The Pledge was led (that rhymes, notice?) by SEAN McMILLAN. LENNY took us through You’re a Grand Old Flag, again A Cappella. KEVIN BADKOUBEHI gave a double Invocation, both by Craig Barnes, Pastor of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. “The Silence of God” God loves Silence when we prefer that he speak, and he interrupts us when we prefer that he stay silent. His ways are not our ways. To live with the Sacred God of Creation means that we conduct our lives so that God does not explain himself to us. It means we worship a God who is often mysterious … It means that God is not our best friend, our secret lover, or our Good Luck Charm. He is God. The second selection was entitled “Call Me Thankful”, and is similar in tone and message. Both thoughts were welcome, KEVIN Thanks. PP JIM COLLINS came forward with the traditional Briefcase, which he presented to CEO CHRIS, wishing him well with all the paperwork ahead.
We had several guests. Our Visiting Rotarians included Stephen Mandie, from the Melbourne, Australia Club he called me beforehand, and is an Investment and Property Advisor, who is here to pick up his son from San Diego University. Albert Ang belongs to the Mandaluyong Club in the Philippines, where he is a Past President. Sunny was with LENNY FRIENDMAN, and CEO CHRIS brought Sharon and his sister. While on this general subject, I spoke to GORDON FELL this afternoon, and he is feeling OK and will be back with us next week. And my final note, lunches now cost $25.00, so be aware, please. Meanwhile, there was a telephone ringing, which some stoolie attributed to PP MIKE NEWMAN. MIKE immediately leaped to his feet to say that “The rest of the phones must not be working”! This attempted diversion of blame was successful, with CEO CHRIS excepting PP MIKE’S Fine, for what I guess he felt were humanitarian reasons. However, he did add that cell phones ringing during the meeting henceforth will cost fifty big ones!
Before he could get to announcements, CEO CHRIS was interrupted by PP MIKE (again!) who innocently wondered if CHRIS was planning to offer our Visiting Rotarians WVRC Flags? Some banter ensued, but the fact was that nobody seemed to have any flags to present or trade! Moving right along, CEO CHRIS did note the upcoming District Breakfast on Thursday, July 19th. It will be at the LAX Westin, cost is twenty-five bucks, and PP DON NELSON will take your reservation (we have a table for ten).
August 4th is the Auxiliary Summer Fun Party, at the home of Debbie and STEVE SCHERER. Cost is $75 per person, and reservations go through Margie Downie, please. The JVC Jazz Night at the Hollywood Bowl will be Sunday, August 19th Guin LYSTER has the tickets, it is limited to 20 persons, and the deadline is next Thursday. These events plus others are all listed on the yellow sheet, which was passed out today Lemme know if you didn’t get one and I’ll see that you do.
Last year’s Board Members were recognized. PEGGY BLOOMFIELD did a great job as Secretary, and was nicely applauded. GORDON FELL will be thanked next week. And CEO CHRIS spoke movingly of how supportive and helpful Sharon has always been. He thanked PP STEVE SCHERER for sponsoring him into WVRC, and announced that PP STEVE had agreed to be Membership Chair this year again, lots of applause. With PP RON LYSTER also part of the firm, CHRIS feels he has lots of backup for information about how to run WVRC. PP RON has agreed to be our Webmaster again this year. New Officers include SHANE WAARBROEK as Secretary, MARK BLOCK as Treasurer, ED GAULD as Vice President, and SEAN McMILLAN as President Elect. PP DON NELSON returns to his position as Executive Treasurer, and I’m still Executive Secretary.
CEO CHRIS gave us some personal background, noting that he was a proud graduate of University High School, and did both his undergraduate and law studies at UCLA. In 1962 when JIM COLLINS was President, CHRIS was in the 3rd grade, and when he graduated from UniHi in 1972, JIM DOWNIE was President. Los Angeles has changed since that time, of course. Some people say it has become a more impersonal place, and that is among the reasons why Rotary is so important today. It provides a meeting place for leading members of the community to come together, stay focused on community issues, and also provide leadership and support on international issues. This is the essence of Rotary building goodwill and friendships and working for the benefit of everybody concerned. That’s what this Club does, and we do it really well. As he has visited many other Rotary Clubs, he continues to be impressed by what a friendly and cohesive group we are. Part of the reason for this is that our members like each other they like to socialize, they know each other’s families and they have lots in common. All that counts for a lot, over the years.
He singled out MIKE YOUSEM, reminding us that MIKE has put on the Christmas Shopping Trip for many years, giving money and time to its continued success. Applause, here…another exemplary Rotarian is HENRY TSENG, who founded our Parkinson’s PLLUS Program at the YMCA. This helped not only fellow Rotarians but a constantly growing community of those who suffer from Parkinson’s. HENRY, we owe you a special Thanks again, sustained applause. DON NELSON and I, along with Shirley MORE and Doris OGILVEY, help as Meals On Wheels drivers. SEAN McMILLAN, and more recently, CURT SMITH have been much involved in the Angel Flight West Program. You can see why CHRIS considers himself privileged and honored to be a member of such a Club. It is built on the legacy of its past leaders, many of whom are still around. They come to meetings, care about this Club, and are here, still participating.
