Northwinds August 2020 Newsletter

Orville’s Kernels of Wisdom

PNR President Sets Club’s Goals for 2020-21


The first month of our 2020-21 Rotary year flew by.  The Demotion Party for Tami was a huge success, thanks to the planning committee, and it was a springboard into our new year. Tami did a fantastic job this last year directing our club resulting in so many accomplishments.


Our Zoom meetings have been well-attended in July with some great speakers provided by Ron Sutton, our program chair.  We encourage all who attend to immediately respond to a quick, two-question, speaker questionnaire giving valuable feedback to Ron and his committee.  Also, feel free to call Ron with any of your ideas for a good topic or speaker.  Good speakers and subjects are of utmost importance in maintaining good attendance this year since we are unable to meet in person.

While attending PETS (President Elect Training) in February with other president elects, I set goals and made plans for the coming Rotary year.  Many of these ideas cannot be carried out due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  Nevertheless, we will go forward in positive ways to best achieve successes in providing service to our community.  We have already pooled our allotted District Designated Funds (DDF) with the other local Rotary clubs in our District 4. They were matched by Rotary International Global Grants to bring $96,850 back into our community to help fight the COVID-19 virus.  Final approval was received July 14th with the funds now in our District 4 possession for distribution to AXIS Community Health, Eden Medical Center and Asian Health Services for purchase of medical equipment and supplies.


By the time this newsletter is published, we will have completed a fun hands-on community service project at Sunflower Hill Gardens at Hagemann Ranch in Livermore. PNR crews will visit the facility Aug. 8 and Aug. 11,  to create an outdoor instructional space with a shade trellis and climbing plants.  Other plans are in the works for many community projects this year, thanks to the great efforts of Darcy DeCoite.  You will know us from our new blue “Rotarians at Work” tee shirts!


We have also set goals with our District 5170.  We hope to maintain our membership number at 59, which was our count on July 1.  This will be a challenge for all of us to maintain.  We must get all our members involved in club activities and committees and make newer members feel needed and welcomed.  Finding new members will be a difficult especially with not having in-person meetings for some time.  Our Foundation Annual Giving Goal is set at $12,000, which Phil Stone, our Foundation Chair, will be addressing in November and a Polio Plus goal of $2,000 to take place in the spring.


I look forward to working with each of you to make this a rewarding and FUN Rotary year!


Your leader,

Orville Redenbacher

PNR Grant Helps Open Heart Kitchen to Address Hunger During Covid-19 Pandemic


PNR members learned at our July 24th virtual meeting that a recent $1000 grant from PNR Foundation is helping the Open Heart Kitchen address a dramatic increase in the demand for food assistance in the Tri-Valley because of the coronavirus public health emergency.


Denise Bridges, the non-profit group’s development director, informed the club on how the grant enabled the kitchen to expand children’s bag lunch.


Overall, Open Heart Kitchen served more than 50,000 meals in the first three months of the public health emergency, she said. Its Hot Meals program has been modified to now welcome anyone in need with daily curbside pickup. No reservations nor proof of income are required. The PNR Foundation grant was used to help expand the weekday Children’s Bag Lunch program to also cover weekends.


Over 400 more seniors signed up of Open Heart’s Senior Meals program in the past two months at various senior centers in Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore for lunches and for dinners at the Ridgeview Commons Senior Housing Project in Pleasanton, Bridges said.


Open Heart’s outreach program is helping homeless people who are living in encampments along the I-580 freeway and elsewhere in the Tri-Valley region. Bridges said outreach teams are delivering breakfast and lunch six days a week to the needy who are living under freeway underpasses and along arroyos. These deliveries are often the only sources of food and safe drinking water for the recipients, she said.

Bridges stressed there are probably many more people in the Tri-Valley Valley with invisible needs that have yet to reach out for social services.

“This crisis is causing them to seek food assistance for the first time,” she said. “There is a stigma that comes up when we talk to our clients. It is a crisis right now.”


To meet the increased demand, Open Heart Kitchen is spending far more than the $1.6 million that financed its programs last year. It faces added pressure from the need to expand its paid staff to replace over 360 volunteers who were retired because of Covid-19 safety concerns. And, it is looking forward to construction to begin this year on a new main kitchen at Vineyard Fellowship Church in Livermore.


For more information or for individual donations, see the Open Heart Kitchen website (

Featured Speakers 

August 21:        Ken MacLennan, Museum on Main. New History of Pleasanton

August 28:        Girls Soccer Worldwide, empowering girls’ lessons through the world’s sport

Sept 4:             Bryan Stevenson, Civil Rights Attorney: TED Talk "We need to talk about an injustice" ..

Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Dublin’s Bob Tucknott for recognition at this year’s Rotary International Convention for his high-flying charity work with the 1200-member International Federation of Flying Rotarians (IFFR). Bob flies mainly for Angel Flight, providing flights to transport medical patients or addressing the transportation needs of six other organizations. Bob is well known in Rotary and the general community for his volunteer work, which is reflected in the lack of wall space for his latest honor.

On June 16 (before the mandatory mask order from the governor) members of Pleasanton North Rotary formed a Joy Brigade to visit Ed Edgarton who was recovering from surgery. The expressions of joy were mutually beneficial. We all felt better from the experience.

PNR Past President Jerry Pentin Runs for Mayor

Pleasanton North Rotary Past President and Honorary Member Jerry Pentin announced his candidacy for mayor of Pleasanton on June 18.


Jerry is known to many PNR members as the enthusiastic and well-informed source of information about club history and traditions. Based on this four-years (1975-1980) as an officer with the U.S. Marine Corps Air Wing, Jerry is long been an advocate for PNR policies and programs that support U.S. military veterans.


Following his return to civilian life in 1980, Jerry earned a degree in radio and TV broadcasting at Chabot College. He founded Spring Street Studio in Pleasanton to serve as a base leading to award-winning media production and documentary film-making.  


He joined PNR in 1984 and serve as club president in 2006-2007. He was awarded an honorary membership with PNR in 2013.

Jerry Pentin, PNR honorary member and candidate for Pleasanton Mayor

As a two-term member of the Pleasanton City Council since 2012, Jerry has had limited time to devote to PNR activities. Still, he has shown his commitment to Service Above Service through his participation in past wheelchair distribution trips to Latin America and a holiday trip for a work project and photography at El Oasis Orphanage in Mexico.  He displayed his sense of humor and video production skills with animated shorts featured at past PNR A Starry Night fund-raisers and presidential demotions.


As a politician, Jerry has served in leadership positions on numerous elected and appointed boards and commissions. They include Pleasanton vice mayor, Pleasanton Planning Commission chair, Pleasanton Parks and Recreation chair, Alameda County Waste Management Authority president, Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board president, and much more.


Jerry counts among his major accomplishments the task force work that led to the Firehouse Arts Center and Callippe Preserve Golf Course, participating in downtown planning updates, and supporting the new anti-vaping ordinance.


Jerry and his wife Josine have been married 35 years and have lived in Pleasanton since 1992, just before the birth of their daughter Joi.


For more information about the campaign, see the Pentin for Mayor website (

Member Spotlight | (with thanks to Jim Ott for telling Stacey’s story)

Stacey Blaney: Denali Data Systems founder combines custom website design with community service. Here is something you probably didn’t know about Stacey Blaney: She was born in Alaska and mostly grew up there.

Yep. Her dad was in the Air Force and was stationed in Alaska until he deployed to Vietnam, when Stacey was little. “That’s when we moved to Scottsdale, Arizona,” she said, adding that she didn’t remember much about Arizona since it was before she started school.

Soon after her dad’s service in Vietnam the family moved back to Alaska, to Fairbanks, where, in his retirement years, he taught math and physics at the high school Stacey attended.

After her parents divorced, she moved with her mom to Anchorage where Stacey worked for the city’s Community Planning Department just as computers were becoming popular. She helped convert city databases to computers and fell in love with the industry.

After moving to the Tri-Valley, Stacey got a job at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory working in project management, system analysis, and creating customized databases to assist researchers. She created scientific journals, web portals, and provided database applications to solve information issues.

One day after a decade working at the lab, she was invited to come to work at Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico. “The fellow who tried to recruit me ended up working for me, and he still does,” she said, noting that she decided then to start her own business since she was pregnant with her second child. Stacey started Denali Data Systems in 1997 and did contract work for Los Alamos Laboratory, who remains one her top clients to this day.

Today, Denali Data Systems has 15 employees and specializes in custom website and database solutions. The firm supports small to large organizations with an emphasis on listening and serving customers to develop a solution that meets their business needs and hopefully budget, too.

Stacey has two children: Heather (22) is attending Temple University in Philadelphia, and Collin (23) is a freelance photographer in Hawaii.

Stacey’s involvement in Rotary began even before officially joining PNR in 2016. “I love serving others in my spare time,” she said. “I’ve been a participant in Rotary for over 12 years and I helped with the Starry Night websites and the Rotary 50 website (as part of the `50 Years of Rotary in Pleasanton’ celebration in 2015).”

Stacey has participated in many service projects and enjoys being part of the club. She has also been a member for many years of Pleasanton Puppy Raisers, which is part of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

This year in Rotary Stacey is working with the Public Image Committee to help our club reach out to the community to convey our message of hope, service above self, and hopefully attract some new members to our club! 

Pleasanton North Rotary Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. Federal tax ID is #03-0374400. 
© 2020 Rotary International. All rights reserved.
Visit our Pleasanton North Rotary Foundation website. 

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