|MID AUGUST, and RUDY’S SECRET LIFE COMES OUT - August 12th at WVRC
Yes, some of you may not know how our Senor RUDY has impacted the life of Jaime, and I’m going to exercise my editorial privilege and tell you the story, if I may. Almost three years ago, RUDY met Jaime Tatenco when he was in the 8th grade - and they have spent a lot of time together ever since. RUDY is his Mentor, and they became acquainted through the Southern California Foster Family & Adoption Agency the same Agency that Sylvia Fogelman spoke to us about today. Since their meeting, RUDY and Jaime have shared a lot of what you might call adventures at least, from the standpoint of Jaime, they were certainly all new activities. These have included attending meetings at WVRC and elsewhere a number of dinners, help with and encouragement about homework, talking about where he was and where he wanted to go, and sometimes just hanging out. This nurturing can sometimes add up to a full day’s time in any one week. One result has been that Jaime’s grades have gone from almost all F’s to mostly A’s . .. And this wonderful support of one young student by one ‘elder’ has produced some remarkable results, among them that Jaime is now on the threshold of attending college! Truly, RUDY has made a difference in Jaime’s life and not too many of us can make that claim, sad to say. RUDY, we salute you.
SUSAN ALLEN led the Pledge. The song crew came together, composed of LENNY FRIEDMAN, Rotaract member Ronen Nazarian, and Jaime Tatenco, with PP JIM DOWNIE on the piano. You’re a Grand Old Flag sounded pretty good, although it must be admitted that LENNY was the only one directing with his arms. And I should report that there was an incipient ‘revolt’ brewing in the audience, as some names not mentioned, of course (you all know how I value privacy) but they tried to get started before the Song Leaders were fully ready. Anyway, Senor RUDY put this movement down right away, so there! BRIAN BUMPAS was invited to provide the Invocation, and he began by pointing out that he had many blessings, among them that our beloved DOUG DESCH had invited him to join WVRC two years ago this month. He is further blessed in that his two grandsons are both home from Iraq, after a year’s duty there, although one of them may be going back. And just living in California is a major blessing. Of course, some outlaw then spoke up, saying “How about blessing the food?”, which got an appropriate response. Truly, it’s a tough audience but BRIAN outlasted them all.
AL BELLANCA introduced our Visiting Rotarian, Rev. Tim Taylor and his wife, Mary Lee they are from Nashville, and I happened to sit next to them. It should also be noted that AL was subbing for RALPH BEASOM at the Makeup Desk but RALPH will be back at his usual post next week. SHANE WAARBROEK brought his Special Guest, Richard Shelton, an attorney with Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp. SUSAN ALLEN had her daughter, Danielle, who is visiting from Chicago. Danielle is the Dean of the Humanities Division at the University of Chicago. Muffy Hayes is the Client Relations Director of SCFF&AA (and PP JIM COLLINS, who sat next to her, claims she is also a Professional Golfer). Also with us was Paula Carroll, who is a development consultant to non-profits. Senor RUDY commented that Jaime’s visits with him have been interrupted recently, due to the return of Jaime’s Dad, but RUDY and Jaime are once again on their original schedule.
I gave a brief report on BRUCE ROLF, who is now back at Berkeley East after a weekend sojourn at nearby St. Johns. BRUCE’S phone number is (310) 745-5990, and he would love to hear from you. I also spoke about the Corporate Poll worker Program, which Harry Jacobs told us about last week. Our Board of Directors has voiced strong support for this important Community Service activity. Basically, it involves a full day of activity on Election Day this November 2nd, preceded by a 90-minute training seminar beforehand. Application forms were on each table, and we are shooting for ten WVRC members to sign up, please. This should work particularly well for those of us who are retired. Call me for further information but note that the General Election really isn’t very far away, so please let me hear from you right away, OK? Another announcement there will be an Open House on Thursday August 26th to get the latest word on the Santa Monica Blvd redesign plan. The project office is at 10350 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 160, and there will be two presentations, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. - everyone is welcome.
RUDY’S WORLD was next, and volunteers were called for. CATHY REZOS correctly identified the photo of an almost new, burgundy red, Corvette. After questioning, it was noted that the car was parked in front of the Claremont Hotel in Westwood and the reason for it being there was because the Claremont is owned by the QUILICO family, with both JOHN and his son, DAVID, being former WVRC members. This information was supplied by PP MIKE NEWMAN, but MIKE escaped a fine, somehow. The Claremont has been designated as a State Historical Monument, which will help to preserve it and it ALSO is the first hotel Senor RUDY stayed at in Westwood, when he was considering joining the faculty at UCLA. He remembers it costing $9.00 a night in 1971! He also was being recruited by Stanford, and they met him with a limo and put him up at a deluxe hotel in the Bay Area but being the contrarians that he is, Senor RUDY chose UCLA over Stanford and the rest is history.
Senor RUDY announced that we now have our Club supply of District Directories, but there appear to be a number of wrong phone numbers, etc. After some repartee, it was decided that they would be distributed without corrections and YOE suggests that a list of the needed changes should appear in the Windmill, so anyone with a Directory can make their own corrections, OK? The coming summer fun party, the Fiesta del Verano, is set for next Saturday, the 21st at the home of Rudy’s son-in law and daughter in Hancock Park. It is strongly suggested that ladies wear flats, since otherwise their heels will be sinking into the grass, which will not add to the fun. As Senor RUDY continued to emphasize wearing flats, I ventured to ask if that meant we could just come naked, as long as we did wear flats. No answer is recorded herein. However, there is room for a couple more people, so check with Margie Downie, please.
Muffy Hayes spoke about the Highlights newsletter which was at each place. This gives good background on the Southern California Foster Family & Adoption Agency, plus listing the training dates for anyone who might be interested in Orientation or Training prior to becoming a Foster Parent. She then told us about the Christmas Party, which will be held, as usual, in mid-December this year. There will be about 120 kids there, and for many of them, receiving a Christmas gift will be a first-time event! Donations of both gifts and money are most welcome. The kids have been either abandoned, neglected or abused, and you can more than make their day by contributing. Their foster parents, and in some cases, their birth parents, will also be present, so it is truly a family party.
Sylvia Fogelman is the Executive Director of the SCFF&AA, which she founded just ten years ago. Prior to that she was a Building Contractor, working for the City, and her frustration with bureaucratic procedures was what led her to return to her original love of social work. Her agency is designed to place children who are not able to live with their birth parents in foster homes, and then to encourage foster parents to adopt the children they have taken in. The total number of children in the five county area they cover is almost 40,000, most of whom are placed and monitored by county, state and federal agencies. The kids SCFF&AA receives are the real misfits in a big system, and the small size of SCFF&AA allows them to get to really know their charges and their foster parents. They presently have fifty five foster homes... All of the kids have been found by the Juvenile court to not be able to live with their birth parents.
An example she gave was Danny, who was living in a car with his parents for several months. When it was learned that he had a younger brother, who had simply been given away, it became apparent that the two brothers needed adoption. Danny is now seven, and is developing the capacity to love again the kind of success story which so heartens his foster/adoptive parents. These new parents are well trained before receiving their charges, and it is a vital and engrossing learning experience. Enthusiasm of the adoptive parents is a key ingredient, and they are encouraged to welcome siblings into their new families. The agency has found that younger children are more likely to be adopted than older ones. The group of adoptive parents all help each other, with everyone wanting to achieve permanency. About half of those who are foster parents become adoptive parents... Their agency has always operated without debt, and is based on sound fiscal policies. Foster parents, by the way, receive a stipend to help pay expenses but Mentors, such as RUDY, receive no financial help. Candidates are first carefully screened, and one guiding principal is that, after finding possible Adoptive parents, they must be thoroughly educated and trained, in order to assure a successful placement.
Q&A I asked the first question and then didn’t write down either the question or the answer! GEORGE COX, Do you permit homosexual parents to adopt? Yes, and the success rate is excellent. PP STEVE SCHERER, Is the number of children in a family a factor in selecting Foster Parents? Yes, and they must have enough income already to support their existing family. The screening includes checking their health and driving records, and it is quite thorough.