President Robert called the 29th meeting of the 26 year of La Quinta Rotary to order at 12:15.  Dan Fissori provided the invocation and Jenifer Donais led us in the salute to our flag.  Our visiting Rotarians came from far and wide including from Washington, Canada and Prague, Czechoslovakia.  Ed Casey’s daughter, Elizabeth joined us as did Jennifer’s neighbor and a friend in the investing industry.

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Dick Anderson provided a status report on efforts to secure a matching grant for work in support of the farm laborers in the East Coachella Valley.  He is in search for an international partner for the grant.  David Turner updated us on the planning for our “Strut You Mutt” fund raiser on March 23rd.  All systems are go, but we need our members to secure sponsors and get people to sign up their “mutts”.  Joe LaMantia reminded members of the need to provide support for the RI Foundation and offered that the easiest way to do that is through the Rotary Direct system.  Forms can be obtained from Joe.  President Robert reported on his efforts to get RYLA attendees to interact with our Interact Club.  He will have a second meeting with the two groups in March.  Marc Rosen is all set for the Four Way Speech Contest on March 18th.  He secured a couple of volunteers to judge the student presentations along with himself and Lothar Vasholz.  Dick Jandt still needs a few more volunteers to distribute lunches at the La Quinta Arts Festival.  The signup sheets are available at the check in desk.  And Elizabeth Casey was a five dollar winner in the drawing. 

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We had a couple of flag exchanges with visiting Rotarians from Washington and Canada.  President Robert put on his best La Quinta smile and graciously accepted the flag from our Washington Rotarian.  However he did his best when he accepted a Palmeresque business card from our visitor from Canada with a promise to send a flag.  President Robert accepted her promise and gave her one of our flags. 

There not being a speaker today, Sergeant at Arms Allan did his best to lighten the load in a few wallets while offering some levity along the way.  There were a few no make ups.  Lothar Vashollz was recognized for an upcoming birthday, while Lee and Nancy Osborne celebrated an anniversary and had a wonderful trip to New Orleans and Mardi Gras.  Doug Motz was cited for his selection as Realtor Affiliate of the Year.  It was noted that Walter Keating was drinking something different that the rest of the club.  Walter acknowledged that he did receive a drink provided by one of our ardent wait staff.  Rather than a fine, he provided his provider with a tip.  There were also a lot of happy people today.  Andy Lorenz apologized for his tardiness as last week’s reporter and announced that his son was recently appointed to a SWAT Team.  Jennifer Donais completed a half marathon and when asked where she finished, she said “Yes”.   Bruce Underwood made a donation for our East Coachella Valley water project while Tom McDermott made a pitch for the upcoming Taste of La Quinta.  One of our visiting Canadians felt the call to share a joke with us.  Allan commented that it seemed to have take a long time for that old joke to reach the frozen North and promptly find our visit for his effort.  Bruce Cathcart reminded all that he was still looking for instruments for the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission.  He has already received some, but is looking for more.  Rey Neufeld reported that his granddaughter was chose as editor for her college newspaper.  Walter Keating noted that his grandson made the Dean’s List. 

President Robert concluded our meeting with the recitation of the Four Way Test.