IT'S A NEW ROTARY YEAR - July 7th at WVRC
Congratulations to President DON NELSON on an excellent start. The only downer was the ‘threat’ of more fining but let’s hope for the best (and maybe he won’t remember what he said!) Anyway, we began slightly late, since I was doing something else in the anteroom when the Pledge was supposed to begin. After rushing in, I reminded one and all that the Pledge was changed, slightly, during WWII. Whereas we had extended our right arm, palm up, on saying the word “Flag”, this was, somehow, considered to be too close to the Nazi salute, and thus, we dropped ours (and they kept theirs). Anyway, we did then give the Pledge, placing our hands over our hearts during the recitation. PP STEVE DAY (and our most recent Rotarian of the Year) led us in HOME on the Range, with PP JIM DOWNIE providing great backup music with his wonderful Keyboard.
PP STEVE SCHERER came forward for the Invocation, and made a popular beginning by suggesting that we sit down. He noted the change in London first, celebration for their being chosen to host the Olympics in 2012- and then shock after the several bombings that took place. We observed a moment of silence in memory of this most recent tragedy.
STEVE asked DON to stand up, with DON commenting that he wasn’t used to taking orders followed by someone in the audience saying, “Get used to it”. STEVE then noted that DON possessed the characteristics embodied in the Boy Scout Oath. He then gave a short prayer, asking God to guide our officers in their leadership of WVRC during this coming year.
There were some announcements. PP PETER MORE announced the completion of the 75th Commerative Book, which can be picked up as we depart today. MARGE and PP JIM DOWNIE were the primary Editors, and PP DAVE WHITEHEAD provided the layout. They were nicely applauded. PP PETER then quoted from an advice letter written by PP BOB LUSK, welcoming new members to “The Best Rotary Club in the World”. Prexy DON reminded us of the Hollywood Bowl trip on July 31st our few remaining tickets must be sold this week GUIN LYSTER is the contact, and the price is $25 bucks.
CHRIS BRADFORD spoke about the upcoming District Breakfast. It will be at a new location, the Crown Plaza Hotel at LAX. The address is 5985 W. Century, the dates is Tuesday the 26th of July, starting at 0700. Johnny Grant will be the Speaker. Prexy DON suggests they will have a new format this year, and it will be more fun than in the past. He then rattled off a list of suspects, including ED GAULD, MAX LICHTENBERGER, HANK HEUER, CLAWSON BLEAK, HENRY TSENG, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, GORDON FELL, SALLY PHILLIPS and TERRY M. WHITE, all of whom have birthdays this month and DON plans to celebrate this next week - birthdays will be noted (and presents presented, he claims), on the 2nd meeting of each month. In that regard, if you are present to receive the gift in person, you will be pleased and if he has to deliver it to you later, there will be a substantial delivery charge. So BE THERE!
PDG ANDY ANDERSON brought his guest forward she was Captain 3 Carol Aborn, Commanding Officer of the WLA area. She reminded us that she had earlier served as the Watch Commander here in WLA , and so it now felt like she was coming home. Captain Aborn proceeded to announce an award for “The Most Inspirational Reserve Officer in the LA Police (and there are 900 Reserves). Who else but PP HOWIE HENKES was the recipient, and he received another standing ovation. HOWIE was the oldest Reserve Officer when he completed the course at the LA Police Academy in 1989 (and of course some wag in the audience wanted to know if he had served in WWI or WWII., of course). HOWIE is currently Treasurer of PACT, POLICE AND COMMUNITY TOGETHER, of which he was an original Founder, and he is an outstanding example of good citizenship for all of us to emulate.
Prexy DON then read a copy of a letter from RI International President Glen Estes to PP GEORGE DEA. President Estes was most complimentary to PP GEORGE, thanking him for attending the 100th Anniversary Celebration, and for his long and continuing support of the PLLUS Program. His contribution of an insightful report on PLLUS to this meeting was especially noted. GEORGE, you are a real example to all of us, of Service Above Self. We all thank you for spearheading this program.
