Just prior to the second weekend of the annual Coachella Festival President-elect Sandy Stewart called the 37th meeting of the 26th year of our La Quinta Rotary Club to order and asked David Archer to lead us in the pledge.  This was followed with an invocation by Lothar Vasholz.  At the greeting table this week was Doug Motz taking attendance, Cindy Hall selling lunch tickets and Dick Jandt selling Raffle tickets.

 

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President-elect Sandy introduced today’s visiting Rotarians with only 3 Rotarians still here from the state of Washington and no more Canadians at all!   Other visiting Rotarians in attendance today came from as far east as Texas, Ohio and even New York.  Our guests in attendance today included Corry Hunter’s wife Kristen and their son Brock (who looks almost exactly like a younger version of Corry and/or Ed Casey) plus Corry’s Mother-in-law Karen Robbins and his sister-in-law Kirkland Robbins (more on Kirkland to follow later in this newsletter).  Flag exchanges would have taken place but it was explained to me that our flags now cost $20.00 a piece and they were not put in the budget this year.  Perhaps someone could print up a paper certificate of appreciation for attendance in lieu of the overpriced flags… at least until a proper substitute flag or a budget adjustment can be made?

 

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President-elect Sandy reminded everyone of the upcoming La Quinta Picnic to be held next Saturday in the City Hall park where we La Quinta Rotarians will be in space #6 giving away 1,200 free hot dogs again this year!  Everyone is welcome to come and help out plus get a free hot dog or two for themselves!  Our Rotary Parking lot sale will be held on May 18th in the La Quinta Lumpy’s parking lot and spaces are available for $35.00 each (see David Archer for details).  Our next board meeting will be held on May 15th at Lee Osborne’s (and Corry Hunter’s) office starting at 5:30 PM.  Joe (man of few words or man of LaMancha as he is sometimes known) LaMantia shared with everyone that over 400 students attended this year’s RYLA event and it was by all accounts a great success.  Next week our La Quinta RYLArians will be in attendance at our lunch meeting to share some of their experiences with us. 

 

With a jackpot worth well over $1,000.00 this week, member Rey Neufeld was kind enough to draw fellow Rotarian Bruce Cathcart’s number in the raffle… but with only 3 white marbles left, Bruce still managed to draw one of them and win only $5!  Of course he donated back to the club as “ill-gotten gains” since it almost made him ill not to pick that elusive black marble.  Maybe next week we should actually put it in the bag with the white ones?

 

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Allan Levin took to the podium, not as the fine master but to award Kirkland Robbins with her Paul Harris Fellowship.  Kirkland is the youngest daughter of our recently passed member Steve Robbins and the fourth member (other than Steve) of the Robbins family to receive this honor.  Allan did a good job with the presentation to a very grateful Kirkland.

The lunch choices today were the always good Cliff House BBQ’d Ribs and Fries, the traditional Chicken Caesar salad, or the soup and a ½ grilled cheese sandwich, each of which was topped off with a generous slice of Hula Pie.

Allan Levin then returned to the podium in his normal role of fine master and proceeded to fleece the faithful for all manner of sins and transgressions including, Bruce Franklin, (Welcome Back) Bob Wright, Brett Anderson, Merv Kolb, Bruce Underwood, and Sandy Stewart.   

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And it was with great sadness that we will probably have seen our longtime friend and affiliate member Ben Hofheimer for the last time as a regular attendee.  Ben has been visiting our club “seasonally” for the last 18 years and was one of our first Affiliate Members as soon as the club made the designation available.  He has participated in many of our fundraising events and played on our championship golf team.  Starting next year Ben and his wife will be wintering in Florida to be close to their grandchildren.  You will be missed by us all Ben, thank you for your friendship and for your countless hours of service above self.  Of course not one to ever miss an opportunity, Allan nicked Ben for a hundy on his way out the door!

 

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Our Speaker today was Richard Ramirez who came to speak to us about the General Patton Memorial Museum.  The mission of the General Patton Memorial Museum is to promote peace by honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans while educating the public on modern U.S. military history through the preservation and interpretation of artifacts from the major conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Located approximately 35 miles east on the I-10 freeway at Chiraco Summit and open 7 days a week, this museum stands as a tribute to General Patton and the 1,800,000 men and women who trained in the previously largest military training facility in the US that encompassed 18,000 square miles of southern California desert.  It was here, beginning in March of 1942, that General George Patton began preparing his troops to fight the Germans in North Africa led by their General Rommel. Richard was a very good speaker and shared with us that this museum was not just a tribute to General Patton and the servicemen and women who trained there, but also to a man named Joe Chiraco whose vision it was to build this museum in their honor.  Thank you Richard for visiting us and for sharing your knowledge and passion for this great memorial and cause!  If you have not seen the Museum yet it is well worth your time.  To learn more about the General Patton Memorial Museum please visit their excellent website at www.generalpattonmuseum.com or call (760) 227-3483.

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