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Club Information

Welcome to the Heart of the Napa Valley!

We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Native Sons' Hall
1313 Spring Street
St.Helena, CA  94574
United States
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Home Page Stories

Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day: Land Trust of Napa County CEO Doug Parker was introduced by Rob Andreae  Rob, having served on the Land Trust search committee that recommended Mr. Parker, described in some detail his impressive background in conservation.  Mr. Parker then provided an extensive review of the Land Trust History and current activities.
Key highlights: the Land Trust, approaching its fortieth year, is one of the oldest land trusts in the country.  Its mission statement is short and to the point: preserve the character of Napa County by permanently protecting the land.  Today, the Land Trust protects about 11% of the County through a combination of fee ownership (about 8,000 acres) and conservation easements (about 47,000 acres).     As strategic goals, the Land Trust seeks to increase the pace of land conservation, manage the lands it owns, and ensure the long-term sustainability of its organization.   It seeks to acquire easements, precluding housing and vineyards, on agricultural and grazing lands, it seeks to promote bio-diversity (we are in a bio-diverse hot spot), and it seeks to protect areas of scenic value.
Mr. Parker presented a series of slides illustrating current Land Trust holdings.  This includes the Dunn-Wildlake and Duff Preserves (west of Angwin), the single largest holding.   Most interesting, Land Trust holdings include lands that support the most easternmost grove of redwoods – a subject of study as they have survived in drier conditions and may provide insights into the preservation of coastal redwoods in a drier and warmer climate.  Mr. Parker advised that the Land Trust has about 20 projects in the pipeline, with the hope of closing on 10 of them by the end of this year.  The Land Trust has about 1200 members and operates with a staff of 10.  His conclusion: “we should all be members.”
Thought for the Day: Ben Hill recited from Lewis Carroll: “And how do you know that you’re mad?”  “To begin with,” said the Cat, ‘a dog’s not mad.  You grant that?”  “I suppose so,” said Alice.  “Well then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased.  Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry.  Therefore I’m mad.”
Guest:  Chuck Griffin, guest of Steve Yost (and significant other of Kathleen Patterson)
Birthdays: Mike Thomas (in absentia)
  • President Joice Beatty advised that the Lakeport Rotary would be distributing contributions for Valley Fire victims raised through various Rotary Clubs.  She also noted that the District Governor would be in attendance next week, starting with the Board meeting at 10:30 at Grace Church.
  • Doug Ernst provided an update on the Valley Fire, including that the current count of lost homes stands at 1,238.
  • Margo Kennedy, noting that Angwin had a close call, cited three sources of up-to-date information: the CDF Incident Site, the Angwin FD (through its tweets), and Nixle (which provides emergency information).
Bell Ringers:
  • Kelly Crane, in appreciation for his recently completed trip to Hawaii (with of course Cynthia Kee)
  • Ben Hill, in gratitude for a win in the golf tournament.
Raffle: Lester Hoel selected the Black Marble.  Natalie Klug and Jim Smith were also winners.

Reported by Jonathan Hollister
Speaker of the Day:  VI BOTTARO is a photographic Artist living in the Napa Valley. With a passion for people and nature photography, she has been capturing the pulse of vineyard life as well as the California landscapes. Her photographic Art includes Napa Valley, Death Valley, the California Coast, Italy and Viet Nam. Vi teaches photography at the Napa Valley College and conducts a yearly travel and photographic workshop in VietNam.  Vi’s work has been acquired by some prominent individuals in and out of the Valley. Her work is in the permanent collections of Robert Mondavi Winery, Domaine Chandon, Napa Valley Lodge, Bardessono Inn and Spa, Newton Vineyards among other venues. Her images “Napa Valley: the People and the Landscapes” was exhibited at the Napa Valley Museum. Her Napa landscapes as well as work of “Farm workers in the Napa Valley” was exhibited at the University of San Francisco School of Law.  Please visit her website a
Visiting Rotarian:  Ritchie Fernandez of Elk Grove, CA.
Birthdays:  Suzanne Rada, Gene Armstead and David Moreland
  • The club has sent $1,000 to the Rotary organization in charge of the Valley Fire relief effort for evacuees. There will likely be more donations going towards this effort.  Watch for emails regarding the Rotary effort to help these people.
  • The Redwood Credit Union is offering special unsecured loans of up to $5,000 at 0% for 60 days for people displaced by the Valley Fire.
  • Eggs can be purchased for $5.00 per dozen.
  • Please take a moment to read the letter from the St. Helena High School student who won the Mark Terrell Scholarship.
  • The Meru, Kenya water tank project will not be funded by Rotary International so the club is seeking support from District 5130 and may seek out other clubs in the District to join this effort.
  • Volunteers are needed to staff the Rotary Booth for the Harvest Festival October 17.  The club will sell raffle tickets and margaritas.
Bell Ringers:  
  • Byran Remer is happy to announce that he purchased a new house in the Silverado Country Club. 
  • Cyndi Warren announced the birth of a new grandson, and the wedding of her daughter.
FinemasterJordan Bentley quizzed the club about some statistics regarding the history of women in business in the United States.  Mary Sikes, Rod Ellison, and Doug Ernst did their best to come up with the correct answers.

Reported by Jonathan Hollister
Speaker of the Day:  Audrey Ward, Pastor of the St. Helena United Methodist Church spoke the to club.  She is the author of “Hidden Biscuits: Tales of Deep South Revivals Told by Heart.” “Hidden Biscuits” tells the stories of William Serge Skondeen, his wife, Doris, and their two daughters, Althea and Audrey, who is the narrator of the book. The family traveled together in an 18-foot trailer from town to town in the Deep South from 1945 to 1956. Audrey was very young, about 5, when they started. Her sister was 10.  Many adventures are detailed of how the family spread the word of Christ in the rural south.  Audrey finished her talk with some music joined by musicians Susan Wheeler on guitar and Ann Gillerman playing the fiddle.
Thought of the Day:  Given by Matt Endriss.
Visiting Rotarian:  Bob Clark visiting from the Sonoma Rotary Club.
Special Guests:  Sara Zeigler, Sam Ward, Susan Wheeler, and Ann Gillerman, all members of the St. Helena Methodist Church and guests of Donn Black. 
Rachael Poer, guest of Kathleen Patterson.
Birthdays and Anniversaries:  Matt Endriss celebrated a birthday, and Alan Fowler celebrated his 46 year wedding anniversary.
Special Announcement:  Rachael Poer of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation wants the Club to get the word out to attend and sponsor a very special and very needed endeavor – the annual Foundation Gala – to help with the Napa Valley Breast Health Center.  The Gala is November 7 at Charles Krug Winery. The Hospital is expanding their breast health center services to elevate the patient experience with the advancement in technology to help detect and diagnose cancer more quickly and in earlier stages, creating a unique and comprehensive breast health program in Napa County.  The Gala promises an unparalleled celebration to help raise funds for St. Helena Hospital’s ever-changing and expanding medical needs. An evening of remarkable generosity within the community, the Gala raises approximately $2.3 million dollars each year for patient-focused programs, technology, and services.  Please join us by becoming a Gala Sponsor. We invite you to contact us to find out about specific benefits. For further information on the Foundation Gala, such as to reserve a dinner seat, or to become a sponsor, please contact or call 707.967.5604.
  • Ben Hill is asking for volunteers for the service club team.  Last year the club won an award for its service team and this year we need more volunteers to help out.  Contact Ben Hill to find out more. 
  • President Joice Beatty is going to have the service roster re-written and updated to reflect actual available volunteers. 
  • Linda Andreae’s mother passed away recently and we need to give some support to Rob during this difficult time.  The Native Son’s Hall is getting a new roof and the club is going to contribute $400 towards the roofing cost.
Raffle WinnersSara Zeigler, Sam Ward and Paul Dean.
Bell Ringers:  Norm Mitroff returned from a wonderful European excursion facilitated by Suzanne Rada of St. Helena TravelNorm was so pleased he is going to pay the club fines for Suzanne for the entire year.
FinemasterBen Hill quizzed the club about medical transplants and Gene Armstead, Michael Layne, and Donn Black tried, but failed to come up with the correct answers.

Reporter: Cindy Warren
Speaker: Dr. Ronald Kraft, Supt,/ President of Napa Valley Community College
Dr. Craft gave us a brief history of education from the 1700's to the present. Until the late 1800's education was only for the elites. Public colleges started in the 1940's. Since then colleges and community colleges have exploded. 
Napa Valley College was recently named the best community college in CA. Their budget is financed primarily by local taxes and grants. Unlike our public colleges and universities,  CA community colleges are not allowed to raise tuition, which is currently $43 per unit. Due to the limited funds available, it is difficult to attract quality staff. 
NVCC is focused on the following:
  • Building Career tech
  • Preparing a STEM workforce ( Science, Tech, Engineering, Math)
  • Expansion of Culinary and Viticulture classes
  • Interest in creating the only " Hops to Beer" courses in CA

We are blessed to have this wonderful asset in our community.

Guests: Dan Digardi, guest of speaker  Dr. Ronald Kraft
Visiting Rotarians: None
Anniversaries: Michael Layne- 115 years, according to the ClubRunner
BirthdaysCharlotte Williamson
  • Jordan Bentley gave us an update on exchange student Gabby. She left for Switzerland and is doing well.  Lina is arriving this weekend and will be hosted by Jon Hollister and his family.
  • President Joice Beatty announced our $530 donation to the Salvation Army Wi-Fi project for their Canteen truck. The truck goes to remote areas and enables people to come in and use the wi-fi and internet. 
  • The Tooth Fairy dollars that were collected went towards a man's dentures and a woman who had not been cared for properly in 3 weeks. A caregiver came in and helped her bathe. 
  • Suzan Rada said there are no eggs as the egg supplier lives in the  area of the devastating fire. Did someone say "fried eggs"!

Raffle WinnersBen Hill, Margo Kennedy, Richard Hyde

FinemasterDavid Brotemarkle, "My Tour of France"   Dave quizzed us on interesting facts from his recent trip to France. 


  • Natalie Klug  rode in a bike race through Sebastopol and met Joanie McQuiddy's daughter at a fruit stand.
  • Suzan Rada gave Mike Thomas $5 for his job as finemaster last week.

Speaker of the Day:  LESLIE STANTON, Librarian. The City of St. Helena has a long history of public support for library service. As early as 1875 there was movement underway to establish a library. The current building at 1492 Library Lane was constructed in 1979 and named for a much loved local physician, Dr. George Wood, who was also a major donor and long time supporter of the library.  The library currently houses some 96,000 books, videos, DVD’s, books on CD and tape, CDs, newspapers, magazines, microfilm and other media. Also part of the library collection is the Napa Valley Wine Library, consisting of some 3,500 titles and over 6,000 items. The world famous Silverado Museum is housed in a wing of the Library Building.
Thought of the Day:  It came from Bryan Remer.
Special Guests:  Gabby Gomez, current outbound exchange student; Anne Damoe, former inbound exchange student; Antonia Allegra, wife of Donn Black; Charles Bell, Sr. Active Member.
Anniversaries and BirthdaysKathleen Patterson celebrated her birthday.
  • David Moreland announced that he has 20 cases of wine to sell at $12 per bottle, proceeds will go to the Rotary Foundation.  Contact him if you are interested. 
  • President Joice Beatty announced each member is required to bring two raffle prizes to the club valued at approximately 25 dollars each.  Deadline is September 31 to bring your prizes or be fined. 
  • Suzanne Rada announced she has fresh eggs for sale at $5 per dozen. 
FinemasterCindy Warren quizzed the club about baseball lingo.  Rob Andrade; Ben Hill; Natalie Klug; John Sales; Jim Smith; Richard Hyde; Bryan Remer; Orville Hammer; Tim Doran; Joice Beatty; and Dave Moreland all were put to the test and fined appropriately.

Reporter: Cindy Warren
Speaker: Yvonne Baginski, " Born to Age" A Directory for older adults.
How many of us have a plan for our senior years?  Who will oversee our health and welfare? . As our population ages, how will we transport seniors who can no longer drive? 

