President Sandy Stewart called the 29th meeting of the 28th year of our La Quinta Rotary Club to order and asked (our soon to be our newest affiliate member) Bob Becker to lead us in the pledge.  This was followed with a very nice invocation from Dick Anderson.

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Wes, Merv, and Brett are greeted by Baird and Doug at the greeting table

At the greeting table this week was Baird Boucher taking attendance and Doug Motz doing double duty by selling both lunch tickets and selling Raffle tickets. 

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Members and guests gather in Rotary fellowship

Joining us today were several visiting Rotarians from all around the country including our usual friends from Washington and several from Canada too! There were even a few prospective members in the audience, one for the first time and another of which was back for their third visit!

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President Sandy Making this week's announcements

President Sandy made the following announcements: 

The Rotary Ladies afternoon social on Feb 15th at the Artisan Studio was great fun and several pieces of “fine art” to be worn as jewelry were made.

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Here is a sample of the glass jewelry made at the recent Rotary Ladies Social 

 

The next Club Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 19th at Baird Boucher’s (Wholesale Jewelry) store in La Quinta starting at 5:30 PM.

Our next Club Social event is to be held NEXT Tuesday, February 25th at the Coachella Valley Brewing Company.  David Humphrey will be giving a private tour of the brewery starting at 5:45 PM so do not be late if you wish to join the tour.  The brewery sells pretzels and chips but club members are welcome to bring their own food… seems like someone should organize some food platters or at least have a few pizzas delivered!  Walter Keating suggested a limo might be a good idea for those who do not have a designated driver.  The Brewery is located at 30640 Gunther St. Thousand Palms, CA 92276.  Driving Directions: Get off Bob Hope Exit off the 10. Take Bob Hope north. Bob Hope changes names to Rio Del Sol. Turn right on Petland Place. Turn right on Gunther.  Finding this place should be easy… getting home might be the hard part!  For more info on the brewery please visit their website at www.cvbco.com.  You can also check our own website at: www.laquintarotary.org for Dick Anderson's informative post and map!

Dick Jandt is still looking for a few volunteers to help the club out on Thursday March 6th and Sunday March 9th for the La Quinta Arts Festival.  In exchange for a couple of hours of easy work delivering lunches to some not so starving artists, volunteers get free access to enjoy the Nation’s #1 Art Festival!

Member David Turner gave us another update on this year’s Strut Your Mutt fund raising event scheduled for March 29, 2014. Flyers and Sponsor letters are available via email from both David Turner and David Archer.  Those wishing to help with security this year please contact Joe LaMantia.  Those wishing to help out with registration please see Jennifer Donais.  Anyone with raffle prizes or wanting to assist with selling raffle tickets at the event should see Sandy Lauer, Diane Kelly, Helen Anderson or Linda Tyer.  We will also have a Rotary Booth at this year’s event to help promote Rotary.  Those wishing to help “sit” the booth should contact Bruce Franklin. And Robert Wilkinson and Corry Hunter have put out an all call for help in calling upon potential sponsors and vendors for the event!  And finally, if anyone is interested in helping out at the beer booth this year; please see Allan Levin… who reminded everyone, this is NOT a BYOB event!  This is our big fund raiser for the year and we need everyone to participate to make this a successful event so don’t be shy, get involved before you are drafted into service!!!  The next SYM meeting will be held at 5:30 NEXT Wednesday February25th at David Turner’s office.

May 2-5 is the District Conference to be held at the Doral Hotel.  This year we are told there will be an “Elvis” theme and there was something mentioned about not being cruel to your hound dogs.  It is always a great time for those who attend.

Andy Lorenz announced that “Fence Signs” were available to those who are interested in sponsoring the Strut Your Mutt event for either $100.00 for a small sign or $150.00 for a larger sign. Those who purchased signs last year can use their old sign for the reduced price of $75.00.  And this year Tee Shirts will be made available for $10.00 each.  A sign up list was circulated at the meeting and will no doubt reappear at next week’s meeting as well.

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Wes shown here with members of the La Quinta High School Interact Club

Wes Faris accompanied several young ladies in attendance today from the La Quinta Interact club who presented our club with a check in the amount of $300.00 from their own fund raising efforts to be applied toward the purchase of water filters to sustain our East Valley Water project bring safe, potable water to seven trailer parks in the east end of the Coachella Valley.

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Chris presents RaboBank's sponsor check to president Sandy

Chris McCollough on behalf of RaboBank presented the club with a check in the amount of $500.00 as a Major Sponsor of this year’s Strut Your Mutt Event.

