We meet Fridays at 12:00 PM

DoubleTree by Hilton SM
1707 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

Club Office: (310) 917-3313 RotaryClubofSantaMonica@verizon.net

Mailing Address: PO Box 586, Santa Monica CA, 90406

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August 11th was another wonderful day at Rotary! We gave away more money, heard a great speaker, celebrated birthdays and elephants, and had some very interesting guests!
From left to right: the good Reverend Joe Metoyer, his guest AJ Ali whose current documentary film, "Walking While Black:  L.O.V.E. is the Answer," addresses the challenges of police-community relations, our speaker Ken Morris, who is the descendant of both Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, and is President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and our Past President and Mr. Santa Monica Nat Trives. 
Ken Morris' educational program about modern-day slavery is right in line with Rosie Regalbuto's leadership for our Rotary peace and justice program.
Boo-hoo! We bid a fond farewell to Kathy Shepard, one of our most active members, who is relocating to Las Vegas. Best wishes to you Kathy!
Josh Bradburn was recognized and fined for completing his certification as a personal financial advisor. Congrats Josh!

We love giving away money for good causes!

Why was Bill Buxton so happy to bring his son to the Rotary meeting?


Will Buxton was there to receive a grant from Mitchell Kraus! The Brentwood Interact Club is working with homeless veterans at the West LA VA campus and the grant is for program equipment. One of Mitch's favorite duties is to dispense Community & Youth Grants!

Grace Cheng Braun's guests were Celia Brugman and her mother, Astrid.  Astrid is from Uruguay and her uncle was a Rotary Club founder and a District Governor in Uruguay.
Past President Judy Neveau's guest was Dr. Kathryn Jeffery, President & Superintendent of Santa Monica College!
Milesh Bandekar, who came as the guest of Vlado Valkof, is in the process of founding a Rotary club in Dubai.
Fun Stuff!
President Tom Larmore can't help but bring the music to the meetings!
Happy Elephant Day!
Executive Secretary Savi showed off the cutest plush elephant you've ever seen, and President Tom got a $150 donation for it!

Happy Birthday Rotarians!



Get your tickets today for the

Rotary Club of Santa Monica

10th Annual International Wine and Food Festival

by clicking HERE!


The event will be Sunday, November 5, 2017 from 4pm to 7pm at Playa studios!

There will be wine tasting, live music, live and silent auctions, and a twilight buffet provided by Fig Restaurant, Santa Monica!


We look forward to seeing you there!

Chairs, Andrea Gressinger and Vicky Curtis, and all the Wine & Food Committee

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! On August 4th, we celebrated cookies, gave away money, we had wonderful guests, and we had an incredible speaker on North Korea
Nora Bohn and Susan Gabriel Potter were definitely in the spirit of the day! President Tom provided a centerpiece of different chocolate chip cookies at each table, and the DoubleTree Hilton served their signature CC Cookies a la mode! Yum!!
Past President Carol Jackson presented a grant to Ashley Chase of Harvest Home, a safe harbor facility for homeless and low-income pregnant women and new mothers!
Ashley was enthusiastic and appreciative about the immediate uses for the funds.
Thanks to Scott Gaynor for doing our Invocation of the Day!
And to Rev. Joe Metoyer for introducing all our guests! 

We love having guests!

Among the many that day, Timur Berberoglu brought Myung Deering, President of the Koreatown Rotary Club, and her husband, Joe Deering. The fact that Joe is a Kiwaniian is balanced out by his also being Timur's law partner. 


Past President Dick Lawrence brought his employee Ceci Muta, who will soon be attending USC Law School!


Chuck Husting brought Chashra Jhun Hopkins to the meeting!  Chashra had just heard our speaker at another event and wanted to meet her.

Bret Carter gave us all the details for the District Foundation Celebration, The Million Dollar Dinner, on Oct. 28th! Let Savi know if you want to go!
And Nora Bohn urged everybody to sign up for the Wine Tasting on Aug. 27th! Karim Jaude is hosting at his home, so get in touch with him if you want to go!

Thank you to our speaker, Hannah Song, who gave an incredible and fascinating talk!

Jillian Alexander introduced Hannah Song, President and CEO of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK). 
Hannah taught us that although North Korea is thought of as a socialist state, disguised capitalism is sneaking into the picture.
The country has for 70 years been repressed and closed off from the rest of the world under ultimate control, with only state media available...25 million isolated people. This is a country where, for the regular folk, energy is poor, technology and communications are far behind the times, and bribing officials is a common part of the culture. This is a country where only domestic cell phones are allowed and at high cost, tourism is risky and practically non-existent, and where a $1,400 yearly income is normal. Over 30,000 have left for South Korea, to work and send money back home.
But entrepreneurialism is growing fast, and citizens are trying to make their lives better there. Commerce now exists, along with shared disobedience. People are sharing foreign media, even though it's dangerous and you could even get killed for having it. (It's like drugs...you do them together, which forms bonds and trust with your neighbors and friends.)10 years ago, people were leaving because they were starving. Now all people want is freedom!
When asked about the potential nuclear attacks on the US, Hannah stated that even though it's a scary thought, the threat of nuclear war is merely a deterrent. They love to be perceived as a threat, but they know it would be suicide, so it's really a low risk. The same story has repeated itself many times. If you looked at an article from 1975, it would have a similar thread. So, you can sleep tight in your bed tonight. About that, anyway.
On July 28th we had a fabulous meeting with many highlights! Our speaker was our Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer, Past President Connie gave away awards, and we had lots of wonderful guests! 
Mayor Ted Winterer, introduced by the president of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Laurel Rosen, gave us a State of the City report! He talked on the hot issues, and improvements and challenges that the city faces.
The mayor was generous with his time, exchanging views with individual members after the meeting! Karim Jaude, Melissa Dagodag and Susan Gabriel Potter were among the many interested parties.
Surf's up!! President Tom, super surfer hippie dude masquerading as a lawyer, brought his A-game for the mayor!
When the mayor turned to talking about Santa Monica's efforts to promote bicycle use, RoseMary Regalbuto helped to punctuate his remarks!
Unfortunately, a continuing characteristic of Santa Monica is the persistence of homelessness. Roger Davis demonstrated for visual accentuation. 

Andrea Gressinger was hard at work soliciting sponsorships and ticket sales commitments from members for the November 5th Wine & Jazz Festival. For more info, or to buy your tickets, click HERE!!

Lisa Alexander promoted the new Rotary app for your smartphone (search for ClubRunner) as well as the upcoming (Aug. 5) hike, brunch, and ranch house tour at Will Rogers Park.

Assistant District Governor Kathleen Terry was greeted by President Tom Larmore and Past President Judy Neveau. We appreciate her participation in a committee meeting with club members about promising practices in membership development. 

Past President Connie Maguire gave out the rest of her awards and medals to folks that were not at the Dethroning party at the end of June! Past President Paul Gaulke was one of the honored recipients!



So was Timur Berberoglu...





Pam Brady...







Diane Margolin and Past President Judy Neveau...




Pat Johnston and Karim Jaude...





Matt Williams...





Bill Powell...





and Joseph Metoyer and Andrea Gressinger!! 

In case you haven't noticed, Roger Davis is our go-to guy for quick guerrilla theater skits. President Tom expressed the club's appreciation with a jersey from the Ol' Miss logo shop!
Continued thanks to Ann Greenspun and Jim Reidy, chairs of the Family of Rotary Committee, who make sure that club members who are facing personal challenges such as illness or loss of family members receive cards and other messages from the club. They ensure that the club is kept informed of their condition and whether visits and phone calls are appropriate.
Past President Nat Trives was warmly greeted by Bill Dawson. Thanks for being at the door, Bill!
Thanks also to President Elect Mitchell Kraus for doing Guest Introductions!
Cameraderie and friendship rein at Rotary!
We got together before the meeting for a Champagne Reception! David Rosenfeld, Bill Powell, and Past President George Collins are always down to celebrate together!
David Navar attended as Len Lanzi's guest! They were joined by RoseMary Regalbuto.
Bill Bubar introduced his guest, Aaron Farzam!
And Don Dickerson brought his lovely wife, Dr. Tamra Dickerson!

Since starting our luncheons at the DoubleTree Hilton Santa Monica, President Tom and the entire club have quickly become fans of banquet captain Martin, who is in charge of our meetings. Martin makes sure that our meetings are efficiently run and that we have everything we need.  Thanks, Martin!

July 21st brought our District Governor Visit! It was wonderful to have DG Cozette Vergari and her crew with us that day
DG Vergari shared her key priorities, awarded club members, and even got down on the dance floor!
Knowing that the DG was a former pro dancer, President Tom Larmore made sure that we began the meeting on the dance floor...you know, to make her feel more comfortable! Everybody got into it, and Jay Smith did a great job spinning her around the dance floor!
Roger Davis also brought his dancing shoes, though of a different sort! Thank you Roger, for showing us your many talents! DG Vergari was obviously grateful to have a fellow dancer in her midst!
Thank you to Russ Warner for doing greeter duty, and welcoming Past President George Collins so warmly!
And to Chuck Husting, for jumping right into Guest Introductions!

President Tom Larmore was replaced by Mr. Jack I.T. Box, since it was National Fast Food Day! (Thanks to DoubleTree Hilton for providing an awesome taco bar and churros for the occasion!!) 

But Tom showed up later to present DG Vergari with a $5000 check for End Polio Now, an effort that Rotary has been involved with for many years, and for which we are trying to eradicate for good! This year, the district is trying to raise $250,000, and our grant will be matched 2-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation! 

The governor recognized Donna Byrd for her individual efforts toward our goal!  


DG Vergari presented Rotary members with awards for their dedicated service to our club and district! Joe Metoyer, Pam Brady, and RoseMary Regalbuto all deserve much recognition! It was wonderful to also have Assistant DG Karen Greenberg (2nd from the left) there helping us celebrate! 

And we are very sad to be losing highly active member, Gita Runkle! She has a great new job at Rio Hondo College, so we sent her off with a commendation and some gifts. We'll miss you Gita!! 

Thanks to all who came to our Pre-Luncheon Board Meeting with the District Governor! Great job briefing the DG and her crew on what we are up to!  
President Tom is justifiably proud of the work by his board!

Congratulations to our Scholarship Winners, Anya Nelson and Anthony Merriweather!!

Pictured here: Anya's father Ron Nelson, Anya Nelson, Past President & Mr. Santa Monica Nat Trives, Anthony Merriweather, Anthony's mom Jeanette Magee, and Scholarship Chair Deborah Williams! Proud Rotarians and parents are so happy for these young people!!
Upcoming Events

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Contact Us:

Rotary Club of Santa Monica
P.O. Box 586
Santa Monica, CA 90406
(310) 917-3313

RotaMonica Editor & Webmaster
Savi Labensart

Iao Katagiri

Upcoming Programs
Sam Lagana
Aug 25, 2017
Sports & Entertainment
DARK for Labor Day
Sep 01, 2017
Prof. Gary Fouts of SMC
Sep 08, 2017
Solar Eclipses
Marc Wanamaker
Sep 15, 2017
History of Film Making in Santa Monica
Dr. Saccone of Kaiser Permanente
Sep 22, 2017
Health Care Innovation
Craft Talks
Sep 29, 2017
2 New Members Tell Their Life Story
David Tavers
Oct 06, 2017
Current Trends in Tech Start Up Companies
Jackson Varady
Oct 13, 2017
How to be Happy: The Art & Science of Turning Blahs Into Aahs
Senator Ben Allen
Oct 20, 2017

Need to make up a Meeting?

Check out one of these local clubs:

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Club Meetings, Thursdays at 7:15 AM

925 Haverford Ave
Pacific Palisades CA 90272


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480 Charles E. Young Drive East
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Rotary Club of Malibu

Starting March 1, Club Meetings 8am Wednesdays

Come at 7:30 to grab breakfast

Pepperdine Waves Cafeteria

Pepperdine University Drescher Graduate Campus

Villa Graziadio Executive Center/LC 152

24255 Pacific Coast Hwy

Malibu, CA


Online makeup:


(two per year)


Special Santa Monica Makeups:

Rotary First Tuesday

(one per year)


Rotary Third Thursday

(one per year)


Rotary Networking Meeting

(one per year)