The Surf Beat: July 24th, 2018


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July 24th, 2018 


President Kevin Quinn welcomed Rotarians and guests to the Rotary Club of La Jolla, meeting as usual in the welcoming environs of the Verandah Room of La Valencia Hotel. Kevin reminded us that the theme for the 2018-19 Rotary year is to “be the inspiration” for others. Today’s speaker certainly embodied that theme . . . more below


Inspiration: Burton Housman (he of considerable intellect and powerful voice . . . no microphone required, thank you) delivered a thoughtful and well-received message concerning the meaning of true love.

Pledge: Pat Stouffer led us in the pledge of allegiance.

Song:The song leader of the day was Dave Weston, who led us in America (“My Country ’Tis of Thee”)


Rotary Welcomed:


Pedro Osuna, hosted by Dirk Harris, attended his third Club meeting, and expressed his admiration for our Club and its mission and activities. Rick Engbrecht attended his first Club meeting. Rick was Lina Elliott’s guest, and is Lina’s colleague at First Republic Bank. Cort Peters, a psychologist in the field of athletics, attended as the Club’s guest.  Cort, our speaker’s fellow Notre Dame alum, assisted our speaker in his presentation. Visiting Rotarians were Max Rumbaugh, a member of the Scottsdale Rotary Club, Robert Shumate, a member of the Villa Park Rotary Club, and Gordon Shurtleff ,our frequent visitor who is a member of the Torrey Pines Rotary Club. From Gordon we learned that last week he had an arterial stent inserted, and that subsequently he received excellent post-procedure care from “Nurse Ratchet” (“Nurse Ratchet” in fact being his beloved wife, and our beloved Club member, Penny Shurtleff.). With considerable emotion, Gordon expressed his love for our Club.

Member Update:

From President Kevin we learned:

Claude Rosinsky continues to recuperate from her recent knee surgery, and sent us a gracious note expressing thanks (and good wishes) owing to her receipt of the Club’s Get Well cards and floral bouquet.  Claude now faces several months of physical therapy, with a possible return to the Club in mid to late September.

Leanne MacDougal continues to be on the mend at home, and continues to welcome visits from Club members, particularly Club members who bring (and share with her) dinner from the Girard Gourmet . . . Leanne will happily cover the cost of dinner.

Presidential announcements:

The first Club Board meeting of President Kevin’s Rotary term was held last week at Peter Nguyen’s First Republic Bank office.  Peter not only provided a conference room, but also graciously supplied food and beverages . . . Kevin heartily thanked Peter for both of these things.

On the evening of August 14 at Petco Park, there will occur the last Rotary Day at the Ballpark, with the Padres hosting the Angels. In view of the Padres’ limited success this season, Kevin wryly observed that La Jolla Rotarians might not be terribly enthused about this.  However, any Club member with an interest should see Kevin or check our Rotary District’s website.

As a matter of information, Kevin informed us that this is the 14th year of the annual International Youth Symphony, which is a partner of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory and our Rotary District 5340.  It brings 17 young musicians from 10 countries to San Diego to perform with San Diego Youth Symphony’s most advanced members.  The free performance of these capable young musicians was to occur that night (the 24th) at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

Announcements from Club Members:

Penny Shurtleff (who, channeling her husband Gordon, commenced her announcement by stating “I love our Club too”) reminded us that the annual Club-sponsored picnic at the League House will be held August 12.  Club members are encouraged to attend (President Kevin has attended many of these picnics, and described them as being lively and enjoyable) and/or contribute financially to defray the picnic’s expenses.  Sign-up sheets were circulated for members to indicate their attendance and/or contribution . . . please see Penny or Kevin if you wish to do either and missed the sign-up sheet.

Blue Badge Awarded to Lina Elliott


President Kevin, joined by Dirk Harris (Club Membership Chair), presented Lina Elliott with her Blue Rotary Badge, confirming Lina’s completion of the various pre-requisite Rotary tasks.  Lina completed all of the required tasks very quickly, and with considerable enthusiasm.  She observed that she enjoys being around fun people doing good things for others, and expressed gratitude at being a Club member.

Happy Bucks:

Sally Fuller contributed Happy Bucks, owing both to her upcoming visit to Bettendorf, Iowa (recently voted “the best place to raise a family”) and to tomorrow night’s (July 25) lecture at La Jolla Woman’s Club entitled “Women Who Made La Jolla – The Pioneers.”

Speaker: Alex Montoya


President Elect Charles Hartford, recently returned to La Jolla from an African safari, introduced our speaker, Alex Montoya.  In short order we learned that Alex is one very fascinating, and indeed inspirational, fellow.

Alex was born with no arms and only one leg in 1974 in Medellin, Colombia. This was completely unexpected, for Alex’s siblings are entirely without similar physical challenges.

At age 4, thanks to the generosity of the Shriners, Alex immigrated to the United States and until age 21 received prosthetic limbs and related treatment at the Shriners medical facilities.  As a result, Alex has been able to lead a full and normal life.

In Colombia, Alex enjoyed a happy family life.  Alex’s father was unfailingly cheerful and positive, and became Alex’s lifelong inspiration. At age 4, as Alex was leaving Colombia, Alex’s father strongly encouraged him to become fully educated and to inspire others.  As a result of both the beneficence of the Shriners and his own hard work and determination, Alex has been able to do both of those things.  He is a proud University of Notre Dame grad (“Go Irish!” found its way into his presentation several times) and is a successful motivational speaker and small business owner, with many friends and admirers.

As a high school junior, Alex attended our Rotary District’s RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) weekend conference.  Alex praised RYLA and the Rotarians who served as counsellors, and credited them as having contributed greatly to the development of his self-confidence, ambition and leadership skills. Alex is a Paul Harris Fellow, supports Rotary’s mission unreservedly, and enjoys speaking to Rotary Clubs.

In describing his life’s journey, Alex mentioned both speed bumps (in one of his first motivational speeches at a college, he had to compete . . . unsuccessfully, as it turned out . . . with television cartoons, Starbucks noise and a popcorn vendor) and high points (working for the Padres, owning his own successful business, and being a successful author.

Alex’s messages included:  no challenge is too great, never give up; never be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution; be a force for good for those around you;  find opportunities and make the best of them;  be happy, for this will allow you to focus your energies upon being a force for good;  and, always, behave so as to inspire others.

At the conclusion of Alex’s presentation, President Kevin more or less summed things up by loudly exclaiming “Wow!” Wow indeed . . . Alex was spellbinding, and indeed inspirational.

President’s Closing Remarks:

President Kevin, apparently bedazzled by the excellence of Alex Montoya’s presentation, neglected to follow his custom of ending the meeting with a wise/interesting/inspirational quote.  However, by clandestine means today’s Surf Beat reporters managed to discover the quote Kevin intended to recite, had he not been distracted. It is:

Milton Berle:  “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Havana 081218


Surf Beat:

 Reported by Susan Stevens and Dave Weston.  Photos By Susan Stevens.  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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