It was another great Rotary day as we celebrated the 32nd meeting of the 23rd year of the La Quinta Rotary Club! Joining us were visitors from Colorado, Washington, Wisconsin, Idaho, British Columbia, California and our exchange student, Lisa Guy from New Zealand. Following a short joke we launched into the business of the day.

As part of her student exchange experience, Lisa will be joining other exchange students for a train trip across the USA this summer. To support this trip, the students have prepared a cookbook with favorite recipes from their home country. Lisa will have copies of this book available at our meetings for the price of $45.00 each.

Joe LaMantia reported that the PRYDE student selection process is complete. He is looking for a few good volunteers to serve as "Tribal Elders" for the PRYDE weekend, May 22nd and 23rd. Training for the volunteers will take place on April 17th. Joe said they expect to have approximately 200 middle school students attending the program this year at Lake Arrowhead.

The Four Way Speech Contest will be held this coming Wednesday, March 10, at 5:30 p.m. at La Quinta High School. Elizabeth Printy is looking for a few more Rotary attendees. Let's show our support for these students. We will be hosting the winning students at our next club meeting.

Our Interact Club will be selling raffle tickets at Trader Joe's on Saturday. Dick Jandt has filled his slots for lunch delivery at the La Quinta Arts Festival. Walter Keating was a $5.00 winner in the raffle.

Bruce Cathcart, our Sergeant at Arms, got the dollars moving by auctioning the "Fine Free Badge". Steve Robbins was the high bidder. After recognizing Sandy Stewart (Club anniversary) and Lee Osborne (anniversary), Bruce hit a brick wall. Since members had done little to distinguish themselves for recognition in the past week, Bruce resorted to an early primer on Saint Paddy's Day. A number of interesting and sometimes factual true/false questions were posed to members. A wrong answer resulted in the fine basket passing by the unfortunate respondent for a $1.00 donation. Not only did we learn more than we needed to know, we had fun! Happy Dollars were offered by Water Keating (good job Canada), Nora Coleman (moving to new office), and Tom McDermott (new office move is over).

Membership Chair, Helen Anderson, announced that Corry Hunter had completed his Red Badge requirements and was now a full fledged member of this Club. That is good since he has been taking care of our money since July 1st! As part of the Red Badge requirements, Corry shared with us his research on a Rotary Foundation project dealing with the control of tuberculosis. It had personal meaning for Corry, since he had contracted tuberculosis in school. Well done, Corry, and welcome. But that doesn't mean you get to keep the money.

Bill Marshall and Sue Tatosian, both Rotarians in our District, gave us an update on the activities at the Western Science Center. The Center was established in 2006 to house the large collection of Native American artifacts and Ice Age fossils that were unearthed during the development of Diamond Valley Lake, including "Max", the largest mastodon in the western United States, and "Xena", a Columbian mammoth. The 28,000 square foot museum has received the nation's highest award from the US Green Building Council, Platinum LEED Certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the widely acknowledged benchmark for sustainable design and architecture.

A large number of educational opportunities are offered for young and old, alike. A very popular program is Science Saturdays, held on the first Saturday of each month. Admission is free and the focus is on hands-on science experiments. This fall the new Western Center Academy, a charter middle school, will open with a focus on science learning experience.