End of Year Holiday Program
The Bel Air
Hotel was at its festive best. There were floor-to-ceiling Christmas
Trees twinkling their lighted splendor, seasonal centerpieces on
tables covered by red or green cloths, with matching napkins.
Rotarians, spouses, friends, and guests congregated with
smiling faces and evident good spirits. President George called
us to order by ringing our vibrant Rotary Bell, and appropriately
referencing the season by announcing the RI theme: Mankind
Is Our Business! You could almost wish for romantic candlelight;
perhaps it wasn't that sort of occasion.
Clawson Bleak led the Pledge of Allegiance to our nation's flag.
Myron Taylor, looking hale and hearty, delivered a poignant invocation, enunciating our seasonal aspirations,
both spiritual and practical. With
arms exhibiting abundant rhythmic flair President George ably conducted our patriotic song, God Bless America.
George called for Visiting Rotarians, one by one Club Members
individually introduced their loved ones. In this editor's estimation,
this was much better than past occasions when (to conserve time?)
spouses were namelessly introduced en
festive stage was to be fully occupied by musicians and singers,
so instead of having high-table, a President's
Table for Honored Guests was reserved below, just in front of
center-stage: Vivianne and Bob
Younker, PP Bob Wessling, Annie and Henry Tseng, Mary and Dave Matson, Janice and President George Dea, as well as PP Steve Day.
President George announced that Jim Greathead passed away unexpectedly
early Sunday morning at the UCLA Hospital. Funeral service is limited to family members.
A memorial service for Jim will be held on Thursday, December
27, at 2 PM, at the Westwood United Methodist Church located on
the corner of Wilshire and Warner. A reception will follow the service.
The family thanks the club for the lovely bouquet of flowers.
Our Club's Angel, Virginia Gandy, is disappointed at not being able to get out to socialize
during these festive days. Let's cheer her up with Christmas cards
and good wishes.
Another highly successful Annual Holiday Shopping Night, took place December 13, when about
27 WVRC Rotarians chaperoned some 30 kids from the Venice Boys and
Girls Club (building donated by PP
Jim Collins) to the Marriott Hotel for dinner and to Pic-N-Save
on the Big Blue Bus hired with an annual donation from our recently
departed Jim Greathead; a number of other donors, including Henrietta Lien and, of course, Chief Impresario Mike Yousem, have supported this annual event. A tip of the hat to all who have made it possible
for these kids to purchase gifts for their loved ones.
As always, our 25th
Annual Progressive Dinner (all of them designed and engineered
by Peggy Bloomfield) was a great success. In-bound and out-going
Ambassadorial Scholars from across District 5280 were progressively
showered with Christmas cheer by hosts Toshie and Yosh
Setoguchi at the home of Peggy and Bill
Bloomfield; hosts Pat and PDG
Andy Anderson at the home of Audrey and Clark
McQuay; and hosts Eloise and PP
Howard Siskel as wells as Bettye and PP
Ralph Woodworth at the home of Judy and PP
Bob Wessling; finally ending up for dessert and Santa's high
jinks at the home of Margie and PP
Jim Downie. The Club's hearty thanks to all who contributed
toward making this a fun evening for our young scholars.
Our Club's annual participation in the Los Angeles Braille Institute Lunch
14) was ably organized PP
Howie Henkes and Ken Kilpo; among other participants were
PP Steve Adler, Floyd Dewhirst, and Slosson Viau
to anyone inadvertently not mentioned.
was well represented at the annual PLLUS
Program Luncheon (also December14) that was marvelously organized
by Madelyn Fischmann at the Luxe Summit Hotel.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Chesselet, Professor of Neurology and Director of the UCLA Udall Parkinsons
Disease Center, described state-of-the art research advances in
an exceedingly informative and enlightening presentation. In attendance were folks from the newly formed
PLLUS Exercise Group at Mid-Valley YMCA (Van Nuys), WVRC, and Westside
YMCA Board of Managers. Ted
Ihnen was master of ceremonies for the event, and, of course,
our star entertainer PP Howard Siskel played the violin accompanied
by Henrietta Lian at
the piano. Annie and Henry
Tseng have pledged $4,000 each year to send WVRC's incoming
President Elect to promote the PLLUS Program at the Annual the RI
Convention around the world.
infinite wisdom, our Board of Directors, has conferred the coveted
title of HONORARY ROTARIAN
on Sally Phillips in recognition of the many
times and many ways in which she has contributed to our Club.
Virginia Gandy, our Westwood Village Rotary
Club Angel, has again this year graciously presented to the Club
four Paul Harris Fellowships: Mary and Dave
Matson as well as Vivianne and Bob
Chair PP Steve Day made the presentations.
Many thanks to our Angel.
With heartfelt respect and appreciation, the Club enthusiastically
sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to PP Jim Collins on the occasion of his
75th birthday. Given that no good deed ever goes unpunished,
Jim was presented with what appeared to be a very very very rich,
indeed exceedingly rich, brownie with a yellow
cherry on top to commemorate his birthday; however, Jim graciously,
and wisely, chose to consume it on another occasion elsewhere.
Perhaps a bit less wise, but certainly much more obese,
Saint Nicolas, resplendent
in red suit, black boots, and white beard, dramatically appeared
outside center-stage looking into the dinning room through the window
behind President George. With amazing alacrity, given his enormous belly,
the obvious result of eating huge quantities of brownies (except
for one given to Jim Collins),
Santa stood on the garden wall and wildly
motioned his greetings to the assembled multitudes. No sooner did
the roly-poly giant gain attention, than, to the delight of festive
diners, he flew away backward and disappeared behind the garden
wall. But, alas, the gifted mystic miraculously reappeared stage-left
inside the dinning room, giving copious amounts of candy canes to
all the good girls in attendance.
Although neither Rudolph nor the other reindeer were
anywhere in sight, yet with boundless athletic energy, Santa gleefully seemed to fly up onto the stage. With firm fatherly care the gentle giant picked
up young George, placed him on his lap, and asked the delighted
kid to recite his Christmas wish list:
1) tai chi and polka lessons, 2) milk and cookies every night,
3) an endless supply of Dea-dollars, and, most of all, 4) that
Dave Whitehead not be involved in planning his demotion party. Janice, were you listening? Milk and cookies! Nothing more strenuous!
Ironically, throughout Santa's high jinks PP Dave Whitehead
was nowhere to be found. However, Dave was subsequently seen consuming
copious sums of food at one of the rear tables; all the time coveting
the six desserts (count them: 6) that PP Eric Loberg had garnered
from his own and surrounding tables.
Eric needs to instruct Dave how to stay athletically trim
with no dental cavities while consuming massive amounts of sugar.
On second thought, we could use a more robust Santa
Peter More introduced the robust muscular
age-appropriate orchestra, Sophisticated
Swingers, who were accompanied by
PP Steve Day, Dave Matson, PP Steve Scherer, Sharon Rhodes-Wickett,
Jack Harris, and Lenny Friedman. The Program consisted
of songs that engender good will and brotherly love:
I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS
JOY TO THE WORLD
The Christmas Song
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
HARK, THE HEARLD ANGELS SING
LET IT SNOW
FROSTY THE SNOWMAN
JINGLE BELL ROCK
At WVRC the term "progressive" usually describes
a dinner event that proceeds from one venue to another. However, the festive program played out on
stage revealed a more politically
correct description of the Club as
PROGRESSIVE when Lenny Friedman and Jack Harris,
infused with song-generated brotherly love, danced cheek to cheek. Of course, in keeping with the season, the Reverend Sharon Rhodes-Wickett counseled tolerance.
Enjoy the holidays. Reverently, but safely and wisely,
celebrate traditions of your choice, in anticipation of a hump the
day we regroup on January 10, 2002.
Pinch hitting for Chief Editor-in-Absentia