Special Events Archive New

This page lists our branch special events from most recent to oldest. The Covid pandemic has limited special events to online for the time being. We hope to be ramping up special events later in 2021 as we get back to some semblance of normality.


We had a virtual tour of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
September 11, 2020
The tour covered 3 major labs: Advanced Light Source, Molecular Foundry, and NERSC (the super fast huge computer lab).

Ano Nuevo Seal Walk - Feb 13, 2020

Ano Nuevo Seal Walk-Feb 13, 2020


Our group gathered at the park's meeting area prior for our scheduled 1 pm tour start. Some brought and enjoyed picnic lunches before the start of the tour.
After a near 1 mile walk from the initial meeting location along a gravel path to the tour staging area, the group was able to hear from a park ranger about the various animals that were active along this section of the California coast and meet our tour docent, Wendy Wheeler.
Docent Wendy Wheeler led our tour of 14 members and guests. Her knowledge was extensive and she was able to answer all of the questions the group had. Everyone agreed that she provided an awesome experience over the 3 hour tour.
The path from the staging area to the beach locations of the seals was a bit tougher to hike, especially going up over the sand dunes but everyone made it! On the way, we encountered several young bull seals that were lounging about. Early February is peak season when the Northern Elephant Seals are most plentiful and our group was not disappointed with the near 3-hour tour. 
Our group witnessed bulls engaging in battles for breeding with the females, and female mothers with their pups. Mothers nurse their pups for a month before weaning their pups, mating, and heading back to sea. In that short time our docent Wendy Wheeler explained that pups can grow from 50 lbs at birth to 300 lbs!
Additional info is available on their web site.
Our group enjoyed a very nice early dinner following the tour at Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay before returning home. What a great outing!
Sitting from Left to Right: Betty Maddox, Barb Wixon, Monica Wnuk, Chris Poulin & Denise Basso
Standing from Left to Right: Fred Pourmirzaie, Bob Maddox, Frank Wnuk, John Kent, Bill Cunningham, Dan Poulin, Danny Basso, Margie Basile & Bob Basile

Historic Paramount Theater Tour - Feb 5, 2020

Historic Paramount Theater Tour - Feb 5, 2020
Oakland's Paramount Theatre is one of the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States. Designed by renowned San Francisco architect Timothy L. Pflueger and completed in late 1931, it was one of the first Depression-era buildings to incorporate and integrate the work of numerous creative artists into its architecture and is particularly noteworthy for its successful orchestration of the various artistic disciplines into an original and harmonious whole. It is the home of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and, as one of the San Francisco Bay Area's premiere performing arts facilities, hosts a year-round schedule of popular music concerts, variety shows, and theatrical plays.
Our group tour consisted of a 90 minute docent led behind the scenes tour of this beautiful Theater. The cost was $6 per person;  the tour started at 10 am and was considered a wonderful day according to all 18 attendees. Docent (Erin) was informative, articulate and really funny- highly entertaining. Items discussed: theater history, architecture, renovation, etc. Lunch at Agave Uptown was a hit.

California State Railroad Museum - Jan 22, 2020  

Train Ride to Tour - Jan 22, 2020
Widely regarded as North America's finest  and most popular railroad museum, the California State Railroad Museum houses more than 20 restored locomotives and railroad cars, along with thousands of smaller artifacts and a variety of exhibits in its 100,000 sq.ft. exhibition facility. 
Our group outing, consisting of 30 SIR members and guests, started off by boarding the SAC Captial Corridor AMTRAK train out of the Martinez station around 10 am. The 1 hour train ride was very comfortable and interesting, passing through the countryside that you don't see when traveling along highways 680 and 80.
Upon arrival at the Sacramento station on the edge of Old Sacramento Historic Park, we had a short walk over to the museum.
While our tour organizers, Randy and Lorna Wong, got our entry tickets, the group enjoyed a brief break in the museum lobby.
Our assigned docent,​​​​​ Bob Shillato, gave us a quick history of how the railroad was developed in California followed by a walk through the lower level of the museum. He pointed out some of the key exhibits to explore which included a number of original locomotives and refurbished train cars. The museum has done an amazing job of setting up the exhibits so you can walk through several of the cars to really get a feel for what it was like to be on a train in the late 1800's/early 1900's.
Of particular note was the Postal Car which had a docent to explain how it all worked!
At noon our entire group walked over to the Rio City Cafe for a wonderful lunch on their covered patio. Following lunch, some members of our tour explored 'old town' while a number of our party headed back to the the museum to continue to explore. Along with the many exhibits there was an award winning 20 minute movie , "Evidence of a Dream", which described the importance of the railroad in developing California and making America. They also have the largest collection of toy trains to look at. 
Our group enjoyed a relaxing return trip by train to the Martinez station, returning about 4:30 pm.
It was a great day!

Tracy Amazon Distribution Center - Jan 8, 2020

Visit to Tracy Amazon Distribution Center - Jan 8, 2020
31 Sirs and guests participated in this latest visit to this amazing facility. Due to popular demand, another tour has been scheduled for July to allow those that could not get into this tour to get a chance to visit the facility!

SF Asian Art Museum - Dec 12, 2019

A number of members attended our branch outing to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum scheduled pn Thursday, December 12th. The exhibits span cultures from Turkey to India and China to the Philippines through 6,000 years, the collection provides a panorama of Asian art and culture. Included are over 18,000 objects ranging from tiny jades to monumental sculptures. Superb paintings, porcelains, arms and armor, furniture, textiles, and bronzes are featured. The group enjoyed lunch following the tour.

Holiday Dinner/Dance Party - Dec 4, 2019

SIR 128 Holiday Dinner Party
Diablo County Club
Dec 4, 2019
Our annual Holiday Dinner & Dance Event was another great success thanks to SIR Frank Wnuk and his event committee (Tony Fassiotto, Frank O'Neal, Bill Corbett and Dan Poulin)! Following another great Diablo culinary experience, the dancing commenced with our new favorite band, ALISON SHIRONA
Check out the photos attendees have submitted for sharing......... 
New member Sam Martin and wife Retha really enjoyed their first time to this event; Retha posing with new Big Sir John Kent and Barb Wixon; Retha and Barb out on the dance floor.
Starting on left, Richard and Sally Graver; Paul and Steph Ahern; Peter and Missy Davey; Sue and Gil Madeiros
Joanne and Gary Sarmento

Walt Disney Family Museum - Nov 6, 2019

Our branch visited the Walt Disney Family Museum, located in a renovated building on The Presidio in San Francisco. 

Exploring Angel Island - Oct 23, 2019

Located in the northeast corner of San Francisco Bay, Angel Island has been an integral part of the San Francisco story dating back to the Civil War. Our group departed from the Tiburon/ Angel Island ferry terminal on Wednesday October 23rd at 10:00 AM. After exploring the Visitor Center and gift shop, the tour stopped at all of the historical sites while the narrator gives us the history of that site. Other stops included the Civil War camp, the Nike Missile Sites, WWII battery sites, the US Immigration Station as well as the Japanese detention center. 

SIR Day at the Races - Oct 18, 2019

SIR Day at the Races
Golden Gate Fields
From L to R: Bill & Judy Buhl, jockey Kyle Frey, Joe Santone, guest Mike Fazzio and John Bevilacqua
Several branch members and guests had a great time at the recent Sirs Day at the Races event at Golden Gate Fields. Bill Buhl has now been designated as the official Branch racing tout as he was the big winner having picked a number of winners including daily doubles and exactas. From now on we can refer to him as Lucky Bill!
We took advantage of the $41 deal which got you complimentary parking, entrance to the Turf Club, a Racing Program and a Prime Rib Buffet (tax and gratuity included). This is a semi-annual event so you will have another chance to go this spring.

Fleet Week Cruise aboard USS Pototmac - Oct 9, 2019

Approximately 120 members and guests enjoyed a wonderful day on the bay sailing the USS Potomac in the branch private charter during Fleet Week! Comments included the following:
"It was a wonderful afternoon...worth repeating!" - Peter Davey
"My wife and I had a wonderful time." - Peter Garcia
"Great day thanks for organizing" - Guy Greco 
Photos taken during the cruise!

Eugene O'Neill Play NIght - Sep 19, 2019

Eugene O'Neill was America's first great playwright, and the only American playwright to be honored with the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lived at Tao House in the hills above Danville from 1937-1944. It was here that O'Neill wrote his greatest and final plays, including Long Days Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh, and A Moon for the Misbegotten, among others.

Long Day’s Journey is a memory play about the playwright's family when he was growing up in New London, CT. His father, James O'Neill, was a prominent actor; his mother - a former convent girl addicted to morphine after childbirth; and his carousing brother Jamie. All have dreams, ambitions and secrets that impact younger brother Eugene (named 'Edmund' in the play). Long Day’s Journey into Night is considered one of America's greatest dramas.

A limited number of reduced price seats were reserved for SIR members and guests for this special event sponsored by the Eugene O'Neill Foundation. Branch 128 was well represented.

SF Victorian Homes Tour - Sep 3, 2019

A special private 2-hours walking tour of Victorian homes in San Francisco was organized for Wednesday, September 4. The cost was $25 per person. Our guide, Jay Gifford, took us on a tour of Pacific Heights with its colorful Victorian row houses, famous mansions, and beautiful gardens. Feedback from the tour was extremely positive. Lots of details and stories from our guide made the experience quite special.

