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President's Message 
Renee Paquier
member photo

Dear Saratoga Rotarians,

As we transition into the vibrant hues of autumn, we look back on an inspiring August that was marked by engaging events and enlightening conversations. We are thrilled to bring you the highlights of our recent activities and provide a sneak peek into what September holds for our esteemed Saratoga Rotary Club.

Recap of August: Celebrating Imagine Hope Friday and Guest Speaker Series

In August, we embarked on a journey of hope and positivity with our first-ever Imagine Hope Friday. This initiative aimed to spread rays of optimism and support throughout our community. Thank you to everyone who participated, shared stories, and joined hands in making the world a brighter place.

Our guest speaker series during the month was nothing short of exceptional. We had the privilege of hosting distinguished individuals who shared their insights and wisdom with us:

  • Sufen and Chi-Ling Wu (Organization Information and Dulcimer Recital): Their remarkable journey through music and community engagement left us motivated and inspired.
  • Dr. Morris A. Budak (DDS: When Teeth Tell a Tale: The History and the Mystery of Forensic Odontology in search of Nazi War Criminals): With his expertise in public health, Dr. Budak shed light on the importance of well-being and how dental records have been used historically.
  • Mina Fedor (AAPII Youth Rising, Stop Asian Hate): Her dedication to empowering marginalized communities underscored the profound impact one individual can have on society.
  • Michael Bakal (Voces y Manos): His commitment to Voces y Manos, a Guatemala Scholar-Activist Group that empowers indigenous youth to advance the health and wellbeing of their communities by promoting leadership and providing academic scholarships.

Upcoming Events in September: Mark Your Calendars!

a. Visioning - Shaping Our Future: Join us on September 9th for an exciting visionary session. This is a wonderful opportunity for all members to contribute their ideas and perspectives as we collectively shape the future trajectory of our club. Your insights will be invaluable in guiding our club toward greater achievements.

b. Exploring Avenues of Service: On September 30th, we invite you to dive into the diverse avenues of service that Rotary offers. Discover new avenues to create a positive impact within our community and beyond. This event promises to be enlightening and inspiring as we explore ways to channel our collective efforts for maximum benefit.

A Message of Hope: Our Impact on Local and Global Communities

As Rotarians, we embody hope through our actions. Our collective dedication to service not only enriches our local community but also extends its reach to global shores. By fostering connections, supporting initiatives, and driving positive change, we become catalysts for a brighter future. Each step we take, no matter how small, contributes to the greater good and transforms lives.

In closing, let us embrace September as another opportunity to amplify our impact, embrace new possibilities, and continue our journey of service with hearts full of hope.

Renée Kazemipour Paquier, Ed.D

President, Saratoga Rotary Club


P.S. Stay connected with us on social media for real-time updates, event reminders, and engaging discussions. Let's keep the Rotary spirit alive online!

