By Cheryl Kingston

Philanthropic and purposeful since its inception in 1929, the Westwood Village Rotary enjoys a rich tradition of local, national and international community service, and promotes high ethical standards in the business and professional domain. The roster of over one hundred men and women includes doctors, dentists, financial planners and investment counselors, attorneys, property managers, CPAs, educators, insurance executives, journalists, real estate brokers, small business owners, and clergymen.

George Dea says, “Our weekly meetings take place every Thursday from 12:00-1:30 at the Bel Air Hotel and feature an interesting array of speakers. We promote fellowship and we’re proud to sponsor a college age Rotaract club at UCLA.  The Rotary Auxiliary, composed of spouses of Rotarians, is another active partner. We strive to fulfill the humanitarian goals of Rotary International expressed in this year’s theme, “Mankind is Our Business.”

Those on the dais this past eighteen months reflect Rotary’s spectrum of concerns. Consulates General from Great Britain, South Africa, and Sweden gave an update on their economy, trade and politics Dr. Robert Maloney discussed laser eye surgery.   Dr. Alan Rubin presented “Asteroid Threat Theories,” while Captain Wally Graves¹s remarks focused on “What¹s Behind the Scenes at the West L.A.P.D.?” From the sports world came UCLA Football and Basketball Coaches Bob Toledo and Steve Lavin, respectively,  and advocate for professional soccer, Alan Rothenberg.  Three invitees were elected to political posts: Jim Hahn, Mayor; Rocky Delgadillo, City Attorney of L.A.; and Jack Weiss, City Councilman, 5th District.  Should the San Fernando Valley Succeed?  Is L.A. poised to become the Model City in this Millennium?  Developers vs. Individual’s Rights and other NIMBY issues.  Such represents the substance of animated and thought provoking interactions.

The meetings’ tight agendas include some rituals and protocols.  A pageantry of banners representing sister chapters provides the room¹s backdrop. Members recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing America the Beautiful.  The President calls the meeting to order and makes announcements about golf tournaments, crises counseling, and dinners of eight members, unsung hero awards and the annual picnic and International Convention.  Communication among members is encouraged via email, through staying current with the Rotary’s “Windmill” publication, and by visiting its comprehensive website http://www.wvrc.net.

The scope of Rotarian enterprise is staggering.  At a local level some members volunteer in L.A.’s “Read by 9” program while others raise funds to build a new playground for disabled and able-bodied children in West Los Angeles, rebuild a local elementary school and update a neighborhood fire station.  The American Cancer Society, the PACT alliance, the Parkinson’s PLLUS exercise program, and Meals on Wheels are the beneficiaries of the Rotarian spirit of goodwill.  Scholarship recipients get the benefit of a college education.

Support for corrective surgeries for Polio victims in India has given hope to those who had none.  Cultural exchange and Ambassadorial Programs sponsor participants to promote world peace and international understanding.   Partners in Preparedness is an effort to ensure emergency protocols exist and that personnel are trained to save lives.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose.”  The Westwood Village Rotary invites you to explore whether this might be the propitious moment for you to consider membership.  The camaraderie, networking opportunities, and potential for personal growth are attractive incentives to join the local chapter thereby becoming an affiliate of an international service organization.