This Week... July 15, 2010
Gordon Fell, our newest President, called the meeting to order in a timely fashion and noticeably without the butterflies that had been afflicting him on his first day on the job.
Invocation, Pledge and Song
Art Henry introduced Tom Bols, pastor in Whittler and also know as the “Skid Roy Preacher” to give the Invocation. Ed Jackson led the Club in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lenny Friedman then came forward to lead the Club in a rousing rendition of “God Bless America.”
We had one Visiting Rotarian, Larry Martoff (a lawyer turned movie producer) from the Santa Monica Club. There were of course guests Peggy Bloomfield was with her helper, Renaldo, George Cox was back with us along with his daughter Mary Elizabeth Johnson and, of course, Sunny was with Lenny Friedman. Our newest member, Terry de Souza, has been deputized to collect five bucks from whomever that were not wearing their Rotary pin only Susan Klein was found without her Rotary pin.
Next week (July 22nd), the Club is going to have an unusual Senior Craft talk, the likes of which you have never seen…. It is so big, it has its own headline:
“A Day (or More Like 103 Years) in the Life
of Henry Tseng”
This should not be missed, in fact, extra time has been allotted for this Program.
On to other fun event: the Auxiliary’s Fun Party is scheduled for August 28th at the home of Peggy Bloomfield. I am told it will be a real hoedown (whatever that is they don’t have them in Ireland). Don & Roz Nelson, as you may have heard, are in charge, and plans are underway. Cost will be $40, and they are expecting up to 60 guests, so get your check in soon to Margie Downie.
Steve Day reminded us all of the Paul Harris Celebration on November 7, 2010, 2 6PM, at the House of Blues - it will be the District’s Rotary Mardi Gras Celebration. Steve also reminded everyone to buy lots of Rotary raffle tickets.
Ron Lyster (this year’s webmaster for the Club) talked about the Club’s website and its new look as befitting a new president. Ron reminded us the Club’s website is one of the oldest in the District with more than a decade of use. It continues to enlighten us thanks to the work of Ron and others who have acted as webmasters including Peter More and David Whitehead.
Paul Harris Inductee
Another special moment in the life of Steve Petisse…. He was inducted as a Paul Harris Fellow by Steve Day, the Club’s Rotary Foundation Chair. Congratulations Steve Petisse and thanks for your contribution to the good works of Rotary Foundation.
Steve Petisse has replaced Nick Kahrilas (who has taken a leave of absence) as the Chair of the Vocational Avenue of Service. Steve noted that the Assistant District Governor for Vocational Service will be speaking to the Club in November and that Steve will be initiating a new program to keep at-risk high school students from dropping out of school and would be emphasizing Rotary’s 4Way Test.
Dwight Heikkila, who is chairing this year’s Youth Services Committee, noted that a Rotaract student from Germany was coming to UCLA and was looking for housing - let Dwight know of any possibilities. Dwight also reported that the Club’s sponsored Rotoract Club at UCLA had been selected by the District as the Rotaract Club of the Year. He also asked that members sign up and join the Club’s Youth Services Committee.
President Gordon announced that October 7th - the day that the District Governor visits the Club - would be a Spouses Day. President Gordon told a joke (I am told) but it was so noisy that this week’s unknown Windmill editor could not hear even hear it. It is likely that others either did not hear it or did not get it. So that our members do not miss their weekly joke, the unknown editor though he would pass on an Irish joke (which jokes have been missing from Club meetings, along with a lot of other jokes, for more than year).
Irish Joke of the Week
An Irishman, an Englishman and a beautiful girl are riding together in a train, with the beautiful girl in the middle. The train goes through a tunnel and it gets completely dark. Suddenly there is a kissing sound and then a slap! The train comes out of the tunnel. The woman and the Irishman are sitting there looking perplexed. The Englishman is bent over holding his face which is red from an apparent slap. The Englishman is thinking "Damn it, that Mick must have tried to kiss the girl, she thought it was me and slapped me." The girl is thinking, "That Englishman must have moved to kiss me, and kissed the Irishman instead and got slapped." The Irishman is thinking, "If this train goes through another tunnel, I could make another kissing sound and slap that Englishman again!!”
Rick Cullen introduced our speaker, Loren Harper. Loren is the immediate Past District Governor for District 5170 in Northern California (and previously a past President of the Warm Springs Rotary Club where he received the Outstanding President of the Year Award in 1994). Loren has been the Chairperson of the District 5170 Sister Families Program for the past fourteen years and was the 1997-1998 recipient of the Sydney R. Mitchell Award given to the Outstanding Rotarian in District 5170. The Rotary International Board of Directors selected Loren as a 2000-2001 recipient of the Service Above Self Award. He is also a recipient of the Richard D King Award which goes to the individual who makes the greatest personal commitment to the programs of the Rotary Foundation. Recently, Loren received the Carl G. Orne Award given to the individual who makes the greatest commitment to world peace and understanding.
Loren spoke about his extensive Rotary work with abandoned children in Brazil and the Philippines. He reminded us that each member needed to know their role in Rotary. “Humanitarianism is the key to Rotary. Rotary is global network in more than 200 countries with more than 1.2 million members. It is Loren’s belief that one person or a small group of thoughtful and committed individuals can change the world. He gave a few examples: 6,500 Interact members (90 Clubs in his home District) raised $50,000 for water projects in Guatemala and $70,000 for Polio Plus.
He noted that for more than 300 years, Brazil has had a major problem with abandoned children. Loren described a long standing practice in Brazil of selling children from the orphanages at prices between ten and twenty thousand dollars. In describing the genesis of the Rotary program in Brazil to combat this problem, Loren told of a meeting between a Brazilian juvenile court judge and a juvenile court judge in Santa Clara County whose trip to Brazil had been sponsored by Rotary District 5170. It was this meeting that led to a Rotary project whereby children up the age of 5 were taken from orphanages (institutions) and placed with families. One of the most heart warming aspects of the program was that 98% of the children that were placed with families were adopted by those families.
This project, called the Sister Families Project, was been approved by the World Community Service of Rotary International and because of the efforts and Loren and others, this program was “exported” to the Philippines where a similar problem of abandoned children exist.
In the Q& A session that followed, Loren was asked why does Brazil have such a large population of abandoned children. Loren believed it was due to the machisimo attitude of the Brazilian (Latin) men.
Loren, we thank you for an informative and provocative presentation.
Thoughts to Think About...
Mark Twain reminds us: “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.” and
P. J. Rourke reminds us: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free!”
The meeting was adjourned timely.