CHRIS BRADFORD introduced Bailey DeCastro, our candidate for an Ambassadorial Scholarship. She is a fifth-year senior at UCLA studying International Relations, and we all wish her well in the forthcoming competition. SHANE WAARBROEK had a Special Guest, Kevin Badkobehi, who is an attorney in Century City, and lives in Brentwood this was his second visit with us. Our Visiting Rotarian was Fred Nason, from Beverly Hills he is pursuing PP JIM DOWNIE for the record for consecutive Rotary meetings attended. But with Fred having JUST 52 years, PP JIM appears safe, at least for awhile! CANDICE DANESHVAR brought along Seema Patel, VP of Rotaract, who has been with us before. PP RALPH WOODWARD was asked to stand up, and President DON announced that the Woolworth’s were leaving! RALPH has led just about every Committee in WVRC, having joined in 1980, was President in 1996-97, and has seventeen years of perfect attendance. RALPH, we will miss you both. Address and phone: Ralph and Bettye Woodworth.
Break the Cycle at WVRC on May 18th
We began and his cycle ended when PP RALPH WOODWORTH led the Pledge. This is RALPH’S last meeting with us, since he and Bettye are moving to Indio, next week. More on this in a minute. The Battle Hymn was our song, directed by LENNY and accompanied by PP JIM. PDG BILL GOODWYN provided a moving and thoughtful Invocation. “Help us remember the single mother, rushing home after work…to spend a few precious moments with her child, the tattooed, slovenly dressed young man,… who is deeply concerned over getting his homework done and whether his student loan will be approved. Remind us about the homeless man, who panhandles in the same place each day and who is a slave to an addiction that we cannot even imagine. Help us to remember that that old couple walking so slowly in the market have just received a biopsy report which tells them this will be their last year to be shopping together…Remind us each day that the greatest gift you provide is love, and it is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear open our hearts to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive…and all the People Said, A Men.”
80811 Camino San Gergorio, Indio, CA 92203, (760) 360-3037
President DON announced a District Day at the Races at Hollywood Park, on June 2nd. He has all details. CANDICE spoke about their upcoming Hawaiian Bash, which will be this Sunday at the Y. Rotaract will entertain the kids who went on the shopping spree at Christmas, and it’s just another example of their great activities!
I just had a phone call from Dan Cassidy, who is a Physical Therapist and belongs to the Mariposa R.C. He is very favorably impressed with our cassette on Parkinson’s, and I have given his name to ANN SAMSON to provide further information. This is networking at its best!
And perhaps this is the place to report that LEE DUNAYER came in late wearing a good-looking open necked LaCoste, which of course encouraged someone at that difficult table in the back to ask him, “Would you get my car, please?”
DAN PRICE missed our meeting today he was the Speaker at the Brentwood-Bel Air Women’s Club, meeting at the Riviera. He showed some movie clips, with commentary and was very well received. This is a fee performance, and if you know other similar organizations seeking a Speaker, please call DAN.
Now is a good time to make an Apology, if I may: In the recent listing of May birthdays, I forgot to include ELEANOR MORE! She was born in Urbana, Illinois, on May 15th, and I’m sorry I slipped up, ELEANOR.
And a final catch-up my THANKS to MARK BLOCK for his usual good job in handling the Windmill last week, as I was in Nashville for my granddaughter’s graduation from Vanderbilt. Remember, that’s where Red Sanders came from! And just to prove how ecumenical I am, Joy and I attended the M.D. Graduation at USC this past Sunday it was well done, and the campus looked great.
Present DON reported on the 5280 District Conference in Oxnard, which took place from the 4th to the 7th of May. We received a number of awards:
- Club Service (MIKE GINTZ), a silver and two bronze
- Community Service (PEGGY BLOOMFIELD), a gold and a silver
- International Service (ED GAULD) a gold and a bronze
- Vocational Service, (LEE DUNAYER) a gold and 2 bronze
And while not recognized, as such, at the Conference, let’s salute SHANE WAARBROEK for his continuing and successful efforts as Membership Chair! During the Conference, SEAN McMILLAN provided the excellent repast that we offered, and while he might be embarrassed to admit this, he is available (for a fee, of course) in case of future needs in this area…
And here’s a Heads Up two weeks from today, on June 1st, President DON will be announcing the perfect attendance achievers so get those Make-Ups in! MIKE GINTZ reminded us all that President DON’S Demotion will be on July 8th, at the Bel Air Country Club save that date!
There were TWO stories today. An elderly woman was startled when she returned home to find a robbery in progress! She caught the man in the act of robbing her home. Thinking and acting quickly, she shouted at the man, “Stop! Acts 2:38” which is the Bible verse that says “Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven”. The robber stopped in his tracks, while the woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done. As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked him, “Why did you just stand there? All the lady did was to yell a Scripture at you.” “Scripture?”, replied the robber, “ I thought she said she had an Axe and two 38’s!”
The second story was supplied by to be announced afterward BOB THOM. Harvey and Gladys Goldman are getting ready for bed. Gladys was standing in front of the full-length mirror, taking a long, hard look at herself. “You know, Harvey,” she comments, “ I stand at this mirror and I see an aging creature. My face is all wrinkled, my arms and legs are flabby as popped balloons, and my butt looks like a sad, deflated version of the Hindenburg. Dear, please tell me one positive thing about my body so that I can feel better about myself”. Harvey studies Gladys carefully, and finally says, in a soft voice, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your eyes”. Services were held for Harry at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
We had two Speakers, introduced by SHANE WAARBROEK. Brandy Davis is the supervising attorney for Break The Cycle, and Christabel Villena is her assistant. Their organization is a national non-profit, with offices in LA and Washington, D.C., and a staff of ten. Their mission is to educate youth to break the cycle of violence, and their clients are between the ages of 12 and 24 they really do emphasize youth. They were founded in 1996 thus ten years old this year and they are a national resource and advocate on the issues of teen dating and violence. Break The Cycle is forging partnerships with schools, universities, social service providers, law enforcement, law firms, and corporations.
Brandy Davis was the lead speaker, and it didn’t seem to me that she used notes very impressive. Their mission, restated, is to educate, engage, and empower youth. Statistically, about 2.3 million victims report domestic violence each year but the incidents probably total 6 to 8 million, since many go unreported. These victims come from all levels of society, all racial and ethnic groups it is very widespread. They focus on 12 to 24 year-olds, since this is the group that has the highest incidence of domestic violence. The general public assumes this is an adult issue, but their research doesn’t support that conclusion. In teenagers, one third have experienced abuse in a romantic relationship, while 40% of girls aged 14 to 17 know someone their age who has been hit by a boyfriend. While this point wasn’t made during their presentation, my information is that most youth who abuse their partners come from families where their parents had an abusive relationship. Teens are often unaware of what is healthy or unhealthy in a relationship, which creates confusion about their legal status, plus distrust of adults. Add to this lack of money, shelter, or transportation, and education leaps to mind as a vital help. It’s no surprise that 85% of those abused are women, but it’s also an issue for the small percentage of men who make up the total.
Christabel Villena spoke about history. Domestic violence was really first recognized as the major problem it is in the 1970’s. Break The Cycle is the only national nonprofit to offer law-based preventive domestic violence services exclusively to teens. They have provided free legal services to over 2,9000 LA youth, and their programs have reached over 63,000 youth with preventive education and outreach. They have trained more than 6,200 police officers, doctors, counselors and teachers to help young victims of abuse. With a track record that includes helping more than 3,600 youth transition from victim to survivor, they have been recognized by the CDC and RAND Corporation. Their main classroom audience are 9th grade girls, and they provide instruction all over the LA area. Often teachers who are assigned the subject of abuse will ask them to please present their program instead of struggling with it themselves.
Their basic lecture is three hours, and focuses on the legal question of what rights victims do have. Dealing with 9th graders is a problem in itself, what with short attention spans and the many distractions that are always present. They have also educated over 800 health care professions in this subject, that being the best way to spread their expertise as widely as possible. They provide free legal services covering subjects such as restraining orders, paternity cases, custody and child support, plus divorce. Their legal services focus on civil law, and they do not handle criminal issues. The average age of their clients is 18, predominately Latino, and many have children. This is an additional caution, since small children can also be at risk in an abusive relationship. They have an active peer leadership program, in which survivors learn to speak before groups and these programs are the most closely watched that they provide. They can best be described as riveting. Some unexpected good news is that while domestic violence is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned if youth are taught to create healthy relationships and break the cycle of violence. Break The Cycle also is providing trained college students to form their own support groups, which is an effective outreach effort.
An example was given. This girl heard about Break The Cycle, having come to this country to start college. She had graduated early, was only 16, and wanted to study and become a surgeon. She became involved with a much older man, who pursued her for over three years. They were married and his control over her included refusal for her to leave the home without telling him where she was going, nor was she allowed to answer the telephone. She was often thrown to the ground, beaten, and finally entered a hospital because of her injuries. This allowed an intervention, and they were able to help her get a divorce. This allowed her to get back on her feet, and she is now reenrolled in college and pursuing her dream. Her willingness to tell her story is an example of a riveting presentation. She began by volunteering at their office, and now has begun to speak to groups. After her first speech, she called the office to say that this was the most important thing she had ever done in her life.
Q&A President DON, To what extent are drugs involved in abuse? While they are a factor, stress, and lack of knowledge about what is right and wrong are more important. Abusers need to control their victims. RAY ZICKFELD, Do you have any information about how the experiences of today compare to experiences 25 or 50 years ago? Brandy was too young to have any knowledge of the 70’s, but the difference today is that abuse and domestic violence is much better recognized now. This has led to the creation of Shelters, where women can be safe. This leads to the question, where do we go from here? That’s why education and empowerment are so critical. Prevention is their focus today. PP MIKE NEWMAN, Is the term Battered Women helpful? Yes, but we emphasize youth as victims.
Thanks to Brandy and Christabel for a most enlightening - and challenging presentation. You can reach them at P.O. Box 64998, LA 90064, (310) 286-3366, or (888) 988-8336. They certainly can use our support and our donations.
Nothing is impossible for people who don’t have to do it themselves.