The Humana Challenge


President Sandy Opening the meeting

President Sandy Stewart called the 21st meeting of the 27th year of our La Quinta Rotary Club to order and asked Adrian Gysi to lead us in the pledge.  This was followed with a very nice invocation by Tom McDermott.



Corry, Merv, Joe, Marc, Lothar, Tom, Doug, Diane, and Andy at the greeting table


At the greeting table this week was Tom McDermott taking attendance, Doug Motz selling lunch tickets and Diane Kelly and Andy Lorenz selling Raffle tickets.


Joining us today was visiting Rotarian Franklin Foster from Alberta, Canada and one guest Ann Davis.



Rotarians and guests engaged in fellowship

President Sandy made the following announcements:  The Hops and Props event was a great success with many volunteer Rotarians enjoying a variety of micro brews and earning $1,000.00 for the club in the process.  As one member exclaimed, “I guess we did not drink all the profits this time!” Our bell ringing efforts over the past few days have been quite a success bringing in over $600.00 per day for the Salvation Army. 


President Sandy bell ringing at Jensens

On Monday December 2nd we had a fantastic Rotary Social event at Baird Boucher’s Fine Jewelry store where Baird donated several wonderful raffle prizes, a fine spread of food, musical entertainment, and a great time was had by all in attendance. The next board meeting will be at Baird Boucher’s Fine Jewelry store starting at 5:30 on December 18th; and finally, there will be no regular meeting this Friday, instead the holiday party is scheduled for Friday December 13th at the Motz residence, the cost of which is $40.00 and includes food, beer and wine, water and soda.  Member Dick Grund announced that “Hearts for Arts” gala will take place on January 11th and have a “Gatsby” theme this year.  Member Corry Hunter updated us on the upcoming Tour de Palm Springs.  Member David Turner updated us on our upcoming Strut Your Mutt fund raising event scheduled for next year on March 20, 2014 and our ongoing East Valley Water Project and finally, Member Joe LaMantia reminded us all about Rotary Direct for our Paul Harris giving.



Allan Levin's granddaughter Ava amongst the flock

Allan Levin was the latest victim of the ever roaming “Flock of Flamingos” according to reports from our resident “Flock Master” David Archer.


With only 5 marbles left in the bag this week Tom McDermott had his ticket drawn, but alas, to his sole disappointment he picked a white marble and collected only $5.00.



Favorite server Shirle with Japanese Clam Chowder



Favorite server Amy with Desert Penne Pasta


The lunch choices today were the Cliff House Desert Penne Pasta, the traditional Chicken Caesar salad, or a bowl of Japanese Clam Chowder (with clams, shitake, leeks, water chestnuts, garlic and teriyaki roux) accompanied by ½ a grilled cheese sandwich, all served with a nice slice of Hula Pie to top everyone’s meal off!


Bruce Cathcart, filling in for Allan Levin, stepped up to the podium and immediately started the bidding off for the fine free badge. Tom McDermott was the eventual winner after out bidding all other members.  We all wished Tom’s wife Yolanda a happy birthday since that was the obvious motivation behind his overzealous bidding! Bruce Cathcart then fined himself $100.00 to cover a long list of items that included his wife Lora’s birthday, Lora winning two of the four raffle prizes at the last mixer, the article in CV Weekly naming his daughter as one of Coachella Valley’s distinguished young women, and the safe return of his daughter’s fiancée back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.   Adrian Gysi paid in advance for his birthday in January at the rate of a buck a year (83 in case you are wondering), President Sandy also paid for her birthday but without mentioning any amount of years. Of course there were also several smaller donations made for no make-ups, and; Mayor Don for the completion of the Adams Street bridge and upcoming Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Merv Kolb for his beloved Arizona, David Turner for two of his three grandsons making it into the pee-wee football league super bowl, and I guess at the meeting after Christmas Joe LaMantia will have gloating rights for his 49er’s win over Dick Grund’s Seahawks!  All in all it was a good day for Rotary!



Speaker Bob Marra with President Sandy

Our speaker this day was Bob Marra, the executive director and CEO of the Humana Challenge PGA Tour tournament (Formerly the Bob Hope Classic) and the Desert Charities organization.  Bob moved to the Coachella Valley in 1993 and prior to his work with the tournament he operated Wheeler’s Market Intelligence, a market research and market intelligence company; Marra Consulting – a marketing and public relations firm, and The Public Record – a weekly business and public affairs newspaper which he still owns.

This year is the 55th “Classic” tournament to be held in the desert and all four courses this year are located in the City of La Quinta.  Even though the tournament has been shortened to 4 days, attendance and participation has increased 30%.  This year there will be 16 hours of live coverage plus 16 hours of re-broadcast of the tournament on the Golf Channel.  The Golf Channel we learned is now viewable in 588 million households worldwide!  All of this amounts to great exposure for our city and allows for more local content plus local advertisers during the broadcast.  Bob shared several interesting stories about his prep meeting with the golf channel folks as well the history of the Classic and Ernie Dunlevy ambushing Bob Hope in both the locker room one time and then on a flight to Los Angeles another to finally get him to commit to the event.  By aligning with Humana and the Bill Clinton Foundation and placing an emphasis on health and well-being the tournament is bringing forth a new message to its viewers and participants of being physically active and spending more time outdoors.  So far this year’s tournament is surpassing all of its financial and attendance goals as the event is nearly sold out of almost everything!  Bob was an excellent speaker and really created an excitement among us all for this year’s tournament.  To learn more about this year’s event go to


Can anyone identify this secret Santa seen at JadaBugs? (Hint: C.H.)

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