Everything You Need to Know About Rotary

This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: Everything You Need to Know About Rotary
Speaker: Special program with Club President Mitty Chang
Meeting for the week of December 19, 2016 to December 25, 2016

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; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Message from President Mitty

Merry Christmas! (Special meeting)

Members and returning guests, it’s great to see you again — welcome back! Can you believe that 2017 is just around the corner?

New visitors and visiting Rotarians, welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s meeting for the week of December 19th! My name is Mitty Chang, and I am president of this Rotary club! We are thrilled to have you visiting our meeting this week!

Members and guests, our meeting this week is a special program about Rotary. Since this week begins the holidays for many people around the world, we have intentionally designed this meeting to be shorter than our normal meetings. Spend more time with your loved ones this week and next! Take some photos and videos, and share some of them with us through your member spotlights or comments.

Enjoy the rest of this special and abbreviated meeting, and have a Merry Christmas everyone!

We’ll be back next week with another special holiday meeting before resuming our normal meetings.

Yours in service,
Mitty Chang, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

Photo of the Week

We believe that a good photo not only tells a tale of a thousand words but also can inspire. This segment is dedicated to a photo that we think does just that.

Hand-stitched shoes at Soul of Africa’s shoe factory in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 3 April 2006. Soul of Africa is a nonprofit company that trains and employs women from rural KwaZulu-Natal to make shoes, and donates its profits to fund projects that help children and communities affected by AIDS. Local Rotary clubs partner with the company to support community projects.

This story was featured in The Rotarian Magazine’s November 2006 issue. Original photo below taken by Alyce Henson / Rotary International.

How would you creatively empower those who are less fortunate? Is there a project that you think our club should take on?

Weekly Inspiration: The Cloud Piano – If the clouds were pianists

Every week we bring you videos of innovation, inspiration, and entrepreneurship. This week we are featuring a video from Great Big Story, about how the clouds play the piano! (Intrigued yet?)

What does a cloud sound like? Studio artist and educator David Bowen wanted to find out, so he built a machine to let the sky play music. Yes, really. Behold the Cloud Piano—a robotic installation that plays a note on the piano based on the movement and density of the clouds across the sky. It may sound chaotic at times, but so is nature, after all.

Very cool!

Laughing Out Loud (L.O.L.) with our Lady of LOLs

yvonnebubbleWe believe that laughing a little every day keeps you healthier. Every week we try to share with you something that will make you smile! This section is curated by Rotarian Yvonne Kwan, our club’s “Lady of LOLs.”

Christmas is coming up at the end of this week, so it’s the perfect time for some Christmas-themed jokes!
What do you call a kid who doesn’t believe in Santa?
A rebel without a Clause.
What do you call an obnoxious reindeer?
What is it called when a snowman has a temper tantrum?
A meltdown.

Member Spotlight: Nathan Gildart

Our club members are the lifeblood of our Rotary club. This special segment features member-submitted videos spotlighting an inside look into their life and passions.

This week’s member spotlight video is submitted by member Nathan (or “Nate”) Gildart, who lives in Tokyo, Japan!

Guests, you are welcome to ask Nate a question in the comments section.

Members, don’t forget you can connect directly with Nate through our members-only Facebook group.

For Members: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

Club Elections & Club Assembly

It’s that time of the Rotary year again — nominations and elections for club officer positions will take place in January. Details will be posted in the next meeting. Members, we will also be holding our annual Club Assembly session during a time in January or February. A Doodle poll will go out to members by email to see what is the most convenient time for the majority of members. Please take a look for the email! Happy holidays!!!!

Reminders – Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Dues are due by next week!
  • Coffee with a Rotarian
  • Secret Santa

It’s almost 2017! Don’t forget to update us with your service blotter!

Members, want to get your service update into the next service blotter? Please share what you’ve been up to, as it allows us to get to know each other better in the process! Just click on the link below to let us know!

For Members Only: Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Our Events & Projects

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

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
92 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Next Meetup

Join us and Rotary Clubs in Area 8 packaging meals for STOP …

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017, 8:30 AM
1 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

Stop Hunger Now Service Project (Cupertino), Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 12 PM

(Please note the date change; it is now January 14.) Come assemble Stop Hunger Now food packages with Rotarians from Cupertino and Sunnyvale during our Rotary Area-wide service project on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Monta Vista High School, 21840 McClellan Road, Cupertino, CA! There will be two separate shifts – one from 8:15 AM to 10:30 AM, and another from 10:15 AM to 12:00 PM. Sign-up will be available on Meetup. Guests are welcomed but will need to check-in with our club. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life with a hands-on service project while getting to know some of the other Rotarians in our area!

Event chair: Mitty Chang (please check-in with Mitty once you arrive)

Rotary Wilderness Expedition to Big Basin (Boulder Creek), Sun. Jan. 29, 2016 from 11 AM to 3 PM

Join fellow Rotarians and friends for an adventure expedition into the gorgeous redwood giants of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We will be meeting at 11 AM (exact location to be announced) and will aim to return to our cars by 3 PM. Please pack your own lunch and water.

Event chair: Andrew Taw

Rotary Area 8 Talent Show (Cupertino), Sat. Feb. 4, 2016

Join Rotarians from through Cupertino and Sunnyvale for an area-wide social featuring talent from every club! Details to be announced.

Happy Dollars

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!)

Last week’s happy dollars went towards funding club projects! Here are messages from last week’s happy dollars:

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his $15 donation! Rory had this to say:
Please apply my contribution to Polio Plus. Winter visited the Texas Gulf Coast for a few days. We had to turn the heat on for three days. But things are back to normal now–A/C is on right now.

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his $15 donation! Brian had this to say:
“Keeping my wife happy – job #1 for a good life. Managing well this week…. ;)”

Thank you to member Rushton Hurley for his $10 donation! Rushton had this to say:
Shout-out to my buddy Dennis in Shanghai, who put up with me for a week! It’s good to have good friends.

Thank you to member Linda Tangren for her donation! Linda had this to say:
Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

Thank you to member Kristi Govertsen for her $5 donation! Kristi had this to say:
“It’s a beautiful winter wonderland here in Montana. There’s nothing quite like having a snowy holiday– it looks like we live in a postcard!”

Thank you all for your donations last week! The money from the donations last week went towards funding club projects including supporting club service grants!

This week’s donations will go towards the general club fund to power club projects!

So what are you happy about? Share with us below!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

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 six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting about Astro Photography:

From member Felmer Lenida (California, USA):

This meeting was amazing! I wish I was there for the Rotary El Tour de Tucson. I’ve been getting into cycling because of the company I’ve been working for, so it would be awesome if I can do that next year! Keith, thank you for the wonderful presentation! I’ve seen your work before, and I am always astonished by what have. I’ve been into photography ever since I was a sophomore in High School and Astro Photography has always been something I’ve always wanted to do but is always a challenge! I’ve attached a picture to this comment that I took a couple years back. I just hope I can be as good as you one day!


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From member Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne (California, USA):

“Such a beautiful hobby! Thanks, Keith, for showing us how vast the universe is. I was in Utah during the Super Moon. My photo was nothing like something Keith could produce. However, I like to think that I could improve, just not with my cell phone! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/…

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From member Shags Shagrin (California, USA):

“Loved the program, Keith — sorry to have missed the live time with you. I fell in love with photography as a young child when my grandfather showed me his even-then antique Kodak bellows cameras. At a camp I learned the secrets of the darkroom and then was of the two official photographers at our high school. I’ve since moved from film to digital, but haven’t experimented to the degree you’ve shared. What fun it must be, though I wouldn’t have the patience! And the jellyfish video was amazing.”

