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Midtown Rotary

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 5:30 PM
The Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J Street
Sacramento, CA  95814
United States
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Home Page Stories
Once again, Midtown Rotarians headed out on a Saturday morning to save Midtown trees from the ivy that threatens them. President Gerald, President-Elect Martha, Greg, Ellie, and special guest Rotarian Mary from Twin Rivers Rotary picked up their coffee, pruning implements, and rakes, and met at First United Methodist Church at 21st and J. Check out the before and after photos. It's surprisingly dirty work (dusty ivy), and we are always on the lookout for empty bottles and dirty needles. We're doing good in the neighborhood - one tree at a time. (Although today we did two, last time four - you get the picture.)
Principal Denise happily accepts our summer-themed gift basket, to be given by raffle at the MET High School Teacher Appreciation Breakfast on May 9, 2018. 
Rotary Club of Midtown-Sacramento supports The MET each year by sponsoring a student to attend RYLA, the Youth Leadership Camp, in June or early July.  President Ellie is also a member of the school's Advisory Board. 
The MET thanked us and all their mentors at a Mentor Luncheon on May 8, where goofy photos were on the menu.  That's Ellie and Greg "absconding" with college funds.
News pictures did not prepare us for the total devastation of the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa. This used to be a suburban neighborhood. Rotary International President Ian Risley asked every Rotarian around the world to plant a tree this Rotary year, and President Ellie thought "Sacramento doesn't need trees as much as Santa Rosa," so on April 21, most of Midtown Rotary, District 5180 Governor Sandy, and many others gathered in the Rincon Ridge neighborhood to plant. How rocky was it? In the tree picture below, EVERY SINGLE ROCK around that tree came from the hole we had to dig for it.
First of all, my apologies for not updating this website for a while. Midtown Rotary does update pretty often on Facebook (see link at left), but we have been neglecting the website. If you're thinking we haven't been active, check our Facebook.  Lots of stuff there. However, I digress.
Check out the dual Presidents in the photo above. President Ellie of Midtown and President Mary of Twin Rivers are artfully displaying part of the panoply of goods we collected and delivered to the Mustard Seed School for homeless grade schoolers. The nice backpacks are a small part of the school supplies for K-8 students we brought them.  NOT PICTURED: President-Elect Gerald, who at the same time was delivering high school backpacks which club members from the Rotary Club of Midtown-Sacramento and the Rotary Club of Twin Rivers purchased (and then filled with school stuff) to WIND Services, which provides supportive services to homeless teenagers. Midtown's next project - a back-to-school welcome coffee for the staff at William Land Elementary, followed by the donation of dictionaries for every 2nd grader at that same school.
Well, dining on ducks, actually. Midtown Rotarians, family, and friends gathered to donate to charity and sample wild duck and pheasant six ways at Simon's Restaurant. President Bob Daby has a lifelong passion for duck hunting, and for the past few years we have enjoyed his generosity at this annual Duck Dinner. A big 'Thank You" to Bob for being the "Father of the Feast" this spectacular evening.
Local Rotarians were called out this morning for the Connecting for Good Tour. The tour kicked off earlier in Honolulu, and will end up going to 14 cities in 6 states. The final project will involve over 500 volunteers in Santa Barbara; their visit in Sacramento was a little smaller than that. Split up into four groups, our group spent the morning at the Sacramento Food Bank Distribution Center packing produce and canned goods, including more carrots than anyone had ever seen before. As witness. At the end of the morning, we had packed enough food for over 1200 families for a week. A job well done.
Members and guests gathered together for the much-delayed demotion of President Bear with, what else, a pub crawl with Sac Brew Bike. Demonstrating Midtown Rotary's love of moderation, we limited ourselves to 2 hours and 3 bars. We sampled great food, beer, wine, and sangria, as well as enjoying singing along to "Hotel California" as we pedaled around Midtown. Everyone agreed - we WILL do this again!
Past President Martha and Larry prepare for the Point West Rotary's Lunar Lunacy moonlight ride. The ride itself was . . . dark, with lots of bicycle lights trailing in the darkness from 6th and Capitol to Scott's Seafood and back. The distance was a little over eight miles; for these two, a piece of cake.
Outgoing Midtown Club President, Bear exchanges banners with outgoing President Eric of the Rotary Club of St. Omer, France - where she was hosted 20 years ago while participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. How's that for a Rotary connection?
