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 


Dave De Smidt

Joined Rotary April 1, 1984

March, 2023


In 1984, on April Fool's Day, with the sponsorship of Edd McKibben, I joined the Foster City/Mariners Island Rotary Club in District 515. I had moved to Foster City in 1979 in the Sea Colony area.  Sea Colony had no phone service at the time so we had to go to Albertson's to make a phone call.  Marine World was in Belmont and we could hear the lions roar at night.  I served as President in 1984 and secretary prior.  Rotary met at Yetwa Restaurant on Foster City Blvd. 

I participated in One Warm Coat for many years, serving hot chocolate with a little additive. Rotarians still talk about my hot chocolate.  I housed exchange students from Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. They were interesting people and appreciated joining our family.  It was good for my kids to meet other kids from different countries.  Funny how we all seemed to understand each other even with a language barrier.   I was involved in The Tree Lighting Ceremony, for many years serving cookies and hot cider.  The Children’s Christmas Party was a favorite of mine, purchasing and wrapping their gifts.  I attended many Rotary Conventions, one being Australia, plus adding a side trip to New Zealand to make it a three-week trip. We enjoyed thsee countries and learning their cultures. What a great opportunity it was! 

I enjoyed participating in our playground projects, taking down playgrounds needing to be upgraded, and reconstructing them for other children to enjoy.  I donated at the blood drive at the recreation center giving many pints of blood to our community. The Adult Christmas Party was another favorite activity, where we met at various members’ homes and at the Peninsula Golf and County Club.

I had some fun crazy moments with my Rotarian friends.  One summer we traveled to Don Nystrom’s condo at Lake Tahoe.  Four or five of us had a great idea to hide from Don so we grouped in the shower.  He eventually found us and was surprised to find a bunch of grown men in his shower!  Don was planning to take pictures of his condo and much to his surprise only had the option to taking pictures of his carpet.

I also enjoyed working at the Foster City Art and Wine Festival, working in the food and wine booths.  A memory of Rotarians coming together in a time of need when I received a call from Linda Grant in the middle of the night, in a panic, the booths at the festival had blown over. She gathered us to put the booths back together, so we were back in business the next morning.   

I participated in Rose Trimming with Nancy, known as the Rose Lady, at the Rec Center.  Many of us met at the Samaritan House to do bike repairs for kids in need.  I remember Gigi riding around on a tricycle.  A dear memory was painting over the graffiti on the PG&E boxes in Foster City to help keep our town clean. 

Early memories of the area.

Hillsdale Blvd was a two-lane road ending at Foster City Blvd.

Wilsey, Ham and Blair office was on Foster City Blvd.

A sea plane landed on the lagoon lake.

Foster City Fire and Police was one entity.

There were no sound walls on Hwy 101.

South 101 had an exit at 16th Ave.

There was an auto wrecker on Hillsdale and Hwy 101.

Hwy 92 was 19th Ave in San Mateo.

Jon Grant had a boat shop on Norfolk, in San Mateo.