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Icy reception for new Manteca Rotary president
Outgoing Manteca Rotary Club President Nick Obligacion exchanges the gavel encased in ice to incoming President Erin Nussbaumer at the conclusion of the annual installation of officers at the MRPS Hall. Obligacion is a retired Manteca police chief and Nussbaumer is a Realtor. - photo by GLEN KAHL

Manteca Realtor Erin Nussbaumer was installed as the 2018-2019 Manteca Rotary Club president Thursday night at the MRPS Hall receiving her gavel encased in a block of ice.

Charlie Halford served as the master of ceremonies at the catered steak dinner and was among those witnessing the icy exchange.

Outgoing president Nick Obligacion exchanged the traditional gavel with Nussbaumer, handing her a silver tray with the block of ice covered by cloth gold table napkins with her response, “Oh this is heavy!” as he removed the napkins, revealing the gavel frozen within the ice.  It was that gavel that had been secreted away from Obligacion at the weekly meetings numerous times and found its way into the Mother Lode, the Pacific Ocean and other far-away places before being returned.

Due to the repeated threat of gavel theft, Obligacion had placed an alarm in a gym bag that he kept under the head table. That alarm was connected by a fishing line to the gavel so that he would be alerted whenever his gavel was disappearing. A simple pair of scissors took care of that issue by one member with a snip and then the gavel was gone again.  

Obligacion has served as the Rotary president since the beginning of last July. He will remain on the service club’s board of directors for the next year in an advisory capacity. 

Of special note for the Rotary year, the club donated some $30,000 to support Camp Taylor located along the Stanislaus River east of Modesto. It is a cost-free medically supervised camp for children with heart disease.  The club’s large project during the year, with the support of the Rotary International Foundation, was in Honduras consisting building houses, water projects, dental clinics and eye glasses for those in need representing some $450,000.

Manteca Rotary provided $13,500 for high school scholarships with $1,500 going toward the operation of the Manteca Boys & Girls Club.  The planting of 100 trees as part of the City of Manteca’s 100-Year Celebration totaled a cost of $6,000.

Camp RYLA High School Leadership training camp needed $500.  Second Harvest Food Bank was given $1,000 toward its efforts in feeding the hungry.  Another $1,000 went to the special community dinner on Thanksgiving.  The Special Access Day for children in the community was funded with $1,000 with another $1,000 going toward library books.  HOPE Family Shelter was awarded $500 and the high school speech contest received $375 for its speakers.  The Law Day event honoring officers each May with “Officer of the Year” honors coming from numerous departments within the city and county amounted to another $1,000.  The Polio Plus Campaign to eliminate polio forever in the world was given $1,000 and a variety of International Projects were underwritten for $5,000.

On July 4 members of the Manteca Rotary Club will assist the noontime Kiwanis Club with its July 4th Pancake breakfast at Angelina’s Restaurant at 7 a.m. near the beginning of the Independence Day Parade that heads down North Main Street to the center of town starting at 10 a.m.  On July 12 the membership will turnout at the Boys & Girls Club located on West Alameda Street and grill pancakes, eggs and ham for the youth. Time is 11 a.m.  

Included in the dinner crowd of some 37 Thursday evening, there were a number of past presidents attending the kick-out still active in the club that was founded in 1959 who were asked to stand and tell the year they served in that role.

Those past presidents included: Al Nunes, 1993-1994; Glenn Kahl, 1996-1997; Bill Whiteside, 2000,2001; Jeff Liotard, 2005-2006; Charles Halford, 2011-2012 and 2015-2016; Shawn Nussbaumer, 2013-2014; Jeff Shields, 2016-2017 and Nick Obligacion, 2017- 2018. 

Other past presidents from the 59-year history of Manteca Rotary not present Thursday evening included: Paul Weimers, 1977-1978; Mark Oliver, 1978-1979; Fred Stellhorn, 1985-1986; John Brinton, 1987-1988; Trena Chavez, 1995-1996; Harold Hughes, 1997-1998; Dr. Ricardo Cuevas, 1998-1999; Robert Rodarte, 1999-2000; Emmanuel Serriere, 2001-2002; Dave Parker, 2002-2003; Rick Wohle, 2003-2004; Norm Knodt, 2004-2005; Tom Wilson, 2006-2007; Howard Holtzman, 2007-2008; Lindsay Munoz, 2008-2009; Dana Solomon,  2009-2010; Renee Kee, 2010-2011; Fred Stellhorn, 2013-2014; and Brenda Franklin, 2015-2016.  Some 20 other past presidents of the club have passed away over those years. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email