Our newly installed President Sandy Stewart called the 1st meeting of the 27th year of our La Quinta Rotary Club to order and asked member Bruce Cathcart to lead us in the pledge.  This was followed with a short and sweet invocation by Allan Levin who asked for “special blessings” for the new president and the coming Rotary year.

 

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At the greeting table this week was Tom McDermott taking attendance, Corry Hunter selling lunch tickets and Dick Jandt selling Raffle tickets.  

 

It was a small gathering and there were no visiting Rotarians to introduce.

President Sandy introduced our three guests beginning with Diane Kelly’s guest Lee and then her own guests Crystal Munoz and Christie Baker, both from the Bank of Southern California.

 

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President Sandy announced that 100% of the Coachella Valley Rotary Clubs will be supporting our East Coachella Valley Health and Water Project and then allowed our immediate past President Robert Wilkinson to share with the club the “Ignite Awards” that our club received from the district. Robert then passed out the remaining gifts and awards to those members who were unable to attend his demotion party, including our 2012-2013 Rotarian of the year David Turner.

 

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It was announced that David Archer was moving forward with the necessary approvals for our club to plant a tree at the (Rotary) “Oasis” in honor of Steve Robbins and also that the pink flamingos are currently roosting in the back of Sandy’s car and looking for  a new place to land.  It was noted that Frank Blum had resigned from the club due to a conflict of schedules.  Frank Blum had been a Rotarian since 1977 and a past president and La Quinta Rotarian since 2/2005.  He will be missed by us all.  The next board meeting will be held at Corry Hunter’s office at 5:30 PM on August 14th.  And finally, Allan Levin announced that the Club’s efforts at the 2nd Annual City of La Quinta 4th of July celebration and parade beer garden had netted the club approximately $145.00 dollars in tips and an amount of the beer sale proceeds to be determined at a later date.  THANK YOU to all those Rotarians who showed up and helped to make this a successful (and fun) fundraising event for our club.

 

With a jackpot worth $187.00 this week, our lucky ticket holder was Bruce Franklin and to everyone’s shock (especially his own) Bruce drew the coveted black marble and took the prize money.

 

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The lunch choices today were the Cliff House South Western Penne Pasta, the traditional Chicken Caesar salad, or the Bleu Cheese Wedge Salad. I even saw a few grilled cheese sandwiches served to some of the members in attendance.  Each meal was complimented with a generous slice of Hula Pie!

 

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Joe LaMantia then took a moment to read a few letters from a counselor and two students that had attended our club sponsored PRYDE event this year.  The students were very thankful for the experience and appeared motivated to take what they had learned at PRYDE and apply it to their 8th grade year in middle school.  What a great event this is and much thanks to Joe for his continued service and work as our PRYDE club coordinator and as a tribal elder!

 

Allan Levin stepped up to the podium and immediately raffled off the fine free badge.  The bidding came down to Leroy Anderson and Greg Lane with Greg being the winning bidder as Leroy apparently filled his mouth with a bite of food at just the wrong moment!  Adrian Gysi started the year off right by offering up $100.00 to prime the basket.  Allan then went from one Rotarian to another collecting $5 here and $10.00 there with notables being Robert Wilkinson for his television appearance as Uncle Sam on the 4th, poor Tom McDermott who is still paying for the notoriety bestowed upon him as being named California’s Trial Lawyer of the year, and Andy Brakebill’s report on our past Rotary Exchange Student Lisa from New Zealand who at the age of 20 is now engaged as both a student and as a “Life Coach”.  Allan also managed to alleviate Bruce Franklin from the burden of taking the entire $187.00 jackpot home.

 

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We had two speakers this day, our very own president Sandy Stewart and Diane Kelly (or as they are now better known as the Thelma and Louise of Portugal)!  With Diane doing the driving and Sandy doing the navigating they managed to avoid the Grand Canyon scene and return safely home from the Rotary International Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Their presentation started with a brief but wonderful video of photos compiled by Diane’s daughter and flawlessly operated by our own Andy Lorenz.  There were an estimated 25,000 Rotarians in attendance at the conference this year.  Between the wine drinking, sightseeing, the International Friendship House, and the Western Regional Cocktail party, Sandy and Diane chose break-out sessions specifically covering membership.  The take-aways they shared with us this day… and yes, I actually asked for clarification on this subject, was that we should keep our eyes peeled for women as potential new members and in particular women between the ages of 25 and 35.  Before I could finish pondering different ways to meet and encourage women ages 25 to 35 to join our club the topic of wife swapping came up and that was when I realized that Rotary International was really getting serious about making Rotary more FUN!  It turns out that wife swapping was really president swapping where we would send Sandy out to another Coachella Valley Rotary Club for a day in exchange for another club’s president coming to our club.  Someone did some quick math and discovered that with a little planning and scheduling we could send Sandy out to a different club in the valley each week and possibly not see her again for 3 months!  But before a motion could be made and seconded Sandy quashed the idea.  Another idea that had been shared at the RI convention regarding membership was to reach out to past members.  It was also announced that we are getting very, very close to Rotary’s goal of polio eradication and that the Gates Foundation will still match Rotary’s financial efforts on a 2 to 1 basis.  All in all it sounds like the girls had a great experience and were able to bring back several good ideas for our club this coming year.

 

President Sandy closed out the meeting leading the members in the four way test.