//Igniting the Spark of Abilities

Igniting the Spark of Abilities

Meeting for the week of September 09 – September 15, 2019

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: Igniting the Spark of Abilities

Speaker: DeAnna Pursai

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

To properly attend this meeting, please:

  1. Read and watch the content below in its entirety.
  2. Complete the attendance survey.

Everyone is also encouraged to leave a comment in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Special thanks to member Olukunle Abolade for putting together the information for each week’s meeting into this program page for all of us to enjoy. Thanks Olu!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Tzviatko:

Greetings Rotarians and Guests,

I am so impressed by the leaders in our club and everyone’s contributions. To all our Board Members and Committee Chairs — Thank you!

This week we’ll hear from DeAnna Pursai about her founding of the College of Adaptive Arts and the inspiration she gets from her sister!

Looking forward to your comments below.


President, Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

Did you know that September is National Potato Month? Time to make Spud-tember a thing!

Why do potatoes make good detectives? 
They always keep their eyes peeled!

What do you call a potato after it’s been sliced?

What do you call a baby potato?
A small fry!

Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

The South Side of Chicago is littered with food deserts, considered to be areas without access to affordable food or produce.

So when the Fresh Moves Mobile Market bus stops in the neighborhood, people are eager to board. What were once Chicago Transit Authority buses have now been transformed into farmers markets on wheels.

Much of the produce sold—including fresh spinach, arugula and collard greens—is grown right in the city at the Urban Growers Collective.

This Chicago Farmers Market Is on Wheels

Member  Spotlight

This week’s Member Spotlight is Rebecca Fry! Here is what she has been up to lately:

“My biggest habit change over the last few weeks has been getting properly back into running, joining a local running group for the first time in over a decade. The group of women are incredibly supportive and it’s been great to meet people in the local area having moved to Sydney’s Northern Beaches only a couple of months ago.

Currently just running for fitness and fun, however am sure I’ll get roped into doing an event with these wonderful women soon! A final bonus has been the gorgeous sunrises over the ocean as we run. Would love to hear from any other runners in our club or what sports/fitness activities members participate in to stay active 🙂 ”


World of

You may remember the program in early July on Freely in Hope (https://www.siliconvalleyrotary.com/meeting-07-01-2019/), a project to end the cycle of sexual violence. Those interested in supporting their efforts further might set aside time on November 23rd to attend their 9th anniversary gala at Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco. To learn more, go to: http://www.freelyinhope.org/gala/

The event is not free, but the money you spend to participate goes toward a great cause. Anyone going, please take pictures and send us a report!

Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. In this section Member Keith Marsh shares his incredible photography!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

As a follow-up to last week’s image of the Reno Balloon Races, here is a photo I took of the Dawn Patrol that same year. I was able to position myself beyond a small pond to get a good reflection in the water. This year, the Balloon Race was this past weekend.

Learn Something New

This section is curated by members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley and aims to teach our members and guests something new, fun and useful! If you have any ideas on a fun trick or skill you’d like to share please contact Rushton or Shags.


For this week, it’s not so much a recipe as a process. I’m in the process of shedding some excess weight before my upcoming hip replacement surgery, so I’ve reduced carbs to a minimum. We like summer squashes of all kinds cooked myriad ways, so I’ve traded pasta noodles for “zoodles” – zucchini noodles!

My wife recently upgraded our food processor to one which has a spiralizer attachment, and I was eager to give it a try. Before that, we were using a hand-held unit that was not very expensive, and it worked pretty well. But there’s nothing like automation, speed,and ease of use, eh? WRONG!!! The squash had to be cut down to fit in the tube, and
the cutter spun too fast to get long strands – I ended up with mostly shredded zucchini.

That was with the first one. So it was back to the hand-held, and I tried an interesting thing – cutting the zoodles in one long set of strands by turning the squash in the opening, going slowly and carefully. Voila! Extra long zoodles! You can see in the photos below the tool and me holding just one of those strands, which I estimate to be about 10 feet long!!

In the past, these have been salted, rested, and gently squeezed in cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel to reduce the moisture content, then pan sautéed in a touch of olive oil before adding any sauce. (For this, I used my red sauce, of course! Recipe in a prior meeting.). But I didn’t want the extra salt (blood pressure) or the extra calories from the
olive oil. I found a great article online from someone who tried several different methods of preparation, and she found the best results baking them in a 350F oven for about 15-20 minutes after lightly salting them to draw out the moisture. They came out firm, dry, and delicious! I just put them in a bowl, added the heated sauce, and dinner was on the table.

Source: https://www.wholesomeyum.com/how-to-make-zucchini-noodles/


Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Alexandra from Zurich, Switzerland  reporting on a chat with Ferheen from Santa Clara, CA, USA

Farheen and I met yesterday. It was the first time that we talked to each other but we both agreed that it should not be the last time and honestly, I felt as if I would talk to a very good friend of mine. Farheen is such a lovely person.

