Welcome to Pasadena Rotary

The Pasadena Rotary Club of Pasadena has amazing, dedicated members contributing to the well-being and growth of the community, region, and world.  Explore our Club here, and feel free to visit us during our weekly meetings!

Talkin' 'bout my Generation... of Musicians
David Arnay began his career in Ithaca, New York, where he first attended college during the late '70s. He became involved in that enlightened upstate town's vibrant music community, eventually recruited into the popular and eclectic Zobo Funn Band featuring guitar wizard David Torn. After moving to the L.A. area Arnay dove into the local scene, meeting and collaborating with A-list jazz players including guitarist Phil Upchurch, saxophonist Bob Sheppard, and drummer Peter Erskine. A significant mentor during Arnay's early L.A. years was tenor saxophonist and former Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock sideman Bennie Maupin, who brought David into a quintet which included Alphonso Johnson on bass... "an amazing band and an inspirational experience" that included development of David's work as a composer. The Maupin collaboration continues with a June 24, 2017 performance at the Arroyo Seco Weekend festival. With encouragement from Maupin, Arnay finished his bachelor's degree at CalState L.A., and went on to earn his master's in jazz studies at USC. He joined the USC faculty in 1999 and continues to teach there as a full time lecturer. With three CDs released (see www.davidarnay.com) and a busy performance schedule that includes weekly shifts at the Arroyo Chop House and a piano/bass duo every Friday at Parkway Grill, David's musical contributions to the community continue. Introducer: Pat Wright Invocation: Kym Pietsch Guest Introductions: JP Harris Song Leader: Catherine Hany Accompanist: Ross Jutsum

Meeting Information

All are welcome to attend our meeting.
We meet each Wednesday at 12:00PM at:

The University Club
175 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, California  

Tel: (626) 793-5157

Social Media

THE SCOOT ZONE By Mary Lou Byrne, Bureau Chief

President Shel Capeloto called the meeting to order and Cory "Professor Harold Hill" Brendel, resplendent in the seersucker jacket, bow tie, and blue suede shoes, gave us a short musical history lesson titled Three Facts About Tin Pan Alley. To wit, (1) it was a time: beginning in about the 1880s and lasting for about 50 years. (2) It was a place: a small section of West 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue in New York City. (3) It was a business model, now long gone, in which the popularity of a song was measured by the sales of sheet music. And with that, Cory pronounced us in the top 1% of people who are knowledgeable about Tin Pan Alley, and led us in singing a great example of the genre, On the Sunny Side of the Street, featuring a great piano solo by Ross Jutsum!

Jan Sanders gave a wonderful invocation that was a reflection and blessing on children, in honor of the theme for the program. Robert Lyons introduced our guests, including a plethora of friends of Brian Davis, who advised: "always stack a room when you're going to speak!" 

President Shel kicked off the announcements by recognizing Past President Kathy Meagher for her upcoming 30th Rotaversary, saying "I'm one of her biggest fans!" (Ed. note: It's a big fan club!)

Yours truly shared the exciting news, just in from Atlanta via the Facebook feed of Altadena Rotary President Elect Sarah O'Brien, that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered with Rotary International to raise up to $450 million to eradicate polio once and for all in the next few years. The Gates Foundation will match our contributions two for one, so this reporter kicked things off with a $20 donation to the Polio Pig, which will now be worth $60!

In other news, your faithful correspondent urged everyone to attend the Demotion of President Shel on Wednesday, June 28 (remember, no lunch meeting that day). The show is going to be amazing! Kathy Meagher announced that we still need some bartenders for the evening and people immediately volunteered to help. Kathy could also use some help at the check-in table that night so contact her if you can provide that help.

Elisabeth Browne, the incoming co-chair of the Program Committee, wants everyone's help in suggesting speakers for the coming year! Let her know your thoughts!

Justene Adamec fed the Polio Pig and shared the exciting news that she won second place in a poker tournament and the prize is a fly-along in the Arcadia Police Department's helicopter! Don't worry, she's not a professional gambler - it was a fundraiser for the Arboretum!

Jan Sanders sternly exhorted all Rotary Readers to cast their votes for next year's books! As of Wednesday's lunch meeting only six members had voted, and Jan is sure that the group doesn't want to leave its fate in the hands of just six people! Email your picks to Jan ASAP.

