July 9th, 2019
Charles Hartford called the second meeting of his La Jolla Rotary Presidency to order at high noon (this promptness befitting the retired United States Army Colonel that he is) in the Verandah Room of La Valencia Hotel.
Next, La Jolla Rotarians contributed to our meeting in the following ways:
Betty Dow, turning for inspiration to Dr. Seuss, reminded us that there’s no place we’d rather be than in La Jolla.
John Donaldson led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sid Stutz led us in singing “You’re A Grand Old Flag.”
The first order of business was the introduction of guests, who included:
Frank and Carolyn Laughton (he a retired IBM executive, she a retired broadcast media executive), guests (and neighbors) of Pat Stouffer.
Fran Chadwick (retired college professor), guest (and wife) of Pat Stouffer.
Rachel Ra’anan (a resident of Tel Aviv who has just completed her obligatory two years of Israeli National Service), guest (and niece) of Bill Burch.
Katherine Ha, a San Diego State University pre-med student with aspirations to attend UCSD Medical School, guest of Dr. Jane Reldan.
What Am I?
Sid Stutz, long time and very well respected La Jolla Rotarian, provided a summary of his personal history as well as information about his current doings. Sid served as an officer in the United States Navy, followed by 25+ years of service in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Sid is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and for many years was an eminent, ethical and well respected (these are your reporter’s words . . . Sid is unfailingly modest) San Diego trial lawyer. Sid retired from the practice of law in 2002, and since then has committed himself (by all appearances, with considerable success) to” keeping his rocking chair from gathering dust.” Sid described himself as a “Senior Octagenarian”, and although it is true he has had 87 birthdays, his zest for life is palpable, and abundant. Sid is a widower, and has six children. With his special (and wonderful) friend, Paula McColl, Sid has enjoyed (and no doubt will continue to enjoy) many good times, including recent travels to Eastern Europe and a trip to Ireland that commenced July 10. Sid, your fellow Rotarians wish you (and Paula) many more years of joy and fulfillment.
League House Summer Picnic
Penny Shurtleff reminded us that the 16th annual summer picnic at the League House will be held on Sunday July 28 from 4 – 7pm. This picnic always is a great good time, with fine conversation, food, drink and dancing to be found in abundance. The League House residents always are most grateful for La Jolla Rotary’s sponsorship of this event. Club members are encouraged to attend, and to consider contributing a gift (cash is always welcome) to the cause. Penny pointed out that Susan Stevens again will serve as bartender at the event . . . this is good news for the residents, for apparently Susan is not known for her stingy pours.
La Jolla Rotary Foundation
Ted Rutter provided a status report on La Jolla Rotary Foundation , which is our Club’s own “501(c)3” Foundation. La Jolla Rotary Foundation’s Board of Directors consists of nine Club members, including all of the Club’s Officers, and three “at large” members. Ted currently serves as Chairman of the Foundation’s Board. The Foundation’s assets currently have the value of ~$4.1 million, and soon will be augmented by approximately $500,000 (this being the balance of Ray and Mary Grace Fowler’s million dollar bequest to the Foundation.) The Foundation’s Board has the responsibility of overseeing the Foundation’s investments (in this regard, investment counseling is provided by U.S. Bank) and being sure that disbursements from the Foundation are made for proper charitable purposes. The single most important function of the Foundation is to oversee our Club’s scholarship program, under which approximately $175,000 of scholarship awards will be made this year to graduates of the four La Jolla area high schools.
The Rotary Foundation (of Rotary International)
Rotary International consists of 1.2 million members in 33,000+ clubs, in 200+ countries. From Will Creekmur we learned that the Rotary Foundation (“TRF”) is the “501(c)3” Foundation for the entire international Rotary world. Its programs are various, and span the globe. All are humanitarian in one way or another. Will is our Club’s interface with TRF. In Will’s description, contributions to TRF by Club members allow La Jolla Rotarians to link arms with fellow Rotarians around the world, to make the world a better place. Any Club member contributing $1,000 (this need not be all at once, but can consist of a series of contributions over time) is designated a “Paul Harris Fellow”, which is an accomplishment of some distinction in the Rotary world. Will encouraged Club members to consider contributions to TRF, and promised appropriate recognition for members achieving Paul Harris Fellow status.
Members generously contributed to the Club’s charitable doings as follows:
Dirk Harris, in gratitude for a wonderful family road trip up the California coast;
Claude Rosinsky, lauding the fact that “Rotary connects the world”;
Will Creekmur, having returned from a family gathering in Virginia attended by 85 relatives;
Camille McKinnie, with thanks for the contributions to our Club and to the Salvation Army that Charles Hartford, Cindy Goodman, Randy Mulch and John Donaldson had made over the past year; and,
Claire Reiss, in gratitude for being a La Jolla Rotarian.
President-elect Dirk Harris introduced Tim Rice and Derek Grice, both San Diego State University Associate Athletic Directors, who spoke to us about the current state of SDSU athletics. There are 250,000+ SDSU alums in San Diego County, and concerted efforts are being made to foster alumni support for both the SDSU athletic and academic programs.
SDSU is proud of the many academic accomplishments of its athletes, as well as their athletic successes. On the athletic side, SDSU’s football team has participated in a post-season bowl game for the last nine consecutive years, an accomplishment enjoyed by only three other universities. On the academic side, many varsity athletes are Dean’s List students, and historically many have gone on to play prominent roles in government, and in San Diego’s professional and business communities.
The most important focus of SDSU’s athletic department currently is to bring to fruition the construction of a new Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley. The new Aztec Stadium will be on the site of, and will replace, San Diego/Jack Murphy/Qualcomm/SDCCU Stadium, which was abandoned by the Chargers and which, at age 50, is outmoded and in need of replacment. The SDCCU Stadium site is owned by the City of San Diego. As a result of the recent passage of Proposition G, the City of San Diego is authorized to sell 132 acres of the site to SDSU for the purpose (among other things) of building a football stadium, provided that the City and SDSU can agree on a fair and reasonable price. The City/SDSU negotiation of a fair and reasonable price is underway, with hopes that common ground can be reached before too very long. In the meantime, plans for development of the 132 acre site (including comprehensive plans for a football stadium) have been drawn up, environmental impact reports commissioned, and a construction contractor (Clark Construction) selected.
And, the fundraising has begun . . . money — lots of it — will be needed. In this regard, SDSU’s fundraising efforts will be carried out through the Aztec Club (website: sdsuaztecclub.com
) As is set forth in the Aztec Club’s website, all contributions are welcome, but — no surprise here — larger contributions will result in better seats at athletic events, more publicity in promotional materials, etc.
Once the proposed plan for purchase and development the of the 132 acre site is in hand (including the purchase price amount and financing arrangments), California State University’s Board of Trustees (SDSU is one of 23 CSU campuses) must approve the plan before it can be implemented. It is hoped the final proposed plan can be presented to the CSU Board at its next meeting (January, 2020), that the CSU Board then will give the go ahead, and that the new Aztec Stadium will host its first football game (SDSU v. University of Arizona) on September 3, 2022. Loyal Aztecs, stay tuned for future developments! (And, in the meantime, the Aztec Club would very much appreciate your generous contributions.)
At the close of their presentation, Messrs. Rice and Grice were thanked by President Charles. Charles, however, was not content to move toward adjournment directly, but rather first reminded Club members that the last time the football teams of SDSU and the United States Military Academy (Charles’ alma mater) met on the gridiron (in last December’s Armed Services Bowl) the West Pointers had gotten the better of the Aztecs. Having made this announcement with considerable glee, then (and only then) President Charles declared the meeting adjourned.
Reported by David Weston. Photos by Susan Stevens. Edited by Diane Salisbury.
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