July 10, 2022
Our first “Happy Hour” was on Wednesday, July 6th at The Buffalo Club here in Santa Monica. Thankyou Gary Ogden for arranging a fun evening of shared friendship. We all networked and shared stories.
On Saturday, July 9th we had a challenging but wonderful Day of Service experience with Friends of the LA River as we joined with others in the LA River Cleanup. Thanks Bill Rayman and John Dravillas and a special guest, Elisa Melgar, the daughter of Linda Mims the Motor Coach Operator who was honored at our Friday meeting. This event kicked off our hours of Service in the new year.
Our first meeting of the Rotary new year was on Friday, July 8th and it proved to be a very meaningful experience as we honored Public Servants of our City. Special guest included SMPD Fire Chief Danny Alvarez who presented the Rotary Award of Recognition to Aurora Paaluhi, Firefighter Paramedic as the department’s Firefighter of the Year. Our own, Ben Drati, SMMUSD Superintendent of Schools presented Linda Greenberg, Executive Director of Santa Monica Education Foundation the Rotary Award of Recognition for being the SMMUSD employee of the year. The SMPD Chief of Police, Ramon Batista presented Myesha Morrison, SMPD Public Information Coordinator the Rotary Award of Recognition for being the SMPD employee of the year. Ed King, Director of Transit Services, Big Blue Bus presented Lydia Mims, Motor Coach Operator the Rotary Award of Recognition as the employee of the year for the Big Blue Bus.
At this first meeting Bret Carter, representing The Rotary Foundation, honored Ben Drati, a member of our club since 2018 with a Paul Harris Fellows recognition. Congratulations Ben! The Rotary Club of Santa Monica continues to be a one hundred percent Paul Harris Club.
Friday was also my first meeting presiding as our club’s president. A very special thank you to all who contributed to the meeting: Our greeters Judy Neveau and Mike Kallhoff; Nora Bohn, Tom Larmore and Ken Waltzer for the music and songs. This Trio went beyond the call of duty with the special arrangement of Joseph’s Multicolored Coat and Go, Go, Go Joseph. Bill Powell loaned his Multicolored Coat to the situation, thanks Bill. Thank you, Vicky Curtis, for the invocation and George Collins for being the President’s Pick. Special thanks to Dee Menzies for leading the program of the day and Donna Byrd for chairing this program of Public Service Recognition Day. Gary Ogden, Man with the “Karma” gave our guest introductions. Felix Crown was our photographer of the day assisted by Donna Byrd. The Back Table Crew took charge as usual. Thanks to all I needed your support. Zoomers, glad to have you in attendance.
Next week we are live at the Hilton and our program will be our Club Assembly. We will kick things off at Noon with a champagne reception and The Laker Girls will be on hand to take photos.