Los Altos Rotary Club

Rotator for October 12, 2006

Lead The Way
Writer: Clyde Noel
Photographer: Jerry Tomanek
Editor:  Cindy Luedtke

This Week's Program: 
Three 10-Minute Talks


Upcoming Events:
October 26th:  • Partners in Service:  Gonzalo Duran from El Salvador


Website search:

  only search Los Altos Rotary Website


See our Calendar for all of the important dates.



To see Neighboring Club meetings go to Clubs


To our Website


To District 5170


JEAN MORDO, HERB MARSHALL and PAUL SCHUTZ acted as greeters for the day.    Jean Mordo, Herb Marshall and Paul Schultz Dressed in short sleeve shirts in 60-degree weather, these silver-tongued greeters had positive words for everyone entering today’s Rotary meeting.

Talk about confusion, KAILAS CHIDAMBARAM opened the meeting trying to impersonate SAM PESNER, but sat down quickly as the official SAM PESNER stood up and took over the podium.  The facial hair just wasn’t enough to pull it off.

JOHN McDONNELL John Mcdonnellsang the song of the day for us with a Dean Martin favorite, “That’s Amore.”   “When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole – That’s Amore.”








John SylvesterIf you blinked, you missed the thought of the day when JOHN SYLVESTER quoted from Author Mason: “Why not?”, for an interesting life,” Unfortunately another plastic dish was dropped at the buffet table that awakened us to our plastic world.

VIP visiting Rotarians included Bob Smithwick from the Palo Alto Club and Lars-Erik Bjorkegren from Sweden who exchanged Rotary flags with our president.


Rotarian Of The Month for September was GARY ROSS for his contributions to the new Free-Style High school by building a world-class sound system for the school. Gary said they have also built a special education room for the handicapped at Freestyle High.

President Sam announced the Board of Directors met with KATIE NUTTER and she is making several modifications to the annual art show. The objective is to reduce costs by $10,000 and make the show more efficient, thereby increasing profits by five percent. Go KATIE!

STEVE GRUBER reminded the audience the progressive dinner will be held this coming Saturday and those who have not paid up yet, do so promptly.

JOAN ROSSELLE and TRACIE MURRAY cROTARIAN OF THE MONTH: Gary Rosslinked wine glasses at the podium showing the comparison between a cheap wine glass and an expensive “A Sante’ wine glass that can be yours when you attend the RotaCare promotional event, November 9 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. A Sante’ tickets sell for $50.  Tracie commented: “We have only sold 25 tickets while Sunnyvale Rotary has sold more than 100.”


On a disappointing note, GIGI CARTER advised she will be leaving the Los Altos Rotary because she is being transferred from the El Camino YMCA to another YMCA on the peninsula.

Here is Gigi's email to the club:

Hi Sam,
Well here's the letter I've been putting off writing.
I will have to leave the Rotary Club of Los Altos due
to my job relocation.  I will be joining the Foster
City club.  I really enjoyed my time in Rotary.  My
highlights ofcourse was the Red Badge auction's
success and the impact our club has had on the library
in Plaquemines Parish.  Rotary and the YMCA have
something in common, which is why I enjoyed Rotary so
much, which is the impact an organization can have on
a community.  I was proud to be part of Los Altos
Rotary, even if it was just for 1 year.
I know you wanted this to be a short on
that note best wishes to you all and I hope to come
visit as a "visiting Rotarian" in the near future.
Warm Regards and Hugs

Sam said this is disconcerting; Not only will we miss having Gigi as a member of our club,  its becoming apparent that our membership number is gradually dwindling. We presently have 155 members when last year at year-end we had 164.

MARLENE COWAN announced Area 10 is having a social event on Sunday, November 19th.   Save the date to attend a matinee performance of the Savoyards at Stanford followed by a reception and dinner at Lucy Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.   You can choose to attend one or both events for $20.00 each.


On October 13th, a number of members of Los Altos Rotary Club attended the COANIQUEM Burned Children Foundation Annual Fund-Raiser Dinner held Fri Oct 13 at the Blackhawk AutoMuseum in Danville. You can recognize our team of Cindy Luedtke, Sam and Louise Pesner, Bruce Cann & friend Laura, and Kailas & Sandra Chidambaram.

Coaniquem Annual Fund Raiser Dinner Coaniquem Annual Fund Raiser Dinner
Coaniquem Annual Fund Raiser Dinner Coaniquem Annual Fund Raiser Dinner

The distinguished gentleman at the center of the pics is Dr. Jorge Rojas Founder and President of the foundation, visiting from Santiago, Chile.  The dinner was very well attended and Pres Sam presented our donation of $1,320.00 from 25 members toward supporting two children's treatment for one year. In addition, other members contributed about $300.00 to the Raffle.
Here are the names of those twenty five members who contributed:

Sam Harding Coeta Chambers Patricia Gray Larry Madsen
Al Ligtenberg Kailas Chidambaram Cynthia Luedtke Sandra Bozich
Seth Manning Tracie Murray Joanne Byrne Marline Cowan
Karen Owen Steve Yarbrough John Moss Ginny Lear
John McDonnell Mona Armistead Dushan Angus Sam Pesner
Dan Dutton Jack Heidmiller Dennis Young Mel Kahn
Bob Adams

Total Donated:



JACK HIGGINS announced members seeking a FLU SHOT for this winter should come early on NOVEMBER 2nd.  It is suggested that a nice donation should accompany the shot in the arm, please ($20 would be nice.)

Jack also said there will be the first meeting of the Health Committee right after next Thursday’s Rotary meeting.

Sam welcomed back past president ROY LAVE after having knee surgery and BUD OLIVER from his summer in Michigan. Roy is the umpteenth member who has had knee replacement surgery from the Los Altos Rotary Club. Must be the uphill/downhill steps you use when you park on University Avenue.

STEVE ANDERSONSteve Anderson was fine master for the day and used “Fictionary” a word definition game, as his ploy to extract money from members. After calling numerous Rotarian names that were absent, he wound up fining the following: 

BRIAN WARD  -          $20
JULIE ROSE   -           $20
MEL KAHN    -             $30
HUGH RIDDELL-        $20

KURT HUEG had the biggest announcement of the day with the birth of his 6lb 4oz baby girl on September 22.  BAIDRA PROCHNOW MURPHY announced the fourth anniversary of her marriage to SEAN MURPHY.

President-elect JOHN MOSS introduced speaker Dorothy Drummond Dorothy Drummondas a Californian from Indiana who will help make sense of the conflict in the Holy Land. She is an educator and author from Terre Haute, Indiana.

Drummond is making the Rotary Club tour having spoken to more than 40 Rotary clubs since April 10th selling her book “Holy Land, Whose Land,”

The continuous conflict in the Holy Land between Arabs and Jews is in the news every day. When there is a lull in the violence, many wonder when the next attack will happen. This conflict has very deep roots, which Drummond examined for us, providing an historical summary from the times of Abraham to the struggles of today.

The land is holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but during modern times Christians were not directly involved in the conflict between the Jews and the Muslims, only becoming involved if they were Arab Christians or connected with the United States government.  This small part of the earth has been fought over for centuries, as Drummond documented.

“By coincidence, I was in Jerusalem while the Pope was there,” Drummond said. “There are three monotheistic faiths in the city and peace is maintained by a gun. In basic terms, the Jews and the Arabs want the same area that is the size of New Jersey.”

Drummond said both the Arabs and the Jews have deep feelings and we have to understand those feelings to be aware of the conflict.

To condense 4000 years of history into a 30 minute Rotary meeting period is impossible so Drummond put emphasis on the Quran or Koran, the central religious text of Islam.

Most Muslims accept as a fellow Muslim (brother/sister) anyone who has publicly pronounced the Shahada, which states, "There is none worthy of worship except God, and Muhammed is his messenger." This is often translated as, "There is no God except Allah.

In 622A.D., Muhammed went to Medina and asked that all people become organized under Islam. Muhammed united all the Arab tribes and imposed an edict that all Jewish men were to be beheaded and the women and children taken as slaves.

Drummond focused on the interface of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity and on the issues that today place the Holy Land in the vortex of world affairs. She did not take sides, but instead attempted to create an understanding. Unfortunately, that is impossible in 30 minutes.

In Drummond’s conclusion she mentioned that Bin Laden said the way to unite all Muslims is to work on the “infidels” and those who support Israel which include the United States.

“However, not all Muslims feel he same way,” Drummond said. “But the militant groups take the following of their God from the Koran.

Without being partisan, Drummond presented almost all the players and the scenes through the history of 4000 years that have resulted in the conflict that is causing so much bloodshed in the Holy Land, so Whose Land is it, while the fighting continues over it.?

Since the meeting time ran over, Sam did not have a joke to send Rotarians home chuckling.

Webmaster's Note:  Last week I credited JERRY TOMANEK with the pictures, whereas I should have credited PP LARRY MADSEN.  Jerry did in fact contribute the pictures this week.  I think we all agree that pictures make the Rotator much more interesting, and we all appreciate the work all of the photographers do in making this a better, more interesting newsletter. 

Copyright 2006 Los Altos Rotary Club. All rights reserved.