Official Weekly Bulletin of the Rotary Club of Lafayette, CA
August 25, 2011 | VOL 66 | ISSUE 8

President-elect Chuck Vogel opened the meeting today, in place of Troy Feddersen.  Tom Courtright’s thought for the day opened with the story of a young Army Ranger who had served 8 deployments overseas.  Tom gave thanks for both being able to live in the United States and for the people, past and present, who serve our country.
Joining us for today’s meeting were visiting Rotarians Paul King and Ron Light from Concord.  Ron is celebrating 56 years of perfect attendance.  Also joining us were guests Tom O’Sullivan, a CPA who has recently opened a practice in Lafayette; our guest speaker Michael Muir; his guests Stefanie and Marcia Putnam; Greg Wohrle from the Lafayette Park Theater, and Mary Lou Fazel.

Fellow Rotarian honored for Lifetime achievement:  Bill Eames announced that Tom Courtright, owner of Orchard Nursery in Lafayette, Calif., received the prestigious Jack Schneider Award for a lifetime of achievement in garden retail from Garden Centers of America during the IGC Show last week in Chicago.  The Jack Schnieder award is the highest award in the Garden Center business, and Bill also reminded us that Jack Schneider was a charter member of our club back in the 1940’s and was the original owner of Orchard Nursery before selling to Tom back in 1972.  

Tom talked a bit further about the award and spoke about his part in a panel discussion on Merchandising while at the IGC Conference last week.  Apparently, the “Lazy K” garden shops have now begun merchandizing bras among garden-related merchandise in their retail stores.  To help provide some visual punch to the discussion, Tom brought along a pink bra with him to Chicago.  There was no mention as to the reaction of the airport security people when they X-rayed Tom’s carry-on luggage for the trip.

Golf Tournament:  AC Webb announced that registration for golfers is now closed, but we are still accepting dinner reservations.  Maurice is still seeking club members to sign up for jobs at this years’ Golf Tournament and sent around a signup sheet.  He also asked for volunteers to sell raffle tickets in front of Diablo Foods this weekend.  Maurice also announced that the beverage cart this year would include diet sodas.  Debbie Cooper thanks those club members who contributed bottles of wine for the auction and asked any remaining contributors to bring additional bottles to Rock the Plaza or to her office before Saturday.
Rock the Plaza:
Mike Heller debriefed us on last week’s Rock the Plaza event and thanked our club for a full turnout of a dozen or so Rotarians.  Attendance was good and we are looking for a repeat this week.  Currently there are only a half dozen signups, so club members are asked to come out and support the chamber and our club by coming out for tomorrow’s third and final Rock the Plaza event for 2011 and  helping with serving food and sales of raffle tickets. 

Art and Wine:
Jay Lifson still needs volunteers for this years’ Art and Wine festival taking place on September 17th and 18th.   This year, there is no funding for public works jobs, so Jay will need more volunteers than in past years.  This means that volunteers will be needed for jobs starting on Wednesday September 14th to help with pre-event activities 

Catering Reviews:
President-elect Chuck Vogel announced that next week begins the first of the trial runs for Catering candidates, and that Susan Foord Catering will be serving us.  The process will continue through September as the club evaluates catering options in the wake of the recently-announced price increase from Chef’s Touch.

Poll Workers needed for Special Election:
This headline basically says it all.  Mike Henn asked for volunteers to work the election on Tuesday 11/8.  Volunteers can choose to sign up for either the full day or a half-day.  Deadline for signups is September 9th

New Blue-Badge Member, part I
Norma Jean Evans correctly recited the 4-way test today in front of the club membership and has now met all the requirements for promotion from Red to Blue Badge membership.  The awarding of the blue badge is postponed until next week so that President Troy can preside over the ceremony.

John Sherry announced the sale of Rotary baseball caps for $15 each and encouraged members to purchase hats prior to spending the day in the sun on Monday at the Golf Tournament.  Alicia continued to sell raffle tickets for the Lamorinda Sunrise’s club’s Canoe raffle.  Chuck announced the First Annual Community Music Festival taking place on Saturday 8/27; ticket prices are $40 each.  Geoff was presenting with his “Past President” name badge.

Fines and recognition: 
Bill Eames fined himself $1 for a comment that he had made about his friend Tom Courtright; Tom recognized Bill Eames for Bill’s recent acquisition of a pre-owned car; Steve Falk turned himself in for being away for 3 weeks on a multi-location backpacking trip to the “Y’s” (Yellowstone and Yosemite); Chuck paid $10 and ‘fessed up to acquiring a used Jaguar with more road miles than a Las Vegas “Lady of the Night”  J   Geoff gave thanks that this is his last week as note taker (while secretly wondering if anyone actually reads these recent lengthy diatribes) and gave $5.  Alan Mac announced that he and his wife will be away for the next 3 weeks, travelling to Italy, the Greek Isles, and Turkey and fined himself $150 for missing the Golf Tournament.  Paul King from the Concord Rotary gave a few dollars and announced that the Concord club is sponsoring a Car Show on September 9/10-11 and that proceeds would be donated to Meals on Wheels.