Welcome Red Badgers
We have two new Red Badgers to our club.
Hema Raja is a senior engineering manager at Alpha & Omega managing a team of of 25 engineers including an overseas team in India. She is also a member of Saratoga Toastmasters. One of her hobbies is chocolate making and offered a session at her house as an auction item at Cathie's debunking event and raised money for Saratoga Rotary Foundation, even before she joined our club! Her sponsors are Sangita  Seshadri and Catherine Thermond.
Barry Bronson is a good friend and neighbor of Bill and Mary Ellen Comport. He worked at Hewlett Packard since 1972 holding various positions till his retirement in 2002. He also currently volunteers at the Tech Interactive in San Jose. Last December, he lost his wife of 52 years and hopes the Rotary Club will play an important role as he moves on to a "Barry 2.0".
Fellowship Event at Campo di Bocce
Voces Y Manos 
 On Friday August 23rd, Michael Bakal from Voces Y Manos presented his work on bringing together farmers and youths to utilize new technologies and ancestral practices to strengthen farm productivity and ecological resilience.  This work is funded by a Rotary Foundation Global Grant.  
Voces y Manos believes that education is a powerful means of achieving sustainable development, health, and self-determination for indigenous communities. They empower indigenous youth to advance the health and wellbeing of their communities by promoting leadership and providing scholarships.
Voces y Manos received a grant from Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation last year to create employment opportunities for Maya-Achi youth to help their community become more resilient to climate change.  This organization is doing inspiring work in empowering indigenous youth in Rabinal, Guatemala.
Voces y Manos were featured in the Economist in September 2022.  Here's the Link to the article:
Community Service Update
Saratoga Rotarians participated in the 2023 Back-To-School event with West Valley Community Services! The  event was a huge success…and that is all because of you, our volunteers, who gave their time, energy and assistance in helping prepare our community’s young people for academic success this fall.
Because of you, 295 children were able to receive brand new back-to-school clothes, shoes and a backpack full of school supplies.  But more than just shirts and shoes, the children received a gift that will build their confidence and self-esteem as they start a brand new school year.
“Thanks so much for all the clothes! Today was one of the best days in my life!” – Jake, age 7
“This event helps so much because I cannot afford to buy my kids new shoes or clothes.” – Bea, mom
Up Next in Community Service....
Preparations are on the way for our Operation Care & Comfort service project. We will be writing thank you cards & preparing care packages at our October meeting. Shinku Sharma & Lee Ann Payne are leading the efforts for this year’s project!
Jit Kapur Celebrates Special Birthday
A high spirited Rotarian,  Jit Kapur turned a century this week. I credit Jit 100% for helping transform me from a “badge wearing” Rotarian to a “true” Rotarian. He epitomized Service Above Self, and his passion was International Service. Always nattily dressed, energetic and witty, he kept our Club Presidents on their toes during our meetings. Rotarian Jack Hickling had the privilege of giving Jit a ride from his home in Los Altos to our meetings.  Jit’s wife and partner of 58 years, Rosanne, is also a good friend to several of our Rotarians. Jit is keeping well at Cedar Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Sunnyvale, and is loved by the staff. He is especially popular with the female residents!  Sangita and Maria were able to meet Jit on Tuesday 29th and present the cards several of you signed along with a small light blanket with photographs of him with his Rotarian friends. Jo, Wes and their son Brian also visited Jit on Monday the 28th.  Let’s wish him well in the coming year.
Sesh Ramaswami
Cell: 408-529-9543
Rotary District 5170, Lt. Governor
District Conference 23-24, Co-chair
Congratulations Nada
Nadas's mom celebrated her 101st birthday.  Congratulations to Nada and her mom, Stana Milenkovic.  The photos are taken from her early 20s and at 101!!
Stana Milenkovic is the only living sibling out of 11 children. She was the fourth one in line. She was born in 1922 and only had fourth grade level education. She grew up in Bosnian Herzegovina, or formerly known as Yugoslavia.  Her father died when she was three months old, so she was raised by a stepfather. Her mom passed away when Stana was 32 years old. She married at the age of 28 and has survived her husband. Her purpose in life was to take care of her children. She moved to Chicago in 1969 and stayed in the area. When she was well in her earlier years, she would travel back to then Yugoslavia for a visit with her family.
My Canadian Family
In July I took a short trip to Montreal to visit my Canadian daughters and grandchildren. I case you are wondering how I obtained Canadian daughters and grandchildren, in 1988 Connie and I hosted an exchange student in our home for a year. She and her sisters did not want a relationship with their father. For that reason, four years after Marie-Pierre returned home, and she graduated from University of Toronto, she started calling me dad. Through the years we visited Montreal numerous times. About 1996, she partnered with Steve and in 2005 their first child was born, Mael. In 2010 Lilou was born.
