Our Guest Speaker today was Dr. William “Bill” White who has lived in our community for over forty years. Bill joined the Sierra Madre Medical Group as a partner practicing general medicine in 1963 and a staff member at the Methodist Hospital. He became Chief of Staff there in 1984 and is now retired from practice.  Dr. White has got to be one of the most knowledgeable people around about the Mt. Wilson Trail and its history.


Back in 1889 one of the most difficult pack trains was planned for the trip to Mt. Wilson. It would be to transport the first telescope there, a load estimated at 1200 lbs. It turns out that when they received the telescope at the beginning of the trail for packaging in crates it weighed in at 3700 lbs. It was such an arduous journey on the narrow trail that at times where they encountered a sharp angle they had to drill and blast out a rock to widen it before they could proceed. When they were within two miles of the summit a sudden snowstorm dropped a foot of snow and the men had to abandoned their packs and wait a week at the Halfway House, a small wooden cabin built for shelter along the way. They had to wait for the snow to melt before going further. The entire trip took a total of six weeks to deliver the telescope. Dr. White said that is what made Sierra Madre famous and people poured in to the area to book a trip up the mountain to see the telescope.


A few men built camps to house campers along the trail. One built by Peter Steil called Steil Camp. Mr. Steil owned a drinking establishment in the Pasadena area during the prohibition era and he was frowned upon by many city staff for the alcohol he sold. Another developed a camp named the Strain Camp after A.J. Strain, the builder. Unfortunately to get to the Strain Camp one had to walk through he Steil Camp so Mr. Steil put up a fence to block the trail. When it went to court in Pasadena the judge ruled a $1.00 fine and opened the trail to all people.


The telescope was moved years later to Peru, where Harvard was building an observatory and is now at the Boyden Observatory in Bloemfontein, South Africa.


What a great historic moment Dr. White shared with us. This is simply fascinating!


Thank you Dr. White.


(Pat Dolphin)

Fire and Police Person of the Year

FIRE PERSON OF THE YEAR: Captain John Twitchell first began as a fire “technician” in 1990 for Arcadia. He was hired full time in 1991 and has steadily risen up the ranks, with new accomplishments every few years.  He attained the rank of Fire Captain II, in 2014 with almost 24 years in Arcadia.

He has also become a trainer, not only of incoming fire fighters in Arcadia but also for as an instructor in Oxnard for Fire Marshalls.

POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR: Office Jordan Elders is an Arcadia High graduate, was a Police cadet and in 2012 was hired.

He not only enforces the law with many arrests to his credit but also has a softer side as a Homelessness Liaison.  He has reconnected homeless with relatives and helped get them off the street to safer surroundings.

He is also a Field Training Officer helping train others to be safe and effective in the field while under pressure.

Arcadia Rotary and our community congratulate these fine professionals.

ANNOUNCEMENTS, November 3, 2017, Dave Freeman

  1.  Mark your calendar:  the club will be dark on Friday 11/24/2017 (day after Thanksgiving), Friday 12/22/2017 (the Friday before Christmas) and Friday 12/29/2017 (the Friday before New Year’s).                                                                                                                               A.   We will be at the Doubletree on 11/10,                                                    B.   Matt Denny’s on 11/17,                                                                                      C.   Dark 11/24                                                                                                                  D.  12/3 Christmas Party – bring the kids.
  2. Former President Rosie Mares presented President Tony Parille with an award from the District Governor for the Arcadia Rotary Club, “Making a Difference since October 27, 1927!!!”
  3. The Students of the Month from Arcadia High School were presented awards;                                                                                                                  A.  Performing Arts: Graham Sanders- Pep Band music                                arranger, and Music mentor  at Middle Schools.                                    B.  James Gassner: Athlete.  Three year varsity, CIF standout,                  3.9 GPA!                                                                                                                          C.  Academics: Arianna Togelang – Mock Trial,  Speech and                        Debate, and a GPA of 4.0.
  4. Firefighter of the Year: Chief Mike Lang presented Captain John Twitchell  with the award, after a long list of reasons he deserved it
  5. Police Officer of the year: Chief  Robert Guthrie extolled Jeffrey Elders’ many good deeds, before presenting the award to him.
  6. Remember the Festival of the Trees, coming at the Annandale Country Club Dec. 2, 2017.

90th Anniversary Celebration

The Arcadia Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary Celebration was a gala affair. The setting was the ballroom of the Doubletree and while cocktails were enjoyed, David Knight entertained the crowd at the piano. Emcee for the evening was Glenn Oyoung who’s quick wit was enjoyed by all. There were17 past presidents in attendance including past District Governor John Fee. Laura Freedman, the first women president of the club, joined the celebration along with Paul Lambert who drove down from Santa Barbara. Governor Raghada Khoury, Governor Elect John Chase and Governor Nominee Luanne Arrendondo represented the District. President Tony Parrille related some the things that were occurring 90 years ago and a video of the early days of the club was shown. It was an evening of memories as many members related tales of previous club achievements and happenings. New member, Jim Boyd, was inducted into the club. His first duty was to cut the anniversary cake. A donation of food and funds was made that evening to the Foothill Unity Center, and the club was recognized for its 90 years of service by the City of Arcadia. Rosie Mares and her committee are to be congratulated for planning this memorable event.

Practice, Patience and Perseverance

Our speaker today was Bill Ukropina, one of the founders of Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors. They currently employ thirty-three people who specialize in leasing and selling commercial properties in the greater areas of Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia.

Bill graduated from San Marino High School and Washington State University and has lived in Pasadena with his wife for thirty-two years. He has three boys, Nick who works in manufacturing sales and is in the USC MBA program. His son Grant is a management engineer at McMaster Carr Industrial Supply and is finishing his MBA at USC and Conrad, who graduated from Stanford in June of 2016 and just received his Masters degree there. Conrad was a member of the Stanford Football team and played in the 2016 Rose Bowl Game. He broke six (6) all-time kicking records while at Stanford.

Bill and his wife Lynn-Ann were lead sponsors of a Pasadena Cancer Support Community Event last year and are very involved as volunteers and donors.

Bill mentioned that he always wanted to be a quarterback from the time he was 8 years old. When he was in third grade he went with some friends to a San Marino High School practice and was able to meet Rich Haley, an outstanding quarterback in 1988. Fast forward to Bill’s youngest son Conrad, who was also interested in quarterbacking for his high school, Loyola High School. Conrad tried out for the position with several others and the coach had narrowed his choice down to three candidates, Conrad was one of them. Unfortunately, three days before the season opener Conrad broke his arm in four places during a tackling drill. He was determined to find some other way to stay involved with the team where all of his friends were. So Conrad decided to take up kicking. He was so good at it, his dad, Bill, decided to make a DVD and sent it to eighty (80) college coaches. Some schools responded with an offer of a partial ride, like USC, Princeton, and Yale. Only one responded with a full scholarship from Fresno State, Coach Pete Alamar. Conrad, meanwhile, decided to accept a non-scholarship “walk-on” position at Stanford. His first day there an announcement was made, “we have a new special teams coach, Pete Alamar”. It didn’t take long for Conrad to realize he had made a wise decision. In his first game in his sophomore year, with no experience at the position, Ukropina drilled a 44-yard field goal against UCLA on regional TV.

Conrad received a full scholarship his senior year at Stanford. He learned the art of Practice, Patience, and Perseverance and increased his work out routines, strategy and the patience it takes to win. He made a 42-yard and a 46-yard field goal against USC to win and against Notre Dame he made the game winning Field Goal after the defense tried to ICE him out by calling time outs. Stanford won that game 38-36.

Our thanks to Bill Ukropina for sharing his story and passing on a good lesson of Practice, Patience and Perseverance.


(Pat Dolphin)

Announcements for meeting on 10/20/2017 by Pat Barnes

  1.  Congratulations to Jack Lamb for his 50th Anniversary with Arcadia Rotary Club!  That is a huge milestone.
  2.   Arcadia Rotary will have its annual Monday Night Football Party on 01/23/2017 at Matt Weaver’s house at 873 Ridgeside Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016.  The game will be the Eagles vs. the Redskins.  It is always a great event.
  3.  The club will be dark next Friday 10/27/2017 and that night we will have the club’s 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Doubletree Monroviia.  The cost is $70/person – $125/couples except that the cost to Arcadia Rotarians is $50/person.  Coctails will be at 5:30 P.M. and Dinner at 6:30 P.M.  Make sure you RSVP ASAP.  For more information you can email
  4. Mark your calendar that the club will be dark on Friday 11/24/2017 (day after Thanksgiving), Friday 12/22/2017 (the Friday before Christmas) and Friday 12/29/2017 (the Friday before New Year’s).
  5. Congratulations to Julie Salmon who is the Arcadia Rotary Teacher of the Year for Holly Avenue Elementary School.   She has taught at Holly Avenue since 1991 and teaches K-1st grade.  Among her many degrees, she received her PhD at UCLA,

The Greatest Rotary Club in the World!