Palms To Pines Meets For
Informal Breakfasts Every
Wednesday Morning at
7:30 a.m. at Cup's Cafe,
77912 Country Club,
Palm Desert.
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.


District Governor Barry Valdez joined P2P Rotarians at last week’s in-person meeting at Cup’s. We learned from DG Barry that the pandemic has been hard on many clubs in our district and he urges all of us to continue in Rotary with other area clubs.
Eight of us got together last week for another in-person meeting at Cup’s Café. The windy weather forced us inside but we still had a great breakfast and a great hour of Palms To Pines Fellowship. Thanks to Lillian Roberts, Kay Van Zandt, Anita Ratchinsky, Ray and Cindy Leaycraft, Charley Riggs, Jerry Kress and Jim Brock for making the effort to be there. We hope they’re back and others join us this Wednesday!
Last week, we were joined by Jack Poyfair, executive director of Vista Cove in Rancho Mirage. Jack, an LVN, provided an extremely interesting program about Alzheimer’s and other related dementias. Vista Cove has been offering memory care since it opened in 2004. At this time there is no cure for Alzheimer’s—caregivers can only manage and treat the symptoms. Early symptoms include short term memory loss, problems with word finding, speech and reading and disorientation. One extremely sobering statistic from Jack: 50 percent of people 85 and over will suffer from dementia. The life expectancy of someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia is from eight to 20 years.
With us last week was Jeremy Wittie, general of the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. While the rest of the world has focused on COVID-19, district employees continue their efforts to curb mosquitoes, fire ants and eye gnats. The district got its start in 1928 to control eye gnats in the valley and their role has grown over the years. They have stepped up their efforts to control mosquitoes which can spread West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis and they are also working to control a new mosquito variety which can spread yellow fever. Thankfully, there have been no cases since this new mosquito was first discovered two years ago. Thanks, Jeremy!
Last week seven of us convened for patio dining at Cup’s Café. We enjoyed great weather, wonderful food and, most importantly, outstanding Rotary Fellowship! No matter how hard we try, video conferencing just doesn’t match face to face! We’re planning at least one in person meeting a month so stay tuned! We hope you join us!
With us last week was Se Layne, artistic director of the Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs. While Palms To Pines has been donating for years to help support the theater’s sign language performances, Se gave us insight into just how much work our own Kay Van Zandt puts in to make the signed performances a reality. Kay lines up two to three College of the Desert ASL students to sign the performances and, just like the actors on stage, the students must memorize their lines and rehearse for weeks. Se says demand for the signed performances grows each year and now over half of the seats are taken up by the hearing impaired during the signed productions. Thanks, Kay, for your Service Above Self!
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
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.
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