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Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere

Fellowship and Service

Address: Sam's Anchor Cafe
Tiburon/Belvedere, CA 94920
Phone: 415-789-0161

Club of Tiburon-Belvedere

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Tiburon-Belvedere Rotary Newsletter, February 2021

Helping the Homeless

When Cindy Siciliano of Mill Valley and Sunny Lyrek of Novato saw the magnitude of the homeless problem in Marin County, they both started grassroots efforts to do something about it. They're working tirelessly to help people who are less fortunate and would appreciate any help they get.

Cindy Siciliano

Cindy Siciliano recently became aware of the growing plight of the homeless, when she saw one person sleeping under a tree and another sleeping on the cement at Novato City Hall. Those taking shelter in tents have been the victims of deliberate vandalism, and the City of Novato evicted people who were staying in the unoccupied former bachelor officers’ quarters at Hamilton in January.

Cindy shared some statistics, including the following:

• 63 percent of homeless persons living in Marin are unsheltered.

• 22 of the homeless population is under the age of 25.

• 10 percent of them LGBTQ.

• 11 percent are unaccompanied children or transition-aged youth.

• The homeless population includes familiar, and some individuals are employed.

“My goal is to enlighten as many of you as I can,” she said, and she hopes Rotarians will give their support and donate as much as they can.


“Besides canned food, what else do you need?” asked Irene Slisky.

Cindy replied that useful items include toilet paper, paper plates and plastic utensils, paper towels, a big garbage can and large trash bags. Canned goods need to be food they can open and put into a pot and heat on a barbecue, such as chili and soup.

“Does anyone know if the St, Vincent’s Dining Room is still operating?” asked John Kaufmann, and he also wanted to know if anyone has heard from Mike Keran.

“Do you need support with pick-up, delivery and distribution?” asked Sarah Hamid, and Cindy said that she doesn’t at the moment.

“Do you need any tents?” asked Elliot Karlan.

“We’ve had about five donated, and we need more,” said Cindy.,

Elliot added that one of Cindy’s neighbors donated a pallet of drinking water, which was difficult to load and transport, but once homeless individuals at the encampment unloaded it.

“Are there any agencies that are active in organizing relief?” asked Geneva Michaelcheck, suggesting that social services might be able to identify the most urgent needs.

“It’s all new to me, and I’m getting to know a few encampments only,” Cindy replied.

Irene Slisky asked if Vivalon—formerly known as Whistlestop—delivers meals to the homeless.

Angelo Capozzi said that Vivalon’s focus is older adults, and they are not doing anything specifically for the homeless as far as he knows people that I know of.

“Do the homeless need any sleeping bags?” asked Revati Natesan.

“That would be a good donation,” said Cindy, adding that three or four would be useful.

Elliot Karlan said he would get a list of needs from Robbie Powelson, a homeless advocate with Tam Equity.

To help, contact Cindy at rotarytibdevelopment@gmail.com

Cindy's List

Tarps and ropes that fit the grommets on the tarps

Sleeping bags
Tent stakes
Socks and underwear
Clothes and rain gear
Storage containers

Battery banks

Solar panels
Wood pallets (for underneath the tents)

Food of all kinds, hot, cold, or dried
Wide-brimmed hats
Lamps and flashlights with batteries
Cash and rolls of quarters for laundry

Sunny Lyrek

Sunny Lyrek started feeding people in need with a 99-year-old she met through her church, also several families. She began helping families as well and currently has 12 families to feed. They are families who would have problems even without the pandemic, and was doing it three times a week, but is now down to one.

Down to 12 families that she’s feeding. Families who would have problems without pandemic. Was doing three times a week and is down to one. Since March, she has also been providing food for people with health issues and the homes, and she reaches out to different people who are willing to help her.

She was soliciting food from restaurants, but can’t ask them now, when they’re barely surviving.

“Some people think delivering food like you’re doing violates health department rules,” said Angelo Capozzi.

“It’s the same as delivering food to a neighbor. “It’s not mass production,” said Sunny.

Among the people she helps is a single mom with a little boy. She’s a preschool teacher but has to send her son to a different school, because the school where she teaches frown on children attending if a parent is a teacher.

Sunny would appreciate any help she can get and prefers prepared food, because some people with health issues can’t prepare their own meals.

“Your effort is wonderful, said Charlie Oewel, who observed that the county is overwhelmed and is focused on the CARES Act’s Project Roomkey.

