MB Rotary supports Habitat for Humanity in Culver City
Distinguished Guests
-by Jim Hallett 
It was August 20, 2018, and President Ken Deemer gazed upon Jason Wallace while Jason suggested that we make a grid (he lost me somewhere around square number 72) comparing what we actually do to what we want to do (I want to be a sportswriter, Jason, and the Amarillo, Texas Pony League is considering my application)….Our celebrity guests included District Governor Joe Vasquez, his wife Rose, his Executive Aide Nora MacLellan, his Assistant Governor Charisse Older, and, most importantly a table full of four children parented respectively by Russ Samuels and Annie Hendrickson.  (We had our own celebrity, by the way, in the person of District Senior Assistant Governor of Membership Kathleen Terry.)….We enjoyed slides of our 19 members who worked on the weekend’s Habitat for Humanity project, and we learned that we will have an ongoing relationship with the Friendship Foundation, which partners us with young adults with special needs.
District Governor Joe Vasquez
Our honored guest, District Governor Joe Vasquez, was greeted by the traditional standing ovation, and went on to show that he deserved it.  This Bellflower Rotarian doubly recognized Kathleen Terry with a PH+2 pin and with our RI President’s “Be The Inspiration” pin.  Governor Joe started out with “Why Rotary?” (Because a Rotarian thought to invite him) and “Why stay in Rotary?” (Because it makes him and us better).  He recounted a District trip in 2010 to Quito, Ecuador (where Tom Jeffry famously broke his foot), where he saw deaf children dancing to music by following their teacher’s lead—Governor Joe saw a metaphor for Rotary’s work in this.  His plans for the year focus on going back to basics, which occur at the club level.  Yes, the District is important, but for Governor Joe, Rotary happens at the club level.  He told us, “It’s not about my initiatives.  It’s about your initiatives.”
Happy Dollars
Tom Jeffry’s wife, Maryrose was adopted, and, after years of trying, just found her biological mother…..Wanda and Wade Austin just bagged all 50 states, and Wade handed over $2 per state…..David Gendron managed to attend 10 children’s soccer games over the weekend…..Norm Levin mysteriously celebrated an anonymous Rotarian’s birthday…..James Kennedy’s mom is recovering nicely from illness, and he was moved by club members’ support…..Shannon Ryan has been married to Chris for 28 years, and their daughters have been certified as divers…..Tom Zimmerman is back from Norway……John Hugunin has gone to Ashland, Oregon for its renowned Shakespeare Festival, with his family, for 40 years, and has now seen all of Shakespeare’s plays (John kindly resisted saying, The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers).
Ties That Bind
RI President Barry Rassin hails from the Bahamas and sees the ocean as something that unites us all.  By happy coincidence, Governor Joe’s wife, Rose, lived in the Bahamas for three years, so they share the RI President’s tie to the Bahamas.  Speaking of ties, Wade Austin asked Governor Joe about the tie he was wearing, and we learned that it is a tie that incorporates the varied colours (note the English spelling) of the ocean.  Wade thereupon approached the podium and presented the exact same tie to President Ken.  It turns out that Wade obtained this tie while attending the Toronto RI Convention, where it was available to attendees to honor our Bahamian president.  Manhattan Beach is, of course, another shoreline city, and so we were reminded that our club floats in an ocean of service.