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Minutes: The One with the Wheelchairs

July 13, 2011

Don Presents Award to E. RussellSee the meeting photos here.

Welcome by President Joe Weiland.

  • Invocation by E. Russell Smith
  • Flag salute by Steve Boehm
  • Raffle, an orchid and Trader Joe’s gift certificate, by Tara Stoker 

Visiting Rotarians: Roselyn Ray of RC of Montecito

Guests: Bill Goba (AKA Dana’s father), Heidi L., Danelle Stewart (AKA Bill Rice’s daughter), Dolores Johnson, speaker Don Schoendorfer

Club Announcements:

  • CAMP WHEEZ. Dana Goba announced that, as financial supporters of Camp Wheez, our members have an opportunity to volunteer at the camp between August 8 and 12. Contact Dana for more information or if you want to sign up and did not have a chance during the meeting.
  • THE BLOGLE. Liz Werhane announced that all members who commented on The Blogle before today’s meeting were entered to win a bottle of wine. Dana Goba was the winning commenter. There will be another drawing next week. The comment button is at the bottom of each individual article (like the bottom of this one). Birthdays and anniversaries are on the right side of The Blogle, below the photos. Meeting duties are listed on the Meetings page. Contributors welcome.

President’s Announcements:

  • Make a favorite or bookmark in your Internet browser.
  • FIESTA: Rotary Group 8 will again have a float in the Fiesta parade. Stay tuned or contact Walt Stephens of the Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime to find out how you can help decorate it.
  • D5240 CONFERENCE: The District 5240 conference will be in Carpinteria Oct. 21-23. Save the date.
  • BOARD MEETING: The next board meeting will be 8:30 AM on July 20, following the regular club meeting in the Santa Barbara Club.
  • HOEDOWN: Mark your calendar for Oct. 16 for a fun day at Hollister Ranch.
  • LUNCH LOTTERY: Darren Doi and Laura Benson have rescheduled their lunch. The two names drawn were Liz Werhane and David Vo (which was awesome), but the club vetoed it. Liz was replaced with Judith McCaffrey. They have two weeks to schedule a lunch together.

Program: Don Schoendorfer of Free Wheelchair Mission

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise has partnered with Irvine, CA-based Free Wheelchair Mission over the years, resulting in the distribution of 11,000 wheelchairs around the world. President and Founder Don Schoendorfer thanked E. Russell Smith with a plaque for his key role in the partnership.

Free Wheelchair Mission creates simple, durable wheelchairs in China and ships them — about 550 wheelchairs per shipment — to communities in need around the world. The first design, a plastic chair with bicycle tires for wheels, was created to be cost-effective and easy to repair for the people receiving them. This design costs about $59.20 per chair to manufacture and deliver.

They have created a new design that comes in multiple sizes and has adjustable supports for the recipient’s legs and back. This design costs about $8 more per chair.

A single wheelchair improves the life of the recipient and of the people who have been supporting the recipient.

Steve and Marilyn Gutsche will host a Fiesta Celebration and Free Wheelchair Mission information session on Thursday, August 4, from 5 to 7 PM . Dinner will be included. Don will speak as well as C.V. Vadavana, Free Wheelchair Mission’s distribution partner from India. To reserve a spot and find out where this event will be held, please RSVP to (949) 273-8470 x208 or email

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Dana permalink
    July 13, 2011 1:00 PM

    Looking forward to the wine. Hopefully I win again next week!

  2. William Abel permalink
    July 14, 2011 9:07 PM

    Hey, I like wine too! Willy

  3. Andy Doerr permalink
    July 18, 2011 9:20 PM

    A comment for the wine, here here!

  4. fred gaeden permalink
    July 19, 2011 8:46 AM

    I’m glad the energy and expertise behind this great organization spoke at our club. what a great way for newer members to understand the good works we do internationally!

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