2018-01-31: Club Assembly

President Lya Jordan opened the meeting at 12:09 PM. John Pickett had triple duty; opening prayer, leading the singing of the Star Spangled Banner (last verse) and leading the song “Happiness is”, an original by Fran Boldt. “Meet and greet” time was skipped, however our many visitors were introduced. Richelle got the happy dollars going by celebrating her almost 2 year anniversary when she introduced her husband Marty. Jay was happy for Richelle & Marty. Patty gave happy dollars for the honorees as well as the” impressiveness” of the club. Clay Griffin was happy to be running for Congress. Jim was happy for Brooke Salmon, whose basketball skills were highlighted in the Sun-News. Fran and Bill were happy to see the moon eclipse.

The Program – Student Presentations & Paul Harris Fellow Awards part II

Our three student guests for January - James Maestas, Oñate High School; Brooke Salmon, Las Cruces High School, & Jordyn Gallegos, Centennial High School - each gave their speech. Both James and Brooke talked about how their grandparents influenced them – a good reminder about the importance of being a grandparent. James has accepted a Crimson Scholarship at NMSU and appreciated the free meals! Brooke talked about her special relationship with her Nana who recently passed. In addition to being a member of the LCHS basketball team, she is in the National Honor Society. She plans on studying Animal Science with the goal of becoming a veterinarian. Jordyn is a member of the orchestra as well as the National Honor Society. However, most important to her is 4H where she has been selected to serve on the organizing committee for the 4H National Congress. She plans to study Agricultural Biology at NMSU, then pursue a Ph.D. at Purdue. All three mentioned the great time they had with the club this past month.

Patty then made a special scholarship presentation to Caleb Conaway from Mayfield High School. Caleb was a student guest last year and enjoyed the time so much that he came for two months! He is the recipient of our $2,500 scholarship made possible by the generosity of Diana Davidson. Caleb wants to play football in college as a kicker. Since NMSU already had one, he had to go to UNM. His long-term goal is to attend law school. 

President Lya turned the program over to Bill Harty, chair of the Paul Harris/ Rotary Foundation Committee. Bill reminded the club about a few of our traditions; awarding scholarships, sharing community information, and honoring club members as well as community members through the Paul Harris Fellows program. The club donates $1,000 for each honoree to the Rotary Foundation. The Foundation’s largest project has been the eradication of polio, an effort that has been accelerated by a grant from the Gates Foundation. This foundation got interested because Bill Gates’ father heard a Rotary presentation.

The club’s PHF recognition was held in December honoring Rynni Henderson and Daniel Payne. However, the other two honorees could not join us in December so they are being honored today.

Ted Shelton introduced Wendy Clarke, an interior designer who with her husband owns WDG Architects. Her service spreads across the community from helping Boys & Girls Club, Rotary, and Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce to organizing a monthly women’s professional group.

Dinus Briggs introduced Diana Davidson, a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow. Growing up around the world, Diana landed in California before joining the Las Cruces community where she served as a special education teacher for many years. She is a volunteer coach with Special Olympics. Her father was a longtime member of our club. It was his influence that taught her to serve and help others. In her closing remarks, she said “This award belongs to Dad.” Bill concluded the program by recognizing all club members who are Paul Harris Fellows.

After the Program

President Lya thanked everyone for their support and service. Patty reported that $44 was raised for school projects. The pot is $25 since we had a student winner last week. Mary Ellen won the chance to find the joker. Although she did not draw the joker, she was able to secure Franklin’s Valentine’s present by selecting an envelope with Caliche’s gift certificates. What a lucky guy! President Lya closed the meeting at 12:51 with the four-way test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Bruce Davis

Bobby Rankin

June Briggs

Dinus Briggs

Marty Swafford

Richelle Ponder

Wendy Clarke


David Clarke


Diana Davidson


Paul Deason


Nena Salmon

Brooke Salmon

Lorraine Padilla

Brooke Salmon

Caleb Conaway


Brian Conaway

Caleb Conaway

Liane Conaway

Caleb Conaway

Clayburn Griffin


Grace Pan


Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Mary Lee Shelton

Juarez Campestre

Student Guests



Brooke Salmon

Las Cruces

James Maestas


Jordyn Gallegos












Richelle Ponder February 6
William P. Harty Jr. February 7
Charles Townley February 7
Andrew Taylor February 10
Cornell Menking February 14
Donald Dresp February 17
Russell Allen February 24
Katelin Ponder February 25

Wedding Anniversaries-February

Member Spouse Wedding Anniversary Years
Ana Mangino Pistol February 10 28 years
Elaine Szalay Gary J. Podris February 14 28 years

Club Anniveraries-February

Member Club Anniversary Tenure
Steve Loman February 1 42 years
Elaine Szalay February 1 30 years
Blaine Goss February 9 18 years
Mel Parish February 9 13 years
Les Smith February 18 14 years

Submitted by Greg FantGreg Fant