Our newly installed President, Steve Day (2nd tour) opened his first official meeting as President of the Westwood Village Rotary Club precisely at 12:32pm the Persian Gulf Restaurant. Steve started the meeting by showing us pictures from his induction as president in 1997 – 1998.
In the meantime, I should note as the author, the Club members started arriving at 12:00noon, but met three storefronts up the street at Delphi Greek. President Day caught all of us on this prank and threatened to fine us. It was nothing new, since this was first done in 1997 when he was first president. Back then, a second prank took place when everyone walked out together at one time, with only his loyal wife Marsha remaining behind.
President Steve welcomed our newest member, Mohsen Babaeian, announcing that our newest members, Meir Nemetsky and Mohsen, have cleared the 15-day notice period and are now official members of the Rotary family. The decision was made that we delay the official induction, so they both can be honored by being inducted by DG Makiko Nakasone at her August 10th Club visit.
PP Peter More reminded everyone he was inducted during Steve’s first term as President. PP Peter announced The Flying Rotarians (Peter is a past President as well) are running a campaign to end polio. Two Rotarians are flying around the world to raise money and awareness for the fight against Polio. They are meeting with Rotary Clubs around the world; so far reaching a goal of $2.0M with a matching grant from TRF. The cost of the flight is funded by the families of the two pilots. Peter showed us photos of the trip so far and called it “Great for Rotary”. Each leg is 5-6 hours, moving west to east. “A single engine airplane flying around the world to end polio now.” “We want to make sure you are victorious in your fight to end polio.” The pilots are in Australia now. Then on to Hawaii, followed by long leg to Temecula.
Being that today was International Kissing Day, PPx2 Steve Day gave his wife, Marsha a kiss. Pres Steve gave us a tour of some historical events that took place on this date in history;
· In 1942 Anne Frank went into hiding in Amsterdam
· In 1957 on this date, two British musicians met for first time; Paul McCartney and John Lennon
· Actress Janet Leigh, the Dalai Lama and President George W. Bush were born on this date
· Author William Faulkner, musician Louis Armstrong and actor James Caan died on this date
1. President Day continued. “I have great hopes and plans for this year”. He’s all energized and ready to go and proceeded to address his goals; Bring in new members – invite potential members to fellowship activities and service projects.
2. Retain existing membership – reach out to members who are missing meetings, activities, projects. Implement the Buddy System.
3. Increase the number of community, international, vocational and youth service projects in our community and worldwide.
4. Continue supporting the Fighting Human Trafficking Initiative championed by President Chris
5. Continue Active Support of the Rotary Foundation
6. Increase the number of fellowship activities – one per month.
7. Strengthen Club’s Line of Succession
8. Have Comfortable & Caring Weekly Meetings with Great Weekly Speakers
9. Thru social media, increase WVRC visibility in the Greater Westwood Area
10. Have one or more successful fundraising activities that raises at least $5,000 during the year.
11. Increased member involvement – Give 10% more.
12. Have fun!
Membership – PP Mark Rogo talked about his goals for the year, including that he considers the Club as a “committee of the whole”, asked “why isn’t everyone a Rotarian”, and his intentions to reach out to current Rotarians that are not regularly attending and past members who have left the Club.
International – PPx2 Nancy McCready promised we would hear more on Rotary Global grants, including GHIS in Israel.
Community – Pres Steve (speaking for Chairperson David Stover who was traveling) says David will be reaching out to connect with other organizations in the community. Some of the organizations he has identified as worthy of our focus are the Stoner Park senior’s group, the Food Bank at UCLA, Salvation Army Family Center and the Veterans Administration.
Youth and Vocation – PPx2 Diane Good – Her Avenue of Service will focus on our long-term project such as the Xmas shopping spree with the children of the Westwood Transitional Family Center, the Pageant of the Arts with University High School, honoring our police and firemen, the presentation of the UCLA ROTC swords, three scholarships, for graduating seniors, District Grant that also now allows submissions from Rotaract Clubs, more involvement with our UCLA Rotaracts on joint projects, and more.
Club Hands-on Events - Pres Steve displayed the new service project t-shirts. These are available when Club members participate in a Club project such as the Holiday shopping spree, meals on wheels, monthly homeless clean-up, for the privilege to pay the minimal cost of $20.00 for the t-shirt.
Fellowship activities – four activities are schedule for the year:
· The Hammer Museum in Westwood the first weekend in August,
· A spouse event in mid-September, possibly at Peter More’s house, for tea,
· Wine tasting at PPx2 Chris Gaynor’s home the first week in September, and,
· The Westchester Theater first weekend in August.
· Pres Steve solicited events from the members, looking for opportunities to bring guests and visitors together.
PPx2 Diane suggested we consider the Holidays and Valentine’s Day events again. Pres Steve is considering the L.A. Arboretum or a Dodger Game, along with visits with our sister Club in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Maybe a UCLA activity on campus after a Hillel meeting.
Pres Steve’s also put emphasis on more hands-on service projects.
The Rotary Foundation - PP Gordon Fell – TRF was founded in 1917 with a donation of $26 from the Kansas City RC. Today it has a worth of over $2.0B. TRF consistently receives the highest rating from Charity Navigator, for management and governance of funds. Every year, 91% of funds received are used for programs. For three years the interest from the funds is used for programs, and then 50% returned to the Districts as DDF funds for global and district grants. The other 50% goes to the Rotary World Fund. With focus on Rotary’s Seven Areas of Focus.
· Basic education and literacy,
· Community economic development,
· Disease prevention and treatment,
· Maternal and child health,
· Peacebuilding and conflict prevention,
· Water, sanitation and hygiene,
This past Rotary year our Club members donated over $50,000 to TRF, and President Steve has challenged us to meet or beat that amount. (Chump change to PP Mike Newman!) The Gandhi Fund (which PP Newman administers as the Trustee) remains in our Westwood Village Rotary Club Foundation trust, dedicated to the funding of local projects. There will be a program in November about the Foundation.
Pres Steve attended a workshop in Melbourne at the Rotary International Convention, about conducting comfortable and caring meetings. So he is re-introducing “Greeters” at our meetings, starting with PE Fisher at this meeting. There will be a Club Assembly in the second quarter. We will normally meet the 1st, 2nd and 3rd monthly meetings in-person, returning to Hillel in August. August 31st will be in person. Vicki Puliz, past RI Director for Zones 25 & 26, will be our speaker that day.
PP Aly Shoji remains in charge of social media for the Club. She is responsible for a strong social media presence, and to help her do that, she is asking for members to email her digital images of Club activities.
Pres Steve is also interested in planning a fund-raising activity to raise $5,000 for the Club Foundation. (Also, chump change for PP Mike Newman).
Pres Steve encouraging all of us to attend more Club Thursday in-person and zoom meetings. Increase your involvement by 10%.
Pres Steve had so much more to say about vital speakers, relevant speakers, getting out into the community, hands on projects, etc. But it’s 1:30pm and time to adjourn.
Most of all, have fun.
Before the hammer came down to adjourn, PE Benjamin mentioned “succession” as an important item. One of us has to step up as Vice President this year to follow Benjamin!
Stay positive and test negative.
PPx2 Chris Gaynor's Demotion Party was held at Whiskey Red's in the Marina last Saturday night with 47 people in attendance. John O'Keefe was honored as the Westwood Village Rotarian of the year. The Immediate PDG Olivia Paterson Ryans and DG Makiko Nakasone, attended. The historic skit was written by Past Presidents Diane Good and Tom Barron. PP Aly Shoji won the award for the most beautiful Hawaiian outfit and Roozbeh won for his outrageous shirt.
Pres Steve presented the new "Above and Beyond" pin in lieu of the monthly "Rotarian of the Month" awards. It was presented to PPx2 Chris Gaynor as the first recipient, and well deserved, earning Chris a standing ovation from his fellow club members.
Shout out to PE Benjamin Fisher for greeting this week, PPx2 Chris Gaynor for leading the pledge, "Thought of the Day" by PP Gordon Fell, CPA, who talked about what is expected of a Rotarian and, received a standing ovation in agreement, Jim Crane for reciting the Rotary Four Way Test and last but not least, PP and Club Maestro PP Ed Gauld who lead us in song of the day, "God Bless America."