We meet Wednesdays, 7:30 am 
Immediate Past President
Palms to Pines Foundation
Club Service
Community Service
International Service Chair
New Generations Director
Club Bulletin
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.


Joining us last week was Kimberly Stauffer, senior manager for development at Martha’s Village and Kitchen. Martha’s is one of the largest providers of homeless services in the valley. The facility provides nearly ¼ million meals a year and operates a 120-bed emergency housing facility for adults and children. Martha’s is one of the few shelters which keeps families together and nearly one half the beds are occupied by children. Kimberly provided some startling statistics about poverty here in the Coachella Valley. Nearly 25 percent of seniors are classified as living in poverty here and 40 percent of the valley’s children live in poverty. Martha’s has a nearly 90 percent success rate in getting clients into permanent housing. Also last week, Lillian Roberts pulling a queen and took home $20 in the Rotary Raffle. Only aces remain….buy tickets!
Palms To Pines Rotarians once again helped out at the ABC Recovery Center’s Annual Holiday Party on December 17. Thanks to Charles Riggs, Paul Parry, Sojourner Wes Davis and Santa Jerry Kress for their help. Special thanks to Margaret Claggett and Dana Tarnow for buying gifts for the children of ABC clients.
District Governor Ricardo Loretta was with us last week and provided us with an update on district activities and Rotary in general. The Rotary emblem is the most recognized symbol in the world, according to Ricardo, and Rotary is helping people every minute of every day. On the district level, three RYLA camps are planned next year to accommodate the huge number of interested students. Also last week, we welcomed Chicago Sojourner Roland Catenacci back to Palms to Pines. Roland holds the record for most consecutive raffle wins. Great to see you again, Roland! Jim Eggers is working on breaking Roland’s record as he made it two wins in a row and collected $2 last week.
No formal speaker last week but Steve Stearman, who works at Rabobank with Margaret Claggett and volunteers on the Martha’s Village and Kitchen board of directors, gave us an introduction to what that organization does here in our valley and the many volunteer opportunities available to groups and organizations. Also last week, we continued to dedicate our Happy Dollar contributions to victims of the recent wildfires in both Northern and Southern California. Closer to home, we learned that Kelli Cox is collecting food items for Martha’s Village at her business, CGC Accountants & Advisors, and Margaret Claggett is collecting unwrapped toys at Rabobank for the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission. Bring your donations to this week’s meeting and they’ll make sure they’re delivered in time for Christmas.
No speaker last week so we enjoyed Rotary Fellowship and discussed our Holiday Party. Consensus was to plan a Holiday Breakfast on Wednesday, December 19….our last meeting of the year. We’ll arrange an expanded menu and we’re currently seeking some Holiday entertainment….maybe we can even talk Santa into taking a break from his busy schedule and joining us for breakfast! Also last week, we continued to pledge our Happy Dollars to support victims of the recent wildfires in both Northern and Southern California.  
No meeting last week so Palms To Pines Rotarians and Sojourners kicked off the holiday season by spending the day Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army. Thanks to Anita Ratchinsky, Richard Karp, Kerim Gokce, Jerry Kress, Wes Davis, Kelli Cox and Jim Brock for volunteering a couple of hours of their time for community service.
With us last week was Lexi Ward, Fund Development Coordinator for The First Tee of the Coachella Valley. The First Tee program teaches young people life lessons through golf. It provides a safe, healthy and positive environment to teach students golf skills through the program’s nine core values: Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgment. The First Tee operates at the Palm Desert Golf Center on Cook Street as well as in Indio and will soon expand to Palm Springs. The First Tee accepts students as young as four and the cost is just $140 per year. The program currently has over 100 active volunteers. The First Tee’s ninth annual golf tournament is coming up March 29. Also last week, we celebrated the return of Sojourner Jim Eggers. Sojourner Anita Ratchinsky was our lucky Raffle winner and took home $20 American!
Kellie Kennedy, membership manager for AirMedCare Network, was our speaker last week. According to Kellie, the cost for helicopter medical transport can run from $75,000 to $100,000 and is rarely fully covered by insurance. Since there are no Level 1 trauma centers and no pediatric hospitals in the valley, air ambulance transfers are very common.  Kellie’s company offers membership-based air ambulance services at a cost of only $65 a year for a household. Also last week, we received a report on the Rotary Foundation Gala. Palms to Pines had a table and eight members and guests attended. Visiting us last week were Jeff Jansen of Mt. Baker, Washington and Mac Cranford, a San Rafael Rotarian who has moved to Palm Desert and is looking for a new club. Palms To Pines would be perfect for you, Mac! Lillian Roberts made it four raffle wins in a row and collected $5 in the great Rotary Raffle!
Last week we heard from Sojourner Rick Gross who told us about his cancer treatment in Germany using low voltage DC current. Damaged cancerous cells have diminished ohms resistance and the direct current seeks them out and destroys them. Rick had two areas of melanoma and both were successfully treated with the therapy. According to Rick, the treatment can replace chemotherapy and surgery and works on most malignant and semi-malignant tumors as well as damaged cells in arthritic joints. It is also much less expensive than conventional treatments. Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourners Anita Ratchinsky, Ray Leaycraft and Bruce Christensen. It’s great to have you back with us! Lillian Roberts made it three raffle wins in a row last week but only managed to draw a three to take home $3 in the Rotary Raffle. This week’s pot should be over $50 so buy tickets!
Our own Margaret Claggett told us about Rabobank’s ambitious initiative to conquer the world’s food problems. Growing A Better World Together combines education and research to tackle multiple food related problems including sustainability, production, waste and nutrition. Rabobank experts are working closely with the United Nations and the World Wildlife Fund to reach their goals. Also last week, Foundation Chair Kay Van Zandt presented Sojourner Rick Gross with a Paul Harris Fellow award. Congratulations, Rick, and thank you for making your donation through Palms To Pines Rotary! Also last week, Mac Cranford, a former Rotary from the Bay Area and now a Palm Desert resident, joined us and Lillian Roberts made it two raffle wins in a row. Lillian drew a 6 and took home $6 in the great Rotary Raffle.
With us last week was Jennifer Jank of the Coachella Valley Women Leaders Forum. Jennifer is a financial planner whose business is helping divorcing couples with their finances but she also knows a thing or two about financial scams and their warning signs. Jennifer started out with some of the more common scam attempts including phone calls from the “IRS” with threats of arrest unless taxes are paid immediately and phone calls from “grandchildren” seeking financial help because of an emergency. Common red flags include guaranteed return and any return higher than 6-8%. Good program! Also last week, we learned that Kay Van Zandt and Jerry Kress will be volunteering with the Read With Me program and Palms To Pines is getting a group together for the Foundation Gala. Lillian Roberts was a $7 winner in the Rotary Raffle.
Our own Charles Riggs provided us with an update on our scouting troop project in Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo. Charley is a member of the Palm Desert Sister Cities Committee which made a recent visit to the Mexican cities. We provided monies to help fund the scout troop back in 2012 and it continues to thrive. Today, there are over 180 young people involved and they do a number of community service activities. While Charley was in Mexico, he attended a meeting of the Ixtapa Rotary Club as well as participating in other Sister Cities activities. The Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo Sister Cities Committee is planning a visit to our area to study our water recycling programs. Also last week, Margaret Claggett reported that the Xavier High School Interact Club will be assisting the YMCA of the Desert at the Golf Cart Parade and Jerry Kress let it ride after winning $8 in the great Rotary Raffle.
District Governor Ricardo Loretta made his official visit to our club last week. DG Ricardo was joined by his wife Jennifer and he told us his Rotary story. He was a member in the 80s but never really became a Rotarian until he moved to the desert and joined the Palm Desert club and began volunteering for projects at Galilee Center in Mecca. While you don’t need to be in Rotary to volunteer, according to Ricardo, Rotary provides the volunteer opportunities. This Rotary year, Ricardo wants clubs to focus on improvement and growth. More than half of the 62 clubs in our Rotary district lost members last year and Ricardo wants to turn that around this year. Ricardo also told us that our own Charley Riggs is one of his Assistant Governors this year and he told us about a planned Holiday Fiesta in Palm Desert’s Civic Center Park on December 8 and a planned multi-district project in Mexicali in January. His Rotary Foundation Gala is planned for November 3. District Governor Ricardo recognized members Jim Brock and Margaret Claggett for their service to P2P and he presented Pres. Richard Karp with a replica of the Rotary Foundation's 100th anniversary bell provided by a 1,000 year old Italian company.
Palms To Pines Rotarians and guests gathered at the home of Lillian Roberts for a BBQ last Wednesday evening. Thank you Lillian for volunteering your lovely home and a special thank you to John Hardee for volunteering to man the barbecue on a hot and humid night. See more photos in the Photo Album on our website, www.p2protary.org.
Nearly a dozen Palms To Pines Rotarians enjoyed our second Summer Social Breakfast at Cup’s Café last Wednesday. With no formal speaker, club members simply socialized and enjoyed breakfast. We did talk a bit about how to use some of our district-designated Rotary Foundation monies and the board will come to a final decision on how those funds are spent in the coming weeks. We’re scheduled to be back at Cup’s Café for breakfast on Wednesday morning, August 15 so make plans to join us! This restaurant has a great menu and we’re helping a young couple pursue their American dream! Also, stay tuned for another Road Trip in September. We’ll provide complete details once we have them!
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