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Rotary Theme 2023-24



Gordon McInally, 2022-23 Rotary International President 



Claire Sammon Roberts, 2023-24 Governor, 

Rotary District 5160




NorCal Rotary




Woodland Girls Fastpitch

Softball Fields Update


Shawn Seyk reports the ground has been leveled and lighting poles are being installed for the new Woodland Girls Fastpitch Softball Fields (WGSF) at the Woodland Sports Park. The WGFS project received $45,600 from our Club earlier this year; proceeds from our 2022 Dinner Auction. 




November 27th Meeting


 With President Karl Diekman away on unexpected family business, President-elect Bob Nakken banged the bell to get our meeting started today. Back by popular demand, Jim McGibbon, Dan Stroski & Steve Venables combined again to lead us in Rotary Grace. 




 We had a full house today. Bob Nakken introduced his daughter Alyssa Nakken and his 'beautiful' wife Gaye (sorry, didn't get a picture of Gaye). Woodland Sunrise Rotarian Byron McConnell visited us today. Mark Ullrich introduced his wife Audrie. Rickaye Harris Jorz, sister of our guest speaker Dave Jorz, introduced Dave's wife Dee Jorz, as well as friends Alan & Diane Drever, and Scott Hefner.



 Immediate Past President Shawn Seyk reported the Club's Nominating Committee was placing in nomination the names of the following members for Club Officer and Director positions starting July 1, 2024:


(One-year terms; the President-elect will also serve as the Club President July 2025-26)


President-elect - ANIEK PFLAGER

Secretary - GARY BUNCH



(Two-year terms beginning July 1, 2024)




The nominations period will remain open until the Club's next meeting, Tuesday, December 5, when the election of Club Officers and Directors will take place. Last year Bob Nakken was elected as President-elect for the current year and will serve as Club President beginning July 1, 2024.



 Yvette Roy celebrated her birthday today, November 27, (Woodland, 1960), and the Club sang 'Happy Birthday' to her. Kevin Haarberg celebrated his 69th birthday on Nov 24 (Yankton SD, delivered by Tom Brokaw's father). Tabb Randolph celebrated a birthday on Nov 17 (Woodland). 



 Dan Stroski took the Recognition helm today, asking several questions about Thanksgiving. Among the happy Rotarians, Tim Pettit got some sight restored after he had cataract surgery on his right eye recently. He gets the same surgery on the left eye later this week. Clyde Brooker was happy for the staff of Woodland Healthcare who gave his wife Krim a successful hip replacement surgery earlier this month. Jayne Williams was thankful her husband Jeff is recovering well after recently undergoing successful emergency heart surgery to avoid a likely heart attack.   



 Woodland High School aluminus and current Folsom resident, Dave Jorz, was our guest speaker today. Dave gave us a story of his crossing of the United States by bicycle earlier this year which at age 76 years likely makes him the oldest male to do so. Read more about Dave's journey in this Daily Democrat article



WHS Interact Food Drive


Jayne Williams reports Woodland High School Interact (sponsored by our Club) conducted a food drive recently collecting about 500 items which will be donated to the Woodland Food Closet this week.  




November 14th Meeting



President Karl Diekman led us in our last meeting before Thanksgiving (We will be DARK on Nov 21), and announced the Woodland Rotary Holiday Open House, sponsored by the three Clubs in Woodland, will be held from 4:30pm-6:30pm on Friday, December 8, 2024 at the Gibson House Barn Gallery. Members and spouses are encouraged to attend. Cost is $45 per person. Tickets may be purchased at https://woodlandrotaryholidayparty.brownpapertickets.com/



Woodland Sunrise Rotarians Byron MacConnell and Don Sharp visited us today. Don Sharp reported Sunrise Rotary is currently conducting an auction via email to acquire a certificate good for one round of golf for four players at Yocha DeHe Golf Club, plus the purchaser gets a room for one night at the Yocha Dehe Casino Resort. Highest bid received by Friday, November 17th wins. Contact Don Sharp at donsharp927@yahoo.com for more information or place a bid. 


Dan Stroski is looking for volunteer families willing to consider hosting inbound Rotary Youth Exchange students for up to three months sometime during the 2024-25 academic year. He also is looking for outbound students, ages 15.5-18.5 years, to travel to and attend high school in another country. Contact Dan Stroski if interested or for more information. Shawn Seyk reminded past Club presidents the annual Nominations Committee meeting will be held 5:30pm Wednesday, November 15th at Tabb Randolph's office to determine officer nominations for the year starting July 1, 2024. It is expected nominations will be reported to the Club on the November 28th Club meeting. Yvette Roy reported the Club's meeting December 5th will be an 'orientation' session for all members, with many of us participating. 



