Posted by Editor: FDBobko on Apr 28, 2020
April 23,  2020
Visits from Europe
APRIL 23, 2020  Club Meeting
Article by Bill Johnston
Screen Shots by Dianne Bobko
After Past President Kevin led us in the pledge, Past President  Ginger opened the meeting with the following inspirational message:

May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake. 
May we who have no risk factors, remember those most vulnerable. 
May we who have the luxury of working from home, remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.  
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close, remember those who have no options.   
May we who have to cancel our trips, remember those who have no place to go. 
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market, remember those who have no margins at all. 
May we who settle in to quarantine at home, remember those who have no homes. 
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
President Ed announced that he and Past President Liz had the pleasure of presenting a Rotary check in the amount of $10,745 to Eric DeBode for the Coastside Crisis Fund. Past President Stacy penned an article for the Half-Moon Bay Review publicizing Rotary's contribution.
The highlights of the meeting were the participation by 2 of our European club family members. Our exchange student and honorary club member, Caroline checked in from Belgium where she is sheltering in place with her family. All of her classes and examinations are online. It was readily apparent that she is feeling the stress associated with a very uncertain future. Restrictions in Belgium are similar but more stringent than here. Not only has Covid - 19 taken her grandfather, but it has touched the lives of most of the people that she knows. Her sister's good friend, a nurse at a local hospital, was apparently carrying the virus but asymptomatic and infected her friend’s mother who subsequently died. Catherine reporting from Andalucia, Spain described even more restrictive requirements. She and her family are sheltering in place in their apartment. They are allowed to leave only to go grocery shopping. And even then, it must be a solo trip. Failure to comply with the regulations carries a fine of €600 or jail. Conditions in Madrid are even worse than in Andalucia. Past President Ginger reported Skypeing with former exchange student, Valentina, in Italy. They are prohibited from traveling more than 200 m from the residence.
Past President Liz discussed with Eric DeBode of Abundant Grace two potential projects that he would like us to become involved with. He is looking for someone to either purchase or make sandwiches or burritos 2 days a week for 20 people. There was brief discussion about partnering with a restaurant to produce lunches and the possibility of simply making them at home and donating them. Eric is also seeking funding or assistance next year for a project to landscape a welcome area at the center that he will be opening.
Past President and Assistant District Governor Mitone reported that our district has donated $25,000 and received a matching funds grant from Rotary international to provide money to San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo food banks. Some of that money, apparently goes to 2nd Harvest in San Mateo County and ends up being distributed here on the coast.
John and Larkin reported on their participation in Global Grant interviews for a graduate scholarship. There were 4 applicants who were interviewed in half hour segments by a panel on a Zoom call. Allison Cox was sponsored by the Rotary club of South San Francisco  and she will receive a $37,000 scholarship to study conflict resolution in the context of migrations at Oxford University.
Past President Rose who is also an honorary board member of Coastside Hope reported on an email that she received regarding the food needs here on the coast. Coastside Hope ordinarily distributes food to about 90 families. When they last distributed food they ran out of boxes after 130 families. There were 67 families left still looking for food. Many of these are people who have never before had to seek this type of safety net assistance.
Caroline reported on the European practice of acknowledging the healthcare workers with applause at 7 in the evening every night. Past President Susan reported on the 8 PM community "Howl" here on the coast. (She said that her dog is accusing her of cultural appropriation.) Krystlyn told us that the city is working on producing stickers and promoting the display of royal blue ribbons with the theme "wave of strength". Past President Dianne showed us a picture of the ribbon on her mailbox.
Past President EJ has apparently been strolling through his neighborhood every evening between 5 and 6 with the accordion playing "Roll out the Barrel".
Past President Stacy volunteered to write future articles for the review regarding any other projects that we undertake in connection with this crisis. She also told us that she finds this imposed isolation a "wonderful way to tap into one's own resources". She says that she is focusing on her writing and has had contact with friends from her Rotary trip to work on our Ecuadorian water project.
Past President Ginger pleased to report that she obtained PPP funding. She was approved and the money was in the bank the same day.
Past President Mitone he had some suggestions for how better to run an online meeting. Specifically, she suggested that we should have a co-presenter who could assist in the logistics of making sure that everyone join and that people were recognized. President elect Mary volunteered to take that role.
Past President Warren put in an appearance from his office. He is working on a beard. The suggestion was made that if he could grow it long enough he could just do an upward comb-over and call it a mask.
In the category of entertainment suggestions: Charisse reported that the movie "Last Full Measure" for which her son was the directory of photography, has been released to DVD to rave reviews and she highly recommends it. Past President Kevin, who reminded us that we are in day 38 or 39, told us that we should all go on YouTube and check out John Krasinski's "Some Good News".
A sad note, one of our favorite Luddites, name left blank and no picture obviously, spent the better part of the meeting trying to join us online. Suggestion was made that perhaps there was a conspiracy involved, but President Ed assured us that was not the case. Also making appearances at the meeting were past President Paul, Steve, Ralph and yours truly, Bill.
Our Monthly Rotary Day at the Community Free Breakfast Will not be held this month.  Wait for future information from Rose concerning when it will start again.