Dean Billman was tickled by the news about the Gates Foundation polio pledge, and matched this reporter by kicking in his own $20 to the Pig in honor of his dad, a polio survivor.

Cory Brendel, by popular demand after being asked about it four times, gave a fourth piece of information about Tin Pan Alley: it got its name when a newspaper reporter walked down the street in question and said it sounded like the noise of 100 tin pans being banged together! (So now we're probably in the top .5% in Tin Pan Alley knowledge!)

President Shel, noting that this was not an unusual occurrence, announced that "last week I forgot something important: when I presented Cathy Sims with the District Award for service to the Rotary Foundation I neglected to give her a coveted bronze Rotary coin. So I am remedying that oversight right now!" Cathy was suitably thrilled, saying "I've been coveting that for a year now!" and "my life is now complete!"

Coveted bronze Rotary coins were also presented to two people who helped President Shel raise more than $15,000 in less than five minutes for our Caring Little Hearts Global Grants project: Dave Mans and Ken Stickney. They each received a hearty (see what I did there?) round of applause for their service.

President Shel then presented coveted Rotary bronze coins to Ed Hearst, for his years of service with Interact and Rotaract and his valuable help in getting our new Interact Club off the ground; and Justene Adamec, for stepping up to help with Interact even though she'd never done it before. 

Finally, President Shel introduced Annette Lee, the Polytechnic School student who made the Interact Club happen. "Without you," he told her, "we would not have an Interact Club." As her proud parents looked on, he presented her with a coveted bronze Rotary coin, and then gave her a supply of her own coveted bronze Rotary coins so that she can recognize outstanding members of the Interact Club! Annette accepted the accolades and the coins with a big hug for Shel!

Hillary Shenk introduced our speaker, our own Brian Davis. Hillary and Brian met through Rotary and now they work together every day at the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena, where Brian is the Executive Director and CEO.

Brian said, "We're a secret in Pasadena! Not everyone knows who we are, but those who know us, know us really well!" The Boys and Girls Club has two branches; the Slavik Branch on Del Mar Blvd. and the MacKenzie-Scott Branch on North Fair Oaks Ave. They serve 2,500 young people in Pasadena in 63 independent programs. In the summer they serve 600 young people a day and during the school year, they serve 400 per day. They charge only $100 per year for membership, and 65% of members receive some financial aid.

Brian took us through the history of the Boys and Girls Club, and in particular the Pasadena Club. 

The first Boys Club was founded in 1860 by three women who wanted to get "street urchins" off the street and give them something to do. In 1937 the Pasadena Foundation became the Boys Club and joined the national organization. In 1956 the Boys Club received a Congressional Charter, one of only a handful of organizations to have such a thing including the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. The name was changed to the Boys and Girls Club of America in 1990. The Pasadena Boys Club had already been serving girls by that time, but it officially merged with the Pasadena Girls Club at that time.

The Boys and Girls Club of America serves 4 million young people in 4,000 clubhouses nationwide. There are 193 inductees in the Alumni Hall of Fame, including two from Pasadena! Earl Carlyss first learned to play the violin at the Pasadena Boys Club and is now a distinguished violinist and alumni of and professor at The Julliard School. Jim Keltner is a session musician who played drums on a multitude of hit songs with musicians including Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Roy Orbison, and Joni Mitchell to name just a few!

After his historical overview, Brian introduced the club's 2017 Youth of the Year, Ivonne Gonzales. She gave her inspiring talk about how the Boys and Girls Club allowed her to rise above a difficult childhood to become a strong confident student and athlete. She placed in the top 6 in the Youth of the Year competition in Los Angeles County, out of 2,500 youth who entered! She ended her speech by saying "Where do great futures start? Right here, right now!"

Ivonne and Pasadena Youth of the Year finalist Carlton Carpenter were both presented with gigantic checks from the Rachel Estrada Memorial Scholarship and with proclamations and certificates from the City of Pasadena and State Assemblymember Chris Holden. As Jim Masuda of the City of Pasadena put it, "you make Pasadena proud!"

Finally, Brian presented three distinguished alumni from the Pasadena Boys and Girls Club who shared their experiences over the years.

And to wrap things up, a representative from State Senator Anthony Portantino presented a certificate to the Pasadena Boys and Girls Club in honor of its 80th anniversary this year!