The Surf Beat: January 29th, 2019

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January 29th , 2019 

President Kevin Quinn called the meeting to order and welcomed fellow Rotarians and guests to the Rotary Club of La Jolla.

Inspiration:Susan Rutan with help from Betty Dowd shared the following: “It’s a troublesome world.  All the people who are in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute.  You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not.”  Dr. Seuss

Pledge: Ed Mracek

Song: Bill Burch in “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

Rotary welcomed

Phil A. Sperl from the East Salem Rotary Club. Phil is a past District Governor and was recognized by Rotary International with the Rotary International Service Above Self Award in 2009 for his service on various humanitarian projects.

Deralyn Kaheny came as a guest of Bill Burch. Now retired, she and Bill had worked together for many years as lender and realtor, and she had participated in the California Missions hike that the day’s speaker discussed. Vince Giacalone, also a guest of Bill Burch, works in commercial insurance sales. President-elect Charles Hartford was joined by his wife, Rebecca Hartford, and Ron Sheffer, a former submariner. Bill Eldrodge, a guest of Chuck Marsh, was a nuclear submariner and is now a math tutor at The Preuss School. Amy Wimer, also invited by Charles and introduced by Camille McKinnie, is a veteran publishing executive, originally from Chicago.  She was the associate publisher and vice president of sales for the San Diego Business Journal and is the new owner of La Jolla Lifestyle magazine.

Scott Barton, his wife May and daughters Lisa and Kelly ,joined us as guests of the Club.


Vocational Service Award Presented

Rich Velasquez, chair of the Vocational Services Committee, introduced Principal Scott Barton of The Preuss School as this Rotary year’s first recipient of the Vocational Services Award. The award recognizes non-Rotarians who, through their vocation, have achieved great things and made a positive impact on the community.  The award was presented by Kevin Quinn, after whichMr. Barton shared with the Club some of The Preuss School’s unique goals and benchmarks. Preuss serves low-income students in grades 6-12 that strive to become the first in their families to attend college. The school’s graduates consistently are accepted into four-year colleges and universities at a rate of more than 90 percent. Almost 100 percent go on to some form of higher education. The school is chartered by the San Diego Unified School District and operated by the University of California, San Diego. Located on the UCSD campus, the school is funded entirely through private support. Preuss has a culturally diverse student body, coming from 41 zip codes throughout San Diego County. It has been recognized by Newsweek as the top transformative high school in the nation for three years in a row.  The school receives millions of dollars in scholarships from various organizations including our club.  Mr. Barton thanked our club for its support.


  • International Committee Chair Susan Rutan is organizing a humanitarian mission to Puerto Rico.  You may have seen the article in the monthly Rotarian magazine about the need still prevalent in this hurricane torn neighbor.  Participants will need to be in San Juan, Puerto Rico by May 26th and ready to start on our project on May 27-30th.  We are teaming with SPB ( to provide the organization, families in need, direction and necessary tools to make a difference.  We will also partner with Rotary clubs of San Juan and attend a meeting there.  Susan estimates the cost of air, hotel and transportation to be approximately $1500 per person. Contact Susan Rutan at 858-361-4436 or rutan@gmail.comwith questions and if you are interested in joining this worthwhile effort for our citizens in Puerto Rico.
  • President Kevin announced that all red badge members of our club should offer their help to Femie Cupit at the front desk on meeting days. It’s a great way to meet all of our club members.
  • If you have a prospective club member who attended the Alison Brown concert, please email DirkHarris with their name.
  • Pat Stouffer underwent a medical procedure that was successful. Pat is expected to recover fully.
  • Rotarians at Work Day is on April 27, 2019. Judy Nelson is soliciting ideas from our club members for a worthy project in La Jolla.
  • The 2019 District Conference is from March 1-3, 2019 at the Catamaran Hotel in Pacific Beach.
  • The 2019 Rotary Foundation Gala is on April 29, 2019.
  • The 8thAnnual District 5340/Kroc School Peace Forum is on Saturday, February 23, 2019 from 8AM-12Noon at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. This event is free of charge.
  • The La Jolla Music Society’s concert with pianist George Li is on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 3 PM. The tickets are $38.  We have put a deposit down for 40 tickets.  Please contact Sally Fuller if interested.

Burton Housman Memorial

A memorial service for Rotarian Burton Housman will be held on February 16 at 11:00am at the Friends Meeting House, 7380 Eads Avenue. More information can be found here.

Guest Speaker:  Edie Littlefield Sundby, author of The Mission Walker


Charles Hartford introduced our speaker.  Edie Littlefield Sundby was born on an Oklahoma cotton farm without electricity and running water.  She went on to graduate from the University of Oklahoma and became one of the first female sales executives at IBM and later a VP for Pacific Telesis.  Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with stage 4 gallbladder cancer and was given less than three months to live.  She survived six years of aggressive chemotherapy, radiation and invasive surgeries of her liver and lung, vowing to fight the disease.  She sought out the best care and relied on her faith, and found healing through movement.  She knew that if she was still walking, she was still alive.

Under siege from a relentless stage 4 cancer and after losing her right lung, Edie walked the entire 1,600 mile El Camino Real de las Californias mission trail through the mountain wilderness of Baja California Mexico, which is also one of the hottest and driest deserts on earth, to Northern California.  This trail links twenty-one missions from San Diego to San Francisco. She endured desert heat and cold, walls of cactus, sleeplessness, hunger, extreme thirst, both physical and spiritual exhaustion, the dangers of wild creatures and encounters with drug smugglers.  Through all of this, she drew inspiration from the old unmapped Spanish mission trail. During these adventures, she reflected on the universal experience of confronting her own mortality. Undeterred by physical and emotional pain, she searched for restoration and hope.  She believes that the fear of death is not going to save us, but the joy of living is.  She learnt that the way you connect is to disconnect with the world.  A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

Unfortunately, the cancer returned two years later.  With no time to lose, she set out to walk the remaining 800 miles of El Camino Real, from its origin in Loreto, Mexico, north to the U.S. border.  Edie shared some amazing pictures from her adventures.  The cancer still chases her but she continues to walk every day.  “If I can move, I am not sick” is her mantra.  In addition to writing this book, Edie’s essays have appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.


President’s Closing Quote:

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Ernest Hemingway


Surf Beat:

 Reported by Shabnam Miglani. Photos By Susan Rutan .  Edited by Diane Salisbury.

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Club Meetings Unless otherwise noted, all club meetings are Tuesday, 12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m. at La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect St., La Jolla (Map)  Check out the Upcoming Guest Speakers on the Club Calendar

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