Sunny responded that the response to the CARES Act was poor in Marin, and the county lost $8 million as a result.

Sunny knows some students at Novato High School who are homeless and couch-surfing, and people need to help them so they can finish school.

“Has anybody put anything on Nextdoor?” asked Norine Smith, adding, “Lots of people have old sleeping bags and tents.”

Sunny uses Nextdoor and finds that it’s a good resource. “If you’re going out of town, let me know. I can always use your groceries,” she said.

Norine knows someone at Good Earth and will ask if they can help.

Sunny said that Extra Food collects a lot of food, so it’s difficult to find businesses that aren’t already giving, but she’d appreciate the help.

She reported that the homeless population is growing in Novato. “Every day I see more of them there,” she said, and Community Action Marin is working with them as well. “

“We have to connect Sunny with Cindy,” said Angelo Capozzi. “I hope everybody in our club is involved. … Let’s not talk about it. Let’s do it.”

Sunny pointed out that people don’t like seeing homeless people, but they have nowhere to go. In Sausalito, they have to leave Dunphy Park after complaints from people who don’t feel comfortable taking their kids to the park.

“They’re moving them out of the park to another site about a mile away,” said Angelo, pointing out that the city is not displacing them, but is moving them.

“When moratorium on eviction ends, we’re going to see more homeless,” said Sunny.

“Is anyone trying to make sure these people get vaccinated?” asked Marshall Gross, and it does not appear that any such effort is underway yet.

“What a horrible thing not to have a home to live in,” said Norine Smith.

Sunny said that shelter is a basic need, along with food and clothing. “People can’t work and survive without a home,” she said.

Norine Smith said that her ex-husband was homeless for four years and moved into shelter just a few days ago.

Irene Slisky asked about proposal to put housing on the Elks Club property on Mission Street in San Rafael. proposal?

Charlie Oewel said that Lynn Fox is taking the lead, and it’s at the discussion stage only.

Sunny said that her daughter is student at Marin School of the Arts and helps her with her work for the homeless. “I know a lot of places to get help, and I know places that need help,” she said. She’s a disabled single mom who has had help, and so she understands the needs

 “We’re really honored to have you here,” said Kathleen Defever, and she also thanked Sarah Hamid for supporting Sunny’s efforts.

Sarah saw Sunny’s Nextdoor post and decided to help. She had lost job, and “It actually got me out of depression,” she said. She explained that she was putting meals together and did it like she was preparing food for her own family. “I don’t know how Sunny does it. She’s really incredible,” she said.

“People do want to help. They just don’t know how to help,” said Sunny.

Kathleen added that at first, people didn’t want to go anywhere because of Covid-19. Since then, we’re learned a lot. However, and people can drop things off.

Sunny added that she uses the commercial kitchen at St. Stephen’s Church, and people are welcome to help her and drop things off there.

If you can make a donation of food or cash or if you can help prepare food, please contact Sunny at sunnylyrek@yahoo.com or call 415-272-4351.




February 17, James Demmert, Main Street Research, financial perspective

Meetings will be on Zoom until further notice. If you'd like to attend a meeting
or be a guest speaker, please send an email to rotary@telli.com



Saturday, March 20          Virtual District Assembly
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Learning and Leadership Sessions
                                          4 to 6 p.m. –  Celebration
To register and see more informatio, go to https://rotary5150.org/




All in-person Rotary meetings and events have been cancelled or postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be meeting on Zoom at 4 p.m. on Wednesday until further notice. If you'd like to join us, we'd be delighted to meet you. Please go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81915154482?pwd=MDVHWWVjemovQ2ovdjJkZzczeW9qZz09,

Our usual meeting place is Sam's Anchor Cafe, and we gather at 5:30 p.m. for an early evening meeting on the first and third Wednesday of the month and for lunch at 12:15 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Most weeks, either a guest speaker makes a presentation or we have a program. Attendance is $10. Food and drinks are no-host  We welcome guests. If you'd like to hear a speaker, offer to be one or find out more about Rotary, pay us a visit. We'd be happy to make your acquaintance.

Board of Directors Meetings
Meetings of the Board of Directors are open to all members and take place monthly at a time to be announced. For information, please send an email to judith@telli.com.

Contact us at rotary@telli.com.

If you'd like to be a guest speaker, please contact Marianne Strotz at properties@pacbell.net.

Send mail to Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere, P.O. Box 220, Tiburon, CA 94920.

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tbrotary. Hope you "like" us!



Scroll down to see our photo gallery of Rotarians at work and play!



The Rotary Club of Tiburon has donated funds to the following local organizations that are serving Marin's most vulnerable residents during this challenging time:

• Ambassadors of Hope & Opportunity www.ahoproject.org

• Canal Alliance https://canalalliance.org/

• SF Marin Food Bank https://www.sfmfoodbank.org/

• St. Vincent de Paul https://www.vinnies.org/

• Vivalon https://www.vivalon.org

In addition:
• To support local business, the club made a donation to the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce's COVID-19 Tiburon Small Business Fund. https://www.tiburonchamber.org/

• To assist families need, we purchased 10 boxes of fresh produce from Servino Ristorante to donate to the food pantry at The Ranch. www.servino.com

• To help give kids whose parents are financially challenged a good summer, we donated funding for scholarships to The Ranch's summer camp program. www.theranchtoday.org

Food insecurity is an increasing problem. If you'd like to find out more about it and how you can help, go to https://www.mymove.com/moving/guides/food-donation/.


The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere supports a wide range of programs, with a focus on youth, literacy and community. We believe that reaching out to others makes a better world and encourage others to join us. Here's what we're supporting in 2020-2021

Youth—Investing in the Future

• Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity: Support to provide a safety net of stable housing, guidance and community connections for young people 16 to 25, who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless in Marin County.

• Del Mar Middle School’s Liberia Project: Support for the students’ service-learning projects to help their sister school in Liberia, thus encouraging altruism at home and helping children in a disadvantaged country across the world.

Dave Hutton Rotary Award for Service Above Self: An annual award to a graduating eighth-grader with a record of outstanding community service at Del Mar Middle School.

• Educator of the Year Awards: Annual awards to outstanding educators in local schools, whose unique projects give children a worldview that encourages them to become good citizens

• Global Book Exchange: Support for the Global Book Exchange in San Rafael, which collects lightly-used books and redistributes them to teachers at schools with limited budgets, disadvantaged families and nonprofits that serve children, as well as schools throughout the world.

• Marielos Fund: A scholarship to send a young woman in El Salvador to medical school.

• Rotaplast International: Support for volunteer medical teams to provide life-changing surgery for children with cleft-lip and palate in needy communities around the world.

• Rotary Youth Leadership Awards: Scholarships so high school sophomores and juniors can attend a special camp that guides them to develop their leadership skills.

• Young Performers International: Scholarships for kids to take music lessons and develop their performing skills. Music makes kids smarter!

Meaningful Projects—Service Above Self

• Canal Alliance: Support for a population that includes many of Marin County's essential workers, who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

• Marin Villages: Support for programs that help seniors age in their own homes. Members pay a small fee and can enjoy social get-togethers and access to volunteers for help with tasks such as getting to appointments, changing light bulbs or assisting with pets.

• Service to the Community Awards: Recognition for people who serve the community in meaningful ways, but don’t often get acknowledgement.

• St. Vincent de Paul: Support for helping Marin’s neediest residents obtain nutritious food, affordable housing, meaningful employment and a voice in the community.

• Vivalon: Underwriting for Whistlestop's Thanksgiving Feast for Seniors.

District Designated Funds

Rotary's District Designated Funds helped establish this sewing shop in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Photo: Courtesy of Keith and Holly Axtell

Funds from the Rotary International Foundation's annual campaign earn District Designated Funds for our club. This year, we're contributing our international funds to the Rotary Club of Marin Evening's new microcredit project in Ecuador and the Rotary Club of Mill Valley's greenhouse project in the high Andes n Peru.

District Designated Funds also support local projects, and this year our funds purchased boxes of produce for the food pantry at The Ranch.



Marianne Strotz, Revati Natesan and Geneva Michaelcheck at Happy Hour at the Club at Harbor Point. Photo: Marshall Gross


Julie Aubrey visited from Rotary International's headquarters in Evanston, Illinois.

(l. to r.) Irene Russell, Kathleen Defever, Helen Lindqvist and Bill Lindqvist at the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce mixer at the downtown Tiburon firehouse.


