The Rotary Club of

Ojai Rotary Reminder Newsletter
March 19th, 2021

Bret Bradigan, Editor
March is Water and Sanitation Month
Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. 
Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
In the Beginning...
The spirit of Rotary shone through the computer screens of our virtual meeting like the sparkling gems of goodwill and service that indeed we are. Once again, President Michael Scar got us off to a rousing start, calling the meeting to order at 12:04 p.m.
He thanked the following...
Bill Prather for leading us in the pledge.
Patricia Anderson for welcoming us with warm greetings.
Yours Truly for the reminding and editing
Terry Beckett for the Zoom hosting.
Tony Thacher led us in an invocation, reciting a poem, “If You Could Know” from Ruth Muskrat Bronson, a Native American poet and activist:

If you could know the empty ache of loneliness,
          Masked well behind the calm indifferent face
Of us who pass you by in studied hurriedness,
          Intent upon our way, lest in the little space
Of one forgetful moment hungry eyes implore
          You to be kind, to open up your heart a little more,
I’m sure you’d smile a little kindlier, sometimes,
          To those of us you’ve never seen before.

If you could know the eagerness we’d grasp
          The hand you’d give to us in friendliness;
What vast, potential friendship in that clasp
          We’d press, and love you for your gentleness;
If you could know the wide, wide reach
          Of love that simple friendliness could teach,
I’m sure you’d say “Hello, my friend,” sometimes, 
          And now and then extend a hand in friendliness to each.

Steve White is a semi-regular visitor and fellow Rotarian, visiting from his club in Washington State.
Jake Gladstone, a lifelong friend and guest of Greg Webster, is a psychologist taking over his father’s practice. (Dr. Bruce Gladstone)
Tobi Jo Greene is our Robert Skankey Humanitarian Award winner. More about her later.
Therese Brown announced the following:
March 26 - new member talk with Candice Alexander;
April 2 - dark for Good Friday;
April 9 - Music Festival’s artistic director Ara Guzelimian;
April 16 - honorary member Leslie Clark with her new memoir, “Nomad Gal: Sarahan Odyssey,”
April 23 - Former District Governor Wade Nomura with a new book as well.
Dr. Fauvre reminded us that the Living Treasure nomination process was open. Please go to to honor a worthy person.
Bob Davis, wearing his bright-red Polio Plus shirt, said to include both Polio Plus and The Rotary Foundation in our giving. Donations have been a little slow this year and it’s time for the club to catch up.

This award honors an Ojai Valley resident whose commitment to our community has had a positive impact on lives for many people, and who reflects values of service and goodwill.
 The award is named for Dr. Bob Skankey, a longtime member of our Rotary Club, who besides delivering most of the babies in Ojai Valley for decades, steadfastly encouraged youth through his volunteer activities in church, Boy Scouts and the community.  As a world citizen, Bob has improved women’s health in many developing countries, especially by creating a midwife training program in Niger that has significantly reduced maternal mortality among nomad women.  Whether at home or abroad, Bob exhibits the same respect and courtesy to all people, and shows genuine interest and enthusiasm about their lives. Bob finds the best in people and reflects it back to them, so they feel better about themselves and can be more positive towards the people around
Tobi Jo Greene is the Founder and Director of The Empowerment Workshop, a local organization with a team of passionate educators who work to empower the youth in our community. This year marks the 15th anniversary. And in a time when our kids have been forced to be isolated and learn from behind the screen, this program is more important than ever. She is no stranger to Rotary, as her father was a stalwart member of the Ojai Rotary-West.

The award includes $2,000 to continue her good work, as well as the Paul Harris Fellowship, presented by President Michael.

Tobi is also a brand-new grandmother of Hazel. She said she is looking forward to doing more empowerment work out-of-doors. “A lot of healing will happen in nature,” she said.
Dr. Skankey also expressed his appreciation for Tobi Jo’s work with young women and was happy to have the chance to do it an honor.
Rotary Humor
Finemeister Greg Webster first took a few confessions:
- Therese Brown confessed, that in the spirit of Tobi Jo’s first grand baby, that her son and daughter-in-law presented her with her 4th grandchild this week, Harriet May (Hattie) in North Carolina.
- Larry Beckett is celebrating with Judie their 62nd wedding anniversary.
The fining portion was taking up with St. Patrick’s Day related quizzes.
Deirdre Daly, Cheree Edwards (who found out that she was 10 percent Irish through 23andme) Bob Davis, Tara Saylor and Andy Gilman were also quizzed.
We learned that the percentage of Americans with Irish ancestry is 10 percent, that the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade is 26 yards long, from one pub to another in a small Irish village; that leprechauns make their money as cobblers; and that St. Patrick’s real name was Maewyn Succat.
Therese introduced Staci Brown, leader of the local Mothers Against Drunk Driving to talk about her programs.
Staci took us through the MADD’s history, being formed in 1980 by Candy Lightner after a drunk driver killed her daughter. The MADD organization has been working to end drunk and drugged driving ever since, lobbying legislatures for tougher enforcement and penalties.
They also teach youth how to make good choices, especially important since the executive function part of the brain in the prefrontal cortex doesn’t fully mature until age 25. MADD also hosts sober prom events, works with teen social media influencers and also works with parents to have these difficult conversations around drinking.
Staci said that 4,300 young people are killed every year in drinking-related accidents. MADD works with victims - at no cost - to prepare for trials and the victim impact statements that judges use for sentencing. MADD also hosts Town Hall events, leadership development and helping kids cope with Covid.
Staci Brown took a few questions, including from Bill Prather who was wondering if the instances of DUIs went down during the pandemic. She said it did, but only during the lockdowns, and went right back up as soon as people who free to move about again.
Leslie Bouche talked about her friend from high school, who was made a paraplegic by a drunk driving accident, and devoted herself to the cause, giving programs and lectures about the human costs.
Bret Bradigan (me) talked about how his best friend Stanley Wick was killed by a drunk driver in 1980, and how you carry the weight of grief and loss with you forever.
Jack Jacobs offered to help Staci connect with Rotary District 5240 because of their contacts with youth groups. 
MADD’s main fundraiser is their Walk in September. They also receive funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety as well as federal grants.
For more information, click here.
The meeting was brought to a close by Michael’s ending quote:
“Give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day."
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Be safe and have a great week!

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