Many hands were on deck as Midtown Rotary sponsored its annual Duck Dinner fundraiser, with ducks supplied by Past President Bob, side dishes provided by Simon's, and wine provided by, well, everybody.  Honestly, there was so much wine that our server brought out corks so we could take the leftover wine home. We had duck four or five ways, pheasant one way, and numerous sides, with profits going to support our RYLA student, RYE student, and Dictionary Project, among others. Next up: our annual Wine Tour.  Am I sensing a theme here?
Every once in a while, we remind ourselves that Rotary makes a difference. This project was done before we had a webpage, but it's worth sharing.
There were so many holidays to choose from - Christmas, Kwanzaa, Mawlid, Boxing Day, New Year's - that we combined them all in to one giant holiday party. Besides dinner and the traditional Midtown Rotary liqueur exchange, we enjoyed the first annual Midtown Rotary Foosball tournament. Winners Larry and Past President Martha beam with pride after the grueling 15 minute trial by Foosball. They hold aloft the snow white bucket trophy filled with fabulous prizes. You go, guys!
For our last meeting of 2015, Midtown Rotarians got together to package gifts for Africa. President Bear made things particularly tricky by instructing us to wrap the boxes so they could be opened for inspection. This was the first time I had every wrapped a gift where I had to wrap the box lid and the box separately. A bit of a science project, but all was accomplished and we look forward to these gifts arriving at their destination, and to our annual holiday party/liqueur exchange on December 27, the first party of the post-Christmas season!
On a nice, bright Saturday morning in Sacramento, Midtown Rotary members sallied forth for our regular maintenance of Rotary House. The house is our Rotary Centennial Project, which we constructed along with six other Rotary clubs to house long-term patients (and their families) while they are being treated at UCD Medical Center. Members got their scruffy on (no shaving), but added Rotary vests for that oh-so-important touch of class as we cleaned gutters and cleared brush. A nice way to start the weekend. 
The best morning of the year! Three classrooms full of enthusiastic second graders brought their energy to the multipurpose room of William Land Elementary as Midtown Rotarians finished unpacking crates of beautiful illustrated children's dictionaries. Some of these children have never owned a book before. President Bear Williams gave the students a brief fun introduction to some of the basic ideals of Rotary: being part of a community that includes family, classroom, town, state, country, and world. The kids seemed to get it -- there were many hands waving for her attention with questions and examples.
The Club had two helpful partners in the dictionary enterprise. First is Time Tested Books, who for the second year in a row ordered everything and helped us deliver the books early in the school year when they can do the most good. The William Land teachers have already planned a science project during which the students will be using the books for reference. The second partner is a new one -- Tabora Solutions, who donated generously towards the purchase of the books. And of course, thanks to the Rotarians of Midtown Sacramento, who fund and work on this project every year.
Speaking of Hawai'i (see demotion, below), you might be interested to learn that you can see the Southern Cross low on the horizon from Oahu.  This picture was taken on the south side of Diamond Head, but you can catch a glimpse in Waikīkī if you look hard enough.
In a stunning display of trust, outgoing President Greg told club members they could plan whatever they wanted for his demotion (and the promotion of incoming President Bear) without telling him ANYTHING.  Fortunately for Greg, he walked into a Hawai'ian theme demotion, complete with lei and macadamia nuts, not the trifecta of a wooden rail, hot tar, and chicken feathers.  Wine was provided by Past President Bob (far left), a demotion verbal roasting was served up by Past President Gerry (wearing white shell necklace), and all was in good fun.  Long live President Bear!
As usual, what was anticipated to be a 30 minute cakewalk tripled into an hour and a half monster ivy nightmare. Turned out, there was a LOT MORE ivy than it first appeared.  WILL we ever learn? However, determined Rotary members, Interact members, and guests PRESSED ON to free the Broadway Post Office tree from its bonds of green, filling up a whole lot of garbage bags in the process. Everyone took some, but Past President Martha took home the most. It's now 10:30 AM - off to coffee!
Rotarians from all over District 5180 were united this day, performing multiple acts of service.  Midtown Rotary took on the Sisyphean task of cleaning up the streets and byways of Midtown.  Rotarians and guests (a couple of them a little squirmy) took on various blocks around Alhambra, S and Q streets, and up to McKinley Park.  I can safely say that after an hour of cleaning up around several office buildings, I have never seen (or picked up) so many cigarette butts in my entire life.  Most unusual item: a slightly run over lady's watch.  Bulkiest item: a used blanket.  Grossest item:  you don't want to know.  Kids and adults all had a good time in the fresh city air, helping to make Sacramento a little bit better - what Rotary's all about.
There's a very nice story on our 10th annual Wine Tour below, but these things don't happen without dedicated members.  Here are the Midtown Rotarians who hosted the Wine Tour.  Front row, Rotarians Jeannette, President-Elect Bear, and Martha.  Back Row:  President Greg and Dr. Bob - all with wine, of course.
Members and guests of Midtown Rotary spent and enjoyable eight hours rolling through the beautiful Shenandoah Valley yesterday, visiting four outstanding wineries.  Scenes like this presented themselves at every turn; and the money raised goes to our dictionary project, to provide a free dictionary to every second grader at William Land Elementary.  We toasted this and other good deeds as we wound our way through the foothills, but, to be honest, things were getting a little fuzzy for some by the time we left our fourth winery.  The tour was sold out, the weather was perfect, and a great day was had by all.  Yay, Rotary!
Developer Michael Heller dropped by for a presentation on his Ice Blocks project on R Street.  These are the before and after pictures from his PowerPoint; Michael is hoping for a completion date by the end of next year.  Besides beautifying an area that is pretty neglected, this project will also be adding more housing to Midtown.  If it's anything like the MARRS building (which Michael also developed), it should be pretty nice.
Foundation Chair Bob, spouse Lori, new member Gary, and President Greg relax on member Scott's stylish pedicab.  Why a pedicab?  Because like Rotary, IT'S FUN!
President Greg proudly places a bright shiny new Rotary pin on new member Gerry, our newest Rotarian.  We're aiming to double the size of our club this year, and are almost there.  If you're reading and have an interest in Rotary, contact us!
President Greg read in new member Scott at the Duck Feed, but we had no Rotary pin.  That oversight was rectified at our meeting Wednesday, as Scott now shows off his shiny new Rotary pin.
First Lady Ellie and Past President Gerry pretty much sum up the general bonhomie surround last Wednesday's duck feed.  Duck was eaten, wine was drunk, and another successful Midtown Rotary event concluded much later in the evening.
Faces were shining as Martha was able to present Larry's Paul Harris Award to him.  Larry was honored for his contributions to Midtown Rotary, and for just being an al around nice guy!


Midtown Rotary enjoyed an unexpected pleasure on February 18 as District Governor Fred came for a visit (bringing a prospective new member who lives in Midtown), and graciously acquiesced to present a new member appreciation pin to President-Elect Bear in honor of her sponsoring a new member (see Jeanette, below). With two more member applications currently in the hopper, we are growing rapidly. More members, more fun, more good done.  Well done, Bear!
Midtown Rotary members and guests joined together for a Winn Park cleanup last Saturday.  Good looking group; lots of good done
President Greg was in Guatemala over the holidays, and found this Mayan temple in Tikal that looks like it needs some vine removal - our specialty!  Could take more than one Saturday morning, however.  But remember the Midtown Rotary motto - Go Big or Go Home!
Midtown welcomed another new member for this year last Wednesday!  President Greg read the induction from his iPhone (tech savvy is our motto), with sponsor Bear (center) beaming as new member Jeanette joined our happy band.
Past President Gerry accepts an Rotary International pin from new member Phil  to honor Gerry for sponsoring him into Rotary.  Phil is now in his third month of membership and has volunteered to provide us with a community service project for January 17, 2015.  Go, Phil!
Once again, we were charged with Rotary House maintenance.  Since helping to build Rotary House, we are on a regular schedule to maintain it. This this month we got -winter leaves.  A LOT of winter leaves after the recent rain. This was the first time a member of our sponsored Interact club (high school Rotary) was able to come out.  Our first project together!  Interact's President Abbie  (center) joined Midtown Rotary President Greg and Martha in pruning runaway plants, cleaning gutters and shoveling a whole lot of wet Sycamore leaves into street piles for the scooper to remove. (Not pictured is First Lady Ellie - she's behind the camera.)  Martha worked so hard she broke her rake! Check it out in the picture.
Midtown Rotarians delivered bright spanking new illustrated hardcover dictionaries to 2nd graders at William Land Elementary last Wednesday.  It was a day of excitement, and most of that excitement was shown by the students as they eagerly attacked their newly acquired books, looking up topics as fast as they could.  We can't show you pictures of the students' happy faces, but look at the happy faces in this picture.  The students were twice as happy as we were!  For many of them, this is the first hardback book they will own.  All gathered for a cheer of "Yay, Rotary!" before we reluctantly took our leave, looking forward to donating again next year.
