This Friday, August 31st, we are DARK for Labor Day!!

See you again on September 7th for Dr. Chris Evans with "Opiate Addiction"!

More great programs and events coming up soon...see below for details!



*Sep 07, 2018 Dr. Chris Evans - Opiate Addiction
*Sep 14, 2018 Alan Smyth - Saving Innocence
*Sep 21, 2018 Sue Dunlap - President of People's Project LA
*Sep 28, 2018 Craft Talks! Come see 2 new members tell their life story in 10 minutes each!
*Oct 05, 2018 DARK for Wine & Food Fest on Oct. 7th!! (More info below!)
*Oct 07, 2018 Wine & Food Fest (This is considered a meeting. If you can't be there, you may want to do a makeup.)


This Friday: DARK for Labor Day Savi Labensart 2018-08-17 07:00:00Z 0
On January 26th we had a great speaker, gave away lots of money, celebrated birthdays, and competed in the National Big Wig Day Competition!
David Orth-Moore, Senior Advisor on Africa for the Catholic Relief Services, was brought to Rotary by Vice President, Bill Powell. David and Bill have been working to fund a water project in El Salvador, and by vote of our board of directors, our club will be donating a large sum of money to help in these efforts!
We love giving away money to charities in need! Past President Connie Maguire and Assistant District Governor Guity Javid presented a check to Dollies Making a Difference...  
And Melissa Dagodag presented a check to Josephine Moerschel, Executive Director of Elemental Music!
Happy birthday, Rotarians!
We celebrate you, Russ Warner, Timur Berberoglu, President-Elect Mitchell Kraus, Past President Connie Maguire, Bill Dawson, Past President Judy Neveau, President Tom Larmore, and Larry Maher!
National Big Wig Day!
It was fun to participate in our wiggy themed day! Past President Judy Neveau convinced her guest Lauren to come in style as well! 
Stan Fox took it to a literal level. Great mop, Stan!
President Trump even showed up!
Wait, no, that's our President-Elect Mitchell Kraus!
Mitch, after being president of Rotary, you should give it a shot in the White House! You got the right hair! 
Charlie Follette found it difficult to have a serious conversation with President Tom Larmore, judge in chief!  
But the winner of it all was the fabulous Larry "Alice Cooper" Maher!!
Co-judge with President Tom, Executive Secretary Savi Labensart, congratulated Larry on his achievement! Larry, you should really consider this as a permanent look!
It was such a great meeting! Thanks to all who made it possible!
Meeting Recap: Jan. 26, 2018 Savi Labensart 2018-02-25 08:00:00Z 0
On January 20th Rotarians participated with the Healthy Living Committee in a Santa Monica Historical Walk!
A walking tour of historic buildings and locations in the downtown core of Santa Monica drew a group of history buffs from Rotary including Greg Abrams, Larry Maher, Alan & Vala Glick, David Rosenfeld, Eric Schmitter, Timur & Melissa Berberoglu!
A knowledgeable docent from the Santa Monica Conservancy provided fascinating facts and stories about buildings that most of us drive or walk by regularly but didn't know anything about them.
Event Recap: SM History Walk Jan. 20 2018 Savi Labensart 2018-02-18 08:00:00Z 0
January 19th brought us a wonderful day! We had speaker Geoffrey Cowan talking on campaigns and elections, a lot of fun guests, and a great time with Savi's Surprise Challenge!
Larry Mortorff took charge of introducing our speaker Geoffrey Cowan! Geoff talked about his innovation at the 1968 Democratic Convention that changed the way the Democratic Party organized its state primary system, and brought some Teddy Roosevelt "presidential campaign" buttons!
Thank you to Bill Dawson and Past President Judy Neveau for greeting at the door! Their first victim was President Tom Larmore. :)  
Thanks also to Ken Waltzer (and Timur Berberoglu, not pictured) for providing the music for the day!
We appreciate John Miller for introducing all our visiting Rotarians and guests! Sylvan Berg from Bonn, Germany apologized that he did not have a banner from his club.  The global environment conference in Bonn drew about 20,000 people, some of them Rotarians who visited his club and depleted their banner supply.
Diane Margolin invited her friends Frances Bilak and JR Dzubak, both from the Beverly Hills Club, to join us. Frances was the highest bidder ($200) for an autographed book by our speaker! Geoff Cowan donated the book so that the club could put a little money into our Santa Monica Rotary Foundation. Frances got one of Geoff's Roosevelt pins, too!
Savi was at it again, with the help of President Tom, torturing the membership with silly games. :) 
Members had to guess someone's name and occupation...
Tom Woods was asked to stand so RoseMary Regalbuto could try and guess who he was and what he did...
and she got it all right! Killer job, Rosie!  
Welcome back to another of our nearest and dearest!
We were so happy to welcome back Russ Warner, who has been on an extended medical leave of absence!
Thanks to the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel for entertaining our themed days once again, with National Popcorn Day!!
It was such a nice meeting! Thanks to all who made it possible!
Meeting Recap: Jan. 19, 2018 Savi Labensart 2018-02-11 08:00:00Z 0
Rotarians attended the District Breakfast on January 9, 2018, where they enjoyed a buffet breakfast and a fabulous speaker!
Attendees consisted of Mike Cates, Past President Judy Neveau, Pat Johnston, Daniel Bennett, Executive Secretary Savi Labensart, Past President George Collins, President Tom Larmore, and Russ Warner.
The speaker was John Mulchaey, the Director of Carnegie Observatories, who talked about astronomy, the big bang, the vastness of the universe, and what we are made out of! It was fascinating! 
In this pinch of space is 3,000 galaxies, each with a trillion planets, all 8 to 10 billion years ago! 
Event Recap: Dist. Breakfast Jan. 9, 2018 Savi Labensart 2018-01-14 08:00:00Z 0
On Thanksgiving Day we provided a hot turkey feast for over 60 Santa Monica Police Officers on duty!
Volunteers helped set-up, serve in this buffet line, and clean up at the end! This was the traditional utensil salute to the public safety employees who work on the holiday to keep the community safe! Thank you to all our volunteers and to the Jonathan Club on the Beach for donating all the food!!  Pictured here: Iao Katagiri, President-Elect Mitchell Kraus and his son Zachary, Vlado Valkof, Bill Dawson, Nora Bohn, John Gorman, John Zurik, Past President Judy Neveau, Paul Leoni, Alan Glick, President Tom Larmore, Lisa Alexander, Erik & Nancy Jorgensborg, Jillian Alexander, co-chair Past President Dee Menzies, Bill Powell, John Dracup, and co-chair Jim Menzies.
These amazing people serve and protect our community every day, and we are so thankful for them! Especially thankful were Rotarian Monte Herring and Rolenta Sibarami, who somehow snuck into this officer shot! :)
New Member John Dracup set up the drink station!
And Bill Powell filled the warming trays with water! 
Alan Glick dragged his friend John Zurik out to the event to pitch in!
Eric Schmitter brought his wife Marilyn and their son Jacob!
And Roger Davis brought a huge crew...his daughter Grace, son Clayton, wife Joy, and mother Kathleen Craig who was visiting for the holiday from Jackson, Mississippi!
It was great to see Past President Judy Neveau and President Tom Larmore!
The Apron Ladies were in full swing...Past President and Co-Chair Dee Menzies even has a Rotary apron! She was joined by Lisa Alexander, Judy Neveau and Nora Bohn!
We also had a four-legged visitor that day! No, this isn't one of the Santa Monica Police Departments K-9 unit. :)


The officers shared with us that they look forward to this every year!



It's not only the great food, but the friendly Rotary servers! 



Lt. Bob Almada thanked photographer Rotarian Iao Katagiri and all the Rotarians who stood their posts on Thanksgiving!
Nora Bohn was impressed with the greeting cards made by Carlthorp School students for the officers!
Along with serving food, Roger Davis helped SMPD's Suzie Kim to decorate a tree in the lobby! 

Thank you again to all our volunteers, especially to co-chairs Dee & Jim Menzies, who have successfully run this event for many years now!

Pictured here: Lisa Alexander and John Gorman, along with co-chairs, Past President Dee Menzies & Jim Menzies

Event Recap: Thanksgiving "Feed the Police" Day - Nov. 23, 2017 Savi Labensart 2017-12-10 08:00:00Z 0
Our 10th Annual International Wine & Jazz Fest was amazing and a huge success!! Fun was had by all, and much money was raised for our service projects! 
Rotarians and guests alike were in good spirits as they tasted wine, ate delicious food donated by Fig Restaurant, listened to the live jazz band, and participated in the live and silent auction to raise money for our club service projects!!
Here Lisa Alexander, John Gorman, and other guests toast to the day!
Gale Miron definitely had a great time! She attended with her husband John and son Justin.
There were so many great auction items! Carol Powell, Mike & Mary Cates, and David Bohn can attest.
President Tom Larmore and Wine Fest Co-Chair Andrea Gressinger kicked off the presentation and auction! 
So many smiling faces!

So many people to thank!
Thank you to Larry Snyder, our auctioneer, and to Rotarian Iao Katagiri, our amazing photographer!
We had a wonderful crew of volunteers from the Santa Monica Junior Chamber, thanks to President Magdalena Davis and all our Jaycees volunteers! Maggie's celebrating here with Jeff Darrow.
Thanks to the awesome jazz band led by pianist George Kahn!
Len Lanzi must have been in shock that Matthew Lehman and Fig Restaurant donated all the tasty food for the event! Thank you Matthew!!
We are so grateful to all those on the Wine Fest committee!! Ken & Jennifer Waltzer are always such huge help!

To the Wine Fest Committee and Chairs, Andrea Gressinger and Vicky Curtis, thank you so much!! Your hard work and determination is what drives this event, and we are so grateful!!

This event benefits our service endeavors, including World Community Service, Community & Youth Grants, Rotary Day of Service, Scholarships, youth programs, and much more!

Not all numbers are in yet, but it looks like between sponsorships, ads, lottery ticket purchases, and the live and silent auction, we raised almost $100,000 this year!!
Event Recap: Wine Fest 2017 Savi Labensart 2017-11-26 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Community & Youth Grants Money Put to Good Use


We got a great and grateful report back from Talitha Phillips at Claris Health on the grant we gave them in December of 2016! They have finished the furniture and equipment upgrades to their Support Center, and sent us photos to show how beautiful everything turned out!



Rotary Money Put to Good Use! Savi Labensart 2017-09-24 07:00:00Z 0
Happy 95th Anniversary to the Rotary Club of Santa Monica! 
Celebrating the club's 95 years of fellowship and giving, we gathered to eat, drink, make merry, and donate to our Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation! Together we added another $15,000 to our fund!
Lisa Alexander, Nora & Paul Bohn, and President Connie Maguire had a blast riding the carousel!
Thanks to Carol & Bill Powell, and all the 95th Anniversary committee, for putting together an awesome event!
A big thanks to Donna Byrd and Bret Carter for running the check-in table! Savi is especially thankful since that's normally her job, and she got to just attend as a guest this time. :)
Also much gratitude goes to Jack Gregory & Pat Johnston for bringing tons of cool memorabilia from the Rotary office for people to see! Here President Connie welcomed Jack & Holly Gregory to the event! 


Riding the carousel was a favorite highlight for so many!

John McIntire and Ellen Travis thought it was super romantic and fun!




Monika White and Roger Goodman looked stately upon their steeds!





Len Lanzi... Ride 'em Cowboy!






Pat Johnston looked so charming in her riding hat!





And Steve Eorio decided to dominate the piggy! 



Kurtis Magee, Suzan Allbritton, Timur Berberoglu, and Len Lanzi had a blast catching up with friends!  





So did Tammy Andrews and Jamie Menzies...





Kay & Kent Colberg...





and Char & Dick Lawrence, too!






Here's to another 95 years of providing service to our community and the rest of the world, to fellowship and friendship, and to world peace!

Event Recap: 95th Anniversary Party Savi Labensart 2017-02-20 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Gives Dolls to Make a Difference

Representatives from our Rotary Club went to Merida, Mexico on our Rotary District 5280's Humanitarian Trip! Our club, in partnership with Dollies Making a Difference, served as ambassadors bringing 90 beautiful handmade dolls and teddy bears to local children from impoverished families. President Connie and Rotary were featured in the Dollies Making a Difference newsletter!
Check out the article by clicking HERE!!
Dollies Made a Difference in Mexico Savi Labensart 2017-02-20 08:00:00Z 0
A few brave Rotarians traveled North to adventure in the wilderness and ski the slopes of Mammoth!
Included in this adventure were Tom Woods with his 2 kids, Will and Hadley, Tammy Andrews with her kids, Charlie and Emily, Carol and Bill Powell with their 2 kids, and Kurtis with his girlfriend Rose! It looks like they had a blast!
They didn't think it would be quite that adventurous, though. They got 9 feet of snow in 3 days! They were totally snowed in on Sunday and no one got out! Once that happened, there was nothing left to do but lounge, cook, play games, and watch the snow fall... 
All in all, it got a big THUMBS UP!
Thanks to Bill & Carol Powell for organizing the trip and taking care of your fellow stranded skiers!
Event Recap: Rotary Ski Weekend Jan 20-22 Savi Labensart 2017-01-31 08:00:00Z 0
On January 7th, a hearty group of Rotarians gathered at the Westside Food Bank to sort and box food donations
Thank you to Sharon Perlmutter Gavin who chaired this event! Other generous participants included Past President Judy Neveau, current President Connie Maguire, President-Elect Tom Larmore, Nora and Paul Bohn, David Rosenfeld, Suzan Allbritton, Bill Buxton, Drew Fleming, Deborah Williams, Past President Dee Menzies, Kathy Shepard, and our ever amazing photographer and volunteer, Iao Katagiri!
Allison Griffith, the volunteer coordinator for the food bank, quickly summarized the guidelines for sorting the food donations into coherent categories. Nearly one million pounds of food are donated during the holiday season.
Drew Fleming is always in his element at these volunteer events...thank you for your enthusiasm, Drew! 



Bill Buxton lent some strong arms to the task!




And President Connie diligently sorted and assigned foods where they needed to go! 






Past President, Judy Neveau, spent two hours labeling boxes as fast as she could write. The volunteers filled them up almost as fast as she could label them!




No, Tom, those yummy snacks are not for you. :)  





These volunteers were hard at work!

Thank you again, to all our volunteers! Go Rotary!

Volunteer Recap: Jan 7 Savi Labensart 2017-01-30 08:00:00Z 0
August 14th we had a Rotary Family BBQ at Kelly Gulch, thanks to Allan & Sally Young! It was a hot but beautiful day!
Arriving in style was the Menzies family...Jim, Dee and Jamie!
I'm sure they were heading here Sally Young who played bartender for the day!
The kids got a special treat, watching the farm animals get their dinner, too.
Among the dinner guests were the cutest, most fluffy chickens ever!



Erik Jorgensborg with Tricia and Bill Dawson...they definitely enjoyed drinking in the woods!





And Karim Jaude was very excited to join in as well!




It was so nice to see our former member, Helen Zhao, who brought her nephew William, and Li Chen!



Klaus Brandt cooled off under a tree with the sweet Char Lawrence!





And soon all the group was sitting to dine together on a classic BBQ feast!

Jolly Gissell, his lovely wife, Patty, and their son Michael looked like they had a blast! Looking sharp Gissells!!

President Connie Maguire thanked Carol & Bill Powell, the organizers of the event!

Thank you to the Powells and to the Youngs, all for whom the event would never have happened!!

Event Recap: Rotary Family BBQ - Aug 14 Savi Labensart 2016-09-12 07:00:00Z 0
Saturday, September 3, was a fun day for the Healthy Living Committee and those who signed up for the Boxing Workout!
John Dravillas, co-chair of the Healthy Living Committee, graciously hosted at his physical therapy practice location, Physical Therapyworks! And was obviously a vibrant participant!
John's co-chair, Lisa Alexander, was kicking butt connecting with this speed bag!!
As was Donna Byrd!!



 RoseMary Regalbuto took on this big blue burdon of a punching bag...


New Member, Scott Gaynor, looks like a formidable opponent!


Don't mess with Donna Byrd or new member Kurtis Magee...they are ready to mess you up in the name of Rotary!! :)


Event Recap: Healthy Living Boxing Day - Sept. 3 Savi Labensart 2016-09-12 07:00:00Z 0
On June 28th, Rotary got called to quickly donate to Upward Bound House and these amazing Rotarian women took on the project! Check it out...
Suzan Allbritton rallied the gals and stands here in front of the newly furnished kitchen.
Carol Powell and Donna Byrd came to the call and sit here on one of the newly furnished beds.
What great lamps!
And shower curtain and towels for the bathroom...
And super cute place settings!
Rotary is so happy to be able to donate these furnishings to the family moving in! On to the next helpful project!
Upward Bound House Project - June 28, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-07-11 07:00:00Z 0
On May 29th, Rotary went to the races!
It was a wild rush!
Thank you to Steve Taub who made it possible to have such a fun Santa Anita experience! He invited Lafitte Pincay, Jr to speak to us. Lafitte is the second-most winningest jockey in history! 
Thank you also to Emperor Tom Loo and Event Chair Timur Berberoglu, who were instrumental in creating this fantastic day! Thank you for all your hard work, gentlemen!


Susan Annett, Marilyn Leoni, and Pat Bofird look happy and relaxed...





As does the lovely RoseMary Regalbuto...





But not as happy as Jolly and Patty Gissell, who have smiles on their winning faces!





Roger and Joy Davis are also wearing their winning smiles...they bet and won on the very first race!




Greg & Terry Hargrave had a fun time on the stable tour before the races started...





And so did Monty McCormick!




Linnekens Family selfie time!





Pat & George Collins and Paul & Marilyn Leoni had a blast! (Both Pat Collins and Andrea Gressinger have injuries, but that wasn't going to stop them from attending this fun day!




David Rosenfeld had to be enjoying himself with such a beautiful woman on his arm!




Drew Flemming enjoyed the yummy lunch buffet!

The Rotary section was right at the head of the home stretch! What a view...

Thanks to Iao Katagiri for all the amazing pictures from this day!


A special highlight...

The third race of the day was dedicated to the Rotary Club of Santa Monica! Tom and Timur were invited to the Winner's Circle!


Event Recap - Day at the Races! Savi Labensart 2016-06-14 07:00:00Z 0
May 1st was our International Food & Song Festival!
It was so much fun! Tons of amazing food, cool tunes, and you just can't beat that view! 
We had a few acts, one being Monika White and her bluegrass band! It sounded great!
And Savi sang a bunch of fun tunes, accompanying herself on ukulele and guitar!


Attendees galore!


The Berberoglu Clan




David Rosenfeld, Incoming President Connie Maguire, and Mrs. Holly Gregory




Mr. Santa Monica, Past President Nat Trives, and Karim Jaude





Mitchell Kraus and his son, Zachary







Past Presidents Spyros Dellaportas and Allen Young, along with the lovely Helen Zhao




Consistent Rotary visitor Sumaya Casteel and her guest




Russ Warner and Past President Judy Neveau






Nora Straight Bohn and her new brother in law, our Past President David Bohn







Past President Judy Neveau with Grace Cheng Braun and her hubby Ted Braun




Savi's predecessor, the wonderful June Doy and guest






New Member Pradeep Batra and his wife, Neelam, with Past President Spyros Dellaportas




Sally Pai Unruh and her new hubby Jason Unruh





And the stoic Nick Goehner. He must have been feeling very contemplative that day. ;)


Thank you to these hard working gentlemen behind the bar, Bret Carter & Ric Mateus!

Thank you to Mike Cates & Broadway Gymnastics for providing such a fun kids playground!

Thank you to Barb Bishop for bringing in food from Lago!

Thank you to Tom and Stefani Loo for hosting this incredible event at their beautiful home!!

Meeting Recap - Food Fest May 1, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-05-24 07:00:00Z 0
Rotarians are always up to one fun thing or another! Check out a couple activities we have done lately!
Our Healthy Living Committee had a beautiful hike up Corral Canyon, and the Environmental Outreach Committee helped to clean the LA River!
Bill Rayman was the organizer and coordinator for our efforts at the LA River!
 Bill Rayman, Bret Carter, Judy Neveau, Jillian Alexander, & Tom Woods all participated in the LA River Cleanup! (John Dravillas helped organize too, but was unable to attend.) 
Our team covered three areas within the Glendale Narrows' section of the Los Angeles River.
Thanks to Bill Rayman bringing and sharing his trowel, we contributed to a local boy scout troop master digging out pair of jeans. Our big finds were cans, one hypodermic needle, one nylon knee-high stocking, Styrofoam and laminated paperboard containers, plastic straws, and plastic cups. Most were little pieces of plastic and laminated paperboard. EVERY PIECE COUNTS!


Our hikers were full of energy, and wouldn't you be as well on what looks like the most gorgeous day of the year?

Suzan Allbritton, Carol & Bill Powell, Jillian Alexander, Donna Byrd, and Connie Maguire definitely had a blast!





That's where I want to be right now! How about you??



Our hiking group again, with an addition in the back right there...the chair of the Healthy Living committee, John Dravillas!


Rotary Events Recap - Hiking & River Cleaning! Savi Labensart 2016-04-19 07:00:00Z 0
Looks like the End Polio Run/Walk was a really great adventure! Check out a few pics of our participants... 
It's wonderful to see the smiling faces of Judy Neveau and RoseMary Regalbuto!
RoseMary Regalbuto, Donna Byrd, Connie Maguire and Lisa Alexander were really giving it their all!




Our incoming President Connie Maguire knows how to work hard and hydrate, all while looking sharp on the trail!





Wish I'd gone...this looks like fun!


Connie Maguire, Judy Neveau and Lisa Alexander at the starting line!




Oh look! There was a guy there! John Dravillas, surrounded by our beautiful and wonderful Rotary ladies. Congrats to those who crossed the finish line!!


Event Recap - End Polio Run/Walk Savi Labensart 2016-04-12 07:00:00Z 0
Our Wine & Jazz Fest was a hit...again!! Members and guests were in high spirits! Planes soared, hearts soared, wallets soared...

Judy Neveau, past president and chair of this event, was eager to welcome in our guests! And what a wonderful crew we had for this journey!
Time for some action! I mean, auction!
Suzan Allbritton, a major driving force behind this event, with our talented auctioneer, Larry Snyder.


Our featured charity, Angel Flight West!

What a fitting one for the event! They offered rides in the simulator and took donations so they can continue to get sick ones to the care they need!
Rotarian Donna Byrd was excited to try it out, and support such a worthy cause!



RoseMary approved of the food! A huge thanks to Matthew Lehman and FIG Restaurant for donating the amazing meal!




So did Iao Katagiri's friend! Although he seemed a little stiff when I met him.




And new member Jolly Gissell approved of the wine! That glass looks empty, let's get another!



And you can't forget the jazz!! What would a Wine & Jazz Fest be without the amazing music? They did a phenomenal job, and they even did a couple numbers written by our own member, Melissa Dagodag!!


What a success!! Thank you to all our Wine & Jazz Fest committee for your hard work and dedication to this event! We couldn't have done it without you!


Wine & Jazz Fest Recap - Nov 15, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-12-08 00:00:00Z 0
Thanksgiving was a wonderful opportunity to give back to the officers who protect us every day!!
Dee Menzies & Iao Katagiri with 3 officers showing off their cards from Carlthorp School fifth graders thanking them for being on duty during the holidays!!
Mitch Kraus and his son Zachary are some of the most consistent volunteers!!


Inside it says:

Dear Police Officer,

   I very much appreciate the dedication that you give to your work. The fact that you are spending your Thanksgiving to help others is very outstanding. You should be very proud that you are helping others, and for that reason you are appreciated by many people!

Best wishes,






At the serving line...


They were at the ready for their customers! Thank you to all our volunteers!!


Thanksgiving Feed the Police Savi Labensart 2015-12-02 00:00:00Z 0


Imagine watching a beautiful Tuscan sunset while enjoying a delicious glass of Chianti and some fresh melon and prosciutto.  That easily can be you!  A trip to Tuscany is one of the incredible live auction items at the upcoming Wine and Jazz Festival. Invite your friends and family and come out to taste some terrific wine and start bidding.  Get your tickets today by visiting


November 15, 2015!
(Reminder: No meeting the Friday before)


Rotary Club of Santa Monica
International Wine & Jazz Festival
The Museum of Flying

Santa Monica
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


This is the annual fundraiser for local and international service projects
sponsored by the Rotary Club of Santa Monica
and the Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation!

Click here to purchase tickets!
or contact Suzan Allbritton at or 310-392-3654.

Toast Life with an afternoon of delicious food, wine and live jazz music while enjoying the Museum of Flying 


Plenty of FREE Parking 


Great Wines

Fabulous Menu by Fig of the Fairmont Hotel


Music by the George Kahn Trio


Live & Silent Auction

8th ANNUAL WINE and JAZZ FESTIVAL - NOVEMEBER 15, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-09-16 00:00:00Z 0
Rotarians gathered to help fix up the Lighthouse Christian Academy for another amazing ROTARY DAY of SERVICE!! THANK YOU ROTARIANS!!

Lighthouse Christian Academy, a school for underprivileged kids!

One of this year's VPs, Sharon Perlmutter Gavin, with Rotary Day of Service Co-Chair Tom Woods!


Our other Co-Chair Drew Fleming! Keep up the good work, fellas!


One of our new members, Caroline careful up there, you sweet thing!

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica strives to pull off one or two Rotary Days of Service each year! The project was started by Past President Judy Neveau, and it has been a wonderful way for the club to do something hands-on in the community! Do you know of a non-profit organization, a school, or some other needy business that needs our help?? Contact the Rotary office at:!

Rotary Day of Service - Aug 22, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-09-03 00:00:00Z 0

August 21st we heard from Adam Lichtl, PhD, about populating Mars!! Can you even imagine?? He talked about Space X, and their mission to colonize the planet Mars, and what it would take to get there!

Speaker Adam Lichtl (right) with his wife Patsy and fellow Rotarian Jay Smith!
The Planet Mars is arguably the last frontier in space exploration (for now). When will we reach it? How will we get there? What will it take? And why do we want to go?
“The idea is that we want to take people from Earth and put them on Mars and not as a trip, not as a suicide mission, but actually colonize the planet,” said Adam Lichtl, PhD, former research director at SpaceX during his talk entitled “Blue Marble to Red Marble” to Santa Monica Rotarians Friday, Aug. 21.
Lichtl – who skipped high school and graduated from CalTech at 19 – recently left SpaceX to become a free agent in the rocket science world, but he shared some of the highlights he’s seen during his time at Elon Musk’s independent space launch company.
Headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., SpaceX was founded in 2002 when Musk took his PayPal money and had a beer with Tom Mueller, “a legitimate rocket science,” said Lichtl. Though the government doesn’t fund SpaceX, it has government contracts with it – in fact, NASA is one of its customers.
“I feel that we’re at the beginning of this very interesting point in history where it may be another 100 years before this a done deal and people are on Mars,” Lichtl said.
What are some of the challenges of going to Mars? One is the distance.
“The international space station is 250 miles straight up. The moon is a quarter of a million miles. It took about three days for the Apollo astronauts to reach it. Mars is 140 million miles away. This is a very long trip,” he said.
You’re also chasing Mars as your aiming for it.
“Mars is moving, the earth is moving, so you actually have to time it just right,” he said. “It’s kind of like jumping from one moving car to another. And the other car is moving way faster.”
Lichtl said there are only certain times in the year you can go to Mars, approximately every two years is the window where the car is coming by you again.
Another challenge is supplies.
“You also want to take stuff with you. You need a nuclear reactor for power, heat, the ability to melt water, the ability to do electrolysis on the water to get oxygen out. You need, obviously, food,” he continued.
The next challenge is getting back to Earth. Right now, the rocket at SpaceX runs on highly refined kerosene and oxygen, but there is nowhere to fuel up on that on. Lichtl said one of the primary projects at SpaceX is to make a rocket that can run on methane, available to synthesize through Mars natural gases – that’s also how they plan on getting breathable air and drinkable water.
NASA estimates that they’d need to take roughly 300 tons of stuff to Mars in order to establish even a rudimentary settlement. Lichtl said SpaceX researchers have designed one of the world’s most advanced combustion simulations to digitally test new designs of what will be the most powerful rocket ever created.
“Because you don’t want a trial and error with things like this. What you want to do is design and understand it,” he said. “The idea here is to simulate turbulence to drive the efficiency of the engine. It’s an engineering challenge.”


