Posted by Sandy Magley on Aug 01, 2017
July 26, 2017 Beacon
Our breakfast was in a new location today – the second floor of the Petroleum Club instead of the twelfth.    After President Denise called the meeting to order, we heard a lovely invocation by Sister Judy Morasci.  This was followed by the flag salute led by Mike George, who then joined his “better” half, Shari, in leading us in the song, “Take Me out to the Ball Game,” in preparation for this Saturday’s trip to Dodger stadium.
Shari said we had no visiting Rotarians, but we had many visitors as guests of members.  Our guest speakers were introduced:  Davida Murphy, Regional Director of Special Olympics; Dawn Albritton, Special Olympics athlete, along with her grandmother Pat White; Eric Galindo, Special Olympics athlete, along with his mom Janet Galindo.  Frank Wooldridge introduced his 3 guests:  Pat Clarkson, Tony Dinicia, and Jeremy Herron.  (Frank, I hope I got the spellings close.)  Athena Collup introduced Bree Goodman, here for her second visit.  Dan Johnson introduced his beautiful bride, Char because they were celebrating their anniversary.
Since we had run out of time at last week’s meeting, Denise asked if anyone picked up on the special seating arrangement last week.  Some smart member answered that each table tried to have someone from each generation mentioned during last week’s topic.  Also, music playing was chosen to represent each generation.  Denise then proudly presented Jeff Bell with his fourth Paul Harris Fellowship pin!  He received a rousing round of applause.  Denise McCombs then was called up to receive her blue member badge and two members, Shaun Kelly and Darin Blunt, had not signed her member list, so each was fined $10.  Denise mentioned that Tom Burke also needs signatures, but he was not present today.  District Governor John Weiss is having surgery today, but the prognosis is good and he may be visiting us on October 18.
Happy Spots/Recognitions:
Jeff Haynes safely returned from his trip to Hawaii and was finally able to give Denise presents he brought her:  a mini hula skirt, a sample bottle of Ocean vodka, rooster balls (some kind of Hawaiian food stuff), and NOT chocolate-covered macadamia nuts but spam-flavored macadamia nuts!  He also said a Hawaiian banner will be coming since he had to order one from a meeting he attended.
Teresa Ramos said she had applied the 4-way test at work; unfortunately, it cost her her job.  She asked for assistance in finding a position in the health care field and Denise waived her 410 Happy Spot fee.  John Guerard was $10 happy at the arrival of his second grandchild.  Liz Rozell was $10 happy for the arrival of her new granddaughter, who arrived 5 weeks early.  Mike Stepanovich was happy about Jeff Bell’s trip to Switzerland as well as announcing that he and Claudia will be grandparents again this fall.  Since his first book signing was a big success, there will be a second one this Friday, again at Café Med.  All these happy events cost Mike $20.  Heather Ward was $5 happy because Wyatt went to his first concert – Zac Brown Band – due to a babysitter snafu.  Marlene Heise was $10 because she was able to escape the heat in Lake Tahoe. 
Then it was Jeff Bell’s turn.  He thankful for a Tahoe trip, too, but his bigger and better trip was to Switzerland – sans kids!  He and his bride stayed in the Alps near Italy, but there was no Swiss chocolate for Denise.  He also has recently chaperoned a church youth camp in the Sierras, and his oldest son in Arizona received his mission call to Cleveland, Ohio.  Last, but not least, he was happy that the Georges wore their SF Giants shirts in preparation for the game this Saturday.  Jeff was $120 happy.
Denise is still waiting to “ding” Neil Walker.  Maybe next meeting?
Ed O’Donnell was $30 happy for a new BLUE (not purple) truck.  Dan Johnson was $10 because he was able to give Char a Smith rack for their anniversary.  Since she’s a personal trainer, it holds weights for her.  Stephanie Baker was $100 happy after a successful trip to the east coast, from Washington, DC to New York.  She was mostly happy for having survived all the walking she did.
