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Campbell Rotary Visits West Valley Veterans’ Resource Center

Rotary at VRCRecent studies have indicated that veterans, in general, are reluctant to ask for help upon their return to civilian life, except if those offering assistance are veterans themselves. This may explain why the Veterans’ Resource Center at West Valley College is considered to be one of the best VRCs in the state. With VRC President Andrew Rocha, a veteran of recent Middle East conflicts, helps lead the services provided to student vets at the Saratoga campus. Starting out as simply “a couch”, West Valley’s VRC is now housed in a suite of offices, includes a few computers and printers that vets may use to print out their schedules, research topics for class reports and find the kind of personal help and support that is so valuable to a successful return to civilian life.

On Wednesday, August 6th, Campbell Rotarians Dr. Sue Klear, Adrienne Grey (a Trustee of West Valley College), and President John Shannon visited the VRC. West Valley President Brad Davis and Vice President of Student Services Victoria Hindes along with Bernadette Walker and Rocha welcomed and thanked the visiting Rotarians for their past support of the center.

Campbell’s Rotary Club provided special graphing calculators and Smartpens for use by student vets. A plaque outside the VRC’s office expresses appreciation to our club. With it’s recent growth, the VRC continues to have special needs. The computers in the VRC, though useful, are quite dated and in need of replacement. Even the small refrigerator that the center uses to provide vets with water and drinks on their visits is in need of a replacement.

The VRC serves over 100 veterans of wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and service around the world. Dependents of veterans also benefit from the center’s outreach and support activities. Our Board of Directors will discuss ways to continue to support the great work that the VRC does right here at the nearby campus. We will look for a way to be a more constant source of support for the center that does so much to support those who have done so much for our country.

You can click here or on the picture below to read a report from the VRC thanking Campbell Rotary’s support!

Veterans Resource Center Report

Meeting Notes: Aug. 5, 2014

Guest Speaker

SV Quilts for KidsBonnie Stearns was a registered nurse and also did clinical research for Bronchus Technologies. She retired in 2008 and in 2011, founded Silicon Valley Quilts for Kids, one of 97 chapters across the country. Their mission is to comfort children who are seriously ill and/or abused by making and donating quilts to local children. As a local chapter, they decide where their quilts go.

What it takes to make a quilt:

  1. Fabric – Lots of it, some from a donation from Cupertino Rotary
  2. Time – About 10 hours per quilt
  3. Space – Two shops in Sunnyvale donate space in the evenings and the group rotates between them twice each month.
  4. Thread – A lot
  5. Batting – $7 per quilt
  6. Quilters – Including the current president of Cupertino Rotary
  7. Long arm quilting machines – One of the members makes 20 to 30 quilt tops for the club each month.

Where do they go?

  • Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence
  • Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Burn, Pediatric & Neonatal ICU’s
  • Hospice of the Valley – They create custom designs for children.
  • LACY (Legal Advocates for Children and Youth) – Foster kids and teens
  • Packard Children’s Hospital Oncology, ICUS & Organ Transplant Units
  • The Nest – A new shelter for trafficked kids 12 to 17 years old that opened in January. The kids can stay until they are age 18 in order to become reoriented to normal life.
  • EMQFF – 30 a year for the holidays
  • Maitri – A shelter for south Asian women which is spun off from Next Door.
  • George Mark Children’s House in San Leandro – A hospice for kids, palliative care and respite center

The group has donated a total of 1,102 quilts in three years from a group of 60+ quilters.


  • Vocational Talks (Fred Meyer): It’s your 5 minutes of fame in front of the group. If you did it last year, take your name off the list. Newbies, who just did their 15 minutes talks are also exempt but can always sign up if they want to. Remember, if you don’t sign up, Fred will come for you. If you don’t want to speak, ask Fred or John who will set you up with something to read to the group.
  • Golf Tournament (Jim Neal): Sept 19th at the Villages. We have a couple more prizes, but still need prizes and players. Fred Meyer donated 49er tickets for the Chargers game on Dec. 20th. John brought in coupons, and Bill Highley donated a football signed by Dwight “The Catch” Clark.
  • Sally Howe mentioned our work last week stuffing backpacks in her column in the Campbell Express.

400 Backpacks

Backpack Drive 2014

Assemblyman Paul Fong (center) fills backpacks with Field Rep Patrick Ahrens and Campbell Rotary Member Cassandra Bowers

On July 29th, in cooperation with EMQ Families First, the Rotary Club of Campbell purchased and filled 400 backpacks with school supplies for children in need. This was the sixth year for this project and the largest number of donated backpacks.

“Partnering with the Rotary Club of Campbell on this project allows us to help more than 400 students in need begin their school year with the necessary tools for learning,” said Darren DeMonsi of EMQ, who has worked with the Rotary Club on this project every year.

“Starting off the school year without needed supplies puts these kids behind before they even start,” said project coordinator Janine Payton, Immediate Past President of Campbell Rotary. “Most of us think nothing of spending $50 on supplies for our kids each year, but these families often have to choose between food and shelter or supplies.”

