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Windmill for Feb 23rd, 2023

By VP Benjamin Fisher

Back to ZOOM this week where we had a very wonderful presentation by our favorite Middle School Speech and Debate Team from Emerson Middle School. We learned from Elia, Sophia and Merrick, all 8th graders, that speech and debate is a class at Emerson that the students can choose to take.  

Emerson’s Speech and Debate team competes in tournaments sponsored by the Southern California Middle School Speech and Debate League.  The team competes in areas like humorous interpretation, duet, poetry interpretation, impromptu, and declamation.  The team has won multiple top honors in competitions across Southern California. Their numerous trophies can be seen in Emerson’s trophy case.

We found our presenters very interesting, well spoken and very enthusiastic about speech and debate. They told us why they took the class (one wanted to learn how to speak in public), and their future goals. One wants to go to law school, one become a doctor, and one a President!! Great goals!!  Teacher Sarah Karasik has done a wonderful job in preparing these young people for speaking in public, debating in a kind but meaningful manner and, to feel comfortable in competitions. The respect and admiration they have for their teacher and she for them, came through loud and clear in the presentation.

We wish the Emerson Speech & Debate Team the best of luck in this school year and beyond. We love this school and have supported this program for many years now.

Some little-known facts about the school:

Ralph Waldo Emerson Community Charter School is a charter middle school in the Los Angeles Unified School District in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, United States. It was designed by famed architect Richard Neutra and was named in honor of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American author, poet, and philosopher. The school offers special academic programs, including the Mathematics Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA), the School for Advanced Studies (SAS), and the Individualized Honors Program (IHP). Marilyn Monroe & Bonnie Raitt both attended Emerson. Michael Jackson, albeit only one semester, and La Toya Jackson, as well as the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis, also studied there.

Thank you to Sarah Huang, UCLA Rotaract and, Yang Shen M. Nemetsky for spending their lunch hour with us today.  Also, thanks to VP Benjamin Fisher for leading the pledge and PP Tom Barron for “Mom’s Lessons” as the thought of the day.


  • This Thursday's WVRC meeting, March 2, 2023, will be back and in person at Hillel at UCLA, 574 Hilgard Ave. LA, CA. The speaker will be Jenna Bruce, a survivor of Human Trafficking.

Volunteer Opportunity

  • The VA Heroes Golf Course is having a "Heroes" jam session on March 1st, 2023 from 12-1:30pm for all veteran musicians. This is sponsored by Music Mends Minds and, Westwood Village Rotary. WVRC will be sponsoring the lunch following the jam session and needs volunteers to help set up the instruments pre-jam session and then serve the food afterwards! Please contact PP Diane Good if interested in helping.

  • March 4th WVRC will once again do a cleanup project in Westwood Village. Meeting at 9am at Westwood Transitional Village north parking lot to clean the streets. Please wear long sleeve shirts and pants, eyewear and masks.

  • Pageant of the Arts is back in person and WVRC judges are needed. Judging will be at University High School on March 8th starting at 4pm. There will be five categories, musical instrument, music vocal, art, dance, and speech. Winners will represent WVRC in the finals in April. Parking is available in the north lot off of Barrington. Come out and support the students by agreeing to be a Judge. Please contact PP Diane Good if available.

  • District 5280's newest satellite club, R.I.S.E (Rotarians for Service in Equality) is hosting its first ever fundraiser on Tuesday March 31, 2023, at 6pm to view a documentary entitled "CURED". This documentary has won numerous awards and well worth seeing. No charge to attend, but donations appreciated. Go to and sign up today.

WVRC 2022/2023 Leadership Team

President: Chris Gaynor

President Elect: PP Steve Day

Vice President: Benjamin Fisher

Treasurer: Terry M. White

Youth/Vocational Service: Diane Good

Director/Peace: PP Marsha Hunt

Foundation: PP Steve Day

Global Scholarships: PP Chris Bradford

Webmaster: PP Ron Lyster

District Governor: Olivia Patterson Ryans

Immediate Past President: Nancy McCready

Secretary: PP Nancy McCready

Community Service: Aaron Donahue

International Service: Nevin Senkan

Director: PP Tom Barron

Membership: PP Mark Rogo

Director/Social Media: PP Aly Shoji

Windmill Editor: Teya McCockran