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President Elect
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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.


Rotary District 5330 Governor Melanie Rice made her official visit to Palms To Pines Rotary last week. DG Melanie shared her story of growing up in Pennsylvania with little parental support but cited two other adults who encouraged her to pursue her goals. According to Melanie, “Rotarians have a moral obligation to help kids.” She shared her Rotary Moment with us and told us she felt she truly became a Rotarian while volunteering at the Galilee Center in Mecca and seeing the appreciation of children there. We met at Coco’s Bakery Restaurant and had a good turnout of members. Joining DG Melanie were her husband, Larry Rice, and Assistant Governor Lea Goodsell.
We honored outgoing President Richard Karp last Wednesday evening at a dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Some 20 Rotarians and guests attended and Richard handed out Thank You gifts to various club members and President-Elect Margaret Claggett presented Richard with a token of our appreciation for his two years of service to Palms To Pines Rotary. Richard’s service is not over…..he’ll be returning as our Treasurer during Margaret’s term. Like so many of our members, Richard believes in Service Above Self!
Our first Informal Breakfast at Cup’s Café drew six Rotarians plus the return of Chris Shippee. Cup’s continues to offer a fabulous breakfast menu with lots of different entrée choices. Come join us at 7:30 a.m. this week. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day!
We wrapped up our winter season at Desert Falls Country Club last week with a social breakfast. (Perhaps we waiting a week too long since only six members were in attendance.) As you probably know, we pay for a minimum of 15 breakfasts each Wednesday at Desert Falls so they can justify bringing in staff to serve us. During the summer months we never come close to the 15 person minimum so it makes economic sense to hold informal breakfasts during the summer months. We hope to see you at Cup’s Café on Wednesday mornings and we really hope to have a great crowd for Pres. Richard Karp’s Demotion at 5:30 p.m. on June 19 at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Margaret Claggett was our lucky $20 Rotary Raffle winner.
Jim Brock provided us with his annual Coachella Valley real estate update. Jim reminded members that every home and development is different so you really need a visit by a real estate professional to come up with an accurate value for your property. In general, desert home prices continued to rise from a year ago and inventory remains low. Sales, however, are slowing. According to Jim, more homes are sold in the desert during the summer months than in the winter. Also last week, we continued to dedicate our Happy Dollars to our Xavier College Prep lunch table project and Kim Hardee was a lucky $3 winner in the Rotary Raffle. This week will mark the final Raffle until the fall so please plan to buy tickets…..you can’t be a winner unless you’re a buyer!
Kim Hardee provided us with an update on the Humane Society of the Desert last week. Kim is a new member of the board of directors of the Society and she gave us insight into the struggles the organization has faced since reports of financial irregularities surfaced. They are still dealing with frozen bank accounts and are having difficulty regaining public trust so fundraising has suffered. The Humane Society runs the second largest animal shelter in Southern California and Kim believes it is the best shelter in the desert. Also last week, we continued collecting Happy Dollars for our Xavier Prep picnic table project. We’re joining with Indian Wells Rotary and Indio Rotary to purchase three tables for use by Xavier students. Kay Van Zandt was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and she donated her $10 winnings to the P2P Rotary Foundation in memory of Sojourner Jim Eggers.
Last week we heard from Jenna LeComte-Hinely, PhD, chief executive offi-cer of HARC (Health Assessment and Research for Communities). HARC is dedicated to providing research and analysis to communities to facilitate better decision making regarding health and quality of life. HARC is in the middle of conducting its fifth telephone health survey here in the valley. Calls come from Kent State University (area code 330) and Jenna estimates it will take 80,000 to 90,000 calls to get random interviews with 2,500 households. Once complete, survey results will be compiled and made available to interested parties. Also last week, Ricardo Loretta was on hand to accept a check on behalf of the Dr. Carreon Foundation for our annual scholarship donation. Our $500 contribution will be matched twice to provide a $2,000 scholarship to a deserving senior. Finally last week, Jim Brock made it two raffle wins in a row when he pulled a face card for a $20 win. He let it ride so buy tickets this Wednesday!
Kimberly Spiegel, Education, Outreach and Operations Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association of the Coachella Valley, was our speaker last week. The Association is located here in Palm Desert and is one of 88 chapters in the country. The Association provides, support, information, educational classes resources and referrals. Kimberly provided us with some sobering information including the fact that Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in this country and that the deaths of two out of three women are the result of the disease. At the present time there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and people currently live only eight years after diagnosis. One of the first symptoms of the disease, according to Kimberly, is getting lost. Also last week, we bid farewell to Sojourner Ray Leaycraft. We look forward to your return this fall, Ray! Jim Brock was a lucky $5 Raffle winner and he opted to let his winnings ride.