The new theme for Rotary this year is, Rotary Shares. And what DOES Rotary Share? We should continue to share Rotary with our community. And of course, Rotary International shares with the world all the wonderful things, which Rotary does. CHRIS’S personal goal for this year is for us to have fun. If we’re not having fun here, why are we here? He and Sharon, along with PP RON LYSTER, were honored to represent WVRC at the recent Convention in Salt Lake City. Next year, it will be in Los Angeles and they expect over 40,000 attendees! Our particular involvement will be Host-Hospitality Night, Wednesday June 16th. Delegates and spouses will be bussed to the UCLA Faculty Center for a Grand Reception, departing after that to our individual homes for dinner. This takes a great deal of planning, and each of us should consider offering our home for one of the dinners. ED GAULD is our contact, and he assures me that any leftover delegates that we don’t step forward to host will be welcome at HIS home!!! Seriously, please save the date it will be a special evening. R.I. also is asking each of us for help in adding to their Mountain of Books that is, books for Kindergarten through 3rd grade, which will be gathered at the Convention Center downtown as part of the Mountain.
One of the priorities for CEO CHRIS will be Membership. PP STEVE SCHERER came forward to discuss his plans, the target being to increase our membership numbers by 10%. His Committee Members are KACY ROZELLE and NICK KAHRILAS and the first effort will be to reconstitute the Yearling Program. Eligibility to be a Yearling is based on the start of this Rotary year anyone with twelve months or less of membership becomes a Yearling, and Yearling Breakfasts will also take place. The five current yearlings are KEVIN BADKOUBEHI, SHERRY DEWANE, CURT SMITH, TOM BARRON and JOHN WOODALL. As new members come aboard, they will join this group, of course. We will be getting calls from KACY, NICK and STEVE, asking for our help in this important project. A special opportunity exists with our new location at UCLA. Over the years we have had a large number of UCLA-affiliated members, and now that we meet here, this should be an even easier sell to come join us.
Rotary Auxiliary Co-Chairs this year will be ELOISE SISKEL and CATHY GAULD. Naturally, we want their continued support did you know that WVRC is the ONLY Club in the District with such a support group? Rotaract will be headed up by KATIA VAISBERG, working with ANN SAMSON as Youth Services Chair. UCLA Rotaract got the Youth Service Award for the whole District on June 27th. ANN announced the further plans of Youth Services. Last year her helpers were PP JIM COLLINS, TERRY R. WHITE and MIKE NEWMAN. We sponsor kids to go to Camp who cannot afford it. She announced VIP Day, which will be July 31st if you come to the Y that day about noon, they will take you up to Camp so you can see all that is going on. You can see what the Scholarship provides life-changing experiences, which would not be possible without the financial help of the scholarship. Youth Services will continue to participate in the Braille Luncheon and the Christmas Shopping trip, so ably run by MIKE YOUSEM. They hope to start an Interact Club at UniHi this year.
SHERRY DEWANE will be our Vocational Service Chair, in addition to her present activity in coordinating the collection and shipping of needed personal items to our troops in Iraq. She needs help here, of course, plus ideas from all of us as to other useful Community Service projects we can undertake.
MARK ROGO is Community Service Chair. After his introduction by CEO CHRIS, he began by asking how you can tell if an attorney is lying his lips move… This drew a mixed reaction, of course but he went on to say that much of his work was already done, since so many great programs are already underway. He plans to continue MIKE’S work with the YMCA, SHANE will operate the Night Walk, GORDON will continue our work with the Westwood Library, and we will be launching the ground version of Angel Flight West, supplying drivers for the roundtrip to the hospital from Santa Monica Airport. He is most welcoming to new ideas, so don’t hesitate to make suggestions. As a final thought, he intimated that MIKE, who may be his co-chair, will be putting on the Wife Swapping party later this year…MIKE then asked if the Disclaimer Form he referred to was like the standard Real Estate Disclaimer Form stay tuned, here!
ELLIOTT TURNER will Chair International Service. After a bit of foreplay, ELLIOTT promised not to do any attorney jokes (today). We are planning a joint project with Santa Monica on the Grand Bahamas Water Project. This is a water purification project, and ELLIOTT reminded us that he might have to go down there to be sure it was going well. We will participate in the Protoplast Mission in Mexico, jointly with Beverly Hills. The WAPI Program will take place again this year, as agreed to by ED GAULD. We will be involved in the Rotary Eye Rescue Mission in Bogota. The home building project in Mexico will continue. Both the Japanese Youth Exchange Program and the new Bio-Sand Filtration Project in the Dominican Republic will be carried out. This last is another joint project with Beverly Hills. He reminded us that he probably would need to go down there to be sure it was being done right, and since they are co-sponsors, he expects Beverly Hills will pay half his fare…The last project appears to be a Terrorist Threat in Bali ELLIOTT hasn’t told CHRIS about this yet but of course he will also have to check it out in person, as with some of the others above. Certainly an uplifting report!
Enough. Remember, next week is HENRY TSENG’S 100TH bring cards, and it’s also SPOUSES DAY!