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

President Elect
Immediate Past President
Club Service
Palms to Pines Foundation
Community Service
International Service Chair
New Generations Director
Club Bulletin
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.


Last week we discussed options for our upcoming meetings. Palms To Pines will be Dark next Wednesday and this will be a great opportunity to visit one of the Coachella Valley’s other Rotary clubs. We’ll be sharing meeting links as we receive them so visit a club and provide a report. It’s already been suggested that we conduct our virtual meetings a bit more like traditional in-person meetings so we’ll be doing that this week……be prepared to recite the Pledge of Allegiance! Finally, we’re also exploring the possibility of a return to in-person meetings following accepted pandemic protocols. When we do meet in person, we plan to include a virtual option for those of us who are not quite ready to venture out. Make sure you’re with us this week for the latest!
Last week we heard from incoming Rotary District 5330 Governor Dan Goodrich. Dan has worked up a Rotary Foundation grant to develop an educational program about human trafficking for high school students in the district. According to Dan, our area of California is a distribution center for human traffickers because of our proximity to numerous freeways and the border. Trafficking involves both sexual exploitation and forced labor and 2018 figures estimate it is a $32 billion industry second only to illegal drugs. Once the grant is approved, Dan hopes to see the curriculum adopted by schools throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. We’ll eventually be asked to help fund the program and to promote it among our local schools.
With us last week were Past District Governor Ricardo Loretta and Palm Desert Rotary President-Elect Carol Winston. The pair told us about Palm Desert Rotary’s Angels of Service program. Six months ago, Palm Desert Rotarians noticed how many people were in need because of the pandemic and they decided to do something about it. At their virtual meetings, they collect Happy Dollars to provide food items to four local non-profits to use in their food distribution programs. The goal each week is to collect $200 and committee members then visit our local Albertson’s and shop for non-perishable food items. The purchased food is then delivered on a rotating basis to the four non-profits selected by the club.
Last week Pres. Kelli Cox shared a video by Rotary International President Holger Knaack. Pres. Knaack reminded Rotarians of the importance of embracing Rotary’s Five Values – Service, Fellowship, Diversity, Integrity and Leadership – at all times. Rotary will continue its dedication to protecting our environment and Pres. Knaack also stressed that the pandemic has made social media and online connections more important than ever. Sojourner Rick Gross joined us from Germany last week and told us the pandemic situation there is much like here….fewer cases but too little vaccine.
With us last week was Palm Desert City Council member Sabby Jonathan. Sabby provided us with an excellent update on our city’s comprehensive response to COVID-19. Thanks to healthy financial reserves, the city can afford to offer financial help to many of our small businesses and the hospitality industry. The city has a wide variety of help available….everything from “Open For Business” banners to forgivable loans of up to $25,000. Sabby tells us the pandemic is causing Palm Desert’s first-ever budget deficit. Development activity in the city continues despite COVID-19. Sabby touched on the ongoing efforts to obtain a local university, the San Pablo beautification project, senior housing projects and several commercial projects ready to begin construction.
Last week we heard from Teal Guion, executive director of The First Tee of the Coachella Valley. The local chapter serves 7,000 young golfers annually and offers programs at The Golf Center on Cook Street as well as Indio’s municipal course and four other valley country clubs. The First Tee provides both golf and life lessons to youngsters aged four to 18 and this year marks the 25th anniversary of the national program. Teal was born and raised in Palm Springs and played golf on the boys’ team when she attended Palm Springs High School. She has been teaching golf for the past 15 years. Also last week, we collected Happy Dollars and the money raised will go to help fund prize money for a new essay contest our club is planning. We’ll have more information once our plans are finalized.
Last week we heard a wonderful message from Bruce Stahlman of Littleton, Colorado. Bruce is Chief Financial Officer of ARC Thrift Stores, a Colorado non-profit with 1,500 employees and $100 million in annual revenue. Bruce told us about his and wife Kelly’s twin sons. Both had severe cerebral palsy and needed round-the-clock care until their deaths in 2014 and 2015. Bruce was then diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent surgery in 2018. “First and always, it’s about gratitude,” according to Bruce. Rather than looking at the twins and cancer as calamities, Bruce chooses to see them as blessings and draws energy from the experiences to share a positive real life story that resonates with people across all of life’s situations. Stories like this are definitely worth spending an hour online on Wednesday mornings. Join us!
Last week we heard from Steve Catt, founder of A Proper Sendoff. Steve is a memorial service officiant who works with grieving families to provide personalized memorial services. Steve urges all of us to make end of life plans ahead of time to make things easier for our loved ones. Proper estate planning is also essential to help eliminate family disagreements. Learn more about Steve and his company at www.apropersendoff.com.
