According to Jim Bryant and Chris Morrison, the Rotary Club of Tiburon Sunset began chiefly through the efforts of Father George Johnson, Bob Morey, and Keith Morrison. As members of the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere they felt that the Friday lunch meeting time created a hardship for many current members as well as discouraging many potential new members who otherwise could have made a big contribution to Rotary. Jim Bryant recalled having to endure an extra 2 1/2 hour roundtrip from Tiburon to San Leandro and back every Friday to coordinate his career with attendance at Rotary.
With the help of Dave Peck and the Rotary Club of Mill Valley as sponsor; the Rotary Club of Tiburon Sunset was chartered on June 27, 1991. This date held special significance because it was the 14th anniversary of the chartering of the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere which was also sponsored by the Rotary Club of Mill Valley. Also, it is the birth date of Joe Giacomini, the Charter President of the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere.
Besides the four charter members named above,others included Professor Jimmy Liu, Chris Morrison (the club's first new Rotarian and Charter Secretary), Peter Friedman, Carolyn Friedman, Chris Berquist, Peter Berg, Dick DeNezza, Brian Swift, Bill Kuhns, Peter Phillips, Harris Dexter, Bill Temple, Terry Goacher, Dave Bennett, Mark Stancel, Lawrie Guiness, Klaus Meinberg and Ralph Giovanniello.
The first meeting site was held in a small back room at Biaggios, now Way Point Pizza. From the outset, it was decided to keep the club small. When Jim Bryant, our club's charter president, attended his PETS conference he was inspired by the Rotary Club of Gualala's maximum of 15 members (due solely to the size limitations of their meeting room). In those early days there was a strong desire to keep the meetings to two tables, but the amount of work involved demanded a larger membership. Chris Morrison mentioned that because of an early concern about the potential erosion of members from the Rotary Club of Marin Evening, it was decided to except no transfers from that club. Membership was a major challenge in the early months and promotional flyers were even passed out at the Blue & Gold ferry landing.
Early activities included the first Christmas Cruise, support of the Marin Abused Women's Organization, the Phillips Writing contest and Highway 131 cleanup. Perhaps the most noteworthy activity was in 1992. A Doctor in Tiburon was retiring and our Rotary Club prevailed upon him to donate his medical equipment and supplies. As part of the Rotary for Mexico program they were shipped to Guadalajara, Mexico. By terrible fate the supplies were used immediately. Four days later the area was hit with a major earthquake killing 208 and injuring over 4,000. We can only imagine what affect the presence this gift had in the rescue effort.
In 2001-2002, the Rotary Club of Tiburon Sunset celebrated its 10th anniversary. This year was particularly memorable because of its selection as the Best Small Club in our Rotary District, coming from its humble beginnings in the back of a pizza parlor. Over the years our meeting place has changed and the club is now blessed with the charm and comfort of the San Francisco Yacht Club. Meetings are held every Thursday at 6:30 PM.
Diversity of approach to community service has been on of our club's many missions with youth activities being a major focus. For example, over 150 youngsters and their Big Brothers and Big Sisters are treated to a Cruise of San Francisco Bay each year. After the cruise, everyone is treated to dinner with entertainment. The Club also sponsors the Phillips Library Writing Contest for over 400 hundred students in Marin County Schools, grades 6, 7, and 8. Conceived by charter member Keith Morrison, three judges give out First, Second, and Third place monetary prizes, and seven honorable mentions, as well as awarding a certificate of merit to each participant.
While community efforts are central to the Club, International needs are not ignored. While president, Abraham Thomas, led an effort in Pune, India, near Bombay. The Club provides two basic, nutritious meals a day, five days a week to 200 school children. The program is in its third year and is done in connection with a local Rotary Club. The Club also sponsors a micro loan program to 25 women workers annually in Pune to help them establish small home-based businesses.
Another program is sending used large print, self-help, and reference books to the state prison at Corcoran. This is a major drug treatment facility for California and there has been a particularly important need for this program because of State budget cutbacks.
Other local programs where the club lends financial support as well as the member's hands and hearts, include the Marin Alzheimer's Assoc.; the San Quentin Children's Center and the Tiburon Blvd. road-side cleanup.
We also have a monthly speakers program and encourage visits from all Rotarians.
Past Presidents include:
Father George Johnson