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Aug 21 Speaker - Space X Savi Labensart 2015-08-21 00:00:00Z 0

August 22nd is our next Rotary Day of Service!!

We need volunteers to help clean and paint!

We need helpers! Come beautify the Lighthouse Christian Academy for underprivileged kids!

DATE: Saturday, August 22, 2015

TIME: 9am to 12 noon

LOCATION: Lighthouse Christian Academy

                    1424 Yale Street

                    Santa Monica, CA 90404

Refreshments will be served, and kids are welcome as well!

Please respond directly to Drew Fleming:


Rotary Day of Service - Aug 22! Savi Labensart 2015-08-12 00:00:00Z 0


Members got together to fix up and paint!!

Twenty volunteers gathered at The Children's Place on Saturday, June 13, for the 2015 Rotary Day of Service, a day where members of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica continue their "Legacy of Service" in the Santa Monica community.

The Children's Place is a part of The Ocean Park Childcare Foundation, a foundation dedicated to providing children of all socioeconomic backgrounds with quality early childhood education.

Rotary Day of Service co-chairs Tom Woods and Drew Fleming organized a day of painting and beautification. 

"The idea is to implement an annual hands-on project that benefits and meets a real world need in Santa Monica, as well as raise the visibility of the work of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica, and establish a Santa Monica 'Legacy of Service,'" Woods said.

There was much excitement and a sense of pride as the volunteers transformed the appearance of the preschool.

On Feb. 1, 1922 the Santa Monica Rotary Club was officially chartered as Rotary Club number 1086. Rotary International is a volunteer organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members belonging to 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Rotary clubs address critical issues at home and abroad by providing health care and medical supplies, clean water, food, job training, youth development, and education to millions of people in need.

June 13 - Rotary Day of Service at The Children's Place Savi Labensart 2015-06-26 00:00:00Z 0


There were a lot of new smiling faces at the Santa Monica Rotary meeting last Friday, and they belonged to the Rotarian scholarship recipients and their proud parents.

The 14 students from three middles schools, four high schools, and Santa Monica College were rewarded for their excellence in academics, leadership, and community service.

Jessie Ramirez, a former LA Tax Associates scholarship winner and Santa Monica College student, began the award ceremony.

“Looking back, I never imagined that I would get into USC and receive an acceptance letter from UCLA,” Ramirez said. “I made the decision to come to Santa Monica College and it opened a lot of doors for me.

I am very thankful for the Santa Monica community as a whole and everything that was presented to me here by the LA Tax Associates. I wouldn’t be here without their help, with the cost that it takes to be at USC.”

“I hope that all the recipients of the scholarships here tonight go on to bigger and better things.And thank you very much for every ones assistance,” Ramirez said, finishing his speech.

The scholarship award winners from Santa Monica College included Jessica Soegono and Ali Khan (Archie Morrison Scholarship for $750), Haley Coleman (Nick Holt Scholarship for $1,000), and Dabiel Kolko (LA Tax Associates Scholarship for $1,500).

The high school award winners included Jessica Bonilla (Russel Hart Scholarship for $1,000), Abigail Wisen (Clyde Smith Scholarship for $1,000), and Cynthia Cristobal (Russel Hart Scholarship for $1,000) from Santa Monica High; Jhonton Aragon (Tom Fox Scholarship for $1,000) from St. Monica High School; Maia Joseph (John English Scholarship for $1,000) from Olympic High School; and Shaila Hernandez (Harding Larmore, Kozal and Kutcher for $1,000) from New Roads High School.

The middle school winners included Soah Frankli (Citizenship Award for $100) from Cross Roads Middle School, Yabsra Ayele (Citizenship Award $100) from Lincoln Middle School, and Melissa Pflug (Citizenship Award for $100) from New Roads Middle School.


The Santa Monica Rotary board has decided to give $2,000 to the Rotary District 5280 Disaster Relief Fund in collaboration with the Nepal District 3292 for Nepal earthquake relief. In addition, the club will match donations up to another $2,000 by club members.

Pei and Marina Hanai were introduced as the newest Rotarian members.


May 15 Mtg - Scholarship Day Savi Labensart 2015-05-27 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Sep 22, 2014

Rotarian and Santa Monica Fire Department Chief Scott Ferguson nominated President “King George” Collins to take the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Rick Ruby had the honor of dousing Collins with ice water. This challenge is to bring awareness to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) commonly referred to in the United States as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death.

Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.  Life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, although 25% of patients live considerably longer.


Image Image Image

The following quote is from ALS Foundation website,

"Please be thoughtful about water usage. If you’re in an area of the country or world affected by drought, please consider making a donation instead, or repurpose the water for later use."
For more information about ALS, click here.

I do not know how dousing someone with ice water has any correlation to ALS, but happy to do it to generation donations.
King George takes Ice Bucket Challenge Jillian Alexander 2014-09-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Dravillas on May 06, 2014

Last Saturday, Sustain Our Environment committee participated in
Friends of the LA River's annual La Gran Limpieza (LA River Cleanup).


Contrary to popular belief, there IS water in the LA River.

Our crew -- Rotarians Bill Rayman, Bret Carter, John Dravillas,
and a couple of John's buddies -- gathered 5 bags of garbage from the river,
and had a good time together.
Image Image
Continue reading for the full story and more LA River images.

Sustain Our Environment committee at La Gran Limpieza 2014 John Dravillas 2014-05-07 00:00:00Z 0
International Food & Song Festival - April 27, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-05-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Mar 30, 2014
District 5280 Youth Service District Breakfast

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7:00 a.m.
Westin LAX Hotel
5400 W. Century Blvd.
Los Angeles 90045
Free self-parking in hotel parking structure.
Valet parking at Westin rates.
Program Speaker: Prophet Walker
Prophet's remarkable journey is one of determination and perseverance. Come hear how this young man went from prison to
become a college graduate, a
community leader, a role model, and activist. Treat your youth clubs to this amazing program!

View the flyer here.

RSVP with Savi ASAP! It’s first come, first serve, and we only have a total of ten spots!
District 5280 Youth Service District Breakfast - April 8, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-03-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Judy Neveau on Mar 23, 2014

District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Medellin, Colombia

Rotary District 4271 (Medellin, Colombia) hosted 106 District 5280 Rotarians, Interact and Rotaract Club members and their families -- Including our own adventurous travellers PP Judy Neveau, PE George Collins and wife Pat Collins, and Director Russ Warner -- for our annual District Humanitarian Trip  March 19-24, 2014. During days packed with project site visits, Colombian Rotary Club hosted events and sight-seeing, we directly interacted with project grant recipients and saw projects which our Rotary funding supports.

These projects included delivering backpacks filled with school supplies to children in the agricultural small town of Alejandria; funding a new washing machine and other supplies for a remote medical clinic staffed by one doctor plus volunteers which serves over 4,000 rural families; providing wheelchairs and other equipment to an urban center serving babies and youth afflicted with spina biffida which also provides maternal health education and outreach; funding a remote locale river-water reclamation project; and providing equipment and supplies to an urban dental clinic and senior center. We experienced many very special "Rotary Moments". These continue to be reminders of why "Service Above Self" matters, and why we chose to be Rotarians.

In addition to fellowship and service, we had fun with other District 5280 Rotarians rafting, horseback riding, and visiting the National Heritage site town of Santa Fe de Antioquia. Columbian Rotarians were warm and energetic hosts, led by their gracious District Governor Monica Uribe. We were able to tour the impressive public transportation network of Medellin, including riding their cable cars which take rich and poor alike from the train stations high up into the surrounding hills - truly to be envied, especially from grid-locked Southern California.

Why not be part of this amazing Rotary experience of hands-on giving and cultural exchange next year? The 2015 Humanitarian Trip has been announced for February 1-5, 2015 to enchanting Guatemala and the World Heritage site of Antigua and the Lake Atitlan region, with a fabulous post-trip opportunity to Tikal to see the ruins of a major site of Mayan civilization being excavated in the jungles close to Belize? Mark your calendar for an unforgettable time, doing hands-on Rotary service while extending international friendships and learning about the culture of Guatemala?

District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Medellin, Colombia Judy Neveau 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Janie Yuguchi Gates on Mar 23, 2014

Rotary Reads

Myles Pritchard at Grant Elementary School

Vince Muselli

Recap - Rotary Reads Janie Yuguchi Gates 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julia Miele on Mar 23, 2014
District 5280 High School Arts Competition Finals

Quinn Charles with Art Finalist Jared Valesquez and Music Finalist Elliot Sorgen  

Rotary Club of Santa Monica sponsored Santa Monica High School Sophomore
Quinn Charles
received 3rd place in Dance at the District 5280 High School Arts
Competition Finals
held on March 1, 2014 at Loyola Marymount University. Quinn
performed modern ballet dance and currently studies dance at the
Debbie Allen Dance Academy
. Congratulations Quinn!

District 5280 High School Arts Competition Finals Julia Miele 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Charles Follette on Mar 23, 2014

Rotary Day of Service


Saturday, April 5, 2014
We're going to fix up St. Anne School!
Come out and do a hands on project!

Click here for details.

Rotary Day of Service - April 5, 2014 Charles Follette 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Feb 25, 2014

Rotarians for Healthy Living
Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike
Saturday, March 8, 2014 -- 8:30 a.m.

Rising high at the heart of Griffith Park stands 1,625-foot Mount Hollywood with its amazing vistas of Los Angeles. We will hike the most popular route, starting at the Charlie Turner Trailhead at Hollywood Trail. After hiking north 1.5 miles to the summit, we will be rewarded with an amazing 360-degree panorama of Los Angeles. We will finish with no-host refreshments at the Café at the End of the Universe, after which you are free to stay and enjoy the observatory on your own. 

Meet at the Charlie Turner Trailhead (north end of Griffith Observatory parking lot).  Bring a hat, water, sunscreen, and binoculars. The hike is moderately strenuous.

For carpooling or questions please contact trip leader Lisa Alexander at or (310) 656-4310.

Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike - March 8, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Feb 25, 2014

Rotary Club of Santa Monica Board of Officers & Directors have allocated funds to match member contributions toward Typhoon Hiayun and southwest Illinois Tornado disaster relief efforts. The Club will match all member contributions up to cumulative $2,500 for Typhoon Hiayun and $2,500 for Tornado.

Please contact Treasurer Alan Glick at or (310) 392-5970 regarding your contribution.

Typhoon and Tornado Relief - Member Challenge Jillian Alexander 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Nicholas Goehner on Feb 09, 2014


Orchestra Santa Monica Woodwind Quintet

Ricardo Escobar wowed us with his classical guitar performance

Our meeting began with a wonderful performance by the Orchestra Santa Monica Woodwind Quintet.

The head table consisted of "President's Pick" Stan Bots; Invocateur Ken Waltzer, who shared a wonderful quote; Patricia Farris, who introduced meeting guests; and George Collins, who introduced featured entertainer Classical Guitarist Ricardo Escobar.

We also sang happy birthday to all of our Rotarians with birthdays in January and February. They received gifts and a Rotary hat! Happy Birthday Rotarians!

We were all touched by an amazing Classical Guitar performance by Ricardo Escobar.  He played some songs from all over Latin America and showed off the speed and skill that his fingers had on his guitar.  Thank you Orchestra Santa Monica and Ricardo Escobar!
Meeting Recap - February 7, 2014 Nicholas Goehner 2014-02-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Feb 02, 2014


Invocateur Linda Teixiera shared lovely and concise message to kick-off our meeting. Michael Cates  introduced the meeting’s guests, followed by Ken Waltzer keying a deliberately-paced rendition of "What a Wonderful World" on the piano. President Nat Trives fined himself once, although it should have been for Portugal mischief rather than being eer-so-slightly less sharp than normal due to cold meds.  

Mitch Kraus presented a check to Claris Health CEO Talitha Philips to buy furniture for the Teen Pregnancy Outreach and Parenting Program. And, visiting Rotarian Anna-Lissa Lavila (President of Hamina-Vehkalahti (Finland) Rotary Club) presented a cookbook and photo guidebook of Finland to President Nat Trives.

     Erik Jorgensborg with speaker Marcos Guillen

Erik Jorgensborg gave a touching introduction to our speaker Marcos Guillen. As a high school freshman, Marcos was forced out of his childhood home  and spent the next two years on the streets where he found "family" in a local gang and began selling drugs to survive. He was arrested at a gunfight, then sentenced to eight and one-half years in prison.

While incarcerated Marcos prioritized completing his education and preparing to re-enter civil society. He overcame poor literacy, earned his GED, learned to be a dental technician and was trained in substance abuse counseling.

Shortly after his release, Marcos realized he needed to obtain basic computing skills. He went to Chrysalis where he gained computing and other job skills, preparing to re-enter the workforce. His first job was with the Salvation Army. As someone who has gone through the justice system and struggled with addiction, Marcos is passionate about helping others who are in similar situations. Due to his determination, Marcos eventually landed a position as a Client Supervisor at Passages Recovery Center in August 2012.


Marcos now lives in a house with his wife and eighteen-month old son and four-month old daughter. Marcos' goal is to earn his Masters degree in Clinical Psychology.

Meeting Recap - January 31, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-02-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Feb 02, 2014

Magic Show Featuring Derek Hughes


Rotarians and guests are invited to a special performance by accomplished magician Derek Hughes!

Thursday, February 6, 2014
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Click more for details.

Magic Show - February 6, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-02-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Nicholas Goehner on Jan 26, 2014



Rotarian Mel Powell speaks about Membership, and cajoles Santa Monica Rotarians
to begin focusing on bringing in new members. Steve Alexis laughs while Connie Maguire
and President-Elect George Collins take the pledge.

The head table consisted of President Nat Trives’ "President’s Pick" Nora MacLellan; Melissa Dagodag, who led the Invocation; RoseMary Regalbuto, who introduced the meeting’s guests; and Bret Carter, who introduced speaker Mel Powell (Rotary e-Club of the Greater San Fernando Valley).

We watched an amazing video about how Vision to Learn works. After the video, Nora MacLellan was given a check from our Club to assist in funding free eye exams and glasses for The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica and Upward Bound House.

Larry Mortoff announced Friday was a special day. The Clean Water projects at orphanages throughout Myanmar that J.T. Waring (LA5) has been championing (and our PP Jim Dyer got our Club involved) led to the Myanmar government considering allowing Rotary Clubs to organize and form within the country. After 20 years, Rotary is again official in Myanmar.

Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting, including Vision to Learn Outreach Coordinator Nora MacLellan (Rotary Club of Westchester), and Japanese Rotarian Ari Tanaka. Other guests included Ethan Brown, Scott Heelee, and Vision to Learn Program Manager Carissa Waldriff.

Meeting Recap - January 24, 2014 Nicholas Goehner 2014-01-27 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Jan 26, 2014

How to Propose Person for Membership

All of us want ours to remain the BEST Rotary Club in the BEST Rotary District, right?

Recruiting civic and globally-minded professional, business and government leaders whom live by the Four-Way Test will help us do so.

Below is our simple four-step process to propose new members:

1. Invite the person to a Rotary Meeting and other Rotary Club events.
2. Introduce the person to fellow Rotarians.
3. Complete and submit application form to Savi.
4. Be discrete and patient. 

How to Propose Person for Membership Jillian Alexander 2014-01-27 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Jan 14, 2014

Healthy Living Boot Camp

Physical Therapyworks' Justin “J.R.” Razeghian, CPT, coached Donna Byrd, John Dravillas,
Iao Katagiri, and Connie Maguire through a fun Boot Camp-style workout at Stoner Park!

Connie and Donna did push-ups, sit-ups, ran laps around the park, and more,
while John and Iao, claiming to be recovering from winter colds, cheered, took photos, and sneezed!

Thank you John Dravillas for organizing this Healthy Living activity.

J.R. Kicked Booty January 10 Jillian Alexander 2014-01-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Jan 13, 2014


The head table at the first meeting of the new year consisted of President Nat Trives’ "President’s Pick" and President-Elect Designate Tom Loo; Andrea Gressinger, who led an Invocation about love and healing; Myles Pritchard, who introduced the meeting’s guests; and Susan Annett, who introduced the meeting’s speaker RAND Senior Sociologist Chloe Bird.

It was a big day for our Community & Youth Grants Committee:

  • Red Kettle Day committee co-chair Myles Pritchard announced that our club collected $6,000, sadly losing to Kiwanis International which raised $9,000. The competing local Service Organizations raised a whopping $25,000!
  • Director Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin presented a check of $2,500 to Connections For Children Executive Director Patti Oblath. Connections For Children is the non-profit Child Care Resource and Referral agency serving child care providers, educators, and parents in the West Los Angeles and South Bay communities.
  • PP Jack Gregory presented a check of $2,500 to Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Chairman Linda Gross. The mission of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation is to engage the community to invest in a vibrant educational experience for all students in the Santa Monica and Malibu public schools.

President Nat prematurely announced that Gita Runkle will be Santa Monica College's Acting Associate Dean - Emeritus College. It's official TODAY! Brown-noser Nat waived Gita’s fine since she is now his boss...power has privileges!

Michael Reinprecht, a visiting Rotarian from Rotaract Club Wien-Stadtpark (Vienna, Austria) attended last week's meeting. Other guests included Rotaractor President Manny Ramirez; Rotoractors Pavel Bokarev, Rafael Solari, Esther Park, and Demetrius Polychron; Grant Recipients Connections for Children Executive Director Patti Oblath and Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Chairman Linda Gross, Faculty Advisor Aileen Huang, Meals on Wheels West Executive Director Chris Baca (guest of Tish Tisherman), Abby and David Wisen (guests of Tom Loo), and Ethan Brown (guest of Charlie Follette).

Reminder - We are dark Friday in celebration of Martin Luther King Day!
Meeting Recap - January 10, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-01-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Jan 13, 2014


RAND Senior Sociologist, Pardee RAND Graduate School Professor of Policy Analysis, Associate Editor of Women’s Health Issues, and Deputy Editor of Journal of Health and Social Behavior Chloe Bird spoke about the gender differences in the quality of care for cardiovascular disease and diabetes in California.

Gender stratified reporting is necessary to be able to gain insights and understanding so that treatments can be developed and delivered.

When it comes to the two health issues which are the significant causes of death -- cardiovascular disease and diabetes -- there is a large discrepancy in the proportion of men versus women who are screened and receive treatment as well as a significant difference in the outcomes. For example, in California the gaps in screening are much smaller than the gaps in treatment. More than 50% of women's heart disease is microvascular, while men's is coronary artery. The symptoms are different and often ignored. As a result, since 1984 more US women die from heart disease than any other cause each year.

Three things to do:
(1) Enjoy a Mediterranean diet. People following this regime have lower instance than others of heart disease.
(2) If you have pain anywhere in body between nose and hips, even if it goes away when you relax, get checked by health provider!
(3) If you have heart disease, get your LDL cholesterol checked annually.

Having heart disease is not a death sentence. In recent years, treatment guidelines have changed. Once heart disease is present, very often doctors will prescribe statins. Just watch those interactions.

Speaker Chloe Bird Shared Insights About Gender Inequality in Healthcare Treatment and Outcomes Jillian Alexander 2014-01-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Jan 07, 2014



District 5280
2014 Rotary Youth Exchange
July 24, 2014 to July 26, 2014 Guest Abroad
July 26, 2014 to August 17, 2014 Host at Home

District 5280 is offering a short-term Rotary Youth Exchange to all students 15- to 18 1/2-years-old as of June 2014.

Each student will travel abroad to one country (Austria, Brazil, England, India,  Italy, Spain, Taiwan, or Turkey) and stay with a Rotarian host family for three weeks. A child-member from the foreign host family will return with the U.S. student and stay in his/her home.

District 5280 Rotary Youth Exchange Jillian Alexander 2014-01-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 25, 2013

President Nat Trives returned looking well and presided over our annual Holiday Luncheon. Michael Cates delivered a heart-felt Invocation recognizing those serving in the US armed forces abroad and Barbara Bishop led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and singing God Bless America.
We were joined by visiting Rotarian Mike Moult (Teignmouth) and his wife visiting from the United Kingdom.



Carlthrop Choir comprised of Grade 1 through Grade 6 students sang 10 Christmas, Hanukkah and Kawanzaa holiday songs and played Bells previously donated by Rotary Club of Santa Monica at the direction of Laura Bickel. Each song was announced by Hayden Hill. Each performer was presented with a candy cane by Elf Savi as they exited.

A special visitor from the North Pole arrived late, bringing gifts for all the nice guest girls and boys.


We recognized the Riviera head chef, his sous chef, and our special dessert pastry chef Sheila Cutchlow. Sheila not only makes scrumptious desserts who works on Venice Boardwalk, but is a SAG member and producer.


For the second Spirit Competition, Timur Berberoglu won the ugly sweater contest. VP Programs Scott Ferguson presented the award.

Meeting Recap - December 20, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 15, 2013

Greg O'Brien Named District Governor Nominee Designate

District Governor Nomination Committee selected Greg O’Brien (Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club) to serve as our 2016-2017 District Governor.

Congratulations Greg!

Greg O'Brien - 2016-2017 District Governor Jillian Alexander 2013-12-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 15, 2013

Ugly Sweater Contest


Come to Friday's Rotary meeting dressed in your ugliest holiday sweater!
Most outlandish holiday sweater model will win the meeting's spirit competition!

Ugly Sweater Contest - December 20, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 15, 2013


Scott Ferguson presided over a hilarious meeting and launched our Spirit Competition. The previous week Scott encouraged members to attend dressed in flower child, Rasta-style, or other 1960s clothing to keep with the program topic marijuana legislation. Club Director Larry Mortorf won our very first spirit competition!

Matt Williams gave a soul-full Invocation; Judy Iriye introduced our visitors and guests; and Pat Bofird led a rousing rendition of "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot" to the tune of "Let's Go to the Hop."
Mitch Kraus presented a check to Santa Monica Fire Chief Mark Bridges. The funds will be used to buy stuffed animals to carry on the fire trucks and give to children!

Iao Katagiri along with a humorous video starring "doped-up" Avo Guerboian and
TJ Montemer introducing the meeting's speaker.


Speaker Beau Kilmer and VP Scott Ferguson


The group singing "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot"

Our speaker Beau Kilmer, as a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and RAND Drug Policy Research Center co-director, focuses on developing public policy. His research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, with a special emphasis on substance use and the economics of commercial and illicit markets, law enforcement, and correctional facilities. Kilmer discussed the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana and informed us about the current marijuana legalization in Amsterdam, Colorado, Washington, as well as past and anticipated future efforts within California. 

We also held the Club Elections for 2014-2015 officers and directors. View the winners below!

One visiting Rotarian attended the meeting, art gallery owner Martin Suppan (Rotary Club of Vienna). Other guests included photographer and trainer Fabian Lewkowicz (guest of Scott Ferguson), Tish Tisherman (guest of John Bohn), Upward Bound House Director Christine Glasco, and Jessica Rice (Jillian Alexander's assistant).

To view photos from the meeting click here.

Meeting Recap - December 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 08, 2013

2014 Friendship Exchange Program

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Japan? Well, here is a great opportunity!

The Friendship Exchange is for Rotarians and their spouses to stay 7 days with Japanese host Rotarians in their homes, then host the same Japanese Rotarian and spouse in your home for a week. All it costs is airfare plus hosting guests here.

Deadline to apply is December 31, 2013.
If you want to go, sign up today!

 If you have any questions, please contact 2014 Friendship Exchange Chair
Makiko Nakasone
at or (818) 523-2866.     

To view the flyer click here.
To view the application form click here.

2014 Friendship Exchange Program Jillian Alexander 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 08, 2013

First Spirit Competition - December 13, 2013


In keeping with the spirit of our program on marijuana legislation,
on Friday, December 13, 2013
come to the Rotary meeting dressed in your flower child, Rasta-style or other 1960s clothing.

The Club Member who expresses their ‘60s style best will win our first spirit competition!
(The spirit competition will continue throughout the year.)

First Spirit Competition - December 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 08, 2013


Elections will take place Friday, December 13, 2013.

George Collins 

Tom Loo

(in alphabetical order)

VICE PRESIDENTS: (2 to be elected)
Lisa Alexander   John Dravillas   Leonard Lanzi   Larry Mortorff

SECRETARY: (1 to be elected)
Suzan Allbritton   Scott Wagenseller

TREASURER: (1 to be elected)
Ken Waltzer   Janie Yuguchi Gates

DIRECTORS: (4 to be elected)
Daniel Bennett   Pam Brady   Charles Follette   David Rosenfeld
Barb Bishop   Roger Davis   Andrea Gressinger   Julie Thomas

Timur Berberoglu   Sharon Perlmutter Gavin

Good luck to all our candidates!
To vote using Absentee Ballot click here.

Absentee Ballots must be received by
Savi Labensart at Rotary Club of Santa Monica office no later than
Thursday, December 12, 2013.

Club Elections - December 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 08, 2013


The head table at last week's meeting consisted of Nat Trives’ guest and "President’s Pick" Dale Bell, who gave tribute to Nelson Mandela; Lisa Alexander, who led our Invocation; Roger Davis, who introduced the meeting’s guests, and Mitch Kraus, who introduced the meeting’s speaker.

Instead of joining together in song, we viewed the “Electric Car” music video from Grammy Award Winning artists They Might Be Giants. For those of you who missed it click here.

In addition, Director-Community & Youth Service Sharon Perlmutter Gavin presented $2,300 check to the Clare Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase new kitchen equipment, as the Clare Foundation serves over 150 meals per day to homeless men.


President Nat Trives with Speaker Paul Scott


Director Sharon Perlmutter Gavin
with Clare Foundation's Tamara Pompey

Mitch Kraus introduced Speaker Plug In America (PIA) co-founder Paul Scott, a lifelong environmental advocate who actively promotes wide adoption of Electric Vehicles and plug-in hybrids to reduce both environmental damage and America’s vulnerability due to dependence on petroleum. Paul emphasized that
to protect our oil interests, in the last 10 years the U.S. Government has spent $2.1 trillion on wars in the Middle East plus U.S. Defense agencies $80 billion in non-war regions.

However, not all Americans embrace the shift to electric and hybrid vehicles. Paul pointed out that 14 states have passed laws that prohibit the sell of Tesla vehicles, which he attributes to existing dealers lobbying against competitively superior products.

For those concerned about the toxicity of disposed electric vehicle batteries, Paul mentioned that utility companies are reviewing obtaining the used batteries, placing them in facilities, where electricity generated from clean energy sources (e.g. wind) could be collected overnight and stored in those cells for use during peak hours during the following day. This could replace use of natural gas.

Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting, including Noel Develter from Rotary Club of Menen (Belgium) with a classification of Finance and Stockton Gaines from Rotary Club of Pacific Palisades with a classification of Computer Technology. Other guests included Matt Wolf (guest of Scott Ferguson), Dale Bell (guest of Nat Trives), Tamara Pompey (guest of Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin), Dennis White (guest of David Bohn), Jessica Wyeck (guest of Tod Lipka), and Elza Ruhman (Lionel Ruhman's wife).

Meeting Recap - December 6, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 02, 2013

Rotarians show appreciation by serving
Santa Monica Police & Fire Departments on Thanksgiving


Dee Menzies and Jim Menzies arranged for the Jonathan Club to donate a traditional Thanksgiving feast, procured pies and beverages, brought serving equipment and decorations, and organized team of Rotarian and their family and friend volunteers to serve the Santa Monica Police officers, Fire and support personnel on duty Thanksgiving Day.

More than 60 SMPD personnel enjoyed a full meal, and our volunteers delivered desserts to each fire station.

Thank You to our VOLUNTEERS:

Jillian Alexander
June Doy
Monte Herring & friend Len Rolenta Sibarani
Alonzo, September, Hayden & Autumn Hill
Judy Iriye & daughter Saya Feldman
Iao Katagiri
Mitchell & Zack Kraus
Dick Lawrence
Paul Leoni
Dee, Jim & Jamie Menzies
Con Oyler & friend Oscar
Irene Passos
Dave Potter
Myles Pritchard
Linda Teixeira

Click here to view photos from the event!

Serving Santa Monica Police on Thanksgiving 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 01, 2013

UCLA Trounces USC 35-14


George Collins led a fearless crew of Bruins and Trojans to the LA Live JW Marriott for a spirited pre-game lunch headlined by former head coaches John Robinson (USC) and Terry Donahue (UCLA, the winning-est coach in Pac-10 history). They were quite entertaining.

No one expected UCLA (ranked #22) to beat USC (ranked #23) by three touch-downs!



UCLA Trounces USC 35-14 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Dec 01, 2013

Rotarians for Healthy Living
Rotary Club of Santa Monica
Saturday, December 7, 2013
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
This 2-hour event includes class and a light reception afterward.
Naam Yoga LA
1231 4th St. Santa Monica
(between Wilshire and Arizona)
Parking across the street
Naam Yoga LA Executive Director Jane Mirshak will lead this Naam Yoga class custom-designed for Rotary members.
Creativity, Health, Joy, Love, Power, Stress Relief, Strength, Laughter, and FUN are the focus of this special Rotary class!
Learn simple practical techniques to:
boost your energy, make you happier, de-stress,
get rid of wrinkles, open your heart, bring balance to the brain,
support healthy function of the glandular,
nervous, and digestive systems,
relax, and much more!
Yoga mats and blankets will be provided or you can bring your own. 
All fitness levels welcome!
RSVP to Event Organizer Laurel Rosen at or (310) 393-9825 x 111.

Healthy Living Yoga Event - December 7, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 25, 2013

Daniel Bennett presented a $1,500 check from Community & Youth Grants committee to Westside Ballet of Santa Monica director Caprice Walker. These funds go towards gorgeous, well-constructed Waltz of Flowers costumes worn during The Nutcracker performances. These are the first new costumes in 40 years, and include tags indicating donated by Rotary Club of Santa Monica.

Community & Youth Grant to Westside Ballet of Santa Monica Jillian Alexander 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 25, 2013

Linda Texiera announced we donated 230 new and gently used books to the Berkeley West Convalescent Hospital.
The Literacy Committee thanks all Rotarians who supported this effort.

Book Donation to Berkeley West Convelescent Hospital Jillian Alexander 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 25, 2013

This week's meeting picked up speed with Attorney Conn Oyler leading our Invocation and President Nat introducing his pick o' the week, newspaper Diane Margolin (one of our fabulous festive party planners).

SMMUSD Board Member and Former President of California PTA Pam Brady introduced guest speaker and FBI Assistant Director Bill L. Lewis. Mr. Lewis supervises 700 Agents plus 700 support staff spanning from San Luis Obispo to San Clemente. He has extensive experience leading domestic terrorism and drug trafficking investigations as well as counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism efforts. Mr. Lewis was integral in solving the Centennial Park bombing and linking double bomb cases in Georgia and Alabama. Promotions took Mr. Lewis to Iraq, and eventually heading the FBI in this region.
As with other Federal agencies, the FBI must reduce its budget by $700MM due to sequestration. To do so, FBI will reduce its workforce by approximately 10% and it is anticipated this will be achieved through attrition of 3,500 employees. Yet, Mr. Lewis assured us we are fortunate to live and work in Santa Monica, a "very progressive law enforcement area." FBI Agents in this region participate in the Police Officer Standard Training (POST) that all California law enforcement officers complete, which affords them to be quickly deployed and effective serving in another California jurisdiction as we witnessed earlier this year.


We were greeted by Bill Wood and Avo Guerboian.
Non-profit executive Julie Thomas introduced guests.

Meeting Recap - November 22, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z 0
Salvation Army Red Kettle Day - December 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 19, 2013

Rotarians for Healthy Living

Rotary Club of Santa Monica



Saturday, November 16, 2013 

Our adventure began at the Metro Expo Line Station in Culver City where we all purchased our “Tap” Cards and loaded them with train fare for the day. For most of us, it was our first ride on the Metro Line. Downtown we switched trains to ride all the way to Union Station, then crossed the street to Olvera Street.

Rotary Club Director and Boy Scouts Silver Beaver Lisa Alexander arranged for docent tour led by Ute Passey. (In Ute’s other life, she approves all the Eagle Scout projects for our local Scouts in the Crescent Bay District.) Ute shared the history Los Angeles' settlement, including Spain recruiting 11 Mexican families to colonize California. El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles (the Town of the Queen of Angels) was founded in September 1781.

Rotary Club of Santa Monica Rotarians at Olvera StreetRotary Club of Santa Monica Rotarians at Olvera Street

We toured the Avila Adobe (c. 1818) and viewed David Alfaro Siquerios' 1932 outdoor fresco masterpiece “America Tropical”. After our tour we had lunch at La Luz Del Dia. We could have spent many more hours touring the Sepulveda House and the Chinese American Museum but will save them for another day.

We made our way back home on the Metro and partied with the Trojan fans on their way to the USC game. It was a great day!

Olvera Street & El Pueblo Los Angeles Historical Tour - November 16, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 17, 2013

November is National Adoption Month. Every November, a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation.  Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.
In addition to being a weeknight newsanchor, Christine Devine hosts the “Wednesday’s Child” segment of the KTTV Fox 11 newcasts. The segment showcases children currently in the Foster Care System who are eligible for adoption and are difficult to place due to being part of a sibling group, age, or disability. Christine and FOX have helped more than 500 children from foster care find forever families over the past 18 years.

Christine also screened a video she produced of former foster child Jamaal, whom she is working with to develop his songwriting and Rapper talent.  Although we had technical difficulties transmitting audio to house system and I lost count of how many Rotarians it takes to connect A/V at Riviera, eventually VP Programs and Santa Monica Fire Chief Scott Ferguson came to the rescue and in seconds connected the system!


Interested in mentoring and supporting these at-risk youth?
KidsSave works to create change so older forgotten orphanage and foster kids grow up in families and connected to caring adults.
New Visions Foundation (President Nat Trives is a board member), based in Santa Monica, gives scholarships to foster children.

Christine Devine - Guest Speaker - November 15, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 17, 2013


Last Friday’s Rotary meeting was very educational! Featured Rotarians included First Presbyterian Church Board Member John Bohn, Law Enforcement Consultant and former Santa Monica Police Department Chief Tim Jackman, and Community Business Center Management Banker Ron CallLarry Maher delivered the meeting’s Invocation, while Pat Bofird led the meeting song “We Are The World.”


Jim Menzies presented a Santa Monica Boulevard sign to Mr. Santa Monica Nat Trives. In addition, Alan Glick was fined for winning four tickets to Disneyland at the Paul Harris Celebration, and Bret Carter was fined for disappearing for the evening at the Paul Harris Celebration.

Tim Jackman introduced speaker veteran Television News Anchor, Reporter, and Producer Christine Devine who focused her discussion on the Foster Care System.  Christine anchors the weeknight newscasts on KTTV FOX 11 and KCOP Channel 13.  She has 16 Emmys, including the prestigious Governors Award.  In 2012, she was named by Los Angeles Magazine among the “50 Women Changing LA.”

One visiting Rotarian attended last week's meeting: Ed Jackson from Westwood Village Rotary Club, who brought his friend Dirk Herman.  Other guests included Santa Monica College Workforce Development Program Manager Sasha King (guest of Gita Runkle), Santa Monica and Malibu Education Foundation Director Ed Lim (guest of Tom Larmore), and Vlado Valkof, a Rotarian looking for a new club to join.

Meeting Recap - November 15, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 17, 2013

Thanksgiving Event - November 28, 2013

We are looking for volunteers to help feed the Santa Monica Police and Fire Departments on Thanksgiving Day!

Set up starts at 10:30 a.m.

Food donated by Jonathan Club

For more information please contact either
Jim Menzies
at or (661) 766-2700 or
Dee Menzies
at or (310) 930-2165.


Thanksgiving Event - November 28, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 17, 2013


The Western Los Angeles Area Boy Scout Council is identifying local Eagle Scouts
who wish to participate in various Eagle Alumni activities.

Please signal your eligibility by calling Bill Crookston at 310-450-9440 or
Kent Colberg at 310-789-5581.

Attention Rotary Eagle Scouts! Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 17, 2013
Rotary Networking Hour - November 13th, 2013

Our last Rotary Networking Hour kicked-off by briefly discussing the history of debt.  This was prompted by a book Mitch Klaus was reading by David Graber called Debt: The first 5000 Years. (Daniel Bennett recommended it some months back).  This segued into a lively conversation about our planned topics -- Purpose-Driven Investing and the new "B Corp" legal entity form that is intended to couple the traditionally perceived disparate aims of non-profit organizations and for-profit enterprises enjoyed by all participating Rotarians.

Click "more" below for details about December's meeting.

Rotary Networking Hour - November 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 13, 2013

Rotary Club of Santa Monica Holiday Party

Saturday, December 14
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Rosemary and Joe Regalbuto's Residence
Santa Monica
(address will be sent to registered guests)

Cost: $45 per person
RSVP: Savi Labensart

Holiday Party - December 14, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 12, 2013

2013 Paul Harris Dinner - Space Shuttle Endeavor


This year’s Foundation Celebration was an out of this world experience. Hosted at the California Science Center, over 600 Rotarians sat under the wings and the belly of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. While attendees supported The Rotary Foundation, they also enjoyed a keynote speech by Space Shuttle Endeavor pilot General Kevin Chilton, entertainment from emcee Fritz Coleman, and of course, the breath-taking views of the space shuttle itself, floating just a few feet above their heads.
The Foundation Celebration A Stellar Event Jillian Alexander 2013-11-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 11, 2013

Image    Image Image

Last Friday our Club celebrated Veterans Day early! The head table consisted of President Nat Trives; Mitchell Kraus, who delivered the Invocation with his four year-old son Zachary on his shoulders; Past President Herb Rooney, who led the song The Marine's Hymn in honor of Veterans Day; Past President Judy Neveau, who introduced the meeting's speaker; and Jim Reidy, who introduced the meeting's guests.

Speaker Santa Monica College Geography and Earth Science Professor William Selby educated our club on the natural history of California, and emphasized how everything in nature is connected.  Using photos of California flora and fauna, Professor Selby explained the connections between each element.  He also shared that due to not being in-touch with our surroundings, many are now suffering from "nature-deficit disorder." Professor Selby encouraged us to get out in nature and appreciate its beauty!

Two visiting Rotarians attended our meeting: Employment Consultant Kelsey McFarland (El Segundo Rotary Club) and Movie Distributor Laurent Zameczkowski (Rotary Paris Courbevoie).  Our guests were Dave Afral (guest of John Dravillas), Bill Branch and Realtor Fred Votto (guests of Lionel Ruhman), Everett Maguire (Connie Maguire's father), Architect Vlado Valkof (guest of La Vonne Lawson), and Jessica Rice (Jillian Alexander's Executive & Marketing Assistant).

To view photos from the meeting click here.
Meeting Recap - November 8, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Nov 10, 2013


FARF Barbeque

The FARF Barbeque on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at the Bel-Air Bay Club was a great success! It was extremely well attended, one of the best FARFs yet!
Congrats to Klaus Mennekes and his Committee!


FARF Barbeque was a success! Jillian Alexander 2013-11-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 31, 2013

Rotarians for Healthy Living

Rotary Club of Santa Monica




Saturday, November 16 - 9:30 a.m.



Ride the Metro to Union Station, walk across the Street to Olvera Street, explore museums and historic structures,
guided tour of the Plaza, followed by Lunch


Saturday, November 16, 9:30 a.m. Meet at the Metro Station in Culver City. One-hour tour starts at 11:00 a.m.  Lunch follows. Parking at Culver City Metro Station is free. Only cost is Metro ticket and lunch.

Trip Leader:

Lisa Alexander: or (310) 656-4310.


Healthy Living Historical Tour - November 16, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 31, 2013


Award Winning Photo Journalist David Hume Kennerly spoke about his amazing career, showing the most meaningful photos he has taken over the years.  Kennerly's photographs have captured history-making stories for more than 45 years. He has photographed eight wars, every American president since Richard Nixon, and has traveled to dozens of countries along the way.  The day after the 1971 Madison Square Garden Ali-Frazer fight, he departed for Vietnam where he shot the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography winning image. Since then Kennerly has had 25 images appear as the Time Magazine cover photo. 

In addition, Past President Dee Menzies presented a $5,000 check to the Santa Monica Mounted Police, the oldest mounted police unit in California, which was formed in 1930.

Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting: President of Rotary Club of Sierra Madre and Sierra Madre Police Chief Marilyn Diaz, and Rotary Club of Beverly Hills' Fred Holiday (guest of Karim Jaude) whose classification is Banking.  In addition, nine non-Rotarian guests attended, including Santa Monica Mounted Police Neil Looy, Jamie Menzies, Ron Wechler, and Vice Captain Byron Hollins, as well as Joanne Trimborn (Bob Trimborn's wife), Attorney Rick Green (guest of Steve Litvack), Carol Alexander (Lisa Alexander’s mother), and Ramin Nematollahi (Judy Neveau's new assistant at SMC).

To view photos from the meeting click here




Meeting Recap - November 1, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 31, 2013

USC-UCLA Rivalry Week

November 26, 2013

LA LIVE: JW Marriott 800 W Olympic Blvd; Los Angeles, CA 90015

Meet former head coaches John Robinson and Terry Donahue (the winning-est coach in Pac-10 history), USC Song Girls, USC Band, UCLA Dance Team, and Joe and Josephine Bruin. Ring the Victory Bell and join Live Auction.  

Purchase tickets @ $50:

Please contact George Collins at for carpooling and other information.

USC-UCLA Rivalry Week - November 26, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 28, 2013


OPCC Feed the Homeless

On Friday, October 18, Santa Monica Rotarians prepared and served dinner to nearly 40 residents at OPCC's Turning Point facility in Santa Monica.  They also prepared "late trays" for residents who couldn't make the meal, and sack lunches for the next day.  Chair Bill Buxton said, "we saw lots of smiles" as the residents expressed their appreciation.

OPCC Feed the Homeless Jillian Alexander 2013-10-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 28, 2013


Public Service Recognition Day 2013 -- PART III
We proudly recognized and honored the remaining Public Service employee called away to his duties on June 4, 2013, at last Friday's Rotary luncheon. Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould presented the 2013 Public Service Recognition Award to Ken Semko. Since being selected for this award for his work establishing the city's three-person Office of Emergency Management, Ken has been reclaimed by the Santa Monica Police Department and promoted to "Captain."


Guest Speaker - Michelle D'Angelis
Barbara Bishop introduced Business and Executive Coach Michelle DeAngelis, founder and President of management and consulting firm Michelle Inc.,She spoke about Emotional Intelligence -- the ability to
identify and assess the emotions of others and self, as well as control one's own emotions. 
Visitors & Guests
One visiting Rotarian, Policy Analyst Maureen Alice Torr from Rotary Club of Saskatoon, attended last week's meeting.  In addition, seven non-Rotarian guests attended, including OEM award recipient Ken Senko and his guest Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould, Speaker Michelle DeAngelis, Vlado Valkof (guest of La Vonne), and OEM officials Tatiana Morrison, Paul Weinberg, and Robert Almada.

To view photos from the meeting click here.



Meeting Recap - October 25, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 22, 2013
Solstice Canyon Hike

Saturday, October 19, 2013, Larry Maher led Rotarians and their guests hiking the Solstice Canyon Trail

While hiking through beautiful scenery, observed were waterfalls and water pools. It was amazing to see that water was still running at this time of year!

Along the way, Eric Schmitter explained the natural California Oak trees are several hundreds of years old.

The group explored the ruins of interesting architecture. First was the Robert’s Ranch House, which was destroyed during the 1982 fire. Then, the remains of old Keller Hunting Lodge, one of the oldest standing stone structures in the local area. 

Upon completing the two hour hike, they enjoyed a casual lunch nearby at the Malibu Seafood Restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Maher Leads Fascinating Hike Jillian Alexander 2013-10-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 17, 2013



October 18 we hosted the presentation of the Santa Monica Jaycees' 2012 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) to one Jaycee for outstanding community service and civic dedication in the year. The 63-member Santa Monica Jaycees is a social and service organization focused on developing the next generation of civic leaders. This year's DSA recipient, Kamille Rudisill, was selected from nominees submitted by local service and civic organizations. For more about Kamille and four other exceptional nominees, click here.

Three visiting Rotarians attended this week's meeting, including Craig Smith from Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake and Rita and Eric Brandin from Escondido Rotary Club.  Eric is also a past Santa Monica Jaycee DSA Award Recipient.

Nine non-Rotarian guests also attended: Past Santa Monica Jaycees' DSA award recipients Kevin Reed and Hank Walther; Soroptimists Marguerite de la Rena, Kai-Li Quigley (wife of Hal Quigley), and Elsa Ruhman (guest of Lionel Ruhman); Rotarian offspring Saya Feldman (daughter of Judy Iriye); and local professionals and businessmen Alan Parr (guest of Dee Menzies), Bruce Hunt (guest of Dan Bennett), and Robert Lemce (guest of David Rosenfeld).

To view photos from the meeting click here.

Meeting Recap - October 18, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica is currently accepting applications for its Community and Youth Grants program from non-profit organizations that serve the Santa Monica area and address the needs of those less fortunate in our community.

Grant applications are due by October 31, 2013, for the next funding cycle. Grants offered by the Community and Youth Grants program range from $500 to $3,500. Funds may be requested for capital, equipment or new program development. Funds are not available for annual operating needs or special events.

Click here for the Community & Youth Grants Application.

Click here for the Community & Youth Grants Guidelines.


Community & Youth Grants - Application Deadline October 31, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013


At last week's meeting Nat Trives was flanked by Trojans Bob Klein and Paul Leoni, our brainiac scientist Bill Wood, and Sharon Perlmutter GavinGita Runkle and Rick Mateus were there to greet attendees at the door.
PP Paul Leoni introduced Marty Fabrick, California Science Center Foundation’s Project Director who orchestrated transporting the Endeavour Space Shuttle from Florida's Kennedy Space Center to the California Science Center in Exposition Park (near Downtown Los Angeles). Mr. Fabrick led the Endeavour Project team that planned the move, developed technical approaches and assessments, acquired necessary permits, prepared the route, communicated with the city agencies, police departments and local communities, provided media relations, coordinated Endeavour’s arrival at LAX, and moved it on a 3-day around the clock 14-mile journey.
Two visiting Rotarians attended. Ethiopian Yirgalem Yetemgn is now living in the area and is looking for a local club to call home. Jerry Friedman, a mortgage lender from the Rotary Club of Torrance, was a guest of Roger Davis.
Five non-Rotarian guests attended. Scott Ferguson introduced Steve Castillo.  Iao Katagiri introduced her sister Laurie Katagiri-Hoshino, who was visiting from Honolulu. Isabel Cervello introduced her mother Karin Cervello, who was visiting from Europe. Jillian Alexander introduced her Executive & Marketing Assistant Jessica Rice, who will be helping us with maintaining the club website, publishing the RotaMonica, and posting to Facebook.

To view pictures from the meeting click here.

Meeting Recap - October 11, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013



FARF Barbeque
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
at 6:00 p.m.

Bel-Air Bay Club
16801 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Price is $45 per person, which includes the BBQ, Beer, Wine, and Soft Drinks.
For more information contact Klaus Mennekes at


FARF Barbeque - November 5, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013

OPCC Feed the Homeless

Please join us as we serve dinner October 18, 2013, to around 55 homeless adults.
Dinner prep starts at 4:30 p.m. and will be served at 6:00 p.m.
We will wrap up by 8:00 p.m. You can join us for any or all of the time!

Date: Friday, October 18, 2013

Time: 4:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Location: OPCC Turning Point
1453 16th Street, Santa Monica, 90404

There is parking in a lot off the alley behind the facility.

Hope you can join us!

Bill Buxton, Chair
OPCC Feed the Homeless - October 18, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013


Rotary Networking Hour - October 9, 2013

Five hearty Rotarians attended the October Rotary Networking Hour.  Mitch Kraus led a great discussion on marketing to the various generations of Swing Generation, Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y, outlining their differences in terms of relationship building, engagement, and expectations.The group also discussed our key referral sources and how we cultivate our relationships with them.
  It was an informative al fresco session.  Thanks to attendees Daniel Bennett, Izzy Cervello, John Dravillas, Mitch Kraus, and David Rosenfeld!

Click through for details about November's meeting.

The early bird gets the worm! Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013

Rotarians have been leading the charge to eradicate polio from the world for since the 1970s.
In 1988, Rotary's PolioPlus campaign was aligned with the United Nations and specific Governments to form the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. PolioPlus is the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative.

World Polio Day - October 24, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013

Healthy Living -- Solstice Canyon Trail Hike 

When: Saturday October 19, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Length of Hike: About 2.1 Miles Round Trip
Difficulty: Easy (about a 500 foot elevation climb over a 1 mile well-groomed trail)
Location: Malibu
Lunch Afterwards: Malibu Seafood
RSVP to Larry Maher, Team Captain
“All Things Irish” Connie Maguire, Chairperson

Healthy Living Hike - October 19, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013


Join 100 District 5280 Rotarians and meet many more Columbian Rotarians on an unforgettable trip
filled with humanitarian work, fellowship and sightseeing.
Travel dates: March 19-23, 2014. Registration forms are due November 1, 2013.

Colombia Humanitarian Trip Deadline Extended To November 1st! Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013

During October Rotarians are encouraged to focus on this Avenue of Rotary Service.

Vocational Service focuses on:

  • Adhering to and promoting the highest ethical standards in all occupations
  • Recognizing the value of all useful occupations, not just those that are pursued by Rotarians
  • Contributing one’s vocational talents to meeting the needs of the community

How are you using your vocation to serve the community this month?

Send in your stories!

October is VOCATIONAL SERVICE Month Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Oct 13, 2013

Sunday's International Wine & Jazz Festival at the
Annenberg Community Beach House was a big hit!
Committee Chair Ken Waltzer and committee sub-chairs Suzan Allbritton (Ticket Sales), Daniel Bennett (Sponsors), Donna Byrd (Auction Donations), Andrea Gressinger (Hospitality), and Len Lanzi (Ticket Sales) planned and organized a fun and fanciful event!

Special thank you's go to our generous sponsors!

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
BBPR, Inc.
Sharon & Andy Gavin
Kenfield Capital Strategies
Quigley & Miron
Rick Cunningham
Judy Neveau
George & Pat Collins
Agency Capital Partners
Gressinger Group
Monte Herring 

International Wine & Jazz Festival - October 6, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Sep 12, 2013
Guest Speaker J.T. Warring (LA5) provided an update on Rotary Myanmar Orphanges Water Project and on Rotary Club formation in Myanmar.

To date, 22 complete, functioning safe water management systems have been completed for as many orphanages. Orphanages must already have an existing water well. Each site uses a gravity system, are very simple to maintain and built to be durable for at least 50 years. The focus is now shifting from orphanages to communities of 400 to 2,000 inhabitants.

Due to his work in Myanmar, J.T. was tapped to help re-establish Rotary Clubs in Myanmar. On June 4, 203, the Rotary Club of Yangon was awarded a provisional license and is now in the the process of forming.
J.T. Warring -- Myanmar Orphanage Water Projects and Re-establishing Rotary Clubs in Myanmar Jillian Alexander 2013-09-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Aug 27, 2013
Our District continued its Japan Youth Exchange with District 2550 in Tochigi (annual exchanges began in 1960) and had its first exchange with District 2620 in Shizuoka and Yamanashi.

Image Image

Special thank you's to Japan Youth Exchange chair Dr. Vicki Radel for organizing fantastic experiences for all students involved as well as Tom & Stephanie Loo for often acting as day-hosts throughout our five guests stay in District 5280.
Japanese Youth Exchange Program Jillian Alexander 2013-08-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Aug 20, 2013

Please bring your new and gently used books (for adults or children of any age) to our weekly meeting and drop them off in the box by the door! We are collecting between August 23, 2013, and September 27, 2013.

The books will benefit local organizations including the Berkeley West Convalescent Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica, the Ken Edwards Center, and the Police Activities League.

Search your bookcases for books your family no longer needs!

For more information contact Linda Teixeira via email at or telephone at either (310) 477-7092 or (310) 795-3926.

The Literary Committee thanks you for your help!

BOOK DRIVE - August 27, 2013 - September 7, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-08-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Aug 16, 2013

Entertainment Attorney Alan U. Schwartz quick quips entertained the audience as he described the transition of film financing deals from the beginnings of the motion picture history through today.

Schwartz articulated the financing options available and commonly used by today's studios and independent producers. He emphasized that as production, print and advertising expense are no longer recouped via box office receipts, many filmmakers are foregoing theatrical release window and opting for TV or internet distribution as the first release window.

May the Schwartz Be With You Jillian Alexander 2013-08-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Aug 14, 2013

As many will recall, the activities on June 4, 2013, pre-empted our honoring those who serve our community. Yet, on that day, many of us witness the exemplary fashion with which our local peace officers, public school leaders, transit providers, and city management conduct their work. What we observed as a well orchestrated response, quelled fears and made most feel safer than ever to live and work in the community.
August 9, 2013, we CELEBRATED both the individuals who have extraordinary heroes during the past year, but also their colleagues for quickly securing Santa Monica and restoring peace in our community. Santa Monica Police Department Chief Jackie Seabrooks and Santa Monica Fire Department "A" Platoon Battalion Chief Mark Bridges introduced this year's award recipients from their departments,  Police Sergeant Jon Murphy and Fire Captain Pat Nulty.

2013 Public Servant Recognition Day -- Part II Jillian Alexander 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Aug 14, 2013

Thankfully, no notice of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica being banned from Riviera Country Club has reached this desk.
The August 9, 2013, set performed by School of Rock! students shook the house. Many were grooving in their chairs, and George Collins even got PP Judy Neveau up out of her seat to bust a move on the floor.
We're An American Band by Grand Funk Railroad
Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder
Long Time by Boston
Bottoms Up by Van Halen
Crazy On You by Heart

Vocals - Taylor Schonbuch
Guitar  - Chad Warren
Guitar  - Robert Heckerman
Guitar  - Jonah Feingold
Guitar  - Josh Hayes
Guitar  - Michael Edwards
Bass    - Nolan Barbee
Drums - Ryley O'Blanca
We want to both thank and congratulate the entire band and School of Rock's General Manager Kelly Scutchfield and Music Director Ryan Schiff for a fantastic performance.

School of ROCK! Jillian Alexander 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Aug 14, 2013



This year's DG visit was both fun-filled and bitter sweet. Fun -- with "Bigger, Better, Bolder" mantra stating Doug Baker reprising the District Governor role. Bitter-sweet -- with ceremonial bagpipes playing and assistance from Bill Werner, the banner displaying "Home Club of the District Governor 2013-2014" in honor of Jim Dyer was carried in and hung during our August 2, 2013, meeting.
We were blessed to have many District guests -- PDG Pat Cashin, Executive Aide Jaime Sul Cantrel, Senior Assistant Governor Club Service Joe Vasquez and his wife, Club Assistant Governor Bill Bloomfield, Senior Advisor to the Governor Mel Powell, e-Rotary Club member Yoko Matsui (Mel's wife, but he's not telling), DGE Elsa Gillham and most importantly, District Governor's wife Connie Baker and Jim Dyer's widow Sharen Dyer.

District Governor kicks-off official DG/PDG Club Visits at RC-Santa Monica Jillian Alexander 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Aug 14, 2013

Is your Rotary Avenue of Service  International Service? Is there an opportunity to help a foreign community within Rotary's Six Areas of Focus that you will champion?
Rotary's Six Areas of Focus

  • Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution
  • Disease Prevention & Treatment
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Maternal & Child Health
  • Basic Education & Literacy
  • Economic & Community Development

If so, attend the World Community Service meeting this 11:30 a.m. Friday, August 16, 2013, immediately prior to our Club meeting. We will discuss our current and anticipated budget and project involvement proposed by District Rotary Foundation Chair David Moyers. 
To propose projects, contact WCS committee Co-Chairs Karim Jaude at (310) 471-0650 or or Jillian Alexander at (310) 260-9765 x 108 or

World Community Service committee meeting - August 16 - 11:30 a.m. Jillian Alexander 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Jun 13, 2013

Congratulations! As each member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica is now a Paul Harris Fellow, today we celebrated reaching this milestone. 

District Governor Lew Bertrand presented to Club President Judy Neveau the 100% Paul Harris Fellow recognition banner. Other District leaders who played significant roles in our realizing this goal: PDG Pat Cashin, PDG Rick Mendoza, PDG David Moyers, and matching program architect and LA5 PP Marc Leeka.

Our contributions to The Rotary Foundation fund projects within the six Areas of Focus. Let's continue to both contribute to The Rotary Foundation and initiate projects and identify scholarship recipients that will leverage funds raise to enhance the world we live in and that our children will inherit.

Rotary Club of Santa Monica achieves 100% Paul Harris Fellow Status Jillian Alexander 2013-06-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on May 09, 2013

The May 10, 2013 “BBQ, Beanies, Brews (and Bonnets)” meeting held jointly with Westwood Village Rotary Club was the 37th meeting of the 91st year of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica.
President Judy announced our club received 11 District Recognition Awards for Community Service, Vocational Service, Fundraising and other service at the 2013 District Conference, Bret Carter received an individual District Service Award for his outstanding effort on behalf of the Rotary Foundation, and Past President Jim Dyer was post-humously received the Ian Jones Humanitarian Service Award recognizing Jim for his Distinguished Humanitarian Service and Devotion to the Ideals of Rotary International 2012–2013. This award was presented by President Judy to Sharen Dyer.
Additionally, Bill Randle received a new Rotary 30-Year Pin in recognition for his years of membership.
Past President Dick Lawrence led the induction of four new members –– Ron Call, Andrea Gressinger, Billy Howard, and Julie Thomas.
After a lengthy introduction by Director Club Service–Membership Russ Warner which culminated in a very brief rendition of “Home On the Range”, our guest speaker True Blue triple-degreed Bruin and much esteemed Biology Researcher and Professor Dr. Garen Baghdasarian informed us of plastic pollution effect on coral reefs, marine life and our food supply as well as how each of us can help reduce adverse ecological impact and improve food chain safety.
For details about our newest members, our guest speaker's presentation, our guests, and the entire meeting, click through to read the RotaMonica.

RotaMonica - May 10, 2013, Meeting Recap Jillian Alexander 2013-05-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jillian Alexander on Apr 18, 2013
President Judy Neveau reminded us quality education is a critical component to a community's economic viability and recognized all involved our inaugural Rotary Cares Day project -- improving Olympic High School. Veterinarian Frank Lavac demonstrated his expertise in herding cats -- cool cats, crazy cats and tom cats of the Rotarian variety -- beginning with our construction cartel comprised of Steve Eorio, Charlie Follette, Glenn Ricard, Lionel Ruhman, and Tom Woods who contributed tools and expertise. Together they led a crew of Rotarians charmed to participate by beguiling Family Law Attorney Lisa Alexander and Rotaractors coaxed by Upward Bound House's David Snow and YWCA Santa Monica's Julie Miele. In addition to the effort of all who participated, we greatly appreciate John Rucci and Matthew Lehman arranging for 100 Fig Restaurant prepared box lunches donated by the Fairmont Hotel and Publisher-Producer TJ Mortimer having his Santa Monica Mirror crew produce a short video of the day's effort and fun with everyone wearing "very high quality" Rotarian T-Shirts donated by Jeweler Avo Guerboian. In addition to beautifying the campus, Past President John Bohn presented a $5,000.00 check for classroom technology from the Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation to Olympic High School Principal and fellow Rotarian Janie Yamaguchi Gates.



Rotary Club Meeting April 19, 2013 - Rotary Cares ... and so do our Staffs Jillian Alexander 2013-04-19 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Day of Service Scott Kunitz 2013-04-13 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting March 8, 2013 - Just Where do Bookworthy Ideas Come From? Nicholas Goehner 2013-03-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Sharon Perlmutter Gavin on Mar 06, 2013
Our Rotary Reads project was a great success this year. Forty-six Rotarians volunteered to read in 58 K-3 classrooms at eight of the local elementary schools (Edison Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Grant Elementary, McKinley Elementary, John Muir Elementary, Will Rogers Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, and SMASH). The Rotarians also discussed their career pathways with the students. The accompanying photo from Roosevelt is just one of the thank you messages we received from the schools.

Books are also donated to the school libraries. Our initial book budget this year was $2000, but we received a matching district grant that resulted in a total budget of $4500 for books. We were able to donate 52 books to each of the seven elementary school libraries, a total of 364 books. These books were greatly appreciated. One school, for example, indicated they had no budget for books this year so the donation of these books made a big difference to the school.

Our “Rotary Reads” week will conclud with a special culminating luncheon program on Friday, March 8, 2013. At this luncheon, local children’s author Beth Wagner Brust will speak about “Just Where Do Bookworthy Ideas Come From?”  

Rotary Reads Sharon Perlmutter Gavin 2013-03-07 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting March 1, 2013 - David Misch “The Beginnings of Ha!”, a some-holds-barred look at the origins of comedy" Scott Kunitz 2013-03-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Robert Kohn on Jan 29, 2013

ImageLooking to help the next generation?  Our Club’s new Financial Literacy Committee has partnered up with Olympic High School to teach their students financial literacy.  We need you to help us.

We are going to teach six classes over 12 sessions and are looking for volunteers.  We have the books.  We have the lesson plans.  We have the students.  All we need is your time.  This isn’t only for those of you in financial professions.  We need to teach real life experience and not sophisticated theory.  Classes will be taught during period 5 from 12:28 to 1:13pm.

Classes are being taught in February and March and we’ll have an orientation on January 31st for lunch at Olympic High.  If you are interested, please contact Rob Kohn at or (310) 461-1520.

New Project – Financial Literacy Robert Kohn 2013-01-30 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Judy Neveau on Jan 17, 2013

Dear Fellow Rotarians:

Today under the bright sun we gathered to honor and fondly remember our friend and fellow Rotarian Jim Dyer. About two hundred were there to show their respect and bid farewell to Jim and demonstrate their support for Sharen and the family. We already miss him and his incredible energy and passion. He made us want to be better Rotarians. As I said at the memorial service, we have to believe that right now he is sitting with Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, advising him and catching up.

In Jim’s memory, we in his home club want to honor him by funding a Shelter Box. Shelter Box was Jim’s passion and he was its Ambassador and spokesperson. (See the video link below to learn more)


Shelter Box Video

If you can and would like to participate at any amount, please make out a check to the Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation and put “Dyer Shelter Box” in the memo line. Mail to Rotary Office: PO Box 586, Santa Monica, CA 90406. If you would prefer to have Savi bill you for this, you can email her and make your wishes known. We will aggregate the donations in our foundation and then send one single check to fund the Shelter Box. The deadline to make your contributions is February 1, 2013, two weeks from today. But please don’t wait, do it now. (If you prefer your donation to stay in our own Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation, mark “Dyer Donation to SMRCF” in the memo line.)

If you have any questions, please call me or Savi. 

In Rotary, and in Jim’s memory, 

President 2012-2013
Rotary Club of Santa Monica

Jim Dyer memorial tribute gift Judy Neveau 2013-01-18 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting January 4, 2013 - The Future of UCLA as a World Class Research University Nicholas Goehner 2013-01-04 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting December 14, 2012 - Our Holiday Luncheon Nicholas Goehner 2012-12-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Nov 15, 2012

ImageDr. Kalfuss is a retires Speech Pathologist who specialized in post-operative head and neck cancer patients and organic voice disorders. She is now a full time Rotarian who frequently speaks on Rotary, The Rotary Foundatio and Rotary Membership. She is a past President of the Palm Springs Rotary Club in Palm Springs, California. Dr. Kalfuss also served as District 5330 2006-2007 District Governor. Dr. Kalfuss is currently the District 5330 Chair for Grants Over site Committee and District Foundation Chair.


Here are a few of Dr. Kalfuss's
current accomplishments;

  • 2007, 2010 - Rotary Foundation Trainer at the Souther California/Neveda PETS
  • 2008-2012 - Presentation at TRF Zone 26 Workshop
  • 2009- Panelist for "Raising Funds for Rotary Foundation Workshop in the UK at the RI Convention
  • 2011- Rotary International President's REp to District 3201 in India

Dr. Kalfuss is a Paul Harris Society Fellow, Benefactor, Bequest Society Member, Major Donor and has been awarded the Citation for Meritorious Service from TRF. She has traveled to several developing countries. She has participated in TRF Cadre and Site inspections with her husband in India. Dr. Kalfuss is married to Dr. Leonard Kalfuss, orthopedic surgeon for 47 years and reside in Palm Springs.

Rotary Club Meeting November 16, 2012 - Dr. Helene Kalfuss, Rotary Foundation Scott Kunitz 2012-11-16 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting November 2, 2012 - Walter Warriner, Santa Monica's Future Urban Forest Nicholas Goehner 2012-11-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Oct 25, 2012


Training the next generation of leaders

If you look around non profits in the United States, there is an aging of the volunteer population.  You can see this in all sorts of organizations, and even in most Rotary Clubs.  A few of the members of this club got together and talked about the problem and what we could do about it here in Santa Monica.  We asked what we could do to help create and train the next generation of leaders to help our community get better.

After several months of meetings and calls we came to a tentative agreement with the Riordan Leadership Institute to have our club be the title sponsor for a Santa Monica based pilot program.  Founded by former Mayor Richard Riordan the Institute has spent the last 20+ years training the next generation of leaders, specializing in training business professionals between 21 and 45.

Their program is a 10 month class teaching skills such as Board Governance, Fund Raising and Strategic Planning and includes and internship on a non-profit board that is designed to lead to placement on that board.

The operating cost of the class is over $3,000 per student.  Because of sponsorships that they have from some of the biggest companies in Los Angeles, the cost for each student is $1295.

The formation committee believes that offering this class locally, we can make a huge difference moving forward in our community, but we need your help.

First, we need students.  We hope all of you, no matter your age, consider taking the class and/or sponsoring someone you know who could benefit from this sort of leadership training.

Second, we need a place to hold the class.  The location needs to be able to hold about 25 people and be available after hours once per month and on a couple of Saturdays.  Since it is right after work, we need to have some food served there.

Finally we need a couple of sponsors.  The Leadership Institute already has sponsors that cover much of the cost, but we need to raise a few thousand dollars more.  All sponsors will be promoted on both our website and their website and will get further recognition through various outreach efforts that are part of the class.

If you want more information, please talk to Mitchell Kraus or Connie Maguire.

Training the next generation of leaders Scott Kunitz 2012-10-26 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting October 19, 2012 - Craft Talks, Irene Passos and Matt Williams Nicholas Goehner 2012-10-19 00:00:00Z 0
Rotarians for Healthy Living - Day Trip to Santa Cruz Island Saturday October 13, 2012 Scott Kunitz 2012-10-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Oct 11, 2012
Tina Feiger Development Through Our Adult Lives: A Very Brief Overview
H. Tina Feiger, Ed.D.
Santa Monica College

  • Associate Professor of Psychology: Specialty, Psychology of the Lifespan
  • Counselor
  • Student Ombudsperson
To start, try This:
For each decade, write down three words that you think characterize that decade especially well. 

    1. Teens
    2. 20s
    3. 30s
    4. 40s
    5. 50s
    6. 60s
    7. 70s
    8. Over 80

Now think back….which one was the hardest for you to describe? Which one was the easiest? Why?

Rotary Club Meeting October 12, 2012 - Tina Feiger, Life Changes Scott Kunitz 2012-10-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Sep 27, 2012

Dick Butkus


'When I played pro football, I never set out to hurt anyone deliberately - unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something.'

Richard Marvin "Dick" Butkus (born December 9, 1942) is a former American football player for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted in 1965 and he is also widely regarded as one of the best and most durable linebackers of all time. Butkus started as a football player for the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears. He became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. He played nine seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. Billed at 6 ft 3 in, 245 lbs., he was one of the most feared and intimidating linebackers of his time.

Since his career as a player, Butkus has become a well known celebrity endorser, broadcaster, and actor. He has appeared in films such as The Longest Yard (on the practice team), Gus, Cracking Up, Necessary Roughness, Any Given Sunday, Mother, Jugs & Speed, Hamburger... The Motion Picture and Johnny Dangerously, and as a regular character on TV shows such as Blue Thunder, My Two Dads, and Hang Time. In the critically acclaimed TV movie Brian's Song (1971), he portrayed himself. He made one television appearance on the first episode of the 1976 ABC hit Rich Man, Poor Man, where he played 'Al Fanducci', a World War II army soldier who gets into a street brawl with 'Tom Jordache' (played by Nick Nolte). In 1980, Butkus portrayed Brom Bones in the television movie production of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He made two appearances each on the TV shows Coach, Growing Pains, and three on MacGyver. In an oft-rerun episode of Murder, She Wrote, Butkus appeared in a locker-room scene wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. Butkus had a cameo appearance in the second season episode "The No-Cut Contract" of the television show The Rockford Files. Butkus also appeared on an episode of Magnum, P.I. as the coach of the fictional football team, the "New Jersey Blazers". On November 22, 2010, the 9th episode of Conan aired under the title, "A Prayer for Dick Butkus".

Rotary Club Meeting September 28, 2012 - Dick Butkus, Life after Pro Football Scott Kunitz 2012-09-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Sep 13, 2012

ImageSam first came to the Santa Monica Rotary Club in 1979 as a Palisades High School student in a "Rotary Bowl" match between Pali and Samo. He has spoken to the club about the John R. Wooden Award. One of his hero's was our own Bill Fritzche.

Mr. Lagana is responsible for defining, executing and directing an Advancement effort that benefits Waves Athletics and specialized University-wide programs and campaigns. A primary focus is assisting University alumni, parents and friends with charitable giving that improves the University resources, scholarships, operations and endowment. Interacting on a regular basis with many constituents of the University, bringing new friends into the Pepperdine Family, planning and implementing a number of regular and special activities as well as hosting meetings of the Pepperdine Athletics Board are among Lagana's responsibilities.


This week at Rotary - Sam Lagana, Associate Vice Chancellor at Pepperdine University Scott Kunitz 2012-09-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Sep 06, 2012

ImageThe Commission on Judicial Performance broke precedent when Lawrence J. Simi was elected its first non-lawyer chairman in March 2012.

Simi has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from San Francisco State University and a master of arts in government from California State University, Sacramento. He was a program manager for San Francisco Mayors Joseph Alioto, George Moscone and Dianne Feinstein from 1972 to 1980.

He left government in 1980 and joined Pacific Gas & Electric as a public affairs representative, rising through the ranks to become public affairs manager, regional public affairs director, division manager and then director of community relations and local government relations.

Rotary Club Meeting September 7, 2012 - Larry Simi, Chair of the California Commission on Judicial Performance Scott Kunitz 2012-09-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Aug 23, 2012
Bill Shaikin
Covering baseball on and off the field for the Los Angeles Times.

AUGUST 24, 2012: This week our speaker was Bill Shaikin, the national baseball writer at the Los Angeles Times!!  For close to three years, he covered the off-the-field drama surrounding the Dodgers, including the bitter and protracted divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt, the bankruptcy court battle for control of the team, and the eventual sale of the Dodgers, for the highest price of any sports franchise in the world. He also covered the litigation between the Angels and the city of Anaheim when the team decided to call itself by the Los Angeles name. On the field, he covered the Angels' World Series championship run of 2002. He just got back from London, where he covered Michael Phelps and the rest of the U.S. swimmers in the Olympic Games.

Rotary Club Meeting August 24, 2012 - Bill Shakin, Covering baseball on and off the field for the Los Angeles Times. Scott Kunitz 2012-08-24 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting August 17, 2012 - Inspiration from our District Governor Nicholas Goehner 2012-08-17 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting August 3, 2012 - Immigration issues in the club Nicholas Goehner 2012-08-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Jul 26, 2012

John Robert Hall

Dr. John Robert Hall III is the author of Am I Still Autistic?: How a Low-Functioning, Slightly Retarded Toddler Became CEO of a Multi-Million Dollar National Corporation, John chronicles how he overcame autism, what it was like, the pain of moving from his autistic state to the mainstream world, things he had to learn that most people take for granted, and what he was able to accomplish against all odds. John was able to eventually make friends, graduate from high school, put himself through college, earn a doctorate from USC, start a successful company, and have a family!

Rotary Club Meeting July 27, 2012 - Dr. John Robert Hall, CEO and author of 'Am I Still Autistic?' Scott Kunitz 2012-07-27 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting July 20, 2012 - Holly Mosher - Documentary Filmmaker "Bonsai People" Nicholas Goehner 2012-07-20 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Meeting June 1, 2012 - 2012 Rotary Scholarships Scott Kunitz 2012-06-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on May 17, 2012

ImageNancy Fox, The Business Fox, will share her top tips for creating and maintaining a memorable, influential personal brand to help you turn contacts into prospects, prospects into clients, and clients into eager fans in the online world as well as the face-to-face world.

Nancy Fox is the founder and president of The Business Fox, a business coaching and training company specializing in helping service-focused businesses and professionals with high-level client attraction, and business and marketing strategy. She is an engaging, energetic and inspirational coach and speaker, guiding business professionals to optimum performance and breakthrough results.

Rotary Club Meeting May 18, 2012 - Nancy Fox, The Business Fox Scott Kunitz 2012-05-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on May 10, 2012

ImageAnita L. DeFrantz, an attorney and member of the International Olympic Committee and 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams, is the president and member of the Board of Directors of the LA84 Foundation, which is managing Southern California's endowment from the 1984 Olympic Games.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, DeFrantz grew up in Indianapolis, IN and began her formal involvement with sports at the age of 18 when she was introduced to rowing at Connecticut College. After graduating from Connecticut College with honors in 1974, she studied for her law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School while training at the prestigious Vesper Boat Club. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar in 1977. She competed on every national team from 1975 to 1980. During that period, DeFrantz served as a director of the Vesper Boat Club and as a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S. Rowing Association. She was a trustee of Connecticut College from 1974 to 1988 and from 1990 to 2000. She now serves as trustee emeritus of the College.

Rotary Club Meeting May 11, 2012 - Anita L. DeFrantz, an attorney and member of the International Olympic Committee and 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams. Scott Kunitz 2012-05-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on May 03, 2012

Meeting Cast:

At the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: David Snow. Next to David we have Sharon Perlmutter Gavin. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our Speaker for today, we have Lisa Alexander. Next to Lisa is our speaker for today, Dr. James Cuno, the CEO of the Getty Center. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have David Rosenfeld.

Our song leader was Pat Bofird with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters were Julia Miele & Moira Doherty.


We had no visiting Rotarians.

Dienna D’Olimpio was a guest of Barb BishopPam Brady was a guest of Jean McNeil Wyner. Leile Taeoffe was a guest of Iao Katagiri. Joseph No-fleet was guest of Alonzo Hill. Karen Perlmutter was a guest of her twin sister Sharon Gavin.
Image Image


  • We had 250 people in attendance last Sunday, and it was a great party. Unfortunately, Tom is not here to receive his well-deserved accolades, but he sent me a list of all who contributed. First and foremost we need to thank Tom and Stephanie Loo, who opened their home to 250 of us. But he didn’t do it alone. David had every one who was on Tom's committee stand and be recognized. This year Tom invited sponsors to help with the cost of the party, and he received contributions from all corners of the club. The lawyers sponsored the bar… pun intended. The non-profits sponsored the delicious Indian food. The National Bank of California represented by Dick Lawrence and Rick Mateus, sponsored the music. Other members made direct contributions, and we thank you, as well. Michael Cates and staff set up the trampoline, and the Menzies allowed us to use shade covers from Carlthorp. We also had a large contingent of Rotaractors, led by Lynette Shishido.
  • ImageSharon Gavin - 2nd Senior Book Drive.  Please bring in your books starting next week.  The will be distributed to the Senior Centers in Santa Monica.  Deadline is 6/8/12. 
  • Bret Carter - still able to become a Paul Harris Fellow for only $250.
  • Bret Carter - they are beginning to look for sponsorship for the Wine and Food Festival.
  • Survey Time - make sure you fill out your survey.
  • Recognized everyone who attended the District Conference. Spyros, thank you for the annual baklava, thanks to all of you for your support, and thanks to my vice Presidents, Mitch and Myles, you can see that I have attached the nine awards we received to the banner. You can be proud of our achievement this year.


  • ImageDavid Poter - shown a picture that was titled 'Boy Toy' and given the choice to pay $50 to keep it off the internet, 49.99 to have it framed or $79.99 to have it listed in three search engines. David wanted it on the internet.  Here you go David. That will be $79.99.
  • Frank Lavac - $50 publishing fee for his photo of a sea anemone in the February 16th Malibu Times.
  • Connolly Oyler - had his fined reduced to $75 for an article published in the Santa Monica Mirror since he mentioned Rotary. Connolly argued that the publisher should be held accountable for the article, but the jury was not convinced.
  • Ken Walter - was fined $50 for attending a 'Medical Convention' in Napa.
Image ImageImageImage


Speaker James CunoJames Cuno was born on April 6, 1951 to an Air Force family in St. Louis, Missouri. After living in Louisiana, Ohio, Florida, Washington State, California, and Bermuda, Jim returned to California with his family and attended high school at Travis Air Force Base.  After graduating in 1968, Jim attended the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs for one semester.  Preferring travel to military school, he left for London, where he worked as a short-order cook and hitchhiked up and down the U.K.

In the fall of 1969, he started university at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.  After one year, he returned to Europe to study at the European Studies Center of Miami University of Ohio in Luxembourg.  Ideally suited for inexpensive train travel, Jim was as often as not in Paris, Frankfurt, and Munich.  It was in Paris that he first went to an art museum.

Jim returned to Willamette in the fall of 1971 and two years later graduated with a B.A. degree in History  and moved to San Francisco.  There he worked in the warehouse of Design Research Inc., and drawn by contemporary theater (he acted a little at Willamette) he produced and acted in a program of short plays for voice in a dance studio in Berkeley.  There he met the tape-music composer Tony Gnazzo, through whom he met and worked with composers John Adams, Charles Amirkhanian, and Ingrahm Marshall, among others.  Wanting to work more in theater, Jim returned to Willamette and worked as a janitor and acted in and produced a number of new performance programs in the university theater. 

Two years later, facing a slim future as an actor/janitor, Jim applied to the M.A. program in Art History at the University of Oregon and was accepted.  At the same time, with Tony Gnazzo and John Adams, he formed a neo-Dada theater/music group, “The Unfortunate Duck,” which performed in art galleries and universities from Vancouver, B.C. to Mills College in Oakland, California.  There was no second tour.

In 1977, Jim married Sarah Stewart, whom he met at Willamette where she was a theater student (from which she went to work in the costume department of the American Repertory Theatre for a season).  A year later Jim completed his M.A. at Oregon, writing a thesis on the work of the Russian constructivist, Vladimir Tatlin. And in the fall, Jim and Sarah moved to Boston, where Sarah studied theater at Boston University and Jim, art history at Harvard. (Sarah took her M.Ed. degree from Harvard in 1981.)

While working on his Ph.D. on the 19th-century French publisher of prints and printed journals, Charles Philipon (which took Jim, Sarah, and their newborn daughter, Claire, to Paris for a year, 1981-82), Jim worked as the Assistant Curator of Prints at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum.  In 1983, Jim, Sarah, and Claire moved to Poughkeepsie, New York, where Jim took a job as an Assistant Professor in the Art Department.  Kate, Jim and Sarah’s second daughter, was born a year later and Jim completed his Ph.D. in 1985.

In 1986, Jim, Sarah, Claire, and Kate moved to Los Angeles, where Jim became director of UCLA’s Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts and taught art history.  Three years later, the family moved again, this time to Norwich, Vermont, across the river from Hanover, New Hampshire, where Jim worked as the Director of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art and taught art history.  In 1991, the family moved once again--and for the final time as a family—to Lexington, Massachusetts, as Jim took up the directorship of Harvard’s Art Museums (the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler museums) and a professorship in the Department of Fine Arts.   Jim served in these positions until January 2002, when, with Claire and Kate in college, Jim and Sarah moved to London where Jim took up the position of Director and Professor of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

Eighteen months later, Jim and Sarah returned to the U.S. where Jim took up the Presidency and Directorship of the Art Institute of Chicago, a position he held for seven years.  In August 2011, Jim became the President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. 

For years, Jim has lectured and written widely on museums and cultural and public policy.  Since 2003, he has published three books with Princeton University Press—Whose Muse? Art Museums and the Public’s Trust (author and editor), Who Owns Antiquity: Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage (author), and Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities (author and editor)—and another with the University of Chicago Press, Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum (author).  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Jim and Sarah live in Santa Monica, California. Claire is a social worker/community activist in Brooklyn, New York. And Kate is completing her Doctor of Psychology degree in Washington, D.C.

Through the work of the four Getty programs—the Museum, Research Institute, Conservation Institute, and Foundation—the Getty aims to further knowledge and nurture critical seeing through the growth and presentation of its collections and by advancing the understanding and preservation of the world's artistic heritage. The Getty pursues this mission with the conviction that cultural awareness, creativity, and aesthetic enjoyment are essential to a vital and civil society.

Engaged Locally and Internationally

Mogao Grottoes
Under a collaborative agreement with China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) has been working with the Dunhuang Academy since 1989 on conservation at the Mogao Grottoes. The first five years of collaboration addressed site-related issues, culminating in an international conference at Mogao in 1993, Conservation of Ancient Sites along the Silk Road, which also commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the Dunhuang Academy. Since 1997, the collaboration has focused primarily on the conservation of wall paintings at Mogao.

Ahhichatragarh-Nagaur Fort
The Ahhichatragarh-Nagaur Fort consists of a vast complex of palaces, buildings, and gardens contained by a two-tiered city wall located in Nagaur City in Rajastan, Jodhpur, India. Much of the existing site dates to the 18th century, and the complex is considered one of the most important historic sites in northwestern India. Structural damage, water penetration, and the sheer size of the complex have created a number of extensive preservation problems for the buildings. The Getty's funding helped to restor the fort and it's contents.

The MEGA–Jordan project was launched as a collaboration of the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the World Monuments Fund (WMF) with the DoA for the development and implementation of a GIS to inventory and manage Jordan's numerous archaeological sites.

The Ghent Altarpiece Conservation Project
The Getty funded the conservation of the panel art and published thier findings.  Hign resolution images of the rstored panels can now be viewed online.  They were even able to photograph the artists sketches below the painting.

Panel Paintings Initiative
The Getty’s Panel Paintings Initiative is funding a range of coordinated efforts to create new avenues for training emerging and mid–career professionals, to notch up advanced practitioners, and to increase knowledge on panel preservation.

MOSAIKON is a partnership of four institutions: the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), and the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM). It addresses the need for enhanced capacity in the conservation and management of archaeological mosaics in the Mediterranean region through strategic targeting of priorities and deployment of resources in four components:

  • strengthening the professional network and information exchange
  • in situ mosaics
  • mosaics in museums and storage
  • university-level conservation education and training of trainers

Connecting Art Histories
Connecting Art Histories seeks to strengthen art history as a global discipline by funding visiting professorships in select art history departments and research centers in countries where art history is an emerging discipline, as well as by supporting intensive research seminars that enable sustaining regional and international scholarly dialogue. Efforts focus on regions outside of Europe and North America.

Pacific Standard Time
Pacific Standard Time is the culmination of a long-term Getty Research Institute initiative that focuses on postwar art in Los Angeles. Through archival acquisitions, oral history interviews, public programming, exhibitions, and publications, the Research Institute is responding to the need to locate, collect, document, and preserve the art historical record of this vibrant period.

Local Programs with Schools
Art Together is a multiple-visit program created in partnership with local Title 1 elementary schools. This program brings students to the Getty Museum on consecutive visits and periodically places Getty educators in the classroom.

Thought for the Day               

Art is either plagiarism, or revolution. “

Paul Gauguin

“Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.”

- Gilbert K Chesterton

“The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic. “

- Ambrose Bierce, who offered a definition of the noun, “Painting”

Rotary Club Meeting May 4, 2012 - James Cuno, the CEO of the Getty Center Scott Kunitz 2012-05-04 00:00:00Z 0
2012 Annual International Food & Song Festival Scott Kunitz 2012-04-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Apr 19, 2012

Meeting Cast:

ImageAt the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: Jay Smith. Next to Jay we have one of our newest members, Matt Williams. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our Speaker for today, we have Grace Wang. Next to Grace is our speaker for today, Dr. Ben Weitz. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have Thomas Larmore.

ImageOur song leader was Savi Labensart with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters were Isabel Cervello & Moira Doherty.


We had no visiting Rotarians.

Jamie Menzies guest of Dee Menzies. Chris Wilson was a guest of Don Dickerson. Lee Harrison and John Ashkar were guests of Jim Rushta.


  • Staff Support Day - Where we honor our support staff that make our jobs possible.
  • David thanked his staff.
  • ImageDavid thanked Savi for her support during his term and presented her with roses.
  • John Bohn presented a $3,500 grant to the Boy Scouts of America. The grant will be used to make repairs to the swimming pool at Camp Josepho.
  • Judy Neveau - Club Survey time again.  Please complete the survey and return.  It only takes 4 minutes.



Support Staff Guests:

Rotarian Guest
David Bohn Joni Ramos
Susan Cruz
Brittney Manke
Bret Carter Anna Karin Nordlund
Jennifer Soussan
Jill Anderson
Isabel Cervello Nellie Evans
George Collins Beth England
Susan Gabriel Potter Carol Hirahara
Kathy Ritter
Alan Glick Pearl Beria
Mitch Kraus Jaime Hume
Frank Lavac Mayra Zambrano
Dick Lawrence Kathy Irby
Tom Loo Bobbi Banks
Larry Maher Kelsey Greenwald
Lea Smith
Rick Mateus Gabby Orozco
Klaus Mennekes Annette Gussmack
TJ Montemer Spencer Lee
Judy Guest
MaryAnn Powell Flor Perez
Rosemary Regalbuto Ellen Rabin
Laurel Rosen Maggie Davis
Jennifer Medina
Carl Hansen
David Rosenfeld Julie Cruz-Smith
Erin Sullivan
Neferteri Shepard
Mario Ruiz Claudia Ruiz
Joseph Vasquez
David Snow Nicole Larsen
Ken Waltzer Gayle Fuhr
Kellie Weidenheimer
Image Image
Image Image
Image Image
Image Image
Image Image

The Support Staff games were led by Grace


ImageDr. Ben Weitz is a certified sports chiropractor, nutritionist, and strength and conditioning specialist in Santa Monica for over 20 years. Dr. Weitz graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a BA in philosophy and he graduated from the Pasadena College of Chiropractic in 1987 as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Weitz wrote a book on back rehabilitation, The Back Relief Book, published in 1998, and he is currently at work on a book on sports nutrition for kids. Dr. Weitz will be speaking about how to prevent and reverse chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

To see Dr. Weitz's full presentation click here or view it in our new story section, accessable through our home page.

Thought for the Day

“As soon as you sit down to a nice cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.”

- truism from an unnamed executive assistant
Rotary Club Meeting April 20, 2012 - Dr. Ben Weitz Scott Kunitz 2012-04-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Apr 19, 2012
ImageDr. Ben Weitz is a certified sports chiropractor, nutritionist, and strength and conditioning specialist in Santa Monica for over 20 years. Dr. Weitz graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a BA in philosophy and he graduated from the Pasadena College of Chiropractic in 1987 as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Weitz wrote a book on back rehabilitation, The Back Relief Book, published in 1998, and he is currently at work on a book on sports nutrition for kids. Dr. Weitz will be speaking about how to prevent and reverse chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Ben Weitz's Presentation 4-20-12 Scott Kunitz 2012-04-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Apr 12, 2012
ImageFridays the 13's meeting had it all; good freinds, good food, good music and an excellent talk given by Even Kleinman of Good Food on KCRW. To find out who was their, who saiod what and see all the photos to prove it, including one of Bob Klein with Ken Waltzer preparing thier much loved version of "That's Amore", See below.
Rotary Club Meeting April 13, 2012 - Evan Kleinman on Good Food Scott Kunitz 2012-04-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz on Mar 29, 2012
Meeting Cast:

Tod LipkaAt the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: Tod Lipka. Next to Tod we have Stephanie Felix. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our GSE Team, we have Dr. Monika White. Next to Monika is our visiting GSE Team Leader, Gnanavelan. Jim ReidyFar stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have James B. Reidy, Jr.

Our song leader was Bob, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander & Petra Haffter.


ImageIt was a very busy day at the Riviera Country Club we had 4 visiting Rotarians not counting the GSE Team; Carmela Raack and Ann Murakami from Culver City,Rich Musella from Westchester and Alan Monroe from Sarasota Southside who exchanged banners with the club.

We also had a full roster of guests; Emily Sperling was a guest of Jim Dyer. Norton Wyner and Pam Bradly were guests of Jean McNeil Wyner. Richard Thompson was a guest of Diane Margolin. Janeen Jackson was aguest of Rochelle LeBlanc. Doger Goodman was a guest of Monika White.  Eric London was a guest of Dee Menzies. Julia Ladd was a guest of Lauren Rosen. Kara Rosenthax and Rich Greenspun were guests of Ann Greenspum.  Maria Miranda was a guest of Sharon Gavin.

Image Image Image Image Image

  • Last week we had our 90th Birthday Party. It was a great success and there are so many people to thank, but so little time today. My biggest thanks go to George Collins and Diane Margolin, but there are many more.
  • First Tuesday is next week at Lula’s on Main Street
  • Sharon Gavin- presented Maria Miranda from the YMCA with a youth grant.
  • Avo 'Elvis' Guerboian - Thursday April 12, 2012, Savi is being installed as the new president of the Santa Monica Jaycees.  John Bohn and Judy Neveau will be honored as well.
  • Jim Dyer- reminder about the upcoming district conference.
  • Gila - Staff support Day 4/20/12.
  • Emily Sperling thanked Jim Dyer for all his work and efforts on behalf of Shelter Box.





ImageOutgoing District Ambassadorial Scholar Stephanie Felix

CBA Student Wins $27,00 International Rotary Scholarship as a Social Entrepreneur

Stephanie Felix, an international business and marketing major in the College of Business Administration, was recently named a Rotary International "Ambassadorial Scholar". The award provides her with up to $27,000 to study and earn a masters degree at an international school of her choosing. She has a preference list of five schools in Europe, Australia and South Africa, and will soon learn which study program will be approved by the rotary group. Stephanie expects to earn a masters degree in developmental studies, which explores "the challenges of managing change toward ethical, economical, environmental and political sustainability," according to Felix.

Stephanie spent the summer participating in a Global Exchange project in Cambodia, where she worked with women from a small village on a sewing program in hopes of helping them start their own business. She also spent six weeks at Princeton at a summer studies program. Rotary International is a worldwide service club with well over a million members in 75 countries. Their focus is on international projects such as eradicating polio, and helping to improve international understanding and cooperation. Stephanie Felix is the 25th Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar from LMU in the past 20 years. In addition to her studies, she will work with and network with local Rotary Clubs to help improve the international understanding of America and her people

Group Study Exchange Team

ImageToday we got to learn a little more about each member of the team as they shared about their lives with individual PowerPoint presentations.

Gnanaprakasam Gnanavelan, "Gnan" Incoming Team Leader: The Director of Zen Builders, Pvt. Ltd, Construction CompanyImage

Chitra Priya Rajalingam, "Chitra": A Motorcycle Racer and Events/Media Coordinator Head of Wild Origin Entertainment.

Umamaheswari Thirupath, "Uma": A Dr., MGR, Professor, Management Studies Educational & Research University.

Gunasekaran Muniachetty, "Guna": A Sr. Newspaper Special Correspondent Editor, News Presenter, Debate Moderator.

Ganesh Velayutham, "Ganesh": A Technical Head and Partner, Jason Fx Graphic Design/Management Business.


Thought for the Day

"Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."

- George Bernard Shaw
Rotary Club Meeting March 30, 2012 - Group Study Exchange Team & Outgoing District Ambassadorial Scholar Stephanie Felix Scott Kunitz 2012-03-30 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Diane Margolin on Mar 22, 2012

ImageOn Friday, March 23, Rotary through the Decades was the theme of the 90th birthday celebration of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica. Each decade was represented by a song, dance, or surprise interruption by the Club's talented members. The entertainment, conceived by George Collins, was directed by the Club's Executive Secretary, Savi Labensart, who is a wonderful singer. John Lehne was responsible for rounding up theImage Past Presidents. Susan Gabriel Potter felt top hats and moustaches would add a touch of class with their Past President sashes when they sang their "Happy Birthday Rotary" song at the culmination of the program. That is, before they were led off the stage in an energetic Conga line by Savi.

Thanks to the 13 generous sponsors in the Club, the party at the Casa del Mar will be remembered for years to come. They were Allan Young, Susan Gabriel Potter, George Collins, Con Oyler, Tom Loo, David Price, Scott Kunitz, Barbara Bishop, Monte Herring, Hal Quigley, Ron Davis, The Menzies Family and John Bohn.

ImageThe Dynamic Duo of George Collins and Diane Margolin worked closely with the amazing hotel staff to create an elegant, yet relaxing, atmosphere for Rotarians and their guests to dine, dance, and have fun in the hotel ballroom. They are already thinking about the 100th birthday party. But, not for awhile, yet.


Much appreciation to Klaus Mennekes, Toby Lent, Casa del Mar Captain Kathleen and the servers; plus Susan Gabriel Potter, Helene Winkler, Rotaract Club members Micolee Lazaro and Ava Haghighi; Sharon Johnson, Kris Andresen, Kai-li Quigley, Steven Freedberg, Jean McNeil Wyner, Paula from Pure Sense; Abe from Ann's Flowers; Imageand the very talented entertainers. We also had a terrific jazz trio from Crossroads High School who performed during the cocktail hour. Members could get their pictures taken in the photo booth wearing hats and accessories that gave revealing clues into their personalities. DJ Eric Greenberg kept the music going, even after the party was over. The performers needed a screen to change behind and thanks to new member, ImageSalvation Army Captain Mario Ruiz, that problem was solved. He brought it to the hotel and picked it up when the party was over! Dee Menzies lent us easels for the Rotary memorabilia exhibit.

ImageIn sparkling green dresses RoseMary Regalbuto and Barbara Bishop started the entertainment with their dazzling Charleston dance. Who will ever forget Avo Guerboian's Imageimpersonation of his Dad, Eddie, when he impersonated Elvis Presley years ago? GregImage Hargrave in his colorful clown costume always seemed to appear at the wrong time, but his juggling timing was perfect. Emcee Paul Gaulke did a great job of keeping the program moving. We did hope he would "play his cheeks," but perhaps another time.

ImageSavi entertained us with her beautiful voice in a few numbers. She began behind a shower curtain deftly held up by Bill Werner and Jim Dyer. Why did Jim keep taking photos behind the curtain?


You had to be there....

ImageMonika White serenaded us with the spoons while her husband, Roger played his harmonica. ImageTom Larmore and John Pacheco strummed and sang with their guitars. Carol Jackson did a breathy rendition of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President," to David, a la Marilyn Monroe.

Savi joined Pat Bofird and Carol Jackson dressed to sing like the Andrew Sisters. Bill Werner came up on stage to play his harmonica with them. Savi later tried a Madonna song, only to be interrupted by Greg and his juggling, but kept the crowd entranced when she sang "Heroes," accompanied by the fabulous pianist T.J. Montemer.

Image Image  Image

ImageBarb Bishop and Avo once again kept our toes tapping with their rendition of John Travolta's dancing to "Staying Alive." Those shoes Avo wore were something else! Our realistic stunt men, Nick Goehner and Torrey Vogel fooled a few people who were ready to call theImage police when they started sword fighting, and even breaking a table. Luckily former Police Chief Tim Jackman was at the dinner with his wife, Lisa. She handcuffed Nick and led him out of the party. Russ Warner proved to be a distracting interruption when Avo was performing.

It was a night filled with memories of the fun and camaraderie created by the members in our wonderful Rotary Club.


You can see more of the photos from that night on our
Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary - Videio Slide Show

Santa Monica Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary Diane Margolin 2012-03-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Nicholas Goehner on Mar 15, 2012

Meeting Cast

 ImageAt the head table, Far Stage Right we had Invocator Connie McGuire; Next to Connie we have Dr Janee Yuguchi Gates. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our speaker for today, we have Sharon Gavin. Next to Sharon is our speaker for today, children's book author Alexis O'Neill. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests we have Scott Kunitz.Image Our song leader was Tom Larmore with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander & Bill Rayman.Image


We had no visiting Rotarians today. We had only 1 guest of our Rotarians, Matt Williams who was a guest of Lisa Alexander.

Connie McGuire's Irish Prayer

You blessed us with friends and laughter and fun, with rain that's as soft as light from the sun.  You've blessed us with stars to brighten each night, you've given us help to know wrong from right.  You've given us so much, please Lord give us too, a heart that is always grateful to you.


  • Thank you all the Rotarians who participated in Rotary reads.  It was a big success.  67 class rooms, 1000 students.  A lucky reader was randomly chosen to receive a Kindle Fire. That reader was, Patricia Farris, congratulations!
  • On each of the tables was a copy of the "city wide reads" book by Raymond Chandler. A lucky winner from each table who participates in the quiz could win the book.
  • Grace Wang staff support day April 20th, bring your staff and support them.  Please fill out the fliers so they can get final numbers.
  • Bill Buxton, Next Supper Service at OPCC is today at the Turning Point Facility on 16th and Broadway. We start cooking at 4pm and serve at 6 pm.
  • District Conference is coming April 19th through 22nd.  It starts off Thursday with a golf tournament.  Hole in one Mercedes S-Class or Audi A8.  And a lot of goodies and surprises throughout the week.Image
  • Charlie Follette, International Food and Festival Committee. Next festival Sunday April 29th at 1:00pm.  Plenty of food from many parts of the world.  There will be events for children, and the whole family as well as wonderful music.  The event is  free of charge and counts as a meeting.
  • Thanks to Sharon Gavin and Janie Gates for putting on the "Rotary Reads" project event.
  • Recruiting committee, we want to get more people in to our club.  New programs in place including 40 and under program to get our younger Rotarians in.  There has also been a lunch subsidies program in place that hasn't been used.  This allows guests to come in and eat lunch free of charge.  There are 20 of these and only 1 has been used.  You can also let the Recruiting Committee know of any individual or company you'd like to see join, and they will handle it for you.
  • Tim Jackman's retirement party coming up
  • Our next Healthy Living event will be a historic tour of Downtown Santa Monica on the 24th of March.
  • 90th Anniversary party on the 23rd. Thank you to all the Rotarians who have donated $1000 each.


  • Diane Margolin, great mannequin fine $100.
  • To everyone who attended Diane Margolin's wonderful event $50.


Alexis O'NeillAlexis O'Neill is a local children's author. She is the author of "Loud Emily" which was featured in Newsweek magazine. "The Recess Queen" which was on the Los Angeles Times children's best seller list. And "Estela's Swap" which is a multicultural book about generosity, highlighting a unique Los Angeles experience. Her non-fiction and fiction work has been featured in such publications as Crickets, Spider, Writer's Digest, and Children's Book Review Magazine.

Alexis also teaches writing for the UCLA extension writers program.  She's a regional advisor for the society of children's book writers and illustrators.  And a founding member of the children's authors network.  Cover - The Recess QueenShe is a former Elemetary School teacher. She holds a B.S. from Skidmore College and an M.S. in Instructional Technology and Ph.D. in teacher Education from Syracuse University.

In addition to writing, Alexis has served as an education consultant for a variety of museums across the country, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Ventura County Museum of History & Art, the Everson Museum of Art and the Erie Canal Museum. In her community, she chairs the annual Children's Book Week Celebration for the Simi Valley Friends of the Library and serves on the board of the Ventura County Reading Association. Alexis lives with her husband, David, in Simi Valley, California.

Alexis began with a saying "C'ead Mile Failte" which means "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes" in Gaelic.  And after testing her slide show she began to take us through her journey from growing up in Southey.  She grew up in a very Irish family and spoke of how enjoyable each St. Patrick's Day was in her family.  She then showed everyone a picture describing how she dressed up for Halloween being an Irish American, she was dressed in a nun's habit.  And told stories of how while everyone else trick-o-treated a houses, she did it at the convent.

in 1979 she was given the honor of being chosen as a Rotary foundation fellow.  She was chosen when she was right at the limit of how old one could be to receive the fellowship.  Living with her Rotary parents in London gave her the opportunity to study in England for a full year from 1979 to 1980. She had already begun her doctoral at Syracuse university but she had gone back to teaching to get more experience.  And this year would allow her to do a lot of writing and through her experiences gave her a lot of writing material for the rest of her life.

Alexis has been in a number of careers, but she states she has definitely found her last.  She absolutely loves writing for children.  About 20 years ago she embarked on a journey to do everything she could to become a published author.  She started by publishing in children's magazines. At the same time she was also working on her books, the 3 stated earlier and the most recent, "The Worst Best Friend."

She commented on Rotary Reads and how reading to children and bringing those experiences to people are so important because it's a personal experience.  And when a child is read to and has that personal connection, in her experience, she has been told by librarians that library checkout always goes up. 

The current educational system are in tough times, and some places can't afford to bring in authors.  It's up to all of us to what we can to keep the arts alive in schools and give children the opportunity for artistic expression.

Picture books, which are what Alexis writes, are a different, and traditionally misunderstood, form of writing than a traditional novel that one might find at a book store.  She pointed out how there are two names on the front of her book, that of hers, and that of the illustrator.  This is an interesting point because she's never met the illustrator on her book.  When Alexis writes a story she sends it off to multiple publishers.  Once she finds someone to buy it, that publisher has an editor who then finds an illustrator to bring the story to life. 

She showed us the original manuscript and read a few lines to us.  She then described the images that were produced by the illustrator, and described how imaginative they were.  A lot of thought went into the illustrations, down to the smallest child in the background.  Each image tells everything about the text and tells even more about the back story and the behind the scenes. The illustrator carries the main character and all the other characters through each page of the book. 

Each character has their own personality and a through-line.  The illustrator shows how each character changes and evolves through the story, and each character seems to represent all types of children so all readers could relate to one of the characters in the pictures.  Alexis showed examples of each character type and their actions throughout the story.  By the end of the story, where everyone was sad and afraid, everyone became happy and playful.  One example as well of the difference between the illustrators initial draft and final work was that originally there was a dog in the book with the kids on the playground.  This had to be taken out because there are no dogs on the playground and children reading the book would have been taken out of the story because of this

She described how she came up with a lot of the inventive words and the difficulty in writing a rhyming book.  There is a definite rhythm in a rhyming picture book. 

The last thing that she touched on was the cost of a picture book and how the profits were distributed.  Her book sells for $16, here's what's interesting.  10% of that total goes back to the creators, so Alexis gets 80 cents per book.  40% goes to the book seller. And then 50% goes to the publisher.  The reasons behind all of this are because of the color printing and processing of each book.  $17,000 for paper printing and binding, $6,400 for plates, $32,000 for overhead, and different amounts for the advances.  Alexis' advance on "Loud Emily" was about $2,500 and that advance has to be paid back before any profit is made.  So that amount has to be made back in 80 cents incriments.  certainly not what I expected as compensation for an author.  

She also shared with us her first book "Loud Emily."  She described one scene in the book that was actually an event that happened to her when she was younger, when she almost got blown away in a hurricane. 

She recently published through e-publishing 3 short stories called 3 Irish tales, and recommended everyone look it up on their ipads and kindles, etc. 

She had a couple of quotes that she shared with us in closing.

  • "Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader's arsenal." - Howard Gardner
  • "If you don't know the trees you may be lost in the forest. But if you don't know the stories, you may be lost in life" - Siberian Elder

Our lives are made up of stories and we should pass those stories on.  It's so important for knowledge and growth and each and every one of us has their own unique story, and who we are, makes the story.

She closed with a song, that was always sung, in parting from a get together.  She left us all with a great feeling and a pure smile. 

"Oh of all the money that err I've spent
I spent it in good company
and all the harm that err I've done
Alas it was to none but me
but since it falls unto my lot
that I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise, and I'll softly call
goodnight and joy be with you all"

Thank you Alexis O'Neill!

Thought for the Day

A quote published by Fortune magazine said: Some people will lie, cheat, steal, and backstab to get ahead.  And to think, all they have to do is read.
Rotary Club Meeting March 16, 2012 - Children's book author Alexis O'Neill Nicholas Goehner 2012-03-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Feb 09, 2012

Public Service Recognition Day, held on February 10 this year, is a program our Rotary members eagerly anticipate.   It gives us a chance to recognize those who help to make our community a better and safer place to live.    Traditionally we honor a firefighter, police officer, teacher/administrator, and bus driver. Plaques are ordered for each honoree to receive from his or her supervisor.


Honored this year were Big Blue Bus driver William Alvarenga; Dr. Sally Chou, Santa Monica-Malibu School District Chief Academic Officer; Crime Analyst Debbie Anderson from the Santa Monica Police Department; and Captain Matthew Norris of the Santa Monica Fire Department. 


Thanks to generous contributions of fire hats from the Santa Monica Fire Department; buses, pens, and key rings from the Big Blue Bus; whistles, pencils and pens from the Santa Monica Police Department and samples from The Art of Shaving, everyone went home with lots of favors.

The committee that put the popular event together included Joe Metoyer, Jean McNeil Wyner, Susan Potter and Diane Margolin.

Santa Monica Rotary Club Meeting February 10, 2011 2012-02-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jan 05, 2012

Meeting Cast

 At the head table, Far Stage Right we had Invocator Bill Buxton;  Tom Larmore sat next to President David Bohn and introduced our visiting Rotarians and guests.  Left of Podium we had Barbara Bishop, who introduced our speakers  Jessica Limpert  and Ramon Medeiros .   Our song leader was Savi Labensart with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters were Lisa Alexander and Gaby Schkud.

 Image ImageImage





We had no visiting Rotarians today.   Char Lawrence and Todd Lawrence visited us as guests of husband and father, respectively, Dick Lawrence;  Jamie Menzies and Rob Dawson were guest of Jim Menzies.  Shelly Locks visited us as a guest of Laurel Rosen Linda Teixeira, guest of Suzan Allbritton and Matt Williams, guest of Lisa Alexander, visited us again.  Jennifer Gaulke, wife and guest of Paul Gaulke, Tricia Ricard, wife and guest of Glenn Ricard, and Roger Goodman, husband and guest of Monika White all came too!


Image Image


Image Image


January 6, 2012 - First Meeting of 2012 2012-01-06 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dorothy Menzies on Nov 23, 2011

A special thank you to all the Rotarians and their families who helped honor the police officers and personnel who were on duty on Thanksgiving Day.  We fed over 60 people and provided each with a $5.00 Starbucks gift card.  The food, provided by Casa del Mar and Shuttters, was amazing.  Thank you Klaus for making this possible.   


Image Image

A giant Thank You to our VOLUNTEERS:

Charles Follette and his son, Jimmy
Monte Herring
Alonzo Hill and daughters Autumn & Hayden and wife September
Iao Katagiri
Rochelle LeBlanc and her partner Margaret Paul
Len Lanzi's friend-Darren and his son Eli
Dick Lawrence
Paul Leoni
Jean McNeil Wyner
Dee, Jim, and Jamie Menzies
Brendan Murray and his daughter Elise
Irene Passos
Myles Pritchard
Glen Ricard and his sons Matthew & Brandon and their friend Jen
Lionel Ruhman
David Snow and his son Sam
Jim Westbrook
Alonzo Hill and daughters Autumn & Hayden and wife September
Rotary Serves Thanksgiving Dinner to Santa Monica Police Dorothy Menzies 2011-11-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Nov 18, 2011


Julia Miele welcomes Rotarians to the November 18th Healthy Living Step Aerobics class at the YWCA. 

Healthy Living Step Aerobics 2011-11-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Nov 17, 2011
Meeting Cast
Image Image
Paul Leoni                                                    Ed Jackson 
We enjoyed sharing the meeting with the Westwood Village club, which we helped establish years ago.  Chicago native and 30-year Rotarian, Paul Leoni, offered the invocation. Rochelle LeBlanc, who originally hails from Louisiana, introduced our guests.  Westwood Village President Ed Jackson, a Rotarian since 1983, joined President David on the dais, and
Image Image
Jim Collins                                                         Tom Loo 
Westwood Village member Jim Collins, a Rotarian for 58 years, introduced our Bruin speaker, Donn Moomaw.  Tom Loo, whose Rotary service started in 1975, introduced our Trojan speaker, Willie Brown.
In addition to Westwood Village Rotary Club members, Ada Kahn from Evanston, Illinois, was another visiting Rotarian.  As for guests, Jean McNeil Wyner welcomed back her husband, Dr. Norton Wyner.   Mitch introduced former member Sally Pai, who is co-chairing the Red Tie Affair event for the American Red Cross.  Tom Loo hosted fellow attorneys Norman Lane and Sean McMillan and USC Track and Field Coach Ron Allice.  Mario Gallo was Karim Jaude’s guest. 
Rochelle LeBlanc, Dr. Norton Wyner & Savi                                           Sally Pai         
Connie DeGroot hosted Adrian Fulle, who produced our fabulous wine festival video.  (Go to to see what all the buzz is about!)  Donna Byrd hosted Roy Houghton; Alan Glick’s guest was Chuck Husting; Avo Guerboian hosted Christine Cassiano; and Jamie Menzies accompanied Dee and Jim. 
Image Image

Adrian Fulle & Connie DeGroot                                               Jim Parr & Bill Dawson


Frank Lavac hosted CPA Jim Parr, who will be sponsoring the buffet for the Red Kettle Day’s counting party.  John Pacheco introduced us to Marcia Caldirola and Kelsey Howard, both American Red Cross staff members.
  • Frank Lavac reminded us that Red Kettle Day is Friday, Dec. 9.  The Counting Party will be at the YMCA’s second floor assembly room, courtesy of Jean McNeil Wyner.  Parking is free in the underground garage; enter from 6th Street, just north of Santa Monica Boulevard.   Myles Pritchard will be coordinating signups for the bell ringing.
  • The Santa Monica Jaycees are having a canned food drive over the next month.  We’ll have a box set up at the check-in table during the next few meetings.  Please bring canned and packaged goods to support the Jaycees, and their incoming President, our own Savi Labensart.

Frank Lavac                                               Dee Menzies                                                Charlie Follette

  • Show your appreciation for our public safety employees who are working on Thanksgiving Day by helping us serve lunch to our on-duty officers and civilian employees at the Public Safety Facility (333 Olympic Drive). We’ll need volunteers on Thursday from 10:00 am until 7:30 pm. Check with June Doy at Carlthorp School (, 310-922-6274) if you’re interested.  A BIG THANK YOU to Klaus Mennekes and Casa Del Mar for donating the food.
  • Charlie Follette will be donating funds to the “Parks as Classrooms” program that brings inner city children to the Santa Monica Mountains.  Come by his nursery, The Rose Garden, on Stewart Street, just south of Olympic Boulevard, and buy a rose bush.  Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!
  • Santa Claus and his precious elves are planning their annual visit to our holiday luncheon on Friday, December 16.  Please let Savi know if you are bringing children that day so Santa will know how many gifts to bring.
Club Elections
Image Past President Carol Jackson announces candidates for Club Elections which will be held at our meeting on Dec. 9.   See separate story for more information on the nominees.

Willie Brown is a former USC varsity athlete in football and baseball. Mr. Brown was a member of the 1962 USC National Championship Football team and captained the 1963 National Championship baseball team. He was an assistant coach during OJ Simpson’s senior year in 1968 and coached for the National Championship baseball team in 1968. He was also a member of the coaching staff for the National championship football teams of 1972 and 1974. He coached with two Hall of Fame coaches — Rod Dedeaux (baseball) and John McKay (football). He coached our very own Bob Klein!
Ron Allice, Tom Loo and Willie Brown
In 2004, Mr. Brown was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame. After earning his Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration from USC, Willie joined the USC football and baseball coaching staffs from 1968-1975.  He reflected on the spirited, good-hearted rivalry between UCLA and USC.  Nowhere else are there two such outstanding football programs in the same city where the strong qualities of both help strengthen each other.
Donn Moomaw represented UCLA.  Donn played center and linebacker from 1950-1952 and went on to play professional football before retiring to join the Presbyterian ministry. Each year, UCLA gives out the Donn Moomaw Award for Outstanding Defensive Player against USC. 
Jack Gregory, Donn Moomaw and Gabby Schkud
 He spoke of his decision to attend UCLA despite USC being viewed as more of a football school at the time.  He shared impressions of his days training with UCLA football coach Bo Sanders, of his prayer day before an Oregon game, and of serving as pastor to President Reagan (he gave the invocation and benediction at Reagan's 1981 presidential inauguration). Rev. Moomaw is thankful to live in a community with two wonderful universities with outstanding football programs.
November 18 @ Rotary with Westwood Village Club - USC ~ UCLA 2011-11-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Nov 10, 2011
Meeting Cast
Ron Davis offered the invocation, new member Nick Goehner sat next to President David Bohn.  Scott Wagenseller introduced our speaker, Scott Sale.  Judy Neveau introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests.  Irene Passos, Rob Kohn and Lisa Alexander greeted us at the door.  Ken Waltzer accompanied our song leader, Herb Roney. 
Image  Image 
Visiting Guests
We had no visiting Rotarians today, but lots of guests of members:  Norton Wyner hosted by his wife, Jean McNeil Wyner; Steve Senfp, guest of Con Oyler; Arthur White, New Directions graduate, who was a co-presenter with our speaker; Maria Ferguson, wife of member Scott Ferguson; Autumn Hill, daughter of member Alonzo Hill; Christine Cassiano, guest of Avo Guerboian; and  David Rosenfeld,  guest of Donna Byrd.
Image Image 
  • Frank Lavac announced that Red Kettle Day is Dec 9.  The counting party will be at the YMCA on the second floor (courtesy of Jean McNeil Wyner), and Myles Pritchard will be coordinating signups for bell ringing.
  • The Santa Monica Jaycees are having a canned food drive over the next month.  We’ll have a collection box available at the next few meetings.  Please bring in canned goods to support the Jaycees and their incoming President, our own Savi Labensart.
  • Bret Carter reported on the Rotary International Foundation Paul Harris Celebration at Circus Vargas.  We had good attendance, and raised 6% more money that last year with the lottery tickets. 
  • The birthday committee is looking for promotional items to add to its birthday gift stash. See Laurel Rosen if you have something to donate.
  • Third Thursday Breakfast is coming up November 17.  Come by between 7:30am-9:00am at Le Pain Quotidian, 13050 San Vicente, Brentwood (just east of 26th Street).
  • Santa Monica History Museum’s Gala Tribute Dinner was held on Sunday, November 6, at Casa Del Mar to recognize the city’s service clubs.  Iao Katagiri made us shine at the event with her PowerPoint presentation – go Iao!   Prez David accepted the award on behalf of Rotary with remarks that sounded as though he’d been practicing for weeks instead of minutes – quick thinking, David!
We had no time for fines today… some of you got off lucky.  “-)
Selling Coffee for a Cause
By selling fair trade coffee to Rotary clubs throughout the United States, a former Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar is helping to raise money to fund worldwide clean water initiatives.
Five for Water, a project started by Bill Prost, Rotary Club of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, finances a Rotary Foundation donor advised fund for water projects in coffee-producing countries. After forming a partnership with Green Mountain Coffee, Prost invited clubs to purchase the organic coffee and sell it in their community. Funds generated from the sales would go toward water projects throughout Africa, Central and South America, and Indonesia.
A village in Bolivia now has access to clean water as the result of a project supported by The Rotary Foundation’s Clean Water for Coffee Growing Countries Donor Advised Fund. Photo courtesy of Five for Water
Image  Image 
A pump provides water to a village in Tanzania -- part of a project made possible by the Foundation’s donor advised fund. Water and sanitation is one of Rotary’s areas of focus under the Future Vision Plan. Photo courtesy of Five for Water
“I wanted to create a year-round project that’s fit for any size club,” says Prost, who studied in England as a 1979-80 Rotary Scholar. “Any club, no matter how large or small, can help be a part of this. It’s a really simple project.”
Coffee sales
Even though the project was launched only a year ago, more than 300 clubs in the United States are already selling the coffee. Their efforts have netted nearly $184,000, providing more than 50,000 people in 10 countries with access to clean water.
An estimated two million people die every year from waterborne diseases, and more than one billion lack access to clean water, according to the World Health Organization. “I told myself that, as a Rotarian, it was my responsibility to do something about [that],” Prost says. 
After the money is raised, clubs seek an international partnership with another club and apply for a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant. A big focus of Five for Water has been funding the installation of wells to serve schools, orphanages, and medical clinics -- but, according to Prost, the project’s scope goes beyond that.
Wells in Bolivia
Recently, Five for Water installed eight wells in Bolivia and pump stations near a reservoir in Sumatra. Prost has also partnered with a club in Missouri and Engineers Without Borders to create a pipeline in Honduras that supplies water from an existing well and a water tower. The project’s goal is to provide more than 300 families with clean drinking water.
Scott Sale, M.D., is a board member and Program Committee Chair for New Directions, Inc.   New Directions is an agency serving veterans who are struggling with homelessness, mental illness and physical disabilities, and substance abuse.  Scott shared some statistics about our homeless population and the portion of it that is made up of veterans. The latest numbers show that 18 percent of the homeless population are veterans as opposed to only eight percent of the general population.  Among homeless veterans, 75 percent are dealing with substance abuse issues that compound their medical, emotional, and financial problems.   New Directions was founded in 1992 in Mar Vista.  It now occupies five buildings on the Veterans Administration campus in West LA.  Some of the programs they offer include anger management, help in obtaining high school GED, job placement, and family reunification.  The program can last between six and 18 months, is very rigorous, and requires significant personal commitment by the veterans who sign up for it.  They also have an a cappella choir that was on America’s Got Talent – you can see the on YouTube: .  The choir performs regularly around Los Angeles, especially in support of other nonprofit social service agencies.
Image Image 
Arthur White, a graduate of New Directions, spoke about how much New Directions changed his life.  He entered the program with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which led to drug and alcohol problems.  Too many programs do not treat the whole person - and this is where ND is different.  Arthur said, “If you have two hands on fire and you only put it out on one hand, you have not really addressed the problem.”  ND provides the opportunity to make changes – but every individual must step up to the plate and make their own choice to move forward.  Arthur did this and is now employed as a financial supervisor by LA County and is looking forward to a promotion on Monday!
Thought for the Day (TFTD)
President John F. Kennedy said on Veterans’ Day, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
November 11th at Rotary with Scott Sale and Arthur White for New Directions, Inc. 2011-11-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 27, 2011
Meeting Cast
Mary Ann Powell gave a moving invocation.  Craft Talker #1, Roxana Janka sat next to President David Bohn.  Charlie Follette, who chaired the program, sat next to Craft Talker #2, John Dravillas.  Donna Bryd introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests.  Carol Jackson skillfully and vigorously pounded the keyboards while Tom Larmore attempted to lead us by example in song.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Our only visiting Rotarian was John Clay, from Oxnard.  Ed Morrison was a guest of Russ Warner, Steve Senft was John Clay’s guest, and Christine Cassiano joined us again – introduced in the past by Avo. 
We celebrated two months’ worth of birthdays.   Our September babies are:  Ron Davis,  Grace Cheng Braun,  Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson,  Avo Guerboian,  Carol Follette,  Steve Eorio,  Lisa Alexander,  Vince Muselli,  George Pickell,  Jim Dyer,  Len Lanzi,  Jim Westbrook,  Rex Minter, Joe Metoyer,  Fred Rafeedie, and Bill Werner.
October brought us:  Bill Wood,  Diane Margolin,  Bret Carter,  Karim Jaude,  Jeff Moskin,  Tom Loo,  Allan Young,  George Collins,  Hal Quigley,  Nicole Ryan,  Janie Yuguchi Gates,  Scott Wagenseller,  David Bohn,  Greg Hargrave,  Bill Buxton,  John Rucci,  Paul Leoni,  Dick Rice,  and Iao Katagiri.
*  Healthy Living Committee announced Step Aerobics at the YWCA on Saturday, November 19 at 8:30.  The YWCA is located at Pico and 14th Street.  RSVP to Judy Neveau.  Brunch at Judy's afterwards.
*  Suzan Allbritton will be leading another Upward Bound House Apartment makeover on Saturday, October 29.  Let her know if you'd like to be part of the fun
First Tuesday is coming up next week, and we'll be meeting at The Galley at 2442 Main Street.  We'll see you there this Tuesday, November 1, at 5:30.  
David Snow was fined for being awarded almost $6,000 for Upward Bound House at the Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalitions Celebrate Success breakfast event.   John Pacheco was fined for an “appearance” on KPCC about disaster preparedness.
Image Image 
Craft Talks! 
Roxana Janka started off our Craft Talks program by telling us three things no one ever believes about her:  1) She’s never been arrested; 2) she’s gifted; and 3) she’s a princess.  Roxana was born in Tehran, Iran, and has three sisters.  As a sixth generation descendant of Kaykavoos  Mirzah, son Fatali, Shah of the Qajar Dynasty, she is, technically, a princess.  In 1979, when she was still just a little girl, Roxana and her family fled the revolution in Iran.  After a little time in Los Angeles, the family moved to Orlando when Roxana was five years old.  There, she won the fifth grade spelling bee – with the word “pasteurize” (i.e., gifted). 
Roxana went to work in the PR business, and after making a splash by arranging for a bull to be herded down city streets to publicize the Silver Spurs Rodeo (you’ll  have to have her tell you the story), she was on her way.  She met her husband, Chris, at the Gap.  They moved to Barcelona and then to New York.  When Chris was transferred to Los Angeles, he proposed marriage, Roxana accepted, and they moved once again.   She feels that she’s finally found her home in Santa Monica.  Roxana is passionate about community service, passionate and honored to be member of our Rotary Club, and, by the way, completely proud to be a Bohn Girl (one of several women members sponsored by that Debonair Devil, John Bohn).  Roxana says she has a lucky star and a very happy life.  Roxana, the club feels pretty lucky to have you!
Image Image
John Dravillas tells us his story in his own words:  I was born in Chicago on June 30 to Pat and Paul Dravillas.  Both my parents are children of Greek immigrants.  Before I started school I thought everyone was Greek, but once I arrived I realized that nobody else was Greek (until he found Spyros, of course)!
I was born 10 months after my parents married.  Three years later I was joined by my brother, Mark, and five years after that came Paul.  Family life was uneventful.  Dad was originally in sales and then started his own business. Eventually he sold his part of the business and went into teaching and writing.  Mom was very religious.  We spent a lot of time in church, and there was always an emphasis on acceptance and inclusivity, and on taking the high moral road regardless of the situation.  Our family made Ozzie and Harriet seem like Ozzie Osborne.
Until I hit puberty, I was a terrible athlete and did poorly in sports, but I did well in school and good grades came easily.  Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I would have given anything to trade those two qualities.   As a teenager, I was a decent offensive lineman in football and guard or forward in basketball. Although I kept going to church and listening to Mom, I transformed the beliefs she taught me into a personal outlook of secular/spiritual/organic peace and love. Not too different from the 4-Way Test.  
I knew by my mid-teens what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – something that combined health care with athletics. I realized physical therapy was the perfect fit for me. About 17 years ago, I left my job as a staff therapist and went out on my own, first seeing patients in their homes and ultimately moving to an office and gym.  I started a wellness program about 10 years ago, which was simply pilates and yoga at the time. Today, we have what we call a “bridge program” to progress people in an integrated manner from injury recovery to an independent wellness program.
I met my wife, Anna, sixteen years ago while working at USC County Medical Center.  We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary just a couple of weeks ago.
Thought for the Day (TFTD)
“I don't know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids.”


October 28th at Rotary and Craft Talks 2011-10-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 20, 2011

Today was our annual District Governor's visit where we get to report on all our wonderful activities and what a fantastic club we have.  At the pre-meeting, Prez David, the Board and several Committee Chairs, reported to DG Brad Robinson and his aide Val Velasco. 


As usual, we received praise and thanks for our great work!  Take a look at our Club Information Guide to see our goals for the year and a description of each of our committees plans and activities.

On to the meeting where Savi got everyone energized with one of Ken Waltzer's variations on Of Thee I Sing, Rotary! 


We had two special guests today, Executive Aide Val Velasco and our Assistant Governor Linda Black seated with Bob Klein.

Image  Image

Also joining us today was Susan Milam from the Uptown Macon Rotay Club of Macon Georgia.  Doing guest introductions and leading the flag exchange with Susan is Timur Berberoglu.


And perfect timing for our Governor visit, we introduced new members Rick Mateus with his sponsor Dick Lawrence and TJ Mortemer with his sponsor Laurel Rosen.  Welcome Rick and TJ!

Image Image

 Brief announcements today, Jillian Alexander put on her best tropical hat to promote the District Trip to Puerto Rico next February.  Information and registration material is available on the District Web Site.  We are expecting over 20 from our club alone to join the trip.


 Governor Brad presents Transformer Awards to members of our Club who were nominated by Prez David for making a difference. Recipients are Iao Katagiri, Ken Waltzer and Jim Dyer.  Following his District update to the Club, DG Brad shows off with his speaker gift.



October 21st at Rotary with District Governor Brad Robinson 2011-10-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Constance Maguire on Oct 08, 2011


CicLAvia is an event that promotes safe biking, walking and strolling. 10 miles of City streets were closed Sunday afternoon on October 9 in Downtown and South LA welcoming bikers, walkers and strollers to enjoy a beautiful afternoon of safe fun and exercise. The Rotary Club of Santa Monica's Healthy Living Committee participated under the leadership of event leader John Dravillas. Club president David Bohn and his wife and daughter attended as well as Eric Schmitter and Dravillas. It was yet another great day of fellowship, fun and healthy living for Santa Monica Rotarians.


CicLAvia 2011 Constance Maguire 2011-10-09 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Santa Monica Invites Applications for Community and Youth Grants Sharon Perlmutter Gavin 2011-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 06, 2011

President David welcomed us to the twelfth (12th) meeting of the 90th year of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica - home of the Annual Wine and Jazz Festival.  David proclaimed this year’s event “a great success”. 

Meeting Cast

L.A. Native Bill Crookston gave a moving invocation, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native Suzan Allbritton sat next to President David Bohn, Illinois native Jean McNeil-Wyner hosted our speaker, LA Times political writer, Jean Merl, and Jerusalem native Rob Kohn introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests. Roxana Janka & Gaby Schkud greeted us and Carol Jackson led us in song.


 Visiting Rotarians and Guests


Jim Dyer welcomed back tax attorney Lavonne Lawson, Avo Guerboian hosted Christine Cassiano and Tyler Albers, Laurel Rosen introduced us to Richard Chakin and Timur Berberoglu and Ken Waltzer brought their better halves - Melissa Berberoglu and Jennifer Waltzer. 


Image   Image

 Suzan Allbritton and Ken Waltzer tell us about the fantastic Wine and Jazz Festival. There are still a few trips available, contact Ken. 

 Image  Image 

<< Susan Annett announced that we are currently accepting applications for Community and Youth Grants from non-profit organizations that serve the Santa Monica area and address the needs of those less fortunate in our community. Grant applications are due by October 31, 2011, for the next funding cycle. Grants offered by the Community and Youth Grants program range from $500 to $2,500. Funds may be requested for capital, equipment or new program development. Funds are not available for annual operating needs or special events. You can download the guidelines and application forms from the News section on the web site.


>> Sharon Perlmutter Gavin announced our 2011 Senior Book Drive. This year the literacy committee has expanded its focus and will be providing new or gently used books to the Senior Recreation Center in Santa Monica. We will be providing about 20-30 books every other month to them. We are conducting a book drive and would love for Rotary Club members to donate any new or gently used books they have that they are no longer interested in keeping. We plan to provide the first set of books on October 21. We will have a box by the door where books can be dropped off. We hope that everyone can participate in this worthy cause. Click here to download flyer.



Next up, David transforms into the Rent Collector...




Bill Randle was congratulated (and fined) for his retirement – finally- poor President David has been trying to fine him for weeks.  But Bill has been too busy to come see us – due to his travels all over the state.   

Rosemary Regalbuto was fined for leaving a banquet honoring Chief Jackman before the program began.



 Michael Cates was thanked for hosting children from Upward Bound House at Broadway Gymnastics.  Way to go Michael! 

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Robert Segal, HelpGuide continues to grow and announced a new partnership with Harvard Medical School.


Our program today was Jean Merl, LA Times Political Writer who updated us on the recent California redistricting and some of the surprises greeting our career politicans.


Thought for the Day (TFTD)

“The problem with political jokes is they get elected." Anonymous


October 7th at Rotary and LA Times Political Writer Jean Merl 2011-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
Wine & Jazz Festival Supports Community and International Projects 2011-10-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 01, 2011

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica hosted it's fourth annual Wine & Jazz Festival on Sunday October 2nd at the Annenberg Community Beach House.  Participants sampled dozens of wines while listening to music by Crossroads jazz band.  They also bid on auction items and trips whose proceeds will fund both local community and international projects. 


The event was generously sponsored by The Bradmore Group, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, LA Car Guy, Quigley & Co., Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica Daily Press and Santa Monica Ford.


Image Image

Image Image 

           President David Bohn      PR team Roxana Janka, Grace Wang and friends    

Image Image

                 Menzie family shopping                                 Judy Iriye, Sharon and Andy Gavin 


          Rotaractor Diana Chowdhury     Judy Neveau, Tricia & Glen Ricard, Erik Jorgensborg 

Wine & Jazz Festival Supports Community and International Projects 2011-10-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Sep 08, 2011

Greeting us as we arrived today with Rotary smiles were Jillian Alexander, Tod Lipka, Monika White, Ann Greenspun and Izzy Cervello.

Image  Image 

More smiles from the head table with Monty McCormick and Bill Buxton who also provided the invocation.  We were joined by a number of visiting Rotarians and guests today including...

  Image Image Image

District Governor Elect Lew Bertrand with Jim Dyer, Delaney Dragon from LA 5 with Alonzo Hill and Klaus Mennekies, and Peter Weinberger from LA 5 with Connie Mcguire.

Image Image ImageImage

Adam Jolivet with Timur, Britney Makke (David Bohn), Christine Cassiano with Avo, and Scott Kunitz (Bill Crookston).  On to the business of the meeting and announcements:

  • Our next Healthy Living Committee event occurs on Saturday, September 17th.  Meet up with everyone at 8:45 AM at StreetStrider LA at 215 Ocean Front Walk, which is on the beach just down from Rose Avenue.  You can rent an elliptical bike, or bring any other form of wheels you prefer.  After the ride, we’ll go to brunch at the Rose Café at 220 Rose Avenue in Venice.
  • Ken Waltzer reminded us that Oct 2nd – International Wine Festival at the Annenberg Community Beach House – the clubs’ only fundraiser is only three weeks away.  Please plan to attend – and invite all your friends and collegues.  It is an the first year at a beautiful venue and we need everyone’s support.  If you cannot go, please at least  donate items and  invite friends
  • There are just a few tickets left  for the Nov 6th  Rotary International Foundation Celebration - Since our District Governor, Brad Robinson  flies on a trapeze in his spare time, our celebration will take place Circus Vargas- Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance, 3525 Carson Street, 90503.  Doors at 11 AM. $65/ adults, $35 children under 16
  • Monika White announced that the GSE trip this year is to India in the spring.  We are looking for applicants and a team leader.  Pleae contact Monika with questions and to express interest
  • Sharon Gavin announced that we will begin collecting new or gently read books for donations to the Senior Recreation Center in Santa Monica.  The plan is to provide 20-30 books every other month.  The  first deadline is October 21st and we will have a box by the door starting at the next meeting, Sept. 16, where books can be dropped off. 
  • Jim Dyer & Izzy Cervello announced that the new website based on Club Runner will be up by the end of this month. 
  • David Bohn announced the next District Breakfast will be on Sept 27th  at 7am. Let Savi know if yo would like to attend. The special guest speaker is Val Zavala who is the anchor of SoCal Connected and also serves as KCET's Vice President of News and Public Affairs (she was our speaker recently)


  Image  Image 

 Time for President David to collect some rent.  First, Larry Maher tells us about his three-week Idaho vacation where he tried a zip line. He gets off rent free though in appreciation for his work helping Savi migrate to QuickBooks and those new statements we are all receiving.  Ann Greenspun doesn't get off as easy when she is recognized for being featured in the Viking News for her leadership with the Rotary EarthAngel project (and mentioning being a proud member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica).  Scott Wagenseller was fined for having four kids who are five or under.                     

Image               Image

Thought for the Day (TFTD)  - “It is not enough to do good; one must do it the right way.” ~ John Viscount Morley, of Blackburn



September 9th Announcements, Fines and Guests 2011-09-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Sep 08, 2011
Austin Beutner serves as First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy for the City of Los Angeles. In his role as First Deputy Mayor, Beutner oversees 13 City Departments ranging from Planning and Building and Safety to Housing and Homeless. He also has responsibility for the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports (LAX, Ontario, and Van Nuys), and the Department of Water and Power, which is the largest municipally-owned utility in the U.S. These 13 Departments have revenues of approximately $8 billion, and employ 17,000 people. Mr. Beutner's responsibilities include working with the Departments to help them provide a better level of service (at a lower cost) to their customers, including businesses and taxpayers alike; developing and implementing policy reform to foster a better regulatory and economic environment in Los Angeles; and communicating with civic groups, business, and labor leaders.
Mr. Beutner talked to us about viewing a new stadium to host an NFL team as not just a football venue, but to see it as a means to helping Los Angeles “pull its own weight” when it comes to getting tourists to our city.
NFL in Los Angeles with Austin Beutner 2011-09-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 25, 2011

Our program featured Mark Slavkin, Vice President for Education at the Music Center, talking about arts education in schools and communitiess across Los Angeles County.  His staff of 20 people is working to help all 80 school districts in Los Angeles County bring back the arts as part of the core K-12 curriculum.  He recognized Santa Monica as one of the first Districts to join the Arts Alliance. Pictured with Mark are Prez David Bohn and Nat Travis

  Image  Image  Image

It was great to having Frank Lavac's wife Francine and daughter Kira join us today.  Watching from the head table are Avo Guerboian who did the invocation, David Snow doing guest introductions, and Sharon Perlmutter Gavin.

                       Image  Image 

Daniel Bennett and Ken Waltzer updated us on the International Wine and Jazz Festival set for October 2nd at the Annenberg Community Beach House.  Daniel indicated we still have a few openings for sponsorships.  This will be a fantastic event you won't want to miss and will raise funds for both local community and worldwide Rotary projects.  It is also a good opportunity to bring perspective new Rotarians.


We celebrated August birthdays with Jim Reidy, Jay Smith, Robert Segal, Jillian Alexander, Suzan Allbritton, Myles Pritchard and David Price.


Arts Education with Mark Slavkin 2011-08-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 18, 2011

Prez David brought this week's meeting to life with his ever present beach ball.  Head table celebraties included Brian Linnekens doing guest introductions, Grace Cheng Braun and Ann Greenspun.

Image  Image 

Guests joing us today were Chuck Cameron and BJ Johnson

Image    Image


Our program featured Meredith McCarthy from Heal the Bay motivating everyone to join the beach clean up at Palisades Beach on Saturday.


Keep The Ball Rolling 2011-08-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 18, 2011

Bill Buxton was presented his award from last year for his leadership of the OPCC meal efforts. Prez David kept the ball rolling recognizing Grace Wang on her recent engagement.  Also targeted were Larry Motorff and Mitchell Kraus.

  Image  Image Image

Continuing this year's recognition them, Prez David presented "Keep The Ball Rolling" awards to Suzan Allbritton and Jim Dyer.

Image  Image


Recognition and Fines 2011-08-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Isabel Cervello on Jul 21, 2011

The National HART Foundation was founded in 2009 by a Los Angeles City Fire Captain, Thomas Stafford, as a vehicle to bring attention, education and support to the many children, young adults and community members who succumb to sudden cardiac arrest daily in Southern California. Capt. Stafford was involved in the original development and execution of a highly successful program (HART) that was previously operated by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), where he played an intricate role in training thousands of Los Angeles Unified High School students alongside fellow firefighters, paramedics, and explorer scouts over a five-year period.  Tom shared with us the timeline on getting help to someone who is down, and really emphasized how important the first minutes are.  It was a sobering presentation with a bottom line that learning CPR can save a life.

Presentation – Captain Thomas Stafford, Los Angeles Fire Department Isabel Cervello 2011-07-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Isabel Cervello on Jul 21, 2011

President David thanked the more than 50 club members who attended and contributed to the Club Assembly this week. He also thanked Russ Warner, who has submitted a grant to the district for our Upward Bound House project.  We’ve received preliminary word that our application for $2,000 looks promising.  Donna Byrd was fined for handing out over 2,000 FREE Slurpees at her 7/11 store on 7th and Wilshire on 7/7/2011.  John Dravillas was fined for his good work as a physical therapist and Rotarian. Hal Quigley was thanked for supporting a Rotary ad in the Santa Monica Star for the past 10 years.  Susan Gabriel Potter paid the piper for her “first 3-week vacation in 30 years” to Europe. David also recognized Susan’s mother, Louise Gabriel, widow of our member Bob, for her book, Santa Monica, 1950-2010. It includes lots of club members! See Susan if you’d like to buy a copy; proceeds go to the Santa Monica History Museum. Mary Ann Powell was in The Wall Street Journal for Pacific Park’s “Carmaggedon” promotion

Fines Isabel Cervello 2011-07-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Isabel Cervello on Jul 21, 2011

Rick Kennedy started the ball rolling with the invocation. Iowa native Bret Carter, next to President David, was at the head table to invite us to the circus (see Announcements).Pennsylvania native John Pacheco introduced our speaker, Thomas Stafford. Connie Maguire, keeping us healthy this year, introduced our visitors. We were greeted by Julia Miele and Izzy Cervello. Ken Waltzer tickled the ivories for us, and Pat Bofird led us in pledge and song. Timur Berberoglu introduced us to music graduate student Federica Sclori from Milan. Jack Gregory hosted repeat guest Mahesh Parekh.

Meeting Cast Isabel Cervello 2011-07-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jul 14, 2011

Thank you Richard Kessler, “PhD” presented us with information on how to trace our ancestry.  As he assured us, fewer hobbies anywhere offer the reward of genealogy.  “Dr.” Kessler taught us to begin by collecting all the birth certificates, ordinations, baptisms, education, marriage certificates, military records, and any other documentation we can find, and to ask Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions.  Additionally, it was common for names to be changed entirely, or for the spelling to be modified, so name changes are something to be on the lookout.  This was all fun and true, but then we moved on to the history of John Bohn’s family.  Much of the family genealogy was true, including copies of 1870 census records from Illinois.  Some it was funny.  Thank you, Dr. Kessler for explaining that everyone descends from Adam, Eve and Noah.

Presentation - Genealogy 101 2011-07-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jul 14, 2011

Carol Jackson led us in song and pledging, accompanied by Ken Waltzer.  Connolly Oyler Invocation from Congraciously stepped in to provide the invocation; Ken Waltzer sat next to President David (well, first he sat next to Nicole, David’s daughter), Mitchell Kraus introduced our speaker, Richard Kessler, and Larry Maher introduced our guests.  Julia Miele and Russ Warner greeted us at the door

Meeting Cast 2011-07-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Suzan Allbritton on Jul 14, 2011

Today was the first meeting for David Bohn as our 2011-12 President.  With David’s knowledge of a club history of walking out on the President’s first meeting, David had daughter Nicole take his place on the podium.  Nicole started the meeting with the ringing of the bell, and then proceeded to inform us that if we walked out, we’d be walking out on her.  So, we stayed, of course! 

First Meeting Drama Suzan Allbritton 2011-07-15 00:00:00Z 0
President David Bohn upstaged by daughter Nicole at first meeting Jim Dyer 2011-07-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jim Dyer on Jun 02, 2011

It was an international head table with lots of Rotary experience today.


Japan native Charlene Underhill Miller, whose husband John has been a member of our club, gave us our invocation.  Christina Chan, originally from Hong Kong, has completed a term as Chair of District Recognitions Awards.  Tom Larmore, who has diligently chaired our scholarships programs for several years, has just completed the huge task of compiling our Club Book. Alan Glick, a former Club Director, has stepped up to the plate as co-chair of scholarships this year, along with Alan Young. New member Rob Kohn, originally from Jerusalem, introduced guests.


Visiting Rotarians:
Past District Governor Rick Mendoza

Assistant Governor Glen Mitchell and his wife of 39 years, Joan.

David Berry from Adelaide, South Australia.


Guests of Rotarians:
Alan Glick’s wife Vala. 
Retired American Airlines Captain Steve Belzer joined Bill Randle and Alan Glick.  Rosemary Smith, Clyde’s widow, was on hand to see the Clyde Smith Scholarship awarded.


Special Recognition:
PDG Rick Mendoza recognized Lisa Alexander’s entry into the Bequest Society by including Rotary in her estate planning.


June 3rd - Scholarship Awards Day Jim Dyer 2011-06-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jim Dyer on May 15, 2011

First Tuesday was fabulous at the Fig. If you missed it this time, you won’t want to miss it again.


Thank you, Matt Lehman…You are the Host with the Most!

First Tuesday - May 3rd Jim Dyer 2011-05-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Suzan Allbritton on May 05, 2011

David Bohn introduced the Group Study Exchange team from Rotary District 3280 in Bangladesh.First of all, many thanks to those who helped with the GSE visit. Our hosts were Eric and Marilyn Schmitter, Ann and Richard Greenspun, and Monika White and Roger Goodman. Judy Neveau hosted a group dinner at her home on Tuesday night. Jillian Alexander coordinated individual vocational experiences for our team members. Klaus Mennekes hosted the team and hosts and other participants at Hotel Casa Del Mar for drinks and appetizers Thursday night. And again this year, Lionel Ruhman allowed us to jack his van for the entire week to transport the team. Jim and Virginia Reidy opened up their home for use as home base all week long and accommodated our comings and goings at all hours. Tom Loo arranged for Bangladeshi ethnic cuisine for the International Food Festival.

May 6th at Rotary - Bangladesh GSE Team Suzan Allbritton 2011-05-06 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Bohn on Apr 29, 2011

Our Beginnings

The Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation was founded by the Rotary Club of Santa Monica in 1972 under the leadership of Aubrey E. Austin, Jr., Gerald Jennings and Ralph Kiewet to mark the club's 50th anniversary.  The members' goal was to raise $50,000 in time for the February 1972 birthday celebration and begin a program to help deserving nonprofit organizations in the Santa Monica Bay Area through foundation grants.  With the combined effort of our trustees and club members and the generosity of many in the community, our goal was achieved. 

The Foundation grew slowly and assisted our community's finest organizations.  A generous estate gift contributed significantly to the corpus of the Foundation.  In 1997, under the leadership of the club's 75th birthday chairman, Richard J. Rice, M.D., pledges and gifts from more than 65 percent of the club's members further expanded the assets.

What We Have Accomplished

Since 1972, more than $425,000, derived solely from the earnings of the corpus, has been distributed to 30 local charities and nonprofit organizations.  We have played a role in bettering our community in small and large ways, from dental clinic equipment to chemistry lab equipment for high schools, computers for the elderly, VCRs for hospital patients, vehicles for the Red Cross, a fork lift for the Westside Food Bank, to remodeling the kitchen at the Salvation Army. Funds are provided for capital improvement projects and equipment, not for operational expenses. 

Click here for a Capital Improvement Project Grant Application Form

The Foundation is administered by nine trustees, all members of the Santa Monica Rotary Club.  Our Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation is not related in any way to the Rotary International Foundation, which is funded by Rotarians throughout the world via the Paul Harris Fellowship program.

How You Can Help

We rely on contributions and encourage you to make us a regular part of your charitable giving at any time.  Please think of us as a way of honoring a loved one who has departed; we will send a special card to the person you designate apprising them of your gift (without mention of the amount) as well as a letter of acknowledgement to you.  Or you can honor an individual on a birthday, anniversary, or any special occasion and they will be similarly recognized.  Recommending a gift to the Foundation in lieu of flowers or gifts is another way you can help.

All gifts are tax deductible and do much to help our Santa Monica Bay community.  All that, and we do the hard work to research and evaluate the beneficiaries of your generosity! 

Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation John Bohn 2011-04-30 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bret Carter on Apr 28, 2011


 How The Rotary Foundation works 

The Rotary Foundation receives monies from contributions and income from investments of their Permanent Fund.  The income from the Permanent Fund (endowment income) and from investments of the general funds of the Foundation supplies approximately 35% of the total.

The primary funds received by the Rotary Foundation (approximately 60%) come from contributions to the Annual Program Fund, which in large part is supplied by contributions by Rotarians who are given recognition for each $1,000.00 contributed by a Paul Harris Fellowship. 

Many of our members who have given once to become a Paul Harris Fellow fail to realize that the money they contributed went into the Annual Program Fund of the Rotary Foundation and was spent within two years on the Humanitarian Grants, Educational Sponsorships and Grants, and the Polio Plus Program. 

The Rotary Foundation has maintained an endowment fund, the PERMANENT FUND of the Rotary Foundation.  The principal of this fund is invested and only the income from the investments is used for grants and programs.  Last year the income from the Permanent Fund was approximately $10 million dollars and funded 12% of all of the humanitarian grants, scholarships, Polio Plus, and other programs.

There are several members of our club who have made substantial lifetime contributions to the Permanent Fund.  In additions, there are now 20 members of our club who have become Benefactors of the Rotary Foundation by signing a declaration form stating that they have made a provision for a testamentary gift by their will or trust in favor of The Rotary Foundation. 

This is a very good way to assure the continued growth of the Permanent Fund.



To become a Benefactor, all you need to do is to designate in your will, trust, or life insurance policy an amount or portion as your donation to the Permanent Fund of The Rotary Foundation.

Right now or any time, you can also make a permanent gift of $1,000 or more to the Permanent Fund, which is an endowment fund.  Only the income from this fund is spent for the many wonderful programs funded by The Rotary Foundation.  Your gift will continue in perpetuity.

The Permanent Fund is very different from the funds raised by the Paul Harris Fellowship program.  When we donate funds for recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow, those funds, both principal and interest, are distributed by the trustees of The Rotary Foundation within 18 months.  For further information, contact Bret Carter. 


Paul Harris Fellow

Paul Harris Fellow recognition is The Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs.  It is named for our founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905. 

It is because of gifts like those from the Paul Harris Fellows that The Rotary Foundation is able to carry out an array of programs that achieve beneficial changes in our world: improved living conditions, increased food production, better education, wider availability of treatment and rehabilitation for the sick and disabled, new channels for the flow of international understanding, and brighter hopes for peace.

How to become a Paul Harris Fellow

Supporting the philanthropic mission of The Rotary Foundation and being recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow is Easy: 


  • Make a minimum contribution of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation.


  • If our Club has built up matching credits in its account, the club will assist you by a transfer of credits equal to your cash donation


  • $1,000 will go to support the programs sponsored by The Rotary Foundation that help to make a difference in quality of life in so many different areas of the world.

You will receive a Paul Harris Fellow Medal and Certificate in recognition of your generous support. 

For additional information on how you can become a Paul Harris Fellow contact either Bret Carter or Marv Levin of our Rotary Foundation Committee.

Rotary International Foundation Bret Carter 2011-04-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Thomas Montemer

Amy Tan

Designer and Owner of Amy Tangerine

Hobby Day


Last Fri., Apr. 10 marked a specially themed "Hobby Day" during the Santa Monica Rotary Club's weekly meeting. After a prayerful invocation by Matt Williams, the club members collectively crooned "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in honor of the recent MLB kickoff.

The meeting proceeded as a $2,000 grant was presented to KidUnity on behalf of the Santa Monica Rotary Foundation. Dee Menzies, head mistress of Carlthorpe School, elaborated on the organization as a handful of fifth-graders were present to receive the grant.

"KidUnity on the Westside of Los Angeles is comprised of students from various schools who participate in activities that promote critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration, while emphasizing cross-cultural skills, global endeavors, teamwork, and certainly, civic leadership," Menzies said. "It's very much a service learning club, and I like to think of it as a mini Rotary club."

One of the fifth-graders present at the meeting explained that the Westside club had recently focused on animal welfare, homelessness, and emergency preparedness.

Following the presentation of the grant, the hobby-centric theme of the meeting went into full force as guest speaker Amy Tan explained how one of her life hobbies eventually transitioned into a business in the form of her line, Amy Tangerine.

"Discovering this hobby started very young for me," Tan said. "I grew up in Chicago as an only child to two immigrant parents, and I had a big imagination, so I found myself being bored a lot. My parents encouraged me to go do or make something."

Fast forward to Tan's high school years: the creative mind found herself in a sewing class during her senior year and wound up creating not only her own prom dress, but a friend's as well.

"I made her this mermaid-like, satin dress that she wore and loved," Tan said. "That was my first taste of success, my first experience at finding joy in creating something and having someone else benefit from it, too."

Tan initially attended Georgia Tech with the intention of majoring in industrial design.

"This experience really pushed my creative boundaries, because after working on some 10-hour projects, I would show off my creation and only earn a B or a C," Tan said. "I was dismayed because I thought creativity didn't have to earn a grade."

During this time, Tan was still making clothing for her friends on the side and gained experience in learning to take orders from clients. Tan eventually transferred to a different college to focus more on fashion.

"With more time on my hands, I felt like I should be doing something more with my life," Tan said.

Due to circumstances that required her to work outside in cold weather, Tan had learned to make arm-warmers for herself. Through a serendipitous situation, a retail store caught sight of her arm-warmers, discovered that Tan had made them herself, and asked to place an order from her.

"The arm-warmers started selling very well at the store," Tan said. "Magazines started doing pieces of my work and of my story, and it all started building from there."

Although Tan initially took an arbitrary first few steps -- she started to design tank tops on a whim -- her creations were sold at luxury prices through the connections that she had.

"Cindy Crawford actually wore one of my tank tops," Tan said. "My first thought was: 'she's working out in a $110 tank top.'"

After a successful trade show in New York, Tan launched a T-shirt business and moved to Los Angeles from Atlanta for another company as well. Through an ultimatum that her company gave her -- to either stick with the official company or focus on her personal business -- Tan began to reflect on her professional career.

"I realized that I had spent four years of my life working hard and building this business, and I didn't have any time for myself," Tan said.

As Tan turned 30, she entered into a self-deemed "third-life crisis" that led her to taking a mini sabbatical to Asia and discovering a brand-new creative means of expression: scrapbooking.

"I found so much joy in hearing about other scrapbookers' lives and how they capture their memories," Tan said. "I made a business out of it, but only just for me. I liked making albums for people who didn't have time to do it."

Tan's creations have since been featured in major craft chains like Hobby Lobby, Joann's, and Target.

"Once I learned to focus on appreciation instead of achievement, I was able to take the best of what I enjoyed and really make that my life," Tan said. "Focus on what you love, and try to enjoy every minute of it. Build something that you're proud of."

For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit


Apr. 10 Meeting - Hobby Day - Speaker, Amy Tan Thomas Montemer 0
Posted by Thomas Montemer

Abbey Fernandez and Adam Lichtl

Recruitment at Pepperdine University and Research at SpaceX

Craft Talks


At the Mar. 31 meeting, the Rotary Club of Santa Monica had the opportunity to become more acquainted with their fellow club members through the familiar Craft Talks program, during which Rotarians share with the rest of the club more details about their personal and professional lives. With a humorous, yet reflective invocation by Jillian Alexander that jumpstarted the meeting, the Rotarians geared up to get to know members Abbey Fernandez and Adam Lichtl better.

Florida native Fernandez commenced the duo of Craft Talkers by outlining some of the most significant events in her life, including her passion for helping and mentoring students, her lasting interests in sports management and student athletes, her current job as a recruiter at Pepperdine University, and her relationship with her fiancé, Todd.

“I lived in Florida [since my early childhood] up until college,” Fernandez said. “I love Florida: it’s the perfect place minus the humidity.”

As a part of the rowing team in high school, Fernandez’s talent was apparent as she was recruited to be a part of the NCAA rowing team at Clemson University.

“I spent the five of the best years of my life at [Clemson],” Fernandez said. “I lettered for four years and developed a huge passion for student athletes.”

Fernandez went on to attend Louisiana State University (LSU), where she not only earned a master’s degree in sports management but also met her current fiancé.

“LSU is a beautiful college town and it’ll forever hold a special place for us in our hearts,” Fernandez said.

Upon graduation, Fernandez worked with the women’s basketball team at the University of South Florida, a period she referred to as “the most challenging experience of [her] life.”

As an advocate for women in sports, Fernandez longed to keep the connection she built with students as she helped them figure out what they wanted to accomplish. The appropriate job arose at Pepperdine University where she could work with M.B.A. students and help recruit the best fits for the school.

“Pepperdine is the perfect place for me,” Fernandez said. “I was the top recruiter for the last year. I want to get into sports sometime in the future, but in the meantime, I’m very happy with where I am.”

Fernandez concluded by elaborating on her Rotarian roots.

“I have a huge heart for the older population, as I’m very close to my grandparents,” Fernandez explained. “My grandfather brought me into Rotary; I’m a fourth-generation Rotarian. It’s amazing that you can walk into any Rotary Club and instantly feel welcomed.”

Lichtl, who took the stage next, also boasts a Rotarian family background as his grandfather “was an old-school New England Rotarian.”

According to Lichtl, the events in his life were shaped and defined by the family members and friends around him.

“My grandfather was a very big part of my life,” Lichtl said. “He taught me chess when I was very young, and he never let me win because he wanted me to earn it. When I finally beat him, it was such a shock to both of us. I grew addicted to the feeling of working at something that you’re not good at until you’re good at it.”

Lichtl has accomplished many an academic and professional feat through the course of his life. He started his college education at the age of 15: he associated with older kids through debate club at a young age and was able to reach a similar academic level as well. With the mental qualification and a high level of persistency, Lichtl was admitted to the University of Texas after acing the placement tests. A few years later, Lichtl transferred to Cal Tech, which is where he earned his bachelor’s degree, and later earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University.

“Through all this I learned that I’m not the smartest person in the room, and I don’t ever want to be the smartest person in the room,” Lichtl said.

After his grandfather, who encouraged Lichtl to pursue business, passed away, Lichtl was re-inspired to obtain an M.B.A. Although he endeavored on a successful career in finance in New York City, Lichtl eventually returned to his love for science after another tragic event: his close friend's passing.

"The joy that came out of this was that we were able to reflect on what we were doing with our lives," Lichtl said. "I want to die doing what I love."

Through a serendipitous meeting at a party, Lichtl became connected to a manager at SpaceX, where he currently serves as Director of Research.

Although Lichtl fully loves and enjoys his job, he considers meeting his spouse the moment that he is most proud of.

"The greatest accomplishment I've had in my life so far would have to be the woman I married," Lichtl said.

For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit


Mar. 27 Meeting - Craft Talks - Abbey Fernandez and Adam Lichtl Thomas Montemer 0
Posted by Savitri Labensart
March 27 was Craft Talks!! Two new members were tasked with giving us their life story in 10-12 minutes!! Great job to these two stars!!

New member Adam Lichtl(right) sported a bow tie in honor of his always sharp-dressed sponsor, Nick Goehner(left)!

Abbey Fernandez is pictured here with her fiancé Todd Smith! She's been at the head table a few times in a row now, but how could you get tired of that precious face!

Bill Rayman made an announcement for our event to help clean the LA River!! April 11 at 9am! Contact to participate!!


RoseMary Regalbuto thanked everybody who helped with the Meals on Wheels volunteer event, and she also helped Len Lanzi announce that King George will be honored at the upcoming Lion's Club Awards Dinner!!

Additionally, Julia Miele was fined (recognized) for being honored by the Santa Monica League of Women Voters as one of its Women Who Shape Santa Monica! And Klaus Mennekes was fined for his license plate advertising...can you figure it out? HY OQPNC

March 27 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart 0
Posted by Savitri Labensart
We gave away lots of money on Friday!! We are so proud to present grants to local non-profits in our area...

Josh Olsen from Angel Flight West received a grant, and he's pictured here with a Rotarian who volunteers to drive for them, Donna Byrd!!

Gita Runkle presented a grant to Laura Rosenbaum from the SM Bay Area Human Relations Council, Cameras for Kids

Rotarian Myles Pritchard(far right) is heading the efforts from our club to participate in the Special Olympics!


And we got an introduction to our new member Helen Zhao, pictured here with our president, his royal highness, King George!!

March 20 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart 0
Posted by Savitri Labensart
Our new members rock!! Check out all the participation with a couple of them at the head table, and one jumping into a committee chair spot in his second week in the club!!

Abbey Fernandez did our guest introductions!

Dr. Pei Vuong sat next to our invocator Bret Carter!

Jon Siegal has taken on our social media! If you want something Rotary related on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, he's your guy!


And we had some fun with our guest introductions is Lisa Alexander with her guest Jessica Menzhuber! Our resident trouble maker in the back there is Stan Fox!

Additionally, our past president David Bohn brought a special book to the meeting...a photo album from when his father, John Bohn, was president of our club. It was a big hit, seeing what people looked like back in 1992-93!

March 13 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart 0
Posted by Thomas Montemer

David Travers

Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners

Co-Founder, Basepoint Ventures


The Santa Monica Rotarians at the Mar. 20 meeting were enlightened by a knowledgeable investor about the world of entrepreneurship. Before the guest speaker shared his perspectives, Rotarian Russ Warner led the club in an invocation and song leaders Matt Williams and Ken Waltzer jubilantly led the Rotarians into the classic “Under the Boardwalk” with a lyrical spin.

After an introduction by Len Lanzi, during which he shared the guest speaker’s accomplishments with the audience, David Travers took to the podium. Not only is Travers currently a partner at Rustic Canyon Partners and a co-founder of Basepoint Ventures – both of which are located in Santa Monica – he also has extensive experience in both the political and business realms as a former executive assistant to the National Security at the White House and a strategic planning analyst for the Walt Disney Company.

Travers jokingly began his presentation by noting that the last time he was at a Rotary meeting was two decades ago when he was awarded a scholarship from the Napa Valley Rotary Club.

“Consider this to be in my 20-year check-in,” Travers said. “I’m here to share with you the mindset of a venture capitalist.”

Travers first delved into his personal background and how he became involved with his current line of work.

“I grew up as the son of an entrepreneur [and] I always saw myself becoming an entrepreneur,” Travers said. “Meeting with hundreds of entrepreneurs a year was the perfect gig for me. After I spent time at the White House, I found my way to Rustic Canyon Partners here in Santa Monica.”

Travers said that the objective of his presentation was to share venture capitalist trends within technology-based enterprise, emphasizing the role of technology as it “has a huge impact on all of us, more and more every day” in virtually all sectors of the world from non-profits to government.

“For the past decade I’ve been investing in early-stage start-ups that are all high-tech [and] all touch software in some way,” Travers explained. “This involves a lot of mobile applications and software companies.”

Travers expanded on three examples of the effects of technology: the power of individual talent, the shift of the Silicon Valley, and the underestimation of the mobile.

“We think a lot about the way the world is and the way the world is changing,” Travers said. “Normally when we make an investment, it’s to receive a big return five to 10 years later. We’re willing to take a lot of risk. The rate at which some people are going to impact the world in small groups or even by themselves is growing: that’s the world we’re headed for.”

According to Travers, Silicon Valley was not always known as the cradle of technology – as Detroit served as the parallel hub in the 1960s and 1970s – which implies that there may be an imminent change in the concentration of high-tech companies.

“I don’t think Silicon Valley is going away, but it’s not necessarily the way it’ll always be,” Travers said. “It’s rapidly shifting today.”

Lastly, Travers touched on the idea that “mobile is still underappreciated.” By displaying a graph that showed that there were more mobile device owners than there were toilet owners, Travers conveyed to the audience the prominent role of technology.

“This year was the first year where there were more mobile phones with Internet connections than there were people on earth,” Travers said.

The speaker provided the example of an online Stanford computer science course, in which only three of the top 100 students were physically present in class due to its Internet accessibility.

“The implications of this widespread technology are not fully understood by anyone,” he said.

Travers concluded his presentation with a question-and-answer session, during which several Rotarians expressed their interest and curiosity in the growingly relevant relationship between technology and entrepreneurship.

For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit


Mar. 20 Meeting - Speaker, David Travers - Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners Thomas Montemer 0
Posted by Savitri Labensart
Last week we welcomed two new members to the fold!

Global Investment Manager,

Helen Zhao

Commercial Lending Banker,

David Wisen

Vice President Lisa Alexander talked about our next Healthy Living Event, the 3-2-1 Run/Walk to End Polio on March 21st!!


 And tell Lisa you are going!


Thank you to our fabulous greeters for the day, Hugh Travis (far right) & Gita Runkle(pictured 3rd), here with Ann Greenspun and Laurel Rosen.

Additionally, for the second time we had visiting Rotarian Graham Phaup, we found out David Bohn was made chairman of the Bradmore Group, Eric Schmitter is back from a couple surgeries looking and feeling fantastic, and Stan Fox was fined an enormous amount for a very, very good deed!

March 6 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart 0
Posted by Thomas Montemer

Veronica Majd

Children's Librarian at Donald Bruce Kaufman Library in Brentwood

2015 Los Angeles Public Library Summer Reading Program Committee


On Fri., Mar. 6, the Rotary Club of Santa Monica commemorated Literacy Day at its weekly meeting with the spotlight on children's books. To kick off the meeting, Charlie Follette presented the Rotarians with an invocation. After guests were introduced and announcements were made, Savi Labensart led the club with a special version of the hit song "Happy," as the lyrics were tailored to suit the theme of children's literacy and prepare the members for the afternoon's presentation.

Rotarian Kathy Shepard proceeded to introduce guest speaker Veronica Majd, who is a children's librarian at the Donald Bruce Kaufman Library in Brentwood. Although Majd serves all patrons, she specializes in programming and outreach for children ages zero to 11 and is contributing to finding, developing, and executing the library's summer reading program as a part of the 2015 Los Angeles Public Library Summer Reading Program Committee. Majd has been employed at several libraries and is adamant about advocating the importance of literacy and reading and encouraging children to become lifelong readers.

"As a children's librarian and as one who likes to advocate reading, I was ecstatic when I learned that Rotary members took on reading to students at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District," Majd said. "I know that Rotary members are always taking action and contributing to communities, but I'm here to tell you why we are celebrating this particular venture that you have embarked on. In doing so I will discuss the dynamics of reading to children."

Majd explained that several adult readers "do not realize the significant advantages that they are applying to a child's life" by reading books aloud to them, including the impact of developing their literacy skills. From talking to writing to even singing and playing, the communication skills of children are sharpened when they are read to.

"Children learn our language by listening to others talk," Majd said. "When you read to a child, you give them the opportunity to learn new words and what they mean. You take a role in them learning cues in our language, and you help them develop their own skill of reading for themselves."

Majd said that listening to adults reading exposes the children to learning the "English language code" as well, as they learn letters, names, and sounds.

Children can also enhance their relational abilities through reading, according to Majd.

"Reading introduces children to book characters, which they may build connections with," Majd said. "They learn new stories, thoughts, and ideas, [and] they gain new knowledge about the world on various topics when you read to them."

One of the clearest results of reading out loud to children is the immediate impact on their academic performance.

"It's been proven that kids who read tend to perform better academically and go on to colleges and universities," Majd said. "Reading to children is the most effective way to turn them into lifelong readers, which they need to do if they want to be successful."

Kids can build stronger senses of self-esteem and self-worth as well, as "kids who love books tend to have an easier time becoming self-starters rather than being influenced by their peers and mainstream media."

After highlighting the myriad of benefits of reading aloud to children, Majd delved into a number of award-winning children's books to provide a glimpse of what is popular in the realm of juvenile literature. Majd gave an in-depth description of the books, including the synopsis, publisher, author, and illustrator of each.

Majd concluded by elaborating on the various resources that public libraries provide for parents, caretakers, and volunteers with regards to children's literacy.

"We provide booklets for grade and reading levels as well as reading advisories and recommendations," Majd said. "We know exactly what they would like to read."

In order to further highlight the importance of the Rotarians' volunteer service, Majd said that one of her earliest childhood memories was when "The Giving Tree" was read to her.

"It was a major event for me and was what triggered me to become an avid reader today," Mad said. "I want to commend the Santa Monica Rotarians and thank you for your leadership and committing to reading to children. I'm so happy you're pursuing this venture and I think that you all should be celebrated."

For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit


Mar. 6 Meeting - Speaker, Veronica Majd - Children's Librarian at Donald Kaufman Bruce Library - Literacy Day Thomas Montemer 0
Posted by Thomas Montemer

Richard Ham

President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach

Chairman of the District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Guatemala


Last Fri., Feb. 28, the members of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica received a glimpse of the projects that their funds are allocated toward as the guest speaker as well as fellow Santa Monica Rotarians elaborated on the district humanitarian trip to Guatemala. After collectively singing a handful of tunes to liven up the friendly atmosphere, guests of Rotarians were introduced and a grant was awarded.

The Joe Torre Safe at Home organization was awarded a $2,000 grant, which Daniel Knowles, Director of Advancement, accepted. Knowles informed the club that the funds would go toward furnishing purposes at the organization’s new facility at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica and expressed his gratitude for the monetary support.

The afternoon proceeded with guest speaker Richard Ham, president-elect of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club and an active member of the Boards of International Service, Community Service, and Vocational Service. It was appropriate that Rosemary Regalbuto, who accompanied Ham on the District 5280 humanitarian trip to Guatemala, introduced the speaker, who was the chairman of the trip. Ham opened up the conversation by describing a bit of the planning process.

“Planning the trip took over a period of a year and a half,” Ham said. “But it was really worth it.”

Ham said that he and his committee of nine wound up approving six projects and raised an overall amount of $435,000. The trip itself cost about $250,000, which ultimately fed and helped boost Guatemala’s economy.

Ham also partnered with Rotarians in Guatemala in order to narrow down some of the priorities – such as sustainability and maintainability – that the residents themselves wanted to focus on. He spent about six months “going back and forth to Guatemala” in order to gain a clearer grasp on some of the ongoing endeavors within the country.

A few members of the Santa Monica Rotary Club touched on some of the specificities of the projects that they contributed to.

“The [Guatemala Literacy project] is a literacy program that never ceases to amaze me,” Santa Monica Rotarian Russ Warner said. As an initiative that supports underprivileged children in Guatemala by supplying textbooks, scholarships, and other literacy programs, the GLP has been “supported by over 430 Rotary Clubs.”

The Santa Monica Rotary Club contributed to providing a thousand eco-stoves to the country as well, which allow families to cook and barbecue within their households through proper ventilation. As a result, the stoves “will greatly reduce the risk of respiratory disease.”

Alongside such projects were also pleasant memories of playing games and simply becoming acquainted with the fellow Guatemalans, as Santa Monica Rotarian Rosemary Regalbuto described walking through the country and even participating in a game of basketball with some employees of the Hope Haven Center, a wheelchair manufacturing facility that the Club also collaborated with.

“Guatemala is a beautiful country,” Ham said. “I encourage you to visit and go on these trips if it’s possible […] they’re a lot of fun and you can see where your money is going and what it’s doing all around the world.”

For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit


February 27 Meeting - Speaker, Richard Ham - District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Guatemala Thomas Montemer 0
Posted by Savitri Labensart
Before the meeting, the Rotarians had a Champagne Meet & Greet to connect with their friends and meet new people. Pictured: Suzan Allbritton, David Rosenfeld, Judy Neveau, Timur Berberoglu, and Ken Waltzer
New Member Palle Jensen gets pinned on his day of induction by Spyros Dellaportas!



Mitch Kraus presented a grant to Daniel Knowles from the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation.




We had so many smiling faces!

Feb. 27 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart 0
Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Sep. 12 Thomas Montemer 0
Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Sep. 5 Thomas Montemer 0
Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 22 Thomas Montemer 0
Rotary Club Weekly Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 8 Thomas Montemer 0
Rotary Club Weekly Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 1 0
Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 15 Thomas Montemer 0
Rotary Board Performs in Halloween Flashmob Scott Ferguson 0
Posted by Nicholas Goehner

Today's head-table was comprised of University of California graduates. David Robinson (UCLA) Charlie Follette (Cal) Melissa Dagodag (UCLA Law) plus Craft Talk speaker Larry Mortorff (UCLA) ... and ...

University of California rules Nicholas Goehner 0
Posted by Nicholas Goehner

The Eleventh Annual Food and Song Festival was held at the home of Tom and Stephanie Loo in Malibu on Sunday, April 28, 2013.  Over 250 Rotarians and Guests enjoyed an afternoon of foods and beverages from around the world.  Live entertainment from Rotary members and invited artists played throughout the afterward.  The Festival also offered activities for children and young adults by the Broadway Gym. Special guests included the GSE Team from Japan and members of the Santa Monica Rotaract Club.


11th Annual Food and Song Festival Nicholas Goehner 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz

ImageWidely beloved and heralded KNBC Weatherman, stand-up comic, actor, and playwright Fritz Coleman has been named "Best Weathercaster" in nearly every major paper in Southern California.

In addition to his weather reporting, stand-up comedy, and on-camera acting, Coleman has written, produced and starred in three one-man plays. His first production "It's Me! Dad!" won the coveted 1997 Artistic Directors Award. His second play "The Reception," is an insightful and hilarious look at relationships. While his most recent play, "Tonight at 11!" is an insider’s look at a typical local newscast.

Coleman actively engages in humanitarian service efforts. He has received many Humanitarian of the Year Awards, including being recognized by the City of Los Angeles, Shelter Partnership, and the United States House of Representatives.

Originally from Philadelphia, Coleman attended Salem College in West Virginia and Temple University in Philadelphia where he studied radio, television and film. Coleman is an avid runner, rollerblader and skier. He lives in the San Fernando Valley and has two sons and a daughter.

This week at Rotary - Fritz Coleman, KNBC Weatherman, stand-up comic, actor, and playwright Scott Kunitz 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz

Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America, proudly serves over 18,000 young people in 65% of Los Angeles County. Our goal is to reach as many youth as possible by providing programs that nurture, guide, direct and teach skills to help them live successful lives in our world.  The Santa Monica Rotary Club has been a key partner in helping the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America improve and upgrade the Council’s magnificent Camp Josepho – a jewel nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains in Pacific Palisades which brings the joys of the summer camp experience to countless children.  The unique Camp Josepho experience is invaluable and unmatched in Los Angeles. What makes Camp Josepho so unique is that while it is within easy reach of all Angelenos, it is a beautiful natural environment with no cars, telephones, or roads in the majority of the camp.  For many children from Los Angeles who have never had the opportunity to be ‘out in nature,’ Camp Josepho can be a life changing experience.  Josepho’s location, a short drive from some of the lowest income neighborhoods in Los Angeles, minimizes transportation costs and makes this camping experience feasible for many families.

Through a grant provided by The Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation, Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America was able to complete a much needed upgrade to Camp Josepho’s Swimming Pool Pump & Filtration System thus allowing WLACC the ability to continue to bring the joys of swimming to our campers.


Santa Monica Rotary Foundation supports Boy Scouts of America’s swimming pool at Camp Josepho Scott Kunitz 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz

Dr. Bernd Fischer became head of the German Consulate General- Los Angeles in July 2012, after serving as German Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.  Dr. Fischer received his Doctorate in Philosophy from Heidelberg University, not far from his Kaiserslautern birthplace.  Dr. Fischer is married to Jutta Fischer and has two grown children.

German Consulate General Los Angeles

Rotary Club Meeting April 5, 2013 - German Consul General Dr. Bernd Fischer "Germany's role in the European Union" Scott Kunitz 0
2013 Rotary International Food Festival - April 28th Scott Kunitz 0
Rotary Club Meeting March 15, 2013 - John Fairweather "The Santa Monica Airport Issue" Scott Kunitz 0
Posted by Frank Lavac

Santa Monica Rotary Club - together with the Rotaract Club of Santa Monica College - has chosen Olympic High School as the site of our first "Rotary Day of Service" on Saturday, April 13th

What is The Rotary Day of Service?

A hands-on day of service with a purpose of meeting real world needs in Santa Monica, raising the visibility of the work that the Rotary Club of Santa Monica does in the community, and establishing our club's “Legacy of Service”. It will also give the Rotaract students an opportunity to see Rotarians in their professional roles as well as doing service side by side with Rotarians and their families.

In addition to the actual day of service, our Rotaract Club at Santa Monica College will participate in a learning opportunity with our members:

April 12 Members of the Rotaract Club of SMC will spend the morning job-shadowing with our club members to learn about their professions. They will then join our club for lunch and to hear longtime meteorologist and television personality Fritz Coleman.

April 13 (8 a.m. - 2 p.m.): Rotarians and Rotaract Club members will join in together to help refurbish Olympic High School by cleaning, painting and planting. Rotarians, Rotaracters and community members will all be there to help; there will be morning coffee and a presentation to start everyone off, and lunch will be served to celebrate the completion of the work.

Many hand make light work! Sign up to come and be part of this day! To quote president Judy Neveau's motto for the year "Rotary is an Education: Service is the Tuition". So come and get educated, and pay your tuition in a fun service project to brighten the environment for the students ad teachers at Olympic High School!

Santa Monica Rotary Club's Day of Service - Saturday, April 13 Frank Lavac 0
Posted by Lisa Alexander

Rotarians for Healthy Living

Rotary Club of Santa Monica - Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike

View from the top

Saturday Feb. 9

6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City, CA 90232

The main hiking trail winds up one mile from the park entrance at Jefferson Blvd. and down from the Scenic Overlook. The trail zig zags around a very steep and straight staircase visitors can also access. The reward is an incredible panoramic view of Los Angeles!

Saturday, February 9, 8am. Meet at the Trailhead on Jefferson Blvd at Hetzler Rd.  Look for large sign for Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park. Plenty of street parking on Jefferson Blvd.

What to Bring:
Bring Water and don’t forget sunscreen. We’ll have coffee and bagels at the top.

Trip Leader:
Lisa Alexander: or 310/656-4310.
Rotarians for Healthy Living - Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike Saturday Feb. 9 Lisa Alexander 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz
Wade A.D. Eyerly, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air!

Prior to founding Surf Air, Wade worked in national defense, filling various roles for an intelligence agency. He served as a Senior Business Consultant leading Lean Six Sigma process improvement activities for the National Security Agency, and spent four years as an intelligence officer with the Department of Defense. Before leaving politics to work for the government, Wade worked on two Presidential campaigns, including time as a Press Advance Represe11tative for Vice President Dick Cheney.

Additionally, Wade served in Iraq from 2009-2010 where he built quantitative models that were used to predict conflict and help keep soldiers safe. Wade received the Secretary of Defense's medal for the Global War on Terror, and the Civilian Joint Service Commendation for his work there.

In 2011, Wade and his brother David created a new type of private air travel, a members-only service that provided travel between top United States cities. Surf Air was created to build a business service that would introduce the luxury service of private flying to passengers who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

Wade earned a B.A. in International Economic Policy and Cross-Cultural Relations from Central Missouri State University and a Master's in Public Policy and International Development Management from Brigham Young University - where he also earned a Global Management Certificate. In 2005, Wade received the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award from Central Missouri State.

This week at Rotary - Wade Eyerly, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air! Scott Kunitz 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz

November is Rotary Foundation Month; the time to focus on our support of The Rotary Foundation and how it benefits many throughout the world. You will likely recall our Club was the lead International Sponsor of the Grand Bahamas Emergency Water Relief project GRAND BAHAMA EMERGENCY WATER RELIEF PROJECT. This project exemplifies leveraging The Rotary Foundation grants to develop sustainable projects. Without your support and Bahamian Rotarians' tenacity, it is likely the project which provided water to hundreds during and after Hurricane Sandy and will benefit thousands in the future would have never come to fruition.

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Rotarians on Grand Bahama came together during Hurricane Sandy with the activation of the emergency Rotary Water Plant from October 24-28, 2012.  Commissioned after the devastating hurricanes of Frances and Jeanne in 2004, the plant provides potable drinking water to residents during times when serious weather impacts the local supply. 

Rotarians activated the plant's Reverse-Osmosis machine in advance of Hurricane Sandy, putting about 5,000 gallons of water in the tank.  Sandy impacted Grand Bahama for much of Friday and into the evening and early hours of Saturday. 

The plant was re-activated early Saturday morning and Rotary volunteers began to assemble to help.  They were put to work sanitizing and filling the nearly 500 one-gallon jugs which had been collected and stored in the plant throughout the year.

On Saturday, between the hours of 10:00am and 7:00pm, Rotarians estimate they gave away approximately 3,600 gallons of water to persons who came to the plant either with their own jugs or took those which they had to give them. In addition, they sent two tank trailers (275 gallons each) with Rotarian Peter Turnquest to be taken to East End Grand Bahama once the water subsided.  The Grand Bahama Fire Brigade also made two trips with 55 gallon drums to flush toilets at some of the old folks homes on the island.

By Sunday morning most of Freeport had city water trickling through the pipes, however certain pockets did not, including East End, from the old missile base the entire settlement of Eight Mile Rock, and West End.  Parts of East End are still without water mid-week post-Sandy.

Rotarians met again at the plant on Sunday and gave away an additional estimated 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of water.

The Rotary water plant crew would like to credit ZNS northern service radio for broadcasting their announcements about the water plant being open and for the station's continuous storm coverage.  All the Rotary volunteers who assisted with the emergency water plant project were pleased the plant performed flawlessly and that they were able to continue Rotary's motto - Service Above Self - and help many persons in the community in a meaningful way.

Kids of Rotarians learning early about service to others.

Never far from service to others, Rotary Club of Freeport's Betty Van Lew.

Rotarians fill jugs as Rotary Exchange student from Thailand looks on.

(Photos courtesy Mike Stafford)

The Grand Bahama Emergency Water Relief Foundation (The Rotary Water Plant) was envisioned by the TK Foundation who saw Rotary as the perfect partner and commissioned a joint project involving Rotary Districts 5280 - Los Angeles, CA; 7020 - Nassau and the Caribbean; and 6990 - Grand Bahama and South Florida; with assistance from the Rotary Foundation, and numerous corporate sponsors.

What a success! 2012 Wine & Jazz Festival Scott Kunitz 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz

ImageTommy Hawkins, Notre Dame All-American and original member of the LA Lakers!

Tommy Hawkins has enjoyed an incredible career as a basketball All-American at the University of Notre Dame, and as an original member of the Los Angeles Lakers, playing pro ball for 10 years. He has been a college lecturer, a pioneering Golden Mike and Emmy Award-Nominated Radio and TV Broadcaster, and served as Vice-President of Communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers for 18 years. He has served as a civic leader with involvement on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Sports Council, Los Angeles Athletic Club, and the Friends of Jazz at UCLA. Mr. Hawkins has also recently written a book entitled  “Life’s Reflections: Poetry for the People”.

Rotary Club Meeting July 13, 2012 - Tommy Hawkins, Notre Dame All-American and original member of the LA Lakers! Scott Kunitz 0
Posted by Nicholas Goehner


Today our speaker was Ralph Collier.  He is the head of the Shark Research Committee in Chatsworth. We were all intrigued by his knowledge and what we were able to learn about why we shouldn't be so afraid of the water on our Santa Monica coast.  Scott Kunitz gave a presentation on how to log in to club runner.  If you're having any problems with that please read on.  This was David Bohn last meeting as our club president!  We will miss you David.
Rotary Club Meeting June 22, 2012 - Sharks Nicholas Goehner 0
Posted by Nicholas Goehner


Craft Talks today.  We love to hear from our fellow Rotarians.  It's always fun and interesting to get to know the history of our Rotarians and what series of events brought them to us and the strong individuals they are today.  Our Craft Talkers for today's meeting were Nick Goehner and Pat Bofird.
Rotary Club Meeting June 15, 2012 - Craft Talks Nicholas Goehner 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz


Perhaps if you are like me you are thinking SOPA, come on this might have been an interesting topic back in January of this year when, the English Wikipedia, Reddit, and an estimated 7,000 other smaller websites coordinated a service blackout, to raise awareness. But really it is June now, how exciting could this be? I was so wrong. IT WAS GREAT! An exciting cast of characters, and a lively debate held this bunch of boisterous Rotarians attention, and from the questions that followed many would have been happy for it to continue. But perhaps I should start at the beginning...

Rotary Club Meeting June 8, 2012 - The SOPA & PIPA Debate Scott Kunitz 0
Fifth Annual Wine & Jazz Festival at the Annenberg Community Beach House Scott Kunitz 0
Santa Monica Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary - Video Slide Show Scott Kunitz 0
Video - Puerto Rico District Humanitarian Trip's main project distributing 110 wheelchairs Scott Kunitz 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz

Suzan & Russ,

I want to say a HUGE and heartfelt thank you again to both of you for your amazing leadership and support of this on-going project. I know I don’t need to tell you about the life-changing impact this project has on needy families in our community.


David Snow
Executive Director
Upward Bound House

Video - Santa Monica Rotary Club’s home makeover effort at Upward Bound House Scott Kunitz 0
Posted by Nicholas Goehner

Meeting CastGuest Speaker Cynthia Loo with Nat Trives and her father Tom Loo

At the head table, Far Stage Right we had Invocator Dr. William A. Wood III; Next to Dr. William we have James E. Dyer. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our speaker for today, we have Nathaniel Trives. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests we have David F. Potter. Our song leader was Tom Larmore with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander


We had 2 visiting Rotarians, Steve Sabel from Lexington Fairless Hills PA, and Sean McMillen from Westwood.  Our guests of Rotarians were Brian Chase who was a guest of Laurel Rosen. Lisa Jackman who was a guest of Tim Jackman. Cynthia Loo who was our guest speaker and the daughter of Tom Loo. Matt Flanoers. Anne Rime who was a guest of Mule Pritchert. Cone Hansen who was a guest of Lauren Rush. Matt Williams who was a guest of Lisa Alexander and Wendy Jacobs who was a guest of Anne Greenspun.



  • Best of luck to Tim Jackman and a huge thank you for his club service and everything he has done for our fair city. You are always welcome here!
  • We are sad to announce the passing of Christine Cassiano's mother last Wednesday and our condolences go out to Christine and her family.
  • Nat Trives had a heart procedure and we were certainly glad to see him back at Rotary.

Tim Jackman received the 4-way award today, Congratulations!

4 Way Award

  • Jillian Alexander – International Women's Day Breakfast.  Celebrating Women's service in the community. - $50
  • John Pucheco – We have a lost check as John was no longer with the Red Cross when he received a check for the Red Cross.  - $50 (Although he claims there was no check in the envelope he received).
  • Tom Loo – For referring to his daughter (our guest speaker) as his sister.  - $100


ImageThe Honorable Cynthia Loo daughter of one of our distinguished members, Tom Loo, was our speaker for today.  Judge Loo served in the East Los Angeles district which is the toughest juvenile court district in the city of Los Angeles.  In a recently published daily journal article her piece was titled, “Sensitive Outsider Believes in Rehabilitation of Hope.”  Her speech would prove her sensitivity and dedication to our city and its youth.

She began with admitting her reservations about speaking at our club, and referring to herself as a self-proclaimed bad public speaker.  She was also afraid of being heckled by her father.
To break the ice and get herself into the speaking groove she began with a story about her father and what growing up under his watchful eye was like.  In a effort to take control of a home rat problem her father used a series of different types of rat traps. He placed these all around the house.  More importantly however was how he kept track of the rats that fell to his well-placed traps.  He apparently had a chart on the refrigerator that read in big block letters, “RAT KILL COUNT.” This certainly had us all laughing picturing a marker drawn chart of hash marks marking rat kill counts.  It was also very difficult for her to sleep at the time as there were several loud snaps that would occur during the night with a rat would find its way to another trap and hash mark on the fridge.  Her father also kept a grading system for phone messages.  Which Our speaker was proud to say, she was able to keep a steady A in.  All of this would mold Cynthia Loo into the Honorable Judge Cynthia Loo that was speaking before us today.
Cynthia's first job after attending SAMO high was at KFC. And her first official speech was at 15 years old at the Santa Monica Civic Center about how to avoid getting a traffic ticket.  Looking back at this she laughed because part of her lesson plan was informing her audience to ignore court dates, the ignorance of the law, and even flirting with the officer if possible.  Probably not the best way to handle situations with the Santa Monica police, but she was only 15.

Her development into a judge took a bit of time she said.  The law made sense to her in its written form, and being raised by her father gave her a strong foundation.  But she realized that there is so much more beyond just doing the right thing.  We are here for the improvement of society and our community.  But what it means to be a member of that community and even a Rotarian is to always do the right thing.  It is the purpose behind the law and the 4 way test.  But, she said, It comes down to how you implement all of this.  She wasn't as strong with implementing these values in the beginning.  She was strict and heavy handed. She thought that was what she needed to do to be a strong judge and gain respect.  But as she would learn through the following very personal story, there is much more to a Judge than the persona they put forward.

She began a story of a young man named Tyrell, who was being charged with resisting arrest and a possible gang affiliation.   As he was running from the officer he reached into his waist band.  An officer had to pull their firearm and when asked if the boy was still on probation he wouldn't answer and wouldn't calm down.  It took the help of the boy's grandmother and 6 other officers to calm the boy down. When brought before Judge Loo she found him guilty of the charge of resisting arrest.  However when It came to sentencing there were many more things our speaker had to take into consideration.  She didn't see the boy as a threat to his community and decided to release him on house arrest. He was doing well at the school and his grandmother was even a tutor at the school so she knew the Grandmother would be a good influence and be able to keep an eye on him.  Later in the parking lot Judge Loo spoke with the arresting officer and asked what they could do to help the young man. The officer stated that the only answer for the boy was to move out of the area he was living.  When this option was presented to the Grandmother she stated that she couldn't afford to move out of Compton, but she wanted to thank the officer for trying to help.  2 weeks later there was a commotion her court room.  There was a woman there wanting to give something to the Judge, but was told it wasn't allowed.  It was Tyrell's grandmother.  Judge Loo came down from the bench to speak with her.  She told the judge that on the previous Sunday she was awakened by gunfire.  And was told that Tyrell had been shot.  Despite being around many professionals in the court room she embraced the grandmother and cried with her. 

What a wonderful story of her growth as a judge and individual.  We were so touched.  Thank you Judge Cynthia Loo for a wonderful speech and to her father as well for raising such a wonderful daughter.

Thought for the Day

From Albert Camus, who wrote “A person without ethics... is a wild beast loosed upon this world.”

Rotary Club Meeting March 2, 2012 - Honorable Judge Cynthia Loo Nicholas Goehner 0
Posted by Scott Kunitz

Meeting Cast

At the head table, Far Stage Right we had Invocator Paul Leoni; Next to Paul we have George Collins. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our speaker for today, we have Ávedis Guerboian. Next to Avo is our speaker for today, Keith Erickson. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests we have LaVonne Lawson. Our song leader was Tom Larmore with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander & Bill Rayman.


We had 2 visiting Rotarians, Cynthia Cummings from Park Cities, and Ronald Lyster from Westwood. Our only guest of a Rotarian was Doug Metzler who was a guest of John Bohn.


  • Many of us just came from services for past president Jack Michel, affectionately known to many of us as the “Milk Man,” because his family owned a dairy business for many years. His classification was Milk Distribution, and he first joined our club in 1965, and became our club president in 1980.  He was also a past chairman of the Santa Monica Rotary Foundation. All of us who knew him will surely miss his laugh and his smile.
  • Our next Healthy Living event will be a historic tour of Downtown Santa Monica on the 24th of March.
  • Sharon Gavin Rotary reads is next week, Wednesday and Thursday. 1 Lucky reader will win a Kindle Fire.
  • The District Conference will be at the beautiful Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa in Mission Bay the weekend of April 20th, and you still have time to get the special rate if you sign up before March 15th.
  • Bill Buxton, Next Supper Service at OPCC is in 1 week from today at the Turning Point Facility on 16th and Broadway. We start cooking at 4pm and serve at 6 pm.
  • George Collins, sponsorships for our 90th Birthday Party.


  • John Dravillas, trip to Thailand $50.
  • Jillian Alexander & Laurel Rosen, International Women's Day $50 fine each, but since Jillian received hers last week we will just fine Laurel.


Keith Raymond Erickson (born April 19, 1944 in San Francisco, California) is a former American basketball player. After graduating from El Segundo High School (CA), Erickson played at UCLA, where he was a member of the 1964 and 1965 NCAA Champion teams. Erickson, who attended UCLA on a shared baseball/basketball scholarship, also played on the 1964 US Men's Olympic Volleyball team. Coach John Wooden would later remark that Erickson was the finest athlete he ever coached.

After leaving UCLA, Erickson spent 12 years making his way around the NBA. He played his rookie year with the San Francisco Warriors, two years with the Chicago Bulls, five years with the Los Angeles Lakers, and four years with the Phoenix Suns. The crowning achievement of his NBA career was playing on the Los Angeles Lakers championship team in 1972 with basketball legends Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West.

After leaving the league, Erickson put his experiences and knowledge gained on the court to good use working as commentator for Lakers games on radio and television with Chick Hearn from 1979 to 1987. He also worked as a commentator for the Phoenix Suns for seven years.

Keith Erickson told us stories about legendary Lakers' play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn, his broadcast partner for eight years.

"Doing color commentary with Chick was a challenge," Erickson said. "I could barely get a word or two in edgewise before he moved on."

Erickson recalled one of the two times he saw Hearn rendered speechless. Hearn was interviewing Hall of Fame forward Elgin Baylor after a game and presented Baylor with a gift certificate to a clothing store from a new sponsor. Baylor, still in uniform with a towel around his neck, looked at Hearn who was dressed in a suit and tie and said, "You keep it, you need it worse than I do."

Keith Erickson discusses his relationship with John Wooden and the impact the legendary coach had on his career and life. He called John Wooden "The finest man I ever met." But he did not realize this until after he left school. From 18 - 20 he did not listen much. He does remember a few things; Coach Wooden loved his wife and children, and he never swore. If you heard him say 'Goodness gracious sakes alive" you knew you were in trouble.

John Wooden was great with handling players. He never said win. His goal was to get his players to play to their top potential. Erickson remembers the first practice with Coach Wooden he made everyone take off their shoes and socks, to show them how to put them on properly and avoid getting blisters.

Coach Wooden had a policy that if you had to be clean shaven to play on the team. Bill Walton showed up his senior year with long hair and sideburns. Bill told Coach Wooden that he had a right to wear his hair the way he wanted to. Coach Wooden said we will miss you. Bill went to shave right away. 25 years later they were discussing this incident and Bill asked would you have really kicked me off of the team? Coach answered, the most important thing is that you believed I would.

At 95 years old Coach John Wooden still had 2-3 meetings a day, it kept him busy. At 96 he was asked what legacy did he want to leave and he answered "I want to be remembered as being as close to the man my father was."

John Wooden's Seven Point Creed, given to him by his father Joshua upon his graduation from grammar school:

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Make each day your masterpiece.
  • Help others.
  • Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
  • Make friendship a fine art.
  • Build a shelter against a rainy day.
  • Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

Two Sets of Threes also give to him by his father:

  • Never lie, never cheat and never steal.
  • Don't whine, don't complain and don't alibi.

Thank you Mr. Erickson for an excellent talk!

Thought for the Day

Samuel Clemens, who went by the pen name Mark Twain, said: Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Rotary Club Meeting March 9, 2012 - Keith Raymond Erickson Scott Kunitz 0

February 8th - 13th, 130 Rotarians and friends from District 5280 teamed up with District 7000 Rotarians in Puerto Rico for our annual District Trip where we conducted 13 humanitarian projects.   


We had 16 Rotarians and friends from the Rotary Club of Santa Monica and we sponsored two of the projects - kitchen equipment for a deaf children's school and the trip's main project distributing 110 wheelchairs. 





We also had some fun while we were there.  Several visited Bacardi to do some quality control, went on an ATV tour and even a little zip-lining.  Prez David almost got stuck in the old jail....



Puerto Rico District Humanitarian Trip 0

Meeting Cast

Alonzo Hill provided the invocation, TJ Montemer sat next to President David Bohn, Judy Neveau introduced our speaker, Dr. Brandon Lewis, and Rosemary Regalbuto introduced our guests.  Bob Klein was our song leader, accompanied by Ken Waltzer on piano. 



Visiting Rotarians included Marty Steckdaub from the Temecula Club and Sean McMillan from the Westwood club.  Guests on hand included Dr. Norton Wyner guest of Jean McNeil Wyner, Klaus Brandt hosted his son Carl Brandt, Suzan hosted Linda Teixeira, Frank Lavac brought Thomas and Troy from Salvation Army, and Monika White hosted her husband, Roger Goodman





Image Image 


We also welcomed new members Christina Cassiano and LaVonne Lawson.




  • John Lehne told us about the Legacy Project he is heading up.
  • Jillian also reported that 19 Santa Monica Rotarians are going on the District Trip to Puerto Rico February 8 - 13, 2012 and that we can still take sign ups.  Update:  the trip to Puerto Rico has been sold out according to John Ramey, chair of the activity.  However, stand-by reservations will be accepted.
  • Russ Warner was acknowledged for obtaining a District Simplified Grant to furnish two Upward Bound apartments. 
  • The Holiday Party at Rosemary’s house at a $45 per person.  Let Savi know if you are planning on attending.
  • Charlie Follette – SM Mountain Parks fundraiser – buy a rose bush and he will donated to the Parks.
  • A big thank you to Donna Byrd  for the UCLA & the USC swag
  • Laurel Rosen reminds us that one of the wonderful things about Rotary is the opportunity for fellowship and creating good will between each other.  Each month we celebrate members on their birthdays.  We give them the attention they so deserve and hand them a little birthday “goody” bag.  So that is where you come in.  In order to continue this great tradition we need you to donate small items for the birthday bags.  Promotional items with your logo will work or other small items.  Most of the time the items are donated by a very small group of people which becomes a financial burden.  Please support the birthday team to carry on this tradition.  Please contact Laurel with your donations



Dr. Brandon Lewis - Mayan Calendar



Dr. Brandon Lewis gave an exciting and information filled talk on the Mayan calendar – and even taught us to count in Mayan!  Mayan time is cyclical with a calendar system that is infinitely more complex than ours.  They actually use multiple calendars:  a solar calendar and a personal calendar and combine them both.  Their solar calendar was very accurate -- within 8 seconds of our current calendar.  Every 52 years the variables of the combined calendars would be repeated and this was considered a day of learning.  This cycle was also viewed as a new beginning.  They would not do any work for a day to see if in fact the world would continue.  December 2012 is the end of the great cycle.  The Mayans disappeared at the end of the last cycle and it was a magnitude below this great cycle.  Remember next December is the end of time for Mayans.  Will the world begin anew?



Dr. Lewis received his undergraduate education at the University of Indiana and his Master's and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA in Anthropology. His career-long specialty is in the Mayan culture, and his doctoral dissertation on "The Role of Specialization in the Development of Sociopolitical Complexity: A Test Case from the Late Classic Maya" earned him recognition from the Society for American Archeology for an outstanding dissertation.




Dr. Lewis is currently on the faculty of the Earth Sciences Department at Santa Monica College where he teaches anthropology. He is a popular and energetic faculty member who actively gives his time to the college community as a Director of the Latin American Education Center, the Global Citizenship Task Force, Advisor to the SMC Anthropology Club, a much-requested member of the college's Speaker's Bureau, while also engaged as a Research Associate of the Cotsen Institute of Archeology at UCLA. He has been a Director on archeological projects in the American Southwest as well as in Belize, Ecuador, Guatemala, and has found time to lead student study-abroad groups. Dr. Lewis also frequently writes and presents in his field.


Thought for the Day

 “When a person cannot deceive himself, the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.”  Mark Twain


December 2nd ~ Dr. Brandon Lewis speaking about the Mayan Calendar 0

Meeting Cast


Timur Berberoglu gave the invocation, new member Rick Mateus sat next to President David Bohn.  Russ Warner introduced our speaker, Dr. Perry Jansen, and Jim Menzies introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests.  Julia Miele Avo Guerboian, and Jillian Alexander greeted us as we arrived.  Ken Waltzer accompanied our song leader, Pat Bofird. 




Visiting Rotarians and Guests


Our visitors today included Mai Hoang of our Rotaract group at Santa Monica College.  Pam Douglas was the guest of our speaker.   Other guests were Marc Schkud, Gaby’s son; Jamie Menzies, Dee and Jim’s son, Matt Williams, who is not Lisa Alexander’s son; and former Santa Monica Rotarian, Tish Tisherman, who was hosted by John Bohn.






  • John Lehne – Legacy Project
  • An anonymous Rotarian donated $5,000 as a match challenge to our members.  Total amount donated by club members and matched by this challenge grant will be distributed by the Community and Youth Grants Committee

December Birthdays




2011/12 Board of Directors Elections and Treasurer's Report