- Member Update: Ernie Jensen was in good shape after his mishap with pool chlorine. His doctor gave him permission to fly to Florida to embark on a Disney cruise with his family.
- Pres. Rosie gava a recap on the Field of Honor. The event was a great success with 400 flags sold and over $50,000 in sponsorships.
- The Rotary International Convention will start on June 10 in Atlanta, George. Pres. Rosie and several others will attend.
- Pres. Elect Tony Parrille thanked the high school for providing trumpet players each evening during the Field of Honor to play Taps.
- Eric Barter announced the Installation Dinner on June 30 at the San Gabriel Country Club. Our District Governor will attend as well as Rich Hutton who will be the Master of Ceremonies. David Knight will entertain us at the piano. Please sign up for one of the tables at the next meeting.
- Reminder: The new/old board meeting will be on Wednesday, June 21.
- Tony Parrille announced a social event on July 8. The Partners in Rotary are planning the event which will be a concert at the Arboretum with the Grammy Award-winning singer LeAnn Rimes. Gates open at 5pm and the concert starts at 6:30.
It all began in May 2016 when Rosie asked Frank Hall to be program chair. Frank said only if Ken Chan will do a magic show. Ken Chan said only if Gina Post-Franco will join him and then the dynamic duo of Ken and Gina was created for us to enjoy one year later when they both performed magic tricks at our club meeting.
Gina was introduced to magic when she was 5 and has been a member of the Magic Castle for more than 20 years. She enlisted the help of her two adorable sons Dylan and Reese who helped her with a rope trick, which even though it was verified to be an authentic rope by Larry Callaham, Gina was able to cut it into many pieces only to put it back together again. Rosie Mares was stumped to learn the card she picked from a deck of cards with a hole in them and handcuffed shut, magically appeared in a sealed envelope on the podium. Glen O’Young unknowingly became the object of the funniest trick ever. Gina used a balloon to draw Glen’s face on then stick a skewer thru it to prove there was nothing between Glen’s ears!
Ken warmed up the crowd by asking Patricia Hall to be his assistant, which she did beautifully. Ken asked her to pick a card from one deck of cards and Ken then picked the same card from another deck of cards! We learned that Ken has been a member of the Magic Castle for more than 20 years and is quite the performer. His jokes mixed with magic created just a moment of panic when he asked Teri Muse and Imy Dulake to remove their wedding rings and place them on two shoestrings and a pencil. Wondering if he was going to make them disappear, much to the ladies relief, he tied the strings into a knot and somehow was able to slide the rings off like there was not knot at all. His showmanship and sense of humor was highlighted when he had Ernie Jensen be the toilet paper holder and Jim Rider, Mike Ojeda, Mike Hoey, Bob Hoffman and Brad Miller do a Rockette’s high kicking dance, wiggle their booty’s, and chew toilet paper while Ken was able to pull a string of colored paper out of his mouth. The real trick was Ken got all those guys to chew toilet paper!
Congratulations to David Vannasdall on receiving his Doctor of Education in December 2016. Although Finemaster Bob Harbicht was a little tardy in his congratulations of David, he also had David in his sights to recognize him on the successful passing of Measure A in Arcadia supporting funding for the school district. Brent Forsee was also included in the recognition, although he had been spotted at the racetrack … perhaps working on “Plan B” for school funding if Measure A didn’t pass? David and Brent were both fined; David $50 and Brent $75.
Eric Barter was fishing the day after Opening Day at Mammoth Lakes and his catch was featured in Western Outdoor News magazine, including a photo. Although several Rotary members also wanted him to be fined for recanting on his “open bar” announcement for the upcoming Installation Banquet, he was only fined $70 for his fine catch.
- The District Conference will be held the weekend of 05/19/2017 in Palm Springs.
- The club’s Field of Honor will be held at Arcadia County Park from 05/20/2017 through 05/30/2017, with the opening ceremony to be held on Sunday 05/21/2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Arcadia County Park. 1,000 flags will be flown. BOB HARBICHT announced that we have $50,000 in sponsorships, and now we need to sell more flags at $50 each. MIKE REAL is in charge of setting up the Field of Honor on Saturday 05/20/2017 and he needs volunteers to set up the flags from 8:00 a.m. to about 1:00 p.m. on that day. Also volunteers are needed to man the club’s booth at the Field of Honor each day with various shifts from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and also to put diesel oil in the generators for the lights every other day. Sign-up sheets were passed around at the meeting. Contact either BOB HARBICHT or MIKE REAL for further information.
- President ROSIE announced that the club’s last Board meeting for the club year will be on 06/21/2017 and will be a joint meeting of the old board and the new board.
- Ashley Smith received her well-earned blue badge. She has been very active supporting the club in its activities
- Brent Forsee announced the teachers of the year from their respective schools: A) Megan Leahy, who always has a superior Constitution team ( National Finals three years in a row). B) Jack Sessions, who teaches Physical Therapy and works with the sports teams. He is well liked and respected by the students.
- A reminder to put on your calendar that the club’s Installation Dinner will be held on Friday 06/30/2017 at the San Gabriel Country Club. We will be dark at the Embassy Suites on that date.
- SAVE THE DATE: Friday 10/27/2017 for Arcadia Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary Celebration.
- President Rosie needs volunteers for the Veterans’ event at the Santa Anita Race Track on Memorial Day, two separate shifts, from 11:30 AM to 5:00PM. More information to come.
The program today was presented by Laine Wagenseller, a LA 5 Rotary Member. Laine was invited to hear about an Orphanage for young boys in Uganda and while he initially was not terribly interested, when he visited and saw the needs he quickly found a way to encourage teenage boys. Uganda is in the middle of Africa and has been left with thousands of orphaned children the result of brutal dictatorship and AIDS.
Laine’s first visit to the orphanage left him searching for how he could best contribute. He is a lawyer, not a nurse, dentist or doctor and as he said, spends most of his time arguing with others. He did not want to teach Ugandan’s how to sue each other. So far he has made 8 trips to the orphanage in Uganda.
Laine found his niche in working with the teenagers, knowing that most of them did not have the benefit of having a father during their critical developmental years. Laine told of listening to the story of one young Ugandan (Robert) telling that in the 4th grade his dad died, in the 6th grade his mother died and soon after his caretaker died, leaving him an orphan. Laine quoted from the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. The paraphrase is that it is very important for a young man to have a father to observe and ideally for the father to approve of and validate his beloved son. Without a fathers influence, many young men search for meaning and significance in life thru work, money, sex and lots of other harmful ways.
Laine has helped many of the young Ugandans by listening to their stories, bringing in other men to talk about growing up. Laine tells of one boy he took to the farm school, David, who when asked to pack his belongings came to Laine with just 1 shoe box with some sugar, a cup and a tooth brush, nothing else.
Laine’s final story was of Adolf, who was severely burned by his Aunt for taking food, resulting in his being unable to straighten his legs and essentially walking on his hands and feet. The Rotary Club in conjunction with the L.A. Burn Center worked together to allow Adolf to come to the US to have several surgeries to restore use of his legs. This was a tremendous gift to Adolf and a wonderful effort by LA 5 Rotary and the Burn Center. During recovery, Adolf stayed with Wagenseller’s brother and sister-in-law in Thousand Oaks, playing with their four children and going to school at Westlake Hills Elementary School.
When Adolf was asked what he was going to do, now that he could walk, he said he was going to Thank God.
“Thank you God for this time” offered Frank, eyes lifted upward, arms outstretched. That was his response to the program of reflections and admiration from family and Rotarians as he closes in on his 93rd birthday and recently retired from 63 years of hairdressing.
We were reminded of his 58 years of perfect attendance in Rotary – it used to be that standard for Rotarians years ago. Unfortunately we were also reminded of prejudice (and overcoming it) – that Frank had to change his name from Perez to the Italian sounding Perini to be able to buy a house and to be accepted into Arcadia Rotary. President Rosie Mares as a Mexican American appreciated Frank’s tenacity that opened the door for her and others to follow more easily.
Repeatedly those at the lectern spoke of Frank’s contributions to his family, his community and his inherent kindness at a personal level. We heard how he made memories with his children, taking them to new release movies in Hollywood and a meal at Clifton’s Cafeteria, how he helped with numerous Rotary projects, and even made housecalls for infirmed clients. We heard how he arranged for a flat bed truck with lights, sound, Santa and plenty of Crackerjack to meander the streets at Christmas time and raise the spirits of the community.
Some may not have known that his hard-of-hearing was from his WWII Army artillery contribution.
Numbers are big describing Frank: 50+ years as photographer for the Rotary Club – he was still taking pictures at the meeting honoring him! 47 Presidential scrap books, sponsored Little League for 40 years, was an athlete that stopped pitching at 84, a 30 year marriage and a current 20 year marriage… and on and on.
He sets the bar very high for Rotarians and admirably demonstrates the Rotary motto: “Service Above Self.” A tribute well-deserved.