September 15, 2015 Meeting Recap

Sincere condolences to our member Marcy for the passing of her father

Click here to see September 15 Meeting photos.

September 15

Paul Harris quote: “Perhaps dreaming is not so bad if one dreams good dreams and they come true”


President Larry presented plaque and pin to newest Paul Harris Fellow Jim Page

Well wishes: cards were circulated and we send best wishes for recovery to Jon Morse

The Masumotos hang out with President and Mrs. Barack Obama

Marcy shared the experience of attending the presentation of arts and humanities medals at the White House, and circulated the program and a nice towel from the White House. She said it was a real treat and honor, that everyone was very humble, and her take home from the experience is that you don’t have to be wealthy or from grand places like New York City to have such achievements and experiences

Visiting North Fresno Rotarian Rich Lord was introduced and welcomed

PROGRAM: Sally introduced Bruce Batti, CEO of Jeffrey Scott Advertising and Chair of the Chaffee Zoo Board and Co-Chair with Scott Miller of the Storyland and Playland Restoration Committee. Bruce gave a wonderfully informative and entertaining update on Storyland restoration, starting with thanking the club for its past and ongoing support for the facility. He gave a brief history of the chronology of Storyland and Playland, noting Storyland was closed for the first time in its history this year. Now there is a new board, a strong fund raising campaign, and a community turning out with volunteers, financial support, and attendance to a park that is newly landscaped with repaired and painted attractions and upgraded audio tour. He cited the importance of legacy, and shared some meaningful examples of support such as the $1,800 from Thomas ES Transitional Kindergarten; $200,000 match donation from the Dan Martin Foundation, and other support totaling some $500,000 toward the goal of $800,000. He said there are about 1,000 manhours invested. The train has been fully restored with about 6,000 riders in the past 8-9 days. He talked about the major cleanup, beautification and new key themed logo. He talked about the successful opening weekend and showed photos of what has been done. He cited the dream to restore the Jack in the Beanstalk slide. He said there are at least two roaming storybook characters roaming the grounds each weekend with interactive activities in the theater, with such things as ethnic dancers and performances by the Junior Company Players from Good Company Players. He said the 800 pound gorilla is sustainability. He talked a lot about the combined efforts to restore the park, crediting Sally Caglia and her family for the electrical and other park work. He said the plan in to reopen Playland Aril 2016, and they are working on the goal to bring the teacups back, looking at exploratorium ideas, and looking at genre of boardwalk with wristbands idea. More information is available at

Michelle noted the EOC Sanctuary operates Safe Place for at risk and runaway youth, currently has 270 sites, and asked if the parks might be such a site? Bruce said it could, and Michelle will contact Elaine Robles McGraw, whom Bruce characterized as Angel of Mercy for her countless volunteer hours at the park.


Amy announced National Endowment for the Arts Chair Jane Chu will lead a town hall at Arte on Sunday and urged everyone to attend. (NOTE: the town hall and reception were attended by Cultural Arts Rotarians Marcy (the Masumoto family hosted Jane Chu through Mas’ service on the NEA Advisory board, and Mas moderated the event), Elva, Jackie, Robert, Paul, Amy, and Lilia.

Elva noted the Valley Cultural Coalition CARC sponsored event will be held at Arte on October 3. Tickets are $40. Elva has them

Larry again showed the Rotary shirts and shrug, stating the District gathering in April will be at the Fairground and it would be nice to have matching Rotary attire.

Larry noted the September 29 family night at LoMac Winery – thanks to Tina Engleman for the wine. There is no noon meeting on that day.

April 24 Afterparty at the Grand 1401 Tuolumne; there will be a CARC table. More details coming

Biola Youth Music project: There is need for two more volunteers on Saturday September 26 to meet the children at the Saroyan and chaperone at 2:20 P.M. Elva volunteered and one more is needed

Julian noted the Fresno Arts Council is accepting applications for the City Hall Exhibit of Art Hop

We were reminded to support the End Polio Now Campaign by putting change (or folding) into the cartons on every table


Larry because it’s a brand new board

Sally C for Marcy’s trip to Washington D.C. and being so close to Sally Field, and for Bruce’s program and wonderful work at Storyland

Jim because it’s good to be back and feeling better. He missed us

Marcy for everyone’s graciousness and on behalf of the President (Love it!)

Elva for being involved with the Scholarship Committee (among many other tasks) for the Women’s Conference

Robert on behalf of DG Mike Andritch and the District Newsletter (CARC is mentioned)

Will 2 for Storyland (he offered to help in any way) and the 6 foot mural he completed for Central Unified – it is right in front of the District Office

Paul to wish everyone happy Rosh Hashanah Year 5776

Sandy for all the work on Storyland and the marvelous renovation

Jacqueline L. Ryle
Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno