Newsletter – July 31, 2018


Pledge by John Gabriel
Invocation by George Prather

Guest: Phyllis Green visiting from Montana! Welcome, Phyllis!

Prez Tom wanted to remind everyone to check out our new updated website at and thank again Steven Walker from FastBreak and Linda Bigler and Carolyn Lewis for all of their efforts to get it up and running!

Bell Ringers: Randy was honored with a civilian ceremony by the Navy, and will be picking up the Admiral in his new Tesla next week instead of showing it off at the car show.
Happy Bucks: Christine bought herself a new Toyota Highlander (white) and she’s very happy – she also donated her BMW to Make a Wish! Phyllis gave VERY Happy Bucks to announce her daughter Kirsten is expecting their first grandchild in 3 weeks! Tom reported that his International Convention video was put on the District Facebook Page and has received over 2800 views! George Prather made it to the semi-finals at Sonoma Raceway this past weekend – Congratulations, George! Ben Fox announced he suffered through competing at Eppie’s Great Race and may be glad it was the last one! Howard Stagg went to the largest western art auction in Reno and saw Willy Nelson perform!

Those without pins and name badges were fined $1 – Joel Archer asked how much to opt out for the year and Prez Tom said $50 – each for pin and badge. Joel opted out of paying!

Prez Tom reminded everyone to “like” the Rotarians United to Stop Human Trafficking page on Face-book– our district committed $350,000 to this cause.

Steve Turner updated us on the upcoming Car Show: It takes place on Tuesday, August 7th at Ruth Chris. Members and registrants get lunch. Two prizes are awarded: Best in Show and Fan Favorite. Steve wants everyone to know that no alcoholic beverages can be brought out to the parking lot this year as we were able to do at the last show. We need more cars to participate – remember how much fun it was last time! Prez Tom says all the proceeds will go to the Carr Fire. District 5160 called for clubs to participate. We will also accept donations. The Car Show will benefit the Carr Fire – started by a car!


  • Prez Tom asked Stan Nicolaus to come forward and presented him with his Paul Harris +3 pin!
  • Softball update – playoffs in 2 weeks – we beat Point West last night!
  • Next Board meeting tomorrow, August 1st at 5pm at Howe Park

Our speaker today is introduced by Linda Bigler. Meghan Adamski is the Assistant Executive Director of A Touch of Understanding, Inc. After working in speech therapy, Meghan realized her passion was educating others about people with disabilities. As Linda introduced her, she also told the story of attending a “dark meal” event put on my ATOU. Linda said it was an amazing experience to eat in a totally black space trying to find your silverware and not spilling your food.

The Dark Meal is one of the 2 events ATOU does that doesn’t include working in the schools. The main outreach ATOU does is hold disability workshops to create a safe space to ask questions and learn about what people with disabilities go through. The effects of the workshop carry on for long past the workshop. Through having a hands on experience trying to negotiate a wheelchair through the cafeteria to walking with a cane blindfolded, school children gain an empathy for their classmates they never realized before. Also, volunteers (many from their own class or school) share their stories and answer any questions the kids want to ask. Much of our lack of empathy for people with disabilities comes from a lack of knowledge (is it contagious?).

This experience is presented in 8 counties to 8-10,000 students a year. Teachers report an immediate change in students after attending the workshop. In one school a student with cerebral palsy became the expert answering questions about her condition and shared how she could never play tetherball like the other kids. On the Monday following the workshop, her teacher observed this young girl standing in line to play tetherball with her walker. As she reached the front of the line she put her walker aside and got on her knees to play, her opponent immediately got to his knees to play against her.

Meghan also read a letter from a 6th grader who says he was changed forever by the workshop. Hearing the speaker’s stories and experiencing using a wheelchair helped him understand how tiring it must be to have to use a wheelchair or cane along with all the other obstacles a disabled person goes through. He referred to the participants as “differently abled”. Meghan says one of the cherished remembrances from the workshop is a pin that each child receives which says “I choose to be kind.”

There are two non-school related parts to ATOU. One is called Youth Force where people can join with friends for inclusive activities. Another is for businesses – “A Spirit of Inclusion Workshop.” At this workshop employers and employees learn the benefits of employing people with disabilities and to create a culture of kindness.

Thank you, Meghan for your presentation and bringing this wonderful non-profit to our attention!

Next week: Car Show at Ruth Chris – starts at 11:00!

Be the Inspiration!

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