pm.

Resource Drive: we will be collecting NEW Socks/Underwear, Deodorant and Laundry detergent (liquid only, no fabric softener) at the meetings on March 12 & 19 for Jewish Family services to support newly arrived refugees. 

Rotary Sponsored Blood Drive will be held on Saturday, March16 at St. Luke’s on University Ave. in Los Gatos. Please come and donate or if you would like to help, reach out to Jeff Blum.

Rise Against Hunger: Service Project will be held on March 24, 9:00-1:30 pm at Saratoga High School.
Meeting Notes from February 27, 2024 2024-02-29 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from February 20, 2024

Meeting called to order by Vice-President Rachelle Lopp at 12:30pm.
Sergio Michel led the pledge of allegiance.
Suzanne Boxer-Grassman presented a fun-filled video of the CrabFest 2024 celebration, followed by lists and lists of all the Rotarians that made this CrabFest possible and the most profitable auction ever! 
$100,000 was raised for 100 years of service; $123,626 gross, $102,042 net; and a $14,640 check was presented to the Bill Wilson Center. Kudos to all 70 plus people, including: Rachelle (social media), John Pencer (the face of CrabFest), Lissa (brought in more dollars than ever before); kitchen team, shopping crew, soup makers, bartenders, set-up crew, boy scouts, décor and so many more.  And thanks to CrabTech for online bidding, which was a huge success: bidders, buyers, winners and donors!


Richard Bobis sponsored and presented a red badge to Michael Butcher, a retired physician.
Dick Konrad brought in Kevin Haas and Lloyd Thyen from the Boy Scouts of America to give us an update.
Our Rotarians in the Wild this week are Gae La Torre and Diane Eriksson in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia.
Decorated eggs St. Lukes Pantry: A salute to President’s Day.


March 5: First Tuesday Happy Hour.  Ed Stahl has graciously opened up his home, 5:30pm to 7:30pm, 110 Twins Oaks Dr., Los Gatos 95032.
Meeting Notes from February 20, 2024 2024-02-25 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from February 13, 2024

The meeting was brought to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30.
The pledge of allegiance was led by Ron Cassel


The inspiration today was Doug Brent, pinch hitting for Suzanne Boxer-Gassman. Doug reflected on the club’s legacy in our 100th year. While there are many - including creating of the charities and scholarship foundation, the resiliency our club has shown to change - Doug suggested the greatest legacy for the club is our service. The things we do and charities we fund which have ripple effects that can last generations, and create new capabilities for service. Doug ended with a challenge that all consider how they can add to the legacy of Rotary service through acts great and small.


  • Richard Bobis introduced his guest. A long time Rotarian, in San Jose and now in his current home of North Carolina
  • Dan Snyder introduced Ryan R. a community leader and veteran of parcel tax campaigns. He has been president of LGEF, and taken on many other community service roles.
  • Karen Briones introduced her husband, Dr. Rich Briones, who came today to hear her red badge bio.

Club Business

The Rotarians in the wild this week are Donna and Skip Brewster. Their picture showed them on horseback in the beautiful Italian countryside.
There was a long list of February birthdays and Rotary anniversaries. A big congratulations to all!
Megan mentioned the upcoming Warrior Rotary night, and details will be in her weekly email for those interested in attending.
Ramon Ware thanked the many Rotarians who he interviewed for his new book, Soar to Leadership Success: Lead Your Team Like An Aviator. Among those whom Ramon thanked were Jeff Blum, Lissa Kreisler, Haryl Pascal, Marty Fishman and Eric van der Burg. Ramon told us that leadership success requires: 1) Thrust/energy 2) Lift/motivation 3) A supportive Environment.
Jeff Blum noted that we are supporting a Red Cross Blood Drive with morning Rotary on March 16, at St. Lukes from 8AM-3PM. Jeff is looking for blood donors or help in staffing the event.
Meeting Notes from February 13, 2024 2024-02-16 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from January 30, 2024

Meghan Burton opened the meeting at 12:30
Ramon Ware shared some jokes for our inspiration moment and had us all laughing.


  • John Walker introduced Irina Shteinbok, who is checking out ways to serve in the community.
Greg Smith is our Rotarian in the Wild this week. Meghan shared a photo of him at the Matterhorn.
This week’s eggs for St Lukes celebrated the 49ers going to the Super Bowl!
Mark your calendars: First Tuesday happy hour is next week at Milan Italian Restaurant. There’s easy parking and it’s always a lot of fun.
Jean Marc Blanchard updated us on our project in Cambodia. He was able to tack on a visit last fall while he was on a business trip to Thailand.
We gave a $750 grant to Food For the Hungry, Cambodia. It’s all about enhancing food security, expanding education, and empowering the farmers in a community in the very north of Cambodia. They face serious challenges there because low economic opportunities with no  higher value activities available other than subsistence farming. 
Meeting Notes from January 30, 2024 2024-02-02 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from January 23, 2024

Meghan Burton began the meeting at 12:30

Pledge: Mike Frangadakis

Inspiration: Ramon Ware: Three things a plane needs for successful take off:
1. Energy
2. Lift (motivation)
3. Supportive Environment
Rotary inspires these same three principles. We get energy from one another to make a difference in the world. We are motivated to do well in the world and we support each other in our common goals.
Guests: Sarah Janigian from San Jose Rotary and the wife of our guest speaker. Lloyd Russell, a guest of Tina Orsi-Hartigan and cousin to Lissa Kreisler. Joe Albers from the El Salvador school and a guest of Mike Norcia
Rotarian in the Wild: Lydia Norcia and her family enjoying dinner with a wood fire
pizza in her backyard.

First Tuesday Happy Hour: February 6 from 5:30-7:30pm at Milan Italian Restaurant, 1712 Meridian Ave, San Jose. Waiters will come to us for food and drink orders, there will be separate checks and a 20% tip will be added to each bill.
Annual Rotary Foundation Drive: Thanks to Marty Fishman and his team, we reached our highest donation amount of $44, 898 with 122 donors.
CrabFest: Suzanne and Lisa gave us an update. There are still tickets available for purchase and we still need volunteers to help out, especially in the kitchen for clean-up. The Fund the Need will go to the Bill Wilson Center this year to help with their Safety Net program for runaway and homeless teens. Safety Net provides housing and counseling with the goal to reunite them with their families. Promotion until Friday at midnight: anybody who bids $100 on any auction item will get their first drink for free at the event.
Meeting Notes from January 23, 2024 2024-01-25 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from January 16, 2024

Meghan Burton called the meeting to order at 12:30.
Ramon Ware reminded us that we are all amazing. We have power, potential, and courage. We are not perfect but that’s okay. And none of us are alone.


  • Lissa Kreisler introduced her friend Bonnie Broderick.
  • Dagmar Schildwach and Claire Day visited for the Alzheimers Association presentation.
This week's 'Rotarian in the Wild': Barry and Lisa Cheskin with the redwood giants in Big Sur
Congratulations to Doug Brent who is one of 2 worldwide to be selected as a member of the joint technology committee for Rotary International. Thank you Doug for stepping up!
Coming up: Our next First Tuesday Happy Hour is on Feb 6 at the Milan Italian Restaurant in San Jose.

Crabfest is coming!

Lisa Cheskin and Suzanne Boxer-Gassman thanked all those who have volunteered so far. There is still room for more. This is our major fundraiser and you can help! If you haven’t already committed to help, please do. If you haven’t yet bought tickets please buy them at
The majority of the proceeds come from the auction so PLEASE look at the catalog and bid!
Rachelle Lopp reminded us that our official centennial was yesterday. Our first meeting as a chartered club took place January 15, 1924 at the Lyndon Hotel, where Lyndon Plaza now stands. She honored those who have been a part of 100 years of service to our community.
Wes Sadumiano sent photos of the water system that we support in the Philippines through our international grants. This latest water project will serve 4400 students! These are the kinds of projects the CrabFest makes possible.

30 for 30

  • Patti van der Burg acknowledged and thanked our Rotarian town commissioners:  outgoing Jeff Barnett and incoming Adam Mayer.
  • Barry Cheskin gave in honor of Lisa and Suzanne wearing their crazy crab hats!
  • John Pencer’s wife left for her girls trip. He donated with heightened appreciation for all she does. 
  • Avis La Grone is happy to be back with us after not being around lately.
  • Hal Rosen had a disappointing trip cancellation because of Covid but he and his wife are healthy now and happy to be back at Rotary.
  • Canan Sonuk gave in honor of her son coming home after serving in the Marines for 5 years. We thank him for his service! She hasn’t attended rotary in a while and is happy to be back. 
Meeting Notes from January 16, 2024 2024-01-19 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from January 9, 2024

President Meghan Burton called the first meeting of 2024 to order at 12:30. Ramon Ware led the pledge of allegiance. 


Ramon also provided the inspiration for today. With the start of a new year, it is a great time to reflect on the work we have done, are doing now, and will be doing in the future, and that the work itself can inspire us to do great things together, and make a difference! 


A “guest” introduced herself, Anjana Bose, and announced that she will be rejoining the club! This generated a big round of applause. 
JoAnn from Los Gatos Morning Rotary as a guest of Ed. 
John Colwell got a jump on 30-for $30, and proudly sporting his University of Michigan hat and clothes, donated $100 to the scholarship foundation in honor of Michigan’s college football national championship. 
Club Business 
Meghan announced that the Rotarian in the Wild today was Randy Cobb. He had a picture of himself at the top of the 22,000 foot peak of Aconcagua in Patagonia. 
Suzanne Boxer-Gassman and Lisa Cheskin talked about the upcoming crab fest. Lisa noted that tickets will soon be available to the general public, so Rotarians should get their tickets now to avoid disappointment. Quantities are limited! Lisa also went through the several Rotarians who have already bid big(!) on a number of items. 


In what would turn out to be a very busy day for Paul Johnson, he introduced the club to a new Red Badge member, Matt Mullikin. 
Meeting Notes from January 9, 2024 2024-01-12 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from December 19, 2023

The meeting was called to order at 12:43 by President Meghan Burton.
Pledge was led by Mike “Greek” Frangadakis.
Inspiration was from Judy Rodriguez who amused with the poem “A Politically Correct Christmas.”

Visiting Rotarians:

Mike Hyman Morning Rotary guest of Ed Stahl.


  • Sasha Shkolnik and Simona Freeman both from LGHS Music Boosters introduced by Jean-Marc Blanchard. 
  • Alex Schultz from LGSUHSD School Board. Introduced by Ron Cassel.


Terri Trotter read the slate of candidates. There were no nominations from the floor.  Slate was approved as read.
Lisa Cheskin and Tina Orsi-Hartigan announced that tickets for the CrabFest go on sale tomorrow. Remember, this event sells out fast. The auction catalog is also going live on the 19th. 
Jean-Marc presented a check to the LGHS Music Boosters for $3,306. These are the proceeds from our Fall Fundraiser movie. Thanks to Cinelux for their generosity.
Meeting Notes from December 19, 2023 2023-12-22 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from December 12, 2023

Meeting called to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30pm. 
Mike Norcia led the pledge of allegiance. 
Judy Rodriguez gave our inspirational message: 
A story about an elementary school teacher named Mrs. Thompson and her fifth-grade student named Teddy Stoddard. She had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn’t play well with other children; his clothes were messy and he needed a bath. In class, Mrs. Thompson took delight in marking his papers with red pen and putting a big “F” on top of his papers. 
As she was required to review each child’s past records, she finally reviewed Teddy’s. She read that in first grade he was a bright child and a joy to be around; in second grade, he was an excellent student, but his mother had a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle. His third-grade teacher wrote that his mother’s death has been hard on him and his father doesn’t show much interest. His fourth-grade teacher wrote that Teddy was withdrawn and didn’t show much interest in school. 
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and was ashamed of herself. When the children brought her Christmas presents wrapped in beautiful paper; except for Teddy’s present, which was wrapped in paper from a grocery bag, she carefully unwrapped Teddy’s present and explained how pretty the rhinestone bracelet with stones missing was while putting it on and dabbing on an almost empty bottle of perfume also from Teddy. On this day, Mrs. Thompson quit teaching reading and writing and began to teach children. 
By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest in class. A year later, she found a note from Teddy that she was his favorite teacher of all. 
Teddy went on to finish high school, third in his class; graduated with honors from college; and then finished medical school and was proud to sign his name Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D. 
When Teddy got married, he asked Mrs. Thompson to sit in a pew reserved for the mother of the groom. That day, Teddy thanked Mrs. Thompson for “believing in me”. But it was Mrs. Thompson who thanked Teddy for making a difference. “I didn’t know how to teach until I met you”. 
Make a difference in someone else’s life; consider a random act of kindness.
Our Rotarian in the Wild this week is Tina Orsi-Hartigan in the Smokey Mountains.
Decorated eggs St. Lukes Pantry: Christmas Time 
  • Kohinoor Chakravarty from West Valley Community Services 
  • Nancy Jo Lopp introduced by Rachelle Lopp 
Meeting Notes from December 12, 2023 2023-12-15 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from November 28, 2023

Meeting called to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30pm.
Randy Cobb led the pledge of allegiance.
Jean-Marc Blanchard gave our inspirational message:   
A delivery man in China was riding his bike across a bridge when he was stopped by a traffic jam and heard a woman yelling, who had jumped into the river to end her life. He jumped 30 ft, feet first into the river to save the drowning woman; helped her to safety where police arrived and loaded her onto a speedboat. He proceeded to deliver his goods even though he was soaking wet. Later he learned that he had cracked his spine from the impact of the water and had to be hospitalized. He was deemed a hero and awarded as such. An inspirational act of “if you see something, do something”.
Our Rotarian in the Wild this week is Dan Synder enjoying a day at the lake.
Decorated eggs St. Lukes Pantry Beautiful Thanksgiving theme.



  • The Live Oak Thanksgiving Luncheon was well attended with volunteers having to be turned away.
  • December 3 is our sold-out President’s Brunch.  Harry Vitkovich reminded everyone that we will be collecting new unwrapped toys, ages 3-15 for Toys for Tots at the brunch this Sunday.
  • Nominating Committee update: If you are interested in any of the leadership positions, please contact Patti or any other committee members this week.
  • Rebuilding Together Video was presented and produced by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman and organized by Kirsten Bridges. Volunteers painted a mobile home in Campbell, partnering with the LG morning rotary. Thanks to everyone who made this a very successful event!
  • Club Photo: We will be taking a club photo after the December 12th meeting.
  • December 2nd: Los Gatos Holiday Parade begins at 11:00am and we are entry #41. The location will be available this Thursday via e-mail.
  • Giving Tuesday: Every Rotarian Every Year.  How do I give?  Club credit card (Patti) or google form (Dan Synder).
  • December 5: First Tuesday Happy Hour/Holiday Party: Devonne and John Penser have graciously opened their home to us for the Christmas holiday. Please bring an appetizer and wine (red wine will be provided) or beverage of your choice. John’s address is 1705 Husted Av. San Jose
Meeting Notes from November 28, 2023 2023-11-30 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from November 14, 2023

Meghan Burton called the meeting to order at 12:30

Rachelle Lopp led the flag salute

Jean Marc gave our inspirational message by sharing a story about a Soviet world record gold medalist swimmer who saved dozens of lives by diving into a cold and polluted lake to save people trapped in a bus. It cost him his career due to injuries sustained, but he was a champion in the best way.


Michelle Myers Nelson introduced Barbara Stone, a friend and fellow Giants fan who recently retired from Intel.

Richard Bobis brought his friend Mike Butcher, who is interested in joining Rotary.

Our Rotarian in the Wild this week is Andrew Sterns, working in his garden and enjoying nature.


Meghan Burton shared a photo of the decorated eggs for veterans day with a thank you note from St Lukes Pantry. Thanks Tina and her weekly team for making it happen!


The club took a moment to honor all the veterans among us.

Our Fall Movie Fundraiser was a success. The final number is still being worked on, but likely over $3,000. Thank you to everyone. Proceeds will go to Los Gatos Music Boosters this year.

Happy birthday to Henry Vitkovich, Sue Heller, Suzanne Boxer-Gassman, Ensy Afdari, Stefka Bonev, Russell Couch, Avis La Grone, Nava Fathi, Misty Hartung, Greg Smith,, Anna Maria Valenzuela, LeRoy Neider, Ileana Aguilar, and Terri Trotter.

November Rotary Anniversaries: John Colwell 58 years, Ed Stahl 57 years, Tina Orsi-Hartigan 22 years, Greg Smith 10 years, Gordon Levin 9 years, Neal Mudgett 8 years, Margaret Smith 8 years, Hal Rosen 7 years, David Hubbard 5 years, Russell Couch 4 years. 


Jean Marc spoke about his attendance in Rotary of Bangkok DACH  and presented a flag.


  • Our Planter Box holiday planting is Thursday 11/16 at 2pm. If you’d like to help beautify our box come to the corner of Bachman and N Santa Cruz.
  • The Holiday Parade is Sat Dec 2. Join us!
  • Presidents Brunch is on Sun Dec 3. It’s the last week to buy tickets. 
  • Toys for Tots! Please bring an unwrapped toy either to the Presidents Brunch or to our club meeting the last week in November.
Meeting Notes from November 14, 2023 2023-11-17 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 31, 2023

Meeting called to order by President Mehan Burton at 12:30
Meghan called on John Pencer to lead the pledge of allegiance.
Doug Brent provided the inspiration today.
Doug noted that the inspiring act we observe - winning a medal or a perfect performance - is the result of all of the work and dedication that went into it. In talking about hard work and commitment, he drew on a web site that supports disabled students at the University of Washington, and how they viewed the extra work they most often have to do to match their able colleagues, and seeing the advantages for them in that hard work. Some closing quotes from the students: “Never give up. Do not pity yourself for the cards you have been dealt. It happened…now move on.” (University of Washington disabled student site available here.)

Introduction of guests

Richard Bobis introduced his guest Michael, who is visiting the club for the second time.
Nicholas Welzenbach introduced his Darling & Fischer colleague, Cary Wilson, who is also visiting the club for the second time.

Recognition and other business

Meghan showed a picture of some pretty happy fishermen, and lots of coho salmon! In the photo were John Colwell, John Pencer and Paul Christensen, among several others.
We also got to applaud Eric Eberle and Wendy, who finished first out of eight teams in a Capitola/Aptos Rotary sponsored pickle ball contest.
The St. Luke’s eggs this week - courtesy of Kathie and Randy as always - were Halloween and fall themed…with a pretty scary crow.
Meghan reminded us that first Tuesday next week is at the Colwell home. (Details will be provided in her weekly email.) Red wine will be served, but please bring any other beverage you like, as well as an appetizer. 
Everyone is welcome!
Meghan noted that our club’s Rotary Foundation giving is tracking well but we want to beat our $40K goal. The committee will be contacting people that have not yet donated.
Meeting Notes from October 31, 2023 2023-11-03 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 24, 2023

The meeting was called to order by President Meghan Burton.
The pledge was led by Michelle Myers Nelson.
Inspiration by Doug Brent. This week Doug talked about what makes us want to be altruistic? In his book, The Theory of Moral Sentiment, Adam Smith proposes that the way humans relate socially is a better guide than reason to understanding how morals develop. He considers how justice, altruism, and charity are social values. Doug ended with a quote from Smith, “Man desires not just to be loved but to be lovely.”

Visiting Rotarians:

  • Imgard Lafrentz from Cupertino Rotary.



  • Nava Fathi introduced two guests: Bliss Zin and Scott Morgan.
  • Erika Buck introduced Robin O’Hern.
  • Richard Bobis introduced Michael Butcher.

Rotarian in the Wild:

Henry Vitkovich looking like he had a great time in beautiful Norway.



  • There was concern about the pass-the-hat we did for the movie Fentanyl High. Meghan briefly addressed these concerns: Because I heard some concerns about the pass-the-hat we did for the fentanyl film two weeks ago, I wanted to provide some clarification. We are fully aware of the Club's policy to request our speakers to not ask for donations and that we have a champion form procedure in place. This was not a decision the Board made on a whim. We put a lot of thought and consideration into it. And, because this was a time sensitive issue and an important service to our community we decided to move forward with the pass-the-hat process. Thank you to everyone that donated. We raised over $2500 for this very important project. We are still accepting donations in support of the film Fentanyl High. Please contact Patti van der Burg, (408) 348-1497, if you would like to donate.
  • Jean Marc Blanchard and Tina Orsi-Hartigan reminded us about our Fall Fundraiser on November 11. We will be screening The Marvels at the Los Gatos Theater at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are available at, at our meeting on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 or by contacting Jean Marc or Tina. New this year, after the movie (or even if you aren’t able to join us) if you bring the flyer to Willow Street Los Gatos 20% of your food purchase will go to our fundraiser. All funds will benefit Los Gatos Music Boosters. This is good for lunch or dinner, dine in or takeout (delivery does not qualify).
Meeting Notes from October 24, 2023 2023-10-26 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 17, 2023

The meeting was called to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30
The pledge was led by Mike “Greek” Frangadakis.
Doug Brent inspired us with his love letter to the club. Doug reflected on what he finds inspiring about being a member of Los Gatos Rotary. Our club will be 100 years old next year, only ½ of 1% of companies make it 100 years. We have several members who have been with the club 50 years or more. There are members who year after year work with youth, raise funds, and serve the club in many ways. Doug ended by saying the word inspiration should not stand alone, but rather be what we are inspired to do.


Visiting Rotarian Hung Wei District Governor and member of Cupertino Rotary
Visitor Lissa Kreisler guest of Jeffrey Blum. 

Rotarian in the Wild

Doug Brent in Argentine Patagonia. This picture was taken on a ten mile hike with a 4,000 feet vertical climb. 


Thank to Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for the Halloween themed eggs.
Hard copy directories will be distributed at the meeting next week. Those who want two copies should wait until everyone gets one. 
Henry Vitkovich announced the President’s Brunch will be December 3 from 10:00 a.m.- 1:00 Cinnabar Golf Club. The cost will be $65. This is always a fun event. There will be a champagne reception, buffet brunch, entertainment, and some surprises. We will be collecting gifts for Toys for Tots. If you are unable to make the brunch, Henry will be collecting toys during meetings in November. Tickets will be available on the website and the Cat Tale. 
The Centennial Celebration will be held May 7 at Mountain Winery. Save the Date, more details to follow.
Meeting Notes from October 17, 2023 2023-10-20 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 10, 2023

Meghan Burton began the meeting at 12:30
Pledge: Ron Cassel
Inspiration: Doug Brent: He is learning Spanish for his son’s wedding.
  1. Free resources online to learn new languages that help people to better communicate.
  2. AI and ChatGPT have many large language models for people to learn new languages.
  3. There is a whole community of goodwill around language and learning and it connects people together.
  4. Go out and learn something new

Guests: Lissa Kreisler, Joanne Smith, Mike Egleston, Sally Philbrick, Marico Sayoc and Michael Santoro.
Rotarian in the Wild: Nicholas Welzenbach and his family in Goleta.

Celebrated October Birthdays and Anniversaries.

October Birthdays
Jenna Mittleman Oct. 2          Dick Konrad Oct. 24
Steve Rice Oct. 3                    Myron Smith Oct. 24
Mike Norcia Oct. 4                 Gregg Butterfield Oct. 25
Ed Stahl Oct. 6                        Tina Orsi-Hartigan Oct. 27
Skip Brewster Oct. 11             Julian Rodriguez Oct. 29
Barbara Fishman Oct. 13        Jack Chevlen Oct. 29
Paul Yeadon Oct. 18                Mary Lonhart Oct. 31
Doug Brent Oct. 21                 Charles Goss Oct. 31
October Anniversaries
Mike Norcia 21 years               Dick Konrad 7 years
Andrea Lee 21 years                Doug Brent 5 years
Wes Sadumiano 11 years         Tom Picraux 1 year
Patti van der Berg   9 years      Donna Brewster 1 year
Marty Fishman   7 years
Meeting Notes from October 10, 2023 2023-10-13 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from September 26, 2023

Meghan Burton began the meeting at 12:30
Claire Vickers presented the Blossom Hill Kindergarten classes who sang three rousing choruses of You’re a Grand Old Flag.
Inspiration: Barry Cheskin:  Lessons from Abraham Lincoln.
  1. Get out of the office and circulate among the troops.
  2. Persuade people by making friends.
  3. Admit when you are wrong.
Guests and visiting Rotarians: Matt Mullikin, Rick Rauscher, Thomas Lettiere, Heather Sexton, Lissa Kreisler, Mike Egleston and David Hom.
Rotarian in the Wild: Jean Marc Blanchard at Henry Cowell State Park.
Grande Center For Education, 2nd Annual Fall Benefit: Gae La Torre and Irene Upson represented our club as the center thanked us for our continued support, including the purchase of a new school bus (as part of our Centennial Celebration) for the school in rural San Salvador.
Charities foundation Mission Statement: The mission of the Los Gatos Rotary Charities Foundation is to provide high impact support focused on youth and those in need-locally and globally-through enduring partnerships.
Volunteer Opportunity: Rebuilding Together:  Date is October 28, together with Los Gatos Morning Club. Time is 8am-5pm until the project is completed. Address is Timber Cove MHP-127 Timbercove Dr, Campbell. The contact is Kirsten Bridges. We need as much help as we can get and sign ups close Sunday, October 1.
First Tuesday Happy Hour: Tuesday, October 3, 5:30-7:30pm. Location is the home of Marie and Don Rector, 236 Harding Ave LG. Please bring an appetizer to share. Desserts will be provided.
Red wine will also be provided, so if you like white wine or another beverage, please feel free to bring it. Significant others, potential members and friends are all welcome to join us.

We Care Committee: If you know of a Rotarian that is ill, mourning or otherwise in need, please reach out to Lydia Norcia.
Meeting Notes from September 26, 2023 2023-09-29 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from September 19, 2023

Meghan Burton opened the meeting and Dan Snyder led the pledge of allegiance. 
Barry Cheskin shared some inspiration on leadership, drawing from Captain Picard from Star Trek. 1. Speak to people in a language they understand. 2. When you are overwhelmed ask for help. 3. Don’t play it safe. 

Visitors and Guests

Adam Arella from Arella Sports
Dessy Bonev, Stefka’s daughter, UCSC student

It’s time to think about Crabfest!

This is our biggest fundraiser and our philanthropy depends on it! Suzanne Boxer Gassman and Greg Gentile are chairing it this year. 
Lisa Cheskin is looking for donations for the auction. Sport events, restaurants, vacation homes, etc. Do you have season tickets or a vacay home? Talk to her! We need everyone on board!
The Moot Court club at LGHS needs a sponsor. Interested? Contact Dan Snyder.

Rebuilding Together 

On October 28th we will be painting a trailer home to help someone in need. To sign up, click here  before Oct 1.
Contact Kristen Bridges with any questions.
Dawn Hogh from Cancer CAREpoint undated us on our grants. We have supported them since 2010, giving $35,000 over the years. Our most recent grant was for the wig bank. They have provided 145 wigs to women since the beginning of this year. Wigs cost $120-$150 each at wholesale prices, which is too much for many patients. No one wants to be identified by their disease. Patients get a boutique experience and we make this possible. She thanked us for our support. 
Ann Peterson from Live Oak Adult Day Services updated us on our grants. They have been around since 1983, taking in those with mild to moderate dementia during the day to enhance their life quality and give them socialization. It also gives the caregivers a much-needed break. We helped them open their 4th location right here in Los Gatos. Our club helped them furnish it with our grant and we also provided volunteers to help set it all up. She thanked us for our support.
Meeting Notes from September 19, 2023 2023-09-22 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from September 12, 2023

Meeting called to order by President Meghan Burton.
Pledge led by Doug Brent.
Inspiration from Barry Cheskin who has been talking about leadership during his inspirations. This week he was reflecting on his visit to the Kennedy Library and Museum during a recent visit to Boston. During the Cuban Missile Crisis
Kennedy was faced with unbelievable challenges but these three rules of leadership got him through without causing a disaster:
  1. Stay calm
  2. Never lose focus
  3. Take your time


Visiting Rotarians:

Kim Foster Rotary Club of Oregon city. Kim is past president of his club and exchanged flags with Meghan.
Andrea Perdichizzi Rotary Club of San Jose
Steve Solberg Rotary Club of Santa Cruz and Boy Scouts


David Hom Los Gatos High School
Mary Jane Vitkovich Retired
Laura Meyer Retired
Cary Wilson Darling Fischer, just moved here from Houston

Rotarians in the Wild

This week’s picture was Barbara and Marty Fishman and family (with elephants) in Botswana. Looks like an amazing trip. 

