JANE GILBERT from ALS at WVRC on Feb 25th
AL BELLANCA and CURT SMITH are guilty as charged! Yes, the charge is that they were to be the Greeters today, and they didn’t. Next week, RICK BROUS and PP CHRIS BRADFORD are scheduled so, BE THERE!
Our newest member, ABRAHAM CARONS led the Pledge. Next up was PP MIKE NEWMAN, with the Invocation. MIKE gave this shortly after 9/11, and it bears repeating. From a Canadian newspaper, “Tribute to America”. Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
“This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan, and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debt. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I’d like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don’t they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?
Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon not once, but several times and bring them safely home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.
I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else aced to the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I’m one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those” Stand proud, America!
And of course LENNY braved his latest introduction, that being that he wore ED’s latest hat while watching the Olympics. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, we sang My Country Tis Of Thee, which was OK.
There were a number of guests. MARK BLOCK'S Father-in-law, Bob Berman and his wife, Sondra, plus Marjie, MARK’S wife were there they have a special interest in ALS, as you know. Mr. Berman, as you may also remember, is a Past District Governor of the Jackson, Miss. Rotary Club. Sunny was of course with LENNY, and MARK ROGO had two guests, Ron Betten and Ida Lungquist, who just happens to be the 2009 Playmate of the Year. She will also be our Speaker on March 25th so don’t be out of town that day, OK? We had two Ambassadorial Scholars Eun Young Bae, who is from Korea, and Masaki Nakoda, who is usually present. PP STEVE SCHERER introduced Eliyah Levin as his Special Guest, and she will be Circularized this issue.
We have just learned of the sudden passing of Dick Robinson. He died Friday, and there will be a Memorial Service later in April. Details will follow.
There were some announcements:
March 10th, our Auxiliary will meet at the home of LYNN and MARK ROGO, starting at 11:30. The speaker will be Michele A. Hamilton, M.D. who specializes in heart disease in women at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Hamilton got her M.D. at Harvard and has done her internship and residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology at UCLA. Her subject will be the special heart concerns of women. The ROGOS live at 10490 Wilshire, and reservations are needed for parking and for the women’s committee. A $5.00 donation will be collected. Please call Margie Downie to reserve.
March 13th is Rotary Wheelchair Day at which time volunteers can drive recipients to be fitted and then take home their own wheelchairs Prexy ED will have more details.
April 17th is the Polio Pluus Dodger Game Day. Call the District office for details, please
May 13th to the 16th is the District Conference in La Quinta the District Website has details.
We then had an opportunity to hear from Eun Young Bae, our new Ambassadorial Scholar. She is from Korea, and is studying at UCLA. In case you are not familiar with our Scholars, they are here both to study and spread the word about their home country. You can reach her through our District Office (310) 670-9792 and you will enjoy hosting her for dinner.
STEVE PETTISE introduced our Speaker, Jane H. Gilbert, who is President and CEO of the ALS Association. She is a graduate of SMU, with a masters in business from Nebraska, and has spent much of her career with the Red Cross. That was preceded by some time with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as Director of Development. Ms Gilbert is just completing her first full year with the ALS Association.
She began by reminding us that Lew Gehrig died over seventy years ago, and of course he became the most famous patient with the disease. The ALS Association is just 25 years old.
Her personal interest was caught because she has lost two close friends to ALS. There are about 30,000 patients with ALS in the U.S. They are distributed over the entire U.S. with no particular concentration anywhere. About 5,600 people are newly diagnosed with ALS each year - that comes to about 15 persons per day. Most cases develop between the ages of 40 and 70. The disease was first described in detail in 1869 by a French neurologist, but the hunt for a cure continues. Some of you senior members will remember RUSS RICHARDS he was in the hardware business in Brentwood, and going through the Chairs in WVRC when he decided he couldn’t continue. I have always regretted our decision to accept his resignation, since I believe such activity might well have prolonged his life.
Here is a timeline of the growth of the ALS Association. There were only two chapters, one on each coast, when they combined in1985. NY was larger, but the west coast prevailed with locating their headquarters in Southern California. By 1989 the Research Council was established, its first goal to find a common genetic link to ALS. Then in 1993 the first ALS gene, SOD1, was linked to 20% of familial ALS cases. The next year saw the development of first-ever animal models of ALS. In 1995 the FDA approved rituzole, the first drug approved for treatment of ALS. In 2002 the Dept of Defense approved funding for ALS-specific research. The first scientific workshop on “Environmental Factors and Genetic Susceptibility” was held that same year. In 2003 a Gulf War study showed that veterans deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 were developing ALS at twice the expected rate. All veterans with ALS were enrolled with the U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs. 2004 saw a study funded by the ALS Association found biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid and blood. 2005 Potential biomarkers for ALS were identified, and the Association launches TREAT ALS to accelerate clinical trials in ALS. The next year the clinical trials began. 2007, ALS registry efforts gain ground in Congress, and engineered stem cells were discovered to help motor neurons survive in SOD1 rats. In 2008, motor neurons created from skin cells from people with ALS were recognized as “No. 1 Medical Breakthrough in 2008” by Time Magazine. Mutations in a gene called TDP-43 were linked to familial and sporadic ALS. And the Association invests in a major clinical trial to determine if lithium can slow disease progression in patients in the very early stages of ALS. And just last year; 2009, A protective gene was discovered that may help researchers understand factors that improve survival in people who have ALS this was also the 20th anniversary of the Research Council. Clinical trial is planned to slow production of mutant SOD1 in people with ALS who have this gene. So, you can see lots of progress has been made, but there is lots left to do.
One of their major sources of support is Major League Baseball. Lew Gehrig’s speech on his retirement was classic, and it is repeated frequently. The Walk to Defeat ALS is expected to draw about 140,000 annual walkers in over 150 cities. The goal is to raise $18 million when it began in 2000 the goal was between $50,000 and $100,000, so they are making progress! Among the Corporations who support ALS are PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Quicken, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Permobil. Their headquarters are in Calabasas, and you can reach Jane Gilbert at (818) 880-9007, ex 214. She will be glad to take your call.
LEO TSENG won the raffle for the bottle of wine, which was from Firenze thus an old world bottle, which Prexy ED claimed is what Bob Costas drinks after he introduces the 15-minute commercials during the Winter Olympics. But there is more closing comments:
If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.