Burlingame Rotary Club
Founded in 1925

High Gear Bulletin


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

High Gear Editor: Paul Watermulder


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It was a dark and stormy morning in Burlingame, after 8 months of drought, the rains arrived, as did some twenty Burlingame Rotarians plus guests.  Convening yet again in the ** still new ** Burlingame Community Center (crown jewel of out town these days).   
After Marilyn Orr single-handedly did about three people’s work to get the place looking ready, and then to get everybody signed in and (here’s the weekly rub) to get them to fork over real money (Monopoly currency no longer accepted, sorry folks), things got rolling. 
Mark Johnson convened us in lieu of President Fritz, who is vacationing in Maui to the scent of coconut 50 SPF tanning lotion and the strum of luau ukuleles, reportedly.  It is now suspected that President Fritz may have campaigned for this, his second round at our club presidency, with the catchy phrase, “a pineapple in every pot.”  Anyhow, nobody could find their pineapple, so we decided to have our Rotary meeting anyhow.
Our pledge was made to a series of rapidly changing images of American flags [dang, can’t we get the real thing?!], and then Jennifer Pence inspired us by reciting the always-welcome-and -never-out-of-vogue Serenity Prayer: 
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Visitors were welcomed:  Mainly our speaker and his mother-- (Renatto Guerra, from Improve Your Tomorrow).
Sunshine included a card for Lage who is recovering from a knee replacement, in anticipation for next year’s varsity Rotary basketball team forming up.
We noted upcoming birthdays as we hope to see all the “birthday boys” next week so we (and the BHS students present) can sing to them!  These include—Bill Tiedeman, David Mendell, Mark Luccesi, Lage Anderson [on the injured-reserved list, as above], and Doug Person.  If I somehow missed YOUR name on that list, please come anyway and receive the recognition you so richly deserve!
We noted our distinguished speaker from last week, Colonel (Ret) Alden Cunningham, a very active and energized leader here in our home club.  Did you buy his book yet?  Yes, I did (so easy to do from Amazon…)!  “A Cold War Warrior’s Report:  A Lifetime of Leadership in Service.” 
Bobba stood to give a remarkable announcement on a Club project that he has helped to promote: “ The school project in his village in India, Ungutur in the state of Andhra Pradesh, funded by Rotary Global grant of $60,000 is nearing completion. He is going there on Nov.8th and return on Dec.12th to attend the opening on Dec.8th. He thanked Frances, Bob and Burlingame rotary club for their support and donate $5,000 toward Global grant from our DDF and getting another $30,000 in DDF’s from neighboring clubs in our district. District 5150 DDF’s of $35,000 is matched(80%) by Rotary foundation giving $63,000 to provide digital classrooms for over 350 poor students for grades 3 to 10”. He further wished Happy Thanksgiving to all”.
We looked ahead to the newest rendition of a Party for all of us by the Fun Fairies, over at Suzanne Juptner’s home at 428 Occidental Avenue, in San Mateo (just off Barroilhet).  It will be Wednesday, November 16 starting from 6pm until the cows come home.
Also (gasp, this is a lot!) our Rotary weekly meeting this coming week (November 9 – day after elections!) is A FREE LUNCH at Burlingame High School cafeteria (in the back of the school—please do not traipse through the halls of learning, half lost, and somehow get sidetracked into a class in Latin, or Trigonometry or Economics – you might embarrass yourself!).  The FREE LUNCH begins with students freely intermingled at 12:30.  Rotarians are asked to intentionally not cluster together, but sit next to a student, learn his/her/their name and story, experience of BHS and America.  Tell them one thing you like about Burlingame and BHS and Italy!  The FREE LUNCH at is sponsored by the school’s Italian Exchange, honoring exchange students especially from Italy. 
Our speaker was introduced by Jennifer Pence, one of his great appeals being that he was a Rotary scholar from our club (!) back in the BHS class of 2009.  He is Renatto Guerra, and his Rotary mentor was Bob Davidson, our club president.  His mentoring attention and care for this young man is an excellent example of what impact individual Rotarians can have.
The title of today’s talk is:  Paying It Forward:  “Trends and Challenges in College Success for First-Generation Students.”  He contends that “Mentorship is the spark” that helps students gain confidence and begin to see successes in their lives.  Renatto is committed to helping give back through mentoring to young men of color in programs like Improve Your Tomorrow.  The ideal commitment is of 12 years so that middle school students join the program and stay with it into their adult years.  His non-profit currently has 112 mentors working with young people, and he personally mentors as well as running his job of helping run the whole program.
Renatto is special to our club as one of our earliest mentees in our mentoring program.  He notes that his Rotary Mentor changed his life by introducing him to all kinds of people, places and programs he had not known before, and by believing in him, liking him, and helping him “above and beyond” the required effort.  Who was this mystery mentor?  Right—none other than Bob Davidson, beloved and active Rotarian for decades, president of our club and City Manager of Hillsborough and civic leader for decades.  Thank you, Bob, posthumously.
Questions to see if you were reading carefully:
  1. President Fritz is vacationing on:a) Malta, b) Madagascar, c) Malibu, d) he’s not really on vacation, just home sloughing it.
  2. Lage Andersen is going to be next year’s Steph Curry for our Rotary team:a) yes, b) no, c) Steph who, d) Lage who.
  3. Even though our hosts for lunch next week include some from Italy, our Club gift through Bobba is bringing education to children in what country:a) Ireland, b) Indonesia, c) Israel, d) India, e) Iran.
  4. Lunch this coming week at BHS a) costs the usual $30, b) cost is determined on a sliding scale of your net worth, c) costs $381, due to inflation, d) is FREE, e) what lunch.
  5. One thing I really appreciate about Rotary is:(fill in the blank for future lunch meeting fun).
Until we meet again (that would be Wednesday, 12:30, BHS), That’s All Folks.
The meeting adjourned at 1:30pm.
Nov 09, 2022 12:30 PM
Honoring Burlingame Rotary and BHS Italian Exchange Students
Honoring Burlingame Rotary and BHS Italian Exchange Students
Nov 30, 2022 12:15 PM
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View entire list
Member Birthdays
Bill Tiedeman
November 14
David Mendell
November 15
Mark Lucchesi
November 16
Doug Person
November 22
Lage Andersen
November 22
Fritz Brauner
Sue Brauner
November 13