Download article as PDF
( Click any image on this page to view a larger version )

President Melanie introduced new member, Keo Keonorasak, sponsored by Zack Downs.  Keo works for Walmart Corporation in strategic development. He was recently involved in the LeBron James “Fight Hunger Spark Change” campaign. Keo is excited about the positive energy and good experiences he has had at the club meetings and looks forward to participating.

Past-President Waqar (center) is a San Joaquin Delta College Honor Society member.  Waqar was sorting boxes from back in the day and came upon a special item.  He, with President Melanie looking on, presented Max Simoncic with a rather delayed delivery – a plaque for outstanding advisor of the Honor Society from 1999.


“The Rotary Club of Stockton Begins the 2nd Century of Service to the Stockton Community”
(85) (10)


  • Call to Order and Welcome! President Melanie welcomed members and guests to the Rotary Club of Stockton’s meeting and asked all to greet each other.
  • Pledge of Allegiance & Four Way Test – Past-President Waqar Rizvi.
  • Song – Past-President Michael Blower noticed that the sun was out, so we sang, “You Are My Sunshine”.
  • Kevin Hicks

    Thought for the Day – Kevin Hicks performed an original composition:
    Read My Bumper.  Or not.
    You’ve heard the saying
    “The simple answer’s the best”
    Sometimes mislabeled
    The Occam’s Razor test
    If the explanation is quite long
    They say it’s likely wrong
    But such simplicity
    Is often mental laziness
    It ignores humanity’s
    Enormous complexity
    The hard choices
    Of ethics and morality
    If it fits on a bumper sticker
    And it’s snappy and trite
    Chances are
    Something’s not right—–Kevin Hicks

  • Head Table – Thought for the Day, Kevin Hicks; introducing our speaker, Past-President Kuy Ky; our speaker Max Simoncic; Pledge & 4-Way Test, Past-President Waqar Rizvi and President Melanie.
  • Special Thanks to – Sargent-At-Arms, John Salaices; Our photographer, Frank Whitney; Lynndee Riley & Eric Duran for all their work on the Wheel; and Mathew Grizzle for his work on Audio Visual.
  • COG Club – Coordinator: Marcela Gracewski, filling in for Farah who is on vacation; Greeter: Gerardo Garcia; Mic 1: Khaksar Ahmad; Mic 2: Basel Karabala; Credit Cards: Beto Beas; Attendance: Robert Gross; Raffle Tickets: Chad Marcigan; and Cashbox: John Atwood.
  • Welcome Returning Member – President Melanie welcomed returning member, Rod Place, back to the club.  Rod reports he is working on his son, Jonathan to join as well.
  • Club Service & District Calendar for 2019-2020 – Click HERE for the latest list! Don’t miss out on some great activities.
  • Raffle – Buster Posey, Klay Thompson, Matt Chapman will be the winning cards for President Melanie’s sports card collection raffle drawing. #058845 – Diane Stauffer picked one of the Will Smith cards and some alcohol from the consolation chest to drown her disappointment.

Club Announcements

  • HELP NEEDED – John Salaices, our Club Sargent at Arms needs a few good Assistant Sargent at Arms. The duties involve assisting John before, during and after the meeting. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about what makes the weekly meeting go off well. Please step up and volunteer. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated. John Salaices, phone 209-244-8864, email,
  • SUSD’s Stockton Master Innovators-Mentor-Coach Program – Mentor Coaches are needed to volunteer for an hour with a student to give feedback on the high school juniors’ projects. For more information, contact Veronica R. Lynch 209-933-7035 x2062 ( Flyer ).
  • Past-President Michael Blower

    Mystery Bus Trip – Past-President Michael Blower: Save the date for this year’s Mystery Bus Trip: Saturday, October 5, 2019 leaving at 1:30pm, returning by 8:30pm. Is it a bit of a drive, or is it a 20-course meal, or does it include a round of golf?  Attire will be “dressy-casual’, Past-President Michael will be wearing flats.

  • Rotary International Convention – The convention will be from June 6th to June 10th of 2020 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Past-President Bob Blower reminds us all that the Rotary Convention is only 4 days. There are so many things to do on the islands, plan to stay for a couple of weeks!
  • Use That Credit Card at The Meeting – You may now pay for lunch, raffle tickets (minimum Credit Card Purchase of $5.00) and other purchase at the Club meetings with a credit Card.
  • Potential Members – To encourage Club members to bring a potential member to the Wednesday meetings the Rotary Club of Stockton will pay for the 1st meal of a potential member brought by a Club member.

Stockton Rotary Endowment and
The Rotary Club of Stockton
Charity Allocations

The Stockton Rotary Endowment Fund (SRE) and the Rotary Club of Stockton are soliciting requests for funds for the projects of charitable organizations operating in San Joaquin County. There are various funds within SRE that have specific requirements related to funding amount and approval. For applications and complete explanations as to the funding process, specific fund requirements, amounts available, etc., go to Rotary Club of Stockton’s website at, or by mail to Peter Gormsen, Charity Allocations Committee Chairman, 1401 N. Hunter Street, Stockton, Ca 95202. Deadline for applications is September 15, 2019.

Know Your Rotarian

“Know Your Rotarian” is a weekly feature Past-President Waqar started that President Melanie wants to continue in her Rotary year to better acquaint you with your fellow Rotarians.

This week:

Pam Wegner

The past 20 years in the Rotary Club of Stockton has been a blast  for me.   I owe my experiences and relationships in the club, in part, to Dr. Joseph and Dr. Elizabeth Blanchard.  They sponsored me!  I have served as the  Community Service Director and as Scholarship Chair in the past.

My story began in Iowa,  where I was born and raised, in a farming community.   I married my high school sweetheart in 1963. We enjoyed raising our three children in that Iowa community.  I attended Boone Junior College with training  in stenography as an adult.  Our profession was  trucking and we owned a fleet of trucks as Wenger Transfer, Inc and moved our business to Stockton in 1988, downsizing to two trucks and trailers.  I completed 2 more years of education at Delta College in Business Communication. We retired our corporation in October, 2014.  I have held a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) all these years and have one still. Now I spend seven months of the year in Stockton and five months in Gold Canyon, Arizona, living in our Montana fifth wheel trailer, playing golf, side-by-side quading in the AZ mountains, swimming, and motorcycling with my husband. My passion is, and always has been, in developing qualified individuals as business owners and leaders through the vehicle of the world’s largest network marketing company, the Amway Corporation.


  • $50 – Linda Guinn donated $50 to SRE in honor of her guest at the meeting today.
  • $100 – Tom Patti donated $100 to SRE for creating chaos on Robert’s Island with his efforts to solve the homelessness situation.

Guest Speaker

Speaker: Max Simoncic
Introduced By: Past-President Kuy Ky

Past-President Kuy introduced the man who counseled him out of a music career and still trusted him enough to patronize Kuy as a rookie dentist.  Professor Max Simoncic taught music theory and composition and other related music courses at UOP from 1969 to 1975, and, Delta College from 1970-2009. He continues as an adjunct.

Max’s music studies began at age eight, shortly after emigrating from Slovenia when his sister surprised him with an accordion.  Within a few months after beginning lessons, he wrote his first small pieces for accordion followed by his first orchestral pieces at age twelve.  His music commissions over the last 52 years have been performed throughout the USA and Europe, most recently by the Stockton Symphony during its 90th anniversary.

Max’s topic today was “The Go Between”.  This refers to the offspring of immigrants who do not speak the language and become the interface between their parents and the rest of the world.  It involves a complex skill of translation, but also interpretation to make what the parents are saying both understandable and culturally acceptable.  For Max, this also involved protecting his parents from what was being said to his parents when living in parts of the country, including Montana and Stockton, where the population was not very diverse at the time.

On top of PTSD suffered by the immigrants due the circumstances they fled, there was also an identity crisis. They were not treated as American and avoided proud displays of their country of origin due to the prejudice of the times.  For Max, the vehicle of music  earned him the American Dream.

Next Meeting: August 28, 2019
District Governor Jim Pierce, “Rotary District 5220”

Next Wednesday’s evening Meeting: Dinner & beer tasting!

The evening meeting will feature beer tasting and the District Governor.  Invite a Designated Driver or order your Uber and come on out to enjoy the fun on August 28th!


Upcoming Speakers

September 2019

  • 04 – Marcela Gracewski, “Beyond Amazon and FedEx”
  • 11 – Janet Lucas, “Building Champions”
  • 18 – TBD
  • 25 – Evening Meeting*

October 2019

  • 02 – Dr. Kuy Ky, “Dentistry at St. Mary’s Dental Clinic: A Joy!
  • 09 – Susan Eggman, “Update 2019 Legislative Session”
  • 16 – TBD
  • 23 – Allison Dumas, “1st Generation to Go To College. CIP, now 50 years!”
  • 30 – Evening Social, “Halloween Party!”*

* Subject to possible change

August Birthdays…

Joe Serra – August 4th
Linda Guinn – August 5th
Angel Sepulveda – August 8th
Zach Downs – August 8th
Beve McCarthy – August 10th
Sally Fandrich – August 25th
John LaRue – August 26th
Louis Lemos – August 27th
Clare Simpson – August 28th*
* = Meeting Day – Wish them a Happy Birthday!


previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow










Special thank you to everyone who contributed to The Wheel…

Editor, Eric Duran. Special thanks this week to Lynndee Riley, Assistant Editor and note taker extraordinaire; Frank Whitney for photos; Mathew Grizzle, Audio Visual; and to Jerry Smith, Club Secretary and Chief Checker!

Contact Information
Attn: Jerry Smith, Club Secretary
1024 W. Robinhood Dr. Suite 5
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 7457
Stockton CA 95267
Phone: (209) 472-9662
Fax: (209) 472-9664

Back to Top

Rotary International President

Mark Daniel Maloney


District 5220 Governor
James Pierce


Stockton Rotary Club President

Melanie Vieux

Meeting Location
Wednesdays at 12 Noon
Stockton Golf & Country Club
3800 W. Country Club Blvd.
Stockton, CA 9520