From member Kristi Govertsen (Montana, USA):

“Keith, this was so cool! It definitely inspires me to dig out the camera, and start experimenting. As for the jelly fish, I think I would be up for it! Yvonne, as always, your jokes crack me up. The “Say people!” picture was my favorite. :-)”

From member Ferheen Abbasi (Osaka, Japan):

Keith, wow. I am blown away. I wish I attended the live recording because I really really want to ask you a ton of questions! I recently got a DSLR and have been taking photos! I have no idea how to take photos at night so I want to pick your brain about it! Do you have any good (simple) advice (youtube videos?) for shooting at night? Like, if I wanted a good picture of christmas lights? 🙂 Here are some pictures I took this weekend!! 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/…

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From member Rushton Hurley (California, USA):

Keith, this was the perfect talk to watch as I prepare to go see Rogue 1! It’s wonderful to see your photographic art, as always. I took a look, and found a photo club that meets in San Jose near the airport the second and fourth Saturdays of each month (http://sccc-photo.org/2/). Inspired by Keith, I’ll add a picture from my Shanghai trip, below. The jellyfish salt water lake video was a nice (and rather artistic) scientific addition, too. For the Tour de Tucson that raised over $10M for the fight to end polio, it’s worth mentioning that a Rotarian from The Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA, Sandy Abalos, and her husband Alan take part in that each year, and (I believe) were instrumental in getting John Hewko to participate. A group of us from that club were part of the core team that launched our eclub. A little history to go with the art and PE! https://www.instagram.com/p/BN…

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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!

Special Program: Everything you need to know about Rotary

Every week we bring to you a program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week we have a special program designed for our shorter holiday meeting this week. The program is recorded by our club president Mitty Chang, and is about “Everything you need to know about Rotary.”

Rotary was founded in 1905, and over the 100+ years it has existed, it has grown to an organization with over 1.2 million members in over 165 countries. But even for those of us who have been Rotary members for months or even years, how much about Rotary do you know?

This week’s special program is designed to give you a run-through of all of the basic information you need to know about Rotary to have a strong grasp of how Rotary works. For our club members, this is a purposefully timed presentation as our club officer elections will be coming up in the next 30 days! For our guests, this is just a wonderful opportunity to better understand what Rotary is and how it works.

This special program is made by club president Mitty Chang.

 Related Links:

Meeting Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 to 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice. (Sometimes speakers cancel on us!)

Upcoming Recordings:

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 3 PM Pacific – “8,000+ Interactors to Help Syrian Refugees” by Interact District 5170 International Coordinator Misaki Otani
  • Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 5 PM Pacific – JW House

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, please email [email protected] with your request. Requests will be checked up until 5 minutes prior to the recording time. Please note the timezone is all California, USA time.

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Week of December 26 -“8,000+ Interactors to Help Syrian Refugees”
  • Week of January 2 – TBA

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

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

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below 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!

Fill out my online form.
  • Merry Christmas

  • Hey everyone! Merry early Christmas to everyone! 🙂 Apologies that the special program this week came in a little bit late! It’s posted now!

  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Thanks for this informative program Mitty. I had no idea Rotary Action Groups existed. Very cool.

  • BDL

    Merry Christmas!!

  • Jayprakash Deshpande

    Nice presentation Mitty on Rotary … Merry Christmas ! I am a member of WASRAG

  • Keith Marsh

    Nate, loved your story. Mitty, thanks for the Rotary history lesson.

    • Nathan Gildart

      Thanks again for the pics and presentation last week Keith. Very inspiring! (looks like you’ve inspired another possible member bonding initiative!)

  • Nicole Pham

    Happy Holidays everyone! I loved your video Nate. I just came back from a speedy trip through Japan and I’m so jealous you get to live it every day. (:

    • Nathan Gildart

      Hi Nicole. Glad you liked the country. I’m hooked. 😉 Let us know if you roll through Tokyo again and we’ll how you the locals’ side of The Pan!

  • Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne

    Merry Christmas to everyone! Thanks, Mitty, for your great orientation to Rotary and your work as President. Nate, nice to meet you. Thank you for showing us a shrine; interesting to see!

    • Nathan Gildart

      Hi Monique. Nice to meet you as well. I hope you can get to Japan and check one out for yourself some day!

  • Rory Olsen


    Thank you for giving us a great, concise informative program. I have been a Rotarian since Reagan’s first term, but I still managed to learn a couple of things from your program. Good job!

  • Great info, Mitty. Nate, totally fun to get a shrine intro and hear more about your and Yuka’s history. I look forward to seeing you again soon, amigo!

    • Nathan Gildart

      I miss you Rushton! Can’t wait for a reunion!

  • ShagsCA

    Lots of good info, Mitty! Happy holidays to all who celebrate them this time of the year…

  • Kristi Govertsen

    Thanks, Mitty! Rotary Nerd Approved! It was cool to see everyone’s photos in the selected comments. Would it be too complicated to do a monthly photo challenge for our members (optional, of course)? A theme/subject could be provided at the beginning of each month, and then we could all submit a photo or two from that we’ve taken from our respective corners of the world with our interpretation of that month’s theme/subject. These could be posted in our weekly meetings throughout the month–interactive and a literal snapshot of our members’ lives. Let me know what you think, and I would be happy to spearhead the project if it seems like something that would be fun for everyone.

    • Andrew Taw

      That’s an awesome idea Kristi! I would absolutely take part in the challenge. Judging from the photos from a bunch of our members, we could really get some cool images going. Also really like the idea of having a monthly theme.

    • Nathan Gildart

      Hi Kristi. I agree with Andrew – a great idea that would bring our members together and maybe even learn a little bit about each other, places, and anything cool that can be photographed!

  • Andrew Taw

    Thanks for the informational presentation Mitty! Thanks for the tour Nate!

    • Nathan Gildart

      Hope you can get out here someday if you haven’t already Andrew!

  • Raquel D. Juncal

    Nate, a pleasure to see you again! Cool video!

    Thanks for the info, Mitty!

    • Nathan Gildart

      Raquel, great chatting last week! Let’s do it again!

  • Ferheen Abbasi

    Nate, thanks for your video!! I should do one when I go to Kyoto next week!! 🙂

    Thanks for the presentation, Mitty!! As a new member who has never been involved with Rotary before now, I appreciate all the info!!

    • Nathan Gildart

      Ferheen, do it! I absolutely love Kyoto! I’m heading to Bangkok next month and think it may be cool to start documenting in small clips some of the places I travel to around Asia. (assuming I don’t offend anyone in sacred places!)

  • Nathan Gildart

    Merry Christmas everyone! Mitty, thanks for that. The “Rotary education” meetings we have are informative. It’s difficult to go through all that the parent website has to offer, so that and shared links are great. That Could Piano piece is way cool! I need one of those for my guitar!

  • Richard Knaggs

    Have a wonderful break everyone. I always learn something new in these presentations. Thanks Mitty!

  • Brett Sham

    Merry Christmas! Nate great video, my girlfriend watched it with me and now wants to go on a holiday to Japan! Mitty, good to learn about how Rotary operates beyond our club, thanks for an informative video.

  • Paul Mosso

    Happy Holidays to all my fellow club members. I hope you have a great time with your family and friends.

    I enjoyed see the list of famous people that are/were Rotarians. Very thought prevocking.

  • john lozano

    Nate, thanks for the video. I love visiting Japan and maybe I’ll plan a trip through Tokyo next time. Rushton and I meet when I was doing some work with Okayama city many years ago. I miss my time there.

    Mitty, thanks for the information. I appreciate the background on Rotary and this gives me some focus for the new year.

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.

  • Yvonne Kwan

    Happy holidays, everyone!

    Thanks for the awesome video, Nate! Can’t wait to visit Japan again and feast and drink with you (and hopefully Yuka!) again.

    Always cool to see Rotary presentations! Even veterans can learn something new — thanks, Mitty!


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Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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