WINDMILL PROGRAM FOR SEPTEMBER 1
Our meeting started off normally enough, with DAVE WHITEHEAD leading us in the Pledge. However, while we were still standing, PREXY DON brought up ART HENRY for the invocation. The mood was somber, as Art asked the divine powers to guide us in helping the Gulf State victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. LENNY (he’s still a real gem) FRIEDMAN and JACK HARRIS then led us singing “America Tis of Thee.”
RALPH BEASOM (again) reported that we had no visiting Rotarians at our meeting. PP HOWIE HENKES informed us of our two guests from the LAPD, but more on them later.
PREXY DON announced that PP and PDG ANDY ANDERSON is at home from his heart surgery, “frisky but in bed.” We wonder how Don knows this, but alas, we cannot print those ruminations here. We are certainly glad that Andy appears to be making a speedy and full recovery, and we look forward to his return.
PP BOB WESSLING announced that the Salvation Army would greatly appreciate your financial donations to aid in their efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Please send your donation, marked “for Katrina Hurricane relief,” to:
900 W. James Wood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Attention: Major Paul Seiler
District 5280 will shortly announce its own program to assist the victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
SLAUS VIAU gave us a preview of the WVRC’s upcoming clothing and bedding drive for our local Salvation Army chapter. 80 family units are in need of our assistance. The drive is expected to take place in the latter part of October.
CHRIS BRADFORD reminded us of the WVRC Family Picnic at the Siskel’s on September 25, 2005. Please rsvp to Chris as to whether you are coming. This is a great event, and we are truly grateful to Eloise Siskel for graciously hosting.
PREXY DON introduce the WVRC’s newest member, PETER TOMARKEN. Welcome, Peter!
The WVRC had the great pleasure of seeing two ceremonies, both of which involved deserving individuals receiving Paul Harris Fellowships. In the first ceremony, PP HOWIE HENKES presented LAPD Detective Corbin Rheault with the WVRC’s 2004 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, including a Paul Harris Fellowship. This award is sponsored by the George and Marion Schwartz Foundation. Detective Rheault hails from Fargo, North Dakota. He is one of the LAPD’s top robbery investigators, having received numerous commendations and also praise from the District Attorney’s office for excellent field work enabling the successful prosecution of criminals. Detective Rheault thanked the Club for bestowing the award on him, and noted that his (impressive) success rate is the result of contributions from the LAPD and the District Attorney’s Office. Joining Detective Rheault at the WVRC was his supervisor, Detective Randy Fredrickson.
PP STEVE DAY had the pleasure of introducing HENRY TSENG to escort and present NORA AQUINO with a Paul Harris Fellowship. In addition to supplying the financial contribution, HENRY TSENG also graced NORA ACQUINO with a kiss on the cheek.
LEO TSENG introduced our two speakers, Marsha Charney and Paul Trapani, from a great non-profit organization, Students Run LA (SLAUS VIAU, who didn’t “get” the name, was subjected to some “raspberries” from our boisterous group). Marsha, the Executive Director of Students Run LA, spoke first and gave us an overview of the organization: it’s 16 years old, and involves preparing and training at risk middle and high school students to run each year in the LA Marathon (that’s about 26.2 miles). As co-founder Paul Trapani (whose claim to fame is marrying Coach Wooden’s granddaughter) observed, the destination is not as important as the journey. The students who participate in Students Run LA gain confidence, self esteem and realize that they have the ability to accomplish things. All of this leads to the students becoming more responsible members of our community.
Students Run LA has grown from 250 participants in their first LA Marathon (1989) to about 3000 participants (students and volunteer teachers/mentors) in the 2004 LA Marathon. Any middle or high school student may participate in this after school program, which involves the students training for and then running in progressively longer runs. The students are provided with 2 pairs of running shoes, pants and a shirt free of charge. Students Run LA is financed by corporate and foundation donors.
PREXY DON left us with the following imponderable: If the speed of light is fast, what’s the speed of dark? (For a moment, I felt that I was back again in Rudy’s World).
Little YOE, Mark Block