Unfortunately, a childhood inherited disease took the life of Lilou and Mael's father while in his early 40's. While attending his funeral, Marie's sister, Rosalie took a moment to thank me for "filling in" as a father to Marie and a grandfather to her children. I took the opportunity to tell Rosalie, if she needed a father too, and a grandfather for the child she was about to deliver, I still had room in my heart to fill that role and she gratefully accepted, and in less than a month, she delivered my third Canadian grandchild, Edmond. In the picture below, Edmond is in the middle, Lilou on the left.
When I returned to Saratoga, Lilou traveled with me for a week's vacation in California, a great deal of which was spent in the jacuzzi where she tried to be a dolphin. Third photo is 9 month-old granddaughter, Lily
Bruce E. Hodgin
Music of Summer is still playing in Saratoga
Here is an interesting article in the Saratoga News for your amusement shared by Debbie Rice....
Saratoga Team - Little League Tournament
In case you missed it....
Did You Know...
Lightning is perfectly safe...unless it's coincident with thunder.
Light travels much faster than sound. That's why you usually see the flash of light just before you hear the thunder.
The further away, the longer the delay. If there's no delay between the're toast.
Sep 22, 2023
Sep 29, 2023
World Vision and Rotary Intl projects
Oct 06, 2023
Santa Clara Auduborn Society
Oct 13, 2023
Himalayan Cataract Project
Oct 20, 2023
Author, Leonardo's knots
Oct 27, 2023
County Assessor, Santa Clara County and Rotarian
Nov 03, 2023
Stanford Institute for International Studies
View entire list
Upcoming Events
WVCS Mobile Pantry / Park-It Market
Sep 12, 2023
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
Saratoga Fire Station Community Room
Sep 12, 2023
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Community Service Committee Meeting
Sep 14, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Weekly Meeting
Sep 15, 2023
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
WVCS Mobile Pantry / Park-It Market
Sep 19, 2023
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Fellowship Bocce Ball in September
Campo di Bocce
Sep 21, 2023
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Weekly Meeting
Sep 22, 2023
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
WVCS Mobile Pantry/ Park-it-Market
Sep 26, 2023
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
WVCS Mobile Pantry/ Park-it-Market
Sep 26, 2023
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Weekly Meeting
Sep 29, 2023
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
View entire list
Photo Albums
Back to School - FGT and WVCS
Dr. Morris A. Budak, DDS: When Teeth Tell a Tale
Hawaiian TGIF
Michael Bakal, "Voces Y Manos"
Inspiration Submissions
By Terrie Creamer
Inspiration for Aug 25
It is National Banana Split Day, Secondhand Wardrobe Day, Kiss and Make Up Day and , National Whisky Sour Day. Those aren’t very inspirational to me.
Kids are back in school, so I chose Lifelong Learning as Inspiration
Learning new things causes the brain to build connections between neurons, replacing those we lose over time, and it also gives us a hit of dopamine, the feel-good chemical. That along with exercise, social activities, and giving of our time and talents contribute to overall physical and mental health.
Now doesn’t that sound like what we enjoy in Rotary.  After all we:
Learn new things through speakers at weekly meetings, science Friday, Rotary’s leadership and development training which we get opportunities to learn and practice those skills.
We have opportunities to serve others, we socialize, we have physical activities- a walking group, and some get together to learn and play pickleball.
Henry Ford- “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
Albert Einstein- “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
So, I hope you are inspired to continue to be a lifelong learner and enjoy being a part of Rotary.
Invite your friends to check us out!
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Bulletin Editor
Club Services
Club Services
Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation President
Youth Protection Officer
Community Services
Community Services
International Services
The Rotary Foundation
The Rotary Foundation
Youth Services
Public Image
Club Trainer/Advisors
Club Trainer/Advisors
Club Trainer/Advisors
We Care
Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation Officers
CEO/President: Sandie Prevot
CFO/Treasurer: Terrie Creamer
Secretary: Marsi Nomura
Directors: Anne Cummins, Chuck Page, Sesh Ramaswami, Sangita Seshadri, Wes Toy, Phil Young

The non-BOD positions in the club are:

Club Trainers: Larry Grace, Jack Hickling, Jim LeBlanc
Information Management/Sergeant at Arms: Peter Marra
Facebook: Sheeba Garg
Website: Parul Samdarshi
Membership Support: Jamie Price
Audio/Video Team: Sheeba Garg, Keong Kam, Parul Samdarshi
Photographer: Nada Marriott, Maria Guldner*, Maureen Barton*
We Care: Sangita Seshadri
Parliamentarian: Marcia Hansen
Youth Protection Officer: Chuck Swan
Hardship Chair: Cathie Thurmond
Back-up support indicated with *
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Imagine Hope