Branch BBQ - Aug 7, 2019

The SIR branch cooking activity group, led by John Noll, hosted 150+ members and guests to a fantastic cookout at the Central Park complex in San Ramon on Wednesday, August 7th from 4 - 7 pm.
The windy conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm and enjoyment of all that attended. The cooking activity teamwork was in full view as they grilled sausages and chicken to perfection.
Accompanying the succulent grilled meats, the group enjoyed pasta and potato salads and, drum roll please, Ann's Famous Beans (OMG - clearly the star of the show! Click HERE for the recipe!).  
Many thanks to the crew!
Front L-R: Joe Rivello, Bo Brummett, Bill Chang, Danny Basso, John Noll
Back L-R: Doug Beck, Mike Thelan, Fred Pourmirzaie, Truman Howard, Greg Grebe, Chuck Lipper, Randy Wong

SF Bay Model Tour - Jul 24, 2019

SIRS interested in the geological and natural landscape of the San Francisco Bay area participated in a 90-minute docent-led tour of the SF Bay Model located in Sausalito.
Feedback from the tour....
"Very interesting and informative tour. Volunteer Docents explained many of the water issues very well, and the pace was relaxed!"
"The Bay Model is impressive. It is huge – two football fields in size. We learned that it was designed and built in the 1950s by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was built to answer questions about water flows and “what if” scenarios for the SF Bay’s mix of fresh water and salt water. What is impressive is that this was all done manually (“with slide rules”) including extensive fathom and current measurements. It operated until the 1990s, being replaced by computer modeling now done in Vicksburg, Mississippi by the Corps of Engineers. 
The model is two football fields in size. That works out to a very large model area with water that’s maybe ¼ to 1” deep. Only a small part of the model is deeper. That’s lots of water in a pretty shallow Bay and delta. The Golden Gate itself is impressively deep and scoured down to bedrock. The model simulates a day’s four high and low tides in about 15 minutes. You can see the Golden Gate’s tidal water inflow and outflow change in less than 4 minutes.
Thanks to Randy Wong for arranging the tour.

Oakland Zoo Tour - Jul 12, 2019

Sirs and guests  participated in a docent-led walking tour of the Oakland Zoo on Friday, July 12th. During this 90 minute toor, they explored and learned about the animals and wildlife in the zoo’s main venue. After the tour, the group was free to roam the zoo grounds at their leisure. Some packed a lunch to take advantage of the numerous picnic tables available or dined in one of the restaurants in the park, including the Landing Cafe at the top of the zoo in the recently opened California Trail exhibit. Feedback from participants was very positive.

Amazon Distribution Center Tours - Jun 10 & 12, 2019

Group Tours of the Tracy Amazon Distribution Center 
The events committee organized several docent-led tours of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Tracy, CA.
Both tours started at 10 a.m. and were led by Amazon employee Shane Agrella and several of his associates. Shane walked us through the facility explaining every thing that was going on. 
The Tracy facility is nearly 1.3 million square feet and employs 2500 full time personnel.  All who participated expressed amazement and wonder at the scale and complexity of the operation - how “humans and robotics work in concert to process from 1 to over 2 million orders a day during the holiday season!” 

Wildflower Walk on Mt. Diablo - May 22, 2019

Wildflower Walk on Mt.Diablo & Lunch
Sir Phil Reed led a group of hikers along the Mary Bowerman trail to view wildflowers on Mount Diablo on this outing.
Following the hike, some of the group shared lunch together at Rocco's Pizzeria.

Rosie the Riveter Tour - May 17, 2019

Rosie the Riveter – WWII Home Front

National Historic Park Visit


We had a great tour and got to meet some of the surviving "Rosies".

SF Maritime Museum Tour - Apr 24, 2019

Our group had a docent-led tour of the sights, sounds,and textures of San Francisco's seafaring past with a visit to San Francisco Maritime Museum.  The open air tour which started at 11 am took them through many of the historic ships that sailed in and out of the Bay Area which included the coastal schooner, C.A. THAYER and walk on the wooden decks of the BALCLUTHA, a square-rigger sailing ship that rounded Cape Horn 17 times.
The group enjoyed the beautiful day!

Ladies Day Luncheon - Apr 10, 2019

Annual Ladies Day Luncheon
It was a lovely day at the SIRS 128 Annual Ladies Day Luncheon which was held at Blackhawk Country Club for the first time.
The Goodwill Bags, a volunteer auxiliary of Goodwill of the Greater East Bay, presented a unique fashion shows featuring an exquisite collection of high fashion couture gowns to humorous sporting attire, corsets, bustles, chamber pots, reticules, flappers, furs and more – all vintage fashions from the mid-1800s to 1960s.
The Goodwill Bags’ models presented an hour long show with a commentator who brought the fashions to life, incorporating history and humor. It was an extraordinary opportunity to learn a bit of “live” history to which we might otherwise not be exposed.
The narrative was both fun and full of interesting facts about the fashions and happenings in the era in which they were worn. Please turn up your speakers and click on the link below to see the wonderful slideshow that Sir Bob Basile's resourceful & creative spouse, Margie, produced....
CLICK HERE to view the slideshow!
A BIG round of applause for all of those who contributed to this delightful event to honor the ladies who are in the lives of our members. Kudos to organizer, Sir Joe Rivello for coming up with a new and unique event this year!

Claude Monet Exhibit - Mar 26, 2019

Special Claude Monet "The Late Years" Exhibit
On Tuesday, March 26th, SIR 128 members and guests had the opportunity to tour the de Young Museum in San Francisco which featured a special guided tour of Claude Monet's "The Late Years" displaying 50 of his paintings from 1913 to 1926, the final phase of his long career.
The group was also able to take in the works of Paul Gauguin entitled "Spiritual Journey", an exceptional display of more than 50 of his paintings, wood carvings, and ceramics.  The exhibition featured artworks from all of the distinctive phases of his work.
They also shared lunch during their visit.
Many thanks to Bob Denison for organizing the tour!

Holiday Dinner/Dance Party - Dec 5, 2018

Diablo Country Club
Dec 5, 2018
Our 2018 Holiday Dinner/Dance Party was enjoyed by over 266 members and guests on December 5th thanks to the efforts of event organizer, former Big Sir Frank Wnuk, and his event team!
The food (164 beef filets, 97 salmon filets and 5 vegetarian pastas) was delicious! How do they serve that many perfectly cooked filets???
Our new band this year, Alison Sharino, entertained all during dinner, rocking out for dancing the rest of the evening. 
The event was an unqualified success as you can see from the many photos listed below!

SF Ferry Building Farmer's Market Visit - Oct 13, 2018

SF Ferry Building Farmer's Market
Our Cooking Class Activity Group experienced a Foodie Field Trip to SF’s Ferry Building Farmers’ Market
Thirteen SIRs and spouses enjoyed a beautiful day at the SF Ferry Building Farmers Market.  Weather was perfect - 70° and brilliant sunshine.  There was a huge colorful array of peppers, heirloom tomatoes and fresh greens.  We all enjoyed unique, tasty luncheon treats:  porquette sandwiches, Arab street wraps with beef sausage, duck eggs, pulled pork – the choices were incredible.  And the boat ride was terrific – views of the city, all three bridges, the bay and the tents from the Market.
  Check out these photos from the day....

Chabot Space & Science Center Tour - Oct 10, 2018

It was a beautiful, sunny day as our group congregated in front of the Chabot Space & Science Center in the Oakland hills in advance of our 10:30 am docent-led tour of the facility. Because of our number, we were split into 2 groups. One group, led by docent Michael Steckel, headed up to the observatory deck to check out the telescopes.
Chabot houses three telescopes on its observatory deck. Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope, is a 36 inch reflector telescope, housed in a rolling roof observatory that allows access to 180 degrees of sky. This modern, research-quality telescope offers breathtaking views of the cosmos. Everyone enjoyed the briefing provided by the docents explaining the history of the telescopes and how they operated. We learned that the 2 of the telescopes (Leah & Rachel), could not be exposed until the humidity level dropped to 85 degrees or less. That did happen later in our visit so a number of the group went back up to catch a glimpse of Venus!
8" Refractor 20" Refractor 36" Reflector
The impressive 20 inch telescope, named Rachel, is the largest refractor in the western United States regularly open to the public. Its companion, the 8 inch Alvan Clark refractor, named Leah, is the original 1883 instrument donated by founder Anthony Chabot.
Our group also enjoyed the newly opened deck area that included a fascinating  exhibit of a HEAT CAMERA. The stationary Heat Camera provided a window into a sliver of the light spectrum that is otherwise unavailable to the human eye – infrared. A camera sensitive to infrared light picked up the heat emitted by our group on the deck and displayed it as a color image on a large screen. Warmer objects emit more infrared light than cooler ones, and different parts of the body are often different temperatures, as revealed by the camera. Many of us looked like quite comical through this camera!
After a quick lunch, we enjoyed a movie in the Planetarium theater. It was a highly enjoyable experience!

Chocolate Making Class - Sep 13, 2018

Rachel Dunn Chocolates - Sep 13, 2018

On Thursday, Sept 13th, 35 branch members and guests experienced a hands-on chocolate workshop making delicious American and French chocolates with acclaimed Chocolatier Michael Dunn. The 90 minute workshop began at 1:15 pm and many attendees expressed that "they and spouses had a wonderful time." Check out the newly trained chocolatiers of SIR Branch 128!

