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
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Features

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, www.rotary5150.org.

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 LikeMinded.org, 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 https://www.the-seen.org.

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.

Allons enfants de la Patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrive´! 

President of the Month Bob Intner provided the lyrics and Aline Estournes (fluent in French) led us in singing “La Marseillaise” to open this week’s meeting and celebrate Bastille Day. 

Continuing the international theme, member Marcella Ramos showed slides and described her life changing experience as an interpreter with the recent Rotaplast International medical mission in Lima, Peru. Her participation was made possible by a donation from member Charles Field and matched by our club.

“Changing Lives Forever” was the message of this 10th anniversary Rotaplast mission. Marcella said the team’s medical professionals performed 59 reconstructive surgeries for cleft palates and related problems. Patients ranged in age from 10 months to adults and included three sets of identical twins with cleft palates. Marcella worked principally in the recovery room, helping parents of young patients communicate with nurses and doctors.

The 25th Anniversary Gala of Rotaplast International will be held Aug. 11 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. For tickets and to learn more about the good works of Rotaplast, visit rotaplast.org.

During this week’s club assembly, member Herman Jones, left, presented a banner and other memorabilia from the 2017 Rotary International Convention to President of the Month Bob Intner.

Herman described the convention as “a great experience and reminder of  how large Rotary is –– its arms stretch out in so many ways.”

The Rotakyries returned for a final encore during the Debunking Dinner for President Suzanne Varacalli, held June 27 at the Fisherman’s Wharf Marriott. “Rotarhala Awaits” was the theme acted out by, l-r, Riki Intner as Grimgerde, Suzanne as Rossweise, and Aline Estournes as Schwertlite.

The premiere performance by the Rotakyries was for the 2015 debunking of President Sue Rokaw and the costumed trio returned last year to debunk President Marcella Romanus.

Project Avary, a nonprofit based in San Rafael, serves children who have a parent in prison with the goal of  ending generational incarceration. Members learned about this worthwhile program from Zach Whelan, Executive Director, and Amy DeLeon, Director of Community Resources.

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and one in 28 children has a parent in prison, totaling 5 million children. 

“We commit to work with kids for ten years,” Zach said. In addition to a week-long summer camp, Project Avary sponsors weekend outings  –– hiking, camping, kayaking –– with activities that teach life skills, build character and, most important, “give kids a sense of belonging.”

Zach said Project Avary annually accepts 25 new kids, who are referred to the program by counselors, and currently serves 125 children and 90 caregivers. Its $850,000 budget is supported by donations, grants and fundraisers. The per-child cost is $2,500 a year.

We were joined this week by four international Rotarian guests: Sven Inabnit of Basel, Switzerland, Shaun Lennard of Hobart, Tasmania, and Andrea Siniscalco and wife, Svetlana Nikolic of Milan, Italy.

Three members of the Otsu Rotary Club in Japan attended our breakfast meeting on June 8th. They were enroute to the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, GA. Members Sue Rokaw and Erik Scheller will also be there.

In the absence of the scheduled speaker, President Suzanne Varacalli asked members to tell “what you love about Rotary.” Responses included RYLA, the dictionary project, international experiences and visitors, conventions and district events, guest speakers, and the opportunity to meet and get to know like-minded people.

 
Andrew Wong was welcomed and inducted into our club's membership during the June 1st meeting. Andrew, an acupuncturist with Kaiser Permanente, was sponsored by Past President/Past District Governor Bob Intner. Pictured l-r: President Suzanne Varacalli, Bob Intner, Andrew Wong and Past President/Past District Governor Riki Intner.

Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) headlined the May 25 meeting, when Youth Liaison Chair Sue Rokaw, left, described the recent weekend RYLA Camp and her role as director. A total of 130 high school students attended from 23 high schools in the three-county District 5150 (San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo).

Camp activities that promote team building, leadership and community service were shared by three of the Galileo High School students our club sponsored this year, (l-r) Yaxuan, Amanda and Jenny. All three agreed that participating in RYLA helped build their self confidence in meeting new friends and taught them how to reach and grab for opportunities.

Club banners were exchanged by visiting Rotarian, Suresh Balsubramani of Bangalore, India, and President Suzanne Varacalli.

 
Two charming Rotarians from Tasmania, Kath Downie and Elizabeth Anderson, joined our club's 27th birthday party potluck dinner on Saturday evening at 101 Lombard St. Kath and Elizabeth were enjoying a stopover in San Francisco enroute to a Rotary Friendship Tour in Montana.
 
 

On Saturday, May 13, an enthusiastic work crew installed protective concrete blocks that our club purchased around 30 sprinkler heads on the West Bluff berm near Crissy Field. 

This 4th quarter community service project was again with the Golden Gate Recreation Area, and the project leader was National Park Service Volunteer Coordinator Laura Elze. With perfect weather and a stunning view of the GG Bridge, Bay and the city, we completed the task in less than two hours.

Representing the club were Erik Scheller, Wendy Vived, Kay Auciello, Dan Morse, Nancy Slepicka, Sonny Nguyen, Bob and Riki Intner and grandsons, Aaron and Ethan Fagin.

Shelley Cummins Shehab (right), UCSF wellness specialist, meditation and yoga teacher, led us through the “8 Tools of Mindfulness” for our May 11 meeting program. The exercises, meant to calm the mind and body, proceed through the following steps.

1) Be aware of obstacles and challenges.

2) Create actual remedy to obstacles.

3) Be aware of life force and work within it.

4) Take a stance and be receptive.

5) Focus, heighten attention.

6) Let go of the outside world, find your center.

7) Meditate, observe, slow down, find your inner center.

8) Choose and cultivate bliss.

Shelley said that the medical community is beginning to adopt these tools to help patients with pain control and achieve greater success with surgery.

She’s pictured with Program Chair Kay Auciello, left, and President Suzanne Varacalli.

Nancy Slepicka was pinned and welcomed as the club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow during the May 4 Club Assembly. The Rotary Foundation certificate recognizes “appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.” She’s pictured with President Suzanne Varacalli, left, and Riki Intner, District 5150 Foundation Chair.

Riki noted that this year, District 5150 (1,700 Rotarians) is currently in first place in the United States in contributions to the Rotary Foundation. The Foundation has been recognized as the world’s top charitable foundation for its transparency and for spending 91% of funds directly on its international programs.

Everyone who attended the April 27 meeting went home with one of these SF Giants flags, symbolizing this season’s theme, "We Are SF!" Shana Daum, in her 18th year with the Giants and now Vice President of Affairs and Community Relations, gave us the scoop on what’s new in give-aways, food offerings, special events and other happenings at AT&T Park for the Giants’ 135th season (59th in San Francisco).

Shana said the Giants are supporting the Heading Home community campaign which seeks to raise $30 million to end family homelessness in San Francisco by 2020. To raise public awareness, the team will donate $1,000 to Heading Home for every Giants run scored in a home game this season.

She said the Giants Community Fund spends more than $2.5 million annually to support Junior Giants Baseball, a free 8-week summer program that combines baseball instruction with lessons in leadership and life skills for 25,000 kids in California and Oregon.

Pictured (l-r) are Tresa Eyres (a former club member who was president when Shana was a guest speaker about the Giants six years ago), Shana Daum, Manager of Premium Seating Amanda Nichols, and Program Chair Kay Auciello (and Giants season ticket holder).

On Thursday we also welcomed Joyce Li, a senior at Galileo Academy and winner of the club’s $2,000 college scholarship. Joyce plans to attend UC Berkeley and study child psychology. She’s pictured with Past President Marcella Ramos, who conducted Thursday’s meeting.

Guest Rotarian Shivanand Bellare and President Suzanne Varacalli exchanged club banners at this week’s Club Assembly meeting. He came to us from the Rotary Club of Bengaluru, Platinum City, India. Am

“Shiv” said his young club of 35 members is focusing on health, education and sanitation. Among its projects is construction of gender specific restrooms in rural schools. A longterm goal is to adopt a village and provide a doctor for its residents.

 

Under the leadership of President (Super Party Planner) Suzanne Varacalli, club members and lots of guests had a blast and raised important dollars at Festa Italiana, our 23rd annual international dinner, on April 7th at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club in North Beach.

Pictured with Suzanne is District 5150 Governor Jeri Fujimoto. For more Festa photos, visit us on Facebook.

 
 
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