Yvonne has been involved with the well-being of seniors for a long time. Fifteen years ago she started the  magazine/ directory  " Born to Age" as a resource for older adults and their caregivers. Topics include: Estate planning; end-of-life issues; dementia; long-term care, hoarding, medical cannibis, etc. 
Yvonne developed a program in Napa County " Share the Care", funded by the Gasser Foundation.  Safety nets for seniors are easily broken and seniors need an informed voice when an emergency strikes. Through the use of volunteers, seniors are assessed, cared for and have an advocate. Currently, volunteers are needed in St. Helena. 
Yvonne started " My Front Porch" to recycle medical equipment ( hearing aids, walkers, canes, hospital beds, linens, etc) . Donations are dropped off at her house in Napa, where they are recycled and donated back to those in need. 
Medical equipment donations can be dropped off at : 3205 Montclair Ave, Napa  (across form Queen of the Valley hospital)
​Guests: Anne ( from Denmark), Ford Griswald, guests of Natalie Klug.  Katherine Gaffey, Gabby Gomez, David Jen- Youth Exchange students, guests of Andy Bartlett. David introduced his host family, Dawn and Mave. 
​Visiting Rotarians: None
Anniversary: Wendell Dinwiddie is celebrating his 50th Anniversary.
Joice introduced her Club Board for 2015/2016
Raffle Winners: Margo Kennedy, Mike Thomas, Ford Griswald, Charlotte Williamson, Jack Neal
No Finemaster today.
Bell ringers:
Natalie Klug got hacked and asked us not to open any documents from her. 
Cindy Warren donated to her Paul Harris in honor of Kate Steinle, who was murdered in SF at Pier 14. Kate was the godmother of Cindy's grandson. 
Please consider signing the Kate's Law petition, which will help keep deported felons off the streets. 

Meeting Report for July 7, 2015
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:
President Joice Beatty discussed Club happenings.   She foresaw four fundraisers this year: the Raffle, a golf tournament with the Hospital, an event in association with the sixtieth anniversary of Central Valley Builders Supply, and a Kentucky Derby Day event (ending with the Derby in real time at the Cameo Theater).  She advised that the District Assembly, a three-day affair, will be in Napa, and our Club will be providing assistance (not yet defined).  We will try to win a president’s and a governor’s award.  She reviewed the positions of new Board members: Mary Sikes (international), Jordan Bentley (secretary), Justin Meyer (specific Board duty not yet decided), Wendell Laidley (Foundation Chair), and Ben Hill (sergeant-at-arms).   She will recommend that the Club adopt St. Helena Preschool as its designated charity.  She advised that there will be a joint picnic with the Calistoga Club on October 25 at Rutherford Grove Winery.
President Beatty then showed two short films.   The first was “The Boys of 1905” starring the early founders of Rotary Club (in Chicago).  The Chicago Club would remain in its initial suite at The Sherman Hotel for 61 years.  It developed a round table tradition {“where everyone talks and non listens”).  There was charming footage of Jean Harris, a Scot, who married Paul after a whirlwind courtship.   The second film, narrated by Rotary International President Ravi Ravidran dwelled on Rotary’s objectives abroad.  He promoted his theme, “Be a gift to the world.”  He stressed that Rotary’s number one worldwide objective remained the eradication of polio.
Visiting Rotarians:
  • Tom Stumpert, Calistoga Club (and a past president)
  • Michelle Locsin, San Jose Club
  • Tessi Hanson of Napa, guest of Michelle Locsin
  • Queen Ann Damoe of Denmark (past exchange student), guest of Natalie Klug   
Thought for the Day: Wendell Laidley: an anonymous saying: “ Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind.  Always.”
Birthdays: Donn Black, Alan Galbraith and Judd Howell
Wedding Anniversaries: Tim Doran and Cindy Warren
Club Anniversaries:
            David Brotemarkle (25 years)
            Kelly Crane (22 years – 10 with a prior Club)
            Cindy Warren (10 years)
  • President Joice Beatty advised that good tickets were for sale for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera on September 17, which is being promoted at least in part by Napa Rotary.  Contact Karen Hunt:
  • Wendell Laidley asked that members attend the Frog’s Leap Peach Festival on July 25, with proceeds from ticket sales going to the UpValley Family Centers – but only if they are mentioned when buying tickets.  Contact Wendell (968-9594) with any inquiries.
Bell Ringers:
  • Norm Mitroff in appreciation for member support during his presidency.
  • Mike Thomas in atonement for a hacked email (a plea for money to depart the Philippines)
Finemaster: Justin Meyer covered a wide expanse: which two presidents also signed the Declaration of Independence, the origin of “hotdog,” the date the 5oth star was added to the American flag.      


Welcome Joice Beatty!

St. Helena Rotary Club is very pleased to announce that our new President for FY 2015-2016 is Joice Beatty.
Joice is a long-time Rotarian and leader in our St. Helena Community, and we are excited to have her leading the Club.
Stay tuned for a fun and productive year!
Congratulations Joice!