Our own Frank Hall inspired us all when he approached the podium and took us on a tour of his life as a Rotarian. Frank joined Rotary in 1965 after he had been transferred as an assistant manager of a bank in Alhambra. Frank had been in the banking business since 1957 and tried to join other clubs but back then the RI bylaws stipulated there was to be only one classification in each club, i.e., real estate, lawyer, banker, etc. Attendance was mandatory, make-ups were permitted but if you missed four straight meetings you were out. One time Frank was on vacation in Napa, California and attended a make-up meeting in nearby St. Helena, he shared with us that there were so many vineyard owners that membership had to classify them as Winemaster Chardonnay, Winemaster Merlot, Winemaster Cabernet. He noted that Robert Mondavi, owner of Charles Krug Winery, was a member of the club and during a two year period when his winery was not producing wine the club reclassified him “Vinegar Manufacturer”. Rotarians having fun!
Frank spent a brief time in San Bernardino where he joined Rotary and then moved to Palm Springs where he opened a branch of Crocker Bank. Once there he joined the Rotary Club of Palm Springs, about one hundred members strong. In 1971 the President Elect passed away four months before taking office as President and the club asked Frank to take over as President. Frank remembers the members and celebrities who made up there were the likes of J.C. Penney (yes, that one) and Liberache’s brother George all the way from South Lake Tahoe as well as Don Wilson, the master of ceremonies for comedian Jack Benny.
Frank spent ten years (1976-86) at the Rotary Club of Newport Beach before moving on to the L.A.5 with its six hundred members. He recalled his involvement with the first Polio-Plus Fundraiser, which raised over $100,000 and the landmark Supreme Court decision that ruled Rotary International could not exclude women from membership to Rotary. Frank then joined the South Fullerton Rotary for a time but joined the Sierra Madre Club since he lives there. He was in Sierra Madre Rotary for a total of nine years before joining the Greatest Rotary Club in the World, Arcadia Rotary. For the last ten years he has enjoyed our club, made numerous close friends, and is currently the President of the Arcadia Rotary Foundation. We extend our sincere gratitude to Frank for sharing his experiences and service over 50 years in Rotary.
Chris Dyrek discussed the toughest day in sports, the Ironman Triathlon. This is an event that he has participated in many times. It consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22 mile run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world. Ironman participants have a limited time of 17 hours to complete the race. They start early in the morning. The swim must be completed in 2 hours 20 minutes, the bike portion in 8 hours 10 minutes and the marathon in 6 hours 30 minutes. Any participant who manages to complete the triathlon in these timings is designated an Ironman. The Ironman World Championship has been held in Kona, Hawaii annually since 1978. Chris has competed in many triathlons including Kona and the Challenge Roth, the world’s largest Ironman competition, held in the Bavarian region of Germany.
Joan Pera, Supervising Deputy Probation Officer from the LA County Probation Department presented the uncomfortable topic of how lives are used and abused by others.
She explained that “Child Prostitution” is no longer an accepted term – these are VICTIMS, no longer identified as criminals since 2010. As a result they need support and to regain their lives – they do not get involved in lives of sexual abuse on purpose or as a choice.
Ms. Pera reviewed the myths of how sex trafficking happens, and it is not as we expected; not just girls, not bad kids, not just male pimps and the problem continues to evolve and expand. For example, gangs have found they can sell a child over and over – a more profitable trade than dealing drugs.
2001 statistics were quoted (probably worse now):
- every 26 seconds a child runs away 1.6 million per year.
- 1 in 3 will be approached within 48hrs at bus stations, train depots etc.
- The AVERAGE age is 12 years
- 70-90% have a history of child abuse
The at risk populations include
- poor families who may pimp their child or sell them
- peers – recruitment is occuring at High and Middle Schools
- group home and foster homes
- kids kidnapped off the street
- the transgender population
The child trafficking unit has been working in the community to support those at risk and to extend help to them. Foster care support has been increased twice: “Extended foster care” to age 21 and “foster care plus” goes to the age of 24. Prior to the extensions 14,100 arrests in 2009 in the 18-24 age bracket.
The topic makes most of us squirm. What can we do?
- Support programs already in place with money; support the education of the community.
- mentor victims or include them in parts of your family life.
- read books on the topic, often by victims: Put “sex trafficking” in Amazon – there are lots of choices.
Arcadia Rotary is forming a committee to focus on the topic. If you are interested in Stopping Human Trafficking please contact Rosie Mares.
Lisa Levy Bush, currently with the Construction Authority Responsibility group made up of 8 full-time staff, discussed the upcoming developments with the Foothill Goldline. Their group is expecting the San Gabriel Valley to grow 7.6% in the next 7 years.
Their first Goldline Project was completed in 2003 from Los Angeles to Pasadena. In March 2016, they finished the goldline from Pasadena to Azusa on time and on track with budget; the metro is seeing approximately 54,000 riders every weekday.
Lisa stated that just recently they got approved for the next phase of the project, which is the development of the goldline running from Glendora to Montclair, which covers a 12.5 mile radius. They just received their utility contracts this week which they will begin working on. The new project is expected to be done in 2026, breaking ground on the project December 2, 2017 at the Citrus station.
If you are interested in seeing more about the project, you can visit foothillgoldline.org or iwillride.org.
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.