Posted by Bruce Attig on Aug 03, 2018

If there is a better way to beat the heat than attending a Rotary Meeting at the Palos Verde Golf Club on a Friday Afternoon – I don’t know what it is!

Hospitality is the Hallmark of our club.  No sooner do we enter the Club’s Hallowed halls than we are welcomed by Greg Sparkman and newly inducted member Alyssa Titus.  Recently installed President Marc Mazorow rang the meeting to order so that the festivities could begin.  Rick Mendoza gave an inspirational prayer, John Stillo led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and I (Bruce Attig) attempted to get everyone’s blood flowing with a patriotic song!
Alyssa got a workout this meeting, not only was she one of the official greeters, but she also did the guest introduction and led us in the Welcome song.  In addition to our two speakers, we were also fortunate to be joined by two representatives from Boy Scouts of America (Pacifica District) Nancy Hodgkiss and Charlie Sheen (not the actor).
Highlighting our official club business, Rick Mendoza presented Rotary Foundation honors.  They were as follows:  Paul Harris plus 1 (Jack Goldberg; Juliet DeMoss; Nehzat Nikakhtar; John Stillo and Mel Schrier)  Paul Harris plus 2 (Lynne Neuman and Suzie Seamans)  Paul Harris plus 4 (Bob Johnson).  Thank you all for your Rotary support!!!!  Representing own club rotary foundation, Derald Sidler announced the grants made for last year and those expected for this rotary year.  Our club foundation currently has $567,327 in assets. 
Joey Komada (our International chair) announced that we were doing two projects in Peru.  $5,000 was approved for a water project and childhood nutrition support.  This was followed by President Marc’s reminder that due to our Wednesday events the following two Fridays our club will be DARK.
The main event of the day was our heartwarming program “Guide dogs for the blind” introduced to us by Kath Anderson.  We learned from Susan Neff (major gifts officer) that the organization was founded in 1942 by an inspired woman with a car and two German Shepherds wanting to make a difference in people’s lives.  The organization’s headquarters is in San Rafael CA along with a facility in Oregon.  They breed Labradors and Golden Retrievers to produce between 800 and 900 puppies a year.  Following 6-8 weeks socialization by volunteers -- over a year of family placement training – then finishing school back in the facility, about 350 dogs are qualified to be placed.  But before that can happen, the recipient must also be trained so that the proper match can be made.
Joe Landau, one of the program’s dog recipients, carefully explained the whole process to us and how it has changed his life.  He introduced his dog Vino to us and allowed the Rotarians to interact with this wonderful canine.  Vino knows directions right from left; warns for overhangs and changes in elevation and is trained for intelligent disobedience (especially in the event of potential danger).  It was estimated that the cost of training and vet care for these dogs over a lifetime is nearly $100,000.
Guide dogs for the blind is always looking for volunteers to help train – they would love your support!