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I joined the pre-meeting Chatroom today and heard an interesting story about
a real estate deal from PP Mark Rogo. As most members are still working, there
is plenty of news at the pre-meetings. Be sure to join in at noon every Thursday for social hour!!
PP and Current President, Chris Gaynor welcomed us on time to the “Warm and Friendly” WVRC, followed by the pledge led by PP Steve Day, followed by me, PP Dwight with the “Thought of the Day”, which became my “Thought of Yesterday” having to do with a Trump and lies and a misinformation campaign trying to destroy democracy. Unfortunately, there were several interruptions on ZOOM causing a lot of the “Thought of Yesterday” to not be heard!!
PP Admiral Edwin Gauld announced he would sing in honor of Elizabeth II, Queen of England- who passed earlier this morning He delivered the familiar tune “My Country, ‘tis of Thee” with the original words “God Save the Queen.” Various members commented on her admirable reign and how many of us will miss her. PP Steve Day added that he is of Scottish and Welsh
descent and, also mourns her.
Pp Steve Day announced this year’s RI Foundation Event will be an afternoon concert on November 20th at the Nova Theatre at LA Live downtown from 1:00 to 6:00pm called “The Soul of Rotary”. Everyone is asked to purchase drawing tickets online on the District 5280 website. We are hoping for 110% participation in selling drawing tickets so don’t wait – get yours now!!
To cheer us up, Chris showed us his video clips of trick tennis shots and Novak Djokovic hanging out with a young ball boy when rain stopped play. He then finished with another one of his Rodney Dangerfield lines: Mom never breast-fed me because “she only liked me as a friend.” (Stolen Joke-of-the-Day)
PP Diane (the) Good next introduced our speaker for today: Dr. Scott Burrus, President of the newly-founded Rotary Impact Club R.I.S.E. , members of which are in Los Angeles County (60%) as well as Mexico, Texas, Florida, etc. RISE stands for Rotary in Service to Equality supporting the LGBTQ community, through acceptance, equality, and opportunity. Scott was introduced to Rotary by his partner where he soon realized that he could contribute to Rotary.
Food and housing insecurity are particularly severe in the LGBTQ community with
so many young people leaving their homes early because they don’t find support or acceptance. There is still currently still some discrimination in the employment arena, making life even difficult for these individuals.
Scott comes from a very conservative family of which his parents are accepting of his coming out but, not all relatives have been even though he is 52 years young and has had a very successful career.
Scott came from an era that hid their gayness out of fear of rejection and due to personal safety issues. Thank goodness times are changing and more young people declare themselves earlier now sometimes before they are able to support themselves, ending up homeless with no support network.
Most of the 25 members of his new club are also new to Rotary and passionate about service. Their headquarters is in Venice and all meetings are currently on Zoom the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6pm. The Club is looking to partner with other Clubs in service as they get more established. R.I.S.E. has great support from District 5280 especially the Past and Current District Governors and, our own PP Diane Good who is the Assistant Governor for this Club.
Many of us think that things are good for the LGBTQ community since same-sex marriage is recognized legally, but there is still great job discrimination and healthcare disparities which are easily hidden. With our Supreme Court giving us a ride back to the ‘60s on abortion, many are worried about other basic human rights under assault. It is believed that Rotary will be a safe place where the LGBTQ community can find allies and support. Check out the District 5280 website for announcements about the new R.I.S.E. impact club in Venice and plan to attend one of their Club meetings on ZOOM to learn how you can help.
VP Ben Fisher will preside over our meeting next week on 9/15 which will
be held at the Delphi Greek Restaurant on Westwood Boulevard. I’m sure owner (restaurant mogul)Roozbeh Farahanipour will have something tasty for us to go along with the spicy Senior Craft Talk he will deliver as the day’s program. President Chris will be in Texas, attending the funeral of our own PDG & PP of WVRC, Bill Goodwin, a legend for creating the first District Foundation Celebration back in the ‘80s.