President's Message

Hello Fellow Rotarians,

It was wonderful to see the slightly higher-than-normal turnout for our Rotary meeting last Tuesday!  We had a great presentation from Danny Tillman, Vice President of the San Bernardino City Unified School District School Board.  Mr. Tillman has a long and distinguished tenure on the School Board and has been heavily involved in a multitude of important projects and campaigns to improve our local schools and the opportunities available for children.  I was especially interested to hear that the School District provides computers and home Internet access to students in need, which also serves to benefit their families. 
Mr. Tillman also announced that the School District is currently examining ways to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in COVID relief funds allocated to the District.  Thank you Mary Ellen Abilez Grande for coordinating Mr. Tillman's appearance and for serving as our Rotarian of the Day. 
Also at our last meeting, Tawnya Rhodes Hensley announced she is now working for Arrowhead United Way.  Congratulations Tawnya!  I believe we are all familiar with the excellent work the United Way does in service to our community.  The organization's latest project is the Back2School Backpack Drive, which Tawnya mentioned during our last meeting. 
The United Way is collecting donations of school supplies for distribution to local children.  Items needed include backpacks, No. 2 pencils, highlighters, crayons, protractors, wide-ruled paper, pens, folders, spiral notebooks, children's scissors, glue sticks, colored pencils, tape, college-ruled paper, hand sanitizers, pencil pouches, dividers, composition notebooks, and binders.  Please consider donating to this wonderful cause by bringing any of these needed school supplies to our Rotary meeting on Tuesday where Tawnya will collect them on behalf of the United Way.  
When I ask Rotarians what topics are of interest to them for future guest speakers, "history" always seems to be at or near the top of the list.  If you love history, you won't want to miss our meeting this Tuesday when we will host Maria Carillo Colato, Special Collections Manager at A.K. Smiley Library in Redlands as our guest speaker.  Maria will provide a presentation about the Lincoln Shrine, which is situated on the grounds of the Smiley Library.  She also possesses a wealth of knowledge about the Civil War.  Thank you Phyllis Kates for arranging Maria's appearance at our upcoming meeting.  
By the way, if you haven't visited the Lincoln Shrine in Redlands, I highly recommend the experience.  You may even feel compelled to visit this local treasure following Maria's presentation!  The museum is open daily from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Mondays and holidays.  For more information, click:  While you are there, explore the historic A.K. Smiley Public Library.  Built-in 1898 in the Mission and Moorish Revival styles, this beautiful building still serves as the local public library for Redlands and houses wonderful collections related to California and local history. 
President, Brian Pellis 2023-2024
Rotary Club of Downtown San Bernardino


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Featured Presentation

Maria Carrilo Colato

Maria Carrillo Colato is Special Collections Manager at A.K. Smiley Public Library and the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands where she has worked for a decade. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University, Fullerton, and a Master of Arts from the University of California, Riverside in History with an emphasis in Public History. She is currently a doctoral candidate at UC Riverside focusing on California in the Civil War era. She has co-authored Images of America: Early Redlands and Redlands in World War I and has worked in museums and special collections in Southern California for nearly 20 years.

Member Assignments

Greeter: ............  Ed Hensley
Invocation: .......  Sheila McDevitt
Flag Salute: ....... Mary Ellen Grande
Four-way Test: .. Shirley Jean
Songs: ............... All Dodger Fans
Fines: ................ Brad White
Rotarian of the Day: Phyllis Kates


Freshman Class – 
Sophomore Class – Lindsey Cobaugh and Shirley Jean
Junior Class – Ed & Tawnya Hensley
Senior Class – Kevin & Carrie Gilbreth
Updated 07/2/23
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Judi Penman
August 1
Bobbi Albano
August 13
Shirley Jean
August 17
Jim Smith
August 21
John Hoeger
August 26
Join Date
Daniel Munsey
August 1, 2018
5 years
Judi Penman
August 1, 1992
31 years
Brian Pellis
August 3, 2020
3 years
Tawnya Hensley
August 3, 2020
3 years
Darcy McNaboe
August 13, 2019
4 years
Aug 22, 2023
Special Collections Manager at A.K. Smiley Public Library & the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands
Aug 29, 2023
Assistant Superintendent San Bernardino City Unified School District
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Rotary Club of San Bernardino Newsletter Editor: John Jamerson