Friday was one of those days when you were glad you were here and not someplace else.  With script in hand, President-elect Robert called our meeting to order.  Jeff Wattenbarger led us in the pledge and Dick Anderson offered the invocation. 

We had a large turnout of visiting Rotarians, with six coming from Washington.  Others came from Ohio and our neighboring club of Palm Desert.  Dick Grund introduced his wife Victory, as well as Carol Johanson and Mary Lou Lapier from the Artisan Studio.  The Palm Desert Rotarians put in a word about their upcoming Golf Tournament.  We will have at least one and possibly two teams participating.

Jim Dorr is still on the hunt for those elusive tabs from beer and soda cans.  Remember to “bag um up and bring um in.”  Dick Anderson reminded the Club about their Rotary Foundation giving commitment.  From now through the end of the Rotary year, the Rotary Foundation is giving matching points for all donations made through the direct giving plan.  See Dick for the form or do it on line through our website connection to the RI website.  Our “Garage Sale” is on for tomorrow and volunteers are welcome. 

Robert Wilkinson announced that our tennis tournament had to be cancelled due to a lack of participants.  I am sure some teams were hesitant to sign up when they heard that Team Anderson was registered.  Dick Jandt is looking for volunteers to help with the City of La Quinta Community Picnic on April 28th.  We will be serving up our famous Rotary Dogs, and he is looking for help with the cooking and serving of said dogs.  Victory Grund was our lucky $5.00 winner.

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Sandy Lauer presented the Artisan Studio with a check for $555.00.  The money was raised during the silent auction held at our last Holiday Party hosted by Dick and Victory Grund.  Victory announced that the studio is moving to a larger facility just west of Old Towne.  This will allow for program expansion and meeting more of the needs of their studio participants. 

Sergeant at Arms Allan called attention to a number of no make ups and tardy arrivals.  Judith Redwine offered Happy Dollars as our newest “Hip Rotarian”.  Steve Robbins is another year older as is Jeff Wattenbarger’s wife, Mary.  Ed Casey was missed and we wish you a speedy recovery.  Palmer and Allan engaged in a dialogue that this reporter was unable to follow.  The bottom line was that Syracuse lost, and Palmer is a grandfather for the second time!  More Happy Dollars came from Bob Wright (DSUSD Association achieving 501(c)(3) status), Bill Cosgrove (Stanford Lady’s Basketball Team), Phil Rushing (shorts, of course) and a visiting Washington Rotarian (thanks for the fellowship).

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Our speaker was Siah Nix, Director of the Boys and Girls Club of La Quinta.  The Club, through its five facilities in the Coachella Valley, served over 5,500 young people last year.  Their programs are aimed at teaching positive values and self confidence.  Instead of wishing for something, Siah encourages the kids to have a dream.  The Club has an active homework incentive program and has ties to the Artisan Studio.  The operations are funded through grants and their annual auction and golf tournament.