(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.) 


Mike Hoffman

Joined Rotary October 1973

Foster City Rotary Member since April 11, 2007

January, 2022


It was nearly 60 years ago that I was first introduced to Rotary when, as a high school senior, I was selected as “Boy of the Month” by the Rotary Club of Bellevue, Washington. Eleven years later, in 1973, I joined the Rotary Club of La Mesa, California, after returning from active duty as a dental officer in the U.S. Navy. Over the years I’ve been a member of three Rotary clubs; La Mesa 1973-74, Palo Alto 1974 to 1981, and Foster City 2007 to present.

Rotary has been a very meaningful part of my life. When I was a youngster, my folks modeled giving back to others and Rotary fit that to a “T”. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people, to travel out of the country on international projects and to make a difference in our local community.

In 1980-81, I served as president of the Rotary Club of Palo Alto, California. With 126 members, we were well represented in the community with close ties to Stanford University. That year we chartered an Interact Club at Gunn high school, continued senior meal programs through La Comida and had an active sister city arrangement with Oaxaca, Mexico.

As I transitioned from president to immediate past president, my wife Valeree encouraged me to focus my efforts on our three growing sons aged 10, 8 and 5. I took my leave from Rotary and did just that.

26 years later, having retired from dental practice, I received a call from Art Kauffman, a dear friend and fellow ski instructor from graduate school days, inviting me to lunch at the Foster City Crowne Plaza Hotel. When I walked into the room that Wednesday noon it was like coming home! The fond memories of Rotary from many years ago came flooding back. Smiling faces, friendly banter and a familiar program had me hooked! I joined the Rotary Club of Foster City April 11, 2007, and have been active ever since.

“Get involved and you’ll get to know the members!” Great words of wisdom!I’ve had the opportunity to serve as club secretary starting in 2008, moved on to become Membership Chair, then Speaker Chair during Craig Courtin‘s presidency. Since 2017 I have served as the Rotary Foundation Chair, trotting out a variety of funny hats and corny jokes, all for a good cause, and raising funds and awareness of Rotary’s seven areas of focus plus Polio Eradication. Interacting with each of our Rotarians in these capacities has been a wonderful experience.

Rotary has provided me the opportunity to travel to Mexico on two occasions as we delivered wheelchairs and installed playgrounds. In 2011, I partnered with our then newest member (and eldest at 91), Elaine Pitts, helping her navigate with her walker as we assembled and delivered wheelchairs to the poorest of the poor in the barrio sections of Mazatlán. It was truly a life changing experience!

I have fond memories of labeling and distributing Dictionaries to third graders with Rich Mozzini; Fourth of July pancake breakfasts selling mimosas as Ollie, Bill, Rick, Greg, Paul, Larry, and the rest of the cooking crew flipped pancakes and grilled sausage to raise money for the Foster City Community. Volunteering for Summerfest, Concerts in the Park, Spaghetti Feed and Bingo Night, Rib Fest, Senior meals… the list goes on and on… has been fun and a chance to build friendships!

Under the guise of “Souperman” I’ve been known to deliver homemade soup to some of our Rotarians in need…Rel Kempf, Stephanie Masten, Dave DeSmidt, and others.

And did I mention bocce ball? Ira Fruitman formed our initial Wednesday night team, the Sumanabocces, about 10 years ago. We have had success with many individual league championships and two Foster City Ultimate Bocce Ball Championships! Captain Jon Grant, Coach Jeff Brown and lackeys Ollie Pattum, Bob Mike, Ira, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie with other teams plus post game dinners at BJ’s Brewhouse!

Hawking Alvin Joe’s wonderful paintings to raise money for Rotary, refurbishing the Gull Park restroom with Jamie Cavagnaro, Paul Williams, and Bill Chow, working in the Foster City Roses (thank you, Nancy Gordon, the Rose Lady) or taking our Military Veterans for a ride in “Louie” my 1945 Willys Jeep on Veteran’s Day have provided hours of fun and fellowship. I am touched by the kindness of our Rotary family as we gather to do good in the world. In doing so, we enrich the lives of others and our own as well. Thank you for the opportunity!