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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.

Remembering Sally Howe

By Mayra Flores De Marcotte

Sally HoweSally Howe’s infectious smile and vivacious personality left a lasting impression on those that she met, as did her knack for building community everywhere she went.

Howe, the grande dame of Campbell, died on Jan. 14. She was 83 years old.

“Sally was like the sunshine; she was a beacon of information and was never shy about sharing her opinion,” said Evan Low, former Campbell mayor and now state assemblyman.

Low first met Howe as a boy at various Campbell events his father Arthur took him to. Over the years, Howe became a part of Low’s support system.

“When I think about Sally, I will remember the importance of expressing your opinions in a respectful and thoughtful way,” he said. “She was an icon in Campbell and will always be one of the greatest people our city has ever known.”

Howe was born June 1, 1931, in Los Angeles, relocated to San Jose and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949. She made her final move from San Jose to Campbell in 1953 and remained an active participant of her community.

Campbell Planning Commissioner Phil Reynolds first met Howe at a neighborhood block party in 2007.

“I’ve known Sally for making the world’s best deviled eggs, and when she brought those to our block parties, they were the first to go,” Reynolds said.

Over the years, Reynolds said that along with those delicious eggs, he came to appreciate Howe for her ability to bring different groups together, her volunteerism and a playful personality.

“Everyone would joke about getting whacked with her cane,” said Phil Reynolds. “She would poke your toes with her cane. I always saw that as a term of endearment. That meant something special.”

“You knew where you stood with her,” Reynolds said. “She was outspoken and open and spoke her mind.”

For the 60 years that she lived in the Orchard City, Howe was involved with the Country Women’s Club of Campbell, an organization that brought local women together for the last century to support the community.

She was the driving force behind the annual Bunnies and Bonnets Parade as well as the Carol of Lights, both family-focused events aimed at bringing the Campbell community together.

“If you were ever a part of the events in downtown Campbell like the Bunnies and Bonnets parade or the Carol of Lights festival at Christmas, you knew that Sally put 1001 percent into making sure these events were done just perfectly so that the community would have something to remember these holidays by,” said Sonya Paz.

Paz first met Howe in 2007 when she opened Sonya Paz Art Gallery in downtown Campbell. The two instantly hit it off.

“Sally was a true gem, not only in Campbell but in the surrounding areas,” Paz said. “She knew a lot of people. She certainly touched everyone in this very special way. It’s not often that you meet somebody in their 80s that is still working a full-time job, working on projects, was on the board of many associations and still had time to visit and connect with people that she cared about.”

Howe was also involved in the Downtown Campbell Business Association, acting as its leader for a period but always offering guidance to others in the role in later years.

Former Campbell business owner Dana Smith first met Howe in 1994. The two met at a DCBA board meeting when Howe was vice president of the association. After a short period, the president position was vacated and Howe stepped in, asking Smith to take her place as veep.

“She told me, ‘Don’t worry, you won’t have to do anything,'” he said.

The two became friends and were involved in multiple events over the years, including many Downtown Campbell Wine Walks and the behind-the-scenes for the Carol of Lights.

“Her drive and enthusiasm and energy were pretty amazing,” Smith said. “She would go to every city council meeting, every DCBA meeting–anything that needed a voice or body or comment. At 80-something, she missed nothing. She had her whole heart and soul in it.”

Kelly Crowley, general manager at Khartoum, first met Howe in the late 1990s while she worked as a waitress at Mio Vicino’s and was struck by her passion for and knowledge of the community she was a part of.

When she began working in the downtown, she became a part of the DCBA and enjoyed what she called “lively, often heated, always passionate conversations.”

“Sally was a mentor to me,” Crowley said. “She was civic-minded and giving, brassy and strong.”

Campbell business owner Deb Rohzen also met Howe through her involvement with the DCBA 14 years ago. The two, Rohzen said, had their fair share of laughs and hugs and even arguments, but the friendship between them never waned.

“Above all else, Sally always had the interests of the Campbell community at heart,” Rohzen said. “She was the epitome of a good person–a passionate person indeed–and she will be forever in my heart.”

The local matriarch also ran the Campbell Express, the city’s longest-publishing newspaper. Howe’s presence was ubiquitous at city council meetings, community happenings and theater events, and her knowledge of the things that made the community tick was unending. If she didn’t know about, she’d quickly look into it and report back her findings.

“Somehow, even though she wasn’t an elected official, Sally got things done in the Campbell community,” said Al Bito, assistant to the Campbell city manager. “She had her own authority that people respected and followed.”

The two met when he attended his first city council meeting as part of his new job in 1997, and Howe introduced herself and then offered to introduce Bito to community leaders.

“I will miss Sally’s sheer presence and company at all of the public and community meetings because of what she brings to the table and this includes her friendship, her wisdom and her compassion,” he said.

Former Campbell mayor Rich Waterman met Howe at an event in San Jose more than 15 years ago.

“Little did I know that this lady, arguing with me about an issue she felt passionate about, would play an instrumental part in encouraging me to both start my own Campbell business and to get so involved in Campbell politics,” Waterman said.

Prior to her time as a newswoman, Howe worked various jobs. She was a switchboard operator in Los Gatos, an elevator operator at Roos-Atkins department store in downtown San Jose and a school secretary at Lowell Elementary School in the San Jose Unified School District.

Howe then wrote for the Campbell Press, the predecessor to the Campbell Express, for many years. She also edited the quarterly newsletter for the Metropolitan Adult Education Program. In the 1980s, Howe headed up the Campbell Progressive Seniors.

Howe was heavily involved in the dog breeding community. For more than 40 years, she bred and exhibited Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs and fostered her relationships within that community. This aspect of her life took a back seat when she decided to focus on her role as newspaper reporter, then publisher and owner in 2003 when she bought the Campbell Express. Her love for the small dogs, however, never waned. Photos hung from her office and a golden Corgi charm hung from a necklace she wore regularly.

Sally Howe is survived by her daughter, Roberta C. Howe, son Matthew C. Howe, grandsons Starsun and Cyrus, granddaughter Lyra, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Howe’s life will take place on Jan. 24, 1 p.m. at the Home Church, 1711 Winchester Blvd. with a reception to follow at the Orchard City Banquet Hall, 1 W. Campbell Ave.

This article originally appeared in the Campbell Reporter.

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.

Half-Year Review

Stella and CindyDear Fellow Rotarians,

Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self”, and the ?rst rule of Rotary is said to be “Have fun.” Judging from our efforts so far in 2014-15, we are on the right track! The smiling faces and many different local projects shown in the photos on our Facebook page are evidence of our commitment to both service and fun.

Our Rotary Year began with a sponsorship of the Campbell Relay for Life and serving breakfast to the brave cancer survivors who lead the walk-a-thon. From collecting school supplies for teachers at Rosemary School in the summer to this week’s sorting and packing of toys for the Campbell Toy Drive Program, Campbell Rotarians can be counted on to lend a helping – and a leading – hand. Our collection and stuf?ng of over 400 backpacks for local school children is a hallmark of our commitment to youth and the community.

And we like to have fun, too – even when we work! We help out with both Willow Glen’s and Campbell’s Wine Walks as well as taking time for our own “Thirsty Thursdays”, never missing an opportunity to enjoy each others’ company.

As we look back at the ?rst six months of this Rotary Year, we can be proud of our contributions and continue to be excited about what we can do in the next six months. TRF, Club Foundation, Student Speech Contest, ELC, and our excellent array of weekly guest speakers give us wonderful things to look forward to.

Thank you for your past and continued efforts to make Rotary the “go to” service organization for Campbell and Willow Glen. Happy Holidays!

- President John Shannon