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Bulletin Editor
Rich Orr

With the Christmas Holiday rapidly approaching, President Anne welcomed those in attendance to 2019’s final meeting in traditional format.  In her Thought of the Day,  June Lamb suggested that the stress of the season, amplified by national and world events, is best tempered with a personal response of love, caring, generosity, and appreciation for those around us.  (Wise words from one who practices what she preaches.)

Worth Repeating: Nicole Cherok shared a story in which a Spanish teacher was asked the gender of the word computer.  Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for their recommendation.

The men's group decided that computer should be the feminine gender (la computadora) because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later review; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computer should definitely be masculine (el computador) because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.

2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

(‘Food for thought’, quipped President Anne.)


Festively outfitted, Rosmary Azem, reminded all that next week’s meeting (12/19) will be Rotary’s traditional Holiday Party for Rotarians and companions at Poplar Creek beginning at 11:30 AM.  The event will feature live music, a plated meal served with your choice of entre….along with an excellent wine selection.  If you have not yet signed up, you may still do so by contacting Rosemary by phone or by email.  The cost is $40.00 per person, and guests are most welcome.


Rich Swart, Past President of the Rotary Club of San Francisco, Chinatown was offered the podium to promote Rotary Youth Leadership (RYLA) at the high school level …. a 3 day event that he described as transformative for the students involved.  Efforts are now underway  to develop a year long program encouraging student leadership in the Rotary biosphere …. and a fundraiser to support the initiative is being staged at the Salesforce Tower on January 15th, 2020.  Having seen the short video he presented, one’s ability to gain entry into Salesforce Tower alone might be worth the cost of admission.  For additional information, visit


Samaritan House Director, Bart Charlow, shared a video clip of the organization's holiday help programs.  It goes without saying, that there is a deep symbiotic relationship between Samaritan House and San Mateo Rotary.  Margaret Taylor additionally announced the establishment of a Samaritan House memorial fund honoring John Kelly, who became the heart and soul of the organization during his years at the helm.  Those interested in contributing can contact Margaret or Laura Bent.


President’s Club Members now include, Mike Peterson and Dennis Thompson who were among other Rotarians at a recent PAL Gala held at the Carolands Chateau in Hillsborough.  After Dennis’ verbal dancing and dodging, President Anne cut him short with “Thank you for joining my President’s Club in this season of generosity.”  Case closed!

A trip to Puerto Vallarta earned Steve McDonald the right to join …. willingly.


Salah Damanhoori is a woman of conviction and remarkable courage.  Born to a well-to-do family in Saudi Arabia, she eschewed private institutions available to her, choosing public education instead.  In her university studies, she majored in English and literature; her command of English suggests she was an extraordinary student!

In 2014, she earned a Saudi scholarship to study creative writing in Notre Dame du Namur’s master’s program …. but the grant came with cultural strings attached …. that she be accompanied by a male guardian.  When circumstances dictated that her designated guardian return to Saudi Arabia, Salah refused to accompany him.  Subsequently, her scholarship was revoked, and Salah found herself ostracized by her family and by her country.  Through her resourcefulness and determination, but with the crucial help and support of a network of women (one of whom is RoseAnn Rotandaro, the current President of the Rotary Club of Portola Valley/Woodside) , Salah was able to gain help with tuition, housing, transportation, and emotional support.

Salah was awarded her Master’s Degree from NDNU in 2017, after the completion of her thesis, an animated short film entitled Madina Papel.  It is a story of a young Saudi, who seeks to be true to himself, but who longs for familial acceptance of his differences.  Clearly, it is a creation that reflects Salah’s experience.

With the help of an immigration attorney, Salah has been granted asylum in the US, and has gone on to work at both Facebook and currently at Apple.   In response to a question regarding Islam and Sharia Law being the basis for gender repression, Salah believes that the Saudi Kingdom’s motivation today is primarily political.  She acknowledged that pressing for Saudi women’s rights is not without risk.  Yet history tells us that any worthy endeavor involves risk and sacrifice.  Salah has experienced both.

President Anne Campbell
'No Chicken in This Soup'
Upcoming Speakers
Dec 19, 2019
Dec 26, 2019
Jan 02, 2020
Jan 09, 2020
Jan 16, 2020
Club Financial Report/Forecasting
Jan 30, 2020
Climate Change, its impact on the Coastside and Bayside
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