JULY 1st, A NEW YEAR at WVRC!
But ere we open that story, I managed to leave out the conclusion of now-Past- President ED GAULD’s remarks in my report of last week. ED noted the passing of four members SLOSSON VIAU, HOWARD HENKES, RICHARD ROBINSON, and JACK HARRIS, noting they are sorely missed. The Westwood Village Rotary Club will be in good hands under the leadership of President GORDON FELL. As President- Elect this year, GORDON has been most helpful to me. He has put together an outstanding Board and has already held planning meetings. As if you didn’t know, GORDON is very well organized, which means everything will run smoothly. GORDON will present his Board at next week’s meeting. Members will outline their plans for the year.
Now what will I do with my time since I will no longer be President? I intend to go to Disneyland. Seriously, it’s time to downsize all of the stuff I have accumulated over the decades. You know the drill. Since I have a few minutes left and I have nothing more to say and I don’t know any jokes, I will keep to the title of this meeting which is my “swan song” by providing some songs. For this interlude I call upon Darren Motise and Lisa Hendrickson. Darren is the Music Director of St. Alban’s Church and is a trained classical pianist who studied at Julliard. Lisa has just completed her first year at UCLA where she is earning a Master’s degree in Operatic Performance. If you will, Darren and Lisa (and I’m sure my editorial WOW was understood!)
And back to today, July 1st: I started things off by presenting the traditional briefcase to GORDON, who was surprised but pleased. PP RON LYSTER led the Pledge. ART HENRY provided the Invocation: “Lord, thou has been our dwelling place throughout all time, all generations. With their quasar star formations, poulsars throbbing with expectations. Before the mountains were brought forth, and east west north south were ever formed, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art our God. Keep us mindful of thy creative hand, lead us closer to our God given destiny, as we are perfected and made whole, now and evermore. Amen.” Thanks, ART well done. LENNY was then summoned forward, and admitted that he would miss all those hats! We sang two Smile, and America the Beautiful, both well done!
We had one Visiting Rotarian, Art Rockoff, a CPA from that Historic Triangle, Williamsburg, VA, who was accompanied by his wife. PEGGY was with her helper, Rosario. SUNNY was of course with LENNY, and VACHAREE was there in support of GORDON. I then announced the passing of PAT PRINDLE last week. Services were private, and we are still hoping that GENE can come back to active membership. PP MIKE NEWMAN provided the sad news of the death of Jamie O’Connell, Mike O’Connell’s oldest grandson. Apparently he was struck by a car while walking on the 405 Freeway. A Memorial Service is set for Wednesday, July 7th, 2pm at Westwood United Methodist Church. The family has requested donations be made to the John Thomas Dye School.
President GORDON basked in the glow of having a BBQ, which was indeed very popular. He thanked all those who attended the Demotion last Saturday, and everyone enjoyed. He also pointed out that Prexy ED had provided the cocktails and wine all evening. Applause here. We were reminded of the upcoming District Breakfast, which will be Tuesday July 13th.
Our eighty year history in Rotary was noted by President GORDON. This year, we will be focusing on an increase in our membership. We know from experience that we will lose some active members, so we need a net increase. If we make it more fun, that will help. PP MIKE NEWMAN is Membership Chair. Here are some of GORDON’S goals. He would like to increase participation in our Committees. GORDON wants to be sure everyone knows what we are doing, and that the world outside knows what we are doing. He will continue to make our meetings enjoyable even without hats informative, and fun. We should be proud to be Rotarians. How can we accomplish these goals? One way is for Committee Chairs to recruit Vice-Chairs, which will increase continuing participation. GORDON recalls that we used to have Committee Meetings both before and after our lunch meetings, and these should be revived. These meetings, by the way, should be well publicized in advance, both in the Windmill and on our Website.
PP STEVE DAY has agreed to serve one more year as Foundation Chairman. Applause here. We used to be 100% Paul Harris members, and that has fallen off. This led to VACHAREE being called forward, to be presented with a Paul Harris Membership. Again, applause. PP STEVE briefly outlined the history of this group, which started in 1957. A Paul Harris Fellow exemplifies the ways in which an individual stands for the Rotary ideals of Service Above Self. VACHAREE was then presented with the three emblems of membership, the Certificate, the Pin, and the Rotary Medallion. This of course led to a standing ovation.
Programs are always important. PP CHRIS BREADFORD is the Chair, and STEVE PETTISE will head the House Committee, which includes food service, AV setup, etc your suggestions are always welcome.
ED JACKSON is President Elect - applause here - and as such he will also be responsible for coordinating with our Auxiliary, plus producing the materials for our Governor’s visit and preparation for our annual District Conference. He is also in charge of planning for the Demotion Dinner next June.
Elliott Turner is our Vice President, and he will concentrate on overseeing the Committees. At this point sign-up sheets were passed out, to be completed and returned by next week. Elliott will also schedule the Pledge givers and Greeters, plus those giving Invocations. He is in charge of our Christmas Program.
TERRY WHITE, the younger, will continue as Secretary, having taken over for Gordon in mid-year, he will take attendance at meetings, and coordinate Hump Day, and the Valentine Brunch.
DON NELSON will continue as Treasurer, and will be implementing some new features of Clubrunner. DON then noted that we would be able to learn immediately our status by consulting Clubrunner. There was a question about whether the billing amounts would soon change, which ended up inconclusively…We will have a formal Public Relations Committee, headed by MARCIA BROUSE. ED GAULD will continue to serve on the Board as Past President. And I was again designated as Executive Secretary, in charge of the Windmill, and Advisor on the Board.
DWIGHT HEIKKILA is Youth (now called New Generations) Service Chair. He noted that Rotaract is a really active group, and he will keep us informed of their upcoming activities. Interact at UniHi is also now up and running. Remember that one of the things that most Rotaractors don’t have is a car so perhaps we can help there. And Interact has various activities, about which we need to know more.
JOHN HEIDT is Community Service Chair. He noted that LEO TSENG had left him with several projects. These include PACT (Police and Community Together), Meals on Wheels of WLA, Westwood Village Library, the Braille Institute, recycling ink cartridges, reading to pediatric patients at Mattel Children’s Hospital, Project Earth Angel the list goes on. JOHN reminded us of our good fortune, living in Southern California, compared to those in the Gulf, for instance. The difference between the Neighborhood Council and the Community Council
Is that the Neighborhood Council is part of the City and thus cannot sue the City, while the Community Council is not so restricted. He would like to see us become more involved with the Ocean Park Community Council yesterday he and PP STEVE SCHERER served dinner to about 75 homeless people, and he found it to be very rewarding.
International Service is headed by ALY SHOJI. This is a broad group, from Polio plus to helping schools and literacy, and she named some of her Committee, including PP BOB WESSLING, PDG ANDY ANDERSON, and PP CHRIS BRADFORD. And if you don’t answer when she calls, you will be in trouble laughter here. There are seven projects from last year the Japanese Exchange Program, Ambassadorial Scholarships, WAPI, Guatemala Water, our Turkish Project, and Uganda, among others. She passed out the very attractive yellow WVRC Membership reminders which MARSHA HUNT and reminded us that these are not to be kept, but to be passed along to potential new members.
MARCIA BROUS spoke about Public Relations. She began by asking if anyone had ever asked us, “What’s Rotary?” We are a fantastic International Organization and yet this month, we will be given card size sheets which answer that question. They are to be pulled out of our wallets and handed out to people we meet. Since we don’t have a local media, specific to Westwood Village, it is up to us to spread the word more directly. She expects that we will take some advertising in the Daily Bruin, as a specific step in that endeavor. MARCIA has already sent in our first Press Release, announcing that PP HOMER NEWMAN is our Rotarian of the Year, so she is up and running (which is no surprise). Each of us can be a source of information, and we need to keep that in mind, providing MARCIA with news of what we and other Rotarians are doing. Lastly, if there are those among us who can put out a brochure, and have them on hand in our office, that would be very helpful.
PP MIKE NEWMAN was last, as Membership Chair. He began by noting that PP STEVE SCHERER had done a wonderful job applause, here. He is challenging each of us we ALL know someone who could be a member, so ASK THEM! And once they come, support them! There was a time when we cared about our members, and it’s time to do that again.
President GORDON had a few last minute thoughts. First, Hospitality Dinners there is some interest, so stay tuned. Maybe a wine-tasting event, a project with Westwood Library, and Shelter Box. Remember to ask yourselves what YOU can do to make WVRC Bigger, Better, and Bolder!