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!

Newsletter – July 24, 2018

Pledge by Phil Kocycz
Invocation by Mike Grace

Guest: Theresa from Big Brothers Big Sisters
Bell Ringers: Monika Singh had a birthday last Thursday and bought herself her first new car – a Subaru! Gary Johnson has been RVing around the country and has had too many adventures to mention except how he almost lost his tow vehicle! The Johnson’s really enjoy RVing!

Happy Bucks: Randy finally has his Tesla Model 3 – he’s showing it off at the car show! Linda Bigler wanted to thank Mike Grace for fixing the scorekeepers ledge so her stuff doesn’t slide off while she’s keeping score! Howard Stagg attended Stan Affanso’s 80th Birthday Party and had a great time. Al Cady drove to Oregon to witness the engagement of his 92 year old aunt to her younger man (91)! Lou gave happy bucks saying if she can do it at 92, I sure should be able to do it at 60!
Those without pins and name badges were fined $1 – Gary Johnson paid $ each because he knows he won’t wear them!

Earl was late so he was fined $2 unless he can answer the question – who is this year’s RI President? He couldn’t answer but it’s Barry Rassin – Howard paid his fine because he believes that if someone comes it’s better than not coming even if they’re late! On Facebook, look up Rotarians United to Stop Human Trafficking – our district committed $340,000 to this cause.

Mike Grace called upon Jenny Davini, Les Gudger, and Patrick O’Neil to honor them each with a Paul Harris Fellow for their over and above work during his Presidential year. Congratulations to you all! Steve Turner updated us on the upcoming Car Show: It takes place on Tuesday, August 7th at Ruth Chris. Steve is looking to wrap up some sponsorship’s, and the registration materials are available on the web page. Members and registrants get lunch. Two prizes are awarded: Best in Show and Fan Favorite. Rob Ford, Michael Grace and Tom Goode presented Theresa from Big Brothers Big Sisters a check for $12,514.43 for their participation in the Golf Tournament. Tom mentioned he has been a Big Brother for 5 years!

Chris Sanchez was introduced by Steve Turner as our speaker today. We remember Chris from past Tequila Tastings and Scotch Tastings. Currently Chris is COO of CAN CAN Cocktails. He and his partner have brought restaurant quality cocktails to convenient packaging. He brought 4 varieties for us to sample:

White Linen (a cocktail developed at the Shady Lady in Sacramento) – the ingredients are Vodka, Cucumber, Elderflower, Lemon Juice and natural flavors. Raspberry Fizz with Raspberries, Vodka, Lemon Juice, Mint and natural flavors. Boar’s Bourbon Root Bear made with Bourbon Whiskey, Angostura Bitters, Cane Sugar, Spices, and natural flavors. And Jenny and the Mule made with Vodka, Ginger, Lime, Honey, Mint, Saffron, Himalayan Pink Salt, Black Pepper, Pineapple, Chili Powder, Cardamom and natural flavors.
We all had a chance to taste each of the cocktails over ice and they were quite good. Chris says they are made in batches of 600 gallons at a time with pure natural ingredients from local sources when available. Ryan Seng is his partner. Ryan has many years of mixology as a bartender under his belt. They opened their business at 15th and C Street. It is the first distillery since prohibition allowed in Sacramento. They cannot offer tastings at their site because they don’t actually run a distillery. To do so would mean they would have to distill all the different types of liquor they use and it would be cost prohibitive.

Newsletter – June 19, 2018

Pledge by Gary Johnson
Invocation by Al Cady

Visitors: Pat Grace, who came to Mike’s first meeting and now his last. Thank you for loaning him to us this year!

Happy Bucks: Cathy Skeen gave happy bucks to complement Prez Mike on his year as President for the many good things he did for the community, running  interesting meetings, the majorly successful poker and golf tournaments! Monica Singh gave happy bucks because she’s happy she’s becoming a member of our club! John Gabriel gave happy bucks because he’s happy the golf tournament is over and everyone did a magnificent job. There was plenty of help and he’s amazed so many who worked all day yesterday at the tournament are here today! Where are the golfers? Patrick O’Neil gave happy bucks because he had too much fun yesterday at the tournament. He mentioned he met someone who was so grateful that his daughter was given a Rotary Scholarship 15 years ago and now she’s a Dermatologist. Randy gave happy bucks because he drove a golf cart for the first time and had a ball, he also purchased the Woodland Firehouse Dinner and is thrilled. Rob Olmsted gave happy bucks for being late and for missing the golf tournament because he was tied up all day in the legislature. Michael Caplan gave happy bucks because he was driven to his station (hole—the wrong one) by Linda Bigler in a golf cart and thought he was going to end up in the pond but she turned at the last minute. He ran the Margarita hole for the 7th or 8th year and is training Ben Fox to take over when he’s President. It’s the best place on the course, and a coveted assignment! Prez Mike gave happy bucks for the great weather we had yesterday for the tournament and because he’s happy his wife is here! Duane wanted to give happy bucks because his experience driving the golf cart was amazing. He tried to keep up with John while delivering lunches to the golfers, but when he missed one John wouldn’t let him go back. Bill Hambrick had to chase him down to get the missing lunch!

Prez Mike inducted our newest member, Monica Singh. Monica is a Real Estate agent, and a mother and grandmother. Mike told her she was now one of 1.2 million Rotary members world-wide who are dedicated to making the world a better place for all. Mike charged her with continuing the Rotary tradition to encourage and foster the ideals of service, uphold the highest ethical standards, and using her occupation as an opportunity to serve. Mike explained the 4-Way Test and encouraged her to make it a way of life in everything you think, say and do. And as we all now realize you get out of Rotary by putting your effort into it. WELCOME, Monica!

The Demotion date is June 30th, we will be dark on June 26th. The location is the Nepenthe Clubhouse at 1131 Commons Drive (Not the Campus Commons Clubhouse) in Campus Commons area. Bill Hambrick is doing the bar, Tim Cahill is working on a skit, Michael Caplan is cooking and Les and Tom are going to make comments. It is an important event recognizing Prez Mike and his board and welcoming incoming Prez Tom and his new board. Volunteers are needed to set up and break down and help with the event. Please let Paul King know if you are coming. Also, Carolyn Lewis is organizing the Pot Luck portion of the event, if you haven’t signed up she will be calling you. There will be barbecued chicken and tri-tip as well.

There will not be a meeting on July 3rd. If 2 weeks off is too much, East Sac Rotary invites you to come to their meeting next Wednesday the 27th at Evans Kitchen at 12noon. Their speaker is Deputy Chris Nelson, with the canine unit.

Two volunteers for the Rotary Van at the 4th of July Parade are Paula James and Tim Cahill. Tim also explained that the Howe Park Theater is offering a Children’s Theater with Peter Bond who is an amazing puppeteer. They are going to try to have one of his puppets at the parade and promote the Children’s Theater.

The softball Team played last night but lost to the Downtown Club Team.

Our speaker today is Lisa Quaschnick. She comes from a Real Estate background, and then met and married her husband, Jim, who is a Real Estate Broker. Together they managed a small team of agents and employees but by 2015 a deeper calling came to Jim. Along with Lisa and two other investors, they started a non-profit called KAVANAH with the mission to change the way people get into homes. Over the past 3 years they have sold over 30 properties to Veterans and low to moderate income families through “Project Sweet Home.” Another program “Destination Home” has also provided affordable housing to dozens. They have also provided shelter to seven Veterans who were previously homeless, by offering Tiny Houses built by high school students and at-risk youth.

The shell of the home is 7’3” by 12’. It is finished with drywall and insulation and has a solar panel for some electricity. There is no kitchen or bath. It is a place to sleep and be safe and lock up their stuff. Luther Burbank High School was the first school to use their construction program to build a tiny house. Previously they built bird houses, sand boxes and garden sheds. Now they are learning real life skills which could translate into meaningful employment. The first completed house was placed in Del Paso Heights in a church parking lot. The occupant was a member of the church and well-liked. He is a Navy Veteran and has over 5,000 hours volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. After living in the tiny home for 9 months he has moved into a more permanent location and has full time employment. Since he had an address he was able to apply for veteran’s benefits and has purchased a van to get to work. This gentleman had lived in a tent along the river previously and spent days washing all of his belongings (sleeping bags, blankets, tent, etc.) to leave for someone else. Moving into the tiny house is a “hand-up, not a hand-out.”

Now they have 8-9 high schools using their construction programs to build tiny houses. They cost $7,000 each to build and furnish with a bed. There are 20 schools on the wait list to build tiny houses as there are funds to do so. 5 have so far been placed, one in Del Paso Heights, one in South Sac, and 2 at a residence in Folsom and another at a property owned by KAVANAH.

What can we do? We can sponsor a school and pay for materials, host a tiny house. It is a big step from homelessness to a job and permanent housing. A tiny house is just one step in the right direction.

Lisa told us about “safety sex,” where a homeless woman offers sex to someone who will protect her from all the others. Having a tiny home protects a homeless woman from this humiliation.

5K in 5 is a program that hopes to employ 5000 young people in construction jobs during the next 5 years. Many home builders like Lennar are offering paid summer internships to youth who have worked on the tiny homes. At least 90% of those who’ve worked on the project have gone into paid internships or full time employment.

Where did the name come from? Lisa wanted a Hebrew name because she felt it needed to be and a cousin who is a Rabbi told her Kavanah means “intention or direction of the heart.”

While many high schools have gotten rid of the trade classes with the push for a college education, many are now finding that they have a valuable place in education.

Thank you, Lisa, for bringing the KAVANAH story to us.

Please note: the finance committee is announcing that dues are going up to $275 (from $250). This will be effective for the 2018-19 dues due beginning in June 2018.

From Prez Mike:
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you this year. I am pleased the club is still operating and did not disband during my watch. I know that President Elect Tom Goode will take our club to new heights… and tell better jokes. See you at the demotion!