Region II, District 4, Division C, Area C-4, Club #1435

Toastmaster’s Club Reaches 25th Anniversary

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year is a Menlo Park club — SRI Organon Toastmasters, part of the international Toastmasters organization, which is dedicated to developing public speaking and leadership skills.

The club’s name — Organon — means an instrument of thought or knowledge.

It is rare for a Toastmasters club to be continuously active for 25 years.

Fifty-four people attended the club’s September anniversary dinner and awards ceremony, including current and former members, and guests — from as far away as San Francisco, Pleasanton, and San Luis Obispo. Attendees included people from the entire span of the club’s history.

Naomi Levinson, the club’s co-president, gave special acknowledgement to Esmond Lyons, founding member; and Melanie Killian and Susan Swope, both charter members.

The Founders: (from left to right) Melanie Killian, Esmond Lyons, Susan Swope

The Founders: (from left to right) Melanie Killian, Esmond Lyons, Susan Swope

Susan has the distinction of being the only continuously active member since the club’s inception. She looks forward to the 30th anniversary and hopes even more of the 350 or so past members join the celebration.

At the anniversary event, two members were recognized for distinguished service in the club: Peter Jarvis, who received the Karl Lind Award, and Eileen Behr, the Toastmaster of the Year award.

In addition, each year the SRI Organon Toastmasters Club gives the Communication & Achievement Award to a local community leader for serving the community; advancing a cause, idea or business; effecting change; or improving the lives of others. This year’s recipient is Angela McConnell, executive director of the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View.