El Cerrito Rotary Bulletin for January 4, 2018

El Cerrito Rotary – The Wheel

January 4, 2018

Editor:  Gary Buffon





President Terry:  Opened today’s meeting by greeting everyone.  The flag salute was led by Gary and Terry provided the thought for today.

Guests and visiting Rotarians:  

No visitors today


  • Jan 9th  is our next the Rotary Club Board meeting.  We have important topics to discuss and decide.  
  • Terry thanked the January Speaker Team for scheduling the speakers.
  • Gary shared the Christmas greeting from Cassarah and her family who are on a dental mission in Burma and will be visiting Taiwan this month.
  • Marty announced he has extended the Rotary International Foundation giving matching points till the end of this week. If you want to get additional credits for your foundation contributions get them to Marty before the end of this week.  Drop them off at his garage.
  • Jack passed “the Hat” for us to make contribution to the fire victims in the Solano/Sonoma fire victims. The amount collected today will be supplemented by the Board to make a donation of $500 to the victims fund.
  • Sarah announced a 4 hour seminar being hosted by the Rotary Berkeley club this weekend. If you are interested contact Sarah for how to register and attend.


 Happy Dollars:   

Don is happy that Mark Scott returned to Rotary after being in the hospital and having surgery.  Mark is happy to be back after being gone for six months.  Jack is happy that Mark will be able to go to the Rotary International convention this year.  Told us the worst thing you can hear from your doctor (I haven’t seen this before.  Nobuko is happy she got to celebrate Christmas and New Years in meaningful ways.  She shared the traditional food preparation for Japanese families and how wonderful it is to have such a tradition.  Terry is happy to congratulate Sonya and Oklahoma for their football success. 


Thoughts for increasing awareness of Rotary in 2018

Tracy began by sharing with us how she viewed the importance of sharing with others and finding ways we can do that as a Rotary club.  She gave some suggestions on how we might go about that.  Lee was up next and gave us info about contacting the YES organization in Richmond and how that gave him insight in how little Rotary is known in our community.  He encouraged us to think of ways that we can do small projects on Saturday to get more people involved in what we do and to also increase membership.  Lee ask us to all consider what we think would be a good way to fulfill project activities and increase awareness of other about Rotary.

Sgt at Arms Sal:   Not on duty today.

.Today’s Program.   

Jack introduced Michael Pigoni, Battalion Operations Chief at the El Cerrito Fire Department to speak to us today about the recent fires in Solano and Sonoma County. Michael gave us an excellent presentation that summarized the role played by EC Fire Dept.  He also showed us pictures and explained the scope and consequences of these type of fires.  We were told about the ways the fires began and how 80 MPH winds can create a situation that resulted in 111000 acres burning while destroying 6957 structures in which 43 people perished.  There were 72000 people who battled the fires along with 50 air tankers and 80 pieces of heavy equipment.  The local Rotary clubs pitched in by providing help with shelter and food for victims.  The scope and impact of these fires is nearly incomprehensible.  This was a conflagration with a scope that is almost beyond what we could imagine.   When car engines melt and areas are swept clean by the fires, it is tough to image what a situation.   Chief Pigoni was able to deliver a clear and understandable verbal and pictorial presentation.   We thank Jack for making it possible for Chief Pigoni speak to us. 

Michael Pigoni –Operations Battalion Chief El Cerrito Fire Department

Chief Pigoni provided answered a number of questions and explained several of the factors which were a part of the circumstances of what happened.  This was an excellent presentation and very compelling with the photos to reinforce the extent of the damage from the fire!


Raffle Winners:

Don won the bottle of wine.  George had his ticket pulled for the marble game and drew a catseye and got to choose something from the basket of fun.  Mark Scott’s ticket was pulled for the jackpot and he selected the winning marble winning the jackpot of $85.  Next week the jackpot will be $50


 Thought for the week:

How about we all consider what the expression “Service Above Self” means and how do we demonstrate that on a daily basis to our fellow A