Burlingame Rotary Club
Founded in 1925

High Gear Bulletin


Zoom Meeting - Wednesday, December 9, 2020

High Gear Editor:  Frances Boscacci

Welcome:  By President Emily Mathews
Pledge: Mark Johnson
Invocation: Doug Person. Doug delighted us with the “Prayer of St. Francis” Thank you Doug!
Guests of the club: Our Speaker, Tom Nazario, The Forgotten International and Richard Swart, from Chinatown Rotary Club and District 5150 PRLS Co-Director.
  • President Emily did the Sunshine Repot on behalf of Jim Shypertt:Unfortunately our past President Cheri DeLacy Carr had to miss many meetings as she contracted COVID- 19.She had a very tough 8 weeks. She is on the mend now but is having to focus strictly on getting back to good health, family and business. Our best wishes for a full recovery and prompt return to Past President Cherie.
  • Reminder: our December 16 holiday party at Par 3 with drive in movie has been canceled. Instead we will be having a regular lunch, but with a few holiday treats.
  • Holiday party rescheduled for June 27, NOT June 25, because venue wasn’t available. It will be an outdoor gathering. More details this spring when we firm up the plan. Guests will be welcome.
  • Happy hour will be Friday @ 5
  • Richard Swart with PRLS, gave us information about the PRLS Program ( Potential Rotary Leaders Seminar). John Delaney volunteered to share his fabulous experience attending PRLS and highly recommends it. There is a virtual introductory PRLS class taking place on January 16th, cost is $25.00. Link to flyer here--https://www.rotary5150.org/documents/en-ca/e68f2aa6-a34a-45f6-9764-6af0f9af55f9/1
  • Bryan Neider—updated us on book project and noted that the Burlingame Library Foundation, within Mayor Beach’s “Burlingame Collaborative” initiative, was looking for book donations. On a multi-group meeting of last Monday, Burlingame Rotary donated $1,000.00 which will help the foundation to purchase 2000 books to support 400 socioeconomically disadvantaged students in meeting their needs. Great collaboration within our community!! The foundation continues looking for book donations, go to https://www.burlingamelibraryfoundation.org/ways-to-donate/bookselling-donations. If you have books and can’t deliver them to the library, email Bryan (bryan@abilitypath.org) or let Emily Mathews know, to make arrangements to have them picked up from you.
  • Mayor Emily Beach announced “supportburlingame.com”. The site is a virtual marketplace making it possible, and easy to purchase gift cards from local Burlingame businesses. They can definitely use our support. It also allows donating the certificates to either “CASA” or “Samaritan House “. This is totally volunteer driven. A great way to purchase Holiday Cheer and support the local business community in need. Let’s use “Supportburlingame.com”!
Mark Johnson expressed he would attempt, and try hard to provide the top quality informational entertainment that we are used to, normally coming from the great Fritz Brauner and Jennifer Pence. So he set out to follow in a club tradition to “interview a Rotarian”. This is a great way to get to know each other better. And he was delighted to announce that today’s interview featured David Gonzalez, who joined just last May in the middle of Shelter in Place. David is well known by some of us, such as Marilyn Orr and John Delaney, for many years.
We learned that David has been in the local banking community for over 30 years. He has been the Manager of Comerica Bank, Burlingame for 4 years, with a staff of 5, offering banking services and products, to individuals and businesses and trying to become more “community involved offering very personalized service” just like Boston Private Bank. His branch is located where the “old” Brothers Deli once was at the corner of Primrose & Howard.  
David Gonzalez was born in San Francisco, and traveled throughout the world with his Mom, coming back to San Francisco at age 12. He was inspired by the elegantly dressed bankers at the main San Francisco Crocker Bank Branch (at Montgomery & Market) to someday become a banker. He went to Mission High, and attended UC Berkeley and graduated with a degree in Finance. His morning routine includes getting up at 5:30 -6:00 AM to take a run or play tennis. His top two restaurants in Burlingame are Il Fornaio and Stacks. Both provide great food and service. His two favorite desserts are pumpkin pie and NY cheesecake. His top movies of all time are The Godfather 1 and 2. David told us an anecdote that back in the 80’s a friend of his was approached by Francis Ford Coppola (Director of The Godfather who was in bankruptcy) and invited him to help out Francis Ford Coppola by investing $50K in exchange for ownership in the film company!!. His friend really regrets turning down the offer! If he wasn’t a banker, David’s other occupation would be “Artist”, as he would love to be a painter. David served on the board of HIP Housing and has discovered a personal passion to help folks with their housing struggles and needs. He is really humbled and inspired by Burlingame Rotarians and all the good that our club does in the community. He is excited to contribute to the community as a Burlingame Rotarian. David’s birthday is coming right up, on December 29th. Happy birthday, in advance, and great to know you better David. Thank you!
Program: Bobba Venkatadri thanked President Emily and each of us as a club and gave a heartfelt introduction of Tom Nazario, President & Founder, The Forgotten International, TFI (www.theforgottenintl.org.). Bobba shared with us that it was his friend Tom Nazario who actually “opened his eyes” to the concept of “Service Above Self”. Bobba had reached a point in his life, some years ago, when he really wanted to help others that are less fortunate. Bobba serves on the Board of TFI. He has been immensely inspired by Tom, and has been able to give back to the youth in his native India. He views Tom as a mentor and encourages Burlingame Rotarians to support TFI in any way possible. It will be rewarding!
Thomas Nazario, an attorney and former Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco (where he earned accolades, such as the “Excellence in Teaching Award” ) School of Law for forty years, decided he wanted to do a lot more with his life than teach. Since already part of his job at the University was “fund raising”, he thought, why not fundraise for something else to? And this is how he thought of eventually founding The Forgotten International. He has authored four books on children’s rights, including the acclaimed In Defense of Children. He also authored Living on a Dollar a Day. The success of his books’ messages got him invited to the Oprah Winfrey TV Show, where he was “discovered”. His international work largely began in 1999 when, as a member of a legal team, he was charged with preparing a report of the United Nations on the horrendous treatment by the Chinese government, of children crossing the Himalayas to attend school in Tibet. He was asked to travel to India to meet with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Since then, and in addition to many more trips to India, Professor Nazario has traveled to Romania, South Africa, Nepal, Peru, Thailand, Rwanda, and Botswana to work on very sad and shocking issues related to global poverty, and women and children’s life and death struggles. His experiences lead him to come to the conclusion that poverty is the “biggest killer” in the world.
Tom shared how His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the “Buddha of Compassion” taught him about being “compassionate” as defined in three levels: 1- If you are kind, respectful, treat people well and walk through life with a “warm heart”. 2- A higher level of compassion is, if not only are you a kind person but you actually do something to relieve someone else’s suffering. And 3- An even higher level of compassion is if you actually relieve the suffering of people you don’t even know and will never even meet. This is the highest level of compassion. This philosophy really inspired Tom, and through the years he set out to directly contribute to bringing relief to the suffering of many impoverished people. It was really touching to hear Tom tell about specific stories, like a young woman whom he helped bring out of abject poverty since childhood, supporting her through getting healthy, starting school, and even finishing a college education. 
During, and after the writing of the book “Living on a Dollar a Day” he traveled quite extensively in 10 countries, where he encountered the worst poverty anyone can imagine. But eventually, while promoting the documentary film made from the book, he also encountered remarkable generosity. And this is how The Forgotten International received its first capital donations, to be able to do what it does today: currently working in 11 different countries, funding hospitals, clinics, orphanages, schools, job training initiatives, and now preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.
In Tom’s answers to a few questions from our members, we learned: - How to focus the efforts   with so much work to do to alleviate poverty around the world? TFI prioritizes on helping women and children in poverty, in countries where there are no wars, minimum corruption and where large populations live in poverty. Education is a huge priority, as well as health, and issues of discrimination. Also, where does compassion come from in people?  It is Tom’s belief that compassion can be “inborn” in a child, but also that compassion is taught to people at a young age, and role models are very important in teaching compassion and doing good. We all have enough stuff, but helping someone, giving something that makes someone’s life better makes us feel the best! The Forgotten International (TFI) would welcome any help from Burlingame Rotarians, not just donations but also participating as a Board Member. To contact Tom Nazario, just reach out to our very own Bobba Venkatadri. Thank you Bobba and Tom, for an extraordinary presentation!
To view this meeting use the link below:


Passcode: t@Hy0nsz

To View Emily Beach Speech:
Passcode: 6q5unw.9
Home Flockings
The flocks have been flying! Below are photos of our first two flockings. Details about home flockings and order info on the website.
Dec 16, 2020 12:15 PM
That RV Geek
That RV Geek

Americans are turning to RVing as the last safe way to see this great land, but is it a new kind of freedom or just a bad trip?

Peggy and Tony Barthel’s presentation will share fun and funny stories, great tips on free camping, places to go and see near you and relatable stories about the RV lifestyle so you can decide if this is the right thing for you.

This presentation is about 15-20 minutes of images and videos about the RV lifestyle featuring the good, the bad and the truthful and is meant for all audiences. With RVing being such a hot topic this should be fun.

Dec 23, 2020
Dec 30, 2020
View entire list
Upcoming Events
DARK - No Meeting
Dec 23, 2020
DARK - No Meeting
Dec 30, 2020
Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
Jan 05, 2021 8:00 AM
Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
Feb 02, 2021 8:00 AM
View entire list
Member Birthdays
Bobba Venkatadri
December 3
Christine Krolik
December 6
Phil Siegle
December 6
Mary Murphy
December 8
Cary Koh
December 16
Donna Colson
December 24
Ricardo Ortiz
December 24
David Gonzalez
December 29
Maki Kobayashi
Yumie Kobayashi
December 2
Delia Montano
Genesis Montano
December 12