September Birthdays:

Erin Harnett September 6
Meghan Burton September 11
Gae La Torre September 16
Gary Allison September 20
Paul Christensen September 20
Nancy Consentino September 27
Nicholas Welzenbach September 27
David Karwowski September 29
Meeting Notes from September 12, 2023 2023-09-15 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from August 28, 2023

President Meghan Burton brought the August 29, 2023 club meeting to order at 12:30, and Mike Norcia led all in reciting the pledge of allegiance.
John Pencer provided the inspiration. For some time we have all known the three keys to healthy longevity: exercise, diet and sleep. More and more, a fourth key to healthy longevity is coming to the fore: social connection. Not the Facebook kind, but the kind of in-person social interaction we have at Rotary meetings. John reported that for a senior, loneliness is more harmful to health than the impact of smoking would be. So, connect and come out to a Rotary meeting!
Mike Norcia brought a guest, Teri, who is on the path to becoming a Los Gatos Rotarian. Welcome Teri!
In reviewing club business, Meghan noted:
  • The Rotarian in the wild this week was a photo of Tom Picreaux on a tour of Glacier National Park.
  • Meghan also thanked the not-so-wild Rotarians: Jeff Blum, Dick Konrad, Jeffrey Barnett and John Walker for representing our club at a Monte Sereno event at Lake Vasona where we were prospecting for new members. DG Hung Wei also stopped by our booth.
  • Meghan then showed off the picture of this week’s St. Luke’s eggs by Kathy. This week it was a tropical theme. Meghan noted that the St. Luke’s team specifically commented that these eggs brighten the day of those who receive them each week.
  • With a photo of the news article in the The West Valley Outlook, Meghan talked about the value of the SafeRide program - getting kids who need to get home to actually get there, and anonymously. And, pointed out that in the article, it said: “Special thanks to the Los Gatos Rotary Charitable Foundation for its $500 donation to provide partial funding for the SafeRides program.”
  • First Tuesday will be at the home of Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko in Los Gatos on September 5th. Members, spouses, significant others and prospective members are all invited! Look at Meghan’s email later this week for more details.
  • There is an opportunity to help with food distribution at Second Harvest in Campbell at 8:30AM on Friday, September 15th. Again, look at Meghan’s note this week for more details. The Rotarian contact for this event is Rachelle Lopp.
Meeting Notes from August 28, 2023 2023-09-01 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from August 15, 2023

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday, August 15, 2023 
Meghan Burton began the meeting at 12:30
Pledge: Nicholas Welzenbach
Inspiration: John Pencer. He talked about how walking 30 minutes, 5 times per week is extremely beneficial to health. Reduces hypertension, diabetes, strokes, cancers, etc. It also promotes cell growth in the brain. So go out and walk!
Guests: Jeff Blum introduced Eleann and David Yick. John Colwell introduced his wife, Betty. 
Rotarian in the Wild: Andrew Howard who was backpacking in Tuolumne.
Rotarians at Work: West Valley Community services had a successful shopping day to fill backpacks for back to school and 800 backpacks were filled for Pacific Clinics for back to school supplies.
Thank you to Kathie and Randy for the busy turtle eggs decorated for St. Luke’s to celebrate back to school.
Upcoming Events:  Annual adult club BBQ at Vasona Park on August 22 at 5pm.


Membership Update by Jeff Blum, he is asking for volunteers who would like to help with any part of this committee, and for Rotarians to reach out to prospective new members. He is always available for any questions from new red Badge members about the process.
Climate Action Council: The District is looking for a Climate Champion Ambassador from each club to be part of this council. They meet via Zoom for one hour, once per month. See Meghan if you are interested.
No 30 for 30 this meeting.
Meeting Notes from August 15, 2023 2023-08-18 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from August 8, 2023

The meeting was called to order by President Meghan Burton.
The flag was brought in and pledge led by Boy Scout Troop 2. Senior Patrol Leader Kevin Haas gave us an overview of what the scouts do.
Inspiration by John Pencer. John shared the poem “I Wish You Enough” to remind us that every life is full of ups and downs. It read, in part: 
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright, 
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more 
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests:
  • We had a special visitor from India. Suresh Harjani from Rotary Coimbatore Elite Club 8711. He talked about some of the projects his club has going. He and Meghan exchanged flags.
  • Jan Eric Nordmo from Troop 2 (also in Santa Clara Rotary) 
  • Alex Greene also from Santa Clara Rotary
  • Not really a visitor but it has been a long time since Sandy Bocks has been able to attend. Hope to see you more often now Sandy.
  • Kevin Haas Troop 2
  • Ed Stahl shared that he has been named the oldest person to go to the North Pole by Guinness World Records. Well done, Ed!
  • Rotarian in the Wild this week was Gordon Levin kayaking in Glacier Bay. Gordon said he has kayaked here several times over the last 30 years and he has watched it recede to gravel. 
  • Thank you, Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for the beautiful butterfly eggs.
  • Tina Orsi-Hartigan announced the club BBQ at Oak Meadow Park Aug. 22. This is an adults only event. Cost is $50/pp includes everything. Aug. 15 is the last day to let her know if you are attending. 
  • Gae La Torre presented Anjana Bose with a certificate of appreciation for all she has done for our club. Avis La Grone also presented her with a Paul Harris award. Anjana is leaving our club, she will be missed. 
Meeting Notes from August 8, 2023 2023-08-11 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 25, 2023

The meeting was called to order by President Meghan Burton at 12:30.
The pledge was led by Art Rabbitz.
Inspiration from Andrew Howard who told us about his son’s baseball team playing in a tournament recently. They are the defending champions but lost the first game. Second game they were down by five runs in the 5th inning. He gave them a pep talk about attitude and effort. They came back to score six runs and win the game by one run. In closing Andrew shared two quotes from John Wooden “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” 
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
Terry Rodgers, this was Terry’s second visit
Rotarian in the Wild:
Marie Rector in Iceland. Beautiful picture Marie.
Eggs for St. Luke’s:
Decorated in honor of the World Cup. Thank you Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko, inspired as always.
Upcoming events:
  • August 1 First Tuesday at the home of Judy and Gordon Levin, 5:30-7:30. Parking is limited, carpool if you can, ok to park where it says no parking. The driveway is steep, please leave it for people who have trouble walking. Please bring something to drink and appetizer or salad. Desserts will be provided. Thank you, Judy and Gordon. 
  • August 5 Back to School shopping for West Valley Community Service at Old Navy Westgate. Contact Suzanne Boxer-Gassman for more information.
  • August 9 Backpack assembly for Pacific Clinics at 499 Loma Alta LG. Contact Gae La Torre for more information. Just bring yourself, we have purchased supplies.
  • September 7-14 wheelchair distribution in the Philippines. Go to for more information.
Centennial committee 100 of Service meeting right after the meeting.
Gae La Torre and Ron Cassel presented a certificate of appreciation to Paul Johnson.
Meeting Notes from July 25, 2023 2023-07-28 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 18, 2023

Meghan Burton opened the meeting. Patti van der Burg led the flag salute.
For inspiration, Andrew Howard talked about his feelings when he is out surfing: floating on the water and feeling beautifully insignificant in the ocean. He talked about backpacking in our national parks with his family and urged us to connect with nature. “Read and enjoy the wonder book of nature.” -Teddy Rosevelt

Sarita Johnson introduced her daughter-in-law Lisa Johnson
Barry Cheskin introduced Larry Fox, his neighbor, who is visiting us for the second time
Mike Frangadakis introduced his son Anthony Frangadakis who is taking over his business
Mike Norcia introduced his neighbor, Teri Rodgers.
Other visitors included Diane Erickson and Brenda Birrell.
Rotarians in the Wild
Every week our president Meghan Burton will share an image or two of our club members out enjoying nature. Today she shared a photo of Mike Norcia and Doug Carlen hiking the Grand Canyon in May 2022.
The boiled eggs for St Lukes were decorated with a summer fun theme this past week. So creative!
Our club received a Hero Award from Shelter Box for our donations last year to assist Ukrainian refugees.
Upcoming Events
Aug 1 - First Tuesday at the Levins home 
Aug 9- Our annual backpack stuffing party with Pacific Clinics from 1:30-4:00. Email Gae La Torre if interested.
Aug 5- (early morning, to be finished before 10 am store opening) Back to School shopping event with WVCS where we help kids go shopping at Old Navy at Westgate. Look for the email Suzanne Boxer-Gassman will send out with the sign-up link.
Gae La Torre and Ron Cassel gave out an award that was missed at the Roast and Toast:
Marty Fishman received a plaque for outstanding service to our club.
Thanks Chris Cho who is standing in today for Gregg Butterfield as our meeting audio/visual specialist. We will be seeing more of him!
Meeting Notes from July 18, 2023 2023-07-24 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 11, 2023

New President Meghan Burton began the meeting at 12:30
Pledge: Mike Norcia
Inspiration: John Pencer. He read the poem, The Things He Didn’t Do by Edgar Best, about keeping life in balance and making sure that we are present to the people in our lives.
Visiting Rotarian: Diana Brown from District 4250 in Guatemala and the 2025-26 District Governor Nominee.
Roast and Toast: was a big success. We watched a video compilation put together by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman.
Upcoming Events:  August 1 is Happy Hour at the house of Gordon and Judy Levin from 5:30-7:30pm. Address is 16055 Camino Del Cerro. Please bring a beverage, appetizer or salad to share. Desserts will be provided. 
July Birthdays: 
Todd Taylor July 7, Art Rabitz July 13, Jason Deppong July 16, Sarita Johnson July 18, Ron Cassel July 21, Karen Anderson July 29. 
July Anniversaries:
Ron Cassel, 23 years, Irene Carrion-Upson, 17 years, Robert Chaykin, 15 years, Sarita Johnson, 14 years, Gregg Butterfield, 9 years, Lisa Cheskin, 5 years, Jeffrey Barnett, 4 years and Ileana Aguilar, 1 year.
30 for 30:
Jeffrey Blum gave $50 as a thank you for the Ready for Prime Time players from the Roast and Toast.
Jeff Barnett gave $100 for a wonderful trip to Paris.
Rachelle Lopp gave $30 for her experience of a Rotary meeting in Milan, Italy, where prosecco, appetizers and a full meal was served.
Mike Frangadakis gave $30 for his trip to Cleveland, Ohio for a Greek Convention.
Mike Norcia gave $99: $33 for Nicholas and his team for the Roast and Toast, $33 for Lisa in honor of her Rotarian of the Year award and $33 for Meghan and her president’s year.
Meeting Notes from July 11, 2023 2023-07-14 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

One Week-2 Projects: Supporting Guatemala Schools

Don't miss this inspiring video created by Karen Brioni and Superintendent Paul Johnson from Los Gatos Union School District.  So thrilled to partner with LGUSD to get technology equipment including "Rachel" to several schools in Guatemala.  In addition to the equipment, schools also received desks and chairs (sorely missed from it's schools) and teacher training.  This is a story that tugs at your heart and proud to be part of it.
One Week-2 Projects: Supporting Guatemala Schools Suzanne Boxer-Gassman 2023-07-01 07:00:00Z 0

Roast and Toast Minutes for June 27, 2023

Social Hour was from 5:30-6:30
Nicholas welcomed everyone at 6:45
Pledge of Allegiance: Doug Brent
Inspiration: Barry Cheskin, who paid tribute to one of his heroes, Mike Norcia.  Barry cited Mike’s five life lessons:
  1. Always be positive
  2. Never let them see you mad 
  3. Be Someone that people like 
  4. Really listen to people 
  5. Never hurt anyone
We watched a video of pictures from Mike’s life and Nicholas talked about Mike’s life and history in Rotary and then dinner service was from 7-7:45


We watched a year in review video created by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman
Club Awards: Plaques of special recognition for service and appreciation were given out to the following people:
Jean-Marc Blanchard, Jeffrey Blum, Russell Couch, Patti van der Burg, Lydia Norcia, Ron Cassel, Gordon Levin, Dan Snyder, Avis La Grone, Doug Brent and Jon Colwell.
Rotarian of the Year Award: Lisa Cheskin, for her outstanding contributions to our club.
Roast of Mike by the Not for Prime Time Players:
Andrew Stearns, Jeff Blum, Eric Eberle, Gregg Butterfield and Greg Smith

Closing Remarks:

Nicholas thanked Michelle Myers Nelson for the flowers, Tina and Terri for name tags and attendance. Gordon Levin presented Mike with a carved serving tray and Nicholas presented Mike with a Rotary Past President’s pin and a plaque as a thank you for his wonderful leadership and work all year long.
Mike thanked his wife Jennifer for all her support during the year and then recognized his board and directors for all their work:
Kirsten Bridges, Jeff Blum, Jeffrey Barnett, Paul Johnson and David Wells
Doug Brent and David Hubbard
Patti van der Burg and Dan Snyder
Nicholas Welzenbach
Michelle Myers Nelson
Gregg Butterfield
Meghan Burton, our incoming President was called up to adjourn the meeting.
Roast and Toast Minutes for June 27, 2023 2023-06-30 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Roast & Toast,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from June 20, 2023

President Mike Norcia called his last meeting to order at 12:30.
The pledge was led by Skip Brewster.
Mike asked if he could do the inspiration today. Mike talked about his dad joining the club in 2001. Dom always told him this was the best Rotary club in the world. Mike joined in 2003 so he could have lunch with his dad, and found out his dad was right. Mike told us it was his honor to serve as president. He then told us a joke from Dom’s book of jokes (thank you Gae for saving and sharing the book). 


Samantha Cush from Leigh High School

New members:

Tsovo Massena received her Red Badge from Ane Troger. Tsovo mentioned she and Ane are daughters of Rotarians and she looks forward to being involved in the community. Welcome Tsovo!


  • Suzanne Boxer-Gassman announced the West Valley Community Services Back to School shopping with a student is August 5 at Old Navy Westgate. Sign up on the WVCS website. This is a great event; you help students shop for back to school clothes. Spots fill up fast so don’t delay.
  • Nicholas Welzenbach announced the last opportunity to sign up for Roast and Toast of Mike is after the meeting today. It looks like this will be our best attended R&T. Cocktails start at 5:30, the event runs until 9:00 at Villa Ragusa in downtown Campbell.
  • Samantha Cush 3D art teacher from Leigh HS thanked us for our long-time support of the 3D program. This is an expensive program to run but one the students really enjoy. 

Red Badge Bio:

Tom Picraux gave his bio presentation. Tom was raised on a small farm in Missouri. He played tenor sax, he enjoyed sports and was given (half) a cow to raise to help pay for college. (His father changed which half belonged to Tom based on the work needed). Tom got his undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Missouri. He later went to Cambridge for his Masters degree where he rowed crew. Since he enjoyed sports, he decided to try his hand at something different during his year in England. How hard could rowing be? Well, you need to be strong as an ox and have the grace of a ballerina. He later earned his PhD at CalTech. Tom first worked at Sandia Labs, he then taught at ASU then on to Los Alamos Labs.
Tom has three daughters and three (very soon to be four) grandchildren. His wife Danice served in the state house of New Mexico for 22 years. Since Tom and Danice moved to Los Gatos in 2013, he has gotten very involved in senior issues volunteering with Sourcwise as well as various senior commissions in town. 
Welcome Tom, we enjoyed getting to know you a little better.
Meeting Notes from June 20, 2023 2023-06-22 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from June 13, 2023

Mike Norcia was out sick, so Michelle led the meeting. Hal Rosen led the pledge of allegiance. 

Barry Cheskin talked to us about inspiring leadership. He listed Captain Kirk’s 5 key leadership secrets according to Forbes: 1. Never stop learning 2. listen to differing input. 3. be part of the away team 4. play poker not chess, and 5. blow up the enterprise (don’t be afraid to give up on your personal passion to do what is right for the team).


Barry Cheskin introduced Larry Fox, a friend and neighbor

Paul Johnson introduced Thomas and Sunny Lettiere. Thomas is the maintenance director for LGUSD and both traveled to Guatemala with Paul for the Rotary/LGUSD project.

Rachelle introduced Jennifer Karno, visiting from the Rotary Club of Santa Cruz Sunrise

New Members

Paul introduced Jenna Mittleman as our newest club member. She is the principal at Daves Elementary and we are very excited to have her join us!


  • The family BBQ was a great success. Thanks Tina Orsi Hartigan and Andrew Stearns for putting it together.

  • First Tuesday - thank you Patti and Erik van der Berg for being fabulous hosts.

  • Diaper Drive! Please bring diapers, size 4 and larger, for those affected by the Pajaro floods to next week’s meeting (last day to donate).

  • Roast and Toast. 6/27 6-9pm. Nicholas Welzenbach reminded us to sign up for a chance to get dressed up and recognize Mike Norcia’s great leadership and pass the baton to Meghan Burton. It’s a great celebratory evening.

  • Dick Konrad is receiving a Senior of Distinction Award. He will receive the award at the Terraces 6/22 at 3pm. Let Mike Norcia know if you can be there.


Meeting Notes from June 13, 2023 2023-06-16 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May 30, 2023

Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Mike Norcia
Pledge: Skip Brewster
Inspiration: Jean-Marc Blanchard. Jean-Marc shared about finishing a puzzle in one week when the box said it would take 2-4 years!!! He then shared a story about a little league game where the pitcher hit the batter with the ball and he walked to first base. Then the kid on first base, seeing that the pitcher was agitated about what happened, went up and hugged the pitcher and told him that all was good. Baseball is all about sportsmanship and the lesson is to care for other people.
Jean-Marc also just returned from Malaysia and shared that he went to a Rotary meeting in Kuala Lumpur, which lasted 4 hours. He brought back the banner from that meeting.
Visiting Guests: Dan Snyder introduced his daughter, Allison, who is back for the summer from college. Judy Rodriguez introduced our speaker for today, Dora Zuniga.


Family BBQ is this Friday, June 2 at 5pm at Oak Meadow Park. If you RSVP’d you should be bringing an appetizer, side dish or dessert. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided.
First Tuesday will be next Tuesday, June 6 from 5:30-7:30pm at Patti van der Burg’s house at 16417 Peacock Way.
2023-24 Budgets are due; please get your numbers in to Patti.
Our club will be holding a diaper drive for the residents of Pajaro who lost so much during the winter storms. If you are able, please bring diapers to our club meetings on June 13 & 20. They have requested diapers in size 4 or larger. 

Roast and Toast of Mike Norcia: Tuesday, June 27 at Villa Ragusa, from 6-9pm. An email will go out next week to sign up to attend.
Meeting Notes from May 30, 2023 2023-06-02 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May 23, 2023

This meeting was brought to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30 PM, on Tuesday the May 23,2023. 

Pledge of Allegiance

  • Led by Erin


  • Led by Haryl Pascal explained the meaning of Inspiration as mentally stimulated action to do something creative. He mentioned people get inspired for a reason, by a situation and sometimes people we meet.

Guests at the meeting

  • Lydia Rosen Guest of Hal Rosen
  • Newton guest of Andrew
  • Rachel guest of Jeff Barnett
  • Cindy Brian Guest Speaker
  • Donald Krenn Guest Speaker San Jose Dance 


  • Family Bar b que is on June 2 @5 pm at Oak Meadow Park. A big family event.
  • 2023-2024 Budget those needing adjustments for the coming fiscal year need to contact Patti by June 1
  • Kathy did an outstanding job decorating the eggs and Mike made a mention “OUT OF THIS WORLD”.
Meeting Notes from May 23, 2023 2023-05-24 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes
Great Race 2023 Suzanne Boxer-Gassman 2023-05-19 07:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from May 16, 2023

Mike Norcia called the meeting to order and Suzanne Boxer-Gassman led the pledge of allegiance. Mike thanked Suzanne for the great video she made for the Great Race.
For our inspiration, Henry wished all the mothers a happy mothers day. He also recommended we be kind to servers in restaurants, to be fair with tips, and to have patience as they do a hard job. Enjoy your next meal!


  • Our guest speaker Mike Brickley and his wife Cathy
  • Arley Marley, a past district governor
  • Joe Albers and Luis Lope Alfaro from Grande Workforce Initiative
  • Barry Bronson from the senior group in Los Gatos, visiting to see what Rotary is about.
  • Andy Garcia Romo, community engagement manager from  Sunday Friends
Tom Boyce updated us on his wife’s Carol’s condition. She is doing great after her 8 week hospital stint with a bad infection. He thanked Rotary for our support and prayers.


  • National Clean Up Day is on May 20.  We will be doing a river clean up from 9-12. Sign ups are now closed, but thank you to those who volunteered.
  • We are hosting a Work Party to update Live Oak Senior Services at the Methodist church by the high school on Wed May 24 at 1:30. Contact Tom Picraux for details. Our Rotary club helped establish this facility, which is now celebrating its 40th anniversary! There will be a reception on June 1.
  • Our annual Family BBQ is on June 2 at 5pm at Oak Meadow. RSVP to Tina Orsi-Hartigan and bring a dish to share. 
  • Patti says if you are a committee chair  to make your budget requests by June 1. 
Joe Albers and Luis Lope Alfaro from Grande Center in rural El Salvador updated us on the  Grande Center for Education and  Grande Center for Economic Opportunity. They just opened a data services training program in El Salvador. Luis came all the way from El Salvador where this program has helped him and his family. He says the goal is to work hard and give opportunities to keep the families in El Salvador, so there is no need for migration. 
They invited us to come in October to see the work in progress. 
Andy Garcia Romo from Sunday Friends updated us on their program. For 27 years this organization has focused on low income families to break the cycle of poverty in San Jose. In 2020 they focused on helping people learn digital literacy needed to succeed in the Covid era. Now they are re-opening community days to partner with organizations like credit unions, STEM, art programs, health programs, etc so families know resources available to them. They thanked Rotary for our contribution that made possible some basic necessities to those who need it most.
Arley Marley, a past district governor, let us know he is now district web manager and district PR/marketing manager. He can help us develop strategic plans to get us connected to our greater community. 
He gave a shout out to Marlon Smith who gave a compelling presentation on ELC to the Sunnyvale Rotary Club many many years ago, which ended up growing the program across the district. 
Meeting Notes from May 16, 2023 2023-05-19 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May 9, 2023

Meeting brought to order at 12:30 by President, Mike Norcia. 
Pledge of allegiance led by Patti van der Burg. 
Inspiration was provided by Jean-Marc Blanchard. He shared a basketball story that focused on doing the right thing and having good sportsmanship. 
Bonnie Cartwright, Caterer from Montebello Market in downtown Los Gatos 
Diane Eriksson 
Visiting Rotarians: 
Julia Anderson from Los Gatos Morning Club 
New Members: Paul Johnson introduced to new Red Badge Members: Amy Liang, Technology Director for the Los Gatos Unified School District and Jason Deppong, Principal at Lexington Elementary School. 
Our First Tuesday event last week was fabulous! It was held at the site of the Old Florentine Restaurant in Los Gatos. Thank you, Nicolette, for opening up the space for us. 
Congratulations Alex Bonev from Leigh High School for winning the District Speech Contest at the 5170 District Conference. All told, he won approximately $4000 in prize money from all the contests. 
Tina Orsi-Hartigan reported that our Interact Auction was a huge success, raising $1950 that will go to Martha’s Kitchen as well as other local and international programs. 
The Town of Los Gatos will hold the Resource Fair for Older Adults on Thursday, May 11 from 10:00am to 12:00pm at 208 E. Main Street in Los Gatos. Over 25 service providers will be attending and plenty of raffle prizes will be won! The website for more information is 
National River Cleanup Day is May 20. Creek Connection Action Group will host a cleanup of Los Gatos Creek along the trail through Oak Meadow Park from 9:00am – 12:00pm. Registration is closed. 
There will be a Rotary Work Party to support Live Oak Adult Day Services reopening in Los Gatos on Wednesday, May 24 at 1:30pm. Location: Live Oak rooms in the building behind Los Gatos Methodist Church, 111 Church St., Los Gatos. Contact Tom Picraux at if you are interested in helping out. 
Meeting Notes from May 9, 2023 2023-05-12 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from April 25, 2023

Meeting brought to order at 12:30pm by President Mike Norcia.
Pledge of allegiance led by Paul Christensen
Inspiration was provided by John Pencer.  John shared various inspirational quotes from Rotary International that focused on service and sharing kindness with others.
Guests: Marlon Smith introduced Run Han Wang.
Visiting Rotarians: None


New Members: Martha Sterne and Sergio Michel received their Red Badges from Terri Trotter and Ramon Ware, respectively.
We Care: Dick Konrad has had his hip replaced and is on the mend. Patti van der Burg had her appendix burst while on vacation in London. She is recovering nicely but must extend her trip by two to three weeks because she is now, not allowed to travel.
St Luke’s sent a nice thank you note detailing their continued appreciation for our financial support.  
The next First Tuesday Happy Hour is scheduled for May 2 and will be held at the Old Florentine Village, 42 Central Avenue in Los Gatos from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.
Our May 9 meeting is a service project. We will be making blankets for the Linus Project. Please bring the following supplies if you have them: fabric scissors, rotary cutters, cutting mats, seam rippers and rulers.
Our annal Roast and Toast is scheduled for Tuesday, June 27 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at Villa Ragusa in downtown Campbell. Ticket sales will begin the second week of May.
Tina Orsi-Hartigan will be receiving the Stan Allen Commitment to We Care Award at the District Conference this Saturday, April 29. Congratulations Tina!
Another week of beautifully decorated eggs from Randy and Kathie!
Meeting Notes from April 25, 2023 2023-05-01 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from April 18, 2023

Meeting called to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30.
The pledge was led by Stefka Bonev.
Inspiration was from Ramon Ware. Ramon decided to see what ChatGPT would come up with for inspiration so he asked for 200 words that would be inspirational and funny for a Rotary meeting. Appropriately it started with a joke but went on to remind us that we are here for a greater purpose-to make our communities a better place, that success doesn’t come easily and we should keep our sense of humor. So, remember, let’s keep up the good work, and remember to laugh and have fun along the way. It is not just what we accomplish, but how we enjoy the journey.
Lydia Rosen 
Darren DeMonsi from Pacific Clinics
  • The Great Race is April 29 and we need more runners/walkers. If you would like to participate, go to to sign-up. This is one of our two largest fundraisers for the year so we really need to get the numbers up. Let your friends know this is a fun event, walkers are welcome. 
  • We also need course monitors for the Great Race. Beth Albers sent an email for us to sign up on Sign Up Genius. Sign up here:
  • Darren thanked us for the check presented to Pacific Clinics. He spoke about two new programs they have at PC. One is the Hope Drop-In Center for youth 16-25 living in the SJ area. The purpose of Hope Drop-In Center is to provide a safe space for LGTBQIA+ youth they also provide mental health services, addiction recovery education among other services. 
  • He also spoke about the Trust Field Response Program which helps Santa Clara County residents during an urgent mental health or substance use situation. They are available 24/7.
  • He also invited us to Pacific Clinics Hearts & Hands luncheon on April 28. Please let Darren know if you would like to attend. As a thank you for our support the cost will be $50 for Rotarians. 
  • Nicolas Welzenbach announced the Roast & Toast for Mike will be held June 27 at Villa Regusa. There may be a sports theme?? Mark your calendar.
  • Alex Bonev won the regional speech contest. He will be competing at the District Conference on April 29. Congratulations Alex!
  • The PolioPlus drive is underway now. The video we saw can be seen here: Tina Orsi-Hartigan spoke about the program and explained that when Rotary begins a project, they make sure it is sustainable. She recommended that we read the article in this month’s Rotary magazine which explains how this program has made a difference in the lives of the women who are out there vaccinating children. Dan Snyder updated us on club donations for PolioPlus, just last week we made $10,000 in pledges from 50 members. Remember a donation of any size makes a difference. 
Meeting Notes from April 18, 2023 2023-04-21 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from April 11, 2023

This meeting was brought to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30 PM, on Tuesday the April 11,2023. We had a packed house, delicious food and enthusiasm

Pledge of Allegiance

Led by Erika Buck


Inspiration was from Jeffrey Blum about an article from 2002 ` My Father’s Legacy ‘. It was beautiful lesson about the help extended to others always comes back 10-fold. Specially to people who don’t look like us and don’t speak our language. Diversity and Inclusiveness shows the warmth and character of people.


