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Large Club of Excellence

At the 2016 Annual Rotary District 5280 Conference in San Diego, the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach was named the District's Large Club of Excellence.
May 2017
Club Information

The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach
A 100% Paul Harris Club

Redondo Beach

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
Bluewater Grill
665 N Harbor Dr.
Redondo Beach, CA  90277
United States
District Site
Venue Map
NOTE: This will be a regular Luncheon Meeting
May 31, 2017
Teacher Awards & Student Scholarships
Sue Johnson
Jun 07, 2017
The US Open Golf Tournament
Barry Brennan
Jun 14, 2017
Drones In Law Enforcement
Marc Mitchell
Jun 21, 2017
Alexis Sheey
Jun 28, 2017
The Year In Review
Scott Elliott
Jul 19, 2017
Better Together: Building Communities Where Everyone Thrives
Mark Lipps, Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce
Jul 26, 2017
Small Business Needs in the South bay
Club Officers & Directors
Vice President

Redondo Beach Rotary Club News

Dental screenings and mental health counseling
The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach is proud to do our part in improving the health and wellbeing of our community. This year, the Club presented a check for $4,500 to go toward dental screening and mental health counseling. Redondo Beach Rotarian Dr. Larry Hashimoto is one of the most active supporters of this program, donating his time and professional talents to giving free dental screenings.
Sue Johnson – Redondo Beach Police Department “Ride Along”
Each year, the Redondo Beach Police Department donates a “Ride Along” in a squad car with an officer to our annual silent auction Casino Night fundraiser. This year, Redondo Beach Rotarian Sue Johnson placed the winning bid.
“It was fascinating,” Sue told the Club, “I’d really recommend doing this if you ever have the opportunity!”
Sue donned a balistic vest and rode along for a full six hours with officer Kyle and German shepherd canine officer Ammo. A typical day for a Redondo Beach police officer is never typical. On this particular day, Sue saw first hand how Kyle and Ammo addressed a number of different incidents, including indecent exposure, DUI and assault. On one call, a man who was suspected of assault on a women became especially belligerent and four officers were required to take the man into custody.
Sue saw first hand to what degree Amo is a highly skilled and trusted partner. Every second that Kyle was away from the squad car, Amo was trained on him, ready to spring instantly into action.
Thank you, Sue, for sharing your day’s adventures with us and thank you, Redondo Beach Police Department for the work you do keeping our community safe.
Raunda Frank and Heather Longride – NCADD
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) provides “education, information, help and hope to the public.” It is considered the world’s leading advocacy group to address alcoholism and drug dependence, with particular emphasis on prevention.  Begun in 1944, NCADD has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about drug use and abuse in the United States and increasingly abroad.
The NCADD maintains a chapter in the South Bay and serves of the communities of Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach. Raunda Frank and Heather Longride spoke to the Club about some of the work they do. Much of the work of NCADD focuses on prevention among children and teens. Prevention of drug and alcohol abuse is often a function of ease of access. 75% of teens surveyed in the South Bay admit that getting access to alcohol is very easy. 41% admit to consuming alcohol regularly. About 40% of teens admit that their access alcohol through their parents. A quarter of South Bay teens admit to drinking alcohol at parties. These numbers are concerning, especially when paired with the statistic that close to half of teens, who drink before age 14 will develop an alcohol dependency. Recently, students snuck vodka in a water bottle into a Palos Verdes middle school; several children were rushed that day to the hospital and treated for alcohol poisoning. These children were just 13 years old.
Beginning this year, The State of California has decriminalized marijuana. It is currently legal for Californians to maintain up to six plants in their homes for personal use. In addition, medical marijuana is much more widely available and medical marijuana cards are relatively easy to obtain. Many benefits of marijuana use have been thoroughly researched and thus proven, however, more widespread access has lead to more underage use and abuse. Today’s weed is not your daddy’s weed: In 1982, THC in marijuana, the chemical which produces the high, averaged about 4%. Today, your typical joint will have three times that amount. Medical-grade marijuana will have 20-30% THC. The lasting neurocognitive effects of these higher concentrations of the drug on developing teen minds is not completely understood. Further working at cross purposes of preventing teen and childhood marijuana use are the many marijuana products now commercially available, including pot cookies, candies and soda pops. To a child, tequila would be an acquired taste. But gummy bears and chocolate bars? Marijuana sweets are presenting an especially difficult challenge to parents and prevention educators.
In the South Bay, NCADD sponsors the Prevention Community Council (PCC), which organizes many outreach and education events throughout the year. PCC trains area restaurant and bar wait staff on how check ID’s, the laws surrounding an establishment’s liability when serving patrons alcohol and how and when to refuse to serve alcohol to a customer. PCC also sponsors educational workshops for parents to inform parents of current laws and their liabilities when teens are drinking in their homes. PCC also organizes so-called “reality parties”, wherein teenage volunteers act out a typical teen party where alcohol would be served, drinking games played and binge drinking encouraged.
Good drug and alcohol abuse prevention among our young people involves parents, schools, law enforcement, the kids themselves, as well as highly committed organizations such as NCADD. We want to thank NCADD for their part in keeping our young people healthy and safe.
Volunteers needed!
Saturday May 13 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM our club will help distribute shoes to needy kids at Payless Shoe Source at the Galleria at 1815 Hawthorne Bl.  
Athena Marano of the Salvation Army is coordinating the families of about 40 to 45 kids to be served.  We need 6-8 volunteers to help with their shoe selection. 
Karen, Anne and Sue have already signed up, so we still need a few more.  Please text or phone me if you have any questions.
George Schane  310-994-6883

Vision to Learn

One out of every four children has a vision problem. Couple that statistic with this one: 80% of learning happens within the first 12 years of life. Now, look around any school: Are a quarter of the children wearing eyeglasses? Sometimes the expense of prescription eyeglasses is standing between a child and his opportunity to get as much as he can out of his education. Vision to Learn is an organization, which provides free eye exams and free eyeglasses to school children throughout Southern California. The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach has partnered with Vision to Learn for several years and joins the organization in giving eye exams to Redondo Beach children at our area schools. The highlight of this experience is when the Vision to Learn truck rolls up and fits the children with their new eyeglasses: Eye-opening in so many ways. The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach gave a check for $2000 to this worthy organization to continue their vital work in our community.


Peripheral Artery Exams to Benefit Rotary


Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries. It can be found in the stomach, arms and head, but most commonly in the legs.


Most people mistake the symptoms of PAD for something else. The symptoms include pain, cramping or tiredness while walking or climbing stairs. Left untreated, PAD leaves an individual at greater risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. Left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and even amputation.


Smokers, diabetics, people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are at greater risk of developing PAD. Also, the risk of PAD increases with age.

Redondo Beach Rotarian Dr. Peters has offered to perform PAD exams to our members. Half of the $200 cost will be donated to the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach. Please contact Dr. Peters’ office and make your appointment today!


Chuck Anderson, Merida, Mexico

Redondo Beach Rotarian and 2008 Rotary District 5280 Governor Chuck Anderson is one of our most active and globetrotting members. Chuck shared with us a recent trip to the city of Merida, Mexico. Merida, located on the end of the Yucatan peninsula, has a rich culture and history reaching back thousands of years. The people of Merida maintain a close connection to their Mayan history. The local Yucatec Maya dialect will be very unfamiliar to Spanish speakers: It is a living connection to the time before Columbus arrived. Called the “White City”, Merida is home to many beautiful buildings from the colonial era.

While the sightseeing is well worth it (including the must-see Mayan ruins and a swim in an underground (!) spring), Chuck and his fellow Rotarians took the opportunity of this trip to come to the aid of the community. The Emmanuel preschool was in need of a safe and enriching play area, as well as a few other upgrades. Rotarians contributed to revamping the play area and painting the bathrooms. The ground is very hard in Merida, but planting trees in a local park was also on the list. The Coby Bachelor Degree School was provided sewing machines, fabric and rent to assist in fostering vocational education. In addition, Rotary is assisting in medical outreach to the community. Chuck, as he has done in many other countries, at many other Rotary projects, and to hundreds of children around the world, distributed his “signature” Chuckles candy and plush toys.

Thank you, Chuck, for sharing your travels and also for your indefatigable service to Rotary.
13 Redondo Beach Rotarians and 3 guests washed windows, pulled weeds and trimmed bushes for seniors in the local communities.  We partnered with Beach Cities Health District and spent the Saturday morning improving the lives and property of community members who needed assistance.
After getting dirty and sweaty on a beautiful morning, we retired to our favorite Fish Shop for some good food and fellowship.  
Working hard:
(REDONDO BEACH, California) April 19, 2017 -- At club luncheon today, we awarded our Firefighter of the Year and Police Officer of the Year Awards and heard from a Rotary Peace Scholar. Redondo Beach District 1 Councilwoman Martha Barbee presented the awards. Meanwhile, PDG Eli Gauna (right) presented former Redondo Beach Mayor and Rotarian Steve Aspel, a Paul Harris Fellow award for his service to the city and community.
Firefighter of the Year David Poirier
The Redondo Beach break wall is a barrier against the ocean surge, which creates the harbor for the nearly 1,400 boats in King Officer Poirier with Councilwoman Martha Barbee.Harbor. The break wall can appear to be safe to venture out on, especially when the seas are calm. However, large swells can roll through every few minutes, which will easily crest the break wall, especially in winter and particularly at high tide.
On a dark February evening, a family of four clambered past the warning signs and ventured onto the Redondo Beach break wall for a bit of late night fishing. At around 11 PM, a boater in the marina heard cries of “help” and dialed 911.
“This sort of thing is exactly why I keep a wet suit next to my bed,” remarked Harbor Patrol Officer David Poirier.
A wave had crested over the ten-foot high break wall and washed the midnight anglers into the harbor basin. As the Harbor Patrol boat arrived, three of the four family members were clinging to rocks at the base of the break wall, while the fourth member lay face-down in the water. Just then, another large wave crashed over the break wall and two of the three clinging to the rocks were washed back into the water. Officer Poirier, at great risk to himself, jumped from the boat and assisted the two women as they struggled to keep their heads above water.
For more than twenty minutes, Officer Poirier tread water, keeping the two women alive, while the boat maneuvered to retrieve the women and the floating body aboard. Once the two women were safely on board, exhaustion overtook Officer Poirier and he, too, required a hand to board the boat. The last victim was retrieved from the break wall and all were taken to UCLA-Harbor General Hospital in Carson. One victim was pronounced dead on arrival and the three others were admitted in serious condition.
This was a high-risk rescue for many reasons: The ocean conditions, the time of night and the number of victims and their lack of swimming ability all created a perfect storm. Had Officer Poirier not been confident in his swimming abilities and maintained his professional training, and had he not jumped in that dark water with little regard for his own safety, the outcome most likely would have been much, much worse. It is very likely all four family members would have perished that night.
We in Redondo Beach are very fortunate to have the highest caliber of safety professionals looking out for us when we need it. The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach recognized Officer Poirier’s above-and-beyond bravery and service to Redondo Beach by awarding him the Firefighter of the Year. Redondo Beach City Council member Martha Barbee presented the award. This is the second-time Officer Poirier has received this award. Thank you, Officer Poirier!
The first Saturday of every month a group of dedicated Redondo Beach Rotarians goes to downtown LA to help feed and cloth the homeless population.  We need clothing, particularly mens clothes, pants, underwear, socks and shirts are the most desirable.
Please see George Schane to make arrangements.

Rotary Scholar Lindsey Fyfe

Music has a way of bringing people together. And so does Rotary. Once upon a time in 2008, a lovely Redondo Beach Rotarian Vicki Radel went on a first date with charming Downtown Rotarian Peter Lattey. They went to hear a young folk singer at a club in Silver Lake. That young folk singer must have woven some magic, because that first date turned into another and Vicki and Peter, in addition to being very active Rotarians and humanitarians, are today a very happy couple.

Fast forward a few years and that same young folk singer, Lindsey Fyfe, through Vicki’s help, was awarded a Rotary Scholarship to study in Edinburgh, Scotland.

"Rotary changed my life," Lindsey explained, “I connected with so many people. Artists, folk singers. My Rotary year was a wonderful time, that set the course for what I am doing.”

Lindsey is currently a director for education at an art center in her home state of Connecticut. She is also the proud recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow certificate, also thanks to Vicki's efforts.


