16 June 2014 — Kickin’ It


SATURDAY, JUNE 21 — 3:30pm and DINNER — CELEBRATION AT TLC!  We culminate our Community Grant project by enjoying the grand opening of the new library, where we have provided the shelves and the books and we will help introduce the latter to the former…after we put our gift bookplates inside each book.  IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING, we will proceed to Mimi’s Cafe in Chatsworth for a Rotary Year-End dinner celebrating President Sara and our team’s accomplishments.  Details and addresses to follow.

SUNDAY, JUNE 22 — 12:30pm — our FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for June, with special guest speaker WILL HERNANDEZ, Director of Valley Food Bank.  Yes, we really can gather two days in a row, back to back.  We like each other.







Apparently much of the world is focusing on winning a cup of some sort. There’s a lot more to life than mere looks, but this:





just doesn’t come close to comparing to this:







THAT…is a Cup.

Still, Rotary Clubs try to be mindful of the entire world, not just our home area–in our case, let’s call it North America.  Although teammates of that fellow–born in Ithaca, NY, US–with the Stanley Cup came from a wide variety of world locations, including Ayr, Ontario, Canada…Chelyabinsk, Russia…Jesenice, Slovenia…and Trencin, Slovakia.  So even that silver Cup has worldwide reach and will visit, this summer, each of the towns just named.  One teammate, raised in Canada, was born in Recife, Brazil…where on 14 June a soccer match was played between Japan and Ivory Coast…an early match in the quest for that other little cup…but that kicks us into this week’s program.

It’s time for another voyage around the Rotary World, just for fun.  Thirty-two nations are represented in the 2014 World Cup Tournament by teams of athletes.

Apparently, they are divided into “groups” for the early matches.  We need to organize this somehow, so let’s use that system; we need to focus, so we’ll invoke Programs Chair Privilege and use favorite number 19.

Group A

Brazil, the host country.  Their players only go by first name, like Cher.  Or Pele.  The player who wears number 19 is Willian.  He was born in Sao Paolo, which has four Rotary Clubs (at least in their names–disclaimer–the “club finder” on the new Rotary Website is barely functional, to the point where our own Club still cannot be located at all.)  Of of those Clubs has a website, the Rotary Club of Sao Paolo Pnte Estaiada.  The website is in Portuguese only, but one of their projects appears to be providing dental care and dental supplies to a school in a rural area.

Cameroon,  The player who wears number 19 is Fabrice Olinga.  He was born in Douala, which has three Rotary Clubs but none has a website.  Douala is on the west coast of Cameroon at the Atlanta Ocean.

Croatia.  The player who wears number 19 is Jorge Sammir Cruz Campos or “Sammir.”  He was born in Brazil…moved to Croatia as a teen, became a Croatian citizen in 2012, and here he is.  He plays for a professional club in Croatia’s capital of Zagreb, which has five Clubs.  One has a website, Rotary Club of Zagreb Medvedgrad, and they seem focused on water issues.

Mexico.  The player who wears number 19 is Oribe Peralta.  He was born in Torreon, about halfway between Mexico City and the border of west-central Texas.  There is one Rotary Club in Torreon but doesn’t have a website.

Group B

Australia.  The player who wears number 19 is Ryan McGown.  He was born in Adelaide, 65 years after the Rotary Club of Adelaide was chartered in 1924.  Among there projects is a “Blanket Appeal,” which since 1933 has been donating blankets to those in need in the region.

Chile.  The player who wears number 19 is Jose Fuenzalida.  He was born in Santiago.  The Rotary Club of Santiago, also chartered in 1924, and they have a major focus on education programs, working with 17 schools in the area.

Netherlands.  The player who wears number 19 is Klaas Jan Huntelaar.  He was born in Bronckhorst, in southeastern Holland near the German border, and which has a Rotary Club with a website that isn’t working, unfortunately.

Spain.  The player who wears number 19 is Diego Costa.  He was born in Lagarto, Brazil…we need some native-born players, this is not helping with our E-Club program…and Lagarto has a Rotary Club but no website.  He plays for a professional club in Madrid.  The Rotary Club of Madrid was chartered in 1920.  Their signature project is not unlike one of ours, although they take an interesting path.  They work with area hotels to distribute food to the needy.  Their page is unclear how they do this–maybe the hotels donate their day-old food?  But it seems an interesting partnership.