We had the usual absence of Visiting Rotarians, but there were guests. PP RON LYSTER brought his mother, Carlene Ringer, and his brother, George Ringer. PP STEVE SCHERER again introduced Belinda Mojica, his secretary. NICK KAHRILAS had as his guest Ed Wright, a long time friend. SHANE WAARBROEK had a Special Guest, Peter Tomarken, who was with us last week, also. At this point, CHRIS BRADFORD was fingered for special attention (read, fining). In the current issue of the UCLA Chancellor’s Associates, he was listed as having graduated in 1977, his law specialty of tax, trust, and estate planning was noted, as was his current volunteer position as Chairman of the WLA Regional Chancellor’s Associates. All this shameless publicity earned him a hundred buck fine and he made no effort to defend himself, which of course just goes to prove the accuracy of these many allegations!
Prexy DON then exposed himself to all kinds of negatives by inaugurating a Joke of the Week. It was a pretty good story but that standard may be hard to maintain stay tuned! After a brief ‘free time’ which used to be called table talk, the Prexy introduced a couple of other guests. First was Candice Daneshvar, the new President of Rotaract for the coming year. SALLY BRANT was with Charlotte Chenoweth, a neighbor and old friend. Prexy DON then began his message, and he had some fascinating stats about how life was 100 years ago, when Rotary began. Life expectancy was 47 years, there were all of 8,000 cars in the whole US of A, 95% of all births occurred at home, and we had only 45 states with Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Hawaii and Alaska still to come aboard. The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents and DON calculated that it would take 150 hours of work to pay for our lunch today!
Mark your calendar for the Backyard Barbecue at the NELSONS the date is August 20th, so get your reservations in, please. We were next asked to get our wallets out which some of us, foolishly, did. He suggested that we ante us a donation of $5.00 in appreciation of the fact that we hadn’t LOST our wallets! I became the collector, and turned in $285.00 cash to GORDON FELL, who is sitting in for DON as Treasurer. I did announce that some wiseacre had turned in an IOU for the five bucks but with no name attached. This led to DON’S recollection that his good friend JIM SUMNER had presided over “the Greatest Year in the History of WVRC”. But we were put on notice that DON intends that this year will be the Finest in the history of Westwood. “And when I say Finest, I mean it in the monetary sense of the word”. You can draw your own conclusions, but it all costs money! All this led to the introduction of the Four Avenues of Service Chairs, who each were able to outline some of their coming activities for the year.
First up was CATHY REZOS, who continues as Youth Director. She spoke for LEE DUNAYER, who is Vocational Director but could not be present today. CATHY first explained the Lunch Mentoring Project, as outlined on the yellow slip which was passed out. This involves taking a Rotaract member to lunch so you can visit about what you do and answer questions your guest may have. The Youth Service program is briefly outlined on the green sheet and you should choose which of the five listed projects you would like to participate in. Note that contact phone numbers for both are shown so the next move is up to you.
PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, our newest member, is the Director of Community Service. She has a wide and varied participation in Rotary, as we know. One of their projects is PATH, which we heard about last week. Meals on Wheels is a long-time project of WVRC. The Braille Institute Luncheon is another we have participated in for quite a while. Clothing donations to the Salvation Army will be continued. Angel Flight involves transporting patients to and from the Santa Monica Airport to UCLA Hospital.
Habitat for Humanity (Corazon) is one we will be supporting, this time just with Westwood Village support. We are available to help the new Westwood Branch Library, as their needs become known. PEGGY’S rule for what we undertake is first, that we can be sure it is really needed, and second, that we can be sure that Rotary gets credit.
ED GAULD is the new Chair of International Service. He began, “Let us pray” and then remembered that this wasn’t his current role. The Japanese Youth Exchange Program these kids will be arriving the end of this month 5 from Japan, and 2 from Turkey and we will host them for a Thursday. In June ’04, we approved an expenditure of $2,500 for use in El Salvador. These funds will be used to rehab a medical clinic in San Geronimo, El Salvador. District 5280 will be helping Columbia with an Eye Rescue program, providing cornea transplants to some of those in need. The cost of each implant is $2,000, and the District is asking each Club to come up with at least that amount. The next program is Corazon, which Peggy mentioned. Note that this will be an all-Westwood project this year, and we will need as many as fifty total participants. The date is Saturday, March 6th, 2006, and our cost will be $7,500. We are looking at a project in Puna, India ED will have more on this shortly.
Please note that a Member Interest Finder sheet is enclosed with the bills which were passed out today. It is important that these sheets be returned to DON so he can put together the entire committee structure.