On June 13, 2022, the Rotary Club of Anaheim held its annual Past Presidents Meeting. This year was special, as the current Club President was the recipient of the Cliff Dochterman Award for Scouting in Rotary. As was the tradition, the Past Presidents in attendance recalled their year of service in leading the club.
The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of the Cliff Dochterman Award to Aaron Saliba. Lane Calvert emceed the meeting. Lane had first encountered the International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians when he was President, the first time. He noted that they meet annually at the Rotary International Convention, which was just held last week in Houston. Lane introduced Mark Kriebel, President of the IFSR, from New York, and Brian Thiessen, Commissioner of the Boy Scouts, from Northern California.
A little background on the award. The IFSR gives out Eagle Scout Awards through Rotary Clubs. Every Club can give out Eagle Scout Awards in the community. They also give our 1 Cliff Dochterman per year. There are several Cliff Dochterman Awardees currently in the Anaheim Club who were present: Greg Smith, Jim Ruth and Steve Sain.
At this point, Brian Thiessen gave a history of Cliff Dochterman, who was raised in Ohio. Unfortunately, he passed away about 7 months ago. He achieved Eagle Scout at 14 years of age. He always believed that real happiness is helping others. He migrated to Berkley California where he joined the Rotary Club. He was rejected 3 times prior to being accepted. He moved to Stockton, where he was President of the Scout Council and was active in enhancing scouting and Rotary. He later returned to Berkley, where he completed his career.
He lived in Moraga, California and was District Governor for District 5160. In 1992/93 his motto, as Rotary International President was “Real Happiness is Helping Others.”
Lane Calvert took over and introduced IFSR member Brian Russell of Long Beach Rotary, and Teri Snyder, a recipient of the Cliff Dochterman Award, from Orange Plaza.
Cisca Stellhorn, current District Governor for District 5320 presented the Cliff Dochterman award to Aaron Saliba. Lane Calvert put the medal around his neck. Aaron was also awarded a knot to place above his right pocket. The knot will be recognized by all scouters for Aaron’s service to Scouting and Rotary.
Other Cliff Dochterman Award winners were also introduced: John Fullerton of Lakewood, and Russell Etzenhouser of the Orange County Council, and member of Long Beach Rotary.
Lane also introduced other guests: Johrita Solari, past District Governor, and Vice President of Rotary International, Anaheim Rotary; Gianna Solari, Past District Governor, member of Anaheim Hills Rotary, and her husband Reese.
Amanda Saliba (wife of Aaron Saliba) introduced her sons: Robert – Eagle Scout last year; Twin Thomas, also an eagle scout, who could not be there because he is working at Knott’s; Mark, who just bridged into Boy Scouts this year; and Christopher, who is a Bear. She also introduced Christine Castro, Troop 660 (Cypress) New Member Coordinator, who accompanied her family.
On Zoom, Lane introduced our District Governor Elect, Dan Ouweleen, Rotary Club of Fullerton.
A picture of the Cliff Dochterman Awardee, with past awardees and presenters is shown above.
The second half of the meetings was the Past Presidents. Lane also emceed this portion if the meeting. He noted that usually Jack Jackson would be assisting with the LBJ Past Presidents meeting, but as stated above Jack could not be at the meeting. We all send our thoughts and prayers to Jack, who was President in 1984/85.
Normally there would be a banner, but as we come out of COVID, the club is still gathering up their stuff. Lane went through the Anaheim Past Presidents. Each President said a bit about their year. Below are excerpts from what they each said.
Jim Ruth 1981-82
When he came to Anaheim to be Parks & Recreation Director, he was met by a Rotarian who insisted he had to join the Club. Jim was the one who brought Lane Calvert into the club. He fondly remembered the Golf Tournaments, Painting the houses of seniors, planting trees in schools, helping at the Braille Institute, and serving 1500 pancake breakfasts as part of the Halloween program.
“Rotary has always been a part of my heart”
Thomas Morris 1986/87
Thomas was happy to hear that the Boy Scouts were being recognized today. During his presidency, one of his board members was nice enough to ask him to be a judge at a Boy Scout event at Anaheim Stadium. He was able to walk around and see all the fascinating projects that the kids did. Thomas recalled the Christmas shopping sprees for the salvation Army. 100 kids would be taken shopping by Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and Optimists, all working together to support the Salvation Army. His first time he was paired with a little girl and took her shopping to Mervyn’s. He did not know what to do and aske the little girl what she wanted. She said she had never had a dress. So, Thomas got a lady to help and he got her a dress that fit. He said it was one of the most unique experiences he has ever had. He also recalled driving all the way to Las Vegas for the International Convention, where he met Joe Serra who was doing leg surgeries in Africa for those who could not walk. He brought Mr. Serra back to the OC and had a joint meeting with several clubs at the Grand Hotel.
Lane Calvert 2000/02 & 2016/17
Lane recalled going to Buenos Aires during his presidency. This was when Frank Devlin was RI President. He noted 3 books by Frank Devlin titled “Frank Talk”. Lane was also the first one to get Club shirts and he showed the original designs for the shirts and the club “Angel” pins. Of course, now, with Rotary Branding, the shirts comply to Rotary Standards so that Rotary can be recognized.
Lucille Kring 2006/07
Lucille Kring noted that before she was a Rotarian, she was interested in service. She stated it was a thrill. During her year, she recalled Donkey Basketball, Planting Trees, and Paint Your Heart Out. She said the Paint Your Heart Out Program was amazing in that once the neighborhood saw a house painted, neighbors started repairing and painting their houses.
She noted that in her year, the Anaheim Club was 100% Paul Harris, quite a feat!
Since she is flashy (her words), she decided to do something big, so during her year, they had a Cassino Night.
Paul Andresen 2002/08 & 2020/21
“Don’t get it right the first time, you get to do it again.” Paul noted that he has the distinction of being the “Zoom” President. During 2020/21, he had no in-person meetings.
Mike Baker 2008/09
Mike noted that he is the President Elect for his current club in Santa Barbara. During his presidency in Anaheim, the nation was coming out of a housing crisis. Now we are coming out of COVID. He was proud of the fact he left a good amount of money in the bank for his successor. His goal for the coming year is not to get impeached. He noted that in his year at Anaheim Rotary, they officially named the Past Presidents meeting as the LBJ Past President’s Meeting. He is happy that tradition has continued.
Greg Smith 2011/2012
Greg spent 38 years with the City of Anaheim, and he noted it was great working with people like Jim Ruth and Lucille Kring. He joined Rotary in 1999. He was a Kiwanian at the time, but it was hard to go to 7am meetings after being at a game until midnight. Greg noted that during his presidency, the Anaheim Club met at the Diamond Club at Anaheim Stadium. He noted lots of Anaheim Rotary programs are geared towards children. This is important since in Anaheim we have lots of service jobs. These low pay jobs mean that there are kids that go without. Helping these kids does make a difference. He noted the Fishing Festival at Jenks Lake, the Backpack Program, and the children’s dental clinics. Greg end with addressing those that say they are “no longer Rotarians”
“You may not be an active member, but once you are a Rotarian, you are always a Rotarian and the things you have done last forever.”
Steve Sain 2012/13
Steve says he will always be remembered as the President who got the Club kicked out of the Diamond Club. But he says there is a positive. The Stadium wanted to charge $500/meeting. Therefore, Steve saved $2000/month that could be used for projects.
Steve recalled two water wells in South Sudan that were built during his year. He had a donor that was willing to fund the project, but the board kept that a secret and got matching funds from the club. Doing this, they were able to build 2 wells instead of 1.
He also noted that there were some rather successful Cassino Nights at The Grove. He complimented Greg Smith and Cathy Dutton for their efforts this year, which raised almost $20,000 for club projects. He also thanked the Solaris, who help establish a Satellite Club with younger (less than 50 years old) members.
Bruce Solari 2013/14
Bruce had fond memories of the Braille Institute Luncheon. Two teams were set up that had a competition to see who could plate the fastest. The food was flying and 100’s if meals went out in 6 minutes. During his year, they focused on membership and getting exciting programs at the meeting. Attendance and Membership went up!
Cathy Dutton 2019/2020
During her year, Cathy was proud that the club added new faces. She started Grapes & Grains as a signature event for the club. It is also a way to raise awareness of Rotary in a social atmosphere. She specifically noted working with the YMCA and the dental clinic. Before she was President, she did not attend the clinics, but then she went. It was amazing, she said. She mentioned we should start those again.
Dr. Frank Donavan 2019/2020
Frank was the President when COVID started. He noted that the school district still does have dental clinics, but “the” dental clinic. Frank was succinct and thanked everyone for all they did to support Rotary and the community. He also thanked Aaron for his leadership during the year.
Picture of Past Presidents attending in person, along with incoming 2022/23 and 2023/24 presidents is shown above.
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