Alexis Sheehy, Total Solar Eclipses

Every few years, Redondo Beach Rotarians Alexis and Jim Sheehy will travel thousands of miles, spend thousands of dollars, and even board on a ship and sail into the middle of the ocean, just to stand for a couple of minutes in the shade.
Except this isn’t just any shade: This is moon shade. . . . (Click "Read more" below to the right for additional information about an eclipse.) 


Meals-on-Wheels is looking for some volunteers for the weekly deliveries.  Find a buddy, to help it 's a great way to get to know your fellow club members. Please see or e-mail George Schane (gschane@theaccessco.com)
(REDONDO BEACH, California) The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach is now sponsoring a “mother” in the Amarok Society’s “Adopt a  Mother” program. It is an education program for poor women who reside in the slums in Bangledesh. We currently sponsor Sathie Kartun, a 20-year-0ld woman from the slums of Dacca. Click HERE to learn more about Sathie.  And click HERE to hear former Rotary International President Wilf Wilkinson and Gem Munro of the Amarok Society speak to Rotarians about the work of the society and creating peace through service. The Amarok Society is a Canadian non-profit based in Toronto.
(REDONDO BEACH, California – April 5, 2017) On Wednesday afternoon, Rotarian Steve Aspel was honored for his years of service to the city of Redondo Beach.  At this event, marking Steve’s completion of his term as mayor, Alexis Sheehy presented Steve with a Paul Harris pin adding Rotary recognition to the list of people and organizations expressing their gratitude. 

Bob Hockberger updated the club on the status of our partnership with Vision-to-Learn.  In this Rotary year we partnered with the San Pedro Rotary Club and on the April 19th will help present 200 students with their new glasses.  Six of our club volunteers signed up to help with this effort.

Next year the RB Rotary Vision-to-Learn partnership will take place as part of the Beach Cities Health District Health Fair.  This will give us the opportunity to service far more students with financial needs - expected to be in the range of 600 to 700.

This new approach promises to be our highest impact year since our partnership with Vision-to-Learn started. Our partnership with Vision-to-Learn started in 2013.

Bill Paul read the letter from a vibrant woman in Bangladesh that our club is sponsoring.  Here is a woman whose formal education ended at age six, who now because of the Amarok Society can now write us a letter.  Through our sponsorship in Anorak’s Teaching Mothers to Teach program she will go on the teach her children and others.
(Click HERE for a 16 minute video about the Amarok Society)

Alexis Sheehy reported the Honor Band Concert at Redondo Beach Union High School was a great success, and gave special thanks to Nora, Laura, and Laura’s family.

Our speaker this week was Redondo Beach Fire Department Chief Robert Metzger. He described how his 62-person department is broken into three operating units: Operations, Special Services and Fire Prevention, to perform their duties. Of the expected 6,600 calls the fire department receives each year, 70% of them are for emergency medical needs.  Redondo Beach has a long history providing paramedic support.  In fact, in 1972 they were one of the first fire departments in the country to provide this service. 

Robert listed his department’s first priority as prevention - and the first priority in prevention is education. He noted that, over recent years, there has been a drop-off in the number of community volunteers signing up for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. He requested help in reversing this trend.

There is obvious pride in the department’s relationships with neighboring fire departments and state-wide calls to action.  Robert's focus is in helping people in need in the fastest most effective manner.  The fire department’s goal is to be on site within five minutes of a request for help.

What a great insight into the operations of a department whose sole purpose is to keep us all safe. 

Today’s Flag Salute was led by Jim Sheehy and the Inspiration was offered by Roland Andrade

We recognized Steve Spencer today though it isn’t until April 7th.

Wedding Anniversary, Peter and Brenda Spencer, April 4. 1992

Meals on Wheels by Jim Stickler, our Greeter was Karen Weigel, and Rotarian Connie Siegel was a guest.
(REDONDO BEACH, California - March 26, 2016)
The club donated $3,500 to the Redondo Police Reserves today. Accepting the check was Rotarian Lt. Mike Stark (3rd from left), who heads the Police Reserves. Also show (left to right) Alexis Sheehy, Terry Bichlmier, Lt. Stark and Jim Stickler.Also recognized for 35 years service in Rotary was Mike Chen, shown here with club president Alexis Sheehy.
Our luncheon speaker today was our own Rotary Club member Dr. Allen Peters. He was introduced by Jim Sheehy followed by a heartfelt testimony by Colette Paul who attributed saving her life, to Dr. Peters. (Click "Read More" to your right for the rest of the story.)
(REDONDO BEACH California - March 22, 2017) Our luncheon speaker was Erik Elward, the Director of Educational Services in the Redondo Beach Unified School District (RBUSD), responsible for directing instructional and student services programs. His recent work centers on developing the district’s strategic plan as well as implementing systems to support California K-12 educational standards for students.

He spoke to us about the district’s music and art programs. Thursday, March 30 at 6 pm is the RBUSD Honor Band Concert which our Rotary Club is sponsoring. He passed out flyers for the concert, and pictures of the t-shirts which the students will be wearing which shows our logo for sponsoring the program.

Announcements: Walter Campbell thanked everyone for making Casino Night a success. He presented. Ted Wendorff with a certificate for State Assemblyman Al Murasuchi, for being the longest-standing member in our club, 60 years!

President Sheehy asked for volunteers to work the RBUSD Honor Band Concert on March 30 which the club is sponsoring. She also announced a Happy Hour at the Blue Water Grill tomorrow at 5 pm to say goodbye to Bill Gard as he and Talu leave for San Clemente to be closer to his grandchildren.

Brock Roberson was a guest of Alexis Sheehy.
(REDONDO BEACH, California)  March 15, 2017 --  Our luncheon speaker was Chris Bailey. Chris is an Englishman who has worked his way across the pond via Bermuda and currently resides in the Cayman Islands. He is shown here in a club tradition, the club flag exchange, with our club President Alexis Sheehy. 

Walter Campbell reminded us about Casino Night which is this Saturday.

President Sheehy thanked Redondo Beach Rotarian Steve Aspel for his excellent service as Mayor of Redondo Beach.

Bill Gard is moving south to be closer to his grandchildren. There will be a Happy Hour gathering in his honor at the Bluewater Grill on Monday March 20th at 5 PM to say goodbye.

Guests Pat Laguese and Athena Marano were welcomed.

During lunch we listened to Richard Wagner’s Die Walkure: The Ride of the Valkyries.

Click the "more" link to the right to learn about the Guatamala Literacy Project.


(REDONDO BEACH, California) March 8, 2017 -- Luncheon speaker Heidi Huebner told us about the PUP  program at LAX Airport.  PUP stands for Pets Unstressing Passengers, and Huebner said LAX is one of 43 PUP programs nationwide, five in Canada, and two overseas.
PUP is a program whereby trained dogs and handlers roam the departure levels in the gate areas of each terminal, visiting passengers awaiting flights and providing comfort, as well as airport information. For example, about the LAndXt Capital Improvements projects and construction-related traffic impacts at the airport.

“These are basically therapy dogs,” Huebner explained. “The dogs and handlers can be easily identified as they are wearing red vests. They need to be friendly and love people.  These are basically family dogs, so they go home with their handler.”
"PUPs are available seven days a week.  Each dog and handler works one weekly shift of one to two hours at one assigned terminal. Dogs are carefully selected,” she said.  “The volunteer and dog are observed doing a walk through in a terminal to make sure it is a right fit for both. Observations are made on how they engage with the public.  In addition, the handlers are fingerprinted and badged.”
PUP volunteers staff booths scattered throughout the gate areas.
Heidi can be reached by email at hhuebner@lawa.org.
(REDONDO BEACH, California) A total of 35 entries were submitted for the club’s annual art contest for students at Redondo Union High School. This year's theme: Imagine. “They were all great entries” said Colette Paul, chair of the event. Eight Rotarians participated as judges this year. Interestingly, this year’s 1st place winner was the 3rd place winner last year.  The winning entry will be submitted to the District 5280 Art Contest at Loyola Marymount.
1st Place Winner
by Lugi Lopez, grade 10
2nd place Winner3rd place Winner
Wild HeartImagine the Possibility
by Avery Straus, grade 10by Mamie Fotion, grade 12