Fit for Rotary:
Denise had us all stand and practice for Saturday’s 7th inning stretch.  We stood on tiptoes and reached for the ceiling, then tried to touch our toes.  This scribe couldn’t see how many members were successful in the second part of the exercise since I had enough trouble trying to do it. 
Sandra Quigley introduced our first guest speaker, Davida Murphy, the Regional Director of Special Olympics for Kern and Inyo counties.  Denise has known her for a long time since Davida was Denise’s daughter’s preschool teacher.  Along with handouts on the tables, Davida explained a bit about the Special Olympics organization.  It serves over 4.5 milllion athletes and falls under the Olympic umbrella.  The Board of Directors is based out of Long Beach and there are 9 regions in southern CA.  Over 170 countries participate in Special Olympics and seasons run all year long, depending on the sport.
Dawn Albritton, a Special Olympian, has been competing for 6 years.  She will compete in 2018 as a national swimmer.  Her favorite strokes are freestyle and backstroke.  She is also a Global Messenger, which means she gets to speak about Special Olympics to groups, such as BBRC.  Dawn also participates in bowling and volleyball.  She then introduced her grandmother, Pat White, who mentioned one aspect of Special Olympics that touches her: “Special Olympians always cheer each other on.” 
Eric Galindo is another Special Olympian and Global Messenger.  He has been a member since 2008 and competes in soccer, basketball, swimming, and bowling.  He helped with the World Games in LA in 2015 and likes the fact that being a Global Messenger gives him the opportunity to speak to groups and help with fundraising.  He said, “I hope to see you at one of our local competitions.  And now I’d like to introduce my mom.”  Janet Galindo then told us that she helps coach bowling and swimming (Eric’s two favorite sports), and, “I get more out of it than what the athletes do.”
Each season is about 16 weeks long which includes practices and competitions.  Sometimes, travel takes a whole day.  Ages of Special Olympians range from 2 ½ to 76!  The septuagenarian participates in bocce ball and bowling, but gave up basketball last year because of his knees.  Coaches and volunteers are always needed.  Davida mentioned that the local Leadership Council also needs volunteers and that all funds raised stay here to cover costs for athletes’ travel and facilities since there is no costs for the athletes.
Eric then taught us the Athlete’s Oath which begins EVERY competition at all levels.  Our guests gave President Denise an Oath pin and some other gifts and she gave Davida, Eric, and Dawn Rotary flags in return.  Our October fundraiser is already on their 2017 Events Schedule.
Club anniversaries:  Heather Ward, 2 years and Wyatt, 1.  Kay Pitts has been a BBRCer for 17 years.  Wedding anniversaries:  Mary Jo and Tom Pasek, 45 years; Tony and Karen Bonano, 29 years.  Birthdays:  Neil Walker, Sandra Quigley and Mike Stepanovich (from last week).  We didn’t sing, though, because Neil was absent.
Heather made the smooth transition to reminding us of our annual Wine, Place, and Show on October 20, beneficiaries being Special Olympics and Fund-a-Need is Wounded Heroes Dog program.  Tickets will be $100/seat until October 1, then increase to $120.
Dave Spalinger said he already got most clothing donations on the way in, but see him in the parking lot after the meeting if you still have a donation in your vehicle.  He also informed us that the Mission has a thrift store that sells items that may be a little higher-end then just giving to the residents, for future donations.
Jeff Haynes reminded us of Saturday’s baseball outing.  Meet at 8:30 at the bus lot off California and Stockdale.  He’ll have bloody marys and mimosas, but bring your own snacks.  He also has 2 extra tickets due to a cancellation, so see him if you’re interested.  The next social will be August 12 at Bill Black’s cabin.  We will go to a car show first. 
Denise distributed Director and Committee pins to those of us who were absent previously.  The Georges, Bobbi Hake, Teresa Ramos, Sandra Quigley, and I all received our pins.  NEXT WEEK WE ARE DARK!!  The 50/50 was won by Marlene Heise – again – but she donated it to Special Olympics.  Ken Quarnberg won 150 Paul Harris points.  Denise thanked our greeters Athena Collup and Greg Desme as well as all of our visitors and guests before adjourning the meeting.