Before kicking off the holiday quiz, Finemaster Brad Miller recognized Ernie Aragon for celebrating his immediate family who number 51! Included in this grand total are 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, making Ernie the patriarch of an impressive tribe.
Roger Grant’s family increased by a new granddaughter that very morning, born at 5 lbs. 2 oz., 18 in. This brings his family total to 26, including 15 grandchildren and earning him a recognition of $100.
Dick Martinez awarded Mike Real a fine credit of $100 for correctly answering his weekly ABCs of Rotary question. Finemaster Brad couldn’t let that stand long, so he fined Mike $100 to use up that credit quickly.
The holiday quiz focused on Hanukkah whose eight-night celebration began Tuesday evening. The first question was directed to Tom Miles: Name a traditional Israeli meal at Hanukkah. Tom didn’t guess correctly, nor did Brent Forsee, but Aaron Rose correctly answered “Doughnuts,” naming the jelly-filled sweets that are traditionally served.
Rosie Mares was given a multiple choice question: Hanukkah is a big deal because a) Jews are a majority in the US, b) public schools are closed, c) it’s close to Christmas, d) there are lots of Hanukkah specials. Rosie correctly answered “C” and no fine resulted.
Dave Freeman correctly answered the number of candles on the Hanukkah menorah (nine) for no fine, but all was not lost. Bob Harbicht earned a fine of $100 for heckling Dave and for refusing to take a photo with Teri Muse and Dirk Hudson at a recent event.
Betty McWilliams, Executive Director of the Foothill Unity Center joined us today for a holiday update on the recent progress the Center has made caring for the homeless in the area. The Center is currently assembling food boxes at the L.A. County Arboretum to be distributed to needy families. In fact, a thousand boxes for a thousand families, says Betty, with the help of two hundred volunteers this morning and another one hundred volunteers to relieve them this afternoon. Joining Betty was Mary Ann Lutz, a Monrovia Rotary Club past president and current Board President of the Unity Center. Betty and Mary Ann shared that the Center serves eleven San Gabriel Valley cities, serving the working poor, retired, disabled and homeless community. The Center provides food, health services, temporary crisis care and even a pet food bank. Oh yes, they also provide tax assistance to those seniors and others in need. It not only takes a “Village” to accomplish it, last year 6000 volunteers helped make it all happen.
In their current location, they work out of three cramped buildings, two in Monrovia, one in Pasadena, having to conduct daily case management, etc. while other clients are in the same office waiting for service. Recently the Center, Betty, Mary Ann and Raina Martinez, Development Director, along with their Board, made a real estate purchase of one of the vacant World Vision buildings on Chestnut Ave. in Monrovia. The building is really a solution to the cramped quarters and a dream that is quickly coming true. The new location is two-story, 28,000 square feet with warehouse space, office space, job training, conference rooms and three kitchens where they plan classes to instruct basic food preparation and nutrition. Even the volunteers will have their own office. “From Dream to Reality” is the new building campaign slogan and rightly so. World Vision generously financed half of the purchase price for the Foothill Unity Center new building while the Center has raised the other half through professional fund raising efforts. We wish the very best of the Holiday Season for our friends at the Foothill Unity Center. Congratulations on achieving your goal and taking it, “From Dream to Reality”.
Frances Hardy, Director of Resource Development for the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity was a great ambassador to share the new Rotary International partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Frances has been familiar with Rotary since she was young, being a Rotary Exchange Student in France when she was living in North Carolina. She said she learned a great life lesson from being an exchange student that opened her eyes to see more than just her immediate surroundings.
Frances talked about how Habitat for Humanity is a global housing ministry that partners with local communities worldwide to build homes for members of their community that changes lives. Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has served more than 134 million people in 70 countries and 50 states in the USA. The San Gabriel Valley chapter covers 31 cities and 400 square miles. Habitat for Humanity does not give homes away, the families who receive homes from them put in at least 500 hours of sweat equity, are currently living in substandard living conditions and pay the mortgage once they move into their Habitat house. Habitat makes sure the mortgage is not more than 30% of their monthly income since research shows that if a family spends more than 30% of their monthly income on housing they are in jeopardy of not being able to put food on the table, pay for medical bills, etc.
So far, there have been zero foreclosures of Habitat for Humanity homes in San Gabriel Valley. The 2019 goals are to double what they are currently doing. So, that means engage 8,000 volunteers and double the number of homes built in 2019. With Habitat’s partnership with Rotary International and hopefully the Arcadia Rotary, they will surely reach that goal!
Mimi Hennessey Announced the Nominations for Arcadia Rotary Positons for 2018. Continuing Board Positions for 1 more year-term: Brent Forsee, Kathy Ellison, Larry Callaham. Open Slot Nominations are: Sam Falzone, Jim Pontello and Karen McNair. Officers up for Nomination are: President Elect: Pat Dolphin. Next Years President Elect/Current Vice-Chair: John Wilson. Secretary: Dave Totten. Treasurer: Ed Beranek. Vice President: Teri Muse. All members will have a chance to vote next week. No nominations from the floor, therefore, nominations are closed.
Toni Parrille: December 15, 2017 will be the last meeting of 2017.
Dick Martinez: ABC’s of Rotary for next week: When did Rotary Intl. officially adopt the 4-Way Test?
Ray Bushnell: National Championship Game for College Football is being held in Atlanta on January 8th. The Semi-Final Game is going to be held at the Rose Bowl. Arcadia Rotary will be raffling tickets for the game, $20 buys you a raffle ticket, winner gets 2-Tickets. Drawing will be held on December 30th. Last month, Arcadia Rotary donated $1,000 to the event.
Foothill Unity Center: New building! Distribution of gifts will be 12/16/17, helping serve 1,300 children. Handing out angels this week. Bring all donations to the Unity Center 12/11-12/12. Check out their website and social media pages for more info.
John Wilson: Boys and Girls Club Event on 12/2 was most successful event in generating income. Gross income was $300K. Thank you to all the sponsors and Arcadia Rotary members who donated.
Aaron Rose: January 14, 2018 Chinese Association Gala Fundraiser at Arcadia Masonic Center: Seeking sponsors.
Paul Harris Fellows: Eric Marter, Ramon Oseguera and Jeff Johnson.
Brent Forsee Announced the Student(s) of the Month: Academics: Connor Ching. Athletics: Max Davila. Performing Arts: Allison Hart.