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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS for July 28, 2017, by Dave Freeman

  1.  Dirk Hudson reported on the Annual Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Meeting that took place July 24-28, 2017, and announced the Annual Walk for a Cure which will take place at the Rosebowl October 29, 2017.
  2. Chris Haddow reported on  the great turnout and success of his band’s first performance, and suggested we make reservations for their next performance at Matt Denny’s Saturday, August 5, 2017 .  You can check Chris and Jeanette out on his facebook page.  She is the lead singer of Route 66 Band.
  3. President Tony introduced and inducted our newest member, Rupak Das and his wife, sponsored by Francine Chiu and immediate past president, Rosie Mares. Rupak’s pursuits and background include energy, chemical and metal science, as well as metallurgical engineering . Welcome Rupak.

Announcements for July 21, 2017

1. Leigh Chavez, a Director of the Assistance League of Arcadia, told us about the League’s “Operation School Bell”. The purpose is to provide needy children with basic school supplies (backpacks, books, etc.), as wall as with clothing items, and even tooth brushes. The League partners with Old Navy clothing store and with three middle schools in Arcadia. It also operates in such surrounding communities as Monrovia, Duarte, San Gabriel, etc. At the end of her remarks, Ms. Chavez received a Speaker’s Gift from President Tony Parille
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2. Dirk L. Hudson announced two events relating to the quest for a cure of juvenile (Type 1) diabetes. (a) At the national level the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation “Children’s Congress” is scheduled to take place on July 24 through July 26, 2017. Every two years 150 children with Type 1 diabetes gather in Washington, D.C. to inform members of the U.S. Congress on the impact of the disease on their lives and and on the lives of millions of other children, as well as of the need to find a cure. One of the 14 California delegates is 12 year old Miranda Speirs, Dirk’s grand-daughter (who was diagnosed at age 3). (b) At the local level, every year the Los Angeles chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation holds a Walk for a Cure at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This year the Walk takes place on October 29, 2017. The 2017-1018 President of JDRF-LA is Miranda’s mother, Maura Hudson (who has previously addressed our club). As the Walk day approaches, we will need to organize a “Team Rotary” representing Arcadia Rotary and other nearby Rotary clubs that wish to participate in raising funds to find a cure.

3. Bob Harbicht announced some significant Arcadia Rotary fund-raising progress towards a Veteran’s Memorial. An anonymous donor recently provided $20,000. Frank Griffith donated $6,200. The total raised to date is $36,000.

4. John Wilson announced that there was a Matt Denny’s $20 gift certificate for Rotarians who wish to volunteer to assist with video presentations.

Jackie Lacey, Super DA

Our own Rotarian Eric Barter introduced Jackie Lacey, vintage 1957 Los Angeles the first African-American to serve as DA since the office was created in 1850.

Jackie, a graduate of the USC Gould School of Law, took good natured exception to John Wilson’s observation that O.J. Simpson, recently out of incarceration, is available for the Athletic Director position at USC.  Jackie gave us a bit of background about her parents who moved to L.A. from Hinderson, TX in 1956.  Her early home life as Southern Baptists consisted of school, church, school, church, school then more church on Wednesday evenings.  Her dad worked many years for the City of L.A. and her mom worked initially in the garment district, then as a cook for the L.A. School district.

Jackie attended Dorsey High School, class of 1975, then moving on to obtain her undergraduate degree  in Social Science & Psychology from Irvine before attending USC where she met her husband.  Jackie determine that teaching was not her love, applying for and getting a job as a prosecutor for the city of Santa Monica.  Jackie then moved to the District Attorney’s office where she met Steve Cooley.  Steve was a wonderful mentor, encouraging Jackie to run for the District Attorney position, which she did.

Since her election in 2012, she has championed training police  officers to deal more effectively with the mentally ill, the reduction of sex trafficking and a conviction review process.  It is estimated that 1 in 4 inmates at the County Jail are mentally ill.  So far 1,100 officers have been trained to be more effective when faced with a mentally ill persons.

Sex trafficking has become the business of Gangs.  Initially the DA focused on prosecuting the children, however, after doing more research on who was benefiting financially, the DA’s office no longer prosecutes the child, but targets the gang members trafficking these women.

Several questions were ask relating to recent propositions 36 & 47 reducing sentences for repeat offenders and certain felonies being reduced to misdemeanors.  Jackie acknowledged that crime has increased and she challenged us voters to dig in and understand the legislation before voting to approve.

Ask what she thought of L.A. becoming a “Sanctuary City”.  She wants the police to investigate the crime and get the cooperation of victims first and foremost.  If you focus on the immigration status of the victim it tends to prohibit cooperation with law enforcement.

GO Jackie!

Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation

Program Chairman Jim Pontello introduced his first speaker of the new Presidential year and she was on fire. Not really, but she did speak about the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. Our guest speaker was Jan Share, Operations Manager of the Southern California office of the foundation. The history of the organization began years ago. In 1971 a devastating backyard fire broke out at eight year old Alisa Ann’s home. Her little brother sat down in the yard and rolled to stop the flames but Alisa Ann ran inside to her mother. She was so badly burned she did not survive. The family decided to start the foundation in her name with the goal of helping young burn survivors get through the horror of recovery after being burned. The foundation connects them with resources for coping with and managing their injuries. Dealing with disfigurement and rebuilding ones own self confidence is a daunting task but with the help of thousands of volunteers statewide and numerous fund raising efforts, it is being accomplished. Support groups are provided for burn survivors, their loved-ones, care givers and burn care professionals.

Jan played a short video, which showed many ways the quality of life is enhanced for these young survivors. The organization stages field trips, ski trips, kayak trips, beach adventures, and family camps. Just last month the organization sent 144 kids to the Largest Burn Camp in the country where the kids stay for one full week. When kids reach the age of fifteen they transition into the Young Adult Summit where they can learn about things like fixing cars and writing resumes for future employment. Once they reach seventeen or eighteen they become a C.I.T., counselor in training.

The Alisa Ann Ruch Foundation partners with Hospitals and Burn Centers, Fire Departments and Schools and Community Groups to get the word out about fire safety and training. They have developed the F.I.S.E., Firefighters in Safety Education, which teaches kids that “It Only Takes A Second” to change your life forever. Jan says all funds are raised through relays, grants, and donations. She pointed out to always have a plan for escape, know your surroundings and use caution when cooking on the stove or heating soup.

Thanks Jan for a great subject to talk about, Burn Safety.

(Pat Dolphin)

Announcements for 07/14/17 by Pat Barnes

  1.  Welcome to our new President Tony Parrille at his first official  club meeting.  We look forward to a great Rotary year with Tony at the helm.
  2.   Thank you to Rotary Partners under the leadership of Jean Parrille for a great social for all club members and guests on Saturday 07/08/17 at the Arboretum where we picniced on the lawn  and listened to the concert by country singer Le Ann Rimes.  Everyone had a great time, especially the peacocks who also entertained us.
  3. We are saddened at the sudden death after surgery of Rotary International’s President Elect Sam Owori who was a former District Governor and a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda.  His year would have begun on 07/01/18.
  4. President Tony was installed at the club’s installation dinner on 06/30/17 by the new District Governor Raghada Khoury who is a member of the Rotary Club of Apple Valley where she was club President.  Raghada was born in Amman, Jordan, raised in Yonkers, NY and has called California home since 1977.  She lived in Azusa before moving to Apple Valley in 1987.  In 2001 she graduated from the University of Redlands earning a Masters of Arts in Management.  She has been in real estate investment for the past 13 years.  She has served as the President of the Domestic Violence Shelter for Women and Children in Victor Valley for over 5 years and served on many District committees before becoming District Governor for 2017-2018.
  5.  A big “thank you” to  Past President  Eric Barter for the great job he did in chairing the club’s Installation Dinner at the San Gabriel Country Club on 06/30/17. The venue was perfect as was the dinner and hopefully we can have  more installations there in the years to come.

The Greatest Rotary Club in the World!