L to R: Greg Grebe, Dan & Sylvia Mahoney, Maureen & Herb Schreiber

L to R: Ron & Eileen Weston, Vernon Olson, Chris Whelan, Judy Holmes

L to R: Danny Basso, Bill Corbett, Frank O'Neill

Randy & Lorna Wong

Niles Canyon Wine Train Experience - Aug 18, 2018

SIR 128 Wine Train Special Event
Our group enjoyed an afternoon of Livermore wines while cruising through Niles Canyon, riding on history!
We experienced the bygone era of travel through scenic Niles Canyon on a vintage train from Sunol to Niles and back thanks to Danny and Denise Basso, our organizers. En route, we were served specially-selected wines from the Livermore Valley, accompanied by a small taste of cheese and grapes.
We learned that as one of the Golden State's oldest wine regions, Livermore Valley played a pivotal role in shaping California's wine industry. Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley in the 1760s. In the 1840s, California pioneers looking for outstanding vineyard sites began planting grapes in the region. Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vines in the 1840s. Pioneer winemakers C. H. Wente, James Concannon, and Charles Wetmore recognized the area's winegrowing potential and founded their wineries in the early 1880s.
Wine Educator Steve Ferree talked us through tasting a flight of Livermore wines. Each wine will be paired with an hors d’oeuvre selected especially for that wine. A Certified Wine Professional with the Society of Wine Educators, Ferree has earned certificates in wine from the Culinary Institute of America and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. He writes about wine for the online newspaper Examiner.com and in his wine blog at WineProGuy.com.

The Marine Mammal Center Visit - Jul 20, 2018

Docent-led tour of Marine Mammal Center
Our guide, Gabriella, provided an excellent overview/tour of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito  attended by 25 SIR members and guests. All were impressed with her knowledge of the subject matter. Lot's of questions posed and answered. The facility is quite extensive and seems to play a leadership role in the field of Marine Mammal science. Unfortunately, our timing did not coincide with feeding time but everyone seemed to enjoy the visit.
Lunch happened at FISH in Sausalito
Everyone seemed to enjoy it!

SIR 128 MLB Ballgame Outing - Jun 6, 2018

SIR 128 Day At The Giants - Jun 6, 2018
40 SIR members and guests enjoyed a thrilling extra-inning day game at AT&T Park as our Giants took on and defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4.

SF Botanical Gardens Docent-led Tour - May 8, 2018

Approximately 20 Sir members and guests traveled to San Francisco to experience a guided tour of the magnificent 78 year old Botanical Gardens park!
The hour tour covered how the park came to be and evolved over the years to establish a collection of trees, shrubs and flowers from around the globe. It seems our SF location, found along the 37th parallel, provides a similar climate to that of many Mediterranean countries, as well as, countries such as Japan! Along the southern 37th parallel, Santiago, Chile is very much like our San Francisco climate, only in reverse. 

Mt. Diablo Special Wildflower Walk - Apr 28, 2018

Mt. Diablo Special Wildflower Walk Led by Fellow SIR Phil Reed
18 Sir members and guests enjoyed a wildflower walk on Mitchell Canyon Road in the north side of Mount Diablo State Park. The group met at the Mitchell Canyon parking lot at the end of the Mitchell Canyon paved road. The weather was mostly cool and cloudy which worked well.
The 3-hour, 2 - 3 mile stroll along a dirt fire road and adjoining trail was led by our very own 128 member Phil Reed, a long-time docent and hike leader for the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. Phil did an outstanding job pointing out all of the flowers, bushes and trees encountered along the way.  He even provided a detailed listing documenting the various flowers, trees and shrubs the group might encounter on our little expedition. 
Following the experience, a majority of the group enjoyed lunch at Rocco's Pizzeria & Ristorante close by. Fortunately, Phil forgot to carry through with the threatened quiz of the flora viewed that day.

SIR Day at the Races - Apr 20, 2018

A small SIR 128 contingent enjoyed the  Golden Gate Fields “Salute to SIR” day at the races on Friday April 20, 2018 at a special discounted Turf Club group rate of $41 pp for SIR groups. Their Turf Club package included valet parking (or parking for a bus), admission and reserved seating, a welcome glass of champagne, daily racing program, Turf Club buffet, tax/tip for the food servers.

Ladies Day Luncheon - Apr 18, 2018

Annual Ladies Day Luncheon
Diablo Country Club
269 Registered Guests!
was very entertaining but considered by some to be a bit too "salty"

USS Hornet Tour - Apr 4, 2018

20 SIR 128 members and guests participated in a 2+ hour docent-led tour of the USS Hornet on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. A Registered Historical Landmark, the aircraft carrier Hornet participated in two of history's most significant events: World War II and the recovery of the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 manned lunar missions.
During this docent led tour, the group experienced the following:
  • Climb to the Navigation Bridge and stand at the helm where captains bravely commanded this 900 foot long, 41,600 ton ship & visit the Combat Information Center (CIC)
  • Stand on the flight deck and sense the thrill of aircraft being launched and recovered
  • Take a close look at vintage aircraft and an authentic
  • Apollo test Capsule and Mobile Quarantine TrailerApollo test Capsule and Mobile Quarantine Trailer
  • Walk through Officer's quarters, crew's deck, medical spaces and other areas imagining what life was like on a floating city
Following the tour, a number of the group gathered for  lunch at  a local restaurant, Scolari's At The Point, located at the nearby Rockwall Winery.

