Rotary Foundation Grants

With us last week was PDG Helene Kalfuss of Palm Springs Rotary. Helene is our District Global Grants Chair and has years of experience with the workings of the Rotary Foundation. When a donation is made to the Rotary Foundation, the funds are invested and the investment interest is what is used to fund Foundation projects around the world. The original principal is returned to the Rotary district after three years and that money comes back to local Rotary clubs as district designated funds. Those funds can then be contributed to additional Rotary projects to get even more mileage from a donation. Helene told us about international projects she has visited where Foundation money is used to provide low cost artificial limbs to people who could otherwise never afford them. Artificial arms cost as little as $50 and, although low tech, allow disabled people to function. Helene also talked about a project in India which trains the blind to work in call centers. This is one of several projects our Palms To Pines Foundation is considering helping to fund. Also last week, we learned we’re still waiting for an accounting of how the Tour de Palm Springs Beer Garden went and our Happy Dollars this month will go to the Rotary Foundation in memory of former P2P member and District 5330 Governor Ken Roberts. Jerry Kress had a 50-50 chance to pull an Ace and take home $83 but he only managed a $7 win. If we pull your ticket this week you’re an automatic winner!
Rotary Foundation Grants Jim Brock 2020-02-15 08:00:00Z 0

Fun & Games

Did you know one of our members used to work for former 49er great Joe Montana? Did you know another member never met her father until she was two and a half? You would have known all of this and more had you been with us last week and played our Truth or Lies game. Jim Brock won a tie breaker over new member Kamryn Hafer in our contest to identify the true statements each attendee provided. Pres.-Elect Kelli Cox filled in for MIA Pres. Margaret Claggett for the day. Also last week, Sojourner Harry Helliesen was back with us for his annual two month winter visit. Harry, from Yakima, Washington, reports he has 52 years of perfect Rotary attendance and has been making up with us at Palms To Pines for the past 22 winters. If that weren’t enough, Harry also reported that Wednesday (February 5) was his 85th birthday! Thank you for making Palms To Pines your winter home, Harry. You’re a great addition to our club! Jim Brock presented Harry with a Rotary coffee mug filled with candy to recognize his birthday and perfect attendance and then Harry pulled his own number in the great Rotary Raffle and collected $20 when he drew a Queen. When you’re HOT you’re HOT! Buy Raffle tickets this week…..only Aces and sevens are left! Finally last week, we learned about an upcoming Bowling Tournament fundraiser planning by Indio Rotary on Thursday, March 26 at Fantasy Springs. More information to come!
Fun & Games Jim Brock 2020-02-09 08:00:00Z 0

Alternative Education

Last week we heard from Arthur Kimbell with the Riverside County Department of Education. Arthur heads up a number of alternative education programs for students who have been expelled or who are incarcerated in the Juvenile Hall in Indio. The goal of all of the programs is to get students back into regular classrooms or to provide them with skills so they can become productive in society. Several of the community schools he oversees offer hospitality industry training. Also last week, Martin Kubelik was honored with his sixth Paul Harris Fellow and we had the pleasure of inducting our newest Rotarian, Kamryn Hafer. Kamryn is a client services associate for Anchor Wealth Management. Welcome to Palms To Pines, Kamryn!
Alternative Education Jim Brock 2020-02-01 08:00:00Z 0

Habitat For Humanity

Last week we heard from Herb Claggett about his Habitat For Humanity trip to Guatemala. Herb was one of 14 volunteers who helped Mayans complete two outhouses, seven stoves and start a house. He shared lots of photos of the trip. Habitat has helped 29 million people in the US and 70 other countries and will be building two homes in Indio this year. Thanks, Herb, for a great program!
Habitat For Humanity Jim Brock 2020-01-26 08:00:00Z 0

Olive Crest

With us last week was Angela Allen, Development Manager for Olive Crest. This organization has helped families for 47 years and has been active here in the Coachella Valley since 2001. Olive Crest offers an alternative to the foster care system. Also last week, we introduced our new and improved Rotary Raffle. Not only will we have our usual 50-50 raffle but we’ll also have a second raffle item for another lucky winner. Prospective member Kamryn Hafer won a Rotary coffee mug filled with candy and Pres. Margaret Claggett drew a queen in the 50-50 raffle and took home $20. Our Rotarian of the Week (Jerry Kress this week) is responsible for providing the second raffle prize.
Olive Crest 2020-01-18 08:00:00Z 0

Students Of The Year

Last week we heard from Elizabeth Kimbell of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The organization is promoting a Students of the Year fundraising campaign where local high school students form teams to raise funds. Also last week, we learned that we are planning an outing to FIND Food Bank to pack food for distribution on Wednesday, February 5. Complete details coming soon!
Students Of The Year Jim Brock 2020-01-12 08:00:00Z 0

LGBT Community Center 

Last week we heard from Alexis Ortega, director of community engagement for the LGBT Community Center of the Desert. The Center is located in Palm Springs and had a modest beginning in the early 2000s. It has since grown into a full service center with a variety of activities, classes, social events and a weekly food bank for the LGBT community. It currently has a $2 million annual budget. Alexis is a Palm Springs native and has worked in LGBT causes for over 10 years. Also last week, we held our annual meeting and elected officers for the 2020-21 Rotary year. Congratulations to Kelli Cox, President-Elect, and to Dana Tarnow, President-Elect Nominee. The club also approved updates to our club Bylaws. Finally, Lillian Roberts, who faithfully purchases $5 worth of raffle tickets each week, was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner and took home $6.
LGBT Community Center Jim Brock 2019-12-23 08:00:00Z 0

Palms To Pines Holiday Party

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 15, 2019
Palms To Pines Rotary held its annual Holiday Party last Wednesday, December 11, at the Vue Restaurant at the Indian Wells Golf Resort. Although we were small in numbers, we were big in fun and fellowship. We enjoyed a great dinner and a fun gift exchange. Thanks you Dana Tarnow for organizing this fun evening! More photos of the fun can be found in the Photo Album.
Palms To Pines Holiday Party Jim Brock 2019-12-15 08:00:00Z 0

Desert Ability Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 08, 2019
Last week we heard from Michael Rosenkrantz from the Desert Ability Center. The Center will be holding its Ability Festival this Saturday at Palm Desert’s Civic Center Park. The 8th annual Festival will feature more than 40 exhibitors and will include demonstrations of over 25 adaptive sports led by paralympic and adaptive sports coaches. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Desert Ability Center is seeking volunteers to help throughout the event. If you’re interested in volunteering, please talk with Pres. Margaret. Also last week, we heard about a fundraising activity we will participate in as part of the Tour de Palm Springs on Feb. 6 and 7. We’ll be working in their Beer and Wine Garden and we’ll also sell raffle tickets. We’ll have more information after the holidays. Finally last week, Pres. Margaret was our lucky raffle winner and took home $10 from her $3 ticket purchase.
Desert Ability Center Jim Brock 2019-12-08 08:00:00Z 0

Xavier Colonnade Dedication

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 01, 2019
Our donated picnic table was officially dedicated last week when Xavier College Prep dedicated an outdoor dining space called The Colonnade. The area has been planted in grass and provides a shady outdoor lunch space for Xavier students. Palms to Pines and the Rotary clubs of Indio and Indian Wells donated tables and seven other tables were donated by the Xavier classes of 2017 and 2019. The space is packed with students during lunch, according to Xavier officials
Xavier Colonnade Dedication Jim Brock 2019-12-01 08:00:00Z 0

FIND Food Bank

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 23, 2019
Debbie Espinosa, CEO and president of FIND Food Bank, was our speaker last week. FIND is a regional food bank serving over 85,000 individuals each month in eastern Riverside, southern San Bernardino and Imperial counties. FIND provides food to just about every major food distribution organization in the Coachella Valley. Also last week, we learned that our blood drive netted 18 pints of blood and Jerry Kress was a $10 Rotary Raffle winner.
FIND Food Bank Jim Brock 2019-11-23 08:00:00Z 0

Dead Reckoning

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 16, 2019
Dana Crosby, a principal in SC Capital Advisors, an independent wealth management practice in Rancho Mirage, spoke to us last week about his experiences as a navigator onboard a KC-135 Air Force Stratotanker. Dana served in the late 1980s and early 1990s and brought along photos of his aircraft refueling such iconic planes as the SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter. The KC-135 is a military version of the Boeing 707 and, even though it is a Cold War era airplane (versions of the plane has been flying for over 60 years), is still in service today. Thanks, Dana, for an interesting program! Also last week, we learned we’ll be having a club Holiday Party and President Margaret Claggett was the lucky winner of $8 in the great Rotary Raffle. Buy tickets this week!
Dead Reckoning Jim Brock 2019-11-16 08:00:00Z 0

Icon Presentations

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 10, 2019
Last week Kim Hardee told us a bit about Icon Presentations, her and husband John’s local audio visual company. They have filled audio visual needs for local organizations since 1991 and their largest annual project is the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  Also last week, Pres. Margaret reminded us of upcoming events including our blood drive (see below) on November 18 and the Xavier College Prep Colonnade dedication on November 26. Palms To Pines Rotary joined two other clubs to provide lunch tables for the colonnade project. Charles Riggs, who plays trombone with the Desert Winds Freedom Band, told us about the band’s 2019-2020 season. Their fall concert, All Gershwin!, is scheduled for November 23 at the Jewish Community Center in Palm Springs. Richard Karp was a lucky $4 winner in the Rotary Raffle
Icon Presentations Jim Brock 2019-11-10 08:00:00Z 0

Bears Of Alaska

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 02, 2019
Our own Lillian Roberts shared photos of a trip to Alaska. Lillian visited Bristol Bay Sportfishing and Adventure Lodge located in the Bristol Bay-Iliamna area approximately 190 miles southwest of Anchorage. The area is the largest natural salmon spawning grounds in the world and that brings the bears out in force! Lillian shared plenty of bear photos and also photos of some of the other abundant wildlife in the area. Bristol Bay looks like a wonderful area for not only photography but also world class fishing. Thank you Lillian….we always enjoy your photography programs! Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourner Ray Leaycraft of Estes Park, Colorado. Ray will be with us for a month and then return to the desert after the holidays. Member Jack Cottrell returned from a trip to Oklahoma and brought a gift of sand plum jelly to Pres. Margaret. Sergeant-at-arms Kelli Cox collected Happy Dollars which will be dedicated to Find Food Bank this month. Kay “I Never Win” Van Zandt was our Rotary Raffle Winner. She drew an Ace and generously donated her $33 in winnings to our Find Food Bank collection.
 
Bears Of Alaska Jim Brock 2019-11-02 07:00:00Z 0

World Polio Day

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 30, 2019
Last week, Laura Ahmed, Cathedral City Rotary President and our district’s PolioPlus chair, was with us to provide a polio eradication update as part of our World Polio Day efforts. Laura was active in our End Polio Now projection effort and we thank her for that! Also last week, Rick Gross again introduced his Rotary Dine Around project where small groups of Rotarians gather for dinner monthly. More information this week!
World Polio Day Jim Brock 2019-10-30 07:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 19, 2019
Last week Pres. Margaret held a Club Assembly and we learned about upcoming service opportunities. A Rotary blood drive is beginning and P2P Rotarians will have an opportunity to donate on Monday, November 18 from 10-2 p.m. at Mechanics Bank. We also heard from Michael Rosenkrantz who told us about the 8th Annual Ability Festival planned for November 14 at Civic Center Park. Margaret was a lucky $10 winner in the Raffle.
Club Assembly Jim Brock 2019-10-19 07:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 19, 2019

Last week Pres. Margaret held a Club Assembly and we learned about upcoming service opportunities. A Rotary blood drive is beginning and P2P Rotarians will have an opportunity to donate on Monday, November 18 from 10-2 p.m. at Mechanics Bank. We also heard from Michael Rosenkrantz who told us about the 8th Annual Ability Festival planned for November 14 at Civic Center Park. Margaret was a lucky $10 winner in the Raffle.

Club Assembly Jim Brock 2019-10-19 07:00:00Z 0

New Member Jack Cottrell

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 13, 2019
New member Jack Cottrell was our scheduled speaker last week but, since no one took notes, we can’t really tell you what he had to say! Pres. Margaret did provide information about some upcoming events including the District 5330 Foundation Gala on November 2 at the Victoria Club in Riverside. We’re also planning to staff a Rotary booth at the Palm Springs Street Fair on October 17 to publicize World Polio Day. Two weeks ago, Jerry Kress pulled an Ace to claim $77 in the great Rotary Raffle.
New Member Jack Cottrell Jim Brock 2019-10-13 07:00:00Z 0

The Mary Kay Story

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 04, 2019
Member Chris Shippee gave us the story of Mary Kay Ash and how she founded Mary Kay in 1963. Mary Kay is now one of the largest direct sellers of cosmetics and skin care products in the world. The company’s motto, “Founded by a Woman, for Women” remains a prime focus today. The Mary Kay Foundation is also an important part of why Chris is a Mary Kay consultant. Locally, the Foundation supports Shelter From The Storm. Also last week, we inducted Jack Cottrell, a transfer from Coronado Rotary. Jack has already proven to be a wonderful asset to Palms To Pines Rotary. Foundation Chair Kay Van Zandt present Sojourner Rick Gross with a Paul Harris pin for his Foundation donations given through our club. Finally last week, Jerry Kress pulled an Ace and collected $77 from the great Rotary Raffle. Congratulations to Chris for an excellent program, to Jack, for joining our ranks, to Rick for his Paul Harris recognition and to Jerry for the Raffle win. All of you need to bring cash to this week's meeting!
The Mary Kay Story Jim Brock 2019-10-04 07:00:00Z 0

District Governor Visits

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 14, 2019
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.
District Governor Visits Jim Brock 2019-09-14 07:00:00Z 0

Demotion Party

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 21, 2019
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!
Demotion Party Jim Brock 2019-06-21 07:00:00Z 0

Cup's Cafe

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 08, 2019
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!
Cup's Cafe Jim Brock 2019-06-08 07:00:00Z 0

Social Breakfast

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 01, 2019
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.
Social Breakfast Jim Brock 2019-06-01 07:00:00Z 0

Humane Society of the Desert

Posted by Jim Brock on May 18, 2019
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.
Humane Society of the Desert Jim Brock 2019-05-18 07:00:00Z 0

RYLA

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 28, 2019
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.
RYLA Jim Brock 2019-04-28 07:00:00Z 0

Desert Trial Academy

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 20, 2019
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!
Desert Trial Academy Jim Brock 2019-04-20 07:00:00Z 0

Cannabis

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 14, 2019
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!
Cannabis Jim Brock 2019-04-14 07:00:00Z 0

Surviving Polio

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 07, 2019
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.
Surviving Polio Jim Brock 2019-04-07 07:00:00Z 0

Books, Books & Tony Danza

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 30, 2019
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!
Books, Books & Tony Danza Jim Brock 2019-03-30 07:00:00Z 0

Read Across America

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.
Read Across America Jim Brock 2019-03-23 07:00:00Z 0

Growing Coachella Valley

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!
Growing Coachella Valley Jim Brock 2019-03-23 07:00:00Z 0

Joslyn Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 17, 2019
Paul Clowers, Development & Marketing Director of Joslyn Center, joined us last week. The Joslyn Center opened in 1981 and serves the communities of Indian Wells, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage. Membership at the Center has grown by 20 percent in recent years and they now have over 2,000 members. Some 250-400 members visit the center each day and over 50 programs are offered each week. The Joslyn Center also operates the Meals on Wheels program for the area and in the last fiscal year they delivered 13,613 meals to clients and another 3,285 meals for client pets. The Center also operates a food pantry and 2,300 bags of groceries were distributed last year. The Joslyn Center is a non-profit and relies on donations and fundraising. The Center’s next major fundraiser is Joslyn In Bloom, their 10th annual fashion show planned for March 28.  You can contact Paul at 760-340-3220 for more information. Also last week, we presented our $1,000 contribution to the Read With Me program. Since Read With Me began, they have contributed 29,000 books to participants. Last week we had our largest turnout of the year….25 attendees. It was great to see so many seats filled! We really hope to see everyone again this week. Finally last week, Lillian Roberts had her ticket drawn and then proceeded to pull an Ace from the deck and collected $146 in the Rotary Raffle. Congratulations, Lillian!
Joslyn Center Jim Brock 2019-03-17 07:00:00Z 0

Desert Super Bloom

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 03, 2019
Was Doug Walker an Eagle Scout? Eagle Scout or not, Doug takes the Scouting motto of “Be Prepared” seriously and he was ready to serve as a last minute replacement speaker this past Wednesday. Our scheduled speaker was forced to reschedule but Doug stepped up and gave us a great wildflower bloom update. He even had handouts! Doug visited Anza-Borrego Desert State Park last weekend and says the bloom is well underway. However, he says we can see all kinds of wildflowers here locally without having to make the drive to Borrego Springs. Flowers are abundant along Ramon and Dillon roads and Edom Hill is covered with Desert Sunflowers. Doug also recommends the south entrance to Joshua Tree National Park along Cottonwood Springs Road. Doug urges us to park our cars and get out and get a close up look at the wildflowers. Many are tiny and you need to get down close to enjoy them. Doug recommended a couple of books to help us enjoy wildflowers as well as two websites. Anza-Borrego also offers an app for your phone which includes hundreds of wildflower photos to help make identification easier. Also last week, we learned we’ll be sending seven Xavier Prep students to RYLA this year. We’ll be interviewing the candidates soon. Finally, it was fitting that Doug Walker was not only our speaker but also our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Doug pocketed $10. Buy tickets this week!
Desert Super Bloom Jim Brock 2019-03-03 08:00:00Z 0

Desert Recreation District

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 23, 2019
Noelle Furon, Marketing and Public Information Officer for the Desert Recreation District, was our speaker last week. Desert Recreation District is the largest recreation and park district in the state and covers 1,800 square miles and serves more than 380,000 Coachella Valley residents. It operates 30 recreation facilities including community and fitness centers, parks, sports fields, swimming pools and even a golf course. Last year the district offered 2,800 classes in the valley. Noelle gave us an overview of the district’s extensive programming and told us about new parks and sports fields they are developing in the east valley. Here in Palm Desert, the District operates the Palm Desert Golf Center, home of The First Tee program, and just concluded the annual Senior Games and International Sports Festival. A wide variety of activities and classes are offered at the Palm Desert Community Center in Civic Center Park and several outdoor activities take place at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument building on Highway 74. For a complete list of classes and activities, visit www.myrecreationdistrict.com. Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourners Jim Davis from Calgary and Rick Gross from Germany. Doug Walker reports wildflowers are plentiful along Varner and Ramon roads north of I-10. Jim Eggers was a lucky $8 winner in the Rotary Raffle and he donated his winnings to our Read With Me project.
Desert Recreation District Jim Brock 2019-02-23 08:00:00Z 0

Why Do We Underachieve?

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 10, 2019
Last week we heard from Phillip Cox, a global business executive with over 40 years of management and entrepreneurial experience. Phillip currently lives in Indian Wells and mentors graduate business students at San Diego State University. He provided us with some extremely interesting tips on how to achieve success. Phillip’s most important law of life is “you must give others what they need and want first before you get what you need and want. Always in that order.”  Because people are more interested in themselves than others, you should always talk about an interesting subject……them. Phillip suggests using words like you, them and their rather than I, my or me. Phillip also provided us with tips on how to be a good listener as well as one final tip: “Say something nice about someone three times a day.” Thanks to Kim Hardee for arranging this very interesting program! Kim got to know Phillip through their work with animals. Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourners Harry Helliesen from Yakima, Washington and Norm Legare from Calgary, Alberta. Great to see you both! Finally last week, Jim Brock and Jerry Kress combined their raffle ticket purchases and won $5 in the great Rotary Raffle. The pair decided to let their winnings ride so buy tickets this week!
Why Do We Underachieve? Jim Brock 2019-02-10 08:00:00Z 0

Happy Birthday Jim!

Last week we held a Club Assembly to discuss our ongoing attendance issue. We must pay for 15 hot meals each week here at Desert Falls and we usually don’t meet that minimum. We discussed a number of options and members volunteered to follow up on several of the options. District Governor Ricardo Loretta joined us and shared some meeting location ideas with us. Ricardo also brought along information about the upcoming Rotary District 5330 Golf Tournament on March 15. The tournament will be held at the Tukwet Canyon Golf Course in Beaumont. Tournament proceeds will be used to support district youth projects and PolioPlus. Last week we also discussed possible upcoming community service projects. We plan to talk with Habitat For Humanity about joining a future work day and we’re also continuing to plan a tree planting project at Xavier High School. We’ll be meeting with Xavier representatives later this month. We surprised Sojourner Jim Eggers with a birthday cake to honor his 94th birthday. Thanks to Doug Walker for the birthday surprise! Our Happy Dollars continue to be dedicated to the Read With Me program. Kay Van Zandt was a lucky $7 winner in the Rotary Raffle and she decided to let it ride. Buy tickets this week!
Happy Birthday Jim! Jim Brock 2019-02-03 08:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 27, 2019
With us last week were Lothar Vasholtz, a member of the local Salvation Army advisory board, and Captain James Parks, Salvation Army Corps Officer in Charge of the local facility. Lothar told us the Salvation Army operates in over 130 countries and does so with just four levels of management. The Salvation Army is headquartered in London, England and they are affiliated with the Methodist Church. Captain Parks told us about the activities of the local corps. They are currently finalizing plans for the annual Veterans Expo. Over 70 organizations are represented at the Expo which is scheduled for April 6 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. Last year over 1500 veterans attended. In addition to the Veterans Expo and Holiday Bell Ringing, the Salvation Army provides weekly food distribution, after school programs, summer camps, a back to school shopping program, Operation Smile Savers - an oral hygiene program in the East Valley, Thanksgiving meals and Angel Tags - a program which last year provided 410 families with Christmas presents for 1800 children. All of these programs offer volunteer opportunities. P2P Rotarians volunteered for Bell Ringing this past year and collected $482, according to Captain Parks. We’ve committed to two days of Bell Ringing this coming Christmas. Also last week, Lillian Roberts was our lucky raffle winner and collected $4. Buy tickets this week!
Salvation Army Jim Brock 2019-01-27 08:00:00Z 0

Habitat For Humanity

With us last week was Dave Thornton of Habitat For Humanity. P2P Rotarians volunteered on a Palm Desert rehabilitation project in 2017 and our club may volunteer again this year. In 2018, Habitat constructed two new homes and rehabilitated 12 more in Indio in cooperation with the Home Depot Foundation. Over 250 volunteers took part. Dave told us the Habitat ReStore would be moving to a more visible location near Costco here in Palm Desert. The store offers new and gently used furniture, appliances, home goods and building materials. Also last week, Kay Van Zandt, Foundation Chair, presented Doug Walker with his seventh Paul Harris recognition award. Congratulations, Doug! President Richard Karp announced that our Happy Dollars for January and February would be donated to the Read With Me program. Read With Me officials hope to provide every child in the reading program with a book at the end of the school year. Finally last week, Jim Brock was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner. With only Aces remaining, Jim’s ticket was drawn and he was an automatic winner and collected $114. He donated $50 of his winnings to Polio Plus. Buy tickets this week and we’ll build the pot again!
Habitat For Humanity Jim Brock 2019-01-20 08:00:00Z 0

Martha's Village & Kitchen

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 13, 2019
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!
Martha's Village & Kitchen Jim Brock 2019-01-13 08:00:00Z 0

ABC Recovery Center Holiday Party

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.
ABC Recovery Center Holiday Party Jim Brock 2018-12-22 08:00:00Z 0

District Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 16, 2018
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.
District Update Jim Brock 2018-12-16 08:00:00Z 0

Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 08, 2018
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.
Volunteer Opportunities Jim Brock 2018-12-08 08:00:00Z 0

Fellowship Breakfast

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 02, 2018
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.  
Fellowship Breakfast Jim Brock 2018-12-02 08:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army Bell Ringing

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 25, 2018
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.
Salvation Army Bell Ringing Jim Brock 2018-11-25 08:00:00Z 0

The First Tee

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 17, 2018
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!
The First Tee Jim Brock 2018-11-17 08:00:00Z 0

Air Ambulance Services

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 08, 2018
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!
Air Ambulance Services Jim Brock 2018-11-08 08:00:00Z 0

Direct Current Therapy

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 04, 2018
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!
Direct Current Therapy Jim Brock 2018-11-04 07:00:00Z 0

Growing A Better World Together

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 28, 2018
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.
Growing A Better World Together Jim Brock 2018-10-28 07:00:00Z 0

Financial Scams & Red Flags

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 21, 2018
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.
Financial Scams & Red Flags Jim Brock 2018-10-21 07:00:00Z 0

Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 13, 2018
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.
Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo Update Jim Brock 2018-10-13 07:00:00Z 0

Promote-Demote BBQ

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.
Promote-Demote BBQ Jim Brock 2018-08-12 07:00:00Z 0

Summer Social Breakfast

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 29, 2018
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!
Summer Social Breakfast Jim Brock 2018-07-29 07:00:00Z 0

Cup's Cafe

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 21, 2018
Last week, nine Palms To Pines Rotarians gathered at Cup’s Café for the first of our planned Summer Social Breakfasts. No formal speaker is scheduled….we just meet, order breakfast on our own and socialize for an hour. Last week we got to meet Cup’s Café owners Nancy and Marcos and hear about their food and beverage history and their plans for Cup’s Café. The cafe is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. Join us this week for a great breakfast and Rotary Fellowship!
Cup's Cafe Jim Brock 2018-07-21 07:00:00Z 0

Kuzu Rug Road Trip

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 12, 2018
We enjoyed our first Road Trip of the summer last Wednesday when we visited new member Kerim Gokce’s Kuzu Rug. Kerim grew up in Istanbul and he says rug merchants had poor reputations and he wanted nothing to do with the business. He immigrated to this country and has now been in the rug business for over 20 years! There have been big changes to his industry in recent years. Consumers are no longer willing to pay high prices for high quality rugs and large companies in India and China now produce good rugs at a fraction of the price. Kerim is currently conducting a moving sale and plans to move his shop to a location next to Bristol Farms. The new shop will feature mostly samples instead of finished rugs and rugs will be made to order. Thanks, Kerim, for hosting us and giving us great insights into your business!
Kuzu Rug Road Trip Jim Brock 2018-07-12 07:00:00Z 0

Our Summer Schedule

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 08, 2018
It’s summer, it’s hot and we’re few in number. Because we have a 15 breakfast minimum at Desert Falls Country Club, we need to make other meeting arrangements during the summer months. We’re planning more road trips and we’re also planning informal breakfast get togethers each week. This week, we’ll take our first Road Trip and then we’ll be getting together for breakfast at Cups Café on July 18 and 25. Cups Café is located at 77912 Country Club Drive (one block west of Washington). You’ll need to take a moment each Monday morning and read your Rotary Newsletter or check the website to find out our plans for each week’s meeting. If you’re traveling to escape the heat, more power to you! If you’re here in the desert, please join us on Wednesdays!
Our Summer Schedule Jim Brock 2018-07-08 07:00:00Z 0

Backpacks For Kids

Palms To Pines Rotary is collecting backpacks and school supplies to donate to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission. The next time you’re out shopping, pick up an inexpensive backpack and add a few school supplies and then bring them along to our meeting or drop them off at Rabobank. Margaret Claggett has a collection bin for the supplies at the bank. Let’s help those in need get a good start to the coming school year!
Service Above Self!
Backpacks For Kids 2018-07-01 07:00:00Z 0

Desert Healthcare District

With us last week were Alejandro Espinoza, program and outreach director, and Herb Schultz, CEO, of the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation. The healthcare district board is finalizing the process of moving to district elections and the pair was with us to show and explain the various zone options. The district’s board is scheduled to select one of the options at a public meeting this Tuesday. The healthcare district was formed in 1948 to build and manage a public hospital (Desert Regional). Twenty years ago, the district leased out the hospital to Tenet and the district’s mission is now to connect residents to health and wellness services. The district’s Foundation funds various health-related programs. Lillian Roberts pulled the Ace and collected $20 in the Raffle.
Desert Healthcare District Jim Brock 2018-06-22 07:00:00Z 0

Summer Social Breakfast

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 16, 2018
We held our first Summer Social Breakfast last week and our small group enjoyed great Rotary Fellowship. We collected Happy Dollars and Pres. Richard announced that the funds collected will continue to be dedicated to our planned children’s book program. Margaret Claggett reminded Rotarians that we are collecting backpacks and school supplies to donate to Coachella Valley Rescue Mission. The next time you’re out shopping, buy some supplies for children who could use our help! Since the majority of attendees were P2P Board members, we went ahead and held our monthly meeting. We decided to hold a new member orientation meeting on June 27 and we are seeking fundraiser ideas. Margaret made it three raffle wins in a row and took home $5.
Summer Social Breakfast Jim Brock 2018-06-16 07:00:00Z 0

I Don't Look Good Naked Anymore

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 10, 2018
Last week Jerry Kress shared highlights of a recent Sun City Players production entitled “I Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore.” The two and a half hour production showcased the amazing musical talents of the Sun City residents participating including Jerry. The show featured all types of music and the entire cast joined in to perform the title track. Looked like a great show, Jerry! Margaret Claggett is continuing to seek back to school supplies and backpacks for donation to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission. Bring your donations to a future meeting or drop them by Rabobank. Margaret also made it two raffle wins in a row last week and drew an Ace to take home $53!
I Don't Look Good Naked Anymore Jim Brock 2018-06-10 07:00:00Z 0

Two New Rotarians

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 03, 2018
Although we failed in our attempts to see Jerry Kress naked last week, we did manage to induct the world’s two newest Rotarians. District Membership Chair Chuck Weisbart came down the hill from Idyllwild and we welcomed Chris Shippee and Kerim Gokce into Palms To Pines Rotary. Chris is a sales director, coach and mentor with Mary Kay Cosmetics and was sponsored by Margaret Claggett. Kerim is the owner of Kuzu Rug at Country Club and Monterey and Kay Van Zandt was his sponsor. We welcome you both and look forward to working with you! Also last week, we learned that Kim Hardee was selected as CV Weekly’s Most Interesting Woman of 2018 and the honor included a $700 donation to her charity Coachella Animal Network. Margaret Claggett was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and took home $20.
Two New Rotarians Jim Brock 2018-06-03 07:00:00Z 0

Real Estate Update

Posted by Jim Brock on May 25, 2018
Jim Brock was with us last week to talk about real estate. It’s turned into a sellers’ market here in the Coachella Valley with low inventories, rising prices and shorter times on the market. Affordability remains a serious problem throughout California but our home prices (a median price of $406,000) remain well below the statewide median of $584,460. The San Francisco Bay Area leads the state in prices with a median sale price of $1,010,000. Orange County’s median price of $818,000 is close to its pre-recession peak. Homeowners using Hero financing for energy efficiency improvement projects (solar, window replacement, etc.) are still running into problems when they wish to refinance or sell the property. Lenders will generally require payoff of the Hero loan before they will be willing to issue a new loan. Also last week, we learned we are continuing to plan a tree planting project at Xavier College Prep and Margaret Claggett announced a backpack and school supply drive for CV Rescue Mission. Kim Hardee won $4 in the Rotary Raffle.
Real Estate Update Jim Brock 2018-05-25 07:00:00Z 0

Coachella Animal Network

Posted by Jim Brock on May 20, 2018
Kim Hardee was our speaker last week and told us about the founding of her Coachella Animal Network (CAN). Low income people in the East Valley were (and continue to be) cited for failing to obtain licenses, vaccinations, and spay and neutering of their dogs and receive huge fines as a result. CAN offers low cost services to those individuals and, since 2013, over 4,500 animals have been spayed/neutered in her monthly clinics. Each clinic costs approximately $4,500 to operate and Kim relies on donations to make it work. Kim’s efforts have led to her nomination as one of CV Weekly’s 10 Most Interesting & Influential Women in 2018. The women nominated will be honored at a Thursday evening event at the Hotel Zoso in Palm Springs. Attendees will have the chance to vote for their favorite nominee and that individual’s charity will receive a cash donation. Make plans to attend and support Kim! Charley Riggs was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner last week and collected $20.
Coachella Animal Network Jim Brock 2018-05-20 07:00:00Z 0

RYLA & Estate Planning

We had a doubleheader last week when we heard from our RYLA representatives as well as our own Paul Parry. Kiana Rodriguez and Emily McGowan are both juniors at Xavier College Prep and both had enthusiastic comments about their RYLA experiences. Also joining us were Kiana’s father and both of Emily’s parents as well as Xavier College Counselor Peter Kulevich. Emily’s mother also had glowing comments about her daughter’s RYLA experience. District 5330 holds two RYLA sessions each year at a camp in Crestline. Part two of our program was Paul Parry who told us a bit about estate planning. One of the best estate planning tools is a living trust because it avoids the expensive state-regulated probate process and keeps your affairs private. Great job Paul! Also last week, Pres. Richard Karp announced our Happy Dollars will be going to purchase books for the Read With Me program and RYLA rep Emily won $3 in the Raffle.
RYLA & Estate Planning Jim Brock 2018-05-12 07:00:00Z 0

Pearl Harbor

Michael Carra, an aviation and military historian, presented a fascinating program on the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1941, the U.S. armed forces were the 19th largest in the world—a far cry from our present strength. Even so, the Japanese command felt they needed to put our forces out of action for a minimum of six months to have a chance at victory.  The Japanese attacked with 353 planes and miniature submarines and managed to destroy 347 of the 402 aircraft on the island as well as sink or damage eight battleships—a devastating loss to the U.S. Michael has a theory that one battleship was sunk by a miniature submarine and has received permission from the Navy to dive in the harbor to search for evidence. This was truly a fascinating program! Thanks to Kay Van Zandt for lining it up! Also last week, Lillian Roberts won $8 in the Rotary Raffle and donated it to PolioPlus. All of our Happy Dollars are going to PolioPlus so be happy this month!
Pearl Harbor Jim Brock 2018-04-22 07:00:00Z 0

The Salton Sea

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 15, 2018
Bruce Wilcox, the assistant secretary for Salton Sea Policy for the California Department of Natural Resources, was our speaker last week. Bruce manages the development and implementation of the State’s Salton Sea Management program and works closely with the Salton Sea Authority, area water districts, counties and other stakeholders. The Salton Sea will be smaller in the future and there are numerous projects to help mitigate dust and air quality concerns. There are also efforts underway to stabilize the salinity of the sea to protect fish and waterfowl. Without these efforts, we can expect to see a rapid increase in salinity in the coming years. Also last week, we bid farewell to loyal Sojourner Anita Ratchinsky from Alberta. We’ll see you next winter, Anita! Sojourner Rick Gross made it two raffle wins in a row last week. After winning the pot a week ago, Rick came back last Wednesday and collected another $6. Rick decided to let it ride so buy tickets this week! Thanks Rick!
The Salton Sea Jim Brock 2018-04-15 07:00:00Z 0

General Patton Memorial Museum

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 08, 2018
Last week we were prepared for tax tips but instead got the run down on the General Patton Memorial Museum at Chiriaco Summit, east of the valley. Michael Ables, museum executive director, was on hand to tell us about the museum’s various attractions and its expanding educational programming. The site of the museum was once part of Camp Young, an 18,000 square mile desert training facility established by George Patton. An estimated one million troops trained at Camp Young while it was active. The museum features educational exhibits from World War I through the present day and last year some 1,800 students from 30 schools toured the museum. The General Patton Memorial Museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Also last week, Sojourner Rick Gross pulled an Ace and collected $116 in the Great Rotary Raffle. Rick generously donated $40 of his winnings to Polio Plus. Thanks, Rick! To all the non-winners, buy raffle tickets this week!
General Patton Memorial Museum Jim Brock 2018-04-08 07:00:00Z 0

Read With Me

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 31, 2018
Roberta Klein of the Read With Me Volunteers was our speaker last week. This program was founded in 2004 and today they have over 750 volunteers reading with low income English as a second language students throughout the valley. When the program began in 2004, schools with high populations of students not reading at grade level saw graduation rates of just 51 percent. Today, with 750 volunteers and the Read With Me program, those same schools now boast graduation rates of 81 percent, higher than most schools in the valley.  In addition to in-classroom support, students also receive books for summer reading and many also receive help with school supply and uniform costs from volunteers. This program offers a wealth of volunteer opportunities and Palms To Pines Rotary may be joining them for some of their future efforts.
Read With Me Jim Brock 2018-03-31 07:00:00Z 0

LifeStream Blood Bank

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 18, 2018
Martin Arredondo, Regional Development Coordinator with LifeStream Blood Bank, was our speaker last week. LifeStream was founded in 1951 by the San Bernardino and Riverside county medical societies to insure a safe and adequate blood supply. Last year, LifeStream provided 230,000 blood products to 80 hospitals in Southern California. They operate five donor centers (including one in La Quinta) as well as 10 coaches for mobile drives. Lifestream also participates in the National Marrow Donor Program. Also last week, Martin Kubelik honored his children, JJ and Elsie, by contributing to make each of them Paul Harris Fellows. Thank you!. Our Happy Dollars for the month will be contributed to PolioPlus and Kay Van Zandt was a lucky $10 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Kay donated her winnings to PolioPlus.
LifeStream Blood Bank Jim Brock 2018-03-18 07:00:00Z 0

State of the City

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 11, 2018
Palm Desert Mayor Sabby Jonathan provided us with a mini “State of the City” address last week. Mayor Jonathan is extremely optimistic about our city but touched on some of our major challenges including the cost of public safety (now over half of our general fund budget) and regional homelessness. The mayor told us about the Palm Desert Strategic Plan and says our population (now at 50,000) should never exceed 100,000. He also touched on our city’s educational system. A Palm Desert student will be able to attend pre-school through university and eventually earn a doctorate….unheard of in a city our size. Also last week, Margaret Claggett made it two raffle wins in a row and collected $5. Buy tickets this week!
State of the City Jim Brock 2018-03-11 08:00:00Z 0

Pawnshield

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 04, 2018
With us last week were Tom and Michelle Bianco, owners of Pawnshield Fine Jewelry & Loan. Tom grew up in the jewelry business and the couple’s current business is located near Starbucks at 74836 Technology Dr. at the corner of Cook and Gerald Ford. They buy, sell and loan on fine jewelry and collectables. The pawn business has come a long way from the Hollywood stereotype of paying cash for stolen merchandise. Now, the industry is tightly regulated by the state. Less than one half of one percent of stolen property might turn up in a pawn shop according to Tom. Pawn loans are for up to four months and can be renewed. Some 82 percent of customers repay their loans and reclaim their merchandise. Interesting program, Tom and Michelle! Also last week, Margaret Claggett collected all of $6 in the Rotary Raffle and Doug Walker donated more Girl Scout cookies to the club. Cookie winners included Margaret, Jim Brock and Sojourner Jim Davis. Thanks, Doug!
Pawnshield Jim Brock 2018-03-04 08:00:00Z 0

Desert Best Friend's Closet

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 24, 2018
Connie Golds, founder of Desert Best Friend’s Closet, was our speaker last week. Connie founded the group 10 years ago and it has helped thousands of clients with wardrobe and image assistance since then. In addition to interview attire, Best Friend’s Closet also offers programs for veterans and a military ball gown and prom dress program. They also teach interview skills and provide resume help. They have an ongoing need for attire, volunteers and cash donors and will be holding their annual fashion show fundraiser on April 5. Also last week, we recognized Pres. Richard Karp’s birthday a day early and Jim Eggers was a $20 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Jim donated his winnings to Rotary Foundation. Foundation Chair Kay Zan Zandt recommended Rotary Direct as a painless way to make automatic contributions to Rotary Foundation. We’ll have signup sheets available again this week. Doug Walker donated boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and the lucky winners were Kay, Lillian and Paul.
Desert Best Friend's Closet Jim Brock 2018-02-24 08:00:00Z 0

Valentines Breakfast

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 17, 2018
Last week we skipped a speaker and instead enjoyed a great Rotary Fellowship breakfast at our weekly meeting. We welcomed back Sojourners Rick Gross from Germany and Norm Legare from Calgary and again welcomed guests Tom and Michelle Bianco. Pres. Richard Karp promoted the upcoming District 5330 Conference in Cathedral City on May 18-20. Richard wants to get a table of P2P Rotarians together for the event so put the district conference on your calendar now! Also last week, Treasurer Kelli Cox got the semi-annual dues invoices out so please pay promptly. In addition to your dues, please consider making additional donations to our P2P Rotary Foundation as well as to Rotary Foundation. Last but certainly not least, Jerry Kress was the lucky winner of the great Rotary Raffle. Jerry only managed to draw a three but that was good enough to break even for the week. Buy tickets this week…..let’s build the pot!
Valentines Breakfast Jim Brock 2018-02-17 08:00:00Z 0

Martha's Village and Kitchen

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 11, 2018
Kimberly Stauffer, senior manager of development for Martha’s Village and Kitchen, was our speaker last week. Martha’s Village and Kitchen is one of the largest providers of homeless services in the Coachella Valley and Riverside Country. In addition, Martha’s Village serves over 250,000 meals a year to those in need. While much of the Coachella Valley showcases wealth, Kimberly says nearly 40 percent of our population lives in poverty. Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourner Harry Helliesen from Yakima, Washington and we celebrated Sojourner Jim Eggers’ 93rd birthday with cupcakes and song. Rotary Foundation Chair Kay Van Zandt recognized Martin Kubelik for his fourth Paul Harris pin and Pres. Richard Karp reported that Indio Rotary’s Math Field Day is scheduled for April 28. We’ll have information about volunteering next week. Margaret Claggett provided boxes of Girl Scout cookies for the Rotary Raffle and Richard Karp and Lillian Roberts were winners. Martin Kubelik drew an Ace for the second time and donated his $35 winnings to Rotary Foundation.
Martha's Village and Kitchen Jim Brock 2018-02-11 08:00:00Z 0

Braille Institute

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 04, 2018
With us last week was Felice Chiapperini, educational programs manager for the Braille Institute. The Braille Institute was founded in Los Angeles in 1919. It started as a Braille library and soon evolved into a Braille bookstore and Braille book publisher. Now, the non-profit operates six centers throughout Southern California which provide fee programs, classes and services for the visually impaired. Felice told us how technology has improved the lives of the visually impaired. The smart phone, he says, has become the Braille of the 21st Century. Smart phones come with built-in technology for the blind and there are currently over 200 apps available to help the visually impaired. Also last week, Margaret Claggett was a lucky $4 winner in the Rotary Raffle.
Braille Institute Jim Brock 2018-02-04 08:00:00Z 0

Big Brothers & Big Sisters

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 28, 2018
Joanne Leinow and Yvette Aceves of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Desert were our speakers last week. This organization is celebrating 20 years here in the valley and Joanne told us that Rotary was one of its first donors. Big Brothers and Big Sisters currently has a need for male mentors in the east valley. Mentors can participate in a community based program or a site based program. Also last week, Doug Walker was honored with his sixth Paul Harris recognition pin and we welcomed back Sojourner Jim Davis of Calgary. Pres. Richard Karp announced a $250 donation to the Living Desert in memory of Madonna Marman. Martin Kubelik drew and Ace and won $135 in the great Rotary Raffle. Martin is contributing his winnings to the Rotary Foundation.
Big Brothers & Big Sisters Jim Brock 2018-01-28 08:00:00Z 0

Sojourner Social

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 21, 2018
We had no official program last week and instead spent time enjoying Fellowship with our members and Sojourners. We were happy to see Sojourner Jim Eggers and President Richard Karp back with us after each suffered a bout with the flu. Richard shared information about the recently passed federal tax bill with the club. Also last week, we again dedicated our Happy Dollars to help victims of the Santa Barbara fires (and now mudslides). We’ll be looking for a new worthy cause for the month of February so bring your ideas this week! Jerry Kress made it two Rotary Raffle wins in a row. Jerry had a one in three chance of pulling an Ace and taking home the pot but he was good enough to draw a 2 and take home $2. Buy tickets this week!
Sojourner Social Jim Brock 2018-01-21 08:00:00Z 0

Building Membership

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 14, 2018
Former Palms To Pines Rotarian Chuck Weisbart was on hand last week to share membership ideas with us. Chuck is currently a member of Idyllwild Rotary and serves as our District 5330 Membership Chair. Chuck told us that Rotary membership in the United States is falling but membership is up in most other countries. The key to attracting (and keeping) new members is visibility within the community and great speakers. Sources of new members include new Chamber of Commerce members, new business owners, speakers and the phone directory, according to Chuck. Also last week, we welcomed back two members….Kathleen Aguilera and Martin Kubelik. It’s great to see them both! Jerry Kress was a lucky $20 winner in the great Rotary Raffle.
Building Membership Jim Brock 2018-01-14 08:00:00Z 0

Neurofeedback

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 07, 2018
Our speaker last week was Dr. Connie McReynolds, who heads up the new neurofeedback clinic at the Palm Desert campus of CSUSB. Neurofeedback is a ground-breaking technique that challenges the brain to function better and it is being used to successfully treat PTSD, ADHD and ADD as well as a number of other conditions. Neurofeedback was developed at UCLA in the 1970s and has been used to successfully treat a variety of conditions since then.  Also last week, we welcomed the return of Seattle Sojourner Don Kraft. Don celebrated his 69th year of perfect Rotary attendance this past year! Pres. Richard announced our Happy Dollars would be used for fire victim relief this month and Lillian Roberts won her first Raffle of the new year. Lillian donated her $20 winnings to the fire victim relief fund.
Neurofeedback Jim Brock 2018-01-07 08:00:00Z 0

ABC Recovery Center Holiday Party

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 24, 2017
Palms To Pines Rotarians helped out at the ABC Recovery Center Holiday Party on December 18. We helped provide presents and serve the meal and our own Jerry Kress reprised his role as Santa.  Santa reports he and the kids had a great time and that ABC was extremely appreciative of our toy sponsorship. Thanks to all for your Happy Dollar support!
ABC Recovery Center Holiday Party Jim Brock 2017-12-24 08:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 10, 2017
Joining us last week were Gary Palmer and Ron Celona of the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre. Ron, who currently serves as artistic director, helped found the theatre nine years ago. For the past seven years, they’ve performed at a small space in The Atrium in Rancho Mirage. They’ve recently announced plans to move to a new 220-seat venue in Cathedral City. The new facility will take over the former IMAX Theatre and be called the Carol Channing Playhouse. CV Rep hires professional actors for all productions and has developed an outstanding reputation in the theater world. Also last week, we welcomed back Alberta Sojourners Ray Roth and Anita Ratchinsky. Sojourner Jim Eggers was a lucky $7 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Jim donated his winnings back to the club. The pot will be over $100 this week so buy tickets early and often!
Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre Jim Brock 2017-12-10 08:00:00Z 0

The Unforgettables Foundation

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 03, 2017
With us last week was Tim Evans, founder and CEO of The Unforgettables Foundation. Founded in 2000 and based in Redlands, this charity assists grieving families with burial expenses when they’ve lost a child. The Foundation continues to grow and now has affiliates in other states and in Canada. The Foundation has assisted over 5,000 families since its founding. Also last week, we welcomed returning Sojourners Jim Eggers of Omaha, Nebraska and Gerry Kelly of Victoria, BC. We also learned that the ABC Recovery Center’s annual Holiday Party is planned for Monday evening, December 18 at 6 p.m. Not only are we providing presents, we’re also helping to serve a holiday meal. Our own Jerry Kress will be playing Santa again this year! Jim Brock was a lucky $9 winner in the great Rotary Raffle. Jim decided to let his winnings ride and the pot should be over $100 this week. Be a winner….buy tickets!
The Unforgettables Foundation Jim Brock 2017-12-03 08:00:00Z 0

Food For Seniors

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 26, 2017
Palms To Pines Rotary once again stepped up to help low income adults during the holiday season. We dedicated our Happy Dollars and our club Foundation matched those donations to provide staples and food items for 10 households. The items were distributed by St. John's Lutheran Church. Thanks to Margaret Claggett and Dana Tarnow for doing the shopping!
Food For Seniors Jim Brock 2017-11-26 08:00:00Z 0

Holiday Auction Raises $2,800 

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 18, 2017
Palms To Pines Rotary collected nearly $2,800 from members and other generous attendees at last week’s Holiday Auction. We had a ton of great items and there were a tremendous number of bargains. We’re still looking to collect a few payments from members so bring your checks to our November 29 meeting.  A big, big thanks to Dana Tarnow, Margaret Claggett and Lillian Roberts for all of their hard work to make this event a success. Thanks also to all members who donated great items and placed bids.
Holiday Auction Raises $2,800 Jim Brock 2017-11-18 08:00:00Z 0

Music Mends Minds

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 12, 2017
With us last week was Barbara Fosse who told us about the Music Mends Minds program. This non-profit uses music to support the mind and spirit of people affected by neurological disease, cognitive decline and PTSD. The organization was founded just two years ago in Los Angeles and has already grown to include seven “bands” including a group here in the Coachella Valley called Tunes For The Memory. They meet weekly on Fridays at 2 p.m. at the Braille Institute in Rancho Mirage. Music Mends Minds is also sponsoring a Brain Health Awareness Expo this Friday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Braille Institute. The Expo is designed to bring together many of the organizations here in the desert which offer help, information, training and support to persons with brain issues. Please share this information with the families of anyone who might benefit from this amazing program.
Music Mends Minds Jim Brock 2017-11-12 08:00:00Z 0

Mini-CPR Class

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 04, 2017
With us last week was Dr. Ryan Nuqui of Palm Desert Resuscitation Education LLC. Dr. Nuqui’s company provides CPR training to health care professionals and other individuals. Dr. Nuqui urged everyone to learn CPR since four of five cardiac arrests happen at home. The life you save is likely to be someone at home: a child, spouse, parent or friend. Only about 10 percent of people who suffer a heart attack outside a hospital survive. Also last week, Foundation Chair Kay Van Zandt presented Kim Hardee with her first Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Congratulations, Kim! Butch Hartman promoted the 13th annual Pendleton Foundation Chef’s Auction scheduled for November 9 at the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort. Tickets are $150.  Margaret Claggett provided members with information about the Cal State University Associates 2017-2018 Speaker Series. Learn more at www.calstateuniversityassociates.com.
Mini-CPR Class Jim Brock 2017-11-04 07:00:00Z 0

District Governor's Visit

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 29, 2017
Manzoor Massey, Rotary District 5330 2017-2018 Governor, was our speaker last week. Governor Massey met with our club officers and directors on Tuesday evening and then joined us for breakfast on Wednesday morning. DG Massey spoke about The Power of One and told us that each of us should know at least five potential Rotarians.  He told the story of realizing he had never asked a close friend of 40 years to join Rotary. When he finally did, his friend jumped at the chance. Gov. Massey also talked about PolioPlus. Since the program’s inception, Rotary has vaccinated 2.5 billion children against polio. Last year there were only 12 reported cases of the disease so we are very close to ending polio. Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourners Dave Bangsund of Portland, Oregon, Ray Leaycraft of Estes Park, Colorado and Rick Gross of Germany. Dave Bangsund was also our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and would have won $8 had he not left early. Maybe next time, Dave!
District Governor's Visit Jim Brock 2017-10-29 07:00:00Z 0

Christopher's Clubhouse

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 22, 2017
Mika Moulton of Christopher’s Clubhouse was with us last week. Mika shared the story of her son Christopher’s 1995 kidnapping and murder and the subsequent founding of Christopher’s Clubhouse. The organization, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, provides safety education and self defense training for both children and adults. Because one in seven youth internet users receive unwanted sexual solicitations, Christopher’s Clubhouse also conducts internet safety presentations. The organization relies entirely on donations to fund its efforts. The next fundraiser is Eat, Drink, Paint on November 30 at PIRCH in Rancho Mirage. $45 per person includes all paint, supplies, canvas, food and wine. Tickets are available at www.ChristophersClubhouse.org. Also last week, we welcomed back member Mike Laughlin and Sojourner Wes Davis. We also presented Kay Van Zandt a $500 check to continue our support of the Palm Canyon Theatre signing project.
Christopher's Clubhouse Jim Brock 2017-10-22 07:00:00Z 0

Eagle Flights

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 15, 2017
With us last week were Arlene Wohlgemuth and Martin Davidow, members of the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association. The pair told us about their organization and its Eagle Flights program which provides free introductory flights to individuals who are interested in aviation and possibly interested in learning to fly. The next Eagle Flights day is planning for early 2018 and our speakers promise to let us know once a date is set. Martin Davidow told us about building his own plane from a kit. It’s a time consuming process but looks interesting and rewarding. Also last week, Kim Hardee promoted the ABC Recovery Center’s annual fundraising dinner on October 25 and Kim was also our lucky raffle winner and collected $5.
Eagle Flights Jim Brock 2017-10-15 07:00:00Z 0

First Hand Vegas Account

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 08, 2017
Last week we expected to hear from our District Governor but instead received a first person account of the Las Vegas shooting nightmare. Stacy Karp was a vendor at the Route 91 Harvest music festival and Richard filled us in on their harrowing experience. Thankfully, their booth location was out of the line of fire and, more importantly, Stacy dropped plans to watch the performance just before the shooting began. Also last week, Margaret Claggett, Paul Parry and Richard Karp received their recognition pins for their Paul Harris contributions.
First Hand Vegas Account Jim Brock 2017-10-08 07:00:00Z 0

KMIR Studio Tour

Last week we toured the KMIR television studios for our final Road Trip of the summer. KMIR is the local NBC affiliate and News Director Ross Becker led the informative tour.  KMIR produces five hours of local live television daily and there are over 70 people working at the facility. The morning television personalities begin work at 3 a.m. daily….they’re halfway through their day be the time we get up! The Coachella Valley is a small market ranked 140th in the nation, according to Becker. Another great Road Trip…thanks Lillian!
KMIR Studio Tour 2017-10-01 07:00:00Z 0

2nd Amendment Sports

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 24, 2017
Last week we toured 2nd Amendment Sports in Palm Desert. This store is the desert’s largest gun shop and offers a full range of weapons and services as well as an indoor shooting range. General Manager Ben Moran told us the store opened in 2013. 2nd Amendment Sports began in Bakersfield in 1993 and now has two stores there as well as a location in Tucson, Arizona and the Palm Desert store. The shop offers a number of classes including an introduction to hand guns class which includes two hours of classroom instruction and two hours of shooting different guns on the range. Cost of the class is just $75.
2nd Amendment Sports Jim Brock 2017-09-24 07:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Aquatics Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 17, 2017
Last week a few of us met at the Palm Desert Aquatics Center for an update on programs and events offered by the facility. It’s time to get back into weekly meeting mode, Palms To Pines Rotarians. We have two more excellent Road Trips planned and then we’ll be back at Desert Falls for the winter months. Program Chair Lillian Roberts works long and hard to line up interesting programs and it’s disappointing when we have a low turnout! We really hope to see all of you beginning this week.
Service Above Self!
Palm Desert Aquatics Center Jim Brock 2017-09-17 07:00:00Z 0

Top Of The Tram!

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 09, 2017
Palms To Pines Rotarians enjoyed dinner and Fellowship at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway last Wednesday evening. Upper tram station temperature was nearly 40 degrees cooler than on the valley floor and the journey to the top was spectacular as always. This will probably become an annual summer outing so make plans to be with us next time!
Top Of The Tram! Jim Brock 2017-09-09 07:00:00Z 0

Palm Canyon Theatre

Posted by Jim Brock
Palms To Pines Rotarians enjoyed a night at the Palm Canyon Theatre earlier this summer. Our own Kay Van Zandt volunteers at the theatre and our club has supported the theatre’s sign language program because of Kay’s involvement with the deaf community here in the desert. Thanks Kay!
Palm Canyon Theatre Jim Brock 2017-09-03 07:00:00Z 0

Tax Tips

Posted by Jim Brock on May 24, 2017
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!
Tax Tips Jim Brock 2017-05-24 07:00:00Z 0

Free Volt Energy

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.
Free Volt Energy 2017-05-21 07:00:00Z 0

Sojourner Social

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 23, 2017
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!
Sojourner Social Jim Brock 2017-04-23 07:00:00Z 0

RYLA Report

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!
RYLA Report 2017-04-15 07:00:00Z 0

Meals On Wheels

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 09, 2017
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!
Meals On Wheels Jim Brock 2017-04-09 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation Update

Posted on Apr 01, 2017
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!
Rotary Foundation Update 2017-04-01 07:00:00Z 0

Desert Classic Charities

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 26, 2017
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!
Desert Classic Charities Jim Brock 2017-03-26 07:00:00Z 0

Hospice

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 19, 2017
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!
Hospice Jim Brock 2017-03-19 07:00:00Z 0

CV Link

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 11, 2017
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!
CV Link Jim Brock 2017-03-11 08:00:00Z 0

Up With People!

