This year, my December will be very hectic, as I will be moving, I will share more about my move and hope to have the club over for a potluck sometime before my Presidency is over. December is one of the most festive times of the year, not just because of Christmas and New Year’s but also because of the Winter Solstice or Yule (known to Persians as Yalda) where the longest night of the year is celebrated. This time of year I am reminded of my childhood growing up in Iran, having attended an American school, we counted down the days to Christmas by opening up a surprise behind the knot on the advent calendar. I was a big fan of Andy Williams and used to sing White Christmas and play Christmas music all month long. We would celebrate Yalda by staying up to the wee hours of the night, feet under a Kursi (a table with a brazier covered with a heavy blanket where the family would sit around telling stories, recite poetry and enjoy winter foods such as pomegranates, watermelon and seeds together.

This time of year is also a time we think of others and how we can help those who are less fortunate. I am beyond enthused that we have accomplished so much this year already, we have made 2 trips to Tijuana, to bring good fortune to their community, by bringing clean water to a school and furnishing a health center with a cervical cancer detection unit that will aid in the detection and prevention of cervical cancer in Tijuana. This month we collaborated for the first time (as far as I know) with another club and assembled 200 bikes that will be delivered to needy children in the Pasadena area on December 15. We will also be having our annual holiday celebration on December 15 at the La Casa in San Gabriel providing a meal for their families, bringing in Santa and donating gifts for the holidays. If you have not participated in this program, I encourage you to do so, the program will be from 3 – 6 pm. Gene Orlowsky is the Chair and will be asking you for your generous donations in the next 2 meetings.

I am proud to say that we’ve also managed to collect quite a bit of funds from individual members. We collected $309 for the bike helmets that will be delivered on December 15. $300 was collected by the SMHS Interact students for the St. Theresita Orphanage in Rosarito. This project is still underway, I believe the delivery of food, blankets and clothes is made in December/January.
Tonight we get to ring in the new month at our Holiday Rotary on the Town at the San Gabriel Country Club from 6 – 9 pm. I can’t wait to see your festive colors of the season. If you haven’t sent in your $, I know we’re capped out, you’ll just have to wait to see our pictures after the fact. Grace Yang and Lucille Norberg have done a lot of work to make this a festive night.

You’ve all received an invite from Bob Houston inviting us to his office for the Christmas Around the Drive event on Huntington Drive on Friday, 12/2, it will be chilly, but this is a great community event where we can support the San Marino Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and meet old and new friends. I hope to run into some of you Friday night at Bob’s place and/or at one of the dining options on Huntington Drive.

I’d like to thank Denise Wadsworth for writing the Rotoscope last week, as you all know, Ken Veronda is still not able to sit upright for long, let alone typing a Rotoscope, so I’ve been doing the weekly writing, quite painfully at that! So, I’ve asked board members to help write each week until Ken returns. If there are any budding writers out there who would like to help, let me know.
With my move happening next week, I’ve asked our 2017-2018 President Elect, Denise Wadsworth to run our meeting on Thursday, 12/8. Give her the same love you give me each week! Thank you!

Thursday, 12/15 will be our last meeting of the month, we will hold our Annual Election for the slate of officers who will serve with Denise in 2017-2018 and the nominating committee will be announcing our President Elect Nominee aka President Elect Elect for 2018-2019. We are excited to share this news. Also, on December 15 we will have our monthly board meeting.
Speaking of Board meetings, I understand from Chris Datwyler our new website does not have a depository for storing minutes and agendas of the Board meetings. However, if any member wishes to read the minutes/agenda of our meetings, all you have to do is ask me and I’d be happy to send them your way.

One of the items of business that was discussed at our last Board meeting, was the idea to be Dark 2 additional days this year to encourage attendance at the District Conference and the RI Convention. However, after listening to some concern, the Board decided to cancel those 2 Dark days and give them back to the membership. Programs have already been decided for those 2 days. We do however, still encourage your participation in both the District Conference being held in Palm Springs and the Convention which will be in Atlanta.

Finally, Wayne Carter will be chairing the Capital Projects Committee (serving organizations seeking funding in excess of $3000) and is seeking 2 volunteers from the membership to serve on this committee. Please contact Wayne Carter if you are interested.

Yours in Service,
Gilda Moshir