February Newsletter



President’s Corner
Michele Benjamin

There’s a feeling of anticipation in the air……… It’s the time of our compulsory meeting on February 5th when we vote on a Nominating committee for next year’s Board.    And, equally important, Founders Day is right around the corner.  The 16 new members and our Board were guests at a special luncheon in January featuring a Middle Eastern theme. All was produced in grand style thanks to Millie Amis and delicious food compliments of Kate Powell and sous chefs.  The Middle Eastern theme (nothing to do with the Jinks – only inspired by Millie’s recent trip to Turkey) was woven throughout the luncheon with a “raki” (anisette liqueur) toast to all, tagines of couscous, lamb and vegetables, sauces and spices, almond cake and berries ,Prosecco and more!   The new members and their writer, Gail Taylor and Director, Roberta Maloy and producer, Julie Carlson then left us to go through a “first read” of the new script. I believe that this is the first time in our history (I may be wrong) that we have a mother (Gail Taylor) and a daughter (SiobhanTaylor) participating together in the same Jinks.  March is right around the corner!!   (please insert picture attached here of mother and daughter)



“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later.” — Richard Branson

I learned early on as a member of the club that if someone asked you to do something or be part of something, say “yes”.   I haven’t always complied but when I did, even when I had a jillion reasons to say no, I always benefited in the end in ways too numerous to mention.   It is that spirit that keeps our club afloat and one that I hope will inform our Nominating Committee process.   If you are nominated, say YES!    If you are asked to join the next Board, say YES!  Please know that as someone who has served on the Nominating committee before, you should know that they meet at times that work well with the members of the committee.  This is also true of the Board.  So please, consider saying YES!

And in that same spirit of “yes”, when Judith Lambton had to resign from her role as House Chair due to a change in her personal circumstances, I called five previous House Chairs and asked them each to take a month so we didn’t have to retrain someone new.  They all said YES… thank you Maryann Griller, Jeni Flynn, Nicki Parry, Linda Levinson, and Sharon Seymour.  YES!   And, I received a note from Past President Deb Andelin who heard of the vacancy and offered her help and said YES!     The energy from this process truly MAKES MY DAY! –Clint Eastwood

News:  Our dear recording secretary Claudia Kennedy tendered her resignation in January since she is not able to fulfill her duties due to her second hip replacement.  Claudia has been a valued member of our Board and to our club as the “mother of Mahjong”, the manager of our Food Booth for several years and co-Chair of our Civics Committee and all around terrific person.   I appointed Fran Nelson to our Board as recording secretary for the rest of the year.  Fran comes with great credentials having served in the same capacity for the two previous Boards and has filled in this year for Claudia as well.  Our Board approved the resignation of Claudia Kennedy with regret and approved with pleasure the nomination of Fran Nelson.

Proposed Dues Raise for FY 2015-16 –As I mentioned in my President’s Report at the January business meeting, our Board voted unanimously to raise the dues for next year.   The proposed amount would be $350 annually with $15 going to Preservation and $15 going to Scholarship and $320 to SWC.  Last year’s Board tried to be conservative in the amount of the increase and we now know that it was not enough.  We need to correct our dues amount in order to pay for the operating expenses of the club.  Dues need to cover our overhead costs like any household or business.  We also need to replenish the deficit from past years of drawing from our savings to pay for our operations.  The Board strongly recommends the raise. Installment dues are available (Article V, Section 3) and our By Laws offer special consideration (Article V, Section 1).   We will have a short discussion on this issue during the Treasurer’s Report at the compulsory meeting in February and will be sending out materials that will give more background to our decision very soon.   It is time to align our income with our expenses. The plan is to have a vote on the dues raise at our March business meeting (need 2/3’s of voters present to affirm) and there will also be more time for questions and answers.  We urge all to make this a priority and attend.

SWC SURVEY –Thank you Janet Chapman and Isabelle Gillis for your presentation at the January meeting on the results of our recent membership survey. Our Board will be discussing some of the issues that received the most comment in a future board meeting and possible study groups will be formed to look further into some of the areas.  One of the areas was our “aging membership” (how are we going to attract younger residents of Sausalito to our club???).   Following the presentation of our local educators at the November business meeting, Willow Creek Academy approached us about doing a presentation at their Presidents Council meeting.   Kim Huff did the honors last month and Ellen Rosenstein will be the volunteer coordinator for SWC and WCA.  Thank you! These are first steps in not only expanding our community involvement but also getting to know some local moms who could be potential club members.    Stay tuned!

Thank you as always for your support and encouragement this year.
Michele Benjamin/President

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”

– James M. Barrie


Programmatically Speaking…..

SWC’s Purpose …..and to create a center of thought and action among the people……….

Somehow I feel like our founding mothers must HAVE had this in mind as we look at the kind of January programming that was curated by Fay Rudio and Laurie Wright . In terms of “thought and action” and sharing with the community, well, January delivered in such rich ways.

SAUSALITO PLAYERS presented a hilarious early Woody Allen play that was just the thing for January viewing.  Our Scholarship Recognition Fund produced an elegant afternoon of music with the Palo Alto Chamber Ensemble on an overcast Sunday afternoon that filled our hearts and minds.  The appreciative audience all commented on the soothing powers of live music to transcend some of the trivia of our daily lives.   Thank you to our dear Sylvia Ruby, who once again made this afternoon happen for us all, although she was not able to be with us – and we missed her dearly.  CHASING PORTRAITS – packed house! This Legacy production (Elizabeth Rynecki, the presenter, is the daughter of former deceased club member, Fern Rynecki) and was produced by Paula Fancher and Leslie Hail.  Elizabeth is the great granddaughter of Moshe Rynecki, an artist who produced a large body of paintings depicting the vibrant Jewish life and culture in Poland during WW II, and shared her own detective story about her years long quest to locate the lost art.   Elizabeth is a Sausalito native and received a scholarship from our own SWCSRF!!!!    Preservation Society members (EV Gilbreath and Susan Gordon) produced a fascinating community program highlighting the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition complete with slides and narration by historian Laura Ackley.   This expedition brought to Sausalito our famed fountain and our wonderful elephants.    And for the literary crowd, we partnered with the Sausalito Library and co-produced a BOOK CLUB TALK with the NY Times best-selling author, Ayelet Waldman.  Terrific!     Well, it wasn’t all intellectual.   We had a ball this month as well…..walking through Chinatown in SF with Helen Bennett and Jeni Flynn, CHARADES PARTY ( sound like – FUN!) hosted by our own Holland Gray.    And, we kicked of our new year in grand style since the CRABS WERE BACK!!!!

The Crab Feed sold out in a NY minute and the lucky attendees didn’t seem to want to leave.   Thank you to Pat Ronzone and Lucy Alderman and the Executive Board who made it a Crab Feed to remember and left everyone asking, “when will it be next year”????  We love our Crabs!   We love our Club!  We also exceeded our budgeted profit thanks to a boutique silent auction offering …..Ranch in Montana, dinner at a Cloudview home, La Quinta and Lake Tahoe lots that had active bidders!

Thank you to all who produced these events and to those who attended!  What a kick off to a new year!


Scholarship Recognition Fund
Kim Huff, Chair

The SWC SRF is very excited to kick-off it’s Scholarship Application Season!

****Applications are now available!****

 If you know a student who is graduating from high school this spring, a continuing college student, or an individual who is considering re-entering college, art, trade or vocational school; and is a permanent resident in Sausalito/Marin City (zip code 94965) they are eligible to apply. Please direct them to the SWC SRF website here.

Deadline for applications is March 11, 2015

If you have questions regarding the applications, please contact Susie Visher.

* * *

Thank you to all the members who came to the Palo Alto Chamber Ensemble on January 18th. The club was transformed into a beautiful performance space where members and guests were treated to a trip to Venice, Germany, Spain and France—what delight!

A special thank you to past Scholarship board member Sylvia Ruby who first brought The Palo Alto Chamber Ensemble here for us to enjoy beginning in 2007. This year marked the 5th time they have graced our stage.  We are indeed very fortunate!

* * *

We’re looking forward to an exciting spring with lots of interesting student applications to review.


Preservation Society
Cynthia Mason, Chair

What a Night!  I could not be more proud of the SWCPS Board for such a wonderful Sherry Hour, Panama-Pacific International Exposition- A Dream Worth Building, this past Monday. January 26th.   In particular Susan Gordon and EV Gilbreath who took on this project with the usual gusto and made our clubhouse shine.

At the Sherry Hour, there were over 140 people in attendance and about 40% were community members.  This makes me very happy, as this historic preserved clubhouse is so special.  The more we can share it with our community, the more we are achieving our goals.

One of my favorite comments came from Sally Peck (SWCPS Community Member) who said.  “ I was tied up at work and not able to attend, but my husband went and loved it! He bought the book, hasn’t stopped talking about it, and on our 6 a.m. walk this morning, we had to stop by the fountain downtown so he could share with me that part of the story from the evening presentation”.

Laura Ackley, the author, Sherry Hour presenter, and historian of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition shared photos and stories of the elephants at our Vina Del Mar Park, Teddy Roosevelt and even had question and answers about various series of PPIE photographs and asked the audience to guess “what do these photographs have in common”.   It was a very informative, lively and interesting presentation.  Susan Gordon also went the extra mile and incorporated a mobile of PPIE postcards from a collection over a hundred years old courtesy of our honorary member, and my favorite neighbor, Margo Gergus.

Thank you to all that attended and supported the SWCPS! I hope there are many more wonderful Sherry Hour’s to come.


Book Club
Susan Watson and Donna Christie Kolkey, Co-Chairs

Please join us at our next Book Club meeting on Thursday, February 26 at 4:00 p.m. to discuss Louise Erdich’s The Round House. The Round House is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.

It won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2012.  We usually have light refreshments, and if you feel so inclined, bring a bite to share. We look forward to seeing you! Discussant: Fran Nelson |  No need to RSVP.


Co-Chairs: Helen Bennett; Jeni Flynn

Monday, February 16  (Please note change in date!)

Steep Ravine Trail, Mt. Tam
Meet at 9:30 am at SWC (right after yoga) to carpool to Pantoll.

This is a moderate to strenuous hike of about 4 ½ miles – but one of the most beautiful trails on the mountain, so worth the effort.  (Steep Ravine Trail has been closed in January because of storm damage but should be open by February 16.  If not, there will be alternative hike)

Wear hiking shoes and bring something for a picnic lunch at the end of the hike. Co-Chairs:  Susan Watson (331-6810), Nancy Curran.

Bootjack-Rock Springs Hike – Wednesday, March 4

Please join the SWC Hiking group on a moderate/strenuous 4.2 mile hike that visits two of Mt. Tam’s most treasured landmarks: the Mountain Theater and the West Point Inn.  Spring wildflowers should be in abundance.

We will carpool from the SWC at 9 AM.  Bring water and a sack lunch that we will eat at the West Point Inn, and change to purchase beverages and snacks, if you would like.  RSVP to Dana Whitson or Fran Nelson by March 1.


Linda Daniels, Chair

The following notes were sent in February.

  • Nina Meister/heart surgery
  • EV Gilbreth/surgery
  • Dick Powell/heart surgery
  • Laura Wright/loss of Mother
  • Judy Barber/fractured wrist
  • Holly Stewart/loss of pet


Corresponding Secretary
Millie Amis, Chair

The following new members were welcomed into the SWC at the January meeting. Please add them to your yearbook:

Nancy Upton  (Tom)                                                                       Brenda DeBruyn  (Buddy)

51 Santa Rosa Ave                                                                           109 Sacramento Ave

729-9386                                                                                           Home: 332-0803 | Cell: 272-6525

nancyup@gmail.com                                                                      golfn10is@hotmail.com

At the January Board Meeting, the following resignations were approved:

Catie Booth and Leslie Brown


SWC Programs and Events


Thursday, February 5                    Compulsory Business Meeting and Tea                            2:00 pm 


Friday, February  6th                    Cowgirl Creamery Private Tour                         *****SOLD OUT!!!*****

If you are a fan of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses and would like to learn more about how they make their delicious artisan cheeses, please join us on this private tour which includes a table-side demo of the curd making process. We will carpool from the SWC at 10am and our private tour starts at 11:30am at Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma. The tour lasts approximately one hour and we plan to be be back in Sausalito at 2:00pm. Tour costs $10 per person


Saturday, February 7th                  CLUB HOUSE CLEAN-UP & INVENTORY DAY              9:00am – 1:00pm

Help make our Club House sparkle for Founder’s Day & Jinks. Join in the camaraderie of cleaning as we whistle while we work. Coffee & refreshments will be served. RSVP to Susan Gordon


Wednesday, February         Taking A Walk Through the Buck Institute               *****SOLD OUT!!!*****  

Experience a private tour of the Buck Institute and learn about the unique aspects of the scientific mission to improve health as we age.

Car pool from SWC at 9:45AM

Following the tour we will enjoy a box lunch ($15, bring cash) while we hear from Carlotta Duncan PhD. Director for Scientific Advancement.


Thursday, March 19              FOUNDER’S DAY                                                              *****SOLD OUT!!!*****   

As of January 8th, Founders Day was officially “sold out.”  Yvonne Spencer at 332-0214 will accept names for a ‘wait list,’ but the list is getting long. Please come to the Low Jinks, Saturday, March 21st and RSVP to Yvonne by 3/14.  Low Jinks is $20 at the door. We’d love to see you there! Remember it is limited to you and 1 guest.

Our 2015 Jinks was written by Gail Taylor and directed by Roberta Maloy. We have a class of 16 delightful and excited new members enjoying a wonderful script and fun music!

As we all know “It takes a Village” to produce this fabulous event. We need volunteers to help with Founders Day cleanup after the luncheon and show. Recruit your friends … The more the merrier….  Let Mimi know at creich07@comcast.net or 887-9433


 Saturday, May 2                     Kentucky Derby Day at the Races

Reservations Due by January 30th

It is post time for reservations to go to Golden Gate Fields to spend a day at the races  on Kentucky Derby Day, May 2 nd. There are 30 reservations available to us and I need to give a firm count by January 30th to the event manager.  The cost is $65 which includes clubhouse entry and buffet. I do not need your checks  until the deadline of March 20 th (non-refundable.) We will Not be able to add reservations after we have 30 reservations as this event sells out quickly so please email me by January 30th if you want to reserve your spaces. Last time several husbands/partners came and had a lot of fun as well as the ladies.

Thank you,

Jean Spaulding