Our Meeting of the 101st Year of our Club got started with a lot of chatter and virtual fellowship with many members on Zoom.  I’m personally grateful to each of you who keep us connected.  Len Lanzi, thanks for keeping us communicating on Zoom.
I hope each of you are having fun and planning on joining us in person as we move forward into the second half of our Rotary year. We have some new members waiting to meet everyone and more of you are starting to invite more guest each week.  Thanks, Richard Lombari, for those encouraging suggestions on how to invite more friends and associates to our meetings.
Program of the Day:
We enjoyed a wonderful and informative Zoom Club meeting this past Friday.  The presentation was given by Rita Lurie and her daughter, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie.  This Mother/Daughter teamed up to co-author a book which brings together the stories of Rita, Leslie, and Leslie’s daughter, Mikaela, and reveals how deeply the Holocaust lives in the hearts and minds of survivors and their descendants. Rita was five years old when she and her family were forced to flee their home in Poland to hide from the Nazis.  After enduring unspeakable tragedy, she and her family eventually moved to America, where Rita built a family of her own.
We were made to feel as if we were sitting in Rita’s living room, at her home, as she sat quietly while Leslie shared her mother’s journey with us.  Others took life threatening chances to hide Rita’s family along with other families in a five-foot-high attic of their home.  The children forced to be quiet with German soldiers prowling about in search of Jewish families.  Their lives were threatened not just by German soldiers but by the elements of nature, freezing in the winter and enduring the sweltering heat in the summer.
Some of the surviving families had to learn to walk and speak without a whisper because of the silence and restricted movement while in hiding.  Hearing the story of Rita and her family’s survival was heart melting.  Survivor reflections and testimonies are important because sharing their stories will help us to never forget the truth of the Holocaust.
Special thanks to Past President, Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin for introducing the program to our Club.
In showing our appreciation to Rita and Leslie we are sending each of them a certificate acknowledging, as a living tribute, a tree will be planted in our Nation’s Forest in each of their honor as a part of the United States National Forest Restoration with our thanks.

Meet the Chili Cook Off Judges!
It was a full house.

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica is never short on fun!  Donna Byrd hosted our Chili Cookoff and Championship Football Games Party this past weekend at her beautiful home.  The Big Winners of the Chili Cookoff where Kathryn Markolf taking first place and Past President, Tom Loo fell in second place.
Our Club is Recognized!
Dear President Joseph Metoyer ,
This is Suren Poruri, Regional Chairman – Grants, RI District 3150, from India.
Your rotary club of  Santa Monica  was chartered on 1/2/1922, which is today. Your club completed 101 years service today in RI District 5280 in serving the communities across the world . I would like to extend my warm wishes to you and to all your club members on this joyous moment.
Rotary is the only organization which has global foot print and is working towards happy communities across the world with it’s noble initiatives.
Thanks to our rotary club founder Rtn Paul Harris, we are able to make a difference in the communities where we live.
Thanks and regards
Suren Poruri
Regional Chairman – Grants
District Best Club President for year 2017-18
RI District 3150

PROGRAM February 3rd
“Racism and The Economic Toll on Americans”
 Barry Snell, Community Activist & Leader “The American democracy was built on a premise of exclusion. The core assumptions that the framers of our Bill of Rights taught us is that the United States was founded on principles of fairness and representation for all. Through out our American history De Facto or de jure segregation when applied to economic and social issues like segregation, describe a situation that results from the fact of difference and division between groups. A zero-sum hierarchy has cost all Americans. The future of our society and of this unjust system will require all Americans working together to dismantle racial hierarchies which will create a healthier and fairer society.”

Rotarian Introducer: Kera Blades-Snell

PROGRAM :February 10th @ HILTON
A Passion For Community Service:

A personal story of giving service by SMFD Firefighter/ Paramedic Aurora Paaluhi.

Join us as we hear about her dedication to the community and how everyone can make a difference! Aurora Paaluhi is a Firefighter-Paramedic with the Santa Monica Fire Department who began her firefighting career in her mid-thirties after a career in Software Engineering, most notably at Yahoo!. She will discuss what led her to change careers later in life – to a career serving people after an education solely focused on computers. She will cover topics such as being one of the few females in both of her careers, having a job with a higher sense of purpose, recent mental health and homelessness initiatives within the Santa Monica Fire Department, and examining mental health within the fire department.

Presenter: Aurora Paaluhi, Firefighter-Paramedic Santa Monica Fire Department
Host Rotarian Introducer: Lisa Alexander

Boys and Girls Club Shout Out!

THANK YOU to the Rotary Club of Santa Monica for a very generous grant to help pay for needed repairs 🔨 at our Saint Anne School branch where we serve approximately 203 students annually. We appreciate your dedication to supporting our community and youth.

What’s Happening in the “Hood”?

Join our own Karin Wallerstein as she takes you on a Venice walking tour.

Greetings President Joe and members of Santa Monica Rotary Club,

Thanks to your club’s generous donation, families around the world have received essential aid and technical assistance needed to rebuild damaged homes and lives. This generosity is celebrated through our HERO program – thank you for being a ShelterBox HERO last Rotary year (2021-22).

ShelterBox HERO Clubs are foundational to our ability to respond when disaster strikes. To show our gratitude for your generous support, we are hosting an exclusive online Rotary Club HERO event on:

Saturday, February 11th, 2023
@ 9am PT/ 11am CT/ 12pm EDT.
Register here https://tinyurl.com/2023heroevent

We hope you can join this event in hopes this informative session will inspire you to renew your HERO club status before the end of our current Rotary year.
ShelterBox is proud to be Rotary International’s official project partner in disaster relief. Together, we are putting the partnership into action.
This exclusive event is open to every club member. ShelterBox USA President Kerri Murray and other executives from ShelterBox will deliver reports on our current response work, the impact we make in the lives of those we reach, and how Rotarians make this work possible. There will also be an opportunity for you to submit questions.

Thank you for being a Shelterbox HERO, I hope to see you on February 11.
Bill Tobin
Rotary Relations Manager

Free Concert in Honor of Black History Month

Members of  our club are invited to a special community event on Thursday evening, Feb 2 at the MLK Auditorium. In honor of Black History Month, Orchestra Santa Monica (OSM) will be presenting the first in-person showing of our complete music-based documentary film “We Gather: Black Life in Santa Monica told through Music, Visuals, and Narrative”. OSM will also be presenting a cappella singing, violin music, and the OSM Woodwind Quintet will be performing works by Black American composers

This free event is being co-hosted with the Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) and will be the first use of the library’s auditorium since the pandemic.  For more information about OSM, please visit: http://www.OrchestraSantaMonica.org.  I hope to see you there and please feel free to share this information with others too!

Help Us Make The International Food and Wine Festival a Success!
We have printed brochures and made them available for you to give to potential sponsors, and to invite your friends and companies you do business with to purchase tickets. The brochures are available at weekly lunches, and they contain a list of the organizations our Club has supported and offers contact information with email addresses for us to follow up and answer more questions.
 February 2nd – Deadline for clothing donation for Belize 
February 7th – First Tuesday @Osteria del Fornaio
Februay 23rd NEW DATE – Book Club – Live Meeting at Karin Wallerstein‘s house.  We are reading “The King and Queen of Malibu: The True Story of the Battle for Paradise” by David K. Randall
March 4th – Wine and Food Festival 2023- more details to come. Purchase your raffletickets now.  See Karin Wallerstein or Kera Blades Snell.
March 16- 23rd –District Humanitarian Trip to Belize
Curious about Upcoming Rotary Programs? Go to
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Email: Admin@Rotaryclubofsantamonica.org

MEETING LOCATION: Hilton Hotel, 1707 Fourth Street, Santa Monica

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 586, Santa Monica CA 90406