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Scroll - September 2016

Paul's Place - Friday, September 2, 2016, 6:30 am


President Casey opened the meeting and sought announcements.

  • Fill the Bus Book Drive - Saturday, 10 Sep 2016, noon till 6:00 PM, at Main and M Streets during Cap and Town festival.  Check out the video, we are mentioned!

  • Field of Honor – Nancy and Dewayne have accepted the co-chair position for the 2016.  Nancy reported that the first FOH committee meeting will be held Thursday, 8 Sept at Dewayne’s house.  More information to follow.

  • Cathy Paskin - Tim O’Neill reported that Cathy is in Paris and says Bonjour!


Pamela Toconis, North Merced Rotarian and Assistant Governor, introduced Tia Saletta our District Governor for 2016-17.  Tia is from Oakdale where she followed in the mother’s footsteps becoming a Rotarian in the Oakdale Rotary in 2005.  Tia manages the Lazy S Ranch, a horse ranch outside Oakdale.  Her BA in Geography allow her to be comfortable through her extensive traveling around the world, while her Master’s in Public Administration serve her well in many aspects of her life.  Tia has many hobbies including: snow skiing, fishing, hiking, travel, photography, writing, and creating jewelry.  She is a past president of her club and served as club secretary for eleven years, including this year!

Tia indicted that it was Bob Hobbs who convinced her that being in a leadership role was something to strive toward as a Rotarian and credits Bob for setting her on the path to become District Governor.  Her initial motivation to join Rotary was inspired by international travel and issues surrounding clean water.  From that point forward she has worked to support and participate in a number of Rotary international projects. 

She feels her role as District Governor is to support local Rotary clubs – she is here to help.  Additionally, part of her job as District Governor is to spread the message of Rotary International.  This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation.  One goal Tia has set is to educated communities about the work of the Rotary Foundation, including Rotarians – getting them to support the Foundation.  Additional goals include the Polio Plus giving and club membership.

Tia reminded us of two major events this year.  The first is coming up in early November.  The District 5220 Foundation Dinner is to be held 5 Nov at the Stockton country Club.  She promises the speaker will inspire us all!  The second event is the District Conference to be held at Harrah’s South Lake Tahoe, Apr 28th-30th. 

Tia provided to our member two awards.  The first is he the Quiet Rotarian award to Gina Cherf.  A well-deserved award for the work Gina has done over many years serving the youth in our community, among many other functions.  More importantly,  Mike Cuchna was awarded the All Star award for his amazing work serving all areas of our club.


Paul's Place - Friday, September 9, 2016, 6:30 am


President Bob Casey got the meeting started and sought announcements from the members:

Fill the Bus – Tomorrow from noon till 6:00 pm at Main and M Streets volunteers will be collecting books for the event.

Field of Honor – Nancy reported on the outcomes of the first FOH meeting held as Dewayne’s house.  This year we will set up the field starting Friday, 4 Nov.  Open to accept re-fly flags Saturday, 5 Nov at 2:00 pm.  An Opening Ceremony is being planned by Dewayne for Sunday, 6 Nov.  Friday, 11 Nov we expect folds to take flags to be flown in the Veteran’s Parade.  The field will be taken down Saturday, 12 Nov.  Details to follow.

Foundation – Frank has taken on the duties as Foundation Chair and has a number of activities he will be implementing throughout the year.  One goal Frank has set is that we again become a Four Star Club.  A lofty goal has been set, now we need to step up to the challenge!
It was moved by Frank, seconded by Gina and approved unanimously that funds derived from any gifts auctioned would be credited to the member’s foundation account who provided the gift.  The funds derived would go to the Foundation.

Vocational Tour – Donald announced that on 7 Oct we will be taking our first Vocation Tour to a Fire House!  More information will be provided closer to the event.


Shirelle King was introduced by Mike Cuchna.  Shirelle is the Literacy Coordinator for the Merced County Read and Succeed Adult Literacy Services.  She spoke to the literacy crisis with the state and nation and what is being done here in Merced to address this issue.

The facts: More than 40% of California residents are poor readers or functionally illiterate.  Overall, 50% of incarcerated adults are poor readers or functionally illiterate; improving their literacy skills can reduce recidivism by 50%.  In Merced County, 35% of adults 25 and older are dropouts.  30% of adults 18 to 24 did not complete high school.  58% of

adults suffer the lowest levels of literacy.


What is being done locally:  Read and Succeed-Merced—Free literacy program for English-speaking adults that is state and county library supported.  Volunteer tutors work with adult learners one-to-one and in small groups to help them build reading, writing and numeracy skills.  Currently over 100 individuals are enrolled in the program county wide.


Want to help:  Contact Shirelle King at the Merced County Library


Paul's Place - Friday, September 16, 2016, 6:30 am


Bob Casey summarized the adventures of the Merced College Football Team has brought the meeting to order.


Rotary Foundation – Frank Reed provide us with a five step process to become a donor to the Rotary Foundation.  1) Google Rotary International, then click on myRotary, 2) Sign-In, 3) Click “Take Action” then select “Ways to Give,” 4) Under Recurring Giving (Rotary Direct)” select “Online contribution,” select “Annual Fund – SHARE,” 5) enter the amount to give and your credit card information.  According to Frank, it took him only a few minutes to complete the five steps and he was able to do it!


Field of Honor – Nancy and reported on the FOH schedule, Opening and closing (Dewayne), looking for volunteers, (passed around a sign-up sheet), printing materials (Shelly), adds in papers, sponsors (Eric), web and email to past flag purchasers (Mike C) and the next FOH meeting at Dewayne’s house 6:00 pm, Thursday, 22 September.


Our Speaker -- Wayne Hague introduced our speaker Dr. Kirk Mous, M.D. and a team working with the Society for the Study of Autism Spectrum Disorder – Communication (SSAS-C).  The team present included: Mary Mous, Samuel Randolph, Dr. Pamela Upton, and Dr. Leonard Oestricher, M.D.


Dr. Mous spoke to the issues surrounding autism and asked some simple questions.  What is the cause of this condition?  The number of young people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is growing, why?  Does a correlation and a causation exist between the number of young people diagnosed with ASD as the number and type of technologies has increased?


Dr. Mous provide insight into these questions and the work of the SSAS-C.  SSAS-C is working toward two initial goals.  The first is local awareness of a study to ascertain the linkage between ASD and technology screen time.  The second is to ascertain funds for a pilot controlled randomized study to understand the relationship between screen time and ASD. 

Want to learn more or donate: SSAS-C web site


Paul's Place - Friday, September 23, 2016, 6:30 am


With the room filled to capacity, President Bob began the meeting with announcements:

Winton Rotary – 15 October from 5:30 to 10:30, 3rd Annual Mariachi Fund Raising Dinner.  Tickets are only $40 with the event held at the Atwater Community Center.  Several members indicated that this is the event to attend!

Merced County NAACP Dinner – It time again, the 55th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet, Saturday, 8 October at the Merced Senior Community Center.  6:00 pm Social, 7:00 pm Dinner. Tickets $40

Veterans Boulevard – After much background work by Rich Miller and the Citizens Committee it is going to happen.  M Street will be co-names “M” Street and Veterans Boulevard.  The unveiling will be held at the closing ceremonies for the Merced Field of Honor.  Mark your calendars – Dusk, 11 November.

Foundation Minute – Frank provided additional insight into myRotary at the Rotary International web site.  You can view a report of your status toward becoming a Paul Harris Fellow.  Every little bit counts, no matter how small.

Field of Honor – Volunteers still needed!  We are now using SignUp (renamed from VolunteerSpot).  You can sign up for the times you want and change things as we get closer to the event.  Reminders will be sent, just to keep you on your toes.  Nancy is expecting every Sunrise Rotarian to volunteer at the Field.  SignUp now!!

Foundation Dinner – The annual Foundation Dinner, Celebrating the Rotary Foundation’s Centennial Year, will be held Saturday, 5 November (yes that is the day we set up the Field of Honor) at the Stockton Gold and Country Club.  Early bird tickets by 14 October are $60.  Late registration will cost you $70 per ticket.  Contact our Interim Club Secretary Eric Moore to sign-up.

Colton Dennis provided some wonderful insight into the current happenings at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center.  Many of us were please and surprised to learn how extensive the offering hve become.  Activities include: Locally created Films, exhibit gallery, Yoga, Art Exhibits and Sale, Classes for Kids, Dance for all ages and levels including Dance for Parkinson’s Disease, Adults with Disabilities, Luau at the Lake Fund Raiser, and so much more.

Colton is a relative newcomer to the community and Director of the Center.  He brings a life-long passion for the arts to the position and wealth of experience and ideas.  The Center is working with Merced College, the University of California Merced, California Historical Society, California 4-H Foundation to spread the word about current and upcoming activities.

On upcoming event is the Luau on the Lake Friday, 7 October at 5:30 pm.  Tickets are available at the Center or by calling 209.388.1090 extension 10 and cost only %45 per individual.  Tables are also available.  Thank you Colton for sharing with us this wonderful resource within our community.

More is available at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center web site.


Paul's Place - Friday, September 30, 2016, 6:30 am


President Bob began the meeting with announcements:

Dues – Rich Miller reminder members that dues statements will be distribute next week.  Quarterly dues are $115.50.

Vocational Tour – Next week we meet at the City of Merced Fire Station #51 located at 99 E, 16th Street for our first vocational tour this year.  Dewayne will orchestrate the morning.

27th Annual Pancake Breakfast – Merced City Firefighters are hosting their 27th annual Pancake Breakfast at Fire Station 55 located at 3520 N. Parsons Ave Saturday, October 8th from 7:00 am until 11 am.  Tickets: $7 for 6 years and up, free if under 5 years.

Field of Honor Meeting – Wednesday, 5 October at Dewayne’s house starting at 6:00 pm.

Board Meeting – Bob announced that a Board Meeting would be taking place at Rich Millers home at 5:30 pm, 12 Oct.

Vocational Inspiration -- Donald provided the first “Who Inspired You?” In three minutes he spoke about Truth, Risk and Innovation, and how those attributes became part of him because of a mentor from his recent past while designing a 21st century library for UC Merced.


Doug Forte introduced our guest speaker, visiting Rotarian Moses Seebagala from Kampala, Uganda East Africa.  Moses spoke about a project that we may wish partner; his club wants to provide a hand dug water well for a local community that his Kasangqti Rotary Club has been working.  He outlined the local needs that were identified through a local community assessment process.  A school was one of the top needs identified and Moses provided insight into what has already been accomplished and the status of that work in providing educational opportunities for many young children in the community.  The specific project he is currently striving toward would provide a hand dug water well for the school and surrounding community at a cost of approximately $6K ($3.5K for the well and $2.5K to protect the water source).  Should this project prove successful further efforts would be undertaken to develop an RI Grant to bring a deep water well, with solar pump and taps providing water to meet a larger community need. 


Doug proved a handout delineating additional details about the project and answers to a number of questions that have already been posed.  This is certainly a project that meets our Club International Goals as well as Rotary International areas of focus: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.  Add to that, Moses in involved with his local Rotary club working to do all the above!  It seems a like a natural project for our club to collaborate.


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