EMQ Families First identifies the students who need the help, and Campbell Rotary is happy to provide both the items and the workforce needed to assemble the packs. A Rotary Club member procures the back packs at wholesale prices and Target at Westgate helps out every year by assembling all the supplies needed for the project for easy purchase and pick-up.

This year, the assembly took place in the Orchard City Banquet Hall at the Campbell Community Center immediately following the club’s regular lunch meeting. Joining us were Assemblyman Paul Fong, his Field Representative Patrick Ahrens, three students from the Willow Glen High School Interact Club, and several other local city officers.

Packs were completed about every 10 seconds. Now that’s what we call service above self!

Meeting Notes: July 29, 2014

A small but mighty group met at the Orchard City Banquet Hall and was treated to box lunches.

Guest Speaker

Campbell Library brochuresJane Cronkhite, our Campbell Community Librarian, began by reading We are In a Book by Mo Willems. Jane then took us on a journey of the Campbell Library past, present and future.

The Campbell Library is part of the Santa Clara County Library District and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The current Campbell Library facility opened in 1975 using funds from a 1967 bond measure. It was remodeled in 1989. It is a two-story building that once housed a senior center.

Today, the library has 24,000 square feet of space, 200,000 items in the collections, and 300,000 visitors a year. Our library has been ranked as one of the top 10 libraries in the nation. Measure A passed in 2013 and now provides 18% of the revenue for the library including the bookmobile, research materials, and children’s programming.

The Bookmobile goes throughout the library district serving seniors and others with physical limitations, as well as children. It makes its rounds every two weeks and also visits the Children’s recovery center, Corinthian House

Our library has strong ties to education including, story time, summer reading club, college career and test prep, home work help, school visits and tours, adult literacy program, ESL, computer and technology help, Business, finance, legal, health and wellness resources. There are often free community events for hands-on learning in crafts, math and science, cooking, and more.

The library also focuses on learning technology with early literacy stations in the children’s area. They all look like games but they are based on learning standards. The Tech Tool Bar is like a petting zoo where you come in to play with some of the tech tools and toys. This new feature is coming in September and will be open eight (8) hours a week.

Everyone with a county library card can access the online/virtual library, which includes resources for test preparation, language learning, and health science. You can even download a mobile app that allows you to check out any item throughout the library district. And here’s the biggie… The SCCO Library mobile app (on iTunes or Android) provides free downloadable music you can keep.

The city has approved a master plan for the Civic Center area, including the Ainsley house and the library. The library has big plans to expand to add a larger community room, more square footage, and more services. The plans call for building an entirely new facility. A design workshop is scheduled for August 13th from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the OCBH.

A library anniversary fair will take place September 13th from 12 to 3 p.m.. And don’t miss the monthly book sale by the Friends of the Library!

To contact Jane:

Jane Cronkhite, Community Librarian
(408) 866-1991 x3200


  • Golf Tournament: Jim Neal announced that we need MORE players. Right now, there are maybe have 6 or 7 foursomes. We need more prizes. They are tricking in, but keep ‘em coming.
  • Sue Clear announced the idea of having theme baskets. Once a theme is determined, a list of suggested items will let members know what to go out and bring in for us.
  • The American Red Cross Blood Drive will be at EMQ from 11am to 5pm on September 12, 2014. Do not give blood between now and then or you will be ineligible to donate on the 12th.
  • Join the Campbell Memorial Veteran’s Foundation on November 8th at OCBH to help fund the work they do.
  • Willow Glen Interact Club: Laurel Fisher and fellow members spoke briefly about their club’s goal to reach 80 members (currently 30 members) and send 40 of them to the Fall Leadership conference.

“Janine in Rotaryland”

Janine in RotarylandA star-studded cast, an award winning script, a million dollar view, delicious food and beverages, and a very good-natured Past President made for a fabulous debunking at the home of Marv and Bonnie Bamburg on Sunday evening. Peter Allen scripted a wonderful play based on “Alice in Wonderland” in which Past-President Janine was put on trial by Jennifer “Queen of Hearts” Carauddo at a “Tee” Party hosted by Peter “Mad Hatter” (“Please, just call me Mad.”) Allen.

Janine was accused, among other things, of causing overcrowding at meetings by recruiting so many new Rotarians, and even celebrating the procreation of future Rotarians! Janine, always the good sport, even had a speaking part in the play, which was sprung on her when she arrived at the party. And without any rehearsal or prior warning, she pulled off her role with great aplomb.

Janine was presented with a “Past President” pin and wall plaque by current President John Shannon, recognizing her very successful tenure as our club’s President. Janine said she had a great year because she always felt like she was simply doing things with her friends. Janine will continue to serve the club in many ways as she remains on our Board of Directors for 2014-2015.

Meeting Notes: Club Assembly, July 22nd

Jane Low at AssemblyThis week, we held our regular Club Assembly to update members on current projects and provide insights into where our club fits in the Rotary universe.

