July 2, 2018 – Monday – This Week’s Happenings

Dear Whittier Rotarians, prospective members and former members:

1) Many thanks for Monica Peters and Howard Kummerman for a fantastic Demotion Party at the Whittier Museum. Great atmosphere, great food, and plenty of great Rotarians and guest have a fun time witnessing the peaceful transfer of leadership from Owen Newcomer to yours truly. Thank you, Owen, for your year of splendid service to our club, where you ushered in the new era of our “Associate Membership”, the once per month evening meeting, and many significant service projects. I’ve got some big shoes to fill, but you’ve given me the gouge and I’m ready to hit the deckplates running (you’ll get your fill of Navy slang over the next year. Please raise your hand if you need me to explain anything).


 2) If you’d like to read the portion of my address from Saturday night where I spoke about the 2018-2019 Rotary International Theme of “Be the Inspiration”, please click here: http://whittierrotary.org/president-retts-be-the-inspiration-address/  Ross Gile will be posting the video of the Demotion ceremony and my speech in the near future (I enlisted into action Ross before he has become an official member – thank you, Ross!).


3) Tonight at 8:00 pm at the Vic Lopez Auditorium at Whittier High School will be a free Organ Recital from the amazing 1926 Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ that our own Whittier Rotarian Dave Harris played such a large role in brining to Whittier and back to life.. If you haven’t experienced this organ firsthand, treat yourself tonight. Did I mention that it is free?


4) Speaking of the opposite of free, I will be emailing to you within the next week or so your 2018-2019 Commitment Form, where you give the club an idea of the level of your time, talent and treasure you would like to contribute to the club during the next year. Please start thinking about the committees you’d like to serve on. More info to follow.


5) Last night I emailed to each member a request to Verify and Update your Rotary Information. If you are unable to login or otherwise edit your information online, please email your updates to meand I’ll gladly do it. IMPORTANT – please be sure that you have a current “headshot” photo. If not, please have someone snap one of you, or as me to do so after our next meeting. I will be requesting to our Board that we publish a paper directory like we had many years ago, and your photo and updated information is critical to the directory being accurate and useful.


6) Wednesday is Independence Day. Please have a safe and sane day of celebrating our country’s freedom andindependence.


7) Thursday at 7:30 am at Marie Calendar’s on La Serna Drive is our Board of Directors meeting. I will be sending out an agenda tomorrow. Please email or call me if you have any items you wish to discuss. We have eleven members on our board, but all Club members are invited to attend.

8) Friday at 12:10 pm at Original Roadhouse Grill, 15156 E. Whittier Blvd., is

our first Friday meeting of the new year. Keeping with the patriotic theme of the week, my Navy buddy, Steve
Lewandowski, will speak on “The Relevance of the American Legion in the Post-911 Era.” 
Lewan is past Commander of Encinitas Post 416, a former naval officer, insurance executive, passionate fundraiser for various veterans organizations, and the Voice of the San Diego Polo Club for the past 28 years. Steve is a brother to me, and he will be to you, too, after his brief time with us Friday.


At look at next week:
9) July 11, Wednesday at 6:00 pm at Nixon’s Chops & Whiskey, 13033 Philadelphia Street in Uptown, will be our first Evening Meeting of the new Rotary year. At 6:30 pm I will preside over a short meeting, with the intention of bringing more “Rotary” to our mostly social evening meetings. Please come armed with any service project and fundraising ideas you may have been thinking about, just awaiting the perfect moment to unleash on our Club. Wednesday is the time!


10) July 13, Friday at 12:10 pm is our District Governor’s Official Visit to our Club. Lucy Walther is big on Initiative, Example and Enthusiasm (see Rett’s Saturday Night Address for context). DG Official Visits are supposed to be memorable, and I will be conspiring with the Board on Thursday with some ideas I have to make it so. It is important that we have as many members in attendance to bring DG Lucy good luck on Friday the 13th!


