Congratulations to our Rotarian of the Month for March 2020 – Dick Bennett from the Rotary Club of San Mateo!

Dick Bennett is the quintessential embodiment of “Service Above Self.”  When the San Mateo Rotary Club sponsors a service project or hosts an event, Dick is always there, rolling up his sleeves and good-humoredly encouraging his fellow Rotarians to join in the work, the fun, and the fellowship.

Dick serves as Co-Chair of our club’s Membership Committee and Community Funding Advisory Committee.  The Membership Committee focuses on expanding club membership and Dick is front and center in that effort.  Together with the Public Relations Committee he has helped develop a colorful and informative brochure designed to give prospective members a better understanding of what it means to belong to the San Mateo Rotary Club.  Together with the Membership Co-Chair, Jodie DeSmidt, Dick holds monthly committee meetings and works with the committee to develop a list of prospective members who are then invited to Rotary meetings and events.  Often these individuals join our club and Dick works diligently to ensure new members have an experienced member mentor to help them navigate their first few months of membership.  Our membership goal for this year is 160 members – currently our club is at 153 and in the past month,  two new members have joined, in large part thanks to Dick’s dedication and enthusiasm.  Dick also helps organize social activities geared to new members designed to promote fellowship and help new members feel “at home” in our club.

Dick also is a vital force in the Community Funding Advisory Committee, making sure our club supports local community non-profits serving children and families.  Every year this committee hosts a fall fund-raising event and Dick is instrumental in the event’s planning and implementation.  Last year’s event, “Summer of Love,” recreated San Francisco of 1969 – complete with a live band, hippy attire, and food & drink to match.  “Summer of Love” raised $32,000 – a highly successful Sunday afternoon from a fund-raising perspective!  Dick and Co-Chair Erin Sinclair then went to work with the committee, developing a grant application process, evaluating the grant applications, and awarding grants ranging from $1000 to $5000 to 14 different groups.  Grant recipients attend a Thursday Rotary luncheon to receive their checks and share the work of their organizations.

Dick also is a conscientious member of many other Rotary committees, including:

  • SMART Mentor – Helping students during their four years of high school to set goals that result in attending college
  • Four-Year College Scholarship – Interviewing high school seniors who apply for scholarship assistance from our Club.
  • Samaritan House Kitchen – Serving dinner on a regular basis at Samaritan House, a local non-profit that provides a multitude of services to families and individuals in need.
  • Photography – Taking photographs at club meetings and other events for publication in the weekly newsletter and posting on the website and FaceBook.

With great respect and admiration, the San Mateo Rotary Club nominates Dick Bennett as Rotarian of the Month.  Dick tirelessly gives his time and talent to support the activities of the San Mateo Rotary Club.  He has a powerful impact on virtually every club project and activity, and the community of San Mateo benefits immensely from Dick’s dedicated service.

Once again, congratulations to Dick Bennett from the Rotary Club of San Mateo  as our “Rotarian of the Month” in March 2020!