April 1, 2021
Westwood Village Rotary Club
Coming up on April 8th: Dr. Bill Creasy
This week's speaker, Dr. Bill Creasy, is considered one of the most dynamic and comprehensive Bible teachers of his generation. Dr. Creasy is an author, lecturer and retired UCLA faculty member who received a Doctorate in English Literature from UCLA. He taught an acclaimed year-long undergraduate course, The English Bible as Literature, that was so highly rated it placed Dr. Creasy among the top 2% of UCLA's teaching faculty for more than 20 years. Dr. Creasy founded Logos Educational Corporation in 2005, teaching Scripture in Southern California and Arizona and leading tours throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean world. He offers a thrice-weekly podcast, Scripture Uncovered. Dr. Creasy will present an "Introduction to the Bible."

Westwood Virtual Rotary Club Meeting - April 1, 2021
Today, the first day of April, 2021, the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Westwood Village was opened promptly at 12:30 pm by President NANCY MCCREADY with the familiar sound of the Rotary bell.

BILL ROEN led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and all joined in, but not exactly in unison.

PP RON LYSTER was responsible for the thought of the day (actually more than one). After noting that today is Maundy Thursday, he gave examples of practical jokes on April Fools Day in history, some of which are:

  • 1856 London: Citizens were invited to the ceremony of the washing of the lions at the train station but the last washing was done at the zoo in 1835;

  • 1957 BBC: Viewers were shown Swiss farmers cultivating spaghetti growing on trees;

  • 1962 Swiss TV: Viewers were told to place nylon stockings over their black and white TV sets to get color but all they got was an obscured picture;

  • 1985 Sports Illustrated: An article was presented that showed a pitcher throwing a ball at 168 mph which is impossible;

  • 1992 News: Nixon resurfaces as running for President;

  • 1996 Liberty Bell: Taco Bell has purchased it.

Yours truly conducted the song which was TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME in honor of opening day.

Guests included RICHARD THOMPSON'S wife JOANN.

P NM announced special anniversaries which are:

  • GAIL SMITH'S birthday in three weeks (April 22nd);

  • GAIL and DAVID FRIEDMAN'S wedding anniversary on April 4th;

  • TERRY M. WHITE's 40th Rotary anniversary on April 2nd;

  • PP STEVE SCHERER'S 36th Rotary anniversary of April 14th.

Announcements included:

  • Pageant of the Arts: As a result of placing in first place in the arts, dance, speech, instrumental and voice, five students were nominated. On April 17 at noon, the finals competitions will take place. PHIL GABRIEL thanked all of the members logging in as judges and said it meant a lot to the students nominated.

  • Virtual RYLA: To be held on April 24 with two scholarships to be awarded to students from Uni High School.
  • District Conference: To be held virtually on May 14 - 16.  DG BETTE HALL will be honored.

  • Rotarian of the Month: PP MARK ROGO was announced for March. P NM congratulated him for all the work he does for the WVRC and said that regarding strategic planning, he represents the work of three people. WELL DONE PP MARK!

PP TOM BARRON then spoke about Professor Zawacki, an expert in Artificial Intelligence from UCLA. AI has to do with machines replacing humans in certain activities, etc. Professor Z, a Princeton graduate, got into the tech sector to understand the relationship between technology and human behavior. While at UCLA, he is the leading fellow on AI. Examples of AI include the thermostat which is programmed when we come and go and the Iphone which provides direction on where we want to go, etc. On the personal side of Professor Z, he had a chip put in his head which enabled him to communicate with various devices. It proved so successful that he ended up marrying the chip. Advantages of the marriage including the chip not talking back and always being friendly - APRIL FOOLS DAY! 
PP TB then introduced the three speakers for the meeting who are key members of the local chapter of the American Cancer Society on the UCLA campus. The three are:

JENNA ROSEN (JR): President
SHANE SIMON (SS): Direction of Production
PRIYANKA BHAKTA (PB): Growth Director

The ACS chapter at UCLA is a student run organization with its objectives to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those who have been lost to cancer and contribute to the fight against cancer by helping to eradicate it by education, awareness and the raising of money. Its signature event is the once a year RELAY FOR LIFE (RFL) which brings together the UCLA and Westwood communities to fight for cures, etc.

It was emphasized that the chapter is very passionate in what it does. Each of the three speakers gave examples of what drew them to the chapter and their personal associations with friends and/or relatives who have been affected by cancer. As noted, an important objective of the chapter is to increase campus awareness of the disease.

In-person rallies are held to educate students. Social media is employed for awareness. Engaging with cancer survivors is important, particularly during the age of Covid-19 when patient visits are severely restricted.

As noted above, the RFL takes place over a 24 hour period which requires camping out for some participants. The RFL enables the chapter to reach out to the entire Westwood Village community. Over the last five years, $1 million has been raised for cancer causes. The Westwood Village community has been very supportive of the RFL. In 2019, the last year the RFL took place in person, 1,000 participants were involved. Participants in the RFL have included celebrities from the UCLA and Westwood communities. There are speakers who have addressed many subjects and talk about their own experiences with cancer. When the sun rises on the RFL, hope is renewed and the future is brightened by contemplating a future without cancer.

A short video was shown about the RFL which portrayed its activities and programs. The emphasis was on the special time it affords the community to fight cancer.

The impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients was enumerated which include:

 - less screening making cancer patients more susceptible to cancer;

 - weakened immune systems;

 - an increase in cancer mortality;

 - a decrease in mammograms;

 - fewer pap smears;

 - less colonoscopies;  

 - fewer CT scans;

 - less PSA tests.

It was noted that over the years, Congress has earmarked financial relief for the ACS.

PB discussed the virtual RFL held last spring. It consisted of four hours of livestream with 67,000 views on facebook and $76,000 raised. Hallmark activities included a virtual relay, fighting back trivia, celebrity appearances, dancing, talent shows and shared stories. The RFL emphasized loved ones who were cancer free, speeches on cancer awareness, holding trivia questions and honoring people with a moment of silence.

Importantly, on this May 15, another virtual RFL will take place. It will commence at noon. Those interested in participating can go to the website www.uclarelay.org. Similar to last year, it will last four hours and include ceremonies, events, activities and special guest appearances. The hope is that the 2021 RFL will be successful.

It was noted that in general, the chapter raises funds throughout the year, not just on the day the RFL is held. Examples are silent auctions, Valentine's Day games and the like.

Some comments were made about the national ACS. For example, some $5 billion has been raised for cancer involving 3.2 million participants with 984,000 screenings performed and 16.9 million survivors. The ACS is continually researching new cancer treatments, improving patients' lives, providing 24 hour rides, stays at lodges, supporting equity programs, etc.  

JR noted how the WVRC can get involved including:

 - supporting the UCLA Rotaract team (email: karsyngarrison@gmail.com):

 - purchasing luminaria bags ($10);

 - supporting the RFL (website: uclarelay.org);

 - helping raise money;

 - becoming an Event Sponsor;

 - speaking at the RFL;

 - using social media to publicize RFL;

 - purchasing short advertisements which are held during RFL.

Significant email addresses: uclarelaysponsorship@gmail.com and bruinsfightcancer@gmail.com.

At the conclusion of the excellent program, two questions were proffered:  

Q1: Are contributions to the ACS tax deductible?

A1: Yes. 

Q2. Will the RFL go live in 2022?

A1: It is hoped that it will.

Lastly, JR is to send PP TB various links.

Editor of the Day: PP EDWIN GAULD

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