By: Dr. Bill
Top Gun Chris Gallagher, who continues to send out coded messages that he is being held hostage, dinged us into submission.  Why is Holger still president of Rotary International? Because he has a Knaack for it!  Much to his surprise Norbert Walz was named Greeter and came up with a dandy Thought for the Day: “You can be anything you want; please be kind.” The Flag Salute was particularly ragged but heart-felt.  After Chris reminded us that this is Rotary Maternal-Child Health Month, we shouted “Aloha” into the ether.  Norbert shared that he is the one at home who does the grocery shopping, a particularly useful skill these days.
“New You May Have Missed”
It was the usual mix of stories about the shortage of gnomes in British gardens, the groom in India who stumbled into a stranger’s engagement party by mistake, the eager dog winning the sprint off the bench, the naked Canadian parliamentarian on Zoom, a second dog on pills, acting out.  The high point for this correspondent was the birthday cake with candles and the reminder of how in the Old Days we would live dangerously by blowing them out.
Karen McNamara tells us that our drive to provide Trinity Center with clothes is going well. You can contribute to the effort; Karen is sending out details.  She also told us that Dougherty Valley Rotary had collected 1200 pairs of socks for the homeless.
Colette Lay reported that the Rotoract “Relaxing Saturday” had gone well with exercises in origami and hydration.  She also showed us slides of the All Wars Memorial in Danville at Oak Hill Park.  The park has depictions in bronze of our country’s various wars.  We have given a $300 grant for a plaque.  
Vera Packard announced a virtual race to raise money for Lazarus Foundation which supports patients who must travel on average 544 miles for their treatment. Contact her for more details.  
Chris Gallagher says John Tatum is transferring to a Rotary Club in Reno but will drop in from time to time.
Fred Nevarez says Cynthia Jones goes in for heart surgery in two weeks. He will keep us posted.  
Glen Weber spent his “sixty-second birthday” skiing at Heavenly Valley. 
Marv Remmich and Tom Port were each recognized for their wives’ birthdays. 
Patti Hennigan took husband John to dinner at Fleming’s in Walnut Creek for his birthday
Chris Gallagher made Renee go truck camping for her birthday in Tahoe where their vehicle was attacked by a hungry bear. The Club sent condolences to Renee. 
Julie McKinney was given head’s up about Bryon’s pending birthday.
Patti Hennigan kicked things off for the Senior Awards Ceremony.  She told our guests about the 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide and how over the years our club has donated over $1 million, much of it for our scholarship fund.  We have raised money by our online auction, beer-wine sales for the Wind Festival and other efforts.  She thanked the members of this year’s scholarship committee, including Gary Sloan, Terry Koehne, Karen McNamara, Patti Hennigan, Steve Porchet and Mike Thelan.   She then introduced our presenter for the day, Gary Sloan.
Gary began by announcing the 13 members of Interact who are graduating this year and had completed at least 50 hours of community service: 
Celeste Paapanen 
Thomas Files
Audrey Zhang
Kim Shirai
Roshni Aradhya 
Kaitlyn Perry
Jessica Wang
Angela Deanne Paloma
Aimen Angela Naveed
Michelle Nguyen
Aisha Angela  Naveed
Alina Naveed
Ashley Teele         
These students will all receive special stoles to wear at graduation, denoting their special community service.
Gary then introduced the seven scholarship winners.  He emphasized how extraordinary they were and how difficult the selection process had been. “When looking for future stars, do not look to the skies. Look to Cal High. This year’s scholarship winners sparkle and shine brilliantly.  Because of them our future is bright.”
Freyana Sunavala is interested in pursuing a career in Business Administration.  She helped set up a Science Alliance between high school and fifth graders.  In her health class she created a project about mental health from a teen’s perspective.  She also plays Lacrosse and practices Takwondo.  When she was a child, a non-swimmer, she was knocked into the pool and had to be saved by a lifeguard.  Now she is a competitive swimmer and swim instructor.  She has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship and plans to attend San Jose State,
Davis Ryan was known to the committee as “Rocket Man.”  He will train in Aerospace Engineering with a goal of pursuing interplanetary exploration.  He has tutored other students in calculus and physics and participated in beach cleanups.  At Cal High he helped found the Astronomy Club and manufactured Covid Face Shields using 3-D technology.  He has dinner every Saturday night and plays Mahjong with his great grandparents.  He received a $1,000 scholarship and will be attending University of Washington.
Maya Gaskin hopes to pursue a career in journalism.  She has performed and taught dance all her life.  She competed in the Miss America contest, advocating for the fight against childhood obesity.  A long-time Girl Scout she has done community outreach through her Dance Squad efforts.  She is committed to calling out the cultural bias of beauty pageantry. She is not just another cheerleader, working hard to introduce healthy lifestyles among underprivileged kids in Oakland.  She won a $1,000 scholarship and will attend the University of Arizona.
Melanie Woon hopes to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.  She was introduced to neonatal care during a Girl Scout project in a hospital.  She turned her hobby of crocheting into a mission to produce crochet breast implants for cancer survivors.  She plays the flute in the Chamber Orchestra and is a shy person but volunteered to become the Drum Major of the Cal High Marching Band.  She has been given a $1,500 scholarship and will attend the University of San Francisco.
Two outstanding students were given the prestigious John Simms’ scholarship. John was a beloved member of our club and helped establish Camp Venture for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Roshni Aradhya is a graduate of Camp Venture, a Board member of Interact and scored a perfect 800 on her Math SAT.  She is an accomplished dancer and storyteller.  She is active in the Writers’ Gazette Club at Cal High.  She stated “As a writer, I hope to identify with the characters on paper to find some clarity in how to handle problems. As a dancer, I can bring joy to an audience by telling stories set to music.”  She plans on going into Biomedical Engineering and will attend UC San Diego.  She received a $2,500 scholarship.
Celeste Paapanen is the current president of Cal High Interact Club with over 150 hours of community service.  She participated in the Model United Nations and achieved her Gold Award in Girl Scouts.  She worked as an Intern with Wilma Chan, a supervisor in Alameda County, and with Congressman Eric Swalwell.  She assisted with voter registration in Arizona and Georgia.  She is interested in going into Policy Analysis study at either UCLA or Cornell.  She received a $2,500 scholarship.
Misha Bhartia plans to enter medical school.  The loss of her grandfather to Parkinson’s Disease motivated her desire to become a doctor.  During the Covid epidemic she helped organize a health care conference addressing the shortage of medical personnel around the world.  She is a youth executive with the American Red Cross and established a group called Crafting for Charities.  She serves on the Youth Council and was captain of the JV Tennis Team.  All that, and she is a member of the Agape Bell Ringer Choir.  As she says, “I use each instrument I am given – whether a bell, a love for learning, a love of teaching, or a love of service to pursue my passions, cultivate meaningful relationships and enrich my understanding of the world.”  She joined us for the presentation from Barnard College where she is already starting her post-graduate career.
The program was outstanding thanks to Patti Hennigan and her capable helpers.  And it was the kind of presentation that Gary Sloan was born to offer.  He makes the rest of us look good.
It seemed only appropriate that Gary won the white marble and donated his $300 to the Interact Club.  Not to be outdone, Terry Koehne added another $50.  Our next Greeter is Glenn Weber and the program is Microlending.