Face-To-Face Meetings
Have Been Cancelled Due
to COVID-19. We Hope To
See You Soon!

President Elect
Immediate Past President
Sergeant at Arms
Club Service
Palms to Pines Foundation
Community Service
International Service Chair
New Generations Director
New Generations Director
Club Bulletin
Vocational Service Chair
Vocational Service Chair
The Rotary Foundation

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Palms to Pines Rotary Club

 Palm Desert’s Morning Club

Palm Desert's Palms to Pines is a unique and fun Rotary Club. We invite you to visit us and share the experience. We emphasize the fellowship that is a vital part of the Rotary experience and it is the First Objective of Rotary. Our motto is "Service above Self".

Rotary is a volunteer organization of 1.2 million business and professional leaders who have committed to give back to their communities and the world through "Service Above Self".

Palms to Pines Rotary Club is part of one of the oldest and largest service organizations in the world. We invite you to come and join the fun of weekly fellowship, the joy of contributing to our local community and the excitement of lending a hand to people. The projects undertaken over the years have been many and varied. Drawing from a base of experience within the business community Palms to Pines Rotary club has been able to have an influence that reaches around the world.


With us last week was PDG Ricardo Loretta. Ricardo told us about a Global Grant project which is actually close to home. West Shores High School at the Salton Sea is Riverside County’s poorest school and the grant will provide funds to improve the school’s computer lab, purchase laptops for students and provide technical support for the equipment. Ricardo is seeking unallocated District Designated Funds for the project. Our club’s board has approved donating our club’s unallocated DDF funds totaling $483 to the project.
With us last week was Paula Simonds, new CEO of the Family YMCA of the Desert. Paula shared with us how the YMCA has been forced to modify or eliminate programs as a result of the pandemic. The end result is they are now only able to serve a fraction of the number of children as they served before the pandemic. Fundraising has also been affected. Their Y Be Fit fundraiser is virtual this year. Participants pay $20 and have 20 days to run, walk, cycle or swim 20 miles. Learn more at www.ymcaofthedesert.org.
Last week we talked about Pres. Kelli’s vision for Service Above Self. She reviewed the projects listed above and we also talked about how we’re planning to spend our annual Rotary Foundation District Designated Funds. According to Charles Riggs, our International Service chair, our club has $612 available this year for local projects. Your board has designated this money and our August Happy Dollars to Galilee Center. We had a total of 10 participants last week. Please plan to join us this Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m.
Last week we heard from Past District Governor Rudy Westerveldt who brought us up to date on his ongoing dedication to peace. Rudy helped host a Rotary International Peace Conference in Ontario during his year as district governor in 2016 and he has gone on to help found the Rotary E-Club of World Peace as an offshoot of the conference. Worldwide, Rotarians help create and maintain peace through a variety of programs including service projects, grants, friendship exchange, vocational training teams, international conventions, Rotary Fellowships, Rotary Action Groups and Rotary Peace Fellows. While the concept of world peace can seem a bit abstract to many Rotarians, clubs within our district are working on peace projects at a local level including suicide prevention, human trafficking, bullying and spousal abuse. Rudy also told us that District 5330 has a Peace Fellow candidate this year. If selected, the candidate could receive a grant of approximately $75,000 from Rotary International for advanced peace studies. Rudy invites us to visit the Rotary E-Club of World Peace on Tuesday evenings at www.rotaryeclubofworldpeace.org.
Last week we took a virtual tour of the Humane Society of the Desert. Pres. Kelli visited the nine acre site Wednesday morning and member Kim Hardee, the Humane Society of the Desert president, led us on a tour. This no kill shelter is home to over 80 dogs and more than 40 cats. Adoptions during the pandemic have been brisk. Most of the animals are strays or have been picked up from other shelters. This was a great tour….thank you Kim and Pres. Kelli!
With us virtually last week was Claudia Castorena of the Galilee Center in Mecca. Claudia and Gloria Gomez began providing food to low income families in a Mecca parking lot 10 years ago.  After two years, a nearby building was donated and they have now grown to include a shelter for migrant farm workers and two resale stores which provide revenue for the ongoing weekly food distribution. They provided backpacks to school children last week and they are now beginning to plan for their Thanksgiving food distribution project. Our club is planning to participate in one of their weekly food distributions so stay tuned! Our July Happy Dollars were dedicated to Galilee Center and Pres. Kelli presented a virtual check for $865 to Claudia! We had a total of 14 people with us last week……..let’s get to 20 this Wednesday!
At our Virtual Meeting last week, Marilyn Sanderson, president of Rancho Mirage Rotary (and Jack Cottrell’s significant other), gave us impromptu insight into how her club picked up eight new members last year. Thanks Marilyn! Also last week, Pres. Kelli Cox asked each member to come up with a local charity which our club could help. To help, we need funds so Kelli also asked members to research various online fundraising activities our club could pursue. Finally, we’re also looking for some fun online games our members could enjoy each Wednesday morning.
Rotary District Governor Barry Valdez joined our club’s virtual meeting last week for his official “visit.” Barry is a 14-year member of Rialto Rotary and has already managed to “visit” 12 clubs in our district. Like so many things today, Barry’s Rotary year is in constant flux. He is currently planning a virtual District Assembly and he wants our district conference to take place on a three-day Mexican cruise in May. Another event he is planning is a motorcycle Ride For Polio to Nevada’s Primm Valley Resort on Oct. 10 and 11. Our own Jerry Kress is already making plans to fire up his Harley and join this event. Our district normally joins with four other Rotary districts to finance Rotary’s Rose Parade float but, with the cancellation of the event, that’s one major expense he does not have to worry about. Also last week, Sergeant-at-Arms Jack Cottrell continued to collect Happy Dollars for Galilee Center. This week will be our final collection for Galilee so make sure and bring along your virtual wallets!
