Rotary Club Of Morgan Hill

Serving our community thru philanthropy and fellowship to make the world a better place at home and abroad.
Our Meetings
Wednesdays, 12:15 pm
Morgan Hill Community
& Cultural Center
17000 Monterey St.
Morgan Hill, CA
Due to Covid-19  are meetings are virtual
If you would like to attend a virtual meeting 
send your
date you would like to attend  
and phone number to:
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Calendar of Events
January 2021
Meeting Speakers
Red Badge Spotlights
Jan 27, 2021 12:15 PM
Dan Nelson
Feb 03, 2021 12:15 PM
Gilroy Ostrich Farm
Morgan Hill Upper School Student Acheivment Awards
Feb 10, 2021 12:15 PM
Steve Betando
Upcoming Events

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What's New....
Back in 2017, a Rotary Club of Morgan Hill-led international project came to fruition. Our club worked with seven other Bay Area clubs and a club in Tanzania to secure a Rotary International Global grant to provide support to the Orkeeswa School.  Our very own Robin Shepard, though not a Rotarian at the time, wrote an article about the effort for the January/February edition of gmhToday - which can be found here ( Recently, the students sent us a wonderful video thanking the club for all our support (
The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill is excited to honor those that will play a pivotal role in creating a better life for our community through skilled labor.  Skilled labor refers to workers who perform hands-on work and possess abilities, training and safety-minded expertise within their industry. They bring proven experience and knowledge to job sites and construction businesses. People engaged in the “Trades” make a lasting and meaningful impact on society. They create homes for our families, structures for our profession, and transform the ordinary into the magical. The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill is honored to create a program to assist members of the community in their endeavor to be a part of this critical profession.
The importance of skilled labor cannot be overstated; we are experiencing a crumbling infrastructure, a disappearance of vocational education in our public schools, and an ever-widening skills gap. At times, members of this skilled labor community demonstrate not only their importance but represent the Trades as a whole being a necessary component of our lives.

One such person was Darren Dean, a local Morgan Hill painting contractor that bridged the gaps between his profession, community service, and community leader. Darren was an entrepreneur who ran a successful business and managed to figure out just the right work-life balance; in his far too short of a life, he touched so many in Morgan Hill. Darren served as a mentor to many around him, providing opportunities for change in their life, and the lives of those around them.
On Friday, Nov 13, the Morgan Hill Community Foundation held their annual Philanthropy Night Gala. Of course because it was 2020, it was a virtual event. Our club's honoree was the very deserving Past President, Lorena Tuohey! As always, we submitted a video explaining a little about our club and giving the honoree a chance to say a few words. This year, Alex Vo worked with Lorena and Terry Moriyama to come up with a terrific concept for the video and it turned out beautifully! If you didn't get a chance to view the event in real time, you can still see the video by going to Thanks to Alex for his terrific work and congratulations again to Lorena.
Continuing a club tradition since 1993, we held our Veterans Day Observance on November 4. Why a week early? Because the program committee had secured a Medal of Honor recipient as our speaker and that is when he was available. The program committee Ira Marshall, Jim Jeisel, Roger Malech, Penny Noel, Elle Scott, and Brian Sullivan put together a great program.
Gary B. Beikirch served as a combat medic with the Army's 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam and recieved the Medal of Honor for exposing himself to intense fire in order to rescue and treat the wounded, and for continuing to provide medical care despite his own serious wounds during a battle at Dak Seang Camp. This video gives more details on his service.
Unfortunately, Beikirch was unable to attend the meeting because of some last minute medical issues. However, he sent his very inspiring message which was delivered by President Craig van Keulen in his place. His message was very relevant to today and also supports the Rotary motto of Service above Self. The entire message is below.
For those of you who missed the video or would like to review the process of the recent Cooking with KC event, attached is the video and the recipe.
Rigatoni Carbonara with Prosciutto
(Traditional Italian Pasta Dish from the Lazio Region (Rome)
  • 4 - 6 OZ Deli Sliced at 1.5 – 2 (often the package prosciutto is too thin) Prosciutto s
Program Note:
I will be using prosciutto for the program because 1- it is really good and 2 because of time and the difficulty in getting my favorite carbonara protein –guanciale is difficult to find.  Alternatively pancetta can also be used.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 large Eggs plus 2 Yolks
  • 1/3 Cup of fresh grated Pecorino plus extra for topping
(NOT Parmigiano Reggiano which is from Emilia Romagna
this is a Lazio dish ! )
  • 12 Ounces of Dry Rigatoni
  • 5 Ounces of Baby Spinach
  • 2 Ounces of Sun Dried Tomato’s
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Bread or Baguette
Our club paid for and helped mount 56 banners with the senior pictures of students from Ann Sobrato, Central, Live Oak, and Oakwood High Schools throughout downtown. In April, Service Projects Director John McKay invited all interested members of the club to join meetings to discuss how to help our community during our shelter in place. Many ideas were discussed, one of which was how to honor the Class of 2020 graduating from schools within the boundaries of the Morgan Hill Unified School District. Initially, we discussed getting lawn/window signs for the students who wanted them. But we learned that at least a couple of high schools were selling them as fundraisers for some of their programs. Then, during a Zoom happy hour that involved both John McKay, Youth Services Director Mario Banuelos, and council member Larry Carr, the idea of putting banners bearing senior photos throughout downtown was discussed. Mario brought that idea to the Board for approval. Signtech-Postal Stop designed and printed the banners and on the morning of May 29, a few Rotarians joined up with several members of the Kiwanis Club (who had prior experience hanging banners downtown) as well as Larry Carr to get all the banners hung. The group was supported by some City maintenance staff who provided some equipment and instructions. After about 4 and half hours, all the banners were up. It was great fun to coordinate with Kiwanis and to see folks coming downtown to find their photos. The banners will be up for about a month so people can search for themselves, their loved ones, or their friends.
The philanthropic budget for the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill comes from fundraising activities as well as donations