Gary Bunch took the lead on today's Recognition by asking everyone attending who had served in the U.S. military to stand and be thanked for their service. Those who stood were Frits van der Hoek, Steve Venables, Mark Ullrich, Gary Wegener, Don Huff Jr., and President Karl Diekman. Gary also asked each of them to describe their assignment in the service. Don Huff Jr., our only veteran who served in WWII, talked about joining the service during the war at age 17, and being on a carrier in 1945 waiting to invade Japan just prior to the atomic bomb being dropped. 



Derrek Kaff was happy his son just accepted a new full-time IT job in Boulder CO to go completely off the family payroll. Mark Ullrich celebrated his 74th birthday on Nov 10 (Woodland) and was really happy the SF 49ers bounced back with a win Sunday. Don Huff III was happy to spend two weeks in Kona on the Big Island with his father, had some recent success in pigeon shooting, and will soon be headed to New Mexico for deer hunting. Gary Wegener was happy his daughter Kristen and his son-in-law, who had eloped in January, had a wedding reception recently at a 'speakeasy' in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. 



Captain Ivan Tien, Yolo County Commander for the California Highway Patrol, was our guest speaker today. A twenty two year CHP veteran, Captain Tien gave us a look at the staffing, operations, safety focus of the CHP service in this area, how they handle freeway construction zones, and addressed several questions from us today. Many thanks to Derrek Kaff in arranging for and introducing our speaker today. 


WHS Interact Club at Conference



Gary Wegener reports five of our Club's Woodland High School Interactors attended the District 5160 Interact Kick-Off event held last Sunday in Winters along with about 80 Interactors from throughout northern California in attendance.  The event highlighted resources available within the district and offered opportunities to network with other Interact clubs on a wide variety of issues.  Kudos to Interact Club President Sofia Bruns, Vice President Yoselin Mendoza, and their leadership team for jumping at this opportunity despite getting short notice.



Support our Partners!


Visit the websites of our Club's Partner organizations (addresses below) to learn about the amazing work they do for our community:



WOODLAND LITTLE LEAGUEhttps://www.woodlandlittleleague.com/


ALL LEADERS MUST SERVEhttps://www.allleadersmustserve.org/


THE BIKE CAMPAIGNhttps://www.thebikecampaign.org/


MOSAIC - WOODLAND CHILDREN'S MUSEUMhttps://www.mosaicchildrensmuseum.org/


FRIENDS OF ADULT DAY HEALTH CAREhttps://www.friendsofadhc.org/


YOLO CRISIS NURSERYhttps://yolocrisisnursery.org/





Meet Our New Member -

Chuck Bruns


 Chuck Bruns, sponsored by Yvette Roy, was installed as a new member of the Club on September 19, 2023 by President Karl Diekman. At our request, Chuck provided us with the following bio. If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to introduce yourself to Chuck when you meet and welcome him to the Club.


 I was born in the suburbs of Arcadia, California  in the early 1960s and then, before turning ten in the very early 1970s, I moved with my family - Mom, Dad, a sister, and brother - to Meadow Vista, California. I attended and graduated Colfax High and then earned an English degree from UC Davis in the mid-1980s. I traveled to Europe and settled in New Orleans where I was a waiter for three years at famous Brennan’s Restaurant in the French Quarter. I returned to California to be able to teach and coach. I now reside in Wild Wings of Woodland with my family of five. Although my parents are now deceased, I make it a routine to visit my brother who covers the news working at the Washington Post and my sister who is a rancher in Wyoming.


I am a father and husband - parenting my oldest daughter (Olivia) who is a freshman  at Cal Poly SLO as a plant science major; middle daughter (Sofia), a junior at WHS and current president of Interact at WHS; and my 7th grader, Isabella who loves her chickens and raising other animals as a part of the Esparto 4H.  My wife, Dr. Jennifer Bruns holds a vice presidential role with the PetSmart corporation and travels all over the country to support and help facilitate the operations of veterinary practices and their respective staff. 


I continue to teach part time (tutoring) and coach cross country, basketball and track and field and was once an active youth minister right here in Woodland with Holy Rosary Catholic Church.  I have devoted my career to the youth in Woodland, Clarksburg, and Davis. The cross-country team that I currently coach is ranked 5th in the state and the team plans to make the state championships this year. I am active with running and track clubs and hope to someday once again, run and finish a complete marathon of 26.2 miles.  


I am working on writing my biopic book that profiles many legends of Woodland - especially its sporting community - and I will have more time to complete interviews and actively write in my semi-retirement. From Jack Yerman and Jill Camarena, Felix Castillo, the 2018 WHS Championship girls soccer team to MLB coach Alyssa Nakken and boxing Olympian Vicente Escobedo, these are just some stories I’m working on.  And I enjoy gardening, traveling, reading, viewing the cinema as well as golfing, skiing, and hiking.




