This Meeting’s Highlights
Speaker: Julie Matsushima
Program: The Beautiful and Accessible Rotary PlayGarden
Meeting for the week of May 25th to 31st, 2015
It’s the last week of May, and you’re joining the members and guests of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley in its weekly celebration of service and fellowship – welcome!
This week, we’ll highlight what it means to play. Our featured image is of boys in Cuba learning to box. You’ll also find links to the videos created by young people playing with how to tell stories of service to others. Our program is about removing the barriers for those who might otherwise not have the chance to play.
What this adds up to is our charge to you: enjoy the meeting, and go learn and do something new in the coming days. Life’s too short not to spend time regularly choosing to play!
Guests, we ask that you consider contributing the cost of a meal to the service projects our club is putting in motion. Feel free to use our donation system for Happy Dollars, or you can mail a check made out to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley to our treasurer: ℅ Allen Thompson, 13500 Cascade Ct., Bakersfield CA 93314.
Learn Something New
What does it look like to explore something new? Video artist Rick Mereki and his team traveled the world to explore movement, food, and learning, and here’s one of the three gems they created to share with us all.
The Power of Images
Our members will remember from last week that our Camera Czar Keith had a photo win an honorable mention in Rotary’s Annual Photo Contest. This is it, and I think it not only shows Keith’s eye for angle and color, but also his passion for travel!
“Here is a photo that I submitted to the Rotarian Magazine photo contest. It wasn’t one of the winners, but they did recognize it on the website as one of the best submitted. It was taken in Cuba last year where we were allowed to attend a local boxing match. This is one of the training facilities for boxers wanting to go to the Olympics. The referee in the photo was a medalist several years ago, but I forgot his name.”
What We Do
Celebrating Stories of Service
In May, our members and guests judged the finalists of a video competition in which students were challenged to get to know an organization in their community that makes life better for others, and make a short video to tell their story. We ended up with four winners:
Palo Alto Humane Society
Palo Alto, California, USA
by students at Junipero Serra High School
Institute for the Future
Palo Alto, California, USA
by students at Junipero Serra High School
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
by students at Aberdeen Elementary School
The Salvation Army Kroc Center
Suisun City, California, USA
by students at the Fairfield-Suisun Public Safety Academy
Click on the titles above to see these short videos, or go to the winners page at Next Vista for Learning.
All finalists earned the charities they highlighted a $200 donation from Rushton’s educational nonprofit Next Vista for Learning, and the makers of the winning videos earned a $50 gift card for themselves.
Congratulations to all the students who took part in the Service via Video project – you’ve helped spread the word about the good that others are doing, and in true Rotary fashion, you’re making a difference!
A small group of enthusiastic eclub members went to Levi’s Stadium to cheer on the San Jose Earthquakes last Sunday evening. If we ended up with any good pictures, we’ll share them next week!
As was mentioned in the last meeting, Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang has encouraged Rotarians to help with the relief efforts in Nepal by supporting the ShelterBox effort to get its durable shelters to areas in need right away.
At the eclub’s monthly board meeting last week, it was voted unanimously that we identify $250 to send to ShelterBox and to ask our members to individually pledge more, with the goal that as a club and as individuals, we can raise at least $500, thereby covering the cost of half of one shelter. You can learn more about ShelterBox at its website.
Please contribute in the Happy Dollars section below, or by sending an email to Treasurer Allen (email@example.com) with a pledge, and he will be in touch with you on ways you can pay that.
Many of us live in an area where the potential of a powerful earthquake is very real, so thank you for taking time to help those in need.
Raised from our members and guests as of Saturday the 22nd at 5p: $285
Approved by the board from club funds: $250
Total so far: $535
Let’s keep it going this week!
Raising Awareness and Funds
PR Chair Chris Cochrane has done some polishing of the two 12-second videos to raise awareness of our club and funds for our efforts, and asks that we use these links going forward:
Please share these with those you know! Hopefully they can take less than a minute to watch them both and share them with others.
The World of Rotary
Ours isn’t the only eclub in Rotary, and our members are encouraged to get to know other ones out there, sharing what they thought was strong which we might bring into our own meetings. Here are several you might visit to see more of what the world of online Rotary offers:
You might also take a moment to learn about the work of Rotary and one of its partners, the Adelante Foundation, to bring entrepreneurial energy to some of the poorest parts of Honduras. Called, “Rise of the Female Honduran Entrepreneur,” it’s a nice look at what well-crafted microfinance programs can foster. Read the full article at Rotary’s site.
Next week, we’ll highlight some of the cool things members have been doing as part of their work to make life a little better for others over the past month. Have you been giving some extra time to a good cause? If so, let us know!
Member Stephen Zhou can fold a shirt in a few seconds, and is happy to teach you how to do so, too.
