About twenty-five years ago, I attended a “Special Guest Day” at the Kiwanis Club of Oakland. I never imagined I would become so involved in Kiwanis that I would be writing this story, but here it is! I was so nervous that I tried to escape from the meeting room because they asked this shy young banker to stand up and introduce herself to a room packed with strangers. I did not run out. I managed to stand up and share my name, I think. Personally, I now credit my Kiwanis experience with my discovery that public speaking is actually fun and rewarding. When I joined the club, long time members invited me to a new member orientation, which helped me understand what I was getting into. As instructed I marked my calendar – Mondays 12:00 to 1:30 Kiwanis lunch meeting. That worked and I’m still here!
So many Kiwanis moments have lead me to become a Kiwanian for life. One of my first moments happened when our children were with us as we rang the Salvation Army bell. We were not focused on the man approaching the kettle to make a donation, until he spoke and said “Thank you for what you did for my brother last year!” I can still remember the goose bumps and how that brief moment made me think about what we do as Kiwanians and the fact that we don’t really know whose life we might be touching. Another life changing moment happened a few years ago. While listening to a speaker I suddenly thought “I know this articulate and charming young man”! He was one of the Oakland Kiwanis scholarship students I had counseled! I had lost track of him after he graduated from college. There it was! I could see the full circle; here he was speaking to me and providing support to me – for public speaking. What a proud Kiwanis moment! He has done very well, and in 2006 as Governor of California-Nevada-Hawaii, I was able to engage him to speak at our Mid-Year conferences. Members were touched by his motivating story, and our Kiwanis impact on his life.
Please take a look at the list of my Kiwanis contributions and recognitions. What’s not listed there and what I really want you to know about me is that, like you, Kiwanis is my passion. Kiwanis enriches my life as I strive to help others. I sometimes find it difficult to believe how much we are changing the world through our Worldwide Service Project to eliminate deaths from Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus “MNT” around the world.
One of my proudest accomplishments in Kiwanis is not usually listed, and that was the opportunity I had to introduce my husband, Rocci, to my fellow Kiwanians in Oakland. When the Bank transferred me out of Oakland, I had no choice but to change clubs. It was then that Rocci joined The Kiwanis Club of Oakland, and now after 18 years he is still a proud member of The Oakland Club, and The Kiwanis Club of Concord as well. His Kiwanis accomplishments are numerous, including opening over 14 new Kiwanis Clubs!
I sincerely enjoy Kiwanis Club of San Ramon valley and I'm proud to be the Charter President of the Kiwanis Club of Concord's, breakfast club. Obviously, as a banker we move from office to office as we learn, grow and assume more responsible positions. As Governor I was a member of The Kiwanis Club of Berkeley, where these fun loving Kiwanians have the strongest relationship with the SLP family that I have ever seen.
I am offering my services to serve as Kiwanis International Vice President for many reasons, but most importantly because I feel I can make a difference. I truly believe that we get what we focus on! Today we must focus on continuing to provide the services we provide and to invite others to join us.
Love it. Share it. Live it with me.