Rotary Club of Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco

Club Information

The Club Where the Bay Greets the Day!

Fisherman's Wharf

Join Us for Breakfast with a Spectacular View

Weekly on Thursday morning at 7:30 am, except the 3rd Thursday, which is an evening social, 5:30-7:30 pm, at rotating venues on Fisherman's Wharf.
The Franciscan Crab Restaurant
Pier 43 1/2 Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA  94133
United States
District Site
Venue Map

Steve Carlson, left, President Elect of the San Carlos Rotary Club, updated us on the progress of the Morocco water project that our club is supporting. The project is helping the area where Steve worked during his Peace Corps service. He's pictured with March President of the Month Tony Bothwell.

Tami Beneau, left, the Principal of Galileo High School, was inducted and welcomed as a new member of our club during the Feb. 28 meeting. She was introduced by Sue Rokaw, center, and sponsored by Past President Suzanne Varacalli, right.

Four students who were among the 38 from Galileo’s Interact Club who attended the Interact Fall Leadership Conference spoke briefly about their experiences there.

Member Wendy Vived, left, was presented her first Paul Harris Society pin by Foundation Chair Riki Intner, right,  in recognition and thanks for her financial support of the Rotary Foundation.

Riki and husband Bob, who are midway in a 4 1/2-month, worldwide Viking Ships ocean cruise, described some of their stops since they departed in early January. Bob said that visiting Cuba was a highlight to date, and Riki most enjoyed snorkeling over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Bettie, Roger,  Dan and Andrew distributed personalized Macmillan Children’s dictionaries to 3rd graders at Garfield elementary school on Feb. 8. We have three more distribution dates, Feb. 15, 20 and 27, so it is not to late to join the fun.

Rotarians from Hamburg, Germany, were our special guests at the Feb. 8 meeting.

During this week’s Club Assembly, Herman Jones reported on another successful Operation Dream toy drive and read a letter thanking the club from Sgt/Insp Glenn Sylvester (retired) of the San Francisco Police Department. “The donated toys were distributed to children in low income neighborhoods. Your contribution brought joy to numerous children.”

Dictionaries for 3rd graders were labeled and boxed in record time Thursday evening. After the work session we walked to the nearby Mars Restaurant and Bar. Fun was had by all.

Special thanks to Larry for hosting us at Hoogasian Flowers and providing the gardenia corsages worn here by Bettie, Kay, Kira and Suzanne. Not pictured: Charles and his two young children, who delighted and charmed us.

Anna Lippert, a third year law student at Golden Gate University, gave a thought-provoking talk about the effects of bio-research on the oceans of Micronesia. She was recommended and introduced by International Chair Tony Bothwell, left, and welcomed by Secretary Suzanne Varacalli.

On Thursday, Jan. 11, Ed Niu (right), past president of the Rotary Club of San Leandro, and Wayne Gregori gave a spirited presentation on the history of Bitcoin and its current opportunities and challenges.  The program sparked a lively discussion among members. Pictured with the speakers is Past President Suzanne Varacalli.

We also welcomed these visiting Rotarians from Austria and Switzerland.

The Rotary Club of Fisherman’s Wharf is proud to support the good works of the Service Interact Club at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology High School. Pictured are members who assembled recently for the club’s official yearbook photo.

Our Dec. 13 holiday party at The Franciscan was a great success with 22 members and guests alike in joyful attendance. Good company and good food, not to mention the wine. Toys were collected for Operation Dream, and a good time was had by all. 

We bid a fond farewell to Riki and Bob by wishing them safe and happy travels. Bob gave us a heartfelt adieu, with a tear in his eye, telling us how important our small club had become in his and Riki's lives. We will miss them, but know they will be back, with lots of tales to tell of their grand four-month adventure. 


For the club’s 4th annual First Responder event, Captain Paul Yep (Star #95) and five other police officers from San Francisco Central Station attended our Dec. 7 breakfast meeting.  President of the Month Marcella Ramos presented a certificate of appreciation to Captain Yep and thanked the officers for their dedication and service.

Thank you, Aline for organizing the event and also Marcella and Suzanne for preparing additional food.  

December birthdays for Aline, Bob and Bettie were celebrated.

This week’s speaker and fellow Rotarian, Mark Schiavenza, educated club members about the Museo Italo Americano, a wonderful museum in our neighborhood. He provided pamphlets from past exhibits about Italians immigrating to San Francisco, Italians in cinema and Italian artists that were informative and confirmed the quality of the Museo’s events.

Past District Governor Jeri Fujimoto presented the club with a banner celebrating our achievement as District 5150’s 2016-2017 No. 1 Club in per capita Annual Find giving to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

Herman Jones was presented with his second Paul Harris pin.

Club members joined a host of other volunteers welcoming neighborhood guests, serving meals and bussing tables for the Tel Hi Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday evening, Nov. 16. Pictured l-r: Bob and Riki Intner, Kay Auciello, Marcella Ramos, David Chan, Herman Jones and friend, Maria.

Development Associate Candace Elumba said that our club "once again managed to make this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner very special for over 650 who attended the community event. For many of our guests, this may be the only hot meal they receive during the holiday season.  We are honored that you made it a priority to help us out this year and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to continue this time honored North Beach tradition.”

At this week’s meeting, John Martini, historical consultant, presented Alcatraz Island: 200 Years on the Rock, a history of Alcatraz from its Spanish discovery through today's status as a National Park site. The talk focused on the 1934-1963 era when The Rock was a federal penitentiary, including stories of the island's infamous residents, escape attempts, and the Hollywood mythology of Alcatraz. 

John is pictured with November President of the Month Suzanne Varacalli.


For our first-quarter community service project, this “Magnificent Seven” crew of volunteers showed up Saturday morning, Nov. 4, and worked hard, adding dozens of native plants to the East Beach berm on behalf of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. 

Pictured l-r: Riki and Bob Intner, Park Service Volunteer Coordinator Laura Elze, Herman Jones, Erik Scheller, Andrew Wong, Kira Hahn and Kay Auciello.

“Living through cancer with exercise” was the topic for our Oct. 26 speaker, Regan Fedric, Program Director of Sunflower Wellness, which offers exercise programs and classes throughout the Bay Area. She's pictured with Riki Intner, our October President of the Mont

Sunflower Wellness was established in October 2004 in direct response to the need for promoting and providing exercise among people living with cancer. Regan said that research shows a 40% reduction in risk of recurrence and death from breast cancer in patients who perform 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. 

“We bridge the gap between medical treatment and physical activity by working with oncologists to bring exercise directly to patients,” she said. For more information, visit

Member David Chan was presented his Paul Harris +2 pin in recognition and thanks for his continued support of the Rotary Foundation.

We also welcomed and exchanged club banners with two Rotarians visiting from France, Jen Luc and his wife, Geraldine.


Development Director Yvonne Curley (right) and co-worker Candace Elumba updated us on the broad reach of Tel Hi Neighborhood Center, which the club has long supported with funds and volunteers. They were invited to speak by member Herman Jones (center).

The Preschool, Infant and Toddler program runs year-round, with a current enrollment of 93 children, more than half from low income families. Average daily attendance in this year’s Summer Learning Program, June-August, was 66, and there currently are 153 enrolled in Tel Hi’s Futurama After-School Program at Galileo High School.

The Senior Program serves lunch in partnership with Project Open Hand. About 80 seniors attend daily for various activities, including Tai Chi, bingo, line dancing, yoga, computer lab, cooking and gardening.

Tel Hi  also operates an after-school program at North Beach Chinatown Beacon Center and North Beach Place. 

Yvonne invited members to again join the crew of volunteers who serve more than 500 free meals during Tel Hi’s community Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 16.

Sue Rokaw, Past President and District Public Image Chair, was recognized for her continuing generous support of the Rotary Foundation when October President of the Month Riki Intner presented her with a Paul Harris Fellow sapphire pin.

Kira Hahn was welcomed with pins and hugs as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Fisherman’s Wharf. A San Francisco native, Kira was sponsored by her longtime friend, Suzanne Varacalli, who noted that Kira has previously attended club events and supported our fundraisers.

Kira specializes in interior design and project management through her business, Hahn Design Services, Inc. Interested in the arts and an active athlete, Kira is a hiker, skier and Bay swimmer. She has repeatedly swum from Alcatraz to the Aquatic Park and from Golden Gate Bridge to Crissy Field. 

Pictured l-r: Membership Chair Marcella Ramos, Kira Hahn, Suzanne Varacalli and President of the Month Riki Intner.

Larry Hoogasian and Suzanne Varacalli each received a three-stone pin in recognition of their multiple donations as Paul Harris Fellows. Foundation Chair Riki Intner thanked them for their continuing support to enhance the lives of others through gifts to the Rotary Foundation.

Riki and Bob Intner described their recent trip to Chicago, where they were were inducted into the Arch Klumph Society, whose members have made significant contributions to the Foundation.

Our speaker Sept. 28 was Ben Davis, founder and CEO of Illuminate, who shared his vision to transform San Francisco into the “city of awe.” Illuminate's mission is to rally large groups of people together to create impossible works of public art that, through awe, free humanity's better nature. The Bay Bridge Lights were created by Illuminate.

Ben said the "summer of love" project at the Conservatory of Flowers turned the ornate white building in Golden Gate Park into a nighttime canvas of light.  More than 20,000 visitors came at night, and many returned during the day, boosting public awareness of the Conservatory.

The Harvey Milk project, at the corner of Castro and Market, will feature rainbow lights and a neon sign with a Harvey Milk quote: "Hope will never be silent.” “Harvey’s Halo” will open November 8th on the 40th anniversary of Milk's historic election.    

Illuminate’s“Lightrail” will beam lights above the heads of pedestrians along Market Street. Another project will beam lights under people's feet at BART stations.

Ben, who biked from his home in Glenn Park to our Rotary meeting, said he sees the Sutro Tower on his daily morning run. He has proposed creating a light rendering of artwork inspired by Keith Haring's pink triangle, “Silence Equals Death” to hang from Sutro Tower. His talk was punctuated by several short and beautiful videos of the proposed art projects.

Club members were inspired by what one person can accomplish when guest speaker Heidi Kuhn described Roots of Peace, the organization she founded 20 years ago that is dedicated to the eradication of land mines worldwide. 

Heidi, a member of Rotary SF#2, serves as CEO of Roots of Peace. Its Mines to Vines™ global initiative is working to remove the more than three million land mines that still exist in Vietnam and plant over one million trees and pepper vines.

Sans speaker for our Aug. 31 meeting, members took turns responding to a couple of icebreakers: “If I could be anybody besides myself, I would be….”  (John F. Kennedy, my two sisters, Carol Burnett, Playboy model, etc.) and “The weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten was….”  (brains, kangaroo, don’t-know-what-it-was served at a restaurant in Japan, fresh-from-the-egg infant chickens, etc.) 

Sue Rokaw said donations for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts can be made through the district website,

The meeting closed with August’s Larry Hoogasian pinning the presidential pin on September President of the Month Sue Rokaw.

Don't worry, says Larry, I was taught early how to pin a corsage on a lady.

Members were given a primer on how non-profits can raise dollars and introduce their message to potential donors by Lynn Luckow (right), co-founder and CEO of, which assists organizations in formulating and conducting crowdfunding campaigns. He’s pictured with President of the Month Larry Hoogasian.

Lyn said the keys to successful crowdfunding include an attractive website with a 2-3 minute video describing the project, a stated financial goal, ability to donate online, and click-throughs to various social media platforms like FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn. “It's important to ask your donor base to contribute and then forward the link to all their friends,” he said.

Lyn is a member of San Francisco #2 Rotary Club, where he serves on the board as Vice President for Youth Services.

Club banners were exchanged with Olli Vuola, a member of the Helsinki Rotary Club, Finland’s oldest Rotary Club at 90 years. Olli works in startup development and training and was in the Bay Area on business.

Cervante Burrell, a potential club member, was this week’s guest of Sue Rokaw, Past Club President and District Public Relations Chair. A graduate and former dean of students at Sacramento Charter High School, Cervante is the founder of The Unforeseen, a nonprofit that surprises deserving students with Christmas gifts and opportunities to meet sports celebrities.

Information about The Unforeseen and videos of recipients can be found at

This week’s guest speaker, Kris Calvin, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, gave tips on how to achieve a balance between “doing for others and doing for yourself” through advocacy and creativity, which she describes as the “pillars of a meaningful life.” Kris, center, is pictured with Program Chair Kay Auciello and President of the Month Larry Hoogasian.

Kris also described her personal journey from an unsafe childhood through university, postgraduate degrees, a successful career and parenthood. Her first novel, One Murder More, earned critical acclaim and awards. Kris brought and sold copies of the hardback book for $10 each, which she then donated to the Rotary Foundation.


President of the Month Larry presented our club banner to Doug and Lynn Pfaffenberger from the Cypress Fairbanks Rotary Club of Houston, TX. The Rotary couple attended our Aug. 10 meeting while vacationing in San Francisco.

David Chan (left) and Herman Jones (3rd from left) represented our club in the annual Fisherman's Wharf Merchant Association Tournament played July 21st on The Presidio Golf Course Their foursome included Cris Conners (2nd from left) and Joe Fitting (far right), both with the San Francisco Zoo.
"Cris and Joe were exceptionally outstanding as partners," says Herman.

We had the pleasure to have DG Ron Gin present at the last meeting. Ron exchanged the President’s Banner with Bob Intner and the District Leadership Team Banner with Riki Intner.

Ron currently works at Morgan Stanley and was in the military prior to that. He served as President Elect in 2009-10 during the chartering of the Chinatown club.

The marketing campaign this Rotary year is “We are people of action.” The top priority continues to be ending polio now—“We are this close.”

Since the initiation of Polio Plus in 1985, 2.5 billion children have been inoculated. Bill and Melinda Gates will continue to match funds 2:1 for three more years. Each inoculation costs 60 to 80 cents, and $1.6 billion has been raised since 1985.

Ron reviewed how Rotary in general has made a difference through ShelterBox, Rotaplast, Alliance for Smiles, H2Open Doors and Roots of Peace.

Ron talked about how our club specifically makes a difference through its support of RYLA, Rotaplast, the Dictionary Project, scholarships for Galileo students, National Night Out and Project Amigo. Not only that, we fund at our weekly socials, since it’s also about having fun.

Our club was chartered in 1990 and it was the 27,131st club. Our total giving since charter is $234,331 and we have 15 Paul Harris fellows, three Major Donors, one Benefactor and five Rotary Direct participants.

The RI theme this year is “Rotary Making a Difference.” Ron challenged us to think about how each of us/our club is making a difference, or is “Rotary making a difference on you?”

He showed us a video at the end of his presentation that covered some of the history of Rotary and its various projects, along with photos from our club—very moving!

Much to their surprise (and dismay), Team Fisherman’s Wharf made it to the semi-finals of the Rotaplast International Bocce Ball Tournament on Sunday, July 16, on the Marin Bocce Federation courts in San Rafael. 

Players were, l-r, Sue Rokaw, Riki Intner, Nancy Slepicka and Herman Jones. Not present for the photo: Marcella and Sal Ramos.

It was the first time that our team has ever been in the running after lunch, and they played two more matches before being ousted. Sunday’s sun was scorching, and by 3 pm everyone was ready to head home.

Herman and his guest, Maria Ocampo, with the tournament's mascot.

Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Community Service
Immediate Past President
Public Relations
The Rotary Foundation
Executive Secretary
Upcoming Events