DISTRICT GOVERNOR SUZANNE SUNDBERG at WVRC on October 22nd
PP CHRIS BRADFORD led the Pledge. I gave the Invocation, thanking our Maker for his many and continuing gifts to each of us. LENNY again survived his intro, which was the claim that he recently conducted for the Foreign Legion. This statement was buttressed (that means helped) in its incarnation as illustrated by Prexy ED, who had a plethora (that means lots) of hats, using one which was sure to recall service in North Africa. LENNY then led us in “I Love To Go To Rotary.
We had THREE Visiting Rotarians! First was District Governor Susanne Sundberg, who hails from the Rio Hondo Club. Governor Nominee Brad Robinson is from Beverly Hills, and Veronica Martinez, an Assistant Governor, Club Service, from Latinos Unidos. There were several guests SUNNY was of course with LENNY, KATHY GAULD was with Prexy ED, and NINA accompanied ED JACKSON. Mary Beth Johnson, daughter of GEORGE COX, was there with her dad. Our last guest was Kency Nittler, new President of our Rotaract Club.
News and Announcements:
A group of members have just returned from San Francisco, where they visited the SF Chinatown Rotary Club and were hosted for dinner by PP GEORGE and JANICE DEA. They also had a tour of Chinatown and the Chinese Historical Museum. GUIN and PP RON LYSTER were real movers in this visit. We are looking forward to a return visit to Westwood by the Chinatown Rotarians.
Nov 10th is the District Breakfast. The speaker will be Jean Irwin, 1989 Ambassadorial Scholar and educator. Her specialty is teaching reading to deaf children. We will of course have e a table for breakfast you can sign up with ED JAKCSON.
Nov 20th, Friday, the USC/UCLA Rally will be hosted by LA Five. There will be lots of hoopla, and ELLIOTT TURNER has reiterated his offer of cleanup in the wake of Traveler, adding that he plans to do this from a new ‘trapeze’ hanger which it is hoped Traveller will accept carrying. This is a fun event please take it in.
The last date noted is January 15th, 2010, when R.I. International President John Kenny will be speaking downtown save that date, please.
LORIN RUTTENBERG reminded us that she is collecting spent ink cartridges for her school. And CURT SMITH still wants used cell phones bring them along to the meeting, OK?
These several announcements were topped, no doubt by my rising to state that The Turkish Delight party was starting at 6pm, at the home of Nevin Senkan, at 1917 Stradella Road in Bel Air. I suggest you drive up Roscomare to the first turn at the top, which is Stradella, turn right and then follow it down to the correct number. There can be little doubt that this announcement on my part was aided greatly by my wearing another one of Prexy ED’S hats this one, a fez, I think it is called.
Prexy ED couldn’t resist another actuary joke which I hasten to so title, in case you miss it… Two co-eds were visiting. The first one asked, “How was your date with the actuarial student?” The second replied, “I had to slap his face!” # One came back with, “Was he that fresh?” And # Two replied, “No, I was afraid he was dead”.
After an appropriate interval, Prexy ED introduced our District Governor, Susanne Sundberg. Susanne joined the Rio Hondo/Bell Gardens/Commerce Rotary Club in 1995. She has chaired all the Avenues of Service, and was President, of course. On the District level she has been very active, Chairing the 2008 District 5280 Convention, and she was Marketing and Hospitality Director on the Host Organizing Committee for our 2008 R.I. Convention is LA. Professionally, for the past 23 years Susanne has been the Executive Director of Human Services Association, known as HSA. This is a non-profit, and largest community and senior center in Southwest LA. She presides over a staff of 130. Her husband, Dennis, is a member of Huntington Beach Rotary. They have been married 23 years, have 5 children and 13 grandchildren, and live in Huntington Beach. She was given a standing ovation.
