Weekly El Cerrito Rotary Bulletin for October 15, 2020

El Cerrito Rotary

The Wheel

October 15, 2020

Editor:  Gary Buffon


President Andy opened the Zoom meeting by greeting us all and provided a thought for today.

Guests & Visiting Rotarians:  Today we had Tom Panus (CC School District members) and Debbie Toth who is CEO of Choice of Aging which does lots of great work to benefit the elder population of Contra Costa County.  Both of these fine folks were on hand to deliver some key information to us as part of our Rotary Club program.


  • We had a great in-person Board meeting at Lara’s restaurant (in the old Salute’s location in Richmond) on Tuesday noon.  A number of things were discussed and the next fun thing will be the holiday dinner for our club.  The event will be held at Lara’s and Jane is taking care of the details and we will be given the information on when we will be going.  We have yet to have the demotion dinner for Past President Marty so this will be the time for that to happen.  We are planning on holding our next Rotary Board meetings will be November 5th.

Sgt at Arms:  Steve was on hand to acknowledge anniversaries for Paul Keith and Gary Buffon.  We were also told that today is national Grouch Day.

Happy Dollars:   Jack is happy to have connected with butterfly specialist.  Jack is going to set up a time for the gentleman to present information to our club about monarch butterflies and check into ways to increase the amount of these beautiful creatures in our area.  Andy is happy that his bee hives are recovering from an attacked by mites.  He has taken care of the problem and his bees are doing well.  Gary is happy about the attention of our club on butterflies.  He reminded us that there is a simple way to attract fritillary butterflies to your yard.  Simply plant a passion flow vine in a place in your yard and when the vines has the beautiful red flower in bloom, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful butterfly’s in our area.  What’s more, the females will lay eggs on the plant and the next steps will result in a new batch of these wonderful creatures.  These creatures and quite beautiful red butterflies and they will your yard and local area with a lot of color.

Today’s Program:  

Our first speaker today was Debbie Toth, CEO of Choice of Aging organization.  Debbie explained how her organization delivers important results things for the seniors in CCC.  The current project is to get pulse oximeters for selected facilities in the area.  This meter wil help these facilities provide increased and accurate monitoring for people who can die from low oxigen levels and without professional staff this problem is not uncommon in elder facilities.  It was interesting to hear her tell us about how this creates a life or death situaiton.  Currently, there is a push to provide oximiters to more facilities to provide a way to monitor the elderly folks.  Our club is purchasing some oximters and also participating in a porject to distribute these devices to strategic location.  In fact Andy obtained volunteers to pick up the devices to facilities.

Our second speaker today was Tom Panus who is a member of the Contra Costa School Board and serves in the district school on special projects and as and advisor to teachers when needed.  Tom explained what he does and the importance of the skills he brings to the various issues in the school.  We heard the overall challenges and got a flavor of just how challenging it is to get students engaged in their schooling.  There are a large number of students who do not speak English at home and as you can image this presents a challenge to teachers.  Tom has done a great job as a board member and is stanging for reelection to the position.  It is my hope that Tom gets reelected.  It was great having Tom visit us today and hears his take on ways to break the structures of racism in our schools.  Thanks to Tom for providing a great presentation.

Thought for the Day:    

If we cannot work together for success, we will fail in our efforts to improve what we are doing.