First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
When Nicole Cavender took over for Jim Folsom at the Huntington Library as its director of botanical gardens, she knew she had replaced a local legend. Last week, she traveled down the hill to tell the Rotary Club of San Marino all about it. Folsom retired in December after 36 years at the institution, and though Cavender admitted she didn’t personally know Folsom when she accepted the position in March, she certainly knew of him.
First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
When Marcus Chua was named the Rotary Club of San Marino’s student of the month for September at its luncheon last week, the high school senior accepted his award with a heartfelt speech — becoming the first such honoree in 1½ years to do so in person, thanks to progress in the fight against COVID-19. “I’m overjoyed that I could be the first in a new era and to take my place amongst the brilliant students who will join me in standing on this stage in the months to come,” said Chua, who attends San Marino High School. He did not know at the time that just a few days later he would receive another prestigious award that further embellished his glittering dossier.
First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
He was born and raised here and, last Thursday, Wes Reutimann returned to his hometown where he was the keynote speaker at the Rotary Club of San Marino’s weekly luncheon. Reutimann attended San Marino schools beginning in kindergarten at Valentine Elementary School until his 1998 graduation from SMHS. He received his bachelor’s degree from Williams College with a double major in political science and German studies before heading to the University of Basel, Switzerland, where he received a master’s degree in advanced European studies. All roads have since returned home for Reutimann, who has worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Day One before he co-founded ActiveSGV in 2010.
First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
It’s a subject that has reverberated throughout the nation, and it made for a detailed presentation during a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of San Marino. It has several names — Operation Varsity Blues, the college admissions cheating scandal — but many people might be just as familiar with the name Rick Singer and his ploy to gain college admissions for applicants through illegal methods. Nicole LaPorte, a Los Angeles-based writer whose book “Guilty Admissions” chronicles the scandal, told Rotarians how Singer preyed on the desperation of some of the country’s wealthiest families. She depicted such people as living in a world defined by fierce competition and facing constant pressure to get their children into the “right” schools — starting with preschool — and nonstop fundraising and donation demands in the form of multimillion-dollar galas and private parties. She spoke of “deeply insecure” parents who would do anything to get their kids into name-brand colleges to maintain their A-list status.
The Rotary Club of San Marino held a special meeting earlier this month at a unique location. Club members flocked to the San Marino home of Lucille Norberg for the purpose of bestowing upon her an award acknowledging the 50-year resident for her work with the San Marino Motor Classic. “Lucille, I’m very happy to present you with a distinguished service award,” said J.P. Mainguy, president of the Rotary Club of San Marino to a large audience camped out on Norberg’s spacious front porch.
San Marino has hosted an egg hunt in some iteration for several decades, but the success of one held last Saturday might just change all that for good. Dubbed by the Recreation Department as “The Great San Marino Egg Hunt,” the event drew almost 600 participants. They cruised via automobile through town on the “bunny trail,” using a map to solve riddles and spot clues while searching for “Mr. and Mrs. Bunny” along the way. To sweeten the pot, Recreation Department staffers hid 10 “golden tickets” in eggs that were distributed at eight stops along the way.
He was born on opening day of a season the Los Angeles Dodgers ended up winning the World Series. More than a half-century later, he can still remember the section, row and number of his first seat in Dodger Stadium, so it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that Mark Langill wound up as the club’s team historian. So with the 2021 season days away, Langill was recruited to virtually address the Rotary Club of San Marino last Thursday afternoon to get members in the mood for some baseball. He was introduced as the Dodgers’ “Answer Man,” and Langill had plenty of them, including this supposed response to a question posed by Rotarian Barbara Bice, who introduced Langill. “Don’t hit the ball very well in Little League and you will be well on your way,” Langill allegedly said when asked how he secured his job. Langill began his address by posing an explanation to America’s fascination with baseball and, specifically, Opening Day.
Diane Falconer’s journey has taken her, literally, around the world.
Falconer, who was raised in San Marino when she was known by her maiden name Diane Harwich, attended and later graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. While there, she received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and traveled to the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia, from 1983-84, where she studied worked on her master’s degree as the Rotary Club of San Marino’s second international scholar.
Now a resident of Connecticut, Falconer virtually addressed the club last Thursday afternoon, saying her ambassadorial experience changed her life, so much so that she used it as the title of her presentation.
She even had a chance to rekindle her relationship with Rotarian Barbara Bice, who as Falconer’s college counselor suggested she apply for the scholarship.
Falconer began by showing a slide of the famous “Earthrise,” a photograph that was taken by astronauts aboard Apollo 8 on Christmas Eve 1968.
Longtime local resident Barbara Franks Bice has been appointed to the board of directors at Muse/ique, a Pasadena-based pioneering live music organization which holds a summer events series at The Huntington.
The board, chaired by philanthropist LeeAnn Havner, provides leadership in carrying out Muse/ique’s mission of making music accessible to all through adventurous and meaningful programming, an effort continued throughout the pandemic with drive-in concerts, lawn serenades, and “In a Minute! (…or Two!)” video series, which recently surpassed 100 episodes.
Also joining the board are Christine Swanson and Jonathan Weedman.
“To serve as chair of Muse/ique’s board of directors is to be part of an inspiring and passionate team,” said Havner. “With much enthusiasm, we welcome to the board our newest members — Barbara Franks Bice, Chirstine Swanson and Jonathan Weedman — all of whom bring a breadth of experience and expertise that will help bring to fruition Muse/ique’s adventurous plans for the future.”
Mark Liang, a member of San Marino High School’s graduating class of 2015, has received a Global Grant scholarship for graduate study at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, beginning this October.
Liang will be engaged in the masters of philosophy, health, medicine and society program beginning this October. Liang’s interests align with Rotary’s area of focus that includes disease prevention and treatment. The scholarship is valued at $31,000.
At Cambridge, Liang plans to study the ways immigrants are disproportionately affected by disease when crossing borders and geographic boundaries. He expects to work extensively with the health organizations at Cambridge and the United Kingdom, extending the work he already has been doing in the United States.