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Windmill for June 1, 2023

By PP Dwight Heikkila

Back at Hillel, the meeting started promptly at 12:30pm with Bill Roen leading the pledge. PP Diane Good followed with Thought of the Day. She told us that June 1 is National Flip a Coin Day, which explained why a few members were absent! PP Ed Gauld followed with singing “God Bless America.”

PP Mark Rogo brought a guest, Dr. Bob Adell, UCLA Rotaract PE Sarah Huang and Roozbeh’s guest Mouson, also were in attendance.

Our Speaker for the Day, PDP Cozette Vergari, is an old friend needing no introduction. Suffice it to say that the longtime Westchester Rotary Club former president and recipient of the Freedom Foundation George Washington Honor Medal and the RI Hall of Fame Award has stayed busy. She has been working with Rotarians Fighting Human Trafficking from the beginning and came back to raise our awareness once again.

Cozette reminded us that Los Angeles is one of the communities most scarred by CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING. This industry is under-reported and invisible to most of us, but children, teachers, and youth workers have a need to learn its signs. Worldwide, this is a multi-billion-dollar industry ranking 2nd only to the drug traffic. TX, CA, NY, and FL have the most activity, while San Francisco, LA, and San Diego rank in the Big 10 cities. 96% of the victims are female and 82% of all human trafficking (slavery) is for sex trade. It is estimated that over 150,000 commercial sex slaves live in the US, of which 50% are minors, averaging 12 years old, purchased five times per day.

More painful statistics: the average slave lifespan of a trafficked child is seven years; 70% of them are fleeing bad homes and/or foster homes; swarms of pimps await each bus arriving downtown to prey on solo disembarking youths; California’s Indigenous women have been sex slaves since the states’ founding in 1850, often on reservations. 30% of all victims are from intact and sometimes affluent families.

California mandates that all public schools have a trafficking curriculum for 4th grade and up. One must wonder where the media are on this.

Good statistics: Cozette has 7 Rotary Districts, 35 Clubs, and 33 other Non-profits signed up for the Rotary Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Campaign. Their slogan: Be a SEED of Hope. The SEED acronym stands Study, Energy, Educate, and Donate. If everyone were aware of the danger, as was the case dealing with polio, this scourge would not be growing.

I am glad President Chris announced he would promote this dialogue at his first meeting last year. I know there are larger humanitarian issues out there like homelessness, poverty, war, and pandemics, but these are too big for Rotary to take on alone. This could be our new signature issue.

Congratulations to President Chris for the successful and fun wedding of his son in Milwaukee, Wisc and, for sharing pictures with the Club.


  • This Thursday's meeting will be back at the Hillel with a musical presentation by Wendy Caldwell, a current lecturer at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

  • Invites for the June 25th Demotion party have gone out and RSVPs are due!! Please be sure to let us know your plans to attend. DG Olivia and First Gentleman Robert will attend this fun event.


June 15, 2023, at Hillel - Yang Shen's Craft Talk

June 22, 2023, at Persian Gulf - Pres. Chris's Swan Song

June 25th, 2023, at Whiskey Red's - Demotion Party

June 29th, 2023, DARK

  • July 6, 2023, PE Steve Day takes office and starts the new Rotary year. Meeting will be at the Persian Gulf so be sure to mark your calendars so we can send PE off to a rip-roaring start!!

  • Special thank you to the Board of Directors for their service this past year. Through the Club they provided three High School Graduates with a 3.5 or higher, grade point average, community involved with financial need a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 each.

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