Joyce Bulifant tells WVRC about Dyslexia on May 8th

ELLIOTT TURNER got us underway with the Pledge. Next, we rendered Home on the Range, accompanied by PP JIM DOWNIE on his wonderful keyboard, and led by PP STEVE DAY - they done good, as usual. PP RON LYSTER came forward with the Invocation, which started off well when he suggested we sit down. Pointing out that his son, Marty, had just graduated with a degree in history, and admitting to a fondness for the subject himself, PP RON quoted a speech by Sir Winston Churchill. The date was 8 May 1945 - VE Day! Sir Winston briefly outlined the early days of WWII, when Britain stood alone, then announced the end of "one deadly struggle" and the shift of attention to Japan, the one remaining enemy. He acknowledged America as their good partner, and concluded by saying "We will not be the ones who will fail".  Truly, Sir Winston was a magnificent orator, and we thank PP RON for reminding us of this historic date.

Our Speaker, Joyce Bulifant, was our Visiting Rotarian, hailing from a new Club, Carbondale-Afton, in Colorado - she will be their Founding President.  Her long-time friend, Caryl Carruthers, was her guest. PP STEVE SCHERER brought along a Special Guest, Chris Bradford. Chris is very active in UCLA Alumni activities, and is a partner in the law firm of Scherer, Bradford and Lyster, a firm we have heard of before. HENRY TSENG had as his guest our former member, King Wu. This was followed by some momentary confusion, in which Prexy TED didn't immediately recognize HARLAN LEWIS. HARLAN, undaunted, then introduced his long time friend Ida Moore, pointing out that she come all the way here from England, just to hear a speech by Winston Churchill!

Birthdays were next - and there weren't many, somehow. Anyway, BURLEIGH ARNOLD was first, arriving on the 12th in Lewiston, Missouri. LA native SALLY BRANT was next, choosing the 14th. Vincennes, Indiana produced PP HOWIE HENKES on the 16th. GEORGE COX arrived on the 27th, in Westmoreland, (yes, that's California) and former member JOE FISCHER came aboard in Germany on the 28th. The only two who were present were SALLY and HOWIE, who were well serenaded with background keyboarding by PP JIM DOWNIE (When does he get a chance to eat?)

I had the privilege of presenting our annual support check to Meals on Wheels of WLA.  Co-Director Caressa Carlstadt and long-time Treasurer Nora Jones graciously received our contribution - and then, we were able to surprise Nora by announcing her as the Westwood Village Rotary choice as Community Volunteer of the Year. Nora attended UCLA, got her Masters in Library Science at Berkeley, and spent her entire professional career at the UCLA Library. For many years prior to her retirement, she was supervising over one hundred employees. When she retired in 1987, her friends on MOW immediately drafted her as a driver - and she continues delivering meals to this day.  In 1992, when Roberta Dutton retired as Treasurer, Nora took over, and has been doing an excellent job for over ten years. Both she and Caressa thanked us warmly for our continuing support - and pointed out that they need volunteers, always. Shirley More, Doris Sumner, and yes, YOE, are currently volunteering - come on in, the waters fine!

Prexy TED reported on the just-completed District Conference at Pechanga. We received a number of awards for our many activities, and everyone who attended had a good time - it should be noted that PETER MORE was picked up at LAX, just arriving from Australia, and then went directly to Temecula - some kind of record for the person who came the fartherest to attend ANY District Conference! Dr Barati, a PDG from India, was the primary organizer of our Polio Surgery Program, and he has provided a record of what has been accomplished. Our own PDY ANDY ANDERSON has a copy, and it shows what our efforts along with the HOWARD PHILLIPS gift has provided. Don't forget - your gift of $147.00 enables a child stricken with Polio to WALK AGAIN!  Can you imagine any greater gift you could provide? It was announced tht PP GEORGE DEA continues to recover from his recent surgery - keep in touch with him, please.  And finally, Prexy TED asked PP DAVE WHITEHEAD what he and Karen were doing a week or so ago. Seems they just had to go to Paris - a free trip, more or less - and this earned PP DAVE a hundred buck fine!

PP JOHN SINGLETON introduced our Speaker, Joyce Bulifant. Joyce is the President of the DYSLEXIA Foundation, and has served in this capacity for the past several years.  PP JOHN, who has Dyslexia, met Joyce recently at our Rotary meeting - as they talked, they realized that both of them had this same handicap. It can be hereditary, and they then discovered that they had sons who were also afflicted. Joyce is an actress, in both TV and the movies, and she has managed to overcome this difficult problem.

Joyce began by relating the difficult scholastic history of her son, John.  They tried several special schools, and he finally attended Santa Monica College. Typically, he excelled in some subjects and had no interest in others. He had great difficulty learing in a traditional academic setting - and this was a cause of great frustration to him, since he didn't know why he was having these learning problems. He, like all dyslexic students, could not help but hear the negative comments of his fellow students.

As Joyce realized that she, too, suffered from Dyslexia, she decided to do what she could be increase awareness of this handicap. She mad a documentary, telling the story of Einstein, Edison, Hans Christian Anderson, and Amy Lowell, all of whom were dyslexic!
She told the sad story of why her parents divorced - he father was dyslexic, but that long ago this was not a recognized ailement, and it eventually caused him to lose his job. From that, he became an alcoholic, and their marriage unraveled. She summarized by pointing out that those with this problem need to be taught in ways they can understand.  Also, she noted that the often prescribed Rivilin is frequently not a helpful remedy.

Q&A- CHARLES MAGNUSON - How do you teach those with Dyslexia? They learn coping skills, plus dodging and weaving when cornered - even 'cheating' if there is no other way to avoid admitting their problem. ELLIOTT TURNER - Is ADD helpful? Yes, but be careful where your child is tested. PP JOHN SINGLETON - What does your Foundation do? We sponsor many research projects, testing various approaches to the problem. PP CHRIS GAYNOR - Do you get major funding from Foundations? No, out best fundraising comes from a Conference we hold every two years, gathering multi-faceted professionals together for a week - they discuss their ideas, and from this much as been accomplished. MICHAEL GINTZ - Is early identification helpful? Yes, by the 3rd or 4th grade treatment can be quite effective. It is then a medical problem with an educational solution. RAY ZICKFELD - Is it true that as many as 20% of students may be affected? Yes, but those most affected are less than half that number. PP JOHN again noted his own problems in school, and reported that Books on Tape and the Braille Institute both have tapes for Dsylexic students. Joyce then summarized what had helped her most. Her outgoing personality was encouraged by her mother, who was always supportive.  Joyce Bulifant, thank you for sharing your story and knowledge with us.

Two last notes, if I may. I still need your business cards - leave them with me at the desk when you come in, please. And PP JIM COLLINS has stepped forward to chair our new Membership Committee. He needs some help - will YOU volunteer, please? Let me know, OK? YOE, Ernie Wolfe