John Shannon introduced himself as our Club President for FY14-15 — joking that he volunteered when no one else wanted the job — and recounted his trip to the Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, in June. John said he is excited to be following dynamic leaders like Dr. Sue Klear, Marv Bamberg, and Janine Payton, and added: ”Boy are we in for a change!”

John invited Bob Carlson (Chair of the club’s Community Service Committee) and Dr. Jane Low (Director of Club Services) to outline our many upcoming local activities.

It was explained that our club is part of Rotary District 5170. On September 30th, District Governor Ed Jellen will pay an annual visit to our club. We will use that opportunity to present and display all of the school supplies we are donating to Rosemary School as part of Ed’s big initiative for his Governorship.

The District holds regular cabinet meetings every other month, which are open to all members — and part of our red-to-blue badge requirements. We will hold an evening meeting to provide updates on Rotary Avenues of Service. Additionally, Rotary University is available for new officers. Next year’s International Conference is slated for Sao Paulo, Brazil.

To close the assembly, John walked the members through “A Tale of Three Buckets,” his primer on the different “pots” of Rotary funds. Ever wonder where your money goes?

1. Campbell Rotary Club

What comes IN:

  • Annual dues ($210; We are the least expensive club in our region!)
  • Payment for meals ($10 per member per week)
  • Happy/sad dollars
  • Weekly marble draw (half the pot)

What goes OUT:

  • RI and District dues for members
  • Catering for lunches
  • Marble draw winners
  • Child advocate picnic
  • Avenues of Service registration
  • Speakers’ books
  • Chamber of Commerce dues
  • Sending kids to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Academy)
  • Social events
  • New member breakfasts
  • Club runner website
  • Speech contest prizes
  • And more…

Note: Kathy Williamson is our Club Treasurer for FY14-15.

2. Campbell Rotary Foundation, our 501(c) (3) non-profit

What goes IN:

  • Tax-deductible donations
  • Capital campaign
  • District Designated Funds (DDF come from Rotary International. When our members contribute to RI, in three years the money comes back to the District. We then get a pro-rata share of the money our members contributed)
  • Investment Income
  • Fundraiser proceeds (Valley Flavors and Golf Tournament)

What goes OUT:

  • George Miskulin Memorial Scholarships (George was the first principle at Del Mar HS)
  • Relay for Life
  • ELC (Enterprise Leadership Conference)
  • Campbell Toy Drive
  • Rotacare
  • Back to school backpacks
  • Shelter boxes
  • Doris Dillon school
  • West Valley Veterans’ Resource Center
  • Other charitable giving

Note: Former Club Treasurer Phil Nielsen has stayed on as our Foundation Treasurer.

3. Rotary International Foundation

What goes IN:

  • Voluntary contributions (EREY: Every Rotarian Every Year)
  • Sustainers ($100+ per year)

What goes OUT:

  • DDF (District Designated Funds)
  • RI projects: Polio Plus, Peace fellowships, etc.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 – Jane Cronkhite, Campbell Librarian

Club Assembly Today

Light Up Rotary 2014-15Today’s meeting will be a Club Assembly. We will conduct normal business at the beginning of the session and then move into some brief “Inaugural Comments” from yours truly and a look at the upcoming “Year in Pre-View.” We will also have some interactive opportunities for members to learn something new about their fellow Rotarians.

Another topic will be where our money comes from and where it goes. This is designed to be helpful for new and veteran members alike. What’s the difference between “club” money and “foundation” money, and where does it go? Those are some of the questions we will seek to answer as well as clarify other monetary issues. Finally, there will be a brief photo report of the Sydney Conference. This will, hopefully, be of help to Mason as he looks forward to the 2015 RI Conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and for anyone else who may want to attend.

Also, many of you have been kind enough to ask to see photos of Australia and New Zealand — two beautiful countries. I will be kind enough to let them play at the beginning of our meeting, without commentary. A picture, after all, is worth a thousand words!

John Shannon
President, Rotary Club of Campbell 2014-15

Linda LeZotte – Santa Clara Valley Water District

Linda LeZotte at lunchOur guest speaker this week was Santa Clara Valley Water District Director and former San José City Councilmember Linda LeZotte, who gave a brief history of Santa Clara County aquifers and how we have related to our water supply over time.

Linda also spoke about the current drought conditions and provided an update on several rebate plans offered by the Water District in order to incentivize conservation. These include rebates for landscape conservation, “gray water” reuse, installation of high-efficiency appliances, and commercial conservation.

Linda reported that Santa Clara County residents already use less water on average than most of the state, but she noted that the district is looking for any way to improve on our success. You can visit the Water District online at to learn more. Or contact the Water Conservation Hotline at (408) 630-2554 or by email at

An Update from Cambodia

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

Today’s guest was Al Mabanag, an officer based in the Dublin field intelligence office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

ATF is a unique law enforcement agency in the United State Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. We partner with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research and use of technology.