Sean M. McMillan
A New Rotary Regime
Our new President, Sean M. McMillan
foresees his Rotary Year
CHRIS’S SWAN SONG at WVRC on June 26th
NEVIN SENKAN is back! Yes, she is now consulting, and will be able to attend most meetings. She not only brightens up the room, but we can return to having TWO blondes in the Demotion Skits…But returning to routine, PP CHRIS GAYNOR led the Pledge.
LENNY, true to form, had us Singing our Farewell to CHRIS. JOHN WOODALL provided the Invocation, “We thank you for the gift of each day, for the bounty that graces our tables, we give you thanks, and ask that your spirit infuse us as we strive for justice in our world.” Short and to the point, JOHN thanks.
We had a few guests, led off by SHARON BRADFORD, who came in support of The Last Hurrah by CHRIS. LENNY of course brought SUNNY, and DAVID again brought his daughter, Maureen. ANN SAMSON had two guests, David Cason, the COO of the Los Angeles YMCA, and Larry Rosen, their CEO.
Several years of Perfect, or almost Perfect Attendance were announced: MARK BLOCK and ELLIOTT TURNER had a year, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD had 3, with ED GAULD, SEAN MCMILLAN and PP DON NELSON claiming 4 years. President CHRIS BRADFORD had 5, with PP PETER MORE earning 10, and CLAWSON BLEAK at 14. LENNY FRIEDMAN came up to 17, and PP STEVE SCHERER was at 21. PP RON LYSTER was at 22, and PP MIKE NEWMAN achieved 23, while the trio of TERRY M and W WHITE plus YOE all had 27. DICK ROBINSON came along at 28 and then, PP JIM DOWNIE, with FIFTY-FOUR YEARS!
President CHRIS (and this is the last time he will be so-referred to, of course) expressed his thanks for the help of so many members in this, his year as President. He started off with PP STEVE SCHERER, who is not only his 21-year Partner in their law office, but was the one who sponsored him for WVRC membership. He noted the ongoing help and support of SHARON who now knows how time demanding the job can be. He next listed his Board, President-Elect SEAN MCMILLAN, VP ED GAULD, Treasurer MARK BLOCK, Secretary SHANE WAARBROEK, Community Service, MARK ROGO, Youth Service ANN SAMSON, International Service ELLIOTT TURNER, Vocational Service SHERRY DEWANE and Membership Chair PP STEVE SCHERER.
He thanked PP DON NELSON and YOE for doing our jobs of Executive Treasurer and Secretary. RALPH BEASOM was singled out for so consistently taking care of the meeting supplies, and PP RON LYSTER was noted as our Webmaster this year. Many Past Presidents generously shared their advice and counsel, including STEVE SCHERER, RON LYSTER, MIKE GINTZ, PETER MORE, DON NELSON, YOE, JIM DOWNIE, STEVE DAY, CHRIS GAYNOR, MIKE NEWMAN and JOHN SINGLETON. He particularly noted all the help JIM DOWNIE provided, but, sensing a hidden desire on JIM”S part, CHRIS presented him with a Special Mug, costing JIM a mere $54 for his 54 years of perfect attendance! ANDY ANDERSON and BILL GOODWYN were recognized for their always-available insight as PDGs. LEE DUNAYER provided about half the Invocations all year long, while KATHIE GAULD and ELOISE SISKEL provided leadership for our always helpful Auxiliary and Best Wishes to MARIE ROLF who takes over for them this coming year.
Some Highlights of the Year:
District Governor’s Visit - Thanks to the Board.
Membership we added more new members than any time in recent memory.
Sweetheart Brunch one of the best ever, thanks to MARK BLOCK.
Auxiliary Summer Fun Party Thanks for the use of your home, DEBBIE & STEVE.
Terrific Speakers Programs Thanks to PEGGY BLOOMFIELD and SALLY BRANT
Convention Wide World of Books ED GAULD and LEAH VRIESMAN were keys.
Convention Reception We certainly proved we are the “friendly” WVRC.
