Thank You 07-01-12

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 The Rotary Club of Los Alamos would like to thank everyone in the community who so warmly welcomed our Group Study Exchange visitors from Capetown, South Africa of Rotary District 9350 during their brief stay here last month.

The GSE program offers opportunities for four young professionals, ages 25-40, to travel to a Rotary district abroad under the guidance of a Rotary team leader from their home country.  Once the five-member team has arrived in the host country, they travel for one month throughout the host district, meeting counterparts in their career fields for networking and meaningful exchange of ideas.

The South African guests on this recent visit to District 5520, which includes all of New Mexico and parts of west Texas, were Rotarian and team leader Robin Gilfillan, an educator, publisher and rancher; and team members Matt Haywood, a school athletics director; Thabiso Mokwena, a process engineer for a petroleum company; Vienie McShane, a Waldorf school teacher and jeweler; and Simisha Pather-Elias, a conservation manager at a botanical garden.

Local Rotarian Jim Nesmith, Foreign Nationals coordinator for Los Alamos National Laboratory and chairman of our club’s International Service projects, arranged our guests’ vocational tours and sightseeing, as well as lodging with Rotarian families Beverly and Martin Cooper, Paul and Rosmarie Frederickson, Skip and Linda King, Chris and Arnie Sierk and Gaye and Thurman Talley and a Club dinner at the home of Tony Chan.

Assisting in the GSE team’s welcome and tours were Georgia Strickfaden of Buffalo Tours; Dr. Bob Parmenter, chief biologist of the Valles Caldera; superintendent Jason Lott of Bandelier National Monument; engineer Bob Hull of Los Alamos Technical Associates; geologist Rick Kelley, meteorologist Dr. Manvendra Dubey and climate-change scientist Dr. Chick Keller; Pajarito Environmental Education Center; potter Gloria Gilmore-House; Ken Nebel, director of the Fuller Lodge Art Center; photographer TK Thompson of Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery; Barbara Yarnell, director of the UNM-LA pottery studio; golf professional Donnie Torres of the Los Alamos County golf course; John Arrowsmith and staff of the Department of Public Utilities; programs coordinator Joe Harris of the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center and Mick Matuszak of the Los Alamos High School Athletics Department.  We also thank Sonic for being the first drive-in our guests had ever visited.

Our South African guests have returned home now, after additional stays in Albuquerque, Taos, Santa Fe, Silver City and El Paso.  They left us, though, as friends, not just visitors, and we have all been made richer by this experience made possible by Rotary and our community.  Thanks to all.



Linda Hull, President-elect

Rotary Club of Los Alamos


Thank you to the MacInnes family for discovering and quickly reporting the arson fires at the North Mesa Stables earlier this month. 

And thank you to the firefighters who stopped the fires from claiming property and lives.  One of the lives saved was that of my 36-year-old mare, Wildfire.  

She is well known and loved in the community at the stables, because she has taught many children to ride.  She has also given therapy rides.  

Despite a life that has not always been easy, Wildfire is kind.  Surely she deserves better than to have her life threatened by arson.  I am grateful to those whose actions have given me more time with her.


Dorothy Brown