I can even not imagine that somebody would not like her. I wish her good luck and keep my finger crossed because in one month she will receive her exam results and afterwards she can decide to which medical school she can apply. Farheen, you will be a wonderful doctor and I am so sorry that I am so far away from you because otherwise, I definitely would prefer to have you as a doctor!

It was so nice to see that we share the same views and partially same experiences regarding some very personal things and I appreciated it very much that we could talk about it so openly. So glad that you are now part of the membership committee of our club – please allow me to support you as much as you wish and as much as I can (still hope that the life will not be much more complicated once the newborn baby is here).

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

Club Announcements

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Past Events:

August 28 Club Online Social!

Thanks Shags for hosting this fun online social, and thank you Rushton for the screenshot!

Upcoming Events:

Event Name: Grand Re-Opening of Castle Rock State Park
Date: Sept 27 and Sept 28 (volunteers welcome for either or both days)
Times: 9am to 3pm

Join us as we help Castle Rock State Park celebrate their grand re-opening! Among the most beautiful state parks in the SF Bay Area, Castle Rock is located in Los Gatos area and the northern region of the Santa Cruz mountains. The State Park, with massive community support, are opening new facilities for visitors! There will be a press event the first day and a donor appreciation brunch the second day; volunteers are welcome to join on either or both days. Carpools can be arranged. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Friends and family are welcome to volunteer as well! If you’re interested, please reach out to Andrew Taw at [email protected] 

District 5170 Events

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email [email protected]

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Clark Kellogg made a $15 donation.
This week my wife and I are touring southern Spain. We have had a very good time not only site seeing, but meeting different people, seeing how they feel and live. I would sum it up by saying that there are vastly more similarities between peoples than differences. Buenos Dias , Clark

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
We may have moderate rain over the next couple of days. Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.

Brian Liddicoat made a $15 donation.
Ramping up for an autumn full of court trials.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Suzanne Van Stralen said:

We really have a vibrant online presence and many of our members continue to offer their expertise around this! Thank you!!! So many wonderful aspects to this week’s meeting. I’m still laughing about “Thunderwear and continue to improve myself through tech tips!” Thanks for another terrific photo Keith. And Heather, I loved seeing the photo of you and your mom. I enjoyed Nick’s CWR video and was glad to hear how Nick and Olukunle share many interests. THANKS to Steve for his very inspiring and informative presentation. It’s great to learn about the partnering between Rotary and Peace Corps. Also, thanks to Keith for the nudge toward contributing to Shelter Box.

Bret Sham said:

What a great meeting! Everyone seems to have been so busy lately.

Steve thanks for a great presentation. Such good timing just having Cecelia’s latest update.

Mark B said:

Great program this week.

Love the way that people can adapt to their circumstances and make the best of it. Amazing to think that you could mountain bike without vision.

Great to learn more about the partnership between Rotary and Peace Corps and the synergy they have with each other. I don’t think we have anything like Peace Corps in Australia. Would be great if it expanded beyond the USA.

Enjoyed the member spotlight with Heather and her amazing mum. Nice work.

Nice tech tip Rushton. Another great photo Keith. And keep the dad jokes coming.

In regards to Social Times the best time for me are the weekends between 3pm and 9pm (Perth time). Hope that helps.

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Igniting the Spark of Abilities

Speaker: DeAnna Pursai

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

If you have an idea for a cool speaker, please feel free to reach out to them directly
or submit THIS FORM so our Program Committee can contact them!

DeAnna Pursai is Executive Director and Co-Founder of College of Adaptive Arts. She holds a Master’s in Education Policy Analysis in the School of Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an undergraduate degree in Elementary and Special Education from Purdue University. DeAnna has been named an Architect of Change on the Maria Shriver blog and co-awarded the Delta Kappa Gamma State Distinguished Career/Professional Service Award with CAA’s Co-Founder and Dean of Instruction, Dr. Pamela Lindsay.

DeAnna is active in the downtown Rotary Club of San Jose, as a newly elected board member, as the Chair of the Rotary Play Garden Ambassadors Committee, the admin of the newly formed Rotary Climate Action Committee with Rod Diridon, and a member of the SJSU I-House Committee. She is also a proud board member of Christmas in the Park, and she is an active member in a vibrant Bay Area leads/referrals group called MyProGroup. She is big sister to Angel Ellenberger, who happens to have Down syndrome and is an exquisite actress, entertainer and comedian. One of DeAnna’s bucket list items is to give a Ted Talk on the subject of how knowing and enjoying an individual with a disability completes those without disabilities and makes life worth living

DeAnna shares her personal story of growing up with an amazing and very comedic sister who happens to have Down syndrome, and how she became her inspiration to have DeAnna & Co-Founder Dr. Pamela Lindsay found a college for adults who historically have not had access to college education.

Igniting the Spark of Abilities by DeAnna Pursai

Additional Resources

Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to [email protected]

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

2019-09-14T03:57:43+00:00September 9th, 2019|0 Comments