With the cool winds of autumn blowing through the valleys, a calmness seems to have returned to the Bay Area. Summer vacations are over, the last spot of poison oak has disappeared from your arm, the kids are back in school, the swimming pool is quiet, and we are slowing settling back into our business routines.
As we refocus ourselves, now is the time to set aside a few minutes each week to do something great. Rotary International has a motto: "Service Above Self". The words are simple but the meaning is weighty. Just think what would happen if each of us spent one hour a week reading to inner-city school children, helping tutor math at a local school, picking up trash at a local park, or simply sitting and talking with an elderly shut-in. Service above Self-adhering to the principle won't add to your pocket book, but it will pay great dividends in ways you may never even see. The motto applies to all of us, regardless of whether you a member of Rotary, a student, a lawyer, or even a stay-at-home mom or dad making their 100th trip to dance lessons or little league.
We at Randick O'Dea & Tooliatos believe in that motto and apply it both in our professional careers and in our daily lives. We value our role as leaders in the Tri-Valley legal community. We strive to give back to the community that continues to give to us.
During the last year, our firm and our attorneys have given thousands of dollars and countless hours to the community through our involvement in social, charitable and service organizations throughout the Tri-Valley.
As a firm, we again sponsored the Rotary Club of Pleasanton's Spirit Run, the GASIT Golf Tournament, the Women's Council of Realtors Golf Tournament, and the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. The firm, its attorneys and staff donated 50 wheelchairs to the Wheelchair Foundation, which in turn were donated to underprivileged disabled people in Mexico. We bought over 150 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. We collected and donated hundreds of dollars worth of food to the Tri-Valley Food Bank. Julie Rose, Annette Neuhart, Christine Vincent, and Shelley Jarvis collectively walked 240 miles in support of Avon's 3-day Walk for the Cure, collecting thousands of dollars for breast cancer research. Scott Boccia worked on the advance crew for the Avon 3-Day walk, putting in endless hours setting up the walk route. We again chaired the Special Olympics Walk for the Gold fundraiser, and with the help of numerous people throughout the community, the Walk raised more the $70,000 for the Special Olympics.
Mike Kyle and Leslie Baxter dedicated hundreds of hours to their respective Rotary Clubs of Pleasanton North, Pleasanton, Dublin and Danville-Sycamore.
In January, 2004, Leslie will be spending four days in the City of Monterrey, Mexico with the Danville-Sycamore club, helping to deliver a shipping container of wheelchairs to need recipients and meeting with local rotarians now the establish ongoing programs. She is the public relations chairperson for the club, a committee leader for the club's annual fundraiser, and a member of the club's International Projects committee.
Mike Kyle continues his involvement with the Rotary's Tri-Valley student speech contest by again hosting the event. Mike has Chaired the Dublin Rotary's participation in the event for years, has hosted the event on numerous occasions, and even automated the materials used in the contest.
Brian O'Dea completed the Leadership Pleasanton and Leadership San Ramon programs. Brian is also active as a Trustee for St. Mary's College East Bay Scholarship Fund.
Nick Tooliatos perhaps gave more than most through his nearly one year of active duty service as a colonel in the United States Army.
As we close the book on summer and settle back in to our business routines, remember - "Service above Self." That hour you give to the community, wherever you spend it, will give returns to you and to our community in far more ways than we will ever see.