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Recently "flocked" Lora Cathcart shown with the Flamingos in her front planter

We have a new “God Flocker” (Doug Motz) and his secret side-kick “the black swan” who assured the club members that the Flamingos would soon be migrating to a home nearby. Forewarned, be on the lookout for a flock of pink flamingos landing soon!

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Dick pins Bruce, Paul Harris +4!

Dick Anderson presented Bruce Franklin with his most recent Paul Harris pin that included 4 sapphires (representing his 5th Paul Harris Foundation Award).

With $180 in the jackpot member Joe LaMantia drew the winning ticket.  Unfortunately for Joe, but fortunately for the rest of us, he drew the white marble and collected only $5.00.  The jackpot continues to grow!

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President Sandy exchanges flags with Jon Nather and accepts Helen's flag

John Nather from the Niagara Lake, Ontario, Canada Rotary Club Exchanged flags with President Sandy and Helen Anderson Presented the club with a flag from her recent trip to Guatemala for the Guatemala Literacy Project.

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Favorite servers Shirle and Amy with today's lunches

The lunch choices today were the Cliff House Desert Penne Pasta (with corn, red bell peppers and melted cheese), the traditional Chicken Caesar salad, or a bowl of creamed cauliflower soup accompanied by ½ a grilled cheese sandwich, all served with a nice slice of Ice Cream Pie to top everyone’s meal off!

Allan Levin stepped up to the podium and immediately sold our newest affiliate member Bob Becker his new La Quinta Rotary Club Member’s badge.  Bill Cosgrove was $5.00 late and Jo LaMantia had one no make-up.  Bruce Franklin made a significant donation for both he and Kristy’s birthdays, and Doug Motz paid for his and Carol’s anniversary.  A visiting Rotarian from Canada made a generous donation of $20.00 in honor of his Canadian hockey teams (both men and women’s) recent victories at the winter Olympics… a sentiment not shared by many at today’s meeting since those victories were both over the USA hockey teams… but Allan gladly pocketed the money knowing it will be used for the greater good.  Adrian Gysi and Bruce Cathcart both tossed in $20.00, Adrian for not receiving the newsletter and Bruce for not making sure that Adrian was receiving it! Dick Grund gave a few happy/sad dollars for the visit of his granddaughter and five of her friends, plus a sister and two more friends to their home this past week.  Adding his wife to the mix he said it was a veritable estrogen festival!  Apparently Dick’s home lacks a man cave in which to retreat in times of crisis.  And it appears that the last board meeting was devoid of rotary pins as Bruce Underwood, Robert Wilkinson, Baird Boucher, Doug Motz and even president Sandy failed to wear their pin to the club event.  The only one who did wear his pin?  You guessed it, our fine master Allan Levin!

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Our Speaker John Watkins presents a plaque to President Sandy

Our Speaker this day was John S. Watkins the deputy director of the County of Riversides Department of Environmental Health.  John was the individual that supervised our East Valley Water Project or as they refer to it, “The Drinking Water Treatment Partnership Project – Coachella Valley”.  It was a chance meeting between John and our club members Dick and Helen Anderson that really started this project rolling approximately two years ago.  Dick made John aware of the critical need that existed in several small trailer parks in the east end of the Coachella Valley where their water systems were contaminated with naturally occurring high amounts of arsenic and fluoride.  John explained to us that since these were small drinking water systems (5-14 connections) that conventional funding was not available to remedy this problem.  It was through a partnership that included the La Quinta Rotary, the Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment (DACE), Pueblo Unido, the Riverside County 4th District Board of Supervisors Office and Babcock Laboratories that the water systems in 7 trailer parks were now being addressed with 4 of those trailer parks already having certified “clean” drinking water due to the individual filtration systems that have been installed.  John did an excellent job explaining how everything came together and the process on how the filter systems were chosen, then acquired and ultimately installed; and especially how the participation and support of our Rotary Club was critical in the success and sustainability of this project.  To that end, John presented our club with a plaque in recognition and appreciation for our efforts.  To learn more about John and the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health lease visit their website at www.rivcoeh.org.

 

As a side note to John’s presentation there were actually two chance meetings that made this project a reality.  The first was described by John as his chance meeting with Dick and Helen Anderson.  The second took place at one of our very own Rotary Club meetings when Dick made an announcement about the proposed project and the possibility of obtaining some Rotary Grant money for the project.  In attendance at that meeting was a visiting Rotarian from the Swan City (Grand Prairie) Rotary Club from Alberta, Canada.  He immediately offered his club’s support and an International Matching grant was made possible through the Rotary Foundation and the cooperation of our two Rotary Clubs.  Thank you Dick and Helen for being such a great example to us all how just one Rotarian (well, actually the two of you) can make such a positive change in this world.

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

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This news letter was written by member Bruce Cathcart this week.