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 04, 2017
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!
Up With People! Jim Brock 2017-03-04 08:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley Water District

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 26, 2017
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!
Coachella Valley Water District Jim Brock 2017-02-26 08:00:00Z 0

Desert RATS

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 19, 2017
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!
Desert RATS Jim Brock 2017-02-19 08:00:00Z 0

Desert Homelessness

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 11, 2017
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!
Desert Homelessness Jim Brock 2017-02-11 08:00:00Z 0

YMCA of the Desert

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 04, 2017
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!
YMCA of the Desert Jim Brock 2017-02-04 08:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 29, 2017
Last week Pres. Jerry Kress conducted his midyear Club Assembly. The big news of the day was the election of Richard Karp as our 2017-2018 President. Richard accepted the position with the understanding that club members will all give him tremendous help and support and we plan to do just that. Congratulations, Richard! You’ll make us proud! We also heard that our club will again sponsor six Xavier High School students for RYLA and that we are working with the Xavier Interact Club to identify candidates. Jim Brock recapped community service projects completed so far and reached out to club members for suggestions on additional hands-on projects for the rest of the year. Treasurer Richard Karp gave members a financial update. Our club Foundation has a balance of approximately $28,000 and the balance of our regular club account is $7,000. Program Chair Lillian Roberts asked club members for suggestions for future programs and for future Road Trips. International Chair Charles Riggs told us about our international projects. We’ve used district designated funds to support the Guatemala literacy project and he updated us on the Mexicali kitchen project. Martin Kubelik was our lucky raffle winner and donated his $20 back to our club foundation.
Club Assembly Jim Brock 2017-01-29 08:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley Women's Business Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 20, 2017
Last week we heard from Kim Scanlan of the Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center. The Center opened in 2006 as an offshoot of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship and offers workshops, counseling and networking to aid women with their businesses. The Center is not just for women. Kim tells us one quarter of their clients are men. Our own Kelli Cox is one of the volunteer instructors! Also last week, Doug Walker was recognized for his latest Rotary Foundation donation. Doug received his PHF + 4 recognition pin. Congratulations, Doug! Not only did Doug receive his latest Paul Harris, he also acted as our Rotarian of the Week plus won $2 in the Rotary Raffle. Our pot this week is well over $100 so buy tickets!
Coachella Valley Women's Business Center Jim Brock 2017-01-21 00:00:00Z 0

Desert Adventures

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 08, 2017
With us last week was Morgan Levine from Desert Adventures. Desert Adventures operates the red jeeps and offers a variety of tours of our desert area. Morgan entertained us with some great stories and, as Pres. Jerry says, “she has lived the entire history of the valley and knows all of the details.” Desert Adventures is a regular contributor to our fundraisers so, if you have guests in town looking for a great way to spend a few hours, have them visit www.red-jeep.com and book a tour. Also last week, Kay Van Zandt stepped up and filled in for an ill Jim Brock. Kay sold the winning ticket to Sojourner Rick Gross who won $7 in the Rotary Raffle. The pot is building….buy tickets this week!
Desert Adventures Jim Brock 2017-01-09 00:00:00Z 0

Holiday Social

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 31, 2016
What if we scheduled a meeting and no one came? That wasn’t the case last week when Palms To Pines Rotarians and Sojourners turned out in force but the Desert Falls staff were unaware we would be there. Rotarians set their own tables and the limited Desert Falls staff did a remarkable job of preparing a great breakfast. Rotarians didn’t let the confusion temper the Fellowship and we ended up having another great holiday social breakfast. Thanks, members, for pitching in to make things work out. We look forward to seeing you all again this Wednesday at 7:15 a.m.
Holiday Social Jim Brock 2017-01-01 00:00:00Z 0

Community Policing

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 23, 2016
Last week we had the pleasure of hearing from Joel Aguilera, an officer with the Palm Springs Police Department. Joel, husband of member Kat Aguilera, told us a bit about community policing. The city is divided into several neighborhoods and officers work the same neighborhoods, attend neighborhood events and meetings and get to know the people within the neighborhood. Joel also shared some common sense tips to reduce the risk of becoming a crime victim. Joel’s grandfather was a Palm Springs officer. Joel is currently on medical leave after being injured on November 30 while apprehending a burglary suspect. Also last week, Butch Hartman was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Butch pulled a three and let it ride. Buy tickets this week!
 
Community Policing Jim Brock 2016-12-24 00:00:00Z 0

Palms To Pines Holiday Party 2016

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 17, 2016
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Over 30 P2P Rotarians and guests enjoyed our annual Holiday Party on Tuesday, December 13 at Cuistot Restaurant. We enjoyed a wonderful meal, outstanding Rotary Fellowship and a fun gift exchange. Thanks to Pres. Jerry Kress and Kim Hardee for handling the arrangements! See the Photo Album for additional pictures.
Palms To Pines Holiday Party 2016 Jim Brock 2016-12-18 00:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army Bell Ringing

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 09, 2016
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Palms To Pines Rotarians spent last Friday Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army at Ralph’s in La Quinta. It was a beautiful day and shoppers were generous as always. Thanks to Ray Roth, Paul Parry, Wes Davis, Anita Ratchinsky, Dana Tarnow, Kathleen Aguilera and Jim Brock for donating two hours of their time.
Salvation Army Bell Ringing Jim Brock 2016-12-10 00:00:00Z 0

Loving All Animals

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 09, 2016
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Last week we had Janet McAfee of Loving All Animals with us. Janet gave us an update on this busy organization’s events and activities which include pet fostering and cat and dog adoptions. Their goal is placement of every animal so none are killed. They have a number of fundraising events throughout the year and have just opened a resale store on San Pablo here in Palm Desert. Also last week, Lillian Roberts was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and took home $20. Buy tickets to win!
Loving All Animals Jim Brock 2016-12-10 00:00:00Z 0

Food For Seniors

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 26, 2016
P2P provided nearly $500 in food and staples for low income seniors here in the desert. Working with St. John’s Lutheran Church, the food was distributed just before Thanks-giving. Thanks to Margaret Claggett and Dana Tarnow for doing the shopping!
Food For Seniors Jim Brock 2016-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

Holiday Auction

Palms To Pines Rotary collected nearly $4,500 from members and other generous attendees at last week’s Holiday Auction. We had a ton of great items and there were a tremendous number of bargains. We’re still looking to collect a few payments from members so bring your checks to our November 30 meeting.  A big, big thanks to Dana Tarnow, Margaret Claggett and Lillian Roberts for all of their hard work to make this event a success. Thanks also to all members who donated great items and placed bids.
Holiday Auction Jim Brock 2016-11-20 00:00:00Z 0

Desert Hyperbaric Medicine

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 12, 2016
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Corey Stogner from Desert Hyperbaric Medicine was with us last week. Hyperbaric therapy is a medical treatment that delivers 100 percent oxygen to patients within a pressurized chamber. Providing treatment under pressure increases a body’s oxygen saturation level and accelerates the healing process. The therapy is covered by insurance for a number of conditions and it is also used at Desert Regional and Eisenhower Medical Centers. Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourner Ray Roth who promptly drew an Ace and walked away with $135 in the Rotary Raffle. Welcome back, Ray!
Desert Hyperbaric Medicine Jim Brock 2016-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome Kelli Cox!

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We inducted Kelli Cox into Palms To Pines Rotary last week. Kelli has been a CPA for eight years and works for Godecke Clark here in Palm Desert. She’s been in the desert for four years and says she loves it here. She is a horse person and active in horse shows. After her induction, Kelli promptly won the Rotary Raffle. Please welcome Kelli Cox to Palms To Pines!
Welcome Kelli Cox! Jim Brock 2016-11-05 00:00:00Z 0

Braille Institute

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 04, 2016
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With us last week was Felice Chiapperini, a field service manager for the Braille Institute. The Rancho Mirage facility is one of five in Southern California and services clients in Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties. It serves 5,000 to 6,000 clients each year. Today, according to Felice, less than 10% of the blind read Braille. The advent of adaptive technology and smart phones allow those without vision to function. Also last week, we presented Kathleen Aguilera with a check for $110 to help the families of the fallen Palm Springs police officers.
Braille Institute Jim Brock 2016-11-05 00:00:00Z 0

Whoops!

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 29, 2016
Wires got crossed somewhere and we ended up without a speaker last week. We’ve rescheduled Carey Stogner with Desert Hyperbaric Medicine for next week. Without a speaker, we took extra time to discuss our November 16 Auction as well as the December 19 Holiday Party at ABC Recovery Center in Indio. Consensus is to make this our club holiday party this year and we’ll have more details in the coming weeks. We again devoted club Happy Dollars to our Thanksgiving Food Basket project and collected $171. J. R. Fleischner was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner.
Whoops! Jim Brock 2016-10-30 00:00:00Z 0

District Governor Visits

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 22, 2016
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Last week, Rotary District 5330 Governor Bob Duistermars of Hemet Sunrise Rotary visited our club. DG Bob met with the board on Tuesday evening and then spoke to the entire club at our regular meeting. We had a good turnout and DG Bob gave an excellent address. Also last week, we learned our Xavier High School Interact Club has received its Charter and we were happy to welcome back Past President Dana Tarnow. A job change will allow Dana to be back with us each week! We also welcomed back our first Sojourner of the season, Anita Ratchinksky. Our Happy Dollars will be used to help provide a bountiful Thanksgiving to needy seniors. Pres. Jerry won $10 in the great Rotary Raffle and let it ride. Buy tickets this week!
District Governor Visits Jim Brock 2016-10-23 00:00:00Z 0

Guatemala Literacy Project

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 14, 2016
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With us last week were Dick and Helen Anderson of La Quinta Rotary. The couple told us about a Rotary Foundation literacy project in Guatemala. This 19-year-old project now involves 477 Rotary clubs in 62 Rotary districts. The Andersons have been involved in the project since its inception and have made 11 trips to the country. Also last week, new member Kathleen Aguilera gave us an update on the memorial for the two slain Palm Springs police officers. Kat's husband Joel is a member of the Palm Springs Police Department so this tragedy hits all to close to home. We dedicated our club happy dollars to the memorial fund and collected $101. Margaret Claggett gave us an update on our Xavier High School Interact Club, Butch Hartman let us know the annual Pendleton Foundation Dinner and Chef’s Auction is scheduled for November 10 at the Ritz Carlton and Kim Hardee invited members to attend the 7th annual ABC Alumni Dinner at Ruth’s Chris on October 26. A visiting Indio Rotarian won $7 in the great Rotary Raffle.
Guatemala Literacy Project Jim Brock 2016-10-15 00:00:00Z 0

All Things Are Possible!

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Last week we arrived at Desert Falls and were welcomed by a dark and empty room. Our Desert Falls contact apparently left her position and didn’t bother to pass along our meeting schedule to her colleagues. Phone calls were made and we eventually managed to eat and enjoy a program by Bob and Nancy Horn of All Things Are Possible. This nonprofit uses music and dance as therapy for people with special needs. They offer 26 week programs and have a large facility near Sun City Palm Desert. This energetic couple has plans for all kinds of activities for people with special needs. Also last week, we learned that plans for our Xavier High School Interact Club are progressing. Kay Van Zandt was a lucky $4 winner in the Rotary Raffle and let it ride. Buy tickets this week!
All Things Are Possible! 2016-10-09 00:00:00Z 0

Take Shape For Life

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 01, 2016
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Last week we heard from Steve Wilson, a health coach with Take Shape For Life. Steve is a member of Cathedral City Rotary. Also last week, we recruited additional volunteers for Mini-Muster. We still need volunteers for Tuesday, October 11, at Jimmy Carter and Tuesday, October 18, at Gerald Ford. Please check your calendars and come prepared to sign up this week! Please remember that beginning this month, the meeting bell will ring at 7:15 a.m. We’ll start the meeting, conduct some business and then have time to enjoy breakfast and Rotary Fellowship before our speaker takes the podium. We look forward to seeing a full house this week!
Take Shape For Life Jim Brock 2016-10-02 00:00:00Z 0

ABC Recovery Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 20, 2016
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Last week we took our final Road Trip of the summer to ABC Recovery Center in Indio. Kim and John Hardee hosted us and we took a tour of the facility. ABC began in 1963 and has grown to a seven and one half acre facility offering recovery to nearly 130 people onsite. The average stay at the facility is 45 to 80 days and, in addition to a 12 step program, ABC offers clients a variety of life skills classes and training. Great tour Kim and John! Two weeks ago we learned that Palms To Pines has been approached by a group of Xavier Prep students about sponsoring an Interact club at the high school. We’ll learn more in the coming weeks and months but this is an exciting opportunity for us!
ABC Recovery Center Jim Brock 2016-09-21 00:00:00Z 0

Zika Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 17, 2016
We’ve found the secret to great meeting attendance…..just announce that Pres. Jerry will not be coming and all of a sudden we have 22 people attend! It was great to see Doug Walker and Jeremy Wittie with us and we put Jeremy right to work giving us an update on his agency’s Zika efforts. Lillian Roberts won $20 in the raffle and we combined her winnings with other Happy Dollars and contributed $100 to the Blue Cut fire victim Rotary fund.
Zika Update Jim Brock 2016-09-18 00:00:00Z 0

Desert Real Estate Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 27, 2016
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Jim Brock provided his annual real estate update to the club last week. The desert area bettered the rest of the state in both increase of sales price and home sales so far this year. Median price of sold homes rose to $350,000 in July and sales increased by five percent. The desert’s median home price is still well below the statewide median of $509,830. Also last week, Pres. Jerry Kress announced we would be using our Foundation District Designated funds for the ABC Recovery Center holiday party. Prospective member Kathleen Aguilera pulled the Ace and walked away with $41 of Palms To Pines money!
Desert Real Estate Update Jim Brock 2016-08-28 00:00:00Z 0

Pastry Swan Bakery

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 19, 2016
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Last week, Palms To Pines Rotarians visited Pastry Swan Bakery’s FIX Restaurant on El Paseo. We enjoyed an al fresco breakfast on the cozy patio and, as always, great P2P Rotary Fellowship. FIX is a small restaurant and has a very interesting menu. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our final Road Trip of the summer will be to the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway on September 14.
Pastry Swan Bakery Jim Brock 2016-08-20 00:00:00Z 0

A Survivor's Story

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 12, 2016
Last week, Pres. Jerry Kress shared a video of a moving speech given by an Indian polio survivor at PETs. The man was adopted by a family from the Yukon Territory so has had access to surgeries and rehabilitation and can now walk with the aid of crutches. He returned to India in 2002 and saw firsthand what is life would have been like if he hadn’t been adopted. He reminded the audience that in 1985, when Rotary started the PolioPlus program, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries. Last year, polio was endemic in just two countries and only one case of the virus was reported. Also last week, Margaret Claggett was a lucky $10 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Butch Hartman donated a bottle of Trump Bloody Mary Mix produced by a friend. The “Make Your Bloody Mary Great Again” mix was won by Lillian Roberts. Thanks, Butch!
A Survivor's Story Jim Brock 2016-08-13 00:00:00Z 0

Promote-Demote Party

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 06, 2016
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We thanked Past President Charley and welcomed President Jerry at our Promote-Demote party held on July 23. Thanks to Lillian Roberts for the use of her new home and thanks to those who attended.
Promote-Demote Party Jim Brock 2016-08-07 00:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 19, 2016
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Last week, members took a Road Trip to the Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center in Indio. Executive Director Linda York gave us a guided tour of the facility, which has been in operation since 1986 and open to the public since 1995. The Center cares for and rehabilitates orphaned, injured and sick native wild birds. We saw hummingbirds, ducks, various owl species, hawks and even a peregrine falcon. This was a fascinating visit. Thank you Lillian Roberts! Learn more at www.coachellavalleywildbirdcenter.org.
Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center Jim Brock 2016-07-20 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 18, 2016
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President Jerry Kress kicked off the new Rotary year last week with a Club Assembly. Jerry’s number one goal this year is to increase the “bodies in the room”. He has great plans to bring new members into the club and to improve attendance by our current membership. We’ll have more details about plans for the coming year in next week’s Newsletter. Richard Karp started the new year on a lucky note…..he pulled a Jack and won $20 in the Rotary Raffle!
Club Assembly Jim Brock 2016-07-19 00:00:00Z 0

Tolerance Education Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 02, 2016
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Last week we had a fascinating visit to the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage. Executive Director Melisse Banwer gave us a history of the Center as well as a tour. The Center’s mission is to promote tolerance, understanding, civility and respect for all peoples and it offers various programming in support of that mission. In addition to exhibits about the holocaust, the Center presents weekly tolerance-themed movies as well as rotating exhibits and programs for the LGBT and black communities. Last year, over 10,000 area school children visited the Center. The Tolerance Education Center is supported by endowments, grants and generous donations.
Tolerance Education Center Jim Brock 2016-07-03 00:00:00Z 0

Effective Public Speaking

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 24, 2016
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With us last week was Linda Jessie, a member of Desert Sunrise Toastmasters as well as Palm Desert Rotary. Linda gave us some excellent tips on speaking before a group. Since most of us have a fear of public speaking, Linda went over the “three Ps”…..Practice, Prepare and Present. You must first Practice what you’re going to say until you know the subject well. You Prepare by arriving at the venue early and meeting audience members and checking that any needed equipment works properly. Finally, you Present the talk and respect the audience by making sure to end on time. It was an excellent presentation and we all learned something! Lillian Roberts was a lucky $5 Raffle winner.
Effective Public Speaking Jim Brock 2016-06-25 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Sunset Charter Meeting

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 18, 2016
Several Palms To Pines members attended the Palm Desert Sunset Rotary Charter night last Thursday. District Governor Rudy Westervelt was on hand along with several past District Governors, other area club presidents and District Governor Elect Bob Duistermars. The new club’s charter members were introduced and officially became Rotarians. Attending from Palms To Pines were Jerry Kress, Kay Van Zandt, Lillian Roberts, Donna-Lee Ekstrom and Jim Brock. The club currently meets the first and third Thursdays of each month at Villagio Italian Kitchen on Cook Street across from the CSUSB Palm Desert campus.
Palm Desert Sunset Charter Meeting Jim Brock 2016-06-19 00:00:00Z 0

Lowe's Gives Back

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 10, 2016
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Last week we had several representatives of local Lowe’s stores with us. Linda Postelle, who works with Margaret at RaboBank, brought along her husband Don as well as Theresa and Dawn from Lowe’s. The trio told us about some of the local projects Lowe’s volunteers have participated in including work for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Indio Boys and Girls Club. Nationwide, 44,000 Lowe’s employees volunteered for local projects last year. According to the group, Lowe’s also takes care of its own – raising funds for fellow employees when there is a need. Lowe’s is considering a number of future local projects including assisting the Galilee Center, the Cathedral City Boys and Girls Club and the Children’s Discovery Center. Also last week, we started over with the Rotary Raffle and Kay Van Zandt gave it a big boost by letting her $20 winnings ride. Next Raffle is June 22.
Lowe's Gives Back Jim Brock 2016-06-11 00:00:00Z 0

Another Happy Hour Visit

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 03, 2016
A few of our members visited Happy Hour Rotary last Thursday evening. Pres. Charley Riggs reports that the meeting attracted 24 people so they now have enough prospects to officially apply for a club charter. Former P2P member Chuck Weisbart again spearheaded the meeting and PDG Chehab El Awar was also in attendance. They sought and secured charter club officers and Charles Erickson volunteered to serve as the new club’s first president. Charley reports the potential Rotarians are enthusiastic and excited. Joining Charley from Palms To Pines were John Marman, Kay Van Zandt and Butch Hartman. We’re scheduled for a return visit next week so please make plans to join us at Happy Hour Rotary on Thursday, June 16.
Another Happy Hour Visit Jim Brock 2016-06-04 00:00:00Z 0

Reverse Mortgages

Posted by Jim Brock on May 27, 2016
Randall Buffam, a reverse mortgage consultant with Arrowhead Capital Mortgage, was our speaker last week. Randall gave us the sobering news that nearly half of retirees run out of money in retirement. Reverse mortgages offer a way for retirees 62 years and older to use home equity to extend an income stream through retirement. Randall fielded lots of good questions indicating interest among members. Also last week, Jerry Kress filled in for Charley Riggs and joined other members in thanking Lillian Roberts for arranging a great evening at Escape Room Palm Springs. J. R. Fleischner, who consistently purchases three raffle tickets each and every week, drew an Ace and collected $248 in the Rotary Raffle. J. R. donated $100 of it back to us.
Reverse Mortgages Jim Brock 2016-05-28 00:00:00Z 0

Escape Room Palm Springs

Posted by Jim Brock on May 19, 2016
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Eleven Palms To Pines Rotarians and guests visited Escape Room Palm Springs last Thursday evening. We divided into two teams and spent the next 45 minutes trying to “escape” from the sinking Titanic. One of the teams managed to come up with the lifeboat key but was disqualified for a minor rules infraction. Great fun….let’s do it again!
Escape Room Palm Springs Jim Brock 2016-05-20 00:00:00Z 0

Tribes Of Ethiopia

Posted by Jim Brock on May 12, 2016
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Steve Bein was with us last week to present a program on the indigenous tribes of Ethiopia. Steve shared some great photos he took when he toured the remote areas of the country and visited five tribes. This was a fascinating program! Also last week, Pres. Charley passed around a photo of our Coachella Valley Rotary club billboard. It’s currently at Golf Center Parkway in Indio but will move to other desert locations in the future. He also reported that the Mexicali kitchen project is making its way through the Rotary Foundation grant process and that our club donated $100 to Indio Rotary’s Math Day. John Marman was a lucky $7 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Big bucks on May 25!
Tribes Of Ethiopia Jim Brock 2016-05-13 00:00:00Z 0

Happy Hour Rotary

Posted by Jim Brock on May 07, 2016
Last week several Palms To Pines Rotarians visited the proposed new Happy Hour Rotary Club on Thursday evening. Our good friend and former Palms To Pines member Chuck Weisbart conducted the meeting. The group hopes to attract enough interested people to charter a new official Rotary club. Chuck reports they have 14 interested people and need 20 to seek a charter from Rotary International. The group meets the first and third Thursdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. at Villagio Italian Kitchen on Cook Street across from the CSUSB campus. We’re planning to join them for another meeting on June 2 so mark your calendars! Rotarians attending last week were Charles Riggs, Lillian Roberts, Kay Van Zandt, Richard Karp, Butch Hartman (and Angie) and Jim Brock.
Happy Hour Rotary Jim Brock 2016-05-08 00:00:00Z 0

Summer of "Musical Meetings" Begins

Posted on Apr 29, 2016
No formal speaker last week but we did spend a bit of time going over our meeting schedule for the coming weeks. We’ve learned that the club has negotiated a reduced minimum at Desert Falls Country Club for the summer months so that should help our club treasury when we are meeting on Wednesday mornings. We urge you to pay attention in the coming weeks so you don’t end up in the wrong place at the wrong time! The club calendar on the back page of this newsletter as well as on the club website, www.p2protary.org, will be kept up-to-date at all times so pay attention! We’ll also send out weekly reminder emails. Also last week, Jerry Kress gave us a behind the scenes look at RYLA. Jerry has volunteered at his old district’s RYLA for many years and gave us details we don’t hear from our high school representatives. Jerry was also the lucky winner of $3 in the Rotary Raffle. He let it ride.
Summer of "Musical Meetings" Begins 2016-04-30 00:00:00Z 0

RYLA

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 22, 2016
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Last week we had our annual visit from our RYLA representatives. RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is sponsored by our Rotary District 5330 for high school juniors. The purpose is to expose them to Rotary and to help them develop teamwork and leadership skills. This year Palms To Pines sponsored six Xavier High School students. Four of them were with us last Wednesday and they told us about themselves and about their favorite activities during the weekend-long camp. Also last week, we learned that member Paul Parry underwent double bypass heart surgery. Jerry Kress reports the surgery went well and Paul should now be home recovering. Paul, we wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to your return! Last week’s Rotary Raffle pot reached $195 and Tiffany, one of our RYLA students, was a lucky winner of $2. Buy tickets this week! Draw an Ace and we’ll waive the “let it ride” rule!
RYLA Jim Brock 2016-04-23 00:00:00Z 0

Desert AIDS Project

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 16, 2016
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Jose De La Cruz, a community health educator with Desert AIDS Project (DAP), was our speaker last week. Jose joined DAP in 1994 when the organization had 450 clients. Today, DAP has over 2,400 clients and is recognized as one of the most successful AIDS organizations in the country. DAP provides counseling, treatment and even housing for its clients. It recently initiated Get Tested Coachella Valley, the first region-wide HIV testing program in the nation. Also last week, we bid farewell to Sojourner Anita Ratchinksy. We look forward to your return next winter, Anita! Pres. Charles Riggs also announced that the Mexicali kitchens project is proceeding and was recently provided with a Rotary International grant number, the first step in the Rotary grant process. John Marman was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. John collected $20 and donated it back to the pot. Buy tickets this week!
Desert AIDS Project Jim Brock 2016-04-17 00:00:00Z 0

Gadget Gal

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 08, 2016
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Jan Boydstun, the Gadget Gal from Kitchen Kitchen, was with us last week with a plethora of new kitchen gadgets. Not only did Jan demonstrate them, she also brought along a mini-store and donated 20 percent of her sales back to P2P. Kitchen Kitchen is located in Indian Wells and features everything a person could imagine for the kitchen. The store also offers cooking classes, knife sharpening and private events. Jan also hosts What’s Cooking With Jan Boydstun Saturday evenings on KMIR. Also last week, we bid farewell to Norm Legare from Calgary South Rotary. We look forward to Norm’s return next season! Pres. Charley reminded us that we’re still seeking a new breakfast venue. Let Charley know if you have any ideas. Our Rotary Raffle pot climbed to $142 and Jim Brock was a lucky $20 winner. Following time-honored club tradition, Jim let his winnings ride! Buy tickets this week!
Gadget Gal Jim Brock 2016-04-09 00:00:00Z 0

Escape Room Palm Springs

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 02, 2016
Mark and Dominique Fruchtman from Escape Room Palm Springs were our speakers last week. Escape Room is a live adventure game where teams have 45 minutes to seek clues and solve riddles and puzzles to find a symbolic key so they can “escape” the room. This new Palm Springs attraction has four themed rooms available and groups of three to 10 form a team. Mark is the president-elect of Palm Desert Rotary. Also last week, Don Kraft finally received his Sojourner badge….just in time for him to say farewell to Palms to Pines until next season. Ray Leaycraft of Estes Park, CO, also bid us farewell. John Marman was the lucky winner of two Escape Room Palm Springs tickets and Pres. Charley was an $8 winner in the Raffle. Charley let it ride.
Escape Room Palm Springs Jim Brock 2016-04-03 00:00:00Z 0

Sheriff Stan Sniff

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 26, 2016
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Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff was our speaker last week. Sheriff Sniff talked about the Indio jail expansion as well as budget problems facing the department. Even with the jail expansion, the county booked 50,000 people last year and the county only has beds for 4,000 inmates. San Bernardino, with half the population of Riverside County, has twice the jail capacity. The county has been inundated with applications for concealed weapon carry permits and the wait time is now over a year, according to the Sheriff. Also last week, Sojourner Harry Helliesen bid us farewell until next winter. We’ll miss you, Harry! Harry didn’t leave us empty handed because he won Easter candy donated by Sojourner Don Kraft. Sojourner Norm LeGuere won $9 and let it ride.
Sheriff Stan Sniff Jim Brock 2016-03-27 00:00:00Z 0

Mathnasium

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 18, 2016
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Brenda Rincon of Mathnasium was our speaker last week. Mathnasium is located here in Palm Desert and offers math tutoring for students using the Mathnasium Method. Brenda owns the business with her husband, Pedro, and she brought along daughter Sarah to handle the technical aspects of her presentation (thank goodness for teenagers!) In our current age, students must do well in math. The Mathnasium Method uses sophisticated techniques to determine what a student knows and does not know and then tailors a personalized learning program for each student. The most important aspect of the program is that the student is taught to understand the process in a common sense way. Mathnasium, which is been in business here since 2014, currently has 110 K-12 students enrolled and operates with 10 part time tutors. Also last week, Pres. Charley announced that the Mexicali kitchens project will undergo a thorough needs assessment as part of the Rotary Grant application process. We also recognized Sojourners Anita Ratchinksky for her upcoming 60th wedding anniversary and Don Kraft for his 89th birthday on March 20. Sojourner Kathy Martin made it two raffle wins in a row and again donated her $10 winnings back to the pot. Thanks, Kathy!
Mathnasium Jim Brock 2016-03-19 00:00:00Z 0

USS Iowa

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 12, 2016
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Steve Bein was scheduled to share photos and talk about indigenous tribes of Ethiopia but instead brought along Capt. Rich Abele, USNR (Ret.), who presented a program on the USS Iowa. Rich serves as a volunteer tour guide on the battleship, which is docked in Long Beach. The USS Iowa is one of four battleships built and all four are currently serving as museums and docked at ports around the country. The ship served during WWII, Korea and during the Cold War and was finally decommissioned in October of 1990. It arrived in San Pedro in 2012. The ship’s 16-inch guns have a range of up to 24 miles. A gun turret explosion in 1989 killed 47 sailors. The Iowa has the distinction of hosting more U.S. President’s on board than any other ship in the Navy. Rich is one of 800 volunteers who help staff the ship. It’s open daily for both guided and self-guided tours. Also last week, Pres. Charley delivered greetings from our Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo scout troop on their fifth anniversary and we learned that our happy dollars during February will go to support the Palm Desert Spirit Squad’s trip to the national championships. We started a new Rotary Raffle last week and Sojourner Kathy Martin was a lucky $4 winner. Kathy did the right thing and donated her winnings back to the pot. Buy tickets this week!
USS Iowa Jim Brock 2016-03-13 00:00:00Z 0

Palms To Pines Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 05, 2016
With the last minute cancellation of our speaker due to illness last week, Pres. Charley Riggs winged it and provided us with an update on recent board actions. At the last board meeting, club leaders approved funds for several projects. The board formally approved the Mexicali school kitchens project and the donation totaled $2,120. The board also approved a $500 contribution to the deaf interpretation program for Palm Canyon Theatre. Palms to Pines has donated to this program since it began 11 years ago and Kay Van Zandt, who has been active in the project since its inception, told us five to six plays will be interpreted this year.  Our board also announced a $1,200 contribution of the YMCA after school program. Board member Margaret Claggett told us about the program and about how much it has helped her family over the years. Pres. Charley Riggs told members about an upcoming Rotary Leadership Institute planned March 12 at Ortega High School in the Lake Elsinore area. The Institute provides vital training for Rotarians looking to take over club leadership positions. Jerry Kress announced an upcoming production of South Pacific by the Sun City Performing Arts Club. Play dates are March 31 and April 1, 2 and 3. Reserved seat tickets are just $15. Jerry was also the winner of the Rotary Semi-Mega Raffle. Jerry drew an Ace and took home the $77 pot.
Palms To Pines Update Jim Brock 2016-03-06 00:00:00Z 0

Baton Against Totality

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 27, 2016
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Last week, member Martin Kubelik told us the fascinating story of this father’s long fight against oppression by totalitarian regimes. World famous conductor Rafael Kubelik (1914-1996) used passive resistance during the Nazi occupation of his country during WWII and then fled the country during the 42 years of Communism. During the war, he refused to speak German, a language in which he was fluent, avoided compositions by Wagner and refused to conduct on Hitler’s birthday. When the Communists came to power and began pressuring him to join the Communist Party and dictating what compositions to play, he left the country with his family and refused to return. The government confiscated all of his property and sentenced him to three years of hard labor. When the Communists lost power, he returned and, on the eve of the country’s first free elections, conducted a concert in Old Town Square which attracted over 100,000 people. Thank you for sharing the story, Martin! Also last week, we recognized Lillian Roberts for her second Paul Harris Fellow. We also raised more funds for the Mexicali school kitchens project. On a sad note, we bid farewell to Sojourner Mike Wedekind. Mike and Gail have sold their Sun City home. Mike has been a strong supporter of our club and will be missed! Anita Ratchinksky was a lucky $4 winner in the Rotary Raffle.
Baton Against Totality Jim Brock 2016-02-28 00:00:00Z 0

Fellowship Breakfast

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 20, 2016
Since we lacked a formal speaker last week, members enjoyed Rotary Fellowship during a leisurely breakfast at Desert Falls. Pres. Charles Riggs was back at the helm and told us a bit about a membership workshop he attended the previous evening. One thing coming out of the workshop was a planned evening club here in Palm Desert. Tentative plans call for a 5:30 p.m. Thursday meeting. Also last week, we raised $269 in Happy Dollars which may be dedicated to the Mexicali school kitchen project. Anita Ratchinksky also told us about the upcoming Canada Fest on February 27-28 at Aqua Caliente Casino. Everything Canada will be presented at the event. Our 50-50 Raffle started from scratch last week and Donna-Lee Ekstrom was a lucky $8 winner.
Fellowship Breakfast Jim Brock 2016-02-21 00:00:00Z 0

Desert Symphony

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 13, 2016
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Nancy Tapick, president of the Desert Symphony, was our speaker last week. The Desert Symphony is the only paid symphony in the area and performs at the McCallum Theatre.  The symphony is celebrating its 27th year this season and it’s anniversary fundraising concert will feature Neil Sedaka on April 9. Other shows this season include Classical Mystery Tour, a tribute to the Beatles, on March 24 and Piano Men, a tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel, on April 7. In addition to its paid performances, the symphony also provides a number of concerts for area school children. Also last week, Don Kraft was the lucky $240 winner in the Raffle. Don announced he will donate his winnings to the club if we proceed with the Mexicali kitchen project.
Desert Symphony Jim Brock 2016-02-14 00:00:00Z 0

Mexicali School Kitchens

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 05, 2016
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Pres. Charley Riggs presented a proposed project spearheaded by Mexicali Industrial Rotary to provide kitchens to three additional rural schools in the Mexicali area. Ten years ago, Palms To Pines teamed with the Mexicali club to build one school kitchen and it has been running successfully ever since. This ambitious new project will involve multiple Rotary districts and district and Rotary Foundation grants. Our board will discuss possible participation at their February 17 meeting. Also last week, we wished loyal Sojourner Jim Eggers an early 91st birthday (Feb. 7) and Jim Brock had a 50-50 shot at pulling an Ace but instead drew a 2 to boost the Rotary Raffle pot once again. Only Aces remain so if your ticket is drawn you win the pot! Buy tickets this week!
 
Mexicali School Kitchens Jim Brock 2016-02-06 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 30, 2016
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We held our first Club Assembly of 2016 last week and Pres. Charley introduced Jerry Kress as our President-Elect. Jerry told us he joined Norwalk Rotary in 1983 and served as president of that club in 1987. He has held many offices in Rotary District 5230. He holds perfect Rotary attendance and is still active with his former district’s RYLA camps. Jerry spoke of his goals for his Rotary year as well as our club’s challenges (meeting minimums for Desert Falls). Jerry hopes to see our club add 10 to 12 new members during his term. He also wants us to enjoy more social events (see the Shen Yun information above) and take on a number of hands on service projects. He wants Palms To Pines to “feel good and do good” during his year. Also last week, Sojourner Jim Eggers was a lucky $20 Raffle winner. Buy tickets this week….just 2s and Aces left in the deck!
Club Assembly Jim Brock 2016-01-31 00:00:00Z 0

Human Rights In China

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 23, 2016
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Wen Chen, of New Tang Dynasty Television, spoke to us about human rights in China. Wen has spoken with us before and she again talked about forced organ harvesting and the persecution of people who practice Falun Gong. Over 100 million Chinese were practicing Falun Gong when persecution began in 1999. Since then, millions have been abducted, imprisoned, tortured, fired from jobs, expelled from school or forced into homelessness. Also last week, Jerry Kress was officially introduced as our President-Elect and Pres. Charles Riggs announced that we are currently seeking a President-Elect Designate to follow Jerry. Margaret Claggett is seeking volunteers to help out at a February 6 jazz concert benefiting the Fuller Center for Housing and Pres. Charley let us know the club contributed $500 to help pay for Rotaract members to attend the Peace Conference. Jerry Kress was a lucky $20 winner in the raffle. Buy tickets this week….just a few cards left and a $200+ pot!
Human Rights In China Jim Brock 2016-01-24 00:00:00Z 0

Fee-Only Financial Planning

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 15, 2016
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Joining us last week was Bob Machado, CFP, owner of Compass Rose Financial Planning in Palm Springs. Bob is a fee-only planner whose compensation comes solely from his clients. He receives no commissions or bonuses and does not sell any financial products. When Bob takes on new clients, they review goals and current cash flow as well as estate planning, risk management, retirement planning, tax planning and educational funding goals. He then comes up with an investment plan and manages that plan for his clients. Also last week, Doug Walker was recognized for donations totaling $3,000 to the Rotary Foundation. Doug also let us know that member Jeremy Wittie has been named general manager of the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. Congratulations, Jeremy! We also dedicated our club Happy Dollars year-to-date to help pay for Rotaract students’ registration to this past weekend’s Rotary World Peace Conference in Ontario. We raised $394 for the effort on Wednesday and it will be added to our January 6 Happy Dollar total. Finally last week, J. R. Fleischner was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. J.R. pulled a three and proudly took home $3. There’ll be great odds to win the pot this week so buy tickets early and buy tickets often!
Fee-Only Financial Planning Jim Brock 2016-01-16 00:00:00Z 0

Volunteers In Medicine

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 08, 2016
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With us last week was Dr. Doug Morin, executive director of Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine. Doug told us about the group’s Indio clinic and about their upcoming Wine Lovers Auction fundraiser on February 5. Complete details and registration information is available at www.wineloversauction.com. Also last week, we welcomed the return of member Martin Kubelik. Martin also received Paul Harris recognition for his Rotary Foundation donations totaling $3,000. We also read letters from ABC Recovery Center clients thanking us for their Holiday Party and Kim Hardee was a $6 Raffle winner.
 
Volunteers In Medicine Jim Brock 2016-01-09 00:00:00Z 0

P2P Holiday Buffet

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 18, 2015
We closed out our 2015 meeting schedule with our annual Holiday Buffet last Wednesday. We enjoyed Rotary Fellowship but did take the time to collect Happy Dollars for the ABC Recovery Center Holiday Party. In three weeks, our club raised a total of $661 to purchase presents for children of the recovery center’s clients. Also last week, he heard from Ricardo Loretta, District 5330 Membership Czar, who told us how other clubs are attracting new members. Butch Hartman was an $8 winner in the Rotary Raffle.
P2P Holiday Buffet Jim Brock 2015-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Brain Boosters

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 11, 2015
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Dr. Simone Ravicz was our speaker last week. Dr. Ravicz has a PhD in clinical psychology and is a certified business and life coach. Dr. Ravicz talked about ways we can train our brain to think differently. Dr. Ravicz is the author of Brain Boosters, Seven Ways to Help Your Brain Help Yourself. Also last week, our club Happy Dollars again went to the holiday party planned at the ABC Recovery Center on Monday, December. 21. So far we’ve raised $366 to purchase gifts for ABC clients’ children. We’ll make one more contribution this week so bring a bit of extra cash! Raffle winners last week were Dana Tarnow, who won a copy of Brain Boosters, and Jim Brock, who collected $10.
Brain Boosters Jim Brock 2015-12-12 00:00:00Z 0

Galilee Center Turkeys

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 02, 2015
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With us last week was Sal Sandoval, owner of Desert Empire Insurance Services. For several years, Sal’s company has donated turkeys to the Galilee Center to help families in the Mecca area. This year’s food distribution is December 21 and Sal is appealing to organizations to help out.  Volunteers are needed and he is also seeking donations to purchase more turkeys. Also last week, Pres. Charley is desperately seeking a President Elect since President Elect Training is coming up after the first of the year. If you haven’t served, it’s time to step up. We also agreed to earmark Happy Dollars for the ABC Recovery Center Holiday Party. Lillian Roberts won $7 in the Rotary Raffle.
Galilee Center Turkeys Jim Brock 2015-12-03 00:00:00Z 0

Thanksgiving And Bell Ringing

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 28, 2015
While we didn’t have an official club meeting last week, P2P members were still busy with volunteer activities. Our club raised over $600 to help provide a great Thanksgiving for eight senior households. Members Dana Tarnow, Margaret Claggett and Richard Karp did the shopping on Tuesday and the food and other household items were delivered to St. John’s Lutheran Church for distribution. On Wednesday, club members helped kick off the Salvation Army Christmas Bell Ringing campaign at Ralph’s Grocery. Thanks to members Kim Hardee, Dana Tarnow, Donna-Lee Ekstrom, Sojourner Anita Ratchinsky, Jerry Kress, Richard Karp, Jim Brock and J.R. Fleischner for taking part.
Thanksgiving And Bell Ringing Jim Brock 2015-11-29 00:00:00Z 0

SafeHouse of the Desert

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 20, 2015
Nicole Duarte and Billy William of SafeHouse of the Desert were our speakers last week. The pair work at Harrison House, a transitional living program for young adults aged 18-22. Harrison House opened in 2013 and is located in Thousand Palms. SafeHouse of the Desert also operates a 20-bed shelter for 11-17 year old youth in crisis. Harrison House is an 18-month program which provides young adults with food and housing and counseling to prepare them to successfully live on their own. According to Nicole, they have numerous opportunities for volunteers and they’ve invited us to visit the facility to see how they change lives. Also last week, Richard Karp was a $5 Rotary Raffle winner.
SafeHouse of the Desert Jim Brock 2015-11-21 00:00:00Z 0

Forced Organ Harvesting

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 14, 2015
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With us last week was Dr. Dana Churchill, West Coast Delegate for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting. Dr. Churchill presented a very sobering look at the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and the resulting forced organ harvesting. His group estimates that some 55,000 Chinese have been killed for their organs. While patients wait two to three years for a kidney in the U.S., Chinese transplant centers advertise they can provide kidneys in one to four weeks. Dr, Churchill urged us to call on our governmental representatives to support bill HR #343 to call attention to the practice. Also last week, Kim Hardee made it two raffle wins in a row and collected $20 in the Rotary Raffle.
Forced Organ Harvesting Jim Brock 2015-11-15 00:00:00Z 0

CV Link

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 06, 2015
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Tom Kirk, executive director of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, was with us last week to talk about CV Link, a 50 mile path which would connect eight valley cities and would be open to pedestrians, bicyclists and low-speed electric vehicles. This controversial project is projected to cost $100 million but Kirk pointed out that the ongoing Jefferson Street-I-10 interchange project is budgeted for $70 million. Kirk says $75 million in funding has already been secured for the project and that an environmental impact report should be completed next year. CVAG hopes to break ground in 2017. Also last week, Kim Hardee won $4 in the Rotary Raffle.
CV Link Jim Brock 2015-11-07 00:00:00Z 0

The Ukrainian Crisis

Posted on Nov 03, 2015
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Returning last week were Ann Jackson and Ukrainian ministers Maxim and Julia Belousov. Maxim reported on the ongoing civil war in his country. Over one million Ukrainians have fled their homes because of the war and Maxim and Julia have started a charity to help provide for the refugees. Channel 3’s Megan Terlecky was on hand to cover the visit so Palms To Pines received some great publicity on the television news. Also last week, Pres. Charley again called for members to bring children’s books for our speakers, Butch Hartman told us about the Pendleton Foundation’s November 12 Chef’s Auction and Jim Brock was a $7 winner in the raffle. Buy tickets this week!
The Ukrainian Crisis 2015-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

District Governor Rudy Westervelt

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 23, 2015
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Palms To Pines hosted Rotary District 5330 Governor Rudy Westervelt last week. DG Rudy met with officers and directors on Tuesday evening and joined our meeting on Wednesday. DG Rudy gave an inspirational address to our club and illustrated his talk with stories from his Rotary career. He challenged us to “Make the Impossible - Possible.” He also promoted our district Foundation Gala on November 14 (see above) as well as the Rotary World Peace Conference on January 15-16 (see below.) DG Rudy was joined by wife and fellow Rotarian Karyn and Assistant Governor Anita Gray of Palm Springs. Also last week, DG Rudy drew the Rotary Raffle ticket and Jerry Kress was a lucky $9 winner.
District Governor Rudy Westervelt Jim Brock 2015-10-24 00:00:00Z 0

Rethinking Philanthropy

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 16, 2015
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Program Chair Lillian Roberts shared a thought-provoking TED Talk about charitable giving last week. Dan Pallotta, founder of the AIDS Ride, talked about the double standard that exists between the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Too many people, Pallotta says, look at the cost of a charity’s overhead and ignore the charity’s net return. This scrutiny, Pallotta maintains, forces nonprofits to not spend of fundraising and, as a result, the amount of money raised is greatly reduced. This economic starvation is why charities are not making much of a dent in major social problems. Also last week, Lillian Roberts pulled an Ace and collected $100 in our Rotary Raffle. Buy tickets to win!
Rethinking Philanthropy Jim Brock 2015-10-17 00:00:00Z 0

Hooray For Hollywood

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 10, 2015
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We managed to get portions of Jerry Kress’ “Hooray For Hollywood” video to play last week but were left literally hanging when the video froze just before Jerry’s big finish! We’ll never know how it concluded but the good news is that Jerry plans to continue performing with the Sun City Performing Arts group so we’ll have opportunities to see him live and on stage at future performances. Also last week, we received an update from Rotarian of the Week Kim Hardee on her latest pet clinics and we learned Palms To Pines is providing banners for Mini-Muster. Margaret Claggett had to leave a bit early last week but that didn’t stop her from winning the Rotary Raffle. We’ll have $7 for Margaret this week!
Hooray For Hollywood Jim Brock 2015-10-11 00:00:00Z 0

Road Trip: Cooking With Class

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 03, 2015
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Palms To Pines Rotarians and guests enjoyed an evening of good food, drink and fellowship at our final Road Trip of the year last Tuesday evening when we visited Cooking With Class in La Quinta. Owner Jane Angwin greeted us and told us about her business and about Cork and Fork, their recently opened restaurant next door. Cooking with Class offers numerous cooking classes and special events and is also available for private parties. We enjoyed several hors d’oeuvres as well as wine and other refreshments. Special thanks to Butch Hartman for purchasing additional wine for the group and to Lillian Roberts for arranging this evening. This was another fun P2P event!
Road Trip: Cooking With Class Jim Brock 2015-10-04 00:00:00Z 0

Honorary Member Ken Roberts

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 27, 2015
Ken Roberts was recently named an Honorary member of Palm Desert-Palms To Pines Rotary by our board of directors.
 
Ken was a member and Past President of the Palm Desert Noon club when he was asked by the then-District Governor to spearhead formation of a Palm Desert morning club. He did so and was a Charter member of Palms To Pines and served as our club's president in 1986-87. He went on to serve as District 5330 Governor in 1992-93.
 
Member Kay Van Zandt recently corresponded with Ken and her report follows:
 
Ken and Jeni Roberts are living in Ephrata, PA, and they tell me it is beautiful there. For those of you who never had a chance to know or work with Ken and Jeni, suffice it to say our club would not be here today if not in large part because of Ken's unending dedication and efforts toward our success.  Because of the important role Ken played in the establishment and growth of our club for many years before relocating to PA, the board has named Ken an Honorary member of our club.  This is a long overdue and well deserved honor in recognition of his innumerable contributions to our club and District 5330 during his tenure as District Governor, and for the many other Rotary services he performed while here.  And Ken would be the first to give credit for his contributions to Jeni who was behind him and alongside him throughout Ken's Rotary years here in the desert.  Typical of their never ending commitment to Rotary, they are continuing their dedicated services with their local club and District.
 
Ken had a back operation early this year and Jeni had a neck operation 9 weeks ago, but they are both doing well.  Using Ken's own words, you can get an idea of what he and Jeni are up to in their PA Rotary activities. 

We are reaching hundreds of students in over 50 schools, with our 4 Way speech contest.  I moved the program to the fall.  We should double the number of clubs participating.  I think I will get 35 or more clubs out of 45 total in the District.  I am starting to look at starting one or possibly two Rotaract clubs this winter.  That is what keeps me busy,  Our Rotary has been great and the District people are just great.

Jeni has taken up knitting and runs the social life of our club.  She is also Director of Club service for our Rotary Club.  She started a Mahjong group that gets together every other Monday.

My Geology training has gotten me started collecting rocks and minerals from all over the world.

It’s good to hear that the club is doing well again.  Tell them Hi from both of us.  I really appreciate the Honorary Membership.  P2P will always be home to us.

With Love, Ken
Honorary Member Ken Roberts Jim Brock 2015-09-28 00:00:00Z 0

The Rotary Foundation

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 25, 2015
Jim Brock spoke to us last week about various ways we can contribute to the Rotary Foundation. We currently have 17 Paul Harris Fellows in our club. Jim started his presentation with a video from International President Ravi Ravindran and told us his goal is to see every member of our club make annual donations of $50 to the Foundation Annual Fund and $50 to Polio Plus. Jim distributed Rotary Direct forms to members. Rotary Direct allows donors to set up automatic credit card payments to the Foundation. Also last week, Margaret Claggett gave us an update on member Margot Serrano and Donna-Lee Ekstrom was once again a Rotary Raffle winner. Donna-Lee pocketed $20.
The Rotary Foundation Jim Brock 2015-09-26 00:00:00Z 0

Banking

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 18, 2015
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Margaret Claggett was our speaker last week and talked to us about changes in banking. Margaret has been with RaboBank for 30 years and tells us foot traffic into branches has dropped dramatically in recent years. She also told us about a resurgence of “check washing”, where bad guys get possession of a completed check and dip it into chemicals to remove the written information and then add their information and cash it. Banks offer fraud resistant checks to prevent this and she also recommends customers use electronic bill pay to completely eliminate handwritten checks. Also last week, Art Fleming was a lucky $5 winner in the great Rotary Raffle.
Banking Jim Brock 2015-09-19 00:00:00Z 0

The Drought and our Landscape

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 11, 2015
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Donna-Lee Ekstrom was our speaker last week and talked to us about the ongoing drought and how it affects our landscape. Donna-Lee warns that we shouldn’t rush to completely eliminate turf and trees from our landscape because they continue to be an excellent way to combat many environmental issues. Hardscape and artificial turf, Donna-Lee says, increase dust and heat. Our desert doesn’t really have many native plants but a variety of drought tolerant plants from other regions are available. Drip irrigation is an effective way to reduce water use and it’s also important to water at the proper time of day. Very informative program, Donna-Lee! Also last week, Lillian Roberts collected $4 in the Rotary Raffle.
The Drought and our Landscape Jim Brock 2015-09-12 00:00:00Z 0

Technology - 2, Palms To PInes - 0

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 04, 2015
We once again had technology issues last week and were unable to show highlights from the recent Sun City Players “Hooray For Hollywood” show. Jerry Kress, a member of the group, was our planned speaker. Donna-Lee Ekstrom didn’t let the fact that we only had eight members in attendance bother her and pulled an Ace from the deck and collected $72 in the Rotary Raffle.
Technology - 2, Palms To PInes - 0 Jim Brock 2015-09-05 00:00:00Z 0

ELF Bicycles!

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 27, 2015
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Last week we hit the road and visited Evan’s Eye Care to test drive the ELF bicycle. Greg Evans is selling these contraptions and we got to take several of them for spins around the parking lot. These three wheeled machines are electric and solar panels charge the battery for extended cruising. Top speed is 25 miles per hour and they have a range of 20-25 miles. Base price is $5,500 and you can learn more at www.elfbikes.com.
ELF Bicycles! Jim Brock 2015-08-28 00:00:00Z 0

This And That

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 21, 2015
Margaret Claggett, our scheduled speaker, was on bed rest following a slip and splash accident (she fell attempting to board a boat in San Diego) so we tried to improvise at last week’s meeting. Lillian Roberts had her computer re-boot just as she was ready to share a TED Talk video on philanthropy with us and Kim Hardee shared a short video of an Indio City Council meeting. Despite the glitches, the Rotary Fellowship was outstanding as always and we did manage to hold the Rotary Raffle successfully. J. R. Fleischner was a lucky $6 winner. There are just nines and Aces left in the deck so buy tickets at our next Desert Falls meeting (on September 2). We wish Margaret a speedy recovery and we still want to hear about banking!
This And That Jim Brock 2015-08-22 00:00:00Z 0

Mr. Tax Man!

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 14, 2015
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Richard Karp talked to us about taxes and methods of small business organization last week. Richard explained the differences between C and S corporations and LLCs and what type of organization is appropriate for your business. Richard also talked about the IRS crackdown on improperly classifying employees as independent contractors and the ongoing 30 percent tax credit for solar installation. Also last week, Doug Walker reminded members of the memorial service for former Rotarian Eric Vogt this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Cornerstone Covenant Church, 73605 Dinah Shore, Suite 100, Palm Desert. Art Fleming was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner last week. Art won $10 and returned his winnings to the Raffle Pot. Buy tickets this week!
Mr. Tax Man! Jim Brock 2015-08-15 00:00:00Z 0

Real Estate Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 09, 2015
Jim Brock provided an update on Coachella Valley real estate activity last week. Median sale prices and number of sales have increased slightly valley wide in the past year but Palm Desert is actually down a bit in both categories. Palm Desert currently has a 6.1 month inventory of homes for sale. Our city’s current median sales price is $184.89 per sq. ft ($167.00 for attached units). In addition to the update, Jim also told members of a major change in lending which begins Oct. 3. The federal government has dictated a change in lending disclosure paperwork and added increased timelines to the lending process. Some large lenders are suggesting 60 or even 90 day escrows because of the change. Buyers and sellers should be prepared for this longer sale process. Jim also talked about the pitfalls of using PACE/HERO financing for energy efficient home improvement projects. Also last week, Donna-Lee Ekstrom drew a King and took home $20 in the Rotary Raffle.
Real Estate Update Jim Brock 2015-08-10 00:00:00Z 0

End Of The Year Party

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 31, 2015
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Palms To Pines held an end of the year Social at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse last Wednesday evening. Members and guests enjoyed complimentary food (a full meal!) and some great Rotary Fellowship. Those of you who did not attend really missed out! Thanks to Kim Hardee for making the arrangements and preparing a Palms To Pines Rotary slide show which ran during the event and special thanks to Butch Hartman for picking up the tab for refreshments! Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come out and support Palms To Pines Rotary!
End Of The Year Party Jim Brock 2015-08-01 00:00:00Z 0

Children's Discovery Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 25, 2015
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Palms To Pines members (11 of us) hit the road last week on our first Road Trip of the summer. We visited the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage. New CEO Carol Scott led us on a tour of this impressive facility and shared her ambitious vision for the museum. Carol has directed children’s museums in Pasadena and South Carolina and brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her new position. Her plans include adding rotating exhibits to the museum and installing more interactive activities for youth aged two to 15. These plans are designed to get children coming back to the museum again and again. She also plans to add a program for “average” middle school students to get them enthused about volunteering and community service. This group could prove to be an excellent partner for Palms To Pines in future projects. Carol has been on the job less than two months but she has big plans for the Children’s Discovery Museum.
Children's Discovery Center Jim Brock 2015-07-26 00:00:00Z 0

The Jewelry Biz

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 17, 2015
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Our own Butch Hartman provided us with an overview of his long and varied career last week and told us just how he ended up here in the desert as a jewelry store owner and member of Palms To Pines Rotary. Butch began his working career in business banking in Orange County. He decided to change careers and joined a friend’s jewelry manufacturing business and helped grow that business and was eventually vice president before the owner decided to sell. Butch wasn’t in a position to buy the business so decided to go on the road as a jewelry sales representative. As the number of strong-arm robberies of sales reps increased, Butch purchased a jewelry store here in the desert and Hartman Jewelers has been on El Paseo for the past 18 years. Butch offers free jewelry inspection and cleaning and his goal is to “Make people happy.” Lillian Roberts was a $20 winner in the great Rotary Raffle.
The Jewelry Biz Jim Brock 2015-07-18 00:00:00Z 0

New Year Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 11, 2015
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Pres. Charley Riggs led a Club Assembly this past week. Charley recapped Rotary International goals for the coming year and challenged Palms To Pines to show a net three member membership gain this coming year. Club members also discussed possible new projects for the year. Charley also recognized Kay Van Zandt, Butch Hartman (18 years), Jerry Kress (32 years), Jim Brock, Art Fleming and Martin Kubelik for perfect attendance and honored Lillian Roberts, Brock, Fleming, Hartman and Kress for their service to the club last year. Butch was instrumental in collecting $3,100 in Happy Dollars last year! Donna-Lee Ekstrom was a lucky $20 winner in the Rotary Raffle.
New Year Club Assembly Jim Brock 2015-07-12 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Convention Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 26, 2015
Pres. Charley Riggs shared photos of his trip to the Rotary International Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil with us last week. Before the convention start, Charley joined other District 5330 Rotarians on a visit to a community recycling center our Foundation contributions helped fund. This International Project was supported by four Rotary districts and is located in a community of 30,000. The goals of the project were to clean up the environment, operate at a profit and provide jobs to locals. Charley reports the project is meeting all three goals. Charley also reported that 30 of Rotary’s 34 zones worldwide reported growth this past year and we continue to make progress on polio eradication. Also last week, Butch Hartman was a lucky $5 winner in the Rotary Raffle.
Rotary Convention Update Jim Brock 2015-06-27 00:00:00Z 0

Chinese Culture

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 20, 2015
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Dr. Wen Chen was our speaker last week and she told about the devastating effects of China’s Cultural Revolution and how the country is now experiencing a renaissance of traditional Chinese culture. Dr. Chen came to the United States in 1994 and is now a citizen. She is an associate biologist at Caltech and volunteers her time to educate the West about what’s happening in China. The destruction of traditional Chinese culture began with the Communist takeover of the country in 1949 and was especially severe during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. The Communists destroyed ancient artifacts and relics and tens of thousands of Chinese were jailed or sent to the countryside for re-education. Dr. Chen told us about Shen Yun Performing Arts, a nonprofit group which brings China’s traditional values to life with dance and music.
Chinese Culture Jim Brock 2015-06-21 00:00:00Z 0

Horses, Birds and Jaguars!

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 13, 2015
Our own Lillian Roberts came ready to show us photos of a recent Arizona bird photo shoot only to have her computer not cooperate. Lillian scrambled and shared photos she’s taken of a wide variety of subjects including horses, birds, jaguars, caymens (relatives of the alligator) and even bats. Even though her program didn’t go as planned, Lillian still managed to entertain us and provided a fascinating look at the techniques she uses to get some of her best shots. Technology has allowed photographers to produce what were once considered extraordinary photos on a regular basis. Also last week, Kay Van Zandt announced a planned Obamacare protest this week…..talk to Kay for details…. and Art Fleming was a lucky $2 winner in the Rotary Raffle. Art opted to “let it ride” so buy tickets this week!
Horses, Birds and Jaguars! Jim Brock 2015-06-14 00:00:00Z 0

CVAG

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Benjamin Druyon, a management analyst with the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), was our speaker last week. Benjamin told us that CVAG is funded by dues from valley cities and also receives state and federal grant money. CVAG oversees multi-city transportation projects and also promotes environmental initiatives. CVAG is starting to implement energy efficiency programs providing homeowners with financing to complete energy-saving upgrades to their homes. CVAG’s most high profile (and controversial) current project is the proposed CV Link, a 52 mile path for bicyclists, pedestrians and low-speed electric vehicles. This multi-million dollar project would run from Desert Hot Springs to Coachella and is being promoted as a safe, car-free method of transportation.
CVAG 2015-06-06 00:00:00Z 0

COD Public Safety Academy

Posted by Jim Brock on May 30, 2015
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Christopher Madigan, director of the COD Public Service Academy, was our speaker last week. The Academy was founded in 2001 and offers training for careers in law enforcement, fire science and services and emergency medical services. Each year the Academy presents a Top Cop award and this year it went to Brock Bowers who has begun working for the Palm Springs Police Department. P2P presented a cash award to Bowers at a recent COD awards ceremony. Madigan talked about the Academy’s success rate. Because there are few requirements for entering the Academy, only 15-20 percent actually complete the coursework. A recent fire science class had 23 graduates and 17 were immediately employed. Also last week, Art Fleming was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Art collected $3 and returned it the Raffle pot.
COD Public Safety Academy Jim Brock 2015-05-31 00:00:00Z 0

How Dogs Help Kids

Posted by Jim Brock on May 22, 2015
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Dr. Lori Friesen was with us last week to tell us about her program using dogs to help children read and succeed in the classroom. This new program is currently in use in five desert elementary schools at the second grade level. Some 112 students are currently involved. Dr. Friesen hopes to expand it to include additional schools and first and third grade classes as well. The program uses dogs--both real and toy--to make reading fun for the students in class as well as at home. You can learn more at Dr. Friesen’s website, www.howdogshelpkids.com. Since Palms To Pines already donates children’s books to area elementary schools, this program could be a perfect tie-in. Also last week, J. R. Fleischner was a lucky $7 winner in our Rotary Raffle.
How Dogs Help Kids Jim Brock 2015-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

Power To The People

Posted by Jim Brock on May 12, 2015
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With us last week was Jacques LaFebvre, who talked about solar power options. Jacques told us about advances in the solar power industry and believes now is the time for homeowners to invest in rooftop systems. He believes it is important to end our reliance on the international energy companies and suggests people should invest in solar panels and electric vehicles. Here in our desert, Jacques says, we’ll always need utility companies because of our high energy demands during the summer months. However, a properly sized solar installation will generate excess energy to be sold back to the utility company much of the year to offset the high summer charges. Also last week, Jerry Kress and Paul Parry were surprised when Jerry’s grandson, Sgt. Adam Seaholm, presented each of them with appreciation plaques for their help with recent legal issues. We’ll have more next week. Lillian Roberts returned from vacation and pulled an Ace to collect $58 in the raffle.
Power To The People Jim Brock 2015-05-13 00:00:00Z 0

Financial Wellness Check-Up

Posted by Jim Brock on May 08, 2015
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Mark McKell, the “Estate MD,” was our speaker last week. Mark provided some sobering statistics about how unprepared most Americans are for retirement. According to Mark, Fidelity Investments reports that the average 401k balance of Americans 55 and over is just $162,000 – not nearly enough for a comfortable retirement. He talked about various strategies for maximizing your income from Social Security and how your Medicare supplemental insurance policy is becoming one of your most important assets in retirement. Mark also talked about annuities and how they can provide a steady retirement income stream. Also last week, Foundation Chair Jim Brock presented Pres. Charley Riggs with his first Paul Harris Fellow award and Butch Hartman celebrated 18 years in business on El Paseo by providing Snickers bars to the members. Congratulations, Butch! Art Fleming made it two Rotary Raffle wins in a row last week. Art managed to draw a 10 and took home $10.
Financial Wellness Check-Up Jim Brock 2015-05-09 00:00:00Z 0

Cyber Threats To Our National Security

Posted by Jim Brock on May 02, 2015
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Our speaker last week was Jim McFarlin, an author and national speaker on the subject of cyber threats to America’s national security. Jim gave us a sobering assessment of just how little prepared business and government is to stop cyber warfare. He provided numerous examples of recent data breeches large companies have experienced. The crown jewel for cyber terrorists is our country’s electrical grid. There are four interconnected power grids in the country and, if they’re knocked off line, 85 percent of the nation’s economic activity would be at a standstill within 20 days. Cyber terrorism has leveled the playing field, according to McFarlin. Even small countries can do serious harm to our country. Also last week, club members donated $381 in Happy Dollars toward purchase of a Shelter Box for Nepal and, following the meeting, our board voted to allocate an additional $619 to complete the purchase. Good work, Rotarians! Art Fleming was a lucky $2 winner in the Rotary Raffle.
Cyber Threats To Our National Security Jim Brock 2015-05-03 00:00:00Z 0

Swim To Win

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 25, 2015
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A conflict prevented our RYLA representatives from speaking last week so Karen Creasey of the Palm Desert Aquatic Center joined us to tell us about an upcoming event to raise money for YMCA aquatic programs. Madison Rising, a popular patriotic rock band, will perform at the Agua Caliente Casino on Friday, May 22. Proceeds will benefit the Swim to Win Foundation and the event will be hosted by Olympians Janet Evans and Rowdy Gaines. Lillian Roberts would like to purchase a box for the performance so contact her if you’d like to join in the fun. Also last week, we learned that the Indio Rotary Math Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, at John Glenn Middle School. In past years, our members have volunteered at this event and it’s a fun morning for all. Let Pres. Charley Riggs know if you’d like to help out. We bid farewell to Sojourner Kathy Martin last week. We look forward to her return in the fall. Doug Walker pulled an Ace from the deck and collected $180 in our Rotary Raffle.
Swim To Win Jim Brock 2015-04-26 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Springs International Film Festival

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 18, 2015
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Kim Hardee told us a bit about the Palm Springs International Film Festival last week. Kim and her husband’s company handles the audio visual requirements for the Festival Gala and she brought along some clips showing just what’s required to stage an event of this magnitude. Kim had hoped to also bring along a representative from the Palm Springs Film Society to tell us a bit more about the Festival but a last minute cancellation forced her to go it alone.  Next year’s festival will be the 27th and each year more than 130,000 people attend. Over 400 volunteers are needed to stage the festival. The Festival Gala is one of the industry’s big three awards shows along with the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. Kim’s company also does the audio visual work for Fashion Week El Paseo. Thanks, Kim, for sharing what you do with Rotary! Also last week, Lillian Roberts was a lucky $20 winner in the great Rotary Raffle. The pot will be over $200 this week with only a few cards remaining. Buy tickets!
Palm Springs International Film Festival Jim Brock 2015-04-19 00:00:00Z 0

Deaf In A Hearing World

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 11, 2015
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Last week Kay Van Zandt brought along two friends and we heard from Samo Lascano who, with Kay’s help interpreting, told us about growing up deaf in a hearing world. Samo lost his hearing as a result of a high fever and he was not diagnosed as deaf until school. He began wearing hearing aids when he was 8. Samo attended regular schools and was passed from grade to grade and, as a result, only managed minimum proficiency in reading and math at high school graduation. Samo participated in sports in school and did well at wrestling, He also enjoys break dancing. Samo brought along a TTY machine the deaf use for telephone communication and told us about how technology has made life easier. Thanks, Kay, for a very interesting program. Kay did it all last week and filled in for an ill Pres. Charley Riggs. Also last week, we bid farewell to Sojourners Anita Ratchinksky, Ray Roth and Norm LeGuere and Art Fleming and Jim Brock were the lucky winners of $10 in the Rotary Raffle.   
Deaf In A Hearing World Jim Brock 2015-04-12 00:00:00Z 0

9-11 Eyewitness Account

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 03, 2015
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With us last week was Bert Upson who provided a riveting account of his escape from the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Bert had just arrived for a meeting on the 78th floor of the South Tower when the first plane struck the North Tower. Those on the 78th floor were lucky that the floor had an express elevator and, ignoring instructions to take the stairs, Bert and others in the meeting took the elevator and managed to get out alive. His account was fascinating and he has written a book about it. On A Clear Day is available on Amazon.com Also last week, Pres. Charley announced that our March Happy Dollars and P2P match mean SOS Ride will receive a contribution of $880. Also, we bid farewell to Sojourners Mike Wedekind, Lee Gingrich and Ray Roth. We look forward to seeing them next winter. Finally last week, Lillian Roberts drew a face card and took home $20 in the Rotary Raffle. The pot will be close to $200 this week so buy tickets!
9-11 Eyewitness Account Jim Brock 2015-04-04 00:00:00Z 0

Cyber Threats

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 28, 2015
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Gary Williams of Schaefer Williams, a Rancho Mirage computer firm, spoke to us last week about cyber security. Reports of hacking, ransomware, malware and cyber warfare have exploded recently and cyber threats could be the next big form of warfare. Gary highlighted several of the recent threats and, judging by the number of questions, could have spoken on the topic for days. Cyber security is clearly on people’s minds! Also last week, we began having to say farewell to some of our seasonal visitors. Member Martin Kubelik is heading home to Prague and faithful visitor Don Kraft is returning to Seattle. Don, a Rotarian for 60 years, says he’ll be telling Seattle Rotarians about spending the winter with a group of “real Rotarians”. Thanks for the compliment, Don! Our Rotary Raffle pot grew to $153 and departing Sojourner Harry Helliesen, who won it earlier this winter, took $5 back to Yakima with him. We look forward to seeing you next February, Harry!
Cyber Threats Jim Brock 2015-03-29 00:00:00Z 0

Up With People

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 21, 2015
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Up With People was in the Coachella Valley last week and Jennifer Carlson of Iowa and Isaiah McGregory of Colorado were with us to tell us about the visit. Up With People is celebrating its 50th anniversary and 110 young adults from 20 countries were here performing community service and also putting on two shows. The group members stayed with host families here in the desert and the proceeds from their performances went to the Ophelia Project. Up With People’s motto is “bringing the world together through service and music.” The members sign on for six months and visit communities in countries throughout the world. Also last week, we learned that our board has dedicated March Happy Dollars to the SOS Ride organization and we also have the opportunity to participate in a fundraiser working in the LPGA tournament concession stands. Sojourner Lee Gingrich was the lucky winner of $8 in our Rotary Raffle. We’ll be over $150 this week so buy your tickets early and often!
Up With People Jim Brock 2015-03-22 00:00:00Z 0

End of Life Options Act

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 14, 2015
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Dwight Moore was with us last week to tell us about the End of Life Options Act which is currently making its way through the state legislature. Dwight divides his time between the Coachella Valley and the state of Washington, one of five states which already have similar legislation on the books. The California law is modeled after Oregon law and would give a terminally ill, mentally competent California adult resident the legal right to ask and receive a prescription to hasten death after all required criteria is met. Also last week, we welcomed back member John Wohlmuth, who has been recovering from shoulder surgery, and Sojourner Lee Gingrich from Tacoma, Washington. Great to see both of you! Assistant District Governor Ricardo Loretta was on hand to light a PolioPlus torch (lucky the fire sprinklers didn’t go off!) and one of our visiting Rotarians won $7 in the Rotary Raffle. Martin Kubelik, Kim Hardee and another visitor won the last of the Girl Scout cookies donated by Butch Hartman.
End of Life Options Act Jim Brock 2015-03-15 00:00:00Z 0

End Of Life Options Act

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 14, 2015
Dwight Moore was with us last week to tell us about the End of Life Options Act which is currently making its way through the state legislature. Dwight divides his time between the Coachella Valley and the state of Washington, one of five states which already have similar legislation on the books. The California law is modeled after Oregon law and would give a terminally ill, mentally competent California adult resident the legal right to ask and receive a prescription to hasten death after all required criteria is met. Also last week, we welcomed back member John Wohlmuth, who has been recovering from shoulder surgery, and Sojourner Lee Gingrich from Tacoma, Washington. Great to see both of you! Assistant District Governor Ricardo Loretta was on hand to light a PolioPlus torch (lucky the fire sprinklers didn’t go off!) and one of our visiting Rotarians won $7 in the Rotary Raffle. Martin Kubelik, Kim Hardee and another visitor won the last of the Girl Scout cookies donated by Butch Hartman.
End Of Life Options Act Jim Brock 2015-03-15 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock
Last week, Pres. Charley Riggs had just returned from PETs so we held a Club Assembly. Charley reported that over 300 Rotary President-Elects from five districts attended the event and it featured some outstanding speakers. It’s already time, he says, for Palms To Pines to select a president-elect nominee to head our club in 2016-17. Charley discussed goals for the remainder of his term and for next year. He talked about Rotary Foundation giving goals for both PolioPlus and the Annual Fund and he led a lengthy discussion about membership. We’ll be talking more about both of these subjects in the coming weeks so bring your ideas! Also last week, we exchanged club banners with Geoff Faul, a visiting Rotarian from Ontario, Canada and Jerry Kress pulled a three to take home $3 in the Rotary Raffle. Martin Kubelik, Lillian Roberts and Kay Van Zandt were lucky winners of Girl Scout cookies compliments of Butch Hartman. Buy tickets this week!
Club Assembly Jim Brock 2015-02-28 00:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley Rescue Mission

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 19, 2015
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Scott Wolf, community relations manager of the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, was our speaker last week. The mission started as a faith-based soup kitchen in 1971 and has grown into an organization occupying a 43,000 sq. ft. facility in Indio. It serves over 200,000 meals a year and has space to house 225 people on a full time and temporary basis. Scott shared information about mission programs and invited all of us to tour the facility and volunteer. The mission operates on a $5 million budget and is nearly 100 percent privately funded. Also last week, we welcomed former P2P member and president Chuck Weisbart and learned he’s the Idyllwild Rotary president-elect. PETs – say this secret word at check in this week and receive three free raffle tickets! Butch Hartman was our lucky raffle winner last week and took home $2. Butch also provided more Girl Scout cookies and the lucky winners were Anita Ratchinksky, Jerry Kress, Art Fleming and Martin Kubelik.

Coachella Valley Rescue Mission Jim Brock 2015-02-20 00:00:00Z 0

Mysteries Of The Mind

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 13, 2015

Last week we were entertained by Carl Christman, a COD instructor who also performs at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Carl involved club members in his Mysteries of the Mind routine and demonstrated how he can influence minds with the power of either negative or positive suggestion. Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourner Roland Catenacci from Illinois and we kicked off our YMCA swimsuit campaign. Dana Tarnow left the meeting with $475 in contributions for suits so we’re off to a great start. The suits are for third grade students participating in YMCA swim lessons. P2P will again be sponsoring area middle school students to attend PRYDE, Rotary’s youth leadership program. We’ll be sending four students this year. Sojourner Harry Helliesen pulled an Ace and took home $147 in the Rotary Raffle. We had more Girl Scouts cookies donated and Roland Catenacci, Lillian Roberts and Jim Eggers all took home boxes.

Mysteries Of The Mind Jim Brock 2015-02-14 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Aquatic Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 07, 2015
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With us last week was Karen Creasey, YMCA Aquatic Manager for the Palm Desert Aquatic Center. Karen provided an update on the pool and told us about a new program to teach third graders to swim. The program consists of eight sessions and there is a need for swimsuits for many of the swimmers. Dana Tarnow will head up the effort of our club. We’ll provide suits sized 10-12 and they can’t be cotton because of the pool filtration system. You can either purchase suits yourself or provide money to Dana and she’ll do the buying. A visiting Rotarian from Normal, Illinois commented that his club purchases jackets for students but here in our beautiful desert, we purchase swimsuits! Karen also told us the Aquatic Center attracts over 110,000 visitors a year and they’re adding cabanas to the complex this year. Jerry Kress was a lucky $6 winner in our Rotary Raffle and Lillian Roberts and Sojourner Mike Wedekind won boxes of Girl Scout cookies donated by Butch Hartman.

Palm Desert Aquatic Center Jim Brock 2015-02-08 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Leadership Development

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 31, 2015
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With us last week was Rotary District 5330 Governor-Elect Rudy Westervelt and his wife Karen. Rudy led the club in an interactive workshop on leadership. Both Westervelts are past club presidents and Rudy went on to do training workshops at the district level and at PETS. One of his goals during his term as District Governor is to attract more women to Rotary and he hopes female membership reaches 50 percent. He’ll be directing a Rotary Peace Conference next year in Ontario and that event is expected to attract Rotarians from throughout the world. Also last week, Ricardo Loretta visited and announced that our valley wide Rotary scholarship fund has now reached $16,000. P2P is a donor and the scholarship will go to a student at CSUSB-Palm Desert. Jim Brock was absent last week so Butch Hartman handled the raffle and Margaret Claggett was a lucky winner of $20. Congratulations to Margaret! Buy tickets this week!

Rotary Leadership Development Jim Brock 2015-02-01 00:00:00Z 0

COD Alumni Association

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 23, 2015

Last week we heard from Past Rotary District 5320 Governor Jim De Boom, who currently serves as interim executive director of the College of the Desert Alumni Association. The 31-year-old association provides grants, gifts and scholarships to COD students. Income for the association comes from the highly visible street fair. The fair features 300 booths and is open weekends at COD. Statewide, 12 community colleges hold similar events and COD’s fair serves as a model for those events. Nearly $10.5 million in income has come from the street fair since its inception and vendors pay $1.2 million a year in business license fees to the City of Palm Desert. Also last week, Kim Hardee announced she is coordinating another low cost animal clinic January 30 and 31 at ABC Recovery Center in Indio. She’ll have more information this week. Martin Kubelik had a chance at $93 in the Rotary Raffle but had to settle for $5. Buy tickets this week!

COD Alumni Association Jim Brock 2015-01-24 00:00:00Z 0

Eyes On Greatness

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 17, 2015
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 With us last week was Abbie Joseph-Harrington of Eyes On Greatness. Abbie consults with a variety of small businesses, corporate sales teams and people looking to start businesses about sales techniques. She has more than 30 years of award winning sales and business experience and she gave us a very interesting talk on the importance of storytelling in successful sales. Although many of us are not in sales, we all have the need to sell Rotary so Abbie’s presentation was very relevant. Also last week, Jerry Kress promoted Born Yesterday, a play at Sun City which will be performed Jan. 23-25 and Kay Van Zandt told us that the Palm Canyon Theatre would be doing A Chorus Line with ASL interpretation on February 1. We can attend and sit in the ASL section for just $10! Palms To Pines has helped fund the interpretation of plays for a number of years. Finally last week, Sojourner Kathy Martin had the lucky ticket in the Rotary Raffle and took home $3.

Eyes On Greatness Jim Brock 2015-01-18 00:00:00Z 0

RYLA!

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 09, 2015
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Last week we heard from three of our four representatives to December’s District 5330 RYLA. The three – Fisayo, Sierra and Emerson – are Xavier High School juniors. As always, we left the meeting with renewed faith in the next generation because these students were sensational! All three were extremely articulate and all will grow to be outstanding leaders. Because of the popularity of RYLA (our camp is the largest in the country), it now been divided into two sessions. We’ll be sending three more student leaders to April’s camp. Also last week, we welcomed member Martin Kubelik back with us for his annual winter stay and he continues to maintain perfect attendance! Lillian Roberts announced that Country Club Animal Clinic will be holding an open house from 4-6 p.m. on January 22 to support Loving All Animals. She’s planning food, drink and they’ll also have dogs available for adoption! Kim Hardee started the new year off right by collecting $9 in the great Rotary Raffle.

RYLA! Jim Brock 2015-01-10 00:00:00Z 0

Holiday Breakfast

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 19, 2014

Last week was our annual Holiday Fellowship Breakfast. We enjoyed a great buffet and Jim Brock filled in for an MIA Pres. Charley Riggs. During the abbreviated meeting, Kim Hardee reported on the ABC Recovery Center Holiday Party. P2P Rotarians contributed funds to help buy presents for some of the center’s clients. Several Rotarians read thank you letters from some of the clients and it was obvious to everyone at the meeting that this was one of the most meaningful projects Palms To Pines has taken on. Here’s just one example, “…..I can’t express to you how appreciative I am. It has been years since I was able to give and wrap presents for my son. It is truly a memorable experience for me and what I believe to be a landmark in my recovery. I forgot how special family is. How special these times and holidays are. How special the memories are and just the little things in life are. Most importantly because of your help, I have a start at having a relationship with my son again. Thank you.” –S.L.

Holiday Breakfast Jim Brock 2014-12-20 00:00:00Z 0

2014 Holiday Party

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 13, 2014
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Our annual Holiday Party took place last Wednesday evening at Desert Falls Country Club. We had great prime rib and chicken and spent an enjoyable evening of Rotary Fellowship. Chair Dana Tarnow lined up a DJ for entertainment and the DJ even managed to get Rotarians up and dancing. Quite an achievement! We ended the evening with a Holiday Raffle and Jim Brock was the lucky winner of a round of golf for four at Desert Falls and Kay Van Zandt’s ticket earned her a $100 bill in the first ever John Marman Raffle sponsored by Sojourner Jim Eggers and wife Marge. We’ve added a number of photos of the party to a photo album on our club’s website at www.p2protary.org. Check it out! We thank Dana Tarnow for her hard work in putting this event together.

2014 Holiday Party Jim Brock 2014-12-14 00:00:00Z 0

Building Relationships

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 06, 2014
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Kathy Condon, a speaker, trainer and author, spoke to us last week about building relationships. In today’s connected world, according to Kathy, you have to combine social media and face to face networking to successfully build relationships. Every event is a networking opportunity and you should network at least three times a week. Kathy had some great tips for anyone in business. Also last week, we signed up to help provide gifts to children at the ABC Recovery Center holiday party and learned we’ll have another opportunity to help with Salvation Army Bell Ringing on Saturday, Dec. 20. Bell Ringing Chair Richard Karp will have a signup sheet at the Holiday Party. We also received a pitch to volunteer and donate to Rotary’s Rose Parade float project. Kim Hardee was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and took home $4.

Building Relationships Jim Brock 2014-12-07 00:00:00Z 0

Holiday Service

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 29, 2014
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Palms To Pines Rotary members con-tributed over $400 to provide Thanksgiving meals to five needy families here in the Coachella Valley. Dana Tarnow, Art Fleming and Jeremy Wittie visited Stater Brothers last week and filled a pickup with Thanksgiving meals. Service Above Self!

Holiday Service Jim Brock 2014-11-30 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Golf Fellowships

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 22, 2014

The last minute cancellation of our speaker created a hole in our programming last week but Sojourner Gerry Kelly and member Mike Laughlin stepped up to tell us about upcoming Rotary Golf Fellowship tournaments. Gerry is active in the International Golfing Fellowship of Rotarians and the 2015 tournament is planned in Turkey April 19-25. Gerry’s Victoria, BC club will be hosting the 2017 IGFR tournament. Mike Laughlin invited all Rotarians to the 2015 United States Golfing Fellowship of Rotarians tourney planned for Hilton Head Island May 16-20. Mike also told the club about the Monterey Bay Golfing Fellowship of Rotarians annual desert event on Jan. 17 and 18. Sojourner Mike Wedekind was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner and announced he would draw the Ace of spades and then proceeded to do just that and walked away with $106!

Rotary Golf Fellowships Jim Brock 2014-11-23 00:00:00Z 0

ABC Recovery Center

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 14, 2014
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Kim Hardee presented a program on the ABC Recovery Center last week. The center began in 1963 and has grown into an eight acre campus housing 120 clients at a time. Kim brought along Daniel M. who told us how the center has changed his life. Daniel was paroled 20 months ago and has been clean and sober since arriving at the center. Daniel has held a job for the past 17 months, the longest term of employment he has ever had. ABC holds an annual Christmas party and Palms To Pines may be involved with that. We thank Kim for bringing us a truly inspirational program! Also last week, we heard about this year’s District 5330 trip to India for their National Immunization Day. The 12-day trip is Feb. 13-24 and we’ll immunize children against polio. Donna-Lee Ekstrom won $3 in the raffle and donated it to our Thanksgiving food project.

ABC Recovery Center Jim Brock 2014-11-15 00:00:00Z 0

Sister Cities Trip to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 08, 2014
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Last week we heard from Pres. Charley Riggs about the August Sister Cities Committee trip to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. Taking the trip from Palms To Pines were Charley and wife Carol, J. R. and Connie Fleischner and John and Madonna Marman. Charley shared photos of the trip and also talked about the progress of the scout troop we help to sponsor. Sister Cities representatives presented the troop with $1,500—their half of the $3,000 sponsorship. J. R. Fleischner is working with a local scout troop to see if we can help to develop interaction between the two troops. Also last week, we learned that our September and October Happy Dollars totaled $622 and will be donated to PolioPlus. We also welcomed back returning Sojourners Rick Gross, Ray Roth and Mike Wedekind (who took home $7 in the Rotary Raffle).

Sister Cities Trip to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Jim Brock 2014-11-09 00:00:00Z 0

Host An International Student

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 01, 2014
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We had a busy meeting last week! Helen Holdun, the residential coordinator for gphomestay at Palm Valley School, was our featured speaker. She told us about opportunities to host international high school students who attend Palm Valley School. Host families receive a $10,000 stipend to assist in defraying expenses for the student during the year. Thirteen host families are sharing their homes with 16 international students at Palm Valley this year. Learn more at www.gphomestay.com. Also with us last week was Louise Neeley, the Palm Desert Historical Society chair of Mini-Muster. Louise presented certificates of appreciation to the P2P Rotarians who assisted in this annual event. Anne Jackson of Calimesa was also with us and brought along a Ukrainian couple who are coordinating relief efforts in their beleaguered country. Lillian Roberts was a lucky $20 winner in the Rotary Raffle.

Host An International Student Jim Brock 2014-11-02 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Campus of CSUSB

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 25, 2014

Priscilla H. Porter, Professor Emeritus from CSU, Dominguez Hills, was our speaker last week. Dr. Porter currently serves as director of the Porter History-Social Science Resource Room at the Palm Desert campus of CSU, San Bernardino. She gave us a brief history of the campus which is the valley’s only four year university. Last year’s freshman class consisted of 104 students and 94% returned for their second year. This year’s freshman class totals 113 students. The university is preparing to construct dormitories and expects a surge in enrollment once completed. Also last week, Kay Van Zandt reported that Young Frankenstein will be performed at the Palm Canyon Theatre on Nov. 2 with an ASL interpreter. Palms to Pines has long supported this ASL program. We also learned that we’ll again be bell ringing for the Salvation Army. The effort begins the day before Thanksgiving and will continue until Christmas. Richard Karp will have details. Butch Hartman won $8 in the Rotary Raffle.

Palm Desert Campus of CSUSB Jim Brock 2014-10-26 00:00:00Z 0

DG Shab El Awar Visits

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 18, 2014
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Rotary District Governor Chehab (Shab) El Awar made his official visit to Palms To Pines last Wednesday, DG Shab was accompanied by his wife, Bricia, and Assistant Governor Ricardo Loretta. DG Shab, who has only been a Rotarian for 16 years, talked of his passion for Rotary and the importance of each individual Rotarian….”When you build a castle, every nail helps.” DG Shab recognized members John Wohlmuth, Jim Brock and Margaret Claggett with Service With Passion medallions and also honored Treasurer Art Fleming with his first Paul Harris Fellow award. Not only did John Wohlmuth win a medallion, he also was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. His luck ran out, however, when he only managed to draw a two from the deck!

DG Shab El Awar Visits Jim Brock 2014-10-19 00:00:00Z 0

Housing For Veterans

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 11, 2014
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Jeff Moritz of the Fuller Center for Housing was our speaker last week. This organization works with the elderly and veteran families to help them with housing. They have rehabbed homes here in the Coachella Valley and, on Nov. 15 and 16, they’re planning their most ambitious project to date – building an entire home from the ground up in just two to three days! The home is in 29 Palms and will be sold to a veteran with a no interest loan. There are numerous volunteer opportunities on this project and there will be more opportunities for help on future projects. Also last week, Vocational Service Chair Jeremy Wittie appealed to club members for vocational service project ideas. Let Jeremy know if you liked a previous project or have ideas for something new!

Housing For Veterans Jim Brock 2014-10-12 00:00:00Z 0

East Valley Health Care Initiative

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 03, 2014
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With us last week was Assistant District Governor Ricardo Loretta providing us with an update on Rotary’s East Coachella Valley Health Initiative. Palms To Pines has contributed to this undertaking and Ricardo told us just what’s been accomplished to date. The initiative began three years ago when Palm Desert Rotary helped distribute food from a Thermal parking lot. Since then, Galilee Center has grown and now operates out of a Mecca warehouse complete with refrigeration and a delivery vehicle. Other projects include visiting medical teams, water filtration, education and computers. Also last week, Jerry Kress introduced his special guest Max Stern and Sojourner Rick Gross made a visit. We also learned that our September Happy Dollars totaled $241. Happy Dollars for September and October will be donated to PolioPlus. Butch Hartman was the lucky winner of $5 in the Rotary Raffle.

East Valley Health Care Initiative Jim Brock 2014-10-04 00:00:00Z 0

Divorce 101

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 27, 2014
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Our own Paul Parry spoke to us last week about divorce. Paul told us that California has been a no fault divorce state since 1969 so we no longer have to hire a private detective to catch our spouse in the act. Since California is a community property state, everything acquired during a marriage is generally split 50-50 between the spouses. The three big issues to resolve are the division of property, custody of children and support. Thanks, Paul, for doing your part to keep our marriages together! Also last week, Dana Tarnow told us our club’s annual Holiday Party is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 11 so put this on your calendar now! Assistant District Governor Ricardo Loretta was with us and reminded us that the annual District Foundation Gala is scheduled for Oct. 25. We’ll have more information next week. Donna-Lee Ekstrom drew an Ace and took home $120 in the Raffle. She promises a donation this week!

Divorce 101 Jim Brock 2014-09-28 00:00:00Z 0

Desert Falls Country Club

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 20, 2014

With us last week was Dan McMahan, membership director at Desert Falls Country Club. Although we meet at the club on a weekly basis, most of us have little idea of what goes on at Desert Falls besides our meetings. Desert Falls is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and they have special events scheduled throughout the year to celebrate. To survive today, country clubs must offer members more than just golf and dining, according to Dan. Desert Falls has 50 to 60 events on the calendar for the coming season and many of them are family oriented. To celebrate the 30th anniversary, Desert Falls is offering a discounted initiation fee for new members. Also last week Jerry Kress instituted a “buddy system” to encourage attendance. Members will be calling missing members to urge them to come to our weekly meetings. Butch Hartman had to settle for $20 in the Rotary Raffle. Big pot this week!

Desert Falls Country Club Jim Brock 2014-09-21 00:00:00Z 0

Photography Tips

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 13, 2014
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Our own Rob Strain shared photography tips and some of his favorite photos with us last week.  Although rain hampered his photographic efforts on a recent visit to Glacier National Park, Rob did make a visit to Arizona and shared some beautiful scenes from that trip. Essential equipment for good photos includes a tripod, multiple lenses, filters and a cable shutter release, according to Rob. For those of us with only pocket cameras and smart phones, Rob also covered some basic design elements needed for good photos and how to use those elements in different ways for different effects. Memorable photos result from looking for the unusual, according to Rob. Also last week, Lillian Roberts received her sponsor’s pin for sponsoring new member Kim Hardee and we learned P2P will have a booth at the Palm Desert Chamber’s Business Expo at Fantasy Springs on Oct. 2. Butch Hartman collected $10 in the Rotary Raffle.

Photography Tips Jim Brock 2014-09-14 00:00:00Z 0

YMCA Y Be Fit Challenge

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 06, 2014
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YMCA Executive Director Rob Ballew and board member Sabby Jonathan were with us last week to promote the Y’s upcoming Y Be Fit Challenge. This event will be held on Sunday, October 12 at Civic Center Park and will feature a reverse mini-triathlon, 5K Run//Walk and a 1K Color Run. In addition to the races, the Y Be Fit Challenge will also feature a health and fitness fair, booths, activities, music and free swimming at the Palm Desert Aquatics Center after the event. Rob also talked about the many programs the YMCA offers here in the desert. The Y operates the Aquatics Center which received over 120,000 visits last year. Other programs include camps, preschool, child care and many athletic programs. Also last week, we learned that our September and October Happy Dollar donations will benefit Polio Plus. Kim Hardee was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Kim took home $9. We’ll have over $100 in the pot this week so make sure and buy tickets!

YMCA Y Be Fit Challenge Jim Brock 2014-09-07 00:00:00Z 0

CV Mosquito & Vector Control District

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 26, 2014
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Last week, 14 Palms To Pines members and guests enjoyed our final Road Trip of the summer when we visited the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District facility in Indio. Member Jeremy Wittie was our host and member Doug Walker, who serves on the district’s board of directors, was on hand to provide additional input. Jeremy did a great job of explaining the ways mosquitoes are monitored and we saw traps used in the process as well as learned about the chemicals used for control of both mosquitoes and red imported fire ants. We also toured the district’s new laboratory. The new lab will allow the district to fine tune its quality control efforts. Very informative!

CV Mosquito & Vector Control District Jim Brock 2014-08-27 00:00:00Z 0

Tax Strategies

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 22, 2014
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CPA Richard Karp spoke to us last week about tax strategies for the coming filing period. Richard tells us he expects tax rates to remain the same although final changes to the tax code will probably not surface until the end of the year or even January of 2015. To reduce your 2014 tax liability, Richard suggests such things as paying both of your property tax installments before the end of this year, pre-paying any state tax liability prior to Dec. 31 and making charitable contributions prior to year end. Richard also talked briefly about how trusts can help reduce taxes.. Also last week, Jeremy Wittie pocketed $10 in the Rotary Raffle….just enough to provide donuts for this week’s Road Trip!

Tax Strategies Jim Brock 2014-08-23 00:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley Real Estate Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 16, 2014
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Past President Dana Tarnow, a broker with La Quinta Palms Realty, provided the club with an update on our valley’s real estate market last week. Dana reports that both sales and prices have dipped in most areas from a year ago and that days on market have gone up. Valley wide, it takes an average of 116 days to sell a home. This is the highest in over a year. Rents are increasing so our valley remains attractive to investors. Many first time buyer have difficulty competing with investor buyers. Kim Hardee was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner last week but only managed to draw a two so took home $2.

Coachella Valley Real Estate Update Jim Brock 2014-08-17 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary 101

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 09, 2014
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Jerry Kress, with 31 years of perfect Rotary attendance, presented a primer on Rotary for our members as well as prospective new members last week. Jerry gave us a brief history of Rotary and told us about Rotary’s first community service project—providing a public restroom in Chicago. From that first club in Chicago, Rotary has grown to over 34,000 clubs throughout the world.  Jerry is our Membership Chair this year and his goal is to see us attract one new member a month. Also last week, Kay Van Zandt was recognized for her ongoing contributions to the Rotary Foundation. She received her PHF + 4 ($5,000 donated) pin. Jerry Kress’ special guest Max Stern was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner last week. Max drew an eight and took home $8!

 

Rotary 101 Jim Brock 2014-08-10 00:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley Brewery

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 02, 2014
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We had another successful P2P Road Trip last Tuesday evening when we met at Coachella Valley Brewery in Thousand Palms. A total of 21 members and guests got to sample several brews and take a tour of the state-of-the-art brewery. It’s a beautiful facility and we may plan another event there in the future. Big thank yous to program chair Lillian Roberts for making the arrangements and to Dana Tarnow for providing some appetizers to help keep us sober. Stay tuned for information on our next Road Trip! These are great events so make every effort to attend our next one.

Coachella Valley Brewery Jim Brock 2014-08-03 00:00:00Z 0

East Valley Animal Control

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 26, 2014
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Last week, Kim Hardee spoke to us about animal spay and neuter and low cost vaccination clinics being held in the East Valley. One of the last clinics drew over 500 people for 40 available appointments so there is a tremendous demand for services. Although the clinics are billed as “free,” they attempt to collect some monies because of the cost of bringing a mobile unit to clinic locations. In additional to spay and neuter and vaccinations, the clinics also offer micro-chipping for pets. A typical clinic can result in the prevention of 9,000 unwanted animals from being born, according to Kim. Not only was Kim our speaker last week, she was also our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. She took home $7! Our raffle pot is growing so buy tickets at our next meeting!

East Valley Animal Control Jim Brock 2014-07-27 00:00:00Z 0

Death Knocks

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 19, 2014
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Last week our own Jerry Kress and fellow cast member Max Stern were with us and presented Death Knocks, a Woody Allen short play. Also last week, we had two guests—Frankie Riddle and Aurora Wilson. Margaret Claggett brought both and reports they are interested in joining Palms To Pines! Frankie works with the City of Palm Desert and is a former P2P member and Aurora is a member of the COD Board of Trustees. Both would make outstanding additions to our club. Membership Chair Jerry Kress has a goal of increasing our membership by 12 (one member a month) and we’re already on our way. Jerry has made it very easy to attract new members….simply provide him with a name and contact information and he’ll do the rest! Past Pres. Dana Tarnow was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and took home $20. Buy tickets this week!

Death Knocks Jim Brock 2014-07-20 00:00:00Z 0

New Year Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 12, 2014
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New Palms To Pines Rotary President Charles Riggs held a Club Assembly last week. Charley talked about Rotary and his plans for our coming year. We plan to continue many of our past projects such as our support for the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo scouting program and also take on additional community and international projects. We’re continuing our discussion with members of the Mexicali-Industrial Rotary Club about a joint project equipping school kitchens and we’re also planning a trip down to Mexicali for the club’s annual barbecue on October 19.  In our local community, we’re moving forward with plans to supply back to school supplies and backpacks to local students and we’re looking into a hands-on project involving construction or rehab of a home for a local veteran. Another major emphasis in the coming months will be building our membership. Membership Chair Jerry Kress has some big plans for our efforts so stay tuned! Lillian Roberts kicked off this year’s Rotary Raffle by drawing a six and taking home $6!

New Year Assembly Jim Brock 2014-07-13 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Sheriff's Station

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 27, 2014
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Last week we enjoyed another successful Road Trip when 16 Palms To Pines Rotarians toured the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station. The station is a base of operations for policing Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and the unincorporated areas of the Coachella Valley. Nearly 200 people, 160 vehicles and two dogs are based at the huge station. We toured the station’s logistics center, evidence area and intake center and also got close up looks at a typical patrol vehicle and one of the forensics vans. John Wohlmuth, P2P member and Palm Desert City Manager, was on hand and told us that the city contracts for 1.6 officers per 1,000 residents at a cost of $15 million a year. Providing the same coverage with a city-managed department would cost $25 million a year.

Palm Desert Sheriff's Station Jim Brock 2014-06-28 00:00:00Z 0

Recognition Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 20, 2014
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Pres. Dana Tarnow conducted a club recognition assembly last week. It was her final official meeting of her two terms as club president and she recognized members of her Board of Directors as well as other Rotarians who held club positions during this past year. Dana also recognized members with perfect attendance. They include Jerry Kress, Butch Hartman, Art Fleming, Pres. Dana, Jim Brock and Martin Kubelik. Jerry has 31 years of perfect Rotary attendance and Butch has 17 years! Dana bestowed gifts of wine to her board members and also distributed leftover Rotary wine to other club members….just about everyone walked away with something! Fittingly, Pres. Dana had the winning raffle ticket and won $4. She “let it ride” so buy tickets next time!

Recognition Assembly Jim Brock 2014-06-21 00:00:00Z 0

Red Imported Fire Ants!

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 13, 2014
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New member Jeremy Wittie provided a very interesting program on red imported fire ants last week. Jeremy is Scientific Operations Manager for the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District and that agency has been tasked with fire ant control since 2005. Fire ants are originally from South America and were introduced to the southeastern part of the United States in ship ballast. They made their way to our area in nursery stock. The district uses bait to control the ants so call Jeremy if you get bit! Also last week, Mike Laughlin was a lucky $10 winner in the Rotary Raffle.

Red Imported Fire Ants! Jim Brock 2014-06-14 00:00:00Z 0

Vocational Training Team

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 07, 2014
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Last week we heard from Lisa Brock, Palm Desert’s librarian and our club’s representative on Rotary District 5330’s first-ever Vocational Training Team. The team spent three weeks in Southern India earlier this year and Lisa shared photos of the trip and told us of her experiences. Also last week, we learned our board had voted to share this month’s Happy Dollars with the Pegasus Riding Academy and will share funds collected in future months with Best Friend’s Closet and Loving All Animals. Butch Hartman was the somewhat lucky Rotarian who collected all of $3 in the Rotary Raffle.

Vocational Training Team Jim Brock 2014-06-08 00:00:00Z 0

Greenday Recycling

Posted by Jim Brock on May 31, 2014
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We took our first road trip of the summer last week and visited Greenday Recycling in Indio. In addition to normal recycling activities, Greenday repurposes much of the glass product they take in. They create all kinds of garden artwork and architectural elements using a glass and concrete mixture. The Greenday folks walked us through the plant and showed us the steps required to repurpose your old Corona bottle into a garden bench or architectural column.  This was a great trip enjoyed by 15 members and guests.

Greenday Recycling Jim Brock 2014-06-01 00:00:00Z 0

Pegasus Riding Academy

Posted by Jim Brock on May 23, 2014
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Our speaker last week was Albeth Paris Grass of the Pegasus Riding Academy. Pegasus offers therapeutic riding to disabled children and stroke recovery patients at their facility off Cook street north of the I-10. They currently have riders aged four to 80 in the program. Pegasus has over 100 volunteers working with their clients and is currently conducting a fundraiser to build a covered arena so they can offer riding all year long. New member Jeremy Wittie drew an Ace and collected $201 in the Rotary Raffle. Welcome to Rotary, Jeremy!

Pegasus Riding Academy Jim Brock 2014-05-24 00:00:00Z 0

Savory Spices

Posted by Jim Brock on May 17, 2014
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Mary Cardas from Savory Spice Shop was our speaker last week. Mary brought along samples of a number of different spices she sells and we sampled a couple of salts, two cinnamons, bay leaves, ginger and a blend called Peruvian Chili Lime.  Mary’s El Paseo shop features high quality herbs, spices, blends, sauces, stocks, kitchen specialty items and gift packs. Another great program! J.R. Fleischner was our lucky Raffle winner and he took home $9.

Savory Spices Jim Brock 2014-05-18 00:00:00Z 0

Birds Of South Texas

Posted by Jim Brock on May 10, 2014
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Last week’s speaker was our own Lillian Roberts who showed us photos of some of the birds of south Texas. Lillian shared some of her favorite photos of south Texas birds and they were spectacular! Great impromptu program, Lillian! New member Jeremy Wittie received his red new member badge. Jeremy will earn a regular member badge after making up a meeting, attending a board meeting and participating in a club project. Jeremy also won $20 in the raffle.

Birds Of South Texas Jim Brock 2014-05-11 00:00:00Z 0

The Gadget Queen

Posted by Jim Brock on May 03, 2014
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Last week’s speaker was Mardi Boettcher of Desert Computer Tutor. Mardi bills herself as The Gadget Queen and offered tips on just what gadget is best suited for various applications. Mardi offers computer and gadget workshops and in-home computer tutoring. Learn more at www.desertcomputertutor.com. Also last week, Jerry Kress was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Jerry pocketed $10!

The Gadget Queen Jim Brock 2014-05-04 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 19, 2014
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We had a Club Assembly last week and President-Elect Charley Riggs introduced his leadership team for the coming Rotary year. Current President Dana Tarnow has agreed to serve as club secretary and Art Fleming will continue as treasurer. Margaret Claggett will again head our P2P Foundation and Jim Brock will be in charge of the Rotary Foundation. Butch Hartman will continue as Sergeant-At-Arms and Lillian Roberts will again arrange programs. Charley’s main goal for the coming Rotary year is to have fun so it should be a great year! We also welcomed Jeremy Wittie to our club last week. Jeremy serves as scientific operations manager for the Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District as was sponsored by Doug Walker. Welcome, JeremyCharley Riggs won $6 in the Rotary Raffle and donated his winnings to the pot.

Club Assembly Jim Brock 2014-04-20 00:00:00Z 0

2014 RYLA

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 11, 2014
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Last week we had several of our 2014 RYLA representatives with us to tell us about this year’s camp in Thousand Pines. District 5330 operates the world’s largest RYLA and the group had to be divided into two camps for the first time this year. Some 350 high school juniors attended each of the sessions on successive weekends.  We sent a total of seven students to RYLA this year and with us last week were Katie May, Alexis Safoyan, Amanda Bolanos and Kaitlyn Ellis. Amanda attended RYLA last year and was chosen as a counselor for this year’s session. One of our representatives summed up her experience by saying, “RYLA makes you step out of your comfort zone.”  Also last week, Pres.-Elect Charley Riggs filled in for Pres. Dana and Butch Hartman was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Butch took home $8. Buy tickets this week!

2014 RYLA Jim Brock 2014-04-12 00:00:00Z 0

Scuba Diving

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 05, 2014
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Kathy Peper, owner of Get Wet Scuba, was our speaker last week. Kathy has owned a dive shop here in the desert for 14 years and recently relocated the shop from Palm Springs to here in Palm Desert. Although we’re a drive away from the nearest ocean, Kathy sells and rents dive equipment, offers instruction in preparation for dive certification and coordinates dive trips for her customers. She tells us the California coast offers some of the best diving in the world. Kathy showed us an incredible video of a recent dive trip to the Philippines and answered lots of questions. Also last week, we had to bid farewell to two of our loyal Canadian Sojourners. Mike Wedekind and Anita Ratchinksky are returned north for the summer. Iowa visiting Rotarian Chuck Gustafson was a $20 raffle winner Raffle plus he won a $75 introduction to scuba certificate.

Scuba Diving Jim Brock 2014-04-06 00:00:00Z 0

Auto Insurance 101

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 29, 2014
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Local attorney Michael Shippee was with us last week and provided a primer on automobile insurance. He urges all of us to regularly review our coverage to make sure we don’t have an unpleasant surprise when we actually need it. Review your policy annually and adjust your coverage as needed! Also last week, we bid farewell to seasonal member Martin Kubelik. He took a moment to express his appreciation for our club and his apprehension about the situation in Central Europe. Martin, we wish you a safe summer and look forward to your return next January! We also heard about the Rotary Wine Club. The club offers a number of wine options and you can sign up and get two bottles of wine monthly. Ten percent of your payment goes to Rotary. Learn more at www.rotarywineclub.com. Sojourner Jim Eggers was a lucky $10 raffle winner.

Auto Insurance 101 Jim Brock 2014-03-30 00:00:00Z 0

Our Desert Water

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 22, 2014

Bob Keeran of the Coachella Valley Water District was our speaker last week. Bob gave us a brief history of the district and updated us on the district’s efforts to insure a reliable supply of water in the future. Our drinking water comes from our own aquifer and we’ve been overdrafting for years. The district imports water into recharge basins and that water is allowed to percolate back into our aquifer. A major program of the district is the use of Colorado River and recycled water to irrigate our golf courses. Currently 15 courses use recycled water, 27 use Colorado River water and plans call for shifting an additional 50 courses to recycled water in the future. Also last week, Sojourner Mike Wedekind hit it big in the Rotary Raffle. Mike collected $2 and was generous enough to donate back to the raffle fund. Big money this week!

Our Desert Water Jim Brock 2014-03-23 00:00:00Z 0

Mega-Auction Is Mega-Success!

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 15, 2014
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Our first ever Palms To Pines Mega-Auction was a great success! The club raised $4,125 in just over an hour last Wednesday….a great first time effort! Professional auctioneer Max Von Wening handled the fundraising effort and many items sold for above the stated value. Thanks to the following Rotarians and Sojourners for securing donations: Jim Brock, Paul Parry, Lillian Roberts, Kathy Martin, Richard Karp, Mike Wedekind, Margaret Claggett, Louise Oppenheim, Rob Strain, Martin Kubelik, Butch Hartman, Jerry Kress and Charley Riggs. Buyers included Kathy Martin, Jim Eggers, Butch Hartman, Rob Strain, guest Daniel Trevino, Louise Oppenheim, Jim Brock and Pres. Dana Tarnow. Special thanks go to Dana Tarnow and Margaret Claggett for all of their work insuring a successful inaugural auction. Plans are already underway to make next year’s event even more successful!

Mega-Auction Is Mega-Success! Jim Brock 2014-03-16 00:00:00Z 0

Architectural History

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 07, 2014
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Martin Kubelik talked to the club about his career as an architectural historian. A major part of that career was the study of the Villa Rotunda near Venice. Martin’s team implemented a new dating technique to date the age of bricks used in construction of this famous villa which was built in the 1500s. The dating technique is still controversial in architectural history circles but Martin and his team is convinced it is accurate. They’ve dated the start of Villa construction at 1575. The villa is extremely famous in Italy and in architectural circles throughout the world. You can find plates, wine and many other souvenirs featuring the Rotunda. Also last week, Pres. Dana was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Dana managed to pull a two from the deck and was generous enough to donate her winnings back to the Raffle pot.

Architectural History Jim Brock 2014-03-08 00:00:00Z 0

Mosquitoes!

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 28, 2014
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Doug Walker and his guest Jeremy Wittie stepped up last week and gave us a great impromptu program on the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. Doug has been a district board member since 2007 and Jeremy is the district’s scientific operations manager. The district was started in the 1920s to control eye gnats and mosquito control was added 20 years later. Control of red imported fire ants is a more recent addition to the district’s duties. Despite being called on for a program without any preparation, the pair did an outstanding job! We’ll be planning a field trip to tour the district’s new laboratory this summer. Also last week, Jerry Kress won $4 in the Rotary Raffle.

Mosquitoes! Jim Brock 2014-03-01 00:00:00Z 0

Beer!

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 15, 2014

Dave Humphrey from Coachella Valley Brewing Company was our speaker. This local craft brewery opened in August and uses state of the art equipment to produce 14 different brews. The brewery’s equipment is controlled by an iPad and they can produce 17 barrels of beer in just two hours using much less water and electricity than traditional methods. They also achieve 98 percent ingredient efficiency because of a special filtration system. The Thousand Palms brewery is open to the public and we’re planning an upcoming field trip to tour and taste! Also last week, visitor Kathy Martin officially became a club Sojourner and received her badge and John Marman scored $9 in the Rotary Raffle.

Beer! Jim Brock 2014-02-16 00:00:00Z 0

Hydroponics

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 08, 2014
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Cole Langford, owner of Palm Desert Hydroponics, was our speaker last week. Hydroponics will eventually replace much of current farming techniques, according to Cole, because it’s 90 percent more efficient. You can grow plants twice as fast, twice as big and enjoy four times the production of current methods, he says. He is currently preparing to go into commercial farming using hydroponics at a farm in Anza. His retail store, located on Highway 111 just east of San Pablo, sells everything needed to get started with hydroponics including a kit for under $80 that will give you all the basics. Also last week, Margot Serrano returned after a long absence and was presented with her seventh Paul Harris recognition pin and we learned that Jim Eggers turned 89 last week. Congrats to both! J.R. Fleischner won $8 in the Rotary Raffle.

Hydroponics Jim Brock 2014-02-09 00:00:00Z 0

Pars For Paws

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 31, 2014
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Elsie Hewling and Janet McAfee from Loving All Animals were with us last week. Elsie is one of the directors of Pars For Paws, the group’s fifth annual golf tournament. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, February 23 at Palm Desert’s Shadow Mountain Golf Club. They’ve lined up tons of prizes and the event is designed to be fun for the entire family. The pair also updated us on Loving All Animal’s lengthy list of events here in the valley and talked about the group’s foster pet program. Also last week, Lillian Roberts collected $10 in the Rotary Raffle. You can’t win unless you buy tickets!

Pars For Paws Jim Brock 2014-02-01 00:00:00Z 0

Board Of Equalization

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 25, 2014
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With us last week were Lance Christiansen and Ken Maddox from the California State Board of Equalization.  The BOE is charged with tax administration and fee collection with the state. The pair told us about the functions of the BOE and how audits using industry ratios are used to catch tax cheats. Cities throughout the state are losing income because of under-reporting on a variety of taxes and fees. We found it amazing just how complex our tax structure is and their presentation generated a ton of questions. Good program! This week, say the secret phrase “Ron Burton” and receive three free Rotary Raffle tickets! Also last week, Jim Brock was a last minute replacement for Pres. Dana Tarnow who woke up ill, Sergeant At Arms Butch Hartman collected tons of Happy Dollars and Sojourner Jack Daniels pocketed $7 in the Rotary Raffle.

Board Of Equalization Jim Brock 2014-01-26 00:00:00Z 0

Volunteers In Medicine

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 18, 2014
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Loretta Moss, an Indio Sunrise Rotarian, spoke to us about Volunteers In Medicine last week. Volunteers in Medicine operates a no cost clinic in Indio which provides basic primary medical and dental care to those who qualify. The County of Riverside has provided a building for the clinic and, in the last three years, 13,000 patients have been seen. Loretta talked about the ongoing need for care and pointed out that Flying Doctors makes their only United States visit each year. Patients seen by the Flying Doctors are sent to Volunteers in Medicine for follow up care. Also last week, we welcomed back John Marman and we were also visited by former member and current Idyllwild Rotarian Jean Dores. Suzy Homme was a lucky $5 Raffle winner and donated her winnings back to the pot. Buy tickets this week!

Volunteers In Medicine Jim Brock 2014-01-19 00:00:00Z 0

Valley Crimestoppers

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 11, 2014
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Last week Sam Cross and Larry Shanahan of Valley Crimestoppers were with us to tell us about their organization. The group offers rewards of up to $1000 for anonymous tips on area criminal activity. Since its start here in the valley, the group has paid out over $132,000 in rewards and has resulted in an estimated $18 million in recovered property and contraband and helped solve scores of criminal cases. Their hotline averages 30 to 35 calls a month and callers receive a personal code. If their information leads to an arrest and conviction, they can claim their reward. Also last week, one of our Washington visitors claimed $20 in the great Rotary Raffle!

Valley Crimestoppers Jim Brock 2014-01-12 00:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley iHub

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 14, 2013
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Joe Wallace, managing director of the Coachella Valley iHub, was our speaker last week. The iHub is part of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership and opened in 2011. Funded by grants from government and the private sector, the iHub’s goal was to attract 50 companies during the first five years of operation. To date, 24 companies have joined the iHub making it one of the most active and successful in the state. The goal of the iHub is to attract sustainable industries to our valley and to keep them here as they grow and succeed. Also last week, Richard Karp announced another day of Salvation Army Bell Ringing. We’re scheduled to Bell Ring at Ralph’s this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sign up for a shift this week. Pres. Dana won $4 in the raffle.

Coachella Valley iHub Jim Brock 2013-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

The Girlfriend Factor

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 10, 2013
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With us last week was Ellen Woods of The Girlfriend Factor. The Girlfriend Factor was founded in 2005 and provides grants to women aged 25 to 63 to help them achieve their educational goals. The group has provided over $240,000 in grants since the grant program began in 2007. They have helped local women studying a wide range of professions including business administration, nursing, graphic arts and public relations. The group raises grant funds with corporate sponsorships, individual donations and events. Also last week, we learned we provided great Thanksgivings to four needy valley families and we also distributed Salvation Army gift requests for local children. We’re not sure how many requests we had but they went quick! Great job!

The Girlfriend Factor Jim Brock 2013-12-11 00:00:00Z 0

TM Disorders & Therapy

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 23, 2013
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Dr. Leonard Feld, a dentist from Indian Wells, talked to us about how a slight misalignment of the jaw can cause all kinds of problems including headaches, dizziness and ear, face and neck pain. His office treats many patients with these symptoms. Also last week, we completed our Polio Plus campaign and exceeded our fundraising goal. The total raised was $1,286. Monies raised by Nov. 30 will be matched two to one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Jim Brock introduced his daughter, Lisa Brock, who has been selected as a member of District 5330’s first ever Vocational Training Team. The team will travel to Southern Indian in January and focus on literacy. Lisa is the head librarian at Palm Desert Library. A La Quinta visiting Rotarian won $196 in our Raffle and donated $100 of it to our Polio Plus campaign.

TM Disorders & Therapy Jim Brock 2013-11-24 00:00:00Z 0

West Africa Project Fair

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 16, 2013
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Last week we heard from Lillian Roberts about her trip to Togo, West Africa, for the 9th West Africa Rotary Project Fair. Lillian spoke of her visit and shared photos of the project fair and the country. According to Lillian, the area’s exploding population growth (over 50 percent of the population is under 18) means there are plenty of opportunities to help make a difference. Many of the proposed projects focused on providing clean water. While in Togo, Lillian also participated in a polio eradication event and delivered nearly 55 pounds of school supplies donated by P2P members. Also last week, we welcomed Sojourner Ray Roth back for the winter months and we also were happy to see Jerry Kress back with us after a health scare. (The false alarm prompted Jerry to swear off cigarettes so let’s provide a bit of peer pressure to keep in on the straight and narrow!) We also learned that our Rotary District 5330 is seeking funds for Philippines disaster relief. Earmark donations for disaster relief and write your checks to the Rotary District 5330 Foundation.

West Africa Project Fair Jim Brock 2013-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Ronald McDonald House

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 09, 2013
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 Mike Kovack, executive director of the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House, was our speaker last week. The house, which opened in 1996, is one of over 200 such facilities worldwide and provides lodging for families of hospital patients. According to Kovack, between 30 to 40 percent of families using the Loma Linda house are from the Coachella Valley and high desert. Almost since it opened, the house has been at capacity and they’re raising funds to add an additional 13 rooms to the 21 room facility. One easy way we can help is to collect aluminum can pull tabs. Please start collecting tabs and bring them to Rotary. Every beer and soft drink we drink can help so drink up! Also last week, it was a pleasure to welcome back returning Sojourners Mike Wedekind and Jack Daniels. It’s great to see our meeting room filling up again! Now we need more of our delinquent members back in the room! Our Rotary Raffle pot grew to $168 last week and Donna-Lee Ekstrom held the winning ticket and collected $10. Buy tickets this week for a great chance to win the pot!

Ronald McDonald House Jim Brock 2013-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 01, 2013
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November is Foundation Month and P2P Rotary Foundation Chair Mike Laughlin provided us with an update on the Foundation and Rotary’s PolioPlus program. Mike talked about ways of giving to the Foundation included an automatic payment method called Rotary Direct (see below). PolioPlus began in 1985 and Rotary is close to eliminating polio from the world. Polio was endemic in 125 countries when our efforts began and we’re now down to seeing polio common in only three countries. Also last week, Jim Brock celebrated his 40th anniversary of Rotary membership by making $100 PolioPlus contributions in the names of four P2P members, Tracey Essex, Richard Karp, Paul Parry and Pres. Dana Tarnow. Every one of our members has contributed to Rotary Foundation and if you’d like to know how close you are to your first (or next) Paul Harris Fellow you can check your status online at the RI website. Lillian Roberts pulled a face card and collected $20 in the Rotary Raffle. Buy tickets this week!

Rotary Foundation Jim Brock 2013-11-02 00:00:00Z 0

David Wambaugh

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 26, 2013
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David Wambaugh, the son of bestselling author Joseph Wambaugh, was our speaker last week. David, who is bi-polar, struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years before seeking treatment. He is now a drug and alcohol counselor in San Diego. David told us about growing up as a bully and about how tables were turned and he became the victim of bullies. David has recounted his addiction struggles in a memoir called The Last Call and will be back in Palm Desert on Dec. 1 for a book signing at Barnes & Noble. Also last week, we welcomed back Sojourners Anita Ratchinsky of Alberta and Rick Gross of Germany. It’s great to see our Sojourners returning! Jim Brock was the lucky winner of Lillian Roberts’ donated desktop computer. Lillian donated the computer to help raise funds for her trip to the Rotary West Africa Projects Fair in Togo, Africa. We can’t wait for Lillian’s program on the trip! Finally last week, Anita Ratchinsky was our lucky raffle winner. With $151 available in the pot, Anita pulled an eight and took home $8.

David Wambaugh Jim Brock 2013-10-27 00:00:00Z 0

District Governor's Visit

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 18, 2013
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Rotary District 5330 Governor Joe Ramos made his annual visit to Palms to Pines last week. DG Joe met with officers and directors on Tuesday evening and then joined us for breakfast Wednesday morning. DG Joe recognized P2P members Jerry Kress, Butch Hartman, Art Fleming and Jim Brock for their service to Rotary and presented them with “Energizer” pins. DG Joe told us about district plans and urged Palms To Pines members to donate to Polio Plus and participate in the Oct. 26-27 March to End Polio in San Bernardino. The District Governor also promoted the upcoming Foundation Gala on Nov. 16 and the annual District Conference on May 2-4. The Conference will once again be held at the Doral Resort in Cathedral City so there’s no excuse not to attend! Joining DG Joe at our meeting was Assistant District Governor Frank Peabody of Palm Springs Noon Rotary. Art Fleming was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner and DG Joe pulled a six for Art for $6. The pot will be over $150 this week so buy tickets early and buy often!

District Governor's Visit Jim Brock 2013-10-19 00:00:00Z 0

The Affordable Care Act

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 11, 2013
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Last week we received an eye opening look at Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. With us was Rick Liuag, an insurance broker who specializes in the new law. Rick told us that insurance costs will go up and everyone’s access to health care will be reduced in the long run. The main difficulty Seniors on Medicare will face is access since doctors will face increased patient loads and may cut back on accepting Medicare patients.  Rick says he expects many large employers to eliminate group coverage to allow employees to join the individual exchanges. Rick suggests individuals look into specialized insurance policies such as telemedicine plans, accident coverage and cancer coverage. Rick has additional information available at www.myfreeobamacarereport.com. Also last week, we learned we would not be helping with a Beer Garden during the Patriot Ride because security costs forced organizers to cancel the Beer Garden. Lillian Roberts was a lucky $20 Rotary Raffle winner and will use the money for her upcoming trip to the Rotary Project Fair in Togo, West Africa.

The Affordable Care Act Jim Brock 2013-10-12 00:00:00Z 0

CV Spin's Patriot Ride

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 05, 2013
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Daphne Jasperse and Tim Esser were with us last week to talk about CV Spin’s upcoming Patriot Ride For Our Heroes. Patriot Ride is a new event for the organization which annually produces the Tour de Palm Springs. Tim, a former P2P member, told us a bit about the history of the group and the Tour de Palm Springs which has grown to over 10,000 bike riders and over 1,000 volunteers. The first Patriot Ride will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, in La Quinta. Tim hopes to see it evolve into an event similar to the Palm Springs ride. Palms To Pines is planning to help out at the Patriot Ride by working in the beer garden and we’ll learn more this week. Also last week, Jerry Kress told us about his next musical, s’Wonderful, s’Marvelous, s’Music, which will be held at Sun City Oct. 25-27. Also, Charley Riggs updated us on recent flood relief efforts conducted by our Ixtapa scout troop and Lillian Roberts promoted her computer raffle and the need for cash donations for school supplies for her Africa trip. Jerry Kress was a $4 winner in the Rotary Raffle.

CV Spin's Patriot Ride Jim Brock 2013-10-06 00:00:00Z 0

Animal Welfare Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 28, 2013
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Tracey Essex, who recently joined the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, provided us with an overview of animal welfare in the Coachella Valley. According to Tracey, there are only two open admission (they accept every animal) shelters in the valley—Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Tracey introduced Tamara Hedges, a member of the Executive Board of the Palms Springs Shelter, who explained that their facility is a progress open shelter, meaning that every animal is cared for until adoption. Also on hand was KESQ reporter Bianca Rae, who has become active in desert animal welfare groups. Bianca started “Jack’s Fund” which is dedicated to helping open admission shelters get animals adopted. The funds have been used for adoption events, fundraising initiatives and spay/neuter clinics. Margaret Claggett was a lucky $2 winner in the Rotary Raffle!

Animal Welfare Update Jim Brock 2013-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

The Aerospace Industry

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 17, 2013
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Our own Kay Van Zandt gave us a fascinating look at her “real” career last week. Kay went to work as a flight attendant for TWA in 1965 and spent 14 years with that company before moving to Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank. Kay was a sales representative for Lockheed until, in 1982, the company stopped new plane construction. She then moved to Lockheed Aircraft Services which specialized in modifying existing planes for different purposes. The company’s customers where both governments and private entities and Kay worked extensively with modifications to the C-130 and the L-1011. Some of her favorite modifications were the conversion of both of those planes to mobile airborne hospitals and extravagant modifications for heads of state.  This was a fabulous glimpse into the career of one of our longtime members. Thanks, Kay! Suzy Homme was our lucky Raffle winner. Suzy took home $5!

The Aerospace Industry Jim Brock 2013-09-18 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 14, 2013
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Palm Desert City Manager and P2P member John Wohlmuth provided us with a city update last week. Particularly exciting was the long list of new retail stores coming to our city. John mentioned Home Goods, Whole Foods, Nordstrom’s Rack, PGA Superstore, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, and a number of new restaurants are in the works. These additions will insure our city continues to be the valley’s retail hub. While Palm Desert is the third largest city in the Coachella Valley (behind Indio and Cathedral City), we lead the desert in sales tax revenue. John told us that census data indicate that our city has 40 percent more homes than households meaning the city has over 10,000 second homes within the city limits. Thanks, John, for what is always a very informative update. Kay Van Zandt won the Raffle for the second straight week and once again donated her $3 back.

Palm Desert Update Jim Brock 2013-09-15 00:00:00Z 0

First Tee

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 07, 2013
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With us last week was Chris Keener, program director for the First Tee of the Coachella Valley. P2P presented Chris with $500, a portion of proceeds from May’s USGFR golf tournament hosted by our club. Chris told us that the First Tee has been here in our valley for five years and currently has 1,350 participants. The program introduces youngsters aged five to 18 to golf and also teaches life skills through its nine core values. Nationwide, the program has 200 chapters and also runs programs in 4,800 elementary schools. Also last week, we welcomed back Tracey Essex, who has been in Atlanta for training for two weeks, Butch Hartman, who took his first vacation (an Alaskan cruise) in 16 years, and Doug Walker, who enjoyed a trip to Maine and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Kay Van Zandt was our lucky raffle winner and she donated her $9 winnings back to the club.
First Tee Jim Brock 2013-09-08 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Historical Society

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 27, 2013
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P2P Rotary was on the road last week and visited the Palm Desert Historical Society. Twelve members attended and were told about the history of both Palm Desert and the Historical Society by President Brett Romer. We enjoyed coffee and donuts and then took a guided tour of the society’s museum. In addition to Palm Desert historical photos and memorabilia, the museum also houses a large collection of historical firefighting equipment. This makes it very popular for school field trips and ties in with the Society’s annual Mini Muster. The historical society receives a portion of its annual budget from the city but depends on memberships, donations and fundraisers for the majority. Their biggest annual fundraiser is a Yard Sale which is scheduled this year for Nov. 9 and 10. Also last week, we learned that longtime P2P member John Marman suffered a stroke on Aug. 25. No visitors at this time but send him a card!

Palm Desert Historical Society Jim Brock 2013-08-28 00:00:00Z 0

What Jewelers Do

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 24, 2013
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Butch Hartman provided another summer trade talk last week and told us about his career and what he does at Hartman Jewelers. Butch showed us some of the tools he uses on a daily basis as well as some of the custom work he provides his customers. Butch also told us how computerized wholesalers provide overnight delivery to allow quick completion of custom orders. Thanks, Butch, for the program! Also last week, Pres. Dana reminded newer members of the need for Live Scan fingerprints to comply with Rotary’s youth protection policy. P2P will reimburse you for the cost! Also last week, only one member provided the secret word to receive free Rotary Raffle tickets. Read this newsletter every week and you could also get free tickets! Louise Oppenheim didn’t need free tickets to pull an Ace and collect $143 in the raffle. She donated $20 back to P2P and also donated $20 to guest Elle Wohlmuth.

What Jewelers Do Jim Brock 2013-08-25 00:00:00Z 0

Stocks And Bonds

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 17, 2013
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Louise Oppenheim was our speaker last week and told us about bonds and bond funds and about how to spot an investment scam. Louise recommends always checking a potential broker’s complaint record through the National Association of Securities Dealers (www.finra.org). Louise has been in the business for 23 years without a complaint.  Also last week, we learned that John Marman is planning a raffle at next week’s road trip to the Palm Desert Historical Society. The lucky winner will receive two tickets to see Willie Nelson! You MUST be present to win. Finally last week, Jim Brock and Art Fleming won the raffle for the second straight week. They donated their $2 back to the raffle pot.

Stocks And Bonds Jim Brock 2013-08-18 00:00:00Z 0

Travel Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 10, 2013
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Suzy Homme presented her annual travel update last week. Suzy covered a wide range of topics including security concerns, travel insurance and popular travel itineraries. Suzy says security issues can be minimized by traveling as a part of a group and suggested travelers visiting any non-Western destinations should always be in a group. She also stressed the importance of travel insurance. Your health insurance plan will usually not cover you when you’re outside the country so travel medical insurance is extremely important. Nearly 85 percent of travelers now secure insurance. Popular travel destinations are booking quickly for 2014, Suzy says, so make your plans now for next year. European river cruises, the fastest growing segment in the travel industry, remain extremely popular and there are also great values offered by ocean cruise lines. Asia, Turkey and other Middle Eastern destinations offer good travel bargains. Thanks, Suzy, for a great program! Also last week, Pres. Dana announced that several newer members will be notified that they need to be fingerprinted to comply with our Rotary District 5330 Youth Protection Program. You’ll be notified by email. Art Fleming and Jim Brock were the lucky winners of $8 in the Rotary Raffle. They let their winnings ride so we’ll have over $125 in the pot this week! Buy your tickets early and often!

Travel Update Jim Brock 2013-08-11 00:00:00Z 0

BG Bird Gardens

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 03, 2013
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Last week we enjoyed another Road Trip. Our destination was BG Bird Gardens in South Palm Desert. The gardens are at the beautiful estate of Lindi and Geno Biggi. Lindi is the founder of Loving All Animals and the Bird Gardens are a testament to that love. Our tour was conducted by P2P member Tracey Essex and she told us that there are over 60 exotic birds housed there. There are a number of flamingos and also a beautiful koi pond on the property. Our small group of Rotarians enjoyed a continental breakfast under the palapa and then embarked on a tour which included a visit to the birds’ bedroom (all are housed indoors at night) and the kitchen where staff prepares a proper diet for each animal. This was a spectacular trip!

BG Bird Gardens Jim Brock 2013-08-04 00:00:00Z 0

Real Estate Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 20, 2013

What was to be a tag team effort between Pres. Dana Tarnow and Jim Brock last week turned into the Jim Show when Pres. Dana was pressed into babysitting duty for two grandchildren and had to miss our meeting. Jim acted as Rotarian of the Day, ran the meeting and then presented his half of a Coachella Valley Real Estate update. Jim specializes in country club communities and provided recent sales statistics for single family and condominium sales for Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Sun City, Indian Wells and La Quinta. Although the housing market is improving, Jim tells us that a number of factors will continue to slow recovery. Rising interest rates, a large number of underwater homeowners (over two million in California), and an uncertain economy continue to hinder recovery. The large number of underwater properties means that over 20 percent of California homeowners cannot participate in the current housing market unless they can complete a short sale. This has led to extremely low inventories in many areas of the state and has led to higher prices for that inventory. Also last week, Lillian Roberts was the lucky winner of $6 in the Rotary Raffle.

Real Estate Update Jim Brock 2013-07-21 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 13, 2013

We kicked off the 2013-2014 Rotary year last week with a Club Assembly. Pres. Dana Tarnow began her second term by vowing to get it right the second time around and she introduced the other members of her leadership team to the club. Dana also recognized last year’s directors and reviewed our club’s many activities and projects and also talked about the year ahead. Our club’s board is considering adding some additional fundraising events during the coming months. Possibilities include a fashion show and a club-wide yard sale. More details will follow!

Also last week, Tyler Everhart, a financial planner who has recently relo-cated from the San Diego area, visited our club. Suzy Homme used Butch Hartman’s ticket to claim $20 in the raffle. Suzy decided to “let it ride”.

Club Assembly Jim Brock 2013-07-14 00:00:00Z 0

California Suite Was Sweet

Posted by Jim Brock on Jul 06, 2013

Jerry Kress, Palms To Pines Rotarian, retired high school football referee and retired leasing guru, showed us just how talented our members are last week when he shared a DVD of his recent performance in Neil Simon’s hit Broadway play California Suite. No, Jerry wasn’t starring on a Broadway stage but he was performing with his Sun City Palm Desert theater group. The DVD was lots of fun! Thanks, Jerry! Also last week, we welcomed two visiting Rotarians including former member and Past President Marleen Rogers. Marleen was visiting friends here in the desert and now lives with husband Paul in Trinity, Florida. Also with us last week was Jim Conway, current Rancho Mirage Rotary president. John Marman led us on a stroll down memory lane last week when he brought a bunch of photos of Rotary activities in our club’s early years. It was really hard to believe just how poorly some of our older members have aged! Pres. Dana Tarnow returned from babysitting duties and shared information about an upcoming Coachella East Rotary Club golf tournament at Mountain View Country Club on Sept. 16. Let Jim Brock know if you’d like to play! Finally last week, Margaret Claggett was a lucky $5 winner in our Raffle.

California Suite Was Sweet Jim Brock 2013-07-07 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Library

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 29, 2013
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Last week, Palms To Pines took the first road trip of the summer with a visit to the newly-remodeled Palm Desert Library. Following a continental breakfast, we heard from Librarian Lisa Brock who told us that our local library is the second busiest library in the Riverside County library system. The library remodel included cosmetic upgrades but, more importantly, technology upgrades to bring the library into the 21st century. The library features free Wi-Fi for patrons and the number of available computers has been tripled. The library now features a self-checkout system as well as an automated sorting system for returns. In additional to books, the library offers music CDs and DVDs of movies and popular television programs. The facility also hosts a number of regular events for children, teens and adults. Nearly 20 Palms To Pines Rotarians attended our first summer road trip. Stay tuned to see what’s on the agenda for later this month!

Palm Desert Library Jim Brock 2013-06-30 00:00:00Z 0

Your Smile!

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 22, 2013
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Our own Rob Strain spoke to the club last week about the wonders of cosmetic dentistry. Rob had prepared a complex computer presentation to compliment his talk and, naturally, we had technical issues so it didn’t work properly. Luckily, we were able to get the gist of what he was attempting to show us and we learned just what’s involved in changing a person’s smile. Rob stressed the importance of dental health….noting that most people in their 90s still had their own teeth. Rob talked about veneers and crowns and the importance of size, shape and color in crafting a new patient’s smile. Great job, Rob! Also last week, Jerry Kress continued his Rotary Minute presentations by telling us how to exploit our Rotary membership to obtain free boots….very informative, Jerry! Jerry also made it two Rotary Raffle wins in a row last week when he pulled a seven and took home $7 of Rotary money. Remember, we will NOT be meeting at Desert Falls for the next two weeks! This week, we’ll be touring the new Palm Desert Library and we’ll be celebrating Independence Day on July 3. We’ll have a Club Assembly at our next Desert Falls meeting on Wednesday, July 10.

Your Smile! Jim Brock 2013-06-23 00:00:00Z 0

Tea!

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 15, 2013
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Wow! Who knew tea could be so complex? Our own Tracey Essex, who works at Teavana on El Paseo, told us everything we could ever want to know about tea. Not only does tea offer many health benefits, but it also tastes good. Tracey told us about the various types of tea—white, green, oolong, black and herbal—and even brewed up a number of samples for members to taste. We learned about proper brewing techniques and equipment and about the importance of timing the brewing process. Thanks, Tracey, for introducing us to the fascinating world of tea! Also last week, Rotarian of the Month Jerry Kress provided us with a Rotary Minute about the Rotary Foundation and we learned that Pres. Dana is still seeking Rotarians to volunteer for a number of open club leadership positions. We also heard from a Salvation Army representative urging our club to join other valley Rotary Clubs in bell ringing this coming holiday season. We also managed to build the Rotary Raffle pot by only handing out $3 in the raffle so buy tickets this week. Finally, please plan to attend our End of the Year party this Saturday at Margaret Claggett’s home. RSVP to Pres. Dana ASAP!

Tea! Jim Brock 2013-06-16 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Springs Restaurant Week

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 08, 2013

With us last week were Bob Schneider of Desert Adventures and Eric Morcus of Kaiser Restaurant Group to promote Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week. Now in its sixth year, Restaurant Week features reduced prices on participating restaurant meals and special pricing and events at many area spas, resorts and attractions. Restaurant Week dinners range from $26 to $38 per person and other participating companies offer 10 to 20 percent discounts. Desert Adventures has put together a number of “Jeep and Eat” packages featuring an evening jeep tour of the San Andreas Fault followed by dinner at several participating restaurants. Restaurant Week runs through Father’s Day (June 16) so make your reservations right away! Learn more about participating restaurants at www.palmspringsrestaurantweek.com and find out about the Desert Adventures packages at www.red-jeep.com. Also last week, we got the details about our End of the Year Party (see above) as well as learned some important event dates for the coming Rotary year.  Tracey Essex had her ticket pulled and drew an Ace to collect $71 in the Rotary Raffle. Tracey donated $20 of her winnings back to the club.

Palm Springs Restaurant Week Jim Brock 2013-06-09 00:00:00Z 0

Trekking In Peru

Posted by Jim Brock on Jun 01, 2013
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Last week we enjoyed a fascinating trek to various Inca sites in Peru. Lillian Roberts was our tour guide and she brought lots of great photos of her two week journey. Her group traveled by horseback to ancient ruins including Machu Picchu and traveled to elevations of over 14,000 feet. It’s clear from Lillian’s photos that this trip was not for the faint of heart but she brought back some amazing images of a civilization which lasted only 150 years. According to Lillian, the Inca selected their city sites for spiritual reasons because they worshipped the sun, moon and surrounding mountains. Many of their buildings were specifically oriented to capture a specific view for their religious ceremonies. Disease and the Spanish brought an end to the civilization. Great program, Lillian! Have you taken an interesting vacation and documented it with photos? Think about sharing it with club members in the coming months. These member travelogues are often some of our best programs! Also last week, we learned that John Marman’s dog Stewie did something involving fly ball and Jerry Kress was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner, collecting $3! Jerry requested a guard to accompany him to his vehicle to safeguard his cash.

Trekking In Peru Jim Brock 2013-06-02 00:00:00Z 0

Group Study Exchange

Posted by Jim Brock on May 25, 2013
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We packed a lot of activity into our one hour meeting last week. Not only did we have LaVerne Rudder from the AIFS Foundation speak to us about hosting foreign exchange students but we also had PDG Helene Kalfuss from Palm Springs Rotary with us to present a program on the district’s most recent Group Study Exchange Team. The AIFS Foundation’s FLEX program brings students from various independent states of the former Soviet Union to our country to experience life in a democratic society in order to promote democratic values in their own countries. Helene told us about leading her GSE team to Southern India. While there, the team visited Rotary clubs, universities, medical facilities, museums and various recipients of Foundation Matching Grant programs. Helene says the team will be the final GSE team. Rotary is changing the program to focus on vocational service—sending representatives to share vocational expertise with people in other countries. Also last week, we recognized Carlos Garcia as the latest recipient of our COD Nursing Program grant and Art Fleming was honored for his work with the recent USGFR tournament. Tracey Essex won $9 in the Rotary Raffle.

Group Study Exchange Jim Brock 2013-05-26 00:00:00Z 0

PRYDE and Golf

Posted by Jim Brock on May 18, 2013
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With us last week were our PRYDE representatives. Four seventh grade boys were sponsored by our club and reported on their experiences at this annual leadership camp. Also last week, Suzy Homme returned from China and collected $10 in the Rotary Raffle. Finally last week, Palms To Pines hosted the 24th Annual United States Golfing Fellowship of Rotarians National Tournament at the Indian Wells Golf Resort. Tournament Chair Jim Brock reports 54 golfers and 23 spouses from throughout the United States and from as far away as Germany participated. When the three day tournament concluded, Palms To Pines member Mike Laughlin was crowned National Champion!  Thanks to all the Palms To Pines members who helped out including Pres. Dana Tarnow, Rob Strain, Doug Walker, Lillian Roberts, John Wohlmuth and Charles Riggs. Very special thanks go to Art Fleming for overseeing the finances, staffing the daily Hospitality Suite and attending many of the event’s functions. Despite record high temperatures, attendees proclaimed the tournament the best event in the organization’s 24 years!

PRYDE and Golf Jim Brock 2013-05-19 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Desert Sister Cities

Posted by Jim Brock on May 11, 2013
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Rosemary Ortega, president of the Palm Desert Sister Cities Foundation, was our speaker last week. Palm Desert has had a Sister Cities program for 30 years and currently has two Sister Cities, Gisborne, New Zealand and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Since its inception, the Sister Cities Foundation has organized a number of programs with our Sister Cities. They’ve had an artist in residence program, student photo exchanges, lifeguard and firefighter training, mayoral exchanges and donations of public safety equipment. To date, the foundation has coordinated the donation of four ambulances and two fire trucks to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and trained over 1,400 public safety workers. Local public safety employees have donated their time to accompany the equipment to Mexico and provide operation and maintenance training to Mexican firefighters and mechanics. Our club has gotten involved with Sister Cities by helping to sponsor a scout troop in Mexico. Also last week, we gave away another $20 in the Rotary Mini-Raffle. Buy tickets this week to build the pot!

Palm Desert Sister Cities Jim Brock 2013-05-12 00:00:00Z 0

Coachella Valley Repertory Theater

Posted by Jim Brock on May 03, 2013
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Ron Celona, artistic director of the Coachella Valley Repertory Theater, was our speaker last week. CV Rep is a regional professional theater and they held their first performance at The Atrium in Rancho Mirage in January, 2012. According to Ron, they like to perform “plays that make you think.” In addition to their own productions, CV Rep also brings in visiting artists for special performances throughout the year. Next up will be the Amin El Collective Jazz Band on Saturday, May 18. Next season’s line up will be announced later this month. Learn more at www.cvrep.org. Also last week, we learned that we’re again planning a series of “road trips” for the last meeting of each of the summer months. If you have an idea for an offsite meeting, please let Pres. Dana or Lillian Roberts know! We’re also looking into the possibility of holding joint meetings with some of our nearby Rotary neighbors. Stay tuned! Finally last week, the Rotary Mega Raffle reached $384 with only aces and jacks remaining in the deck. Mike Laughlin had the winning number and calmly pulled an Ace and took home the jackpot. We’re counting on Mike to do the right thing this week!

Coachella Valley Repertory Theater Jim Brock 2013-05-04 00:00:00Z 0

Math Field Day

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 27, 2013

Again this year, John Marman is seeking Palms To Pines members to help out at the annual Indio Rotary Middle School Math Field Day this Saturday. The annual event takes place this year at John Glenn Middle School and, according to John, is always fun. Our members will be serving as proctors as the competitors test. John Glenn is located at 79655 Miles Avenue (between Dune Palm and Jefferson) in Indio. We’ll need to be there for the proctors meeting at 7:30 a.m. If you’d like to help out, please contact John at johnmarman@gmail.com. Join us! Also last week, we bid farewell to a few additional hardy Sojourners who are heading north for the summer. We look forward to their return when our weather cools! Finally last week, Cal McIntosh came prepared to win the Rotary Mega-Raffle. Cal knows you need to buy tickets in order to win so he purchased $20 worth and, naturally, his ticket was pulled for a one in three chance at over $300. Unfortunately for Cal, he only managed to pull a nine. We’ll have well over $300 available this week!

Math Field Day Jim Brock 2013-04-28 00:00:00Z 0

Sheriff Stan Sniff

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 20, 2013
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Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff was our speaker last week. Sheriff Sniff took office in 2007 and oversees 4,000 employees in the second largest sheriff’s department in the state. In addition to policing the county’s unincorporated areas, the department also contracts with 17 cities (including Palm Desert) for police services. The department also operates five correctional facilities and also provides court and coroner services. One of the biggest problems facing the department, according to Sheriff Sniff, is a change in state law which pushes state prisoners back to county jails. Deputies booked 50,000 people into the county jail system last year and there are fewer and fewer available beds for prisoners because of the change. The county had to release 7,000 prisoners early last year and those numbers will continue to increase. Also last week, Anita Ratchinsky made a farewell appearance until next winter and had her ticket drawn in the Rotary Mega-Raffle. With $312 available, Anita pulled a face card and headed to Canada with $20 American.

Sheriff Stan Sniff Jim Brock 2013-04-21 00:00:00Z 0

Palm Springs Air Museum

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 13, 2013
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With us last week was Don Melvin, a docent with the Palm Springs Air Museum. Don is one of 149 volunteers at the museum and he’s a docent for the museum’s B-17, one of only 11 remaining which still fly. The museum is housed in three hangers and includes 25 aircraft, an 8,000 book library, flight simulators and static displays. The museum offers many educational programs and the next big public event will be the Memorial Day flower drop on Monday, May 27. Also last week, Butch Hartman filled in for MIA Pres. Dana Tarnow. We received a surprise visit from former Palms To Pines member Jim Blaisdell who is now a Minden, Nevada Rotarian and John Marman called for volunteers for Indio Rotary’s annual Math Day competition on May 4. We also learned that Rotary Presents brought in approximately $6,000 and that next year’s event is scheduled for February 27, 2014. One of our visiting Rotarians missed out on $288 in the Rotary Mega Raffle but did go home with $5. Odds are good this week so buy tickets!

Palm Springs Air Museum Jim Brock 2013-04-14 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Desert Health Initiative

Posted by Jim Brock on Apr 06, 2013
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Ricardo Loretta of Palm Desert Rotary and Dick Anderson of La Quinta Rotary were with us last week to talk about the Desert Rotary Health Initiative. The project is a broad initiative focusing on the medical, hunger, education and clean water needs of low income residents of the eastern portion of the Coachella Valley. Both the Palm Desert and La Quinta clubs are cooperating on this project and they hope to get support from Rotary clubs from throughout Southern California. The initiative has the approval of Rotary District 5330 and a matching grant application is before Rotary International. The grant will provide refrigeration units for Galilee Center, a food distribution service in the east valley. The two clubs have major plans for the area including providing water filtration systems for an estimated 100 small trailer parks with clean water issues. Also last week, one of our visiting Rotarians had the lucky raffle ticket but only managed to draw a 3. We’ll have nearly $300 in the pot this week so buy tickets! You can’t win without a ticket!

Rotary Desert Health Initiative Jim Brock 2013-04-07 00:00:00Z 0

64 Years And Counting.......

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 30, 2013
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Last week’s speaker was a no show but visiting Rotarian Don Kraft demonstrated Service Above Self and stepped up to fill the void. Don provided us with a fascinating history of his 64 years in Rotary (yes, 64 years!)—most of it as a member of Seattle Rotary, the fourth club established in the world in 1909. Don joined Rotary at the age of 21 and is a second generation Rotarian. His father also had a long and distinguished Rotary career, serving as a club president, district governor, RI Director and eventually First Vice President of Rotary International. Even more amazing than Don’s 64 years of Rotary membership is the fact that Don has 64 years of perfect attendance! Seattle Rotary has over 600 members and is the largest Rotary club in the world. Thank you, Don Kraft, for an outstanding program! Paul Parry was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner last week and took home $20. Big bucks in the pot this week so buy tickets!
64 Years And Counting....... Jim Brock 2013-03-31 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Presents!

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 23, 2013
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Last week we went over work assignments for our Rotary Presents! event. Every member should plan on being at the Annenberg Center by 5:30 p.m. Monday to get organized before the crowd arrives at 6 p.m. We also got a preview of a couple of the live auction items—a cute rescue dog named Foxy and a tennis racquet autographed by BNP Paribas Champion Rafael Nadal—bring your checkbooks and credit cards! Also last week, we learned that we’ve scheduled our annual Rotarians at Work day for Saturday, April 27. We’ll again be assisting seniors with clean up work at their homes. Louise Oppenheim provided the club with an update on our Rotary Foundation giving. We’re not sure how we did it, but our donations for the current Rotary year total $7,240—nearly three times last year’s total. Mike Wedekind was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner and pocketed $7. Buy tickets this week!
Rotary Presents! Jim Brock 2013-03-24 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 16, 2013
Last week Pres. Dana Tarnow held a Club Assembly. In addition to reviewing our coming events, the main discussion topic was the need for officers, directors and other club leaders for the coming Rotary year. Pres. Dana has gone beyond the call of duty and agreed to serve another year as our President but we are in desperate need of “new blood” in leadership positions for the coming year. If you have yet to serve as a club officer or committee chair (or last did so 10 or 15 years ago!), now is the time to step up. This is YOUR Rotary Club and Palms To Pines needs you! Also last week, Cal McIntosh had a chance at $177 in the Rotary Raffle but only managed to draw a four so our pot should be over $200 this week. Buy tickets!
Club Assembly Jim Brock 2013-03-17 00:00:00Z 0

Loving All Animals

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 09, 2013
With us last week was Lindi Biggi, founder of Loving All Animals. Loving All Animals is one of the two charities our Rotary Presents! event is supporting this year. The group was formed to get other local animal welfare groups to work more closely together. One of its largest annual events is the Super Pet Adoption weekend which was held in November at Whitewater Park in Rancho Mirage. Hundreds of pets were adopted into loving homes this past year. Also last week, we welcomed back two M.I.A. Rotarians, Doug Walker and Jeff Patterson. Doug has been fighting a lingering cold and Jeff is working harder than ever trying to retire……..it was great to see them both. Finally last week, Lillian Roberts had a chance for $140 in the Rotary Raffle but only managed to pull a two from the deck and took home $2. Buy tickets this week!
Loving All Animals Jim Brock 2013-03-10 00:00:00Z 0

Variety, The Children's Charity

Posted by Jim Brock on Mar 02, 2013
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Bob Brown, an Indian Wells Rotarian, was with us last week to tell us about Variety, The Children’s Charity. Variety is one of the two charities that will receive donations from our Rotary Presents! event. Variety is a worldwide organization and the main project the group does in the desert is an annual bicycle giveaway. Bikes go to underprivileged children as well as to special needs kids. Also last week, P2P welcomed Tracey Essex as our newest member. Tracey is with Loving All Animals and is a great addition to our club. Welcome, Tracey! We bid farewell to winter visitor Kathy Martin. Kathy, who is from Seattle, promises to join us again next winter and we look forward to her return. Speaker Bob Brown was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Bob drew and eight and took eight P2P dollars back to Indian Wells with him.
Variety, The Children's Charity Jim Brock 2013-03-03 00:00:00Z 0

Off The Grid

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 23, 2013
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Dave Stewart, manager of Off The Grid Survival Gear here in Palm Desert, was our speaker last week. Dave is a self-described “Prepper” who has purchased a 20 acre farm and is attempting to make it as self-sufficient as possible. Off The Grid sells all kinds of emergency equipment and supplies. According to Dave, when a disaster occurs, everyone needs to prepare for hypothermia, thirst, hunger and be able to protect themselves (from those who aren’t prepared). Also last week, Rob Strain filled in for an ailing Pres. Dana, Martin Kubelik unveiled P2P Rotary pins available for a $10 Happy Dollar donation and we learned that Coachella Rotary is seeking a Palm Desert home for a Rotary Youth Exchange student for the remainder of the school year. Margaret Claggett repeated as our raffle winner and picked up $6.
Off The Grid Jim Brock 2013-02-24 00:00:00Z 0

Light For Children

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 16, 2013
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Our own Mike Laughlin was our speaker last week. Mike presented information about Light For Children, a project of his old Rotary club in Springville, CA. Through the efforts of one particular member, the club and the Rotary Foundation, Springville Sierra Sunrise Rotary has managed to build a school for over 180 students in Kingali, Rwanda. The school is an ongoing project for the club and they are currently raising funds to construct a security fence. The club goal is to raise $5,000 which, through the magic of Rotary Matching Grants, will turn into $15,000 for the project. If you’d like to contribute, send a check to Springville Sierra Sunrise Rotary, PO Box 149, Springville, CA 93265. This program shows what an impact a small club can have! Margaret Claggett was our lucky raffle winner taking home $10.
Light For Children Jim Brock 2013-02-17 00:00:00Z 0

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Visitors

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 02, 2013
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Palms To Pines Rotary recently welcomed a delegation of civic leaders from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico, a Sister City to Palm Desert.

Our club has been active in their area and one of our most successful projects has been the formation of a scout troop to serve the young people in their community. The visitors joined us on January 23 and presented Charles Riggs, our International Service chair and a member of the Palm Desert Sister Cities Committee, with a number of items to express their appreciation for our support. We received a framed Scout emblem for the Zihpacti troop, plaques from the provincial Scouting office and from Ixtapa Rotary as well as reports on the status of the project. The troop currently has 102 members and an additional 29 prospects. Ixtapa Rotary President Irene Juarez Martinez also sent along a letter listing other needs of the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo community.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Visitors Jim Brock 2013-02-03 00:00:00Z 0

YMCA of the Desert

Posted by Jim Brock on Feb 02, 2013
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With us last week were Paula Simonds and Karen Creasey of the YMCA of the Desert. Karen, who manages the Palm Desert Aquatic Center, provided us with an update on this world-class facility. Palms To Pines donated swim suits and $1,000 to the pool last summer to help low income children learn to swim. The pool complex is very successful, operating above projections since open-ing. Paula, the community relations director, told us the YMCA operates on a $7 million annual budget and, in addition to the Aquatic Center, runs sports programs, preschool programs and after school programs throughout the Coachella Valley. Also last week, Jerry Kress was honored with his seventh Paul Harris Fellow and Pres. Dana Tarnow won $20 in the Rotary Raffle.
YMCA of the Desert Jim Brock 2013-02-03 00:00:00Z 0

Castro, Communism, Cars & Cigers

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 26, 2013
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Jim de Boom, a past District Governor from Newport-Balboa Rotary, provided a fascinating program on Cuba. Jim was part of a 65-person tour of the island nation sponsored by the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce. Visiting Cuba is like entering a time warp, according to de Boom. The nation is stuck in the 1950s and everything from cars to books and magazines remind a visitor of that era. The Chamber sponsors a number of tours each year and is planning a return visit to Cuba this May. Also last week, we welcomed eight visitors from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo who were in Palm Desert as part of a Sisters Cities visit. One of our Mexican visitors was the winner of $20 in the Rotary Mega-Raffle. We’ll be close to $200 in the pot this week so buy tickets!
Castro, Communism, Cars & Cigers Jim Brock 2013-01-27 00:00:00Z 0

Employment Law

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 18, 2013
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Barbara Baron, a local attorney specializing in employment law, was our speaker last week. Although California is still an “at will” employment state, scores of laws have seriously impacted the ability of employers to terminate employees. According to Barbara, an employer better have good reasons for termination and keep detailed documentation. Terminated employees tend to sue often in our state. Barbara presented a very interesting and informative program. Also last week, Martin Kubelik received his 100% attendance pin and we received a Rotary Presents! update from Chair Art Fleming. Please join us in planning this important fundraiser! Mike Laughlin was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Mike took home $10. Buy tickets this week!
Employment Law Jim Brock 2013-01-19 00:00:00Z 0

Self Defense

Posted by Jim Brock on Jan 12, 2013
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With us last week was Deanna Bivins of Red Dragon Karate here in Palm Desert. With a violent crime happening in this country every 22 seconds, Deanna has developed a special class for women and seniors. Her program builds awareness, confidence, observation and perception among her students. Barbara led club members in some self defense training at the conclusion of her presentation and it was quite a sight! Barbara is holding an introductory seminar on the program at her studio the evening of January 23. Call her at 760-776-7522 for more information. Also last week, John Marman brought samples of the winning Mini-Muster artwork and the club welcomed back member Martin Kubelik who shared his latest collection of club banners he collected to maintain his perfect attendance. Finally, Shawna McNeill left early but still picked up $6 in the Rotary Raffle. We’ll be over $150 this week!
Self Defense Jim Brock 2013-01-13 00:00:00Z 0

EEDAPT

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 15, 2012
With us last week was Bob Hively of EEDAPT (Education and Employment Adapting to Change). EEDAPT is a 24/7 online program to help students and other job seekers make better decisions about education, employment and talent development. EEDAPT is working with Palm Desert Noon Club on a needs assessment for projects in the eastern end of the Coachella Valley and hopes to partner with Rotary International to promote stronger connections between youth and organizations which can facilitate employment opportunities. Also last week, Jerry Kress was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Jerry pulled an eight and took home $8. Buy tickets this week!
EEDAPT Jim Brock 2012-12-16 00:00:00Z 0

Live A Healthier Life

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 08, 2012
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Joy Diffendal of Take Shape for Life was with us last week to talk about the importance of weight and good health. According to Joy, losing just 10 percent of our body weight can reduce the chances of long term disease by 50 percent. The risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, strokes and coronary artery disease can all be reduced by losing weight. Since 85 percent of people who diet regain their lost weight with 24 months, Joy gave us some great tips on how to lose weight and how to keep it off. We also received a progress report on Choices and Jerry Kress will give us a recap this week. Cal McIntosh was a lucky $9 winner in the Rotary Raffle.
Live A Healthier Life Jim Brock 2012-12-09 00:00:00Z 0

Hospice

Posted by Jim Brock on Dec 01, 2012
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Juan Delgado of Serenity Hospice was with us last week and explained what hospice is and told us about the services his Palm Springs company provides. In addition to terminally ill patients, Serenity Hospice also serves patients who need other home health-related care. It employs home health aides, vocational nurses, registered nurses and social workers. Serenity Hospice also has a volunteer program. Also last week, Butch Hartman made short work of the Rotary Raffle when he pulled an Ace and collected $28 for Suzy Homme. 
Hospice Jim Brock 2012-12-02 00:00:00Z 0

Thanksgiving Food Donations

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 24, 2012
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Thanks to the generosity of Palms To Pines Rotarians, four needy Coachella Valley families enjoyed a memorable Thanksgiving last week. Members donated food and cash during the month and Pres. Dana Tarnow and Treasurer Art Fleming went shopping last week.
Thanksgiving Food Donations Jim Brock 2012-11-25 00:00:00Z 0

District Governor Jean Easum

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 16, 2012
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Rotary District 5330 Governor Jean Easum was with us last week. Gov. Jean met with our club’s officers and directors on Tuesday evening and then joined us for breakfast Wednesday. Gov. Jean told us that one of her major goals during her year as our Governor is to “take care of our people” by doing her best to maintain membership levels at clubs within the district. This is not an easy task thanks to our sluggish economy. Gov. Jean also talked about the importance of continued donations to the Rotary Foundation. Recent changes to how the Foundation returns funds to local districts and clubs have made it essential to continue giving. We won’t receive funds unless we donate funds. Finally last week, the ticket syndicate of Art Fleming and Jim Brock was the lucky winner of the Rotary Mega-Raffle. Art and Jim shared $174 when Art pulled an ace! Congratulations, Art and Jim!
District Governor Jean Easum Jim Brock 2012-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation Month

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 10, 2012
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November is Rotary Foundation Month and our club received an update on the Foundation as well as some personal testimonials on Foundation giving. Butch Hartman, our club’s most generous Foundation donor (with seven Paul Harris awards), told the club why he donates to the Foundation and encouraged every member to make annual contributions. A person can become a sustaining member with an annual contribution of just $100….less than $2 a week! Butch also suggested Rotarians contribute to the Foundation in other people’s names…a perfect way to recognize a family member, friend or loyal employee. Also last week, we learned that Margot Serrano, another multiple Paul Harris recipient, had taken a tumble and ended up at Eisenhower. Contact Margot and wish her a speedy return to Palms To Pines. Mike Laughlin picked up $20 in the Rotary Raffle. There’s a 50-50 chance of winning the pot this week!
Rotary Foundation Month Jim Brock 2012-11-11 00:00:00Z 0

Diabetes & Heart Disease

Posted by Jim Brock on Nov 03, 2012
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Last week we heard from Bob Haunschild, a Rotarian from Hemet. Bob’s company sells a product he claims will stimulate the production of nitric oxide in our systems. Nitric oxide has been shown to be a vasodilator which expands the walls of our arteries. Bob says his product will prevent hardening of the arteries and prevent heart attacks and diabetes. Also last week, we welcomed the return of Sojourners Mike Wedekind and Ray Roth. It’s great to see the first of our winter visitors return! We also learned the identity of the mystery woman in last week’s newsletter. It was none other than Lillian Roberts, dressed to the nines in her 50’s outfit for Hospitality Night at the District Conference. Palms to Pines will be adopting a family in need this Thanksgiving. Every Rotarian is asked to bring either food or cash this week so we can provide a memorable Thanksgiving to a deserving local family. Finally, Jerry Kress still needs help with our Choices Program at Shadow Hills High School. This great program will run the first week of December at the school. Contact Jerry if you can help.
Diabetes & Heart Disease Jim Brock 2012-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

Compounding Pharmacies

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 27, 2012
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With us last week was Larry Koenig, owner of Palm Desert’s Town Center Compounding Pharmacy. With all of the news about the fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections prepared by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, this was a very timely program. Compounding is the art and science of preparing customized, sterile medications that make people better. Until the 1950s, most medications were compounded. This changed with the introduction of mass drug manufacturing but compounding has rebounded in the last decade. Compounding allows a doctor to prescribe a medication at a specific strength for a specific patient. Koenig emphasized the importance of maintaining sterility during the compounding process and of independent testing of the completed compound. Also last week, we learned that we would again be adopting a local family for the holidays and we received a report on our completed mini-muster project. Over 12,000 third graders have completed the program over the past 20 years.
Compounding Pharmacies Jim Brock 2012-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 20, 2012
Charles Riggs, our International Service Chair, provided us with an update on our scouting project in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. We’ve partnered with the Palm Desert Sister Cities committee and Rotary clubs in Ixtapa and Zihautanejo to sponsor the troop. Charlie recently visited the area and he shared photos of a recent camping trip made by troop members. During his visit, Charlie was named an honorary scout by troop leaders. Also last week, Jerry Kress not only filled in for Jim Brock at the check-in table but also filled in for an ailing Pres. Dana Tarnow. J. R. Fleischner was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner. J. R. had a chance at $120 but only managed to draw an eight and walked away with $8. Buy tickets this week! Make sure to mark your calendars for our annual Holiday Party this year. We’re planning an evening event at Monterey Country Club on Thursday, Dec. 13. We’ve lined up a special dinner menu and are planning on some outstanding entertainment. Line up potential members as guests and let’s have a great turnout!
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Jim Brock 2012-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

Walk To Fight Diabetes

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 13, 2012
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With us last week was Leslie Pepper of the American Diabetes Association. Palms To Pines has participated in the Association’s annual Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes benefit walk for the past several years and we’ll once again have a team at this year’s event at the La Quinta Resort on Nov. 10. Put the event on your calendar and start raising funds. Leslie tells us that one in three children under 12 will eventually develop diabetes so our country is facing a real crisis. Plan to walk or donate to one of our walkers! Pres. Dana reminded us that our Holiday Party will be held the evening of Dec. 13 at Monterey Country Club. Plan to be there! Charles Riggs was our lucky Raffle winner last week but only managed to draw a three and took home $3. Buy tickets this week!
Walk To Fight Diabetes Jim Brock 2012-10-14 00:00:00Z 0

Vocational Service Month

Posted by Jim Brock on Oct 05, 2012
Margaret Claggett kicked off Rotary Vocational Service Month last week by giving the club a rundown on current vocational service activities and talking about some proposed projects. One of Rotary’s main Vocational Service principles is promoting and adhering to the highest ethical standards in all occupations and we’ll e reaffirming that goal this month by reciting the 4-Way Test at each meeting. Another Vocational Service principle is contributing a member’s vocational talents to meeting the community’s needs. We’ll be doing that again this year with our Choices program at Shadow Hills High School. That project is scheduled for the first week of December and Chair Jerry Kress needs additional presenters. We’re also considering a “job shadowing” program for area students. Finally last week, Mike Laughlin returned from his summer travels and promptly collected $4 in the Rotary Raffle. Buy tickets this week!
Vocational Service Month Jim Brock 2012-10-06 00:00:00Z 0

College of the Desert Tour

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 29, 2012
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Last week we continued our College of the Desert update with a tour of the campus. Construction has been ongoing at the college since passage of a $346.5 million bond measure in 2004 and we got to see some of the new campus buildings during a brief tour. Our first stop was the Cravens Student Center. This LEED Certified environmentally friendly building combines numerous student services in a single location. We also visited the brand new Math and Sciences building and saw the locations of the nursing program and the Public Safety Academy. The state’s budget crisis has limited enrollment at COD during the last few years but the college’s construction projects will leave it well-positioned for the future.

 

College of the Desert Tour Jim Brock 2012-09-30 00:00:00Z 0

College of the Desert Update

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 22, 2012
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Our own John Marman, a member of the College of the Desert Board of Trustees, provided us with an update on the college. During our tough economic times, John says he is often asked about the building campaign at the college. Voters passed a $4 million bond issue for college infrastructure since most of the campus is nearing 50 years old. Those funds must be used for building projects and must be spent within a specific period of time. Despite the college’s budget problems, now is an excellent time to build and prepare COD for the next 50 years. John, the former COD Athletic Director, also responded to articles published in the Desert Sun about the school’s athletic programs. Last week we also had a visit from Gus Anaya and three other members of the Mexicali Industriale Rotary Club. Over the years, Palms To Pines has worked with the Mexicali club on a number of projects and Gus brought us up-to-date on his club.
College of the Desert Update Jim Brock 2012-09-23 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 15, 2012
Pres. Dana Tarnow conducted another Club Assembly last week to keep members up-to-date on activities. We received an update on our Million Meals program and heard about a Work Day tentatively planned for October 13. We also discussed a possible Fashion Show fundraiser in late November. We’ll discuss the fundraiser again this week. Pres. Dana also again encouraged members to attend the upcoming District 5330 Conference scheduled Oct. 26-28 at the Doral Resort in Cathedral City. We have registration funds budgeted so contact Pres. Dana if you’d like to attend. One District Conference event not to miss is the Friday Hospitality Night. We’ll again be teaming with Indian Wells Rotary to host a suite and this is a great evening of food, drink and fellowship with Rotarians from throughout the valley and the district. Jim Brock discussed the need for volunteers during the May, 2013, Rotary national golf tournament hosted by our club.  We’re also seeking a Chair for our 2013 Night of Magic. A planning session for the event will be scheduled soon. Finally last week, Doug Walker was the lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Doug took home $10 on a $3 purchase!
Club Assembly Jim Brock 2012-09-16 00:00:00Z 0

New Generations Month

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 08, 2012
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September is Rotary New Generations Month and Jerry Kress, our club’s New Generations chair, talked about Rotary’s fifth avenue of service last week. All service clubs are facing declining membership and Rotary International recognized the problem by focusing on efforts to attract younger members to Rotary. Rotary is encouraging districts to form New Generations clubs which are more informal and less expensive to participate in than traditional Rotary clubs. Rotary is also focusing on recruitment efforts to attract younger members to traditional clubs. The third part of Rotary’s New Generations efforts are our ongoing youth programs--PYRDE, RYLA and Interact. Exposing young people to Rotary principles at an early age will boost membership in coming years. Jerry will be urging our club to get more involved with Interact at Shadow Hills High School and we’ll once again be conducting the Choices program at that school this school year.

New Generations Month Jim Brock 2012-09-09 00:00:00Z 0

FIND Food Bank

Posted by Jim Brock on Sep 02, 2012
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To help kick off our Million Meals project, Palms to Pines visited FIND Food Bank in Indio last Wednesday. FIND supplies eight million pounds of food annually to our valley’s disadvantaged and feeds 80,000 individuals each month. FIND picks up about 250,000 pounds of food from local grocery stores each month. The organization has 2,400 volunteers and they are always looking for more. Volunteer orientation is held monthly and volunteers work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 to 11 a.m. FIND says food insecurity can happen to anyone and that many seniors end up feeding their pets before themselves. If you know someone in need of food, you can dial 211 and the operator will provide organizations which can help. In addition to the presentation, Rotarians toured FIND’s distribution facility. September is Hunger Action Month so it’s a perfect time for our Million Meals food campaign. Prepare to volunteer your time this week!

FIND Food Bank Jim Brock 2012-09-03 00:00:00Z 0

Pre-Planned Funerals

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 25, 2012
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With us last week was Kasey Scott, a funeral director for Wiefel’s Cremation and Funeral Services. Kasey gave us an informative program on funeral pre-planning. Not only does pre-planning remove the emotional and financial burden from survivors, it also protects against future price changes and ensures your desires are fulfilled. There are three steps to pre-planning a funeral. First, your personal and family information is recorded. Second, the actual funeral arrangements are planned. Finally, the final step is the purchase of a pre-planned funeral insurance policy to cover the costs of the funeral. The policy pays the guaranteed portion of the funeral bill regardless of future price increases. Also last week, members received brochures for our arts, crafts and hobbies expo. We need to recruit vendors to make this event a success! Margaret Claggett was our lucky Rotary Raffle winner but she only managed to draw a two and take home $2.
Pre-Planned Funerals Jim Brock 2012-08-26 00:00:00Z 0

Photography Tips

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 17, 2012
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Newly-named Program Chair Lillian Roberts stepped up last week to provide an excellent program on photography tips. Lillian has enjoyed photography as a hobby for many years and she is a past president of the Desert Camera Club and has won international awards for her photography. Lillian’s number one tip for good photos is to take lots of pictures. With digital photography, there is no cost for taking multiple shots and discarding all but the best. Lillian also showed us a number of examples of her work and emphasized the importance of cropping, diagonals in photos and photo editing. This was a very interesting and informative program. Thanks, Lillian! Do any other members have interesting hobbies they’d like to share with the club? These “craft talks” are often some of our best programs! Fittingly, after stepping up to provide the program last week, Lillian was also our lucky Rotary Raffle winner. Lillian drew a Queen and took home $20. Buy tickets this week!
Photography Tips Jim Brock 2012-08-18 00:00:00Z 0

Million Meals Kick Off

Posted by Jim Brock on Aug 11, 2012

At last week’s Club Assembly, we received an update on our upcoming Million Meals campaign. Although it officially begins in September, Palms To Pines is already out of the gate with a donation of 4,500 meal packages to Desert Hot Springs-based Food Now. The meal packages were assembled by RYLA students earlier this year. We’re also requesting members to bring food donations to meetings between now and the end of the month. We’ll donate those to FIND Food Bank when we visit their facility for our August 29 meeting. Finally, we’ve secured the Ralph’s store at Washington and Hovley for food solicitation on weekends in September. We’ll have more information on that project in coming weeks. Also last week, John Marman reminded club members that Mini-Muster, the annual fire safety program for third graders, begins on October 4. Pres. Dana Tarnow drew an Ace to collect $200 in the Rotary Raffle! She’s donating her winnings to the Million Meals campaign.

Million Meals Kick Off Jim Brock 2012-08-12 00:00:00Z 0