Rotary Calgary Nicaragua Project -

Oct 2023 Update


In 2020 our Club was involved in a Rotary driven effort establishing a UNICAM or “University in the Country” in the Nicaraguan municipality of Tuma-La Dalia (located approximately 100 miles northeast of Nicaragua’s capital of Managua) to train local high school graduates to become qualified dentists, optometrists, and family doctors and provide care for a medically underserved population of approximately 300,000 people. Responding to a request for funding from the International Host Rotary Club of Calgary (Canada) and the local Host Rotary Club of Jinotega (Nicaragua), the Rotary Club of Woodland contributed and solicited additional financial support from other area Rotary clubs, as well as several individual donors. We collected a total of $5000 USD which was forwarded to the Rotary Club of Calgary.



The COVID-19 pandemic and policy decisions by the Nicaraguan government delayed the project, and other difficulties resulted in narrowing the scope of the project to just dental students who went into a 5-year program to graduate. University of Managua faculty members provided the training for these students, all of whom are from the local region and, it is hoped, are likely to remain after graduation. Eventually, with funding from two Rotary Districts and a Global Grant, more than $70,000 US were raised for the project.


Due to continued instability in the relationship between the project implementer UNICAM University and the Nicaragua government the original project will not be fully realized and is stopped with completion of the dental education portion of the project.  In accordance with The Rotary Foundation (TRF) policy, the remainder of the project has been cancelled and unused funds have been returned to TRF.  Although, the project fell short of its larger goal, the parties involved can be proud of the work completed, it will have a lasting positive impact.  


We have received word this week from the International Host Club Project Leader that 67 students continue their dental training with faculty members from the University of Managua and went on to report:


Many of these dentists will hopefully remain in Nicaragua to provide desperately needed services in the poorest parts of the country. The students in the other professions continue to be trained. The faculty modified some of the plans and is managing without the financial support in various ways. Most importantly, the commitments to the students are being met and most will graduate. We don’t know how many will remain in Nicaragua because of the current political situation. Hopefully, many will but I am certain some will or already have left.


After the difficulties met throughout the project, I believe I would do it all over again if the outcomes were similar. I want to thank everyone again for their incredible patience and support throughout.”   – Israel ‘Sonny’ Belenkie


Some of the dental training equipment acquired with this grant. 




Kenya WASH Phase Two 


October 6, 2023 - Despite significant delays in beginning construction of Phase Two of the Kenya WASH project (described below), Blair Voelz and our Club's project committee report the Rotary District in Kenya will reorganize oversight of the project, and project money will be transferred to a District bank account until construction can begin. Our project committeee emphasized the primary goal is to get the bathroom facility built for the children. They are confident the project will be realized with time. 



The Rotary Club of Woodland has been participating in the Kenya WASH project since October ’20 to improve water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at two schools in Karen, Kenya (Africa). This is a Rotary Global Grant effort sponsored by the Rotary Club of Karen. The project is a coordinated effort to make needed improvements at the Karen C Primary School, serving 1300 students, 50 teachers (established in 1958), and the adjacent Karen C Girls Secondary (high school) school (established in 2011) with enrollment of 600 students. Phase One of the project, which installed two large capacity water tanks and hand washing stations for students, was completed in August ’21 at a cost of $40,000. Our Club contributed $5,000 toward Phase One.


Photos from Phase One of the project can be viewed in our Photo Gallery. 



Kenya is located on the east coast of Africa. Karen, Kenya is a suburb of Kenya’s capitol city Nairobi. Photos below show children from both Karen schools.


Sanitation conditions at the Karen C schools today are terrible, and would be considered unacceptable for any similar facilities in the United States. As photos below show, pit latrines are in use.



Our Club's Kenya WASH Chair Blair Voelz reports Phase Two seeks to build a new, modern 1700sf bathroom for faculty, boys and girls at the Karen C Elementary School. These improvements will be a major step forward in sanitation for the children and staff of both schools.


The Phase Two Rotary grant total budget is $76,190 which includes $27,835 raised from our Club, other local Rotary clubs, and the Karen Kenya Rotary Club; $27,600 in District 5160 matching grant funds; and $20,755 from the Rotary Foundation World Fund. These funds have been deposited in a Nairobi bank account specifically set up for this project. The project is currently out for bid. Construction is scheduled to begin in 4-6 weeks and will take 6-8 weeks to build.  Phase Two should be complete by Summer 2023. 


Our Club's contribution to Phase Two totals $12,685, which includes $10,850 in personal donations from Club members (Brooker, Chandler, Delevati, Diekman, Engelmann, Faye, Galbo, Haarberg, Hodges, Huff III, LaBrie, Lawrence, Maltese, Martinez, Moore, Nakken, Pettit, Pinto, Randolph, Roy, Schwarzgruber, Sonin, Stroski, Ullrich, Voelz, Wegener, Williams, and Wirth). We also have $500 each from Luna Vista Rotary,  Davis Sunrise Rotary and Winters Rotary. 




Photos shown below show facilities similar to the ones to be built in Phase Two. They were built for another WASH Project in Nairobi.


Learn more about Rotary Foundation projects that fund this and other international efforts to provide clean water.








From Club Polio Warrior Mark Ullrich:  


Want to know more about polio?  See the attached Polio Facts


Together, we will end polio!


Mike Crosby     Carol Landry     Kay Resler     Jim Vlantis     John Waterman    



More information about End Polio Now can be found at its website: https://www.endpolio.org/

Here you can sign up to receive the End Polio Now newsletter.   




Rotary Releases Funds to

Community Organizations


During July 2023 the Rotary Club of Woodland and the Woodland Rotary Endowment have donated more than $62,700 to local community organizations. Annually the Club sponsors a charitable banquet/auction to raise funds for specific local charities or public institutions.  Examples of recent projects funded by the Club include a new scoreboard for the Woodland High School stadium; the children’s playground at the Yolo County Bauer Building; a new flagpole in front of Woodland City Hall, and new fields for the Woodland Girl’s Fastpitch League.


This year the Club decided to fund several smaller projects and sought applications for funding from the community. We are happy to announce the following local organizations have received donations:


Woodland Little League - $9,260. These funds will be used to replace the aging back stop at Camarena Field, located at Christiansen Park in Woodland, CA

All Leaders Must Serve - $5,000.  This money will help provide mentoring aid for young adult leaving high school and needing help to determine their life’s path.

The Bike Campaign - $3,000.  These funds will be used for several projects.  New, secure bicycle racks at the local schools; the purchase of thirty new bicycles for 2nd through 6th Grade “bike skills training” at various Woodland Elementary Schools.

Mosaic- Woodland Children’s Museum - $10,000.  This money will be used    to build out their Toddler Exhibit.  Designed especially for toddlers, the Toddler Exhibit puts our youngest children in charge and lets them learn through role playing and decision making in a safe environment.

Friends of Adult Day Health - $5,500.  This money will help to provide services to frail or dependent adults that require an array of long-term care and services to promote health and wellbeing.

Yolo Crisis Nursery - $10,000.  This money will go to help build a new nursery in South Davis, and will expand services provided to families in need.

An additional $20,000 was donated to the Yolo County Fair Heritage Foundation. This money came from proceeds of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Live Auction which takes place annually during the Yolo County Fair. The money will be used to construct a new Auction/Show Ring where youth can display the animals they raised and cared for. 









Woodland Rotary's 2023 Dinner Auction on Saturday, April 22 was a BIG SUCCESS! A sold out crowd of over 220 people attended at the California Agriculture Museum to raise funds for seven local charities.  








Silver - $1000


SB Voelz Farming - Blair & Jan Voelz

Van Beurden Insurance Services - Aniek Pflager

Huff Family Farming LP - Don Huff II and Don Huff III

Roger Kohlmeier & Ernie Hodges

Wraith Scarlett and Randolph Insurance Services - Tabb Randolph

Edward Jones - Jen Ward, Craig Miyamoto, Mike Russell, Brian Dwyer and Kevin Haarberg

Yolo Federal Credit Bureau - Jenee Rawlings


 Bronze - $500


Gardner, Janes, Nakken, Hugo & Nolan

Dignity Health - Gena Bravo

Ullrich Delevati CPAs - Mark Ullrich & Tony Delevati



Business Card - $250


Farm Credit West - Chuck Moore

Karl & Hiromi Diekman

Kathy & Kris Kristensen

Valley Ag Loans - Peter Holmes





Hosted Bar - Tom Schwarzgruber, Bob Nakken and Roger Kohlmeier

Wine for the Evening - Matchbook Winery (John & Lane Giguiere)





California Agriculture Museum

Andersen Family Catering - Vacaville

Dream Decor and Party Rentals - Woodland 

Woodland Sunrise Rotary

Woodland Worldwide Travel - Carol Jack

Frenchy's Liquors - Amrik Sahota





 Tabb Randolph - Chair

Aniek Pflager - Welcome Table/Registration/Winners Choice Raffle Tickets

and all the little details!

Blair Voelz, Brian Dwyer, Mike Russell - Live & Silent Auctions

Mark Ullrich & Roger Kohlmeier - Sponsorships

Yvette Roy & Jayne Williams - Decorations

Tom Schwarzgruber - Cashier

Jeff Burger - Wheelbarrow of Wine/Bartender Coordinator

Don Huff III - Bar Operations

Dena Lawrence - Graphic Design

Chuck Maltese & Rosemary O'Brien - Program  

David Pinto - Event Ticketing

Marie Galbo - 50/50 Lucky Draw

Kevin Haarberg - Auctioneer











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