(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.) 



Rick Wykoff

Joined F.C. Rotary November 1, 1983

November, 2022


In the fall of 1977, I came to Foster City as the City Manager shortly after a successful recall election. Needless to say there were strong political feelings in the community. The Lions Club seemed to be teamed with local politically oriented citizens. I had been a Kiwanian in Southern California prior to coming to Foster City and had an interest a becoming a member of a service club. It was obvious I had no interest in getting involved with the Lions as I had no desire as City Manager to become involved in the city's politics. I became immersed in my job and became very active in Boy Scouts as I had been in the south.

In 1983, Bill Stone had a son in my Boy Scout Troop and asked me to consider joining the Foster City Rotary Club. I indicated I was reluctant to join as I wanted to stay out of local politics. He assured me the club was not involved and as he was correct I became a member.

My first major involvement was helping Ollie Pattum cook at the then F.C. Art & Wine Festival. As time moved on Ollie and I became more engaged in cooking for the club for fundraising. Eventually the team became comprised of Ollie, Tom Torgerson, Larry Zanatta, Greg Kuhl, Bill Chow and myself. Suffice it to say the team has expanded and has been quite successful as a fundraiser for the club. As we became more active we needed a coordinator and Linda Grant became our initial Boss. The cooking team, now comprised of many more, continues to be committed in fundraising with the Summer Days Festival, the Summer Concert series and other worthwhile cooking activities.

When Rotary became focused on the Polio Plus campaign I became hooked on Rotary as my major charitable considerations. My wife I and became Paul Harris Fellows and eventually Major Donors.

Greg Kuhl was involved with the Interact Club at SMUHSD and was doing playground reconstruction in Mexico with a club in the San Joaquin Valley. The Wheel Chair distribution program of Jon and Linda Grant in Mazatlán, Mexico was also a very successful international project, . Ollie and I drove to Mazatlán twice and Willie McDonald joined us on one of those trips. Needles to say we had interesting trips as one trip we had to talk our way out of being turned around half way to Mazatlán because I failed to get the appropriate papers for my car at the border. Unfortunately the Mexico trips for both projects had to be discontinued for several reasons primarily related to liability considerations.

Art Kauffman and I became interested in exploring California Indian Nations as a possible substitute for the Mexico playground project (Tribes are sovereign nations, thus international projects). We discussed the potential with Greg and thus he, Rel Kempf, and I traveled to Klamath Ca. to discuss the playground project with the Yurok Nation Tribe and thus a new successful international project came to be. Many members of the club have participated in this project and it looks like we may be able to further this project with another Tribe in the area.

I have had many great adventures with members of the club including fishing trips (some of which the saying “what happens on the trip stays on the trip” is appropriate), golf outings, wine adventures and a multitude of Rotary social and service activities. In fact most of my friends and social activities are with members of the Foster City Rotary Club.

I have served twice as President of the club which has been my honor and privilege, received the Avenues of Service Award, the Cliff Docherman (RI President) Award for Scouting and am a member of the Polio Plus Society. Needless to say the Foster City Rotary Club became and still is a major part of my professional, personal and social life in our community.