The Rotary Club of Midtown-Sacramento and the Rotaract Club of Sacramento State University joined forces to improve McKinley Park last Saturday, November 8.  Rotarians and Rotaractors dug holes, planted shrubs, pruned roses, picked up trash and raked leaves - an all round clean up.  Most impressive was watching President-Elect Bear digging holes with a sharp stick - literally - when the project started at 9am.  I guess that's how Rotarians dug holes back in the day.  (We found her a shovel.)  Very satisfying work, and fun to be out with the college kids doing community service.
President Greg (left) welcomed new member Phil (center)at our annual pumpkin carving on October 29.  That's Phil's sponsor, Gerry, on the right.  In an evening filled with good food and conversation, the actual pumpkin carving was forgotten as we adjourned to watch the San Francisco Giants WIN THE WORLD SERIES!  We did, however, hand each member the pumpkin they could have carved as they left for the evening.  Sort of a do-it-yourself project.  A good time was had by all, nonetheless.
Midtown Rotarians Martha, Bear and President Greg pose AS IF they are putting the final anti-graffiti coat on Michael Kennedy's mural at 18th & J.  But - they aren't.  Turns out the scheduled coating material SMUDGED THE MURAL, so a new coating has been ordered and will be sprayed on before the official unveiling at 4pm, Saturday October 11, 2014.  We posed for the picture, anyway.  See you at the unveiling?
Midtown Rotarians share a "muse" with artist Michael Kennedy ("Mischa") and Midtown Business Association Streetscape Supervisor Ian Levin after the completion of Kennedy's mural at 18th and J streets, Sacramento
The mural which Midtown-Sacramento Rotary is sponsoring at the corner of 18th and J streets is nearing completion. Artist Michael Kennedy of Kennedy Gallery has done a great job on this first mural of a series by various artists, which is being arranged by the Midtown Business Association. To acknowledge our sponsorship of the mural, the artist has subtly painted Rotary Wheels into the corners of the frame! This has been a fun project, involving both financial sponsorship and hands-on work. There will be a formal unveiling on Saturday, October 11, at 4:00 p.m. Please come on out!
Members took on another tree cleanup Saturday, taking out the ivy choking a city Sycamore on 20th Street.  First the chopping, then the pulling (shown here) and finally the cleanup.  Another community project into the Midtown Rotary history book.
World traveler Annette Janehl gave a fascinating presentation about her journey around the northern hemisphere of the world.  She traveled alone in a van that began life as a plain grey mode of transportation and grew into a moving art project that included the hopes of many people in the form of messages written in Sharpies on its panels .  Regular people - no matter where they live -  hoping for peace, friendship, and clean air.  Forget boundaries, war, and differences . . . what the world needs is The Four Way Test!      
Another Rotary Club of Midtown-Sacramento community service project! In partnership with the Midtown Business Association, and with a matching community grant from The Rotary Foundation, Midtown Rotary is sponsoring the first of a series of murals to be painted by local artists in Midtown Sacramento, helping to foster the local arts community as well as beautify Midtown. Here's our "ta-da!" after finishing the wall to prepare it for the artist. This first mural is being painted now (August 21, 2014) by artist and gallery owner Michael Misha Kennedy at the southwest corner of J Street and 18th Street.  Stop on by!
The mural which Midtown-Sacramento Rotary is sponsoring at the corner of 18th and J streets is nearing completion. Artist Michael Kennedy of Kennedy Gallery has done a great job on this first mural of a series by various artists, which is being arranged by the Midtown Business Association. To acknowledge our sponsorship of the mural, the artist has subtly painted Rotary Wheels into the corners of the frame! This has been a fun project, involving both financial sponsorship and hands-on work. There will be a formal unveiling on Saturday, October 11, at 4:00 p.m. Please come on out!
Are we tired?  You bet! 
Once again, Midtown Rotary hikes into the urban forest and - - - cleans up Fremont Park in midtown Sacramento.  Faced with a choice of chores - painting, raking or tree trimming - Gerry, Bob and President Greg opted for trimming.  Looked easy; wasn't.  Bear decided to paint and, as you can see in the photo, was much less exhausted after two hours.  Good deeds were done. Another Rotary Club of Midtown-Sacramento service project completed.

Once again on the cutting edge of wine technology, Midtown Rotary cruised the wines of the Capay Valley and Winters on June 21, 2014.  Doesn't this look like fun?  See "Read more" for . . . more story.