APRIL ESCAPES at WVRC – the 29th.


ANN SAMSON started us off with the Pledge.  The Song Team was composed of PP STEVE SCHERER, JACK HARRIS, and PP JIM DOWNIE on the piano.  STEVE first commented that he thought JACK was one of the handsomest men he knew, and this observation was greeted with prolonged applause.  After this inspired start, we did produce Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory – and we done especially good on the Chorus.


Afterward, STEVE ruminated that “JIM may not be the handsomest, but he sure is the most talented” to which there was general ascent.  BURLEIGH ARNOLD came forward with the Invocation, first allowing us to be seated – always a popular way to begin these matters. BURLEIGH quoted part of the Christmas Message of George the 6th in 1939, when the war was still growing in Europe.  Part of the conclusion of his radio address included the following, as coming from a man who stood at the Gate of the Year.


“Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown.”  The reply came, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.  That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way”. Good advice, then and now.


PP HOMER NEWMAN introduced a Visiting Rotarian, Bob Klein, who also happened to be our Speaker.  Bob belongs to the Santa Monica Club, and his classification is Foundations.  You may also remember him as having played football for the Trojans, and later the Rams. PP STEVE SCHERER brought along Belinda Mojica, who is a personal financial planner, and a UCLA graduate.  PP MIKE NEWMAN was with one of our two Rotaract students from Germany, Natalie Martin, while PP STEVE DAY introduced her partner, Axel  Brodhel.  LEE DUNAYER brought along Kathy Rezos, a former member who may rejoin us shortly. LENNY FRIEDMAN was with Sunny, and he noted that in deference to our Speaker, all three of their children were born at St. Johns.  On a more serious note, Pres. PETER reported a phone call from Helen Beasom – RALPH slipped and fell in the bathroom early Thursday morning, and hit his head.  I saw him at St. Johns on Friday, and he came home the next day.  They don’t know what the problem was, but he is doing OK – give him a ring, by all means.  I also heard from Toshie SETOGUCHI that YOSH is also feeling much better – he is going in for several hours each working day – but we all know you can’t keep him away from that office – again,  a call would be welcome, certainly.


Two weeks ago, Pres. PETER, Shirley, and LEO TSENG attended the Golden Anniversary of our sister Club, the Rotary Club of Hong Kong Island East.  PETER had some excellent photos, and apparently our three WVRC members had a great time during the three day celebration.  Their major project is helping the HK School for the Deaf, and there were photos of the kids at computers – very impressive.  Their incoming President is Rudy Law – which of course brought forth some comments regarding our incoming Presidents having the same name. The school accommodates about 200 boarding students, plus another 600 who are day students, and it is partially funded by the government.  There were a number of pictures of our representatives mingling with the Hong Kong members – and then, a photo of LEO attending the HK Lions Club!  It was obviously a very happy occasion, and we got a good overview of what went on.


BOB FLICK finally gave his Craft Talk.  He noted that when he perused our Roster Book, he began to think it was perhaps a club rule that you could not have a photo in it that was less than twenty years old…Then, in deference to the jokes of yore, he told the story of a heart patient who was waiting for a transplant.  There were three hearts available – a young athlete who had died in an auto accident, a middle aged man who never drank or smoked, and a trial lawyer, who had died after thirty years of practice.  It surprised the surgeon when the patient chose the trial lawyers heart – and when asked why, he replied, he wanted one that hadn’t been used much!


He and Sandra have been married for twenty three years, and their son Kyle is a senior at Palisades High School.  Kyle will be attending UC Davis in the fall, and is an Eagle Scout.  They have a 2nd ‘child’, Max, a 140 lb lab and rotweiler mix.  BOB’S hobbies include what he describes as ‘bad golf’, skiing, and hiking. His entire legal career has taken place in Los Angeles – and he met PP TED IHNEN when they were both at Stanford Law School.  After spending over twenty years with two large firms, he now has his own practice, specializing in Real Estate Law. Clients include Universal Studios, Cingular Wireless, Panasonic, Boston University and many individuals and small business. Among his more famous clients are Marlon Brando and Zsa Zsa Gabor.


Bob has served on the Board of Junior Achievement of Southern California for the past eighteen years.  He also is on the Board of the Seaver Institute, and now adds Rotary to his interests.  Before Stanford, he graduated from Northern Illinois University, where he played basketball and was on the track team. Among the bits of knowledge produced by Stanford was that he should be deeply suspicious of our two local Universities, and particularly watch out for Cal. He has long been interested in international politics, and feels that our Ambassadorial Scholarship Program is particularly beneficial.  He thanked his recent golf partners – PP JIM COLLINS, ELLIOTT TURNER, and ART HENRY for their support during the tournament, and especially thanked PP TEN IHNEN for sponsoring him into Rotary.  He feels welcome, and is looking forward to more involvement in Rotary activities.


TONY MARRONE introduced our Speaker, Bob Klein.  He noted that Bob was an All-American at USC, lives in the Palisades, and he and his wife have three children and ‘many, many’ grandchildren. He is involved in lots of community activities, and at St. Johns Hospital, he is Vice President in charge of Development.


Bob has belonged to the Santa Monica Rotary Club for twelve years, and during that time was on the Board of St. Johns.  They appointed a search team to find a new Development Director – and as they were looking, someone said, “Hey, look who we have right here”.  So he came aboard with no prior training in fund raising.  He noted that working for Nuns taught him two things – they tend to believe they are right, and it’s hard to say no to them!  One of his first programs was emceed by Bob Hope, who quipped, “This may be the first time I’ve been in this hotel under my own name”. 


Our big earthquake caused major damage at St. Johns, and they had to shut down for a full year.  Their staff and physicians were well trained, and immediately found other similar employment – but when they reopened, almost every single former employee returned to St. Johns.  Their original building is seventy years old, and the Sisters of Charity, who operate the facility, have brought a mission of health care, based on “What’s best for the patient is what we do”.


He noted that one of the problems they face is collecting from insurance companies for care they have provided.  They have pioneered in new techniques for disc replacement, for example, but when they began to plan how their new facility should look, they first said “How can we survive?”  They toured a number of hospitals for ideas – and he admits they are now under built.  The reason is that they saw all the new techniques that were coming online, and figured this would mean less time in the hospital.  While many procedures are now done as out-patients, what they didn’t realize was that the patients who were in the hospital would be older, and thus would stay longer. 


It costs 1.5 million dollars for each new bed you add – and if you have a 125 bed addition, you can do the math.  They are not a teaching hospital, and thus all their personnel are fully trained.  Parking is a serious problem – they have built no new parking structures for the last twenty years!  They also are finding that they need an assisted living facility, to provide continuing care for their recovering patients. 


There were several questions and answers, some of which I noted.  Working with the state can be tough – they want to tunnel under Santa Monica Blvd, and build a bridge over it, to connect their north and south campuses.  This will happen, Bob says.  In working toward satellite health centers, they bought a center in Malibu, got it fully up and running, and then sold it to local physicians.  This is a developing program.  At this point, DONN CONNOR, who was sitting next to me, rose to ask if Bob had any explanation for his golf handicap going from a 26 down to a 7 – this was not clearly explained.  I did ask if there had been discussions about St. Johns and Santa Monica Hospitals merging after the earthquake.  Yes, they tried, but it didn’t work out – so Santa Monica is now affiliated with UCLA. 


Bob Klein, you certainly presented an excellent overview of what is going on at St. Johns, and we appreciate your being with us.

                                                                                           YOE, Ernie Wolfe