(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.) 


Pam Frisella

Joined Rotary November 28, 2001

February, 2022


My involvement in the Rotary Club of Foster City began in 2001 when I created a position, Volunteer Coordinator. at the Samaritan House, a human service agency serving many cities in San Mateo County. I decided on Rotary since I lived in Foster City, and having become a young widow in 1977, it would be a good fit since both were service agencies.

One of the first people I met was Rick Wykoff, followed by Marland Townsend, then Ollie Pattum. The “welcoming” continued until I’d met and was hailed by every member. I had never been to a Rotary meeting so had no idea it’s mission. I soon found out and, with their help, fit into a comfortable routine at the Wednesday meetings.

One of the most fulfilling experiences was the wheelchair distribution in Mazatlan being able to distribute wheelchairs, visit orphanages and visit homes in the area to deliver food and supplies. Our greatest accomplishments were the schools we adopted, brought books and supplies to. We were able to meet the kids, the teachers and visit their schools made out of the pallets you could find behind Costco loading docks.

Greg Kuhl, our liaison for the high school interact club, led the way. He had the high school kids who had done sufficient community service join us on these trips. Watching them be shocked at the living and learning conditions of these youngsters in Mexico I knew their lives would never be the same. They most certainly returned home with a new appreciation of how and where they lived. Truly a life-changing experience for all who witnessed these poverty conditions and the hope you can bring to those in need. The resilience of the folks we encountered lifted our hearts and we knew these visits made an impact on not only their lives but ours.

I was fortunate enough to make that trip twice and each trip, while sad to see the poverty, gave the residents and our entourage the feeling of hope. Linda and Jon Grant found ways to coordinate these trips with the local government and Rotary club. We disassembled playground equipment here and brought it to them even securing a set for disabled. In tribute, they named a playground after Jon after he found ways to get supplies there and coordinate with the locals to build it.  Thinking of Rick Wykoff, who doesn’t fly, and Ollie Pattum driving down to Mexico and their adventures, the memories they made and shared with us I won’t ever forget. Bringing soccer balls, shoes, shirts and supplies to this community was so welcomed. We even had a soccer tournament named after Paul Williams which we all played in……we lost!!!

I was so impressed with the dedication of Rich Mozzini as he organized our club to distribute dictionaries to all 3rd graders in Foster City elementary schools. The appreciation on these youngsters was what made this volunteer opportunity so impressive. Fortunate for me, fellow Rotarian Deborah Wilder was on the Foster City Council and one day she turned to me, very unexpectedly, and asked if I’d be interested in running for her seat on the Council since she was terming out. I was honored to accept this challenge and went on to serve eight years giving back to my community. She put her reputation and trust in me. When someone believes in you it gives you the confidence to do just about anything. I will always appreciate the opportunity she gave me to broaden my horizons and to accomplish things I never knew I was capable of until her confidence gave me the strength to enter the world of politics.

The Foster City community welcomed me and supported me as I raised two young children in those early years and then our Rotary club, for these last 20 years Rotary has embraced me and taught me so much about the local and international opportunities available and their overwhelming needs. We can make a difference all over the world. I believe our impact on our community and internationally has improved lives and given us the strength to continue working toward even more projects.

The lifelong friendships I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned about the unselfish acts that happen every day through the work of The Rotary Club of Foster City make me want to do more.

The work all the past presidents over these years has been remarkable as they dedicate a year of their lives to lead us - I appreciate and truly love the impact these fellow human beings have had on my heart.