Anjana Bose, Nicolette Rodman Kelly

Guests at the meeting

  • Kim Valentine guest of Emi Eto
  • Branden Valentine guest of Emi Eto
  • Ron Lykins past president
  • Rich Brious Guest of Art Rabbitz
  • Maris Koyzmenko  
  • Pat Chapel
  • Lydia Rosen guest of Hal Rosen
  • Sergio Michil
  • Ryan Harris guest of Dr Fishman
  • Diane Erikson guest of Gae La Torre


  • President Mike announced that Rise Against Hunger was a great success and 24,000 meals were packed.
  • The first Tuesday at Double Ds was fun as many Rotarians participated and enjoyed the social hour.
  • Emi Eto along with Boy Scouts had coupons for the Jamboree at the meeting. The cost was $10.00.
  • Paul Christensen announced about the Great Race was in 2 weeks, a big fund raiser for the club.  He mentioned that more promotions were needed and had signage, cards that could put on the lawn and windows. The committee who has been working very hard to spread the word urged everyone to join the efforts.
Meeting Notes from April 11, 2023 2023-04-17 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 28, 2023

Meeting called to order by President Mike Norcia.
The pledge was led by the Smith brothers.
Inspiration was from Dan Snyder who quoted various wise women including: Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Gabby Gifford, Sheryl Sandberg, Simone de Beauvoir, and Reba McEntire. But he spoke also about something his mother-in-law, who he admires very much, said. She recently lost her husband and he asked her how do you get through it? She told him someone once said “you survive by surviving”. You also need a community to lean on. Dan said Rotary is one of his communities and he appreciates it so much. Dan, we’re lucky to have you as part of our community. 


  • Ron Lykins former member and president of our Rotary club
  • Alfreda Eghan San Jose Rotary
  • Raymond Hughes introduced by Tom Picraux. 
  • Marcia La Valle introduced by Lisa Cheskin. 
  • Diane Erikson introduced by Gae La Torre. 
  • Lydia Rosen
  • Karen Briones
  • Tsova Massena 

New Member:

Paul Johnson presented Karen Briones with her red badge.


  • Rise Against Hunger is April 8 at Saratoga HS. Set up is 6:30-8 a.m. and packaging begins at 8:00. Sign up for set up or one (or more) of the 2 hour shifts here: This is a joint project with Saratoga and Cupertino. This is a great event for children and teens too. Please join us, it will be fun and rewarding.
  • Next week is First Tuesday. It will be held at Double D’s from 5:30-7:30.
  • Great Race update from Paul Christensen. Thanks to Lisa Cheskin and Todd Taylor for getting sponsors. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. Two thirds of the money raised goes to scholarships and one third to the general fund. It is an all-hands-on deck event for members. Paul sent an email earlier this week with signups. There have been a lot of signups for the start and finish lines, these are full. If you have a truck there is pre-event help that is needed. 
  • Emi Eto announced the Boy Scouts Jamboree. She shared a video and told us four scouts will be here during their spring break to sell coupons which help them pay for the event. 
  • Mike announced that Nicholas Welzenbach was named Campbell Citizen of the Year. Congratulations Nicholas, this is a well-deserved award. Nicholas said he was honored, but the best part was his parents surprising him. Mike donated $100 in his honor and Nicholas matched. 
  • Nicholas announced that Roast and Toast will be June 27 at Villa Ragusa.
Meeting Notes from March 28, 2023 2023-03-31 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 21, 2023

Mike Norcia called the meeting to order at 12:30 and Henry Vitkovich led the flag salute.


Dan Snyder shared some more dad jokes to give us all a laugh.


Tsovo Massena - She is interested in joining our club. Her mom was one of the first members of Rotary back in Armenia.
Maria Kouzmenka - She heard about us through work and came today to check us out. She is interested in volunteering in the community.

New Member

Lisa Cheskin introduced our newest red badge member, Laura Douglas. Laura says she is ready to roll up her sleeves! Welcome!


  • Rise Against Hunger on April 8 at Saratoga HS  We need a set up crew with at least 5 people who are able to lift 50 lbs from 6:30-8am, other shifts start at 8:00, 10:30 and 12:30 Sign up at This is a great event to bring your children or grandchildren.
  • Our First Tuesday Social will be at Double Ds on April 4th 5:30-7:30
  • The Great Race! It’s an all hands on deck event! There are so many tasks to do. Do you have a pickup truck? Contact Paul Christiansen. If you can’t be there Saturday, please sign up for something earlier. We need everyone! Lisa needs people to hand out flyers at the farmers market or the LG Creek trail. Contact her if you can do that.
  • The Los Gatos High School Interact club is making tie blankets for an animal shelter on Wed 3/22 at 2:30. Contact Tina Orsi-Hartigan if interested in helping.
  • Paul Johnson showed a video of a massive shipping container that left LG and is now on the water headed to Guatemala, thanks to our club. It’s filled with student desks and chairs. All the computers for RACHEL are being transported by the US Army. Thanks to the generosity at the CrabFest we added a 6th recipient school in Guatemala! Thank you!
  • Bobbi Bornstein shared info on the big fundraiser for our partner West Valley Community Services: Chefs of Compassion on 3/31 at 6pm. Three chefs make a dinner and guests get to judge who did the best job.
  • March Madness themed eggs for the homeless this week!
  • Inner Wheel update: They raised $570 from our club the other week to provide prosthetic limbs to children in need. Thank you!
  • Marty Fishman gave our Rotary Foundation update: Our club has raised over $38K this year so far, with 102 people contributing. Haven’t yet? Contact Marty. These make the global humanitarian efforts of Rotary possible!
  • The spring Rebuilding Together Day conflicts with our Great Race, but Los Gatos Morning Rotary is asking for our help to do a preparation clean-up this Saturday 3/25. Contact Kirsten Bridges if you can help.
Meeting Notes from March 21, 2023 2023-03-24 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 14 2023

This meeting was brought to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30 PM, on Tuesday the 14th of March. There was visible excitement in the room despite a rainy day that cast a storm over the Bay Area. There was a packed room, and full attendance, as it was speech contest day.

Pledge of Allegiance

  • Led by Sarita


  • Given by Dan Snyder who inspired by us with bad jokes and being a mediocre father.
  • Among them “Which celebrity is always ready for a cereal” … Reese Witherspoon


  • Emi Eto, Terry Trotter and Marie Rector

Guests at the meeting

  • Sue M guest of Avis La Grone and a Mahjong Teacher 
  • Sergio Guest of Ramon Ware
  • Ron Lykins guest of Tina Orsi Hartigan
  • Naeri Kim guest of Tina Orsi Hartigan
  • Martha Sterne guest of Terri Trotter
  • Alison Snyder daughter of Dan Snyder
  • Lydia Rosen guest of Hal Rosen


New Blue Badger

  • Ann Marie Maria Velenzuela Given by Ramon.
  • Doug Carlen Given by Mike Norcia


  • Community Service Champion Meeting 5PM Thursday 16th.
  • Charities Foundation Meeting 7PM Thursday 16th.
  • Rise Against Hunger April 8th at Saratoga High School in 2 shifts
7am to 10am and 10 am to 1pm.  
4 pm to 7pm. 
  • Rotarians $60.00 Non-Rotarians $30.00
    • At the Rotary San Jose Summit Center: 88 S 4th Street, 7th floor, San Jose, 95112
Meeting Notes from March 14 2023 2023-03-20 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale
Mark Your Calendars! 2023-03-13 07:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from February 28, 2023

Meeting called to order by President Mike Norcia
Pledge led by Ileana Aguilar
Inspiration by Doug Brent. Doug shared three lines from tennis great, Arthur Ashe to help us all pursue our goals whatever they are:
Start where you are
Use what you have (an antidote to excuses)
Do what you can (things are supposed to be hard, that’s how you get better)
  • Mike introduced Joe Albers 
  • Marlon Smith introduced Elaine Knoernschild 
  • Hal Rosen introduced Lydia Rosen
  • Also visiting was Jaya Basu
  • Speaker for today had to cancel due to Covid. Mike was thankful for all the members willing to step up today to fill in. 
  • Champion forms due today at midnight.
  • Next Tuesday March 7 is First Tuesday. We will meet at Hercules Draft House and Cantina (where Flights used to be) from 5:30-7:30. They will be extending happy hour to 7:30 for us.
  • Rise Against Hunger Saturday April 8 at Saratoga High School. There will be two shifts 7-10 a.m. and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. This is a project with District 8. Signups coming soon.
  • Police officers ball March 4 6:30-11 p.m. at Testarossa Winery. Tickets are $150, $75 to sponsor an officer. 
  • Thank you, Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko, for the beautiful cloud themed eggs. Kathie always comes up with something creative.
Meeting Notes from February 28, 2023 2023-03-03 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from February 21, 2023

Meeting brought to order at 12:30pm by President, Mike Norcia.
Pledge of allegiance led by Erin Hartnett
Inspiration was provided by Doug Brent. In honor of Presidents’ Day, Doug shared some interesting presidential quotes.
  • Janet Russel
  • Molly Rhine, guest of Patti van der Burg
  • Priscilla Wong, guest of Jon Cowan
  • Charities forms are due in one week, on February 28, 2023. You can submit them electronically or to Mike Norcia directly.
  • We have an upcoming Service Project: Rise Against Hunger on April 8 from 7-10am and 10am-1pm at Saratoga High School. This is a joint project with other clubs in Area 8. Details on how to sign up will be sent out soon.
  • Red Cross Rotary Boot Camp on April 1 from 9am-1pm at Silicon Valley Chapter on N First St in San Jose. Use this registration link to sign up:
  • The Annual Police Officer’s Ball will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2023, from 6:30pm – 11:00pm at Testarossa. This is a Black-Tie optional, seated dinner and auction. Tickets are $150 each and you can also sponsor an officer. More information can be found using this link:
Thank you, Kathie and Randy, for the awesome Fat Tuesday hard-boiled eggs for St. Luke’s
Thank you to all the Club members who donated to support the post-earthquake recovery efforts in Turkey.
Molly from Peninsula Food Runners spoke about the work they do locally. She shared a video and thanked our Club for 6 years of financial support. They are looking for volunteers with vehicles that can help pick up and deliver the food. If you are interested, visit this website:
Meeting Notes from February 21, 2023 2023-02-27 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from February 14, 2023

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 
Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Mike Norcia
Pledge: Ron Cassel
Inspiration: Doug Brent, theme was staying open to possibilities and connection because we never know where they will lead.
Visiting Guests: Lisa introduced Laura Douglas and Martha Sterne. Ron Cassel introduced Andrew Dauber.
New Member: Paul Brennan. Paul Johnson presented Paul, the Assistant Principal of Fisher Middle School with his Red Badge.
Red Badge Duo Bio: Ane Troger and Fabio Giannetti.
Ane was born in Brazil, she spend lots of time on the longest beach in the world, Cassino. She loved to cook chocolate mousse with her grandmother. She always liked computers. She got her bachelors degree in computer science from Pelotas Catholic University and her PhD in Computer Science at Manchester University in the UK. Fabio was born in Spezia, Italy. He loved to play and program Z80 assembler, first computer was ZX Spectrum. He drove his first car, a Fiat 126, at the age of 12. He loved to cook with his granddad and maternal grandmother. He used to be an amateur motocross racer with his Malaguti Ronco 21. He has a degree in Accounting and his masters in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Genoa.
Fabio at the beginning of his career worked at HP Labs in Bristol, UK and was the first to work with HP Brazil in Porto. Ane came home to Porto from the UK for visits and they met at the airport. 
Ane started her career in academics in the UK, and has worked as a technical writer in the USA since 2013.She is currently working as a lead tech writer for Bayer.
Fabio started at HP and worked for major IT companies as both a technical contributor and a manager.  He is starting a new job in March as VP of Engineering and head of Infrastructure at Clover. 
They have two daughters, Stella, 14 and Katerina, 7. They love to travel, spend time at the beach and are all huge Star Wars fans.
Meeting Notes from February 14, 2023 2023-02-16 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from January 31, 2023

Meeting called to order at 12:30 by President Mike Norcia.
Greg Gentile led us in the pledge.
Inspiration was from Suzanne Boxer-Gassman who spoke about paying it forward. She reflected on Gordon Levin telling us about dinner guests at his house admiring his woodwork and his wife Judith gave them a couple pieces. Later the pieces were donated to an auction and our club received a $500 donation for them. She gave a couple other examples of paying it forward and reminded us all to pass kindness on to people we don’t know.
Visitors and Guests:
Lisa Cheskin introduced Martha Stern
New Members:
Beth Albers introduced by Mike Norcia
Sarah Tellez, Rhonda Beasley, and Misty Hartung all introduced by Paul Johnson
  • Thank you to Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for the Chinese New Year themed eggs.
  • Champion forms are due February 28. Forms are available on Club Runner or hard copies were available at the meeting. Please return completed forms to Mike. If you have a project you’re passionate about, submit a form for financial or volunteer help from the club. 
  • First Tuesday is next week February 7 5:30-7:30 at Ed Stahl’s business Travel Advisors, 56 N. Santa Cruz Ave. Thank you for hosting Ed. Please bring an appetizer and something to drink. Before the event, there will be a Sip & Shop at J. McLaughlin at 17 1/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave. Our club will receive 15% from all sales.
  • Rotary International convention is being held May 27-31 in Melbourne Australia. Anyone can attend, it will be a great experience to see what clubs all over the world are doing. Everyone should try to attend at least one international convention. 
  • Dick Konrad announced that the LG Beautification Committee is starting up again. The committee meets the first Saturday of the month at the LG Roasting Co. and goes out to clean parks/trails and other projects necessary to keep our community as nice as it is. They work with Parks & Public Works. The committee will be kicking off the new year at a member’s home on February 9 from 5:30-7. Contact Dick if you would like more information. 
Meeting Notes from January 31, 2023 2023-02-09 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Crabfest and Auction

All-You-Can-Eat CrabFest Fundraiser
But you can still bid on over 120 auction items even if you are not attending. Will deliver items to any Los Gatos address.


  • Los Gatos Rotary Charities Foundation
  • Provides grants for local and international non-profits
  • Fund the Need: Project RACHEL - Literacy for Kids in Guatemala
Food Served:
  • Crab, Crab, Crab, Crab
  • Soup (vegetarian), Salad, Bread
  • Pasta (vegetarian)
  • Dessert
Crabfest and Auction 2023-02-04 08:00:00Z 0

Crabfest and Auction

All-You-Can-Eat CrabFest Fundraiser
But you can still bid on over 120 auction items even if you are not attending. Will deliver items to any Los Gatos address.


  • Los Gatos Rotary Charities Foundation
  • Provides grants for local and international non-profits
  • Fund the Need: Project RACHEL - Literacy for Kids in Guatemala
Food Served:
  • Crab, Crab, Crab, Crab
  • Soup (vegetarian), Salad, Bread
  • Pasta (vegetarian)
  • Dessert

Crabfest and Auction 2023-02-04 08:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from January 24, 2023

Meeting brought to order at 12:30PM by President, Mike Norcia.
Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Ramon Ware.
Inspiration: Provided by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman and focused on how people deal with their little worries and problems. She gave the example of the CrabFest tickets selling out: Henry Vitkovich came up with the idea to start a waitlist. Thank you Henry!
Guests: Lisa Cheskin introduced Lauren Douglas.
Thank You: Mike Norcia thanked Josh from Shir Hadash for his help with our audio/visual needs at our weekly meetings.
Karen Rosenberg Cassel, wife of fellow Rotarian, Ron Cassel sadly passed away on January 19, 2023. Karen and Ron married in 1961. She was President of Inner Wheel for 2 years, Co-Chair of District Inner Wheel in 2005-2006 and was a trustee for USA Foundation that sponsored the Myoelectric Limb Foundation. Ron spoke to the group about their marriage and life together. A memorial service for Karen will be held Saturday February 11 at 11:00 a.m. at Saratoga Federated Church. The church is located near the corner of Highway 9 and Saratoga Ave. A lunch reception will follow the service.
Thank you to Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko again for the beautifully decorated eggs for St. Luke’s. The past two weeks were back-to-school and football themed.
Champion Forms submittal due date is February 28, 2023. The forms can be found electronically on ClubRunner and hard copies are available at our meetings.
We are still accepting donations for the Rotary Foundation. If you have any questions, please contact Marty Fishman.
Our Annual CrabFest is fast approaching. It is scheduled for Saturday, February 4, 2023. The tickets are sold out and a waitlist has been created. So far, we have brought in $62,000 of the expected $100,000. Members are encouraged to bid on the auction items and enjoy the wine and beer during the event to help us reach our goal. A big thank you to Jeff Blum for the promotional article he wrote for the Los Gatan newspaper!
Our February First Tuesday event will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at Travel Advisors (Ed Stahl’s business) 56 N. Santa Cruz Ave in downtown Los Gatos from 5:30PM – 7:30PM. Bring a beverage and favorite appetizer (not dessert) to share. And before you arrive, consider attending our fundraiser at J McLaughlin, 17 ½ N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos to support our Los Gatos Rotary Charities Foundation from 1:00PM – 5:30PM. 15% of sales will benefit the Foundation. 
The Annual Rotary International Convention will be held in Melbourne, Australia from May 27 – May 31, 2023. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience what Rotary does on a world-wide scale.
The Caldwell Cup and Mission 10K/5K race will take place this coming Saturday, January 28 in San Juan Bautista. There will be a challenge between the Rotary Clubs from Los Gatos, Hollister and Santa Cruz Sunrise. You can use the code: ROTARYLG23 for a $10 registration discount, Rotary Mission Ten - Half Marathon, 10 Mile and 5K ( 
Meeting Notes from January 24, 2023 2023-01-30 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from January 17, 2023

Mike Norcia brought the meeting to order at 12:30 and noted that we just celebrated our 99th birthday on Sunday. We were charted on January 15, 1924.
Suzanne gave the inspiration. She spoke about MLK who had a dream and took action to bring that dream to reality. Why do people join Rotary? Most join with the intention to make a difference in the world. And this is what she most appreciates about our club. We do want to make a difference. We are intentional about it.
Guests: Serenity Polizzi from the Los Gatan newspaper, and Beth Albers, incoming new member.
Red badge presentations:
Mary Lon Hart (principal at Fisher) and Clare Vickers (English teacher) - both sponsored by Paul Johnson, and presented by Dan Snyder.
Marie Rector (college counselor) - sponsored by John Colwell and Tina Orsi Hartigan
Tina Orsi Hartigan is asking for bags for St Lukes. If you have thick plastic grocery bags or paper bags with handles in good condition, bring them to a meeting. St Lukes uses them when handing out food to the homeless.

Rotary Foundation Drive - Marty Fishman says we raised $47,000 last year but we are only up to $35,500 so far this year. We can do more! If you haven’t yet participated, please do!
Centennial Committee. 2024 will be our 100th year!!!!!!! We want to do something amazing to commemorate. Would you like to join? Contact Mike, Nicholas, or Meghan.
Coming up: Our next First Tuesday is a mingle at Ed’s Travel Advisors of Los Gatos in conjunction with a fundraising sip and shop across the street at McLaughlin. Mark Feb 7 on your calendar for that.

Crabfest update! 

It’s coming 2/4/23 and it’s almost sold out! (Update, this event is SOLD OUT)
Only 8 tickets to go, as of this writing! If you haven’t acted yet, do so now. Click here to get your tickets!
Send Suzanne an email if you have a table of 8-10 and you want to sit together. 
You can bid on auction items now! Click here
We will do a sneak peak of items at the Jan 31 meeting and you will get a chance to bid then too.
Meeting Notes from January 17, 2023 2023-01-20 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from December 20, 2022

President Mike Norcia called the meeting to order at 12:30 and welcomed us to the last meeting of 2022.
Greg Gentile led us in the pledge.
Judy Rodriguez’s inspiration continued her theme for the month of reflection. She told us how our club used to adopt a family and would bring them everything they would need for a happy holiday. She read the story of the Christmas Angel from Michigan. A man named Jack Rose had an extra Christmas tree from his business and he wanted to give it to a deserving family. The response to his ad was overwhelming so he went and bought 40 trees to give away. When other people heard the story they donated too, so the trees had ornaments and there would gifts too. This story made her reflect on what our club had done in the past.
  • Doug Carlen introduced by Meghan Burton
  • Samm Gilbert introduced by Emi Eto
  • Brian Rhea introduced by Rachelle Lopp
  • Ivor Barber introduced by Kirsten Bridges
  • Michelle Strachan introduced by Paul Johnson
  • Lydia Rosen guest of Hal Rosen
  • Anna Maria Valenzuela introduced by Ramon Ware
  • Sergio Michel introduced by Ramon Ware
Mike thanked the staff from Shir Hadash that is such a help to us every week. A big thank you to Diego Mendoza, Javier Rodriguez, and Josh Bernstein.
First Tuesday for 2023 will be January 3 at the Galli Tasting room from 5:30-7:30.
  • Marty Fishman 16th
  • Greg Gentile 1 th
  • AnnMarie Valle 17th
  • Rachelle Lopp 18th
  • Adam Mayer 21st
  • Judy Rodriguez 21st
  • Wes Sadumiano 24th
  • Irene Carrion-Upson 25th
  • Colin Duerson 29th
Meeting Notes from December 20, 2022 2022-12-22 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from December 13, 2022

Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Mike Norcia
Pledge: Hal Rosen
Inspiration: Judy Rodriguez. It will be our rotary Club’s 100th anniversary. Judy paid tribute to Ray Cobb by reading his reflection about Rotary, This I Believe.
Visiting Guests: Jill Duerig, Judy Wilson, Lydia Rosen, Laura Douglas, District Governor, Savita Vaidhyanathan, and Dessy Bonev.
New Members: Patti introduced new member Nicolette Rodman Kelly, who received her red badge. Marlon presented a badge for new member John Walker, who was absent.
Christmas Parade was a success: Thank you to all who walked and especially to John Pencer for providing his car and Erin Hartnett who wore the crab costume. 
President’s Brunch Thank you to Henry Vitkovich for a wonderful event.
December Happy Hour: Thank you to John and Devonne Pencer for hosting at their beautiful home.

Service Projects: 

Spread the Warmth. District-wide effort. They received lots of donations and most have been given out. We are still able to donate next week, December 20, and they are collecting coats, towels and blankets.
House of Hope: Needs help on Friday, December 16 at 8am for a 60-90 minute shift setting up tables for the food giveaway to the underserved in our community. They will meet at the gym at Calvary Church. You can sign up to help at Setup Team Christmas: Set up for Christmas Event (
Club Rosters: If you have not picked up a club roster they are available at the check in table at the Tuesday meetings. 
Nominating Committee: Suzanne Boxer Gassman. 
Proposed Slate of Officers and Other elected Positions for the Rotary Board of Trustees, 2023-2024
President Elect: Doug Brent
Immediate Past President: Mike Norcia
Vice President: Rachelle Lopp
Secretary: David Hubbard
Assistant Secretary: Terri Trotter
Assistant Treasurer: Jeffrey Barnett
Director: Ramon Ware
Director: Jean-Marc Blanchard
Sergeant-at-Arms: Gregg Butterfield
Investment Committee: Rob Chaykin
Scholarship Committee: Karen Anderson
Meeting Notes from December 13, 2022 2022-12-16 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from November 29, 2022

Meeting brought to order at 12:30 by President Mike Norcia.
Pledge of Allegiance led by the visiting guests from the US Marines Corps.
Inspiration was provided by Jean-Marc Blanchard and focused on being selfless. 
  • Beth Albers, introduced by Mike Norcia.
  • Jaya Basu
  • John Walker, guest of Marlon Smith
  • Monique Blanchard, wife and guest of Jean-Marc Blanchard
  • Two members of the US Marine Corps
Visiting Rotarians: Julia Anderson, Red Badge member from the Los Gatos Morning Rotary
Blue Badge: Jean –Marc Blanchard received his Blue Badge from Marty Fishman. Welcome Jean-Marc!
Rotarian Birthdays for the month of November: Henry Vitkovich, Sue Heller, Ensy Afdari, Suzanne Boxer-Gassman, Stefka Bonev, Russell Couch, Nava Fathi, Avis La Grone, Anjana Bose, Greg Smith, Ileana Aguilar, LeRoy Neider, Thomas Rossmeissl and Terri Trotter. Happy Birthday Rotarians!
Rotarian Anniversaries: John Colwell (57 years), Russell Couch ( 3 years), Greg Smith (9 years), Ed Stahl (56 years), Neal Mudgett (7 years), Hal Rosen (6 years), Gordon Levin (8 years), Margaret Smith (7 years), Tina Orsi-Hartigan (21 years) and David Hubbard (4 years).


An ad was placed in the Los Gatos Weekly to publicize our Club. It contained a QR code for folks to scan if they are interested in learning more about us.
Our annual President’s Brunch will be held this coming Sunday, December 4 at 10:00am at the Cinnabar Golf Clubhouse. Henry Vitkovich spoke about the event and reminded us that we will be collecting toys for Toys for Tots. Two Marines also spoke about the Toys for Tots Program, its history and about how the toys are collected and distributed.  Anyone interested in volunteering to help the Marines distribute the toys at the San Jose Christmas in the Park can sign up on their website at:
The Los Gatos Christmas Parade this Saturday, 12/3 at 11:00am. We need walkers and a volunteer to be the crab. Contact Mike Norcia if you are interested.
Our December First Tuesday event will be held on Tuesday, December 6 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at John Pencer’s home, 1705 Husted Drive, San Jose, 95124. Please bring a drink or an appetizer to share. Dessert will be provided.
Club Roster hard copies are now available. You can pick one up at our weekly Tuesday meetings.
Spread the Warmth is a District wide effort in conjunction with Pacific Clinics. Please bring new or gently used blankets, coats and jackets to any meeting through December 20.
Meeting Notes from November 29, 2022 2022-12-06 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from November 15, 2022

Meeting called to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30
The pledge was led by Grant H. and Jack H.
Inspiration by Jean-Marc Blanchard who started with his appreciation for the town of LG who complimented his parking with a note on his car, Parking Fine. He shared the story of Steve Samples who, in 1968, was attacked by 6-8 sharks off the coast of Florida. He survived but required over 2,000 stiches. His friends gave him the name “Shark Bait”. One thing that got him through his painful recovery was an autographed baseball that was his prized possession. Later he heard the story of Elyjah Blankenberg, who collected autographed baseball cards. Elyjah was very shy and asking for the autographs was the one time he could come out of his shell. He lost his collection and was devastated. Steve heard about this and sent him his treasured baseball. Would you, could you give up your prized possession to a stranger?


  • Erin Hartnett introduced Shannon Markle
  • Tonya McQuade introduced her husband Mike and her parents Dotty and Doug Graham
  • Paul Johnson introduced Terese McNamee, Paul Brennan, and Misty Hartung
  • Andrew H. sons Grant 4th grade and Jack 2nd grade introduced themselves
  • John Walker returning guest
  • Lydia Rosen wife of Hal
  • Jean-Marc Blanchard introduced his wife Monique, visiting us for the second time
  • Tina Orsi-Hartigan introduced Marie Rector visiting us again. Marie said she will join by the end of the year.


  • Barbara Fishman told us Santa Maria is resuming their clothes closet and they are looking for donations. Clothing can be dropped off at Marty’s office 431 Monterey Av. Ste 3 in LG. Thank you for your support.

  • Jean-Marc thanked everyone for their support of the Fall Fundraiser. We raised $3,487 for Lighting for Literacy. He also thanked Tina for being on the front line helping him.

  • Mike thanked John-Marc for taking on the FF as a red badge. He had asked how he could help and Mike asked if he could chair it, the rest is history.
Meeting Notes from November 15, 2022 2022-11-22 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from November 8, 2022

Meeting was called to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30. Mike mentioned it is election day and he appreciates how we come together as a club with different beliefs but all work together for the good of the community. 
Pledge led by Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko (thank you for the clever election themed eggs for St. Luke’s)
Inspiration from Jean-Marc Blanchard. Jean-Marc will be providing the inspiration in November, the month of Thanksgiving, with an emphasis on giving.  He started the month by sharing a story of Mrs. Tilan RAN in China who jumped into the road when she saw a 2-year-old boy was about to be hit by a truck. They were both hit, but survived. Even though she lost her arm as a result of the accident she said she was lucky to have been there to save his life. She believed that it was worth exchanging her arm for a life.
on Saturday, Nov. 12. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at the Cineluxe in Campbell. 2 shows at 4:45 and 7:15. The early bird pricing will continue which is $40 for the matinee and $45 for the evening show. There is a link on the website. If you are unable to attend but still want to support it you can purchase tickets that will be donated. The fundraiser benefits Lighting for Literacy. 

