October 11, 2001



This was Len's 26th Club Visit - and he really is a presence! The officers and club chairs were at a prior meeting, at which, first Pat Cashin, and then Governor Len Wasserstein presided. They went over what we are doing - and couldn't help being impressed. But more on that another time, when we have another Club Assembly.

President-elect TEN IHNEN ran the meeting. We started with some introductions, including DG Len, Pat Cashin, his Executive Aide, and Area Rep Thomas McCullough. PDG ANDY ANDERSON led the Pledge. He was followed by PP STEVE DAY exhorting everyone to 'belt it out' as we sang America, accompanied by new member LYNDON PARKER on the piano. I was pleased to give the Invocation, asking for help from the God of us all.

The Visiting Rotarians were Len, Pat and Tom. Collectively, all spouses and friends of Westwood members were applauded. Yoshiko Umazawa, our incoming Ambassadorial Scholar from Japan, who is studying at UCLA, was with SUSAN ALLEN. RUDY ALVAREZ had as his Special Guest Cathy Marie Rezos, who is a business consultant and helps the Legacy Property Management Group. LYNDON PARKER said that it gave him even MORE pleasure (than RUDY, anyway) to introduce his Special Guest, Christine Ofiesh, who is in the insurance field.

PP MIKE NEWMAN then introduced two of our three new members. He first asked their sponsors to come forward - PP BOB WESSLING and PDG ANDY ANDERSON for DORE CHARBONNEAU, and RUDY ALVAREZ for LYNDON PARKER. Somehow, neither sponsor HENRY TSENG or his inductee, BURLEIGH ARNOLD, were present. A brief bio of DORE lists her birthplace as Pasadena, she is in charge of fund raising for the Salvation Army, and her hobbies are dogs, hiking, movies and reading. BURLEIGH, even though not present, was noted as being in the international insurance field, was born in Lewiston, Missouri, and lives in Westwood. LYNDON has a number of hobbies, including piano, gourmet cooking, theater and golf. His business is search and placement of attorneys. MIKE then spoke of what Rotary membership means, and welcomed the new members aboard - to a standing ovation, of course. District Governor Len Wasserstein presented them with personal plaques, and this was an especially nice touch.

While not part of the program, I did want to announce that Greta Seeber passed away recently. Greta's husband GENE retired as the Manager of Los Angeles Country Club, and us old time members remember him fondly. Coming up immediately - this Tuesday, October 16th at 7:30 p.m. is a program at Westwood Hills Christian Church, entitled Compassionate Choices When Nearing the End of Life. This was announced by DAVE MATSON and it should be well worth attending. Finally, don't forget the Computer Class for All (experts and novices alike) which will be on Thursday the 25th of October. While on advance notices, note that former member PAUL WINEMAN will be speaking to us on November lst - his subject, Status of the Middle East, could not be more timely, and it would be an excellent time to invite prospective members, certainly.

Pres. GEORGE gave an excellent summary of his views on Rotary, which I will summarize briefly. Membership is his focus, and his goal is a net gain of seven! This is everyone's responsibility, of course - but if each of us brings just ONE prospective new member, that goal is very achievable. PP STEVE SCHERER and KEN LEVER are chairing a new committee, aided by PP HOWIE HENKES and HARLAN LEWIS, and they will be focusing on improving recruitment, orientation and retention of members. As part of this campaign, Pres. GEORGE wants us to make WVRC more visible in our community. Besides our membership in the Westside Chamber of Commerce, with KEN KILPO as our rep, we now have a professional publicist, Cheryl Kingsley, who will place news items in local papers.

As an example, YOE was quoted in a story about Fire Station #37, and I was given one hundred Dea Dollars - which one has to suspect will soon be used in reducing whatever fine may be assessed. A new project involving a playground devoted essentially to the handicapped is a high priority item - next week the Director of this project will make a presentation on this high visibility program. BURLEIGH ARNOLD, SALLY BRANT, PP JIM COLLINS, GREG ELLIOTT, PP HOWARD SISKEL and PP BOB WESSLING are looking at fund raising possibilities. And, we can also help by suggesting to Program Chair SALLY BRANT those good speakers we have personally heard - this is already one of our strong points, and such programs continue to encourage attendance. In summary, Pres. GEORGE says, "Let's get going!"

Pres. GEORGE introduced Governor Len Wasserstein, who has had a 30-year career in community involvement in and around Beverly Hills. In 1989 he was named Citizen of the Year - and the next year, finally joined Rotary. Len points out that you have to be invited, and apparently no one got around to that. Since coming aboard, he has served in the Avenues of Service, Club President, Executive Aide for Carol Wylie and Assistant Governor for Jack Jones. He is one of ten children, and credits his mother for instilling the importance of helping others.

Len thanked PP RON LYSTER for stepping forward to head this year's District Conference in San Diego - RON is assisted by NEAL ZASLAVSKY. Len recalls an early visit to WVRC for a makeup, and being shocked at a mere $400 fine levied on one of our wealthier members. He thanked our Club for their continuing support of the Paul Harris Celebration, and pointed out that he uses us as an example for many other nearby clubs. And getting back to this being his 26th club visit - at 22 of those meetings, the menu has been chicken!

Rotary President Richard King has outlined four areas which he wants to stress. First is Membership, then Education, Rotary Image, and Club Development. An upcoming date to note - October 20th, Saturday, from 8 until noon, Past Rotary President Jim Lacey will speak on Membership, and will outline the Model Program, which trains future leaders. President King has asked that all clubs turn in publicity handouts to the media during the week of January 12th - this to be a massive show to the world of all the good Rotary does.

At San Antonio, it was pointed out that FORTY THOUSAND children die from malnutrition every day - there are over one hundred million unexploded mines still undetected in our world! These are only two among the many worthwhile projects which Rotary is working on. Another example is a trash dump once crawling with small children scrounging for food or anything useful - two years later, the dump has been eliminated and the children are eating regularly. To carry on these wonderful activities, our annual $100 in Planned Giving (for the drawing at Paul Harris) is a major source of funds.

We must stress Fellowship and Friendship - for instance, both LA Westside and Brentwood need help within our local district. Membership remains critical - and we can all help on this. There are 2400 Rotarians in our District - remember, the way to bring in a new member is to ask. Len is an amazing example for all of us - he has brought in SIXTY new members in his eleven years at a Rotarian! Len concluded by reminding us all to support Mankind - that's our business! Thank you, Governor LEN - you are a shining example to all of us.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe