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Judy Armstrong in the news …

Club member and fundraiser extraordinaire Judy Armstrong was pictured in the San Jose Mercury News recently,the result of her successful presentation of the Andre Rieu concert benefiting KTEH 54 (Silicon Valley Public Television).

Actual pictrues of Judy and several smiling dignitaries appeared in the printed version of the paper, but the onlin version lacks those pictures. She tried to hide from her Rotary fine by arranging for the picture to be published on Christmas Day, hoping we might miss it. We hope you saw the story — and the pictures!

EMQ’s “Chef Roger” in the news …

This week’s edition of the Campbell Reporter features an incredible story about Chef Roger Amaral, who prepares our excellent luncheon food each week, and runs EMQ’s outstanding food services.

But, the story is only part of the story. The editor of the Campbell Reporter spoke to our club back in November; Moryt Milo asked us to help her find important stories about our community. That meeting resulted in Moryt’s discovery of Roger! She assigned a reporter to the story, and the result was printed this week. Our close relationship with EMQ has again resulted in benefits for both groups! Thanks, Moryt!

And yes, the story quotes Gary Arita … so we can expect him to fine himself when we return for our first meeting in 2006!

Welcome, Neil Jacobson!

We welcomed our newest Rotarian this week, presenting Neil Jacobson with his red badge. Neil is employed by Xilinx and is involved in software development, management and design. His sponsor is Rick Davis. who — like clockwork — has brought in a new member every few months.

We welcome Neil to the Club!

Solar Cookers International

Bill Highley introduced his good friend and Rotarian Ed Krumwiede (RC of Rocklin/Loomis BasinDistrict 5180), who discussed the potential value of providing solar cooking units to people in developing nations, particularly in Africa.

His club has partnered with Solar Cookers International (based in Sacramento), and is working to supply these units to rural communities in countries across Africa, where the average number of sunny days make solar cooking an effective weapon against endemic low poverty.

Solar Cookers provide positive environmental and health benefits, and when used in a culturally-relevant way, they can expand meal alternatives and protect people from the dangers of wood stove fires.

Gift Basket Auction — “Just for You by Us”

During our last meeting of the calendar year, new member Mary Arenas has planned a fun activity …At the end of this week’s meeting, we will auction off a fabulous Gift Basket, personally designed by “Just for You by Us” …. We mean by Mary! The proceeds from this raffle will go toward The Rotary Foundation (TRF) giving for this year, and will move us ever closer to our revised club goal of raising $10,000 (we’re at $9200+ right now)!

Here are the details from Mary … “Let It Snow Gift Basket contains set of snowman cappuccino mugs w/chrome holder, snowman door knob hanger, Napa Valley pancake and boysenberry syrup, condiment jar, crackers, Aspen almonds, pistachios, raspberry tea cookies… the basket will be gift wrapped, and the retail value is $125.00.”

If you were sad not to win the District 5170 RI Raffle, bring your checkbook, join the bidding … and win this one!

If you are looking for that last-minute gift for someone special, bring your checkbook, join the bidding … and buy this one!

If you have been waiting until the last minute to make your TRF pledge this year, bring your checkbook, join the bidding … and join the Club!

Update: Mary’s donation fetched $400 from a combined bid (Jerry Cummings & Bill Ellington split it)! Proceeds support The Rotary Foundation, and the two “re-gifted” the basket to EMQ to see if our luncheon hosts could secure an additional donation! What a great way to serve Rotary and our community!

History of Native California Indians

Rotarian Ward Garing (RC of Freedom) traveled from Watsonville to address our club today on the history of Native Americans in California, spanning their original immigration as early as 11,500 years ago up to the modern day.

Native Indians lived across the California in small communities, tribes, and bands, and were largely independent of each other until the Spanish arrived. Indian laborers were forced into servitude building most of the Spanish Missions, and their plight has not improved much through subsequent regimes (Spanish, Mexican, Euro-American).

EMQ Gifts Wrap-Up

Thanks to our entire club for supporting clients families at EMQ! This holiday season, we donated more than $1,000 worth of gifts and gift cards, making the holidays brighter for 28 individual EMQ clients!

Even member-at-large Joe McTaggart got into the spirit by donating several large bags of stuffed teddy bears and other plush huggables. Marj Bonsall donated hotwheels in memory of her mother, Anne Lauzon delivered some Albertsons gift cards, Bill Highley provided several people with Cinelux Movie Gift Cards, Kathy Williamson hit Old Navy for some clothes and toys, and Neil Jacobsen added another movie pass. David Keller and his girls spent several hours purchasing and wrapping gifts and gift cards. Lots of other members provided cash donations, too! Thank you to everyone!

TRF Giving Exceeds “First” Goal!

Rotary Foundation Giving: …. As of December 7, our club has raised almost $9,000, well exceeding our official annual goal, and very close to surpassing our revised (ie. more greedy) goal of $10,000. Let’s keep the numbers moving up!

Turkish 3-H Grant Moves Forward

The Rotary Club of Campbell & San Jose West is partnering with several Rotary clubs in District 2420 (Istanbul, Turkey), to install a water system in a distant suburb of Istanbul.

We have been advised that our application will make it through the second review phase this month and be submitted to the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, who will make the final decision in April, 2006. This is a very exciting opportunity for our club because very few 3-H Grants are approved each year!

You can know review the application materials online in PDF format, including the complete application and our club’s committee members. On the advice of our 3-H (Health, Hunger & Humanity) Grant Coordinator at The Rotary Foundation, the original five member committee from our club was recently expanded to ten members.

The International Committee is responsible for this activity. If you have questions or wouldlike more information, please contact Cecelia Babkirk.

Successful Carol of Lights

This year may have been the best “Carol of Lights” celebration ever. The Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual event in downtown Campbell, and we all had a great time. Our hot dog and sausage booth was next to the petting zoo and pony rides, and we successfully raised more than $800 to benefit our community foundation and charitable efforts.

Thank you to everyone who helped!