Group C

Colombia.  The player who wears number 19 is Adrian Ramos.  He was born in Santander de Quilichao, which is south of Cali.  The hometown does not appear to have a Rotary Club; there is a Rotary Club of Cali Pance, which has a focus on dental programs in the health area, and gives educational scholarships.

Greece.  The player who wears number 19 is Socratis Papastathopoulos, who wears on Socratis on his jersey because (according to the team’s page) the surname is just too darned long.  He was born in Kalamata, and there is a Rotary Club of Kalamata-Farae but it does not have a website.

Ivory Coast.  The player who wears number 19 is Yaya Toure.  He was born in Bouake.  There is a Rotary Club of Bouake, which is right in the middle of the country, but the Club has no website.

Japan.  The player who wears number 19 is Masahiko Inoha.  He was born in Miyazaki, on the eastern coast of the southern island of Kyushu.  There are four Rotary Clubs in Miyazaki, but none with a website–or at least none with a website they’re sharing with the Rotary website.  They do have one Flickr album we could find, with photos from what was probably a 2013 visit from a Group Study Exchange (GSE) team.  One of the team members has an accordion.  That would have been a meeting to remember.

Group D

Costa Rica.  The player who wears number 19 is Roy Miller.  He was born in San José (the capital city of Costa Rica, not the California city whose team the L.A. Kings defeated in the first round of this year’s playoffs…see shiny silver thing, above).  The Rotary Club of San José has no website, but does have a Facebook page…which, unfortunately, does not show any information about their Club projects.  A good lesson.  We show tons of photos and share stories about what we do in the community.

England.  The player who wears number 19 is Raheem Sterling.  He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but grew up in England.  England has a huge number of Clubs, so let’s go look at the Rotary Club of Kingston, which has a website.  Its signature project is called Back2Life, working with youth offenders on education, job skill, and life skills to maximize their chances of never returning to prison.

Italy.  The player who wears number 19 is Leonardo Bonucci.  He was born in Viterbo, north of Rome.  The Rotary Club of Viterbo is celebrating is 60th anniversary this year, but they haven’t yet figured out how to populate their “Progetti” page with articles!    However, they definitely enjoy sponsoring Rotaract and Interact activities, based on some of their photos.

Uruguay.  The player who wears number 19 is Sebastian Coates.  He was born in Montevideo.  The Rotary Club of Montevideo was founded in 1918.  Their website doesn’t show any of their projects, unfortunately, although they did have a big dedication recently placing a plaque on the building where the Club first met all those years ago.

Group E

Ecuador.  The player who wears number 19 is Luis Saritama.  He was born in Loja.  The Rotary Club of Loja was chartered in 1939; Loja is in the south of the country.  They do not have a website, but other Google results show that they have partnered with foreign Clubs in a prosthetic-hands project.

France.  The player who wears number 19 is Paul Pogba.  He was born in Lagny-sur-marne, a bit East of Paris.  The Rotary Club of Lagny-sur-Marne was chartered in 1958, and their website talks about their fun outings but doesn’t seem to mention a single project.

Honduras.  The player who wears number 19 is Luis Garrido, whose team nickname is La Fiera (“The Beast”).  He was born in Juticalpa, which has a Rotary Club but the Club has no website.  Juticalpa is in the east, not terribly far from the Nicaraguan border.

Switzerland.  The player who wears number 19 is Josip Drmic.  He was born in Lachen, which doesn’t seem to have a Rotary Club, and just about no nearby town seems to have one.  There seems to be a Rotary Club of Linthebene that meets in the town of Lachen, but its website doesn’t open.

Group F

Argentina.  The player who wears number 19 is Ricardo Alvarez.  He was born in Buenos Aires.  The Rotary Club of Buenos Aires was founded in 1919, and counts among its Honorary Members a fellow named Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who you may see mentioned on occasion as Pope Francis.  They seem focused on heart health and orthopedics as their signature service endeavors.

Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The player who wears number 19 is Edin Visca.  He was born in Olovo, well north of Sarajevo, and without a Rotary Club.  The closest Club may be Rotary Club of Tuzla, even farther north, which has a couple of projects listed on their website but we are defeated by language barriers this time.  They have apparently participated in a Global Swim event for Polio, similar to our dance but a lot wetter.

Iran.  The player who wears number 19 is Hashem Beikzadeh.  He was born in Shiraz.  Unfortunately, Rotary has not yet returned to Iran.

Nigeria.  The player who wears number 19 is Uche Nwofor.  He was born in Lagos.  The Rotary Club of Lagos was chartered in 1961.  Their website notes literacy projects with no details, but of course they are also heavily focused on polio eradication, central to one of the three remaining endemic countries.

Group G

Germany.  The player who wears number 19 is Mario Goetze.  He was born in Memmingen.  The Rotary Club of Memmingen was chartered in 1960.  Their website highlights a youth project for a kindergarten in Uganda.

Ghana.  The player who wear number 19 is Jonathan Mensah.  He was born in Accra.  There are several Clubs in Accra, one of which is the Rotary Club of Accra-West, chartered in 1969.  Its website highlights a water project in rural Ghana with the assistance of a Global Grant, a kindergarten refurbishment project, and an eye-care project.

Portugal.  The player who wears number 19 is Andre Almeida.  He was born in Loures.  The Rotary Club of Loures may be very young, only since 2012, according to the Facebook page, but it’s unclear; there’s no website; the FB page shows meetings and fun but no projects.

United States.  The player who wears number 19 is Graham Zusi, who was born in Longwood, Florida, just a bit north of Orlando.  Their website links to their Club Bulletins, the most recent one is March 11, 2014, and the bulletin doesn’t talk about any of the Club’s own projects.  But they did create a community garden sometime since 2010, according to their photo gallery.

Group H

Algeria.  The player who wears number 19 is Saphir Taider.  He was born in Castres, France.  The Rotary Club of Castres, France, was chartered in 1937 but doesn’t have a website.  So let’s look for the Rotary Club of Algiers…nope, no website either.  Another lost opportunity, for them and us.

Belgium.  The player who wears number 19 is Moussa Dembele.  He was born in Wilrijk.  There’s a Rotary Club of Antwerpen-Wilrijk-Terbeke,  They have a jam-packed page of projects but the language eludes us….

Russia.  The player who wears number 19 is Alexander Samedov.  He was born in Moscow.  After a several-years’ absence, there are several Rotary Clubs in Moscow.  The Rotary Club of Moscow International, chosen because its website is in English as well as Russian, was chartered in 2001.  Their signature project is a  high-profile music competition that gets quite a bit of media attention.

South Korea.  The player who wears number 19 is  Ji Dongwon.  He was born in Jeju City, on the island of Jenu south of the Korean peninsula mainland.  There seem to be three Rotary Clubs in and near the city but the websites are all in Korean.  One reference, apparently posted to a visitor’s blog, notes that the Rotary Club of Jeju Central supports the major concert hall on the large island.

Thirty-two players all wearing number 19…leading us down a winding path of Rotary around the world…but it’s still the second-best Cup in casual conversation this week.  Worth the voyage, though.  Hope you enjoyed it.



The opinions expressed or advertisements that appear on external websites linked to this program are those of the speaker(s)/websites/advertisers and not necessarily of the Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley or its members. No endorsement is implied. Programs are presented for informational purposes only.


7 responses to 16 June 2014 — Kickin’ It

  1. Even through Rotary, Mel is trying to teach me to enjoy/understand sports. Congratulations Kings! I enjoyed the up-close-and-personal info on the various Soccer teams/players and their local Rotary info. It truly is a small world.

  2. WOW!! That’s an incredible amount of research!! Thank you!!

  3. I second Brenda’s comments: Thank you Mel, for the time and effort you put into researching Rotary Clubs in those cities of the world where the soccer player wearing number 19 on each of the teams competing in the World Cup first lived. Whew! It is interesting to note that many of the Clubs you found do not have websites. It seems like providing a way to publish information on projects/activities for these Clubs is something that could be easily addressed by Rotary International on its website.

    So what is the significance of the number 19?

  4. Ri’s website has something hidden called “Showcase,” where Clubs can post all about themselves. But only Rotarians would see it, and far, far more Rotarians are on FB and Twitter than visit the RI website. A Club’s website (or social media presence) isn’t for other Rotary Clubs, although we’re glad to see good projects and learn from them–for our purposes, our Club’s internet presence is about showing non-Rotarians what we do…so they want to participate, or even join our team. A Club with no website or social media presence simply isn’t taking 21st century membership development seriously…

    As for #19, that was the number worn by my favorite hockey player when I was a kid: Butch Goring of the L.A. Kings. Therefore: that became my favorite number and has stuck forever.

  5. Mel, I bet you would be great on Jeopardy! Thank you for offering a trip around the Rotary World and for all of your efforts to get the word out about this wonderful organization.

  6. Interesting way to tie Rotary with the FIFA World Cup. Thanks!

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