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Assistant Governor Bob Melrose presented a Paul Harris +6 to Cathy Wooton (left) while President Melanie looks on.

Assistant Governor Bob Melrose and President Melanie presented Henry Wong (left) his first Paul Harris!

Jack Frost (right), visiting Rotarian from Arizona, presented a Paul Harris Fellow to David Rajkovich, Executive Director of the Stockton Historical Maritime Museum for all the work he does for Veterans and others in the community.

Kathy Hart introduced new member DeAnna Solina (center) who is Vice President of Human Resources at San Joaquin Delta College. A native Stocktonian, graduate of Stagg, Delta and UC Davis. DeAnna and her husband, Anthony Solina have two young sons and she is the Den Mother for their scouting troupe. If you have expertise in tying knots, please sit next to her at a meeting. President Melanie (right) looks on.

Janet Ambriz (left) introduced new member Geneva Bamidele (right) who is a Real Estate Agent and investor. A Bay Area transplant, Geneva has lived in Madrid, Spain where she met her husband. She loves working with children and already has her first Rotary assignment.  President Melanie (center) welcomed Geneva.

“The Rotary Club of Stockton Begins the 2nd Century of Service to the Stockton Community”
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  • 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 – Judy Chambers.
  • Song – Past-President Michael Blower honored the November 6th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s election to President of the United States with “Battle Hymn of the Republic” also known as “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” outside of the United States, is a lyric by the abolitionist writer Julia Ward Howe using the music from the song “John Brown’s Body“.
  • Kathy Hart

    Thought for the Day – Kathy Hart kicked off this month of thanks with the following quotes about being grateful.

    • “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”― Marcel Proust
    • “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”― John F. Kennedy
    • “In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.”― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    • “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” – Maya Angelou
  • Head Table Introduction – Our speaker Ann Johnston; Introducing the speaker, Cathy Wooton; Assistant Governor Bob Melrose; Thought For the Day, Kathy Hart and President Melanie.
  • Special Thanks Today to – Sergeant-At-Arms, John Salices and John Atwood; Our photographer, Eric Duran; 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; Greeter: Jessica Garcia & Omar Khamisa; Mic 1: Khaksar Ahmad; Mic 2: Chad Marcigan; Credit Cards: Beto Beas; Raffle Tickets, Gerardo Garcia; Attendance: John Salices and John Atwood,   and John Atwood at the cashbox.
  • Club Service & District Calendar for 2019-2020 – Click HERE for the latest list! Don’t miss out on some great activities.
  • Raffle – Buster Posey or Klay Thompson will be the winning cards for President Melanie’s sports card collection raffle drawing. #988377 Mark Berbower pulled a Brad, not a Buster or Klay card but got a nice prize from the consolation trunk.

Club Announcements

  • President Melanie’s Club Project – Past-President Bill Brown announced President Melanie’s club project which is to replace the wood chip surface under the children’s playground at the Gospel Rescue Mission ( map ) with an updated safety surface.  There will be a work day on Saturday, December 7, at 8:30am, bring your family and shovels.
  • Linda Guinn

    3/1 Matching Points Program for New Rotarians – Linda Guinn announced that the Rotary Board has approved a 3 to 1 points match for members who joined within the last year towards their first Paul Harris Fellow donated within 12 months of join date. In addition to the special matching point program for new members, Linda Guinn announced a 1/1 matching points program for all members until the 10,000 points allocated are gone.  Contact Linda Guinn for any questions at

  • Monie Ky

    World Series Raffle – Linda Guinn announced that one of the Ky’s (they will have to figure it out between them) won the World Series Raffle Paul Harris Fellow!  Bet we know who that will be!

  • Foundation Dinner – Linda Guinn announced the dinner is Sold Out! November 16th @ 5:30 – 9:00pm, 1150 9th St Modesto CA 95354 ( map ) We have a full house for the Foundation Dinner!
  • Salvation Army Bell-Ringing Day – Community Service Elf, Colleen Stewart and Monie Ky announced that Bell Ringing for Salvation Army will be at Macy’s and Dillard’s this year, 2-hour shifts from 10am to 6pm, December 14th.  Everything donated in Stockton stays in Stockton.  Last year, our kettles raised $900.  Sign-up at a meeting or contact Monie Ky.
  • Colleen Stewart

    Halloween Costume Contest – President Melanie showed evidence of Halloween Party debauchery and Colleen Stewart took the costume prize for the party and her cute elf costume today!