The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has recently made targeted donations to local organizations that are supporting our community in this time of crisis. These donations went to the Edward Boss Prado Foundation to support the Gate to Gate Food Giveaway, the Morgan Hill Community Foundation to support the Essential Worker Childcare Program, and the YMCA to support the Morgan Hill Senior Center Lunch Program.

Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has always tried to support those in need, both locally and around the world. However, during this current pandemic, the focus has shifted to primarily supporting those who have been affected locally.

These donations came about because starting in early March some of the planned activities and projects were cancelled, most notably the Harvey Barrett Senior Dinner. That event typically provides a meal, entertainment, and fellowship to 250 to 300 seniors. Since the club wasn’t able to complete the events and projects planned, several of the committee chairs under the Service Projects Director John McKay took a look at their remaining budgets for the year and came up with a plan to pool those funds so they could be used where they could have the most impact during this crisis.

“The different Rotary Club committees serve diverse needs around the world but they re-prioritized when faced with our local needs, McKay said. “This defines the spirit of our club, we will take care of our community.”

One annual program the club was able to complete is awarding high school scholarships. Though the lunch meeting celebrating the recipients had to be cancelled, they have all been notified and will be receiving their checks soon.

The recipients from Ann Sobrato High School are Armaan Banwait, Abigail Bendlen, Evelyn Bengel, Danielle Chaisson, Emily Dinh, Crystal Garcia, Katie Meagor, James Pak, Caleb Sweatt, Dylan Tran, and Treston Yetso.

The Live Oak High School recipients are Amanda Cummings, Ana Fuenzalida, Luis Guzman, Miya Hillesland, Tracy Lam, Makenna Lewis, Lauren Nishikawa, Ma Remedios Resendiz, Jodi Rodriquez, Gladys Rubalcava, and Tyler Wilde.

The philanthropic budget for the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill comes from fundraising activities as well as donations. One of the main fundraisers, Dazzle, which is typically held at the end of May, has been postponed. The plan is now to make Dazzle an after-party for the other main fundraiser, the Golf Classic scheduled for Oct. 2.

Founded by 20 civic-minded community members in 1955 with a common bond of fellowship and the desire to serve, the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has grown to more than 100 members who remain an integral part of our community’s character. In its history, Morgan Hill Rotarians have made a profound, cumulative, albeit immeasurable impact on our local community. Morgan Hill Rotarians represent every facet of the community. They, and the Rotarians before them, have been integral in leading and maintaining the vivid community spirit of “Service Above Self.”

Those interested in learning more can visit

This article was originally published in the May 6 issue of Morgan Hill Life

About 30 people helped by Safe Parking shelters at Morgan Hill Bible Church

Volunteers and clients of the Safe Parking program at the Morgan Hill Bible Church pose with Santa Claus at the Christmas Day breakfast.

By Marty Cheek, Publisher of Morgan Hill Life

Christmas celebrates a story that starts with a search for shelter. After Joseph and Mary are turned away from a fully-occupied inn, they spend the cold night in a warm manger. Their child is born among farm animals in their temporary housing.

The story of the birth of Jesus provides the world with a lesson on compassion. It’s a lesson many in Morgan Hill take to heart. It reminds them that part of their duty as a community is to care for those who lack housing and are forced to live on the streets in sleeping bags, in their cars, or on the side of creeks in tents.

Among those who demonstrated their compassion this year are members of the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill. The service group organized a special Christmas Day breakfast to provide food and friendship to people who find shelter in the trailers and recreational vehicles in the parking lot of the Morgan Hill Bible Church.

Over the years, the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has supported those in need, both locally and around the world. Once again the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill through its Community and Hearts of Rotary grant programs is aiding local organizations through 37 grants totaling $32,000. 

A record number of 60 grant applications were submitted this year. Applicants were notified of their grants on November 19 and  grant awards will be issued in December. Recipients of this year's awards will be recognized the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill's March 18, 2020 club meeting at 12 noon at Morgan Hill Community Cultural Center.

Recipients of this year's awards:

Ann Sobrato High School (Morgan Hill Unified School District)
California Antique +B20 Aircraft Museum, Inc. (Wings of History Air Museum)
Centennial Recreation Senior Center
Community Solutions for Children Families and Individuals (2 grants)
Discovery Counseling Center
EAH Housing- Cochrane Morgan Hill
Edward Boss Prado Foundation
El Toro Health Science Academy Yearbook Club
Friends of the Morgan Hill Library
Gilroy Compassion Center (Morgan Hill FOCUS Safe Park program)
Leadership Morgan Hill
Learning and Loving Education Center
Lewis H. Britton Middle School (Morgan Hill Unified School District)
Literary Legacies
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen
Martha's Kitchen
Martin Murphy Middle School (Morgan Hill Unified School District)
Morgan Hill Aquatic Foundation
Morgan Hill Art School
Morgan Hill Grange 408
Morgan Hill Historical Society
Morgan Hill Peace Project
One Step Closer Therapeutic Riding
Operation Freedom Paws
PA Walsh (Morgan Hill Unified School District)
Paradise Valley-Machado Home and School Association
Poppy Jasper International Film Festival
Rebekah Children's Services
South County Cal-SOAP
South Valley Civic Theatre
South Valley Science and Engineering Fair
South Valley Symphony
The Grateful Garment Project
The Health Trust
Town Cats of Morgan Hill
Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center


Online applications for next year's grant cycle will be accepted between July 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Grant applications will be available at Eligible grant applicants must be philanthropic organizations that provide benefits to the Morgan Hill community. Grants must be used within the Morgan Hill Community as defined by the boundaries of the Morgan Hill Unified School District and are typically granted in amounts from $250 to $2,500. 

Congratulations to this year's Elementary School Achievement Award winners! The students, their families, teachers, and principals were honored at our meeting on Nov. 6. It is so inspiring to hear about these outstanding young people.

From left to right: Brooke Ledwith - 5th grade Nordstrom Elementary, Olivia Scatena - 5th grade El Toro Health Science Academy, Gage Seacrist - 5th grade Barrett Elementary, Jacob Meininger - 5th grade P.A. Walsh STEAM Academy, Rui Qian Khor - 5th grade Los Paseos Elementary, Mikaela Mnoza - 8th grade Oakwood School, Madeline Mienders - 5th grade Paradise Valley Engineering Academy, and Yulissa Hernandez Martinez - 8th grade San Martin Gwinn Environmental Science Academy and Dual Immersion Program. Photo courtesy of Lanae Bays MHUSD

Thanks to Leonette Stafford and Steve Betando for putting the program together and to all the principals, teachers, parents and family of the students for your inspiration and nurturing. These young people give us all hope for the future.

Sister Cities of Morgan Hill honored Rotary Club of Morgan Hill for its “invaluable support” in 2019 as the Sister Cities organization established a new international relationship with Ameca, Mexico. gmh Today magazine featured the September 2019 trip by city officials and Rotarians when the Morgan Hill delegation met with officials in Ameca to formerly exchange Sister City proclamations.

The Club was honored as Sister Cities’ 2019 Outstanding Philanthropist at the Morgan Hill Community Foundation’s annual Philanthropy Night celebration Nov. 15.


Our Club has worked with the Rotary Club of Ameca since 2009. We’ve donated computers for schools, an ambulance, medical supplies, and fire protection gear and have experienced wonderful fellowship with the community. So, when the Sister Cities organization was looking to add Ameca to its roster of city-to-city connections, representatives from our club were asked to be part of a delegation along with representatives from Sister Cities, Kiwanis Club of Morgan Hill, the City of Morgan Hill, and the Morgan Hill Unified School District. The delegation traveled to Ameca in September to formalize the relationship.

For additional information, read the Morgan Hill Times story as well as the press release from Sister Cities.

Congratulations to the 2019 Rotary Club of Morgan Hill Scholarship Recipients! These students were each awarded $1,000 scholarships: Manuel Aldena, Live Oak; Bonnie Alves, Sobrato; Linh An, Sobrato; Bella Anglikowski, Live Oak; Humra Anwar, Sobrato; Grace Baker, Sobrato; Emily Clausen, Live Oak; Shannon Coakley, Sobrato; Connor Dietz, Live Oak; Anna Dougherty, Sobrato; Isabella Fuegman, Sobrato; Alyssa Gonzales, Live Oak; Isabella Hernandez, Sobrato; Lindsey Hillesland, Live Oak; Brian Ho, LIve Oak; Natalia Leonczuk, Sobrato; Tara Mossadeghian, Sobrato; Gabriel Reginato, Sobrato; Holly Rottenborn, Sobrato; Rachel Salem, Sobrato; Kelli St.Clair, Live Oak; Rudy Vega, Live Oak; Van Vo, Live Oak; Hannah Wagster, Live Oak. From the Staples Music Fund, Emilia Gilrouard of Sobrato received $1,000; from the Fitzsimmons Fund, Julie Muzzi of Live Oak received $2,000; from the Robert Fisher Fund, Jared Beam of Central received $1,000.
Another Wednesday meeting, another example of outstanding young people. On February 13, we had our annual Outstanding Student Achievement Recognition Program for middle and high school students. All of the students had incredibly impressive accomplishments whether in the academic, sports, and/or leadership realm. Paraphrasing the program emcee, Steve Betando, their accomplishments made all of us Rotarians feel woefully inadequate. The winners were:
Ria Deshpande, 8th grade, Britton Middle School
Kathryn Huffman, 8th grade, Charter School of Morgan Hill
Cassian Jones, 8th grade, Jackson Academy of Math & Music
Melina Kwarcinski, 8th grade, Martin Murphy Middle School
Zander Provenzano, 8th grade, St. Catherine Catholic School
Zaria Kelley, 12th grade, Ann Sobrato High School
Ashley Sanchez, 12th grade, Central High School
Julie Muzzi, 12th grade, Live Oak High School
Hannah Selby, 12th grade, Oakwood School
Thanks to Leonette Stafford and Steve Betando for putting the program together and to all the principals, teachers, parents and family of the students for your inspiration and nurturing. These young people give us all hope for the future.
It started as a suggestion by Tom and Louise Fry - excess medical supplies were available, did we know of a way to use those supplies?
Past Morgan Hill Rotary Club president and chair of the club's World Community Service Committee quickly recognized how the supplies could make a large difference in Mexico. What started out as a disarray of 14 pallets piled 8 feet high on May 12 was transformed into 107 well-ordered and well-documented boxes by twenty Rotarians and high school Interact club members who sorted through and boxed the medical supplies which donated by the parent organization of St. Louise Hospital. Medical providers Arlene Noodleman and Erik Cohen assisted the volunteers to identify which supplies that would be usable in Ameca.  Rotarian and doctor Carlos "Charly" Curiel, the current volunteer president of the Ameca Delegation of the Red Cross, provided similar advice from Mexico over the phone to the Morgan Hill volunteers.
The supplies were then delivered with assistance by Rotarians Penny Noel, Jeff Santos and Roger Knopf into storage at  Cochrane Self Storage, stacked to the ceiling (at no cost to the club thanks to Rotarian Brian Sullivan's efforts) for shipment to the Rotary Club of Ameca, Mexico for distribution to the Red Cross and local hospitals in the area. The supplies were shipped to Mexico in November 2019.
Remember last August when several Rotarians helped to clean and paint a shop area at Sobrato High School ( The first class started on June 18th with 12 students. There was also a waiting list for the 8-week class which was offered through the Gavilan College Continuing Education Department. In addition to the sweat equity provided by Rotarians, our club also donated funds to help purchase equipment for the lab. For more information on the current class, check out the story on Gavilan's web site (