The Surf Beat: July 23rd, 2019

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July 23rd, 2019


President Charles Hartford called the meeting to order in the Verandah Room of La Valencia Hotel, with the sun shining and the blue Pacific Ocean shimmering outside.Charles wasn’t able to attend last week’s meeting, and thanked Past President Ken King for presiding in his stead. Noting that Ken had arrived at today’s meeting garbed in shorts, Charles declined to impose a fine — quite probably attributable to Ken’s notably capable assistance at the podium last week.

Rotary Welcomed…

Peter Nguyen introduced Adrian Lasman, a colleague at First Republic Bank.  Adrian works in the bank’s La Mesa office, and this coming Friday will attend his first meeting as a guest at the La Mesa Rotary Club.

Inspiration & Pledge: Ed Mracek

Song: Aaron Hoffman led us in God Bless America.

President Charles granted Betty Dow’s request to make a public service announcement, encouraging all La Jolla Rotarians to be sure their homeowner’s insurance policies are up to date.  Betty recently experienced a burst pipe in her home, and observed that the financial consequences would have been terrible if her homeowner’s insurance had not been up to date. Fellow Rotarians, it seems prudent to follow Betty’s good advice on this one, rather than ignoring it and running the risk of a painful learning experience from the School of Hard Knocks.


Aaron Hoffman has been a La Jolla Rotarian for several years, but at President Charles’ request provided us with an updated “Who Am I?” Before coming to La Jolla, Aaron spent 42 years as a real estate broker and as a professional liquidator (for example, selling the assets of a company that has gone out of business). Aaron now is a business broker, representing both sellers and purchasers of businesses. He is affiliated with First Choice Business Brokers, headquartered in Las Vegas, which is the largest business broker in Southern California for the purchase/sale of small-to-medium sized businesses. From Aaron we learned the importance of maintaining absolute confidentiality in pending purchase/sales negotiations (if confidentiality is compromised, adverse financial consequences likely will be visited upon both the purchaser and seller), and the challenges involved in accurately appraising the value of a business (generally a multiple of annual earnings for a going concern, and the liquidation value of the hard assets of a company that no longer is doing business). Aaron emphasized how much more work must be done by the broker in connection with the purchase or sale of a business, as opposed to the purchase or sale of a personal residence. In recognition of this, the business broker’s commission generally is the greater of $15,000 or 12% of the purchase price.


  • President Charles announced that Cindy Goodman has been selected as La Jolla Rotary’s liaison with our Rotary District 5340. Thanks to Cindy for taking this on.
  • Charles, having reminded us of this year’s Rotary International theme of “Rotary Connects the World”, told the story of recently having been at the College of the Ozarks in Missouri, where all students must work to pay their tuition. He met a student selling ice cream to defray his tuition, who turned out to be an orphan from Jeremie, Haiti. Charles reminded us that several years ago a La Jolla Rotary delegation (including Charles, Laura Fisher, Susan Stevens, David Brockett, Ken King, Pat Stouffer, and Dave Weston) traveled to Jeremie, Haiti, to help build an orphanage there.
  • Rich Velasquez, noting how Charles’ story resonated with him, said he is pleased/proud that his employer, Banner Bank (Rich is branch manager), has embraced Rotary values and supports what Rotary does.
  • On August 10 District 5340 is putting on a membership seminar.  Please see Charlesif you are interested. Peter Nguyen petitioned Charles for permission to not attend — August 10 is Peter’s first wedding anniversary . . . permission granted. Congratulations, Peter!

  • Penny Shurtleff and Laurnie Durisoe reminded us that this Sunday (the 28th) is the 16th Annual League House Picnic, which is sponsored by La Jolla Rotary. The festivities begin at 4pm, but for Rotarians who are helping with the arrangements (for example, Susan Stevens as ace bartender), please show up early. There will be food, drink, music (“Good Old Summertime” type music), dancing, and lots of good spirits and fun. All Club members are invited, and are encouraged to attend.
  • Will Creekmur reminded us that our Rotary Club will match Club members’ contributions to the Rotary (International) Foundation, which in turn will hasten the contributor’s Paul Harris Fellowship(s) qualification. Will plans to be in touch with Club members to encourage contributions.


  • Cindy Goodman’s Happy Bucks contribution resulted from the good spirits and notable physical accomplishments of her husband, Tom (90 years old . . . way to go Tom!), during their recent journey to the Galapagos Islands.
  • Deb Plotkin’s contribution was occasioned by her serendipitous encounter with Eileen Jolly on a recent airplane flight.

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Don Wells and Nathan Brunetta

President Elect Dirk Harris introduced today’s speakers, Don Wells and Nathan Brunetta, representing Just In Time For Foster Youth (“JIT”), the core mission of which to provide support for, and mobilize community support for, foster care young people from ages 18 through 26.  Mr. Wells is Executive Director of JIT, and Mr. Brunetta is a former recipient of JIT services and now is employed by JIT.

Foster children are persons under age 18, who either are orphaned or whose parents’ circumstances are such that it is inappropriate for them to live with their parents.  In such situations, the court designates foster parents with whom the foster child is to live, and who have legal custody of the child, until age 18.  Foster parents receive a stipend for serving as foster parents.  Some foster parents are well motivated and selfless; others are not.  In either case, when foster children turn 18 and are emancipated, many are unprepared to live independently. By and large, no public funding is available to assist the 18-26 year-old former foster children through this transition period.

JIT’s mission is to help create a caring community to help transition-age foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being.  JIT’s goal is to help provide a home for each former foster child where he/she is welcome, and will be substantially supported, heard, encouraged and respected.  Services include assistance in the following areas:  finding housing;  gaining admission to college, and succeeding in college; acquiring life skills, including banking, bill paying, insurance, etc.; having role models, being cared about and being mentored; identifying appropriate goals in the areas of employment, education, relationships and other objectives that lead to self-sufficiency and well-being; learning the importance of strong, positive relationships in one’s personal and professional life; and, acquiring professional or vocational skills that will lead to fulfilling employment.

From Mr. Brunetta we learned of his personal journey, starting with a traumatic childhood: four siblings, an alcoholic mother, a heroin-addicted father, placement into foster care at age 13, dysfunctional foster parents, the future bleak.  Eventually, and after turning 18, he discovered JIT, and turned himself around.  He now is a foster parent and mentor to a younger sister, who is a student at The Bishop’s School, and he is a full-time staff member at JIT.

JIT provides some services itself and partners with other community organizations in providing other services.  This year JIT will provide transition-age services to approximately 900 youth. Half of JIT’s staff and employees are former transition-age recipients of JIT services. JIT is San Diego County-based, and is a fully qualified charitable entity.

The presentations of both Mr. Wells and Mr. Brunetta were impressive indeed, and were well received.  JIT welcomes donation and offers of volunteer assistance, with details being provided in JIT’s website:

Before adjourning the meeting by ringing the Rotary bell, President Charles led us all in reciting the Rotary Four-Way Test together:

Is it the TRUTH?

Is it FAIR to all concerned?


Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


Surf Beat:

 Reported by David 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

                      Upcoming Events

Click here to visit the district website. 


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