  • 2020 District Conference – Don’t forget: The conference will be on April 24-26, 2020 at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite ( website ). The rooms will be $192 per day including taxes.
  • 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.


  • $250 (Bell Ringer) – Ken Steele was recognized for a vacation trip exploring all over the state of Georgia and adjacent states as well. – $250 to SRE!
  • $100 – Marcela Gracewski donated $50  to SRE for each place where she has been asked to speak since her presentation to our club – so far: $100
  • $50 – Liz Hull knows both of our new members well and donated $25 for each to start their Paul Harris Fellows.
  • $25 – New member DeAnna Solina matched the $25.
  • $25 – Joe Ambriz phone going off during the meeting.

Guest Speaker

Speaker: Ann Johnston, former Peace Corps Volunteer
Subject: “Reflections on the Conflict with Iran”
Introduced By: Cathy Wooton

Former Stockton Mayor and Past-President of the Rotary Club of Stockton, Ann Johnston is President and General Manager of The Balloonery, Inc.  Even with a seriously truncated time allocation, Past-President Ann gave a fascinating presentation on her perspective of the current events involving Iran.  As a former Peace Corps volunteer who taught English in Shiraz, Iran, Ann has a thorough knowledge of the history of the region.

It was forty years ago this week that the American Embassy in Iran was taken over by Islamic radicals and Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days.

Even though Iran is positioned centrally in the Middle East, Iranians are Persian and speak Farsi.  The country was a friend to the United States even before The CIA assisted the military in the 1953 coup against Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq which resulted in the Shah of Iran ruling the country for the next 40 years.

The Shah was exiled in 1979 after a backlash over westernization and issues with the oil resources and the westernization was rolled back including women’s rights.

President Ann feels strongly that the United States should be a leader in re-building a relationship with Iran as one step towards bringing a lasting peace to the Middle East.

Next Meeting: November 13, 2019
Dustin Toms, “Stockton Kings”

As the Vice President of Business Operations for the Stockton Kings, I have one mission: to utilize
basketball as an agent of change for the Central Valley. I carry out this mission by bringing together the
community to enjoy and participate in games and events.

For me, connecting and engaging with the community through sport is the most important
aspects of the industry. I consistently develop partnerships with business leaders who understand the
important role sporting events play in connecting them with their audience.

I strive to produce innovative, engaging events to both boost participation and audience reach. See
below for some examples of the tools I use to connect with the community.

Contact me at to learn more about how sports can bridge the gap between you and
your audience

Upcoming Speakers

November 2019

  • 20 – Dan Cort, “Building Residential Loft Apartments at City Hall”
  • 27DARK (All Stockton Clubs Thanksgiving Meeting held on 11-26 at the First Baptist Church – map )

December 2019

  • 04 – Chief Eric Jones, “Helicopter Program”
  • 11 – Evening Holiday Party – No Meeting
  • 18 – Children’s Christmas Party
  • 25 – DARK


November Birthdays…

Dudley Drake – Nov 1st
Kory Ley – Nov 3rd
Khaksar Ahmad – Nov 4th
Fred Gassner – Nov 10th
Waqar Rizvi – Nov 10th
Karyn Johnson – Nov 13th*
Basel Karabala – Nov 14th
Juan Oregel – Nov 14th
Fred Weibel – Nov 14th
Christine Morrissey – Nov 15th
Graham Tweedy – Nov 16th
Tom Perry – Nov 22nd
Jim Woodward – Nov 22nd
Jan Ambriz – Nov 23rd
Gary Putnam – Nov 27th*
Tony Despotes – Nov 28th
Ken Steele – Nov 29th
Walt Wager – Nov 30th
*= Meeting Day – Wish them a Happy Birthday!


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Rotary Club of Stockton Member Files
(Logon to DACdb required to access)
Conflict of Interest Policy 2019 Updated Club Constitution











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; Eric Duran for photos this week; 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

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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