Visitors and Guests:

  • Mike introduced his neighbor Beth Albers. 
  • Marlon Smith introduced John Walker who is visiting us again.
  • Paul Johnson introduced the following guests from the school district
    • Clare Vicker
    • Thomas Lettier
    •  Rhonda Beasley
    • Matt Mullikin
    • Amy Liang
  • Jean-Marc introduced his wife Tong “Monique” Guo who has just arrived from China. They haven’t seen each other in 2 years and 4 months.
  • Randy introduced his brother Brad. Brad has had a very interesting life including being a state champion cyclist when he was at UCSB and living in England after completing his post doc. Randy spoke about coming to the meetings when their dad was president and how he was so proud to introduce his sons. Just as his father did, Randy donated $50 in honor of Brad’s visit. Rotary has been a big part of the Cobb family. Randy and Brad’s mom, who was a member of the Inner Wheel and very involved in the early Great Race, is in hospice now. Our thoughts are with the Cobb family.
Meeting Notes from November 8, 2022 2022-11-14 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Wakanda Forever Movie Night Fundraiser

Have a fun night out and raise money for Lighting for Literacy! Join us Saturday, November 12 to see Wakanda Forever, the much anticipated sequel to The Black Panther on its opening weekend. Los Gatos Rotary bought out two shows at Cinelux Plaza in Campbell - one at 4:45 and one at 7:15. You can choose matinee or evening. Tickets are $40 before Nov 8 and $45 after. Buy them here. See you there.
Wakanda Forever Movie Night Fundraiser Lopp 2022-10-31 07:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from October 25, 2022

Meeting called to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30
Pledge led by Kirsten Bridges
Inspiration by Erika Buck from The Extraordinary Book of Useless Information. In honor of Halloween, from the chapter Mummy Dearest, she shared the story of Japanese monks who practiced Sokunshinbutsu, this involved starving themselves until they died and their bodies were naturally preserved. Happy Halloween! 


  • Paul Johnson introduced Mary Lonhart, Principal R.J. Fisher MS
  • Ron Cassel introduced Rob Stump, EVP Corporate Learning
  • Marlon Smith introduced John Walker, retired, here for his second visit
  • Theresa Bricker, Ros Edmonds and Avi Luthra from Art Docents
  • Avis La Grone introduced Kate Cowan GS of Northern CA and
  • Joan Bertolotti from St. Luke’s 
Barbara Fishman presented Bobbi Bornstein with her Blue Badge.
Tina Orsi-Hartigan presented Skip and Donna Brewster with their Red Badges.

Rotarians celebrating birthdays:

  • Steve Rice Oct.3
  • Mike Norcia Oct. 4
  • Ed Stahl Oct. 6
  • Skip Brewster Oct. 11
  • Barbara Fishman Oct. 13
  • Paul Yeadon Oct. 18
  • Doug Brent Oct. 21
  • Dick Konrad Oct. 24
  • Myron Smith Oct. 24
  • Gregg Butterfield Oct. 25
  • Tina Orsi-Hartigan Oct. 27
  • Jack Chevlen Oct. 29
  • Julian Rodriguez Oct. 29
  • Charles Goss Oct. 31

Rotarian Club Anniversaries:

  • Chris Trapani 22 years
  • Mike Norcia 20 years
  • Andrea Lee 11 years
  • Wes Sadumiano 10 years
  • Patti van der Burg 8 years
  • Marty Fishman 6 years
  • Dick Konrad 6 years
  • Doug Brent 4 years
Congratulations everyone, thank you for all you do for our club and community.
Meeting Notes from October 25, 2022 2022-10-28 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 18, 2022

Meeting was called to order at 12:30 by President Mike Norcia.
Pledge was led by Nicholas Welzenbach 
Inspiration was from Ericka Buck who shared a chapter from the book, It’s Not Rocket Science, titled A Germ of an Idea. She shared several fun facts about germs including Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses that attack bacteria. Phages were used to treat bacterial infection before antibiotics, they are still sprayed on ready to eat meat to kill Listeria. She closed by wishing us a happy lunch time.
  • Paul Johnson introduced his guests:
  • His wife, Debbie 
  • From the District 
  • Rhonda Beasley
  • Misty Hartung
  • Thomas Lettiere
  • Michell Strachan
  • Lisa Reynolds
  • Amy Liang
  • Jason Deppong
  • Laurel Prevetti from the Town of LG
  • Marlon Smith introduced John Walker
  • Tina Orsi-Hartigan introduced Marie Rector
  • Hal Rosen introduced his wife, Lydia


  • Jeffrey Blum presented Tom Picraux with his Red Badge, welcome Tom.
  • Jon Cowan was presented with his Blue Badge. Congratulations Jon.
  • Mike N. gave a shout out to Gregg Butterfield. Nothing was working when he arrived and Gregg got all our electronic systems working. Thanks Gregg. 
  • Avenues of Service was held at Mission College this past weekend. We had 5 people attend. This is always a good event to see what projects the other clubs in our area are involved with.
  • Presidents Brunch is December 4 from 10-1 at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club. Sign up online. Cost is $60 per person. This is always a fun event; you won’t want to miss it. Sign up is in Mike’s email.
  • Fall Fundraiser is November 12 sometime around 7:30. The movie is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at the Cinelux Theaters in Campbell. Price is TBD. This event is supporting Lighting for Literacy.
  • We have been invited to the monthly social with Morning Rotary on October 19 from 6-7 p.m. at the Galli Winery Tasting Room. We have started to do more projects with the morning club, this will be an opportunity to get to know them better. RSVP to Ginger at so they can make sure they have enough appetizers. 
  • Randy Cobb fell and broke his wrist. He is home now. Please keep Randy in your thoughts. We hope you heal quickly Randy, looking forward to having you back with us soon.
Meeting Notes from October 18, 2022 2022-10-20 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 11, 2022

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Mike Norcia
Pledge: The Smith Brothers
Inspiration: John Pencer.  The theme was persistence and perseverance. Some sayings:
Redirection usually leads to something better. Failing 19 times leads to success on the 20th try. Coming up with a win out of what seems certain failure.
Visiting Guests: Paul Johnson introduced Sarah Tellez, Assistant Superintendent of the Los Gatos Elementary District, Matt Mullikin, IT Systems Manager for the District, Jenna Mittleman, Principal at Daves Avenue, Rick Rauscher, Principal at Van Meter, and Paul Brennan, Assistant Principal at Fisher. Larry Jinks introduced his cousin Frederike Kieboom, who is visiting from Europe.
Jean- Marc Blanchard: shared the Rotary banner he received while visiting a rotary meeting in Athens, Greece. He also showed us the beautiful plate he received from the meeting,
Goodbye to Maddie Smith: this is Maddie’s last meeting. She will be moving to Colorado. She has been a very productive member of our club and she will be missed.
President’s Brunch: Henry shared that the brunch will be held on Sunday, December 4 from 10am-1pm at Cinnebar Golf Clubhouse. The cost is $60 per guest. There will be brunch, champagne, entertainment and prizes.
Fall Fundraiser: Jean-Marc shared that the fundraiser will be held on November 12 at 7:30ish pm. At the Cineluxe Theatres in Campbell. The movie will be Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the money will support Lighting for Literacy. Price to be decided.
Avenue of Service: Saturday, Oct. 15 from 9:00am-2:30pm at Mission College in Santa Clara. Highly recommend this to see local and global projects. All members are welcome.
Girl Scouts Service Day: 10am-2pm at Hidden Falls in Soquel. This will be a camp work party. Questions, contact Avis at 408-838-2577.
Meeting Notes from October 11, 2022 2022-10-18 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from September 27, 2022

*image from MetroED's FB Page.
The meeting was called to order by Michelle Myers Nelson for President Mike Norcia who is still home with Covid. We hope you feel better soon Mike. The meeting was held at Metro ED.
The Pledge was led by Doug Brent.
Inspiration was from Suzanne Boxer-Gassman.  She wished a Happy New Year to everyone celebrating. In honor of Rosh Hashanah Suzanne spoke about new beginnings. Whatever the new beginning is, it reminds her of a fresh layer of new snow, without any footprints. All new beginnings are a time for new opportunities and new chances to be kind. 
Jean-Marc Blanchard brought a flag from a Rotary meeting he attended in Berlin. He said the club has been working with refugees a lot recently. This was his last requirement for his red badge. Congratulations Jean-Marc. 


  • Oct. 15 Avenues of Service will be held at Mission College from 9:30-2:00. There is a link to register on the district website. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Rotary and our district in particular.
  • Oct. 22 Rebuilding Together this a chance to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.
  • Sept. 30 we will be working with Second Harvest Foodbank at St. Lucy’s church.
  • Crabfest will be Feb. 4, in person! Lisa Cheskin has taken over the auction from Patti van der Burg. She thanked everyone who is helping her on the committee. She also thanked everyone who has made a donation so far. She invited everyone to help. Please let her know if you know of anyone who has anything to donate. She would like you to speak to her first so there are no duplications with gifts the committee is working on.
Meeting Notes from September 27, 2022 2022-09-30 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from September 20, 2022

Michelle Myers Nelson led the meeting, filling in for Mike Norcia who is home with Covid. 
Paul Johnson led the pledge of allegiance. David Hubbard gave the inspiration by celebrating the rain we enjoyed over the weekend. He spoke of his son’s joy experiencing the rain, the most we’ve had since January, and he shared a poem.
We have sad news. Tom Dodge’s son passed away. Our hearts go out to him and we held a moment of silence.
Judy Rodriguez introduced her visitor/daughter, Stacy Koelbel.
John Cowan stood up and gave his red badge bio. He grew up in Culver City CA and the Portland OR area, went to college at Bowdoin in Maine and then got his MBA at UCLA and a second masters at Berkeley. He works at El Camino Hospital as a director of community and government relations. He has a passion for non-profit healthcare. Three years ago, just before Covid, he married Shelly, an MD specializing in helping people with long-term workers comp injuries. He is passionate about CORO, a foundation designed to expose people across different sectors of the economy. To him, it signals community and how we can all intersect to solve problems. John also loves to travel and he does improv! He joined Rotary because he read a book, Bowling Alone by Robert Putman. He is happy to find a place where wonderful, committed people gather.
There is no meeting at Shir Hadash next week due to Yom Kippur. Instead, we will meet at MetroEd. Please RSVP when you see the email and order your sack lunch. MetroED is both an adult ed program and a high school technical and career training program that serves 6 high school districts across South Bay. There, we will have our regular meeting, enjoy lunch, and then get a tour of the facility.
Meeting Notes from September 20, 2022 2022-09-23 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from September 13, 2022

Meeting was called to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30
Inspiration was from John Pencer who gave us the literal recipe for making lemonade out of lemons, he also gave us a figurative recipe. He had car troubles in Tahoe last week. Long story short, he had to have the car towed back to Campbell but during his ride with the driver, he learned a lot about towing cars, stayed a night in his own home and made it back to Tahoe by 9:15 the next morning. It all worked out and the family enjoyed the rest of their week together.
Henry Vitkovich introduced his wife, Mary Jane.
Tina Orsi-Hartigan introduced Leigh-Ann Marcellin.
Sue Heller introduced Jan Sirkin here for a second visit.
New member:
Barry Cheskin introduced our newest member, Adam Mayer. Adam is an architect and Los Gatos native who has recently relocated back to the area after being in SF for 10 years. He has opened his own practice in San Jose. Welcome Adam.
Rotarians on the Town:
  • There were at least 40 guests at the First Tuesday held at the Norcia’s last week. Mike was unsure what the turnout would be due to the heat. Judy Rodriguez and Jan Norcia served up some delicious margaritas which seemed to help cool everyone off. Mike N. thanked Mike and Elizabeth Frangadakis for celebrating their 41st anniversary with the group.
  • September 27 we will not be meeting at Shir Hadash instead we will be meeting at the Metro Ed building. Mike asked for a show of hands to get a preliminary number, invitations will be going out later. This will be a regular meeting with lunch being provided. We will then tour the facility.
Volunteer Service:
  • September 30 we will be volunteering with Second Harvest Food Bank at St. Lucy’s Church on Camden Ave beginning at 8:30 in the morning. You can sign up online. Rachelle Lopp told us there are 3 spots left. Questions? Ask Rachelle
  • October 22 Rebuilding Together Sign up online by September 25. Ask Kirsten Bridges if you have any questions.
Meeting Notes from September 13, 2022 2022-09-15 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale
Rebuild Together SV October 22 Suzanne Boxer-Gassman 2022-09-13 07:00:00Z 0

Sign Up For "Rebuilding" 10/22/22

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Sign Up For "Rebuilding" 10/22/22 Suzanne Boxer-Gassman 2022-09-13 07:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from August 30, 2022

Meeting was called to order by President Mike Norcia at 12:30.
The meeting started with piano and singing of the Star Bangled Banner. On piano was Stella Giannetti, daughter of new members Ane and Fabio. She is an 8th grader at Union Middle School. Singing for us was by Franceille de Barros who is currently taking a masters course at SF Conservatory of Music. 
Inspiration was provided by Andrew Howard - he spoke about the cleanup of the Los Gatos Creek. They had a great turnout and even had a wheelbarrow removed.  His quote was from Laura Wilder of Little House on the Prairie - if you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.


  • Mike Norcia introduced his son Nick - he is going to be attending his last year at Cal Poly
  • Andrew Howard introduced Ryan and noted he came by skateboard and has a ceramic coating business in LG
  • Michelle introduced her neighbor Niki Niklowitz
  • New member red badge presented to Matthew Hudes by Dick Conrad.  Matthew is a town council member and encouraged anyone to reach out to him if they have issues regarding LG.
  • Tina and Andrew were congratulated for a great job on the BBQ


  • The West Valley Community Services sends a big thank you - they were able to provide 400 kids with supplies and it was one of their biggest projects yet.
  • Sept 27th - off site meeting at the Metro ED from 12-1:30
  • 9/11 Ceremony -Veterans Memorial in LG from 4:30-7pm
  • Sept 10th - Environmental Summit sponsored by Rotary Action – SC County Board of Supervisors chambers 70 W. Hedding St. San Jose from 8-1pm. Register at
  • Sept 10th - Health Council Event - Stop the Stigma at LGHS from 10-4pm
  • First Tuesday at Mike Norcia's house - Sept 6th with guest bartenders and a specialty cocktail from 5:30-7:30
  • Oct 22nd - Rebuilding Silicon Valley
Meeting Notes from August 30, 2022 2022-08-31 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from August 16, 2022

The meeting was called to order by President Mike Norcia.
The pledge was led by Ron Cassel.
Inspiration was from Andrew Howard. Andrew told us about a friend from Adventure Guides who woke up every morning and said “Ten fingers, ten toes” it is his way of starting each day with gratitude. He was diagnosed with a serious form of brain cancer but after his treatment he is now out traveling with his family and living his life. Andrew believes his feelings of gratitude helped him in his recovery. He ended with a quote from Zig Ziglar “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”


  • Jeffrey Blum introduced Mike Norcia’s guests Stew and Donna Brewster. Stew and Donna have recently moved to Los Gatos. Stew was a member of the SF Rotary.
  • Regina Reilly from Bay Area Housing Corporation
  • Nicolette Kelly guest of Patti van der Burg
  • Stephanie Figeira guest of Patti
  • John and Carolyn McCleve guests of Don McCleve
  • Todd and Jennifer McCleve guests of Don
  • Max Testa from Boy Scouts guest of Emi Eto

Service recap:

Gae La Torre reported that backpack assembly at Pacific Clinic was a big success.
Mike Norcia said athlete screening with the Kyle Taylor Foundation was an amazing. They still need help reading the scans. Please let him know if you can help. There will be another screening for Spring sports.
Meeting Notes from August 16, 2022 2022-08-25 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from August 9, 2022

This meeting was brought to order by President Mike Norcia at 12.30 pm, Tuesday.

Pledge of Allegiance

Led by Scout Troop 2 Andrew Haas.


Given by Andrew Howard who was very grateful for his trip with his 4 kids to the Sierra Camp. He explained the time in nature away from technology, 6 miles hike brought him soul filling joy and got him very inspired. 


Barbara and Terry.

Guests at the meeting

  • Jaya Basu guest of Lisa, former Rotarian.
  • Aanka Riddle guest of Art and Linda Lester.
  • Kevin Haas Scout Master guest of Jean Moore.
  • Andrew Haas Scout.
  • Anna Marie Crew 2 Advisor guest of Emi Eto.
  • Alex Volker Crew 2 Youth.
  • Gladie Rabitz wife of Art Rabitz.
  • Moira Sullen.
  • Lyn and Laurie Daughters of Gae La Torre.

Troop 2 Scout Andrew Haas’ Presentation

The Boys Scouts Troop 2 was the oldest in Santa Clara and was established In April 1918. The Rotary Club of Los Gatos has supported them since 1924 and built the building Boy Scout Hut in 1948.
They currently have 53 scouts and 5 adult mentors, with their community service including:
  • Four youth park cleanups.
  • Two Los Gatos trail cleanups.
  • Flag hoisting at the 4th of July celebration.
  • Participation in the Rotary sponsored Great Race.
Their Leadership Program has several positions which are elected every 6 months.
Alex Voelker former Crew President Youth also talked about the youth activities with boys and girls. 
They meet on Mondays at 7 pm for activities like camping, rain or shine, adventures in Death Valley State Park. Coyote Creek and a backpacking trip to Washington.
They look to incorporate life skills in the great outdoors, all while making new friends. They are looking forward to activities next month like rock-climbing and deep-sea fishing.
Mike congratulated the participants who volunteered their time at the West Valley Community Back to School Shopping.  He also congratulated participants of the Jewish Family Services Backpack project. We had two successful service projects.
Meeting Notes from August 9, 2022 2022-08-15 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 26, 2022

Mike Norcia called the meeting to order.
John Pencer gave the inspiration, reminding us of the importance of simple kindness over worldly success.
Sesh Ramaswami, Assistant Governor from District 5170
Joe Aubers
RYLA students: Angela, Hana, and Aki 
New member introduction:
Mike Frangadakis introduced Fabio Gianetti, just back from vacation to his homeland, Italy, and presented him with a red badge. Welcome Fabio!
Next week is First Tuesday!  Aug 2 5:30-7:30 at Gordon and Judy Levin’s home. Bring an appetizer and a favorite drink.
The annual Club BBQ is Aug 23 at 5pm at Oak Meadow Park. Bring guests and prospective members.
Don McCleave is moving to Bellingham. We passed around a card to wish him well.
Service Projects:
JFS Backpack Drive service project is full. Thank you!
Pacific Clinics backpack drive on Aug 10 still needs volunteers. You get to stuff backpacks for kids in need. No need to bring anything. Contact Gae LaTorre to sign up.
West Valley Community Services Back to School shopping activity on Aug 6 still needs volunteers. You are given a gift card and you get to take a child shopping at Old Navy at Westgate Mall. Sign up here 
Anjana Bose presented about RYLA.
RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Award and is an annual leadership camp for high school students where they learn about leadership and team building.
RYLA happened in June in Mission Springs in Scotts Valley. It’s a district wide event and students from all over the bay area come. We sponsored 3 students. This year it was smaller and all outdoors but very successful. 
Angela, Aki, and Hana, high school student participants, talked to us about their experiences this year. They spoke of the new friends they made and new skills they developed. 
Kirsten Bridges presented thank you gifts to the CatTale committee: those who take notes, Ron Cassell who takes pictures, and AnnMarie Valle who assembles and posts the newsletter. 
Meeting Notes from July 26, 2022 2022-07-29 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 19, 2022

Meeting brought to order at 12:30pm by President, Mike Norcia.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jean-Marc Blanchard.
Mike thanked Gregg Butterfield for the new audio-visual set up for the meetings. 
Our Inspiration was provided by John Pencer. John talked about using creativity and support to get yourself out of a tough spot.
Guests: Jan Sirkin, guest of Sue Heller and Adam Mayer, guest of Barry and Lisa Cheskin. 
Visiting Rotarians: Mary Pacifico Curtis and her husband Michael Miller from the San Jose Club.


New Member, Ileana Aguilar was introduced and given her Red Badge by Gae La Torre.
Gae La Torre presented a certificate of appreciation to Meghan Burton for her service to the Club.
Jeffrey Barnett spoke about the opportunity for members to attend the Rotary Leadership Academy Training. Training covers a wide breath of topics, ranging from local to international Rotary subjects.
Our next First Tuesday event will take place on August 2 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the home of Gordon and Judy Levin. Please bring an appetizer and beverage of choice to share.
The Town of Los Gatos has moved up the date of the Los Gatos Promenade from Thursday, August 4 to Thursday, July 28. We need volunteers to man our Rotary tent on July 28. Please see Rachelle Lopp if you can help out.
A celebration of life for Lloyd Grant will take place on Saturday, July 23 at 2:00pm at the First Methodist Church in Los Gatos. 
Service Projects
Jewish Family Services Backpack Drive: See the board in the Shir Hadash lobby to select items to purchase for students returning to school in the fall. Please bring the items to our meeting on July 26. The backpack stuffing will take place on July 31 from 1:15pm – 3:30pm at the Los Gatos Jewish Community Center. If you cannot attend our meeting on July 26, please contact Kirsten Bridges and she will pick up your items.
Pacific Clinics Backpack Drive: Backpack stuffing will take place on Wednesday, August 10 from 1:30pm -4:00pm at the Pacific Clinics Gym, 499 Loma Alta Avenue, Los Gatos, 95030. You do not need to bring any items, just show up and help stuff the backpacks. Please contact Gae La Torre if you’re interested.
West Valley Community Services Back to School Shopping: Do back to school shopping with a child on August 6 at the Old Navy store at Westgate Shopping Center. Please contact Suzanne Boxer-Gassman if you are interested. 
Community Profile
Our Annual Club BBQ will take place on Tuesday, August 23 at Oak Meadow Park. Andrew Stearns and Tina Orsi-Hartigan shared some details about the event and some of the event’s history. 
Please contact Tina if you are able to help out on the BBQ Committee. They need folks to set up, clean up, set out food, etc.…
Meeting Notes from July 19, 2022 2022-07-26 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 12, 2022

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by new President Mike Norcia, to kick off our 99th year.
Pledge: John Colwell
Inspiration: John Pencer.  The theme was teamwork. He told a story about a manager in a high tech company who brought her team together for a team building exercise. They were all given balloons to write their names on, and then the balloons were put in a room surrounded by 700 other balloons. Each person was tasked with finding his or her own balloon within a certain amount of time. Nobody found his or her balloon. Then the team was asked to go in and find any balloon with a name on it, within the time limit all of the balloons were found.  The collective result is far greater than the sum of the parts. This is what makes Rotary strong: team work. 
Visiting Guests: Lydia Norcia introduced Tom Picraux.
July 4th: Beer and Wine Garden event at Oak Meadow Park, “First Tuesday” was a big success and we had a great turn out.
Promenade Thursdays: We have a Rotary booth in front of Ed Stahl’s travel agency. Come by the booth and visit over the next few Thursdays.
Roast and Toast: Great turn out and we watched a wonderful video of the event put together by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman. 
Mike called Nicholas up and presented him with a new past president’s badge.


JFS Backpack Drive: Kirsten Bridges talked about the Jewish Family Services Backpack Drive. We are collecting school supplies, gift cards and donations for the next two weeks for refugee families. You can also go to SighUpGenius and choose a request, go to Target Registry and shop, buy and deliver to JFS, mail a check to JFS, or pick a tag from the JFS website and shop. Tags will be available at the July 19 meeting. On July 31 the backpacks will be put together at the JCC, if you are interested in helping contact Kirsten.
West Valley Community Services Backpack Drive: On August 6 at Westgate Mall by Old Navy, people can sign up to help shop with a child to fill a backpack with school supplies. For more information contact Suzanne Boxer-Gassman.

2021-2022 Awards: Ron Cassel and Gae LaTorre presented plaques of appreciation and special awards for outstanding service to: Jeffrey Barnett, Randy Cobb, Dick Konrad and Tonya McQuade.
Meeting Notes from July 12, 2022 2022-07-22 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale
We welcomed 17 New Members 2021-2022 Suzanne 2022-07-09 07:00:00Z 0
The Year We Came Back Live Suzanne Boxer-Gassman 2022-07-09 07:00:00Z 0

Roast and Toast Notes from June 28, 2022

The 2022 Roast and Toast was called to order by Past President Andrew Stearns. 
Pledge led by President Elect Mike Norcia. 
We held a moment of silence for Rotarians we lost this year: Richard (Dick) Irion, Leonard
(Len) Smith, Tom O’Donnell, and Lloyd Grant.
Inspiration by John Pencer who shared a story from Earl Nightingale called Acres of Diamonds. The moral of the story was sometimes we go looking for treasures in our life, and they are right in front of us all the time. In his life, Rotary is a treasure and he is so glad to be a part of our club. I think we all agree with you John, thank you for the story.
The program started with a look back on the year in a video by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman. We always enjoy the videos Suzanne puts together reminding us of all we accomplished and how much fun we had during the past year. It seems we especially enjoyed meeting in person again as well as our new meeting location. 
Ron Cassel and Gae La Torre presented member awards.  We had several members who were not able to attend, their awards will be presented at future lunch meetings. 
Certificate of Appreciation:
Kirsten Bridges, Rachelle Lopp
Plaque of Appreciation:
Grady Jeter
Michelle Myers Nelson
Elite (Special Award) Plaque:
John Pencer
Rotarian of the Year:
Suzanne Boxer Gassman
Roast and Toast Notes from June 28, 2022 2022-07-01 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Roast & Toast,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from June 21, 2022

Meeting called to order at 12:30 by President Nicholas Welzenbach.
Flag salute led by Boy Scout Troop 2.
Inspiration by Doug Brent. Doug talked about how we often don’t know the impact we have on our community. He shared a story about having dinner at the Palms when his server said hello Doug, I was a Rotary scholarship recipient. He was so impressed she remembered him, by name, after just meeting with him for few minutes and seeing him at the awards ceremony. She told him how much the award meant to her. He also read a letter of thanks he received from a parent who had two children who had been touched by our Rotary club. One, an exchange student, had been selected for ELC. The other, had received a scholarship. Thank you, Doug, for sharing these stories with us.  


Kathleen Grom from Pleasantville, NY (past president) Kathleen is out here visiting her two sons.
Jan Nordmo, introduced by Dick Konrad, Santa Clara Rotary and Troop 2
Ann Marie Kirkham, also introduced by Dick, Troop 2
Kevin Haas Troop 2
Andrew Haas Troop 2
Nick Huang Troop 2
Ileana Aguilar, introduced by Gae La Torre. Ileena is in the process of applying for membership.
Eric Drew, introduced by Gae
Song of the day Thank You by Sly and the Family Stone. The playlist of suggested songs will remain on Spotify if you want to go back and relive the year. 
Thank you to Kathie Benko and Randy Cobb for the Warrior NBA championship themed eggs. We look forward to seeing what you come up with every week. 
We celebrated June birthdays. Don McCleve wasn’t at the meeting, but he was there by video. Thank you Don. We sang Happy Birthday to:
  • Eric Eberle June 2
  • Don Kuehn June 2
  • Ed Bowen June 10
  • Jane Marashian June 24
  • Haryl Pascal June 24
  • David Wells June 24
  • Lisa Cheskin June 29
  • Sidd Madiwale June 30


  • President-elect Mike Norcia will hold our first Tuesday of the new year on Monday July 4 from 12:30-2:30 at Oak Meadow Park, meet at the wine and beer garden. We will be participating in the Town of LG Fourth of July celebration by staffing the wine and beer garden from 10-4. This will be a fundraiser for us. Money will be split between us, Morning Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions. Janice Gali donated two cases of wine. Thank you, Gali Winery. Please let Mike know if you can work an hour or two.
Meeting Notes from June 21, 2022 2022-06-24 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from June 14, 2022

The meeting was brought to order at 12:30pm by President Nicholas Welzenbach.
The Pledge of allegiance was led by Randy Cobb.
Our Inspiration was presented by Jean-Marc Blanchard. He spoke about a young man named Austin Hatch who survived not one, but two plane crashes! He persevered through a very long emotional and physical recovery and went on to become a college graduate, father, husband and successful motivational speaker. Message: Go big or go home!
There were neither guests nor visiting Rotarians at the meeting. 
The Song of the Week was “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar, suggested by Patti van der Burg.


Thank you, Kathie Benko and Randy Cobb for the beautifully decorated hard-boiled eggs for St. Luke’s.
There was yet another Welzenbach family trip to the emergency room after Nicholas’ daughter was hit in the head by thrown water bottle. Stitches and staples were the order of the day.
Nicholas presented some self-indulgent random facts about Kansas and Kansas University.
We all cheered the recent win by the Golden State Warriors. They lead the Boston Celtics three games to two in the NBA Finals. 
Rotarian Anniversaries for the month of June:
  • Dan Doore, 28 years
  • George Hall, 23 years
  • Tony James, 13 years
  • Edward Graziani, 21 years
  • Don Kuehn, 32 years
  • Avis LaGrone, 21 years
  • Carol Abela, 8 years
  • Andrew Howard, 16 years
  • David Karwowski, 6 years
  • Norman Snyder, 8 years
  • Judy Rodriguez, 11 years
  • AnnMarie Valle, 7 years
Taking meeting notes for the “Cat Tale” is a great way to get to know the Club. See Kirsten Bridges if you are interested in being part of this team. 
Meeting Notes from June 14, 2022 2022-06-17 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May 31, 2022

Meeting called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach. 
Pledge led by Kirsten Bridges
Inspiration by Gary Allison who spoke about looking for the beauty around us. Remember beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. 


Peter Naymer guest of Dan Snyder and Trustee of LGUSD board
Pat Chappell guest of Lydia Norcia
Allison Snyder guest and daughter of Dan Snyder. Congratulations on your graduation, enjoy your time at Mount Holyoke. 
Matthew Hudes guest of Dick Konrad and member of LG Town Council
Ellie Gilbert guest and mom of Cindy Gentile
Lydia Rosen guest of Hal Rosen
Holly Smith
Song of the week was My Way by Frank Sinatra, suggested by Nancy Consentino. Thanks for the suggestion Nancy. 
Thank you, Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for the Memorial Day themed eggs.
We celebrated the May birthdays. Thank you, Don McCleve for accompanying us on the piano. 
Hal Rosen May 1
Riley Barr May 2
Susie Mize May 5
Gordon Levin May 6
Craig Roberts May 9
Randy Cobb May 10
Andrew Stearns May 12
Jean-Marc Blanchard May 13
Robert Chaykin May 23
Grady Jeter May 25
John Pencer May 25
Carol Abela May 26
Tom Anthony May 26
Kamyar Negari May 26
Michael Grove May 29
Rami Wazni May 29
Kent Cooper May 30
Meeting Notes from May 31, 2022 2022-06-06 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May 24, 2022

The meeting was brought to order at 12:30 by President Nicholas.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by our District Governor, Richard Flanders.
Gary Allison provided our inspiration. He shared a quote from Robert Lewis Stevenson about happiness and talked about making happiness a priority in our lives. 
Guests: Mike Norcia introduced Joe Albers, Avis La Grone introduced District Governor, Richard Flanders and Sarita Johnson introduced her care giver, Tam Doh.
Song of the Week: Al Green “Let’s Stay Together”. Suggested by Ramon Ware.


Thank you to Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for providing the beautifully decorated eggs for St. Luke’s. They were decorated in rainbow colors to honor Harvey Milk and celebrate Pride week.
Our family BBQ was held last Friday evening and was a big success. Nicholas thanked all of the many volunteers that helped to make it happen.
Congratulations to Riley and Felicia Barr on the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Briar Regan Barr!
Rotarian Anniversaries:
Eric Eberle, 22yrs
Meghan Burton, 3yrs
Lisa Mize, 4yrs
Tom Boyce, 36yrs
Sandy Bocks, 18yrs
Randy Cobb, 3yrs
Sandeep Gopisetty, 3yrs
Ed Bowen, 54yrs
Chris Potter, 3yrs
Meeting Notes from May 24, 2022 2022-05-31 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May17, 2022

Nicholas opened the meeting and thanked Gregg Butterfield for the improved sound system.
Tina Orsini Hartigan led us in the pledge of allegiance.
Gary Allison inspired us with quotes and stories about the importance of determination. 
There were no guests.
This week’s featured song was Michelle Myers Nelson’s pick:  Feeling Good by Michael Bublé (original recording by Nina Simone)

New member Stefka Bonev received her red badge.
She was introduced to Rotary through her kids - who were in Interact - but she fell in love quickly with our club and is happy to be here. Welcome Stefka! We are happy to have you too!
Ane Torger’s mom Fernanda presented our Los Gatos Rotary flag (from when she visited) to her club in Brazil. We are happy for the goodwill across the globe.
Mike Norcia gave a report on the Great Race and thanked all the helpers that made it possible. It was an unqualified success, even in a big transition year of moving the race to Vasona.
  • We had over 600 participants. There were over 80 kids at the fun run, including 23 kids from the Daves Ave Cheetah Club Runners. 
  • Two very fast runners averaged under 5 min miles! Two kids set world records for their age group. It was exciting.
  • Thanks to Christies Real Estate Sereno for being our top sponsor and all others: Baracuda, Cornerstone, Darling Fischer, El Camino Health, Physicians Medical Group, Sutter Health, Athletic Performance, The Club Los Gatos, Best Physical Therapy, Athlete, JCC, Juice, Stanford Chidrens Health, X20 Studio, Inikosoft, and ICS. In all, we got $33,000 from sponsors
  • The race results: Total revenue was $56,900 and we netted over $28,000 to give to our charitable causes. That doesn’t include over $3,000 we raised for Ukraine Shelter Box.
Meeting Notes from May17, 2022 2022-05-20 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from May10, 2022

Inspiration – Gary Ellison
Random Acts of Kindness theme – Happiness
Can be anything: help a friend, thank you note, make a phone call
Gave an example of skiing in Aspen – took the shuttle bus that was packed but two young ladies gave up their seats so they could sit – happy for the seat but not sure about implication.
Encouraged everyone to try something – each of us can.
Visiting Rotarians & Guests
Peggy Heiman – with Jeffrey Blum
She is a long time LG resident, teacher, writer – enjoys quilting, walking & reading
Music: Chariots of Fire
Great Race was acknowledged – played a news clip
Acknowledged Randy Cobbs Birthday
Family & Corp membership – Lisa is taking this on to make sure there are benefits for families
Terri accepted the blue badge for Nancy Consentino
Paul Yeadon received his blue badge
Paul Yeadon is leading the Polio fundraising & showed a video
May is the month for fundraising & will promote the campaign
Family BBQ is set for May 20th at 5pm – hamburgers, hot dogs will be served and BYOB
Lucille Packers Children Hospital needs books for ages 0-12.  Please contribute what you have

20 for 20

Doug Brent & Terri Trotter were at Leigh High for scholarship awards.  3 Interact students received scholarships – gave $100 for the scholarship fund
Jean-Marc Blanchard – was in Ann Arbor for his daughter’s graduation – great experience at Michigan Stadium with Dr. Fauci speaking.  He gave $20 for the YR, $20 for the graduation & $20 for the delay – total $60 for scholarship fund
Meeting Notes from May10, 2022 2022-05-12 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from April 26, 2022

The meeting was brought to order at 12:30pm by President Nicholas Welzenbach.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Michelle Myers-Nelson.
Dan Snyder provided our Inspiration. Dan shared a story with us about a recent cross-country trip he took with his daughter to look at colleges. Along the way they met many helpful and very nice people. A simple reminder that even during this chaotic time we find our world in today, there are also a lot of positives out there too. 
Lydia Norcia introduced her sister, Felicia Siggens who is visiting from Boston. She also introduced Fabio Giannetti whom she met at our recent Happy Hour at Rootstock Winebar.
Randy Cobb introduced his friend Jimmie Jost who is visiting from Germany.
Avis LeGrone introduced her friend Kathleen Froess.
Song of the Week:
‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins, suggested by Anjana Bose.


Lloyd E. Grant passed away on April 21, 2022. Lloyd had 37 years of service with Rotary. The Club joined together in a moment of silence to honor and remember Lloyd.
Nicholas thanked the numerous people who helped to make Sammy L. Davis’ presentation with the Club last week a success: Meghan Burton, Lisa Cheskin, Michelle Myers-Nelson, Randy Cobb and his wife Kathie Benko, Doug Brent, Gregg Butterfield, Mike Frangadakis, Ed Stahl, Andrew Stearns, Mike Norcia and especially Ron Cassell.
Thank you Randy and Kathie for the awesome balloon-dog hard boiled eggs for the St. Luke’s food delivery this week.
The District 5170 Conference was this past weekend. Thank you to everyone who attended including Terri Trotter, Tina Orsi-Hartigan and Avis LaGrone. We are hoping for more representation from our Club next year.
Nicholas read a thank-you note from Riley Barr and his wife Felicia thanking the Club for their gift to them of the ‘Baby’s First Library’ basket of books for their soon-to-be first child.
The Family BBQ will take place on May 20th at Oak Meadow Park at 5:00pm. Family and guests are welcome. Keep an eye out from more information and sign-ups from Tina Orsi-Hartigan.
The Club is collecting books for Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Little Libraries programs. The age ranges for the books are: 0-3yrs, 3yrs-6yrs, 6yrs-8yrs and 8yrs-12yrs.
Meeting Notes from April 26, 2022 2022-04-29 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from April 19, 2022

The meeting was brought to order by Mike Norcia at 12.30 pm at Shir Hadash .
It was a Townhall Style meeting with no lunch.
Our Greeters were Ramon and Bobbie
We had a special guest from India Palghar Rotary with his family.


Club Announcements

The Great Race is May 1! It’s coming fast! Sign up to run, walk, or volunteer. This is an all-hands-on-deck club event, raising critical funds for the work we love to do. To run or walk register here: This is a great fundraiser for local support like scholarship and international project.

District Conference.. Sky is the Limit is on April 22, 23 and 24th. Great opportunity to learn what Rotarians do.

20 for 20

Andrew Sterns - $20


Our Special Guest for the Afternoon was Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sammy L Davis.

Our very own Ron Cassel gave him a warm welcome and thanked Dixie Davis for the logistics and arranging this meeting all the way from Indiana. Ron Cassel was a teacher to him and were still in touch.
A special mention for friends from high school Gary Duran and Larry Mersek who were also in the audience.
We saw a medal of honor brief movie clip and the meeting proceeded with a question answer session.
Meeting Notes from April 19, 2022 2022-04-25 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Special Guest Speaker Sammy L Davis

Bring friends and family to hear this amazing speaker, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sammy L Davis, on Tuesday April 19th at 12:30 at Shir Hadash. 
There will be no lunch at this meeting. Seating will be theater style with coffee and cookies served afterwards.
Special Guest Speaker Sammy L Davis 2022-04-19 07:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from April 12, 2022

Nicholas Welzenbach opened the meeting at 12:30
Ron Cassel led the pledge of allegiance
John Pencer gave the inspiration, on a lighter side this time, sharing a funny story to remind us to take care of ourselves with a little humor in a tough world climate.
We welcome our guests! So glad you could join us.
  • Emi Eto
  • Cindy 
  • Matthew Hudes
  • Suzie Snowden and her mother
  • Stefka Bonev
  • Felicia Barr
Lydia, Patti, and the We Care team presented a gift to expectant parents Riley and Felicia Barr. It was a big basket of baby books for ‘Baby’s first library.” Congratulations Riley and Felicia! 
Lydia introduced Suzie Snowden as our newest red badge member. Welcome to the club, Suzie!
Our Rotary Club is in the news! We had articles about The Great Race in both San Jose Mercury News and Los Gatos Living this past week. Thanks to Jeffrey Blum for writing the one for Los Gatos Living. Check out the Mercury article here:
Our Speech contest winner Alex Bonev made it to the finals! Congratulations Alex. And also congratulations to his proud mom who is our newest club member candidate!
The Great Race is May 1! It’s coming fast! Sign up to run, walk, or volunteer. This is an all-hands-on-deck club event, raising critical funds for the work we love to do. To run or walk, register here: To volunteer (we need you!) register here:
Rise Against Hunger update. We put together 15,000 meals last week. It was a great turnout, along with LG Morning, Campbell, and Saratoga clubs. Great community effort!
Tina Orsini Hartigan and Andrew Sterns announced the good news that the Family BBQ is back! It will be May 20th at 5pm at Oak Meadow Park. Mark your calendars and bring your family! The price is $12 for 13 and above, $7 for 6-12, children 5 and under are free. We will provide a BBQ main dish and beverages. Sign up to bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. The train and carousel will be open.
Hearts and Hands event. Club members are invited to this event to support Pacific Clinics, formerly Uplift Family Services. See your email for more information.
Don’t forget to bring gently-used or new children’s books for our Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Little Libraries project. Keep them coming each meeting until June 21. They need books for kids aged 0-12 and bilingual books are especially helpful. Questions? Ask Lydia Norcia.
Meeting Notes from April 12, 2022 2022-04-18 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 29, 2022

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Nicholas
Today is National Vietnam Veteran’s Day. All veterans were acknowledged.
Pledge: All of the Veterans
Inspiration: Doug Brent, filling in for David Hubbard, read a story about a wise woman who found a stone in a well and even though it was of great value, she gave it away to a stranger who knew its value and wanted it. The stranger brought it back to her and said he wanted instead what she had inside of her that enabled her to give the stone away. The story reminds us that our orientation should be towards service and giving.
Tuesday Music Track: Scott Joplin’s the entertainer was Tom Boyce’s choice for today. He picked it because of his love of piano music
Visiting Guests: Stefka Bonev, guest of Tina Orsi Hartigan. Jo Greiner, guest of Avis La Grone. Paul Barrish, guest of Tom Boyce. Sonal Christie, who was visiting from Saratoga Rotary.
Rotary Anniversaries: Kaymar Nagar, Suzanne Boxer-Gassman, Grady Jeter, Preston Hill, Don McCleve, LeRoy Neider, Rami Wazni, Paul Mudgett, Steve Rice, Haryl Pascal, Craig Roberts and Larry Jinks.
March Birthdays Linda Lester, John Colwell, Tony James, Don McCleve, Tom Boyce, Erik Beeson, Daniel Doore, Paul Mudgett, Edward Graziani, Lisa Mize, Jamie Hekkelman and Clayton Bruntz. 
St. Luke’s: Thank you to all who contribute and especially for the fantastic hard-boiled eggs from Randy and Kathie.
Update, Regional Speech Contest: Alex Bonev was the 1st place winner. Moving on to the finals on April 24th at the San Ramon Marriott.
April 19, 2022 Meeting: Sammy Davis will share his stories of his time in combat. He is the real Forest Gump. No lunch at this meeting, but cookies and drinks will be served. Ron Cassel needs help to deliver flyers to local businesses advertising the talk.
Jo Greiner from St. Luke’s: Thanked the Rotary Club for our continued support of St. Luke’s. We not only supply them with food but also toiletries, sleeping bags, propane canisters, etc. This project began with Avis La Grone and now Tina Orsi Hartigan is the coordinator.

The Great Race: Sunday, May 1 at 8:30am. Mark your calendars. Flyers will be available at the meetings. We have 75-80 people signed up already. We are able to donate to shelter Box/Ukraine this year along with our other charities. Still in need of people to help on some of the teams.
Meeting Notes from March 29, 2022 2022-03-31 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 22, 2022

Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Nicholas
Pledge: Jeffrey Blum
Inspiration: David Hubbard reflected on his son’s school trip to Pigeon Point and how the lighthouse, which was built in 1872, has been an inspiration to many mariners. The Sea has many voices and if we listen we can hear a world of sounds.
Tuesday Music Track: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Picked by Terri Trotter in remembrance of her favorite concert.
Visiting Guests: Tom Picraux guest of Lydia Norcia. JoAn Smith and Mike Hyman, guests of Ed Stahl. Ileana Aguilar and Larry Maggio, guests of Gae LaTorre. Kumiko Vadas, guest of John Colwell.
St. Luke’s: Thank you to all who contribute and especially for the fantastic hard-boiled eggs from Randy and Kathie.
Update, Regional Speech Contest: Today at the Gilroy Rotary Club Meeting. Our student Alex Bonev is competing for the regional title.
April 19, 2022 Meeting: Sammy Davis will share his stories of his time in combat. He is the real Forest Gump. No lunch at this meeting, but cookies and drinks will be served.
Ndukumbana School Project: Tom Boyce gave a report on this rotary charity. This is an Elementary School in South Africa, located in a rural village. The parents and principal’s dream was to provide digital access for the children. This is a three-year Partnership with Rotary, Vodacom South Africa, and CELD in Country Team. Rotary has contributed $3,000 for electricity, safe storage, and Internet access. A dedicated classroom with new desks is now open for the students and parents. A bonus was connecting fourth graders from Africa with fourth graders in Maryland.
Meeting Notes from March 22, 2022 2022-03-23 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 15, 2022

This meeting was brought to order by Lisa Cheskin filling in for Nicholas Welzenbach at Shir Hadash at 12.30pm on Tuesday.
  • PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE was led by Lydia Norcia
  • INSPIRATION Davis Hubbbard read the inspiration about Ukraine. 
President Volodymyr Zelensky stands to defend his country against all odds and 
How the ordinary people become extraordinary with heroism and bravery.
  • GREETER Jean Marc and Sue.
Visiting Rotarians Lisa and Rhonda from Los Gatos Morning 
Rotary Guest Ilena 


  • The Music Played was Peace Train by Cat Stevens
  • Eggs for St Lukes was themed after St Patrick’s thanks to Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko

  • Speech Contest one of our students is in the next round.

  • Special Mention of the meeting on April 19 at 12.30 no LUNCH 

Have a special presentation by Samuel L. Davis Vietnam War Veteran.

Other Highlights
Ukraine Support.
  • Tom Boyce was very happy to announce that the Charities Foundation approved a check of $6000 for Shelter Box USA and it has been sent for Ukraine. 
  • The board worked diligently to make this happen.
  • The second round of donations to the Shelter Box have started for Ukraine.
  • Support For Ukraine through Rotary International also available for those wanting to support.
Meeting Notes from March 15, 2022 2022-03-18 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from March 8, 2022

Meeting called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach.
Jeff Barnett led us in the pledge.
David Hubbard’s inspiration was in honor of International Women’s Day. He is always inspired by his wife and daughter. David spoke about the accomplishments of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell who was the first female doctor in the United States. David’s wife, Kavitha, is a doctor, many of their female friends and family are doctors. David’s daughter once asked if men can become doctors too. He left us with this, Cinderella never asked for a prince. She just wanted a night out and a dress. 
Nicholas reflected on the fact that Rotary added women in 1987. He was not a part of Rotary before there were female members, he can’t imagine our club without all the women who do so much.


  • John Cowell introduced Emi Ito, from Boy Scout Troop 2.
  • Lydia Norcia introduced Serenity Polizzi from the Los Gatan.
  • Dick Konrad introduced Dick Grove from the LG Senior Commission.
  • Gae La Torre introduced Larry Maggio who is visiting us for the second time.


  • The song today was Extreme Ways by Moby. Suggested by Richard Bobis.
  • Correction from last Cat Tale: Our first sponsor for the Great Race is Sereno Group. They donated $15,000.
  • Thank you to Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for their Mardi Gras and Spring themed eggs.
  • District 5170 will be donating wheelchairs in Mexico City in July. We passed the hat at a meeting a while ago. Thanks to all.
Meeting Notes from March 8, 2022 2022-03-11 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from February 22, 2022

Meeting called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach at 12:30.
Pledge led by Nicholas’ guest Larry Maggio.
Today’s song was Solitary Man by Neil Diamond, suggested by Greek.
Doug Brent provided inspiration by asking what is inspiration? Doug drew from an article in Harper’s Business Review which said there are 3 parts to inspiration:
  1. Evocation- inspiration is something that happens to you, it evokes a response.
  2. Transcendence- the realization that it is something bigger than you.
  3. Approach motivation- where the individual tries to express, or actualize a new idea or vision.
While we can’t make ourselves be inspired, we can set ourselves up for inspiration. Link to the article is


  • Nicholas introduced Larry Maggio.
  • Gae La Torre introduced Ileana Aguilar who is visiting us for the second time.
  • Lydia Norcia introduced her friends, Yvonne and Ray Blockie.
  • Cameron visited us for the second time. Cameron’s father is a member of Cupertino Rotary.


  • Thank you, Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for the adorable puppy themed eggs. 
  • Nicholas announced that we are starting to think about a Centennial project to honor 100 years of LG Rotary in 2024. The project could be local or global. Let Nicholas know if you have any ideas or if you’re interested in getting involved.
  • Mike Norcia announced that the Great Race is back on May 1, but will be a bit different.  It will be held in Oak Meadow/Vasona. The new venue will allow to try some new things like a kid’s short race. We will need 50-60 volunteers. He also thanked Sarita Johnson for being our first sponsor with a $15,000 donation. Thank you Sarita!
  • Rise Against Hunger is April 2. We will be working with Saratoga Rotary. This is a great event. Many of our members have done this before, you’ll want to join us if you haven’t.

Club Anniversaries:

Clayton Bruntz 34 years
Kent Cooper 31 years
Beth Smith 23 years
Art Rabitz 16 years
Meeting Notes from February 22, 2022 2022-02-25 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from February 15, 2022

Meeting called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach.
Doug Brent led us in the pledge.
Doug also provided inspiration. The inspiration was taken from an article Doug read in Forbes Magazine. The point of the article is positive thinking won’t change your life, adversity will. Adversity requires that we change and grow. The main take away was you must do the thing you think you cannot. 
Today’s song was All You Need is Love by the Beatles. Recommended by Nicholas.


  • John Colwell shared that Dick Irion has passed away. Dick was a long-time member of our club.
  • Nicholas shared that Len Smith’s wife, Ditty Smith, has passed away.
  • Nicholas mentioned that reaching out at times like this is always appreciated by grieving family and friends.
  • We had a total of 67 people at the meeting, including 9 people on line today. This week or next will most likely be our last hybrid meeting. Looking forward to seeing everyone at our beautiful venue, Shir Hadash.
  • No guests or visiting Rotarians.
  • Our Rotarian of the week is John Colwell. John has been a member since 1965. Thank you, John, for all your contributions over the years.
  • Thank you, again, to Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for your beautifully decorated eggs for St. Lukes. This week they did both Valentine and Olympic themed eggs. 
  • Don McCleve played happy birthday as we celebrated our February birthdays:
    • Sandeep Gopisetty Feb. 3
    • Judith Propp Feb. 3
    • Erika Buck Feb. 5
    • Marlon Smith Feb. 8
    • Richard Bobis Feb. 13
    • David Hubbard Feb. 15
    • Canan Sonuk Feb. 18
    • Marshall Smith Feb. 22
    • Lydia Norcia Feb. 24
Meeting Notes from February 15, 2022 2022-02-18 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from February 8, 2022

The meeting was brought to order at 12:30pm by President Nicholas Welzenbach.
Nicholas welcomed everyone back to the lunch portion of the meeting and thanked Mike Norcia and Lisa Norcia-Cheskin for covering the past 2 meetings while he was out of town on business.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Margaret Smith.
Doug Brent provided our Inspiration. Doug reminded us that the news out there is bad but Rotary is full of good news and good deeds. Embrace the power of small deeds.
Ken Glass was introduced by Mike Norcia.
Other guests who were not introduced but were present to support Dina Duckworth as she received her Red Badge: Holly Smith, Radhika Martinez, Nierja Patel and Maria Cura Castro.
Visiting Rotarians: From Campbell Rotary; Carol Hoffman and Bob Carlson.
Song of the Week: ‘Afternoon Delight’ by the Starland Vocal Band was suggested by Eric Eberle.
Many thanks Randy Cobb for another week of awesomely decorated hardboiled eggs for our St. Luke’s food donation.
New Member Red Badge: Dina Duckworth was introduced by Karen Anderson. Welcome Dina!
Meeting Notes from February 8, 2022 2022-02-10 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale
We raised over $11,000 for local food banks at our WineFest and Auction event 2022-01-29 08:00:00Z 0

Virtual WineFest & Auction

Join us for our second Rotary Club of Los Gatos Virtual WineFest & Auction. Enjoy a night in the comfort of your home nibbling on goodies and tasting four different premium Argentinian wines or non-alcoholic beverages from Rootstock Wine Bar.  Be entertained by Sommelier Joe Chiodo and a live musical performance by Lavender Fields.   

We will raise our glasses and virtual auction paddles to help fight local hunger. All proceeds benefit Los Gatos Rotary Charities Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which furthers the mission work of local and international charitable organizations. This year’s “Raise the Paddle” proceeds will go to Los Gatos House of Hope, Peninsula Food Runners, and West Valley Community Services. 

Date:  Saturday, January 29, 2022.

Time: 5:00pm, program ends at 6:30pm but stay and socialize until 7:00pm. 
Reserve your wine tasting kit for 2 people before we sell out Each kit is $150.
This year’s “Raise the Paddle” auction item will fight local hunger.  One third of Silicon Valley residents are food insufficient and hungry.  All proceeds for this auction item will be split between; Los Gatos House of Hope, West Valley Community Services, and Peninsula Food Runners.  Our minimum bid is $100, but you can increase it as much as you want by increasing the quantity of your bids.   Each bid is $100.00. 
1. Los Gatos House of Hope;
    Serves 100 families every week in Los Gatos and the surrounding community. 
2. West Valley Community Services; Park-it-market (mobile food van)
    Feeds up to 400 house holds every week 
3. Peninsula Food Runners;
    In any given week provides 50,000 meals to shelters, schools, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and low income families. 
Virtual WineFest &amp; Auction 2022-01-29 08:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from January 25, 2022

In Nicholas’ absence, due to work travel, Lisa Cheskin started the meeting at 12:30pm.


We are hoping for the lunch portion of our meetings to return in February.
Due to the continued high rate of Covid, the First Tuesday scheduled for February 2 at Rootstock has been canceled.
Shir Hadash has been a little chilly lately; we expect heat to be returned to the building next week. 
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Tom Boyce.
Inspiration: Suzanne Boxer-Gassman, donning her adorable wine dress, shared some inspiration related to our upcoming WineFest.  She reminded us that when life gives you lemons make lemonade…with wine! We looked back on some pictures from last year’s event and Suzanne reminded us to send in pictures from our celebration of the WineFest this year. 
Guests: Cameron introduced himself.  His father was a member of Cupertino Rotary and he is looking for ways to give back to the community.
Visiting Rotarians: None
Song of the week: Nina Simone’s ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free’, suggested by Marty Fishman. 
Rotarians of the Week: Marty and Barbara Fishman.
Anniversaries: Lisa shared a long list of January anniversaries highlighted by John Pencer’s 50th anniversary!  John joked that he started Rotary when he was 12 years old. Congratulations John!
New Members: Marty Fishman introduced two new members; Jean Marc Blanchard and Sid Madiwale. They both thanked Club for the opportunity and said that they were looking forward to contributing to our the community. 
Thank you Randy Cobb for another week of beautifully decorated eggs for St. Luke’s. 
We looked back on some of the great NFL football playoff games from this past weekend! Most of us were pleased with the San Francisco Forty Niners’ win and Nicholas, only Nicholas, was pleased with the Kansas City Chiefs’ win.  Go Niners!
Ed Stahl shared with us about his recent fabulous trip to Antarctica and donated $100…and rang the bell!
Patti Van der Burg, festooned with wine goggles, reminded us that the WineFest is this coming Saturday. Tickets will remain on sale until Friday at midnight. The auction item lists were on each table and are also available online.  Please remember to bid! Patti and her husband, Erik have an open door policy at their home; if you bring wine, they will open their door. Patti, be careful what you ask for!  
Lavender Fields will be singing during the WineFest and they are an auction item too.
Meeting Notes from January 25, 2022 2022-01-27 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from January 18, 2022

Meeting called to order at 12:30 by Mike Norcia, filling in for Nicholas who is out of town for work.
Pledge led by Barry Cheskin
Inspiration from Suzanne Boxer-Gassman who reminded us that our club and its members are resilient. We wanted the crab feed, but we’re hosting the winefest and we will continue to raise money for all our worthy causes. She shared various jokes and inspirational stories from her friends about resilience. 
Mike joined in with a story about resilience. When Trader Joe’s stopped selling the granola a friend of Mike’s liked, she became a granola maker. Resilience.
No guests or visiting Rotarians.
Music recommended for today (but not played) was Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver, suggested by Haryl Pascal. 
Marty Fishman updated us on TRF results. We have raised almost $40,000 and have 87% participation. Thank you everyone!
Ron Smith is our member of the week. Ron has been a member since 1990. Ron enjoys the camaraderie of Rotary, one of the highlights being the downhill Rotary ski competition. 
Mike’s least favorite slide this week was showing he had lost a $100 bet to Nicholas when KC beat Pittsburgh. Anyone want to bet on next week’s game? Money goes to the club. 
Don McCleve played Happy Birthday for club members celebrating in January:
  • Andrew Howard
  • Dan Snyder
  • Jeffrey Barnett
  • Andrea Lee
  • Neal Mudgett
  • Dina Duckworth
  • Larry Jinks
  • Paul Johnson
Meeting Notes from January 18, 2022 2022-01-21 08:00:00Z 1 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from January 11, 2022

Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Nicholas
Pledge: Randy Cobb

Suzanne Boxer-Gassman: shared a story from Franz Kafka that she found on Facebook; about Kafka’s friendship with a little girl who had lost her doll.  Theme was everything you love will probably be lost, but in the end, will return in another way.
Tuesday Music Track: Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary, in honor of Amy Potts, who will be moving at the end of the month.
Visiting Guests: Michael Lomas who was introduced by Terri Trotter, and Claire Lopp, Rachelle’s daughter.
Spotlight: Erin Hartnett who enjoys many aspects of Rotary but especially the service, as this is her love language.
St. Luke’s: Thank you to all who contribute and especially for the fantastic hard-boiled eggs from Randy and Kathy.
Rotary Foundation: Reminder to contribute to the rotary foundation: Our club has reached $40,000 in donations with 80% of the club contributing.
Days For Girls: Andrew Howard spoke about this charity and it’s work with providing personal hygiene kits for girls. We are in the 6th year of receiving  $2,500 grant from the World Service Committee to continue our support of this cause.
Farewell to Amy Potts: Amy will be moving at the end of the month to Idaho and the club thanked her for her tremendous service through her PR work, branding, and marketing. Suzanne presented her with two of her favorite pictures of the club members. She will be missed.

Virtual Wine Fest and Auction: January 29 at 5:00pm. Please buy your tickets, invite friends and family to attend and share the event on social media. There are 130 auction items available and you do not need to be in attendance to bid!

Meeting Notes from January 11, 2022 2022-01-13 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from December 21, 2021

Henry Vitkovich provided the inspiration - focused on the New Year and the decisions you will make
No guests were in attendance
Music picked by Nicholas's son - Nuttin for Christmas
Leroy Neider - acknowledged as the Rotarian of the week
TRF still in progress - 70% involvement from the club - huge achievement
Festive Eggs provided by Randy
Winefest coming up with live band Lavender Fields - Suzanne gave details and suggested it could be a great last min Christmas gift
Birthdays were acknowledged for month of December
Happy Birthday was played on the piano
David Wells also provided instructions on how to signup for Winefest - must setup another account because it can't keep credit cards from last year
  • Instructions will also be emailed out.
  • Jan 15th bidding starts on catalogue items
  • Suzanne offered to help anyone signup at the next meeting if they need help
Meeting Notes from December 21, 2021 2022-01-03 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from November 30, 2021

Meeting called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach at 12:30
Pledge led by District Governor Richard Flanders.
Inspiration was given by Judy Rodriguez. She told the story of the two patients at the hospital. One shared what he saw out of the window to the other. Later, the first patient found out the storyteller was blind.  The storyteller just wanted to share what he knew the other man would want to hear; it was a gift from the heart. Judy urged us to think about meaningful gifts. She wishes for us peace and joy.
  • Dina Duckworth- this is her second visit, she is looking forward to joining the club.
Guest Rotarians:
  • Bob Carlson- Campbell Rotary
  • Stella Ralph- West Valley Community Corps
  • Maggie Padovani- District Public Image Chair, San Jose Rotary
  • Sesh Ramaswami- Asst. District Governor, Saratoga Rotary
  • Richard Flanders- District Governor, Pleasanton North Rotary
Nicholas asked for a moment of silence for the three students lost this morning to gun violence at school in Michigan. 
The song today was Harvest Moon by Neil Young, suggested by Hal Rosen. Great choice Hal.
Nicholas thanked Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for their beautiful Hannukah themed eggs. We love seeing what the two of you come up with each week.
New member introductions:
  • Mike Norcia introduced Tom Rossmeissl
  • Suzanne Boxer-Gassman introduced Sue Heller
  • Lisa Cheskin introduced Karen Anderson
Welcome everyone! We look forward to working with you serving the community.
Services for Len Smith will be held December 27 from 2-4 at the Rinconada Hills Club House off Pollard Road. 
  • Linda Lester- 1 year
  • Russell Couch- 2 years
  • David Hubbard- 3 years
  • Hal Rosen- 5 years
  • Margaret Smith- 6 years
  • Neal Mudget- 6 years
  • Janice Gali- 7 years
  • Amy Potts- 7 years
  • Gordon Levin- 7 years
  • Greg Smith- 8 years
  • Tina Orsi-Hartigan- 20 years
  • Ed Stahl- 55 years
  • John Colwell- 56 years
Meeting Notes from November 30, 2021 2021-12-03 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from November 16, 2021

Nicholas Welzenbach welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order. Our sound continues to get better. Stay tuned for even more improvements.

Judy Rodriguez led the flag salute and then gave our inspiration: Hope in a time of division. Christopher Reeves: said “Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” Nelson Mandela said “May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.”  We, as Rotarians, generate hope for humanity. Thank you.

Our song of the week is Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John, chosen by Henry Viktovich. Let Nicholas know if you want to have your favorite song play as we come in.


  • Dick Konrad introduced his daughter Julie. 
  • Lydia introduced 3 friends, Dina, Suzie, and Russell.
  • Marty introduced his friend, Jean Marc, who is filling out his application to join us.

Andrea Lee is our member spotlight this week. We are glad to have you among us, Andrea!

Barbara Fishman earned her blue badge. Congratulations Barbara!

Thanks for the fall festive eggs Cathie and Randy.

Patti van der Burg talked about United Against Hate, which took place this past Saturday. A good number of LG Rotarians were there and we were one of the sponsors of the event. 3,000 people gathered for a peaceful march as a counterpoint to some of the racist and homophobic graffiti and other recent issues in Los Gatos. We are proud to have been a part.

Happy birthday to all our November birthdays. Henry, Sue, Ensy, Suzanne, Rusell, Janice, Bava Avis, Anjana, Greg, Tonya, Greg, Leroy, & Terri. 

Henry Viktovich reminded us this is the very last week to get your tickets for the Presidents Brunch, our fabulous annual holiday party. We have 100 people signed up so far. Thanks Suzanne for the great video shown last week. It will be a great event and he has some surprises up his sleeve. Don’t miss it. Email him to get your tickets.

Meeting Notes from November 16, 2021 2021-11-18 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from November 9, 2021

The meeting was called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach at 12:30
The pledge was led by Mike Frangadakis.
Inspiration was from Judy Rodriguez who spoke about Veteran’s Day. She started with the history of Veteran’s Day beginning in 1918. She concluded with thoughts about how we can honor our veterans from Tom Clancy, Barak Obama, and Maya Angelou. She then asked the veterans to stand. Our members who are veterans are:
  • Gary Allison
  • Clayton Bruntz- Navy
  • Rob Chaykin- Naval Reserves
  • Dan Doore- Army
  • Mike Frangadakis- Army
  • Grady Jeter- Army
  • Dick Konrad
  • Art Rabitz-Air Force
  • Myron Smith- Air Force
  • Ed Stahl- Army
  • Gordon Levin- Navy/Marines
  • Ramon Ware- Air Force
  • Thank you all for your service.



Gae La Torre introduced her guest, Ileana Aguilar.


We had a moment of silence for Tom O’Donnell who passed away November 2. Services for Tom will be held at St. Mary’s Church this Saturday November 13 at 11:00. Tom was remembered as a wonderful person and a great Rotarian. Nicholas showed a picture of everyone at the First Tuesday event at Randy and Kathie’s home toasting Tom. He will be missed.
Thank you to Randy Cobb and Kathie Benko for hosting our First Thursday event last week. There was a great turnout and everyone enjoyed themselves.
The veterans were called to the front of the room. Nicholas presented them with American Flag/Rotary flag pins. Mike F. presented Nicholas and Ed Stahl with bottles of sand from Omaha Beach. Mike thanked Nicholas for the work he does with vets. 
Meeting Notes from November 9, 2021 2021-11-12 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 26, 2021

The meeting was brought to order by Club President, Nicholas Welzenbach at 12:30pm.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Rachelle Lopp.
Our Inspiration was provided by Erika Buck. Erika read an excerpt from her book, “100 ways to Calm” about walking mindfully.
There were no visiting Rotarians.
We had many guests including, Jean-Marc Blanchard, guest of Mike Norcia and the following guests from the Los Gatos Union School District:
Jenna Mittleman - Principal, Daves Avenue Elementary
Rick Rauscher - Principal, Louise Van Meter Elementary
Jason Deppong - Principal, Lexington Elementary 
Lisa Reynolds - Principal, Blossom Hill Elementary
Mary Lonhart - Principal, Fisher Middle School
Clare Vickers - Assistant Principal, Fisher Middle School
Karen Briones - Communications Coordinator, District Office
Sarah Tellez - Administrator, District Office
Michelle Strachan - Executive Assistant, District Office


Many thanks to Lisa Norcia-Cheskin for switching up the lunch food at the last minute. Panera could not provide our usual lunch due to consequences resulting from the recent rainstorm-induced power outage so she ordered cheese pizza from Round Table Pizza for everyone. 
Our song of the week, “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash, was suggested by Paul Johnson. 
Paul Yeadon received his Red Badge and was welcomed by Mike Norcia.
The October Rotarian Anniversaries were announced by Nicholas Welzenbach.
Henry Vitkovich reminded everyone to sign up for the Presidents Brunch which will be held at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club on Sunday, December 5. If you would like to purchase tickets, please contact Henry.
Meeting Notes from October 26, 2021 2021-10-29 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 19, 2021

President Nicholas Welzenbach began the meeting at 12:30

Gregg Butterfield led the pledge of allegiance

Erika Buck gave us some inspiration.

We had two visitors. Mike Norcia introduced his guest Jean Marc Blanchard from a non-profit think tank in Los Gatos. And Tom Rossmeissl is visiting, in process to become a full member.

Nicholas’ music selection today is Long Train Running by the Doobie Brothers recommended by Lisa Cheskin. She and her oldest and best friend grew up on this song and they went to the Doobie Brothers last week. This song brought the house down. “Without love, where would you be now”

Doug Brent says we will soon get a ballot for us to nominate one member for the board nominating committee. Please vote. 

Member spotlight: Don Kuehn. He was recently Rotarian of the Year as well as a recipient of Rotary Foundation’s Major Donor Award. 


Rotarian October birthdays:

Steve Rice, Mike Norcia, Ed Stahl, Barbara Fishman, Dick Konrad, Myron Smith, Gregg Butterfiled, Tina Orisini-Hartigan, Jack Chevlen, Julian Rodriguez, Doug Brent. Happy Birthday!

Presidents Brunch. It’s back! Henry Viktovich wore a Santa hat to get us excited about the Presidents Brunch at Cinnabar Golf Club on December 5th from 10-12:30, dressy attire. Please sign up at the back table at the meetings or online starting around Nov 1. Bring a guest and the price is the same as last time- $55.

There will be a New Member Schmooze right after the meeting today. Red badge members must attend one of these as a requirement. Any new member (less than 2 years)  is welcome. Got questions about how things work? This is a good time to ask.

Rebuilding Together is this Saturday! See you there!

Virtual WineFest!

Suzanne Boxer Gassman reminded us this is our big fundraiser for the year and we depend on everyone to lend a hand in some way. 

3 ways to support: 

  • Buy tickets and show up
  • Help us recruit sponsors or follow up with sponsors who have helped us in the past
  • Donate something for the auction

It will be a great event- with a sommelier, wine kit, snacks, entertainment, auction, etc.

Meeting Notes from October 19, 2021 2021-10-21 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from October 12, 2021

Meeting was called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach.
Erin Hartnett led us in the pledge.
Inspiration was from Erika Buck. She read from the book “100 Ways to Calm Yourself”. The essay was titled Be Grateful for Yourself. The essay reminded us to thank yourself for being you. 
Today’s song was Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. The song was suggested by Gregg Butterfield. Gregg didn’t explain why he chose it, but Nicholas mentioned that it is a great song. No explanation necessary.
Spotlight member this week is Kirsten Bridges.


We had several members joining us by Zoom. Thanks to Doug Brent for providing this opportunity for us. Doug is looking for someone to help him with the Zoom process. If you know anyone who would like to give back in this way, please let Doug know. Maybe a high school or college student?
Hal Rosen introduced his wife, Lydia. They are back after three months in the Sierras. He mentioned they had fires 25 miles away to the right and left and lots of smoke but they had a great time. 
Tina introduced her son Collin, who hadn’t arrived yet but was very excited to hear our speaker, Toby Rosen. 


  • Tom O’Donnell is in the hospital. He is not receiving visitors at this time but phone calls, messages are welcome. Thanks to Lydia Norcia for letting us know.
  • Maddie Smith spoke with Sarita Johnson. Sarita got back from the hospital yesterday. Maddie said she sounds good. Tina has been helping her with Zoom so she can join us at the meetings soon. She will be starting occupational therapy in a couple of weeks. Please send emails, messages, etc. she’d love to hear from you. 
  • Unclaimed lunches are available for $10. The money will go directly to our club.
  • The movie night “No Time to Die” was a big success. Special thanks to Mike Norcia, Tina Orsi-Hartigan, Rami Wazni, Rachelle Lopp, and Amy Potts. Between ticket sales, donations and matching funds from an anonymous donor we raised $6,600! This money will go to Stanford’s Teen Mobile Van and Bill Wilson Center’s Peacock Commons, supported housing for young adults. Two wonderful causes, thanks everyone for your support.
  • Rebuilding Together is Oct. 23. Signups are closed.
Meeting Notes from October 12, 2021 2021-10-14 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Now accepting new members

Los Gatos Rotary Club would love to meet you and tell you more about Rotary and how you can make a difference in our community and world by joining Rotary.  

Our club meets every Tuesday at Shir Hadash, 20 Cherry Blossom Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95032 from 12:15pm - 1:30pm.   We have over 100 active members and we pride ourselves on serving the needs of our community and world.  Our club gives away $160,000 to local and world organization this year alone.  We host two major fundraiser: 
1. The Rotary club of Los Gatos Great Race in April
2. Rotary Auction in January in the form of Wine tasting and crab dinner
As well as organize a community service activity almost every month.  Our club partners with non-profits such as St. Luke's pantry, Rebuilding Together, Rise Against Hunger, Uplift family services, Family giving Tree, and many more organizations that allows our members to get involved in community service work.  

Each week at our club meetings Rotary invites a keynote speaker. This is an enlightening time for Rotarians to be informed on a wide range of topics. To view our upcoming speakers please visit our guest speaker tab on our website. If you would like to be a guest speaker, please contact us at 
To learn more about becoming a member please view the material available here on becoming a member or contact us for more information. 
The world can alway use more Rotarians! 
Now accepting new members 2021-10-04 07:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from September 28, 2021

Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Nicholas
Pledge: Marlon Smith
Inspiration: Jamie Hekkelman: Jamie shared her mantra with us: Come up with a word to repeat, them come up with a phrase to live by and finally come up with an affirmation for yourself.
Tuesday Music Track: Provided by Mike Norcia. Gateway Drug by Brevet Brothers. Classic Rock.
Visiting Guests: Amy Potts introduced Stephen Guruwaiya from Los Gatos Living Magazine.  They have done several articles on Rotary members.
In Memorium: We learned the sad news that Len Smith passed away. He was in the club for 37 years and a treasured and valuable member.  Ed Stahl spoke about having met Len in 1958 when he was an insurance agent on the shell stations.  Details about services for Len will be coming soon.

Club Announcements:

Avenues of Services: Thursday on Zoom and Saturday, Oct 2 at the Alameda Fairgrounds. This is a great way to learn about what other clubs are doing.
Rebuilding Project: October 23 from 8am until completion. We will be painting a mobile home in Campbell.
Fall Fundraiser, Movie Night: Oct. 8. No Time To Die, James Bond Movie. Proceeds go to Stanford Children’s Hospital Mobile Medical Clinic and The Bill Wilson Center. Click here for tickets

Rotarian Anniversaries:

Kirsten Bridges, Nava Fathi, Michelle Myers-Nelson, Jack Chevlen, Ron Smith, Paul Christensen, Richard Irion and Marlon Smith.

Member Spotlight:

Carol Abela. Enjoys being with his Rotary family, sharing in the comradery whilst being of service to others.
Meeting Notes from September 28, 2021 2021-09-30 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from September 21, 2021

Meeting was called to order by Lisa Norcia Cheskin. Nicholas will return next week.
Pledge was led by Ramon Ward.
Inspiration was given by Jamie Hekkelman. The story was about a baby camel asking questions of its mother. The moral of the story is skills, knowledge, abilities and experiences are only useful if you are at the right place.
We didn’t hear the song for this week but it was Nicholas’ suggestion of “And It’s Still Alright” by Nathaniel Rateliff. Nicholas discovered this album during the pandemic. He recommends the entire album and suggests you turn it up loud. If you want to hear all the songs from this year go to the spotify play list, click here.
No guests this week.
Member spotlight this week is Tonya McQuade. Tonya is one of a few honorary members we have. This is the thirtieth year Tonya has been the Interact advisor at LGHS. Tonya brings together young people to develop leadership skills while discovering Service Above Self. Thank you, Tonya, for all you do.

New Members:

Our newest red badge, Sue Heller, was introduced by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman. Sue and Suzanne grew up together in Denver. Just by chance they both ended up in LG. Sue was a physical trainer before she retired.  Welcome Sue! We’re looking forward to getting to know you. 
Anjana Bose received her blue badge today from her sponsor Jamie. The two met before Jamie joined Rotary, but their first conversation was about Rotary since Jamie had just returned from Viet Nam. As Jamie put it, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Ramon Ware did his red badge bio today. It was done as a video and was very enjoyable to watch. Ramon learned a lot about his family from the book Talladega Days: Race, Rural Life, and Memories of a Forgotten Legend and KKK Survivor. Ramon is from a small town in Alabama where half the people are University of Alabama fans the other half are Auburn fans. Ramon didn’t tell us where he falls on this. He played football in high school and was part of the team that won the state championship during his freshman year. Football taught him about leadership and being part of a team. After high school Ramon attended the Air Force Academy graduating in 1989. He trained as a pilot and was part of special ops. After the Air Force he worked for various corporations including several in the wine industry where he specialized in supply chain. He is married he and his wife Elaine have six children. During the pandemic he decided to make a switch and has become a growth coach. Ramon is looking forward to getting involved in the community. We enjoyed getting to know you, Ramon!
Meeting Notes from September 21, 2021 2021-09-23 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from September 14, 2021

Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Mike Norcia

Pledge: Art Rabitz
Inspiration: Jamie Hekkelman: read from a book of meditations for women who do too much.
Tuesday Music Track: Provided by Jack Chevlen. Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf.
Thank you to Shir Hadash Staff: Gary Geller, Cindy Weinberg and Diego Mendoza
Visiting Guests:
  • Tom Rossmeissl by Mike Norcia
  • Ray Azzi by Art Rabitz
  • Allison Carpenter Davis, our guest speaker, by Jeffrey Blum
  • Siddarth Metwale by Marty Fishman
Member Spotlight: Ramon Ware

Club Announcements:

  • Rebuilding Together: Saturday, Oct. 23. Painting the exterior of a home in Campbell
  • Fall Fundraiser: James Bond movie: No Time To Die. Proceeds will go to Stanford’s Children Health Teen Van Mobile Clinic and The Bill Wilson Center Permanent Housing for Homeless Youth. Purchase tickets from Tina Orsi-Hartigan. Click here to purchase tickets.
  • LeRoy Neider:  Shared a newspaper file from a 1974 publication about the Rotary Club
Meeting Notes from September 14, 2021 2021-09-17 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Rotarian's serving at Battle of the Bay Charity Bocce

*Photo of Steve Marriucci, host and current NFL Network broadcaster - Sept. 14, 2021

Thank you to all the Rotarians who helped with Parking, Security, B-Q, Food Prep, and Auction Support at this wonderful charity event!
Former Oakland Raiders Head Coach, Pro Football Hall of Famer, and Emmy Award Winner John Madden has co-hosted the event for many years and is now retiring from the Battle of the Bay Charity Bocce. We will be forever thankful for his contributions. The former San Francisco 49ers Head Coach, University of California – Berkeley Head Coach, and current NFL Network broadcaster Steve Mariucci hosted the Annual “Battle of the Bay” Charity Bocce Tournament with Tom Albanese at the beautiful Campo di Bocce facility in Los Gatos, California.
Since its’ inception back in 1999, this event has raised over $8 million for local and national charities. In recent years, the beneficiaries have been: Peninsula Boys & Girls Club, Mariucci Family Foundation, Diabetic Youth Foundation, Easter Seals Kaleidoscope, Northern California Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, local High School Football Programs and more.
This exclusive high-level charity mixer brings together professional athletes, celebrities, dignitaries, and business leaders for a fun day of bocce, world-class wines, and Campo di Bocce’s signature Italian cuisine. Not to mention, this event is the home of top-tier networking opportunities and media coverage. This is a great environment and great venue to have fun and connect with respected Bay Area affiliates and top sports figures.
The “Battle of the Bay” tournament has provided excitement for the Northern California region and continues to grow in reputation. Thank you for visiting our page and we look forward to your involvement with this year’s festivities.
Enjoy a few photos provided by Eric Eberle who helped organize Rotarian volunteers.  Great job Eric!
Rotarian's serving at Battle of the Bay Charity Bocce 2021-09-15 07:00:00Z 0

Fall Movie Fundraiser - Fr. Oct 8th 7pm 

James Bond and The Fall Fundraiser are coming to a theater near you on October 8!
Please join us and invite your friends and family join us on opening night of No Time to Die and help support 2 great causes.
When:  October 8 at 7PM
Theater has been remodeled and they have a nice bar area so feel free to come early, have a drink and talk about your favorite James Bond movie.
(Which, obviously, is You Only Live Twice and definitely not Moonraker.)
Cost:    $40 per person through September 28
            $50 per person after September 28
Contact Tina at and let her know how many tickets you want. Amount added to your monthly billing.
Event will support:
More details on these great organizations at upcoming meetings.
Fall Movie Fundraiser - Fr. Oct 8th 7pm 2021-09-09 07:00:00Z 0
Fun at Double D's - Tuesday night Sept 7th 2021-09-09 07:00:00Z 0

Meeting Notes from August 31, 2021

Meeting at Shir Hadash was called to order at 12:30.
Hybrid attendees included Assistant DG Sesh Ramaswami, Saratoga Rotary President Sangita Seshadri, members Rob, Wes, Chris, Avis, Sue, and Hal.
Pledge was led by David Wells.
Inspiration was led by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman. She showed a fun video of last week’s club BBQ, and noted if you missed it, you missed a good one! Many thanks to Tina, Andrew and committee for all the work to put it on.
This week’s song was played: “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty, submitted by Barbara Fishman, because she doesn’t like to be told what to do. And Marty concurred. Ha!
President Nicholas thanked Shir Hadash for all the efforts to give us a comfortable meeting spot. Note at end of meeting we are to put trash items in Panera boxes and stack boxes at the room exit tables.
Visitors included
  • Randy Cobb’s guest Kathie the Egg Lady, who made colorful beachball themed eggs for St Lukes homeless this week
  • Art’s guest Gus (?), who is considering membership
  • Paul Johnson’s guest Teresa McNamee, LGUSD CFO
  • Don McCleve’s guest Holly
  • Paul Yeadon
  • Ray Azzi
Meeting Notes from August 31, 2021 2021-09-03 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from August 17, 2021

Inspiration provided by Ed Hubbard – back to school theme.  Teachers who have made a difference.
Tuesday Track: Journey – Don’t stop believing
Reminder to check out spotify playlist

Visiting Rotarians & Guests

Sue Heller – friend Marty Fishman and Suzanne Boxer-Gassman
Felicia – Business partner of Erin Hartnett
Tony Winks – Terri Trotter guest attending for the 2nd time
Rob Rennie – visiting from LG morning rotary.
Holly Wilson – granddaughter of Don McCleve
Member Spotlight – Gordon Levin
Physician for over 40 years and he loves using his woodworking skills for rotary
Eggs for St. Lukes – we are still supporting them weekly
Promenade LG was a success – thanks to Ed Stahl for hosting outside of Travel Advisors
Shelter Box – Lloyd Grant brought to us.  They provide relief as needed.  This week it is Haiti.
There may be an opportunity to support at a great level.
Will need volunteers for End of Summer in downtown LG - Sept 4th from 1-8pm we can sell beverages
Meeting Notes from August 17, 2021 2021-08-23 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from August 10, 2021


Meeting began at 12:30 called to order by Nicholas

Pledge: Jeffrey Blum
Inspiration: John Pencer: had us stand and do stretches and exercises to the music: Eye of the Tiger.  Perspiration today instead of inspiration.
Tuesday Music Track: Provided by Tina Orsi-Hartigan. Perhaps Love by Placido Domingo and John Denver. This song sums up what she likes about music and the message of love. She sang this song to her husband at their wedding reception.
Thank you to Shir Hadash Staff: Gary Geller, Cindy Weinberg and Diego Mendoza
Visiting Guests: Terri Trotter introduced Toni Wenks; Joanna Yates was introduced by Marlon Smith, Sue Heller by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman and Dr. Erin Hartnett by Nicholas Welzenbach. Please keep inviting new people to be our guests at Rotary.
Member Spotlight: Terri Trotter. Loves the welcoming community, the fellowship and the opportunity to serve that rotary provides.
Gordon Levitt was highlighted as the builder of Marlon Smith’s new free library. Marlon is in need of books to be donated to this community library.

Club Announcements:

  • Eric Eberle: Sept. 14 Bocce tournament at Campo de Bocce. We need 12 volunteers to help direct parking. Please contact Eric if you are available.
  • House of Hope: The club has donated $2500 to this worthy cause
  • August 17 Meeting: Breaking down the club committees and their chairs
  • August 24: Club BBQ, 5-9pm, adults only. Tina Orsi-Hartigan is taking reservations until Aug.17 and is in need of volunteers for the event. No meeting this day.
  • Aug. 31: David Wells will speak on Internet revolution in the entertainment industry.
  • Sept. 7: First Tuesday. Double D’s in Los Gatos from 5:30-7:30pm.
  • St. Luke’s: Still providing food every Thursday for their homeless outreach.
  • Los Gatos Chamber Fun Fest: This Thursday, downtown Los Gatos from 3-9pm.  Come and join the fun. Thanks to Ed Stahl for hosting in front of travel Advisors.
  • Happy Hour: Last Tuesday at the Palms we had 50 people in attendance. Thank you Maddie for arranging this.
  • Santa Maria Ministry: Barbara Fishman thanked everyone for the donations of clothing. They are collecting sleeping bags for the winter months. Also they need volunteers to help at their site, Mon-Fri. Contact Santa Maria directly if you are interested.
Meeting Notes from August 10, 2021 2021-08-12 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 27, 2021

Meeting was called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach.
Pledge of allegiance was led by Sarita Johnson.
Inspiration was from John Pencer who spoke about how the goals of the Olympics are similar to those of Rotary. Both set an example of peaceful interaction and the hope that a better world is possible.
Nicholas reminded us to thank the staff of Shir Hadash in particular Gary Geller, Cindy Weinberg, and Diego Mendoza for being so welcoming and their support in helping our weekly meetings come together. 
Continuing the theme of music today’s song was Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head by B.J. Thomas. The song was suggested by Andrew Stearns. This song was enjoyed by the Stearns family when Andrew was young and he liked the message about being positive and the effect attitude can have on your life. The family even had a cat named Raindrop.