Joining us last Wednesday where three of our six RYLA representatives from Xavier College Preparatory High School. These high school juniors were selected to attend our district’s Rotary Youth Leadership Academy with the expectation that they will develop leadership skills they can use for the rest of their lives. Joining us were Michael Barajas, Henry Lee and Makai Quintana. Each of these young leaders brought their parents along and each told us a little about their RYLA experiences. All said the camp helped them become more outgoing and Henry Lee, a South Korea native, said his RYLA experiences was the “best time I ever had.” Our other representatives who did not attend our meeting were Isabella Ginex, Pryscilla Sanchez and Serina Zhang. Thanks to Margaret Claggett for working so hard on our RYLA project! Jerry Kress was a lucky $20 winner in our Rotary Mega Raffle.
Tom G. Kontos, director of development for the Desert Center for Legal Ed-ucation, was our speaker last week. The Center raises funds for study materials for students at the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law in Indio. Tom is a retired attorney from San Diego and is good friends with the college of law’s founder, John Patrick Dolan. The law school was founded in 2012 and its two graduating classes have had a 47 percent bar passing rate – higher than the state average. The school expects to be officially accredited next year. According to Tom, tuition at the school is $14,000 per year – about half of the statewide average. Also last week, Raffle Master Jim Brock overestimated ticket sales and ended up having to purchase $10 worth of unsold tickets and collected $4 in the raffle. He’s going to try that strategy in the Power Ball Lottery next! Buy tickets this week!
Jennifer Montgomery, general manager of The Lighthouse Dispensary in Coachella, was our speaker last week. Jennifer has started an outreach program to educate the public about cannabis and its many uses. Jennifer told us that customers at her dispensary are about equally divided between those seeking products rich in THC (to get high) and those seeking products containing CBD for the claimed medicinal benefits. CBD products are available in topical creams, oils and tinctures as well as edibles Judging by the number of questions, there is a great deal of interest in cannabis. The Lighthouse Cannabis Boutique is located at 84160 Avenue 48 in Coachella. Also last week, Steve handed out rack cards for his Tuscany Manor in Palm Springs. This all suite resort is perfect for your out of town visitors. Finally last week, Doug Walker drew an 8 and took home $8 in the Rotary Mega-Raffle. Buy tickets!
Last week we heard from two polio survivors. Joining us were Jennifer Iams and Holly Whitlow. Jennifer contracted polio when she was just nine months old and spent another nine months in an Oakland hospital. Holly contracted the disease at five years of age and spent two and one half years in a hospital. She was in an iron lung for 18 months. After she was released, she managed to walk with braces and crutches but switched to a wheel chair when she began work as a speech pathologist at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Downey. Holly shared her very personal story and talked about the importance of vaccination. Despite her polio, a daughter-in-law does not believe in vaccination, Understandably, they are estranged. Also last week, we learned that Pres. Richard Karp’s demotion is planned for June 19 at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Kim Hardee was our lucky Raffle winner and took home $10.
Last week was devoted to housekeeping chores as we sorted and labeled our supply of children’s books. Several bags have gone to the Read With Me program and we have a large stockpile of books for future speakers to sign. Also last week, we were visited by Desert Symphony President Nancy Tapick who promoted the Symphony’s 30th Anniversary Gala featuring Tony Danza. The Gala is planned for this Thursday, April 4, at the McCallum Theatre. Nancy is most proud of the Symphony’s concerts to introduce Coachella Valley school children to music. Tickets for the Desert Symphony’s 2019-2020 season go on sale April 26. Finally last week, we bid farewell to Sojourner Harry Helliesen, who has returned home to Washington and to member Martin Kubelik, whose winter with us has come to an end. We’ll miss you both! Sojourner Ray Roth was a lucky $7 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Buy tickets this week!
Palms To Pines Rotary donated $1,000 to the Read With Me program to help supply Dr. Seuss books to east valley program participants. Books were distributed on April 1 as part of Read Across America Day festivities. We’ll be providing more books to participants at the end of this school year.
With us last week was Janell Percy, executive director of Growing Coachella Valley. This organization was formed at the height of the drought to help inform the general public about the steps large water users like farms and golf courses are taking to conserve and use water wisely. Janell, with the help of her son Ryan, shared a film about farming and water use. Agriculture in the Coachella Valley generates $600 million a year in revenue, second only to tourism. Also last week, Martin Kubelik asked us all to vote for a photo of his son JJ on a slingshot website. Visit simple-shot.com, click on Gallery and then like JJ’s photo. Finally last week, Lillian Roberts made it two wins in a row last week when she again pulled an Ace to collect $21 in the great Rotary 50-50 Raffle. Congratulations, Lillian! We’ll remind you before Happy Dollars!
Rotary Foundation receives highest rating from Charity Navigator for 12th consecutive year

Rotary Foundation receives highest rating from Charity Navigator for 12th consecutive

Nigeria reaches crucial polio milestone

Nigeria reaches crucial polio

Shekhar Mehta of India selected to be 2021-22 Rotary International President

Shekhar Mehta of India selected to be 2021-22 Rotary International

Fighting poverty on a small scale

A collaboration between Rotary and Heifer continues to produce big results, helping small farms provide healthier, locally-sourced

Rotary and ShelterBox celebrate the power of partnership

Rotary and ShelterBox celebrate the power of partnershipEvanston Ill., Rotary International announced on 3 June a three-year partnership renewal with its disaster relief project partner, ShelterBox. For almost 20 years,