WEEK 1- The Party Begins

Just before the meeting began, I felt compelled to ask the server at Richie’s the maximum occupancy count. Imagine. It doesn’t dawn on me to determine in advance if we will have enough room for everyone. Oh well! It’ll be a party and I LOVE a party. As you probably guessed, we ran out of seats. There was a buzz and excitement in the air. We had Immediate (as in less than 12 hours ago) Past District Governor, Ricardo “Taco” Loretta, Past District Governor Bob Duistermars, Past District Governor Rudy Westervelt (and Karyn), and of course, our very own Elder Statesman, Past District Governor, George Steele. My third amiga, Assitant Governor, Mary Brown came to support. I’ll get to the visiting Rotarians in a moment. Of course, me being me, I put them ALL to work! Heehee. It was awesome. To the best of my calculations we had 63 people in attendance. What a party.

There were dignitaries from the MVUSD, MFD, and more. It was bananas!

More than anything was the camaraderie. Immediate Past President, Jann Gentry kicked things off with her signature question, “Are you happy to be here”? She was met with a resounding yes. Energy. We sang Happy by Pharell. Boy, were we. Okay. Here’s what I was thinking and feeling throughout the party.


Excitement because it’s new. New is always exciting.

Curious because who knows how much of it will go as planned. For example, the video of the Cheers theme to be played at the end didn’t get the memo to perform. Oh well.

Relief when I started receiving apologetic text messages from a few folks that they were unable to make it after all. In response I squealed yippee inside. Whew. I knew I was well over the occupancy limit. Further concern because my girl, Jen Antonucci from the Murrieta Fire Department was in attendance. However, Fire Marshall Chris Jensen was not so…Heehee.

My fellow District 5330 friends showed up in full force! I even conducted my first banner exchange with Menifee Rotary President, Debbi Manion. My second banner exchange was with Dawn Pavlik. in Dawn’s case regardless of where she lives, she’ll always be a Murrieta Rotary member. Let’s see, Nyron McLean and Yundra Thomas from Riverside Sunrise came by to party.

Here’s what I learned the first week: The rollercoaster ride has begun. I had my first Board Meeting after my first meeting. Talk about jumping in feet first. Even though I’ve read Roberts Rule of Order, it went right out the window after the meeting. My excitement turned into nervousness after the meeting. Perhaps some of it had to do with not having eaten a thing. I learned that my mom, Mumay was right, I do have a gift of hospitality. My focus is to make sure that attendees feel welcome. Hopefully they will know that like the Cheers theme states, I am very glad that they came. Until week 2.

Jacqui Dobens
Murrieta Rotary Club President 2019-2020