Blackhawk Museum Tour - Mar 7, 2018

24 members & guests experienced a docent-led tour of several exhibits featured at the museum on Wednesday, March 7th! The tour included a look at the Classic Autos followed by the Spirit of the Old West exhibit. Our very own Truman Howard was one of our docents.

Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Park - Feb 7, 2018



The group enjoyed a docent lead tour of the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Park.  Ano Nuevo State Park is between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz  and is home to a large colony of Northern Elephant Seals.  Seal activities, birthing and population counts vary widely from December through March, but are at their peak in early February. The walk is 3 miles,lasting 2.5 hours, and is considered moderate with varied terrain including sand dunes

Holiday Dinner/Dance Party - Dec 5, 2017

Our 2017 Holiday Dinner/Dance Party was enjoyed by over 230+ members and guests on December 6th thanks to the efforts of event organizer, former Big Sir Frank Wnuk, and his event team!
The food (150 beef filets, 80 salmon filets and 4 vegetarian lasagnas) was delicious! How do they serve that many perfectly cooked filets???
Our band, Larry and the Mob, rocked out following dinner to the delight of all attendees.
The event was an unqualified success as you can see from the many photos listed below (thanks Margie Basile)!
Calm before the Storm - Getting Ready!
Pre-Dinner in the Lounge!
Dinner is Served!
Welcome, Thank-You, and Drawing Time!
Can you say "Prom King & Queen"?
Bob & Karen Turner
Dance, Dance, Dance!
Some Happy Couples Enjoying the Event!
Judy and Bill Buhl
Dick & Carole Gilpin
Dan & Chris Poulin
Marilyn & Tan Matosian
Judy & Jim Powers
Angela & Joe Rivello
Maureen & Herb Schreiber
Marianne & Bob Lyons
John & Virginia Arezone
Margie & Bob Basiile

Christ the Light Cathedral Tour - Nov 9, 2017

Former Big Sir Frank Wnuk led a tour of the Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland.  The cathedral was dedicated on Sept 25, 2008. It was designed by Craig Hartman of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Sa Francisco. The design uses the natural elements of Wood and Light and the ancient construction elements of Glass (sand and fire) and concrete, a Roman invention. The design has won over 32 architectural awards for its utterly unique design fusing Catholic tradition and 21st Century technology.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Tour - Jul 18, 2017

Tour of Lawrence Livermore Labs with the SIR128 group
The tour started and concluded at the Laboratory's Discovery Center off Greenville Road in Livermore at 8:30 a.m. and last 3-1/2 hours. The group was very impressed. 
The tour stopped at the National Ignition Facility, the world's largest and most energetic laser; the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, the national center for mapping and predicting potential spread of hazardous materials in the atmosphere; and the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, a world-class research facility used for environmental and biomedical research, nuclear physics, materials characterization and national security applications.

Filoli Gardens Tour - May 10, 2017

Filoli Gardens
We had 25 participants for our visit to the Filoli Estate and Gardens. The docents did a wonderful job - nearly 2.5 hour tour of the Filoli mansion and gardens. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Some had lunch on premises at Filoli Cafe while others dispersed to other local restaurants or went directly home.

Ladies Day Luncheon - Apr 19, 2017

Diablo Country Club

232 members and guests attended this annual event favorite! All enjoyed the tasty lunch that started with a spinach salad, followed by an entree of either grilled salmon, grilled chicken or ravioli. Dessert consisted of vanilla ice cream with a butterscotch sauce
An Outstanding Comedian
Performed Following Lunch
The ladies present were included in a raffle of great prizes this year which included restaurant certificates, chocolate & wine, spa visits, tickets to the annual Holiday Dinner/Dance in Dec and a night at the Marines Memorial hotel in downtown San Francisco!
Special thanks to event organizer Joe Rivello (and Angela) for continuing the tradition of making this a very special SIR 128 event!

Oakland Museum of California Visit - Feb 1, 2017

18 members and guests attended this outing on Wednesday, February 1st for a 45 minute guided tour of the Museum. Did you know that according to the popular travel web site Trip Advisor, the Oakland Museum of California is the #1 thing to do of 115 in Oakland? OMCA is an interdisciplinary museum dedicated to the art, history, and natural science of California, and contains more than 1.8 million objects dedicated to "telling the extraordinary story of California." The museum entrance fee was discounted to $13 per person and well worth the visit. 

Presidio National Park Tour - Oct 6, 2016

HERITAGE GALLERY I Telling the Presidio Story

Experience the Presidio story from 10,000 years ago to the present through multi-media displays - including films, images, and artifacts. A first-person film gives deeper meaning to the Presidio's legacy and its new national park chapter. Seasonal changing exhibits are hosted within the Presidio Heritage Gallery.

