President’s Letter – April 8, 2019

President’s Letter – April 8, 2019

Steve Brooks got the meeting started leading our Flag Salute, which was followed by Past President Kathleen Blake’s eloquent Invocation.  A very appropriate song was chosen in honor of our speaker and we harmonized through “Lean On Me” without the need for the gong.  Michael Self was so appreciative of Connie Green offering to assist her with writing a book that she donated a full card.  I am looking forward to seeing what this collaboration develops in the coming months.  My guess is Michael will go through at least one box of Kleenex during the process.

We celebrated our successful blood drive last Friday with 22 units of blood donated.  Very nicely done fellow Rotarians, I am sure we made a difference for someone in need.  Bob Fatch won the raffled $50 gift card but all of us that participated received the satisfaction of knowing we are helping our community.

We took a moment to remember a fellow Rotarian who passed away this week.  Jack Cunningham was a long time proud Rotarian who served as President in 1984-1985.  John Rasmussen shared some memories of their friendship and Marlee King, who had very recent contact with Jack said he passed away comfortably at 99 years old.  May Jack forever be remembered in our hearts and at the longstanding Rotary poker table.

Lake Cachuma Fundraiser
We finished the Lake Cachuma fundraiser with a hilarious contest to determine our winners.  You see, Don Jack and Aaron Spechler tied for 1st place so we identified a fun tiebreaking question to determine the winner.  As Aaron was not able to attend today’s meeting he gave his proxy to Bob Hansen who had the closest guess of the weight for the largest trout ever caught in Lake Cachuma (15.8 lbs.) providing the victory to Aaron with Don Jack finishing in 2nd.  However, with Aaron and Don being such generous Rotarian’s they both decided to donate their winnings back to the club so we auctioned off the hydration basket and beach / pool bag.  Teresa and Steve Petersen were the high bidders and are now relaxing in the pool with a cool drink in their hands.  As if that were not enough we also had a tie for 3rd place between Don Jack and Dick Salogga.  As Dick could not be there, Jon Wilson stood in and provided the closest answer to our tiebreaking question when was Bradbury Dam completed? (1953).  Surprisingly, Dick had shared that he did not have the attention span to regularly feed a fish so he donated his prize “Bubbles” back to the club.  Michael Baker sensing a lack of interest from the members spun the auction to allow the winning bidder the right to assign Bubbles to any member they choose.  Don Jack saw an opportunity and seized it sending Bubbles home with Steve Petersen.  What else are friends for?  After laughing nonstop for nearly 15 minutes, we left with the satisfaction of knowing that Bubbles has found a wonderful new home in the Petersen Estate.

Speaker Presentation
Joining us today was Abe Powell the founder of the Bucket Brigade.  Abe described how helpless he and his friends felt following the Montecito debris flow last year.  Rather than wallow in the mud they decided to make a difference.  Bucket Brigade was created and with the help of 3,000 volunteers, 100 homes were cleaned up.  Abe demonstrated wonderful leadership and coordination in managing this effort and now is looking forward to helping people with preparedness training.  Our club was so impressed by Abe’s inspirational story that we provided him an honorary membership.  Dean Axelrod did the honors and Abe was very appreciative.  We hope to see more of Abe going forward.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *