CROW’S CALL – September 5, 2019
By: Dr. Bill
Mother Grizzly (President Colette Lay) growled us into order.  Greeter John Milich relived his glory days at the podium and had to be forcibly deterred from recognizing everyone.  John’s Thought for the Day encompassed the range of human endeavor: Albert Einstein – “The longer I live, the more I am convinced there is a God” to UCLA basketball coach John Wooden – “Little things make big things happen.”  After a Salute to the Flag, Don Jones led us in “God Bless America” about here. John told us he has been working a lot, traveling the country; he and Teri have been enjoying their grandkids There were no visiting Rotarians which was good since it let us hide our shame for one more week.  Two guests of Rotary included Lourdes Yloyan and Steven Porschet, who are still checking us out, apparently as part of a Federal investigation.
Our ace Director of Youth Activities Gary Sloan introduced the new President of Cal High Interact Club, Jocelyn Gao. She described how the club has attracted about 100 students so far this semester, making it one of the most popular organizations at the school.  Jocelyn explained that we will be receiving monthly updates about how Interact is doing.  They plan four service projects and four social projects during the year, including a carnival in April.  From a recent fund-raiser with ShareTea they earned $91.  She asked for volunteer drivers to transport the kids for a beach clean-up day, promising hot dogs and frisbees in exchange.
*Kathy Gailey, our peripatetic International Service Director, announced that this month’s theme in RI is Basic Education and Literacy. Colette and Kathy will be collecting books to send abroad.  Please, no VHS tapes.
*John Milich, as part of his clean-up from his presidency, made the presentation of the Rotarian of the Year to Marie Galbo. As part of that award Marie received her eighth Paul Harris pen, a gaudy sparkler.  She shared that she will be moving soon to Woodland and will miss all her friends in the club but will come back to visit.
*Ray Giles, as promised, did his Rotary Foundation Minute in under 96 seconds.  Half of the money we donate to RI goes to the world fund for worthy projects; half comes back to our district to make things like the Bolivian water initiative possible.
* Chris Gayler, Membership Director, inducted our newest member, Steven Porschet, into the club. Chris taught Steven the first rule of Rotary: don’t let Guy Greco snap your picture with your mouth open.  The ritual of handshaking followed.  The newbie will have Dennis Garrison as a sponsor, which means he will have a slightly jaundiced view of the club.
* Vera Packard was challenged to recite the Four–Way Test of Rotary to earn her blue badge, which she did flawlessly.  Then she was asked to repeat it in Portuguese, which she allegedly did. (This correspondent has it on good authority that in Vera’s version the third test translated as “Will it build good goldfish and better muffins?”)
* Kathy Gailey circulated donation forms for the Auction for Education, due by October 1.  You need to get cracking on getting items for our auction effort.
* Julie McKinney reminds us that our Veteran’s Day luncheon will be on November 7 at San Ramon Medical Center.  Invite a vet or active service member for lunch.
* Colette reminds us that the District Governor, Tina Akins, will visit on October 10.
John Milich introduced our speaker, Brian Coulter, the Executive Director of the Parkinson’s Institute.  Brian told how he became aware of the disease and efforts to treat it when a friend named Derrick received a diagnosis of early on-set Parkinson’s when he was only 40 years old.  Brian vowed to help his friend.  He learned that there are about 10 million cases worldwide, with about 1 million in this country.  About 5% of those cases are in people over 85; among those under 50 years the incidence is about 10%.
Because of his interest Brian was hired as the CEO of the Parkinson’s Institute.  Ironically, five months later his own father was diagnosed with the disease, so he is doubly committed at a personal level to finding a cure.  The Institute was founded 30 years ago by Dr. William Langston.  It has helped conduct 14 trials of treatment, sponsored 125 scientific papers and worked on 95 new drugs.
There is no one known cause for the disease.  Research suggests that 10 – 15% to the cause may be genetic.  The symptoms are tremors, slowness of movement, stiffness in the joints and imbalance; there are associated symptoms like changes in blood pressure and digestion.  Not all doctors are prepared to identify the disease or treat it.  The best medical care comes from movement disorder specialists.  It has been shown that exercise can slow the progression of the disease.  Also important is support from your peers.  Victims face a spiral of despair and disability, so it helps to have emotional support from your fellow sufferers.  That is where the Institute can assist patients.
Since Brian took the helm of the organization, they have moved their operation to El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, centralizing research and care.  They have also broadened their mandate to include other movement disorders.  The Institute has re-envisioned its approach with more personalized and predictive care.  They make an effort to integrate research efforts directly with clinical treatment.  Their research focuses on three main areas: 1.) Gut-Brain connection, the neurological connection within the body; 2.) Genetic Database, the predisposition of the disease in terms of heredity; 3.) Biomarkers, the indications in other bodily functions which signal the disease and its prognosis.
The Institute holds an annual fund-raiser at the Danville Concourse d’ Elegance with a fancy dinner on September 21 and the car display in downtown Danville on September 22.  More information is at  .
Vera Packard won the Greeter’s Gift to top off a signal day for her.  Don Jones drew blue to the disappointment of his many fans.