President Annette Gibbs presented Jessica Hochkiss with a check for $1,000  for The Ranch from the club’s foundation, which will help low-income children attend day camp. “We currently have two large summer camps going on,” said Jessica, and she explained that they take kids to Angel Island every day. “The camp has gone on for 40 years,” she said, and some of today’s campers have parents who attended when they were young.

The Ranch is a nonprofit, and “Every little bit helps,” she said, expressing her gratitude.


Past-president Linda Emberson and incoming President Annette Gibbs at the Installation Celebration

Lata Setty, Zohre Grothe and Lata's son, Deven Ramachandran

Warren and Irene Russell


Having fun at the Tiburon Classic Car Show!
Rotary in the community: Cindy Siciliano and Linda Emberson made it look easy, as they spent the day flipping burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob for scores of happy customers.


Past District Governor Ron Gin, now district membership chair, presents Mike Keran with a pin in honor of his being chosen Rotarian of the Month for District 5150.

District Governor Jayne Hulbert and First Husband Gene Duffy paid the club a visit.

Cindy Siliciano of the Tiburon Sunset Rotary Club (left) and President Linda Emberson of the Tiburon-Belvedere club get ready to toss goodies to kids at the Labor Day weekend hometown parade. (Photo: Marshall Gross)


Welcome New Members

Membership chair Angelo Capozzi welcomed new members Neelam Kanwar (upper photo) and Lynn Spitler (lower photo).


Jim Deitz

It is with profound sadness that President Linda Emberson announces the passing of beloved member Jim Deitz on Friday, July 13. Jim exemplified Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, and his altruistic spirit was a model for everyone. He was devoted to his family, loved dogs and was one of the best. We'll miss him terribly.


Good Work

(l. to r.) Lisa Brinkmann of Marin Villages accepts a check from Marianne Strotz, and Michael Heckmann presents a check to Michael Keran for St. Vincent de Paul. Photo: Lynn Fox


Rotarian of the Month

District 5150 named Michael Keran Rotarian of the Month for May. Mike's much-deserved honor is in recognition of his ongoing commitment to St. Vincent de Paul and helping the homeless in Marin County. In addition, he recruits a crew of Rotarians to serve lunch at the St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Room in San Rafael every month. May marked the beginning of the 12th year of this service project.


Annette Gibbs (left) and Shelby Gross joined the Rotary contingent and got into the spirit
of this year's first Friday Night on Main


Celebrating Earth Day

Having Fun at Friday Night on Main

Angelo Capozzi (left) and Neelam Kanwar planted trees at Homeward Bound as part of Rotary International's initiative to plant one tree for every Rotarian. Photo: Marshall Gross


Lending a Hand at St. Vincent de Paul

Stalwart volunteers (l. to r.) Klaus Meinberg, Michael Keran and Angelo Capozzi in the kitchen of the St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Room in San Rafael. The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere serves lunch on the fourth Thursday of every month and will begin its twelfth year of volunteering, under Mike Keran's leadership, in May. Angelo is team leader for the club's participation in the REST program, and he and Klaus also served dinner to a group of homeless men at St. Hilary's Church the same day. Service Above Self at its best!


First meeting at Sam's


Rotary does REST

The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedre hosted dinner for a group of 25 homeless men who were spending the night at St. Hilary's Church on Thursday, February 15, as part of the REST (Rotating Emergency Shelter Team) program.

Members of the Rotary crew (above, l. to r.), John Kaufmann, Angelo Capozzi, Brian Walker, Raja Ramachandran and Deven Ramachandran, took a break before serving dinner to guests in Tarantino Hall. Lata Setty, Annette Gibbs, Bill Goldberg, Zohre Grothe, Karl Hoppe and Lata Setty were also on hand to help. The evening featured good conversation, great appetites and uplifting camaraderie, as well as good food.which included homemade lasagna that Deven, Lata’s son, helped prepare as a family Valentine’s Day project, and Mary Kaufmann'a delicious oatmeal cookies and cupcakes decorated with hearts.


Karen Glader welcomes new member Valerie Marsh to the club and gives her a Rotary pin.


Rotarians have fun in the Day Before-Labor Day parade.



The Town of Tiburon issued a proclamation in honor of the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere's 40th anniversary, which we will celebrate in June, and the 100th anniversary of the Rotary International Foundation. Pictured, left to right, are George Landau, President Linda Emberson and Tiburon Mayor Jim Fraser. Photo: Marsall Gross.


