Branch 8

Make Friends for Life

Activity Reports


Activities: The Lifeblood of our Branch

I am sure that you’ve noticed that one of the Branch’s main emphasis is making/keeping our activities healthy. Branch 8 has now 49 Activities and 3 Events; with 34 of them being co-ed. As you can see, we have a lot going on activity-wise, and there are possibilities for more. There is no shortage of opportunities.

There are several things that you may do to help in making/keeping our activities healthy, as well as possibly increasing them. The following are just some examples; you might think of others:

If you are not participating in an activity, scour the Hotline and/or the Website to see if there is an activity that may interest you, contact the Chair and arrange a visit.

If you are a member of an activity ask a SIR-eligible friend to come with you as a guest to the activity.

If there’s not an activity that doesn’t suit your fancy, you might consider starting one that suits you and may interest other members. Contact me, and I will help you get started.

You can help to contribute to the activities that are of interest to you by providing leadership as an Activity Chairman or Assistant Activity Chairman; especially if you see that the activity may be losing its leadership. The most recent example is Pickleball. Nick Maufe and Dan Kohlman stepped up and “resurrected” Pickleball as Chair and Assistant Chair respectively.

Please contact me if you are interested in exploring new roles in our activities. Contact me at

I look forward to hearing from you.

And last, but not in any way least, on behalf of Branch 8  I want to take this opportunity to Applaud and Thank the Activity Chairmen and Assistant Chairmen, as well as those of you who are contributing in other ways to the health of our activities. BRAVO!

Thom Watkins,
Activities Coordinator




Attendance Secretary

Become part of a team working with the Attendance secretary to complete lunch time logistics and setup.

Bill Peterson is looking for volunteers to assist with membership Badges and with Facilities Setup here at the Hilton.  Descriptions are posted on the Branch website home page – just scroll down to “Volunteers Needed!”.

Descriptions are also listed below:

Badge Assistant

Assist the Attendance Secretary by bringing and setting up the badge trays as part of our lunch-time logistics.  Create, repair, and retire badges as needed.  Aid the Attendance Secretary in reconciling lunch attendance via unused badges.  Collect the badges and badge trays after the lunch, take them home and refile badges in the trays.

Estimated 7-8 hours / month.


Facility Setup Assistant

Work with the Hilton, activity chairmen, and the Attendance Secretary to help ensure that the appropriate signage is in place for our lunch days, both within the main room and in the lobby.  Check that the Hilton has provided the appropriate number of tables in the needed positions.  Collect signage at the end of lunch.  Consult with the Attendance Secretary in advance for any special needs.

Estimated 3-4 hours / month.


For more information contact:

Bill Peterson




Sirs at the Games: 

1)  How about some big-time college football?  The California Golden Bears meet the USC Trojans at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley on Saturday, November 16.  (Cal upset #14 Washington 20-19 on last seconds field goal) Please contact Ron Kosich to learn more and signup for this game,


2)  Have you been to the new Chase Center in San Francisco?  Sirs Branch 8 is going.  We will see the Golden State Warriors play the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.  We are currently exploring group seat options for this game or the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, January 16.  Please contact Steve Schramm to reserve your seats for this special game,

See you at the game(s)!




Dine-In 3

Will have its next dinner at Tony de Losada’s home on Sept 18th.  One of the member couples will be on travel, so that opens up two places at this event.  If you have ever wondered what a dine-in group does (besides eat, drink, and talk), this would be a great opportunity to find out.  Contact Rich Cheney at 925.238.6373, , if you are interested.



Dine-In 4

Will have its next meeting on October 4 at the home of Allen Curtis. The menu will be a Mexican theme.




SIR Poker

Effective Sept 1, the venerable Dan Franklin resigned as chairman of the Sir Poker group.

Ron Draper,,  has accepted the Chairmanship. However, Dan will remain as the Assistant Chair.



$UMS in Retirement

Will meet Wed September, 25 at 8 AM at the Legends
Restaurant at Diablo Creek Golf Course on Port Chicago Highway, Concord, just north of Hwy 4.
The presenter will be Greg Vogel of GKV Capital. His topic is finding special situations during highly uncertain times.The Legends opens at 7 AM. Come early and have a leisurely breakfast with your colleagues prior to the meeting. Ladies are welcome.

Chair – Tom Henry – Branch 174
Co-chair Dave Sutton – Branch 8 –



 SIRS at the Opera

 There are some important changes and updates as well as many new members since the activity was first established:


1)  Bolshoi Ballet has been added to the activity.  Seven delayed transmissions arrive from Moscow this year, including the ever popular The Nutcracker in December.  (What a treat to take your ballet-student grand-daughter to!)  The ballets come as Sunday matinees to the Century theaters in Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill; last year the tickets were $17.

2)  Century Cinema in Blackhawk no longer carries the operas, but the multiplexes in Dublin and Emeryville still carry both the operas and Bolshoi ballets.  (The one time I went to an HD opera at the Hacienda in Dublin, the sound was lousy.  Definitely not HD.)

3)  Because of the (idiotic) replacement of the theater seating with far fewer reclining loge chairs, it has become necessary to check in advance online for seat availability, and much of the time online reservations should be made.  The live Saturday matinees are sold out long in advance for the popular operas.  Advance tickets can be bought at the box office without booking fees and are refundable.  The live Saturday matinee tickets are $25 and the recorded performances the following Wednesday at 1:00pm and 6:30pm are $22.  But for this you get the equivalent of a $250 orchestra seat at the 4000-seat theater in New York – and you get live interviews with the stars as they come off the stage at intermission.  What a deal!

4)  It should be emphasized once more that membership in the SIRS at the Opera activity does not require participation.  It only allows the members to receive e-mail reminders, NYT and other reviews of the opening night performance, and sometimes short trailers, usually by different opera companies.  And because the operas and ballets are all public events, you can bring your family and friends.

David Bushnell, Chair,


A New Just Approved Activity: SIRs at Foreign Films

Think about seeing acclaimed films from other countries of the world!  We will be sending out a separate e-mail with more detailed information. Stay tuned.