July 7th 2022
Westwood Village Rotary Club

Coming up on July 14th

Lynn Rogo

As often said, craft talks are always among the best programs, and we can be comfortable saying that for Lynn (July 14). Don't miss her on Zoom.

Westwood Virtual Rotary Club Meeting for July 7th, 2022

I drove fast the entire five blocks to Guido’s—and then realized that
the restaurant was closed to the public—but not WVRC—today! It was nice
having the place to ourselves and being served for a change. The room was
plenty big enough for us and had more atmosphere than the sterile Luskin.
So, we have a meeting place—now what was that Rotary thing all about?

           Our New President Chris Gaynor (PP’93-‘94) welcomed us to the
W & F WVRC without the Ship’s Bell (small room) and continued his relaxed
conversation with all of us seated at tables. He teed up an interesting video
arrangement of “God Bless the USA” for us but the Wi-Fi was more mute
than streaming, so he nimbly switched to “Reliable Jim” Crane for the
Flag Pledge.

Next up was Mike Newman, our probate attorney, with the
sad news that Margie Downie had passed. She and her husband Jim were
of legendary stature in WVRC when I joined in ’07—she as president of the
Rotary Anns (feeble name RI dreamt up for our hard-working spouses) and
he (long gone) as creator of demonic Demotion Devices and rousing music
for our parties. Mike borrowed some thoughts from our own Myron Taylor’s
book about the changing of leadership and courage for the new Rotary Year
and finished with cautioning president Chris about plagiarism and lawsuits.

           Chris then gave us a quick recap of the Annual Rotary International
Convention held in Houston, from which he’s just returned. Jennifer Jones,
our first female RI president in our 117-year history, announced that RI has
grown to 1.4 million members in 35,000 clubs. This past year, Earth
reported only 8 new cases of polio-4 each in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
but RI has years more to work before it is safely eradicated. Chris began
to remind us about Service Above Self. He wrapped up by reporting that
11,000 RI members had attended and let our VP Ben Fisher tell us how
Impressed he was with his first International Convention. A lot of gray
heads were nodding agreement in the room.  

           Sunda Croonquist introduced her daughter who visited us today,
only now (too late) confessing that she is a writer, singer, actor like Mom.
PP Nancy McCready introduced her guest, Carmella Sears.

           PP Marsha Hunt described the Peace Booth at the RI Convention
where she was working and reported that RI had received $16 million in
donations for Ukraine so far, which is available for matching Peace Grants
at the District level. Marsha will be back in Uganda in September, where
two schools she was instrumental in founding ranked #1 and #2 in the
Kanungu district. Awesome achievement there, Marsha!

           Our own Roosbeh Farahanipour was called out for opening his
third restaurant on Westwood Blvd: Persian Gulf. Though he maintained
Westwood traditions on his previous two restaurant openings, he was proud to
announce that this one is his own concept of “World Wars, Tapas, Wine,
and Pastry.” This so surprised everyone, that president Chris even forgot to
fine Roosbeh for his good tidings. This financial lapse from a retired CPA?
The mention of food, however, did remind Chris to tell us that the
District Brunch will be on August 14 and the District Picnic on August 27.

           President Chris returned from the Convention with considerable info
about the criminal problem of sex trafficking. Rotary’s awareness of this vile,
inhuman cruelty has grown considerably over the past five years for many good
reasons yet unknown to most Americans. Chris mentioned a book authored by
Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD titled “Stolen” which cuts through the myths to the
roots of the problem. The scope of the problem? It is estimated that 300,000 or
more youths are approached by traffickers every year, often by someone they
know and trust, often a parent! The author herself was lured into the sexual
trade by a girl schoolmate she trusted, escaping only four years later. Only 10%
of those trafficked are ever rescued and an estimated 1/3 of them are boys.
It’s likely that 1/3 of middle school children are approached this way in the US,
whether they are aware or not. It’s often unnoticed because the target child is
already a loner, shy and vulnerable, not involved in school activities, poor and
without adult support and often from a broken home.

           This epidemic and others spreading throughout the US spurred RI to
create a new type of non-traditional club: “Cause-based Clubs.” Examples are
Sex Trafficking Prevention, Environmental Rescue, LGBTQ, Anti-slavery, etc.
Our District 5280 is organizing one in the Inglewood area right now to prevent
sex trafficking of youth by contacting principals of middle schools to arrange
education and outreach. 

           Another new RI invention is the “Impact Club.” This idea strips Rotary
down to its first principle: Service. This companion to a Host club has no regular
meetings for lunch and speakers, only service project work. The Host club
registers the members on their roster and collects dues of roughly $200/year.
The Host Club then provides the Impact Club with service projects, funding,
and joint workers. Such clubs have provided over 2000 service projects in
this first year of operation.

           It then dawned on me that this was what Chris meant when he
proclaimed this to be a “new year of Pride and Accomplishment” on our
website.  So, he’s trying to trick us into forgetting about the parking and the
lunch entree debates, celebrity guest speakers, black tie celebrations, and even
perfect attendance records! Who would have thought our conservative
and prudent CPA brother would retire, attend an RI convention, and return
a wide-eyed Radical? Why, we’ve “always done it this way!”

YOPP Dwight

WVRC 2020/2021 Leadership Team
President: Nancy McCready
Treasurer: Terry M. White
Youth/Vocational Service: Phil Gabriel
Director/Peace: PP Marsha Hunt
Foundation: PP Steve Day
Global Scholarships: PP Chris Bradford
Webmaster: PP Ron Lyster
Director/Merchant Minute: PP Mark Rogo
District Governor: Bette Hall
Immediate Past President: Diane Good
Secretary: PP Diane Good
Community Service: Aaron Donahue
International Service: Nevin Senkan
Program Chair: PP Tom Barron
Membership: PP Mike Newman
Director/Social Media: PP Aly Shoji
Windmill Editor: P Nancy McCready
Assistant District Governor: Michael Lushing