The Surf Beat: June 11th, 2019

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June 11th, 2019

President Kevin Quinn called the meeting to order in the Mediterranean Room of La Valencia Hotel, and reminded us of our good fortune in meeting in a beautiful hotel with the blue Pacific as a backdrop . . . an inspiring combination indeed.

Inspiration: Bob Teaff

Pledge: Susan Rutan

Song: Davis Cracroft led an enthusiastic rendition of God Bless America.

Rotary Welcomed…

We hosted visiting Rotarian Daniel Amaro from the Downtown San Diego Club 33. Laurnie Durisoe introduced her guest and husband, Tom Durisoe, a true and proud Texan.

President’s Announcements

  • On June 29 Kevin will attend the annual graduation ceremony for our Club’s Tijuana Scholars Program. He welcomes other Club members to join him.  It is a moving event.
  • The District 5340 Governor’s Dinner for 2019 will be held June 27 at 6pm at the La Jolla Marriott. All are welcome.
  • Torrey Pines Rotary Club will hold its 55th Anniversary dinner on June 29 at La Jolla Country Club.  All La Jolla Rotarians are welcome to attend.
  • Kevin again congratulated Club members Susan Stevens and Dave Weston on their recent marriage, and thanked them for their continued Club attendance and participation in Club activities.

Club Receives Generous Bequest

Dave Weston informed the Club of a bequest to La Jolla Rotary Foundation from the Ray and Mary Grace Fowler Trust. Ray Fowler was a La Jolla Rotarian from 1978 until his death in 2005. Ray’s widow, Mary Grace, died this past December (at age 103!) Ray and Mary Grace both were active in Club undertakings and events (in the 1980s, Ray served as both Secretary and Treasurer of the Club), and both were Paul Harris Fellows. As a result of Mary Grace’s passing, the provisions of the Fowler Trust specify the distribution of a substantial bequest to La Jolla Rotary Foundation, earmarked for the La Jolla Rotary Scholarships endowment (these are the Club college scholarships that have no restrictions upon a recipient’s selection of college or course of study, and can be merit- or needs-based.)  La Jolla Rotary Foundation has received a preliminary distribution of $500,000, with further distributions in store that may amount to as much as another $500,000. The Fowler bequest is by far the largest contribution ever to the La Jolla Rotary Scholarships endowment, and will be a welcome addition to the current endowment of approximately $1,600,000.

Ted Rutter, Chair of the La Jolla Rotary Foundation, summarized ways in which Club members can make gifts or bequests to La Jolla Rotary Foundation that contribute to our Club’s charitable programs and activities. La Jolla Rotary Foundation is a fully qualified 501(c)3 charity, so that all gifts are tax deductible. Contributions can be made during lifetime or by bequest upon death under the provisions of a Will, Trust, or Individual Retirement Accounts, often with favorable tax consequences. For specific advice, it is always wise to check with your estate planning attorney and/or accountant.

General Announcements:

  • Penny Shurtleff reminded us that this year’s (16th annual!) La Jolla League House Picnic, sponsored by our Club, will be held Sunday July 28.  Penny encouraged Club members to attend, and to be Picnic sponsors, either by contributing cash (a sign-up sheet was circulated) or tangible gifts to be given to League House residents at the Picnic.

  • President-elect Charles Hartford reported on his recent attendance (with 30,000 other Rotarians) at the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. Charles returned from Hamburg with renewed Rotary energy, and with increased respect for Rotary International (1.2 million members in 180 countries!) and the good works of Rotarians around the world. As an example, Charles cited the joint efforts of Rotary International and UNESCO in extinguishing polio in Nigeria, with the result that polio now claims victims only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Charles bumped into Cal Mann at the convention, who presented him with a flag from the fledgling Rotary Club in Stip, Macedonia. Charles circulated copies of a survey prepared by Rotary International used to ascertain what Rotarians believe their Clubs are doing well, and not so well.  Please complete these forms (it is simple, and not time-consuming) and return to the front desk.
  • Cindy Goodman will need help sorting out, and preparing for distribution, gifts to Make-A-Wish Foundation recipients. Precise date and time yet to be determined.  Please see Cindy if you wish to assist her.
  • Cindy Goodman also asked if any La Jolla Rotarians might be interested in hosting rural southwestern Colorado high school students of high potential but limited educational exposure, who will be interning June 24 – August 2 in the UCSD neuroscience department.  Claire Reiss was kind enough to host students last year, but isn’t able this year. The students are well vetted and are motivated. If you are interested, please see Cindy.
  • Ken King reminded us that President Kevin’s Demotion Party will be held at La Valencia the evening of June 25. Kevin’s service to our Club has been notably excellent, and Kevin certainly deserves a rousing send off. Please attend, and bring your spouse, significant other or a friend . . . there is no charge for attendance.


  • Jane Reldan, who celebrated her advocacy (and the advocacy of others), in support of the Casa Beach harbor seals (particularly the seal pups).
  • Bob Pecora, who felt privileged to have represented La Jolla Rotary at Garfield High in the awarding of STRIVE Scholarships.
  • Sid Stutz, about to celebrate his 87th birthday, contributed $100.
  • Ken King welcomed the attendance of Davis Cracroft at today’s meeting. (Dr. Cracroft’s expanded professional responsibilities at Scripps Health have made his attendance more difficult of late.)

SPEAKER: Dr. Carolyn Barber and Kevin Barber, Wheels of Change

Charles Hartford introduced our speakers, Kevin Barber and Dr. Carolyn Barber. Kevin has just graduated from The Bishop’s School and soon will attend Santa Clara University.  Dr. Barber, Kevin’s mother, is a practicing emergency room physician. In late 2017 Kevin heard a TED talk that described an Albuquerque program geared to providing employment for homeless people. The TED talk inspired him to try the Albuquerque program’s approach in San Diego. In early 2018, Kevin and his mother co-founded Wheels of Change, which puts San Diego homeless people to work at minimum wage, picking up trash on the streets (and surrounding areas) of San Diego. Initial donations were sufficient to purchase one van to transport 10 homeless workers to pick up trash in downtown San Diego three days a week.

As a result of the initial success of the program, substantial further donations were received (both from the City of San Diego and private sources), so that now two vans transport 20 homeless workers to pick up trash five days a week in various San Diego neighborhoods. During the past year, Wheels of Change has employed over 400 homeless people, and 20 tons of trash have been collected. Testimonials as to the success of the program abound.

Kevin and Dr. Barber’s energies principally are focused on raising funds for the Wheels of Change program. The program itself (purchasing and maintaining vans, finding and supervising homeless workers, disposing of the collected trash, and various other tasks) is administered by The Alpha Project, which for more than 30 years has been a well-respected San Diego charitable entity with the mission of providing employment and housing for the homeless. To date, Wheels of Change has been a great success.  Meaningful employment is made available to homeless people that visibly enhances our community and encourages self-respect and a sense of accomplishment on the part of the participant.

Given its auspicious debut, further expansion of the Wheels of Change program is envisioned. Kevin’s hope is that he’ll be able to participate meaningfully in the fundraising for this, while at the same time keeping up with his studies at Santa Clara.

President’s Closing Quote:

“Philanthropy, charity, giving voluntarily and freely – call it what you like, but it is truly and jewel of an American tradition.”  John F. Kennedy


Surf Beat:

 Reported by 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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