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District Governor Focuses on Public Awareness; PNR Highlights Its Success

Speaking at PNR’s Dec. 9th meeting, District 5170 Gov. Savita Vaidhyanathan updated members on her agenda to grow and diversify membership by publicizing the great things Rotary clubs and individual Rotarians do to make this a better world.

District 5170 Gov. Savita Vaidhyanathan


Highlights from PNR’s general meeting preceding Savita’s presentation also illustrated how a successful Rotary club makes great things happen.

The rising prominence of women as Rotary leaders is part of the international club’s untold story. Current Rotary International (R.I.) President Jennifer Jones is the first woman to lead R.I. in its 117-year history. Savita has the dual distinction of being the first woman and the first person of Eastern Indian descent to serve as governor of Rotary District 5170. Moreover, other distinguished women leaders have been elected to follow her as PNR district governors in each of the next two fiscal years.

The presidential theme logo selected by Jones reflects R.I.’s seven areas of global focus and international projects she supports with tens of millions of dollars of grants during her administration. Basic Education and Literacy, Maternal and Child Health, Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, Community & Economic Development, and Support of the Environment.

Gov. Vaidhyanathan sees the need to forcefully engage local mass media to report Rotary’s successes in the Bay Area. A new multi-district public awareness campaign involving Districts 5170, 5160, and 5150 covering most of the Bay Area,

will aid that effort. Possible showcased projects include a PNR Foundation grant and the club’s hands-on involvement with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a non-profit group that builds beds for children who have never slept in their beds before.

On a global level, Savita supports an R.I. project in Africa that will provide menstrual hygiene products to young women who would otherwise be prohibited from attending school. She was joined at the PNR meeting by Rusian Alikperov, club service chair of the Rotary Club of Kharkiv-Multinational. His visit is part of a multi-club tour to thank District 5170 for its substantial financial support for humanitarian projects in Ukraine during its defense against Russian invasion.

At right, Rusian Alikperov, club service chair of the Rotary Club of Kharkiv-Multinational (District 2332), exchanges club banners with PNR President Billy Buckley.

PAUL HARRIS AWARDS. PNR raised $28,336 for the Paul Harris Society in 2021-22. Members who reached significant milestones as Paul Harris Fellows (PHFs) are from left: W. Ron Sutton, PHF+1; Celia Mason, PHF major donor; Casey Hunter, PHF; Savita Vaidhyanathan, District 5170 Governor; Kirsten Bureman, PHF+1; Shawn Henley, PHF; Billy Buckley, PNR President; Tom Powers, PHF+2; and Josh Cherry, PHF+3. Not shown: Deb Covert, PHF+1, and Michelle Mikatarian, PHF+7.

NEW MEMBER INDUCTION. Matthew Robrahn, Sr., holds his Rotary membership certificate. Matt is the business development director for Coretelligent and Porky’s Pizza Palace, Pleasanton. His business partner and Rotary sponsor, Nick Valenziano, is shown left. Also shown are PNR President Billy Buckley (far left) and District 5170 Gov. Vaidhyanathan (far right).

VOCATIONAL SPEECH. PNR Red Badger Walter Pratte briefed members about his volunteer work as co-founder of Girls Soccer Worldwide. The club empowers girls in Paraguay through sports, education, and leadership opportunities.

EXCHANGE STUDENT UPDATES. PNR International Exchange Students Szofi Darab and Giulia Pinna shared stories about their first Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. They are PNR’s first inbound exchange students since the program was suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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