October 27, 2011 was a great day for a Rotary meeting on the UCLA campus. The weather was perfect, with a slight cool breeze carrying a pleasant aroma from the many plants and flowers. Tom Barron led the pledge, and Jim Crane gave a great invocation.
We had quite a few guests of Rotarians: Our Speaker, Karin Mueller, and Bart Everrett were guests of Curt Smith. Alexander Turner, who just graduated from Cal, was with his dad, Elliott Turner. John Thomas Dye teacher, Marissa Nahjarian, came with her grandfather, PP (Past President) Don Nelson. Our good friend Betty Hostirup was a guest of Don Park. Joy Bennett-Wolfe was with the man of the hour, PP Ernie Wolfe; more on Ernie later.
The Head-table was populated with PP Peter More; Community Service Chair, John Heidt; PE (President-Elect) Dwight Heikkila; Prez Ed Jackson; Curt Smith; and our speaker, Karin Mueller.
Announcements were from PP and Foundation Chair, Steve Day, regarding the Paul Harris celebration at Circus Vargas, November 6th. PP Chris Bradford discussed the nomination ballots due by November 2nd. Jack Paul shared how he is noticing the improvement in University High’s Engineering School, and he recommends we continue our support of the program.
Next, Tom Barron was asked to stand by Prez Ed. Tom was recognized for the transformer type of work that he does as head of the Catholic Fund, a title that puts his face in the newspapers next to the owner of one of the basketball teams in Los Angeles. Tom was fined for looking good in the paper. He argued over the fine until it was doubled. Everyone in the room had smiles on their faces. He was given a Westwood Village Rotary Club warm-up vest for all the projects he has completed this year. Thank you Tom!
Nevin Senkan rose to explain her new project, putting shoes and coats on students in Turkey near areas affected by the recent earthquake. She was fined for wanting to bother her club with a request to join her on this worthwhile project. We will be participating with you, Nevin. She also received her vest.
PP Ron Lyster got a vest for his work on the website, the San Francisco Chinatown Rotary Club trip and events this month. PP Peter More received a vest for his work on the San Francisco trip and his photography work. Jack Paul got a vest for his projects at University High school. PP Gordon Fell got a vest for his work at Uni and anywhere he is needed! And PDG (Past District Governor) Bill Goodwyn earned a vest for revisiting the Past President Association after President Ed asked for guidance in running our club in the Pilot Program Era.
PP Peter More announced the winner of the 2010-2011 Westwood Village Rotary Club Rotarian of the year. That goes to PP Leo Tseng, who leads the Easter Basket Program for children at UCLA hospital during the Easter Holidays.
Everyone was in great spirits, mainly because PP Ernie Wolfe returned to the meeting for the first time since becoming ill about two months ago. Ernie was honored and honored our club by becoming a member of Rotary International’s Hall Of Fame for having 50 years of service in Rotary. We presented him with a Plaque noting this event. It was an added joy for Prez Ed to give this to Ernie, because 44 years ago, welcoming him, as a young class president of Emerson Junior High, to The Friendly Westwood Village Rotary Club was Club President, Ernie Wolfe. Thanks Ernie for making me feel welcome and inviting me back whenever I could come and for showing us all the meaning of Service before Self. Ernie also got a vest for the Reading to Kids project.
Next, Curt Smith introduced our speaker Karin Mueller, an award-winning documentary film maker and teacher with Take 2 productions. She is an amazing person who travels the world alone, as she chronicles the lives and culture of citizens from Sudan, China, Japan, Cuba and many other places around the world. Her work is made into documentaries shown in theaters and television stations across the world. But her mission is to teach global citizenship to our students. To this end, she has developed curriculum along with footage of her world-wide experiences to be used by schools, teachers and students.
This week in Westwood was one we will remember fondly for a very long time.
YOE, President Ed Jackson