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Yoga Laughter by “Laugh Away”

Today’s speaker, Arya V. Pathria (aka ABC … “Always Be Cheerful”), brought laughter to our meeting for his entire presentation … mostly be just asking us to laugh! He introduced us to “Laugh Away.”

Arya has conducted more than 100 Laughter benefits Workshops and approx. 5000 people participated for the various organizations (i.e. TV program, Radio program, Business Organizations, Senior Citizens Groups, Youth Groups, Private parties in the Restaurants and homes, Community Centers, Missouri School for Blind, and Hospital Heart patients’ etc.). He has a passion to make people laugh and bring the joy of childhood back in their life. He has studied and applied laughter to reduce stress and bring positive energy in his daily life.

EMQ Says ‘Thank You’

Earlier this month, Bettina Kohlbrenner presented her new Rotary Club with a certifcate and thank you letter, describing the impact of our Club’s gift-giving for EMQ Holiday Giving program.Thank you to everyone who participated! We raised more than $750, and purchased gifts and gifcards for 30 people. We even received some donations after the Holidays, which we’ve forwarded to EMQ for year-round sitribution!

Silicon Valley Reads

Club member Ruth Kohan has asked each of us to consider joining our community in the Silicon Valley Reads program in February. Events are scheduled all over Santa Clara County, including at the Willow Glen Library on February 11.

Rotarian of the Year? … 2005

Each year, our Club recognizes a member as the “Rotarian of the Year,” in conjunction with the Campbell Chamber of Commerce and other local service clubs. This year’s awards dinner is scheduled for March 25.

If you would like to nominate a member of our club, please contact David Keller as soon as possible.

Fred Meyer in the News …

The always-helpful Fred Meyer was pictured on the front page of the Almaden Times Weekly in early January, helping a neighbor clean-up after a downed tree. That’s Fred — acually, Fred’s left side — in the yellow jacket wielding the chainsaw. Go Fred!


Today we welcomed Stanford University sophomores Jonny Dorsey and Lauren Young to tell us about their student-founded group, FACE AIDS.

FACE AIDS is a year-long student campaign to raise $1 million to fight AIDS in Africa. By the end, 50,000 American students will be wearing pins that represent their bonds with the individuals who made their pins and their promises to stand up and do something about the epidemic.

Their Mission & Vision for mobilizing and inspiring students to fight AIDS includes these goals for 2006:

  • 30 Africans affected by AIDS provided income and support
  • 200 campus campaigns completed
  • 50,000 pins distributed
  • Hundreds of thousands of conversations started
  • $1 million raised for community-based organizations in Africa

Welcome, Bettina Kohlbrenner

We’ve got a member from EMQ! Marv Bamburg rang in the new year by introducing Bettina Kohlbrenner to our club this week. Bettina is the Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations with EMQ, and will be moving her office to the Llewellyn site later this year. She has two children (Zakarie & Tatiana), and lives in Almaden Valley. She is fluent in Swiss and High German, and is also a citizen of Switzerland.

Marlene Bjornsrud: BAWSI

Sue Klear introduced Marlene Bjornsrud, who is the director of the Bay Area Womens Sports Initiative and a neighbor of Sue’s.
BAWSI is a nonprofit organization that seeks to build an environment in which girls and women become and remain an integral part of the Bay Area sports culture. Projects focus on five areas described by the acronym REACH:

  • Serving as a resource to organizations, agencies, and educational institutions focused on girls’ and women’s sports and health,
  • Educating the public and policy makers about sports’ vital roles in society and the necessity of equal participation in sports by girls and women
  • Advocating public policies that enhance participation opportunities for girls and women at all levels of sports
  • Creating partnerships with community organizations with the shared value of empowerment of girls and women in all aspects of society
  • Creating programs that enhance an environment of health, hope and wholeness for children and young women.

Vocational Spotlight

Our first meeting of 2006 featured a collection of presentations from a few of our newer members, including a set of “icebreakers” and a travel report.

Anne Lauzon presented her life story, gleefully accepting the nickname “Trash Lady,” reflective of her role in developing CIWA into a broker for businesses and their garbage and recycling services. She revels in the low tech industry that is highly political, and could talk about it for hours … ;-)

Mary Arenas has followed a windy career path to her current business of creating gift baskets for individuals and corporate clients. She was born in San Jose, spent a few years in Texas, and returned to attend SJSU. She’s been a dental assistant, an office manager, and a special education teacher. Just For You By Us has been in business for seven years, and is a great success.

Ravi Chari recently spent some vacation time in India, visiting his brother’s Rotary Club in Madras (now Chennai). He toured tsunami damage first-hand, and was amazed at the devestation … but also heartened by the impact Rotary is having in the community. He also presented our Club with a banner from his brother’s club.