A Toast to the Town


Cultural Arts Rotary Club of Fresno presents “A Toast to the Town” (formerly Storyland and Jazz) at Rotary Playland at Roeding Park on Saturday, September 10 at 6 pm. This annual fundraiser will feature great music by The After Dinner Mints with a special appearance by Clarkia Cobb and Fresno’s Finest Restaurant Tastings. Wine, beer and soft drinks will be available for purchase. The proceeds from the event will benefit youth arts programs.


Describing the Mints’ music is a challenge. Their repertoire includes jazzy favorites from the Swing Era, novelty songs from the 1940s, the pre-rock jump blues of Louis Prima, fiery Latin dance tunes, soulful Ray Charles covers, odd songs about food, and a few “modern” numbers (from the 1960s!) Add in some odd costume choices and slightly inappropriate props, and voila: After Dinner Mints!

Don’t let the “food” nicknames throw you. Jazz fans will recognize Mark Ribera (Pea), Les Nunes (Ham), Dale Engstrom (Gløgg), Craig VonBerg (Kraut), Brian Hamada (Rice), John Lauffenburger (Butter), and Mike Dana (Soup) as some of the busiest jazz performers on the scene.



Check back for news about our 2017 Fundraiser!

October 27, 2015 Meeting Recap

Click here to view the photos (downloadable for only two weeks)

President Larry called the meeting to order and Rotarian Terri read a Paul Harris quote relating to business practices and the influence of Rotary that goes beyond money to the good of stakeholders and customer service


President Larry presented Mark Sutton with his official pin as incoming member of the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World

He presented a Brazil pin to Past President Laurel to add to her extensive collection

He presented a Rotarian Magazine and Seoul, Korea pin to President Elect Elva, as well as a tourist map and guide of important places to see

Larry shared a Proclamation for the Arts and Humanities signed by Mayor Ashley Swearingen which includes Cultural Arts Rotary as one of the key players


Sandy gave a really positive report. Although sponsorship revenue was down by about half of last year, everything else was up, including net income at $24,200. We sold more tickets (didn’t have a method to track, but feel had over 300); fewer restaurants but plenty of good quality food (did not run out); more revenue from both program ads, silent auction and decorations. And cost of venue was higher by $2,000. So, gross income at $36,500, expenses at $12,300, resulted in net income of $24,200. We gave ourselves a hand, appropriately. This revenue all goes to the club foundation, and $10,000 is returned to the club for operating and community service disbursal. We have an ongoing commitment to the Fresno Arts Council of $4,800 annually to keep the Water Tower Arts Shop open which is paid out annually in increments. We have about $9,000 for community service allocation, and need to be thinking about next year. Important to find corporate sponsorship, which is critical to realizing growth of charitable contributions to the community to meet our mission of arts opportunities for youth

Marcy asked if we have considered non fund raiser fund raising, and President Larry that is one good point to consider.


Jackie introduced returning guests Michelle Scott and son Rodney Scott. Michelle spoke of her interest in arts involvement as an artist

Jackie introduced organist Tony Imperatrice and shared his upcoming project of presenting Play it like Virgil for the Rogue Festival in the Tower District the last weekend of February through the first week in March. Tony has developed a remarkable, entertaining and educational presentation, which was seen last year by at least a dozen of our Rotarians, and his costs start at $1,600 and go up. Jackie pledged her support and urged others to support as well. If you would like to support Tony, you can do so through Jackie. He’s not approaching the club for support because as an individual he does not have a 401 (c)3 designation.


We will ring the bell for Salvation Army at Edwards Theater on Friday Dec. 4 and Saturday Dec. 5 at times to be determined

Richard is again chairing the Christmas Family Project with team captains Sue, Tom, Laurel, Elva and Jerry. We’ll get team notices and items needed for the families in the Teague Elementary School area, and will gather at the Fresno Rescue Mission on Saturday Dec. 12 to organize and wrap at 9:00 A.M. and deliver at 10:00 A.M.


Matt distributed and reviewed Profit and Loss Statement for July 2014-June 2015, budget and actual for July 2015-2016, and Profit and Loss July 2011-June 2015. There was discussion on where we need to contain costs and increase revenue (lunch costs, dues, etc.) and Brooke asked each table to discuss the possibilities.

APOLOGIES – Your editor had to leave for Grandma Duty! There will be a special mailing to detail the outcomes of the Survey Monkey and decisions on expenses and revenue and new policies.

It is a pleasure to experience Service Above Self with the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World!

Jacqueline L. Ryle
Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno

October 6, 2015 Meeting Recap

Click here to see Cultural Arts Rotarians and guests sharing Service Above Self

Honorary Rotarian and Tehipite Principal Yvonne presented Students of the Month Joanna Cha and Isaiah Burt for the Character Trait Caring, and shared their most inspiring stories. Terri presented them certificates and congratulated them on behalf of the Club

President Larry introduced District Governor Mike Andritch, who opened his comments by thanking Club and the members for all of our projects and service, and for making a difference in our local communities. He stated that is what Rotary is all about – making friends and making a difference for our local community. He referred to the water crises all over the world, and the efforts of Rotary right here in the Valley to assist the residents of Porterville, where wells have run dry and he has seen as many as 100 people in line to receive cases of bottled water. Eleven Rotary Clubs in the south Valley have joined together to collaborate on a District Grant to get that water project going, the first phase being $27,000 and the hope being to ultimately obtain $150,000 for that project.

He thanked our Club for support of the Rotary International Foundation, noting CARC is 5th of 55 clubs in our level of support. He talked about the history of Rotary in Fresno, and noted that it was through the work of the first three Rotary Clubs in Fresno; namely, the Rotary Club of Fresno, North Fresno Rotary, and West Fresno Rotary (our original name) that our own Disneyland, Rotary Playland, was created here. He emphasized that Rotary is all about people thinking about other people. He shared a most poignant and personal story of how his tiny daughter received life giving blood from a Rotary blood drive, his first exposure to Rotary. He thanked everyone for the love and warmth in the room.

DG Mike shared the details of the District Conference May 13-14, 2016, to be held at the Fairgrounds and designed to include the whole family and good fun times, and thanked Laurel for serving on the District Conference Committee, as well as the Interact students who have been involved. He described what we can expect at that session with an ag theme and value and activities to support farms. He said the youth exchange students and Interact students will be there giving invaluable assistance.

President Larry presented a $500 check to DG Mike for Rotary Foundation, and then gave him a framed tile of Will Portis’ wonderful new downtown Fresno themed work.

President Larry presented Richard with his Paul Harris plus 6 pin, noting that pin contains a Ruby for every Paul Harris Fellow, and added that Richard donates $1,000 to Rotary International Foundation every year. DG Mike stated that level of donation makes Richard a member of the Paul Harris Society, and with that donation, he is saving at least 6 lives every year in terms of polio now eradicated in all countries in the world except Afghanistan and Pakistan. India is now certified polio free. He said polio elimination will be the only second disease eradication in the history of mankind.

President Larry introduced Assistant District Governor Rod Coburn, Past District Governor Lee Blankenship, Exchange Student Mateus, Interact Advisor Erin English, Interact President Cameron Ferraro, Interact Vice President Sarah Holm, and Interact member Sharen Johal, and well as Principal of Central High.

Interact President Cameron drew the tiles with newest Paul Harris Fellow being newest member Terrance McArthur.

Sue noted the success of the Biola Pershing Strings project to get kids to the symphony rehearsal. She said the project was a huge success, due in all respects to the hard work of Rotarian Robert Ware and presented him with a token of appreciation.

