August 17th, 2015

The Board Meeting ran into overtime, so when the Prez finally got to the Meeting Room, we had quite a crowd assembled! But with Pat on the keyboard and Mike taking care of the Bar Runs we were able to settle down and get on with the Meeting. (OBTW, thanks Andrew for taking care of the Desk!)

Richard O. provided a brief Invocation, Ed Rennie led the Pledge, Andy C. the Four Way Test,  and Bob Wood led us in song.

We were happy to see Corinne Rennie, along with candidates Bob Kelly and Paul Jensen. Rotary Youth Exchange Student Harrison Turton (Brisbane, AU) was visiting us from his hosts in Minneapolis while catching some beach time with his grandmother Brenda Alcott ( in from Down Under), and uncle Heath Clarke and his family all of whom are locals.  Yukari was joined by her son Noah (Tokyo), daughter Sara, and friend Keiko, all in provide support for her Craft Talk.

Harrison presented the Prez with an Australian Flag to mark his visit with us, and Andy had a golf joke. John Kerr stepped up to collect some fines and got PDG Roger, the” Fabulous” Jerry Morris ( with a now legal ‘Vette), and ( a very air conditioned) Dick Dickson to pay their “voluntary contributions” for half year, and then whipped the crowd into a frenzy selling Raffle Tickets for the District Foundation Gala drawing (Thank you Gary Myers, Bob Kelly, Lauren among others) and collecting a special Happy Fine from Bob Wood, plus it was reported that Kent Martin has recently become engaged☺   Best Wishes!

I must have missed the sign-up sheet for cooks at the Chili Cookoff next Saturday before the Angels Game or let Marc A. know if you can help out.  Tickets for the game will be distributed at next week’s meeting.  

Also Coastal Clean up Day/Clean the Back Bay will be Saturday, September 19 and we have been asked to once again support that effort by providing lunches for the volunteers, so mark your calendar for that AND for the Okazaki BBQ happening that first weekend in October.

Noting the start of the new Rotary Year, we scored only 44% in attendance last month, let’s do better!!  Remember, if you miss a meeting, make-ups are fun.

PP Lauren presented the winners of POUNDATION 2015 with their checks! Mike Saidi came in first, Marc at second, and a tie for third between  Lauren and Miyuki – thanks for having fun while getting healthier and helping our Foundation!!

Sharing the good works of other Rotary Clubs, RC Monarch Beach Sunrise will sponsor a Night at The Improv  (Irvine Spectrum) on Monday, September 28 to raise funds to assist  Marine Families “Laughs for Leathernecks”. That Club has a long history of supporting  the Fifth Marine Regiment (as we do with the First of the First) so go to  for details, including an opportunity to sponsor a Marine, if you cannot attend!

Continuing with the theme of being a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club PDG Roger presented Marc Aarons with his PHF+2 pin.  Thanks Marc, for your continuing support of our Foundation!

Many times it has been said that Craft Talks are some of our best programs and last evening certainly proved that to be true. Yukari Johnston shared her life story with us, and with all the challenges that she faced, and overcame, we are proud to count her as a member.

Born in Japan, near Okazaki, she completed college and then went to Hawaii under a homestay program, to learn English and experience a different part of the world. She married, returned to Japan for the birth of her two children, then moved to CA but subsequently divorced.  As a single mother with two small children, she entered the workforce, first as an employee, and then circumstances forced her to start her own business. Recalling the positive impact of her homestay experience, she established a similar program for Japanese students in Irvine. Twenty years later it is AOL College of Languages, an accredited institution with over 120 students from many countries, learning language and building understanding, a key focus of Rotary.  And along the way, she authored three books!

Yukari apologized for her missed meetings, but we are glad that her school received the accreditation that consumed so much of her time, and we look forward to seeing her regularly at our meetings.

Thank you Yukari, and our thanks to Grace who introduced her to our Club!

 Mark your calendars, because next week we’ll host Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

Keep hydrated/ cool this weekend, and we’ll see you next week.

Anchor Watch – July 23, 2015

July 24th, 2015

Another beautiful evening on the Harbor, and with summer weather upon us, many learned that the Prez had declared a casual dress code for the meeting!

Unfortunately, most did not receive the email on time, so only a bold few showed up in shorts!!

It was great to have Grace Austin, and Yukari Johnston back among us, along with  “Back from Texas”  Miyuki!  Our guests included  Paul Jensen and Dinh Ta, a web designer who works locally, on his first visit with us.

Bob Wood offered the Invocation, Dick Dickson led the Pledge, Andrew Balzerit led the 4Way Test (without the banner!) and John Kerr led us in “In the Good Old Summertime”.

The Prez reported that the Club Service surveys, that had been received had been compiled (thanks Jo) and those who had not yet done so could still provide their input and suggestions to the Board by completing one ASAP. He also mentioned that he needed a break from the Prez Gig, so he was taking a sabbatical next week, and we will be led/inspired/motivated by everyone’s favorite IPP Lauren!!

PDG Roger reminded all that field seats are still available for the Angels Game on August 22 (details on our Chili Cookoff entry should be available next week). He also shared the great news that as of July 24, Nigeria will have gone one full year without a new case of polio!!  And in two weeks, the entire continent of Africa (20% of the world’s landmass) will reach that threshold!!! He went on to caution that this must be maintained for two more years for Polio to be declared eliminated from that continent, so we need to continue to support the effort.  At the President’s suggestion, members wishing to make a contribution to End Polio (which will be doubled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, e.g. your $100 donation will provide for 375 doses of the vaccine)  please BRING CHECKBOOKS NEXT WEEK!

“Rotary Direct” information was distributed and this is a program that will help our Club receive the Rotary Presidential Citation, so more information will be forthcoming, but you can learn more and enroll online at .

Steven Williams shared a couple of basketball jokes and then Dan H. got into the fines, first from himself and then Kent and then Yukari after which point the happy fines came from Gary, and Jo, Roger, Paul, and AJ, all with good news!! Dan did share news about two of our long-time members: Jose Joab has transferred his membership to a Rotary Club in Luxembourg; Hanspeter Denzler suffered a second stroke recently and is not recovering well – we will be circulating a card for him at our next meeting.

Our Calendar for the coming year has been uploaded and can always be checked at  It includes The Angels Game on 8/22, and the Rotary Business Luncheon on 10/16, Foundation Dinner on 11/14, and even our Boat Parade Party on 12/17 !  BUT the Rotary World Peace Conference scheduled for January 15 &16, 2016 in Ontario, CA isn’t listed! You can find out more at


Aj introduced our Guest Speaker, Arnold Kunst, who recounted his own experiences in researching and writing “Lincoln 365” and shared several of the quotes, highlighting the remarkable insight and wit of our sixteenth President. Copies of his publications were available and Dick Holmgren won a Zip Drive of four of his publications as an early Birthday Present!

Thank you for sharing your fascination with Lincoln, Mr. Kunst.

Anchor Watch – July 9, 2015

July 10th, 2015

A beautiful evening on the Harbor, Pat at the keyboard, a new Rotary Year, and an experienced President! Who could ask for anything more?

It was great to have Dick Dickson and Terry Rousselot back among us! Our guests included PDG Charlie Barr, our new Assistant Governor (and Lauren’s classmate) Mary Kinkella from RC Huntington Beach, and occasional visiting Rotarian Clark Lee from RC Fullerton South. Candidates Bob Kelly and Paul Jensen were there, and Mike Saidi hosted his son Kayuon and his friend, Kajis Poponia , visiting from South Africa, to dinner with us.

President Steve put Dick to work with the Invocation, Bob Wood with the Pledge, Dan Hoffmann led the 4Way Test, and Terry led us in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in recognition of the upcoming All-Star Game. The Prez greeted us to the new Rotary Year, shared our theme “Be a Gift to the World” made sure that the theme pins were distributed to all members, saying that he would return later in the meeting with more on this. Lauren shared a joke and PDG Roger led a bunch of happy fines including Lauren, Dick D., Bob Wood, Andrew B., Jerry Morris, and Dan Hoffmann among others.

There is still one open seat in our Suite at the Angels Game (to End Polio) on August 22, and Marc A. offered to sponsor our entry in the Chili Cook-off, so dig out your tasting spoons! Steve took a moment to note the recent loss of two of our more senior members: Walt Smith, whose service will be on July 18, at 1pm, at Harbor Christian (2401 Irvine Blvd, NB) and Lyman Porter whose family will have a private service with a celebration of his life to be announced for a subsequent date. Sympathy cards were circulated for members to sign- a nice tradition in our Club. Ed Rennie will be making a presentation on our Club Foundation’s investments next week, and if you have any questions that you would like him to answer, please send him an email. New Club Secretary Jo advises that our Calendar for the coming year has been uploaded and you can find it anytime at Thanks Jo, that’s a great resource! And it includes The Angels Game on 8/22, and the Rotary Business Luncheon on 10/16, Foundation Dinner on 11/14, and even our Boat Parade Party on 12/17 ! BUT the Rotary World Peace Conference scheduled for January 15 &16, 2016 in Ontario, CA isn’t listed! You can find out more at


President Steve showed a clip of a Speech by our new International President, S.K. “Ravi” Ravindran regarding this year’s theme, the following is an excerpt: “…We all have so much. Others have so little. We have received so many gifts: others, so few. And I am asking you all when you go back to your clubs, when you make your plans for next year: Remember what it is we do. Remember why we are here. Remember who it is we serve. And so, with God’s blessings behind us, and your prayers before us, let us go forth together. This is out time. Let us grasp it. Let us Be a Gift to the World.” Building on that, Steve distributed the Annual Survey or Volunteer Form, asking all members to take a few minutes to comment on the various programs of our Club, critique them, make suggestions, and then conduct “Roundtable Conversations” with a summary by a designated Rotarian. From the results, this was time well spent! Furthermore, Steve asked that all completed forms be returned to him so that when the Board of Directors meets next week, they can adjust/refine programs and priorities to be consistent with the wishes of our members!! Sounds like a great start to the New Year!!!.


June 26th, 2015

If you weren’t there, it might be difficult to follow this, but I’ll do my bestdemotion_mulit to explain it all

First impressions count – most of the time – so to mess with Lauren’s head, the tables were not decorated or even set for dinner, and upon her entrance the only sound was “crickets chirping”

Then I guess, you’ll have to consider the crowd, beginning with SIX Governor types – Lauren’s Dad PDG Bill Reeves from District 5190, our own DG Jim Paddock and Kathy, DGE Kevin Padilla and Lorraine, and those great friends of our Club, PDG Bret Gerdes and Natalie, and PDG Greg Owen and Val, and of course, PDG Roger and Sheila. We were proud to host Mayor Ed Selich of our fair city, and our Sister City friends turned out in good numbers, including Scott and Liddy Paulsen, Ced and Beth Fields, Flossie Dunning and John, Suzan Berkley, Connie Skibba and her sister Joann, and Yuko and Ichiro Williams.

Lauren’s mom Rita, First Dude Mark, and sons Connor and Blaydon joined at her table and PE Steve’s family including First Lady to be Heather, joined daughter Stephanie and husband Wade Chapman, and in-laws Dick and Rosanne Valdez at his table. Many Rotary spouses and freonds were there to make sure that Lauren had a proper sendoff, including Nancy Kerr, Myrna Malki, Nanette McDonough, Gay Morris,
Shelli Oberreiter, Teri Peister (with Alexa), Corinne Rennie, Sona Saidi, Yvonne Smith, Jenna Thielen, Pilar Vergara, Stephanie Walley, Monica Williams, and Lynda Wood. Past President Nan Raney, who had sponsored Lauren joined us as did Andrew McDonough, Morghen Rhodes, Amy Cowan, and Rachel Paget.

Whew! Now back to the proceedings.

Finally, the Prez entered the room, greeting all her “peeps” and emcee AJ reminded us all of the great accomplishments of the year, which was a major rejuvenation, thanks to dedication and the hard work of “The First
Dude, Mark Pittman”, who was suitably recognized.

In recognition of the great success of the joint fundraiser with Sister City, “Taste of Japan, OC”, a Traditional Tea Ceremony (one of Lauren’s favorite traditions – NOT) had been chosen to start the evening. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but Justin Peister in Japanese robes coming forward to conduct it, and, WAIT FOR IT, Marc Aarons dressed as a Sumo Wrestler!! (You really had to be there) There were traditional prayers, with taiko drums, as the formal tea ceremony dragged on.
Finally, having had enough of that torpidity, we are grateful that Tom Walley jumped in and “Got the Party Started!” (It should be noted that thanks to outstanding work by Heather Speer, Miyuki and Jo, the table decorations that had been pre-staged – a separate theme for each highlight of Lauren’s year, good thing there were a lot of tables- were installed beautifully by the people who paid good money to be there!- and who were able to follow simple (well prepared) instructions) And the Prez was draped in her feather boa, a simple strand of pearls, and her lampshade hat☺

Ed Rennie led us in a specially prepared song, we ate (nice job BCYC!), then four unrecognizable Past Presidents performed their version of “What’s My Line?” in blonde wigs (of course), in a salute to the occasionally out-of-town Prez Lauren. Mayor Ed presented his Proclamation, AJ said real nice things, and we toasted Lauren upon her induction into the Past Presidents’ Club!!

Then Lauren expressed her appreciation for everyone’s support during the year, and presented recognitions to her Board, her “Masters”, and special awards to “Rotarian of the Year” Mike McDonough, who also received “The Bob Callis Award” for the individual who was most helpful to the President, and “Icebreaker of the Year” to Jo Holman! (Congratulations to you both! )

Governor Jim came forward to express his gratitude to Lauren for all her fine efforts to “Light Up Rotary”, including a surprise Birthday Party for him in Sydney last year. He presented her Past Presidents Pin and announced that First Dude Mark had been recognized by Rotary International as one of only 100 Rotarian Spouses in the World for his support of Rotary’s work!! (Congrats Mark, well deserved, and thanks).
Governor-Elect Kevin installed Steve and his Board for the coming Rotary Year, in which we are challenged to “Be a Gift to the World”
The party continued…

Remember that we are back at BCYC on July 9, and that DUES ARE DUE!!

Anchor Watch – June 18, 2015

June 19th, 2015

And the President wore Rotary Blue (Pantone 286) to mark her last meeting!   (Her self-described  “Almost Send-Off”)

Andrew B. provided our Invocation, Jerry Klemer led The Pledge, Terry Rousselot (great to have you back with us!) led us in “Let me call you Sweetheart”, and Bob Wood (welcome back, as well!) led the 4-Way Test.

Our guests included visiting Rotarians, PDG Charlie Barr of RC Upland (even though he lives in Laguna), and Rotarian Gary Wat of RC Arcadia, along with returning candidate Bob Kelly, guests David Cuccia , business associate of Richard O, and Jo’s friend Jay Prenta,  First Mom Rita Reeves, First Dude Mark, and Heather Speer came to make sure that the Transition planning wasn’t out-of-control (yet!)

Prez Lauren reminded us that it was time for the final weigh-in for “Poundation” before she led us in celebrating Richard O’s birthday ( geez, I remember when he turned 40!), and there was a special dessert too!! Marc Aarons asked for 5 volunteers to work with him in our first-ever entry in the Chili Cookoff before the Angels Game on August 22 .  Still one seat left in our Suite for the Game!

wahji_pinnedOther Presidential  announcements included recognition of Wajih as Rotarian of the Month for his active involvement in so many things, and especially for his 24 hour jog to/from Fiji. And then she shared photos from that beautiful place (that needs some work) including introductions of our “Fiji Friends” – yes, she will share contact information, if you wish.

Ed put on his Finemaster’s Hat and tagged  Danny Frankel in absentia, and Bob Wood, who was happy to be fined, and then Kent , John K, Mike, Steve, Roger, Jo and Ed all added to our Foundation with good news.

Acting Treasurer Marc announced that upon review, our Club has an operating surplus for this year and that the Board asked that members provide the Prez with nominations of local charitable organizations that we might assist with a contribution.  In addition, members who would be willing to pre-pay the total Annual (2015-2016) Club dues ($680) should notify Marc.

Plans are proceeding nicely for our Transition Dinner, next Thursday, June 25, here at BCYC, so pre-pay if possible to facilitate check-in. The dinner price will be $45pp. PLEASE PLAN TO ARRIVE EARLY AND BE SEATED BY 5:45PM. ALSO BCYC has asked that some of us park on the street in anticipation of a very full parking lot.

Miyuki introduced our Guest Speaker. O.C. Sheriff and Coroner Sandra Hutchins. It was great to have her back for a return engagement/update on her multifaceted operation that impacts so many aspects of our lives. The numbers are staggering: 3800 employees; the eighth largest jail system in the nation, with 5600 inmates; three harbors and forty miles of coastline to patrol in conjunction with USCG/DHS;  Customs and Border Patrol;  the crime lab, the coroner’s office and training facility; John Wayne Airport: the Courts; Metro Trains and Buses; the Joint Terrorism Task Force; plus thirteen contract cities and the unincorporated areas of the County! And she talks about it so easily, with a pleasant smile!

Our thanks to you Sheriff Sandra, and to all the men and women that work with you to make our Orange County the wonderful place that it is!!


Enjoy the weekend, and Happy Fathers’ Day, as appropriate!

Anchor Watch – June 11, 2015

June 12th, 2015

Well wahddya know, the Prez was back in town, and things returned to normal (whatever that is!)

Linda K. provided our Invocation, Jerry Klemer led The Pledge, Miyuki  The 4 Way Test , and John Kerr led the song.

Our guests included visiting Rotarian, the PE of Newport Sunrise Steve Bender , along with returning candidates Paul Jensen and Tim Peters, and in addition to our First Dude Mark, Barbara Cook, Eve Holmgren, Shelli Oberreiter, and Heather Speer brightened up our meeting with their presence.

Prez Lauren recognized Steve Bender as Citizen of the Month (bendering the rules, as it were), and Marc Aarons as Rotarian of the Month. She went on to report that Dick Dickson continues to improve and that Lyman Porter is doing much better, offering thanks to the Club for the generous “pass of the hat” to do something nice for them. She also reminded us that Jo Holman will be recognized on Friday at the Daily Pilot Community Service Awards Luncheon.

To lighten things up, Ed Rennie provided examples of how proper word choice can improve or change a message – going to the Jim (gym) as opposed to the John, etc…

June11_RCNBJustin put on his Finemaster’s Hat and got Richard O bragging about his daughters’ accomplishments (way to go, Lauren and Simone), Hunter playing proud Grandpa, and Andy C sharing his plans for a bit of golf across The Pond. New member Andrew got into the habit, and Roger, candidate Paul, Bill McClellan (welcome back) and Marc added happy fines.

Roger offered a reminder about the Angels Game to End Polio, on August 22. Ten seats in our Suite are spoken for, with only two remaining!  And he presented Bill McClellan with his PHF +3 pin in recognition of his support of The Rotary Foundation.

Plans are proceeding on our Transition Dinner, June 25 here at BCYC, so bring or mail your checks to reserve your seats. The dinner price is $45pp. Be assured that a good time and a few laughs will be had by all.

Lauren thanked BCYC for their cooperation in allowing us to take over the patio for “Roadary” and reminded that the final weigh-in for “Poundation” will be next week.

Steve Bender was invited to share with us some of the details on the “Newport Beach Party” scheduled for June 26-28 at Newport Dunes which will include a series of wine tastings and a BBQ. All of this plus an Art Village and an opportunity to share Rotary’s work in the community and in the world,  in conjunction with our City’s role as a Host City for participants in the Specail Olympics. Our PE Steve bid for and won a packet of tickets to the weekend (Way to go, Steve!)

And then, Miyuki introduced our Guest Speaker, Peggy Grande, who absolutely held us captive with stories of her ten years as Ronald Reagan’s Post Presidential Executive Assistant (1989-1999). The perspective that she offered on the man, and of her experiences, was truly one of the most memorable  presentations to our Club in many years. Her descriptive captions, “Humble”, “Optimistic”, “Authentic”, “Respect”  helped tell her story of working for/with the man, that was reflected in formal and, in some cases, candid photos. Although there were several great quotes from that very quotable statesman sprinkled throughout the talk, perhaps this reminder helped to cap the evening.

“Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly, Leave the rest to God.”

Thank you Peggy , for sharing your wonderful, heartfelt stories with us.

Our Speaker next week will be Sheriff Sandra Hutchins who returns to offer an update, reflecting on her five years as “Top Cop”, another “don’t miss this one”  Speaker!

Enjoy the weekend!

Anchor Watch – May 21, 2015

May 23rd, 2015

image3You’ve got give President Lauren a lot of credit for her enthusiasm and for her creativity!

As members pulled into the BCYC Parking Lot  to follow a path of checkered flags (black and white, of course) leading down to the dock, there she was setting cars in place, with snacks, and with Mike the server standing by to run to the bar, as the cars filtered in. In addition to the Pittman stable (Jeep and Party Wagon), Kent Martin brought his beautiful, stock (!) M5, Jo Holman brought her “67 Mustang Convertible, Andy C. with his elegant (but hot) Lexus IS 350, Tom Walley drove his classic, original condition ‘78 Porsche 911 SC, Steven Williams his Tesla, and our speaker image2Chris Casler brought an almost completely restored Porsche 356 C Cabriolet.  Oh, and the weather was beautiful down on the dock!

Around 7ish, the Prez dragged us away from the cars and up to our meeting room, where a fun, casual evening progressed.  Our guests included visiting Rotarian Bailey Smith (Newport Irvine), candidates Andrew  Balzerit and Bob Kelly, along with  First Dude Mark, assisted by daughter Taylor and friend Tom Dennis –all of whom worked the set-up.

Keeping it light, we marked the Birthdays of two of our Rotarians Wendell Sawyer and Ron image4Gill (both absent) with two great chocolate cakes (Yum!), and PDG Roger announced sign-ups for the Seventh Annual  Angels Game to End Polio, on August 22. We’ve got six seats in our Suite sold already-remember a portion of all ticket sales will go, in your name, to the End Polio Now program. (don’t worry, you’ll hear it again☺).  It was reported that the very successful “Taste of Japan, OC” will net our Club some $8,000 (thanks and congrats to all)

Tom Walley mentioned that Art Walton really enjoys hearing from us, so make it a point to check on him at 949 422 7179.

Chris Casler built on earlier conversations about cars when he took the lectern. As Sales Manager of European Collectibles (on Coast Highway, near the Balboa Bay Resort ) with a full restoration shop nearby in Costa Mesa, he has bought, sold, and restored European sports image1cars for nearly 20 years. Things have changed in the global market with the internet, but he told of some transactions that include active participation by all parties, as well as those where buyer and seller never meet! Questions and conversations marked the evening, everything from the appearance (and disappearance) of major auctions locally, to the traditional car shows that many of us know and enjoy. We thank Chris for sharing his story and helping us learn a bit more about his business.

Mike Lawler stopped in at the end of the meeting to present an exchange banner from  the Rotary Club of Kathmandu, Nepal which he visited following that devastating earthquake, to deliver good and contributions collected at our recent Club Meeting.

And on this Sunday, our Club’s “Get Dirty” project  takes off for Fiji!  President Lauren taught us, in closing, that “Bula” is the Fijian word for “Hello” and so thanks to the internet, we say “Vanuinui  vinaka e  nomu  volau” to our intrepid team, wishing them “A Good Journey”


And, please have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend!!

Anchor Watch – May 14, 2015 – Track Meet Awards

May 15th, 2015

Following a surprising afternoon rain shower, we gathered against a cloudy sunset to welcome our Frank Anderson Memorial Track Meet winners and their families for another of our special meetings.

President Lauren took charge, properly attired with her pink wellies, and got all the crowd going in the right direction. Richard O provided the Invocation, PDG (D 5190, 1998-99) and Father of the Prez Bill Reeves led us in the Pledge, and  Bob Smith, with a little help from the gang (absent the banner) led the 4 Way Test.

In addition to PDG Bill and First Dude Mark, our guests included visiting Rotarian Clark Lee from Fullerton South, Yvonne Smith, candidate Andrew Balzert, along with Ced and Beth Fields, Suzan Berkley and Flossie Dunning, all from the Okazaki Committee of the Newport Beach Sister City Association, plus all the siblings, proud parents, and grandparents of our honorees.  What a great crowd!!

Skipping much of the standard agenda to make time for the presentations, the Prez reported briefly on the great District Conference on Catalina, and then recognized her four Citizens of the Month for all their work to make the recent Taste of Japan, OC the success that it was, bringing Flossie, Beth, and Suzan forward, (regrettably, Teddie Tate had a conflict and could not attend, but she will receive her  thank you gifts as well).

Other announcements included a reminder that next week’s meeting is ROADARY-so dust off your garage queens and drive them to the BCYC parking lot for judging and BBQ (not necessarily in that order). Our Club’s POUNDATION challenge is at the half way point, so there will be a weigh-in (probably before the BBQ). The FIJI group departs on May 24, AND  our CLUB’S ANNUAL TRANSITION  will be held on June 25, so mark your calendars!!

Tom Walley advised that Art Walton, who had made our Track Meet the success and tradition that it has become is still recovering at La Palma in Laguna Woods and, not that we should all call him this week, but asked that we make a note to take a few minutes over the next few weeks to check on him at 949 422 7179.

John Kerr recognized our partners from the City Parks and Recreation Department, Molly and Justin, and then introduced CDM Track Coach Bill Sumner (who really needs no introduction, particularly to this crowd). Coach repeated some of the wisdom that he has shared with his charges over the years, and which apply not only on the track, but also throughout life, and then he asked Parker Nostrand to share his perspective and experiences with the young athletes. In closing it was noted that none of this could have happened without the support, love, and patience of the parents of the athletes.  We join in thanking them, and in congratulating this year’s crop of winners, while looking forward to seeing many of them next year.

Anchor Watch – April 23, 2015

April 24th, 2015

And just when we were looking forward to a quiet evening on the bay, someone decided to have a Send-Off Party for the Ensenada Race!  Hey, you gotta go with the flow, right?

President-Elect Steve got another chance to refine his meeting-running skills. Dick Dickson provided the Invocation, Andy Campbell led us in the Pledge, Linda K the 4 Way, and Guest/Spouse of our Speaker Caitlin Theobald wowed us with her rendition of our National Anthem.

Our guests included visiting Rotarians Larry Dean from Cupertino and Jay Richardson from LA5, candidates Andrew Balzert and Paul Jensen, a return by Bob Kelly, hosted by Dick Dickson, guests Michael Rahani, Suzi Moret, Seth and Yasuko Siegel from Sister City, Jerry Klemer hosted Cynthia Veutel,  and Jo had a whole table of guests including her friend Jay Prenta, Jay’s brother Tim and spouse/visiting Rotarian Donna, their daughter Laura, and Jo’s business partner Marcie Prentiss.

It was great to have Andy Campbell back with us. Linda K reminded us that our Taste of Japan OC is just over 2 weeks away (OASIS, May 9), and auction items are still welcomed (gift cards, bottles/cases of wine), and tickets are available for purchase. Marc called for some extra hands to work our Pasta Booth on Hospitality Night at our District Conference on Catalina, May 1-3.

Ed reported that three Members had offered to pay their fines in absentia, so our thanks to Diane Daruty, Terry Rousselot, and Jose Vergara and then the wallets opened with happy fines from Andy C, Dick Dickson, Jo, Jerry K., Steven, Marc, Dan, Ed, Roger, heck even guests Seth and Paul were happy! Thank you all!

Having to join the buffet line on the patio stole some extra time from the agenda, so following the meal PDG Roger offered a “save-the date” for the Seventh Annual Angel Game on August 22 and then, thanks to Jo, was asked to surprise both Jay and Tim Prenta, recognizing them as new Paul Harris Fellows,  and presenting Donna Prenta with her PHF+3.

Our Guest Speaker was Brent Theobald, who shared the story of his interesting and inspiring life with us. Born to medical missionaries in Papua, New Guinea, Brent grew up in a jungle environment, hunting and trapping.  He joined the U.S.  Marine Corps at age 17, completed Basic and Advanced Training as a Scout Sniper and soon thereafter was deployed to Afghanistan, There he faced evil , which denied women an education  and converted young boys into combatants, he was never confident who could be trusted as an ally. Shortly after returning stateside, he was sent to Kuwait, where he lost four friends in combat, including his best friend. Following another deployment, this time to the Horn of Africa, with more violence a fact of life, Brent returned to civilian life, only to face what may have been his greatest challenge.  Working first as a Security Officer , and subsequently as Director of Security, he continued his education at Golden West. He admitted deepening depression, and even considered suicide, but fortunately after receiving help and guidance from the Veterans Administration he found the love of God. Attending and working at Vanguard University, he met Caitlin, they married, and now have a two year old daughter. He now works with Far Reaching Ministries to help fellow returning veterans overcome the darkness that, unfortunately, many of them carry home from war.

Caitlin has authored a children’s book, telling how an adopted puppy  helped a returning veteran face and overcome the challenges, and a sequel is in the works!   Go to

We extend our thanks to Brent and Caitlin for sharing their inspiring story with us.

Anchor Watch – April 9, 2015

April 10th, 2015

After two weeks away from BCYC, it was nice to be back, with Pat on the keyboard, and the setting sun in our eyes! President Lauren, taking a break from camping (in a tent) in San Diego, took charge and got things rolling!

John Kerr provided a thoughtful Invocation, Ron Gill led the Pledge, Bill Davies likewise for the 4Way Test, and Hunter Cook in a salute to the new season led “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

We welcomed back candidates Gil Yurly, Andrew Balzert and Becky Ryan, former Pacific Grove Rotarian Vivian Lewis, Guest of the Club Roy Almeda (F&M Bank), our (soon-to-be) newest member Mike Saidi accompanied by his wife Sona, spouses Heather Speer and Eve Holmgren, and the whole Richardson gang, including visiting Rotarian Jay (LA5). Jo Holman had her “posse”  from the Orange County Care Team there, many of whom participated in the presentation, including DeDe Soto, Diane Correll, Kathy Booker, Pam Leszczynski, and Sheri Kohlmann, and, of course, Marcie Mendez.

The Prez advised that Andy Campbell needed a change of scenery and so he spent some time at Hoag, but is now back home (thoughts and prayers). Mike McDonough shared a golf joke, and Jo took on Mike’s record in Fines (and I think won) with Kent Martin, Jerry, John Kerr, Justin, Bill Davies, Roger, Miyuki, Steve, and Marc adding to the pot. Many nice things were said about Ron’s Harbor Tour as well as Wajih’s performance at the CHOC Follies☺.

Dan Hoffmann performed a proper induction of Mike Saidi, and reminders were shared about: Grants Management Seminar   8am THIS SATURDAY (4/11) at the Boy Scout Facility in Santa Ana.  Frank Anderson Memorial Track Meet  NEXT FRIDAY April 17 John Kerr needs volunteers!  District Conference on Catalina May 1-3 Steve Speer needs volunteers for Hospitality Night. Taste of Japan OC  our joint fundraiser with Sister City on Saturday May 9 at OASIS  Linda Klevatt needs auction items. After that it’s time for Fiji, and one of these days, we’re going to schedule a Transition Dinner!!  (Along with installing the Big Tree from Arbor Day). Gil got one or two more signups for POUNDation.

Jo introduced several members from her group of professional women who banded together to address the needs of seniors and to provide a single resource at . Their professional specialties include legal and financial planning, insurance expertise, reverse mortgages, redesign of existing homes or transition to other options, medical supplies, hospice, and funeral arrangements, among others.

Although these may be difficult topics to address with our loved ones, the ladies reminded us of the benefits of addressing these issues in advance and developing a plan that is agreed and shared among all family members. The statistics tell the story, that 70% of seniors will need care, and so a reasonable plan can make the final years less of a burden for all.

We thank Jo and the ladies of the Orange County Care Team for their proactive approach to this issue, and for being available last evening and in the future.

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