  • Jon Cowan from the Palo Alto Rotary is thinking about transferring to our club. Jon works for El Camino Hospital and spends much of his time in LG.
  • Suzanne Boxer-Gassman introduced Amy Lee who is visiting for the second time and thinking about joining our club. She is interested in getting a group together for golf.
  • Former LGR member Ron Letterman, was visiting from Studio City/Sherman Oaks Rotary. Thanks for stopping by Ron, we’ve missed you and your jokes. 
  • Randy Cobb introduced Kathie Benko, AKA the egg lady. He shared all the volunteering Kathie does with House of Hope in addition to the amazing eggs she does for St. Lukes. This week she did an Olympic theme. Thanks for all you do Kathie.
  • Dr. Erin Harnett, who was Nicholas’ guest last week, brought her own guest Kalisha Emami. Kalisha is her business partner and they are opening another wellness center in LG. Nice to see you again Erin, thanks for joining us Kalisha.
  • Ramon Ware is a prospective member. Ramon is a growth coach located in south San Jose. Thanks for joining us Ramon, enjoyed meeting you.
Meeting Notes from July 27, 2021 2021-07-29 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Meeting Notes from July 20, 2021

This was the first meeting at our new location, Shir Hadash. The meeting was called to order by President Nicholas Welzenbach at 12:30. This was also our first hybrid meeting. Thanks to Doug Brent and Gregg Butterfield you can still attend the meetings remotely. Nicholas’ mom joined us from Kansas. Nicholas also thanked Lisa Cheskin for all her work arranging our new meeting place. Please thank the staff members at Shir Hadash if you see them.
Mike Frangadakis led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Nicholas continued his theme with music. The song we heard was Soul Mining by The The, suggested by Patti van der Burg. If you have a song that has special meaning to you share the story with Nicholas.
John Pencer inspired us with a story about making choices and feeding the side of ourselves that does good in the world.


Nicholas’ guest was Dr. Erin Harnett
Don McCleve brought his granddaughter Holly Wilson
Suzanne Boxer-Gassman brought Amy Lee as her guest
Lydia Norcia introduced soon to be member Nancy Cosentino
Club accountant Heather Sexton was introduced by Patti van der Burg
Andrew Howard brought Lisa Sieber
Ginger McDonald and Mike Wyman visited us from the LG Morning Rotary.
Thanks for joining us today. It was nice to see everyone.

July birthdays introduced by Marlon Smith

  • Todd Taylor
  • Art Rabitz
  • Sarita Johnson
  • Eric Beckstrom
  • Ron Cassel
  • Tom O’Donnell
  • William Pope
  • Karen Anderson
Happy Birthday! Thank you to Don McCleve for accompanying us on the piano. It was great to
celebrate in person again.
Meeting Notes from July 20, 2021 2021-07-22 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Volunteer at Rotary tent - Thursdays

*Enjoy live music, people watching, and help promote Rotary * 

For the next 4 Thursdays 4-8pm we will have a community outreach Rotary tent setup in front of Ed Stahl's Travel Advisors storefront.  We have setup time & date slots and if everyone would consider taking one slot it will allow us all to also have time to enjoy this lively community event.
Volunteer at Rotary tent - Thursdays 2021-07-19 07:00:00Z 0

July 13th Evening at Judy & Gordon Levin's

Welcome to our new Tuesday Happy Hour! This week we enjoyed the company, food and amazing views at Gordon and Judy's mountain home. Gordon also displayed his woodworking talents under platters of food and photos on this link below.  Join us next Tuesday (July 20th) for lunch at Shir Hadash.  Learn about teaching leadership through robotics from our guest speaker Dr. Anh-Quan Nguyen. Be sure to order your lunch here before Monday Lunch 
July 13th Evening at Judy &amp; Gordon Levin's 2021-07-15 07:00:00Z 0

Our meeting in the park July 6, 2021

Check out the video from this meeting on our Facebook page - Click here!
The meeting was brought to order by our new Club President, Nicholas Welzenbach at 12:30pm. This was our first in-person meeting since March of 2020 and was held at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos.
Mike Frangadakis led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
John Pencer provided the Inspiration with a poem that focused on friendships. 
David Karwowski welcomed guests and visiting Rotarians. We had one visiting Rotarian, Hung Weoi from the Cupertino Club. Our guests included a member from the Fisher family plus Nicholas Welzenbach’s wife and kids.
Nicholas Welzenbach shared about his love of music and how it will tie into every meeting this year. He thanked Lisa Norcia Cheskin for getting everything together for the lunch and our new meeting location, Shir Hadash. He also thanked Doug Brent for all of his continued help and reminded all of us to embrace change and focus on having fun as a Club. 
Patti van der Burg thanked all of those who helped out on the Cat Tail Committee this past year.
Ron Cassel presented one final Certificate of Appreciation from last week’s Roast and Toast dinner to David Karwowski for everything he’s done for the Club.
Nicholas Welzenbach spoke more about the importance of adaptability and change then thanked the new Welcome Committee: Tina Orsi-Hartigan, Terri Trotter and Anjana Bose. He reminded us of the new meeting structure that will be in place for at least the next three months: every second Tuesday will be a social get-together instead of daytime meeting.
Our meeting in the park July 6, 2021 2021-07-12 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Roast & Toast Notes from June 29, 2021

A glimmer of post-COVID normalness sparked an evening of fun at our Annual Roast & Toast hosted by Villa Ragusa in downtown Campbell. Guests began arriving at 5:30 and were greeted by our fellow Rotarians and a well-organized check in process. After cocktails and hors d‘oeuvres, we sat down to our dinners and Marty Fishman started the evening program at 6:35pm.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mike Frangadakis.
In memoriam, we honored the lives of our friends Charles Ereckson, Harvey Knoernschild, Rene Freidrick and Al Blood.
John Pencer provided our Inspiration and thanked Marty Fishman, Doug Brent and Andrew Stearns for getting us through the pandemic and shared a poem called “Coming Together” by Robert Longley.
Lisa Norcia Cheskin mentioned our new members: Rebecca Alvarez, Karen Anderson, Tom Anthony, Ryan Basham, Eric Beckstrom, Jeffrey Blum, Anjana Bose, Barbara Fishman, Linda Lester, Margaret Smith and Terri Trotter.
Marty Fishman thanked Erik Beeson for his extraordinary magic card tricks that he entertained the group with before dinner.
We watched a beautifully created video by Suzanne Boxer-Gassman that highlighted our events and endeavors over the past year. Click here to see the video!
Roast &amp; Toast Notes from June 29, 2021 2021-07-08 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,Roast & Toast,The Cat Tale

Photos: 1st in person meeting of FY21/22- July 6

(see all the photos by clicking on this above image)
What a wonderful way to start the new Rotary fiscal year - in-person meeting for the first time in 15 months.  Everyone is excited to back together again. Nicholas laid out the first 3 months will be new and fun and focus on fellowship and service.  We danced and sang while Lavender Fields a local band played for us.  

Our next gathering will be next Tuesday night at member Gordon's home.  Then on July 20th we will meet at our new meeting site - Shir Hadash - 20 Cherry Blossom lane, Los Gatos 
Photos: 1st in person meeting of FY21/22- July 6 2021-07-06 07:00:00Z 0

President's Message - July 1, 2021

The opportunity to lead the Rotary Club of Los Gatos as the president is a great honor. Rotary provides our members an opportunity to give back and be an active part in what makes not only our community great but our world as well. 
Rotary is a remarkable service organization that allows for small gestures to have global impact. We invite those in our community searching for an opportunity to give back to join us. We would be excited to welcome you and share with you our clubs goals to improve our world and have an amazing time doing it. 
In the immortal words of Kalyan Ndukwe Kalimantan;
        “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
As President, this year, I promise to lead this club, by always being mindful of Rotarian’s 4-Way Test concerning the things I think, say or do –
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and better FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Nicholas Welzenbach
Rotary Club of Los Gatos 
Club President - FY2021/22
President's Message - July 1, 2021 2021-07-01 07:00:00Z 0

Rotarian of the year! FY 2020/2021

Congratulations, Tom Boyce is our Outstanding Rotarian of the Year! Tom has been a member of Rotary Club of Los Gatos for 35 years.  We could not be more proud to honor all the years of service and commitment to our club, our community, and our world. 
Rotarian of the year! FY 2020/2021 2021-06-29 07:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting Notes from June 22, 2021

This was the last meeting of Pandemic President Andrew’s year.
Pledge was led by new member Eric Beckstrom.
Inspiration was led by Suzanne, and she reflected on the resilient year our club has had: new zoom meeting format, serving safely, caring committee, St Luke’s weekly food donations, virtual race, drive-in movie fundraiser, wine tasting fundraiser, and staying safe and connected per President Andrew’s direction. Plus our marketing team of Rachelle and Amy showed us in action in the “Together we…” campaign, which with their many posts per week, put us all over the District website. And now, a new day is coming.
Greeter was Tom Anthony. Jeff Blum’s guest was Ramon Ware, a business coach ( an Air Force veteran with 6 kids that he met at a chamber mixer.
Member spotlight on social media this week was our fearless leader Andrew Stearns.
Lydia thanked the We Care Committee for their year of work.
Amy gave a RYLA update on the virtual camp they held this week. There were 167 attendees, and the presentation at the end reflected on how to lead with LUV: focus on Location, Unlearn bias which we all have, and use your Voice and Vision. A student- made RYLA video was shown.
Tina announced the district is collecting CPAP equipment to be re-purposed as Covid treatment devices for India. See Tina if you can donate.
Nicholas gave us a peak at the new year, and Andrew quipped the future has hair. Ha!

Tuesday Meeting schedule:

June 29 - club is dark meaning no noon meeting, but Roast and Toast Dinner starts at 5:30 at Villa Ragusa. Fun will be had as we reflect on the year and pass the gavel.
July 6 - Oak Meadow Park with Panera lunch, chairs and shade provided, 12-1:30…our first in-person meeting and Nicholas’ first meeting!
July 13 - no noon meeting, night gathering at Gordon Levin’s house
July 20- first noon meeting at Shir Hadash, lunch optional, order in advance per email you will be sent (reply deadline Mondays 8am)
July 27 - Shir Hadash noon meetings continue
Zoom Meeting Notes from June 22, 2021 2021-06-25 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from June 15, 2021

Andrew called the meeting to order at 12:33
Clayton Bruntz gave the pledge of allegiance
Henry Vitkovich gave inspiration about traveling. Travel magnifies the human emotions and opens stories and memories. Go travel!
Anjana Bose was the greeter and reported there were no visitors in the meeting.
Member spotlight is Wes Sadumiano. His favorite experience with Rotary was his trip with Marty to Guatemala. Like what Henry said in the inspiration, the opportunity to travel made the service come alive. 
TRF and PolioPlus update: Send your checks in or email Dan with your pledge before the end of the month! Polio is still in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Avis La Grone says we have to completely eradicate it so your contribution is crucial. 
Mike Frangadakis announced a certificate of appreciation to Nicholas Welzenbach and Los Gatos Memorial Park from the armed services for his wonderful Memorial Day event.
Avis gave special recognition to Nicholas Welzenbach, Doug Brent, David Wells, and Andrew Howard for giving vocational presentations to Rotaractors in Sri Lanka. Our club members put in a lot of effort and the young Sri Lankans appreciated it, were engaged in the questions they asked, and were outstanding.
RYLA is June 16-19, and on June 19 from 1-4:30 you can log in through zoom and learn more by watching the kids’ presentations.  Amy will send out details on how to participate. 
The Rotary June theme is Fellowship. There are Rotary fellowship groups like fishing, RVs, marathon runners, metal heads, birdwatching, antiracism, wine appreciation, skiing, quilting, yachting, you name it. You can get involved in these groups and meet Rotarians all over the world.

Alert: There is no June 29 lunchtime meeting. 

Instead, it is Roast and Toast! 126 people are coming so far. Be sure to RSVP before the 19th when Marty Fishman has to finalize numbers. Get there by 5:30 so you can mingle and drink before the the program starts. It’s time to leave your cave and have a good time.  If you want to be seated as a table of 5-8 email Marty and he can arrange that. Overflow parking at Darling Fisher.
Patti van der Burg set up our Second Harvest Food Bank service project for Saturday July 10. It’s on a weekend this time, in case week day projects have been hard for you.
See Patti’s email to sign up. 
West Valley services needs gleaners- going to local grocery stores to pick up food donations early in the mornings M-F. Connect with Bobbi from WVS to get more info on that one.

You can also sign up to be a driver for the back to school event online. 

The first Rotary meeting in person will be at Oak Meadow Park on July 6.

Shade tents and chairs will be provided. There will be a sound system and the whole works. We may also be able to start with our Panera lunch orders - stay tuned on that.
Barbara Fishman goes down most Fridays to Santa Maria urban ministries. Drop off donations for her to take at Marty’s eye clinic.
Remember to take the social media survey! See email from Rachelle Lopp.
Next week: Remember your favorite band, song, artist, genre as your backdrop/avatar.
Zoom Meeting Notes from June 15, 2021 2021-06-17 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from June 8, 2021

Andrew called the meeting to order.
Erika Buck led the pledge of allegiance.
Henry Vitkovich gave the inspiration, talking about the vital importance of water in this year of drought and asking us not to take it for granted.
Terri Trotter welcomed our guests: Bobbi Bornstein from West Valley Community Service and Niki Canotas from Mike and Niki’s Honey.
Myron Smith was the member spotlight of the week. Thanks Myron for all you do!
Marlon Smith announced our Rotary anniversaries.


Dick Konrad announced our volunteer opportunities - West Valley Community Service needs help with drivers and with the summer’s back to school drive. Go to their website to sign up -  
Avis LaGrone and Dan Snyder updated us on the Rotary Foundation and Polio Plus drive. It’s time! Please donate this month to be counted for this fiscal year. Let Dan know what you’d like to contribute. (Reply to his email from last week). We ask a minimum donation of $200 for the Foundation and $100 for Polio. Or you can match Avis and Dan at $1000/$500.
Shelter Box hit a major milestone: they have hit 2 million shelters given to refugees. Congrats to all who are a part of that.
Rachelle Lopp asked everyone to respond to a very short survey being mailed out soon that will help the marketing/PR team with our club communication efforts on social media. 
Marty Fishman reminded us to sign up for the Roast and Toast on June 29 at Villa Ragusa. 
Patti van der Burg sent our next Second Harvest Food bank service opportunity for July 10. See her email to sign up.
June 22 avatar/background challenge (in 2 weeks) is your favorite song, album, band, concert, composer, etc (anything musical).
Zoom Meeting Notes from June 8, 2021 2021-06-09 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from June 1, 2021

Greeter was Jane Marashian.
Meeting was called to order by Gae La Torre, filling in for President Andrew Stearns, who was in court. (yes, there were jokes about bailing him out)
Pledge was led by Sarita Johnson.
Inspiration was Henry Vitkovich. Henry hoped we all took a moment yesterday to think about the veterans we have lost, but what about today? Think about anger, forgiveness, listen to others, volunteer, embrace our differences. To be a strong, secure and safe nation, everyone must feel safe and secure in their homes, their community and their country. 
Prior to the meeting Gae and Mike Norcia were talking about the Memorial Day celebration at Los Gatos Memorial Park. They said it was a wonderful day. Nicholas Welzenbach was the MC and the keynote speaker was Otto Lee. Gae and Mike agreed it was a very moving event.
Gae asked the veterans to raise their hands. Lisa Cheskin read the names of the club veterans:
  • Gary Allison
  • Rob Chaykin
  • Mike Frangadakis
  • Grady Jeter
  • Dick Konrad
  • Art Rabitz
  • Myron Smith
  • Ed Stahl
  • Gordon Levin
Thanks to all who have served.
Guests: Barbara Fishman introduced her guest Bobby Bornstein from West Valley Community Services. Thanks for being here Bobby, hope to see you again soon.
Member spotlight this week is one of our new members Eric Beckstrom.
Zoom Meeting Notes from June 1, 2021 2021-06-02 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from May 25, 2021

Meeting began at 12:31 called to order by Andrew Stearns
Pledge: Margaret Smith
Inspiration: John Pencer: told a story about a father and daughter and the value of a used car. Never let yourself be undervalued. The right place and the right people will value you the right way. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you.
Greeter: Gae La Torre. She introduced three guests: Ken Duncan, Mike Scoggins and Jennifer Barrier.
Member Spotlight: Tina Orsi-Hartigan. She has been a member since 2001. Values Rotary and all of the club members. Has traveled all over the world and sees the signs of Rotary everywhere. Loves the fact that Rotary has a worldwide impact.
Avatar Challenge: First Car or Mode of Transportation
  • Doug: Honda 450
  • Andrew: 1969 Camaro
  • Tina: 1976 Chevy Chevette
  • Grady: 1977 Porsche
  • Jeffrey Barnett: 1962 Volvo 122 S
  • Gordon: 1968 Cutlass Convertible
  • Jamie: 1985 V8 Chevy S10
  • Michelle: 1957 Plymouth Belvedere
  • Patti: Volkswagen Jetta and 1970 Karmann Ghia
  • John Pencer: 1958 Corvette
  • Greg Smith: 1982 Ferrari
  • Lydia: 450 SL Red Mercedes
  • Rachelle: Toyota Tercel
  • Dan: 1969 BMW 2002 TI
Membership Minute: Lisa Cheskin. Welcomed Len, Jen and Mike. She is ordering Blue Badges for those eligible.

Red Badge Bio: Jeffrey Blum. Joked that the Bio presentations are either a therapy session, group wide intervention or used as blackmail if a member decides to quit the club! He is sensitive, impatient, intense, obsessive compulsive, and is an exercise and health food fanatic, Loves to swim, walk and bike. He is a worrywart, sarcastic and scrupulously honest. Born and raised in Kingspoint, Long Island. His father was a jeweler; his mother was the original helicopter mother and a legal stenographer. He said that her lack of cooking skills were some of his funniest memories. He graduated from Rutgers and just retired from his law practice. He is thrilled to be part of Rotary and helping to make a difference in the community.

Zoom Meeting Notes from May 25, 2021 2021-05-28 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from May 18, 2021

Meeting began at 12:31 called to order by Andrew Stearns
Pledge: Wes Sadumiano
Inspiration: Gary Allison: Found a message in his library that relates to Rotary.
Tell three people today how much you love them. How important it is to tell people how much you care and do not put it off or wait. Call or write a note or tell them in person.  Challenged each of us to call someone today or tomorrow and tell them.
Greeter: Patti van den Burg. No visiting Rotarians or guests today.
Member Spotlight: Jeffrey Blum. Joined Rotary in Jan. 2021 because it is aligned with his values. Rotary is a positive force, builds good will and community. He has made new friends and Rotary also takes him out of his comfort zone, which is a good thing. He loves being a member.
Membership Minute: Lisa Cheskin. May 13 was the new member schmooze. Suzanne gave a presentation on finances. There were 12 people in attendance. 
Margaret Smith was re-inducted into our club.
Rotary Foundation and Polio Plus: we are behind in our club with pledges for TRF. Only 12% of the membership has contributed and we have only collected $10,000 of a $25,000 goal.
We as a club are also behind on our pledges for Polio Plus. If you wish to donate by credit card contact Dan Snyder, and if you wish to write a check send it to Avis. Dan will send an email out to all members asking for pledges for both RTF and Polio Plus. You can also go to to make a direct monthly payment to TRF and our club gets the credit. We receive 40-50% of the donations back to our club to use as needed.
Suggested donation ask: TRF: $200.00 and Polio Plus: $100.00, but any amount is welcome and appreciated.
Vocabulary Lesson: Andrew Stearns said that there are 1200 new words connected to the coronavirus. Some examples: new normal, covid fatigue, quarantining, covinated, zoom bombing and doom scrolling.

Club Announcements:

  • Board Meeting is May 20, 2021 at 5pm
  • Second Harvest Food Bank volunteer event will take place on July 10 , 10:30-2:30. Save the date, signups in June.
  • Santa Maria Donations continue: they can use clothes and some packaged foods, no books
  • Roast and Toast is June 29, 2021 at Villa Ragusa in Campbell. 
  • Leigh High Scholl Interactors are still doing personal shopping
  • Background Avatar challenge next week: First Automobile or combustion engine mode of transportation
  • St. Luke’s Volunteers: thank you!
  • How are we doing with our pollinator plants? Make sure we are attracting, bees and butterflies
  • Remember that you can sign into a meeting from anywhere
Zoom Meeting Notes from May 18, 2021 2021-05-20 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from May 11, 2021

Meeting was called to order by President Andrew Stearns.
Pledge was led by David Wells.
Inspiration by Gary Allison was a series of quotes from Robert Burns, George Bernard Shaw, Albert Schweitzer and Wilbur Wright that made him think about Rotarians. Reminding us that we have all joined Rotary to serve others.
Maddie Smith was today’s greeter. There were no guests or visiting Rotarians.
Anjana Bose is the member in the spotlight this month. She has been a member since this past January and has really enjoyed being a part of Rotary. Andrew told us one of the quotes Anjana likes is by Woodrow Wilson, “There is no higher religion than human service.”

Rotary Anniversaries:

  • Mike Frangadakis, May 1 (30 years, actually 43 – see below)
  • Eric Eberle, May 2 (21 years)
  • Meghan Burton, May 7 (2 years)
  • Lisa Mize, May 8 (3 years)
  • Susie Mize, May 8 (3 years)
  • Bill Pope May 8 (3years)
  • Tom Boyce, May 10 (35 years)
  • Michelle Behr (1 year)
  • Sandy Bocks, May 11 (17 years)
  • Randy Cobb, May 14 (2 years)
  • Sandeep Gopisetty, May 14 (2years)
  • Ed Bowen May 15 (53 years) 
  • Chris Potter, May 28 (2 years)
  • Len Smith, May 29 (37 years)
Tom Boyce introduced new member Eric Beckstrom. Eric is a local architect. We’ll hear more about Eric when he does his Red Badge speech. Welcome Eric, we look forward to hearing more about you.
Zoom Meeting Notes from May 11, 2021 2021-05-13 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from May 4, 2021

Photo of Leigh High school Interact club boxing up food at Second Harvest.  Doug Brent is one of the Interact advisors. "We are so impressed with how our students continue to find ways to better our community. - Amy P."
Inspiration – Gary Allison
Topic: Lemonade stands & things to be positive about. The club is thriving thanks to our president & technology and better days are coming.
Greeter: Jamie Hekkelman
No guests and no visitors
Lisa Cheskin welcomed back Margaret Smith
We care report – Lydia
Mike Frangadakis – having back surgery
Maddie Smith – condolences loss of her sister
Member spotlight Karen Anderson
Birthday celebrations – Marlon Smith.  He recognized Andrew Stearns’ birthday and noted there are birthdays on reoccurring dates.  They played a mariachi Happy Birthday video.
Membership minute – Lisa Cheskin
New Member Schmooze – scheduled for May 13th @ 5pm…see Lisa for invite

Volunteer Opportunities

House of Hope signup to deliver groceries – email was sent to club.  Delivering food for low -income families – takes 10 mins to pickup and then 3 or 4 stops. Click here to sign up!
Second Harvest Recap – Leigh High Interact – 5 freshmen doing a great job organizing

Club Announcements

District Training
1st Thursday – May 6th Darling Fischer in Campbell 5:30-7:30
Santa Maria Donates – Barbara Fishman – next drop May 14th
Roast & Toast – June 29th  
Background Challenges next week – Birthday Cakes
Zoom Meeting Notes from May 4, 2021 2021-05-08 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from April 27, 2021

The meeting was convened by Andrew Stearns at 12.30 pm by welcoming everyone.
There were 53 participants at the meeting.
Everyone was Happy and excited to be there.
INSPIRATION was done by Jamie by reading a poem written by her called SUPERHERO
This was dedicated to the fellow Rotarians:
Flying and soring into action 
Lighting fast 
This is the pace that we believe wins the RACE
But that isn’t the case.
It’s the cross-country road race
of BENIFIICALS we choose
We Chase
Its making it fair for all those 
I Can look to this SCREEN
And it defines just what I MEAN
A plan of action, a rhythm And a Pace
It took time to be 
Eradicate a Disease 
From the Human RACE
It’s the YOU, it’s the ME 
It’s Mike Moses that we heard from last WEEK
Take it from the tortoise, and he’s not weak
IT’s the TRUTH
It’s not about the race 
It what you do with that pace. 
Zoom Meeting Notes from April 27, 2021 2021-04-30 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from April 20, 2021

Guest Speaker: Mike Moses of San Jose Fire Fighters Burn Foundation
Everyone was Absolutely Happy and President Stearns wished us all a Happy 4-20 day. 59 members were in attendance.
Pledge was led by Terri.
Inspiration was led by Jamie, recently returned from camping on Feather River, and included a poem about enjoying the smaller simpler pleasures of daily life.
Erika Buck was our welcoming greeter. Guests included Hal Rosen’s wife Lydia. Lisa’s guests were neighbors Kate and Bob Chimenti (who also happened to know Haryl and Judy). Marty’s guest was Morgane Dussault, Director of Philanthropy at Salvation Army Silicon Valley. She recently moved to town and looks forward to visiting us.
PSA: Get vaxed up, everyone! Dan Snyder noted it’s much easier to get an appointment now.
This week’s social media member spotlight was Ensy Afdari, who is inspired and honored to be in the club.
May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'Rotary Los Gatos
Lisa presented the results of the survey, completed by 67% of members. The winning age category was the 70 year olds.
  • 62% wanted more than the usual speaker programs, such as service or breakouts.
  • 33% still want Zoom offered
  • 63% want new location to be in Los Gatos
  • many comments about the social aspect being important
  • Lisa’s team is investigating 12 different venues and will report results as available, including Testarosa and JCC
  • Morning Rotary will meet at Loma Brewing
Zoom Meeting Notes from April 20, 2021 2021-04-23 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from April 13, 2021

Inspiration was led by Jamie, and included several humorous Covid thoughts such as
  • Who would have ever thought “I wouldn’t touch that with a  6 foot pole” would become a national policy?
  • The best way to not touch your face is to hold 2 glasses of wine.
Anjana Bose was our welcoming greeter. Guests included Hal Rosen’s wife Lydia. Marty’s guest was new member Rebecca Alvarez, receiving her Red Badge and giving a short bio. She lives in Scotts Valley and works for West Valley College and has event experience. Also we were honored to have Suzy Erekson and daughter Amy, who told us Charles chose the Los Gatos rotary Scholarship fund to receive funds.
We were all deeply saddened to lose long time Rotarian and friend Charley Erekson last week to cancer.  Many members shared their memories.
  • Tom O’Donnell shared that they spent many hours on the Planning Commission together, and that Charley was remarkable, intelligent, and courteous always. He also had a distinguished career at Santa Clara University.
  • Tina remembered him as an advisor extraordinaire, as he helped her on many improvement projects when she was Club President. He had great wisdom and new how to have fun and innovate. She is very sorry to see him gone.
  • Andrew Howard and Nicholas recalled he was a gentleman and thoughtful and welcoming to new members, despite sitting at the bad boys’ table in the back.
  • Dan Snyder recalled he was always warm and encouraging.
  • Grady remembered they enjoyed a good-natured sports rivalry, and that he was light and lovable.
  • Andrew Stearns said if you asked Charley how he was, you better have an hour. He would come back for the CrabFeed after retiring to Oregon, and he will be sorely missed.
  • Art recalled Charley as a great travel partner and friend and he misses him.
Suzy and Amy shared the details for the online Celebration of Life Event on May 2. You can view the invitation for Charley's Celebration of Life Service here by clicking here.
Marlon noted the Rotary anniversaries, including long-timers Andrew Stearns (25 years) and LeRoy (41 years). Rounding out the group are Dan Snyder (8), Riley (3), and Lydia (1).
This week’s social media member spotlight was David Wells, a valued member.
May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'Rotary Los Gatos
Zoom Meeting Notes from April 13, 2021 2021-04-18 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Houseplants cheer up hospice patients

Hospice patients benefit from houseplants in need of a home:

One of the cornerstone beliefs of all Rotarians is “Service Above Self.” Local projects such as feeding the needy or restoring a playground are some of the many kinds of opportunities Rotary Club offers to members. Another benefit of being a Rotarian is networking. Friendships quickly develop between members as they all join together for a good cause. The true magic happens when these two benefits are combined and a purpose evolves. That is just what recently happened in the Rotary Club of Los Gatos.