PASSAGE WAY  I   Beyond the  Gates

Explore the impact the  Presidio  had on the  history of the American  West and on events  around the globe,  and  learn about the generations of  soldiers who  passed through  the post.

MESA  ROOM  I  Within these Walls

See layers of history literally revealed, from the exposed colonial adobe walls of the  1810s to the  Post Headquarters of the 1880s and the Officers' Club of the 1930s and  1970s.

MORAGA  HALL  I The  Life of the  Post

The social life of the Officers' Club, past and present, is illustrated here. A scrapbook highlights the Presidio Commanding Officers', and an accompanying display  honors the  men and women who served  here in the U.S. Army. This grand space also hosts free public programs and is a comfortable  place for  relaxing  during  a visit.

USS Potomac Cruise - Aug 25, 2016

Thanks to Tony Mullins (aka Capt Kayaker) our branch, with over 100 members and guests, enjoyed a spectacular day cruising San Francisco Bay on the USS Potomac! The cruise started out cool and overcast but ended sunny and warm.  Our private charter allowed us to bring all manor of food, snacks and beverages onboard.  The docents and crew were excellent relating all of the stories, facts and information on the history of this vessel.  It was a truly wonderful day!
Some Photos of our Cruise
As you can probably tell, it was a bit "cool" out on the bay!

Oakland A's Game - May 4, 2016

SIR #128 MEMBERS and Guests watched the  Oakland A’s take on the Seattle Mariners at 12:35 pm, Wed., May 4th. Just $15 each for Reserved Seating Tickets in the “shade.”

Filoli Gardens Tour - Apr 6, 2016

Designed between 1915 – 1917 and set against the dramatic backdrop of the northern Santa Cruz mountains in Woodside, California, Filoli Estate and gardens is an excellent example of the Golden Age of American garden design and country house architecture. 
Our group split up into 2 groups and went off with our assigned docents.  The gardens are extensive and truly beautiful. The old Oak trees surrounding the estate were awe-inspiring.  Everyone enjoyed the day!

Hiller Aviation Museum Tour - Mar 2, 2016

SIR 128 members, family and guests visited the Hiller Aviation Museum on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 for a docent-led tour of the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos. Upon entering the museum they experienced exhibits that highlighted the many historic flight achievements native to Northern California. Entry only cost $9 per person and included a 1 hour docent led tour.  
The exhibits were very interesting.  
Many from the group enjoyed lunch from the food trucks located in the Museum parking lot. 

Blackhawk Museum Tour - Nov 11, 2015

A number of branch members and their guests participated in a docent-led tour of the recently opened Spirit of the Old West exhibition at the Blackhawk Museum.  The permanent exhibition tells the story of the western frontier from the perspective of both the Native Americans and the settlers before, during and after the expansion west.
The exhibition features authentic artifacts from the period, a large diorama depicting key historic moments, scenes of wildlife from the frontier and other elements that bring the past to life.  
Visitors did not believe how large and detailed this diorama is!
Our tour began at 1 pm and lasts approximately 90-120 minutes.  

El Sol Winery Visit - Oct 22, 2015

Little Sir Phil Davey organized a visit/tour to the El Sol winery in Livermore attended by a small group of members and spouses. The feedback from attendees was very positive.  The tour & tastings, which were projected to last approximately 90 minutes, lasted 3 hours.  It included going to the vineyards and seeing how the vines are pruned and a visit to the warehouse where the grapes are stamped three times a day. 
And, of course, lots of tasting!
All in all, what a great three hours and all for only $7.50 per person

Giants vs. Dodgers - Oct 1, 2015

Giants vs. Dodgers Group Outing
40 members, spouses, family & friends enjoyed a gorgeous day on the bay watching their favorite National League baseball team!

Christ the Light Cathedral Tour - Jun 24, 2015

Former Big Sir Frank Wnuk led a tour of the Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland on June 24th.  The cathedral was dedicated on Sept 25, 2008. It was designed by Craig Hartman of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Sa Francisco. The design uses the natural elements of Wood and Light and the ancient construction elements of Glass (sand and fire) and concrete, a Roman invention. The design has won over 32 architectural awards for its utterly unique design fusing Catholic tradition and 21st Century technology.

Yankee Hill Winery Coooking Class and Dinner - May 28, 2015

SIR 128 branch members and their guests (27 strong) trekked out to Columbia (gold country) to participate in another cooking class/dining experience at the Yankee Hill Winery.  This was the 2nd outing with a number of repeat attendees.  Upon arriving at 2 pm on the day of the event, the well-stocked kitchen was ready for action..........
Chef Ron Erickson led the group through the preparation of a Basque culinary experience.  
From left to right, Larry Roy, Bud Audette, Karl Scheick, Chef Ron & Jim Quon
...with many, many helpers!
Everyone seemed to have a good time creating tapas to enjoy before the main meal.  The group was very enthusiastic with most participants taking an active part in the preparation of the meal which featured a seasoned pork roast and several large pans of paella!  As with our prior event, the wine flowed freely throughout the 3+ hour event.   
All-in-all, it was really fun and a great learning experience for all attendees.  All for an incredibly low price of just $40 per person! Everyone appeared thrilled with the experience and said they would like to do it, again!  It appears that Moroccan cuisine was the consensus for a future class.    

30th Anniversary Luncheon - May 20, 2015

A special SIR Lunch Meeting to mark our 30th anniversary
was held on Wednesday, May 20th!


Sir Bob Denison led the efforts of a small team of volunteers to plan and execute a spectacular Celebration Lunch with a special menu, birthday cake, prizes, special guest entertainment, and much, much, much more….. 

The Olivina Olive Ranch Tour - May 13, 2015

We had 32 SIR128 members and guests travel to Livermore for a 2 hour tour of The Olivina olive grove and processing facility. This olive ranch is located across from the Wente Vineyards.  Everyone learned a great deal about the olive oil industry in general, as well as, the history of the Olive Oil industry in the Livermore valley.  In addition to the oral presentation, the group received an olive oil processing overview and tour from the owner.  Upon the tour's conclusion, the group had the opportunity to taste many of the fine Olivina oils with a number of members purchasing a bottle or two to enjoy at home.
Many thanks to Sir Robert Caviglia for organizing this tour.

Ladies Day Luncheon - Apr 15, 2015

April was an exciting month with the celebration of another fabulous Ladies Day Lunch at Diablo Country Club. Every year it is an honor and pleasure for we Sirs to cherish the ladies in our lives. The weather was great, food was delicious, good service, and a very entertaining comedian. We had a record high turnout of 250 members and guests this year representing a 25% increase over our 2014 event.  Here are some photos provided by members....

Rosie the Riveter Museum Tour - Jan 30, 2015

15 SIR's, spouses, and guests traveled to the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front, National Historic Park  for an informative two hour docent- led tour. Two excellent documentary films presented both the local Richmond, Kaiser shipbuilding of 746 Liberty ships from 1940 to 1943 as well as the Ford assembly plant where both tanks and jeeps were built and shipped overseas. Three women Rosie's, now in their late 80's/90's, spoke to us of their personal efforts as welders and riveters during WWII. Our tour ended with lunch at the nearby Assemble restaurant. We all enjoyed this informative program and would highly recommend it to others.

Holiday Dinner/Dance Party - Dec 3, 2014

Our annual Holiday Dinner/Dance Party was, once again, our best attended event of the year!  Over 100 members attended this event!  Paid attendance, including spouses and guests, totaled 236.  Attendees enjoyed the wonderful meal and entertainment provided by Larry Lynch and the Mob.  The following photos were provided by members attending the event.  
Sir Tony Mullins, Theresa Fierro,  Little Sir Ernie Fierro & Mary Mullins

Yankee Hill Winery Cooking Class and Dinner - Nov , 2014

Our Special Event - Yankee Hill Cooking Class, held in November, 2014 was an unqualified success by any definition!!!  This was the first event of it's type for Jim Quon's Dine-Out group but clearly won't be the last!  This last event was based on Italian cuisine.   We had 27 souls for the event and I was really pleased at that number considering that it was a 2-hour drive to/from.  However, most folks stayed overnight in the immediate area and came home the next day.  
Everyone had a good time.  The spirit and enthusiasm of all was readily apparent.  We started with the making of appetizers and had a large selection of them on the table within a short time.  All were enjoying the appetizers and wine while our teaching Chef, Ron Erickson, conducted sessions on making fresh pasta and Lava Cake.  At the same time, we had started a nice Chicken Risotto for the main course.  We had a terrific dinner of a tossed green salad, a Zucchini Pasta for a starch and the Chicken Toscana with Mushroom Risotto for our main dish.




The wine was good and unlimited.  The food was great as was the group.  All-in-all, it was really fun and a great learning experience for those that were so inclined.  Some just kicked back, relaxed and watched the action and sipped wine and had a great dinner!  All for an incredibly low price of just $35! Everyone I talked to were thrilled with the experience all said they would like to do it, again!  So, it looks like it will be an annual event.  It might even be more than once a year.  

Wente Winery Tour - Oct 23, 2014

On Thursday, Oct 23rd, 35 SIR #128 members and their guests traveled to Livermore for a tour and wine tasting at Wente Winery.  During the tour, we learned how various Wente wines are made, bottled and mass produced–-followed by samplings of both "whites and reds." After the tour/tasting, many of the group joined Jim and Joyce Quon for the SIR monthly dine out at Posada Restaurant. Everyone seemed to have a  great time.