Way to get your shirt together, Stephen!
Each week several members (and even some guests) check in with messages about good things happening in their lives. Last week and this week, we’re also gathering what we can to help with the relief efforts in Nepal. We’d welcome a comment and a donation from you, too!
from member Andrew Taw ($20):
This is for the incredible program, Shelter Box!
from member Linda Tangren ($50):
I am happy… for the opportunity to help the people of Nepal. I hope this helps us meet our club goal for Shelter Box
from member Allen Thompson ($40):
from member Martin Fox ($20):
For Nepal Shelterbox.
from member Gene Tognetti ($20):
[no comment left, but the timing was clear that it’s for Nepal – thanks!]
from member Yvonne Kwan ($25):
For the relief efforts in Nepal!
from member Chris Cochrane ($75):
For Nepal challenge.
from member Richard Knaags ($10):
I hope this helps a bit in Nepal.
A Little Humor
from – appropriately – Treasurer Allen:
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he will go out and buy expensive fishing equipment, odd-looking clothes, a sports utility vehicle, travel 1000 miles to the “hottest” fishing spot and stand waist-deep in cold water so he can try to outsmart a fish.
Average cost per fish: $395.68
Selected Comments from Last Week
Last week’s program about H2OpenDoors, and the work Rotarian Jon Kaufman is doing to bring clean water to communities around the world generated plenty of great comments. Here’s a sampling:
from member Shags Shagrin (California, USA):
That’s an amazing invention! Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Wonder if it can be scaled down ever more for a smaller-population use… Yvonne – great tech tip! (Mine is that I use a video download helper (www.downloadhelper.net) to capture the weekly program video on my desktop to avoid the occasional “pausing” that happens during streaming views. It also enables me to speed up the playback using Windows Media Player and cut down the time it takes to view without losing the quality of the message.)
from member Martin Fox (Utah, USA):
I liked your comments about using local Rotary clubs to smooth the cultural aspects of installing the Sun Springs. We learned the cultural issues the hard way with Sun Spring water projects in Peru’s Sacred Valley. While village entrepreneurs and village leaders were ready to implement, there was an upswell from community members who just wanted everything installed for them – no partnerships – no work on their end – no water testing – no paying for water. They said German NGOs had done it that way four decades earlier and that’s the way they wanted it this time. Perhaps local Rotary clubs could have smoothed out the issues so we wouldn’t have had to pull the plug on the projects. Pulling out broke our hearts and it changed the way I’ve worked with villages since.
from member Keith Marsh (California, USA):
Thanks, Jon for the great presentation. I have been following this project since it was presented to the Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA and attended one of the H2Open Door fundraisers a few years ago. Please let us know how we can get more involved. Rushton, can we make this a focus of our International Service? Maybe join with another club to raise funds to buy a water system for an area in need. Organize a trip with students. Lots of possibilities here. Let me know how I can help. [Keith, your interest and emails have sparked discussions – I think this is something we’ll be able to act on!]
from guest Douglas Den Hartog (California, USA) via email:
Thanks for a great site! It is the first e-club meeting I’ve been to and it was a positive experience. The flow of the site mimicked an in-person meeting. The content was very relevant too.
from member Andrew Taw (California, USA):
Great presentation of a wonderful invention. I’ll definitely be showing the short video on H2open Doors to my students next week.
from guest François Tessier (Quebec, Canada):
This presentation was just awesome! I am totally wowed! I have been to a community where 50% of their health problems is access to clean water (in Sri Lanka). This technology is just amazing. It is funny how miniaturizing a technology can enlarge its impact… I look forward to visiting your website and following your project.
from member Deepali Mehrotra (California, USA):
Thanks for a great tidbit, Yvonne. Great to learn how Rotary is helping in the Global Water crisis through this wonderful H2OpenDoors program. Good to learn that India has been chosen as a recipient for SunSpring in 2015 as many kids in India die every year due to water contamination. It will good to see Rotary Clubs replicate this program in that region.
Members and guests:
Note that the Disqus system allows lots of sharing of ideas. Jon has responded to almost all the comments above in last week’s meeting, and he, Yvonne, and Mitty engaged in an especially interesting exploration of what questions we should ask and how we think about the money we spend on service. If you missed it, feel free to go back to last week’s meeting and take a look!
This Week’s Program
Julie Matsushima is a member of the Rotary Club of San Jose, and one of the first ten women to join the club when Rotary integrated in the early 90’s. She has served as the club’s president, and in her year, was the driving force for setting in motion the San Jose Rotary PlayGarden, which our members learned about a few weeks ago in a short video.
Today, she will tell the members and guests of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley about the inspiration and work of the San Jose Rotary Club and its partners to create this fully accessible playground which everyone can enjoy, regardless of ability.
Learn more about the Rotary PlayGarden in San Jose, or the Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto.