Apparently someone forgot to tell the weather that summer is officially over as the mornings have started to cool down a bit but daytime temperatures continue to exceed 100 degrees.  President Robert Wilkinson called what would be perhaps the most somber meeting of the year to order.   Just 18 hours earlier our very dear friend and fellow Rotarian Steve Robbins had lost his battle with Leukemia. (More about this later in this newsletter) After Wes Faris led the club in the pledge of allegiance Steve’s closest friend Allan Levin gave an emotional invocation remembering Steve and asking for special blessings on his wife and family members.      

At the greeting table this week was Frank Blum taking attendance our newest member Cindy Hall selling lunch and Raffle tickets.  

President Robert introduced our visiting Rotarians and guests.  Announcements this week included a reminder that Joe LaMantia is working on the All Desert Rotary Foundation Work Shop to be held on 10/19 at the RED ROBIN in La Quinta, the million meals program will take place at Albertsons Saturday and Sunday 12-2 and 2-4 PM with an all call for volunteers, the next board meeting will take place October 17 at 5:30 PM at Lee Osborne’s office (or Corry Hunter’s office if you don’t know where Lee’s office is located), and finally the October Social dubbed the Jacques Abels Social this month will be held at the Palm Oasis (located at the top of the Cove where Jacques’ tree is planted) on October 6th at 5:00 PM.

Wes Faris was the lucky raffle ticket winner this week but we apparently have lost our marbles (both literally and figuratively) and so Wes was promised “first draw” next week by which time we hope to have regained our marbles!  Lunch was served by the lovely and talented Cori handing out pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches with fries as well as the traditional salads to be topped off later with the delicious Hula Pie.


Allan Levin took to the podium and did his best to separate club members from their hard earned dollars.  Mike Sutton, Tom McDermott, Cindy Hall, Diane Kelly and Bill Cosgrove all made retribution by way of contribution for no make-ups (Hello? Is anyone out there paying attention?!!!), visiting past La Quinta Rotary club member and founding member of the Coachella Valley East Rotary Club Mark Weber paid $5 to announce the successful CV East Rotary Golf Tournament held earlier this week on Monday and to point out to Allan 3 of the 4 La Quinta Rotarians who not only participated in the tournament but also won 3rd place (gross).  Once exposed, Bruce Cathcart, David Turner, and Leroy Anderson all coughed up $10 for the recognition.  Nick Kraushaar donated $10 for NOT being our speaker a couple of months back, Dick Anderson paid $5 to announce the upcoming Wine for Cancer event at the Trilogy and Andy Brakebill paid $5 for the La Quinta Candidates forum which he claimed helped him to make up his mind on which candidates to vote for this Fall.  Lothar Vasholz was mumbling something about Colorado playing UCLA in the PAC 12… but failed to come up with any money and Allan took that as a sign to quit for the day.


Our Speaker this day was Mark Weber (yes, the same past La Quinta Rotarian and CV East Rotary club founder) who had come to speak to us in his capacity as Manager of the Enterprise Zone.  The Enterprise Zone is a geographical area in the Coachella Valley that includes approximately 60 square miles (39,000+ acres) in Thousand Palms and parts of the City of Indio, City of Coachella, Mecca, Thermal, Bermuda Dunes and several other pockets of Unincorporated County of Riverside.  This is a State of California designated zone in which tax incentives are offered to businesses to locate within the zone in order to promote job creation and job stability.  Tax incentives to businesses include Employer Hiring Credits, Sales and Use Tax Credits, Business Expense Deductions, Net Operating Loss Carryover, and Net Interest Deduction for Lenders.  Of special note was that La Quinta Rotarian Lee Osborne is the current Treasurer for the CVEZ Executive Board.  Mark made an excellent presentation and in his position as Manager he has significantly improved the Enterprise Zone and has been a very positive force in its renewal process and continued growth and public awareness.  For more information of the Enterprise Zone please visit their website at:


Earlier in the meeting today President Robert exhibited his leadership skills in speaking to us all about Steve Robbins passing as did Allan Levin.  As a brief follow up for those who were not present at this meeting I wanted to share that Steve passed peacefully and was in no pain.  He was surrounded by his wife and family, his parents, and a few close friends.  A lot will be written about Steve over the next few days… mostly about who Steve was.  I’d like to share a few of my personal observations about who Steve wasn’t, having known him for the past 20 years or so.  Steve wasn’t a very good poker player.  About 17 years ago or so several La Quinta Rotary Club members would get together about once a month and play a friendly nickel dime quarter game of poker.  Steve never won.  It was not that he didn’t understand the game.  It seemed he was always more interested in everyone having a good time and sharing camaraderie than winning every pot and taking home his friend’s money (Allan and I on the other hand were always happy to take his and everyone else’s money home… and putting it into perspective now, maybe we shouldn’t have).  Steve was not an Elk, a Lion, a Mason, or a Shriner… he was a Rotarian!  And he was very proud of that.  We worked together on many Rotary projects/events and he always brought his fun loving spirit (and strong work ethic) to every project or event.  He will be especially missed working the grill this year at the annual hot dog give away.  And finally, Steve was not a fair weather friend.  He always seemed to put more into his friendships than he received from them and was loyal and dedicated to his friends. I feel very lucky to have been considered one of his friends.  Steve was 59 at the time of his passing which serves as reminder to us all to make every moment count.  Steve certainly did and he made a difference in every life that he touched. 

The CVWD has put out a press release regarding Steve that can be viewed at this site:

President Robert closed out the meeting leading the members in the four way test.