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Karen’s Korner, Vol. 1


Welcome to a new Rotary year, and thank you for being a part of our Rotary family. For those who do not know me, I am Karen Russell, president of the Campbell Rotary Club, serving Willow Glen, West San José, and Campbell. From time to time, I will write an article or missive to keep you up to date on what we are up to… or other random thoughts.

I have just returned from the Rotary International Convention in Toronto with a much greater understanding and appreciation for what Rotary is doing around the world. The biggest realization I had while in Toronto is that Rotary is about more than eradicating Polio. Yes, we are so ridiculously close that Rotary International (RI) is now preparing their own five-year plan and looking towards their next BIG goal for the world.

Rotary actually has five areas of focus, and they are all interconnected: disease prevention; clean water and sanitation; maternal and child health;  literacy and education (I heard Laura Bush speak on this topic); and community development. Each plenary session during convention focused on one of these areas and how it was related and connected to the others.

Over the past year, our club has participated in a strategic visioning process, and we are in the process of creating an action plan for our club’s five-year vision. Here’s a look at what we’ve developed…

Our Vison
The Rotary Club of Campbell, Willow Glen, and West San José is the “go to” service club for the Campbell, Willow Glen and West San José areas and is known for serving the underserved on our communities and for its annual chili cookoff to fund its philanthropic activities.

Our Mission
How we will achieve our vision:

  1. Membership: We will have a strong, involved, and active membership of 60 members consisting of 70% business owners, with a 50-50 gender balance. We will provide educational and interesting programs for our members. 100% of our members will participate in giving to the International Rotary Foundation every year as well as our Club Foundation. Our annual PolioPlus campaign will grow into a public music festival.
  2. Club Service: Simplifying our new member process, we will have a three-year leadership development program for all members and create a process for all members to have the ability to bring forth service project ideas to the club.
  3. Vocational Service: We will develop a scholarship program for students wishing to enter the trades or other non-college routes to careers,  a mentor program for young people in our communities, and  better branding and other Rotary “swag” to create a higher awareness of Rotary in our service areas.
  4. Community Service: We will develop a strong Rotary Community Corps to give members, potential members, and friends in the community the opportunity to participate on multiple and ongoing service projects. We will partner with other Rotary Clubs in our area on service projects, and develop a “big”, sustainable service project that is ongoing.
  5. Youth Service: We will continue to offer competitive scholarships to local students for college and/or vocational education. We will expand our annual backpack program to benefit one or two other organizations in addition to Uplift Family Services and co-sponsor two Enterprise Leadership Conferences each year in conjunction with other Rotary clubs.
  6. International Service: We will collaborate with other Area 8 Rotary clubs on International service projects, and with four (4) other Rotary clubs in India and El Salvador to provide clean water systems and hygiene in three (3) countries.
  7. Fundraising: We will explore other fundraising opportunities in addition to the annual Chili Cookoff, such as obtaining corporate sponsorships of at least $20,000 per year and auctioning off civic leaders.
  8. Public Awareness: Our club will march in every parade in Campbell and Willow Glen, improve our branding and public relations in Campbell, West San José, and Willow Glen, and have a club booth at all Campbell and Willow Glen festivals and events.

It is a big vision, and I invite our entire community to become a part of it.

In service,

What Does Rotary Do?

Fujikawa CPA’s 10th Anniversary

In honor of his family firm’s 10th Anniversary, Derek Fujikawa hosted a client event over the weekend, which included food and an opportunity to raise money for our local RotaryCSJw Foundation. Fujikawa & Associate, CPA is proud to contribute $200 to the foundation. Thanks, Derek!

D5170 Avenues of Service

District 5170 hosts its annual “Avenues of Service” event on Thursday, October 19, in Hayward.

The Avenues of Service is a mid-year event which is held for all Club Officers, Directors, Committee Chairs and Rotarians. The purpose is to inform all District 5170 Rotarians about the four Rotary Avenues of Service: Club, Community, International and Vocational Service … plus Youth Services, Membership, and the R. I. Foundation. This year there will be a special session covering Abuse & Harassment, which is fast becoming mandatory training for all Rotarians.

Rotary CSJw pays for its member to attend, if you sign-up prior to the October 13 registration deadline. If you are interested in attending, contact Derek Fujikawa.

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.