Rotary International Entrepreneur Program to Nigeria

Posted by Pat Dolphin on March 2nd, 2015 under Weekly Programs  •  Comments Off

Today our own John Davis along with Altadena Rotarian John Frykenberg shared information about their trip to Nigeria where they taught students at two universities about the Rotary Entrepreneur Program. In 1960 Nigeria gained independence with its population of 174 million people. With thirty-six states, Nigeria has the largest GDP in all of Africa, yet only one tenth of the infrastructure. As the largest oil producer in the world Nigeria still has one of the highest unemployment rates, at 40% of the workforce. Unfortunately, there is no Employment Development Department to pay out benefits; they are all on their own. That’s one reason the Entrepreneur Program is so important, to teach students how to write a business plan, seek funding, and implement a “start-up” business, which will provide a living. For this trip, there were four Rotarians, two Nigerian ladies accompanied them as guides, one of which, Sarah, is the Chief Legislative Officer for the Kaduna State (the equivalent to the Secretary of State), along with two to three armed guards carrying AK-47’s as bodyguards.  You might recall the Boka Haram Terrorists have been in Nigeria and are a threat to anyone. Despite this terrible threat, Ebola outbreaks and much poverty in this nation, Nigerians are known as the happiest people on earth. The country is about half Muslim, half Christian in religious beliefs.

The largest Nigerian airline is Arik Airlines, which flew the Rotarians in to Ogun State where, enthusiastic students at the university, which teaches roughly 9,000 students, greeted them. John found that power failures were a common occurrence (every couple of hours) and the water was unreliable to drink but the beauty in the early morning was spectacular. Both Johns found Lion tracks, wart hogs, baboons, deer, all close by their suites. After the classes at the University of Abeokuta, an agricultural setting and State school, they went to a federal university named University of Agriculture Funaab where about 15,000 students are taught. After the Entrepreneur Program has completed at the university, the students enter a contest and have sixty days to submit a business plan. The top three winners at each university will receive a tablet complete with their own business plan and can follow through with their plan to open whatever entrepreneurial venture they planned, possibly a restaurant, fish farm or telecommunications.

The Rotary Entrepreneur Program is truly a way to guide people to establish a solid business on their own and gain the self-confidence needed to be successful. Thanks to John Davis and John Frykenberg for helping people help themselves.


(Pat Dolphin)

Entrepreneurship in Nigeria

Posted by Dan Place on February 28th, 2015 under Weekly Programs  •  Comments Off

John Davis, Arcadia Rotary, John Frykenberg, past president of Altadena Rotary, and 3 Nigerian-American ladies comprised a team that put forth a two week Entrepreneurial Education training program in the State of Ogun, Nigeria.. Sarah Philips, Rancho Cucamonga, was the point person for the team and made all the arrangements. She was formerly chief legislative officer of the Parliament in Kaduna State of Nigeria. Nigeria has a population of 174 million. One out of every four Africans is Nigerian.
More that 1,500 university students in two universities spent 5 full days in intensive workshops learning the basics of entrepreneurship and how to write business plans based on their own ideas. The goal is to provide students with the skills to start a business that will employ others. College graduates in Nigeria face an unemployment rate of 50 percent or more, so interest in the workshops is great.
A grant from the Rotary Foundation covered the costs for team travel, lodging, meals, manual printing, promotion and lunches for the students
The team traveled despite the Ebola crisis and avoided the mega-city Lagos, center of the first cases of Ebola. In previous workshops more than 9000 university students have been trained in Nigeria. The goal is to impact all 36 Nigerian states by 2020.

Announcements for February 27, 2015

Posted by Dirk Hudson on February 27th, 2015 under Announcements  •  Comments Off


A blue badge was awarded to Sam Falzone for completing his red badge preparation.

Future Events:

1. Mike Hoey announced that he had returned from his President Elect Training (PET) Conference. While there he received a trophy for being the first to sign up.

Next will be training conferences for the Rotary Foundation (two members needed) and the Board of Officers and Directors. They will take place at Canon High School in the Victorville area on April 11, 2015..

2. Chris Haddow announced that the Magic Castle event will take place on March 27, 2015. Those signed up will meet at the Magic Castle at 5:20 p.m. The cost is $120 per attendee.

3. Jim Rider announced that Monte Carlo Casino Night is scheduled for Saturday April 18, 2015. The food will be prepared by the Derby restaurant.

Frank Hall added that we still need an additional $250 sponsorship.

4. John Wilson announced that on February 21, the demolition work project at the Boys and Girls Club in Monrovia took place. This coming weekend (February 28-29, 2015) volunteers will be needed who are skilled in mud and tape and drywall patching.

5. Don Milefchik announced that the Day at the Races set for March 13, 2015 will not take place, due to Santa Anita Race Track’s failure to offer the terms which they had provided for us in the past. Instead, Rotary will meet at Embassy Suites.

6. Glen Oyoung announced that the Special Olympics are coming to Los Angeles in July. Arcadia will be a host town On March 9 and 10, 2015, there will be a pizza night at B.J.’s Restaurant with half of the cost going to the Special Olympics. The Rotary Foundation has also contributed money.

[In Sequence: February 28-29 (Boys and Girls Club project), March 9-10 (pizza night to benefit Special Olympics), March 13 (no Day at the Races), March 27 (Magic Castle night), April 11 (training seminars for foundation members, officers and directors), April 18 (Monte Carlo Casino Night)]


Correction to BJ’s Fundraiser for Special Olympics!

Posted by Ray Bushnell on February 25th, 2015 under Announcements  •  Comments Off

Special Olympics: We’re looking for fund raisers and contributors to the upcoming World Games. BJ’s Restaurant is contributing 20% of a special night to the cause (March 9, 2015)

Actually, BJ’s is contributing 50% of your tab not 20%! Way to go BJ’s!!




Arcadia Rotary History

Posted by Dan Place on February 23rd, 2015 under Rotary Knowledge  •  Comments Off

Here are some more memories from Ernie Jensen who was the 1990-91 Arcadia Rotary Club President and the District Governor in 1996-97.
“Gail, Joel, and I have been to many International Rotary Conventions, around the world. Our club pays for or underwrites the trip for incoming Presidents. I recommend that every member plan on going to a Convention at least once while a Rotarian. You will understand more that Rotary is truly International, not just Arcadia, or just California, but International.
One experience that I recall is when the Convention was in our District-Las Vegas. I was asked to come to the Convention….I said why?…because it probably will never be in our district again….sooo…..because our district was in charge…..sooo….so we need you to help. Now that was a good reason! I made reservations at Caesar’s Palace, & told Gail I was going to Las Vegas to help out at a Rotary International Convention, she could stay home, or come and stay at the Hotel if she wanted…..What! Going by yourself to Las Vegas…I don’t think so!
When we got to Las Vegas, Gail asked what we were doing for dinner, and maybe I should invite some Arcadia Rotarians. I made reservations for 8, and then called some Arcadia Rotarians. Nobody was in their rooms- middle of the day in Las Vegas…don’t know what they were doing. Close to the reservation time I started getting calls, 8, 10, 12, 14, 1, 18, 20 wow, everybody wanted to get together.
That same Convention, I volunteered to be a host for “Home hospitality”. I was given this paper, with the name of my Rotarian to host. Jean Pierre Battlo, from Andorra (Were is that?) on the form “speaks” French, Spanish (English box not checked). I called, his wife answered, and she spoke no English. I found out when he was returning (in Spanish). We took them out to dinner with a number of Arcadia Rotarians, and then to Siegfried & Roy (language not necessary). We made friends, and later had 2 of his nieces, and a son of his best friend come to stay with us for a few months each. After the Nice Rotary International Convention, we spent 3 days in Toulouse, France, Andorra, and Mont-Louis where he had a “summer house”. Ask me about his summerhouse. Later on our way home we spent the day in Paris, and had dinner with his sister and a wealthy American at the oldest Restaurant in Paris. I even remember the wealthy Americans name….Bill Gates.”

ANNOUNCEMENTS for Friday, February 20, 2015

Posted by Dave Freeman on February 22nd, 2015 under Announcements  •  Comments Off

1.  Exchange Students: Mike Real is looking for folks willing to host and help with transportation of the foreign exchange students  coming soon.  They will be hosted for four month intervals.

2. Mark your calendars for the District Foundation Dinner to be held on Mar. 28 at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Cost for this fantastic event will be $100 per person. Contact Pres. Mike for more information.

3. Our annual Rotary Day at the Races may be held on Mar. 13th.  Note, that is a friday, the 13th.. Problems have arisen, so it is still being worked out.  Don Milefchik is working on it and will let us know.  Remember, we will be dark at the Embassy Suites that day.

4. Ken Chan is organizing a trip to the Magic Castle in Hollywood on Sunday, Mar. 22d. It will be for dinner and the show, and evening attire is required. So far, 26 have signed up and we can have a maximum of 40. Contact Ken and make your reservation.

5. Special Olympics: We’re looking for fund raisers and contributors to the upcoming World Games. BJ’s Restaurant is contributing 20% of a special night to the cause (March 9, 2015 ?)

6. Pres. Mike announced that Teri Muse, Pres. of the Red Badgers, and Lucia Bernal have become  Blue Badgers, and that Glen Oyoung will be the new President of the Blue Badgers.

7.  RYLA: April 17-19, 2015 – we’re looking for photographers and Facilitators for this extraordinary experience for these extraordinary 11th graders.

8.  Monte Carlo Casino Night – Sat,  April 18, 2015. Save the date. This is our big fund raiser for the year.  Be sure to RSVP and also reserve your table with your friends. We need sponsors and contributors. You can be the sponsor  of a blackjack table, for instance (for a slight contribution).  Volunteers are also needed to set up and clear afterward.

TEACHER OF THE MONTH – KATHLEEN MURPHY.  She is an advisor, leader and popular teacher at Highland Oaks Elementary School.  This is 14th year teaching in New York  and California.  She enjoys her work and feels she learns as much from her students, as vice versa.


ATHLETICS: LUCAS BERGHER –  This young man does it all: varsity soccer, student leadership, Boy Scouts, volunteer referee (AYSO) , coaching soccer,  and tutoring.

ACADEMICS: MELODY WAN –   She’s involved! Interact Club, NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY, Mock Trial, ASB performing arts commissioner, president of the Interact Club, NHS, Basketball , speech and debate, Theater, volunteer, and many other honorable activities, while maintaining an incredible GPA.

PERFORMING ARTS: ALLEN WONG –  He’s in the Marching Band, the Concert Band, the Symphony Orchestra and the Pep Band (no small feat). He plays the clarinet – 1st clarinet.  He volunteers at Simply Help (for disadvantaged children) and  AID Summer (teaching disadvantaged children).

Arcadia Rotary History

Posted by Dan Place on February 14th, 2015 under Rotary Knowledge  •  Comments Off

Ernie Jensen was the 1990-1991 President of the Arcadia Rotary Club. Here are some of his recollections of that year.

I recall my first meeting as President of Arcadia Rotary. I had asked Ben Coarse if he would play the piano for our meetings, as he was a great pianist. He told me absolutely not (rougher language actually), because if he volunteered, he would have to miss his 11:30 club meeting, and would get stuck playing forever. But for my meeting, I arrived early to be sure everything was set up. There at the piano was Ben, plinking away at the piano. As you walked into the room, it felt alive! Playing with him was Ken Waterhouse on the base fiddle…. Wow!! What a feeling.
The second meeting, Ben & Ken were there with a saxophone player, jamming away and making the meeting feel like a real party! After that meeting, Ben came up to me and with a twinkle in his eyes, said, “We got you off to a good start, but that’s all you get”. What a great memory!
During my year as Arcadia Rotary President, we scheduled a Rotary Ski week in Steamboat Springs. I recall that Dr. Bill Dorsett was pleased to get to ski free as he was over 70. After skiing half the day I didn’t feel well, so went back to the condo to find that I had caught the chicken pox. I had to spend the week in the condo with oatmeal baths and rest. Well…so much for a great ski week. Then, after we returned, I had to miss the Rotary Day at the Santa Anita Race Track, and the winner’s circle for the Arcadia Rotary Race.
When I was President of the Arcadia Rotary Club, I received an all expenses paid trip to the Rotary International Convention in Portland, Oregon. Gail, Joel & I made a family vacation and camped along the way with our tent trailer. At the convention we had probably 20 Arcadia Rotarians, so I thought that we should get together at some time during the convention. We decided to do a picnic lunch in the park, and I asked everyone to invite some other Rotarian, hopefully from somewhere else around the world to share lunch with us. Rotarian Phyllis Tomkins invited a person who had lots and lots of ribbons on his badge. It turned out he was the President of Rotary RIBI (Rotary in the British Isles). We all shared some wonderful stories and had a great picnic lunch in the local park!

Announcements for Feb. 13

Posted by Dave Totten on February 13th, 2015 under Announcements  •  Comments Off

1. Sandra circulated get well cards for Rick McKenzie’s wife Cathy and Don Milefchik’s wife Mary. Both are fighting health issues and the cards, signed by all in attendance, should lift their spirits.

2. Mark your calendars for the District Foundation Dinner to be held on Mar. 28 at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Cost for this fantastic event will be $100 per person. Contact Pres. Mike for more information.

3. Our annual Rotary Day at the Races will be held on Mar. 13th. Contact Don Milefchik if you can go. Remember, we will be dark at the Embassy Suites that day.

4. Ken Chan is organizing a trip to the Magic Castle in Hollywood on Sunday, Mar. 22d. It will be for dinner and the show, and evening attire is required. So far, 26 have signed up and we can have a maximum of 40. Contact Ken and make your reservation.

5. Rotary is having a work day (demolition work) at the Boys and Girls Club in Monrovia on Feb. 21st. The project will start at 9 AM. and Pres. Mike is looking for volunteers to help.

6. Pres. Mike announced that Teri Muse, Pres. of the Red Badgers, would soon become a Blue Badger and that Glen Oyoung will take her place as the new President.

Doing Business with Rotary International

Posted by Pat Dolphin on February 2nd, 2015 under Announcements  •  Comments Off

Our guest speaker today was our own Swati Puri , who ‘s company, TEJ Brothers, does a great job of manufacturing pins and other regalia for the members of Rotary International .   Swati was born and raised in Duarte and attended local schools. She graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in Marketing. Swati is a marketing/intake coordinator for Comfortcare Senior Services and a relatively new member of Arcadia Rotary. Her passion is volunteering and she has already demonstrated much interest in the work done by Rotary. She also works marketing her family’s business which makes incredible looking Rotary pins, many of which she has personally designed. Each pin design must be formally approved by Rotary International prior to marketing to members. The TEJ Brothers company has manufactured trophies and plaques for over forty years and is one of only twenty approved vendors supplying decorative and themed pins to RI’s members. The company attends international conventions and assemblies as well as district conventions to show their latest wares. The pins are made of a soft enamel and engraved with many of the Rotary themes, i.e., “Peace Through Service”, “Building Communities”, “Light Up Rotary”, and next years theme, “Be a Gift to the World”. The company also makes motivational pins, fun pins, officer and director pins, even Interact and Rotaract pins. Their number one best seller is “Women in Rotary”, which depicts three women of different cultures, which are in bright colors.   Some of their newest officer pins include for Club President, a Gavel pin, for Secretary, a Feather pin, and for Treasurer, a Key pin. Interestingly, Rotarian officers in other countries often ware hanging pins such as an Army Medal would look like. Swati also offers many accessories such as; writing pens, keychains, business cards holders, earings, cufflinks, coat buttons, and silk ties, all with the Rotary Logo displayed. One of Swati’s latest creations is a Rotary “4 Way Test” Clock , which prominently displays the four way test along with the Rotary insignia and base. There is no doubt that Swati Puri is a marketing dynamo, who loves what she does and helps seniors along the way. Thank you, Swati, for sharing these beautiful pins and accessories with the Greatest Rotary Club in the World.

(Pat Dolphin)


Posted by John Murphy on January 31st, 2015 under Announcements  •  Comments Off

Fine Master George managed to pick on three Rotary Amigos hard workers Andy Bundesmann, Tom Crosby and Dick Martinez. Twisting around a $1,121 hotel bill, converted to pesos he somehow came up with a fine of $10.00 each. Go figure!

Next up was Bruce Marrs who was asked to determine when the photo of an old wall phone was taken. Of course this could have been anytime from now to 80 years ago so Bruce took a wild guess that cost him $40.00

And keeping with his toilet hang up, George called on Pat Barnes to get his opinion about the growing popularity of non-gender restrooms. Pat had no problem with the concept but it didn’t matter one way or the other– it was still worth $40.00

Announcements 01/30/2015 by Pat Barnes

Posted by Pat Barnes on January 31st, 2015 under Announcements  •  Comments Off

1.  Put 02/14/2015 on your calendar to attend the Arcadia Rotary Partners’ Valentine’s party to be held at the Monrovia Tennis Club from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The cost is $25 per person, except that there is no charge for Red Badgers.  The cost includes drinks, dinner and games.   Don’t miss out on the fun.  Look for your invitation in the mail and RSVP by 02/12/2015.

2.  The Arcadia Day at the Races will be on 03/13/2015.  We will be dark at Embassy Suites that day.

3.  Jim Rider announced that the high school Interact Club is sponsoring a book drive for the public library in Ferguson, Missouri.  If you have any books to donate, call Jim and he is willing to come and pick them up from you.  All kinds of books are needed including books for children and adults.  This is a great project and needs the support of all members.

4.  The club’s social committee is planning a trip to the Magic Castle in Hollywood on Sunday 03/22/2015.  By vote of the members at this week’s club meeting it was decided to go to the dinner show.  Please note that there is a mandatory dress code at the Magic Castle, which is coat and tie for men and evening attire for women.  A sign up sheet will be passed around in a few weeks.

5.  The city of Sierra Madre and the Sierra Madre Rotary Club are sponsoring a “Water Expo for San Gabriel Valley” in conjunction with the United Nation’s World Water Day to promote water conservationto.  The event will be held Saturday 03/21/2015 at Sierra Madre Memorial Park from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Bring the whole family.  There  will  be panel discussions addressing water conservation, discussions and displays on drought tolerant landscaping, a tour of the city’s water production and treatment plant, and greywater demonstrations to save money and the planet.  There will also be a children’s area.  For more information check their website at “” 

6.  Dick Martinez said that the Rotary Amigo’s work project at an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, last weekend (01/24/2015 and 01/25/2015), was a bigt success and the weather was great.  He thanked all of the club members who attended including Tom Crosby, Mike Real, Andy Bundesman, Rosie Mares. and others .  A special thanks to Andy who drove all the way from Arizona for the project.  Dick thanked all members for donating $350 for the project when the bottle was passed around at club meetings.  Dick  also thanked the Arcadia Rotary Partners who donated money, clothes and other necessities for the orphanage.  Dick said the only drawback was that he hoped more club members would be able to attend.

Acadia Rotary History

Posted by Dan Place on January 25th, 2015 under Rotary Knowledge  •  Comments Off

Here are some more recollections from long time member Ernie Jensen of his early days in Arcadia Rotary Club.

In 1990-91 as President of Arcadia Rotary, the board decided to have an Arcadia Rotary Trip to the Colorado River. Matt Weaver and Jim Clark Jr. organized an exciting trip. We chartered a Bus that Bob Margett led, rented a pontoon boat, and had several water ski boats. We had club families with young children, Rotarians who like travel like Ben & Mickey Goland, and Ben Coarse who was I believe in his 80’s.
One interesting memory, while I was assigned to be the Captain of the Pontoon boat ferrying the Rotarians to our beach site for swimming, play, good food of coarse and water skiing. Everyone had a wonderful day playing in the sand and we were all eager to get back to our hotel and clean ourselves up for the delicious BBQ dinner Denise and Matt had ready for us at the Weaver house on the river. I had one beer early in the day, but decided that it might be prudent to switch to soft drinks. When we came back to Havasu ramp to park the boat, the CHP, Arizona HP, Local Police, Forest Service were all on the docks. They had boats lined up waiting to land, but they would only let one in at a time dock. As we came in they asked me (the Captain) to please step off of the boat, and asked questions regarding drinking and boating (driving), while someone else went onto the boat to check on life vests, safety equipment, rental agreement etc. The boats owner came over to the boat and gave the officials a hard time (we later found out that he had been arrested for drinking and “boating” but released to his wife’s custody.) Matt and Jim scored with a wonderful skiing weekend and I was glad not to have been arrested like many other boat drivers that day
Just after joining the Arcadia Rotary Club, I was asked to join a committee, so said yes. The committee chairman was Bob Margett heading a fundraising concert at the Arboretum. It was 1983, George Fasching was instrumental in bringing in big talent and a band shell was set up. Bob asked me to work with Big John Tyler who was in charge of tables and chairs, and I got the special job of being in charge of the Toilets (Porta-Pottys). So I can to this day, my claim to fame is that I started in the toilets at Arcadia Rotary. ☺ By the way, these fundraisers were the predecessors to the Arboretum’s Concerts in the park, still popular today.