The Demotion SEAN MCMILLAN as host, author ED GAULD, as always support By JIM DOWNIE, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD and MARIE ROLF for checking us in, and thanks for the lovely clock, portfolio, wine, and beautiful flowers.
PP DAVE WHITEHEAD, as Rotating Chair of the Rotarian Of The Year Award, came forward to present the 2007-2008 Award. The trick here is to try to conceal from the person being named that they are ‘it’ as long as possible. In this case, that meant never using the word ‘he’ or ‘she’, and of course, PP DAVE was up to the challenge. This ROTY works out regularly (which eliminates many of us), was sponsored by the son of a WVRC Rotarian, graduated from Arizona State University, has been actively involved as Chair of several Avenues of Service, and is currently Chair of Youth Service (Uh Oh, that gives it away!), has attended every R.I. International Convention since 1996, works for an Organization that builds Body, Mind and Spirit, and for the last 13 years has been the head of the Westside YMCA.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our Rotarian of the Year is ANN SAMSON!
This choice provided the longest Standing Ovation ever! Since we already know what ANN has done in Rotary, her two ‘bosses’ now came forward to second the motion. Both David Cason and Larry Rosen spoke of the continuing success of the Westside YMCA under Ann’s expert leadership. The whole presentation was very well done, and we thank PP DAVE WHITEHEAD for putting it together.
President CHRIS then asked each of the Service Chairs to report on their activities this year. First up was PP STEVE SCHERER, who filled us in on Membership. In summary, we brought in fourteen new members, which produced a net gain of eight both records, and in addition the new members lowered the average age of the Club by two years, to 68. We still have some way to go on this, and our Yearling Table seems to work well. Each Yearling will try to bring in one new member, and of course, all our members should be on the lookout for good prospects. Remember, if you don’t ask, they won’t come!
MARK ROGO was next, and he began by pointing out that this was his first year operating on the leadership level of WVRC. He is particularly proud of the Angels Ground Support provided by us and the Santa Monica Club. This has been spearheaded by President Elect SEAN McMILLAN, and MARK gave examples of his personal experience in transporting patients to and from local hospitals after their arrival at Santa Monica Airport.. He reminded us that these are very sick people, and our helping them with ground transportation is significant. For example, sometimes the taxi vouchers which they are given are not honored or are taken at best grudgingly, since the driver gets a reduced rate of pay. Check with MARK if you wish to be added to the available list.
ANN SAMSON spoke for Youth Service. Rotaract, for the first time here, has now established a high school Interact Program. Several of their members attended a session of the R.I. International Conference here in LA. This will feed into Rotaract as the students move on to college. At the same time, perhaps we can resume inviting the Student Body President at the local High Schools to be with us as Honorary Members during their term of office. The Rotaract Group has in place for next term a full Board, which will help them get a good start next year, and they are focusing on more advance notice of events. Youth Service is working with Nora Sterry Elementary School, providing AV equipment, which they badly need, and the Christmas Gift Program under MIKE YOUSEM continues well underway.
ELLIOTT TURNER reported briefly on International Service. The Committee, with the help of Rotaract, assembled over 500 WAPI instruments for water purification. They work with the Ambassadorial Scholar selection process, and have begun a micro-credit loan program, which looks good.
SHERRY DEWANE brought us up to date on Vocational Service. Their major activity is the assembly and shipping of necessary personal items to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. SHERRY became involved with this because the son of her boyfriend is stationed there. So far, we have shipped over 2,000 pounds of these items to Iraq the added plus being that this demonstrates to our troops that they aren’t forgotten. This is an emotional issue for SHERRY, as it should be for all of us these troops certainly deserve our continuing support.
At this concluding point, President CHRIS invited President Elect SEAN MCMILLAN to come forward. As a reminder that CHRIS won’t be standing here next week, SEAN was presented with a special Rotary Pin by CHRIS Bon Voyage!
And a final note by YOE, if I may. CHRIS - you have done a super job as President of WVRC. You leave us in good hands with SEAN, and we thank you for your good work.