The New Era at WVRC – July 1st with Señor RUDY!

We got a proper start when ROTC member Daniel, carrying our Flag, led the parade of Rotaract students up front. We all applauded their entry, and they then led us all in the Pledge of Allegiance (even PP ERIC LOBERG went along!). Next up was the song, America The Beautiful, which their new President, Tori Hettinger, also led - a cappella, yet. Fortunately, we stopped after the first verse – did you know there are SEVEN verses? However, Senor RUDY allowed as how we would be learning all the verses, over time – an excellent idea, and at least we do know the tune.

Rev. SHARON RHODES-WICKETT provided the Invocation, preceding her actual prayer with ten Spiritually Literate New Year’s Resolutions. Edited slightly, here they are: I will live in the present moment. I will cultivate the art of making connections.  I will be thankful for all the blessings in my life. I will practice hospitality in a world where strangers can feel unwelcome. I will seek liberty and justice for all. I will practice little acts of kindness. I will cultivate the skill of deep listening (and this can be tough).  I will practice reverence for life. I will listen to what my shadow side has to say to me.  And # ten, I will be willing to learn from the spiritual teachers all around me. (While I’m sure YOU don’t need the full text of the Resolutions, they are available on our website). Her prayer asked God to help us to understand our world, to appreciate the “soft colors of the dawn…they do not shout their coming, but seem to tiptoe in.” “Dear God, help me to be big enough to be still…help me to grow, to climb, and help me to know how to be still.” Thank you, SHARON, for a lovely message.

DON PARK introduced our Visiting Rotarians. They included Gloria Herrera, retiring President of Century City Rotary, who is in Staffing. GEORGE COX rose to announce that Gloria called him last night about dinner time, asking if we were, indeed, meeting at the same time and place as usual – he was the only person she could reach at home. Margaret Hernandez, from Wilmington, is in Port Administration. Marcy Braiker, is the incoming Century City President. A long-time visitor, Dan Hirsch, is from Covina Sunrise. Dan has just moved into the Masonic Home in Covina, and invites anyone who is in the area to come by – he will treat for lunch or dinner! Senor RUDY then pointed out that we had another Visiting Rotarian, also from Wilmington. He is Ingo Werk, incoming District Governor, who will follow Pat Cashen as our Governor. Ingo has asked Rudy to be his Executive Aide – which got a mixed reaction from the crowd, as you might imagine. Ingo came forward, noting that this was the first day on his new job, and wishing Senor RUDY and all of us the best.

I rose to point out that Meals on Wheels of WLA is sponsoring a special performance of The Music Man on Saturday, July 17th. 2 pm at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in nearby Santa Monica. This year, we have added parking, and it will be a great show. Price is $30, and please call me at (310) 277-3910 if you need tickets. (I suppose I shouldn’t take it personally that NO ONE applauded my announcement!) RAY ZICKFELD attended the farewell dinner for the three relatives of our members who are part of the Japan Student Exchange. They are Alison Zickfeld, RAY’S granddaughter, Max Stefan, BRUCE ROLF’S grandson, and Bryce More, ELEANOR MORE’s grandson. These three are almost a majority of the eight students going this year, and it is always a great experience for those who participate. At this point, Senor RUDY couldn’t resist a travel story – one of his major impressions of Japan was how clean it was. He and MIKE GINTZ went for an early cup of coffee, and of all things, what did they spot but a paper coffee cup on the sidewalk! RUDY reached for his camera – and a woman SWOOPED IN and picked up the offending cup before he could shoot. Turns out she was their guide on a tour later that morning! RUDY confessed that he was in trouble from that point on

And MIKE GINTZ added, “RUDY, you were in trouble the whole time”, which we point out in our never-ceasing attempt to be fully accurate in our reporting, as I’m sure you are all aware…Senor RUDY traveled with the Culver City Rotary Tour group, and they had a Sister City relationship with the Kizuka Rotary Club. The tour group attended their meeting, and it was a very gala occasion. The Mayor of Kizuka was there – a man in his 80’s – who has been Mayor for FIFTY years!

Señor RUDY next introduced his Officers for this year: President Elect, DON NELSON, Vice President, MIKE GINTZ, Secretary/Treasurer, CHRIS BRADFORD, and of course, PETER MORE as Past President. In that regard, note that we will have our first Board Meeting of the year on Tuesday, July 13th, at J&R Restaurant, starting at 6:30. RUDY will host.

Looking ahead, what can you expect from President RUDY? He first commented, “Not much” but he followed with several specifics which he wants to emphasize. But before he could do this, PP MIKE NEWMAN wanted to know if we could introduce our Guests now! There followed a bit of exchange between MIKE and RUDY, the upshot being that Past Rotaract President Coleen Yorke and Incoming President Tori Hettinger came forward to introduce the other Rotaract students who were present. Coleen also introduced her Mother, Barbara, adding that she was trying to get Barbara involved with Rotary – so she should be fair game for us to recruit. A brief announcement was made regarding the Rotaract International Park, which will be under the supervision of the Amman-Petra Rotary Club. They are planning a major mosaic display, based on receiving tiles from Rotaract Clubs all over the world, and it is expected to be a major tourist attraction when completed. Information sheets were left on the tables, and if you need more information, please contact me.

