Program Chair:  Jack Paul March 29, 2012
The students were on spring break, but the Faculty center was buzzing with activity and meetings as the Westwood Village Rotary Club met on March 29, 2012.

Greeters John O’Keefe and Mark Block welcomed us as we entered the room.  Past Pres. Sean McMillan led the pledge as only an Irishman can.  Our invocation was given by  Don Park.

It is good to recognize how different we are: our talents, our dreams, our backgrounds, our occupations. And it is good to know that when each of us was created, the mold was broken. No one is exactly like anyone else. Even our fingerprints and our voices tell how unique we are.  Yet we take these differences and in mobilize them for the good of Rotary and the community. In our differences, we can think the same thoughts and move towards the common goal. As we meet together, we are thankful for our individuality and our common bond.  Well said, Don.

The head table was graced with Don Park, our PEN (President Elect Nominee) Mark Rogo and Tom Barron.  Tom was asked to come up to the microphone and explain his latest award.  We wanted to make sure he got the credit that is due for being such a fantastic person.  University of Santa Clara also believed he was a fantastic person and made him their 2012 distinguished alumni award recipient.  Applause was heard all around the room. Tom agreed to pay a fine but also included a joke at the microphone.  The joke was so good that his fine was doubled.

Announcements:  The Board of Directors has been busy this month.  We gave the YMCA building fund $25,000, and we will match the donations of any of our individual members who would also like to give money.  We are also going to support Brian Whitney’s bid to celebrate Veterans Day at the VA with $1000 for the National Cemetery Support Foundation.

Tuesday, April 10, will be the traditional auxiliary tea at the home and gardens of Carol and Jim Collins. Guests are requested to wear hats to the spring tea and prizes will be awarded to the guests with the most beautiful hat and the most unusual hat.  Please make your reservation with Margie Downie. Helen Beasom and her committee are telephoning members about the event. Guests can park on the street and then Jim and other Rotarians will drive them up the hill in electric carts to the Collins home at 955 N. Bundy Dr.  The tea starts at 12 noon, and a musical program will follow the group’s business meeting. Margie announced that the auxiliary made $400 in this year’s auction at Roz and Don Nelson’s home; the money will be used for the auxiliary’s traditional summer party at a date yet to be announced.

The last announcement was from President elect Dwight Heikkila, who is planning to serve tasty food and great libations at the luau, April 20 at the District Conference at Mission Bay in San Diego.
After we finished our meal today, we had ice cream with all the toppings, courtesy of Rev. Art Henry.  Thank you Art, it was really yummy!

Next, Jack Paul introduced his last speaker for the third quarter.  An active participant in the community, Don Schwarz sits on several boards. He is on the Board of Governors of The City of Hope Cancer and Medical Center, the Board of Overseers of the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and a the Board of Directors of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot Israel. Most recently, Don has become a founder and volunteer of MVAT Inc, a non-profit corporation that raises money and awareness for veterans suffering traumatic injuries. In conjunction with supporting our wounded warriors, he has also become involved with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Don could talk for hours about many of his passions, one of them being the medal of honor winners. Don also donated a book that highlighted the life of the 88 livimg medal winners and a DVD telling about their lives. PEN Mark Rogo won the book in an auction.  Don, thank you for your excellent presentation and for donating such a rare book.

Ed Jackson