Bob Garcia opened the meeting with the ringing of the Rotary bell at 7:15 a.m. Ken Dodderer led the flag salute with Bob giving us our thought for the day.
Bob thanked Ben Krikorian and Alan Uyemura for helping to set up today’s meeting.
Bob welcomed visiting Rotarian Rachael O’Campo from the Clovis club.
Bob recognized Dennis Falk for his birthday and asked the members to sign a birthday card for Robert Howk. Due to his injury, Robert has not been able to attend meetings so Bob will mail his card to him. Mike Renberg reported that he spoke to Robert last week and he was still in rehabilitation. Jacque Smith Garcia also reported that Robert will be staying at San Joaquin Gardens for another week before returning home.
Joe Villareal did happy bucks and received money from the members in recognition of the holidays and for our guest speaker.
Bob thanked Alan Uyemura for arranging the Salvation Army Bell ringing event last week. Alan also updated the members about the 5k/15k run and reported that we now have three sponsors.
Bob passed out the thank you letters received from the elementary students at Mario Almos school for their dictionaries.
Bob reminded the members that the club would be dark December 26th and January 2nd due to the holidays.
Dinner with RI president Mark Maloney will be held in Visalia on January 17th. The cost is $65 per person.
Bob thanked Mike Renberg and Marilyn Bamford for donating toys to FIRM.
Bob’s Rotary moment-The Gift of Rotary. Bob talked to the members about donating to the Rotary Foundation and showed a video titled “The Gift of Giving” which reported on a Foundation program which provided free heart surgery to children all over the world to correct congestive heart failure.
Ben Krikorian introduced Detective Garrett Majors with the Property/ Robbery Unit Patrol Bureau for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. He is one of 3 detectives covering Fresno County. Detective Majors reported that he is from Fresno and has been working since he was 12 years old beginning as a bat boy at Grizzly Stadium.
The sheriff’s department is responsible for the rural areas of Fresno County and “county pockets” inside the city of Fresno; Mayfair, Tarpey Village, Old Fig Garden among others.
He reported to the members the large number of burglaries, vandalism’s and car jackings occurring in Fresno. He gave the example of a recent home invasion robbery where a couple were followed home from their business and the thieves entered their garage and attacked them. They were beaten and robbed but with the help of surveillance cameras, he hopes to be making an arrest shortly. Detective Major’s stated that most home invasions occur because the thieves are searching for drugs.
Detective Majors advised the members to “put your phones down so you can pay attention” to what is going on around you and to always be aware of your surroundings.” He also advocated for video surveillance in your home and office and the acquisition of a concealed carry permit. He reported that the department often can make cases based on videos.
Detective Majors stated that if you come home and find you have been burgled, do not touch anything, and “call the cops.”
Regarding auto theft he advised members to record your vehicle identification number (VIN) and noticeable dents and/or scratches on the car that would help to identify it. He added that in Fresno, cars are often stolen to commit a crime and then driven off and burned. He also suggested that we should record the serial number of all our electronic devises.
Detective Majors discussed identity theft and stated that much of a person’s personal information can be found on the dark web. He explained that no one can get all their personal information deleted from the internet. He stated that thieves also get our personal information from trash cans because people do not shred their documents.
Ken Dodderer was the winner of the morning’s raffle.
Bob reminded the members that the next meeting was on Thursday, January 9th. Our greeters will be Hymman Wood and Joe Villareal.
The holiday season is busy for all of us and the club is no exception. The Sunrise Rotary Christmas party was held at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Thursday, December 5th and it was a very good time for the 25 people who attended. The conversation among members and their guests lasted well past dinner and the gift exchange.
During the first week of December several members prepared for the Cambridge High School food box packing and distribution by shopping at Costco and picking up and delivering boxes to Cambridge. On Saturday, December 7, 2019, many of us met at the school, along with faculty and students and packed the boxes. Pete Pulos and his staff oversaw the deliveries to the needy families.
On Friday, December 6th, Dave Doyle, Jacque Smith Garcia, Tim Conboy, Alan Uyemura and Bob Garcia met at the Mario G. Olmos elementary school to distribute dictionaries to 2nd and 3rd grade classes. It was a treat to see and talk to the students, many of them expressing their gratitude for receiving the dictionaries.
On Friday, December 13th, many members have signed up to “ring the bell” for the Salvation Army at Fashion Fair mall. This is always a fun and easy event.
We are in the process of collecting toys for toddlers, 4 to 10 years of age to be donated to FIRM (Fresno International Refugee Mission). We are asking all members to bring an unwrapped toy or two this Thursday to the meeting. If you are unable to make Thursday’s meeting you can deliver the toys to Tim Conboy’s office, Ultimate Staffing, 205 E. River Park Circle, suite 140 and he will make sure the toy is delivered.
Speaking of this Thursday’s meeting, our greeters will be Marilyn Bamford and Jacque Smith Garcia. Our thought for day will come from Wayne Thomas.
I look forward to seeing all of you there.