  ***Please notice that in #8 and #9 above that I do not refer to the “Cocktail Group”, “Associate Meeting” or “Regular Members. We are one Rotary Club with multiple meeting opportunities. All of you are invited to attend any or all of these opportunities for fun, fellowship, personal growth and Rotary knowledge. The more the merrier!


 ***Also, we owe a courtesy to our speakers to give them the largest audience we can. We are privileged that they are volunteering their time to present to us on topics of their expertise and experience. We need to reward them with our Rotary fun and fellowship embodied in our attendance. Oh, and bring a friend, too.
Please contact me with any questions or comments.


Yours in Rotary Service,


Rett Rasmussen
President, 2018-2019

President Rett’s “Be the Inspiration” Address

[Delivered by Rett Rasmussen during his installation as President of the Rotary Club of Whittier on June 30, 2018]

It’s my distinct pleasure to unveil the banner with the 2018-2019 Rotary International Theme from RI President Barry Rassin from Rotary Club of East Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas …
Be the Inspiration!
What a wonderful Theme!

Earlier this year, in his address unveiling this new theme, President Barry reflected on his being a Bahamian, an islander. To him, the sea that surrounds him represents distance and connection. While we may have different nations, different cultures, and different languages, the sea is the same. The sea gives us a sense of connection, a sense of inspiration, a sense of longing for something that is just out of reach. And yet, it’s much closer than we think. As a Navy guy, you can guess that President’ Barry’s remarks hit home with me.

He asked that we inspire our clubs and Rotarians to do greater things. To do more than we’ve ever done before; to be more, to create something that goes way beyond “us” and what we do. To awaken in the souls of our Rotarians the longing for a better world, and the knowledge that we can create it. To “Be the Inspiration!”

Here is what it means to me:

Initiativetake action on your ideas and observations. Don’t keep it a secret – give me a call, present it to the board, speak up at a Club Assembly. Find a hole and fill it. Volunteer when asked, help where you can. Inspire others with your Initiative.

Example – to conduct our business and personal affairs with the highest level of ethics and ideals, to live the Four-Way Test, to be the motto of “Service Above Self”. Inspire others with your Example.

Enthusiasm – to have fun and fellowship in all that we do. Meetings, service projects, parties, District functions. Rotarians are a great bunch of people. Show it with your participation, show it by having fun. And if you aren’t having fun, I refer you back to “Initiative” to take action to make things better. Inspire others with your Enthusiasm. 

Initiative. Example. Enthusiasm.  Be the Inspiration!

I wish to recognize a new member of our Club who embodies all of these attributes.  Before her recent, official induction into our club, she spent a day in Mexico building a house. Utilizing her artistic talents, she voluntarily provided a beautiful, festive entryway to our All-Star Classic games. And immediately after her induction, she agreed to co-chair our Teach Recognition Luncheon. Judy Bradt – thank you for a great start as a Rotarian and for being an inspiration to us all!

I wish to leave you with a thought. I always tell my staff at Rasmussen that we are in the Happiness Business, with the products we provide, with manner in which we perform customer service, and with the experience people have with our company. I submit to you, fellow Rotarians, that with Rotary International’s Six Areas of Focus:

  • Promoting Peace
  • Fighting Disease
  • Providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Saving mothers and children
  • Supporting education, and
  • Growing local economies

we are in the Happiness Business as Rotarians, working at the basic and lowest levels of the human existence to pave a path for a happier life.

  • When we support local non-profits who are doing good work in our local community with our time, talent and treasure, we are in the Happiness Business.
  • When we provide dental health education and screening to hundreds of school kids, we are in the Happiness Business.
  • When we build a house in a day for a deserving family, we are in the Happiness Business.
  • When we provide scholarships to college students, a platform for High School students with our speech contest, and recognition to high school teachers for their efforts, we are in the Happiness Business.
  • And when we are together as Rotarians, at meetings, while learning from our speakers, when working side-by-side on service projects and fundraisers, and while socializing amongst ourselves and with our guests, we are in the Happiness Business. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Own it with Initiative, with Example, and with Enthusiasm. Be Rotarians and Be the Inspiration!

I look forward to a great Rotary year of fun, fellowship and service.

Thank you.