April 25th - and May is coming
up at WVRC
You knew it was going to be a good meeting when you saw the dessert
on the table -
but I digress. Herewith, the report, OK? SHERRY DEWANE
led us in the Pledge, with the song up next. PP STEVE DAY
asked for PP JIM DOWNIE at the keyboard, and everyone applauded.
It was America, the Beautiful, which is one of our better
PP RON LYSTER came forward with the Invocation, which turned out to
be the third verse of America (see above) - generally familiar to
most of us - and it was appropriate.
LEE DUNAYER being unable to find any true Visiting Rotarians,
suggested that SHARON RHODES-WICKETT might be so considered in view
of her recent attendance record, and it was great to see BOB TROXLER
back with us, after some time off for illness. Our thanks to HARLAN
LEWIS for bringing him - keep it up, both of you, please. SHERRY
DEWANE brought along Lidia Rodriguez and Sandra Von Hall, both of
whom work with her at Wells Fargo.
RUDY ALVAREZ reminded us to complete the Roster Information page,
which was passed out today. HANK HEUER is putting us all into
the computer, so this is your chance to set the record straight - if
you don't turn in a form, the same copy as now appears will appear
again. RUDY then told us that WVRC will have the largest
attendance of any District 5280 Club attending the Conference next
weekend in San Diego - good show, guys! For those going down
on Thursday, and stopping off in Carlsbad to visit the SINGLETON'S,
the offramp is Poinsettia - turn left, and check our website for
further directions, or call John, please. And do RSVP to
Joanne, OK? One last note, here - NEVIN SENKAN'S Ambassadorial
Student, Yuriko Suzuki, who is in the MBA program at UCLA, is
seeking a ride to the District Conference. Please check with
NEVIN right away if you can help - it's important, and you will find
her to be a charming traveling companion.
Pres. GEORGE reminded us that one of our most popular programs is
the Christmas shopping party hosted by MIKE YOUSEM - and INSIDE OUT
is in that same vein.
Jody Brockway, who is on their Board of Directors, spoke briefly,
followed by Camille Ameen, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the
program. They provide healthy interaction among diverse
at-risk Los Angeles middle-school youth, principally by introducing
them to art, music and the theatre. Located at three LAUSD
middle schools, their after-school program currently serves 99 youth
and 18 high-school-age mentors. They conduct 16 weekly
workshops, plus a wide variety of theatre field trips,
arts workshops (for both students and parents) and other activities
all designed to inspire and nurture creativity in young people.
Their Neighborhood Arts Project is based at the Boys and Girls Club
of Venice, in the JIM COLLINS Building there. This is a summer
program, providing two 26-workshop arts sessions, serving up to 50
middle-school youth and families, plus four high-school students who
are Youth Artist Mentors. The heart of this program are the artists
who conduct the sessions - their ratio is 1 to 7, which allows
serious individual time with each student. Results have shown
significant growth in these kids appreciation for the arts and their
ability to express themselves effectively to other individuals and
in group settings.
The cost to provide these much-needed opportunities to these middle-schoolers
Thousand dollars per student - compared to 35K annually to
incarcerate those who don't have these life-changing opportunities.
A video showed some of the Inside Out activities - and it
certainly is a most worthwhile operation. They of course
welcome donation support - call Camille Ameen at (310) 306-6825.
SHERRY DEWANE had another guest, our Speaker, Lisa Harwood. Lisa
is also with Wells Fargo, and has fourteen years experience in
Financial Services. She specializes in the 529 Plan, which is
widely used as a tool to put away funds for later educational use.
Lisa proceeded to talk about two financial issues and their
solutions, both based on actual clients. This couple (who were
anonymous) was in the 70's, with four children and ten
grandchildren. They started a real estate development company
fifty years ago, and it was quite successful. Their decisions
cover their Estate Plan, plus the Estate Tax Liability.
They decided to invest 1.1 million dollars in the 529 College
Savings Account. There is a gift tax exemption of $11K each
year for each person who is gifted. They elected to put in the
maximum, $55K, which pays for five years of tax-exempt gifts to each
of their ten grandchildren. The condition of this gift, to be
fully tax-deductible, is that it must be used for educational
purposes - usually broadly defined - and the donor must survive for
the five-year period. If a donor dies during this time, the
tax advantages disappear for the unexpired portion of the five
What if the recipient doesn't want to go to college? The donor
can change recipients - doesn't have to be a relative, for instance.
The maximum allowed to be set aside in the 529 plan is about
$250K - depending upon which state version of the plan is chosen by
the donor - the minimum goes down to about $200K. These two
figures represent the general range of a college education today,
apparently. Specifically, the money must be used for a
qualified post-secondary education.
Since this was a Q&A discussion, many of our members were right
up there with Lisa in their knowledge and understanding of the ins
and outs of the 529 plan. Those who answered her questions
correctly - or at least, first - were given 'gifts of great value',
and modesty notwithstanding, YOE got one. This perhaps
illustrates a questionable aspect of the gift process, I suppose,
since I was the only non-professional so rewarded! And just at
the end, you had to be impressed when PP STEVE DAY managed to
maneuver his father-in-law, RAY ZICKFELD, into a public commitment
to finance all future educational expenses of Jeffrey and Kevin -
that's fast thinking, STEVE! Seriously, it was a learning
session for all of us, and we appreciate Lisa helping us through it.
Send a note to DAVE MORE, please.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe