Palms to Pines Rotary Club
                   Palm Desert’s Morning Club
We meet Wednesdays, 7:15 am 
DESERT FALLS COUNTRY CLUB 
PALM DESERT, CA 92211 USA 
 
 
 
 
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Palms to Pines Foundation
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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.

 

 
Our own Richard Karp spoke to us about taxes last week. Richard reviewed proposals of the Trump tax reform plan and told us a bit about what the plan would mean to you and I. Richard also gave us some surprising statistics including the fact that 45 percent of households pay no federal income tax at all. (Gives a whole new meaning to paying “your fair share”, doesn’t it?) Also last week, we learned that Charley Riggs was our Secret Greeter and each and every person in the room greeted him. Sojourner Wes Davis was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Wes took home $10. Only fours and Aces remain in the deck so the time to buy tickets is now! The Mega Pot will be over $200 this week! Wes will be with us for a couple of more meetings before returning to Portland so he still has a chance to be a winner!
With us last week was Mohamed Kastiro of Free Volt Desert Solar Company. Mohamed’s company provides rooftop solar and uses Swizz panels which are more efficient than others. Also last week, Pres. Jerry Kress updated the club on a scholarship night held Tuesday evening were our club presented a Dr. Carreon Scholarship to an Xavier High School student. Our club’s $1,250 contribution was matched twice and helped provide a $5,000 scholarship. Palms To Pines also presented Xavier High School Interact Club founder Bryana Quintana with a $500 scholarship. Last week Palms To Pines welcomed three visitors to our club. Joining us from Palm Desert Noon Rotary were Mary Helen Kelly, Viola Benson and District Governor Nominee Ricardo Loretta. Richard Karp was a lucky $2 Rotary Raffle winner.
Last week we viewed a TED Talk video about technology and the future and we also presented Sojourner Wes Davis with a Palms To Pines Rotarians At Work tee shirt because of his hard work at recent club projects. Wes continued his support of our club by joining Pres. Jerry Kress and Past Pres. Charles Riggs at Saturday’s Indio Rotary Math Field Day. The trio are pictured hard at work above. Finally last week, Kim Hardee was a lucky $6 winner in the Great Rotary Raffle!
 