Today’s Speaker:
Our guest speaker today was Michael Muir, founder of the Access Adventure.  Access Adventure is a program that uses wheelchair accessible horse drawn carriages to provide open space recreation and wilderness access to people living with compromised mobility.  Michael is the Great-Grandson of John Muir. 

Michaels Background:
Michael’s ancestry reaches back to Scotland, first arriving in Virginia and served in the Revolutionary War.  His Great-Great-Grandfather travelled west from Tennessee with Davy Crockett and then followed Captain Fremont further west to Mission San Diego.  Michael’s family arrived in California in 1849 and made their home in California’s gold country.  Michael was born in Dixon in 1952 and grew up riding, breeding, and showing horses both in the US and across the seas to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other places.  Michael has also battles Multiple Sclerosis for over 40 years, and when his MS no longer allowed him to ride, he taught himself to drive the horses using horse drawn carriages.   Michael’s interest in his family’s history as settlers and his love of horses inspired him in 2001 to recreate some of this ancestor’s journey by hitching his horses to his wheelchair and following his family’s trail by across the United States, visiting communities and hospitals along the way, and sharing his story.  Michael’s travels and successes inspired him to use horses and horse-drawn carriages to introduce others with mobility challenges to the outdoors.

Helping Others:
Stefanie Putnam is a guest of Michael’s and has found personal success through Michael’s Access Adventure program.  Stefanie was raised in Lafayette and a former student at Springhill elementary, Stanley Middle School and Acalanes High.  She grew up with a love of horses and show jumping, was a skilled rider and was a member of Cal Poly (SLO) horse polo team.  After graduating from Cal Poly, she was planning to go on to the Olympics when she became injured in an accident and became paralyzed from the upper chest down.  She was told that she would never ride again.

Two years past her injury, Stefanie has refused to be bridled by her physical constraints and she has successfully found a way to continue pursuing her love of horses as part of her rehab.  Though the access adventure program, she has learned to drive a specially modified horse drawn carriage, using the limited feeling in her arms, wrists and fingers to direct the horses.  In her own words, riding allows her to forget her paralysis and she feel s no limits.  Her work with Michael and the horses have stimulated her mentally and physically helped her relearn some muscle memory.  Stefanie is back pursuing her Master’s Degree in Advertising, and, according to a recent news article, Stefanie is currently aspiring to compete in the carriage-driving competition at the World Equestrian Games in France in 2012. 

Michael Muir’s hope for Access Adventure is to challenge the perceived limits of living with mobility disabilities, and to encourage those affected to find ways to break through the boundaries.  Stefanie’s story is but one tangible example of one who is finding success and serves as an inspiration to all.

Today’s raffle was for $45.  Anna Stevenson was our $2 winner and Terry Ring won $5

Chuck adjourned the meeting at 1:30. 

Rotary International News Other News: Club Calendar

Polio eradication within reach, despite concerns

Among the key goals of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is interrupting transmission of the wild poliovirus by the end of 2012. Although the GPEI Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) reported in July that this goal may be in jeopardy, it also noted signs of progress and provided several recommendations that could help get the program back on track.      read story.
The Four Way Test
Of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Officers & Directors
Kalyan Banerjee . . . . . RI President
Karl Diekman
. . . . . . . Dist 5160 Governor
Troy Feddersen. . . . . . President
Geoff Zimmerman. .Past President, Club Service
Chuck Vogel. . . . . President Elect
Bob Shusta . . . . . . . . Secretary
Greg Vaisnor . . . . . . . Treasurer
Chuck Vogel . . . . . . Membership Chair
Maurice Williams
. . . . . . . Community Service
Terry Ring
. . . . . . . International Service
Erin McCoin 
. . . . . . . Vocational Service
Andy Scheck
. . . . . . . Sergeant of Arms
Alicia Cragholm
. . . . . . . . Sergeant of Arms
Give Hope - Give A Hand
The Rotary Club of Lafayette donates an LN-4 Prosthetic Hand in the name of our speakers each week.
The LN-4 Prosthetic Hand transforms lives and empowers those who have lost hands and limbs due to land mines, birth defects, and other catastrophes.
Make Up Meetings
and locations of nearby clubs:
Upcoming Speakers
8/25Access Adventure, Michael Muir
9/1Volker Frank, Amergenthorizon
9/8Youth Homes - Project in Lafayette Stuart McCullough, Executive Director
Local & District Events
8/26Rock the Plaza
8/29Rotary Golf
Rotary International Events

09/04John Sherry    
09/04Terry Camp
09/11Dick Holt
09/23Bob Ewen
09/07Robert Aguilar  
09/10Donald Anderson
09/10Milton Bruzzone
09/15Bob Ewen
09/22Erin McCoin
09/27William Whitten
9/1Alicia Cragholm
9/8Larry Duson
9/15Bill Eames

 Notes by Geoff Zimmerman | Photos John Sherry