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Windmill for March 23rd, 2023

By PP Dwight Heikilla

Joining the Chatroom (pre-Zoom), I found a smiling Dr. Pranav Amin (our guest speaker) staunchly defending his orange tie against a gang of WVRC members. He even told an MD joke before the meeting started!

         PP Chris then launched into the story of his long-time WVRC job of Onboarding Graduate Scholars, with equal help from PP Michael Newman, arriving in LA from dozens of various far-flung homes overseas. This is where he met 25-yr-old Dr. Pranav Amin on his first journey away from India as the recipient of a RI Graduate Fellowship to study Ophthalmology at UCLA. Unlike many of our scholarship applicants who pursue Dispute Resolution or World Peace, etc., Dr. Amin knew exactly what he wanted: to work under Dr. Simski at the Jules Stein Institute at UCLA where he would be trained to perform a new cataract surgical technique that was not available in India. He knew he had an incredibly rare opportunity and promised himself he would apply himself to help the largest number of patients, regardless of compensation.

Grateful to Rotary for his internship, he returned to India where he applied for an RI grant to bring the equipment to India and create an operatory center for this procedure. RI approved the grant, but somehow it was not possible to complete the project without a large bribe to an Indian government official. Unfazed by this failure, the Dr. decided to emigrate with his family to the US to fulfill his personal vow and he has, indeed, already completed more than 10,000 cataract surgeries in the US, another huge number pro bono in African countries like Ethiopia and trained more than 100 ophthalmologists in this technique. Each of these surgeons also promised to train at least one more surgeon, and it is now utilized in 80% of all cataract surgeries worldwide.

         When Dr. Amin applied for his first position in the US, he opted for Yuba City, a town north of Sacramento. He said it was the only position that agreed to allow him a three-month summer vacation with his wife and daughters. Here is a man who loves what he does, work or play! Perhaps he can slow down and eat lunch soon, or at least take a bathroom break, as his youngest daughter is near finishing her studies at UCLA. With the older two graduates of Stanford and Harvard, he freely gives 100% credit to his wife, but claims a genetic donation.

Sometimes, his straight lines are funnier than his jokes! The good doctor then answered all of our cataract questions at warp speed. I must admit that I learned more from him than from three other ophthalmologists whom I paid!

         President Chris exhorted us all to root for our Bruins on Thursday night, but Fortune smiled on the Zags on their last jump shot from way behind the 3-pt arc, reminiscent of an even longer, and luckier shot by another Zag only two years ago that beat our Bruins in the semi-finals. The odds don’t matter-this is March Madness!

Special thanks to Jim crane for leading the Flag Pledge, and PE/PP Steve Day, warming up for his promotion in July, stole some Thoughts of the Day from Poor Richard, pseudonym for Ben Franklin: He that lies down with Dogs rises with fleas; Well done is better than well said; a Stitch in Time….


  • This Thursday's WVRC meeting, March 30, 2023, will be on ZOOM with longtime friend of the WVRC, Terry Tegnazian. Terry will be speaking to us about the Westwood Village Library's (WWL) Music Concerts presented by the WWL's LA Music Salon.

  • The VA Heros Golf Course is having a "Heroes" jam Session on March 29th, 2023, from 11 - 12:30pm for all veteran musicians. This is sponsored by Music Mends Minds and, the Westwood Village Rotary. WVRC will be sponsoring the lunch following the jam session and need volunteers to help set up the instruments pre-jam session and then serve the good afterwards! Please contact PP Diane Good if available to volunteer.

  • April 16th from 1:30-3:30pm at the Westchester YMCAAnnex o Alverstone Avenue. Volunteers are needed for the Rotaract Foster Love Project to decorate suitcases, fill duffel bags and build bikes for foster youth in Los Angeles. Come out and support of UCLA Rotaract Club and, Team building with other District Rotarians for this very worthwhile project!!

  • PP Bob Wessing's celebration of life will be held on April 24th at 2pm at the Westwood United Methodist Church.

  • April 29th WVRC will once again do a cleanup project in Westwood Village. Meeting at 9 am 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 was a huge success this year and a big thank you to the WVRC members who volunteered as Judges. The Winners in each of the categories (there were 5) will go on to the District contest April 15th in Glendale, California. Volunteers are always welcome. We wish our winners the best of luck and thank them for their participation.

  • April 22, 2023, WVRC will be sponsoring a social event to Otto & Sons Nursey in Fillmore, California. You will view the beautiful gardens of the facility and have a picnic lunch onsite. Carpools are leaving at 10:30am and reservations are being taken VP Benjamin Fisher.

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