(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 alisonproctor@gmail.com.) 

Cyndy Simms

Rotary Member since November 15, 1987

Foster City Member since December 7, 2011

December 2021


My Rotary journey began with the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1987, the first year that women were allowed to join Rotary. Only in the United States, though. Rotary International didn’t allow women to join Rotary clubs until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Duarte, California Rotary Club’s lawsuit to admit women into their club. Women were admitted into Rotary clubs in Canada the next year when the Supreme Court of Canada issued a similar ruling. In 1989, Rotary International changed its bylaws to allow women in all countries to become members of Rotary.

I was sponsored for membership by a far-sighted man, Jack Morrison, who invited four women in the community to join the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club in 1987. I was the only one to accept…at first. Within a year, the other three women joined, too.

Since 1987, I have been a member of five (5) Rotary clubs: Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Placerville, California; Mercer Island, Washington; Walnut Valley, California; and Foster City, California, and served as President for three of them. I participated in countless projects to support the children, families, seniors, and members of those communities, and helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through many, many fundraisers to underwrite those projects.

My daughter and I have traveled to India to administer the polio vaccine to young children, playing a small part in Rotary International’s work to eradicate the polio virus throughout our world. I worked with Rotarian teams to install water purification systems in Cuba and Uganda, distribute eye glasses for Ugandans, and provide reusable sanitary products for girls in Uganda.

One of my favorite projects with the Rotary Club of Foster City has been to travel with Rotarians and Interact high school students to install playgrounds for Yurok Nation children in Klamath, California. Another favorite project is honing my pruning skills as a member of the Rotary Club of Foster City’s Rose Team, taking care of the 200+ rose bushes along Shell Boulevard and in front of the Foster City Recreation Center. Then there is volunteering with 2nd Harvest Food Bank and playing in our annual golf tournament, too!

Why am I still a member of Rotary after more than 30 years? Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka said it best in 2012 – “Peace through Service”. I am only one person, but together with hundreds of thousands other Rotarians, service in our local communities and international communities ensures a more peaceful world. Rotary is a great way to use your life to make a difference in the world!