 
With no scheduled speaker last week, we took the time to socialize with our members, Sojourners and guests. Lillian Roberts was our Rotarian of the Week and her latest Rotary Moment occurred last week while listening to our RYLA representatives. It’s amazing to consider how much Rotary has changed since its founding and reassuring to see the next generation of Rotarians progressing in life. Great comments, Lillian! Pres. Jerry updated us on our upcoming meeting schedule (see below) and Kelli Cox told us about plans for Rotarians at Work (see above.) Kelli was also our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and pulled a Jack to collect $20. Be with us and buy tickets this week!
With us last week were four of our RYLA representatives who provided us with an update on this year’s weekend. Three of the students are Xavier High School juniors and the fourth, Bryana Quintana, is a senior who attended last year and served as a member of the alumni staff this year. Bryana was also instrumental in founding the Xavier High School Interact Club. Our own Kat Aguilera attended RYLA and served as a group discussion leader and was recognized as the top leader for last weekend’s session! Congratulations, Kat! Kat started the program by sharing a video about this year’s RYLA and told us that our district’s leadership camp is the largest in all of Rotary. Over 600 students annually attend one of two weekend camps at Crestline. Once again, we were thoroughly impressed by this group of young leaders! Also last week, Pres. Jerry Kress urged us to volunteer to help out at Indio Rotary’s Math Field Day scheduled for May 20. We also bid farewell to Sojourner Ray Roth, who is returning to Alberta for the summer, and Kim Hardee was a lucky $7 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Buy tickets this week!
Bob Elias, director of social services for the Joslyn Center, was with us last week to talk about the Center’s Meals on Wheels program. Before getting into the Meals on Wheels program, Bob told us a bit about the Joslyn Center and shared the Center’s impressive weekly activities schedule with us. The Center truly offers something for everyone. The Meals on Wheels program serves 45 to 70 qualified seniors each week in Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells. There is a fee for the service but no one is turned away, according to Bob. The program is funded entirely by donations and grants and 35 volunteers deliver meals Monday through Friday. Frozen meals are provided on weekends. The program allows seniors to remain independent in their homes and provides them with a balanced diet. Additional volunteers make calls to homebound seniors each month and the delivery volunteers take the time to interact with clients. According to Bob, Meals on Wheels serves as a lifeline for hunger and communication. The Joslyn Center also operates Penny’s Pantry, a twice monthly program which provides non-perishable foods and fresh produce to low income seniors in the area. Also last week, Kay Van Zandt pulled a queen from the deck to win the Rotary Raffle. Kay opted to let her $20 ride so this week’s pot will be over $100. You can’t win unless you buy a ticket!
Foundation Chair Paul Parry provided us with an update on our Rotary Foundation giving last week. Each member received a giving summary so we could see exactly how much we’ve contributed to Rotary Foundation and how far away we are from the next level of Paul Harris recognition. Pres. Jerry Kress would like to see Palms To Pines Rotary become a 100 percent Paul Harris club (meaning every member has contributed a minimum of $1,000 to Rotary Foundation.) To encourage contributions, we’re introducing a club matching program. For every $1 contributed, the club will match the contribution with a recognition point – effectively doubling your contribution for recognition purposes. You must donate a minimum of $100 to receive matching points. Please consider making a contribution to Rotary Foundation by June 1 and take advantage of this opportunity! Contact Paul Parry for complete details. Also last week, we bid farewell to Sojourner Jim Davis from Calgary and member Martin Kubelik from Prague. Our winter has flown by and our part time visitors are heading north for the summer. We’ll miss you and look forward to your return! Pres. Jerry has begun a signup sheet for Rotarians At Work so make sure you sign up! Martin was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner last week. He pulled a five and decided to let his $5 ride to build the pot. Buy tickets this week!
Dawn Suggs of Desert Classic Charities was our speaker last week. Desert Classic Charities runs the annual PGA tour event now known as the Career Builder Challenge. Although we were scheduled to hear from Nick Raffaele, the director, Dawn has been with the tournament for 50 years and did an outstanding job telling us about its history and the challenges the event has faced and met along the way. The tournament lost money its first two years and then one of the supporters died suddenly of a heart attack. This fueled the conversation about building a mid-valley hospital. Bob Hope got involved with the tournament and donated the land for Eisenhower Medical Center and the rest is history. Dawn says the 60s, 70s and 80s were golden years for the event. Today, the tournament is held in the smallest market on the PGA tour and continues to reinvent itself to attract both players and golf fans. Career Builder signed on last year and has a five year sponsorship commitment. Also last week, Ray Roth reported that Sojourner Anita Ratchinsky is back in Canada and doing well and is already looking forward to seeing us again next year. Kay Van Zandt reports Sojourner Jim Eggers is continuing to recover from his fall and hopes to rejoin our merry band shortly. Incoming Pres. Richard Karp was an $8 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Buy tickets this week!
Amy Bridges and Vivian Johnson of Gentiva Hospice were with us last week to tell us about hospice care. Gentiva is one of several hospices in the valley and it offers a variety of services to eligible patients with terminal illnesses. Hospice care is covered by Medicare and MediCal and includes physician services, nursing care, counseling services, respite care and medications, supplies and equipment. A physician must certify that a patient has a terminal condition (six months to live) to qualify for hospice care. Also last week, we learned that Palms To Pines is contributing $500 toward a Rotary Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert campus scholarship. We also recognized Sojourner Don Kraft who is celebrating his 90th birthday and Cheryl Collins, a guest of Sojourner Kathy Martin, was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and collected $20. Buy tickets this week and let’s build the pot!
Erica Felci of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) was with us last week to update us on CV Link. This proposed 50-mile alternative transportation path has caused controversy and both supporters and opponents are passionate about the subject. The estimated cost of the project is $100 million and Erica tells us they are in the middle of environmental review at this time. The Cathedral City portion of the path should break ground within 30 days and, according to Erica, the entire project could break ground by the end of the year. Also last week, Jim Davis, who had a 50-50 chance of winning the pot the previous week, was our lucky winner again in the great Rotary Raffle. With only Aces remaining, Jim collected $294 in American money to take home to Calgary. Pres. Jerry Kress reports that Up With People is still seeking host families for their desert visit March 27-April 3. If you have an interest, contact Liz Kelly at ekelly@upwithpeople.org. Finally last week, Sojourner Don Kraft thanked Butch Hartman for his outstanding service on restoring and resizing Don’s wedding band. Butch is Mr. Service Above Self!
Representatives of Up With People joined us last week to tell us about the group’s upcoming visit to the Coachella Valley. With us were Lindsey Poist, Ran Hu and Liz Kelly. The trio told us Up With People will be here in the desert March 27 through April 3. During the group’s time here, they plan to visit 14 area schools and perform 1,000 hours of community service. Large-scale performances are planned at Palm Desert High School on March 31 and April 1. Up With People was founded in 1965 and since its founding, 22,000 young people from 96 countries have participated. The current group totals 100 people from 20 countries. They are still seeking host families for their upcoming visit and they urged all of us to attend one of their performances. Also last week, Sojourner Ray Leaycraft returned and brought along a box of children’s books and we learned that Sojourner Anita Ratchinsky had to return home to Alberta because of health issues. We wish Anita a swift recovery and look forward to seeing her next year! Jim Davis had a 50-50 chance of winning $250 but pulled a six and took home $6. Guaranteed pot winner this week!
Kevin Hemp, an education specialist with Coachella Valley Water District, was our speaker last week. Kevin talked about the status of water here in our state and told us about the complex system used to allocate water throughout the state. Oroville Dam is the starting point for the state water project which brings water from Northern California to Southern California. CVWD holds the third largest contract for state water project water but never sees a drop from the project. Instead, CVWD trades state water project water for Colorado River water. Kevin reassured us that our valley should have enough water in future years so we can continue to survive and even grow. The district is bringing Colorado River water to area golf courses which, Kevin notes, are the district’s most efficient users of water. Using river water and continued conservation efforts should eliminate overdrafting our aquifer, Kevin says. Also last week, Donna Lee Ekstrom was our Rotarian of the Week and talked about the Rotary Club of Duarte, a club which was instrumental in opening Rotary to women. Buy Raffle tickets this week…over $250 in the pot!
Ralph Borcherds, vice president of Desert RATS (Radio Amateur Transmitting Society) was our speaker last week. Ralph has been a HAM since 2009 and told us about the importance of HAM radio during times of disaster. When all else fails, according to Ralph, HAM radio will be there. After Katrina, HAM radio was the only means of communication for 45 days in many areas. HAM radio operators work with FEMA and local government agencies to be prepared for the next disaster. Desert RATS also works with area hospitals to provide emergency communications between departments should a disaster occur. Ralph urged Rotarians to attend a HAM radio Field Day to learn more about the hobby. Field Days are held throughout the country on the last weekend in June. Also last week, we learned we have completed RYLA interviews. Thanks to Margaret Claggett, Kay Van Zandt and Kathleen Aguilera for conducting the interviews. We devoted our Happy Dollars to the upcoming Indio Rotary Math Field Day and our club’s 4 Way Test Contest. Jerry Kress was a lucky $5 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Just a few cards remain so buy tickets this week!
Jeff Moritz, founder of The Convergent Center, was our speaker last week. Jeff was a Rotarian for 30 years and former executive director of Habitat For Humanity and president and founder of the Desert Communities Fuller Center for Housing. Jeff told us that California has the largest homeless population in the country (an estimated 145,000) and that over half have mental illness. Even with this huge number, there is no statewide plan in place to address the issue. Various programs waste a lot of money and 75 percent of the homeless are back on the street within a year after being in a program. Jeff’s group is hoping to form a public-private partnership and has plans for housing for our desert homeless. Also last week, we welcomed back more of our Washington contingent -- Sojourners Don Kraft, Harry Helliesen and Lee Gingrich. Welcome back! MIA last week was Sojourner Jim Eggers. Jim celebrated his 92nd birthday last Wednesday! Jim Brock was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner last week. Jim won $10 but decided to let it ride. Our pot will be over $200 this week so make sure and buy extra tickets!
With us last week was Rob Ballew, director of the Family YMCA of the Desert. Rob provided us with an update on the YMCA’s lengthy list of programs here in the desert and Palms To Pines helped them kick off their annual capital campaign by presenting Rob with a $1,200 donation from our club foundation. Rob outlined plans for an ambitious expansion of the Y’s Palm Desert facility and told us about various programs operated at 41 sites here in the valley. The goal of this year’s capital campaign is $485,000 and the funds will be used to support programs and provide financial assistance to participants. Also last week, Butch Hartman was the only attendee to shake secret greeter Pres. Jerry Kress’ hand at the meeting so he gleefully collected $3 from everyone else. Sojourner Jim Eggers, who complains weekly about never winning the Rotary Raffle, was indeed our lucky Raffle winner last week. Jim had his chance but only managed to pull an eight to collect $8. With only a few cards remaining, chances are good we’ll see a pot winner this week. You can’t win unless you play so buy tickets this week!
 
 
 
 
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