MAY SLIPS AWAY AT WVRC - the 26th
We started off with excellent slide coverage of the District Assembly which was held this past weekend. It is always a good learning experience, and those who attended will benefit down the line with the knowledge they gained. HENRIETTA LIAN led the Pledge. Next, LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE took us back to Home on the Range, and Senor RUDY noted that this one of the first songs he learned when he started to learn English! ANN SAMSON wasn’t there, so Senor RUDY repeated his Invocation a lot of worthwhile philosophy. We had FOUR Rotaractors with us today Tore and Candice, of course, plus Michele Lee who has been before, and Julia Hohl, as a first-time visitor. PP PETER MORE introduced MADAME WU’S son-in-law, Dr. Marcus Wong.
DON NELSON reminded us that the invitations to RUDY’S Demotion are in the mail, and we need your checks back by the 10th of June, please. It’s at Riviera, price is $75, and the date is Saturday, June 25th RUDY is flying back from the Chicago Convention, leaving his Corvette there (temporarily), so mark your calendars and get those checks in the mail, please.
Tori and Candice gave a very good power point presentation showing what went on during Suds and Studs this past Sunday the 22nd. There were ten Rotaractors present, and Ten Rotarians - they included RO SHAW, CATHY REZOS, ERNIE WOLFE, MIKE NEWMAN and ANGELE, DON and ROZ NELSON, PETER and SHIRLEY MORE, MIKE GINTZ and his daughter, Whitney, BRIAN BUMPAS and Senor RUDY. Candice has several relatives - David, Michael and Afsaneh (I think that's her Mother). The Fire Department Brass included the Battalion Commander and a Captain from another station, Captain Mike Ketaily and the entire shift from Fire Station 37. Everyone enoyed themselves, the food was great - and it's another Legacy which we will hope to continue from here.
Every year we honor those with Perfect Attendance. Sometimes in the past I haven’t listed everyone who qualifies. But my records this year are COMPLETE! Therefore, those with one year include SOL DRESNER, ED GAULD, TONY MARRONE, SEAN McMILLAN, DON NELSON, CATHY REZOS, RO SHAW and SHANE WAARBROEK. Two years, CHRIS BRADFORD, GEORGE DEA, and MIKE GINTZ. Six years, SLOSS VIAU. Seven years, PP PETER MORE. Twelve years, CLAWSON BLEAK. Thirteen years, LEO TSENG. Fourteen years, LENNY FRIEDMAN, Sixteen years, DICK LIVERMORE and PP RALPH WOODWORTH. Eighteen years, PP STEVE SCHERER. Nineteen years, PP RON LYSTER.
There are only 13 more names, starting with twenty years PDG ANDY ANDERSON, HARLAN LEWIS and PP MIKE NEWMAN. Twenty one years, President RUDY ALVAREZ. Twenty two years, JACK HARRIS and SANDY SANDERSON.
Twenty four years, TERRY M. WHITE, TERRY R. WHITE, and PP ERNIE WOLFE.
Twenty five years, FLOYD DEWHIRST and DICK ROBINSON. Thirty one years, PP JOHN SINGLETON, and the all-time champ, with fifty one years, PP JIM DOWNIE!
And Mr. Downie had something to point out HIS were REAL YEARS which some of us (did someone say YOE) cannot truthfully claim. Anyway, our hats are off to PP JIM his record will stand.
LEE DUNAYER introduced our Speaker, Tiffany Harris. She is one of the founders, and current Director of Shane’s Inspiration. They build playgrounds for disabled children, and Tiffany spoke to us several years ago, when their organization was just getting started. WVRC was directly involved with Aiden’s Place in Westwood specifically, we provided some of the outside landscaping. Shane’s Inspiration started with one handicapped playground, and they now have forty!
Aiden’s Place was only their second project, so we were in on the initial phase of their operation. To recognize the scope of the problem, there are 150,000 handicapped children in the LA area and most of the existing playgrounds have minimum, if any, provisions to allow handicapped participation. Shane’s Inspiration is in the process of converting appropriate facilities into playgrounds that can serve both disabled and all other children on an equal basis.
Early on they began to realize that a major stumbling block to using appropriate facilities for the disabled was transportation. This problem was partially solved by their organizing a bus program, which serves 2000 children a year. Their surveys discovered an unknown prejudice against those with disabilities and this was met head-on with a 'buddy' system. They matched up those with disabilities with kids who had no physical problems, and the results were spectacular. Acceptance came almost immediately, which is another example of the value of personal experience and contact.
Before this, they first visited schools with disabled children, and learned of their pre-conceived prejudices. Once these healthy kids met those with disabilities, they soon began to accept them much more easily. Their initial surveys, asking how do you view those with disabilities, kept coming back to the single word, "Sad". But after some orientation and mixing, that was no longer the way the disabled were viewed.
Q&A What are costs of building, or converting playgrounds that everyone can use? It can range from as little as $2,000 to $1.5 million. The money is raised within the community served by the playground. GEORGE COX asked if the specialized equipment sometimes needed is provided by present supplier or outside sources. Usually the present suppliers can provide what is needed. Tiffany gave an example of how really attractive a water wall was to one of the disabled children. Are your playgrounds open to all children, or just to the disabled? The whole idea of our program is make playgrounds available to everyone it is a founding idea we always implement. Tiffany Harris, thank you for returning to speak to us at WVRC and you can be reached at (818) 752-5676.
CATHY REZOS gave the toast "A Rotarians never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child."
Peter K. More
DISTRICT 5280 GOVERNOR:
Edwin Gauld, Vice Chair
Sean Mc Millan
Kacy Rozelle, Vice Chair
James Collins, Vice Chair
Michael Gintz, Vice Chair
Burleigh Arnold, Vice Chair
Glen E. Estess, Sr