July 2019

July 1st

Dave Doyle presided over his last meeting as president of the club. Robert Howk led the flag salute and Alan Uyemura gave us our thought for the day. Dave provided some information regarding the civil war before he asked for club reports.

Phil Blohm informed the membership that he will be sending the semi-annual bill for Rotary and he wanted everyone to be sure to have his correct address since he recently moved. The downside of his report was that even though he only moved to the suite next door and his address remained the same, the post office will not deliver mail to him addressed to the old suite number.

Bob Garcia reported briefly on the Rotary International Conference in Germany. He stated that Mark Maloney, the incoming president, had an ambition agenda. A few take-a-ways he shared were Mr. Maloney’s goal of increasing female membership equal to 30% of the total membership by year end. He also hoped to increase women in leadership position also equivalent to 30%. Bob also reported that Rotaract had a strong presence at the conference with almost 1000 new clubs being started worldwide, this year. Next years conference will be held in Honolulu Hawaii and Bob encouraged all members to attend. Bob stated that he will make a more formal presentation to the membership in a few weeks.

Bob also reported on the most recent territory 10 meeting which consisted of outgoing and incoming presidents in the Fresno/Clovis area. Rod Coburn, incoming District Director, also attended. Bob informed the club that Rod will be visiting our club on August 15th. Rod also informed the members that the District Conference will be held in April 2020 at Tachi Palace.

Bob Garcia introduced Ken Warkentin, Executive Director for the Valley Center for the Blind. Ken was born in Fresno California but at the age of 7, moved with his family to British Columbia. He returned to Fresno in 1983 where he partnered with his father to manufacture and sell automotive seat covers. In 2011, after his daughter Shaela lost her sight due to an automobile accident, Ken became involved with the Valley Center for the Blind, first as a Board member then as its Executive Director.

Valley Center for the Blind provides people experiencing vision loss with a safe and engaging place to find support, community and high-level training programs. Our Core Courses consist of Assistive- Technology, Braille, Independent Living Skills and Orientation and Mobility.

Next week the club is dark due to the 4th of July holiday. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, July 11th. Bob Garcia will formerly assume the mantel as club president. Our greeters will be Joe Villareal and Hymman Wood. Our thought for the day will come from Mike Renberg. Tim Conboy will introduce Alene Mestjiam who will share information regarding the Ronald McDonald House. Alene is Gary Istanboulian’s daughter and spoke to the club during Tim Conboy’s year as president.

Everyone please have a safe and happy holiday.

July 11th

Today was the first meeting of the new year for Fresno Sunrise Rotary. Incoming President Bob Garcia rang the bell at 7:20 a.m. Ken Dodderer lead the members in the pledge of allegiance and Mike Renberg gave the Thought for the Day.

Bob thanked Joe Villareal for being the club’s greeter this morning.

This morning’s guests were Alene Mestjian, Cortney Chatoian, and Megan Starr from the Ronald McDonald House.

Marilyn Bamford introduce Rachel O’Campo from the Rotary club of Clovis. Also introduced was Gary Neal, a founding member of Sunrise Rotary. Gary spends most of his time living in St. Louis Mo., but continues to be an active member of the club. Gary updated the members on his family and the business he owns and manages in St. Louis, Al’s Steakhouse. He reported that the local news station won an Emmy for the documentary they did on his restaurant and that the restaurant is now designated as a historical landmark in St. Louis. Gary also passed out baseball tickets to the Fresno Grizzlies baseball game.

Joe Villareal was asked to report on the latest changes in his life. Joe reported that he and his girlfriend, Christine Maul are now engaged to be married. He “popped” the question last week while the two were vacationing in Portland OR. Joe then rang the bell as Rotary tradition dictates.

Birthday wishes went out to Phil Blohm. His birthday was July 12th but today (July 11th) was his wedding anniversary.

Joe Villareal did “Happy Bucks” and received many donations, many in support of Bob’s success in the coming year.

Bob’s Rotary Moment for the morning was stating that his agenda for the year would be a simple one; to grow the club, look for new ways to benefit the community and to have fun doing it. He put all members on notice that he would be contacting each of them to solicit new ideas or to recycle old ones.

Jacque Smith Garcia reported that the grant for the Cambridge Holiday Food baskets was to be submitted between July 15th and July 31st. She is writing the grant now and anticipates making this deadline.

Jacque also reported that Fresno Sunrise Rotary was able to sponsor two Hoover High School students to Camp Royal this year, but one student had to back out at the last minute. She stated that the club would be looking for a member to lead this year’s search for two students to attend the camp.

Bob Garcia announced that the first board meeting of the year would be held on Wednesday, July 17th at his home beginning at 5:30 p.m. All members are invited, and a reminder will be emailed to the club.

Bob Garcia introduced Alene Mestjian, Director of Development & Communications for the Ronald McDonald House for Children’s Hospital as our featured speaker. The Ronald McDonald House provides housing for families who have children receiving medical treatment at Children’s Hospital. All families stay for free and can remain for as long as it takes for the child to be treated. Alene spoke on the various ways people can volunteer to support the Ronald McDonald House. She provided a history on how the house got started and its plans for expansion.

The raffle was won by Wayne Thomas and he donated his winnings to the Ronald McDonald House.

Next week, our greeters will be Ben Krikorian and Robert Howk. Ben will also give us our thought for the day. Our featured speaker will be Sean Soares from the Soares Team.

Fresno Sunrise Rotary Club | Ronald McDonald House