Susanne spoke first about the Board Meeting we held before today’s lunch. She displayed several UCLA-oriented gifts, and then made a special recognition of PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, who has just given R.I. a million dollars! She began by reiterating the importance of Membership, and complimented PP STEVE SCHERER for his continuing and successful efforts. This also elicited some well-deserved applause. Susanne and LEAH VRIESMAN had good conversations about Community Service. More applause. ANN SAMSON was congratulated for getting our Interact Club started. And both PDG’S ANDY ANDERSON and BILL GOODWYN were warmly acknowledged.
She introduced her two companions, Brad Robinson and Veronica Martinez. She noted that when she was an Assistant District Governor, each Governor had ten clubs to watch over. This has now been expanded to a total of ten, so each Assistant Governor has 4 or 5 clubs to be close to. We were reminded that the R.I. President was John Kenny, who is from Scotland. This was a cause of some worry, at first, since it was unknown where he would bring in Scottish plaids for the ladies, sometimes a problem. However, they are nicely used as jacket linings, which everyone prefers.
When Susanne attended the District Governors training classes, all the districts from Washington to California adopted a theme, a Pilot. This was chosen because they wanted to take Rotary to new heights, as pilots. What is the District 5280 Plan this year? We will continue to focus on water, health, hunger and literacy. PDG Vicky Reidel is organizing a Peace in Los Angeles group, and we are all welcome to join. They will focus on downtown LA, and Pete Carroll was noted as having started this movement with A Better LA. They are planning a Computer Lab, and an active Literacy Program. On May lst, they will have a major Anti-Gang rally.
International Service will focus on Ecuador, with a trip there. This will be in March 2010, and both Quito, the Capital, and Guayaquil will be included. There will be a side trip to the Galapagos, in addition. They are planning between ten and twelve service projects, including a major wheel-chair distribution. This will be a hands-on experience, plus getting to know Rotarians from another area.
Vocational Service will focus on Literacy and here at WVRC we already have several members who are active in Reading to Kids, which takes place the 2nd Saturday of every month at eight different Elementary Schools in central LA. As you know, we can always use helpers here as they say, c’mon in, the water’s fine!
Susanne has just learned that District 5280 (did you know we used to be just 528?) has received a Grant from R.I. of $10,000 for public relations activity. This will be used to purchase radio spots, and our input is being sought as to what we would like to cover in these spots. She repeated the fact that R.I. President John Kenny will be visiting, and asked that we consider closing for the week and instead attending his address. This will be at the Omni Hotel, downtown.
In May 2010, we will be going to La Quinta for the District Conference. That will be from the 13th to the 16th, and it is a most attractive venue. Friday night will be Hospitality Night, and we have a degree of fame as the providers of perhaps the best Chili to be found anywhere. Saturday will the Governors Ball, as usual.
The International Convention will be in Montreal in June. When Susanne asked how many had been to one of those, many hands went up. It always starts with the Presentation of the Flags, and the pageantry and speakers go on from there. It is always a special time to renew Rotary enthusiasm, and certainly Montreal represents a most attractive place to gather. But of course, all these events take more than just a Pilot there are all the helpers the co-pilots, flight attendants, ground handlers the troops, really. It takes a complete flight plan to make the year successful, from a smooth takeoff to a three point landing it takes the entire team.
Last year, 5280 had a decrease in membership. And sad to say, 5280 had the largest drop of any of the nearby districts. We must not allow this to happen again we need a net increase! Joining Rotary 15 years ago changed her life, she points out and it should change ours, also. Think of the many people you could ask to join friends, business associates, relatives, neighbors they are out there, and it’s up to us to keep asking. And when we bring in a new member, let’s be sure to make that a special event. Give them a mentor, like our Yearling table provides. Get them involved in Rotary projects and Rotary Fellowship. The figures show that less than 10% of us have ever asked someone to join so there is lots of room for improvement. Fellow Rotarians, that’s the Flight Plan. Come Join Me!
DG Susanne, we thank you for your message.
Final Words of Wisdom by Prexy ED We are making a $1,000 gift to R.I. in honor of your visit today. And remember, if you can keep your head when all those others are losing theirs, perhaps you do not understand what is going on!.