Orville’s Closing Thoughts for Rotary Year 2020-2021

Wow! My term of President of Pleasanton North Rotary went by really fast.


At the beginning with three months into the COVID-19 lockdown, having to hold Zoom meetings

Dave Pitcher (aka Orville Redenbacher)

for possibly another 12 months seemed like an awesome task for the entire club. However, with the help of many members we were able to not only have some very interesting speakers (thanks to Ron Sutton) but had some fun meetings as well. Twenty-minute breakout sessions brought us back together as much as possible, thanks to the efforts of Deb Covert standing in front of the bar at Haps!


How could we not forget the funny and cleaver lyrics of our talented, Song Master Jim Ott in singing solo and sometimes a duet with his daughter! Our Charter Night celebration via zoom was brought to life, thanks to the past videos of demotions put on by Jerry Pentin along with a Door Dash-delivered meal.


PNR accomplished many community service projects as well. We were able to steer our seven other Area 4 clubs into combining our District Designated Funds into one matching grant of $98,000 in Covid relief benefiting the less fortunate.


We enjoyed several other community projects under Darcy DeCoite’s leadership, including workdays at Sunflower Hill, Shepherds Gate, Kids Against Hunger, and landscaping cleanup at Valley Humane Society.


We had a very successful fundraiser with dinner takeout from Sabio on Main led by Shawn Henley with proceeds of food baskets going to the ten firehouses in Pleasanton/Livermore in appreciation of our firefighters efforts during the devastating fire season. From our $2,500 President’s Discretionary Fund, we issued $500 grants to Valley Humane Society, We Are Pleasanton (Amador H.S. awning project), Seek ‘N Save, Hively, and wheelchair distribution matching funds (The Wheelchair Foundation).

Not all meetings were on Zoom with a picnic at Lyons Park catered by Sidetrack Tap, a lunch meeting at the Cellar Door, a bag lunch at the Pleasanton Aquatic Center Park and later followed by a BBQ with excellent chefs Shawn and Chase Henley serving delicious hamburgers and hot dogs … and who can forget Jim Brice’s famous potato salad and the refreshing libation orchestrated by Sean Kyle!


So yes, this year has gone by quickly. Thanks to everyone who participated as much as they could in looking upward and onward during the Covid pandemic. It sure was a great feeling getting back to our normal meetings at Haps with our first meeting on May 7th. Hats off to Mark Linsky and his team for securing new video equipment and staging our new hybrid meetings!

And what about our new members!!! What a vibrant group they are with Richard Lipsit, Dave Rice, Nick Valenziano, and Lexi Venema joining PNR in March/April. They all show great talents, which strongly suggest to me their potential to become future PNR leaders.


So, in looking back, this Rotary Year has flown by! With the new board coming in under the leadership of Michael Cherman, I know this coming year will be filled with many successes. Thank you PNR for letting me serve this past year as your President.


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