One of our members, Michelle Myers Nelson, regularly picks up flowers that are rotated out of the local Trader Joe’s store. Prior to the pandemic, she would bring the flowers to a community center where they would be passed out to the seniors attending lunch. Over this past year the centers ceased their in-house lunch program, so she began offering them to the nursing staff at Kaiser Permanente and other front line workers.

Recently, however, she had another bounty from Trader Joe’s to share: plants. Lots and lots of lovely little indoor plants in decorative pots needing good homes. She thought how nice it would be if she could bring them to a hospice center to provide some cheer to those who are not only struggling with medical challenges, but who have been particularly isolated during the pandemic. How to do this was more challenging than she thought, with all the new safety restrictions. Then she remembered one of her fellow Rotarians, Wes Sadumiano, works in Community Relations and Marketing for Hospice of the Valley. After one quick call, he was able to arrange for her to deliver the plants to their local office, where the attending nurses could distribute them to their patients. And that was the magical moment. One person, connecting with one other, bringing good into the world. She will never see the smiles on any of the faces when they receive their little gift of life, but just knowing it will happen provides all the satisfaction required. 

Rotary, people of action, making good things happen.

Benefits of Plants on Mental and Physical Health

There are many mental and physical health benefits provided by houseplants, which is why so many hospices have gardens for patients and visitors to look at or gather in. Plants can:

  • Clean and oxygenate the air, leading to less chance of respiratory discomfort from conditions such as asthma or COPD. 

  • Have a calming effect on patients, lowering stress and anxiety levels, along with heart rate and blood pressure.

  • Improve cognitive functioning, specifically in relation to the ability to remember and focus.

  • Lower pain levels for those who regularly interact with and care for plants.

  • Increase confidence and self-esteem.

  • Add beauty to a patient’s room.

We wonder what magic will happen next? Because we know it will.

Houseplants cheer up hospice patients 2021-04-14 07:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting Notes from April 6, 2021

Meeting was held online via Zoom and called to order at 12:30pm by Andrew Stearns.
Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jamie Hekkelman.
Inspiration Today’s inspiration was provided by Jamie Hekkelman.  In honor of National Librarian Day, Jamie shared a passage from her favorite book, “The Wizard of Oz.”
Greeter Our Greeter of the day is Terri Trotter. Terri introduced our visiting Rotarians.
Visiting Rotarians Ervie Smith from the Rotary Club of San Jose.


Marty Fishman announced that Charlie Erekson is currently on hospice care and unfortunately, not expected to be with us much longer.
Marlon Smith announced the April birthdays. Happy Birthday was sung via a music video.
Member Spotlight of the Week – This week’s spotlight member is AnnMarie Valle. 
Membership Minute – Terri Trotter has moved from her Red Badge to her Blue Badge. Her sponsor (and sister) Tina Orsi-Hartigan welcomed her and gave her the nickname of “Speedy” for getting through the process so quickly.
Gae La Torre announced that last week’s First Thursday at Flights in Los Gatos went well.  36 people showed up and it was a beautiful evening. If anyone would like to host our May First Thursday from their home, please let Gae know.
Our Annual Roast and Toast will be held on June 29, 2021. Save the Date!
Barbara Fishman announced that if you would like to donate any items to the Santa Maria Urban Ministry, they can be dropped off at Marty’s office, located at 431 Monterey Ave., Suite 3 from 9:00am – 5:00pm.
Zoom Meeting Notes from April 6, 2021 2021-04-07 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from March 30, 2021

Join Your Rotary Club of Los Gatos For A New Project
Santa Maria Urban Ministry Donation Drive

Greeter for the day was Karen Anderson

Chris Potter lead the group for the Pledge of Allegiance

Doug Bent gave an inspiration on a story about a professor who asked the students to write their thoughts on a black dot in the center of a paper. Everyone wrote their own interpretation of what the dot signifies but forgot to focus on the white paper itself.  The moral of the story is “Take your eyes away from the black dots in your lives and see the whole page of opportunity. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love!”
Doug Bent was also featured for the weekly member spotlight
Mike Norcia gave a heads up for the upcoming Great Race which is tentatively scheduled sometime in late May or early June as the county is moving into less restrictions.
Jamie Hekkelman gave an update on the bike drive that she and Patti Vanderburg were involved with. She reported that they received some interesting types of bikes including the oldest from the 1950’s which was from Jamie’s grandmother. John Pencer donated the most interesting bike while Andrew Howard gave the smallest bike. Donated bikes went to Good Karma Bikes, a nonprofit Bike Shop open to the public.
Maddie announced that the First Thursday would be at Flights Restaurant in Los Gatos from 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Zoom Meeting Notes from March 30, 2021 2021-04-05 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from March 23, 2021

Andrew started the meeting by giving kudos to the pac 12 for their performance in march madness!
Doug Brent gave a great inspiration starting with a poll on poverty, literacy, mortality, and education.  He then showed in contrast to our views on these topics, there is data from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation that shows the population in poverty has been cut in half, child mortality was cut by a third, literacy has improved as well.  He explained that the media focus on negative events make us think we have not been making progress, where the data shows that we have.  
Lydia Norcia was our greeter, and she welcomed our visiting Rotarians and guests. After the meeting Lydia shared an inspirational video; a young lady having a full life because of Inner Wheel and Hanger Corporation. Check out “We are only limited by ourselves.” by Giovanna Dubuc. 



Speech Contest
Dessy Bonev won our local rotary speech contest, and will go on to the regional speech contest.  That contest will be Tuesday April 6th.
Patti will be coming to help collect bikes for the Good karma bike donation.
First Thursday will be April 1st 5:30-7:30 at Flights restaurant in Los Gatos.  They have created a nice new patio on the side of the building where we can have happy hour.
Leigh High Fund Raiser
If you have interest in having your e-waste picked up, they will do this for 15 dollars.  If you have interest please contact Doug Brent.
Zoom Meeting Notes from March 23, 2021 2021-03-24 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from March 16, 2021

Meeting was called to order by President Andrew Stearns. 
Amy Potts led us in the Pledge.
Doug Brent shared some thoughts from a WSJ article he read on how people’s lives have changed during the pandemic year. One person shared how losing her job and having to help her teach her children at home made her realize she didn’t need all the material things that had been important before, she learned about herself and her priorities. Another was a small business owner that almost went out of business, but through hard work and creativity she was able to save her business and she sees things slowly return to normal. Doug’s thought on this, “My take away from this and some of the other stories I read I that you have got to believe there are tens of millions of stories like these-many in our own club. While you hate to see it takes a pandemic to prove it, humans are persistent, resilient, optimistic and adaptable.”
Greeter Art Rabbitz- No guests. One guest Eric acknowledged at end of meeting.
We Care Art- Charlie Ericson was diagnosed with lung cancer. He will be starting treatment in Portland. Please keep Charlie in your thoughts.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (when everyone is Irish) Don McCleve played When Irish Eyes are Smiling.
Featured Members this week are Judy and Julian Rodriguez. Julian said one of his favorite Rotary memories was hosting nine Russians in 1998. He also mentioned the water fountain in downtown LG we are responsible for. It is wheelchair accessible and has a doggy water bowl. Judy talked about hosting 100 people at a party in San Antonio’s oldest bar during one of the conventions they attended. They both are happy and proud to be members of LG Rotary. Thank you for all you have done for our club and the community.


Speech contest March 17.  Here is the link for the Area 8 Speech Contest happening at 7:30am at the Los Gatos Morning Rotary meeting. Dessy Bonev, the winner of our contest, will be competing. Please join if you'd like to see the contest.
     Topic: LGMR Meeting.- Speech Contest
     Time: Mar 17, 2021 07:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada) 
Red Badge Schmooze March 18 at 5:00. This is for members two years or less.
Membership Survey- about half the members have replied, thank you. Survey closes this Friday.
Zoom Meeting Notes from March 16, 2021 2021-03-18 07:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from March 9, 2021

Call to order at 12:30 Everybody is happy! Absolutely.
Pledge of allegiance led by Karen Anderson.
Inspiration from Doug Brent: Have a bias toward experimental thinking. 
Guest Rotarians: Ramesh Hariharan and Peter Tanner
Guests: Steve Malkos, friend of Andrew Howard, and Eric Beckstromarchi, potential new member, architect



We will bring back the greeters to our meetings. Look for them with the special Zoom background.
Anniversaries: 11 members are celebrating membership anniversaries this week. 
Rotarian spotlight: Tom Dodge
In memoriam: Al Blood passed away a few weeks ago. He was our club president ‘96-97. Members shared memories and tributes, everyone agreeing he was a kind gentleman.
Amy Potts gave a tribute to the women of Rotary in honor of International Women’s Day
Look for a 10 question survey that will be emailed out to you soon. Please fill it out to help our membership committee! 
New Member Schmooze coming up on 3/18 at 5pm for all members of less than 2 years. Others welcome too. Email Lisa Cheskin if you need the Zoom link.
Zoom Meeting Notes from March 9, 2021 2021-03-11 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from March 2, 2021

Meeting was called to order by President Andrew Stearn.
Pledge was led by Greg Butterfield.
Doug Brent inspired us with Six Word Stories. It is amazing how so few words can have such an impact.
Some examples he shared with us:
From a travel lover 
Nothing to declare. Much to remember.
Or the Zoom fatigued:
Logged out. Pulled plug. Found life. 
He’s waiting on:
Grandchildren are the proof of immortality.
Here are two Doug wrote for us:
A transforming vision: service above self.
And lastly:
2021, it can’t be worse, right?
Ed Stahl introduced his guest, George Andary. George is a student at Bellarmine. He shared with us how much he has enjoyed doing service work during the pandemic. In addition to working at Second Harvest he set up a space at Ed’s office to help seniors go online to make appointments for vaccinations.

Happy Birthday to the March Rotarians:

  • Linda Lester, March 1
  • John Colwell, March 2
  • Tony James, March 2
  • Don McCleve, March 4
  • Tom Boyce, March 5
  • Erik Beeson, March 9
  • Dan Doore, March 17
  • Paul Mudgett, March 17
  • Patti van der Burg, March 17
  • Ed Graziani, March 20
  • Lisa Mize, March 22
  • Jamie Hekkelman, March 25
  • Clayton Bruntz, March 30
  • Norm Snyder, March 31
Thank you to Andrew Howard and Avis La Grone for being our Rotarians in the spotlight.
Member minute: Lisa Cheskin announced the next New Member Schmooze will be March 18 at 5:00.

Doug and Andrew attended the Rotary Club of Westbourne Charter Anniversary meeting. Doug said although they do somethings that are different, honoring the Queen, we are more alike than different. Doug suggested that we do something similar when we celebrate our 100th year.
Zoom Meeting Notes from March 2, 2021 2021-03-04 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from February 23, 2021

Terri Trotter led the group for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Suzanne Boxer-Gassman delivered an inspiration by Pope Francis. “Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; sun does not shine in itself and flowers do not spread their flowers for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of of you.”

There were no visiting rotarians and guests.
Two new prospective members were officially introduced as new members (red badgers). First was Karen Anderson sponsored by Lisa Cheskin and the second was Terri Trotter sponsored by her own sister, Tina Orsi-Hartigan.

Chris Potter presented a proposal for an environmental service project. A poll was conducted among the club members present at the meeting and based on the responses, the club has agreed to take on this service project.

Some membership minute, Tina Orsi-Hartigan encouraged everyone to “bring a friend to rotary” for next week. This is to introduce your friends to what rotary is all about and hopefully recruit new members.
Zoom Meeting Notes from February 23, 2021 2021-03-01 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from February 16, 2021

VP Gae La Torre ran the meeting as President Andrew was unavailable due to “work” (something about appearing before a judge?). Patti led the pledge. Suzanne’s inspiration had to do with love, and how to appreciate it in whatever form you have it.
Guests were Josh Selo from Cupertino Rotary and West Valley Community Services, and Marian, Gae’s sister whom Gae will visit next week in Florida. She was by the pool and declined to turn her camera on ha!
This week’s social media member spotlight is on Meghan Burton.
Let Lydia know if you know of a member needing some “We Care” support.
Josh Selo announced the upcoming West valley Community Services fundraiser “Chefs of Compassion”, a virtual gala on March 5 at 6:00pm, where for a ticket you will get a gourmet meal and wine delivered to your door. Tickets at
Lisa talked about the membership committee’s new effort for members less than 2 yrs in the club, the “New Member Schmooze” Feb 18 5:00-5:30 via Zoom with special speakers and fun to be had. Feel free to join.
Saratoga Rotary is having a fundraiser, where if you order food on DoorDash through March 15, use code SRC21 to give their club 20% towards their charities.
Tina announced March 2 is bring a friend to Rotary meeting day, and she has fun ideas planned. Let her know if you have any ideas for fun additions as well.
Philanthropy forms are due 2/28.
Zoom Meeting Notes from February 16, 2021 2021-02-18 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from February 9, 2021

Meeting was held online via Zoom and called to order at 12:30pm by Andrew Stearns.
We had 49 Zoom participants.
Pledge of Allegiance was led by Nava Fathi.
InspirationJohn Pencer shared 5 quotes. One was inspired by the Super Bowl. One was about education, inspired by the students and teachers dealing with learning during the pandemic. And three were about motivation, attitude and self-esteem.
Visiting Rotarians Ron Cassel re-introduced Nava Fathi who was attending for the first time in a while. Also visiting was Terri Trotter.


Andrew introduced new Red Badge member, Jeffrey Blum.  Jeffrey is an attorney who practices family law and is on his way to retirement. He is looking forward to contributing and he thanked the Club for welcoming him.
Member Spotlight of the Week – This week’s spotlight member is Jeffrey Barnett and last week’s spotlight member was Amy Potts. Each of them shared what the like about Rotary.
Rotary Anniversaries – Lydia Norcia shared the Rotarian anniversaries for the month of February. One highlight was Charles Goss who is coming up on 50 years!
Membership Minutes – The Membership Committee is chaired by Lisa Norcia Cheskin.  The sub-committees are: Recruitments, chaired by Marty Fishman, Onboarding chaired by Lisa Norcia Cheskin and Retention, chaired by Tina Orsi-Hartigan. Our club has grown from 103 – 123 members over the past 5 years and we will add 3 more new members by next week. Changes have been made recently to make it easier to join including family memberships, corporate memberships and no mandatory district events. The committee challenged all current members to bring in family, colleagues and friends by inviting them to meetings and service activities.
Andrew shared the news about the passing of former club member, John Foley. John passed away in January following a battle with Parkinson’s disease. Ron Cassel and John Spencer shared memories of John.
The week’s avatar challenge focused on our member’s high school photos.  Those that participated shared where they attended high school.
Santa Clara Country is looking for volunteers to help with COVID19 vaccines. If interested, you can visit the County website. 
Zoom Meeting Notes from February 9, 2021 2021-02-10 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from February 2, 2021

The meeting was called to order by President Andrew Stearns.


Suzanne provided our inspiration with the adage, “when life gives you lemons make lemonade.”  She reflected on our time in lockdown, and espoused the benefits of the technology we have adapted to, and the inspiration it has provided us to change.

Visitors and Guests:

  • Sesh visited from the Saratoga club.
  • Tina’s sister Terri Trotter, and her son Colin were here.
  • Karen Anderson who is applying to be a member was also a guest.
  • Don McCleve’s daughter-in-law Jennifer was a guest as well.
We celebrated Rotarian birthdays today with Sandeep G., Judith P., Ericka B., Marlon S., Richard B., David H., Canan S., Michelle B., Marshall S., and Lydia N.  Don McCleve played a wonderful Happy Birthday to them on the piano.


Call the older adults in your life to make sure they have an appointment for a vaccine.


Doug Brent put a polling question up to test our capabilities with polling.  A screen with a polling question popped up and we were able to then respond to a survey during the zoom meeting.  55 of 59 people were able to see that question.

Wine Fest

Suzanne gave us a run down of the wine fest.  We had a really fun night with lots of positive responses.  There was a big team, and Tina and Patti really did a lot of work here and we certainly appreciate all their hard work.  David Wells set up the online auction which worked really well.  Amy and Rochelle did a great job on the PR and marketing too, and that really made a big difference.  The San Jose youth orchestra really did a great job with the online performance as well.  Terri and Tina packed up the food boxes, and the team found ways for us to safely pick up our boxes.  Patti also came up with a way to display the auction items at pickup which helped with the marketing.   We also gave Colin a special thank you for all his help with the technology.  On the financials we raised nearly as much as we did in 2019 which is a huge accomplishment.
Zoom Meeting Notes from February 2, 2021 2021-02-03 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from January 26, 2021



Andrew Stearns welcomed everyone at 12:30. 
Avis LaGrone led us in the pledge of allegiance and Don McCleve played My Country Tis of Thee

Dan Snyder gave our inspiration with the words of inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb.  Watch this amazing young woman share her poem here:
 It’s truly inspirational!

Our visitors were: Charles Erekson, Ken Toren, Jaren Olson, Terri Trotter, Felix Lee, Jeff Blum, and Helene Davis. Glad to have you!

This week’s Rotary Member Spotlight was Henry Vitkovich 


WineFest is THIS SATURDAY and is sold out (!!!) which is exciting. It will be a fun evening. Even if you didn’t buy a ticket you can still check out the auction catalog and bid on items. Click here to view items you can bid on! Tina highlighted the extraordinary auction item of bottling and labeling your own wine. Bring 7 friends and make 300 bottles of your own blend after tasting and choosing from their barrels. DON’T FORGET to pick up your wine and goodie box! Get them on Thurs 2-4pm, Fri 1-4pm, or Saturday 11am-1pm. Pick up is on Village Lane where Cin Cin used to be (the street behind Pedros). There will be Rotary flags so you can’t miss it.
Zoom Meeting Notes from January 26, 2021 2021-01-27 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from January 19, 2021

The meeting was called to order at 12:30. Due to power and wi-fi outages from high winds, attendance was lower than normal at 46.
Inspiration was given by Dan Snyder with thoughts on overcoming obstacles to reach your dreams, and how failure can move you in a new direction.
Guests were potential new members Jeff Blum (an attorney), Ken Toren (of Red Cross Silicon Valley and KCAT), Karen Anderson (fairly new to town and ready to dig in), Rebecca Alvarez of West Valley College and experienced at events!), and Terri Trotter (who “is ready to do whatever Tina says”).
Barbara Fishman (a court arbitrator and Marty’s wife) and Ryan Basham (Spectrum ophthalmologist and sponsored by Andrew Howard) have earned their red badges. Welcome Barbara and Ryan!
The member spotlight this week is on Dr. Marty Fishman, our past illustrious President. See Amy or Rachelle to be featured.
The We Care Committee wants to remind you to let Lydia Norcia know if a member is in need of special care due to illness or other challenge.
President Andrew noted January is Rotary Vocational Service month.
Our annual Philanthropy Champion Forms are due 2/28.
Our speech contest via Zoom is coming to our 2/9 meeting.
The Wine Fest is 1/30 and is sold out. You can take part in the online bidding, even if you aren’t attending the Zoom event.
Get warm coats to Tina by this Friday am, to take part in the Interact drive. Any size is ok.
Zoom Meeting Notes from January 19, 2021 2021-01-21 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale
Coat Drive: Los Gatos High Interact Club 2021-01-18 08:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting Notes from January 12, 2021


Dr. Joel's presentation on video here if you missed the meeting or want to share it with family or friends. 

Click on this link:

Welcome our new Member, Anjana Bose below:

Dan Snyder provided our inspiration to get us started.

Tina introduced 3 guests today:

  • Terri Trotter
  • Jeffrey Blum
  • Ken Toren
Karen Anderson and Jay Quinby were also guests.
We celebrated January birthdays today, and Don Mcleve played happy birthday for us on the piano.
Anjana Bose was welcomed as a new member by Jamie.

Winefest & Auction - Almost sold out!

We are up to 91 out of 125 tickets sold.  Sign up while they are still available!

Virtual Student Speech Contest

Tina announced that there will be a speech contest on February 9th, and we need judges and timers for this virtual event.  Please keep an eye out for an email from Tina about this in case you are interested in volunteering.

Los Gatos Lodge

Los Gatos Lodge will not open for meals, so we are looking for alternatives so if you have one to offer please let us know.

Micro Loans Project

Tom Boyce gave an update on the micro loans project.  These loans are a few hundred dollars, and are designed to help lift people out of poverty.  They are partnering with Kiva on this, and we specifically have a focus on Kenya where we have loaned $81,080 over the last 9 years.     
Zoom Meeting Notes from January 12, 2021 2021-01-14 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from January 5, 2021

On the first virtual rotary meeting for the year, Dan Snyder delivered a history lesson that is associated with one of The Rotary’s global program. Featured in that history lesson was the amazing work of Basil O’Connor, a New York  lawyer who transformed the campaign against polio into a global campaign. In 1928, he took over the campaign from his law partner, then elected governor Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) who was struck with the disease in 1921. The foundation focused on small amount from the public. The foundation became the Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and asked people foe their small pocket change. Later on, the foundation became to known as the March of Dimes, becoming a foundation that led global initiatives, research and clinical trials in fighting other infantile diseases and the global fight against polio. FDR’s portrait was put on the dime.

Featured member for the week was Riley Barr who has been a member of the club since 2018
On club announcements, Tina and Suzanne provided updates on the upcoming Virtual Wine Fest and Auction on January 30, 2021. Ticket sale ends on January 19, 2021. President Andrew and the crab (wine) fest committee reminded everyone “Do Not Procrabstinate”…pun…ticket sales end Jan 19.

Next Tuesday’s (1/12) avatar background challenge is baby pictures. 

Zoom Meeting Notes from January 5, 2021 2021-01-11 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from December 22, 2020

The pledge was led by Ed Stahl. John Pencer inspired with a  quote by Saint Theresa about accepting yourself and practicing joy.

Visitors were

  • Jeffrey Blum, and attorney invited by Tina, checking out the club
  • Rebecca Alvarez from West Valley College (assistant to the WV President) hoping to connect students with us and experienced in large events
  • Esme Hekkelman, Jamie’s daughter
Members shared backgrounds of winter wonderland scenes from around the world, and President Andrew wore a virtual reindeer outfit that moved along with his head…wow
Don McCleve played a Christmas concert of jingle bells on his piano, with special assistant Greg Butterfield.
This week’s social media spotlight was on dedicated member and everyone’s favorite chef Michelle Myers-Nelson.
Wine Fest is coming Jan 30!! Click here for video that explains the event. David Wells and David Hubbard demonstrated live how to buy tickets. Go to our club website and click on the event to buy tickets, or click here.  Note 1 ticket for $150 is for 1 wine kit, which serves 2 people. You will need to register for an account to get setup. See David Wells if you have a question. Thanks David!
Note there is no first Thursday in January.
Champion forms are due 2/28. To find a blank champion form, go to, sign into the member area and then click on the member link, then click on green book on right Club documents and search on “Philanthropy”. Once you complete the form please email it to Andrew Stearns.
Zoom Meeting Notes from December 22, 2020 2020-12-23 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from December 15, 2020

Meeting was held online via Zoom and called to order at 12:30pm by Andrew Stearns.
We had 60 Zoom participants.
Pledge of Allegiance was led by Sandy Bocks.  
Visiting Rotarians – Rachelle Lopp introduced her friend Jennifer Karno from Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary
Other Visitors Linda Lester 
Inspiration John Pencer provided our inspiration for today, focusing on the distribution of the COVID19 vaccine as the light at the end of the tunnel. He reminded us to celebrate while continuing to be vigilant and stay the course.

Announcements –

Blue Badge Presentation: Art Rabitz announced that Linda Lester has received her Blue Badge as an Honorary Member. Linda thanked the Club and is pleased to be involved.
Nominating Committee: Doug Brent, representing the Nominating Committee announced the slate of candidates for the 2021 – 2022 Board of Directors. Under President Nicholas Welzenbach, the slate is as follows:
President Elect - Mike Norcia
Vice President - Lisa Cheskin
Secretary - Doug Brent
Treasurer - Ed Bowen
Asst. Secretary - David Hubbard
Asst. Treasurer - Dan Snyder

Director - Jeff Barnett
Director - Meghan Burton
Director - David Wells
Sergeant at Arms - Gregg Butterfield

Scholarship Committee member - Tony James
Investments Committee member - Henry Vitkovich
Andrew asked if there were any nominations from the floor, and there were none. He then asked for a ‘yes’ vote by hand-raising then a ‘no’ vote by hand-raising. The slate was approved by the vote.
Zoom Meeting Notes from December 15, 2020 2020-12-16 08:00:00Z 0
2020 Video celebrating the members, past, &amp; current Presidents 2020-12-16 08:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting Notes from December 8, 2020

President Andrew called the Zoom meeting to order with 53 people in attendance.
The pledge was led by Michelle Myers-Nelson. John Pencer inspired with a Paul Harris (Rotary founder) quote regarding relishing a chance to change and pivot, which could be well used in these times.
Visiting was prospective new member Felix Lee.
Rotarian anniversaries were noted for December, notably Julian Rodriguez at 30 years!
Sadly, long-time member Harvey Knoernschild passed 11/29/20. A moment of silence was held, and members shared fond memories of his giving nature, and brilliant career as a surgeon. Greg Butterfield noted his fondness for potato salad at the buffet, and John Colwell played tennis with him.
The Blue Badge was presented to Ensy Afdari.
Dan Snyder reminded all that emails will be sent to members who have not yet responded to the Rotary Foundation pledge drive. Dan will be happy to assist with corporate matching if your employer offers it. Help your donation have a bigger impact!
On social media this month Maddie Smith was highlighted with a quote about being inspired by her father. Amy reminded all to reach out to her if you’d like to be featured.
Doug Brent announced the new officer slate determined by the Nominating Committee. Nominations and Voting will take place at the next meeting.
President Elect - Mike Norcia
Vice President - Lisa Cheskin
Secretary - Doug Brent
Treasurer - Ed Bowen
Asst. Secretary - David Hubbard
Asst. Treasurer - Dan Snyder

Director - Jeff Barnett
Director - Meghan Burton
Director - David Wells
Sergeant at Arms - Gregg Butterfield

Scholarship Committee member - Tony James
Investments Committee member - Henry Vitkovich
Zoom Meeting Notes from December 8, 2020 2020-12-14 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Zoom Meeting Notes from December 1, 2020

Meeting was called to order by President Andrew Stearns.

There were two visitors, Karen Anderson and Russ Klein.

December birthday celebrants were greeted and acknowledged.

Lydia Norcia announced that one of the Rotarians, Harvey Knoernschild had passed.

Some club announcements, follow up, and updates by Andrew Stearns: Henry Vitkovich for the Presidents brunch program at  December 15 meeting, Lisa Cheskin for the family giving tree, and Patti van der Burg for the upcoming WineFest. Thank you to the many club member sponsors!!
Don’t forget your avatar/screen saver on zoom next Tuesday: the theme is “your favorite gift”.
Zoom Meeting Notes from December 1, 2020 2020-12-08 08:00:00Z 0 Los Gatos Rotary,Meeting notes,The Cat Tale

Los Gatos Rotary and

Renewable energy is the key to reducing greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and global warming. Rooftop solar installations save building owners money on their monthly utility payments and begin to reduce greenhouse gas pollution into our local atmosphere.

Los Gatos Rotarian Chris Potter was trained by and volunteered during the week of November 10, 2020 at a  solar panel installation project for the non-profit Insight Retreat Center in Scotts Valley near Santa Cruz.  Volunteers staged and installed 90 new solar panels on a 2-story modified bitumen roof with a microinverter system.
Any Rotary Club can start a new service project for climate change action by becoming trained and participating in rooftop solar installations for non-profit organization buildings your local community., a non-profit solar installer serving the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Coast of California, trains Rotary service volunteers in the basics of solar, electricity, and construction safety.  Then, Rotarians will work together with SunWork’s professional staff, installing racking, running conduit, hanging inverters, and mounting the solar panels on the rooftops of non-profit organization buildings, such as schools, churches, and charities.  

Rotarians lead by example! Thank you Chris Potter. And expect more projects focused on supporting the environment to come!
Los Gatos Rotary and 2020-12-03 08:00:00Z 0