The Rotary Club of Santa Monica Celebrate Veterans Day – 2022

Jere Romano, California State Commander American Legion & Police Captain for Santa MonicaCollege, Member of Legion Post 123 Santa Monica Bay grabbed the attention of all.

He shared his personal story and the significance of the American Legion and how the Legion relates to Veterans around the world today.

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as patriotic veteran’s organization. Focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States.

Commander Romano proudly states that the American Legion makes no difference between those serving in foreign countries or domestic. The Legion is all about justice for all who served in our Armed Forces. To join the Legion, one must enter and exit the military service having served at least one day. The American Legion family now have women at the front of the line with needs being served. The Veterans Administration is a major concern of the Legion because of its history of not being able to meet the needs of veterans. Commander Romano shared his own experience when he returned from the Gulf War. He was told by the VA Hospital that he needed to remove his spleen but in getting a second opinion it was his gallbladder that needed to be removed.

The various programs the American Legion offer include Baseball, Boys State/Nation, and Legion Riders which has become their marketing arm. Commander Romano says that the Legion is likened to the Rotary in that they provide “Service Above Self” to their members and others. They are very focused on assisting veterans who are being challenged with homelessness, those suffering with burn pit affects and the Camp Lejeune toxic water issues. He says, “Veteran advocacy is what they do”!

Captain Jere Romano is a true hero, serving his country in the Marine Corps and his Nation as Commander of the State of California American Legion, and as Captain of the Santa Monica Community College Police Department. He is a recipient of the Medal of Valor and the Medal of Honor. Captain Romano says his wife, Martha is the fuel that propels his engine and together they have eight children. He stayed after the program and answered every question asked.

Felix Crown, thank you hosting our program of the day and honoring each of the Veterans who are members of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica.

To show our appreciation for their service each was presented with a certificate acknowledging their service to our Country as a Living Tribute, a tree will be planted in our Nation’s Forests in their individual honor as part of the United States National Forest Restoration.

Our Veterans in the Rotary Club of Santa Monica Thank you for your service!

Past President, Mitchell Kraus, thanks for reminding us of the healthy advice given by Mandy Ingber in her presentation last week by interrupting Immediate Past President, Bill Powell with a healthy outburst of very loud laughter.

Donna Byrd and your Team, thanks for the birthday recognition for all our members celebrating in November and December. Judy Neveau, thanks for the good news that our club has contributed more than $25,000.00 to the District 5280 Foundation Event, The Soul of Rotary, on November 20th. We were also informed that our club sold more raffle tickets supporting this event than any other club in our District. Past President, Dee Menzies, thanks for inviting our members to participate in the annual Thanksgiving Meal serving the Santa Monica Police Department. All members interested in volunteering please contact Dee. V.P. John Bartlett, thanks for taking on the task of keeping the totals of all our service hours. Please report your service hours to JB.

Thanks to all who made our Veterans Day Program such a success. V.P. Pam Brady, thanks for all the coordination. Special thanks to the back table crew: Carol Powell, Stan Fox, Rose Mary Regalbuto and Pam Brady. The RCSM Cheering Squad, thanks for starting us off with prodigious jubilation, this week you had everyone engaged. Karin Wallerstein, and Past President, Paul Leoni, thanks for greeting all of us upon arrival at the meeting. Dr. Renuka Desai, thanks for that meaningful invocation. Thanks to our members who served in the United States Armed Services for being the President’s pick. Carole Stein, thanks for introducing visiting Rotarians and Guests of Rotarians. Past President, Tom Larmore and President Elect, Ken Waltzer, thanks for our patriotic song and the pledge, and the music. Len Lanzi, thanks for managing our Zoom connection and the Power Point for our program. It was very nice to have Steve Litvack, and Avo Guerboian back in person at the meeting.

Friday Meeting is not at the Hilton!

NOVEMBER 18 @ Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club 1210 Fourth Street 90401 – Parking in City

Join us for a tailgate party!

USC vs. UCLA to be or not to be?

To be or not to be…that is the BIG FOOTBALL question!
Josh Rebhotz, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations, UCLA

Antonio Morales, covers USC football for the New York Times Vince Evans, former NFL Football player for the Chicago Bears

Moderator: Bob Klein
Host Rotarian Introducer: Bill Powell


DARK for Thanksgiving

Movember is Back!

The goals are to raise awareness and raise money too.

The Movember organization focuses mainly on mens mental health. The goal at Rotary is to raise awareness for mens and woman’s mental health. This will be our 3rd year participating..

From Movember – WELCOME BACK Rotary Club of Santa Monica
It’s great to see you again. You’ve repped us proudly in the past, raising $4,615 for men’s health over your Mo career. Nice work!

Last year, you received 19 donations, totalling $2,615. ($1600 from Rotary in 2021) )
Those funds have helped change and save lives, not to mention the men’s health awareness you helped spread among your friends and family. We can’t wait to see you take on Movember 2022. Go hard and have fun.

Here is the plan…

The 1200 mile goal is to get 20 members to move 60 miles during the month, to raise awareness of the 60 men that die each hour
globally due to suicide. We actually averaged over 80 miles per member participating in 2021 for a total of 1619 miles..

1. Nov 1 start – ends Nov 30.
2. Rotary Members can participate by “moving” and/or donating money on the site.
3. We will have a Mustache contest again. Year 1 winner Mitch Kraus, Year 2 Tom Larmore. 4. Report all Movements/Activity to John Bartlett at.

Conversion Key…

Walking / running 1mi = 1mi Cycling 3mi = 1mi
Workout 20 mins = 1mi Swimming 1 mi = 3mi

Let’s always be aware of the importance of mental health.
Movember needs financial support too. You can contribute at any time between 11/1 and 11/30/2022

To visit our team page or make a financial donation, use the link below.

Become a Holiday Angel and help families in need (in partnership with Connections For Children)


Donate unused & unwrapped toys for ages 0-18 years old (ages 13-18 preferred – gift cards, make-up sets, board games, sports equipment, accessories, and technology).



1. Drop toys off at the December 2nd Rotary meeting or bring to the volunteer

event at the CFC office on December 10.
OR contact Karla Guerra (, 310-452-3325 x276) to schedule a

time for the collected toys to be picked up or dropped off to the Connections for Children office.

3. OR purchase from the CFC Amazon Wish List:


Saturday, December 10 (9:00am-noon): Help sort the donated toys and fill bags with what each family requested!

Saturday, December 17: (10:30am-12:30pm): Help hand out gifts to families. 12-5pm and on Saturday 12/17 from 9am-5pm.

Where: The CFC office at 5901 W. Century Blvd. Los Angeles

Thank you for helping to put a smile on a child’s face during the holiday season! For questions or to sign up, please email Also, please let

Connections for Children know directly with this link: RSVP for Holiday Angels.


Purchase Your Concert Tickets

VIP Tables (stage level): $1,000 (seats 4) Lower Balcony: $200/seat
Upper Balcony (lower tier): $125/seat Upper Balcony (higher tier): $75/seat

A limited number of tickets are available at each price point- purchase your concert tickets early before they sell out!

Backstage Pass: We have a limited number of Backstage Passes for $500 each (in addition to the purchase of a concert ticket). If you are interested, contact Leon Nixon

View the seating chart for pricing tiers.

Credit card payment is the fastest way to purchase your concert tickets. You may pay via check, but payment MUST be received within 7 days of ticket reservation or the order will be cancelled.

Note: If you cannot make this time, gift distribution will also occur Friday 12/16 from

November 18th Live Meeting at the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club December 2nd – Toy Drive

December 6th – First Tuesday @Solidarity

December 10th – Holiday Party @ Kathy Dracup’s House

December 10th & 17th – Sort Toys @ Connections for Children

December 16th – Holiday Ugly Sweater & Best Dressed Contest live @ Hilton

January 12th – Book Club – in Person at Judy Neveau’s Home

MAR 4th – Wine and Food Festival 2023- more details to come. Purchase your raffle tickets now. See Karin Wallerstein or Kera Blades Snell.

MAR 16- 23rd -District Humanitarian Trip to Belize

Curious about Upcoming Rotary Programs? Go to


MEETING LOCATION: Hilton Hotel, 1707 Fourth Street, Santa Monica Mailing Address: P.O. Box 586, Santa Monica CA 90406