PDG RICK MENDOZA and the R.I. FOUNDATION at WVRC on Nov 4th
PDG BILL GOODWYN gave the Invocation, preceded by some history: In 1910 a hundred years ago the American Flag had 45 starts, and the population was 92 million…the average life expectancy for men was 47 years, the average wage was 22 cents an hour, annual wage between 200 and 400 dollars…eggs were 14 cents a dozen…only 8% of homes had a telephone…women washed their hair once a month…there were only 8,000 cars in the country, and 144 miles of paved roads…marijuana, Heroin and Morphine were sold over the counter…90% of all doctors had no college education…2 out of 10 adults couldn’t read and note that today the figures are 3 out of 10. “Heavenly Father, we thank you for being with us as we blundered our way through wars, depressions and recessions over the past 100 years, and pray that you can continue to protect us from our foolish ways during the next 100 years.” Gadzooks, BILL, that’s quite a story. Thanks. MARK BLOCK led us in the Pledge, plus our recital of the Four Way Test. President GORDON stepped in as songmaster and led us in God Bless America.
We had a couple of Visiting Rotarians Renato Romano, who claims Beverly Hills, and of course our Speaker, PDG Rick Mendoza, who hails from Redondo Beach. PP HOMER NEWMAN was pleased to squire his daughter, Nancy. SHARON BRADFORD was with PP CHRIS, and PEGGY had her helper. And it should be pointed out that PP MIKE GINTZ was again present and he’s in the running for a couple of prizes as a reward for losing 50 lbs! PEGGY donated four tickets for the UCLA-Oregon State game this weekend, which may be sold.
SANDY SANDERSON is still hoping some of us will stop by to say hello. I was reminded of this by SALLY BRANT, and you can reach SANDY at (310)472-2012, 780 Teakwood Road in Brentwood. I spoke to George Cox’s son, and GEORGE continues to slowly improve. He is still at Arbor View, 1338 20th Street, but with luck will be coming home in about a week. Visits are always welcome, of course.
Tuesday, November 8 is the District Breakfast. Father Gregory Boyle is the Speaker, and comes well-recommended. DON still has a couple of tickets.
November 10th, Wednesday, the Auxiliary speaker will be Dr. Colby Smith, at the home of Roz and Don Nelson. The usual fees apply, and MARGIE DOWNIE will take your check.
Please don’t forget the Shopping Spree, which is Thursday December 9th. MIKE YOUSEM is the honcho, and he NEEDS some help. So check with him it is rewarding, and a nice lead-in to Christmas.
Karen Lee, our Ambassadorial Scholar, spoke briefly. She is now a senior at UCLA, majoring in Chemical Engineering, and will graduate in June. Next year she will attend the University of Valencia in Spain. We were reminded that this scholarship is better than a Fulbright, for instance. It has a value of over $26,000, and WVRC has been fortunate in choosing students who qualify.
PP STEVE DAY is our Foundation Chair, and he reported that we have donated over $5,000 towards the raffle again this year. He then proceeded to make presentations to several outstanding Paul Harris Fellows who have contributed above and beyond. PDG RICK pinned on their symbols, as follows: PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, 3 sapphires, PDG ANDY ANDERSON, another 3 sapphires, PDG BILL GOODWYN, 2 sapphires, PP JOHN SINGLETON, Plus Five, ERIC LOBERG, Plus Four, PP STEVE DAY, Plus Four, and PP CHRIS GAYNOR, Plus four these latter symbols being how many times they qualified for Paul Harris Fellowships! We all know the good work that our R.I.Foundation does, and these individuals have made major contributions thanks to each of you. This presentation was followed by a nice round of applause.
PP STEVE introduced PDG RICK MENDOZA, first telling us that Rick was born in Texas, and is a UCLA graduate. He spent 30 years at Kaiser Permanente in Microbiology as Director of the Medical Library. He now has a travel agency in Redondo Beach, and has been married to Helen for 54 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren. Rick joined Rotary in 1986, was elected Rotarian of the year in 1989, and was Club President in 1993-94. He served as District Governor in 2002-03, after serving in several leadership capacities. In 2004 he was awarded the Rotary International Citation for Meritorious Service. He has represented Rotary at District Conferences in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Texas, and in 2009 was given our highest award, the Service Above Self Award. And of course, PDG RICK was given a standing ovation!
Rick began by thanking us for inviting him, and noting that WVRC is one of only about six clubs he has visited where everyone wears coat and tie he likes that. Having fun is what we are all about, and again, he encourages that. He then made a point of the fact that WVRC is one of the most generous clubs in 5280. Applause here. Why do we have a Foundation? To do humanitarian work, both in our own communities and worldwide. An excellent example is right in this room with us Jennifer Lee, our fine Ambassadorial Scholar. These scholars come back with many new ideas, and help to make the world a better place. He encourages Scholars to speak at many clubs, to share their experiences, from which we all can learn.
Matching Grants are done with other countries, and we are able to leverage the money we contribute with funds from R.I., which enables us to do marvelous things. Rick asked about our Turkish Project, and we were able to answer that the money is on the way. Another area is District Simplified Grants, which come directly back to the District where they originate. For those of you who have been in Rotary for twenty years or more, you are fully aware of our efforts to eradicate Polio from the world. He asked each of us to hold up our hard, with thumb and forefinger one inch apart that’s how close we are to fully ending the scourge of polio! We should all be proud of this record.
Because of the way that Rotary handles funds from our Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has offered us $350 million dollars in matching funds, providing we raise another $200 million in Rotary. This is to be within three years, and after just one year, we have already raised $150 million! But we must keep in mind that as long as one single child comes down with polio, every single child in the world remains at risk - we must finish the job. As an example of how contagious it is, in Afghanistan last year, they had an epidemic, and 450 new cases appeared almost overnight. When we started in 1985 there were 300,000 new cases each year - so far this year, only 747 cases have been reported. Going to these remaining areas and providing immunization will produce a Rotary Moment you will never forget. PDG Rick recalled being present when the doctors installed braces so these kids could walk for the first time and that’s certainly a Rotary Moment!
The Dominican Republic visit in February will give participants a chance to see Rotary at work, providing wheelchairs, for instance. Suddenly these handicapped people can move around by themselves truly amazing to observe. TOM BARRON asked why the money couldn’t be used against Malaria, which is a huge killer worldwide. The answer is that we MUST finish what we have so well started with polio, and THEN take on Malaria. Today we are sending mosquito netting to Africa it costs about five dollars apiece, and that is a beginning.
A question do we all know how the Rotary Celebration Dinners started, over twenty years ago? They began when our own BILL GOODWYN was District Governor it was his idea!
PDG Rick’s final suggestion was that we all attend a District Conference, if we have not already done so. The opportunity for Fellowship and inspiration is wonderful.
PDG RICK MENDOSA, thank you for a most inspiring message. Come back anytime, please.