Borton Petrini’s Community Spotlight
Rotary is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. Rotary’s motto is simple – service above self. This is a motto that Borton Petrini’s senior counsel Fred Begun has followed since he first joined Rotary Club of San Jose in 2013. Fred recently sat down to answer some questions about his ongoing involvement with Rotary Club of San Jose.
Why did you first get involved in Rotary Club of San Jose?
I joined Rotary Club of San Jose in 2013. My family has always had some form of community engagement. I consider myself a serial monogamist volunteer. Get involved. Share in activities and good works, then move to another opportunity, to engage in a different way. Rotary Club of San Jose is about the 8th oldest and 8th largest club in all of Rotary. We have a tremendous history of community engagement, but also global partnership. I felt the itch to be involved after a few years with no activity and found Rotary Club of San Jose. Initially I work on fund raising and social activities before getting asked to serve in a leadership capacity. Out of a club of about 450 members, I felt this was an honor and opportunity to be more involved.
What inspires you the most about Rotary Club of San Jose’s work?
My wife and I are normal folk, whatever that means. We do our donations to this or that, but focusing through Rotary Club of San Jose we have an opportunity to make our bits of money and effort multiply and have significant impact. Whether it be the $6 million dollar Rotary Play Garden, developed for access to children of all abilities, San Jose flood relief, Hurricane Relief in the Philippines, Fire Relief in the North Bay, or Rotoplast Missions in Central America funding and participating in cleft palate surgeries for hundreds of children or clothing and food for community homeless or needy, this is adynamic club doing things great and small, all with impact. But all of that goes with great fellowship among members and more.
What is your most memorable moment with Rotary Club of San Jose?
Before I was on the Foundation Board, I volunteered on the Event Committee, which is responsible for the annual fundraising Gala. Specifically, I led the solicitation/donation of auction items for both live and silent auctions during our Gala. The auction is a part of the overall fundraising, but helping to raise about $225,000 a year, for several years, was quite a thrill.
What are ways that members of the community can support this organization?
The Rotary Club of San Jose is a well-established organization. There seem to be Rotary Clubs, of all sizes, in most communities. People can search out a Rotary Club or other service organization in their community. Join if it suits you. Befriend a member and participate by donation of money, goods, services or time. Engagement in your own community, with an interest or passion is a reward.
Fred Begun is Senior Counsel with the San Jose Office of Borton Petrini, LLP. He is a family law and estate planning attorney, and can be reached at (408) 535-0870 or via email at email@example.com.