PDG ANDY ANDERSON announced the successful conclusion of a very long application process, seeking a matching grant from RI to help train people to work on Polio Corrective Surgery patients in Puna, India. WVRC will contribute $5000 from the HOWARD PHILLIPS Foundation, which will be matched by $5000 in kind from the Puna Rotary Club, and that will then be added to the $10,000 from RI, for a grand total of $20,000!This has taken a very long time to come to fruitition, but the results will be worth the long wait. Congratulations to PDG ANDY for all his good work. This led to Pat ANDERSON being introduced as one of the Co-Presidents, along with Eloise SISKEL, of our wonderful Rotary Auxiliary. We are the only Club in the District with such an Auxiliary, and their support is a major reason for the success of our social activities. They meet once a month, and on August 21st the summer event will be the Fiesta del Verrano – featuring margaritas and mariachis, with all the trimmings. This will be at the home of Anica and Yoshi Nishio, Senor RUDY’S daughter and son-in-law, in Hancock Park. Then in September, on the 19th, we return to the SISKEL’S lovely garden for our BBQ and Picnic. There is a rumor going the rounds that the very popular Seed Spitting Contest will be expanded to include everyone over fifteen years of age – but the prizes will be worth the effort, in any event. Save those two dates, please. And one final note, regarding the Auxiliary – Please calls Marge Downey at 394-4827 for any changes in your roster listing. The deadline is July 14th – that’s RIGHT AWAY, ok?

Señor RUDY chose now to note that PP MIKE NEWMAN had indeed done a good thing, and his reward was a fine of four hundred big ones! Once the uproar over this quieted down, RUDY further announced that if PP MIKE could convince Barbara Yorker to join WVRC, the fine would be waived. This represents a challenge, particularly since Barbara’s husband belongs to another Rotary club already. MIKE immediately replied that he was paying her first two month’s dues - Stay tuned here. In a briefly serious moment, Senor RUDY capsulized his three objectives for this Rotary Year. First, to continue and even expand the good fellowship which we already enjoy, to expand Rotaract, and to increase membership. PP JIM COLLINS and SHANE WAARBROEK are the Co-Chairs for this activity, and it does put the project in good hands, certainly.

But please remember that we will ALL be called upon to help in this very important area of need.

Our Service Chairs were then called upon to briefly outline their programs. SEAN McMILLAN spoke about our projected sponsorship of the UCLA-USC Basketball games, which the Century City Club once did by themselves. President Gloria Herrera of Century City is very supportive, and we anticipate achieving widespread community support for this excellent rivalry. His Vice Chair is KACY ROZELLE, who will once again handle our support for the Corazon home building project in Ensenada. They also want to emphasize regular monthly meetings of the International Service Committee. Youth Service is chaired by SHANE WAARBROEK, and his Vice Chair is returning member CATHY REZOS. They expect to emphasize Rotaract, since it is the key to our long-range future. LILLIAM KLIEWER is head of Community Service, assisted by ED GAULD, and their immediate focus is to sort out the many needy programs and decide which ones we can really support. She welcomes our suggestions and help. Vocational Service comes under LEE DUNAYER, with BURLEIGH ARNOLD assisting. LEE first announced that our Visiting Rotarian, Dan Hirsch, was his 8th grade science teacher! Moving right along, he wants to focus on helping students to understand WHY they are in school. Also, Angel Flight is one of his hobbies already.

STEW GILMAN wanted us all to know that the Wilmington Rotary Group took special pains to provide coffee for Senor RUDY. He led them into multi-tasking, which in turn made them always late for departures. Apparently, there were those who wanted to know, “Who Invented Rudy, anyway?” However, in spite of this, RUDY was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for his constant and successful efforts to promote Rotarians of Latino Descent. There were comments about his style of dress, but in the interests of common decency, and since this may be read by some under-age persons, we will not venture further into this quagmire. However, RUDY did rise to defend himself, pointing out that he did, indeed, wash his costume every evening! His assembled Tour Companions next presented him with THREE new shirts, which were well received.

I asked if we could have dessert EVERY WEEK, which of course produced a hugh positive response. RUDY noted there were only three minutes remaining, hardly time enough to remind us that we meet at the Luxe the next two times – the 8th and 15th of July, and that July 22nd will be a Club Assembly, the only subject being, where will be continue to meet? It is important for everyone to participate in this decision, please.

Señor RUDY, an excellent beginning to what will be an eventful year.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe