2010-12-01, Paul Harris Fellow Presentations

Club President Richelle Ponder rang the bell to open the meeting. John Pickett gave the invocation. Richelle then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Ross Ramsey led the club in singing “Jingle Bells.” Because of a full program and “tight quarters,” we had a very brief greeting-one-another period. In addition to the friends and family members of our Paul Harris honorees, we had 8 guests of Rotarians. The high school student guests were introduced or recognized.

There was the first reading for Barbara Andrew, a prospective new member. In addition, the Nominating Committee proposed our slate of officers and directors for 2011-2012. This concluded the opening business of the club, so the president invited Jim Bullock to the podium to oversee the Paul Harris program.

The Program

We had six PH awards to bestow. One was for Jay Jordan, who was unable to attend the meeting due to family emergency. The other five were present. In order of presentation:

PHF Recipients 12/1/2010Gus Gandara -- Bill Harty introduced Gus Gandara, a member of our club for 8 years. Gus is a native New Mexican, an accomplished basketball player, and a successful insurance man for State Farm. His productivity at work has earned him numerous awards and designations. When he is not playing a pick-up game, he is coaching community and school sports teams. He is also committed to the Make-a-Wish Foundation which gives children with life-threatening conditions opportunities to fulfill personal wishes. Because he is bilingual, Gus is able to assist Spanish-speaking families in southern New Mexico.

Jim Bullock and Laura ConniffLaura Conniff – Jim Bullock, in his introduction, said that Laura Conniff is a woman of “many causes.” Her service record is extensive. A graduate of Las Cruces High School, and New Mexico State University, Laura is a real estate broker and owner of Mathers Realty. Her service to NMSU is well-known. She has been on the Board of Regents, NMSU Presidents Associates, NMSU Foundation, and the College of Business Advisory Council. Laura is a founding member and former board member of the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico. Her most recent passion is the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” campaign designed to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

PHF medallionMagellia Boston – In his opening remarks, Bill Harty noted that Magellia Boston lives by the motto “taking care of hers.” Growing up in the south where segregation was alive, she became an advocate for human rights. Known as an activist, she pursued equal rights for people of all races. She even went to jail for her efforts. Back east, she taught school for more than 15 years before retiring early to relocate with her husband, McKinley. In a number of moves, they have been in Rhode Island, Minnesota, and now here in New Mexico. As a breast cancer survivor, she happily became co-chair with Laura, Pat and Mary in TEWP. She also serves on two boards: Mountain View Regional Medical Center and La Casa.

Mary Henson – Introduced by Jim Bullock, Mary Henson is known as a “cheerleader who gets things done.” She exemplifies our motto of “Service Above Self.” Not one to steal the spotlight, she faithfully backed up her husband’s coaching career, wherever it led them. She volunteered as a teaching assistant, and on behalf of her church, she accepted the responsibility of primary sponsor of a Laotian family of six. She was instrumental in establishing the Lou and Mary Henson Endowment at NMSU. In addition, to co-chairing the TEWP campaign, there are a least six other organizations who benefit from her willingness to serve. In 2005, NMSU awarded Mary a Doctor of Laws Degree.

Richelle Ponder and Pat SisbarroPat Sisbarro – Citing the many lessons that she learned from Pat Sisbarro, Richelle Ponder introduced Pat as one who knows how to balance work and home. The automobile business has been a large part of Pat’s life. She is currently Vice President of the Sisbarro Dealerships. She also served as a board member for Tresco Inc., NMSU Presidents Associates, Aggies Booster Club, and the American Southwest Theater Company. She co-chairs the TWEP campaign, because she understands how overwhelming a cancer diagnosis can be. She is a survivor. She knows how important it is to not only raise money for TEWP but to raise awareness of breast cancer.

After the Program

Paulina reported that we collected $53 in fines and happy bucks. We ended the meeting by reciting the 4-way test. 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians

Guest    Host
David Thomas Gerald Thomas
Pilar & Gus Gandara Gus Gandara Jr.
Kermit & Phyllis Schauer Gus Gandara Jr
Bill Mattiace Wanda Mattiace
Wanda Bullock Jim Bullock
Lezelle Reagan Jim Bullock
Barbara Danley Jim Bullock
Van Bullock Jim Bullock
Franklin McKay Marilyn Monroe
Barbara Andrew Mary Ellen McKay
Nicole Ikard Pat Sisbarro

Visiting Rotarians

Rotarian Home Club

Student Guests

Student School
Devin Blackwell LCHS
Joseph Medina OHS
Brandon Rosales OHS
Sarah Schatzman MVHS
Arely Bagundo MVCH


Rotarian Date Club
Elaine Szalay 11/8 Rio Grande
Elaine Szalay 11/23 Rio Grande
Elaine Szalay 11/30 Rio Grande
Kim Hakes 11/30 Rio Grande
Don Moen 11/30 Rio Grande
Earl Phillips 11/30 Rio Grande

Submitted by Blaine Goss Blaine Goss