President Larry has extra pins with this year’s theme, and is still taking orders for shirts and shrugs

Richard said to save Saturday Dec. 12 for delivery of food and gifts to families

Terri expressed appreciation to Tina for the nice social event at Lomac Winery

Jerry said through the generosity of the Parker-Foster families and Fresno Coin Gallery, we will present two A.J. Parker-Foster Memorial instruments to deserving students on November 3

Sue noted how inspiring and helpful Interacters were last year at the Salvation Army Bell Ringing last year, and expressed the hope they will participate again this year

Sally R thanked Interact for all their volunteer hours at Shinzen Garden and noted the presentation scheduled for October 17-18, inviting everyone to attend

Larry noted he has been talking with Will about using his beautiful new design which features downtown Fresno on such items as jewelry boxes (which he showed – see the photo!) for fund raising


Brooke 2 for husband uncharacteristically enjoying the Lomac Winery event, and for her dad doing better, and she hopes to be here more often now Sue for joining on September 15, 2009 and just having Richard sign her certificate of membership today Laurel to thank Tina for hosting the Lomac Winery event, even through her husband experienced a serious hand wound; and for her daughter becoming a female priest in the Episcopal Church Sally C 3 for completing three major events: Storyland & Jazz, big Italian Celebration, and 50th High School Reunion – she is relieved, and thanked!
Elva 2 to thank Tina for her support, generosity, and going forward even with husband’s injury Susan 2 for the Lomac Winery event and for her granddaughter turning one Sally R is leaving tomorrow for 50th college reunion at University of Kansas Lisa 2 for driving a Miata in fast laps at Laguna Seca and leaving next week for Carlsbad Jerry for Terrance being a Rotarian for a month and becoming a Paul Harris Fellow Richard 2 for DG Mike and the greatest visiting DG speech he has ever heard and for Rod Coburn, his old golfing partner Terrance 2 for the WOW experience today and the Friends of the Library Halloween costume exchange which saves money, recycles and builds community Robert for the leadership everyone is willing to do and doing Patsy for being consecrated as minister at her church, and the next step is ordination; also, she get to design the set for the church Christmas play; and her daughter has straight A’s in an Ivy League college Marcy to thank everyone for the support in the passing of her father; and for being in Barcelona the next two weeks with Jackie Will for Richard’s 7 Paul Harris Fellow and the one Richard donated to him; and his inspiration at Central Unified and how the integrate the arts, noting there are no extracurilicular activities; they are all curicular; and for his pride in completing the latest mural Elva for Robert’s passionate promotion of Fresno State Jackie 3 for going to Barcelona, for all the youth present today, and for her friend DG Mike Andritch Larry for the privilege of working with DG Mike

It really is an honor to live out Service Above Self in the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World!

Jacqueline L. Ryle
Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno

September 22, 2015 Meeting Recap

September 22 – Thank you, Becky, for the photos and notes
Click here to view September 22 meeting and Town Hall with NEA Chair Jane Chu at Arte

1). S&J profit was approx $24,000. Cost of recent location vs prior location, income, expenses and net profit were basically the same as prior years after everything was totaled up. Profit from fundraiser went to the Foundation.

2). as of today only 4 people were confirmed to attend the barbecue on the evening of the 29th. Larry needs to provide final number by this weekend.

3). as of today 2 Rotary shirts had been paid for/ordered. Cutoff date is 10/13. Discussed shirts vs shrugs

4). regarding student exchange program, Larry would like someone to share the responsibility involved as he is acting as counselor and providing oversight to both boys. Our student in Brazil is having a ball and doing well, while Mateos is basically failing in several classes at Buchanan, needs 2 additional host families to volunteer, has had minimal interaction w/our Rotary group while being included in outings w/Clovis Rotary and Kerman Rotary. Richard reviewed the history of our club’s exchange program (not a positive experience, evidently, based upon the lack of involvement and commitment of members). Larry went through costs involved for both kids. After quite a bit of discussion, it was determined there was a need to plan ahead; have things such as host families, events, and who would be responsible for what all planned out, and to work toward the 2017/2018 school year

5.) Robert advised Sue had the schedule for chaperones for Central High students attending the philharmonic performance on Sunday.

6). Richard L. will be contacting Laurel for families for our Christmas family giving program.

7.) Howard Watkins reviewed his photograph project, distributed contribution forms, and was generally his sweet, kind self.

8). No brag board this week.

REMEMBER: No noon meeting next week! Family Picnic 6-9 pm at LoMac Winery at 2674 W. Westlawn Avenue RSVP 999-0877 by Sept 25

It is so good to serve together in the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World!

Jacqueline L. Ryle
Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno