All posts by Teri Muse

Special Awards and Contests Night

February 9, 2018

By Teri Muse

On February 9, the usual noontime meeting of the Arcadia Rotary Club moved to an evening of “Special Awards and Contests” program held at Arcadia High School.  This event was an opportunity for our club to showcase all the wonderful programs we do for our schools including the Teacher Mini-Grants, Student Mini-Grants, Dan Stover Music Contest and the 4-Way Test Speech Contest.

Interact Club members from Arcadia High School served at greeters along with Brent Forsee and Ray Bushnell.  Francine Chiu and Dave Totten provided a table of information on our Rotary Club and membership information to attract new members.    A special slide show was running as the guests arrive to showcase our Club.

Arcadia Unified School District Superintendent and Rotarian David Vannasdall served as the emcee of the evening.  Dave Freeman, Rosie Mares and Dan Place served as judges for the Dan Stover Music Contest.  Brian Hall, Bob Harbicht and Dick Martinez served as judges for the 4-Way Tet Speech Contest.  Ashley Smith was the very important time keeper of the event.

In addition to the competition for the two contests that happened that evening, the winners of the Student Mini-grants were introduced.  Six grants for a total of $1745 was awarded for this year.  Kathy Ellison, Jim Rider, Aaron Rose and John Wilson served as judges for that contest.  The winners for the Teacher Mini-Grants that totaled $4,000 were also introduced.  Judges for the Teacher Mini-Grants were Yvonne Flint, Mike Hoey, Teri Muse and Mike Real.

This event has proven to be an excellent way for the students and teachers to have a larger audience of family, friends and Rotarians for their performances and allowed the community to see all the wonderful ways the Arcadia Rotary is supporting students and teachers in the Arcadia Unified School District.

Special kudos to Larry Callaham, Chair of the “New Generations” section of our club for his leadership and dedication to these programs.

Mt. Lowe Brewery

Programs Report
January 19, 2018

Mike Reiling and his business partner loved drinking and brewing craft beer and figured the only way their wives would let them drink beer in the afternoon would be if they opened their own brewery—and so Mt. Lowe Brewery was created. There probably is a lot more to that story, but Mike jokingly shared this with us as our featured speaker at our January 19th meeting.

When the two friends set out to open their brewery, they wanted to have a name that was from local history. They considered several names such as Arroyo Seco, but decided on Mt. Lowe which has quite a colorful history. Back in the late 1800’s the Mt. Lowe Railway went from Lake Avenue in Pasadena to the crest of the San Gabriel Mountains. At Mt. Lowe there were two structures called Alpine Tavern and Echo Mountain House. There also was a zoo! Fires and natural disasters such as a flood destroyed the buildings and railway but pictures from it’s hey day depicts quite a remarkable location.

Mt. Lowe Brewery is Arcadia’s first Microbrewery which offers 20 beers on tap after just one year in business. Many of their beers are named after Mt. Lowe’s historical features such as “Alpine Lager”, “Inspiration Point” and “Red Line Barley Line.” They are served in over 15 restaurants including BJ’s and Wood Ranch in Arcadia. They just obtained a canning line machinery and will be distributing their beers at the local Grocery Outlet and other stores. While they do not serve food at their family and pet friendly location, they have different food trucks come to the brewery offering customers a wide variety of food choices.

Mike also explained how beer is made from taking the malt grain thru filtering, boiling, fermentation and everything in between until you have the finished product. We learned that an IPA takes about two weeks to make, while a lager takes about 3 week and that yeast is the magic ingredient to all beers. Craft beers make up about $22 billion of the $106 billion overall beer market. We are quite lucky to have our very own microbrewery in Arcadia.

Habitat for Humanity

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!

Field of Honor 2017 Sponsor Recognition

The August 25th Program was all about recognizing our 2017 Field of Honor sponsors. We were all in for a special treat when Bob Harbicht revealed that our “anonymous” donor for our Veteran’s Memorial was longtime Arcadia resident and volunteer Mary Hansen. President Tony Parrille and Bob Harbicht accepted a $20,000 check from Mrs. Hansen to complete the funding necessary to build the Veteran’s Memorial. Mrs. Hansen’s husband and 5 brothers all fought in World War II and she wanted to see this memorial built in Arcadia to honor all veteran’s. The 92 ½ year old said she wanted to see this done ASAP so she can be there to help unveil the monument. Bob Harbicht promised to fast track the project.

Bob also reminded us why we established the Field of Honor Program:
1) Bring outside money into Rotary for our charities
2) Fund the Veteran’s Memorial
3) Fund more Rotary charities
4) Raise visibility in the Arcadia Community and beyond
All of this has been accomplished in the 2 short years the program has been in existence in Arcadia. The first year we raised $30,000 and the second year we raised $50,000. Plans are already underway for the 2018 Field of Honor and all Rotarians are encouraged to participate.

Programs Report: International Convention

Written by Keanny Jimenez, Intern for Waste Management

Rotary is said to be like a family, but what about the other Rotary members around the world? Once every year Rotary hosts an International Rotary Convention. This year it took place in the beautiful city of Atlanta with 40,000 people! Not only were there many sites to see and great food to taste, but they also were exposed to all the cultures brought from every single Rotary member around the world. Frank Griffith convinced all the Arcadia members at the convention to get red polo shirts which they wore to the club meeting. Arcadia club members who attended were Pat Dolphin, Brad Miller, Kathy Ellison, Imy Dulake, Rosie Mares, Gina Kim, Tony Parrille and Sam Falzone.
Imy talked about the amazing guest speakers like Bill Gates, Ashton Kutcher, and government officials. Mr. Kutcher brought in the very touchy subject of child sex trafficking. He is starting a non-profit organization to help track the children. “It gave me rotary pride” says Gina Kim. This was Gina’s first convention and she couldn’t have loved it more.
Tony Parrille is talking about making a San Gabriel Valley wide program of saving these child sex slaves. A very worthwhile potential project to look out for. Rosie Mares just loves these conventions so much that it was her fourth time going to a convention. She said, “It opens your eyes to the real reason why you are in Rotary”. Pat talked about all the great dinners they had together getting to know each other and their spouses better. Brad talked about how it was his 3rd international convention and each time he is amazed at what he learns. Sam Falzone learned that you don’t want to rent a car when you go to these conventions….it’s much cheaper and quicker to just schlep around in the shuttle buses they provide you! Kathy shared the upcoming dates and locations for International Conventions: 2018 Toronto; 2019 Germany; 2020 Hawaii, and 2021 Taiwan.


June 16, 2017 Program Report
by Waste Management Student Intern Keanny Jimenez

The 2017 RYLA students did the honors of running our club meeting for the day. RYLA is a camp for teenagers to learn leadership skills and grow as a person. The camp provided activities and guest speakers that help with leadership skills. Some activities included using fake money to purchase supplies to devise a way for an egg dropped from a two-story building and not crack when it hit the concrete floor. Another example was building a firetruck from Lego’s with one person looking at the firetruck and then describing it to the other camper so they could build it sight unseen. This activity helped them keep calm under stress and frustration.
However, they didn’t only have activities they also had guest speakers and comedians. Kathy was one of the comedians who was also deaf but kept everyone rolling around in laughter. Her jokes soon turned into a motivational speech. Kathy oozed with confidence and wanted the rest of the teenagers to radiate from that. Another speaker was “Bruce Almighty” whose theme was the decisions we make affect us. He had lost his daughter in a car accident and described how the decisions we make can affect not only us but our families.
The students from Arcadia High School had strong feelings about the camp. Many were nervous on the first day, not knowing what to expect of this camp. They soon realized the camp was filled with charismatic and welcoming people. They made friends from different places and created strong bonds with them. The camp challenged them into breaking out of their comfort zone by talking about stereotypes, race unfairness, and other kinds of problems. They were surrounded by mature and understanding young adults which helped them open emotionally and mentally. RYLA helped empower and accept their vulnerabilities and view that as an advantage instead of an obstacle.