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Minutes: Buongiorno, amico mio (01/07/2015)

January 14, 2015

Scribe’s note: The headline means, “Good morning, my friend.” At least that’s what the Internet told me. Alternate headline: A Very Cooley Breakfast

Greeters: Andrew Chung, Suzy Cobb
Invocation: Kimmie Coley
Flag Pledge: Steve Boehm
Raffle: Scott Burns brought THREE bottles of WIndrun wine
Sgt. At Arms: Diana Cecala

Visiting Rotarians: Bill Dial, Bob Thrissel

Guests: Savannah Cooley, Claire Cooley, Samantha Cooley, Nina (grandma), Malia and Mark Ruskin; Irene Renta


  • Weird Rotarian Anniversaries: Burt Chortkoff = 22 years; Gillian Amery = 6 years; Kimberly Horn = 1 year
  • Weird Foundation: We still want 100% participation. We are at 74%. Janet Napier can answer all your questions.
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing: Thank you to Bob McPhillips for organizing it this year. Our club raised $1,984.81!
  • Dictionary Project: Diana Washburn said the dictionaries are now here along with the stickers. For each of the next couple of weeks we’ll have a few boxes at the meeting so that we can apply the speaker labels and Rotary wheels! Join Diana at her home Jan 20 from 4-7 PM dictionary stickers.
  • Our club’s 30th Birthday Party: It will be Saturday, March 7 from 6 – 9 PM at the Lobero Theatre. Totally ’80s theme. The planning committee will meet on Monday. Thanks, Lucille Ramirez!
  • Weird District Events: The district 5240 foundation gala, themed “You Make A Difference!”, will be at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley on January 30, 2015. Museum tours start at 3 and dinner is at 7. At 8:15 PM Rotary International President Elect K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran will speak. For information: Brenda Cressey at (805) 238-4264 or
  • STEPS 2015: Steps to Eliminate Poverty Sustainably will be Saturday, January 31, with a theme of “Make a difference in your own backyard!” It will be at Cal Lutheran University. It will focus on successful, sustainable local projects benefitting members of our own communities. It’s free. Find more information at
  • Weird RI Event: The Rotary International Convention 2015 will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from June 6 to 9. It’s $375 if you register by March 31 and $425 after. For more information, visit
  • Scott Burns met RI President Gary Huang while decorating the Donate Life float for the Rose Bowl Parade. Rotary is going to be supporting Donate Life more in the future.
  • Lucille Ramirez announced next week’s weird duties. Greeters: TBD, Fred Gaeden; Invocation: Sandy Grasso-Boyd; Flag Pledge: Bruce Belfiore; Raffle: Sandra Grasso Boyd; Sgt. At Arms: Diana Cecala
  • Feast for the Children: There will be a benefit lunch for the Fisher family on Jan. 25 from 11:30-3 PM at the First United Methodist. It’s $25 for adults and $10 for those age 10 and under. The food will be from Via Maestra. If you have questions, email
  • Joanne Schoenfeld Orenstein proposes that the current president put the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise license plate frame on her car and then pass it on to the next president. President Dana Goba will weigh her allegiances to the Red Wings and Rotary and let us know. Scribe’s note: We already know. 
  • Steve Kally will organize a group hike (or forced march) in Ojai. He’s passing around a signup sheet to find out who’s interested.
  • Weird Al’s World Tour will be announced on January 20 on! Squeeee! Carrying on our weekly tradition, we watched “Lame Claim to Fame.”
  • Raffle Results: Suzette Cobb won.
  • Pay and Tell with sgt at arms Diana Cecala.

Program: Scott Burns introduced Claire Cooley to share “A Journey to Naples, Italy: My Rotary Youth Exchange Experience in Italy.”

  • When she was arrived in Italy, she was a little overwhelmed.
  • She attended Liceo Mario Pagano, a public linguistic high school with 5 grades.
  • Her classmates applauded her arrival, and they approached her with great enthusiasm and curiosity.
  • She took dance classes at Labart.
  • She read a journal entry from February during her exchange.
  • She kept in touch with her family via Skype.
  • Public transportation allowed her to explore the city and see a variety of people.
  • The local district also took her to Florence, Rome, Fognano and other cities.  There were 100 exchange students in Italy.
  • Claire participated in the local Interact club, which included serving food to the homeless at a church.
  • The year wrapped up with a Euro Tour with about 90 exchange students: Lyon, Paris, Strausburg, Munich, Prague, Venice, Milan.
  • She described her significant personal growth, and thanked Scott Burns and the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise for its support.
  • As a token of our appreciation, the club will donate 15 dictionaries to local 3rd graders in Claire’s honor.
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