Sunrise Rotary February 23, 2017  


President Tony called the meeting to order;

Elana Karoly led the Pledge to the Flag

Jack Anderson offered an invocation


Guest and Visitors:


There were no guests or visitors


Anniversaries and Birthdays:



February     27:        Constance Larsen



Photos of the Week:


Rotarians enjoying a Mexican winery after the Tijuana house-build project


Valentines Day celebrating with other Rotarians and their ladies at Vinz Wine Bar


Rich Agnew and his wife Marcia on their wedding day; they celebrated an anniversary on February 17


Dates to Remember:


March        23:        Fisher House delivery; bring items to Club meetings or                     George’s business


April        7-9:        RYLA; Facilitators still needed, see the website or speak                     with Jim Ponder


        8:        Mexicali Project “pre-build”; preparing footings and posts for                     playground equipment construction  


        20-23:        Mexicali project


October    7:        Grape Day 5K; only 226 days till the big event!



High Fives and Announcements:


Speaking of the Grape Day 5K; Past President Jim Ponder shared some footage from the State of the City video presented on February 22 to the community by Mayor Sam Abed. Highlighted in the video more than once was footage from our Grape Day 5K event, showing crowds of people having a wonderful time in Downtown Escondido. Jim commented that Berg Electric, a signature sponsor, is back with us for next year. He also commented that Palomar Health Foundation is possibly interested in becoming a partner in our event. Jim expressed very clearly, that any relationship with any potential partner will be on our terms… Escondido Sunrise has continued to build our Grape Day 5K event and it’s growth potential is amazing… Even without ‘new partners.’


Past President Jim also commented on his attendance at the annual meeting/gala of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in New York. Escondido Sunrise Rotary was recognized as Society’s Outstanding Philanthropic Partner of the Year! 

What great kudos for our efforts through our Grape Day 5K Event… Congratulations to the entire Club!


Elana Karoly provided an update on her ‘Go-2-Grow’ mentoring organization. They are moving to a new location and beginning to adopt a primary focus of mentoring, including young adults up to age 25.


Past President Barry Baker shared that his son, LTCOL Jay Baker, an Army doctor, served previously under LTGEN H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s National Security Advisor Nominee. Barry commented that Jay learned a great deal about leadership while serving with McMaster and has great respect for him.




Past President Jack Anderson presented the days program; various ‘Who Am I’ presentations from newer members of Escondido Sunrise Rotary.


Bob Portillo shared his background as a native of El Paso, TX, and his excitement in leaving there to attend dental school. As a young dentist, he began an ‘internship’ with the US Air Force that lasted over 25 years. Bob and his wife enjoyed their various duty assignments including the opportunities to travel; having visited over 26 countries. Bob established a dental practice in Escondido, and fortunately for us, he is next-door neighbor to our member, Ralph Tavares. Bob had a brief membership in the Escondido Rotary Club, and with Ralph’s encouragement, joined the best Rotary Club in Escondido! Glad to have you as a member, Bob!


Bob Portillo sharing his story with the Club:


Joe Holtz, a former member of the Escondido West Rotary Club is back as a member of Escondido Sunrise Rotary. Joe’s hiatus from our club occurred because of our change to a breakfast club format and the impact on his patient schedule with his dental practice. Joe shared that he established his practice in Escondido in 1980 and enjoyed a successful career; now really enjoying retirement! 

Joe and his wife Geni have four children, many of whom have extended relationships with Rotary and its international connections. His oldest son Jarod was a RYLA attendee, and participated in a Rotary Youth Exchange in Indonesia; Jarod also received a Rotary Foundation Scholarship and obtained a Masters Degree in International Business while studying in Ghana West Africa. Jarod has shared his experiences with our Club in the past. Joe’s daughter Joanna, is a veterinarian in Middletown, CA and presented to us last fall about the Valley Fire in Lake County, and the recovery effort through local Rotary Clubs that our Club supported with over $2,000 in gifts. Joanna is also a RYLA graduate and a member of the Middletown Rotary Club. Joe and Geni’s other two children are Nick, a mechanical engineer, who also participated in a Rotary Youth Exchange in Denmark and Amanda, a communications and marketing professional.

Joe and Geni are proud grandparents of Penelope; a 10 month-old bundle of joy…


Joe Holtz sharing his story with the Club:



Bill Dopp shared his experience and life ‘stories’ with us. Bill was previously a member of Escondido Sunrise, however was gone about 18 months involved in some professional growth opportunities and some health challenges.

Bill began his story talking about the number of ‘Bills” in his family. Among his great grandfather, grandfather, father and now his son, there are many “Bills” in the Dopp family tree. Bill commented that in his college fraternity at Indiana University, there were three “Bills” in his pledge class, so he was “Will”… A name his wife still uses today.


Bill began his working life as a journalist with the Wall Street Journal, but soon discovered his real calling as an Episcopal Priest. After a long period of serving various congregations throughout the country, Bill returned to San Diego. He teaches at Bethel Seminary in San Diego and has found a place among the Baptists and the Lutherans in Escondido. Bill recently experienced a great trip to the Holy Land where he lead a service at the Church of the Annunciation in Bethlehem and baptized some believers in the Jordan River. While away from our Club, Bill also underwent cancer treatment for prostate cancer, and wrote a book entitled, “Is There Hope for the Christian Faith?”



Bill Dopp sharing his stories with the Club:



Opportunity Drawing: