Representing the Playa del Rey and Playa Vista areas of Los Angeles County, California, we are proud to announce the chartering of the Rotary Club of Playa Sunrise on June 30, 2005 making the new club a "Centennial" club in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Rotary itself. 

Last updated July 10, 2008

"Join Rotary - Change Lives!"

Meeting Location, Time and Map

Rotary International

District 5280

Club Officers and Members








7/15 Women Against Gun Violence

7/22 LAPD Ass't Chief Sharon Papa

7/29 LMU Athletic Director Bill Husak and Basketball Coach Bill Bayno

8/5 Open

8/12 Genevieve Peters - Peters Procedure

8/19 LMU Prof. Fernando Guerra - Emergence of Latino Politics in Los Angeles

9/16 LMU Prof. Richard Fox - Elections 2008

10/7 LMU Prof. Amir Hussain - America's Role in the Middle East

10/28 District Governor's Visit


Past Speakers '05-'08:

Note: A book is donated to a local school (drawn by lottery) in the name of each of our guest speakers.  The first seven books went to St. Jerome's.


Dist. Gov. - Charter Ceremony


Glenn Marzano: Iraq photojournalist


Project Amigos


Manchester Square Purchase and Relocation Program


LAPD Capt. Bill Williams - State of Pacific Division


Marie Murphy - Community Relations Director Director Westchester/Playa del Rey Education Foundation


Cindy Williams - Marina del Rey Boat Parade


Greg Wenger - History of the Marina Area in Photos


Joe Harding -  Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly (RYLA)


Marc Huffman -  Local Transportation Projects


Anna G. Ouroumian CEO, Academy of Business Leadership


Captain Robert Green - Commanding Officer LAPD/LAX re: Security and Terrorism Prevention


District Membership Chair Doug Baker


Hideharu Ichii - Ambassadorial Scholar


Bill Husak - Athletic Director, Loyola Marymount Univ.


Sheri Weitz - Cowan Nature Center


Marc Leeka - The Rotary Foundation


Don Culton, Pres. Venice Marina Rotary on Wine Tasting


Rotaract International Convention at UCLA


Laurie Ferro on RYLA experience w/our sponsored kids


Slides and Stories from 2006 Rotary International Convention


District 5280 Senior Assistant Governor Ferris Wehbe re: 2006-07 District Wide Projects


Fmr. LAPD Cmdr. Alan Kerstein - How to Avoid a Ticket!


District Governor Scot Clifford


Beverly Moore - MdR Convention and Visitors Bureau


Chris Morrison - Founder and Director of Care Highway International


John Ruhlen -  Downtown Westchester PBID


Michael Schwartz - One on One


KidSave Weekend Miracles Program


Jim Boyle - Director, California Chapter of National Safety Council


Dr. Janet Salmonson, Plastic surgeon - Travels to Bolivia to perform cleft palette surgeries


Dr. Cathie Ann Lippman - Nutrition, Environmental and Preventative Medicine


Babs Pasternack - Living with Multiple Sclerosis


Nancy Weisel of Neuberger Berman - General investment market update w/emphasis on Int'l Markets


Marcy Kaplan of Computer Access Center - Computer services and training provided for the disabled


Barbara Bishop - BBPR, Inc. - public relations for small businesses


Rick Buckley - Madison Partners - state of the WLA office market, trends in commercial real estate


Holmes R. Osborne III - Current Events and Investing (member of Malibu Rotary)


Gail Levy, Development Director for PVJobs


Benita von Klingspor (associate of Howard Pollack) - variety of nutrition-related topics, including pros/cons of vitamins; digestion and energy


Maryann Kristan- LAC+USC Women's and Children's Hospital pediatric lending library and volunteer reading program


Joann Cicconi and Molly Wilder from Career Strategies "Interviewing Well for Effective Hiring"


Kelly Kane, President of the Westchester Playa Education Foundation (WPEF)


Sharon Berman of Berbay Corp. on marketing

Past District Governor Rick Mendoza

Lucia Diaz, Executive Director of the Mar Vista Family Center

Erikk Aldridge, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Venice

Cindi Woelfle, Centinela Freeman Hospital

Larry Johnson, Dist. 5280 Vocational Service Director

Dist. Gov. Jim Dyer's

Camille Leon, Founder and CEO of WAVEgeneration

Elizabeth Benson Forer, CEO of Venice Family Clinic

Amy Joehlin (Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar - 2008)

Steve Brand (Shriners Hospital)

Captain Alicia Mathis (Station 51 at LAX)

Scott Knight, Perr & Knight (Winery)

Steve Larson, Woodside Natural Gas

Molly O'Brien - Field Representative for Senator Dianne Feinstein




Check Request Form

Tax Exempt Ruling


Holiday Adopt-A-Family Program

For the second year we helped many local families enjoy a holiday with presents, trees and special meals that would otherwise have gone without.  Here's the report from one of our teams:

When I dropped off the Christmas tree to the Hernandez family, Ricardo Jr. (15) met me in the driveway - he lit up when he saw the fresh tree strapped to the top of my car and when I opened the back of my car and he saw all of the decorations, he began to quiver saying, "we've never had a Christmas tree before...I can't wait to decorate it!!!" and then Mrs. Hernandez gave me a hug and through her tears called the Playa Sunrise Rotary Club angels in the life of her family.


When we returned to deliver our packages, we noticed the tree, prominently displayed as we walked into their small, one bedroom apartment I said, "how beautiful Ricardo, did you decorate the tree?" and he said, "no, I let my brother do it (Oliver, 6) made him really happy"


I felt blessed to witness the love these children shared with each other - it feels great to help a family like the Hernandez'.

From The Argonaut..."Rotary honored Bev Moore"


The Playa Sunrise Rotary Club honored one of our community's jewels, Bev Moore, executive director of the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau, with its first Sunrise Community Service Award at a dinner Thursday, November 15th.

The event, dubbed "An Italian Evening," attracted more than 170 people and raised more than $5,000 for club projects, including Teacher Mini Grants, the club's holiday giving program in which nine needy families are adopted, and a campaign to provide books for sick children at County USC Hospital.

Moore was honored for her commitment to Rotary's motto of "Service Above Self" and for her ethical business practices.  

Quick photo from the Paul Harris Dinner:

Back to School Spree

On Saturday, July 28th 5 Rotarians from Playa Sunrise Rotary had the pleasure of chaperoning five children during a “Back to School” shopping spree at Mervyn’s.  The Rotarians met the children at 6:15am at the Venice Boys and Girls Club. Shuttle transportation was provided by Sunrise Senior Living Center.  While at Mervyn’s, each child received $200 in clothing.  Playa Sunrise Rotary provided $500 and Mervyn’s matched that amount plus provided additional discounts.  After the shopping spree, the children were treated to a great breakfast, provided by IHOP.  Upon returning to Venice Boys and Girls Club, the parents were overjoyed when they saw the bags of clothing that each child received.


The Playa Sunrise volunteer chaperones were as follows:


Lisa Schwab

Wendy McIlnay

Chrissy Rundle

Paul Maynard

Richelle Stannard




Project Amigos Date Set for October 20-21!


14 club members and their spouses and friends adding up to 24 people have already signed up to make the trip to build our 9th casita for a needy family in Mexico. 

Annual Pancake Breakfast a Success

With many thanks to the LAX Marriott for providing the food and preparation, on July 14 we were able to successfully raise more money for the benefit of the fire fighters in Station 5.  Most people don't realize that the fire department provides a building and beds, but not much else and it is up to the fire fighters to make the accommodations livable.  We hope the money will help in that regard! 

"Let the New Year Begin…”

Under the direction of new President, Kathrine Russell, Playa Sunrise looks forward to an exciting and fun year.  The new board is ready and willing to work even harder to make Playa Sunrise better this coming year than the last.  With festive balloons & firefighters from Fire Station 5, getting ready for the 4th of July parade, President Russell launched the new Rotarian year. 

Goals for the 2007 – 2008 year:
Continue the fellowship and friendships and have fun.
Increase membership to 40
Better understanding of “what we all do”
$20,000 fundraising goal

Welcome New Member Richelle Stannard: 

Loan Officer, CountryWide Sponsors:  Gwen Vuchsas & Chrissy Rundle

Kudos to Playa Sunrise Rotarians!

Howard Pollack - Rotarian of the Year 2006-2007Congratulations to Howard Pollack on being named Playa Sunrise Rotarian of the Year for 2006-2007!

Howard's generosity and commitment to all things Rotary made it an easy selection!

The club was presented the following awards at the 2007 District Conference in San Diego:

Club Service-
Club of Achievement - Attendance
Club of Excellence - Website (my personal favorite!)
Community Service - Club of Achievement - Holiday Project

International Service -
Club of Achievement - Leading the Way-Grant Partners

Vocational Service -
Club of Excellence - Teacher Mini-Grants
Club of Achievement - Literacy
Youth Activities - Club of Achievement - Rotaract Clubs & USCC

Rotary International
Presidential Citation

2006 Project Christmas a Huge Success!!!

Wendy Donell and Pat Lyon headed up this year's Project Christmas. The number of families adopted this year was double over last year's event.  

Tenants from six office buildings in Santa Monica, owned by Douglas Emmett Inc, donated both money and gifts to the Rotary Club. Wendy collected $10,000 and two SUV's filled with toys and gifts, which took care of the needy families, giving them a Christmas to remember.
The Rotary Club members took the donated money and purchased much needed items for the families.  All the gifts were wrapped by both Rotary members and students of St. Bernard's Catholic School and were delivered to the families between the 20th and 24th of December.  In addition to the toys, each family received Christmas dinner and a tree with decorations if they desired one.
These families may not have had one gift to give or receive without the generous donations from Douglas Emmett's tenants.

...and a personal account of one of the families:

As you may recall, one of our Rotarians has known this family for years, as Martha used to clean her home before she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Juan also has stomach cancer.

The entire family was overcome with emotion regarding the amount of gifts but, also, the thought behind each the gift. They loved the basic staple items we purchased such as dishes, towel, pillows, etc.   Juan is using the DVD player to watch shows while he is getting his chemo... also, he is feeling so poorly that he spends most his days in bed so Iris is buying him used DVDs to watch.  Martha can not stop crying for "the blessings that God had given her".  They had a wonderful turkey dinner and then made soups, molés, and other dinners with the leftovers (the Gelson's food was incredible!).

Finally, when Iris opened the laptop.... she started crying with joy.  She felt it was a direct sign from "above" that she was meant to go back to school and get involved in the medical industry.  She has already contacted Bryman College and has an interview next week.  She can attend classes at night and use the laptop to also take additional classes online.


Congratulations to Our Newest Playa Sunrise Rotarian - Art Swerdloff




Casita #8 Completed

Thanks to all the Rotarians from our club and Venice Marina for pitching in to give another family shelter.  Once again, it was very emotional as we turned over the keys to a deserving family who was living in a place where the roof had caved in.  As we approach Thanksgiving, we should all be thankful for how fortunate we truly are. More pictures to follow.  Our P.S. Rotary Builders: Paul Maynard, Larry Plotkin & Diane Baretti, Pat & David Lyon, Jim & Gwen Vuchsas, Mike & Ann Mitchell, Chrissy & Pat Rundle and Dave Voss Sr. & Jr.


Strange Sightings:


We Celebrate Our First Anniversary!

Congratulations to all for a fantastic first year highlighted by a 50% increase in the size of our newborn club.  We look forward to a great second year under the leadership of our new President Paul Maynard and to hearing about the plans for 2006-2007 from Paul and his Board at the Club Assembly on the 25th of July.  No telling what wish was made by Past-President Larry Plotkin!

Demotion Party Roasts Outgoing President Larry Plotkin

The tone for the evening was set by an invocation worthy of publication, so here it is:

A Rotarian Warrior by Tony Ciancimino


A Rotarian is a warrior who chooses a weapon that is not a rifle. A Rotarian is one who chooses to pick up a cause instead. You may have already carried a weapon, but now you know that caring may be the greater seed of long-term victory. You have said, not only can I make a difference but, I will make a difference!

You warriors have made a silent commitment. That commitment is simply stated as “I will place a smile on a needy face, I will be the instrument that eases pain, I will live up to my commitment to make a change and I will be invisible in these efforts. 

Upon analysis, a Rotarian is a very uncommon entity. A Rotarian is a friend who chooses to be unseen, a giver of love who is unknown and person who is secure enough to say, “let the deed and its results stand in importance, not the person.”

Blessings upon you.

Not to let that be the final word, Tony came up with some other great writing for a skit performed by the Rotary Players as well as a very funny slide show with host Jim Vuchsas poking fun at Larry's prodigious skills as Club President.

Highlights of the evening included Larry's heartfelt comments about his Dad and Diane and the presentation of the club's annual awards.  You had to be there!

Newest Rotarian Inducted at Demotion Party

Christine Rundle is currently a Senior Account Manager for the Western Region at CIGNA Behavioral Health. She travels the Western United States providing consultation to her employer’s clients regarding their mental health and substance abuse benefits. Effective this summer, she will be leaving her job of 14 years to help her husband grow their small business, Patrick Rundle Electric. Patrick Rundle Electric has been in business since August 1995, and their main client base is located from Playa del Rey through Beverly Hills/Bel Air.

Christine is passionate about cooking, entertaining, wine, and travel. She and Patrick also enjoy giving back to the community through their church—Bel Air Presbyterian and now Rotary!

District Conference Hospitality Night!

We had a great time hosting a "hospitality suite" on Cinco de Mayo at the District Conference!  Our suite was quite popular as we followed the theme of the holiday (which by the way celebrates a victory over the French and is not their independence day) and served yummy tamales together with Tony P's world famous Mai Tais by the gallon - well, actually about 5 gallons! Rotarians Larry Plotkin, Jim and Gwen Vuchsas, Kathrine Russell, David Voss, Mike Mitchell, Paul Maynard and Howard Pollack all made the trip.  Anyway, as you can see by the pictures, it was another fun "first" for our club to be a part of the festivities.  We'll shoot for even bigger and better next year! 

8 New Members!

We are so fortunate to have these wonderful people join our club. Welcome to:

ERIKK ALDRIDGE is the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Venice.  Formerly head of community relations for both the Lakers and the Dodgers, Erikk brings a wealth of experience in supporting communities to the club.

CHRISTINE RUNDLE is currently a Senior Account Manager for the Western Region at CIGNA Behavioral Health. She travels the Western United States providing consultation to her employer’s clients regarding their mental health and substance abuse benefits. Effective this summer, she will be leaving her job of 14 years to help her husband grow their small business, Patrick Rundle Electric. Patrick Rundle Electric has been in business since August 1995, and their main client base is located from Playa del Rey through Beverly Hills/Bel Air.  Christine is passionate about cooking, entertaining, wine, and travel. She and Patrick also enjoy giving back to the community through their church—Bel Air Presbyterian and now Rotary!

MARK STRATTON with the classification of Business Machines.  Mark is an active sailor who races his Beneteau 40.7 in Southern California waters.  He has been a resident of many years in the area after moving to Southern California from his native England.  His business One Touch Solutions sells and services photocopiers and other business equipment.

DAN NELSON with the classification of Attorney - Personal injury. Dan is a long time community member, lives in Marina del Rey and has a very successful law practice in Westchester across the street from the Howard Hughes Center.

MIKE MITCHELL with a classification of Real Estate-Commercial.  Mike is a "Top-Producer with Boardwalk Realty and an active member of the Westchester/LAX/Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce.  Mike lives with wife Ann in Marina del Rey .  He looks forward to working in Rotary to improve our community and recently was a key volunteer for the Cowan Nature Center.

JUDY DELAVIGNE with a classification of Education. Judy is a long time resident of the community, currently residing in Playa del Rey and is the Executive Assistant to the President of Loyola Marymount University. She has 2 grown children, Cami and John, and is President-Elect of the Airport Marina Counseling Service as well as a Board member of the Westchester/LAX/Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce. One of her many activities in her spare time is singing in the choir of Visitation Church in Westchester.

JON CHENIER with a classification of Architect. Jon and his wife Karen are residents of Westchester and hoping to start a family soon. They love to travel and some of their trips have included taking students to Europe.  Jon loves surfing and the arts. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and active with Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association.

DR. KIERAN FULKERSON with a classification of Business Psycho Dynamics.  Kieran has a doctorate in clinical psychology, has been a licensed psycho therapist for 23 years and owner of Business Performance Team for the past 10 years. She is married, lives in Playa del Rey and has a grown adopted daughter with 2 grandchildren. Kieran's hobbies are stylized photography and she is currently in school learning how to race cars.

Teacher Mini-Grants

14 Schools

67 Grants

99 Teachers


Hundreds of students!!!!!

We are proud that Playa Sunrise Rotary and Westchester Rotary have teamed up with the Westchester LAX Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce to provide funding for worthy schools, teachers and projects in our community once again!  It's the kids that really win!

Project Christmas

Five families were adopted for the holidays to make sure they all had the joy of a tree and decorations, a traditional holiday meal in their homes and lots of presents under the tree for children to enjoy on the big day! 

Our group had a family with Mom, three kids and two grandkids.  First we delivered the tree two weeks before Christmas along with decorations so the family had plenty of time to enjoy it for the holidays. According to the Mother of the family, Leticia, it was "The biggest and most beautiful tree they ever had." 

Then, on Christmas Eve Day, four of us and our kids (including Tony P's "elves") brought a pile of presents including Dodger and Clippers tickets for the eldest and bus passes for Mom.  We also brought them a complete Turkey Dinner for eight to enjoy on Christmas Day. 

As we all enjoyed the bountiful blessings spread before us during the holidays, it put into perspective that which we all take for granted - and gave more meaning to it all to share our good fortune with others.  If there was ever a project that showed what Rotary is all about, this is it! 

Holiday Rotary Thoughts (Invocation by Tony Ciancimino)

Someone had a true vision of how to share the Holiday Season, they shared and so did we.

Five times over, differently yet the same, we approached humble yet proud families.

We asked what do you need, they said nothing, appearances said the opposite, and details finally won out to what was required.

5 times, each differently, we listened and planned. Each family was taken under our collective wings as we tried to plan a special Holiday Celebration. The goal, give with generosity without taking family dignity.

We found families whose elders’ heads might have been bowed, but not their spirit. Their saucer-eyed children brought us back to a time when we knew the wonder of the Holiday Season, and with that reminder we were children of wonder again.

Thanks to the families that adopted us and gave us the spirit of the Holiday Season.

Once again we count our blessings.

More than ever, I am proud to be a Playa Sunrise Rotarian.

Playa Sunrise Rotarians in the Community

Many long hours of volunteer coaching have paid off for Rotarian Tom Flintoft.  His Westchester AYSO soccer team just completed an undefeated season and won the Championship Game to go on to represent Westchester in the regional rounds to follow.  We would be remiss not to note that son Stefan kicked the winning goal in overtime with only a few ticks of the clock remaining!  Other champions from our club are Tony Palermo's two wonderful daughters who won their championship too!

Paul Maynard was recognized for bringing his Wells Fargo Bank strongly into the community as a sponsor of many community events by receiving the 2005 Business Recognition Award from the Chamber of Commerce and presented by State Senator Debra Bowen.

Glad Tidings of Good Cheer

Picture courtesy of Tony Ciancimmino's phone!On December 10, our club enjoyed the fellowship of the season by watching the annual Marina del Rey Christmas Boat Parade together over dinner at Shanghai Red's.  As you can see, it was a spectacular evening to get in the holiday spirit!Courtesy of Trevor Daley  Also in the holiday spirit, our club donated $500 and a number of gifts were sent by our Rotarians to the El Sauzal orphanage in Ensenada, Mexico in conjunction with the ongoing efforts of our neighbor Westchester Rotary Club to bring cheer to the kids there.  

Project Amigos 2005 - We Built Casita #7!!!

On October 21-23, the Playa Sunrise Rotary Club completed it’s first International Service project as a joint project with Venice Marina.

What is Project Amigos? It is an opportunity to build a home for needy families in Tijuana, Mexico. By contrast to the better known Habitat for Humanity, this home lacks plumbing and electricity – its not a new tract home, but rather shelter for those with nowhere to live. The families are selected in cooperation with the Casa de los Pobres (House of the Poor) in Tijuana because they have the greatest need. Again by contrast, Habitat for Humanity asks that the family actually pay for the home with a long term loan – the people served by Project Amigos have little or no income and would never qualify for such a home. In our view, these people are in much greater need.

Thanks to the efforts of these Rotarians, seven new homes have been built. Typically these families had been living in structures made out of cast off loading palettes and blankets hung up to keep out the elements. We have been able to build homes with floors made from wood, not dirt and walls made from plywood, not blankets and a proper roof with tar paper that will not leak in the rain and a door and linoleum floor. By our standards, it may not seem like much, but to these people it is a castle.

This is an excellent project both because we are so readily able to meet the basic needs of those less fortunate than us and because it brings together members of the club new and old in a “hands on” project. Why is this project so successful and popular? Because in a substantial way, we are able to truly make a difference in the lives of these people - a perfect example of the spirit of Rotary - “Service Above Self.”

Pancake Breakfast a Big Success!!!

Several hundred people showed up for pancakes and a look inside Los Angeles Fire Department fire station #5 and raised over $1500.  Special thanks goes to the LAX Marriott and Courtyard for supplying all the food and drinks for the event!  All the kids enjoyed rides through the neighborhood on the old fire engine and firemen's hats and other toys courtesy of Farmers Insurance.  This is a very special event and very popular with kids, so be sure not to miss it next year!!!




Playa Sunrise Rotary Receives it's Charter!

At our first ever meeting on July 19, 2005, Past District Governors Pat Cashin and Rick Mendoza presented new club President Larry Plotkin with our charter as a duly organized Rotary Club.  Our Charter Members are: Larry Plotkin - President; Paul Maynard - President-Elect; Sibyl Buchanan - Secretary; Steve Donell - Treasurer; Mike Diamond - Sgt. at Arms; Gwen Vuchsas - Vice President/Advisor; Jim Ferro - Vice President/Advisor; Jim Vuchsas; David Voss - Program Chair; Tony Ciancimino; Patty Crockett; JR Dzubak; Tom Flintoft; Antje Frei; Patricia Lyon; David Lyon; Tony Palermo; Howard Pollack; Kathrine Russell and Humberto Yniguez.  Thanks to all of you for making our new club a reality!

1st Club Social Event - Wine Tasting Party

Our first official club get together was a great wine tasting at the home of Gwen and Jim Vuchsas.  Our sommalier for the evening was none other than the famous Tony Palermo, owner of Tony P's Dockside Grill in Marina del Rey.  Tony challenged our ability to discern good wine from bad by putting 12 different wines in brown bags and then asking us to score them.  Thankfully, we can report that the new club has good taste - at least enough to realize which one was "two buck Chuck" and to appropriately water the gardens surrounding the Vuchsas' deck with that fine selection!