Where has the year gone? It’s almost Spring, and I have just 5 more months left to be your leader. Happy Chinese New Year – Gung Hey Fat Choy! This year we celebrate the year of the Rooster. Do you know your Zodiac sign and what it signifies? I am a sheep/ram known for my kind and gentle ways.

Our Club Assembly last week went well and I’m excited to roll out a few new ways of looking at increasing our club’s membership. The 3 initiatives that are being rolled out are:

  1. Financial initiative to attract younger members – applies to under 40 years of age – Members under 40 pay one-half of regular charge for dues and meals still charged for Foundation, Paul Harris lunch and Motor Classic tickets
  2. Incentive to lessen the new member sticker shock – Waive first full quarter’s charge for dues and meals. Also, waive pro-rata dues and meals if new member comes in during a quarter. New member still charged for Foundation, Paul Harris lunch and Motor Classic tickets
  3. Membership Incentive Program – When a member sponsors a new member, and after induction, the sponsoring member’s dues and meals will be waived the following quarter. In effect, a $240 award

This initiative was voted on by your Board of Directors at our January meeting and the new plan is in effect February 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017, at which time its outcome will be evaluated and whether we should continue the program or alter it in some way or abandon it altogether. If you have any questions about this initiative, feel free to contact VIP Membership Co-Chairs Molly Woodford and Gilda Moshir. Members of this committee were: Gene Dryden, John Incontro, Dennis Kneier, Scott Kwong, JP Mainguy, Lois Matthews, Lucille Norberg, Len Therrien, Denise Wadsworth, Fary Yassamy. The committee will continue to meet to discuss how to alter new member obligations and how to integrate new members more quickly into the club. As a part of this initiative, we have ordered business cards (to arrive soon) for members to take and invite guests to our club as club guests for their first visit.

Member News: Jim Thompson (Oliver Campbell’s grandfather) is in ill health. News from Carol Campbell and Bill Payne is that Jim is staying at Huntington Memorial Hospital in the ICU. I’m sure his family will be blessed to hear from you. Speaking of families, I bumped into Diane Comi French last week and she shared how tough the last days of her father’s life ware when he suffered from Alzheimers. She reminisced with me about her days at the Rotary club when her children were young. It might be time to ask her to return to our club, now that her kids are older. She has a senior @SMHS now and a College student.

Job descriptions Due – so far 5 have been received, we have over 25 committees and do need your job description – timeline and what it takes to run your program. This will help the new person who fills a role so the transition is seamless. Will Bortz and Lee Mothershead will be calling on you to turn in your job description. The deadline has been extended a few times. I’d like the job descriptions to be turned in this year.

You can congratulate John Chou who is now President of the Chinese Club and congratulate Hai Sou Chen whose term is up, hopefully we will see Hai Sou more often now.

This month, on the 23rd, we welcome Ed Tom whose background was shared in the Tribune a few weeks ago, he is a polio survivor, he will share his experience growing up and becoming a successful financial advisor. He has also been an active parent in the San Marino schools, his wife Margaret Tom will be there as well as other PTA mom/dads.

Motor Classic Committee will be starting its promoting of our ONLY fundraiser, the 7th Annual Motor Classic on June 11, 2017. Did you know that organizations can also fundraise through this fundraiser. How you ask? They can purchase 50 tickets at $6.25/ticket and turn around and sell the tickets at $25, allowing their organization to raise $937.50. Please tell any organizations you know who are looking for an easy way to make money. This year, we intend to fill more sponsor spots, if you know any company who wants to sponsor the Gala or the Motor Classic, go to this link to find out the benefits of sponsoring: https://www.sanmarinomotorclassic.com/

Save the 2017 Rotary Rose Parade Float by making a donation to its fabrication that won us the Princess Trophy, we are still in arrears to the tune of $60K and we are starting a campaign to raise those funds for the 2017 float that will allow us to raise the needed funds in 10-12 weeks. Lu Arredondo, a professional fundraiser will be helping with this endeavor. Help us reach our goal faster by visiting the link: https://co.clickandpledge.com/advanced/default.aspx?wid=44887. Thank you if you donated last week towards this fund, we collected $101.

Member Business promote their business: At our November board meeting we voted to promote our member’s businesses in some way, the Board was clear not to mimic a Chamber but to give our members an opportunity to promote our businesses. We are ready to roll out the first member business promotion starting on February 27. Fang Ho will be starting a sign-up sheet asking 2 businesses to present 3 minutes at the 1st and 4th Thursday of the month. During that presentation there will be a coffee table set up in the front for the member to display business cards, promotions, etc, and it will be a great spot for members to ask the presenting member more about their business. Each Rotarian will get 3 minutes of time to present what they do, how long they’ve been doing it, what help they need from us and how we can support them.

Upcoming Dates:
Feb. 9 – Valentine’s Day Dinner at the San Marino Center – Rotary on the Town – 6 pm
Feb. 16 – 4 Way Speech Contest
Feb. 23 – Ed Tom, From Victim to Victory
Feb. 24 – Vocational Services Committee Mtg 7:30 Southwestern Academy
Feb 10 – PETS – President Elect Denise Wadsworth will be going through Presidential Training – we wish you great fun!
Feb. 25 – President’s Advance – President Gilda will be reporting on the accomplishments of the past 6 months at the Palm Springs venue which is also the District Conference venue. Can’t wait to go.

The application deadline for Capital Grants in excess of $3000 is March 3, 2017, visit this link: http://www.sanmarinorotary.org/grants/ in excess of $3000