Posted by W. Scott Pafford on Jul 24, 2019

As the Bard of Avon once said:

“To makeup, or not to makeup: that is the question:”

An old Story, but a good read....

Sure you’re tired and it has been another busy week at work with lots of last minute projects to complete. That’s why you need a break from the frantic workweek and a chance to relax, visit with friends and listen to a great program.


The Thursty Harshman Award was established in District 5260 as a way to recognize clubs that had excellent weekly programs and outstanding attendance. PDG 47/48 Thursty Harshman (from the Glendale noon club) recognized the importance of establishing the habit of regular attendance at club meetings as an important element in the ongoing commitment of Rotarians to the strength and vitality of a Rotary club. There are many benefits to be gained by the club and the individual Rotarians who take the time to attend or to makeup a meeting they’ve missed.


Our attendances reports indicate on average 70% of our members attend our meetings or makeup at another club. That means each week approximately 15 members do not attend the meeting. Just imagine if they were all in attendance and able to hear firsthand from the Rotarians who traveled to Estado 29, the teachers and students who were the beneficiaries of our mini-grants project, thanks from our Interact club members or from the students who benefit from our Endowment Fund and scholarship grants at Glendale Community College. If these 15 people had attended; I believe next year if asked to help with any of these projects they would be more likely to enthusiastically embrace the project and say yes!, you can count on me and I want to help!


There is much to be gained from attending or from making up a missed meeting. I am unable to report that I have perfect attendance like some Rotarians in other clubs who boast of 50 years of perfect attendance. However, I would like to share a few of my experience from taking the time to makeup at another Rotary club.


My first makeup was during my first year as a Rotarian. At that time I had perfect attendance (35 weeks) and wanted to continue the tradition. I was down to the last day to attend a makeup meeting and the only available club was the Sunland Tujunga Club. The monthly listing of clubs in the district newspaper indicated the Sunland club as having a PDG as a member. However, the club membership at that time was down to 15 members. Needless to say, my expectations were not high. That evening turned out to be one of the best makeup meetings I have attended. A member of the club had a friend who traveled the world photographing solar and lunar eclipses. There was going to be a lunar eclipse that evening. After dinner we adjourned from the meeting location and went to the individual’s home in the foothills of Tujunga where he had set up a telescope to permit us to view the eclipse. We were treated to a video of his travels around the world and photographs of the solar and lunar eclipse he had witnessed.  What a great experience I had during my first makeup. I also had the name and phone number of the speaker who had agreed to make a presentation at the Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club. I gave his name and number to our program chair at the next meeting.


The following year I found myself in need of another makeup to continue my perfect attendance. This time I selected the Pasadena Rotary Club that boasts a membership roster of 400 plus members and meets at the Hilton Hotel. A far cry from the Sunland Tujunga Club that meets in the back room of a local coffee shop.


 When I arrived I found a man setting up an old projector to show some footage from some old 16mm film. He was a local insurance agent in Pasadena and I anticipated seeing a presentation about the need for insurance. As it turned out he had played football as a lineman for Vince Lombardi during the first Super Bowl. He shared with us wonderful stories about the leadership of coach Lombardi and the thrill of playing for the Green Bay Packers. Another great program I would have missed if I had not taken the time to do a makeup.


During a vacation a few years ago I was in Ojai. A local Rotary Club meets at the Ojai Inn and Country Club. Since I was going to play golf at the club later in the day, I thought I would attend the Rotary Club luncheon. As it turned out their District Governor was making his official club visit the same day. His father was also a District Governor in the same district in 1962, some 30 years earlier. The current governor shared with us excerpts from his father's presentation some 30 years ago. Both his goals and dreams for his Rotary District that year in 1962 along with the accomplishments that year and the ongoing needs of the community. The current governor told us how the needs of the community continue and there is much work to be done in 1992. He was confident that the Rotarians are the ones who would rise to the occasion.


More recently, Sheri Polak of the Woodland Hills Rotary club invited me to attend her club’s meeting on Wednesday, May 7, 1997. She is very proud of her club and its numerous accomplishments over the years. On May 7, they were celebrating the twelfth year of their “Protectors Awards" program.  As I drove down Ventura Boulevard I knew something special was about to happen at the Woodland Hills Rotary Club. Both sides of Ventura boulevard were lined with black and white Los Angeles Police cars. From a distance I could see the bright red fire trucks, hook and ladder trucks and paramedic vehicles that also lined the boulevard.


Once inside the restaurant I encountered a sea of blue uniform with gold stripes on the sleeves. These were the uniforms of the firefighters, paramedics, policemen and women, Sheriffs, Captains and Chiefs present, who were there to be honored for the daily sacrifices they all make to keep our homes and cities a safer place in which we can work and play. There were members from the Los Angeles City Fire Department Engine No. 10 and the Glendale Fire Department Engine number 24 who so bravely fought the Calabasas Fire in October 1996. The individuals that were present and recognized for the bravery and dedication to duty included Bill Jensen of the Glendale Fire Department who was so badly burned during the Calabasas fire. Bill thanked the Rotarians for their contribution to the Glendale Fire Department Foundation, praised the men and women of the Police and Fire departments for the outpouring of their support during this difficult time for him and his family and thanked God and the thousands of Americans who have sent him cards and wishes of encouragement during his recovery.


From my personal perspective there is much to be gained from attending the weekly club meeting or taking the time to makeup at another club. You can bring back excellent ideas for community, vocational and international projects. I gained a much broader perspective about the depth and breath of Rotary both in our own district and of Rotary International. We have also benefited by borrowing some excellent speakers from other Rotary Clubs.


Are you planning to do a makeup at a local Rotary club? Consider asking one of you fellow club members to join you. You’ll both be glad you took the time to go.


I believe the Thursty Harshman Award is within the grasp of the members of the Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club, once we recognize the benefits of regular attendance and make a commitment to makeup missed meetings whenever possible. Maybe some fifty years ago PDG Thirsty Harshman had it right when he recognized the importance of regular attendance and participation of all Rotarians in their Rotary Club!



W.  Scott Pafford, President 90/91

Glendale Sunrise Rotary