at WVRC All Rotary, and Well Done!
LENORE MULRYAN led the Pledge, and it was good. LENNY and PP JIM took us through you’re a Grand Old Flag and maybe we ARE improving. PP STEVE DAY provided the Invocation, which has roots in Buddhism. This in turn is found in World Prayers on the Web. Who else but PP ERIC LOBERG asked when we were going to get TO the Invocation but then again, he’s always impatient. And what do you know - PP STEVE began by asking that we become patient with who else but PP ERIC! “Let us be protectors for those without protection, for those who have lost their way, have oceans to cross, need a bridge over rivers, and sanctuary for those in danger, a lamp for those without light, a place for those who lack shelter, and may we provide service for those in need”. Well done, STEVE, and you may have found a way to quiet ERIC but I doubt it!
SEAN McMILLAN announced the District Breakfast, which will be at the Crown Plaza at LAX, 0700 on the 31st of this month. PDG ANDY ANDERSON and PP PETER MORE stepped forward to fill our table of ten. The Sweetheart Brunch will be on Saturday, February 11th, at Lawrys, with the same band as last year save the date, and the invitations are coming soon. We had some Visiting Rotarians with us first was our Speaker, Brian Hebb, from LA Five he is in the Multimedia business. Bill Hancock is from the SouthWest Club, and he is in Real Estate. He also brought along their Passport, and we were only the 28th Club to sign in! I mention this because our own Passport languishes in my briefcase it has a couple of signatures, but it may be tough to catch Mr. Hancock. MAX LICHTENBERGER introduced his wife, and daughter both going by the good Austrian name of Anita. TONY MARRONE was with Bob Wilson, who is known to many of us at WVRC. SHANE WAARBROEK had a Special Guest, Mary Lee Malcolm. She is a former Rotary Foundation Fellow similar to what is now called our Ambassadorial Scholar program, and is a recently published author. For a change of pace, PETER TOMARKEN introduced HIS guest; someone named ERIC, who, PETER claimed, couldn’t get in EXCEPT as a guest!
At this point, President DON rescued us by reading from an article in the Daily Journal, which he had received via an anonymous source. This concerned a junket by the Beverly Hills Bar Association, wherein some 27 members of the Association visited Cuba. Among those who participated and was quoted, of course was our own CHRIS BRADFORD. After insightful questioning by President DON, CHRIS began his defense by pointing out that “Fidel sends his regards”. Upon further quotes from the article, PP STEVE SCHERER was moved to point out that the visit by Chris was on his own, and had nothing to do with the firm of Scherer, Bradford and Lyster. (I was temped at this point to suggest that a ‘joint fine’ might be appropriate, but the moment slipped away). Further quotes claimed that BRADFORD had studied communism in college, which, as you might imagine, got everyone’s attention. This error was corrected, and then what else - the subject of an appropriate fine was introduced. The amount of one hundred big ones was floated, to which all parties concurred. Thus, let no one be under the impression that WVRC meetings speak only of unimportant matters!
NICK KAHRILAS turned in two tickets for tonight’s UCLA-Washington State basketball game, which were offered for bid starting at $50. While not consummated during lunch, it appears that an unnamed but loyal UCLA fan (his license is Gelati) might yet step forward to help the coffers by some undisclosed amount. Stay tuned.
This brought on the weekly story. A newly hired CEO was brought in to a company to turn it around. On his first day aboard, he was walking the floor when he found a person leaning casually against the wall in the hallway. The CEO asked the ‘leaner’ how much money he made, and the surprised reply was $600 a week. Figuring to impress all within earshot, the CEO pulled that amount of cash out of his pocket, gave it to the man, and announced, in a ringing voice, “Here, take this, get out and don’t come back”. The CEO then asked of no one in particular, “Can anyone tell me what that goof off did here?” Someone answered, "Yes, he’s the delivery guy from Dominoes."
The District is participating in a Chinese New Year celebration. It will be Saturday, Feb 4th, in the evening at Cypress Pavilion in Chinatown. Cost is $45 for adults and $15 for children, and the contact is Angi Ma Wong, who can be reached at (310) 541-8818.
Corazon 2006 - Building a home in Mexico. The date is March 4th, Saturday, and as before, it will be in Tijuana. Please save the date, and Kacy Rozelle is the contact.
CANDICE DANESHVAR was invited forward to tell us of her immediate plans. She began by reminding us of a previous speaker, Dr Carlos Alejos. He is the founder of Hearts With Hope, and his volunteer team of doctors and nurses will be providing pediatric surgery for a number of indigent children. They will spend two weeks in Arequipa, Peru and our CANDICE has been invited along! She will help the nurses, leaves this Saturday, and should have a wonderful experience. WVRC did help with her airfare, for which we were nicely thanked.
SEAN McMILLAN introduced our Speaker, Brian Heeb, who was on their trip to El Salvador last year. Brian produces various films, this one being a documentary showing all the good work being done by Rotary in that country. His field is cinema photography, and he has won numerous awards for his work. SEAN found him to be a very hard worker.
Their visit was crowded into just 96 hours (that’s four days, for those who are challenged by the need for long division). They visited a different world, and he found it to be fascinating as did everyone who came along (all were from our District 4280). Their flight was five hours, and they arrived into tropical heat, even at 6 a.m. El Salvador has six million inhabitants, and is the smallest Central American country. It has numerous volcanoes across the country, and those that are no longer active support their major crop, coffee.
These coffee farmers usually send their daughters down the hill to get supplies the boys are kept in school. The village they visited had one bakery oven and it produced goods for everyone. Since then, EIGHT more ovens have been set up, and in addition to providing food, this allows their daughters to go back to school, since they no longer need to fetch supplies. They visited the remote small village of San Miguel, where another Rotary Club is building a hospital. This is a vitally needed part of the infrastructure to help those who are ill and the children are the ones who suffer the most. Rotary doctors have performed the same surgery that we know about in India and Africa, enabling many children to walk, for the first time.
An eye clinic has been started, funded by some of the wealthy ladies living in San Salvador, the Capital. They provide the first glasses the children have ever had, and it is a touching scene to behold. We all know that Rotary led the world in the campaign to eradicate polio, starting in 1985, and we have contributed more than six hundred million dollars to this effort. The present target date to totally eliminate polio is 2008 and this is another project of which we can all be proud. Six years ago the Wheelchair Foundation was established, and they have since delivered 400,000 wheelchairs to those who need them most. Rotary has provided 125,000 of this total but the need is enormous. An estimate is that one hundred million people of all ages need wheelchairs. Again, seeing someone in his own wheelchair for the first time in his life is a sight never to be forgotten.
“Yes, we do better together” is a direct quote, and he is referring to Rotarians banding together to help those who are so much less fortunate than we are. We want to encourage others to this cause. While most of us will not have statues erected in our memory, that doesn’t mean that our efforts are not important, or that they will be forgotten.
His formal talk was followed by the video he produced during the trip. No surprise, it was very well done, and showed not only the lovely country of El Salvador, but it’s people. Particularly moving for me were the faces of the children who had been given glasses. It was an excellent presentation, and certainly made me feel good about being a member of an organization, which actively helps those in need and on a continuing basis!