With us last week was Diane Vines, a CSUSB nursing instructor who coordinates the Street Medicine Project. This project is a partnership between the school’s nursing department, UC Riverside School of Medicine, Desert Regional Medical Center, Well in the Desert and Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine. Project participants bring heath care to the valley’s homeless population. Diane invited two of her students to join her in the presentation and we learned the program provides valuable training to students since their usual clinical teaching sites (hospitals and nursing homes) are unavailable to them because of the pandemic. Not a single COVID-19 case has been detected in the valley’s homeless population so far, according to Diane.
Last week we heard from Lisa Weaver, owner of Dickie’s Barbecue Pit in Rancho Mirage. Since the start of the pandemic, Lisa has been donating food from her restaurant and collecting food items for people in need in the East Valley. Her restaurant has served over 3,200 meals to first responders and she has held four food drives to date. She is planning another drive for Christmas and has added toys to her list of needed items. See has selected the occupants of several trailer parks in the Thermal/Mecca area and is seeking enough food and toys for 60 farm worker families. Palms To Pines will be joining this effort and we’ll have complete information at our December 2 meeting. Also last week, we welcomed Sojourner Rick Gross back to our meeting. Rick joined us from Denmark! It was great to see Rick and it’s always great to get an “on the scene” update on Coronavirus from our Sojourners. Thanks Rick!
With us last week was Tony Marchese, co-owner of Trio Restaurant and co-founder of CV Harvest Box. At the beginning of the pandemic, Tony and Mark Tadros, an east valley grower, saw a need to provide Coachella Valley residents with fresh produce delivered directly to their homes. Their plan would also help growers who normally served local restaurants by provided them with a new sales outlet. CV Harvest Box now supplies weekly produce boxes as well as a number of “add ons” to nearly 300 customers. Available add ons change frequently but some of the current products include mushrooms, apples, berries, pasta, cookies, coffee and olive oil. Harvest boxes are delivered on Fridays and customers can choose to order once or to subscribe to weekly, by-weekly or monthly deliveries. Harvest boxes start at just $35. Tony provided Rotarians with a promo code for a $5 discount on a delivery. Simply go to the Harvest Box website, www.cvharvestbox.com and enter promo code “Rotary” when you place your order.
With us last week was Chuck Weisbart, Rotary District 5330 community service chair. Chuck is a former Palms to Pines member who currently belongs to Idyllwild Rotary. Chuck talked to us about the importance of hands-on projects for the health of a Rotary club and says community service provides the greatest opportunity for clubs to get new members and keep existing members. Projects offer members a great way to help improve someone’s life and build camaraderie among Rotarians. Every service project, Chuck says, should be assessed every year to prevent them from becoming “old and musty.”
With us last week was Mike Rosenkrantz, board president of Palms To Pines Parasports. Joining Mike were board members Mike Porter and Jerry Alcorn. Palms To Pines Parasports is a new organization seeking to provide sports and social opportunities to people with disabilities. There are very few activities currently in the Coachella Valley and this group plans to change that. Any sport can be adopted for the disabled and they are currently providing wheel chair basketball and cycling. Many more activities are in the works. According to Mike, there are currently no adaptive sports programs offered in Riverside so his group is also offering programs there. They plan to actively reach out to disabled veterans as well. Our club will be working with Palm Springs Parasports to come up with possible future volunteer and community service opportunities so stay tuned!
Last week, we learned we’re still looking for a location to project our End Polio Now logo on the evening of October 24 – World Polio Day. We also heard about Rotary’s new PolioPlus Society. A pledge of $100 per year to PolioPlus will earn you membership. An application is included with this week’s newsletter email.
Laura Ahmed from Cathedral City Rotary joined us last Wednesday to talk about World Polio Day and Rotary’s new PolioPlus Society. Laura is our district’s PolioPlus Chair and she reminded Rotarians that October 24 is World Polio Day – a day to call attention to Rotary’s long-time efforts to eliminate polio. Laura also promoted the Rotary Foundation’s brand new way to recognize PolioPlus donors. Pledge just $100 annually to PolioPlus (which we all should be doing) and you’ll become a member of the new PolioPlus Society. You’ll receive a certificate and label pin to recognize your pledge. Please contact Foundation Chair Kay Van Zandt for additional information. Palms To Pines hopes to once again promote World Polio Day with another End Polio Now projection. Last year we projected the message on the side of the McCallum Theatre and this year we’re working on another site for the projection. Stay tuned!
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