Oakland Rotary News

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Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,383rd Civic Thursday meeting to order – highlighting the fact that Oakland Rotary is the 3rd Rotary Club established and we are proudly a diverse group of over 270 members. Our membership includes business owners, professionals and community leaders.

Thought For The Day - Mieko Hatano

Mieko Hatano gave the Thought for the Day. “When we listen to music we are not listening to the past or listening to the future.  We are listening to expand the present.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen announced there were no visiting Rotarians. One guest was introduced in the Ballroom.

Meeting Sponsor – Kymberly Miller – Children’s Fairyland

Our meeting sponsor was Kymberly Miller, Executive Director of Oakland’s Children’s Fairyland. Kymberly brought us up to date on all the new things happening at Fairyland including their two upcoming fundraisers. The 75th anniversary will be in 2025 so there are tons of infrastructure projects going on to enhance the already great Fairyland experience. Isaac Kos-Read is a big fan of Fairyland and encouraged us all to support the many programs it offers by attending the Annual Gala in the Park on May 25th. Proceeds of this event will fund the infrastructure enhancements as well as the many programs offered. 

Reintroduction of Susan Smith

Jesse Schmidt reintroduced us to Rotarian Susan SmithSusan is a lifelong athlete who played soccer in college at St. Mary’s and now she runs marathons. She has been married for 23 years to her college sweetheart and says that it is her family that she is most proud of. Susan is now running her family business, East Bay Blue Print & Supply Company. A Rotarian for 23 years, Susan is grateful to Wayne Goodroe who convinced her to join.

Oakland Rotary Endowment Annual Meeting

ORE Board President Leann Alameda conducted the annual ORE meeting. After establishing a quorum of members attendung in the Ballroom and on Zoom, she announced the one item of business – election of Board members who will serve a three-year term beginning July 2022. Nominees Ces Butner, Merlin Edwards, Danny Mai and Pamela Claassen were duly elected. Congratulations to the new ORE Board members.


KinderPrep Volunteer Opportunities

KinderPrep Chairman John Holmgren is gearing up for the annual KinderPrep distribution of books and is looking for volunteers. This is a great service opportunity for Rotarians. You can participate in the book bag set-up on April 22nd or book packing event on the April 23rd. There is also an opportunity to be a chaperone at the KinderPrep visit to the Oakland Zoo on April 26th or Children’s Fairyland visit on May 6th. Those interested can sign up on the Club Website calendar.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Survey

Celeste Gordon, DEI Committee Co-Chair, announced the committee will be doing an Inclusion Survey of members along with individual and group interviews to learn about our members’ experiences. The DEI Committee will be looking to see: Do we reflect the diverse community of Oakland? Does everyone in our club feel welcomed? Does everyone feel they have access to leadership opportunities and decision making? The DEI committee is looking for new members, everyone is welcomed to join. “We can’t serve the community unless we are the community”.

In The Mood for Gratitude Gala

Are you In the Mood for Gratitude? Gala Co-Chair Tricia Connors invited us all to attend our April 28th fundraiser at the Sequoyah Country Club from 6 -10 pm. Deadline for purchasing tickets is April 22nd. If you’re in the mood to win a great raffle prize, get your raffle tickets now. $100 will get you one out of 100 tickets, giving you a pretty good chance to win something. If you’re in the mood for wine we also have a $50 raffle ticket that gives you a chance to win 24 bottles of wine! Each bottle is worth over $50! This could set you up for gifts for the holidays. If you’re in the mood for a trip to Italy, Ana Chretien has graciously donated two rooms at a villa in Italy that can accommodate four people. Rick Baskin and Layin’ Down the Law will be performing and joining them will be the legendary Jules Broussard. If you’re in the mood for a great evening with good food and fun Rotarians, the Gala is the place to be. 

Epic Hike, Second Stage

Robert Kidd reminded members to join the Second Stage of the Epic Hike Series (Richmond to San Leandro) on Sunday, April 24th.  This portion will take place in Tilden Park. For detailed information and to register, go to the Club Website calendar.

Golf Tournament at Poppy Ridge Course

Golfers can enjoy a tournament on Friday, April 29 at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. Tee times start at 10:40 am.  Deadline for signing up is April 22. Contact Jesse Bowdle at execadmin@oakland-rotary.org to sign up.

Rotary District 5170 Conference

The Annual Conference will take place on April 22 – 24 at Blackhawk Museum and the San Ramon Marriott. Attendees must sign up on advance for the activities they would like to attend.  Register at the Rotary 5170 District website.

Enterprise Institute Leadership Academy

This one-day event will be April 23 from 8 am – 4 pm. Attend to hear this program for high school juniors. Contact Harold Lowe at holowe@aol.com, Gary Flaxman at GaryFlaxman@gmail.com or Dudley Thompson at ItsMeDudleyT@gmail.com for details.

Speaker for the Day – Corinna Gould

Robert Kidd introduced our speaker, Corinna Gould, the Confederated Chair and Spokesperson for the Ohlone community.

Corinna traced the history of Native Americans in California and shared with us many facts about the terrible treatment Native Americans received here.  She emphasized this is the history that is never taught in schools.  Her presentation included information about the enslavement of Native Americans at the Missions, laws that made it legal to hunt Native Americans, and how Native Americans were stripped of their language and religion. Many cities, including, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, Alameda and Richmond are now recognizing that our cities are built on Ohlone Territory and are publicly displaying a tribute to this heritage.


Susan Smith rang the bell in honor of her sponsor, Wayne Goodroe.

Jack McAboy, John Holmgren, Fred Morse, Steve Blair, Robert Kidd and Dudley Thompson rang the bell for Susan Smith.

Shanna O’Hare rang the bell five times for Ed Jellen.

Ed Jellen rang the bell three times: for Robert Kidd, for Michael Bruck and for those Rotarians who rang the bell recently for him.

Lois Corrin rang the bell for Senator Cory Booker.

Tom Limon rang the bell for Georgia Richardson and Karen Friedman.


President Dudley adjourned the meeting at 1:35 pm as he reminded us to Serve to Change Lives and Don’t Keep Rotary a Secret!

Next Meeting, April 14 – Corinna Gould

David Stein announced next week’s speaker is Thomas E. Graham. From 2004-2007, he was special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia on the National Security Council where he managed a White House-Kremlin dialogue and formerly Director of Russian Affairs. His past experiences provide him with a wealth of knowledge that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This meeting is a Zoom-only meeting.

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