We held our first attempt at a Virtual Meeting last Wednesday and nine members joined us. Winning the most distant award was member Martin Kubelik checking in from Prague and Sojourner Anita Ratchinsky was second. It was wonderful to see fellow members and Sojourners. Kay Van Zandt was unable to be with us because Jerry De La Cruz, her significant other, suffered a severe heart attack last Sunday and is hospitalized in ICU. Our last report indicates his condition is improving but please continue to keep Jerry and Kay in your thoughts and prayers. We’re still feeling our way with Virtual Meetings but we plan to eventually incorporate regular meeting segments like Happy Dollar collection and speaker presentations into our Virtual Meetings. Please take an hour out of your busy day to join us at this week’s meeting. You never know who will join us!
Hello My Friends:
As you know, we are still under the state and county’s “no gathering” orders. So, here is an idea that I thought would be fun. Please send our awesome Newsletter Editor Jim Brock, jbrock92260@gmail.com, a brief email about what you and your family are up to. If you are working on a project and find that it would be fun to share, please do so. Please don’t forget to reach out if you need anything….I really mean that, anything at all!
I will stay on top of the “no gathering” situation and keep you all informed as we return to normalcy. Please know that I’m thinking and praying that you all keep safe. I miss you all and can’t wait to hear all about what you are up to.
Until then - be safe and stay healthy!
President Margaret
We had a great time last Wednesday morning when we visited the FIND Food Bank warehouse in Indio and spent a couple of hours packing fruit and citrus for distribution. FIND Food Bank officials tell us we sorted 4,300 pounds of apples and oranges. We enjoyed coffee and donuts, received an introduction to FIND Food Bank and then donned gloves and got to work. Consensus among participants was to do this work project again sooner rather than later. Hands on work projects are a great way to build closer relationships with fellow club members. Thanks to all who participated!
With us last week was Joe Aguanno of the Palm Springs Mounted Police Search and Rescue. The group was formed in 1949 and has a rich history in the area. While the fire department is called out for injuries, the mounted police are used for search and rescue and, too often, body recovery. The group currently averages one rescue a month. In recent years, they often find themselves being called out to search for walk away Alzheimer’s patients. Joe only managed to share a few search stories so we need to have him back again in the future! Also last week, Foundation Chair Kay Van Zandt announced that matching points are available for Foundation contributions. Donate $50 and Kay will use her points to match the contribution and you will be credited with a $100 Foundation donation! Martin Kubelik was our lucky Raffle winner. Martin drew a three and won $3!
With us last week was PDG Helene Kalfuss of Palm Springs Rotary. Helene is our District Global Grants Chair and has years of experience with the workings of the Rotary Foundation. When a donation is made to the Rotary Foundation, the funds are invested and the investment interest is what is used to fund Foundation projects around the world. The original principal is returned to the Rotary district after three years and that money comes back to local Rotary clubs as district designated funds. Those funds can then be contributed to additional Rotary projects to get even more mileage from a donation. Helene told us about international projects she has visited where Foundation money is used to provide low cost artificial limbs to people who could otherwise never afford them. Artificial arms cost as little as $50 and, although low tech, allow disabled people to function. Helene also talked about a project in India which trains the blind to work in call centers. This is one of several projects our Palms To Pines Foundation is considering helping to fund. Also last week, we learned we’re still waiting for an accounting of how the Tour de Palm Springs Beer Garden went and our Happy Dollars this month will go to the Rotary Foundation in memory of former P2P member and District 5330 Governor Ken Roberts. Jerry Kress had a 50-50 chance to pull an Ace and take home $83 but he only managed a $7 win. If we pull your ticket this week you’re an automatic winner!
Did you know one of our members used to work for former 49er great Joe Montana? Did you know another member never met her father until she was two and a half? You would have known all of this and more had you been with us last week and played our Truth or Lies game. Jim Brock won a tie breaker over new member Kamryn Hafer in our contest to identify the true statements each attendee provided. Pres.-Elect Kelli Cox filled in for MIA Pres. Margaret Claggett for the day. Also last week, Sojourner Harry Helliesen was back with us for his annual two month winter visit. Harry, from Yakima, Washington, reports he has 52 years of perfect Rotary attendance and has been making up with us at Palms To Pines for the past 22 winters. If that weren’t enough, Harry also reported that Wednesday (February 5) was his 85th birthday! Thank you for making Palms To Pines your winter home, Harry. You’re a great addition to our club! Jim Brock presented Harry with a Rotary coffee mug filled with candy to recognize his birthday and perfect attendance and then Harry pulled his own number in the great Rotary Raffle and collected $20 when he drew a Queen. When you’re HOT you’re HOT! Buy Raffle tickets this week…..only Aces and sevens are left! Finally last week, we learned about an upcoming Bowling Tournament fundraiser planning by Indio Rotary on Thursday, March 26 at Fantasy Springs. More information to come!
Last week we heard from Arthur Kimbell with the Riverside County Department of Education. Arthur heads up a number of alternative education programs for students who have been expelled or who are incarcerated in the Juvenile Hall in Indio. The goal of all of the programs is to get students back into regular classrooms or to provide them with skills so they can become productive in society. Several of the community schools he oversees offer hospitality industry training. Also last week, Martin Kubelik was honored with his sixth Paul Harris Fellow and we had the pleasure of inducting our newest Rotarian, Kamryn Hafer. Kamryn is a client services associate for Anchor Wealth Management. Welcome to Palms To Pines, Kamryn!
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