The following narrative is a continuation of a series of how a member was introduced to Rotary and subsequent memories. If you would like Rotary to be part of your life's story, please contact Alison Proctor at 


Betty Chambers Toguchi

Joined Rotary December 9, 2000

Joined FC Rotary December 8, 2020

April, 2023


No Girls Need Apply

In 1972 I began to sell advertising for Hawaii Business magazine.  My job was to go to offices of companies in Hawaii and convince the President or Chief Operating Officer to buy advertising in the magazine to publicize their company.  I did this for two years and covered all of Honolulu plus Maui, Kauai, the Big Island and Guam.  I also want to give credit to Ethel Murphy who owned the magazine and thought it made perfect sense to give me a job that only men held before me.

In my travels I began to notice that many of the men I talked to had a Rotary plaque in their offices.  On purpose I began to ask "May I join Rotary?"  I received answers ranging from disbelief that such an event could happen to "Sure you should be able to join but no".

In 1976 I became a Financial Advisor for a major brokerage firm.  Also one of the first women.

In 1988 I was at Kidder Peabody when a important financial adviser Ed Arnold in Palo Alto retired and decided to give me 10 of his larger clients.  He profiled them as people who would be receptive to a woman financial advisor.  Meanwhile I bought motivational sales tapes to help me improve in my career.  One of them said that Kiwanians and Lions run it but the Rotarians own it.  I asked one of my clients Jack Powers if I could join Rotary.  His eyes lit up and he told me with pride how Palo Alto Rotary was one of the first clubs to admit women.  He was my sponsor when I joined the Palo Alto Rotary Club.

The Palo Alto Rotary Club had about 150 members.  If you want to get a sense of the members consider 50 more Mike Hoffmans - really admirable people who had great public speaking skills.  The “thought for the day” was an always practiced, often memorized poem or piece of literature.

In 1999 I changed firms and offices to Menlo Park where I also lived.  Roger was a member of the Menlo Park Rotary and a wonderful man – Phil Schneider asked all the spouses of members to join.  I joined because our second son Mark was a student at Menlo-Atherton High School with which the Club had several activities.

In 2005 our son was a high school senior.  Roger and I were asked to be president of the club.  We worked as a team at Morgan Stanley Menlo Park so we decided to be Co-Presidents of Menlo Park Rotary.  Our platform was to follow the money we had given to international projects.

Dr. Mark Campbell of our club had a relationship with a nonprofit called Engineers without Borders.  Florence Cassaseuse had invented a bucket attached to a UV light that purifies water by destroying bacteria.  The buckets cost $50 each and we funded 500 buckets through a Global Grant.  Our partners were the La Paz, Mexico Rotary Cub.  We flew to Cabo San Lucas and were met by La Paz Rotarians.  We stayed at their favorite hotel, ate at their favorite restaurants and had a party in our honor.  We drove out to a small village La Fortuna and saw our buckets at work.  The villagers were so grateful that it became a moving experience.

Because of our work in Mexico a club in Guatemala City asked us to partner with them to write a Global Grant for victims of Hurricane Stan around Lake Attitlan near Santiago, Guatemala.  This project created my love of Mayan culture and people.  Helping Mayan women prosper has become the focus of my life. The photo attached is a picture picture of Roger and me visiting the Mayan artisans in Antigua, Guatemala in January that we have supported.  Friendship Bridge is a leading microcredit group that also helps Mayan women refine their weaving and beading skills and  links them to Western markets to sell their products.  Information is on  whereby the Master Weavers Collection will show the blouses (huipiles) we have sponsored.

The Mayan women asked me to sell our “stuff”.  Since 2006 I have had a trunk show in former District Governor Mark Flegel’s furniture store the first Saturday in December.  I send all sale proceeds back to Friendship Bridge.  I have sent over $30,000 back through the years.

My goal as International Service Chair is to finalize the work Shiraz has done in India and work with our new President-Elect Jamie to develop an international service project for 2023 and 2024.