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New President David Bixby was installed at a raucous sendoff event for 2013 - 14 President Ken Parker.
Rudy Gutierrez, City of Santa Maria, will be speaking on the exciting Special Olympics event coming to Santa Maria. The Monday, July 21 meeting begins at 6 PM in the Kent Room at the Santa Maria Inn.
Interact faculty advisor Phil Norton is requesting two Rotarians to serve as judges for the Interact club-sponsored Orcutt Academy High School Speech Contest May 19th. Contact Vicki Conner if you are interested. She did it last year and claims it was great fun to see what the students included in their speeches. Please consider volunteering, as we want to support our Interactor projects!
Caption: Rotary SM South club president Ken Parker, Talent Show Winner of First Place Coast Hills $1000 prize Isaiah Guerrero and Bob McIntyre, representing Coast Hills Federal Credit Union
Isaiah Guerrera, First Place (r), Melody McCormack 1st Runner-Up (l) and Emily Rich (c) 2nd Runner-Up
Area teens took most of the top honors in Saturday’s "Santa Maria Has Talent!" competition, directed by Rotarians Georgia Shore and Diane Balay.
Fourteen-year-old Santa Maria pianist Isaiah Guerrero walked off with an armload of trophies when he won first place for his performance of his original composition Sonata in G minor as well as the “Outstanding Teen Instrumentalist” award. Guerrero was presented the first place $1,000 Coast Hills Talent Award by Dr. Bob McIntire, representing Coast Hills and Santa Maria Rotary South club president Dr. Ken Parker. Rotary Santa Maria South and Coast Hills Federal Credit Union have co-sponsored the talent event for five years.
Twelve-year-old Lompoc dancer Emily Rich won double awards as 2nd runner up with her authentic Flamenco and also took the “Outstanding Achievement in Dance” award. Adult Santa Maria singer Melody McCormick also was a double award winner when she was selected 1st runner up and winner of the “Outstanding Achievement in Singing by an Adult”.
Santa Maria teen sisters, Kristina and Isabella Melsheimer, won “Oustanding Achievement in Singing by Teens” and took home the coveted people’s choice award as “Santa Maria’s Favorite”, as well. The Favorite award was presented in honor of Jeff Kuster, who stage managed the event for the past four years.
Caption: Sisters Isabella & Kristina Melsheimer took home "Santa Maria's Favorite" honors
Santa Maria soprano Bridget Lee, 11 years old, won “Outstanding Achievement in Singing by a Child”.
Caption: Bridget Lee won the "Outstanding Achievement in Singing by a Child" award
Caption: Roxanne Ventriglia and Ryan Miller served as hosts for the event, also performing the opening act
Co-hosts for Santa Maria Has Talent! were business owner/community leader and performer Roxanne Ventriglia, and Ryan Miller, executive editor of the Sun and New Times, who also took home a runner-up trophy from the 2012 talent show with his foot-stomping, entertaining performance of "Trouble" from The Music Man.
Caption: Saturday night judges: (l to r) Peter Garcia, Cynthia Valenzuela, Joe Payne, Amy Curti and Judge Jed Beebe
The talent winners were selected by a panel of judges out of more than 100 contestants of all ages over a three-night period, May 8, 9 and 10. Rotarian and judge Peter Garcia, local psychiatrist, has a degree in Music Education and studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Santa Maria attorney Cynthia Valenzuela is a part-time dance instructor for Allan Hancock College, and for eight years directed the Nutcracker Ballet. Joe Payne is a professional music teacher and the Arts editor of the Santa Maria Sun. Trained in piano and voice, Amy Curti teaches music for the Artist-in-Residence program at Joe Nightingale Elementary and leads Glee Clubs at St. Joseph's High School and the Orcutt Arts Academy. Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Jed Beebe, president of the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society, plays violin for the Philharmonic and the Lompoc Pops orchestra and plays viola, cello, piano and organ, sings tenor and directs a church choir, as well. Attorney Matthew Guerrero of the San Luis Obispo firm of Maguire & Ashbaugh, not pictured, served as a judge Thursday and Friday evenings. He serves on numerous local boards and is an avid supporter of the arts in both Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo County.
Santa Maria Has Talent is sponsored by Santa Maria Rotary South. Proceeds support charitable causes in the Santa Maria area and provide partial support of two elementary schools in La Paz Mexico.
At the May 5th clu b meeting, President Ken Parker announced that the club's collaborative international project to provide a computer lab for the village school in the mountains above La Paz has reached a major milestone. The "Computer Salon" as they call it, is now open, featuring a 21 computer stations...one for the instructor and 20 for students (with capability of serving two students at each computer). The computer lab project is a joint effort led by Rotary Santa Maria South, with partners being The Rotary Club of Santa Maria and the Nipomo Rotary in cooperation with Club Rotario de la Paz. Rotary International provided additional funds for the project.
In addition to the computer stations, a projector, large screen and internet capability were installed.
As Ken says, "It's amazing what a small group of international Rotarians can accomplish when they work together as a team!"
A dozen Rotary Santa Maria South club members turned out March 21st at the Madonna Inn to celebrate the club's first female member (Anne Green, inducted in 1988 as the first woman Rotarian in Santa Maria), as well as all the other women pioneering the "women in Rotary" wave. The District dinner benefited the Rotary Foundation, and also celebrated Rotary's quarter century of polio eradication worldwide. Dinner speakers were representatives of the Rotary Foundation's current and previous programs, e.g. Group Study Exchange, Rotary Exchange Student, Ambassadorial Scholarships. Keynote for the evening was Dr. Sylvia Whitlock, first female Rotary president, second woman inducted into Rotary. Dr. Whitlock described the eleven year process of legal efforts to allow women in Rotary, an effort culminating in a Supreme Court decision that also opened the way for women in all service clubs. Dr. Whitlock's club is in Duarte, California, and had only fifteen members when it challenged Rotary International.
Rotary Santa Maria South's Anne Green was also the club's first female president. Her sponsor into Rotary was Dr. Robert (Bob) McIntire, retired Air Force colonel and Cal Poly professor.
Anne, who now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, flew in for the "Women in Rotary" dinner and celebrated her role as the Santa Maria South club's first female member with club president Ken Parker and wife Diane, other longtime friends, and newer club members.
Superintendent/President Kevin Walthers, PhD, Allan Hancock College was the club's speaker January 13th, sharing progress on bond-funded facility improvements, approach for utilizing the College's recent large gift, and his overall philosophy on better serving students.
Rotary Santa Maria South's Club President Ken Parker and President-Elect Nominee Peter Garcia presented an overview of the Club's Rotary District grant project in La Paz at the January 27, 2014 meeting. Rotary South has been partnering with the Rotario de la Paz Club for ten years now, providing a shade structure, classroom paint and supplies, sports equipment and sewing machines and fabric for village single moms. Last year, the Club spearheaded a joint La Paz project to build a 20-station computer lab and provide software and other school support. Rotary Club partners in the grant effort include the Santa Maria Rotary Club, Nipomo Rotary, Rotary Club of Redondo Beach, and the Rotario de la Paz Club. In October, Ken and Peter travelled to La Paz to monitor grant progress. Computer stations had been installed, but needed still to be bolted to the ground and the fiber connection had been lost due to an "errant tractor" incident, but all was being ameliorated and the project was moving forward.
As part of the program, Peter recognized the Orcutt Academy High School (OAHS) Interact Club which provided $500 for school supplies to the school, supplemented with $250 from Rotary Santa Maria South. Students had raised the money from Orcutt Academy High students donating for school supplies for the La Paz village students. Ken and Peter had received two Rotary club banners from the Roario de la Paz club and presented one of the club banners to OAHS Interactors Christian Fernandez and Jordan Bashline. OAHS instructor and Interact Club Advisor Phil Norton attended the Club meeting with the Interactors.
With Club President-Elect David Bixby presiding for Ken Parker who was out of town, Rotary Santa Maria South club members were presented a program January 6th by Matt Murphy, president of Presqu'ile Winery. Matt described how the winery evolved from the purchase of 72 acres of county land on Clark Road, east of Hwy 101, to the opening of the tasting room in June 2013. The winery is named after the Murphy family compound in the Mississippi Delta, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. "Presqu'ile" means "nearly an island" in French. While Matt believes that Santa Maria is "the best place on the West Coast, or possibly in the new world" for pinot noir, the winery also produces sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and syrah wines. The family's 2013 production was 5000 cases, with lots of room for growth, as the potential volume could be around 18,000 cases one day. Matt, who is a board member of the Santa Barbara Vintners Association, spends much time on the road promoting the Santa Maria Valley AVA and Santa Barbara County wines. As he says, he isn't trying to put Santa Maria on the wine map, because it's already there, he's just trying to make the dot a little bigger!