Our Blue and Gold Program helps newly-minted members meet their fellow club members and learn about a wide range of activities. Newcomers participate in hands-on projects, social events, committee work, Board meetings, conferences, etc. The individuals interviewed below have completed their Blue and Gold orientation, which typically takes six months to a year. However, some of our members, like Lynne and Maury, worked on projects before officially joining the club. Rosie was a former member, and she too knew the Rotary ropes. They raced through in record time.
Clinical Psychologist, Co-Founder with Philip Zimbardo and Director of the Shyness Institute, and former Director of the Shyness Clinic in Palo Alto. She has a private practice in Berkeley and runs classes in Mindful Self-Compassion. Lynne, who joined the club in March 2017, began attending Berkeley Rotary events with husband Austin, himself a relatively new member. As a non-member spouse, she helped with parking for the Berkeley Kite Festival, the club’s major fund-raiser; sold hot dogs at the Golden Gate Fields racetrack; and accompanied him to meetings and conferences, including the District conference and the Rotary International conference in Atlanta.
“When I started doing things with Austin, I was struck by how many interesting events Berkeley Rotary offers . . . and how much charitable work they’re constantly doing to benefit both the local and international communities. Besides the Kite Festival, I went with him to put furniture together for Youth Spirit Artworks, a local organization promoting art for youth, and participated in a beach cleaning project. This year I plan to work on the dictionary project (the club donates dictionaries to every third grader in the Berkeley public schools and teaches the children how to use them). Rotary works on international clean water projects and on rebuilding schools in Nayarit, Mexico. We plan to participate in the next Mexico project. Rotary is one of the most impressive altruistic organizations in the world. The weekly meetings also have an impressive slate of speakers; I enjoyed hearing the perspectives of the new mayor of Berkeley, the presentation on the challenges of affordable housing, and the one on Belmont Village Senior Housing, just to name a few.”
Maurice (Maury) Marcus
Psychiatrist/ Psychoanalyst, retired after 51 years in private practice and teaching, 44 of those years in Berkeley.
“I’ve been so impressed. I’ve been a member of many organizations over many years, and have found a number to be disappointments, with little getting done. So I took my time before signing up. What won me over? The quality of the people — they’re competent, conscientious, and fun — and the significance of the humane projects. I’m impressed by the efficiency of the organization, especially my committee, the Membership Committee - it’s right on the ball and gets a lot done. And I’ve been inspired by my Rotaract mentee (a college student at U.C. Berkeley whom Maury mentors under Rotary’s umbrella) — I meet with him every two months to talk about his studies and his future plans, and provide my observations and recommendations. The Rotaracter group is very enthusiastic, and they do good works. Rotary’s amazing!