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Bunnies & Bonnets

Campbell Easter ParadeLast Saturday, The Rotary Club of Campbell had the honor of leading the Annual Bunnies and Bonnets Easter Parade down Campbell Ave. Jimmy Zien, Carol Hoffman, Kit Whitney, Bob Siudzinsky, Stella Ralph, Sonya Paz, and John Shannon were joined by Brooke Ramirez and Sally Howe’s’ granddaughter as they lead the parade carrying photos of the late Sally Howe.

Sally was the founder of this annual event, and she was traditionally honored by heading the parade each year. The parade is sponsored by the Downtown Campbell Business Association and includes participants from local school bands, students and parents from schools and youth groups as well as local civic dignitaries.

This year’s parade was preceded by a children’s chalk drawing contest. Children were provided colorful chalk and encouraged to draw all over the street pavement prior to the parade. Children were also provided with bubbles to blow as the parade participants marched by.

Doing more than you think.

By Janine Payton
Immediate Past President, Campbell Rotary

Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

We are 1.2 million neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world.

Our di?ering occupations, cultures, and countries give us a unique perspective. Our shared passion for service helps us accomplish the remarkable.


Our distinct point of view and approach gives us unique advantages:

  • We see di?erently: Our mul-disciplinary perspec-ve helps us see challenges in
    unique ways.
  • We think di?erently: We apply leadership and exper-se to social issues—and ?nd
    unique solu-ons.
  • We act responsibly: Our passion and perseverance create las-ng change. • We make a di?erence at home and around the world: Our members can be found
    in your community and across the globe.


Our impact starts with our members—people who work restlessly with their clubs to solve some of our communities’ toughest challenges. Their e?orts are supported by Rotary International, our member association, and The Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world. Rotary is led by our members—responsible leaders who help to carry forward our organization’s mission and values in their elected roles.

You probably know that Rotary International is the group to which Bill Gates and his foundation turned years ago to fund the global battle on polio. In the mid-nineties Rotary helped to immunize 165 million children in China and India in a single year. Rotarians themselves have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the ?ght against polio. Rotary is winning this battle: in 1988 when Rotary launched their global initiative (individual clubs had been active in the e?ort long before) there were 125 “polio endemic” countries in the world; today there are just three.Ethics have a large role in the club’s foundation. Each Rotary member is asked to apply a “Four Way Test” to his or her personal and business interactions. The Four Way Test asks a Rotarian to be truthful, fair, build goodwill and beneficial to all concerned.

The Rotary Club of Campbell was chartered in 1948 and meets for lunch each week in the Community Room at EMQFamilies First. The luncheon meetings at our Campbell Club are fascinating. They remind me of the best of Ted Talks, with experts visiting each week and sharing insights on local hospitals, city services, other non-profits, the Symphony and so much more.

Campbell Rotary is committed to our community, including West San Jose and Willow Glen in our ‘area of in?uence’. Serving our Youth is important to Rotary. Each summer we work with EMQ Families First to purchase and ?ll 250 back packs and for the holidays we collect toys and gift cards for children in need in our community. We sponsor a business camp called Enterprise Leadership Conference each spring, working with 60 high school juniors teaching the principles of business. In the summer we will send 6 high school students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp.

We currently sponsor 3 high school Interact Clubs and give scholarships to graduating seniors at Del Mar and Willow Glen High Schools. We also support Health and wellness in our community. You can ?nd us at least twice a year maintaining the city parks — working alongside other community members spreading ?bar and sand around play equipment. Soon we hope to begin the restora-on of the Campbell Park Par Course. For the last several years we have been a sponsor of the American Cancer Society Campbell Relay for Life and cook breakfast for the ‘survivors’ to help kick-o? the event. In September we will again host our Remember 9/11 Blood Drive for the Red Cross at EMQ.

Lest you think it is all work, we also enjoy a monthly gathering called Thirsty Thursday, some-mes in a members home and also in venues in the community.

Doing good and having fun while doing it!

Board Meeting Review

On Wednesday, January 14th, our Board of Directors met at a very noisy Rock Bottom Brewery. This year, the Board has made an attempt to meet at various Campbell area businesses and locations in an attempt to be a slightly more visible entity.

Below are some of the highlights and decisions from this latest meeting…


Previously, the Board has appropriated $2,000 to be given to the VRC at West Valley College. President John Shannon had a follow up meeting with the staff at the center in early 2015 and found that what they needed the most at this time is more scienti?c calculators (our club has previously given them two others) and funds for the veterans’ text book fund. This year’s $2,000 has now been sent.

WVC is providing services for more than 100 veterans this school year, almost 10% of whom are women vets. WVC has one of the most successful VRCs in the Bay Area, and they appreciate the support from our club. We will be looking for other ways to support our veterans at WVC later in the year by volunteering at some of their school events.


A few weeks ago we heard from a speaker from the YMCA about their school-based Project Cornerstone. The presentation so inspired members Rod Hibner and Bettina Kohlbrenner to request $500 be donated to the Project for use at nearby Rosemary School. The Board granted unanimous approval.


Our club has joined together with the Rotary Club of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, to help fund a $500,000 international project in Kitgum District of Northern Uganda. The project is conducted in conjunction with World Vision, a well regarded Non Governmental Agency (NGA) and will expand the number of potable water sources with more wells and more protected springs, as well as ensure a latrine for every household, tiptap hand washing stations, dish drying racks, rubbish pits and community
showers. The Board approved $1,000 for our share of this project.


The Board approved $300 to offset the cost of this mid-year leadership opportunity for Interactors at the three high schools that we support; Mitty, Harker and Willow Glen High.

Membership & Attendance

At last week’s meeting, we made mention of a special class of membership. It seemed to generate a number of questions, so we will use today’s blog to try to clear up some issues surrounding membership and attendance.

Rotary International recognizes two types of membership: Active and Honorary.

Honorary membership is like having an Honorary Degree from a university. It’s an honor. No dues, no expectations of attendance at meetings. Honorary membership is often reserved for heads of state, major corporate donors like Bill Gates, and other luminaries. I don’t believe our club has bestowed an Honorary Membership on anyone in recent history.

Active members are divided into two groups: Active and Exempt. Exempt members used to be referred to as “Senior Active” or “Rule of 85” members. In brief, a member whose age plus years of Rotary membership is equal to or greater than 85, can request from their club’s board to be designated as an “Exempt” member. The only thing the member is exempt from is regular attendance, although exempt members are welcome and encouraged to maintain regular weekly attendance. Indeed, some of our “exempt” members proudly boast of decades worth of 100% attendance!

The other “perk” to being an exempt member is that members pay (along with regular dues) only for the lunches when they are in attendance at regular weekly meeting. Active members are charged for lunch whether they attend or not. This helps the club meet our minimum guarantee to EMQ’s chef for our delicious Tuesday lunches.

This brings us to attendance requirements for Rotarians. In the past, 100% attendance was the expectation. In recent years, that expectation has been reduced and credit toward attendance at meetings is now granted if members take part in Rotary sponsored events, be they social or project oriented events. So, if you help serve dinner at Home First or attend a Thirsty Thursday event, that counts just as if you attended a regular meeting.

The main importance of regular attendance, however, has nothing to do with rules or expectations. The main point of regular attendance is the bonds it helps create between members. The more you get to know each other and others get to know you, the stronger the club becomes. The stronger the club becomes, the better we are able to serve our community. See you at our next meeting!

RI President’s Visit

Huangs Highleys ShannonsThanks to a travel schedule that brought him to Pasadena to ride in the Rose Bowl Parade, we were treated to a local visit by RI President Gary Huang last Saturday at the Cupertino Community Center. The intimate gathering of local Rotarians and their signi?cant others was the brainchild of Rotary Club of Cupertino’s President Hung Wei.

President Huang thanked all Rotarians for their clubs’ contributions in support of the RI Float in the New Year’s Day Parade. President Huang and his wife, Corina, rode on the ?oat for the 5-mile parade waving to the hundreds of thousands of people along the parade route as well as the millions of spectators in front of their TVs.

The RI ?oat cost over $80,000 to design and build with much of the last minute hand labor done by Rotaract and Rotary volunteers. Considering the number of people who were exposed to the work of Rotary by the TV commentators, this was considered a PR bargain!

President Huang mentioned that Rotary is growing world wide and is making diplomatic inroads in The Peoples’ Republic of China, where currently, only ex-pats are allowed to join Rotary. But in the next few years, China’s millions may be allowed to join the rest of the world in service to the needy. In addition to District 5170 Governor Ed Jellen, Campbell Rotarians and wives, Bill & Emilie Highley and John and Pam Shannon were in attendance.