Visitor from Afar

Rehmah Kasule (above left), with President Linda Emberson) is the Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Kampala/Impala in Uganda. She took the opportunity to visit us when she was at a conference in San Francisco in October. In 2010, she received recognition at the White House for her work in empowering women and met President Obama. She then wrote a book, From Gomba to the White House. She shared an African proverb: “When you walk fast, you walk alone. When you walk with others, you go far.”



Marshall Gross donated two beautiful puppets that he won in a gift basket to Rotaplast's mission in Cebu City, Philippines. Dr. Angelo Capozzi (with the big dog) reports that the puppets are making kids smile every day before undergoing surgery, and the mission is going well.


Tiburon Challenger

Charlie Oewel, representing the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere, accepted a generous check from Ashoo Vaid (middle) of Wells Fargo and tournament director Brendan Curry (right) at the conclusion of the Tiburon Challenger. The funds will go to the club's education projects. (Photo: Getty Images for Revd)


Rotary welcomes Kimberly Brooks

District Governor Jeri Fujimoto (center) inducted new member Kimberley Brooks (right) as Kimi's sponsor, Joe Lavigne, looked on. Photo: Marshall Gross



Tari Nix and friend pull wagons with books for kids from the Global Book Exchange, as Marianne Strotz walks alongside, wheeling a Rotary sign. (Photo: Marshall Gross)

To see more photos of the parade, go to www.tiburonrotary.org and click on "Photo Gallery."


President Linda Emberson (left) of Tiburon-Belvedere and President Marilyn Nemzer of Tiburon Sunset hitch a ride with Michael Heckmann in the Day Before Labor Day Parade. (Photo: Marshall Gross)

Dana and Chester (left), making friends.

Winter in August was the theme of the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce's mixer at the Boardwalk. President Linda Emberson took the prize for the most creative hat.


Jon Rankin views the on-court action at the annual Bocce Ball Tournament, a fundraiser for Rotaplast International. (Photo: J. Wilson)


Changing of the Guard

Thanks to President Marianne

President Linda Emberson (left) thanks outgoing President Marianne Strotz (right) for her two outstanding years of leadership with a special Rotary jacket, as Karen Glader, the club's new secretary, looks on. (Photo: Marshall Gross)


Honors for Angelo

Dr. Angelo Capozzi (left) and Dr. John Kaufmann with a child who underwent surgery during a Rotaplast mission to Peru in May 2016. (Photo: Courtesy of Rotaplast International)


Service Above Self

Dave Hutton presents the Capt. Dave Hutton Rotary Service Above Self Award to Kendall Hermann, graduating senior at Del Mar Middle School, for her outstanding performance in community service. The presentation took place at a special awards assembly in June. Photo: Marshall Gross


Teachers of the Year

(Left to right) RUSD Superintendent Nancy Lynch, Bel Aire School's Kelly Morphy, Reed School's Ross Modlin, Rotarian George Landau and Erin Turner of St. Hilary School (photo: Marshall Gross)



Mary Kaufmann and Jon Rankin got into the spirit of Carnaval, a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere. For more, see the photo gallery at www.tiburonrotary.org. (Photo: Marshall Gross)


In 1976, Tim Severin decided to test the theory. He built a similar boat, in Bantry, where Tom’s family is from, and he sailed it to North America, demonstrating that Brendan could have done it. [Severin wrote a book about his experiences, The Brendan Voyage, and it was made into a film.]

Severin also encountered a tribe of American Indians with white skin, brown and reddish hair and blue eyes. The name of the tribe was Duhare, a name that comes from ancient Celtic. Their carvings were the same as those in the west of Ireland, and the only person who reputedly reached North America early was Brendan, suggesting that he and the tribe are connected.

Tom’s family coat of arms has a red hand, and legend has it that when the first Europeans came to North America, one of Tom’s ancestors cut off his right hand and threw it to the shore so he could be the first to touch the new land.

“Was your ancestor called Lefty O’Neill?” quipped David Albert.

Terry Graham said she has done some research and discovered that when the first ships arrived from England, some of the tribes met the ships and tried to communicate with the sailors. Welsh sailors understood what the Indians were saying, leading to speculation the natives’ language came from Ancient Welsh, which is also related to Hebrew.

Tom added that the Irish and Welsh languages are Gaelic, and the first people in England and Ireland were Phoenicians, who are from the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean.